- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Envoys praise America

More than 100 foreign ambassadors joined President Bush at the White House yesterday to remember the victims of September 11 and praise American resolve to rid the world of terrorism.

Three ambassadors representing Africa, Asia and the Middle East expressed sympathy for the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon during a ceremony on the South Lawn marking six months since the day of the terrorist strikes.

Turkish Ambassador Faruk Logoglu, the envoy of a secular government in an Islamic nation, noted that Turkish troops are supporting the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan.

"Turkey's presence in Afghanistan is one proof that the war on terrorism is not against Islam," he said. "Turkish society, itself, is living testimony to the proposition that Islam, democracy and modernity are compatible."

Mr. Logoglu praised the "brave firemen and policemen who perished in the line of duty."

"We once again condemn those terrorist attacks and remind their perpetrators that justice will be done no matter what it takes," he said.

South Korean Ambassador Sung Chul Yang said his country will never forget the U.S. sacrifice in the Korean War.

"As we then fought side by side and shoulder to shoulder, now the Korean people actively support the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism and will do so until it is eradicated," Mr. Sung said.

"Terrorism is the scourge of mankind. It has nothing to do with religion or culture and everything to do with death and destruction. … One lesson we all learned from the events of September 11 is that no nation is impregnable or invulnerable from such heinous crimes."

Nigerian Ambassador Jibril Aminu said, "The terrible events of September 11 lie fresh in our minds six months on as if they were yesterday. Those who perished will never be forgotten, nor will those who have given their lives in the aftermath nor, for that matter, the grief of their families."

Mr. Aminu praised Mr. Bush for his "outstanding leadership" and noted the president's "deep faith" in God.

"America, by the grace of God, as the leading nation on earth, will no doubt continue to bravely assail the endless challenges and burdens of leadership with grace and restraint, promoting justice to and hope for all," he said.


'Good Friday' update

No St. Patrick's Day reception at the White House is complete without visitors from Northern Ireland and an update on the U.S.-brokered "Good Friday" agreement.

The 4-year-old pact, which at times nearly collapsed, brought the province's Protestant majority and Catholic minority into a power-sharing agreement and the beginning of the disarmament of the Irish Republican Army.

This year, Britain's secretary of state for Northern Ireland will brief National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on the status of the agreement and meet members of Congress who are interested in Irish affairs.

John Reid, a Scot and the first Catholic to the hold post, will urge the Bush administration to stay engaged in the peace efforts and discuss the anxieties of Northern Irish Protestants.

"It is wrong to assume that only the [Catholic] minority can feel threatened," he said in remarks released by the British Embassy yesterday.

Mr. Reid will also thank the Irish-American community for its support of the Northern Irish accords, which were signed on Good Friday in 1998.

He has meetings planned with Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. Mr. Reid will also meet members of the House International Relations Committee.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and Northern Irish First Minister David Trimble are also in town for the festivities.


Ross gets new post

Veteran Middle East envoy Dennis Ross will become director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on May 1.

"No one brings greater insight, knowledge and credibility to the formation of U.S. policy in the Middle East and the pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace than he does," institute President Fred Lafer and Chairman Mike Stein said, announcing the appointment yesterday.

Mr. Ross served under Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton.


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