- The Washington Times - Monday, March 18, 2002

Canadian 'car wash'
Don Boudria walked past the newly blooming trees and flowers on the U.S. Capitol grounds, but he was more interested in the squat concrete storm sewer pipes blocking the sidewalks.
As Canada's official in charge of the security of government buildings, Mr. Boudria was conferring with Alan M. Hantman, the architect of the Capitol, on how Congress is erecting physical barriers against terrorism without marring the beauty of the symbol of American democracy.
The pipes are just temporary measures. They are being replaced with tasteful bollards that will line the walkways and other vulnerable points.
Mr. Boudria, on his visit to Washington last week, noted the Jersey walls across the entrances to the Capitol's driveways.
"We have to be concerned about the physical appearance of security. What can I say? The Jersey barriers are not the most attractive," he said.
Mr. Boudria, the minister for public works and government services, told Embassy Row that the terrorist attacks on the United States prompted the Canadian Parliament to adopt new security measures immediately.
"When you are a Canadian, what happens to you happens to us," he said, referring to the response in Canada to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. "We have many things in common."
The Parliament, an elegant Victorian building, sits dramatically but vulnerably on a hill in the center of the Canadian capital, Ottawa. Its long semicircular drive always has been open to visitor traffic. On September 11, a school bus was parked in front of the building waiting for a school tour.
Since the attacks on the United States, however, the Parliament erected a building to check for car bombs. Vehicles enter one side, stop for a security check and exit on the other side. The drive-through has been dubbed the "car wash" for its lack of architectural appeal.
"It is a very unfortunate thing," Mr. Boudria said.

Afghan legal aid
Afghanistan's interim government is getting legal aid from a prominent Washington law firm.
The firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard McPherson and Hand will provide legal services free of charge and will work regularly with the new Afghan Embassy.
"Verner Liipfert is pleased to offer its services to assist the interim government of Afghanistan during this critical time," the firm said.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Vladimir Meciar, former prime minister of the Slovak Republic, who plans to meet members of Congress.
A Turkish government delegation with Kemal Dervis, minister of state for the economy; Ahmet Rifat Okun, Afghanistan coordinator at the foreign ministry; Hamit Ayanoglu, undersecretary of agriculture; Ali Ercan, undersecretary of defense; Zeki Cakan, minister of energy and natural resources; and Nihat Akyol, ambassador to the European Union. They will join other Turkish dignitaries at the 2002 Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkish Relations.
John C. Lyras, president of the Union of Greek Shipowners, who leads a delegation for talks with Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta and other administration officials.
Pedro Parente, Brazilian minister of mines and energy; Carlos Salinas-Estenssoro, Bolivian vice minister of energy and hydrocarbons; and Sergio Ugarte, Peruvian ex-vice minister of energy. They participate in a forum sponsored by the Organization of American States and the Center for Latin American Issues.
Theodore Pangalos, a member of the Greek Parliament and former foreign minister of Greece, and Michael Liapis, a member of Parliament for the main opposition New Democracy party. They attend a meeting of the political committee of the Assembly of the Western European Union.
James Nicholson, a member of the European Parliament, who attends a European Institute forum with members of Congress.
Abbey Chikane, chairman of the South African Diamond Board, holds a 10 a.m. news conference at the National Press Club.

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