- The Washington Times - Friday, October 11, 2002

An appeal to Canada

The U.S. ambassador to Canada yesterday urged its government to spend more on defense, saying the United States cannot defeat terrorism on its own.

"It's a dangerous world out there. We need your help. We cannot defend North America alone. We cannot win this campaign against terrorism alone," Ambassador Paul Cellucci told a group of alumni from the University of Ottawa.

Canada spends about 1.1 percent of its gross domestic product on its military less than half of the 2.5 percent average among other NATO nations. Only tiny Luxembourg spend less, while the United States spends 3 percent. Canada has dispatched troops to Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.

"We value the contributions the Canadian military makes to the defense of North America and what it does around the globe peacekeeping missions, as well as combat operations," Mr. Cellucci said.

"We are concerned that the Canadian military will not be able to continue to do what it does very well."

Zimbabwe faces famine

U.S. diplomat Tony Hall is worried that Zimbabwe's food crisis will worsen over the winter unless the government begins cooperating with Western aid workers.

Zimbabwe is heading for famine unless the government "opens its doors and does away with bureaucratic red tape to allow food in," said Mr. Hall, Washington's envoy to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

Two years of drought coupled with President Robert Mugabe's disastrous redistribution of land from white farmers to black squatters has placed more than 7 million lives in peril.

The government also maintains a monopoly on the importation and distribution of grain and has blocked private efforts to bring in food, according to news reports.

"Half of the people in this country will need food aid until the next harvest in March next year, but the government is acting as if all is well," he told Agence France-Presse at the beginning of a three-day fact-finding visit to the southern African nation.

He warned that the "crisis will hit about December."

Female envoys honored

Female ambassadors from Africa, the Caribbean and South America will be honored tonight and tomorrow at embassy receptions hosted by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs Inc.

"This is going to be a tremendous affair," said Tracy Munford, one of the organizers of the two-day event at the South African and Ghanaian embassies.

She called the affair "a historic gathering of women ambassadors of color."

The women's clubs organization "has extensive health, welfare and development partnership with women and children in Africa," she said.

The ambassadors expected at the receptions include Angola's Josefina Pitra Diakite, Belize's Lisa M. Shoman, Mauritius' Usha Jeetah, Saint Lucia's Sonia Merlyn Johnny, South Africa's Sheila Sisulu, Swaziland's Mary M. Kanya and Uganda's Edith Grace Ssempala.

Terrorism post for Black

President Bush has selected the CIA's former head of counterterrorism to serve in a similar post at the State Department.

Cofer Black, head of the agency's Counterterrorism Center from 1999 until May, would hold the rank of ambassador as the department's coordinator for counterterrorism if confirmed by the Senate.

Mr. Black, who joined the agency in 1974, was the target of an assassination plot by Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network while serving in Sudan in 1995.

He also helped France capture notorious terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal.

Mr. Black strongly defended the CIA and FBI in testimony last month before a joint congressional committee investigating the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"Nearly 3,000 al Qaeda terrorists and their supporters have been detained," he said. "In Afghanistan, the al Qaeda who refused to surrender have been killed. The hunt is on. We must go on the offensive and stay there."

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