- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Delivered from evil

The new ambassador from Afghanistan is thankful that the United States liberated his country from the murderous rule of the Taliban regime, which sheltered Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network.

Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad, who presented his diplomatic credentials at the White House last week, told President Bush that his main mission is to advance U.S.-Afghan relations and strengthen the “historic friendship between our two people.”

“I am honored to stand before you at this historic juncture, as we embark to accelerate, with your support, the successful process of solidifying peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan,” Mr. Jawad said.

“We are grateful for the leadership provided by the United States of America in emancipating our country from the evil forces of terrorism, tyranny and Taliban.

“We cherish the close cooperation and enduring partnership forged between our two nations.”

Mr. Jawad said the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants to build a “constitutional state that guarantees the safety and security of its citizens, promotes democracy, protects human rights, advocates the rule of law and provides for sustained economic growth.”

Endorsing Geneva

Top officials under five previous presidents have endorsed the so-called Geneva Accord for Middle East peace, saying the unofficial document proposes the “best way to move forward.”

An open letter released last week by the International Crisis Group was signed by former Secretary of State Warren Christopher and former National Security Adviser Anthony Lake in the Clinton administration; former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci and former National Security Adviser Richard Allen in the Reagan administration; Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Carter; and Robert McNamara, defense secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

The Israeli government has rejected the accord, which, among other proposals, would divide Jerusalem into an Israeli and Palestinian capital. The Bush administration has reiterated support for its own peace plan.

Undiplomatic words

The U.S. ambassador to Indonesia yesterday rejected unusually blunt public criticism of American policy in Iraq expressed by Indonesia’s foreign minister.

Ambassador Ralph Boyce told an American business executives’ lunch in Jakarta that he was surprised and “baffled” by remarks on Monday by Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda at an Asia-Pacific security forum.

Mr. Boyce said Mr. Wirajuda violated an understanding that both governments would keep their criticism of each other private.

“I was not alone in being surprised and disappointed and maybe even a bit baffled by his use of that forum to present such a strong message,” Mr. Boyce said.

“I really do regret the deviation from what I think has been a successful policy in recent years between our two governments to try to keep our disagreements more in private channels.”

Mr. Wirajuda blamed U.S. policies for the violence in Iraq and said insurgent forces allied to deposed dictator Saddam Hussein and foreign Islamist terrorists could turn the conflict into a civil war.

“There is the dreadful prospect of the Balkanization of Iraq with boundaries drawn on ethnic and sectarian lines,” he said.

If the trends continue, “that would make the war in Iraq a debacle to the cause of security and peace,” he said.

Mr. Wirajuda also criticized the United States for failing to find weapons of mass destruction.

“If they do not exist, then an entire country has been leveled to the ground for no good reason,” he said.

The United States is trying hard to make Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, an ally in the war on terrorism.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail [email protected]

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