- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Jefferson and Lithuania
When a diplomat is invited to speak to the Committee on Foreign Relations in Charlottesville, he must pay homage to Thomas Jefferson; and the Lithuanian ambassador duly noted that Jefferson inspired the occupied nations of the former Soviet Union in their struggle to break free.
Ambassador Vygaudas Usackas, however, also used the occasion last week to explain that countries that suffered under communist domination understand better than many other European nations the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
"There is no secret that you find a better appreciation of the U.S. policies and actions against threats of terrorism and the Iraqi regime in the Central and Eastern part of Europe than in some other countries," he said.
"From our experience, we know the price democracies have to pay for inaction. That's why the presidents of the three Baltic nations [Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania] assured President Bush they would stand shoulder to shoulder with America in the fight against terrorism and meeting the new challenges of the 21st century."
Mr. Usackas noted that Jefferson saw the United States "as a great island of freedom in the midst of a world of tyranny."
"He thanked the Almighty Being for the fact that America was separated by a wide ocean from the nations of Europe, and he hoped to keep it that way," he added.
"However, the events of September 11, 2001, changed this conventional wisdom, and in today's interdependent world the United States needs Europe and Europe needs the United States," he said.
Mr. Usackas said Jefferson's philosophy, most famously set forth in the Declaration of Independence, inspired many East Europeans in their struggle for liberty. He noted the unsuccessful uprisings against communism in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968, as well as the final collapse of communism beginning in 1989.
"Jefferson's thoughts and ideas on the rights and freedoms of the people and on democratic governments have served as an inspiration and guidance for may nations striving for freedom and democracy across the globe," he said.
Kazakh diplomacy
Oil-rich Kazakhstan will continue to pursue a three-pronged foreign policy, developing close ties with the United States, Russia and China, according to the Kazakh foreign minister.
"There can be no single partner in Kazakhstan's position," Kassymzhomart Tokayev told the Izvestia-Kazakhstan newspaper in a recent interview.
He noted that President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Moscow and Beijing at the end of last year.
"Kazakhstan-United States relations are developing actively," he said in the interview distributed by the Kazakh Embassy. "The U.S. is the most influential nation of the modern world. America's GDP exceeds $10 trillion. The entire Western Europe cannot as yet match that.
"Everybody takes this into consideration, including China. So when we talk about strategic partnership, first of all, we have to keep in mind our cooperation with Russia, China, neighboring countries of Central Asia, as well as the United States."
Kazakhstan, the largest of the former Soviet Central Asian republics, ranks among the top 10 oil exporters and top 20 natural-gas producers.
Lyman's Council post
Princeton Lyman, former ambassador to Nigeria and South Africa, has been selected to head African policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
The council named him the first recipient of the Ralph Bunche chair in African studies, named after the former undersecretary-general of the United Nations and the first black American to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
"I am both delighted that the council has established this position and deeply honored to have been selected for it," Mr. Lyman told allAfrica.com, an African affairs Web site.
Council President Leslie Gelb said the new post shows the council's "commitment to addressing African issues."
Mr. Lyman, a career diplomat, served in Nigeria from 1986 to 1989 and in South Africa from 1992 to 1995. He was appointed assistant secretary of state for international organizations in 1997.
After retiring in 2000, he directed the Global Interdependence Initiative at the Aspen Institute, a post he will continue to hold while serving at the council.


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