- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 23, 2003

Turk snubs U.S. envoy
The speaker of the Turkish parliament yesterday said he was only returning the snub when he turned down an invitation to have lunch at the U.S. ambassador's residence.
Bulent Arinc said Ambassador Robert Pearson failed to pay a courtesy call to congratulate him on his appointment as speaker in November, so he rejected the lunch date this week.
"A Turkish parliament speaker will not attend an ambassador's lunch if the latter has not first paid him a visit," Mr. Arinc told Turkey's Anatolia news agency.
Mr. Pearson had invited Mr. Arinc to lunch to discuss the crisis in Iraq. Turkey, which allowed the United States to use its air bases during the 1991 war against Iraq, opposes current U.S. efforts to remove Saddam Hussein by force.
The chairmen of parliament's foreign affairs and defense committees also declined similar invitations, saying protocol required the ambassador to pay a visit to parliament first, Turkish newspapers reported this week.
Food for Zimbabwe
The U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe yesterday expressed his concerns about a potential famine as he announced a $20 million food package for the southern African nation.
Ambassador Joseph Sullivan said at a news conference he is worried about "the low amounts of plantings in food crops and the inevitable effect that this will have on food availability."
He said the new U.S. aid will benefit more than 660,000 people in seven Zimbabwean districts. The United State has donated more than 217,000 tons of food aid since March 2002.
Mr. Sullivan dismissed complaints by the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front that the food aid was being distributed to supporters of opposition parties.
Mr. Sullivan pointed that the food program is run through the nongovernmental Consortium for the Southern African Famine Emergency.
"The overwhelming bulk of food distributions from the United States and other international partners has been distributed fairly," he said.
President Robert Mugabe has been widely blamed for policies that contributed to the famine, including encouraging mobs to evict white owners from large farms. The United Nations estimates that only 30 percent of the farmland in Zimbabwe is under cultivation.
Off-road diplomacy
U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Nancy Powell heralded the latest contribution of rugged off-road vehicles to Pakistan as a tool to bring law and order to areas infested with terrorists.
"This program is a partnership between the governments of Pakistan and the United States to help secure Pakistan's 1,500-mile-long border with Afghanistan," she said in a ceremony this week, as she presented 483 vehicles and 626 wireless radios for the use of the Frontier Corps in the southwest region.
"These vehicles and communications equipment [will] help the border security force to bring law and order to a region threatened by terrorism, drug trafficking and other forms of criminality."
The United States earlier this month donated 400 vehicles and 750 telescopes to help patrol the lawless North West Frontier Province.
Washington has pledged $13.25 million in border security aid to Pakistan, a key ally in the war against terrorism.
'Potent lure'
Eric Farnsworth, a Latin America specialist, is the new director of the Washington office of the New York-based Council of the Americas.
Mr. Farnsworth brings both diplomatic skills and private-sector expertise to the position, said Myles Frechette, the council's chief executive officer.
Mr. Farnsworth was most recently managing director of Manatt Jones Global Strategies, which advises international businesses from offices in Washington and Los Angeles.
He was the policy director in the White House Office of the Special Envoy for the Americas from 1995 to 1998. A career diplomat, he dealt with issues involving the Summit of the Americas and Central America at the State Department.
"The opportunity to lead the Washington efforts of the premier organization dedicated to U.S. policy interests in the Western Hemisphere is a potent lure, and I am excited to have this tremendous opportunity," he said in a statement.

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