- The Washington Times - Friday, January 24, 2003

Egyptian outreach
A high-level Egyptian delegation is coming to Washington next week to try to correct some "misunderstandings" about Arabs and the war on terrorism, according to Egyptian Ambassador Nabil Fahmy.
The group includes Foreign Trade Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali, senior presidential adviser Osama El Baz, and Gamal Mubarak, director of policy planning for the ruling National Democratic Party.
Mr. Fahmy said the visit is part of a continuing effort by Egypt to develop a better level of understanding with Americans. The effort intensified after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
He said the delegation represents a "new phase" in the outreach effort. The attacks created "some misunderstandings between the two nations, stemming from the American perceptions that all Arabs were to blame and the perceptions in the Arab world that they are targeted by Americans."
Fifteen of the 19 terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania were Saudi citizens. Two were from the United Arab Emirates. One was Lebanese, and the ringleader, Mohamed Atta, was Egyptian.
The delegation will discuss the likely war in Iraq, Arab-Israeli issues and the U.S. decision to add Egyptian citizens to an immigration watch list that requires male Egyptians to be photographed, fingerprinted and interviewed before entering the United States.
They will also visit New York to meet with the Council on Foreign Relations and Houston to meet members of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
Mr. Fahmy said Egypt's outreach efforts began before September 11 with the decision to start an American Studies Center at Cairo University, which opened last year.

'Platform for terrorism'
The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan yesterday insisted that Pakistan honor promises to stop the infiltration of terrorists into India-controlled Kashmir.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf must "end the use of Pakistan as a platform for terrorism," Ambassador Nancy Powell said, according to reports from Pakistan.
Her diplomatically blunt statements echo remarks last week by Robert Blackwill, the U.S. ambassador to India, who also called on Pakistan to stop militants from crossing the so-called Line of Control that separates the Indian and Pakistani areas of the Himalayan region.
Ms. Powell told a lunch hosted by the American Business Council of Pakistan, "The government of Pakistan must ensure its pledges are implemented to prevent infiltration across the Line of Control. … I cannot overstate the importance of all parties working to end the culture of violence that afflicts Kashmir."
Gen. Musharraf in June promised U.S. officials that he would permanently stop terrorists from using Pakistan as a base to cross into India to foment an uprising of Muslims in Kashmir. India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two over Kashmir, and went to the brink of a fourth after terrorists attacked the Indian Parliament in December 2001.
Rebels in Kashmir have been fighting Indian rule since 1989 in an insurgency that India claims has cost more than 37,000 lives. Pakistan puts the death toll at 80,000.
Ms. Powell said the United States hopes for a peaceful solution to the dispute in Kashmir.
"We continue to look for ways to encourage peace in Kashmir," she said. "One important step could be a cease-fire along the Line of Control."

Holbrooke honored
Asia Society members today will honor diplomat Richard Holbrooke with a lunch to mark his appointment as chairman of the group's board of trustees.
Through Mr. Holbrooke's long career in the Foreign Service, he was assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Carter administration and assistant secretary for European affairs in the Clinton administration.
He also served as ambassador to the United Nations and ambassador to Germany, and was the chief architect of the 1995 Dayton accords that ended the war in Bosnia.
Mr. Holbrooke's address to the Asia Society's Washington Center will be his first since his election as chairman in October.


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