- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 8, 2003

Poles to help rebuild IraqThe Polish foreign minister yesterday called on “European partners” to help rebuild Iraq.Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz pledged Poland’s support for the reconstruction, as Secretary of State Colin L. Powell thanked Poland for contributing special-forces troops to the U.S.-led war.”After a successful military operation in Iraq, we need to get success in the reconstruction of this country,” Mr. Cimoszewicz said, as he and Mr. Powell talked to reporters after their meeting at the State Department.”The Iraqi people deserve that, but also, success or failure in that phase of our common activity in Iraq will have broad consequences, international consequences,” the foreign minister added.Mr. Cimoszewicz called for international reconstruction assistance, especially from Europe, which was divided over the war with France and Germany leading the opposition and most other nations in support of the United States.”We believe that we need to invite, to encourage as many as possible of foreign partners to join us in Iraq,” he said. “We would like to have as many as possible European partners work together with us.”Mr. Powell said that, in their meeting, he thanked Mr. Cimoszewicz for Poland’s support.”Polish troops have done a superb job, and now we’re looking to the future,” he said.Mr. Powell said he and Mr. Cimoszewicz had “good discussions” on Poland’s role in the reconstruction. The foreign minister said Poland can share its experience in transforming a state-controlled economy into a private market and in building local civic institutions.”Poland, the Polish people, have been good friends to the United States and, more important, good friends to the people of Iraq,” Mr. Powell said.He also noted that he met the foreign minister on the anniversary of Warsaw’s Jewish uprising against the Nazis from April to May 1943, calling it a “symbol of liberation [and of] people willing to fight for their freedom.”Concern for NepalThe U.S. ambassador to Nepal is calling on Maoist rebels to reject terrorism and complete peace talks with the government.Ambassador Michael Malinowski, in an interview late Monday on Nepal Television, noted that the rebels of the Communist Party of Nepal were recently added to the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.”We have just put the Maoists on the watch list … of terrorist organizations, but we really wish they would get their name out from the list as soon as possible,” he said.The governments and the rebels, who declared a cease-fire in January, are due to hold a second round of talks Friday, Reuters news agency reported yesterday. More than 7,800 lives have been lost in the uprising that began in 1996.Mr. Malinowski also assured Nepalese viewers that the United States has no intention of permanently basing troops in the Himalayan kingdom. U.S. forces have been training Nepalese soldiers in anti-insurgency tactics.”We don’t have any strategic interest in Nepal, nor do we want to set up military bases here,” he said. “Our main interest in Nepal is to see economic development and a successful democratic system. … Our interest is now greater than ever because of the insurgency crisis in the country.”The ambassador said U.S. assistance to Nepal will be a record $38 million this year.Pakistan seeks reliefPakistan is seeking more debt relief from the United States, Foreign Minister Shaukat Aziz said yesterday, after a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Nancy Powell.Mr. Aziz told Pakistan’s official Associated Press of Pakistan news agency that he made the request at the meeting Monday. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage is due to visit Pakistan today.Mr. Aziz asked for the United States to forgive another $1.8 billion in debt, after Washington wrote off $1 billion last month to reward Pakistan for its cooperation in the war against terrorism.He said the ambassador agreed that removing the debt would help Pakistan’s economic development.Mr. Aziz told the news service that forgiving the debt would “provide fiscal space for redirecting funds for improving social infrastructure, including health and education in Pakistan.”

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