- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 20, 2003

Turkish relations firm

Terrorist bombs cannot damage Turkey’s alliance with the United States, Turkish Ambassador Osman Logolu said yesterday, after he and a top Turkish general met with Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

“There is not going to be any split between Washington and its allies, certainly not between Turkey and Washington,” he told reporters at the Pentagon.

Gen. Ilker Basbug, deputy chairman of Turkey’s military general staff, added, “Turkish-American relationships are deep-rooted and long-lasting. We are sad that one of the primary objectives of [yesterdays] terrorist act is to make responsible people make the wrong decisions. But we are not going to do so.”

Mr. Wolfowitz said the bombings of British targets in Istanbul and the weekend attacks on two Turkish synagogues, which killed 25 and injured 300, has the opposite effect of dividing allies.

“It has brought Turkish Muslims and Turkish Jews closer together,” he said. “And it brings Turkey and the United States, and for that matter the United Kingdom and the entire civilized world, closer together.”

Gen. Basbug spoke at the conclusion of his two-day visit for high-level talks with the U.S.-Turkish Defense Group.

Diplomats outraged

The bombings in Turkey tragically illustrate the dangers diplomats face in foreign lands, the American Foreign Service Association said yesterday.

“This brutal terrorist attack on our Turkish and British allies underlines the vulnerability of all diplomats in the face of terrorism, including the men and women of the U.S. Foreign Service who advance our nation’s interests around the globe,” said Ambassador John Limbert, president of the association that represents U.S. diplomats.

Mr. Limbert knows firsthand about the dangers diplomats face in foreign lands. He was one of the Americans held hostage in Iran in 1979. Most recently, he aided efforts to begin the reconstruction of Iraq.

“Those of us living in the relative safety of the United States sometimes forget the dangers that U.S. and allied personnel face while serving overseas with courage and dedication, as they carry out their mission to ensure the domestic security and prosperity of our nations,” he said.

Mr. Limbert added that the association is “deeply saddened” by the deaths of many Turkish and British citizens, including the British consul general in Istanbul.

Quotas anger China

China yesterday summoned the U.S. ambassador to express its anger over U.S. plans to impose quotas on selected Chinese textiles and warned it will take the dispute to the World Trade Organization.

Ambassador Clark Randt was called before Vice Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong and Vice Commerce Minister Ma Xiuhong.

China’s Xinhua news agency reported Mr. Zhou’s remarks, saying he expressed “shock at and dissatisfaction with the U.S. decision, which was made despite strong opposition from the Chinese side.”

“The Chinese government reserves its right to take further actions,” Mr. Zhou said, adding that he hopes the Bush administration will “change its wrong decision and return to the path of resolving disagreements through dialogue and cooperation.”

The United States is considering import quotas on Chinese-made knit fabrics, dressing gowns and bras to give temporary relief to the U.S. textile industry.

Mr. Randt “expressed his appreciation to the vice foreign minister for China’s efforts toward developing China-U.S. trade and China’s active approach to discussing problems,” a U.S. Embassy spokeswoman told the Agence France-Presse news agency in Beijing.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison @washingtontimes.com.

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