- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 29, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former State Department spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler yesterday promised to work with Congress to improve America’s image overseas if confirmed as the new undersecretary of state for public diplomacy.

“This is much larger than any partisanship, or any territory between branches of government,” said Mrs. Tutwiler, the former ambassador to Morocco and Bush administration communications adviser in Iraq.

“I’m positive that together all of us can contribute to beginning this process of digging our country out from this situation we unfortunately find ourselves in in most of the rest of the world.”

Senators have been complaining that the State Department has not done enough to combat the growing negative image of the United States overseas, especially in the Middle East.

“We are looking, here in the Congress, for some spokesperson for public diplomacy, someone we can talk to, someone we can count on,” said Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican, and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mrs. Tutwiler would replace Charlotte Beers, whose resignation in March was attributed by the State Department to illness.

Mrs. Tutwiler is a veteran of the first Bush administration, serving with James A. Baker III at the White House and the State Department when he was a senior adviser to the president and earlier as secretary of state.

Mrs. Tutwiler was assistant secretary of state for public affairs from 1989 until 1992 when she moved to the White House to help Mr. Baker oversee Mr. Bush’s unsuccessful campaign for re-election.

The committee also interviewed Zalmay Khalilzad to become the new ambassador to Afghanistan. Mr. Khalilzad is the special presidential envoy for Afghanistan. The timing of a committee vote on either nomination was not certain.

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