A Turkish-Cypriot official dismissed criticism from a U.S. diplomat and insisted that elections in December will be democratic.
Osman Ertug, the Washington-based representative of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, said State Department envoy Thomas Weston knows that “TRNC elections have always been free, fair and transparent.”
He also challenged Mr. Weston’s warning to Turkey, the only country that recognizes the TRNC, against interfering in the parliamentary elections. Mr. Ertug said Turkey does not control elections in Northern Cyprus.
Mr. Weston, on a European visit last week, said, “We would be very concerned about anything that could be regarded as unfair and undemocratic elections. We are going to be watching very closely.”
He also called the elections a referendum on membership in the European Union. The Greek-Cypriot authority, the internationally recognized government of Cyprus, is preparing to join the union next year.
Mr. Ertug said Turkish-Cypriots support EU membership but reject any reunification plan that fails to guarantee equal treatment with the larger Greek-Cypriot population.
Hungarian Ambassador Andras Simonyi lost a friend when Edward Teller died last week.
The Hungarian-born pioneer physicist, known as the “father of the hydrogen bomb,” died Tuesday at his home on the campus of California’s Stanford University at age 95.
Mr. Simonyi remembered several conversations with Mr. Teller.
“What a grief to lose Edward Teller,” said Mr. Simonyi. “I first met him in the ‘90s and had a long conversation with him in January. We talked about science. We talked about Hungary.”
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
King Abdullah of Jordan, who addressed the Council on Foreign Relations on Thursday and meets President Bush at Camp David on Thursday and Friday.
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who meets Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice tomorrow.
Lord Frank Judd of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, and Patrice Page of Doctors Without Borders, who speak after a showing of a film about the conflict in Chechnya at 7 p.m. at Visions Cinema. For reservations, call 202/488-0407.
John Fredriksson of the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, who addresses Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies about refugee issues in West Africa.
Ronald Wiederkehr, a member of the Swiss parliament and co-founder of Green Cross International. He addresses Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies about the environmental impact of wars and conflicts.
Ruslan Khasbulatov, former chairman of the State Duma, the Russian parliament, who discusses presidential elections in Chechnya in a forum at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
cBono, an Irish rock star and Africa AIDS activist, who holds an 11 a.m. news conference at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1525 H St. NW, to discuss President Bush’s Africa policies.
Jasmine Wibisono and Karina Lee Sudyatmiko, founders of Global Renaissance for ASEAN-American Culture and Entertainment. They hold a 4 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club.
Gen. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia’s minister for political and security affairs. He meets Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and members of Congress, and addresses the United States-Indonesia Society.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who addresses the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.