- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 28, 2005

Emotional on lumber

The U.S. ambassador to Canada chided the government in Ottawa for being too emotional over a trade dispute with the United States over softwood lumber. That triggered a heated response from Canada.

Ambassador David Wilkins told the Ottawa Citizen newspaper that Canadian officials should reopen negotiations with the United States and not just threaten lawsuits over the U.S. position.

“Emotional press conferences are not going to settle the issue,” Mr. Wilkins said in an interview published Friday.

“Canada needs to come back to the table,” Mr. Wilkins said. “We need to close the door, roll up our sleeves and negotiate as need be, with good faith, and bring finality to it.”

Prime Minister Paul Martin defended his government’s position and noted that the United States is refusing to abide by a World Trade Organization decision that U.S. tariffs against Canadian softwood lumber violate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The United States contends that Canada unfairly subsidizes softwood and undercuts American lumber prices.

Mr. Martin said, “It’s not emotional to state the facts. The facts are, when you sign an agreement, you should live up to its terms, and that’s what we’ve said.”

Crisis management

The International Crisis Group has picked up a major talent with the appointment of Donald K. Steinberg as its point man at the United Nations.

Mr. Steinberg will join the intentional think tank next month as vice president for multilateral affairs to focus on the United Nations and to help with private-sector fundraising for the group.

He is a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and a career Foreign Service officer. His last position at the State Department was director of policy planning.

Mr. Steinberg served as ambassador to Angola from 1995 to 1998.

Aiding the world

Paul V. Applegarth has found his niche in international affairs: providing aid to developing countries that embrace democracy and free-market economies.

Mr. Applegarth promoted those goals as the first director of President Bush’s Millennium Challenge Corp. and now will apply his skills at the German Marshall Fund, where he will help the United States and other developed nations channel their assistance to poor countries.

“Paul Applegarth’s knowledge and experience will help the German Marshall Fund … to spur economic growth and to benefit millions of world’s poor currently left outside of global markets,” said Craig Kennedy, president of the German Marshall Fund.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:


• Russian journalism professors Alla Bespalova, Igor Blokhin, Yelena Grigoryeva, Nadezhda Kostikova, Yekaterina Lipnitskaya, Valentina Mansurova, Svetlana Shaykhitdinova, Tatyana Telitsyna and Marina Zagidullina. They participate in the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

• Dr. Sayed Mohammad Amin Fatimie, minister of public health of Afghanistan, who participates in a Heritage Foundation discussion on the exploitation of women.

• Paul Rusesabagina, the Rwandan hotel manager who saved people from genocide and became the subject of the film “Hotel Rwanda.” Mr. Rusesabagina, now a resident of Belgium, addresses the American Jewish Committee.


• Jose de Venecia, speaker of the Philippines’ House of Representatives, who addresses the Heritage Foundation.

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

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