- The Washington Times - Monday, June 27, 2005

Embassy stays put

The Zionist Organization of America is criticizing the White House for again invoking a waiver in a 1995 bill that authorized the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“It’s been 10 years since this bill was enacted,” said ZOA President Morton A. Klein. “It’s deeply disappointing and unacceptable that the will of Congress and the American people continues to be waived every six months.”

The bill allows the president to exercise the waiver twice a year to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for national-security reasons. President Bush this month cited the provision to forestall the move. The bill, sponsored by former Sen. Bob Dole, Kansas Republican, provided $100 million for the relocation.

The ZOA is the oldest and one of the largest pro-Israeli organizations in the United States.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who meets with President Bush and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and addresses the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

• Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who meets with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and co-chairman of the Congressional India Caucus. He also addresses the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

• Sharifa Bint Khalfan Al Yahyai, minister of social development of the Persian Gulf nation of Oman, who participates in the 10:30 a.m. opening ceremonies at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall.

• Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and now with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He discusses the planned Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip at the American Enterprise Institute.

Tomorrow

• Nino Burjanadze, speaker of the Georgian parliament and former interim president after the Rose Revolution. She meets House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican, and administration officials. She is accompanied by a delegation that includes Kote Gabashvili, chairman of the parliament’s foreign-affairs committee.

• Alejandro Miro Quesada, president of the Inter-American Press Association, who addresses the Organization of American States.

• Jose Angel Gurria, Mexico’s former finance minister and incoming foreign minister. He addresses Mexico’s economic outlook in a panel discussion sponsored by the Inter-American Dialogue.

• Michael Leigh, a deputy director-general for foreign affairs of the European Commission. He addresses the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

• Mona Zulficar, an Egyptian lawyer and human rights advocate. She addresses the Middle East Institute on Egypt’s family law.

Wednesday

• Beba Hadzic, director of the Bosfam weaving company in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Magbula Divovic, one of the firm’s weavers. They discuss their wartime tragedies and efforts to rebuild the country in a forum sponsored by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

• Jan de Jong, an Israeli cartographer who discusses the political geography of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem in a forum sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Foundation for Middle East Peace.

Thursday

• Francisco Gros, former president of Brazil’s Central Bank, who addresses the Inter-American Dialogue on Brazil’s political scandals and slow economic growth under President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Friday

• Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, who also serves as chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He attends a reception for Slovenia’s National Day and Armed Forces Day.

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


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