- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Japan’s African aid

Japan will contribute more than $2 million in aid for the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan in the latest of its efforts to promote peace in Africa, the Japanese Embassy in Washington said this week.

“Japan hopes that this assistance will promote the consolidation of peace in Darfur by contributing to the improvement in the security situation there and progress in the peace process,” the embassy said.

The aid will support efforts by the African Union to end the conflict that broke out in 2003 between Muslim militias armed by the Sudanese government and rebel groups in Darfur. The government has been blamed for the massacres of tens of thousands of black farmers in the strife that has displaced more than 2 million civilians and created more than 200,000 refugees who have fled to Chad. The African Union has been monitoring an uneasy cease-fire for a year.

“Japan’s assistance for the African Union’s initiative with respect to Darfur is part of Japan’s ‘Consolidation of Peace’ program for Africa,” the embassy said.

The latest aid followed Japan’s initial humanitarian contribution of $21 million and 700 tents for Sudanese refugees, the embassy added.

Ukrainian visit

The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine expects that the visit to Washington next week by the country’s new president will help revive bilateral relations.

President Viktor Yushchenko, elected president last year in a massive peaceful democratic uprising against the previous authoritarian government, is scheduled to meet President Bush on Monday.

“We expect not only the revival of friendly ties that existed between our states seven to nine years ago, but the establishment of a qualitatively new level of relations,” Ambassador John Herbst told Ukraine’s Kievskiy Telegraf over the weekend.

“Ukraine presses toward truly democratic changes in politics and economics. If it manages to fulfill its aspirations, our relations, I’m sure, will be absolutely close.”

Mr. Yushchenko won the presidency after the Orange Revolution forced the previous government to hold new elections following a victory claimed by a candidate favored by former President Leonid Kuchma and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Herbst also said that Washington will not object to Mr. Yushchenko’s intention of withdrawing troops from Iraq. The deployment under Mr. Kuchma was unpopular in Ukraine.

“I see no problems with the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops,” the ambassador said.

Diplomat honored

A former member of the National Security Council was recognized yesterday for his efforts to preserve historical sites in Poland, especially those involving Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Walter E. Andrusyszyn, who focused on Central and Eastern European issues at the NSC until his retirement last year, received the “Cultural Pluralism Award” from the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

Mr. Andrusyszyn assisted the commission in negotiating a U.S.-Polish agreement to preserve “places of worship, historic sites, cemeteries and memorials to the dead,” said Commission Chairman Warren L. Miller.

“The agreement places a focus on Jewish sites in Poland because more than 3 million Jewish Poles — 90 percent of Poland’s Jewish population — were killed in the Holocaust and most American Jews have roots in Poland.”

Mr. Andrusyszyn served more than 20 years in the foreign service. He received the secretary of state’s “Heroism Award” for his efforts to win the release of an American journalist held by Serbian forces during the Bosnian civil war in the mid-1990s.

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

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