- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 8, 2006

Boats for Kenya

The United States is helping Kenya guard its coastline and shore up its defenses against instability in neighboring Somalia with the donation of six patrol boats worth more than $3 million.

Ambassador Michael E. Ranneberger dedicated the boats in a ceremony last week with Kenya’s defense minister, Njenga Karume, in the port city of Mombasa.

“This is timely in view of the heightened concerns by Kenya about potential exploitation of the Kenyan coast by criminal groups and terrorists,” the ambassador said.

“The donation of the boats is part of a much broader effort to help the government of Kenya protect its borders. This is particularly important in view of the deteriorating situation within Somalia.”

Mr. Ranneberger said the patrol boats will help Kenya’s navy “combat illegal arms trafficking and drug trafficking” and “directly enhance the security of Kenya and its citizens.”

Mr. Karume noted his government’s concern over the conflict in Somalia, in which a weak government backed by warlords has lost control of much of the country to an Islamic militia.

“There are worrying trends that may greatly affect trade and even damage Kenya’s tourism and shipping industries,” he said.

The United States donated five 25-foot “Defender” boats and one 42-foot “Archangel” boat. Terrorist attacks in Kenya include the 1998 car bombing of the U.S. Embassy.

Bosnia needs reform

The U.S. ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina is urging the governments of the patchwork Balkan nation to adopt urgent reforms if it wants to join the European Union and NATO.

Ambassador Douglas McElhaney congratulated Bosnians on successful elections for officials of the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation, the two semiautonomous governments that emerged from peace negotiations that ended the 1992-95 war that tore the country apart.

“The citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina have shown that the democratic process is working well,” he said of the Oct. 1 elections, the first without international supervision since the end of the war. “I look forward to working with each of you to advance our mutual goals and chart Bosnia and Herzegovina’s course toward Euro-Atlantic integration.”

However, Mr. McElhaney added, the governments must adopt several reforms, including fundamental constitutional amendments, before the country can join the European Union and NATO.

“The United States looks forward to the continuation of the reform process, most notably on constitutional reform, which remains an urgent priority,” Mr. McElhaney said.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Tomorrow

• President Alan Garcia of Peru, who meets President Bush and addresses a luncheon meeting of the Institute for International Economics.

• Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore and now minister mentor, a senior advisory Cabinet position. He meets President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other top administration officials.

• Amel Grami of Tunisia’s University of Manouba, Gameela Ismail of Egypt’s Ghad party and Pascale Warda of the Iraqi Council of Representatives. They participate in a forum on women in the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

Wednesday

• Dmitri Trenin, deputy director of the Moscow office of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He participates in a forum on the turmoil in Georgia.

Thursday

• Foreign Minister Kinga Goncz of Hungary.

• Deputy U.N. Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown, who addresses Brookings Institution’s Project on Force and Legitimacy.

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


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