- The Washington Times - Monday, December 8, 2008


The Russian Embassy this week will open a book of condolences for those mourning the death of Patriarch Alexy II, head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The book will be open Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the embassy at 2650 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

The Institute on Religion and Public Policy in Washington noted that Alexy, who became patriarch in 1990, was the first head of the church after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He “helped oversee a revival” of the church, the institute added.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:


• Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe of Nigeria, who addresses the Council on Foreign Relations on democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria.

David Bakradze, speaker of the parliament of the Republic of Georgia; Savante Cornell, associate professor at Uppsala University in Sweden; and Andrei Illarionov, president of the Institute of Economic Analysis in Moscow. They address the Hudson Institute on the future of democracy in Georgia.

Claudia Lopez, a political analyst from Colombia, who addresses the Inter-American Dialogue on the relations between members of the Colombian legislature and illegal paramilitary groups.

Tariq Ashraf, a retired air commodore from Pakistan; Hekmat Karzai, director and founder of the Center for Conflict and Peace Studies in Afghanistan and cousin of President Hamid Karzai; Maajid Nawaz, a former member of the Islamic radical group, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, and now with the London-based Quilliam Foundation; and Murad Batal al-Shishani, a Jordanian-Chechen political analyst. They discuss militants’ jihad in a forum at the Jamestown Foundation.

Si Ta, vice minister of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, who discusses the situation in Tibet at an 11:30 a.m. press conference at the Chinese Embassy.


cA delegation from the Republic of Georgia with Irakli Alasania, ambassador to the United Nations; David Bakradze, speaker of the parliament; Ekaterina Sharashidze, economic minister; Laurent Guinand, president of Giramondo Wine Adventures; and Kakha Gvelesiani, chairman of Expo Georgia, a commercial exhibits firm; Tamar Jarvelidze, marketing executive of the Rakeen Georgia real estate development firm; Nona Tordia, chairman of Tbilisi Aviation Manufacturing; and Michael Zigman of W.R. Hambrecht, an energy and technology company. They address the America-Georgia Business Council’s 11th annual conference at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

• Ambassador Andreas Michaelis, director-general for Near and Middle East Affairs at the German Foreign Ministry; and Greg Shapland, a research counselor for Middle East and North African issues at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They discuss new opportunities for Europe and the United States in the Middle East at a forum at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for the government of Iraq, who will hold a 4 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club to discuss the new military agreement with the United States, challenges facing the new U.S. administration and other issues.

Gustavo Coronel, a petroleum geologist and political scientist from Venezuela, and Raul Gangotena, a former Ecuadorean ambassador to the United States and now founding member of the Indigenous Enterprise Corp. of Ecuador. They address the Center for Latin American Issues at George Washington University.

• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail [email protected]

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