- The Washington Times - Monday, June 29, 2009

BACK IN TOWN

Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez of Venezuela begins his first full week back in Washington on Monday, nine months after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recalled him to Caracas to protest U.S. policies in South America.

U.S. Ambassador Patrick Duddy is due back in Venezuela later this week.

Mr. Chavez expelled Mr. Duddy in September to express support for leftist President Evo Morales of Bolivia, who kicked out U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg after accusing him of interfering in Bolivia’s domestic affairs. The United States retaliated by expelling Bolivian Ambassador Gustavo Guzman. The U.S.-Bolivia dispute has not been settled.

Mr. Alvarez, who arrived Friday at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, said his reinstatement and the return of Mr. Duddy to Caracas represent a new chapter in U.S.-Venezuela relations.

“The re-establishment of ambassadors constitutes the first step in normalizing relations, recovering the political and diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level and reclaiming common ground in bilateral relations, such as in the area of energy cooperation,” he said.

Venezuela is one of the top suppliers of oil to the United States.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week:

Monday

President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, who meets with President Obama. On Tuesday, he addresses the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on U.S.-Colombia relations.

Marco James Kassaja, Tanzania’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva; Jorge Mattar, deputy director of the subregional headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Mexico; Babacar Carlos Mbaye, Senegal’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva; and Terry McKinley, director of the Center for Development Policy and Research at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. They discuss the impact of the global economic crisis on Latin American countries that rely on export trade in a forum at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Tuesday

Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest business executive, who receives the President’s Medal from George Washington University President Steven Knapp. Mr. Slim is honored for his extensive charitable work in Mexico.

Foreign Minister Skender Hyseni of Kosovo, who holds a 1 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club to discuss political conditions in his country a year and a half after independence.

Gustavo de Aristegui, a member of the Spanish parliament and foreign affairs spokesman for the Popular Party. He discusses the Islamic influence in Latin America in a forum at the Hudson Institute.

Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, who addresses the Center for Strategic and International Studies on global oil markets. He is accompanied by Ian Cronshaw, the head of the agency’s Energy Diversification Division, and David Fyfe, director of its Oil Market Division.

Wednesday

Economics Minister Ruben Morales of Guatemala, who discusses U.S. relations with Central America in a forum at the Council of the Americas.

Ekaterina Osipova and Tatyana Volchetskaya, professors of criminal law at the Emmanuel Kant State University of Russia. They discuss human trafficking in Russia in a briefing sponsored by the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy.

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

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