- The Washington Times - Monday, March 9, 2009


South Korea’s new ambassador, who is due in Washington on Monday, has a tough act to follow.

Many foreign ambassadors leave town quietly, after a few receptions and dinners with friends. Few get praised by subcommittee chairmen in the Congressional Record.

Former South Korean Ambassador Lee Tae-sik returned home last week after a spirited farewell from Rep. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, a Democrat from American Samoa and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia.

“I wish to point out that during his tenure as ambassador to the United States, the alliance of our two countries has grown stronger and deeper,” Mr. Faleomavaega said in the Congressional Record.

“The strong friendship between the United States and the Republic of Korea has been immeasurably enhanced by the professionalism, cordiality, intelligence and friendship of Ambassador Lee.”

Mr. Lee’s 3 1/2 years in Washington were crowned by negotiations on a U.S.-South Korea free-trade agreement.

“My Washington tour has been an important and wonderful part of my life for so many years, and there is some sadness as I prepare to say, ‘Goodbye,’ especially to my friends of the Hill,” Mr. Lee said at a farewell reception hosted by the Congressional Caucus on Korea.

South Korea’s new ambassador, Han Duck-soo, served as prime minister from 2007 to February 2008.


Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:


Iain Duncan Smith, former leader of the British Conservative Party, who addresses the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation.

Homayra Haqmal, president of the Afghan Sisters Movement, which promotes equal rights for women, and a professor at Kabul University. She receives the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award from the International Republican Institute.

Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, Spain’s former minister of justice, who addresses the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University on trans-Atlantic relations.


Defense Minister Imre Szekeres of Hungary, who meets with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. He holds a 4 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday and addresses the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas of Lithuania, who addresses the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Ambassador Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, the U.N. special envoy to Somalia, who delivers the keynote address at a seminar on Somalia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Sadako Ogata, special envoy for Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, and Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa, Japan’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. They hold a 2 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club.

Rizanur Meral, president of the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey, who addresses the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Wazhma Frogh of Global Rights in Afghanistan; Suraya Pakzad of the Voice of Women in Afghanistan; Zohra Rasekh of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Najia Zewari of the U.N. Development Fund for Women in Afghanistan. They address a breakfast meeting hosted by Women Thrive Worldwide, a Washington-based women’s rights organization.


Farzana Raja, Pakistan’s federal minister of welfare. She addresses Middle East Institute on political conditions in Pakistan.

• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail James Morrison

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