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Willisms

« Egypt: Freedom On The March? | WILLisms.com | What Is Senator Reid's Solution For Social Security? »

Secretary Rice Goes To Asia: Part Two.

Earlier in the week, WILLisms.com offered a preview of Dr. Rice's trip through Asia.

secretaryrice.gif

So how is it going?

In India, Secretary Rice pressed India not to strike a pipeline deal with Iran, but also discussed how to bring America and India together closer as allies. The Dallas Morning News explains why the relationship between the United States and India is so important:

A prosperous, democratic India will help buffer any threat from China to Asia, where China's already an economic powerhouse. It's in America's best interest to keep China from becoming the dominant Asian political force.

As the world's largest democracy, India certainly sees itself as an American friend. The day after President Bush's inaugural, Indian ambassador to the United States Ronen Sen informed this editorial page how India shares the president's views on promoting liberty. A Bush visit to India this year, which some see as likely, would keep the countries working together to spread democracy.

In Pakistan, Financial Times reports:

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, yesterday concluded her first visit to Pakistan with a call to the country to continue down a "democratic path" by holding free and fair elections within two years.

While Ms Rice praised General Pervez Musharraf, the country's president,for his courage in supporting the war on terror, she also said she had discussed "the need for democratic reforms in Pakistan" with the him.

"We continue to work with Pakistan and we look forward to the evolution of a democratic path toward elections in 2007," she said at a press conference....

Pakistani officials, meanwhile, expressed disappointment that Ms Rice's visit had marked no progress on Islamabad's bid to purchase a batch of 71 F-16 fighter jets. The delivery of the F-16s was suspended by the US in 1990 amid concerns at the time over Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme.

While the US has since agreed to a $3bn military and economic assistance package for Pakistan until 2009, following its support in the "war on terror", it has so far refused to release the F-16s.

Senior US officials have said the delay is caused by the Bush administration's concern that members of the vocal anti-nuclear non-proliferation lobby in the US would oppose such a deal in the light of last year's revelations that A.Q. Khan, Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, ran a clandestine network which supplied nuclear components and expertise to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Ms Rice yesterday renewed Washington's calls for Islamabad to break any remnants of this network. "It is a network that we want to make certain that its tentacles are broken up as well, and so we have co-operation with a number of countries on that front," she said.

In Afghanistan, Secretary Rice made a brief stop in which she spoke to American troops and met with Aghan President Hamid Karzai:

“We have a long-term commitment to this country,” she said. “We learned the hard way what it meant to not have a long-term commitment. After the Soviet Union left I think it is well understood that we did not remain committed, and I said to the president earlier that in many ways Sept. 11 was a joint tragedy of the Afghan and American people out of that period.”

afghanistan.gif

While in Afghanistan, a terrorist detonated a roadside bomb in Kandahar, nearly 300 miles away from Kabul, underscoring the challenge the world still faces there. Secretary Rice also pressed Karzai on the issue of the Afghan drug trade, another potential hitch in the road toward the fulfillment of a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic society.

The next leg of Rice's trip will include Japan, South Korea, and China. We'll keep you updated, so stay tuned to WILLisms.com for more.

Posted by Will Franklin · 18 March 2005 10:27 AM

Comments

Did anyone see how small Conoleeza looked compared to that Sumo wrestler? He really wanted a hug from her! She is just so cute!

Posted by: Linda at March 19, 2005 05:50 PM