UN Envoy on Panel With Iranian Officials at Davos

Rick Moran
It's not quite the same thing as Andrew Young, Jimmy Carter's UN Ambassador, sneaking around and talking with Palestinian Liberation Organization officials at the United Nations in direct contravention of US policy at the time.

But UN Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is still in hot water with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice for appearing on a panel at the International Economic forum in Davos, Switzerland
with two Iranians:

The panel, titled "Understanding Iran's Foreign Policy," took place in Davos, Switzerland, and dealt mostly with Iran's nuclear policy, just as Security Council diplomats — including America's U.N. mission headed by Mr. Khalilzad — began to forge a new resolution that would impose new punitive measures on Iran for its refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program, as demanded by the council.

"I'm not sure that we've come very much closer to a solution," the panel's moderator and the International Crisis Group's president, Gareth Evans, concluded at the end of the Davos discussion, which lasted more than an hour. "But we certainly had a very constructive and civilized dialogue, which is much to be wished for on these occasions."

The Bush administration policy, however, calls on all American officials to seek an authorization from the State Department before conducting dialogue with Iranian officials. The only person exempted from that restriction is the American ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, who can discuss Iraq-related issues with Iranian officials on a regular basis, according to a State Department official in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Ambassador Khalilzad aroused the ire of Secretary Rice who is reportedly upset that such a high ranking American official would participate in the same forum as the Iranian foreign minister.

Mr. Khalilzad did not stray from American talking points at the forum. But
Powerline is reporting that the moderator of the panel discussion, the head of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans, insulted former UN Ambassador John Bolton.

Why Khalilzad didn't get up and walk out at that point is a mystery. It is highly unusual in an international gathering such as Davos, for anyone to make a disparging remark about another country's officials or ex-officials.

Just goes to show that anti-Americanism is so accepted in International circles that insulting a nation's former representative to the United Nations is simply accepted as the norm rather than the extraordinary breach of diplomatic protocol that it truly is.

 
It's not quite the same thing as Andrew Young, Jimmy Carter's UN Ambassador, sneaking around and talking with Palestinian Liberation Organization officials at the United Nations in direct contravention of US policy at the time.

But UN Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is still in hot water with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice for appearing on a panel at the International Economic forum in Davos, Switzerland
with two Iranians:

The panel, titled "Understanding Iran's Foreign Policy," took place in Davos, Switzerland, and dealt mostly with Iran's nuclear policy, just as Security Council diplomats — including America's U.N. mission headed by Mr. Khalilzad — began to forge a new resolution that would impose new punitive measures on Iran for its refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program, as demanded by the council.

"I'm not sure that we've come very much closer to a solution," the panel's moderator and the International Crisis Group's president, Gareth Evans, concluded at the end of the Davos discussion, which lasted more than an hour. "But we certainly had a very constructive and civilized dialogue, which is much to be wished for on these occasions."

The Bush administration policy, however, calls on all American officials to seek an authorization from the State Department before conducting dialogue with Iranian officials. The only person exempted from that restriction is the American ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, who can discuss Iraq-related issues with Iranian officials on a regular basis, according to a State Department official in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Ambassador Khalilzad aroused the ire of Secretary Rice who is reportedly upset that such a high ranking American official would participate in the same forum as the Iranian foreign minister.

Mr. Khalilzad did not stray from American talking points at the forum. But
Powerline is reporting that the moderator of the panel discussion, the head of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans, insulted former UN Ambassador John Bolton.

Why Khalilzad didn't get up and walk out at that point is a mystery. It is highly unusual in an international gathering such as Davos, for anyone to make a disparging remark about another country's officials or ex-officials.

Just goes to show that anti-Americanism is so accepted in International circles that insulting a nation's former representative to the United Nations is simply accepted as the norm rather than the extraordinary breach of diplomatic protocol that it truly is.