The Washington Times Weekly - - From Page One -

has ef­fec­tively pressed mem­ber states into ac­tion on sev­eral is­sues, in­clud­ing Le­banon and Iran.

Whilenei­therMr.Bush­norMr.Ban men­tionedIraqintheir­briefO­valOf­fice com­ments, the new sec­re­tary­gen­er­al­soundeda­far­more­a­gree­able tone than did his pre­de­ces­sor, Kofi An­nan.Be­fore­de­part­inghis­post,Mr. An­nan called the Iraq war “il­le­gal” and­de­claredthe­coun­trysafer­un­der dic­ta­torSad­damHus­sein,whoslaugh­tered­hun­dred­soft­hou­sand­sofIraqis dur­ing his rule.

Th­es­ec­re­tary-gen­eral’slong­dayin Wash­ing­ton ended with a din­ner for “120 of his best new friends” at the Kalo­rama home of Es­ther Coopersmith,Wash­ing­ton’sreign­ing“hostest with the mostest.” Rep. Tom Lan­tos, Cal­i­for­ni­aDemo­crat,salut­ed­himwith anemo­tion­al­toast­totheUnit­edS­tates as a part­ner with the U.N. “Had it not been­fortheUnit­edS­tatesI­would­not be­here,”saidMr.Lan­tos,aHolo­caust sur­vivor, “and had it not been for the Unit­edS­tatesy­our­coun­try­would­not have sur­vived. You and I have a spe- cial­bond.We­donot­be­lievetheUnited States to be the ‘great Satan.’ ”

Mr.Banan­sweredinkind,tak­ing note of South Korea’s debt to the United States and the U.N. In a lighter vein, he quipped that if the New Or­leans Saints should op­pose the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots in the Su­per Bowl, “I’m glad that as a diplo­matI­won’tbe­forced­to­choose be­tween God and coun­try.”

Ear­lier in the day, Mr. Bush ap­peared pleased to be start­ing with a clean slate, and smiled of­ten as he as­suredMr.Ban­thathe­p­lanned­to­con­tinue to work with the world body — al­though he stopped mid-sen­tence to changea­word­he­maynothave­meant touse.“TheUnit­edS­tate­siswill­ing— wantstowork­with­theUnit­edNa­tions toachie­vea­peacethroughthes­pread of free­dom,” Mr. Bush said. “I ap­pre­ci­atesovery­much­howyouopenedup the dis­cus­sion with a strong com­mit­ment­todemoc­ra­cyand­free­dom,”he told Mr. Ban.

For his part, Mr. Ban ex­pressed hope that the United States would con­tin­ueit­sroleasaU.N.lead­erashe urged con­tin­ued sup­port for the or­ga­ni­za­tion. “I would need strong par­tic­i­pa­tion and sup­port of the United Statesinal­lac­tiv­i­tiesoft­heUnit­edNa­tions. In fact, I be­lieve that the United Na­tion­sandUnit­edS­tate­shave­shared ob­jec­tives—peace­and­se­cu­rity,free­dom,democ­racy.Allthe­seim­por­tant goals and ideas are what the United State­sisal­sotry­ing­toachieve,”he­said.

While nei­ther leader spoke of Iraq af­ter their meet­ing, Mr. Ban spoke freely af­ter­ward with re­porters on theWhiteHousedrive­way.“Iraqand else­where needs an ur­gent at­ten­tion of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” he said. “Par­tic­u­larly when it comes to Iraq, the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should have all pos­si­ble as­sis­tance to help Iraqi gov­ern­ment and peo­ple to re­store peace and sta­bil­ity and re­cover from eco­nomic dev­as­ta­tion.”

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