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Rice Prefers Direct Talks – U.S. State Department`s Activity Expected to Increase

Rice Prefers Direct Talks – U.S. State Department`s Activity Expected to Increase

Posted January. 18, 2005 23:14,   


Appointee Condoleeza Rice is scheduled to become the 66th secretary of state on January 20 after the ratification hearing by the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee on January 18 and 19. What kind of secretary of state will she be?

Democrats are preparing an intensive hearing for the appointee, who led the “Iraq Stabilization Group” as the national security advisor in the White House. The media, however, is forecasting that she will be ratified easily irrespective of the questioning.

Rice’s Goal and Homework –

The American press is expecting that diplomatic activities will be animated if the former national security advisor and President George W. Bush’s closest aide assumes the head of the State Department.

The New York Times reported, based on Rice’s aides, that she will promote diplomatic activities as the second Bush administration’s top priority.

The newspaper conveyed that it is her goal to recover confidence in Europe through active official diplomacy, precipitate a liberal system across the Middle East, and intervene in the conflict between Israel and Palestine to extract a peace talks.

Yet the key lies in what kind of relationship she will maintain with the old hawks such as Vice President Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and how she will persuade the State Department’s position to the president.

It can also be said that how she will manage the giant organization across the globe will be her homework.

The press forecasts that she will be more persuasive than Colin Powell considering President Bush’s trust in her and her influence on the president.

Rice’s Style –

When she is on an issue, she attaches great importance in meeting with and talking to the counterpart in person. The style contrasts that of Secretary Powell, who preferred phone conversation and was believed to be the secretary of state who made the fewest trips abroad in the past 30 years.

She also commented that she is willing to change her position when she hears new information and is flexible in making decisions.

Her friend and a former White House aide during the Bill Clinton administration, director Coit Blacker of the Institute for International Studies at Stanford, stated, “Rice is a person who believes that making a bad decision is better than making none.”

“She is open-minded, listens to others, and changes accordingly,” commented David Rodkof, who once interviewed Rice.

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com