Embassy Row

By Morrison, James | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 23, 1996 | Go to article overview

Embassy Row


Morrison, James, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


BALKAN DIPLOMACY

As a benefit of the Balkan peace accord, Yugoslavia is quickly upgrading diplomatic ties throughout the world. But it is still eagerly awaiting word from Washington on when it can send a new ambassador to the United States.

France and the Vatican this week became the latest diplomatic plums in Yugoslavia's campaign to return ambassadors to posts vacated during the 3 1/2-year Balkan conflict.

But, as a Yugoslav diplomat said yesterday, nothing has changed in the rump nation's relations with Washington.

"We proposed it to the U.S., but they told us it would happen step by step," said Nebojsa Vujovic, an embassy spokesman, referring to Belgrade's request to appoint an ambassador here. Yugoslavia and France yesterday announced the upgrade of relations with the appointment of ambassadors.

France is the first European Union country to return an ambassador to the capital of Yugoslavia, which is composed of the republics of Serbia and Montenegro.

Gabriel Keller, former charge d'affaires, is the new French ambassador in Belgrade. Yugoslavia appointed Bogdan Trifunovic, president of the federal constitutional court, as envoy to Paris.

In Rome, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said: "The government of Belgrade has asked for and was granted approval for the designation of Dojcilo Maslovarica as ambassador."

Belgrade withdrew its envoy in February 1992, after the Vatican supported the predominantly Roman Catholic republic of Croatia in its secession from Yugoslavia.

The Vatican maintained its ambassador in Belgrade, Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo.

TOASTING THE WINE

Some ambassadors tout their countries' economic success with endless statistics and visiting finance ministers.

The Slovenian ambassador does it with wine and crystal.

At a recent dinner at his residence, Ambassador Ernest Petric and his wife, Silvestra, introduced one of Slovenia's premier private winemakers, Ales Kristancic of the family-owned Movia Estate Winery.

His dinner guests sampled a generous supply of Movia wine served in sparkling Slovenian crystal, easily as elegant as the best Irish glass. …

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