The Swedish Ambassador to the United States will be in Ames this evening to talk about global affairs. Jan Eliasson worked at the United Nations in the four years before the first Gulf War, and was the U-N Secretary General’s personal representative on Iraq. Eliasson says Iraqis tend to look at outsiders as “interference” and easily brand outsiders as occupiers. “To achieve an even more legitimate government after the election, a government that can keep control of some of the terrorist groups that are making life difficult for the Iraqis is, in my view, the most crucial aspect of this crisis.” The Ambassador says the long-term structure of U.S. relationships around the globe are intact, but works needs to be done to fix some cracks. Eliasson says when the U-S works together with its allies — rather than “going it alone” like in Iraq — things work out better. Eliasson says the U.S. has parted company with Sweden and other traditional allies on issues like an International Criminal Court, a ban on nuclear testing and global environmental treaties. Eliasson says he hopes to see whomever wins the U.S. presidential race to give “stronger” attention to international relations. President Bush has said the U.S. will not become part of the International Criminal Court because other countries might try to put U.S. military troops on trial for war crimes. Eliasson was appointed Sweden’s Ambassador to the U.S. in 2000 after serving six years as his country’s deputy Secretary of State. He’s to speak tonight at eight on the Iowa State University campus.
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