Monday, May 22, 2006

Washington Talks

A sunny and nice morning in Washington as another week gets starting.

The President is in Chicago and the Vice President in Southern California, but Israeli Prime Minister Olmert has arrived in town prior to his important White House meetings tomorrow.

It will be the first major meeting between the US and Israel since the elections in both Palestine and Israel, and Olmert will seek US support for his different thoughts on further unilateral withdrawals.

It's also safe to expect discussions on the deterioating situation on the West Bank and Gaza. Finally, there is concern about the effects of the policy one has pursued, with the European Union trying to do as best as it can to set up some sort of support mechanism.

I will be here for a couple of days connected with a number of events, notablt the Sabanci Award tomorrow for essays on the future of Turkey. But I will also be attending discussions on Russia, on nuclear power, on energy security as well as giving a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations on where Europe is heading.

Over the weekend it seems as if Montenegro voted for independence, and that the process of formal separation from Serbia will now begin. One can only hope that it will be conducted in a good and generous spirit from both sides, since otherwise the risks of damage being done to both is rather considerable.

It's a new European mini-state - app 650 000 inhabitants - that is born.

Although the turmoil on the financial markets are likely to dominate much of the week, there will also be every reason to watch the summit between Russia and the European Union in Sochi on Thursday as well as the informal meeting of foreign ministers in Klosterneuburg in Austria over the weekend.

By that time I hope to be back in Sweden again. But in between a couple of days here in Washington and coming home I will also have to go for two days to San Fransisco.

More about all of this later.