ACCESSION NUMBER:346530 FILE ID:NEA505 DATE:05/27/94 TITLE:U.S. OFFICIALS PRAISE POLISH DIPLOMAT FOR SERVICE IN BAGHDAD (05/27/94) TEXT:*94052705.PFN 05/27 texts:pelletreau/ryan/piekarski award/bg nh as kf *NEA505 05/27/94 U.S. OFFICIALS PRAISE POLISH DIPLOMAT FOR SERVICE IN BAGHDAD (Texts: Pelletreau, Ryan remarks at Piekarski ceremony) (710) Washington -- Following are the texts of remarks made by Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Robert Pelletreau and Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Mary Ryan, at the May 27 State Department ceremony honoring Ambassador Jan Piekarski, the Polish diplomat who headed the U.S. Interests Section in Baghdad following the Gulf War: (BEGIN PELLETREAU TEXT) At a time when there are so many unhappy things going on in the Middle East, it is a real pleasure to be here with some good news. We have with us today Ambassador Jan Piekarski, who has just left his posting as head of the U.S. Interests Section in Baghdad. From his first day on the job in July 1991, Ambassador Piekarski stood guard over U.S. interests in Iraq with courage and aplomb during a period marked by open hostility and confrontation in our bilateral relations. Under the best of circumstances, Ambassador Piekarski's job would not have been easy. The circumstances were far from the best, yet he consistently performed superbly whether in safeguarding Americans who found themselves in trouble or streamlining the administration of the Interests Section to make it more efficient and cost-effective. Last year, Ambassador Piekarski's name became a household word in the Department because of his handling of the case of imprisoned American Ken Beaty. Through seven difficult months, which included our strike on the Iraqi Intelligence Headquarters, Ambassador Piekarski carried on, acting as counselor to a distraught prisoner, his family and employer, and diligent reporter to the Department. During this same period, when another American got himself into a potentially very serious standoff with Iraqi authorities, Ambassador 1iekarski personally gave him shelter at his residence, and ensured that everything was resolved smoothly. Ambassador Piekarski's efforts on behalf of Mr. Beaty earned him very high praise from Senator David Boren, who travelled to Baghdad in November 1993 to obtain Mr. Beaty's release. In a letter to the President, Senator Boren said: "Mr. Piekarski is one of the most capable and dedicated diplomats that I have ever met... Poland has clearly assigned one of her best and brightest to represent our interests in Iraq." President Clinton echoed Senator Boren's praise in a letter to President Walesa: "Ambassador Piekarski's tireless efforts were invaluable in ensuring the well-being of Mr. Beaty during his imprisonment and in bringing pressure to bear to ensure his eventual release." I could go on at length about Ambassador Piekarski's accomplishments, but what I think marks his three years in Baghdad more than anything was preference for testing the limits, and his refusal to assume a passive role in the execution of his duties. He was invariably courageous and professional in his endeavors and frequently successful. The United States could not have asked for a more brilliant and effective representative of her interests in Iraq during this extremely difficult period. Ambassador Piekarski has set a high standard for his successors to follow. I now turn the podium over to Assistant Secretary Ryan who has a few remarks to make on behalf of the Bureau of Consular Affairs. (END PELLETREAU TEXT) (BEGIN RYAN TEXT) On behalf of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, I want to express my extreme gratitude for your expert handling of consular and administrative issues at the Interests Section in Baghdad. Your ability to negotiate the early release of American citizens who were taken prisoner by the Government of Iraq is commendable. In particular, your handling of the arrest case of Dr. Kenneth Beaty attests to your dedication to duty and service. Your skill in consular matters is matched only by your gifted management of the Interests Section. Specifically, your handling of Personnel and property management issues has saved the U.S. Government a considerable amount of money. Your services will be sorely missed and we wish you much success in your future assignments. It is an honor to present Ambassador Piekarski with the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award which comes with a certificate signed by Secretary Christopher and a gold medal set. (END RYAN TEXT) NNNN .