Sunday, June 04, 2006
Despite repeated claims by the Bush Administration that the 34-country Organization of American States is a top priority, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is not planning to attend this week's OAS annual meeting of foreign ministers in the Dominican Republic. She's too busy with Iran, U.S. officials say. Tom Shannon, head of Western Hemisphere affairs at the State Department, may not attend either, because of his son's high-school graduation. The U.S. will be represented by Assistant Secretary of State Bob Zoellick. He's highly respected in the region since his days as trade negotiator, but Rice and (if he doesn't attend) Shannon's absences will not go unnoticed at the meeting.