TEXT:*94052705.PFN  05/27 texts:pelletreau/ryan/piekarski award/bg nh as kf

*NEA505   05/27/94


(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:


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.



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.