Confronting Terorrism and Crisis

Problems confronting U.S. diplomacy also loomed large elsewhere. Dealing with tensions between nuclear powers India and Pakistan and finding the best means to avert nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran were particularly challenging, as was finding a means to keep Taiwan safe without provoking hostile action from China. Positive developments included resumption of diplomatic relations with Libya following its acknowledgment of responsibility for the bombing of PanAm Flight 103.
International trade was emphasized with the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and development of free trade agreements with countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The United States helped calm the situation in Haiti by facilitating the departure of controversial President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and volatile situations in Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela required close monitoring. International narcotics control remained challenging across the globe. Increased scrutiny of visitors to the United States following 9/11 complicated relations with Mexico by delaying plans for more liberal entry by its citizens and made visits more difficult for travelers from other countries.
In Europe, the United States successfully encouraged further enlargement of NATO while maintaining good relations with Russia, and supported the ongoing UN and NATO presence in Kosovo.

The United States continued to respond with humanitarian assistance to crises worldwide, undertook a major AIDS initiative, and launched the Millennium Challenge Account to stimulate economic development. It promoted an end to hostilities in the south and west of Sudan and supported efforts by the Economic Community of West African States to restore peace in Liberia.

Senior Coordinator for the Office of International Women’s Issues Charlotte Ponticelli visits a shelter for victims of domestic violence in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Senior Coordinator for the Office of International Women’s Issues Charlotte Ponticelli visits a shelter for victims of domestic violence in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Weighing U.S. national interest despite controversy, The United States declined to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change and refused to join the International Criminal Court. It also abrogated the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and decided not to seek ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, but it advanced other proposals for limiting proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

A woman sifts grain in a camp for displaced persons in Darfur, Sudan. The United States worked to end violence in the south and west of Sudan and provided aid to its victims.

A woman sifts grain in a camp for displaced persons in Darfur, Sudan. The United States worked to end violence in the south and west of Sudan and provided aid to its victims.

Overall, the period 2001-2004 was one of difficult, dangerous, and sometimes unprecedented challenges to America’s diplomatic personnel.

The United States responded quickly with medical assistance and relief supplies when a devastating earthquake struck Iran in December 2003

The United States responded quickly with medical assistance and relief supplies when a devastating earthquake struck Iran in December 2003.

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