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Context of '2001: Colin Powell Commends Jose Bustani for his Work as OPCW Head'

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Jose Bustani is reelected to the position of director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for the 2001-2005 term by a unanimous vote. (Hanley 6/5/2005)

US Secretary of State Colin Powell sends a letter of appreciation to Jose Bustani, head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, commending him for his “impressive” work. (Monbiot 4/16/2002; Hanley 6/5/2005)

John Bolton allegedly telephones Jose Bustani, head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and, according to Bustani, tries “to interfere, in a menacing tone, in decisions that are the exclusive responsibility of the director-general.” Bolton “tried to order me around,” Bustani later explains in an interview with the Le Monde newspaper of France. (Hanley 6/5/2005) Bolton and others in the State Department’s arms-control bureau are upset that Bustani is attempting to convince Saddam Hussein to sign the chemical weapons convention with hopes of eventually sending chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad (see Between January 20, 2001 and June 2001).

John Bolton and other US officials fly to Europe and meet with Jose Bustani, head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). They demand that Bustani quietly resign from his position. Bustani refuses. He later explains to the New York Times, “They said they did not like my management style, but they said they were not prepared to elaborate.” (Monbiot 4/16/2002; Hanley 6/5/2005)

The United States tries to exact a vote of no confidence in Jose Bustani, head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), during an OPCW Executive Council meeting. Bustani survives the vote. (Monbiot 4/16/2002) The night before, John Bolton met with Bustani in The Hague personally seeking his resignation. When Bustani refused, “Bolton said something like, ‘Now we’ll do it the other way,’ and walked out,” former Bustani aide Bob Rigg later tells the AP. (Hanley 6/5/2005)


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