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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2001 > June
Press Statement
Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 15, 2001


British and American Youths to Shadow Secretaries Powell and Straw

Two British youths, Saffina Ali and Ezekiel Tafari, will shadow U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell for a full day on Wednesday, June 20, while the same week two American youths, Amanda Van Vorce and Bruce Lane, will shadow British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw on Friday, June 22. This unusual opportunity was arranged as the result of an agreement made between Secretary Powell and former UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook on the occasion of their bilateral meeting on February 6, in Washington, DC. The youth development organization "America's Promise – The Alliance for Youth," of which General Powell was the founding chairman, is coordinating the voyage of the two American youths to the UK and assisting with the program for the British youths in the U.S.

Saffina Ali, a 16-year-old from Leeds, has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities at the City of Leeds School. She is a trained mentor for younger students and is active in several outreach groups that assist young teenagers. Ezekiel Tafari, a 17-year-old from Liverpool, attends Liverpool Community College and is an accomplished public speaker, with a special focus on human rights. He has spoken about human rights on BBC radio and given a presentation on "Racism in the UK" to a distinguished audience including Members of Parliament and Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of the Republic of Ireland.

Ms. Ali and Mr. Tafari will begin their "shadow" day with a private meeting with Secretary Powell and will then accompany him to a Congressional hearing at which he will testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Following the hearing, the State Department's Spokesman has invited them to attend the afternoon press briefing. Ms. Ali and Mr. Tafari also will meet the Foreign Minister of Moldova, Nicolae Cernomaz, and will accompany Secretary Powell to the White House for remarks he will give at the annual meeting of the Business Roundtable. Following their day shadowing the Secretary, Ms. Ali and Mr. Tafari will spend one week visiting Washington, DC, and New York City, under the auspices of the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ International Visitors Program.


Released on June 15, 2001

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