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For Europe-watchers in this country, there has been a question that increasingly is asked as the Georgia crisis evolves and plays out...

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Why EU And Not NATO, White House Asked

For Europe-watchers in this country, there has been a question that increasingly is asked as the Georgia crisis evolves and plays out…

For Europe-watchers in this country, there has been a question that increasingly is asked as the Georgia crisis evolves and plays out:  why is the United States increasingly turning to the 27-nation European Union for leadership in settling the clash between Russia and Georgia, instead of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in which the U.S. plays a major role.

Yesterday, one  day after  Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced she was headed to Paris to discuss with French President (and current EU President) Nicolas Sarkozy his plan for a Georgia ceasefire, that’s precisely what I asked the President’s top spokeswoman.

“We are talking to NATO as well,” Press Secretary Dana Perino told me at the gaggle (early morning briefing for White House reporters) on Thursday.  “There’s a lot of overlap there.”

Along those lines,  Perino pointed out that the President had a telephone call in the morning with Lithuanian President Valdus Adamkus, whose country is a member of both the EU and NATO (which has 26 members).  But she also insisted that is was “proper” to go to Sarkozy, the current president of the EU.  Perino did not explain why this was the proper procedure rather than to begin instead with NATO Secretary General Joop de Haap Scheffer of the Netherlands.

When I asked if the Administration was keeping the NATO head “in the loop” on its dealings with Georgia, Perino said “We’ll get back to you on that.”  As we went to press, I had not heard back from the press secretary. 

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ?ť and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ?ť and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â?ť video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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