Thursday, August 06, 2009

British Diplomatic Smackdown! Charles Crawford v Craig Murray

The World's First Diplomatic Blogoir takes on the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, over his criticism of Bill Clinton's photo-op with Gulanara Karimova--wealthy and beautiful daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov--at an AIDS benefit held in Cannes:
Appalling: Gulnara Karimova?
6th August 2009

Craig Murray swings at President Clinton for being photographed with the 'appalling' Gulnara Karimova, the not unattractive daughter of the leader of Uzbekistan.

Just why Clinton is posing with the appalling Gulnara Karimova is unclear. But it might well relate to the continued efforts by the Obama administration to improve relations with President Karimov of Uzbekistan. As reported here in March, the US has signed new treaties with Uzbekistan, on use of the country for land transit to US forces in Afghanistan.

This jogged something in the back of my mind. But what .......?

Oh yes! Got it.

Craig's book Murder in Samarkand, pp 210-211. It describes a bekilted Craig's pride at being joined at the Queen's Birthday Party hosted by the President's daughter Gulnara - her first ever presence at a national day event! Unheard of!

And Gulnara was quite hot:

... charming and girlish ... in a simple dress and laughing eyes ... giggling at my light conversation...

Gulnara even flirted with Craig, prettily wondering about getting a job as his interpreter as they fended off a passing drunken Uzkek functionary.

Who is Charles Crawford? According to his blog:
Charles Crawford retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the end of 2007 after nearly three decades in the UK's Diplomatic Service, most of it spent serving in or dealing with communist and post-communist Europe.

His first job on joining the FCO in 1979 was to head the Indonesia Section, followed by his first posting, to communist post-Tito Yugoslavia. He returned to London in 1984 and after a year on the Aviation Desk was appointed FCO Speech-writer. He was posted to South Africa in 1987 as part of the Embassy team led by Ambassador Robin Renwick working to end apartheid.

Returning to London in 1991 he worked in the FCO Department dealing with the Soviet Union as communist rule collapsed. He then spent three years in Moscow as Political Counsellor and then served three times as HM Ambassador: in Sarajevo (1996-1998); in Belgrade (2001-2003) and most recently in Poland (2003-2007).

This varied career has given him considerable senior operational experience in the diplomatic and policy aspects of the post-Cold War transition process in Russia/CIS and Poland as well as the specific post-communist, post-conflict circumstances across former Yugoslavia. He speaks to varying degrees Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian, Polish, Russian, French and Afrikaans.

In 2005 he acquired some fleeting notoriety when a 'blackly humorous' personal email he sent to FCO colleagues from Warsaw about the EU Budget negotiations was leaked to the Sunday Times.

He is now pursuing a private consultancy career from his home in Oxfordshire in England. He is open to all generous offers. And married with three children.
BTW, Harper's Ken Silverstein says he has heard that Gulnara Karimova may be a donor to the Clinton Foundation.