Congressional trip to Monaco? Not happening


(Courtesy of Monaco Press Centre Photos)

We had written last week that Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), as the OSCE special rep on human trafficking, had hoped to go to introduce a resolution against it at the meeting. But he called Thursday to say he’s not leading a congressional delegation (codel) to Monaco.

Smith said he had opposed having the meeting there— “I couldn’t believe they picked Monaco”as the site — but he was told the pricey gambling mecca on the Riviera would produce “the biggest turnout ever” of participants.

No doubt.

“I was caught between a rock and a hard place,” he said, but he finally decided against going the weekend before last — just before he left on a trip to Bolivia to visit Jacob Ostreicher, a Brooklyn, N.Y. businessman imprisoned for nearly a year without charges on suspicion of money laundering. Smith met with him and with Bolivian officials to urge them to release Ostreicher.

As for the anti-trafficking resolution, Smith said he would ask someone else to introduce it.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.
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