EDWARDS, Colorado - Former Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill will discuss the current civil war in Syria at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards on Monday in a Vail Symposium program presented in partnership with the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Hill will draw on his Foreign Service experience to elucidate the underlying causes of this unrest and its implications for U.S. domestic and foreign policy, its effect on political stability in the region, and its consequences for future U.S. diplomatic relations.
In a recent interview with Andrea Mitchell, Hill spoke about the implications of Secretary of State John Kerry's announcement that the U.S. will be providing $60 million in non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels.
"There's more here than meets the eye," Hill said. "I think it's a very important step for the United States. It's a step to get closer to these groups on the ground, get a sense of who they are, and to some extent, increase our leverage with them. I think this is really the right move. ... This is a problem that is metastasizing all over the region and I think we need to be very concerned about what the effect is in Western Iraq and in Lebanon. ... There has to be a real look at this and the way to get a look at it is to work with people and to begin to provide them assistance."
Currently the dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at The University of Denver, Hill is a former career diplomat, a four-time ambassador, nominated by three presidents, whose last post was as ambassador to Iraq, from April 2009 until August 2010. Prior to Iraq, Hill served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs (2005-2009), during which he was also the head of the U.S. delegation to the Six Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Earlier, he was the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Korea. Previously, he served as U.S. ambassador to Poland (2000-2004), ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia (1996-1999), and special envoy to Kosovo (1998-1999). He also served as a special assistant to the president and a senior director on the staff of the National Security Council (1999-2000).
The presentation starts at 6:30 p.m. following a reception at 6:00 p.m. Tickets $35 general admission, $25 for Vail Symposium donors, and $10 for students. Reservations are recommended and can be made at www.vailsymposium.org. Visit the Symposium's website or call 970-476-0954 for more information.