Singapore inflicts enormous damage to reputation: Wolfowitz

September 15, 2006
Singapore Democrats

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AFP
15 Sept 06

Singapore inflicted enormous damage to reputation: Wolfowitz

Singapore has inflicted enormous damage to its reputation because of its reluctance to admit 27 activists accredited for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings, bank president Paul Wolfowitz has said.

“Enormous damage has been done…A lot of that damage has been to Singapore and it’s self-inflicted,” Wolfowitz said at a meeting with non-governmental organizations.

Singapore said it had security concerns about 27 of the hundreds of activists whom the World Bank and International Monetary Fund had already accredited to attend the institutions’ meetings in Singapore as part of a formal dialogue.

“I would certainly argue that at the stage of success they’ve reached they’d be much better for themselves if they (took) a more visionary approach to the process,” Wolfowitz said, adding that he raised the issue in a Thursday night meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

“Last night the prime minister said that based on Bank and Fund vouching for these people that they would look at each case individually and open the door to let them in. I hope that will happen expeditiously and completely and we’re waiting for further developments,” Wolfowitz told an earlier news conference.