Washington, 14 February 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. State Department says that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will now be accessible to people around the world via a new electronic mail address.
Spokesman Nicholas Burns told reporters Thursday the purpose behind the email address is to permit ordinary people from all walks of life to ask questions about U.S. foreign policy.
"I cannot guarantee she's going to personally sit at home every night and answer every email message," said Burns. "But I can guarantee people who do send messages to her -- that they will get a response from the State Department."
Burns added that Albright would be given a weekly compilation of the messages with a breakdown by subject. In some cases, he said, she is expected to respond personally.
The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
In connection with this, Burns added that the State Department is proud of its Globe Network, an education and environmental program which connects approximately 4,000 schools around the world together via the Internet.
Burns said that Albright intends to visit one of the participating schools on February 20 when she is in Russia during her upcoming tour of Europe and Asia.
Burns said Albright will hold what is called an "interactive town hall meeting" where, via the Internet, students can email their questions and receive almost instantaneous answers from the Secretary.
For millions of people who aren't familiar with the terms electronic mail and Internet -- an email is a message sent between computer users via a communications network; and the Internet is the world's largest computer network connecting an estimated 30 million people.