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U.S. State Department Urges Americans to use Caution in Arabian Peninsula

Aired October 18, 2000 - 1:32 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: With tensions in the Persian Gulf running high, U.S. officials have issued a travel advisory.

CNN State Department correspondent Andrea Koppel joins us from Washington to tell us about it -- Andrea.

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, the State Department says that it issued this travel advisory to Americans overseas due to specific indications that they'd been receiving -- that terrorists may be planning attacks against Americans or against U.S. interests in three specific areas. They have a specific threat in the country of Turkey. They also have a variety of threats throughout the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf.

Now what this means is that those Americans who either are planning to travel to those three areas or may be living there or traveling there right now, that they should vary their travel routs; that they should stay away from large crowds and demonstrations; and in particular, they say, if they get some mail or some kind of package from an unknown person -- they're not familiar with the address -- not to open the package.

This, of course, Natalie, follows last week's attack against the USS Cole and, of course, heightened tensions and violence between the Israelis and Palestinians. These various warnings and indications are no surprise to U.S. officials because of growing anti-American sentiment, particularly throughout the Middle East.

And so most Americans should just be aware of the fact they're not telling -- the State Department isn't saying not to travel there, but merely to be on alert -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right; Andrea Koppel with that from the State Department

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