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Former Beatle Meets With Colin Powell To Discuss Land Mine Program

Aired April 19, 2001 - 09:31   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: It looks like we're going in front of the State Department. Here is Secretary of State Colin Powell. He's with Paul McCartney. And I believe that's Paul McCartney's girlfriend. Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm very proud of U.S. efforts to support the Adopt-A-Minefield program. And, also, we've contributed something like $500 million over the last several years -- seven years, to be precise -- to remove minefields.

We still have concerns about the convention that Paul and Heather are so supportive of. We have some reservations. But there are many areas in which we can cooperate. And I was very pleased to have a chance to exchange views with both of them.

And now I turn them over to you while I have to go back to work. Thank you.

Good to see you, Paul. Bye-bye.

SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY, FORMER BEATLE: Thank you very much. Bye- bye.

HEATHER MILLS, MCCARTNEY'S GIRLFRIEND: Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCARTNEY: Yes, why don't you speak?

MILLS: Me?

MCCARTNEY: Yes.

MILLS: It went very, very well. We discussed many different areas.

Adopt-A-Minefield, for those of you that don't know is clearing minefields in over five countries at the moment. We just got back from Croatia, where we've cleared six already, due to American funding and American private sector. We're also trying to push the government to support, unfortunately, the smart mines until we get to the end result of banning the land mine completely. This would be your (UNINTELLIGIBLE) parallel problem. We need to come up with an interim solution. And that would be to encourage countries, until we get a full worldwide ban, which is what we all want, to only use the smart mine in the meantime.

So that's what we've been discussing today -- and survivor assistance, which is my main concern, because once you've left the mines behind, I've got to and many people like me deal with all of the land mine survivors.

MCCARTNEY: Yes, thank you, Heather. We had a really good meeting. And Secretary Powell was very helpful. And we basically explained to him our point of view, which -- a lot of which he agreed with. He expressed his support for Adopt-A-Minefield, which is hoping to clear all the mines in the world and allow people to go back to their fields and to their towns and get on with life.

I expressed the point of view that even brave soldiers who defend the country, who have to be involved in that, I think even they themselves dislike the idea of leaving the war behind them and causing grief for civilians.

So the secretary is very understanding about that. And we're hoping now to use this meeting as a launch for a campaign to -- around the world -- to increase awareness about the land mine issue and eventually get to a mine-free future.

QUESTION: What got you involved with the (OFF-MIKE)

MCCARTNEY: It was basically...

KAGAN: We've been listening to former Beatle Paul McCartney. He and his girlfriend Heather Mills had a meeting today with Secretary of State Colin Powell.

As you just heard Paul McCartney describe, he is looking to launch a campaign for awareness about the problem of land mines around the world, And, eventually, their long-term goal is to come up with a -- to reach a land-mine-free world.

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