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America's New War: Who's Friend and Who's Foe

Aired September 21, 2001 - 06:10   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.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Well the U.S. finds itself now in the middle of some tricky diplomacy, which Arab nation should be deemed friends and which ones should be considered as foes? Well, State Department correspondent Andrea Koppel has more on that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a picture that spoke a thousand words. The United States and Saudi Arabia side by side in the war against terrorism. The Saudis promising complete support.

PRINCE SAUD AL-FAISAL, SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER: For Saudi Arabia alone, but for the international community to take what is necessary and combat this scourge of terrorism that exists in the world.

KOPPEL: Secretary Powell made clear the Saudis will be crucial to America's campaign.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: He was rather specific in our conversations about things they will do within the -- within the kingdom to support us in this effort.

KOPPEL: During the Gulf War, Saudi Arabia played a pivotal role. Now the Bush administration is again looking to countries in the Arabian peninsula, the Persian Gulf, as well as in north Africa to join a new collision against terrorism.

In particular, the U.S. is looking to the Saudis to share intelligence on Osama Bin Laden, his terrorist network, and cut off financial support, to open its air space and allow the U.S. to operate from its own bases on Saudi soil.

And perhaps most importantly, the U.S. needs Saudi Arabia, a prominent voice within the Muslim world, to spread the word, this war is targeting terrorists, not Islam.

But including other targets such as Iraq could be a landmine.

GEOFFREY KEMP, THE NIXON CENTER: They're putting together a coalition against Afghanistan is easy because everybody hates the Taliban, including Iran, India, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. Putting together a coalition against Iraq, totally different story. KOPPEL (on camera): But administration officials say any one and every one, including Iraq, will be fair game if there is evidence of terrorism. Without it, one Arab diplomat warns, widening the circle beyond Afghanistan without will lose their support for the coalition.

Andrea Koppel, CNN, at the State Department.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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