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Target: Terrorism - Rumsfeld Wraps up Mideast Trip with Visit to Uzbekistan

Aired October 5, 2001 - 05:06   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.
CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is winding up his tour to shore up anti-terrorism support in the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan today. Rumsfeld's previous stops were with three Middle Eastern allies.

In Egypt yesterday, Rumsfeld held talks with President Hosni Mubarak.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We want to cooperate with countries in ways that they want to cooperate with us. On the fundamental issue, there is no question that President Mubarak and President Bush are of like mind that the problem of terrorism is a very serious one and one that -- and we all know that terrorism is something that's very difficult to defend against, which means that the only way to deal with it is to go at it where it is. And President Bush is determined to do that in a broad, sustained effort that includes political, diplomatic, military, financial aspects.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CALLAWAY: Rumsfeld is heading to Uzbekistan and will arrive around -- in the top of the hour.

Now let's head to the Pentagon and talk with Brian Cabell -- Brian, good morning to you.

Let's talk about the importance of this meeting with the president of Uzbekistan.

BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's an interesting case, Catherine, because the United States has not had much of a relationship with Uzbekistan up until now. It is a former Soviet Republic -- been independent for only about 10 years now -- a country of some 25 million people, but important in the context currently, because it shares a border with Afghanistan. Also has a number of bases that the Soviets once used, and there is every indication so far that Uzbekistan will be cooperative with the U.S. -- may provide those bases -- may provide a staging ground for U.S. forces, in particular special operations forces -- commandos making raids into Afghanistan.

Once he leaves Uzbekistan, then Rumsfeld moves on to Turkey -- again an important ally, a NATO ally, a Muslim ally -- and again, some bases that the United States may find to be very useful in this war against terrorism. And from Turkey, on back to the United States -- Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

And so that's his trip -- five nations in a whirlwind four-day trip -- Catherine.

CALLAWAY: Brian, no doubt what will come up in the meeting today is U.S. plans to drop aid to Uzbekistan.

CABELL: Yes, that was announced by Rumsfeld -- Defense Secretary Rumsfeld yesterday that aid packages, medicine and food would be dropped.

In fact, we've got something that gives you some idea of what they might be dropping. This is known as a humanitarian daily ration. This was dropped in Kosovo three years ago. It provides a meal for one person for all day -- in other words, basically three meals. It carries an American flag and the words "a gift from the people of the United States of America."

So again, something like this is what will be dropped. And then there was also the indication from a U.S. defense official yesterday that there will probably be preemptive strikes against surface-to-air missiles beforehand to make sure that these air drops carry on safely, so that there is no problem in the air as they are being dropped down.

So again, that was announced yesterday, and again Uzbekistan is where he is stopping today.

CALLAWAY: Yes. And we'll make that clear that it was Afghanistan -- thank you Brian Cabell at the Pentagon.

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

CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is winding up his tour to shore up anti-terrorism support in the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan today. Rumsfeld's previous stops were with three Middle Eastern allies.

In Egypt yesterday, Rumsfeld held talks with President Hosni Mubarak. >


 
 
 
 


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