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Secretary of State Colin Powell Holds News Conference in Turkey

Aired December 5, 2001 - 05:48   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: We're going to take you now live to Turkey, where we're about to hear from Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has been visiting with allies in the war on terrorism.

(IN PROGRESS)

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: ... continue into the afternoon, and you've given a great comprehensive review of all of the issues we have discussed in the course of the morning, and I will not repeat all of them. But I would like to emphasize that we did focus on the strength of our bilateral relationship, and I expressed by thanks and appreciation to the president, the prime minister and the foreign minister for the solid support that we have received from Turkey in this new campaign against terrorism. Turkey has suffered from terrorism in the past, and fully recognizes the importance of the mission that we are now all embarked upon.

We're especially sensitive to the point the prime minister made a few moments ago that what overlap there is between our new interests and interests that have always been important to Turkey in the Balkans and the Khakises (ph) and in Central Asia, and this puts a premium on us consulting even more closely in the future than we have in the past.

We covered Iraq. I was pleased that to discuss with the foreign minister the fact that we do have a new U.N. resolution in place, which will lead to smart sanctions over the period of the next six months and make it easier for the Iraqi people to get consumer goods, but at the same time make sure that the Iraqi regime is contained with respect to the development of weapons of mass destruction.

We took note of the positive developments that came out of Bonn. I am very pleased that the work that was done by the Afghan leaders themselves, with the assistance of the German chancellor and prime minister, and are pleased that the work of our ambassador, Ambassador Jim Bobbins (ph), in keeping them to the task they had there. Now, the real work is ahead, as we put that interim government in place in Kabul, allow them to begin to exercise control, and we look forward to working with our Turkish colleagues as to what support they will require in order to make it a viable government, and then to expand the nature of that government, so that it reflects all of the elements of the Afghan society as they go to a Loya Jirga and ultimately as they go to elections. We focused quite a big on our economic relationship. We were pleased to be of assistance to Turkey, as they got new IMF assistance recently, but also made the point to my colleague that a lot now is required on the part of Turkey to restructure and reform their economic system, so as they can draw more investment into the country and more private investments.

We talked about textile quotas and other similar barriers to trade that are of interest to the Turkish government, and I will be taking a strong message back to my colleagues in the United States with respect to the general system of preferences, with respect to barriers that currently exist, and see what we can do to removing those barriers.

I just might conclude by saying it was also good to have, as two postscripts to the meeting, the fact that the ESDP is moving forward, and some positive discussions were concluded recently, and I hope that will put this matter behind us, once the E.U. has acted on it. And it was also very pleasing to take note of the fact that Mr. Cleavies (ph) and Mr. Banktesh (ph) met -- will be meeting again this evening. And this is the beginning of a long process, but every long journey begins with some first steps, and I am pleased to see these first steps after a break of some four years.

So, colleagues, I thank you for your hospitality, and I thank you for all that you have done since this administration came into office to strengthen the relationship between our two countries. Thank you.

CALLAWAY: Secretary of State Colin Powell is saying that they are beginning a long process of laying and resuming a relationship with Turkey, saying that Turkey has seen its fair share of terrorist attacks -- also discussing economic issues with Turkish leaders there.

Also Colin Powell was saying that he is extremely pleased about the agreement that was reached just this morning in Bonn, Germany over the political future, saying that that was also discussed in meetings this morning.

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