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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Colin Powell Holds News Conference With Russian Foreign Minister

Aired April 11, 2002 - 05:02   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.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And as I said, we want to join that Colin Powell news conference in progress. The secretary of state is speaking with his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, in Madrid, after the two held talks on nuclear weapons cuts. Powell is also expected to take questions from reporters on his Mideast diplomatic mission. Let's listen in now.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: That's all I have to say on this point until I have a chance to meet with Prime Minister Sharon tomorrow. Our mission is still on --

QUESTION: But are you concerned about the mission?

POWELL: My mission is still on. I'm not concerned about it. I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Sharon and with Chairman Arafat. And in my conversation with Prime Minister Sharon this morning we talked about my meeting with Chairman Arafat. And so I'm looking forward to these consultations, and with other leaders in the Israeli government.

And so no, I'm anxious to get to the region and conduct these discussions.

IGOR IVANOV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: At the meeting of the Security Council of the United Nations our joint statement that was adopted within the framework of the quartet in Madrid gathered support on the part of the U.N. Security Council. This is of principal importance. This means that the international community fully now stands in this conflict on common positions. Nobody expected that immediately after our yesterday's joint statement the situation in the region would change drastically.

It was important that we elaborated a common platform and on the basis of this common platform we would act jointly all together. Today, the Secretary is going to the region, will also use other channels, bilateral, multilateral, to render all necessary assistance to the secretary of state during his, this most difficult mission.

I would like to repeat, we are all interested in making this mission a success so that it bears real fruit and opens the way towards the end of conflict. I repeat, give way, open way. The mission is very difficult, but really a lot of hope in it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A few questions there (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

QUESTION: Secretary Powell, I was going to ask about chickens, but I figure it's not done yet so I won't ask about that. Back on the Middle East, what do you say to pessimists who have likened this, your trip, to a mission impossible? Why, presumably you don't think that or share that because you are going. Why don't you share that assessment?

POWELL: Because I don't like wallowing with pessimists. I'm going in here because it's necessary for me to go. It's necessary for me to go to represent President Bush and his desire to see this crisis brought to an end and to an end and to get us back to a track that will lead to discussions. However long the Israeli incursions continue, whether they pull out of everywhere today or whether they pull out of everywhere they are now in over a longer period of time, the problem will still be there of people who need to be brought into a negotiating process that will lead to peace.

No matter how effective the Israeli Defense Forces believe they are being right now in rooting out terrorism and going after the other targets they have set for themself, when it's over there will still be people who are willing to resort to violence and terror and people who are willing to build suicide bombs and other kinds of bombs of the kind we've seen over the last three days even after 12 days of incursions and that violence and that anger and frustration which fuels it will be there unless we find a negotiating process that both sides have confidence in and a negotiating process that will lead to what the Palestinian people want, a state where they can raise their children and design their own futures living side by side with Israel.

And everything that is happening now is an impediment to getting to that end point. So I am proud to be going. I'm pleased to be going. And as a representative of my government, a representative of President Bush and the American people and the American people, and with the statements that I received yesterday from my colleagues here, to some extent as a representative of the international community, to make these points and get us onto a positive track.

And it's what I should be doing. It's what secretaries of state do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, the last question (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

QUESTION: I would like to ask both of you very briefly, did you talk about chickens and spies? And also, Foreign Minister Ivanov, you mentioned that your positions on the strategic framework document had come closer. Did they come closer today? Did you remove any brackets? And, if so, on what areas?

IVANOV: Well, I have informed the secretary of state that on the basis of the protocol signed by the sides, right now the work is going on of the experts of those nations with a view in the nearest future to lift all the remaining technical questions and it does solve the problem related to the supplies of poultry to the Russian Federation and meat products to the Russian Federation. We hope that these technical issues, I repeat, will be solved now, taken into account, taken into account of the concerns reflected in the joint assigned protocol. The work is going on actively and we hope that it is a resultful one.

As for the treaty, I would like to repeat once again that it is a very difficult, complex document that requires comprehensive analysis of all as -- of many aspects. On many issues we got our positions closer, but there are a number of open issues. One of those is the procedure of counting warheads and delivery means. But experts' negotiations are continuing and in the course of the forthcoming May meeting between us, we'll be able to determine the level of readiness of this document, the extent of readiness.

I'd repeat that both sides are interested that during the visit of President Bush to Moscow the document be signed. At the same time, of course, quite a serious work is ahead of us.

(CROSSTALK)

POWELL: No discussion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you.

COSTELLO: And as you can see, this news conference in Madrid is wrapping up with Secretary of State Colin Powell and his Russian counterpart. Most of the conversation, of course, involved the Middle East crisis that's going on right now. And Powell reiterated he is looking forward to meeting with Yasser Arafat. And as for referring to his mission as mission impossible, he said he doesn't like wallowing with pessimism and he says no matter how effective the Israeli military thinks it is, it really is not, because when the fighting stops, the hatred and the anger will still be there.

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