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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Powell and Lebanese Prime Minister Address Reporters

Aired April 15, 2002 - 05:19   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: We want to go live to Lebanon, where Secretary of State Colin Powell has just met with the Lebanese prime minister, Rafik al-Hariri. Let's listen to what they have to say.

RAFIQ HARIRI, LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER: We want to express our opinion that the country needs a political solution, a comprehensive political solution, a peaceful political, a comprehensive peaceful political solution. The secretary was very clear about the commitment of the United States and the president on the peace and he will explain to your our discussion.

But I want to say that we appreciate the visit of the secretary to Lebanon and we appreciate the efforts made by the United States and by the president in particular. We appreciate that the United States will make all efforts to assure the peace in the region.

But I want to say publicly that what happened in the recent weeks in West Bank create a sort of feeling in the Arab, among the Arab world, among the people in the Arab world and among the leaders of the Arab world, and this is why we need strong efforts from the United States and strong commitment from President Bush and the secretary.

And we believe strongly that security is important, very important. But it is not a replacement of the peaceful agreement. And we think, with the experience we had here in Lebanon, that cease- fire without the political solution will not take off.

We have made here in Lebanon, as I told the secretary, 1,200 cease-fire during the war in Lebanon. None of them have worked. The one who worked is the one after five agreement when we reached a political solution among ourselves. So the political solution will bring the stability and the peace and the security.

Thank you.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister, and I hope you have a successful trip to the United States. I know that President Bush is looking forward to receiving you and to exchanging views with you. And I know that he will say to you that he is committed to finding a political solution to bring peace to this region and that is why he sent me here, to talk about ending terror and violence, but with the clear understanding that that in and of itself won't be enough, just as you've said. All the cease-fires in the world will not solve the problem until there is a political solution. And that is our commitment and we will devote all of our energies to it.

I also want to take this opportunity, Mr. Prime Minister, to thank you for the support that you and your government have provided to the United States since the events of last September, those tragic events. And I also want to tell you that we are with you in every way that we can be in supporting your efforts to strengthen your economy and restructure your economy. I know that you will have very productive talks in Washington with my fellow cabinet officers.

Thank you very much.

COSTELLO: And they are not taking any questions, apparently, from the reporters in the crowd. You are watching Lebanon's prime minister, Rafik al-Hariri, addressing reporters, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell. Both leaders met very briefly this morning to talk about the situation in Israel, of course, with Prime Minister Hariri saying there cannot be a cease-fire without a political solution because that just doesn't work. Colin Powell agreeing with him.

By the way, Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri will be in Washington on Wednesday to speak with President Bush. Colin Powell now is on his way to Syria.

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