CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Russia, Israel React to Bush Speech
Aired October 8, 2002 - 12:34 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: President Bush's case for greater pressure on Iraq has met with mixed measures of support and opposition around the world.
CNN's Ryan Chilcote is in Moscow. CNN's Jerrold Kessel is in Jerusalem. We're taking the pulse of two global centers after the president's speech.
Let's go to Moscow first, and Ryan Chilcote.
What's the reaction, Ryan, over there?
RYAN CHILCOTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon, Wolf.
There is no official reaction to President Bush's speech, but Russia's position on a new UN resolution on Iraq does appear to be getting more flexible. For the first time, a senior Russian official said that Russia would consider, could go along with, a new resolution as long as that resolution does not contain what Russia is calling unreasonable demands of the Iraqis and does not contain a clause providing for the automatic use of force.
Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Ferdorov said the Russian position corresponds with the position laid out in the French draft proposal. That would of course require a second resolution before force could be used against Iraq. That same official said the U.S. proposal simply contained too many unreasonable demands.
Back to you -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Ryan Chilcote, in Moscow. Ryan, thanks very much.
Let's go to Jerusalem now. We're joined by Jerrold Kessel.
What are they saying in Israel -- Jerrold.
JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, if there is any place that doesn't need to be convinced of arguments about going after Iraq's Saddam Hussein, then you could probably say it's Israel. That's why very positive reaction to the president's laying out of a case to go in that direction.
But perhaps there's even a more salient reason for the positive attitude to this particular speech by President Bush in that it had no mention of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or how to solve it, and that's something the Israelis appreciate, because they don't want to see any linkage in the campaign against Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the drive to solve the Palestinian-Israeli question. In fact, they have been delighted to hear the president and the United States generally saying recently that even -- that they want to wait for any major Palestinian-Israeli peace drive until after the United States has taken care of the Iraqi question -- so much so that there are reports that Mr. Bush chided his ally Tony Blair to that effect for putting that on the table.
But there is another side to the coin, and that is that Washington has also been telling Ariel Sharon, Israel's prime minister, in no uncertain terms that he doesn't want anything, that it doesn't want anything, to get in the way of that campaign against Iraq, and that's why Mr. Sharon is being chided for trying to put his battles with the Palestinians back in the spotlight.
BLITZER: Jerrold Kessel, in Jerusalem, we'll probably be getting a lot more on the Israeli/U.S. connection when the prime minister visits Washington in the coming days to see the president. Thanks for joining us.
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