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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

U.S.-Canada Relations

Aired January 30, 2003 - 11:01   ET

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

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Outside the State Department right now, you're looking at Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is alongside Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham.
Let's listen in to see what has resulted from their conversation.

COLIN POWELL, SECY. OF STATE: Good morning, bonjour, and it's a great pleasure, as always, to walk with my Canadian colleague, Minister Bill Graham. We meet on a regular basis. In fact, it was just a little over a month ago when I was up in Canada for bilateral discussions, and this morning, we covered a range of bilateral issues that exist between our two nations.

We talked about border control and security and some of the visa issues that I know are of concern to our Canadian neighbors. We talked about some trade issues. And then we talked about the multilateral international issues of the day.

We had a good and full discussion about Iraq and North Korea, and I value the opportunity to hear from Minister Graham with respect to the Canadian position, and I gave him a foretaste of what's coming up in the next few weeks with my presentation at the Security Council next Wednesday and then continuing consultations after that to see what actions the Security Council chooses to take, and then, of course, the two chief inspectors will be back before the council on the 14th of February.

So once again, Bill, welcome.

It's always a pleasure to have you back in Washington.

WILLIAM GRAHAM, CANADIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Thank you very much, Colin. I appreciate your warm bonjour.

(SPEAKING IN FRENCH)

But I appreciate very much your hospitality, of course, and our frank discussions on the issues that you've already covered.

Clearly, we are concerned that our border remain one of the most open borders in the world. It is today. Let's keep it that way for the benefit of our fellow citizens in terms of their prosperity and in terms of their openness in relation with one another.

As you say, we discussed other issues. Primarily that was Iraq, for obvious reasons, and I want to express to you, Mr. Secretary, the admiration of Canada and Canadians, the way you brought with the president this matter to the United Nations and made it clear the determination that we're going to work through the United Nations as the way in which we can ensure the security of the world in the future and also the best security in the United States.

And we understand that you intend to keep to that path. I want to encourage you to keep to that path. Canada has made it clear that if there isn't a United Nations authorization -- the prime minister has said, we, of course, have always supported that multilateral approach. We would be there. We will be watching. We are working on this. We had a debate in our House of Commons last night -- all parties, a frank exchange amongst Canadians as to how we feel about this.

There's very clearly a recognition that 1441 is the way to go, 1441 speaks of a process which is still ongoing and of consequences if that process demonstrates certain things. It isn't over yet because that process isn't complete, and the demonstration has yet to be made, but we look forward to you doing that on February the 14th. We look forward to hearing what Dr. Blix has to say on the 14th, and we will remain engaged with you to make sure that this is brought to a conclusion in a way that strengthens the international institutions and strengthens our chances for peace in the world.

QUESTION: Secretary Powell, do you believe that Canada will end up backing the U.S. if it goes to war without the United Nations endorsement?

POWELL: Oh, I would not wish to speak for Canada. Minister Graham can do that.

I do know that Canada will do just as the minister said and as the prime minister has said over the weeks and months: study this very carefully, recognize the significance and the importance of this issue. I think Canada is committed to the disarmament of Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, and we all hope it can be done with the full support of the international community.

And we'll stay in close touch in weeks ahead to make sure that we have a complete understanding of each other's views.

GRAHAM: If I could just follow that up by...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Is Canada still opposed to using force? It sounds like you're not ready to join any coalition to use force.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Can you tell us what you're waiting for?

GRAHAM: What the prime minister has said was that if there is a coalition directed by the United Nations and, as the secretary has said, Resolution 1441 speaks of a process which is going to determine whether or not Iraq is willing to disarm, and if that is determined that they'll be consequences of that. That is something that is yet being determined in a framework of the United Nations.

It's an ongoing process. We are watching that. We are engaged. We will be there to support that process. We do believe that Iraq has to be disarmed. And we will work with the secretary, with the United States and with other countries through the U.N. to achieve that goal.

QUESTION: Foreign Minister Graham?

(SPEAKING IN FRENCH)

GRAHAM: (SPEAKING IN FRENCH)

QUESTION: Question for the minister, please. The secretary said that he gave you a foretaste of what he was going to say next week at the United Nations. You're not going to reveal what he told you, but I want to ask you...

GRAHAM: Not if I want to get invited back.

(LAUGHTER)

POWELL: It wasn't that much of a foretaste.

(LAUGHTER)

GRAHAM: We trust each other completely, but we didn't have a lot of time, you know.

QUESTION: However limited the foretaste was, did you find it compelling and do you think it will be compelling next week?

GRAHAM: I think what the secretary told me was that he intends to make a persuasive case that Iraq must be compelled to disarm. And Iraq has to understand that if it does not disarm, there will be consequences for its failure to disarm.

Dr. Blix told us the other day that he's not satisfied with Iraq's progress on disarmament and its willingness to step up and disarm. We are watching that. We support the secretary.

We believe that Iraq has to know from the world community that it must disarm. We agree with that. We will watch what he has to say about the progress. But we all agree that if it fails to disarm, the United Nations will have to take its responsibility to make sure that Resolution 1441 is enforced.

POWELL: I have to get to a meeting, but the minister has agreed to remain for a few more minutes.

GRAHAM: Just a couple more minutes.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: (SPEAKING IN FRENCH)

GRAHAM: (SPEAKING IN FRENCH) QUESTION: Mr. Minister?

GRAHAM: Yes, sir?

QUESTION: In America we've long cherished our relationship with the Canadians, but there is a feeling among many Americans that the Canadians have perhaps gone a bit wobbly on the United States over the issue of Iraq. What would you say to those Americans to give them reassurance?

GRAHAM: I would say to them that, as the secretary of state has said, and as the president has made clear by his actions, by going to the United Nations, that the United States itself recognizes that its long-term security and the security of the world means working with coalitions of parties, that if one party, one state acts by itself it takes the responsibility by itself, it risks consequences in a complicated area like the Middle East, which would be very serious.

And the United States has made it very clear that it does not intend to do that. It intends to work within a coalition. And the best way to ensure the security of the world and to ensure the security of the United States is through the United Nations, because ultimately that is the world saying to Saddam Hussein, "You have failed to act. Here are the consequences. And we are delivering it. This is not the United States acting unilaterally or arbitrarily, this is a world judgment."

That is where Canada has stood with the United States. The secretary has often said to me, "We appreciate the fact." We constantly said you need a strong resolution, we support you in that, we support the United States in that. And we support the United States in its determination to work through multilateral institutions, because we believe that our joint long-term security is best served there.

And I believe Americans at their heart believe that, too, and that's why this government in the United States has been so firm in working in the way it has.

So thank you all very much. I have to go now myself, but I'll be seeing, I think, some of you later. Thank you very much.

WHITFIELD: You've been listening to Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham, alongside Secretary of State Colin Powell outside the State Department in Washington, and Mr. Graham has been saying that Canadians do believe that Iraq should be disarmed, and that country is willing to work with the U.S. and the U.N. in which to bring about a resolution.

He says they're very much in support of resolution 1441. It is the way to go. He looks forward to hearing the U.N.'s Hans Blix final assessment of things, as well as looking forward to Secretary of State Colin Powell's assessment, as he goes before the U.N. next week, possibly to reveal some declassified intelligence information.

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