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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

President Bush in Maine Mulling International Hotspots

Aired June 13, 2003 - 19:05   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Now, obviously, President Bush will have a number of foreign policy issues to mull over during his weekend retreat at Kennebunkport, Maine.
CNN's Chris Burns is there, joins us now with a live report -- Chris.

CHRIS BURNS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, yes the president spending the Father's Day weekend with his family here in Kennebunkport, but obviously tracking very closely the situation in the Middle East through his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. He spoke by phone to her.

And his lieutenants working very, very hard. Secretary of State Colin Powell Urging restraint on all sides, but also talking about having to isolate Hamas. He did say that he spoke by telephone with the Farouq Al-Sharah, the Syrian foreign minister, urging the Syrians to try to isolate Hamas. Secretary of State Powell talking to reporters, talking about the importance of getting past this latest round of violence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Now we have to execute that plan and keep moving forward and not allow ourselves to be distracted or thrown off point from the promise that is out there with the road map by this surge of violence. We have got to punch our way through with it, punch our way through it and get on with the steps called for in the road map.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNS: Now, Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman, saying that it was important in his words that "Everything begins with security, but everything ends with a vision. Security is required for the vision to be achieved." That vision being peace in the Middle East. He talked about the -- Israel's right to defend itself, but that Israel, in his words -- "Needs to take actions, but be mindful of the fact that they have to keep the overall vision alive, the vision that is laid out in the road map."

Now, Secretary of State Powell is headed to the region next weekend. This weekend there will be a troubleshooting team that goes there, headed by secretary -- Assistant Secretary of State John Wolf. He'll be talking to both sides, trying -- just trying to get both sides to stat engaging in these confidence-building measures despite the latest violence -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Chris Burns, Kennebunkport, thanks a lot.

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