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Subject: U.S. Coordinating with U.N. on Aid to Iraq, USAID Chief Says
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See also:
cover of publication

Duty to the Future: Free Iraqis Plan for a New Iraq
and note what the US Council on Foreign Relations says about the difference between this and the Defense Department Postwar Iraq Plans


 
 
CONTENTS
Introduction
Interview with:
Muhannad Eshaiker
On Democratic Principles
Rubar Sandi
On Economic Growth
Mohammed Al Faour
On the Military
Aiham Alsammarae
On Democratic Principles
Ilham Al-Sarraf
On Humanitarian Assistance
Azzam Alwash
On the Environment
Hatem Mukhlis
On Democratic Principles
Tanya Gilly
On Anti-Corruption Measures
John Kanno
On Iraq's Infrastructure
Hamid Ali Alkifaey
On a Free Press
Mahmoud Thamer
On Public Health
Conclusion
Laith Kubba
       
an Iraqi high school student listens to a video conference
An Iraqi high school student listens to a video conference exchange between Iraqi students in Baghdad and American students from Bloomfield, Connecticut, March 2003. (Jerome Delay, AP/WWP)
Source: Ilham Al-Sarraf

The new publication contains an opening statement by Secretary Powell praising the Iraqi professionals who participated in the "Future of Iraq Project" and the importance of this unique diplomatic initiative. The introduction is followed by interviews with Iraqi professionals who participated in working groups to examine a number of critical issues, including democratic institutions in Iraq, a modern economy, key infrastructure needs, and humanitarian aid. As noted in the introduction, "Their voices are real, diverse, and by no means unanimous. They express skepticism, concern, and contradictions Ñ even as they share values of the need for freedom and democracy for Iraq."


 


Mon, 21 Apr 2003 12:03:35 -0400 (EDT)

U.S. Coordinating with U.N. on Aid to Iraq, USAID Chief Says

(Natsios adds Iraq reconstruction effort largest since Marshall Plan) (240)

By Kathryn McConnell, Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- The United States is coordinating closely with the United Nations to deliver humanitarian assistance and reconstruction aid to Iraq, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Andrew Natsios said in an April 18 television interview.

Natsios said there is a large amount of misunderstanding among the media and public of how aid agencies work together to get help to where it is needed.

The same coordinated aid delivery system the United States and United Nations agencies have used in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Somalia and Haiti is being used in Iraq, he said.

Natsios emphasized that the United States is committing the largest assistance team and the largest amount of resources to a single country in a single year since the Marshall Plan following World War II.

Congress has approved the Bush administration's request for approximately $2,500 million for aid for Iraq in the fiscal year ending October 1.

USAID is prepared to deliver water, medicines and other essential needs as soon as aid workers' security needs are met, Natsios said.  USAID-led aid workers are now in Nasiriyah, Baghdad, Basra and Umm Qasr, he said.

Natsios added that the United States is the largest contributor to the U.N. World Food Program, which has begun shipping food aid into Iraq from Kuwait, Jordan and Turkey.

(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.  Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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    See also: http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/
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Tue, 22 Apr 2003 12:14:04 -0400 (EDT)

U.S. Aid to Iraq So Far Nearly $600 Million, USAID Head Says

(Much of the funding goes to U.N. agencies, Natsios adds) (630)

By Kathryn McConnell, Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- The United States so far has spent nearly $600 million on humanitarian assistance and reconstruction efforts for Iraq, says U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Andrew Natsios.

Natsios said dredging of the Iraqi harbor at Umm Qasr is expected to be completed by around May 1, allowing larger ships with food aid and other supplies to dock.  A large ship with U.S. food aid is expected to dock in Al 'Aqabah, Jordan, in the next few days and the food will be trucked to the Jordan-Iraq border, he said.

A top reconstruction priority in Iraq is repairing the county's electrical power plants so water and sanitation can be restored, as well as street lighting to help reduce looting, Natsios said.

The poor water situation in Iraq is not the result of the war, Natsios said.  He said that for more than 15 years, Iraq's Baath party has failed to properly maintain water plants, causing an increase in child death rates in some parts of the country.  Iraq's child mortality rate is now higher than India's, he said.

The World Bank at its spring meetings April 12-13 agreed to soon send assessment teams to Iraq to determine the country's needs in each of several sectors such as water, sanitation, health and education, Natsios noted.

USAID expects its involvement in rebuilding Iraq to last only 1-2 years as compared to an expected 10-20 years in Afghanistan.  Iraq, he noted, was a developed country and at one time had a large middle class.

One of the first things USAID will do in Iraq will be to distinguish, with the help of people at the village and neighborhood levels, between "competent technocrats" -- doctors, lawyers and engineers -- who may have been forced to join the Baath party in order to keep their jobs, and party members who committed atrocities.  Good technical people will be essential to the rebuilding efforts, he said.

During questioning, Natsios said he expects USAID's major contractors will award many subcontracts to regional firms.

USAID's efforts in Iraq will not diminish its work in Sudan or other African nations, he added.  But, he said, before reconstruction in Sudan can begin, the people of that country must reach a peace settlement.

(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.  Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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    See also: http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/
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Wed, 30 Apr 2003 00:56:42 -0400 (EDT)

U.S. Food Donations to Iraq Arriving in the Region

(USAID reports U.S. is providing 590,000 metric tons of food to the Iraqi people) (580)

On April 30 wheat donated by the United States is expected to arrive at the southern Jordanian port of Aqaba and will then be transported to Iraq by the United Nations' World Food Program (WFP).
 

"In total, the United States is providing up to 590,000 metric tons of food worth $375 million to feed the people of Iraq," said the press release.  "A total of $260 million is being provided to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) for food procurement, distribution and logistical support."

Following is the text of USAID's press release on U.S. food donations to the Iraqi people:

(begin text)

U.S. WHEAT DONATION FOR IRAQ TO ARRIVE IN JORDAN

Aqaba, Jordan -- The M/V Free Atlas, a cargo vessel carrying 28,000 metric tons of donated American wheat for the people of Iraq, is expected to arrive at the Port of Aqaba on Wednesday, April 30th.  The arrival of the M/V Free Atlas follows shortly the arrival of other shipments of donated American food to the Port of Umm Qasr in Iraq and the Port of Mersin in Turkey.

The M/V Free Atlas left Galveston, Texas on April 4th, and is carrying wheat grown in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  The wheat comes from the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, an emergency reserve administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  In March, President Bush authorized the immediate release of 200,000 metric tons of wheat from the Trust for the people of Iraq, with another 400,000 tons to be made available as needed. The wheat aboard the M/V Free Atlas is enough to feed 2.3 million Iraqis for one month.

The shipment aboard the M/V Free Atlas is only a portion of the total food aid the U.S. government is providing to the Iraqi people.  The M/V Yellow Rose arrived in Mersin, Turkey, on Thursday, April 24, with 28,500 metric tons of U.S. hard winter wheat, and the M/V Rise will arrive on Wednesday, April 30, at the Port of Umm Qasr, with a cargo of locally-procured rice from Pakistan purchased with part of a recent U.S. donation of $200 million to the WFP.  In total, the United States is providing up to 590,000 metric tons of food worth $375 million to feed the people of Iraq.  A total of $260 million is being provided to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) for food procurement, distribution and logistical support.

Upon arrival at the Port of Aqaba, WFP will take custody of the donated wheat for onward transport and distribution in Iraq.  This partnership between the United States and the WFP is an example of the cooperation between the United States and various multilateral agencies in meeting the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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    See also: http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/
============================================================


Wed, 7 May 2003 12:10:11 -0400 (EDT)

Coalition Forces in Iraq Continue to Be Targets of Hostile Fire

(Meanwhile, humanitarian efforts aid country's recovery) (1260)

Five shooting incidents occurred in Iraq from May 4-6, according to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

One soldier was wounded during these encounters. Losses to attacking forces were unknown, CENTCOM said.

The attacks -- which targeted U.S. forces -- included a May 4 incident where an unknown assailant fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a helicopter near Fallujah. Two other incidents occurred May 5, and two more May 6.

COALITION EFFORTS INVOLVED IN IRAQ'S RECOVERY

U.S. and coalition forces continue efforts to help Iraq recover, according to CENTCOM. Electrical power in Baghdad has been partially restored, and the goal is to complete the system restoration before the onset of summer peak load time. In other actions, the British 1st Armored Division ---assisting the World Food Program delivered 14,000 tons of rice to Umm Qasr.

CENTCOM also noted that U.S. Marines are involved in a wide range of measures to assist with the reestablishment of a safe and secure environment. The marines are helping to reorganize and pay local police forces, conducting joint patrols with Iraqi police, cleaning up and restoring police sub-stations to prepare them for use, and assessing Iraqi towns to ensure safe entry of humanitarian aid operations. Marines are also making arrangements to coordinate regular service at propane refilling stations.

Furthermore, at least 16 governmental and non-governmental humanitarian organizations, are now operating in Iraq, --supplementing humanitarian efforts by the governments of Spain and Japan -- CENTCOM states.

Concerning enemy prisoners of war, CENTCOM says more than 6,600 have been paroled and released, while about 2,400 remain in detention.

Following are the texts of the CENTCOM announcements:

(begin text)

UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND

May 6, 2003

COALITION FORCES CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SECURITY AND STABILITY

CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar -- Coalition forces continue to focus military operations on conducting security patrols, humanitarian assistance missions, facility assessments and securing sensitive sites in key Iraqi cities.

An individual with a rifle fired numerous times early this morning [May 6] at an observation post manned by U.S. 3rd Infantry Division soldiers near the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance headquarters in Baghdad. The sentry fired back but was unable to determine if the assailant was hit. No soldiers were injured.

A convoy from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was fired at with small arms early this morning [May 6] as they approached an overturned vehicle. They returned fire and took an alternate route back to base. No soldiers were injured.

Three Iraqis armed with AK-47s and grenades fired on 3rd Infantry Division soldiers who were investigating a reported fire in downtown Baghdad May 5th. The soldiers returned fire and the Iraqis fled the scene. One soldier was wounded in the right knee from an enemy round.

United States Army military policemen were fired upon by individuals traveling in two civilian vehicles near An Nasiriyah May 5th. The soldiers returned fire at the subjects, who fled. They were pursued but not caught. The soldiers sustained no casualties.

An unidentified individual fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment OH-58D armored reconnaissance helicopter near Fallujah on the evening of May 4. The aircraft was not hit and there were no injuries.

Despite the danger, Coalition forces remain dedicated to providing a secure and stable environment throughout Iraq, so that the delivery of humanitarian aid and infrastructure repair can continue.

(end text)

(begin text)

UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND

May 6, 2003

COALITION EFFORTS AID IRAQ'S RECOVERY

AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar -- Coalition forces continue to assist in developing a safer, more secure environment in Iraq. Among recent developments:

-- Iraqi and U.S. military engineers have made the majority of the 132-kilovolt systems in Baghdad operable and now are focusing on the 400-kilovolt 'Super Grid' system to have the majority of it working prior to the peak summer load time.

-- Marine Corps Civil Affairs personnel coordinated the payment of the Ar Rumaythah police as well as coordinating the delivery of food and supplies to alleviate shortages in the city of Ad Diwaniyah.

-- The 1st United Kingdom Armored Division coordinated the delivery of 14,000 metric tons of World Food Program-donated rice to Umm Qasr.

-- Security and stability in southern Iraq has enabled many governmental, non-governmental and private relief organizations to begin work there. These organizations include, but are not limited to: Ockenden International, Dan Church Aid, Mine Action Team, World Food Program, Amnesty International, Star of Hope, International Committee of the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Development Program, Lee & Associates Rescue Equipment, Inc., United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Knowledge Discovery & Data mining, Lima Petroleum Services, Bechtel Corporation, and the governments of Japan and Spain.

-- The 1st Marine Division completed assessments of Al Hillah, As Samawah, Ad Diwaniyah, An Najaf, Karbala, and Al Kufah. Additionally, USAID and their Disaster Assistance Response Teams also assessed these towns as permissive. Both assessments concluded that the areas are reasonably safe to conduct the needed humanitarian assistance projects along with the help of desiring agencies.

-- The United Nations Security Coordinator is beginning to conduct assessments in designated areas of Iraq.

-- The Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance is starting operations in Al Hillah.

-- The Iraqi Refugee Aid Counsel continues to deliver humanitarian assistance in An Najaf and Karbala.

-- Marines from the 1st Marine Division have been conducting joint patrols with the local police in several cities to maintain the peace.

-- In Al Hillah May 4, Marines began cleaning and renovating police sub-stations throughout the city. They anticipate being able to operate out of the sub-stations by May 7.

-- In As Samawah, Marines of the 5th Regiment and Iraqi civilian police conducted four joint Iraqi-Marine patrols and manned five joint traffic control points.

-- Marines in Ad Diwaniyah assisted in the reorganization of the local police force with an emphasis on retaining quality personnel over the quantity of officers. The Marines hired 277 regular and traffic police officers and continued joint patrols.

-- Marines in An Najaf are working closely with the police chief and the mayor of the city in the implementation of a new training plan for the local police department. The 7th Marine Regiment paid most of the police force in An Najaf yesterday. They are also focusing on developing a program of police training with the intent of increasing the professionalism of the Iraqi police there.

-- The Karbala police department will be receiving weapons from the Marines to assist in law enforcement once the details of their training program are finalized.

-- Task Force Tarawa continues to make strides in south-central Iraq and has coordinated a regular propane refilling scheduled to begin soon.

-- Substation repairs continue and the international humanitarian organization known as GOAL has delivered five tons of medical supplies and continues re-stocking of hospitals.

-- Among the relief agencies involved in the area are: GOAL, USAID, DART, International Medical Corps, World Health Organization, Operation Mercy, Refugees International, UNICEF, Star of Hope and the Kuwait Red Crescent.

-- Two hundred and twenty eight Iraqi soldiers captured during Operation Iraqi Freedom were released after accepting parole.

-- Three thousand, four hundred and twenty-six Iraqi soldiers captured during OIF have been paroled to date.

-- Additionally, 3,217 Iraqi soldiers have been released after determining they were noncombatants.

-- Currently, approximately 2,400 enemy prisoners of war are being detained by the Coalition.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

See also: http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/


Transcript: Powell, Cimoszewicz on Poland's Help for Liberated Iraq

(Press stake-out after State Dept. meeting) (720)

Secretary of State Colin Powell met with Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz in Washington May 6 and said he is very pleased that Poland "is once again stepping up to its responsibilities by participating more fully in the activities of the operation of the ORHA," the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance that is helping liberated Iraqis rebuild their country.

"[W]e are looking forward to Poland participating in stabilization activities in the future, and good discussions have been held in that regard," Powell said in remarks to reporters outside the State Department.

Cimoszewicz said his country is ready to participate, especially by sharing with Iraqi authorities the specific experience and knowledge gained during Poland's recent political and economic transformation.

Following is a transcript of the press stake-out:

(begin transcript)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman May 6, 2003

Remarks By Secretary of State Colin L. Powell And Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz After Their Meeting

May 6, 2003 C Street Entrance Washington, D.C.

(11:30 a.m. EDT)

SECRETARY POWELL: Good morning. Both the Minister and I have to get to other meetings, so we will have to keep this brief. But it is a great pleasure to welcome my colleague, Foreign Minister Cimoszewicz, and we had a good discussion. I had the opportunity to thank the Minister for Polish participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom, where Polish troops have done a superb job. And now we are looking to the future, and I am very pleased that Poland is once again stepping up to its responsibilities by participating more fully in the activities of the operation of the ORHA -- organization, reconstruction and humanitarian activities. And we are looking forward to Poland participating in stabilization activities in the future, and good discussions have been held in that regard.

Poland, the Polish people, have been good friends to the United States; more importantly, good friends to the people of Iraq, willing to join a coalition that liberated the people of Iraq. And on this 60th anniversary commemoration of the Warsaw ghetto uprising -- a symbol of freedom, a symbol of liberation -- people are willing to fight for their freedom, it is a pleasure to welcome the Minister here and to thank him for the support of the Polish people.

Mr. Minister.

FOREIGN MINISTER CIMOSZEWICZ: Thank you. After a successful military operation in Iraq, now we need to get success in the reconstruction of this country. The Iraqi people deserve that, but also, success or failure in that phase of common activity in Iraq will have broad consequences, international consequences.

Poland is going to be consistent. We are ready to participate in stabilization activities. We are going to be active in the reconstruction of Iraq. We believe we can share our special and specific experience and knowledge, especially concerning economic transformation as well as institution building at the low level, I mean at the level of local authorities, because in last several years, with our political and economic transformation, we got that kind of specific experience.

We also believe that we need to invite and encourage as many as possible our foreign partners to join us in Iraq, and Poland is very interested in getting to such a situation. We would like to have as many as possible European partners to work together with us. To much extent, our common success will depend on that.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary --

SECRETARY POWELL: Barry, I only have time for one. I'm sorry, I've got --

QUESTION: And I'm awfully sorry it's off the point, but it's in the paper. Have you had a chance to talk to the French Minister about the report that France permitted Iraqis -- issued visas, facilitated Iraqis' travel to Syria?

SECRETARY POWELL: No.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary --

SECRETARY POWELL: Forgive me. Forgive me.

(The Secretary escorts the Minister to his car.)

SECRETARY POWELL: Sorry, gang.

QUESTION: Have you looked into those reports at all, though, Mr. Secretary?

SECRETARY POWELL: It is one press report. I mean, I just started my day and I have not looked into it. I don't know the source of it. I don't know if it is accurate or not accurate.

QUESTION: Will you look into it?

SECRETARY POWELL: Yes.

(end transcript)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

See also: http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/


Transcript: State Department Noon Briefing, May 6, 2003

(Burma, Russia/Iran, Iraq, Italy, Poland, Belarus/Iraq, France, counterterrorism, Turkey, Middle East, Zimbabwe, South Asia) (4580)

only parts about Iraq reprinted here (marked in bold print in Table of Contents)

State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher conducted the noon briefing May 6.

Following is the State Department transcript:

(begin transcript)

U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing Index Tuesday, May 6, 2003 12:55 p.m. EDT

BRIEFER: Richard Boucher, Spokesman

BURMA -- Status of National Reconciliation / Treatment of Political Prisoners

RUSSIA/IRAN -- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister's Comments on Iran's Nuclear Program

IRAQ -- Money and other Assets Stolen from Central Bank in Baghdad by Regime -- Stabilization Forces in Iraq / Participation / UN Resolution -- Status of UN Resolution on Iraq -- Iraqi Nuclear Scientists Concerns about Security

ITALY -- Secretary Powell's Meeting with Italian Defense Minister Martino

POLAND -- Secretary Powell's Meeting with Polish Foreign Minister

BELARUS/IRAQ -- Reported Military Aid Given to Iraq by Belarus

FRANCE -- Allegations France Provided Passports to Escaping Iraqi Officials

COUNTERTERRORISM -- Assessment of Threat by Al-Qaida to the United States

TURKEY -- Under Secretary Grossman's Meeting with the Turkish Minister of Defense

MIDDLE EAST -- Secretary Powell's Upcoming Travel to Region -- Secretary Burn's Travel to the Region / Meetings

ZIMBABWE -- Mugabe Meeting with the Presidents of South Africa, Nigeria and Malawi

SOUTH ASIA -- Deputy Secretary Armitage's Travel to South Asia

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

TUESDAY, MAY 6, 2003 (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

12:55 p.m. EDT

QUESTION: Regarding the reports today that a large amount of money, over a billion or so, was taken from the Central Bank in Baghdad, any idea where that money might have gone? There were reports that perhaps -- and theories -- that it might have gone into Syria somehow with these large vans. Any idea where they -- where this amount of money might have gone?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any specifics on that at this point. I would say that, you know, we do know from Treasury Department officials in Baghdad that approximately $1 billion was taken from the Iraqi Central Bank by Saddam Hussein and his family just prior to the start of combat operations. At this point, I don't have any more details for you here.

We are working to hunt down the assets that were stolen by the regime of Saddam Hussein. We will actively follow up on all of the leads. All of these assets are the property of the Iraqi people and should be returned to them. So we will continue to encourage other governments to take appropriate measures. If they show up, any of these assets show up anywhere, to track down, to freeze the ill-gotten gains of Saddam Hussein and his family.

Treasury has several advisors in the country, in Iraq, to try to help look into these issues and work with the Iraqis as they get their financial system back up and running. But at this point, we don't know where that specific cash might have ended up.

QUESTION: Was this brought up with Assad when the Secretary visited him?

MR. BOUCHER: I am not sure this item specifically came up. Let me check and see if I can get anything on that.

QUESTION: You said you heard -- learned from Treasury. Is that Iraqi Treasury officials or U.S. Treasury officials?

MR. BOUCHER: U.S. Treasury officials, who are in Baghdad working with Iraqis and the Central Bank and elsewhere.

QUESTION: And so their information about this came from their Iraqi counterparts, who said that Saddam's family came in and wheeled out wheelbarrows full of cash?

MR. BOUCHER: That's our understanding, yes.

QUESTION: Do you have any other --

MR. BOUCHER: I think -- well, you know that U.S. forces -- the number I was given was about $600 million they found in currency at Saddam's palaces. And there is $100 million in U.S. currency and 90 million Euros that were located in an armored vehicle last month. Don't know exactly where they came from, whether it was from the Central Bank or not, but that's an awful lot of cash they found already.

QUESTION: Two questions. If you could tell us what was said today in the meeting between the Secretary and the Italian Foreign Minister. And then a second question that could be related, might not be, is a status report on -- the creation of the stabilization zones in Iraq.

MR. BOUCHER: On the meeting with the Italian Defense Minister, it was today -- not a lot for it. The Secretary thanked Defense Minister Martino for Italy's participation in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, as well as in the humanitarian efforts and the reconstruction efforts in Iraq. They discussed issues like U.S.-European cooperation and NATO as well.

As far as the status of stabilization forces in Iraq, I think for any sort of military aspects and configurations of that, I'd leave it to the Pentagon to describe that. As you know, we have been in touch with a number of countries. Things are starting to come together. There have, in fact, been some meetings with the countries who might be interested in participating.

The Secretary discussed with the Polish Foreign Minister this morning the willingness of the Polish Government to consider a role in the stabilization forces, a prominent role in the stabilization forces. Secretary Rumsfeld has had meetings with the Polish Defense Minister as well. So a lot of this is starting to come together now, but I am not sure if we are ready to describe the final configuration.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) the question, or do you know?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know.

QUESTION: The Polish Minister came out and he said pretty much what you have said. I mean, they volunteered.

MR. BOUCHER: Good. Yes, he did. That's why I am saying it.

QUESTION: I don't mean the Italians have to say the same thing. But, apparently, you didn't hear anything that strong from the Italian Defense Minister, so far as reconstruction and stabilization?

MR. BOUCHER: I am not in a position to talk in any more specifics about the meeting with the Italian Defense Minister, and I don't want to speak for the Italian Government. I know the Polish Government itself has spoken in public about their willingness to take, in fact, a leading role in some aspects of the stabilization forces. That is something we welcome, something we talked to them about and worked with them on to try to see how it will all -- try to make it all come together in a way that meets the needs of the people of Iraq for security and stability in their lives.

QUESTION: Richard, two things the Polish Foreign Minister said was that, one, that Poland would like to see a UN resolution giving the stabilization force a mandate. Now, I know you're going to refer everything military to the Pentagon, but if it goes to the UN, presumably it's going to be you guys up there trying to get one, if that's what you go decide to do. So what's the current thinking on that?

And also, is there any -- is the United States uninterested in countries such as Germany or other anti-war nations taking part in a stabilization force?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't think we have said we are uninterested in anybody at this point. We are interested in finding out who wants to participate and then putting back -- putting together the best possible configuration so that we can all meet this goal of helping the people of Iraq with their future stability, of helping the people of Iraq achieve more normal lives.
(compare this with question "Are other countries helping to fill the power vacuum?" from the US Council on Foreign Relations paper Postwar Iraq, J. Gruber)

As far as the UN mandate or the UN approval for this, you have heard, I think, from President Bush, Prime Minister Blair and the Portuguese Foreign Minister and Portuguese Prime Minister in the Azores that they were looking for a UN resolution that would endorse the post-conflict arrangements, and, indeed, that was -- post-conflict administration -- and that was repeated in Belfast. That is something that we have been looking for.

I talked to you yesterday about a resolution that would cover all the main areas that needed to be covered in the United Nations. Work on that is still underway. We are still discussing language with others. That resolution, generally, would remove the sanctions burden on the Iraqi people, would encourage the international community to help rebuild Iraq, and it would get the United Nations more involved in Iraq's reconstruction.

So within that framework, I think many of these things would be supported. Whether they need to be specifically or not is for people to return to work out in language. But the overall goal is to do all these things that can help the Iraqi people return to a normal life.

QUESTION: So your idea, though, is that a separate resolution just for a force is not particularly needed, but -- and that, in fact, it specifically doesn't really even have to be mentioned in a larger UN resolution covering all aspects of reconstruction?

MR. BOUCHER: There are a number of interlinked areas that would be handled in the larger resolution. That is about as far as I can go for the moment without specifying what specific language may or may not be in it.

QUESTION: Yeah, well I guess I was a little bit confused. You don't see the -- according to the polls, what you're looking at -- and others -- what you're looking at is the splitting up into four, you know, four zones. You don't think that that's the kind of thing that needs to be laid out specifically in a UN resolution?

MR. BOUCHER: It doesn't necessarily need to be, no.

QUESTION: On the first part of Matt's question, the Polish Minister, on the side, continued and spoke specifically of wishing Germany were part of this. That isn't clear to me if he meant reconstruction, stabilization or both, but he specified he would like to see Germany in it. Is any country disqualified because of its stand during the war?

MR. BOUCHER: I was asked that five minutes ago. I don't have a new answer. I will stick with what I said to Matt when he asked the question.

QUESTION: Yeah, but he happened to mention Germany.

MR. BOUCHER: Matt asked the question five minutes ago. I answered it. Thank you.

QUESTION: Okay, I missed it.

MR. BOUCHER: Joel.

QUESTION: Richard, there are reports concerning Belarus, they may have give military aid to Saddam prior and during the war. And also there are news headlines in our Washington Times newspaper saying that the French aided the Iraqis in fleeing. Some -- they gave passports to some of the Iraqis so they could flee into France or go elsewhere. Do you have any comments concerning that?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't, particularly. I think each of the nations involved will have to account for their past behavior, what they may or may not have done. You will have to ask them for information on that. I don't have the information here to corroborate those reports.

QUESTION: Secretary Powell said he'd be looking into it, though.

MR. BOUCHER: I'm sure we will.

QUESTION: Has he had a chance to do that?

MR. BOUCHER: Not in the last hour.

QUESTION: Per chance, when you say --

MR. BOUCHER: No. I don't have any information for you one way or the other on those reports. Nothing that I have would corroborate them. But that's just where we are today.

QUESTION: Does that mean that you have nothing in your book there to corroborate it or there's nothing at all --

MR. BOUCHER: On the story of the French passports, I would say at this point we are not able to corroborate the report.

QUESTION: Or dismiss it?

QUESTION: It is probably foolish to pursue this, but this -- French passport issue was or was not a subject that Secretary Powell brought up in Damascus or that Ambassador Kattouf has brought up?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't believe we heard anything about this issue until today.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Richard, when you say you don't have anything to corroborate it, do you have anything that would indicate it's not true? Either, I mean, can you just -- you wouldn't dismiss it at this point, either?

MR. BOUCHER: I think, first of all, the French Government has spoken about this, I believe will speak again, and says it's not true. We have nothing that would lead us to doubt that at this point.

QUESTION: I'm a little bit curious, though, about where you say each of the nations involved are going to have to look at their -- what they did in the past, and they are going to have to account for the actions that they did or did not do. Exactly why does a country have to account for something it didn't do? Or is that -- I'm curious because this is obvious -- this is something that your colleague, Mr. Fleischer, at the White House said as well -- that the French are going to have to account for whatever they did or didn't do.

Now, are you suggesting that didn't -- their decision not to participate in the war -- that's what you mean? Or are you talking specifically about this passport issue? And if they didn't do it, they are still going to have to account for why they --

MR. BOUCHER: No, I'm not talking specifically about this issue about accounting for why they didn't do, no. I am making a general comment that in some places people might have done things or in some cases they may not have stopped things from happening and there's -- but in any case, I'm not giving you -- I'm not putting out any information or trying to corroborate these reports because I don't have any information that would corroborate these specific reports.

Sir.

QUESTION: Can you clarify something we talked about yesterday about the resolutions of the UN? You spoke about a principal resolution and then a number of auxiliary ones. Other officials have talked about an omnibus resolution. Is that the -- what you call a principal resolution? Or is there a difference between the omnibus and the principal resolution?

MR. BOUCHER: I think we changed the word omnibus because of the vehicular implications of it. It's not a Christmas tree. It is an attempt to deal with the interlinked issues -- the interlinked issues of removing the burdens on the Iraqi people; providing for more international involvement to help them; providing for greater -- get the United Nations more involved in Iraq's reconstruction; and do things like get a United Nations coordinator to coordinate UN activities there and participate in a lot of the different aspects of what's going on.

So it is a series of linked issues that would be done in a principal or an omnibus resolution. Same thing.

QUESTION: Can I also ask, some Council members are differentiating between civilian sanctions and the arms embargo and other sanctions that might be there. In those negotiations that you're going to have with the Council members, are you going to also make that difference between civilian sanctions --

MR. BOUCHER: We have said before that we would expect normal restrictions on international arms trade or nuclear trade or missile trade or whatever would apply to Iraq, as they do to other countries. Whether there is any special mention, need for a special mention of this or special arrangements for Iraq, I don't know at this point. I think I would just say that the basic goal is to remove any burden that sanctions might make on the Iraqi people, to remove anything that prevents them from becoming normal citizens who are allowed to engage in trade and rebuild their country, importing what they need to do that. 


New York May 7, 2003

Transcript: Powell Stresses Durability of Trans-Atlantic Alliance

(Says differences over Iraq "are behind us now") (3740)

New York -- Emphasizing the importance and durability of the trans-Atlantic Alliance and NATO, Secretary of State Colin Powell said May 7 that differences over the war in Iraq "are behind us now. Now we have to come together again" to help the people of Iraq.

Addressing a meeting of the Foreign Policy Association, the secretary highlighted the ties between the United States, the European Union, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization saying they are too important to ever be taken lightly. Powell and Javier Solana, EU high representative for foreign policy, were guests of honor at the organization's gala annual dinner.

Powell said that the United States would be presenting a new draft resolution to the Security Council that would ask the U.N. "to play a vital role" and lift sanctions against the Iraqis "so that they now can engage in normal commerce with the world."

"More importantly," he said, "it will be a resolution that can bring us all together to give the Iraqi people a better life and hope for a much brighter future."

Secretary of State Powell said he was confident that Security Council members would not bring up the divisions -- "not fight old battles" -- that prevented the council from supporting military action against Iraq earlier in the year.

The United States, and the nations of NATO and the EU "have a special role to defend liberty and open opportunity in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in other areas around the world that are a challenge to the international community," he said.

"If many of our allies and friends in Europe took part in the liberation of Iraq and other friends and allies in Europe did not support our efforts, that is all behind us now. Now we have to come together again ... to help the Iraqi people take their place in the world, take their place in the world as a free, stable, self-governing country," Powell said.

He described the alliances as "vibrant institutions made up of dynamic democracies" which will not always agree, but should be able to overcome their differences to tackle the most challenging issues of the day. "Independent actions and internal pressures are not unheard of within the United States or among the states of Europe," he said. "And so I do not rush to call every contretemps a crisis."

Americans and Europeans can work together making different kinds of contributions in different situations, Powell said.

"Europe doesn't want to be considered only a checkbook, and the United States doesn't want to be seen as just a juggernaut. We do not have to work together the same way every time," he said.

"We can, and do, work together through informal coalitions of the willing, sometimes forged with non-Europeans and American participants as well. Whether it's combating terrorism and proliferation; creating conditions for sustainable development; stemming infectious disease, such as HIV/AIDS, the greatest weapons of mass destruction on the face of the earth today; or promoting good governance, none of us can hope to meet these complex challenges by working alone," said Powell.

Following is the transcript of the secretary's remarks:

(begin transcript)

Foreign Policy Association's Annual Dinner Secretary Colin L. Powell New York Hilton Hotel New York, New York May 7, 2003

Thank you so very much, ladies and gentlemen, for that warm welcome, and I thank you, John Whitehead, my old friend and colleague from the Reagan years, for your warm, kind and generous introduction. It is a special honor to be introduced by such a distinguished public servant as John, who served in the State Department at one time and I think is on every non-profit board in New York City. (Laughter and Applause.)

It is a great pleasure to be here with the premier of Quebec, and we have had a nice conversation, and other distinguished guests, and especially the Foreign Minister of Romania who is here, my dear friend Mircea Geoana. Good to see you, Mr. Foreign Minister. Welcome. (Applause.)

And it is always a joy to see these wonderful young people in front of me, students in the course of the evening, but please give a special hello to these West Point cadets in front of us with their -- (Applause.) I don't know why I did that. They didn't let me in West Point. (Laughter.) They said I was Christmas help. (Laughter.)

I really want to express my thanks to the Foreign Policy Association for providing me this opportunity before such a distinguished audience to offer some thoughts to you this evening about U.S.-European relations. I am especially pleased to do it in the presence of a good friend of mine, and someone who will share honors with me this evening, Javier Solana. (Applause.)

Henry Kissinger once lamented that he did not have a number he could call when he wanted to speak to Europe. That's not my problem. (Laughter.) I have Javier's number.

I also have many other numbers in Europe, Lord Robertson and so many others, and they all have my number. In fact, my European counterparts and I spend a good part of every day talking to one other, staying in touch, in constant touch, and there is no European leader that I spend more time talking to, and whose advice I value more highly than that of Javier.

Though the United States is not a member of the European Union, he and I can attest to how closely we work together almost every day, and very often well into the night in world affairs. Not only interests and institutions matter, people with ideas, people with talent and people with energy matter -- people like Javier. He is both a visionary and a pragmatist. He solves problems, he doesn't make them. He identifies needs and he delivers results. He won't sacrifice concrete achievements for airy theories. There is no stronger or more able an advocate for both the European Union and the NATO Alliance, those two great organizations that we work so closely with, than my friend Javier Solana. No one understands their strengths and shortcomings better. And no one has worked harder or more effectively than he has to help these vitally important organizations adapt to meet 21st century challenges. So, Javier, I am very, very pleased to be with you and to share this honor with you. (Applause.)

For more than 50 years, the ties between the United States and our allies and friends in Europe have been the sinews of security, democracy and prosperity in the transatlantic region. They are the stuff with which President Bush's vision of "a Europe whole, free and at peace" is being built. And in our increasingly globalized age, strong Euro-Atlantic partnerships will be key to security, good governance and growth not only in the transatlantic region but worldwide.

Time and again for more than a decade, with great drama, pundits and analysts have predicted the demise of NATO, growing tensions between the Alliance and the European Union, and crises in the transatlantic relationships. Time and again, I've had to listen to charges of wither NATO . I have had to listen to people say, Well, the Warsaw Pact is over, it is gone. Why isn't NATO over and gone? I don t know how many former Soviet generals I have spoken to who kept saying to me, Well, Colin, since we no longer need an alliance, why do you need an alliance called NATO? And time and time again, they have not understood the reality at all. Time and time again, pundits have been wrong. What we have seen instead of the demise of NATO and other half-century old institutions, we are seeing them rapidly and successfully evolving and expanding and changing to meet profound geostrategic challenges. They have changed as the changes have come to them. We have gone through it all -- the collapse of Soviet communism, the consolidation of new democracies, and the chilling dawn of a post-September 11 world.

Despite the dire prognostications, NATO shows absolutely no signs of shutting down. Why would it? Why should it? You don t close a club that people keep lining up to get in to. A few weeks ago, I warmly congratulated the European Union, when in Athens ten more countries signed their accession treaty for membership in the Union. And I know that tomorrow Javier will heartily greet the expected vote in the U.S. Senate for NATO's further enlargement seven more countries and Minister Geoana will be with us in Washington tomorrow and I hope can deliver that to you tomorrow, my friend.

As President Bush has said:

"All of Europe's democracies from the Baltic to the Black Sea and all that lie between should have the same chance for security and freedom and the same chance to join the institutions of Europe."

Not only is NATO welcoming new members, it has also seized an historic opportunity to support Russia's desire for greater integration into the Euro-Atlantic community and it has done so by establishing a NATO-Russia Council. That, too, is part of the transformation of the Alliance. Our vision for Europe encompasses all of NATO's new partners, including Ukraine and countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

We are helping them advance the political, economic, and military reforms that will allow them to succeed, allow them to thrive in a 21st century world. At the same time, a strong and growing European Union is also good for the transatlantic Alliance. A strong and growing NATO is good for the European Union. And both are good for the United States, for the nations of Europe and for the world beyond our Euro-Atlantic community. There is a great deal of work ahead.

To cite only one example, we are committed to seeing through all the efforts that we have made in southeastern Europe. Throughout the region, new institutions are being shaped, economies rebuilt and war criminals are being brought to justice. Just a few weeks ago, the European Union took over NATO's stabilization mission in Macedonia one great organization handing off to another. And to show you how complicated it can be and how tricky it can be, the European Union's mission now in NATO involved 27 countries putting together a force of 330 soldiers. Now this is a challenge for a battalion commander. (Laugher.) But it was done and it showed how everyone wanted to be a part of it. Everyone wanted to play a role. Everyone wanted to be part of this effort to bring peace and stability and a sense of calm and a sense of hope to this nation, Macedonia, that has had such difficulty and still needs the help of friends elsewhere in Europe, whether they come under NATO flag or an EU flag. The point is that they come and they come to help and they come in peace. Whatever the division of labor, all of us know that the hopes we have created in the region will not become realities without our continued involvement and cooperation.

Just last week, I visited Tirana, Albania and took part in the signing of a new Adriatic charter with Albania, Croatia and Macedonia. They were adamant that the fourth signatory in that charter should be the United States of America not the EU in this case, not NATO in this case, but the United States and we were proud to do it. I was proud to be there representing the American people aligning themselves with these Adriatic nations who wanted this connection to the United States as well as integration into the European community and into, eventually, NATO.

Now, we are not just a transatlantic partner, we are also a trans-Adriatic partner. The Adriatic charter will serve as a path to Euro-Atlantic integration for the three emerging, struggling nations. And the charter will serve as a guide to full membership in NATO and other European institutions for them. Not so very long ago, the slogan was "out of area for NATO and even EU or out of business." You either learn to expand your presence and the missions you perform outside of the traditional NATO area or you won t be relevant. NATO stepped up to that challenge. The EU has stepped up to that challenge. Business is booming, and the concept of "out of area" has shifted so radically.

It used to mean the Balkans. And those of you who have experience will think back just five or eight years ago about how difficult it was to convince parliaments to just send troops to another part of Europe, into the Balkans, the peacekeeping operations. But in today's post-September 11 world, "out of area" extends far beyond the Balkans. It goes from Kosovo to Kabul in Afghanistan and Kirkuk in Iraq may not be far behind. Both NATO and the European Union are very much engaged "out of area." And because of their willingness to engage in places far away from Europe they have retained their relevance to world stability and security. And they are thriving, living dynamic organizations. They are involved "out of area" not to prove their relevance alone or impose their influence, but because so many of the 21st century security concerns that affect us originate elsewhere and are best dealt with on a cross-regional or worldwide basis.

For example, just last week, the United States, the European Union, together with our other two Quartet partners, the United Nations and Russia, came together and presented the Israelis and Palestinians with a plan, a roadmap, to help them back onto the road that will lead to a lasting Middle East peace. Working together, we help them do that. Both NATO and the European Union continue to play important roles in the campaign against terrorism, in Afghanistan and across the world.

Every day, U.S. and European experts are arresting terrorists, breaking up their networks, blocking their money, impeding their movement, denying them safe haven and otherwise defeating those who would do grievous harm to our free societies. As my friend, Foreign Minister Geoana, can attest, many aspirants to NATO and European Union membership have gone "out of area" with us as active participants in the global anti-terror effort.

Romania, for example, has provided a 400-man infantry battalion and a military police platoon to support the efforts of the coalition in Afghanistan. American and European diplomats worked hand-in-hand at the Bonn conference last year to help the Afghans establish the most representative leadership in form of government in all of Afghanistan's long history. We and our humanitarian and development agencies are spearheading the international recovery and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. And this coming August, NATO will take over the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul from the current Dutch and German command.

Beyond our collaborative efforts in Afghanistan, all members of the Alliance are now talking about a possible peacekeeping role in Iraq. So when I look at the NATO Alliance and I look at our relationship with the European Union, I see two very vibrant institutions made up of dynamic democracies, tackling some of the most challenging issues of the day. Sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing, but when disagreeing it is mostly over means not ends. We argue, we make up, we move on but always, always we are held together and driven forward by common values. With the big changes going on in the world and the complexity of the problems we confront, it would be remarkable if we weren't in disagreement from time to time. If there weren't frictions among us. By definition, the consensus that our democracies seek must be forged in honest, open, rigorous debate. We are all free and sovereign nations entitled to our on opinion. We should never seek agreement for agreement's sake and our goal should always be greater than a lowest common denominator. Each of us brings to any discussion our own experiences, our own perspectives, our history, and our own domestic politics.

Independent actions and internal pressures are not unheard of within the United States or among the states of Europe. And so I do not rush to call every contretemps a crisis. (Laugher and applause.) I do believe, however, that the concerns of Europeans and of Americans about our transatlantic relationship should never be expressed lightly or taken lightly.

The issues are too important and the stakes are too high to posture for effect. The point is to be effective. Asserting the Europeans prerogative to disagree with the United States, my good friend High Commissioner Chris Patten, the European Union's External Affairs Commissioner, once recalled Winston Churchill's observation that: "in working with allies, it sometimes happens that they develop opinions of their own." (Laughter.) This is unfortunate, but it is true. He is right. Our European allies have opinions and we have opinions, too. And it's true all around.

Many long-serving, long-standing members of the Alliance supported our position on Iraq, as did many of the newly invited members of NATO who chose to stand up and speak their minds rather than sit back, be intimidated and be silent. But if many of our allies and friends in Europe took part in the liberation of Iraq, and other friends and allies in Europe did not support our efforts, that is all behind us now. Now we have to come together again. Now, all of us, can come together to help the Iraqi people take their place in the world, take their place in the world as a free, stable, self-governing country.

Some important tasks, like stabilization, will be for military forces. Others tasks, such as humanitarian assistance, are tasks for aid agencies, non-governmental organizations.

There are roles for governments and NGOs alike in political reconstruction that needs to take place to help the Iraq people achieve their human and democratic rights.

The United Nations can be of great help in all of these areas. Later this week, we will present a new draft Security Council resolution to the Security Council that would ask the United Nations to play a vital role and that would lift the sanctions burden from the Iraqi people so that they now can engage in normal commerce with the world. More importantly, it will be a resolution that can bring us all together, to give the Iraqi people a better life and hope for a much brighter future. I am confident that all of our colleagues in the Security Council will work with determination and an earnestness to see if we can quickly come to agreement on a resolution that does not fight old battles but serves the interests of the Iraqi people as we put in place new government, founded on democratic principles and committed to live in peace with its neighbors. The United States has every expectation that the United Nations will play a vital role, but we as democracies, all of the nations represented in the Council and in NATO and the EU have a special role to defend liberty and open opportunity in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in other areas around the world that are a challenge to the international community. How well we perform that role of reaching out and helping is how we ultimately shall be judged, not by this or that passing dispute within our Euro-Atlantic family of democracies. In this great effort, we must bring every tool of statecraft to bear: political, economic, intelligence, technical, cultural, diplomatic, and, when necessary, the use of military force. Not every country has to make the same kind of contribution.

Europe doesn't want to be considered only a checkbook, and the United States doesn't want to be seen as just a juggernaut. We do not have to work together the same way every time. Americans and Europeans can, and do, work together, work together very effectively through NATO and the European Union. We can, and do, work together through informal coalitions of the willing, sometimes forged with non-European and American participants as well. Whether it's combating terrorism and proliferation, creating conditions for sustainable development, stemming infectious disease, such as HIV/AIDS, the greatest weapon of mass destruction on the face of the earth today, or promoting good governance, none of us can hope to meet these complex challenges by working alone.

General George C. Marshall, author of the plan for European recovery, is a great and personal hero of mine. Everyone in this room remembers the Marshall Plan. What people don't remember is that the purpose of the plan wasn't just Europe's economic revival.

The plan aimed higher and farther than that. It was designed, "to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist." Just as the Marshall Plan was about more than Europe's economy, the founders of the NATO Alliance knew that the Alliance was about more than containing communism.

And Monnet, Schuman and Adenauer knew that the European coal and steel community was about more than coal and steel. So, too, President Bush and the other leaders of our Euro-Atlantic community know that our efforts were, and are, about making, making absolutely real a hopeful vision of the world of the future -- a world free from the grip of fear and misery. A prosperous, peaceful world where the democratic values we all cherish can thrive.

Thanks in great measure to the concerted efforts of Americans and Europeans, efforts that have gone on for the past half century, we are much closer to that vision, much closer that world we dream of today. The spread of democratic and economic freedoms that together we have done so much to secure and engender, have opened unprecedented opportunities to help better the lives of millions on every continent. And the hope for realizing that great potential still rests to a great degree on strong and enduring partnerships between Europe and the United States. My good partner Javier and I still have a lot of work to do together. Don t forget my phone number, Javier.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

(end transcript)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)


May 8, 2003

Transcript: State Department Noon Briefing, May 8, 2003

(Foreign Service Day, China/SARS, Iraq, France, Russia, United Nations, NATO, Iran, Israel/Palestinian, Korea) (5620) (3740)

State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher conducted the noon briefing May 8.

Following is the State Department transcript:

(begin transcript, I have ommitted the following items 9 and 10, J. Gruber)

U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing Index Thursday, May 8, 2003 1:20 p.m. EDT

BRIEFER: Richard Boucher, Spokesman

DEPARTMENT -- Foreign Service Day

  1. CHINA -- Statement on United States Assistance to China To Combat SARS
  2. IRAQ -- Oil for Food Program -- Iraq Oil Contracts -- Lifting of UN Sanctions on Iraq -- Weapon Searches -- Spending of Oil Money -- Status of Iraqi Interim Authority
  3. FRANCE -- Consequences and Future Cooperation with the United States
  4. RUSSIA -- Assistant Secretary Holmes Travel -- Under Secretary Bolton Travel -- Russian and Iranian Interaction
  5. UNITED NATIONS -- New United Nations Resolution
  6. NATO -- DPC and NATO Deliberations -- National Atlantic Council and NATO Deployment
  7. IRAQ Iraqi Stabilization Iraqi Funds Frozen in Western Banks
  8. IRAN -- United States Position on Iran's Nuclear Program -- IAEA Report
  9. ISRAEL/PALESTINE -- Israeli Forces and Targeted Killings -- Palestinian Security Issues -- Moving Toward Roadmap
  10. KOREA -- Developments in North Korea
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2003 (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

1:20 p.m. EDT

MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. If I can, let me tell you about two things off the top. The first is that the Secretary will unveil the names of six Foreign Service employees on the American Foreign Service Association's Memorial Plaque tomorrow, May 9th, 10:15, C Street Diplomatic Lobby, in connection with Foreign Service Day.

This year's ceremony will honor six members of the Foreign Service family, including Laurence Foley, who was murdered in Amman, as we know. Additional members of the Foreign Service family are being honored because of recent change in ceremonial criteria to include those who have died in the line of duty in addition to the traditional criteria of heroic or other inspirational circumstances.

So Foreign Affairs Day is a longstanding tradition and we'll be doing that tomorrow.

Second of all, we'll be putting out a statement for you on U.S. assistance to China regarding -- in order to help China combat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. President Bush, in a conversation with President Hu at the end of April, offered to support China in its fight against SARS, as it's known, so we are providing additional assistance in terms of $500,000 in emergency funds to help China bolster its strained public health system. Money will be used by the Red Cross Society of China to purchase protective gear and other medical consumables, including thermometers and protective goggles, gowns and masks to protect against SARS.

Our Embassy in Beijing will be working with the Chinese authorities to monitor the procurement of those supplies.

And now I would be glad to take your questions about these or other issues.

QUESTION: A couple of areas, but let me try Iraq first and the resolution that you're proposing tomorrow. I have two questions. The first is, I can't put together allowing the Oil-for-Food program to go on for four months and, at the same time, lifting sanctions on Iraq. Is there some inconsistency there?

And the second is, does the U.S. want weapons searches to continue? Evidently not, but certainly not a UN weapons search.

MR. BOUCHER: You can't put these things together, but we can, and you'll see how it's done in the resolution when we table it tomorrow.

Lifting the sanctions -- think of it this way. Lifting the sanctions allows the Iraqi people to engage in normal commerce, to have a normal economy, to trade, to invest, to work, to buy things, to develop their own economy and develop their own resources. As they do that, unlike under the Saddam Hussein regime, they will have the wherewithal to buy their own food, to buy their own medicine, to take care of themselves, without depending on a feeding system that's powered by the Oil-for-Food program. As they sell their oil and do it in a manner that's transparent under the resolution, do it in a manner that's audited by international auditors, do it in a manner that's in cooperation with international financial institutions and others who can help, that money can be directed at supporting the Iraqi people.

So, as the private economy and the sales of oil to support the Iraqi people grow, then the provision of resources through the Oil-for-Food program can go down because it won't be necessary any more. This kind of organized distribution system won't be necessary because there will be a real economy that hasn't been allowed to thrive in Iraq for many years.

QUESTION: And what about weapon searches? There is no mention.

MR. BOUCHER: At this point, yeah, there is no mention. Well, I am not going to get into the text of the resolution.

QUESTION: I know.

MR. BOUCHER: But, at this point, I think you have seen our position fairly clearly. U.S. personnel are very active in searching Iraq to learn what we can about their programs of weapons of mass destruction. There was quite a detailed briefing yesterday at the Defense Department including -- talked about the discovery of a mobile vehicle that looks like the biological weapons van, biological van laboratory, that the Secretary spoke about on February 5th.

So we are finding things, we are getting information; we are talking to people now. But we all remember, as the Secretary outlined on February 5th, this is a well-hidden program. These are programs that were designed to be inspected. So as we work on this, we will find more and more information. We, ourselves, are putting more people on the ground.

But we also remember that Iraq is still a difficult security environment, it's still a quasi-military environment. I don't know how to describe it, but it's a security situation where the military has to be integrally involved in everything that goes on, and therefore they are the ones at this moment who are doing this work. Whether, at some point down the road, there is a role for UNMOVIC or others, we'll just have to see. We haven't ruled it out at this point, but it's not something that we think kicks in right away because of the nature of the circumstances right now in Iraq.

QUESTION: Good, thank you.

MR. BOUCHER: Terri.

QUESTION: Back to Oil-for-Food and the private economy. How do you envision -- and I understand that U.S. advisors are working with Iraq on this -- the money getting from the oil revenues out to the vast majority of the population who are, at this point, completely dependent on -- or, I guess, 60 percent of it is completely dependent, but 90 percent gets --

MR. BOUCHER: -- gets something from it.

QUESTION: Yeah. How is it going to dissipate enough to give these people out in the rural areas their food?

MR. BOUCHER: I talked about two or three aspects of this. One is the growth of the private economy, with most citizens of Iraq getting money through their businesses, their activities, their salaries, being able to fund government programs will have an effect. But second of all, then, some of this oil money would be spent by Iraqis, with international auditing, with transparency, with -- in cooperation with international financial institutions on projects that would develop Iraq, that would invest in Iraq, that would create opportunities in Iraq for the Iraqi people. So that's part of the growth as well.

QUESTION: That's why -- I mean, this suggestion is that the advisory board would include the World Bank and the IMF to expand the money that they get into other loans and grants?

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah. I won't talk in too much detail today because you all will see the text tomorrow, I assume, when it's tabled, if you haven't seen it already. But we specify the kinds of purposes that we would think everybody would want to see this money spent for, and that is specific areas where this money could benefit the Iraqi people. And there would be transparency, there would be audits, and there would be international involvement to ensure that those purposes were served by the money.

Jonathan.

QUESTION: Can I just take you up on exactly that, the auditing committee, which includes the World Bank and IMF? Would they have any say in how the money was spent or would they merely be ascertaining whether any of it had disappeared?

MR. BOUCHER: I'll leave that answer to looking at the resolution, maybe tomorrow, after we table it. We've called for a meeting tomorrow to table the resolution. I think that's tomorrow morning.

QUESTION: Well, it's kind of freely floating around.

MR. BOUCHER: Well, that may be. But I think if you look at the text, when you look at the text, you'll see that the purposes -- how this money can be used to benefit the Iraqi people, by the Iraqis with transparency and in consultation with the international financial institutions and others is fairly well specified in the resolution, and everybody would be cooperating to make sure the money went to those purposes.

QUESTION: What is the role of the future Iraqi interim authority in this draft resolution that you're going to present? And are you seeking through this resolution any kind of international recognition for this Iraqi authority?

MR. BOUCHER: One of the purposes that we've talked about for the resolution is to encourage people to help the Iraqi people, lift the sanctions, encourage people to help the Iraqi people, and help define the vital role that the United Nations can play.

Helping the Iraqi people stand up their own government through an interim authority, and then eventually their own government, is an important part of this, of Iraqis taking charge of their own affairs. So we would encourage international organizations, we would encourage non-governmental organizations, governments, as well as the UN through its coordinator, to support that process and to endorse, as we have said, that process.

QUESTION: Can we stay on this for one more?

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah.

QUESTION: Maybe this is too fine a point to deal with here, but as you described the Oil-for-Food program winding down, there are ongoing contracts. Is it a good assumption that those contracts will remain undisturbed? There's no letting of new contracts?

MR. BOUCHER: As you know, at the current moment, the Council has given the Secretary General authority to prioritize those contracts and to deal with them, so you'll see in the resolution how that is dealt with.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Yesterday, we talked a little bit about lifting versus suspending sanctions, and then the President came out and spoke. Is it still your understanding -- could you clarify again for us that what the President did was suspend the sanctions until the -- an Iraqi interim authority can be named? Is that still the explanation?

As it came from Cofer Black, there needs to be an Iraqi government in place before they can be lifted, but I still see stories referring to them as being lifted.

MR. BOUCHER: I don't quibble with those who write "lifted" because the impact, the application of sanctions has been lifted, even if the sanctions exist on paper.

Yes, you're right. In order to -- as we look at this, we have to be able to define an Iraqi government that is not supporting terrorism. And that's a bureaucratic or legal requirement that we'll fulfill, we would hope, in the near future.

Jonathan.

QUESTION: New subject. Yesterday evening, the Secretary spoke in New York, as you know, and he said that you had pretty well put your differences behind you with Europe after the Iraq dispute.

Does that mean that you are no longer considering any punitive measures against France, as you were talking about two weeks ago?

MR. BOUCHER: First of all, he didn't say that. And, second of all, I didn't say that. We never talked about punitive measures against France.

QUESTION: Repercussions.

MR. BOUCHER: Consequences.

QUESTION: Okay. Does that mean there are no longer any consequences? Consequences. Put it that way.

MR. BOUCHER: You want to ask that?

QUESTION: Yeah.

MR. BOUCHER: As I explained two weeks ago, when you asked me similar questions, obviously, we know about this history, we know what we have gone through, and we gauge our future actions accordingly.

I wouldn't agree with the first half of your question either, in that the Secretary didn't say we put our differences behind us. He said that these were matters that have been dealt with and we wanted to move on, but that's not quite the same as saying they have totally disappeared.

QUESTION: So there are still consequences possibly?

MR. BOUCHER: I expect that we will all gauge our behavior according to what has happened in the past, and according to how we can cooperate in the future. But the goal now, the focus now, is to cooperate in the future on the things that need to be done, including on this UN resolution, including in helping the people of Iraq, including the NATO deployment to Afghanistan, the war against terrorism, many other areas where, as the Secretary pointed out, we are working together and can work together more.

QUESTION: Well, on the flip side of that, you have a lot of countries coming to the White House for White House visits here at the State Department with Secretary Powell, just used Poland and, today, Denmark at the Pentagon as two -- and a couple of the NATO countries were very helpful, the new NATO countries.

What about people that say that --

MR. BOUCHER: Some pretty old NATO countries, too.

QUESTION: Okay, well --

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- I mean, specifically, the news ones. But what do you say to people that are saying that you are using some of these visits, some of these recent -- like the signing of the Singapore agreement today -- as rewards for countries that helped you in the coalition, and that there are rewards and punishments for people that don't -- that, according to how they treated the U.S. during the coalition in Iraq?

MR. BOUCHER: There is a lot of work to do, and there are a lot of things, a lot of ways that countries can get involved. The Secretary last night in his speech encouraged everybody to support this new UN resolution. Indeed, we are out around the world encouraging people to support the new UN resolution. Assistant Secretary Holmes is in Moscow today, will be going on to Germany. He's had good meetings with the Russians on the new UN resolution.

The Secretary, yesterday, talked about the new resolution with Secretary General Kofi Annan, he talked with Foreign Secretary Derbez, he talked with European High Representative Solana about the new resolution. We've sent a cable already to all our embassies, our ambassadors in all the Arab capitals for them to start talking about the resolution with the host governments, and we'll be sending a much broader cable, probably overnight, to all our embassies to talk to nations about the new UN resolution in something of more detail. Deputy Secretary Armitage is in Pakistan and has talked about the new resolution there.

So I wouldn't say we are differentiating between those who supported the last one and only working with them in supporting the new one, first of all. Point number one.

Point number two, we have a great deal many things underway with different countries. The Singapore Free Trade Agreement is a great thing. It was ready to be signed. And we're glad we did that. We don't just do Iraq.

So we have military cooperation with some governments that has been active in recent months, and as we look at stabilization in Iraq we have met with the United Kingdom, with the Polish Government, and talked about this in various fora. We've also had meetings and discussions with others who might be willing to contribute.

QUESTION: If I could up, though. Without the -- not including the notion of moving forward on Iraq and other things, but do you dispute the notion of some in Congress and elsewhere that now that the war is over and you had certain countries that supported you in the war, either publicly or with equipment or troops or anything, that now is the time to reward these allies and perhaps punish those that didn't support you?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't think we quite look at it that way. I would say that cooperation with a number of countries already is a solid basis for even more cooperation now as we go forward into the next stages. And so we're talking to many of the same governments who were part of the coalition about how we can continue to work together in the future. If others want to find ways of supporting that, either through the UN resolution, through humanitarian assistance, reconstruction assistance, that's certainly welcome as well. But certainly, those people that we cooperated with in the coalition want to keep cooperating, want to keep working together to achieve the results of a free and stable Iraq that we set out to achieve. We didn't just fight a war and start over. We fought a war in order to do something. We're still working on doing that.

QUESTION: Richard, I should have asked this yesterday, but does the resolution that we're pushing right now say anything about UN recognition of sovereignty of a future Iraqi government?

MR. BOUCHER: I think you should ask that tomorrow after we all look at the resolution together.

QUESTION: You can't preview and highlight?

MR. BOUCHER: I've previewed and highlighted about as much as I can.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. BOUCHER: Jonathan.

QUESTION: Richard, can I ask you about (inaudible) the consequences? I'm sure you'll recall that one of the ideas that was floated around was that the United States would shift its emphasis to the DPC in its NATO deliberations. Is that on the table?

MR. BOUCHER: It's been on the table for 30 years.

QUESTION: Okay, but do you still intend --

MR. BOUCHER: I'll give you the same answer you asked two weeks ago when we talked about this, that it has been on the table for 30 years -- I think that's how long the DPC has existed; that we look to work with all our allies on important issues that need to be handled. Because of the disagreements in NATO, allied support for our NATO ally Turkey I think was handled through the DPC. It was a serious matter. We're glad it finally was done.

On the other hand, the NATO deployment to Afghanistan, come summer, was handled through the North Atlantic Council -- all the allies participating in that decision. For the moment, the discussion of what NATO can do in Iraq in the stabilization phase is in the North Atlantic -- is with other members, all the other members of the North Atlantic Council. We'll see how administratively NATO ends up making whatever decisions it decides to make. There are obviously some things that are more appropriate for one place or the other, and some things that could go either place. But for the moment, this discussion on Iraq is with all the members of the North Atlantic Council.

QUESTION: Okay, can I just clarify that? Do you mean that you'll use the NAC whenever possible, and only resort to the DPC when you foresee a potential problem? Is that --

MR. BOUCHER: I'm not as steeped in NATO lore as I should be. I'm sure if you ask out there, they'll give you the definition of the roles. There are some things that are not appropriate for the NAC, some things that are not appropriate for the DPC, or maybe -- maybe it flows one way and not the other.

So I don't want to try to explain this. It's the same structure that has always existed, and we use it as appropriate in the circumstances. The fact that all the allies are interested in discussing potential NATO deployments to Iraq means that the discussion has been held with all of the members of the NAC.

Okay, Sonni.

QUESTION: Could you go over the current U.S. position on Iran, and the IAEA specifically? Are you pushing for a resolution in IAEA and -- against Iran? And, specifically, what would you want such a resolution to say?

MR. BOUCHER: The answer to the first question is yes, and you'll see what the answer to the rest of the questions is.

We have long made clear our concern, serious concern about Iran's active pursuit of nuclear weapons, as well as other weapons of mass destruction and longer range missile delivery systems. Iran now openly admits that it is pursuing a complete nuclear fuel cycle. We completely reject Iran's claim that it's doing this for peaceful purposes.

Iran admitted to constructing a nuclear enrichment -- uranium enrichment plant and heavy water plant only after it had no choice because this had been made public, as you know, starting with an Iranian opposition group. The first uranium enrichment plant could be used to produce highly enriched uranium for weapons. A heavy water plant could support a reactor for producing weapons grade plutonium.

There is no economic justification for a state that's rich in oil and gas like Iran to build hugely expensive nuclear fuel cycle facilities. Iran flares off more gas annually than the equivalent energy its desired reactors would produce. States with peaceful nuclear energy programs have nothing to hide, and Iran did its best to hide all of these nuclear fuel cycle activities.

Until this year, Iran had been the only state not to accept the International Atomic Energy Agency's 1992 call for states to declare new nuclear facilities before construction. It finally agreed to do so in late February, only because of intense pressure.

Iran has also refused for several years to sign the additional protocol with the IAEA, which would increase the agency's insight into Iran's nuclear activities. The United States has made clear to the International Atomic Energy Agency, to other governments and to the public that we strongly support a rigorous examination of Iran's nuclear activities. We look forward to a full report at the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors meeting in June, report to be presented by Director General ElBaradei then.

QUESTION: Richard.

MR. BOUCHER: Slow down.

Sir.

QUESTION: Do you think that the Iranians developing these weapons, nuclear weapon is a direct threat to the United States or to the area?

MR. BOUCHER: I am not going to make sweeping judgments at this point. We made very, very clear we think it's a very dangerous development, and that no country should be cooperating with Iran's nuclear program because it is used to support this kind of development.

QUESTION: Richard, you mentioned a uranium enrichment facility, which I am assuming you are talking about Natanz; and then you mentioned also a heavy water plant. Are you talking about the one in Arak, A-r-a-k?

MR. BOUCHER: Don't know.

QUESTION: Okay. And can you confirm here when the Iranians admitted to the heavy water plant?

MR. BOUCHER: I'd have to go back and see. I don't know off the top of my head. I'll check for you. Okay?

Terri.

QUESTION: Did Kim Holmes bring this up at his meetings in Moscow, or was he focusing just on the resolution?

MR. BOUCHER: I think Assistant Secretary Holmes met with the Foreign Minister, with international organizations people, and I think with the Deputy Foreign Minister. But Under Secretary Bolton was just in Moscow. Certainly, Under Secretary Bolton was discussing Iran as well as other kind of G-8 kind of subjects and nonproliferation issues with the Russians. So this is a regular topic of conversation for him and for others. Whether it specifically came up with Assistant Secretary Holmes, I don't know yet.

QUESTION: There's no progress to report after Bolton's meetings?

MR. BOUCHER: I would leave it to the Russians to speak for themselves what they are going to do about their nuclear cooperation.

QUESTION: Are there countries other than Russia who are wittingly or unwittingly helping the Iranians?

MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to go back and see if there's anything I can say on that, George.

QUESTION: Are you concerned about an arms race in the region if they acquire such weapons?

MR. BOUCHER: Our concern is about the potential acquisition of nuclear weapons by a state that's a known supporter of terrorism. This has been something that the President talked about. That's why he talked about the "axis of evil." We all understand this to be one of the most dangerous combinations of our age, and the United States, for many years, has pressed very hard for people to end nuclear cooperation with Iran because we think that it contributes to that kind of development.

QUESTION: Richard, I don't know if you can answer this -- it might be technical -- but can you give us any sense of comparison between the nuclear program we suspected Iraq had and the nuclear program that we believe Iran has?

MR. BOUCHER: No, I can't. That's too technical for me. I think I would look at the CIA/DIA 721 Report. You'll get a fairly accurate rundown of what we can say in public.

Elise, you had something?

QUESTION: It might be a little soon for you to have anything --

MR. BOUCHER: I love these questions that start out with, "It might be too technical," and I say, "Yes, it might be too technical." It may be a little soon? Yes, I can confirm it's a little soon. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Maybe this is -- Prime Minister Sharon apparently said today that he's willing to have talks with Syria with no preconditions. I was wondering if this is something he has mentioned to you in recent weeks or if there's anything you have on this.

MR. BOUCHER: I don't have anything on it now. It's a little soon.

Sonni.

QUESTION: I hope it's not too soon to tell us, do you have the votes for a resolution in IAEA that would declare Iran in violation of the NPT?

MR. BOUCHER: At this point, I'm not talking about votes, I'm not talking about a resolution; I'm talking about getting a full report from the Director General of the IAEA at the board meeting in June.

QUESTION: So are you saying you are not --

MR. BOUCHER: What we are looking for now is information that is as full and as detailed a report as possible from him on the situation in Iran, and then we'll decide accordingly what we want to do.

QUESTION: So are you saying you are not lobbying other countries for support and votes at this moment?

MR. BOUCHER: I am saying we are looking forward for a full report.


New York May 27, 2003

USAID Awards Five Iraq Community Development Contracts (NGO contractors to help develop social, economic infrastructure) (430)

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded five contracts to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to promote citizen involvement in community development in Iraq.

The contracts were awarded to

  1. Mercy Corps,
  2. International Relief and Development, Inc.,
  3. Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance,
  4. Cooperative Housing Foundation International and
  5. Save the Children Federation, Inc.,
USAID said in a May 27 press release.

USAID's community development program in Iraq will focus on community mobilization and cooperation, social and economic infrastructure development, employment and income generation, and environmental protection and management. The program will target under-represented and "at risk" groups, including women.

Following is the text of USAID's press release:

(begin text)

May 27, 2003

USAID Awards Grants for Iraq Community Action Program

Washington, DC -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced award of five cooperative agreements to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) today as part of its Iraq Community Action Program (CAP). Five NGOs will receive cooperative agreements:

  1. Mercy Corps, International Relief and Development, Inc. (IRD),
  2. Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA),
  3. Cooperative Housing Foundation International (CHF International) and
  4. Save the Children Federation, Inc.
Each NGO will receive initial funding of $7 million.

The Iraq Community Action Program (CAP) is designed to promote citizen involvement in community development efforts at the grass-roots level and to prevent and mitigate potential conflict by empowering individuals across gender, ethnic and religious lines. The program will promote diverse and representative citizen participation in and among 250 communities and will benefit approximately 5 million Iraqis.

The goal of the CAP is to foster stability and improve Iraqis' lives by ensuring that citizens' basic needs are met within their respective communities. The CAP will provide citizens with an opportunity to participate in decision-making related to the policies that govern their lives. The program will focus on four areas:

  1. community mobilization and cooperation;
  2. social and economic infrastructure development;
  3. employment and income generation; and
  4. environmental protection and management.
In addition, all CAP initiatives will target under-represented and "at risk" groups, including promoting women's rights and facilitating the participation of youth and minority groups in political processes.

USAID community action programs have a history of success in challenging post-conflict environments, and flagship programs have mobilized communities in Lebanon, Serbia and Montenegro, and Central Asia's Ferghana Valley.

This grant is part of USAID's overall relief and reconstruction efforts in Iraq. For more information on the Iraq CAP and other relief and reconstruction issues, please visit www.usaid.gov/iraq/.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)


New York May 28, 2003

Byliner: Rumsfeld Offers Guidelines for Helping Iraq Build a Free Society (Defense Secretary op-ed in Wall Street Journal) (1820)

(This column by Donald H. Rumsfeld, who is the U.S. Secretary of Defense, was first published May 27 in The Wall Street Journal. The column is in the public domain. No republication restrictions.)

Core Principles for a Free Iraq

By Donald H. Rumsfeld

Washington -- I recently returned from Baghdad, where I had the opportunity to meet with the troops who liberated Iraq. Notwithstanding death squads and dust storms, they crossed hundreds of miles to reach the gates of Baghdad in less than two weeks, toppling Saddam Hussein's regime in less than a month -- a remarkable achievement.

But just as remarkable as what they accomplished are all the things that did not happen. Because of the speed of the execution of the war plan, the regime did not attack its neighbors with SCUD missiles; the vast majority of Iraq's oil fields were not destroyed and an environmental disaster was averted; key bridges, roads and rail lines were secured; dams were not broken; villages were not flooded; the infrastructure of the country is largely intact; there were no large masses of refugees fleeing across borders into neighboring countries, and the coalition took great care to protect the lives of innocent civilians as well as the important holy sites.

These accomplishments have provided a strong foundation on which to build the peace. Unlike Europe after World War II, for the most part the people of Iraq do not have to rebuild from war, even as they work to rebuild their country and society after decades of dictatorship.

There are still difficulties in Iraq, to be sure -- crime, inflation, gas lines, unemployment. But the fact that such difficulties exist should come as no surprise: No nation that has made the transition from tyranny to a free society has been immune to the difficulties and challenges of taking that path -- not even our own.

The years after our war of independence involved a good deal of chaos and confusion. There were uprisings such as Shays' Rebellion, with mobs attacking courthouses and government buildings. There was rampant inflation caused by the lack of a stable currency and the issue of competing paper monies by the various states. There were regional tensions between mercantile New England and the agrarian South. There was looting and crime and a lack of an organized police force. There were supporters of the former regime whose fate had to be determined. Our first effort at a governing charter -- the Articles of Confederation -- failed miserably, and it took eight years of contentious debate before we finally adopted our Constitution and inaugurated our first president. And, unlike the people of Iraq, we did not face the added challenge of recovering from the trauma of decades of brutal rule by a dictator like Saddam Hussein.

The point is this: It is now just seven weeks since Iraq's liberation -- and the challenges are there. As Thomas Jefferson put it, "we are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed." It took time and patience, but eventually our Founders got it right -- and we hope so will the people of Iraq, over time.

We have a stake in their success. For if Iraq -- with its size, capabilities, and resources -- is able to move to the path of representative democracy, the impact in the region and the world could be dramatic. Iraq could conceivably become a model -- proof that a moderate Muslim state can succeed in the battle against extremism taking place in the Muslim world today.

We are committed to helping the Iraqi people get on that path to a free society. We do not have an American "template" we want to impose: Iraqis will figure out how to build a free nation in a manner that reflects their unique culture and traditions.

What President Bush has outlined are some broad principles that are critical if Iraq's transition from tyranny is to succeed:

  • that Iraq be a single country, which does not
    • support terrorists,
    • threaten its neighbors or the world with weapons of mass destruction, or
    • threaten its diverse population with terror and repression;
  • that it have a government that
    • respects and protects minorities,
    • provides opportunities for its people through a market economy, and
    • justice through an independent judiciary and rule of law.

These are core principles that undergird the world's diverse community of free nations. The coalition will seek out Iraqis who support these principles, and who desire to have a role in their country's future. Those who oppose these principles -- whose agenda is to replace Saddam Hussein's tyranny with some other form of dictatorship -- will be opposed.

As we move forward to help Iraqis build a free society, here are some of the guidelines our coalition is following:

-- Assert authority. Our goal is to put functional and political authority in the hands of Iraqis as soon as possible. The Coalition Provisional Authority has the responsibility to fill the vacuum of power in a country that has been a dictatorship for decades, by asserting authority over the country. It will do so. It will not tolerate self-appointed "leaders."

-- Provide security. Among the immediate objectives are restoration of law and order for the Iraqi people and provision of essential services. The coalition is hiring and training Iraqi police, and will be prepared to use force to impose order as required -- because without order, little else will be possible.

-- Commitment to stay; commitment to leave. The coalition will maintain as many security forces in Iraq as necessary, for as long as necessary, to accomplish the stated goals -- and no longer. Already 39 nations have offered stabilization forces or other needed assistance for the postwar effort, and that number is growing. Together, coalition countries will seek to provide a secure environment, so that over time Iraqis will be able to take charge of their country.

-- Improve conditions; involve Iraqis. The coalition is working energetically to improve the circumstances of the Iraqi people. Already, electric services in the north and south are better than they have been in 12 years and the power situation in Baghdad is improving, albeit slowly. The coalition is working to achieve rapid and visible accomplishments in other vital public services. The coalition will work to engage the Iraqi people as rapidly as possible, and give Iraqis leadership roles in the reconstruction effort -- for it is their responsibility to build the future of their country.

-- Promote Iraqis who share the goals of a free and moderate Iraq. In staffing ministries and positioning Iraqis in ways that will increase their influence, the coalition will work to have supportive Iraqis involved as early as possible -- so that Iraqi voices can explain the goals and direction to the Iraqi people. Only if Iraqis are engaged in, and responsible for, explaining to and leading their fellow citizens will broad public support develop that is essential for security.

-- De-Baathification. The coalition will work with forward-looking Iraqis and actively oppose the old regime's enforcers -- the Baath Party leaders, Fedayeen Saddam, and other instruments of repression -- and make clear that it will eliminate the remnants of Saddam's regime.

-- Justice for criminals. Those who committed war crimes or crimes against humanity will be tracked down and brought to justice. Mechanisms will be established to detain and screen out members of organizations that carried out the regime's repression and bring them to justice. De-Baathification may cause some inefficiencies, but it is critical to removing pervasive fear from Iraqi society.

-- Repairing the social fabric. Iraq will need to find ways to heal the wounds the Baathists inflicted on the society. The experiences of Eastern Europe and other countries could inform this process.

-- Property claims. Mechanisms will be established to adjudicate property claims peacefully.

-- Favor market economy. Decisions will favor market systems, not Stalinist command systems, and activities that will begin to diversify the Iraqi economy beyond oil. The coalition will encourage moves to privatize state-owned enterprises.

-- Oil. The Coalition Provisional Authority will develop a plan for the Iraqi oil industry based on transparency. Iraq's oil wealth will be used and marketed for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

-- Contracts -- promoting Iraq's recovery. Whenever possible, contracts for work in Iraq will go to those who will use Iraqi workers and to countries that supported the Iraqi people's liberation, so as to contribute to greater regional economic activity and to accelerate Iraq's and the region's economic recovery.

-- The international community. Other countries and international organizations, including the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, will be welcomed to assist in Iraq. They can play an important role. The Coalition Provisional Authority will work with them to maintain a focus of effort.

-- Iraq's neighbors: assistance, but not interference. Assistance from Iraq's neighbors will be welcomed. Conversely, interference in Iraq by its neighbors or their proxies -- including those whose objective is to remake Iraq in Iran's image -- will not be accepted or permitted.

-- Priority sources of funds. In assisting the Iraqi people, the U.S. will play its role but should not be considered the funder of first and last resort. The American people have already made a significant investment to liberate Iraq, and stand ready to contribute to rebuilding efforts. But when funds are needed, before turning to the U.S. taxpayers, the coalition will turn first

  • to Iraqi regime funds located in Iraq;
  • Iraqi funds in the U.N. Oil-for-Food program;
  • seized frozen Iraqi regime assets in the U.S. and other countries;
  • and international donors from across the globe, many of whom are already assisting.

-- Trial and error. The transition to democracy will take time and may not always be a smooth road. In Central and Eastern Europe, the process has taken time, but it is succeeding. Trial and error and experimentation will be part of the process. It will not be perfect. Course corrections will be necessary and should be expected. This effort will require patience by all involved if it is to succeed.

-- Patience and respect for Iraq's singular character. The ultimate political outcome must be decided by the Iraqi people, within the broad principles of the rule of law, minority rights, individual liberty, and representative democracy. One ought not expect the Iraqi outcome to replicate any other system.

Iraqis have an historic opportunity to build a free and civil society. The road ahead will be difficult, but the coalition is committed to helping them succeed. As Iraqis take hold of their country, develop the institutions of self-government, and reclaim their place as responsible members of the international community, the world will have a new model for a successful transition from tyranny to self-reliance -- and a new ally in the global war on terror and the struggle for freedom and moderation in the Muslim world.

(Mr. Rumsfeld is the secretary of defense.)

(end byliner)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)


See also: http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/


New York May 22, 2003

Fact Sheet: U.N. Security Council Resolution 1483 Lifts Sanctions on Iraq (International community pledges assistance for people of Iraq) (1120)

Following is the State Department fact sheet released May 22 on the U.N. vote of resolution 1483 lifting economic sanctions on Iraq. The resolution was approved by 14 of the 15 Security Council members; Syria was the only council member not present for the vote.

(begin fact sheet)

U.S. Department of State Office of the Spokesman May 22, 2003

FACT SHEET UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1483 LIFTS SANCTIONS ON IRAQ INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY PLEDGES ASSISTANCE FOR PEOPLE OF IRAQ

In summary, UNSCR 1483:

  • Lifts the sanctions burden on the Iraqi people.
  • Encourages the international community to assist in helping the Iraqi people build a better future for their country.
  • Establishes the position of a UN Special Representative who will play a vital role in all aspects of Iraq's reconstruction.
  • Winds down the Oil-for-Food program (OFF) over a six-month period, while providing for the continued delivery of priority civilian goods approved and funded under OFF to meet the immediate needs of the Iraqi people.
  • Supports Iraqis in charting their own political and economic future.
  • Reaffirms the Coalition's commitment to work with the UN and an Iraqi Interim Administration to transition authority to an internationally recognized, representative government of Iraq as efficiently and effectively as possible.
UNSCR 1483 fulfills the promise of a vital UN role and involves the international community in Iraq's recovery:
  • Stresses the right of the Iraqi people to freely determine their own political future and control their own natural resources. The resolution establishes a framework under Chapter VII of the UN Charter for the Coalition, the UN and others in the international community to participate in the administration and reconstruction of Iraq and to assist the Iraqi people in determining their political future, establishing new institutions, and restoring economic prosperity. The resolution will return Iraq's oil revenues to Iraq for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
  • Ensures the UN plays a vital role in Iraq's reconstruction. The resolution establishes the position of a UN Special Representative of the Secretary General who will
    • coordinate humanitarian and reconstruction assistance;
    • assist in the development of representative government institutions;
    • facilitate the reconstruction of key infrastructure;
    • and promote economic, legal and judicial reform, and protection of human rights.
    The Special Representative will work with the Coalition and the people of Iraq to facilitate a process leading to an internationally recognized, representative government of Iraq.
  • Encourages international support for Iraq's recovery. The resolution makes it possible for states and organizations to support the Iraqi people in building a free, prosperous and secure Iraq, including by responding to UN humanitarian appeals, providing resources for reconstruction, and contributing to stability and security in Iraq.
  • Enlists the support of international financial institutions. UNSCR 1483 calls upon international financial institutions to assist the people of Iraq in the reconstruction and development of their economy and to facilitate assistance by the broader donor community, while calling on creditors to seek a multilateral and bilateral solution to Iraq's sovereign debt.

    The international community has come together to support Iraq's recovery and economic reconstruction. UN Security Council Resolution 1483:

  • Ends 13 years of sanctions. Sanctions had been imposed to compel Saddam Hussein's compliance with WMD requirements and contain the threat of his regime. By lifting these outdated sanctions, leaving in place only the weapons ban, the resolution will kick start Iraq's recovery and economic transformation.
  • Enables Iraq to rejoin the global market. By abolishing trade restrictions, the resolution will permit Iraq to trade freely in the international market.
  • Returns oil revenues to Iraq. Oil revenues from export sales will be deposited in the Development Fund for Iraq housed in the Central Bank of Iraq. The Development Fund will be monitored by an international board that includes representatives of the UN Secretary General, the IMF, the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development, and the World Bank. Independent public accountants reporting to the board will audit the fund to ensure full transactional transparency.
  • Ensures Iraqi revenues are spent on Iraqi reconstruction. The resolution underlines that the Development Fund will be used in a transparent manner:
    • for the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people,
    • economic reconstruction and repair of Iraq's infrastructure,
    • the continued disarmament of Iraq,
    • the costs of Iraqi civilian administration,
    • and other purposes benefiting the people of Iraq.
  • Temporarily immunizes oil sales. To ensure that Iraqis have access to the critical resources needed for reconstruction during the transition period, oil sales will be immunized against attachment by international creditors or others with claims against the former regime until December 31, 2007.
  • Winds down the Oil-for-Food (OFF) program over a six-month period. The resolution allows the Secretary General, in coordination with coalition authorities and the Iraqi Interim Administration, to continue to prioritize contracts previously approved and funded by the UN for delivery to meet the immediate needs of the Iraqi people. Action on contracts judged to be of questionable usefulness in light of the changed circumstances will be postponed until an internationally recognized, representative government is established and in a position to make its own determination. One billion dollars of unallocated funds in the UN escrow account will be transferred to the Development Fund for Iraq to provide for immediate reconstruction needs.
  • Winding down OFF will not mean an immediate end to food distribution. This resolution is an important first step in Iraq's transition to a market economy. During the transition, food distribution will continue through a public distribution system.
  • Returns assets stolen by Saddam and his regime to Iraq. Stolen assets will be deposited into the Development Fund to support Iraq's reconstruction.

    Resolution 1483 also:

  • Promotes disarmament of Iraq. UNSCR 1483 reaffirms the need to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction.
  • Bars Iraqis alleged to have committed crimes and atrocities from receiving safe haven in other countries. UNSCR 1483 affirms the need for accountability for crimes and atrocities committed by members of Saddam's regime.
  • Protects Iraq's heritage. UNSCR 1483 establishes a ban on international trade in Iraqi cultural property and other archaeological, historical, cultural, religious and rare scientific items illegally removed from the Iraq National Museum, National Library and other locations.
  • Supports continued efforts to account for Kuwaitis and others missing since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. UNSCR 1483 directs the International Committee of the Red Cross and other appropriate organizations and individuals to continue efforts to account for the fate of Kuwaiti and Third Country missing persons and property unaccounted for since Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
  • Provides for continued funding of the UN Compensation Commission, which deals with outstanding claims for victims of Saddam's aggression in Kuwait. Five percent of oil proceeds will be deposited into the UNCC Compensation Fund.
(end fact sheet)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)


See also: http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/


New York May 22, 2003

Text: U.N. To Distribute Food Aid to All Iraqis Starting June 1 (Has plans to feed full population through September) (740)

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) will begin distributing food aid to the entire Iraqi population beginning June 1.

In a May 22 press release, WFP said the agency wants to have 480,000 metric tons of food available every month through September to feed all of Iraq's 27 million people.

It also will lay groundwork for the transition from a food distribution system of government rations to one that is market-based, according James Morris, WFP executive director.

WFP will help Iraq's wheat board become operational, replace or repair damaged agricultural production equipment and purchase 1.2 million tons of Iraqi wheat this year, using funds from the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program, the release said.

The United States has contributed $371 million of WFP's $491 million for emergency food aid to Iraq, according to the release.

Following is the text of the release:

(begin text)

May 22

WFP: ENTIRE IRAQI POPULATION TO RECEIVE FOOD RATION STARTING JUNE 1

NEW YORK -- Full food distribution to the entire population of Iraq will begin on June 1st, through 44,000 food agents in place across the country, the United Nations World Food Programme Executive Director, James T. Morris, announced on Thursday.

In a statement to the UN Security Council, Morris said WFP had already delivered more than 200,000 metric tons of food to Iraq, using five corridors through Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait and Iran. This is enough to feed some 14 million people -- half the Iraqi population -- for one month. From June to September, WFP's objective is to ensure that 480,000 tons of food are available every month to feed all 27 million Iraqis under the existing public distribution system.

"With the restoration of the public distribution system, we are confident that we can avoid any hunger among Iraqis," Morris said.

Earlier in the day, the UN Security Council passed a resolution which lifted sanctions and outlined plans for the post-war administration of Iraq. In his statement, Morris stressed the importance of laying the groundwork for transition from a system of government rations to a market food economy.

"WFP has supported the procurement and delivery of food commodities for public distribution during this time of upheaval in Iraq. But now we look forward to handing over these responsibilities as a new administration comes on line," Morris said.

Speaking of his impressions during his visit to Baghdad on May 11th, Morris said the issue of security for staff, warehouses, silos, mills and offices remained the biggest challenge for WFP in Iraq. So far, 28 WFP international staff are back in Iraq to bolster the work of the more than 700 national staff who remained in the country throughout the conflict. More international staff will go into Iraq as the security situation allows.

Morris said another challenge was the procurement of Iraq's wheat harvest this year. WFP has undertaken to purchase up to 1.2 million tons of grain from the harvest, using funds from the UN Oil-for-Food Programme (OFFP). But in order for it to purchase the harvest, a Grain board must be helped to function, salaries must be paid, looted and damaged equipment must be replaced or repaired and arrangements made for paying large-scale cash disbursements, in the absence of a functioning banking system.

To date, WFP has received US$491 million in donations for its emergency operation in Iraq. In addition, it hopes to raise US$947 million in food and associated costs from the OFFP. The Programme is appealing for a total of US$1.85 billion for the operation.

  • The United States has made the biggest donation -- with US$371 million committed so far.
  • The UK has contributed US$53 million,
  • Canada nearly US$14 million,
  • Japan more than US$13 million and
  • Italy over US$12 million.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency. In 2002 WFP fed 72 million people in 82 countries including most of the world's refugees and internally displaced people.

For regular updates and background information on WFP's humanitarian operations in the Iraqi region, visit our website's Iraq Crisis section at www.wfp.org.

WFP Global School Feeding Campaign -- As the largest provider of nutritious meals to poor school children, WFP has launched a global campaign aimed at ensuring the world's 300 million undernourished children are educated.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)


See also: http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/


New York May 22, 2003

Text: U.S. to Create a Development Fund for Iraq at Iraq Central Bank (Fund will be administered by provisional coalition authority) (920)

President Bush May 22 issued an executive order to establish a "Development Fund for Iraq" at Iraq's central bank.

The fund will be administered by the coalition authority responsible for Iraq's temporary governance. It will include proceeds for the sale of Iraqi oil products, according to the White House.

The president said the Department of the Treasury in consultation with the departments of State and Defense will be responsible for the fund.

Following is the text of the executive order.

(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE May 22, 2003

EXECUTIVE ORDER

PROTECTING THE DEVELOPMENT FUND FOR IRAQ AND CERTAIN OTHER PROPERTY IN WHICH IRAQ HAS AN INTEREST

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), section 5 of the United Nations Participation Act, as amended (22 U.S.C. 287c) (UNPA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that the threat of attachment or other judicial process against the Development Fund for Iraq, Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests therein, and proceeds, obligations, or any financial instruments of any nature whatsoever arising from or related to the sale or marketing thereof, and interests therein, obstructs the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq. This situation constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

I hereby order:

Section 1. Unless licensed or otherwise authorized pursuant to this order, any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process is prohibited, and shall be deemed null and void, with respect to the following:

(a) the Development Fund for Iraq, and

(b) all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests therein, and proceeds, obligations, or any financial instruments of any nature whatsoever arising from or related to the sale or marketing thereof, and interests therein, in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons.

Sec. 2. (a) As of the effective date of this order, Executive Order 12722 of August 2, 1990, Executive Order 12724 of August 9, 1990, and Executive Order 13290 of March 20, 2003, shall not apply to the property and interests in property described in section 1 of this order.

(b) Nothing in this order is intended to affect the continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses or other forms of administrative action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore or hereafter under Executive Orders 12722, 12724, or 13290, or under the authority of IEEPA or the UNPA, except as hereafter terminated, modified, or suspended by the issuing Federal agency and except as provided in section 2(a) of this order.

Sec. 3. For the purposes of this order:

(a) The term "person" means an individual or entity;

(b) The term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;

(c) The term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any juris-diction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States;

(d) The term "Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products" means any petroleum, petroleum products, or natural gas originating in Iraq, including any Iraqi-origin oil inventories, wherever located; and

(e) The term "Development Fund for Iraq" means the fund established on or about May 22, 2003, on the books of the Central Bank of Iraq, by the Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority responsible for the temporary governance of Iraq and all accounts held for the fund or for the Central Bank of Iraq in the name of the fund.

Sec. 4. (a) The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulga-tion of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA and the UNPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their statutory authority to carry out the provisions of this order.

(b) Nothing contained in this order shall relieve a person from any requirement to obtain a license or other authorization in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Sec. 5. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 6. This order shall be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.

GEORGE W. BUSH

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)


See also: http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/


New York May 8, 2003

USAID Hands Over Democracy Projects to Leaders of Iraq City
(Also launches U.S.-Iraq higher education initiative) (1030)

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has handed over to the transitional town council of the port city of Umm Qasr, Iraq, three democracy projects, including one that for the first time provides public access to the Internet, according to a May 30 USAID press release.

USAID also has launched an initiative to link U.S. and Iraqi institutions of higher learning, the agency announced in a separate press release.

The Internet access will be provided at a new community communications center supplied with computers with broadband Internet access and international cell phone capabilities and technical assistance.

"I would like to express our appreciation . . . for the liberation of the Iraqi people from the tyrant," said Umm Qasr town council member Abdul Jabbar Al-Fayyad at a ceremony attended by representatives of the council, USAID, the agency's contractor Development Alternatives, Inc. and U.S. military civil affairs leaders.

All three democracy projects reflect requests from the community, according to the agency's release. In addition to the new communications center, USAID grants will pay for construction of a new city administration building and youth sports facilities and equipment.

The higher education program will provide "rapid impact grants" to help Iraqi colleges and universities replace old equipment and to rehabilitate their facilities.

It will also fund the introduction of new subject material and administrative practices.

Following are the texts of the two USAID press releases:

(begin democracy projects release text)

May 30, 2003

UMM QASR, IRAQ -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) yesterday held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Umm Qasr, Iraq to mark the formal hand-over to the town's Transitional Town Council of three democracy projects funded by the U.S. government. The total cost of the projects is $76,000. These projects mark the first time there has been public access to the Internet in Umm Qasr, and the first time in decades that there have been administrative offices for a locally-selected government.

The ceremony included representatives of the Town Council, USAID, implementing partner Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), and U.S. military Civil Affairs leadership. The three USAID grants, selected based on a list of priorities developed by community residents, were for a new town council building ($41,000), for a new Community Communication Center ($30,000), and for youth sports facilities and equipment ($5,000). The Town Council grant has provided a new pre-fabricated administration building with air conditioning, electricity, and plumbing; computers and other office equipment including furniture; and training and technical assistance in community leadership for the currently appointed and the future elected Council members. The Community Communications Center project has supplied new computers with broadband internet access and international phone call capabilities, furniture, and training and technical assistance. The youth sports project includes a new cement basketball/volleyball court, restoration of a soccer field, and balls and nets for soccer, volleyball, and basketball.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Town Council office, Umm Qasr Town Council member Abdul Jabbar Al-Fayyad said, "I would like to express our appreciation, first of all, for the liberation of the Iraqi people from the tyrant. Second of all, for the serious reconstruction in Iraq. And we are grateful that you are now paying attention to our other problems. Now we have a place to meet, and now the people can come to us and say whatever they want -- and we thank you, we thank you very much."

Each of the projects responds to a request received from the community. They are designed to support education and local government, and provide a safe place for young people to meet and play together.

"By providing greater access to information and an environment for working together, USAID is supporting the transition to self-governance in Iraq," said Michael Marx, Team Leader for USAID's Disaster Assistance Response Team, "These grants will help Umm Qasr's residents as they work, learn and rebuild their community."

The DART is an inter-agency U.S. humanitarian response team deployed by USAID in cooperation with other U.S. agencies including the Department of State and Health and Human Services.

(end democracy projects release text)

(begin higher education release text) May 30, 2003

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched an initiative to establish partnerships between U.S. and Iraqi colleges and universities to invigorate and modernize Iraq's institutions of higher education. This program will facilitate the dispersal of development resources and technical expertise to Iraq's universities and technical colleges, and engage Iraqi higher education administrators, faculty and students in the revitalization of Iraq's higher education system.

Objectives

The Higher Education Program will compliment USAID's primary and secondary education programs in Iraq by establishing activities that focus on the following:

-- Provision of rapid impact grants to enable Iraqi colleges and universities to replace antiquated equipment and rehabilitate educational facilities and libraries.

-- Promotion of national, regional and international partnerships and fostering of intellectual diversity and growth.

-- Introduction of innovative subject material and new courses to develop the quality of higher education in Iraq and to prepare Iraqi youth for leadership and employment in a competitive market economy.

-- Introduction of modern administrative practices that orient higher education institutions to the demands of the market.

This twelve-month program, with the possibility of two one-year extensions, will be issued to up to six U.S. colleges, universities, or higher education consortia, each responsible for partnerships with specific Iraqi institutions. Recipients will facilitate higher education development by providing targeted technical assistance and training; grants management, monitoring and oversight. This program will assist all eligible institutions of higher education in Iraq.

Possible Fields of Work

Possible areas of work will include:

-- Essential education, health and other social services (e.g., preventive health, medicine, water and sanitation, teacher training)

-- Expansion of economic opportunities (e.g., management, marketing, economics, trade, agro-industry)

-- Growth and maintenance of economically critical infrastructure (e.g., civil engineering, water, power, agriculture)

-- Efficiency and accountability of government (e.g., public administration, law, administration of justice).

(end higher education release text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)


See also: http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/

Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003

Coalition Ready to Shift Focus to Economic Growth in Iraq (Ambassador L. Paul Bremer June 12 Press Conference) (1200)

By Vicki Silverman Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- U.S. Presidential Envoy and Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority to Iraq, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer told reporters June 12 that Coalition efforts over the past 30 days have achieved the resumption of basic services throughout the country, enabling the Coalition Provisional Authority to focus on restoring economic activity.

Speaking via satellite from Baghdad to reporters at the Pentagon in Washington, Bremer also spoke of the formation of an Iraqi political council and constitutional conference, set to convene in late July, to represent the aspirations of the Iraq people prior to full, democratic elections.

"The thugs and the torture chambers may be gone, but everyday we find new evidence of how bad the regime was" both in terms of its tyranny and its chronic under-investment in Iraq's development, Bremer said.

"We have completed the first phase of the coalition's efforts towards the reconstitution of Iraq. The focus during that phase was on getting basic service delivered, utilities turned on, and providing better law and order for everybody," he explained.

Bremer reported June 12, that water and power were above pre-war levels in many parts of Iraq.

"Here in Baghdad, we are producing 20 hours of electricity a day. The gasoline lines that you have read about have almost disappeared, as have the lines for liquid petroleum gas which is what is used for cooking," he said. He noted all 12 hospitals were up and running in Baghdad.

Confident that the pace of improvements seen over the last 30 days would now continue, Bremer said Phase II efforts aimed at restoring economic activity have begun.

  1. Restarting the Iraqi Economy
    "We must now create jobs for Iraqis. Our best estimate is that before the war, Iraqi unemployment was running at about 50 percent and we think it is substantially higher than that now...there can be no higher priority than finding a way to create jobs," he said.

    Bremer outlined several short-term economic initiatives implemented over the past week in consultation with Iraqi businessmen and women, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United Nation's Development Program. These include a $70 million local community action program, where communities identify activities that believe can lead to the most rapid improvements.

    "On Tuesday [June 10], I announced a $100 million emergency construction program," Bremer said, in order to create immediate jobs and tangible growth to bridge the employment gap before broader, private sector economic development takes hold in Iraq.

    "We are also trying to encourage trade now that the sanctions have been lifted," Bremer said, noting that the first sale of Iraqi oil directly into the world market is imminent.

    "This is all just the beginning...it's going to take time and patience to revive this very sick economy," Bremer said.

    "Repairing the damage of the last regime -- material, human and psychological -- is a huge task and it is a task that is only going to succeed if we have real partnership with the Iraqi people. I am deeply committed to that kind of partnership," he stressed.

  2. Security

    Bremer reported steady progress in arresting high-ranking members of the former regime.

    "We have more than half of the 55 most-wanted [officials] in custody or confirmed dead. ... We're picking them up every week," he said.

    Asked about organized resistance in Iraq, Bremer said there were pockets of it in the areas north and west of Baghdad but added, "We do not see signs of central command and control in that direction at this time."

    He added that the Coalition was closely monitoring these attacks, which were largely sponsored by small groups of Ba'ath party loyalists, to see if they evolved into a more organized resistance.

    Bremer reported no evidence that Saddam Hussein is directly linked to these activities but he noted that Iraqis still fear the re-emergence of the Ba'athist apparatus.

    Continuing U.S. military operations are important in proving to the general population that "the Ba'athists are done," he said.

    "We do have clear evidence of Sunni extremism in the area to the west of Baghdad and we do have clear evidence of Iranian interference in the affairs of Iraq. ... We are very attentive to the possibility of [Anasar Al Islam] flowing back into Iraq," Bremer said.

  3. Political Representation

    Asked what role religion might assume in the new Iraq, Bremer indicated confidence in the Iraqi people to identify and blend the needs of a new system of government with their culture, history and social experiences.

    "Questions like the role of Islam are so fundamental to the kind of society that the Iraqis will rebuild that I believe this is a question that needs to be left to the constitutional conference which will be convening towards the end of July," Bremer said. He was confident Iraqis view freedom of religion as one of the fundamental principles of the new Iraq.

    Asked how long the U.S. presence would continue in Iraq, Breme said, "My guess is that it is going to be a substantial amount of time, but whether that is measured in terms of months or years will depend on developments."

    He said after security is established, the Iraqis will have to write a constitution, get it ratified and call elections.

    "I have told Iraqis I have no deadline," Bremer said.

    Bremer outlined the formation of an interim authority, a rapid step towards Iraqi governance supported by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1483. Iraq's Interim Authority will be composed initially of two bodies, he explained, a political council and a constitutional conference.

    "The political council will be made up of some 25-30 Iraqis from all walks of life and from the various strands of Iraqi society -- men, women, Shia, Sunni, Kurds and Arabs, tribal leaders, Christians, Turkmens, urban people, professionals etc. That group is the subject of some rather intense consultations that we are undergoing right now with people from all those walks of life and I expect that we will arrival at a list of agreed candidates within the next 4-6 weeks."

    Bremer noted the Political Council would be immediately responsible for identifying interim ministers for the more that 20 ministries that now make up the Iraqi government.

    "The interim ministers will in turn have substantial responsibility for how those ministries are run," he said.

    The Council will also set up commissions to study longer-range issues that have major impact on Iraqi society such as educational reform and organizing a national census, a vital issue related to democratic elections in Iraq, he explained.

    The second political body will consist of several hundred Iraqis who will draft a new Iraqi constitution. As in the case of the Political Council, the Constitutional Conference is expected to convene in late July 2003, Bremer told reporters.

    He said the Constitutional Conference will have not only determine the shape of Iraq's future government, but also assume the leading role in fostering a broad, intense national political dialogue on the fundamental principles and institutions that will support the new Iraq.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
See also: http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/


July 16, 2003

Remarks With German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer After Their Meeting

Secretary Colin L. Powell
C Street Entrance
Washington, DC
July 16, 2003

(1:30 p.m. EDT)

Excerpts and emphasis by J. Gruber

....

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, did you ask Germany to provide anything for Iraqi reconstruction? And Foreign Minister Fischer, has there been any military assistance of any kind provided by Germany? I know the troops is a very delicate question, but what is Germany willing to provide, and is any of that of military nature?

SECRETARY POWELL: We did discuss Iraq. We didn't get into any specific requests. As you know, a number of nations have offered to provide assistance to the peacekeeping and stabilization efforts. I gave the Foreign Minister an update on the situation and the conversations I have also had with Kofi Annan about the role of the United Nations, but we didn't get into any other specifics with respect to German contributions.

FOREIGN MINISTER FISCHER: Well, we are -- I think the relevant Security Council Resolution 1483 made quite clear that the responsibility on the ground is in the hands of the coalition. We are not part of the coalition and we are ready to contribute to the humanitarian -- to improve the humanitarian situation. Our business community is ready to play its role in the reconstruction, if it is warranted and if there are -- we know more details about the reconstruction. We are open to discuss what could be our role in the reconstruction, but our position linked to the question of sending military troops is unchanged.

...

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, did either you or the Minister bring up the idea of a UN umbrella transferring the coalition's responsibilities to a different umbrella, which would bring in more countries like India and perhaps others?

SECRETARY POWELL: I mentioned to the Foreign Minister that I have had some discussions with other ministers, as well as with Secretary General Annan, whether or not it would be appropriate to start discussions about other UN resolutions. But that's as far as these preliminary discussions have gone.

I believe -- the United States believes -- that 1483, while recognizing the Coalition Provisional Authority as the government for the moment, also has sufficient authority for nations who are looking for a UN mandate to participate in stabilization or peacekeeping activities; 1483 provides that kind of cover.

But there are some nations who have expressed the desire for more of a mandate from the United Nations, and I am in conversations with some ministers about this, as well as with the Secretary General of the United Nations.

...

Released on July 16, 2003


See http://www.state.gov/p/nea/ci/c3212.htm for State Department information on Iraq


For comparison ARD "Tagesthemen" am 17.07.2003

Interview mit Bundesaußenminister Fischer zu den deutsch-amerikanischen Beziehungen und möglicher deutscher Unterstützung bei der Befriedung des Irak im Rahmen der ARD "Tagesthemen" am 17.07.2003

Auszug von J. Gruber

Frage/Wickert: Bedeutet das, dass die UNO stärker eingeschaltet wird?

Fischer Wir waren von Anfang an dafür. Wir hätten uns gewünscht, dass man auch im Falle Irak eine Art Petersberg-Prozess gegeben hätte, mit einer verbindlichen Perspektive der politischen Demokratisierung... Aber wir sind nicht Teil der Koalition. Und das ist eine politische Entscheidung, die hat die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, die Bundesregierung mit der breiten Unterstützung unseres Volkes getroffen. Insofern liegt das jetzt in den Händen der Koalition. Wenn die in Richtung Sicherheitsrat gehen, wenn sie meinen, es auf breitere Grundlage politisch stellen zu wollen, dann sind wir nicht dagegen, sondern im Gegenteil, das begrüßen wir.


Washington, Wed, 17 Sep 2003

Iraqi Reconstruction - Rebuilding Iraq

Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
September 17, 2003

"We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people." --President George W. Bush

  • The U.S. has contributed $1.48 billion to Iraq since February 2003: --$506.7 million in humanitarian assistance --$980.5 million for reconstruction
  • More than 30 other nations are contributing financially to the reconstruction effort.
  • The World Food Program brought in 1.7 million metric tons of food, more than a three months' supply, to Iraq.
  • 22.3 million doses of measles, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio vaccines have been provided, enough to vaccinate 4.2 million children
Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraqis suffered not only terrible human rights abuses but also tremendous economic hardships. Saddam siphoned off billions of dollars in revenue for personal use, depriving Iraqis of decent jobs, schools, and hospitals.

Growing out of President Bush's commitment to the Iraqi people, the United States and numerous other nations are providing material support for Iraq's political, economic and human reconstruction.

  1. Security
    • The streets in Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Tikrit, Kirkuk, An Nasiriyah, Diwaniyah, Al Kut, Al Ramadi and Al Fallujah, are bustling with traffic and commerce. Northern Iraq and the Shi'a heartland, running from just south of Baghdad to the Kuwaiti border, are secure.
    • More than 40 of the 55 most wanted former Iraqi officials have been apprehended by Coalition Forces.
    • Recruitment for the first battalion of the new Iraqi army is underway: 1,200 Iraqis being trained this year; 40,000 over two years.
    • 46,000 Iraqi police are patrolling Iraqi streets, most alongside coalition forces. A new police academy is being established. Essential Services
    • Over 90 percent of Iraq's public schools and all of Baghdad's universities have reopened. For the start of the school year, it is anticipated that nearly 1,000 schools will be rehabilitated.
    • All of Iraq's hospitals and 95 percent of its health clinics are open and providing services.
    • Dilapidated and looted power, water and sewage treatment facilities are being rehabilitated. Electric generation now averages 75 percent of pre-war levels.
    • Phone service is being restored to hundreds of thousands of customers.
  2. Economy
    • Iraqi marketplaces have many goods previously unavailable including television satellite dishes.
    • The economic situation is being stabilized by continued payment of public-sector salaries and through a range of construction and infrastructure projects that will create jobs.
    • Long-term growth is being promoted through regional integration and increased trade.
  3. Banking Reforms
    • Unified currency with new bank notes to be in circulation between October and January
    • New monetary policies developed based on transparency and discipline
  4. Governance
    • Iraq's Governing Council was formed on July 13, including 25 members representing Iraq's diversity.
    • All major Iraqi cities have city councils. Over 85 percent of Iraqi towns have town councils.
    • All Baghdad neighborhoods have advisory councils. Massive cleanups of Baghdad's poorest neighborhoods have been completed.
    • Eleven government ministry buildings have been rehabilitated and/or equipped.
    • Dozens of NGOs are being funded to deliver local services and build a civil society.

September 14, 2003

Press Availability with Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator Ambassador L. Paul Bremer

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Baghdad, Iraq
September 14, 2003

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I've just concluded a very full and rewarding day here in Baghdad. I had very good meetings at the beginning of the day with Ambassador Bremer and his team, General Abizaid and General Sanchez. And then, I met with my new Foreign Minister colleague, the new Foreign Minister representing the people of Iraq. And then, I had a very exciting meeting with the new Governing Council, and then finally, with the Baghdad City Council before coming back over here.

I'm deeply impressed by what I saw. I saw people hard at work, rebuilding a nation, rebuilding a society. I saw people hard at work, knowing that the United States was going to support them in that work. And that work has a very simple, direct and clear purpose, and that is to help rebuild this country economically, its physical infrastructure, but most importantly, politically as well, so that we can move forward to the Governing Council with the appointment of cabinet ministers now. And then, we will get on with the writing of a constitution -- the Iraqis will get on with the writing of a constitution, ratification of that constitution, leading to free elections. And when those free elections are over, there will be a new leadership: a leadership committed to democratic principles, a leadership that will make the Iraqi people proud of it. And at that time, we will have no greater honor than to pass full authority back to the Iraqi people.

I extended to all of the Iraqi leaders I met today the best wishes of the President and the American people, and gave them, as a sign of our commitment, the President's request to the Congress for $20 billion of assistance to come to Iraq in this year as a supplement to the year's budget: the largest we've ever done for any country. The need is great, and we hope that other nations around the world will join us in this effort.

I must say that I was impressed by the spirit that I saw. The City Council meeting I just left talked about the kinds of things you would expect a city council in meeting to talk about: the environment, and about education and about the role of women in the city's life. And so, there is a vibrancy to this effort, a vibrancy that I attribute to the winds of freedom that are now blowing through this land.

And I am very honored to be here as Secretary of State of the United States of America in my first trip to Baghdad, and I would like to thank all of the Iraqis I met with today for their hospitality, and especially thank Ambassador Bremer and his staff for all their hard work.

Now we'd be delighted to take some questions. And I think Richard will be pointing to .

MR. BOUCHER: We'll start with an Iraqi journalist. Over here.

QUESTION: Abdul Salam (inaudible) from the Iraqi Media Network. Mr. Secretary, today you have met with the Iraqi Governing Council, with our Foreign Minister and with Baghdad City Council. Have these emerging leaders given you a single message from Iraq?

SECRETARY POWELL: The single message I got from them is many messages. It's almost hard to single out one. First of all, gratitude for the effort the United States and Coalition partners put into freeing Iraq, liberating Iraq, and giving them this new chance; gratitude for the work that our soldiers are performing; gratitude for the commitment of the American people, especially the commitment of President Bush. And I also, as I said earlier, I saw them in an energy that I hope we will see in the weeks and months ahead.

It's really quite astounding how much has happened over the last few weeks, just the last few weeks, since the formation of the Governing Council: Twenty-five cabinet ministers. My new colleague, the Foreign Minister, attended an Arab League meeting and was able to arrange to be seated as a representative of Iraq for a one-year provisional period.

Announcement within the last two days that there will be an independent judiciary in this country. Town councils meeting all over. The basic services starting to come back up, whether it's electricity or sewage or water. Everybody is eating. Health care is being restored to pre-war levels. And there was an expression of gratitude on the part of the Governing Council members and the City Council members for our efforts, working with our Coalition partners and working with Iraqis, to bring this about.

MR. BOUCHER: Mr. Gedda.

QUESTION: George Gedda of AP. Mr. Secretary, I notice you haven't had a meeting with David Kay or any of his team here. Irrespective of whether you have had meetings or will have meetings on that subject, is there any light that you can shed on how his work is going?

SECRETARY POWELL: No, David isn't here, and so I didn't, couldn't meet with him. I think he's back in Washington, preparing his report. And with the schedule that I had, I wasn't able to meet with members of his team. And there was no particular need to, because I know that David will be, Dr. Kay will be putting out a report in the very near future, and I look forward to seeing it, as everyone else does. From what I have heard, he has assembled a great deal of useful information, but I don't know the specific results that he will be coming forward with or what conclusions he has drawn yet.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) from the Spanish press. I would like to know two days ago there was an incident in Fallujah in which nine Iraqi policemen were killed. Does the government of the United States envisage any kind of monetary compensation to the families of those people? And the second question is that the Spanish minister of foreign affairs, Ana Palacio, she's here; have you met with did you have a meeting with her? Thank you.

AMBASSADOR BREMER: The very regrettable incident in Fallujah is still under investigation by our military. We have expressed regrets for it publicly. When we have reached conclusions about how the incident came about, we will take appropriate steps. In the past, we have paid. We have paid families in the past where we have felt that it was appropriate, but this particular incident is still under investigation.

QUANTITY: The quantity of money that you've paid?

AMBASSADOR BREMER: No, I'm sorry, that would be a matter for the military to specify after they finish the investigation.

SECRETARY POWELL: I met with Foreign Minister Palacio in my office in Washington a few days ago. I was hoping to meet with her here, but our paths crossed, so I talked to her in telephone as she was leaving at the airport.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, this morning you said that the press had not presented enough of the positive side of developments in Iraq. Do you feel that you have seen a fair representation of what has happened, since you are not leaving the security bubble during your presence in Baghdad? And secondly, have you or will you meet with anyone who is unhappy with the U.S. presence?

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I don't know if I will have the opportunity to go around town and ask for people to say they're unhappy and come forward. I am not able to get everywhere that I might like to go in a relatively short visit, but I think I've been around long enough to understand things I'm being told and to see behind the things I'm being told. And a lot of the things I've heard about are things that I've been reading about in the daily reporting that I get in Washington from Ambassador Bremer, from the military, as well as from my own people at the Agency for International Development.

And there is just a great deal that is happening in this country, whether it's the formation of PTAs in local schools, whether it's our brigade commanders giving $500 to each school in their district as long as that school comes up with a PTA, something unheard of here before, and uses that PTA to determine how the money will be spent. That's grassroots democracy in action. Or all the town councils that have been formed. So there is a great deal that is going on that tends not to get reported.

I'm not picking on the press on this, because it tends not to be as newsworthy as something that tends to be more visual and more negative in nature. And that's the nature of news. But while reporting that, as everyone should, everything should be reported. I think perhaps a little more time and attention and energy and access should be given to the good stories that are out there. And there are a lot of good stories that are out there. And I think if that received more attention, then the public, the American people as well as the rest of the international community might get a slightly more balanced picture. I'm not in any way suggesting that I'm an editor for television and newspapers and magazines. That is their job, not mine. I'm just making an observation.

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY POWELL: You'll have to forgive me and redo the first part again, please.

AMBASSADOR BREMER: He's asking about .

SECRETARY POWELL: Did you get it, Jerry?

AMBASSADOR BREMER: Yes.

SECRETARY POWELL: Let me give it to the Ambassador. I didn't hear the first part of the question.

AMBASSADOR BREMER: You're quite correct, Iraq has an enormous overhang of debt, estimated by some people as high, as you said, a number of $130 billion. We are in the process now of trying to get a better inventory of what the actual debt is. The Group of 8 Ministers and leaders in their meeting in Evian in June agreed that there would be no payments on this debt for a year and a half. So, during the next 15 months or so, we anticipate we will be discussing with Iraq's creditors, which includes the United States, how best to deal with this problem.

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY POWELL: I know that President Bush would welcome the opportunity to visit Iraq. I don't know when he will be able to do that, and I have learned that it's best for me not to speculate on what my President might do with respect to his travels.

Your next question, with respect to what price will be charged, the only thing we're expecting in return is a free, democratic Iraq that will be a friend and partner of the United States, and a friend and partner of their neighbors in this part of the world, and a responsible player on the world stage. And that is what we came here to do, that is what our young soldiers gave their lives for, and that is what we're committed to helping Iraq achieve.

With respect to the Information Ministry, Ambassador Bremer may wish to say a word. But, in the course of our discussions today, we talked about the need to accelerate and enhance our efforts to provide information to the Iraqi people about what we're doing. It goes back to the question that Ms. Wright raised a little while ago. Are you doing enough to get the word out with respect to what is going on, you know, an honest word out with respect to what is going on within the country?

And the specific question of oil shippings and revenue return, I'll give to the Ambassador.

AMBASSADOR BREMER: Yesterday we produced 1,624,000 barrels of oil. We've been averaging about one and a half million barrels a day for the last 10 days.

SECRETARY POWELL: The fund .

AMBASSADOR BREMER: Oh, yes. Sorry. The funds. Ninety-five percent of the revenue flows directly into the development funds for Iraq, which was established by U.N. Resolution 1483; five percent is given to a separate account, which is counted against the reparations for Kuwait for Saddam Hussein's aggressive war against Kuwait.

MR. BOUCHER: Okay, now we'll go all the way down

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, Rajiv Chandrasekaran from the Washington Post. Some leaders of the Governing Council have been asking for a faster handover of sovereignty to the Iraqi people. Ahmed Chalabi, this month's Governing Council president, recently said that a handover of sovereignty would make the Americans look like liberators again, and that the Iraqi people don't understand the logic of occupation. I'd like your reaction to such demands. And would you be willing to accelerate the timetable in response to these demands from the Governing Council leadership?

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, we had a long meeting today with the Governing Council, and Mr .Dr. Chalabi was in the chair, and he expressed no sentiment to me. What I expressed to the Governing Council was that the only way to get to where we have to be is with a deliberate process that, first and foremost, builds up the institutions of government. You can't just say, "You're a government, fine, go. You have full authority." The Coalition Provisional Authority is responsible for security now, and it will be some time before any new government could take over the responsibilities inherent in being in charge of security.

You have to build capacity to govern. And then, governments, to survive, the kinds of government that we want to see Iraq have, has to have legitimacy, and legitimacy comes from having a constitution, a constitution that's been ratified by the people. And once you have that constitution, you then give legitimacy to a new government through elections, elections that represent the view of the people.

That's our strongly held view, and I conveyed that to the Governing Council in very direct terms earlier today, and I think they certainly understand our position. And I'm sure they'll be discussing our conversation today, and I look forward to any observations that they would like to feed back to Ambassador Bremer or to me.

Everybody would like to accelerate this; everybody wants this to go fast. We don't want to stay here a day longer. It is expensive. Our young soldiers would like to get home to their families. So, we are not hanging on for the sake of hanging on, we are hanging on because it's necessary to stay with this task until a new government has been created, a responsible government. The worst thing that could to happen is for us to push this process too quickly before the capacity for governance is there and the basis for legitimacy is there, and see it fail.

We are not occupiers. We have come under a legal term having to do with occupation under international law, but we came as liberators. We have experience being liberators. Our history, over the last 50, 60 years, is quite clear. We have liberated a number of countries and we do not own one square foot of any of those countries, except where we bury our dead.

MR. BOUCHER: Okay. Come back here. Gentleman in the middle.

QUESTION: (In Arabic)

SECRETARY POWELL: The U.N. has an important role to play in the reconstruction, and I think Mr. Sergio de Mello, who tragically lost his life in the service of the U.N., in the service of Iraq, was certainly here trying to carve out that role, and many U.N. Agencies had come into Iraq. Because of the incident on the 19th of August that took Mr. de Mello's life and the life of a number of others, they have had to trim back their efforts. But with this new resolution we are working on in New York, we hope it will once again put a strong political mandate behind the role of the U.N. The U.N. has a vital role to play. We want to involve it as much as possible. And that's why we're working so hard for this new resolution.

QUESTION: (In Arabic)

SECRETARY POWELL: I'll have to yield to the Ambassador. I don't .

AMBASSADOR BREMER: I don't know what he's talking about.

SECRETARY POWELL: I'm not familiar with the plan that you described as a movement of free officers. There is still instability in the country. We see attacks against our coalition forces on a daily basis. Everybody is not yet safe in their own community or in own home. But in many parts of the country, things are quite secure and stable in the south and in the north. And we are quite sure that that will spread over time as our forces get a better idea of who they are being attacked by and go after them, and especially as Iraqi police forces and Iraqi national army is formed, border patrol units are formed to secure the country. And it will take time to bring those forces up.

But with each day, I'm confident that we will move closer to that goal that we have of an Iraq that is secure, free from the remnants of the horrible regime that used to be here that is still attacking the Iraqi people. When they attack us, they are attacking the Iraqi people as well, because they are making it harder for us to do what we need to do with respect to reconstruction. And I think the Iraqi police force, as it is formed, will take over more and more of these responsibilities, so people will see an Iraqi face on the security force.

MR. BOUCHER: One more over there .

(Cross talk.)

QUESTION: (In Arabic)

MR. BOUCHER: Go ahead.

QUESTION: (In Arabic)

SECRETARY POWELL: I did. I was in Geneva on Saturday at the invitation of the Secretary General, Kofi Annan. He called the five Foreign Ministers of the Permanent Five members of the Security Council to Geneva to discuss the role of the U.N. here in Iraq, but also to talk about the resolution that is now being debated among Security Council members.

The five permanent members -- we had a good discussion of the resolution. We all have a common view that a resolution would be useful to point in the direction of a full return of sovereignty in Iraq to the Iraqi people.

Every nation has a slightly different perspective. There was a disagreement and still is a disagreement between some of us and others, France in particular, over the rate at which the turnover should take place and whether or not you should go through the whole constitutional and elective process before you have a government that can be seen as legitimate before the eyes of the world and the eyes of the Iraqi people. That's what the debate was about. It was a very long debate. We went on for a number of hours. And I think we saw areas where we converged in our thinking, but there are still some differences. And we now have to expand the group that's debating this to all 15 members, not just the five of us.

And so in New York on Monday, the 15 Permanent Representatives in New York will start to discuss this and see if we can resolve differences that exist among the 15. I think there's a fairly positive result so far from most of the members, and the principal discussion will take place between the United States, the United Kingdom, France. A little more work to be done with our Russian friends and our German friends.

MR. BOUCHER: Okay. I think we've got time for two more. We'll take Jonathan Wright.

QUESTION: Yes, Mr. Secretary. A very simple question. A very simple question. Could you explain to us perhaps the political significance of your choice of partner for dinner this evening?

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I thought it was very, very useful to meet with a senior Shia cleric while I was here, representing a significant part of the population of Iraq, and I look forward to those conversations this evening. It was a straightforward, simple answer to your direct question.

MR. BOUCHER: Okay. Last one .

QUESTION: (In Arabic)

SECRETARY POWELL: Going from last to first: We're all united behind the President's policy. There's a lot of work to be done here, and the State Department, Defense Department and all the other agencies of government are cooperating to achieve the President's goal.

With respect to terrorism in the area, we have acknowledged that some terrorists have started to come into the country in order to try to thwart our efforts, stop our efforts, stop the progress that is being made. And we will deal with them. But I hope that Dr. Albright would also acknowledge the fact that Saddam Hussein is gone, that regime is gone forever, and we now have the opportunity to build a better country here for people deserving of a better country and a better government. And we will deal with the terrorist threat as it comes along.

And I think I missed .

AMBASSADOR BREMER: He was saying that elections were postponed for some reason.

SECRETARY POWELL: I don t I'm not aware of any elections that were postponed, unless the Ambassador is.

AMBASSADOR BREMER: No, I no elections have scheduled here, so there are no elections that have been postponed. As the Secretary pointed out and as the President mentioned yesterday in his radio address to the American people, there is a process to be followed before we get to elections, which is to write and ratify a constitution. When that process is done, then there will be elections.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you.

MR. BOUCHER: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

[End]

Released on September 17, 2003


26 September 2003

Amb. Bremer Explains How the $20 Billion Will be Spent


Washington October 16, 2003

Remarks at the State Department

Secretary Colin L. Powell
C Street Entrance
Washington, DC
2003/1045

(11:10 a.m. EDT)

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, good morning. We are, of course, very pleased with the unanimous vote in the Security Council this morning on what is now UN resolution 1511. The resolution accomplishes the objectives that the President had when we began work on this resolution a few weeks ago to bring the international community together to agree on a plan to move forward to restore full sovereignty of Iraq back to the Iraqi people in a careful, deliberate way that would include creating a government that was based on a constitution and electing leaders on the basis of that constitution.

The resolution puts momentum behind that effort, recognizing the unique obligations and responsibilities of the Coalition Provisional Authority. The resolution also gives a chapeau to the Multinational Force, as it will now be called. It also invites, as we wanted it to, invites the Governing Council to come forward with a plan for the transition back to full Iraqi sovereignty and a time schedule. And we added a date for that plan to come in, the 15th of December. And so we are putting the plan into the hands of the Iraqis, as opposed to the Americans dictating it, or any other country coming up with an arbitrary date.

And so there is much in the resolution to be admired, but it satisfies our goals and objectives. I am very, very pleased and the President is very, very pleased at this outcome. The President believes that with the international community coming together, as it now has, it sets the stage for the Donors Conference next week that will take place in Madrid. And the President has tasked me and Secretary Snow, and other members of his cabinet to be in touch with members of the international community in light of this new resolution to encourage maximum participation and contribution to the Donors Conference next week.

And with that, I will take whatever questions you might have.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, do you expect to get more contributions in troops? And will this unlock any wallets that have been frozen shut?

SECRETARY POWELL: With respect to troops, it assists those nations who are interested in providing troops by giving this broader UN mandate for those troops and putting them under a Multinational Force designation.

We will now be in touch with those countries to see what additional items they wish to discuss, or what additional elements they need dealt with before they make their decision. But it certainly assists us in this process.

With respect to additional contributions, it certainly does assist as we now go around and ask people to be generous, as the United States is planning to be generous.

I think this is a great achievement for the entire Security Council to come together again in this manner, and I'd like to thank those who co-sponsored along with us, and all of those who, over the last several days, as we went through this with misgivings and disagreements and debate, realize at the end of the day, as the Secretary General said a few moments ago: "We have come together to help the Iraqi people and put all of our disagreements of the past into the past, leave them in the past and work together for a better future for the Iraqi people."

This is all about the Iraqi people. The President is pleased that everybody now understands that, and we are together on that mutual goal of helping the Iraqi people.

QUESTION: Secretary Powell, thank you. How many -- can you give us a range of troops -- 0 to 15,000 -- of how many you want to see --

SECRETARY POWELL: No, there's been no change in the number of potential candidates that are out there. Don't see this resolution as opening the door to troops. Those who are interested in providing troops are well known to you. Some of them said they needed the addition of a UN resolution to assist them in their internal deliberations, but I would not want to put a particular number on how many troops might or might not be contributed at this time.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, do you expect France, Russia and Germany to provide substantial financial contributions?

SECRETARY POWELL: From what they said, I am not expecting major contributions from them. And I think Chancellor Schroeder said earlier this morning that there would not be more aid coming. That's a decision that they will have to make, each and every one of them. But I would hope that if they reflect on the needs of the Iraqi people, they would give serious consideration to doing what they can do to support the Iraqi people. This isn't a matter of supporting the United States or the coalition. This is a matter of helping people who are in need. And I hope all of the nations, in light of this new resolution, will reexamine their approach to this in that light.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, last week at this time, officials were kind of saying that they weren't optimistic, that they might consider -- you even said last week that you might consider dropping the resolution. How did you turn it around and get a unanimous vote?

(Laughter.)

SECRETARY POWELL: I won't do it. Wouldn't be right.

By the beginning of this week, I was confident, and the President was confident, that we had probably nine solid votes. And by Tuesday morning, I was sure of nine votes, which is the minimum number for passage, and I was confident there would be no vetoes. So passage was assured earlier this week.

But we were looking for more than passage. We were looking for a solid statement from the entire international community and all of the members of the Security Council, if possible. And so we have worked very hard over the last 48 hours to listen to our colleagues in the Security Council, to see what concerns they had with the resolution, but to make it clear to them what our principles were and what we had to see in such a resolution.

And I am very pleased that over the last 48 hours, as a result of a lot of work on the part of people in the State Department, the White House, the National Security Council, the President, and a wonderful team of diplomats in New York and our ambassadors in capitals, we succeeded, especially in the last 24 hours of slowly adding to the number nine. Ten, eleven and twelve came between 10:30 and 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, and then into the evening we got up to twelve, I guess. I'll take that through the evening. We got to twelve and then overnight two more joined, and then a 15th joined this morning. If you look at 1441, it's almost the same kind of thing.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, can I actually ask about North Korea? The Foreign Ministry in North Korea is saying today that they have plans to physically display their nuclear deterrent. I'm wondering what your reaction to that is, and if you've seen any indications that such a plan is actually going to happen.

SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know what they mean. They've said things like that before, and I don't know what they mean.

QUESTION: You say that now disagreements -- (airplane overhead). At least you didn't walk back in under that cover. Thanks.

SECRETARY POWELL: Sure.

QUESTION: You say that now this is -- it's time to put the disagreements behind you. But if nobody comes forward, or if they don't come forward generously, as you put it, at the Donors Conference, isn't that going to be evidence of new disagreement?

SECRETARY POWELL: I'm -- not all disagreements -- you know, there will be new disagreements, and it is not as if everything is behind us. But I think the major disagreements of the early part of the year, to go to war or not to go to war, that's over. What we have been debating for the last several weeks is how best to create the peace, not whether to go to war or not, and how best to create a new government in Iraq that will be representative of its people and live in peace with its neighbors. I think we're all now agreed to that.

Now, how to go about that, how to contribute to it, the transition of authority -- we will continue to have debates and discussions about that. But I think this resolution went a long way to bringing us all together again so that these debates can continue in a very, very constructive manner.

Frankly, I am becoming more optimistic about the Donors Conference next week. I've had some pretty good conversations. I wouldn't want to give out a number now, but I am more optimistic than I was last week with respect to the Donors Conference in Madrid.

One more, then I have to go.

QUESTION: Can you comment on Syria's vote today? Does that --

SECRETARY POWELL: On the what?

QUESTION: On Syria's decision in the Security Council today.

SECRETARY POWELL: No, I'm pleased that they decided that they did not want to be left out of the consensus. And we got word during the night that they were reflecting on their position. We heard that in the middle of the night. And this morning, we were advised that they would be joining the other 14 members. I think once they learned that the two remaining members who were not in the consensus last night were now in the consensus, they decided they'd make it unanimous. I'm very pleased that they did.

Thank you. [End]

Released on October 16, 2003


October 20, 2003

Interview on Germany's ZDF

Deputy Secretary Richard L. Armitage
Interview by Eberhard Piltz
Washington, DC

2003/1066 (10:30 a.m. EDT)

QUESTION: Mr. Under Secretary, how important is this conference in Madrid for the American Administration?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: I think it's more important for the Iraqi people than it is for the American Administration. This is an opportunity to show the breadth and the length of international support for Iraqi recovery, and in that regard I hope we'll have good attendance and good support.

QUESTION: What do you make of it that especially, by example, Germany is not sending a cabinet minister but just a high bureaucrat?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well, Germany will have to make their own decision how they want to move forward. I saw the comments of the Chancellor right after the UN Security Council Resolution 1511. And these are sovereign decisions which Germany makes, so we respect them.

QUESTION: So do you not expect that the negotiations will bring up more money, but Germany says we are decided we give 100 million, not more?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well, my understanding was Germany was going to pay their fair share of the European Union contribution. That was what I was told by one of the officials of the Federal Republic of Germany.

This is not a matter of negotiating. We are there to show support for the Iraqi people. And if Germany wants to negotiate, that's fine. We're not negotiating. We're just going to go and try to demonstrate our own support and hope that others will make their own positive decisions.

QUESTION: In figures, what kind of money are we talking?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well, in figures, I won't talk.

(Laughter.)

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: It would be silly for me to try to set a target.

  • We're coming, we hope, with $20 billion plus. Both the House and the Senate in the U.S. have decided there will be a very robust contribution. We have some differences in the two houses we have to iron out, but we'll do our part.
  • We're thrilled that the Japanese Government has made a decision to add at least $1.5 billion in grant, and
  • then I understand more in low-interest loans and similar grants. Spain has stepped up to 300 million.
  • The UK has been fabulous with 900 million over several years.
And we're just very hopeful that people will do the best they can to show support for Iraq.

QUESTION: From the outside, it's not very easy to understand at the moment who is in charge of the Iraq policy in Washington. We have a new memorandum giving the Security Council some sort of authority. Can you explain the situation to us?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well, I think, clearly, the Department of Defense, because of their security responsibilities and the need to assure the success of the CPA, is in charge. But the National Security Council here and Dr. Rice have been given the job to make sure things are moving ahead and coordinating the activities among and between the various agencies of the U.S. Government.

QUESTION: Everybody is talking about the sort of disharmony between the Foreign Ministry and Defense on the other side. Would you comment on that?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Yes. They've been singing that song for three years. I've served in previous administrations. I remember the disharmony that was alleged during the Weinberger-Shultz era, and this is nothing new.

I think the fact that the President enjoys having people with strong views around him, presenting their views to him, allowing him to make the most competent decision possible, is sometimes mistaken as disharmony.

QUESTION: But you say the fact that it is not new doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well, I would use a different term. I would use a term called "creative tension." This is not a new phenomenon and it's something that I think the American public should welcome. As I say, the President likes people with strong views. He's not afraid of making a crisp decision when presented with strong views, even if they are opposing views.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, sir. I've got two more questions, which I'll ask for this other program.

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Sure.

QUESTION: First one is about the Niger uranium procurement, allegedly, by Iraq. Why has this appeared in the President's State of the Union Message even if the Foreign Ministry warned against the truth of that story?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well, I don't think it was the State Department who tried to get that removed from the State of the Union. My understanding was the intelligence communities tried to. And my understanding is it was just a dropped ball, and people have taken responsibility for that, and that's the end of the story, as far as I know it.

QUESTION: Second question. The U.S. Government presented the intercepted aluminum tubes as evidence that Iraq has a nuclear weapons program; however, State Department's intelligence service had told the Secretary that these tubes were not suitable for uranium enrichment. Why did he use it in his speech before the UN?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: The State Department intelligence unit had taken a footnote in an estimate, an intelligence estimate, which noted, in their views, the evidence was not persuasive. But the Central Intelligence Agency, particularly, was very strong in their view that this material, these aluminum tubes, could be used in nuclear programs; hence, the decision was made to go with it.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, sir.

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Thank you, sir. [End]

Released on October 21, 2003


See http://www.state.gov/p/nea/ci/c3212.htm for State Department information on Iraq

Washington October 22, 2003

Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage Announces Reestablishment of Fulbright Program in Iraq

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 22, 2003
2003/1075

Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage yesterday announced the reestablishment of the Fulbright Program with Iraq, 14 years after the program was last in operation in that country. The announcement, which followed a similar announcement by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer in Baghdad, was made at the U.S. Department of State, with diplomats from the region, university officials and international exchange organization representatives attending. Deputy Secretary Armitage noted, Iraq is the birthplace of education. It is, after all, where both the written word and arithmetic were first discovered. Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Patricia Harrison commented that, After meeting with university presidents who represent the 12 major universities in Iraq last month, I am extremely pleased that we were able to announce the re-establishment of the Fulbright program in Iraq in such a rapid manner.

The reestablished program is set to begin in 2004, and will initially be supported by $1 million for 2004 scholarships. The Department of State anticipates that the initial group of grantees will number at least 20 students. The students will take masters level coursework at American universities in fields that will be of greatest assistance in the rebuilding of democratic society in Iraq, such as higher education, law, public administration, business, economics, and public health, in addition to other scientific, social science and humanities fields. The initial students, who may begin to arrive in the United States as early as January of 2004, will come to the U.S. for periods of 18 months to 2 years.

The scholarships will be merit-based. Fulbright program officials will work closely with Iraqi university leaders and officials from the Coalition Provisional Authority to design scholarship opportunities that serve the mutual interests of Iraq and the U.S.

The program in Iraq is expected to expand in the future to include scholars from Iraq, who will come to the United States for periods of several months for lecturing, research and reconnecting with counterparts in the U.S. academic community. Opportunities for U.S. scholars will be available initially on a limited basis for short-term opportunities later in 2004.

Fulbright is the American people's premier international scholarship program, established in 1946 to build mutual understanding. It is funded through an annual appropriation from Congress as well as through contributions from partner governments and the private sector and administered by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

[End]

Released on October 22, 2003


Washington, DC, October 22, 2003

Preview of Iraq Donors' Conference in Madrid, October 23-24, 2003

Alan P. Larson, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs;
John B. Taylor, Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs

Foreign Press Center Briefing
Washington, DC
October 22, 2003
12:08 P.M. EDT

MR. DENIG: Good afternoon, and welcome to the Washington Foreign Press Center. We hope to be connected with London as well in a few minutes. We are very pleased today to have two experts to provide a preview for us of the Iraq donors conference in Madrid, which will be going on tomorrow and Friday. We have, first of all, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs Al Larson, and we have Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs John Taylor. Each one of them will have a brief opening statement to make, and then we'll be glad to take your questions.

Under Secretary Larson.

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Thank you very much. I think it's important, as a starting point for considering the Madrid conference, to point out that this is a conference that is designed to help the Iraqi people, for the first time in 25 to 30 years, to have a chance to build a prosperous and democratic country. The Iraqis will be the focus of attention. It will be they who will be presenting their vision for the future, what they want to accomplish, and why they are looking for the help of the international community.

The second point I would emphasize is that the preparations for this conference and for the reconstruction effort that will proceed has been a very multilateral conference -- has been a very multilateral process. We launched that process in June at a meeting at UN Headquarters, at which point it was agreed that

  • the United Nations and
  • the World Bank and
  • the International Monetary Fund
would conduct, over the course of the summer, needs assessments. Those needs assessments have been completed, and you have all read about the fact that there is an estimate of those needs. And the areas surveyed by the international institutions, amount to something on the order of $36 billion. In addition to that, there's roughly $19 billion worth of needs that have been identified and surveyed by the coalition, particularly in the areas like oil and security. So you have a very, very large requirement here, on the order of $55 billion.

The second way in which this has been a very multilateral process has been the work that's gone into the creation of a multi-donor trust fund that would be administered by the World Bank and the United Nations. This is a fund into which donors who choose to can put money. That money would be used in a way that's consistent with the assessed needs as described by the international organizations and by the authorities in Baghdad, and would be administered by a governance structure that would be set up in those institutions -- a very multilateral process.

The third important element of the multilateral approach to this conference was the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1511, which specifically calls on the international community to support the Iraqi people at this moment of need and opportunity.

So we go into this conference with, with high expectations. It is a conference that's about helping the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people, as represented by the Governing Council and the interim ministers, will be the ones who will be at center stage in this conference. And with those remarks, I'd like to ask my colleague and friend, Under Secretary Taylor, to add some opening comments, after which we'll take your questions.

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: Thank you very much, Al. Things are falling into place for what we believe will be a very successful donors conference in Madrid. Plans have been underway for a long time, actually. Back in April of this year was when the World Bank was called on and agreed to do a needs assessment -- to lay out to the international community as a significant international organization what the needs for reconstruction would be.

Working with United Nations and with others, they have come up with a needs assessment, which is ready in time for the conference so that people can see exactly what it takes to bring Iraq back to the success that it was before the devastation caused by Saddam Hussein.

The international community -- many, many participants are coming together, are on their way to Madrid as we speak. The U.S. delegation will be led by Secretary Powell and Secretary Snow. The Iraqis will be very much part of this conference -- the financial officials -- and they're ready to go with this assistance. The Central Bank is operating. A very successful replacement of the old Saddam currency with a new currency is under way, starting last week, run by the Iraqi Central Bank and by the finance ministry. The

  • nternational Advisory and Monetary Board where the international community,
  • arrow Fund for Economic and Social Development,
  • United Nations,
  • World Bank and
  • IMF
will be overseeing and providing transparency for the use of funds and to the development fund for Iraq.

So things are falling into place. And just yesterday, we were very happy to hear the World Bank indicating that they could provide support up to $5 billion to help the Iraqi people. So we're looking forward to a very good, very successful conference. Thank you very much.

MR. DENIG: Okay. All right. We remind you again, please, to use the microphone and state your name and your news organization. Let's start with the lady in red in the back, please.

QUESTION: Debra Lutterbeck with Reuters Television. Do you sense any concern in the international community that there is a reluctance to contribute funds to reconstruction because it would be seen as a handout to American companies?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Well, I don't think so. Certainly not about -- not on the part of anyone that's knowledgeable.

  1. We have made very clear, first of all, that this multi-donor trust fund, which the World Bank and the United Nations will administer, will operate under international contracting rules. And those are well known to all companies that operate internationally.
  2. Secondly, those countries that wish to engage directly through their bilateral assistance missions can operate under their own contracting rules as long as they're supporting projects that are part of the priority needs as have been identified in Baghdad and identified by the international needs assessments.
So there is more than enough work to go around. And this is about helping the Iraqi people. It's not about contracts.

MR. DENIG: All right, let's get -- go over here to Russia.

QUESTION: Thank you. Ivan Lebedev for the Russian News Agency, TASS. I have a question about these two independent trust funds that should be created for Iraqi reconstruction. How would you explain why there is a need for creation not one but two funds? What will be the difference between them? And is U.S. Administration -- are you going to use one of these funds maybe in particular, the one that should be managed the United Nations, the other one should be managed by the World Bank -- are you going to use it to channel maybe some part of this $20 billion for the projects in social and economic reconstruction in Iraq?

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: The work that's being done on the trust funds is coming along quite well. There are analogies that people have worked with, including the trust fund that was set up for Afghanistan reconstruction where some donors decided they would put funds into that trust fund and the funds would therefore be distributed according to that trust fund's rules.

As Under Secretary Larson was indicating, many countries will be contributing in a way that -- through their bilateral agencies -- helping Iraq as they helped other countries in the past in the same way. So that's another option.

And the channels here are useful for different countries, and we want to make it attractive as possible for each country, whether they want to use their own aid agencies and their own contracting rules or they want to use this trust fund, the idea is to find the most flexible way to help the Iraqi people.

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: I would just add a couple of quick follow-ups. One is that this flexibility that Under Secretary Taylor is talking about is one of the reasons why there are two windows, at least, under the trust fund:

  • one for the UN, (The UN does permit earmarking so donors can contribute to very specific social types of operations. )
  • one for the World Bank. (The World Bank traditionally has not allowed earmarking of their funds and so -- but they put them into a pool according to an agreed set of priorities.)
That's one of the reasons for the difference.

It is not our intention to funnel our contributions through those trust funds. We have very active programs on the ground and most of our money will go directly into supporting urgent infrastructure requirements and urgent security requirements.

MR. DENIG: Turkey.

QUESTION: An Iraq-related story about the planned U.S. loan to Turkey was altogether some $8.5 billion. What's happening with that? It seems it would be -- expect the completion of a couple of remaining steps -- Turkey will be eligible to receive the first installment. What's the update that you give us, and is there any problem, any obstacle before the release of the first tranche?

And in your talks with the Turkish Government, do you have a general timeframe about when the first disbursement could take place? Thank you.

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: There's absolutely no problems. The financial agreement was signed in Dubai by Minister Babajan and Secretary Snow. It's ready to go. The Turkish Government will be deliberating about when they want to use the disbursements. And there is a process in place to work it. It's just a matter of when they want to move ahead at this point.

MR. DENIG: All right. Let's go front here to Germany.

QUESTION: Michael Backfisch, German Business Daily Handelsblatt. Regarding the two trust funds, will there be a cooperation with the CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) and US authorities? And if so, who has the lead role?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Well, again, I think the starting point is, over the course of the summer the needs assessment that Under Secretary Taylor and I have described have resulted in a consensus view about what the high priority areas are for reconstruction.

So I think the priorities as seen by the CPA and the priorities as identified in these needs assessments are very much in common. In any type of development exercise, there needs to be a coherence in the consistency in how this is carried out. And the International Monetary Fund, among others, has been one of the most insistent in saying, "We need to make sure that these priorities are all reflected in a budget." So there will need to be some cooperation here.

But the trust funds will operate under their own governance structure. They would be the ones that would be ultimately responsible to donors for how the donors' money is being used.

MR. DENIG: All right, let's go to Italy right there, please.

QUESTION: Giampiero Gramaglia, the Italian News Agency, ANSA. A question for Mr. Larson and a question for Mr. Taylor.

Mr. Larson, after the United Nation resolution, did you expect more from the European countries? And are you satisfied with the level of contribution of the European Union as organization?

And Mr. Taylor, do you see a role, and which role, for the IMF in the multilateral effort?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: In our conversations with European governments as well as the Commission of the European Union, we consistently have heard that they all believe that the reconstruction of Iraq must succeed; that it is a matter of very vital national interest to European governments that this effort succeed. We would certainly hope that the contributions coming from Europe, over time, would reflect that assessment of their own interests in seeing reconstruction succeed.

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: Just on the Security Council resolution, I just would note that Paragraph 10:21 urges member states and international regional organizations to make substantial pledges at the donors conference in Madrid, so the resolution itself is very explicit about substantial pledges. And this is a resolution that won a great degree of support from the international community.

With respect to the International Monetary Fund -- yes, we expect the IMF to be very helpful. And they already have been helpful in designing a monetary policy, working with the Iraqi Central Bank and Mr. Shabibi, and we continue to do that. I just yesterday had conversations with people from the International Monetary Fund about this. They have been very constructive already and we expect that we will continue to be.

It's -- now that the new currency is put in place, the new Iraqi currency, monetary policy will very important. And they are designing an auction so that they can adjust the amount of liquidity in the economy to keep the inflation rate low. The inflation rate, as far as we can estimate, has only been two and a half percent at an annual rate since Saddam fell. And that compares to, as you know, very, very high on those hyperinflation rates in the previous regime.

So the monetary policy framework is going well, but you need to have the IMF to -- and all their expertise to be helping out with that.

QUESTION: Phoenix TV of Hong Kong. One question is, the $20 billion, $20 million the U.S. has pledged, would that be put in the -- one of the funds, or you're going to make additional funds to put into the international money pool? And second question is, you said individual countries can work bilaterally with Iraq. Are there restrictions on the oil industry if they want to investment -- invest? Thank you.

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Okay. Well, first of all, our number is $20 billion. And that will -- we do not intend to funnel that $20 billion through this trust fund. That money will be spent on urgent infrastructure and urgent security requirements consistent, incidentally, with the needs assessments that have been made. But that's how we would intend to proceed on that front.

And, you know, at this stage, the issue of oil -- I mean, there's a certain amount of needs that are out there, in terms of the rehabilitation of the production and the processing and the transportation infrastructure. Those are part of the assessment that has been done by the coalition. Those are going to be very, very important to fund. And I think a number of those will be -- will be covered by the contributions that the United States is going to make.

The important thing about the oil sector, though, is that looking to the future, it's going to be up to the Iraqis to decide what kind of oil industry that they want -- whether they want to invite the private sector to come in and play a larger role in the production of oil. And so those are all issues that are, frankly, going to be kicked down the road for a future Iraqi Government to decide.

QUESTION: Can I follow up? But if the Coalition Authority is -- I'm not going to say blocking, but they are influencing the Iraqi authority, transitional authority now, how do you promise a fairer play in the future for other countries to come in?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Well, I wouldn't agree with your characterization. My sense is that Mr. Ghadban, who is the CEO of the oil ministry right now, as well as the interim minister, are really taking charge of all of this work, and in particular, the work about the rehabilitation and the maintenance of the existing facilities and the effort to get oil production and oil exports rising.

So you know, this is something that is proceeding under Iraqi leadership even now. My point is that in a relatively short period of time there will be an Iraqi elected government that will be exercising full authority and, you know, leading Iraqis in the rebuilding of their country, and it will be at that time that they'll decide what sort of oil industry they want to have.

MR. DENIG: All right, let's go to Thomas in front, please.

QUESTION: Thomas Gorguissian, An-Nahar, Lebanon. Secretary Larson, my first question is about -- can you simplify to us, and to our readers, let's say, or to our audience, how these three funds -- at least I heard three funds, now two funds, and then the CPA -- how they are going to work together or sync -- harmonize their efforts? Who is going to be in charge to take this or decide?

Second question, related to the -- are there any "substantial pledges" from the Arab neighboring countries? This is for you and then Ambassador -- Secretary Taylor, your -- question for you is related to the monetary and financial status of Iraq. Are you -- what is the latest with achieving progress on the debt forgiveness for Iraq, especially from European countries and some Arab countries? And the second, what about the frozen assets in neighboring countries and in banks all over the world?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Okay. I may need to ask you to repeat your second question, but, you know, your first question had to deal with how do you achieve coherence among the different pots of money.

I think the most important starting point is that there needs to be an agreed strategy as reflected in the budget. And we have always regarded the budget as the most important device for establishing priorities and ensuring coherence in the development strategy. The development fund for Iraq is the pool into which resources like export proceeds and tax proceeds that are gained in Iraq are placed.

That is being -- those funds are being allocated by the Coalition with an independent or international monitoring and auditing board supervising that, being in position to provide information to the international community about how those expenditures are being carried out.

We are creating this pair of trust funds under the administration of the World Bank and the United Nations which can be available as a pool for other donors to contribute money into that would be used in accordance with the priorities that have been laid out in the budget, in the needs assessments, and so forth. And each of those will have a governance structure that will be accountable to donors about how the funds are used, but will ensure that the funds are used according to the priorities that have been established. So I think it's fairly straightforward.

It is also possible for donors that wish to operate bilaterally to do so. But again, there, too, there needs to be their activities -- the programs that they fund -- have to be part of the consistent set of development priorities that have been established. And this is common. I mean this is the same type of situation you have in any effort where there is a substantial amount of donor contributions to development efforts.

QUESTION: Second question. Are you expecting or do you received any pledges from neighboring Arab countries?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Well, we believe that neighboring Arab countries have a very, very large stake in the success of reconstruction. These are countries that were threatened the most by Saddam Hussein. They're the ones who will benefit the most by the emergence of a prosperous and democratic Iraq. They are countries that would suffer if Iraq were to slide into a situation of instability or to once again become a threat to its neighbors. So we would look to them to make substantial contributions reflecting their substantial stake in having the reconstruction process proceed.

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: You had two questions for me -- one on the assets and one on the debt.

QUESTION: Yes.

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: With respect to the assets, the -- I would actually begin by referring to the Security Council Resolution, Paragraph 24 here, which calls on the member states to remember their obligations to immediately cause the transfer of these funds, these funds that Saddam Hussein and his regime took out of the country, and to return it to the development fund for Iraq for the benefit of the Iraqi people. So that call is out there.

The United States has sent well over a billion dollars back of this money to the pay the Iraqi people. The Japanese have begun to do that. More effort needs to be done to return those assets that Saddam took out of the country and return them to the rightful owners in Iraq. We're working on that.

On the debt, there's a lot of progress that's being made on the effort to get a substantial reduction in the value of the debt. The debt is very high. We're getting more and more information about the size of it. The G8 governments, including Russia, agreed not to accept any payments on the debt, at least through the end of 2004, and in Dubai, the G7 governments agreed to resolve the debt issue by next year so that there can be a clear vision in front of the Iraqi people so they don't have the burden of this in front of them. But that is something that's ongoing, and the process is in place.

MR. DENIG: Let's got to Turkey up here, please.

QUESTION: Reha Atasagan from Turkish Television, TRT. One of the priorities of the U.S. Administration is to vitalize the Iraqi economy, and yet there's a -- a very recent decision which limits the transfer of cash out of Iraq for businessmen by $10,000 U.S., and the Turkish businessmen are very upset about this limitation. Why this decision were taken, we are wondering why?

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: The specific figure you're referring to, $10,000, I'm not aware of. I know that the Governing Council representing the Iraq people on this issue recommended and actually put forth a very good foreign investment law. It -- it welcomes foreign investment, and in the Dubai international meetings the finance minister proposed this to the international community. And in the meeting that we're talking about, the donors conference in Madrid, there will be a whole day devoted to the private sector, to trying to attract funds from the private sector into Iraq.

But this is a democracy that's being formed here. And some of the decisions, such as a limitation in a certain area, reflect the will of the people, and we're beginning to see that.

One area where they wanted to be focused on for investment is in retail distribution and retail sales, and so there is some limitation in that area and in certain other areas, too. But by and large, internationally speaking, this is a very open-oriented foreign investment law. And it's designed to attract investment which can improve people's lives, raise the standard of living -- that's what we really want to do here -- and I think it's a very good step, and I'm sure there will be particular issues that various governments will be raising with the Governing Council in the future.

MR. DENIG: Okay, let's take the lady in orange, did you have a question? Or the lady in red. Okay.

(Laughter.)

QUESTION: Anna Willard from Reuters. I wanted -- I have a few questions. Firstly, I wanted to check absolutely that none of the $20 billion from the U.S. is going to go into the trust fund, because I understood that some of it would go into the trust fund -- some of it.

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: Let's see. Right now, the money that's being still decided upon in the Congress, the plans are that that will be funneled through the regular U.S. distribution, and the decisions about its use will be made through the Coalition Provisional Authority under the directorship of Ambassador Bremer. So that is how that is being played at this point. We don't have any particular channels we're working towards. The funds will be distributed and used effectively for Iraq by the CPA.

QUESTION: But will some of it go in the trust fund?

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: This is the -- right now I'm going to say the funds will be going to the -- for distribution by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Those decisions will be made by Ambassador Bremer in consultations with the regular channels of communication in our government and the regular rules of procurement will take place.

QUESTION: The second thing is, how much would you like the IMF to lend to Iraq?

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: As in all of the questions about how much we would like various international organizations and member states to do, I always say as much as they possibly can. (Laughter.) And that goes to every single organization. I had indicated how pleased we were that the World Bank indicated they would be able to provide up to $5 billion of funds to Iraq. We were already very pleased by the announcement in Japan of $1.5 billion.

And with respect to each organization, I would say that as much as they can. And the IMF has already been very helpful in Iraq, as I indicated before. And the amount of resources that they will pledge we'll find out soon at the meeting, if not sooner, in Madrid. But I'm optimistic that this whole process will be successful -- not just the IMF, but other organizations and member states, too.

QUESTION: Could I just follow up? If you do a back of the envelope calculation of the pledges that have come in so far, do you know how much you're actually going to get in Madrid -- just a rough calculation?

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: We're not doing the calculations before the conference at this point. We're welcoming each one that comes in individually, and it's promising, it's good. And also, I just want to emphasize what is most important is that this represents a international support -- many, many, many countries, many organizations -- for the people of Iraq. And it's coming forth in a way, which I think we can all be very positive and pleased about. They will be there; the people of Iraq will be there, the central bank governor and finance minister, et cetera. And that's what really good -- this great show of international support to help the people of Iraq.

MR. DENIG: Okay, let's go to the lady in white, please.

QUESTION: Pat Reiber from the German Press Agency. Just to clarify the amount in debts that Iraq is owing and reparations, could you please give us those figures, what you estimate them to be?

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: We have a great range of estimates on both reparations and on the debt. And it wouldn't really help for me to give you the specific range at this point in time. But it's very large. The reparations aspect themselves, that was dealt with in the first UN Security Council resolution that they would be brought down to 5 percent of oil revenues, and there's a good process in place now to bring those down even further as we see progress that's being made.

And with respect to the debt, the numbers are in the order of around $100 billion, depending on how you count, depending on whether they were actually loans or grants in the past and which sector you're talking about.

QUESTION: And, I'm sorry -- the reparations end of it?

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: I'm not -- I don't have a number to give you on the reparations.

QUESTION: But the UN recommendation is 5 percent of oil --

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: The -- in the, in the 1483, Security Council Resolution, the -- there was a limit to reparations of 5 percent of the oil revenues, okay? They had been 25 percent prior to that. It was reduced to 5 percent. Even the claims in that are being worked out and discussed and they tend to be coming into numbers that are smaller than that.

MR. DENIG: Okay, let's go to London for our next question. Sir, if you'd introduce yourself, please.

QUESTION: Hasan Haider from al-Hayat, from al-Hayat Newspaper. The Governing Council in Iraq was found on ethnical base. Do you think the distribution of aids, or the money collected in Madrid will go on the same base?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Well, I think what I would say is that the Governing Council was structured in a way as to be representative of the diversity that one finds in Iraq. Certainly when we have looked at the priorities for reconstruction, we focused on those sectors and those activities that would be most critical to getting Iraq back on its feet quickly. So we focused on electricity and water, for example, critical infrastructure areas. We focused on the importance of having a professional police department that can contribute to maintaining security. We focused on the importance of having the oil sector operating as efficiently as possible and producing and exporting as much oil as possible.

So these are all things that support national economic reconstruction. They aren't things that are sort of focusing on allocating money based on ethnic considerations.

QUESTION: One more --

MR. DENIG: London, do you have a second question?

QUESTION: Yes. France said today again, that she won't represent any -- she won't give any more money unless through the European institutions and international institutions. Do you think this is a -- I don't know, how do you see it, this position?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Well, I'm not going to characterize any country's position. But what I will say again is that I think that in Europe, in my conversations with many governments, including the Government of France, I've been assured that they see this as a matter of utmost priority; that they believe that the reconstruction effort in Iraq must succeed; and that their interests would be severely damaged if it doesn't succeed. All that we are suggesting is that countries should make their contributions based on that sort of an estimate of the importance of success and the stake that they have in seeing success for the Iraqi people.

MR. DENIG: London, you have a final question?

QUESTION: Thank you, sir.

MR. DENIG: Okay, first, does Japan have any questions? Any questions from Japan?

Let's go to the gentleman in the blue in the back there.

QUESTION: Brian Yang from Nippon TV. I want to know what's -- do you have any more expectations from Japan besides the 15 -- the $1.5 billion contribution to the Iraq reconstruction? And also to Japanese companies who want to join the reconstruction effort, do you have any suggestions?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Well, let me just say that the $1.5 billion contribution that Japan has announced is a grand contribution for 2004. And so it is our understanding that Japan is considering what it may be able to do in the years beyond 2004, but I don't know whether the government will be making announcements on that in Madrid or at some later point. But we do understand that the $1.5 billion is a first step that covers a contribution for 2004.

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: If I could just -- on the Japanese firms, there's plenty of opportunities for foreign firms of all kinds, and subcontracts and funds coming from other sources. So it's definitely and emphasis on an openness in the contracts and trying to get the job done. Whenever we talk about this we say, "Let's get the job done. Let's get the Iraqi economy and country back and shape." And that is a focus all the time.

MR. DENIG: Okay, let's go to Handelsblatt in front again.

QUESTION: The Iraqi oil revenues are supposed to be around $12 billion by the end of next year. With the improvement of the facilities on the ground, do you have a rough estimate of the revenues in the years after?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: The numbers that we have used in testimony have been in the range of

  • $19 billion in 2005 and 2006, which, if achieved, would allow oil revenues to begin to make a contribution to reconstruction in those years.
  • I think for next year, the expected revenues of about $12 billion would have to be devoted entirely to covering the operating expenses of the government.

MR. DENIG: Let's take the gentleman in the back there, please.

QUESTION: Georg Schwartze, German Public Radio. Are you frustrated by the fact that some countries, like Germany, are sending just lower ranking administration members and not a cabinet member or minister secretary? And the second question, again, what would you call a success in terms of figures? $15 billion? $20 billion? Thanks.

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Well, John may want to comment on this too. I think that it is very important to the Iraqi representatives who will be coming to Madrid, the representatives of the Governing Council and the interim ministers, to both hear their vision and hear their hopes for their country, hopes that they haven't been able to aspire to for the last 25 years and to show them that we are going to stand with them at this moment of need and opportunity. So I hope every government will do that, not only by the nature of its delegation but also by the nature of the contribution that they are prepared to pledge.

I think my definition of success for the conference is whether the Iraqi people, the Iraqi representatives at this meeting, leave with a sense of confidence that they have the support of the international community behind them, and that working together, they are going to be able to achieve their vision for the new Iraq.

MR. DENIG: Okay, the gentleman in beige.

QUESTION: Hi, Brian Knowlton with the International Herald Tribune. What do you say to countries that may hesitate to be generous in Madrid because they say there are plenty of other countries in the world that need aid just as seriously and that are not sitting on billions or trillions of dollars in oil potential revenues? And also, for that matter, what do you say to Americans who say that there are plenty of things in this country that they would rather spend the money on?

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: There are important needs in other countries and the United States. This particular focus now is, however, very important. To make it work there is an opportunity now that the Iraqi people have not had for many, many years. And by focusing the effort on this moment, this window of opportunity, we could make a huge difference for them, but also for the security of the entire world. And that is why we think it's very important for contributions to be there, both for -- to improve the lives of people in Iraq, but also to improve the lives of people all over the world.

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: If I could just add a couple of specifics in the spirit of John's answer. We've made very clear to other governments that we don't want their assistance to Iraq to come at the expense of their assistance to the poorest developing countries, and that's not going to happen in the case of the United States either.

The President continues to support his important initiative on HIV/AIDS, a $15 billion program, his initiative on the Millennium Challenge Account. The reason he's gone to the Congress for a supplemental appropriation that's outside the normal budget process is precisely because, as John indicated, this is a moment of historic opportunity in Iraq, it's something that we need to move on quickly, it's something that if we don't move on quickly there will be very, very bad consequences in the future. And we hope that other governments will see it the same way, that they will make an extra budgetary effort recognizing the importance of this particular task.

MR. DENIG: Okay, let's go to the lady up front here, please, followed by the gentlemen there for the last question.

QUESTION: Thank you. Then would you be open to loans from other countries, the idea of loans? And also, is the $20 billion from U.S. and World Bank and UN is separate, is there a breakdown of sectors in business or whatever the reconstruction that's concerned -- a breakdown of those, like the $20 billion will go to these sectors only, and you will concern with other things?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: Well, on the loan question, as you know, we have taken -- the Administration has taken a very strong stand that what Iraq needs right now are grants. And we want our $20 billion to be in the form of grants because we don't want to add to this very large debt burden that Under Secretary Taylor was briefing you on a moment ago.

You know, a time may come -- we hope a time will come when Iraq can be involved in realistic borrowing, but that time isn't here now. Right now we need to move quickly with grant assistance. And the faster we do that, the faster the US and others are able to come forward with grant assistance, the faster Iraq will be able to succeed, the faster we will be able to see American servicemen and women coming home. So that's our view on grants.

Now on the uses of the $20 billion US contribution, is that --

QUESTION: Yes. So that it doesn't repeat or say the UN funds will go to security also and U.S. will go to security also, wouldn't that be a conflict? Maybe you have a plan already that the UN fund will mind other business only?

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: No, I -- the sectors that the World Bank and the United Nations survey do not include security. Their trust fund structures really don't put them in a position to be able to accept or disburse contributions intended for security. So we do see that there is going to be an effective burden sharing here.

The United States will be involved in infrastructure, but the infrastructure requirements, as assessed by the World Bank and the United Nations, only in the sectors of electricity and water amount to almost $20 billion. So there is plenty of work even in the area of infrastructure for all countries that are prepared to contribute.

MR. DENIG: Okay, last question -- the gentleman on the side, there.

QUESTION: Jacques Van Wesel, Radio Netherlands. There seems to be a contradiction or a perception of a contradiction between -- on the one hand Iraq has gone to the Administration become a battlefield in the war against terrorism, and on the other hand, reconstruction because a battlefield, a war zone is not exactly the place where you are going to handle projects for reconstruction. Maybe it's also a psychological issue, but how do you answer that concern or that contradiction?

UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: There is already a lot of economic progress and economic success that's moving in Iraq now. If you go to Baghdad, you see shops opening. You see people buying refrigerators, satellite dishes, things that are being imported with the money that's been paid to the government workers and the state and enterprise workers. And you can see restaurants are opening and a lot of activity is going on. And so that's the nature that we want -- we want that to grow so that people can earn incomes and raise their standard of living just to get back to where they were before the Saddam destruction. So that's all positive for economic investment, entrepreneurship. There's a great history of trading and doing business in Iraq. It goes back thousands of years. And there's all that potential is there that they want to bring forth and we want to help them bring forth. And security, of course, is related to that.

So helping to reduce the security concerns -- the funds that President Bush is asking the Congress go to deal with many of those concerns -- will make more attractive for economic development which, I agree with you, is really essential to raise the prosperity and standard of living in the country.

UNDER SECRETARY LARSON: If I could, just two quick points.

  1. One of the areas in which countries can contribute is in the area of police training where there has been very successful multilateral activities in the Balkans. And we can build on that; we are tying to build on that using the good offices of the Government of Jordan.
  2. Secondly, although this has been a briefing on reconstruction, obviously one of the things the UN Security Council Resolution does is to call for a multi-national security force. And some countries have stepped forward recently to indicate their willingness to participate in that, notably Korea.
MR. DENIG: Okay, thank you very much, Under Secretary Taylor, Under Secretary Larson. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. [End]

Madrid October 23, 2003

Interview with Senior Editors Roundtable

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Madrid, Spain
October 23, 2003

2003/1085

(4:40 p.m. Local)

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you all for coming, and why don't we just jump right in. Who would like to begin? Ladies first? Always a gentleman.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY POWELL: No, the conference is being hosted by Spain. It is also being hosted by the European Union, as a member of the core group. There are over 75 countries here from around the world, and more than half of them are represented at the ministerial level. In many cases, they are not foreign ministers, they are development ministers. That's quite appropriate. The United Kingdom, Canada, Norway -- I can think of several others who sent the minister who is responsible for development. We don't have such a minister, so I'm it, but I would have come anyway. But I also have my "minister for development" with me, Mr. Andrew Natsios, who heads our U.S. Agency for International Development.

So I'm not disappointed. And there are some European countries who have said from the outset that they were not planning to make an additional financial contribution beyond what they may have already done France, Germany -- so I would not have expected to see their foreign minister come.

But I am very pleased with the presence of so many nations. I am very pleased with the presence of a very large private sector group. I am very pleased with the very large delegation that is here from Iraq -- Iraqis. Some 128 Iraqis are here, 5 members of the Governing Council, 15 cabinet ministers. And I am very pleased that the Secretary General is here.

So I think we're going to have a good conference. I'm optimistic at the outcome, albeit I'm not ready to predict dollar amounts. But I have been following all the commentary about the conference. I woke up this morning to hear a television reporter saying to Mark Malloch Brown of the UNDP, "How are you going to deal with this diplomatic disaster?" I said, "My God, I'm still shaving. How can I have already had a diplomatic disaster? The conference hasn't begun yet."

The fact of the matter is I am optimistic about it. Ten days ago, everybody was saying there would be no UN resolution, the Secretary General would have nothing to do with this, nobody was coming, it was a mess. We now have a unanimous UN resolution, 1511. The Secretary General made a very important speech this morning where he indicated the UN is anxious to get back in. He is evaluating the security situation, but he knows that the UN has a role to play. That role has been spelled out with greater specificity in Resolution 1511, and he encouraged everybody to participate.

And so while it's natural for all of us to wait for the final tally tomorrow like a telethon, I think we're going to have a pretty good outcome.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY POWELL: Yes. I have had some conversations with my Arab friends in recent days and I am expecting them to make a respectable contribution. I would leave it at that without prejudging what it might be. Of course, we started the ball rolling with $20 billion, which is a significant amount.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) When do you expect (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POWELL: It's hard to say when there will be an adequate level of security throughout the country, but there are parts of the country right now that I would feel comfortable doing work in and making an investment in: in the north and in the south. There are sections even in the center, around the Sunni Triangle, where it may be safe to do work.

There are companies that are coming in now and bidding.

  • One figure I just might mention is the American company Bechtel, which everybody likes to write about, has issued some 140 subcontracts to companies; 102 of those, alone, are to Iraqi companies. So Bechtel is heavily involved and is subcontracting to mostly companies within the area.
  • Recently, contracts were awarded for the new cellular telephone system, which went to non-American companies. And so, they feel confident enough to come in and start work.
So, I think, as more and more Iraqi police are trained and put on the streets, and as the Iraqi army starts to be rebuilt, the security will gradually improve in the center, in the Sunni Triangle area and Baghdad, which causes concern, and people will increasingly feel confident. But I can't give you a date.

You can measure it in different ways, though. The curfew is going up every night, to 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock, and now Ambassador Bremer is planning to raise it even higher. And so people are feeling more secure. They want to be out at night. They want to enjoy themselves. They want to conduct business.

And so, I think it will be a spreading sense of security, and every company will have to make its own judgment. But companies are making that judgment now and are expressing great interest in investing right now.

QUESTION: How much (inaudible) to establishment of (inaudible) the Iraqi government?

SECRETARY POWELL: I think everybody is anxious to see the emergence of an Iraqi government that, with each passing day, can assume greater authority. There is nothing that Ambassador Bremer, or the President, or I, or Don Rumsfeld, or anyone else in our Administration wants to do more than transfer authority to the Iraqi people, as fast as we can.

We have no desire to run this country for an indefinite period of time with our coalition partners. The whole thrust of the UN Resolution 1511 is to encourage the creation of Iraqi institutions, and an Iraqi constitution and elections for officials, so that we can move quickly and return full authority back to the Iraqi people.

And I hope that as the Governing Council, the number of members who are with us now, here in Madrid, as the Governing Council develops more capacity -- right now, it's 24 people with some staff. It needs hundreds of staff people in order to start functioning as a government. The ministries that all now have cabinet ministers appointed need a lot more people in order to start running the country.

So, right now, we are encouraging the Governing Council to hire staff, get people who can work full-time, all week long, and not just on a part-time basis because they have other things to do. So we want to build up that capacity and then use that capacity to start running the country as quickly as possible.

But those who have said, "Do it right away," and this was a big debate for the last several months with some of my European colleagues -- the French, the Germans and others -- and we had open, candid discussions. We both had -- all had the same goal. Myself, Dominique de Villepin and Joschka Fischer and Igor Ivanov and others -- we have the same goal: transfer authority. Where we differed was how soon that could happen. And our position was, "We agree with you." And the resolution that finally emerged said that. "We agree with you. We want sovereignty transferred as quickly as possible."

But it would be irresponsible, absolutely irresponsible and unrealistic, to think that we could say, "On January 23rd at 12 o'clock, we know now there will be somebody that we can give full authority back to." This doesn't work by lunar cycles or calendar cycles. It works by capacity on the ground and the ability to actually operate the country in a responsible way that the Iraqi people would look up to.

The Iraqi people want their leaders to emerge and to take responsibility over again. They want to see the -- those who are not -- you know, the foreign forces leave. We want to leave. But we want to do it in a way that leaves this a country that is stable, lives in peace with its neighbors, and will use its oil revenues to benefit its own -- the welfare of its own people and not build weapons or threaten its neighbors again.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) Mr. Rumsfeld (inaudible),

SECRETARY POWELL: Who did?

QUESTION: Mr. Rumsfeld.

SECRETARY POWELL: Rumsfeld.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) Iraq. What's your opinion?

SECRETARY POWELL: Look, Secretary Rumsfeld is always probing. He's always pressing his people to look at new ideas and new ways of doing their business, and so I think that's what that memo reflected. And he was making an assessment of the success we have had and where we might need to do better, and he was prodding, as I think he said, he was prodding his staff to come up with ideas.

So I wouldn't suggest that that memo reflected a change in strategy. It reflected assessing how things are going, where we have done well, and where we might need to make some changes. And that's what that was about. And it was an internal memo. It was something that he was using with his staff, which, unfortunately, did not remain an internal memo, but no, no -- nothing in the memo that should be troubling to anybody.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, the United States is involved in two reconstruction processes: the one in Iraq, of course, and the other one in Afghanistan. When you compare those two efforts, could you elaborate on your thoughts? Where are the most progress being made right now?

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, we've been at the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan for close to two years, and it's coming along quite well. You can't compare it directly to Iraq. Iran (sic) was a very, very broken country, as is Iraq, without any kind of infrastructure or without any industry to speak of.

Excuse me. Iran? Afghanistan. Forgive me. A little jet lag. I mean, Kenya, Sudan, Egypt, Madrid -- all in 12 hours gets a little tricky. But Afghanistan started at a different level of development with a different set of needs. I mean, one of the greatest achievements we have had in Afghanistan so far is just building a road from Kabul to Kandahar, which is now almost paved and will be paved by the end of the year.

And we are now starting to see life return to Afghanistan, small businesses starting up, women entering the workplace, and I'm very pleased with what we have done in Afghanistan. And as part of our efforts, we are putting another $1.2 billion into our reconstruction effort on top of the $1.8 billion we've already put in. And it's slowly turning around.

The challenge in Afghanistan right now is not that we don't know how to keep things moving -- two challenges that I see, really: one, to make sure that the Taliban do not gain a foothold again coming out of the border areas with Pakistan, and our troops are up to the task there; and the other thing is to bring all the regional warlords, as they are sometimes called, under central direction and let them know that the habits of the past can't continue. And I think President Karzai is going about that in a rather careful, methodical way and is slowly imposing the will of the central government on the outlying regions.

But it's difficult to compare Afghanistan and Iraq: a rural, agricultural country that has not even really entered, let's say, the industrial age; and Iraq, which was well into the industrial age and then let it all go to the devil over the last 30 years under the despotic leadership of Saddam Hussein. And so it takes more of an investment to get an industrialized or industrializing nation back up to where it ought to be than it does to deal with an agrarian nation.

In Afghanistan, for example, one of the challenges faced is two -- almost two million refugees came home out of the camps in Pakistan and in Iran, which was a vote for the future of Afghanistan. And they have a different kind of need than say, middle-class citizens in Baghdad, who want to know, "When is my power on? When is the sewer working? When do I get my clean water? When do I get my job? When does the cafÈ open, and when can I start buying Sony television sets," as opposed to an Afghan who just came back, and all he wants is, "Where can I find a place to live?" And they are much further down the Maslow hierarchy of needs. Don't ask me to explain the Maslow hierarchy of needs. It might take a while.

QUESTION: I'd like to go back to (inaudible) France. Will you (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POWELL: That France should be seen as an enemy?

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) How do you (inaudible) the French (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POWELL: I would have --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY POWELL: No, no. They have no reason to be happy, and I don't think they are happy over our difficulties in Iraq. They've made that clear to us. They clearly believe that we were wrong in doing what we did, but we did it, and we are proud of what we did. We removed a dictator, and we removed a terrible regime, and now we're going to help the people of Iraq.

In my first meetings in Europe after the war, at NATO, I said to my colleagues in Brussels that, "Let's get this one behind us, this disagreement behind us, and let's work together on the reconstruction effort." And since then, we have been able to get resolutions out of the United Nations, with France and Germany joining us, three times now -- 1483, 1500, and now 1511.

France and Germany, for their own reasons, elected not to make a major financial contribution, other than the contribution that comes through the European Commission. I would have preferred to see them make a contribution. I think it would have been a stronger statement of international purpose, but they chose not to, and I'm not going to argue about it.

France and Germany are not enemies of the United States. We're allies. We are in a great alliance together. We have been friends with France for 220-odd years, and it will remain so. Do we have disagreements? Yes. But do we have many things that are in common? Yes, we do. And this disagreement of earlier in the year over whether to go to war with Iraq or not is now behind us.

President Chirac and President Bush had good meetings at the United Nations, as did Chancellor Schroeder and President Bush. And so, we'll get that disappointment behind us. But I think it would have served the cause of the international community better if both of those countries had made a financial -- additional financial contribution.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, why do you think it's so difficult to find Saddam Hussein, and how important should it be to find him?

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, he's hiding, if he's alive. And let me answer the second question. I'll come back to the first.

I think it would be important to find out whether he is alive or dead, then show to the world a prisoner if he's alive, and a body if he's dead. It would remove a lot of the uncertainty that's in the situation. But I don't think Iraqis, after six months, have any illusions about Saddam Hussein, the nature of the person he was, and that he is not coming back.

Even though there may be remnants of his regime around that are causing trouble, he's not coming back. He will never again sit at a palace in Baghdad -- and not because an American army is there, it's that the Iraqi people would not want to go back to what they just got rid of, and I think that's clear.

Why is it hard to find him? If he is alive, this man is a survivor, who honed his survival instincts over a period of 30 years, against coups, against relatives, against anyone else who challenged him. And so, he obviously had made plans to go low and stay low.

I have tried to find people in the course of my career on several occasions -- in Panama, in Somalia, in a number of places. And if somebody really wants to hide in a large metropolitan area or out in the countryside, and they don't use anything to communicate, and they stay isolated from anyone around them or anybody in the neighborhood, it is not that hard to pull it off, especially if you have prepared for it.

And if you're not using telephones, or if you're not using other communications means that might give you away, or if you're not appearing in a place where people might spot you, then you can stay hidden. Look at his two sons. We didn't find them by intelligence means. We found them by people who said, "There they are. They're in that house. Go look." And there they were. And they paid with their lives.

QUESTION: Whoever talks about Saddam thinks of Usama bin Laden. Does Saddam do, or is he able to do, more or less than Usama bin Laden?

SECRETARY POWELL: I don't think he rises to the level of Usama bin Laden, who, essentially, had this worldwide terrorist organization. Saddam Hussein was certainly a terrorist in his own right, but his -- his base of power was in Baghdad, in the capital, in his palaces, with the Republican Guard, with his security services, and with his army. All that's gone. The only thing there now is Saddam Hussein, running around somewhere pretending to be in charge and doing everything he can do not to be seen or found.

Usama bin Laden and al-Qaida still has a network that is out there, and it is still operating, so certainly I would think al-Qaida is the more important challenge for us.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY POWELL: I'm sorry?

QUESTION: Do you think he is alive?

SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know. Who?

QUESTION: Usama bin Laden.

SECRETARY POWELL: I have no idea if either one of them is alive. We get tapes which suggest he was alive at some point in the past, over the summer perhaps, but I cannot tell you if either he or Saddam Hussein are alive or dead. And I never speculate on it because I just don't know, and neither do our intelligence services.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, the Pentagon s financial (inaudible) Mr. Zakheim has reportedly told the Associated Press that the administration is projecting (inaudible) needs for Iraq of 55 billion through the year 2007, of which 20 billion will be U.S. funds. So do you expect (inaudible) to contribute between 15 billion and 18 billion, so leaving 17 billion to 20 billion to come from other countries? Do you agree (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POWELL: To start with the beginning of your question, IMF, World Bank and the UN estimate that there is a need for $55 billion for reconstruction efforts over the years you mentioned, now through 2007. That is not to say that every item on that list must be funded. I mean, there is no place in the world that does not have a list of needs that you would like to fund.

With respect to this 55 billion -- 20 billion, of course, coming from the U.S. -- and we estimate -- and I'm not sure which numbers Dov was using -- we estimate that in a year or two Iraqi oil revenues will start to reach the point where it will -- they will not only have enough money to run their government, but enough additional revenue they can start making significant investments in their own reconstruction and start helping with that $55 billion need list.

And then we will see what this international conference produces. Whether it comes up to the $55 billion total or something short of it remains to be seen. But it doesn't mean that there is a disaster because the last increment has not yet been funded. This conference is the first conference. There may be other conferences between now and 2007. There may be other countries that see a need or a desire to invest sometime over the next several years.

So we should not see this 55 billion number as something that has to be matched tomorrow with all of the contributors that are here. It is a need projected over a period of three years. I even saw another number which said that if -- let me not go into sort of -- I'm not entirely sure, but $9 or $10 billion would be a good start in that first year as you start -- you know, in terms of what you should actually be spending. But you shouldn't measure the 55 against this conference because Iraqi oil revenues, as you mentioned, will be flowing in, and we'll see what those are over the future years. And this donor s conference is really just the beginning of a process of generating money for Iraq that will continue in future years.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, you mentioned oil revenues. There is something called a Development Fund for Iraq (inaudible) and that is not yet audited and -- or monitored by representatives of the UN, the World Bank (inaudible). This is (inaudible) by some that it would be a problem with regard to giving financial help to reconstruction. When and how do you think this problem can be solved?

SECRETARY POWELL: It will be solved. Any funds that we are using, whether they are funds in the DFI or our own funds that will flow through our aid agencies, will be fully audited, and all this money will be spent with an eye toward transparency. We are not trying to hide anything. There was a report in one of the newspapers, I think coming out of Britain earlier today, that one of the NGOs is claiming that $4 million was misspent. It's just not true. There is no money missing. And we will account for all the money that went into the Development Fund for Iraq.

We know there are many people who are saying the United States did this all for oil and the United States has no interest in anything but getting the revenues from the oil and spending it for our own purposes or to support our own forces. If that was the case, we would not have asked our Congress for $67 billion to support our forces and $20 billion for reconstruction. The money that's in the DFI is spent by Ambassador Bremer to serve the Iraqi people, and we are not so foolish as to set ourselves up for that kind of charge or to be found guilty of such a charge by using it in any other manner.

There will be lots of ways that money can be fed in. DFI takes care of the revenue, then we have money that we're coming in shall flow through Ambassador Bremer, of course -- it's U.S. taxpayer dollars -- and it will be spent in accordance with priorities established by the Governing Council and the cabinet ministries, working with Ambassador Bremer.

And then, of course, there is the other fund that you've seen some reporting on earlier this week that will be set up by the UN -- I forget the -- or the World Bank, where people can make direct contributions, if that's where they want to put their money. And Ambassador Bremer would have some, you know, suggestions to make, but it would be spent in accordance with priorities established directly by the Iraqis.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) Future of Iraq Project (inaudible).

SECRETARY POWELL: It was a very credible piece of work, about 12 volumes' worth. And when the original ORHA was set up under General Garner, the first director, we made all that information available to him and also the people who worked on the report. I don't know, you'd have to ask the Pentagon what -- the people in the Pentagon who were running it in ORHA, and subsequently now the Provisional Authority, what parts of the report they found useful, what parts of the report they used. I know that they have the report, are using it, and a number of people who worked on the report are now in Baghdad working with Ambassador Bremer.

The idea of a provisional government has always been out there and been talked about, and we review that on a regular basis, and it was really the basis of the debate between the United States and France and Germany and Russia over the last several months. But where we came down was that the best way to go about it was rather than put in place a provisional government and think that they would have the ability to assume full sovereignty and authority for the country again, we should stick to the plan that we've come up with, the seven-step plan, which we are about step three, moving toward four, and that is to slowly devolve authority to these institutions but not set up a government until there's a constitution upon which that government can rest, and that there are elections based on that constitution, which will give legitimacy to the new leaders of Iraq. That's going to take time. And that's really is where the debate centered, and my friends in France and Germany saying, you know, "You've got to do it faster. You've got to do it right away or you just -- you're going to be in trouble."

And we listened very carefully and I had good, open, candid discussions with Dominique and Joschka and Igor and others, but we believe strongly that history would not be a good judge of us if we turned over authority to institutions and individuals and organizations that are not yet ready to exercise that authority in a responsible manner, and who also were not operating with the legitimacy of a constitution and elected leaders. And so we'll take that risk.

Now, having said that, we are going to push as hard as we can to start to devolve, or give authority, but holding ultimate authority in the CPA until there is a new elected government, and we will all be very proud to be there that day when we transfer full authority back.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I can't answer that. I was hoping, and in my discussions with the members of the Governing Council this morning, they did not disabuse me of my hope that once they get started with writing a constitution, it's conceivable it could be done in some months. I said six, but it's not possible. But --

QUESTION: You mean holding an election?

SECRETARY POWELL: No, no, a constitution. And then from that constitution, you have elections. So the best I can offer you is that, certainly, it would be all the way through 2004 at the earliest. I could not -- it would be hard to imagine you could do all of that in less than a year. But I -- but remember, the way we set this up in the resolution was not for Colin Powell to speculate, but for the Governing Council -- not France, not Germany, not the United States, but for the Governing Council to tell us on the 15th of December the plan that they have.

But even before the 15th of December, I expect them to be working on the constitution.

QUESTION: You are aware that over the last (inaudible) a year (inaudible) your position (inaudible) perhaps the loser in fights within the administration (inaudible) now in the last few months (inaudible).

SECRETARY POWELL: I wouldn't agree with the premise that I was a loser, now I'm a winner. (Laughter.) I can't -- I can't buy into that because, like any open democratic administration -- small d, big R, led by a Republican President, big R -- we have debates, we have discussions. We try to get the best answers for the President, but no one of the cabinet officers in this Administration has been elected by the people to determine what our foreign policy is. The President has. And so we all serve him.

And I never see my position as having won or lost on an issue. My job is to give the President my best advice, for him to make decisions, and then to execute his decision to the best of my ability. And that's what I've tried to do, and people like to characterize that from week to week and month to month with their barometers -- who's in, who's out, who's up, who's down, who's doing this, who's doing that, who's leaving soon, who's staying longer.

There was a big flurry a few weeks ago when everybody said that I'm leaving at the end of the first administration, even though I'd never said anything like that. I was flattered, however, because, until then, everybody thought I was going to be leaving next week, and not because I was -- you know, it's the kind of speculation that makes for great reading and great commentary, but doesn't always reflect what's actually happening.

We all serve the President, all of us have worked with each other and have known each other for many, many, many years, and we are pretty good at understanding how Washington works and how best to serve the President and give all the information he needs to make a decision.

QUESTION: There's many (inaudible) Mr. Secretary, who thought that after the Iraq war (inaudible) would make things easier in the Middle East (inaudible) 12 years ago with President Bush's father. How far away are we from Madrid II?

SECRETARY POWELL: We can't have progress, either toward a Madrid II, for whatever purpose that would serve, or to move on the roadmap, until the terror ends, or is brought under control. And that isn't going to happen until the Palestinian people put in place a government, a Palestinian Authority, that has political authority in the person -- where political authority has been given to a prime minister who can take all the security services of the Palestinian Authority and go after terrorism in a way that Yasser Arafat never did, and would not allow Abu Mazen to.

The roadmap is there. We remain committed to the roadmap. The roadmap shows how to get to a state with interim features and how to get to a final settlement. We're prepared to press both sides, but as I have been saying to a number of people in recent weeks, what the Palestinians have to do now is give us a government to work with. We have no government in the Palestinian territory right now to work with while Abu Alaa continues his long-running discussion with Arafat as to who will be in his new cabinet and what authority they will have.

We've made it clear to them we stand ready and our monitoring group is still in the -- in the occupied areas, ready to help both sides. We have reminded Israel of their obligations under the roadmap, but what we need is responsible leadership on the Palestinian side and Arafat is an impediment to peace. We have been saying this for a long time, we refuse to deal with him. And I think increasingly my European colleagues are coming to the conclusion -- some of them, anyway -- that Arafat is an impediment and he can't be worked with.

And the sooner that authority moves over to a prime minister who can act, the better off we will be and we can go on with the roadmap. Conferences just to have a conference on the Middle East is not what is needed right now. People are saying, "Let's have a conference." Who's going to come from the Palestinian side? Who would represent the Palestinians and would sit around a table with the Israelis right now? And the answer is the Palestinians really do need to empower the new prime minister with political authority and with control over the security forces, and make him a partner that can work with us and work with the Israelis.

QUESTION: Is there any practical way, as you see it, that this donor s conference now in Madrid could send some kind of positive signal toward the Middle East?

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, the signal, I hope it would -- no, I think I didn't say that. I think the signal it will send is that the international community, with the passage of 1511, has come together to help the Iraqi people put in place a democratic nation once -- a democratic nation that will be living in peace with its neighbors, no longer exporting terrorism or violence. And I think that would be a powerful signal to the region.

We had hoped that the liberation of Iraq and the beginning of the roadmap would send a powerful signal and give encouragement to the parties. And we got started: Sharm el-Sheikh, Aqaba. Things started to happen. We arranged, within a few weeks, the turnover of Gaza and Bethlehem from the Israelis back to the Palestinians. There was a period of quiet for a few weeks.

And then those organizations that are committed to the destruction of Israel and committed to terror started blowing up buses again with children. And Israel felt, in self-defense, they had to respond. And we were right back to where we started.

The roadmap is still there. Something has to be done about terror. I've been working on this now for close to three years, and every time I have started to move and every time the President has started to move, we have found ourselves stopped by those who hold the switch on terror. Until their hand is taken off that switch and the switch is destroyed, we are going to be killing innocent people and we are going to be defeating the dreams of the Palestinian people for their own state.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) vote in the General Assembly (inaudible) Israeli actions (inaudible). How have you (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POWELL: We're not alone in Israeli company. We are in company with our Arab friends. I was in Egypt last night discussing the situation with President Mubarak. We stay in the closest touch with the other nations in the region and with the Quartet process.

We are also Israel's closest friend and we have been since its formation. We have stood by Israel over a period of 50 years when it has been attacked and when people have tried to destroy the state of Israel. So we will never shrink from our obligations to the state of Israel, a democratic nation in that part of the world.

But we have been using our good offices and our influence not just to show our commitment to the state of Israel, but to also say to the people in the world and the people in the region, it isn't enough for Israel to be strong and to be able to protect itself. The greatest protection that Israel can obtain for itself is peace. And peace will only come when there is a Palestinian state that is living side by side with Israel.

That was the whole, the whole guts of President Bush's speech of June 24th of last year. The greatest security for Israel and for the Palestinian people is when we create a Palestinian state. And President Bush has made that his goal, to create a Palestinian state that goes by the name of Palestine, that lives next to the state of Israel, and that remains our goal.

We don't think that resolutions that are introduced before the Security Council or the General Assembly that are heavy-handed and one-sided for the purpose of criticizing Israel, and which were offered in the Security Council with everybody knowing that they're not going to pass, just to make a political statement, that doesn't help the overall situation, we don't believe that is a useful tactic, and we vetoed one not too long ago, and we voted against the one at the General Assembly.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) about Iran. Do you trust the Iranian regime (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, they have sent a letter to the IAEA today, and I'm waiting for the analysis of the letter. It's not a matter of trusting. It's a matter of them demonstrating to the world what they had been doing with respect to their nuclear weapons programs. They have been hiding it. They have been trying to keep it from the IAEA and the international community.

The United States has been pointing this out for a couple of years. Slowly, but surely, the evidence came forward that Iran was not being full and open with the IAEA. The Russians recognized it and put conditions on their provision of nuclear energy technology to the Iranians. The IAEA demanded the Iranians to come forward. And so, with that kind of record, I guess you could say, no, I wouldn't trust them. I mean, they haven't demonstrated a basis of trust when they're busy hiding these things.

And now, they have provided a letter that in response to the visit of Josch -- Jacques, Dominique and Joschka. They have provided the letter. And let's see what the IAEA thinks of that letter, and whether it answers all outstanding questions. They have told the three ministers that they will sign an additional protocol, and they would provide all the information, full disclosure to the IAEA.

They have provided that letter. Let's analyze it and see what it looks like. We're not looking for a conflict with Iran. We're looking for Iran to stop supporting terrorist activity, and to get rid of its weapons of mass destruction program, and to join the civilized world.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) by senior administration officials that it doesn't matter what Iran does (inaudible) because the U.S. believes that Iran had a clandestine program, and the IAEA is obviously (inaudible), and that it must be referred to the Security Council regardless. Would that be the strategy? Does that continue to be the strategy that (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know who senior administration official was, but this senior administration official says that our obligation is to evaluate what we receive by the end of the month. And the step that Iran took today is a positive one, but we need time to analyze the information and see whether we know of additional information that would allow us to -- or whether we can validate what they're telling us, or whether we know of things that they have not been -- they have not told us about in this letter.

Now, remember, we were expressing concerns about Iranian activity from the beginning of this Administration. Everybody thought we were sort of pumping it up, and it's not so, there go the Americans again. Americans can always be counted on to find some problem somewhere. It turns out there was a problem somewhere, and they did have programs underway that were inconsistent with their statements and inconsistent with their obligations.

And it's not me saying it. The IAEA, finally, when presented with the information and learning more about what Iran was doing, acknowledged it. And that's why we will measure it all at the end of the month. But we have not made any judgment yet as to what we will do at the end of the month, but we have to have fairly high standards for Iran. We've got to make sure that they are complying with their obligations, and we also hope they will sign the additional protocol.

QUESTION: Could I ask an additional one (inaudible) contributions from Asian countries (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POWELL: Don't know what the full range of contributions will be until tomorrow, but from -- the major contributor so far is Japan. We're very, very pleased with the $1.5 billion initial grant that Japan has provided, and I have reason to believe that they will offer more tomorrow.

I'm not sure in what form it will be offered, but I think it will be a substantial contribution coming from the Japanese, beyond that they have already announced. I don't know what other Asian nations will be giving. None will be giving in the amount that -- I don't expect any to be anywhere near the amount that Japan is committing.

QUESTION: Could I just briefly bring up the matter of Guantanamo? In June, when you met your friend, Anna Lindh -- I think you met her during that time -- she told Swedish journalists that you had personally promised her to look into the matter of the situation at Guantanamo whether in fact there were Swedish citizens being held. Do you have any new information, any new thoughts to share with us on that matter today?

SECRETARY POWELL: No, I think Anna was anxious, at that time, for access. And I think we immediately provided access in early July, if my memory serves me correctly. I don't have in my memory bank the particular status right now of -- it's one individual, if I'm not mistaken.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah. I don't know what his status is. As you know, the Pentagon and the Justice Department handle that. And at the time she raised it, I looked into it and made sure that we provided the access. But I don't know the status of the case, as to how quickly the individual will be dealt with, in terms of finishing interrogation, and his ability for return to Sweden, or to be retained further. I don't know.

QUESTION: You couldn't come to the memorial service for Anna Lindh because of the hurricane. It's been more than a month now, since she was murdered. Do you have any (inaudible) thoughts about what happened?

SECRETARY POWELL: A terrible tragedy, and I'm anxious to see what Swedish authorities ultimately decide was the motivation of such an attack, and whether the individual I think you have in custody now turns out to be the one who did it or not.

But I got to know Anna very well, as you know, over the last two and a half years until her death. We had great fun. I respected her. We were very often on opposite sides of a political issue, but we always argued it out in a spirit of friendship between our two nations and between two individuals. I like forming personal relations with the foreign ministers I deal with. It's kind of a little family. And even in the best of families, fights occasionally break out.

But I was very saddened when she was injured, and then I prayed for the best, and the worst happened. I just wrote her husband and children the other day. As you know, I have spoken on television quite a bit about her, and I regretted I couldn't get to the service, but I sent in my speech for publication. And you know my favorite story about my three favorite Swedish things.

QUESTION: Anna, a Volvo and Abba.

SECRETARY POWELL: Right.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY POWELL: She was in --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah. Well, I did that deliberately. I didn't want to -- she came in my office one day and she gave me a wrench. I guess you know about that. She gave me a wrench. I think that was the day she gave me the wrench. And I said, "Ah, my three favorite things -- Volvos, Abba and Anna."

Well, I did it really to make the story funny. But she said, "No, why am I third?" (Laughter.) It wouldn't work if I said, "Anna, Abba and Volvos."

QUESTION: (Inaudible) back to the --

MR. BOUCHER: Can you let Mr. --

SECRETARY POWELL: We'll come back to you.

QUESTION: If you permit me, back to Iraq. If I were a small or not so small European business thinking about making an investment in Iraq, how would you answer the question, "How safe is this place?"

SECRETARY POWELL: It really goes back to the early part of our conversation. There are some parts of the country that are very safe and I would have few reservations about making an investment. I would go in and make the same kind of business judgment that I would make going into any other country that has -- that has had difficulties. Business people make these judgments everywhere. I mean, do I invest somewhere in Africa? Is there transparency in the political system and in the financial system, there's the rule of law?

Countries in Asia, countries in Latin America, Colombia -- I would make that same kind of assessment. And with respect to Iraq, I think the north is relatively safe and secure, the south is relatively safe and secure. The center is coming along, but it's going to take more time.

If I was a businessman, I would also -- you know, you would have to say, "Okay, it's the Coalition Provisional Authority that is the government now, and what will -- who will be the government a year and a half from now?" You don't quite know that yet. You can't see, yet, what the government's going to look like. And I assume that people who would do business in that environment would calculate, in business terms, what they think the risk is.

What's interesting to me, and I said this earlier as well, is how many people are really interested in getting themselves in the position to make that kind of calculation. There is a huge -- much more than I would expect, I don't know if huge is the right word -- but there is a heck of a private sector presence here.

As people are talking to the Iraqi officials, they're measuring what they're hearing from Ambassador Bremer and the current president of the Governing Council. And those business judgments are being made right here in Madrid as we sit.

American companies have indicated, you know, and some of our large companies who can accept a fairly significant level of risk because of the resources that are in there already now working, as I indicated earlier. We're trying to encourage as many subcontractors as possible. And the contracts that were issued last week to the cellular telephone companies, three consortiums -- north, middle and south -- all -- yeah, here it is -- okay. I think there are three systems going in and one Egyptian-led consortium and two Kuwaiti companies. So you have Arab countries that feel confident enough to go in. And guess what? It wasn't an American company that's doing it, which is the charge I read in every -- present company excepted -- in some European newspapers.

We're trying to spread it out. So many ministers come to see me, both those who have supported us and those who haven't, anxious to see how they can participate in the reconstruction effort because they think it's going to be good business.

MR. BOUCHER: We've got time for about two more questions, so if the gentleman --

QUESTION: Are you (inaudible) that Pakistan is helping Saudi Arabia to build a nuclear bomb (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I don't know that Saudi Arabia is trying to build a nuclear weapon. And I don't think that Pakistan, under the leadership of President Musharraf, is interested in helping anybody build a nuclear weapon.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah, your --

QUESTION: -- but would you be concerned if Saudi Arabia --

SECRETARY POWELL: I would be concerned if anybody was building a nuclear weapon. But you -- you premised -- you led your question.

QUESTION: No, no. I'm just saying will you -- do you think they are? I don't know that they are.

SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know that they are either. And so therefore, the point is, if I don't know that they are, how can I say that Pakistan may or may not be helping them? So I gave you a fairly correct and precise answer.

(Laughter.)

But nice try.

(Laughter.)

QUESTION: How much cooperation in this reconstruction process is being provided by neighboring countries such as Saudi Arabia, Syria or Iran?

SECRETARY POWELL: How much support?

QUESTION: Cooperation.

SECRETARY POWELL: Cooperation. I'm not sure how much detail I can give you, but, for example, we're purchasing power from Syria. There's some flow, you know, to support the electrical needs of Iraq. I think we're purchasing petroleum products and maybe power from the south as well, but I don't have the details in mind.

So we are working with neighboring countries to see how they can support the reconstruction effort. There's a great -- an enormous amount of commerce that is going across the borders now, starting to generate revenue for the government. And I'm not sure that I can add any more detail because it's not -- or whether I'm getting your question.

QUESTION: I wanted to raise (inaudible) a friendly country like Saudi Arabia may have to do something (inaudible).

SECRETARY POWELL: My impression is that both Ambassador Bremer and the Governing Council are in close coordination and discussion with the surrounding neighbors; more so Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, than say, Syria, and to a much lesser extent, Iran.

And I'm not aware of any problems or hindrances or any fences or reservations that exist between CPA and the emerging Iraqi Government and their neighbors, with limitations on my comments with respect to Syria and Iran for obvious reasons.

MR. BOUCHER: You may want to see what neighboring countries say tomorrow at the conference.

SECRETARY POWELL: And the Syrians are represented here as well.

MR. BOUCHER: We'll take the last question down here.

QUESTION: Are you staying until the money is counted?

SECRETARY POWELL: Yes.

(Laughter.)

SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah. It's -- this'll be the second one of these I've been to. We did Tokyo at the beginning of last year for Afghanistan. We raised $5 billion. This one is one of the biggest donor conferences ever held. It may not be the biggest in terms of number of people. More nations came to the Tokyo conference. But I'm confident that this conference will raise more money than any other donor s conference that's been held.

MR. BOUCHER: Can we get the last one down here.

QUESTION: May I ask your personal opinion. Sir, what are the lessons to Iran from this war and the process of reconstruction to deal with the potential -- sorry, to the United States --- in the future?

SECRETARY POWELL: The United States has made it clear that we are deeply concerned about those countries that are state sponsors of terrorism and those countries that are developing or have weapons of mass destruction, and even more concerned about those countries that are not only owners or developers of weapons of mass destruction, but also have a relationship or linkage to terrorism.

And we were -- we were criticized by a number of commentators when we talked about the "axis of evil" when the President made it clear that there was a problem for us and for the world from these kinds of nations.

What we have learned is that we have to deal with these nations. It isn't always a military solution. Sometimes, preemption is the appropriate measure to use, but other times, it's diplomacy. What we've learned is, don't hide from the reality of a nation that has weapons of mass destruction, trying to develop them or is working with terrorist organizations. Don't pretend it isn't the case. Don't stick your head in the sand and say it's not happening, or even worse, saying, "Well, look what happened. It isn't going to happen to me. They're going after the Americans."

We now know that these are worldwide threats. Bali. I could go around the world and show you that it is not any longer an isolated event. And so the United States is committed, as the President has said at every stop in his trip he is now concluding, it is a worldwide campaign that has to be fought against terrorism, and the lesson from Iraq and recent events is that we have to use all the tools at our disposal.

  • It's not always the United States army. Very often,
  • it's law enforcement efforts,
  • it's the exchange of intelligence information,
  • the exchange of financial data,
  • transaction flow between terrorists and terrorist organizations.
  • It's pulling together other nations in a common effort to go after one of these problems.
The six-party talks that we are working on with respect to North Korea is an example of that. The Proliferation Security Initiative where we are working with a number of nations to start interdicting this stuff on the high seas or however else it travels around the world, this is an example of what we are trying to do in a multilateral way in order to stop this kind of activity and the flow of these kinds of weapons, which are a threat to the world, not just to the United States.

And so, I guess one answer to your question is that we have to do more at an international level and we are. The Proliferation Security Initiative, with taking the case to the United Nations Security Council when we find out that there's a problem, such as we did in Iran, and such as we did in North Korea, the IAEA to condemn this kind of action, and to work with the international community.

We're accused all the time, and particularly in the European press, of being the unilateralists who are forever running around doing their own thing. But I can -- I can make a ledger for you of what I have done and what the President has done and what our cabinet has done over the last almost three years of this Administration, and say, "This is what we have done that shows we are multilateralists and believe in partnerships and friendships, and this is what we have done which you all call unilateralist.

And I'm quite confident that the multilateralism column will far outweigh what people would say belongs to the unilateralist column:

  • the expansion of NATO;
  • our support for the expansion of the European Union;
  • going to the UN repeatedly on these matters and getting resolutions in almost every case except for the second resolution earlier this year, which everybody focused on;
  • working with the Asian countries -- Japan, South Korea, Russia and China -- on the North Korea issue;
  • what we're doing with free trade agreements;
    • trying to get the WTO moving and the Doha round moving; and working on getting regional free trade agreements --
    • a Free Trade Area of the Middle East that we're trying to get created over the next ten years,
    • Free Trade Area of the Americas, Central American Free Trade Area;
    • bilateral trade agreements with Singapore,
    • with Chile,
    • with Jordan;
    • Community of Democracies in the Western Hemisphere.
All of these are examples of a nation that values its partners, values its alliances, values its friends. The President just spent a week going through -- going through Asia. APEC, the Asian Pacific Economy, and then strong positive meetings with the Philippine leadership, the Chinese leadership, the Korean leadership, the Japanese leadership, the Australian leadership, the Indonesian leadership, and anyone else who was in Thailand last week.

This isn't evidence of a nation that doesn't value its alliances and partnerships and doesn't realize that it's better to work together than to go off on our own. And I'm sure you will give me Iraq as an example of the unilateral action on the right-hand side, Kyoto and the ABM Treaty as examples of our unilateral action. I could go over each one of those to say that we took the Iraq problem to the UN, got a resolution, 1441.

  • On Kyoto, we made the case that we are concerned about the environment in which we live, but sorry, we just didn't think Kyoto was the right solution. There appear to be other nations recently who are taking a look and wondering whether Kyoto was the right solution for them.
  • And with respect to the ABM Treaty that was the subject of such debate during our first year, where we were just accused of getting ready to totally undermine the entire strategic framework of the world almost. And we took our time and we debated this with our Russian friends and with our European friends and others in the world who were concerned -- the Chinese, we spent a lot of time with the Chinese on this -- and all other nations that have nuclear weapons and are interested in deterrents and interested in getting rid of nuclear weapons.

    And everybody swore an arms race would break out and we would rupture our relations with Russia forever. And we took our time, and we talked to the Russians for ten months and explained to them our position with respect to missile defense and why the ABM Treaty is a vestige of the Cold War.

    They never agreed with us, and I'm the one the President sent to Russia, to Moscow, and then I went to France, Germany and England in one day to tell every leader that we have looked at this and we've decided that we have to leave the ABM Treaty and wanted to let you know.

    And I remember sitting -- I'll never forget sitting with President Putin in the Kremlin and saying to him, "We've had ten months of discussion, but we can't quite come to an agreement on this, so the President wanted to let you know that he is going to announce that we'll be leaving the ABM Treaty."

    And President Putin looked at me and said, "I think you're wrong. I think it's a wrong decision. You're making a mistake. You shouldn't do it. But the Treaty allows you to do it, so you're going to do it. Now that we've got that behind us, let's get on with talking about our strategic framework."

    Six months later, we signed a new agreement on strategic weapons, and the world did not collapse. The strategic framework did not fall apart. Russia and the United States started working more closely together because we didn't have to talk about the ABM Treaty anymore.

And so you would -- I think I just took ABM from there and put it over on the multilateral side.

(Laughter.)

MR. BOUCHER: Okay, thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

[End]

Released on October 26, 2003


See http://www.state.gov/p/nea/ci/c3212.htm for State Department information on Iraq


Madrid, Spain, October 24, 2003

Press Conference with Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, President of the Iraqi Governing Council Ayad Allawi, European Economic Commissioner Christopher Patten, Secretary of the Treasury John Snow Following the International Donors Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Madrid, Spain
October 24, 2003

2003/1084

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO (translated): The International Donors Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq has taken place and I think that we can say that it has been a success.

What I would stress is what (inaudible) said in his conclusions, there are three main messages, and as (inaudible) said, at this international referendum on the future of Iraq, the international community is committing itself to the future of Iraq, and secondly there is a clear message that reconstruction is not just a question of governments but that civil society also has a great deal to say. It has had a very active participation at this donor s conference and thirdly there is no doubt that this conference has had very high attendance.

The delegations have been handled by top people and a lot of money has been pledged. I will be giving the floor to Dr. Allawi and the other members of the core group who are up here with me, beginning with Dr. Allawi, you have the floor, and then we will take a few questions from the auditorium.

DR. ALLAWI: Thank you very much for those kind remarks and for your wonderful hospitality over the past two days. This has been a historic occasion for my country, which a little over six months ago was the black sheep of the international community. When Iraqi delegates made speeches or asked for support, the conference halls emptied and the silence was deafening.

Today I am again proud to be an Iraqi. My colleagues and I came to Madrid to ask for support in the huge task ahead of us in reviving our country, and the support has been outstanding. Iraq has made many new friends. In the last few days I have met with representatives of dozens of countries who have offered to help us build a secure and stable future for our country. In years to come the Iraqis will remember who came forward to help them and to help us in our time of need.

The pledges made today will help us get back on our feet. Iraq should not need help. As others have said, we are a rich country made temporarily poor. We are a proud people who want nothing more than to stand proud again and to reach our huge potential. We will return to Iraq confident that the reconstruction needs of Iraq will be met. The pledges made today represent a huge investment by the international community in Iraq.

A very significant portion of the overall reconstruction needs are identified by the UN and by the World Bank in their research report. As this investment starts to pay dividends in Iraq, we expect to be able to start funding more and more of these needs through our auditors and once we have fully repaired the criminal damages done by the former corrupt regime, we look forward to joining future conferences on the other side of the table as a donor, not a recipient.

I look forward to welcoming many of the participants from both the donors and private sector conferences in Iraq, as we work together to build a new free, stable and secure Iraq. Thank you.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you for participating in this conference, and let me begin by thanking you and President Aznar and the government of Spain and the people of Madrid for all the wonderful hospitality and all the work that you have put into making this a very successful conference.

Madam Chair, I have to reflect on the fact that two and a half weeks ago you and I were getting phone calls from people saying are you going to have a conference, aren t you going to cancel? You haven t come together on a resolution, there are debates between Security Council members and the Secretary General. You won t get good attendance and there won t be much pledging taking place. But here we are.

We ve had a very successful conference. We ve had a unanimous resolution. The Secretary General gave us a powerful message yesterday. The international financial institutions gave us powerful messages today, as did all of the delegations that are here present. And the at least $33 billion number that has been pledged here today demonstrates that the international community is coming together to help the Iraqi people build a new nation, one that will be proud to rejoin the international community.

I should also note that a number of nations that were unable or for one reason or other did not make a pledge today might well be able to do so in the future and might be considering their position as we move forward with this achievement under our belt. As the President said, there are other funds that will be reaching the ultimate goal of $56 billion for reconstruction over an extended period of time, through 2007.

The budget for Iraq, beginning in the year 2005, will generate a surplus over operating costs of the government of roughly $5 billion a year which can be applied to reconstruction efforts. So in the period we are talking about 2004-2007, in 2005, -06 and 07, $5 billion in each of those years will add to the total and assist with the reconstruction effort.

So I think this has been a very successful conference, and I thank all of my colleagues in the core group and all of the delegations who have come here to Madrid.

And I would now like to turn the floor over to my colleague, Secretary of the Treasury, John Snow.

SECRETARY SNOW: Thank you very much. As Secretary Powell has said, any way you look at this the conference has been an enormous success. We need to understand the real message of this conference though.

The real message of this conference is an enormous vote of confidence in the Iraqi people and the process of restoring freedom and stability and peace to that country which has suffered too long. The funding is impressive. It will make available the resources to carry on the rebuilding process. But equally important is this outpouring of support from the world for Iraq and for the Iraqi people. Now that the funding has been made available, the critical thing is to deliver on the promise that that money makes possible.

I thank you very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER KAWAGUCHI: Thank you, Madame Chair. It was my great pleasure and privilege to be able to attend this conference today. As one of the co-chairs I would like to thank all of the donor countries, international organizations and NGOs who worked to make this conference a success. We did make a big stride forward today. We were able to get the commitment of $33 billion dollars, but what was more important is that we have been able, we as an international community, have been able to send a strong message as an international community to the Iraqi people that the international community is united to support the Iraqi people for their efforts to rebuild a democratic and stable Iraq and the international community will not let the Iraqi people down. Thank you, and thank you to the government of Spain for hosting this conference.

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO: Lastly, Chris Patten, the European Commissioner speaking on behalf of the European Commission.

COMMISSIONER PATTEN: I just want to make two points. First of all I m delighted that we reached agreement today on establishing the multilateral trust funds. I think that they will provide an effective channel for international donors to provide assistance. I think they will provide a solid base for the operations of the international financial institutions, and the UN in Iraq, and I also believe that they will help insure transparency and openness in the reconstruction process in Iraq.

Secondly, I d like to stress, which was a point to which the Secretary of the Treasury alluded, I d like to stress the importance of rapid disbursement. We know from previous experience that there is sometimes a lag or more than a lag between promises of help and the arrival of the help itself. We need to get the money out of the bank and into Iraq as quickly as possible. I think there is going to be an important continuing task for the core group in monitoring the delivery of assistance, and I d just like to say that with the help of the UN, I hope that our first tranche of assistance from the European Budget will be out of Brussels and into Iraq in the next few weeks.

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO (translated): Thank you very much. Well, let me see. We have time for some questions, first from Spanish journalists and then foreign journalists. Javier Arenas, from Spanish National Radio.

QUESTION (translated): Thank you. Good evening. This is not really a question, but two comments linked to reconstruction: money and security. Now, figures. Can you give us an explanation of this official figure for the $3 billion overall? Exactly how many multilateral funds, bilateral funds, how much is donation, how much is loans? And I would like to ask Mr. Snow how many U.S. dollars under multilateral control and what about security. That has been a great concern. Will this mean that, post-Madrid, we will have to start rethinking security there? That s for Mr. Powell I suppose.

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO: Mr. Snow?

SECRETARY SNOW: All right. With respect to the U.S. funds, the $20 billion, we will see those funds available soon, as soon as the Congress passes the legislation and the President signs it into law, and we will make those funds directly available.

SECRETARY POWELL: Security is a problem; we don t deny it. Ambassador Bremer spoke about it earlier, as have I, and members of the Governing Council. But we are confident that security will improve in a manner that will permit reconstruction to accelerate. It s already going on now.

Reconstruction is taking place now. The power grid is up, clean water is flowing, the petroleum system infrastructure is being repaired, there is a great deal of money going in now, and, as the security situation improves, it will be easier to put more money in and have more contracts and more activity take place. And so security is not to be a permanent hindrance to reconstruction. It is making it a little harder now, but I am quite confident that it will improve. Reconstruction is taking place right now.

With respect to the exact composition of the $33 billion, I will yield back to the chair, but I think what we want to do is to make sure, after this first sort of inputs that we have gotten today, to make sure we have a clear understanding of the different components of what each country meant by their pledge. But we are relatively confident of that $33 billion number. It is the low end of the range that came in the course of the afternoon. I don t know if the Chair wishes to say anything more about that.

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO(translated): No, I think that s the answer. The figure is a global figure. And there will be a breakdown. Precisely through the follow up group, the core group, this is a breakdown that will be the international, financial institutions will be responsible for that. And Chris Patten wants to say anything.

MR. PATTEN: I would just like to add one point because I ve been I think the same is true of one or two others of us I ve been to several donors conferences like this for the Balkans, for Afghanistan, and so on. And what you try to do, what the World Bank and the UN try to do is people make the statements is to reach a rough calculus of what s actually being pledged. But it s not always clear exactly what is grants and exactly what is loans. And so this is the best estimate that the experts from the Bank and the UN can make at the moment.

Obviously we have to go back and get the exact breakdown, as the minister said, but this is exactly the process that we ve used at previous donors conferences. And as Secretary Powell said, the estimate is probably at the low end of what was actually pledged today.

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO: Barry Schweid.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, so far as the U.S. is concerned, because I guess we ve just asked you about the U.S., there is $4 billion owed by Iraq. Will the U.S. forgive that? I know the Administration has a view about loans not being the best way of assisting Iraq, and do you intend to marshal some sort of a campaign to make sure most of the assistance at least is in the form of grants Iraq having a $125 billion debt or $120 billion debt right now that costs $7 or 8 billion a year to service?

SECRETARY SNOW: Well, on the question of debt, the United States will join with other nations of the world in an effort to bring that debt level down, to rework that debt level. That was signaled at the G-7 meeting in Dubai, where in the communique from Dubai, the reference to the unsustainable level of the debt was noted by the G-7, and along with rebuild funds for rebuilding, which have been accomplished here at this conference, we noted the essentiality of addressing the debt overload burden. Yes, we will address it, it s a matter of urgency, it was noted by Jim Wolfensohn, it was noted by Horst Kohler, and it was noted by Secretary Powell and me as a matter of great urgency. Secretary Powell and I will be taking an initiative to the Paris Club and beyond the Paris Club to the other non-Paris Club members to pursue a significant reworking of the debt levels, yes.

QUESTION: (Inaudible)

SECRETARY SNOW: Well, the U.S. will act in accordance with the Paris Club and the multilateral effort.

SECRETARY POWELL: As you know, the U.S. contribution, the President feels very strongly that it should be in form of grants and we will encourage those nations that are able to do so to provide support in form of grants.

But what is more important really at this conference is that a reservoir a pool of money has been put together that totals the minimum in my judgment and we will get the details in due course $33 billion that will be available to the Iraqi people. As the Secretary of the Treasury just said, we will be very sensitive to the debt burden that has been placed on the Iraqi people. We have to restructure the old debt and be careful about the new debt. And those are the details we will be working out, and the core group will stay together.

Let me also mention that this is the first meeting. We expect that there will be future meetings and that we will stay engaged on this on a regular basis as we work with each of the nations and institutions that pledged today to make sure that what they have pledged is made available as soon as possible and in the easiest manner for the Iraqi Governing Council to accept the money without picking up new burdens that are excessive or unreasonable. But I also expect that many of these loans that will be made will be stretched out over a long period of time and hopefully in a manner that Iraq is able to service the debt in due course.

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO(translated): Thank you. Asaki newspaper. Mr. Mira.

QUESTION: I have a question for Minister Kawaguchi. With the pledge of $5 billion, Japan has become the biggest donor after the United States. How will this affect Japan s overall development aid policy? Does this mean some money earmarked for other countries will be diverted to Iraq? What will be its political and diplomatic implications?

FOREIGN MINISTER KAWAGUCHI: We will have to make best efforts to make our assistance to overseas countries as efficient as possible. We have, as you know, a declining budget for the ODA. And we have been making efforts so that that can be spent in an efficient, and also productive and transparent way. We ll just have to continue that, and we, at the same time, we will try, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we would like to try to make do our best to obtain as much budget as possible for overseas assistance, because there are other countries which need assistance from us and we are mindful of these countries. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO: Thank you very much. Washington Post.

QUESTION: Thank you.

From the Washington Post and for the U.S, delegation, can I ask again about the breakdown of loans versus grants? When the Congress changed it in the U.S. to make 50% of the $20 billion into loans, the White House put out a statement saying this would hinder Iraqi democracy and add to the unsustainable debt burden.

When I do the breakdown here, it looks like quite a bit of the money that s coming in is being in the form of loans, from the Saudis, the World Bank, the $3.5 billion from the Japanese. I wonder if these do feel that s going to be a big problem; and secondly, if it is going to be accepted, then how can you go back to the Congress and say the U.S. contribution has to be all in the form of grants and not loans.

SECRETARY SNOW: That matter was addressed in the course of this conference, never more eloquently than by the UN representative, who directly said that it would be a terrible mistake in his view for the U.S. Congress to proceed with loans as opposed to grants because the loans only complicate the long-term problem of the rebuilding of a country that today has unsustainable debt levels. Some of the donors, some of the pledges that were made were made as loans because the World Bank and the IMF are financial institutions that are only by their by-laws permitted to make loans. They re not in the grant-making business. They are in the loan business, and of course, a very substantial part of what we re calling the loans, come from those two entities $5 billion potentially pledged by the World Bank and $4 billion pledged by the IMF. That s $9 billion of that total. So sure, we prefer grants but what we really prefer, what we really are counting on here is financial support, is the line of credits, is the money in the banks that can be drawn on to fund, to finance the rebuilding. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO (translated): Thank you. Carlos Segovia from El Mundo.

QUESTION (translated): Thank you, Minister. This is a question for you and for Mr. Powell. Do you think that after last week s UN resolution on the donor s conference, do you think the end to national divide has been overcome, or they're still concerns about countries like France or Germany who have really not made a commitment, or not made a very big commitment. Second question: What about the criteria you ve used for countries at this conference. Why was Israel not here?

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIOS: You first.

SECRETARY POWELL: I ll take the first one and you can deal with the invitation. (Laughter.)

I do believe that unanimous passage of Security Council resolution 1511 did bring the international community back together again, not in every detail and every aspect. There are still differences of opinion and there are still disagreements, but all 15 nations voted for a Security Council resolution that endorses the approach that we are now taking with respect to the creation of a new Iraqi government and the process by which we will return sovereignty, and the role of the special representatives of the Secretary General, the role of the Coalition provisional authority, and it s a fine resolution. It doesn t mean that there will not continue to be debates about how to implement that resolution.

So I think this resolution coming out on top of 1483 and 1500 to a large extent has put the disagreements and the debates we went through earlier in the spring where they belong, in the past. And we are all now joined together to move forward. I think that the world will see as we move forward that rapidly the Iraqi authorities, governing council, the ministries, other organizations will be stood up and with each passing day take on increasing responsibilities and increasing authority for their own decisions and for their own future and slowly but surely the CPA will start to recede into the background until that the day comes, we all look forward to, and know now will come. The constitution has been ratified and elections have been held, and a legitimate government has been put in place based on a democratic model.

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO (translated): I agree with what the Secretary of State has said, and if you would allow me to add something from a purely European perspective.

What we re seeing is an example of the application of the method of construction, the European method, which is, I mean, it s a textbook example. The European method means construction or building from a situation of differences. There s no greater division than a war and you have stood in the aftermath of a war, and that is the community method, looking towards the future, committing to the future with specific projects, creating de facto solidarities as Shuman described.

That doesn t mean that there may still be, there may not be any differences, but these two forces are sort of frozen and you come back to method. And this has already been built. What the development of the sequence of resolutions 1483, 1511 shows the commitment to the future with specific projects and solidarity for the future of Iraq.

John Zepelin, the Financial Times.

QUESTION: Actually, what about .

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO: What can I say about the invitation criteria was in the hands of the core group. You are aware of the composition of the core group, so it was a consensus selection. Next question.

Mr. Zeppelin from the Financial Times.

QUESTION: This goes to Mr. Allawi. Before this conference there were some, from the Iraqi government council, mentioned some numbers for pledges for Arab countries. Those numbers were higher than the numbers we heard today here at this conference so, how disappointed are you about the contributions of Arab countries, and how do you see the future with your neighboring countries?

DR. ALLAWI: We welcome donations from Arab countries and, of course, this is again part of the full which will be available for Iraq to use until Iraq stands on his feet. We think such donations will cement the relationship and the region that will build an integrated circuit of mutual trust that will promote peace and stability. We look forward to donations from the Arab countries. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO (translated): Thank you very much. Last question.

QUESTION: Today many countries expressed their concern and mistrust concerning how the money will be channeled, and if it s going to the right objectives. Do you think they have reason for their concern or mistrust, and what do you do to assure them?

SECRETARY POWELL: No, I don t think they should have any concern. There will be a number of channels to which the money will flow. You have heard about the creation of the UN - World Bank fund. There is a development fund that is in place now, that receives oil revenue, and the United States has ways of distributing the money that will be appropriated by our Congress. We are absolutely committed to transparency, to open the books to whomever wishes to see these books, and we re absolutely committed to setting priorities in coordination with and at the, frankly with the lead of the Iraqi Governing Council and with the Cabinet ministries.

It will be a collaborative effort to select the projects that should be funded and are most essential and open discussion between Iraqi leaders and the coalition provisional authority, and all of the other agencies represented here to decide which projects, and then open competition for those who have the capability to do these projects throughout the world, and the world will see that it is a transparent, open, honest process that has only one purpose to serve the Iraqi people and not to take any advantage of the Iraqi people or the oil wealth of the Iraqi people.

COMMISSIONER PATTEN: Can I just add a couple of thoughts to that? First of all, this is an issue which in a very welcome way was addressed directly in 1511, in the Security Council resolution, this question of openness and transparency. Secondly, it was precisely in order to be able to answer questions like yours, with my customary honesty, and that I and others have argued from the outset, that we establish a couple of multilateral trust funds under the UN and World Bank with various windows for different sorts of objectives in Iraq. They ll be set up in the coming weeks and will be subject to all the cleanest auditing processes imaginable.

In the meantime, until they are set-up, we re making our first tranche of assistance through an existing UN trust fund which deals with post-conflict situations, and is opening a specific Iraq window in order to allow us to use it for contributions to Iraq. So I have absolutely no doubt that the money for which I m responsible, and I m sure the same will be said by every other donor, is going to be used for the people of Iraq to create for them a much better future.

FOREIGN MINISTER KAWAGUCHI: I also would like to add that all the governments who have committed money for the people of Iraq is responsible to explain to our domestic constituency, to our people that the money is spent in a transparent way, in an accountable way. And all the governments are going to be interested in the subject and because everyone is interested in this, there is just no way, the money will be spent in a very transparent way. It is in everyone s interest that it is that way. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER PALACIO (translated): I think that the auditing and control systems have been one of the main issues that have been discussed during the preparations at this conference.

Again, thank you very much. This brings us to the end of this press conference. Thank you so much for your attendance and this really the final act of the donor s conference.

Thank you very much.

[End]

Released on October 25, 2003


See

From Nightmare to Freedom: The Rise of a Free Iraq

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Op-Ed
Knight-Ridder
October 31, 2003

....

Real progress is being made on the ground that gives Iraqis hope that life will get steadily better.

  • Electrical generation capacity already exceeds pre-war levels.
  • Working with our Iraqi partners and other volunteers from the international community, we have repaired more than 1,700 critical breaks in Iraq's aging water network.
  • We have cleared 14,500 of Iraq's 20,000 irrigation canals in need of dredging.
  • We have renovated more than 1,500 schools.
  • We have distributed 22 million vaccines to Iraqi children and pregnant women.
  • Three million re-hydration kits have reached children in need.
  • We are also preparing the way for a new, Iraqi-led security environment. Basic police training of more than 35,000 Iraqi civilian police will commence in November, eventually graduating 1,500 carefully-vetted and newly trained and equipped civilian police each month for the next 2 years. This indigenous police force will bring new stability and a sense of confidence in the future.
Iraqi civil society is thriving.
  • Where there used to be only one official news source, one that sensible Iraqis never trusted, Iraq now pulsates with a free press.
  • Teachers can teach the truth, not Baathist hate propaganda. Courts are working.
  • Banks are open and making loans.
  • Business is thriving, as even a glance at the products available in any Iraqi city market shows.
  • Salaries are rising, savings are coming out of hiding, people are spending and making money.
  • Not only are basic services being restored to prewar levels, but in many areas Iraqis have set goals far beyond that. Iraqis aspire not to the health care system they had 30 years ago, but to a better health care system.
Already more Iraqis than ever have reliable access to electrical power, clean water and basic education.

...


Washington, DC, November 6, 2003

The Madrid Donors' Conference: Helping the Iraqi People Build a New Iraq

Montage of four photos under heading Rebuilding Iraq: construction workers, officials listening to conference interpretation, mason, officials shaking hands ,©AP Photos,; Nov. 6, 2003 publication.

"I commend the 73 nations and 20 international organizations that are meeting the challenge of helping the Iraqi people recover from decades of oppression and build a better future. " President George W. Bush


DONATION HIGHLIGHTS
  • Japan: $5 billion
  • The European Union: $1.44 billion, including:
    • Spain: $300 million
    • Denmark: $27 million +
    • Italy: $235 million
    • United Kingdom: $450 million
  • Republic of Korea: $200 million
  • Canada: over $150 million
  • World Bank: between $3 and $5 billion in loans
  • International Monetary Fund: between $2.5 and $4.25 billion in loans
The above estimated figures are examples of contributions from some of the 73 countries and 20 international organizations that participated in the Donors Conference.

International donors pledged more than $33 billion for Iraqi reconstruction over the next four years at a Donors Conference in Madrid in late October. The total includes

  • $20 billion from the United States and
  • more than $13 billion from other countries and international organizations.
  • Some countries unable to assist financially offered technical and other support to the Iraqi people.
Preparations for the multilateral donors conference began in June at the United Nations, when the UN, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund agreed to conduct a needs assessment. In October, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1511 that called on the international community to support the Iraqi people at this time of need and opportunity.

A trust fund facility managed by the World Bank and the United Nations will be created to distribute the new funds for those donors who choose to use this channel. The United States will continue to administer its contributions through its own programs.

Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of the Treasury John Snow headed the U.S. delegation to the Donors Conference. The Iraqi delegation (five members of the Iraqi Governing Council and 15 cabinet ministers) presented its vision for a new Iraq and what it aims to accomplish. Ayad Allawi, President of the Governing Council, told conference participants that the Council is determined to pursue democratic development, open markets, physical reconstruction, and the return of Iraq to the international community of nations.

Financial assistance from the world community will provide Iraqis with more schools, hospitals, telecommunications, roads, and bridges. It also will help build the country's security forces and repair the oil and power infrastructure, putting Iraq back on a path toward economic prosperity and stability.

Iraqi Response to Donors: "Your success here will be a success for humanity and a help for peace and security in the world." (Ayad Allawi, President of Iraqi Governing Council)

[end]


See http://www.state.gov/p/nea/ci/c3212.htm for State Department information on Iraq

November 24, 2003

Daily Press Briefing

Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 24, 2003

.... QUESTION: Yeah. Do you have any response to President Chirac, who said again in -- well, again, I'm not sure again -- but who said today that your timetable for political process in Iraq was inadequate and too slow?

MR. BOUCHER: I'd go back to what the Secretary said before, what we've said before. We think it's a realistic timetable put down by the Iraqi people themselves, worked out with the Governing Council and we need to rely on them, in part, to decide what they can do.

We have worked out with them a process that will give the Iraqis a firm basis for a future government, as well as a firm basis for representative government as they go forward. And you can't just -- as the Secretary said, you can't just dump all the responsibility on somebody because they're there. You have to just work with them to make sure they can shoulder the responsibility and expand their responsibility, and that they have the legitimacy and the support to carry out those functions.

...
Released on November 24, 2003


See http://www.state.gov/p/nea/ci/c3212.htm for State Department information on Iraq

Feb. 9, 2004 Issue of Newsweek

On the clock: Facing a five-month deadline, L. Paul Bremer has little use for big ideas in Iraq

An essay by Michael Hirsh

Summary: Bremer's job is "much harder" than MacArthur's. Ethnic and sectarian fighting has been avoided. Bremer will leave behind so many new institutions by June 30 that the forces of integration may overtake the chaos, e.g. professional and trade associations in major cities, seven teams in the 2004 Olympics, a national soccer team, the Iraqi symphony, new Iraqi Fulbright scholars, a new Commission of Public Integrity to battle endemic corruption, Iraqi Court TV.

part 1
... Henry Kissinger, who's made diplomatic history himself, says the task his onetime protege is engaged in (Bremer was his chief of staff and managed his firm, Kissinger Associates) "is unprecedented." Bremer's job is "much harder" than MacArthur's, says Kissinger. "I can't think of many situations in which there were so many moving parts. And so many conflicting pressures that had to be resolved in so little time ... Secondly, in Japan there was no challenge to legitimacy of the occupation. It was basically accepted."

...As a result, Bremer may have the toughest job in he world right now. Consider:

  • the fabled MacArthur, the "American Caesar," took seven years to remake Japan.
  • John McCloy, the High Commissioner who reconstituted post-Hitler Germany, took three years, coming on top of four years of military rule.
  • Bremer has just five months to go.
And whereas Japan was already unified, Bremer is trying to build a new Iraq by abruptly reversing the divide-and-rule course that Saddam brutally pursued for 35 years.
  1. He must meld together fractious Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds
  2. in a backward economy with a jobless rate still at 30 to 40 percent (about half what it was after the war, by Bremer's latest estimate), and
  3. in a region of the world where bordering nations, like Iran and Syria, are constantly interfering....
part 2
... Yet Bremer and his sleep-starved team believe the vision of a new, stable ally in the Mideast is not only achievable, but still likely.
  • Bremer's hope is that the June 30 handover and the withdrawal of U.S. troops to bases outside the cities will blunt the insurgency;
  • someday perhaps, he says, Iraqis will come to remember their liberation more fondly.
Now he has a more immediate concern: the one thing that hasn't happened in postwar Iraq, except in isolated cases, --ethnic and sectarian fighting.
    Bremer is urgently dealing with a growing Shiite rebellion over the issue of whether the new transitional assembly set to accept sovereignty will be
    • elected or
    • chosen by caucuses of elites, his plan.
    Suddenly he desperately needs the approval of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani of Najaf, the Shiite cleric who commands much more prestige than the administrator.
    • Sistani, knowing the Shiites represent a majority, wants national elections.
    • The Sunni minority doesn't, and it is fomenting the Iraqi insurgency.
    • The Kurds, meanwhile, want to wait on elections until they can "normalize" return Kurds to areas that Saddam cleaned out.
    Bremer's task is to give Sistani something that sounds like elections while allaying Sunni and Kurd fears of disenfranchisement.
    • Bremer hopes that a U.N. team now here will affirm the U.S. view that elections are impossible before handover, because of the lack of voter registration, census data and so on [which the U.N. did on Feb. 22, 2004], allowing Sistani a face-saving way out.
    • And he says that -contrary to reports Sistani refuses to deal with him- the two have "been communicating since May."
    • But NEWSWEEK has learned that Sistani is planning a new obstacle: a committee of his own that will dissect the United Nations' findings, possibly causing more delays. ...
part 3
... Bremer thinks he can still make things stick together by the time he departs. His overriding goal is to leave behind so many new institutions by June 30 that the forces of integration overtake the chaos.
  1. He's trying to create facts on the ground that will engender a powerful demand for sovereignty, outflanking Sistani's power bid. Hence his intense push to hold town-hall meetings and local caucuses, even though officially his caucus idea is suspended pending the United Nations' finding on whether elections are feasible.
  2. Now Bremer must fight a rear-guard action as well: jittery suggestions back in Washington that America skip selection of a new transitional assembly altogether and simply hand off to the IGC [Iraqi Governing Council]. But that would almost certainly not be accepted as a legitimate government -the Bremer-appointed IGC is widely seen as a collection of U.S. stooges. Still, Bush is so intent on that date (coming as it does before the GOP [Republican Party] convention) that Bremer cannot dismiss the idea of a handover to the Governing Council.
Meanwhile Bremer is nurturing Iraqi civil society with an accumulation of small steps:
  1. he's forming professional and trade associations in major cities, on the theory that this way doctors will identify themselves as doctors and not as Kurds or Shiites.
  2. Soon to be announced is that Iraq will field seven teams in the 2004 Olympics.
  3. The restoration of symbols of a return to the community of nations
    • a national soccer team,
    • the Iraqi symphony,
    • new Iraqi Fulbright scholars,
    is a big Bremer theme, his way of trying to fend off the sense of societal doom many Iraqis feel as they flirt with civil war.
  4. Last week another Bremer pet project, a new Commission of Public Integrity to battle endemic corruption, was handed off to Governing Council member Adnan Pachachi to announce.
Bremer is never short of new ideas. Surely one of the strangest conversations to take place in an Army Black Hawk helicopter occurred last week between Bremer and the outgoing commander of the 101st Airborne in the north, Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, who is rotating out this week. Bremer launched into his latest passion: Iraqi Court TV.
  • He's already nationalizing Petraeus's "Mosul's Most Wanted" TV show to get locals to call in with tips on insurgents. Even U.S. TV host John Walsh is helping. "If we have that, we might as well follow it with 'Court TV'," said Bremer, only half-joking. "Maybe we can have a perp walk."
No idea seems too small or too silly to the man who holds Iraq's future in his hands but must soon yield it up to an unready nation. Not when he has so little time left.

Washington, DC, Office of the Press Secretary, June 1, 2004

National Security Advisor Discusses President's Trip to Europe and the G8
Press Briefing by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on the President's Trip to Europe and the G8 Summit

James S. Brady Briefing Room
9:45 A.M. EDT

DR. RICE: Good morning. Last week at the Army War College, President Bush spoke about his vision for a democratic, secure and prosperous Iraq in the heart of the Middle East. As the President said, a free and self-governing Iraq will deny terrorists a base of operation and discredit their ideology. A free Iraq will make America safer and more secure, and serve as a beacon of reform in the region.

To achieve the goal of a democratic and free Iraq, the President outlined his five-point plan for transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis. Step one of this plan is to hand over authority to a sovereign Iraqi government. Step two, to help establish the stability and security in Iraq the democracy requires. Step three, the continue building Iraq's infrastructure that was neglected for so many decades. Step four, to encourage more international support. And step five of the President's plan is to move forward toward free national elections that will bring forward Iraq's first ever democratically elected government.

As part of this five-point plan, today in Iraq, U.N. Special Advisor Lakhdar Brahimi, and the Iraqis have announced the formation and composition of the Iraqi interim government, which will help set conditions for Iraq's first reelections. That government includes six women, five regional officials -- including governors of large areas like Dewanee-a and Sala-Hadeen. It has four members of the former Iraqi Governing Council.

As you know, Mr. Brahimi has spent weeks consulting with the Iraqi people on their interim government, including consultations with a large number of representatives of Iraq's public, political parties, professional organizations, women's and youth organizations, trade unions, tribal and religious leaders, and academics. Today's announcement is a positive step for the future of a free Iraq and the President and all of us want to thank Mr. Brahimi for his tireless efforts under what were very demanding circumstances.

Looking ahead in the next week-and-a-half, the President will continue his close consultations with his international counterparts as he leaves now on a trip for Europe. On Thursday, the President and First Lady will begin travel to Italy and France. On Friday, June 4th, the President will meet with Italian President Ciampi. Mrs. Bush will then join the President to call upon his Holiness, Pope John Paul II, following which, the President and Mrs. Bush will lay a wreath at Fosse Ardeatine Friday evening, the President and Mrs. Bush will join Prime Minister Berlusconi for dinner.

On Saturday, June 5th, the President will meet with Prime Minister Berlusconi and the two leaders will then have a joint press availability. The President and Mrs. Bush will depart for Paris, where the President will meet with President Chirac, followed by a joint press availability and working dinner. On Sunday, June 6th, the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the President and Mrs. Bush will travel to Normandy, France. They will visit and pay their respects at the American Cemetery, where the President will also deliver remarks. President and Mrs. Bush will then participate with other world leaders in a multi-national lunch and ceremony. At the conclusion of that ceremony, the President and Mrs. Bush will depart for Sea Island, Georgia, where they will host the 2004 G8 Summit.

This year's G8 Summit will focus on advancing freedom by strengthening international cooperation in order to make the world safer and better. Key discussions will take place on the President's broader Middle East initiative, action against WMD proliferation, peace-keeping issues, a secure and facilitated international travel initiative on Africa and on private sector-led growth and development.

On Tuesday, June 8th, the President will host a working lunch with Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan, followed by a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Martin. President Bush will also host bilateral meetings with Chancellor Schroeder of Germany, and President Putin of Russia. In the evening, the President and Mrs. Bush will host a social dinner for G8 leaders and spouses.

On Wednesday, June 9th, the President will begin his morning with a working breakfast with Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain. The President then will open the G8 Summit with a morning plenary session. During lunch, the G8 leaders will be joined by the leaders of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Turkey and Yemen. This is an opportunity for the G8 to discuss how it can support freedom and political, economic and social progress in the Middle East, and to hear from these leaders about their efforts to pursue democracy and reform in their countries, as well as to hear about Turkey's success in developing secular democracy in a country with a mainly Muslim population.

The afternoon will include a plenary session on the preeminent security issues of WMD, proliferation and global terrorism.

On Thursday, June 10th, the President will meet with Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi and then with French President Chirac. Following the bilateral meetings, the President will participate in a wrap-up session of the G8.

The G8 leaders will then have lunch with the leaders of Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. This lunch is an opportunity for the G8 and African leaders to discuss how they can cooperate to accelerate private sector-led growth and development in Africa. The discussion will cover key issues including, among others, entrepreneurship, foreign direct investment and trade, famine, food security and agricultural productivity. HIV/AIDS and polio will also be discussed, as well as peacekeeping and support to peace operations on the continent.

This lunch reflects the President's strong commitment to Africa and, with the rest of the G-8, continued support for the new partnership for Africa's development and the G-8 Africa Action Plan.

Following the lunch, the President will travel to Savannah, Georgia, where he will meet all of you in a press conference, and then he will return to Washington. If there are any updates to the schedule, and there may well be, we'll get them too you.

All right, I'm happy to take questions. Steve.

Q Can you talk a little bit about the internal machinations that led to this interim government emerging? And were you concerned when Adnan Pachachi pulled out of the running for the job?

DR. RICE: Well, it was a very extensive process, and it was a process that began weeks ago with Mr. Brahimi meeting with large numbers of people, traveling around the country, meeting with people, meeting with associations and professional groups. He then came back to start consideration of lists, as you might imagine.

I want to be very clear. We very early on with Mr. Brahimi, as he was developing short lists, had an understanding with him that the names that he was considering were all acceptable to the United States. And, indeed, Great Britain was involved in that as well.

The process by which he had to determine who was acceptable to the largest number of Iraqis who might have the largest amount of support was like any political process, lots of people coming in and talking. I'm sure that there were people lobbying; all kinds of things were going on.

But I can tell you firmly and without any contradiction, this is a terrific list, a really good government, and we're very pleased with the names that have emerged.

John.

Q There's a sense, Dr. Rice, that the U.S. and perhaps, Brahimi, as well, kind of, if you will, got rolled by the IGC here, that they were the ones that came out with the announcement on Allawi at the end of the week. They were against your choice of -- or the suggestion of Pachachi for President and put forward their own candidate. Can you disabuse us of any notion that they were the ones who were pulling the strings on this?

DR. RICE: I can absolutely tell you, John, that the Governing Council members, as some of them, as people who represented some of the largest parties, certainly had a say in this. But this was really a process in which Mr. Brahimi canvassed, discussed, took the temperature of lots of people about who would be the most effective leaders for this particular point in time in Iraq's history.

I can tell you, for instance, that the United States did not have a single candidate for President. That is simply wrong. The United States was aware that there were a couple, at one time, other names, but at least two people who were being considered, and that they were acceptable to us. And so the idea that we had single candidates is simply wrong. This was a very intense process of consultation and negotiation, mostly among the Iraqis, as well as it should be, not just among the Governing Council but wide numbers of Iraqis. And I would just call your attention to the fact that the new government, there are, with the government, that means the Presidency, the Prime Ministership, and all of the Cabinet members, there are only four numbers of the current Iraqi Governing Council.

Q But in terms of the top two positions, isn't it true that the Iraqi Governing Council got just what it wanted?

DR. RICE: I don't know if the Iraqi Governing Council got just what it wanted or not. I do know that in Prime Minister Allawi and in President Ghazi, all of the parties believe that these are very, very good choices. And that includes, by the way, the United States. I just want to emphasize, we did not have a single candidate for the Presidency.

Q Does the new government and a changing landscape in Iraq make it any easier to -- for the President to recruit other members or build international support in Iraq? Where do you see that going?

DR. RICE: Well, Terry, we'll see. But I do believe that people understand that this is now moving forward. There has been among most of the members of the international community, both those who were part of the coalition and those who were not, a sense that it was extremely important to end the occupation, to have the transfer of full sovereignty to the Iraqis. And that process is now very much underway with this excellent government that Mr. Brahimi has been able to put together.

The conversations that I've had with my counterparts around the world suggest that what people are now focused on is trying to get a U.N. Security Council resolution to support that government, trying to get a U.N. Security Council resolution that will put in place a multinational force -- all of the things that need to be done -- because there is an understanding that the Iraqis now are going to have control of their own political future and that that needs to be supported by the international community.

So, in short, yes, I do think that the movement toward a government that can now govern in Iraq on behalf of the Iraqi people -- by the way, govern only until there are elections. I mean, it's extremely important to note that this is an interim government, this is not the final stage in the Iraqi political transition. There will be elections either at the end of the year or at the beginning of next year. And the most important thing that this government will be doing is to try to create the conditions under which those elections can take place.

Helen.

Q To put this all in perspective, what is the latest rationale of why we invaded Iraq --

DR. RICE: Well, Helen, the rationale --

Q Especially without any weapons of mass destruction.

DR. RICE: The rationale has been the same from the very beginning. Saddam Hussein was a very dangerous man, in the world's most dangerous region. This is someone who had acquired weapons of mass destruction, used them before, been sanctioned by the United Nations for 12 years, by his refusal to give them up. In Resolution 1441, had been ordered by the international community to finally disarm, and had failed to do so. He had invaded his neighbors, he had gassed his own people --

Q Twelve years ago and he had been punished for that.

DR. RICE: Helen, would you like to let me answer the question?

He had gassed his own people, he had gasses his neighbors, he was paying $25,000 to suicide bombers. He was the world's -- a dangerous man in the world's most dangerous region.

The President and a coalition, a large coalition of states decided it was time to put an end to this problem and to give the Iraqi people a chance at freedom and to give the Middle East a chance at a more stable environment in which democracy might --

Q Do you acknowledge there was no imminent threat?

DR. RICE: Helen, I believe the President --

Q It was sold on the fact that he was an imminent threat --

DR. RICE: -- I believe the President -- Helen, would you like me to finish answering the question? I believe the President said in his speech at Cincinnati, some say that we must wait until this threat is imminent. What there was, was a threat from Saddam Hussein --

Q What was --

DR. RICE: -- threats to his neighbors. This was, after all, someone against whom we had gone to war in 1991, against whom we had gone to acts of war in 1998, who was flying missions against our pilots, trying to patrol the no-fly zone every day. This was the world's most dangerous reason; Saddam Hussein had to be taken care of and the world is better for it.

Terry.

Q Dr. Rice, back to the interim government. You said, and the administration has said, that the main job of this government will be to prepare for elections. And Mr. Brahimi said he thought it should be mostly technocrats, and that if you want to get into those elections, don't get into this government.

Well, it seems the campaign has begun. You have a lot of very active political figures in this government. And two questions on that. First, is the job of this new government now essentially to run for office in the next government, as well? And, second, many of these figures have said they want more control over the armed forces on their territory. Will Mr. Allawi and his colleagues be involved at the U.N. as this United Nations Security Council resolution is structured on that issue?

DR. RICE: Well, first of all, the Iraqis obviously will be involved in how the U.N. Security Council resolution is structured, because their views will be taken into account by the Security Council. And I suspect that there will be Iraqi officials pretty soon traveling to New York to engage in those discussions.

As to the Iraqi chain of command over its own armed forces, I think that it's been very clear in all that we've said that we expect there to be an Iraqi chain of command over their armed forces. That is no different than many other members -- than other members of the coalition. There is an American chain of command over our forces, there's a British chain of command over the British forces, there's a Polish chain of command over the Polish forces. The Iraqis will, of course, have control of their own forces. We want them to have full sovereignty.

Now, when it comes to the operations of the multinational force, I think we will have discussions with a now empowered Iraqi government about how this will proceed. But let's be realistic. We've been doing this for years in all kinds of countries around the world; we do it in Bosnia, we do it in Afghanistan. We know how to do this. We know how to develop cooperative and coordinating mechanisms with the sovereign government to make certain that together we can deal with the security threat until the Iraqis are capable of dealing with the security threat themselves.

So I think that this is something that always looks harder on theory than it will be in practice.

Terry, just to your other question about technocrats, I think there was a time at which it was thought that maybe a technocratic government was an option. Mr. Brahimi, I won't speak for him, but I know that when these discussions began, it became pretty clear that there was widespread view that there also needed to be some figures who could handle the political side. This is political time in Iraq that political leadership would be important to the Iraqi people. And surprise, surprise, politics has broken out in Iraq. People are considering their political futures, they're talking about the future of the country. They're going to try to do a good job and impress Iraqis that they're doing a good job. I think that's why we went to liberate the Iraqis, so they could engage in exactly that kind of activity.

Q And if this new interim government were to ask the U.S.-led occupation forces to leave, would the U.S. honor that?

DR. RICE: We have just seen statements from members of the new Iraqi government, I believe from the Prime Minister, saying that the help of coalition and allies would be needed. We expect that the Iraqis fully understand what we all understand, which is that Iraq must now take responsibility for its own democratic development. That also means that we want, and the Iraqis want, a much longer, larger role in their own security, but that they do not, at this particular point in time, have the forces to take care of the threats that are there.

So I just, frankly, don't think that this is going to be an issue. I think that they will want our help, we will be prepared to give them our help. But the key is going to be to secure Iraq so that democracy can take place.

Q Dr. Rice, for many years, Mr. Chalabi was the savior of the White House and the Pentagon and the Washington circle. What is the present relationship between the White House and Mr. Chalabi?

DR. RICE: Well, look, Ahmed Chalabi did, I think, a lot of good work on behalf of his country when he was in exile. And, yes, there was a relationship. It has not been an easy relationship of late -- I think that you can see that, that's not hard to see. But Iraq is a complicated place and we're going to continue to work with whomever we need to in that complicated place. The United States has never wanted to try and pick and choose among Iraqi's future leaders. I think we made that clear months ago, that really at the time of the liberation, that the United States was not going to bet on a particular horse or bet on a particular candidate. And that's been proven out here. There was a process in place instead, and that's what has gone on. So it has been a not easy relationship, but there's no reason that it has to remain that way.

Q Dr. Rice, under what legal authority was this government formed today? Is it correct to speak of Allawi right now as the Prime Minister? And tell us legally what the status of the government is right now.

DR. RICE: It is currently the interim government in a non-sovereign Iraq. It will, upon transfer of authority, be the interim government of a sovereign Iraq. So there are two different processes here. One is forming the government as an interim government, which was envisioned in the transitional administrative law that was passed several months ago. That government then, of course, is responsible for organizing elections, managing the country through a ministerial system until there can be elections. That will then be a transitional government with a legislature. And that government then will prepare a constitution and you will have elections for a permanent government.

So its status comes out of the TAL. It is currently the governing body of Iraq, but it is not the sovereign governing body of Iraq -- that happens when we transfer authority.

Q And Allawi is currently the Prime Minister?

DR. RICE: Allawi is the Prime Minister, yes.

Q And one quick question on the Middle East, if I might. Yasser Arafat claimed in a television interview over the weekend that although President Bush has had no personal contact with him, that Mr. Bush responds to Chairman Arafat's letters. Is that true?

DR. RICE: I don't have any idea what the Chairman is talking about.

Q Dr. Rice, is the administration, though, at all concerned that this new President has in recent televised interviews criticized the U.S. presence in Iraq and has attributed some of the worsening conditions in Iraq to what he called the blunderings of the U.S. military?

DR. RICE: Look, these are not America's puppets. These are independent-minded Iraqis who are determined to take their country to security and democracy. That's why we liberated Iraq, is to begin a process by which the Iraqis can have leadership that can speak on their behalf, act on their behalf. This government, of course, we hope is acceptable to Iraqis. Soon, they will go through a process of increasing legitimacy, until they have a permanent government that will speak on behalf of the people of Iraq.

A part of democracy, a part of free speech, part of politics is to have open dialogue and open criticism. It's not as if, by the way, some of our longest-standing democratic allies don't find fault from time to time with American policy. And so I don't think that you will see the United States concerned or cringing every time an Iraqi leader wishes to comment either on something that we've done in the past or something we've done in the present. You get it from -- we get it from Karzai, from time to time.

The goal is -- and we believe that the key here is that we now have a functioning government in Iraq that will be able to work with us to do what we all want to do, which is to bring security to Iraq, to bring elections to Iraq, to bring democratic development to Iraq, and to make it a stable, prosperous and democratic country. That's what this is about, and I'm quite certain, because the President has had a conversation with this particular -- with the new President, that that is the goal of the President, the new President of Iraq and that he fully shares that vision and will work toward how to get that vision done.

Q When was that conversation?

DR. RICE: The President called him after he -- when Mr. Salim was assassinated and when Mr. Ghazi took office, the President called him at that time. Not as the new President, that's right. In the past, John. Sorry to confuse you.

Yes.

Q With the establishment of an interim government, would you expect a reduction in violence directed at American forces there? And secondly, will this interim government have the ability to enter into international agreements on things needed to move forward their redevelopment, including oil and international debt?

DR. RICE: I will get you the details on the second question because this is handled in the TAL annex and I've not, myself, had a chance to read the TAL annex. My understanding is that, in respect for the limited role that it was expected to play under the TAL, this government has taken some self-limiting steps into what kinds of agreements it can enter into. But as we understand it, there's nothing in the TAL that would keep it from entering into the kinds of agreements that are believed to be necessary in the short term. For instance, we believe that they can engage in discussions on debt and the like.

But I should just say, and I want to reserve because we haven't seen the final TAL annex that was just passed today by the Governing Council before it was dissolved or before it dissolved itself -- it doesn't appear that there's any self-limitation that would get in the way of it functioning between now and elections. But it will undertake some self-limitations because of the way that the TAL was structured.

As to the violence and whether there will be a reduction, I think that no one knows. It's entirely possible that there will be an increase in violence for a while, as the former regime elements and the terrorists try and test this new government, try to test the will of the coalition in this new phase, as they've been trying to test the will of the coalition and Iraqis for the last several months. I think it's entirely possible you'll see an uptick.

But the important thing is that the political process is underway and it's continuing. Their claim to the future of Iraq has never been one of a vision of democracy and prosperity and a better life for their people. They don't have a political vision that is attractive to the Iraqi people, and so as this political vision now plays out with Iraqis in control of it, the hope is that the violence will eventually begin to subside. But I want to be very clear, I think in the short term, you could see more violence because I think these are people who are -- who know they have no place in the future of Iraq.

Q Sorry, can I ask about the G-8 and the discussion of the democracy initiative? Saudi Arabia's not coming, Egypt is not coming. It does not sound like this initiative is catching fire.

DR. RICE: No, we are in contact with and have discussions with both of those countries. Their leaders, for a variety of reasons, are unable to come to the G-8. We have a number of leaders who are actively engaged in reform in their own countries: Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen. And the broader Middle East initiative will remain open to all states that want to be involved in it.

But we've had lots of discussions with the Egyptians, particularly after the Alexandria Library Conference, about how Egypt wants to move forward. We've had discussions with the Saudis about their municipal elections. This is an opportunity for the G-8 to offer an opening to states in the region to be involved in reform discussions and process with the G-8. But what we're quite aware of is that most of this is going to take place on the ground in the Middle East, not in the G-8. And so we will continue those discussions. This will be a very good discussion with some of the most reform-minded states in the Middle East.

Q Dr. Rice -- Prime Minister Howard's visit --

DR. RICE: Sure, why don't we do that, yes.

Q Prime Minister Howard's coming on, meeting him on Thursday. Will the President be looking for more troops from Australia? You've talked about the need for more forces to go to Iraq. And also, will the President be able to give the Prime Minister assurances that a couple of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay who have alleged, or who it has been alleged have been beaten by American forces in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, that those claims will be properly and thoroughly investigated?

DR. RICE: On the second point, if there are any questions about the treatment of Australian detainees, the President and his entire team are prepared to discuss them and to address them, because Prime Minister Howard and the Australians have been terrific allies. We are determined to make certain that any claims of mistreatment would, of course, be thoroughly investigated. We'll be happy to talk about that issue.

In terms of forces, my understanding is that Australia is doing what it can and that contribution is completely appreciated and, we believe, the appropriate contribution for Australia. It's obviously up to Australia if it wishes to do more, but -- and I want to make a very clear point about the foreign troop issue.

Yes, it is entirely possible that after the U.N. Security Council resolution that there could be other states that might be willing to send a few troops here, a few troops there. But no one really believes that we are about to have a massive infusion of foreign forces into Iraq, and in fact, I think that you will hear the Iraqis say more and more that what they would really like to have people concentrate on is training their troops, their police, getting their forces in a particular -- in a state to take care of their own security circumstances.

And so probably what we should all be looking to is how any and all of us who want to help the Iraqis in this time can give them more training, more help in getting their forces up to speed, because I think that's what the Iraqis are particularly interested in.

And I didn't get the last one.

Q Dr. Rice, given the recent history of governments to try to affect a change in Iraq and the weight of that history, what makes this attempt any different and what gives you the optimism this time that there's going to be a happier ending?

DR. RICE: Well, I think that the Iraqis haven't had a chance in a long time to try and pursue prosperity and democracy side by side. I mean, Saddam Hussein, for almost 30 years, this was the most -- one of the most brutal dictatorships of modern times. And what you saw, and what you've begun to see, is that despite that, despite the trauma of that, there remained a spirit underneath of Iraqis wanting to live together in a unified Iraq.

I've been very struck by the fact that when there's been an attack of the kind that Zarqawi talked about, of Kurds, of Shia against Kurds, which he thought would cause civil war, or Sunnis against Shia, which he hoped to cause civil war, that instead, the Iraqi people have rallied to each other.

I think that you see that a spirit has remained of wanting to have a better life. If you got out, I'm told -- I've not, unfortunately, had the chance to do it myself -- but if you go out to provincial councils and you go out to regional councils, you see that people are voting and city councils are worrying daily about how to deal with a lot of the same problems that people deal with in any town in the United States, how you get the sewage running, how do you deal with electricity and so forth. That that spirit has remained underneath that period of terrible, bloody dictatorship. And as I said in the answer to Terry's, surprise, surprise, politics has broken out in Iraq. People actually care about their own role in the future of Iraq. So I think those are very hopeful signs.

One interesting point is that poll after poll after poll shows that while, obviously, the Iraqis don't like occupation, nobody would, that the one thing they remain tremendously focused on, the largest demonstrations that have been Iraq have been to have elections. And so clearly, they associate a better life and a better future with being able to have elections. And that, in and of itself, I think, is a very good sign for the future of Iraq.

Thanks very much. I'll see you on the road.

Q Dr. Rice -- on France.

Q One more.

DR. RICE: France, yes.

Q I'll be short.

DR. RICE: Yes.

Q President Bush and President Chirac will meet four times during this month of June, which is pretty rare.

DR. RICE: It's a lot, yes.

Q What do you expect from France?

DR. RICE: We have had, really, very good conversations, Colin with his new counterpart, I with my counterpart, the Foreign Policy Advisor to President Chirac, and a couple of times on the phone to President Chirac and President Bush.

We have a broad agenda. Look, we've had our differences. We've had difficulties over Iraq. But I sense in all of the countries of the alliance, all of the countries of the free world, a fundamental understanding that, however, whatever differences we had in the past, that a free and prosperous and stable Iraq is a linchpin and a key to a stable Middle East is understood, and that people are looking for ways that they can help to get that done.

I also think that President Bush and President Chirac have a lot to discuss on the Middle East. Of course, they have common interests on the work that is being done by the Quartet in the Middle East peace process. But they've also had very good discussions on Lebanon, on Syria, where President Chirac, of course, spearheaded the conference for Libya -- for Lebanon, not too long ago, and we were supportive of that.

So this will be a broad agenda and I think there will be very good discussions. But the spirit is good between the United States and France, and I expect that to have dividends.

Thanks very much.

END 10:19 A.M. EDT

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version; October 7, 2004
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