For Immediate Release
April 8, 2003
Д-р Кондолиза Райс обсуждает встречу президента Буша и премьер-министра Блэра
10:10 A.M. EDT
DR. RICE: All right, Im here to answer questions in whats
obviously a very successful meeting between the Prime Minister and
the President. They had a chance to talk about the Middle East, as
the Prime Minister said. Dinner last night was fairly wide ranging.
Talked quite a lot about the Middle East, in fact.
They had an opportunity to talk about the progress in the war,
which they see as progressing according to plan and progressing
well. But everybody wants to caution that theres still a lot of work
to do. There is still fighting going on, there are still areas to be
But nonetheless, they talked as they have in all of these
meetings, about making certain that the coalition can, working with
the international community and others, begin to deliver for the
Iraqi people on day one, and that the Iraqi people can, as soon as
possible, begin to be involved again in their own future. So those
were the subjects of the meeting.
Q Do they have a consensus on how much longer the war is going to
DR. RICE: I dont think anybody is trying to make a prediction on
how much longer. Its going to last as long as it takes, because
obviously good progress is being made, but the one thing that
everybody is absolutely clear on is, this regime is coming down,
Iraq is going to be returned to a -- to the Iraqi people in a way
that it can be a good neighbor, can be thoroughly disarmed --
completely disarmed of its weapons of mass destruction, and can be
put on a path to democratic development, keeping the territorial
integrity of the country.
Q Do you have any new information since
the President was asked about whether Saddam is alive?
DR. RICE: Dont have any new information. I dont think anybody
knows, but the regime is going to be finished.
Q How soon do we have an interim authority up and running? And
are you still considering doing it just in the south, or are you
going to wait and see what happens in Baghdad?
DR. RICE: When I briefed on this last Friday, I think I said that
a lot is going to be dictated by conditions on the ground. And
obviously conditions on the ground are shifting. And so I think it
will have to be a constant assessment of what the circumstances are
on the ground, when its best to start trying to put together an
But obviously the President wanted to emphasize today that this
is going to be a -- the President and the Prime Minister wanted to
emphasize this is going to be a broad-based, representative interim
authority, that its role is of course temporary or transitional, to
give the Iraqis or to make certain that Iraqis have a role in the
administration of their country and that as it matures that
functions can be given over to it.
But its not a substitute for what will eventually have to be an
Iraqi government where all Iraqis can have a voice. But I think we
arent making any decisions right now on where it would be set up or
on what time frame. We have to really watch how things are going on
There may be opportunities to get people together -- the already
liberated people, the people who would be coming in from the outside
-- but I dont think anybody is making a hasty decision on when to
set up the interim authority.
Q The Secretary said -- that the United Nations could recommend
some names for possible people.
DR. RICE: Of course, yes.
Q Has there been any clear idea of how people will be named or
Iraqis get to name people, the U.N. gets to name people, I suppose
well have a say. What would be the mechanism?
DR. RICE: Well, the President emphasized a couple of things.
First of all, he and the Prime Minister wanted to make very clear
that everybody understood that they have long believed that the U.N.
will have a vital role, vital in helping to deliver food and
medicine and goods, vital in helping the Iraqi people get back on
their feet -- indeed, being able to make suggestions about who might
be a part of the interim authority.
If Afghanistan is any guide -- and it might not be a perfect
guide, but there is some experience with interim authorities --
people tend to underestimate the role of the people themselves in
knowing the leaders among them, in the provinces, in governorships,
in localities, that people emerge. And the people themselves will
tell you, well, that person has been a leader. You know, you do have
this very brutal regime on top, so people cant express themselves.
But there are leaders out there, some of whom we are able to
identify as the liberation of the country has taken place, others of
whom will be identified as liberation takes further. But I think
there is a tendency to underestimate the degree of knowledge that
you can really gain from talking to the Iraqi people themselves
about what leaders should be emerging.
And both the Prime Minister and the President, if you noticed,
emphasized that this is not an issue of the coalition or the U.N.,
this is an issue of the Iraqi people, as soon as possible, taking
life into their own hands.
Q Condi, the President talked about the interim authority being
there until the people themselves can select a government. What are
the criteria -- what do we look for to make that -- reach that
DR. RICE: Again, not everything can be predicted or predictable
at this point. The liberation is just progressing, the fighting is
not done. There are whole areas of the country where the fighting is
still quite intense. And so nobody wants to try to have a fixed
timetable of when you take what steps.
But obviously there will have to come a time where there is a --
once the interim authority is in place, where processes that we
would associate with democratic development take place, where you
begin to move to some form of election and some form of validation
of people who are going to be the leaders of the country. But thats
a ways. Nobody can make a prediction on that.
In terms of the interim authority, though, it has to be -- even
in itself, even though it is temporary, it has to be broad based, it
has to include people who are inside the country and are just
emerging. Undoubtedly there will be people who have not yet emerged
who will over the next few days, next weeks.
And we shouldnt underestimate the importance of people who have
been outside the country but have kept this flame alive for a free
Iraq for more than a decade. And they will have an important role to
play, as well as of course the Kurds, who have managed their own --
the northern territory, since 1991.
MR. FLEISCHER: Just one or two more.
Q Can I follow up on that? Was the President informed about
Chalabis air liftings into Iraq, and what does he -- how does he
DR. RICE: Im sorry, I have been -- I was in Moscow. Im a little
bit uncited on this, and Ill get back to you with information about
what may or may not be going on there. I just dont know.
Q Secretary Powell said yesterday that a team would be going over
to Iraq some time next week. Do you know who those people are? And I
know that youre saying people will emerge inside Iraq. But the
people outside of Iraq -- are those people named already, and when
will we know who those people are?
DR. RICE: Part of these people have been working with us for a
long time. I mean, there are kind of two categories of people. There
are people who have been part of opposition groups and there are
some expats who have identified themselves as people who want to go
back for 60 or 90 days to just help on the administrative side, to
lend their skills to getting the place back up and running.
But I know its very easy to want to go to governance issues early
on. But the elements, as the liberation takes place, will be to make
certain that the country is secure, that its territorial integrity
is assured, that delivery of services to the Iraqi people can really
take place, that humanitarian needs are taken care of. I mean, there
are parts of the country where water is a problem, in large part
because of the policies of the Iraqi government.
So something as important but simple as getting water to the
people, weve got to keep that focus early on, and many of these
issues will begin to sort themselves out. And there are opposition
groups, there are also expats who have just said they want to go
back a little while, a short time and help.
Q Did you patch things up with Putin? Did you begin to heal that
DR. RICE: Well, it was -- look, its been a difficult time for the
relationship, everybody understands that. But the President -- both
of them, Presidents Putin and President Bush, have said in a couple
of different telephone calls and in contacts between their
governments that the strategic relationship is extremely important
to them, that they want to help to create the conditions under which
the relationship can move forward.
And that was the purpose of my trip. We had a wide-ranging
discussion, by the way. We talked about a lot of different elements
of U.S.-Russian relations, but we also talked a little bit about the
post-conflict Iraq situation and about trying to move constructively
from where we are now to in the future.
Q I wanted to ask about Syria. Do we think that the Syrian
government is actively collaborating with the Iraqi regime in terms
of hiding weapons and moving people and scientists?
DR. RICE: I dont think we have clear enough answers from our part
of view as to what Syrian activities may or may not be. But very
clear messages have been delivered to the Syrian government that
they should not engage in behavior that is anti-coalition and
thereby anti-Iraqi people.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
MR. FLEISCHER: This is a double header. We have Richard Haass on
the record about Northern Ireland.
AMBASSADOR HAASS: Okay, you heard what the President said at the
opening of the press conference. Weve also issued a statement, along
with Ahern and Blair about the -- about Northern Ireland, so that
gives you some detail. Let me just quickly run you through the
meetings, and then Ill answer your questions.
They met as a trilateral, talking about the issues on Northern
Ireland. Then the three of them met with the leaders of six
pro-agreement parties. And at the outset of the meeting, Prime
Minister Blair then Prime Minister Ahern then President Bush spoke.
President Bush essentially made the points that the Northern
Ireland has reached a historic juncture. There really is an historic
opportunity here to fulfill the promise and the potential of the
Good Friday Agreement. He called on the leaders to essentially
exploit -- to seize the opportunity. And he said, do it not just for
yourself, do it not just for your children, but also do it as an
And the President specifically linked it to the situation in the
Middle East, in two ways. One, that if you make progress in Northern
Ireland, it shows what diplomacy and negotiation can do. And
secondly, the Middle East is in some ways a tragic reminder of what
happens when the boulder gets rolled up the hill, leaders dont seize
the opportunity, and then the situation can grow worse.
So basically appeal to the leadership of Northern Ireland again
to take advantage of this, both for themselves and for others.
Q There was a critic in Northern Ireland who took the opposite
view. Instead of seeing this as an example of how the Mideast peace
process could be inspired, he said its hypocritical for President
Bush to say -- take the peaceful route, while hes using -- while he
has gone to war in Iraq. And I wondered if you could respond to
AMBASSADOR HAASS: I thought the President handled that perfectly
well at the press conference. These two situations are fundamentally
different. The United States has only used force in Iraq after more
than a decade of diplomacy. And Saddam Hussein had every chance to
avoid a war. All he had to do was meet his obligations on weapons of
mass destruction, and he chose not to.
In the case of Northern Ireland, weve fortunately now been in a
situation of -- a so-called cease fire for about a half dozen years.
Its now, literally this week, the fifth anniversary in the five
years of the Good Friday Agreement. And the situation here has
evolved significantly. And again were at a point where is the chance
to evolve that much more.
The two situations are apples and oranges. I would just say also
it shows that U.S. foreign policy is different in different places.
We dont simply have one set of tools, and whats appropriate for
dealing with a situation in Iraq is obviously not the appropriate
set of tools for dealing with other challenges. And in Northern
Ireland, were 100 percent involved in diplomacy.
Q When did President Bush meet with Gerry Adams on the side, and
was there any discussion about the FARC and anything along those
AMBASSADOR HAASS: He met with the leadership of each of the six
pro-agreement parties, including Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness,
and talked with them about Northern Ireland, and also talked with
them about the situation in Iraq. The situation you mentioned didnt
Q Do you happen to know the other four names?
AMBASSADOR HAASS: The other four parties?
Q Yes. McGuinness, Adams --
AMBASSADOR HAASS: For Sinn Fein it was just Adams and McGuinness.
Ill take you through the order. Ill see if my memory serves me well
at 35,000 feet.
He began with the Ulster Unionist Party, the UUP. Then he met
with David Trimble and Reg Empey. He then went to the SDLP, the
Social Democratic and Labor Party and met with Mark Durkan and Brid
Rodgers. Then he went to Sinn Fein and met with Gerry Adams and Mark
McGuinness. And then I might have the order wrong on the next three,
but met with the Alliance Party which is headed up by a man --
gentleman named David Ford, he also met with the number two there,
Eileen Bell. And fifthly, he met with the Progressive Unionist
Party, PUP, which is led by a gentleman named David Ervine, with an
E, and also a gentleman whose last name is Smith. And then lastly he
met with the Womens Coalition, which is headed by Monica McWilliams.
MR. FLEISCHER: Not bad at all.
Q So six separate meetings. They come into a room --
AMBASSADOR HAASS: No, what it was, was they were all arrayed
around the room. It was one meeting. It was almost like, if you
imagine a clock, one was at four oclock, one was at two oclock, and
he basically went from each one and maybe spent -- he went along
with the Taoiseach and Prime Minister Blair and the three of them
engaged each one of the leadership pairs one at a time for about
five minutes each.
Q The President essentially endorsed whats going to be published
later this week by Blair. Has the President seen a draft of that?
AMBASSADOR HAASS: Weve been intimately involved in it, and hes
been thoroughly briefed on the essence of the Hillsborough documents
that will be released Thursday.
Q Do you expect another explicit endorsement on Thursday when it
AMBASSADOR HAASS: Ill talk with Mr. Fleischer about that. Were
pretty clear, on the record, but we may again say something on
Thursday. I certainly will. But no one has any doubt that the United
States stands behind it and is prepared to help implement it.
Okay, Ive told you more than you want to know? Great.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 10:25 A.M. EDT