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26 September 2001

Transcript: Remarks by Powell, Irish Foreign Minister Sept. 26

(Bush commitment to go after terrorism unwavering, Powell says) (1390)
Secretary of State Colin Powell and Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen
spoke with journalists after their meeting September 26 at the State
Department.
In his opening remarks, Powell said he wanted to thank the government
of Ireland and the Irish people for their outpouring of support after
the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
He said he emphasized in his meeting with Cowan President Bush's
"commitment to go after terrorism."
"It is a commitment that will be unwavering and will be pursued,"
Powell said.
Cowan, noting that Ireland will take over chairmanship of the United
Nations Security Council October 1, said his country will play its
part "to ensure that the resolutions of the United Nations are
respected and that they are implemented."
Asked about a mandate from the United Nations for action against
terrorism, Powell said that "notwithstanding all of the
coalition-building we have been doing, President Bush retains the
authority to take whatever actions he believes are appropriate in
accordance with the needs for self-defense of the United States and of
the American people.
"We will be going to the UN for additional expressions of support
through UN resolutions but, at the moment, should the President decide
that there are more actions he has to take, he will make a judgment as
to whether he needs UN authority or whether he can just act on the
authority inherent in the right of self defense and consistent with
our own laws and regulations and constitutional powers."
Powell also briefly discussed the Middle East, saying he is "pleased
that some progress has been achieved."
Following is the State Department transcript:
(begin transcript)
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
September 26, 2001
REMARKS BY SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN L. POWELL 
AND HIS EXCELLENCY BRIAN COWEN,
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF IRELAND
AFTER THEIR MEETING 
C Street Entrance
Washington, D.C.
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It has
been my pleasure today to host my Irish colleague, Foreign Minister
Cowen. We just had a very productive discussion and, in that
discussion, I had the opportunity to thank the Minister and his Prime
Minister and the Irish people for the outpouring of support that we
received as a result of the tragedy on the 11th of September.
It meant a great deal to us to be joined by our Irish brothers and
sisters in recognizing the enormity of this tragedy. I especially want
to thank the Irish people for the day of mourning that they held on
the 14th of September, the Friday after the 11th of September. It
showed a remarkable demonstration of the love that exists between our
two peoples and the solidarity that exists between our two nations.
I also extended my regrets and condolences to the Minister for the
loss of his citizens at the World Trade Center, remembering once again
that it is a World Trade Center that was destroyed by these
terrorists. I also made sure the Minister understood that the
President has a commitment to go after terrorism and to go after these
particular terrorists. It is a commitment that will be unwavering and
will be pursued.
I thanked the Minister as well for providing over-flight assistance to
the United States' efforts and that is deeply appreciative and a sign
of the commitment that they have made. As the Minister said to me, we
have to go beyond just sentiment to action. That is particularly
appropriate, since Ireland will be in the Chair of the Security
Council beginning on the 1st of October, and we look forward to
working with the Chair as we pursue new resolutions that will assist
us in this struggle against terrorism.
Before introducing the Minister, I just might say a word about the
Middle East situation. I spoke this morning to Prime Minister Sharon,
to Foreign Minister Peres and to Chairman Yasser Arafat to get their
perspective of the meetings that were held this morning between
Foreign Minister Peres and Chairman Arafat. I am pleased that the
meeting took place, I am pleased that some progress has been achieved
and that more progress is expected as security meetings begin on
Friday.
So we are at the beginning of a process that I hope will lead quickly
into the Tenet work plan and into the Mitchell process. This is a
hopeful sign and I hope that we can move rapidly through this process
so that we can begin to see confidence-building activities in the
region, we can see a cease-fire that really takes hold, we can improve
the lives of the Palestinian people by opening things up again, and
ultimately get back to discussions that will lead to resolution of the
outstanding political issues.
And now, it is my pleasure to introduce my colleague, Foreign Minister
Cowen.
FOREIGN MINISTER COWEN: Thank you, Secretary of State. My I first of
all thank the Secretary of State for meeting me and my delegation this
morning, as we prepare to take over Chairmanship of the Security
Council on Monday next. I intimated to the Secretary of State the
profound sorrow and regret of the Irish people at what had happened on
September 11th and to assure him of our solidarity and support.
May I also say that we have been greatly impressed by the resolve,
obviously, of the United States Government and its people, but also
its restraint, its methodical efforts at building an international
coalition behind efforts to deal with this phenomenon of international
terrorism, which must be dealt with comprehensively in all respects
and in a multifaceted way. And to say to him that, from our
perspective, in terms of our bilateral relations, as members of the
European Union and now taking on Chairmanship of the Security Council
of the United Nations, that we will play our part to ensure that the
resolutions of the United Nations are respected and that they are
implemented, and that we will work with him and work with other
members of the Security Council to make sure that our Chairmanship is
a success in that respect and a constructive contribution to dealing
with the phenomenon of terrorism, as we have seen it portrayed in
recent days.
Thank you.
QUESTION: There is great concern in Ireland that everything that
happens from now on should be specifically mandated by the United
Nations. Can I ask you, Secretary, do you believe that you have a
mandate from the UN for action in principle and in terms of the scope,
or will you be going back to the UN for a further mandate?
SECRETARY POWELL: As you know, we have been in touch with many
organizations, the United Nations, NATO, the Organization of Islamic
Conferences, the Organization of American States. So many
international organizations have come together to provide support and
to give us opportunities to move forward in this campaign. The
campaign will have a political component to it, a diplomatic
component, financial, intelligence sharing, and there may also be a
military component to the campaign.
At the moment, notwithstanding all of the coalition-building we have
been doing, President Bush retains the authority to take whatever
actions he believes are appropriate in accordance with the needs for
self-defense of the United States and of the American people.
We will be going to the UN for additional expressions of support
through UN resolutions but, at the moment, should the President decide
that there are more actions he has to take, he will make a judgment as
to whether he needs UN authority or whether he can just act on the
authority inherent in the right of self defense and consistent with
our own laws and regulations and constitutional powers.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, the Taliban has today told Afghan people to
return home, on grounds that the United States will not attack, not
having evidence against bin Laden. What's your take on that?
SECRETARY POWELL: I am not going to comment on a Taliban statement. I
haven't heard the statement, and so I think I probably ought to look
at it more carefully before I make a comment on it.
Thank you very much.
FOREIGN MINISTER COWEN:  Thank you.
(end transcript)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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