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18 March 2002

War Crimes Court Can Count on U.S., Powell Says

(March 18: remarks with Prosecutor Del Ponte after their meeting)
(800)
The war crimes tribunals in The Hague for the former Yugoslavia and
Rwanda can continue to count on the United States for support for
their work, Secretary of State Colin Powell told journalists after his
meeting with Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte at the State Department March
18.
Characterizing their discussion as "good," Powell said that he and Del
Ponte "noted a lack of progress on the part of the authorities in
Belgrade with respect to the work of the Tribunal."
Efforts "to get the kind of cooperation we need with respect to access
to archival material, with respect to turning over other officials,
and with respect to putting in place domestic internal law" would be
redoubled, he added.
The secretary of state also said that he and Del Ponte discussed "the
ultimate exit strategy."
"In due course, you would expect her work to be finished, but I can
assure you that until her work is finished, the United States will be
supporting her every step of the way," he said.
Following is a transcript of their remarks:
(begin transcript)
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
March 18, 2002
REMARKS BY SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN L. POWELL AND CARLA DEL PONTE,
PROSECUTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNALS FOR THE FORMER
YUGOSLAVIA AND RWANDA, AFTER THEIR MEETING
March 18, 2002
C Street Entrance 
Washington, D.C.
(11:25 a.m. EST)
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I have had
a chance again to consult with Prosecutor del Ponte, and we have had a
good discussion. I thanked her for the superb work that she has been
doing with respect to the Yugoslav and Rwanda Tribunals. We noted a
lack of progress on the part of the authorities in Belgrade with
respect to the work of the Tribunal, and I told her we would redouble
our efforts to get the kind of cooperation we need with respect to
access to archival material, with respect to turning over other
officials, and with respect to putting in place domestic internal law
and all the other issues that are well known to you.
I told the Prosecutor that she can continue to count on the United
States support for her work, and we talked about the ultimate exit
strategy. In due course, you would expect her work to be finished, but
I can assure you that until her work is finished, the United States
will be supporting her every step of the way.
Thank you, Madame Prosecutor.
MS. DEL PONTE: Thank you. Yes, it's important for me to discuss with
the Secretary of State about cooperation. As you know, we have a lot
of difficulties with Belgrade to obtain the cooperation we need to
conduct our investigations and arrest of fugitives, and I was very,
very pleased to discuss with the Secretary, and I hope that we will
maintain our program as we call it now no more exit strategy, but
completion strategy.
Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you. I have time for just one question. I have
a phone call.
QUESTION: Secretary Powell, later this month, as you mentioned, the
government in Belgrade is up for re-certification from the United
States, and cooperation with the ICTY is just one of the three
criteria. I believe they have made some progress on meeting one of
them, the cutting off links with the Republika Srpska, but the
cooperation with ICTY, as you just said, is not up there. The third
criteria was the repatriation of ethnic Albanians who were arrested in
the Milosevic era. How are they doing on that?
And, Madame Prosecutor, if I could ask, would you recommend to the
United States not to re-certify Belgrade if -- unless cooperation with
your court continues?
SECRETARY POWELL: The Albanian question is still out there, and as I
approach the end of the month, just as I did when I had to make
certifications last year, I will examine the total situation and see
how it is consistent or inconsistent with the law that I have to
certify under and whether good faith efforts, as well as performance,
has taken place. And that is what I will do, just as I did last year.
And if they're not deserving, they won't get it; if they are, they
will. And they know what they have to do, and we'll keep the pressure
on.
MS. DEL PONTE: I am here to ask for a full cooperation from Belgrade,
but I am not deciding about the modalities to obtain that. That is a
task of the US Government to decide. But I hope that it will work,
yes.
SECRETARY POWELL:  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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