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26 June 2002

U.S. Looking to Israel to Play Role in Future Peace

(Powell June 25 NBC Television News Interview) (730)
In cooperation with a more democratic Palestinian government,
Secretary of State Colin Powell said the United States will be looking
to Israel to take steps to ensure the successful implementation of
peace in the region. Speaking on the NBC Nightly News June 25, Powell
said Israel would need to end the occupation of Palestinian
territories, end settlement activity, and provide for a return of
Following is the transcript of Powell's interview with NBC:
(begin transcript)
Office of the Spokesman
June 25, 2002
Secretary Of State Colin L. Powell
On NBC's Nightly News with Tom Brokaw
June 25, 2002
(7:08  p.m. EDT)
MR. BROKAW: Mr. Secretary, when Yasser Arafat faced reporters today,
they said to him, "Was the President referring to you when he called
for a change in the Palestinian leadership?" And he responded,
"Definitely not." Did he not get the message?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I think he got the message. And of course the
President did not specifically refer to Chairman Arafat in his speech
yesterday, but he was certainly talking about the leadership that
Chairman Arafat has provided, making the point that we need a change
in leadership and we need to see new leaders come up so that we can
have more diffused leadership where others have responsibility; it's
not all in the hands of a single executive.
But the President was rather clear that he did not believe that the
current leadership has been taking the kinds of actions appropriate to
the situation, not clamping down hard enough on terror and violence,
and not doing what is necessary to move the Palestinian people in the
direction of a Palestinian state, which is what the President wants
for them: a state living in peace, side by side with Israel. That's
his vision. And we're going to work to get that vision, and we hope
that the Palestinian people will put in power new leaders that will
work more aggressively toward that vision.
MR. BROKAW: You have been saying all day long that the response from
the other Arab nations has been very positive. Egyptian President
Mubarak said it was a good speech, but he said, "I didn't see anything
in that statement that referred to Arafat."
If Arafat is reelected by the Palestinian people, you have no choice
but to deal with him, do you?
SECRETARY POWELL: We will see what the Palestinian people do in the
election, and I don't want to answer right now in a hypothetical and
MR. BROKAW: But why couldn't you answer that, Mr. Secretary? I mean,
after all --
SECRETARY POWELL: Because the election hasn't been held. And let's see
what happens after we put in place, as I believe the Palestinians are
preparing to do, new constitutional procedures; hold elections which
are free and fair; and let the Palestinian people make a judgment on
the circumstances they find themselves in, where they are not able to
get to work, they are not able to live normal lives; and let them
evaluate the leadership that has produced these conditions and the
leadership which has not moved them closer to the their desire for a
state of their own. And we'll see what judgment they make, and then of
course if it is that kind of an election, free and fair, then we will
respond to what the outcome of that election is.
MR. BROKAW: A prominent Arab official told me today that it's
impossible for the Palestinian people to meet all of these conditions
while they are being occupied by Israeli Defense Forces, and that
there was not enough pressure put on the Israelis at this time to pull
out of the Palestinian territories so the constitutional process can
go forward.
SECRETARY POWELL: Let me answer two ways. First, with respect to what
the President said about his expectations for the Israeli side, as we
move forward, his expectations are rather high: end to the occupation,
end to settlement activity, return of revenue, open up all of the
communities, and negotiations to end the occupation that began in 1967
on the basis of Land-for-Peace. So that's a pretty firm vision, and he
wants to do it within three years, and he has put his full weight
behind that.
(end transcript)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site:

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