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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2001 > March

Press Availability with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Press Availability with Ismail Cem, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey
Washington, DC
March 30, 2001

SECRETARY POWELL: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I just concluded a two-hour session with my good colleague, Ismail Cem. We reviewed US-Turkish bilateral relations and acknowledged that they are on very, very strong footing, and this is the second meeting he and I have had just within the past few weeks. I remarked to him, I hope we can get together as frequently as that in the future, because it is evidence of the kind of relationship that exists between our two countries.

We covered a range of issues: the economic situation in Turkey; we talked about European security and defense initiatives; we talked about the situation in Iraq; the Middle East situation; and all those issues which bring our two nations together.

And it was my great pleasure to host him here today, and I look forward to many more such meetings.

FOREIGN MINISTER CEM: I look forward to meeting again with Colin Powell, and I am very happy about the state of our relations.

Thank you.

SECRETARY POWELL: We'll take one question.

Q: Secretary Powell, there seem to be some signs in Belgrade that Milosevic may be about to be arrested. Would that seal your decision ahead of the deadline?

SECRETARY POWELL: The certification that I will be making over the next two days will reflect all actions that have been taken by the government in response to requirements of the legislation that set out the certification. So we will see what happens over the next few days, and I will take it all into account as I make my judgment as to whether or not I can certify in accordance with the law.

Q: Cyprus -- did you discuss Cyprus?

SECRETARY POWELL: Yes, we talked about Cyprus. It was a good discussion. We covered every issue one could think of between two friends.

Now, perhaps you would like to say a little bit to the press?

Q: -- Mr. Secretary?

SECRETARY POWELL: I have to leave for a meeting, so I will leave the --

FOREIGN MINISTER CEM: Yes, I'll have to leave for a meeting as well, so I'll just have a --

SECRETARY POWELL: Questions for the minister?

Q: Mr. Minister, I understand that Turkey has been working with both parties in the Mid-East, perhaps to be a little bit more of a mediator. Do you see this in complement to the US, and can you expand a little bit on Turkey's increasing role in the peace process?

FOREIGN MINISTER CEM: Yes, it's true that we have an increasing role. It's not the role of a mediator. It's a modest role, a limited role, to facilitate some contacts, to facilitate some understandings. We have had limited success so far, but the goal being to save human life, we will continue to do our best as we did in previous months.

Q: May I follow up?

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER CEM: Thank you.

SECRETARY POWELL: We talked too long upstairs. I apologize. I owe you some.

[end]



Released on March 30, 2001

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