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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 > December

Press Availability with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer

Secretary Colin L. Powell
German Foreign Ministry
Berlin, Germany
December 10, 2001

FOREIGN MINISTER FISCHER: So, letís shake hands. Okay. Are there any questions? Please.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, and Mr. Foreign Minister, Michael Spann, the CIA agent, who was killed in Afghanistan, is being buried today in Arlington and we are coming up to the three-month anniversary of the bombings, and I was wondering if you had any thoughts on his death and sacrifice and any thoughts on this anniversary?

SECRETARY POWELL: I think all of us should be proud that there are men like Michael Spann, who are willing to go in harmís way for the nation and to serve the cause of freedom. I had occasion to meet his partner, the other man who was with him at that time, and it was a very emotional meeting that we had two days ago. I was also able to meet with a number of his other team mates and to share with them my expression of grief and condolences for their loss, and so we should always remember that freedom sometimes requires the supreme sacrifice. I feel for Mr. Spannís family as well as the families of the other Americans who have been lost in this conflict, but that frequently is necessary to achieve a noble purpose.

FOREIGN MINISTER FISCHER: We will never, I personally will never forget September 11th, I mean it was a very, very shocking and emotional experience, especially the attack on the World Trade Center -- to see these pictures of innocent people waiting for their deaths. It was a shocking experience, because the city of New York for all of us was a very specific city and a promising place, and when you know about, not only the terrible suffering of those who didnít survive and also about the suffering of the people, of the children and of the families, and we share these feelings. Any more questions?

QUESTION: Do you see an alternative to Mr. Arafat, first question, and are there any differences in position in the Middle East, between Europe and the United States?

SECRETARY POWELL: Mr. Arafat is the elected leader of the Palestinian authority and the recognized leader of the Palestinian people, and we are asking him to do everything in his power to get the violence down and to deal with these elements within the Palestinian community who have resorted to this kind of violence, and who are destroying the vision of peace. They are not only attacking Israel and Israeli citizens, they are attacking Mr. Arafatís position as a leader. We have said to him clearly that this is a challenge he cannot let go unanswered. He has to respond. I think in this regard, Foreign Minister Fischer and I and our two governments have coordinated very, very closely, since the first day of this administration. I think our views are similar, and we will continue to coordinate more closely together.

FOREIGN MINISTER FISCHER: Thank you very much.

Released on December 10, 2001

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