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Remarks After Meeting With Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga

Secretary Colin L. Powell
C Street Entrance
Washington, DC
February 19, 2003

SECRETARY POWELL:  It is good to have the President of Latvia with us.  We had a good conversation and I thanked her for the support that Latvia had given to us and the friendship which she has extended to the United States and to me, personally.
 
QUESTION:  Mr. Powell, what do you think about the position of (inaudible)?  Is it important for the United States?
 
SECRETARY POWELL:  I'm sorry I -- yes.  Yes, absolutely.  We value the  views of all of our European colleagues, those that agree with us and those that don't agree with us.  I think every European nation should be free to express its view, and all of them have done so.  We especially appreciate the view of the Latvian Government which understands the challenge that the United Nations is facing with respect to a regime such Saddam Hussein's regime that is not complying with its obligations under international law and 1441.
 
We hope for a peaceful solution, but we have to make sure that we are ready to force the issue in the absence of a peaceful solution, otherwise, what was the purpose of 1441?  What is the meaning of a United Nations resolution?

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, how (inaudible) second resolution?

SECRETARY POWELL:  We are in consultation with our friends and allies with
respect to a further resolution.
 
QUESTION:  Any timing on it?
 
SECRETARY POWELL:  Not that I'm prepared to give you now.
 
QUESTION:  Did you mean to suggest that the French are afraid of a war? Is that what you meant to suggest in the interview today?

SECRETARY POWELL:  I didn't -- I gave an interview the other day to Radio France and I suggested that we had to make sure that when we go forward on an action such as Resolution 1441, we must not be afraid of what might be required in the future to implement such a resolution.  And that's the point I was making, and it applies to all of the Security Council members who understood what we were getting into when we passed Resolution 1441.

Thank you.

QUESTION:  How long does Turkey have to respond to your (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POWELL:  I spoke to the Prime Minister this morning and I am waiting for a response back.  I can't tell you when, though.  It's up to them.

QUESTION:  You're not putting a deadline though?  We've heard 48 hours.

SECRETARY POWELL:  Time is moving, but I don't have a deadline I'd like to announce right now.  We are waiting to hear back from the Turks.  I think they understand the importance of this issue to us and to our efforts and they've got it under consideration now.  

Thank you.

 


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