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Press Availability With German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

Secretary Colin L. Powell
German Federal Chancellery
Berlin, Germany
May 16, 2003

CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER: I am very happy about the visit of the American Secretary of State. We discussed, frankly and in some detail, a range of issues of common interest.

Of course, the issue of Iraq was of special interest. We are of the opinion that the sanctions that were imposed in the past no longer have any meaning and that they should be lifted as soon as possible.

Together we came to the conclusion that it makes sense to come together in New York at the United Nations headquarters and, if possible, to develop a unanimous position.

Then we discussed the situation in Afghanistan. Germany's contribution to the establishment and the maintenance of security in Afghanistan is recognized. I believe that it will be necessary to look into the expansion of the security zones beyond Kabul and the role that Germany is capable of playing in this connection. We are fully prepared to discuss this question with one another. I was pleased to note the recognition of Germany's outstanding participation in Enduring Freedom, as well as Germany's commitment in the Balkans.

All in all, I was very pleased over the very open and friendly exchange of views.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Chancellor. It is a great pleasure for me to be back in Berlin. As the Chancellor said, we did have a very open and candid conversation.

We spoke about the future, how we are moving forward with respect to helping the people of Iraq to a better life; working together on finding a formulation for a resolution at the United Nations that will draw the support of all members of the Security Council. I was pleased at the Chancellor's commitment to move as quickly as we can to lift sanctions entirely so that we can begin to have the flow of oil, which will generate revenue that will benefit the Iraqi people.

As the Chancellor said, our conversation was very direct and candid, as befits two friends and two allies. We talked about the disagreement of the past and the seriousness of that disagreement, but we also talked about that which pulls us together, as friends and allies for these many years. The way in which we are working with each other in cooperating in the Balkans and Afghanistan, and thanked the Chancellor for the contribution that Germany is making in the Afghanistan theater with German troops. And we also talked about the global war on terrorism - how we have to do more, as highlighted by the recent attacks against U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia. I thank the German government for the cooperation they have given to us on the global war against terrorism.

We also spoke about the prospects for peace in the Middle East and President Bush's commitment to moving forward with the new Palestinian Prime Minister and with Prime Minister Sharon, to find a way forward down the roadmap that will lead to the vision the President laid out in his speech of 24 June of last year.

So, Chancellor, it is a great pleasure for me to be back in Germany. Thank you for your hospitality, sir.

CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER: Ladies and gentlemen, there will be a very detailed press conference with the Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Fischer. Therefore, thank you for coming.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much.

Released on May 16, 2003

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