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Powell and NATO Discuss Post-War Iraq - 2003-04-04


U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell tells European allies that disagreements between Europe and the U.S. must be put aside – because international cooperation will be key to determining the future of post-war Iraq. Amy Katz has more.

Secretary of State Powell met with NATO leaders and European Union officials at alliance headquarters in Brussels Thursday – to discuss how post-war Iraq will be governed and rebuilt.

At a news conference following those meetings, Mr. Powell said the United Nations can have a role in rebuilding Iraq – which the European Union has been calling for. But, he said, the nature of that role is yet to be determined. Mr. Powell said since the U.S.-led coalition took on the mission of liberating Iraq – at considerable cost – including the lives of its soldiers – it should be the dominant influence.

COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE
“I think the coalition has to play a leading role in determining the way forward. This is not to say that we have to shut others out, and not to say that we will not work in partnership with the international community and especially with the United Nations.”

But Mr. Powell also expressed hope for international cooperation in post-war Iraq.

COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE
“Not withstanding the disagreements we have had within the transatlantic communities, serious disagreements, heated disagreements, where we came to opposite conclusions on a very important issue of the day, we now must move forward and align ourselves again with the need to serve the Iraqi people.”

NATO Secretary General George Robertson said there was broad agreement on the need to bring the Iraq conflict to an end – as soon as possible. He also stressed the importance of keeping casualties to a minimum and to getting aid to the Iraqi people – quickly.

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