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Powell: 'World Must Come Together to Defeat' Terrorism

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2003 – Recent terrorist bombings of a major hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, and at the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad underline the need for nations to unite to fight global terrorism, the senior U.S. diplomat said here today.

These, and other terrorist acts conducted around the globe serve as a reminder that "the civilized world must come together to defeat this scourge of terrorism in whatever manner it manifests itself," U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell told reporters gathered at the Foreign Press Center.

News reports have cited the Aug. 5 car bombing at Jakarta's Marriott Hotel as having killed 15 people and wounding about 150. Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian terror group with links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda organization, news reports say, claimed responsibility for the attack.

And that group reportedly masterminded last year's nightclub bombing in Bali.

The global community cannot move into the 21st century "and work hard to provide hope to people as long as these kinds of incidents take place," Powell emphasized.

Powell told reporters that he had contacted the Jordanian foreign minister to offer U.S. condolences for today's car bombing at the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad that killed almost a dozen people, including five Iraqi security guards, and injured many more.

The United States, Powell asserted, regrets "the injuries to Jordanian personnel" caused by the bombing "as well as the loss of life of innocent Iraqi citizens who were just out in the street going about their business when this terrorist act took place."

President Bush "has made it clear he will stay with this campaign against terrorism," the Powell emphasized, adding, "We will unite the world" in combating terrorists.

And, Powell maintained, "a great deal of progress" has been accomplished lately in the fight against global terrorism. For example, he noted, scores of suspected terrorist operatives have been arrested in Saudi Arabia and numerous caches of weapons have been seized.

"We've seen similar actions in other countries," Powell observed, noting America and its allies "will not be deterred" in continuing global anti-terror operations.

"We'll certainly not be defeated and we're ever more determined to go after them wherever they are until this scourge is dealt with," he vowed.

Although the civilized world continues to be challenged by terrorism, today is also "a time of hope and promise," Powell observed.

For example, he noted, Iraq's people have been freed from the yoke of a dictator. Iraqis of all ages are returning to their schools and universities. The country's electric power is being restored, he continued, noting that "the infrastructure is being rebuilt, the economy is starting to function."

And the recently established Iraqi Governing Council, Powell continued, "is an important first step" in returning full sovereignty to the Iraqi people.

U.S. and coalition forces won't stay in Iraq any longer than necessary, he observed. However, those forces will remain in Iraq "long enough," Powell emphasized, to enable the Iraqis to establish their own representative form of government that safeguards the country's wealth for its citizens.

"We're making good progress in that regard, even though as we see on our (TV) screens today there are still difficulties ahead," he pointed out.

He praised U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, noting that "they are determined to do their job and they are competent to do the job" of restoring security throughout the country.

However, Powell pointed out Saddam loyalists and other insurgents in Iraq are still "determined to deny the Iraqis their desire for peace and a better life and for a new country."

"We will continue to deal with the security threat (in Iraq) and use whatever techniques that are appropriate," he continued, noting that U.S. and coalition forces would adjust tactics to suit the situation.

Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, observed that in time, more and more information will be gathered to pinpoint those responsible for instigating attacks on U.S. and coalition personnel in Iraq and sabotaging the country's infrastructure.

Therefore, "slowly but surely," he asserted, U.S., coalition and Iraqi forces "will isolate" the insurgents and stabilize the security situation in Iraq.

Turning to North Korea's purported nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, Powell told reporters that the United States and its allies seek a peaceful solution to the issue. He also stressed there's no credence to North Korean assertions that the United States plans an invasion.

Powell maintained there's no chance the United States would arrange a nonaggression pact or treaty with North Korea to address its concerns about invasion. However, he did say that a U.S. congressional resolution that disavows any intent of conducting such an attack could be employed to assuage the North Korean government.

He said the governments of Syria and Iran should do more to prevent terrorist organizations that operate within their borders from planning and mounting attacks to torpedo the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and from orchestrating other acts of violence and dissent across other areas of the Middle East.

And the Iraqi Governing Council, Powell emphasized, should be recognized by senior Arab leaders across the Middle East "as an important step" toward the establishment of a free, democratic Iraq.

"We are on the road in Iraq toward a representative government," he concluded.

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