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Grossman Interviews by CNN Turk and CBC Canada

Interview by CNN Turk

Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Marc Grossman

Washington, DC February 14, 2003

QUESTION: Now, Mr. Grossman, Turkey insists to have something concrete written, signed or not signed, but something concrete. What are you going to call it -- MOU or agreed -- what's going to be the name of this thing?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, first of all, thank you very much for having me here.

QUESTION: Thank you for coming.

MR. GROSSMAN: I'm not sure what it will be called. And, you know, in a sense, the title of it is not as important as the substance of it. And I know that on the political side and on the economic side, people have worked very hard so that this document, whatever it turns out to be called, will be a document that will be important to Turkey and important to the United States. It will have real commitments in it and it will really talk about how our two nations are working together.

QUESTION: Now, the Turkish Government is to have this document, let's call it document, in order to convince the parliamentarians, "Hey, look, we have solid evidence here that we will be -- we will not be let down and all that," convince them.

Now, do you think that this document will be available until the parliamentarian debate? I mean, today is Monday. It means until tonight or tomorrow.

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I don't know. Obviously, Turkey has its own system, has a democracy, has a parliament, and only the Turkish Prime Minister and the Turkish cabinet can decide how best to approach the Turkish parliament. And only Turkish parliamentarians can decide what to do in the best interests of Turkey.

It is my understanding that the Turkish Government is looking for a document, or documents, that they can show to the Turkish parliament to say, "here's what America intends to do, here's what the Americans talked to us about," and we're very glad to participate in that. And one of the things that these documents will talk about is not just what we're going to do today or tomorrow, but of course to remind the Turkish people, and I hope the Turkish parliament, as well, that if there has to be a change in regime in Baghdad, and if Iraq can be a different kind of country in the future, that's a very big benefit to Turkey.

QUESTION: Okay. Now, let's stick with this document.

MR. GROSSMAN: Please.

QUESTION: Why -- because we are told that the administration insists on the 18th, the 18th this issue should be taken. Why 18th is so important, this date?

MR. GROSSMAN: Time is running out and there has to be a military plan. And although, as you and I have talked on a number of occasions, the objective of the United States of America and of the United Nations is to disarm Saddam peacefully, it looks more and more unlikely that that will happen. We still hope it will happen, but we believe that you've got to now make a military plan: one, to convince him that that's the right thing to do; but just in case he doesn't do it and the United Nations or a group of countries has to then go and disarm Iraq, we'll be ready to do so. Military planning takes time.

I think the Foreign Minister, when he came out of the White House today, talked very well about this. He said we explained to him how military planning has to go forward. Military planning is complicated and these dates are becoming more and more important.

QUESTION: So it cannot wait until 19th or 20th or 21st of February?

MR. GROSSMAN: We have taken a very unified position here all day and in our talks with our Turkish friends, the President, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, even people like me, that the 18th is a very important date for us.

QUESTION: Did the Turkish Prime Minister promise you 18th? Because I'm told by quite a number of people within the administration, they said that Prime Minister Gul told us that the decision will be coming on the 18th.

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, you'll have to remember, I think, a couple of weeks ago, the Turkish Prime Minister -- and again, it is his right and his responsibility, was thinking about how best to go to his parliament. They split the two decisions: one decision for the site surveys and site preparation; and another decision, a separate decision, for the deployment of troops. And I think there was a general feeling here in Washington that the Turkish Prime Minister and the Turkish Government would do their very best to go back to the Turkish parliament on the very first day it reconvened, which happens to be the 18th.

QUESTION: So it is -- he didn't promise anything, but he just showed the willingness to do it?

MR. GROSSMAN: I think it was the impression of people that once the decisions were split, and he was very successful in bringing the first decision, that he would move as quickly as possible on the day the Turkish parliament reconvened to move to the second decision. But as I say, that is the Prime Minister of Turkey's decision, not our decision.

QUESTION: Now, so, in a way, if it's not going to 18th it has to be 19th. I mean, it is -- this cannot wait a few more days?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I would stick with what Foreign Minister Yakis told all of us these past few days. And what was that? He said we're not here to negotiate a day, we're trying to set up a system where we will succeed in front of our parliament. And as the President said to the Foreign Minister, Turkey has a parliament, Turkey has a democracy. Only you can decide what's in Turkey's best interests here. So I leave it to the Prime Minister of Turkey to decide how to manage this and I leave it to the Turkish parliament to make the sovereign decisions of Turkey. All I can do is answer your question to say the 18th is an important day for us and the impression was that the Turkish parliament would be asked this second question as quickly as possible.

QUESTION: Do you fear that a vote might be negative, or what's your sense of it?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I'm not a Turkish politician. I believe that when Turkish parliamentarians consider the plusses and the minuses of this -- and I don't say that they're all plusses, there are some challenges for Turkey -- that the idea that Turkey would no longer live next door to a country with weapons of mass destruction, no longer live next door to a country that suppresses its people, no longer live next door to a country that pushes the rights of Turkomen down to the bottom of the pile, no longer lives next to a country that has this terrible economic system; that if Turkey lived next door to a country that was normal, free, democratic, had no weapons of mass destruction and was economically powerful, I think that would be a very good thing for Turkey. So I think people have to consider the balance here.

One other point that I would make and that is, people who have been listening to our President over these past few months know that he is committed, either with the United Nations or without the United Nations, to disarming Saddam Hussein. If this has to be done without Turkey, I believe that Turkey's interests would be damaged here. And so we want to do this together.

And so I think when Turkish parliamentarians think of the plusses and the minuses, that they will recognize that working with the United States in this regard, either to disarm Saddam peacefully, or, if need be, to disarm him by force, is the right thing for Turkey. But as I say, that is their decision and their decision only.

QUESTION: Do you have the feeling that -- quite -- some people do told me that they consider Turkey dragging her feet. Is she a reluctant ally?

MR. GROSSMAN: I don't think so at all. Turkey is a democracy. Turkey has a parliamentary system. We have a democracy. We have a congressional system. It takes time and countries have to be convinced of the rightness of this course. And I believe if you look at what's happened in Turkey over these past few months, what do you see? A continuation of Operation Northern Watch, the parliament's decision on site preparation, many other things that we are doing with Turkey. Turkey is the head of ISAF in Afghanistan -- or has just given up -- I'm sorry -- the leadership of ISAF in Afghanistan. So the United States and Turkey are working very closely together all around and we recognize that Turkey is a democracy. Turkey has to take its own decisions.

QUESTION: So is it a bargaining process or -- because what are we? I mean, what's going on?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, what's going on, I believe, is that the Government of Turkey, very rightly and meeting its responsibilities, has to convince the Turkish parliament that this is the right thing to do, just like our President has to convince our Congress and our people that this is the right thing to do. And only Turks can manage that for themselves, and that's what's going on. I don't think we're in a bargaining situation here. Foreign Minister Yakis has been very clear they did not come here to bargain; they came here to see if we could work together to make the most convincing case possible to the Turkish parliament. And I believe we can do that.

QUESTION: So, in a way, you made your point and they went back and they are -- they have to decide whether they will follow this path with the package which is presented to them in Washington; is that a correct assumption?

MR. GROSSMAN: I think I would just add a sentence. You're exactly correct. I would just add one more sentence. And that is, they have to decide not just on the package but on the totality of Turkish strategic interest. This isn't about this document or that document or this amount of money. It's about what's in the best interests of Turkey. And only Turkish people can decide that. So that's the decision that people face in Turkey over the next few days.

QUESTION: What's in this document -- political, economic and military?

MR. GROSSMAN: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Now, let's start with the economic side. I mean, what's going to be -- I mean, the parliamentarians are going to watch you now and maybe you might convince them better than Abdullah Gul, the Prime Minister, would. So tell us, what's in it?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I certainly would never say that I could convince anyone any better than the Turkish leader, and Turkish people have to talk to Turkish parliamentarians. It's not for me to do.

What I can tell you is only our perspective. Our perspective on the economic document is this. One, we recognize that so many Turks believe that what happened to them after 1991 was not all positive. I was there. I remember that we kept Saddam Hussein contained, that we worked together to stop a huge refugee flow, that American aid levels to Turkey went way up. But I recognize that the perception in Turkey is that Turkish people suffered after 1991.

So part of the effort in this document is to show Turkish people that if, if there is any threat to the Turkish economy, the United States of America is prepared to stand with Turkey.

Second, it is also an attempt to look forward and to talk about new investment in Turkey, new ways to get Americans to invest in Turkey, new ways to work together in the reconstruction of Iraq. So it's a comprehensive document. Again, I can't really talk about it because it isn't all finished, but what I have seen of it I think makes a very sensible case that for Turkey there are protections in case of negative effects and there's looking forward to take advantage of what I would consider to be the great potential positive effects of a change in Iraq.

QUESTION: So it is a flexible thing? It would be -- with variables and everything?

MR. GROSSMAN: Absolutely. One of the things, actually, when I was in Turkey in October or November, the Turkish delegation at that time said our two watchwords are flexibility and adaptability. And we've tried very hard to meet that requirement.

QUESTION: But there is no guarantee? I mean, the Turks love that kind of a guarantee to be on the paper, signed, stamped, you know.

MR. GROSSMAN: Of course there's no --

QUESTION: I mean, it's you are going to do the best of your abilities to fulfill this. There is no guarantee, only the President's word?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, the Turkish system is established so the Turkish Prime Minister must seek, on certain issues, the permission of the Turkish parliament. Our system is exactly the same, which is that the President must seek, especially when it comes to money, the help of the United States Congress. Congress in our system gives the money.

So I think, for example, that it was very interesting to me that the Foreign Minister yesterday visited with the Speaker of the House of Representative. He visited with people who are -- would be involved in acting on the President's request.

QUESTION: What did they say? Did they --

MR. GROSSMAN: I don't know, but you'd have to ask the Foreign Minister. But I think it was a very wise move on his part not just to speak to people in the administration, but also to take his case to the Congress. That's a very smart thing to do.

QUESTION: So Yasir Yakis left Washington having confidence and kind of a guarantee, even lip service, but guarantee from the White House to State Department from the Chief of Staff, everything, is that the image?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, you have to ask him. We don't give --

QUESTION: Yeah. You said, you said, yes, but wait. What's your --

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, we don't give lip service. We tried to be as serious as possible and we tried to answer his questions as seriously as we possibly could. And what Minister Yakis and Minister Babajan left here thinking, I hope, was that we were serious people who took seriously Turkey's concerns.

QUESTION: So now everything is over, it's up to the Turkish Government to decide what to do with the parliament?

MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir. Absolutely.

QUESTION: If the parliament votes no, the war -- the fight against Saddam will continue with our without Turkey, as you said, with or without northern front; is that the correct assumption?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I guess here sitting with you, as we speak, I wouldn't assume all of those things. I mean, perhaps you and I might talk again after a parliamentary vote. But let's not assume that it's going to be negative. I assume it's going to be positive because, as I say, I believe that Turkish people and Turkish parliamentarians, when they add up the advantages and the disadvantages here, will see that for Turkey this is a big advantage.

QUESTION: Now, you know, the concerns are there -- Turks are going to decide, okay, but what about the post-Saddam reign because that is important and we don't know, really, the public -- I'm talking about the public opinion -- what's in it for Turkey. What Turkey is going to do or participate. I mean, what's going to happen?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, first, let's talk about the philosophy of it. And again, a little bit earlier in this interview we had a chance to think about a different Iraq.

If Iraq was, and I just posit this for you, if Iraq was democratic, multi-ethnic, had no weapons of mass destruction, was living in peace with its neighbors, was economically viable, I believe that that would be a strategic advantage for Turkey. And so that's what we're trying to achieve.

And I think of us, if there has to be a war, all of us would be hoping to recognize that we don't go to Iraq to occupy Iraq. We go to Iraq to liberate Iraq. And so there's been a lot of work done between Turks and Americans, and certainly here in the United States about thinking about humanitarian issues, thinking about reconstruction issues, thinking about issues of the kind of governance there would be in Iraq in the future.

I mean, if you think of just the visitors that were in Turkey last week, Zal Khalilzad was there to talk to the Turkish Government about the work we're doing with the Iraqi opposition. John Taylor was there, our Under Secretary of the Treasury, to talk about the kinds of things that Turks and Americans might do together in the reconstruction of Iraq. For example, I have no idea what the numbers will be, but if there's going to be a reconstruction of Iraq, don't you think that Turkish contractors will have a very great lead in all of that? I certainly do. So in all of those ways, I think Turks and Americans can work together very successfully in the future of Iraq.

QUESTION: What is going to happen is that United States will stay in the region and probably in Iraq for few years. I mean, after Saddam. And Iraq is going to be run by an the international committee or what? How the country will be run?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, no one knows the answer to that question. What we have said is, that we are prepared to be in Iraq for as long as it takes to achieve these objectives that you and I were just talking about, but not one day longer.

And how we manage that are still things that are yet to be decided, both by our President and in consultation, I hope, with Turkey, as well. But our objective will be to return Iraqi sovereignty, where possible, to Iraqis as quickly as possible. For example, let's say that in some ministries. I don't -- I mean, take one. The Ministry of Health or another Ministry, you could find once you took off the top layer that there are people there who are competent and want to do the right thing by their countrymen. You might be able to move that to Iraqi sovereignty.

Other ministries, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Weapons of Mass Destruction, if such a thing exists, might take you a little bit longer. So I don't think we need to be so rigid about this other than to recognize that our objective is to get Iraqis back in charge of their country as quickly as possible.

QUESTION: It is going to be unified Iraq?

MR. GROSSMAN: Absolutely.

QUESTION: Your being so very important point? No Kurdish or Shi'ite and that's, that's quite understand -- are all those will be put on this document? Is it going to talk about post-Saddam period, as well?

MR. GROSSMAN: The drafts I have seen, yes, they do talk about it. How it turns out in the end I'm not so sure. But if you look at every single thing that we have said, the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, we have said again and again that one of our objectives is a unified Iraq. And in fact, I had the good fortune last week to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And you'll remember, perhaps, that among the first principles that I laid out was a unified Iraq and that the United States absolutely opposes a disintegrating Iraq, and you and I have talked about this a lot: no Kurdish state in Northern Iran.

QUESTION: Okay, before closing, the Iraqi chapter. What would you say to the parliamentarians that they are going to watch what will you last wish? (Laughter.)

MR. GROSSMAN: My wish would be that I hope that they will listen carefully to the government. I hope that they will recognize that we have tried to deal with these issues seriously, that we recognize that Turkey is taking a risk here, but that United States is a great friend of Turkey. And that the potential benefits to Turkey of a new Iraq outweigh any of the anxieties that people might have.

QUESTION: And you did your best effort? I mean that's all there to negotiate any more? There is nothing to negotiate anymore?

MR. GROSSMAN: No. This is now a question for Turkey and for Turks and whatever decision the Turks made, we will live with that decision.

QUESTION: Cyprus, lastly.

MR. GROSSMAN: Sir.

QUESTION: (Laughter.) Cyprus. I mean, the story of our life.

MR. GROSSMAN: Right.

QUESTION: Is it the third, we are told that third Annan package is coming in. Kofi Annan, Security General is coming into the region and all that.

MR. GROSSMAN: Right.

QUESTION: Is it last tango?

MR. GROSSMAN: (Laughter.) It's hard to say that after all these years working of working on the problem of Cyprus that anything is a last, but I'll tell you what I think. I believe that the period between now and the 28th of February is one of the greatest opportunities for people in Cyprus, Greek-Cypriots, Turkish-Cypriots, and people in Turkey and people in Greece, to honestly, judiciously solve this problem. And I give great credit to the Secretary General and to the people who work for him for pressing and pressing this challenge. And I think what they have accomplished is tremendous.

And if you look back to the progress that was made before the Copenhagen Summit and the issues that are now on the table, this can be done. And we absolutely support the Secretary General and all of those forces in Turkey, in Greece, in Cyprus and in the Turkish community on Cyprus to try to get this job accomplished successfully.

QUESTION: Do you believe that the Turkish concerns are met with the third package?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I think the Secretary General has worked very hard to make sure that the concerns of both sides are met here. I mean one of the things, of course, that you and I know best is you're dealing here with President Clerides and Mr. Denktash as two of the greatest negotiators in the entire world. And so it doesn't surprise me and it shouldn't surprise you that they're going to negotiate this thing down to the very end.

What I hope will happen is is that sometime before the 28th of February they will look at one another and they will say, "We've done the very best we can. It is now time to settle this problem. I have to compromise. You have to compromise. Let's make those compromises and get this job done." Because the vision that we have and that you have of a unified Cyprus entering the European Union, I think it would be a tremendous thing and a tremendous victory for Turkey.

QUESTION: Lastly, the EU-Turkey. I mean, if I were France and Germany, I wouldn't really look very sympathetically towards Turkey joining hand-in-hand with the United States against Iraq and would distance myself a little bit. Don't you think that it's going to be a bit difficult for Turkey to save her skin to get in?

MR. GROSSMAN: No. I don't think so. I think the European Union gave Turkey a date because it was the strategically proper thing to do for the European Union and for Turkey. And I don't think that changes.

Second, just to go back to our previous conversation, let's say there's a Cyprus agreement on the 28th of February. I think that enhances Turkey's possibilities to speed up this negotiation with the European Union. So sure, I assume that there's going to be this disagreement and that disagreement -- perfectly natural. But the European Union gave a date for Turkey. Turkey has wanted a date for European Union because it is the strategically right thing to do for both parties and that will go forward, I believe.

QUESTION: So after this, the whole operation, this famous strategic partnership, what is going to become between Turkey and United States? How are we going to call it? Are we going to call it again strategic partnership or full partnership? What kind of a era we are heading to?

MR. GROSSMAN: I don't know how to define it. But the strategic partnership with Turkey has existed for 50 years. I mean, I think Foreign Minister Yakis has been very articulate these past few days in the United States in reminding people that this strategic relationship with Turkey goes back to Korea. It goes through NATO. It goes through Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and will continue no matter what happens in Iraq.

QUESTION: Marc Grossman, thank you very much.

MR. GROSSMAN: Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to see you.

QUESTION: You were just super, super as always.

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I'm glad to help out. [End]

Released on February 24, 2003

Interview by CBC Radio-Canada

Interview by CBC Radio-Canada

Marc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs

Washington, DC February 14, 2003

(2:15 p.m. EST)

QUESTION: And with us now from Washington is someone who appeared before the Senate Committee earlier this week. Marc Grossman is the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and Ambassador Grossman joins us from the State Department. Ambassador, good of you to take the time. Let me ask you this. I was seeing a report on your testimony this week, and there was talk after the successful prosecution of a war against Iraq of at least a two-year American occupation. Is that the kind of time frame you're thinking of and planning for?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: First of all let me thank you for the opportunity to be on your program tonight, and as in your introduction I want to make sure that your viewers recognize that the United States would like to see Iraq disarm peacefully as well. To your question, I did have the good fortune to testify in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this week. We talked about the future of Iraq, and no, this time frame that's been out there was a specific answer to a specific question. What we said to senators was, that we, the United States, would be in Iraq as long as it took, but not one day longer, to achieve our objectives.

QUESTION: So where did the two years come from? Did somebody make that up, or was that how long someone suggested it might take?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, no, there was a conversation back and forth between a senator and myself, and we were talking about some specific AID projects, and I did say that in the planning one of them could last that amount of time, but I then went on to say that for the project itself, that we did not have a specific time frame, and that our idea was to stay there as long as it took, but not one day longer.

QUESTION: Well, it's been reported elsewhere, Ambassador, and I'm sure you've seen it and maybe even been part of the discussions, that after the successful prosecution of a war against Iraq, the United States would hopefully get its troops out fairly quickly and let others take over the operation of keeping Iraq first together, and secondly the rebuilding job. So that the fact American troops will not be there very long after an Iraqi surrender. Would that be a scenario that makes sense to you?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: No, again, I think we have to start with first principles. And the principles are that if there is a war, and again I say that we'd like certainly that there not be this conflict, but if there has to be a conflict, what are the basic principles? The basic principles are first of all, to make sure that Iraq has no more weapons of mass destruction. Second principle is that Iraqis should recognize and the world should recognize that we are there to liberate Iraq, not to occupy Iraq. Next principle ought to be that Iraqis themselves should be able to develop their own institutions. And so, when you ask me exactly how long that will take, exactly how this will work, no one knows the answers to those questions. We don't know how long the war will take if there has to be one. We don't know what kind of damage will be done by Saddam Hussein. What we have done and what I reported to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with my colleague Under Secretary Feith, is that we have begun planning for all of these contingencies, and that is our job, and that is our responsibility.

QUESTION: Well, you've fortunately made the point that you would prefer not to have a war, the United States would prefer not to have a war. On the other hand, for the purpose of our discussion and your planning you have to assume that their might have been a war, so let's take your statement as on the record, and let's continue, though, with the possibility that in fact, that despite whatever happens, there is going to be a war. If that were the case, would the rebuilding of Iraq, would you see that as a multinational effort, or do you think that that would be something that the United States would have to shoulder most of the responsibility for?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I don't know the answer to that question and I would say for the purposes of your viewers, there's a step in front of reconstruction as well. As I also reported to the Foreign Relations Committee, one of the very first things that would need to be done would be humanitarian relief. Again, if there has to be a conflict, we have to plan, all countries have to plan, that there might be refugees. There might be people who need to be fed. There might be people who need medical care. And so we're working on all of those things in the immediate aftermath of the war as well. When you talk about reconstruction, indeed we have put out a call to nations all around the world to see if there are people who might have forces, who might have assets, who might have things to contribute to a period when we are rebuilding Iraq. So I can't really comment on how the structure of that rebuilding would take place, but I think many, many countries would participate in it.

QUESTION: It would be easier, I would think, though, to attract more countries and more money if this was done under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council, would it not?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, all of this, I think, as our President has said, and as Secretary Powell has said, all of this is better done with the United Nations. That's why President Bush went to the United Nations on the 12th of September, it's why we worked so hard to get UN Security Council Resolution 1441, and it's why last Friday, President Bush talked about his welcoming and his support for a second UN Security Council resolution. But we'll have to see what happens. The United Nations has a big decision to make. I read your prime minister's speech yesterday in Chicago, and he said it's a testing time for the United Nations. I think that's right, sir.

QUESTION: Do you believe if the United Nations Security Council does not authorize an attack, one goes ahead anyway with the coalition of the willing? That the coalition of the willing could then rebuild Iraq without the United Nations supporting it?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: You're again jumping ahead. What we believe is, UN Security Council Resolution 1441 gives us all of the authority that is necessary to disarm Iraq. Don't forget, this goes back to Resolution 687 of 11 years ago. And so, we've been waiting a long time for Iraq to be disarmed. And if that's what has to happen, I believe our President and a large number of countries are prepared to go ahead and make sure that Iraq and Saddam Hussein are not a threat to this world.

QUESTION: So a testing time for the United Nations, also, I would put it to you, for NATO. You know what's going on there, and I know you spent from '84 to '86 at NATO, so you know of what I speak. So, do you see the United Nations and NATO surviving in a healthy state based on what we're seeing both at the Security Council and now at the NATO council surrounding the issue of arming Turkey?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, I think first of all that we'd like at NATO for this challenge to be met quickly, and that SACEUR and others begin planning for the defense of Turkey and for some of the other items that Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz proposed to NATO in early December of last year. But what I would say to you both in terms of the United Nations and also in terms of NATO, is we're dealing with democratic countries here. The Security Council's not the Politburo. The North Atlantic Council's not the Politburo. So it doesn't surprise me, and it doesn't particularly give me great anxiety, that there's a debate going on. What is important here is what decision comes out. And I hope that the United Nations Security Council will meet the obligations it set for itself in a 15-to-nothing vote on Resolution 1441, and I believe the North Atlantic Council will also meet the obligations it has to a NATO member which has called for consultations under Article 4 of the treaty.

QUESTION: And very briefly, though, having watched what went round the Security Council table today after the weapons inspectors' report, it would appear, would you agree with me, that the impasse continues, at least for the time being?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well there has to be a lot more debate, obviously. I think Secretary Powell made a very forceful presentation today, that what we've seen from Iraq so far is process and not substance. I think many of the other foreign ministers who spoke talked about the fact that it's time now for Iraq to disarm, and that's the job of the Iraqis. We hope the United Nations Security Council will take that responsibility seriously, yes sir.

QUESTION: Alright, Ambassador Marc Grossman, very interesting. Thanks for your time, good to talk to you.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Thank you very much. [End]

Released on February 24, 2003


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