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Powell Remarks at Stakeout Following His TV IVs

Remarks at Stakeout Following His Television Interviews

Secretary Colin L. Powell Washington, DC March 9, 2003

(9:30 a.m. EST)

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, are you planning on flying overseas for any last-minute diplomacy?

SECRETARY POWELL: No, I'm in constant touch with all of the members of the Council and I have some overseas visitors over the next 24 to 36 hours that will give me assurance that I am contacting the highest level individuals in the various countries that we're interested in. And I saw many of the key players on Friday at the UN.

And so diplomacy is a combination of personal visits, overseas trips, as well as phone calls. And I've also deployed a number of my assistant secretaries and ambassadors to help us with this effort, as well.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, there is a report out this morning that there is a new CIA threat assessment that says that al-Qaida may actually participate in attacks in Iraq if the United States goes to war.

SECRETARY POWELL: I haven't seen that report, so I can't comment on it.

QUESTION: Secretary Powell, do you think France would definitely veto?

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I would let the French use the veto word, and they haven't, but it's clear that they have expressed strong opposition to another resolution and said they would do everything they could to stop it. So we will have to see what they actually do when the vote comes, but they're certainly signaling veto.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, how firm is the March 17th deadline?

SECRETARY POWELL: It's in the resolution and we have no plans to change it, and nobody has directly suggested to us that we change it, although there are a lot of people who would just as soon not see a second resolution at all.

We tabled it on Friday afternoon, the United Kingdom did, and we have to give our friends a couple of days to study it, reflect on it. And I expect to be hearing back from members of the Council as early as this afternoon and a good part of tomorrow.

Thank you. [End]

Released on March 9, 2003

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