World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Marc Grossman Interview by CNN Turk


Interview by CNN Turk

Marc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs

Washington, DC March 7, 2003

(11:00 a.m. EST)

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I'm here; that action is in New York. We'll wait and see what the Secretary has to say.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: My first reaction is that we want Saddam Hussein to disarm. And that's been our policy since the 12th of September last year. It's still our policy. I don't see Saddam Hussein disarming. What the President of the United States said yesterday in his press conference is: Has there been a strategic decision to disarm? Has he disarmed, yes or no? And I think we're still waiting.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Right.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: First of all, I appreciate being here, and my regards to all of your guests. Look, we want to have a disarmament of Iraq. As our President said yesterday, we want this disarmament to take place. We'd like it to take place peacefully. If it doesn't take place peacefully, then we have to do it militarily. If we do that, we want to do that in as strong a way as possible.

Turkey has decisions to make. The Turkish Government has a decision to make. The Turkish parliament has a decision to make. And as our President said last night, in answer to a question, these are decisions that Turkey has to make. We'll have an alliance with Turkey, but if we have to go forward without Turkey, that's what we will do.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: We'd like as much support as we can get from all countries around the world. But as I say, and as I have said to you on a number of occasions when we've had a chance to talk, what Turkey does is up to Turkey. We've made our requests. The Turkish parliament has acted once. And what the Turkish Government and the Turkish parliament wish to do is up to them.

As our President said last night, Turkey is an important ally to the United States. But if our President decides that the Security Council of the United Nations is not going to meet its responsibilities and we do have to do this with the coalition that we have, we can do this without Turkey. So this is a decision for Turkey, not for us.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, France and Germany, Russia, all members of the Security Council, I think they've made their policies pretty clear. I'd just stick with exactly what our President said yesterday, which was that Turkey is an ally of the United States, a friend of the United States. We'll continue to work with Turkey. What I want to do is put countries in a category that says either they're part of this effort to help disarm Saddam Hussein or not.

And as I said the other day on Turkish television, I think those countries that have decided that they would never use force are making the use of force that much more likely. Why is Saddam Hussein cooperating even a little bit with inspectors today? The reason is there are 200,000 troops surrounding Iraq.

I believe the only way to get Iraqi disarmament, if we want it peacefully, is to continue to press forward with a military option. That's the way to provide peace. Those countries and those people who have taken a different path, that's their business. We're democracies. But I think they've made war more likely and not less likely.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I don't know the answer to that question. The Turkish parliament voted to deny permission for the United States to participate on Turkish soil. And so that means to us that the answer is no. So, to me, this question really remains a question for Turkey.

As I say, we'd like to carry out this operation in the most effective, efficient, rapid manner as possible. But if Turkey decides not to participate in any way, or to cooperate with American forces in any way, as our President said last night, we can certainly accomplish this task.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, we're disappointed. We're disappointed in the way the Turkish parliament voted. But, as I say, Turkey is a democracy. Turkey has a parliament. Turkey has to make its own decision. So we're disappointed, but as our President said, Turkey is an ally of the United States. We'll continue to work with Turkey.

I mean, don't forget the question that President Bush was posed last night: Would we continue to support Turkey's efforts in the European Union? Well, he said of course we would. And so we will continue to try to deal with Turkey as an ally. That's our policy.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I find it hard to understand, myself. The idea that Kurdish forces would, first of all, fight, and then fight Turkish forces, I think is incomprehensible.

I think the most important thing that I can say today, as I have said on a number of occasions, and I know all representatives of America have, is that we believe that a unilateral Turkish move into Northern Iraq would be a very grave mistake, and we hope that that does not happen.

And so we've been working very hard, as you know, to bring Turks and Kurds together in terms of dialogue. President Bush's Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has worked on this, and I know he will work on it in the future. But I think if Turkish forces were to go into Northern Iraq unilaterally it would be a very bad thing for everybody.

So I don't understand why people would want to fight there. The focus should be on disarming Saddam Hussein, on disarming the Iraqi regime, and trying to carry out the Resolution 1441. All of this other is, it seems to me, a very dangerous distraction.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Please.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, Ambassador, as I just tried to answer Memed Ali Bey s question, we would consider a unilateral move by Turkish forces into Iraq as something that we would oppose. We've been opposing it for months, we opposed it last week, we oppose it today.

We've opposed also, absolutely, the breakup of Iraq. Nobody speaks more forcefully against a Kurdish state in Northern Iraq. No one speaks more forcefully for the territorial integrity of Iraq than the United States.

I would also say to you, Ambassador, that with the Turkish Government, we have really put the Turkoman on the world's agenda. This is something probably only you were interested in a couple of years ago.

But you've pursued a very effective diplomacy in talking to us about Turkoman, talking to the Iraqi opposition about Turkoman. And so we have a great feeling for the importance of everyone's rights in Iraq.

Don't forget, we've been talking about an Iraq that's multiethnic, that's democratic, in which all of the rights of all of the people, including the Turkoman, are protected.

So it seems to me, sir, that there's no reason for a unilateral Turkish move into Iraq, and it is, sir, something that we would oppose.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: We oppose a unilateral Turkish move into Iraq.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I'm answering your question today. Don't forget, when it came in 1991 that all of those poor Iraqis were pushed up against the mountains, the United States, Turkey, a lot of other international groups and other countries worked together to stabilize that situation, keep it out of Turkey, and move those people back to their homes in Northern Iraq.

So you can look forward and create all kinds of scenarios. But if you ask me the question today, I answer it in the same way, which is, we oppose a unilateral Turkish action into Iraq.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, Ambassador, I'm talking about the kinds of things that we're talking about here on the television today, which would be a movement of the Turkish military into Iraq. We would oppose that.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Yes, sir.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I think our President has said all along that we'd like a United Nations resolution. We'd like a United Nations authorization. But for the protection of America, and I'd say that really for the protection of the whole world, including Turkey, we don't need permission from the United Nations to deal with this threat. He sought it, we got one resolution, people urged us to go get a second, we're supporting a second resolution. But we don't need this authorization. And I think as our President said last night, let's see when it's time to vote where people stand. And then everybody has a decision to make.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Yes, of course.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I'm not a military planner, but I know that General Myers has spoken over the past few days about our ability and our desire to put forces into Northern Iraq under any circumstances. But Ambassador Turkman, you make a very important point, and something I have tried to argue, thanks to Mehmet Ali Birand on Turkish television for some weeks, which is that the reason we hoped that the United States and Turkey could do this together is because Turkey has such important interests in the stability, not just of Northern Iraq, but of Iraq altogether. And so we had hoped that working together, Turkey and the United States could have a big say in this.

And so one of the reasons that I think we're disappointed in the way the Turkish parliament voted the other day -- but again as I say, Turkish parliament is a democratic institution -- is we could have done a lot more work together on the whole question of stability in northern Iraq, and on the future of Iraq.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Please.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I don't know the answer to that question. That's really up to the Secretary-General. He had a deadline of the 28th of February. He said, let's get everybody together on the 10th of March, and that's up to him. But we can delay this and delay this and delay this and negotiate it. I think we're missing a big opportunity. Turkey, Greece, Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, the United States, the European Union. And the time has come to make a decision here and support the Secretary General's plan so that we can get the right thing done on Cyprus.

I think the vision over the next few months of a united Cyprus entering the European Union is a very exciting prospect for the Mediterranean, for the region, and I would say Turkey as well. So I know everybody's negotiating, and everyone has their position, but my goodness, the Secretary General, I believe, has got a great idea here. He's committed to moving forward. We support his strategy and tactics for this negotiation, and I hope people will go to the meeting on the 10th of March and say yes.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Thank you.

QUESTION: (Unrecorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Thank you very much, and regards to everyone there. [End]

Released on March 31, 2003


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news