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Powell Remarks After Meeting With King of Bahrain

Remarks After His Meeting with Hamad bin Essa Al-Khalifa, King of Bahrain

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Four Seasons Hotel
Washington, DC
November 29, 2004

(10:55 a.m. EST)

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, do you have time for a question? Could we ask you about Ukraine and how concerned you are that Ukraine could break apart?

SECRETARY POWELL: I had a good conversation with President Kuchma this morning, and I also had a good conversation with the Russian Foreign Minister, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. And we were concerned at some of these reports, and I reaffirmed to President Kuchma that it is the United States' position, and I think the position of everyone, that the territorial integrity of Ukraine is important, and that we once again reaffirmed that we hope that the Ukrainians would find a legal way forward, as well as a political process based on the constitutional law to resolve the problem they are now having with respect to the last election.

The Supreme Court is meeting today, and of course, the Parliament meets again tomorrow. We're very pleased that there's been no real violence, that people are being allowed to assemble peacefully and demonstrate peacefully and express their views on both sides. And if we can keep things calm and allow the leaders and politicians and members of the international community who are trying to help the Ukrainians all come together, then hopefully a peaceful solution will be found.

But we certainly do support the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, what have you discussed with the King of Bahrain?

SECRETARY POWELL: We had good discussions on the strength of our bilateral relationship. We talked about the Free Trade Agreement we entered into Bahrain with -- into with Bahrain earlier in the year, and we talked about the commitment that we all have to help the Iraqis have their election on the 30th of January as scheduled. And we're all working toward that end and the President looks forward very much to seeing His Majesty later today.

Thank you.

QUESTION: And are you optimistic, sir, that the elections will take place as scheduled?

SECRETARY POWELL: Yes. There's no reason they shouldn't. We're working hard on it. The UN has increased its presence. There are thousands of Iraqis who are working on registration and getting ready for the elections. We're encouraging all parties to participate in the political process, especially in the Sunni heartland.

And an election is the way forward. It's the means by which the Iraqi people can say to the world, we want to live in democracy. We want to be able to choose our own leaders, not let these individuals who are using car bombs to murder innocent people, to kill officials, to bring this kind of chaos to our country. They must not be allowed to succeed. And the way to show the lie to their efforts is to have a successful election on the 30th of January, and that's what we're all committed to. Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you.

2004/1285

[End]

Released on November 29, 2004


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