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


Rice Interview With Alia Amil of Al Arabiyah

Interview With Alia Amil of Al Arabiyah

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Baghdad, Iraq
May 15, 2005

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY RICE: I came to Iraq today because there is a new elected Iraqi Government just formed. I wanted to have an opportunity to talk to that government about its priorities, about how the United States and the international community can be supportive of what Iraq is doing. We talked about an integrated strategy of dealing with the security situation, keeping political momentum through an inclusive political process and, of course, doing what can be done on the infrastructure side to deliver better services to the Iraqi people.

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I have not heard the reports about Zarqawi, but we, from time to time, when we have information, we are able to act to try to break up some of the terrorist networks. And it's extremely important for the Iraqi people that these operations be done because, of course, the terrorists are now killing innocent Iraqis with their car bombings and their suicide bombings on a daily basis.

The Iraqi security forces are also very active in the country and this is just an effort to really go after the terrorists.

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY RICE: Iran is, of course, a neighbor of Iraq and we would hope that Iran and Iraq will have good relations. That would increase the chances for stability. But it should be -- Iran should be a transparent neighbor; that is, that it should be involved in Iraqi affairs as a good neighbor would be involved, not in some surreptitious way. The Iraqi people, it seems to me, are very independent people. They don't want to be governed or to be unduly influenced by any foreign influence and they have their own traditions and I feel will make their own way.

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY RICE: There is a very grave concern that Syria is a place in which terrorists are gathering and transiting into Iraq. The Syrian Government, as a neighbor of Iraq, should be doing everything that it can to break up these terrorist networks, to arrest these terrorists and to not let their territory be used in this way, because the Syrians are, of course, frustrating the hopes of the Iraqi people by not acting decisively against these terrorists. So yes, there is great concern about what is going on on the Syrian border.

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY RICE: Anything like this would be thoroughly investigated, but I want to speak very clearly to Muslims around the world. The United States is a country that was built on the concept of religious freedom. We have the largest religious group growing in the United States now, Muslim Americans, who practice their religion freely in the United States. The United States would never condone, in any way, the desecration of the Holy Koran or of any other holy book of a religious people. We respect the great religion that is Islam.

And so while I can tell people that we would investigate any such charges, I can tell you also that the United States of America would simply not tolerate the desecration of the holy books of a great religion.

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY RICE: Well, the clear message is one that is coming from the Iraqis themselves and that is that they need to draft the constitution. It needs to be an inclusive process in which Sunnis also are participating. It is well known that the Sunnis did not fully participate in the electoral process, but this is now about the future of Iraq and Sunnis need to be represented in that future. And I found that Iraqis across the spectrum today talked exactly about that.

Now, we are here. The multinational forces are here. There's a UN Security Council resolution that -- under which they are here. And they are here because the Iraqis are not yet capable of defending themselves. You can see in terms of internal enemies, as we've just talked about terrorists who come across the border. We are really determined to train Iraqi security forces, equip them so that they can do the job themselves. But until they're able to do the job themselves, the Iraqis need the help of the international community and we all need to support a free and democratic Iraq and to bring about an Iraq that is stable. That is the goal of the Iraqi people and it's the goal of the American people, too.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Secretary Rice.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. 2005/T7-7 # # #

Released on May 16, 2005


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


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>>



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>>


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>>


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>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news