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Rice Interview With Alia Toukan of Jordan TV

Interview With Alia Toukan of Jordan TV

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Amman, Jordan
November 14, 2005

QUESTION: Ladies and gentlemen, we are pleased to be joined by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in an exclusive interview with Jordan Television. Welcome back to Jordan, Secretary Rice.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Today we sit in the Radisson SAS Hotel, one of the three hotels that was the target of terrorist attacks in Amman that claimed the lives of many innocent people. What are your thoughts of these tragic events?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I have just seen the wedding hall and it makes you wonder how human beings could do this to other human beings. And it reminds us of our common struggle against people who kill innocent people who were enjoying the happiest day of their lives and were people who were just trying to enjoy a normal life.

I came here because I want the people of Jordan to know that the people of America stand with them as Jordan has stood by us in times of pain and sorrow and need, but also to say that it has been inspirational to see the response of the people of Jordan, people who have denounced terrorism and gone out into the streets to denounce it. We will be victorious over terrorists because they cannot kill the human spirit.

QUESTION: You've met with His Majesty, the King. What was the focus of the talks?

SECRETARY RICE: I talked with His Majesty first, of course, to offer condolences of the President and the American people. We also talked about the response of the people here and all that has been done. We talked about our common struggle against terrorism and redoubling our efforts both in terms of helping with security but also redoubling our efforts to drive terrorists from the safe havens that they have.

We talked some also about the Middle East. His Majesty knows that I was just in Israel and he was interested in the discussions that I've had about the peace process as well.

QUESTION: Do you think these latest attacks in Amman will affect the Jordanian-U.S. relations?

SECRETARY RICE: I believe that the Jordanian people are showing what the American people showed, which is that they know that the issue here is the terrorists. We have to be united against the terrorists. This is no time for division among those of us who stand on the side that says that we want peace and security and a more prosperous and democratic future.

We are united and we are united against the terrorists, and so I think this is another way to show that the United States and Jordan are the best of friends and will continue to be.

QUESTION: In light of these attacks, does the United States still have full confidence in Jordan and its historical reputation of being an oasis of stability in a rough region?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, we, of course, have confidence in Jordan. We have to remember that it's very hard to defend against terrorist attacks of this kind. We, of course, experienced devastating terrorist attacks on September 11th. Great Britain has experienced terrorist attacks. Spain -- and you can add country after country. Because we all take very great security measures and Jordan has a very well deserved reputation for excellent security and excellent forces. But the terrorists only have to be right once. We have to be right 100 percent of the time. And that's why we have to fight the war on terrorism, not just this defensive war but also on the offense.

QUESTION: Finally, Secretary Rice, terrorism has hit home dearly and Jordan has paid a price for being a key U.S. ally. How can the United States help Jordan overcome any future threats in the Kingdom?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think that Jordan is paying a price for being a peace-loving country that the terrorists have targeted, much as they've targeted other peace-loving countries. And the list is long and it's a list that has a variety of relationships with the United States. I think that we -- as Prime Minister Blair said, there is no excuse for the terrorists. They would like us to say, well, it's because of the relationship with the United States or it's because of the politics of the Middle East. No, there is no justification for what they did.

And so what we must do is to redouble our efforts, as we will, to try and make ourselves more secure, to continue the excellent intelligence and law enforcement cooperation that we have. We have offered help in the investigation here and, of course, we will be ready to listen to any ideas that Jordan might have about how we can help. But ultimately, we have to remain united in our struggle against these terrorists. We have to remember that there is only one choice, and that is to defeat these terrorists. We cannot make excuses for them. We cannot negotiate with them. We simply have to defeat terrorism.

QUESTION: Once again, Secretary Rice, Thank you very much for joining us.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you.2005/T19-17

Released on November 14, 2005


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