of State Colin Powell
Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique
September 28, 2001
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It has been my
pleasure this afternoon to host my colleague, Foreign Minister Pique of Spain.
We had an excellent conversation and covered a large number of issues.
He began by once again expressing condolences on behalf of his President and
the Spanish people for what happened in the United States on the 11th of September,
and I in turn expressed our condolences to those Spanish citizens and Spanish-Americans
who were lost in that terrible tragedy which reinforced once again that it was
an attack, really, against the World Trade Center, and so many countries lost
citizens in that terrible tragedy.
Spain has also been very, very forthcoming with respect to over-flights and
the use of their bases to support our deployments. They have done this in the
past and it is always deeply appreciative. But Spain has done more than that;
they have spoken out very strongly against terrorism. They have experience in
dealing with terrorists. And we have mutual agreements that we will work together
against international terrorism.
And so they join us in this campaign and will do more. And we are examining
other ways in which we can work together and cooperate. We have already seen
the results of their efforts with the arrest of six individuals in Spain connected
to the al-Qaida organization. And as President Bush said when he visited Spain,
we want to help Spain in their struggle against terrorist activities and their
struggle against the ETA. And we will continue to find ways to cooperate.
And so I welcome my colleague, I thank him, and I thank the Spanish people and
especially President Aznar for all they have done to help us in this time of
tragedy, crisis and opportunity.
FOREIGN MINISTER PIQUE: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary, my friend. I want
to reiterate our condemnation to the terrorist attacks on the past 11th of September,
and all our solidarity with the United States and with the people and the Government
of the United States in those moments.
We are ready to cooperate. We have cooperated in the past, and we are now cooperating,
and we are ready to cooperate in the future, and going ahead, if it's convenient
and it will be useful for this global fight against terrorism.
Unfortunately, we know very well this phenomenon, because we are suffering the
terrorism for more than 30 years -- 32 years ago -- and we know very well the
importance of the international cooperation for winning this battle and this
struggle to confirm the superiority of our values and our institutions.
That's why our wish to cooperate is very sincere, it's very open, it's without
any mental restrictions. And I'm sure that this kind of cooperation will be
very, very close and corresponding to and coherent with our special and (inaudible)
relationship among our two countries.
We have common views, we have a common political joint declaration, which is
the framework of our relationship. We want to develop it. We have a bilateral
relationship also in defense, because we have a bilateral agreement in this
sense. We are allies in NATO. So I think that we have to continue with these
Thank you very much.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, could you give us a sense, if you will, of the kind
of cooperation the US either is getting or seeking with Central Asian countries?
You know, in this notion of encircling the Taliban.
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, we're in touch with all of the Central Asian countries.
We have been very pleased with how forthcoming they have been with respect to
condemning the act of 11 September, of offering support in various kinds of
ways. And we are in touch with them through diplomatic channels and other channels
to see what additional support they may be able to provide us as we undertake
QUESTION: On Sudan, sir, why are you rewarding a terrorism-sponsoring state?
SECRETARY POWELL: Who are we rewarding?
QUESTION: Sudan. What you have done up at the UN (inaudible).
SECRETARY POWELL: We are quite appreciative of actions that Sudan has taken
in recent months to respond to the concerns that we have had for a long time
with respect to their support of terrorist activities. And especially since
the 11th of September, they have been rather forthcoming in giving us access
to certain individuals within the country, and in taking other actions which
demonstrate to us a change in attitude. It's a change in attitude that we called
for, and we had indicated to the Sudanese Government if we saw these sorts of
changes in attitude, we would acknowledge them in a substantial way. And our
actions in the UN today reflected that acknowledgment.
QUESTION: Are you looking to necessarily, maybe, de-list Sudan from the list
of state sponsors of terrorism, given their recent cooperation?
SECRETARY POWELL: We continue to examine our relationship with Sudan. As you
know, we appointed a humanitarian coordinator, Mr. Natsios, the Administrator
of AID, and former Senator Jack Danforth will be a special envoy of the President's.
So we are looking for opportunities to improve our relationship, but more than
that, improve the lives of the people of Sudan, those who are suffering so terribly
as a result of the civil war that has gone on there for so long. And hopefully
we are on a better path with Sudan to solve the problems that exist within that