- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 13, 2001

Following is the text of a statement delivered by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell at his news conference yesterday:


"Let me begin once again by saying that our hearts go out to all the victims and to their families. It is a tragedy. But, as the president has made clear, it is a tragedy that we are strong enough to overcome. Our spirits will not be broken. The resilience of this society will not be broken. We will find out who is responsible for this, and they will pay for it.
"We are undertaking a full-court press diplomatically, politically, militarily, and in the course of the morning and early afternoon I have been in touch with a number of foreign leaders and international organizational leaders to coordinate the diplomatic approach to this.
"I have talked to Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations, and I thank the United Nations for the Security Council resolution they passed and also for the statement from the General Assembly, and I expect the General Assembly to also work on a resolution later today.
"[NATO Secretary-General] Lord [George] Robertson in NATO is hard at work with a resolution that is under consideration now that would tee up, if I can put it that way, prime Article 5 responsibilities. Article 5 of the charter says that an attack from abroad by anyone against any member of the alliance is an attack against the alliance.
"If that resolution goes forward, that doesn't invoke Article 5 yet, but it puts it in a position to be invoked when the United States makes a judgment about the nature of the attack and where that attack came from.
"And I appreciate what Lord Robertson and his colleagues are doing for us.
"I've also been in touch with Foreign Minister of Belgium Louis Michel, who is also head of the presidency of the EU at this time, and High Representative Javier Solana to thank them for the strong support we have received from the European Union and the statements they have made, and their cooperation, promise to us to deal with this tragedy and to move forward.
"I've also attended, along, of course, with my other colleagues, a National Security Council meeting with the president, where we reviewed all that has happened and began to make our plans for the efforts we will be taking in the future, not only to bring these perpetrators to not only justice, but to the punishment they deserve; but at the same time, to undertake a worldwide effort to build a coalition against all forms of terrorism, wherever it may occur and however it rears its ugly head.
"This will be a major priority of the administration. And I can assure you, it will therefore be a major priority of the State Department.
"I have also, in the course of the day, spoken to foreign ministers of Great Britain, Germany, Canada.
"I have spoken to [Israeli] Foreign Minister [Shimon] Peres twice, [Israeli] Prime Minister [Ariel] Sharon, [Palestine Liberation Organization] Chairman [Yasser] Arafat and Foreign Minister [John] Manley of Canada, if I didn't mention that, Foreign Minister [Igor] Ivanov of Russia, Foreign Minister [Renato] Ruggiero of Italy, and I have a number of other calls that are in the process of being made so that we can bring all this together.
"And I must say, I am deeply touched by the expressions of support I have received from my colleagues.
"As I think you all know, the president has been very busy. And I'm sure the White House has announced his two phone calls to [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin, as well as to [French President Jacques] Chirac, [Chinese] President Jiang Zemin, [British] Prime Minister [Tony] Blair, [German] Chancellor [Gerhard] Schroeder and [Canadian] Prime Minister [Jean] Chretien. So he's spoken to all five members, the four members of the [U.N.] Security Council, permanent members of the Security Council.
"And I will leave it to my other Cabinet colleagues to talk about the issues under their purview over at Defense, Justice and FBI.
"There are, of course, lots of reports and rumors out there. And I think it is wise for all of us to take many of these reports and rumors into some context and perspective. This is also the time, of course, in that regard, for the American people to try, in this time of tragedy, to restore the society to a sense of normalcy. We've got to get back to our jobs.
"We've got to go back to work. And I know that [Transportation] Secretary [Norman Y.] Mineta, as soon as it is possible and as soon as it makes sense and is safe, will restore the air-traffic system and commercial air traffic will be brought back online. And I will wait for him to make those announcements with respect to that. And I know that's very much on your mind.
"Once again, we're building a strong coalition to go after these perpetrators, but, more broadly, to go after terrorism wherever we find it in the world. It's a scourge not only against the United States, but against civilization, and it must be brought to an end."


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