US-Außenminister Powell: Unterwegs nach Mexiko-Stadt
Secretary Colin L. Powell: En route to Mexico City
Die letzte Pressekonferenz Powells als US-Außenminister im Wortlaut
Nun hat es Colin Powell also doch noch erwischt. Am 15. November 2004 trat er als US-Außenminister zurück und machte damit Platz für die - einen Tag später von Präsident Bush ernannte - bisherige Sicherheitsberaterin Condoleezza Rice. Der Rückzug Powells war zu diesem Zeitpunkt nicht mehr erwartet worden. Zumal Powell die erste Runde der Personalveränderungen (jedenfalls nach außen) unbeschadet überstanden hatte und mit einer Aufsehen erregenden Pressekonferenz die Öffentlichkeit glauben machte, seine Position sei ungefährdet.
Unmittelbar nach dem feststehenden Wahlsieg von George Bush schossen Spekulationen ins Kraus, der alte und neue Präsident wolle seine Regierung von Grund auf erneuern. Ins Gerede kamen insbesondere der als "gemäßigt" geltende Außenminister Colin Powell. Dass das Personalkarussel auch Hardliner wie Ashcroft (Justiz) oder Rumsfeld (Verteidigung) treffen könnte, wurde auch nicht ausgeschlossen, zumal Ashcroft Gesundheitsprobleme plagen (Gallensteine) und Rumsfelds glorreicher Irakfeldzug seit dem offiziellen Ende des Krieges (1. Mai 2003) einen Rückschlag nach dem anderen hinnehmen musste. Der Sturm auf Falludscha sollte so etwas wie eine weitere Bewährungsprobe für den hartgesottenen Pentagonchef sein. Ashcrofts Rückzug wurde bald darauf bekannt gegeben. Zu seinem Nachfolger wurde der als nur geringfügig gemäßigter geltende Alberto Gonzales erwählt. Gonzales ist ein langjähriger Freund Bushs und war Rechtsberater des Präsidenten.
Mitten in die Gerüchteküche hinein - Bush hatte sich nach Camp David zurückgezogen um in Ruhe Personalfragen zu wälzen - platzte der Entlassungskandidat Nr. 1, Powell, mit einer hoch über den Wolken angesetzten Pressekonferenz: Sie fand statt am 8. November (Ortszeit) auf einem Flug nach Mexiko Stadt. So spektakulär der Ort des Presse-Briefings, so klar sein Inhalt. Powell kündigte mit markigen Worten an, dass der US-Präsident seine "aggressive Außenpolitik" fortsetzen werde. Nun konnte darüber spekuliert werden, ob Powell mit seinen Äußerungen in die Offensive gegangen ist, um Bush seine unverbrüchliche Treue zu beweisen, oder ob sein Verbleiben im Kabinett schon zuvor in Camp David vom Präsidenten beschlossen worden war und er sich nun dafür dankbar zeigte - zu früh, wie sein wohl erzwungener Rücktritt wenige Tage später zeigte.
Ob Powells Abtritt von der politischen Bühne als Rechtsruck bewertet werden kann, wird die Zukunft zeigen. Die politischen Nachrufe in den großen Zeitungen hier zu Lande, die Powell als "gemäßigten" Politiker innnerhalb der US-Regierung feiern, sind nicht eben überzeugend, da sich die Amtsführung Powells spätestens seit seiner diplomatischen Vorbereitung des Irakkriegs ohnehin kaum von der aggressiven Linie des Weißen Hauses unterschied. Schwer vorstellbar ist daher auch, dass sich die Außenpolitik der USA unter Condoleezza Rice noch weiter nach Rechts verschieben sollte. Heißt das etwa, den Iran gleich anzugreifen und auch vor Nordkorea nicht Halt zu machen. Heißt das vielleicht auch, Kuba militärisch zu bedrohen? Wir wollen es nicht hoffen.
Die im Folgenden im Wortlaut (englisch) dokumentierten Äußerungen Powells in der Pressekonferenz - die letzte programmatische Pressekonferenz, die er als Außenminister gab - mögen nun als sein politisches Vermächtnis gelten. Es ist reizvoll, sie mit der Programmatik der neuen Außenministerin zu vergleichen (siehe hierzu ihre Stellungnahme zum Amtsantritt
Worum ging es in der Pressekonferenz?
Zuallererst natürlich um die mexikanisch-amerikanischen Beziehungen, bei denen es trotz NAFTA nicht immer ums Beste bestellt ist. Powell räumt ein, dass die zweiseitigen Vereinbarungen zur Einwanderung seit Januar 2004 auf Eis lagen. Wegen des Wahlkampfes und wegen "anderer Dinge, die sich abspielten", konnte der Kongress nicht mit der Frage befasst werden. Das solle aber jetzt bald nachgeholt werden, wie Bush und der mexikanische Präsident Fox nach Bushs Wahlsieg in einem kurzen Telefongespräch vereinbart haben.
Die erste Frage in der Pressekonferenz bezog sich auf die Außenpolitik der Vereinigten Staaten. Powell sollte kurz die wichtigsten drei oder fünf Prioritäten in der zweiten Wahlperiode erläutern.
Und dies sind für Powell die vordringlichsten außenpolitischen Aufgaben und Ziele:
Der globale Krieg gegen den Terror. (In der Mitschrift heißt es wohl fälschlicherweise "Global War and Terror", es soll wohl heißen: "Global War on Terror"). Es gälte, den Erfolg von Afghanistan zu konsolidieren, der sich in der Präsidentenwahl zeigte, und die Parlamentswahlen im nächsten Frühjahr vorzubereiten. Fortgesetzt werden müsse auch die Wiederansiedlung von 3,7 Millionen afghanischer Flüchtlinge sowie die Zusammenarbeit mit Pakistan hinsichtlich der Bekämpfung von Al Kaida und den Taliban.
Von großer Bedeutung sei natürlich Irak. Der nächste Schritt seien die Wahlen im kommenden Januar. Kofi Annan habe zugesagt, die UN-Präsenz zu erhöhen, im Gegenzug würden die USA für deren notwendige Sicherheit sorgen. Außerdem hätten die USA gerade eine Operation in Falludscha begonnen, um Falludscha zurück zu gewinnen und dieses Widerstands- und Terrornest zu besiegen.
Sehr genau würden auch die Ereignisse im Nahen Osten beobachtet. Zu Arafat äußert sich Powell neutral: Man müsse abwarten, was bei den Gesprächen der Palästinenserführung herauskäme. Die USA stehen weiter hinter der Road Map. Und Powell erinnert an andere Dinge, die im Nahen Osten weiter vorangebrachte werden müssten wie etwa zusätzliche Freihandelsabkommen.
Als nächstes erwähnt Powell die Festigung der Allianzen in Asien. Hier gebe es "exzellente" Beziehungen (shape) zu China und zu den traditionellen Verbündeten Japan, Südkorea, den Philippinen und Thailand. Positive Erwähnung finden daneben das "Strategische Programm" mit Indien sowie die guten Beziehungen zu Pakistan.
Erst ganz am Ende seines Einführungsstatements erwähnt Powell, dass er soeben von einer Europareise zurück ist und dort bei der OSZE, der NATO und der EU gewesen sei. Die Erwähnung der OSZE ließ die Journalisten aufhorchen Auf die verblüffte Zwischenfrage "You're going to OSCE?" antwortete Powell, er wollte damit den Europäern ein klares Signal geben, dass der Präsident ein gutes Verhältnis zu allen europäischen Partnern haben möchte.
Weitere Fragen und Antworten bezogen sich auf den Nahen Osten und die Erkrankung Arafats, auf Nordkorea, Sudan und Iran.
En route to Mexico City, Mexico
Secretary Colin L. Powell - November 8, 2004
SECRETARY POWELL: Okay, thanks for joining us as we go down to Mexico City for the twenty-first BNC. These are very very useful and productive meetings. As you know, the format is we have fourteen working groups that have been conducting business in the course of the year and we use these BNC meetings to sort of review the accomplishments of the year and also as an opportunity to force action and show some results.
So, we have a strong delegation going down, as you know, Secretary Mineta and Secretary Jackson are with me, and Secretary Paige and Secretary Ridge are already down there. And we have Governor Leavitt of EPA with us on the plane as well as Mr. McCallum from the Justice Department and a number of other officials. So, it's a strong delegation and I expect that we'll be talking about a variety of issues. In my part of it I chair two of the working groups, on border control and security and another working group on consular affairs and immigration.
On immigration, which is always the leading issue with our Mexican friends, reinforce the president's commitment to moving forward, especially with respect to the temporary workers program that he announced on January 7th. But as you know, in light of the campaign and other things that were going on, we weren't able to engage the Congress on it. But now that the election is behind us, and the president is looking to the second term, he and President Fox discussed this in their conversation, a brief conversation, congratulatory conversation last week and the president intends to engage Congress on this. We're also moving forward with the Social Security Totalization agreement with, I think most of you are familiar with, and we've done some other marginal things with respect to the migration issue and control of the borders that you will be hearing about in the next 24 hours.
And we hope that as we get into the second term, we can deal with other aspects of the migration issue. We'll be talking about water, we'll be talking about the educational activities that Secretary Paige has been working on and a variety of issues that I'm sure you have had a chance to read into most of these items, so I won't give you a long speech about them tonight since you'll be hearing quite a bit about them tomorrow in the opening ceremony presentations, as well as at the press conference.
And I'll just stop there right now by simply summarizing the fact that I think things are going well with Mexico. Public attitudes toward the United States have been improving significantly in recent months. Trade is increased significantly. Foreign direct investment has gone up considerably as well. And as our economy has rebounded, that of course has assisted the Mexican economy, as well. So with respect to NAFTA and trading issues, I think we're on an upswing. And, I think we're moving in the proper direction in all the other issues that the 14 working groups talk about. So, I'll just stop right there and take some questions, Nick?
QUESTION: Speaking of the second term, I know we have very little time tonight but since this is the first time we speak to you since the election, can you briefly outline for us the top three or five priorities in foreign policy of the second term? And how do you see your own role in achieving those goals?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, first and foremost, the Global War and Terror will remain a priority of the administration. We will continue to consolidate the success that we have seen in Afghanistan as manifested in the presidential elections and get Afghanistan ready for the parliamentary elections next Spring, continue our reconstruction efforts, continuing the resettlement of the 3.7 billion Afghan refugees who have returned to the country and continue our efforts to work with Pakistan to defeat the Al Qaeda and Taliban elements that are working in the frontier areas of Pakistan, as well as continuing to fight those elements that come across into Afghanistan or in Afghanistan that are trying to stop this progress towards democracy.
Iraq, of course, is a major priority. We are looking forward to the elections at the end of January and we have started the registration activity of handing out registration packages beginning last week on the first of November. Kofi Annan has agreed to increase the size of the UN presence in Iraq and we have been making arrangements to provide them the necessary security. And, as you know, we have begun an operation in Fallujah today to take back Fallujah and to defeat this hornet's nest of insurgent activity and terrorist activity.
We are watching very carefully what is happening in the Middle East. Mr. Arafat, as you know, will be visited perhaps in the very near future by Palestinian leaders and we are waiting to see the outcome of that and to see what happens with respect to his health. The United States stands by to work very actively to get the Road Map moving forward. And there are so many other things we are working on: additional free trade agreements we are going to be working on, we met with of the board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation today and that's why I was a little late getting out of here and approved some additions and reconfirmed some of the decisions we made last year in this most exciting development assistance program.
We will continue to work to strengthen our alliances in Asia, where I think we are in very excellent shape with China and with our traditional allies, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand. We are very anxious to keep going forward with the new strategic program that we have with India, enhance our relationship with Pakistan, and by having good relations with both of them serve a useful role as a friend to both of them as they continue to reach out to each other and work on those difficult issues outstanding between India and Pakistan.
I'll be spending a lot of time in Europe in the weeks coming up with EU meetings, NATO meetings, OSCE meetings and other bilateral meetings I'll hold on the margins of all that.
QUESTION: You're going to OSCE?
SECRETARY POWELL: I'm going to OSCE, yes. Just to make sure our European friends have no illusions that the president wants to have a strong relationship with all of our European friends and allies and notwithstanding any disagreements we have had in the past. I think that with NATO coming together to support training of Iraqi personnel, NATO is now playing a role. Working with the French, French are commanding the multilateral forces in both Afghanistan and in Kosovo, so is more that we do there. The European Union made a financial commitment to Prime Minister Allawi last week.
We will continue to press in Africa to resolve regional conflicts, Sudan being the one that's uppermost in our mind. But we'll continue to do work to follow up on Liberia, to assist UN peacekeepers in DRC and to help the United Nations and our French friends in Cote d'Ivoire. I spent most of my weekend on Cote d'Ivoire talking to the president of Cote d'Ivoire, President Gbagbo and French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier during the travels that took place on Saturday night.
We will continue to work with the Russian Federation to enhance trade and economic activity.
You asked, you are going to get it, the whole nine yards. You're going to regret this.
No. I will stop there, because you have heard the sermon before. But there is a lot going on, and so much of it is positive and really is evidence of the president's National Security Strategy of reaching out, of partnerships, of open trade, of fighting disease, of fighting poverty, of increasing assistance to nations around the world. Yes, I understand the importance of Iraq; I understand the overhang that that and the Middle East has on how we are viewed in the world and the impression that some people have of us. But, it's an impression that will change as we start showing our success such as the kind of success we showed in Afghanistan [recently]. And I am very pleased to be secretary of state.
But let's not waste time with silly questions. You can all go write your articles, call up think tank specialists and college professors and report on all of your circular reporting and be my guest, but don't ask me to participate.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, sort of two quickies. Do you see anything in the political changes in the US that'll make getting some sort of a guest worker program easier to get through Congress? And, does the left-wing trend in Latin American politics trouble you? We've got Uruguay, the most recent.
SECRETARY POWELL: I think now that the campaign is behind us and 9-11 is also three years behind us, and we have done a lot with respect to securing our borders and having a better idea what is coming in and out of our country, and recognizing the value that we get from a good relationship within our continent, and especially with Mexico. I sense that there could be a more favorable environment, but it is always a difficult issue before the Congress. And I can't predict yet of a new Congress with a new line-up. We'll look at this. We'll have to wait until they're in place, who's in charge of what committee, but the President made it clear to President Fox in their conversation last week that he does want to move forward, beginning with the temporary worker's permit.
With respect to some of the changes that have taken place in Latin America, democracy is all about free choice. And, it's not shocking to me that 15 years or so, 10 to 15 years, after the first round of free elections in the southern part of our hemisphere, people are still looking for the kind of progress that they were expecting and haven't seen. So, they're starting to make slightly different choices. They made one in Brazil last year. But what I found is that the Brazilian government, even though it came in under that same rubric as somewhat to the left, has been acting quite responsibly with respect to economic and fiscal policy. And now, they're showing some pretty solid and sustained and regular growth. And, I had long conversations with President Lula about this when I was there last month. And so, we'll see what happens in Uruguay. And you run on one platform but you tend to govern on something that will produce results, or you're going to get elected out the next time around. So, we watch it with a little concern, a little interest, but no great…I'm not deeply troubled by it all. I want to work with whoever the people elect to those countries. That's our responsibility.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, two quick questions on the Middle East. Are you afraid that Arafat's illness or disability could usher in a period of chaos, political jockeying, possibly even bloodshed among the Palestinians? And, how long do you think it is going to take before you are going to have a sense of whether there's a Palestinian leadership that you and the Israelis can deal with after him?
SECRETARY POWELL: I'll answer this, but I'll answer it by saying that since he went to the hospital in Paris, I have been impressed by the manner in which the Palestinian leaders back in the territories have been discussing among themselves how to move forward, not yet knowing what Mr. Arafat's fate is. And other than the Tel Aviv bombing, which was terribly unfortunate, things have been relatively quiet. I hope that sense of quiet and calm can be maintained, and it gives us something to work with.
I can't answer the latter half of your question, since a lot depends on what leadership would emerge eventually in the Fatah movement and the PLO and the Palestinian Authority-each one of them separate and distinct, each one of them currently headed by Chairman Arafat. The one thing I will say is that we are in touch with all the parties. The President has made it clear and I have made it clear to them that we are ready to engage as soon as soon as it is appropriate to engage. But, Mr. Arafat is alive, he's in serious condition obviously. We will just watch and wait to see what happens.
QUESTION: In the wake of your trip to Asia, has there been any rethinking in the administration on whether to recalibrate the US proposal to North Korea in the six-party talks?
SECRETARY POWELL: No, we have a good proposal on the table. We put it down in June. We're always reviewing the bidding with listening to our friends, but we think we've put a good proposal down, which has not been responded to, and so what we need now is to have another six-party session and see where we are. And now that the election is over, everybody is sort of reviewing the bidding. But we've put it a good proposal down and we can't put down a new proposal every time the DPRK issues a press statement saying that they want to see a new proposal.
We showed flexibility in the last proposal, it was recognized as such, and it provides all the elements for a solution. And we'll just wait to see if whether or not we can convene another set of six-party talks soon. As I have said though, we go into these talks with a sense of trying to solve a problem, not just to stick to our talking points. And we will try to make sure that we approach such talks in the future within that same spirit, if there's something to be flexible about. But, we are not doing anything right now but waiting for six-party talks to reconvene and a response from the DPRK.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, on Darfur, most of the news in the newspapers seems to be bad. You had the incident last week; you had that horrific story in the Post this morning. Is it time to turn up the heat at the UN or with the Sudanese government? Is it time for more drastic action now?
SECRETARY POWELL: We are not pleased with events of recent days. The forced movement of the camp, we disapprove of. I talked to Vice President Taha yesterday, and expressed the dissatisfaction with that. I know the Secretary General has, as well. We also encouraged the Sudanese government to show more flexibility in the negotiations with the rebels in Abuja with respect to security agreements. There continues to be progress of the North-South discussion and we might be able to provide a little electricity to those proceedings when the Security Council meets in Nairobi around the 18 or 19th.
We are concerned, however, that the AU Force is not being introduced as rapidly as we would like it to be introduced into the Darfur region, and we are doing everything we can to expedite their arrival. And we're watching very carefully to see whether the Sudanese government is starting to back off any of the...close down any of the openings they made earlier in the year after Secretary General Annan and I visited, which allowed free movement of goods and humanitarian supplies in. And we want to make sure they don't start backsliding there. So yes, we are concerned. It's always a subject to be taken up again by the Council, but it's a very difficult issue. We will continue to press it.
Anything else? Got enough?
QUESTION: Iran? Iraq?
SECRETARY POWELL: Iran? There have been a lot of reports about what discussions have taken place between the EU-3 and Iran, and we expect to get a more in-depth presentation on the proposal either tomorrow night or Wednesday morning. And I had a good conversation with Secretary Straw about it over the weekend, and I also spoke to Foreign Minister Barnier and Foreign Minister Fischer before the weekend. Okay?
QUESTION: Do you think the Palestinians need to have elections to replace Arafat?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, you know they've been scheduling elections and I don't want to start hypothesizing on what they should do or should not do in this period of uncertainty. Okay?
Released on November 9, 2004
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