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America's New War: Giuliani Holds Press Conference

Aired September 19, 2001 - 13:08   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: We go to the mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, and his meeting with reporters.

RUDOLPH GIULIANI, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: ... today with the president of France, Jacques Chirac, who has come to offer us his support, his help, his assistance from the people of France, and to give the people here a sense that they're not alone; that people all around the United States and all around the world are with them and support them and care about them.

And I thank him and all of the people in his delegation -- the ambassador, the consul general, members of the legislature. I want to thank them for coming and showing this concern and this support, and assure them that the people of New York City are resolute in their desire to unite and to make certain that together we do everything we can to be sure that this doesn't happen ever again to New York or any other city.

Thank you, Mr. President.

JACQUES CHIRAC, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: I am very, very moved today, as I have been over the last week, like all the French people, which has been terribly shocked and traumatized by what happened here -- such drama which nobody could have imagined.

And I wanted to say to the mayor of New York all our concern, our admiration for what has been done after this drama, with such an efficiency, very full of clever and heart. I told him that in the French press, when they mention the mayor of New York, they say "mayor hero" (ph), which is a French expression equivalent to "Rudy the Rock."

We really, really admire what has been done here, and the calm of the population just after the attack; all the efficiency of the response to this attack. And I ask to Mayor Giuliani to say to all his people around him, including all the volunteers, how we admire them.

I have a special thought, of course, for the firemen -- so many of them pay with their life this attack; and also the policemen and the people of the different emergency services. And the mayor of New York must know that the French population in Paris, which has been also in the past attacked -- not so strongly, but still attacked -- feels very, very close of the New York population and the New York authorities.

And I said that with heart and from the bottom of my heart. And I want to say, bravo, thank you. You did that for the New Yorkers, but also for all the free world, for the dignity of the human mankind and we know that, and we are beside you.

GIULIANI: Thank you, Mr. President.

(APPLAUSE)

Mr. President, the reality is that whatever strength I have comes from the people of New York. They are the remarkable ones. The ones that are lost, the ones that are missing, and the ones that are working so hard to try to find people and bring us all together, and it's all New Yorkers. And you're quite right, and I'm very appreciative that you pointed it out, the way in which the people of New York reacted at the time of the attack, the evacuation and then in the days after that is nothing short of courageous. All New Yorkers are entitled to share in that.

And I would like you to take back with you to France two things that you can keep with you to remember the true heroes, not me, the real heroes -- the fire department, the police department, and we'll get you one for EMS too. Because I want to make sure that they're also recognized -- and the Port Authority. It's those uniformed officers that are the real heroes. Thank you.

CHIRAC: I'm sorry I don't speak good English because I would have liked to say a lot of things to the mayor and to the population of New York and to the population of the United States. But my English is not very good, as you noticed. But I have a lot of things in my heart to say for this solidarity with the Americans and the New Yorkers.

GIULIANI: Thank you.

We're going to take the president on a tour by air so that he can get to see the devastation. Talking about it is one thing, looking at pictures is another. Actually seeing it, at least for me, is a completely different experience, and I think it's worthwhile for the president to get an opportunity to see that.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GIULIANI: Sure. One or two, and then we'll have to...

QUESTION: Mr. President Chirac, will your country stop doing business with nations that United States consider to harbor terrorists, like Iran or Iraq that your country has oil business with?

CHIRAC (through translator): I would like to say that there is investigation going on by the U.S. authorities. I have discussed this at length with President Bush yesterday evening. And I can tell you that if there is evidence of collusion or links with these terrorist attacks and responsibility by any country whatsoever, well, France will draw of consequences, as we'll do all other countries in the world.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) go from a search and rescue mode to a search and recovery mode, how close are you to that?

GIULIANI: We'll discuss that later. I don't think there's going to be a material change in the status today. But we really have a lot of things that we have to look at. We have a meeting at 2 o'clock, and then after that we'll have briefing. I don't expect that there will be a big change, but there might be some alterations.

QUESTION: Mr. Chirac, when you say that you support the United States, does that mean that you will vote differently -- your ambassador -- differently, at the U.N. Security Council, and does that mean that you support us militarily?

CHIRAC (through translator): You probably know that it was at the initiative of France, at the Security Council a few days ago, voted its resolution stating the complete solidarity of the world with the United States on considering that the United States is perfectly justified to respond, and this was done at the initiative of France.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... at your meeting, did you convince the president to fly over this?

GIULIANI: It didn't take any convincing. I suggested it to him and he said yes.

QUESTION: You think it's critical for him to see this as well as hear about it?

GIULIANI: I think seeing it is unlike any other experience.

Thank you.

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