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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Blair Says U.N. Future at Stake Over Iraq

Aired October 1, 2002 - 09:52   ET

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

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Quickly to Blackpool, England. British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking to members of the Labor Party. The topic, as expected, Iraq.
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: ... sometimes, and, in particular, dealing with a dictator, the only chance of peace is a readiness for war.

But we need coalitions not just to deal with evil by force, if necessary, but coalitions for peace, coalitions to tackle poverty and ignorance and disease...

(APPLAUSE)

... a coalition to fight terrorism and a coalition to give Africa hope; a coalition to rebuild the nation of Afghanistan as strong as the coalition to defeat the Taliban...

(APPLAUSE)

... a coalition to fight the scourge of AIDS, to protect the planet from climate change, every bit as powerful as the coalition for free trade, free markets and free enterprise.

And yes, what is happening in the Middle East now is ugly and it is wrong: the Palestinians living in increasingly abject conditions, humiliated and hopeless; Israeli civilians brutally murdered. I agree United Nations' resolutions should apply here as much as to Iraq.

(APPLAUSE)

But they don't just apply to Israel. They apply to all parties, and there is only one answer: By this year's end, we must have revived final status negotiations, and they must have explicitly as their aim an Israeli state free from terror, recognized by the Arab world and a viable Palestinian state based on the boundaries of 1967.

(APPLAUSE)

But for Britain to help shape this new world, we have to be part of it. Our friendship with America is a strength, so is our membership of Europe, and we should make the most of both, and in Europe, surely never more so than now.

The single currency is a fact, but will Europe find the courage for economic reform? Europe is to become 25 nations. One Europe for the first time since Charlemagne. But will it be a union of nation states or a centralized super state?

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, you've just been hearing the prime minister actually defend his support for President Bush and the campaign against Iraq, although members of his own party are adamantly opposed to it. The public opinion polls showing quite a bit of change in Britain over the last several weeks. There was a motion that was defeated that would have banned any military action against Iraq under any circumstances, but I guess that's now changed by -- from 60 percent to 40 percent.

HEMMER: For the White House, though, no greater ally on this issue to date. They have really walked hand in hand.

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