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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Powell Speaks About NATO

Aired April 29, 2003 - 10:04   ET

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

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We are following a developing story out of Iraq this morning where at least a dozen civilians were killed in a clash with U.S. forces. Witnesses there say that it all began when local demonstrators converged on the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, and then, according to one Iraqi all hell broke loose.
CNN's Karl Penhaul in the town of Fallujah and when he checks in, we'll go to him live -- as a matter of fact, right now, we are still watching Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was on Capitol Hill, and he is now talking about the situation in Iraq.

Let's listen in.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: ... but also on democratic and market reforms. During these intensive preparations, each invitee has received both support and feedback from NATO. The United States has also had its own dialogue with the seven countries about their reforms. In addition to the day to day work of our embassies we sent, as was noted, an inter-agency team headed by Ambassador Nick Burns, our very able representative in Brussels, sent this team in February and October of last year to visit each of the countries to make specific reform recommendations and to evaluate progress.

The prospect of NATO membership helped to create in each country a political atmosphere that encouraged governments to adopt needed reforms. These reforms are in each country's own best interest. In many cases, they would have been difficult to bring about without the demands of NATO candidacy. The record of each invitee government demonstrates powerful its commitment to NATO. Reform areas included treatment of minorities, creation of a viable political opposition, restoration of private property, willingness to confront the past, combating corruption, and support within that population for NATO membership. For example, Estonia and Latvia have taken...

HARRIS: As you can tell, Secretary of State Powell has not yet hit the point in his remarks where he's mentioned Iraq, so we'll go back to him when he does get to that point.

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