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Your World Today
Gaza Withdrawal; Iran's President-Elect
Aired June 27, 2005 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Anger over the Gaza withdrawal. Israeli settlers and their supporters take their battle to the streets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: He would be making a serious mistake if he thought that we were going to go soft on them, because we're not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: British Prime Minister Tony Blair taking a strict line with Iran's new president, warning the world expects him to honor Tehran's nuclear obligations.
VERJEE: And from sharing music on the Internet to posting the Ten Commandments, the U.S. Supreme Court issues several major decisions on the last day of its term.
It is 7:00 p.m. in Gaza, 5:00 p.m. in London, noon in Washington. I'm Zain Verjee.
CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and throughout the world. This is YOUR WORLD TODAY.
VERJEE: Your window to the world here on CNN International.
We begin in Israel, where opponents of the planned Gaza withdrawal are stepping up protests. Defiant settlers are back at the scene of Sunday's flare-up with Israeli troops, planting more orange flags, denouncing Israel's disengagement plan. Twenty people were injured when settlers clashed with Israeli soldiers bulldozing homes in Gaza this weekend.
And an Israeli soldier was arrested for refusing orders to take part in the demolition. Israel's vice premier, Shimon Peres, warns there's no stopping the withdrawal planned for mid-August.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHIMON PERES, ISRAELI VICE PREMIER: The settlers don't have a future in Gaza. So whatever is happening right now is a reprocessing (ph) experience, and they will be out in accordance with the resolution of the parliament and the decision of the government. We know that we are going to have some problems in our way to achieve it, but it won't be stopped, and it won't be changed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: An anti-pull-out protest at this hour on Israel's busiest highways. John Vause joins us live from Jerusalem with more on that -- John.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Jim.
Well, during peak hour traffic here, during rush hour, opponents of the disengagement plan simply pulled off to the side of the road, and for 15 minutes they waved Israeli flags, as well as orange flags. That's the symbol of the anti-disengagement protest to slow traffic on the major highways across this country. The picture you are looking at now is the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Now, this protest, according to organizers, was called "Stop for a moment and think anew," a chance for Israelis to think about the disengagement plan which will call for the withdraw of 8,000 Jewish settlers and troops from all of the Gaza Strip and a small part of the West Bank. Now, a similar protest was held last month. That caused traffic chaos as well.
A lot of people weren't actually thinking about the disengagement last month. There were a lot of angry and annoyed drivers who had a long delay on their daily commute.
Now, to talk more about this is one of the settler organizers. In fact, he was late getting here. He was oddly enough delayed in traffic.
But Yisrael Meidad is here. He is now here to talk about this protest today.
Now, sir, this protest, does it actually prove anything, these kinds of stunts? Does it actually win you any support?
YISRAEL MEIDAD, SETTLER ACTIVIST: Well, we are using the democratic process as best as possible. We had over 10,000 vehicles on 400 kilometers of highway. We had over 5,000 people from the entrance of Jerusalem standing on the sidewalks to the Knesset.
This is the way -- the best way we get a message across directly to the people. And the message is, stop and think. With everything that's going on, with the security problems, with the pressure from the United States, maybe disengagement is not what it is supposed to be.
VAUSE: The man who you really want to stop and think about all of this is Ariel Sharon. And it's unlikely that he is to swayed by a traffic jam on the road into Jerusalem.
MEIDAD: Not really. We have ministers who support him at the present moment, from (INAUDIBLE), Silvan Shalom, (INAUDIBLE). If any of those people break and begin a process of crumbling of his cabinet, with everything else in disarray, we feel that the principles on which Mr. Sharon presented to the Israeli public and his cabinet members, the logic is not there anymore.
There's American pressure. There's lack of American misunderstanding. And, of course, there's Arab terror that just continues. So what are we gaining in disengagement?
VAUSE: Well, Ariel Sharon, of course, says the disengagement will make Israel more secure, withdrawing behind more defensible perimeters, taking the settlers out of the line of fire.
MEIDAD: And this morning Kassam missiles fell on kibbutzim inside Israel. Is that going to help us any?
VAUSE: Well, surely Ariel Sharon knows all of this. He has all the intelligence reports in front of him. He must be a complete fool if he doesn't realize these things...
MEIDAD: No. He could be approaching the age of 80, he could be approaching senility. He could be approaching the period when men who have been engaged in war want to be remembered as men as peace. It's quite possible that he's mistaken.
VAUSE: Well, in Gaza, there have been violent clashes. We've seen the settlers and their supporters clash with Israeli police and Israeli soldiers. Is that the kind of thing this country can expect when the disengagement begins in earnest in August?
MEIDAD: It can expect it, and I hope not. It depends on the activities of the soldiers. There are many soldiers who...
VAUSE: Well, it depends on the protesters as well, surely.
MEIDAD: Yes, of course, but it also depends on the soldiers. If enough -- for example, if enough soldiers refuse to follow commands, then the hierarchy of the army breaks down, and you might not have an army disengaging. You might have an army saying, well, we have to rethink this for ourselves.
VAUSE: Well, I was down there, and there were dozens of soldiers there. And only one soldier refused to follow orders.
MEIDAD: That's true. That's at the beginning, as you said, of the process. We have to wait until the summer to see exactly what happens.
Obviously protests will take place, obstruction of the soldiers will take place. Obstruction of destruction of homes will take place. As far -- I hope it will be as nonviolent as possible. It doesn't mean...
VAUSE: You can't guarantee that, though, can you?
MEIDAD: No one can -- no one -- Ariel Sharon can't assure me that there won't be Kassam missiles on Ashkelon. And so, as much as he can assure me, I can assure anybody else who's listening. It will be a democratic process as much as possible, civil disobedience, and nonviolent protests. VAUSE: OK. Yisrael Meidad, from the settlers council, thank you very much for joining us.
MEIDAD: Thank you.
VAUSE: Jim, as we said earlier, he was delayed in traffic, like thousands and thousands of commuters across Israel were delayed in traffic on their way home today as well -- Jim.
CLANCY: All right. John Vause reporting there live from Jerusalem -- Zain.
VERJEE: Jim, an Israeli military court has convicted an Israeli soldier of manslaughter in the shooting death of a British peace activist. Sergeant Wahid Taysir was convicted on six charges, including obstructing justice and conduct unbecoming a soldier. He will be sentenced on July the 5th.
Tom Hurndall was shot in Gaza two years ago during an Israeli military operation in the Rafah refugee camp. Witnesses say he was helping Palestinian children avoid Israeli tanks. He was in a coma for nine months before his death in a London hospital.
CLANCY: A judge in Kenya acquitting three men charged in connection with a 2002 bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa. They said there wasn't enough evidence for a conviction. The judge also acquitted them of planning that attack on an Israeli airliner.
A total of seven suspects now have been acquitted in the case. Fifteen people lost their lives back in 2002 in the attacks on Mombasa along the coast. Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network claimed responsibility on an Islamic Web site.
VERJEE: Iran's newly elected president is vowing to restart nuclear enrichment -- his nuclear enrichment program despite the government's pledge to continue disarmament talks with the European Union. Hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says moderation will be the policy of his government. Still, many in Tehran are worried.
Matthew Chance reports.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iran calls it the den of spies. Diplomats long since gone, the U.S. embassy in Tehran remains a monument to the Islamic revolution. But for many younger Iranians anti-American rhetoric belongs in the past as well. Closer ties what many want their new president-elect to forge.
"From a cultural point of view, we Iranians would like to have contacts and exchange from Europe and the United States," says Negar (ph). "In this day and age we are in the era of information," she says.
"I hope Ahmadinejad is going to have a positive effect on our foreign relations," says Davud (ph). "But from what I heard him say, I don't think he will make any great leaps of progress."
There was little sign of any in his first news conference since his landslide victory at the weekend. Relations with America, he said, would be unchanged.
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT (through translator): Concerning the United States, the policy of the Islamic public has been renounced repeatedly. Our people today, with confidence and self belief, must set on the path of development, because on this path they do not have any apparent need for the United States.
CHANCE: But the United States and others are increasingly concerned about Iran's nuclear program. Sites across the country are being developed to enrich uranium. Iran says it's for peaceful purposes.
The U.S. suspects weapons are the real goal. It's an issue I had the chance to raise.
(on camera): Can you tell me, please, whether you believe there is any future in the negotiations that have been under way over the past several months with the European Union countries, Britain, France, and Germany, over the Iranian nuclear program?
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): Taking into consideration our national interests, and while fulfilling the rights of the Iranian nation to use peaceful nuclear technology, we will continue the current dialogue. But confidence-building must be mutual.
CHANCE (voice-over): And confidence in Iran's choice for president at home and abroad may depend on his next steps.
Matthew Chance, CNN, Tehran.
VERJEE: While the European Union expressed concerns over Ahmadinejad's election, EU officials say they see no immediate reason to change policy on Iran. British Prime Minister Tony Blair elaborated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLAIR: We expect Iran to honor its obligations. And we have tried to find a way through the impasse over nuclear capability. And we have done if in good faith, working with France and Germany and with the support of the United States, and we'll continue to do it. But we need a willing partner on the other side.
And it's important that the new president understands that, and understands that obviously people will watch very closely what is happening with the new Iranian president, because, you know, our view, very strongly, is that those obligations that Iran has entered into have to be upheld. And he will be making a serious mistake if he thought we were going to go soft on them, because we're not. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari holding talks with his British counterpart. Tony Blair, in London. Al-Jaafari expected to highlight Iraq's need for help with reconstruction and help with security.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr. Blair said he is behind ongoing negotiations with the insurgents being conducted by the U.S. to try and bring them into the political process. Their meeting in London also came amid conflicting reports on a timetable for any U.S. withdrawal.
Let's go over to the White House now, where Iran is a major topic of discussion. Earlier taped comments by Gerhard Schroeder and U.S. President George W. Bush.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Opening statements, and we'll answer two questions a side.
It's my honor to welcome the chancellor of an ally and a friend back to the Oval Office. We have had and will continue to have a frank and open discussion about very important issues.
Germany is a very important country in Europe, and Germany is a friend of the United States.
We talked about the E.U. We talked about the United Nations. We talked about Iraq. We've talked about how to spread freedom and peace.
BUSH: We talked about Iran. I told the chancellor how much I appreciated the German government working with France and Great Britain, to send a very strong, unified message to the Iranians.
Our agenda is wide-ranging because both countries assume responsibility to help the poor and feed the hungry and help spread freedom and peace.
And I want to thank the chancellor for his willingness to come over. And I want to thank him for such a good discussion.
GERHARD SCHROEDER, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): It is, indeed, true that we have covered all the list of topics that the president just mentioned. We've had intent conversations on all of those.
I've gone into saying that it is now important in Europe that we go in and adapt our budget for the period from '06 to 2013. And I've, obviously, also emphasized how important it is for us to continue with the constitutional process in Europe.
SCHROEDER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I was also very pleased to hear -- and that was why I said that to the president as well -- that is so helpful that he said that he said he very much would hope to see a strong, united Europe.
As you can see, we have covered a range of international topics here together. I have very much pointed out to the president what Germany does do around the world, what Germany does do in Afghanistan, for example; what Germany does contribute toward the stabilization of the situation in Iraq.
SCHROEDER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I have mentioned our training schemes in the Emirates, et cetera, et cetera. I've talked about the stabilizing work that Germany's doing in the Balkans, for example.
And I have mentioned that, since we're doing all these things internationally, we would very much hope that at some point in time we could also have a right to representation on the Security Council if there were the space.
So I said very much we're doing lots of things and hopefully we'll be involved in deciding things as well.
BUSH: Well, we're going to answer some questions here.
QUESTION: Mr. President, do you oppose Germany's bid for a Security Council seat?
BUSH: We oppose no country's bid for the Security Council.
BUSH: We agree that there needs to be U.N. Security Council reform.
The U.N. also needs broader reform than just the Security Council. There needs to be management reform. There needs to be reform of the Human Rights Commission. There needs to be broad reform.
And part of that reform is the U.N. Security Council. And I want to thank Gerhard's frank discussion about Security Council. But we oppose no country.
Want to call on somebody?
SCHROEDER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We are very much in agreement that this reform is duly and urgently needed. And it has always been clear that it is first the reform and then the candidacies to potential seats, and obviously then the process will have to continue.
SCHROEDER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): If you ask me about whether I see differences, and I'd possibly say there are differences in the timing; we were pushing to have things happening very quickly.
But I was very pleased, indeed, to hear that there was no opposition, vis-a-vis Germany as such, from the president.
QUESTION: Mr. President, Chancellor Schroeder is seeking for early elections in Germany, and what is your position? Have you wished him luck for his election?
BUSH: He's lucky he's got short elections.
BUSH: I still remember my election -- month after month after month of campaigning.
We haven't talked about the elections yet.
The chancellor is a seasoned political campaigner. And if there's elections, I'm confident he knows what he's going to do out there.
But we have not talked about the elections yet.
As we say in Texas, "This won't be his first rodeo."
SCHROEDER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We just have to add at this point, it is important that our national German president hasn't even yet decided whether we are going to have these elections. By that very rule, we shouldn't be discussing them here as a topic.
But when it comes to elections, I think there's this wonderful saying from back home in Lower Saxony where I come from, which says, "Ducks are fat at the bottom end."
QUESTION: Iran has a new leader. Do you think this will alter the climate for the nuclear talks? And what's your message to the new leader?
TRANSLATOR: I'm sorry, I couldn't hear.
BUSH: Iran has a new leader.
BUSH: My message to the chancellor is that we continue working with Great Britain, France and Germany to send a focused, concerted, unified message that says the development of a nuclear weapon is unacceptable and a process which would enable Iran to develop a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.
And I want to say, again, I appreciate the E.U.-3's strong unification and message. The message hasn't changed.
QUESTION: Was the election free and fair?
BUSH: It's never free and fair when a group of people, unelected people, get to decide who's on the ballot.
SCHROEDER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Well, firstly, I couldn't agree more with his message. We're going to continue being tough and firm on all of that. The message must stay very crystal clear, and it is.
And, secondly, the new president has emphasized that he wants to talks to continue. So here we are.
BUSH: Final question?
QUESTION: Mr. President, sometimes you praise what Germany is doing in Afghanistan (OFF-MIKE) qualify what it is doing in Iraq, about the reconstruction (OFF-MIKE)
BUSH: I think that Germany's contribution in Iraq is important.
BUSH: The key to success in Iraq is for the Iraqis to be able and capable of defending their democracy against terrorists. And the training mission that the chancellor referred to is an important part of helping the Iraqis defend themselves.
Parallel with the security track is a political track.
BUSH: Obviously, the political track has made progress this year when 8 million people went to the polls and voted.
And now they must write a constitution and have the constitution approved, then have elections later on this year for a government elected under the new constitution.
And part of the political process is not only the elections and the constitution, but part of the political process is the reconstruction programs of which Germany is an important part, and I want to thank the chancellor and his government.
BUSH: A free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will help the United States and help Germany, because we will have laid a foundation of peace for generations to come.
And I appreciate your focus.
SCHROEDER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): There can be no question a stable and democratic Iraq is in the vested interest of not just Germany, but also Europe.
SCHROEDER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): And that is why we have committed ourselves to that topic right from the start.
Actually, very much from the beginning, we were the ones that jumped at the idea of having a debt relief initiative, right at the start.
And we are also the ones who've gone in with practical hands-on help. We've gone in and started training of home-grown Iraqi security forces and admin people right away.
SCHROEDER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): By now, we've trained a good 1,200 people, about 50 percent of them security staff and the other 50 percent admin advisers that help with the reconstruction of institutions from within.
And this training happens in the Emirates.
BUSH: I want to thank you all for coming.
Have a great day.
Thank you. Thank you, sir.
CLANCY: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, there alongside President Bush at the White House. If there were any deep differences between these two leaders, they certainly glossed them over during that press briefing.
That was on tape. It was recorded just a few minutes ago after their meeting. Clearly, one of the major topics that they discussed was Iran. On that front, they appeared to be saying that there was no change in course there. They do not want to see Iran developing its own nuclear enrichment program.
At the same time, though, there was a focus on Iraq and Germany's role there in the training of Iraqi security forces. Gerhard Schroeder saying he supported that, he supported debt relief for Iraq. Both of those issues, of course, something that George W. Bush pleased to hear.
Make no mistake, a lot of that interview being listened to, being heard in Baghdad right now, particularly the U.S. president's calls for the Iraqis to take on the burden of fighting for their own democracy. While that was echoed somewhat by Gerhard Schroeder, at the same time, Germany's support, that is European support, in a broader sense, very much anticipated by the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people.
We're going to have to take a short break. We'll be back with more of YOUR WORLD TODAY on CNN International right after this.
VERJEE: Welcome back.
Iraqi police say a huge explosion has killed at least four civilians and wounded 29 others in Baghdad. A remote-controlled car bomb caused the blast near a mosque in eastern Baghdad. Police say it missed the apparent target, a U.S. military convoy.
The U.S. military says two of its soldiers have been killed in a helicopter crash. Officials say it happened about 30 kilometers from Baghdad. They say the incident's under investigation.
And Saddam Hussein's former deputy prime minister has made his first appearance before the country's special tribunal. Tariq Aziz testified before the investigative panel last week to answer allegations of crimes by the former regime. His attorney says the interrogation took place in the presence of his defense team. Three other former officials also appeared for questioning.
CLANCY: In Pakistan, a victim of gang rape is appealing to the supreme court of her country, the ruling that acquitted five of her alleged attackers. It was back in 2002 that Mukhtar Mai was attacked on orders of a village council of elders for an offense allegedly committed by her little brother.
A high court had sentenced six men to death for the rape, but in March it overturned the convictions of five of the men and reduced another sentence to life in prison. The case has attracted international attention, especially after Mai was temporarily barred from President Pervez Musharraf from traveling abroad to talk about the incident.
We're going to have a roundup of the main stories coming up in just a moment.
VERJEE: It was a case worth billions to the U.S. entertainment industry. Coming up, we're going to tell you how the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on an Internet file-sharing case.
CLANCY: And other issues as well as the speculation that one justice may not return for the next session.
VERJEE: Hello, and welcome back to YOUR WORLD TODAY on CNN International. I'm Zain Verjee.
CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. And these are some of the top stories we're following right now.
VERJEE: Opponents of Israel's plan to pull out of Gaza and the northern West Bank are stepping up their protests. There, settler campaign underway right now, is causing a halt to traffic on Israeli highways. This was video from some time ago. Drivers are being asked to pull over for 15 minutes during rush hour as part of the "Stop for a moment, think again" campaign.
CLANCY: Iranian president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to restart the country's controversial nuclear program, saying it is for peaceful purposes only. He also said nuclear talks with the European Union are going to continue. E.U. officials say they see no reason to change their approach toward Iran at this time. Ahmadinejad also said moderation will be the policy of his new government.
VERJEE: Now to a very important day at the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices have ruled on several high-profile cases on the last day of the term this year.
Let's go right to CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. He joins us now from Washington. Jeffrey, let's start with the Ten Commandments. What was at stake and how did the court rule?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, this has been a divisive and emotional issue in the United States for a long time about public displays of religious documents and observances. And the Supreme Court really sort of split the difference here. The Supreme Court approved a sort of monument in Austin, Texas, that had the Ten Commandments posted on it in a public park, but they rejected the posting of the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky courthouse, in a hallway with other historical non-religious documents. So the court is trying to find some sort of rule here about when the Ten Commandments are permissible and when it's not. And frankly, it looks like a pretty much case-by-case basis that they're winding up with.
VERJEE: There was also a major decision on Internet file- sharing. What was it? Just walk us through it.
TOOBIN: Well, Internet file-sharing, the issue here was, there was a piece of software known as Grokster, which allows what's called peer-to-peer file-sharing. It allows, you know, private citizen A and private citizen B to share usually copyrighted material, like music and movies. And the record companies and the movie companies sued this software company for copyright infringement. And the court unanimously said they are likely to be found guilty of copyright infringement. They said just because it's other people doing the sharing of copyrighted material, the software is still liable because it's facilitating this illegal activity. So it's a big victory for the movie companies and the music companies.
VERJEE: The Supreme Court also weighed in on a journalist's ability to keep sources secret. What was decided?
TOOBIN: Right. Two journalists, Matthew Cooper of "Time" magazine and Judith Miller of "The New York Times," have been subpoenaed in an investigation about the disclosure of classified information. They refused to disclose their sources, citing journalistic privilege. The lower courts rejected that claim. They asked the Supreme Court to hear the case. Today the Supreme Court refused to hear the case. So it's likely that either these journalists will have to reveal sources or go to prison. So it's not a good day for those journalists or those of us in the press who support them.
VERJEE: There's also been a lot of speculation about possible retirements there at the Supreme Court. None have been -- none have been forthcoming so far. But why is it that it's so significant?
TOOBIN: Well, the Supreme Court has the last word in the United States on so many important emotional issues. Probably best known is the right to choose abortion, which has been in the Supreme Court many times, the Roe v. Wade decision, many death penalty issues, church/state issues, as we saw today. And there hasn't been a change on the court in 11 years.
Chief Justice Rehnquist is 80 years old. He's suffering from cancer. He obviously -- he certainly did not look at all healthy on the bench today. But he did not announce his retirement. He may announce it later today, he may announce it tomorrow when the court issues some orders. Or he may simply not announce it at all. Justices don't generally give much advance notice. There was speculation about a retirement today. It didn't happen.
VERJEE: What is the historical precedence, Jeffrey? If Rehnquist has made a decision either way, would he have informed the White House?
TOOBIN: Well, you know, precedence go both ways on that. His predecessor, Chief Justice Warren Burger, did give President Ronald Reagan about a month advance notice that he was stepping down. Many justices give a day or two. Some justices give no notice at all. So there is no one way that it's done, which is one reason why we're in such uncertainty about this retirement process, because there is no formula for how it works.
VERJEE: OK, thank you very much. CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
CLANCY: All right. We want to take a look at what is going on in London right now. We understand that Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Ibrahim al Jaafari, the prime minister of Iraq, are talking there, regarding their meetings, their high-level talks, that have been announced at the same time Mr. Blair is saying that he supports talking with the Sunni insurgents who may be involved in a lot of the violence.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
IBRAHIM AL-JAAFARI, PRIME MINISTER OF IRAQ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): ... is represented in Iraq. And also the Iraqi government is plural and represents the Shia, the Sunni and the men and women of all the ethnic minorities in Iraq. They are in the national assembly and in the government.
This is the process we are moving forward. We are now facing unprecedented circumstances and we need all the other countries to stand with us.
In the Brussels conference, we hope that all countries including Britain will stand with us to support reconstruction and the infrastructure and the political process until our people are free from this stage.
AL-JAAFARI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Again, I thank Mr. Blair for his hospitality.
BLAIR: We'll take two questions from U.K. and two questions from Arab media. Actually, it's not me who's going to make the choice.
QUESTION: Thank you.
To both of you, first of all, to the prime minister, we heard today from the British prime minister that in the end it'll be up to the Iraqi security forces to actually bring an end to insurgency in Iraq.
How long to you think that's going to take? Do you think it could be done in the next few years?
And then a question to the prime minister. You also defended the policy -- the Americans talked about meetings and contacts with rebel groups. Who have they been with exactly? And if they're actually worthwhile, why have attacks increased since January? What success has there been?
TONY BLAIR, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: I think, just to respond to your last point, I mean, the important thing to emphasize is that we give people a chance to become part of the democratic process. But if they continue with acts of terrorism, we will, together with the Iraqi government, the democratically elected government, supported by the United Nations process, we will defeat them. So there's no question about that.
I don't think it would be right to go into the contacts people have had with various groups.
I think what is necessary to say -- I mean, the prime minister will no doubt say something on this in a moment -- but he was explaining to me that one of the reasons why the terrorists are targeting increasingly civilians, and civilians in the most innocent circumstances and vulnerable circumstances, is precisely because they are feeling the pressure now, not just of the multinational force, but increasingly of Iraqi security forces themselves.
And as I say, he's a better witness to that than I am, but I'm sure he will tell you about it.
AL-JAAFARI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): As far as the time needed, I think this time depends on many major factors.
AL-JAAFARI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): First, the development of the security forces. We are working on this.
As far as quantity and performance and equipment, the more we are quick with this, the more quicker we do it.
There is also the borders with other countries in the region. If these countries cooperate with us in controlling these borders, then the time will be shorter.
There is also the progress of the political process. The more we progress in this, the more we can secure security.
We find that operations of the rebels is becoming less and less with the more political work done.
We are even dealing with secondary issues such as the economic issues and the services issues. We are doing everything to overcome obstacles.
I think two years will be more than enough and probably more than we need to establish security.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) VERJEE: Aceh province in Indonesia was the hardest-hit spot in Asia when tsunami waves devastated the region six months ago. Rebuilding will likely take years.
CLANCY: Atika Shubert found a community where the approach is really two-fold: build it fast, build it strong, with minimal impact on the environment.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the heart of Aceh's reconstruction, building homes. These are among the first. The Indonesian government has contracted the International Organization for Migration, or IOM, to build 11,000 of these so-called simple homes just to start with. But there are still many more to go.
(on camera): The tsunami left more than half a million people here homeless, and the government estimates that it will need to build at least 180,000 new homes. But according to the United Nations, getting people into even simple houses like this could take up to two years.
(voice-over): To make up for lost time, the IOM houses are designed to go up fast, 160 manhours per house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Ground Zero for home building in Aceh at the moment.
SHUBERT: It starts here with the production of basic cement pillars, designed to be easily bolted together. A minimum of timber is used to lessen the environmental impact of these mass-produced homes, only .8 cubic meters for each house.
Many of the workers here are tsunami survivors. Verjan Abdula (ph) lost his 8-year-old boy and his home. "Building homes gives us hope," he says, "If we had to find ways to save enough money to build on our own, it would be impossible. If our home is build from these materials here, then I can be sure the house will be strong."
Quality control is stringent. The houses must be able to withstand not just rain and wind, but a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. It's a temporary shelter, meant to be flexible but strong, lasting three years for the entire reconstruction process.
PAUL DILLON, 10M: It's going to be a long process, rebuilding Aceh. So this provides that kind of an environment for people to live in while that process evolves, that they can basically unbolt the houses, fold them up, put them in a truck and move them back to their home villages, if that's something that they want to do.
SHUBERT: For the lucky few, IOM has set up their first homes in this village. Ira (ph) was one of the first to receive a home. She was kind enough to invite us in and show us what she has done with her simple three-room house.
"When we got the key and we opened the door for the first time," she says, "the mattresses were piled up in the room and I cried because I thought, after all that's happened to us, there are people that still care."
The best part is that Ira and her family now legally own their own home, to do with as they wish. For a family that's lost it all, having a home to call your own can mean everything.
Atika Shubert, CNN, Banda Aceh.
CLANCY: That is our for now. I'm Jim Clancy.
VERJEE: And I'm Zain Verjee.
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