Tags: Powell: | U.S. | Open | Talks | with | 'Evil' | Countries

Powell: U.S. Open to Talks with 'Evil' Countries

Wednesday, 06 February 2002 12:00 AM

But just because the U.S. is willing to talk to North Korea, Iraq and Iran does not mean they should not be identified "for what they are, regimes that are inherently evil," Powell told a budget hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.

Bush called the three countries an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union speech last week.

"The governments that lead them are evil," Powell told lawmakers. "The clearer we make this statement and the more sure we are of our judgments, the better able we will be to lead the international coalition, lead nations who are like-minded in pursuit of changes in the policies of these nations."

The United States does not plan to invade North Korea, Iraq or Iran, Powell added.

These governments have heavily criticized Bush's comments. In North Korea and South Korea Monday, protesters gathered in front of American installations to express their displeasure.

Some of America's allies around the world have also said they found the comments troubling.

Bush has said he singled out countries that are developing weapons of mass destruction.

Powell's words come on the heels of Iraq's offer to the United Nations to resume talks. Amr Moussa, secretary general of the Arab League, made the offer at the United Nations Tuesday. Moussa brought the message from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein after visiting Baghdad last month.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was prepared to talk to an Iraqi delegation about how to implement U.N. Security Council resolutions. Talks could include negotiating the return of U.N. weapons inspectors to Iraq. Inspectors were last in the country in November 1998 before being expelled.

Annan last held talks with Iraqi officials a year ago. At that time, Hussein insisted U.N. sanctions against Iraq must end before discussions could continue. In Hussein's newest invitation, he said there were "no preconditions."

The U.N. Security Council has said sanctions can only be lifted after it is satisfied Iraq is no longer seeking to produce chemical, nuclear or biological weapons.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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But just because the U.S. is willing to talk to North Korea, Iraq and Iran does not mean they should not be identified for what they are, regimes that are inherently evil, Powell told a budget hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday. Bush called...
Powell:,U.S.,Open,Talks,with,'Evil',Countries
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2002-00-06
Wednesday, 06 February 2002 12:00 AM
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