Tags: U.S. | Preps | Embassies | for | Anti-Bush | Fallout

U.S. Preps Embassies for Anti-Bush Fallout

Thursday, 31 January 2002 12:00 AM

The points, according to State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, stress that the United States is using "diplomatic, financial, legal and military" means to fight terrorism.

He stressed that the United States would work with its allies to stop shipments of weapons and use "U.S. law to impose sanctions and raise the costs to sellers and intermediaries."

The points also say the United States is open to discussions with North Korea and Iran and that Washington still insists the Iraqis comply with U.N. resolutions involving weapons inspectors.

The summary of the key points were sent to U.S. embassies as a chorus of foreign capitals lodged complaints that President Bush's speech Tuesday was too bellicose. As one State Department official told United Press International on Wednesday, "Our embassies were saying the sky is falling."

All three countries singled out as the "axis of evil" denounced the speech, but other countries also chimed in. The European Union on Thursday issued a statement saying its member countries would still work with the regime of Iran, which Bush on Tuesday said did not represent the will of Iranians. South Korea criticized the speech for its tough talk on its Northern neighbor, voicing concern that the message would make reunification talks more difficult. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the speech was undiplomatic.

Behind the scenes, the speech represents a major loss for the State Department. For example, the president's criticism of Iran was opposed by diplomats in the drafting, according to U.S. officials, because it would make recently revived talks with the country more difficult.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said the Iranians played a "helpful role" in talks in Bonn, Germany, and the Tokyo conference earlier this month on reconstruction aid for Afghanistan. Powell said the United States was keenly interested, for example, in watching Iran's activities in western Afghanistan.

"When we detect those kinds of activities, we call it to the attention of Iranian authorities through a variety of means to let them know that it is not the time, this is not the time for the great game to start again, that all of Afghanistan's neighbors should work together now," he said.

One State Department source Thursday said Bush's words would make it more difficult to discuss those concerns through the channels to which Powell referred.

The State Department had also hoped Bush would include one line pressing the Israelis and the Palestinians to work toward negotiating their differences and reaching a cease-fire. But the president said no such thing on Tuesday.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The points, according to State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, stress that the United States is using diplomatic, financial, legal and military means to fight terrorism. He stressed that the United States would work with its allies to stop shipments of weapons...
U.S.,Preps,Embassies,for,Anti-Bush,Fallout
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2002-00-31
Thursday, 31 January 2002 12:00 AM
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