For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 3, 2003
9:50 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I appreciate our Secretary of State
coming by to brief the Vice President and me and Condoleezza Rice about
our progress in working with the United Nations, convincing the United
Nations Security Council to firmly deal with a threat to world peace.
Before we talk about that, I do want to express our condolences to
those who lost their lives in Israel. It's been back-to-back suicide
bombings. We strongly condemn terror. We strongly condemn violence.
And we continue to send our message to the good people of that region
that if you're interested in peace, that if you want people to be able
to grow up in a peaceful world, all parties must do everything they can
to reject and stop violence.
At the United Nations Security Council it is very important that
the members understand that the credibility of the United Nations is at
stake, that the Security Council must be firm in its resolve to deal
with a truth threat to world peace, and that is Saddam Hussein. That
the United Nations Security Council must work with the United States
and Britain and other concerned parties to send a clear message that we
expect Saddam to disarm. And if the United Nations Security Council
won't deal with the problem, the United States and some of our friends
That's the message the Secretary of State has delivered
forcefully. That's the message that he will continue to carry.
And, Mr. Secretary, I appreciate your hard work. You're doing a
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: And we're proud of your efforts.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: I'll be glad to answer a few calls -- answers,
starting with Ron.
Q How many of our friends are willing to join the United States
in this effort?
THE PRESIDENT: Ron, I think time will tell. I think you're going
to see a lot of nations -- that a lot of nations love freedom. They
understand the threat. They understand that the credibility of the
United Nations is at stake. They heard me loud and clear when I said,
either you can be the United Nations, a capable body, a body able to
keep the peace, or you can be the League of Nations. And we're
confident that people will follow our lead.
Q Sir, the chief weapons inspector is going to be briefing the
U.N. Security Council today, and there have already been some reports
that, in his talks with the Iraqis, that they're limiting access to
certain sites. Are those reports true? And do you think they're
trying to --
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I haven't gotten a report from what he
intends to say. But let me give you just some general observations.
First of all, there are no negotiations to be held with Iraq. They
have nothing to negotiate. They're the people who said that they would
not have weapons of mass destruction. The negotiations are over. It
is up to the U.N. Security Council to lay out resolutions that
confirms what Iraq has already agreed to, see.
Secondly, I don't trust Iraq, and neither should the free world.
For 11 years, they have deceived the world. They have said, we'll
conform to resolutions. They've never conformed to resolutions.
They've never conformed to the agreement that they laid out 11 years
ago. Sixteen times they've defied Security resolutions.
And so, they -- the burden of proof is -- must be place
squarely on their shoulders. But there's no negotiations about whether
or not they've been telling the truth or not.
Let's see here -- Mark.
Q Mr. President, are you going to send Congress your proposed
resolution today? And are you asking for a blank check, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I am sending suggested language for a resolution.
I want -- I've asked for Congress' support to enable the
administration to keep the peace. And we look forward to a good,
constructive debate in Congress. I appreciate the fact that the
leadership recognizes we've got to move before the elections. I
appreciate the strong support we're getting from both Republicans and
Democrats, and look forward to working with them.
Q Mr. President, how important is it that that resolution give
you an authorization of the use of force?
THE PRESIDENT: That will be part of the resolution, the
authorization to use force. If you want to keep the peace, you've got
to have the authorization to use force. But it's -- this will be
-- this is a chance for Congress to indicate support. It's a chance
for Congress to say, we support the administration's ability to keep
the peace. That's what this is all about.
Q Will regime change be part of it?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. That's the policy of the government.
Campbell, congratulations, you got two questions in one day. And
it wasn't even a follow-up -- that's a brilliant performance.
END 9:56 A.M. EDT