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Text: Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Canadian Foreign Minister John Manley


eMedia Millworks
Friday, September 21, 2001

Following is the full text of Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's news conference with Canadian Foreign Minister John Manley.

POWELL: Well, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

It's been my great pleasure to welcome my Canadian colleague John Manley for another one of the many conversations that we have had in recent months. And it also gave me the opportunity, as secretary of state, to thank him and to thank the Canadian people and the Canadian government, especially the prime minister, for all the solid support that Canada has given to the United States in the days since the 11th of September. And also gave me a chance to express my condolences to those Canadians who lost family members in the World Trade Center.

Canada was one of the first on the scene with all kinds of help for us in this time of crisis, whether it was taking in some 20-odd-thousand airline travelers who were stranded--and there was no question about it. Canadian welcomed, extended fine Canadian hospitality, took care of them, and then finally helped us get those persons on the way to their destination.

Canadian fighters assisted us in guarding our airspace. Canadian volunteers came to New York to be of help. We had medical support, offers of blood, offers of rescue, every imaginable offer we received from our Canadian brothers and sisters. And the American people will be forever grateful for that offer of support and forever thankful.

And we will never forget the images we saw of the 100,000 Canadians who assembled on Parliament Hill to pay their respects to their American brothers and sisters. And this is a sign of the close relationship that exists between our two countries and two peoples, a relationship that can never be weakened and can only be strengthened in the years ahead.

So, John, it's a great pleasure to have you here, sir. And you may want to say a word.

MANLEY: Well, thank you very much. And I'm also pleased to have had another occasion for us to talk about not only the cooperation we have had, but of our intention to remain firmly at your side as we pursue this campaign against terrorism.

Canadians understand perfectly well that, although the attack on September 11 occurred in the United States, it was not directed only against the United States, Canadians not only died in the attack, but every freedom-loving country in the world was also an object of that attack, which would go to undermining the basis upon which all of us enjoy the opportunity to live in liberty.

So Canada remains, as the prime minister said to those crowds on Parliament Hill, not just a friend and a neighbor, but at times like this we're family.

POWELL: We have time for one or two questions.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, what do you expect from Canada in terms of the war on terrorism?

POWELL: It's a campaign against terrorism that will have an intelligence component, a law enforcement component, may have a military component, financial component, as we go at all the tentacles of terrorist organizations, beginning with Al Qaeda.

And I'm sure that Canada will offer her support in all of these areas, but I do not have specific items that I would go down on a list this afternoon, but I'm confident that we will continue to get support.

As you know, Canadian military forces are co-located with American military forces in a number of places, out in NORAD and the joint work we do to protect our airspace, contractor support aboard American ships. And so, wherever we think there is a role that Canada might be able to play in this campaign as we move forward, I know that I can call on my Canadian colleagues to take it under consideration and make a judgment at to whether they can help or not.

And I know they'll be coming to us to ask us for help, because it is a campaign, and they will have to do what is necessary to protect Canada as well.


MANLEY: Well, certainly I think we want to look at the effect of the appointment of Governor Ridge to this position and make sure, whether the prime minister chooses to create such a position or not, that we have developed the appropriate mechanisms in order to liaise directly with him in order that particularly we're in communication on a continuing basis about issues related to border security.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, have you had a chance to contemplate how our lives have changed? You've said many times that since September 11 our lives have changed. Have you--and you, Mr. Manley--had a chance to think about how our lives in this world have changed?

POWELL: Well, I think our lives have changed. For one thing, we're a little more conscious of security, we're concerned about how to go about protecting all of our facilities and our citizens.

I think our lives changed in the sense that we've got a better understanding of what's important, and we came together as a nation, we came together as a people, and some of the trivial issues that sometimes divided us were swept away with the magnitude of this tragedy.

But it's also important to remember that we are a people who live in an open society and we don't want the society to become closed. We need people to go back out to stores, we need people to go to movies and theaters, we need to restore a sense of normalcy in our life, while at the same time being mindful of the challenges to our security that exist.

But the terrorists will really have won if they've change our fundamental way of life. And they won't do that, they can't do that. But at the same time, we have to show an added level of security in order to protect ourselves and to protect our citizens.

MANLEY: Well, I think what I would add to that is that we, for the first time, are seeing that an act of devastation that we've previously only seen in war-time and only seen carried out by military forces that were under the direction of a government can be carried out by individuals acting together in a concerted way and wreak havoc on the free world.

And I think that realizing that the nature of the risks that we have and the affect that we could face from those risks is so great, is necessarily going to change the way we deal with that risk assessment and the security element in a whole series of ways in our life. The obvious one coming out of that particular disaster is airline safety and security, but undoubtedly it raises for us all a lot of other areas where we're going to look at how well we're doing in ensuring that important assets are secure and that we're protecting ourselves adequately.

POWELL: Thank you very much.

© 2001 The Washington Post Company