Day by Day

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Press Conference, Madeleine Albright, 16 December 1998 (emphases are mine):

Q: Madame Secretary, you've said that you talked to more than a dozen
of your counterparts today. France, since these strikes have started,
has issued a statement saying that it disassociated itself from the
military action. My question is, what are they telling you about the
reasons that, in effect, the US and Britain are acting alone?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I think that basically they have felt that
Saddam Hussein needs to comply, and they have approached it from a
different way. But the truth is they have no answers as to how to make
them comply. I think that we have support from a number of countries.

I feel very satisfied with the overall support -- not only for
diplomatic purposes, but I think that Secretary Cohen has also
indicated that we have the kind of support we need in order to carry
out our mission.

The bottom line is that it would be very nice if those who do not
support our approach had an approach that worked. We have not been
able -- either they, through their diplomatic efforts, or we through
ours -- to persuade Saddam Hussein to comply.
I think we've been at
this, as I've said -- in the last year there have been over four
crises with Saddam Hussein. I think the important point that I have
made as I've made my calls is that we have to break this cycle. Unless
people have an answer that works, I think they can go their way.
the bottom line here is I feel quite comfortable with the support we
have. And if I might say, as I said in my opening statement,
diplomatically the Security Council, which had been divided a year
ago, had come together recently with a 15 to nothing vote in support
of having Saddam Hussein comply.
So I think that basically we've got
the support we need.

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