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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Bush, Abdullah Press Conference

Aired September 18, 2003 - 10:07   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: This weather had an impact on President Bush. His meeting, his summit with Jordan's King Abdullah moved to Camp David. That's where they are having a news conference right now. Let's listen into President Bush.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... can have a hopeful future.

But the first thing that must happen is an absolute condemnation and defeat of those forces who will kill innocent people in order to stop a peace process from going forward.

Your Majesty, you want to call on somebody?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) provides a monitoring system to ensure that Israelis and Palestinians are fulfilling their obligations and the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) own envoy in the region to monitor the process. What about enforcing stricter monitoring mechanism involving the quartet and the international community?

KING ABDULLAH II, JORDAN: Well, I think that these are some of the issues that we can discuss. I think it's more important now to see how we can move the process back on track.

I'm sure monitoring and other issues out there can be discussed at a later date. We're talking now about the principle of getting the movement forward again, and Israelis and Palestinians engaging positively in the right direction.

BUSH: Let me remind -- I gave a speech on June 24, 2002, which laid out a vision for how to achieve peace. And it said everybody's got responsibilities.

His Majesty's assumed his responsibility. He's a leader. He has stood up and said, "We will work for a peaceful solution."

Other leaders in the region must do the same. We must cut off money to terrorist organizations. We must work together. Israel's got responsibilities.

But let me remind you that it is very difficult to stay on a road to peace when there are terrorists bombing and killing people, and that's what must be stopped. In order for there to be a peace, we must stop terror. And it requires a collective effort. All people are responsible. And the speech I gave on June 24th still stands as at least the U.S. view of how to achieve what we want, which is peace and a Palestinian state.

I think a Palestinian state is one of the most hopeful things for the Palestinian people, and for the Israelis, for that matter. But first things first: Defeat those who want to stop this from happening.

And make no mistake about it, the terrorists who are bombing and killing aren't interested in a peaceful Palestinian state. They don't share our mutual vision, a peaceful vision and a hopeful vision.

QUESTION: Do you think that we can count on the Europeans to provide financial contributions for Iraq and what happens if they don't?

BUSH: Do I think that we can count on the Europeans to provide -- yes. I think we're getting help. And I would remind you that there is a -- two multinational divisions, led by -- one led by Britain and one led by Poland -- full of other European countries. And that's help.

In terms of reconstruction aid, we're getting help and Colin Powell continues to ask for help.

One of the things I must do and will continue to do is make the case that a peaceful and secure Iraq is not only in the interest of the neighborhood, certainly in Jordan's interest that there'd be a nation that is peaceful and prosperous, but it's in Europe's interest, as well, and the American's interest.

You see, freedom in Iraq will change the nature of the neighborhood in a positive way. A free Iraq will mean this good man will have a partner in peace, somebody with whom he can work. Not only establish good trade, but to work for additional peace. And it's in Europe's interest that that happen.

And so, we will continue to make the case that reconstruction aid is necessary and we'll also remind our European friends that we're making good progress there; that businesses are beginning to flourish, hospitals are open, pregnant women are receiving medicines, young children are getting vaccinated.

I mean, there's case after case after case, where life is improving for the avenue Iraqi citizen. And we would hope they would participate in this momentum that is taking place on a daily basis.

It is -- I can't -- we'll see. I will have a much better feel for attitude after next week. As you know, I'll be at the United Nations General Assembly. We'll be giving an address there Tuesday morning and will be meeting with a variety of world leaders.

His Majesty and I, he will be giving me a report on what he knows. He has a pretty good antenna. He's well plugged in. He knows what what's going on in the world. He's got good friends in Europe. He will -- part of our discussions will center on how best to broaden the coalition of participants.

QUESTION: Will you have a U.N. resolution by the time you get to New York?

BUSH: Probably not. We're still working it.

The question was, "Will we have a U.N. resolution by the time I get to New York?" No, I don't think so. It could be. We'll continue to work it, though.

And the whole purpose, of course, is to make sure that the nations feel -- if they need a U.N. resolution, they'll have one in order to justify participation.

And the other thing, of course, is that the U.N. resolution must promote an orderly transfer of sovereignty to what will be a freely elected government based upon a constitution. So in other words, when I said the constitution must be written and there'll be free elections and then sovereignty will occur once the Iraqi people are able to express their opinions -- and so we'll be working on that as well.

Listen, thank you all for coming. We appreciate you all, as well, adjusting your schedules. I know this was suppose to take place at a different time, but we wanted to get this over with so that you didn't have to float down the hill, if you know what I mean.

And by the way, we're very well prepared for Hurricane Isabel. I met this morning by CVITS (ph), that's a video conferencing, with Tom Ridge and John Gordon of the NSC staff; fully briefed on the path of the storm. I'm assured that the Homeland Security Department is in close contact with the state's emergency preparedness offices. We've got prepositioned equipment in place. Proper warnings have gone out. And the communication systems are up and running so that when the storm hits the response for the citizens will be an effective response.

Of course, I'll be monitoring the situation. I'll be in close contact with the emergency management people.

All right, get going before it starts raining.

Thank you all very much.

KAGAN: President Bush giving his weather orders there. As he mentioned Isabel, the hurricane has impacted this meeting with Jordan's King Abduallah, moving up this news conference and in fact moving to event to Camp David.

The two leaders holding this and talking about issues in the Middle East with the peace process in tatters between Palestinians and Israelis. And also talking about the future of the Iraq, two key world issues that King Abdullah, as the president said is turned into, and will be advising the president.

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