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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

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Aired October 27, 2003 - 16:02   ET

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

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Well right now we want to take you to something live going on at the State Department. Secretary of State Colin Powell talking to reporters.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

QUESTION: Are we seeing or witnessing increasing tension here or are you doing anything to reduce it?

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: We're encouraging both sides to lower the tension and lower the rhetorical tension as well. These sorts of statements do not assist us, do not assist any of the parties in the region to try to move forward, just heighten tension. So I would encourage both sides to refrain from these kinds of rhetorical threats.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, with the latest bombings in Iraq this morning, do you think that the security environment is sufficient for you to be able to continue with the reconstruction at a decent pace?

POWELL: Well, today was a difficult day, the last 24 hours have been very difficult. We don't know if it's a spike as a result of beginning of Ramadan or whether it is something that we'll see continue.

But I know that our military authorities are hard at work on bringing it under control, and we're going ahead with our reconstruction plans and efforts. And we'll do whatever it is possible for us to do, subject, of course, to the security conditions. But it's been a bad 24 hours.

But as the president and Ambassador Bremer said earlier, there are a lot of good things going on. And some days those good things are all you read about in the newspapers and other days it's the tragedies that have been caused by remnants of the regime and terrorists, who, as the president said, don't want to see peace and freedom take hold in Iraq.

POWELL: And we will not let them defeat the forces of freedom or deny the Iraqi people the longed-for democracy and peace that they desire and deserve.

QUESTION: Is the ICRC (UNINTELLIGIBLE) scaling back? Are you worried that U.S. contractors, NGOs, are going to be pulling out?

POWELL: Yes, it's of concern to us. And we hope that contractors, NGOs and the ICRC and the U.N. will make a considered assessment of their security situation and hope they can find it appropriate to stay.

They are needed. Their work is needed. And if they are driven out, then the terrorists win. But they have to balance that desire to do the job and stay with their security needs. And I hope that they are in close contact with Ambassador Bremer and General Sanchez and our authorities in the region to see what can be done that, if not necessarily provide them protection, but to provide them a safer environment in which to work.

Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Secretary of State Colin Powell talking to reporters after a meeting with the deputy prime minister of the united Arab emirates, answering questions primarily about Iraq and the violence there this day.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Well right now we want to take you to something live going on at the State Department. Secretary of State Colin Powell talking to reporters.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

QUESTION: Are we seeing or witnessing increasing tension here or are you doing anything to reduce it?

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: We're encouraging both sides to lower the tension and lower the rhetorical tension as well. These sorts of statements do not assist us, do not assist any of the parties in the region to try to move forward, just heighten tension. So I would encourage both sides to refrain from these kinds of rhetorical threats.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, with the latest bombings in Iraq this morning, do you think that the security environment is sufficient for you to be able to continue with the reconstruction at a decent pace?

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