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Colin Powell to Arrive in Jerusalem

Aired April 11, 2002 - 14:00   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone, from Jerusalem. I'm Bill Hemmer. I want to say welcome to our viewers on CNN around the world. In what has become one of the more talked-about diplomatic missions in recent memory, the Secretary of State Colin Powell will be on the ground in Jerusalem within about two hours' time.

It's been rather circuitous journey, leaving Sunday night from the U.S. with stops in Egypt and Morocco and Spain, and now today, Amman, Jordan. In fact, we understand just a few moments ago, Colin Powell wrapped up a meeting there with King Hussein (sic) of Jordan. We do anticipate a statement from Colin Powell in about 20 minutes' time.

Meanwhile, from Amman, it will be off to Tel Aviv, and then later tonight, here in Jerusalem. And the schedule from there on out is packed, at least the first two days, anyway. Tomorrow on Friday, Colin Powell will meet with Ariel Sharon, the prime minister here in Israel. A three-hour meeting slated. Later, Shimon Peres will sit down with him, and also the defense minister, for a talk with Colin Powell.

On Saturday then it is off to Ramallah. Yasser Arafat still holed up inside of his compound there. He will meet face-to-face and sit down with Colin Powell again, Saturday morning here, in the Middle East.

We are standing by now awaiting an exclusive interview from Christiane Amanpour. She is in Amman. We'll have her interview with King Hussein (sic) coming up here in a few minutes' time. And again, as I mentioned, Colin Powell's statement will be live here on CNN in about 18 minutes at this time.

In the meantime, we'll also take you out to Ramallah. Michael Holmes is standing by outside there. John King is back in Washington for the high-level stakes right now, the White House is throwing down on this meeting and this trip for Colin Powell.

Speaking of Colin Powell, off to Andrea Koppel right now in Amman, who is traveling with the U.S. secretary of state. Andrea, good evening.

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Bill. We're expecting any minute now to have a press conference with Secretary Powell and we believe with the Jordanian foreign minister. The meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah has wrapped up.

And it's our understanding that King Abdullah had some rather encouraging words for Secretary Powell. He said that this trip was of tremendous importance and that he hoped that they were going to be able to discuss some kind of mechanism, some kind of plan as to how Jordan and Egypt, two moderate Arab states, both of whom have diplomatic relations and peace treaties with Israel, can help Powell as his diplomatic mission now moves, literally, into the eye of the storm.

Secretary Powell, earlier today, dismissed any suggestion that he was headed for a showdown with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. As you know, the U.S. and the international community have been demanding, really, that Israel withdraw its troops from the West Bank. And if anything, rather than slowing, it seems to be picking up steam. Israel expanding, just as it withdraws from a couple of villages, expands elsewhere.

So this is going to be anything but easy, Bill. Secretary Powell has not offered, at least publicly, any new ideas. But he still is trying to strike somewhat of an optimistic note, saying that he's not someone who gives into pessimism. And perhaps, with this new injection of hope and support from Jordan, a country which has 60 percent of its population Palestinian, perhaps that will help give him a new head of steam as he moves on to where you are later this evening.

HEMMER: All right, Andrea, thank you very much. And we do anticipate several days for Colin Powell to be here on the ground in Jerusalem. It's possible that that stay could be extended.

And before we go to Washington, let's clear something up right away. I meant King Abdullah. My apologies, my mistake. I said King Hussein. Indeed, my apologies and regrets there.

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