Albright opens talks with Mubarak over Iraq
February 3, 1998
Albright and Bahrain's foreign minister, Sheikh
Mohammad bin Mubarak al-Khalifa
Web posted at: 12:56 p.m. EST (1756 GMT)
CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright began talks Tuesday with Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak, as she wound up visits to Europe and the Middle East
to shore up support for a possible military strike against
Mubarak, a key U.S. ally, has opposed the use of force
Albright arrived in Cairo from Bahrain, where she said she
was confident the United States would have "all the
cooperation we need" from Persian Gulf states if action
against Iraq became necessary.
"I have had very positive support -- whether from (Jordan's)
King Hussein, the emir here, or Kuwait or Saudi Arabia -- for
what we are seeking," she said. Albright made the comments
earlier in the day in Bahrain's capital of Manama, after
meeting with the emir, Sheikh Isa bin Sulman al Khalifa, and
However, Albright was evasive about whether Bahrain had
agreed to allow the use of its military bases for U.S. air
strikes against Iraq.
"I'm not going to comment on specific countries or
operational details. But we believe we will have the
cooperation we need to use our forces, if necessary, from all
the countries," she said.
Bahrain, a Gulf Arab island, is regional headquarters of the
U.S. Fifth Fleet.
Washington has repeatedly threatened military force if Iraq
cannot be persuaded by diplomacy to comply with U.N. demands
to give full access to U.N. arms inspectors seeking to ensure
the country's elimination of biological, chemical and nuclear
weapons of mass destruction.
The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz is stationed in the
The United States has assembled a powerful multi-service
force to keep the pressure on Iraq in the standoff over U.N.
inspectors' access to suspected weapons sites.
Two aircraft carrier battle groups are patrolling the Gulf
region with 108 embarked tactical aircraft, able to hit
targets 1,000 miles (1,600 km) or more away with high-
Overall, about 25,000 U.S. personnel have been deployed in
the region, including about 8,000 airmen and 3,000 Army
troops, according to the U.S. Central Command that is
responsible for coordinating U.S. forces in the area.
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