Powell voices support for Israeli retaliation©Associated Press
December 5, 2001
BUCHAREST, Romania -- Secretary of State Colin Powell voiced qualified support Tuesday for Israeli retaliation for terror attacks and said Yasser Arafat must do more to control Palestinian terrorist groups.
"He needs to do a lot more than we've seen so far," Powell said at a 55-nation conference on antiterrorism that focused on international response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
In Washington, Israeli Ambassador David Ivry said Arafat must arrest terrorist suspects listed by the United States. He said the Palestinians detained by the Palestinian Authority were "third-echelon people."
Of retaliatory strikes launched by Israeli forces Monday and Tuesday for suicide bombings over the weekend, Powell said that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "is responding in a way that he believes is appropriate to defend his people and to defend his country."
Still, Powell added that as the current violence escalates in "action and counteraction," both sides need to remember "sooner or later you have to find a way to move forward."
"We have to get back to a process that will lead to a cease-fire," Powell said.
The recent terrorist attacks in the Middle East shared the spotlight with the U.S.-led war on terrorism in Afghanistan at the meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The organization passed a resolution asserting that its members "will not yield to terrorist threats, but will combat them by all means. ... This will require a long and sustained effort."
The organization includes all the nations of Europe, the United States, Canada and all the former Soviet republics. It was Powell's first stop on an eight-day, 10-nation trip to Europe and central Asia.
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From the AP