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Secretary Condoleezza Rice Interview With Saad Sillawi of Al Arabiya TV

Interview With Saad Sillawi of Al Arabiya TV

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Dead Sea, Jordan
December 1, 2006

QUESTION: Are you willing to talk about Iraq with the Iranian and the Syrian in the future?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, the Iraqis are talking to their neighbors and that's wholly appropriate that they should talk to their neighbors. Their President was just in Iran, the Syrians were just in Baghdad to establish diplomatic relations. We have the International Compact which all of those states are part of the International Compact for Iraq. But let's not be confused, the fact is it's not the lack of contact with Syria and Iran, it's the lack of action on the part of Syria and Iran to support Iraq rather than to destabilize Iraq.

We have talked to the Syrians many times in the past about what needs to be done, about cutting off the flow of foreign fighters, terrorists from Syrian territory into Iraq. We have talked to them about the importance of supporting this Iraqi Government, but the Iraqis are in the lead here on --

QUESTION: One last question about Lebanon. Also you said you're supporting the Siniora government and at the same time, you lift all the air forces from the American workers in Israel to, you know, destroy Lebanon and the Lebanese. Today the Lebanese in the streets, they are -- the oppositions are in the streets against the Siniora government. So what's your comment?

SECRETARY RICE: Yeah. Well, first of all, the opponents of the Siniora government, many of whom have foreign sponsors in Syria and Iran, are in the streets. But the Siniora supporters were in the streets a few days ago. And so let's not forget how much support there is in Lebanon for the Siniora government. The United States is also, I personally and the President, very actively involved in getting a ceasefire that has led to an extraordinary circumstance in Lebanon: Lebanon's forces deployed throughout the country; Lebanese in control of their own future; and foreign, but this time United Nations, forces there helping the Lebanese to secure their sovereignty. So yes, the war is a terrible thing.

QUESTION: So you are not afraid from a war in Lebanon, a secular war in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq?

SECRETARY RICE: We believe that these people, whether they're in the Palestinians territories, in Lebanon or in Iraq, want a unified future and we are determined to help them to get that democratic and peaceful future.