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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Press Briefing at Intercontinental Hotel
January 11, 2001, Paris, France
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Blue Line

QUESTION: In a word, is there any possibility at all that you might leave for the Middle East?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Not to my knowledge.

QUESTION: And what about Dennis (Ross)?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: There are no plans for him to go either.

QUESTION: Next week?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I don't know. It changes. The main point here is that we have wanted there to be more positive action in terms of controlling violence. There has been some work being done on that. We will continue to do everything we can, but the leaders themselves have to make the decisions. There are no plans to travel. But I don't want to mislead you, it changes all the time.

QUESTION: Is it delayed or…?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Delayed.

QUESTION: You are going to have a dinner at the invitation of the French Foreign Minister. What are you going to tell your European colleagues?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: It's mostly a social dinner. It's a dinner that Foreign Minister Vedrine thought up, because this particular group has spent I think probably more time together than any single group of foreign ministers. We were the ones who were on the phone daily during the Kosovo campaign, and then all the issues that had to do with the Balkans. It's a very close group.

QUESTION: Can you be sure that there won't be any dispute with the French or the Russian Ministers over uranium or issues like that?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: That's not the purpose of the evening. I don't think so. I imagine that tonight is going to be very jovial and friendly, good friends getting together to talk over all the things that we've done together.

QUESTION: Can you sum up in once sentence how you feel right now about going to your last dinner with your European colleagues? Your "Last Tango in Paris."

(laughter)

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: First of all, I really am very touched by the fact that they would want to have this dinner. It's a sign of genuine friendship, and despite the fact that we clearly have had certain disagreements along the way, that we are all involved in a common purpose. I thought a lot about 'the last time this," and 'the last time that.' We've been doing that now for a month or so with different things. Today I signed my last agreement with the Spanish. It's the last time of one set of relationships and tasks and the beginning of another. Since I will always care about foreign policy and about our relations with Europe, it's not the last time. It's the last time with fanfare.

And just to let you know that there's always a first time for everything…

CHIEF OF STAFF SHOCAS: The Secretary was just elected Chairman of the Board of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Effective when I leave office. I won't exactly be out of it, I'll just be in a different guise. The other part I wanted to say: my entire life has been made up of segments of interesting things to do. I obviously move from the most fascinating and honored job that an American can have into doing some other fascinating job.

Thank you.

[End of Document]
Blue Line

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