|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and|
Tanzanian Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete
Joint press availability following their meeting, State House
August 18, 1998, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
FOREIGN MINISTER KIKWETE: Madame Secretary of State, welcome to Tanzania and Dar Es Salaam in particular. We are sorry that you had to come under the present circumstances. We hope you will find time to come here on a happier situation. I am very happy and really deeply heartened that you were able to come. You have come here to see us, to console the bereaved families and the wounded. You have comforted us so much. We thank you very much.
Let me use this opportunity also to extend sincere condolences to the Americans who lost their lives in Nairobi, and also to express sincere sympathies to those who were wounded.
Madame Secretary, this is a common tragedy. We need to work together closely since the terrorists do the same. They do so for a criminal, heinous purpose; but we do so for a noble, humanitarian cause. Our investigating teams are working together very well. (Inaudible) they are ready to tell us is that they are making good progress.
I want to assure you, Madame Secretary, and through you to assure the Americans of two things: one, that the bomb blast has not in any way generated any hatred against the US or against Americans in Tanzania. We are friends; Americans are not the enemy. We know that the perpetrators of terrorism are the enemy. We both hate them; you hate them as much as we do. Secondly, I want to assure you that this incident is an isolated incident. Tanzania is still a very safe place for Americans and everybody else to come. So we appeal to you, Your Excellency, to convey this message of assurance to your countrymen and women. They should come to Tanzania as tourists, as investors, as business people. We are and we remain a haven of peace, as the word Dar Es Salaam means.
Madame Secretary, good to have you here. Welcome.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I am very pleased to be here in the haven of peace, Dar Es Salaam, to meet with the Vice President and the Foreign Minister.
My purpose in coming here is to deliver in person a message to the people of Tanzania from the people of the United States. We share your profound sorrow at the loss of loved ones, colleagues and friends in the bombing ten days ago. Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the dead, comfort the families and aid the survivors. I had the opportunity earlier this morning at the Muhimbili Medical Center to visit some of the injured, and I pray for their speedy recovery.
The terrorists would like to drive us apart, but they have only brought us closer together, as you have said, Mr. Foreign Minister. I congratulate the government of Tanzania for its courageous response to this tragedy, for its efforts to save and care for the victims and to assist in tracking down the perpetrators.
I am pleased that the United States has been able to provide a large quantity of medical supplies, and that I was able to bring additional supplies with me to Tanzania today. Moreover, as I have discussed with the Foreign Minister, we will be asking our Congress for funds to help rebuild, replenish emergency stockpiles and provide aid to victims and their families.
The bombings took the lives of Tanzanians, Kenyans and Americans. In each country cherished sons and daughters have died. Some worked in the American Embassy; others were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. We are reminded that terror is indiscriminate. It is the tool of cowards, and its victims are most often good, innocent people who are just trying to go about the business of their lives. Terror is not a form of political expression, and certainly not a manifestation of religious faith. It is murder, plain and simple; and those who perpetrate it, finance it and otherwise support it must be opposed by all decent people.
These attacks may have been directed at America, but if so, it is because America stands for peace in the world and for law, prosperity and democracy. I know these are the goals of Tanzanians and other Africans as well, and now, more than ever, we must continue to work toward those goals together.
Rest assured that these bombings will not cause America to back down or retreat. We will not be intimidated. We will maintain our presence in Africa and elsewhere where we are welcome or needed. We will maintain our commitment to building a strong new relationship with a new Africa.
QUESTION: US Secretary, according to reports – (inaudible) -- there is indication that material used for the two bombs -- that is, the one that was in Tanzania and the one in Nairobi -- are similar to the one that was used for the Oklahoma bombing. Now, the suspects are coming from the other side of the (inaudible). The second question when these suspects are (inaudible) under what law are they going to be prosecuted -- Kenyan or the United States law?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: First of all, let me say that it is, I think, inappropriate for me to comment in detail on the investigation itself. I was over at the embassy site earlier this morning, and I have seen how the joint US-Tanzanian investigative task force is working; how carefully the material is being assessed; and how very meticulous the work is. I think it, one, would be premature and, two, wrong for me to speculate on the kind of question that you have asked until all the evidence is in.
As far as the law is concerned, I think that those will be questions that our legal advisors will be talking about as to under what law, what extradition procedures. But first, I think that we have to make sure that we round up the suspects and deal with how they, the suspects, may be linked to, in fact, the physical evidence of the investigation. But those are the determinations that our various lawyers will have to make on that.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, you made quite clear your feelings on the policies and the practices of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But now it seems they might have something you want. I wonder if you see an occasion here to enter into some kind of engagement with the Taliban, because they want recognition and you want them to stop sheltering terrorists?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I think that we have said for some time that Taliban is a faction that we are not recognizing. We believe there needs to be a broad-based government in Afghanistan. We have been working with other countries within the UN to try to bring that about.
When I have been in the region and have had occasion to speak about the practices of the Taliban, I have pointed out that they are lacking in a whole host of areas which are important to us -- which are a commendable record on human rights; their inability to deal properly with narco-trafficking; their abominable treatment of women. Frankly, I think that a way for them to show that they wish to be a part of the international community is, in fact, to cooperate and not harbor terrorist elements.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, you spoke that you brought some additional medical supplies to Tanzania to help the families. (Inaudible.)
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: First of all, let me say that I mentioned that we were going to have this supplemental, and through that supplemental we want to assist the victims of the bombings who were not US Government employees and their families, as well as to help replace some of the local infrastructure.
But we do want to see what kind of assistance we could give to families in whatever form we can. For the Foreign Service Nationals we have established various funds, and for those Tanzanians that were in the region, we are working very hard to sort out the proper amounts to give.
Let me just say that we have been providing rescue efforts themselves, and we have also given $100,000 to Embassy Dar Es Salaam to procure medical supplies, and a second tranche of $25,000 has come as a result of the Charge's declaration of emergency.
We have given major surgical kits to conduct operations, minor surgical kits and various other medical supplies. We are going to be talking with the Charge' here about what can be done in order to assist as much as we can in helping the Department of Health and Human Services, and do what we can generally in terms of medical supplies and assistance as we get these supplementals together.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, with due respect for the nature of your visit here, I'm going to ask you to comment -- as the Cabinet official most staunchly defending President Clinton and the allegations against him earlier this year -- to comment on the statement he made to the American people last night?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: First of all, I think you accurately portrayed that this might not be the time and place to have this kind of a discussion. I have come to Africa on a mission of help and healing.
But I would like to state that I have complete confidence in the President, and he is doing a terrific job for the United States both domestically and in terms of our foreign policy. He has urged all of us to put this behind us and for all of us to do our jobs; and that is what I think I am doing here.
[End of Document]
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