Powell to Meet Arroyo, Other Int'l Leaders

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON, DC (AP) US Secretary of State Colin Powell is sounding out leaders from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia on the Bush administrations newly enunciated policies for confronting terrorist groups and enemy countries attempting to build weapons of mass destruction.

Powell was planning a meeting Friday in New York City with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, plus discussions with the foreign ministers of France, Israel, and South Korea and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) foreign secretary.

The meetings were taking place on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting, attended by thousands of business, political, academic, and religious leaders.

Powell was expected to seek support for US President George W. Bush's effort to call attention to the dangers he believes are posed by North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Bush said these countries and their terrorist allies constituted an "axis of evil."

One topic on Powell's agenda with Arroyo was the status of the US effort to help defeat what he described as terrorist activity in her country. The US role consists mostly of training of Filipino troops.

Powell also was planning to brief Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres on his meeting Thursday with Jordan's King Abdullah II and on US efforts to persuade Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to end Palestinian violence directed at Israel.

Powell and Peres also planned to discuss the upcoming visit to Washington of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Powell's meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Han Song Su was likely to include a discussion of Bush's contention that North Korea's weapons program poses a threat to world peace.

North Korea responded Thursday by calling Bush's comments a "little short" of a war declaration

Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, reinforcing the president's comments, said North Korea was "the world's No. 1 merchant for ballistic missiles."

She said the United States has offered "a road map" to North Korea in its efforts to halt that practice, but "we've had no serious response from Pyongyang."

Terrorism

WASHINGTON, DC (Reuters) - The United States warned anew nations backing terrorism and unveiled plans to spend billions more dollars on arms.

"If you're one of these nations that developed weapons of mass destruction and you're likely to team up with a terrorist group or you're now sponsoring terror, and you don't hold the values that we hold dear true to your heart, then you too are on our watch list," US President George W. Bush said in a speech in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

Bush, who has made the "war on terrorism" the main theme of his presidency since the Sept. …