Five ex-secretaries of state urge talks with
September 15, 2008 - 7:05pm
Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, left, and
Madeleine Albright are pictured in
By BARRY SCHWEID
AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Five former secretaries of state,
gathering to give their best advice to the next president, agreed Monday that
The wide-ranging, 90-minute session in a packed auditorium at The George Washington University, produced exceptional unity among Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Warren Christopher, Henry A. Kissinger and James A. Baker III.
But they didn't agree on who should move into the Oval Office next January.
Albright, a Democrat, surprised no one by endorsing Barack Obama. "It would be sending a message of diversity" to the world, she said, drawing cheers from an audience of dozens of diplomats and hundreds of students.
Baker, a Republican, said he wished to send a "powerful
Powell, the first African American secretary of state, said he had not decided yet. "I am an American first," Powell said.
He said he had told Obama, "I am not going to vote for you just because you are black." The critical issue, he said, "is who is going to keep us safe."
The Bush administration has dragged its feet on even minimal
Nor did they suggest the
"The military options are very poor," Christopher said. "And we have to tell the Israelis that."
Kissinger, for his part, said he favored negotiations with
Kissinger, secretary of state in the Nixon and Ford
administrations from 1973-1977, said the
Albright said she would begin the talks at the State Department level. "You need to engage with countries you have problems with," she said.
Secretary of state in the
As the five former secretaries cruised through world issues,
they hewed to a line that the
Christopher, who preceded Albright in the
And Powell, who served President Bush from 2001-2005, sought
to allay suspicions that
It was "foolhardy," he said, for Georgian
President Mikhail Saakashvili to "light a match" with a military
And Baker, secretary of state for President George H.W. Bush
from 1989-1992, said he did not think "there is a deal to be struck"
(Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Please report any
broken links to
Copyright © 1988-2012 irfi.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer