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Powell Plans Talks with Turkey

Powell Plans Talks with Turkey

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Secretary of State Colin Powell will travel to Turkey and to Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday for talks on the war with Iraq and postwar reconstruction of the country, a senior U.S. official said.

In Ankara, Powell will discuss with Turkish officials the U.S.-led coalition's war strategy, which Turkey is assisting by permitting use of its air space for combat aircraft.

In Brussels, he is expected to meet with both NATO and European Union officials, with the emphasis on postwar reconstruction, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

On both fronts, the administration has encountered strains.

Turkey banned the use of its territory for an invasion of Northern Iraq, foregoing a $6 billion special aid package.

But President Bush is asking Congress for $1 billion in special aid to Turkey to help cushion the economic impact of the war.

The Europeans, meanwhile, have split over the military operation, with key allies France and Germany refusing to back the United States. Powell's trip provides an opportunity to try to repair relations.

But in a jab at the Europeans, Bush's national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, told the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobby on Monday that if the United States had not stood for its principles in the past, "we would still be living in darkness" -- an apparent reference to U.S. intervention in European wars.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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