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Wings Over America
Wings Over America
(2013 Remaster)

2001-Apr-19: The Meeting With Secretary Powell

Standing outside the State Department after his 9:00 a.m. meeting with United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, Sir Paul reported that:

"We had a really good meeting. And Secretary Powell was very helpful. And we basically explained to him our point of view, which -- a lot of which he agreed with. He expressed his support for Adopt-A-Minefield, which is hoping to clear all the mines in the world and allow people to go back to their fields and to their towns and get on with life.

"I expressed the point of view that even brave soldiers who defend the country, who have to be involved in that, I think even they themselves dislike the idea of leaving the war behind them and causing grief for civilians.  You have to imagine that you're living in a war zone and peace is suddenly declared.  The army goes away, you go to work on Monday morning and there are still snipers shooting at you in the trees. It's still dangerous to live in that country and this is the reality in places where landmines are.

"So the secretary is very understanding about that. And we're hoping now to use this meeting as a launch for a campaign to -- around the world -- to increase awareness about the land mine issue and eventually get to a mine-free future."

Did Sir Paul sing?  "I didn't sing, no, he sang for me," Sir Paul said with a smile, referring to the slightly hearing-impaired Secretary Powell.

And why is he launching this landmine campaign?  "I got roped in to lend my celebrity to the whole thing which I am very happy to do." he said, and pointing to lobby of the State
Department he added: "I must have signed about every autograph in there."

Secretary Powell offered no commitment to the landmine ban but said the meeting had been productive:

"I'm very proud of U.S. efforts to support the Adopt-A-Minefield program. And, also, we've contributed something like $500 million over the last several years -- seven years, to be precise -- to remove minefields. We still have concerns about the convention that Paul and Heather are so supportive of. We have some reservations. But there are many areas in which we can cooperate. And I was very pleased to have a chance to exchange views with both of them. And now I turn them over to you while I have to go back to work. Thank you. Good to see you, Paul. Bye-bye."

Sir Paul also announced today that his new solo album will be released in September.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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