01 April 2003 21:59 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNI)--Representatives of the global chemicals industry were given a stark reminder on Tuesday of the dangers currently posed to world peace and prosperity.
Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told delegates here at the 28th NPRA International Petrochemical Conference (IPC)* that she had seen few times more dangerous or disturbing.
In an address which acknowledged that no industry was more globally oriented than chemicals, Albright listed Iraq, terrorism, lack of progress in Arab-Israeli peace talks, India/Pakistan tensions and North Korea as the five most serious threats.
Albright identified Al-Qaida and terrorism as the biggest danger and expressed concern that the war with Iraq could prove "a valuable recruiting tool" for terrorists. "It is an illusion to believe that the US occupation of Baghdad will go unopposed."
She expressed confidence, however, in the outcome of the war with Iraq and said that "militarily if not diplomatically time is on the side of the US".
Nevertheless, she acknowledged that the US' image had not been so tarnished around the world since the Vietnam War and urged America to work closely with the United Nations (UN) in the rebuilding of Iraq.
Albright, who is now chairman of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and founder of global strategy firm The Albright Group, stressed to chemical industry representatives that a solution must be found to the Arab-Israeli crisis to end the seemingly endless cycle of violence in the Middle East.
*Sponsored by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, the IPC opened on Sunday and concludes today.
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