WASHINGTON – German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Wednesday after a meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell that his government "rules out no option" in assisting the United States in its anti-terrorism campaign.
Fischer, who planned a meeting later in the day with President Bush, expressed full solidarity with the American people in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist acts.
He said he was not in a position to spell out how far Germany was willing to go in assisting the United States in its quest to find the perpetrators.
The United States is using a carrot-and-stick approach -- rewarding friends and punishing nations that don't sign up for a fierce new war on terrorism.
"In different nations the carrot may be bigger; in other nations, the stick may be bigger," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Tuesday.
Afghanistan is clearly the main recipient of the stick so far: the Bush administration has warned the ruling Taliban militia in Kabul that it faces military attacks for harboring suspected terrorist Usama bin Laden.
Pakistan, Indonesia and Jordan -- perhaps even Sudan -- may get carrots.
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said Pakistan should be rewarded for assisting the United States in pressuring the Taliban militia to turn over bin Laden and for agreeing to provide airspace rights for possible U.S. military action against Afghanistan.
"The United States is going to have to show the people in Pakistan that it's good to be in a good relationship with the United States," Brownback said, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Pakistan has been under U.S. sanctions because of its nuclear weapons program and the ouster of its democratic government two years ago by Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the current president.
Indonesia and Jordan, both Islamic countries that have spoken strongly against the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States, may find heightened Bush administration interest in concluding proposed trade agreements.
For Indonesia, there also may be the possibility of a renewal of military ties, suspended at the time of the upheaval in East Timor. Those issues were on the agenda Wednesday for the visit of Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri. Megawati was to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick after seeing President Bush and having lunch with him.
"That's an important symbol for the rest of the world of whether President Megawati will be successful with democracy and tolerance," Zoellick said.
Elsewhere, the United States has been looking for ways to promote a peace process in Sudan, but previously had little leverage with the Islamic government in Khartoum. In May, Bush called Sudan "a disaster for all human rights," blaming the government.
But Sudan issued a strong statement of support for the United States after the twin attacks last week in New York City and Washington, prompting Secretary of State Colin Powell to place a friendly call to the Sudanese foreign minister on Wednesday -- an extremely rare high-level communication.
On Friday, an official from Cuba's diplomatic mission visited the State Department and was asked for whatever information Cuba might have about the terrorist attack.
A similar request was made of diplomatic representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean at an earlier meeting to which the Cuban representative was not invited, officials said.
The Cuban Communist Party daily Granma confirmed the contacts Wednesday. It called for a prudent response to the terrorist acts and not revenge.
Cuba strongly condemned the Sept. 11 disaster that destroyed the World Trade Center's twin towers and heavily damaged the Pentagon, with tremendous loss of life.
Both Cuba and Sudan are now on a U.S. list of nations that support or sponsor terrorism, and U.S. officials acknowledge any cooperative countries are expected to seek something in return.
The attacks last week also hold out the possibility of closer U.S. ties with Russia. Washington and Moscow share hostility toward the Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Bilateral talks Wednesday in the two capitals are focusing on ways they can cooperate. In the event of tangible Russian cooperation, U.S. officials are expecting Russia to seek something in return from Washington.