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Officials React to Planned Release

April 11, 2001

Remarks Wednesday on the agreement on the U.S. crew:

``I am delighted that our crewmen and women are finally coming back to the United States after a tense and frustrating situation. I commend President Bush for his steady handling of this ordeal and for containing the damage to the relationship between our two countries.″ _ Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi.

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``The way in which the president handled this from the beginning, keeping sort of a lid on this thing, not letting it get out of hand, not yielding to the temptation of escalating it, not referring to our crew as hostages, etc., all was wise; it showed balance.″ _ Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del.

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``This incident calls into question our current policy of sending American trade dollars to a nation that has displayed signs of hostility toward the United States,″ _ Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.

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``This is not over. Some discussions will begin, and we still have our plane there. But this will all unfold in the days and weeks ahead.″ _ Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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``I’m elated. I’m just so ecstatic, I can’t tell you.″ _ Sandy Guidry of Satellite Beach, Fla., mother of Electronics Technician 2nd Class Scott Guidry.

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``Yippee.″ _ Amanda de Jesus of Long Beach, Calif., mother of crewman Josef Edmunds.

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``I think that the signals are pretty clear that mission one, which is to get the troops back, has been well handled by the administration.″ _ Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

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``I believe China was economically shooting itself in the foot. They want to be a member of the World Trade Organization and want the Olympics in 2008, and of course they want continued trade. Putting this incident behind them gets rid of this hot potato.″ _ Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.

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``It won’t be long. The procedures are already under way.″ _ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi.

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