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Middle East Digest - July 14, 2009

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Washington, DC
July 14, 2009


The Middle East Digest provides text and audio from the Daily Press Briefing. For the full briefings, please visit daily press briefings.

From the Daily Press Briefing of July 14, 2009

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12:52 p.m. EDT

QUESTION: I’m sorry if you covered this last week, but the – with the release of the four Iranians who were sent back from Iraq, have you heard anything further on --


QUESTION: Five. Thank you, Matt. On the release of Levinson – I mean, on Levinson’s whereabouts, Robert Levinson or --

MR. KELLY: No, we haven’t. And of course, we continue to call for more information about Mr. Levinson. We also have some concerns about Mrs. Momeni, whose passport hasn’t been returned, which has not enabled her to be able to travel. And of course, we’ve called for the release of the American citizen.


QUESTION: Yes. Mr. Fred Hoff, who works with Senator Mitchell, is visiting Israel, and there are reports that he’s going to Syria also to promote starting the talks between Israel and the Syrians. And can you tell us anything about the – his mission? And also, is Senator Mitchell still planning to go to the Middle East?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Frederick Hoff works in Senator Mitchell’s office. He’s Special Coordinator for Regional Affairs in the Office of the Special Envoy. He’s currently in Israel meeting with senior officials, and after Israel, he does plan to visit Damascus. The visit is part of ongoing efforts by Senator, or Special Envoy, Mitchell and his team to secure a lasting comprehensive peace in the region.

Senator – I keep calling him Senator, I guess I can call him Senator – Special Envoy Mitchell does plan to go to the region soon, but we don’t have the details of that trip. I know he’s going to Israel, but I don’t have other details on it.

QUESTION: Thank you.


QUESTION: The Secretary will be visiting India and Thailand. Does she have any plans of stopping by or visiting Afghanistan and Pakistan during this trip?

MR. KELLY: I’m sure that she will visit Afghanistan and Pakistan, but not on this visit. It’s just to India and Thailand.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:20 p.m.)

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