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Middle East Digest - October 15, 2009


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Washington, DC
October 15, 2009

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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 October 15, 2009

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QUESTION: Has special – has Senator Mitchell met with the Israeli delegation?

MR. WOOD: Senator Mitchell is meeting today with the Israeli delegation, with Michael Herzog and Yitzhak Molcho. This is part of our continuing work to try to bring both sides to re-launch negotiations as soon as possible in an atmosphere that’s conducive to their success.

QUESTION: Is the meeting in the morning or in the afternoon?

MR. WOOD: I think the meetings may actually be going on now. I don’t have those details at this point.

QUESTION: And it’s here in Washington?

MR. WOOD: I’ll need to check on that. I think I had heard New York, but I’m not certain. I’ll – we’ll get you an answer to that.

QUESTION: Okay, that would be good. And then in her interview with the BBC yesterday, Secretary Clinton said, when asked about where things stood on the Israeli-Palestinian track, she said that her review – her report to the President was due on Friday and that she’d save her comments for that. And that’s certainly right; when the President announced this in New York, he said that he wanted a report by mid-October.

MR. WOOD: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: The other day, P.J. told us that, in fact, she was not going to report until after the meeting with the Palestinians on October the 20th. Which is it? Is she reporting by Friday or by – or after the 20th?

MR. WOOD: Well, I don’t know exactly which date, to be very honest with you, Arshad. But look, the Secretary looks forward to reporting to the President, and when she is comfortable with the material that she has to report to him on that. So I don’t know. I can’t say for certain, as I said, which date that will be. But she looks forward to doing that – doing it at the earliest opportunity.

QUESTION: Can you clarify that? Because obviously, it makes a difference in terms --

MR. WOOD: Sure.

QUESTION: -- of how you cover this. If you think that she’s going to report --

MR. WOOD: Absolutely.

QUESTION: -- tomorrow or --

MR. WOOD: Absolutely. We’ll try and get you some clarity on that.

QUESTION: Thank you.



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