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Middle East Digest - November 4, 2010

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Washington, DC
November 4, 2010


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 November 4, 2010

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2:10 p.m. EDT

MR. CROWLEY: In the Middle East, or here in Washington, Senator Mitchell met today with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, among others, to discuss continuing efforts to encourage the parties to advance towards negotiations on a two-state solution. This follows up on a lunch that Assistant Secretary Jeff Feltman hosted yesterday with Saeb Erekat. And as you’ve heard from the Secretary today, we do expect to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu next week. The details of that meeting are still being worked out.

QUESTION: The Secretary, in her remarks today, she seems confident that the negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians may resume, and she’s saying this after Mr. Erekat visit today and the Israeli chief negotiator was here last week. Is there any agreement or an understanding you can tell us about?

MR. CROWLEY: Samir, I think that if we reach a point where both sides agree to reenter direct negotiations, we’ll be the first to let you know. (Laughter.) I mean, we’re working through it, but this is still a work in progress.

QUESTION: Different subject?


QUESTION: Yesterday, the State Department designated Jundallah as a terrorist group – the Jundallah in Iran. I was wondering if this designation had anything to do with the Iranian Government’s accusations that the CIA has been backing this group.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, first of all, let me specifically address that accusation. It’s false. The United States does not support terrorism, did not have any relationship with Jundallah, has provided Jundallah with no support. We designated Jundallah for a simple reason: It met the criteria under U.S. law to be designated as a foreign terrorist organization. It has engaged in terrorism. It does represent a threat to the United States and to our interests in an important region of the world.

QUESTION: Different topic. There were reports that the U.S. and U.K. governments pressured YouTube to remove some videos posted by Anwar al-Awlaki. I was curious if that --

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not aware of any discussions we had with YouTube on that.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

MR. CROWLEY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Explosion of oil pipe in Yemen is – do you think that this is terrorist act or al-Qaida did this act?

MR. CROWLEY: I don’t know that we’re in a position to say that at this point, can’t say.

QUESTION: Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:32 p.m.)

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