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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Ian Kelly
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
October 6, 2009

Index for Today's Briefing
    • Events of September 28 / U.S. Conveyed Deep Outrage to Highest Levels of Government / A/S Carson and DAS Fitzgerald Remarks / Call on Captain Camara to Restore Order / Secretary Clinton before the UN Security Council / UN and International Community Must Act Now to End Crisis
    • French Foreign Minister Kouchner Call for International Intervention / Burkina Faso President Compaore Travel to Conakry / U.S. Continues to Stay Engaged Diplomatically / Draw Down of American Personnel / At Emergency Staffing Levels / Travel Warning
    • Secretary Clinton's Meeting with Foreign Minister Qureshi
    • Efforts toward Denuclearization of Korean Peninsula / Ambassadors Bosworth and Kim Efforts / Deputy Secretary Steinberg Efforts in the Region / Support of Bilateral Dialogue / Six-Party Talks
    • North Korean Statements on Resumption of Talks / U.S. Embassy Officials to Meet with Chinese Officials / Refrain from Qualifying North Korean Statements on Resumption of Talks


1:21 p.m. EDT

MR. KELLY: Afternoon. Let me give you, first of all, kind of an update on some of the activities going on. First of all, let me say that U.S. officials have conveyed deep outrage to the highest levels of the Government of Guinea over the horrendous events of September 28.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State William Fitzgerald have told Guinea’s Foreign Minister Loua and junta leader Dadis Camara respectively that the U.S. Government condemned the massacre and egregious human rights violations of September 28. They called on Captain Camara to restore order, ensure better command and control over the security forces, and permit an international investigation into these events.

It is precisely because of these horrific events of September 28 that Secretary Clinton went to the Security Council last week and called for urgent action to protect women and girls, war’s most violated and vulnerable victims. The UN and the international community must act now to end this crisis.

And then, as you know, the Secretary has a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi this afternoon at 3 o’clock. And this meeting will be followed immediately by a press availability.

So with those brief remarks at the top, I’ll take your questions.

QUESTION: Can I ask --

MR. KELLY: Dave, yeah.

QUESTION: You expressed your outrage, but is there anything else the United States can do sort of tangibly to drive home its concerns? I mean, I think we suspended aid a year ago when they had the coupe. Is there anything – any arrows in your quiver, so to speak, for that?

MR. KELLY: Well, I think one of the most important arrows is the arrow that we’ve been using, really, across the board. And that’s working with our partners and allies. I think you’ve seen that foreign minister – French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has also called for international intervention to the – in the situation. President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso is expected to arrive in Conakry under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States to help resolve the situation. And we are very actively engaged. We continue to stay engaged at the diplomatic level, both here in Washington and in Conakry. I think you’ve probably seen that we have drawn down our personnel there. We are at emergency staffing levels. The Department has also issued a travel warning for American citizens, and we are very deeply engaged in this and extremely concerned with the situation.

QUESTION: A question for – on North Korea.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: I know you put out a statement last night, but I want to know if you could be more specific about whether you find it encouraging that the North Koreans would suggest returning to the Six-Party Talks?

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: And also whether this would potentially indicate moving closer to a decision on –

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: – the bilateral talk?

MR. KELLY: Well, you know what our goal is, and all of our efforts are really put behind that goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We have had tremendous efforts in coordinating with our partners. We had Ambassador Bosworth and Ambassador Kim going out there a few weeks ago for talks with all of our partners. More recently, we had Deputy Secretary Steinberg out in the region where he also talked with several of our partners. And our policy is very clear, that we would support a bilateral dialogue that is within the context of the Six-Party Talks – in other words in close coordination, done in close consultation with our partners, as long as those talks led to a resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

Now, regarding the statements that we saw yesterday, those are – for the moment, what we know is what we’ve seen in the press. The Chinese officials who are in Pyongyang have only just – literally, just returned to Beijing. And our Embassy in Beijing is going to seek a meeting with them, and we look forward to learning more details of what was discussed in Pyongyang regarding the Six-Party Talks. But until then, we’re going to refrain from adding some kind of qualifier to how to characterize these talks.

QUESTION: And the President is encouraging our – otherwise?

MR. KELLY: Well, again, we need to find out more details. And clearly, if we’re on a path leading to our goal, of course that’s encouraging, but we’re going to – I’m not going to characterize it until we talk to our Chinese partners.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. KELLY: Okay.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:28 p.m.)

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