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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
October 7, 2009


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Index for Today's Briefing
  • SECRETARY
    • Remarks at Young Global Leaders Roundtable
    • Meeting with Quartet Representative Tony Blair
    • Meetings at White House on Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • ISRAEL/PALESTINIANS
    • Defer Discussion of Goldstone Report So It Wouldn't Become Impediment to Talks / Libyan Request on Security Council Agenda
    • Report Raised Serious Allegations / Should be Discussed in Constructive and Non-divisive Manner in Human Rights Council / Sensitive Time in Trying to Re-launch Negotiations Between Israelis and Palestinians / Senator Mitchell Arrived to Resume Talks / Should Stay Focused on Addressing Underlying Causes of the Tragic Events Covered in the Goldstone Report
    • U.S. Urged Palestinians to Demonstrate Commitment / U.S. Supports Process Leading to Restart of Significant Negotiations Between Israelis and Palestinians
    • Allegations in Report Need to be Addressed / Urged Both Sides to Take Steps to Address and Investigate Allegations / Concerned About Number of Civilians Killed in Operation / Need to Stay Focused on Long-Term Goal of Addressing Underlying Causes of Conflict
  • NORTH KOREA
    • Embassy Received Readout on Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to North Korea / Consulting with Partners / Welcome Chinese Efforts to Convince North Koreans to Return to Six-Party Talks / Hope Will Lead to Resumption of Six-Party Talks, Denuclearization of Peninsula / Haven't Made Decision on Whether To Have Bilateral Talks / Only Open to Bilateral Dialogue That Would Lead to Resumption of Six-Party Talks.
  • IRAN
    • Funding Priorities Unchanged for Region / Support Civil Society and Advocacy Promoting Human Rights and Rule of Law and Increasing Access to Sources of Information
    • Selling Uranium Done Under Auspices of the IAEA
    • Inspection at Qom Will Take Place on October 25th
  • RUSSIA
    • Secretary Clinton Will Visit on the 13th and 14th / Half of Program Devoted to Official Meetings
    • Have Encouraged Russians to Participate in Development of ABM Architecture / Focused on Successor Regime for the START treaty PAKISTAN
    • Foreign Minister Qureshi Said Trying to Develop a Partnership / Very Important to Do Transparently / Monitoring Mechanisms Not Intended to Impinge on Pakistan's Sovereignty / Common Interest is Goal of Meeting Challenge of Violent Extremism / Want to Modernize the Embassy / Expanding Number of Personnel / A Modern and Effective Pakistani Military in Our Interest as well as Pakistan's Interest
    • Learned from Experience in Afghanistan / Key to Build up Capacity of Government to Deliver Good Governance and Services to their Population
  • ZIMBABWE
    • Continue to Support People of Zimbabwe with Humanitarian Aid and Assistance / Targeted Sanctions Not Directed Against People of Zimbabwe / Encourage Mr. Mugabe to Fully Implement Global Political Agreement / Show Commitment Through Real Concrete Action
  • HONDURAS
    • A/S Shannon in Tegucigalpa with OAS Mission of Foreign Ministers / Meet with All Parties That Can Play Role in Resolving Crisis / Goal of Mission to Encourage Meaningful Dialogue Between Parties to Lead to Implementation of San Jose Accord / Anticipate OAS Mission Will Talk with Micheletti, Zelaya


TRANSCRIPT:

1:18 p.m. EDT

MR. KELLY: Afternoon. Let me first bring you up to date on the Secretary’s schedule. This morning, she made brief remarks at the Young Global Leaders Roundtable, which is a – it’s a program organized by the World Economic Forum. It brings together a hundred young leaders from around the world, and these young leaders develop task forces to make recommendations on challenges facing the international community, such as climate change, development issues, security issues.

In about 40 minutes, she’s meeting with Quartet Representative Tony Blair. That’s closed press, but there will be a camera spray. They expect to discuss ways the international community can help the Palestinians develop institutions and develop their economy and improve conditions in general for Middle East peace.

There are also several closed press meetings at the White House today. This morning, President – I mean, Secretary Clinton met with General Jones and Secretary Gates, and then there will be a meeting of the National Security Council this afternoon. And this is all part of the whole process of discussing the way forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

So with that, I’ll turn it over to your questions.

QUESTION: Can I ask you about your friends, the Libyans, who seem determined not to allow the Goldstone report to go gently into that good night or just fall off the radar screen, which is what you’ve been hoping to do?

MR. KELLY: Well, I don’t agree with that, Matt. I think what we --

QUESTION: What?

MR. KELLY: What we wanted to do was defer discussion of it so it wouldn't become an impediment to the talks going on which are designed to develop the resumption of talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

QUESTION: Right. And now, today, the Libyans are raising it at the Security Council, which is precisely what you didn’t want to happen.

MR. KELLY: Well --

QUESTION: What are you going to do, and how are you going to prevent this from turning into a giant mess – even more of a mess than it already is for Abbas, who’s under very, very heavy pressure and criticism at home?

MR. KELLY: I think what’s going on today is there is a – it’s on the agenda of the Security Council, a regular Security Council meeting, to discuss the Libyan request. I don’t think that they’re discussing the overall issue, though, which is the Goldstone report. But I think you know what our policy is --

QUESTION: Isn’t it a fact that the Libyans have asked for the report to be discussed by the Security Council?

MR. KELLY: I believe that they have made a request to --

QUESTION: So whether they’re actually going to be talking about the content of the report today or not, they’re still going to be talking about it, and that’s exactly what you didn’t want to happen.

MR. KELLY: That – well, I mean, I – as I’ve said before and we said many times that we believe that the report raised some very serious allegations that should be reviewed that – but we also believe that these issues should be discussed in a constructive and non-divisive manner. And for that reason, we believe that the place for this kind of discussion is in the Human Rights Council.

QUESTION: So what are you going to do at the Security Council to keep it from being discussed?

MR. KELLY: Well, it will be raised today, this afternoon, and I imagine that there will be discussion on whether or not to have a more general discussion of it.

QUESTION: Right. Exactly. And presumably, you’re opposed to having a more general discussion of it, correct?

MR. KELLY: We believe that the proper place for a discussion of this is the Human Rights Council.

QUESTION: So what will you do to prevent it from coming before the Security Council?

MR. KELLY: Well, I would imagine that what we’re going to do is point out what I just pointed out, that we are at a sensitive time in trying to re-launch these negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Senator Mitchell arrived this morning to resume these talks with the Israelis and Palestinians, and we think that we should all stay focused on that objective of addressing the underlying causes of the tragic events that are covered in the Goldstone report, which is the lack of a comprehensive peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and a solution to this longstanding conflict, which we believe, and which both sides also believe – they share the same goal of having two states living side by side in peace and security.

QUESTION: Are you prepared to use your veto at the Security Council to prevent this from --

MR. KELLY: Well, you’re asking me to – you’re asking me to look into the future and prejudge what we will or what we won’t do.

QUESTION: I’m asking you about your strategy. What I’ve been trying to get at is trying to figure out what your strategy is --

MR. KELLY: Well, we’ll see --

QUESTION: -- in the Security Council to prevent it from being raised --

MR. KELLY: Right. We’ll see what happens at 4 o'clock today in this closed session of the UN Security Council.

Yeah, Lach.

QUESTION: Do you see it as provoking controversy among the Palestinians and that the – Abbas’s position, your partner in the peace talks, is undermined --

MR. KELLY: Well --

QUESTION: -- by the decision to delay it, which you pressured the Palestinians to do?

MR. KELLY: Well, we – I disagree with you that we pressured the Palestinians.

QUESTION: But you asked --

MR. KELLY: We believe that it was in the interest of all concerned, of all who share this common goal of re-launching these negotiations, to delay discussion of this report. And as I said, this is what we are focused on is a long-term objective of getting to a point where we can talk about a real solution to the problems that caused these terrible events in Gaza.

QUESTION: But you’re not going to get a solution if you continually have a weak Palestinian partner --

MR. KELLY: Well --

QUESTION: -- divided also with Hamas, and apparently, one of the first casualties is this reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah that --

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I’m not sure that that is --

QUESTION: Will it be delayed now?

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I’m not sure that it will be delayed. I mean, we, of course, have urged the Palestinians to demonstrate that they are committed to what they say they’re committed to, and that’s a Palestinian state that can live side by side with Israel. And they need to commit to renouncing violence, to building on previous agreements and obligations. And we, of course, hope that we can play a helpful role in getting to the point where the – where we can start – or restart the process towards this shared goal.

QUESTION: Do you support the reconciliation deal as outlined by the Egyptian brokers, the Hamas-Fatah deal?

MR. KELLY: I – yeah, I mean, clearly, we support a process that would lead to a restart of significant negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. I don’t know enough about the Egyptian proposal. I don’t know enough about the details of it to really pronounce on whether or not this is the way to go.

Yeah, Arshad.

QUESTION: A different topic?

QUESTION: Can we just – I just want to get something clear. Did you tell – have you told the Libyans or asked the Libyans not to do this, and they just basically blew you off?

MR. KELLY: Well, I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that question.

Yeah, Arshad.

QUESTION: Same topic?

QUESTION: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Same topic.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: On – you’ve made your position public that this report should be deferred. How do you think your position on the Goldstone report is going to impact U.S. relations with the Muslim world?

MR. KELLY: Look, we have said all along that – and I just said a few minutes ago that there are serious allegations in this report. And these allegations need to be addressed, and we have urged both sides to take steps to address these allegations and investigate them thoroughly. We think that the – it is in the best interests of everyone in the region, not just the Israelis and the Palestinians, to start a process that will lead to two states living side by side.

This is the end – this is the goal that is in the interests of everybody living in this region. And what we’re doing – all of our energies right now are being employed to move this process forward, and we want to clear the decks of any issues that might impede our progress towards this. And this is why we thought that it was perhaps better to delay discussion of this.

QUESTION: When you say impede progress, during the President’s speech in Cairo, he said that U.S. relations with the Muslim world is going to be based on mutual respect.

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: Muslims don’t believe the U.S. position is respecting the sanctity of Muslim lives, those Muslims that died in Gaza. How do you respond?

MR. KELLY: I respond by saying that we recognize that the allegations in the report need to be investigated thoroughly, and we, of course, were very concerned about the number of civilians who were killed in this operation. But again, we need to stay focused on this long-term goal of addressing the underlying causes for the whole conflict.

The conflict started because missiles were being fired into Israel and the operation was undertaken to stop these attacks on Israel. What we need to do is get to a point where there is peace between the two communities, between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And the way to do that is to have two states living side by side in peace and security and focusing on what’s really important, and that’s the future of their children and the prosperity of their countries.

Yeah, Mary Beth.

QUESTION: Can we --

MR. KELLY: Oh, sorry. Yeah, Arshad was next. Yeah.

QUESTION: Sorry, thank you. Just – North Korea. Have you yet – has the Administration yet gotten a readout from the Chinese on Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to North Korea?

MR. KELLY: Yeah, we did. We got it in Beijing. Our Embassy got a readout. And this is part of our whole process of closely consulting with all of our partners. I’m not going to get into the details of it. I will say that we told the Chinese that we welcome their efforts to convince the North Koreans to return to Six-Party Talks. These are efforts which we hope will lead to our shared goal of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks, leading to the denuclearization of the peninsula.

We haven’t made any decision on whether or not to have these bilateral talks. You know what our position is; we’re open to it. But we are only open to a kind of bilateral dialogue that would lead to the resumption of Six-Party Talks. And we just want to make sure that if – once the decision is made, that the talks are arranged in such a way that it would lead to the resumption of the multilateral context of the Six-Party Talks.

QUESTION: So are you, in effect, waiting to establish whether or not the North Koreans will indeed commit to returning to Six-Party Talks?

MR. KELLY: I don’t know so much that we’re waiting. I think what we’re – we are still in a process of deliberations here in Washington, and we’re still in a process of consulting with our partners on how to organize these talks, and that’s why we haven’t made a decision yet.

QUESTION: Ian?

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: On another topic? Iran has accused the U.S. of involvement in the disappearance of a university researcher, a guy named Shahram Amiri, who is rumored to be involved in their nuclear program. Wondering – this was an accusation made by their foreign minister Manuchehr Mottaki.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: I’m wondering what the response is.

MR. KELLY: Yeah. We saw that wire story, and we looked into it – I mean, here in the State Department – and we just basically don’t have any information on this individual. And that’s – I don’t really have more to say besides that, really.

QUESTION: You here in the State Department (inaudible)?

MR. KELLY: Well, I mean, this story has only just come across the wires and we’ve only sort of talked in-house here. But I really don’t have any information about it.

QUESTION: So has anybody in the U.S. Government been involved in --

MR. KELLY: Not that I’m aware of.

QUESTION: – you know, either --

QUESTION: Are you leaving open the possibility that another government agency might be – have more information?

MR. KELLY: I can only speak for the State Department at this point.

QUESTION: Then – but you can’t categorically rule out that you had no involvement in this, can you?

MR. KELLY: Well, we just – we – the case is not familiar to us. The name is not familiar to us.

QUESTION: Really? Because I – it’s my understanding that the Iranians actually raised this among – this case among cases of at least one other in Geneva --

MR. KELLY: Well, maybe I misspoke. I’m not aware of that, I must say.

QUESTION: – and that they also complained to the UN about it – complained during the UN – during the UNGA.

MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm. Well, I know that I have no information about this. I don’t want to misspeak.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: On Iran.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: There has been funding that has been going out to a lot of exile groups. One has been Iran’s human – center for human rights violation, documentation of that in – near Yale University. That grant has been cut and denied after five years of granting this group millions of dollars, a $3 million grant this year has been denied suddenly. Is there – is this a change in policy? Are you changing the policy of funding any of these exile groups of different sorts and forms?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. I don’t have the details of this particular case. I do know that our funding priorities haven’t changed for the region. What this program is designed to support is civil society and advocacy promoting human rights and the rule of law and increasing access to sources of information. But this particular grantee, I’m not aware of the reason that went into the funding decision for it.

QUESTION: Would you make available why a certain center or group has been denied? Is there a way to find out?

MR. KELLY: I’m not sure if that’s public information or the kind of information we’d only share with the grantee itself. I think we’d have to probably check to see if that’s possible.

QUESTION: I’m asking that because there’s a lot of speculation that this – in Iran especially, and I’ve spoken to a lot of human rights activists in Iran who were not upset about this, surprisingly to say. These kind of grants never ended up in Iran in any way. But more importantly, they think this might be your way of saying we didn’t just say regime change policy has changed, we’re following through with it. Is this a message sent – being sent to Tehran?

MR. KELLY: No. I mean, as I said before, our funding priorities under this program have not changed. We still have the same priorities and in terms of supporting rule of law, supporting civil society, and broadening of access to information. Those are sort of the main priorities we have for the program.

QUESTION: But could you possibly speculate that whether or not --

MR. KELLY: Speculate?

QUESTION: Yeah, speculatively thinking, is there – are you looking – is it – could it be that you’re looking into federal funding and you’re saying why are we giving this money to – is it – could it that, as President Obama said, I’m going to go line by line? Is this part of that, or is it part of something --

MR. KELLY: I simply don’t know the answer to that. I just know that the overall – our overall goals for this program have remained unchanged, and our priorities for the kinds of programs that we fund have not changed as well.

QUESTION: So would it be – at all be able to find out at any point? Is there something --

MR. KELLY: I’ll see. And like I say, I’m not sure we can share this kind of information about individual grantees, but --

QUESTION: Also on Iran.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: In light of the talks the U.S., Russia, France are going to have with Iran on October 19th about uranium reprocessing, Iran – Ahmadinejad is offering to buy uranium from the United States. Would the U.S. ever think of buying uranium?

MR. KELLY: Well –

QUESTION: Selling uranium?

MR. KELLY: Selling uranium. Yeah, I think this is all done under the auspices of the IAEA, and so we would do this within that context. I mean, whatever we would do would be in consultation with them. Whether or not we would sell Iran enriched uranium, that I can’t say. You’re asking me to discuss the decision we may or may not make in the future. But I know this is all done through the IAEA.

QUESTION: Yeah. And el-Baradei’s visit at the weekend, I mean, have you heard back about the process for inspecting the new plant at Qom, the new uranium enrichment plant at Qom?

MR. KELLY: I don’t have any particular details about it. I know that it’s – the inspection will take place on October 25th. In the lead-up to that, there will preparatory work, interviews, and various ways to prepare for the inspection itself. But I don’t have any details about the inspection.

Peter.

QUESTION: Yes, Ian. On the Secretary’s visit to Moscow, do you have any details about her schedule? Is she going to meet any civic society leaders or visit Novaya Gazeta or Ekho Moskvy or any other (inaudible)?

MR. KELLY: Well, yeah, her schedule is not set. She’ll be there on the 13th and 14th. The – I think about half the program is devoted to official meetings. There will be bilateral meetings with Minister Lavrov, and they will discuss a number of bilateral issues, and they’ll also talk about the way forward with the bi-national presidential commission. She will have some public diplomacy events, but they haven’t been set. I’m sure she’ll have some interviews as well. We’re also talking about going to another city in Russia too, but we’re not ready to announce yet where we’re going.

QUESTION: St. Petersburg?

MR. KELLY: No, not St. Petersburg. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to tell you.

QUESTION: Is she going to meet President Medvedev or Prime Minister Putin?

MR. KELLY: I don’t know that anything has been set in either regard.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. KELLY: Well, actually, I think Prime Minster Putin

QUESTION: She’s going all that way and she wouldn’t meet either of them?

MR. KELLY: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: She’s going all that way and she wouldn’t meet either the prime minister or the president?

MR. KELLY: I don’t think – well, I don’t think we have confirmed times, and I think Prime Minister Putin is not in the country at that time. I would expect that she would meet with President Medvedev, but again, that’s not – nothing’s confirmed yet.

QUESTION: So – but you are asking for this meeting?

MR. KELLY: I believe so. I believe it’s of mutual --

QUESTION: Interest.

MR. KELLY: Mutual interest, yeah.

QUESTION: Okay. On slightly different subject, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov said that these days Russians will have consultations with the United States on the new architecture of ABM. Do you have any idea when is it going to happen and where?

MR. KELLY: That’s a good question. I know that we have – all along, we have encouraged the Russians to participate in development of this architecture, which is, of course, designed to meet the emerging threat of intermediate-range missiles.

QUESTION: Yeah, that’s what he said in his statement in Kharkov, apparently, today.

MR. KELLY: Yeah. I don’t know that anything has been scheduled per se. I think, in terms of discussions on these kinds of issues, we’re – right now, we’re very much focused on coming up with a successor regime for the START treaty, so a lot of our experts are very much involved in that. But, Peter, I’m not aware of formal talks on missile defense being arranged yet.

Yeah, Arshad.

QUESTION: A different subject. The issue of allegations in – or a view among certain Pakistani officials that Kerry-Lugar contains conditionality which is – which violates their sovereignty has come up again in Pakistan. And the Pakistani military – Pakistani military officials have said that the particular provision under which the aid could be restricted if Pakistan was not deemed to be fighting terrorists is insulting and injurious to their sovereignty. Do you have any comment on that?

MR. KELLY: Well, I think as Foreign Minister Qureshi said yesterday, alongside Secretary Clinton, what we really are trying to develop here is a partnership. And it’s very important that we – as we go forward with this partnership, that we do it in all transparency.

In terms of some of the requirements that we have for our assistance, of course, since we’re – we are stewards of U.S. taxpayer funds, we have to build in certain consultation mechanisms, monitoring mechanisms. These are in no way intended to impinge on Pakistan’s sovereignty. The main thing is that we have a common interest here, and that is that we share the goal of meeting the challenge of violent extremism. And so this is why we’re developing this partnership with Pakistan.

And as we go forward, I think the most important thing will be just to have a dialogue and to share as much information as we can and be transparent. I think a lot of the concern has been because we are really ramping up our assistance program, of course there is a requirement for a certain infrastructure for our people out there – we want to modernize the Embassy. We’re expanding our – the number of personnel out there. But again, the main thing is that we be very – we have to be very open and transparent about what we’re trying to do.

QUESTION: Why shouldn’t Pakistanis see it as a payoff rather than a partnership?

MR. KELLY: A payoff?

QUESTION: Right.

MR. KELLY: A payoff for what?

QUESTION: For their fighting terrorism.

MR. KELLY: Well, we certainly don’t see it as a payoff. We see it as a means for helping Pakistan meet this common threat to our two societies. And the reason we say a partnership is because a modern and effective Pakistani military is in our interest as well as Pakistan’s interest, and we want to help Pakistan build that kind of capacity --

QUESTION: Just one last one from me --

MR. KELLY: -- or capability.

QUESTION: -- from me on this. The Foreign Minister Qureshi yesterday also talked about the inconsistencies of the past and learning from the mistakes of the past. And although he didn’t specify what inconsistencies or mistakes he might have been alluding to, there is, I think, a widely held view in Pakistan that U.S. aid and involvement ebbs and flows directly in relation to America’s perceived geostrategic interests. So when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan got a lot of love.

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: And when they left, Pakistan did not.

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: And now that Usama bin Ladin and al-Qaida are viewed as a – are a threat to the United States, that they’re getting a lot more assistance. And I just wonder how you are able to counter that impression and build a partnership when it is perceived as the – you know, and the United States is doing what is in its interests, and its interest in Pakistan just comes and goes with the broader picture and not with the country --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- itself.

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, I mean, these are understandable concerns for the reasons that you just laid out. And I’d like to think that we recognized that we built up a certain capacity within Afghanistan that led to the development of the Taliban. We built this Mujaheddin capacity, and then, as you say, we left. And I’d like to think that we learned from that, that the key to this is to not just provide weapons and training, but also build institutions to build up the capacity of government to deliver good governance and services to their population, that this is the ultimate solution to combating extremism.

So I recognize that we do have some work to do in communicating that we are in this now not just to hand over weapons and stingers and provide training to use these weapons, but to help build lasting institutions, and also help build bonds between our two countries, too, to help develop trust between our two countries.

Yeah, Sami in the back.

QUESTION: Do you have any reaction to the visit by the king of Saudi Arabia to Syria today?

MR. KELLY: If you’ll hold on a minute, I’ll see. I don’t, Sami, but if I do, I’ll – we’ll get it for you.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. KELLY: Dave.

QUESTION: President Mugabe of Zimbabwe said in a speech to parliament that he would like to take a fresh start in relations with countries that he’s had an antagonist relationship with, and he also suggested that they drop sanctions as part of this new look.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: What do you have to say about that?

MR. KELLY: Well, I mean, we will continue to support the people of Zimbabwe with humanitarian aid and assistance. And our targeted sanctions are not designed to – or not directed against the people of Zimbabwe. We encourage Mr. Mugabe to show his commitment to positive relations with the U.S. by fully implementing the global political agreement which he signed in September of 2008.

He could take a number of steps to show this commitment, including ending politicized arrests and prosecutions and often violent land seizures, replacing the corrupt attorney general and reserve bank governor, ending media censorship, repealing emergency decrees and draconian laws restricting personal freedoms, and publicly committing to the drafting of a new constitution and the holding of national elections under international supervision and monitoring.

So what we would like to see is some real concrete action, and I just enumerated some of the steps that he could take to show that he is committed to a new relationship with us.

QUESTION: Who is it that’s corrupt?

QUESTION: Was it the central bank governor? Is that what you said?

QUESTION: Attorney general.

MR. KELLY: The attorney general and reserve bank governor.

QUESTION: You have some proof of this?

MR. KELLY: Not here in front of me, Matt.

QUESTION: Okay. What’s Tom Shannon up to?

MR. KELLY: Tom Shannon.

QUESTION: Any interesting travel plans?

MR. KELLY: Yes.

QUESTION: He’s there, isn’t he?

MR. KELLY: He’s there. He is in Tegucigalpa. He is participating in the OAS mission of foreign ministers. Had arrived this morning and is scheduled to meet with all parties that can play a role in resolving the crisis. It is headed by Secretary General Insulza, plus 12 other foreign ministers and Mr. Shannon.

And of course, our goal is to help – or I shouldn’t say our goal. The goal of the mission is to encourage a meaningful dialogue between the parties that would lead to the implementation of the San Jose Accord.

QUESTION: What happened to your policy of limiting high-level contacts between your officials and the Micheletti government?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. I think our focus here is trying to get this internal dialogue going, and the way to do that is to have the two parties – talk to the two parties involved.

QUESTION: Yeah. So --

MR. KELLY: So we’re willing to talk with anybody who’s – who can advance this goal.

QUESTION: So you’ve backed down on this policy of not --

MR. KELLY: I don’t know that we’ve backed down on it. I mean, our goal is a resolution of this crisis. And so within this context of the OAS mission, we – I anticipate that they will sit down and talk with Micheletti and Zelaya.

QUESTION: Isn’t that meeting – I thought that meeting was actually scheduled for – I thought that there was a meeting scheduled among the OAS delegation and Micheletti today.

MR. KELLY: I think that’s probably – I know they’re – they arrived this morning, they had meetings this afternoon, and I think they leave around midday tomorrow.

QUESTION: Can you – is it possible for you to get us a readout from Assistant Secretary Shannon on how the meetings went?

MR. KELLY: I’ll see what I can do.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. KELLY: Thanks.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:52 p.m.)

DPB # 171



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