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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
April 8, 2010


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Index for Today's Briefing
  • IRAN
    • US continues efforts in P-5+1 in New York, will have meetings here next week - bilaterals involving the President and the Secretary and other cabinet officials/US continues to do everything we can to produce an appropriate resolution as soon as possible/US very mindful of the timetable or the target that the President put in place that we want to get this done as quickly as possible, and he hopes to have it done in a matter of weeks
    • Three detained American hikers are not tied to US intelligence
  • NORTH KOREA
    • US wants to see North Korea take further steps towards denuclearization/US would like to see North Korea reenter the NPT/US will start our efforts on, I think, May 3rd towards strengthening the Nonproliferation Treaty/US hopes that North Korea can rejoin this effort when it makes that important decision through the Six-Party process
  • BURMA
    • US engaging Burma/US will continue regional dialogue and encourage everyone to provide Burma the same message


TRANSCRIPT:

(Continued from Part 1, which is posted at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2010/04/139894.htm)

QUESTION: Yesterday, the Japanese ambassador said he would support another round of sanctions against Iran. You have a reaction to that?

MR. CROWLEY: We certainly think that’s appropriate thinking at this stage.

QUESTION: P.J., just a follow-on. Are you aware of these specific threats and --

MR. CROWLEY: I’ll defer to – I’m not aware of those specific threats, but we think there’s an ongoing threat globally and regionally involving al-Qaida. And I think that’s why countries that host these kinds of activities that are of interest to people all around the world – they take appropriate security precautions.

QUESTION: Back to Iran. So you wanted to get a resolution passed by the time all of the leaders arrived for the nuclear summit next week. How likely do you think --

MR. CROWLEY: Say that again.

QUESTION: You wanted to get a resolution on Iran at the UN Security Council. The goal was originally to have it not overshadow this nuclear summit coming up next week. The President said --

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not aware of a particular timetable.

QUESTION: Well, the President a few weeks ago said he hoped to wrap it up in --

MR. CROWLEY: A matter of weeks.

QUESTION: -- in a matter of weeks.

MR. CROWLEY: That remains our emphasis.

QUESTION: Well, how realistic do you think it’s going to be that a resolution is completed by that summit or even the end of the month?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, we continue our efforts in – through the P-5+1 in New York. We’ll have meetings here next week – bilaterals involving the President and the Secretary and other cabinet officials. Iran, I expect, will be a significant topic of discussion. We continue to do everything we can to produce an appropriate resolution as soon as possible, and we are very mindful of the timetable or the target that the President put in place that we want to get this done as quickly as possible, and he hopes to have it done in a matter of weeks.

QUESTION: On North Korea?

MR. CROWLEY: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: North Korea is insisting even if they are coming to Six-Party Talk that they do not give up nuclear weapons, also they do not (inaudible) NPT. Does the United States have any change in your policy towards North Koreans’ nuclear weapons development?

MR. CROWLEY: No, there’s no change in our policy. We want to see North Korea take further steps towards denuclearization. We would like to see North Korea reenter the NPT. We will start our efforts on, I think, May 3rd towards strengthening the Nonproliferation Treaty. And we hope that North Korea can rejoin this effort when it makes that important decision. And obviously, the best route to do that is through the Six-Party process.

QUESTION: In Tehran, there’s an Iranian official who’s linking the three American hikers to U.S. intelligence. Do you have any comment on that, or have you seen those comments?

MR. CROWLEY: I haven’t seen those comments. It’s not true.

QUESTION: Today, the Singapore foreign minister said in a quote, “We are not in a position to punish Myanmar – Burma. If China and India remains engaged with Myanmar, then we have to.” Do you have a similar – you have been talking with a Burmese official. Do you have a similar experience while – about your Burma policy?

MR. CROWLEY: Burma is – we’re engaging Burma. Other countries in the region are engaging Burma, obviously, that – in a variety of contexts, including through the – through ASEAN. I think everybody has an interest in stability in the region, seeing Burma emerge from its isolation. But clearly, there are steps that Burma has to take, and we will continue our regional dialogue and encourage everyone to provide Burma the same message.

QUESTION: Do you have any – have you set up any timeline for the next round of talks with Burmese officials?

MR. CROWLEY: No.

QUESTION: Are you talking with India and China on this, on the Burma issue?

MR. CROWLEY: It wouldn’t surprise me, but I don’t know if that’s a particular topic of conversation, actually.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Do you have any update on the discussions with Israel regarding the concessions you asked for?

MR. CROWLEY: We continue to have contacts with Israeli officials and Palestinian officials, but I’ve got no particular meetings or travel to announce at this point.

QUESTION: I have a question on what you had said in your opening comments about the Palestinian officials denying the Jewish right – their heritage and claims to Jerusalem. What particularly about it was so offensive, considering that the Israelis often claim that this is solely an Israeli and Jewish heritage for Jerusalem and they don’t recognize the Palestinian right to Jerusalem?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think we’ve been very consistent in telling both parties that they have to take responsibility for things that happen, steps that happen, unilateral actions or statements that happen on the ground. They have to both understand not only what their own interest is, but how the pursuit of their own interest – the impact that that will have in terms of misunderstandings, mischaracterization, increase of tension. They are the ones that ultimately have to take the steps that create the atmosphere for this process to move forward.

So we have said many, many times that whether it’s the pursuit of settlements, the pursuit of housing, or efforts at incitement, that we will clearly call on both parties where we think they’re taking steps that are unhelpful.

QUESTION: Right, but what particularly about these comments were so offensive? Because I’ve never seen you from this podium criticize Israel for saying that the Palestinians don’t have a right to Jerusalem. Whereas in this particular case, you’re claim – you’re, you know, decrying what the Palestinians --

MR. CROWLEY: Again, all I will say is that Jerusalem is a – is one of the core issues in the process. And the only way to resolve issues regarding Jerusalem is through direct negotiations.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:08 p.m.)



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