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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
April 14, 2010

Index for Today's Briefing
    • Secretary Clinton welcomed Minister of International Relations and Cooperation from South Africa/Signed MOU to launch the U.S. - South Africa Strategic Dialogue
    • Secretary Clinton meeting with IAEA Director General Amano
    • Secretary released condolence statement to the people of China regarding earthquake
    • Secretary Clinton will travel to Finland and Estonia next week
    • Deputy Secretary Steinberg met with Japanese Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister
    • Deputy Secretary Lew is in Afghanistan
    • Assistant Secretary Blake is in Bishkek, met with Chairperson of interim government
    • Under Secretary Burns spoke at the Center for American Progress
    • U.S. participated in the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in Madrid
    • OECD released figures on global official development assistance
    • Transfer of weapons to Hezbollah
    • We are looking for ways which we can assist Kyrgyzstan with their stated objective
    • The interim government will abide by the existing agreement regarding Manas
    • Conversation on Nuclear Security Summit, regional and bilateral issues
    • Secretary Clinton meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister
  • IRAN
    • Engagement with Iran
    • Iran sanctions
  • EU
    • Statement by Croatian regarding Bosnia


2:49 p.m. EDT

MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. I think for those who have spent a lot of time around diplomatic circles, there’s a tradition when a senior leader goes to a particular country and then leaves, there’s a wheels-up party. And I think that Washington, D.C. deserves a wheels-up party as it gets back to normal following the successful conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit.

QUESTION: So why are we here?

MR. CROWLEY: (Laughter.) Well, we’re here because you force me to come down here every day. We can – I mean, it’s a little chilly outside still. I think if – were the temperature a more moderate thing, we could find more suitable action this afternoon preparing for the hockey playoffs and so forth.

But here at the Department today, the Secretary was delighted, as you saw, to welcome Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation from South Africa. And they earlier this morning signed a memorandum of understanding between the United States and South Africa, following up on the Secretary’s trip to South Africa back in August and their commitment at that time to pursue a strategic dialogue between the United States and South Africa.

And during a lunch that the Secretary hosted, the two ministers talked about a range of subjects, including following up on the Nuclear Security Summit, pointing ahead to the Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference coming up in New York in early May, also the work of the Human Rights Council. And they talked about a range of regional issues including the situation in Zimbabwe, the situation in Congo and Somalia as well. But the memorandum of understanding will develop in the coming weeks and months the strategic dialogue and will include a range of important subjects, including security aspects. The Secretary and the minister also talked about the upcoming World Cup and the fact the United States is assisting South Africa in the security for that important global event.

The Secretary right now is in the middle of a meeting with IAEA Director General Amano, again taking advantage of Director General Amano’s presence at the Nuclear Security Summit, talking about the NPT conference again, but also the important work of the IAEA and how we can continue to help the IAEA in its vital role and increase resources and expand its efforts around the world.

The Secretary just put out a statement a few minutes ago on behalf of the American people offering condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this morning’s earthquake in China’s southern province. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured and displaced and all the people of China on this difficult day. And we stand ready to assist China with any needs that it might have.

We have, during the course of the day, been reaching out to Americans there who are registered with us. And thankfully, we have no reports of any U.S. citizens killed or injured at this point.

Have we announced the trip? Not yet.

MR. TONER: Go ahead.

MR. CROWLEY: Okay. (Laughter.) We will have a statement for you shortly announcing that the Secretary will travel to Finland and Estonia next week. In Finland, she will meet with senior Finnish officials to discuss European security, including Afghanistan and Iran. And on the year of the 35th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, she will give a speech on global human security, part of her and the President’s significant agenda for the 21st century.

And then she will continue on to Estonia for the NATO Informal Foreign Ministerial on April 22 and 23, participating in a range of important issues within the alliance, including European security, Afghanistan, and the future of the alliance. She’ll also have the opportunity to interact with Estonian citizens while there.

QUESTION: What was the speech about? Global human security?

MR. CROWLEY: Global human security.

QUESTION: What in the world is that?

MR. CROWLEY: Global human security? It’s the full range of agenda in terms of freedom from violence, food security, the core issues to have people have safe and productive lives.

QUESTION: All right.

MR. CROWLEY: There you go.

Earlier this afternoon --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: Yeah, yeah, run out – (laughter) – I’m sure it will be a blockbuster.

MR. CROWLEY: It will be a fine speech. (Laughter.) I’m taking names. (Laughter.)

Earlier this afternoon, Deputy Secretary Jim Steinberg met with Japanese executive assistant to the Prime Minister Tadakatsu Sano here at the Department of State. Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary Jack Lew is in Afghanistan and he visited Marjah yesterday along with Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, but had a mix of meetings today with a range of Afghan officials.

Assistant Secretary Bob Blake is in Bishkek today and tomorrow. Earlier today, he met with the chairperson of the interim government Roza Otunbayeva. Had a very good and productive meeting. He reports that the situation in Bishkek is calm, and in his discussions with a range of officials continue to stress not only an ongoing commitment to law and order, but also to explore how the United States may help Kyrgyzstan on its path to restore democracy and economic growth in the coming six months.

Earlier today, Under Secretary Bill Burns spoke at the Center for American Progress on how the reset with Russia, our efforts to widen and strengthen our basic cooperation has yielded practical results. At the beginning of 2010, we are in a significantly better place with Russia than we were just a year ago. Under Secretary Burns described how some of the accomplishments, including renewed nuclear leadership by the United States and Russia, most notably demonstrated by the signing of the new START agreement last week and expanded efforts to safeguard nuclear materials, increasingly strong partnership on Iran, improved cooperation in fighting violent extremism and stabilizing Afghanistan, and the development of new partnerships in the area as – areas as diverse as energy efficiency, youth sports exchanges, healthcare, preserving the Arctic environment, a number of issues that are represented in the Presidential Binational Commission that was set up last year by the two presidents.

And the United States today participated in a meeting of what’s called the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in Madrid, a delegation led by Deputy Envoy Mara Rudman. And we particularly are grateful to the leadership of Norway and Spain in putting together this meeting. The United States supports the conclusions of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee and joins the rest of the donor community in expressing strong support for the Palestinian Authority’s two-year plan, which includes steps – some already taken by Palestinians – toward institutional and economic development in preparation for statehood. And also participating in the meeting today was Israel.

And finally, before taking your questions, the OECD released figures today on global official development assistance, what’s commonly referred to ODA, for calendar 2009. And the United States and its net ODA disbursement, its figure was $28.7 million – billion dollars, with a “B”, the highest for any country ever. And this also means the United States has met the bilateral G-8 pledge made in Gleneagles in 2005 to double assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa by 2010. Clearly, we have done that a year early. But out development commitment for the future is stronger than ever. The President has pledged to double assistance as well, and we are working towards that goal.


QUESTION: Yeah, on the Middle East. Again, these reports about the Syrians moving Scud missiles into southern Lebanon and are giving them to Hezbollah have emerged. Senator McCain raised the issue at the hearing on Iran this morning and Under Secretary of Defense Flournoy said that the U.S. is very concerned by these reports. Do you have anything to add to that? And – well, that’s the end of the question.

MR. CROWLEY: We are concerned about it. And if such an action has been taken – and we continue to analyze this issue – it would represent a failure by the parties in the region to honor UN Security Council Resolution 1701. And clearly, it potentially puts Lebanon at significant risk. We have been concerned enough that in recent weeks, during one of our regular meetings with the Syrian ambassador here in Washington, that we’ve raised the issue with the Syrian Government and continue to study the issue. But obviously, it’s something of great concern to us.

QUESTION: Well, the Syrians deny that they have any – (a) that this is happening, but (b) that they have anything to do with it. Do you accept that denial?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, let’s – I mean, there’s a broader issue here. Regardless of the issue of Scuds, we are – we remain concerned about the provision of increasingly sophisticated weaponry to parties in – to Hezbollah. And this is an issue that we continue to raise with Syria, other parties in the region. And this is a clear threat to Lebanon’s security.

QUESTION: Well, does that – this is a clear threat to Lebanon’s security? That means you’re – so you believe or you know that these Scuds have been transferred?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not going to talk about intelligence matters. I don’t think at this point, we have a clear --

QUESTION: Well, you just did. You just said that you’re --

QUESTION: Wait, could you finish your sentence? You said at this point, you don’t think you have a clear indication?

MR. CROWLEY: A clear picture.

QUESTION: A clear picture.

QUESTION: But you just did. You just said that this – that the transfer of increasingly sophisticated weaponry, as if it was a fact.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, there is --

QUESTION: Is it a fact?

MR. CROWLEY: -- a flow of weaponry into Lebanon. I’m not talking about systems as large as Scuds, but we are concerned about it and we have raised it with various parties, including the Syrians.

QUESTION: So are you saying that the Scud reports are wrong?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not commenting on – specifically on scud reports.

QUESTION: Could this issue affect the dispatch of the ambassador designate to Damascus?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, we – no. We hope to have an ambassador placed in Damascus because it’s in our national interest to do so, that – so we have the opportunity to raise on a continual basis not only our concerns about Syria’s behavior but also work, we hope, over time more constructively with Syria on our areas of mutual interest, including potentially Syria’s important role, should it choose, in the peace process.

QUESTION: Is Lebanon the only country that is affected by this, if Scuds were placed in southern Lebanon? Are there other concerns?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I mean, obviously a concern that we would have if you hearken back to a brief discussion that Matt and I had on Monday over what is the nature of a state, one of the essential ingredients of a state is monopoly in terms of the significant use of force. And if you have non-state actors that are armed to the teeth, that actually – that threatens the security of that particular country and stability across the region. That is something that we have been concerned about for some time. And we would be looking for countries in the region, including Syria, to play a more constructive role in taking responsibility for regional security.

QUESTION: But you don’t – you’re not afraid that this could jeopardize Israel’s security? I mean, you’re talking about Lebanon.

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, it’s a clear risk to a number of countries in the region, given the range – and again, I’m not confirming anything.

QUESTION: Well, and given the mission of Hezbollah, right?

MR. CROWLEY: But given the range of those particular systems, if that report proved to be true, that would be a threat to a number of countries in the region, including Israel.

QUESTION: I have another question on Kyrgyzstan. Can you talk about where you are in terms of recognizing the interim government? And under --

MR. CROWLEY: (Laughter.) Here we go.

QUESTION: And under what conditions you might consider doing so? What has to take place?

MR. CROWLEY: At the risk of incurring the wrath of the distinguished gentleman from Buffalo, we recognize countries – states and not governments. Our focus here and the presence of Assistant Secretary Blake is to look for ways in which we can assist Kyrgyzstan in – with their stated objective over the next six months of leading to elections that restore democratic and constitutional order to Kyrgyzstan. That is our interest. We are there to – not to take sides in a dispute over who governs but to help the people of Kyrgyzstan see the evolution of democracy and the restoration of normalcy and a government that will work effectively on their behalf.

QUESTION: Well, when they’re – when you believe there to be a coup in a specific country, you say that that’s illegal and you don’t recognize that government. So it sounds like you’re not saying that this was an illegal disposition of the government.

MR. CROWLEY: The matter as to who governs Kyrgyzstan and there is, obviously, an ongoing dispute between the president and – who has not left the country – and this interim administration which does, in fact, seem to enjoy the support of the various ministries in Bishkek. So we are mindful of what is happening there, we are concerned – we are gratified that the various ministries of government appear to be stepping up and making assertive efforts to restore calm throughout the country. We regret the loss of life that we’ve seen in recent days. But our focus right now is, to the extent the interim administration has indicated that they are charting out a path towards a new government in the next six months, will – have stated they want to make various reforms. They’ve already taken steps to ease restrictions, including restrictions on the media. We are encouraged by these steps and we’re – and Bob Blake is there to see how we might be of assistance.

QUESTION: So you’re – so it sounds like you’re working with this interim government.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, the United States is in touch – in a lot of countries around the world, we are in touch with governments, with opposition figures.

QUESTION: Well, it’s not an opposition figure any more, really, is it?

MR. CROWLEY: We are focused on this process. We’re focused on the fact that this interim administration is – pledged commitment to OSCE principles. We’re working constructively with other parties that have expressed a willingness to help, including the OSCE. So as to the matter of specific recognition, we’re focused on this process. It’s up to Kyrgyzstan to decide who will be --

QUESTION: Yeah, but if you’re meeting with them and you’re helping them and you’re working with them, then you’re working with them, and isn’t that a de facto recognition of the government?


QUESTION: Has Assistant Secretary Blake made any effort to get in touch with President Bakiyev?


QUESTION: Why not? I mean, if you’re working with one side, shouldn’t you be even-handed? If you’re as even-handed as you are on the podium, shouldn’t that effort also be made on the ground in Kyrgyzstan?

MR. CROWLEY: We want to see the situation resolved peacefully, and we’re not taking sides.

QUESTION: It sounds like you are.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, no. We’re – if we’re taking a side, it’s on behalf of the people of Kyrgyzstan. And we want to see this resolved and we want to see Kyrgyzstan continue to evolve towards a democracy.

QUESTION: So President Bakiyev should step down, should walk away and leave the country?

MR. CROWLEY: We want to see this resolved peacefully.

QUESTION: Do you still regard him as the president of the country, or as the leader of the country?

MR. CROWLEY: That is obviously open to question.

QUESTION: Well, but do you – it may be open to question, but there are plenty of times where you regard someone as the leader of the country who’s been ousted and you still --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, again, at the risk of drawing a parallel to --

QUESTION: I’m not trying to draw any parallels.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I will draw a parallel. I mean, our focus here is on a process. We did this most recently in the context of Honduras --

QUESTION: Well, you said – excuse me.

MR. CROWLEY: Pardon. Hold – let me finish. I mean, we – I mean, to the extent that there is a process that will lead this country to a more legitimate and a more democratic government, we will support that effort. It’s not for us to take sides between this leader and that leader or this government and this opposition group. These are matters that should be resolved within Kyrgyzstan. We’re not going to impose a solution from outside. And so to the extent we will – we are talking to Administrator Otunbayeva and some of her associates about how this process will unfold. We’re encouraged by the fact that they are committed to OSCE principles regarding democracy and human rights. That is what is important to us.

QUESTION: Well, if I remember correctly, I asked you that very same parallel last week, when you did originally choose sides before you didn’t choose sides. You said that President (inaudible) was the, you know, was the --


MR. CROWLEY: (Laughter.) Zelaya.

QUESTION: -- Zelaya was the president. And I said that to you and you said you can’t make any parallels, it’s completely apples and oranges. I mean, I don’t remember your exact words. But you definitely – you dismissed the idea of any type of parallel. So for you to use it now seems a little --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, no. I think your question last week had a little bit more specificity in terms of the application of U.S. law, which --

QUESTION: It was about choosing sides.

MR. CROWLEY: There is a factor in U.S. law regarding our assessment of whether a military coup has taken place. In the case of Kyrgyzstan, this is not a military coup. It has not triggered any violation of U.S. law. But again, what I was trying to draw from in terms of the context of Honduras was our view towards Honduras was governed by the Inter-American Democratic Charter under the OAS, which is about the nature of governments who are in good standing with the OAS. So what we’re looking at here and embracing here are – is the interim administration’s embrace of democracy and human rights, and we will support that on behalf of the people of Kyrgyzstan.

QUESTION: Did Assistant Secretary Blake get any more information about the status of the Manas Transit Center, specifically anything about changing the lease or arrogating the lease?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not sure what the question is.

QUESTION: Wells, I’m wondering if – did they convey to him any intention on the part of the interim government to change the arrangements governing the Manas --

MR. CROWLEY: I actually think the interim administration has indicated that they will abide by the existing agreement which, as I remember off the top of my head – it’s a five-year agreement that requires notification on an annual basis and then allows either party to withdraw with six months notice. We have given the notification for this upcoming year that begins in July, and the – as far as I know, the administration, the interim administration has indicated that it plans to make no changes with respect to that agreement.

QUESTION: So that would hold for – just so I’m straight, that would hold us from July through – to July --

MR. CROWLEY: 2011.

QUESTION: -- 2011.

QUESTION: P.J., that’s --

MR. CROWLEY: So, I mean that’s a question that has come up in the room here recently, whether we would have to negotiate anything with the interim administration, and my understanding is no.

QUESTION: I don’t want to belabor this, but when you keep insisting that you’re not taking sides and it’s pretty difficult to square that with the facts on the ground, where you have the assistant secretary out there meeting with the interim leader of – with this interim group, and he’s making – he’s not even making an effort to get on the phone to a guy who a week ago you were dealing with every day as president.

MR. CROWLEY: Again, we – in our relationship with Kyrgyzstan, we have contacts on a regular basis with a range of figures. Go back to the San Jose process --

QUESTION: Well, well --

QUESTION: We don’t have to go back to --

QUESTION: I don’t want to --

MR. CROWLEY: Go back – let me just finish – go back to the San Jose process and we supported a process that included representatives from both sides. What we want to see here --

QUESTION: Well, yeah, but you’re – okay, so you don’t have both sides here, right?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, hang on a second.

QUESTION: I mean, my God, Zelaya was in the Secretary’s office.

MR. CROWLEY: All right, all right. The fact that we have not had contact with the president does not mean we are not having contact with the professional ministries that are helping to govern Kyrgyzstan on a regular basis, so we are in touch with people who are part of the government. We are also in touch with people who are part of this interim administration. We have not, at this point, had contact with the president of Kyrgyzstan.

QUESTION: Why? Why not?

MR. CROWLEY: Look, we have talked to people who are talking to him. So I think he understands, though, what we believe is important at this point, which is to make sure that steps are taken to avoid conflict and to resolve this as peacefully – resolve this peacefully.

QUESTION: So, and what would those steps be?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, but --

QUESTION: For him to leave the country and get out?

MR. CROWLEY: The decision that he makes is up to him.

QUESTION: Right, I know. But --

MR. CROWLEY: We want to see this resolved peacefully. As to who should be the future leader of Kyrgyzstan, this is a matter for the people of Kyrgyzstan.

QUESTION: But if he were to stay and fight for his right to govern as elected leader, you would say what?

MR. CROWLEY: We also – we always believe that in situations like this involving questions about leadership that you should resolve this within existing institutions, resolve these issues peacefully.

QUESTION: What about his son? Is he going to ask for asylum in Washington?

MR. CROWLEY: We don’t believe his son is in the United States.

QUESTION: So he left?

MR. CROWLEY: We don’t know where he is.

QUESTION: Different topic?


QUESTION: Can you give us a readout of that meeting between deputy secretary and the Chinese officials?

MR. CROWLEY: I have not received one. I’m sure it was on a range of issues. Most every conversation that we’ve had with senior officials and various governments over the past couple of days have started with the work of a Nuclear Security Summit – everyone is very complimentary of what has taken place here – and also regional issues and, I’m sure, also bilateral issues.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) such as whaling? I mean, what – did Futenma come up?

MR. CROWLEY: I will – I would not be surprised if the issue of base realignment came up.

QUESTION: But not whaling?

MR. CROWLEY: I will let you know if whaling has been – was an issue discussed.

One, two, yeah, go ahead.

QUESTION: Okay. When we spoke yesterday, you hadn’t yet had a readout on the Secretary’s meeting with the Turkish and Brazilian foreign ministers --

MR. CROWLEY: Actually, it was – it was presidents meeting joined by the Secretary and the leaders and their foreign ministers.

QUESTION: Okay. So it was --

MR. CROWLEY: I still don’t have a readout of what they discussed.

QUESTION: All right.

MR. CROWLEY: I’m fairly certain that Iran was the primary topic.

QUESTION: On Turkey and Iran, the Turkish foreign minister told some reporters today that he’s been involved in these active discussions with Iran about getting them to accept this research reactor deal and that he’s still having talks with them. And he sees that Iran is showing a greater flexibility and he sees the possibility of some progress. Do you see those diplomatic efforts as leading anywhere? Are you hopeful that there might be some kind of breakthrough or are you – is sanctions the only game in town now?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, no. As the Secretary said, I believe, in the press conference at the UN following the Haiti donors conference, we think that our diplomatic effort involves engagement and, if necessary, pressure. We have steadfastly offered engagement for more than a year, and Iran has failed to engage constructively. We are focused right now both in terms of meetings that the President and the Secretary had during the Nuclear Security Summit, but now in New York working on the guts of a resolution. And we think these are both vital components of a diplomatic effort to get – to convince Iran that it should follow a different path. But should it choose not to do so, there’ll be consequences.

QUESTION: But specifically on this Turkish effort, on this Turkish diplomacy, he says he’s been going there like once a month and he sees something gelling together that you might see some kind of breakthrough, plans on going back to Iran possibly very shortly. I mean, do you see this as having any legs? I know in general you support diplomacy, but specifically on these Turkish efforts.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, as the Secretary and the President have said, we have not given up on engagement. And to the extent that there are countries that have better relations with Iran than we do, that if they can convince Iran to change direction, we would welcome that step. I think, obviously, the details do matter. Iran communicates publicly that some greater flexibility – but when you look behind the curtain there’s really nothing there.

So we would like to see Iran change its present course. We’d like to see it come forward, be more forthcoming through the IAEA in terms of meeting its obligations. If Iran chooses to do that, clearly that’s the ultimate objective of this effort, but – Iran has said a great many things, but we will be guided by what they actually do.

QUESTION: So can we say that the United – State Department is not trying to convince Turkey for what – for the sanctions, but is expecting a negotiation role from Turkey on Iran?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think what we would probably say is that this is not an either/or proposition. We think that there are two tracks to our strategy. We are still interested in seeing the engagement track work, but we also recognize that at this particular time, we also believe that it’s time to put forward a strong resolution that yields real consequences for what Iran has failed to do.

QUESTION: When are you --

MR. CROWLEY: So we don’t think the – we would disagree with those who would say put this on hold because we still think this has promise. We think the most effective strategy will be moving in both, in parallel.

QUESTION: To follow up?


QUESTION: There will be a summit on – in Iran regarding another nuclear summit this Friday starting, and Turkey will join maybe to the summit. What is your opinion about the countries which will join this summit?

MR. CROWLEY: If – any country that wants to go to Iran and convince Iran to change its course, to meet its obligation, to come forward and answer the questions that the international community has about its nuclear ambitions and its nuclear activity, that is the right of any country to try to convince Iran to change course. But to the extent that Iran is going to have its own nuclear summit, I think we’re skeptical that anything positive or concrete will come out of it.

QUESTION: You said you had wanted to pass the sanctions – a sanctions resolution within weeks, or the President said that.

MR. CROWLEY: Yes, he did.

QUESTION: The Turks, for instance – the Turkish minister said that you haven’t even started talking with rotating members about what type of sanctions. And they feel that they don’t know if they could support it or not because they don’t even know the context or the nature of the discussions, except what they read from the press. So when are you going to start talking to the general membership about what kind of sanctions you’re proposing? Or are you just going to present them with a resolution and say here, vote for this?

MR. CROWLEY: That work is ongoing in New York and I would expect – I mean, we are having consultations with a range of countries.

QUESTION: But not Turkey, or Brazil?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, we are – we have been consulting very closely with Turkey on Iran. We are only at the point now where we are beginning to identify the specifics of a resolution. And obviously, that is work that will involve the entire UN Security Council at the appropriate time.

QUESTION: But is that just something that, like the P-5, is kind of developing what type of sanctions you want to put in the resolution, and then you’re presenting that as a list to the general membership? Or don’t you think that the general membership should play a part in what type of sanctions they think they could support? Or do you just care about the vetoes?

MR. CROWLEY: They will play – no, they will play a part.

QUESTION: My question is about Croatia and Southeast Europe. Croatian President Josipovic was in Bosnian parliament today and he made an apology for Croatian policy of partition of Bosnia during ‘90s that, as he said, result with the suffering of the people and with divisions that still torment the people of Bosnia and the region today. He also made an appeal for a solution of all open questions in the region and for tighter cooperation. He emphasized the profound interest of Croatia for the successful constitutional reform in Bosnia and for its Euro-Atlantic integration. Could you comment on that?

MR. CROWLEY: I haven’t seen that particular statement, but this has been part of the effort that we’ve been working on for a number of months to try to move the region forward. And we think this is a vitally important aspect in terms of easing tensions, reconciling the various communities, and most importantly, creating an atmosphere where reform can occur. So I think, overall, we welcome that statement.

QUESTION: Thank you.


MR. CROWLEY: Wait. Hold on.

QUESTION: Did the Secretary and the foreign minister of Turkey discuss Cyprus yesterday?

MR. CROWLEY: Actually, in the bilateral they had yesterday, they had a long list of things they wanted to talk about. They got through two of them in the formal bilateral. One obviously was Armenia and the second one was Bosnia. And they pledged at the end of yesterday’s bilateral to get together again before the foreign minister departs for home. I think --

QUESTION: So when is the meeting?

MR. CROWLEY: I think there’s going to be another meeting with Foreign Minister Davutoglu tomorrow.


QUESTION: Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 3:23 p.m.)

DPB # 55

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