1:46 p.m. EDT
MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. Secretary Clinton announced today a series of measures to increase U.S. ability to prevent North Korea’s proliferation to halt the illicit activities that help fund its weapons programs and to discourage further provocative activities. These new country-specific sanctions are aimed at North Korea’s sale or procurement of arms and related material and procurement of luxury goods as well as other illicit activities. These measures will not only strengthen our enforcement of UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, but will provide the authority to target North Korean’s illicit activities that violate a wide range of international norms.
These measures are not directed at the people of North Korea who have suffered too long; they are directed at the DPRK’s destabilizing, illicit, and provocative actions. If and when North Korea abides by its international obligations, the need for sanctions would be eliminated.
The Secretary specifically mentioned a number of steps: that there’ll be additional State and Treasury designations of entities and individuals supporting proliferation, subjecting them to an asset freeze; new efforts with key governments to stop DPRK trading companies engaged in illicit activities from operating in those countries and prevent their banks from facilitating these companies’ illicit transactions; expanding cooperation to prevent the travel of individuals designated under the Security Council resolutions, as well as other key North Korea proliferators; greater emphasis on North Korea’s repeated abuse of its diplomatic privileges in order to engage in activities banned by the Security Council, and finally to expand cooperation with countries so that they will not choose to purchase banned items from North Korea or to sell North Korea proliferation-related goods. And to help with this effort, the special advisor for nonproliferation arms control, Bob Einhorn, will be traveling in early August to enhance our cooperation internationally.
I think, from a practical standpoint there’s obviously, from this announcement, some specific action that needs to be done here in Washington. We’ll have more to say on the specific steps that will be taken in the next couple of weeks. Clearly, once the Departments of State and Treasury have identified entities that are subject to these kinds of designations, they’re announced publicly via publication in the Federal Register.
And just two more brief items. Obviously, coming out of yesterday’s discussion between Prime Minister Cameron and President Obama, we welcome the prime minister’s statements that his government will engage constructively with the upcoming Senate hearings. He also said that he has asked the cabinet secretary to go back through all of the paperwork and see if more needs to be published, or see if more can be published, about the background of this decision. We continue also to be in touch with Scottish authorities who have pledged similar cooperation. And as the President said yesterday, we will support the relevant facts being made available both through steps that the British and Scottish governments take and also through the upcoming Senate hearings.
And finally, Assistant Secretary Bob Blake was in Colombo, Sri Lanka today. He reviewed the bilateral relationship with President Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Peiris, met with a number of opposition political parties and held roundtables with representatives of civil society and the business community. His key message was simply to continue reconciliation as a core element of achieving lasting peace in Sri Lanka.
QUESTION: Can we start with North Korea?
MR. CROWLEY: Sure, of course.
QUESTION: Yesterday you were asked if what you think about the prospect for additional sanctions against North Korea, and you said – quote – “I’m not suggesting that we’re contemplating a new round of sanctions” – unquote. What is this that happened today?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, we have been focused on this for some time. We have had some work done with Treasury and the State Department. We had a package of sanctions that we’re prepared to move forward. The Secretary, after consulting with South Korean officials today, indicated that there was support to take this next step. It’s something, as I also said yesterday, we have watched carefully, we’ve had as available. And it’s just a matter of there’s work to be done. The Secretary decided today to announce that we will be taking these steps. We’ll have more to say in a couple of weeks.
QUESTION: No, you said that the U.S. was not contemplating the sanctions of North Korea.
MR. CROWLEY: I --
QUESTION: I quoted you. You said --
MR. CROWLEY: I said I was not here to forecast the next steps that --
QUESTION: No, that’s not what you said.
MR. CROWLEY: All right, Bob, all right --
QUESTION: I just quoted what you said.
MR. CROWLEY: And I also amended that statement in the end of the same statement and said that I’m not going to forecast the steps that we’ve taken. And I emphasize that this is a tool that we always have available to us. We’ve had this under study consistently for several months, and the Secretary determined today to announce that these are the steps that we’re going to take. As I indicated, we have work to do to repair the foundation for the announcement of the specific entities. I never said that we didn’t have this as an option available to us and --
MR. CROWLEY: -- the Secretary has made the announcement today.
QUESTION: I’d like to follow up. It’s a little odd, I think, for the Administration to announce that it is going to impose a bunch of sanctions, but not actually to have done the work to lay the foundation – to use your words – for it. Why the decision to announce the intent to impose these sanctions today?
MR. CROWLEY: Look, all right, let me --
QUESTION: Why not do the work and dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s”?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, let me clarify just so it’s clear. We’ve actually done an enormous amount of work. This is something that we are always evaluating. This is a changing environment. North Korean entities are adapting to the existing actions that we have been taking. We gain significant intelligence information all the time about what they are doing. We have indications from cases in other countries of the kinds of things they are doing. For example, as the Secretary mentioned today, the abuse of diplomatic privileges – there was a case in Sweden fairly recently where diplomats were accused and convicted of smuggling cigarettes, I believe, through diplomatic channels. So we’re always evaluating things that we can do. So a great deal of work has been done and, let me clarify, a foundation has actually been laid for the steps that the Secretary announced today.
There are just some legal steps that have to be done in terms of the finalization and publication of the specific designations that are on our list. And so from her announcement today, there are still some procedural steps that have to be taken, but there has actually been work to be done. But there are some procedural steps that we have to take in order to put this into the formal process.
QUESTION: But what is the authority under which these entities and individuals will be designated? Is it Executive Order 13382 or is some other authority?
MR. CROWLEY: What we’re announcing today is both actions that can be taken under existing authorities. These actions complement international resolutions. And we are going to be seeking additional authorities. For example, much of what we’ve done up to this point has centered on proliferation activities that stem from specific authorities. We’re moving into strengthening our national steps to attack the illicit activities that help to fund the weapons programs that are of specific concern to us – things like the importation of luxury goods into North Korea, concerns that we have long had about trafficking in conventional arms. So there are authorities that we will strengthen nationally and we’ll have more to say about that in the next couple of weeks.
QUESTION: Do you know what are the authorities under which you intend to designate North Korean individuals and entities as the Secretary announced?
MR. CROWLEY: They’re – yes. Yeah.
QUESTION: Okay. Which – what are they? Where are they?
MR. CROWLEY: There are existing executive orders –
QUESTION: I know. Which ones are the ones that you’re going to use to designate these?
MR. CROWLEY: Arshad, look, I’ve taken you as far as I can take you.
MR. CROWLEY: There are existing executive orders. There are existing – for the Patriot Act, for example, it gives us the ability to go after known North Korean counterfeiting in money, example. But we are going to be establishing new executive authorities and we’ll have more to say about that going forward.
QUESTION: Just so I’m clear, you mentioned the Patriot Act. Is it your intent to designate people under the Patriot Act pursuant to what the Secretary announced today?
MR. CROWLEY: Again, you’re asking me – we will have more to say about the specifics, including what we’ve decided to do and under what authorities we will act. We’ll have more to say about that in a couple of weeks once all of this is teed up.
QUESTION: Okay. Then I got one more on this which goes to my original question on it being unusual. My understanding, which is admittedly imperfect, is that one reason why the Treasury Department is most loathed to tip its hand on such actions is that just as in any kind of law enforcement, if you tip the people who you’re going after off that you’re going to go after them, they may take steps to try to protect their assets or hide them or pull them out of banks.
So if I were a North Korean proliferator with bank accounts all over the world – and I for the record, I’m not – knowing that the Secretary was – knowing that the U.S. Government planned to move on entities and individuals that it considered suspect, I might act in such way as to thwart their prospective action. Which is why I don’t understand why you would announce, even in general terms, your intent to do this because you risk tipping off the people and entities that you’re going after. So, why? Why is that not a concern?
MR. CROWLEY: There is – are many things here that are not new per se. There are things that we’ve been doing for some time. It is not a surprise to North Korea – I’m sure – that we have been focused on a lot of illicit activities through the years: their counterfeiting of money, their counterfeiting on cigarettes, their banking transactions that help to provide funds to their weapons programs and support the government and its policies. But to the extent that we are going to pursue further actions, this can’t come as a surprise to North Korea.
QUESTION: Can I ask you on these sanctions, you mentioned earlier that these sanctions aren’t permanent things, these are just things that if North Korea steps that North Korea could have these sanctions lifted. If these sanctions are specifically in response to the sinking of the Cheonan, what are the steps that the U.S. wants to do for them to get in the clear? Is there – does the United States want them to acknowledge that they did this, that – or to apologize for it?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, we want North Korea to pursue a fundamentally different path in terms of its relations with its neighbors, in terms of its behavior that influences security in the region, in terms of the illicit activities, criminal activities that affect the United States and our direct interests. There are a wide range of things that North Korea does which are against and contrary to international norms. We want fundamental change in North Korea. And we – as I have said on a regular basis, without forecasting exactly what we would do, we are constantly evaluating steps that we can take, authorities that we have, or as I had mentioned with Arshad, authorities that we will strengthen and expand to allow us to put pressure on the North Korean Government – to seek the kinds of changes that we want to see so that North Korea pursues a fundamentally different path. This is what we’re trying to do.
And the Secretary after consulting with South Korean President Lee and others, she’ll have further consultations at the ASEAN forum. She’ll meet, for example, with Foreign Minister Yang of China – again, part of our ongoing consultation with our key partners to try to get North Korea to fundamentally change its current course.
QUESTION: The sanctions aren’t necessarily linked only to the sinking of the Cheonan, they’re more --
MR. CROWLEY: Well, we have done many of these kinds of steps in the past, and we have – as again, I’ve said many times, we are constantly going back over what is a changing landscape. And we’ve arrived at a point where we feel that it is useful and necessary to take these additional steps to put pressure on the North Korean Government. But obviously, one of the key factors in the decision to do this was the sinking of the Cheonan.
QUESTION: Just to follow up with that real quick. I just have two quick questions. The first was what specifically prompted this to happen? Was it the Cheonan or was it their continual reluctance to return to the Six Party Talks? And then can you say that – what was the impendence for doing this?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, the – I mean the –
QUESTION: Had the – (inaudible). If the Cheonan had not been sunk, would this have happened?
MR. CROWLEY: That’s a good question. But the fact is the Cheonan was sunk –
QUESTION: Can you speak to the reason why?
MR. CROWLEY: North Korea has not, in the least bit, taken any responsibility for what has transpired. And against a backdrop where we feel that it’s necessary to send an unmistakable signal to North Korea, we have decided at this time to announce this decision. Likewise, in the 2+2 yesterday with Secretary Clinton, Secretary Gates, and their South Korean counterparts, they affirm that we will be undertaking military exercises to demonstrate our commitment to the security of South Korea and the region. So there are a number of things that we’re doing in light of North Korea’s series of provocative actions, the most recent of which is the sinking of the Cheonan.
QUESTION: And then my second question was – and you may not want to speak to this specifically, but if you could speak to it broadly, when you’re looking at the list of people that you’re going to be – entities you’re designating further in the next couple of weeks, does that include a new focus on – people believe to be part of the transitions believed to be going on in the leadership of North Korea? Is that going to be a focus of the designations?
MR. CROWLEY: I can’t answer that question.
QUESTION: P.J., you talked about adapting – that they have adapted to some of the sanctions that already are in place. Can you give us examples of that? And picking up on the question that Kirit had, is the idea – the rational for this, hitting the elite – which they say there are 5,000 members of the elite – is it to put the squeeze on them or to put the squeeze on them because they may abandon – with the idea of abandoning Kim Jong-il, making it very difficult ultimately for Kim Jong-il? What – do you know what I’m saying? What is the rationale?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think it’s a combination of things, Jill. First, it is to interrupt programs and funding that enables them to conduct these illicit activities: conventional arms, exports, counterfeiting, drug trafficking. So it is actually to try to attack the funding that supports areas of direct concern to us, to our allies, and our mutual interests. But certainly, when you get into sanctioning of individuals, interrupting funding flows that do also support the leadership, that could, we hope, affect their calculations. There have been times in the past where when we’ve – to use your words – put the squeeze on them, that has brought them back to the table prepared to engage. We want to see that, but of course, there are other things that we want to see as well.
Ultimately, North Korea has to fundamentally change its approach to the world and policies – there are specific policies that are of direct security concern to us. We are going to look at a combination of ways to send an unmistakable message, have an impact in Pyongyang, and see how they respond.
QUESTION: But the adaptation, the first question I asked, are you saying that they are adapting and as a result, the sanctions that are in effect – already in effect are not as effective as they were before?
MR. CROWLEY: No, but there’s a – there are always cause and effects here. We have taken steps in the past. We think they’ve been effective. North Korea, in turn, has adapted their networks, created front companies, entities in various countries. They look to see which countries have been effectively complying and enforcing UN Security Council resolutions. They look to see if there are seams and gaps in the international effort. That’s what Bob Einhorn is going to be consulting with a range of countries where we think there needs to be more aggressive implementation of Security Council Resolution 1718 and 1874. We like to see other countries also take the same kinds of national steps that we’ve announced today. And that combination will, in fact, we hope, have an impact on the core leadership which will I think change their calculations about how they engage with the United States and other countries.
QUESTION: Which countries is he going to visit, Einhorn?
MR. CROWLEY: We’ll have more to say about that.
QUESTION: Does he include China?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, the Secretary will be talking to –
QUESTION: No, Einhorn, is he –
MR. CROWLEY: I know. I don’t have his schedule yet. China obviously has a big role to play in this.
QUESTION: Change of subject.
QUESTION: Can we keep it this?
MR. CROWLEY: I’m not sure we’ve exhausted this one.
QUESTION: Same topic?
QUESTION: So you said the Secretary will be meeting with the Chinese foreign minister, I guess, next week, is it?
MR. CROWLEY: Tomorrow.
QUESTION: Tomorrow, sorry.
QUESTION: P.J. –
MR. CROWLEY: Hold on, hold on.
QUESTION: Right. Was China notified that these sanctions were in the pipeline? Did they know about them before – I mean, has there been consultation with them about this? Because obviously, as you said, they’re a key element here. They have been, up to now, pretty unwilling to, I guess, support sanctions against the core leadership. And I don’t see how these will be effective unless China participates.
MR. CROWLEY: Well, again, these are largely national steps that we can take. We will be consulting with China on what we think are additional steps that it can take, and then we’ll be looking to see how we can continue to aggressively implement Resolution 1874, Resolution 1718. So I can’t say that we consulted with China prior to making this specific announcement; it was within our prerogative to do. But obviously, the Secretary will have a chance to explain to Foreign Minister Yang what we have in mind here and the way forward and only on issues related to North Korea, but also issues related to Iran.
QUESTION: How would you characterize this increased – sudden increased rhetoric and (inaudible) rhetoric and maneuvers or joint exercises, sanctions, and yesterday James Clapper saying that – or warned the senators that they fear an attack on South Korea. Are they really intended to punish North Korea or are they intended to entice it back into a talk? How would you characterize it?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I wouldn’t characterize it as rhetoric. Bringing together American and South Korean vessels for naval maneuvers has a specific training benefit, greater coordination between our militaries, because were there to be some sort of conflict in the region, that cooperation, that alliance would be fundamental to protecting our interests. At the same time, we want to send an unmistakable signal to North Korea that provocative actions like the kind of – that we saw recently, the sinking of the ship, have a consequence. So these are concrete actions. They’re not about rhetoric and obviously, likewise, we’re demonstrating that the kinds of illicit activities that we’ve seen out of North Korea also have consequences and we’re going to take specific steps to counteract them.
QUESTION: But isn’t that likely to further isolate North Korea and isolating North Korea may very be far more dangerous?
MR. CROWLEY: I’m not sure that North Korea can become any more isolated than it already is. I mean, we’re trying to have a combination of – we’re obviously laying on the table some disincentives that hopefully will change North Korea’s calculations, their perception of what they need to do. We’re making clear that their provocative action has consequences. There will be teeth in what we’ve put forward today. So – but we’ll see how they respond to this.
QUESTION: P.J. --
MR. CROWLEY: Hold on.
QUESTION: P.J., do you think the tougher sanctions will work without the cooperation from China which calls for only resumption of the Six Party Talks?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, when you look at Resolution 1718 and 1874, all countries have responsibilities, China included. And we are gratified that a number of countries, including China, have aggressively implemented 1874 up to this point. I think what we want to do this is kind of demonstrate the knowledge that we’ve accumulated in recent months. It may well be in certain cases that there’s a front company in North Korea; it appears on the surface to be a legitimate business.
And we should always emphasize that, just as we said earlier, there is legitimate trade between North Korea and other countries in support of the North Korean people. But in some cases we’re seeing that on the surface it appears to be legitimate trade, but beneath the surface there’s an illicit activity that supports the programs that are, in fact, sanctioned under UN Security Council resolutions. So we are going to be discussing these kinds of specific steps with a wide range of countries going forward.
QUESTION: Are you going to be looking to other countries to take similar steps? Are you going to be looking at other countries to take –
MR. CROWLEY: Yes. Part of what we’ll do here, as Mr. Einhorn goes out to the region, is to look at – not only explain what we’re doing, look at the current state of implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, but also see what others can do given specific activities in particular countries.
QUESTION: Which countries exactly is he going to?
MR. CROWLEY: We’ll announce his travel when we get into early August.
QUESTION: P.J., the Chinese are still – have still expressed concern about the joint maneuvers – I think as recently as yesterday, from the foreign ministry they also made a comment with regard to that. Is this going to be a topic of discussion when the Secretary talks with Foreign Minister Yang? And is a there a concern, especially with regard to any deployments in the Yellow Sea, which takes you pretty close to the Chinese capital, and I’m given to believe that this in particular is seen as a very sensitive issue? Has that been taken into consideration in working out the format of these joint maneuvers? Sending a signal to North Korea is one thing, but you also don’t want to send the wrong signal to others in the area.
MR. CROWLEY: It wouldn’t surprise me if this is a topic of discussion tomorrow.
QUESTION: Change of --
QUESTION: One more on this, please. You said that you would be seeking additional authorities to carry out some of the steps forecast today. Will those additional authorities require legislation or congressional action, or are these more of the order of executive orders which the President can do on his own without the approval of Congress?
MR. CROWLEY: Let me – I’ll duck the question. Let’s wait till we announce what we’re specifically going to do and then and then that will become obvious.
QUESTION: Could you check? The reason is that if it requires congressional action, then your ability to do it in a few weeks is –
MR. CROWLEY: I’m not suggesting that we are going to require congressional action.
MR. CROWLEY: Russia.
QUESTION: Very angry statement from the foreign ministry about their citizen who was – this Yaroshenko who was arrested – or taken in Liberia. The Russians are saying essentially, he was kidnapped by the United States. This violates norms international law, the Vienna Convention, et cetera. And says that he – the American authorities have not informed the Russian diplomatic representations about his apprehension. There are many charges, we can go through them. But have you seen this statement by the foreign minister?
MR. CROWLEY: I have not.
QUESTION: Can you take the question? They – it’s quite an astounding statement.
MR. CROWLEY: Well –
QUESTION: Outright lawlessness is one of the quotes.
MR. CROWLEY: Okay. I’ll see if we can respond to it.
QUESTION: Can you follow that up for a second, P.J., just the Russian thing for one second? Are you aware of the conditions under which he was detained? Do you know the process or is this something that happened in Liberia? He was arrested in Liberia. Was he held there by the Liberians before being turned over to the Americans? Or –
MR. CROWLEY: Again, on the –
QUESTION: -- because you said yesterday he did receive consular access.
MR. CROWLEY: On the – on virtually anything regarding the specifics of this case, I’ll defer it to the Department of Justice or the DEA. The one area that we were able to mention yesterday was that upon his arrival in New York, he was given consular access. I will check and see if we’ve had any further interaction with our Russian counterparts and whether, in fact, they have been informed about the nature of the charges. Again, that’s partially our responsibility, partially Justice, but I’ll take that question. But regarding anything having to do with the specifics of this case and how he came to the United States, I’ll defer it to Justice.
QUESTION: As part of the cooperation and partnership between India and U.S., you allowed Indian Government officials access to David Headley, but there was a clause that both countries will not disclose the contents of the interviews. Two of the top ministers in India have given out all the details they have got and there are reports – media reports that U.S. is angry about it. Would you like to react on that?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, we value the cooperation between India and the United States on law enforcement and combating terrorism; it’s important. It does place responsibilities on both countries. We fully expect both countries to live up to their respective responsibilities.
QUESTION: No, but follow --
MR. CROWLEY: I understand. I’m not going to comment specifically on it.
QUESTION: Thank you. Different subject on Venezuela. There are some rising tensions between Venezuela and Colombia, and Colombia is going to present tomorrow at the OAS proof of narco-guerilla presence in Venezuela. I would like to know if you have some comments on that.
MR. CROWLEY: About a presentation that hasn’t taken place yet?
QUESTION: Well I mean on the tensions – the rising tensions between Venezuela and Colombia. And the second one is on Globovision tensions between government and Globovision.
MR. CROWLEY: Well, there have been tensions between Colombia and Venezuela, and we, of course – it would be good for the region if those tensions were eased, and it’s a matter of dialogue between Colombia, Venezuela, arrive at a common understanding of how to work cooperatively on the challenges that we face, among them, security challenges. But we certainly support greater interaction, cooperation, dialogue between Colombia and Venezuela to reduce those tensions and increase mutual cooperation.
QUESTION: And the intent – sorry – the intent of the Venezuelan Government to try to obtain ownership of Globovision. I would like to know if you have some position? You feel some position on that? Or –
MR. CROWLEY: I mean I – it’s not for me to describe the transaction that has resulted in the government having a chair on the board of directors of Globovision. Globovision plays an important role within Venezuela and civil society. It has been subject to government intimidation. Obviously, freedom of the press is a fundamental aspect of democracy in this hemisphere, and we would hope that the government will play a constructive role in this new relationship. We’ll be watching it carefully.
QUESTION: Thank you.
QUESTION: P.J., could I put two more questions concerning Russia on the record just so you can answer them?
MR. CROWLEY: Sure.
QUESTION: Because as I look at this, they say back on July 8th, they had a meeting between the ambassador and Under Secretary of State William Burns talking about this and saying that the rights of their citizens had to be protected, talking about the abduction of people. And then also July 14th they summoned the Russian – the U.S. Ambassador to Russia talking about this issue, too. So this is not something that has just immediately happened. It’s going back at least to July 8th.
MR. CROWLEY: Okay. I’ll – fair enough. I’ll take the question about our recent dialogue with Russia on this case.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) was immediately after he was brought to this country? Brought to the U.S.?
MR. CROWLEY: Yes.
QUESTION: Change of topic.
MR. CROWLEY: Hold on. David.
QUESTION: Palestinian President Abbas gave an interview. He seems to be saying that he would like the United States to specify what the boundaries of a Palestinian state would look like before he enters into direct talks. Are you aware of that? Is that something the United States would be prepared to do?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, we’ve had discussions in the recent days with the Palestinian authorities, including President Abbas. I’m not going to reveal the specifics of those conversations. Our message to both parties is let’s get to direct negotiations as quickly as possible, where, in fact, we can address the fundamental issues and the process, including borders. These are issues that we think can only be resolved within the context of direct negotiations.
Now, there certainly is the opportunity in the proximity talks that we’re having and other contacts that we have to clarify and identify the foundation upon which the direct negotiations could pursue. So, is the opportunity to have dialogue on these issues leading up to direct negotiations, of course. But ultimately, in order to address the concerns that we know that both parties have – refugees, security, Jerusalem, borders – those are going to be resolved in the direct negotiations themselves.
QUESTION: Does the United States have a map per se that it is ready – that it might be ready to put forward?
MR. CROWLEY: We will play a constructive role, but ultimately this is something that the parties themselves have to resolve.
QUESTION: Did Senator Mitchell return from his travels and what did he achieve in his last mission?
MR. CROWLEY: A lot of frequent flyer miles. (Laughter.) George has returned. He had a wide range of discussions not just with the Israelis and Palestinians, as he always does, but with others in the region whose support is critical to moving the parties forward into direct negotiations. Those meetings included the UAE, Qatar, and Egypt. We will continue our discussions with these key players and see if we can find the way to move them forward.
QUESTION: P.J., recently the – in fact, a couple days ago, the Israel press reviewed that Israel has what they call a secret plan to absolve itself of any responsibility for Gaza, and basically they want to call – they are discussing this with the European – six European ministers. And what they want is an international force to come and control the borders. And it’s (inaudible), interpreted as basically saddling Egypt with Gaza and (inaudible) any possibility for a viable state. Any comments on this topic? Any information on that and so on? It is a plan that is
MR. CROWLEY: We don’t normally comment on secret plans from the party.
QUESTION: Senator Menendez has wrote a letter to the Secretary on July 2nd but was --
MR. CROWLEY: Who did?
QUESTION: Senator Menendez from New Jersey wrote a letter to Secretary Clinton that was dated July 2nd, but was released to the press this week, in which he has urged the Secretary to submit a report to the Congress on aid – U.S. aid effectiveness to Pakistan and what Pakistan is taking measures on fight against terrorism. The report, he said, was (inaudible) for March – April 15th, but it hasn’t been submitted so far. Do you think – do you know why it has not been submitted and what are the reasons for it?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I can’t – I don’t know about that particular letter and request. Obviously, coming out of the meetings that the Secretary had this week in Pakistan, we’re looking at, first, an announcement of very specific projects in support of Pakistan. We are continually evaluating how to make those as effective as possible, how to channel them so that as much as this assistance as possible gets to the intended beneficiaries. This is an area of significant interest throughout the Congress. We are reporting on a regular basis to the Congress given not only the large sum of money that we are seeking in support of this program under the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation. But I’ll take the question as to whether we have a pending request to Senator Menendez.
QUESTION: And also, the Secretary has several interviews with various news channels. She said she believes that Usama bin Ladin is in Pakistan. But Pakistan foreign minister says he doesn’t agree with that. And he says if U.S. has any (inaudible) information, they should share it with Pakistan. Why don’t you share with them?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I can go back to what the Secretary said last October. And she reiterated on her trip today that – I think she’s not suggesting that at the highest levels that there’s specific knowledge of where bin Ladin is. I think the CIA director recently said on a major television program it is – he’s not sure precisely today where bin Ladin is. I think what the Secretary was saying was that it’s our belief that somewhere within the government there is this kind of knowledge, and we would hope that if that knowledge is available we can find out and take appropriate action. But I can’t sit here and say that we today know where bin Ladin is.
QUESTION: And --
MR. CROWLEY: We believe – I think we believe that he is – remains in the tribal areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but I’ll leave it there.
QUESTION: And finally a follow-up to the question asked earlier. Do you think the statement’s been given by senior Indian officials on Headley case is some kind of breach of the understanding that you had with the Indian officials, U.S., India had?
MR. CROWLEY: I’m just going to simply say that our cooperation is significant. It is a vital dimension of our relationship. It’s important for both sides. And when – and in this cooperation there are responsibilities that we both have, and I’ll leave it there.
QUESTION: Are you aware of the statements being given by those two senior officials – the home secretary and the national security?
MR. CROWLEY: Yes.
QUESTION: President Bashir of Sudan paid a visit to Chad today. Chad is a signatory state for the ICC. He apparently wasn’t arrested. Is there a sense of disappointment in the United States that he wasn’t?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, Chad is a party to the Rome Statute and has obligations as a result. We’ll leave it to the Government of Chad to explain why it did or did not take actions in – related to those obligations. We strongly support international efforts to bring those responsible for genocide and war crimes in Darfur to justice. We believe that there cannot be a lasting peace in Darfur or stability in Sudan without accountability and justice. And we will continue to call upon Sudan and other parties to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court. As we’ve said many times, ultimately President Bashir must present himself to the court and answer the charges that have been leveled against him.
QUESTION: Did you raise – did he raise this issue with the Chadian Government?
MR. CROWLEY: I don’t know.
QUESTION: And you said we’ll leave it --
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I mean, it just happened today so --
QUESTION: Yeah, no, I know. But – if you really want the guy arrested, you might have told him today, which is why I asked.
MR. CROWLEY: Okay. I’ll take the question whether we’ve had a conversation with Chad. Or if not yet, if we plan to have one.
QUESTION: And then related to that, you said, we’ll leave it to the Chadian authorities to explain actions they took or did not take. Does that mean you’re unhappy at the fact that he wasn’t arrested or you’re – it’s fine with you that he wasn’t arrested? I mean, it’s up to them to explain what they did or didn’t do, which is a reasonable position to adopt. But I don’t understand whether you’re happy or not about his continuing freedom.
MR. CROWLEY: I’m not going to characterize our mood.
QUESTION: Two more questions from South Asia. Assistant Secretary Blake traveled to Maldives yesterday. It’s very rare that any senior official visits Maldives. Do you know what was the reason and what issue discussed, whom he met?
MR. CROWLEY: I actually think he’s going to Maldives tomorrow.
MR. CROWLEY: So he hasn’t been there yet. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Okay. And on Nepal. There was elections for the prime minister to --
MR. CROWLEY: I think – just on that subject, I think it’s his first opportunity to visit the Maldives as Assistant Secretary. We value our interaction with the Maldives, particularly on the subject of climate change. There are some things happening in Maldives that Assistant Secretary Blake will want to understand more fully. But I think it will be a range of bilateral issues as well as global issues.
QUESTION: Will counterterrorism be also an issue?
MR. CROWLEY: Hmm?
QUESTION: Will counterterrorism also be an issue? Because Maldives was the venue of the talks between Taliban and Afghan Government earlier this year.
MR. CROWLEY: I’ll tell you what, I’ll have more to say about that. I’ll address that when I reflect on his visit tomorrow.
QUESTION: Is it linked to the recent unrest in the Maldives? There’s some – it was --
MR. CROWLEY: I mean, I can’t say. I think he was looking forward to going there and had this on his list of countries in his region to visit. But clearly, we are conscious of the unrest that has been in Maldives recently and want to be as supportive as possible to the government going forward.
QUESTION: And also on Nepal, there was elections for the Nepalese prime minister with the constitution assembly and the Maoists were defeated. They couldn’t get the simple majority. How do you view that?
MR. CROWLEY: I’m sorry.
QUESTION: The Maoist leader – leader Prachanda was defeated. He couldn’t get the simple majority to be elected as the prime minister of the country in Nepal. Do you have any comment on that?
MR. CROWLEY: I don’t.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MR. CROWLEY: Okay.
(The briefing was concluded at 2:30 p.m.)