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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


Jen Psaki
Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
December 12, 2014


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TRANSCRIPT:

2:06 p.m. EST

MS. PSAKI: Hi, everyone. Okay. I just have two quick items for all of you at the top. The Secretary is on travel in Bogota, Colombia today. This morning, he met with the peace process negotiators and Colombian President Santos. He held a press availability and met with Foreign Minister Holguin. He will return to Washington this evening.

The Secretary also spoke this morning with Foreign Minister Lavrov. They discussed the situation in the Middle East, including recent developments in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the region, as well as current initiatives at the UN.

With that, hello, Lara.

QUESTION: Hello, Jen. Let’s just stay there if we can.

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: I saw some of the Secretary’s comments to our colleagues while he was in Bogota before he took off, and his hope that some of the talks next week in Europe might help unite disparate countries behind some kind of unified plan, whatever plan that may be. Now, keeping in mind yesterday you had said that you’re not willing to discuss any proposals that haven’t even been tabled at this point, I’m just wondering, can you clarify: Would the United States approve or support any proposal at this point that would preclude a broader peace treaty between Israel and Palestine?

MS. PSAKI: Well, it’s – I understand why you’re asking the question. But I mean, obviously, the most important question for us is: What are the details of any proposal put forward? Clearly, you know where we stand on the fact – our belief that a two-state solution, an agreement between the two parties, is the best way to achieve peace in the region. And we have consistently acted in ways that support that effort, not oppose it.

But there are a range of proposals out there. There are – as the Secretary said in his comments, he’ll be discussing the effort and the interest of many countries to see action at the UN, and that will be the focus of his trip early next week.

QUESTION: I guess it’s just more of a matter of timing that I’m confused about. Yes, I’m familiar with the U.S. thinks that a two-state solution would help foster peace, but I was under the understanding that the United States wanted to see a peace agreement before Palestine was given statehood. So would the United States support statehood before a peace treaty?

MS. PSAKI: Our position on that hasn’t changed. But remember, we haven’t seen language for any UN proposal, and there are a range of proposals that are across the spectrum. Obviously, our principles that we’ve long had in this regard stand. But the fact is there are a number of countries out there that want to see action at the UN, that are pushing for that. There are a number of countries out there who have taken their own action, even non-binding action, and so this is an appropriate time to have the discussion.

QUESTION: I understand. I’m sorry.

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: I don’t mean to beat this to death --

MS. PSAKI: Not at all. Go ahead.

QUESTION: -- but I honestly don’t want to be mis-confused on --

MS. PSAKI: Understand.

QUESTION: -- what the U.S. position is.

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: Is the U.S. position that a peace agreement must be come to – must be, I don’t know, ratified first or agreed upon first before Palestinian statehood?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’ve long said – and this remains our position – that we support the aspirations of the Palestinians to achieve statehood. Obviously, that’s part of what would be negotiated through a peace process.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. PSAKI: However, there are a range of actions the UN could take. We’re not going to prejudge what those are or prejudge proposals out there that are on a – the broad range of the spectrum.

QUESTION: So can I just pick up on that? Are you stepping back from previous assertions that you do not believe the right way to achieve statehood is through the United Nations?

MS. PSAKI: That is – continues to be our position, but there are a range of proposals out there that have a number of different objectives and have different language in them.

QUESTION: So if one of the proposals is a timeline, for instance --

MS. PSAKI: I’m just not going to speculate.

QUESTION: -- within which you could possibly --

MS. PSAKI: There isn’t – there isn’t a --

QUESTION: -- have a peace deal negotiated --

MS. PSAKI: There isn’t a proposal that’s tabled, Jo. So when there is we can talk about that, but we’re not at that point yet.

QUESTION: No, I understand that. But there’s a number of ideas that have already been discussed.

MS. PSAKI: There are.

QUESTION: Particularly by the Palestinians, who are the people most concerned by this resolution, if and when it is put forward in the United Nations. So if there is language, which it would seem to be the consensus – it doesn’t matter – if there is language which sets a timetable, is that something that the United Nations feels it – if it doesn’t wholeheartedly support, could at least abstain from?

MS. PSAKI: Well, again, there isn’t language that’s put forward yet. I understand there are lots of ideas out there. That’s why the Secretary is making this trip and having conversations about it. But I’m not going to bind the arms of our – of those discussions or talk more publicly about conversations that are happening behind the scenes.

QUESTION: But it does seem that you’re stepping back slightly from a position that you had in the past.

MS. PSAKI: I’m not intending to step back. I’m just not going to speculate on a hypothetical, which is what you’re asking me.

QUESTION: Okay. And then I wanted to ask also – there was a very short readout of the conversation with Foreign Minister Fabius yesterday in Lima. Of course, one of the proposals that’s being put together, I believe, is being put together with French help.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: So I wondered if you could tell us a little bit about their discussions that they may have had around that.

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to discuss in more detail than what was laid out in the readout, because we believe that having these discussions privately is the right way to make progress. And obviously, at this sensitive time when there are lots of proposals out there, when there are lots of countries that have different views about how things should proceed, having these conversations privately is, in the Secretary’s view, is the way to do it the right way.

QUESTION: And whilst the Secretary’s in Europe, in Rome next week on Monday, will he take the opportunity to meet with any of the other partners who might be – have an interest at the UN Security Council on this?

MS. PSAKI: Well, he’s – we’re still finalizing the schedule. I can see if anything’s been locked in. But I expect that he’ll have additional conversations while he’s there. I just don’t have any details yet on who those will be with.

QUESTION: And although you say you haven’t seen any language, can I just ask – and I know you’re going to refer me to the United Nations, but you are the body that’s overseeing them too; you’re their boss, so to speak. Can you tell us what you’re doing at the United Nations around this issue, around this – these various different proposals that seem to be coming together?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’re obviously – a big part of what we’re doing is having conversations with interested parties and countries. And that certainly is an appropriate role for the State Department to play and the Secretary to play, and I’d certainly refer you to the United Nations otherwise as it relates to their timeline and what proposals and options they’re considering.

QUESTION: But Ambassador Power is already involved in the mix in some of these discussions?

MS. PSAKI: I would certainly point you to them on the specifics. I mean, we’re engaged. I’m sure she’s engaged with discussions, but I don’t have any readout on the level of detail or how serious they are at this point in time.

QUESTION: Do you expect any deliverables, or actionables to use another bureaucratic --

MS. PSAKI: They’re similar terms, I think. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Yeah, exactly. Do you expect anything to come of the meetings that is concrete or an agreement out of – from next week’s discussions in Europe?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’ll see. But I think the objective here is not necessarily to come out with an announced deliverable but to have a discussion – continue the discussion, I should say – about all of the proposals out there, the interests of many countries in moving action forward. And I’m not sure there will be an appropriate public announcement to be made.

QUESTION: Do you think there’s a 1 percent chance of that or a 17 percent chance? (Laughter.)

MS. PSAKI: I like the numbers you’ve used, but I am not going to put a percentage. (Laughter.) I’m sure we can talk about this again on Monday, and I’ll look forward to it.

Do we have any more on this issue? Hello, Said.

QUESTION: Sorry – can I just ask on the Palestinian side --

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: -- are there any plans for a meeting or a phone call with President Abbas or any of his team?

MS. PSAKI: Let me just check and see. I know the Secretary was planning to engage with him. I don’t think he’s had the opportunity to do that today given his travel, but I expect he will in the coming days.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Do you think he might do that before he meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu or after?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t want to make a prediction of that, Said. Obviously, we’ll – it could happen either way.

QUESTION: Would it make sense to talk to him beforehand?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t think we’re thinking of it in those terms. I think obviously, the Secretary’s been continuously engaged with both parties. This isn’t the first conversation he’s having with them about this topic.

QUESTION: Okay. Seeing that how many European countries are one after the other recognizing the Palestinians – I understand it’s symbolic, largely symbolic, but these are parliaments of democratic countries, and presumably, they reflect the sentiment of the public. So will the United States follow suit at one point?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t think we’ve ever indicated an interest or a plan to do that, Said. Do we have any more --

QUESTION: But you agree – you do agree that in Europe at least it does reflect a large portion of the public? I mean, these --

MS. PSAKI: Well, every country is different. I’d refer you to their countries and how their systems work. And some are – many of them are nonbinding resolutions, but every country’s different.

Do we have any more on this topic before we continue? Okay, go ahead, Lalit.

QUESTION: On the Kabul attack, do you have anything on the attack in Kabul by another suicide bomber from the Taliban?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t right now, but I promise we will get you something right after the briefing. It’s an important question.

QUESTION: Within the last few weeks we have seen a series of such attacks inside Kabul, which was so far secure. Do you doubt the credibility of ANSF or do you see why it is happening – the security – what is your assessment of the security situation in Kabul right now?

MS. PSAKI: Well, certainly we don’t see it that way. As you know, we’re in an important transition period and the ANSF is – has been transitioning into being in the lead in Afghanistan. And we think they have been taking on those challenges and working closely with our teams on the ground very effectively. There also are – in this time of transition, we’ve also seen a desire for some of the bad actors – the Taliban and others – to take action to show their power or assert their power or show that – and we’ve seen that happen as well. But we’re proceeding on our plan and on our path to work closely with our NATO partners. We’re working closely with the Afghan National – the Security Forces on the ground. And we certainly believe that we can continue to proceed and have a successful outcome as we complete the transition.

QUESTION: I have one more on Afghanistan.

MS. PSAKI: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Following the CIA report, the Afghanistan president have said these are a violation of human rights, and also violation of international laws. Has the Government of Afghanistan or the president raised this issue with the U.S.?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any – there’s been a range of discussions and calls with our partners around the world, and as you know, we are closely in touch with the Government of Afghanistan for obvious reasons, given the pivotal time we’re at. And the Secretary himself as well as senior officials have been engaged in these calls and discussions.

As I’ve said from the podium a couple of times this week, we have been reiterating in these calls that these practices are in the past, they don’t represent who we are or our values, and we put this report out to be transparent and move forward. And certainly, that’s the message we would be communicating to any country, including Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Jen, have you spoken about Shukrijumah, the senior al-Qaida operative, Saudi American, that was killed, apparently, in Pakistan? Have you spoken about that?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t believe – let me see if I have anything on that, Said.

QUESTION: He’s a resident of Florida and a pilot and all this stuff.

MS. PSAKI: I don’t, Said. I can see if there’s anything we have after the briefing.

QUESTION: Also on Pakistan, day before yesterday, Deputy SRAP Blanc at the House Foreign Relations Committee hearing said that U.S.-Pakistan will be holding their Strategic Dialogue in January sometime. Do you know, is Secretary traveling to Pakistan, or what are the dates for that dialogue?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any trips to announce at this point in time. I know the Secretary’s eager to get there in 2015. So hopefully, we’ll have something to announce in the coming weeks.

Go ahead, Pam.

QUESTION: I had several questions on Haiti.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: Counselor Shannon and Special Coordinator Adams are wrapping up a trip to Haiti today that has included talks with the president, the prime minister, and opposition leaders. And these talks are coming after a commission that was appointed by the president issued recommendations that included a call for the prime minister to resign and also the creation of a new electoral council and some other measures.

Several questions related to that: First of all, what is the U.S. position regarding Haiti’s crisis?

MS. PSAKI: Well, let me first say that we believe elections are essential for Haiti’s democratic development and to advance progress made in reconstruction and development. The United States and, certainly, Counselor Shannon on his trip and Haiti Special Coordinator Tom Adams are certainly advocating strongly for dialogue and compromise among the parties that will lead to a Haitian solution to permit elections without further delay. Toward that end, we welcome the December 9th recommendations offered by the consultative commission established by President Martelly as a basis for dialogue. We understand he’ll speak today regarding the recommendations.

So our position as the United States is that we broadly support dialogue and compromise leading to a solution in Haiti that will permit elections without further delay, and we think that’s incredibly important to advance progress made there.

QUESTION: You said the U.S. welcomes the recommendations. Do you think they will lead to a resolution of the crisis?

MS. PSAKI: Well, it’s ultimately up to Haitians to resolve the current difficulties. We support efforts such as the work of the commission to advance a compromised solution. We support the announcement of the recommendations. But ultimately, it’s up for people in the country to implement.

QUESTION: And one final question. If there is no political agreement between the government, the parliament, and the opposition by mid-January, the president may have to rule by decree. And if so, how is that going to affect U.S.-Haiti relations?

MS. PSAKI: Well, one of the reasons that, of course, Counselor Shannon and Special Coordinator Tom Adams are there is because this is an important time in this process. And our view is that there’s time to resolve this issue before Haiti gets to that point, so our efforts are focused on supporting a resolution through dialogue, and we’re not going to speculate on what will happen if we get to that point.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MS. PSAKI: Sure. Go ahead, Elliot.

QUESTION: I have one on the climate summit in Lima --

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: -- that the Secretary attended.

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: I don’t know if you’re the best-equipped one to address this, so --

MS. PSAKI: I will do my best, and if not, we’ll get you some answers after the briefing. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you. So civil society organizations are kind of raising a ruckus over restrictions that they had on the sidelines over whether – what kinds of words, what kind of phrases they could put on signs that they were holding up.

MS. PSAKI: Civil society groups at the Peru conference?

QUESTION: At the Peru conference.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: Pretty draconian rules. No specific countries, no specific names of people, no specific projects – basically limiting them to only the most broadest slogans. I was wondering if the U.S. had been aware of this and whether they raised it – whether the U.S. team raised it with the UN hosts to --

MS. PSAKI: I am not personally aware, which you suspected. I will check and see if our team was aware and see if we have any further view on it. I haven’t heard from them that that was an issue we were grappling with.

QUESTION: Okay, thank you.

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: Stay in the region?

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: I’m sure you’re aware, and there’s some concern, that World Health Organization payments to doctors from Cuba who were in Africa – I think specifically Sierra Leon, Guinea, and Liberia – are not being paid because of U.S. embargoes. Do you know if that’s the case and whether or not there’s any kind of steps to take that – to remedy that? I mean, John Kerry himself said that Cuba should be praised for having its doctors respond to the Ebola crisis.

MS. PSAKI: Absolutely. And we absolutely feel that way. I was venturing to get you some information before the briefing, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to get kind of a technical answer that I was hoping to, so let me follow up after the briefing and see if we can kind of clarify that it’s unrelated to anything on the embargo.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: One on ISIS. British channel, News Channel 4 is – has done an interview with an Indian national from Bangalore who the channel says was handling the Twitter account of ISIS. Do you know about it, and how do you see this?

MS. PSAKI: I haven’t seen the interview. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, as we’ve all seen that ISIL has been particularly active on social media, and that’s one of their recruitment tools that they have used out there. So I’m happy to take – is there anything in the interview you have a question about or --

QUESTION: No. Are you trying to get in touch with the Indian authorities to know more about this person or ISIS who are trying to broadcast their view on Twitter?

MS. PSAKI: I’m happy to certainly check. I mean, I think our view – our continuing conversation with any country is about efforts to de-legitimize ISIL and work – we need to do to work together to do that. And so that’s been the focus of Under Secretary Stengel’s efforts and a number of officials in the Administration. But we can check with our India team on that.

QUESTION: Can we say on ISIL and the fight in Syria?

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: First of all, did you find out which groups that were apparently cut off in terms of getting paid, as I asked yesterday?

MS. PSAKI: As I said yesterday and the day before, Said, I’m just not going to be able to detail all forms of our assistance and --

QUESTION: Okay. And in the conversation that Secretary of State Kerry had with Lavrov, did they discuss any kind of effort that this – the Russian effort to start some sort of a peace process going?

MS. PSAKI: What I outlined was really the focus – are you talking about a peace process in Syria or --

QUESTION: Yeah, yeah. Yes. Yeah.

MS. PSAKI: What I outlined --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MS. PSAKI: -- was the topic and the focus of the discussion, given the Secretary’s upcoming trip. As you know, they talk all the time --

QUESTION: Right.

MS. PSAKI: -- and they met a week or so ago when they were at – in Brussels, I believe, it was. Where was it? London? In Europe. And they talked about those exact issues, and I’m sure they will talk about them again soon.

QUESTION: Mm-hmm. Well, because the Russians are saying that on the ground, in reality, it is only the Syrians who have been really fighting ISIS, nobody else has. I mean, of course, the Americans and the coalition have been dropping bombs – but in actual fighting day to day for the past couple of years. Is that an assessment that you agree with?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I have not seen those comments, so I’m not going to speak to them directly. But our view, broadly speaking, is that the Syrian regime allowed ISIL to grow their safe havens in Syria, which was – led to many of the problems we’re facing today. And the efforts of the coalition and the United States military action are the action that’s happening against ISIL at this point in time.

QUESTION: Does the United States have a short attention span, so to speak, when it comes to the fight against ISIL? Because we were talking about Kobani, Kobani, Kobani, and now it has completely disappeared off the radar screen. What’s going on in Kobani? Is it still deadlocked?

MS. PSAKI: It hasn’t disappeared off our radar screen, Said, just because you haven’t asked questions about it.

QUESTION: (Laughter.) Yeah, okay. Sorry.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: Somebody else have ISIL? Have you spoken to the reports that ISIL is trying to sell parts of – or the remains of James Foley?

MS. PSAKI: I haven’t spoken to them. I didn’t speak to them yesterday, so let me do that. Let’s see.

We are seeking more information – obviously, there have been a range of reports out there – and can’t confirm the specific details. If true, we are horrified by this latest example of ISIL’s depravity. We remain determined to do our utmost to hold accountable those who have done our citizens harm. And certainly, that applies to even this horrific action happening post his death.

QUESTION: And so it’s fair to say or to assume that his remains have never been recovered by U.S. authorities, correct?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t believe we’ve confirmed those details, Lara. But obviously in this report, we just don’t have more specifics on it.

Do we have more on ISIL? ISIL?

QUESTION: Related.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: The President had a meeting earlier today with the Saudi interior minister. We haven’t seen a readout of that meeting, but the topics, according to the schedule, were going to include coalition efforts to fight ISIL, countering extremist messaging, and also cooperation on Yemen. I know the Secretary is traveling, but was he able to participate in this meeting either by video link or telephone?

MS. PSAKI: He met with him, I believe, just a few days ago. So there wasn’t a plan for him to participate in the meeting.

QUESTION: Okay. And then perhaps going off more than that meeting, when it comes to the coalition efforts to fight ISIL, can you highlight if there have been any kind of advancements in the role that they’re playing? Particularly, has there been an advancement in the training of oppositions in Saudi --

MS. PSAKI: Saudi Arabia? Well, we’re – I would point you really to DOD for specifics on that program. There have been – I would encourage anyone to read Ambassador McGurk’s testimony from earlier this week where he outlined issue by issue and went into the details of many countries and progress that they’ve made. And Saudi Arabia has continued to contribute in all of the lines of effort. They are one of the countries that Under Secretary Stengel has been engaged with on the delegitimization effort and working with them to use powerful voices to get out the fact that ISIL is not Islam. They obviously have also been a player as it relates to the military action. They’ve been supporting humanitarian assistance. They’ve been taking steps to crack down on financing. So they have continued to be an important player in this, and I think, again, I’d encourage you to read his testimony for more specifics.

QUESTION: And then if I could just ask one more question on that.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Sorry if this was in a readout.

MS. PSAKI: Go ahead.

QUESTION: But when it comes to then cooperation on Yemen, and then also these now announced next round of the P5+1 talks, were those topics that the Secretary discussed with the interior minister?

MS. PSAKI: We put out a readout the other day. I don’t have that in front of me. I’m sure we can get that to you after the briefing, but the upcoming talks – they’re often a topic of conversation. I’m not sure if they were during this particular meeting.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: Do you know more about the Russian initiative to gather this peace conference to make a position on it?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have more details from what we talked about the other day, in the sense that they announced an interest in hosting a meeting. We obviously want to see what the objectives are, what the purpose would be, and we’ll continue to have that discussion with the Russians.

QUESTION: Staying on Russia.

MS. PSAKI: Go ahead.

QUESTION: I just wondered if you had anything you could tell us about the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which went through Senate yesterday. The Russians are acting pretty angrily about it. And – but it does give authorization, if required – or if wanted – to President Obama to provide lethal and nonlethal military aid to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons, ammunition, and tactical troop-operated surveillance drones. I wondered, is there actually any plan for such weapons or weaponry to be supplied to the Ukrainian forces?

And secondly, the Russians are sort of saying that this is a confrontational act and they’re very worried about it.

MS. PSAKI: Well --

QUESTION: The bill.

MS. PSAKI: The bill. Sure. Well, our position and our policy position has not changed. Our focus from the outset of this crisis has been on supporting Ukraine and on pursuing a diplomatic solution that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We’ve worked closely with our allies and partners in Europe and around the world to help accomplish this. As you know, our focus has been on providing a range of assistance, including $118 million in security assistance. That security assistance has included everything from body armor, helmets, vehicles, night and thermal vision devices, heavy engineering equipment, advanced radios, demining equipment, portable explosive ordnance disposal robots, patrol boats, counter mortar radars – meaning there are a lot of – there’s a lot of equipment that we’ve already provided. And this assistance also includes advising and training.

The situation, of course, remains fluid and we remain very concerned about the situation on the ground, and we continue to assess how best to support Ukraine. So we’re always evaluating our options, but nothing has changed as it relates to our focus, which is on the kind of assistance that we’ve already provided.

QUESTION: So no plans for any anti-tank weapons at the moment?

MS. PSAKI: Nothing has changed in that regard.

QUESTION: And do you – when the Russians say they believe this is a confrontational piece of legislation, what would your response be to that?

MS. PSAKI: I would say confrontational – a better way to use that term would be to describe the fact that there are continued aggressive actions and movement of humanitarian convoys and armed separatists moving around Ukraine, which is a sovereign country. So they should focus more on that and less on a piece of legislation.

QUESTION: Stay on Russia?

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: Do you have any update about Putin’s visit to India and – because now you must have the details about 12 nuclear plants and all that.

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’ve certainly seen more of the reporting that has come out this morning, but let me tell you what I have at this point. Of course, we’ve seen the reports regarding Indian business signing contract – Indian businesses signing contracts with Russian businesses. We continue to urge all countries not to conduct business as usual with Russia. We continue to monitor it, but we haven’t looked at all the specifics of the contracts, for obvious reasons.

QUESTION: So will it have any effect on President Obama’s visit? Will it be postponed, delayed, or will it go ahead?

MS. PSAKI: No. India remains an important partner. Obviously, our economic relationship is a big part of what we continue to work on.

QUESTION: Thanks.

QUESTION: You’re saying that business cannot go on as usual with Russia – other countries with Russia? Is that what you’re saying?

MS. PSAKI: Yes.

QUESTION: So are you calling for sanctions? Are you – you want to impose sanctions?

MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, there are already sanctions in place.

QUESTION: I understand, but more sanctions – I mean other countries --

MS. PSAKI: That wasn’t what I was calling for. In general, though, given the situation, it shouldn’t be business as usual.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) spoken to the Indians before the trip that it’s not the right time to do business with the Russian leadership?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’ve been engaged in that discussion. I’d remind you – as you know, because you report on this all the time – India doesn’t support the actions of Russia and the actions – their intervention into Ukraine. They’ve been pretty outspoken about that as well.

QUESTION: And on the Crimean leader who was part of the delegation, do you have anything else in addition to what you said yesterday? You had asked Indians about it. Have they responded to your queries?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything new to offer on that.

QUESTION: Just a quick thing.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Have you confirmed he was there or not?

MS. PSAKI: Independently? I think there have been a range of reports, so I would point you to that. I don’t have any U.S. Government confirmation. We’re obviously not in on the trip with them.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: There’s no change in President’s trip to India?

MS. PSAKI: No. No, no.

Yes.

QUESTION: To go back to South Sudan --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- we talked about it a bit yesterday --

MS. PSAKI: Yes, mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- wondering if the U.S. has a position on an arms embargo on either side of the conflict there.

MS. PSAKI: I’m happy to talk to our team about it. I don’t think we’ve talked about this from here in quite some time.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. PSAKI: I don’t think there’s a new – anything new we’re considering in that regard, but why don’t I take it and I’ll see if we can get you something after the briefing.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

All right. Happy Friday, everyone.

QUESTION: Happy Friday.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Go Army, beat Navy. I had to say that. (Laughter.)

MS. PSAKI: It’s good. We’ll make sure it’s in the transcript.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:34 p.m.)



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