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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Briefing by Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley


Press Availability
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
January 27, 2010

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MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and happy State of the Union day. The Secretary, I think, as we speak, is probably doing a press availability following the Yemen meeting before she heads to St. James Palace for a reception in honor of the Afghanistan conference, I believe hosted by Prince Charles. But after she arrived this morning in London, she’s had bilaterals with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Indonesian Foreign Minister Natalegawa and Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, prior to the Yemen meeting. And later on this evening after joining a dinner hosted by Foreign Secretary Miliband, she will have an extended meeting with Afghan President Karzai.

QUESTION: Wasn’t she supposed to see – do some bilats with some Arab foreign ministers?

MR. CROWLEY: I wouldn’t rule out that there might be some additional activity tomorrow, but that’s what she’s done today. And in these meetings, she probably had a number of informal conversations with the various participants in the Yemen meeting.

Regarding the current situation in Peru, I can report that right now, as of late morning, there are no air operations ongoing due to bad weather. Our latest information is that there are still about 200 American citizens around Aguas Calientes.

MR. TONER: That’s right, yeah.

MR. CROWLEY: And – but we continue to have U.S. helicopters in the area as well as Peruvian helicopters, and the rail link is down due to the conditions that we will continue to work at the first opportunity to continue to bring U.S. and other citizens down from the mountain.

On Haiti, not a lot to report today, but our confirmed number of U.S. fatalities has risen to 75.

QUESTION: Can you give the kind of a breakdown that you gave yesterday, P.J.?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah. Let me come back to it.

And just – last thing just to point out before we go to your questions. Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson has left for a trip to the region. He is in Madrid today joining EU representatives to discuss African matters, and then will move on to – will be in Addis Ababa for the --

QUESTION: African Union.

MR. CROWLEY: -- African Union summit, and then he’ll stop in four countries in West Africa in days after that, including Accra; Lome, Togo; Cotonou, Benin; and Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria before coming back to Washington in about 10 days’ time.

Okay, back to Haiti.

QUESTION: Can you just give us a rundown? Yesterday, you’d given confirmed American fatalities, and then you had additionally given – yesterday was 60, the 56 private citizens and the four officials --

MR. CROWLEY: Sure.

QUESTION: -- and then 37 that were presumed to be American, but not yet confirmed.

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah. We have 71 private citizen fatalities, four U.S. Government official, which includes family member fatalities. So – and some from the suspected – obviously, we’ve confirmed in the last 24 hours, so the overall number has not changed, actually.

QUESTION: So and --

QUESTION: What is it?

MR. CROWLEY: So still talking 97.

QUESTION: Okay, got it. So another 22 are suspected but not confirmed?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah, right.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. CROWLEY: And we’ve evacuated 12,636 Americans and family members. I think the --

QUESTION: So if an American had – has children who are not American, they came with – is that the idea?

MR. CROWLEY: Yes, yes. Yeah. Or – say that again?

QUESTION: Well, you said – you said they weren’t all Americans.

MR. CROWLEY: Right.

QUESTION: And so they – if you are an American citizen but you have children in Haiti who are not citizens --

MR. CROWLEY: And I was – right. And then the opposite is true. If you are a U.S. child who is an American citizen, you can have somebody --

QUESTION: A parent can come.

MR. CROWLEY: A parent can come escort – or a relative, whether an American citizen or – in some cases, who may not be American citizens.

QUESTION: Can I change the topic or --

QUESTION: Can I ask about the orphans?

MR. CROWLEY: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Has that number changed at all from the 500 yesterday?

MR. CROWLEY: It’s still about – no, it’s still about 500. Six hundred and sixty-one Haitians have been given humanitarian or medical paroles. That’s a little bit higher than yesterday.

QUESTION: Those aren’t kids?

MR. CROWLEY: No.

QUESTION: Have they – 661 are here?

MR. CROWLEY: 661 that’s likely, yeah, to be here. If they aren’t here, they’re coming here.

QUESTION: And the 500 kids, how many of those are going to stay in the United States? You said several hundred yesterday.

MR. CROWLEY: I think the majority – the vast majority will stay in the United States, I think. In one of the early missions, there were some that we were bringing back who were actually going to be transiting to other countries.

QUESTION: And just to follow on that, do you think the agreement that you made with the Haitian Government whereby they have to prove every child might slow down the progress on processing these adoptees?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I mean, in many cases the – let me clarify. There is a process where we’re working with the Haitian Government as part of, say, an adoption process. The Haitian Government has to agree that this child is eligible to be adopted. What the Haitian Government wants to continue to track is that as we are working children through the process as quickly and as transparently as possible, they simply want to know, in fact, when these movements are taking place. So – but the – it’s not like a senior official is (inaudible). There is a – there’s a process. We’re working very collaboratively with the Haitian Government.

I think – I mean, it is – we respect the sovereignty of Haiti, and it is their right to control the departure of Haitian children. So we think the system is – that has been established is working effectively. And we – I know there’s a perception out there that – cut through the red tape. But there are very good reasons why we want to make sure that this process works well. We want to be sure that when a child is identified that due diligence has been done to make sure that this is truly an orphan child and not a child that actually has family. So sometimes if you push too hard, too fast, there can be unintended consequences on the other side of this.

So we’re being very, very careful. We’re working closely with the Haitian Government. And we think it’s a system that is working to everyone’s advantage.

QUESTION: On a different topic, the election in Sri Lanka.

MR. CROWLEY: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Just in terms of how the U.S. perceives it, there’s some allegations about the opposition candidate (inaudible) about the legitimacy of it. Just in terms of what the U.S. sees and how it sees going forward with Sri Lanka?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, I think it’s important to recognize that this was the first nationwide election in decades. I think, as we talked about yesterday, participation was high, the process was generally peaceful. Obviously, there were incidents of violence that we are very aware of. I think it is – it’s remarkable when you consider what Sri Lanka has come through recently. And there is a process for resolving electoral disputes. We’re obviously aware that there have been claims of victory and counterclaims.

As far as we know, the Independent Election Commissioner has not ruled yet. So we will wait to see what – and have further comment when the election results are finalized.

QUESTION: On North Korea, do you have any comment on the artillery exchange between the two Koreas (inaudible)?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, I think – we’re aware of it. And the declaration by North Korea of a “no sail zone” and the live firing of artillery are provocative actions and, as such, are not helpful.

QUESTION: Can we go to --

QUESTION: Do you think it’s posturing before the next round of talks or is there any --

MR. CROWLEY: Who knows?

QUESTION: Do you think the change of gunfire is aimed at showing their resolution to seek a peace treaty?

MR. CROWLEY: I have no idea.

QUESTION: Just one more on North Korea. This week, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri reported that State Department is going to issue a visa for Ambassador Kim Kye Gwan and Philharmonic – North Korean philharmonic. Additional information?

MR. CROWLEY: I wouldn’t rule out further meetings at some point, but I’ve got nothing to announce.

QUESTION: Why would you – you know, when the New York Philharmonic went to Pyongyang, I don’t think Chris Hill went with it.

MR. CROWLEY: Then maybe I misunderstood the question.

QUESTION: The question was that you were – that there’s a Japanese newspaper report that the United States plans to give visas to Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea’s main nuclear negotiator, and the North Korean philharmonic.

MR. CROWLEY: I do not know. I’ll take the question.

QUESTION: Okay. Can we go to Afghanistan?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Can you shed some light on what is the Administration’s position, not merely on trying to peel away the Taliban foot soldiers, but also on trying to perhaps bring about some kind of a political reconciliation with more senior Taliban officials?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, we support the efforts at reintegration. They’re aimed at stabilizing local areas and they’re focused on low- and mid-level insurgent fighters and commanders who are not committed to an extremist ideology and who are prepared to cease their support for insurgent activity. This is an Afghan-led process and it will require strong political and financial support from the international community. And we’re aware that small-scale reintegration efforts are now underway. Reconciliation is a different animal, and it refers to potential Afghan political arrangements with senior Taliban leaders.

We support Afghan Government’s interest in reaching out to any insurgent group that accepts the Afghan constitution, renounces violence, and publicly breaks with extremist groups like al-Qaida. We’re – while we’re willing to assist in such efforts, the United States is not currently in any discussion. This, again, would be an Afghan-led initiative. I think the conference tomorrow will, I think, focus primarily on reintegration. I think it’s premature to talk about reconciliation, among other reasons because I don’t think there’s any indication on the ground that senior Taliban or other leaders affiliated with al-Qaida have changed their views at this point.

QUESTION: But to go to that point of changing their views, I mean, your stated policy about reconciliation suggests that if Mullah Omar changed his spots, that that would be – you know, and decided that he would distance himself from extremists and so on, notwithstanding the fact that I think he has a price on his head from the U.S. Government, but that that would be acceptable to you, that bringing somebody like that back in is fine as long as they change their previously held views and associations.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think we’re going to talk to Afghanistan about this. I think we recognize that success in the long term in Afghanistan will require military steps and political steps and economic steps. So those are all fundamental tenets of a successful counterinsurgency strategy.

We – in any kind of discussion on these issues, there will be – the conditions that I mentioned a minute ago do matter. What precisely are these senior officials willing to do? Are they going to be public and demonstrative in their suggestion that they and their potential followers should renounce violence? If they are willing to join into the political process, what do they bring into the process? If they bring the kind of divisive views that split Afghanistan in the ‘90s and set about to specifically exclude full rights for women or other ethnic groups in Afghanistan, then perhaps that will be something that has to be evaluated as part of this process. So a lot will depend on the particulars as we go through this.

But in general terms, reconciling with those who are part of the insurgency can work. It did work in Iraq. It can work in Afghanistan. But it will depend – but the details will matter.

QUESTION: But you --

MR. CROWLEY: I just want to note that for those that want to listen to the Secretary, her press avail is happening now.

QUESTION: Even with people whom the U.S. Government has held responsible for the deaths of U.S. citizens? I mean, you well recall President Bush’s --

MR. CROWLEY: Again --

QUESTION: -- either you’re with us or you’re against us.

MR. CROWLEY: Sure.

QUESTION: Those who harbor al-Qaida, you know, we shall oppose.

MR. CROWLEY: I think – I mean, there’s – I think there’s broad agreement that reconciliation is a potential tool and a valuable one in bringing an end to the ongoing conflict. But our support for that concept is not unconditional, and it will have to be applied in particular ways. And in doing – in any kind of negotiation, what is the level of the commitment and what are the ramifications, not only for Afghanistan but for the global fight against political extremism? So --

QUESTION: Just one for me on this. I mean, there is a perception abroad, I think, that you’re looking at this strategy because you’ve concluded that you can’t win this militarily and because you want to get out starting next summer, begin to draw down, as the President said. Can you address that belief?

MR. CROWLEY: That’s nonsense. I mean, anyone who has studied the history of insurgencies and counterinsurgencies will see that ultimately, while military action is important and can be decisive, by itself, it is generally not sufficient to end an insurgency. General McChrystal has said that, other military leaders have said that. So we are following a – our strategy which is – which we think offers the greatest potential to help Afghanistan overcome the conflict that is – it is – afflicting it. And recognizing that that – that this doesn’t require – this requires action inside Afghanistan. It also requires corresponding action next door in Pakistan. So I think it’s not a valid criticism. We are committed to Afghanistan for the long term. We are not getting out of Afghanistan. As the President has laid out, we will – a strategy will evolve over time to increase its reliance on the civilian side of the strategy as we continue to build up the capabilities of the Afghan national security forces.

But we’re – the United States is not going anywhere. We have troops there now. In future years, as outlined by the President, we will progressively have fewer troops and more civilians. That’s also precisely what’s happening in Iraq as we enter into 2010 and, following the election in Iraq, we will begin a determined shift from a strategy based largely on military action to a strategy based on more civilian actions. So we are following precisely the strategy that the President outlined last March and then last month, and this involves multiple tenets – military action, political action, and development to overcome the insurgency in Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Why shouldn’t Americans see reconciliation with senior elements of the Taliban as dealing with the devil?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I mean, again, the Taliban is a multi-headed organization. We are concentrating on trying to erode the support that they have in certain places – certain parts of Afghanistan and in certain parts of the tribal areas. If we can diminish their military capabilities, so to speak, then we – and with the additional military resources we are bringing into Afghanistan, we hope to turn the tide so that the leaders of the insurgency feel some pressure.

If you look at the history of Afghanistan, there are plenty of examples where different factions have changed sides multiple times during the history of the Afghanistan conflict going back more than 20 years. So this is precisely having a political way out for certain leaders that we think are prepared and can play a constructive role in Afghanistan’s future. Certainly not everyone will be on that list. And certainly, by every indication, not everyone wants to be on that list. There’s no indication that certain leaders are prepared to give up the fight. And if they’re not willing to give up the fight through a political process, then we are bringing into the country more significant military forces that will address their – that challenge a different way.

QUESTION: Can I ask – a different topic?

QUESTION: Afghanistan -- Afghanistan, sir? Last year, (inaudible) tripartite meetings between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and U.S. There were two meetings last year. Last one was in June and July, I believe, but there has been no meeting so far. So you have given up that part or --

MR. CROWLEY: I think we will have the similar kinds of meetings this year. I think we’re still working through our scheduling and with our partners, so I’ve got nothing particular to announce at this point. But we will continue to have that dialogue. It’s very important, very – and very productive.

QUESTION: And how do you view Turkey taking the lead in organizing meetings between Afghan and Pakistan leaders and other regional powers this week? This -- ?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah. I mean, Turkey as a key member of NATO and the – and ISAF play a unique and important role. And the Secretary, in her – she had a relatively brief meeting with Prime Minister – or Foreign Minister Davutoglu today. It was primarily on the situation in Turkey and Armenia, but it also touched on Afghanistan and Iran.

QUESTION: Different topic. Can we go back to Peru? Who are those people? Do we have any details about the Americans? And yesterday it was 400 and today, it’s 200. Is that just a refinement?

MR. CROWLEY: I think it might be 400 who are in the region, but 200 that we think are in this particular part where the evacuations are taking place.

QUESTION: And do they have enough – do they have shelter and food and water?

MR. CROWLEY: I think for the moment, I don’t think they are at any particular risk. But obviously, we want – as the – when the weather clears, we want to get them down as rapidly as possible.

QUESTION: So have some actually been taken out?

MR. CROWLEY: Yes, about 50.

QUESTION: On helicopters?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, who are they? They’ve been – for the most part, as we understand it, they’ve been tourists who have been hiking on the Inca Trail.

QUESTION: Or taking the train?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah. Yeah.

QUESTION: And are there U.S. Embassy officials on the ground with them to –

MR. CROWLEY: We have roughly 15 Embassy officials that are in the Cusco region who are trying to help out and working with Peruvian officials who are coordinating the relief effort.

QUESTION: But none at the foot of Machu Picchu, where the --

MR. CROWLEY: Again, sitting here, I can’t describe where they are.

QUESTION: May I ask another question (inaudible)? Any update from where you sit on closing the detention facilities at Guantanamo? In Brussels today, there was some conversation that the deadline for the Administration has been extended to the end of President Obama’s first term, so – at the end of this past year --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I mean, I will defer to the White House on that particular item. I mean, the President remains determined to close Guantanamo. We think it is a – it sends precisely the wrong signal. It’s not rooted in our values. That said, here at the State Department, under the leadership of Ambassador Dan Fried, we continue our efforts to repatriate and resettle those detainees that we think can be moved, and we continue to be grateful to a variety of countries who have agreed to take detainees – I think most recently, Slovakia and Switzerland.

QUESTION: Have you given up on finding repatriation for the final 50? Apparently, there was some conversation about that today.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, again, there’s an interagency task force that continues to work through these issues in terms of who will be subject to trial, and whether they’ll come before civilian – into civilian courts before military tribunals. Again, I’ll defer to the Justice Department on that. Obviously, there’s a significant bloc of detainees from Yemen that will – is a key impediment to closing Guantanamo, and we continue to work through their cases on a case-by-case basis. But for the moment, their movement has been suspended.

QUESTION: How many have agreed to – how many have they agreed to take? At one point Switzerland agreed to take one.

MR. CROWLEY: I’ll defer to the Government of Switzerland. I mean, I think – I don’t have stuff in front of me on that. If you want to ask me that tomorrow, I’d be happy to answer it.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: If I’m not mistaken, I think for these 50, I thought that a conclusion had been reached that they could not be tried in civilian courts but were too dangerous to --

MR. CROWLEY: Again, these are – we are working as part of the interagency task force on this, working closely with our counterparts from the Justice Department. But in terms of exactly what will happen with these – this group, I’ll defer to Justice.

QUESTION: Just one question on that: How would it be consonant with American values to indefinitely detain people – even if it’s not at Guantanamo Bay; it’s someplace in Illinois – without trial?

MR. CROWLEY: Okay. I’ll defer to Justice.

QUESTION: P.J., you said – the State Department said yesterday that Senator Mitchell is going back to the Middle East soon. Is he going to relaunch the negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis on the lower level?

MR. CROWLEY: Michel, as you know, in order to relaunch negotiations, you have to have “yes” from the Palestinians and the Israelis, and that’s what we continue to seek.

QUESTION: You didn’t get any answer from them after his trip?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, we’re – we are still in discussions that we hope will eventually lead to negotiations, but we’re – we still have work to do.

QUESTION: Do you know when he’s going back? This weekend or --

MR. CROWLEY: I don’t think it’s that quickly.

QUESTION: Do you have any update on the China/Google case, the China and Google internet freedom?

MR. CROWLEY: No change.

QUESTION: Do you have any plan to allow an exchange visit by North Korean orchestra?

MR. CROWLEY: I think I took that question already to find out if there are any details on this. I just don’t know.

QUESTION: One other thing.

MR. CROWLEY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: In that part of – is it North Korea? Go right ahead.

QUESTION: Not North Korea, actually. On Taiwan’s arms sale, with the government note – make a notification to Congress, is your government going to announce that?

MR. CROWLEY: When we finish the notification process, then if we have something to announce, we’ll do so.

QUESTION: Is this Department going to do that, or –

MR. CROWLEY: I’m sure we’ll have something to say at the appropriate time.

QUESTION: Do you – on – yesterday, we had asked you for a readout of the Secretary’s meeting with Senator Webb, particularly whether it had any bearing on Burma.

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah. And since the meeting was one-on-one, we’re still trying to sort that out. I believe – I’m fairly confident that Burma was the primary issue of discussion. Actually, I have my colleagues in London who, at the appropriate time, will ask the Secretary exactly what they talked about.

QUESTION: Any plans for the next round of talks on Burma?

MR. CROWLEY: Hmm?

QUESTION: Any plans for the next round of talks on Burma? You have only one so far.

MR. CROWLEY: We have had multiple conversations with Burma. I assume we’ll continue the conversation, but I just don’t know in what form at this point.

QUESTION: Do you have any update on Robert Park in North Korea?

MR. CROWLEY: No update. We still seek to have consular access through our protective power.

QUESTION: Any update on Tibet, the China-Tibet talks?

MR. CROWLEY: No.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you. Enjoy the State of the Union.

QUESTION: Do you have anything on the State of the Union?

MR. CROWLEY: Huh?

QUESTION: Do you have any comment on it, on the State of the Union?

MR. CROWLEY: I think the –

QUESTION: A sound bite?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think the President will reflect on the progress that we’ve achieved in the first year, and we think it has been considerable. We’ve begun the hard work, under his leadership, of restoring America’s standing and leadership in the world. I think he’ll reflect on our current efforts in Afghanistan while bolstering our relationship with Pakistan, at the same time beginning the responsible drawdown of American combat troops in Iraq.

Again, I can’t – in terms of a history lesson, we were asking our historians to try to figure out when’s the last time a Secretary of State missed a State of the Union. It’s been a while; can’t put a particular year on it. But just to recap that, when the conflict came up between the Yemen and Afghanistan meetings in London, the Secretary immediately addressed this with the President and he made clear that given the importance of these issues, that her place tonight was in London rather than here in Washington.

And I think her presence in London reflects the fact that we have done a great deal over the past year to rebuild frayed alliances and recreate common cause in terms of fighting or solving crucial global issues, whether it, in this case, is the challenge of violent extremism which is manifested in Afghanistan, in Yemen, in other places, but also when you look back to issues of climate, energy, the global financial situation, hunger, and public health. So I think he’ll reflect on these challenges, but also the fundamental change that we think that has taken place in the past 12 months.

QUESTION: Will Deputy Secretary Steinberg take her place?

MR. CROWLEY: That’s a good question. I meant to ask that question this morning, and I don’t --

QUESTION: Can you do so?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah. I’ll try to let you know.

QUESTION: Thanks.

QUESTION: Are we on the record again?

MR. CROWLEY: Sure.

QUESTION: Do you foresee Secretary Clinton having any contact with her Chinese counterpart during her London trip?

MR. CROWLEY: Tell you what – if she does, I’ll let you know. Contact – I would be sure that there will be contact, but I don’t know whether it’ll be just a “Hi, how are you” or something more substantive.

QUESTION: But no bilateral (inaudible) with the Indian foreign minister?

MR. CROWLEY: Not to my knowledge, no.

QUESTION: Do you have any readout on the bilats that she had already today, notably the one with Foreign Minister Lavrov?

MR. CROWLEY: Sure.

QUESTION: Great.

QUESTION: Are we still on the record?

MR. CROWLEY: Sure. I didn’t think we went off the record.

Yeah. It was about a 45-minute discussion with Foreign Minister Lavrov. They talked about Afghanistan and cooperation on overflight rights, equipment for the Afghan national security forces, ongoing cooperation on counternarcotics, which is a crucial issue to both countries. They did talk about START and reviewed the current state of negotiations which, as we said yesterday, will resume on Monday in Geneva.

They talked about Iran. I think there is a very strong convergence of views between the United States and Russia on the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The Secretary thanked Foreign Minister Lavrov for their donation of medical equipment, aircraft, and cash to the response in Haiti. And I think Foreign Minister Lavrov updated Secretary Clinton on the recent discussions that President Medvedev had with President Abbas.

QUESTION: How about – can you give us a readout on Turkey?

MR. CROWLEY: On Turkey, I think the primary topic was Turkey and Armenia. They did touch on Iran and Afghanistan. And you – actually, one of the more interesting discussions today, in the conversation with the foreign minister of Indonesia, the Secretary suggested that we try to put together experts from Indonesia that have obviously gone through a very significant and arduous recovery process following the tsunami and to see if there were lessons learned coming out of that experience that could be of value to Haiti going forward. So – thought that it would be useful to try to connect relevant Haitian and Indonesian officials in the – once the situation in Haiti stabilized.

QUESTION: And in the conversation on Iran with Foreign Minister Lavrov, did they discuss the details of possible sanctions, or did they not get into that level of granularity?

MR. CROWLEY: I wasn’t in the meeting, so I would suspect they did not get into that level of granularity. I think that’ll be worked at an expert level.

QUESTION: Do you think --

MR. CROWLEY: But I think clearly we are – in light of the current situation, we are moving down the pressure track, and at this point, I think we have little choice but to try to find – identify ways to apply additional pressure on Iran to reconsider its rejection of diplomatic efforts and to engage on the nuclear program.

QUESTION: President Obama is discussing North Korea tonight?

MR. CROWLEY: Let’s listen to the speech and then we’ll – but I’m sure, for example, in broader terms, the President will review the crucial initiatives that we’ve started in this first year. And paramount among them is the importance that we attach to arms control and nonproliferation. And so when you see the vision that he laid out in Prague, of a world without nuclear weapons, that obviously informs the urgency that we attach to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and it’s why we continue to work aggressively with our partners in the Six-Party process to try to convince North Korea that its future – its best future lies with a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
So whether he mentions North Korea specifically, certainly – I expect he will have some thoughts in terms of the – what we’ve done in this – as part of this agenda in the first year, obviously demonstrating our willingness to engage Iran directly, putting forward what we thought was a fair proposal in terms of low-enriched uranium stocks that Iran both has and needs, our efforts on the Six-Party process, our ongoing negotiations with Russia on a future START treaty.

And, of course, this, in turn, will create momentum as we look towards the nuclear summit next month here in Washington, the NPT review conference that will follow in New York in May. So this is obviously a significant priority for the Obama Administration and I’m sure the President will mention this tonight.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you.



PRN: 2010/114



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