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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Remarks to the Press


Press Availability
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
New York City
September 21, 2010

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(5:30 p.m. EDT)

MR. CROWLEY: Well, good afternoon or good evening, which would qualify as one or the other. I mean, the first thing I want to do is to congratulate Ambassador Rice, Mark Kornblau, who is in the back, and the USUN team, together with Mark Thorn and the fine staff here at the Foreign Press Center, which is now on the 10th floor, for – with some help from those of us at Main State, but we’ve – this is among the inaugural briefings.

I think Dr. Rice has already been here at least once, but we hope that for this and future General Assemblies and other UN activities, that this space will be a place where both international and domestic media can come and learn what’s happening here at the UN and also what’s happening across the State Department writ large. So this is brand new space. I think the Foreign Press Center’s been here for just coming up on a month, and USUN for about six weeks, but a lot of work went into to trying to give us a briefing capability so that – for this, where there is – the focus this afternoon is on the UN side, we’ll do briefings over here, and if the focus is at the Waldorf, we’ll do briefings over there.

But just to give you a quick thumbnail of the Secretary’s day, she started out with a bilateral with Foreign Minister Mousa Kousa of Libya. In the meeting, she updated him on the status of direct negotiations. But since Sudan and the United States have cooperated along with other countries on Libya and the United States cooperated on Sudan, they talked a little bit about what we’re doing in terms of encouraging the parties to meet their obligations under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

And then Foreign Minister Kousa’s message to the Secretary was, having in recent years significantly improved and upgraded relations between the United States and Libya, that he wanted to set a path to where we could broaden and deepen our relationship going forward. And back to the Middle East peace process, obviously, I think Libya will be chairing an important Arab League meeting coming up in October, and so – again, talked about how we can – the critical importance of Arab League support for these direct negotiations.

Many of you then saw the Secretary at the Change A Life, Change A Future event focusing on significant opportunities for intervention to help children in the first 1,000 days of their lives as a means of combating undernutrition around the world. A couple of features of this – first, again, as we’ve done in many of our development programs, we’re supporting country-led efforts. And today, you saw also the nature of the importance of public-private partnerships in terms of supporting development with the role of – critical role being played by leading corporations, multinational corporations.

The Secretary then had a meeting with Sudanese Vice President Taha. This followed up on her conversation with Vice President Taha of a few days ago and then Scott Gration’s trip to the region, where – laid out what we expect Sudan to do, particularly in Khartoum, in preparation for the referendum that will go forward in January of next year. But she affirmed the U.S. commitment to full implementation of the CPA and reiterated that we need to see decisive action to ensure a peaceful, on-time referenda – and it should be referenda – both for Southern Sudan and for Abyei in support of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

She then had a lengthy discussion across a wide range of regional issues with the Amir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Qatar itself is playing a more significant role, a leading role, in development. They have their own initiative in terms of supporting development in the region. She congratulated Qatar on that initiative. They too talked about ongoing direct negotiations to achieve Middle East peace. But they really danced around the region a bit, talking about a wide range of challenges, from Somalia and Yemen to Sudan, Iraq, Iran, and also the challenge represented by the flooding in Pakistan.

Some of you then saw the Secretary at the Global – Clinton Global Initiative, where she talked about clean cookstoves, and you get a sense here of how intertwined many of these issues are, that the challenge of cookstoves represents a significant health risk for women and children, but also it tied to economic and security issues and tied to environmental issues as well. But the United States has pledged $50 million over the next five years to try to create markets and incentives and access to cleaner cookstove technology.

Then the Secretary moved next door to the United Nations, where there was the Quartet meeting. And I believe if they haven’t yet, they will very soon release the Quartet statement, which continues to affirm the Quartet’s backing for the current peace talks, hopes for a deal within one year, and also encourages the parties to work constructively and assume their own responsibility for the ongoing negotiations. Then the Quartet meeting went down, came down one floor and joined an Arab League meeting. The focus there was, as it was yesterday, on encouraging significant regional and international support for the efforts of the Palestinian Authority.

And finally, the Secretary will, I think, in a few minutes be meeting with EU ministers, and then they will adjourn into a Transatlantic Dinner that will round out the Secretary’s day.

Glenn.

QUESTION: The –

STAFF: One moment, please.

QUESTION: Oh, sorry. Qatar has played kind of an interesting game on the Palestinian issue, where they have close ties to Iran, they also have a relationship with the United States. I believe they have not given any money to the Palestinian Authority since the unity government involving Hamas fell apart. And she – did she – in her conversation today, did she press Qatar to begin making substantial contributions to the Palestinian Authority?

MR. CROWLEY: She did encourage Qatar to make a contribution and to encourage others to as well, yes.

QUESTION: And how – what is the Administration’s assessment about the Arab support for the current peace initiative? Should they be doing more in terms of supporting the Palestinian Authority? I believe the contributions are about half of what they were last year at this point. And should they be doing more to educate their peoples about the Arab Peace Initiative?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think first of all, the importance of yesterday’s meeting was for Prime Minister Fayyad, and there was also additional meetings that Prime Minister Fayyad had today to update leaders about the progress that the Palestinian Authority is making. They still have significant needs. They require outside support. Perhaps based on the progress they’ve made with their institution-building, their needs are not as significant as they once were. More than – they’re now able to provide for more than half of their own support, but they definitely need international support. The Secretary’s been making that case as she is having her discussions this week and in prior conversations that she had.

This is a critical time. The World Bank has indicated that they believe and assess that the Palestinian Authority is on a very clear path to build the institutions that are necessary for a viable state, and we think that this is a critical time where the work of President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, in demonstrating that should there be an agreement that the Palestinian Authority is prepared to step up and actually govern a viable state, it’s important to continue to support this work.

Kirit.

QUESTION: I want to ask about the first meeting, the Libya meeting from this morning. Can you tell us, first of all, whether the Secretary raised the case of Megrahi with the foreign minister? And if she did, what did he have to say about that? If he did not --

MR. CROWLEY: It did not come up.

QUESTION: Can you say why she decided not to raise that issue?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think the Libyans are well aware of our concerns, although many of our concerns were directed not at the Libyans, but at the Scottish decision to grant him humanitarian release. But it did not come up in the meeting. It was about a 30-minute meeting and their conversation centered significantly on the state of direct negotiations.

QUESTION: All right. And the second was whether the Libyans or the U.S. raised the issue of this Canadian citizen who was accused of spying for the United States and was arrested yesterday.

MR. CROWLEY: That did not come up either.

QUESTION: I want to follow up on Kirit’s question, and then I have a question about the Middle East. Earlier this year, or when he was released, the United States said that the way that the Libyans kind of welcomed him home and everything had a profound – is going to have a profound effect on how the U.S.-Libyan relations was going to move forward. And you were really disappointed, and now you’re talking about broadening and deepening the relationship with Libya. So have you moved past the Megrahi issue? Is there anything that needs to be resolved on this or are you willing to just kind of move on and put the past behind you on the Lockerbie issue?

And then on the Middle East, can you talk about where things stand in terms of the deadline for the end of the week on the moratorium and how discussions are going with the Israelis and Palestinians about finding some kind of formula to either extend or find some kind of compromise? Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, to the first, I mean, we continue to believe very strongly that this was a decision that should never have been made. Our position has been clear that Megrahi should have served out his sentence in a Scottish prison. But by – and we have had subsequent and multiple conversations with the Scottish authorities, with the British and with the Libyans to get convey our position. So in a relatively brief meeting the Secretary did not bring this up. But it doesn’t change our determined view that this --

QUESTION: What about the relations with the Libyans? I mean, how does it – is it not affecting your relations with the Libyans anymore? Because towards the end of – I think last year at this time when President Qadhafi was here and subsequently, it was affecting your relation, so have you kind of gotten over it – I guess is the question – with the Libyans?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, again, I mean, we recognize that they have, to an extent, not showcased him. He’s at home. We understand where he is and, broadly speaking, what his personal situation is. We remain very unhappy that he is in Libya. We think he should still be in a Scottish prison.

But that said, we have – we had important interests to discuss with Libya both in terms of our continued support for the direct negotiations. Our intensive focus, as you’ll see this week, on the situation with Sudan. So the Secretary did listen as the Libyans expressed their desire for broader relations, and we’ll continue to work with Libya on that.

QUESTION: Okay, on the Middle East – discussions with the Israelis and Palestinians?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I should say, George Mitchell had indicated last week that there would be follow-on discussions. Many of those discussions are happening here in New York. In addition to the Secretary’s activities, George Mitchell has had discussions with the Palestinians and Israelis today in multiple settings, including at least one meeting where the three sides were together. So we are working as hard as we can, demonstrating our commitment to the process and encouraging the parties to do everything possible to keep the negotiations moving forward.

QUESTION: Who was that meeting with, the three-way meeting?

MR. CROWLEY: With various negotiating teams.

QUESTION: Yes, do you have any more details on Sudan because it doesn’t look like Sudan is really accepting that there’s going to be a referendum, although the South will really vote – the South will vote to secede, and Vice President Taha is the main person – or at least he was when I was in Nairobi when they negotiated the comprehensive peace plan. And I just wondered if there was anything more on – or pressure we were putting on Sudan, because there’s going to be a real problem.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, that’s a loaded question. Vice President Taha reiterated Khartoum’s commitment to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. I think there was an agreement that there’s no time to waste; there’s a lot to be done. The challenge of Abyei along the border touches on many of the most complex issues about the future, North and South, regardless of the decision made by the people of South Sudan or the people of Abyei.

But we will have – in addition to the contacts that the Secretary will have, obviously the President will participate later this week in the high-level meeting. Ambassador Princeton Lyman was in today’s meeting, he’ll be going out to the region next week as we increase our presence on the ground and work intensively with the parties to meet the obligations under the CPA. I think it was Scott Gration today – he said, 108 days. So we know that every day is important and we do have expectations that both North and South need to take very specific steps, cooperate.

The Secretary today, specifically talked to Vice President Taha about the need for support for the Electoral Commission in terms of making sure that there are – the ballots are available, the voter registration’s gone forward, all of the key ingredients to have a credible referendum.

QUESTION: Follow on that?

MR. CROWLEY: Sure.

QUESTION: I’m wondering – in the discussion with Vice President, did the Secretary give any more detail on the possible consequences that might entail if they don’t do what the international community wants them to do? We have a very clear idea of what the inducements are that Scott Gration took there, but we have no ideas what the consequences are. And I’m wondering if perhaps the Sudanese aren’t in the same boat or do they know specifically what is going to happen.

And secondly, does the Secretary have any plans to meet with South Sudan President Salva Kiir? He was in Washington last week and complaining that he couldn’t get a meeting with a senior administration official. Why is that?

MR. CROWLEY: I – there will be other meetings with First Vice President Kiir. I know the rest of the week is still being worked out.

On the discussion itself, Vice President Taha was very direct. There were some things that Sudan wants to get out of its future relations with the United States, and the Secretary made clear that the door to improved negotiation – improved relations with the United States is – that door will open depending on Khartoum’s cooperation and full implementation of the CPA. So I think there was a very good understanding of the opportunities, but also the consequences and the importance of Khartoum demonstrating its commitment to the CPA. And should say, not just the CPA, they talked at some length about the situation in Darfur and what needs to be done to resolve the conflict there.

QUESTION: My question is: Are the consequences just not getting the inducements? Is that – is that – you said the door – will open the door? Or are there very specific things, worst things, new sanctions that will happen if the Sudanese don’t follow through?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I’ll say – Sudan is among the most heavily sanctioned countries in the world already. So I think that our focus right now is to demonstrate to Khartoum if you do what is expected of you under the CPA, and then depending on the choices made by the people of Abyei and the people of South Sudan, if you work constructively in the post-referendum period, then there are clear opportunities available to you. And these are things that are important to the Government of Sudan and the people of Sudan.

By the same token, if they do not do what we expect them to do – and we’re setting an appropriately high bar in terms of what Khartoum and Juba need to do – then there will be consequences, and those include a mix of carrots and sticks.

QUESTION: One more on Sudan (inaudible)?

MR. CROWLEY: Sure.

QUESTION: If I could?

MR. CROWLEY: Sure.

QUESTION: Okay. This is kind of a nitty-gritty one. Did Secretary Clinton discuss with Vice President Taha this idea of a Security Council visit to Sudan? We’ve heard that it was – this idea was supposed to be October 4th to 11th, but it’s been stalled by a reticence on the U.S.’s part, and the U.K., and maybe France to take a photograph with Omar al-Bashir. So instead – another one of the ambassadors said to me that this would try to be resolved this week with Mr. Taha. Did they talk about what such a trip would like, and would the U.S. be willing or averse to having this photo with President Bashir?

MR. CROWLEY: I can tell you that the subject President Bashir, himself, did not come up during the meeting. There was no discussion of that, but there will a number of meetings happening this week – the high-level meeting, of course, being the most significant. So I actually just don’t know anything about that.

QUESTION: I guess one more thing on Myanmar. Just if you could say – asked earlier in the week – here earlier in the week what does the U.S. hope to get out of the Myanmar – I think there’s a side – there’s a meeting of the Group of Friends and the Secretary General on Myanmar – Burma on Monday. With the NLD dissolved, like what’s the U.S. in this UNGA trying to accomplish on Burma?

MR. CROWLEY: I’ll take the question of our involvement of that particular meeting and have that for you at our next briefing.

Michel.

QUESTION: Yes, P.J., was there any other reason than the technical problem that pushed the Quartet to cancel the press conference after their meeting? And second, is there a full agreement between the Quartet members regarding the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I can attest to the technical challenge. When the Secretary arrived, the elevators were not working and we all walked up six flights of stairs to the Quartet meeting. So there, in fact, was a technical challenge in the UN this afternoon. But they were also running a fair amount late because of the length of the meetings with Vice President Taha and also with the emir of Qatar. So they just decided to cancel the press availability – just issued a statement. They moved – the Secretary General and the Secretary and others just moved directly from the Quartet meeting into the Quartet and Arab League meeting. It’s as simple as that.

QUESTION: Is there a full agreement between the members?

MR. CROWLEY: It was a very constructive meeting and I wouldn’t characterize that there was any controversy inside the Quartet meeting, no.

QUESTION: But is there full agreement?

MR. CROWLEY: Huh?

QUESTION: But there’s no full agreement?

MR. CROWLEY: No, they – I mean, you – maybe --

QUESTION: You have to --

MR. CROWLEY: Again, I can’t – you’ll see the Quartet statement, and I’m not aware of any controversies surrounding the Quartet statement.

QUESTION: Are you suggesting that the Secretary will be attending the (inaudible) press conference?

QUESTION: Was there any intent that she was ever going to be there? Because her name wasn’t even on the (inaudible).

MR. CROWLEY: The Secretary had a follow-on meeting with Tony Blair, so she was not going to be at the press conference. But that – as to – but it was the UN decision just to go ahead and scrub it entirely.

QUESTION: P.J., Tony Blair was supposed to be at the press conference.

MR. CROWLEY: I do understand that.

QUESTION: Can you explain why you didn’t want – why the Secretary didn’t want to go to the press conference and why you wanted to send George Mitchell instead? And can you also comment as to what the argument was, particularly from Catherine Ashton as to why the Secretary should appear at the press conference regardless of any alleged scheduling problems?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, the – there was a scheduling issue and we were prepared to have George Mitchell participate in the press event had it occurred.

QUESTION: Well, can you explain why people weren’t – why the rest of the Quartet wasn’t really happy with that idea?

MR. CROWLEY: I’ll just speak for my member in the Quartet.

QUESTION: President Ahmadinejad of Iran has been making some sharp statements today and mostly likely on Thursday when he addresses the (inaudible). Does the Secretary of State or any of the Administration officials intend or plan on meeting with Iranian authorities? And the second part of that question –

MR. CROWLEY: The short answer is no.

QUESTION: Okay. And the second part of that question is –

MR. CROWLEY: Not yet anyway.

QUESTION: Not this week.

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah, not this week.

QUESTION: The second part of that question then is: Were there any discussions during the Middle East Quartet and with the Arab League regarding Iran shipments of arms into Palestine and whether or not there’s going to be any negotiations of the Iranian authorities, and to bring them closer into negotiations with the Quartet?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, first of all, to clarify, to the extent that President Ahmadeinejad has indicated today in some of his statements that he’s hopeful that talks will resume and perhaps soon, all we would do is encourage him to call Lady Ashton and provide a date and a location. We’ve been waiting for Iran to agree to reengage both within in the P-5+1 context and also within the IAEA. We believe that Iran knows Cathy Ashton’s number and we would hope that they would call.

I’m not aware of any detailed discussion within the Quartet regarding Iran. Across many of the meetings this week, we have continued to encourage implementation of Resolution 1929. Obviously, that doesn’t – that’s directed at Iran. But we are very cognizant of Iran’s ongoing support for extremist groups in the Middle East; that’s one of the reasons why we think that the ongoing direct negotiations is so vitally important.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

MR. CROWLEY: Well, we will continue to encourage and make clear within the P5+1 that we are prepared to constructively engage Iran and would hope that Iran will be prepared to have the same kind of meeting that occurred last year. And – but more importantly than just having a meeting, we hope that they will actually commit themselves to try to address the concerns that the international community has about the nature of the nuclear program. But – so this will affirm our commitment and interest in constructively engaging Iran on the nuclear issue and on a broader range of issues.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) And do you think that all the members are still on board?

MR. CROWLEY: Yes.

QUESTION: Will you also – just a follow-up. Will you also discuss the implementation of the sanctions by the other members of the P-5+1? Are you happy with how they’re implementing them?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m confident that we – that will come up. I believe, as the Secretary and others have said, we do believe that the sanctions are having an impact in Iran. It is raising their cost of doing business in a number of areas from banking to transportation. So we believe that it is working and we hope that it will create that pressure that will bring Iran back to the table if sanctions by themselves are not enough, but we hope the combination of the sincere offer of engagement as well as the pressure of the sanctions will convince Iran to agree to meet.

QUESTION: Are you happy with how the Chinese are implementing the sanctions, and the Russians?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, as we talked about yesterday, Bob Einhorn will be going to China to discuss implementation of 1929 and also seek China’s ideas on how to best engage Iran.

QUESTION: So you have some doubts about how they’re doing it?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m just saying that we’re – we’ll be discussing it with China next week.

QUESTION: Will there be some sort of statement that they’ll issue to the P-5+1?

MR. CROWLEY: That’s a very good question. I don’t know.

QUESTION: You said that Secretary of State met with the emir of Qatar, given the role the emir Qatar played in Lebanon especially to put an end to the war in 2006. And did they discuss the matter of the tribunal and Hezbollah? And also, the upcoming visit of Ahmadinejad – President Ahmadinejad to the region, to Lebanon?

MR. CROWLEY: That did not come up.

QUESTION: Thank you. There have all kinds of comments made recently among Palestinians and other Arab countries about the ability or inability of the United States to deliver a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, much less deliver an agreement within one year. Can you tell us, in a general sort of way, is that the Administration’s intention? And if not, what are – what does the Administration in its efforts really hope to achieve from these current talks?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, let me turn the frame around. First of all, it’s not for the United States to deliver anything. It is for the leaders to commit to the process – we believe they’ve done that – to engage seriously – we believe they’ve done that and are – continue to do that, and to reach a successful negotiation within one year. This is the – this is their process and this has to be their agreement. We will be a sustained partner as we’ve indicated and we’ll, as the process moves forward, we’ll offer our ideas when we believe it can be fruitful. But --

QUESTION: If I can just follow up on that?

MR. CROWLEY: Sure.

QUESTION: I understand full well that it’s not your place to impose a solution.

MR. CROWLEY: Right.

QUESTION: But I’m sure you realize that there is a mindset in certain parts of the Arab world and the Middle East that the U.S. is going to deliver the Israelis somehow to the Palestinians, or deliver the Israeli side and influence them to make concessions that will be acceptable. How do you respond to that?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, much of the challenge of this effort involves politics. And there are real politics that go on in Israel. We do understand, as Prime Minister Netanyahu describes, what – his political challenge. There are real politics going on with the Palestinians and there is larger politics going on across the region. So it is for the parties themselves to do what they’re doing, which is to take this seriously, to begin to address the core issues. They have done that. There are intensive discussions that are still ongoing.

Whether they can both channel the substance and channel the politics towards an ultimate agreement, that is the challenge. We are prepared to help them along that path, but ultimately, this has to be something that they believe in and are willing to commit to and then overcome obstacles and reach an ultimate agreement. All we can do is remind them that, as Secretary Clinton emphasized last week, absent this process and absent an agreement, there is no security for Israel and there is no state for the Palestinians.

But we will not want this more than they do. We think it’s in our interest. We think it’s in their interest. We think it’s in the region’s interest. What we’re hearing this week is everyone broadly agrees of the importance of a direct negotiations that have resumed, and everyone seems to want to see them continue. And we’re just trying to work intensely with them to encourage them to do everything necessary to keep this process moving forward.

QUESTION: Something a little nitty-gritty. I think at yesterday’s White House conference call, they said that the President is going to meet with the president of Kyrgyzstan this week in a bilateral. So I’m just wondering, there was an issue – there are these issues that people raise about Kyrgyzstan, about the failure to sign a memorandum of understanding with the OSCE Police Advisory Group before the elections, about this human rights defender that was just sentenced to life for his alleged role in the violence in southern Kyrgyzstan.

I’m just wondering, what’s the purpose of the President’s meeting with Kyrgyzstan? Is he going to raise these human rights type issues, or what is he raising?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I won’t speak for the President in advance of the meeting. We have been focused significantly on Kyrgyzstan. It is – there’s a significant political challenge there. There’s also an opportunity to help the Kyrgyz interim government reform itself and – but we also recognize that in the ongoing conflict there, that it has potentially broader regional impact. So Kyrgyzstan has become a significant country with – in terms of regional stability, and that’s why we’re going to meet with them.

QUESTION: Thanks. Can you give us some details on what Assistant Secretary Campbell did today? It said it was – he was here, but he was the only official on the list with no scheduled appointment.

MR. CROWLEY: I didn’t see Kurt today, so I can’t offer you any readout yet. But I’ll try to make up for it next time we meet.

QUESTION: Did – can you say a little bit about what happened with the Secretary’s meeting with Ehud Barak last night and then (inaudible)?

MR. CROWLEY: They did meet. It was – how many people – it was a one-on-one, so I don’t have a readout. All I can tell you is they talked about current Israeli thinking on direct negotiations. They also talked about security issues. Given his portfolio as the minister of defense, they tend to talk about security whenever they meet, and they also tend to talk about broader regional issues.

QUESTION: Did they talk about the (inaudible)?

MR. CROWLEY: I don’t know.

QUESTION: P.J., just on that Middle Eastern officials meeting today, do you know who – I realize Elise asked you this before, but did he meet with, like, Danny Eylon or --

MR. CROWLEY: I wouldn’t rule it out. I think he met with –

QUESTION: And who from the Palestinian side? Even if it’s not the --

MR. CROWLEY: Saeb Erekat. I’m not excluding, but I think Yitzhak Molcho and Saeb Erekat were in the trilateral meeting.

QUESTION: And do you have any idea if they made any progress.

MR. CROWLEY: I’m going to invoke the Mitchell principles.

QUESTION: Well, how about this. Do you – is there any agreement for the three leaders to meet again?

MR. CROWLEY: One of the purposes of the meetings this week is to pave the way for future leaders meetings. I’m not aware there’s any scheduled at this point.

Paul.

QUESTION: P.J., the – I think the Einhorn meeting was supposed to have originally been done in early August, maybe. Have the Chinese been balking at that because of their reservations about the bilateral schedule?

MR. CROWLEY: No, no, no. No, no, no. It was purely a scheduling issue. The people that Bob needed to see – some were available, others were not. The Chinese asked to delay it slightly. Foreign Minister Yang committed. He was already aware of the meeting when he met with Secretary Clinton yesterday and pledged that they will have broad and successful meetings next week.

David.

QUESTION: P.J., are you aware of a meeting tomorrow between Johnnie Carson and the Zimbabwean delegation meeting?

MR. CROWLEY: I’ll take the question. I haven’t seen Johnnie’s schedule for tomorrow.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) said you would get back to Mark Landler (inaudible) on the (inaudible).

MR. CROWLEY: Well, as I’ve said, this is an issue of importance to Israeli governments. It has been brought up many, many times in the past and – but beyond that, I have no comment.

QUESTION: In the (inaudible), an issue of interest to the (inaudible)? Also (inaudible) an issue of interest in the U.S. Government?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, from a U.S. Government standpoint, you had an American citizen who was tried and convicted of treason. So he is in jail.

QUESTION: There was a press conference by Evo Morales of Bolivia today across the street, and he said – as he said before, he said that the U.S. and the Obama Administration has cut a lot of aid to Bolivia. He tied it to the failure to fall in line in Copenhagen and to a variety of issues, but he was pretty strong on that. And he also said as – of Colombia, who is running for a Security Council seat, he said they’re just a U.S. candidate. So I wanted to know if you can have any response, I guess, to either of those two. And also, who does the U.S. prefer among Germany, Portugal, and Canada for the WEOG seat on the Security Council?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m quite confident we’re not going to talk about our deliberations in terms of votes for countries for particular seats on committees.

QUESTION: And what about – do you have any response to the two – is it a fact that the aid was – he said last time he came here, he said again today, that U.S. aid to Bolivia is rapidly (inaudible).

MR. CROWLEY: I’m a little rusty on these subjects. We did have a meeting last year with the Bolivian foreign minister. We went through some restructuring of aid that was needed, where Bolivia did not qualify for certain kinds of aid based on conditions on the ground there. But we pledge to work with Libya to see if we couldn’t improve Bolivia’s track record to be able to qualify, once again, for some conditional aid that is provisional based on certain specifications and performances by the host country. So this is an issue that we’ve pledged to continue to work with Bolivia on.

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you.



PRN: 2010/1312



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