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Diplomacy in Action

Remarks to the Traveling Press


Remarks
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Four Seasons
Cairo, Egypt
March 16, 2011

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QUESTION: (Inaudible) I know this has got to be really quick. I just wanted to start off – because I’m not sure (inaudible) to ask about this – but the resolution of the Ray Davis case.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right.

QUESTION: What can you tell us about it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: The family of – the families of the victims of the January 27th incident pardoned Mr. Davis, and we are very grateful for their decision. We appreciate the actions that they took that enabled Mr. Davis to leave Pakistan and head back home. We also have a Department of Justice investigation that has begun into what happened in Lahore. And we’ve communicated our strong support for the relationship between Pakistan and the United States, which we consider to be of strategic importance, and are looking forward to continuing to strengthen it based on mutual respect and common interests.

QUESTION: Can you talk at all about the blood money that was paid? And why was a decision made to do this when your argument had been all along that he should never be charged or tried because he had immunity?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the United States did not pay any compensation.

QUESTION: How can – because the families say that compensation is being paid. Who paid the compensation?

SECRETARY CLINTON: You will have to ask the families.

QUESTION: Did the Pakistani Government?

SECRETARY CLINTON: You’ll have to ask the Pakistani Government.

QUESTION: Okay. So categorically, the U.S. taxpayer is not paying 2.3 million or whatever it was?

SECRETARY CLINTON: The United States does not pay any compensation.

QUESTION: Did anyone pay compensation at the behest of the United States?

SECRETARY CLINTON: The United States did not pay any compensation.

QUESTION: Okay. I’ll defer to anyone else on other subjects.

QUESTION: One other one on this subject: You’ve had a lot of difficulties with the Pakistanis on giving visas for the – for U.S. diplomats. One of the reasons the Pakistanis say is because they think you’re getting a lot of visas for guys like Mr. Davis. Do you think you’re going to find it harder now to get the people into Pakistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Mr. Davis was an Embassy employee, and we will continue to seek visas for Embassy employees who have important functions to perform in furtherance of the work we are doing with the Pakistani Government and on behalf of the Pakistani people.

QUESTION: Have they slowed it down again, the issuance, or not?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think we are in a steady stream of visas being requested and granted.

QUESTION: Can you talk a little bit about Libya and the UN action you talked about in a couple of your interviews today? Yesterday, the G-8 seemed to be at an impasse. Now, you’re talking about new urgency and new efforts at the UN.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: What’s changed in the last few days?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Steven, I think that the G-8 said that it would support going back to the Security Council, and that is exactly what is happening. The turning point was really the Arab League statement on Saturday. That was an extraordinary statement in which the Arab League asked for Security Council action against one of its own members.

So as we speak, there is intense negotiation occurring in New York over the terms of a resolution that would include a range of actions that the international community could take, and which is exploring the details of what Arab leadership and participation in the international efforts would be. So I don’t want to prejudge the outcome, but I think many countries that had a negative view about taking any action began to reconsider that following the Arab League statement.

QUESTION: And so we – all right. I wanted to follow-up on Libya just for a second. You were talking about the no-fly zone and you had also tried the sanctions – closing the embassy, the revoking – visas. What’s plan, I guess, (e) now when there is no longer any opposition to support?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m not prepared to say that there will not be. I think that there is a sense of urgency. Obviously, we’re all seeing that in real time occur. But we are moving as rapidly as we can in New York to see whether we can get additional authorization for the international community to look at a broad range of actions – not just a no-fly zone, but other actions as well. We won’t know until there’s an actual vote. We’re hoping that will be no later than tomorrow. And then we’ll see what that message means to Qadhafi and his regime, and what it means in terms of support and encouragement to the opposition.

When I met with one of the key leaders of the opposition, Mr. Jibril in Paris, he understood the importance of sending a message to Qadhafi, and that is part of what we’re trying to do by working so hard to get consensus in the Security Council.

PARTICIPANT: Thanks, guys.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

QUESTION: Can we just get one on Bahrain?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

QUESTION: You’ve mentioned several times in the interviews that you thought that they were on the wrong track.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I did.

QUESTION: Was that both Bahrain and the GCC?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think what’s happening in Bahrain is alarming, and it is unfortunately diverting attention and effort away from the political and economic track that is the only way forward to resolve the legitimate differences of the Bahrainis themselves. We have made that clear time and time again. We have deplored the use of force. We have said not only to the Bahrainis but to our Gulf partners that we do not think security is the answer to what is going on.

Now, we’ve also said to the protestors that they have to engage in peaceful protest and they should return to the negotiating table. As you probably know, Jeff Feltman is in Manama, is in constant touch with the government. There’s a lot of other communication going on. We have also reminded the Bahrainis that they have an obligation to keep medical facilities open and to facilitate treatment of the injured, and we want to see an end to the use of force and a return to negotiation.

QUESTION: So basically, the use of force is the wrong track?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, it is the wrong track. And we believe that a long-term solution is only possible through a political process.

QUESTION: See, I don’t --

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thanks, everybody.



PRN: 2011/T42-07



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