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State Dept. Daily Press Briefing July 24, 2006


Daily Press Briefing
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 24, 2006

INDEX:

IRAN
Semi-Annual Iran Nonproliferation Act Compliance Report
No Political Considerations are Delaying Release of Report

ISRAEL/LEBANON
UN Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance / Disaster Assistance
Response Team Arrived in Region July 23 / Designed to Meet
Emergency Medical Needs in Crisis Situations
Departure Updates
U.S. Embassy-Beirut Still in Operation / Confusion of Authorized
Departure versus Evacuation of Embassy
Discussions on an International Force / U.S. Wants an Enduring
Cessation of Violence
Upccoming Lebanon Core Group Meeting in Rome / U.S. Goals /
Dealing with Immediate Humanitarian Situation / Core Group
Participants
Secretary Rice's Meetings in Lebanon / Ongoing Diplomatic Process
Important to Note How Crisis Began / Hezbollah Attacking Israel
across the Border
U.S. Position on Lebanese President Lahoud
U.S. Goal is the Full Implementation of Resolution 1559
No American Lives Have Been Lost in Current Situation / Large
Operation Under Difficult Circumstances / First Priority of
Department is Safety of Citizens
U.S. Greatly Appreciates the Help and Support of Cyprus in Current
Situation

SERBIA/KOSOVO
First Meetings of Democratically Elected Leaders & Discussion of
Final Status of Kosovo
U.S. Support for Final Status Negotiations / Importance of a
Mutual Decision

IRAQ
Prime Minister al-Maliki Visit to the United States / Department
Representation in Talks

DEPARTMENT
Re-nomination of John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to UN


TRANSCRIPT:

12:57 p.m. EDT


MR. CASEY: Good afternoon, everyone. I don't have any statements or announcements for you, so why don't we get right to your questions.

QUESTION: Not everybody on the Hill is in favor of the nuclear deal with India and some are spreading the word that the State Department is withholding a report that shows a connection between India and Iran and nuclear -- and weapons of mass destruction. It's a report on foreigners doing – mucking around in the Indian nuclear facilities. Is there anything to that, do you know?

MR. CASEY: Barry, I think what you may be referring to is the semi-annual Iran Nonproliferation Act Compliance Report that does detail activities of foreign companies and entities that may have assisted Iran in proliferation activities. As you know, we always endeavor to get all reports to Congress in a timely fashion. I think looking at the history of this report, this wouldn't be the first time that there's been some delays in getting it to the Hill. We're working on it as expeditiously as possible. My understanding is it'll be out very shortly. But I do certainly want to tell you that there are no political considerations that are delaying its release to the Hill.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CASEY: Teri.

QUESTION: Change of subject?

MR. CASEY: Sure.

QUESTION: Can you talk more about something that I believe was just announced at the White House and that is humanitarian aid coming from the U.S. using helicopters and ships?

MR. CASEY: Well, I can talk a little bit about it. As you know, the UN has made a urgent appeal for assistance and I suspect you'll see a very generous contribution from the United States in that regard, although I don't actually have any announcements to make for you on that time. What I can tell you is, in terms of some immediate things that the U.S. is doing on its own, we have seven members of a Disaster Assistance Response Team that arrived in the region on the 23rd. They are going to be performing an assessment to see how the U.S. Government can best assist affected populations. But in addition to that, we've also got as an immediate contribution, two medical kits that are scheduled to arrive in Lebanon in the next 36 hours. Each of those kits contains medicine, intravenous fluid, some reusable medical equipment and supplies for approximately 10,000 people for three months and they were specifically designed to meet emergency medical needs in crisis situations. This is something that AID has been working with us and the military on to be able to get that assistance in to Lebanon. So I don't have an exact schedule for its arrival, but we're hoping within the next 36 hours.

QUESTION: And the helicopters and ships will be bringing that in? Is that what the announcement was about? I'm sorry. I didn't get details on it.

MR. CASEY: There will be -- as I said, this is something that is ongoing right now. But in addition to that there will be announcements forthcoming about other kinds of contributions that will be made to the UN fund that is being -- or the UN call for an emergency relief response that's been put out today.

QUESTION: You say they're in area, can you be more specific? Will they operate from Lebanon or are they going to operate at a safer distance or what?

MR. CASEY: My understanding at this point, Barry, is that some of them are already in Lebanon, though I will check that for you. The rest are in Cyprus.

Teri.

QUESTION: There are reports that there are still a lot of Americans who are stuck in southern Lebanon who might want out. Do you have any updates on that and is there another bus convoy planned to go down and get those people?

MR. CASEY: Well, first of all, just to give you a general update on the situation. As of this morning, we have approximately 12,600 Americans that have been transported out of Lebanon since we began these efforts on the 16th. About 2,100 Americans departed Beirut yesterday and 1,000 more have departed today and we suspect around 2,000 American citizens will be arriving via the various charter flights that have been arranged in the U.S. today.

In terms of southern Lebanon, certainly we're doing everything we can to reach those people. We do intend to try and make additional efforts to get to them. I don't have anything that I can report to you right now in terms of specific scheduling, but it is an ongoing concern.

QUESTION: Any idea of how many people there have registered and asked to leave who are still there?

MR. CASEY: In terms of numbers, I honestly don't have an update. I'll try and see if we can get something for you on it.

I also do want to stress, too, because it's something that I've continued to see some reporting on that has confused the idea of the departure of American citizens with an evacuation of the Embassy. Embassy is still there, Ambassador Feltman and his full staff are working not only on assisting American citizens who want to leave the country, but also on working on the diplomatic side of things. Certainly they have been there to help support Secretary Rice today during her visit to Lebanon and they'll continue to be there. So the Embassy remains fully operational, is fully open, and is certainly not in evacuation status.

QUESTION: And that's been true the entire time, right, the whole 13 days?

MR. CASEY: Yes, that's true. As you know, we did move the Embassy to authorize departure, but that simply meant that a number of TDY[*] personnel and other non-emergency staff were moved out, in part, given the unique nature of Embassy Beirut, so that we could bring in additional consular staff and others to help with the effort of getting American citizens out.

QUESTION: Your numbers are numbers of people who were helped by the U.S.

MR. CASEY: Yes, that's correct.

QUESTION: But there were others, and I wondered -- I mean, last week there was a 500 figure of people who made their way to Damascus, et cetera.

MR. CASEY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Can you -- do you have any general or specific notion, how many other Americans have gotten out in various ways?

MR. CASEY: Barry, I don't have anything specific, in part obviously because they aren't people that we have assisted to do so. I believe the last time we did a briefing on this we were talking in the numbers of several hundred Americans who had independently crossed the border into Syria. That's still the best number I have right now, but I'd be hard-pressed to quantify it any further than that.

Yeah.

QUESTION: Also --

MR. CASEY: Why don't we go to Nicholas and then Charlie.

QUESTION: I was going to go to the Rome conference, but if you --

MR. CASEY: Okay. Charlie, go ahead.

QUESTION: Verification on the numbers again. The 12,000 or 12,600 refers -- do you have any kind of a breakdown on how many left on U.S. military vessels or aircraft and how many left on civilian or non-military?

MR. CASEY: That's a good question, Barry. I actually don't. I'm sure we can get that -- Charlie, sorry -- Charlie, Barry, didn't -- well, no, it was Joel that referred to me as Adam the other time, which both me and my hairline had an issue with.

(Laughter.)

MR. CASEY: But anyway, Charlie, I don't have a specific breakdown for you, but we can get one. As you know, we've used a mix of both military and commercial ships. And -- you know, or example, today, the Orient Queen, which is one of the commercial vessels that have been chartered for this effort was one of the ships used today, carrying about a thousand American citizens. The Trenton, which had left earlier, brought in about 1,600 American citizens to Mersin, Turkey and the Nashville had arrived at Limassol. So it's -- we've been using both the military and commercial assets just in a rotating fashion to try and be able to do this, but we can try and get you a breakdown of how many have been transported by commercially chartered vessels, versus U.S. military ones.

QUESTION: On the same issue?

MR. CASEY: On the same issue, Mr. Lambros.

QUESTION: Yes, Mr. -- anything to say about the deployment of Multinational Force, as it was reported?

MR. CASEY: In Lebanon?

QUESTION: Correct.

MR. CASEY: Well, certainly, as the Secretary discussed with you on Friday and as you've probably seen from her briefing on the plane, one of the important issues that she's going to be talking about and has been talking about in Lebanon and will be on the rest of her trip to the region is trying to establish the conditions for a lasting and durable end to the violence. Part of that, certainly, is ensuring that the legitimate Government of Lebanon has the ability to control the border and to do so, we have talked about the possibilities of a international force to be able to assist the Lebanese army in achieving that. Obviously, this is something that's part of her ongoing discussions in Lebanon today, in -- with the Israelis tomorrow and will be part of the focus of the Core Group meeting in Rome later on in the week. So I don't have anything new to update you on, on that subject, but obviously, it is something that's under discussion.

QUESTION: Could you name some countries who would like to participate in a such multinational force?

MR. CASEY: Well, Mr. Lambros, again, I think first of all, we need to define what the force is, how it's going to operate, and define its mission and then we can start talking about individual contributions to it. And certainly I'd leave it to those countries that might choose to participate in it to make any announcements on their own about whether they would or wouldn't contribute to it.

Nicholas, sorry, go back to you.

QUESTION: Yeah, I think Ambassador Bolton was talking yesterday about some sort of a NATO participation. I'm sure he wasn't freelancing; he was expressing views of the administration. But do you know if within NATO the United States' representatives have talked about the idea of NATO helping out in any way?

MR. CASEY: Well, certainly it's an interesting idea and, obviously, NATO has a lot of experience in a variety of different kinds of peacekeeping operations. Again, I think it's too early to be talking about specifics of any given force. As Ambassador Bolton said yesterday, though, it's certainly an interesting idea and one we'll certainly be looking at.

QUESTION: And about Rome, what is – I know that the force is one of the elements, but what are the broader more general ideas for the agenda in Rome? I understand that the Arabs will be there, the European Foreign Minister will be there. So it will be -- Kofi Annan will be there. So it sounds like a very broad international effort. But what is the U.S. goal at that conference?

MR. CASEY: Well, I think first of all on the attendees, when you look at the Lebanon Core Group meetings, including I believe the last time we had a fairly ministerial level gathering of this was last September back at the UN. We have had a expanded group, including many of Lebanon's neighbors there. But again, as the Secretary talked about on both Friday and on her briefing to your colleagues on the plane on the way out, we're looking in Rome to focus on two basic issues.

The first is obviously how to deal with the immediate humanitarian situation in Lebanon, how to make sure that we can, in fact, open a humanitarian corridor and be able to provide for the needs of the Lebanese people at this difficult time. The second thing is exploring and talking about the kinds of ideas on how we can get the conditions right to be able to have a lasting cessation of violence. And I think, as the Secretary said, it's very important and it's urgent that we do get a ceasefire, but it's urgent that we do so under the right conditions so that we aren't back a day, a week, or a month later in exactly the same place we are today.

Joel.

QUESTION: Tom, the last 12 days --

MR. CASEY: You still on this, Joel?

QUESTION: Is this Rome?

QUESTION: No, no, this isn't Rome. This is back to the Multinational Force.

MR. CASEY: Let me just -- let's let Charlie go in here and follow up.

QUESTION: Could you tell us who you expect to be in Rome, who are the members and who might be on the sidelines, World Bank, others, those things?

MR. CASEY: Yeah. Charlie, I don't have a complete list of attendees right now, but certainly, if you look at the past meetings, those attendees have been the United States, the United Nations, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the World Bank as a representative, the Governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. My understanding is Jordan has also been extended an invitation to this meeting. I believe there may be some others out there as well and we'll try and keep you updated in terms of participation. Hopefully, tomorrow, we'll have sort of a more complete listing for you.

QUESTION: The Government of Lebanon.

MR. CASEY: The Government of Lebanon, of course, is there and will have a delegation representing them. I don't have information on who specifically will head that delegation.

QUESTION: Tom, these are people who accepted, not just to whom there's been an invitation?

MR. CASEY: My understanding was those were people who were planning on attending, but again, I'll have to check for you and absolutely confirm that those governments will be there.

QUESTION: There is some question as to whether the Saudis would come, but can you confirm that they are?

MR. CASEY: I'll check again for you, Teri, because I said I didn't unfortunately get an updated list on who was attending versus who was invited.

Let's go back here.

QUESTION: Secretary Rice today met with a number of Lebanon -- ranking Lebanon political leaders, including the Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, who came out afterward and described her proposals as unachievable. Can you kind of give us a sense of the give-and-take at that meeting and what proposals were presented?

MR. CASEY: Well, first of all, her meetings in Lebanon covered a number of different individuals. She obviously met with the Prime Minister Siniora and a number of members of his team. She also did meet with Nabih Berri. She's met with him in the past when she's traveled to Lebanon, as -- in his capacity as Speaker of Parliament.

Look; I'm really not going to, from here, try and apply the 7,000-mile screwdriver in reverse and brief out the details of her meetings, but again, I think her public message on what we are trying to achieve has been pretty clear. And I do think that she had a very good series of conversations, certainly, with the Prime Minister and with Nabih Berri as well about some of the thoughts and ideas that we had for doing this. But obviously, this is an ongoing diplomatic process. As she said on Friday, this is going to be difficult and hard work. These issues and the underlying problems we're trying to address here weren't created overnight and they're not going to be solved overnight. But we very much believe that it's important that we move through this and that we don't simply wind up with a situation in which, again, whether it's a day, a week, a month, or three months down the road, we wind up back in the same position we were before.

But this is tough work and this is an important moment, though, an important opportunity to try and help Lebanon achieve the goals and objectives that its people have for itself and that the international community set out to support it in Resolution 1559, which is giving Lebanon and giving the Lebanese Government full and complete sovereignty over its territory.

QUESTION: You described the talks as good, but Berri came out fairly quickly to say that they were a failure and unachievable. How does that strike you at this point in the talks?

MR. CASEY: Well, again, this is the first stop in her trip to the region. She's going to be having a number of discussions not only with people in Lebanon but with Israel, with the Lebanese Government and its representatives again in Rome as well as the other members of the Core Group. Let's see how this goes. I think it's pretty early for anybody to be making any kind of firm and final judgments on what we're likely to achieve here.

Joel, I know you've been waiting a while, so let's go over to you. Are you still on the same subject, Joel, or are you switching?

QUESTION: No, back to the original Multinational Force.

MR. CASEY: Okay, go ahead.

QUESTION: Since the playing field was changed the last 12, 13 days and since I guess the world now recognizes that these long-range missiles do exist in southern Lebanon, a component, too, will be to disarm, meaning disarm the missiles, destroy them in place and not move them, for instance, back to Syria over the border.

The other difficulty appears that they're Sunni and Shiites. And how do you put together a plan to work with these non-state actors, whether they be Hezbollah or others? And because of this chaos the last 12, 13 days, we are hearing now from perhaps the Syrians and by way of others about the Iranians, they're seeing the destruction in Lebanon, are we able now to at any rate get our point across to both those countries?

MR. CASEY: Joel, look, first of all, in terms of the mechanics of any possible international force, obviously that's something that all the parties need to talk about and come to some agreement on. So I really don't think at this stage of the game anyone can talk to you about what specific on-the-ground military actions might or might not take place.

In terms of the rockets and in terms of Hezbollah, again, I think it's important to note one more time exactly how this crisis began, and it began because you have a militia, a terrorist group standing outside the control of the legitimate Government of Lebanon attacking Israel, crossing as the Secretary said, all international norms and boundaries to do so and having a response by Israel in defense of itself to that.

But again, the whole purpose here of this activity and of the Secretary's efforts is to try and help achieve not just a temporary halt to the fighting but a long-term cessation that deals with some of the root causes and again allows us to move forward with 1559 and ultimately with a situation in which that Government of Lebanon has the ability to control the scene, free of interference from Syria, free of interference from Iran, free of interference from any other group.

Yeah, let's go with you, Nicholas.

QUESTION: Yes. The Secretary didn't meet with President Lahoud, right?

MR. CASEY: No.

QUESTION: She didn't meet with him the last two times she was in Lebanon. And she hasn't necessarily made a secret of the fact that – well, I'm not going to interpret or paraphrase what she said on the issue. But I'm just wondering whether she thinks that in this particular case the President has the role to play as an intermediary between the government and perhaps Syria with which he has close ties or just in the big picture.

MR. CASEY: Well, Nicholas, I don't have anything new to offer you by way of our position on President Lahoud. Again, I think she's meeting with the people in Lebanon she thinks is appropriate and who she thinks are the kinds of actors who we want to be able to work with along with the rest of the international community to help achieve a viable and long-term cessation of the violence.

Let's go over here.

QUESTION: To achieve lasting peace, does that mean to cripple Hezbollah through Israel's military offensive or military attacks? Is that how it has to be done for maybe a little more time, another week or two to really cripple them to go ahead and implement Resolution 1559 or any other –

MR. CASEY: Look, I think she's addressed this issue before as have any number of other people, and I don't have a lot to add to it. The goal here, though, is a full implementation of 1559, and that means giving the Lebanese Government full control and sovereignty over its country. Ultimately 1559 – it makes it pretty clear what the requirements for that are.

Mr. Lambros.

QUESTION: On the Balkans?

MR. CASEY: Yes.

QUESTION: Anything on today's talk in Vienna and on the President of the Republic of Serbia Boris Tadic, the Prime Minister of Serbia Vojislav Kostunica, the so-called President of Kosovo Fatmir Sejdiu and the so-called Prime Minister of Kosovo Agim Ceku for the final status of Kosovo with the presence of the UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari?

MR. CASEY: Well, first of all, Mr. Lambros, this is an important day in the sense that it marks the first time that the democratically elected leaders of Serbia and Kosovo have met to talk about final status issues and other issues of concern to them. I understand that both sides laid out their vision for the future of the region today. And certainly as we have in the past, we call on all the parties to show flexibility as they move forward in this and show respect for each other's positions. I understand that the two parties are still, as most everyone knows, pretty far apart. But we do want them to continue negotiating constructively on all the core issues involved here. We do have very high esteem and respect for Mr. Ahtisaari and his efforts. And certainly as you know we are not direct participants in the talks but we do attend them as observers. And my understanding is Special Representative Wisner as well as Rosemary DiCarlo, who is one of the Deputy Assistant Secretaries of State for European Affairs, were in attendance at the meeting.

QUESTION: Another question, The Washington Post today in its main editorial unfairly attacked Serbia for (inaudible) in the case of Kosovo, calling the Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica stubborn for calling Kosovo part of Serbia, comparing him even with Slobodan Milosevic. Since most recently the decent and honest Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica met with Secretary Condoleezza Rice here at the State Department, may we have your reaction about his personality in order to send the right message to the editorial board of the newspaper, otherwise do you agree with those unusual attacks and characterizations?

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, as always, I'll leave the opinions of The Washington Post or any other publication in the U.S. to the editorial writers who make them. Again, I think U.S. policy on this issue is quite clear. We support the final status negotiations. We believe that it's important that the two sides come to a mutually agreeable decision for the future of Kosovo, and that's what we'll be working towards.

QUESTION: And also, the (inaudible) of Kosovo, His Eminence Artemije of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Pristina, Serbia last Monday met here at the State Department with Assistant Secretary Rosemary DiCarlo. May we have a readout of the talks?

MR. CASEY: Had I been aware of the meeting, I would be happy to provide you with one, but we'll try and get the Bureau of European Affairs to give you a call and give you a readout on that question.

Okay, sir.

QUESTION: There are Arab-Americans who are talking of suing the Secretary of State for not adequately providing protections for their lives. To what extent do you feel you've left yourself vulnerable to such attacks or such legal action?

MR. CASEY: You mean in terms of the --

QUESTION: Failure to protect the lives of American citizens who were in Lebanon.

MR. CASEY: Well, I think first of all, we're very, very grateful that no American lives have been lost in Lebanon. Obviously, we are, again, very concerned, though, not only about American citizens, but about the humanitarian needs of the Lebanese people. If you're asking in terms of our efforts to help Americans leave the country, again, you've heard repeatedly from those who are more directly involved in that planning and operation.

But as the Secretary said on Friday, this is a very large and very complex operation. It's one of the largest, I think, since World War II. We believe that we've managed to do a very good job of organizing an effort to get people out of the country under some very difficult circumstances, in cooperation with the Department of Defense. As I said, we've now helped more than 12,000 people to depart Lebanon and we're still there doing it today and we're going to continue to be able to do so until all those Americans who want to have an opportunity to leave take that.

I would also note too that the Embassy has put out additional messages and notices to people over the last couple of days, noting that right now, we have seats available and more capacity than we currently have people departing, so they are urging any American citizens who are out there, who still wish to leave Lebanon, to please proceed to the staging area so that they can be accommodated. And again, we're moving people through the system very quickly, but this has been a three-continent effort. It's one that I think we are very proud of, and believe has operated as efficiently as possible under a very difficult set of circumstances.

QUESTION: So would you say that the State Department has taken all possible precautions to protect the lives of Americans in Lebanon?

MR. CASEY: I would say that, as you've -- again, as you've heard here before, our first and foremost priority in the State Department is trying to take care of American citizens. That's why we issue Travel Warnings. It's why we issue advice to our citizens going not only to Lebanon, but really to any country in the world. It's why we have a consular service that is working not only in Lebanon, but elsewhere throughout the world often in very difficult circumstances to try and be able to aid and assist American citizens when they do come into difficult times. And again, in this instance we've worked with the Defense Department and put forward a strong effort under very difficult circumstances to be able to help those Americans who wanted to depart.

QUESTION: Tom, do you know if -- whether in general the U.S. Government is actually liable in such circumstances when there is – when there are American citizens overseas and they are in harm's way that is --

MR. CASEY: Nicholas, I wouldn't – I definitely decided not to go to law school for a reason, and I really wouldn't want to speculate on any of the legal questions might be on something like this.

Barry, did you have a follow-up?

QUESTION: No, not a follow-up, but I was going to ask you about the Iraqi Prime Minister coming. We know he's going to see the President tomorrow.

MR. CASEY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Is there a preliminary, as there often is, meeting with the State Department people? The Secretary is away.

MR. CASEY: My understanding is that there will be State Department representatives at the White House for these meetings. We'll give you an update. I think that is likely to be under Secretary Burns, but I will have to check for you and see who exactly will be representing the Department there.

Let's go all the way in the back here. This gentleman hasn't had a chance yet.

QUESTION: Can you hear me?

MR. CASEY: Now I can.

QUESTION: Okay. Did the U.S. Department of State have any information prior to the murder of Carlos Galan in Colombia?

MR. CASEY: Not that I'm aware of. I'm not familiar with the case to be honest with you.

QUESTION: An informant of the FBI.

MR. CASEY: You'd have to ask the FBI.

QUESTION: Okay, thank you.

MR. CASEY: Okay, Mr. Lambros, one more shot.

QUESTION: On Cyprus I have two questions. Mr. Casey, is U.S. reliance on Cyprus to assist in evacuating thousands of Americans from danger in Lebanon help improve the relations between the Bush and Papadopoulos Administrations so that the President Papadopoulos might be soon received here in Washington for personal thanks from the U.S. Government?

MR. CASEY: Well, Mr. Lambros, one thing I do want to tell you is that the United States Government very much appreciates the support and help it's received from the Government of Cyprus in helping us get our people back home out of Lebanon. And I know the Government of Cyprus has made similar efforts on behalf of many other countries. It's something we very much appreciate. I know the Secretary spoke with her counterpart there while she was transiting en route to Lebanon, and again conveyed her personal thanks as well as those of the United States Government for their efforts.

In terms of any future travel, particularly any travel involving the White House, I just have to leave it to the White House to talk about that.

QUESTION: So -- to follow up? Will this enhanced U.S.-Cyprus cooperation help persuade the State Department to name a new Cyprus coordinator and play a more serious role in resolving the longstanding Cyprus dispute now, Mr. Casey, entering its 33rd year of Turkish invasion and occupation?

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, again, we very much support a resolution of the issues involving Cyprus. We'll continue to do so and we'll continue to use all appropriate diplomatic means to help support that process.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

MR. CASEY: I'll tell you what. Let me go and see if we've got anybody else out here, Mr. Lambros, and then -- okay.

Joel.

QUESTION: A question. UN Ambassador, the interim ambassador, John Bolton's renomination is up at Congress, because it's only for a prescribed period to the end of this congressional session. Are you taking part in those particular hearings or do you basically stay out of it?

MR. CASEY: Well, Joel, Ambassador Bolton, as I understand it, does have a hearing scheduled on Thursday. Obviously, the Secretary believes that his performance in the job justified her faith and trust in nominating him -- or with the President nominating him and her supporting that nomination in the first place. Ambassador Bolton is doing an excellent job, often on some very difficult and tough issues at the UN, and we certainly hope that the Senate will decide to give its advice and consent to his nomination.

Thank you, everybody.

(The briefing was concluded at 01:28 p.m.)

DPB # 122
[*] Temporary Duty

Released on July 24, 2006


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