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Bolton Briefing on Sudan and Other Matters

Briefing on Sudan and Other Matters

Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Remarks to the media following a Security Council Stakeout
New York City
August 30, 2006

USUN PRESS RELEASE #217


Ambassador Bolton: We're going to discuss the Sudan Resolution this morning. We circulated it -- the United States and the United Kingdom circulated it last night. We'll discuss it in the Council this morning. It's our intention to put in blue this evening or some time later today and hopefully vote on it tomorrow. We'll want to see what other comments there are. We'll be seeking other co-sponsors but we do think it is important to try and finish this during the month of August, and that's how we're proceeding this morning.

Reporter: Ambassador, how do you gauge Security Council views on the Sudan issue at the moment?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, I think there's overwhelming support for this resolution, and I hope that'll be reflected both in co-sponsorships and in the final vote. There may be some additional changes. That's obviously one of the things you go through in the negotiation process, but it's also why I think the U.S. and U.K. do want to put it in blue today and tee it up for a vote tomorrow.

Reporter: Do you expect a Chinese veto or you don't -- you think that's not going to happen?

Ambassador Bolton: I suppose the Chinese position is something they will announce in due course, but we've tried to take their concerns into account without in any way undermining the effectiveness of the peacekeeping force, which will have a very difficult mission under the best of circumstances, and we obviously hope, ultimately, they support it.

Reporter: Can you explain again why the UN needs to get another resolution on Darfur? What was -- what is so interesting and pushes you, really, to keep on track?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, specifically the African Union mission in Darfur expires on September 30th, and we need to transition to a UN force as soon as possible thereafter so that the displaced persons, the people in the camps can be protected, and the Darfur Peace Agreement can be implemented. And that's what this resolution does.

Reporter: (Inaudible)

Ambassador Bolton: Here comes my Chinese colleague who's smiling. I'm sure that means he's going to vote in favor of the Darfur Resolution.

Reporter: But do you also foresee -- take into account the fears, the concerns of Mr. Bashir?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, in fact, Jendayi Frazer did meet with President Bashir and will have some changes that we will hope to incorporate in the draft as a result of that conversation.

Reporter: Ambassador, one of the changes appears to be talking about acceptance of the force rather than consent for the force. What is the significance of that?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, I wouldn't look for any of those as being magic words. I mean, we'll see what happens in the course of the discussions today. But we want to make it clear we're going to proceed with the rehatting of the force to a UN mission, and that's one of the things that's critical here. Let me just take one more, if there is -- yeah.

Reporter: Ambassador, do you -- have you got the numbers set yet? Because I've noticed they're still in brackets.

Ambassador Bolton: No, it's still in brackets. And at the briefing the other day, the UN. gave three cost options for the three possible force levels, force composition information, and I'm sure that's one of the things we'll be discussing. I'll tell you, I'll --

Reporter: Ambassador, just one more, please. In Cairo , the Egyptian foreign minister's apparently asking the U.S. and the U.K. to delay this resolution to avoid a confrontation with the Sudanese.

Ambassador Bolton: I don't think we're going to have a confrontation with the Sudanese, and I think it's important that we move ahead with it, so we'll see what happens later.

Reporter: Iran 's enriching. The U.S. is not --

Ambassador Bolton: How about if we talk about Iran after I have the meeting on the Sudan? How about that? Fair trade? Okay, see you later.

Released on August 30, 2006

ENDS


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