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US Statement On Resolution 1706 (Sudan) - Bolton

Statement on the Adoption of Resolution 1706 (Sudan) and Other Matters

Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Remarks to the Security Council
New York City
August 31, 2006


Ambassador Bolton: Well, we're obviously very pleased at the Security Council's adoption of Resolution 1706. This has been a long time in the making. Even before the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement in May of this year, it was obviously going to be important to transition from the African Union force in Darfur to a UN force. We have taken into account, we think, the legitimate concerns that have been raised about the operational aspects of the transition. It's a very significant vote by the Security Council because of the threat to international peace and security posed by the situation in the Darfur region. And now is the time for implementation of the resolution, and that's what we'll be focusing on.

Reporter: I asked the same question -- I didn't get any joy from the previous ambassadors. Maybe I'll try you: In the absence of approval of the Sudanese government -- I know they have changed their mind before in the south, and maybe they expected to do so again. But in the face of the calamity of the situation, the death and the destitution that's taking place, if they refuse, what alternative do you have on the plate?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, let's be clear what we need and let's be clear what the resolution said. The resolution simply said we invite their consent. I think what we need is acquiescence. It would be nice to have cooperation. But the UN's role should proceed, the planning should proceed, the operational work should be done and, as they say, silence gives consent. If there isn't any obstructionism, which would be a good thing, then I think the UN operation can proceed. So we're not looking for billboards on the highway into Khartoum accepting the resolution. We would be happy with acquiescence.

Reporter: The Chinese ambassador said today that there was still more time for dialogue with Iran, as opposed to sanctions. Do you believe that you will have a backing among the Perm 5 in regards to sanctions on Iran?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, I'd rather comment later once we've had a chance to review the IAEA report fully. But I can say that the foreign minister of China, some months ago, agreed with the foreign ministers of the other permanent members of the Security Council in Germany that if Iran did not fully suspend its uranium enrichment activity they would support coming to the Council to seek economic sanctions. And I would assume that the governments in question would live up to the commitment that their foreign ministers have made.

Reporter: If the Sudanese government does not acquiesce, as you said, what is it that is in the Security Council mind that you will somehow force them to do it? I mean, that would make it absolutely necessary for them to do it. In the absence of that, how will you be able to send this mission into --

Ambassador Bolton: The Security Council has just adopted a resolution. We expect the government of Sudan to comply with it. And I'm not going to assume or speculate about the government of Sudan ignoring a Security Council resolution that has aspects binding under Chapter 7. Because your question suggests Sudan will flaunt the resolution and violate its charter obligations, and I wouldn't start off by assuming that.

Reporter: A spokesman for the government of Sudan just said, half an hour ago, responding to the resolution, that they refuse it and that they are against this resolution. So you already have their position; they disagree with the resolution. What's the next step?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, they have the resolution, and we expect them to comply with it. And we'll see what happens in reality, as opposed to in rhetoric. Any other questions, then? Okay, thanks a lot.

Released on August 31, 2006


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