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Bolton On UNDSG Comments In The Independent

Briefing on Comments in the The Independent made by UN Deputy Secretary-General

Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Remarks to the media following a Security Council Stakeout
New York City
September 29, 2006

USUN PRESS RELEASE #249


Ambassador Bolton: Hi. I just wanted to take a minute to address comments made by Mr. Mark Malloch Brown this morning in an interview with The Independent newspaper of the United Kingdom. Where he said that Prime Minister Blair and President Bush, speaking with respect to Darfur, that Prime Minister Blair and President Bush -- and I quote "need to get beyond this posturing and grand standing." And he said, that Mr. Malloch Brown said that Prime Minister Blair and President Bush's "megaphone" diplomacy was not "plausible." He said this meant Khartoum had come to regard itself as the next front on the war on terror -- "the victims of the next crusade after Iraq and Afghanistan."

Now, let me say these remarks bring discredit to the United Nations and are a stain on its reputation. And Mr. Malloch Brown should apologize to President Bush and Prime Minister Blair. We are proud that we have called the attention of the international community to the tragedy in Darfur. We are proud of our efforts to bring relief to that tragedy. And to have Mr. Malloch Brown attack those efforts, as I say, brings great discredit to this institution.

Reporter: Do you think those comments may have already changed the tone of the conversation about Darfur? (Inaudible)

Ambassador Bolton: I think his remarks amount to undermining Resolution 1706. It's a terrible signal to the government in Khartoum and should never have been uttered.

Reporter: Is the United States going to do a formal protest to the United Nations?

Ambassador Bolton: I'm not sure that it's worth a formal protest. I think I've made our views clear.

Reporter: The Secretary-General? Is there going to be some communication with him?

Ambassador Bolton: I think it's important that we respond in the same way he chose to attack two democratically elected leaders, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair. And that's to you, ladies and gentlemen.

Reporter: Is there any switch in strategy or consideration of it -- President Bashir says no once a day -- to do an African Union plus?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, we're undertaking a number of steps, including the appointment of Andrew Natsios' special envoy and our diplomatic efforts are going to continue and accelerate. I just hope they haven't been undermined by these remarks.

Reporter: Is he planning a trip quite soon?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, he is still consulting and I believe he will be traveling both to other potential contributing governments, governments in the region and to the Sudan. Okay? Thanks a lot.

Released on September 29, 2006

ENDS


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