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Bolton Briefing on Sudan, HRC Lebanon, and Iraq

Briefing on Sudan, the UN Human Rights Council, Lebanon, and Iraq

Ambassador John R. Bolton
Remarks in the Security Council
New York City
November 28, 2006

USUN PRESS RELEASE #369


Ambassador Bolton: Good morning.

Reporter: Good morning. I'm sorry. Is there a new proposal on Iran on the table distributed -- or given to the U.S. by the EU? And if so, how does the U.S. feel about it? What does it say?

Ambassador Bolton: I really don't have anything new for you on Iran today, so.

Reporter: Sudan's president said any agreement to send U.N. peacekeepers was -- it was a lie. What do you think of what Sudan's views are on the latest plans to get international forces in?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, the Security Council was very clear in Resolution 1706 in what we expect. And a lot of steps have been taken to try and accommodate the views of the government of Sudan. And their public comments, to date, don't appear to be very helpful in that regard. And I would just simply underline Resolution 1706 remains on the table. And that's the position of the Security Council and, hence, the United Nations.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, do you know anything about this latest attack on the Lebanese-Syrian border, some kind of a suicide attack?

Ambassador Bolton: I've not heard anything about that, no.

Reporter: The U.N. Human Rights Council, there was another resolution against Israel. It's the only country that's been focused on. You were a staunch opponent of it. What are your views on it?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, I know yesterday there were a number of resolutions that were voted on, some because Canada called for a vote on them -- and Canada being a member, of course, the U.S. not being a member -- where Canada was the only country to vote in favor of a particular position. We've got -- Ric, I think we've got some these -- some of the results of these votes. And I would refer you -- there were a series of votes yesterday, all of them disappointing, by the Human Rights Council. It's another example of why it's not performing anywhere close to the high expectations that were held by those who voted in favor of it.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, on Sudan, would you support the U.N. taking some action without the support of the president of Sudan and sending troops in there?

Ambassador Bolton: No, I'm simply underlining that Resolution 1706 is the only plan that the Security Council has approved, and that absent progress by the government of Sudan, we still expect compliance with it, as we do with all Security Council resolutions.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, following up on Gil's question about -- there are a lot of reports out of Paris saying there isn't a new EU-3 text to be given to the U.S. Your response? Does it mean that you haven't seen it? Or you have seen it and don't want to comment on it or -

Ambassador Bolton: It means I don't have any comment on Iran today.

Reporter: Ambassador, is there anything further you can tell us about your moving forward on Somalia, on a resolution there?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, we're in consultations on a possible resolution on Somalia. And as I said yesterday, I expect we would be able to move on that in terms of circulating a draft within a few days. But I want to have a couple of more discussions before I say anything publicly on it.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, today you're going in to talk about children in armed conflict. How serious an issue is this for the United States?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, it's a serious issue. And we have a statement that, if I'm not here -- depending on where we are on the list of speakers -- and it's a long list Ambassador Sanders will give -- so we'll get the text of that to you shortly, and I'd ask you to focus on that as our comment.

This is --

Reporter: And the Third Committee -- they're going to be voting today on the Draft Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous. Is the U.S. going to be opposing it? And if so, why?

Ambassador Bolton: My understanding is that the -- there will be a procedural motion or a motion -- procedural -- an amendment that will have a procedural effect of postponing the discussion further, and I think that's really the order of business. We have to see if that's going to come up.

I'll take one more.

Reporter: On Lebanon, is there a deadline that you are willing to wait for the Lebanese to get out of this deadlock in basically ratifying the agreement --

Ambassador Bolton: I'm not sure there is a deadlock. As I understand it, the matter lies before the president for a 15-day period. That period has begun. He either acts to endorse the agreement and send it to the parliament or it goes automatically to the parliament, where the parliament will then take a decision. So we're in a period that is sort of a statutory hold on the government's consideration, but then when it goes to the parliament, they'll make their decision.

Reporter: Is Iraq in a civil war? You have a resolution this week regarding that country -

Ambassador Bolton: I think the president has answered that question. The answer is no. See you later.

Released on November 28, 2006

ENDS


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