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U.S. Daily Press Briefing

Daily Press Briefing

Sean McCormack, Spokesman

Washington, DC

September 16, 2008

INDEX:

ZIMBABWE
Agreement / Reflection of Zimbabwean Politics / Expect That the Agreement be Faithfully Implemented / We are Supportive of It / Wait to See How This Plays Out


TRANSCRIPT:

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11:00 a.m. EDT

MR. MCCORMACK: Good morning, people. I don’t have anything to start off with. We can get right to your questions. Excellent. (Laughter.) Off the hook. Yeah, go ahead.

MR. MCCORMACK: Yeah.

QUESTION: On Zimbabwe, have you had a chance to look at the details of the agreement? And if not, why not? It’s been a few days.

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, we’re getting a copy, I guess, a copy of it, as are others. I understand that it’s, you know, 50, 60 pages long. So we’ll get a copy of it and review it.

But very generally, this is a Zimbabwean document. This is a reflection of Zimbabwean politics and an attempt to move those politics forward. So what we would expect is that the agreement be faithfully implemented, this agreement that the MDC said it supports and is comfortable with. Therefore, we are supportive of it. So we would expect that it be implemented, that the – not only the letter of it, but the spirit of it be implemented, and that that end result reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people, as it was expressed during their recent election.

QUESTION: A follow-up on Zimbabwe?

MR. MCCORMACK: Yes.

QUESTION: Can you comment more broadly on the fact that this was an African-mediated solution, that there were no – that the UN was not involved in this, for example?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, I think it speaks to some political evolution in Zimbabwe that you – that we have gotten to this point. I don’t think that, without the spotlight of the international community, however, on the issue – on what transpired in Zimbabwe that you likely would have gotten to this point.

But it is heartening that you see Zimbabwean politics get to the point where you can have an agreement that the opposition and the current regime both agree on and agree will be implemented. We’ll see how this plays out. But certainly, it is a good moment for Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC that they have gotten to the point where they can negotiate this kind of agreement.

Yeah.

QUESTION: The Europeans have said they’re not going to (inaudible) sanctions yet, and I think that’s your view as well.

MR. MCCORMACK: Right.

QUESTION: But are you looking at increasing assistance to Zimbabwe? It’s a country where, as you know, inflation is – I don’t know, a million percent or something.

MR. MCCORMACK: Right.

QUESTION: And people are really struggling there from the other side, because there is a deal, does that open up the opportunity of pumping more funds in?

MR. MCCORMACK: Again, a fair question. I’m not aware that we have reconsidered that, but we’ll -- I’ll take a look at the question. We’ll get you an answer.

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you.

ENDS

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