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U.S. Remarks With Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister

Remarks With Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Maris Riekstins Before Their Meeting

Secretary Condoleezza Rice

Washington, DC

October 9, 2008

QUESTION: So Madame Secretary, are you ready to take North Korea off the State Sponsors of Terrorism list?

SECRETARY RICE: We’ll get something to you when we have something.

QUESTION: Any reaction to the increased tension on the Korean Peninsula, including the maritime border? And also they’re kicking out the IAEA monitors.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, let’s just wait and see over the next several days. We’re reviewing the situation and I’m talking to my colleagues. And when we have an announcement, we’ll have an announcement.

QUESTION: Any comment on Afghanistan – the reports about the NIE?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, in fact, I have actually not seen the NIE. I will – I assume that we’ll be briefed on it shortly. But in any case, we had asked for the intelligence community to take a look. It’s important that it do so.

I would just cite that, of course, Afghanistan is a difficult place. It has made progress since 2001. We have all talked about new circumstances that have arisen there. And we are doing a review to look to see what more we can do. Here at the State Department, we’re looking hard at our civilian operations. We’re looking hard at the PRT structure. We are looking also at what we can do to be more supportive of the ministers that President Karzai has put up. So we’re looking to see where some of the strengths are and how we can support those strengths and also how we can help the Afghans when there are weaknesses.

I’m going to have a discussion, obviously, with my Latvian colleague about this because Latvia is also – is a member of NATO and also is a longtime supporter of reconstruction in Afghanistan, an important partner there. And I expect that we will talk about Afghanistan.

ENDS

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