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US Dept. of State Press Briefing, Nov. 6

Fri, 06 Nov 2009 15:41:53 -0600

Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
November 6, 2009



Travel to Europe and Asia, November 8-19 / Berlin, Singapore, Manila


Disappointed by unilateral statements last night / Urge both sides to reach agreement immediately on the formation of a unity government
U.S. agreed to support the election process / Providing technical assistance / As parties implement the agreement step by step, we will continue to support the process
Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord is the best way forward / Believe agreement can be implemented / Honduran process in place / Steps need to be taken


Disappointed by decision to deny Ayman Nour travel to the U.S. / Hopes Egypt will review its decision


Pleased with Senate confirmation of Arturo Valenzuela / Disappointed that nomination of Tom Shannon as Ambassador to Brazil has not been acted on
Latin America is a high priority in the Obama Administration


Ambassador Roemer briefed Government of India on arrests in Chicago / Ongoing legal case / Justice Department purview


Nothing to announce on plans for bilateral talks
Ambassador Wi Sung-lac met with Deputy Secretary Steinberg, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Donovan, Ambassador Bosworth, and Ambassador Kim to discuss next steps on the Six-Party process and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula


U.S. voted against UN General Assembly resolution / Best way to address suffering is to get both sides to talk / U.S. does not raising this report in the UN Security Council


Tremendous respect for President Abbas / An important player / Look forward to continuing to work with him
Any government should represent the will of the Palestinian people


Leaders should be held accountable for their actions in Sudan / Expects Turkey to raise accountability in humanitarian crisis in Sudan in any bilateral meeting


Assistant Secretary Campbell met with senior Japanese officials November 5


2:16 p.m. EST

MR. KELLY: Well, I'm going to actually make some statements at the top.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Europe and Asia November 8 to 19, 2009. In Berlin, she will represent the United States at the 20th anniversary celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall and meet with senior German officials. Secretary Clinton will continue on to Singapore for meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While there, she'll attend the APEC ministerial meetings and will hold bilateral meetings with her counterparts from the region. In Manila, the Secretary will hold consultations with senior Filipino officials, highlighting the U.S.-Philippines treaty alliance. Returning to Singapore, the Secretary will join President Obama for the APEC leaders meeting.

And then I'd like to read a statement on Honduras. Last week, Honduran negotiators came to an accord that spells out a step-by-step process for Honduras to reestablish democratic and constitutional order and move toward national elections with the support of the international community. In the wake of the Verification Commission visit November 3 and 4, the two sides made significant progress toward the formation of a unity government. For that reason, we were particularly disappointed by the unilateral statements made last night, which do not serve the spirit of the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord.

We urge both sides to act in the best interests of the Honduran people and return to the table immediately to reach agreement on the formation of a unity government. The formation of a government of unity and national reconciliation will serve the Honduran people and will change the political dynamics in the country in a positive way. It is urgent that this government be created immediately.

The Honduran people have made clear that they want to move forward. They deserve leadership that looks to the future in the interests of all Honduran people. Complete and timely implementation of the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord is the path to that future, and the formation of a government of unity and national reconciliation is the next vital step forward.

One more.

The United States Government is disappointed by the decision of the Egyptian public prosecutor’s office to deny Ayman Nour permission to travel. We hope the Government of Egypt will review its decision in this case and allow Mr. Nour to travel to the United States, as planned.


QUESTION: On Honduras, anything to add on what Congressman[1] Jim DeMint said that the U.S. is willing to recognize the electoral result in Honduras with or without Zelaya?

MR. KELLY: I’m sorry, repeat that one more time.

QUESTION: Anything to add on what Congressman[2] Jim DeMint says about the recognition of the electoral results in Honduras about you are going to recognize the electoral results with or without Mr. Zelaya?

MR. KELLY: Well, I think we have agreed to support the electoral process. We are providing technical assistance to the elections process in Honduras. And we – we’ve made this commitment to support this process because of the accord between the two parties. And as the parties respect and implement this agreement step by step, we will continue to support the process. So that’s our policy right now.

QUESTION: Senator DeMint says that you – that he was given specific assurances from the Department that – forgetting about supporting the election, but that you will recognize, that the Administration will recognize the election as legitimate even if Zelaya has not been reinstated. Is that correct? Can I get a yes or no answer on this?

MR. KELLY: I think what we have said, what the Secretary has said, and what I’ll say --

QUESTION: Can I just get --

MR. KELLY: -- is that we support this accord which calls, first of all, for a Verification Commission, then for – and that’s been done. The next step is the formation of a government of unity and reconciliation, then a Congress vote on the restoration, and then the elections. So far, only one step has been carried out.

QUESTION: Is Senator DeMint correct or incorrect when he puts out in a statement that he has been given assurances by the Administration that it will risk – it will, excuse me – that it will recognize the result – the legitimacy – this election as legitimate, whether Zelaya has been reinstated or not? Yes or no?

MR. KELLY: Again, our support for these elections is the product of this agreement.

QUESTION: Senator DeMint put out a statement last night, yesterday, or this morning saying that he had been given these assurances and that he was lifting his hold on Shannon and Valenzuela because of that assurance.

MR. KELLY: I’m sorry, Matt. I don’t have the statement right here, so I can’t – I mean, I know you’re reading me the statement. Let me take the question, we’ll look at the statement, and we’ll give you a response.

QUESTION: So – but right now, you’re saying that he is not? I mean, I am --

MR. KELLY: No, I’m --

QUESTION: I’m telling you what he said in the statement. He said that he has been assured that you will recognize the election with or without --

MR. KELLY: Okay.

QUESTION: -- Zelaya being reinstated and that’s why he --

MR. KELLY: I would not – I know that the Secretary spoke to Senator DeMint. I know Tom Shannon has spoken to Senator DeMint. I was not in those meetings. I was not – and I didn’t – wasn’t on the phone call. Let me get back and find out exactly what we can say about this.


MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: What – going back to your statement, when you say that the U.S. Government is disappointed, disappointed of what? Disappointed – disappointment of Zelaya position? Yesterday, he said that he doesn’t follow any more of this agreement? Or disappointment with the government of Micheletti that they didn’t work with the congress to reinstate Zelaya? Or how – can you clarify that?

MR. KELLY: I think we’re disappointed with both sides. I think we’re disappointed that both sides are not following this very clear path which has been laid out in this accord. It has not formed a government of national unity for – I think what happened last night is that there was not an agreement on a government of national unity in reconciliation. It was a unilaterally decided government. And a unilaterally decided government is not a government of unity. So I think it’s fair to say we’re disappointed at both sides.


QUESTION: First, can you comment on the confirmation of Arturo Valenzuela as Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere? And second, what is the incentive to the de facto regime in Honduras once they have the assurance that Assistant Secretary Shannon made that the elections would be recognized regardless of what happens with Zelaya from here until the 29th? So --

MR. KELLY: I think – yeah, first of all, I think what Assistant Secretary Shannon said is as this agreement is implemented, it gives us a way to move forward, and it gives us a way to support the elections. So that’s one. On the confirmation of Arturo Valenzuela, of course, we’re very pleased that he was confirmed by unanimous consent, and of course we’re also disappointed that Tom Shannon’s nomination did not go forward. We think Tom Shannon is one of our best diplomats, and we look forward to him being confirmed as well very quickly to be ambassador to Brazil.

QUESTION: Talking about Brazil, there is today an expression from Lula that is in all the newspapers saying that he thinks that Obama is not following with Latin America as he said that he was going to do in the conference of Trinidad and Tobago. And he said also an expression that instead of U.S. being afraid of Venezuela, Venezuela should be afraid of the U.S. What’s your --

MR. KELLY: Well, again, I’m not going to react to something I haven’t seen. I will say that this Administration has put a very high priority on Latin America. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into revitalizing the Inter-American process through the OAS. As I just said, we named one of our best diplomats to be Ambassador to Brazil. We’re looking forward to Arturo Valenzuela to be the next assistant secretary. We’ve put really extraordinary efforts into the – resolving the crisis in Honduras. So I think that we’ve really revitalized our relationships with Latin America.

QUESTION: Well, I just want to follow up on what you said that Tom Shannon said, that as the agreement is implemented, this will help you move forward to the elections. But I’m not really clear if you think that the agreement has been implemented.

MR. KELLY: No, it hasn’t been implemented.


MR. KELLY: The first step has, the Verification Commission.

QUESTION: But I mean, to go ahead and declare, you know, yourself the head of the national unity government would not necessarily be implementing the agreement.

MR. KELLY: Well, it was done unilaterally, this – the --


MR. KELLY: The announcement was done unilaterally. And, I mean, we still think that this accord is a – the best way forward to resolve this crisis and is in the best interests of the Honduran people. We should always think --


MR. KELLY: -- about supporting the Honduran people and move beyond the maximalist positions and the overheated rhetoric that we’re seeing.

QUESTION: But just to be clear, that the implementation of the agreement as it stands now, which you said is not necessarily implemented, you would not recognize the elections?

MR. KELLY: Well, no. I just think that it’s – I mean, our – we believe that we can support these elections as we go forward implementing this agreement. And we continue to support them. We financially are supporting the elections through technical assistance.

QUESTION: But I’m not clear about –

MR. KELLY: We’re going to support observation efforts.

QUESTION: Yeah, but the actions today as they stand, I mean, it doesn’t bring you any closer to being able to recognize the elections?

MR. KELLY: Well, we –

QUESTION: It sounds like you’re going to recognize them no matter what.

MR. KELLY: Well, we believe that this agreement can be implemented.

QUESTION: I know you do.

MR. KELLY: And – yeah. I mean, we --

QUESTION: But it’s not being --

MR. KELLY: It’s not that hard. And so we’re not going to – I mean, I’m not going to pronounce that the agreement isn’t going to be implemented; therefore we’re not going to recognize the elections. Let’s focus on implementing the agreement.

QUESTION: So the question would be would you recognize the elections depending on the compliance with the agreement, or will you recognize the elections with --

MR. KELLY: Well, let’s see what happens. I’m not going to prejudge what we’re going to do.

QUESTION: The problem with that is that it leads to really complete confusion. No one knows what the – what your policy is.

MR. KELLY: Our policy is to support the implementation of the agreement.

QUESTION: Yeah, but if you haven’t told – have you told –

MR. KELLY: But you’re asking me what we may or may not do on November 29

QUESTION: Well, have you told the Honduras they if they don’t --

MR. KELLY: There’s a lot of time between now and then.

QUESTION: -- implement this agreement, you’re not going to recognize the validity of the election? And you’re hemming and hawing around it. You can’t answer the question about DeMint and the assurances, and you can’t – and no one has been able --

MR. KELLY: Look –

QUESTION: -- from Tom Shannon on down, no one has – will answer this question, even though I’m sure there is a clear-cut answer.

MR KELLY: The bottom line is that we have a Honduran process in place where the two sides have sat down; they’ve signed on to the agreement; the agreement is specific in terms of the next steps to be taken. If the two sides can agree on a way forward – and the best way forward is this agreement; I mean, it’s very specific – then we support it. But I – what happens between now and November 29, I don’t know, but we’re supporting this Honduran process.

QUESTION: Even though it is not being implemented, you’re continuing to support it, even though you’re disappointed in what this --

MR. KELLY: We’re disappointed that this –

QUESTION: But you’re still going to support the process.

MR. KELLY: We’re supporting the process.

QUESTION: Well, then, I don’t understand. Then what you just said as the bottom line means nothing.

MR. KELLY: It means that they need to sit down and start talking again. They – it means --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. KELLY: -- they have to stop saying – maybe they need to stop making dire statements that the agreement is dead.

QUESTION: There must be someone in this building who can give a straight answer to this question.

MR. KELLY: (Laughter.)

QUESTION: I don’t know who.

MR. KELLY: I’m giving you a straight answer.

QUESTION: Mr. Shannon did go on the record.

QUESTION: Ian, no, with all due respect –

MR. KELLY: You’re asking me to look ahead and predict --

QUESTION: No, we’re asking –

MR. KELLY: -- what we’re going to support or won’t support, and I don’t know what’s going to happen between now and November 29th.

QUESTION: So you’re saying that like –

QUESTION: But the answer – but the question: Is have you given the assurances to either DeMint or to whoever, or have you told the Hondurans?

MR. KELLY: I’ll get you that answer.

QUESTION: Yeah, right. That – and this is the question, though. Have you told them, or anyone else, that no matter whether Zelaya is reinstated or not, you’re going to support – you’ll recognize the election? I’m not asking you to predict what is going to happen, if he comes back or not. But there’s got to be a bottom line here, or else the whole policy just kind of falls apart and the people don’t – Micheletti’s people think that they have your support, then Zelaya (inaudible) --

MR. KELLY: Okay. Well, you’re – then you’re back to that question that I took and I said we’ll get you the information on.

QUESTION: Right. And the other – just one other thing: Did the Secretary ever answer Zelaya’s letter asking for clarification?

MR. KELLY: I don’t believe that she has.

QUESTION: What incentive does the Micheletti government have to instate Zelaya if, what they do today, you say you’re going to continue to support the process?

MR. KELLY: The incentive is, is that it’s in the best interests of the Honduran people. They have – I mean, right now --

QUESTION: So at the (inaudible) for the last three months?

MR. KELLY: -- there is high tension, chaos. That is what – that’s what got the two sides to sit down and sign the agreement in the first place. I mean, that was the incentive, that this is – they need to move beyond the present state of chaos and uncertainty and resolve this in a peaceful negotiated way. And they agreed to a way forward and they just need to keep doing this step by step.

QUESTION: Well, I mean, they took a step, which was totally antithetical to the agreement that they signed.

MR. KELLY: Okay. They need to get back and sit down and --

QUESTION: We’ll check back with you on November 29th.

MR. KELLY: – figure out how to do that step. They – I mean --

QUESTION: Why don’t we check back with you on November 29th and see what he --

QUESTION: Well, Mr. Shannon did say on the record – we have the interview – that regardless of what happened from now until the 29th, the U.S. would support the elections. That is on the record; we have it. So how is that different now?

MR. KELLY: I need to see that. I have not actually seen that.

QUESTION: Any chance that Mr. Shannon is – will go back to Honduras, try to bring the parts together again?

QUESTION: Or Mr. Valenzuela?

QUESTION: Or Mr. Valenzuela?

QUESTION: Or Mr. Valenzuela?

MR. KELLY: I’m not going to rule anything in or rule anything out. There’s no plans for that, though.

New subject?

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. KELLY: New subject?

QUESTION: That’s all right.

QUESTION: This is kind of just a technical thing. Since Valenzuela has been confirmed and Tom Shannon hasn’t, does Tom Shannon have a job title right now?

MR. KELLY: He’s still assistant secretary. Arturo Valenzuela will need to be sworn in.

QUESTION: Which will be when?

MR. KELLY: I don’t know that anything’s scheduled right now. I’m sure it’ll be soon. He’s been confirmed.

QUESTION: And you know India is in a high alert because of there might be some terrorism beyond Mumbai, and two persons are arrested by the FBI in Chicago. One is American. And now al-Qaida, what they are saying, is now recruiting Americans to bring bad relations between the two countries, India and U.S. And what Indian authorities are saying that only David, who is being held by the FBI in Chicago, knows where and when one of the biggest ever beyond Mumbai attack may occur in India.

So do you have any idea if anybody in touch with you from India or what the FBI is telling you, because if anybody is asking him to tell everything he knows before any chaos happens in --

MR. KELLY: Goyal, I think all I can really tell you from our diplomatic angle is that I know that our Ambassador has briefed the Government of India on the case, and we continue to follow the case. I’m not at liberty to divulge the details of the interrogation. I mean, that’s – it’s an ongoing legal case, and it really is up to the Department of Justice to – I mean, that’s really in their purview. But I do know that we have briefed the Government of India on the broad parameters of the case.

QUESTION: And just to follow, special representative – or special assistant to Prime Minister Singh – or according to national security advisor, was in the U.S. on a secret mission. He met almost everybody, high-level officials, including national security advisor. And if he met anybody in this building or if you know --

MR. KELLY: Well, I don’t think it was a secret mission.

QUESTION: Well, nobody knew in India and nobody knew here as far as --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- press reports. Only after he left and after meeting the U.S. officials came to know in Indian press --

MR. KELLY: Yeah. I just would – I would not encourage you to use the word “secret mission.” I’m pretty sure he did have meetings here in this building, and we’ll see if we can get you the information on who he met with.

QUESTION: I mean, what I meant was that – anything to do with this arrest in Chicago or high alert in India?

MR. KELLY: I don’t know. We’ll see if we can get you more information.


QUESTION: It was reported today that Bosworth made some statements yesterday at the Chamber of Commerce saying that he would be going to North Korea at the beginning – or at the end of this year, beginning of next year. Do you have anything to say about the statements?

MR. KELLY: All I know at this point is that we’re still considering the invitation. I think we’ll have something to announce, but we don’t have anything to announce yet.

QUESTION: I’m sorry, if he told a whole room of people that he’s going to North Korea, you can’t say anything about it?

MR. KELLY: No, I can’t, Elise --

QUESTION: Well, then you can’t stand by the words of your envoy?

MR. KELLY: -- because I think that that particular event was off the record, for one thing.

QUESTION: You can’t stand by the words of your envoy? I mean --

MR. KELLY: I will always stand by the words of our envoy --

QUESTION: So who’s speaking? Who --

MR. KELLY: -- but I may not be able to publicly announce something that was said in an off-the-record session.

QUESTION: Can you say in what capacity he was even there? Because when you called them, they weren’t even really aware he was at that event or --

MR. KELLY: I really – the only details I have of the event is that it was an off-the-record event. There seem to be quite a few details leaking out of off-the-record statements and events these days.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: Do you have anything about Wi Sung-lac’s meeting here? Is he meeting again today?

MR KELLY: Yes. Briefly – sorry. Yes, Wi Sung-lac is visiting Washington. He was here yesterday and he’s here today for consultations on North Korea. He is meeting with Deputy Secretary James Steinberg, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Joseph Donovan, Special Representative for North Korea Policy Ambassador Bosworth, and Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks Ambassador Kim. They discussed the next steps in resuming the Six-Party process and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. These meetings are part of our regular ongoing periodic consultations with officials from the Republic of Korea and, of course, represent the very close cooperation we have with South Korea.

We remain committed to the resumption of the Six-Party Talks and the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1718 and 1874.

QUESTION: Speaking of the Security Council, the Goldstone report that was – I moved for another topic – that was approved yesterday in the United Nations, there is some speculation that said that the U.S. may veto this report if it goes to the Security Council. Do you have any point of this? This is in the press today. And they say that if it's vetoed it can go to the Netherlands Hague court.

MR. KELLY: Well, what happened yesterday was the – there was a resolution in the General Assembly. The U.S. and 17 other nations voted against it. We continue to strongly support the need for accountability, such as some of the events that are in the report, through credible domestic investigations. And we note that Israel is undertaking such investigations. Ultimately though, the best way to address the suffering in Gaza is by getting the two sides to sit down and talk and – towards the ultimate goal of two sides living side by side in peace and security.

We don't support raising this issue in the Security Council. The members of the Security Council themselves decide which matters the Council will consider. We believe that this issue is best raised in the Human Rights Council and not in the Security Council, so we would be very much against it being taken up by the Security Council.

QUESTION: Well, but don't you think that kind of supports the idea that the UN Security Council is totally out of touch with the majority of the world, which a lot of countries said in their address to the UN General Assembly? I mean, if 168 nations support it and 17 don't, don't you think that the majority of the world thinks that these issues should be investigated?

MR. KELLY: Well, we --

QUESTION: Isn't the UN Security Council – I'm sorry – isn't the UN Security Council supposed to kind of represent the world body in terms of national – in terms of international security?

MR. KELLY: What – we will – we don't think it's in our interest at this --

QUESTION: In your interests?

MR. KELLY: In our interest, the U.S. national interest, that it be taken up by the Security Council. We are committed to the resumption of talks between the two sides, and we do not want to take any steps that would, in any way, jeopardize the resumption of those talks. We also believe that these kinds of issues are best raised and best dealt with through domestic institutions. And we call on Israel to set up the kind of mechanisms to investigate these – some of these allegations. The allegations are very serious allegations and deserve to be investigated. But this is not something we believe should be taken up by the UN Security Council. We follow our national interests and that's what --

QUESTION: So the UN Security Council is only about 15 countries' international interests?

MR. KELLY: I'm not going to get into an argument about the UN Security Council and its role in the world right now. I'm just talking about what our interests are right now. Our interests are the resumption --

QUESTION: So when you – I'm just – I'm sorry. But when you take a vote at the UN Security Council, you're only voting on behalf of U.S. interests?

MR. KELLY: We – for the UN Security Council, we – yes, we make our decisions based on the – our national interests and the interest of our allies.

QUESTION: Yeah, that – the second part being key, I think, there.


MR. KELLY: Okay. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: At least on this issue or issues related to the Middle East.

MR. KELLY: Yes, yes.

Yeah. Michele in the back.

QUESTION: Yeah. I wanted to ask about Abbas, his announcement yesterday. I know you spoke to it yesterday. But has anyone in this building been in touch with him since then, trying to convince him to stay on, trying to advantage of the last couple of months while he's there?

MR. KELLY: Regarding whether or not somebody's been in touch with him, I'm frankly not – I'm not sure. I know that our people on the ground, I'm sure, are in touch with him. I really – I don't have much to add beyond what the Secretary said yesterday, that we have tremendous respect for him and we think he's an important player in the process, a voice of moderation, and we look forward to continuing to work with him. But I don't have anything to add to what the Secretary said yesterday.

QUESTION: But do you think that there should be elections in January in the Palestinian territories, given the state of the kind of tensions between Hamas and Fatah, because the Palestinians certainly aren't united? You don't want a repeat of what happened in 2005.

MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Should there be elections?

MR. KELLY: Well, I think that any government should be representative of the will of the Palestinian people. We understand that there's an internal political dynamic now that is affecting our goal to – our goal of re-launching the negotiations, and that's something that's understandable. But the decision to hold elections is a – is really – that's a matter for the people themselves to decide.

QUESTION: Well, it wasn't a matter of like three or four years ago. You were completely insistent – the United States was completely insistent that the Palestinians did hold elections, which is why Hamas was elected. So is it – so you think the Palestinians should just decide amongst themselves what --

MR. KELLY: I think the --

QUESTION: You don't have an opinion? Do you have an opinion on that?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, of course, we have an opinion on it.

QUESTION: What's your opinion?

MR. KELLY: Well, our opinion is that we need to address the root causes --

QUESTION: No, about the elections.

MR. KELLY: -- of the lack of peace. And in order to do that, you need to have institutions and mechanisms in place to be able to guarantee a better future for your – for the people. And I – but I’m not going to say whether or not the Palestinian people should have elections in January. That’s really for them to decide.

QUESTION: Well, that’s a change in U.S. policy, then, because last time, you were fully insistent that they should have elections. But, I mean, President Abbas --

MR. KELLY: When was the last time? What are you – I’m not sure what you mean by the last time.

QUESTION: Well, I mean under the Bush Administration. But --

MR. KELLY: Well, this is a different administration.

QUESTION: Okay. Well --

QUESTION: (Inaudible).

QUESTION: (Laughter.) There’s a difference between saying the policy is unchanged and restating the policy.

QUESTION: But (inaudible).

QUESTION: Wait, no, no, no. But President Abbas said that he won’t run for reelection. But if the Palestinians don’t hold elections, he could be president indefinitely. Wouldn’t that --

MR. KELLY: It’s up for the Palestinian people to decide when they want to have elections, when they think it’s an appropriate moment.

QUESTION: Do you all have any problem with the Turks inviting President Bashir to the OIC conference?

MR. KELLY: I think that is – that’s – I mean, our position --

QUESTION: But please don’t tell me --

MR. KELLY: -- is clear.

QUESTION: -- that you’re not a member of the EU and you’re not a member of the ICC.

MR. KELLY: No, I wasn’t going to say that.

QUESTION: Just say, “I’m just not – ”

MR. KELLY: Well, actually, maybe I was going to say the latter, yeah. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Do you have a problem with them inviting a guy who’s been indicted for war crimes?

MR. KELLY: It really – it’s, first of all, we think that leaders should be held accountable for their actions. And we think that what happened in Sudan needs – there needs to be accountability for it. We would expect Turkey to raise these kinds of issues. If they were to have any sort of bilateral meeting with Mr. Bashir, we would expect them to raise these issues about the importance of accountability in addressing the humanitarian crisis in Sudan. But it’s really up to the Government of Turkey to decide if they want to --

QUESTION: Okay. So it doesn’t matter; you don’t really care as long as, if they do do it, they raise this issue with him?

MR. KELLY: We would expect them to be consistent with the – with our policy of raising our concerns of accountability.

Yeah. Go ahead, you haven’t had a question.

QUESTION: Do you have a readout on the Japan meetings?

MR. KELLY: Yes, I do. Assistant Secretary Campbell met with senior members of the Japanese Government, including Foreign Minister Okada and also his counterparts in the ministries of foreign affairs and defense on Thursday, on November 5th. He reaffirmed the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance and discussed with Japanese how we can best work together on a wide range of regional and global issues. He also discussed what we hope to accomplish during President Obama’s trip to Japan next week and discussed plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of our alliance next year, and other areas where our two countries can work together.

QUESTION: Same topic --

QUESTION: Any discussion of the basing agreement?

MR. KELLY: I don’t have any details on that. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did discuss it, though.

QUESTION: Is Secretary meeting with the Japanese foreign minister in Singapore?

MR. KELLY: I don’t know. I don’t have a list of her bilateral meetings there.

QUESTION: A quick one on a different subject, please. The future of the freedom of the press in Pakistan may be in trouble according to Freedom House, because the National Assembly of Pakistan is now considering a bill which will be anti-press freedom. Do you have any idea on what you have to say?

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I’d have to see the details of the bill, but we’ll see if we can get you more information.


QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. KELLY: Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:50 p.m.)

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After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>