Remarks to the Press
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
(5:30 p.m. EDT)
MR. CROWLEY: Sorry we’re late. The bilaterals upstairs ran long. I know some of you have been with us throughout the day and others are just popping in for the last couple of meetings, but let me just quickly recap her activity today.
She did start off joining Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers this morning. The centerpiece of the meeting was a presentation by Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad updating the Secretary and the other foreign ministers on both his efforts to build institutions within Palestine to prepare for a viable Palestinian state should there be an agreement with the Israelis, but also to stress the ongoing importance of international support to the Palestinian Authority. Some of the key donors for the Palestinian Authority were in the room, the major donor being the United States. But the meeting was hosted by the Norwegian foreign minister in his role as chair of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for Assistance to the Palestinians.
QUESTION: P.J., (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: The largest country. All right, I get your point.
Then the Secretary went through a couple of events focused on Haiti. Many of you were over across the street when together with first Prime Minister Bellerive and then joined by French Foreign Minister Kouchner, first there was a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the promotion and development of an industrial park in and around Port-au-Prince that both has immediate and long-term significance in terms of rebuilding the Haitian economy and also creating both temporary and permanent jobs for the people of Haiti. And what’s important there is that the long-term jobs that will be created will be consistent with international labor standards and fair labor practices.
And then the second MOU regarding the reconstruction and expansion of the most significant medical facility in Port-au-Prince, both, again, to help with job creation, but more importantly, the reconstruction of the health care sector, and in fact, a vast improvement in the delivery of health care to many people in Haiti. One of the remarkable things is notwithstanding the devastating earthquake, in many cases, the standard of medical care and medical treatment in Haiti has actually gone up since the earthquake.
And then she joined in the Special Session of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, the so-called IHRC, which is co-chaired by Prime Minister Bellerive and former President Clinton. But they received some updates, one lengthy update in particular on preparations for elections in Haiti. But again, the key to the IHRC is that both the coordination and collaboration in terms of international assistance, but also President Clinton at one point stressed during the meeting whatever any country is planning to do, either bilaterally or collaboratively within the international community, make sure that it’s worked through the IHRC in the sense of ensuring that there is full transparency and accountability. President Clinton is putting a system in place that worked in the efforts that he undertook with the tsunami to make sure that all projects in Haiti are available on the internet so everybody knows what’s being planned and what’s been approved. And already there have been $1.6 billion in projects approved for Haiti.
Then the Secretary had a lengthy bilateral with Foreign Minister Yang. They discussed bilateral and regional issues. There are many, many high-level meetings in the offing between Chinese leaders and U.S. leaders and so there are preparations underway meeting later this week between the President and Premier Wen. President Hu Jintao and President Obama will meet again at the G-20. And then both Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Yang spent some time doing some preliminary planning for what we hope to be a visit to the United States by President Hu Jintao sometime in the next few months. The specific dates are still being worked out.
In terms of regional issues, they talked significantly about Iran. As we’ve indicated, a visit to Beijing by Special Advisor Bob Einhorn had been postponed for scheduling reasons. It has been rescheduled for next week. Mr. Einhorn, who was in the meeting today, will be traveling to Beijing next week, and they went through a few details in preparation for that meeting focused primarily on getting Chinese ideas on how to successfully engage Iran and also dealing with implementation of Resolutions 1929 in the context of Iran and 1874 in the context of North Korea.
But they also – the Secretary updated Foreign Minister Yang on the high-level meeting on Sudan later this week and asked for Chinese – given its relation with Sudan, to encourage, as we have been as well, full implementation, both North and South, on the CPA.
They also talked about the situation with respect to North Korea. Of course, Ambassador Steve
Bosworth was in Beijing for consultations recently. Foreign Minister Yang reflected on that meeting and others that – other contacts that the Chinese have had in terms of trying to understand what North Korea may be willing to do and next stops in both bilateral engagement and also moving North Korea back into the Six-Party process.
And they also talked about the upcoming conference in Cancun to follow up on the framework agreement achieved last year in Copenhagen. Cancun was the predominant issue discussed in the Secretary’s bilateral with Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa. They talked at length about the Mexican approach as host to COP-16 but also talked about ongoing efforts by the United States to support Mexico through the Merida Initiative and also talked about some ideas that Mexico has to build stronger regional cooperation and regional institutions to deal not only with the challenge of international criminal organizations but also the challenge of migration through the hemisphere. Of course, both leaders reflected on the horrible tragedy where international criminal organizations were responsible for the death of 72 migrants recently in Mexico.
But finally with respect to Cancun, Foreign Minister Espinosa kind of went through – since we do have the framework agreement coming out of Copenhagen last year, is what kind of mechanisms can be put in place that help to translate the framework agreement into specific actions that begin to make a difference in terms of achieving the goals and making sure that countries are following through on their commitments from Copenhagen last year.
And finally for the Secretary this evening, she will have a meeting with EU Representative Cathy Ashton in about half an hour and then also Defense Minister – Israeli Defense Minister Barak before she finishes up her formal program for this evening.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) was the Einhorn rescheduled as a result of this meeting today (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: No, I think that had been finalized outside of this meeting, but the Secretary emphasized the importance of the meeting coming up next week to make sure that it would be a successful discussion. And the foreign minister was already aware that Mr. Einhorn would be traveling.
QUESTION: Is there anything of substance on advancing (inaudible) with North Korea that you want to tell us about that came out of the meeting, or was it more push-pull?
MR. CROWLEY: I wouldn't say that there were any remarkable revelations that I think we – I mean, because we’ve already had consultations recently with all of the countries, it just was a reaffirmation that, on the one hand, North Korea has indicated it wants to return to the Six-Party process. And there was general discussion about the steps that need to be taken in advance of the decision to formally return to the Six-Party process.
QUESTION: Did the Secretary bring up any specific instances where she was worried about Chinese implementation of the sanctions against either Iran or North Korea?
MR. CROWLEY: No, none at all. No, it was just the important – both the importance of the Chinese-U.S. cooperation in achieving 1929 and how implementation is part of our two-track strategy to seek constructive engagement by Iran to answer the questions that we all have.
QUESTION: Is it fair to say that you’re looking for Chinese ideas on how to engage with Iran and North Korea, but – and you’re also wanting them to implement the sanctions (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, correct. These are not either/or propositions. It is both Chinese ideas on how to successfully engage both countries, at the same time reaffirming that we will continue to fully implement both resolutions.
MR. CROWLEY: It did not come up in the meeting.
QUESTION: I’m sorry, what was the question?
MR. CROWLEY: The question was whether the Senkaku – I will tell you that it was a lengthy meeting, as you saw, at the table, and then as it concluded there was a private couple of minutes with the Secretary and Foreign Minister Yang. I happen not to know what was discussed in that pull-aside.
QUESTION: Does the Secretary expect any answer from the Israeli defense minister regarding the extension of the moratorium?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, the Secretary meets with Defense Minister Barak regularly. I can’t predict specifically what they’ll discuss a little bit, but the defense minister’s focus is usually channeled on security issues. But we’ll be happy to give you a sense of what they discussed afterwards.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) date of the moratorium expiration (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: That is a matter of some conjecture. Sometime between September 26th and September 30th. But obviously, that’s a decision for the Israelis.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) negotiators, where they will meet and when?
MR. CROWLEY: That’s a very good question. I’ll see – next time we meet, I’ll see if I can have more information on that.
QUESTION: There’s no plan for a meeting of the parties in the Middle East here in New York during GA week? And also, is there any chance of a Six-Party Talks meeting here in New York while everyone’s here?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think you have what amounts to a five-party interaction in various forms. I think we’ll have substantive contacts with each of the countries – each of the four countries of the Six-Party process. I do not anticipate any interactions with North Korea this week.
QUESTION: How about with Iran?
MR. CROWLEY: I do not anticipate any interactions with Iran either.
QUESTION: Even to ask for the release of the other two hikers?
MR. CROWLEY: I – there’s nothing scheduled. That’s all I can tell you.
QUESTION: Will the Secretary be representing the U.S. in the Iranian nuclear discussions on Wednesday (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, there will this week be a P-5+1 meeting and the Secretary will be in that meeting.
QUESTION: Can I ask about the GCC meeting this morning? (Inaudible) or did – okay, and (inaudible) just ask you, I mean, was there a pledge for financial support for the PA during the meeting (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, we’ve had ongoing discussions, as has Tony Blair, who has been doing significant work in this area as well. I think for the most part, it was simply to update everyone on the progress that the Palestinian Authority has made. They are making significant strides both broadly on the economic front but in terms of building institutions, taking more and more responsibility for their own support. But obviously, they still need outside assistance and it’s very – it’s vitally important to continue to support the work of President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad to build the institutions and continue to develop the economy and the security in preparation for – I mean, as a parallel track to the negotiations.
QUESTION: Since Iran is coming up here, can you clarify Secretary Clinton’s remarks over the weekend on ABC? Was she calling for regime change when she asked them to (inaudible) responsible leaders to seize the apparatus of state?
MR. CROWLEY: No.
QUESTION: (Inaudible.) What was she doing?
MR. CROWLEY: Huh? (Laughter.) No, I think she was simply questioning the relationship between some elements of the regime and then the growing importance of the IRGC and military elements within the Iranian hierarchy. And it is to make sure that the Iranian Government is – well, the military elements, security elements, obviously take on a more prominent role in terms of suppression of people’s ability to assemble, to demonstrate, to engage in political activity. And so to the extent that there are leaders in Iran that – who see themselves as being responsible for and responsive to the will of the people, they should step forward.
QUESTION: Can I ask about the Millennium Development Goals summit? I mean, (inaudible) the Secretary doesn't seem to have a lot on her schedule dealing with (inaudible). (Inaudible) announcement tomorrow, how important is that?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, the MDGs are – will be a centerpiece of the activities tomorrow. The United States going back 10 years made significant and transformational commitments have done – as have the rest of the world. And what you’ll hear tomorrow is that there has been significant progress in specific areas. There’s still more that needs to be done. But I think people will be surprised at how much has occurred over the last 10 years since the MDGs were advanced. But this will be a reaffirmation that there is still more that needs to be done.
QUESTION: Any specific areas that she is focusing on?
MR. CROWLEY: I’ll – don’t want to step on the news for tomorrow.
QUESTION: P.J. --
QUESTION: Cookstoves. We already know what it is.
MR. CROWLEY: Well, yeah. She – well, that’s CGI on Wednesday.
MR. CROWLEY: No. Tomorrow? Got my days wrong. But yeah, she’s very passionate about cookstoves, not only from a health standpoint, from an environmental standpoint, from a women’s empowerment standpoint, and finding ways for the public sector and the private sector to collaborate significantly, open markets and create incentives so that this – these more modern technologies are widely available and affordable.
MR. CROWLEY: Actually, I think there’s been a MEF meeting going on much of the day today as well. Todd took a break from a MEF meeting to come up to participate in the bilaterals with Foreign Minister Yang and Foreign Minister Espinosa. No, there’s ongoing efforts to make sure that countries are living up to the commitments made last year. During the course of the meeting with Foreign Minister Espinosa, the Secretary again reiterated that President Obama – we are committed to his pledge of a 17 percent reduction and are committed to provide resources to help – to fast-track and make available technologies that can have a very significant and early effect.
QUESTION: P.J., Secretary Clinton used to have a meeting every year with GCC-3. What happened to this format? Does it still exist or not?
MR. CROWLEY: I’ll look to see if – I think --
QUESTION: It’s not on her schedule.
MR. CROWLEY: No, but I think this got adapted for the very specific purpose of continuing to support the work of the Palestinian Authority, which we think at this particular point in time is critically important.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) meeting between President Obama and President Santos from Colombia (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, it’s – I mean, it’s very significant. We are deeply engaged with Colombia as part of our bilateral relationship, but – and this, I think, will be the first chance that President Obama and President Santos have had a chance to meet since President Santos was inaugurated.
QUESTION: Could you talk about what Yang said about Sudan? Is there any chance at all that China will back sanctions on Sudan? And if not, what kind of sticks does the U.S. have (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: I’ll take those two separately. I think Foreign Minister Yang – and I’ll leave it to my colleague on the Chinese side to go into greater detail – but he reiterated the importance of full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement which China fully supports. What we laid out for Sudan in recent days in the travel of Special Envoy Scott Gration to the region was a combination of incentives and consequences both to encourage both North and South to fully implement their responsibilities to work aggressively to resolve outstanding issues along the border, Abyei, and to make sure that there is a credible and peaceful referendum reflecting the will of the people of South Sudan, and then be prepared in the post-referendum environment to support and implement whatever the people of South Sudan decide.
MR. CROWLEY: Again, I’ll leave it to the Chinese side to talk about their – he reiterated in the meeting the importance of full implementation of the CPA.
QUESTION: Did the Secretary in any way suggest that it might be a good idea if China and other countries took similar steps and that this became a more organized way to pressure both sides?
MR. CROWLEY: The Secretary brought it up just in terms of helping President Yang – Foreign Minister Yang understand the importance of the high-level meeting later this week and to seek China’s support in its conversations with leaders both in Khartoum and in Juba.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) the Secretary have any meetings with the Iraqi president or foreign minister while they’re here?
MR. CROWLEY: That’s a good question. Let me try – let me find out.
MR. CROWLEY: I mean, just on bilaterals, as we went through a little bit last week, we’re kind of working these day to day. And just as today on the schedule there was a scheduled meeting, a follow-up with Foreign Minister Rudd, they weren’t able to connect today, but I expect they will get together in some fashion during the course of the week. So we’ll have things added, things subtracted, every day this week, but I’ll find out what our contacts with Iraq will be this week.
QUESTION: Do you know exactly when the meeting is of the P-5+1 on Iran?
QUESTION: Wednesday morning.
MR. CROWLEY: Wednesday morning, according to my aide. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: I mean, did the currency issue come up at all on either side?
MR. CROWLEY: The currency issue was one of the issues discussed. We don’t do currency here at the State Department, so I’ll leave it there. But obviously, it is an important aspect of our bilateral relationship. Foreign Minister Yang reflected on the recent visit to Beijing by Deputy National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, economic advisor Larry Summers, and our own Kurt Campbell. But I think we both understand that this is something that both substantively and politically is a vitally important element in our bilateral relationship and has to be properly managed on both sides.
QUESTION: Did the Chinese bring it up or did the Secretary?
MR. CROWLEY: I think since the Secretary deferred to Foreign Minister Yang to start, he brought it up first.
QUESTION: Was it --
MR. CROWLEY: But then there was a – all I will say is there was a – it was a significant aspect of the discussion.
QUESTION: Was it the first thing he mentioned?
MR. CROWLEY: No.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) that the U.S. is very involved in the negotiations on the outcome document (inaudible).
MR. CROWLEY: Well, it is important to the future of the developing world. These codify a lot of things that are also reflected in our major policies. Lifting people who subsist on the barest of income levels, a dollar a day or two dollars a day, and how can we lift more people out of truly dire poverty. And that has been one of the areas where particularly on a region-by-region basis there has been considerable progress over the past 10 years. There’s still a lot of work to do, particularly a lot of work to do in Africa, where you don’t yet have effective enough institutions. Those of you who have been traveling with the Secretary or been involved in discussions about Africa, trade represents a significant potential for Africa, and trade not only by the developed world to Africa and vice versa, but also trade among states in Africa as being able to generate more economic activity that can lift up people.
There are some things that you’ll hear from us this week on Feed the Future, the Food Security Initiative. That’ll be part of the program for tomorrow, further efforts that we have on our Global Health Initiative centered on child and maternal health. These are steps that – major initiatives that we have taken and will be undertaking in the next few years that reflect our commitment to the Millennium Development Goals.
MR. CROWLEY: Yep.
QUESTION: Have you been asked yet today about Jonathan Pollard? You have not, okay. The Guardian is reporting this idea that the Israelis have floated for extending the settlement freeze in return for the U.S. releasing Jonathan Pollard. Are you aware whether such an offer has been made to anyone in the Administration? And if it were, would you be prepared to entertain an offer like that?
MR. CROWLEY: I know from firsthand experience that has been a discussion that the Israelis have had with American leaders in the past. I just can’t say whether that has been part of the discussion here in the present. I’ll take the question, see what I can find out.
QUESTION: Do you expect that something will come out of the Quartet meeting tomorrow – out of the Quartet meeting tomorrow?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think her schedule for tomorrow is still being worked, but she will have extensive engagements with regional leaders both in terms of bilaterals, and she does plan to meet with the Quartet. She plans to meet with Arab League representatives. So we will be continuing our efforts to generate as much support as we can within the region for the direct negotiations that are now underway.
QUESTION: Back to China for a second (inaudible).
MR. CROWLEY: It’s in the next few months. It could be next year.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MR. CROWLEY: Okay.
QUESTION: Oh, did you ever get an answer (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: I surfaced it and people are still kind of trying to figure that out. Okay, I’ll let you know.
MR. CROWLEY: Okay.