Background Briefing on Libya
Senior Official, Office of the Spokesperson
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Okay, guys, we have Senior Official One to talk about the Secretary’s meetings this afternoon with President Sarkozy, with the TNC representatives, Chairman Jalil and Prime Minister Jabril, and about the Secretary’s remarks at the conference.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Okay. Where do you guys want to start? Do you want to begin at the beginning?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Sure. So you already read out Davutoglu?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I did.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Okay. So after Davutoglu, she went and saw President Sarkozy. They had an in-depth discussion about various ways in which the international community could work together to support the TNC and the Libyan people as they work their way through transition and deal with a wide range of challenges. They talked about the future of the NATO mission. They talked about the importance of broadening the group of international stakeholders who will act in coordination and support of the TNC. They talked about the priorities that the TNC has laid out and how the international community can back those priorities up. They talked about how to most effectively free up assets and to do so in a way that is consistent with the TNC’s assurances that they’ll disburse those assets with transparency and accountability.
They talked about security challenges, including continuing threats to civilians from Qadhafi and his forces and from questions around weapons stocks and the need to secure those stocks as well as to, over time, integrate and demobilize the militias to create a single Libyan security force.
They also talked about broader developments in the Middle East, including in Syria, Egypt, and Tunisia. And they checked in on the Middle East peace process. That’s basically – oh, and then they had a brief exchange at the end on ensuring that the United States and France are coordinating closely in the run-up to the G-20 which will be in Cannes later this fall.
Okay, so that’s Sarkozy. I’ll turn it back to [Senior State Department Official Two] for Jalil and Jabril because I was sort of walking in and out of the room during the meeting.
QUESTION: Hold on. The G-20 is in Cannes?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah.
QUESTION: That’s the summit, presidential one, right?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah.
QUESTION: Are there any pre-meetings in Cannes that she has to go to? (Laughter.)
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: There’s no foreign minister track (inaudible), I’m afraid. We had the G-8 --
QUESTION: Well, the foreign minister one was in Saint Tropez, right?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yes. (Laughter.) It’ll be a two-week long (inaudible) in late October, yes.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: She then met with the TNC delegation chairman Jalil – this was her first meeting with Chairman Jalil – and with Prime Minister Jabril, who she’s met with some four or five times, I think.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Right. And a relatively sizeable delegation. They spoke about a number of urgent priorities for them, first of all, obviously, security, but as they move on to consolidate security in Libya, strong priority on justice, amnesty, and reconciliation, and pursuing these in a way that meets international standards, that includes all Libyans, that reflects a priority on, as they put it, Libya tomorrow – a positive future for the children of all Libyans.
The Secretary and the TNC also talked about how they can work going forward to ensure that they have open and transparent mechanisms for tracking how the money of the Libyan people that’s returned to them is used so that the Libyan people have confidence in that, so that the international community has confidence in that. They talked about the need to secure weapons of mass destruction and any remaining Qadhafi arsenal. They talked about – she met – she talked about the importance of the Megrahi case to us, to the international community, the rights of all Libyan citizens, including the rights of women, in Libya’s future.
I think that’s – those are the main points. They talked about establishing neighborhood watch committees, getting police back to work, and trying to turn the page very quickly to an inclusive, unified Libya. (Inaudible.)
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah. She saw Tony Blair for a relatively brief and pretty informal discussion on continuing efforts related to the Quartet and the United States’s commitment to work with the Quartet to try to help shape the basis for productive negotiations. And Blair had recently spent some time in Israel and is here in town talking to some of the Europeans, will be going down to the region in the coming days. And that one continues (inaudible).
QUESTION: On that – just on the Blair, can I follow up on that? I’m just wondering what – did Tony Blair (inaudible) able to give her any sense of progress on any front regarding getting language together or anything like that?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I would prefer, given that he’s engaged in a lot of these conversations and some of them still today, to let him characterize it rather than have us characterize it (inaudible). But as I said, the work on it continues, and the United States continues to believe that a meaningful, substantive platform on which to build negotiations is the best way to (inaudible) progress towards the two-state solution.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Just going back to the TNC readout, they also talked about the need to get Libya’s energy wealth going again and welcoming the international community and American companies back into Libya.
QUESTION: Can I --
QUESTION: Sorry, can I ask about TNC then?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Sure.
QUESTION: Did they discuss some efforts to keep non-democratic forces, Islamist extremists, out of the process?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I think -- they talked about the need to ensure that it is a democratic, transparent, open, unified Libya free of extremism, and that they have committed again to having the kind of Libya that their people are seeking.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: And free of the use of violence as a political tool.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Absolutely.
QUESTION: Can I ask about the UN mission that you’re – that you’ve been discussing? And I mean, how much of that came up in this meeting, and how soon do you envision something – even if it’s temporary – to kind of see – feel as you go together (inaudible)? Because the UN is talking of getting on fast and kind of lean and then kind of getting something more expansive later on.
And then secondly on Syria, could you just talk about – I mean, how substantive are these discussions on a resolution, or are they just kind of touching base on Syria as they talk about their other bilateral (inaudible)?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: On the issue of the UN mission, it’s actually the subject of --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: No, this meeting that’s going on as we speak right now.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Where various members of the international community are talking to the TNC about what their needs are, what they’d like to see in respect to a UN mission, what they’d like to see immediately versus what they’d like the UN to have a mandate to do and the capacity and personnel to deal with it over a long period of time. So I think part of the purpose of today was to put a little bit more shape around their requests and what they would like to see, because ultimately that’s what’s going to drive (inaudible).
Based on the conversations that have taken place so far, I think getting a team on the ground that can be helpful in assisting through technical assistance and potentially through some degree of training on immediate security issues, and then other forms of stabilization needs, is something that is very much under discussion right now.
On Syria, the Secretary and Davutoglu had a pretty decent discussion about where things – where each of them see developments on the ground trending and what the various tools available to the international community are. The Secretary thanked Davutoglu for President Gul’s statement from a few days ago.
In the Sarkozy meeting, they didn’t get into the nuts and bolts of action by the EU foreign ministers, but I think you can anticipate that in her conversations with Foreign Secretary Hague and other foreign ministers on the sidelines of the upcoming two meetings today, that she will press privately that which we’ve been saying publicly and she has been saying publicly, namely that we would like to see words matched with actions. And we’re eager for the Europeans to move forward on the sorts of things that they are discussing --
QUESTION: You mean like the oil thing?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Well, that’s going to be the subject of their discussions this weekend in Poland. And it’s really up to them to shape them and get them done, but we’ve made our position clear on how we think we should proceed.
QUESTION: Who is meeting in Poland?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: The EU foreign ministers --
QUESTION: Just a quick follow-up on the discussion on the TNC. I mean, how much of this was all right, guys, you’ve been talking a good game; time to put your money where your mouth is and put your words into practice? I mean, there’s been a lot of kind of embracing and hugging of the --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: The tone of it, the way the TNC came in, was very much: Okay, we’ve got a daunting set of challenges in front of us. We’ve now got to govern and we’ve got to govern well, and we’ve got to govern in a way that wins the respect of our own people. And it was a very sober presentation from them on all the things ahead of them.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I felt like in the meeting they did sort of everything short of actually rolling up their sleeves.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Exactly.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: That’s how focused they are on the practicalities of trying to carry out this transition, both in the immediate term and then over a longer time horizon. And so the conversation is less about the international community delivering messages to the TNC but about actually figuring out what it is that they need and how we can support them in very tangible, practical ways. And I think that’s going to the spirit of the conversation for the rest of the day today.
QUESTION: Can I go back to perhaps one message that was conveyed from the (inaudible) from the Secretary --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah.
QUESTION: -- which was on Megrahi.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah.
QUESTION: You mentioned that he said – emphasized how important it was, but can you give us a little bit more there? Was she asking for anything in particular? Was she just stating what she has said over and over again, that it’s important and we think this guy should be behind bars? And what sort of reaction did she get? What was the response?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I don’t know if you want to --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Her position on Megrahi was no different in private than it’s been in public. They clearly were expecting the conversation, they understand the importance, and they know that this is an issue that’s got to be grappled with.
QUESTION: But isn’t it a little kind of beside the point? I mean, I’m not trying to tout our own reporting, I swear. But I mean, we’ve kind of demonstrated that the guy is in a coma. So what, are we going to have, like, a Weekend at Bernie’s type questioning? I mean, how much legitimately can – information can this guy provide? And if he’s kind of – does he have his faculties about him to do anything?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Questions about Megrahi’s health and fitness and capabilities have been swirling around for months. Our bottom line is that we believe that Megrahi is – should properly be behind bars. That he should not have been released, and that’s been our position consistently, it remains our position, and we recognize that the TNC has a whole host of challenges that they need to confront. But it was important for the Secretary to convey our view on this, and that it’s something we will have to continue to remain in a dialogue with them as well as with the Scottish authorities.
QUESTION: Is that – would it be – I mean, you haven’t said it, but did she make any direct or specific requests of them as relates to the Megrahi thing?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Beyond saying you’re going to have to grapple with this, we’re going to have to – we’re continuing to look at in the United States at the case, that was more than enough for now.
QUESTION: So she didn’t say that we think – she did say we think he should be in jail?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: She has said that to them and we’ve said it to them.
QUESTION: So does that mean you want them to put him in jail? Assuming he doesn’t die in the next (inaudible).
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I think the way that she postured it today was to say: Here’s the issue. We have a firm position on this. There are a series of questions that need to be worked through in bringing that position about. Some of those questions rest on decisions that the TNC has to take, and today was an opening of the conversation at the highest levels with them – or I would say not the opening but the continuation of the conversation at the highest levels with them – that will have to get more specific over time.
QUESTION: So it’s not specific yet?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Not in terms of will he be moved from here to there or what exactly the nature of our request with respect to his confinement.
QUESTION: Or our sense partially or wholly of your credibility depends on what you do in this (inaudible)?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Well, I think it’s less a question of their credibility than it is a question of what we think both the just and appropriate thing to happen here is, and that we have certain expectations about that that we’re prepared to further explore with them --
QUESTION: Well --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: -- (inaudible) conversation.
QUESTION: Okay. But what are those expectations?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: That they work with us in a fair and reasonable way to deal with the Megrahi issue, and that they take into account the fact that our position is that he should be in prison.
QUESTION: So --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: And we’ve still got an open Justice case, so Justice is going to be involved.
QUESTION: Right. But I mean, people on the Hill are going ballistic about this, so this is why it’s become – so this why I think that – why I’m questioning – giving this line of questioning. I mean, are you just telling them, look, this is important to us and we think he should be behind bars and then leaving it up to them to see what they do? Or – I don’t understand. I mean, if they want you to do something, this is like, it’s like telling the North Koreans we want you to do – take steps, but then you don’t tell them what the steps are. So you kind of – well, maybe you do, but you don’t tell us what you’re telling them the steps are. So, I mean, are there specific things, or is that to come later, that you want them to do with Megrahi, other than just this general keep us and keep our position in mind, and our position is we think he should be in jail and he shouldn’t have been released?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: We’re going to have to keep talking about this because the situation in Libya has changed in the last week and they are now newly responsible for this guy, so --
QUESTION: I know. But, I mean, you look at Senator Schumer, who’s the Secretary’s very good friend, I think, who says that we should withhold aid. Did she mention this (inaudible) concern to the Libyans?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: They are well aware of it. They see the issue. They – it’s been talked about in Benghazi. I think we’ve done what we can on Megrahi, and I think the most important aspect here was the point that [Senior State Department Official One] made, which was that she’s personally made clear to them at her level how important this is. And it is on their urgent to-do list, and we’re going to have to keep talking about where that takes us.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: And in your response to your question about whether this going to simply sit at the level of generality, the answer is, of course, no. But these are sensitive conversations, so we’re not going to get into every detail about how we might –
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Exactly.
QUESTION: Okay. Well, forget about getting into detail on it. I mean– you did not – you’re saying you did not lay out A, B, C, this is what we’d like to see you do?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I think we’ve said as much as we can say about it.
QUESTION: I’m still curious as – I mean, is it --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Guys, are there any other subjects you want to talk about here? Otherwise, I think we’re --
QUESTION: Can you just answer the question of whether you did? I’m not saying – I’m not asking for what they were. But if you just said, “Hey, this is important to us. Do what you have to do,” that’s just not the same as saying, “We would like you to throw him in jail,” or – I’m not asking you what you told them specifically, but – I mean, maybe you didn’t tell them anything specific. I’m just asking if there were specific requests made, not what they were.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I guess I would put it this way, because I really don’t want to get into specifics on it. There is more than one path to resolution of this, but our bottom line is clear.
QUESTION: On a --
QUESTION: Well, I hope they know what that means, because it doesn’t make much (inaudible).
QUESTION: Just a small one. In the Secretary’s remarks, and then you have mentioned it as well, the discussion about weapons stockpiles, last week, I think, or the week before – recently and then (inaudible) from the podium, there’s been a fairly confident assessment from the U.S. about the state of security over these stockpiles and so on. Does the fact that it’s being highlighted in the Secretary’s speech and again in your comments now reflect any diminution of that confidence? Are we thinking that things are not quite as in control as we thought they were before, or that they need to do more to get it to a level of security that we’d be satisfied with?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I wouldn’t read into it a change in circumstance from last week to this week. I’d read into it the fact that we view this as an urgent security priority facing Libya, but also facing the broader region and the international community’s interest. So it’s an important issue, but I – if your question is is there – are we in a fundamentally different posture today --
QUESTION: I guess my question is that – do we know more now that makes us think that this is a potentially bigger problem than we were thinking last week when we were talking about stockpiles being secure?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I think the issue is more a change of custody as the Qadhafi forces have pull – have to be transplanted with TNC security forces around these sites, and then the responsibility for working with the international community on mitigation now rests with the TNC, so making sure that this is --
QUESTION: Which has been – when we were making --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Well, it did, but it was a two-day old --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: -- situation. So now we’re a week in to it, and making sure that this is also top priority on their list as they work through their security plans, they work through their nonproliferation relationship with the international community.
QUESTION: But to that end – and you talked about reconciliation and those type of issues – I mean, how useful could members of the former regime that were working on these issues and have this expertise – I mean, clearly there’s the issue of reconciliation as a nation and a people, and then there’s the kind of practical issues of whatever little institutional or bureaucratic or technocratic expertise was there, it could be useful, especially in a matter like this, right?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I think these are exactly the kinds of questions that Jalil and Jibril were talking with the Secretary about today, about how reconciliation is important in its own right, it’s important for the future stability and prosperity of Libya, and how they will have to figure out a path forward that makes sure that those who are responsible for serious crimes against the Libyan people are held accountable, but those who can effectively be reconciled and play a part in the future of Libya are reconciled. I think that’s a common feature of any transition landscape, and it’s certainly present here.
QUESTION: Did --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Is that fair?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Absolutely. And that those who have expertise to continue to give to the Libyan state, whether it’s policing, whether it’s in these issues, et cetera, if they don’t have blood on their hands, that they participate fully in the new Libya.
QUESTION: But what really constitutes blood on your hands? And especially some people with blood on their hands are in the leadership now.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: These are the issues they’re going to have to work --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: These are very hard questions, right.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: But that is exactly what – they are posing the right questions and thinking through them in a systematic way.
QUESTION: On that, when you say an urgent security priority, I realize that you hesitate to – wouldn’t want to rank things in terms of the urgency. But I mean, this is clearly short of getting Qadhafi himself and ending the resistance to the TNC and to the rebel forces, which had seemed to be the main immediate goal.
Clearly, this weapon thing seems to be serious, way (inaudible) serious because – not only because of the damage it could do inside, but also the spill – the potential spillage or leakage. So, I mean, when we talk about the UN role or even a U.S. role under that, I mean, is this something that – securing the stockpiles or ensuring that – getting someone to confirm that they’re safe, is that --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: She made clear again today, as we have throughout this, that as they get their feet under them, we are – we expect that they’ll want to work with the international community on best practices in all these areas, that the U.S. has had a long relationship already with the TNC, to the extent you can have a long relationship with an entity that’s been around for four months on these issues, and we want to continue to be available to them on these. But this is what you’re – what they’re dealing with --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: -- that everything is extremely urgent, whether you’re talking about getting water to your people, whether you’re talking about securing the stockpiles, whether you’re talking about a guy like Megrahi, and then try to do them all.
QUESTION: What – and then – okay. And then recognizing that you guys have had some – well, more than just a little input into what their request to the UN is going to be, did they, in her meeting, preview what it’s going to say? Or is that not necessary because you basically wrote it? (Laughter.) Well --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I think --
QUESTION: -- that wasn’t intended to be sarcastic. It’s true, isn’t it?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I think the UN mission set of issues – she didn’t – she assumed we were – she was about to spend the next four hours working with them on, so --
QUESTION: Right, because that wasn’t – so the nitty-gritty of what they – what they’re going to ask for didn’t need to come up?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: That’s what they’re talking about right now.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: That’s what they’re talking about now.
QUESTION: Now, but also at the same time, you already know what they’re going to ask for, right? (Laughter.)
QUESTION: (Inaudible) cause.
QUESTION: (Laughter.) Fine.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I think we had one other thing we wanted to share, [Senior State Department Official One]. You want to talk about how the 700 million that she speaks of is going to – where it’s going?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah. So as you know, we released 1.5 billion – unfroze 1.5 billion, but then you actually have to go through the complicated mechanics of getting the money out the door. So by the end of today, we will have put $300 million toward the vendor contracts, chiefly for oil that the TNC had to purchase and $400 million through a temporary financial mechanism to help pay operating expenses of all different kinds for the TNC and as well as some complement of humanitarian dollars that go to basic services provisions.
QUESTION: So that’s less than half of the total that was – that the UN said go ahead with.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah.
QUESTION: Are you disappointed that it’s taken so – that you haven’t gotten the rest of it?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I think, given the way that these transfers take place, we feel like we’re actually moving very expeditiously and –
QUESTION: Are you not disappointed you couldn’t say the whole amount was (inaudible)?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Actually, if you break down the rest of it, the – so we said there were three baskets – the first, the UN piece, then the fuel piece, and then the TFM piece. So the UN piece –
QUESTION: They haven’t gotten anything yet.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Because we are continuing to work with the UN on what needs to be paid. So the UN has to come forward with its ideas about that. The TNC has to approve them. So we’re waiting for that process to continue, and that’s a big chunk of money. And then some of – and then most of the rest of it, when we briefed at the very beginning of this process about a week ago, we made clear that some of the money for fuel and some of the money for TFM would be held for the next tranche of need. So that’s basically –
QUESTION: But this is almost all the money for the TFM, right?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah.
QUESTION: All but –
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: All but a hundred –
QUESTION: -- a hundred million.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Uh-huh.
QUESTION: Is there – of those 300 million of the vendor contracts, is there any breakdown? I mean, have those actually been put out? Do they involve U.S. companies?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: That’s just – it’s all to be talked.
QUESTION: Sorry. It’s all?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: It’s to be talked and --
QUESTION: To be talked, okay.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Yeah, to be --
QUESTION: I mean, I’m wondering – because there’s been – actually, you’re seeing a lot of press today about various comments from friends and others who are sort of implying that there’s going to be a quid pro quo now, that you – that Western companies and companies, particularly the leading members of the coalition, are somehow standing to benefit directly from this intervention, and will do so either through these sorts of transfers. French have already got a lot of money that they unfroze (inaudible) paid back to them a week ago.
I’m just wondering, how do you perceive that, and if that is a perception that, right or wrong, is out there, how are you – if you don’t think its right, how are you going to push back against it?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Sorry, I was not (inaudible).
QUESTION: Not very well, clearly. (Laughter.)
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I apologize. We’re going to broaden and deepen our relationship.
QUESTION: Yeah, okay. (Laughter.)
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: No, what was the question? I’m sorry.
QUESTION: The question was about a perception or a reality, that there’s a – some sort of quid pro quo, particularly with Western companies, and some of this – this immediate frozen money may be one thing, or the sort of broader access to Libya’s economy going forward, that somehow Western companies are going to stand to benefit at the expenses of their perhaps Russian and Chinese counterparts, and that that’s kind of the way things want – the way things are going and the way that some members of the coalition think they should go.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: The TNC itself has said, and said as recently as yesterday, that those who have helped them would be first in line for the deepening economic relationship with Libya. But in terms of our release of our money, of the money that we had frozen, we’re very much responding to where the need is at the moment.
I think we’re done.
QUESTION: Well, can I – no, no, no.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: We’ve lost our briefer.
QUESTION: That’s okay. I think you can answer this. I just want to make sure because I’ve already written it. It hasn’t gone yet, obviously, but when she talks about wanting the UN seat, we’re talking about for UNGA, right? She would – we would like to see the TNC in the Libyan seat at the UN --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I think she wants – she wants is --
QUESTION: -- well before --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I think she wants it as soon as possible, it’s (inaudible).
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I wouldn’t – she didn’t set a particular time.
QUESTION: Well, I’m sorry (inaudible).
QUESTION: And – well, you just said as soon as possible.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Yeah.
QUESTION: Yeah, okay. So before UNGA, then? See --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: But when you write “before UNGA,” it implies that she said before UNGA. She wants it as soon as possible.
QUESTION: Well, I’m sorry. Wants what?
QUESTION: (Inaudible) at the UN --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: The TNC seated at the UN.
QUESTION: And secondly, and this is kind of – this is on Libya but off topic – in the whole thing about David Welch, he allegedly said to the Libyans that he was going to convey their position to people at the State Department. And if it’s correct, I’m wondering if you’re – you guys are aware of him getting in touch with people at State to make the case or pass on their message.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: We were aware that he was going --
QUESTION: Was – that he was going. So after that, did he follow through on what he allegedly tell – told the Libyans that he would do, which is to make the case or present the case?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I can’t speak to exactly what he said, but he was in touch with --
QUESTION: Before or after?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Both before and after.
QUESTION: He was in touch with?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: With folks at State, both before and after. But again --
QUESTION: (Inaudible) the meeting in Cairo, (inaudible)?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Yeah. But again, he did not speak for us and he was not conveying messages for us.
QUESTION: No, no, no, no, that’s – obviously, that’s not (inaudible) – so he basically – he didn’t – he did earn his money?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: (Inaudible.) (Laughter.) That’s between --
QUESTION: He did what he was paid to do?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: That’s between him and his employer. Okay, guys.