Background Briefing: Readout on the Secretary's Meetings With UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and with Afghan President Karzai

Special Briefing
Senior State Department Official
Bonn, Germany
December 5, 2011

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: All right. I’ll – just to give you a quick sense of the subjects discussed in the Secretary’s meetings today with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and with Afghan President Karzai. With Ban Ki-moon, subjects included the Secretary's recent trip to Burma; the secretary general also saying that he will be engaging with the Burmese; Middle East peace and the UN’s role in supporting – in the Contact Group in supporting – sorry, in the Quartet and supporting our joint effort to get the parties back to the table; the situation in Egypt as the elections proceed; Iraq as U.S. troops come out, and particularly the United Nations commitment to help with the situation in Camp Ashraf; Iran and the international community’s pressure on Iran. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also thanked the Secretary for the U.S. support for the Global Fund and asked that we continue to advocate with Congress for full funding. Syria – a discussion about continued support that the UN can provide for bringing an end to the violence and proceeding with a peaceful transition.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) continues with (inaudible) and can provide to --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Can provide and to end the violence and support a peaceful transition. The situation in Yemen and, of course, this conference and UN’s role in Afghanistan. The Secretary also had lunch with Afghan President Karzai. They met for about 90 minutes. The conversation included discussion of the SPD, which as you know, we continue to work on with the Afghan Government; how we can proceed together on Afghan-led reconciliation.

QUESTION: I’m sorry. You said --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: How we can proceed together on Afghan-led reconciliation within the very clear red lines that the U.S. has specifically put forward; regional integration, particularly Afghanistan’s relations with its neighbors, the – and including Pakistan.

QUESTION: Any other neighbors?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I think with all of its neighbors in the post-Istanbul period, but particularly the relationship with Pakistan.

QUESTION: Right. I was just wondering whether (inaudible).

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I do not have anything. (Inaudible). And that’s what I have for you. All right?

QUESTION: We’re on background or --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yeah. Background. Senior State Department Official.

QUESTION: Were you – or was she at all surprised by what Karzai was talking about with the Iranians, (inaudible)?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I have to – oh, with the Iranians?


SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I haven’t gotten the chance to talk to her about that. I can’t tell you whether she was surprised or not.

QUESTION: Were you in when the Iranians spoke? I mean, do you have any idea what he was --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I saw your pool notes. That was the extent of my --

QUESTION: Well, I mean, basically Iran was saying that, like, troops should get out and no one should stay beyond and – I mean, if that’s what he meant – (laughter).

QUESTION: I mean, he said it was a good speech, and that’s why I’m curious.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, I – it sounds like you pretty well captured the exchange that they had, that she --

QUESTION: (Inaudible).

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yeah. Exactly. But I haven’t done a check.

QUESTION: Do you know if that came up additionally in --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I do not. I do not. Okay, guys.

QUESTION: What was the substance of the discussion on reconciliation? You said they talked (inaudible).

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Again, what I have is what I have. It was a very, very small lunch, and I was personally not there. Okay.

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PRN: 2011/ T57-05