Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
June 11, 2009

Index for Today's Briefing
    • Secretary Clinton Travel to Niagara Falls / 100th Anniversary of Signing of Canada-U.S. Boundary Waters Treaty / Meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Cannon
    • U.S. Grateful to Government of Bermuda for Assistance in Resettling Detainees / U.S. in Close Touch with British Government / Secretary Spoke with Foreign Minister Miliband /
    • Routine Resettlement Reimbursement / Interagency Process / U.S. in Ongoing Discussions with a Number of Governments / U.S. Working Very Hard to Close Detention Facility at Guantanamo /
    • Chinese Government Has Expressed Concern / U.S. Not Going to Transfer Uighurs to China / China Should Not Retaliate Against Countries That Accept Uighurs
    • U.S. Does Not Transfer Prisoners to Countries Where They Would Have a Well-Founded Fear of Persecution
    • Draft Resolution Agreed to by P-5 +2 / UN Security Council Meeting Yesterday / Nine Members Consulting with Capitals on Draft Resolution / Anticipate a Vote Soon / U.S. Supports Resolution / U.S. Looks Forward to Views of Security Council Colleagues
    • U.S. Still Assessing Data / Seismic Data is Consistent with Nuclear Test / North Koreans Claims it Conducted a Nuclear Test / Claim of Nuclear Test Cause for Concern and Action
    • Call for Release of Two American Citizen Journalists
    • Received Letter from Congress Regarding State Sponsors of Terrorism List / Take Congress' Concerns Very Seriously / Looking at This Issue / No Timeline
    • Secretary Had Productive Meeting with Prime Minister / U.S. to Support Efforts of Government of Zimbabwe towards Full Implementation of Global Political Agreement / Finding Ways to Ease Suffering of Zimbabwean People Without Bolstering Forces Clinging to Corruption and Oppression / Focus on Rebuilding Zimbabwe and Providing Better Future for Its People
    • U.S. Wants to Set Benchmarks for Governments Receiving Taxpayer Funds / Looking at Ways to Make sure Zimbabwe Continues on Democratic Path
    • Concerns About Mugabe and Examples of Misrule and Corruption / Future of Government a Matter for Zimbabwean People to Decide
  • IRAN
    • U.S. Watching Political Process Closely / Wish the Iranian People Success
    • Embassies Have Sent Invitations to 4th of July / Part of Policy of Engagement / Efforts to Break Down Barriers of Communication / No Specifics on Invitations or Acceptances
    • Former President Carter Free to Speak as Private Citizen / Hamas Must Accept Principles Outlined in Quartet


12:46 p.m. EDT

MR. KELLY: Hey guys, I have a short statement to read at the top. I think as you probably already know, Secretary of State Clinton is traveling to Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, on Saturday, June 13, to participate in the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Canada-U.S. Boundary Waters Treaty. Secretary Clinton will meet with Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon following the centennial celebration. Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Cannon will then hold a joint press avail.

And with that, I’ll go to your questions.

QUESTION: Can I just ask you about that? What exactly is her participation in this ceremony?

MR. KELLY: What exactly is her participation?

QUESTION: Speaking?

MR. KELLY: She’s not speaking, no. But I mean, she – I think she’ll make some brief remarks.

QUESTION: And is this ceremony literally the unveiling of this commemorative stamp?

MR. KELLY: Well, I think it’s to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the treaty.

QUESTION: Okay. Can we move on?

MR. KELLY: We can move on.

QUESTION: Uighurs.

MR. KELLY: Uighurs.

QUESTION: It is becoming increasingly clear that the five Uighurs who decided that they would agree to go to Albania really got the raw end of the deal here. (Laughter.) Where do things stand with regards to Palau, and what kind of security assurances have you given Bermuda? And then why are the Brits upset? They seem not to have been consulted about this at all, even though they’re responsible for Bermuda’s foreign affairs and security.

MR. KELLY: Well, let me just, first of all, reiterate what the Attorney General said this morning, that we’re extremely grateful to the Government of Bermuda for its assistance in resettling these detainees, and we commend the leadership it has demonstrated on this important issue.

We dealt directly with the Government of Bermuda to make this happen. I think just before coming down here, I saw some of these reports of concerns of the British Government. We are – we’re in very close touch with them. The Secretary spoke with Foreign Minister Miliband this morning. And we understand that there are some concerns about some of the details of the resettlement, and we’re confident that we can work these things through with the Government of the UK.

QUESTION: Was there any consultation with the Brits prior to today about this?

MR. KELLY: We did consult with them, but I’m not going to get into the chronology or the exact details of when. And that’s – I think that’s a matter for --

QUESTION: Well, you said – it’s a matter for?

MR. KELLY: Private – those are private diplomatic consults.

QUESTION: You said you dealt directly with the Government of Bermuda to make this happen?

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: You are well aware that Bermuda is a British territory --

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: -- and that Britain is responsible for its dealings with foreign governments as it relates to foreign affairs?

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: Foreign – diplomacy and security issues.

MR. KELLY: Right. I think --

QUESTION: Why would you bypass --

MR. KELLY: Well, I don’t think we bypassed anybody.

QUESTION: To follow up, I mean, you said we did consult with the British Government. I’m not looking for an exegetical chronology here, but to be precise, did you consult with the British Government about the possibility of any of the Uighurs going to Bermuda?

MR. KELLY: Yeah, like I say, I’m just not going to get into the detail.

QUESTION: Well, you said you consulted with them --

MR. KELLY: We consult with them constantly.

QUESTION: Right. I know you consult with them about all kinds of things, including things that have nothing to do with Guantanamo. So your statement that we consulted with them could be true and completely not germane, and I want to make sure that it’s germane --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- that you did consult with them about the possibility of the Uighurs going to Bermuda. Or it may have been you consulted with them more generally about --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- Guantanamo, but not about this precise matter.

MR. KELLY: Right, right. I may have more for your, Arshad, later today, but right now I don’t have anything else.

QUESTION: Well, was this the subject of the call between Miliband and the Secretary this morning?

MR. KELLY: I’m not going to get into the details of it. They had a very good conversation this morning.

QUESTION: About the Uighurs?

MR. KELLY: They did discuss this issue, yes.

QUESTION: And other things?

MR. KELLY: They discussed a number of issues as well.

QUESTION: Is it your understanding, Ian, that Bermuda, by itself, could agree and it would be legally binding if --

MR. KELLY: Yeah, Jill, I’m just not going to – I’m just not going to go there. I’m not an expert in this, and I just really have to refer you to the Government of Bermuda.

QUESTION: Is the British concern that the Uighurs could go eventually to Britain?

MR. KELLY: I’ll refer you to the British Government on that.

QUESTION: But you said you discussed concerns with them.


QUESTION: You had --

MR. KELLY: I’m not going to – I mean, you really have to ask the British Government what their concerns are.

QUESTION: Ian, if you’re not the expert on this, who do we ask?

MR. KELLY: Well, like I say, we – I may have some more information for you a little later on. But right now, I don’t have anything else.

QUESTION: What kind of security guarantees or what kind of measures are going to be taken to ensure that the good citizens of Bermuda are safe?

MR. KELLY: Well, I think that’s really – that’s a question for the Bermuda Government.

QUESTION: So you’re basically dumping them off there and washing your hands of it?

MR. KELLY: No, no, we’re not dumping them off there and washing our hands. I just – like I say --

QUESTION: Well, it sounds that way.

MR. KELLY: This is – it’s an ongoing process, and I just don’t have anything else right now.

QUESTION: What about assurances that they’re not going to be able to come to the United States?

MR. KELLY: You know, that I think really is an issue for the Department of Justice for – in terms of homeland security issues.

QUESTION: But I mean, obviously, part of this agreement with Bermuda to take them involved some kind of security assurances: (a) that the citizens of Bermuda would be safe; and (b) that the Government of Bermuda would have adequate resources, wherewithal, will, to make sure that these people don’t just leave Bermuda and just --

MR. KELLY: On all those issues, I really have to refer you to the Department of Justice.

QUESTION: Ian, was there any sort of financial compensation offer to the Government of Bermuda in exchange for taking these four in?

MR. KELLY: I think anytime that we transfer detainees, we do provide some kind of modest and routine resettlement reimbursement. But beyond that, again, I think you’d have to ask the Department of Justice.

QUESTION: How much is that per person?

MR. KELLY: How much is that per person? I’m not going to go into that --

QUESTION: Well, you said that --

QUESTION: It’s a legitimate question, I think, to ask. I mean --

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, I just – I don’t have the information.

QUESTION: Well, but --

QUESTION: Can you take that question, please?

MR. KELLY: Well, I refer you to the Department of Justice. You’ve got to ask the Department of Justice.

QUESTION: Well, what is the resettlement fee for? What is the resettlement, you know, compensation for? Is it for measures to make sure --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- that the security is provided, or is it to make sure that they have meals, or what is it?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. I’m sorry, I have to refer you to the Department of Justice. And I brought my wrong glasses; that’s why I’m taking them off.

QUESTION: Well, who negotiated the agreement? Was it Dan Fried on behalf of the State Department?

MR. KELLY: It was an interagency process. And for the details of it, you really have to go to the Department of Justice.

QUESTION: No, the details of agreements between two governments are --

MR. KELLY: Not always public.

QUESTION: -- the imprimatur of the State Department.

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, I don’t have them here right now, and I’m not even sure I could share them with you right now.

QUESTION: Can we go back to the issue of Palau?


QUESTION: Is – if there were 17 Uighurs who had remained at Guantanamo and four have now arrived in Bermuda, is there any decision on the – where the other 13 may reside?

MR. KELLY: As I said yesterday, we’re involved in ongoing discussions with a number of governments on this issue, including with the Government of Palau. And I don’t have anything to add from --

QUESTION: Okay. So nothing’s changed since then? There’s no movement since then?

MR. KELLY: Nothing has changed since then.

QUESTION: You do realize, Ian, that the president of the country went on television and said that the Government of Palau is currently finalizing an agreement with the United States about the details, but that they’ve already agreed to take them?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, we welcome --

QUESTION: I mean, are you disputing that?

MR. KELLY: We welcome any offers to --

QUESTION: Well, it’s not just an offer --

MR. KELLY: -- to accommodate these detainees --

QUESTION: I mean, he’s talking – it’s not just an offer. He’s talking about the finalization of an agreement that you’ve been negotiating.

MR. KELLY: That’s not finalized.

QUESTION: But you’re not disputing that you’re in negotiations of an agreement --

MR. KELLY: I’m not disputing that we’re involved in talks with a number of countries, including Palau.

QUESTION: Ian, the impression, you know, that I guess we’re getting from this is a bit of flailing around and looking for – desperately for a place to put these people. So correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s a lack of information, things come up suddenly, the Uighur community here says, wow, that was news to us that they were going to go to Bermuda, it seems very sudden, we can’t get much information from you. Isn’t this an admission that there is a certain sense of desperation to find someplace to --

MR. KELLY: No, it’s not an admission of that at all. This is a top priority for the President. On the first day of his Administration, he signed an executive order to close Guantanamo, to close the detention facility there. We are working very hard to reach that goal of closing it within the time period the President has set. This is a – it’s a complicated process involving negotiations with many different countries, some of which, of course, we have talked about here. And it’s also an interagency process. So it’s – diplomacy is not always a pretty thing, but it’s a complicated process.

QUESTION: How much of a sore point is it with the Chinese? Publicly, the foreign ministry has complained about it, says you should return them to China. But privately, have you received calls from them, and at what level?

MR. KELLY: They’ve pretty consistently expressed their concern, both publicly and privately, regarding the discussions that we’re having that are ongoing on resettling these Uighurs into third countries. We’ve taken those concerns on board, but we’ve made it quite clear to them that we are not going to transfer them back to China.

QUESTION: And has there been – what’s the latest communication with the Chinese been on this? Has the Secretary spoken to the foreign minister?

MR. KELLY: She has not spoken to the Chinese foreign minister for – at least for a week or so.

QUESTION: Do you –


QUESTION: Have you talked lately about it? I mean, have you talked since Bermuda or --

MR. KELLY: Well, I know I saw a press report of the – of my counterpart in Beijing --


MR. KELLY: -- registering a protest.

QUESTION: Yeah. No, I saw that, too. What I wondered was whether there had been any non-public – you know, whether they had contacted the State Department, not necessarily at the Secretary’s level --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- but at some other level about this today?

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I’m not aware of it. But as I say, they’ve been very consistent in conveying this message.

Yeah, Dave.

QUESTION: Ian, there’s a press report today about a possible imminent deal between the United States and Yemen to repatriate a Yemeni at Guantanamo. Is there something to that?

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I might have something on that. I thought I had something on it. Yeah, I’ll have to take that question. Sorry.

QUESTION: Back to China?

MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: When you’ve made it clear to China that you’re not going to repatriate them back to China, have you also kind of made clear to China that you expect them not to retaliate against countries that might take them, like Palau, for instance?

MR. KELLY: Well, I mean, we’ve made it clear to them that we’re not going to transfer them back to China and we certainly would, I don’t know, physically have made it clear to them that they shouldn’t retaliate against countries that do receive them. And we certainly would hope they wouldn’t retaliate.

QUESTION: Well, I mean, isn’t that one of the reasons it’s so hard to find a country that will take these Uighurs, because they’re afraid of repercussions with China?

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I’m not aware of that. I mean, you’d have to ask the countries themselves if they fear retaliation.

QUESTION: How have you explained to the Chinese why you wouldn’t transfer them back to China?

MR. KELLY: You know, again, I don’t really want to get into the details of our diplomatic exchanges. I would say as a general principle, as I think I’ve said in my first or second day of briefing up here, that we do not, as a rule, transfer prisoners to countries in which they would have a well-founded fear of persecution.

QUESTION: And some are going back to Arab countries where they –

MR. KELLY: We wouldn’t transfer any prisoners to a country where the prisoners themselves had – or detainees would have a well-founded fear of persecution.

QUESTION: So Yemen is ruled out?

MR. KELLY: Well, I don’t know. Like I say, I took that question. I’ll --

QUESTION: You’ll have to find out, yeah.

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I’ll have to find that out.

QUESTION: Just something on China. You said that the Secretary hasn’t spoken with the Chinese foreign minister in a week?

MR. KELLY: You know, I’ll have to --

QUESTION: Can you check on that?

MR. KELLY: Yeah, maybe I should check on that.

QUESTION: Because I would have thought that she would have talked to him at least about the North Korea resolution at the UN.

MR. KELLY: Okay. Well, I’ll follow up on that.

QUESTION: Which is where I wanted to go next, if anyone --

QUESTION: Yeah, that’s where I wanted to go.

MR. KELLY: North Korea?


QUESTION: Take it away.

MR. KELLY: You had a question?

QUESTION: Basically, what’s going on at the UN, what’s happening with it, what’s holding up the resolution?

MR. KELLY: What’s holding it up?

QUESTION: What’s holding it up and when do you anticipate --

MR. KELLY: Oh, I don’t – I wouldn’t characterize it as being held up. We had a --

QUESTION: So you have a draft?

MR. KELLY: We do have a draft. And there was a meeting of the Security Council yesterday. And the governments – I mean, we – there was the first three meetings of the five – the permanent representatives of the five permanent members plus the permanent representatives from Japan and South Korea. And there was a meeting of the full Security Council. Quite naturally, the nine members who hadn’t seen this draft resolution until yesterday wanted to consult with capitals. So we --

QUESTION: When are you anticipating a vote?

MR. KELLY: We’re not putting a date on it. I would anticipate that it would be sometime soon. Because you know, the United States supports this resolution, and we’re – we look forward to hearing the views of our colleagues on the Security Council once they consult with their capitals.

QUESTION: Can I follow up on that real quick? To your knowledge, has the U.S. Government been able to determine definitively whether this was actually a nuclear test or not?

MR. KELLY: We’re still assessing the data.

QUESTION: The draft resolution you guys wrote and circulated yesterday describes it definitively as a nuclear test. I’m wondering why you did that if you don’t know for sure that it was.

MR. KELLY: Well, as we’ve said before from up here, everything that we have seen in terms of seismic data is – would be consistent with a nuclear test. And the North Koreans themselves said they conducted a nuclear test.

QUESTION: You don’t think it would have been prudent to wait until the test results are back before declaring it, though?

MR. KELLY: Well, I think the very fact they --

QUESTION: You’re creating international --

MR. KELLY: -- that they claim to set off a nuclear weapon is enough cause for concern and action.

QUESTION: But I mean, it’s not worded that way, though. I mean, it says “nuclear test.”

MR. KELLY: I’m sorry, what’s --

QUESTION: But it doesn’t say their “claimed nuclear test.” It says “nuclear test” in your text.

MR. KELLY: That is – that’s our assumption that it’s a nuclear test.

Yeah, Peter.

QUESTION: Ian, there were press reports that you will have Russian envoy in Washington next week to discuss North Korea. Do you know – can you confirm --

MR. KELLY: I’m not aware of that, Peter.

Yeah, Arshad.

QUESTION: Ian, have the North Koreans objected to the United States over the past – the sort of agreement on the draft resolution? Have you had any communications with them since the draft was agreed?

MR. KELLY: I’m not aware that we’ve received any official communications from North Korea on that.

QUESTION: And any update on --

MR. KELLY: There’s been plenty of rhetoric, public rhetoric.

QUESTION: Yes, yes. And any update on the two journalists?

MR. KELLY: No, I’m afraid not. We continue to call for their release and for them to be reunited with their families.


QUESTION: Can we talk about Zimbabwe for a minute?

QUESTION: I have one more on North Korea.


QUESTION: Ian, on Monday, you said that you were beginning the process of looking at relisting North Korea on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.

MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: How is that process going? Have you made any determinations? And is there a timeline for it?

MR. KELLY: No, there’s no timeline for it. I think Secretary Clinton addressed this in her interview on Sunday that we received a letter from Congress. We take the concerns of Congress, of course, very seriously. And so we’re looking at this issue in response to this letter from Congress.

QUESTION: Can I just follow up on that real quick?

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Are you also looking at the Trading With The Enemies act? You had taken them off at the same time as the state sponsors of terror last --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- last June. So are you also looking to put them back on those?

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I’m not aware that we are. I mean, I can see if I get you more information on that.

QUESTION: Zimbabwe.

MR. KELLY: Oh, Zimbabwe, sorry. A readout of the Secretary’s meeting, just hold on a second.

We had a very productive meeting with the prime minister. We’re looking to support the efforts of the Zimbabwean Government towards the full implementation of the global political agreement and find ways to ease suffering of the Zimbabwean people without bolstering those forces that are clinging to corruption and oppression. With the prime minister and reform-minded members of his government, we desire to focus on rebuilding Zimbabwe and providing a better future for its people.

QUESTION: Does that mean that you’re prepared or you’re considering restoring development aid?

MR. KELLY: We look forward to working with the Zimbabwean Government on a bilateral basis, also a multilateral basis, to see how they can move towards a better, more democratic future.

QUESTION: Right. But are you considering restoring development?

MR. KELLY: We’re looking at ways that we can help Zimbabwe on that path.


MR. KELLY: Including development aid if it’s appropriate.


QUESTION: Earlier this week, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Carson said that the United States was very concerned by the lack of reforms undertaken by the Zimbabwean Government and that any substantial increases in assistance – obviously, we’re talking not humanitarian assistance --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- were not going to be possible until there were such reforms. Is that still the position of the U.S. Government, that you need to see much more in terms of broad Zimbabwean reform before you can restore things like substantial development aid?

MR. KELLY: Well, I mean, we’re very hopeful about the direction that Zimbabwe is taking under the Global Political Agreement. I think that in general, worldwide, we want to make sure that we have set benchmarks for governments that are receiving U.S. taxpayer funds, that we get the most out of every taxpayer dollar. So yes, I think it’s fair to say that we’re looking at ways to make sure that Zimbabwe stays on a – or continues on a democratic path.

QUESTION: Ian, what’s the U.S. Government’s view on the continuing role of President Robert Mugabe as head of state?

MR. KELLY: Regarding President Mugabe, I think that we’ve had concerns about examples of misrule and corruption. But I think that in terms of the future of the Zimbabwean Government, I think that’s really a matter for the Zimbabwean people to decide.

QUESTION: The Iranian election is tomorrow, and I’m just wondering if you have any – if you’d like to expand on your comments yesterday about the election, and particularly the candidacy of the reformist, or who is being called a reformist candidate, Mr. Mousavi, who seems to have, in his prior incarnation as prime minister, been the one who ordered the purchase of nuclear technology from A.Q. Khan.

MR. KELLY: I’m not aware of that, Matt. I don’t have anything to add from what I said yesterday, that we’re watching this process, this political process very closely. We wish the Iranian people success. In terms of individual candidates, though, it runs against my grain as a diplomat to even suggest that I have any kind of preferences for any candidate in an upcoming election, so I will refrain.

QUESTION: Even though you do?

MR. KELLY: Well – okay.

QUESTION: Is it not --

MR. KELLY: Everybody has preferences.

QUESTION: -- the case – is it not the case that the U.S. Government has preferences --

MR. KELLY: I have preferences.

QUESTION: -- that you would like to see?

MR. KELLY: I have preferences.

QUESTION: You just don’t want to talk about them?

MR. KELLY: I just don’t want to talk about it.

QUESTION: Fair enough. Okay, and then one other thing on Iran, how is the July 4th outreach engagement going?

MR. KELLY: I have something for you. Of course, these invitations are a part of our policy of engagement with Iran and our efforts to break down barriers between – break down barriers of communication. We’ve started to send out – our embassies have started to send out invitations. We don’t have any information on specific numbers of invitations or acceptances yet. And this is just all part of our – of the President’s policy of engagement in an effort to build a better relationship with Iran.

QUESTION: Has anybody accepted yet?

MR. KELLY: I don’t have any information on who has accepted yet.

QUESTION: Ian, have any invitations been – the United States obviously has a mission to the United Nations. There are obviously Iranian diplomats accredited to the United Nations. Have there been any invitations extended, either up in New York or here from the State Department, to Iranian diplomats in the United States?

MR. KELLY: Well, this pertained to celebrations overseas. This is – all of you, I’m sure, are aware of this. This is a very important event in our calendar, our Foreign Service calendar. It’s a chance to showcase America overseas. This guidance cable that went out was specifically for missions overseas. We – I mean, we don’t have – the State Department doesn’t hold a July 4th celebration that I’m aware of.

QUESTION: I’ve been invited to one --

MR. KELLY: I mean, now I have – I’ll have hot dogs in my backyard. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: (Inaudible) ambassadors up to the roof – (laughter) – so they do.

QUESTION: So do you intend to invite the director of the Iran interests section?

MR. KELLY: To what? I mean, we don’t have – I don’t think we have any official July 4th function.

QUESTION: Well, don’t you – isn’t – yes, every year, doesn’t the Secretary have the ambassadors up to the Diplomatic Reception Room for a reception and fireworks?

QUESTION: The answer isn’t --

MR. KELLY: I’m getting a nod over here. Well – yeah, let me see if I can get you more information.

QUESTION: Can you check if there were any Iranians invited?

MR. KELLY: Let me see if I can get you more information.


QUESTION: And just on this, I don’t think – I mean, it would be great if we could get a, you know, breakdown of who was invited and who accepted, but I’m not hopeful that that’s going to happen. But if it does appear like there is an organized boycott, like the Iranians have en masse declined or sent their regrets they won’t be able to make it --

MR. KELLY: Of course, I’ll say you have to really ask the Iranians themselves.

QUESTION: Yeah, well, you know, I’m sitting here in Washington and --

MR. KELLY: Okay.

QUESTION: -- they’re in Tehran. And one more thing on the Uighur issue. Who – was it Miliband who called the Secretary, or did she call him?

MR. KELLY: I’m not sure, frankly, who initiated the call.

QUESTION: And are there – as you’re going around to these other countries, are you relieved now that you’ve gotten – managed to slip these guys into Bermuda undercover? Are you looking at other British overseas territories, the Falklands maybe, any --

MR. KELLY: We’re engaged in ongoing discussions with a number of foreign governments, and I’ll leave it at that.

QUESTION: Two quick things. Former President Carter in Damascus says that the United States Government must, quote, “find a way,” close quote, to include Hamas in Middle East peacemaking, although he also says that the group must commit to peace with Israel. Is it troublesome for the Administration to have the former president saying you need to do this or that --

MR. KELLY: No, I’m not going to characterize his comments. He’s a private citizen. He’s free to say whatever he wants, which must be very refreshing at times. And as we’ve said all along, Hamas can be a part of a peace process by accepting the principles outlined in the Quartet: renunciation of violence and terror; recognition of Israel; acceptance of previous agreements between the parties, including the Roadmap.

QUESTION: And you don’t have any objections to his meeting? He was supposed to meet Khaled Meshaal today. I don’t know if that meeting has actually transpired.

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I don’t have any information on that.

QUESTION: And then the last one from me on this. Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi is in Rome and he complains that Libya has not been appropriately rewarded for its decision to give up its WMD programs. This is kind of a periodic refrain, I think, from Libyan officials. Do you have any comment on that? Is there anything that you would wish to say that might assuage their feelings of not having been properly treated following their quite significant decision?

MR. KELLY: No, I don’t have any comment at the present time. If we can get you more information, we will.


QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. KELLY: All right, thanks.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:15 p.m.)

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