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02 March 2005

State Department Briefing, March 2

North Korea, Syria/Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Germany, Cyprus, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan

State Department Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli briefed the media March 2.

Following is the transcript of the White House briefing:

(begin transcript)

U.S. Department of State
Daily Press Briefing Index
Wednesday, March 2, 2005
1:00 p.m. EST

Briefer:  Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman

-- North Korea's Demand for Apology for U.S. Comments
-- Status of Resumption of Six-Party Talks/Diplomatic Contacts

-- Withdrawal of Foreign Forces from Lebanon/UN Resolution 1559
-- Ambassador Satterfield's Travel to Lebanon/Meetings/Discussions
-- Prospects for UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Following a Syrian Withdrawal
-- Future Government of Lebanon

-- Administration's Discussions Regarding Iran's Nuclear Program
-- No Timetable for Decisions
-- Iran's Cooperation in Providing Access/Information regarding Nuclear Program

-- Formation of Iraq's National Government/Foreign Interference/Influence
-- Readiness of Iraqi Security Forces

-- U.S.-Russia Bilateral Relationship
-- Future of Democracy and Civil Society in Russia

-- Request to Retransfer U.S. Supplied Artillery to Greece

-- UN Secretary General's Plan for Resolution of Cyprus Problem
-- Human Rights Report on Cyprus

-- Decision by Colombia to Extradite Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela to U.S.
-- Reported FARC Proposals Made to Colombian Government

-- Criminal Allegations Against U.A.E. Diplomat
-- U.A.E. Diplomat's Departure from U.S.

-- Reported Pakistani Parliament Rejection of Pro-Women Rights Bill



1:00 p.m. EST

MR. ERELI:  Welcome, everyone.  No announcements for you today so we can start with questions. 

QUESTION:  North Korea is demanding that the United States apologize for designating the country as an outpost of tyranny and is threatening to resume long-range missile tests.  Any thoughts on that? 

MR. ERELI:  Our view is that the best course of action for everybody is to resume six-party talks as soon as possible.  That's clearly the view of five of the six parties.  There's a strong unanimity of opinion that the proper forum to address concerns about security and the threat that North Korea's nuclear weapons program poses to the peninsula is in the six-party talks.  We want to see those talks resume as soon as possible.  We have made it clear -- made our view clear -- that those talks should resume without delay and without preconditions.  We have also made it clear repeatedly that the United States has no intention of attacking or invading North Korea.

So, from our point of view, there is no good reason why all states, including North Korea, shouldn't return to the six-party talks as soon as possible, and if they have questions or issues that they want addressed then that's the place to do it.  And as far as threats to undertake tests or other military activity, that certainly is not helpful and doesn't serve a useful purpose and I think it's not consistent with the spirit of the six-party talks.

Yes, Tammy.

QUESTION:  Have there been any recent communications with North Korea through the New York channel? 

MR. ERELI:  Not that I'm aware of, no. 


MR. ERELI:  Saul. 

QUESTION:  Can I change the subject?

MR. ERELI:  Okay.

QUESTION:  The soon to be number two diplomat in Baghdad, on the Hill today, Satterfield, said --


QUESTION:  He announced it, right?

MR. ERELI:  You're a little elliptic, but anyway, go ahead.

QUESTION:  And he was talking about Syria and he was saying, in direct reference to Assad's statement in an interview that Syria could withdraw troops in a few months, Satterfield said there are contradictory statements coming out of Syria.  What I'd just like to know is are these statements contradictory in the sense that what the U.S. is hearing in private meetings with Syrian officials is different to what's being said in public?  Or are there other public statements, other than what Assad said in the interview, that you believe contradict what Assad said?

MR. ERELI:  Well, the simple way to put this is, we're not hearing what 1559 calls for, which is full and immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon.  That's -- those are the magic words and we haven't heard them yet.  We've heard withdrawal consistent with Taif, we've heard maybe Syrian troops moving in a couple of months, we've heard a variety of things, none of which get to the heart of the matter, which is 1559, and which is full and immediate withdrawal.

So absent that, I guess you're free to interpret it any way you want, what they're saying, but it's clearly not what 1559 calls for.  That's point one. 

Point two, words are one thing, actions are another.  So I guess there's a -- I want to say, just, lack of clarity and therefore a healthy degree of skepticism, until there is clarity about intent and visible movement.  

Yes, ma'am.

QUESTION:  Can I switch to Iran?

MR. ERELI:  Iran?


MR. ERELI:  Mm-hmm.

QUESTION:  Can you tell us anything about the Secretary's meeting with the President, expected this afternoon, whether you expect decisions to come out of this?

MR. ERELI:  I'm not aware of a meeting with the President this afternoon.

QUESTION:  I think he's --

MR. ERELI:  My latest conversation with the White House was that there wasn't a meeting.  Maybe that's changed since our discussion.  But I think I'd leave it where the Secretary left it in her latest public -- her recent public comments, which is that that we are -- based on the President's meetings in Europe with his European counterparts, there are a number of ideas under discussion.  Those discussions will continue, and -- but we don't have any timetable for decisions.  And I'd just leave it at that.

Yes, Joel.

QUESTION:  Change of subject.

QUESTION:  Not yet.

MR. ERELI:  Yes.

QUESTION:  Today you had your envoy to the IAEA, Jackie Sanders, saying that the speech by the IAEA's Deputy Director General was startling evidence of Iranian attempts to mislead, hide and delay the work of inspectors.  On Monday, the White House said that one of the reasons you were joining on to the EU-3's plan was because Iran was being more cooperative in the past few months and giving more information to the IAEA.  Is this a contradiction in what's being said?

MR. ERELI:  I think -- I don't think there's a contradiction.  I think the way to look at this issue is as follows.  Number one, the point of departure is that Iran is pursuing a nuclear program that is a cause for concern for the international community.  It is a program which we believe is concealing a nuclear weapons development effort, that there is a clear unanimity of views among us and our European colleagues and Russia and others that Iran should not be allowed to develop and should not be able to develop a nuclear weapon because that is against all of our interests, and that therefore we and our colleagues are leading a multifaceted effort on a number of levels to prevent that from happening. 

We are doing it in cooperation with the IAEA in seeking to gain full Iranian compliance with its NPT obligations and seeking to get Iranian answers on a number of outstanding questions that we have regarding its nuclear program and seeking to have access to a number of Iranian sites that are of concern to the IAEA.  We're doing that through the IAEA.

Concurrently, the EU-3 is working with Iran to achieve a suspension and eventually a cessation of its uranium enrichment program.  They have achieved so far a temporary suspension.  I would say it's -- I would underscore that it's only temporary.  We are working for a full cessation.  The President and Secretary have said we are supportive of that effort, we are looking at ways that we can help further that effort to bring about the common goal, which is control and, eventually, an end to Iran's nuclear development program.

Ambassador Sanders in her presentation to the IAEA Board of Governors reiterated some of the, you know, many of the points that we have made consistently at the previous Board of Governors meetings, that Iran continues to deny the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors the cooperation and transparency that they need to fulfill their duties to ensure Iranian compliance and to ensure Iranian fulfillment of its obligations.

Ambassador Sanders also said it's clear from what we've heard before from the Deputy Director General, Mr. Goldschmidt, and what we heard from Director General ElBaradei in his previous reports during this meeting, that it's clear that Iran has still not come clean about its nuclear activities, and I think the conclusion was that concerns are deepening rather than diminishing.

So what we've seen, you know, from Iran is a pattern of, you know, sometimes give a little, but also take a lot, and that this is a pattern that is continuing and that as a result, even though we're all trying to push things forward in a positive direction in terms of compliance, transparency, cooperation and -- well, in that direction, Iran continues to evade and obstruct and otherwise further its own isolation in the international community. 

And the message to take away from it all is that it's not going to work.  It's not in Iran's interest.  It's certainly not in the international community's interest, and there's a growing, I think, growing consensus and a growing unanimity of views that we are going to work together to prevent this from happening. 

QUESTION:  So is Iran cooperating more than it used to or is it not?

MR. ERELI:  I wouldn't conclude that.  I would say that, as Ambassador Sanders said, as we have consistently made clear both here and at the White House, that Iran continues to seek to develop a nuclear weapons capability under cover of a peaceful nuclear program, that this is unacceptable and that the international community is going to do everything it can and remain united in working to prevent that.


QUESTION:  In addition to the nuclear problem, with Iraq you've always been critical and concerned about possible meddling in Iraqi politics and there are reports to say that some of the people on the Sistani list are worried that Iran is seeking to influence too much the process of forming a government.  Are these concerns that you guys share?

MR. ERELI:  These are concerns that we take very, very seriously, especially when we hear them coming, as you suggest, from the Iraqis themselves.  Iraq is going through a particularly critical period in its history as it seeks to form its first freely-elected national government.  We think therefore that it's important to restate our view that Iraqis should be free to determine their own future without foreign interference.  It is for the elected members of Iraq's future national assembly to decide on their government.  As we did in the historical elections in January, we support the Iraqis' right to choose their own leaders freely. 

I would note that this is an issue that Prime Minister Allawi and other Iraqis have spoken to previously in calling on all of Iraq's neighbors to respect Iraq's sovereignty, respect Iraq's stability.  We, for our part, have pledged to work with whatever government Iraqis freely choose and we call on all states to do the same and to refrain from interfering with the Iraqi process of forming a new government. 


QUESTION:  Yeah, just to get back to the nuclear issue for a second there.  A Senior Administration official briefing reporters on the plane said that Secretary Rice had dinner with her counterparts, the European counterparts last night, and seemed to indicate there that they raised some proposals and we said we'd get back to them.  Can you say what is the next procedure and what is the timeframe that we're going to be talking about in terms of proposals for dealing with Iran on the nuclear issue?

MR. ERELI:  Yeah.  No, in answering the question previously, I said I don't have any timetables.  As the Secretary has said, this will be an issue we're discussing.  We've already begun talking about it within the national security policy -- the President's advisors have already begun talking about it.  We will continue those discussions.  But I can't give you some timetable for when decisions are going to be made.

QUESTION:  Okay.  And just one other follow-up on that.  I think McClellan at the White House was briefing yesterday that the Iranians were showing signs of providing more information and more access.  Is that --

MR. ERELI:  Well, I saw what Scott said, and he said in some cases they have been.  But it was not a -- as you suggested in your earlier question, a -- how should I put it? -- a general conclusion.  In some cases they have provided information; for example, the indicator or the material concerning their efforts or their contacts with the A.Q. Khan network and their efforts to -- or their offers of that network to provide material for nuclear weapons.

And so they have been responsive in some cases.  But the point that we're making is that what they give with one hand, they take away with another, and that, you know, the point that Baradei made in his presentation, the point that Deputy Director General Goldschmidt made in his presentation, the point that the EU-3, members of the EU-3 made in their presentations at the Board of Governors meeting, is, "We're all the same."  I mean, they dealt with different issues but the general point was all the same, that Iran has blocked access to sites by inspectors -- I'm sorry -- Iran has blocked sites to -- access to sites by inspectors; they have not answered questions about activities that members of the Board of Governors found disturbing and found alarming; and they have continued to engage in some activities that are not viewed as consistent with previous commitments.

So certain actions, positive actions or cooperative actions aside, there is a continuing pattern of, as I said, evasion and obstruction and obfuscation that, as Ambassador Sanders says, increases rather than diminishes our concerns.


QUESTION:  Adam, there appears to be two troubling reports out of Russia.  One is that President Putin is setting up a youth group called "One of Us," or "Nashi," N-a-s-h-i.  It's a group that's going to thwart a typical Orange Revolution, external government, or an American intrusion into Russian-type politics.  Also, their Defense Minister Sergey --

MR. ERELI:  Ivanov.

QUESTION:  -- Ivanov has just said that Russia will develop missiles impervious to any defense.  It's like ever since President Bush met with Vladimir Putin, it seems to be that he's going in what could be termed a "throwback revolution," back to the Cold War.  What is your impressions of this?

MR. ERELI:  I think President Bush and President Putin were very clear and very articulate about the -- I think the tenor and substance of their meeting, both of which were good and both of which I think underscore the importance and the value that both sides attach to the bilateral relationship.  So I would urge you when writing about this issue to focus on what the presidents said as opposed to what commentators might theorize subsequent to that meeting.

With regard to the specific statements or specific developments that you mention, I hadn't seen reports of those.  I don't know if your characterization of them are accurate so I'm just not going to -- you know, I'm not in a position to comment or to offer you judgments about it.  We've made -- you know, we've made our views clear about the future of democracy, the future of civil society in Russia, and I don't really have more to add to it.


QUESTION:  There seems to be some movement toward a return to the six-party talks.  I think the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister has gone to Seoul to meet with Foreign Minister Ban, and he seemed to indicate that there is something going on that might indicate a return to the talks.  Do you have anything on that?

MR. ERELI:  Well, there is definitely something going on, in the sense that there is very active diplomacy, frankly, by all sides, aimed at restarting the talks.  There is a senior Chinese party official who visited Pyongyang, I believe two weeks ago.  The Secretary, as you know, has had meetings with her Japanese counterparts and Korean counterparts.  There was a meeting with our special coordinator or special representative to the six-party talks, Ambassador Hill, and his South Korean and Japanese counterparts.  There are additional meetings that you suggest between -- that may be going on between Chinese and North Koreans.  I don't have the latest facts on those.  But what all of these -- this activity indicates is an ongoing effort to reconvene talks at the earliest possible date.  That, as I said earlier, remains our common objective and we're not losing sight of that ball.

QUESTION:  Have you heard anything from the Chinese specifically indicating that there is movement?

MR. ERELI:  Nothing to report.

QUESTION:  Anything on the North Korean request for an apology?

MR. ERELI:  Spoken about earlier.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

MR. ERELI:  Sir.

QUESTION:  Yes, Mr. Ereli, on Greece.  Regarding U.S. military equipments from Germany to Greece, you stated yesterday in writing, "Once a decision has been made, we will respond to the German Government."  Since according to DOD officer in the Defense News this particular request is pending in four full years, I'm wondering how more time you need to take a decision.

MR. ERELI:  I'm not aware of how -- I'm not aware of when the request -- when we received the request from the Government of Germany.  I don't dispute it.  I just can't confirm that.  I'm not -- I don't have those facts.  I would tell you the following: that our decisions on requests for arms transfers are made on a case-by-case basis; in reviewing these requests, we seek to balance the legitimate arms sales that support the national security of our friends with the need for restraint against transfer of arms that might prove problematic; that is a process for which there is no predetermined timetable.  So I could not -- I'm not in a position to predict for you when a decision will be made.

QUESTION:  But why you are doing that for the first time in history in the 50 years of friendship between Greece and the United States, an ally of yours and part of NATO?

MR. ERELI:  Well, I don't think this is the first time in history.  I mean, this is a --

QUESTION:  That's exactly --

MR. ERELI:  This is a process that we review, that we conduct regularly whenever we receive requests from one country that we've provided arms to to transfer to a third country.  It's not the first time that it's happened.  It certainly won't be the last time.  So I don't think your characterization of it as being historic or particularly unique is accurate.

QUESTION:  Okay.  May I go to Cyprus?

MR. ERELI:  Cyprus?

QUESTION:  Cyprus.  Yes.  The Cypriot opposition leader, Nikos Anastasiadis, rejected your yesterday statements about Turkish transfer U.S. weapons in Cyprus as -- it's not mine -- "unacceptable."  How do you respond to this?

MR. ERELI:  I respond the way I did yesterday.  There's been no transfer of weapons.

QUESTION:  Mr. Anastasiadis stated that in case Cuba invades and occupied Miami, would the Americans allow Cuba to transfer more forces, like in the case of Turkey to Cyprus?

MR. ERELI:  No. 

QUESTION:  Isn't that hypothetical?

MR. ERELI:  Hypothetical.  Yeah, there you go.  Thanks, George.  Hypothetical. 


MR. ERELI:  Very hypothetical.


MR. ERELI:  Follow up.

QUESTION:  Mr. Anastasiadis said if Cuba occupied Miami, would the Americans allow the use of the illegal airports and seaports, as in the case of Turkish occupying forces in Cyprus?

MR. ERELI:  Again, I'm not going to --


MR. ERELI:  We're dealing with one set of realities and you're talking about a completely different set of unrealities.

QUESTION:  Why you are asking Syria to leave Lebanon and not Turkey to leave Cyprus?

MR. ERELI:  Next question.  Yes?

QUESTION:  Can you give us an assessment on what Ambassador Satterfield achieved in Lebanon?

MR. ERELI:  I think what Ambassador Satterfield was able to achieve was making clear to the Government of Lebanon and the members of the political community in Lebanon, make clear what the position of the United States regarding developments in the region are, and what the position of the United States are not.  Because many -- as you well know, in complex situations, I think there is sometimes an uneven understanding of where the United States stands, and Ambassador Satterfield was able to clarify that, I think, for everybody.  And he stressed very clearly that the United States felt that the full implementation of 1559 was vitally important and that we were going to continue to work with our friends and allies on the Security Council to push for its implementation.

He made clear to the government and people of Lebanon that the United States supports them in their pursuit of an independent, democratic and sovereign Lebanon, free of outside interference and intimidation.  And he, I think very importantly, reaffirmed our call and the call of the international community for a full, credible and transparent investigation into the terrorist murder of Prime Minister Hariri. 

Ambassador Satterfield was also able to look forward with his many friends and other government colleagues in Lebanon -- look forward to the future elections in Lebanon and to make the point that the United States believed, the international community believed, that it was vital that these elections be conducted freely, fairly without foreign interference, without intimidation by outsiders, and bolstered by an international observer presence in order to help support those objectives.

So it was a good visit.  It was an important visit for an American official to go directly to Lebanon and to communicate directly to the people and government of Lebanon where the United States stood on these issues of vital interest not only to Lebanon, but to the United States and to the region. 


QUESTION:  Is there any discussions now in the administration regarding sending UN peacekeeping forces to --


QUESTION:  -- Lebanon if Syria --

MR. ERELI:  No.  As the Secretary said when that question was answered many times yesterday, first things first, let's get -- well, let's get Syria -- let Syria get out of Lebanon.  The United States and the friends of Lebanon obviously are going to do what we can to support that country's independence, that country's sovereignty and that country's efforts to exercise and exert that sovereignty over all of its territories.  But --

QUESTION:  What about Cyprus, Mr. Ereli.  What about Cyprus?

MR. ERELI:  Cyprus -- there is a plan for Cyprus.  That is the Annan plan.  That is a plan that we feel addresses the problem of the long division of that island and it is a plan to which we have given our support and which we have called on all parties that want to see a resolution of the Cyprus problem endorse and support.  So, you know, that's the solution for Cyprus and that's what we want to see applied.

QUESTION:  My question, only you ask Syria to leave from Lebanon, not Turkey from Cyprus.  They're very similar.

MR. ERELI:  I don't accept -- I don't accept the parallel. 


QUESTION:  You just said that one of the things that Ambassador Satterfield had achieved over there is that telling the Lebanese what's considered progress and what's not.  Do you --

MR. ERELI:  Whoa, whoa, did I say that? Did I -- did Ambassador Satterfield -- I don't think I said "told the Lebanese what is progress and what is not."

QUESTION:  Not -- well, then, he expressed to them what you consider progress and what's not.  What -- okay --

MR. ERELI:  Did I say that?  I don't -- that's not what I heard come out of my mouth.  Maybe that's what you heard.  I would -- what I said is that Ambassador Satterfield expressed our full support for the Lebanese people --

QUESTION:  Before you read that paragraph from this --

MR. ERELI:  Yeah, I said that he expressed what our policy is and what our policy is not.  I said policy, not progress.

QUESTION:  Anyway, we have it on tape.  My question is, the Lebanese opposition leader, Walid Jumblatt, is calling for President Lahoud to step down.  Would you consider this as a progress towards implementing 1559 maybe, or -- and giving Lebanon, the Lebanese people, their sovereignty back? 

MR. ERELI:  The United States is not expressing an opinion on what the future government of Lebanon should look like.  Lebanon has a constitutional process for establishing a new government.  It is our view that process should be -- should be followed.  And we've also said we look forward to a government that reflects the full diversity of views and people of Lebanon.  But we are not being prescriptive about what that government should look like.

QUESTION:  Do you think for President Lahoud staying in the presidency will be an obstacle when it comes to implementing 1559?

MR. ERELI:  I don't have any comment on individual candidates or members of the Lebanese Government.

QUESTION:  Adam, can I follow up on that?

MR. ERELI:  Mm-hmm.

QUESTION:  You said constitutional process.  They amended the constitution so that Lahoud could stay.  I mean --

MR. ERELI:  Well.  Let's make it -- make a point here.  He is -- President Lahoud is the president so -- and we're talking about the cabinet and the prime minister, so the question of the president is not -- is not germane to the political process that's underway as a result of Prime Minister's Karami's resignation.  So, you know, that process will go according to the constitution.  President Lahoud is -- and the position of the presidency is not part of it.  And as far as comments on individual members of the Lebanon Government, I don't have any.


MR. ERELI:  Iraq.

QUESTION:  Today, General Abizaid in one of the hearings at the Capitol and also yesterday said that there are no Iraqi forces ready to face insurgency on their own without the help of U.S. or coalition forces.  Why do you think it's taking them too long to, like, train them in order to be ready and work independent from U.S. forces?

MR. ERELI:  I haven't seen Ambassador Abizaid's comments -- sorry, General Abizaid's comments.  I'm not sure that your characterization of them is completely accurate.  I think as we've made clear, as our military officials have made clear, we've made progress in -- well, first, our highest priority is to, or among our highest priorities is to train and equip and help deploy Iraqi security forces that are capable of providing Iraq -- capable of providing Iraq its own security.  We have made progress in that.  We have seen the standing up of Iraqi units that are very capable and that have proved themselves in battle and that have every reason -- we have every reason and they have every reason to be proud of. 

There is still a lot of work to do.  It's going to take time.  It is, as I said before, a top priority for all of us because we all recognize that dealing with the insurgency and confronting the insurgency and securing a peaceful Iraq is, frankly, indispensable to the future political and economic progress of the country.  So it is something that we and the Iraqis are seized with, that we are devoting every possible effort toward, that we've made some progress on, but more needs to be done.  And I think that's as fair a characterization of the situation as I can give you.

QUESTION:  Well, he said that there are about 30,000 Iraqi forces well-equipped and trained and ready to go anywhere in Iraq, but they can not face insurgency alone without the help of U.S. and coalition forces.

MR. ERELI:  Sure.

QUESTION:  Don't you think it's taking -- I mean, what does it take to have them ready if they are well-equipped and trained?

MR. ERELI:  Well, let's be clear.  The United States is in Iraq to support Iraqis and to help Iraqis take full responsibility for their security.  At the present time, they're not there yet.  The Iraqis understand that.  You can't go from a situation where you have basically no armed forces to having a full and capable standing army and effective police and security that can take care of everything, you can't go from nothing to that in the space of a couple of months.  It's going to take a while.  Meanwhile, as they transition from where they were to where they want to be, there is going to be a need for a continuing multinational force presence to help support them.  So, you know, your question is, "Why are the Americans still there?"  The simple answer is because the Iraqis aren't ready to fully stand up and do it themselves.

QUESTION:  It's not why you're still there.  I mean, why is it taking so long to have --

MR. ERELI:  It's not taking so long.  It's going pretty -- it's going pretty well.  As I said, you can't do it in a matter of months.  It takes -- if you look at it and look at what's required to stand up an army and a police force, it takes a while.  And, you know, we hope -- we're trying to make it go as fast as it can.  But I think if you'd look at what's been done since the transfer of sovereignty, since the elections, I think a fair assessment would be that there has been considerable progress made but there is still more to do.

Yeah, in the back.

QUESTION:  (Inaudible) in Colombia.  Yesterday, President Uribe signed the extradition of Mr. Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela.  Do you have any comments on that, and also on the proposal from the FARC; they asked for the liberation or the freedom of Mr. Simon Trinidad, who is in the United States on extradition?

MR. ERELI:  I don't have anything.  I'll see if I can get you something.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

MR. ERELI:  Yes, sir.

QUESTION:  Virginia law enforcement officials last week asked for the State Department's help in lifting the diplomatic immunity of a diplomat from the United Arab Emirates arrested for several charges.  Can you update us on State Department efforts?  And do you know the status of that diplomat?

MR. ERELI:  Yeah.  I don't think he was arrested.  I think he was charged.

QUESTION:  Charged.

MR. ERELI:  We did request, based on -- based on requests from law enforcement, we did go to the United Arab Emirates and ask them to waive diplomatic immunity for a diplomat in their embassy that was involved in this incident.  We were informed at the time of presenting that request that the diplomat in question and his family members had departed the country.  We have, as a result, requested that U.S. law enforcement officials issue an arrest warrant for the individual.  Once that has been done, we will enter his name in the appropriate visa and immigration systems to prevent any future return to the United States.  We have also requested the Government of the United Arab Emirates to investigate this matter with a view to prosecuting any offense under United Arab Emirates law.

QUESTION:  And when did they go to the -- did you go to the Embassy?  Do you know?

MR. ERELI:  It was earlier this week. 


QUESTION:  Adam, it's only been two days, coincidentally, since Michael Kozak addressed this audience with a human rights practices report.  And the parliament in Pakistan has just rejected a pro-women bill calling it un-Islamic.  Do you have any response or --

MR. ERELI:  I don't know about this bill.  I don't know what the Pakistani parliament has or hasn't done.  I would simply reiterate the points that Assistant Secretary Kozak made -- Deputy -- Acting Assistant Secretary Kozak made, as well as longstanding U.S. policy that it is our view that all societies are enhanced -- it is the right of women to fully participate in the political life of their country and all societies are enhanced by that participation. 


QUESTION:  Mr. Ereli, in the Human Rights Report under Cyprus, you are saying, "The TRNC" -- in quotation of course -- "is not recognized by any other country except Turkey."  In the previous years, however -- I'm here a long time -- you are saying, "It is not recognized by any other country, including the United States of America."  Why you excluded the United States from this year's report for the first time?

MR. ERELI:  I don't know.  I would refer you to the Bureau of Human Rights and Labor.

QUESTION:  (Inaudible.)

MR. ERELI:  I would refer you to them.

QUESTION:  (Inaudible) what is going on --

MR. ERELI:  I would refer you to them.

QUESTION:  -- and fully explain what's going on?

MR. ERELI:  Can't explain it.  I'd refer you to them.

QUESTION:  Can you take this question?

MR. ERELI:  No, I would refer you to them.

QUESTION:  To some extent, I am still trying to understand your yesterday's explanation about transfer of U.S. weapons from Turkey to Cyprus, but I'm wondering, how do you consider the deployment of Turkish invasion and occupation forces in Cyprus -- legal or illegal?

MR. ERELI:  As I said yesterday, I don't see a useful purpose in reviewing the historical record on that.  If you're interested, I would refer you to what was said at the time.

QUESTION:  But it's not a matter of history.  It's a matter of invasion and occupation.

MR. ERELI:  Any other questions?

(No response.)

MR. ERELI:  Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:45 p.m.)

(end transcript)

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