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Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Department of Public Information . News and Media Division . New York

2 July 2015

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Good afternoon.


The Security Council was briefed this morning in consultations about the situation in Burundi.  The Secretary-General continues to follow this very closely. He deplores continued reports of violence in Burundi, where at least 6 people were reportedly killed yesterday in Bujumbura.  He urges Burundians to express their views peacefully and exhorts relevant Burundian authorities to exercise restraint in their management of security incidents.

These events are a stark reminder of the need for Burundians to solve their differences through constructive dialogue with a view to holding consensual, peaceful and credible elections, including through the able facilitation of the joint international facilitation.  And we have a preliminary statement from the Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi, MENUB, available in our office.


The UN [Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization] Mission in Mali, MINUSMA, condemned the attack this morning in the Timbuktu region, against one of its patrols which killed 6 peacekeepers and wounded 5 others.  The head of the Mission, Mongi Hamdi, called for the perpetrators of that attack to be brought to justice quickly.  We expect to have a statement on this shortly, possibly before the end of this briefing.


In a statement we issued last night, the Secretary-General repeated his call for an immediate end to the fighting in Yemen to help stem the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in the country.  He called on the parties to agree, at the very minimum, on an immediate pause in hostilities until the end of the holy month of Ramadan so that humanitarian aid can be delivered into and across Yemen and reach people who have been cut off from vital supplies for months.

The Secretary-General emphasizes that the parties to the conflict must adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law, protecting civilians and enabling humanitarian workers to deliver life-saving assistance.  The Secretary-General reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations, as expressed through the efforts of his Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to support Yemen in the search for a political solution, which is the only viable solution to the conflict.  Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed is in Jeddah now to meet with Saudi officials. He is scheduled to travel to Yemen next week.

**South Sudan

And also last night, we issued another statement in which the Secretary-General condemned the attack yesterday on a UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) protection of civilians site in Malakal by opposition forces. He deplored the killing of one Internally Displaced Person (IDP) and the injury of six others as a result of this attack.  He also called on former Vice-President Riek Machar and Johnson Olony, Commander of the opposition forces, to conduct an immediate investigation into this incident and hold to account those responsible. And he reminded the parties that they must respect the inviolability of UNMISS premises.  The full statement is available online.

And also on South Sudan, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that, according to aid agencies, people in Wau Shilluk town and surrounding areas in Upper Nile State will face dangerous levels of food insecurity unless urgent action is taken to address the food crisis.  Nearly 40,000 people are displaced in Wau Shilluk.

An assessment by partners of some 7,000 children shows a global acute malnutrition rate of 19 per cent, which is above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent.  Nutrition activities in the area stopped two weeks ago due to armed violence, and medical supplies are running dangerously low.  Aid agencies are concerned that similar levels of malnutrition may be evident in other areas in Upper Nile and Unity states that are inaccessible due to conflict.


The conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria are pushing an increasing number of children into exploitation in the labour market, and much more needs to be done to reverse this trend, according to a new report released by Save the Children and UNICEF.   The report shows that inside Syria, children are now contributing to the family income in more than three quarters of surveyed households.  In Jordan, close to half of all Syrian refugee children are now the joint or sole family breadwinners in surveyed households, while in some parts of Lebanon, children as young as six years old are reportedly working.

The most vulnerable of all working children are those involved in armed conflict, sexual exploitation and illicit activities, including organized begging and child trafficking.  The report finds that a spiralling number of children are employed in harmful working conditions, risking serious damage to their health and well-being.  Three out of four working children surveyed in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp have reported health problems at work, according to the report.  A further 22 per cent of children casually employed in the agricultural sector in Mafraq and the Jordan Valley have also been injured while working.


The Secretary-General is in Barbados today to attend the opening of the 36th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which will start this evening at 4:30 p.m. in Bridgetown.  This morning, he held a meeting with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Barbados, where he discussed climate change, renewal energy initiatives in the country as well as the Financing for Development and Post-2015 Development agendas.  We issued a readout of the meeting.

The Secretary-General also spoke at the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Sustainable Development High-level Dialogue on the partnership between the UN and CARICOM.  Speaking to Heads of State and Government from the region, he stressed the need to speak and act in meaningful ways to address the unique needs and vulnerabilities of small island developing states and middle-income countries.  His full remarks are available on our website.

As we speak, the Secretary-General is attending a UN-Women and UNICEF event on ending gender-based violence, where UN-Women and the Barbados Attorney General are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to boost joint efforts to give women greater access to justice.

**Mali Statement

As I had expected, here we have a statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the attack against United Nations peacekeepers in Mali.

The Secretary-General condemns the attack today against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali  or MINUSMA, on the Goundam-Timbuktu axis in the Timbuktu region, which killed six peacekeepers and injured five others. All the killed and injured peacekeepers are from Burkina Faso.  The Secretary-General reminds all parties that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers constitute a serious violation of international law and urges all those responsible to be brought swiftly to justice.

These attacks will not alter the determination of the United Nations to support the Malian people and the peace process, including through its assistance to the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali.  This attack brings the total number of casualties from hostile acts since the beginning of the mission on 25 April 2013 to 42 peacekeepers killed, including 10 in 2015 alone, and 166 peacekeepers wounded.

The Secretary-General commends the brave men and women serving in MINUSMA for their efforts to bring lasting peace to Mali under such difficult conditions.  The Secretary-General expresses his sincere condolences to the family of the victims and to the Government of Burkina Faso, and he wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded.


The Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Peter Graaff, said today that the comeback of the disease in Liberia underscored the need for rigorous testing.  The Government of Liberia announced three new confirmed Ebola cases since Sunday.  Mr. Graaff stressed the need to maintain active surveillance and commended the swift revival of the Ebola response mechanism led by the Liberian government.  More is available in a press release from the Mission.

**West Africa

I would also like to flag a new report published today by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its partners, which says that West Africa has unprecedented opportunities for agricultural growth.  Most of these opportunities will require more effective regional integration, especially as West Africa's population, now 300 million, is expected to grow to 490 million by 2030.  The subregion is already the most urbanized part of Sub-Saharan Africa and, with an expanding middle class, it is catalysing greater diversity in consumer food demands, providing great opportunities for value addition, job creation, economic integration and diversification, and import substitution.  The report is available on the FAO’s website.

**West Bank

I have a clarification to make about something I said yesterday on the West Bank shootings.  The Secretary-General condemns the latest shooting attacks by Palestinians on Israelis in the West Bank.  He notes with concern the high number of violent incidents over the past two weeks and calls on the Palestinian authorities to condemn them.  He also calls on all sides to exercise restraint, maintain calm and promptly bring the perpetrators of the violence to justice.

**Honour Roll

For our honour roll, Mongolia has paid its regular budget dues in full for 2015, making it the 103rd Member State to do so.  Thank you, Ulaanbaatar.

**Press Conferences Today

For press conferences today, at 1:45 p.m. Ambassador Gerard Jacobus van Bohemen, Permanent Representative of New Zealand and President of the Security Council for the month of July will brief you on the Council’s programme of work.  Tomorrow, meanwhile, is off for the [United States] holiday.  Our next day back will be Monday.

On Monday, at 11:30 a.m., in this room, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the UN Statistics Division, and Holly Newby, Chief of the Data Analysis Unit at UNICEF will brief you on the launch of the 2015 MDG Report.  That's it for me. Yes, Masood.

**Questions and Answers

Question:  Yeah.  Farhan, on Yemen, I mean, Secretary‑General has been making all kinds of pleas to the Saudi‑led coalition to stop it… to stop the airstrikes or [inaudible] reasons, but that they've not heeded any of his calls.  Has he had any conversation directly with the king of Saudi Arabia? 

Deputy Spokesman:  The Secretary‑General has had a number of crucial conversations including by telephone.  In the last few days, for example, the Secretary‑General did speak by phone with President Hadi of Yemen and he also spoke with the Saudi Foreign Minister.  So, he has been in direct contact, and of course, his Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, is available on the ground, and he has been speaking with authorities in Jeddah today.

Question:  It seems as though that the… they had a conversation, but they're not listening to Secretary‑General and that is what's happening.  Why doesn't he call upon his moral authority to tell them to stop it what they're doing, killing the civilians in Sana’a in particular?

Deputy Spokesman:  I think the Secretary‑General has been trying to do just that, to exercise his moral authority and get the fighting to stop.  Let's see what can be achieved on the ground.  Like I said, Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on the ground and he is continuing with his efforts.  The Secretary-general made a call, as you can see, for a ceasefire.  Let's see what happens.  Yes, Edie.

Question:  Thank you, Farhan.  On Mali, can you give us some more details on the attack on the peacekeepers?  There have been some reports that there was a jihadist flag flying on one of the vehicles that took part in the attack.

Deputy Spokesman:  We're trying to get some further details.  But, at this stage, the details that I was able to put a readout just now in the statement is what we have.  But, we'll try to provide some others as we get them.  Clearly, this was an ambush, there's been a considerable amount of violence particularly in the northern part of Mali that our peacekeepers have had to face, which we've been reporting on, and it's clearly unacceptable. Yes, you and then you.

Question:  Thanks a lot.  I just wanted to ask, I mean, on Burundi, not to… maybe it's going to be available, but I went, when you said it was available, this report by MENUB, but it wasn't there, and it's not on their website.  So, I… mostly, I want to ask, can we get information from Mr. Šimonović and the UN human rights observation, because there's some reports up to 20 people were killed yesterday, and I want to know, like, whatever briefing he gave inside the Council, why wouldn't… why won't it be either public or made available?  What's the UN... is that the UN's count, 6, or is the count 20?  And did MENUB or the UN human rights observers go to Cibitoke and other areas from which journalists have been banned from going?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, that's a few different questions. I mean, as for the consultations, they are consultations.  We don't set the format of Security Council things.  So, it's closed consultations and it's not a public meeting. Regarding the report of MENUB, yes, this morning, the United Nations Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi issued a “Preliminary Statement” on its observation of the electoral process thus far, up to the conduct of legislative and communal elections this past Monday 29 June.  The Secretary-General takes note of this “Preliminary Statement” and reaffirms his full confidence in MENUB, under the leadership of its Officer in Charge, Mr. Issaka Souna, recalling that the Mission was deployed as mandated by Security Council resolution 2137 (2014).  The Secretary-General takes note, in particular, of MENUB’s conclusion that the overall environment was not conducive for free credible and inclusive elections.  This echoes his concern, expressed at different stages of the process that maximum chance should be given to dialogue among the political actors and civil society, in order to create conditions for peaceful and credible elections.  The Secretary-General reiterates his urgent call to Burundian leaders from across the political spectrum to place peace and national reconciliation above partisan interests.  And regarding the violence that was observed, what I can say is that episodes of violence and explosions proceeded and in some cases accompanied election‑day activities mostly in Bujumbura.  The UN Mission, MENUB, observed media freedom restrictions, violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.  This includes infringements of the right of political opposition to campaign freely, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, and acts of violence committed by armed groups aligned with political parties.

Question:  Is the UN going to be at this EA meeting?

Deputy Spokesman:  Carol.

Question:  On Burundi, are we to understand, based on what you've just read, that the results of the elections that are to be announced should not be recognized?

Deputy Spokesman:  What we have informed the Security Council… as you know, they mandated this Mission to do electoral observation and to report back to the Security Council, to report back, the conclusions that MENUB has made, is the overall environment was not conducive for free, credible, and inclusive elections. And that is the evaluation that the Council has now received.  You also had a follow‑up?

Question:  Yes.  There was an East African Community meeting now set… it's unclear if it's 6 or 7 July.  I wanted to know, is Mr. Bathily or the UN, going to be represented at it?  And would it be fair to say the Secretary‑General does not think, given this report, that the Presidential election should go forward on the 15 July?

Deputy Spokesman:  We are continuing with our evaluation on the ground.  What is clear, as we just said, is that he is… once more calls on Burundian leaders to place peace and national reconciliation above partisan interests.  We'll have to see how the leaders across the spectrum heed that call.  As for the recent meetings, of course, we've tried to have representation.  I don't know whether it will be Mr. Bathily or someone else.  But, he has been the one who has been representing us in most of them.  Yes?

Question:  Thank you, Farhan.  Back to Yemen, United Nations have raised the level of emergency level for Yemen to Level 3 where 80 per cent of population are in dire need for aids.  What are the measures and actions associated with this Level 3, if you can elaborate a little bit on that?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, Level 3 is simply the very highest level that we have in our system of determining humanitarian crisis.  What this means for us is that this is now one of the worst cases in the world along with the other Level 3 countries, which are to say Iraq, Syria and South Sudan.  This should compel or we hope it will compel the nations of the world to do more to provide aid and push for funding of our activities and it should also do more so that hopefully we can push the various parties either for a humanitarian pause or for a greater humanitarian access.  And that's what's essential on the ground right now at a time when more than four fifths of the people in Yemen are in humanitarian need.  Yes, please.  Yes.

Question:  Thank you.  Thank you, Farhan.  I have few questions, so I hope you bear with me.  First, I'm commenting on the statement issued by the Secretary‑General on the shooting of Israelis by Palestinians.  And I want to ask why, when Palestinians are shot at and killed, they pass unnoticed by the Office of the Secretary‑General.  I can read to you from the report of OCHA about how many Palestinians were killed in June, in June, by settlers and by AF.  Why the Secretary‑General did not issue, just expressing concern, not necessarily using the word "condemn", which he never did when it comes to the Palestinians.

Deputy Spokesman:  Regarding that, I would dispute your idea that this passed as unnoticed.  As you know, every few weeks, the Security Council receives a briefing from the Secretary‑General or another senior official concerning events in the Middle East, and we have brought to their attention repeatedly violence against Palestinians and our concerns about that.  And we will continue to do so.

Question:  But, I'm asking about killing.  I mean, there are… can I read for you?  I mean, give you names?

Deputy Spokesman:  No, no, no.  Again, I would just refer you… look at the full briefings that the Security Council gets on a periodic basis and you'll see that we made clear our concerns about violence against either side.  Yes, please.

Question:  Thank you, Farhan.  I wanted to ask… something's wrong with this mic.  Sorry.  I wanted to ask about Da’esh.  Recently, the Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom, Michael Fallon, called for more involvement of [the United Kingdom] in the airstrikes because it's been led by [the United States] primarily now they get more involved especially in airstrikes against Syrian bases of Da’esh.  But, the experts say that, without ground operation, it's literally impossible to get rid of Da’esh.  You know, it's just not realistic.  This can go on forever.  What's United Nations' position on this?  What kind of plan of action, road map, do you have for this?  And also, could you please confirm that UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] is going to use satellites in order to monitor the cities in Yemen and Syria and Iraq for cultural heritage that is being destroyed at this moment by Da’esh?  Thank you.

Deputy Spokesman:  I don't have a confirmation on UNESCO's activities.  You might want to ask UNESCO themselves what kind of activities they're taking up.  All I have from them really is the information they have, their concerns about the destruction of cultural heritage in those areas, which they have been monitoring from a variety of sources.  Regarding the ways to defeat Da’esh, it's not really my place or the UN's place to talk about military tactics.  That is a discussion that happens outside of our venues.  But, from our standpoint, what's important is that the nations of the world do unite to meet that threat head on.  Yes.  Yeah, Carol, then Evelyn then Joe.

Question:  Can you update us on Libya?  It looks like the talks might not happen in Morocco today and… what's going on?

Deputy Spokesman:  We're waiting to get further word from the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).  As you know, they've been trying to get the talks going.  It's clear that some parties have made their objections known, but I believe that the UN Mission is continuing with its efforts and we'll have to see what the Special Representative Bernardino León has to say about that.  Yes, Evelyn.

Question:  Thank you, Farhan.  In Yemen, do you know how much of the food is stuck in the harbour and other humanitarian [inaudible] because no one can inspect the ships properly.  And also, did you get any news on accountability for hitting the UN compound refugee strikes?  Is it Saudi Arabia's plane or is it someone else in the coalition?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, as our statement said, this was the result of coalition airstrikes, and we are… and the statement itself made a call for accountability to be pursued, and we are following up.  There's no news to say on this from… from their side in terms of replies we've received.  Regarding food that's being held up, what we have been trying to urge through our Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs is that the process of checking the cargo can be… can proceed swiftly so that aid can go to the people who need it in a timely fashion.  Joe.

Question:  Yes.  Last week, the Secretary‑General issued a statement of strong support and praise for the [United States] Supreme Court's decision on recognizing the constitutionality of same‑sex marriages and protection of same‑sex marriages.  The Secretary‑General has also on numerous occasions talked about the importance of free exercise of religion.  So, I'm wondering whether he sees any tension in some cases between those religious institutions and affiliated organizations that, for their own reasons of conscious and religion… religious principles would have some concerns about at least within the scope of their own institutions recognizing same‑sex marriage as a religious principle versus the principle of non-discrimination that he has talked about as well?  Thank you.

Deputy Spokesman:  The Secretary‑General was not referring to activities or attitudes by religious groups.  Obviously, we're aware of the differences by many different religious groups concerning this.  But, this is not about that, but about equality under law.  In other words, about the laws of the state and so that is a separate issue where the Secretary‑General has made very clear his strong support for everyone's equality under law without discrimination.

Question:  Well, just to follow up on that, they do intersect, for example, there are some movement at least in the United States and maybe other countries to take away the tax exempt status of some religious organizations if they refuse to conduct same‑sex marriages or otherwise discriminate against gays in that context.  So, there is some potential intersection.  I'm wondering where the Secretary‑General would come down on that.

Deputy Spokesman:  Again, the basic of the Secretary‑General is the equality of all people under law without any discrimination.  Yes, Masood and then Majeed.

Question:  On Egypt, I just want to… on Egypt, [inaudible] is becoming [inaudible] killing of the Attorney General of Egypt and then there have been killings in Gaza and also in the Sinai all the attacks taking place.  Does the Secretary‑General have any update on the situation and on the death sentence of [inaudible] and so forth?

Deputy Spokesman:  We have pronounced ourselves on exactly those topics, and Masood, you'll notice we had a statement about the latest violence in Sinai just yesterday afternoon, just shortly after the briefing as well as an earlier one on the Attorney General.  I'd refer you to those.  Majeed.

Question:  Thank you.  I have two questions.  On Iran, Yukiya Amano has travelled to Iran to investigate nuclear programme.  Has the Secretary‑General been updated about this trip, has any information about what has been achieved so far?  And the second question is about Turkey.  There are now enforcements and thousands of troops assembled near the Syrian border and there are reports of plans, that Turkey's planning to actually send 18,000 troops into Syria.  What is the United Nations position on this?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, I don't want to pronounce myself on anything speculative about what Turkey may or may not do.  We'll have to see what happens in that case.  Regarding the visit by Yukiya Amano, the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Director‑General to Iran, yes, we're aware of the trip and certainly we hope that it will be a successful one.  And of course, the IAEA Director‑General does keep the Secretary‑General apprised of his work.

Question:  About that, just on principle, like about Turkey sending troops into Syria, what is the… on principle what does the United Nations thinks about it?

Deputy Spokesman:  We're not talking about sending them into Syria.  You're talking about sending them into other parts of Turkey right now.

Question:  No.

Deputy Spokesman:  They're not in Syria.

Question:  I know.  I'm saying like on principle, like, sending troops into a country like Syria.

Deputy Spokesman:  Again, I don't want to speculate on what may or may not happen down the line.  What's clear right now is that all the countries in the region are concerned about the threat that is posed by Da’esh and are seeking to deal with that.  But, beyond that, I, you know, wouldn't pronounce myself on something that is, again, speculative.  Matthew, then Abdel Hamid again.

Question:  Sure.  You were talking about accountability.  So, I wanted to go… to ask you something about Sri Lanka.  It's been announced that basically the report of the Human Rights Council was delayed and now the reporting by the government itself are doing its own… its own process has been delayed at least until September.  Now, in the elections that have been announced, Mahinda Rajapaksa announced that he's running for Prime Minister essentially to undo… he's on the record as saying the reforms that… that have been… or promises that have been made.  So, I wanted to know, does the Secretary‑General or DPA [Department of Political Affairs] have any view now… either in retrospect of having agreed to or supported the delay or of this run and its possible impact on accountability?

Deputy Spokesman:  We wouldn't have any comment about anyone's candidacy.  And regarding the report, I believe I read to you something just last week about that and our views are the same.  Yes, Oleg.  Sorry.  Abdel Hamid first.  I had called him.  Abdel Hamid, then Oleg.

Question:  Thank you, Farhan.  On Monday at 2 a.m., Israeli warships intercepted a peaceful flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, and they took them to Ashdod port.  First, I asked last week if the Secretary‑General received a letter calling on him to protect Flotilla Freedom III.  And I didn't get an answer.  Second, why didn't issue a statement regarding the interception?  Isn't that hundred miles away from the Israeli shores?  It was intercepted very far in international water.  And the third, there was a statement by ESCWA [Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia] Direct Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf.  Does the Secretariat stand behind that statement issued by Mrs. Khalaf?  And if not, why not?  Thank you.

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, of course, the Secretary‑General supports Ms. Khalaf in her work.  Regarding the situation of what was called the Freedom Flotilla, I was asked about that earlier this week, and I expressed our relief that at least the situation had been resolved without any recourse to violence.  And then beyond that, regarding whether a letter was received, I checked… at the time, it hadn't been.  I believe there was a letter received a little bit later. Yes, Oleg.  And then Masood.

Question:  On the West Bank, this correction you mentioned in the beginning of the Noon Briefing, was it… was the decision [inaudible] was made after some exchange with Israel or any other side?  It they ask you to do that?

Deputy Spokesman:  I'm not aware of the back story behind the stuff I get to read.  I just get stuff to read.  Yes.

Question:  Farhan, there's a report you may have read yesterday became pronounced about the atrocities of Indian troops in the occupied Kashmir by Amnesty International, and it's saying that most of the troops who have committed abuses of the prisoners and so forth have not been taken seriously by the Indian authorities or taken to court.  Do you have any comment on that?

Deputy Spokesman:  No, I don't. Nizar.

Question:  Millions of Yemenis lives are at risk.  Is the Secretary‑General considering making a statement, a very harsh statement, for those who continue to attack Yemenis and prevent food from delivery?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, I hope you will have noticed our statement that was issued last night, which I'd read part of just now.

Correspondent:  I mean in other circumstances here, I mean, just mild statements may not be enough.

Deputy Spokesman:  I would not characterize that at all as a mild statement.

Question:  Yes.  There's a lot of aid groups and medical groups are… have raised a concern about an Australian law that went into effect yesterday called the Australian border force bill, which makes it a crime to describe the condition of people in detention including asylum seekers.  So, I wanted to know, since it's not a proposed law, it's an actual law, does the Secretariat or Mr. O'Brien for OCHA, do they have any view on a law that would penalize humanitarian medical workers from speaking publicly about the condition of the people that they're treating or serving?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, our general principle, of course, is that all humanitarian workers need to go about their work without obstruction, but I'll have to see whether we have anything specific on that. Yes?

Question:  Farhan, thank you.  I asked this question before you.  Turkey expressed concern for the Uighur in China.  They are not allowed to fasting in the holy months of Ramadan.  And you said there was no information…

Deputy Spokesman:  Yes, and since then, the information I've had is that that report is not accurate.  That's what I have.  Have a good weekend, everyone.  Bye.

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