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USUN Press Release

New York, New York
July 23, 2007


Remarks by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Permanent Representative, on Sudan and the Lebanon tribunal at the Security Council Stakeout

Ambassador Khalilzad: Good Afternoon. I’m Sorry. This morning we have had a number of activities; one, a congressional delegation is visiting. The UN leader Hoyer, is leading the delegation. Two, we had a meeting of the P-3, that is US, UK and France, with the African members of the Security Council to finalize the resolution with regard to Sudan, the hybrid force. And we made good progress. We’re hoping to bring that-to get an agreement as soon as possible. Third, we’ve had an issue related to the Darfur issue, which is a timeline for switching from the AMIS force, the African force that is there, to hybrid. We’ve had a group of military planners come to advise us, to advise the US delegation as to exactly how long it takes to achieve or accomplish certain tasks in order to move to hybrid. And we will be meeting later today or tomorrow with the DPKO to come to agreement with them on a timeline that is reasonable but-that an effective hybrid force can be put together as soon as possible and to come to an agreement with DPKO, to take note of that agreement or to put that timeline in the resolution and that’s one of the issues we have been working on. I’ll be glad to take some questions.

Reporter: Ambassador, two things then, one: the text that you are now close to finalizing one of the key things about the-objections raised, there was too much in it, it needed to be streamlined, there were a bunch of things that they wanted to take out. What are the key changes, the key deletions from the original text and do they include the threat of further measures? And also if the military told you about a timeline, what did they tell you? What is the timeline that they have laid out?

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well, the core elements that we have wanted in the resolution have been one that has to be a single command and control, unity of command and control for the hybrid force. Two, to shift to hybrid as soon as possible with an effective force. Three, that this resolution is mandated under Chapter Seven which means threat of actions for non-compliance which responds to your issue and at the same time that it does deal with the political dimension of the issue, as well as with the humanitarian dimension of the issue. Remember we have been saying from the beginning that the Darfur crisis has three big elements. There is a security element, there is a political element, and there is a humanitarian element. And we need to be able to take note of and deal with each of those elements in this resolution and I believe we will get that.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, what compromises did you make to please or to mollify the backers of Sudan on the Security Council. And secondly, Sudan over the weekend said they didn’t like the Chapter Seven with the wide use of force which is essential to it, that I assume has not been changed.

Ambassador Khalilzad: As I said, the core elements are what I described and ever since we started the discussion, talking to me P-5 colleagues, talking to the Africans, talking to other members of the Security Council, that is what I have been emphasizing. Single command and control, unity of command and control, UN system of command and control but singly unity of command and control. As soon as possible going to hybrid, technically driven, and very important that there be Chapter Seven. Well I mean you will see some of the changes in the periphery that some people thought were unnecessary, to shorten them or other ways of articulating them. We always, I have indicated, and we are flexible on those. And even the Sudanese Ambassador did submit some comments and suggestions to my delegation as to others. While open minded in terms of non-core issues we were very firm on the core aspects and I’m glad to report everyone is coming around to that.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, why Chapter Seven and why the threat of sanctions if the Sudanese have accepted, have an agreement with the AU? Some people say you’re making the job more difficult now.

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well, you know, I have been now here long enough to say that I have discussed this issue with you before which is that for some members of the Security Council it’s a philosophical point that in order for something to be mandatory there has to be reference to Chapter Seven. And there are some of my colleagues in the Security Council who have a different view, and this doesn’t apply only to Sudan, we’ve had this discussion with regard to other issues. We’ve had this debate in this case because there are some Council members who believe that any Security Council Resolution with or without reference to Chapter Seven is mandatory but that’s not a view that is shared so therefore in order to be clear and not any confusion about that, given that difference, we have insisted on reference under Chapter Seven.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, on Lebanon, on Thursday you have raised our hopes by saying that progress, and I’m quoting you, has been done and you leave it to the Secretariat to announce it soon, but what we understand now only today a letter was sent to the Dutch government requesting that Holland to consider that the seat of the tribunal to be based in the Hague, (inaudible) in Arabic-

Ambassador Khalilzad: Right, that’s progress.

Reporter: -Now, many would disagree with you that this is progress, to send a letter to request that Holland will consider, still to consider, not to agree but to consider.

Ambassador Khalilzad: I will leave the Secretary-general the management of what has to happen first second and third but I think I stand with my statement of the other day that it is progress and you know I leave it to the Secretary-general and the Secretariat to make any announcement when there is an agreement.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, you have been stressing the unity of command and control of this hybrid force. Why doesn’t the United States consider as a token force, to be there, so they can take over command and control? I mean this weekend, President Bush precluded sending the American troops over there. Do you think there is a possibility, that a token force, of 100 people, but assume command and control?

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well, the agreement is for there to be a joint African Union-UN force under the command and control of the UN, using UN command and control system. There has never been a discussion of US command and control of this force. So, what you are raising is outside the parameters of what there has been any discussion of.

Reporter: Ambassador, just a follow-up on that, can you give us-already the Americans are providing, you hire contractors to do encampments and that type of thing, are you discussing any further contribution? If so, can you sketch out what sort of things you’re thinking about providing to the hybrid?

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well, the colleagues who were here are looking at what we could do that would be prudent if needed to accelerate the timeline since we are interested in an effective force as soon as possible but no decision has been made, this is a-the planners talking about what if, doing, for those of you who are military experts, a partial equilibrium analysis, taking some things constant, moving some things, to see if the timeline could be reduced.

Reporter: I mean lift transport…

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well, you have conveyed some obvious issues. For example, what if the lift was different, done differently? So, I’m not indicating to you that the US has decided to do this instead of someone else doing it but as I said planners are here looking at the timeline issues whether things could happen at a faster pace because it is in our interests to have an effective force as soon as possible. Thank you.

Reporter: UNDP

Ambassador Khalilzad: Yes sir.

Reporter: You wrote so eloquently in the New York Times…

Ambassador Khalilzad: Thank you very much.

Reporter:How quickly do you want the United States…

Ambassador Khalilzad: The first time the media said something publicly so positive. This is a set up, I know something…a compliment to the New York Times I think you are giving.

Reporter: How quickly do you want the United Nations to get involved in planning and strategy?

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well, as I had mentioned three things are important there. First is of course the choice of the new envoy, very important to get a person with the stature and expertise that can do this job, which is going to be a tough and a difficult job. Second is mandate, you’ve got to give the person the right mandate, that specifies the tasks that he’s allowed to pursue. And third is support. Support that is political support, logistical support, so that he is able to do the job. That means from the SC, from states interested in Iraq. You saw in the piece what I have emphasized is that these two issues with regard to the mandate, one is the internal reconciliation and internal compact. And two a regional understanding, and regional cooperation among interested parties, bringing together regional players and interested outside powers who can influence the situation and contribute.

Reporter: Ambassador, don’t you think you asked for too much for the UN to do considering you asked them to solve some problems even which the Americans could not solve like Kirkuk, like the regional, like the oil? I mean basically cleaning up what the Americans didn’t manage to do in four or five years.

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well, the question is not that I want them to take the place of the US, the US has its role, the US support will be essential. What I’m saying is based on what the Secretary-general said is that Iraq is a problem for the world. It affects the future of the world. You are bringing more to the world, to add to the US, and there are certain tasks that the UN is better in doing so it is to add to rather than replace the United States. Thank you very much.

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Released on July 24, 2007

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