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USUN Press Release

New York, New York
July 30, 2007


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

Ambassador Khalilzad: Good afternoon. We’ve had a good meeting with regards to the resolution on Darfur. We are very close and our expectation is to finalize the resolution in the next 24 hours—that’s our expectation. Thereafter the co-sponsors would put the resolution in blue. But as I said, we are very close but there are still some discussions that need to take place and capitals need to be consulted, but my report to you is that we have received guidance from the president and we’re moving rapidly to come to an agreement on the draft resolution. Certainly my meeting with the co-sponsors was a productive meeting. Thank you very much.

Reporter: Ambassador, yesterday you had some pretty strong comments about Saudi Arabia. Perhaps you can, kind of explain to us exactly why you were so undiplomatic in a way there.

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well I said, and different people have interpreted in their own way, was that Saudi Arabia is a great ally of the United States, as are a number of other countries in that region. The issue of Iraq is very important obviously, this is an issue that affects the future of that region. And that we need cooperation and help from all our friends in the area to deal effectively with the situation in Iraq.

Reporter: What are the Saudis not doing that you expect them to do?

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well, I’ve had very excellent discussions when I was the Ambassador to Iraq with the Saudi leaders, with his majesty the King of Saudi Arabia, about Saudi presence, diplomatic presence, in Iraq. About Saudi Arabia becoming more active in encouraging reconciliation, assisting us more with reconciliation in Iraq; Saudi engagement with various political forces, increased engagement. Doing more to provide economic and debt relief—there have been some promises made to go forward with regard to those. This is on the basis that we are allies, are friends. Of course the security of Saudi Arabia is extremely important for the United States, we know that there is an attempt by Iran to seek regional hegemony and we are cooperating in terms of arms needs that they have and in terms of other regional issues. On Iraq we would benefit, the Iraqis will benefit, the region will benefit from a more enhanced Saudi cooperation towards stabilizing the situation. As you know I have argued here repeatedly that the regional dimension of the problem of instability in Iraq is very important and one of the ideas that we have put forward is the UN to also assist in bringing the key regional players, particularly Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey to play positive roles. We have spoken clearly about the destabilizing policies of Iran with regard to the region and in Iraq and the importance of cooperation from our allies in the region to help positively with the situation in Iraq. That is what I was talking about.

Thank you.

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Released on July 31, 2007

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