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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of African Affairs > Releases > Remarks > 2006: African Affairs Remarks

Remarks by Ambassador Bolton on Libya, Sudan, and Lebanon at the Security Council Stakeout, May 15, 2006

Washington, DC
May 15, 2006

Ambassador Bolton :  Let me just say first I mentioned to members of the Security Council that the United States is announcing in Washington today that we are removing Libya from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and resuming full diplomatic relations.  That, obviously, is one of the outcomes, I think, of the sanctions that were imposed on Libya in the early 1990's for the terrorist bombings that they carried out on Pan Am 103 and the UTA flight.  But that Libya 's renunciation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism has now led to this result.  So it was a piece of good news in the Security Council resulting in part from earlier Security Council actions and I think it shows what is possible for countries that do give up the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and do give up complicity in international terrorism, certainly from the perspective of the United States .  In addition to that, we agreed that we would put the text of our draft resolution on Darfur in blue this afternoon.  We will have one additional reference in it to the decision of the African Union's Peace and Security Council whose meeting in Addis Ababa has now concluded.  We expect that that would be discussed very briefly at an experts meeting this afternoon confined to that subject alone.  We would then put the text in blue and we expect to have the vote tomorrow morning.  Second, we also discussed the Lebanon resolution and following discussions Friday we made some modest changes in that draft.  We expect that will be put in blue tomorrow and we would expect adoption of the Lebanon text on Wednesday.  The co-sponsors will be circulating the revised Lebanon text this afternoon but it is essentially the same with a modest couple of revisions.  So on those two resolutions, Darfur, we will look forward to adopting that tomorrow and Lebanon on Wednesday.

Reporter:  Mr. Ambassador, on the issue of Somalia , the panel of experts made it pretty clear that it wants sanctions in Somalia and a much tighter arms embargo.  It doesn't look there is much desire for those steps in the Council, what's your view on that?

Ambassador Bolton:  We're considering, now, a press statement that might be ready later today, it might be ready tomorrow.  Obviously it's a difficult situation and I think one important point we all agreed on was making sure there's no disruption in the flow of humanitarian assistance.  And really the briefing today was an update of the discussion from last Thursday that everybody is obviously paying close attention to.

Reporter:  On the Lebanese draft, can you share some of the changes just so that we understand it better since the first one was available?  And secondly, I am told there is a Russian draft press statement, have you seen any such thing?   Are you willing to discuss the idea of a presidential statement, not a press statement?  Instead of a draft resolution, will you pull the draft if there is any more (inaudible)?

Ambassador Bolton:  Well the subject of a possible presidential statement on Lebanon was not raised today and it would be our intention, and I think the intention of France and Great Britain , to continue with the draft resolution.  There were a number of editorial changes in it.  I think the one that overcomes most of the concerns that were expressed about the boundary delineation and the exchange of diplomatic representation is to change the initial words from “calls upon” to “strongly encourages.”  Which is the sense of exactly what we wanted to do.  It was not a mandatory resolution at the beginning and I think this addresses the concerns of some countries that were worried about the presidential effect.  The thrust, the meaning from our perspective, is exactly the same. 

Reporter:  And what would you say to people who would say this would weaken the resolution tremendously to the extent that it is (inaudible)

Ambassador Bolton:  Our understanding is that Prime Minister Siniora is entirely supportive of this change. 

Reporter:  Raghida has asked my Lebanese question but on Sudan Minni Minnawi, according to many reports has withdrawn his support for the Abuja agreement.  He sent a letter to the Secretary General, his Spokesman, speaking to us, and he has confirming that has he seen such a letter and if he has withdrawn his support he is the only one out of the three rebel groups.  How does that affect your resolution?

Ambassador Bolton:  I have not seen that report.  In fact, Ambassador Ikouebe announced in the meeting that he had just been informed that a second of the rebel factions, and he didn't know which one, but he had been informed that another of the rebel movements had actually now agreed to sign the Abuja agreement.  So that was encouraging news although details are sketchy and I think we will be proceeding, obviously, to take into account the decision of the AU PSC and to modify the resolution in that respect but otherwise to be prepared to put it in blue this afternoon.  Okay, I'll see you all later.


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