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Situation in the Middle East, Secretary Rice's Visit, and Other Matters

Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Remarks at a Security Council Stakeout
New York City
July 21, 2006

USUN PRESS RELEASE #180

Ambassador Bolton: Okay I just have a minute before the Council session begins but Secretary Rice received a briefing this morning from the Secretary General's team, lead by Ambassador Nambiar, and she has returned to Washington. She will be making an announcement about her plans shortly so I would defer on commenting on that but we will be having the debate here in the Council this morning on the briefing by the team and other UN officials.

Reporter: I assume that means that you're not going to comment on these reports that she's apparently is going to go to the Middle East to lay out plans for a diplomatic solution and that she is leaving Sunday?

Ambassador Bolton: That would be a safe assumption.

Reporter: Okay, can we then ask you what actually is the Security Council going to be doing? Are there any papers floating? Is there a press statement? A presidential statement? A resolution? Is there work going on, or any or all the above?

Ambassador Bolton: This being the Security Council, there are a lot of papers floating around but I think the next stages here will have the discussion this morning and than see what is appropriate. But I think Secretary Rice's announcement, when she is prepared to make it, will have a bearing on that as well.

Reporter: Can you tell us about the meetings that took place between 10:00 and 11:00 when the Security Council was delayed for an hour?

Ambassador Bolton: I don't know, I was in my mission between 10:00 and 11:00 so maybe you know more about the meetings than I do.

Reporter: No meetings involving the Secretary or - ?

Ambassador Bolton: As far as I know she left for Washington if the storm permitted.

Reporter: As a result of the meetings, and after her overnight, does the U.S. have a more substantive or detailed response to the Secretary General package of proposals that he revealed yesterday?

Ambassador Bolton: I had substantive response yesterday; I'll have a more detailed and substantive response this morning.

Reporter: Can you characterize the meetings between the Secretary of State and the Secretary General? And also the flavor of this morning's meeting, which you sat in on?

Ambassador Bolton: The subject was obviously the situation in the Middle East, and particularly last night they discussed general ideas and I think the Secretary explained what her tentative plans were. This morning's meeting was really more of a briefing by Ambassador Nambiar, DeSoto, and Larsen on their trip. Part of the Secretary's intense preparation for her announced plans later today, to be able to get her fully up to speed with all of their impressions from their recent visit.

Reporter: (Inaudible) that the UN team will be heading to Syria perhaps at the same time that the Secretary of State heads to Egypt and Jerusalem, etc.?

Ambassador Bolton: It is very unclear in terms of the Secretary General's team when, and under what circumstances, it will be going to Syria. And as I think I described in some detail yesterday, that I think is a problem, if Syria won't receive the Secretary General's team how we put all of that together. Let me just take one or two more here.

Reporter: Do you have any comment on the statement by the President of Lebanon, Emile Lahoud, that their army will fight side-by-side Hezbollah if South Lebanon is invaded?

Ambassador Bolton: I think that the statements that we look to as defining the position of the government of Lebanon come from Prime Minister Siniora and Secretary Rice has been in touch with him, and that's where we look to for definitive statements there.

Reporter: Since every human rights organization is worrying about the innocent people in Lebanon, does the United States have any plan to ask of just asking of not killing the innocent people, the amounts, according to one reporter are one to ten.

Ambassador Bolton: We are working closely with both the government of Israel and Lebanon on the question of humanitarian assistance. And I think both, I here in my statement in the Council shortly and Secretary Rice will have some things to say on that. All right thank you.


Released on July 21, 2006

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