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Daily Press Briefing
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 11, 2008

INDEX:

KENYA

Assistant Secretary Jendayi Frazer Departed Kenya / Encourage Political Solution
Eminent Persons Group Will Take Lead in Direct Discussions

KOSOVO

U.S. Position Is Clear And Consistent; Time to Resolve Kosovo’s Final Status

PAKISTAN

Comments by President Musharraf / Working Together to Combat Terrorism

SUDAN

FBI Investigators Continuing their Work

MISCELLANEOUS

HIV/AIDS


TRANSCRIPT:

View Video

12:38 p.m. EST

MR. CASEY: Okay. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank God, it's Friday. Glad to be here with you. I know you're glad to be here, too. I don't have anything to start you out with.

So, Matt.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

MR. CASEY: As always, Mr. Lambros. As always.

Matt.

QUESTION: I don't have a Kosovo question, but I would like --

MR. CASEY: Oh, no. Mr. Lambros will make up for that later, so we're okay. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Has Jendayi left Kenya yet?

MR. CASEY: Yeah, my understanding is she has departed-- is on her way back here. I'm sure she'll have an opportunity to brief folks once she's back. Again, we think it's important that she spend time there as well as President Kufuor to be able to try and help talk to the parties, help bring them together. We are still encouraging them to move forward to develop a political solution to the situation there. The Eminent Persons Group, headed by Kofi Annan, the AU, is now going to be taking the lead in the direct discussions there. But certainly Jendayi's going to continue her conversations with political figures in Kenya over the coming days and I'm certainly not ruling out that she may wind up back there at some point in the future as well.

QUESTION: Is that envisioned?

MR. CASEY: Nothing envisioned right now. Let's let her get home first.

QUESTION: And how concerned are you about the prospect of new street demonstrations, new mass demonstrations that have been called for by the opposition?

MR. CASEY: Well, again --

QUESTION: Would you --

MR. CASEY: I think it's important that all the political leaders in the country act responsibly and that while we certainly respect and understand people's need to speak their minds and freely express their opinions, including through public demonstrations, we certainly want to make sure that nothing is done to encourage violence or encourage any kind of non-peaceful actions.

QUESTION: I heard that maybe Jendayi would stay until she had more talks with Kibaki and that she would leave Friday evening, their time.

MR. CASEY: You know, I don't have a readout on what -- who she actually was able to talk to before she left. I know she had seen Mr. Odinga yesterday and was hoping to see President Kibaki. I actually -- I'll try and find out of for you whether she did in fact get a chance to see him before she departed.

Okay, Mr. Lambros. We're back to you.

QUESTION: On Kosovo, Mr. Casey, according to New York Times and to International Herald Tribune, the U.S. Government is going to recognize the illegal entity of Kosovo immediately after the elections in Serbia and I'm wondering why under which legal basis?

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, first of all, the United States position with respect to Kosovo remains clear and consistent. You've heard it from us before. We believe that in keeping with UN resolution 1244, it's time to resolve Kosovo's final status. That for us and for the broad cross-section of the international community means proceeding with implementation of the Ahtisaari plan and that's what we'll be working for in the coming days and weeks.

QUESTION: A follow-up. The Greeks of northern Epyrus in Albania who elected their own prime minister like the Kosovar-Albanians in Serbia. I'm wondering, Mr. Casey, did Under Secretary Nichols Burns with the same token will congratulate such a Greek prime minister as he did yesterday for Hashim Thaci?

MR. CASEY: Oh, Mr. Lambros, what an unfair question. Mr. Lambros, as you know and as everyone well knows, Kosovo is a very unique situation and its status has been governed under Resolution 1244. Its final status and these final status negotiations and settlements are not a precedent for any other region. And as you know, that's long been a consistent part of U.S. policy.

QUESTION: One more.

MR. CASEY: Let's go around and let's let Nina have a shot in here first.

QUESTION: Musharraf, please. These comments in this interview he made, rather strong worded comments that he would regard any U.S. troops crossing over into the Pakistani border as invaders. What do you make of that?

MR. CASEY: Well, I've only seen press reports of that. I'm not sure what he actually said or didn't say. But the thing that's clear to us is we have a cooperative relationship with Pakistan. Pakistan is an important partner for us in combating terrorism and combating extremism. And certainly anything that the United States has done and anything the United States will do will be in full cooperation with the Pakistani Government.

Yeah.

QUESTION: Has the Japanese Government decided to restart (inaudible) Indian Ocean. Can we get a response, please to that?

MR. CASEY: Well, first of all, we've been appreciative over the years of the support that Japan has given to the United States as well as to other coalition partners. We were disappointed that that cooperation had to cease temporarily. We welcome the decision by the Japanese Government to renew this very important support and we appreciate the efforts that were made to see that this legislation move forward. We look forward to continuing our work with the Government of Japan and Japanese forces as we continue these operations.

Yeah, Michel.

QUESTION: Anything new regarding the -- what's going on in Sudan about the team -- investigation team who was in Sudan?

MR. CASEY: You mean in terms of the incident involving the attack on the convoy?

QUESTION: Yeah.

MR. CASEY: Well, you saw our statement on that the other day. We condemned this attack, this unwarranted attack, by Sudanese forces --

QUESTION: No, no, regarding the diplomat.

MR. CASEY: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you meant about the attack on the UN convoy.

QUESTION: No, no,-- the diplomat.

MR. CASEY: No, I don't have anything new for you on that. The investigators from the FBI are there. They're continuing their work. My understanding is they're getting good cooperation from the Sudanese Government on this, but I don't have any results to report to you in terms of what conclusions they might have been able to come to at this point.

All right, let's go in the back here.

QUESTION: Last week when the Libyan Foreign Minister was here he announced that he would be meeting Under Secretary Burns in Morocco some time this week. Do you have anything on a visit by --

MR. CASEY: I don't. I'm not aware of any travel plans by Under Secretary Burns, but if we have anything for you we'll let you know.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. CASEY: You have one more?

QUESTION: Yes.

MR. CASEY: All right, we'll go one more first before Mr. -- don't tire your arm out, Mr. Lambros. I will get to you, I promise.

QUESTION: I'm thought maybe you cannot see my hand.

MR. CASEY: (Laughter.) I think I can. It's okay.

Sorry, go ahead. It must be Friday.

QUESTION: Yeah. Western Sahara negotiations up in New York yesterday. Do you have anything?

MR. CASEY: Unfortunately, I don't. But we'll try and get something for you a little later on that.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CASEY: Okay, Mr. Lambros, go ahead.

QUESTION: Mr. Casey, one question, (inaudible) HIV/AIDS. It was reported in Europe that the Supreme Court of Germany after six years of scientific, medical and legal fight rule out "that HIV does not exist. HIV does not cause AIDS. HIV is not initiated by the (inaudible) in 1983 and by Dr. Robert Gallo in 1984. And the AIDS medication are deadly." Question: May we have a special briefing by your global coordinator on HIV/AIDS Ambassador Mark Dybul on these developments, since November 1st last year told us on the record, on camera, in this room that he saw the virus with his own eyes.

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, first of all, you did get a briefing from Ambassador Dybul. I believe you were the only person in the room for it. So if you'd like to check with him again to verify that the universally accepted facts about HIV/AIDS are, in fact, correct, you're free to call his office and check with him. But I'm not familiar with the decision you're referring to. It is basic scientific fact that the HIV virus causes AIDS, and I'd refer you to any number of scientists that do not have -- have either been fully bought and paid for by strange entities out there or by individuals who are -- also believe in the existence of UFOs and the Man from Atlantis.

QUESTION: On that note --

MR. CASEY: Yes, do you remember the Man from Atlantis? It was an old TV show. It's a great thing.

QUESTION: On that note, maybe I should put us all out of our misery and --

MR. CASEY: Please do, Charlie. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: I think it's too late. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Oh, the Man from Atlantis.

(The briefing was concluded at 12:47 p.m.)

DPB #8



Released on January 11, 2008

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