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Remarks With OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu Before Their Meeting

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
New York City
September 27, 2008

QUESTION: Can you tell us anything about your meeting with the Syrian Foreign Minister yesterday? And your reaction to the bombing also in Syria?

SECRETARY RICE: Yes. I have – I just learned this morning of the bombing in Syria and I don’t think we know – because it’s – obviously, any activity by extremists is concerning. But I don’t know the details.

I did, on the margins of the Iftaar last night, have an opportunity to speak with my – with the Syrian colleague for about, I think, 10 minutes or so just to talk a little bit about the regional situation and some of the emerging efforts there. He was at the Iftaar with the Arab League ministers and we took the opportunity to speak with one another. Thank you.

QUESTION: Did you offer to step in and help with the Syria track?

SECRETARY RICE: The United States has always said, Sue, that at the time when it would be helpful, the United States would, of course, be willing to play a role. We’ve long been supportive of progress on the Israeli-Syrian track as well as the other tracks. That was a statement that we made at Annapolis. We recognize that comprehensive peace has to have movement along all tracks. But of course, our focus is on the Palestinian-Israeli track, because we believe that that is the one that’s most mature.

QUESTION: So it’s not the time now --

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. Thank you.


Released on September 27, 2008

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