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Remarks Following Meeting Concerning Iran

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
New York City
December 16, 2008

Remarks by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice After Meeting with the Permanent Members of the UNSC, Germany, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan

SECRETARY RICE: (In progress) with representatives of the P5+1. Those representatives included David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, and Javier Solana, the P5+1 negotiator. We met -- there were also representatives there from France, Germany, Russia. We met – and from China. We met with colleagues from – let me get you the list: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. All there expressed their concern about Iran’s nuclear policies and its regional ambitions. All participants expressed support for the ongoing work of the UN Security Council, the P5+1, and the IAEA regarding the Iranian nuclear file. Noting the utility of the consultations, the states present agreed that they will want to continue their meetings on a regular basis.

Thank you very much.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: (Inaudible) the very strong view of the states there.

SECRETARY RICE: There is, as you know, in the IAEA Board of Governors resolutions an aspiration that one day the Middle East will be nuclear-free.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) that people of the region many decisions, is there a wide sort of agreement between (inaudible) Arabs of more (inaudible) needed, more intensified (inaudible)?

SECRETARY RICE: I think there is concern that there will need to be a way to finally incentivize Iran to make a different choice concerning its nuclear ambitions. But this was not an effort to develop a common strategy. It was really the first large meeting. We had an informal consultation in Sharm el-Sheikh. But I think what really did come through here is that these are countries that have very deep interests in how this issue gets resolved, and they want to continue consultations with the P5+1 on how this is all going to come out.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) Would you agree that the (inaudible) has lowered the pressure on (inaudible)?

SECRETARY RICE: I’m not aware. This meeting was open to whomever wanted to be there. And I gave you a very long list of countries that were there. Thank you very much. Thank you.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY RICE: No, Iran -- no, Iran was not invited. Thank you very much.

2008/1060


Released on December 16, 2008

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