State Dept. Daily Press Briefing October 4, 2005

Published: Wed 5 Oct 2005 11:12 AM
State Dept. Daily Press Briefing October 4, 2005
Daily Press Briefing
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 4, 2005
U.S. Condemns Violence in Darfur
Responsibility of Sudanese Government to Protects Its People
Final NATO Relief Flight in Support of Hurricane Katrina
Secretary Rice to Travel to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan,Kazakhstan,
and Tajikistan / U. S. Relationships with These Countries
Secretary Rice's Meeting with EU Ambassadors
Travel by Assistant Secretary Dan Fried to the Region / U.S.
Message to the Uzbek Government
International Investigation into the Events at Andijan
U.S. Aid Withheld
Counterterrorism Cooperation
Continued Assistance from the International Community / U.S.
Security Cooperation
EU Accession Talks / U. S. Support / European Union Process
Support for the Annan Plan
Discussions between the Electoral Commission and theTransitional
National Assembly / Transitional Administrative Law
Iraqis Encouraged to Participate in Political Process /
Opportunities to Vote
Swiss Government's Decision to Extradite Yevgeniy Adamov to the United States
U. S. View of Bushehr Nuclear Reactor / Fuel Take Back Provision
Russia Shares Concerns About Iran's Nuclear Program
Noncompliance with International Obligations
U.S. Support for Croatia's Integration in the Euro-Atlantic Community
Cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the
Former Yugoslavia / Outstanding Obligations
12:23 p.m. EST
MR. MCCORMACK: Good afternoon, everyone. I have three brief statements that I'd like to begin the briefing with. We'll put these out in paper form this afternoon.
The first is the United States condemns violence in Darfur. The United States welcomes the African Union's prompt investigation and forceful and candid condemnation of violence in Darfur. We have informed the African Union leadership of our unequivocal support for their efforts and to encourage the participants at the Peace and Security Council meeting on Wednesday to send a clear message to all parties to stop the violence.
The United States strongly condemns the upsurge of violence in Darfur by all parties. We expect the Sudanese Government to immediately halt attacks and to stop the Jingaweit from perpetrating violence.
I have two more statements. What's that?
QUESTION: Can we ask about that?
MR. MCCORMACK: We'll come back to it.
MR. MCCORMACK: October 2nd -- we want to note the date -- marked the 12th and final NATO relief flight in support of Hurricane Katrina response and recovery efforts. Just so you know, the NATO flights included donated items, including cots from the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia; blankets from Norway and Denmark; first aid kits from Slovenia, Finland; towels from Greece; tents from Romania. These items were dispersed via 140 truckloads various emergency response distribution points in Louisiana and Mississippi and Texas. And we, again, are thankful for the outpouring of support from our friends in Europe.
And finally, the Secretary will travel to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan between October 10th and 13th. She will have discussions on a range of issues related to economic development, security matters and democracy building, and we will have a paper statement out on that after the briefing, as well as in the days to come more information on her trip.
Saul, you had a question about Darfur.
QUESTION: Yeah, one on Darfur, if you are welcoming the AU's forceful candid comments about the violence, they also included a condemnation or an accusation that the Sudanese Government was actually involved in supporting attacks on the IDP camp, which was the first attack that we know of. Does the United States share that assessment that the Sudanese Government is directly responsible for supporting the attack on the IDP camp?
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, the -- we believe the Jingaweit was responsible for these attacks. And I would also note that there were attacks also by the Sudan Liberation Movement Army on the village of Sheiria as well. We call on all parties to abstain from violence. It is the responsibility of the Sudanese Government to protect its people and we call upon them to do just that. And part of that responsibility is seeing that these groups, including the Jingaweit, are not -- do not commit acts of violence against the Sudanese people.
QUESTION: Okay, Sean, I think I understand. The Jingaweit are directly responsible for the attack. But responsibility that lies with the government is to rein in the violence --
MR. MCCORMACK: Protect --
QUESTION: -- wherever it is.
QUESTION: So you don't think they were directly supporting the Jingaweit in that attack?
QUESTION: Sean, can we get the other statements? The travel?
MR. MCCORMACK: Travel. Yes.
QUESTION: Are they the only stops?
MR. MCCORMACK: There may be some other stops that we add but those are -- that's what we're announcing today.
QUESTION: Will the dates -- could they change or is that fixed (inaudible)?
MR. MCCORMACK: There may be some stops on the back end.
QUESTION: Oh, back end. Okay. Can you -- you say, you know, you're going to discuss economy, security, democracy building. They are controversial issues in those countries. Is this in any way an attempt by the United States to sort of gain influence with these countries, balancing the influence that there is from Russia, from China?
MR. MCCORMACK: No. I think that the United States has interests in its bilateral relations with each of these countries. I think if you look at each of them, they're at various and different stages in terms of their political and economic development. So I think that we will have different, obviously, different conversations in each of these -- at each of these stops. But the general message is one of support for the ongoing political change and economic reform that is ongoing in this important region and to underline our support for those who will undertake the necessary political and economic reforms, to have respect for human rights, promote freedom of speech, to promote good governance. These are things that we want to promote in this region and that those countries that not only speak out in support of these principles but also act on those principles will have a different kind of relationship with the United States.
The Secretary, in going to this region at this point in time, is -- her aim is to encourage progress along these various fronts. As I said, each of these states is at a different point, if you look at those various -- those different indicators. But nonetheless, the principle is the same: to encourage progress along those various fronts -- political, economic, security, respect for human rights.
QUESTION: When you say that each country will have a different relationship with the U.S., do you think about economic aid or --
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, I think I'm stating a broad principle. Those countries that adhere to the principles, the universal values that we adhere to -- promotion of good governance, promotion of free, fair, democratic elections, promotion of freedom of speech, promotion of respect for human rights -- those countries that promote those principles and those ideals, and act on them as well, will have a different kind of relationship with the United States. And so we are encouraging these countries along the pathway that they find themselves. As I said, each of those countries is at a different point along that pathway but the principle is still the same.
QUESTION: But are you sure they want a different relationship with the U.S.? Because they are closest to neighbors China and Russia.
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, I think, again, these are countries that are opening up to the world and we are -- they, of course, will determine their individual bilateral relationships. You know, our point is -- our goal here is not to dictate to these countries what kind of relationship they should have with Russia or China. We would encourage strong, transparent relationships between these countries and their neighbors in the region. I think that only stands to reason. But again, I think that these are countries that are opening up to the rest of the world. We have seen a substantial change in this region over the past decades and the Secretary's trip to the region underlines our support for those ongoing changes.
QUESTION: In which of the countries in Central Asia does the U.S. have military access, as in flights?
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, there are different -- there are different types of, I guess, access you could talk about -- overflight clearance, you can talk about basing in terms of use of bases. I believe -- and again, check with DOD for a complete list on this, George, but I know that we have had some military-to-military relationship with Kyrgyzstan with respect to the Manas Air Base and also in Uzbekistan at the K-2 base.
QUESTION: (Inaudible.)
MR. MCCORMACK: That's correct. That's correct.
QUESTION: Nothing in Tajikistan?
MR. MCCORMACK: Again, check with DOD, George. I don't have the complete listing.
QUESTION: Why doesn't she -- I mean, Uzbekistan is a country which clearly hasn't done what the international community wants in having this investigation into the killings in Andijan. Isn't this a missed opportunity by the Secretary of State in putting pressure on the Uzbek Government? I know Dan Fried recently went there.
MR. MCCORMACK: That's right. That's just what I was going to point out. Assistant Secretary Dan Fried has just returned from Uzbekistan. He made a trip though the region. And Assistant Secretary Fried made it very clear that we would like to have a broad relationship with Uzbekistan based on the 2002 agreement that we signed with Uzbekistan that included promotion of democracy and human rights and security issues, among others.
We have made our grave concerns clearly known to the Uzbek Government both in public and in visits, and most recently with the visit of Assistant Secretary Fried to Uzbekistan, about the failure to allow in an international investigation to determine what happened at Andijan. We think it's very important that the EU recently announced imposition of some sanctions on Uzbekistan. We ourselves have withheld some assistance that Uzbekistan might otherwise be eligible for. So there are real concerns about some of their recent actions by the Uzbek Government and I think that at this point, given Dan Fried's recent visit to Uzbekistan, that Uzbekistan -- the Uzbek Government should reflect upon what sort of relationship it would want with the -- not only the United States but the rest of the world.
And I think that they are, you know, we will see over time what kind of relationship the Uzbek Government wants with the rest of the world. We stand ready to have a different kind of relationship; but make no mistake, in our view, our strategic security interest in the region and our interest in promoting democracy in the region, promoting human rights, we believe are indivisible in the case of Uzbekistan. And that is a message that Mr. Fried sent very clearly to the Uzbek Government.
QUESTION: Sean, did he make any progress in getting Karimov to agree to an investigation?
MR. MCCORMACK: We have yet to hear any difference in judgment from the Uzbek Government on that. To this point, they have not allowed an international investigation. We haven't heard anything differently from them.
QUESTION: You mentioned the EU sanctions. I mean, are you thinking of other steps you -- I know you're withholding some funds but are there other steps that the U.S. could take to push the Uzbek Government to do something?
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, I think that, you know, as I said, we'll see what kind of relationship the Uzbek Government wants to have with the United States. And we are constantly reviewing the kind of facts of relationships as they are before us and whether or not our policies are appropriate to those facts. I think at this point we think that we have taken appropriate steps in terms of Assistant Secretary Fried's visit and our decision, at this point, to withhold some of that aid that might otherwise have been available.
QUESTION: Would it be possible, Sean, to have a resumption in fuller diplomatic ties without the President allowing an investigation of Andijan?
MR. MCCORMACK: That's a hypothetical question. What we have focused on and we think is very important that there be an international investigation. Thus far there has not been.
Yes, sir.
QUESTION: Did the Secretary contact the Turkish Government --
MR. MCCORMACK: Let's stay on this topic. We'll come back to you.
Yeah. Saul, do you have a question?
QUESTION: (Inaudible) the countries that the Secretary is going to visit, joined with Russia and China in July to issue a declaration asking for the United States to say when it was going to withdraw troops and its military operations from the area. So does the Secretary have an answer for them?
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, what we had said at the time was that of course, each individual country will have to decide for itself what sort of contribution it wants to make to the -- to a secure, stable, peaceful Afghanistan, which is exactly what security cooperation with the United States in -- with respect to Afghanistan is designed to promote. So again, it's going to be up to each individual country. We think that, again, one important voice that was not heard from with respect to this communiqué was Afghanistan. They weren't participants in that conference or that communiqué. And we -- I think subsequently the Afghan Government has said that it is important to have a continued assistance from the outside world as it moves down the pathway to consolidating its gains in -- security gains as well as its gains in promoting democracy.
So again, we think it's important to make that kind of contribution. We would encourage other states to continue making the kinds of contributions that they have made.
QUESTION: Are they still cooperating in war on terror stuff? Is there still exchange of prisoners in Uzbek? IMU fighters at Bagram have been given back to Tashkent in the past and Tashkent has cooperated with terrorism, you know, sharing intelligence. I mean, is that still happening?
MR. MCCORMACK: Again, fighting terrorism, we think is something that we would encourage cooperation with all states. President Karimov has said that he has a problem with the IMU and IMU terrorists. Certainly everybody has an interest in seeing that that kind of terrorism doesn't spread. We have had in the past counterterrorism cooperation with the Uzbek Government and we stand ready to continue that kind of cooperation in the context of a broad relationship, again, not sacrificing any cooperation on counterterrorism or any other -- or security cooperation.
QUESTION: Do you know if they're ready to continue cooperating with us?
MR. MCCORMACK: Again, that's a question you'd have to ask the Uzbek Government.
QUESTION: But Dan Fried didn't talk about this stuff?
MR. MCCORMACK: Again, I don't think it was a topic that came up during his trip.
Yes, sir. Right behind you. I promised I'd come back to him. Then we'll come back to you.
QUESTION: Did the Turkish Government -- the Secretary contact the Turkish Government or the European Union leadership or maybe countries that were part of this difficult negotiation until last night, like Austria or maybe Greece -- I don't know -- about the successful conclusion of last night's negotiations in Luxembourg?
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, she did actually have the opportunity today to speak with the EU ambassadors. Ambassador Manning at the UK mission sponsored a meeting, a previously scheduled meeting with -- between the Secretary and the EU ambassadors, the 25 EU ambassadors here in Washington. And they covered a number of different topics. They talked about our -- putting the European-U.S. relationship to work in furtherance of the goals of the spread of democracy through the Middle East, fighting terrorism.
She also talked about the EU's decision to begin accession talks with Turkey and she reiterated our view that we believe that a Turkey firmly anchored in Europe will best serve the interests of the transatlantic family and will be an even more positive force for advancing peace, prosperity and democracy. As you know, we have long supported Turkey's aspirations to begin discussions with the EU. But that said, we don't have a vote in the matter. So these talks can extend out over some period of time but we think it is a positive development that the EU took the decision to begin those talks with the Turkish Government.
QUESTION: And is it still -- because your Ambassador to Greece said that last week -- is it still the U.S. position that Turkey anchored into Europe might be more helpful in solving the Cyprus issue?
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, again, we -- our views with regard to resolving the Cyprus issue are unchanged. We support Secretary General Annan's efforts and his plan and we'll see where that issue goes in the future.
QUESTION: Mr. McCormack, any comment for the EU decision itself to start accession talks with the Republic of Turkey?
MR. MCCORMACK: With the Republic of --
MR. MCCORMACK: I think I just reacted to that, I think.
QUESTION: Did you issue any formal statement by the Secretary of State, something like that?
MR. MCCORMACK: I don't have a written statement here. I'm sorry, you're not -- you've got to downgrade. You're hearing it from me.
QUESTION: And did you see all the fear expressed by some European countries that the opening of talks with Turkey will rise the radical Islam as it was reported today in Washington Post, something which the belief also of the Turkish military establishment.
MR. MCCORMACK: I'm sorry. You're going to have to repeat the question. Can you repeat your question?
QUESTION: The question is, did you see all the fears by some European countries that the opening of the talks with Turkey will rise the radical Islam as it was reported today in Washington Post, something which is the belief also of the Turkish military establishment?
MR. MCCORMACK: I think that, again, the pathway that the EU-Turkey talks is going to be for the EU and the Turkish Government to determine. I assume that they are going to cover a wide variety of issues. I would say only that those who espouse violence and use violence in the name of a religion, in this case Islam, are the common enemies of all, whether you're Turkish or French or Italian or American. Again, this is a common fight. They are as much a threat to the United States or Western Europe as they are to the countries in the Middle East and to Turkey.
Yes, Saul.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) the meeting this morning, did any of the ambassadors express their country's concern that, in fact, maybe the Secretary had overstepped the boundary by inserting herself into what was a European Union process?
MR. MCCORMACK: Saul, I was not at the meeting so I can't speak directly to your question but I can -- reflecting on some of the history here, you know, our position in supporting Turkey's aspirations isn't new. And we have, while expressing our support both rhetorically and diplomatically for Turkey's aspirations, we have been very careful to respect the fact that this is an EU process and to state very clearly that the United States doesn't have a vote in this process. We think that, as I said, a Turkey rooted in the transatlantic community can be a positive force for Europe as well as for the United States and the transatlantic relationship.
QUESTION: As you said, these talks can go on for some time -- these accession talks. I mean, would it be acceptable, these talks to go on for a decade, say, ten years --
MR. MCCORMACK: I'm not going to try to apply some timeline on it. I think that both the EU and Turkey working together are going to determine at what pace they are able to proceed. And I think it's probably, to a certain extent, going to be conditions-based on both sides.
Yes, George.
QUESTION: On Iraq. Do you have any comment on the new rules that the Sunnis say will make it almost impossible for them to defeat the constitution?
MR. MCCORMACK: I have seen these news reports that something -- it's a situation that we're monitoring, that we're watching. I would say that this is now a topic of discussion between the Iraqi Electoral Commission as well as the Transitional National Assembly about the TNA's interpretation of the TAL. But we think that any -- the result of the discussions between the Electoral Commission and the TNA need to be true to the TAL. They need to respect the TAL not only in its -- not only in the letter but the spirit of the TAL. And also in doing so, we think that whatever the result of their discussions may be that they should aim to broaden the political consensus in Iraq. The goal here and it's a goal that we share is that we encourage as many Iraqis as possible to participate in the political process that's coming up here.
They're going to be -- they're going to have a couple opportunities to vote over the next few months here, one in October and one in December. So we encourage as many Iraqis as possible to vote and we would hope that whatever the resolution of the discussions between the Electoral Commission and the National Assembly result in two things: one, that there be fidelity to the TAL; and then two, they try to expand or broaden the political consensus in the country.
QUESTION: It sounds like, without saying so, you don't think the rule change is wise.
MR. MCCORMACK: I don't think I have anything to add to what I said.
Yes, ma'am.
QUESTION: Is there any efforts, especially efforts by Ambassador Khalilzad to urge the Sunnis to participate on the (inaudible) of the constitution of Iraq?
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, I think that there's been a real effort among the Iraqis to encourage as much participation in the upcoming votes that we have in October and December. You've seen a great increase in registration among Iraqis, including among the Sunnis, and we think that that is a positive development. We ourselves, as well as others in the international community, the UN, have been actively working to help the Iraqis have the best possible votes that they can in the coming months.
QUESTION: In the U.S. Government's assessment, is the spirit of the TAL served by having the bar for rejecting the constitution as high as needing two-thirds of all registered voters to turn out?
MR. MCCORMACK: I think, Saul, that this is really a matter for the Iraqis to resolve. Like I said, the TNA -- what the TNA did was arrive at an interpretation of the law, and that interpretation is now subject to discussion between the electoral commission on one side and the national assembly on the other. And I believe that those discussions are ongoing at this time. But this is an issue that the Iraqis will need to resolve among themselves.
QUESTION: Has the Embassy in Baghdad had any contacts with the electoral commission or with the assembly to urge them to get together and talk about this issue?
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, we have daily contact with Iraqis from all walks of the -- all walks of political life. So I would expect that this is likely a topic, among others, that we have discussed with the Iraqis.
QUESTION: But did you -- in these daily contacts was there maybe a little extra push to say let's see what this is really about?
MR. MCCORMACK: I think that, again, we have daily contacts and we talk about a lot of different things. I don't have any particular information detailing any of those discussions.
QUESTION: Different subject? Do you have anything to say about complaints from Russia about this former nuclear energy minister Adamov -- I think you pronounce it -- being extradited to the United States by Switzerland before he's sent to Russia?
MR. MCCORMACK: The United States welcomes the decision of the Swiss Government to grant its request for the extradition of Yevgeniy Adamov. This decision clears the way for him to face trial here for the alleged embezzlement of millions of U.S. -- millions of dollars in U.S. Government funds.
QUESTION: But the Russian Government was also seeking his extradition.
MR. MCCORMACK: That's true. And the Swiss Government made a judgment concerning those two requests for extradition, and we welcome their decision that Mr. Adamov will be extradited to the United States.
QUESTION: Did the Russian Government raise it with the United States or was there any kind of demarche from the Russian Government here?
MR. MCCORMACK: I'm not aware of any particular demarche. I don't have any information whether or not it was raised.
QUESTION: Okay. Has it been a discussion between the U.S. and Russian Governments that they would want to ensure that he then be sent to Russia after trial here?
MR. MCCORMACK: We have a lot of discussions with the Russian Government on a lot of different topics. I don't have any particular information on that.
QUESTION: It was reported today by Washington Times that Ankara initially refused to give the required EU promise on Cyprus but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice assured the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan that he should not worry about Cyprus.
MR. MCCORMACK: I think we talked about this. We talked about this yesterday. I don't have anything to add.
QUESTION: Are you going to take a look at Assistant Secretary Rademacher's remarks yesterday in New York on Iran?
MR. MCCORMACK: I think I did have an opportunity to take a look at his remarks and I think that, again, like I said yesterday, we welcome the efforts of the Russian Government to insist on proliferation resistant measures at the Bushehr reactor, including signing earlier this year of an agreement with Iran that requires all spent fuel from the reactor to be returned to Russia.
Russia has offered to supply nuclear fuel for the lifetime of that reactor, which underscores our view and the view of many in the international community that Iran's ambitious and costly pursuit of indigenous capabilities to produce fissile material make no sense from a peaceful energy standpoint.
I think that Russia shares the concerns of IAEA Board members that Iran must not be allowed to pursue a covert nuclear weapons program. We look forward to further consultations with Russia on how to address the Iranian nuclear problem at the November IAEA Board meeting.
QUESTION: So when he was referring to a freeze, was he speaking for himself or was he speaking for U.S. policy?
MR. MCCORMACK: Again, I think that what he's, you know, what he's talking about is the fact that Iran's position vis-à-vis the international community has changed as a result of the most recent IAEA Board decision. And that is that Iran has been found in noncompliance with the Nonproliferation Treaty, with its obligations under the Nonproliferation Treaty. And I think that everybody shares the goal that Iran not have -- two things: one, Iran not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program; and two, that Iran not be allowed to have access to either the technology or the know-how for sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities in Iran. Russia has addressed those concerns in the way that it has structured the Bushehr reactor deal.
I think that what the most recent action by the IAEA Board of Governors does is that it would highlight for all countries, groups, organizations that might be approached by the Iranian Government in cooperation with -- on peaceful nuclear technology, to take a look at exactly what is the nature of the Iranian request. And, you know, again, all of this, you know -- I say all of this with the idea in mind that it's really about Iranian behavior here. The spotlight should be and the focus should be on Iran's behavior in its failure to live up to its international obligations.
So we have, in the wake of the IAEA -- most recent IAEA Board of Governors meeting, we have called upon Iran to reflect upon where it finds itself now. And that where it finds itself now is further isolated from the international community as a result of its actions. So we would encourage them to get back to the negotiating table with the EU-3 and to answer the questions that are on the table presented to them by the IAEA Board of Governors.
QUESTION: So you say the dynamic has now changed after the IAEA vote. Has, therefore, the U.S. position changed? It seemed to be, as it was articulated by Assistant Secretary yesterday. In the past you have been satisfied with the way the Bushehr project is structured. You haven't called for a freeze, but yesterday he called for a freeze on all projects. Is that something then that is not a Bush Administration position, it hasn't changed?
MR. MCCORMACK: Again, our concerns are twofold with respect to Iran: one, it shouldn't be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons. It would be destabilizing for the region as well for the world. And the focus of our efforts, if you look at their cooperation with the EU-3 and their negotiations and the focus of their negotiations has been to not allow Iran to have access to those sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities inside Iran.
(Inaudible) you know, access to those kind of technologies, to that kind of know-how in Iran is a problem because of Iran's past behavior, its attempts over the years to hide what it has been doing from the international community. Over the years, the United States was a lonely voice trying to bring attention to Iran's activities, but you know, I think that what you have seen recently among the international community is a coalescence around the idea that Iran is not doing what it says it is doing. It is not trying to pursue peaceful nuclear energy. That is not its ultimate objective. Its objective is to pursue nuclear weapons. So we have, you know, we're certainly gratified by the -- over the years, a building of support to take a look at exactly what Iran is doing.
QUESTION: So there's a lot of context there but specifically does the United States want Russia to freeze its project with Iran over Bushehr?
MR. MCCORMACK: Again, as I said yesterday, we think that the Bushehr nuclear deal, the way that it's structured with respect to its fuel take back provisions was an important step forward. It was a result of discussions over the years with the United States as well as others.
QUESTION: So you're saying there's no need for a freeze?
MR. MCCORMACK: Again, I think that, you know, with respect to the Bushehr deal and its fuel take back provisions, what -- it addresses the concerns that the United States has and others in the international community has with regard to Iran getting access to those sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities, both the technology and the know-how. I would say that, you know, we would ask probably a more fundamental question about why in fact Iran needs peaceful nuclear energy, given its vast hydrocarbon reserves. But that's a different question.
QUESTION: So the question still needs an answer, there's (inaudible)? I mean the question was about whether you wanted a freeze?
MR. MCCORMACK: Again, I --
QUESTION: I mean, it's a simple yes or no question.
MR. MCCORMACK: Again, I talked yesterday about the Bushehr deal and I just spoke about it again today. I don't have anything to add to that.
QUESTION: Did you have a reaction to the EU's decision to begin accession talks with Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro as well?
MR. MCCORMACK: Yes, I do. We will continue to support Croatia's full integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. We believe full cooperation can only be achieved once Croatia arrests and transfers Ante Gotovina to The Hague. We applaud the decision of the council requiring that Croatia's full cooperation with the ICTY remain a requirement for progress throughout the accession process. We welcome the council's agreement that anything less than full cooperation with the ICTY at any stage would affect the negotiating process.
QUESTION: Carla Del Ponte yesterday seemed to give the seal of good housekeeping to Croatia on this issue. I wonder if you were aware of that or is there a contradiction?
MR. MCCORMACK: Again, we don't -- we think that Croatia has some obligations with respect to the ICTY. Those obligations are outstanding and we expect that they would be fulfilled.
QUESTION: And why Carla Del Ponte is changing position radically, 180 degrees, because a few days ago she was totally different position and yesterday she changed.
MR. MCCORMACK: You'd have to ask Ms. Del Ponte.
QUESTION: But she's cooperating with the U.S. Government, Mr. McCormack, on many, many issues.
MR. MCCORMACK: Okay, you'll have to ask Ms. Del Ponte why she says the things that she does.
Thank you.
(The briefing was concluded at 1:00 p.m.)
DPB # 169
Released on October 4, 2005

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