Briefing Skipper: Uighurs, Iran, Venezuela, Musharraf
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of today’s briefing by spokesman Ian Kelly: The State Department has issued a "travel alert" for China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, particularly in the city of Urumqi. This follows widespread protests and ethnic unrest ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department's daily presser so you don't have to. Here are the highlights of today's briefing by spokesman Ian Kelly:
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of today’s briefing by spokesman Ian Kelly:
- The State Department has issued a "travel alert" for China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, particularly in the city of Urumqi. This follows widespread protests and ethnic unrest in that region, including "needle stabbings" (more on that story here). Kelly pointed out that is it not a "travel warning," which would recommend against all travel to China.
- The P5+1 partners (the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) will meet at the U.N. General Assembly to prepare for their Oct. 1 meeting with Iranian officials. That meeting will not occur in either the United States or Iran, but a third country. "We plan to address this issue of their not living up to their obligations head on," said Kelly, referring to the Iranian government. "We are not planning to start a whole new process here; we’re going to sit down and have the opportunity to explain to them directly what their choice is," he added. Under Secretary of State William J. Burns will lead the U.S. delegation.
- The State Department has "concerns" about Venezuela’s drive to acquire sophisticated weaponry and concerns about that country exporting said weaponry to rogue actors, following this morning’s news that a new arms deal with Russia was in the works. "We urge Venezuela to be transparent in its purchases and very clear about the purposes of these purchases," Kelly said.
- No real comment on recent interviews in which former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf claimed he diverted U.S. military assistance meant to fight extremists to Pakistan’s Indian front. Kelly: "I’ll just say as a general principle we take very seriously any allegation of using U.S.-origin military assistance for purposes other than we had already agreed to and that we had intended them for."
- Former Sen. George Mitchell is to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas tomorrow, but no comment on the showdown over settlements that is in the offing. The Netanyahu meeting was postponed one day so both men could attend the funeral of 21-year-old Israeli fighter pilot Assaf Ramon.
- No decision has been made over whether Amb. Stephen Bosworth will accept the North Korean invitation to visit Pyongyang. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did eat lunch with former North Korean captive Laura Ling and her family.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
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