The Cable

Briefing Skipper: Morocco, Abdullah Abdullah, Okada, Uighurs, USAID

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 Department Spokesman Ian Kelly: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ate lunch with Moroccan Foreign Minister Fassi Fihri, had an audience with King Mohammed VI, met with the foreign ministers from ...

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 Department Spokesman Ian Kelly:

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ate lunch with Moroccan Foreign Minister Fassi Fihri, had an audience with King Mohammed VI, met with the foreign ministers from the GCC plus three, and dinner opening the Forum for the Future.
  • The withdrawal of Abdullah Abdullah from the Afgan presidential runoff election "doesn’t change our policy, necessarily," Kelly said, adding "the important thing is that this whole process and the formation of the government as it goes forward is done in accordance with Afghan laws and institutions." Kelly refused repeated attempts to get him to say if the U.S. has a "credible partner," in the government run by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "What I’ll say is, We’re prepared to work with this partner."
  • No decision yet on whether to send Ambassador Stephen Bosworth to Pyongyang and no readout of the meetings between Ambassador Sung Kim and North Korean negotiator Ri Gun from Kelly. But The Cable reported what actually happened in those meetings here.
  • Kelly wouldn’t explain why the Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada was apparently set to meet with Clinton and then the meeting disappeared from the schedule. "When we put out a week-ahead schedule, it is intended to be for planning and not for publication," he said. But again, The Cable has got you covered on this one
  • The transfer of six ethnic Uighurs to the island nation of Palau was hailed by Kelly as "a major step in implementing the President’s directive to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility." No word on where the other 223 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are going.
  • The State Department is "trying very hard" to find someone to be the head of USAID, Kelly said. "It depends on the White House, of course. It depends on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee," he said. It also depends on what happens to USAID.

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