Briefing Skipper: Madrid, Dalai Lama, Iran, Iraq, torture in Pakistan
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Monday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Deputy Secretary James Steinberg each met Monday with Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas. "There is no particular, you know, timeline, ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Monday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Deputy Secretary James Steinberg each met Monday with Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas. "There is no particular, you know, timeline, but we are committed to, you know, getting Greece into the Visa Waiver Program," Crowley said. Clinton later on met with Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi.
- No plans for President Obama to attend the EU-U.S. summit in Madrid, which could now be cancelled. The changing deck chairs in the EU structure are changing the way the U.S. government interacts with Europe. "In light of the Lisbon treaty… Europe is going through some adjustments in terms of, you know, the processes through which U.S.-EU summits occur," Crowley said, "Obviously there’s been some disappointment expressed by the government of Spain, and we understand that, and we’re — and we’ll be working with them on that."
- There are now 79 confirmed American deaths in the wake of the Haiti earthquake, 75 civilians and 4 U.S. government personnel.
- The White House has said that Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama, despite Chinese objections. "The Chinese have made clear their views regarding meetings with the Dalai Lama, regarding arms sales to Taiwan. And I think what we’re clearly indicating is that we will continue to follow our national interest, just as we would expect China to follow its national interest," said Crowley.
- The State Department is still looking at sanctions for Iran, despite new statements from the Iranians that they are now willing to participate in a nuclear fuel transfer program. "We’re at that stage, as the secretary said last week in London, where, regrettably, we have to look at — more significantly at the — at the pressure track because the engagement track has not yielded the results that we had hoped for," Crowley said.
- Some Iraqis are upset at what they see as U.S. interference in their political dispute over 450 disqualified mostly Sunni candidates, but the State Department’s official position is to stay out of it. "This is an Iraqi process," Crowley said, "We are not in any way, shape or form interfering in the Iraqi political process."
- No real comment on the allegation that the 5 suburban Washington men arrested in Pakistan are being tortured, saying "We are being tortured." "We have had regular consular access to these five individuals. But beyond that, I — I’m not aware of that allegation," Crowley said.
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
More from Foreign Policy
Saudi-Iranian Détente Is a Wake-Up Call for America
The peace plan is a big deal—and it’s no accident that China brokered it.
The U.S.-Israel Relationship No Longer Makes Sense
If Israel and its supporters want the country to continue receiving U.S. largesse, they will need to come up with a new narrative.
Putin Is Trapped in the Sunk-Cost Fallacy of War
Moscow is grasping for meaning in a meaningless invasion.
How China’s Saudi-Iran Deal Can Serve U.S. Interests
And why there’s less to Beijing’s diplomatic breakthrough than meets the eye.