Briefing Skipper: Romania, New Start, Copenhagen, Tai Shan
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Thursday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Thursday with Kazakh Secretary of State and OSCE chairman-in-office Kanat Saudabayev, who will be working with Ian Kelly soon, as soon ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Thursday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Thursday with Kazakh Secretary of State and OSCE chairman-in-office Kanat Saudabayev, who will be working with Ian Kelly soon, as soon as the Senate confirms him.
- Romania has agreed to host Standard Missile 3 interceptors as part of the administration’s new missile defense plan. "The choice of Romania extends the missile defense into southern Europe, and we expext this will be online by 2015," Crowley said.
- President Obama has submitted a report that states North Korea does not meet the statutory criteria for being again listed as a state sponsor of terror, despite their continued suspected ties to Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. ‘That said, we obviously have considerable concern about activities involving North Korea, its proliferation of dangerous technologies within the region and around the world," Crowley said.
- Sure, Clinton said the U.S. and Haitian governments have been in contact over "detained Americans," referring to the 10 arrested missionaries there, but "I wouldn’t read too much into that," said Crowley, adding that the U.S. government is simply providing regular consular services. "I would put it in the category of just, you know, asking them and clarifying exactly how they were going to proceed, in this particular case," he said.
- Crowley said he was "optimistic" that the U.S.-Russia nuclear treaty, now being called "New Start," would be settled soon, after the Russian side announced a deal is imminent. "With that said, I wouldn’t put a particular timeline on it," Crowley added.
- So now that the Jan. 31 first deadline for reaching the next phase of movement on the Copenhagen agreement has passed, what happens next? "Clearly there’s still work to be done," said Crowley, "There’s work to be done domestically, in terms of our own legislation that enshrines the 17- percent pledge that the United States has made. And there’s work to be done coming out of Copenhagen to make sure that there is an accounting process and oversight as countries continue to pursue their respective pledges."
- The U.S. is giving $40 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees in the Near East, $10 million of which will go to the West Bank and Gaza while the rest is used in other countries. In 2009, the United States provided over $267 million to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, Crowley said.
- The State Department wishes a safe journey for Tai Shan, the National’s Zoo’s famous panda who is going back to China. "He is a dual citizen, U.S.-born, of Chinese parents," said Crowley, "But he is a tangible and furry manifestation of cooperation between the United States and China."
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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