Briefing Skipper: Karzai, Mitchell, Pakistan, China, Israel
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Monday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted a welcome dinner for Afghan President Hamid Karzai Monday evening at the historic Blair House. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and National ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department's daily presser so you don't have to. These are the highlights of Monday's briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Monday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted a welcome dinner for Afghan President Hamid Karzai Monday evening at the historic Blair House. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and National Security Advisor Jim Jones also attended. Karzai and his group will participate in a series of roundtables at the State Department Tuesday. "Our commitment is to a stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan and we are in this for the long haul," Crowley said.
- Clinton also met Monday with Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tvsangirai, who received an award at the gala dinner for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. The U.S. Gave Zimbabwe $300 million in humanitarian assistance last year.
- Special Envoy George Mitchell was supposed to return to Washington Monday but his flight was delayed by the continuing problem of the ash cloud over Europe, Crowley said. But, the proximity talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians are underway.
- Assistant Secretary Phil Gordon will be visiting this week Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia. Assistant Secretary Jose Fernandez is traveling this week to Indonesia and Japan, working on the National Export Initiative.
- Add United Arab Emirates and Russia to the list of countries that have offered assistance related to the BP oil spill, but still no word about when America might actually accept any foreign assistance.
- On the Times Square bombing attempt, Crowley continued Clinton’s message that "we are very satisfied with the cooperation we’re getting on this particular investigation thus far." He then added the second part of the message, "That said, we expect more cooperation and more activity from Pakistan, and that is, you know, where we are focused right now. " What is the "more" that we expect? " I’m not going to go down that road," Crowley said.
- The U.S.- China Human Rights Dialogue will start later this week, led on the U.S. Side by Assistant Secretary Michael Posner. Crowley said it was useful to do this separate from the broader strategic dialogue because Posner’s team will be able to drill down on specific cases and talks about religion and the rule of law in depth. "This is about helping them understand and identify issues that are a part of our core agenda but also, you know, clearly areas of weakness that China will have to improve on, as it goes along."
- The State Department welcomes the decision to invite Estonia, Israel and Slovenia to become members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Israel was not given this in any quid pro quo related to the peace talks, Crowley said. "It’s a reflection of the economic dynamism that you see in Israel. And it is the current quality of its economy that recommended it for membership."
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 email@example.com.
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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