Briefing Skipper: Kabul, Hague, China, Falun Gong, al-Awlaki, cold fusion
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Wednesday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lead the U.S. delegation to the Kabul conference in July, Crowley said. No word yet on who will represent the U.S. ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Wednesday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lead the U.S. delegation to the Kabul conference in July, Crowley said. No word yet on who will represent the U.S. at the peace jirga, which we are hearing is now scheduled for the end of May.
- Clinton spoke for 5 minutes Wednesday with William Hague, the new foreign secretary of the United Kingdom. Hague will come to Washington and meet with Clinton at the State Department Friday. Here are some photos are Hague’s first day in office. Meanwhile, outgoing foreign secretary David Miliband is running for the leadership of the opposition Labour party.
- Later Wednesday, Clinton had a "lengthy" conversation with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, over an hour. "They acknowledged that good progress has been made, talked about a couple of technical issues in the drafting of the draft resolution, and pledged that both sides would continue to work hard within the P-5+1 to resolve remaining questions," Crowley said. The P5+1 met Wednesday morning in New York. Clinton is going to China next week.
- Even Later Wednesday, Clinton met with the Democratic Hill faction called the "Blue Dog Coalition," who are against any funding except for national security. The Blue Dogs have a proposal to designate foreign operations funding as national security funding and Clinton stressed "that while acknowledging that times are tough, resources are limited, maintaining full funding for the President’s international affairs budget request is essential," Crowley said.
- State isn’t thrilled that Yemen seems to be saying they won’t extradite American citizen and accused terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki if they ever get around to capturing him. "I think we’re conscious of certain aspects of Yemeni law. I don’t think that comes as a surprise to us," Crowley said, "The key thing is first, we look forward to having him captured if that can be accomplished. And then we’ll see where we go from there."
- The Washington Post story about how State is funding a Falun Gong company that fights internet censorship is "premature," Crowley explained. "In fact, there is not yet an agreement. I think the Post story is premature. We’ve not finalized agreement on the current round of funding… They have submitted a proposal, but no final decisions have been made."
- Crowley threw cold water on the claim by North Korea that they have created a cold fusion reactor. "The North Koreans have been prone from time to time to claim lots of things," he said, "I wouldn’t dissuade you from those people who are offering skeptical views on this at this point."
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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