Briefing Skipper: Clinton to Asia, Iran, Kabul, Darfur, Baghdad
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Tuesday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trip to Asia was finally announced. She will leave Washington May 20, be in Tokyo May 21, Shanghai on May 22 and ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Tuesday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trip to Asia was finally announced. She will leave Washington May 20, be in Tokyo May 21, Shanghai on May 22 and 23, Beijing May 23-26, stopping in Seoul on May 26 before heading back to DC. That’s 1 day in Japan, 5 days in China, and 1 day in Korea, for anyone who’s counting.
- She will visit the Shanghai expo before meeting Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and over a dozen other top U.S. officials for the second round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. The Chinese leads for the dialogue are PRC Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo.
- In Tokyo, the Futenma base dispute is sure to come up. "As far as we know, right now, the process is leading towards a presentation by Japan to the United States by the end of this month," Crowley said. In Korea, Clinton is sure to discuss the sinking of the South Korean ship the Cheonan. Reports Tuesday said that the investigation has concluded North Korea is responsible. "It will be up to South Korea to announce the findings," Crowley dodged.
- The administration isn’t budging on its drive to secure a new UN Security Council resolution sanctioning Iran, after Clinton announced P5+1 agreement on a draft resolution. The Turkey-Brazil-Iran fuel deal (which some around town are calling a real "turkey") isn’t even close to what the U.S. is demanding, Crowley said.
- "I don’t see them as necessarily connected," Crowley explained, "The issue of the resolution is about Iran’s defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. It is about its unwillingness to engage the IAEA seriously and its unwillingness to answer the questions that the international community has about its nuclear program. So they are interrelated, but ultimately we have our eyes on the primary issue, which is the ongoing enrichment of uranium by Iran in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions."
- Clinton explained all that to Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in separate phone calls Monday. Iran has promised to present something to the IAEA within 5 or 6 days. We’ll see. There’s no "particular timetable" to get the UN resolution passed, but Crowley said the president wants to get it done by the "end of Spring,"
- The U.S. the "strongly condemns" the Tuesday bombing along the Darulaman Road in Kabul, tragically killing and wounding innocent Afghan civilians, including 6 international soldiers. "The Taliban have claimed responsibility for this attack, and once again demonstrate their callous disregard for the well-being of the Afghan people," Crowley said.
- The U.S. "condemns" the Government of Sudan’s use of aerial bombing and local militias in West Darfur. "The Government of Sudan and the Darfur rebel movements need to refrain from any other actions that would undermine the Darfur peace process and endanger civilians, and return to active negotiation in the AU-UN mediated peace process in Doha, Qatar to reach a political settlement to the conflict in Darfur," Crowley said.
- In Baghdad, Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Feltman met Tuesday with Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi, Deputy Prime Minister Rafi Hiyad al-Issawi, and Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch Nuri Shaways.
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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