Briefing Skipper: Japan, China, India, Bangladesh, Iran
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Friday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Shanghai, the second leg of her Asia trip, after a day in Japan meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Friday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Shanghai, the second leg of her Asia trip, after a day in Japan meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada. No announcement yet on progress on the Futenma basing dispute, but Crowley said, "Our goals remain unchanged: to maintain Japanese security and regional security while minimizing the impact of base hosting on Japanese communities." The U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue starts Sunday. No word yet on what Clinton wants the "consequences" to be for North Korea’s ship attack.
- Crowley announced that Clinton will host the U.S.-India strategic dialogue in Washington June 1 to 4, with India’s Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna leading the Indian delegation. Undersecretary of State Bill Burns leaves for India Saturday to help prep the meetings. He will also stop by Afghanistan on that trip. Ambassador Philip Verveer, our U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy, will go to India next week with an interagency team to participate in the fifth World Telecommunication Development Conference in Hyderabad.
- USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah will head to Dhaka, Bangladesh, after the China trip to participate in the food security investment forum there. That’s being billed as part of USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative, details of which were announced this week.
- Crowley said he was not aware of any formal submission by Iran of the fuel swap deal they worked out with Turkey and Brazil. "We will watch to see if a letter arrives and what it says," he said. He reaffirmed that the U.S. doesn’t like the deal, despite that UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon seems to be praising it. "We want to be sure that at the top of the list of any prospective engagement is the Iran nuclear program," Crowley said, "If Iran wishes to have that engagement — and we would welcome that engagement — it can pick up the phone."
- The mothers of three American hikers imprisoned in Iran had their second day of meetings (video) with their still imprisoned children, Crowley said. "We certainly continue to call upon the government of Iran to release them on humanitarian grounds." He denied that this visit was connected to the reported release of two Iranians being held by the U.S. military in Iraq. He said those Iranians were being held by the Iraqis.
- Crowley declined to confirm that the State Department had denied a visa to an Iranian deputy foreign minister who wanted to go to the NPT review conference. He said visa matters are confidential, unless they are approved, that is.
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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