Briefing Skipper: Egypt, NATO, Ethiopia, Tri-Valley, Pakistan,
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 an informal dinner Monday evening for visiting NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, National Security Adviser Tom ...
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 an informal dinner Monday evening for visiting NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, and Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Phil Gordon also attended. Wonder what they talked about, besides, of course the U.S. hosting of NATO Summit 2012.
- Monday also kicked off the 2011 global chiefs of mission conference, with over 200 ambassadors in town to chew over things like the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review and the budget (be still my heart). This is also the chance for these ambassadors to air their grievance. Clinton will them significant face time on Wednesday and Thursday and they’ll also hear from Donilon and Joints Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen.
- Deputy Secretary Jim Steinberg was in Addis Ababa Sunday and Monday as head of the U.S. delegation to the African Union summit. Special Envoy for Sudan Scott Gration and Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson (hey oh!) are in tow. "A major outcome of the summit included reaffirmation of the AU’s recognition of Alassane Ouattara as the winner of last year’s presidential elections in Cote d’Ivoire," Crowley said.
- The State Department announced limited sanctions against Belarus in response to what Crowley characterized as the "the brutal post-election crackdown by the government of Belarus." The U.S. is revoking the general license that had authorized U.S. persons to do business with two Belarusian companies, expanding the list of Belarusian officials subject to travel restrictions, and working towards financial sanctions against additional Belarusian individuals and entities. Meanwhile, the U.S. plans to increase humanitarian and civil society aid. Separate EU sanctions are expected soon.
- 9 flights evacuated 1,200 American citizens from Egypt on Monday to Larnaca,Cyprus, Athens, Greece, and Istanbul, Turkey. More flights are expected Tuesday and new destinations are being added, including Frankfurt, Germany. There are 2,600 Americans total who want to leave Egypt and the State Department is planning to get all of them out. There are 50,000 Americans who have registered with the State Department just to let them know they are in Egypt now.
- Despite that Obama has sent a pseudo-envoy by the name of Frank Wisner to Cairo, the official position is still that the U.S. is not calling for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down. "So we will be looking for concrete actions; a process that leads Egypt to a more inclusive environment and free, fair and credible elections later this year," Crowley said. "It has to be inclusive in bringing into a national dialogue, you know, political opposition, civil society, women, those who want to have the opportunity to shape Egypt’s future."
- Crowley kept on saying that the ball is still in Mubarak’s court. "And, you know, our private message is our public message: that the government has to respond to the aspirations of the Egyptian people," he said. "So, you know, this will take some time to undertake, but we do encourage Egypt to take aggressive steps as soon as possible."
- Tri-Valley University in California has been closed to allegations of widespread immigration fraud. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is helping India students affected by the closure. Those involved in the investigation have to wear ankle bracelets! "This is widespread across the United States and standard procedure for a variety of investigations. It does not necessarily imply guilt or suspicion of criminal activity," Crowley explained.
- The U.S. diplomat Raymond Davis, who shot and killed two Pakistani would be muggers is immune from arrest and prosecution, Crowley said. "In our view, he acted in self-defense when confronted by two armed men on motorcycles. He had every reason to believe that the armed men meant him bodily harm," Crowley said.
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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