September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
State Dept. Daily Briefing 1:00 p.m. EST; December 19, 2001

Daily Press Briefing
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 19, 2001


1:00 p.m. EST

MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. If I can, I would just like to briefly call your attention to the report that we have submitted to the United Nations in New York on the United States efforts to fulfill the obligations of Resolution 1373 of the Security Council. This is a report that we have talked about in New York. I think our people up there have done a press conference, but I just wanted you to be aware of this. It is a very comprehensive rundown on the steps that the United States has been taking as part of, I think, a truly extraordinary international campaign against terrorism. Other nations will be submitting their reports by the deadline at the end of the month.

The report for the United States shows a very broad effort that goes into legal, financial, military, obviously, information in other areas. It shows a lot of the cooperation that we have established with countries around the world, and I think it serves to demonstrate that we are making real advances on many fronts in the campaign against terrorism, and that we will keep working at it and keep doing that.

We hope that our submission of this report and its comprehensive nature will encourage other countries, not only to report all the actions they are taking, but also to take similar actions to the many that we have taken, and that we are of course interested in cooperation and helping other countries comply with all the requirements of the Resolution.

So I will stop at that, and I'll be glad to take your questions on this or other topics.

QUESTION: Just on this. For the record, Richard, do you expect the Saudis to submit one of these reports?

MR. BOUCHER: I think we expect everybody to submit a report, because the Saudis have done a lot, as we have said.

QUESTION: How long do countries have to -- what is the sort of filing period of these reports? And doesn't this bring up the obvious question that we have asked frequently, what next, what if they are not cooperating? And you say that it is -- there are measures that will come into force if countries don't agree, but won't that become very --

MR. BOUCHER: I don't think I actually said that, but countries are asked to report by December 31st, I believe. We wanted to get out there early, frankly, to show not only what we have done, but to offer other people examples of steps that can and should be taken.

Obviously, the United Nations committee in charge of this will go through the reports very carefully. I am sure they will look for areas where we think countries and governments might do more, and we and others, I'm sure, will try to work with them and help them do those things.

QUESTION: I think you said that in the resolution itself it includes possible measures for those who don't apply.

MR. BOUCHER: If you go back to the Resolution itself, and I don't have a copy handy, I think it does establish those mechanisms, committee and the reporting process, so we can see who is doing what, we can see, therefore, who hasn't done what, and try to get countries that might not have taken certain steps to take those. But every country is under an obligation to comply with the Resolution, and to report their actions to the Security Council.

But I do think, as we look around the world, as we look at the few reports that have come in so far and the cooperation that we have with so many governments, you have, as I said, real advances on many fronts throughout the world.

QUESTION: Kind of off the subject a little bit, but does the State Department still oppose added compensations for the families of the victims of the US Embassy bombing in Kenya?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. I'll have to check.

QUESTION: Can you take the question?

MR. BOUCHER: I will take the question and check on it. I haven't thought about that recently.

QUESTION: This is about the hunt for Usama bin Laden. Could you speak to Pakistani cooperation in terms of border control? And is there an agreement with the Pakistanis for the US to pursue al-Qaida fighters that might cross the border, like if they're running after them and they happen to cross over the border? Is there any kind of an agreement?

MR. BOUCHER: It's a good question, because it is an issue and I note that there are stories in the newspapers and elsewhere about it today.

As the fighting has continued near Tora Bora and elsewhere, we have worked very closely with the Pakistani Government on what they can do, on what they are doing, in fact, to patrol, police, control that area of their country that is adjacent to those areas where the fighting has pushed the al-Qaida fighters out. This has been a long-term issue that we have worked with Pakistan on. I think you know that part of our aid program for Pakistan this year is $73 million to help them work on and improve border security. So it is an issue, particularly in these areas that are less developed and more inhospitable.

What we do know is that we have had very, very excellent cooperation with Pakistan on these subjects. They have done a very good job in fighting the war against terrorism. They continue to do so. We are very pleased in the way that Pakistan has ramped up its military presence on the Afghan/Pakistani border by deploying thousands of additional troops for reinforcement in that area. We think that this strong military presence makes it less likely that significant numbers of foreign al-Qaida fighters can slip unnoticed across Pakistan's border. We have seen tangible results from this effort. We have seen something like 150 foreign fighters, mostly Arabs, who have been detained and are being questioned by the Pakistani authorities. We also know that they have detained several hundred other combatants crossing over from Afghanistan. So we work closely with them. They are making a major effort, and we are seeing the results of it.

QUESTION: Can I follow up? What about any agreement to pursue al-Qaida fighters crossing the border, and is the US getting access to any of these al-Qaida prisoners?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't think those are questions that I can answer for you. Questions of sort of military arrangements on the ground or intelligence opportunities I will have to leave to others.

QUESTION: Can I try one more then, on President Musharraf? He has a difficult balancing act right now, in terms of he has to deal with these potential al-Qaida fighters crossing the border. At the same time, he also has his hands full with India, and trying to convince the Indians not to cross the line of Kashmir. Could you talk about how you think Musharraf is handling this kind of diplomatic balance?

MR. BOUCHER: It is obvious that he has got many things on his plate. But I don't think we necessarily see those as a balancing act. We see all those as aspects of the fight against terrorism. And I think we have said before -- I'll say it again today -- we think each country needs to take action against terrorists within their borders, and to the extent that they can.

As you know, the attack on the Parliament in India was a terrible action that President Musharraf very clearly and soundly unequivocally denounced. And he has been concerned about the actions of some of these groups that have operated in Pakistan. We, too, have had our eye on them and have been reviewing them, looking at them carefully, because of the terrorist acts that they have carried out.

The Secretary has been in close touch with Indian and Pakistani leaders. He spoke to Foreign Minister Singh last night. This morning he talked to President Musharraf; he talked to Foreign Minister Sattar this morning to continue working with them on the fight against terrorism.

We think that there is a need here, an opportunity here, for both India and Pakistan each to take action against terrorists. The President has made clear that it is important for India and Pakistan to make common cause against terrorists who are trying to destabilize this whole region. It is not the time for India and Pakistan to start taking action against each other.

So this has been an issue that we have worked on. We have worked on it very closely with the leaders of those countries, and each of them in their own way is important to the fight against terrorism.

QUESTION: Richard, didn't you say that he talked to Singh this morning -- didn't you say he --

MR. BOUCHER: Foreign Minister Singh last night.

QUESTION: Didn't he also speak to him the night before?

MR. BOUCHER: The night before, or the night before that. Let me check.

QUESTION: All right. And just before getting back to India and Pakistan, on the aid that you -- the $73 million, that included --

MR. BOUCHER: He talked to Foreign Minister Singh on Monday night and on Tuesday night. Monday and Tuesday.

QUESTION: Okay. The aid to Pakistan for the Afghan border included fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. I asked a while ago if that had ever arrived there; do you know if it has?

MR. BOUCHER: I will try to get an update. I haven't checked recently.

QUESTION: All right. And then on India-Pakistan, what -- the Indians have rejected the Pakistani offer of the joint investigation; it doesn't look like they are even willing to share the evidence that they have collected. And they also say that they are considering hot pursuit of Kashmiri militants, or militants that cross into Pakistan from Kashmir. What do you make of these?

MR. BOUCHER: Well, if we're going to run down everything that everybody is saying, let's not neglect the important statement that Prime Minister Vajpayee made in front of Parliament today, to say that they were also exploring other than military options, and wanted to look at diplomatic options and other ways of achieving satisfaction.

QUESTION: Well, to me, that's like looking at (inaudible) half-full -- he also said they didn't rule out military action.

MR. BOUCHER: No, that's right. But let's not quote everything on one side of the ledger. There is obviously consideration being given to what the appropriate action might be. We have said, and we continue to believe, that India needs to investigate thoroughly. They need to reach firm conclusions on this. We have seen statements by Indian authorities that two Pakistan-based groups, the Lashkar-e-Tayyba and the Jaish-e- Mohammed, are responsible for this.

We think, first of all, those two groups have engaged in terrorist activities, but the specific case here needs to be investigated, and the Indians, I'm sure, will do that. Any evidence that India can provide to us or to others to establish that case would provide a better basis for going after the terrorists, and provide an even better basis for the Government of Pakistan to go after these terrorists, which it has said it would do.

So we would encourage them to provide that kind of information, as they complete their investigations.

QUESTION: But on that, the rejection of the joint -- what? I'm sorry, you don't want to speak to the hot pursuit issue or the rejection of a joint investigation?

MR. BOUCHER: I would say, we note that they have rejected the idea of a joint investigation. But, as I've said, any information they can provide would be useful.

QUESTION: Are you saying that they haven't provided any evidence about who was responsible for these attacks?

MR. BOUCHER: I am saying, as far as we understand it, their investigation is still under way. There is some information out in public, but we certainly encourage them to complete their investigation and provide whatever information they can. I'll leave it at that.

QUESTION: Can I ask, speaking of balancing acts, given that you are expecting Pakistan to help shore up the border with Afghanistan, as part of Secretary Powell's discussion with the Pakistani officials focusing on the idea that any increasing tension in Kashmir is going to present a greater threat that bin Laden could escape, if they are focusing on Kashmir instead of on the border, is that a concern?

MR. BOUCHER: Our statements have indicated that we think that it is not time for these two countries to take action against each other. We think it is time for everybody to continue to pursue the fight against terrorism, the fight against terrorism that has emanated from Afghanistan and the links that it has to other places. So I think that basically answers the question, that the point is to pursue this fight against terrorism. And they both have a role in that fight against terrorism. So we don't think it's time for them to fight each other.

QUESTION: Two sort of related questions. The leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad is under house arrest in southern Pakistan right now, but he still makes statements to journalists and other sorts of public statements. Does the United States believe that he should be actually locked in prison? Then I have a follow-up after that.

MR. BOUCHER: I will have to check and see if we have anything precise to say about that. We certainly have supported any efforts that Pakistan can make against these groups that have been engaged in terrorism.

QUESTION: I mean, is house arrest enough?

MR. BOUCHER: I will see if I have something more precise, if we want to start dictating exactly what telephone privileges someone should have. And far be it from me to tell people they shouldn't be talking to journalists.

QUESTION: And as a follow-up, if Pakistan arrests people who are in Pakistan who are responsible for last week's attacks on the parliament, do you think that they should be handed over to India?

MR. BOUCHER: Let's see what happens before we try to deal with questions like that.

QUESTION: Does the US have a position on that?

MR. BOUCHER: I am not going to get in the middle of something that hasn't happened between these two nations at this point.

QUESTION: Well, the Indians believe that, obviously, one of the things that they would like is -- and, you know, all the plotters and schemers --

MR. BOUCHER: I'm sorry. If you tell me who Pakistan has arrested and who India has asked for to be put on trial in India, then I will try to help you deal with the issue. At this point, it is hypothetical. Right?

QUESTION: I just want to make sure I understand the answer you gave a moment ago on this same topic.

MR. BOUCHER: I thought it was very understandable. Okay, let's try again.

QUESTION: Is it implicit in what you said that, if the Indians provide sufficient evidence as to who is behind this, I think you said that that would then provide a foundation for going after the terrorists. Does that mean for India to go after the terrorists?

MR. BOUCHER: No. President Musharraf has already clearly condemned this attack. He has said, or at least the Government of Pakistan has said that they would intend to go after anybody who might be responsible for it. And therefore, any information or evidence that the Indians would provide or make public would provide a better basis to do that.

QUESTION: So then the onus would be on Pakistan to do something about it?

MR. BOUCHER: I think there is already an onus, if you want to call it that, an obligation of everyone to act against terrorism, to act against groups that carry out terrorism. That obligation exists for all of us.

QUESTION: A third question related to that. What if -- and this may or may not be hypothetical; it could be real -- if let's say al-Qaida decided they wanted to foment trouble deliberately between India and Pakistan, would we then ask both governments with an obligation to go after those terrorists and work together to solve all this?

MR. BOUCHER: We certainly believe that cooperation against terrorism is an important aspect of this. I'm not aware that what you're talking about actually exists. But certainly we believe that countries together, as well as each country separately, need to take action against terrorists.

QUESTION: Two questions. How do you feel about an anonymous senior German official announcing that the US is going after Somalia next? And in other international news --

MR. BOUCHER: How do I feel? I'm heartbroken. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: -- give us the status of -- could you also fill us in on the status of this new UN resolution on the security force that is expected to be introduced today?

MR. BOUCHER: The announcement by an anonymous German official of what we were going to do next is very interesting. I'm sure it comes as news to all of us, because the situation remains the same, the way the Secretary has described it in previous days. There have been no recommendations to the President. The President has not made any decisions about what happens next.

And the UN resolution, let me just see if I have an update. I think the simple answer to that is, we're still working on it. It is being worked up in New York. We are in touch with the British and other partners in working on that resolution. I think there have been a series of meetings among the Perm Five in New York. Those discussions continue. As you know, as well, the discussions with countries on potential contributions and deployments continue as well.

QUESTION: As you understand it, is coordination with the US military one of the stumbling blocks toward getting consensus on it at this point?

MR. BOUCHER: No, no. It is one of the issues that are being worked. There are a lot of issues of composition, deployment, as well as mandate in the resolution. And, of course, coordination with the US military is an important aspect of working all this out. But I don't think there is any major stumbling block like that.

QUESTION: Does the US have a diplomatic presence in Somalia? One of the reasons I ask is that our story is quoting a diplomat in Mogadishu. We're curious about what he is doing there.

MR. BOUCHER: As long as they spell his name right. Glenn Warren is our diplomat who is resident in Nairobi, but his responsibilities include following developments in Somalia. He travels to Somalia periodically. And he is currently making one of those periodic trips to Somalia. So we don't have a diplomatic representation in Somalia, nor do we recognize the Somali government. But, as I said, we have this person in our embassy in Nairobi who goes in.

We have maintained contact on a regular basis with a variety of Somali representatives, including those from the transitional national government, Puntland and Somaliland, and representatives of other factions. That is his job, to keep in touch.

QUESTION: How do you spell his name?

MR. BOUCHER: G-l-e-n-n W-a-r-r-e-n.

QUESTION: Could you preview for us the security talks today between the US and the EU representatives?

MR. BOUCHER: The Secretary will come down and talk to you afterwards, and that should be an hour-and-a-half from now. So the preview is that they will talk about a lot of things, including the Middle East.

As you know, our efforts remain focused on steps to end the violence. We think that Chairman Arafat's speech and other positive actions have been constructive. But we are still looking for sustained, decisive action, to see those actions broadened and intensified to make a meaningful difference in the level of violence.

QUESTION: So yesterday you told us that the Secretary had spoken to Prime Minister Sharon and Chairman Arafat, and he said that it would be a good idea to resume high-level security talks. And today, lo and behold, they have set up such a meeting. I presume you are pleased with that, but can you tell us if this is enough?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't think I can talk about their meetings.

QUESTION: No, I don't want to know --

MR. BOUCHER: But I do think that we have put the emphasis all along on direct conversations between the Israelis and Palestinians, especially in the security area. This is the best way to work practical arrangements to end the violence, so certainly we welcome any contacts like that, any steps that they can take in that way to coordinate on stopping the violence.

I know that there are also some ideas and proposals floating out there. Foreign Minister Peres has talked about area-by-area kind of approaches. Those are approaches that we have worked with them on in the past. Those are approaches that General Zinni has worked with them on.

So while saying that there is much more that needs to be done, particularly by Chairman Arafat, to make sustained and decisive actions, we certainly would hope that that kind of security coordination would continue, and that that kind of security coordination can prove itself effective.

QUESTION: Just let me get this straight, you are aware that they are having or had or they agreed to have a meeting?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't have anything particular on their meetings, yes.

QUESTION: No, but do you -- have you been told that they are going to have one?


QUESTION: No, I mean, not you, but --

MR. BOUCHER: I'm assuming that the US Government is aware, if they are having a meeting.

QUESTION: No, no. Not if; do you -- does the US Government know if they are? I'm just --

MR. BOUCHER: I will have to check on what kind of information.

QUESTION: Or are you speaking hypothetically?

MR. BOUCHER: I am speaking --

QUESTION: Or it would be a good idea --

MR. BOUCHER: I am speaking about the general proposition of direct contacts and discussions between the two sides on security. I am not speaking about a particular meeting that they may or may not be having. I will leave it to them to confirm whether or not they are having meetings.

QUESTION: Can you tell us anything about this tanker that was boarded by US officials? I know this is probably Pentagon, but a US Navy ship has blah, blah, blah --

MR. BOUCHER: We are aware of the reports, but Pentagon will have to run it down for you and tell you about it.

QUESTION: People involved and setting up the ICC in the Netherlands have been saying today that they think the United States ought to take a more active role in it, especially given what has been happening with bin Laden. Can you just tell us what the US view is of the ICC right now? Has it been affected by bin Laden, the bin Laden case?

MR. BOUCHER: The US view is what it has always been, and it hasn't changed. And if you want that in writing, I will get it for you.

QUESTION: It hasn't changed since?

MR. BOUCHER: It hasn't changed since September 11th.

QUESTION: A while ago the Senate passed the American Servicemen's Protection Act, and I asked about -- I don't remember that there was any response on what the Administration's view of that legislation was?

MR. BOUCHER: I will have to check on the status of the legislation and get you our view.

QUESTION: It did change with the new Administration, though, right? I mean --

MR. BOUCHER: I said since the September 11th --

QUESTION: Since September 11th -- okay.

MR. BOUCHER: The Administration came in January 21st.

QUESTION: Right. Okay.

QUESTION: There's a story in The Post this morning suggesting that at least some South Koreans are nervous about the belligerent statements from the US, and that this (inaudible) has increased the possibility of increased tensions on the Peninsula. Any comment on that?

MR. BOUCHER: I think just generally to say that we coordinate very closely with South Korea on all aspects of the threats on the Peninsula, on North Korea's threat. We do share a common concern about the nature and the level of North Korea's military threat, as I think Under Secretary Bolton talked in Geneva about the North Korean biological weapons capability, so that is something we have spoken about in public, and obviously we talk with the South Koreans about any matters such as this.

QUESTION: On Karzai. Can you tell us what do you think his chances of success are? What does the Government feel about him, his --

MR. BOUCHER: What, are we taking bets?


MR. BOUCHER: The race is about to start; let's take bets on who is going to finish? I would say quite clearly that the new Afghan interim authority has very strong support from the international community -- financial support, moral support, security support. We are all behind this effort, and I think it is striking to see the Afghans behind this effort as well, given the history and the factions and the differences that they have had in the past. They came together in Bonn. They reached a good agreement. They are working together now. They, like we, are looking forward to the assumption of power of the interim governing authority in Afghanistan. And if we all keep working like this, we can make it succeed. We can help them make it succeed; let's put it that way. It's better.

QUESTION: Yes. I was wondering if there was any clear idea today on when the Secretary will be meeting with General Zinni? And also, on the question of (inaudible) to the region? And finally, when General Zinni first went to the region, and there were a number of suicide bombings, there was some commentary that in fact it might have almost, in a perverse way, incited the violence by those forces that didn't want progress. Is there any concern about that kind of perverse sort of cause and effect?

MR. BOUCHER: In response to the last perverse proposition, the answer is no, absolutely not. Zinni is not the cause of the violence.

Second of all --

QUESTION: Doctor (inaudible) perverse comment. (Laughter.)

MR. BOUCHER: It has a certain ring to it. In terms of the Secretary's meeting with him, he still expects to see him in the next couple of days. Has talked to him on the phone but no meeting scheduled at this point.

In terms of his return to the region, clearly we are watching events carefully. They -- the Secretary, General Zinni and other senior levels in the Administration will decide when it is time for him to go back to the region when, basically, we see the kind of effort being made that we think we can work with. So he is ready to go back when it is useful for him to do so.

QUESTION: Why hasn't the Secretary talked to (inaudible) Zinni --

MR. BOUCHER: He has talked to him. They will keep in touch. No problem in communicating there.

QUESTION: Is it important that they meet to hash all this out at this point?

MR. BOUCHER: They have been in sort of constant contact in various ways throughout the effort, throughout the several weeks that he was in the region. Let the man come back, go home for a little while.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) They might be (inaudible) at each other?

MR. BOUCHER: No. They are in touch. They communicate. Ambassador Burns has been in close touch with General Zinni. Ambassador Burns keeps the Secretary fully informed. There is no problem.

QUESTION: You say there is nothing more to say and there is nothing that the US can do at this point?

MR. BOUCHER: Not meeting with him does not say anything. They will meet --

QUESTION: Hold on a second. This morning --

MR. BOUCHER: AFP can flip a coin here. I'll take either one.

QUESTION: There was a question about the Iranian vessel intercepted --

MR. BOUCHER: Boarding, yes.

QUESTION: -- in the Gulf region. The Iranian Government is saying that the Swiss Ambassador to Teheran, who represents the US interests in Iran, was summoned this morning. Are you aware of such a thing from the Iranian Government?

MR. BOUCHER: I am not aware of that. I will have to check on that. But, as far as details of what exactly happened, I will leave it to the Pentagon. But I will check on that diplomatic aspect to see if there is anything to say.

QUESTION: Back to North Korea, can you talk about any contacts the US may have had or may not have had with the North Koreans or prospective contacts with them?

MR. BOUCHER: We have periodic contact through their mission in New York. I am not fully up to speed on when we might have last seen them, but I can check on that for you and find out.

QUESTION: Richard, this morning in the Comoros Islands, a bunch of armed men stormed one of their beaches and some might say in ingenious fashion with letterhead or apparent counterfeit letterhead from the Pentagon saying that they were there on the US

-- involved in the US war against terrorism. I presume that these weren't US troops.

But what do you make of people trying to hijack your war for their own -- for their own benefit?

MR. BOUCHER: We don't cotton to that very much around here.

QUESTION: And do you have any explanation of what --

MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't. We don't have an embassy in the Comoros; we haven't had one since 1993. They do have a rich recent history of military coups, but I don't have any independent confirmation of what's going on there. I'm assuming the Pentagon knows where our soldiers are, and you can ask them if any have landed there. But we don't have any information that might indicate they might be American soldiers.

QUESTION: Okay, and Charlie is going to have to -- this is for Charlie. I've got a Cambodia question.

Last month, you suspended issuing visas for parents who were trying to adopt Cambodian children. Then earlier this month, there was a statement out of here talking about how all immigrant visas -- the processing was going to be moved to the Embassy in Bangkok. I understand that there is going to be a report on television tonight that says these two things are, in fact, linked. Is that correct?

MR. BOUCHER: Linked only to the extent that we think we can take care of people better in Bangkok, because we have more staff, more resources to do things there. First, I think I have to make clear, we are very, very sympathetic to the parents, the prospective adoptive parents, particularly American adoptive parents, who go out and want to adopt children, and we try to work very closely with them throughout the world. Adoptions at our embassy in Phnom Penh have gone up something like 10 times over the last five years. There were 32 in 1996, 402 in the year 2000, fiscal year 2000. So we do work very closely with the parents to make this happen.

There are strict criteria in our law to protect the children, to protect the birth parents and to protect the adoptive parents. Sadly, one of the longstanding problems in Cambodia, as sometimes elsewhere, is whether the child is truly an orphan. And there have been some cases in Cambodia where questions arise as to whether the child is truly an orphan or whether there is some baby-selling going on. These things need to be looked at very, very carefully. That does result in delays or difficulties in certain cases, and that is regrettable and obviously a strain on the parents.

But we are trying to handle these cases as best we can, as quickly as we can, with all of the information available. We are moving case processing for immigrant visas, including for these babies, to Bangkok, where we have more resources, where we have more officers available to handle these cases. And hopefully we can take care of people that way.

QUESTION: The last one, do you have anything more -- have you figured out what exactly happened in Haiti the other day?

MR. BOUCHER: "Figured out what exactly" is kind of a high standard. The --

QUESTION: I thought it was the only one.

MR. BOUCHER: Well, it probably is the only one, but it is a high standard when you are dealing with a situation down there. The short answer is, no. There are reports now suggesting that Monday's attack might have been a staged provocation that was intended to lead to the mob assaults on the political opposition and the critics of the government. However, at this point, the identity and the motives of the assailants remain unknown to us. We have condemned the attack on the palace as well as the mob violence that followed. We have made clear that we think that the armed assaults, particularly on the opposition offices and homes, are very troubling.

As we have said before, we would expect the Government of Haiti to identify the perpetrators, whoever they might be, of both the attack on the palace and those who incited the mob violence. And we would also expect that any efforts to bring them to justice would be undertaken in accordance with the rule of law.

QUESTION: Next month's US-Russia expert talks, are you guys going to be talking about Iran? Anything on that?

MR. BOUCHER: Next month's US-Russia experts' talks?

QUESTION: There were US-Russia expert talks expected on further missile reduction.

MR. BOUCHER: Strategic framework issues.

QUESTION: Strategic framework issues.

MR. BOUCHER: Nonproliferation is part of the strategic framework issues. I would say, in that context, as well as frankly just about every time we get together with the Russians, we talk about proliferation issues with regard to Iran. But I don't have any particular talks to announce for you at this point.

QUESTION: Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 1:32 p.m. EST.)

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