HomeUnited StatesDepartment Press Briefing – September 13, 2022

Department Press Briefing – September 13, 2022

QUESTION: Different conflict, Ethiopia.
MR PRICE: Happy to, and I know my colleague at the at the White House, John Kirby, just said something at the top of the White House press briefing as well. But we are deeply saddened by the devastation and by the loss of life throughout Pakistan that these historic floods have caused. We stand with the people of Pakistan at this difficult time.
QUESTION: Okay. So it was not the day that you had thought or hoped. It was just last week?
MR PRICE: I will leave it to Russia to speak to what’s in their interests, but it is hard for us to envision from here how another conflict on Russia’s borders would be in anyone’s interests, including the interests of those in Moscow.
QUESTION: Ned, can I follow up?
QUESTION: Okay. The Israelis arrested another Palestinian journalist, Lama Ghosheh. They have not levied any charges against her and so on, and they extended her administration detention. She’s done nothing. She’s reported on Sheikh Jarrah and so on. I wonder if you’re aware of this.
MR PRICE: Thank you. It’s good to be back. I appreciate you welcoming me back after you’ve had the pleasure and luxury of hearing from Vedant for the past couple briefings. I do have one thing at the top, and then we’ll turn to your question.
QUESTION: Sir, one last question. Like always, United States came forward to help Pakistan, giving millions of dollars in response to floods in Pakistan right now. Sir, can you say something about that?
QUESTION: Thank you very much. After the invasion of Ukraine, a bipartisan legislation was introduced in the Congress by Senators Shaheen and Romney requesting the U.S. administration to develop a comprehensive strategy about the Black Sea region. I wonder if the administration has any strategy today about Black Sea region until this legislation passes. I will say that United States is supporting Romania, Bulgaria, its NATO Allies. But there are some – some partners like Georgia are very vulnerable in the region.
MR PRICE: Well —
MR PRICE: I saw.
With that, Matt.
QUESTION: So it’s been a while since I’ve asked you about this, but I just want your – so have we all forgotten about now – is the whole investigation into the swastika thing? Is that just done and no one has been found to be responsible for? Is that —
QUESTION: Now, I know that Vedant tried to explain the meaning of accountability, but to be quite honest, I didn’t understand it. I don’t think anyone does – I mean, looking at social media, nobody seems to have endorsed your position on accountability in this particular case. In this particular case, what is accountability? How – what is the definition?
MR PRICE: Good afternoon. Good to see everyone.
QUESTION: To Iran story, Iran portfolio, when you think about engagement, or JCPOA, or other angles.
So the promise of Oslo is not yet fulfilled, but we are continuing to work with our partners – Israelis, Palestinians, partners in the region – to do all we can to support an eventual two-state solution to this protracted conflict.
QUESTION: What – the summit that’s coming up in a couple days, what do you guys like to see come out of that summit?
QUESTION: Right. Can I just quickly follow up on Ukraine, if the gentleman doesn’t mind? On – and Kirby was asked about this as well, but do you think the recent events on the ground in Ukraine, Ukraine’s gains, do you think that could help with some of the reluctance that Europe has in terms of sending weapons? And you might have seen Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba criticizing Germany today. I mean, do you think that that could help with Europeans to sort of be more willing to send weapons?
MR PRICE: So this is information that ultimately originates with our Intelligence Community, so I’m loathe to go into greater detail from here. Of course, we’re always very careful not to characterize Intelligence Community assessments. But what I can say is that we’ve spoken from here, from the White House, from the Defense Department about Russia’s explicit assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty; its explicit assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty in the form of this brutal invasion and this brutal aggression that has been ongoing since February 24th, but also for the eight or so years prior to that since 2014.
MR PRICE: I will leave it to the Russians to speak to their diplomacy.
MR PRICE: In a —
QUESTION: Unless you —
MR PRICE: Look, I’m not going to get into the sequencing, but it is undeniably true that Israel faces a profound threat. It is a threat that emanates not only from Hamas in Gaza, but it is a threat that emanates from terrorist groups but also lone actors, including lone actors who have recently committed horrific acts of terrorism and violence, actors who emanated from the West Bank. So there is no denying the security threat that Israel faces.
MR PRICE: I’d make a couple points. First, Secretary Blinken, in his meeting with President Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Kuleba and their team on Thursday in Kyiv, made this point privately but made it publicly as well. It’s early days, and it was earlier days when our Ukrainian partners briefed us on the progress that they had made as of late last week. We’ve seen them make additional and quite remarkable progress both in the north and in the south in the intervening days since we’ve left Ukraine.
QUESTION: A little bit on Matt’s questioning.
MR PRICE: Well, for us it is a reminder, a reminder of the likes of which we receive – I don’t want to be hyperbolic, but if not every day just about every day of the malign influence that Iran represents and that in many ways Iran exports throughout the region and in this case well beyond. We have no illusions about the nature of the Iranian regime. That is not a reason not to pursue a deal that would block permanently and verifiably an Iranian nuclear weapon. That is a reason to pursue such a deal that would permanently and verifiably prohibit Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
QUESTION: The reason that I bring it up is because you started with the diversity, inclusion, and —
QUESTION: And a change in subject, if I may. Azerbaijan-Armenia.
QUESTION: Just to follow up on the Israel stuff, just to double-check, you guys have called for a review of rules of engagement in the occupied West Bank, and I believe Israelis have publicly rebuffed that, maybe not addressing U.S. Have you received any different response from them, signaling that they might look into this?
QUESTION: Mr. Price, thank you. You state about the Azerbaijan and Armenian military tension. Unfortunately, I lost – I also lost my friends in the shooting yesterday. So Azerbaijan states that the news about the firing of civilians in Armenia is nonsense. By the way, Azerbaijan invests billions of dollars in territories freed from occupation, and also tying the country with – to world energy crisis. I think we should not forget the terror committed by Armenia against civilians in Ganja, Barda, Tartar in 2020. It’s a fact that Azerbaijan has been waiting for peace from Armenia for 30 years, because we just want (inaudible).
MR PRICE: Matt, this was an investigation that the Secretary directed as soon as this was brought to attention shortly after the swastika was discovered.
MR PRICE: We are working every day to de-escalate tensions together with our Israeli partners, our Palestinian partners, and with partners in the region – countries like Egypt, countries like Qatar, other regional partners that have relationships, whether it’s with the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian people, or the Israeli Government. So our constant goal is to see to it that tensions remain at a low, to do everything we can to de-escalate before we see signs of conflict and signs of violence once again creep up.
MR PRICE: A couple of things on that. So unless we have an open hearing, we tend not to speak about private briefings for members of Congress or for their staffs. But I can tell you that individuals from this building, including Rob, have been up on the Hill a number of times briefing relevant committees on our efforts to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA. We’ve had a number of briefings with Congress. I imagine those will continue in the days and weeks ahead. In all of those sessions, we have apprised members and their staffs regarding the status of those negotiations. We want to make sure that they are fully apprised of where we are in the course of that. We have kept them informed of our engagement with other countries in the region with our Israeli partners, with our Gulf partners, of course; our routine engagements with our E3 counterparts but also with the fuller set of the P5+1. So I imagine any future congressional engagements will do the same.
MR PRICE: Sure.
There is no question that Egypt is an indispensable partner. I’ve already said once the important role Egypt plays in the region, not only as a guarantor of the 1979 Camp David Accords but also serving as an important broker between Israelis and Palestinians, maintaining relationships with the Palestinian people that often work to our advantage when we are in times of enhanced tensions. So we’ll continue to work closely with our Egyptian partners, but we’ll also continue to have regular conversations with them about the importance of human rights.
MR PRICE: Our objective has remained constant since the start of this aggression. It is to see a Ukraine that remains democratic, that remains sovereign, that remains independent, and that, going forward, is prosperous and has the means to defend itself against future aggression. That is the very definition of success that the President defined in his op-ed that he wrote on the topic several months ago now, and it’s really the predicate of our strategy to support our Ukrainian partners.
But what Russia is doing around the world in terms of its election meddling is also an assault on sovereignty. It is an effort to chip away at the ability of people around the world to choose the government that they see best fit to represent them, to represent their interests, to represent their values. So part of our charge not only is to do that assessment and to collect and to do that analysis, but then to expose what we know, because in order to fight this, in many ways we have to put a spotlight on it.
MR PRICE: Well, you’ve heard us speak to all of our partners in the Black Sea region, and of course, it’s a vital – a region of vital importance not only to the region, but also to the world. And we’ve talked about the vitality and the indispensability of this region to the broader international community in the context of the grain deal that Ukraine and Turkey and the UN as well as Russia have agreed to and implemented, given that countries along the Black Sea are – and especially Ukraine – it’s the breadbasket to the world. It is a region that is rich with energy. It’s a region that is otherwise rich with natural resources. It is a region that is rich with friendship for the United States.
MR PRICE: So a couple things. One, I’m going to leave our communication with the IDF and with our Israeli partners to diplomatic channels. We’re just not going to detail the specifics of that engagement. Two, we have noted and underscored the imperative of accountability and the importance of accountability, but we haven’t been prescriptive. No one knows the IDF’s processes and procedures better than the IDF. And so it is not on us or any other country or entity to say precisely what the IDF or any military or security organization around the world should do.
MR PRICE: I would leave it to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
QUESTION: Ned, just to clarify, you’ve offered but are Russians responding?
As of September 12th, earlier this week, a total of nine U.S. Central Command flights delivered more than half of the 630 metric tons of relief supplies from USAID’s Dubai warehouse for the response to these massive floods. In total, CENTCOM will airlift more than 41,000 kitchen sets, 1,500 rolls of plastic sheeting, tens of thousands of plastic tarps, 8,700 shelter fixing kits – all in support of USAID’s flood relief.
MR PRICE: Well, diplomacy is still very much alive. And this is a simmering conflict and a simmering sort of tension that has been around for decades. And we have been focused on this since the earliest days of this administration. Of course, we inherited a South Caucasus region that had only recently emerged from a fairly intense flare-up of violence in 2020. With our successive senior advisers now, we have placed a high level of personnel overseeing the day‑to‑day activity of this file. Of course, Ambassador Reeker is someone who is well known to the department. He has been the acting assistant secretary in charge of our Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs. He has held senior posts overseas as well. He is someone who knows this issue set as well as anyone.
QUESTION: Yes, Iran. Iran.
As Secretary Blinken has often said, bringing diversity of expertise and lived experience to the policymaking table is not just a nice to have; it is a national security imperative. This strategic plan is essential to building an equitable meritocracy where all employees can realize their full potential. Doing the work to implement milestones laid out in this plan will translate into a stronger, smarter, and more effective foreign policy, and we’ll have more to say on all of that in the weeks and months ahead.
As Secretary Blinken has often said, bringing diversity of expertise and lived experience to the policymaking table is not just a nice to have; it is a national security imperative. This strategic plan is essential to building an equitable meritocracy where all employees can realize their full potential. Doing the work to implement milestones laid out in this plan will translate into a stronger, smarter, and more effective foreign policy, and we’ll have more to say on all of that in the weeks and months ahead.
As Secretary Blinken has often said, bringing diversity of expertise and lived experience to the policymaking table is not just a nice to have; it is a national security imperative. This strategic plan is essential to building an equitable meritocracy where all employees can realize their full potential. Doing the work to implement milestones laid out in this plan will translate into a stronger, smarter, and more effective foreign policy, and we’ll have more to say on all of that in the weeks and months ahead.
As Secretary Blinken has often said, bringing diversity of expertise and lived experience to the policymaking table is not just a nice to have; it is a national security imperative. This strategic plan is essential to building an equitable meritocracy where all employees can realize their full potential. Doing the work to implement milestones laid out in this plan will translate into a stronger, smarter, and more effective foreign policy, and we’ll have more to say on all of that in the weeks and months ahead.
As Secretary Blinken has often said, bringing diversity of expertise and lived experience to the policymaking table is not just a nice to have; it is a national security imperative. This strategic plan is essential to building an equitable meritocracy where all employees can realize their full potential. Doing the work to implement milestones laid out in this plan will translate into a stronger, smarter, and more effective foreign policy, and we’ll have more to say on all of that in the weeks and months ahead.
As Secretary Blinken has often said, bringing diversity of expertise and lived experience to the policymaking table is not just a nice to have; it is a national security imperative. This strategic plan is essential to building an equitable meritocracy where all employees can realize their full potential. Doing the work to implement milestones laid out in this plan will translate into a stronger, smarter, and more effective foreign policy, and we’ll have more to say on all of that in the weeks and months ahead.
MR PRICE: I’m deeply sorry to hear about your personal loss. The loss that you’ve expressed is, of course, a loss that is being felt on a national level in both Armenia and Azerbaijan. It’s why we have placed such an emphasis on doing all we can, working with other stakeholders in the region, to bring about an end to this violence, to save additional lives, to see to it that civilians are not targeted and harmed – or worse yet – in any continuation of this violence. It is a priority of the Secretary, it’s a priority of the department, it’s a priority of this administration to work with the countries and the stakeholders not only to see an end to this flare-up of violence, but also to de-escalate these tensions more broadly.
So – and on top of that we’ve seen the Russian Government go to extraordinary lengths to try to limit and to crack down on the ability of these indications of objections or defiance from propagating. And in the earliest days of the war, tens of thousands of Russians were arrested for peacefully protesting, marching across dozens of cities across Russia. More recently, we have seen journalists, we have seen civil society advocates and activists, we have seen advocates all arrested for the so-called crime of speaking the truth, whether that is calling this a war, whether that is criticizing President Putin, criticizing the Kremlin. All of that has been criminalized in the most reprehensible way possible.
MR PRICE: In a – that is hard to imagine.
The – this strategy, a strategy that we’ve implemented with our partners and allies, has proved itself. It proved itself when Ukraine decisively won the battle of Kyiv in the earliest days of this war. It’s a strategy that once again is proving itself by positioning our Ukrainian partners to be able to be effective on the battlefield.
QUESTION: — and move to the South Caucasus. Iranian drones have been found in Ukraine. In fact, Russians had been using it. How much does it add up to Iran portfolio when you think about engaging —
MR PRICE: This is —
It is precisely why we have continued to place an emphasis on the importance of normalization agreements in the region to bring and to build bridges between Israel and its neighbors in ways that, again, just a few years ago might have been inconceivable.
QUESTION: So don’t you think that Ukraine thinking that one of the most important European countries not committing to them in that sense is actually undermining that solidarity you talked about? This isn’t specific to Germany.
MR PRICE: Sure. So on Iran, you heard the Secretary’s comments yesterday, and then he spoke to this on Friday from Brussels when he was standing next to Secretary General Stoltenberg. To recap the state of play, the European Union, High Representative Borrell, and his team tabled a proposal, a proposal that was largely based on the draft agreement that had been deliberated and negotiated painstakingly over the course of many months, an agreement that had largely been on the table since the spring of this year. That was tabled a number of weeks ago.
MR PRICE: So a couple facts are relevant here, Said; one of them is the fact that not only the U.S. security coordinator but in this case the Palestinian Authority and the IDF conducted its own thorough, comprehensive review into the tragic killing of Shireen Abu Akleh. Of course, coming to a conclusion as the IDF did, the USSC did with high probability in both cases – that, of course, is part of it. We, in order to understand what happened, need a comprehensive accounting of the circumstances and the events that lead to her tragic killing. The IDF report is part of that.

Source

Stay Connected
251FansLike
420FollowersFollow
Must Read
Related News