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Press Release: Senior State Department Official Previewing the Friends of Syrian People Conference in Tunis

Press Release: Senior State Department Official Previewing the Friends of Syrian People Conference in Tunis

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Published by Mar15Syria

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Published by: Mar15Syria on Feb 24, 2012
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02/24/2012

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SeniorStateDepartmentOfficialPreviewingtheFriendsofSyrianPeopleConferenceinTunis
 
Special Briefing
Senior Department Official
London, United Kingdom
February 23, 2012
MODERATOR:
Goodmorning,everybody.Hopeyouallhadagoodsleep.The
 
followingisgoingtobeembargoeduntilGMTnoonhereforreasonsthatyouwillunderstand,becauseitreflectsavarietyofmeetingsthattheSecretaryhashadonthemarginsoftheSomaliaconferencewithhercounterparts.
QUESTION:
Whenisthisembargoedto?
MODERATOR:
Okay.Justtorepeat,thiswillbeembargoeduntilnoontoday,Londontime,GMT,becauseitwillbe--whatyouareabouttohearreflectsavarietyofmeetingsthattheSecretaryishavingwithcounterpartswhoareheadedtoTunistomorrowonthemarginsoftoday'seventshereinLondononSomalia.Wehavewithus[StateDepartmentOfficial]toleadyououtonthoseconversations,hereafterknownas"SeniorStateDepartmentOfficial."Andhewillbepreviewingforyou,basedonherconversations,whatweexpecttohavehappeninTunistomorrow.Takeitaway,[SeniorStateDepartmentOfficial].
SENIORSTATEDEPARTMENTOFFICIAL:
Goodmorning,everybody.Sinceherarrival,theSecretaryhashadanumberofconversationsandmeetingswithEuropeanandArabcounterparts.Obviously,sheisinLondonfortheSomalia
 
conferencethatIcanleaveotherstotalkabout.ButshehastakentheopportunityinordertomakesurethatweallareproperlypreparedfortheFriendsoftheSyrianPeopleconferencetomorrowinTunis.SoIwilltalkabout–abitabouttheconversationsandmeetingsshehashadwithArabandEuropeaninterlocutors,focusedonthemeetinginTunisandthesituationinSyria.TheSecretaryhasbeenworkingwithhercounterpartsonthethreepillarsthatwehavediscussedbeforethatwewouldliketoseeasoutcomesfromtheTunisconferencetomorrow.Thereisalotof–shehashadalotofdiscussions,forexample,onthehumanitarianaspect.HowcanweworktogetherasaninternationalcommunityinaconcreteandtangiblewaytoaddresstheveryrealneedsoftheSyrianpeople?Thereisalotofconcern,ofcourse,aboutwhat’shappeninginplaceslikeHoms,thehorrificconditionsinwhichpeople(inaudible),andhowdowegettherighttypeofhumanitarianandmedicalassistance(inaudible)thatpeopleneed.And(inaudible)generalagreementthatwhilethe--whilewehaveall--allofushavebeenworkingwithvarioushumanitarianwell-knownorganizations,UNorganizationsontheground,thattherealchallengeistheaccessissue.AnditisgoingtobeuptotheSyrianGovernmenttobe–theSyrianauthorities,theSyrianregime–torespondtointernationalcommunity’srealcommitmenttoprovidethetypeofassistance.Ithinkoneofthethingsyouaregoingtoseecomingoutofthemeetingtomorrowareconcreteproposalsonhowwe,theinternationalcommunity,plantosupporthumanitarianorganizationsonthegroundwithindays,meaningthatthechallengeisontheSyrianregimetorespondtothis.Thesecondareaoffocus,naturally,isaboutthetransition,thebackingoftheArabLeagueinitiative,thepoliticalhorizon.TheSyrianNationalCouncilwillbeattheconferenceinTunistomorrow.TheSyrianNationalCouncilhasbeenintouchwithmanyofusintheUnitedStates,otherinterlocutors,aboutitsowntransitionplanthattheywillbediscussingwiththeinternationalcommunitytomorrow.TheSyrianNationalCouncilhasalsobeenworkingtoreachouttopeopleinsideSyriatomakesurethatwhattheysaytomorrowdoesreflectrealitiesonthegroundinsideSyriaandapragmaticwayabouthowyoumoveforwardinimplementingatransitionplan.EverybodyisbackingtheArabLeaguetransitionplanwho’satthe
 
conferencetomorrow,butit’sincumbentupontheSyrianNationalCounciltotalkabouthowtheywouldtranslatethattransitionplanintoactiononthegroundandforthemtoarticulateitinacompellingwaythat’scomprehensible,understandabletoSyriansinsideandout.Thegroupmeetingtomorrowwill,ofcourse,showthatwesupporttheseefforts,notonlytheArabLeaguetransitionplanbuttheSyrianNationalCouncil’seffortstoimplementtheArabtransitionplan.ThethirdareathattheSecretaryhasbeentalkingaboutwithhercounterpartsisbasicallythepressureandisolationtrack.Andthishastodoalotwiththesanctions.
 
WehaveimplementedsanctionsonSyriaandcontinuetolookatthewaysthatwecanincreasethepressure.TheEuropeanshave.TheArabshaveaswell,suchasSaudiArabiaannouncingthesuspensionofcommercial.SotheSecretaryhasbeenworkingwithhercounterpartstoseehowwecanmakesurethatthepressuretrackthatwe’reallengagedinis,first,focused,butsecond,coordinatedenoughthattheimpactisgreaterthanjustindividual(inaudible)ontheSyrianauthorities,ontheSyrianregime,toshowtheinternationalresolvetoaddresstheserealconcerns.There’salotof–there’salargenumberofpeoplethathavebeen–alargenumberofcountriesandorganizationshavebeeninvitedtomorrow.Ithinkyou’llseeastrongchairstatementcomingoutoftheTunisianhosttomorrowthatreflectsthesethreepillarsthatIjusttalkedabout.
MODERATOR:
Good.Thankyouverymuch.Unfortunately,[SeniorStateDepartmentOfficial]onlyhasalittlewhile,so(inaudible)threeorfour,andthenifweneedtogetbackwithhimlaterintheday,wewilldothat.Whowantsto(inaudible)thefirstquestion?
QUESTION:
Iwouldlovetoaskaquestion,butIkeepgettingbumpedoffthiscallandsoIhavenoideawhatpointsoneandtwowere.
MODERATOR:
Okay.Well,wewillobviouslytranscribethisasquicklyaswecanandgetitbackouttoyouaswell.Butpoints–pointonewashumanitarian,pointtwowassupportingthetransition.
QUESTION:
[SeniorStateDepartmentOfficial],ifImay,it’sStevehere.Canyoutalkalittlebitmoreaboutthisissueofthehumanitarianaid?Yousaidtherealchallenge

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