DCSIMG

Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice At the Security Council Stakeout

U.S. Mission to the United Nations, New York, New York



Reporter: Madame President, I would like to get your reaction to a statement that was made earlier by the spokesman for Special Envoy Kofi Annan who reported that there were some troop movements on the part of the Syrian government to withdraw troops from city centers. Are you encouraged by this?

Ambassador Rice: Well, first of all, what we know as opposed to what the government of Syria has said, is that yesterday, in fact—as in previous days—the violence has intensified, and our understanding is that yesterday was one of the more violent days of late in many of the Syrian cities of concern and in question. Now we have heard statements by the government that they intend to begin to take steps to meet their obligations under their agreement with the Joint Special Envoy. As I’ve said in the past, we will be looking at actions and deeds rather than their words.

Reporter: I want to ask you about Somalia. Yesterday the Somali mission’s first secretary, Omar Jamal, held a press conference, among other things here. And he said that his government, the TFG, has given permission to the U.S. to use unmanned aerial vehicles or drones to make strikes in Somalia fighting Al Shabaab. So it seems sort of—I wanted to know, is that the case? And what is the U.S.’s role itself—I understand, in your national capacity—in actually fighting Al Shabaab who has claimed credit for this national theater bombing?

Ambassador Rice: I’m not going to get into matters that relate to intelligence. I will say that the United States has been and remains extremely focused—as do all members of the international community—on combating the terrorist threat that Al Shabaab poses, as an active threat not only to Somali but to the people of the region and beyond, in particular, given its active affiliation with Al Qaeda. So we’ll continue to work with partners in Somalia and beyond to deal effectively with the Al Shabaab threat.

Reporter: Mr. Kofi Annan has a plan to go to Tehran next week. What are you expecting him to do in Tehran and what are you expecting Tehran to do?

Ambassador Rice: I can’t speak for Joint Special Envoy Annan, either about his travel plans or the substance of his meetings. I refer you to him for that.

Thank you.

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