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دراسة جديدة من إعداد عدد من طلاب الماجستير في كلية إدارة الأعمال في جامعة هارفرد بالتعاون مع جروث جيت كابيتال تكشف المعتقدات السائدة حول قطاع الاستثمارات الخاصة <دبي، 7 / أغسطس، 2014 / بي آر نيوزواير / ایشیانیٹ باکستان — عقب فترة من الانكماش وعمليات الاندماج، بدأت تظهر إشارات التعافي والانتعاش على قطاع الاستثمارات الخاصة […]Read more
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 06, 2014
As the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania underscored, Africa-based terrorists threaten the interests of the United States in addition to those of our African partners. The United States government has no higher priority than protecting U.S. citizens from attack by terrorists and violent extremists. But our efforts at countering terrorism in Africa are motivated as well by a recognition that extremist groups are tearing apart communities in many parts of the continent, robbing young people of their futures, constraining economic growth, and denying people the opportunity to reach their full potential. African terrorist groups, such as al-Shabaab, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Boko Haram, and Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis (ABM), threaten the security and prosperity of Africans across the continent.
We are committed to working with our African partners to address immediate threats and build durable and professional security sector institutions required to achieve our long-term counterterrorism objectives.
A Comprehensive Approach
The United States and our African partners are committed to countering terrorism in Africa through counterterrorism partnerships that draw on all of our tools: military, diplomacy, financial action, intelligence, law enforcement, and development alike. Our partnerships are building African partner capacities in the security and justice sectors to counter terrorism in a way that is consistent with the rule of law, and building the capacity of African governments and civil society in countering violent extremism (CVE) to neutralize violent ideologies before they spread.
- Enhancing military capacity. U.S. military personnel work hand-in-hand with their African counterparts to increase military capacity in countries threatened by terrorism. The Department of Defense (DoD) provides much needed equipment to empower African partners’ ability to halt terrorism. U.S. military personnel provide specialized training that includes instruction on planning, battlefield tactics, civil-military relations, best practices in counter-insurgency, and respect for the rule of law. The United States also sponsors multinational exercises to increase collaboration and strengthen bonds among African partners. The 2014 Flintlock Exercise, hosted by Niger, brought together more than 1,000 troops from 18 countries, including eight African nations.
- Enhancing law enforcement capacity: Strengthening our African partners’ civilian security and law enforcement capacity is another key priority of our counterterrorism strategy in Africa. In FY2013, we trained 2,584 participants in 19 African countries on how to prevent, detect, and investigate terrorism threats; secure their borders; bolster legal frameworks to effectively prosecute terrorists within the rule of law; and manage responses to terrorist incidents in a rule-of-law framework that respects human rights, as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program. The ATA program provides training on a wide range of disciplines, from bomb detection to crime scene investigation. We have a longstanding ATA partnership with Tanzania, for example, which has helped institutionalize its counterterrorism training and stand-up a special marine police unit. On the sidelines of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the United States and Kenya signed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA). This agreement provides the legal framework to allow for the exchange of information and evidence to assist countries in the prevention, detection, and investigation of customs offenses – including those associated with terrorism-related activities.
- Restricting travel and stemming access to resources: With our African partners, we work to restrict terrorists’ and terrorist organizations’ travel and their ability to raise, move, and store money. The Terrorist Interdiction Program/Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System provides partner countries in Africa border security assistance to identify, disrupt, and deter terrorist travel. The Counterterrorism Finance (CTF) program, run by the Department of State, provides training to partner governments that will better enable them to restrict terrorists’ and terrorist organizations’ ability to raise, move, and store money. CTF provides African nations with internal and cross-border financial investigations training to work effectively with counterparts in neighboring countries and assists these countries in strengthening their laws and regulations. We have three CTF-funded Resident Legal Advisors (RLA) and two Department of Homeland Security advisors in Africa who provide mentoring and training to judges and prosecutors so they are better able to adjudicate and prosecute these cases.
- Drying up potential sources of recruits: We also seek to stop terrorism before it begins by strengthening community resilience and creating environments that are inhospitable for terrorist recruitment. In Chad, Niger, and Burkina Faso, for example, USAID is leading efforts to support youth empowerment through education, skills training, strengthening local governance capacity, and improving access to information via community radio, targeting groups most vulnerable to extremist ideologies.
- Building global partnerships: We have also worked in the multilateral arena to build international architecture to combat today’s terrorist threats. In 2011 the United States co-founded the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), which includes participation from African countries. The GCTF focuses on identifying critical civilian counterterrorism needs, mobilizing the necessary expertise and resources to address such needs, and enhancing global cooperation.
- Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund: President Obama has asked Congress to create a new, $5 billion counterterrorism partnerships fund that will help build the capacity of our international partners to respond effectively to the terrorist threat. If approved, this fund would allow the United States to provide additional training, equipment, and operational support for partner states in our shared fight against al-Shabaab, AQIM, Boko Haram and others. It would also support targeted efforts to address the underlying conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, including by supporting partner efforts to combat terrorist safe havens.
Providing support to partners on the front lines
The United States is building strong partnerships with countries to address critical terrorist threats on the front lines in order to confront the threat at its roots.
- Confronting Boko Haram: We are deeply concerned by Boko Haram’s ongoing attacks against Nigeria’s citizens, civil institutions, and infrastructure, including the group’s April 2014 kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls. To support the Nigerian-led efforts to combat Boko Haram, we are providing an array of military, law enforcement, and intelligence support, such as counter-Improvised Explosive Device training and forensics training. We are also supporting the efforts of Nigeria and its neighbors to increase regional cooperation to combat Boko Haram. Because the specter of terrorism requires more than just a security response, we have also worked to encourage and support the Nigerian government’s efforts to promote development in northern Nigeria, including by boosting health, education, and social service delivery. Our security cooperation also supports the professionalization of key military units and underscores that effective counterterrorism policies and practices are those that respect human rights and are underpinned by the rule of law.
- Working to Degrade Al-Shabaab: In Somalia, we continue to support the Somali National Army and the African Union (AU) Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in their efforts to push al-Shabaab out of its strongholds. The Department of State has invested more than $170 million to recruit and train forces to help protect Somalia’s institutions and citizens. Since 2007 we have contributed more than half a billion dollars in training, equipment, and logistical support to AMISOM. While these efforts have weakened al-Shabaab and pushed it out of a number of cities, the group remains the most significant threat to peace and security in Somalia and the region. Our counterterrorism support for Somalia is embedded in an overarching policy of support for policies and reforms to eliminate the underlying sources of violence and increase national and regional stability. A stable, peaceful Somalia and Horn of Africa are the best long-term deterrents to a resurgence of al-Shabaab. Our Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism, has helped build the capacity and resilience of East African governments to contain the spread of, and counter the threat posed by, al-Qa’ida, al-Shabaab, and other terrorist organizations.
- Enabling Partners to combat al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM): We provided support to our French and regional partners to reverse AQIM’s expansion in northern Mali in 2013 and help the people of Mali reclaim their future. The United States has provided airlift and refueling support, and training and supplies to more than 6,000 African soldiers and police who have deployed to support the international response. This international partnership paved the way for safe elections and improved stability in Mali, taking on both the immediate threat and the dire conditions that helped the extremists take hold in the first place. Our Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) has supported these efforts and other partner country efforts in the Sahel and the Maghreb to constrict and ultimately eliminate the ability of terrorist organizations to exploit the region by increasing security sector capacity, addressing underlying causes of radicalization, and amplifying local voices that speak out against violence.
- Confronting Terrorism in North Africa: We continue to provide security and counterterrorism assistance and advice to our partners in North Africa to arrest the growth of extremist groups like Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, and Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah. Through the TSCTP, we are working with the government of Tunisia to build its capacity to confront terrorist threats. We have also provided crisis response and tactical and command training to Tunisian security forces as well as training in leadership development, police reform, prison reform, hostage rescue, and crowd control management for the Justice and Interior ministries. Additionally, we have provided vehicles to enhance internal and border security in Tunisia. In Libya, we are working with the international community to train a Libyan General Purpose Force, build Libyan security institutional capacity, and improve the Libyan government’s ability to counter terrorism.
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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 05, 2014
Below is a list of expected attendees at tonight’s White House Dinner on the occasion of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Additional details about the Summit Dinner are available HERE.
THE PRESIDENT and MRS. OBAMA
His Excellency Mohamed Abdulaziz, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, State of Libya
His Excellency Jean-Paul Adam, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Seychelles
His Excellency Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Ms. Uzo Aduba, Actress, New York, NY
Ms. Nonyem Aduba
Ms. Mimi Alemayehou, Washington, DC
Mr. Papa Ndiaye
Her Excellency Amina Ali, Ambassador of the African Union Mission
His Excellency Abdalla Alteni, Prime Minister of the State of Libya
His Excellency Martin Andjaba, Ambassador of the Republic of Namibia
The Honorable Dennis Archer, Chairman and CEO, Dennis W. Archer PLLC, Detroit, MI
Mr. Dennis Archer, Jr.
The Honorable Caroline Atkinson, Deputy Assistant to the President & Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, National Security Council
Mr. Geoffrey Boyd Lamb
His Excellency Abdallah Baali, Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
His Excellency Nassirou Bako Arifari, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration, Francophonie and the Beninese Diaspora, Republic of Benin
His Excellency Oldemiro Marques Baloi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Republic of Mozambique
Mr. Ajay Banga, President and CEO, Mastercard, Purchase, NY
Mrs. Ritu Banga
The Honorable Karen Bass, United States Representative (California)
Ms. Kim Hurley
His Excellency Yipènè Djibril Bassrole, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation, Burkina Faso
His Excellency Kalidu Bayo, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Republic of The Gambia
His Excellency Mohamed Bazoum, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigerians Abroad, Republic of Niger
The Honorable Joyce Beatty, United States Representative (Ohio)
Mr. Otto Beatty Jr.
Reverend David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World, Washington, DC
Mrs. Janet Williams Beckmann
His Excellency Abdirahman Beileh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Investment, Federal Republic of Somalia
The Honorable Mr. William Bell, Birmingham, AL
Mrs. Sharon Bell
His Excellency Abdel-Ilah Benkiran, Head of Government of the Kingdom of Morocco
Mrs. Nabila Benkiran, Spouse of the Head of Government of the Kingdom of Morocco
Mr. Mayank Bhargava, Falls Church, VA
Ms. Namita Datta
Mr. Hunter Biden, Washington, DC
Mrs. Kathleen Biden
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice President of the United States
Dr. Jill Biden
His Excellency Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon
Mrs. Chantal Biya, First Lady of the Republic of Cameroon
The Honorable Tony Blinken, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor, Office of the National Security Advisor
The Honorable Michael Bloomberg, Owner, Bloomberg, New York, NY
Ms. Diana Taylor
His Excellency Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., Vice President of the Republic of Liberia
His Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Gabonese Republic
Mrs. Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, First Lady of the Gabonese Republic
The Honorable Dr. Arivn Boolell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Republic of Mauritius
Mr. Joseph Brandt, New York, NY
Mrs. Carol Brandt
The Honorable Anita Breckenridge, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff
Mr. Russell Breckenridge
The Honorable Lonnie Bunch III, Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC
Ms. Roslyn Marable-Bunch
The Honorable William Burns, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of State
Ms. Lisa Ann Carty
The Honorable Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Mr. Steve Burwell
Ms. Vanessa Bush, Editor in Chief, Essence, New York, NY
Ms. Tatsha Robertson
Ms. Kathy Calvin, President, UN Foundation, Washington, DC
Mr. John Calvin
The Honorable Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Mrs. Anne Carson
The Honorable President Jimmy Carter
The Honorable Dr. George Chaponda MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Republic of Malawi
His Excellency George Rebelo Chicoti, Minister of External Relations, Republic of Angola
The Honorable Donna Christensen, Delegate to the United States House of Representatives, United States Virgin Islands
Mrs. Rabiah George
The Honorable William Lacy Clay, Jr., United States Representative (Missouri)
Mr. William L. Clay III
Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Director, National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC
Mr. James Staton, Jr.
His Excellency Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso
Mrs. Chantal Compaoré, First Lady of Burkina Faso
His Excellency Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea
Her Excellency Djene Kaba Conde, First Lady of the Republic of Guinea
The Honorable Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator, Small Business Administration
Mr. Raphael Sweet
The Honorable Christopher Coons, United States Senator (Delaware)
Mrs. Annie Coons
Ms. Helene Cooper, White House Correspondent, The New York Times, Alexandria, VA
Mr. Jonathan Karp
His Excellency Gabriel Arcanjo Ferreira da Costa, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
The Honorable Elijah Cummings, United States Representative (Maryland)
Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings
Her Excellency Natalia Da Costa Umbelina Neto, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Communities, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
Mr. Aliko Dangote, President/Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Ltd., Washington, DC
Ms. Halima Aliko-Dangote
The Honorable Brian Deese, Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget
Mrs. Kara Deese
His Excellency Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca, President of the Republic of Cabo Verde
Mrs. Lígia Arcângela Lubrino Dias Fonseca, First Lady of the Republic of Cabo Verde
The Honorable Bill de Blasio, Mayor, City of New York, NY
Ms. Chirlane McCray
Mr. Valentino Deng, Chicago, IL
Ms. Tiffanie De Bartolo
Ms. Grace Hightower DeNiro, New York, NY
Mr. Robert DeNiro
His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Her Excellency Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
His Excellency Ikililou Dhoinine, President of the Union of the Comoros
Her Excellency Hadidja Abubakar Ikililou Dhoinine, Spouse of the President of the Union of Comoros
His Excellency Abdoulaye Diop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration, and International Cooperation, Republic of Mali
The Honorable Shaun Donovan, Director, Office of Management and Budget
Ms. Liza Gilbert
His Excellency Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
The Honorable Donna Edwards, United States Representative (Maryland)
Ms. Selena Singleton
The Honorable Neil Eggleston, Assistant to the President and Counsel
Ms. Penda Hair
Mr. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Actor, New York, NY
Ms. Mmoma Ejifor
Mr. Michael Elliott, President and CEO, ONE, Washington, DC
Ms. Sipho Moyo
Mr. Tony Elumelu, Nigeria
Mr. Wiebe Boer
The Honorable Eliot Engel, United States Representative (New York)
Mrs. Patricia Engel
His Excellency Francois Fall, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Guineans Abroad, Republic of Guinea
The Honorable Katie Fallon, Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs
Mr. Brian Fallon, Jr.
Ms. Mbaye Fatimata, Washington, DC
Ms. Semhar Araia
The Honorable Chaka Fattah, United States Representative (Pennsylvania)
Mrs. Renee Chenault-Fattah
The Honorable Russ Feingold, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, U.S. Department of State
Ms. Christine Ferdinand
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator (California)
Mr. Richard Blum
Mr. Jeffrey Fischer, Chairman, ADAS Group, LLC, Bethesda, MD
Mrs. Nicole Fischer
The Honorable Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation
The Honorable Susan Kurland, Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation
The Honorable William H. Frist, Former Senator (Tennessee)
Ms. Tracy Roberts
The Honorable Michael Froman, Ambassador, United States Trade Representative
Ms. Behnaz Kibria
The Honorable Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Kingdom of Swaziland
Mr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Mr. Lawrence Bobo
Dr. Helene Gayle, CEO, CARE, Atlanta, GA
Mr. Stephen Keith
Mr. Michael Gerson, Op-ed Columnist, The Washington Post, Alexandria, VA
Mrs. Dawn Gerson
Mr. Daniel Glickman, Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center, Washington, DC
Mrs. Rhoda Glickman, Director of Government Relations, Corporation for National and Community Service, Washington, DC
His Excellency Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, President of the Republic of Togo
Mr. Jeff Gordon, Charlotte, NC
Ms. Ingrid Vandebosch
Mr. Peter Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg, L.P., New York, NY
Ms. Meridith Webster, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Bloomberg L.P.
The Honorable Al Green, United States Representative (Texas)
Mr. George Nwanguma
His Excellency Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of the Republic of Mozambique
Dr. Maria da Luz Dai Guebuza, First Lady of the Republic of Mozambique
His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti
Ms. Lulu Haangala, Charlottesville, VA
Ms. Martine Ekomo-Soignet
Her Excellency Mongi Hamdi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Tunisia
The Honorable Grant Harris, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs, National Security Council
Mrs. Jasmine Harris
Ms. Patricia Harris, Chief Executive Officer, Bloomberg Philanthropies, New York, NY
Mr. Mark Lebow
His Excellency El-Anrif Said Hassane, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Union of the Comoros
Mr. Christopher Helm, James Campbell Matthews Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Albany Law School, Albany, NY
Ms. Debra Toms-Helm
The Honorable Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Director, Peace Corps
Mr. Steven Charles Radelet
His Excellency Mohamed Lemine Heycen, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
The Honorable Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, U.S. Department of State
Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda
Mr. Paul Hinks, Board Chair, Corporate Council on Africa, Washington, DC
Ms. Julie Kurtzman
The Honorable Fred Hochberg, Chairman, Export-Import Bank
Mr. Thomas Healy, Chairman, J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, U.S. Department of State
The Honorable Dana Hyde, CEO, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Cabin John, MD
Mr. Jonathan Chambers
Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Washington, DC
The Honorable Johnny Isakson, United States Senator (Georgia)
Mr. Christopher Sullivan
His Excellency Idriss Deby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad
Ms. Hinda Deby Itno, First Lady of the Republic of Chad
The Honorable Fred Mandir Jachan-Omach, Minister of State for Finance, Republic of Uganda
The Honorable Sheila Jackson-Lee, United States Representative (Texas)
Dr. Elwyn Lee
Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dallas, TX
Ms. Regina Renee Freeman-Lewis
His Excellency Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, President of the Republic of The Gambia
Her Excellency Zineb Jammeh, First Lady of the Republic of The Gambia
The Honorable Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement
Mr. Ahmad Rashad
The Honorable Hakeem Jeffries, United States Representative (New York)
Mrs. Kennysandra Jeffries
The Honorable Broderick D. Johnson, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary
The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson, United States Representative (Texas)
The Honorable Rodney Ellis, Senator, Texas State Senate
The Honorable Hank Johnson, United States Representative
Mr. Arthur Sidney
The Honorable Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security
Ms. Lorna Johnson, Beverly Hills, CA
Mr. Robert Black III
His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
His Excellency Joseph Kabila Kabange, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mr. Don Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank, Washington, DC
His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda
Ms. Ange Ingabire Kagame, Daughter of the President of the Republic of Rwanda
The Honorable Harry Kalaba, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Zambia
His Excellency Dr. Samura Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone
His Excellency Laurent Kavakure, Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation, Republic of Burundi
Mr. Meb Keflezighi, San Diego, CA
Ms. Yordanos Asgedom
His Excellency Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali
Mrs. Keïta Aminata Maiga, First Lady of the Republic of Mali
The Honorable Robin Kelly, United States House of Representative (Illinois)
Ms. Madeleine Horn
Mr. Muhtar Kent, President and CEO, Coca Cola Company, Atlanta, GA
His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya
The Honorable John Kerry, Secretary of State
Ms. Angelique Kidjo, Brooklyn, NY
Mr. Jean Hebrail
His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania
Her Excellency Salma Kikwete, First Lady of the United Republic of Tanzania
Dr. Jim Kim, President, World Bank, Washington, DC
Dr. Younsook Lim
His Excellency Charles Koffi Diby, Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
Ms. Cina Anoka Lawson, Minister of Post and Digital Economy, Republic of Togo
Mr. Richard Leach, President and CEO, World Food Program USA, Washington, DC
Mrs. Susanne Leach
The Honorable Barbara Lee, United States Representative (California)
Mr. Craig Lee
Mr. Jack Leslie, Washington, DC
Ms. Caroline Pech
The Honorable Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury
The Honorable Elizabeth Littlefield, President, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Mr. Matthew Arnold
His Excellency Mario Lopes da Rosa, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Communities of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau
Mrs. Paula Madison, Chicago, IL
Ms. LaFleur Paysour
His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana
Her Excellency Lordina Dramani Mahama, First Lady of the Republic of Ghana
His Excellency Issoufou Mahamadou, President of the Republic of Niger
His Excellency Ibrahim Roshdy Mahlab, Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Mr. Tshepo Mahloele, CEO, Harith General Partners, Washington, DC
Ms. Thenjiwe Vanda
Mr. Tracy Maitland, President, Advent Capital Management, New York, NY
Ms. Kimberley Hatchett
Mr. Darius Mans, Washington, DC
Mr. Stephen Cashin
Her Excellency Faida Maramuke MITIFU, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, President of the Republic of Tunisia
Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Chairman, Global Telecommunications Group, Washington, DC
Mrs. Tsitsi Masiyiwa
His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan
Bishop Vashti McKenzie, 10th Episcopal District of the AME Church, Dallas, TX
Mr. Stanley McKenzie
Mr. Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Wal-Mart, Bentonville, AR
Mrs. Shelley McMillon
The Honorable Gregory W. Meeks, United States Representative (New York)
Mrs. Simone-Marie Meeks
The Honorable Bernard K. Membe, MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, United Republic of Tanzania
The Honorable Robert Menendez, United States Senate (New Jersey)
Ms. Alicia Mucci
His Excellency James Alix Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles
The Honorable Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and International Trade, Republic of Kenya
His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia
Mrs. Qamar Ali Omar, Spouse of the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia
His Excellency Agapito Mba Mokuy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Republic of Equatorial Guinea
His Excellency Serge Mombouli, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Honorable Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy
Ms. Katya Frois-Moniz
The Honorable Gwen Moore, United States Representative (Wisconsin)
Ms. Brenda L. Moore
Mr. Marc Morial, President, National Urban League, Maplewood, NJ
Ms. Michelle Miller
Mr. Patrice Motsepe, Washington, DC
Ms. Precious Moloi-Motsepe
His Excellency Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, Minister of External Relations, Republic of Cameroon
His Excellency Mahamat Moussafaki. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Chad
His Majesty King Mswati III, Kingdom of Swaziland
Her Royal Highness Inkhosikati La Mbikiza, Spouse of the King of Swaziland
Ms. Wanja Muguongo, Executive Director, UHAI – East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative, Washington, DC
Ms. Lorna Dias
Dr. Denis Mukwege, Washington, DC
Ms. Madeleine Kaboyi
The Honorable Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council
Mr. Amit A. Pandya
His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda
Mrs. Janet Musevini, First Lady of the Republic of Uganda
Her Excellency Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Republic of Rwanda
His Excellency Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi
Her Excellency Gertrude Hendrina Mutharika, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi
Ms. Wangechi Mutu, New York, NY
Dr. James Mwangi, Washington, DC
Mr. Morris Mbetsa Mwero, Notre Dame, IN
His Excellency Augustine Ngafuan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Liberia
His Excellency Emmanuel Issozet Ngondet, Minister For Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, and Regional Integration, Gabonese Republic
His Excellency Cheikh Niang, Ambassador of the Republic of Senegal
The Honorable Sheila Nix, Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden
Mr. James Coughlin
Her Excellency Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Republic of South Africa
His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi
Her Excellency Denise Bucumi, First Lady of the Republic of Burundi
The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, Delegate to the United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC
Mr. Douglas Oberhelman, CEO, Caterpillar, Peoria, IL
Mrs. Diane Oberhelman
His Excellency Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Her Excellency Constancia Mangue De Obiang, First Lady of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
His Excellency Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Mrs. Mariam Mint Ahmed Dit Tekber, Spouse of the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Mrs. Valerie Owens, Kennett Square, PA
Ms. Missy Owens
The Honorable Jennifer Palmieri, Assistant to the President and Director of Communications
Ms. Yolanda Parker, Founder & President, KMS Software, Los Angeles, CA
Mr. Kevin Parker
The Honorable Donald Payne, Jr., United States Representative (New Jersey)
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, United States House Democratic Leader (California)
Mr. Paul Pelosi
Mr. Michael Philipp, Chairman, Reykjavik Geothermal (RG), Amelia Island, FL
Mr. Mikael Andren
Mr. Macon Phillips III, Coordinator for the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State
Mrs. Emily Phillips
The Honorable John Podesta, Counselor to the President
Mrs. Mary Podesta
His Excellency Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia
Ms. Penehupifo Pohamba, First Lady of the Republic of Namibia
The Honorable Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the U.S. to the United Nations
Mr. Cass Sunstein
Mr. John Prendergast, Co-Founder, Enough Project, Washington, DC
Mrs. Sia Sanneh
The Honorable Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce
Mr. Stefan Selig
His Excellency Hery Rajaonarimampianina, President of the Republic of Madagascar
Mrs. Voahangy Rajaonarimampianina, Spouse of the President of the Republic of Madagascar
The Honorable Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, G.C.S.K., F.R.C.P., Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius
The Honorable Charles Rangel, United States Representative (New York)
Mrs. Alma Rangel
Her Excellency Arisoa Razafitrimo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Madagascar
The Honorable Ben Rhodes, Assistant to the President, Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications & Speechwriting
Ms. Ann Norris
His Excellency Awan Andrew Goul RIAK, Minister in the Office of the President, Republic of South Sudan
The Honorable Susan Rice, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor
Mr. Ian Cameron
His Excellency Jose Luis Rocha, Ambassador of the Republic of Cabo Verde
General David Rodriguez, Commander, United States Africa Command
Mrs. Ginny Rodriguez
Mrs. Virginia Rometty, CEO and President, International Business Machines, Armonk, NY
Mr. Jack Rosen, Chairman, American Jewish Congress, New York, NY
Mrs. Phyllis Rosen
The Honorable Edward Randall Royce, United States Representative (California)
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Mr. David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, The Carlyle Group, Washington, DC
The Honorable Bobby Rush, United States Representative (Illinois)
Mrs. Carolyn Rush
Ms. April Ryan, Washington Bureau Chief, American Urban Radio Networks, Randallstown, MD
Mr. Gerald Lopes
The Honorable Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Republic of South Sudan
His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal
Mrs. Marieme Sall, First Lady of the Republic of Senegal
His Excellency Denis Sassou N’Guesso, President of the Republic of Congo
Mr. Stephen Schwarzman, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder, The Blackstone Group, New York, NY
Mr. Sean Klimczak
The Honorable Dr. Guy Scott, Vice President of the Republic of Zambia
Dr. Charlotte Harland Scott, Second Lady of the Republic of Zambia
His Excellency Eliachim Sebatane, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Lesotho
The Honorable Peter Selfridge, Chief of Protocol, U.S. Department of State
His Excellency Abdelmalek Sellal, Prime Minister of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
Mrs. Farida Sellal, Spouse of the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Algeria
His Excellency Dr. Abubacarr Senghore, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of The Gambia
Her Excellency Tebelelo Seretse, Ambassador of the Republic of Botswana
Ms. Isha Sesay, Anchor, CNN, Atlanta, GA
Mr. Leif Coorlim
The Honorable Terri Sewell, United States Representative (Alabama)
Mr. Jesse Wells, Jr.
The Honorable Rajiv J. Shah, Administrator, United States Agency for International Development
Mrs. Shivam Shah
The Honorable Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Mr. Bruce Stokes
The Honorable Phandu Tombola Skelemani, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Botswana
The Honorable Chris Smith, United States Representative (New Jersey)
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The Honorable Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy, National Security Council
Mr. John Rice-Cameron
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The Honorable Margaret Spellings, President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Dallas, TX
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His Excellency Bockari Stevens, Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone
Mr. Ritchie Tabachnick, President, Equipment & Controls Africa, Pittsburgh, PA
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His Excellency Mohamed Mostafa Mohamed Tawfik, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt
The Honorable Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady
Mr. Tewolde Tesfaye, Ethiopia
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Her Excellency Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Republic of Ghana
The Right Honorable Dr. Motsoahae Thomas Thabane, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho
The Honorable Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs
Mr. Lafayette Greenfield
Mr. Sim Tshabalala, Washington, DC
His Excellency José Mário Vaz, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau
Her Excellency Rosa Teixeira Goudiaby Vaz, First Lady of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau
His Excellency Manuel Domingos Vicente, Vice President, Republic of Angola
The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
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The Honorable David Wade, Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State
Ms. Elizabeth Alexander
The Honorable Aminu Bashir Wali, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federal Republic of Nigeria
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Ms. Zenita Wickham Hurley
The Honorable Frederica Wilson, United States Representative (Florida)
Dr. Roslyn Artis
Mr. Phill Wilson, CEO, Black AIDS Institute, Los Angeles, CA
Mr. Mark Schoofs
His Excellency Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin
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His Excellency Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Djibouti
The Honorable Leocadia Zak, Director, United States Trade and Development Agency
Mr. Kenneth W Hansen
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Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission
His Excellency Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, President of the Republic of South AfricaRead more
Mrs. Nompumelelo Primrose Zuma, Spouse of the President of the Republic of South Africa
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 04, 2014
“…[W]e support societies that empower women — because no country will reach its potential unless it draws on the talents of our wives and our mothers, and our sisters and our daughters… You can measure how well a country does by how it treats its women.” – President Obama, Cape Town, South Africa, June 30, 2013
In this fourth year of what the African Union (AU) has called the “African Women’s Decade,” the United States strongly supports the great strides and commitments many African countries and the African Union have made to increase women’s and girls’ empowerment through steps to promote good governance and rule of law, accelerate economic growth and enhance food security, advance respect for human rights, and improve access to services – from health care to education. Long-term development will only be possible when women and men enjoy equal opportunity to rise to their full potential.
As announced earlier today, the United States is committing new assistance to advance gender equality in Africa through:
- Support for up to three countries to develop or implement national strategies to advance women’s participation in peacebuilding and their protection from violence.
- New programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Mali, Rwanda, Somalia, and Uganda, as well as across West Africa, focused on increasing women’s participation in peacebuilding and constitution drafting processes, advancing women’s land rights, and mitigating election-related violence.
- Three new centers that will provide business development assistance to women entrepreneurs in East, Southern, and West Africa, through the Department of State’s African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) and the Women’s Entrepreneurial Centers of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for Economic Empowerment (WECREATE) project.
- Technical support to strengthen AU Commission and national-level efforts to address barriers to the equal participation of women in the agricultural sector.
- Support through wPOWER, working with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, for grants to organizations that promote the role of women entrepreneurs in selling clean technologies, as well as support for scaling up programs that educate adolescent girls on clean energy technologies.
- Increased assistance to the Inter-Parliamentary Union to build the capacity of African parliaments working to advance gender equality and to support parliamentary campaigns on specific gender equality issues.
More broadly, the FY 2015 budget request seeks more than $190 million to directly advance gender equality across Sub-Saharan and North African countries, which includes activities to promote political and economic opportunities for women, access to health and education services, and efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. We further leverage broader development investments to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment across Africa.
Promoting Leadership Opportunities for Women and Girls. Women’s leadership and meaningful participation in government, the economy, and civil society accelerates economic development, improves health and educational indicators, advances democratic development, and fosters peace and security. Five sub-Saharan and North African countries participate in the United States-led Equal Futures Partnership, through which countries undertake domestic reforms to removes barriers to women’s economic and political empowerment. The United States has:
Expanding Economic Opportunity. To promote women’s economic empowerment, the African Union, the African Development Bank, the World Bank Group, African countries, and the United States have supported efforts to increase women’s access to markets, capital, and assets, and to advance women’s leadership, voice, and agency. The United States has:
- Helped, in 2013 alone, nearly 1.8 million farmers in Africa (more than 700,000 of them women) apply new practices and technologies that have the potential to lift them out of poverty, with support from Feed the Future, the President’s global hunger and food security initiative. The technologies that farmers develop are transforming women-only agricultural tasks into tasks in which husbands and wives work together and produce a greater overall benefit for themselves and their families. The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index measures the impact of agriculture investments on women to inform future programming. Targeted programming helps advance women’s empowerment, including the African Women in Agriculture Research and Development fellowships, which strengthens the skills of African women scientists in research and leadership, and encourages research to improve the lives of smallholder famers, especially women.
- Promoted a range of measures to advance women’s economic participation through Millennium Challenge Corporation compacts in 14 African countries, including conducting public outreach to more than 11,000 individuals to build support for legal reforms that increase women’s rights in Lesotho, encouraging that land be registered in both husband and wife’s names and supporting the establishment of 54 women’s associations to increase women’s access to land in Mali, and providing $10 million to increase access to electricity for micro and small enterprises in markets where women predominate in Ghana.
- Invested $2.6 million since 2010 in a network of more than 1,700 sub-Saharan African women entrepreneurs to help expand their businesses, facilitate professional exchanges, increase trade to the United States, and benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act, through the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program.
- Support women entrepreneurs throughout North Africa to gain new skills and networks, launch and expand businesses, and develop as innovative leaders, such as in Tunisia, where the Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability Centers have contributed to more than 150 women launching and expanding businesses since 2012, and in Libya, where 200 women have been trained since 2013 in entrepreneurship, accounting, finance, and economics.
- Provided business development training and investment to female entrepreneurs working to bring clean energy access to more than 3.5 million people over the next three years through the Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER).
Increasing Women’s Roles in Conflict Prevention and Security Decision-making. The United States joins the African Union, regional economic communities, and many African countries in committing to strengthen prospects for peace and security through the empowerment and protection from violence of women and girls in countries affected by crisis, insecurity, and political transition. The United States has:
- Invested close to $25 million in FY 2014 in Africa to support women’s roles in peacebuilding and participation in decision-making, including through programs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan. Programs include capacity building for women leaders and women’s organizations to advocate for and provide assistance to their communities, through training in coalition building, negotiations, conflict resolution, and public speaking.
- Engaged women leaders to advance peaceful elections, including in Sierra Leone in 2012, where the United States supported civil society partners to develop conflict-prevention messages and train women community leaders to help prevent local conflicts from escalating by acting as mediators and by advocating nonviolence through radio and other public engagement.
- Provided nearly 4,000 African women since 2005 with training to enhance their roles as peacekeepers through the Global Peace Operations Initiative.
- Provided training to African militaries though U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), focused on promoting women’s participation and ensuring their protection from violence, including through a January 2014 week-long course in Kenya for representatives of 11 African nations focused on peace support operations, and as a component of ACSS’ annual Senior Leaders Seminar and the Next Generation of African Security leaders program, which involve more than 45 African countries.
- Supported efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) in emergency situations across Africa, including as part of the Safe from the Start initiative, which the United States launched in 2013 to better address the needs of women and girls and other groups at risk of GBV in emergencies. The United States is supporting increased programming with the UN Refugee Agency and the International Committee of the Red Cross, in addition to working directly with national partners, such as in Somalia, where USAID is helping to establish referral pathways for GBV survivors to access services; training community workers and health officials on the provision of care and psychosocial support for survivors; and connecting survivors with livelihoods opportunities.
Expanding Education Opportunities. Recognizing that education is one of the most effective ways to expand opportunities and life choices for girls and young women, the United States has been working with countries across the continent to close the education gap between boys and girls by identifying gender-related obstacles and working with our country partners to implement policies and programs to overcome these obstacles. The United States has:
- Invested an average of $350 million annually since 2010 in approximately 20 Sub-Saharan Africa countries to help girls and boys receive a quality education and obtain the skills they need to live healthy and productive lives. This includes making sure girls are learning in classrooms and building community support for girls’ education, such as in Liberia, where the Girls Opportunity to Access Learning project grants scholarships to girls, supports girls’ clubs, and provides school-improvement grants to communities in order to create safer school environments.
- Promoted women’s participation in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, including through TechWomen and TechGirls, which offer women and adolescent girls from North and Sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to participate in an intensive exchange program in the United States that equips them with skills, networks, and resources to pursue higher education and careers in technology.
Promoting the Health of Women and Families. When women are healthy and educated, they are able to participate in the work force and are more likely to have healthy, educated children – ushering in a cycle of opportunity rather than perpetuating a cycle of poverty. The United States has:
- Played a key role – by strengthening country health systems, health worker training, and investment in life-saving tools through the President’s Global Health Initiative – in assisting 16 priority African countries to halve maternal and child mortality rates since 1990, reducing maternal mortality on average from 1,065 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 467 in 2013, and child mortality rates from 190 deaths per 1,000 live births to 96 in 2012. Renewed efforts to expand access to voluntary family planning also contributed to increases in the percent of married women using modern contraception in many African countries, including by up to 50 percent in Liberia and Ethiopia since 2005.
- In West Africa, USAID invested an estimated $44 million in FY 2013, and is working through the Ouagadougou Partnership to reach an additional 1 million women with family planning information and services by 2015.
- The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) works to provide access to life-long anti-retroviral treatment for both mothers and their children, including for over 4 million women in Africa. In FY 2013, PEPFAR tested over 11.5 million pregnant women across 16 African countries, and invested over $265 million to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Addressing Gender-based Violence. Gender-based violence undermines not only the safety, dignity, overall health status, and human rights of the millions of individuals who experience it, but also the public health, economic stability, and security of countries around the world. In Africa, the United States has:
- Invested almost $60 million since 2011 to prevent and respond to GBV in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Tanzania, and Mozambique through PEPFAR, including promoting girls’ education to help prevent HIV and GBV in the DRC, investing in research and evaluation in Tanzania, and improving the availability and quality of GBV services in Mozambique.
- Supported judicial and law enforcement sectors working to improve access to justice for GBV survivors. In the DRC, since 2011 the United States has provided $2.6 million to train local health, legal, and law enforcement professionals on gathering medical evidence for successful prosecution and conviction of GBV perpetrators. In Ethiopia, the United States provided $1.2 million in FY 2012 to increase the capacity of law enforcement agencies to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate cases concerning child, early, and forced marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting.
- Partnered with six African nations since 2009 through the Together for Girls public-private partnership to conduct CDC national violence against children surveys, building the foundation for evidence-based solutions to end sexual violence against children, especially girls.
- Encouraged men to partner in preventing GBV through behavior change programs, such as in Zambia, where “Boys to Men” project – established in 2014 with $2.3 million – aims to reduce social acceptance and the occurrence of GBV by promoting non-violence in schools.
- Supported a 2010-2016 study in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Tanzania to assess the effectiveness of various approaches to prevent child, early, and forced marriage, the findings of which will be shared with other regions impacted by the practice.
- Launched in 2014 the Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative, a public-private partnership with Vital Voices and the Avon Foundation, which provides emergency assistance to GBV survivors globally and coordinates a global network of GBV first responders. Hubs for coordinating response efforts and trainings in sub-Saharan Africa, include Mali, Kenya, and South Africa
1:36 p.m. EDT
MS. PSAKI: Hi, everyone.
QUESTION: Welcome back.
MS. PSAKI: Thank you. I was going to make up a story, but I couldn’t come up with a good one. So I injured it over the course of the last couple of weeks. So this boot will be with me for about six weeks.
With that, I have one item at the top for all of you, and I wanted to – the Secretary, as you know, just returned late Saturday night from a trip that included stops in Egypt, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Paris, and Tel Aviv. And I wanted to just give you an overview of the last 10 days or so, what has transpired and where we stand today.
So let me first reiterate that the objective of the United States has been and remains stopping the rocket fire against Israeli citizens and bringing about negotiations through – that can lead to a longer-term ceasefire. Our first step – our next step, I should say, here that we’re working toward is a humanitarian cease-fire. That’s what the Secretary has been calling for; that’s what the discussion has focused on. That would not only significantly de-escalate the violence, but it would also allow urgently needed food and medicine to the people of Gaza, and that’s one of the reasons we think it’s so important.
As you all know, two weeks ago – about two weeks ago, the Egyptians put forward a cease-fire proposal that was accepted – that was supported by the United States and endorsed, certainly, by Secretary Kerry and accepted by Israel and rejected by Hamas. At that point, the war began to escalate – shortly after, I should say, the war began to escalate dramatically. And there were no serious conversations going on about how to further initiate a cease-fire. Demonstrations were increasing in the West Bank and the situation was spinning out of control. And casualties, as we all know because we all saw press reports on both sides, were increasing and there were no serious negotiations in place.
So in our view as we watched, as violence escalated, there did not appear to be a clear path to a ceasefire or an end to the violence. President Obama, as you all know, asked Secretary Kerry last weekend to travel to the region, which he did late last Sunday night, first to Egypt to build on the Egyptian ceasefire. Every step of the way through this process we’ve been consulting with and coordinating with our allies, including Israeli and Egyptian partners. And over the past week, and I know many of you have been tracking this closely, but Secretary Kerry has remained engaged with many of the key actors in the region, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Abbas, President Sisi, and, of course, Ban Ki-moon, in efforts to negotiate a humanitarian ceasefire.
So, as a part of this effort, it was essential to engage, as it has – as has been done in the past, including in 2012, with countries that have the most influential relationship with Hamas. This is what happened, of course, in 2012 and with the Egyptians, and this time the primary interlocutors are the Qataris and the Turks. And so as a part of that effort, the Secretary has been very closely engaged with Foreign Minister Davutoglu and Foreign Minister Attiyah, parties that we feel have the most leverage with Hamas.
So this gets us to late last week. The Secretary was obviously in the region for several days and there were several meetings with all of the interlocutors, including with the Israelis. And as you know, the Secretary traveled there. And let me be clear, during that meeting there were a range of press reports out there. So part of my effort here is to provide accurate information about what happened last week. There was never a formal U.S. proposal presented. As part of our ongoing consultations we sent them a clearly labeled confidential draft of ideas, sent an order to get Israeli comments, as part of an effort closely coordinated with the Israelis to explore a possible basis for a cease-fire.
This draft was – of ideas was based on the Egyptian proposal that they had supported from just a couple of weeks before that. So it was based on – and I shouldn’t say – not just supported, but the Israeli cabinet formally accepted. So we were surprised and were obviously disappointed that a confidential draft was leaked to the press. Our discussion draft and the Egyptian proposal both called for the immediate cessation of hostilities, the opening of broad – of border crossings, and mediation by the Egyptians on other core issues.
It’s also important to note that the Egyptian proposal accepted by the Israeli cabinet did not make any mention of demilitarization or of tunnels or of rockets. That was not in the proposal from two weeks ago that the Israeli cabinet approved and Hamas rejected. It also made no mention of the need for disarmament, and it underscored the need for discussions between Israel and the Palestinians. In effect, this proposal called for Hamas to cease hostilities that – to cease hostilities, and this was a proposal that Israel had accepted 10 days earlier. The main difference was there was additional language on humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians, something that the Israelis have historically supported. It did not include any of the demands that Hamas was making when Secretary Kerry arrived, including the release of prisoners.
Moreover, the document also reflected the need for negotiations to address the issues necessary for an enduring solution to the conflict, meaning there’s a great deal of history here, there’s a great deal of mistrust here. There – the document didn’t address every issue that each side is being presented – has presented or has spoken out about that’s of concern to them. We all know that the Israelis’ position on the importance about demilitarization – we all know their position. That’s a goal, of course, we support. We know the Palestinians care about opening up the crossings and restoring normal life for the people of Gaza. These are exactly the kind of issues that need to be addressed as a part of negotiation.
So that leads us to where we are now. The Secretary has, of course, been very closely engaged, continues to be. He has been over the course of the weekend. He has been this morning as well. Our focus now is on short-term cease-fires that can build on each other. The longer there’s a reduction in violence, the more likely it is that the parties will be able – will come to the table and talk, and that is our focus at this point. The Egyptians remain prepared to host a negotiation in Cairo. We would support that, and of course the United States would participate at a high level.
So over the course of the last week, clearly we’ve seen violence. We’ve – there’s ongoing violence. That’s of concern. That’s why we’re so focused on bringing an end to this. But we’ve also seen engagement and discussion about short-term cease-fires; we’ve seen negotiations with the parties that wasn’t happening. We’ve also seen an increase in international support where, of course – as is evidenced by the Security Council statement. Obviously we’re going to continue working on this, and the Secretary, of course, will remain very closely engaged.
That was long, I realize, but —
QUESTION: Yeah, it was long.
MS. PSAKI: — it’s been a lot that’s been happening.
Go ahead, Matt.
QUESTION: I was going to congratulate you. I think you might have set a record for the length of the opening monologue.
MS. PSAKI: It’s a complicated issue and we think that —
QUESTION: Yeah, can I ask —
MS. PSAKI: — laying out the facts is important. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Can I ask what compelled you to take up, I don’t know, seven to 10 minutes of your opening here to, I mean —
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, Matt, that there has been a lot of confusion out there in reports about what has been happening, what the focus of our efforts is, and what our goal is, and we felt it was important to lay that out.
QUESTION: Well, I mean, you use the word “confusion.” The White House just a little while ago, the Deputy National Security Advisor Mr. Blinken was up there and said that he – it was his opinion, and I presume this is the opinion of the Administration, that some of these leaks were either misinformed leaks or they were attempts to misinform. How unhelpful – or how angry are you? How unhelpful do you believe the Israelis, or at least some Israelis have been in this issue? And how angry are you at what you claim to be a serious misrepresentation of what the Secretary was trying to do?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think let me just reiterate first that the Secretary’s goal is to bring an end from the – to the rocket fire and the rocket attacks coming from Hamas and impacting the people of Israel, and I think that’s important for everybody to remember. This is, I think we’ve certainly noted, the difference between what is discussed privately and what is noted in public accounts from anonymous sources. And no one is calling to complain about the Secretary’s handling of the situation or his engagement in this effort overseas. And our view is it’s simply not the way that partners and allies treat each other.
So it was important, in our view, to lay out on the record what the facts are about what has happened here, and we’re certainly hopeful that we can all focus moving forward on how we achieve a ceasefire and not on other misinformation campaigns.
QUESTION: When you say – so you accuse – you’re accusing at least some in the Israeli Government of waging a misinformation campaign? Is that —
MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any information on the sources, Matt.
MS. PSAKI: But obviously there’s a great deal of information out there that’s inaccurate.
QUESTION: When you say that this is not the way friends and allies should treat each other, you’re referring to Israeli treatment of Secretary Kerry and of his – of the Administration’s attempt to get a ceasefire together?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think there are obviously some anonymous sources that are out there that are speaking on behalf of the views of the Israeli Government. Whether or not that is an accurate depiction of their position is not for me to make a judgment of, but —
QUESTION: So how serious is this, in terms of jeopardizing the relationship?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t think – I think Israel remains an incredibly important partner. The Secretary has been closely engaged in this over the course of the weekend. His – this is not about him, and his view is this is not about him. But I think we all feel that we need to focus on laying out the facts and not undergoing an effort to distort what our effort is focused on here.
QUESTION: The Israeli – the main Israeli – well, there has been a huge chorus of very, very harsh criticism of the Secretary in the Israeli media and in social media as well, claiming – some of it claiming that the Secretary has – is now pro-Hamas and that the only reason that he went into this was to save Hamas. Can you address – the argument goes Hamas was losing militarily, and he comes in and demands an immediate ceasefire, calls for an immediate ceasefire, and then the argument goes that the only reason he’s doing this, the sole reason that he’s doing this, is to save Hamas so that it can live to fight another day, I guess.
MS. PSAKI: Well, thank you for that opportunity, Matt. I’ll say that the Secretary’s reason for engaging in this, as he is, is to end the rocket attacks from Hamas that are going into – that have threatened Israel. That’s his focus. I think anyone would be hard pressed to find a stronger partner and ally with Israel than Secretary Kerry, not just over the course of the last year in his efforts with the peace process, but the entire time he was in the United States Senate.
But one of the reasons I laid that out in great detail, as I did, is because there’s a lot of information that is inaccurate about what our efforts were about, what they were focused on. The reason that he engaged with the Qataris and the Turks, who are, of course, countries that we regularly engage with about a range of issues, was because they – but on this particular issue is because they have an influential role to play in engaging with Hamas. You can’t have a ceasefire where Israel agrees to a ceasefire and the other side isn’t agreeing to a ceasefire. That doesn’t help make Israel safer, and that’s our primary objective.
QUESTION: Okay. It sounds as though you think the Administration believes that someone in Israel or multiple people in Israel were actually trying to sabotage – maybe I’m wrong, tell me if that’s – were actually trying to sabotage a cease-fire. Is that an accurate reading of your —
MS. PSAKI: I don’t want to ascribe motivations, but certainly I think those who want to support a cease-fire should focus on efforts to put it in place and not on efforts to criticize or attack one of the very people who’s playing a prominent role in getting it done.
QUESTION: All right. I’ll wrap up and let other people —
MS. PSAKI: Okay.
QUESTION: I have one more question and that is: Why are these critics wrong? Why is it not – why should it not be a part of a cease-fire that Hamas demilitarize and disarm? I mean, it would seem to make perfect sense if that’s the ultimate goal, or not even the ultimate goal. Should – why shouldn’t it be the short-term goal as well?
MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, I think demilitarization is something the United States certainly supports. But in the meantime, people are dying every day, whether it’s children in Gaza or Israeli soldiers. And what we want to see is an immediate end to the violence so we can have a discussion about these core issues. That is certainly one of them the Israelis have presented as an important issue to address, and we support that. But in the meantime, that can’t be a precursor for a cease-fire, and a humanitarian cease-fire that very importantly would allow essential medical and food – medical assistance and food to get in to the people of Gaza.
QUESTION: Sorry, indulge me one more time.
MS. PSAKI: Sure.
QUESTION: Prime Minister Netanyahu just gave a speech, which you’re probably aware of, and he said that they won’t stop until they take care of all the tunnels. Is that problematic for you?
MS. PSAKI: Well, the tunnels are an issue that we recognize as a legitimate threat to Israel, and I think all of you are familiar with this issue. But the way we see it, it would be very challenging, as the Israelis experience every day, to wake up and worry about the threat of terrorists coming in through tunnels into your country. They have been working on address it – on addressing the tunnels. We think that they can be addressed in a way that doesn’t escalate combat. So that’s a part of the discussion that’s being had.
QUESTION: Can I just go back to – you mentioned that nobody was ringing to complain about the Secretary’s presence and his efforts. Do you mean nobody on the official side was – no Israeli or Egyptian or Palestinians were complaining, on the Palestinian Authority side?
MS. PSAKI: Correct, mm-hmm.
QUESTION: But how do you explain the torrent of criticism in the Israeli media that Matt already referred to? The Secretary was described to – as a bull in a China shop, that he believes he could just go in and by his mere presence trying to effect a cease-fire. How do you – what do you say to all those critics who just say that he just isn’t the person to be able to negotiate this cease-fire deal?
MS. PSAKI: Well, it’s hard for me to ascribe the motivations, but I think it’s important to note that prior to the Secretary’s visit to the region, there were no discussions going on about a cease-fire. There was not a focus in the international community of what was happening on the ground. Of course there’s more work to do. There is – we need to end the violence. We’re not going to be satisfied until that happens. But it does raise the question, not all, but are there some who oppose a cease-fire or don’t want to see a cease-fire happen?
QUESTION: So do you believe – is there any sense, perhaps, that the Secretary, through his failed efforts earlier this year to get a comprehensive Middle East peace treaty, may have in some way hampered or compromised his ability to negotiate in this situation? If a few months ago, both the Israelis and Palestinians felt that they could say no to the Secretary on something which was much broader, does that not give them a renewed focus or ability to say no this time around or something?
MS. PSAKI: Absolutely not. I don’t think – we don’t think that those two issues have anything to do with each other. I think the fact that the peace process is not currently ongoing has left a vacuum for violence to fill it, but there are also a range of events, as we all know, including the death of the three teenagers, that has increased the tensions in the region. The factor that our – that we feel is different from, say, 2012, are – there’s a couple of factors. And that’s really, I think, what’s making it more challenging.
One is clearly there’s a different relationship between the Egyptian Government and Hamas. Obviously, they have the lead on this. It’s an Egyptian proposal, but the prior government essentially negotiated the ceasefire, and at this point we’re working, of course, through the Qataris and the Turks and in cooperation with the Egyptians. But that’s a different scenario.
There are also different politics on the ground. There’s increased regional tensions. And Israel – their effort has gone farther earlier than it did a couple of years ago. And the Secretary himself, as we were discussing this with him over the weekend, he was engaged, as you may know, in the 2012 effort. And his view is that the process and the dynamic is completely different. And obviously we’re dealing – the different challenging set of circumstances is certainly a contributing factor to our process.
QUESTION: And we talked a little bit about what Israel would like to see out of a ceasefire, including what Israel’s aim is, including getting rid of the tunnels. But on the other hand, is there an acceptance on the American side that Hamas isn’t just going to agree to a ceasefire for a ceasefire’s sake, because they did that in 2012 and there was supposed to be an opening up of Gaza, there was supposed to be a lifting of the blockade, there was supposed to be an opening up of the Rafah Crossing, and that hasn’t happened.
And so this time, I think there’s a sense that they’re holding out for something more. They actually want guarantees that these things will happen. Is there some sympathy in the American – on the American side with that position?
MS. PSAKI: Well, there’s certainly an understanding that the Palestinians want to see greater access, improved economic opportunity; that’s, of course, a reference to the crossings. And certainly, the border crossings would be a part of any discussion. There are other demands that they have put out there. I think our view is that the need for humanitarian – a humanitarian ceasefire is based in part on the fact that there is a dire situation on the ground where there is a need to get in medical assistance, food, that sort of assistance. And in order to have this discussion about those difficult issues, we need to see a de-escalation.
QUESTION: So the bottom line is a ceasefire first, then further negotiations? Is that what you see?
MS. PSAKI: Correct, mm-hmm.
QUESTION: Jen, just to follow up on this point. I mean, it’s not only the crossing. You’re aware that there is a siege, basically, that has Gaza cut off from the rest of the world, and it’s in the air, in the sea, fishermen are not allowed to fish and so on. So you do support lifting the siege, at least on the humanitarian basis, correct?
MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, I think there are larger issues here that will need to be discussed as a part of a longer-term negotiation. That’s going to be – the Egyptians would have in all likelihood the lead on that. So our – my point is that we’re talking about a ceasefire where those issues are not addressed in advance, because that will delay it further. And what we want to do is de-escalate the tension, put it – bring a pause, so that we can have a discussion about those issues.
QUESTION: Okay. Now, I know you are focused on bringing a pause – as you said, maybe a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire. But in light or in view of the speech that was just made by Prime Minister Netanyahu and seeing how this whole thing morphed from going after the perpetrators of the kidnapping, and going after the rockets, now going after the tunnel, this thing is really expanding. Are you concerned that there may be a reoccupation of Gaza?
MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, I think we’re concerned about the increasing level of violence we’ve seen over the last several weeks. That’s why we’re focused on stopping it. There are a range of issues at play here that are part of the discussion, but again, I think I reiterated what our focus and – is on.
QUESTION: Just very quickly, a follow-up.
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: Are you aware of any efforts that are ongoing now by the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to bring along Hamas members and maybe Islamic Jihad members and go to Cairo to talk to the Egyptians perhaps to refrain their proposal? Are you aware of that?
MS. PSAKI: Well, President Abbas has been very engaged in this process. We know there have been some comments out today about his view, which we’ve been in touch with people close to him and are not accurate, and we expect there’ll be a clarification of those. But we – they have stated, and in fact, one of his top advisors stated yesterday during a Sunday show appearance that they would be willing to engage in a negotiation in Egypt. So I’d point you to that.
QUESTION: Right. And this effort, or at least the effort with the Qataris and Turks and so on, with this now over, is it – do we have something other than that? Do we have a follow-up on that, the meeting in Paris and so on? Do we have anything new?
MS. PSAKI: The effort is ongoing, Said —
MS. PSAKI: — and the Secretary’s been engaged with all of these parties consistently throughout the weekend, and I expect that will continue through the course of the next several days. And Foreign Minister Davutoglu, Foreign Minister al-Attiyah remain two of the key interlocutors who have influence with Hamas.
QUESTION: Considering how you have spoken to the Egyptians, the Israelis, the Palestinian Authority and (inaudible) and so on, has anyone from the negotiating team been to Gaza to see what is it like on the ground?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think we’ve seen – it doesn’t take a visit to see the photos and the video and the horrible circumstances that people are living in on the ground.
QUESTION: Yeah. I wanted to ask you – you mentioned twice, I think, why the U.S. is engaging with Qatar and Turkey. And I’m just wondering if this is in response to criticism in the media or from the Israeli Government.
And on a related note, you talked about Egypt being the lead. You also talked about the relationship between Hamas and Egypt changing. I’m wondering if there’s any consideration in the Administration about whether Egypt should be the lead given the hostility towards Hamas that you see in Egyptian state media, and the distrust that Hamas has for Egypt. Are they the right people to play that role?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, again, there’s a range of interlocutors from the international community that are now engaged in this effort, including the UN, including the United States, including European countries. The Egyptians have played a role. They proposed the first of this year ceasefire proposal. They are open to hosting negotiations in Cairo, and we feel that’s absolutely the appropriate lead.
On your first question, the reason I mentioned that – and it goes back to what I said about the difference between public comments – or I should say anonymous public comments – and what’s discussed privately. I think in a negotiation, there’s certainly an understanding that you have to engage with both parties. Otherwise, you’re having a negotiation with yourself. So there’s an understanding of that, and our role in working with the Qataris and the Turks on this – though I should note, again, we work with them on a range of issues, of course – is to – is because of their – the influential role they can play with Hamas. So I would say it’s more about the public accounts than it is private conversations.
QUESTION: Would you – I mean, can you understand Israeli concern with you dealing so closely, particularly with the Turks, after the really inflammatory comments that have been made by not only Prime Minister Erdogan, but by Foreign Minister Davutoglu as well?
MS. PSAKI: Well, first, let me say that those comments were inflammatory and certainly not just unhelpful, but offensive. And we don’t agree – we don’t even talk to Hamas, as you all know, and certainly we don’t agree with those comments that were made by the Turks. But at the same time, when we’re talking about a dire situation on the ground and one where people are dying, people are living under threat every day, it’s important to engage with parties who can have an influence with Hamas.
QUESTION: Right, but you can understand Israel’s concern with that, can you not?
MS. PSAKI: Well, we certainly understand their concern with the comments, of course.
QUESTION: Right. But I mean, for any – when the leaders of a country make comments like that, can they really be expected to be – can you really expect the Israelis to be on board with anything that they’re going to do as it relates to this specific issue?
MS. PSAKI: Well, there has to be a – I think the question is: What’s the alternative? There has to be a way to engage with Hamas. The United States doesn’t, Israel doesn’t. This is the best path at this point to engage.
QUESTION: So if it was not very much of a difference, as you say, between the Egyptian – the initial Egyptian proposal and this Friday proposal, why weren’t the Egyptians in Paris?
MS. PSAKI: Because the purpose of our trip to Paris was not to negotiate. The parties weren’t even in Paris, as you know.
QUESTION: I know.
MS. PSAKI: The Israelis weren’t there either. The purpose was to brief the international community on what was happening.
QUESTION: Right. But if you – but the fact of the matter is that by getting up there in Paris with the Turks and the Qataris – and the Europeans, but the Turks and the Qataris – and not the Egyptians being – not having them there as well, can you see how people might take that as a turning away from the Egyptian proposal and a wholehearted embrace of Qatar and Turkey, with whom Israel has huge problems?
MS. PSAKI: Well, let me just reiterate what the purpose was, because the Secretary did a press conference with the Egyptians the night before we went to Paris.
QUESTION: I understand that.
MS. PSAKI: They fully knew we were going there to meet – that he was going there to meet with the Europeans. It was important to hear from the Qataris and the Turks for the Europeans too, because they had been engaged with Hamas. We had not been. So the purpose was to brief them and continue to build support in the international community.
QUESTION: Okay. That would suggest that – well, let me ask first: Are you saying in your – all your comments here that the leak of – this document that was leaked, this confidential document that you said was leaked, that that is accurate? That that is the document that was given to the Israelis to peruse and decide whether they liked it or not?
MS. PSAKI: As much as this piece of paper is a document, yes.
QUESTION: Right, this piece of paper. And I’m recognizing you’re saying it’s not a formal proposal, whatever. It was the ideas that they were going to discuss. But those are accurate, right?
MS. PSAKI: Yes.
QUESTION: Did the Egyptians sign off on those?
MS. PSAKI: The Egyptians were fully engaged in every aspect of our discussions.
QUESTION: Does that mean that they signed off on that?
MS. PSAKI: Well —
QUESTION: Because I think the argument that – the argument that’s being made by some Israel is that this deviated substantially from their – from the Egyptian initial proposal, which you say that’s just wrong. But I’m wondering if you can say with certainty that the Egyptians on that Friday signed off on this one-page or whatever – however many pages it was – list of ideas.
MS. PSAKI: Well, I understand what you’re asking, but I still think contextually it’s important to note this was not a document getting sign-off from. This was based on the Egyptian proposal —
QUESTION: Well, the Israelis certainly thought that it was.
MS. PSAKI: Well, I’m conveying that —
QUESTION: They voted on it.
MS. PSAKI: I’m conveying that a confidential draft of ideas, perhaps, was not something that was ready for a vote by the Israeli cabinet.
QUESTION: So they acted prematurely in rejecting it?
MS. PSAKI: I think I’ll let you make your own judgment, Matt.
QUESTION: But still, I want to get to the – back to the answer: Did the Egyptians sign off on the confidential draft of ideas?
MS. PSAKI: Well, they were engaged, and no one was asking for anyone’s sign-off at that stage in time. But I would ask all of you to take a look at the – both proposals and note what the differences are, which they’re very minimal.
QUESTION: What – are you willing to offer them up?
MS. PSAKI: I think they’re appearing publicly. I also —
QUESTION: So that means you are confirming that what has been out there is – what is out there is accurate?
MS. PSAKI: It’s accurate in the sense that three days ago, it was an informal draft of ideas that was given on a confidential basis and we asked for responses on. It’s not currently something that is relevant to the discussion.
QUESTION: It’s not? I thought —
QUESTION: Really? I thought they voted —
QUESTION: I thought it was.
MS. PSAKI: Hmm?
QUESTION: I thought it was. No?
MS. PSAKI: Currently not. Where our focus is —
QUESTION: It’s dead?
MS. PSAKI: Our focus right now is on the short-term humanitarian ceasefire.
QUESTION: Right. That’s what I thought this was.
MS. PSAKI: Well, this was a longer document or a longer description.
QUESTION: Well, what are the – the problem that the Israelis have with it is that it doesn’t – apparently that they have with it is that it didn’t address demilitarization and disarmament. But that’s a – and what you’re saying is that that’s a longer-term – I don’t understand why you’ve – you’re so angry with the Israelis that you pulled this whole – this paper off the table?
MS. PSAKI: No, that’s not at all the case, Matt.
QUESTION: All right. I don’t get it.
MS. PSAKI: I think things have moved forward since then over the course of the last several days. So I’m just saying it’s an old discussion, but it’s still out there with a bunch of information that isn’t accurate, which is why we decided to —
QUESTION: Well, things have certainly moved as – I don’t know if they’ve moved forward or backward. But why isn’t that still – that is no longer the basis of what you’re trying to do? Those ideas?
MS. PSAKI: Our basis is what I just outlined, which is —
QUESTION: But what’s going to come next? How’s the next proposal going to differ from this one?
MS. PSAKI: Well, the – what we’re discussing with both sides at this point is a humanitarian cease-fire, where the longer-term issues would be addressed at the later – at a later basis, simple as that.
QUESTION: But I thought that’s what that was?
MS. PSAKI: It is that. (Laughter.) But what I’m saying is that that draft of ideas is not a paper that’s being litigated and going back and forth with edits at this point in time. It hasn’t been for days.
QUESTION: Seeing how this would incrementally work, so you have like a 24-hour proposal followed by seven-day cease-fire, and then during that time things begin to happen or negotiations begin to happen with the involvement of, let’s say, Qatar, Egypt, and so on. Is that what it is?
MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, I think we’d certainly support a longer-term ceasefire, if we could achieve a seven-day humanitarian ceasefire. What we’re doing right now is we’re taking it day by day, and we’re hopeful that with each ceasefire we can build on the last. Because if there’s a pause, we feel that’s going to be the best opportunity for negotiations.
QUESTION: And just to follow up on Jo’s question as of a little while ago, when she said that the 2012 agreement calls for opening the crossing, lifting the siege, doing all these things, which none of it has happened – now strategically, if there is an agreement strategically, would the United States be willing to sort of guarantee that these steps, whatever steps are taken, to lift the border crossing, to open them, and so on? Would it guarantee such a thing?
MS. PSAKI: I think I’m not going to get into guarantees from here, Said. Obviously, there’s ongoing —
MS. PSAKI: Let me finish.
MS. PSAKI: There’s ongoing discussions. We are certainly aware of the issues that are important and have been discussed publicly by both sides, and they would certainly be a part of a negotiation.
QUESTION: Yes, please.
QUESTION: Now just to get us right, you’re just suggesting a 24-hour ceasefire, followed by another 24-hour cease-fire, followed by another 24-hour ceasefire —
MS. PSAKI: Well, we’d certainly support longer than 24 hours. But what our goal is is to have agreement on short – even if they’re short-term ceasefires by the parties so that – and – that we can build on, so that we can have a pause in the violence and have an opportunity to negotiate.
QUESTION: But that doesn’t actually address any of these issues that we’ve talked about here, on either the Israeli or the Hamas side.
MS. PSAKI: It does address allowing food and medical equipment in. It does address bringing a temporary end to the violence and threat of rocket attacks. That’s, right now, an important first step. And there’s no question the larger longer-term issues need to be negotiated and addressed.
QUESTION: But I think the Israeli concern about these – the short-term ceasefires is it simply gives Hamas time and space to regroup and refocus its rockets. It doesn’t actually achieve, other than – I understand that humanitarian – the humanitarian argument, but I wonder whether either party is actually very interested in a humanitarian ceasefire for the time being.
MS. PSAKI: Well, that has been the basis of our discussion. We’ve seen some agreement over the weekend on short-term humanitarian ceasefires. Certainly we would support a much longer-term ceasefire, and we would – we have advocated for that and you’ve seen the UN advocate for that and in the readout of the President’s call advocating for that. What we’re talking about is a step that we think could be an important next step or important steps in the process, and that’s why our focus is on that at this point in time.
QUESTION: And I just wondered if you had any issue or comment on Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif’s round of telephone calls he’s been making in the region yesterday to various different parties, including – and not just the region, but also with the EU and the UN, to try and also on their part effect some kind of truce. Does that concern you at all that the Iranians are getting involved, or do you welcome it? What would be your response?
MS. PSAKI: I haven’t spent a lot of time reading about his comments or his calls. I think our focus is on calling for a ceasefire, bringing an end to the violence on the ground. Efforts to put that in place I think we’d be comfortable with.
QUESTION: But in the same way that any country that has influence is – has been asked to use its influence, would you not ask Iran as well on the same – in the same vein to do so with Hamas?
MS. PSAKI: Well, certainly publicly. That hasn’t been our focus at this time because we’ve been working with other countries, as you know, who we are engaging with in issues aside from the nuclear issue to play a role in influencing Hamas.
QUESTION: I have one more, broadly.
QUESTION: I have one.
QUESTION: Go ahead.
QUESTION: Thank you. Two questions related to this unusual level of vitriol about the Secretary. One is, do you guys have a theory or a sense as to why? Is this an attempt, an Israeli attempt to deflect blame? And I know you’re going to – I think I know what your answer is going to be, but secondly, has there been any outreach to the Secretary from Israeli officials to apologize or explain?
MS. PSAKI: Well, first, I would say I’m, of course, naturally not going to ascribe the motivation or the reason for the different leaks or anonymous comments that we’ve seen out there. But I do think that laying out the details of what has happened and the level of specificity that I did – and I appreciate all of your patience – helps convey what the facts are. And that’s why I did it.
On the second question, what’s important to note here is that the Secretary has been engaged, as has Ambassador Shapiro, as has Frank Lowenstein, with Israeli officials and others in the region basically nonstop – many calls a day with them. The focus of the discussions are about next steps and what to do next. It’s not about any – there haven’t been complaints about his handling or his engagement or involvement, so it’s almost a separate track than what we’re seeing in the public comments.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) acknowledgement?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think that has not been the focus of the discussions in any way, shape, or form.
QUESTION: Just following on from that, more broadly in terms of the U.S.-Israel relationship under the Obama Administration – more specifically the second term. This is not the first time that we have seen vitriol and very harsh criticism of the Secretary – directed at the Secretary from Israel and its supporters in the United States and elsewhere. And I’m – without ascribing a motive to what might be behind that, does the Secretary himself feel that he is still in a position to be able to deal with the Israeli Government and to be someone who can be effective in both this current Gaza situation, but also in the longer term in terms of peace talks and a peace process with the Palestinians?
MS. PSAKI: Yes. And we certainly understand, as we’ve seen in past occasions, that when there is a difficult political situation or security situation, tensions can rise and we’ve seen that in the past. But Secretary Kerry considers Prime Minister Netanyahu a friend. He has been, as I said earlier, I would be hard pressed – I think anyone would be hard pressed to find a stronger supporter for Israel than Secretary Kerry, and his engagement in the region and his efforts in this regard has been in close coordination and cooperation with the Israelis. So I would say that he will remain engaged; they have welcomed his engagement in this effort, and that will continue – he will continue his effort.
QUESTION: One, you just – they welcomed his engagement in this effort? My understanding was the Israelis fought tooth and nail, didn’t want him anywhere near this.
MS. PSAKI: Well, over the last – I think the fact that he has been engaged in perhaps a half a dozen calls or more every day with them shows you that they’re open to his engagement.
QUESTION: And second, you say that the Secretary and Prime Minister Netanyahu are friends and will remain friends. Who else is Secretary Kerry friends with in the Israeli Government?
MS. PSAKI: In the world?
QUESTION: Defense minister? No, in the Israeli Government. Other Israeli officials. Defense Minister Ya’alon?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t think I need to list a —
QUESTION: Foreign Minister Lieberman?
MS. PSAKI: — do a listing of his friends. It’s fair to say —
QUESTION: Minister Steinitz?
MS. PSAKI: — he has a range of friends in Israel, including in the government.
QUESTION: Uri Ariel? (Laughter.) Can you name one other person in – maybe one minister in —
MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to get into a naming. I was —
QUESTION: But you already did. You named – you’ve named Prime Minister Netanyahu. So how many of his cabinet members do you think the Secretary could consider friends of his?
MS. PSAKI: I think when the Secretary has an issue he will raise that privately. But he has a range of friends in the government and in Israel, and certainly has been a strong supporter and continues to be.
QUESTION: Would you like to see those friends stand up for him now?
MS. PSAKI: I think, Matt, our focus here is on the ceasefire effort —
MS. PSAKI: — but it was important to lay out the facts on the ground.
Israel or a new issue?
MS. PSAKI: Israel? Go ahead.
QUESTION: The same issue. I mean, you mentioned humanitarian aid, and then you mentioned short-term ceasefire. I mean – sorry – humanitarian ceasefire and short-term ceasefire, and then long-term cease-fire which was the aim. I mean, the seven-day proposal was – is that the short-term or the long-term or the —
MS. PSAKI: Well, the seven day was the initial proposal.
QUESTION: What’s the long term for you?
MS. PSAKI: Certainly, we’d support that or a continuation of that. I think we would like to see a permanent ceasefire, if that was possible, certainly. But right now we’re focused on short-term proposals that can build on each other. Let me just note in addition to having access to humanitarian assistance into Gaza, we also announced last week additional funding – $47 million for humanitarian assistance. That’s something that we’re continuing to work on with the international community as well.
QUESTION: So can you say now you are working on humanitarian ceasefire now?
MS. PSAKI: Yes.
QUESTION: And it’s – the same talks are taking place with the counterparts at the sides?
MS. PSAKI: Yes.
QUESTION: Okay. The other question related to draft of ideas that you mentioned, is still that draft of ideas on the table or it’s off the table?
MS. PSAKI: It’s not – the focus of the discussion at this point is on immediate short-term ceasefires that we – that can build on each other. This is a – sort of a discussion from several days ago, but it was worth – we felt it was worth clarifying.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) now; can we say that?
MS. PSAKI: Well, there are a range of issues that are raised in there that will certainly be a part of a discussion, so in – security issues, including greater access to – increased access and economic opportunity for the Palestinians. So there are issues that have been the everlasting issues in this case that will be discussed and negotiated over the course of time. But in terms of a document that is being negotiated back and forth, no, there’s not line edits going back and forth between the parties.
QUESTION: So the other – which is like a follow-up to Matt’s question, which is like: Are – the Egyptian side was aware of the content and the spirit and the text of this draft of ideas, or were out of the loop?
MS. PSAKI: Absolutely aware. We were living in Cairo for five days. The Secretary spoke with Foreign Minister Shoukry multiple times a day and we were very closely involved. And again, it was based on the Egyptian proposal, and so they are obviously a key interlocutor and key lead on this effort.
QUESTION: Yes, there is another thing, which is the two issues of demilitarization of Hamas or Gaza, and the same time crossing that was proposed by – to facilitate crossing to Gaza, whether it’s Egyptian or other sides. Is – are – these issues were discussed? You say they’re going to be discussed or this was proposed to be discussed in negotiations. Are these issues, two issues were part of the deal or the talk and the draft of ideas or not?
MS. PSAKI: It was not mentioned in either – and I would encourage you, and anyone can follow me on Twitter. I tweeted the Egyptian proposal from just two weeks ago. It has all of the details in there. You’ve seen the list of – the draft of informal ideas that’s out there as well in the press. I would encourage you to compare the two. No, there was not a specific mention of demilitarization. Of course that’s something we support. There was a mention of security issues, which has been how it’s been described in many of these documents in the past.
QUESTION: So, wait, wait. I wasn’t aware that the Egyptian proposal could fit into 140 characters.
MS. PSAKI: I tweeted a link.
QUESTION: Oh, there you go.
MS. PSAKI: Thank you for your clarification. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Okay. I have – these are going to be very brief.
MS. PSAKI: Okay.
QUESTION: They have to do with Israel. They don’t have to do with this.
MS. PSAKI: Okay.
QUESTION: One, I asked Marie —
MS. PSAKI: And then I’ll go to Ukraine, which I would bet is the next issue, but —
QUESTION: Yes. One, I asked on Friday about this 15-year-old Palestinian-American kid who’s been held. Do you have any update on him?
MS. PSAKI: I do. Let me just find that in here, Matt. We can confirm that Mohamed Abu Nie, a U.S. citizen, was arrested on July 3rd during protests in the Shuafat neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is providing consular assistance. A consular official assisted him on July 17th – visited him, I should say – and attended his hearing on July 22nd. The Embassy’s also in contact with his family and his lawyer. Considering his age, we are calling for a speedy resolution to this case. He is now – this 15-year-old has now been held for three weeks in Israeli custody and has seen his parents only once briefly during that night, and so we are certainly gravely concerned about the detention of an American citizen child.
QUESTION: Seen only once by that – the night that he was arrested, is that what you’re saying?
MS. PSAKI: I would have to check on exactly when his parents saw him, Matt.
QUESTION: Okay. Have you – you’ve made this – you made your concerns known to the Israelis on this, yes?
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: Have you gotten a response from them? Is there any sign that they are going to act speedily to – I mean, he’s been in custody for – since July 2nd. That’s 20 – how many days is that?
QUESTION: Twenty —
QUESTION: July 27th?
QUESTION: Twenty-six days.
QUESTION: Yeah, 26 days.
QUESTION: I mean, is it appropriate for – I mean, well, one, are you aware that this kid did anything wrong?
MS. PSAKI: I just don’t have any more details other than to say he – we did not – just in terms of why we just saw him recently, he didn’t immediately inform Israeli authorities that he was a U.S. citizen. So obviously, as soon as we learned that, we contacted Israeli authorities to schedule a consular visit.
QUESTION: Are you – have the Israelis done anything wrong, as far as you know, in terms of this case? Are you – I noticed that you’re not calling for him to be released immediately. You’re calling for a quick, speedy resolution to the case, suggesting that you’re not sure that the Israelis have acted inappropriately.
MS. PSAKI: Well, our role is to ensure he’s being afforded due process under local laws and international standards, and obviously we’re providing all consular access and we’ll continue to be engaged.
QUESTION: Are you able to give us details of charges he’s facing and what conditions he’s being held in? Is he in an adult prison or is he in a juvenile section?
MS. PSAKI: Well, we understand he faces charges of rock-throwing, attacking police, carrying a knife, and leading protests. We —
QUESTION: Leading —
MS. PSAKI: And leading protests, yes. We are concerned about allegations that he’s been mistreated while in custody. We obviously take all such allegations seriously, raise them with authorities as appropriate.
QUESTION: Well —
QUESTION: But do you know whether he’s being – sorry, Matt. Do you know whether he’s being held in adult jail or a juvenile section?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t have that level of detail. We can certainly check for you, Jo.
QUESTION: So when I asked if you would – were worried that – if you were – there were concerns that the Israelis had acted in appropriately, that sounds like there is concern, because you say that —
MS. PSAKI: Well, we’re concerned about allegations that he’s been mistreated.
QUESTION: What are the allegations?
MS. PSAKI: Hmm?
QUESTION: What are those allegations?
MS. PSAKI: That he’s been mistreated. I think there’s allegations out there that he’s been beaten, but we don’t have – I don’t have any more details other than the allegations that have been out there.
MS. PSAKI: Sure.
QUESTION: One more on this? Sorry. Just a brief one, sorry.
MS. PSAKI: Sure.
MS. PSAKI: Well, we’re certainly aware of press reports regarding pending arms sales from North Korea to Hamas. We have long highlighted the global security and proliferation threat posed by North Korea, and we continue to work to stop North Korea’s proliferation activities with partners in the Security Council and throughout the international community. But I’m not going to have any other comment on the specific allegations.
QUESTION: So does that mean you have no independent confirmation of this or just —
MS. PSAKI: It means I have no other comment on it.
MS. PSAKI: Sure. Well, we wouldn’t have put them out publicly if we didn’t feel confident about the accuracy. Obviously, we declassify information as we can to make it available to all of you and to the American public and the international community, and that was the case here.
QUESTION: Well, do we know which satellites these images came from? Who’s – who owned them, for instance?
MS. PSAKI: I’m just not going to be able to get into any greater level of detail.
QUESTION: All right. Let’s talk about the timing of them being released. Why did we choose over the weekend, first of all?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think everybody works on the weekend. I think all of us do, and we felt it was important to put this information out publicly. It shows engagement by the separatists and with support from – with – of Russian artillery in this effort. As you know, we’ve been concerned about that engagement and that escalation, and this provides a further example of that.
QUESTION: And the means that they were released – as I understand it, the first time that we saw them was released on the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine’s Twitter account. Is that accurate?
MS. PSAKI: Well, we sent them out publicly for everyone to see from the State Department, so I think I – we sent them pretty broadly.
QUESTION: So what is it that the State Department is hoping to achieve from these? What kind of response, first of all, does the State Department have given the evidence that these satellite images are showing?
MS. PSAKI: Response to what specifically? Response to the satellite images, response to escalation?
MS. PSAKI: As you know, we’ve been long concerned about the fact that the Russians have been supplying, supporting, arming the separatists. We – as we have information that shows and backs up those concerns, we make that information available. We have put in place, as you know, a range of sanctions, including an additional set of sanctions last week. We fully expect the Europeans will do additional sanctions soon. And this shows the world what those concerns are and why it’s important to focus on the engagement of Russia in Ukraine.
QUESTION: So Secretary Kerry spoke with Foreign Minister Lavrov over the weekend. To what detail was this – were these satellite images discussed, and how will these satellite images affect U.S.-Russia relations moving forward?
MS. PSAKI: Well, it’s not about the satellite images. The satellite images provide evidence of what we’ve been saying publicly for some time now. They didn’t discuss the satellite images. They did discuss Secretary Kerry’s concern about the Russians’ continuing assistance and support for the separatists. And the Secretary certainly made clear he doesn’t buy the claim that they are not involved and they’re not engaged in this effort. So that was a part of the discussion. They also discussed the Secretary’s trip over the past week and the situation on the ground in Gaza.
QUESTION: Jen, what exactly in those images was declassified?
MS. PSAKI: I’d have to look at the specific images, Matt. There was some information that we have from our own sources that we put out publicly for the first time.
QUESTION: But the satellites – they were Digital Globe, right? This is not U.S. spy satellites taking – they were credited to Digital Globe, which is a commercial satellite company. So those pictures in themselves weren’t subject to classification, were they?
MS. PSAKI: I’d have to look back and see what information was newly available from those satellite photos.
MS. PSAKI: Obviously, you all have the packet of them.
QUESTION: Right. No, I’m just wondering what in there was declassified? What prior to Sunday – what information in that – in those four pages was classified prior to Sunday when they were released?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, one —
QUESTION: The analysis?
MS. PSAKI: — there weren’t images released previously that I’m aware of that showed that Russian forces had fired across the border at Ukrainian military forces, and that Russian – there was some, of course, that Russian-back separatists have used heavy artillery. But this was, again, further evidence and further information that we made available to – in order to show what we have concerns about. That’s why we put it out publicly.
QUESTION: Right, okay. And – so that, and I – I think everyone appreciates the fact that you’re going to efforts to put out the – to put out evidence that you say backs up the claim. But does, in fact – do, in fact, those images show Russian artillery being fired into Ukraine from inside Russia? Does it?
MS. PSAKI: Well, the images showed —
QUESTION: I mean, clearly you’re not going to have video, real-time video or whatever – or maybe you do, I don’t know – but that doesn’t show – it doesn’t show that. It shows pockmarks on the ground, and then it’s got arrows drawn in, which could – so, I mean, maybe you could have an analyst or someone come and explain exactly what this is. But, I mean, to – I’m certainly not an intelligence analyst or expert in reading what these satellite photos mean. But to the casual observer, if you just showed them the pictures without the arrows drawn on them and without the text – I mean, it just looks like there’s a bunch of holes in the ground.
MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, I think the images showed things such as ground scarring at a multiple rocket launch site on the Russian side of the border oriented in the direction of Ukrainian military units within Ukraine. It showed self-propelled artillery only found in Russian military units on the Russian side of the border oriented in the direction of the Ukrainian military unit. It showed a range of specifics that I think you can lead – lead you to a conclusion.
QUESTION: Okay. You’ve seen the Russian Defense Ministry came out this morning and said that basically – I mean, I guess not surprisingly, said that these are fake; they don’t show what you purport that they do show. Do you have any response to that?
MS. PSAKI: I think that strains credibility, that claim.
QUESTION: Their claim that it’s fake?
MS. PSAKI: Yes.
QUESTION: Okay. And so —
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