Division Press Briefing – September 26, 2022

September 27, 2022

1:52 p.m. EDT

MR PRICE: We noticed a lot of you final week in New York. Talking of final week in New York, the world got here collectively final week to highlight and – in practically all instances – reaffirm the ideas on the core of the UN Constitution. President Biden cited one among his predecessors, President Truman, who heralded the constitution as proof that nations can, quote “state their variations, can face them, after which can discover widespread floor on which to face.”

And final week we witnessed an incredible quantity of widespread floor among the many UN’s member- states relating to Russia’s unlawful, unjustified invasion of Ukraine. Nation after nation – in each the Safety Council and Basic Meeting – condemned Russia’s battle and referred to as for an finish to the invasion.

They did so as a result of not solely is the Kremlin’s battle an assault on Ukraine, however additionally it is a stark affront to the ideas on the coronary heart of the UN Constitution: sovereignty, the independence of states, the inviolability of nationwide borders, the tenets of peace and safety.

These are the ideas that apply equally in Europe as they do wherever – and in every single place – around the globe.

The statements from world leaders in New York crystallized the stakes, however so too did the statements and actions that emanated from Moscow. President Putin did maybe as a lot as anybody final week to additional isolate Russia and bolster worldwide resolve to face with Ukraine.

His nuclear saber-rattling, the sham referenda, his partial mobilization, and the broad – and typically violent – crackdown on Russians exercising their common rights have been galvanizing, however virtually actually not in the way in which that President Putin supposed.

These actions from President Putin sign very – sign very clearly that he is aware of he’s shedding. He’s on his again heels. And he’s making each try to intimidate those that would stand as much as him. We – together with our allies and companions around the globe – will not be going to bow to intimidation.

So let me state as soon as once more: the so-called referenda Russia is holding proper now within the sovereign Ukrainian areas of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, and Donetsk are a complete sham. The US won’t ever acknowledge seized Ukrainian territory as something aside from a part of Ukraine. We stand by Ukraine’s sovereignty.

As you noticed right this moment, we’re rising our assist to our Ukrainian companions. The Secretary introduced an extra $457.5 million in civilian safety help to boost the efforts of Ukrainian legislation enforcement and prison justice companies to enhance their operational capability and save lives as they proceed to assist defend the Ukrainian individuals, their freedom, and their democracy from the Kremlin’s brutal battle of aggression.

This new tranche of support brings the whole – brings the whole america has dedicated to our Ukrainian legislation enforcement and prison justice companions, since mid-December 2021, to greater than $645 million. The supply of further protecting tools, medical provides, and armored automobiles to the Nationwide Police of Ukraine and the State Border Guard Service has considerably diminished casualties for Ukrainian civilians and their defenders.

Along with persevering with and increasing our direct help to Ukrainian legislation enforcement, a portion of this new help will even proceed U.S. assist for the Ukrainian authorities’s efforts to doc, examine, and prosecute atrocities perpetrated by Russia’s forces, drawing on our longstanding relationship with the Ukrainian prison justice companies.

The US stands aspect by aspect with the Ukrainian individuals, and we stay dedicated to supporting a democratic, unbiased, and sovereign Ukraine.

With that, Matt.

QUESTION: Thanks, Ned. Simply on the extra support, is it doable – you don’t need to do it right here, but when somebody’s acquired it – to interrupt that down when it comes to what goes to – I’m significantly desirous about how a lot goes to go to the prosecutors and the – for the investigation, however it might be good to know if we might get – how a lot goes to go armored automobiles and the way a lot goes to go to PPE and that sort of factor.

MR PRICE: Understood.

QUESTION: Is that doable to do?

MR PRICE: Okay.

QUESTION: Okay. Secondly, which isn’t Ukraine particularly – and I do know that your colleague on the White Home was requested about this – however you’ve seen President Putin giving Russian citizenship to Edward Snowden. Again in 2013 whenever you guys – this constructing, the State Division in the course of the Obama administration – revoked his passport, it was made clear by one among your predecessors that this didn’t have an effect on his citizenship; that he was nonetheless, so far as the U.S. Authorities is worried, an American citizen. And I simply need to know if that’s nonetheless – and I’m not asking about any sort of prosecution, so please don’t refer me to the Justice Division. Is it nonetheless the assumption of the administration that he’s a U.S. citizen?

MR PRICE: I’m not conscious of any change in his citizenship standing. I’m —

QUESTION: Proper.

MR PRICE: — acquainted with the truth that he has in some methods denounced his American citizenship. I don’t know that he’s renounced it.

QUESTION: Proper. Nicely, no, he hasn’t. And actually, when he utilized for citizenship, he mentioned he wasn’t going to resign it. However I simply —

MR PRICE: And —

QUESTION: However there are methods by which the U.S. Authorities can revoke one’s citizenship. And so far as I do know, he doesn’t meet any of the – or hasn’t met any of the factors but. One of many 4 is committing an act of treason, which I do know you’ll consult with the Justice Division on. However I simply need to make it possible for so far as you’re involved, he stays an American citizen, so he’s now a twin U.S.-Russian citizen.

MR PRICE: Our place has not modified. Mr. Snowden ought to return to america, the place he ought to face justice as another American citizen would. Maybe the one factor that has modified is that, on account of his Russian citizenship, apparently now he could be conscripted to battle in Russia’s battle in Ukraine.

QUESTION: All proper, last item and this has to do particularly along with your feedback about President Putin and his – what he did final – the response to what he has lately introduced final week on the UN because it – or in the course of the UN because it pertains to sovereignty and territorial integrity. And I simply need to make it possible for I perceive accurately that your “one China” coverage, proper, implies that Taiwan is a part of China and that you simply respect Chinese language territorial integrity and sovereignty over Taiwan.

MR PRICE: Matt, our “one China” coverage has not modified. Our “one China” coverage has not modified within the sum of 40 years.

QUESTION: Nicely, what does your “one China” coverage say about Chinese language territorial integrity for —

MR PRICE: Very, very mainly, we don’t take a place on sovereignty. However our “one China” coverage has not modified. That could be a – that may be a place we made very clear in public. It’s a place that Secretary Blinken made very clear in non-public to Wang Yi when he met with him on Friday.

QUESTION: Does that imply that Taiwan is a part of China? I imply, it’s one China, proper?

MR PRICE: Once more, Mentioned, our one coverage – our “one China” coverage has not modified. We don’t take a place on s sovereignty. However the coverage that has been on the crux of our method to Taiwan since 1979 stays in impact right this moment.

What we need to see proceed, what we need to see preserved, is the established order – exactly as a result of the established order since 1979, greater than 40 years now, has undergirded peace and stability throughout the Taiwan Strait. We need to see that proceed. Sadly, I don’t consider the identical might be mentioned of the PRC, which has develop into solely extra coercive and intimidating in its actions and its maneuvers throughout the Taiwan Strait.

Andrea.

QUESTION: Simply to observe up on that, can – if Vladimir Putin has conferred Russian citizenship on Edward Snowden right this moment as they are saying, does that imply he mechanically loses his American citizenship, whether or not or not he’s renounced it?

MR PRICE: I’m not conscious of any change in his American citizenship standing. I’m not conscious that something has occurred but in relation to that. Mr. Snowden is seemingly now a Russian citizen, and once more, that makes him topic to any Russian decrees that will come down, together with the one we heard about final week.

QUESTION: What are your bets on that? Let me ask you a China query —

QUESTION: One second. That is sort of fascinating. As a result of if he’s now – you say he’s now a Russian citizen, however he’s additionally an American citizen, proper?

MR PRICE: Nicely, I didn’t say that. I mentioned the – clearly, the Russians have put out a proper decree.

QUESTION: Sure, precisely.

MR PRICE: Sure.

QUESTION: However, so apparently he’s each, U.S. and Russian citizen. Now, in relation to Iran – so U.S. – American – the Iranian Authorities doesn’t deal with U.S. dual-nationals as twin‑nationals, proper? They deal with them solely as single, and also you deplore that and also you denounce it once they get arrested and charged beneath Iranian legislation. And but right here, you appear to be completely happy by the – otherwise you appear to be having fun with the concept —

MR PRICE: There’s —

QUESTION: — that one way or the other now as a Russian citizen, Ed Snowden might – Edward Snowden might be conscripted.

MR PRICE: There’s no emotion hooked up to my voice, Matt. I’m simply saying {that a} Russian citizen – he would presumably be topic to Russian legal guidelines.

Andrea.

QUESTION: A associated query on China. Are you able to inform us whether or not in the course of the President’s – excuse me, the Secretary of State’s assembly with Wang Yi on Friday he introduced up the difficulty of wrongfully detained American Kai Li who’s been detained for 5 years in China?

MR PRICE: In nearly each single one among our engagements around the globe at senior ranges, we elevate instances of American detainees, People who’re wrongfully detained; when acceptable and relevant, People who’re being held hostage around the globe. We now have constantly raised instances of People who’re wrongfully detained in China or who’re in any other case unable to freely depart the PRC. We are going to proceed to try this till such instances are resolved.

QUESTION: Nicely, was it raised on this occasion on Friday?

MR PRICE: I’m – it’s one thing we constantly elevate.

QUESTION: However that doesn’t – that doesn’t – can you’re taking the query of whether or not it was raised on Friday?

MR PRICE: It’s – we issued a readout of this. It’s one thing we constantly elevate. However we’re not ready to transcend that readout.

QUESTION: What’s the newest on Kai Li case, and do we have now consular entry?

MR PRICE: We’ll need to get again to you on the query of consular entry. However these are instances that we frequently do focus on with our PRC counterparts. These are instances that the embassy in Beijing routinely works on, simply in the identical method that our embassies around the globe work on behalf of Americans who’re wrongfully detained, however in relation to all cases of People who’re detained around the globe to supply them acceptable consular assist in keeping with the Vienna Conference on consular entry.

QUESTION: One final China and Russia and Korea, okay, Chinese language points. There are studies that Russia is pushing to recruit Chinese language Russian troopers to battle Ukraine. If that is true, then China will have interaction in army cooperation with Russia. How would you assess this? Did you ever hear about this?

MR PRICE: Might you repeat the primary a part of the query?

QUESTION: Yeah. There are studies that Russia is pushing to China – I imply Chinese language Russian troopers to battle Ukraine – I imply, this – who’re Chinese language dwelling in Russia (inaudible).

MR PRICE: Chinese language nationals dwelling in Russia who wouldn’t go battle in Ukraine?

QUESTION: Sure.

MR PRICE: I’m not acquainted with these studies. With – as I discussed a second in the past, in relation to the Secretary’s engagement with Wang Yi on Friday, there was a dialogue of Russia and its unlawful, unjustified invasion of Ukraine. This, in fact, was additionally a subject of dialog on the UN. We heard from Wang Yi himself within the UN Safety Council. Wang Yi, throughout that setting, made very clear that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all international locations ought to be safeguarded, the needs and ideas of the UN Constitution ought to be abided by, all events involved ought to train restraint and keep away from phrases and deeds that worsen confrontation.

So the take a look at might be whether or not these phrases from the PRC are literally carried out. We now have made clear, and the Secretary made clear once more to his PRC counterpart on Friday, that we’re watching very intently. We all know that Russia has sought help from the PRC. We all know early on on this battle that Russia lodged a request for army help. We made that public on the time. We warned each publicly and privately on the time that the PRC would face penalties if it offered safety help to Russia or if it assisted Russia, in a scientific method, evade sanctions.

We haven’t seen the PRC do both of these. We’re persevering with to observe very intently. However once more, our message to the PRC has been a easy one: China shouldn’t make Russia’s issues China’s issues.

QUESTION: However lately Xi Jinping, Chinese language prime – I imply, President Xi Jinping and the Russian President Putin have a gathering collectively. You by no means know what they – they’re speaking about, what sort of dialog they did. So the way you going to belief China and Russia? That’s – their belief is essential.

MR PRICE: We’re not trusting, we’re verifying. We’re taking a look at each single bit of data we have now. We now have seen nothing as of but, a minimum of, to point that the PRC is taking a distinct method in relation to safety help, in relation to efforts to systematically assist Russia evade sanctions. However we’re persevering with to observe. We all know that conversations – together with at excessive ranges, as we noticed in Samarkand the opposite week – between the PRC and Russia are ongoing.

What I’ll say is that should you take a look at President Putin’s phrases, should you take a look at President Xi’s phrases, should you learn Wang Yi’s phrases, the very phrases I simply referred to, you hear the PRC expressing a level of unease with what Russia is doing in Ukraine. And that’s actually no shock. It’s no shock as a result of Russia’s brutal battle of aggression in opposition to Ukraine is just not solely, as I mentioned on the high, an assault on Ukraine, it’s an assault, a brutal assault on the UN Constitution, on the UN system, on each member state of the United Nations that subscribes to them.

So it’s no marvel that the PRC is expressing various levels of reservations. The actual take a look at, although, might be if these obvious reservations, this obvious discomfort with what Russia is doing in Ukraine, will really contour what the PRC does in its method.

QUESTION: Yet one more fast. The South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol mentioned that yesterday within the occasion of dispute between China and Taiwan, the potential for a North Korean provocation would improve. Does america desires South Korea to assist U.S. protection to Taiwan?

MR PRICE: We now have an ironclad alliance with our South Korean companions. It’s an alliance that’s constructed not solely on shared pursuits within the Indo-Pacific but in addition on shared values. And one of many many causes for our assist for the individuals on Taiwan is the truth that we share values with the individuals on Taiwan. That can be true of our South Korean allies. So we have now a shared curiosity, along with South Korea, along with our different allies within the area, in upholding a free and open Indo-Pacific. That’s one thing we routinely focus on and one thing we routinely act upon.

Sure, Guita.

QUESTION: Change of topic?

MR PRICE: Certain. The rest on China?

QUESTION: Russia?

MR PRICE: Let’s – we’ll go to Iran, then we’ll come again to Russia.

QUESTION: All proper. Thanks, Ned. At this time was the tenth day of steady protests in Iran. The Biden administration has sanctioned individuals and in right this moment’s – it has issued the final license for offering know-how to Iranian individuals for communication. However that hasn’t stopped the legislation enforcement from killing individuals, and their quantity is rising. What can the U.S. administration to cease the killing?

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MR PRICE: Let me first begin by saying that we, in fact, condemn the violence, the brutality that’s being exhibited by Iran’s safety forces. The continuing violent suppression of what are peaceable protests following Mahsa Amini’s demise is appalling. We’re conscious that safety forces have killed dozens of protesters. We consider it’s incumbent upon the worldwide neighborhood to talk out, to clarify the place they stand in relation to the train of what ought to be common rights, rights which can be – belong to the individuals of Iran as a lot as they do to individuals wherever and in every single place throughout the globe. We’re intently following these developments. Iran’s leaders ought to be listening to the protesters, not firing on them. Sadly, this regime is one which has an extended historical past of utilizing violence in opposition to those that would peacefully train these common rights.

The US, whether or not it’s protesters in Iran, whether or not it’s protesters in Russia, whether or not it’s peaceable protesters around the globe, we assist the rights of those people – these Iranians, on this case – to peacefully assemble and to specific themselves with out concern of violence or detention by safety forces. We’re going to proceed to do a pair issues. We, as you understand, as you alluded to, are holding to account the so-called morality police, the entity that’s answerable for Mahsa Amini’s demise. We sanctioned seven different people who’ve been concerned in Iran’s repression through the years. And we’re doing what we are able to to allow the individuals of Iran to train these common rights.

And also you talked about the final license that we issued on Friday. Folks – international locations around the globe have an curiosity in seeing to it that the individuals of Iran can talk freely with each other, can talk freely with the remainder of the world. And all of us have an curiosity in realizing about what’s occurring inside Iran, what the courageous Iranian individuals are peacefully doing in response to the tragic demise of Mahsa Amini.

QUESTION:  You talked about the Biden administration urges the worldwide neighborhood to talk out. Nicely, Germany has summoned – right this moment summoned the Iranian ambassador to Berlin and apparently requested him to not suppress the individuals. However that’s not going to cease the legislation enforcement. And would – do you assume possibly he’s recalling ambassadors from Iran? Would that be a more practical technique of Iran’s isolation and possibly rethinking of their coverage?

MR PRICE:  That is going to be a sovereign resolution on the a part of international locations around the globe. We now have inspired and we do encourage, we’re encouraging, international locations around the globe to lend, in fact, rhetorical assist to those Iranians who’re doing nothing greater than exercising peacefully their common rights. For our half, we have now used our personal authorities. We now have granted a license utilizing a Treasury Division authority. However totally different international locations are going to have totally different approaches. What’s much less necessary to us is that these approaches are an identical. What’s extra necessary to us is that these approaches are complementary, that they work collectively to assist each the rights and the aspirations of the individuals of Iran.

QUESTION:  Can I observe up on Iran?

MR PRICE:  Nicely, Mentioned, you’ve already requested. Let me go over right here. Please.

QUESTION:  So not that I query how Mahsa Amini, or Jina Amini, as she was calling herself, died. We’ve spoken to her members of the family, that they’ve sort of confirmed how she died. However I’m simply curious: How did you establish that she was killed by morality police? As a result of the Iranian Authorities is attempting to drift the concept she died on account of coronary heart assault, this assault or that – not different difficulty.

MR PRICE:  There are particular details of this case that don’t appear to be in dispute. Mahsa Amini was arrested. Mahsa Amini, in fact, was alive on the time of her arrest. There may be video of her after her arrest. And a while later, she was lifeless, after spending time within the custody of the so-called morality police. The details don’t appear that difficult.

QUESTION:  After which on the Basic License D-2, there are – so the Starlink providers that has sort of given lots of hope to lots of Iranians. However does the final license, does that additionally embrace {hardware}? As a result of the terminals and the dishes that requires to make use of some service just like the Starlink, does that additionally embrace {hardware} for – to present to Iran?

MR PRICE:  So the quick reply is sure. Each GLD-2, the final license we issued final week, but in addition GLD-1, the final license that we issued in 2014 beneath the Obama-Biden administration, consists of some types of {hardware}. Let me – this isn’t a easy difficulty, so let me offer you a bit bit extra context.

GLD-2 expands authorizations for software program providers, however it does proceed to authorize sure {hardware}, together with residential shopper satellite tv for pc terminals that have been already licensed beneath GLD-1, the final license from 2014. Basic licenses are self-executing. What which means is that anybody who meets the factors outlined on this normal license can proceed with their actions with out requesting further permissions from the U.S. Authorities.

Now, some forms of tools, together with some – together with sure business makes use of and labored with – work with sanctioned entities, nonetheless require a particular license from Treasury’s Workplace of Overseas Property Management, or OFAC, earlier than they are often exported to Iran. However on Friday, OFAC additionally expanded its coverage for issuing case-by-case particular licenses, and now OFAC will prioritize any request for a particular license pertaining to web freedom in Iran.

So again to your query on Starlink. If SpaceX, on this case, have been to find out that some exercise geared toward Iranians requires a particular license – once more, this might must be a judgment that SpaceX and its attorneys would come to on their very own – OFAC would welcome it and would prioritize it. By the identical token, if SpaceX determines that its exercise is already licensed – once more, owing to the self-executing nature of those normal licenses – OFAC would welcome any engagement, together with if SpaceX or another firm have been to have questions concerning the applicability of this normal license or the 2014 normal license to their envisioned exercise.

QUESTION: And simply rapidly, to revisit her query, so greater than 30 individuals have died on the arms of Iranian authorities. Will we see more durable response from the U.S. or simply that first sanction on the Iranian morality police?

MR PRICE: We’re doing two issues. As we have been speaking about within the context of this normal license, we’re taking steps that we are able to to facilitate the power of the Iranian individuals to speak with each other, to speak with the remainder of the world – basically doing what we are able to to assist the peaceable aspirations of the Iranian individuals for higher ranges of freedom and for the respect of rights which can be common to them.

On the identical time, we’re additionally going – we have now held to account and we’ll proceed to carry to account these Iranians who’re answerable for acts of violence, for acts of repression in opposition to their very own individuals. In fact, the sanctions that we issued on Thursday of final week, the sanctions in opposition to morality – so-called morality police and the seven different people, these will not be the primary human rights sanctions we’ve levied in opposition to Iran. They won’t be the final human rights sanctions we levy in opposition to Iran.

Let me transfer round to individuals who haven’t requested questions. Kylie.

QUESTION: So Elon Musk has mentioned in current days that to ensure that Starlink to work in Iran, there must be a terminal within the nation that may allow it to truly be activated, and he mentioned that may require somebody smuggling that terminal into the nation, which might be difficult as a result of the Iranian Authorities doesn’t need it there. Does the U.S. assist somebody smuggling that into the nation in case you are ready proper now the place you might be supporting bringing freedom of web to the Iranians?

MR PRICE: We now have – the Treasury Division by way of the final license has taken steps that, by way of its self-executing capability, authorizes further firms to supply software program – in some instances {hardware} – that may be operational in Iran. In fact, we’re not going to talk to what could be required for any such {hardware} to get into Iran. It’s our cost, it’s our duty to see to it that there aren’t any restrictions – U.S. Authorities restrictions – that may stop related software program and in some instances {hardware} from being operational inside Iran.

QUESTION: However isn’t that motion on behalf of Treasury a bit meaningless if they’ll’t really get the {hardware} into the nation?

MR PRICE: Once more, it’s our cost to see to it that the Iranian individuals have what they should talk with each other, to speak with the remainder of the world. Non-public firms are going to take steps that they deem acceptable, whether or not it’s the authorization, the usage of software program inside Iran, or the availability of {hardware} to the individuals of Iran.

QUESTION: And only one extra query. Are you encouraging allies of america to assist this effort, allies that will have diplomats or diplomatic presence in Iran?

MR PRICE: We’re supporting international locations around the globe to do what they’ll to assist the aspirations of the Iranian individuals for higher freedom, higher respect for human rights.

QUESTION: Can I simply observe up on that, simply very briefly?

MR PRICE: Okay.

QUESTION: Our correspondent there an hour or so in the past was telling me that there was no proof of any web proper now. It’s fully shut down. Have you ever seen any tangible proof since Treasury’s announcement on Friday that there’s extra web entry for individuals?

MR PRICE: So I couldn’t communicate to web entry broadly. What’s true is that the Iranian Authorities has constantly since these protests started reduce off or tried to chop off web entry to massive swaths of the Iranian individuals. By some accounts, the Iranian Authorities has reduce off entry for many of its 80 million residents to stop them and to stop the remainder of the world from watching the regime’s ongoing violent crackdown in opposition to peaceable protesters. And it’s clear from these actions that Iran’s leaders are, in essence, afraid of their very own individuals. And so we’re dedicated to making sure that the Iranian individuals can train what’s, once more, a common proper, the common proper to freedom of expression, the common proper to freely entry data by way of the web, and that’s why we took this step on Friday.

There may be cause to consider that firms are taking motion pursuant to the final license that was issued on Thursday of final week. We do encourage firms which have questions as as to if their software program or whether or not their capabilities are licensed beneath this normal license to achieve out to OFAC, and once more, even when this normal license doesn’t authorize the precise piece of software program or {hardware} that an organization could bear in mind, OFAC, on account of motion we took final week, will prioritize a evaluation of particular license. And that’s for a quite simple cause: We need to do every thing we presumably can to assist the Iranian individuals’s train of their common proper.

QUESTION: Ned, I – one on this difficulty. How do you anticipate this tragic incident to influence the talks, Vienna talks on going again to the deal or not going again to the deal? I imply, does the incident such because the – you, on this case – of going again so rapidly or, let’s say, in a brief time period, contemplating that there’s a lot, apparently, opposition to the federal government in Iran? How do you issue that into it?

MR PRICE: This does – this by no means modifications our willpower to see to it that Iran can – is completely and verifiably barred from acquiring a nuclear weapon. It’s, in fact, a truth, as we’ve made clear, that these negotiations will not be in a wholesome place proper now. We’ve made clear that whereas we have now been honest and steadfast in our efforts to see to it that Iran is as soon as once more completely and verifiably barred from a nuclear weapon, we haven’t seen the Iranians make the choice, the Iranian Authorities make the choice that it might must make if it have been to decide to a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA.

However the easy truth stays that each single problem we face with the Iranian Authorities would develop into tougher, in some methods extra intractable, if Iran have been within the possession of a nuclear weapon. We take into consideration that not solely when it comes to Iran’s ballistic missile program, not solely when it comes to its assist for terrorist teams and proxies, not solely when it comes to its assist in malign exercise in our on-line world, but in addition for the forms of human rights abuses that we’re speaking about now. Each single problem we face would develop into tougher if Iran have been to be in possession of 1.

Sure.

QUESTION: The Iranian overseas minister mentioned, I suppose on Sunday, that U.S. continues to be reaching out, saying that we have now goodwills, we have now good religion, and we need to tailor a deal. Are you able to affirm that remark?

MR PRICE: Like I mentioned a second in the past, we’re decided – the President has a dedication to see to it that Iran can by no means and can by no means purchase a nuclear weapon.

QUESTION: Have you ever despatched any messages within the final 10 days?

MR PRICE: Look, we have now made very clear to Iran that we have now sure necessities, and we aren’t going to just accept a nasty deal. As you heard the Secretary say final night time, Iran responded to the newest proposal in such a method that didn’t put us ready to shut the deal however really moved us backwards considerably. I’m not conscious of any additional back-and-forth with the EU from Iran. As of now, based mostly on Iran’s positions which it reaffirmed very publicly in New York this week, we don’t see a deal coming collectively anytime quickly.

QUESTION: And do you see any urgency to alter your coverage in direction of Iran? There are such a lot of totally different op-eds being printed in current days urging Biden to alter its Iran coverage in the mean time with what’s going on inside Iran. Do you see any urgency to alter your coverage in direction of Iran?

MR PRICE: Our coverage in relation to the protests which can be ongoing inside Iran?

QUESTION: Protests and likewise the nuclear.

MR PRICE: Nicely, these are, in fact, separate points. In the case of —

QUESTION: Perhaps not for Iranian individuals.

MR PRICE: In the case of the Iranian individuals and in relation to the protests, in fact we’re taking motion and we have now taken motion in response to the peaceable protests. We’ve talked – we’ve already spoken to 2 of these steps, the issuance of the final license and the levying of sanctions in opposition to the so-called morality police and the seven people. We’re going to proceed to take steps each on that path in direction of accountability and to proceed to have a look at steps that may facilitate the Iranian individuals exercising what are common rights.

Proper now, in relation to the nuclear path, there doesn’t appear to be a near-term path forward for us. We proceed to consider that diplomacy is the most suitable choice to see to it that Iran is rarely in possession of a nuclear weapon. And we’re going to pursue the trail of a possible mutual return to the JCPOA for so long as it’s in our nationwide curiosity however solely for so long as it’s in our nationwide curiosity.

QUESTION: However Ned, I believe the purpose is – is that should you go forward and get a deal, you’re going to be giving or Iran goes to be getting a whole lot of tens of millions of {dollars}, if not billions of {dollars}, in each sanctions aid plus oil income. It’s not like they’re going to be utilizing that cash to plant flowers round downtown Tehran. A few of that cash goes to be – go to additional repress the Iranian individuals, the sort of issues that you simply’re seeing proper now. So I suppose the query is – her – or one other option to phrase that query is, are you okay with that? Are you okay with giving them that huge quantity of sanctions aid and permitting them to promote their oil on the open market when you understand that a few of that cash goes for use to commit human rights abuses?

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MR PRICE: Two issues, Matt. If – and it is a huge if proper now – if there’s a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA, it might take away what could be probably the most harmful parts of an Iranian regime into – for perpetuity.

QUESTION: I get that, however you retain saying if. However you additionally on the identical time say that you simply nonetheless consider it’s within the U.S. nationwide curiosity to get a deal.

MR PRICE: As of —

QUESTION: As of right this moment, proper?

MR PRICE: As of proper now.

QUESTION: In order that – that means the administration is okay with getting a deal even when it offers them billions doubtlessly of – billions of {dollars} that they’ll use to additional repress their very own individuals.

MR PRICE: So the primary level was the large if related to a mutual return to compliance, however we stay dedicated and President Biden has personally made a dedication that Iran won’t ever possess a nuclear weapon. We proceed to consider that diplomacy is one of the simplest ways to attain that. If we discover ourselves ready to return to the JCPOA, that doesn’t take away from our arsenal a single software in relation to holding Iran accountable for the forms of issues that we’re speaking about now.

QUESTION: Nevertheless it offers them a whole lot of tens of millions, if not billions, of {dollars} in money.

MR PRICE: And we’d – the sanctions aid, the restricted sanctions aid that may include a mutual return to compliance on Iran’s nuclear program, in fact, could be accompanied by the identical set of coverage choices that we have now right this moment to take motion to carry accountable actors and entities who have interaction within the very human rights abuses that we’re seeing within the absence of a nuclear deal.

QUESTION: So that you’re suggesting that there might be a web zero for Iran in the event that they – should you comply with a deal that you’d give them this aid after which take all of it again once more beneath the – beneath the human rights rubric?

MR PRICE: We’re speaking a few hypothetical. We’re speaking a few hypothetical that —

QUESTION: Or their assist for terrorism rubric?

MR PRICE: — is beneath the umbrella of one other hypothetical, so I’m – I’m detest to proceed too far down this path.

QUESTION: Nicely, however it simply looks like you’re prepared to make that tradeoff, that you simply’re prepared to present in alternate for a deal, which can or could not work for nevertheless lengthy it might final for, however in alternate for that you simply’re prepared to present all of them this cash, which you understand they are going to use a minimum of a few of to additional repress these individuals, to additional assist their proxies in Yemen and Syria and elsewhere. That’s appropriate?

MR PRICE: Matt, what’s appropriate is that we have now a dedication that Iran won’t ever be ready to amass a nuclear weapon. We’re going to abide by – we’re going to see that dedication carried out. Our choice, our sturdy choice in fact, is to try this diplomatically. If there’s not a deal, we have now instruments on the desk to reply to Iran’s repression. That, by the way in which, is going down in a context that’s within the absence of a deal. And if there’s a deal, if Iran modifications course and agrees to the phrases that america and our European allies are snug with, that received’t take away a single software that we have now to reply to Iran’s repression, to reply to its company proxies, to reply for its assist for terrorist teams.

The easy level is the one I’ve already made. If Iran is in possession of a nuclear weapon or is just not completely and verifiably barred from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon, Iran would and doubtlessly may gain advantage from a way of impunity that may include that – include that to behave much more boldly on – each at residence and on the world stage. It’s not like Iran is a benevolent actor within the absence of a deal, and there are numerous knowledge factors to recommend that from the interval at which the final administration left the JCPOA, at a time when Iran was complying with it, by way of the interval of so-called most stress, Iran’s conduct within the area, its actions in opposition to our companions, the potential focusing on even of American services and personnel – it didn’t develop into extra docile. It grew to become extra aggressive, and for our pursuits it grew to become deadlier.

QUESTION: Can I observe up on that?

QUESTION: (Inaudible) – the suppression of individuals was at all times there, with JCPOA or with out JCPOA. The suppression of individuals inside Iran was at all times there. It doesn’t matter should you had a nuclear deal or not.

I need to ask you this, and I need you to please be very clear. Which one is extra inside your nationwide curiosity – supporting Iranian individuals, to be extra exact courageous Iranian girls, or reaching a nuclear take care of Iran? Which one is inside your nationwide curiosity extra?

MR PRICE: Each are a nationwide curiosity of ours. These are core to our pursuits and to our values. So in fact, we’re dedicated, President Biden is dedicated, to seeing to it that Iran is rarely in possession of a nuclear weapon. The JCPOA is one diplomatic means by which to attain that. However we’re additionally dedicated to the concept human rights are on the middle of our overseas coverage, and also you’ve seen us illustrate that. You’ve seen us dwell as much as that even in current days in relation to Iran – taking motion in opposition to the so-called morality police, in opposition to people, offering the final license, the opposite steps that we have now taken to assist the common rights of the Iranian individuals. And these are steps that we’ve taken around the globe to assist the peaceable train of common rights in international locations around the globe.

Sure, Alex.

QUESTION: I believe what we try to determine right here is that whenever you communicate to any Iranian activist, they are going to inform you hey, every time we exit to streets to problem our management, the U.S. helps us, however then U.S. turns behind our again and begins speaking to the very regime that truly we query its legitimacy – as a way to’t have each when Iranian individuals are on the market and attempting to overthrow the regime.

MR PRICE: Nicely, to be very clear, the protests that we’re seeing aren’t about america. They’re not about us. These protests are concerning the legit aspirations of the Iranian individuals to train peacefully the rights which can be as a lot theirs as they’re wherever else. We predict all individuals’s fundamental rights ought to be revered. In fact that features inside Iran. We predict that each one individuals ought to be capable of peacefully protest when their fundamental and common rights are violated. That features Iran. We’re serving to individuals around the globe, together with in Iran, entry private telecommunications know-how. This, in fact, is just not a regime change coverage. If any authorities, together with the federal government in Iran, thinks that that is or quantities to a regime change coverage, it poses some fairly tough inquiries to them concerning the nature of their regime and why they’d concern their very own individuals.

Sure, within the again.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

QUESTION: Thanks, Ned. So that you simply introduced right this moment, earlier than this assembly – earlier than this briefing – that america is designating Diana Kajmakovic, a state prosecutor within the Bosnia and Herzegovina – she’s within the state prosecutor’s workplace. What are you able to inform us about this case, and may you anticipate extra sanctions within the different international locations of the Western Balkans?

MR PRICE: So one among our targets in relation to the Western Balkans is working with governments and dealing with individuals of the area to focus on and to take out and to root out corruption. And sanctions are one necessary software to try this. We did announce and Treasury did announce sanctions this morning on a state prosecutor normal who had engaged in acts of corruption. We offered data in that assertion. Treasury could have further data relating to the premise for that designation. And sanctions will stay an necessary software – one necessary software, not the one necessary software, however one necessary software – in relation to the area and it involves our aim, the aim that we share with governments and other people within the area of rooting out corruption.

QUESTION: Only one extra on the Western Balkans. I’ve interviewed final week the Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović, and he referred to as on U.S. to assist Western Balkans in opposition to affect of Russia and China within the area. So what has been your evaluation of these influences within the Western Balkans, and what particularly – which steps can you’re taking with the intention to counter that affect?

MR PRICE: Nicely, it’s no query that the Western Balkans is a dynamic area that’s engaging to international locations around the globe. In fact, it’s engaging for various causes to each the PRC and Russia. We consider – and that is the purpose that we’ve made each publicly and in our non-public engagements with international locations within the Western Balkans – that our shared pursuits and our shared values kind the predicate for a relationship that in some ways is exclusive and distinct from the visions of a relationship that Russia or the PRC would have for the area. So whether or not it’s growth, whether or not it’s safety, whether or not it’s economics, whether or not it’s humanitarian help, we have now made very clear our need to be a companion to the international locations of the Western Balkans and to have each implicitly – and in some instances, explicitly – additionally been very clear about what – the partnership that we deliver is distinct from the connection that international locations like the 2 you talked about would search to have within the area.

Sure, Mentioned.

QUESTION: Thanks. Change matters in a short time: We heard the President final week, the President of america, President Biden, name for a two-state answer. We heard the Israeli prime minister name for the two-state answer and so forth. So what’s the holdup? I imply, why can’t we – I’m not getting any youthful, so what’s the holdup? Why can we get this course of going, maybe by possibly U.S. sponsoring some type of a negotiation between the 2?

MR PRICE: Mentioned, in some methods, if solely there have been a holdup. This isn’t one thing that may be dictated by anyone nation, by anyone entity, not by america, not by anybody else. The situations need to be proper for Israelis and Palestinians to take a seat collectively and to make progress on the very advanced and controversial points which can be on the core of a two-state answer. So simply as you and I’ve mentioned many instances, it’s our cost within the intervening interval to attempt to set the stage, to attempt to set the situations, the situations for when making precise progress could be within the offing.

We now have re-engaged with the Palestinian Authority, we have now re-engaged with the Palestinian individuals simply inside current days. We now have introduced further funding for UNRWA. The US is now as soon as once more engaged within the area. We’re in fact additionally deeply engaged with our Israeli companions as effectively. However you’ve heard us say many instances that the time isn’t proper, doesn’t look like proper for the events to truly make progress.

QUESTION: However – I imply, that is the purpose. Why isn’t it proper? I imply, no difficulty has been so negotiated over so many many years with each little element, and mainly all people is aware of what the end result must appear like. You all agree there’s a territory occupied. I imply, you started by saying nation after nation condemned the Russian occupation of components of Ukraine, and so forth. Nicely, nation after nation has condemned the Israeli occupation of components of Syria, components of the Palestinian territories, and components of Lebanon and so forth. So all people actually is aware of what’s occurring. I imply, what’s the hold-up? Why can’t we get this – as an alternative of kicking the can down the street, take the initiative and say, effectively, that is it? Or for america maybe to say, that is how I envision this two-state answer must appear like.

MR PRICE: Mentioned, I don’t assume any of us are beneath any illusions that america taking this matter into our personal arms in a unilateral method and presenting it as a fait accompli or one thing alongside these traces could be – would in any method additional the reason for a two-state answer, would additional the trigger for peace – lasting, negotiated peace – between Israelis and Palestinians. We need to see a two-state answer. Equally, we don’t need to do something that may worsen tensions that may make attaining a two-state answer all of the tougher.

So on this intervening interval, it’s our job to do what we are able to to little by little fulfill what’s our overriding coverage aim, to see to it that Israelis and Palestinians take pleasure in equal measures of safety, of stability, of prosperity, of alternative, and of dignity. And that’s one thing that may’t happen in a single day, however it’s one thing that we have now labored on for the reason that earliest days of this administration and it’s one thing that we’ll proceed to work on going ahead.

Sure, sir.

QUESTION: Yeah. And to observe up on Iran. So that you mentioned that the protests in Iran will not be about us and it’s not associated to JCPOA, however now america is a part of the protests as a result of you have got sanctioned a number of officers and establishments; additionally, a U.S. firm is offering Starlink and also you inspired U.S. firms to supply {hardware}, software program to the world for communications. So are you able to promise the individuals of Iran who’re on streets now that even should you attain an settlement with Iran on JCPOA, you’ll proceed your assist to those individuals and you’ll proceed to sanction Iranian establishment and officers?

MR PRICE: Completely, one hundred pc. These protests will not be about us, as I mentioned earlier than. They’re concerning the legit aspirations of the Iranian individuals. The Iranian individuals know these will not be about us. They know that they’re peacefully taking to the streets as a result of they noticed what occurred to Mahsa Amini. They’ve seen years, they’ve seen many years of mismanagement, of corruption, of repression, of human rights abuses.

Nobody would love this – like these protests to be about us greater than the Iranian regime. What frightens, I believe, the Iranian regime greater than something is the data that these are the natural expressions of the legit aspirations of their very own individuals. Solely the Iranian regime can totally fulfill their aspirations, however we’ll proceed to do every thing we are able to to assist the legit aspirations of the Iranian individuals to train rights which can be as common to them as they’re to individuals wherever and in every single place.

QUESTION: And a separate matter, sorry.

MR PRICE: Yeah.

QUESTION: Greece has lately deployed tens of armored automobiles and tanks to the islands of non-military standing simply near Turkish mainland. And are you – aren’t you involved that these tensions or escalations provoked by Greece is definitely mounting?

MR PRICE: Our fundamental premise is that at a time when Russia has as soon as once more invaded a sovereign state and the transatlantic neighborhood and the worldwide neighborhood is standing with the individuals of Ukraine and in opposition to Russian aggression, now is just not the time for statements or any actions that might elevate tensions between NATO Allies. We proceed to encourage our NATO Allies to work collectively to take care of peace and safety within the area and to resolve any variations they could have diplomatically.

QUESTION: However on this, are you able to inform us if these islands are – belong to Greece or to Turkey?

MR PRICE: Once more, it’s – we’re encouraging our NATO Allies to resolve any disagreements they could have diplomatically. We predict —

QUESTION: However what’s the U.S. place on this?

MR PRICE: We predict we must always stay centered on what’s a collective menace to all of us, and that’s Russia’s aggression.

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Sure, sir.

QUESTION: Thanks, Ned. I’ve a query about Ethiopia. First one is tens of millions of Ethiopians consider that the Biden administration blocks the financial alternative for a lot of Ethiopian staff when the Biden administration determined to terminate the African Alternative Act – which is named AGOA – commerce choice program for Ethiopia. The suspension of Ethiopia from AGOA harms many hardworking Ethiopians. If america helps Ethiopians with financial alternative, which Secretary Blinken mentioned many instances, does the U.S. administration plans to reinstate Ethiopia’s eligibility to AGOA?

MR PRICE: So AGOA, or the African Development and Alternative Act, because the identify suggests, is a bit of laws. It’s – as a result of it’s laws, it’s written into legislation the factors beneath which any nation is eligible for AGOA and the necessities that any nation – on this case in Africa – should meet with the intention to stay part of AGOA. We did decide late final 12 months that Ethiopia, given the statutory language written into legislation handed by Congress, was now not – was not eligible for AGOA, however in fact we need to see to it that the situations that led to that suspension are reversed. We might love to have the ability to re-engage with Ethiopia beneath AGOA realizing the great financial alternative that it has introduced not solely to Ethiopia up to now however to different components of the continent as effectively.

QUESTION: I’ve a follow-up query: As you understand, you have got been speak many instances concerning the battle in Ethiopia. When the Ethiopian army entered the Tigray area, the State Division repeatedly demanded that the Ethiopian Authorities withdraw its troops from the Tigray area. However when the TPLF forces entered Amhara and Afar area, the State Division – as an alternative of demanding the TPLF to withdraw its forces from Amhara and Afar area, the State Division demanded that each events must discover a peaceable answer. And as soon as once more most Ethiopians consider that america helps TPLF and ask why does america assist TPLF. What’s your response to the Ethiopian individuals who say that america helps TPLF?

MR PRICE: We assist the reason for peace. We assist stability and safety for the individuals of Ethiopia. Our message has been a easy one. We’ve referred to as on the Authorities of Ethiopia and the Tigray regional authorities to right away halt their army offensives and to pursue a negotiated settlement by way of peace talks beneath the auspices of the African Union. We now have labored very intently with the African Union, with different companions on the continent to have interaction in that technique of diplomacy.

We’ve additionally been very clear with Eritrea and Eritrean authorities that they have to withdraw to their borders instantly and for Eritrea and others to stop fueling the battle. We’re deeply involved by the human rights abuses that this battle has caused. We all know, once more alluding to your query, the chance that – for the individuals of Ethiopia that may include and for some time that did include a negotiated truce and a negotiated ceasefire are great. We’re doing every thing we are able to to see to it that the African Union by way of its diplomatic efforts is profitable in bringing a halt to the violence, which in flip would enable humanitarian entry to components of northern Ethiopia and as soon as once more deliver ranges of alternative for the entire individuals of Ethiopia.

Sure.

QUESTION: Is there a draft settlement able to be delivered this week to Israel and Lebanon on the maritime border?

MR PRICE: I don’t have any updates to give you on our diplomacy in relation to Israel and Lebanon on the maritime border. You recognize that the Secretary met with Prime Minister Mikati of Lebanon final week. Amos Hochstein was additionally in New York final week, the place he held engagements with Israeli and Lebanese officers. We’ve pressured in all of our engagements the necessity to conclude a maritime settlement to make sure stability and to assist assist Lebanon’s economic system. We’re working as diligently as we are able to to slender the divide and to proceed the progress that we’ve seen in current weeks.

Transfer – yeah, Simon.

QUESTION: Yeah, for the reason that Secretary is assembly the overseas minister of Pakistan right this moment, a few questions on that. Within the aftermath of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, the Secretary was in Congress, and he was requested about U.S. relations with Pakistan and significantly the query of whether or not Pakistan supplied assist to the Taliban in the course of the – clearly the 20-year battle there. And the Secretary mentioned that’s one thing we’re taking a look at. We’re – within the coming days, weeks, and months, I believe he mentioned, we’re going to have a look at that and take a look at the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. So I ponder no matter got here of that type of evaluation inside the State Division or inside the administration on whether or not Pakistan was aiding the Taliban and what response you’ve needed to that when it comes to your relationship.

And simply further to that, for the reason that Secretary can be assembly overseas minister of India later, Overseas Minister Jaishankar mentioned in a speech yesterday – was – effectively, it was very important of the U.S. cash to the F-16 program in Pakistan and elevating the identical – related questions, I suppose, over what profit the U.S. has had – what are the deserves of its relationship with Pakistan? So I ponder should you might reply to that as effectively.

MR PRICE: It might be tough for me to try to summarize 20 years of U.S.-Pakistani relationships – relations between 2001 and 2021. I suppose what I’d say broadly, in fact, is that Pakistan was not a monolith throughout that point. We noticed totally different governments, and we noticed with the passage of years totally different approaches to the Taliban and to Afghanistan on the time.

Now, we acknowledge this authorities – which, by the way in which, got here into workplace following the autumn of the federal government in Kabul final 12 months – however we acknowledge and one of many many causes we’re assembly with Pakistan is due to the shared safety pursuits that we do have. It’s neither in our pursuits nor in Pakistan’s curiosity to see instability, to see violence in Afghanistan. In order the Secretary meets with Overseas Minister Zardari right this moment, I’d think about that safety and shared safety pursuits might be excessive on the agenda, as will humanitarian considerations.

And, in fact, america has been intently centered on the devastation that has resulted and the lack of life that has been – that has resulted from the torrential floods which have devasted massive areas of Pakistan. We now have offered tens of tens of millions of {dollars} in aid for these floods. The Secretary right this moment could have further particulars on additional U.S. help for the Pakistani individuals in mild of this humanitarian emergency that Pakistanis are going through.

Remind me of the second a part of your query?

QUESTION: And Overseas Minister Jaishankar’s feedback mainly calling on the U.S. to evaluation its relationship with Pakistan and criticizing the truth that you latterly licensed funds, I believe $450 million, for the F-16 program.

MR PRICE: Nicely, we don’t view our relationship with Pakistan, and then again we don’t view our relationship with India as in relation to at least one one other. These are each companions of ours with totally different factors of emphasis in every, and we glance to each as companions as a result of we do have in lots of instances shared values, we do have in lots of instances shared pursuits. And the connection we have now with India stands by itself; the connection we have now with Pakistan stands by itself. We additionally need to do every thing we are able to to see to it that these neighbors have relations with each other which can be as constructive as will be doable. And in order that’s one other level of emphasis. (Inaudible).

QUESTION: Particularly, on – sure, I get your level on there being a brand new authorities. Nevertheless it’s the Pakistani army, the institution there, was type of what the Secretary was being requested about final 12 months. So was there a evaluation of – and particularly, I suppose, not simply over the 20 years however within the – within the final part of the battle, did Pakistan support the Taliban in a method that allowed them to return into Kabul? Was that one thing that was reviewed? Was there a conclusion? Did it have any influence on the relations?

MR PRICE: In the case of safety companions of ours, we’re at all times taking an in depth take a look at their actions, at their actions. I’m not ready to element for you exactly what we discovered, however the backside line, as I consider the Secretary mentioned on the time and it stays true now, is that it was not in Pakistan’s curiosity to see instability and violence in Afghanistan. It’s not in Pakistan’s curiosity to see instability and violence in Afghanistan.

The assist for the individuals of Afghanistan is one thing we focus on frequently with our Pakistani companions – our efforts to enhance the lives and livelihoods, the humanitarian situations of the Afghan individuals, and to see to it that the Taliban dwell as much as the commitments that they’ve made.

And naturally, Pakistan is implicated in lots of of those identical commitments – the counterterrorism commitments, commitments to secure passage, commitments to the residents of Afghanistan. The unwillingness or the shortcoming on the a part of the Taliban to dwell as much as these commitments would have vital implications for Pakistan as effectively, and so for that cause we do share various pursuits with Pakistan relating to its neighbor.

Sure.

QUESTION: Hello.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) I’ve a query on – concerning the final election in Italy, in our nation yesterday. What do you anticipate from the following Italian authorities after this election, and do you share the alarm for democracy in Italy after this election?

MR PRICE: Nicely, the following Italian authorities hasn’t been shaped, so it’s not my place to talk to any future authorities in Italy. However in fact, Italy and america are shut allies, we’re companions, we’re mates. Final 12 months, if I recall, we celebrated 160 years of diplomatic relations. Secretary Blinken’s Italian counterpart was the primary in-person bilateral engagement we had right here on the division. He and Secretary Blinken wrote an op-ed collectively on the event of our 160 years of diplomatic relations heralding our dedication over the course of many years for human rights and the values that we share on this planet.

The very fact is that we stand prepared and wanting to work with any Italian authorities that emerges from the electoral course of to advance our many shared targets and pursuits. And in relation to that cooperation, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say a phrase about outgoing Prime Minister Draghi. We thank him for his sturdy, for his visionary management by way of a important time in Italian, in European, in world historical past – once more, in addition to his dedication to the values that our international locations have shared for many years now.

QUESTION: Thanks.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

MR PRICE: Okay, okay, go forward.

QUESTION: Thanks a lot. Ned, on Armenia-Azerbaijan, you have been within the room when the Secretary met with overseas ministers final week. What was your sense within the room? Are the edges genuinely desirous about peacemaking course of?

MR PRICE: I’ll let the 2 sides communicate to their attitudes. It was necessary for us and for the Secretary specifically to deliver the 2 sides collectively. In fact, the Secretary had had conversations with the 2 leaders, however this was the primary face-to-face assembly that the 2 overseas ministers had for the reason that newest outbreak of violence.

The Secretary famous to each leaders the significance of sustaining the ceasefire, of sustaining the calm, mentioned – famous that we’re devoted to a sustainable ceasefire and to a peaceable decision. We made clear to each overseas ministers that america stands able to assist – to assist this bilaterally, multilaterally, along with companions. This consists of our assist for efforts by EU Council President Charles Michel deliver the leaders collectively.

They in the course of the course of that assembly mentioned one of the best path ahead, and the Secretary instructed the edges share concepts for meaningfully advance the peace course of earlier than the tip of the month.

Our message has been constant for a while. We name on Azerbaijan to return troops to their preliminary positions. We urge disengagement of army forces and work to resolve all excellent points between Armenia and Azerbaijan by way of peaceable negotiations. Using pressure is just not an appropriate path. We’ve made that clear privately. We’ve additionally made that clear publicly, and we’re glad that our continued engagement, together with at excessive ranges, together with final week in New York, with each international locations has helped to halt the hostilities, and we’ll proceed to have interaction and encourage the work wanted to achieve an enduring peace as a result of there will be and there’s no army answer to this battle.

QUESTION: The Secretary urged them to fulfill once more earlier than the tip of the month. Do you have got any explicit venue and date in your thoughts?

MR PRICE: This might be as much as the 2 international locations to resolve, however we do assume that continued engagement straight between Armenia and Azerbaijan is just not solely of their pursuits, it’s within the pursuits of the area and past. We now have supplied to be of help, once more, bilaterally, trilaterally, multilaterally, and naturally the EU is taking part in an necessary position as effectively.

QUESTION: The Azeri president’s advisor is on the town, and in reality he met with Assistant Secretary Donfried this morning. Do you have got any readout, or is it a part of the method that you simply guys are placing collectively?

MR PRICE: We’re in common contact with each Armenian and Azeri officers. That can proceed.

QUESTION: The consultants say that the U.S. suggests – urging or encouraging the edges assembly once more means that U.S. now has no plan to maneuver the method ahead. Do you have got —

MR PRICE: Once more, as we’ve mentioned in different contexts, america is just not and can’t be ready to submit a plan as a fait accompli. Our job is to deliver the edges collectively, to facilitate dialogue, to assist the edges collectively work by way of variations, to work by way of disagreements peacefully and diplomatically. That’s what final week was about. That’s what our continued engagement is about.

Ultimate query within the again.

QUESTION: Sure. Can you’re taking a query – and you may reply me later or tomorrow – concerning the Greek islands? As a result of I see a notice right here out of your press workplace saying, quote: the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all international locations ought to be revered and guarded. Greece has sovereignty over these islands; it’s not a query. Can you’re taking my query and reply me tomorrow?

MR PRICE: I’ll see if we have now any extra particulars to supply you then.

QUESTION: Please.

MR PRICE: All proper.

QUESTION: Ned, can I’ve final query, please? Thanks. On North Korea. As you understand, North Korea fired ballistic missiles into the east sea yesterday. Are you able to presume that there’s a chance of North Korea’s additional provocation, akin to (inaudible) or seventh nuclear take a look at?

MR PRICE: We’ve spoken of North Korea’s sample of provocations in current months. We’ve warned repeatedly that North Korea might effectively conduct one other nuclear take a look at, its seventh nuclear take a look at, with no warning. We’ve seen North Korea take a look at ICBMs, shorter-range techniques as effectively. None of those provocations have or will change our important orientation – that’s, our stalwart dedication to the protection of the ROK and Japan, our treaty allies. In fact, the Vice President is within the area now to symbolize america on the funeral of Prime Minister Abe. She’ll journey to the ROK as effectively to indicate our assist for our treaty allies.

We now have made clear along with our allies within the area that we’re ready for significant dialogue, significant diplomacy to assist advance the prospects for an entire denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. This provide of dialogue and diplomacy has, a minimum of to this point, been met solely with further provocations. North Korea tends to undergo – the DPRK tends to undergo intervals of provocation, intervals of engagement. It’s very clear that we’re in a interval of provocation now. We’re going to proceed to work with our treaty allies to boost their protection and their deterrence and to be prepared if and when North Korea – the DPRK, excuse me – is able to have interaction in diplomacy.

Thanks.

QUESTION: Thanks.