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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: United States of America
8 August 2013


1:26 p.m. EDT


QUESTION: And – okay. And can I ask you if you would have an update on the next round of Israeli-Palestinian talks?

MS. PSAKI: I do, Matt. I’m so thrilled you asked. Negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians will be resuming August 14th in Jerusalem and will be followed by a meeting in Jericho. Ambassador Indyk and Deputy Special Envoy Lowenstein will travel to the region to help facilitate negotiations. Secretary Kerry does not expect to make any announcements in the aftermath of this round of talks.

QUESTION: Okay. That was what – actually what I was referring to when I was mentioning travel.

MS. PSAKI: I thought you were referring to this travel.

QUESTION: No, I wasn’t. No, no.

MS. PSAKI: Well, there you go. You got to it next.

QUESTION: So Lowenstein – Ambassador Indyk and Deputy Special Envoy Lowenstein --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- are going where and when?

MS. PSAKI: Well, they’ll be resuming in Jerusalem on August 14th --


MS. PSAKI: -- so they will be traveling there. As we’ve said before --


MS. PSAKI: I don’t have a specific date for their departure. I can check back on that.

QUESTION: Okay. Well, do you know – will they be having meetings with each side separately before they get back together?

MS. PSAKI: I’ll have to check. I think the schedule of meetings is still being worked through, and as we’ve talked about before, of course, there will be some meetings that they may not participate in. They may be in some of them and not others, but --

QUESTION: No, no, no, but I’m asking about – I understand that.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: I’m just asking if Ambassador Indyk and his deputy will be having separate – do you expect them to have separate meetings with the Israelis and then --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- with the Palestinians before the 14th?

MS. PSAKI: They all come together?


MS. PSAKI: We’re still working through the schedule, so I will check back. There was not an update on that as of this morning.

QUESTION: All right. And then when is the meeting in Jericho?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have a date for that at this point.

QUESTION: Well, it’s not the same day?

MS. PSAKI: It’s after, yes.

QUESTION: So, but – I mean, in the coming week? I mean --

MS. PSAKI: There’s not a date yet. That will be the location of the next meeting.


QUESTION: But I mean, is that – do you envision, like in another week or so, a break after the second meeting? That’s what I’m just wondering. Are these two --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Is the Jerusalem meeting and then the Jericho --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- meeting, are they, like, kind of both together the second round? Or would you characterize this meeting in Jericho, whenever it happens, as a third round?

MS. PSAKI: I believe it’s a third.


MS. PSAKI: But let me get some clarity and see if there’s any more clarity to provide.

QUESTION: Would it be – am I correct in assuming that based on the Secretary’s statement --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- from last Tuesday when the first round ended, when he said that they would get together in two weeks’ time in either Israel or the PA, that you are announcing the two venues here --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- as – that’s part of the agreement that has been reached in between now – between your announcement today and Tuesday? In other words, the two sides agreed to meet first in Jerusalem and then at some later point in Jericho? That’s --

MS. PSAKI: That is my understanding, Matt.

QUESTION: But I mean, that was a decision that was – it was linked, Jerusalem-Jericho?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any more clarification on it, but those – both of those locations were agreed to, so presumably, yes, that is correct --

QUESTION: All right.

MS. PSAKI: -- and I will see if there’s any more clarification on it.

QUESTION: If it is possible --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- two things, just – if it – and these are both logistical things: Is it possible to determine by the end of – or soon, as soon as possible --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- whether you do expect there’s going to be a break of more than a day or so in between the two meetings, and also if we can figure out what their – Indyk and Lowenstein’s schedules are and whether they intend to have their own meetings --

MS. PSAKI: Absolutely.

QUESTION: -- prior to --

MS. PSAKI: I believe the second one may not yet be answerable, but the first one, certainly, we will venture to get you some more information.

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you.

QUESTION: Jen, do you have any comment on the Israeli decision to build 800 more housing units?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, our position on settlements has not changed. We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity and oppose any efforts to legitimize settlement outposts. The Secretary has made clear that he believes both of the negotiating teams are at the table in good faith and are committed to working together to make progress. We are speaking to the Government of Israel and making our concerns known.

QUESTION: So you spoke with the Government of Israel in particular on this announcement --


QUESTION: -- of 800?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Okay. And what did they tell you?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any further readout of the conversation, and that we’ve made our concerns known.

QUESTION: Who made the contact? Was it Ambassador Shapiro? Was it someone from this building?

MS. PSAKI: It happened in – it was a contact made in the region, so it wasn’t the Secretary or from this building.

QUESTION: Do you have any indication that this is going to have any impact on the meeting on the 14th?

MS. PSAKI: I do not.

QUESTION: On Afghanistan, on --

MS. PSAKI: Do we have any more on Middle East peace?

QUESTION: I do on this one.

MS. PSAKI: Okay. Go ahead.

QUESTION: I’m wondering, what is the Secretary hoping to get out of his meeting tonight with Jewish leaders here in the United States? Is he looking for more support for --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- this peace process?

MS. PSAKI: Well, let me – for those of you who weren’t aware of the meeting, let me just give a little bit more information. Secretary Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice will hold roundtable discussions with Jewish American and Arab American community leaders tonight and tomorrow morning at the White House. These meetings will serve as an opportunity to update community leaders on the resumption of direct final status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, as well as to hear directly from these community leaders about their perspectives. The Secretary is looking forward to these discussions with leaders who have been deeply involved in these issues for many, many years, and who share our goal of achieving a final status agreement with two states living side by side in peace and security.

Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Martin Indyk, Senior Advisor and Deputy Special Envoy Frank Lowenstein, and other White House officials will also attend these meetings.

QUESTION: And so these are separate? It’s Jewish leaders tonight and Arab --

MS. PSAKI: These are separate meetings. Exactly. There’s one this evening and one tomorrow morning.

QUESTION: Yes, please. There’s going to be a readout of this meeting, or it’s just a informal --

MS. PSAKI: We’ll do a readout tomorrow morning, but --

QUESTION: With the name of the participant leaders for both sides?

MS. PSAKI: I will check and see if that’s possible. I think – the goal here is, of course, to provide information on our efforts here and hear feedback from them. So it’s not necessarily meant to be a public meeting.

QUESTION: So who are the other White House officials?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have a readout of that list for you.

QUESTION: And who organized this meeting? Was it the White House or was it the State Department that took the lead?

MS. PSAKI: In cooperation.

QUESTION: Would you expect that the President might stop by either or both?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t believe that is planned as of now, but you never know what’s up his sleeve.


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