US did not discuss demonstration crackdown in meeting with Sudanese minister

The United States Secretary of State did not discuss the killings of demonstrators in Sudan by police bullets with his counterpart from Sudan, Ali Karti. He only discussed the peace process with South Sudan and Darfur, the spokesperson of the State Department, Jennifer Psaki, told the press on Monday. “It was not a topic in the meeting,” Psaki said.”This was not a lengthy meeting, and I wouldn’t take every topic that comes up or doesn’t come up as an indication of what’s important or not”. The State Department refused to tell whether a visa for Sudan president Omar al Bashir has been refused or not. The US does not comment on any request for a visa, she said.Sudan minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Karti, meets the Secretary of State , John Kerry (Photo: US Gov. Works)Excerpt from United States Department of State Daily Press Briefing:Jennifer Rene Psaki is spokesperson for the United States Department of State (Foreign Affairs), The secretary of State is John Kerry.MS. PSAKI: Hi, everyone. Welcome back from UNGA to those of you who were there and I saw there, and to everyone else, it’s good to be back.I have two items at the top. As you know, the Secretary had a bilateral meeting this morning with Foreign Minister Karti from Sudan. They discussed the importance of peace between Sudan and South Sudan and the need to end the conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan; allow full humanitarian access; protect civilians; and make progress on a broad-based constitutional process to address the root causes of conflict.The Secretary welcomed recent improvements in Sudan’s engagement with South Sudan, encouraged the full implementation of the September 27th, 2012 agreements, and urged progress on resolving the issue of the final status of Abyei.QUESTION: Okay. Did the issue of the Sudanese crackdown on protesters last week come up at all in this meeting?MS. PSAKI: It was not a topic in the meeting. QUESTION: So you guys condemned it very harshly in your statement, but the Secretary didn’t feel like it should be mentioned in private?MS. PSAKI: Well, there are a range of issues that we have brought up, of course, directly with our counterparts in Sudan. This was not a long meeting. They discussed a range of issues, as I mentioned. And clearly, we’ve condemned it and continue to, given our concern. QUESTION (by Arshad): Last one. Why should the Sudanese Government take seriously the U.S. Government’s criticism for the crackdown on protesters last week when the Secretary, in a relatively rare meeting with the Foreign Minister, doesn’t raise the matter? MS. PSAKI: Well, Arshad, it’s an issue. And let me just take this opportunity to again strongly condemn the Government of Sudan’s brutal crackdown on protestors, including excessive use of force against civilians that has reportedly resulted in at least 50 deaths. Such a heavy-handed approach by Sudanese security forces is disproportionate, deeply concerning, and risks escalation of the unrest. As I mentioned, this is obviously an issue we have not been shy about speaking publicly about, the Secretary is clearly concerned about, as are many people in the government, and we’ve expressed that directly. This was not a lengthy meeting, and I wouldn’t take every topic that comes up or doesn’t come up as an indication of what’s important or not. QUESTION: Well, but you would think that if something were really important, the Secretary would raise it, and I think it’s quite conceivable that the Sudanese might look at it that way too. If you don’t raise human rights with the Chinese in a meeting – and I think it gets raised in every single meeting with the Chinese – then maybe they will think it’s not important. So that’s why I’m asking the underlying question. So you’re saying it is important even though the Secretary didn’t raise it? MS. PSAKI: I am conveying that.

The United States Secretary of State did not discuss the killings of demonstrators in Sudan by police bullets with his counterpart from Sudan, Ali Karti. He only discussed the peace process with South Sudan and Darfur, the spokesperson of the State Department, Jennifer Psaki, told the press on Monday. “It was not a topic in the meeting,” Psaki said.

“This was not a lengthy meeting, and I wouldn’t take every topic that comes up or doesn’t come up as an indication of what’s important or not”. The State Department refused to tell whether a visa for Sudan president Omar al Bashir has been refused or not. The US does not comment on any request for a visa, she said.

Sudan minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Karti, meets the Secretary of State , John Kerry (Photo: US Gov. Works)

Excerpt from United States Department of State Daily Press Briefing:

Jennifer Rene Psaki is spokesperson for the United States Department of State (Foreign Affairs), The secretary of State is John Kerry.

MS. PSAKI: Hi, everyone. Welcome back from UNGA to those of you who were there and I saw there, and to everyone else, it’s good to be back.

I have two items at the top. As you know, the Secretary had a bilateral meeting this morning with Foreign Minister Karti from Sudan. They discussed the importance of peace between Sudan and South Sudan and the need to end the conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan; allow full humanitarian access; protect civilians; and make progress on a broad-based constitutional process to address the root causes of conflict.

The Secretary welcomed recent improvements in Sudan’s engagement with South Sudan, encouraged the full implementation of the September 27th, 2012 agreements, and urged progress on resolving the issue of the final status of Abyei.

QUESTION: Okay. Did the issue of the Sudanese crackdown on protesters last week come up at all in this meeting?

MS. PSAKI: It was not a topic in the meeting. 

QUESTION: So you guys condemned it very harshly in your statement, but the Secretary didn’t feel like it should be mentioned in private?

MS. PSAKI: Well, there are a range of issues that we have brought up, of course, directly with our counterparts in Sudan. This was not a long meeting. They discussed a range of issues, as I mentioned. And clearly, we’ve condemned it and continue to, given our concern. 

QUESTION (by Arshad): Last one. Why should the Sudanese Government take seriously the U.S. Government’s criticism for the crackdown on protesters last week when the Secretary, in a relatively rare meeting with the Foreign Minister, doesn’t raise the matter? 

MS. PSAKI: Well, Arshad, it’s an issue. And let me just take this opportunity to again strongly condemn the Government of Sudan’s brutal crackdown on protestors, including excessive use of force against civilians that has reportedly resulted in at least 50 deaths. Such a heavy-handed approach by Sudanese security forces is disproportionate, deeply concerning, and risks escalation of the unrest. As I mentioned, this is obviously an issue we have not been shy about speaking publicly about, the Secretary is clearly concerned about, as are many people in the government, and we’ve expressed that directly. This was not a lengthy meeting, and I wouldn’t take every topic that comes up or doesn’t come up as an indication of what’s important or not. 

QUESTION: Well, but you would think that if something were really important, the Secretary would raise it, and I think it’s quite conceivable that the Sudanese might look at it that way too. If you don’t raise human rights with the Chinese in a meeting – and I think it gets raised in every single meeting with the Chinese – then maybe they will think it’s not important. So that’s why I’m asking the underlying question. So you’re saying it is important even though the Secretary didn’t raise it? 

MS. PSAKI: I am conveying that.