Ambassador Rice: Good afternoon. We just heard a very comprehensive briefing on the situation in Haiti from Special Representative Mulet and an excellent statement by Prime Minister Bellerive of Haiti.
I underscored, in my statement, which I hope you had an opportunity to see, the U.S.’ enduring support for the people and the government of Haiti, as manifest by the First Lady’s recent trip to Haiti, our substantial contribution along with others’ to the nearly $10 billion that was raised at the March 31st conference on Haiti with the U.S. contributing, pledging $1.15 billion out of nearly $10 billion. And we also underscored our strong support for MINUSTAH as it evolves to meet the new challenges facing the people and government of Haiti, and continues to play a critical role in what is a very critical, and still a very fragile time, for the people of Haiti.
I’m happy to take your questions.
Reporter: I have a question, two questions about the NPT Conference. First of all, would you be able to tell us what the Americans are looking to get out of the conference? What are the goals that you will be pressing for?
And secondly, how concerned are you that the ongoing issue over Iran might serve as a lightning rod for countries, the traditional grievances of developing nations, and make it more difficult to come to a consensus agreement? In other words, that it might serve to block a consensus agreement?
Ambassador Rice: Well I’ll have an opportunity later in the week to speak more about the upcoming NPT Review Conference with colleagues at the State Department, so you’ll have an opportunity to hear on that.
But let me just say that the President has made very clear from his landmark speech in Prague how committed the United States is to the non-proliferation regime and to disarmament. The United States has taken some very important and concrete steps, particularly in the last few months, that underscore that commitment and make very concrete, our steps, to doing our share.
And the NPT has been and remains a cornerstone of our national security and we think this conference is a very important opportunity to strengthen all three pillars of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and that’s what we aim to do. And I think there are many other member states that understand the crucial importance of this conference, yielding an outcome that serves to reinforce all three pillars, and indeed the risk to the viability of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Regime if this conference, following 2005, does not make progress in that regard.
Iran is obviously, in any case, in the backdrop when consideration of the Non-Proliferation Treaty is occurring because it remains in violation of its obligations and its international obligations. But we think that this is much bigger than any one country, and our aims are universal, and we will approach it in that vein.
Reporter: Ambassador, on the NPT, there’s a (inaudible).
Ambassador Rice: That’s three questions, I think. He’s taking them all from everybody else. You lost me now Benny, what was the first one?
Reporter: On the NPT and the Egyptian.
Ambassador Rice: Right. The issue of the Middle East is a complicated and difficult one in the context of the NPT Review Conference. It’s one that we’re working with Egypt and others on. We have supported the language and continue to support the language in the 1995 review document and we’ll continue working to treat the issue of the Middle East appropriately in the context of this conference consistent with our positions in 1995.
With respect to Iran and our work to achieve a resolution on sanctions, that work continues. We are in very intensive discussions in New York and capitals with colleagues in the P5+1 and we look forward, at the appropriate time, to continuing our discussions and consultations with other members of the Council. We’ve had certainly, many preliminary and substantive discussions with E10 colleagues both in New York and in capitals, both on the broad issue of Iran’s nuclear program and its violation of its international obligations. And the path that we anticipate we will take together as a Council to address that in the coming weeks.
With respect to your last question, you just said Ahmadinejad I think, what is your question?
Reporter: Has he requested a visa to come to (inaudible) next week?
Ambassador Rice: My understanding is as of today he has filed an application for a visa.
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