Secretary Kerry Visits United Arab Emirates and Qatar

Posted by Richard Buangan
March 6, 2013
Secretary Kerry Climbs the Stairs at the Airport as He Departs Doha, Qatar

On March 6, 2013, John Kerry departed for Washington, ending his inaugural trip as Secretary of State to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. His travel concluded in Abu Dhabi and Doha, where he met with senior government officials to discuss our continued close coordination on a broad range of issues.

In Doha, Secretary Kerry met with Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. The two leaders discussed the ongoing crisis in Syria, Middle East peace, and Afghanistan. Following their meeting, Secretary Kerry said:

"I want to thank [Prime Minister Hamad] for the excellent partnership that we have, especially during this very challenging time of change in this part of the world. We intend to continue to work very, very closely with you in the days and months and years ahead. We had a great discussion, a frank discussion, about the critical issues that we're facing. And on Syria, Qatar and the United States have worked very hard to strengthen international sanctions against the Assad regime, and to help the opposition build the unity and the effectiveness that they need in order to try to change President Assad's calculation on the ground."

While in Qatar, Secretary Kerry also participated in a series of interviews, including with Martha Raddatz of ABC, Nicole Gaouette of Bloomberg, Margaret Brennan of CBS, Jill Dougherty of CNN, James Rosen of Fox News, Andrea Mitchell of NBC, and Michele Kelemen of NPR. Go to www.state.gov for transcripts of the interviews.

Throughout the trip, journalists, our embassy colleagues, and others -- including you, members of the public -- captured the Secretary's travel with updates on social media, some of which we spotlighted via Storify. You can view more photographs and content from the trip on state.gov, Facebook, and Flickr, and we encourage you stay tuned to DipNote, Twitter, and all of our social media platforms for the latest on Secretary Kerry's travels.

Comments

Comments

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 16, 2013

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Richard Buangan,

I was reading the transcript of the press conference the other day and I include the following excerpts, wondering if I understood the comment correctly;

QUESTION: (Via interpreter).....Secondly, there was a press conference held lately in Tehran between – by the Walid al-Muallem, the Syrian Foreign Minister, where he called for pressure on Qatar and America.

PRIME MINISTER HAMAD: (Via interpreter)

....As for what Walid Muallem, the Syrian Foreign Secretary, has said in Tehran, I don’t have any response to it except for one thing maybe. It reminds me of the kind of a friend who jokes with you, who says, “Mr. Walid is like a rug trader,” and I don’t have any other answer to him but that. (Laughter.)

--end--

I take this to mean that the Syrian foreign Secretary was like a "rug trader" because he was sitting on a gaping hole in the carpet of his rhetoric?

(chuckle).

And since the last entry on Dipnote having anything to do with North Korea was way back in 2010, I gotta ask one thing about Dennis Rodman's visit to the DPRK.

He goes, he hangs out with the young-un, has a blast, comes back...and all of a sudden I'm hearing on the news that North Korea wants to nuke us.

Excuse me, but what the heck did the "worm" say to piss them off?

I thought it was rather kind of the Sectretary to say regarding Rodman , "as a diplomat, he's still a great basketball player."

But this is getting old!

---

And lastly, at least there's one guy on the world stage telling Secretary Kerry basicly what I've been trying to get folks @ State to realize for a long long time here on Dipnote;

PRIME MINISTER HAMAD: (Via interpreter) As for the Syrian crisis, I think Mr. John Kerry has answered part of the question when he talked about arming the opposition. As you know, there is a change in the international position and the American position in this regard. They’re talking about weapons. We hope that this happened sometime ago before, because this would have maybe lessened the death and destruction that took place in Syria. But now everybody has reached a conclusion and a conviction that Assad has chosen his own way of ending this crisis. This is something that – which cannot be accepted by the international community when he rains Scud missiles on cities and towns in a manner reminiscent of World War II.

After the Rome meeting, I expressed optimism that the international community has started or maybe more than just started. It’s actually working in a way which we think will achieve victory for the Syrian people in a much quicker way, and we will minimize the time and the losses, because with each day that passes, more people are getting killed. We think this problem could have been solved much quicker, but Bashar al-Assad chose his own particular solution as we said.

As for the Geneva declaration, I was part of the committee which formulated that declaration, and the question was clear. We talked about authority should be transferred into a government with full powers to run the country and army. But after the meeting, I think it’s Article 9 in the Geneva declaration, there was differences over how to interpret that and especially on the power transfer question in particular. The understanding was that we talked about a transition period and any discussion will need to be confined to a certain timeline, because the Syrian regime has a way with any initiative; they never say no, but they take time, then they – to accept it, then they take time to interpret it, then time to deal with it, then to turn it into a failure.

And we remember initiative after initiative, this is a tactic to prolong the crisis until another crisis happens somewhere else, which will lessen the pressure on them or some change will happen or victory achieved on the ground. I’m sure none of the three things will happen for simple reason, because it’s not our demands and it’s not us who are fighting. These are the demands of the Syrian people, maybe the vast majority of the Syrian people.

---

So when (if we don't want to send weapons), do we simply eliminate Assad's capability to make war on the Syrian people, and make him homeless in the process?

And then send the bill for our cost expenditures to Russia and Iran to turn Assad's weapons into scrap, along with all the cost in humanitarian aid those weapons have neccesitated our outlay ongoing?

I think it's time to take a very serious kinetic approach to this if folks are serious about saving lives and stoppping the slaughter.

Hopwe you'll pass these thoughts onward and upward.

Best,

EJ

Mohammad F.
|
Burma
April 7, 2013

Mohammad F. in Burma writes:

Please stop genocides of Muslims in Burma

Bill
|
Florida, USA
April 22, 2013

Bill in Florida writes:

Thank You 4 Providing Time to Have Margaret Brennan On CBS Saturday Morning with Anthony this Week .

.

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