字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 MS NAUERT: Hi, everybody. How are you today? And why are so many of you showing up on an August afternoon? You're supposed to all be on vacation or something, but I notice a few empty seats. But Gardiner's back from vacation. Gardiner, welcome. QUESTION: Thank you. MS NAUERT: How've you been? QUESTION: I've been good. MS NAUERT: Good. A couple announcements to start before we get started with your questions today. First, I would like to express our condolences to the victims of the recent earthquakes and also the aftershocks in Indonesia. The United States has experts and partner organizations on the ground. We're consulting with the Government of Indonesia at this time. We're closely monitoring the situation, and we stand ready to provide additional aid to the Government of Indonesia. Our U.S. consulate personnel are assisting affected U.S. citizens. At this time, we do not have any reports of U.S. citizen casualties associated with the earthquakes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Indonesian people. As many of you know, we were recently on the ground in Indonesia and had some terrific meetings with government officials there. Next, I have some staffing news to bring you now. And I'm really excited about this one, because it affects our Bureau of Public Affairs and specifically the folks that you will working with. Today I'd like to announce that Robert Palladino will be joining our press team as the State Department's deputy spokesperson. Robert is a career Foreign Service officer and I believe known well to some of you or perhaps many of you. Over the past year, Robert has served as director of press and acting National Security Council spokesperson. In that role he's helped to prepare Sarah Sanders for her briefings at the White House. He was also a spokesperson to the White House press corps and worked as NSC communications lead for both Asia and Europe. Robert's Foreign Service career has included postings in Washington, where he worked for our Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, and also on Capitol Hill. Overseas, he's worked in Milan, Italy; Guangzhou, China; and also Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Prior to joining the State Department, he practiced law in Asia and Europe in the Army JAG Corps. His service included deployment to Rwanda. He is a graduate of Notre Dame University, Washington and Lee School of Law, the U.S. Army War College, and he also speaks Chinese and Italian. Pretty impressive. We are delighted that he is coming back to the State Department from the White House. I know you will enjoy working with him. For those of you who have not met him, he is a terrific guy. We've worked closely together for the past year or so. I asked him what his children thought, because he has two young girls – I asked him what they thought of his job, and I love these quotes. His youngest daughter said, “I'm proud of America and I'm proud of you, Dad, but it sounds really boring.” And then his older daughter said this – and you'll appreciate it – “But wait a minute, everybody yells questions and they're angry. That's the worst job in the world.” That actually might be the White House press corps, not you all. But we look forward to welcoming Robert when he joins us on the 20th of August. But try not to bug him between now and then; he's on vacation with his family. So another addition to our press family. And that's it. With that, I'd be happy to take your questions. QUESTION: Okay, thanks. We'll try not to be so angry. MS NAUERT: I said not you all. QUESTION: Let's – me, yes me. I just wanted to ask you briefly before I ask you about Yemen. I noticed the statement that you guys put out about Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe elections and the Zambian decision to deport the opposition leader. MS NAUERT: Right. QUESTION: And in that statement it said that you are reviewing certain aspects of your cooperation with the Zambian Government. Can you be a little bit more specific? What aspects of -- MS NAUERT: Some of those will be conversations that will be had privately with both governments. But my understanding is that there are certain agreements in which that government was taking steps that the Zimbabweans weren't completely familiar with and weren't supportive of, and there were some concerns related to that. But let's just -- QUESTION: No, I understand, but I was just -- MS NAUERT: But let's just back up a couple steps for folks who've not been following this perhaps as closely as you have. Elections on July the 30th – those were promising, very promising. We thought it was a historic chance to sort of move beyond the political and economic crises of the past and toward a more democratic change and better dialogue in that country. People turned out massively in those elections. We put out a statement just after those elections complimenting them on those elections. However, the success in delivering an election day that was peaceful and open to international observers was then marred by violence, which we've been seeing and has been heavily reported, at least in the international press, over the past about week and a half. We've seen a disproportionate use of deadly force against protestors by the security forces, which is a great concern of ours. We're concerned by those numerous reports of human rights violations since the elections had taken place about a week and a half or two ago. We have received credible allegations of detentions, of beatings, and other abuses of the people of Zimbabwe, particularly targeting opposition activists. Now, the latest news today is the foreign – excuse me, the former minister of finance had left to go to Zambia. Zambia returned him to Zimbabwe, we understand. And some of this is still fresh so we don't have all the details at this point. But I understand he was detained and possibly let go. So I'm going to pause there because some of this is still unfolding, and I don't want to give you any inaccurate information since it's still developing. QUESTION: I get that. I just wanted to know is this a threat to withhold or suspend some aid to Zambia when you say you're reviewing certain aspects of our cooperation? MS NAUERT: Matt, I'm not going to get into that at this point, but we're watching the situation carefully. QUESTION: All right. Let me ask you about this airstrike in Yemen, which appears to have killed dozens of children. The Saudis obviously are the ones who conducted this, but they do that with weapons supplied by the U.S., with training supplied by the U.S., and with targeting information, targeting data, supplied by the U.S. How can something like this happen? MS NAUERT: How can something like that report happen? QUESTION: Yeah. MS NAUERT: Well, I think we would start by saying -- QUESTION: It's more than a report. I mean, it's – they admitted that it happened. MS NAUERT: Yeah. How can situations like this happen? We don't have the full details about what happened on the ground. We've certainly seen the news reports of what has been reported happened, okay? I can't confirm all the details because we are not there on the ground. We can say that we're certainly concerned about these reports that resulted – that there was an attack that resulted in the deaths of civilians. We call on the Saudi-led coalition to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident. We take all credible accounts of civilian casualties very seriously. We call on the parties to take appropriate measures to protect civilians in accordance with international law and urge all parties to investigate all reported incidents of civilian casualties. QUESTION: Okay. Well, they say – already the coalition says that they acted in accordance with international law. But if you look at the photographs, the video that come from the scene, it doesn't look like that's a really – that that's a credible answer. So are you okay with the coalition on its own doing an investigation, or would you like to see some kind of an international component to it or an international investigation? MS NAUERT: Well, I think I just answered that and we said that we would call upon the Saudi Government -- QUESTION: So you're -- MS NAUERT: -- to do a full and thorough investigation, as we always do. And we call upon all parties in any kind of situation like this to take appropriate measures to try to mitigate the risk of civilian casualties. QUESTION: So you don't think -- MS NAUERT: DOD and other entities put out reports on this after the fact as they all start to investigate, and so we will look forward to any information on that. QUESTION: Right. But my question is you don't see a need for there to be something other than a coalition investigation, you don't see a need for an independent -- MS NAUERT: Matt, I'm not going to get – this is something that is fresh, that just happened, so I'm not going to get ahead of any kind of investigation that may take place. Okay? QUESTION: It's only the latest in a huge number of civilians killed during these operations though. MS NAUERT: I would encourage you to take a look – and that is we regret any loss of civilian life. That is something that the United States Government – in particular, any time you talk to the Department of Defense about civilian casualties, they will say the same thing -- QUESTION: Well -- MS NAUERT: -- that – I'm not finished, okay? And they will say the exact same thing, that all parties take very strong responsibility and measures to try to protect against the loss of civilian life. As we have seen – and you all very rarely ask about the issue that has been unfolding and the devastation that has taken place in Yemen – let's look at some of the things that have been happening in Yemen. You have the Houthi rebels who continue to attack Saudi Arabia. They continue to do that with Iranian weapons, missiles, and rockets. They continue to try to attack civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, for example, and that is part of the reason why these actions are being taken. Let me go back and remind you what I just said a moment ago, and that is we call for an investigation and we anticipate that a thorough investigation will be done. I don't have anything more for you on that. QUESTION: The Secretary isn't planning on having a conversation with -- MS NAUERT: I don't have any information for you on that. Okay. Hi, Nick. QUESTION: Is this – hey, Heather. Is this latest incident or the previous incidents causing the U.S. to re-evaluate in any way the role that it's playing in the situation, in terms of its relationship with Saudi Arabia? MS NAUERT: Look, we provide a tremendous amount of humanitarian assistance in Yemen to try to support civilians in Yemen and try to mitigate against the devastation that's taken place there in that country. I don't have anything more for you on that. QUESTION: But you also supply a tremendous amount of weaponry and the data for targeting to the Saudis. MS NAUERT: Well, then – sorry. QUESTION: Right? No? QUESTION: No. QUESTION: Am I wrong? Is that wrong? QUESTION: That's not wrong. MS NAUERT: Sorry, these ladies over here are laughing. On that I would refer you to the Department of Defense that is involved with that, but as you know, Saudi Arabia is an important strategic partner in the region to the United States. Okay. Hi, Gardiner. QUESTION: Just a follow-up on that. Hey. So obviously, there's growing concerns in Congress about the toll this war is taking within Yemen. It's the worst humanitarian disaster on the planet. Aren't you concerned that incidents like this will further erode congressional support and lead to further support for legislation that could cut off Saudi Arabia from arms sales and the rest? MS NAUERT: I mean, I think that is an entirely hypothetical question and we don't comment on congressional proposals in any event, but I would ask – all of you have been very silent on the issue of Yemen, and times -- QUESTION: Well -- MS NAUERT: Although Said has asked. You've been the one reporter who's asked a lot about Yemen and the situation there. QUESTION: Well I would suggest that if you had more than two briefings a week and they lasted for longer than a half an hour or 40 minutes that you might get questions about something other than the actual main topic of the day. MS NAUERT: Matt, I think you and I talk every single day. QUESTION: Yes, we do. MS NAUERT: You have my phone number. You have all my numbers, and anytime you want to talk about Yemen, I'd be more than happy to answer your questions and provide you additional expert briefings -- QUESTION: Okay. MS NAUERT: -- on Yemen anytime anyone is interested, but I have not seen a major level of interest on the part of our press corps, with the exception of Said, on the issue of Yemen. Yeah. QUESTION: Why does that matter, though? There's news today, so -- MS NAUERT: Yeah. QUESTION: Can you request an expert on Yemen? MS NAUERT: Yeah, certainly, I'd be happy to. Yeah. QUESTION: Wait, so first of all, I think that when there have been attacks against Saudi installations or missiles and stuff, I think you've seen that there have been just as vigorous of reporting. MS NAUERT: I don't – I disagree, but -- QUESTION: Well, I mean, that's – it's not our job to, like, sit here and go back and forth on that. We're asking today. The U.S. has tried to increase its target training with – to try and improve the targeting of the Saudi coalition. Is that still continuing?