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Saturday, April 21, 2012


Press Gaggle by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, after Security Council Consultations on Syria, April 20, 2012
Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations New York, NY April 20, 2012
Ambassador Rice: We had a working session as you know. It lasted—what, three hours? Three and a half hours? And out of it has emerged an ad ref text that various Council members will send back to their capitals for instructions. If Council members are in a position to vote, we are aiming to do so tomorrow around 11. It’s possible that not everybody will have instructions at that point. It’s possible that there will not be an agreed text at that point. We’ll see, and we’ll re-group accordingly. So, I regret to say we’ll see you for a second consecutive Saturday.

Reporter: Does the U.S. support the compromises that were made?

Ambassador Rice: The U.S. will take the text back to Washington and review it
carefully, and we’ll come to our final judgment.

Reporter: And those compromise are the SG will only have to certify a reduction in
violence not the withdrawal of the Syrian forces?

Ambassador Rice: There’s no certification.

Reporter: Verify.

Ambassador Rice: There’s no certification—I mean you all have the text. You’ll be able to study it, and I think you’ll be able to see.

Reporter: But he has to give an assessment—excuse me—on whether the violence has sufficiently decreased to a deployed amount whereas before he had to also say—
Ambassador Rice: Joe, read the text.

Reporter: I don’t have it.

Ambassador Rice: You missed it. It was just handed out by the French.

Reporter: Just a few copies.

Reporter: Is (inaudible) going to have independent air support or they going to rely on the Syrian?

Ambassador Rice: That’s not resolved between the UN and Syria.

Reporter: Madame Ambassador, what’s—after all these hours of negotiations, does the U.S. think progress is made? I mean this has been quite fast. Very fast. Progress in getting the whole council behind a resolution?

Ambassador Rice: I mean, I think we’ll know tomorrow when people have their instructions. I don’t want to presume that. We have an ad ref text that is by definition the product of extensive negotiations. I think we ought to let each capital make its judgment about whether to vote for it.

Reporter: Are you sending the observers immediately after the vote?

Ambassador Rice: It’ll be the UN that sends the observers, so that would be a question for the Secretary General.

Reporter: See you tomorrow morning.

Ambassador Rice: See you tomorrow.