TOM CASEY HOLDS STATE DEPARTMENT REGULAR NEWS BRIEFING

Congressional Quarterly
March 13 2006

Tom Casey, Acting State Department Spokesman
Location: Washington, D.C.

[parts omiited]

QUESTION: Can we try something easy?

CASEY: Sure, let's try something easy.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: Is the ambassador to Armenia having his career shortened
because he spoke out against genocide in Armenia?

CASEY: I know we promised you an answer on that one on Friday.

QUESTION: Yes.

CASEY: I still don't have it, and I'll get something for you this
afternoon.

QUESTION: You mean his future hasn't been decided yet?

CASEY: Not that I'm aware of.

QUESTION: I think it has.

CASEY: I believe you think it does.

QUESTION: No, I do believe it does.

And so do -- and I have reason to believe it does, and I know there
are least two members of Congress who believe it does.

No, I just think that the State Department is having difficulty
finding words to announce his premature retirement.

CASEY: No, we owe you an answer on that, and I'll get it for you.

QUESTION: Do you have a readout on the Eritrea-Ethiopia meetings? I
know they were in London, but I believe there was U.S. representation
there. But did they make any progress?

CASEY: Yes, I did check on that before the briefings and don't have a
full readout for you, and we'll get you something later this afternoon.

QUESTION: On Slobodan Milosevic?

CASEY: Yes.

QUESTION: How his death is going to affect the new round of talks
March 17th in Vienna for the final steps of Kosovo -- do you expect
a kind of postponement?

CASEY: Well, I don't -- do we expect a postponement in the next round
of discussions?

QUESTION: Yes.

CASEY: Not that I'm aware of, and obviously you know our policies on
this issue.

We're supporting the efforts of Special Representative Ahtisaari to
negotiate a final-settlement agreement or final-status agreement,
and we look forward to seeing those talks continue.

QUESTION: Any communication between Secretary Rice and the chief of the
tribunal, (inaudible) Carla del Ponte on Slobodan Milosevic's death?

CASEY: No.

QUESTION: And who is going to be present in the Slobodan Milosevic
funeral in Belgrade on behalf of the U.S. government since it's a
political event -- your ambassador to Serbia-Montenegro?

CASEY: I'm not aware that there are any State arrangements being made
for his funeral, and I'm certainly not aware of any U.S.

participation in it.

QUESTION: And one on Armenia.

Representative Frank Pallone in a strong statement expressed his
extreme disappointment with regards of the Department of State's
decision to (inaudible) Ambassador John Evans from Armenia as a
retaliation for a statement he made in recognition of the Armenian
genocide in Los Angeles by Ottoman Turks. And it was reported that
already you have decided to replace him.

Could you please clarify for us what's going on exactly at this
particular moment on this issue?

CASEY: That was a question Barry asked. We owe you an answer and
we'll get you one.

QUESTION: It's the same answer?

CASEY: Yes. It's the same issue. It'll be the same answer.

QUESTION: Is there an ambassador on post in Armenia right now?

CASEY: Yes, there is.

QUESTION: Is his name Evans?

CASEY: Yes, it is.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) suitcase packed?

CASEY: Not that I'm aware of.

QUESTION: But when you do announce this, would you kindly tell us
the difference between what happened and genocide?

CASEY: I think...

QUESTION: Because U.S. policy is there was no genocide.

CASEY: Our policy on this issue is well known. It was repeated in a
presidential statement. And, yes, I don't have anything to add to it.

[the rest of the press conference deleted]

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress