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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 6, 2007
Press Briefing by National Security Adviser Steve Hadley
4:44 P.M. (Local)
MR. JOHNDROE: Okay, thank you. Introducing Steve Hadley, National Security Advisor for the President for an on-the-record briefing on today's meetings the President has had, as well as to talk about tomorrow's meeting with the G8.
MR. HADLEY: Good morning. The President had a couple of events on his calendar so far today, and more remaining before his day is done. At 1:00 p.m., he had a lunch meeting with the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. The purpose of the meeting was really twofold. One, to talk about the agenda items for the G8 meeting and, secondly, to talk about some bilateral issues, as well.
In terms of the issues that were discussed over the course of the lunch, they talked about HIV/AIDS. The Chancellor was complimentary of the President's initiative to increase the U.S. commitment to HIV/AIDS to $30 billion over five years. There is an effort by a number of leaders at the G8 to try and look at and perhaps increase their own commitment to HIV/AIDS, so that's been a positive contribution to the broader focus here in the G8 on HIV/AIDS, on malaria, on health, and also international education -- the increasing educational opportunity overseas, again, tied up very much with the theme of this G8, which is Africa and development and raising Africa and Africans out of poverty.
There was also a discussion about climate. The Chancellor has really done a very good job about encouraging an increased consensus on the way forward. I think we made further progress on it over lunch today. And I suspect what you're going to see in the next -- as a result of the meetings over the next day or two is that there will be a consensus as a way forward on how to address the climate issue, to how to develop a post-Kyoto agreement to govern climate, to do it in a process that will include all the emitting nations -- India and China, some of those that were left out of the Kyoto process -- and also that would be a contribution to and supportive of the broader U.N. effort on climate.
So I think this is an example where the Chancellor has been exerting very positive leadership and I think we're on the road to having a good outcome.
There was also considerable discussion about Kosovo. It will be one of a number of issues that will be discussed at a luncheon session tomorrow by the G8 members and leaders, and I'll talk a little bit more about that later in the call.
This afternoon, from about 2:40 p.m. to 3:25 p.m., the President had a meeting with Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan. The two leaders had a good conversation. They've now, as the Prime Minister told the press, they've had now six meetings or phone calls among the two, and they're off to establishing a very strong personal relationship.
They talked about North Korea, prospects for and the need for progress by the North Koreans in implementing the February 13, 2007 agreement. They also talked about the need for progress on the abductee issue, something that's very important to Prime Minister Abe and the Japanese people.
They also talked about the climate issue. Prime Minister Abe has made a proposal on climate change before coming to the G8 that emphasized the importance of including all the major emitters, flexibility and a diversified approach, and one that shows that you can have both sustainable economic growth and provide environmental protection at the same time; and, again, also the importance of innovation and technology. So, again, another input into the process here at the G8, and I think very much moving us in the direction of a consensus outcome.
There was also some discussion about Doha, about the opening -- about Iraq and Afghanistan, and the contributions that Japan is making in both of those spheres. It was a good conversation.
The President and Mrs. Bush will be meeting at about 6:30 p.m. with Bono and Sir Robert Geldof, and they will be talking about the Africa emphasis of this G8. They will be talking about HIV/AIDS, the malaria initiative, the need to improve health in Africa, talking about international education. As you know, this is something that these two gentlemen and the President have talked about in the past, and they all share a passion for those issues.
Mrs. Bush will join the President for that discussion. She, as you know, is going to be going to Africa, as the President announced when he announced his request to reauthorize his PEPFAR initiative, the HIV/AIDS initiative. She will be going to Africa and observing some of the HIV/AIDS programs on the continent. And so she will be part of those discussions.
And then this evening, there is a social dinner -- really, a reception and dinner for the G8 leaders and their spouses. It's more a social and relaxing affair, because the business of the conference, of course, begins tomorrow. And if I can, I'll just run through the schedule for tomorrow.
The President will have tomorrow morning a meeting around 8:30 a.m. with the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair. They will then go into the first of the G8 working sessions. This will be one about 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. That will be a discussion about major -- the focus will be on growth and responsibility in the world economy. And they will be talking about the need to work together with emerging markets to promote international trade, investment and growth, opportunity to talk about intellectual property protection; about Doha and the importance of a successful conclusion of the Doha round, which I must say is something that the President also talked about with Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Abe today. They'll also be talking about the governance issues, corruption, social responsibility, financial transparency, some of these other international themes.
There will then be the official summit photograph. There will then be a meeting at around 11:45 a.m. with representatives, student representatives of the various G8 countries for an opportunity for them to have a dialogue with the leaders. There will then be a working lunch at about 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. And the subject of the working lunch will be on regional and foreign policy issues. And that's where you can expect things like cooperation on counterterrorism, what to do about Iran and particularly its pursuit of a nuclear weapon, Darfur, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Kosovo, North Korea; these are the issues that one can expect to come up over that working lunch, which is focused heavily on foreign policy. There will then be a meeting at a little after 3:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon between the President and the President of Russia.
And then at 4:00 p.m., there will be the second of the G8 working sessions, and this session will be focused on climate change and energy efficiency. I think that climate discussion will focus there, though I think it's also possible and likely that there will be a climate discussion earlier in the day, beginning, perhaps, even in the first session. But there will be a formal session in the afternoon to talk further about climate change and also energy efficiency. And this thing we've talked about is the importance to have sustainable development, economic growth, reliable energy sources, and care for the environment and deal with the issue of challenge of climate.
There will be, then, a break and a reception tomorrow evening, and a working dinner tomorrow evening, which will be for leaders. And there will be a discussion there about growth and responsibility in Africa, and I think it's there you can expect some discussion of the health issues, how to have sustainable economic growth in Africa, and some of the challenges to peace and security on the continent, like Darfur.
So that's really what the President has been doing today, and will be doing through the balance of the day, and a preview on what the day will look like tomorrow.
Over to you, Gordon.
MR. JOHNDROE: All right, we're ready for questions, if the operator wants to cue that up.
Q Hi, Steve. You said earlier that there would be a consensus on how to address the climate issue. Can you describe for us how you envision that consensus looking? What will it say?
MR. HADLEY: I think we're moving towards a consensus. That's clearly what the Chancellor is trying to do. And I think If you look at some of the statements that have been made, I think it will have, probably, the following kinds of elements, because these are things where I think consensus has (inaudible) emerged.
First, a recognition that climate is a problem that needs to be addressed; secondly, a need for and a commitment to a post-Kyoto agreement or framework for dealing with the climate issue, that we need one, and that all the leaders here commit themselves to taking a leadership role in designing it; third, that there needs to be, in developing that post-Kyoto agreement or framework, there needs the participation from all the emitter -- major emitter countries, both developed countries and developing countries, like China and India, and others -- that all need to participate.
As you know, the President has proposed a process that would engage the 15 major emitter countries in developing what should be the post-Kyoto framework, but also what should be a long-term goal of this process, a goal for 2050, as to what kind of emission reductions that we should be looking for.
Again, it is something that cannot be, in our view -- actually the goal cannot be picked here because it would have only the G8 countries and would not have the benefit of participation and ownership by some of the other key countries whose efforts will be required in order to achieve that goal, like India and China. So what I think you'll see here is a commitment that there should be a goal, should be a process; all the emitting countries need to participate in that process; it needs to be a transparent process and it will be the post-Kyoto framework; it will rely heavily on technology and investments in technology, and ways of facilitating countries to be able to develop, and then deploy technologies that are going to be critical for achieving those goals.
So I think that's the kind of contours of what you're beginning to see emerge. And, finally, the other thing is that I think everyone agrees that this needs to be done and proceed in the context of the broader U.N. framework and the U.N. dialogues and meetings that have been set up by which the international community is addressing the climate issue. So the proposal the President made, for example, for a meeting of the 15 major emitter countries would be to provide a contribution to the broader U.N. effort by which the international community is trying to come to grips with this problem.
Q You mentioned that there was some discussion of Kosovo. What actually did you talk about? And do you see any way in which you and Russia can bridge your differences on that?
MR. HADLEY: Well, obviously that will be one of the things that we'll be talking about. There is, as you know, the Ahtisaari plan, which is -- was developed over a period of over a year, by Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland. It is a plan that I think the international community supports as the way forward. There's a process ongoing in the United Nations Security Council to develop a Security Council resolution that would move the Ahtisaari plan forward for what's called supervised independence for Kosovo.
Obviously, we want to do this in a way that recognizes the challenge this poses for Serbia, and makes clear that Serbia has a vocation as part of a broader Europe so that this is all a piece of this effort.
There will be a question about the -- I think the need to move forward with the Ahtisaari resolution in a fairly prompt way, and discussion about the kinds of things that should be in the U.N. Security Council resolution that would move this forward.
But I think there's a pretty good consensus here that really the Ahtisaari plan is the only way forward. And to the extent that Russia has some reservations about that, we've had an ongoing set of dialogue and discussions between the Secretary of State and their Foreign Minister, and in New York, in connection with the U.N. Security Council resolution to try and bridge those differences. And I think that process will continue here in Heiligendamm.
Q I would like to ask about missile defense, whether this is an issue that you think will be discussed in any of the sessions, maybe the lunch -- or something that you have, that the President has already discussed with -- in some other meetings that he had today?
MR. HADLEY: I think, obviously, when the President meets President Putin tomorrow, I would expect this would be an issue of discussion. It's not really a G8 issue, if you think about it. It's really an issue that involves the United States, the Czech Republic and Poland, the dialogue we are having with NATO on missile defense, generally, and the deployments in those two countries, in particular. And it's an issue, obviously, in which Russia has some concerns, and the President has been trying to address those concerns.
So I think it will be an issue that will come up in the meeting between the President and President Putin. But I would expect probably it is beyond the G8 agenda. I tried to outline for you at the beginning of this call the subjects that are really the agenda that will be addressed here tomorrow, and then some related subjects the following day.
Q Again on the missile defense, was there any discussion of this tension with Russia with Angela Merkel today? How does Germany feel about this escalation and about the fact that Russia has said it wants to point the missiles towards Europe?
MR. HADLEY: Well, the issue of missile defense is actually something that has been an item on the agenda, particularly between the United States and Russia for some time. As you remember, in connection with the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM treaty five and a half, six years ago, and throughout that time and prior we've talked to Russia, as the President did today, about this is an area where both countries are potentially threatened by rogue states with ballistic missiles, potentially armed with weapons of mass destruction. This is a common proliferation threat that both countries face, and the President has talked about trying to work together to help both countries solve that problem.
Russia has enormous capabilities in the field of missile defense, as do we. This seems to the President to be a natural area of collaboration. And this is something that our Secretary of Defense went to Moscow and talked to President Putin about. Secretary Rice has also talked to President Putin about it and her counterpart.
So this is a -- this missile defense has been on the dialogue, on the agenda for a while. We've also tried to make very clear to Europe and to President Putin that this is a system that is designed to deal with a threat that threatens Europe, the United States and Russia, and therefore is an area of collaboration. It is not to deal -- it does not pose a threat to Russia; it should not provoke threats from Russia. It should, in fact, be an area of collaboration against common external threats that threaten the United States, Russia and Europe.
And that's the context in which the President will discuss it with President Putin. And I think it's a context in which various European countries feel very comfortable. They want it to be a topic of discussion between the United States and Russia as it is. And they also want it to be a topic of discussion within NATO, and that whatever the United States would do in Europe with Poland, Czech Republic, would be compatible with NATO's own efforts to deal with the threat, because I think everyone in Europe recognizes the potential threat. It's not a threat to the here and now, but it is a threat that we need to be prepared for, and preparing for it takes a fair amount of time. So if you're going to have systems that deal with this kind of threat, you need to be getting forward in developing and deploying those systems, and that's really what we think needs to be done.
Q Thank you. I have a question on the forum. The main question of the demonstrators around Heiligendamm and Rostock is, what legitimates the Group of 8 countries to rule, to determine certain things, rather than negotiate? To agree on certain things and leave the results to the rest of the world? What is your answer to that question?
MR. HADLEY: Well, these are countries that have a lot of -- have an opportunity to get together and talk about common problems that are challenges for each of these nations and challenges more broadly. It is not the only forum in which these issues are discussed. It's not the only forum in which the countries that are here in the G8 discuss these issues. They are a legitimate subject to discussion in a variety of different forums.
But it also seems a useful opportunity to have some discussion of it here. And if you look at the history of G8s, it has resulted in a number of initiatives that have really provided some initiative and spark and impetus to help the international community deal with some real issues. I think, in the last two G8s there has been some real progress by getting -- helping the developed world look more clearly at the responsibilities it has toward the developing world in general, and particularly in Africa, and has resulted -- has sparked a number of initiatives, which I think if you talk to Africans, they have been very pleased about. Indeed, in one of the outreach sessions on Friday, African leaders will come to this G8, as they have in G8 meetings before, so there can be an interchange between those countries that are members of the G8 and Africa about the challenges of development in Africa.
So I think it has been a forum for discussion and a forum by useful action by which G8 countries try and identify and work together on their responsibilities. And I think that's a good thing, and a contribution to making the world safer and making the world better. It's not the only forum. There are a lot of other forums in which these issues can and should be discussed, but I think these folks can get together and make some unique and special contributions.
Q Thank you. There have been some reports of division over whether there will be a firm financial commitment through the Global Fund for fighting AIDS. Have those divisions been overcome, and do you expect a firm financial commitment?
And a related and similar question on the prospect of an agreement to press ahead and meet the eight commitments at the Gleneagles summit.
MR. HADLEY: Yes, I don't detect divisions on contributions to the Global Fund; quite the contrary. I think a lot of countries have stepped up and made contributions to the Global Fund. And the purpose of the President's announcement of his seeking to reauthorize the Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief was simply dictated more by our congressional clock than it was by the G8. So it's not an effort to put anybody on the spot here, but it was simply something that the President wanted to announce about the need for Congress to put this on the agenda, and also make it clear that the President remains committed to fighting HIV/AIDS, particularly HIV/AIDS in Africa. So it seemed like not a bad time to announce it.
I think other countries are coming -- and it has helped cause countries to look at their own contribution. I think some countries will, perhaps while they're here, be able to announce some additional contributions. Others will not. But, again, the purpose of this is not -- this is not a donors conference or a pledging conference. It is really an opportunity for the G8 countries to get together and set some priorities and help set an agenda for their common action.
And one of the things I think you will see is countries coming forward and renewing or increasing their commitment to HIV/AIDS. I think that's a good thing. It's certainly a good thing for Africa. And to the extent countries are in a position to do that either at the G8 or subsequent, that's a good outcome for the G8 process. So I don't think this is a source of real division. I think really it's an opportunity, particularly for those who suffer from HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Q Mr. Hadley, could you tell us what else is on the agenda tomorrow with the meeting with President Putin, besides Kosovo and the missile system?
MR. HADLEY: Well, I think a number of other issues where we are working closely with the Russians. One, of course, is Iran -- what should be the next step with Iran. They have now failed to comply with this second U.N. Security Council resolution. There is an IAEA -- an international organization dealing with atomic energy -- they have done a report that indicated that the Iranians are continuing to move forward on their nuclear activity. So I'm sure what to do about Iran will be a subject of discussion.
I think there will be some discussion of proliferation more generally, and also of combating terrorism, two areas where Russia and the United States have been able to cooperate very closely.
We have, as you know, expanded our cooperation with Russia on civilian nuclear energy generation for electric power, the so- called GNEP cooperation -- Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. I'm sure that next steps in our nuclear energy cooperation will be discussed. Also, as you know, Russia and the United States have a global initiative on combating nuclear terrorism. I think the two leaders will talk about the status report on how those efforts are proceeding.
They will talk about North Korea. Russia and the United States have worked together as part of the six-party talks to try and get North Korea to agree to give up its nuclear weapons and its nuclear programs. I think they will talk about the progress of trying to implement the February 13, 2007 agreement that came out of the last round of the six-party talks.
And, finally, I think you will find they will talk about Doha, the Doha round, the effort in terms of the World Trade Organization to come up with a global agreement that will result in dramatic increases in trade as part of a strategy for helping the developing world bring people out of poverty.
So it's a long agenda, reflecting I think the many areas in which the United States and Russia cooperate. They will also, of course, talk about issues where the United States and Russia do not, at this point, see eye to eye, like Kosovo and like missile defense. And I think it will be a very constructive discussion.
MR. JOHNDROE: And I think we've got time for one more.
Q Yes, hello. I have a question about the timetable. If the President gets ahead with his initiative to get all the major emitters together, is there a chance this is going to happen before Bali? And will it be in any way integrated in that climate session?
MR. HADLEY: It could, and we would like to move out on it very quickly. And one of the reasons for doing that is precisely because it could be a contribution to the discussion that will go forward on Bali. That's one of the things.
The President's intention is to move this along smartly. He talked about the effort to set a global goal and have a post-Kyoto agreement or framework by the end of 2008. He would like to do it sooner, if we could, and if we can. It's just a recognition that this is going to be a process that will involve a lot of different countries, talking in a lot of different forums. And it's going -- and it's one in which all countries need to have an opportunity to participate, so what comes out of this process truly represents a consensus in which all countries can support.
So we want to get on with this promptly. That's the direction we have from the President, because it's a daunting task. But we want to get on with it promptly so it can -- so that anything in terms of the emitters' work can be an input to U.N. forums, such as the Bali meeting.
MR. JOHNDROE: All right, Steve, thank you, and thanks everyone for participating in the call.
MR. HADLEY: Thank you very much, everybody.
END 5:14 P.M. (Local)