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Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, August 14, 2003 (Full Transcript)

QUESTION: I've got a quick Liberia question, and I wonder if you can preview tomorrow, as well. Rebels handed over parts of Monrovia, Liberia today. They were holding some of these important places, including a vital port. Is the President watching these developments day by day? Is that --

MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, absolutely.

QUESTION: -- that changed?

MR. McCLELLAN: Now, I do understand that the rebels are -- have been pulling back. We are, as the President said, doing what we can to support the ECOWAS mission in Liberia, ECOMIL, in their efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Liberia. And we will continue to work closely with ECOMIL about how we can help facilitate their efforts. But again, ECOMIL is in the lead, and we are there to provide support.

QUESTION: This would seem to be encouraging development today. Do you know enough about it to say what --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you ought to stay in touch with the Pentagon on the latest developments. But I do understand that the rebel forces are pulling back. The President noted yesterday that it's important to secure and open the port so that humanitarian assistance can be provided to those who have been suffering in Liberia, to the people of Liberia. That's what we're working to do.

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