North Africa: U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing: Libya and Egypt

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Excerpt from the United States Department of State Daily Press Briefing:

QUESTION: On Libya, the apparent attack today on the head of the UN mission there. Someone apparently threw an explosive device at the convoy. Just wondering how concerned you are about the continuing violence there and the prospects for Libya making some sort of economic recovery if these sorts of attacks are going to go on against Western or international targets.

MS. NULAND: Well, we strongly condemn today's attack on the UN convoy travelling through Benghazi. We call for a full investigation, the Libyans cooperating with UN authorities on that. We are, again, taking this opportunity to call on all armed groups in Libya to exercise restraint, to refrain from violence, to work through their issues through dialogue. But I have to tell you, Cami, we don't have a lot of information as to who was responsible, or what the circumstances of this were. But it's absolutely unacceptable. We are just thankful that nobody was hurt.

All right?

QUESTION: Yeah. I have one more.

MS. NULAND: Please, Matt?

QUESTION: Two more, actually.

MS. NULAND: Yep.

QUESTION: Bahrain. Yesterday, you said that there were going to be more calls made about this hunger striker? Were those calls made?

MS. NULAND: Our ambassador in Bahrain, Ambassador Krajeski had a number of calls yesterday and today with Bahraini officials making clear our concern about this case.

QUESTION: No one else?

MS. NULAND: No.

QUESTION: And you're aware of the latest today on this case? I mean, there was - again, the other day, there was the Bahrainis refusing to release them and now that - is it the Danish or the Norwegian, I can't --

MS. NULAND: Danish.

QUESTION: Danish. The Danish have reupped their - resubmitted their appeal for his release, and apparently it's been rejected again. So we can be clear: Your - the Administration's position on this is that he should be allowed to go to Denmark, or what is it that these calls are being made to --

MS. NULAND: We are not - yeah. We are not dictating any particular solution. We are just asking for a humanitarian resolution of this case.

Please.

QUESTION: Toria, have you raised concern about the deteriorating health of Al-Khawaja in prison?

MS. NULAND: This is the case - this is the - yeah. This is case that we talked about it yesterday, and I've just responded.

QUESTION: Do you have anything about his daughter? Yesterday, all you said was that you were aware of her arrest.

MS. NULAND: I don't have anything new on his daughter. I understood that she was arrested - she was detained temporarily and that she's been released. But if that's not accurate, we'll get back to you.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. NULAND: Yeah. Please, Nadia. Nadia, and then --

QUESTION: Do you have any position on whether former regime - former Mubarak regime's official should stand in election - presidential election or not? Because there is a committee in the parliament now approved the banning of Omar Suleiman from nominating himself for the presidential election.

MS. NULAND: Yeah. I think we're not going to comment on these individual issues inside of Egypt other than to say we want to see the election procedures followed. We want to see a transparent, open process with clear rules of the road.

Please.

QUESTION: Afghanistan? Afghanistan interior ministers are here in town. Are they having any meetings in this building?

MS. NULAND: I don't believe so. I don't believe so. Okay? Thanks, everybody.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:19 p.m.)

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