QUESTION: -- you said numerous times now that you both – the U.S. and Egypt – agree based on these conversations that there needs to be a de-escalation. But do you – does that agreement extend to how the de-escalation should come about? The Egyptian officials who have spoken publicly about this talk about the Palestinians' right to defense. They talk about how this is Israeli aggression. Clearly, you don't agree on that, or are they giving you some other message behind the scenes?
MR. TONER: Well, again, I don't want to get into the substance of our conversations. We both are in agreement that the violence needs to end. We need to de-escalate the situation.
QUESTION: The --
MR. TONER: Let me finish. Let me finish. As I just said, our position is clear that there's no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against Israel, and the onus is on them to cease their rocket attacks so that this de-escalation can take place.
QUESTION: Yeah, but is that the Egyptian position as well, that there's no justification for these attacks?
MR. TONER: You'll have to ask the Egyptians.
QUESTION: Well, I mean, I don't think that's the Egyptian position at all, and so it's kind of disingenuous to say that you agreed on the endgame, which is that there shouldn't be any violence, that all violence should stop. But if Egypt is saying, okay, the easiest way to do that is to just get rid of Israel, then you have fundamental disagreements with – if that's the case or something like it, you have fundamental disagreements on how one arrives at a de-escalation.
MR. TONER: Look, just – we --
QUESTION: So I think it's pretty --
MR. TONER: We believe the Government of Egypt --
QUESTION: I think it's --
MR. TONER: -- remains committed to --
QUESTION: Oh, yeah?
MR. TONER: -- its peace treaty with Israel. We are in close consultation with them as we go forward on this, we're in close consultation with Israel, and we're looking for a de-escalation.
QUESTION: Do you know – have the Egyptians been told about what abrogation of the peace treaty would mean for them, particularly in terms of money from the U.S.?
MR. TONER: Again, that's – you can ask them that question....
QUESTION: That is based on these phone calls? Because – or something else? And the reason I ask the question is that this – at least this building's assessment or analysis of Egypt – I think back to the Secretary talking about how Mubarak's government was stable amid the Tahrir Square protests – your assessment and analysis of the situation in Egypt hasn't always been right. So are you absolutely sure and have you gotten reassurances in the last two days from Egyptian officials that they are, in fact, committed to the peace treaty?
MR. TONER: Matt, I'm just going to say that we are consulting closely at very high levels but also through our Embassy in Cairo that we're in regular contact with President Morsi's office. We're conveying the same message that we want to see a de-escalation of violence, that the onus for de-escalating the violence is on Hamas, and I'm going to leave it there.
QUESTION: Well, okay, but that --
MR. TONER: I mean, I'm not going to – I just said that we believe that they remain committed to their peace treaty.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Read This And Let Me Know if You Think Our Diplomats Have Any Clue About Egypt and Their Intentions on Gaza
From today's State Department briefing, it really sounds like our diplomats are using wishful thinking: