US secretary of state answers questions on Middle East, Ukraine and China as G7 summit concludes

(19 Apr 2024)
RESTRICTION SUMMARY:

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Capri, Italy – 19 April 2024
1. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arriving at press briefing
2. Wide of Blinken at lectern, journalist asking question
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State:
"On the first question, the reports that you’ve seen, I’m not going to speak to that except to say that the United States has not been involved in any offensive operations. What we’re focused on, what the G7 is focused on, and again, it’s reflected in our statement and in our conversation, is our work to de-escalate tensions, to de-escalate from any potential conflict. You saw Israel on the receiving end of an unprecedented attack but our focus has been on, of course, making sure that Israel can effectively defend itself but also de-escalating tensions, avoiding conflict and that remains our focus. Again, I’m not going to speak to anything other than to say we were not involved in any offensive operations."
4. Wide of briefing
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State:
"On Rafah, we have been very clear about this, (US) President (Joe) Biden has been very clear about this, we cannot support a major military operation in Rafah. First, there are currently somewhere around 1.4 million people in Rafah, many of them displaced from other parts of Gaza. In the first instance, it’s imperative that people are able to get out of the way of any conflict and doing that, getting people out of harm’s way, is a monumental task for which we have yet to see a plan and not only getting them out of harm’s way, making sure that they can be supported with humanitarian assistance if they’re out of harm’s way. But second, even if people are largely out of harm’s way, inevitability, there’s going to remain a pretty significant civilian population in Rafah and we believe that a major military operation with a large presence of the civilian population would have terrible consequences for that population."
6. Wide of briefing
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State:
"On Ukraine, most important thing is getting this aid voted and moving it forward and it will, I know, make a profound difference and make a profound difference almost right away, in making sure that Ukraine has what it needs to defend itself effectively against the ongoing Russian aggression. No. Is it too late? No. If it happens now, it’s not too late. If it doesn’t happen or it takes a lot more time, there is a real risk that, yes, it will be too late."
8. Wide of briefing
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State:
"Here, I think it’s very instructive that the support that Russia’s received from China, from North Korea, from Iran, demonstrates that security in Europe, security in Asia and other parts of the world are indivisible. They’re deeply connected and this is something, again, that we heard around the table of these last couple of days. The G7 is united on the need for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula and also united in standing up to China’s unfair and non-market practices, especially when it comes to overcapacity – that is flooding the markets of our own countries with new products and technologies that are heavily subsidized and so underpriced, driving our own businesses out of the market and seeking to dominate these markets themselves."
10. Blinken leaving press conference
11. Blinken walking on street
STORYLINE:
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that his country did not participate in Israel’s apparent attack on Iran.

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Author: admin