There was an amazing exchange today at the State Department press
briefing when the press secretary refused to say that Jerusalem is
the capital of the state of Israel. We are not going to prejudge the
outcome of those negotiations, including the final status of
Jerusalem, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said in
response the question.
When pressed further, Nuland stood her
ground. Our policy with
regard to Jerusalem is that it has to be solved through
negotiations. Thatīs all I have to say on this issue, said
Later, an apparently irritated spokesman again repeated
commitment not to answer the simple question. I donīt have anything
further to what Iīve said 17 times on that subject, said
The questions were regarding this Washington Free
Beacon story that
highlighted the State Departmentīs refusal to list Jerusalem as part
Hereīs video of the exchange:
And heres the transcript of the
Q: Yesterday there was a bit of a kerfuffle over an
that was made by the department about the travel of your boss. Is it
the State Departmentīs position that Jerusalem is not part of Israel?
MS. NULAND: Well, you know that our position on Jerusalem has
changed. The first media note was issued in error, without
appropriate clearances. We reissued the note to make clear that
undersecretary, acting undersecretary for -- our -- Kathy Stevens
will be travelling to Algiers, Doha, Amman, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
With regard to our Jerusalem policy, itīs a permanent-status issue.
Itīs got to be resolved through the negotiations between the
Q: Is it the view of the -- of the United States that
the capital of Israel, notwithstanding the question about the
embassy -- the location of the U.S. embassy?
MS. NULAND: We are
not going to prejudge the outcome of those
negotiations, including the final status of Jerusalem.
that -- does that mean that you do not regard Jerusalem as
the capital of Israel?
MS. NULAND: Jerusalem is a permanent-
status issue. Itīs got to be
resolved through negotiations.
Q: That seems to suggest that
you do not regard Jerusalem as the
capital of Israel. Is that correct or not?
MS. NULAND: I have
just spoken to this issue --
MS. NULAND: -
- and I have nothing further to say on it.
Q: Youīve spoken to
the issue --
MS. NULAND: Yeah.
Q: -- but (havenīt
answered ?) the question. And I think thereīs a
lot of people out there who are interested in hearing a real answer
and not saying -- and not trying to duck and say that this has got to
be resolved by negotiations between the two sides.
That is our --
Q: What is the capital of Israel?
NULAND: Our policy with regard to Jerusalem is that it has to be
solved through negotiations. Thatīs all I have to say on this
Q: What is the capital of Israel according --
NULAND: Our embassy, as you know, is located in Tel Aviv.
So does that mean you regard Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel?
MS. NULAND: The issue on Jerusalem has to be settled through
Q: I just want to go back to -- I want
to clarify something, perhaps
give you an "out" on your Jerusalem answer. Is it your -- is it your
position that all of Jerusalem is a final-status issue, or do you
think -- or is it just East Jerusalem?
MS. NULAND: Matt, I
donīt have anything further to what Iīve said 17
times on that subject. OK?
Q: All right. So hold on. So I
just want to make sure. Youīre
saying that all of Jerusalem, not just East Jerusalem, is a final-
MS. NULAND: Matt, I donīt have anything further
on Jerusalem to what
Iīve already said.