What follows is an item originally posted on this blog on this date in 2009:
Hillary meets Musa
Mrs Clinton also met Tuesday with Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa, formerly Tripoli's intelligence chief. Many US officials believe he had knowledge of the 1988 plot to blow up a US-bound airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people. Mrs. Clinton didn't raise the Lockerbie case with Mr Kusa, a US official said, but focused on US cooperation with Libya on counterterror measures and efforts to stabilize Sudan.
[From an article on the Secretary of State's Middle East tour in today's edition ofThe Wall Street Journal. The following excerpt from a press briefing given by State Department spokesman P J Crowley is taken from the Still4Hill website.]
MR CROWLEY: And then she met with Foreign Minister Musa Kusa — M-u-s-a, K-u-s-a – who’s a – he’s a graduate of Michigan State University. At one point, he said, Spartans and gave a thumbs up.
QUESTION: Wasn’t Musa Kusa indicted for terrorism at one point? Can you check, because was the intelligence chief before he became the foreign minister?
QUESTION: I thought he was indicted for killing Americans.
QUESTION: Were you going to tell us about this? Can I have the next question?
QUESTION: Why was this not on the schedule and why was there no photo opportunity of this?
MR CROWLEY: The short answer is it happened almost – let me back up. I mean, we had a limited time and we had a number of potential candidates for bilats. And in some cases, there were a couple countries that we were looking at bilats. And for example, and – but the Secretary was able to have pull-asides during the GCC meeting, for example. I mean, Libya is a country that we are – we have an emerging relationship with. And we think it’s best to continue talking to them and seeing where we can continue to advance the relationship.
And that – but I mean, it was something that – this was just a – kind of like a target of opportunity where the ministers found themselves with a similar hole and they got pulled into a room and sat for about 15 minutes.
QUESTION: Did they discuss the Lockerbie bomber’s recent release back home?
MR CROWLEY: I was in the meeting; that did not come up. They –
QUESTION: She didn’t bring it up? I mean, you guys – excuse me, sorry. I mean, you and Ian were having to brief for about 10 days straight to us. Every single day we were asking you – hammering you guys with questions about the seeming welcome parade that he got and how upset people were about that, and you guys kept saying how upset the U.S. was about that. She didn’t bring that up when she had an opportunity?
MR CROWLEY: We didn’t bring up the tent either. (Laughter.) Sorry.
QUESTION: The tent’s a little bit less of foreign policy issue.
MR CROWLEY: No, the – I mean, Libya has a perspective on the region. They have been very helpful and integrally involved in developments in Sudan, so we did talk about Sudan, talked about Darfur. There has been cooperation from the countries on counterterrorism. And they continue to talk about advancing our relationship. But it was about a 10- or 15-minute meeting.
QUESTION: (Inaudible.) Sorry, you just said it was only 10 or 15 minutes. Was that the first time (inaudible)?
MR CROWLEY: I’ll check.
MR CROWLEY: Yes, that’s the first time that they’ve met.