Daily Press Briefing
2:06 p.m. EDT
QUESTION: Wait a second. Where did you just come from?
MR KIRBY: My office.
MR KIRBY: Would you like me to come from somewhere else?
QUESTION: Well, out of the floor, obviously.
MR KIRBY: Well, I can do that too.
QUESTION: I mean, what is this, a new trend you’re starting?
QUESTION: You’re breaking the fourth wall.
MR KIRBY: No. Nobody’s ever —
QUESTION: You go to London and Berlin for the weekend, you come back, and you come in the back door.
MR KIRBY: Nobody has ever accused me of being trendy, Matt.
Just a couple of things at the top. I think you all heard Secretary Kerry yesterday announce that the United States is going to admit 85,000 refugees from around the world in Fiscal Year ’16, and then a hundred thousand for Fiscal Year ’17. In consultation with Congress, we’re going to continue to explore ways to increase those figures. This is, obviously, as the Secretary said, a step in keeping with America’s best tradition as a land of second chances and a beacon of hope.
In accordance with these same traditions, this step will be accompanied by continued financial contributions to the humanitarian effort, not only from our government, but from the American people. The need is enormous, but we are determined to answer the call while maintaining robust security, and it is a balance that we know we need to strike. Our priority has long been to provide assistance that helps people in the places to which they have fled, communities and neighboring countries that have so generously hosted those refugees.
As you also probably saw just a little bit ago, my colleague at the White House announced that the United States will provide nearly $419 million in additional lifesaving assistance for those affected by the war in Syria. That brings the total of our contributions to some $4.5 billion since the start of the crisis.
Obviously, the United States remains committed to assisting those affected by this conflict, and we strongly urge all governments, organizations, individuals concerned about the situation to support the lifesaving aid efforts of the UN and other partners.
Turning now to Indonesia, Secretary Kerry welcomed Indonesian Foreign Minister Marsudi to the State Department earlier today. In that session the Secretary announced President Jokowi’s upcoming trip to Washington to meet with President Obama on the 26th of October. In their meeting, the Secretary and the foreign minister discussed regional and global issues such as climate change and the centrality of ASEAN. The Secretary also discussed bilateral trade and investment opportunities as well as ways that we can cooperate to support Indonesia’s economic development and maritime goals. Our relations with Indonesia are strong and they’re expanding. As the world’s third largest democracy, Indonesia’s example as a pluralistic democracy with a tradition of tolerance is hugely important, as are its leadership on regional global issues.
Turning to Nepal, the United States congratulates the people of Nepal on their steadfast commitment to democracy. The promulgation of the constitution is an important milestone in Nepal’s democratic journey. The government must continue efforts to accommodate the views of all Nepalis and ensure that the constitution embraces measures consistent with globally accepted norms and principles, including gender equality, religious freedom, and the right to citizenship. We encourage all Nepalis to continue to engage in the democratic process through peaceful, nonviolent means. And we call on Nepali security forces to exercise restraint as people express those democratic rights. The United States stands ready to assist the people and the Government of Nepal as they continue along this democratic path and to rebuild from the April earthquake.