US witholds judgement on UN drone strike investigation

White House official says US is engaged in talks with Pakistan on the subject of drones.

Huma Imtiaz March 16, 2013
White House official refuses to talk about UN report. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

WASHINGTON: The United States on Friday refrained from passing a judgment on the UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson’s report that drone strikes in Pakistan had killed at least 400 civilians and that the strikes violate the country’s sovereignty.

“I can tell you that our administration is aware of Emmerson's report.  But at this point, I don’t have a specific comment on either intelligence operations or any military operations,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Friday.

Earnest referred to talks with Pakistan on the drone strikes, “as you know, this administration is in regular and close contact with Pakistan.”

“We have a solid working relationship with them on a range of issues, including a close cooperative security relationship.  And we're in touch with them on a regular basis on those issues, particularly the ones that relate to security.”

However, the press officer said that the US government was not going to be commenting further on the UN investigation report.

“At this point, we're going to withhold judgment on the actual report.”

Asked whether the US maintains its position that the strikes do not violate Pakistan’s sovereignty, he said, “Again, I want to withhold judgment on the actual report in terms of the claims that they're making.  I just want to leave it.”


Aschraful Makhlooq | 8 years ago | Reply

"@cautious:Rubbish – your own govt has said on several occasions that the civilian casualty rate is nominal – and no author of any drone study has yet to step foot inside either Waziristan." For your kind informations Pakistani and US governments never adopted the policies of revealing and telling the truths and realities to the world about the massive attacks and killings of the innocent and sinless muslims by the drones' strikes and always have been claiming that only the terrorists are being killed in the drones' attacks most especially importantly Pakistani PPP's government which never told the truths and realities to the Pakistani nation regarding the US' drones' strikes on Pakistan and killings of the innocent and sinless Pakistani people by the US' drones' strikes,NATO's movements from Pakistan most especially importantly about the agreements amongst the USA,NATO and Pakistan on the commandments of US' officials......

Richard Genge | 8 years ago | Reply

There should be zero civilian deaths by drones or any other weapon by intent or accident. Those responsible should be held accountable just as anybody else would be.

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