Today Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) questioned U.N. Ambassador John Bolton about his failure to attend the U.N. Security Council mission to Sudan in early June. Bolton responded that he had “ a personal commitment in the United Kingdom” and couldn’t “break the commitment” to address the ongoing genocide in Sudan. Watch it:
The “personal commitment in the United Kingdom” that kept Bolton from going to Sudan was actually a speaking engagement at the Centre for Policy Studies, a right-wing think tank in London. Most other nations, including the UK, China and France, viewed the Sudan trip as a priority and sent their top representatives.
Full transcript below:
FEINGOLD: Getting a U.N. peacekeeping mission into Darfur has been a high-level U.S. priority and I just want to ask why you didn’t travel with other Security Council members to Darfur when they went to Sudan earlier this year. Is that some indication of the importance of the issue to you? Could you say a bit about that?
BOLTON: Yeah, I had long before the timing of that mission was scheduled made a personal commitment in the United Kingdom. A lot of people had gone to a lot of effort to put that in place and I didn’t feel that I could break the commitment as a matter of my personal word. Instead, I sent our alternative representative to the Security Council, Ambassador Sanders, who was with the delegation through its entire trip in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Chad.
FEINGOLD: This thing was a personal commitment of a business nature. This was not a personal commitment in the sense of your own family.
BOLTON: Right, that’s correct.