Video: Rice, Russian diplomat argue 'in private'

Published: Thursday June 29, 2006

Print This | Email This

Audio of a closed lunch meeting between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was accidentally broadcast revealing a disagreement about Iraq Security.

The audio broadcast reveals a difference of opinion between the two government regarding the protection of diplomats in Iraq. Throughout the audio broadcast, Secretary Rice and the Russian Foreign Minister argue and interrupt each other.

Responding to Lavrov's concerns about the protection of diplomats Secretary Rice says, “You know, on a fairly daily basis we lose soldiers and I think it would be offensive to suggest that these efforts are not being made. … We are making those efforts and we are making them at quite a sacrifice. ... The problem isn’t diplomatic missions. The problem is journalists and civilian contractors and, yes, diplomats as well.

“The problem is you have a terrorist insurgent population that is wreaking havoc on a hapless Iraqi civilian population that is trying to fight back and on a coalition force that is trying to fight back and the implication that by somehow declaring that diplomats need to be protected it will get better I think is simply not right.”

In contrast, both officials agree on the point during their public statements.