US Department of State Daily Briefing #12: Tuesday,1/22/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:33 pm; Washington, DC Date: Jan 22, 19911/22/91 Category: Briefings Region: E/C Europe, MidEast/North Africa, Europe Country: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, USSR (former), Jordan, Germany Subject: Terrorism, POW/MIA Issues, Military Affairs, Travel, Democratization, State Department, United Nations, NATO, CSCE, Arms Control (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I have one announcement that I'd like to make, please.

[Americans Reminded of Possible Travel Danger]

On January 11, 1991, and subsequent dates, the Department of State advised the public of its concern about the possibility of Iraqi-sponsored terrorism in the event of hostilities. Consistent with these notices, the United States Government is now asking all Departments and Agencies to review carefully all current travel advisories before approving visits of Government personnel abroad. Americans considering international travel are urged to review travel advisories issued by the Department of State when making their own travel decisions. For information on travel advisories, the public an contact the Citizens Emergency Center of the Department of State. The telephone number is (202)647-5225 or (202)647-0900.

[Evacuation of Private Americans]

Today, I can tell you, as some of you have already seen reported, we are back-hauling Americans out of the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. Approximately 398 passengers, consisting of private American citizens and their foreign-born immediate family members were back-hauled on 9 MAC flights from Dhahran and one from Bahrain. Q What is "back-hauling?" A It means that it's a military aircraft. And when there are available seats -- it's a standard term. You should know. You served at the Pentagon. Q I know, but I'd like you to speak English. A It is my understanding of that, as it's been explained to me, is that when a military plane is in an area, if it has empty seats on it, American private citizens can get on this military aircraft. It is called "back-hauling." Q If that's the case, I've been back-hauled. A Have you been back-hauled? Q I have. A I haven't yet. Anyway, the C-141 and the C-5 planes carried passengers to military air bases in Spain, Germany, and Italy where most spent the night before returning to the United States. As always, our embassies and consulates overseas assisted with the onward travel arrangements of the passengers. We plan to continue these types of flights for private American citizens from Dhahran as long as there are available military aircraft. We do not know at this time how many flights will be requested or required. On the first instance of taking passengers out this way, we took 398. There has been some reporting this morning concerning the cost to private Americans, and I will just refer you to the Defense Department concerning their rules and regulations affecting cost. I would tell you that there are approximately 6,500 private American citizens who are in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. We have 350 more Americans, on top of the 398 I've just mentioned, who have indicated that they would like to depart, and we are trying to facilitate their departure.

[Terrorism Update]

On terrorism, I can tell you that there were no major terrorist attacks against U.S. interests during the past 24 hours. On Monday, a small explosion took place at a NATO facility l2 miles from the United State Consulate in Istanbul. There was extensive damage but there were no injuries. That's it, Jim. Q The letters of protest that you've given to the Iraqi Charge, in addition to that, is there anything that you can do? Is there anything you are considering doing to give them an incentive to treat the Americans according to the Geneva Conventions? A I don't know concerning giving them an incentive. They are a signatory to these Accords, and they should abide by them. I can tell you that SITCOM notified the ICRC, which is the International Committee of the Red Cross, and established formal contact. In order to ensure their safety and to comply with the Third Geneva Convention, the Iraqi POWs have been moved from the front to an area of safety. They will be transferred to army military police before being transferred to the Saudis. The ICRC plans to visit them today or tomorrow. Q You've cited the Third Geneva Convention. But Iraq has violated the Fourth Geneva Convention: Apparently movement of civilian populations, massively, by expelling the Kuwaiti population from their country. Have you brought that to anybody's attention? A I think the situation in Kuwait, Jim, has been brought to the world's attention. It has been over the last 5-1/2 months. Q Right. But, specifically, the movement of civilian populations is forbidden by the Fourth Geneva Convention? A If we have specifically filed somewhere in Geneva concerning this, I'm unaware of it. But it is certainly no secret of what the world has been engaged in up until January 15 concerning the situation in Kuwait -- not only of that but of the rape and pillage of a country. So I'm not aware that we have had some formal filing in Geneva under the Fourth Geneva Accord. But I know that we all have been very loudly crying out [to Iraq] to get out of Kuwait. Q Margaret, when the Iraqi Charge came in, he complained about civilian casualties of allied bombardments and we were told that he had produced no evidence of it. But generally speaking, can you address the question of what Gary Sick, for instance, who -- A Who? Q Captain Gary Sick, who was on the NSC in the Carter Administration -- Jimmy Carter Administration. A I don't know him. Q The Jimmy Carter Administration -- the Democratic Administration. Gary Sick said the United States is engaged in carpet-bombing, which he didn't say was wrong -- A Does he currently serve at the Pentagon? Q No, no, he serves on television. No, he teaches at (Laughter) -- he teaches at Columbia and he writes books and he's an authority on the Persian Gulf and on the Middle East. He, among other people -- I don't want to single him out particularly -- thinks that there are civilian victims of this bombing and that the United States is killing a lot of Iraqis. Can you address that? A One, I apologize in advance for my ignorance in not knowing who this gentleman is, but I would have to say that, as you've just confirmed to me, he is not working at the Pentagon. He's not currently at the National Security Council, and I would doubt that he is in the information flow of what our government is or is not doing. Having said that, I believe that General Powell, General Schwarzkopf, Secretary of Defense, Cheney -- our entire Administration has been On the Record stating what our policy is from the moment that hostilities went into effect. As you know -- we have made it very clear -- we have no argument with the people of Iraq. We have also told the Iraqis that the United States and other coalition forces will only attack targets of military value in Iraq. The civilian population will not be the object of attack. Q But the state of war isn't so precise that every bomb is dropped exactly where you'd like to drop it. Haven't there been large-scale civilian casualties? A I think that question, to be honest with you, is best asked at the Defense Department. They do military briefings -- I believe it's once or twice a day -- and they would be in a better position than I am to answer that question. I have with me, but I don't think you want me to read it to you, what all the various Government officials have said concerning this. I would just check with the Defense Department today. Q Margaret, there's a story out there this morning that has the Iraqi U.N. delegate possibly deciding to seek political asylum. Do you have anything on it? A I have not heard of that. It's the first I've ever heard of it. Q How about Rich Armitage being in Jordan -- the Philippine-base negotiator who frequently does special confidential missions for either the Secretary of State or the President? What's he doing there? A Richard, Armitage went to Jordan Sunday and is returning today. While in Amman, he consulted with King Hussein and other senior Jordanian officials on the Gulf crisis, the resulting refugee situation and other issues of regional concern. As Marlin just said at his briefing this morning, Mr. Armitage went representing the United States, as a representative of the President, and it was at the President's request. This decision, Marlin said, was made on Saturday up at Camp David. That's really all I have on his mission. Q Margaret, one of the networks said that he might be going to other places, including Iran. Can you deny that? A My understanding is that he is coming back today. Q What was the necessity of him going? Obviously, refugees is part of the concern but there are many other concerns about Jordan. Was he trying to reassure the King of certain American positions? A I'd love to be more helpful to you. I said that overall he was discussing the Gulf crisis. Just an offshoot of that, as we all saw previously back in August, was the refugee situation. That has not developed yet. But I would stick to what I mentioned first of what he was going to discuss, the overall Gulf crisis. And I just can't flesh it out anymore for you. Q So he had a message from the President, I presume, since he was the President's personal emissary? A I didn't ask that. I just talked to Marlin. I don't believe Marlin said that, but we have both said that he went as a personal representative of the President of our country. This decision was made at Camp David on Saturday where the President, as you know, was meeting with the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and others. He went and he's on his way back. Q If he went to see the King, presumably he did carry a message for the King from the President? A Do you mean a literal piece of paper or a verbal communication or -- Q Either one? A He went to consult with the King. Q Margaret, the Iraqis were talking about recognition by the U.S. Government of the POWs in their hands as a condition to treat them as POWs, according to the Geneva Accords. Did you recognize your POWs to the Iraqis in numbers and names? A I'm not sure I understand what you're asking me. Q They were asking for recognition by the U.S. Government for the names and numbers of the POWs in their hands in order for them to treat those POWs as POWs, according to the Geneva Accords. A Number 1, I'm not aware that that is one of the things the Iraqis are saying. If it is, I find that, to be perfectly honest, a little ludicrous. You're telling me that you need a list of names before you treat other human beings humanely? I'm sorry, I don't get that. I've told you what our government has done. We are abiding by the Geneva Accords. We have, as I've told you, been in contact with the International Committee of the Red Cross. We are doing everything exactly as it should be done. So I do not see an Iraqi -- if it's true, and I have not seen this -- claim that because they do not have some names, that they, then, are going to treat people that they are holding, in the manner of which they are holding them, I'm just sorry, I can't buy into that. Q It's quite clear that they are trying to give the impression that they have a larger number of POWs than you are recognizing. This is the point, as I understand it. A The point is, it is quite clear that they are not abiding by the 1949 Geneva Accords of which they are a signatory. Q Margaret, this is going to be a daily generic question. But other than the Iraqi Charge coming in yesterday afternoon, has there been any diplomatic contact between the United States and the Government of Iraq? A No. Q Margaret, going back to the POW issue and the war crimes issue, does the United States have a specific mechanism or forum or legal system in mind for trying war crimes? Would this be an offshoot of the International Court of Justice, or would it be a special tribunal, or what? A We don't have an answer to that question yet, Alan, and we are not ruling in or ruling out any options. Q Are you studying the question? A It is something that, of course, is being looked into but there are no answers to the specifics -- what you're asking me, I believe, is the mechanism. Q Just one last follow-up here. What makes the Iraqi crimes particularly more heinous than, say, the Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan or the Chinese atrocities against their population in Beijing or Tibet, or, indeed, U.S. excesses in Vietnam? A I have refrained for two years from doing comparisons, and I'm going to keep that policy today. John. Q Is the United States concerned, or has the issue been raised about the transfer of Patriot missiles to Israel being a violation of the ABM Treaty? A If it has been raised, I'm unaware of it. Q The Soviets have not raised this with you? They're the only other signatory to the ABM Treaty. A If they have, John, I have not heard about it. Q Would it be possible for you check that question, please? A Sure. Carol. Q There are reports today that Germany would be reluctant to help defend Turkey if it were attacked by Iraq. I just wondered what your understanding of the German position is? And do you see this as causing strains within NATO? A I don't see this as causing strains within NATO. And without belaboring it, what I would have to do is refer you to what Chancellor Kohl has said many times concerning the German Government's position of coming to the aid of any of the alliance that might be in need. I also would have to tell you that, as I saw one report today, it was not the Chancellor of Germany. It was unnamed officials. So I would have to tell you that our opinion is that the German Government has not changed their view towards this. But, again, that's our interpretation of it. If you need a more thorough one, maybe you could check with the Germany Embassy here. Q Let me make sure I understand this clearly. The United States believes that Germany would, in fact, join NATO in helping to defend Turkey if it were attacked by Iraq? A I don't want to speak for Germany but there has been no question in our minds about the Chancellor's commitment to -- as you know, they have done an enormous amount on the side of responsibility-sharing. The Secretary just met with them, I believe it was two weeks ago, discussing 1991 sharing. But I cannot be in a position of speaking for the German Government from this podium about a hypothetical "what if." I have to refer you back to -- and I'll be happy to get some of the quotes for you -- what the Chancellor himself has said to his public concerning this subject. Q There's also Spain and Belgium on the same list of countries that are expressing a lack of interest in coming to the aid of Turkey if Turkey gets engaged further than it already is or if Turkey is, in fact, attacked. Do you have any information or any -- A I haven't seen a report. I've seen the one in one of this morning's newspapers concerning Germany and Turkey. I haven't heard of those two nor have I seen those two. Q Margaret, it's not just a hypothetical. The Germans have sent airplanes to Turkey and, presumably, they're there to do something. Are they, as far as you know, helping, like our Patriot missiles, to patrol Turkey's borders against incursions by Iraqi missiles or airplanes? It's not a hypothetical. The question is, are they doing this? Have they notified us that they are doing it? A It's a little awkward for me to speak on behalf of the German Government. I will tell you that -- Q I'm speaking on behalf of the American Government. Has the American Government -- A You're asking me what Germany is going to do. Q What? A You're asking me what Germany is going to do. Normally, we refrain from saying in advance what another country will do. That's all I'm doing. Q Margaret, I'm not asking what another country is going to do. I'm asking you whether Germany is doing it? A OK. How about this. In his January 17 speech to the Bundestag, Chancellor Kohl said that "The use of military means against Iraq was taking place in accordance with U.N. resolutions; that the Iraqi regime alone was responsible for the fact that force was resorted to and that Germany stood by its allies who bore the main burden of defending right and freedom. Germany has already deployed a squadron of aircraft to Turkey as part of NATO's allied command Europe mobile force deployment to bolster Turkey's air defenses. The Belgians and Italians have also deployed aircraft while the U.S. and Dutch have already deployed Patriot missiles to Turkey. We are confident that Turkey will continue to receive the full support and assistance of its allies in defending against an Iraqi attack." So there's what Chancellor Kohl said on January 17. I am not aware of anymore that he has said, and that's why I'm going to continue to say, I have to refer you to the German Government. Q Margaret, I represent Channel 1, which is a national news broadcast for high school students. Many of them are concerned about terrorists attacks here at home. What exactly is the State Department and other Government officials doing to ensure their safety and the safety of other Americans? A We have had any number of statements that we have made over the last many months. We have made a number of statements int he last week, and I would refer you to the record concerning those. You are aware that this Department has been working very closely with the FAA to ensure all the airports, to the best of our ability, are safe. So there's any number of things that any number of agencies in our Government has been doing and will continue to do. Q Margaret, what prompted this advisory today? A What prompted it? What prompts any of them? There was a feeling that we wanted to be On the Record once again reminding people that, basically, if they have non-essential travel, they should maybe check in with the State Department to find out what is our latest travel advisory concerning whatever city or country they're going to. It was our effort, Pat, just to continue to remind the public, as we are, our Government-wide employees. And that's why I said, this was for all Departments and Agencies. As you know, we go to great lengths to try to avoid any appearance of a double standard. If you're going to advise and take a look at what could be characterized as non-essential government travel, then, at the same moment, you should notify our public that we are taking this very seriously and looking at travel. Q Saddam Hussein in almost six days has been unable to inflict any offensive casualties. The Scud missiles had no effect. The only casualties have been shooting down our pilots. Does that suggest that you are now concerned that he may now move to terrorism as the Number 1 objective? A We have been very concerned about terrorism before hostilities and since hostilities, and this is just another effort to make sure that our public is aware that Government employees, Department-wide, Agency-wide, will be looking at travel. Q But you don't think it is more likely now because of his inability to inflict damages in any other fashion? A I don't have any way to judge that. He and any number of terrorist groups have been out over the last -- what is it now almost six months -- claiming that they are going to take terrorist activities. We take those threats seriously and we have been acting accordingly. Q Margaret, you have been quoting back Chancellor Kohl's January 17 speech to us. You have said that the U.S. Government does not see any problems in the way that Germany is posturing itself in the last 24 to 48 hours. Has there been an effort by the State Department to be in touch with the German Government to make sure that, indeed, Chancellor Kohl still sticks by his speech, or whether or not there is a not-so-subtle change that has taken place in the German posture? A Based on this one report this morning, have we called the German Government? Q There's more than one report. A I am not aware -- I cannot remember. Marlin put out a list of who all the President spoke with over the weekend. I can't remember. I'd refer you to his transcript. It was a number of leaders. I can't remember if Germany was on there or not. Q Baker is not -- A The Secretary of State has, to my knowledge, when I came to this briefing, not spoken to his counterpart in Germany. I'm not aware of a specific high-level conversation that has gone on since this report. You say there had been earlier ones. I'm just not aware of it. Q Margaret, the Secretary has spoken of 28 nations being in a coalition. The Pentagon has 31. Do you know of more than a half dozen countries that are actually engaged in combat against Iraq? A I'd refer you to the Defense Department. Q One country, reportedly, is Germany where there's a massive anti-war protest. A And Germany is engaged militarily? Q Is Germany engaged -- A I haven't heard that. Q Is Germany engaged militarily? A I've never heard that, Barry. But, again, I'd refer you to the Defense Department. Q No, I mean the protest are against any participation by Germany; and the reports are that -- you know, the German Government responds rather quickly to anti-war sentiments in Germany. It has on missiles and various other things. The notion is that the German Government is not engaged in this war very much because of the anti-war sentiments in Germany. Are the Germans involved in this war? A The Germans, certainly, Barry, as you well know, because you travel with us, are engaged on the responsibility-sharing. They certainly were in 1990. And as I stated, Secretary Baker just saw Chancellor Kohl and Chancellor Kohl has said that they would certainly do their full share of responsibility-sharing for 1991. As you know, the German Government has a constitutional prohibition about military engagements. I am not an expert on this. I will be happy to have the lawyers get it for you, but I don't believe that the Germans have ever claimed to be militarily involved in the coalition. But there is no question that they have been -- Q Financially, they have been. A That they have been -- well, that's (inaudible) a lot of countries. Q I know, but the notion that the United States is banking on is that it isn't a U.S.war with Iraq. It's an allied war. It involves 31 or 28 nations. I just can't count up more than about five or six that are actually engaged in hostilities? A Again, I'll refer you to the Defense Department. They have a better way of judging who actually is involved in hostilities than I do here. Joanne has been waiting for a long time. I'll come back. Q A couple questions. First, on Israel. The Los Angeles Times is reporting, I believe this morning, that one reason Israel has not retaliated is that the United States has refused to give it the "Friend or Foe Code" that would be necessary for any kind of air activity. Do you know anything about the accuracy of that report? A No, I don't. Q Secondly, in the past you've said that the reason Secretary Baker was not personally going to Israel was that it might disturb the Arab nations that are part of the coalition. Since the attack on Israel and the voices from those nations in support of Israel's right to defend itself, I'm wondering why he sent Mr. Eagleburger instead of going himself? A I don't believe, Joanne -- to be honest with you, I wasn't there as part of the discussions -- that it was ever raised that the Secretary of State would make this mission. After all, the Deputy Secretary had just been there -- I believe it was seven days earlier -- and this is, as you know, an interagency team that he has once again led. The Under Secretary of the Defense Department is with him also. And I would judge the mission by the public statements, not only of the Prime Minister of Israel but of other high-ranking Israeli officials, and certainly of Mr. Eagleburger himself. Q One more thing: Since we haven't seen you in a couple of days, could you bring us up to date on the Secretary's activities? Has he been mostly at the White House? Was he at Camp David? A We have been putting this all out. I'm sorry if you haven't gotten it from the Press Office every day. The Secretary was at Camp David at the President's meeting. Today he will be at the White House. As you know, in his public schedule today he is meeting with some gentlemen from the Baltics, and I believe -- unless it got changed -- with the Mongolian. He has had any number of contacts with coalition partners over the last four days. He has obviously stayed in close contact with the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Adviser to the President. He hasn't lacked, believe me, of staying engaged and busy in trying to do his part in this effort. Q If you'll forgive one more follow-up. I have no doubt of that. My question is whether he is conducting himself these days more as Presidential best friend or Secretary of State? A It depends, Joanne. As you know, candidly speaking, when a decision is made to begin hostilities, that baton operationally -- State is not the lead, traditionally has never been and is not in this military operation. So if you're looking for the Secretary of State to be the operational lead officer, that is not the case and is not going to be the case and never has been the case, whoever's Secretary of State. If you are asking me when the need arises, as it did the other night, with the situation concerning Israel, "Was the Secretary of State up almost two nights the entire night?" Yes. Because that was a political component and the political part was engaged in the person of the Secretary of State. Operationally, when that is not the case, no, he is not. But is he serving two roles -- Secretary of State and the management of this portfolio and as an adviser to the President, a person he's known for over 30 years? Yes, he is serving both roles. Q Margaret, can you tell us -- Q With the Secretary being so deeply into what's going on in Israel, you cannot answer whether the Israelis were inhibited by more than just diplomacy from defending, from retaliating -- this friend-or-foe code? A No. Q Why can't you -- you don't know, or it's a security matter, or what? A I think that everything concerning Israel has been answered very clearly by the Prime Minister of Israel, by the Deputy Secretary of State who has had extensive meetings not only with the Prime Minister but with other officials. He is continuing those meetings, and I don't have anything to add to what both governments have been saying on the record for -- what has it been now? -- four or five days. Q I'm just wondering -- we're wondering about the Los Angeles Times' story -- A I haven't read the Los Angeles Times' story, to be honest. Q Well, I haven't either, but the AP picked it up, and the story basically is that not just diplomacy restrained the Israelis, the United States denied Israel the code -- the friend-or-foe code that it would need to safely execute bombing raids against Iraqi; otherwise, it might be shot down by American or other allied defenders. A I know you don't want me to repeat all of the Prime Minister's statements of the last 24 hours -- Q Unless they deal with friend-or-foe, I don't want you to. A Or the Deputy Secretary of State's. But there are no secrets that the United States government has been deeply appreciative -- the President of the United States answered this on Friday for us -- of the role that Israel has played. Israel's Prime Minister and their Defense Minister and their Foreign Minister, have said how very appreciative they are of the Patriot missiles being there. That Israel will, as it should -- and Larry Eagleburger said this yesterday -- make their own decisions. Concerning a piece that I have not read -- the Los Angeles Times -- you're right. I have no comment on it. Q Well, let me ask you then a related question, a quick one -- Q (Inaudible) -- or is it that you don't know anything about it? A I have no comment. Q You have no comment. All right. One quick one. The Secretary on his last trip, there was a lot of discussion of strategy, timetable. We were getting ready -- you were getting ready for a war, and there was a lot of consultations with allies. Were friend-or-foe codes given to Syria and other people in your alliance? A None of these questions am I going to answer. Number one, I don't know; and, number two, there is no doubt in my mind that we are not going to answer these types of questions. Q Margaret, could you -- Q Margaret -- A Sure, Saul. Q In diplomacy, one of the things that apparently the military would like out of Syria, which is a diplomatic issue, is whether Syria will allow all the flights, so that American planes can more easily attack targets in northern Iraq. Could you please tell me whether Syria is allowing over-flights, whether we've talked to them about it? A I would refer you to the Pentagon for any type of operational questions such as those. Q Well, it's not an operational question. It's also a diplomatic question. A I understand, but we are in an operational mode now, and I will refer those types of questions to the Pentagon. Q Margaret, can I ask two quick questions? First of all, Israeli Finance Minister Yitzhak Modai today said that Israel needed $13 billion in additional aid from the United States -- A $13 billion? Q $13 billion. He said that $3 billion of that is what they need for their war costs up until now, and that they would like $13 billion over the next five years. I was wondering, has there been a formal request from the Israelis made for additional financial aid? He specifically mentioned that they needed $3 billion for the war costs that they've incurred up until now, and are you asking the coalition partners to contribute to Israel's war costs? A If there is such a request, Mary, I'm unaware of it. I have not talked to Larry or in any of his reporting cables read any such request, so I would just have to tell you I don't know. I haven't seen the Finance Minister's statement this morning, and I'm unaware of any such request. Q And one more question, if I may. There have been some articles written recently, saying that the United States has different political goals in this war than are the goals of the United Nations Security Council resolutions. That by destroying Iraq's nuclear capability, for instance, the United States has gone beyond the goal of forcing Iraq out of Kuwait. Is that a fair assessment? Do you believe that the United States is going beyond the goals of forcing Iraq out of Kuwait? A No. And I believe that we have neither enlarged nor enhanced what was the mandate and the objective that was laid out by the President of the United States. And there were four objectives, and those are still the four objectives. Q Margaret, there was a meeting yesterday in New York among the finance ministers from the industrialized countries at which pledges were made, financial pledges, toward the war effort. The Germans made some pledges, and I believe the Japanese did too. Do you have any -- A Specifics? Q -- any comment, any specifics, anything to say at all about them? A I know better from my Treasury days than to comment on G-7 meetings. And, two, I can tell you that the Secretary of State this afternoon will be having an internal meeting concerning responsibility sharing for 1991. No. I do not yet have specific numbers, whether it be for Japan or other countries in the coalition. Q You'll have full details of that meeting at tomorrow's briefing, right? A We'll probably post it this afternoon. Yes. Q Margaret, on the question of war crimes and prisoners of war, has the United States yet made a submission to the United Nations on particulars of various war crimes within Kuwait and/or Iraq? A Not to my knowledge. Q Could you check and see if perhaps there's something that's happened outside your knowledge? A Sure. I'll be glad to, John. The United Nations Security Council, today, as I came to briefing had no meetings scheduled. I'll be happy to see if there's some formal mechanism that has kicked in. My instincts are, as I answered earlier, we are looking at all options and don't rule anything in or out. My instincts would tell me that we have not, since it has not been decided which mechanism you would pursue, but I'll be happy to see if I'm right or wrong. Q Which mechanism you would pursue -- what does that mean? A My understanding, John, is there are a variety of options if you choose to prosecute under war crimes, war criminals, etc., one of which would be to go the U.N. route. Having met with the lawyers this morning, my limited understanding in this field is that there are many different types of legal options. I will be happy to ask the lawyers if they have decided which mechanism to pursue. But since they met with me and told me that they have not, my instincts are that there's not some formal mechanism they have sent to the United Nations. Q Margaret, there have been a couple of peace initiatives thrown in by specifically India and Pakistan, and possibly one by Egypt as well. Do you still support any further peace initiatives by any countries, and those that are already part of the coalition? A I think that maybe you need to look at President Mubarak's statement that he made just this morning. I'm not sure of what Egyptian peace initiative you are talking about. And I think -- Q Is it probable? A Well, he has addressed this question this morning himself. And I think that you should check with the Indian government concerning what they may or may not be doing. Q Well, if you won't comment on the peace move by these countries -- A I'm not aware that there is a peace move by these countries. Q At least a cease-fire -- kind of cease-fire appeal or something? A That is certainly not what President Mubarak said this morning in Egypt, and I'd just refer you to his statement this morning to his public. Q What would the U.S. say to proposals, for example, from Pakistan which have been made by the former Prime Minister and by various other nations that are looking for a pause in the bombing so that peace initiatives can be explored? Is the United States in favor of a pause in the bombing so that peace initiatives can be explored to reduce the killing? A No. And we answered earlier this week that Saddam Hussein had a 45-day pause for peace. He obviously did not choose to pursue that avenue, and so my answer is no. Q Margaret, does that mean that the -- what is it? -- four contacts that the U.S. has had with Iraq dealt entirely with the prisoners of war issue? A It's my clear understanding from talking to two of the gentlemen who met with him. Q Another subject? A Suits me. Q Can I ask one more? Q Can we expect -- A Wait. Mark hasn't had a question yet. Q As a follow up on Mary Jo's question, can you elaborate at all on the President's goal of security and stability in the Persian Gulf region and say whether that is compatible or not with the survival of the current Baghdad regime? A I'm not exactly clear of what you're asking me, Mark. Q Can you have achieved stability and security in the Persian Gulf if the current regime headed by Saddam Hussein survives? A The President has answered this before. We have never said -- our government has not -- it is not one of the objectives or goals to eliminate Saddam Hussein. That is not one of the stated goals -- has never been stated. Q No. The President said last week that we're not targeting individuals. A That's right. Q What about the government which he heads? A That's too hypothetical. I mean, what are you asking me? Saddam Hussein is head of the government. Q That's right. A Are you saying now, are we targeting his employees? The answer would be no. Q Is it U.S. policy to change the government in Iraq? A That is not one of the stated objectives or goals as enunciated by the President when he addressed the nation -- wasn't it January 15? -- concerning his policy and what his objectives and goals were. Q Could we switch to the Soviets or something else for a change? Q Margaret, one more. You mentioned that you had talked to two of the people who had met with the Iraqi envoy, so I'm curious whether the United States government is confident that any of those messages are getting to Baghdad? A In each of the meetings, Joanne, the Charge said that he would transmit the views of the United States Government to his government. I have no idea if it's getting over there or not. Q Is he coming again today, to the best of your knowledge? A Not to my knowledge. Q Margaret, the legal adviser of the -- still with the Iraqi affair -- can we expect the Legal Adviser of the State Department to just give us kind of background of the mechanisms -- what you called mechanisms of -- A Today? Q -- going to the -- A I'll see. David? Q Can I ask you, moving to the Baltics -- President Gorbachev said today that -- I'm paraphrasing -- that it is an internal matter for the Soviet Union and people of the Soviet Union and nobody's business otherwise what happens to the Baltics. First of all, do you accept that view? And, secondly, is the United States reassessing any of its credits, aid, lifting of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment -- any of those kinds of things -- in light of the violence that occurred? Q And summit plans. A Let me answer this three ways. One, the summit was answered yesterday by Marlin by saying it's still up in the air. Two, yesterday Marlin said that concerning Jackson-Vanik, etc., etc., that all of that is under review. Three, the situation in all three states remains quiet today but tense. No major military moves have taken place in the last 24 hours. A variety of diplomatic and political talks are going on. The United States condemns all intimidation and use of force in the Baltic states and regrets deeply the loss of innocent lives. As the President said yesterday, we urge the Soviet government to act to end its use of force and turn back to seeking a peaceful, political solution to the conflict. We have instructed Ambassador Matlock to follow up in Moscow on the contacts made here in Washington concerning Sunday's events in Riga. Embassy Moscow is also in contact with various Soviet government and republic leaders. In recent days, we have engaged in intensive consultations with our European allies and friends concerning the situation in the Baltic states. Among member states of CSCE, for example, there is nearly universal condemnation of the recent violence in the Baltics. In concert with a number of other states, we plan in the next few days to invoke the human dimension mechanism in response to what we view as serious violations of the Soviet government's human dimension commitments under various CSCE documents, including the Copenhagen Document and the Charter of Paris adopted last November. We also note the decision by the EC to postpone this week's scheduled meeting of the EC-U.S.S.R. joint commission. We understand that the EC is reviewing its assistance to the U.S.S.R., including the package of measures announced last December. We are undertaking a similar review. As for direct contacts with the Baltic states, our Consul General in Leningrad, Richard Miles, visited all three Baltic capitals over the weekend and consulted with each of the Baltic presidents. We are seeking to maintain a United States government official presence in all three Baltic capitals on a continuous basis. This afternoon Secretary Baker will be meeting with the three Baltic leaders. The Secretary will convey this Administration's strong support for the freely and democratically elected governments in the three states and for a peaceful political settlement through dialogue. For those of you all who do not know, as I didn't this morning, I will tell you what the CSCE human dimension mechanism is and how it works. Q We know -- A You know? Q Not exactly. A I didn't know. The mechanism usually begins with one or more member states formally requesting another member state to explain how its actions conform to its commitments on human and political rights under CSCE. The latter state must respond to the inquiry. The state or states invoking the mechanism may request a bilateral meeting with the other party. They also may bring their inquiry to the attention of other CSCE states and raise their concerns at CSCE meetings related to the human dimension. Q Has it ever been done before? A I don't now, Barry. I'll ask. Q O.K. This is the U.S. that will invoke this mechanism. Is that what you were saying? A My understanding is that there is almost -- I don't know how many states -- it's in concert with other states. It's not the United States solo. I just don't have a list of -- but we are definitely joining in it -- and we're not alone. I'll try to get a more thorough list of other states who are doing it. Q So what's the practical effects? Supposing in step number two they say it's none of your business? A Well, you all have been asking for many days about what the United States is doing. Here is one concrete thing that we can point to that we are doing in concert with other states. Q Yeah, but what I'm saying is once -- A What is the penalty for not doing it?. Q Yes. A I don't know, Jim. Q Have the Soviets been notified prior to this briefing? A I don't know. I didn't think to ask that. Q Margaret, in the meantime the Soviets have sent their best -- or their senior negotiator here, and there were talks on finishing START. A Right. Q I think it was the Secretary's position -- at least before things got so heated in the Baltics -- to keep arms control and progress on it separate from U.S.-Soviet tensions. Is that still your hope, that you can proceed with the START treaty, even while you don't like what they're doing in the Baltics? A As expressed by the President's spokesperson yesterday, Marlin Fitzwater -- that is as of yesterday. I don't know of a change today. That is the policy of the President at this moment in time, is the best way I know how to answer you. Q Is to what -- try to get the treaty done? To move ahead on the treaty. A Yes. We would hope to get a START treaty done. Q Right. A That has not changed. Q But behavior does influence whether or not you're able to make progress, doesn't it? A Our hope is to get a START treaty, and that's why -- I can only answer what policy is, as has been enunciated by the President. If, obviously, the President makes some type of a decision, then there's a new policy. So I am only guided by what our policy is right now. Q Do you happen to know if they talked today? They were (inaudible) yesterday. A Yes. They're supposed to have begun talking again this morning. They met yesterday from, I think it's 2:00 to 6:30. I can't get into the substance of their discussions. The key remaining issues are related to verification. Significant progress was made on these issues, as you know, at the Houston Ministerial and in subsequent discussions by the U.S. and Soviet START delegations in Geneva. However, there are still important aspects that need to be resolved. Q Do you know -- A Wait a minute. I don't know how long these talks will go on, and our goal remains to complete a START agreement as soon as possible. Q Margaret, they are also here to discuss CFE and the data discrepancy issue. Do you know if progress is being made on satisfying our concerns about the data discrepancy issue? A I know that they are not only discussing START while they're here, John. But, as you point out, they're discussing CFE, and I do not know if they have made progress or not on either one of those areas. They had the meeting yesterday and are meeting this morning. But, yes, they're here this week to discuss both. Q Margaret, just for the record, are the Soviets still helping us out on the Gulf, and would you say just for the record whether the Soviet help on the Gulf has anything to do with our attitudes toward the Soviets on the Baltics? A Saul, we are very appreciative, and it has not been a secret, of the Soviet Union's stand concerning the situation in the Gulf since, I believe it was August 3, when Secretary Baker was in Moscow and issued a joint statement with then Foreign Minister Shevardnadze. I am not aware of any change in our attitude toward their position on the Gulf. Having said that, we have been on record every day -- and the President was yesterday afternoon -- expressing our deep concern over what is going on in the Baltics. Q Well, the reason I ask that is because that deep concern was registered during our trip -- our recent trip after 13 people were killed, and now five more people have been killed. But nothing specific has changed. That is, we're still considering the summit, we're still considering the suspension of Jackson-Vanik -- we're still considering those things, even though another five people have been killed. A The Administration has a lot of things under review. Marlin answered on behalf of the President yesterday that the summit is still up in the air. What I don't have for you are Presidential decisions. Q Margaret, has Secretary Baker, incidentally, been in contact with the Soviet Foreign Minister or -- A He talked to him on -- (TO STAFF) When was it, Thursday or Friday? One day last week. He has not talked to him since the time I announced that he had. Q Congratulatory -- A It had three parts, remember? Q Yes. A You don't want me to repeat them? Q No. (Laughter) Q O.K. Thank you. A Thanks. Q Can I just ask you about the human dimensions mechanism? A (Inaudible) Q So basically these nations are going to get together and say, "Explain to us how this fits in with your dedication to human rights," and then they either explain or they don't explain. A That's how I understand this. Yes. Q Is this in a public forum, or is just a written note required or -- A I believe it's at a CSCE meeting. That's 35 nations. That wouldn't be too secret. I don't know what the rules are, whether the press is in the meeting or not. But, I mean, 35 nations are there. Q But they have to appear some place. Q 34. A Oh, I'm sorry. 34. 34 nations. Right. There's one Germany now. Q Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 1:20 p.m.)