US Department of State Daily Briefing #16: Monday,1/28/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:24 pm; Washington, DC Date: Jan 28, 19911/28/91 Category: Briefings Region: East Asia, Eurasia, MidEast/North Africa, Europe Country: Germany, Turkey, USSR (former), China, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Somalia, Pakistan Subject: Terrorism, Military Affairs, Travel, Development/Relief Aid, Democratization, Arms Control, Human Rights (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Iraqi Military Aircraft in Iran]

MS. TUTWILER: Have you got a question, Jim? Q Yeah. Are you ready to start? A Yes. Q Have you had any contact, direct or indirect, with the Government of Iran trying to find out what the future of those Iraqi airplanes will be? A Secretary Baker answered that Saturday here at the Department for you when asked this question and said that we have had assurances that the airplanes will stay there for the duration. I can quote for you what he said, which I know you don't think is necessary, but I could also quote for you what Rafsanjani has said or their Security Council. They have been speaking out on this, and that is our understanding and we have no reason to not believe that is the case. Q Right. But my question was not what we have been told but, rather, how we know this to be true? A How do we know this to be true? Q How did this information come to you? A As you know, we deal with the Iranian government through a third party, and that is how these contacts have been handled in this instance. Q And you believe those assurances that these planes will be interned until the end of hostilities? A Yes. Q Margaret, following up on that. Is it the Secretary's understanding that Iran is keeping the planes on the ground? Is it detaining the pilots? Is it questioning the pilots in any way? Is it offering hospitality to the pilots of those planes or to Iraqi personnel who accompanied those planes? A I don't know. Q Or do they just go home -- the pilots? A I don't have answers to all those types of questions. Q Margaret, is there any indication at all as to whether these people are defectors or whether there is some -- at any level -- some form of collusion between the Iranians the Iraqis about these planes coming in? A We don't have that level of analysis for you. The Pentagon this morning did a briefing, I believe, in Riyadh. There are any number of other officials of various governments who are speaking on this, and we do not have anything that we're in a position to categorically say to you, "We believe X." I can state for you their Security Council statement, their President's statement, what our Secretary of State has said on Saturday concerning the assurances that our Government has been given, and that's the extent of what I can say about this subject. Q When you said you believed them, what exactly did you mean that the U.S. Government believes? The assurances that they will be held until the end of the war? A Correct. Q Margaret, people might -- it's hard for us to draw conclusions from the use of the word "assurances." Maybe there's no way to draw a proper conclusion. But the word "assurances," used by the Secretary, suggests that he's somehow pleased or satisfied with this statement made by the Iranians. But there's a possible other interpretation, which is that Iran will hold safe these planes and preserve them from attack by Allied forces if they were otherwise on the ground in Iraq; that somehow their being in Iran provides Saddam Hussein, or his successor, with the capability of having planes, following the end of this war, having good quality aircraft still alive and well. That might not necessarily be something that would please the U.S. Can you help us shed any light at all on that kind of interpretative question? A The Secretary said on January 27 that we have assurances Iran intends to remain totally neutral in this conflict and that aircraft that arrive in Iran will remain there for the duration of the conflict. I believe that our military in the person of General Schwarzkopf addressed himself to this issue this weekend and said -- I'm paraphrasing; I don't have his direct quotes, but they're there for the record -- something to the effect that "We will monitor their whereabouts as closely as possible." Q Did the United States seek and get assurance on the internment of the pilots? That's a condition that the "neutral" applies to. A I don't have anything for you concerning the pilots. Q Can you take that question? A I'll look at it. Q Also on the Gulf, Margaret. The Secretary announced on Saturday that the Saudis had come up with $13.5 billion in support costs. Two questions. First, has the U.S. Government heard from the United Arab Emirates on their contributions? A No. Q The second goes to proportions. As you know, a Saudi official, when the Secretary was out there, said that the Saudis would be picking up 40 to 50 percent of the cost. Assuming that the Japanese $9 billion is 20 percent of the total costs required for the first three months, then $13.5 billion would work out to 30 percent. Do you know, is that a reduction in the Saudi commitment? Or are they not including in the fuel costs? A As we have said, since we were on the trip, and any number of times since we've been asked, the Saudi official was speaking to a number of you all On Background in the airport as we were leaving. When we were asked about this on the Secretary's airplane, we said that we were not sure what the individual meant. That is still our stance. As far as percentages, the Secretary refrained here at the Department on Saturday from doing those. I believe they were questions by Ralph. The President, on Friday, at his press conference said that the total cost of the war figures were being put out by the Pentagon, by the Secretary of Defense. The President did not give a timeframe of when that would be done. Q Right. Just working from the information, however, we do have, if $9 -- A You're assuming the information you've just cited to me is correct. Q Are you saying that $9 billion is not 20 percent of the -- A I can't do percents for you. I'm just giving you -- you're assuming that you've got the correct percentages. I can't verify those percentages for you. Q Can you clarify the specific question about whether the Saudi $13.5 billion includes fuel costs, or is it in addition to the direct supply of fuel? A I believe that it is in direct addition, but let me check for you and ask on that. I know it is solely -- as the Secretary said, all of these contributions, for the first three months in 1991, are to support our costs for Desert Storm. I will find out if it's in addition to transportation, water, etc. Q Margaret, can I also follow up with something else the Secretary said on Saturday night? It was the question about whether he and Bessmertnykh had discussed the Baltics and other internal developments in the Soviet Union. He chose to limit his answer strictly to the question of the Baltics. Can you tell us now whether he and Bessmertnykh discussed the other steps which the Kremlin has taken in the last, let's say, two, three, four weeks, but also in the last couple of days which are not limited just to the Baltics -- things that have to do with the economic system, the banking system, the press, other kinds of steps which some of us would characterize as "crack-down"? Was that also discussed? Or was the discussion limited to the Baltics? A I don't know about Saturday. I know that today, in their discussions here, they discussed the reform process generally? Q Any more descriptive about the way that discussion went? A No, because I wasn't in the meeting. It was a one-on-one meeting, and the Secretary went straight from that meeting to another meeting. I got a brief readout, probably less than 45 seconds, from Dennis Ross who attended the meeting with him. I believe that you've got and have seen how the Soviet Foreign Minister characterized the meetings today here in the Department when he left the Department. Secretary Baker's characterizations, I'm sure, would be very similar. Also, you know that the Foreign Minister said upon leaving that the two gentlemen will get together again tomorrow. We don't have a time for you yet of when they will get together. In part of today's meeting, it was not one-on-one. For the last 30 minutes, the arms control experts were called in. On our side, that would be Reggie Bartholomew and Rick Burt. I don't know who was called in on their side. Tomorrow, they will spend time on arms control. Q Margaret, if I can follow up on Ralph's question. Bessmertnykh said before the talks that Soviet special troops -- the Black Beret units -- have left Lithuania. Do we have an update on the situation there that would confirm this? A I don't have a confirmation of that, and I haven't seen where he said that. The only update I have on the Baltics is the situation over the weekend: It remains calm but tense. Q Is there a State Department transcript of his remarks as he went into the meeting. A He said all the Black Berets have left the three Baltics? Q He said the special troops that were sent to Lithuania have left. A I'm not in a position to confirm or deny that. He's the Foreign Minister. Q Could you take the question? A We'll look into it; sure. Q Margaret, what's the status of the START talks that were going on with the Obukhov group last week? A I left them Friday with "work remains." They did not meet this morning, or were not schedule to until the two Foreign Ministers got together. I did not have a chance to see Reggie when they finished meeting. He said that depending on their instructions from the Foreign Ministers, it would determine whether they met this afternoon. The two Ministers are going to meet tomorrow on arms control, and I have to assume that's START and CFE. Q If we ask a question that gets around the question of a summit but doesn't talk about a summit, is there any consideration between the two sides now of having some kind of meeting that would not necessarily be a summit in Moscow or in Washington but perhaps would deal strictly with the Gulf or perhaps strictly with arms control but would somehow be more limited than the summit that had been scheduled for the February 11-13 period? Is there any consideration being given to that sort of -- A I haven't heard of any such idea. Q Margaret, can you go back to the beginning? How long did they meet today on one-on-one or with other people? A Today's meeting began at 9:00 a.m. They concluded their one-on-one portion at approximately 10:45. I don't have an actual moment. And for approximately 30 minutes, they were joined by their arms control experts. Then the meeting concluded and the Secretary went, as you all know, immediately to his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg. Q Are they using interpretation -- A No. Q -- or are they speaking in English. Speaking in English? A They each have one notetaker present. It's exactly how they handled the meeting on Saturday, and I assume how they'll handle it tomorrow. Q Can you comment on the AP story that aid is cut to Pakistan by $200 million? Why at this time? A Since total foreign assistance funding has declined in FY-91, most non-earmarked programs have had to be reduced. Since Pakistan's assistance program is not earmarked in FY-91 -- it was, as you know, in previous years -- it's cuts are part of that general decline in non-earmarked programs. Under, as you know, the Pressler Amendment, Pakistan is not eligible to receive assistance unless the President certifies to the Congress that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear explosive device and that the proposed U.S. assistance program will reduce significantly the risk that Pakistan will possess a nuclear explosive device. Since the President has not yet made such a certification for FY-91, no assistance can be provided to Pakistan at this time. As I have said, I believe in response to Jim's question last week, this issue remains under discussion between the United States and Pakistan. Q Copy, please? A Excuse me? Q Copy? A Sure. Q Also on the question of foreign aid. At the time of the vote on Resolution 678 at the U.N., which Yemen voted against the United States on the use of force, an unnamed State Department official was quoted in a newspaper story as saying to the Yemeni delegate, "That's the most expensive vote you ever cast." I notice that Yemen's foreign assistance total from the United States has dropped from $23 million to $2.9 million next year. Was the aid to Yemen cut in retaliation for the vote at the United Nations? A Let me ask John Kelly and check into that. I know that there is humanitarian aid that will continue to go, and I think that's the figure you're responding to, to Yemen. But let me make sure because it's my understanding, we have not released yet the FY-92 numbers. So let me just ask John. Q Margaret, a follow up. About this time last year, big debates in these corridors was about the earmarking and the need, as the State Department saw it, to cut or shave the earmarked countries across-the-board and give more flexibility to the Administration to disburse aid. Has anything at all been done on that? Was there any progress in this big Administration push? A I don't know, Alan. To be honest with you, I've been occupied with other subjects. I'll be happy to see if the experts were able to do what the Administration and the President has been seeking to do. I just hadn't been into it, but I'll ask. Q It would be interesting to see if you could come up with a figure for the proportion of the total aid -- this proposal this year that is earmarked? A Right. But you know that FY-92 is not going to be released until the budget is released. So I know I can't do this for you in the next couple of days; and that, I believe, goes up on February 4. Q Margaret, while we're on Iran -- on Iran again. During these third-party communications between the U.S. and Iran, have the Iranians given any indication or told us in any way that they would be or have been providing humanitarian food and medicine aid to Iraq? A No. We have seen this morning a story that such a plan was underway. I can only tell you that under the U.N. resolutions there's a mechanism, as you know, where you must go to the Humanitarian Committee that was set up at the U.N. No such request has come forward to the U.N. on an Iranian plan or any other plan. Q Margaret, on that subject, do you plan to resume diplomatic contacts with Iran to clarify that or any other point? A No. Q I mean, through -- A We're using our third party. Q Are there plans to go back to the third party and seek clarification on that or other points? A I don't need to since the U.N. mechanism would notify all countries, if there is a request, whether it is Iranian or it's Greek or whoever it may be. So there's no need to go back on that point. The mechanism exists so that you automatically are notified. Q This really speaks to Ralph's earlier question, though, about how confident are we, or how confident is the State Department or the Secretary that the Iranians mean what they apparently are telling the French to tell us? A On food? Q No. A On the airplanes? Q Yes. A I don't have a further characterization for you than what our Pentagon has said this morning -- Q But the Pentagon said this morning to ask the State Department. A -- and what we have said in the form of a statement by the Secretary of State on Saturday afternoon very late here at the Department -- nothing has changed this morning to alter what he said on Saturday here to members of the press. Q Is the U.S. using its third-party contacts with Iran to query the Iranian government further on this subject? Or was the third channel used essentially to convey the message from Iran -- the policy message from Iran -- to the United States? A As is the policy here and the habit, it's my understanding, of many years, we do not get into the substance of our third-party use when contacting or passing messages back and forth nor do we get into the number of times. I've been instructed to follow that policy today. Q Would it be fair -- would you be able to tell us whether this was a two-way exchange? A I would assume, Ralph, if the Secretary says we have had assurances. He wasn't depending on press reports. Q No, no, no. I asked whether it was a two-way exchange between Iran and the United States or whether this was a one-way communication from -- A That they just assured us? Q -- from Iran to -- yes. What he said was the U.S. has received assurances. The question is, is there a dialogue going on on the subject, or is it a one-way communication? A (Pause) Q And what's the answer? A I will find out. All of my common sense tells me that we, by the way he answered the question and what other officials here have told me, is that we have sought our own information. They have sent information back. But I will be happy to get a literal answer. That's just my instinct on something this sensitive to the United States Government. I'm just using common sense, but I will certainly ask the authorities here. Q Following up on Pakistan, was the figure given by the AP correct in the -- A I'm sorry. What? Q On the amount of reduction of the aid to Pakistan, was the figure given by the AP correct in the story? A I haven't seen the AP story. I don't know what figure it is. Q Secondly, you mentioned yesterday that Pakistani troops, 11,000 of them, are in the Gulf for the liberation of Kuwait. But there is a statement of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, which is in FBIS, which says that they're there only for the defense of the Kabala -- the Prophet's tomb -- and also the sacred monuments against the guerrillas, and that Pakistani troops will not fight fellow Muslims. Which is correct? A Let me look into his statement. I'm not familiar with that particular statement, but let me take a look at it. Q Just a follow-up, because of the aid cut to Pakistan, there's some indication that they might pull out their troops from the Gulf. Now, will the Department change its mind on the aid? A The Pakistani government is well aware that under the Pressler Amendment, the situation concerning aid is something that existed before the Gulf, that is not something new to them. And, as I said, these discussions are ongoing between our two governments. Jan? Q Do you have anything on Somalia and the takeover this morning? A Yes. Q Also, do you have anything on the state of Berbera? What's happening at the port?

[Somalia: Situation Update]

A No. Not that I know of on that. On Somalia, we have seen press reports that rebels from the United Somali Congress (USC) have captured the Presidential palace and the airport in Mogadishu. President Barre has reportedly fled the city, and the rebels have announced that they will form an interim government with representatives of two other main rebel groups. However, given the fighting in Mogadishu and the suspension of U.S. diplomatic activities and the withdrawal of all our personnel, we are unable to confirm these reports. As you know, on January 5 and 6 of this year, we were forced to evacuate all of our personnel from the Embassy. Our Embassy remains open but unstaffed. We also evacuated at that time -- which we have told you previously -- all Americans who wished to go out. Q Margaret, further on diplomatic contacts, just for the record, has the United States had any contacts from the Government of Iraq concerning diplomatic efforts to end the war in the Gulf? A No. Q And can you tell me whether the United States has had any further contact with former Iraqi Ambassador to Washington al-Mashat? A No. In fact, I don't even know where he is. Do you? Q (Several journalists) Vienna. (Laughter) A He left. I don't know where he is. Q Vienna. Q That was our next question. Also, if I may -- A I think (inaudible) has a question. Q If I may just follow up, one more thing on Mashat: Perhaps you answered this question last week. Turn me off if you have. There was a TQ that was distributed last week that said that the United States granted his son humanitarian, I think, permission to remain in the United States for educational purposes. A Correct. Q Can you expand on the rationale for the United States making a decision like that and perhaps tell us if there are other cases similar to that in which Iraqis remain in the United States on humanitarian grounds during the war? A I don't know how to expand on an explanation of "for humanitarian grounds" for a high schooler who, on the request of his father, is allowed to stay in our country. I think it kind of speaks for itself. I'm unaware if -- it's never come up -- other children of Iraqi diplomats who left also asked on humanitarian grounds to stay. I'll be happy to ask. Q The reason for asking the question is at the Pentagon they've talked about -- and elsewhere in this Government they've talked about keeping an eye on Iraqi citizens who are in the United States when asked questions about terrorism. I just wondered whether there's any inconsistency in allowing additional Iraqis to remain in the United States versus some apparent (inaudible) -- A Not in my mind. This is a high school student whose father asked our Government for humanitarian purposes, would we allow his son who's in high school to stay in high school. We said yes. Q There's a story today that the son is now thinking of leaving because of harassment. Do you have anything on that? A I have seen that story, and we do not have anything on that, and we have to refer questions concerning any decisions that the son may or may not make to the Iraqi Embassy here in Washington. Q Do you yet have a comment on the German position towards Turkey, and Germany's lack of interest in stating definitively that it will come to the aid of Turkey if the Turks are attacked? Does the U.S. have a position on that? A We had something for you last week. Since it wasn't on my radar screen, I did not bring it with me. There was something, as I think, John, late last week that Chancellor Kohl himself spoke to, and I just -- may I get the record for you? It wasn't the first time I commented on it; it was the second time, after you had asked me the questions the first day. The Chancellor was out making additional comments concerning this very subject, and I'll just have to get it for you. I don't want to paraphrase him. Q He basically refrained from taking a position one way or the other, and Germany is deeply divided over it. I would think that the U.S. would have rather strong opinions on whether or not a NATO ally ought to defend another one if it's attacked. A In the most recent comments that I saw -- and it was very shortly after we had discussed this here -- he did take a position on it, so that's why -- I just don't have it at my fingertips. Let me get for you what the Chancellor said and what the date was. Q Would you also find an answer, if you don't have one, to whether we believe as a matter of policy that the North Atlantic Treaty makes it an obligation of all NATO countries to come to Turkey's aid if Turkey is attacked? And do we believe that as a matter of policy is what ought to happen? A It is my understanding, and I know that in one of the many NATO meetings that Secretary Baker went to at the Ministerial level -- I've forgotten, it was either in, I don't remember, July or some time -- this very subject was discussed. And I cannot remember the specific article under NATO's Charter where this is addressed, but it is definitely addressed. (TO STAFF) Is it Article V? That's what pops in my mind. Q Yes. A That's what pops in my mind, Saul, and I'll refer you to that. Of course, the United States supports that. Q Margaret, could I just broaden Ralph's question? Have there been any contacts at all between the U.S. and Iraq? Not just peace feelers, just -- A Other than the ones that we have mentioned, which were about ten days ago where we passed diplomatic notes, no. Q And how about any third countries coming to you on behalf of Iraq? A Not that I personally have heard of or that I am aware of. Q Is there anything out there in the way of a peace plan or a peace proposal or a suggestion that the State Department sees any hope in? A I am not aware of anyone who is floating or promoting a peace plan. There are various rumors that various nations are, but, when we go check, we are told, no, they're not. The Security Council is meeting this afternoon in informal session, and there is no plan that we know of that some nation is going to submit concerning their idea of a peace plan. Q Would that be where any peace plan would have to come through -- through the Security Council, through the auspices of the U.N.? A I can't say that it would have to, but that's one obvious avenue where some nation might go through the United Nations since, after all, the alliance is operating under the 12 U.N. resolutions. But I can't say and rule out that if someone came direct, what we would do. But our policy concerning any pause for peace has not changed, and we would not support such an effort in the United Nations. Mark? Q Can you outline the purposes of this afternoon's meeting with the Egyptian Foreign Minister and also respond to the reported comments of the Deputy Foreign Minister over the weekend that Egypt would be willing to accept having Saddam continue in power once he was forced out of Kuwait? A The President addressed that on behalf of our nation on Friday. That is not something, as you know, called for in the 12 United Nations resolutions, and we have been consistent in saying that we are neither expanding nor enlarging those 12 United Nations resolutions. Concerning Foreign Minister Meguid who will be here this afternoon, it is my understanding that his government has said that the primary mission of this particular visit of the Foreign Minister concerns their workings with the IMF. But, of course, he and the Secretary will take the occasion to discuss the situation in the Gulf. Q Margaret, going back to Pakistan, former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was here, and on Friday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel she made comments that might (inaudible) visit here is for two goals: One, to liberate Palestine and to liberate U.S. aid to Pakistan. A And your question is? Q Do you have any comments on -- A I haven't seen -- Q Because she met -- she was here at the State Department also. A And that was Ambassador Kelly, which we reported on on Friday. We said what Ambassador Kelly would be talking to her about. I checked with him this morning. That is what they discussed, and I haven't seen what she said at the Hyatt Regency. Q Has the Charge in the Iraqi Embassy been invited to the President's State of the Union address? A I don't know. Q Is it standard procedure that diplomats in Washington -- A Right. Q -- from all Embassies are invited. Could you take that, please? A Sure. I'll look into it.

[China: Trail/Conviction of Dissidents]

Q Margaret, on another subject, a Chinese court handed down some sentences for some of the pro-democracy leaders. Do you have any reaction? A Yes. We are very disappointed by the convictions of Wang Dan and four others. We have seen no evidence that their offenses consisted of more than a nonviolent expression of political views. If so, these convictions would appear to violate the U.N.'s universal declaration of human rights, which guarantees the right of political expression. Naturally, we welcome the release of some 66 others. We are disappointed as well that these trial are being conducted without any independent observers present which inevitably raises concerns as to whether the trials meet internationally recognized standards of due process and fairness. We have advised Chinese authorities of our position on the trials on numerous occasions, most exhaustively during the September visit to China of Assistant Secretary Schifter. We have urged them not to punish further those who did not engage in violent actions and to open the trials to foreign observers. Officers of our Embassy in Beijing have attempted, so far without success, to attend the trials, as have journalists and other interested persons. We are particularly concerned about reports that in some cases even relatives of the accused were prevented from attending the trials, and that some defendants, reportedly including Mr. Wang, were not allowed to choose their own defense attorney. Q Copy, please? Q Can we get a copy of that? A Yes. Q Margaret, can you just tell us where the possibility of a summit meeting in February stands now that there have been two meetings between the Secretary and Foreign Minister Bessmertnykh? A No. Q Is it still up in the air, as the White House -- A I have really absolutely nothing to say concerning the summit, as the Secretary of State refrained from doing this morning in two different photo ops when he was asked that question. Q Well, the White House said on Saturday that it was, I believe, "up in the air" was the phrase they used. You wouldn't repeat that statement? A I really would just rather say that I have absolutely nothing to say concerning the summit, and that, obviously, is a White House announcement, and they will handle it in the fashion that they choose from there. Q Can we expect an announcement after the visit to the President this afternoon? A I'm really not trying to be nitty on this. I just have nothing to say concerning the summit. Q Margaret, just a general housekeeping question: Is it a policy of this Administration that members of the Western media have the same access as members of the American media? A "Access"? What do you mean? Q Access to this building. A As far as I know, yes. Anybody who has a press pass. Right. As far as I know. Is there a problem? Q Yes. We'll discuss it later. A O.K. Q One more question on the Chinese, Margaret: Can you tell us anything about how the Chinese respond to this Administration when it makes these -- A All my various attempts, as I said, have gotten us nowhere, and we've made numerous attempts. We had the Assistant Secretary for Human Rights there. These trials have gone on. We have said that we're disappointed. We continue to try. We have not given up. But they have so far not resulted in any results. Q And I know it's not fair to compare two apples and oranges situations, but in the case, for example, of the Soviet Union, the Secretary and the President have said that the Soviet behavior in the Baltics and in other aspects has affected or will affect -- threaten the future of superpower relations. What effect, if any, does the Chinese response to the U.S. on these human rights concerns have on Sino-American relations? A Well, as you know, the last time I checked, we still have sanctions on the Chinese government. I don't believe that all of those have been lifted. And I would not think that the President would make a policy judgment to lift them when this type of thing is going on. Q Just to make sure there's no misunderstanding, the Chinese have not responded to any of the 150 cases raised with them by Schifter a month ago? A I do not want to be held that literal, if they have not responded to one single 150 cases. They have certainly not responded to these trials that I have mentioned. Q Margaret, tomorrow's meeting with -- between the two Foreign Ministers, can you tell us what time -- A What Foreign Ministers? He's meeting with a number tomorrow. Q Bessmertnykh -- with Bessmertnykh -- with the Soviet Foreign Minister. A Yes. Q Can you tell us what time they're expected to meet, and what sort of issues are they still expected to go over? Are the Baltics still on the agenda? A As I said earlier, we do not have a time yet set, and I said that tomorrow they would also be dealing with arms control. I would envision that they would be dealing more extensively with arms control, since they've spent two days on the Baltics and the Gulf. Q A related question: The CFE Treaty -- can you tell me what program areas were discussed in today's meeting? A No. Because I wasn't in the meeting, and I'd have to see Reggie [Bartholomew] and ask him, and I haven't had an opportunity to do so. Q Can we get a readout of today's discussions, especially on the Baltics since you didn't have time to -- A I doubt that he's going to have much more to say than -- since it's a one-on-one meeting -- that they discussed the Baltics. They discussed, as I mentioned to Ralph earlier, the reform process generally in the Soviet Union. I'll be happy -- and they were joined by the arms control experts. I'll be happy to ask him, but it will be very late today, as you all have seen his schedule. He has a number of meetings and Foreign Ministers here. It will be very late today before I can get to you any more elaboration on what they discussed. Q What are the Foreign Ministers he's meeting with tomorrow? A Tomorrow we have the Greek Foreign Minister. We have the Minister of The Netherlands. We have the Soviet Foreign Minister -- (TO STAFF) And who else? MS. HOGGARD: The Netherlands is Wednesday. MS. TUTWILER: Oh, The Netherlands is Wednesday. Kim corrects me. Those are the ones that come to the top of my head. Q Does the Secretary of State plan to hold a news conference any time in the near future? A Not that I've heard about it. Q Could you take a request to him that -- A Sure. Q There are a lot of questions that are going unanswered, I think, that he could answer. Q Margaret, do you have anything new to say about the Soviet position on the Gulf? A On the Gulf? Q Yes. A I would refer you to what the Soviet Foreign Minister said here in our State Department lobby to the press that was assembled Saturday night, and I think that statement speaks for itself. I mean, he was pretty clear that there is no change in the Soviet position concerning supporting the 12 United Nations resolutions. Q Margaret, on that, the Soviets, though -- Bessmertnykh, echoing a statement that Gorbachev made, seemed to suggest that we're headed toward a wider war with wider objectives involving the future of the Government of Iraq. Just for the record, can you say whether there is any possibilities that that might happen as this thing wears on? A That that might happen? Q Yes. A I would refer you to what the President stated this morning here in Washington, D.C., that he is not intending to broaden the U.N. resolutions. I'll just get his speech. I don't have it in front of me. But there's a specific paragraph, in this morning's speech that he made here in town, addressing himself to this very question under the heading, Saul, I'd say, "destruction of Iraq." Q Margaret, anything today about U.S. Ambassador William Clark's visit to Washington? A He was back for a personal visit is my understanding -- a personal leave. Q O.K. Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 12:58 p.m.) (###)