US Department of State Daily Briefing #21: Monday, 2/4/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:06 PM, Washington, DC Date: Feb 4, 19912/4/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, East Asia, E/C Europe Country: Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Egypt, Japan, Yugoslavia (former), Israel Subject: Military Affairs, Travel, Trade/Economics, State Department, Democratization (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Announcement of Press Briefing on State Department 1992 Budget]

MS. TUTWILER: I have one announcement I'd like to make for you. As you know, today the President's budget -- his 1992 budget -- was sent to the Congress. There will be an ON- THE-RECORD briefing at the State Department on the State Department's 1992 budget request immediately following this briefing. If you all want a five-minute filing break, that's up to you all, but the briefers are here and ready to go when you let me go. They will be Robert Bauerlein, head of the Policy and Resources staff in the Office of the Deputy Secretary; Charles English, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for International Security Affairs; George Hill, Director of Planning and Budget for AID; and Bruce Brown, Director of the Office of Budget and Program Formulations.

[US Policy on Bombing Oil Truck Convoys to Jordan]

On Friday, John McWethy, I believe it was, asked me our policy concerning bombing oil tankers on the road to Jordan, and I said that I, at that briefing, did not have a very substantial answer for you. I do have one for you today. Since many of you have called me over the weekend concerning this, I'd like to give you our answer now. Coalition military operations in the Kuwait/Iraq theater are not designed to enforce the embargo but to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 678. Though these oil exports do violate the sanctions, it is not coalition policy to attack civilian trucks exporting petroleum to Jordan. On the other hand, these vehicles are traveling through a war zone and specifically through an area that has been the source of Scud attacks against neighboring states. Moreover, we have credible information that war materiel, including some related to Scud missiles, has been transported in convoy with civilian oil trucks. Such materiel contributes to Iraq's occupation of Kuwait and is a legitimate military target. While we seek to minimize collateral damage in all our operations, this is made difficult by Iraq's policy of co-locating military and civilian targets. Jim? Q Since we last talked, do you have any idea if anything is cooking on the diplomatic front, particularly anything involving Iran? A No. We do not have any specific offers or plans, as has been reported. We've seen the various reports, but there is nothing that has come to us direct -- Q Have you had any contacts -- A -- or indirect through our third party. Q Have you had any contact directly or indirectly with the Iranians? A With the Iranians? Q Iranians. A Concerning this subject? Q Yes. A No. Q Are you trying to get in touch with them? A No. If you're speaking about the specific television report that I just saw concerning -- that they have offered to be a mediator, our response to that would be "what's to mediate?". There are 12 United Nations Security Council resolutions. The terms of those resolutions lay out the standards for ending this conflict. We would be pleased, obviously, if anyone could get Saddam Hussein to fully comply with these 12 U.N. resolutions. We do not, as you know, intend to walk back from these 12 U.N. resolutions, and the only mediation in our opinion that would be appropriate would be for the people who communicate with Saddam Hussein to convince him to comply with the 12 United Nations resolutions. Yes, Bill. Q Margaret -- go ahead, I'll wait. A I'm through. Q I'll wait. Q Can I follow on this one or -- A Sure, Ralph. Q Follow on this, Ralph, and I'll save what I have. Q Still on this subject, we've heard the Secretary of State respond publicly to questions about contacts with Iran and relations with Iran before but not recently. Is it still the Administration's point of view that relations cannot improve with Iran until Iran does certain things regarding terrorism and hostages, and so on? Does that apply as well to contacts with Iran on the subject of the Gulf situation? Would the United States entertain direct contacts with Iran if Iran were to ask for some if the subject were limited to dealing with the present crisis in the Gulf? A That's a total hypothetical, Ralph. The facts are not such. The facts are that they are, as you know, dealing through a third party -- you know that we are -- and I'm not going to entertain "what ifs" and hypotheticals out into the future. As concerning our policy, no, our policy has not changed. It remains unchanged. And as we have said in the past, we are prepared to meet directly with authorized representatives of the Government of Iran to discuss outstanding issues. This was enunciated, as I remember it, in the President's inaugural address on Capitol Hill. We have maintained contact with the Iranian government throughout the Gulf crisis through our protecting power, the Swiss. Q With all due respect about it being hypothetical, the Iranian President did use the phrase, at least as it was reported from Tehran, "contact with the United States." Maybe you consider that hypothetical -- I don't know -- but, I mean, it's not something that we're making up. There's a possibility at some distant point down the -- A He said that he wished to have contact with the United States? Q I didn't say that. He used the phrase "contact with the United States," and he said he would be willing to engage in such contact, if that could be useful. A I haven't seen that report. The report I saw, and I believe it was just on your network, was that the Iranians have said that they have been dealing with the Swiss, who is the third party. I'm not playing games with you. I haven't seen that part of the interview, or whatever it was that's reported on your network. I'll be happy to look at it. I did ask this question before I came down here, and they said, no, our policy hasn't changed. Q O.K. I guess my question is, all of the things you just said are perfectly consistent with the Administration's past policy. You're prepared to meet with authorized representatives to discuss outstanding issues. I guess my question is just a slight refinement of that: Do those outstanding issues include a discussion of the Gulf crisis, or must any contact with Iran also deal with the other issues the U.S. has always had on its agenda for Iran -- terrorism and hostages? A I am not aware of any change in our policy today. Q I'd like to go back to Jordan for a minute, if we're through with Iran. A Jordan? Q Yes. Was there a specific, credible threat that caused the issuance of a travel advisory last night, which went beyond the normal advisory and advised U.S. citizens to leave Jordan? A There is not a specific threat that I can point you to, Bill. It was an overall assessment of the situation there. As you know, since the beginning of hostilities in the Gulf, tensions in this area have continued to rise. In Jordan, there is widespread sympathy for Iraq and that has resulted in the continuing possibility of anti-American incidents. For this reason, a decision was made to further draw down staff and to advise Americans to leave Jordan. As you know -- and I don't have the specific dates of when our other travel advisories were for Jordan -- we have been doing this in Jordan and other countries throughout. We're not going to give today a specific number of the Embassy personnel that are left there in Amman. I will tell you that as of today, there are approximately 4,600 Americans that are in Jordan. Q I was wondering about the timing, coming as it did over a weekend. Anything that drove that timing specifically? A I think that this, as in every country, it's quite obvious that we are continuing to monitor the situations in a number of countries. There are a number of criteria and analytical work that goes in to making these recommendations and decisions, and this was in large part due to a general appraisal of the situation for Americans in Jordan. Q Margaret, going back to the specific and credible threat, the Department of Transport in England on the 22nd of January, on the 28th of January, and on the 2nd of February issues warnings to British airports and all airlines operating in Britain, including American airlines, of a specific, credible terrorist threat against Western aircraft. Why was that not reported here, and is a credible warning there not considered to be a credible warning here? A I'm totally unaware of any of those warnings that the British government has put out. I'll be more than happy to take your question and take a look at it. As you know, we have been meticulous from this Department on putting out all travel advisories, all travel warnings. In fact, many of them for a number of countries have been updated as many as three or four times. So I'm just unfamiliar with that, Jan, and I'll take a look at it. Q Can we return for just a moment to Iran. Does the United States have any objection to sitting down and having face-to-face discussions with an official from Iran on the war? A I would have to answer your question the same way I answered Ralph's. Our policy has not changed concerning direct contacts with Iran. Q Which is to say that you will sit down and talk to them. A I will read to you what President Bush said in his State of the Union -- I mean -- I'm sorry -- in his Inaugural speech to our nation: "We are prepared to meet directly with authorized representatives of the Government of Iran to discuss outstanding issues." To date, as you know, they have not picked up on the President's offer of almost -- what was it? -- two years ago. Q Well, Margaret, that seems to imply by the use of the word "outstanding issues," issues which predated the Bush Administration. You do not consider peace with Iraq to be an outstanding issue, is that correct? A I consider peace with Iraq within Iraq's capability of achieving. And, when I answered the question, the suggestion that I believe is on the table -- I forget whether the United States and Iran deal directly -- is some type of mediation. I gave you our reaction to that. Whether it is Iranian mediation or any other nation's mediation, in our view there's nothing to mediate. Q But there is another aspect to what is coming -- A I understand. Q -- out of Rafsanjani's mouth, and that is the potential for more face-to-face talks between the two countries or the prospect of somehow improving relations between Iran and the United States. Is that something that the U.S. has an interest in? A As I answered earlier, that portion of this report, I was completely unaware of before I came here. I did come here with what is our standard policy. The only portion on the wires and one network that I have seen since I arrived here this morning before 7:00 concerns an offer to mediate. That I did answer. As far as the hypothetical, it, obviously, would not be my decision should the President of the United States decide to change or expand or elaborate on American policy. That's just simply not something I can answer for you all. Q Can I pose it a little differently? The United States has an interest, obviously, in convincing, persuading Iraq to comply with the U.N. resolutions and to withdraw from Kuwait. If Iran believes it could be useful in assisting in that persuasion, does the United States have any objection to having another nation, such as Iran, specifically engage in that type of persuasion, and would the U.S. be willing to discuss with Iran the types of persuasion that it might exercise, leaving out completely the question of mediation, but using Iran as some kind of channel, perhaps, for conveying to Iraq the U.S. point of view? A The first part of your question I believe I answered earlier when I said that our policy was for anyone who communicates with Saddam Hussein who can convince him to comply with 12 U.N. resolutions -- so much the better. Q But that doesn't get at the question of whether the U.S. would want its point of view to be made known to Iran directly through face-to-face contact, so that that message gets conveyed correctly in the U.S. view, should Iran have contact with Baghdad. A I don't think that the United States' position is a secret anywhere in the world. I don't believe it is a secret in Tehran. I have restated it today, and I have said that any nation on the face of the earth that can talk Saddam Hussein into complying with 12 U.N. resolutions, so much the better. To date, no one that I'm aware of has been able to do such a thing. And, as you know, over the weekend there have been any number of gentlemen representing other countries that have been there. To date, I'm unaware of anyone that has come out and said, "Yes. We believe Saddam Hussein does now believe that he must abide fully by all 12 U.N. resolutions." Q On Jordan and the overall assessment of the situation there, you mentioned the possibility of anti-American incidents. Included in the situation, is there also an increased possibility that Jordan could become embroiled in the conflict, and was that part of the reason for urging Americans to leave? A I don't know everything that goes into the decision-making. It's Department-wide. Any number of bureaus here are represented and put in their views -- Diplomatic Security, Consular Affairs, the Bureau itself. Any number of people put in their recommendations. I would be purely speculating with you to say that it is because Jordan might or might not be drawn into the conflict. My clear understanding from the people I've met with this morning is that it was a concern overall on the general situation concerning the potential of anti-American activity. Q Margaret, in regard to possible requests from Israel for -- Q Excuse me. Can I do one more question on Jordan? You gave a figure of 4600 Americans -- A As of today. Q As of today. A Approximately. Q Your Bureau of Consular Affairs says that figure, approximately that figure, is the number of Americans in Amman, and that there would be a correspondingly higher number for a total. I think the figure that most recently was given from that podium was something like 6,000 Americans. A Well, as of last week I had 5,000. As of today, Consular Affairs gave me this number. I'll check if they have limited themselves to the city of Amman or if this is country-wide. Yes, John. Q Yes. In regard to requests, possible requests, from Israel for additional aid, either for security purposes or resettlement of Soviet Jews, have you now received anything, either officially or unofficially, in the way of estimates, either on paper or orally from -- A Not that I'm aware of. No. Q Another one on Jordan for just a second: You said, I think, in your opening statement that the motive -- that the U.S. forces that are acting in the Gulf are not doing so in order to enforce the United Nations sanctions; that that was not the motive. I think I'm paraphrasing fairly, but correct me if I'm not. A Are not designed to enforce the embargo. Q Right. Is the United States continuing to enforce the embargo when it comes to Jordan and Jordan's relationship with Iraq, or are you telling us here that the United States has stopped its enforcement actions with regard to the economic embargo against Iraq? A I think that, Ralph, as of January 16th, we've moved beyond our total concentration on the enforcement of the embargo. I, for instance, am unaware if commerce is business as usual in the country of Iraq right now, and I certainly am not aware of any countries that are breaking the embargo. I'm not exactly sure how people would even be attempting to do that, to be honest with you, right now. There's such disruption, obviously, in that country. I'm not aware that their commerce has the capacity right now with the air assault that that country is receiving to proceed on as business as usual. Q So you don't see any of those convoys in any way as being economic or trade related? A What are you asking me? If one of the trucks gets through, is it something that we're going to really lose a lot of sleep over? Q No, no. I guess I'm trying to figure out. I'm a little surprised to hear you say that you're not enforcing the economic embargo against Iraq. I don't have the text of your opening statement in front of me, but I think it made reference to oil trucks in the convoy, and wouldn't that constitute economic exchange of -- A I said, Ralph, that "coalition military operations in the Kuwait/Iraqi theater are not designed to enforce the embargo." What we are there doing, and what they are designed to do, is to implement U.N. Resolution 678. Maybe you weren't here on Friday, but the question came very legitimately to me: "Are we purposely bombing these oil trucks that are on this highway?" As I said earlier, I did not feel that I had an adequate response for you. I feel that I do today, and I've given it to you. Q Margaret, how urgent is the concern about getting Americans out of Jordan? In other words, do you expect Americans who would follow this travel advisory to simply get on commercial flights -- whatever commercial flights might be available, even though those are severely restricted by the war situation -- or would the United States under any circumstances consider evacuating people, as you did from Kuwait and Iraq? A I'm not aware of any evacuation plans, Mary. I don't know how to put an adjective on for you whether it is urgent or not. As you know, the United States does not view these types of announcements lightly. We realize they're serious announcements. And, thirdly, just as many Americans chose to stay in Iraq, we cannot order private citizens to do anything. We can merely inform them and make suggestions. So I don't know, Mary, how many Americans will even choose to leave or not to leave. Q But as far as you know, the United States is not planning any evacuation out of there? They would be taking commercial flights? A I have not heard of any evacuation plans of either embassy personnel or private American citizens out of Jordan. Yes, Saul. Q Do you have any clarification of a statement of the President's over the weekend in which he says that in this war we are going to prove that what we say goes in this new world order? A I'll be honest with you, I, like I hope many of you all, enjoyed this gorgeous weather we had here this weekend. I haven't seen the President's comments and so I would just have to -- Q I'll be glad to give you a copy. A OK. I'll have to duck it and call Marlin and see if they have any amplification of what he said. I hadn't seen it. Q Do you have any comment on the Prime Minister of Pakistan's new peace initiative which he has been talking to his government about and beginning to float to various places? A I haven't heard about that, John. Q Apparently, there is not a White House briefing today. The President has been on the phone to lots of different foreign leaders, including the Prime Minister of Pakistan. How about Baker? Has he been talking to any of his counterparts over the last several days? A Over the last several days? I can't speak to the weekend because I didn't ask him. He has spoken this morning, I believe it was, with the Foreign Minister of Canada. We were told by our bureau that the Foreign Minister of France would be calling him. As of the last time I talked to the Secretary, that call had not come in. I'm unaware of any other Foreign Ministers that he's spoken to this morning. Q Have you gotten word of any advancing forward of the joint statement or the message in the joint statement by the Soviets to the Iraqis? A As I said for two days last week, I don't know if their intention was to forward it onto the Iraqis. I don't know. I hadn't heard. Q On Jordan -- just a variation on Bill's earlier question. It's my understanding that there was discussion in this building on Friday about issuing the advisory. What took from Friday until Sunday for it to actually be done? A Again, it gets into the internal workings of this building. A number of bureaus and a number of officials get involved with every one of these travel advisories, travel warnings, drawdown of dependents, drawdown of non-essential staff, forced evacuations -- there are all types of categories. I don't know what took -- if you're correct, they started discussing it on Friday. But I am aware, in any number of cases, even apart from the Gulf situation, these decisions do go through many different discussions and conversations and through many people putting in their two cents on it. So I don't find that, to be perfectly honest with you, unusual. I answered Mary by saying, there wasn't something urgent that happened; and, Bill, by saying, I didn't have a specific, credible threat against Americans. It's just a review of the overall situation. Q Margaret, you mentioned the other day briefly that the thrust of Foreign Minister Esmat Abdel Meguid's visit, was to do with their negotiations with the IMF. You didn't characterize what the United States response is or what the Egyptian request is. Other officials have said ON BACKGROUND that the Egyptians were asking for help in negotiations with the IMF on the standby agreement which they've been hung up on for months, if not years. What's the U.S. position on that? A That's not unusual, Mary. When I worked at the Treasury Department and the Egyptian Finance Minister would come see our Finance Minister, it's always seeking our help in their negotiations with the IMF. So this was no different than any number of meetings, going back to my days at the Treasury Department. Q Do you know of any commitments we made to help them? A That's not how the meetings go, Mary. You don't make commitments. After all, the IMF is its own entity. Rather, at such meetings they may state, "Here is what we need to do; here is what we're willing to do; any help you can be to the IMF would be appreciated." It's along those lines. Q Margaret, one more on Jordan. Jordanian officials are saying that Jordan has an exemption on the embargo for the specific purpose of importing fuel from Iraq and that this fuel was going to refugee camps of which they're not receiving promised funding for, both from the U.N. and other sources. Are you disputing their contention that this is a legitimate transport of fuel into the border with this? A I'm not aware, specifically, that it is going to refugee needs. On Friday we addressed that government officials in Jordan were saying that they had a specific exemption from the United Nations Sanctions Committee and that there was a document to this effect. I said there was not a document and there was no such exemption. Q Let me try it one more way. You say it is not coalition policy to use military force to enforce the sanctions against Iraq. But it also appears that some oil trucks belonging to Jordan have been bombed on that highway. Are you saying that the coalition pilots who carry that out were disobeying their orders -- A No. Q -- or that it was accidental collateral damage, as the phrase goes, or what? A Basically what I said is that it is difficult when materiel that is in other trucks is co-mingled. In other words, mixing military materiel with civilian materiel. I said that it is not our policy to bomb civilian targets, civilian materiel, etc. But I said that we have credible information war materiel, including some related to Scud missiles, has been transported in convoy with civilian oil trucks. Such materiel contributes to Iraq's occupation of Kuwait and is a legitimate military target. Q Do we know that it was in the convoys which were hit, specifically? Or do we simply now target convoys because, on some occasions, they carry war materiel? A I don't know how to be more clear than to say that we have specific, credible evidence that war materiel is co-mingled in a convoy and that, in our view, war material going to help Scud missiles is a legitimate military target. Q Understood. But my question is, are we targeting specific shipments or, because we know that this happens, are we targeting every convoy in case there might be war materiel in it? A That would be better asked at the Pentagon because that gets me into specific targeting, which you know I don't do. Q Yes, but it has -- A I don't know the answer, Bill. I'd be happy, honestly, to call Pete (Williams) and see if they're going to answer that specific a targeting question. My instincts would be they would not. I have, -- and I think you all would admit -- been pretty forthcoming on what exactly was going on concerning, at least, one convoy. I can't tell you how often this is going on. I can't tell you that the military is targeting every convoy. Q The question is simple. Do we target convoys now on the suspicion that they may be transporting war materiel, or we do we only target them when we have information about a particular convoy? A Again, I'd have to refer you to the Pentagon, because that gets into their operations in targeting and I don't do that. Q Have you received complaints from Jordan about this shooting-up of these convoys? A About the convoys? I'm not aware of that. But to be honest with you, John, I haven't asked. I am aware of complaints concerning the travel advisory this weekend but I am not aware of complaints concerning the convoy. Q Could you take the question, please? A Sure. Q What kind of complaints in the travel advisory? A I understand that it's very difficult, and I know that you do. In any number of these countries, when we issue warnings and travel advisories, whether it is in this particular situation or other situations around the world, it is something that is not necessarily welcomed and embraced. Q Margaret, up to recently, the indications by statements both from the Jordanian Government and from the U.S. Government were that relations were improving between the two. In fact, President Bush was saying while he didn't agree with a lot of the things that Jordan had been doing in the Gulf crisis, they were a friend and he understood some of their problems. Now, the thrust of events in the last few days seems to be pointing toward some kind of a downturn. Is that so? And if it is so, why? A No. I would tell you that if you're referring to this travel advisory, no, it does not. Again, we do this in any number of countries, and have. You could just as well be asking me about any number of countries. I read recently a list that had to include at least other 20 countries, where we have pretty stern warnings and travel advisories up. This is not a reflection of our government's beliefs of the inability of the Jordanian Government to protect Americans. It certainly is not. But it is an assessment of the overall situation there concerning, as I think you would admit, some in their population who are not necessarily sympathetic to what we are doing under U.N. 678. Q But you took an initiative the other day in taxing them on using Iraqi oil when it's been an open secret -- not even a secret. It's just been a well-known fact that this has been going on for some time. A I didn't address myself to that question, to be perfectly honest, John. However, the Jordanian Government officials said two things: One, there was a specific document at the United Nations that exempted them from this, and (2) the United Nations Sanctions Committee had given them an exemption. On those two pieces of substance, yes, you're correct. I did say that's not exactly correct. Q But overall, we're still friendly? A Sure. Q Margaret, you just said a moment ago that there were some complaints about the travel advisory. Can you tell us what level those were? A I don't know, Johanne, to be honest with you. Again, I wouldn't make too much out of this. This happens all the time in any number of countries in any number of different circumstances. We will always first and foremost do, based on our assessment, what we think is best for the American official community and private community in any type of circumstances. That's what we did in this circumstance. Q But, I mean, is the King ticked off? A I have no earthly idea. I haven't heard. Q Margaret, coming back to the Jordanian trucks for just a second. You said there was credible information suggesting co-mingling of military and civilian equipment. A Right. Q You mentioned specifically Scud equipment. Since you have specific and credible information on that, is it the U.S. allegation that Jordan is in any way, shape, or form supplying Scud-related equipment to Iraq? A No, Ralph. Q So what is the allegation -- that the equipment was coming from Baghdad in the direction of Jordan? A That's always been the case and that's how all the questions have come to me. I don't know where these Scud missiles are located in this part of Iraq. If they're using this highway/freeway, whatever it is to move a certain distance up, no one has ever said they're going into Jordan. That has never been asked or never certainly been implied by myself. You get off the freeway and you start giving war materiel to build a Scud; the Scud goes into Israel -- I think it's perfectly legitimate, as we are, in many cases, to target these things. Q Margaret, can you tell us -- here you have a situation where you're saying On-the-Record that these convoys, which are not exempt and should not be happening, according to the U.N. Security Council, are actually providing cover for the transport of war materiel in Iraq. A I said "some." Q Some of them. So has the United States Government protested to the Jordanian Government that these convoys, which they feel are illegal under the U.N. sanctions, are providing cover for war materiel? A Let's be clear on this, OK? These convoys are originating in Iraq. They are on a highway going this way. If they get off and some have war-related materiel, yes, the coalition views that as a legitimate target. Q I don't think that answers my question. What I'm saying is, are you saying -- A You're assuming, which I am not, that this war materiel is going to Jordan. Why are you assuming that? Q I'm not assuming anything, Margaret. I'm asking if the U.S. Government has protested to the Jordanian Government that inadvertently, or on purpose, war materiel is going in convoys that go to Jordan and are driven by Jordanians in the oil trucks. A They're Iraqi convoys, it's my understanding, originating in Iraq, moving materiel around Iraq. Why would we protest that to Jordan? Q I understand it was Jordanian drivers who were killed -- A I don't know what nationality the drivers were. Q -- and the Jordanian government protested about five Jordanian drivers who were killed. A To my knowledge, Mary, we have not protested this to the Jordanian government. Q So on the question, we're talking about Jordanians who are carrying oil across the border in violation of one of the Security Council's resolutions. The question is whether you're protesting that. If there are no Jordanian oil truck drivers, then the Iraqis wouldn't have any cover. A We've dealt with Jordanian oil before. We have said that there has been a small percentage of seepage. That has always been the case throughout this, if you all remember back to the Port of Aqaba. We have also said, in the same breath, that Jordan has complied with the U.N. sanctions, including oil. We have always, though, said, I cannot tell you that it is an ironclad, hundred percent, not a drop of oil has gotten through. But it has been such percentages that has not been an issue with us. Q But it now becomes a particular problem, not just seepage. It now becomes a kind a seepage that's covered for war materiels from Iraq. Therefore, it seems to me there would be a greater reason to protest to Jordan about this seepage? A If we have, I have certainly never heard it raised here, and I am not aware that our government has done that. Q Jordan is saying that it isn't seepage; that it's a deliberate policy, that there's an arrangement between Jordan and Iraq on this particular issue. You deny it, but they claim that they have a specific exemption, and so on. So it's not seepage. They're claiming that it's a conscious policy and that it's something that is open and, in that sense, debatable. I still don't see that you've progressed -- A They have also said throughout this -- I couldn't give you a specific moment in time but back in October or November they were fully -- if you'll get the King's quotes and the Foreign Minister's and the Crown Prince's -- abiding by the U.N. sanctions, by the embargo. Q They claim that they're abiding by the U.N. sanctions in this case because they claim that the oil they're importing from Iraq does not violate the embargo. That's where the argument comes? A I don't know how else to answer this question. I have said that there are some convoys. I have said that we have said throughout this that Jordan has a very difficult situation. We've said Jordan and their government officials have said that they fully support the sanctions. I've told you that there is no exemption at the United Nations Sanctions Committee, and I've told you that there is no document specifically dealing with this at the U.N. So I just can't debate this anymore. Q Let me just put it this way. Maybe you can wrap it up. A That would be great. Q The U.N. Sanctions Committee is a committee of the whole, of the 15 members of the Security Council. Since the United States is a member of the Security Council, have you ascertained both from our Mission there and from the current chairman of the committee whether or not the Sanctions Committee has given such an exemption to Jordan? Have you made that request? A Yeah, on Friday. Q And they have told you, no, that Jordan doesn't have -- A On Friday, and that there is no document that exists. Q So have we told Iran -- I mean, Jordan, this? That's our point. A They have an Ambassador at the U.N. just like we do. Q I'm saying, maybe we've winked until now at the seepage. But now the seepage is being used for military purposes by Iraq. I just wonder whether we have told Jordan this and that if they want this bombing of their drivers to stop, they ought not be there? A I'll ask. Q On a diplomatic front? Q On another issue. On Japan's $9 billion, there is a controversial issue in the Japanese Diet, in the Japanese society. Yesterday, Prime Minister Kaifu and the Japanese Government said the $9 billion, we'll use for establishing the peace. Let me give you a short explanation. At the beginning of this controversy, one week ago Secretary Baker said $9 billion will be the cost to the United States. Many of the Japanese media reported that the meaning of the cost to the United States is buying -- attacking arsenals -- the airplanes or tanks. After that, this issue -- now, it's controversial. Do you have any comment, or could you explain the meaning of the cost of the United States -- the $9 billion? A I'm not sure that I've exactly heard your question correctly. I will try to respond. As you know, we've said many times here -- the President has said it, the Secretary of State has -- that we appreciate the Japanese Government's pledge to provide an additional $9 billion. The Government of Japan has said that it would like its contribution to be used for logistical support of our forces in the Gulf. We anticipate that our needs for logistical support will exceed the additional funds made available by Japan. Therefore, we do not expect that the issue of restrictions will be a practical problem. Q In other words, you'll spend it all on logistics? A Correct. Q Another different diplomatic front, Margaret. Has the Secretary of State -- has the United States had any discussions with the Government of Saudi Arabia, either recently since the war started, or perhaps even before that time, on the question of timing of the military campaign to avoid the religious Ramadan season? A If he has, I'm unaware of any such conversation. Q On Secretary Baker's conversation with the French Foreign Minister, the French had a high-level envoy in Iran over the past couple of days. Is it expected that his mission will be the subject of discussion? A I don't know, Mark. As I said, the bureau this morning had said that they had information that the Foreign Minister was going to be calling the Secretary. The gentleman who was in Tehran, it's my understanding, just arrived back in Paris late last night. I don't know, Number One, if our information is correct, if Foreign Minister Dumas is, indeed, planning to call Secretary Baker today, and I don't have a heads-up of what that would be about. Q Margaret, the independence movements in Yugoslovia, in different parts of Yugoslovia -- your policy statement of October is still unchanged where you have declared that the U.S. firmly supports unity? A Yes. Our policy has not changed. I've given a more recent statement, probably in the last ten days. You should check in the Press Office. Q Thanks, Margaret. A Thanks, Jim. (Press briefing concluded at 12:46 p.m.) (###)