US Department of State Daily Briefing #23: Monday, 2/11/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:00 Noon, Washington, DC Date: Feb 11, 19912/11/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, E/C Europe Country: Iraq, Kuwait, Israel, USSR (former), Iran, Syria, Lithuania Subject: Arms Control, Military Affairs, United Nations, Democratization, Terrorism, Travel (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I thought I'd do two things. Since a number of you asked me questions concerning Under Secretary Bartholomew's working session in Geneva, I thought I'd give you an update on that, and then give you an update on terrorism. And, Jim [Anderson, UPI], the Department has been able to do some analytical work for you on specific questions you had asked that I would like to give to you.

[START/CFE Talks: Status Report]

Under Secretary Reggie Bartholomew originally was scheduled to return to D.C. on Sunday night. He did so. His meetings in Geneva were scheduled for four days. They lasted those four days, which were February 7 through 10. They met basically two times a day in very, very lengthy sessions, as he described them to me. The talks overall were useful, but some important issues still need to be closed out, and work will go forward in Geneva. Ambassador Burt will remain in Geneva, and he will continue these discussions. The Under Secretary has fully briefed the Secretary on his discussions there. Predominantly, as you all know, he went there to discuss START. That is indeed what they did. Yes, they touched a little bit on CFE, but predominantly it was on START. As the Secretary said in testimonies, the issues that are remaining, that are outstanding, are in the verification area. They are data denial, downloading and new types. My understanding is that "new types" refers to missiles. Q May we ask some questions on that now? A If you want. There's not a lot more I can say. Q What's going to happen with the CFE deadline of February 17, by which time both sides or all sides were supposed to have reconciled their data discrepancies, or whatever? A I guess you're asking me, "what if we don't make the deadline," and I can't assume that, since today is February 11. I have to assume that we are still working towards that deadline. I would definitely, obviously, have to respond should that deadline not be made or we don't get there. But to be honest with you, I'm assuming that we are still operating under the premise that we're trying to make that deadline. I don't have an answer for you of "what if." Q Can you say anything about your assessment about the willingness of Gorbachev to take some of the hard decisions on arms control following these meetings in Geneva? Did you -- A I asked that question for you this morning, because I knew you'd ask me, and the only characterizations I have for you are that these talks were in depth, were very, very lengthy and were useful. The Department wants to refrain from characterizing "made progress," "didn't make progress," and for today wants to leave it there. I tried. Q You said one of the problems is new missiles. Are those the new modifications, new mods, of the SS-18 that they're talking about? A I don't know that level of specificity, Jim. I'll be happy to ask for you. This morning when I talked to Reggie [Bartholomew], I asked, "What is "new types?" He said basically it's missiles, and I just, to be honest with you, didn't get into a further level of conversation with him. I'll be happy to ask. As you know, the Secretary has said any number of times in the last two weeks that these are very, very technical issues; very, very specific. So I'll be happy to see if I can get for you that level of detail. Q There were some issues which the U.S. felt the Soviets had come back in January to the talks last -- a couple of weeks ago -- with positions that weren't as forthcoming as those that the Soviets had had last fall when the Secretary had the talks with Shevardnadze in Houston. Do you know -- can you say at this point whether any of those issues were returned to their previous state or whether they stay where they were a couple of weeks ago? A This gets into exactly what I tried to get for you all this morning, which they would prefer at this time not to do. As you know, we said when the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union was just recently here, that the two Ministers had succeeded in getting back to Houston and a little bit beyond the Houston agreements. So I would leave it that that is what they were working on in Geneva, since that's where they were not, you know, ten days ago. Q Margaret, you said there were brief meetings on CFE, but -- A He said they briefly touched on it. Q Right. But they predominantly talked about START. But when next will they talk about CFE? Have they set any place or time where they're going to try to resolve the interpretation difference? A Not that Reggie mentioned to me this morning, to be honest. I'll ask him if he's having a specific CFE meeting. I know it's a subject that he is working very hard on. At present he does not have plans to return to Geneva, but, if required to do so, he's more than prepared to fly back over there. Q Margaret, in the past most of the breakthroughs on these talks have been made at the Ministerial level. The negotiations have plowed on for months, if not years, and then in very intense Ministerial sessions, the major breakthroughs have been achieved. Are there any plans for a Ministerial meeting? A No. Q Would you disagree with my characterization that preceded the direct question? A I do not disagree with your characterization, and I would remind you that the senior deputies that were sent to Geneva were sent at the direction of the Ministers with explicit instructions from the Ministers. But I do not disagree with your characterization, but there are no such plans for any such get-together or meeting right now. Q I think both sides have set a target for the end of February to -- A I said they had hoped. Q Do they still -- A Hope? Q -- feel the same way they did about it? A They still hope. That's right. Q So there is still hope then as well -- A Hope is alive. Q -- that the summit meeting which was postponed but only into the first half of this year could still be used as an occasion to sign the START treaty? A Sure. I think that's always been a possibility. And again, our Foreign Minister, Secretary Baker, had said -- I believe it was out on the White House driveway -- that they hoped that they could complete this work in February, and that was what they were going to try to do, but he made no guarantee. Q When is the next session to deal with the Soviets on the question of the CFE treaty? A I said I don't know. Susan asked me. I just don't know. I'll have to ask for you. Q But the deadline remains, correct? A That is correct, as we're sitting here on February 11. To Carol's question, I said I have to go on the premise that we are still working towards that deadline. Q Margaret, are other issues getting in the way of the START treaty -- other things that the Soviets are doing, causing the Administration to sort of back off from solving these issues? A I'm not aware that the Administration is backing off from solving these remaining outstanding technical issues. I've never heard that expressed. Q You never heard that it takes two sides to make a deal? That if the U.S. gave a little and the Soviets gave a little, you'd have an agreement? A I've heard that, Barry, but that wasn't the first question you asked me. Q Well, then I'll ask it again. A You asked me if the United States is backing off. Q Is the United States allowing other issues -- concern over the Baltics, for instance, concern over Gorbachev, concern over what the Secretary called "return to decentralization" -- you see, for the longest time he was part of that tradition that you kind of tried to move ahead on arms control, even if you have problems in other areas. And now I'm asking if he's been converted to the view that if the Soviets aren't forthcoming in other areas, let's slow down on START too. A So your question this time is do we have evidence of the Soviet Union's slowing down on trying to get START. Q No. I'm not talking about Soviet motives. I would ask the Soviets that. I'm asking if the United States, the Bush Administration -- A Is slowing down? Q --is allowing its concern or its interest in other issues, other Soviet areas, to affect what the United States is doing at the table in START? A I think I just answered that for you and said not that I'm aware of, or have I ever heard anyone express those sentiments. In fact, the Secretary of State just last week, I believe, expressed the absolutely opposite sentiments, and I'd just refer you to the record of what he has said concerning this. Q I'm also confused, because when he testified, he said the problems in CFE are affecting progress in START. And Reggie goes there for four days, and you focus on START and only touch on CFE. So if the problems on CFE have affected START, why wouldn't you spend a lot of time on CFE and try to get that settled, so it wouldn't affect START any more? A I didn't ask Reggie Bartholomew how they decided to divide their time. Their clear mission, as you know -- as was announced here by both Foreign Ministers -- was for them to go to Geneva to work primarily on START. That is exactly what they did, as instructed to do. Q And CFE didn't get in the way? A CFE -- I said that they had briefly spent some time on CFE, but the vast majority of their time was spent on START issues. Q Do you have anything -- A I have another statement on the terrorism thing, unless you're still on this. Q Well, related to it. President Gorbachev's statement the other day raising questions about the war strategy of President Bush, and perhaps he's going beyond the mandate of the U.N. Security Council. Do we have any reaction to that? A I don't have anything further for you than what the Secretary of State said yesterday in response to this question when he was asked on a network news show. Q Can we do the Soviet Union and then do the Gulf? There's other things in the Soviet Union. A Can I do terrorism for you, please, and then we can go to the other stuff.

[Terrorism: Update]

The number of terrorist incidents against the United States and other coalition interests now stands at roughly 100. As you know, on Friday -- you remember the number we gave you was 95. Jim Anderson had asked, if we have any way of doing any analytical work on whether this constituted a great amount of terrorist incidents or not. The Department now is prepared to say that the rate of terrorism incidents is significantly higher than for a comparable period last year. And I'm not going to be able to break down for you percentages, but you've been after me for a number of days to give you some type of comparison. We would characterize it as significantly higher. As you know, the vast majority of these incidents have been property damage, and, as you know, the vast majority of these incidents have been local terrorist groups, and we have only -- and it remains the same today -- been able to point to one that we say is clearly connected with the Iraqis, and that is the Manila incident of January 19. Jim Anderson, I believe, also asked on Friday, how many people in these incidents overall had been killed. We gave this information to you on Friday, but in case you missed it: Since the outbreak of hostilities with Iraq, the Department of State's preliminary statistics show that five people have been killed in terrorist incidents and approximately 50 more have been wounded. Q Margaret, I would assume that since last year precautions against terrorism are significantly higher, because the United States -- A Right. Q -- is taking ever increasing -- so is there any theory floating around this building why terrorism is so much on the rise even though you're checking passes, so to speak, every place? A Not a theory that I have to put forward to you. We have, as you said, been extraordinarily vigilant in making sure that our public is aware of specifically Saddam Hussein's threat for a call to worldwide terrorism. Because you all have asked, we have tried to keep up for you with terrorist incidents, but most of them have been property damage. But, no, I do not have an analysis for you of why Dev Sol in Turkey and November 14 in Greece and the group in Peru are escalating their type of terrorist activities and property damages. Q You keep thinking of the Iraqis, but, you know, there have been theories -- Claire Sterling, for instance -- that there's some sort of a network of terrorism. That the IRA, for instance, and the PLO are not exactly unfriendly to each other. Is there any feeling here that this is part of some network, or I guess there is no theory at the moment? A There is nothing, Barry, right now that would link all of these groups as communicating with each other and having a master plan that's directed by some group or some individual, and that they are all in concert acting as one. No. We do not have that for you. Q On a related question, a number of European countries -- Italy and Britain spring to mind, but I'm sure others have expressed similar concerns -- have in recent weeks suggested that the U.S. public is somehow overly concerned with terrorism to the extent of damaging European-American business relationships, specifically travel. A number of airlines have drastically cut their fares in order to lure travelers again to Europe, and so on. There's even been an editorial in a British paper that suggested the U.S. was applying indirect sanctions against its closest allies by trumpeting the terrorism problem to the extent that Americans cut back their travel. My question is, has the U.S. Government consulted with its friends and allies in Europe, and perhaps elsewhere, to discuss ways of alleviating the economic impact of the public concern about terrorism? A It's also, Ralph, an economic impact to American companies. As you know, we have stated that Ambassador Busby, who is head of counter-terrorism here at the State Department, has been working in close consultation not only with our European allies but those around the world. And I would tell you based on his briefing me of those meetings and actions that other governments are taking, there is no question that any number of governments -- our close friends and allies, etc. -- are taking very similar measures that the United States is. After all, you have to take these public threats of worldwide terrorism for your public very, very seriously. And we do, and we make no apologies about taking these threats seriously. Q Margaret, on the economic front, Busby doesn't deal with that, does he, or does he? A I think I answered that when you said that European companies and tourists and that type of thing were suffering. I would point out to you that there is probably an impact also on American companies. I haven't done a study or analysis of this, but I have seen that travel is down by Americans. They travel on American carriers also. Q The answer from the State Department is there are no consultations with the Europeans and other friends and allies regarding the economic impact of this terrorist -- A The only person that I know whose office might be doing such a thing -- but it's never occurred to me to ask -- is Gene McAllister. The reason it hasn't occurred is because I'm not aware of any country that has not gone to extraordinary lengths to keep their public informed, keep their public aware, protect their airports, protect their train stations. I mean, everybody has been acting, it is my clear understanding from the counter-terrorism people, very, very closely and cooperating to extraordinary lengths. Q Margaret, do the experts you spoke with believe that Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi government are holding back on carrying out their previous threats of large-scale terrorism around the world, and what are they waiting for? A Mark, I don't have a way of answering that question for you, other than to say we consistently view these threats as serious threats. We're taking them seriously. We're doing whatever we can to disrupt or confuse any type of terrorist activity that is going on, and beyond that I'm just not going to be able to get into it. Q Margaret, on Friday when the figure was 95 -- A Where are you? Yes. Q You used the phrase that this number was a slight increase over normal, and today you cited it as significantly higher. The difference in that language, is that simply that you're analyzing it differently or what? A We have asked, Jim. I believe you were the person who kept asking me on Friday. We have asked people to go back and do comparisons, to look at comparable levels of these types of incidents in the same time frame. Having now completed that work, we now are in a position to use "significantly higher," with a comparable amount of time from last year. I do not know if they went back 12 years or 15 years, etc. And so just as like in anything else, you do updates -- this is our update -- and the work that was done over the weekend on this. Q Margaret, are there any plans for Secretary Baker to see Mr. Arens, Defense Minister of Israel? A Yes. And we're still working on a specific time. It will be some time probably today after he has seen the President and has seen Defense Secretary Cheney. Q You literally mean that after he sees Cheney, because Cheney's 4:30. So it will be late today? A It will be very late today is my understanding. They're still working on schedules. I don't have a specific literal time for you, but it will definitely be after the Bush visit and the Cheney visit. Q Margaret, was the United States advised in advance of the Primakov mission to Baghdad? A Yes. Q And was the United States informed what Primakov will be saying to the Iraqis, and is he carrying any message from the United States? A Is he carrying a message from the United States? Not to my knowledge. Yes, we were informed of his visit -- the Secretary of State was -- in the same phone conversation where he was informed of the Gorbachev statement that he would be making. And as far as what he is going with, I would just have to refer you to the Soviet officials here -- Soviet Embassy. There are wires this morning that are saying the Soviets have said that the Primakov visit has no special initiative to present to Saddam Hussein. That had named Soviet officials that I read on the wires this morning. As far as a readout, which I know you'll ask me after he leaves: On the previous two visits he made, I believe they were in October, the United States had full readouts of those meetings. I have no reason to believe that we will not after this one. Q What's the level of U.S. hope, if there is any, that Primakov might be able to convince Saddam Hussein to get his troops out of Kuwait? A I think the Secretary answered that yesterday by saying "more power to him" if he can get Saddam Hussein to abide by 12 United Nations resolutions. Yes, John. Q I was just going to ask you, what is the reaction? Do you welcome the visit? Do you dislike it? Are you neutral about it? A We have welcomed any initiative and all initiatives that people are taking. So far as you know, none have succeeded in getting Saddam Hussein to move one square inch toward implementation of 12 United Nations resolutions. There have been any number of foreign ministers, heads of state, that have been on missions. So far none of them have produced the results that the United Nations wants and that the world wants of a complete and unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait. Q Margaret, if you -- A Wait. Carol. Q It's not just the Soviets that are conducting a peace mission now. The Chinese, I think, are going in, and there have been a couple of other overtures as well. I mean, are you at all worried that this confuses the debate; that it shows that the international political will to this war, which has only been in prosecution for three weeks, is really eroding? A I would say that you would have reason to worry if these various officials from various governments were going in saying there must be an unconditional cease-fire. That's not what people are saying. That is not what the Soviet Union has said is the Primakov mission. I read that there was a Chinese official that was going. The Algerians last week. The French. Any number of people that have been in this area and traveling, I personally on the substance have not seen a specific plan. There is no plan that has been put forth, for instance, to the United Nations, and there has been nothing new on the substance, and in fact most all of these individuals have said that they fully support the United Nations resolutions. Q Margaret, you're coming awful close to the theory that people are reading into pre-notification. You made a point of not only did they tell us that Gorbachev was going to make this statement, the Soviets told you about Primakov in advance. You're coming close to the theory that this is a lot of domestic -- that these missions are for domestic consumption; that the Soviets and everybody else is solidly on board with the United States but they're going through some ritual because there are people in their country who would like to see some further effort made to negotiate. Why do you think they tell you in advance of these missions? Is it to assure you that there's no departure from U.S. policy? Elaborate on that a little bit? A There are many things, Barry, that we tell many governments, including the Soviet Union, in advance. I don't find that unusual. Q You don't find it unusual that they would tell you in advance that Primakov is going there? A Not at all. Q It's not to allay any concerns that they're jumping off the train? A You'd have to ask them. Q Well, there's another possible reason why you're being notified in advance, and I wonder if Secretary Baker was asked by the Soviets to make arrangements so that Mr. Primakov would be safe on the way in? A If he was, he has not mentioned that to me. I'll be happy to check for you. Q Margaret, on the question of initiatives by various -- A Wait one second. Mark, Saturday, wasn't it? I think it's Saturday. It was a message that the Foreign Minister passed through his Embassy here to the Secretary of State. Q On the question of initiatives by various states, have you gotten any readouts from any Western diplomats or your own Embassy in Amman about what exactly was Iraq's response to Iran's overture? We've all seen the reports and heard the Iranians say that it was not what they had hoped for. A Our readout is basically the same as what you've seen in public of what they've all been saying. There's not a lot of difference. Mark? I'm positive it was Saturday. Q That they were -- in other words, your readout is that the Iraqis rejected the overture? A Our private understanding is the same as you've seen them say publicly. Q What about Hammadi's statement? Do you have anything on that? The Deputy goes to Amman and speaks contrarily to what they've been saying, that they're ready for a ceasefire, they're ready to negotiate. Is there any substance to that? Are they ready for a ceasefire? A We didn't see anything, to be quite honest with you, that was new and different in his statement, if you take the statement in its entirety. Q Margaret, could you give us any idea what the State Department believes Iran is up to by beginning this so-called peace initiative which many people don't think is a peace initiative at all? What is there hidden in that agenda? A I don't know. I'm not sure that I'm the best person to analyze that for you. I don't have any way of answering that question. Q I thought maybe the State Department may have done sort of an analysis and they might have told you what it was? A Not that I know of, John. Q The Iranians may have told you. You said last week that the contacts with Iran continued after February 4, which was the day, I believe, that President Rafsanjani made his statement. In those contacts, has the United States discussed with the Government of Iran what he meant in his statement regarding either mediation with Iraq or contacts with the U.S.? Did the U.S. discuss anything other than the aircraft issue? A Number 1 -- and this also gets back to John Dancy's question -- my understanding is that President Rafsanjani has not made public at all what his proposal was to Saddam Hussein. It is my understanding that any Iraqi official who is aware of what this proposal is, has also not said anything about it or made it public. So I'm not sure we're in the best position to analyze something that both sides are saying absolutely nothing about. Your other question, as you know, is related to a long-standing policy that existed before we got here. We do not discuss the specific substance of our messages with our third party to the Iranians. So, no, I cannot get into responding to questions like, "Did they bring up, literally, the following things?" We have told you that our assurances in private are the same as what everyone has gotten concerning the planes and the pilots, and it is no different than what they have said publicly. Q Is it fair for us to draw the conclusion that since you are unable to analyze Iran's alleged peace effort -- A I'm not sure we've seen the specifics. Q Well, that's what I was getting -- my question is, can we assume that since you're unable to analyze it, you have not heard about the specifics of it through the indirect channel that the U.S. has with Iran? A If we have received or heard about the specifics contained in this, I personally have not seen it and am not aware that we have. Q Margaret, speaking of channels closing down, do you have anything past the weekend guidances to closing up shop with Iraq? A No. Are you familiar with all of what went on this weekend? Q Yes. We saw what -- A I cannot advance it any further for you. There are no answers to all those details and arrangements yet. Q Margaret, in his testimony on the Hill, the Secretary said, when people were asking him about taking Saddam Hussein out of power, that the coalition does not want to expand the war goals beyond what is already mandated in the Security Council resolutions. However, a coalition member -- Syria -- has now called on the people of Iraq to assassinate Saddam Hussein. Was that done with prior notification to the other coalition members? And is there any response from the United States about the idea of inciting the Iraqi people to assassinate Saddam Hussein? A Number 1, Mary, I haven't seen that statement. Who made the statement -- an unnamed official or was it made in some official government document? Q This was al-Thawrah, the official Syrian newspaper. A I haven't seen it, so I won't comment on that. But I will tell you that our policy is the same as the international community's. My understanding is we do not want to expand or enlarge the 12 United Nations resolutions. And, as you know, they do not call for the removal or elimination of Saddam Hussein. Q Well, they don't call for a lot of other things the U.S. is doing but they're all rationalized by the Administration as affecting the implementation of the resolutions. In other words, when you bomb bridges and other facilities, they're explained as part of the fulfillment of the resolution to force them to pull out of Kuwait. Secretary Baker has come awful close to saying the removal of Saddam Hussein wouldn't cause a lot of unhappiness. Wouldn't the removal of Saddam Hussein help implement the U.N. Security Council resolutions, just like bombing a bridge or hitting a milk factory? A He has said that, as has the President, he doesn't know of anybody who would weep any tears. That is quite different from saying that that is a goal and an objective of the United States or of the coalition. Q I'm just picking up on the enlarging the war, which is the answer to any -- A Which we are not interested in doing. That clearly, Barry, would set a new goal, a new objective, and a new mission. That is not what the United States and the U.N., in these resolutions, has called for. Q Margaret, how would you -- Q There's a lull in the storm before the ground war begins, and the State Department is in the business of diplomacy. Do you see this as a good time, perhaps, to revisit the idea of having some kind of diplomatic contact with Iraq to go back and try one more time before the ground war begins and with it, the large number of casualties which we assume will occur? A No. Q There's no attempt at all, or any thought, suggestion, in the building to -- A No. As you know, our firmly held view is he had a 45-day pause for peace; there were 45 days from November 29 to January 16. And, no, we are not, as you know our policy, interested in some type of unconditional ceasefire or pause for peace. We're not. Q Margaret, how would the U.S. Government assess Saddam Hussein's threats using terrorism as a form of warfare? If it is a form of psychological warfare, which seems to be agreed, it seems to be working because people are running scared. They're not getting on planes. They're not doing the things that they normally do. He has effectively disrupted people's normal lifestyles. So would you say that he had been effective in carrying out his threats? A I would say that the world has been very responsible, Jan, in taking threats from Saddam Hussein very seriously. Another threat: He said that he was going to dump all this oil into the Gulf. He did it, didn't he? You have an ecological disaster there in the Gulf. So it would be extremely irresponsible for our government and other governments to not take these threats seriously. How do you know what in the world is going to happen in the future? I would hate to think of the type of questions that we all would be answering in this government and other governments had we not done everything in our power to take these threats extremely seriously. Q And therefore he's been successful in what (inaudible) to do? A You can call him successful. I'm not going to do that. I am going to say that we have taken these threats of terrorism against innocent people in your country, in my country, in any number of countries very seriously and have acted upon it accordingly. Q Margaret, do you have any comment on King Hussein's remarks yesterday? He says he's misunderstood. He says that the speech that the U.S. was so unhappy about was not designed to take one side. He says that he's trying to find a way towards peace and that he's not an ally of Iraq -- a friend but not an ally. He also said regarding the idea that aid to Jordan was being reviewed here -- I forget the quote now, but it was -- A I don't know it because I didn't see the interview. Q That "We are not that cheap." Any reaction to his comments? A The only reaction I would have for you, David, is that we were pleased to see that he once again said that he fully supports the 12 United Nations resolutions and that it was basically -- it's my understanding and I did not see the interview -- not his intention not to have mentioned the invasion of Kuwait. But I have not this morning studied his interview on an American television network, so I don't have a full readout for you of our reaction to everything he said. Q Also, on yesterday's television, Marshal Akhromeyev said that Primakov -- that the Presidential emissary was carrying a proposal for a ceasefire. Is that your understanding? A I don't have that information. Q Margaret, do you have anything on -- totally different area -- on Yugoslovia and developments there over the weekend? A No, I don't. Q Could you see -- A As you know, we've been very concerned. We expressed that concern, I believe it was about 7 days ago from this podium, Jan. We are continuing to watch that situation and monitor it closely. Q Margaret, any comment on the referendum on Lithuania? A Yes. I don't know if you all have these percentages of votes. I'll be happy to share them with you.

[Lithuania: Independence Plebiscite]

As you know, residents of Lithuania voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence. 84.4 percent of the 2.65 million eligible voters went to the polls; 90.4 percent of them answered yes to the question: "Do you agree that the Lithuanian state should be an independent democratic republic?" 6.5 percent voted no, and the remaining ballots were declared invalid. Thus, 76.38 percent of all eligible voters voted for the proposition. All indications are that the voting took place without fraud or interference. The United States had two observers from our consulate office in Leningrad who were present in Vilnius during the vote. Some 30 foreign observers also monitored the voting in Lithuania. The Latvian government reportedly is considering staging a similar referendum in early March. Estonia has already scheduled, as you know, their referendum for March 3. Our position on this is that referenda carried out in a democratic manner are one of the internationally accepted means for the expression of the popular will. The people of Lithuania, thus, will have the right to use such a device to express their will. We hope that the results of such a poll will play a role in the upcoming negotiations between Moscow and Vilnius that the Soviet authorities have announced, even though Soviet President Gorbachev issued a decree February 5 stating that the Lithuanian poll has no juridical standing. Q Margaret, what about the fact that the vote took place without little hindrance on the part of the Soviet authorities? What do you read into that? A Without what? Q Without hindrance on the part of the Soviet authorities? A We are pleased that this vote and this amount of participation was able to go forward and to take place. I would also tell you, as we do fairly frequently for you all, that the situation in the Baltics overall remained calm over the weekend. Q Margaret, yesterday, Secretary Baker in his appearance gave a hint that there is some movement toward dialogue between Moscow and the Baltic states. Do you have any details, or can you flesh that out a little bit? A I don't think that he was giving you a hint. I think he was stating what was said, basically, in the President's State of Union on -- what was it? -- Tuesday, January 29. So I don't think there was any new message he was saying yesterday. He was just restating what he believed were the representations made to us concerning it. Q Do you have anything on Angola today? A Angola? Q Yes. A No. What's going on? What are you asking about? Q The talks broke down in -- A The talks did break down. I know the talks broke down on Friday and I don't know, to be honest with you, George, where they are today, on Monday. I'll be happy to ask for you. Q Back to Iraq, if I may? A Excuse me? Q Back to Iraq, if I may? You stated very clearly so many times that the elimination of Saddam Hussein from power is not a goal; it's not an objective. The question is not if it is a goal. If it is a means to the goals you are looking for; and, on the other side, if the staying of Saddam Hussein in power is taken into consideration for the aftermath of the war? A The Secretary has addressed himself to that question any number of times. Most recently in testimony last week. It is not United States policy to expand or enlarge the U.N. mandate and what is set out in those 12 United Nations resolutions. If you were at his testimony -- I don't know if you were or not -- he said, as he has said any number of times, how the war ends and whether Saddam Hussein is or is not in power is something that will obviously determine our actions at that point in time. Q Margaret, do you have anything on the attack on the opposition newspaper in El Salvador on Saturday? A Nothing more than we condemn this attack. Q Margaret, on the $9 billion -- the Japanese $9 billion. You gave a new statement last Friday -- late Friday -- about Jim's question, the meaning of the logistics. A We just fleshed out -- Jim asked me on Friday, "What are the logistics?" I said what my instincts are; it's the type of things like food, transportation, medical supplies. I said, let me check, and we posted it. That's exactly what it is. Q So I want to ask about the meaning of the transportation. The transportation is including transporting the bullets and tanks and such armament? A I did not get a thorough fleshing-out of what we mean by "transportation." I'll be happy to once again ask the experts to give you an explanation of what type of transportation we are talking about under logistics. Q Do you have anything on the Philippines bases negotiation? A No. My understanding is that Mr. Armitage did a full press conference -- that was either last night or this morning -- and I'd just refer you to his characterization of those talks. Q Margaret, can you give us an update on the $41.5 billion pledged by the various other countries -- Japan, Germany, etc. -- whether any of that has arrived and how much? A No. What do you mean? Q It's been pledged. Has any of that money been transferred to the United States yet? A I believe -- didn't Mr. Darman do a full testimony and briefing on this up on the Hill? Sorry. He is the person, as Secretary Baker said in testimony, that has all of these facts and figures. I would also say, as the Secretary did in testimony, that the amounts pledged for 1991 were pledged for the first three months of 1991. Today is only February 11. But I think if you check with OMB, they've got all that for you. Q He is the collector? A Correct. He keeps that. Yes, Ralph. Q Can I come back to Gorbachev for a moment, please, his statement over the weekend? A Yes. Q Just so I understand what happened over the weekend, I think over the course of this briefing you've said that it was a message sent to the U.S. which notified the U.S. both of his speech and of the Primakov visit. Is that correct? It was not a dialogue; it was a message, information coming -- A It's a message from the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union. Q So my question is, does the U.S. -- how does the U.S. respond to -- when it finds out that Gorbachev is going to make a statement such as that, does the U.S. say, "Great, we think you're right on board, no problem?" Does the U.S. offer a differing interpretation of what the alliance is doing in the Gulf? Is there a dialogue with the Soviets going on on this issue? A The way it works -- and I know you're more familiar with it than I am because you've been covering this for much longer than I have -- you simply, in many diplomatic exchanges, pass a message. There is no conversation. Secretary Baker was dealing with some Embassy employee who is passing a message on behalf of his government from the Foreign Minister to the Secretary. Q Did you get a response? A I feel certain, Ralph, that should the Secretary of State feel it was needed or necessary, he would have then placed a call to the Foreign Minister or passed a message back from one of his employees here through our Foreign Ministry to their Foreign Minister. He didn't feel such a need. He did pass on, during the day, to the President the message that he had received from his counterpart. Q By the way, (inaudible) Bessmertnykh's last State of Union, they said goodby? A Speak to him? I'm not aware that he has spoken to him since he left the States. Q The Secretary and Mr. Bessmertnykh apparently had discussed a similar issue at the time the Foreign Minister was here. The Foreign Minister made a number of statements which sounded a lot like the one the Soviet President made on Saturday. The U.S. did not seem to feel as though that was a problem after Bessmertnykh left. A We don't, after Gorbachev. Q You don't feel it's a problem now either? A Baker answered that yesterday and said that he didn't see any change in the Soviet policy. He specifically pointed out sentences in the entire text of the Gorbachev statement that clearly say they support unconditional withdrawal, 12 United Nations resolutions. So he didn't see it as a change. Q But there's a different issue here. The Soviet President, if he agrees with the United States on issues A, B, and C, it appears, at least in his public statements, to disagree with perhaps the U.S. and perhaps the alliance on issues D and E, let's say, without regard for what those issues are. The point is, the Secretary makes it clear that they're still on board on A, B, and C, and it's good to know his opinion on that. A Which is the crux of the matter and the substance. Q But what does he think about the other ones? A Which one? Which one is different from a United Nations resolution? Which one says they're not supporting the coalition? Which one says that they have left the coalition? Which one points those things out? So on the substance -- Q None of the things you just said were my question, though. A That's what he would be concerned about. Q He would not be concerned about Gorbachev's warning that the military conduct of the operation in the Gulf might be threatening to or going beyond the mandate of the United Nations? A My understanding is that President Gorbachev did not say that it had or that it would, and that the Secretary of State pointed that out yesterday on a network TV show. He said as clearly as I can possibly say, he did not view this as a change in Soviet policy concerning the Gulf. Q What does the Secretary think the Soviets are trying to accomplish by making those kinds of statements, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with the U.S.? A He answered that yesterday. His direct quote was, "Their position has not been popular with many segments of Soviet society. Some in the Moslem republics, some of the military are very much opposed to the position they are taking, but they are sticking with that position." I'd just refer you to his record of yesterday. Q Thank you. A Thank you, Barry. That's it. (Press briefing concluded at 12:42 p.m.) (###)