US Department of State Daily Briefing #25: Wednesday,2/13/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:18, Washington, DC Date: Feb 13, 19912/13/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, E/C Europe, Central America, East Asia Country: USSR (former), Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, Poland, Japan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania Subject: Military Affairs, NATO, United Nations, Arms Control (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I don't have anything, Jim. Q What are you hearing about the Primakov mission to Baghdad? A We don't have a readout yet. My understanding is that he has left Iraq. As I've told you previously, for the two previous visits he made in October of last year, we had full readouts after those meetings. And we have no reason to believe that we would not after this one. Q And from the public statements which have emerged, do you see anything encouraging or anything different coming out of this? A Not really. Q But they say there's reason for hope here. A I saw one wire copy this morning out of Moscow. I can't remember who they were attributing that to. They saw some reason for hope, and our reaction to that would be, just based on that, that we, too, hope that Saddam Hussein will choose to abide by 12 United Nations sanctions. As you know, we have welcomed any and all envoys and individuals who have made an attempt to try to get through to him about what he must do in order to abide by these resolutions. Q It's the Soviets who are saying they have reason for hope -- A I saw that, but I can't remember the exact Soviet official. Q Ignatenko. Q It was Ignatenko, the Presidential spokesman, who said that, so -- A The same reaction. We hope so, too. And, as Secretary Baker said on Sunday, "More power to them, if they can get through to Saddam Hussein, and he abides by the 12 United Nations resolutions." Q Do you see anything of particular value in Mr. Gorbachev's invitation to Tariq Aziz to come to Moscow to discuss matters further? A Of value? Q Yes. A I think that it would be irresponsible to prejudge it, Ralph. If it results in Saddam Hussein abiding by 12 United Nations resolutions, we would certainly welcome that. Q Is the United States prepared to refresh or renew the guarantees which the U.S. gave to Iraq publicly prior to the beginning of hostilities about Iraq's, you know, pledges not to attack any further, and so on, once a withdrawal takes place -- essentially guarantee Iraq's borders, Iraq's future existence, and so on? Is the U.S. prepared to do any of that? A That hasn't changed. Q I'm sorry? A That has not changed. I don't know why you'd need to restate it. It's out there. Secretary Baker spent six and a half hours with their Foreign Minister in Geneva -- went through every bit of it. I mean, you couldn't have a more direct channel. There is nothing that I know of that would lead them to believe that the United States has changed its mind on any one of those points. Q Would the United Nations play a useful role in that regard in the U.S. view? A Would the United Nations play a useful role? What do you mean? Q A useful role in refreshing or renewing those guarantees which you say are still out there? A I would just again have to say, "Why would the Foreign Minister need to be refreshed?" I don't quite understand. He had it direct from the United States Secretary of State. There has been nothing that I am aware of by any official -- background, off-the-record, any other way -- to lead anyone to believe that has changed. So why in the world would you need to? Q Only the fact that there's a war on. I mean, the situation has changed, and maybe the Iraqis feel that because the situation has changed on the ground, they might need refreshment of those. A But the situation has not changed, Ralph, on the substance of the five points the Secretary of State made, and I don't believe that anyone has led the public to believe that that situation has changed. Q Why do you say "not really" when you're asked if you're encouraged? I mean, is there something lacking that you'd like to see there to be encouraged? It's kind of a -- A What? Q Well, it was kind of a diffident response. Jim asked you -- A I'm not sure what you're asking me. Q Well, I'll try again. You were asked if the State Department found anything encouraging in what is going on, and your answer was, "Not really." I wondered what's behind the "not really"? Is there something more you wished were there, or you don't know enough yet, or what? A Well, obviously, Barry, we would like to see -- the world would like to see Saddam Hussein say that he is going to abide by 12 United Nations resolutions. I believe that Jim Anderson's question to me was referring to basically one sentence out of a two-page Iraqi Radio broadcast last night. That's how I interpreted your question. He asked me if I saw anything new. I assumed that's what he was -- Q New or encouraging. A -- addressing himself to, and I said, "Not really." Q Margaret, are you at all concerned about the role the Soviets are playing in terms of perhaps changing their policy toward Iraq? Do you still believe that they're a solid member of the alliance? A Absolutely, and no, we are not concerned, and I would refer you to President Gorbachev's spokesman yesterday. He said that they fully support 12 United Nations resolutions; that Envoy Primakov was not going with any new Soviet proposals, and I would just refer you to them on the record. Q Margaret, on that point -- A Excuse me. And I believe if you check the transcript with the Foreign Minister of France, Minister Dumas, last night after meetings in Moscow said things that are very, very similar. And I refer you to the record. Q There have been reports that Gorbachev is coming under pressure from hardliners within his own government, questioning his support of the U.S. and the coalition. Do you feel in any way this could undermine his commitment to the alliance? A Owen, what we're going by is their public statements. I believe you were here; it hasn't been two weeks since we just issued a joint U.S.-Soviet statement which once again enunciates their policy. We have no problems whatsoever. Q Margaret, they're not saying that they're backing away from the resolutions, but they are saying that they find it hard to justify the bombing of Baghdad and other Iraqi sites. Primakov himself said it was terrible, and the Soviet Press Counselor of the Embassy here in Washington this morning has given an interview on TV in which he says, "The main message of Mr. Primakov is 'Stop this aggression; liberate Kuwait immediately,'" and his other message is, "Stop the bombing, because of the grievous number of civilian victims as a result of this bombing." A This is someone saying what Mr. Primakov said? Q Yes. A I can't respond to that, Alan. I said we have not had a readout of what Mr. Primakov did say. I can only continue to tell you, just as you said, our understanding from the Soviets themselves yesterday is that Mr. Primakov did not go with any new peace initiative. As you just read to me, he went saying that they must withdraw from Kuwait. They must abide by 12 United Nations sanctions. We have twice this week addressed ourselves to what President Gorbachev said: that he "may have" or "could have" or "might have" concerns. That is all that I am aware of that their leadership is on the record of saying, and what their policy is concerning this. Q Does the State Department feel that the currents in the Soviet Union are changing dramatically and forcefully in what is both in the media and what members of the Soviet parliament are saying, People's Deputy, and in what various officials throughout their government are saying? They are a lot less on board than they were when this whole thing started. A That is definitely not our interpretation. You were with us, I believe, and I'd remind you to go back to August 3 to then-Foreign Minister Shevardnadze's statement when he and Secretary Baker made a joint statement there in Moscow. He said this is a very difficult decision for us to make. There has never been any doubt about that. We have addressed ourselves to this over six months. We recognize that this has been a difficult decision for the Soviet Union, and we acknowledge that. At the same time, the Soviet Union has voted for all 12 United Nations resolutions, and has as late as yesterday said once again that those United Nations resolutions must be enforced. Q Margaret, when do you plan to get -- when do you expect to get the readout from the Soviets? How will that come about. A It's usually handled, Mark, through our Embassy. As I said, all I have for you that we are confident of is that he has left Iraq. I do not have his onward travel plans. It is my understanding that he is going back to Moscow, but I don't know if he's stopping somewhere else. You'd have to get that from the Soviet Embassy. Q Will you make anything public today if you get a readout? A If we get it. But, I mean, I don't know when he's arriving in Moscow. I don't know if that's the first place he's going. But there is no concern on our part that we would not somehow have a full debrief of his meeting. Q Margaret, what is the status of events at the United Nations as far as the U.S. is concerned? Has there been an informal meeting? Should there be a Security Council meeting, and, if so, should it be an open meeting? A Ralph, what's going on at the United Nations is that they are in informal session right now as we're in this room. The thinking is that there will probably be a formal session some time this afternoon. They have not set a time. They're meeting right now. The third part of your question concerning our views on whether this should be opened or closed, the United States has had a preference that this meeting be a closed meeting for a simple reason: You do not want somehow inadvertently for Saddam Hussein to get any type of mixed signal. If, say -- and I'm hypothesizing here -- the Cubans or the Yemenis get up and start making speeches that somehow could cause Saddam Hussein to misinterpret this and believe that somehow the United Nations is not united -- as we all know that it is -- in support of 12 United Nations resolutions. Having said that was a preference of the United States, I will tell you that we are basically happy if the meeting is closed or open. Those consultations are going on right now in informal session, and I don't know what the outcome will be, but either way the United States, as we said yesterday, is very glad and welcomes the Security Council meeting on this subject. Q And what in your view should -- what in the U.S. view should be accomplished by such a meeting? A I don't know, to be honest with you, since they're discussing this, what it is that the Security Council or the people who are requesting the meeting -- what their agenda is and what they wish to accomplish in this. I can't answer that. Q What does the U.S. think? A Well, the United States has not called this meeting. We would have an agenda if we'd called it. Q When you say you'd be happy if it's open or closed, does that mean the United States is no longer trying to get the meeting closed? A I didn't say that. I said what our preference -- Q Was. A -- was. I said they are in consultation right now in an informal session, discussing this. And if the majority of the members, Barry, want the meeting open, that is fine with the United States. If the majority of the members want the meeting closed, that, too, is fine with the United States. Q What is the United States position at the moment? Does the United States want the meeting open or closed? A The United States is in these consultations and in this meeting right now discussing this very subject, and I am not going to get into what specific instructions Ambassador Pickering has. They are right now working on this subject among the members of the Security Council. I have told you that our original preference was for it to be a closed meeting for the reasons that I stated. Q The U.S. has been intensively lobbying to keep it closed, has it not? It has been very intensively lobbying. A I said that was our original preference. Q And what are you doing now? Q Your strong original preference. Q We're still asking you, are you trying to get the meeting closed? A It was our original preference. Q We're still asking you the same question -- A I understand that. Q -- which you've been asked four times now -- A And I'm going to give you the same answer. Q -- and you keep telling me what your preference used to be, and how happy you'd be to go along with the majority. But evidently you are at least one of the nations on the Security Council. A That's correct. Q Some might even say with some influence over other nations. A I'd agree with that. Q Are you trying to get that meeting closed so the world won't hear what dissent there might be from the Security Council judgments, or are you sort of neutral now? A I'm going to continue to answer it the way I have. Ambassador Pickering is right now and has been for the last -- I think it's almost been an hour and a half now -- in consultations bilaterally and in group meetings in an informal session discussing this subject. Q So you won't tell us what your current position is? A No. Q Right? A You got it. Q Are you concerned that maybe not only the Cubans or the Yemenis who already have voted against many of these resolutions would speak up, but perhaps people representing countries that have signed on to the resolutions might stand up and express concern about bombings that have killed and injured civilians in Iraq? A If there are any, Owen, I am unaware of any. Q Well, can you tell me -- A That has not been a concern in our thinking of this, and I have not heard of any of the coalition partners that would be wishing or pursuing such a path. I'm unaware of it. Q Margaret -- Q What about in the wake of -- A Wait a minute. Q -- the reports out of Baghdad -- A Excuse me. Q Surely you know about the reports out of Baghdad -- A Yes, Owen, I do. Q -- the claim about a civilian bomb shelter being destroyed with hundreds of civilian casualties. Have you gotten any reaction, response, from coalition members about that -- A This morning? Q -- and what are you telling them?

[US Regrets Civilian Casualties]

A If we have, I'm unaware of it, and what we're telling them, I would say that Marlin Fitzwater made a very eloquent statement this morning on behalf of our Government. I would tell you from the State Department, to parallel what Marlin himself has already expressed, that we deeply regret any civilian casualties that results from our actions. It is not the policy of the United States Government to intentionally target civilians. It is the policy of Saddam Hussein. For our part, we've gone to extreme lengths, often at risk to our own pilots, not to target civilians or areas where they live. Indeed, any civilian casualties are a result of a war that Saddam Hussein imposed. Had he complied with the will of the international community, ended his aggression and withdrawn from Kuwait, there would be no war. Unfortunately and tragically, the Iraqi people are paying the price for his aggression. The United States did not invade, annex or destroy Kuwait. Saddam Hussein did. It is Saddam, not the allied coalition, who continues to put his narrow ambitions above the well-being of his people and the welfare of his country. It is Saddam Hussein, not the allied coalition, who continues to purposely attack civilian targets in Israel and Saudi Arabia. It is Saddam Hussein, not the allied coalition, who abuses prisoners of war and destroys the ecology of the Gulf. It is Saddam Hussein, not the allied coalition, who continues to defy the will of the entire international community. And it is Saddam Hussein who has the ability to stop the violence by immediately withdrawing from Kuwait. But once again his personal, ruthless ambition makes him indifferent to the cost to his own people. Q Can we have a copy of that, please? A Yes. Q Can you tell us also whether the United States is prepared, if necessary, to present to the U.N. Security Council evidence of the U.S. contention that the site in Baghdad was a military target -- a military site? A I don't know, Ralph. The military briefers this morning on the coalition have addressed themselves to that in depth and at length. To be honest with you, I don't know if it's come up that there's a need. Q Can you take the question as to whether the U.S. is prepared to do that, if necessary? A Sure. But, as you know, the Pentagon -- Pete [Williams] will have a briefing this afternoon at 3:00. I'm sure he will do another hour's worth, as he does every day, of questions on this and other things. And again I said, I've seen this morning myself Brigadier General Neal with a briefing in Riyadh, answering all of the press questions on this, and I saw -- and I cannot remember the gentleman's name -- a British official who was giving a briefing on this in Riyadh. So I just don't know if the United Nations or if the Secretary General is asking for additional information. I don't know. Q Is Secretary Kelly in New York for the U.N. Security Council session? A Yes. He is up there. Q What is his role there today? A He went up this morning -- or last night, and he is having a meeting with the Secretary General of the United Nations. Q Can you tell us what the purpose of that is? A The purpose of it, is my understanding, is just an updated briefing on the situation in the Gulf. Q Margaret, on this issue of the Security Council meeting in either open or closed session and what the U.S. position is on that, since the original position, as you said, was that it would be better -- A Preferred position. Q -- preferred position was that it would be better to have a closed meeting to avoid sending mixed signals to Saddam Hussein -- A Uh-huh. Q -- why would it be fine to have an open meeting? Are you no longer concerned that there would be mixed signals? A We definitely would still be concerned, but, as I have said, Ambassador Pickering is right now discussing this with other members of the Security Council. I have said, I think quite clearly, if the vast majority of members of the Security Council want this to be in open session, that is fine with us. But, as we do in any number of instances, at the United Nations, we make our preference known. If that is not the majority view, then we are still not going to change what we think, and we do still believe that there is that definite risk or down side, but the meeting then will be open. Q Margaret, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee wants April Glaspie and Assistant Secretary Kelly to come and testify, and they're complaining that the State Department is basically stiffing them on that. Do you know anything -- A I don't know, Alan. I know that many committees of the House and Senate ask for State Department officials all the time. I'll just have to check with Janet [Mullins]. I don't know. Q Margaret, following up on John's question about intense lobbying for a preferred preference -- about a closed meeting. A lot of third world diplomats have been privately concerned that the U.S. has been strong-arming them about its preferred preference and many ambassadors have been called up and told about it. Is this correct? A I would never characterize Ambassador Pickering as strong-arming other members of the United Nations. I have said there is no secret of what the United States preferred position of this is and the reasons why. So if a third -- as you've described them -- a third world country calls and asks the United States Mission, "What is your view of this," of course, we would tell them. Q Do the phones ever go in the other direction? Does the U.S. ever call a third world country and say, "Hi, today is Wednesday, and if you'd like to know what our position . . ." -- A If they're on the Security Council, Barry, I'm sure he's talking to them all the time. I don't know which countries he's referring to. Q I'm sure he's talking to them all the time. You keep slipping out of the subject. Look, let's leave out the word "strong-armed." You don't like "strong-armed." Pickering is too polite a diplomat to strong-arm anybody. A He's a gentleman. Q He is. He's tall, too. (Laughter) The question is whether the United States has approached other countries and asked them to support the United States, in its preferred position, that the Security Council meeting be closed. Can you answer the question? A It's simple to answer. If that is our preferred position, it is quite obvious that with members of the Security Council -- I cannot address myself to nations that are not on the Security Council. I don't know what they would have to do with this. But the members of the Security Council, I am quite confident, without even asking, that Ambassador Pickering, when called, has said what our preference was and has probably called others to say the United States' preference is as follows for these following reasons. It's how it works on every issue up there. Q Margaret, I'm not referring only to a polite Mr. Pickering. I'm referring to Mr. Bolton, for instance, summoning ambassadors to the Department here and explaining the preferred preference. A What is so unusual about that? I don't know if John (Bolton) has done it, but I don't find that unusual. He's the Assistant Secretary for International Organizations. That's just not something that's highly unusual to me. Q Isn't that an implied message? A Members of the Security Council? Q Yes. A It's the same thing I just said with Ambassador Pickering. If we have a position, of course, we would make the position known -- our preferred position. Q The implied message here being "Don't get any smart ideas to try and introduce something in the U.N.." A I didn't say that. I said -- we didn't lead this parade. OK? This was not our idea. We have said what our views of this are once it was raised, what our preferred position was and our reasons why. Many have asked us -- whoever started this, and I cannot remember -- which member it was. So it's a natural. I don't understand what the big deal is. Q Can I ask about another one of the United States allies -- Syria? A delegate at a United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva last week -- a Syrian delegate -- made a speech in which he alleged that Jews had engaged in the ritual murder of Christians, and he quoted from a book by a Syrian Defense Minister, Mustafa Talas, saying that Jews used the blood of Christians in the preparation of unleven bread for the Passover feast. Did you know about? Do you have any reaction? A No, I don't. Q Do you want to -- A Let me look into it. Q One more on Kelly, please, at the U.N. A Kelly? Q Yes. Did the Secretary General kind of request an update on the situation in the Gulf, or did the United States -- A To be honest with you, Ralph, I don't know. Q Does the United States feel that an update in the Gulf was something that it ought to offer to the Secretary General at this moment? A This morning in the staff meeting I heard an individual talking about -- because John's usually there at our 8:00 a.m. meeting. Where John was, to be quite honest with you, I didn't find anything unusual about this. He's been up there any number of times, so I didn't stop what I was doing and ask the level of questions that you're asking me. He's done this any number of times for the 25 months I've been here. Q The reason for the question is because there are a lot of questions being raised by a lot of people about the bombing in the last 24 to 48 hours, and I wondered whether perhaps the Secretary General might have asked the United States, "Why don't you come in and sort of fill us in on what's going on?" A My understanding -- and I certainly will stand to be corrected -- is that John Kelly went up last night. I believe the bombing was this morning, so I can't draw the comparison for you. Q There have been quite a few accusations of civilian deaths -- A I thought he meant the bunker bombing. Q The last 24 to 48 hours, the criticism on civilian bombing has been very intense. I think it would be useful to know whether the United Nations requested an update from the U.S. or whether the U.S. felt it was important to update the Secretary General. I guess we can draw our own conclusions as to why the U.S. might think it's important, but it would be helpful if you let us know why it would be useful. A I would be glad to, but I would also keep it in the context of -- Mr. Bolton was in New York earlier this week. He's up there all the time meeting with the Secretary General. I don't find it highly unusual that an Assistant Secretary for this region would be up on a general brief of the Secretary General of the United Nations on our views of the situation in the Gulf. Q I thought you just said that we thought it was unusual; we just wanted to know what it was about. Q Interesting. Q On another subject? Lithuania's vote on Sunday which you, the State Department, described as valid. Can you tell us if, in any other way, the United States has done anything or made any presentations to the Lithuanian independence people? In other words, has there been formal congratulation? Have any steps been taken? It's not supposed to be a binding vote. What else have you done about the vote except to hear say it's a valid vote, and give us the count? A I don't know a specific, Barry, that we've done about the vote. As you know, we have consular officials from our Leningrad Consulate Office that are in all three Baltics and have been almost consistently. I don't know what they have said to the Lithuanians. I don't know a specific of anything, in addition, that the United States has done. As you know, there's a Congressional delegation that is in Vilnius today and they're going on to the other Baltics. I don't know. Q If I may, have you a comment about the statement of the Soviets of keeping the forces in Poland until the mid of '94? A And your question is? Q If the State Department has any comment about this fact?

[Poland: Negotiations on Soviet Troop Withdrawal]

A Our statement is our restatement of our policy by the President which is that we see no reason for the continued presence of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe and hope that they can be withdrawn as soon as possible. The timetable for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Poland is a subject of on-going negotiations between the Polish government and the Soviet government. Four rounds of talks have been held, and it's my understanding that more are expected. Czechoslovakia, which you did not ask about, or Hungary, already have reached agreement with the Soviets on the complete withdrawal of Soviet troops from their countries by July 1, 1991. Our understanding is that these withdrawals are proceeding on schedule. Q But the Soviets are now saying that they're not going to pull their troops out for several years. A I understand that. Q Is that all right with the United States? A As of this morning, having just seen this report, I don't have a further reaction, characterization, for you other than to refer back to what the President has said which states our overall policy, and to point out that it is our understanding that these discussions are continuing and on-going. Q You make it sound like it's a kind of bilateral negotiation; as if Poland agreed that these troops should be there in the first place when we all know that these troops were foisted on them when they were a satellite of the Soviet Union. So what right does the Soviet Union have to advance any kind of position in these negotiations? Surely, they should just accede to the Polish government's request and get out. A I don't know who else you would have discuss this issue. And your characterization -- obviously, we know the history of this -- is absolutely correct. But who else would you have them talk with? These two people have to talk. Q But surely all they should be talking about is the arrangements for them leaving. Not a 3-year or 4-year timetable. They're saying -- A Again, Alan, how can I interject myself into that? When interjecting myself into it, what good is that going to do? It's these two people who have to continue these discussions. I've told you what our policy is, as enunciated by the President. As I've said, they've had four rounds. I have not been told this morning or led to believe that they have broken off these discussions and the discussions are not going to continue. We've stated what our policy is, which I agree with you in your characterization: It should be done as soon as possible. Q Some people might regard the Soviet statement, that they're not getting out for 3 or 4 more years, as outrageous. One might expect the United States to express a view that is somewhat more forceful than that the negotiations are continuing and we really don't want to talk about it. A My understanding, as of this briefing, is that we do not have a full text of what has been said. As you know, and I think it is appropriate, we are cautious when we do not know for a fact exactly what has been said and what has transpired, and I think that is a responsible position to be in. Q The position seems to be that they don't want to pull out until their troops are out of Germany. Do you think that these two issues should be in any way connected? A I think, Alan, that each of these nations is discussing, as you know, with the Soviet Union the removal of Soviet troops from their countries. Q Margaret, staying with the Soviet Union, have you got any comment on the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? A Basically, no, Jan, we do not. That is something for the nations who are members of that Pact to decide for themselves. Q So what happens in Vienna? Does it have any bearing on the talks tomorrow? A No, Barry. Q The talks are between two alliances and one is going out of business. A That's not my understanding. My understanding is that 22 nations are there as nations. They are not there as Pact-to-Pact. Q I didn't know that. They're there as nations so that there will be no affect, you think, on the negotiations come April? A My understanding, Barry, is that NATO is not there as NATO. They are there as individual nations. So I don't know how else to answer you. Each one of these nations that are represented in Vienna on CFE are there representing their nation, not a Pact. Q Margaret, are we considering any new or additional assistance of any kind to any of the Baltic republics? There have been reports that we are. A Right. When the original announcement was made, Lisa, concerning aid to the Baltics, in that same announcement it was said we would envision making additional aid available. That is correct. I don't have for you a timetable or an amount. But in the initial statement, it had said we would envision that this would be on-going. Q (Inaudible) has it already all been sent, as far as you know, and distributed? A I don't know. I'll have to ask. Q Do you have any reaction to the recognition of Lithuanian independence by the Republic of Iceland? A Not really, no. Again, it's a sovereign nation. We know that Iceland has done this; and, no, we don't have a specific reaction for you. Q Are they both sovereign nations? A You know our views on this. Probably you do, too, Barry. Our policy -- Q You changed it Sunday. The Secretary used the word "independence." A We've changed our policy on the Baltics? Q Excuse me. The Secretary, Sunday, for the first time, used the word "independence." You are supporting self -- whatever it is -- determination and we support (inaudible) independence. A We support the desires and aspirations of the Lithuanian people and the peoples of the Baltics. Q Right, and the Secretary also supported independence on Sunday. So I'm happy -- we're all happy -- to take down what the U.S. view is of the status of Lithuania. Is it an independent, sovereign nation? A You know very well that it is not, Barry. You know very well that our policy on the Baltics has not changed and that we support the desires and aspirations of the peoples of the Baltics -- the Lithuanians, the Latvians, and the Estonians. Q Margaret, a new subject? A Excuse me. In case you've forgotten, so that we get it right, you know that for over 40 years now we have never recognized the forcible incorporation of the Baltics. Q I've heard that before. A You said you didn't remember the policy. Q No, no. I didn't say I didn't remember the policy. I said the way you enunciate the policy has been maturing. Sunday, you began to speak of independence. I know no policy ever changes here. (Laughter) But Sunday, Mr. Baker threw in the word "independence," and I think -- some of us think -- that that's a significant nuance. A I'll ask him if he's changed the policy. Q If we ever get to see him, we'd ask him, too, by the way. Is there any change he might have a news conference or should we keep watching television? A There's not one scheduled, and I'm only aware that he's been on TV, I think, twice in the last three weeks. Q Twice this week alone. He was on Sunday and he was on Connie Chung's feature program. A He's on a roll. Q Aid to Kenya: There's been quite an opposition to the fact that the U.S. has released $5 million in aid to Kenya, because of Kenya's human rights abuses. Could you explain why the decision was made to release that aid? A No, because I'm not even aware of the decision. So I'll be happy to take your question. Q How about reviewing Jordanian aid? A I hadn't asked in a number of days. My understanding is it's still under review. Q Margaret, the Indian government has been under mounting -- Q Excuse me. On Jordanian aid, and aid in general, it has now been ten days since the budget went up and your AID people still have not put out an itemized list of -- a country-by-county list of aid programs. It strikes me as unusually long -- A Tardy? I'll find out, Jim. My understanding of the way the process works is that normally we notify the Hill, I believe, before we publicly release this. I will ask Janet (Mullins) where we are on our notifications to the Hill. Q And what the hang-up is in the country-by-country listings? A Sure. I'll find out. Q Margaret, the Indian government has been under tremendous pressure to revoke the refueling rights being afforded to U.S. military transport aircraft. And, in the meantime, Sri Lanka, after some initial reticence, has agreed to afford the U.S. these rights. Is it an option that made the U.S. go to Sri Lanka? A You'd have to ask the Pentagon. I don't do refueling; and if it's operational, you'll have to ask them. Q But this is not an operational question, Margaret. It's just about the -- A Number 1, I'm not aware that Sri Lanka is now a place where we are refueling. I answered the question last week. I believe the gentlemen, two weeks ago, asked me if it wasn't -- New Delhi, didn't he say? -- and I said the next day it was Bombay. That's the extent I've gotten into refueling. I view that as operational and a Pentagon question. Q Margaret, can you tell us what the Turkish Ambassador was doing here? Did the Secretary of State meet with him today, or did he -- A Not to my knowledge. I didn't know he was here. I'll find out. Q Has any progress been made on the -- or have you heard from the Iraqis on the question of how they intend to implement their decision to cut relations with the U.S.? A No. We checked on that this morning and we have not. Q Do you have anything on the visit here by the Kuwaiti Ambassador this morning? A No. Q Margaret, a question -- A That's not unusual, George. He's in here all the time. I'll find out, if I can for you, who he saw. Q He saw Eagleburger. That was on the schedule. A He did? Q Was that to discuss future aid or whatever? A I didn't even know he was here, so I'll find out. Q Sorry, Margaret. A question on El Salvador: The head of the Catholic Human Rights Commission there now contends that she did not qualify those killings of the Americans as a mercy killing, as she was quoted as having said. I'm wondering if -- she also wants you to retract the statement you issued the other day. Any comment, or are you aware of this problem? A I haven't talked about El Salvador in months. The only thing I've been asked was, the other day, a reaction to, I believe, a bombing of a newspaper, and I said we condemned it. So, Number 1, I haven't seen the statement that you're referring to. Q No. You issued a statement saying, or criticizing this woman for calling these killings "mercy killings." It was put out in your name. A Unfortunately, I haven't done my homework as thoroughly as I should have, and I will check that statement and see. Q Can you take my question, please? A I'll look at it, sure. Q Do you have an answer today about the meaning of the transportation? A No, and to be quite honest with you, it's a level of detail that I'm just not going to get into. I'm going to refrain from getting into that. As you know, we are very appreciative of Japan's generous offer of $9 billion to Desert Storm. We have told you, I think, four days running now that we have absolutely no problems with their wanting this to go to logistical support. We have said that includes such things as medicine, as food, as transportation. And beyond that, no, we're just not going to get into that level of detail. Q That answer won't get your picture in the paper again. A That's fine with me. Answering it in a different way could assure I did. Q Margaret, it now appears that that $9 billion, none of it will come to the United States during the first three months of this year; that it will have to be until April. Is that satisfactory? A You know something that I don't know. I'll be happy to check with Jean McAllister and take your question. I've never heard that. Q Margaret, just one more. Have you anything on a report that a high-ranking Soviet delegation went to Pakistan and made the offer to dump Najibullah in exchange for his party being allowed to participate in the elections? A I haven't heard a thing about that. Q Can you look into that, Margaret? A I'll look at it. Q Thank you. (Press briefing concluded at 1:55 p.m.)