US Department of State Daily Briefing #30 Thursday, 2/21/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:12 PM, Washington, DC Date: Feb 21, 19912/21/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, E/C Europe Country: Iraq, Kuwait, Yugoslavia (former), Slovenia Subject: Military Affairs, Regional/Civil Unrest, Democratization (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: Jim. Q No announcements from you? MS. TUTWILER: No announcements. Q I was just asking. MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Has the Secretary and his group of advisors heard the speech from Saddam Hussein this morning? And do you have any preliminary reaction? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. The Secretary didn't personally listen to the speech. He obviously had experts in the building who did -- and Arab translators to bring him the translation of the speech. The State Department's reaction is obviously very similar to the one that Marlin just gave from the White House -- that we see nothing in Saddam Hussein's speech today which indicates that he understands and accepts the necessity for Iraq to comply fully with United Nations Security Council resolutions related to the Gulf. We and other members of the coalition have made clear that this is the only way for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. We regret that the Iraqi leadership continues to defy the will of the international community in this regard. The coalition's military effort will continue on schedule. Q Do you see any degree of difference, the fact that he, for the first time in my recollection, is talking publicly of a withdrawal? MS. TUTWILER: If my memory serves me correctly, I believe last Friday, Jim, he put out a statement on Baghdad Radio saying that he will withdraw if -- and then had about nine conditions. Q But that was the Revolutionary Council. This was him, personally, as President of the Republic of Iraq. A short question: Do you see any nuance, any degree of difference or any hand-hold anywhere that might indicate that he's looking for a way out? MS. TUTWILER: I want to be fair. In our preliminary look at this speech, I'm not sure that we have had an opportunity, in the 40 minutes -- I believe it's been since it was given -- to have an exact, literal, word-by-word Arabic translation of it. Having said that, I would say that we do not see much room for optimism. We, basically, found it to be yet another disappointment. We would once again say, as you all know, that he, Saddam Hussein, can stop the suffering that he is personally, in our opinion, inflicting on his own country. He is showing again a total disregard for the people of Iraq. Q When do you expect to hear from the Soviet Union about the Tariq Aziz reply? Is there anything formally set up? Have they told you what to expect? MS. TUTWILER: There's nothing formally set up, Bill. But we would envision that it would go as the other meeting had, and that the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union would call the Secretary of State at the conclusion of that meeting. It's not formally arranged that way but that's how we assume that we will hear, and have our first debrief of that meeting. I have read on the wires that they have said -- the Soviets -- that they are going to have their spokesman for President Gorbachev have some type of press conference, but I've only read that on the wires. But I fully expect the two Foreign Ministers will be speaking. My further understanding is that our Embassy in Moscow has told us that he is due to arrive there shortly. The understanding I have from wire copy is that the plan is for him to go immediately to the Kremlin for his meeting with President Gorbachev. I have seen other wire copy that says they could meet for several hours. Q Margaret, where does this apparent rejection of the Soviet proposal leave the countries in the coalition which have endorsed it -- countries like Italy, The Netherlands, and so forth? Do you have any read on that? MS. TUTWILER: Which have endorsed the -- Q The Soviet proposal. MS. TUTWILER: -- the Soviet proposal? I'm not aware, honestly, John, that they have made formal governmental decisions that they have embraced it totally. I have seen various officials -- to be honest with you, not from The Netherlands but certainly from Italy -- expressing different points of view. So I'm not aware that there is a formal decision by either of those governments to sign on to the Soviet proposal as it is written literally. I can't say that I know that for a fact. Q Is there any indication that the Soviets have incorporated one word that the United States has suggested in all of its different discourse into their proposal? Are the Iraqis aware of what the U.S. has added or asked the Soviets to add to that condition? Where does any of that stand? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know, John, if the Soviets have communicated to the Iraqi government the President's feelings about the Soviet proposal. I have said before, and it's true, this is not in the spirit of "You must incorporate this." So I can't tell you that President Gorbachev is or is not going to take it into consideration. We know that he has appreciated the United States' quick response, but we have not said, "This must be incorporated." This is not how it's going. That's not how we've sent our messages. So I don't know yet. Q The Iraqis may be just responding to the initial Soviet request of them, or the initial Soviet proposal without ever having heard Word One. That is certainly possible. MS. TUTWILER: That's certain possible. As we all know, we thought that Tariq Aziz was going to be in Moscow yesterday. He wasn't. They didn't have, understandably, a clear explanation of why he wasn't. I can't tell you whether they have or have not. Q Margaret, is there anything that Tariq Aziz could say in Moscow now that would undercut the impression received by the speech here? In other words, what if Bessmertnykh were to call and say, "Well, we see some room here, we see some flexibility. We need more time, they need more time?" Would that carry any weight with this Administration at this point after hearing the speech? MS. TUTWILER: That's such a hypothetical for me, Margaret. Quite frankly, that's a Presidential decision. Not one that I think I should make here at the podium. I don't know how these talks are going to go. We are obviously very interested in how they're going to go. Not only are we; all the coalition and the world is. We, as I said, would anticipate that we would have a full debrief of them and then you would know what you're working with and what you're dealing with. But in advance of a meeting that could be beginning in 30 minutes, I don't think that I have or should take that type of hypothetical and say, "Well, here's how we would react to this or that." That would be, after all, the President's decision. Q Do you have any indication, Margaret -- it seems odd that after a speech which sounds like rejection, he would be sending Tariq Aziz to Moscow. Do you have any indication one way or the other that Tariq Aziz' message may differ from Saddam's speech in which he said neither yes or no? MS. TUTWILER: We don't have any indications, Saul. But it is certainly not a fault that experts here at the building have not thought of this morning, but it's just purely speculative on the part of the experts. We don't know. Q Margaret, can we have a filing break? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q Initially, your reaction did not make any reference to the Soviet proposal. Does the U.S. believe that Saddam's speech was a response to the Soviet proposal? And if so -- MS. TUTWILER: We have no idea, Ralph. He's given any number of speeches over the last 6 months. Since he didn't indicate why he was doing it today at 10:00 a.m. American time, we don't know. Q So a number of the questions you have just been asked were premised on the basis of statements that Saddam's speech was somehow a rejection of the Soviet proposal. But your remarks have not been based on that premise. Have they or haven't they? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't used, nor did the White House, the word "rejection." Q Can I ask you also about another aspect of the Saddam statement? He seemed to be complaining at a couple of different points about what he said was added conditions, added requirements of the Iraqis. He said the Allies every once in a while keep bringing up something new. Is there anything that the United States or the Allies are asking for now that they were not asking for on, let's say, August 2 or 3, or very close to the -- or, let's say, from the point of the last passage of the last U.N. resolution? MS. TUTWILER: From the passage of the last U.N. resolution? Not that I'm aware of. The conditions are very well known. There are 12 United Nations resolutions. Q The question I have, since Baker spoke to Bessmertnykh after sending a cable on the American response, was there any indication out of that conversation that our wishes were conveyed to the Iraqis by the Soviets? Do we know one way or the other? MS. TUTWILER: No. As Marlin pointed out to his press corps this morning, I'll also point out to you all, there have been two cables. Q Tell me about the -- MS. TUTWILER: On the same subject, but there have been two that have been sent. Marlin also pointed out that these were messages from President Bush to President Gorbachev. Same subject but there are two cables that went on this subject. Q We know that one of the cables going that Tuesday night -- I guess it was Tuesday night. MS. TUTWILER: Wasn't it Monday night? It was a holiday. Remember? Q Monday night. -- went, and then after that the Secretary spoke to Bessmertnykh. MS. TUTWILER: I believe that was late Tuesday afternoon, and it was about that same time that a second cable was sent. Q We don't know that the Soviets have sent on that message to the Iraqis? I mean, they could have but we don't know? MS. TUTWILER: We don't know. Q So that if Saddam Hussein was talking about some new demands, it could have been these issues we raised with the Soviets? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. So that I'm clear here, even if they have -- both cables -- I don't believe you could interpret those as "new conditions," the content of what is in those; I don't know how you could. Q The U.N. resolution does not call for a specific timetable for withdrawal. Apparently, the United States is asking for a specific timetable, a specific number of days for them to get out of Kuwait. Doesn't that go beyond what the United Nations resolution calls for? MS. TUTWILER: I believe, John, without answering your question in the affirmative or the negative, at some point in time someone has to define what is "immediate." I think that doesn't change the substance of "immediate and unconditional." But if someone asks, "Well, what do you mean by 'immediate?'" I think it's only natural that coalition members and others have discussed over these many weeks what would be a definition of "immediate" and what would be acceptable. Q Can you confirm the essence of The Post story this morning that there was a 4-day time limit, or time period set after the beginning of a ceasefire for the Iraqis to complete their withdrawal? MS. TUTWILER: No, I cannot. Q Did you define "immediate" in your joint communique with Bessmertnykh? MS. TUTWILER: I'd have to go back and look at it, Barry. I don't believe that they -- Q If they don't have numbers on it -- MS. TUTWILER: -- at that point defined it in that, nor is it literally defined in the United Nations resolutions. But it's quite obvious at some point someone has been doing some thinking about and considering -- and you would have to say what is "immediate?" If Saddam Hussein came back and said, "Well, in 10-1/2 months I'll get out, would the coalition say that's immediate?" I doubt it. Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me, Ralph? Q Has the Alliance defined that at this point? MS. TUTWILER: It's something that they really just don't want me to answer. Generically, I could say to you that the United States has a fairly good idea of what they would term "immediate." Q Does the Soviet Union have a fairly good idea as well? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q You don't know if they have? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I haven't seen it. If they have, I've never seen it. Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: I can't. Q If you can't confirm the Post story this morning, do you deny it? MS. TUTWILER: I can do neither. I can tell you that there are any number of stories this morning. You will check Mr. Fitzwater's transcript, and he's going to respond the same way I'm about to respond, which is to say that some of what was published in various accounts this morning is correct and some is wrong. Q Is it an official demand by the U.S. Government now that the Iraqi troops should leave behind certain types of equipment and weapons in Kuwait in order to accelerate their withdrawal? MS. TUTWILER: What is your question? Is that a United States demand? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware that that is in the United Nations resolutions. Q But it has been stated one way or the other by official -- MS. TUTWILER: That gets me right back, sir, to commenting on various specifics in any number of reports this morning in our United States media on what is and is not in the President's response to President Gorbachev. I, again, apologize, I'm simply not at liberty to do that. Q But in all fairness you said that the timing of "immediate" was also not in the U.N. resolutions, but yet the U.S. has an idea about that. MS. TUTWILER: I would find it pretty much of a natural, Ralph, throughout, whether it was weeks ago or in October or November, what the United States would have as a general idea of what would be "immediate." I don't find it that difficult to grasp. Q What about those other aspects of defining "withdrawal?" Are those aspects also which the U.S. feels were not specifically addressed in the U.N. resolution but which naturally need to have some definition? MS. TUTWILER: The United States has a number of ideas that are private ideas, that are ideas that I am simply not going to make public at this briefing. Q Have they been shared with the Soviet Union? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q Margaret, I thought the only condition for the cessation of hostilities, besides the declaration that they're going to get out, was that they take concrete steps -- MS. TUTWILER: Concrete steps -- Q -- and show not that they're going to do it in a specific time but that they're going to do it in such a way that it appears irreversible that they're not simply, as the President put it, making it up. MS. TUTWILER: The United Nations resolutions call for immediate, unconditional withdrawal. Ralph, or whoever started this, asked me if the United States had any kind of pre-notion, concept, etc., of what would be "immediate." I answered -- I think it was Barry -- by saying, if they came back and said 11 months and we'll get out, I'll just have to say, I think -- you'd have to ask the President -- that wouldn't be acceptable. Q (Inaudible) January 29 language still constitutes a reason for a cessation of hostilities, or whether -- MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q -- or whether there has been -- the next part of that -- whether there's been any kind of addition which reflects the American view on what constitutes a timetable for withdrawal? MS. TUTWILER: I don't see how you link the two, to be quite honest with you. You also could then throw in there massive, invisible withdrawal. All of these things, Saul, in my opinion, cannot be left and pulled out, standing alone. Q I didn't say massive, invisible withdrawal by a date certain. I didn't say that at all. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not saying there is a date certain. Q But we have an idea of what date -- MS. TUTWILER: I think it's only reasonable and rational that the coalition would have an idea or thinking of what would constitute "immediate." That's all I'm saying. I don't think that that should come as a shock to anybody. It is something that has been discussed over 6 months. Q Margaret, is there a different view between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, issued in the January 29 statement, as to what constitutes concrete steps? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of, Margaret. Q Or as to what constitutes a timetable? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of. Q Margaret, are there ideas about how much equipment the Iraqis would be allowed to withdraw with them? MS. TUTWILER: That gets me right back into this gentleman's question, which I'm simply not going to get into. Q Did you say earlier that you didn't know if the U.S. ideas on timing and what the definition of "withdrawal" had been shared with the Soviet Union? MS. TUTWILER: I didn't answer it that way, Ralph. I said that I did not know if the President's two cables to President Gorbachev have, in turn, been transferred on to the Iraqi government. I simply do not know that. Q Well, let me ask whether the U.S. ideas about "definition" and "withdrawal," including timetable and perhaps other aspects, have been shared with the Soviet Union? MS. TUTWILER: We have shared throughout this any number of our ideas and thoughts not only with the Soviet Union but with coalition partners. I'm not going to say specifically what we have and have not. Q Margaret, you say there are no differences on the timetable that you know of? MS. TUTWILER: I answered it by saying that "I am aware of." Q Margaret, I'm curious about the two cables from the U.S. to Gorbachev. Why was there a necessity for a second cable? Did the United States think up some other ideas and want to have those incorporated? MS. TUTWILER: That's a good characterization. As you remember, we said that Secretary Baker sent on behalf of the President Monday night, very, very late, the United States' prompt response and appreciation of President Gorbachev's prompt readout to us of his meeting with Tariq Aziz. I said that Secretary Baker talked to the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union -- I believe it was very late Tuesday afternoon, having had a full working day -- and it was a continuation of some of our thoughts on the original cable that we had received. It was nothing more than that. Q And the second cable was putting down on paper essentially the gist of the Baker-Bessmertnykh second conversation? MS. TUTWILER: It was just further thoughts, Margaret. The first one went as a prompt response when he received the Gorbachev letter. After a normal 10-hour working day, if you had additional thoughts, having had an opportunity to spend more time reading the first Gorbachev letter, that's all it was. Q But the Secretary was here until midnight that night, or worked on it until almost midnight that night. A great deal of thought did go into the first cable. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q It wasn't just sort of off the top of his head. MS. TUTWILER: But I think that we're entitled, as you are -- you might do a report this afternoon and do another one that adds something to it in the morning. Why do we get locked into one cable? Not unless I get some more information, Margaret. Q (Laughter) Well, you will from this briefing. Q Margaret, (inaudible) -- second response back, Margaret? Q The second cable: Was there new stuff in that that Baker and Bessmertnykh had not discussed, or was the second cable essentially confirming the substance of the late Tuesday conversation? That's all. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure I'm exactly following you. It was nothing more than further reflection on the original Gorbachev letter to Bush, and the conversation that Secretary Baker had with the Foreign Minister was basically the gist of -- after having an entire workday here, we're sending additional thoughts, whatever, on President Gorbachev's letter to President Bush. Q And we don't know whether those thoughts -- MS. TUTWILER: I have no idea. Q -- were passed on to Iraq -- MS. TUTWILER: No. Q -- and may have been responsible for Hussein saying they're putting on something new? MS. TUTWILER: That's the Soviet Union's business. We have no idea. Q Margaret, in the conversation with Bessmertnykh on Tuesday -- or was it yesterday or Tuesday? MS. TUTWILER: Tuesday afternoon. The Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union was in Spain yesterday. Q And the subsequent cable, was there any (a) Soviet objection to the material that the President had initially sent on Monday or any reaction to it, and -- MS. TUTWILER: There was no reaction to it. Q None whatsoever? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Margaret, back on the timetable and the armaments question for a moment -- MS. TUTWILER: On the what? Q The question of the timetable and how much armaments they could take out. Is this a matter for the coalition to define or the Security Council? MS. TUTWILER: All of these, without addressing myself to that question -- which I'm going to continue to refuse to do -- all of these matters are for the United Nations and for the coalition to address themselves to in my opinion. Q The resolution -- Q Is there a plan for a U.N. Security Council meeting to deal with that? MS. TUTWILER: The Security Council is not meeting today that I'm aware of, even in informal session, and I'm unaware, Ralph, of anyone who has yet called -- because we're certainly not at that stage -- for a formal U.N. meeting to deal with these types of matters. Q The resolutions have always called for immediate withdrawal -- MS. TUTWILER: I thought it was unconditional too. Q That's right. Well, I'm trying to stick to the word "immediate." I'm trying not to get off the point. Whether indeed, when Mr. Bessmertnykh and Mr. Baker had their meeting here, they issued a communique which we all think tried to address the issue of "immediate," speaking in terms of concrete steps, etc. There was no need to put a time frame on it. There was no need to speak in terms of days. They made a statement. They didn't speak in terms of days but tried to elaborate on what "immediate" meant, and they were satisfied with it. MS. TUTWILER: I haven't spoken in terms of days myself. Q No. I didn't say you did. I said they didn't. So the question is -- MS. TUTWILER: What's your question. Q I'll get to it. (Laughter) The question is, since they did that, has it now become necessary in the U.S. view to speak in terms of days; that the communique's reference to "concrete steps" isn't precise enough; that it would be natural that the United States then would say, "Let's speak in terms of days"? MS. TUTWILER: I think it's been natural, since this crisis began, for the United States, the coalition, the United Nations, to recognize that at some point in time, Barry, you would have to have a definition of what is acceptable under "immediate." There is nothing new about that. Q No. There's nothing new about that except it -- fine, that's an answer. It wasn't explicit in the communique, but you're saying at some point in time it should be explicit. MS. TUTWILER: At some point in time, on a total hypothetical, if Saddam Hussein -- Q No. I'm not talking about hypothetical. MS. TUTWILER: -- pops up and says, "I'm leaving," I go right back to what I say to you. If he says, "Ten months," does that meet the United Nations resolutions requirement of "immediate"? My hunch would be that our government or the coalition or the U.N. would not find that acceptable. That's all I'm saying. Q (Inaudible) -- an Alabama lawyer's made a fortune trying to define "deliberate speed." It went on with racial integration for at least 15 years. So, you know, there's an artful ambiguity here, and -- not from you -- in the communique and in "immediate." "Immediate" to me means instantly, for heaven's sake. Now, you guys are talking about the need to put some time marker on it. So the next question is -- this is not a hypothetical situation. The Soviets and the Iraqis are negotiating with the U.S. sort of looking and, you know, telephoning some advice to the Soviets as they do this. Is the United States telling the Soviets, "Put this in terms of days now"? MS. TUTWILER: I won't answer that question. I have said that gets me right back into what is the contents of the President's confidential message to President Gorbachev, and I simply will refuse to continue answering the specifics of that message. Q Can you tell us any more about other consultations the U.S. may be having with its coalition partners on this subject? MS. TUTWILER: On what subject? Q The subject we've just been discussing, the issue -- MS. TUTWILER: I have no idea, Ralph. I mean, people spend all day long talking about this and other aspects of this Gulf crisis. It goes on in all capitals. It goes on in meetings. It goes on at the U.N. I mean, how would I know? Q For example, some coalition partners didn't get their versions of the Soviet proposal from the Soviets until the night before last -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q -- which is later than the U.S. I realize that. So my question is, has there -- since those other coalition partners have now received something from the Soviets, have they consulted with the U.S. on -- MS. TUTWILER: I really, to be honest with you, have no way of answering that question. I don't now. I mean, all I can say is that John Kelly, Jock Covey, Bob Kimmitt, Dennis Ross, Secretary Baker, Reggie Bartholomew -- I can't tell you the number of officials here who spend a great deal of time every day on the crisis in the Gulf. But to say that they have specifically now been having meetings on the substance of the President's message with other allies or other coalition partners, I'm unaware of it. Q Margaret, can I put it another way? If we take the ideas the U.S. has about these specifics of a pullout or withdrawal, does the coalition -- do other coalition members share those same ideas? In other words, is there any yet agreement -- if we keep the Soviets out of this discussion for a minute -- among the Brits, the French, us, the Saudis, Egyptians and Syrians? MS. TUTWILER: I have no idea. Q Margaret, can I follow? There was a report on Reuters yesterday out of New York, quoting a British diplomat, saying that Washington and London, is how it was phrased, are working together on matters like conditions for a truce. MS. TUTWILER: I saw that report and, to be perfectly honest with you, it gets right back into how I was answering Ralph. There have been any number -- for six months -- of meetings, of option papers, of positions, of thoughts. This falls in that category, to be quite honest with you. It is not something that the United States is formally circulating that is an official document that we are trying to get everyone to sign on to. There is an enormous amount of thinking on any number of aspects throughout this on the Gulf. Q One more: Do you have anything new on the fate of the four Iraqi diplomats? MS. TUTWILER: No. I didn't ask this morning, but I feel confident that at the 8:00 a.m. meeting, it would have been mentioned if something was going on. I don't think anything is. Q Margaret, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you said earlier there was no difference between the United States and the Soviets on the question of a timetable. Is that -- MS. TUTWILER: I didn't answer it that emphatically, Mark. I said not to my knowledge. Q Then to your knowledge, can we draw from that that there was nothing in the Soviet message to President Bush on Monday on the specifics of a withdrawal timetable, and that those specifics have been supplied by the United States? MS. TUTWILER: You can't do any of that on anything that I'm going to answer for you. Q Is it safe to say, after hearing Saddam Hussein's speech, that as far as the Bush Administration is concerned, it is business as usual in terms of prosecuting the war and all other things -- business as usual? MS. TUTWILER: Absolutely. Q Margaret, I have two questions that may sound a little bit hypothetical. It is not. MS. TUTWILER: That's O.K. Q I'm asking in principle, in case the version put by Mr. Aziz to Moscow is different from what came out in the speech of Saddam Hussein, which one is going to be to your eyes the official Iraqi position which he will react to? MS. TUTWILER: On a total hypothetical, sir, I would assume that the Iraqi government would be responsible if there was any confusion, cleaning that up for the world. Q Can we get a readout if there is a Bessmertnykh/Baker -- MS. TUTWILER: Sure, If they talk. I'm assuming they are, but I don't want to lock myself in to saying they positively will, and then I have to come explain why they didn't. We're just assuming it will be handled like all the other times have. Q Just to nail it down, they have not talked again since their Tuesday conversation? Is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q And there has been no response, I think you said earlier, to either of the written messages the U.S. -- MS. TUTWILER: No. But they didn't seek a response. Q Right. I understand that. But there hasn't been -- the Soviets have not sent something back or -- MS. TUTWILER: No. Q -- sent some other kind of message back, asking for more information, or anything of that sort? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q So the state of play is that the last U.S. thoughts are in the hands of the Soviets; the U.S. doesn't know if those have been passed on to the Iraqis, and the U.S. has not heard back from the Soviets in any way since those messages were sent. MS. TUTWILER: Concerning their specific reaction. Correct. Q Did we not have the expectation that they would be passed on to the Iraqis, and aren't the Soviets together with us on this? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. But the questions keep coming at me, do I know that they have. I don't. I don't think that it's really a big burn with us if they do or don't. I mean, have at it. I just don't think it's a big issue. Q Well, we've made it a big issue. We've sent two cables -- one from the President and one from the Secretary of State. MS. TUTWILER: But we haven't made it an issue of, "Please, please, please make sure you do everything you can to get this to Saddam Hussein." We haven't done that. I mean, we -- it is the President's reactions to President Gorbachev's proposal. That's what it is. It's for them to determine what to do with the President's reaction. Q Let me ask one other thing -- Q What would the United States like to see -- Q Let me ask one other thing, Barry. MS. TUTWILER: Sure, Saul. Q Do the explanations that you gave after the January 29 joint communique still hold? That is to say, that they get up and start leaving, whether or not Saddam Hussein makes a declaration and says how long it's going to take, is that sufficient for a cessation of hostilities as you said from this podium several times? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. That gets back into the standard thing which you know. We'll know it when we see it -- massive, visible withdrawal. Q But we're not talking about timetable here, you see. You're not talking about timetable. MS. TUTWILER: I understand that. Q What would the United States like to see come out of this Soviet/Iraqi negotiation? MS. TUTWILER: That maybe they would be successful in finally convincing Saddam Hussein that he must withdraw from Kuwait and abide by 12 United Nations resolutions. Our attitude is the same as it has always been. If the Soviet Union can get this done, more power to them. We would welcome it. The whole world would welcome it, and I would add, probably the Iraqi people would welcome it. Q And is that objective any closer now that the Soviets have weighed in the way they have? MS. TUTWILER: I have no idea, Barry. These meetings are probably beginning right now. How could I prejudge the meetings? How do I know? Q But there's been considerable stuff going on in the last week or so. Has that moved it closer? Has that moved the situation closer to the U.S.'s objectives? Has there been progress? MS. TUTWILER: Well, he's still in Kuwait, isn't he? Q There are an awful lot of people who suggest that what we want to do is win, and Saddam Hussein said that what we want is his surrender. Some prominent columnists who you might have read suggest that we should go ahead and win, and Saddam has said we want his surrender. Do we want his surrender? MS. TUTWILER: Our policy and objectives and goals have not changed. And, as you know throughout, we have said that if the war terminates with Saddam Hussein back up in Baghdad completely out of Kuwait, that would be what you would deal with. But that that is not a goal or objective of the United Nations resolutions. Q Margaret, there's been a lot of analysis that the Soviets have proposed this in part to enhance their standing in the Arab world, etc. Do you have a view on what effect, whether this succeeds or not, it will have on the Soviet role in constructing the regional peace afterwards? Some of the ideas Secretary Baker has suggested and others have. MS. TUTWILER: I don't have a specific analysis for you, Margaret. I think that we have said ourselves -- Secretary Baker has in testimony -- that he would envision, of course, the Soviet Union participating in whatever post-crisis discussions, etc., that there are. But I don't know if this specifically has made that much difference in how it was always viewed, to be honest with you. Q What does the State Department hear from the streets of Baghdad, if you hear anything, about discontent among the people or complete support for Saddam Hussein? Are you getting anything from the prisoners of war? Not necessarily the defectors, but more importantly the people who have been captured and surrendered? Anything on the attitude about morale? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. And for prisoners, I'd just rather refer you to the Pentagon and let them do that. The first part of your question, we have -- there were several reports this morning, media reports, that there were demonstrations in several cities, in the streets, in Iraq, and we definitely have some evidence of that. Q Demonstrations supporting Saddam Hussein as the greatest leader in the world. MS. TUTWILER: No. The other kind. Q Demonstrations on what? MS. TUTWILER: Expressing -- I can't put words in their mouths -- the opposite of supporting Saddam Hussein. We do not, as you know, have an Embassy there. I do not want to mislead you about the level and detail of information that we have yet on this, but I asked the Bureau in this building that would be the best source for knowing this type of thing, and, yes, we do have some evidence that there are anti-demonstrations in some places. Q Big, little? Q How big? MS. TUTWILER: They don't have any characterizations for me at this time that they're willing to go with. Q How recent, Margaret? MS. TUTWILER: I have no other characterization on this subject except to say that, yes, we do have some indications, as has been reported in the press, of some demonstrations. But I cannot do cities. I cannot do size. I cannot confirm or deny. There was some report this morning that people had even been fired upon. I can only say that, yes, we have some evidence of this. Q The same media report said that the demonstrations had been suppressed, I think was the word that was used. Does the U.S. have evidence of that, too, or -- MS. TUTWILER: I can't go that far for you yet today. My understanding is during the Iraq/Iran war, that there was plenty of evidence of this type of thing, and there was evidence that they were, as you say, suppressed. So I wouldn't envision it's that different today. Q Would you say it's at a higher level than the demonstrations in the United States against the war, for instance? MS. TUTWILER: I have no way of doing that comparison, Barry. Q Margaret, have you had any contact with Iran in the last few days while these negotiations between the Soviets and the Iraqis have continued? MS. TUTWILER: I hadn't checked, Ralph. I'll be happy to ask. Q One more on this question of military equipment being left behind or not. French government officials are saying that the Soviet proposal has specific conditions of that sort, and other French government officials have said what their proposal is on that. Has this been discussed with the U.S.? MS. TUTWILER: This American official is going to refrain from commenting on the specifics of President Gorbachev's proposal to President Bush. President Bush has said that he intended to keep this confidential and respect Gorbachev's wishes. I in turn cannot then come out and say -- whether French officials are saying it or not -- what is in this proposal. Q Margaret, those are strictly French. Those statements stand only as the opinion of the French government. MS. TUTWILER: I can't help you. Q Along those lines, though, Margaret, several of the U.S. coalition partners apparently got their first indication of what was in the Soviet proposal from the United States. Did the Soviets authorize the United States to distribute the gist of or perhaps even the text of the Soviet proposal? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware that the United States has distributed "the text of." I don't think it would come as any surprise to the Soviet Union or anyone else that the United States has conversations with members of the coalition or the alliance. As you, yourself, asked me earlier today or stated, the Soviet Union was sharing it with people. Q So the confidentiality pledge that the President uttered was confidentiality -- keeping it from the public as opposed to keeping it from others, other than President Bush to whom it was addressed or his advisers. MS. TUTWILER: I think President Bush clearly understood what President Gorbachev was requesting, and he has said that he intends to honor that request and respect it.

[Yugoslavia: Slovene Moves Toward Disassociation]

Q Margaret, can I go to another subject briefly? Anything about Yugoslavia? MS. TUTWILER: On Yugoslavia. Did you get your stuff on Tunis yesterday? Q Yes, I did. Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: More forthcoming for you? You're a happy camper now? On Yugoslavia, the Slovene Assembly has taken a number of steps since last summer, including a declaration of sovereignty last July and a plebiscite on independence last December to assert Slovenia's interest in sovereignty and independence. However, none of these steps, including the Slovene Assembly's actions yesterday, amount to an act of secession or a unilateral declaration of independence. Instead, Slovenia's leaders say they are committed to a negotiated solution for their own future and their relationship with other Yugoslavian republics. As you know, we've issued in the last three months any number of very, very lengthy statements by the United States concerning our policy. Our policy has not changed, and I'll be happy to refer you to the record for that. Q Margaret, do you have an update on the CFE negotiations in Vienna? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Have they terminated their -- MS. TUTWILER: I have no idea. I haven't asked. Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: Thank you, John. (The briefing concluded at 12:50 p.m.) (###)