US Department of State Daily Briefing #32: Wednesday, 2/27/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:29 PM, Washington, DC Date: Feb 27, 19912/27/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, Europe, Subsaharan Africa Country: Syria, Ethiopia, USSR (former), Iraq, Kuwait, France, Germany, United Kingdom Subject: Military Affairs, NATO, United Nations, State Department, Human Rights, Democratization, Terrorism, Development/Relief Aid (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: With your indulgence, what I'd like to do -- I have a number of things that a number of you have been asking me since yesterday and last night, that I have answers to, so I'd like to go through some of them which is information you've all been requesting.

[Iraq: UN Activity on Iraqi Cease-Fire Proposal]

The first, which I know is foremost on your minds, is what is going on at the United Nations. It is my understanding that right now there may be a Permanent Five meeting. I do know that a 12:30 informal session of the Council had been called. It was called by the President of the Security Council. I just cannot tell you -- obviously, as you know, sometimes at the U.N. things get a little behind -- if it's going to happen exactly at 12:30. This morning -- I don't have a time on it -- the United Nations representative from Iraq did meet with the Secretary General. We have heard that he has a letter from Tariq Aziz to the Chairman, or President of the current Security Council and to Secretary General de Cuellar. As you know, the White House has already given our initial response to what we know that's contained in the letter and what we've obviously seen that is on Baghdad Radio. We have noted that at long last they have accepted or appear to have accepted two of the United Nations resolutions. That would bring the total that they have accepted to three. This still falls short. In our view, this is a conditional acceptance. As you know, the policy of the coalition and the international community is that a conditional and/or partial acceptance of the 12 United Nations resolutions is just not acceptable. Can I go on and do my other subjects and then do questions? Is that OK? Q Yes.

[Kuwait: Return of Government]

MS. TUTWILER: Many of you all have been asking when the Amir and the legitimate Government of Kuwait would be returned. There are still some uncertainties regarding the degree to which it is safe for senior levels of the Kuwait government and representative of the foreign embassies to return. The decision in this connection will be made by appropriate military commanders in consultation, obviously, with the Kuwaiti authorities. Elements of the Kuwaiti authorities are already on the scene there in Kuwait City and are assisting military commanders in re-establishing order and consulting with the Amir and his senior people. So I don't have a time specific for you, but it is obviously something that they're very engaged in at this moment.

[Kuwait: Return of US Ambassador]

Concerning when our Ambassador, Skip Gnehm, would go back: Of course, we will be sending our United States Ambassador back, and we are planning to be able to return to our Embassy Skip Gnehm as early as tomorrow. I would remind you that it is nighttime there in Kuwait City right now. As far as who all will be going in with the Ambassador, he has assembled what we refer to, as you know, a country team. It is made up of representatives of several different agencies who have been with him working. As many of you know, he's working in Taif and in Riyadh. They have been working for some time with their counterparts and appropriate Kuwaiti Ministers and other Kuwaiti government agencies. The exact composition of the initial team that will be going in with the Ambassador depends to a certain extent on the Kuwaiti government having their Ministers back and their government back. But we would anticipate that the American team will initially be several dozen individuals. They will obviously get the Embassy up and running and the Embassy will be equipped to handle basic operations. Those, as you know, include political, economic, consular, public affairs, and administrative type of functions. We do not have for you a thorough readout or overview of exactly what shape the Embassy is in, but we do not have any information to tell us that it has been destroyed or anything like that.

[Kuwait: US Assistance]

Yesterday, I got a number of questions on what the United States Government was doing in coordination with the Kuwaiti government to help them. As you know, our basic aim is to provide whatever technical support and advice the government of Kuwait asks of us. To do that, Ambassador Gnehm has held frequent high-level discussions with Kuwaiti officials over the past several months. As part of our support, a task force of approximately 50 U.S. Civil Affairs specialists belonging to the 352nd Civil Affairs Command has been consulting with the Government of Kuwait and offering technical advice. The task force is working with military commanders to restore emergency services and will continue its efforts in support of the Government of Kuwait once its senior leadership is back in place. In addition, the Corps of Engineers has signed a contract with the Government of Kuwait to perform emergency services and repairs in Kuwait for transportation facilities and public infrastructure. The 352nd Civil Affairs Command is offering advice and technical assistance but is not involved in the actual negotiation of contracts. The Corps of Engineers group has been subcontracting under the terms of their contract with the Government of Kuwait. Contracts, it is my understanding, are negotiated and let by the Government of Kuwait. U.S. Civil Affairs advisors have not been involved, as I've said, with negotiations or contracts. The Corps of Engineers have solicited bids on their subcontracts from a number of international firms. I am aware that the Government of Kuwait has signed a large number of contracts, and I understand that a majority are with American firms but that a large number are also with non-American firms. AID: Several of you had asked me yesterday -- there was some report that AID was preparing to send food to Kuwait. That is not a correct report. AID has been preparing contingency plans with its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance for dealing with emergency civilian needs in the Gulf after the fighting has ceased. The projected areas of need include sanitation, public health, medical care, temporary shelter, and other basic services. The full extent of these needs will obviously not be known until the war has ended and assessment teams are able to determine what type of assistance would be appropriate. On food: AID's Office of Food for Peace has also donated 29,000 metric tons of food to the United Nations World Food Program to assist the refugees and displaced who have fled to Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The value of this food aid is at $12.1 million.

[Iraq: War Crimes/POWs]

On another subject that we had talked about yesterday -- POWs. I'd like to direct your attention to a press release that the International Committee of the Red Cross issued yesterday in Geneva. I will be happy to make it available to you afterwards, but I would like to highlight some of the things that it says. It says the ICRC is sending additional staff to its delegation in Saudi Arabia to handle -- as you know, we have thousands upon thousands of POWs. The ICRC visits to prisoners of war are taking place in accordance with the provisions of the Third Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war. However, the ICRC has still not received any information concerning the prisoners of war captured by the Iraqi forces since August 2, 1990, and in the military operations underway since January 17, 1991. In spite of its numerous approaches, the ICRC has still not been notified by the Iraqi authorities of the identity of Kuwaiti prisoners and members of the coalition armed forces in their hands, nor has it been authorized to visit those prisoners in compliance with international humanitarian law. The ICRC hereby appeals to the authorities of the Republic of Iraq to take immediate action to remedy this serious situation, which constitutes a grave lack of respect of the Third Geneva Convention.

[Iraq: US Contacts with Coalition Partners]

The last thing I will mention, since several of you all have asked, the purpose of Secretary Baker's meeting this afternoon with Foreign Minister Hurd, his meeting tomorrow with Foreign Dumas and Friday's meeting with Foreign Minister Gencher. Basically, it is as I stated yesterday: They will obviously be discussing the progress of the war, war termination issues, and they will obviously be beginning their consultative process on post-crisis issues. Those four baskets, as you know, were laid out in quite some specifics by the Secretary of State in his testimony. The four baskets are security arrangements in the region, arms control and proliferation, Arab-Israeli issues, and economic cooperation in the region. Thanks. That's it. Q Can we take a filling break? MS. TUTWILER: If you want. Sure. Q What was that fourth one, again? MS. TUTWILER: Fourth one -- economic cooperation in the region. Those are the ones he laid out in testimony. Remember? Q On a note reportedly delivered to the United Nations -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry -- on the U.N.? Q Yes, on the note delivered. There seems to be some confusion about what exactly is being said in that note. The Iraqi Ambassador says to reporters that Iraq accepts all of the resolutions. MS. TUTWILER: That's the first I've ever heard that, Jim. Q Well, that's what he told reporters at the United Nations this morning. MS. TUTWILER: I cannot respond to that because it's literally the first I've heard of it. I've read the Baghdad Radio report. We have a fairly good brief of what is contained in the letter. Of my knowledge of those two things, I cannot say that that is contained in those two documents. I don't have a reaction to "If the Iraqi government has accepted all 12 United Nations resolutions." I've never heard that before. Nor, I might add, had the White House, who I talked to right before I came out here, nor the Secretary of State before he went to the funeral of a friend and colleague. So I know nothing about it. Q One other question. That note, you say, is signed by Tariq Aziz. As far as the U.S. Government is concerned, would a note signed with Tariq Aziz' authority be sufficient, or does it have to be a public announcement and proclamation by Saddam Hussein? MS. TUTWILER: Our conditions have not changed, but I would note that what we know about this letter, Jim, without getting into too much detail, the substance of it is still conditional. Q Can you address Jim's question directly? MS. TUTWILER: I did. Q If Tariq Aziz accepts unconditionally, is that sufficient? Or does it have to be Saddam Hussein? MS. TUTWILER: I would like to obviously check this at the White House. That would be a Presidential decision. But I am positive that the 12 United Nations resolutions are still a condition as are, as we stated, the terms that the President and the coalition laid out on February 22. If the letter, that I am fairly familiar with, does not say -- be it from Tariq Aziz or anybody else -- we accept, unconditionally, all United Nations resolutions, if that indeed came across the transom, would the President then accept that? That would be, in my mind, a Presidential decision and determination. Q Just to step back from the question of what today's note is or anything, can we just ask, does the United States consider Tariq Aziz to be an "authoritative" representative of the Iraqi government? And, likewise, does the United States consider the Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations to be an "authoritative" representative? MS. TUTWILER: Sure, on both of those. Of course, they are. Q So the U.S. would consider, in compliance with President Bush's statement of "authoritative," anything stated by the Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations as being authoritative? MS. TUTWILER: I just tried to answer this for Jim, I think, twice, on a hypothetical -- I am, Ralph. I did answer it. If the Foreign Minister of Iraq, or the United Nations representative of Iraq came in -- this is totally hypothetical -- and said, "We accept all 12 United Nations resolutions, we accept all of the terms the coalition laid down on February 22." The question you were asking me is, "Would the President accept that?" I am saying, I do not think it would be appropriate for me to say whether the President would or would not. That is the part of the question I don't feel it would be appropriate for me to answer. But I am certainly acknowledging that both of those individuals that you have mentioned are authoritative members of the Iraqi government. Q Leaving aside the "authoritative," who, actually, would sign a letter, or who would be speaking? Let's go to the conditions one more time. If Iraq suddenly said, without condition, that they agree to abide by all U.N. resolutions, does that mean the fighting stops? MS. TUTWILER: Well, we also have, as you know, the February 22 terms. Q So the fighting doesn't stop even if they meet all the U.N. resolutions, clean and unconditional, they must meet all the additional things that the United States has laid down; is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: The United States and the coalition. I haven't seen anyone who says they do not agree with, for instance, the situation concerning prisoners of war. Q OK. If they meet the conditions that the U.S. has laid down, such as laying down your arms, etc., then the U.S. will agree to a ceasefire and only then? MS. TUTWILER: Again, you're asking me things that are very hypothetical. I understand why you are. But, again, those are going to be Presidential and coalition decisions. Q It's not only hard for Saddam Hussein to anticipate what it is he's got to do, it's hard for anybody else to figure out. MS. TUTWILER: We have said that our war aims would be met if the legitimate Government of Iraq was restored -- Q Kuwait. MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry; I'm sorry -- Kuwait. And that the last Iraqi soldier has left Kuwait or has been captured. Those have not changed -- military aims. OK? Q Margaret, there's more than that, though. MS. TUTWILER: He asked me when the fighting was going to stop. Q I know. You said that our war aims will be satisfied, basically, if the fighting stops and if the Iraqi military leaves or is captured. What about the February 22 terms? MS. TUTWILER: Those terms -- I also said to him -- must be, as we have said, and the coalition has said, addressed. POWs is the one that comes first and foremost to my mind. Q Therefore stopping the fighting and returning the Iraqi army to Iraq, or capturing it, is not enough? MS. TUTWILER: Well, these all get me into decisions that are obviously made, Bill, at a higher pay grade than my own, and decisions that will obviously be made in very close consultation, as the President has done throughout, with the heads of other countries. Those are decisions that they will be making. I'm restating what our -- which has been restated for the last 5 or 6 days -- military aims and objectives are. They have not changed. I'm also saying at the same time that 12 United Nations resolutions and the terms of the February 22 statement -- also have been stated by the coalition, by everyone that I'm aware of -- must be met. Q How is Saddam Hussein supposed to know? As Jack points out -- MS. TUTWILER: We've been telling you. What do you mean? Q The United States has a hundred thousand -- or the coalition has nearly a hundred thousand troops inside Iraqi territory now. So even if the fighting stops in Kuwait, that doesn't mean it stops in Iraq. The United States has made it very clear that one of its unstated aims is to demolish Saddam Hussein's military. MS. TUTWILER: What none of you have acknowledged this morning is that there is fighting still going on; this war is not over; there is fighting that is going on in Kuwait; there is fighting that is going on in Iraq. So I'm dealing with the real world. I understand everyone would like to know, "What happens in the future?" But they are still fighting. That is why our troops are fighting back, obviously, in Iraq and in Kuwait. You have had a military briefing yesterday afternoon that said there was very, very heavy fighting at the airport in Kuwait City. You're going to have a military briefing in 12 minutes by General Schwarzkopf. I'm sure that he will then, on the military side of this, give everybody information concerning the fighting that is continuing to go on in Kuwait and in Iraq. Q Margaret, I'm just curious as to why you keep referring to 12 U.N. resolutions. Is that a kind of shorthand on your part? There are really only two resolutions which require acceptance by Iraq, and that is the one on annexation of Kuwait; the other is on reparations. The others are basically technical amendments which have to do with humanitarian assistance and setting up a committee to -- the embargo is something for the Allies to impose; not for the Iraqis to accept. MS. TUTWILER: The reason we continue to do it, John, is because we've done it for, I believe, 7 months now. Each time you've added one -- that he must accept, he must comply. We have also acknowledged and said that we recognize fully some of these are not for Iraq to do. For instance, one of them -- one day, I believe it was Ralph -- said, "Margaret, isn't it irrelevant now concerning hostages?" We said, no, because there are Kuwaitis who are still being held against their will in Iraq. So in our minds that one is still very relevant. Q Does the United States plan to keep an economic embargo against Iraq? MS. TUTWILER: I have never heard that mentioned. As you know, what we have said, and many of the coalition partners have said, is, if Saddam Hussein should still be in power, which is a decision for the Iraqi people, that the international community would obviously have to look quite seriously at some type of arms embargo. In fact, we told that to Tariq Aziz when we were in the meeting in Geneva. Q There was a newspaper report this morning which indicated that one of the goals of the Administration after the war is to continue to keep an economic embargo, to make it difficult for Iraq to restore itself by barring markets for its oil and to bring Saddam Hussein down after the war by continuing to isolate him in every way possible. MS. TUTWILER: I saw that report. I have checked in this building and I have checked at the White House. I don't know who that unnamed U.S. official was or officials. I am not aware of a United States decision to keep an economic embargo. But let me remind you, I think that it is fair to interpret much of what he said yesterday in his Radio Baghdad broadcast is very threatening to Kuwait. After all, he basically was saying, "We will be back." I don't know what the world will decide to do if he is there, if he is still issuing these bellicose and threatening statements against a neighbor. I don't know. But I do know, of my knowledge this morning, there is no such decision. It is obviously something that will have to be discussed within the coalition as many of these other issues are. When Secretary Baker has addressed the arms enbargo, he has just said this is something that the coalition and the people in the region would obviously have to look at. I will tell you, I know of no decision but I don't know what will eventually happen. Q Returning to the previous point, just a technical point. You say that the release of Kuwaitis who have been taken prisoners is another thing. The resolution doesn't refer to Kuwaitis. It refers to third-state nationals. Are you now including Kuwaitis in your -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm just saying that's an example when, days ago, Ralph had said one of the resolutions would appear to be null and void because all of the hostages are out and the human shields. Remember, we went through five months of that. There are reasons to believe that they are holding in Iraq Kuwaitis. They are third-party nationals, unless you accept that Kuwait is the 19th province of Iraq, which we don't. Those people are still being held against their will. So that particular resolution, yes, we do still think is very relevant. Another example is the 4 CBS newsmen that are being held. I might point out -- and I'm sure Bill (Plante), being with CBS knows -- that our Deputy Assistant Secretary called in the Iraqi Charge yesterday to make a formal protest and plea concerning the 4 CBS employees that they refuse to tell anyone anything about. Q Margaret, is there going to continue to be -- would there be any humanitarian assistance to Iraq in compliance with one of the U.N. resolutions which allows for that? If the settlement is reached, if the Iraqis agree to all this, would the U.S. contemplate humanitarian assistance to Iraq? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard that we are or we aren't. Q Margaret, didn't you say in your opening statement, or did I misunderstand that AID wouldn't send food, but it has contingency plans to deal with emergency civil needs in the Gulf? MS. TUTWILER: In the Gulf. Q Would that include Iraq? MS. TUTWILER: That is something that will have to be addressed. As you know, we do not have relations with Iraq. They broke relations with us. So I can't say that we would be sending in United States personnel since they broke relations with us. Q Margaret, could you please -- MS. TUTWILER: They don't recognize us. Remember? Q Margaret, can you -- MS. TUTWILER: We have never done it. We have not broken them. They still have three employees here. But they broke relations with us, as you remember, and with many other Western nations. Q Are you fudging? Are you saying that -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm not fudging. Q -- that we would not help them in terms of sanitation, public health, food, and so forth? MS. TUTWILER: Since they have broken relations with us, I would have to assume you would not be sending United States Government personnel into a country that does not recognize you. That would be the first substance of this. The second would, obviously, be safety of any individuals that are going in there, whether they're American or other nationalities, and that's the situation that we are in. Q There's a precedent -- Q Margaret, you've got a full mechanized infantry -- or a full mechanized corps of United States personnel in Iraq now. MS. TUTWILER: They are quite different, Norm, than the types of individuals that would be going in to help with food and medical supplies there. Q On that very point, there are precedents for sending U.S. assistance to countries with which we do not have diplomatic relations. An example is Angola. Could you tell us the name of the Deputy Assistant Secretary who met with the Iraqis? MS. TUTWILER: David Mack. Q Margaret, can you please tell us what the U.S. Government position is right now on this whole question of war crimes trials, and will the meetings that the Secretary is having with Hurd and Dumas and Genscher address this issue of war crimes trials? Are there active discussions going on within the coalition about their position on war crimes trials? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of. It may be at a level that's below the Secretary of State. I have mentioned what the Secretary of State will be addressing himself to, and concerning the general situation, Mary, on war crimes, nothing's changed. All options are open. We, as you know, have been collecting data throughout this crisis. The Defense Department is the place where this data is kept, and there are absolutely no decisions that have been made, and I do not have answers for you on what type of mechanism or process would be used. Q Is it thought that -- just to follow that up, is it thought that that decision will need to be made soon? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard anyone saying that there's an urgency to making that type of decision. I just haven't been privy to that. Q I wanted to ask you about the POWs. There's some early reporting that some of them are afraid to give their names to the Red Cross for fear of retaliation against their families, and I just wondered if the United States has been talking to the Saudis at all about the prospect of some of them seeking political asylum or -- MS. TUTWILER: If they have, Johanna, I'm not familiar with it. I've seen that report. I can't remember where I saw it this morning. It was in someone's report. Q Would we turn them back regardless of their wishes? MS. TUTWILER: Those are all questions that will be worked out, will be addressed. I don't have answers for you this morning on that. Q Margaret, an end-game question. This is really picky, but I think you said a few moments ago our war aims will have been met if the legitimate government is restored and the last Iraqi has left Kuwait or been captured. Are you making a distinction between fulfillment of war aims and the conditions necessary to end the fighting? MS. TUTWILER: Secretary Baker did this himself on Sunday. So has the President. So has the Secretary of Defense. These are the war aims. They have always been. They have not changed. Also, on the political side, political objectives are the 12 United Nations resolutions and the terms that the coalition laid down the other day. They are quite different. John's first question to me -- McWethy -- was, "Well, when do you stop shooting?" And so I said, "Here are when your military objectives, your war aims, would have been met." Q Margaret, could you tell us what the process is by which the war would stop? Does there have to be a U.N. resolution? Would President Bush simply call off the fighting? Would it have to be a coalition action? Do you know what the process is? MS. TUTWILER: I know what the process is. The process is this continues to be discussed at the highest political levels among the coalition leaders, and today is not the day that I'm in a position -- or I think anyone is -- to flesh out for you what the details would be. And so I could just tell you that discussions have been going on since the very beginning of this crisis. They are continuing these discussions. But I do not have answers for all of your questions on that. Q But if Iraq stops shooting at coalition forces, that does not necessarily mean, in the view of the United States, that the war is over. MS. TUTWILER: Well, John, as you pointed out or as someone pointed out, there are X number of United States troops that are in Iraq. Although my knowledge of military history is limited, it is my understanding that there are any number of times when a war has been formally declared and then ended, that you could have horrible things happen to troops who are leaving; you could have Scuds fired at them. Am I going to tell you that they would not fire back? No, I can't say that. So I cannot tell you when the absolute moment is that the very last shot is fired. Now, maybe General Schwarzkopf can address himself to this, as the military part of this. Q It sounds like you need a formal cease-fire and disengagement agreement, the sort of thing which can be negotiated between the warring parties and/or through a body like the United Nations. It sounds to me like you need a formal document of some kind to disengage the forces. MS. TUTWILER: I didn't say that. Q But have you ever said that you wouldn't? MS. TUTWILER: No. I've said that that's a decision for the political leaders of the coalition to determine if they want a document, if they want a meeting. "How they terminate the war" will obviously be part of ongoing discussions among the highest levels of the political leadership of the coalition, and I just do not have for you those types of details or those types of answers. Q Margaret, one technical point: Is the Secretary's appearance tomorrow scrapped? MS. TUTWILER: It's been postponed. He had a conversation yesterday with Congressman Obey, and it was agreed that in light of everything that is going on here -- as you see today at 12 noon we're dealing with yet another Iraqi situation at the U.N. And just as Secretary Cheney, it's my understanding, postponed his two testimonies -- I believe one was today, one's for tomorrow -- Secretary Baker has postponed his. Thanks for reminding me to tell you. Q Could I go back to the U.N. for just one second to clear up a detail: Does the United States have a -- has the United States been presented by the U.N. with any kind of document from Iraq at this point containing these alleged statements that were made on Iraqi Radio? MS. TUTWILER: I'd rather leave it that we are familiar with the contents of any such document. Q Would being familiar with the contents of a document be considered adequate by the United States for, I don't know, accepting it or -- MS. TUTWILER: No. It's conditional. Q No. I don't mean this particular document. I guess what I'm trying to get at again is the process here. Does the -- do the Iraqis have to somehow put in writing and present to the U.N., which then somehow puts in writing or presents to the United States, some kind of document? Or would it be adequate for the United States to be familiar, in your phrase, with some document given to the U.N.? MS. TUTWILER: We have never, to my knowledge, said that something must be put in writing as a condition. I'm not aware of that. Q But you did say that a letter has been given to the U.N. this morning, right? MS. TUTWILER: I said that it is my understanding, and that we believed -- we're not in the meeting with the Iraqi Permanent Rep and the Secretary General of the United Nations, nor are we present in the meeting with the President of the Security Council and the Iraqi U.N. representative. I said that we believe that he will either read or hand over, or something, a letter from Tariq Aziz to those two gentlemen. Q One question: There have been reports yesterday on NBC and today in The Washington Post and from dependable sources as well that with the collapse of the Iraqi army there is an increase in danger for the "Lebanonization of Iraq," namely by Turkey, Syria and Iran. What will the U.S. do to secure the implementation of its stated policy for the post-war territorial integrity of Iraq? MS. TUTWILER: We have said throughout this crisis that the United States and its allies have no territorial designs on Iraq. As we have said all along, we support the territorial integrity of Iraq. Territorial integrity is in part what this conflict is all about. It's a fundamental principle. It is not a bargaining chip -- as someone had, I believe, asked me yesterday if that's what we were doing with it. I would also point out that in General Kelly's briefing yesterday at the Pentagon, he said, "We have not taken a portion of Iraqi territory to hold. We are simply maneuvering on Iraqi territory, because our mission was to drive the Iraqi army out of Kuwait," and he said, "Our mission has not changed." Q Margaret -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes, Alan. Q -- has the Secretary had any conversations with the Syrian Foreign Minister or anyone else in the Syrian government in recent days? MS. TUTWILER: Since Saturday night? No. Q When was the last one? MS. TUTWILER: Saturday night. Q And what was that about? MS. TUTWILER: That was the night, Alan, that, as we told you, he spoke to, I think, it was close to 20 Foreign Ministers around the world, and they were basically -- Q Beginning of the ground war. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q Margaret, an historical question: You were there at the meeting in Geneva. How closely did what the Secretary tell Tariz Aziz would happen to Iraq if they didn't accept the U.N. Security Council resolutions, how closely has the action on the ground actually paralleled what the Secretary told the Iraqis? How accurate a reflection did that prove to be? MS. TUTWILER: I would say incredibly accurate. Q They knew to a level of great detail exactly what we've seen happening? MS. TUTWILER: Mary, when the Secretary of State -- and he has said this, and I refer to his I think it was close to 40-minute press conference at the conclusion of that meeting -- said to the Foreign Minister, "You understand that if there is a conflict, if you have to go that route, this will be quite different than fighting previous battles that you have fought." The Foreign Minister of Iraq made it perfectly clear that he was under no misperceptions or had any lack of information concerning what would be involved. Q Margaret, just to follow up on the contacts question, has the U.S. had any direct contact with the Government of Iraq since -- in the last few days? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Yesterday when the Charge was brought in specifically concerning the CBS -- Q Was there any other discussion during the course of that meeting on a subject other than the CBS personnel? MS. TUTWILER: The Iraqi Charge asked us if we had made a decision concerning their protective power and interests section, and we said it was still under review. Q Any other subject? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Also, has there been any contact with the -- has there been any consultation -- you're engaged in consultations today and tomorrow and the next day with some of the allied coalition members and the military coalition members. Will there be similar consultations with the Soviets who are also members of the coalition? MS. TUTWILER: Does he have meetings planned? Q Well, I'll prefer to ask it the way I prefer to ask it. MS. TUTWILER: Are there any conversations going on between the United States and the Soviet Union? Q Will there be similar consultations -- the Secretary of State is meeting with the Foreign Ministers of three members of the coalition. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q Will there be similar consultations with other members of the U.N. Security Council Permanent Five or other members of the coalition who include China and the Soviet Union? MS. TUTWILER: Not by the Secretary of State, Ralph, that I am personally aware of. I certainly know that he has no meetings scheduled, but I am not ruling out -- I cannot -- that other meetings get put on. I can't rule out that the Foreign Minister might call him this afternoon -- of China or the Soviet Union -- but there's nothing planned at his level that I know anything about. Q Has there been any contact over the phone since the Saturday night messages went out? MS. TUTWILER: At the Secretary's level? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Do you have anything on -- MS. TUTWILER: Well, other, Ralph, than you know -- Q Since the messages that went out on Saturday night, which were not done by the Secretary. MS. TUTWILER: The Soviet Charge -- no. The Soviet Charge talked to the Secretary briefly -- (TO STAFF) Was it Monday night? I can't remember. What is today? MS. HOGGARD: Wednesday. MS. TUTWILER: Wednesday. Monday -- right. Q I guess I was trying to determine, you've indicated today that the U.S. is consulting with France, Germany and Britain on -- you gave a list of things that they would consult on. I'm trying to determine whether the U.S. is consulting similarly with the Soviet Union on those subjects, and I'm drawing the conclusion from what you're saying that the answer is no. MS. TUTWILER: But, Ralph, there are any number of people that we will continue to be consulting with. Marlin put out this morning that the President of the United States called three coalition heads of state yesterday. Does that mean he left out the others? No. There is going to be an enormous amount of ongoing consultations continuing with these three countries and with other countries. So I would not read anything into that at all. Q Can you offer some explanation as to why Germany would be considered one of the first nations with whom the U.S. would want to consult on post-war issues at this point? MS. TUTWILER: As I believe that I mentioned yesterday -- as we have any number of times -- we have requests from other governments to come to the United States. I, to be honest with you, do not have the agenda that Foreign Minister Genscher is bringing with him, and I also said yesterday that in any of these meetings, there are going to be other bilateral issues that are discussed. Q Is it fair for us to -- you gave us a description of the talks with Hurd, Dumas and Genscher. It sounds to me more like that's the agenda with Hurd and Dumas, as opposed to being the agenda for Hurd, Dumas and Genscher. Is that -- MS. TUTWILER: Ralph, I would find it very hard to believe, since I believe the German government is, what, for this year, for responsibility sharing -- is it $3.5 billion? I believe they have just sent -- didn't they send $165 million to the Israeli government? I believe they have helped on Patriots for Turkey. They are very much a part of this coalition and have been lock, stock and barrel involved and supportive of what the international community is trying to do. I did not limit myself, either in the Hurd meeting or the Dumas meeting or the Genscher meeting -- I had done it yesterday. I didn't think you wanted me to get into a bunch of bilateral issues that they will be discussing. They have an enormous lot that they always discuss among themselves in those meetings. It is not just limited to this. I was trying to be helpful, since you had asked yesterday for me to flesh out more for you concerning post-crisis issues, would I please try to get a better fix for you on the specifics and elaborate more in that particular part of their conversations what they would be discussing. Q Margaret, there's been some concerns expressed in Congress that now that the war will end, maybe the coalition partners won't come through with the pledges of money that they've pledged for their part. Can you update us on exactly how much of the money is still in the pipeline, and how much of it has actually been paid over, and are there any concerns here at State about that? MS. TUTWILER: There are no concerns that I know of, Mary, and I'd refer you to OMB. They are the lead on this. I believe that Mr. Darman testified, I believe it was over five hours yesterday. A large portion of this, I believe, dealt with that, and I'd just say OMB is the lead on it. Q Margaret, a slight detour to another region. You can come back to this afterwards. There were peace talks on Ethiopia here last week and, hey, presto, the rebels have launched a major offensive two days later. Do you have a reaction? MS. TUTWILER: I cannot confirm that they have or have not. We've seen press reports that they have. You're correct. We had two days of meetings here. I believe they were last Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of those meetings, we posted by the Bureau here and by the Assistant Secretary that we hoped that we would continue these meetings, and we just don't have yet whether or not these reports are true. Q An AID organization -- a warning of a major, major famine looming very fast in that area. Millions and millions of people could be at risk. Do you have an assessment? I mean, obviously, if there's fighting, that's not going to help matters. MS. TUTWILER: Obviously, it wouldn't. And, as you know, the Soviet Union and the United States have been discussing over, I guess, it's close to a year now on how to cooperate and how to get food into these destitute and very needy areas. And we have not so far been able to accomplish our mission, and it is something that we continue to work on. Q Margaret, do you have an update on what's happening with U.S. Embassies in the Middle East now? In the last couple of days as the ground war has progressed, have there been more street demonstrations or any further problems or any sign of widespread unrest? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Is there any consideration being given to sending back the employees who were withdrawn before January 15 from various countries in, I guess, the Middle East and Africa -- MS. TUTWILER: Who will compose the country team? Q No, no. Q The drawdown. Q Yes. There was a drawdown. MS. TUTWILER: Oh, have those decisions been made yet? I don't know, George. I doubt it, to be honest with you. After all, I must remind you, we are still at war, and so I have not even heard that being raised yet. Q Margaret, do you have an update on terrorist incidents in the last few days? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. As you know, the last time we gave you numbers, I believe we said it was approximately 150. I could tell you now that it's basically around 160. There have not been, as I answered Mary's previous question, any noticeable, enormous demonstrations in front of any of our Embassies, and there have not been any notable incidents, Norm, to be honest with you. I'll be happy to post them. There was one, I believe, in Berlin. An unidentified man threw a hand grenade and fired an automatic weapon in the lobby of a hotel. It's those types of things. There again the vast majority, we have said, have been since the outbreak of the hostilities, property related, and there have been approximately, as I said, approximately 160. And there's been no appreciable change in the level of incidents since the ground fighting began, either demonstrations, Mary, or terrorism. Q Do you mean demonstrations at Embassies, because, of course, there was a big demonstration on a university campus in Cairo. MS. TUTWILER: There was that. Yes. I'm talking about massive demonstrations against the United States Embassy. As I said, I can't remember. Some time this week, for instance, the demonstration in front of our Embassy in Jordan had 150 women there. Q Margaret, can I go back to something on the contracting at the beginning again? It's probably because I'm not familiar -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm not either, Ralph. Q -- with this subject. O.K. It seems to me as though you made two contradictory statements -- MS. TUTWILER: I hope not. Q -- but I may not have all the words here. On the one hand, it seemed as though you said, "U.S. officials are not involved in contracting." I think that is an accurate paraphrase. And then right afterwards you said, "The Corps of Engineers is soliciting contracts." Does it mean that the United States is asking for bidders, but then somebody else is negotiating with them or -- MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, Ralph, I have not had an opportunity this morning, in trying to do other things, to get to that level of detail. I will happily do it for you, though. Q Can we have a copy of that statement on contracting, and so on, to look at? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Absolutely. Q Thank you, Margaret, MS. TUTWILER: Thank you all. (The briefing concluded at 1:12 p.m.)