US Department of State Daily Briefing #33: Thursday, 2/28/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:27 PM, Washington, DC Date: Feb 28, 19912/28/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia Country: Syria, USSR (former), Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan Subject: Terrorism, Regional/Civil Unrest, Trade/Economics, Development/Relief Aid, Military Affairs, United Nations, State Department (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I have a number of things that I'd like to tell you, and then I'll be happy to try to answer your questions. As you know, there are going to be many questions that I cannot precisely and concretely and definitively answer today. We will try to answer those that we can and hope you understand some things are in flux right now -- conversations are going on, meetings are going on. I can't answer everything.

[Iraq: Diplomatic Contacts by Secretary and Others]

To recap, as some of you know -- because I talked to you last night and others of us did here -- you know that Secretary Baker met with Douglas Hurd yesterday. You know that he met with Prince Bandar. I've mentioned to you all that he called the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union last night prior to the President's 9:00 o'clock address. He also called the Secretary General of the United Nations. He also talked to the Foreign Minister of Canada. Again, last night the State Department sent a cable worldwide to all our posts of the President's statement. Under Secretary Kimmitt met with the Swiss Ambassador to pass the President's statement to the Iranians. The five regional Assistant Secretaries at the Department met or talked on the phone with all of the Ambassadors of the approximately 40 countries or more of the coalition. Today, Secretary Baker has spoken to Prince Sa'ud of Saudi Arabia, and he received a call from the Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney. Secretary Baker, as you know, is today seeing the Foreign Minister of France, Roland Dumas. He has two additional meetings scheduled now. On Monday he will be seeing the Foreign Minister of Italy here at the State Department, and either on Monday or Tuesday he will be seeing the Foreign Minister of Canada here at the State Department. As I mentioned last night, he spoke with the Soviet Foreign Minister. The Secretary asked the Foreign Minister to convey, obviously, President Bush's message contained in his statement to President Gorbachev. Obviously, the Foreign Minister said he would do that immediately. He also asked the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union to encourage the Iraqis to designate a military representative to meet with our coalition representatives in order to deal with the military issues of a cease-fire. The Foreign Minister said that he would do that. The Secretary also asked him -- keep this in the time frame -- last night to please use their influence to get the Iraqis to accept and to implement the United Nations resolutions. They said they would also do this. The two Ministers discussed a possible visit of the Secretary of State to the Soviet Union, and the Foreign Minister said, just as a general characterization, how very much he appreciated Secretary Baker's call, and how pleased he was with the contents of the President's statement.

[Gulf: Secretary's Trip]

Concerning Secretary Baker's trip, I do not, obviously, have all the details worked out. We are tentatively looking at leaving on Wednesday. The countries that the Secretary is anticipating visiting are Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Israel, Turkey and the Soviet Union. We expect, obviously, to consult with the Government of Kuwait. I just cannot tell you at this moment where they will be located. We will probably return to Washington on either the 14th or the 15th, and we want to, as we always do, hold open that we can change the schedule. There is no order that I just gave you, and (2) that's not the order in which we will be visiting those countries. The only order that I can tell you is that Saudi Arabia will definitely be the first country that we go to. The purpose of this trip, as the President stated last night, will be to consult. The Secretary views these as true consultations with the countries in the region. The Secretary and the President do not underestimate the difficulty of securing the peace, the challenges that will be involved, and the problems that will need to be addressed, and they both recognize, as do many, many people, that these are very, very difficult problems. The areas for discussion are the ones you're familiar with: regional security arrangements, arms control and proliferation, Arab-Israeli peace, regional economic cooperation. I would also like to point out, as we have said many, many times, that the countries in the region will obviously have to take the lead.

[Iraq: Return of US Ambassador]

The other thing I would like to update you on is that Ambassador Skip Gnehm is in Dharhan this morning. He is there with his country team. He also has with him the 50 Civil Affairs Command individuals of the 352nd I mentioned yesterday. They are going in tomorrow. The reason for the delay is to secure our Embassy and, as you know, the Marines and special military personnel are there at this moment assuring that. Concerning the Kuwaiti government, it is my understanding that a team of Kuwaiti ministers and staff members will return to Kuwait City tomorrow, including the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, the Ministers of Communication, Water and Electricity, Defense, Housing and Interior. They will begin the work of restoring basic services in their various areas. At the same time, they will prepare a secure site to prepare for the return of the Crown Prince. Employees of the various Ministries in Kuwait who remained in Kuwait during the occupation began to report to work yesterday and have started such essential tasks as assessing damage to the power grid and communications lines. I'm sure several of you who have members of your news organization there in Kuwait have really quite impressive and heroic stories to tell of people who have returned to their buildings. Their buildings -- many of which are destroyed -- have so much damage done to them, and these people are right back at it, going to work, and trying to get their businesses and their country, obviously, immediately back up on its feet. When our Ambassador goes back, I do not know if he will immediately occupy our Embassy building. That will be determined by the security, obviously, of it, and they could at first be located for a few days in another facility, and I don't know specifically how that will work out.

[Iraq: Update on UN Discussions]

The final thing I'd like to give you an update on is what's going on at the United Nations. As you know, this morning they had -- I'm not sure if they're concluded -- a very brief informal Security Council meeting, the purpose of which was for our Ambassador to restate the President's statement of last night and to hear from the Iraqi Ambassador concerning their acceptance, as they have said, of 12 United Nations resolutions. As you know, the President said last night that the political issues that need to be dealt with will be dealt with in the Security Council. We, the United States right now, are currently working on a proposed approach. We are obviously discussing this approach with our coalition partners first. These discussions have begun. As you know, Hurd was here yesterday; Dumas will be here today. We would then envision that these consultations would result in a new resolution that we would take to the Security Council at the earliest opportunity, probably no later than tomorrow. The resolution will contain terms and conditions which represent the political considerations that have to be addressed for the termination of the war, such as release of Kuwaiti detainees and third-country nationals; acceptance and implementation of all United Nations resolutions; and, as you know, concerning several things you've asked me about, our views have not changed. We have always said that if Saddam Hussein remains in power, it's the view of the United States Government that an arms embargo must continue. That remains our view. Concerning war crimes and reparation issues, those discussions are going on right now with our coalition partners. Concerning economic sanctions, that is something that will be decided by the Security Council. The resolution that the coalition will discuss in the Security Council will contain the political requirements that are necessary, as I said, for termination of the war. Additional items that may show up in such a resolution that are being discussed right now, that are being looked at right now, are things like, "reaffirm that all 12 United Nations resolutions remain fully in effect." The Council will take note of Iraq's acceptance of the resolutions and demand implementation of those that are appropriate, such as: Iraq, as you know -- I believe it was in early August -- the Iraqi Revolutionary Council passed a law saying that Kuwait was the 19th province of Iraq. That is a piece of legislation that obviously needs to be rescinded. The immediate release of Kuwaiti detainees and third-country nationals. Acceptance in principle of liability of damage and injuries caused by Iraq. The immediate return of Kuwaiti assets -- airplanes, incubators. All of the things that you're all very familiar with that were stolen and raped and taken out of this country need to be returned. Remove economic sanctions against Kuwait. Tell the Secretary General and others to work urgently, consistent with existing resolutions, to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq. Q Excuse me. You said "renew" economic sanctions -- "review" -- MS. TUTWILER: As you know, we froze, to protect the Kuwaiti government -- be removed. And, as you know, I believe there have been four shipments -- by either the International Committee of the Red Cross or the World Health Organization and UNICEF -- of medical supplies. I believe it's four shipments that have gone in. I remember that one, I believe, was 54 tons of medicine. Medicine, as you know, is exempt and always has been from these sanctions. And those are the types of things that are being discussed today at the Foreign Minister level, at the United Nations representative level, at the Under Secretary level, the Assistant Secretary level. That is what we're basically dealing with today, and what we would envision as to how this will continue to evolve. Thank you. Q Do you now have in hand what you consider to be an authoritative, official acceptance by Iraq of the terms laid down by the coalition and President Bush? MS. TUTWILER: Of their acceptance of the United Nations resolutions? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: I do not know, Jim, because they have not finished, exactly what the Iraqi Perm Rep is doing in this meeting. That is what I was told we anticipated he would be doing, so I don't have a definitive answer for you. But I don't think there's any question that they have indeed accepted these. Q So -- MS. TUTWILER: But accepted is one thing, and, as I said, the international community and the coalition will be looking to implementation of those that are relevant. Q So things can proceed in the fashion that you've laid out here without that official, authoritative acceptance by Saddam Hussein of -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Marlin answered that question this morning. Q Why is it that you can say you don't think there's any question about that now? MS. TUTWILER: We don't believe that there is, Ralph. We, as you know, before you get into meetings, have all kinds of consultations and conversations prior to those meetings. I know of absolutely no reason to believe, based on substance and the knowledge I have of the situation, that they have not. But I want to leave myself the room -- so that I'm not misleading you if the Iraqi Permanent Rep right now has new instructions or has changed something. Q Margaret, a two-part question about Iran. Why the messages to Iran, and do these contacts, even though indirect, establish a basis for some sort of diplomatic relations or diplomatic dealings with Iran that will continue in this post-war period? MS. TUTWILER: Barry, as you know, the President said in his inaugural speech that he would -- and I'm totally paraphrasing now -- basically welcome any authoritative representative of the Iranian government if they would address themselves to two subject. As I remember, one is state-sponsored terrorism, and the other is the United States hostages. They have never picked the President up on that offer that I'm aware of, and throughout this Administration, as we have said, there has been any number at different times of indirect contacts with the Iranian government. They are, obviously, a geographic and demographic player in the region. We had contacts with them throughout this crisis, and I have no reasons to believe that we wouldn't continue indirect contacts through the Swiss. Q What is the U.S. position on lifting or not lifting economic sanctions on Iraq? Does the U.S. favor lifting them? MS. TUTWILER: That is something that will be decided in these consultations and at the Security Council. Q Well, that's something that the Security Council will decide. What is the U.S. Government's point of view on that? MS. TUTWILER: Our point of view is that those conversations are going on, and I'm not going to answer the question for you head on, because other things impact on what our position will ultimately be. So I'm not in a position today to be able to say "yea" or "nay." Q Margaret, why did you today and the President last night use the phrase that "Iraq must accept in principle the liability for the economic damage that it has caused there"? The U.N. resolution doesn't say anything about "in principle." It says "paying restitution." Is the United States trying to leave that intentionally fuzzy to decide at some point to come off the idea of restitution? MS. TUTWILER: No, we have not. But as each day we get up and deal with something new and different, we have not changed our policy. We have not changed our views. But now you're in a different situation, John, where this is now being discussed. I don't know how this -- this is our proposed approach. We are proposing a new resolution. That resolution and the form it will take is being discussed right now with many, many people who will get into it. So, no, we haven't changed, but we're part of a consultative process up at the U.N. Q Do you concede then that the coalition led by the United States might withdraw the requirement for restitution? MS. TUTWILER: No. I haven't heard anything like that. No. Q What's your position on Iraqi war crimes? MS. TUTWILER: Iraqi war crimes, as we have said continuously, are being discussed, and it is still being discussed today. As you know, various members of the coalition have differing views concerning this subject. We have throughout this crisis been collecting information. The Defense Department is the depository of that information, and there's no answer for you other than it's being discussed. Q Margaret, could we talk about Saddam Hussein a little bit? MS. TUTWILER: Can we talk about him? Q Yes. Let's get into that subject -- a fellow that you wanted to go away, and you wouldn't sob if he did. You've already -- you've got a plan here that assumes -- presumes he might stay in power. In other words, by trying to keep the sanctions on military supplies to Iraq if he remains in power. Is the Administration, number one, getting kind of resigned to the fact that they couldn't blow Saddam Hussein away, and, if that's not the case, how would you expect the people of Iraq -- who you keep saying have the decision to make who runs their country -- how would you expect them to choose a new leader and through what mechanism? MS. TUTWILER: That, Barry, is obviously something for the Iraqi people to determine themselves. Two, I think you said something to the effect, "Are we disappointed that we did not blow Saddam Hussein away?" I have stated, as has the President and the Secretary of State, that that was never one of the goals or objectives of the United Nations. It's never been stated anywhere. In the same breath, we have said -- and I believe the Secretary said it again yesterday here at the Department, as did Foreign Minister Hurd -- none of us would weep any tears. Q All right. Now, when you say, "It's up to the Iraqi people," the United States is a democracy. Do we have some preference? Do you have some preference that there be a democratic system of electing leaders in Iraq, even perhaps in Kuwait and other countries? There aren't too many democracies out there. MS. TUTWILER: Obviously, our preferred government and the model that we think is the most outstanding model is our own. But, as you know, we deal with many, many, many people who have different models. And the other fundamental of our policy is that we do not dictate to other nations what type of government they should have. Q Margaret, could you tell me, do you or the people in INR or anywhere else see any significance in the fact that communications in the last couple of days have come less from Saddam Hussein than from the Revolutionary Command Council and from Tariq Aziz? Do we have any ideas that perhaps Saddam Hussein might not have the kind of powers he has had in the past? MS. TUTWILER: I've heard people muse, is the only way I could characterize it for you now, Saul, along those lines, but I don't believe as of today that we have a definitive analysis yet of what exactly is going on inside that country. Q One other thing on the economic sanctions: I take it that there is a possibility that some economic sanctions could be relaxed and other sanctions remain in place. I assume that it's not an all-or-nothing sort of proposition that we're discussing. Is that fair? MS. TUTWILER: Well, there's never been, as you know, a sanction on medical. On food, it has always been that you had to go the Sanctions Committee for food. As I remember, you had to go to the Sanctions Committee if you were going to, for instance, charter an airplane and take in food. That, obviously, would be very difficult right now because of the situation at the airport. So I can't answer for you -- since these discussions, believe me, are going on at very senior levels in many, many capitals -- exactly what's going to come out in this resolution. Q I'm just asking as a matter of principle whether the sanctions -- whether what you're discussing on the sanctions is not whether they should be all on or all off, but whether there could be the lifting of some sanctions on some things that may be necessary for Iraq's well-being or reconstruction, or whatever? MS. TUTWILER: I can't guess that for you. That's pushing me too far at this moment. Q Does the United States favor an Arab peacekeeping force, a United Nations constituted peacekeeping force? What sort of peacekeeping force does the U.S. favor for that part of the world? MS. TUTWILER: Number one, John, I'm not aware that there's a coalition decision for a peacekeeping force, and that again is a subject that I don't have a lot of details to fill in for you. Those are things that are right now being discussed. Q Would that be one of the subjects to be discussed on Baker's trip, the peacekeeping force? MS. TUTWILER: That subject was discussed yesterday in his meeting with the Foreign Minister of the U.K., and I would envision it will continue to be discussed. Q Margaret, one of the four points that the Secretary is discussing with his colleagues is the Arab-Israeli issue. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q How is that different from the linkage which this Administration once avoided like the plague? MS. TUTWILER: This is not a condition, and the way it was being presented by Saddam Hussein was that he was conditioning his behavior on this. We have never said that we would go with any type of linkage or any type of conditionality. And we have -- if you go back to President Bush and President Gorbachev's Helsinki statement -- the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union in fact referred to it himself this morning in his press conference -- if you go back to the President's statement at the United Nations, if you look at our most recent joint U.S.-Soviet statement, we have all said, the whole world has been saying, that it is a very serious subject that does need to be addressed but not linked and not conditioned. Q But by linking it with the post-war planning, isn't that a form of linkage? MS. TUTWILER: Jim, the way it was coming for the last six months was Saddam Hussein saying, "I will do X, if you do this." That is quite different than what we were saying, which was: this is a very serious subject that needs to be returned to. It's not like we hadn't addressed ourselves to it in this Administration. As I remember, we spent 14 months on it. That's very different than saying, "I'll alter my behavior based on you, the world, doing the following." We said, "No dice." Q Margaret, follow on this one -- Q Margaret, could I just follow up on this? MS. TUTWILER: Yes, Margaret. Q On the Arab-Israeli issue. Prime Minister Shamir gave a pretty tough speech a day or two ago. What are you -- what is Washington looking for from the Israelis in the way of -- as you said, this issue has been worked on extensively before this crisis. Are you looking for a different approach or a different attitude on the part of the Israeli government, and, if so, what are you looking for? MS. TUTWILER: I think, Margaret, not to pre-empt the Secretary of State's trip -- he is going to Israel. These are obviously subjects he will be discussing with the Israeli government and with others. He said here yesterday, which you've heard him say many, many times, that you are not going to make progress on Arab-Israeli peace unless the parties themselves really want to make progress. And that has been his view throughout. It's his view now. And this is again something that I don't have the type of detail yet that you would like. I think that it is appropriate that he hear others' ideas also on this subject. Q Margaret -- Q (Multiple questions) MS. TUTWILER: Yes, Ralph. Q You made an announcement today that the Secretary would be visiting Israel for the first time in over two years in this Administration. MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q What was the purpose -- on what basis, for what reason, did the United States decide it was now time after more than two years to visit one of its closest allies in the Middle East? MS. TUTWILER: To be quite honest with you, I didn't even think to ask him. Nor did I, Ralph, ask about any of the other places he was going. You've been on a very fast track, as I have. I just didn't think why I needed to ask him this question. I think it's perfectly obvious. He's going. Q Did he perhaps get a call from Israel saying they were serious about peace? MS. TUTWILER: He has not talked to the Foreign Minister of Israel, I believe, since Saturday night. Q Did the Prime Minister tell him they were serious about peace and "Come on"? MS. TUTWILER: In that conversation, John, I do not believe that they discussed Arab-Israeli issues. As I remember that conversation, it was to discuss the commencement of the ground war. Q Margaret, there are reports from Israel that Israel will ask the U.S. Administration to come up with the -- in any contacts, whether it's the military contacts with the Iraqis or the diplomatic contacts, to come up with the assurances from the Iraqis regarding missile launching from west Iraq. Are you aware of this Israeli, I would say, sensitive attitude toward this issue? Have you got anything from Jerusalem regarding this issue? MS. TUTWILER: Number one, I'm not aware of anything that we have gotten from Jerusalem on that issue. Number two, I would refer you to the President of the United States' address last night where he himself says, "Scuds launched at any other countries." Israel is an obvious country. And, number three, obviously, the United States is very sensitive to the Scud attacks that Israel has had throughout this crisis. So, I mean, of course, we're sensitive to it and know about it. Q Margaret, in the post-war equation, what role do you assign to Jordan? Are U.S. relations with Jordan likely to improve following the war? And do the Jordanians still have an important role in the Arab-Israeli peace process? MS. TUTWILER: I can't answer the question for you, Norm, on what role the Jordanians themselves want to choose to play in the Arab-Israeli question. Q What role was assigned by the United States? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have an answer. That's getting me beyond where I think we are this morning. And as far as our relations with Jordan, we have expressed throughout this crisis some of our disappointment over some of the statements that have been made, but we have, at the same time, said that they are an important country, obviously, in the region. They are our friend, and we hope now that this is behind us that we can move back to the good relations that we had before this crisis started. Q Any idea when the aid review will be completed? MS. TUTWILER: No. I have to be honest with you, all I know is it's still under review, and I haven't heard the results of that review or when it's going to conclude. Q What is your reaction, Margaret, to the reports that Jordanian ammunition was found with Iraqi forces that was shipped after the U.N. embargo? MS. TUTWILER: We've seen those reports. We're looking into them, but I have nothing to say about whether they're true or false. Q Do you believe that they violated the embargo -- that Jordan violated the embargo? MS. TUTWILER: I'd rather, George, until we ourselves actually have a chance to investigate what is there, to refrain from answering "what if's." We are aware of it. We are definitely looking into it. We just don't have any conclusions yet. Q Might it affect -- MS. TUTWILER: What, Connie? Q Is it safe to assume the Secretary will go to Israel last since he's not going to go first? And also, will he be specifically asking the Arab countries to hold one-on-one dialogues with Israel? Will he make that suggestion? MS. TUTWILER: I do not know if that will be part of his brief when he is in the region. And, as I said, in trying to be helpful to you all, we have said where he's going. We do not have the order, other than he will be going to Saudi Arabia first. We started last night at 10:00 working with other capitals to try to make all of the arrangements and handle the logistics, etc., so I can't answer the first question. Q Margaret, when you folks were ticked off at Jordan, you still kept repeating, as far as the U.S. knew, they're observing the embargo. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q Is that not operative anymore? MS. TUTWILER: That is operative. Q As far as you know, they're still observing the embargo but you're looking into this particular report? MS. TUTWILER: We are looking into this particular report -- correct -- of arms that have been found that were -- this is the report; not what we think or know -- shipped after the embargo. That is what we are looking into. Q And a quick other arms question. Naturally, I don't know if your wish list was an abbreviated description of the various things you want. Now, we have heard about the embargo of arms to Iraq in a graduated sense, the emphasis being on denying them the major stuff -- the nuclear, the chemical. Is the United States clearly for a total ban on all arm shipments to Iraq if Saddam Hussein remains in power -- all arms, all weapons? MS. TUTWILER: That's my understanding, Barry. I have never thought to ask the question. But the Secretary has always expressed it as the arms embargo should remain in effect if Saddam Hussein is still in power, is the United States' view. I would imagine that means all. Q He's emphasizing weapons of mass destruction -- chemical, nuclear. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. But if you look at his testimony last week, he said our view would be an arms embargo. He did not literally say the word "total," but I just assume that's what he means. Q Margaret, is there any consideration or planning being given here on the issue of perhaps -- when you were talking about humanitarian aid through the United Nations to Iraq, is there any consideration of humanitarian aid by the United States to Iraq? I'm thinking along the lines of -- the Army Corps of Engineers is helping the Kuwaitis with some basic sort of sanitation repairs. We all know that during the course of the air war, things like the power grid were destroyed in Iraq and there's a sewage problem in places like Baghdad -- the possibility of disease. Is the United States at all considering offering to do things like get the power grid back up for the Iraqis or -- MS. TUTWILER: Not that I am aware of, Mary, at all. As you know, the Iraqi government broke relations with the United States several weeks ago. I'm unaware of any type of thought that is being given along those lines. As far as medicine and food, as you know, it would be through international relief agencies of which the United States is a member and contributes to. Q Margaret, the Secretary said in recent testimony that the Allies would assist in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq. Are you telling us now that that is conditional? And, if so, what is it conditional on? MS. TUTWILER: I believe that he said it is something that would need to be discussed. But when Mary asked me, are we literally looking into the level of detail of electrical grids or generators, or those types of things, which we are looking into for Kuwait, my answer is, no, we're not. Q Is it being discussed? MS. TUTWILER: So far in the discussions that I have attended with the Secretary of State -- he's had two -- I have not heard this type of subject being discussed. Medicine and food, yes. Q Does it depend on who's in power there? MS. TUTWILER: Well, let's go back to the facts. The Iraqi government has broken, severed relations with the United States Government. So the ball, it would seem to me, before you would ever get to all your hypotheticals, would be, are they ever going to recognize the United States Government? It's their deal. Q Margaret, can you tell us whether there's any efforts that the suggestions or the requests of Bessmertnykh to prevail upon the Iraqis had any effect? MS. TUTWILER: Well -- and I wanted to put this in the timeframe -- I don't know. I know that the Foreign Minister definitely said, yes, they would -- I checked right before I came here and to my knowledge, either through political channels at the United Nations or checking with the Pentagon, I am unaware of any Iraqi contact with us to meet with General Schwarzkopf. Q Not only to meet with General Schwarzkopf, but apparently -- MS. TUTWILER: On sanctions, I don't know the time. Q They accepted the sanctions late or early this morning, apparently after Baker's call. Do we know whether there's any connection between the Soviet influence and Baker? MS. TUTWILER: I don't, Saul. I don't know if that decision and instruction had already been sent. I think their instructions, because of their lack of communication ability, are coming through Amman, Jordan. It is no secret that the Soviet Union and many other countries that have contact with the Iraqi government have been telling them this for weeks and days. So at what moment Saddam Hussein, or the Revolutionary Council decided, I don't know. Q Margaret, can I go back to the decision by the Secretary to go to Israel? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q Last June, the Secretary, in a dramatic appearance before Congress, sent a public message to the Israelis saying, "If you're serious about peace, -- when you're serious about peace -- give us a call." What has changed? MS. TUTWILER: The only reason for this trip and these consultations, John, is not one dimensional. I have said the other three baskets, the other three topics, the other three subjects they will be discussing. What you're pulling out is obviously factual and correct but that was addressing itself to a specific issue. The Secretary of State has said for the last two years how much he very, very much wants to go to Israel; how he wanted to go -- in fact, when he was Secretary of the Treasury and at the White House, those trips, for other reasons, got cancelled on him. He has very much wanted to go. He is very much looking forward to going. He believes, and the President believes, that this is the appropriate time and he's going. Q I reiterate my question: What has changed in the world situation that makes him believe that it is now possible to talk to the Israelis about peace? MS. TUTWILER: That will be one subject that he will be discussing with the Israelis as he will with all the others he is seeing in the region. It is not the only subject that he will be discussing. Obviously, the world is quite different today than it was, I believe -- what was that? -- 12 months ago when he made that statement. As he said to you yesterday, "There may be opportunities here. We do not know but we do not underestimate the challenges and the difficulties of many of these issues in this region." He, in fact, I believe yesterday, said that many of these issues are believed to be intractable. So he has said, we don't underestimate this. The President said it last night by saying how difficult and challenging it will be to secure the peace. At the same time, he and others believe that there could be opportunities here. Q If I could just make one more try and then I'll leave it. MS. TUTWILER: OK. Q So it is a generalized belief that the world has changed rather than any specific indication from Israel that they are now ready to get serious about peace, that is causing him to go to Israel next week? MS. TUTWILER: To my knowledge, Secretary Baker, in the conversations that he has had with the Foreign Minister -- and I know with the Defense Minister when he was here -- this was not a subject that was being discussed. At that time Scuds were falling into the country of Israel. They were discussing emergency military assistance that they needed. John, people were discussing other things at that time. If you recall, back when Secretary Baker made that statement, I believe that was either shortly before the Israeli government at that time fell, or quite close after that. I think everyone acknowledges, we're in a different time here. A lot has happened in the last 7 months. Q When you say he's not going to the region just to talk about Arab-Israeli -- MS. TUTWILER: That's what I said. Q Right. One construction from what you said -- I'd like to hear you say it, that he's going to talk to the Israelis about these three other baskets; that he's thinking in terms of Israel playing a role in regional security; he's thinking -- MS. TUTWILER: Sure. He has said that. Q He is? Israel might -- MS. TUTWILER: He said it in testimony last week. Q You mean Israel might be part of some regional structure, including Arab countries that would protect the Gulf; is that what you saying? MS. TUTWILER: He has said all this. Q OK. And are you saying that Israel should be considered to receive some kind of reparations for the damage to Israel from the Iraqis; is that part of it? MS. TUTWILER: We have said, as you know -- and the Secretary has -- that Israel definitely has economic needs, as you know. I've told you this, I think, a dozen times. The Secretary has raised this issue with the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg who is currently the President of the EC. As you know, the Germans have given a contribution. As you know, we are aware of and are trying to help on Israel's economic needs. Q And the fourth basket -- arms: Does that mean the United States is now ready to consider -- after all, the United States is virtually the only arms supplier to Israel -- is the United States now ready to consider attacking the proliferation problem by limiting or ending arm shipments to Israel? MS. TUTWILER: The United States is prepared to have these issues discussed with the players in the region, and the United States is going, as I said, in a listening mode and also is going for what we want to characterize as true consultations. That is what this first round of trips will be. I cannot tell you, Barry, that the four baskets are subjects that the Secretary is going to discuss in every other country, including the Soviet Union, that he isn't going to discuss with Israel. Of course, he's going to. Q I don't suspect the Israelis are going to say, "Please stop arming us." So if it's discussed, it would have to be -- the thrust would have to be some United States interest or even half-warmed goal of cutting back on arm shipments to Israel. Is that something he's liable to tell the Israelis? MS. TUTWILER: You are taking this -- Q Literally -- yeah. MS. TUTWILER: -- this issue way beyond where -- there haven't been kind of decisions made, Barry, details fleshed out. But is he going to address the same four areas of discussion in Israel that he did yesterday with the UK, he will today with France, he will with Germany on Friday, he will with Italy on Monday, he will with Canada on Tuesday, he will in every country he's going to? The answer is yes. Q Margaret, can I just ask about Kuwait? The Amir of Kuwait has declared a 3-month period of martial law which will include press curbs as well. Does the U.S. support that? Was Washington consulted about that? MS. TUTWILER: What we said, Margaret, was that that is a legitimate decision for the legitimate Government of Kuwait to make. We said that we were definitely aware that they had been thinking that they might need this. You didn't know how many snipers would be in there. You didn't know how many people would be still shooting, etc. Without us having an opinion on it, we definitely view this as a legitimate decision for their government to make. It's theirs to have made. Q Margaret, what about the reports that Kuwaitis may be hunting down Palestinians in Kuwait City in terms of retaliation for what they believe is Palestinian collaboration with the Iraqis? Have you heard anything? Do you know anything? Have you asked the Kuwaiti government about it? Are you concerned? MS. TUTWILER: I have not seen one report like that. It is something that, again, just like martial law, has been in discussion with the Kuwaiti government. They are very well aware that type of thing could have happened. It is my understanding, Mary, it's the exact opposite; that they have issued orders -- or not orders -- however they communicate with their people -- to not take retribution, to not take law and order into their own hands. Q Can I go back to a subject to see whether you are prepared to make any kind of comment on Shamir's statement? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't seen it, Saul, to be honest. Q It was in all the papers. MS. TUTWILER: It probably was but I've been trying like crazy this morning to get on top of what's going on at the U.N. and this proposal -- Q I want to make sure you don't have the statement on that. MS. TUTWILER: I really don't. I honestly have concentrated on this ball of wax today. Q Margaret, can I go back to an earlier question? Q I wanted to follow up on George for just a minute and pin down. You said that the U.S. would be investigating these reports of Jordanian shipments of arms after the embargo. Is it safe to say that the fruits of that investigation would be a factor in the decision on Jordan's aid? MS. TUTWILER: You're taking me way beyond where we are today. I have said we're aware of the report. We're aware of the situation. We are taking it seriously. We are looking into it. I don't know what we'll find. Once you see what you find, what type of decision would that make? I can't answer those things. Q Also, I wanted to repeat my question of yesterday and ask if there have been any discussion with the Saudis about the Iraqi POWs, especially those that may not want to be returned, as part of a political settlement at the U.N.? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry. If we didn't get an answer for you yesterday, that's something that I did not personally follow up on, and it has not been raised in any meeting I've been in all day yesterday and through the night and all day today. I don't know. Q The United States still regards Jordan as a friend even though a strained friend. Why is Baker not going there in this new world, as he is trying to discuss a New World Order? MS. TUTWILER: I think that he thought that in the timeframe that he has in his schedule and what all he has to do, that the places that he is going to on this trip are the appropriate places to go at this time. Q So it's his busy schedule. It has nothing to do with the political attitudes of the Jordanian government? It's too far out of the way? MS. TUTWILER: We don't want you all to get tired. Q The last two trips that Secretary Baker has gone to the Middle East, he goes to Syria. Everytime he goes there, he has conversations with them about the problems we still have with their past history with terrorism. But as far as we know, nothing has come of this, but yet he's going back to Syria again. Does the United States believe that Syria should be a major player in determining regional security for the region since there's been no real progress that we can see with their support of terrorism?

[Syria: US Relations and the Terrorism Issue]

MS. TUTWILER: The United States, as you know, has serious discussions with the Syrian government concerning terrorism. It is no secret that many people are very appreciative of the role that Syria has played. Syria has been considered throughout as a member of the coalition. They have -- I've forgotten the last time we did this -- between 20,000 and 40,000 troops on the ground, there fighting. So I would only answer you by saying -- you know, because you go with us and travel with us -- that the Secretary of State has made terrorism and our views on it very well known to President Assad. And at the same time, President Bush and the Secretary have been very appreciative that they have been throughout a strong and loyal member of this coalition and had troops on the ground. Q But at some point in time we have to hold them accountable, don't we? It's well and good that they contributed 20,000 troops to the effort but that doesn't erase the past that they have with terrorism? MS. TUTWILER: It also is a fact that before this crisis we had a full-flown embassy and ambassador in that country. As you know, in many countries we have issues that we continue to press on and continue to discuss. It doesn't mean that we don't continue. That's the only way I know how to answer it. We will continue. It has not lessened our interest in it. But I've got to say that they have been a very important part -- and many people believe this; many nations believe this -- of this coalition. Q Margaret, can I go back to a question earlier that Mary raised about the potential of U.S. humanitarian aid to Iraq? It's my understanding that the OFDA actually has some contingency plans. MS. TUTWILER: The who? Q The Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. I wonder if you would look into it, because they have said that they've got contingency plans. It all bears on whether or not they're requested by the government, or whichever government is in power in a particular place, to go in and help. MS. TUTWILER: And they've put an announcement out to this effect -- that they're ready to go? Q They haven't put an announcement out, but On Background they've talked about it. MS. TUTWILER: We'll look into it. Q If you could check into it. MS. TUTWILER: Sure, Jan. Q (Inaudible) Jordan to go over there. Would we accept that invitation? MS. TUTWILER: That, again, would get me right back into a scheduling situation. I'd have to take a look at it. As I've said, these are the places that the Secretary is going to at this time. I said when I started this, "please don't hold me to that." We could add places onto his trip. As many of you know who travel with us, that usually is what happens at the end. But I am not suggesting that the Secretary is looking right now at any other place to go. Q Have they asked, though? MS. TUTWILER: Not to my knowledge. Q Margaret, just to make sure we understand something, you said before that in your view it is legitimate, on the part of the Kuwaitis, to curb press freedoms? MS. TUTWILER: I have not addressed myself to that part of the question. I'm unaware of that, that they are doing that. I addressed myself, I believe, to martial law. I don't know about what they're doing with the press. If there were restrictions, I would have to say they're probably not holding up too well from what I've seen on my networks. All of you correspondents, it appears to me -- Q It hasn't gone into effect yet. It would go into effect once they get there. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not familiar with what the Kuwaiti government has determined to do, as you're telling me now, in the future concerning the press. I just don't know. Q Could you take the question, because it is part of the package of martial law? MS. TUTWILER: I'll be glad to. Q OK, and one other thing. Is the Administration in contact with the Iraqi exile groups at all, opposition groups abroad? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I know of, no. I can't say a "no" emphatically, but not that I've ever heard of. Q During the war, the U.S. Government had expressed appreciation to Israel for the restraint it showed when the Scuds were falling on its territory. MS. TUTWILER: Absolutely. Q Would the U.S. expect continued Israeli restraint for what happened during the war? MS. TUTWILER: That, obviously, is a decision the Israeli government would have to make. They're a sovereign nation. They made the decision to pursue the policy of restraint over the last 7 months. I cannot answer that question, nor have we ever been in a position of dictating to other governments what they should or should not do. But as you know, the President's statement last night addressed itself to Scuds being shot at other countries. Q To clear up one little thing on the original statement -- Q If Israel takes action, as has been speculated in some instances, even though they're not a party to it, would it be a violation of the ceasefire? MS. TUTWILER: It's a total hypothetical for me, Saul. Q Would you take kindly to Israel taking action at this point? They've promised to take action. MS. TUTWILER: They've what? Q At some point, on their terms, in their own good time. I wonder whether -- MS. TUTWILER: It's just a total hypothetical. Q Margaret, can I just come back to one -- clean up a detail in your original statement on the U.N. resolution? You listed -- MS. TUTWILER: On a potential resolution, would deal with some of these types of things. Q Right. You listed some things that you said were in the U.S. proposal. You listed detainees and third country nationals. You talked about arms embargo, but then it seemed to me as though you drew a distinction -- drew a line -- and then there were other issues: War crimes, reparations and economic sanctions, you seem to put in a separate category. Is there a reason for that? MS. TUTWILER: No. What I've tried to do -- I hope I've been clear -- is that the United States is looking at, on that whole long list I gave you, the types of things that would be in such a resolution that the Security Council is going to work on. I answered war crimes and war reparations by saying war crimes, our view is exactly as it's been over the last many weeks; and on reparations. And those discussions concerning those two issues are also going on. Q Are being proposed -- are not being proposed as part of the suggested U.S. resolution? MS. TUTWILER: I do not know, Ralph, because these are just our initial, preliminary ideas overnight for the United States and -- for 5 hours of this morning. I can't tell you that it will or will not -- where it will end up. My point was just to acknowledge those conversations were going on so that you didn't ask me, well, you've just dropped those things. Q Margaret -- I'm sorry -- is the Secretary not going to Turkey? That's not on the itinerary. MS. TUTWILER: I said Turkey. Q You did say Turkey? MS. TUTWILER: I think I said Turkey. I intended to. He is going to Turkey. Q Margaret, has the Amir of Kuwait made a request for permanent U.S. presence in Kuwait? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I know of. Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: I don't know if I have anything, George. Q On your list of things that are being discussed at the United Nations and those consultations about what might be in a resolution, did you say anything about the prisoners of war? MS. TUTWILER: No. Remember, the President last night, I believe, said that General Schwarzkopf would be discussing that military-to-military. Q So that's a separate negotiation? MS. TUTWILER: That's being discussed right now. Q Thank you. Q Barry, that's not fair. Filing break. Q Filing break. Q Do you have anything on U.S. contacts with the Soviets concerning their relationship with the Sandinista military? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q OK. (Press briefing concluded at 1:17 p.m.)