US Department of State Daily Briefing #50: Wednesday, 3/27/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:06 PM, Washington, DC Date: Mar 27, 19913/27/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, South Asia, Eurasia Country: Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, USSR (former), Pakistan, Jordan Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Refugees, Military Affairs, United Nations, State Department, Human Rights, Democratization, Regional/Civil Unrest (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: One housekeeping matter is: in observance of the various religious holidays going on this weekend, we'll have no State Department briefing on Friday.

[Iraq: Update on Civil Unrest]

An update, as I do for you daily, on the situation as we see it in Iraq. In the north, the government seems to be massing forces for a major effort to retake Kirkuk. But at present, that city still appears to be in the hands of dissident elements. Meanwhile, dissidents have been clashing with government troops who are defending the approaches to the city of Mosul. In the south, clashes have continued in the vicinity of Basra and along the lower Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Through the use of large, heavily equipped occupation forces, the government seems to have secured greater control over most major cities in the south in the past few days, including Basra and the Shi'a holy cities. Nonetheless, government forces still appear unable to establish effective and lasting control over a number of other smaller cities, towns, and rural areas. As you know, yesterday I had a number of questions to characterize the phrases that some of you used concerning slaughters. I said that, yesterday, we were not in a position to confirm such a statement that was made to me. And today, I do not have any additional information that addresses these specific claims. However, which many of you know, forces loyal to the government have frequently used heavy artillery, tanks, multi-rocket launchers and helicopter gunships against entire cities and towns throughout the country. In some cases, no attempt has been made to target specific dissident concentrations. Entire cities and towns have been subjected to indiscriminate bombardment. This has undoubtedly resulted, as we said yesterday, in heavy civilian casualties and widespread destruction. Q Margaret, on those four or five forms of weapons you cited, which are illegal, from the U.S. view, for them to use? MS. TUTWILER: As you know, in General Schwarzkopf's first military-to-military meeting and in the subsequent meetings, they have not addressed themselves to tanks and heavy artillery. The only thing that the Pentagon has said repeatedly that was specifically addressed was fixed-wing aircraft. As you know, we have followed through on what we had said we would do concerning those. The other areas were not addressed in those military-to-military meetings. Q Well, considering the situation now, was that sort of a slip? Would it have been better either to, as General Schwarzkopf is quoted as telling David Frost, "Prosecute the war a little more and beat up on the Iraqi military a little better?" And/or was it a lapse not to proscribe some of these additional weapons? MS. TUTWILER: What I'm not going to do is get in a debate concerning the military-to-military meetings. I think that would be best handled at the Pentagon. Q I'm asking too many questions. Q Margaret, can you tell us anything about what the U.S. -- you talked a great deal about what Iraqi forces are doing, what kinds of equipment they're using, and so on. Can you tell us anything about whether the U.S. in any way has become involved in events in southern Iraq at anyplace other than the place where the U.S. forces are occupying? MS. TUTWILER: Not to my knowledge. But, again, you could maybe have your colleague ask that question at the Pentagon. I know nothing of any such type of United States involvement. And, as I understand it, Ralph, the President has been extremely clear in our policy of what those troops are doing there. You know we have been involved twice concerning fixed-wing aircraft. Those are the only two instances I'm aware of. Q Also, you used the phrase -- I think you used the phrase "occupying forces -- occupation forces," I think you said, when referring -- I think you were referring to Iraqi forces, were you not, at that time? And if so, in what way are they occupation forces? Who's occupying who? MS. TUTWILER: "Heavily equipped occupation forces," I'm referring to government forces. They are in these areas, it's my understanding, with this heavy equipment. It is their equipment. Q So the Iraqi government, in your view, does not have any right to deploy its military inside its territory in areas not proscribed by the United States? MS. TUTWILER: I don't think that I made a comment concerning whether it was right or not. I simply used an adjective to describe a situation where they have, it's my understanding, moved in tanks, moved in heavy artillery, have been occupying -- I think is a fair characterization -- cities in their own country. Q But you would presumably not describe the U.S. and allied forces that are inside Iraq as being occupying forces, would you? MS. TUTWILER: We are not there to occupy, as you know. We have no designs on the territory of Iraq. We are there until the United Nations completes their ceasefire agreement. Q Margaret, since yesterday's briefing, has there been a policy decision by this government to -- a formal policy decision not to intervene in this internal dissidence in Iraq? MS. TUTWILER: It isn't since yesterday. I would say throughout the entire crisis, that has been the policy. I know of no deviation or change in that policy. I would simply refer you to any number of statements by the President expressing our policy, so I couldn't characterize it as a change. Q Has it been reconfirmed? Has it been reviewed and reconfirmed since we talked yesterday? MS. TUTWILER: Did someone review the policy since the briefing yesterday? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of. I expressed consistent United States policy at this briefing yesterday. Marlin Fitzwater expressed the same consistent United States policy at his briefing yesterday, and Pete Williams expressed the same thing at the Pentagon. So I don't know what there was to review. Q Is there any intention to review it -- MS. TUTWILER: Not that I know of. Q -- in light of, as you describe it, the fact that government forces appear to be dominating? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I am personally aware of, Jim.

[United Nations: Resolution on Cease Fire]

Q Margaret, can you give us an update on what's happening at the United Nations? What is this resolution likely to contain? Are the other members of the Perm Five signed on? And what happens if Iraq refuses to accept its terms? MS. TUTWILER: We discussed how much we wanted to discuss today at the briefing, David, this morning prior to a resolution finally being adopted, and decided to follow our normal practice which is not to comment on the specific contents of a proposed resolution until you have a final resolution. Concerning where we are in the Perm Five process, we are very near agreement among the Five on a resolution. It is hoped that today you would begin the process of circulation to the other members of the Security Council. It is still our policy that we would hope to see this resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council. We would hope this week. But, again, we don't hold ourselves to "that it must be this week." On a very hypothetical question that you asked me, recognizing that it's hypothetical, concerning Iraq -- I believe your question is "Iraqi acceptance of this?" Q If they don't accept it, what then? MS. TUTWILER: If they don't accept it? Acknowledging that that's a hypothetical, we would say that that would be very interesting. Iraq refused to accept 12 other resolutions and has paid a very significant price for that. Some day the Iraqi leadership will learn to respect the will and the mandate of the United Nations and the international community. It would be the position of the United States that these resolutions, if adopted, should be implemented regardless of whether Iraq accepts it or not. As many of you know, Iraq, like all other United Nations Security Council members, is obligated to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with Article 25 of the United Nations Charter to which they are signatory to. Q Margaret, still on the U.N. resolutions. Is it the U.S. view that Iraq assets elsewhere, other than in Iraq, should have a lien put on them, in effect, to repay reparations to Kuwait and environmental damages, so on and so forth? MS. TUTWILER: This is one of the things, Ralph, that is being discussed. Unfortunately, I cannot answer the specifics today of what all the United States' positions are. This is, as you've seen -- I think it's a Reuter's report this morning -- a very, very long list that someone has put out that says what they're dealing with. This is a very long and complicated resolution. We really, honestly did have an honest discussion this morning about how much we wanted to put out as of this briefing, and decided that it would probably be wiser just to wait until we actually have an accepted, adopted resolution. Q Margaret, did I understand you to just say that it is the United States position that even if the Iraqis -- given that you've open the hypothetical Pandora's Box -- even if the Iraqis do not accept the ceasefire, it would be the United States position that the terms should be implemented? MS. TUTWILER: This is a total hypothetical on David's question on "If the Iraqis do not accept." Q But you opened this. MS. TUTWILER: You're right. It would be the position of the United States that these resolutions, if adopted, should be implemented regardless of whether Iraq accepts it or not. Q Then my question is, does that mean that -- given, in the past, you'd said on a ceasefire acceptance, U.S. troops would withdraw. Just following this one further step, what would then be the position of the United States Government vis-a-vis troop withdrawal? MS. TUTWILER: I don't think that the two, to be honest with you, are intertwined. It has always been our position that once the United Nations passes and adopts a resolution -- as you know, part of this that is being discussed and Secretary Baker discussed it on his trip is a United Nation Observer Force there on the border. It has always been our policy, in our view, that once the U.N. resolution is passed and adopted, the U.N. Observer Force is moved into place, that we would proceed with our withdrawal of United States troops. That is still our policy today. Q Margaret, on that subject of Iraqi acceptance, in this liberally leaked draft proposal, which is being circulated, one of the first items is that a formal ceasefire comes into effect only when Iraq officially accepts the resolution. Is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: What I'm not going to do is get into today -- that is a leaked version of a -- whoever did it -- someone's version of how a formal resolution will look. Until this is completed, not only on this subject but many other subjects that we anticipate will be contained in a final resolution, today, we just want to refrain or duck from answering specifically what is going to be in the final resolution. Q But, Margaret, there seems to be an inconsistency between what you said about it coming into effect whether or not Iraq accepts it and this provision which has been circulating. MS. TUTWILER: You're asking me, Jim, to acknowledge and accept that what is running on a wire copy is what the final document will look like. I'm not in the position to do that for you today. It's a totally valid question which I totally understand. If we had an agreed-upon, adopted resolution, then I would understand and say to you, sure, let me answer your question for you. But right now, what we've got, I cannot tell you or confirm or deny for you that every word of one wire copy I've seen is exactly correct and is exactly what is going to be the final document that comes out of the United Nations. Q Is there support within the Perm Five of this U.S. position? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, it's not something that I am aware of that if we polled everybody on. I don't know. I'd would just be totally winging it on that. Q But you said you're in agreement on this? MS. TUTWILER: We're near agreement on a very, very lengthy, detailed United Nations resolution. I do not believe I said that there was agreement or debate or discussion concerning the hypothetical question that David asked me, "Should Iraq not accept." Q No, no. You were talking about the text of the resolution, I thought, and you said that "we" -- I suppose -- well, didn't you mean the United States and the other members of the Security Council are near agreement on a draft of a resolution? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. On that, yes, we are. But I thought that you were asking me concerning this answer: What would our position be concerning "if Iraq did not?" Right? Q Right. That's what I was asking. MS. TUTWILER: You asked me if our position, I believe, had been discussed by the other four. I said I'm not aware of that. Q Margaret, as long as we're talking hypothetically, it seems likely that some sections of this resolution will require destruction of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Would it be the United States position that that would be done by force if the Iraqis refused to permit it to be done peacefully? MS. TUTWILER: I have never heard the second part of your question mentioned by anyone in our government. Q (Inaudible) implementation. If the U.S. says the resolution would be implemented, and if the resolution contains something about destruction of weapons, your position, then, stated today is that the United States believes that destruction should proceed anyway whether Iraq accepts it or not? MS. TUTWILER: Obviously, Ralph, the United States has been -- even before this crisis -- very concerned about weapons of mass destruction that are in Iraq. You know what our feeling is about this. You know what many of the countries in the region feel about this. It's a subject that's being discussed and debated in many capitals right now concerning weapons of mass destruction. That is not what I was addressing myself to concerning Norm's hypothetical question: "Would the United States use force to implement this?" I just simply said, I've never heard that type of conversation going on, using force to go in and destroy these weapons, by any official in our government. Q On the same subject, the question was asked yesterday if the Secretary would meet with members of the opposition, and you took that question? MS. TUTWILER: I certainly did. Q Is there an answer? MS. TUTWILER: There certainly is. Q May we have it? MS. TUTWILER: As I said yesterday, that's another hypothetical. But having stated that it is a hypothetical and having restated that there is no such request here for the Secretary or any other senior official of this Department, I would say that of course we would meet with -- if you are talking about opposition leaders in this country or opposition individuals, that, of course, we would. Having said that, however, I would like to restate, so there is no confusion, that our policy, as enunciated by myself yesterday at least a dozen times, is that we are not for the dismemberment of the country of Iraq. We are for the territorial integrity of Iraq. Our policy has not changed. Having stated that should such a request come in, of course, it would be given every due consideration. Q Is it safe to assume that once this resolution is passed, whether or not Iraq agrees to it, the U.S. and its allies are going to have substantial naval and air forces in the region to enforce whatever remains of the sanctions? MS. TUTWILER: That is a little bit different version of what Norm just asked me, and I have not heard that by any official in this government addressed in the way that you're asking the question. As you know, part of Secretary Baker's recent trip, he spoke many times to the fact that the United States has had a naval presence here in the Gulf since 1949; that we would be looking at, under the general topic of regional security, various different things in consultation with our allies. One which he has mentioned could be enhanced naval presence. I believe the President has mentioned the same thing. But that is quite different from saying that that enhanced naval presence, which is being considered and discussed, would be used for implementation of this type of thing. I've never heard the two linked or discussed like that. Q Margaret, earlier you said that after approval of the U.N. resolution you would expect deployment of a U.N. observer force and withdrawal to begin of American forces. Is there also a triggering mechanism there for deployment of the Arab peacekeeping force of which Secretary Baker has spoken before? Would that begin at the same time? MS. TUTWILER: It's a level of detail, Ralph, that I don't have an answer to, and I'm not even sure that all of the mechanics have been worked out. Since, Number 1, the resolution hasn't passed, it hasn't been adopted, I'm not sure that the mechanism is to that level worked out yet. Q So at least initially, the U.S. believes that the U.N. observer force would be adequate military force to allow the removal or the withdrawal of U.S. forces, and at some later time the level of detail of how to deal with the Arab force could be dealt with? MS. TUTWILER: I believe that the Gulf Arab force that has been discussed in the March 8 Damascus meeting had to do, again, in the general area of their looking at their own regional security. I do not believe that I have seen that the Damascus Group -- or I believe they issued a declaration -- addressed themselves specifically to a border patrol or to a peacekeeping force. I believe it is under regional security that the Gulf countries are discussing. Q There seems to be a lot of confusion about -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry, excuse me.

[Pakistan: US Policy on Kashmir]

Q There seems to be a lot of confusion about what the U.S. policy is in Kashmir in light of the statements made by the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan. I wonder whether you have anything on that? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not exactly sure that I understand your question. Our policy concerning what? Q Kashmir. MS. TUTWILER: Kashmir? I'll be more than glad to look into it. I'm not aware of what our United States Ambassador has said. Let me just take your question for you. Okay? Q Margaret, about the meetings with the Jordanian official that the Secretary has had, can you give us any readout at all? Is it the position of the State Department that the proposal King Hussein raised last week is not helpful to the peace process now? MS. TUTWILER: Jan, I don't have a further readout for you than the one that I've given you. I'm not aware of a specific peace proposal that King Hussein raised last week. Q Last week you -- MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me. That was not raised, to be honest with you, by the King's official that was here. I attended the Secretary's meeting, and he did not raise a specific proposal by King Hussein to Secretary Baker. As I have said -- I believe it was yesterday and the day before -- this meeting was generally a meeting to discuss the peace process since Mr. Odeh had spent several hours with Ambassador Kelly and Ambassador Ross dealing with the other three subjects that Secretary Baker had discussed with other countries while he was in the region. Q Did you get from that meeting a feeling that the Jordanians were willing to be part of the peace process, that they want to play an active role? MS. TUTWILER: I think that that is best asked to the Jordanian Government. As you know, our policy is that we welcome the views of the Government of Jordan concerning the peace process, and we have said that they have a role to play. Q Can you confirm that the Crown Prince was told that a trip to Washington at this time was not a very good idea? MS. TUTWILER: No, I cannot.

[MIddle East Peace Process: Meetings with Palestinians]

Q Margaret, have there been any more meetings or telephone calls in regard to the peace process, specifically a meeting between a Palestinian and Dennis Ross yesterday? MS. TUTWILER: Dennis Ross, throughout this Administration, has met with Palestinians, and he had such a meeting yesterday. Q Can you say anything more about the meeting and -- MS. TUTWILER: I really would rather -- not to be -- Q Can you identify the Palestinian? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q But it was about the peace process? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q And you say "throughout the Administration." MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q So when's the last time he did it? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I don't keep a running record of Dennis' schedule; but, as you know, Secretary Baker met with Mayor Freij when he was here. Any number of people in this Administration, throughout the Administration, have met with various Palestinians. Q I know. But it's a little more sensitive than all that. I mean -- you know. Could you find out when he met with him last, because you've opened new talks with Palestinians when Mr. Baker went on his trip. He opened -- that cliche -- a "new dialogue" with Palestinians and -- MS. TUTWILER: That's your phrase. I don't believe the Secretary ever used that phrase. Q Well, it's hard to find the right phrase, because they say they're from the PLO and you say you're not talking to the PLO. It's almost impossible to put a question in this murky policy that you're pursuing. But if Dennis is following up the Secretary's meetings, that is sort of a new chapter. The Secretary began a new chapter. MS. TUTWILER: He has followed up with Osama el-Baz. He has followed up with -- Q No. I mean Palestinians -- MS. TUTWILER: -- the Saudis. He has followed up with the Israelis. Q I mean the Palestinians. MS. TUTWILER: And the Secretary of State has followed up with any number of people. So, I mean -- Q Those are governments. But I'm talking about -- MS. TUTWILER: As we said, Barry, there are no secrets here that we are pursuing this; that we are talking and going to, the Secretary said, continue to follow up with, on the one hand the Palestinians that he met with, whether it's those distinct individuals or not, and the governments. So I don't think there are any surprises in this. Q So who's move is it then -- the Palestinians? MS. TUTWILER: For what? Move for what? Q Well, now that they've met with Mr. Ross who follows up on everybody, what's the next move? Is it the Palestinians? MS. TUTWILER: As we said yesterday, the phase we're in today is a phase of looking for convergent points to move forward. Q Well, who's due to converge? MS. TUTWILER: There are a lot of people that are going to continue to be talked to. This, as we said, is the early stage of this process; and we have said, as you know, that we are there -- the United States -- to act as a catalyst to take advantage of this opportunity if the parties themselves want to move forward. Q Well, just one more try. MS. TUTWILER: Go for it. Q Are you waiting for an answer from the Palestinians? MS. TUTWILER: We are going to continue our conversations with all of the players, Bill. The ball is not in any one individual's court. As you know, our position or our thoughts concerning this is to go the two-track approach. Now, as you know, that meant certain things that have been discussed with the Arab nations. It is certain things that have been discussed with the Israelis. It is certain things that have been discussed with the Palestinians. Q Margaret, can you confirm at least that the person that Dennis met with -- Q Margaret -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry. Q Can you confirm that the person that Dennis met with yesterday was one of the Palestinians with whom the Secretary met in Jerusalem? MS. TUTWILER: I am, for reasons that I think are very valid, not going to discuss anything about the individual that Dennis met with yesterday. And I will be more than glad to explain to you my reasons, which I think you will accept as very valid, later. Q The Secretary, when he met with these Palestinians, said he was meeting with individuals. MS. TUTWILER: That is what Dennis Ross did yesterday. Q Margaret, on a related subject, have you seen the order, the shoot-to-kill order, given to Israeli security forces? MS. TUTWILER: No. I read an article in the newspaper and, to be honest with you, that's not something that we can confirm. We do not have the facts on this, and it's one article that we've seen. Q Did you ask the Israelis to clarify it? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know if we have or not. I would imagine that our Embassy has. But since I asked this morning, I would assume they then in turn asked; and we haven't seen it. Q Margaret, is it the U.S. Government position that Israel should accept 242 and 338? MS. TUTWILER: The President, I believe in his speech before Congress, addressed himself specifically to that issue and it was in his speech. Our policy hasn't changed since then. I've forgotten what date that was. (TO STAFF) When was that? Do you remember? MR. ANDERSON: January 31. MS. TUTWILER: It was the 31st? Q You say U.N. resolutions should be implemented towards Iraq regardless of whether Iraq accepts them or not. Is it the same thing with 242 and 338? MS. TUTWILER: What I'm going to do is refrain from getting into a debate with you concerning this, and I'll refer you to the President's statement -- Jim [Anderson] helps me by saying it was January 31 -- to the United States Congress concerning this issue. Q Can we go back to the Iraq thing, because -- MS. TUTWILER: Which Iraq thing? Q Well, the whole notion that we're supposed to carry some message, that the U.S. Government expects this resolution to be implemented, whether or not -- MS. TUTWILER: I said "should be." I did not say "expects." Q "Should be." MS. TUTWILER: "Should be." Q All right. Is there a distinction between "expects" and "should be." MS. TUTWILER: There is in my mind. Q Well, I don't know what the distinction is. But could you -- MS. TUTWILER: "Expects" could kind of fall into the category, in my mind, of the United States demands. "Should be" is a different adjective in my opinion. Q Oh, you mean it's just an opinion? A preference? Sort of an opinion? MS. TUTWILER: I have said what the United States position is, and I have said that it should be implemented. Q All right. But you've also said nobody's talking about force, and the only part of implementation that you specifically spoke of carrying through is the U.N. observers and, you know, the withdrawal of U.S. troops. MS. TUTWILER: I said if that passes. The resolution hasn't passed. Q Oh, of course. We're all talking in terms of "if this passes." So how can this be -- how should this be implemented if not with force? Or is it just a wish? MS. TUTWILER: How should what be implemented? Q The resolution. Even if Iraq -- MS. TUTWILER: Which part of the resolution? Q The whole darn thing. MS. TUTWILER: Well, do you need force to enforce an economic embargo? Q You may need force to destroy lethal weapons, and you may need force to interdict ships coming in. MS. TUTWILER: Well, why don't we wait and see what comes out -- Q You might need force to stop Jordan from helping them again. MS. TUTWILER: -- in the resolution, and then we will discuss what type of mechanisms will be in place to enforce what is in the text and body of the resolution, as it is when it's finally adopted. Q Well, I have the same question about 242 in my mind. In that sense you're just saying, whether Iraq likes it or not, it should be implemented. That's all you're saying. MS. TUTWILER: That's what I said. Q All right, because it carried the implication of a threat that the U.S. will do something to force implementation. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know how in the world you could get that there's some type of threat. When I'm answering a hypothetical question -- Q With a prepared response. MS. TUTWILER: -- saying that it is the position of the United States that it "should be," I don't find the term "should be" necessarily threatening. Maybe you do. I just don't. There are other words that I can think of that would be a lot more threatening. Q Oh, sure. Like we'll open fire if you don't, for instance. (Laughter)

[ Q Speaking of the U.N. Security Council, this may seem like a silly question -- MS. TUTWILER: That's okay. Q -- but the U.N. Security Council issued -- but I ask them all the time -- issued a statement on Israel yesterday. MS. TUTWILER: Who did? Q The U.N. Security Council. MS. TUTWILER: My understanding, Ralph, is that that was being still worked on this morning, and it is a statement -- if you're talking about the one concerning deportation -- Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: It is my understanding from John Bolton, the Assistant Secretary here, they are still working on that today; and it is a statement -- or the one they're working on is a statement by the President of the Security Council, not a resolution. It's never been a resolution. Q Right. I said statement by the Security Council, but maybe it's a statement by the U.N. Security Council President. Did the U.S. -- well, if you think it hasn't been issued yet, I guess you can't say whether the U.S. endorses the language of it. MS. TUTWILER: As we said yesterday, we would be prepared to support such a resolution, provided it had the correct wording -- not a resolution; a statement by the President of the Security Council. Since the wording was debated for, it's my understanding, several hours yesterday, they are still at it today. No, I can't say what we would support, because we haven't seen the final text. Q If it includes references to 242 and 338, does the U.S. think it's appropriate for those issues to be raised in a statement on deportation? MS. TUTWILER: This is just all too hypothetical for me. Q Don't you have anything prepared? (Laughter) MS. TUTWILER: Too hypothetical. USSR: Demonstrations and the Decree on Control of Moscow]

Q Another subject? Could I ask about the Soviet Union? MS. TUTWILER: Soviet Union? Q President Gorbachev's government has apparently decided to take over control of Moscow from the Moscow police and prevent all demonstrations. What's your reaction to that? MS. TUTWILER: We have heard about a decree that has been made, I believe, by the Soviet Ministry of the Interior, saying that they intended to take over responsibility for law enforcement in Moscow. We do not have a text as of this briefing of the decree, and our position on this is that it is an internal judgment of the Soviet Union as to what powers should be held by a given level of government. These issues should be the product of a democratic political process. Q Well, if you get away from the question of which level of government is implementing these things, what does the U.S. Government think about the idea of banning demonstrations for three weeks? MS. TUTWILER: On banning demonstrations, I would remind you that as a member of CSCE the Soviet Union has reaffirmed the right of peaceful assembly and demonstrations. Peaceful demonstrations have been a hallmark of the movement towards Soviet openness and democratization. Restrictions on time, place and manner of assemblies and demonstrations are sometimes necessary for public safety or other legitimate grounds. We would hope that in making a determination about adopting restrictions on demonstrations in Moscow or elsewhere in the Soviet Union, Soviet officials will carefully balance concern about order with the need for public opinion to be heard in a public setting. Any restrictions placed on demonstrations should be as narrow as possible. Q Does that mean that you support them under the current context? MS. TUTWILER: That we support what? Q The restrictions on demonstrations which are said to be for the purpose of keeping order -- MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q -- during the assembly meeting. MS. TUTWILER: Right. It's part of what we're saying, Bill. It's no different than in our own country. If a group wants to have a demonstration here in Washington, D.C., they have to apply for a permit. They have to do certain things; that there are laws here in the city that we all live with. Having said that, we also make a point of pointing out that they are signatories to the CSCE. They have allowed, as you know when you were on the trip with us with Secretary Baker, I believe they had, or it was reported they had, 500,000 people peacefully demonstrating in Red Square, I believe it was. So we are pointing out also that they have a tradition -- or they have over the last several years -- of having peaceful demonstrations. Q Then what are you pointing out about this particular instance? MS. TUTWILER: What instance? Q Does it meet the "narrow test" or not? Q Is the three-week ban "as narrow as possible"? MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me? What? Q Does the three-week ban constitute "as narrow as possible"? MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to characterize for you if that is too narrow or narrow. We have stated, as you know, what our policy is concerning freedom of assembly in any nation in the world. It is one of the pillars of our country and of our beliefs. Obviously we have not changed on that. We want to be fair here, though, and recognize that even in our own country you have to have permits, you have to notify, I believe it's the local police, or whatever you have to do here. I'm not that familiar with what you have to do to get a demonstration permit in our own capital. And we have pointed out that they have had peaceful demonstrations. This obviously is, as we have said, even concerning this new police rule -- this is an internal matter of the Soviet Union, and there is just so far that I can go as far as delving myself into, Johanna, legitimate decisions that a sovereign government is making concerning it, whether we agree with those decisions or not. Q Excuse me. The reports are that they're expecting 500,000 people tomorrow at the pro-Yeltsin demonstration, and that there are artillery and tanks gathering in Moscow today, and that troops are massing. Is the U.S. Government concerned that -- MS. TUTWILER: Of course, we're concerned. Q And are you concerned about a Tiananmen Square type of event, or what communications have there been to the Soviets about what our policy is? MS. TUTWILER: I think the Soviet Union is very clear about what our feelings are concerning the use of violence, whether it's in the Soviet Union or any other nation. That is no secret. And, of course, the United States is concerned. We are concerned. As we have said, we have not seen a text of this latest announcement saying that they are going to move police functions to the Ministry of Interior. We're concerned, but we haven't seen the text of the actual document, the decree. So I can't tell you that it is something that we today are prepared -- not having seen it -- to go on the record and tell you that it is exactly as it has been portrayed in various press reports. And I think that I have -- or I have certainly tried to adequately answer for you our policy concerning peaceful assemblies. And yes, we are aware of some of the reports that you mentioned concerning tanks, I believe is the word that you used, and troops. And yes, we are watching this situation very closely and of course we are concerned about it. Q Would you answer the last part of his question which was: has the U.S. Government conveyed this point of view about restrictions being sometimes necessary, but signature of the CSCE...? Has the U.S. conveyed that to the Soviet Union very recently? MS. TUTWILER: I can't answer "very recently." I haven't checked who at our Embassy has been in to see who in the Foreign Ministry. But I don't believe, Ralph, that any of what I have stated today comes as any surprise. Q No. But I'm asking whether the U.S. has conveyed that point of view to the Soviet Union since it announced these decisions, both the ban and the transfer of power. MS. TUTWILER: The ban, to be honest with you, I would doubt, since we haven't even seen a text. What we're probably in the process of doing there is our Embassy is probably in the process of trying to obtain a text so that we know what we're dealing with there. On demonstrations, if it has been raised at all, I'm sure it has been raised in the same way that the Secretary has raised it when he has raised peaceful demonstrations, peaceful assembly -- those types of ways of raising it. I'm not sure that someone has specifically raised this issue, but I'll be happy to check. Q Just to try to get back to this question of the actual action, the comparison to the U.S. sort of is strained in the sense that we don't blanket ban demonstrations. In fact, we've even lifted the restrictions on demonstrations in front of foreign Embassies. And when these restrictions are put on, they're put on by the lawfully elected local city governments; and here Gorbachev has overruled, apparently the Moscow government. So it's a decree. So I don't see where it meets any of these tests that you've set out as -- MS. TUTWILER: I believe several months ago he also issued a decree that was then, as I remember, over-voted or overruled by the Supreme Soviet. Now, I don't know if they have a vote scheduled on this particular decree or not, but I believe that happened in the last six months. You may have a different time frame for me, but I distinctly remember the incident where a decree was issued and the Supreme Soviet took a vote, and they overrode it. Q Still on the Soviet-American -- has there been a response from the Soviets to the U.S. communication about arms control? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I've heard. That's it? Q That's it. MS. TUTWILER: Thank you very much. (The briefing concluded at 12:45 p.m.) (###)