US Department of State Daily Briefing,#60: Thursday,4/12/91

Boucher Source: State Department Deputy Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: 12:14 PM, Washington, DC Date: Apr 11, 19914/11/91 Region: MidEast/North Africa, Central America Country: Iraq, Kuwait, Panama, USSR (former), China Subject: Regional/Civil Unrest, Development/Relief Aid, Refugees, Arms Control, United Nations, International Law (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon everyone. I apologize for being late today. I'll try to make it up to you by going through a whole number of things right on top. I'll read you a couple of statements that we'll issue. I'll give you the answer on Turkish troops. We'll talk about contacts with Iraqis; messages with the Iranians, and then I'll give you the rundown on what the United States is doing as far as the aid effort. I think I know almost all of it, if all of it, at this point.

[UN Annual Report on Voting Practices]

The first thing to note is that we have the Annual Report on Voting Practices in the United Nations which is coming out today; about 50 copies. It's an annual report. We announce it every year. There's about 50 copies, I think, in the Press Office. We're asking people to just take one per organization, please.

[US/Panama Sign Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty]

Second is that we're signing today at a ceremony in the Panamanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Panama City a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the United States and Panama. This treaty provides for mechanisms for sharing evidence in criminal cases. It also provides for assistance. Ambassador Deane Hinton is signing for the United States and the Acting Foreign Minister is signing for Panama. We'll give you a more complete statement on that right after the briefing unless there are questions about that now. Q When you say "providing assistance," what are the kinds of assistance? MR. BOUCHER: It's assistance, in accordance with the laws of the assisting country, for investigations of serious offenses -- let me try again. The treaty will provide for assistance, in accordance with the laws of the assisting country, in investigating many serious offenses, including narcotics offenses, violent crimes and fraud. Q Isn't this aimed mostly at money laundering? MR. BOUCHER: It provides for the sharing of information and evidence on things like government records, records of large currency transactions and other bank documents, in forms that will be admissible in each state's legal proceedings. Statements of witnesses, physical evidence and information about the proceeds of criminal activities may also be shared. It deals primarily with money laundering and other crimes. Q Do we do this with other countries, too? MR. BOUCHER: We do this with many other countries, yes. Q Has the signing ceremony in Panama already taken place? MR. BOUCHER: I'm sorry, but they didn't give me the time of day. Maybe we can have somebody check that and tell us right after the briefing. Q Does this include technical assistance, Richard -- helping them set up labs or other kinds -- MR. BOUCHER: My understanding is that this one provides for assistance and sharing of information in investigations primarily related to money laundering, tax offenses that are linked to other crimes covered by the treaty. We have other agreements with Panama that allow Panamanian anti-drug organizations to receive drug-controlled goods and services; agreements controlling the movement of chemicals used in narcotics production; agreements allowing the U.S. Coast Guard to board Panamanian-flagged vessels suspected of carrying illegal substances; and agreements providing for joint anti-drug control within Panamanian territorial waters. So this is a supplement to the rather extensive anti-drug cooperation that we already have with Panama.

[Iraq: Presence of Turkish Troops]

Yesterday I was asked about Turkish troops in Iraq. I think the best information is what we have from the Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman. We've checked on that. He announced yesterday that Turkish soldiers have moved a few miles inside Iraqi territory to patrol the border strip where some 300,000 displaced Iraqis have massed. We have no hard information at this time about the numbers of soldiers involved. We'd note that the spokesman yesterday said he wouldn't use the word "troops" lest he give the impression that some large force had been deployed in Iraq. Our understanding is that the soldiers are there essentially on a humanitarian mission to protect the displaced persons, maintain order, and assist in the relief effort. Q They are military troops, however? MR. BOUCHER: They are soldiers. Q They have arms? They have guns? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. Some of the details, you'd have to ask the Turks. Q But you wouldn't describe this as an enclave? MR. BOUCHER: No, I wouldn't. Q How many? MR. BOUCHER: Again, I don't have any hard evidence of the numbers. Q One report said that they were something like 25 kilometers inside. Have you got anything on that? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have the exact information. That information really has to come from the Turks. Our understanding is that they said yesterday it was a few miles inside Iraqi territory. Q Are they trying to keep order or are they guarding the Kurds against a possible incursion by the Iraqis? MR. BOUCHER: I think I just said they're trying to protect the displaced persons, maintain order, and assist with the relief effort. Q Would you like them to stay there, Richard? MR. BOUCHER: Some of these details, you really have to ask the Turks. Q Do we care about this? MR. BOUCHER: Would they stay there? Q Do we have a position on that? Should they stay there -- MR. BOUCHER: Our position has been that the international relief effort should take place on both sides of the border; that humanitarian assistance should be provided to people on both sides of the border. We have our airplanes flying into northern Iraq and dropping supplies. All this effort is solely directed at the humanitarian needs of the populations that are there. We don't give it any different significance than that. Q Do you know -- is it known whether the Iranians have done the same thing? Has Iran moved any soldiers across its border? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. Q Richard, do you have any comment on reports that Iraq is now attacking Kurds as they leave? MR. BOUCHER: Let's do that a little later, if I can go through some of the other stuff.

[Iraq: US Warning sto Iraq on Refugee Interference]

First, to review the whole issue of warnings to Iraq. On Saturday, the Iraqi U.N. Ambassador al-Anbari met with the United States' U.N. Ambassador Pickering. The same day the senior Iraqi representative in Washington, Khalid Shewayish, was called to the State Department where he met with NEA Deputy Assistant Secretary David Mack. Both envoys were informed at the time that, with the beginning of humanitarian relief operations, Iraqi forces should take no actions in any part of the country which might interfere with the provision of emergency humanitarian services to Iraqi civilians. Yesterday, those envoys were convoked again in Washington and New York to re-emphasize our position. It was made clear to both that the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis had created a need for international organizations and international volunteers to operate in various parts of Iraq to care for the refugees. They were again told that Iraqi forces should take no actions in any part of the country, including southern or northern Iraq, which might interfere with the provision of humanitarian services. Q What were their responses? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think there was any particular response, meaning consent or disagreement at that point. Q Richard, since that first warning, there seems to be an expansion of the warning. The Administration official aboard the plane said that there should be no air activity above the 36th parallel. In the warnings that came out yesterday and previously from the White House, ground troop activity is included. Is that the operative formula that there will be no Iraqi military activity permitted north of the 36th parallel at all? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, I'm not in a position to go into specific details, specific locations, and things like that. The overall thing that we've said to the Iraqis is that Iraqi forces should take no actions in any part of the country, including southern or northern Iraq, which might interfere with the provision of humanitarian services. Q That does include ground troops? MR. BOUCHER: No actions. As Marlin (Fitzwater) said yesterday, that would include any kind of action -- air or ground. Q But would you agree that is an expansion from the original warning given on Saturday? MR. BOUCHER: No. I described what we said on Saturday as being that both envoys were informed that Iraqi forces should take no actions in any part of the country which might interfere with the provision of emergency humanitarian services. Q Any part of the country was included -- Saturday as well? MR. BOUCHER: That's what I said. Q Richard, are you aware whether there was any response to the Saturday deliverance of these messages? MR. BOUCHER: I'll check and see if we can characterize the Iraqi response. I know there's been some discussion but nothing that I could easily characterize for you. Q Richard, yesterday, you said that there had been helicopter gunship activity in the south and the center of Iraq. Can that in any way be construed as hindering anything? MR. BOUCHER: Well, why don't we take a jump here before we go onto all the other things we have about messages with Iran and the overall U.S. relief effort. Let me go through the unrest and the situation inside Iraq. In response to your direct question, we cannot confirm any activity on the part of the Iraqi military of fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters today. Q But yesterday you could? MR. BOUCHER: Yesterday there was some activity in central Iraq. I think some very limited activity. Once again, I state that what I've just said about the warnings to Iraq, they are stated in terms of interference with the international relief effort. I don't think we have any evidence that something specific like that has occurred. We're not intending to interfere in the internal unrest in Iraq.

[Iraq: Iranian Response and Asssistance Request]

The question of Iran, we've discussed before. I also have a more comprehensive view of that. The Iranian response to the crisis: First of all, I think we've characterized it as very good and very active. I told you before about what the Iranian Red Crescent was doing and some of the activities of international organizations. In public statements, Iran has now made clear their willingness to accept international assistance for refugees located inside Iran. Iran has also announced that their air space will be open to relief flights, bringing humanitarian assistance to the refugees. Their interest in receiving international assistance was also passed to the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. We understand that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees will be travelling shortly to Iran to assess the urgent humanitarian needs there. We, of course, welcome that visit, and we hope that it will lead to redoubled international efforts to address this deepening problem. Iran's willingness to see the U.S. included in humanitarian relief efforts was also passed to the Swiss who passed that onto us yesterday. We hope that the Government of Iran will soon issue a detailed assessment of specific relief needs. As we've said before, we're willing, in concert with other relief donors, to work through appropriate international organizations to help meet those needs. Q Richard, there's something that just doesn't add up in this. This is this effusive praise that you and, yesterday, Mr. Natsios have for the Iranian Red Crescent. If they're as good as you say they are, why did they need international help when they had an earthquake? MR. BOUCHER: I guess the only thing I can say is that some problems transcend the ability of the local authorities to deal with them. Whether it's the hurricane in South Carolina or whether it's an earthquake in Iran, or refugee flows out of Iraq, people with these societies and organizations, however capable they may be, can be overwhelmed. This is clearly a massive situation. And, as the Secretary said, overall, it needs massive relief. Q I believe yesterday you and Mr. Natsios said that an offer of U.S. aid -- MR. BOUCHER: I wasn't there with Natsios. Q No, a separate thing you both said that an offer to Iran by the United States had gone through diplomatic channels for assistance but that no reply had come back. Now you say a reply has come back. MR. BOUCHER: That's right. Q Was that an offer of U.S. bilateral assistance or simply more contributions to international organizations? MR. BOUCHER: I think the way I've described it in the past few days has been exactly the way I described it today, that we are willing, in concert with other relief donors, to work through appropriate international organizations to help meet those needs. That's what we've stated. We've stated our willingness to work with international organizations. But, in the end, we'll have to see what the needs are and how best to meet them. Q Was there a concern that if international organizations used American assistance to go into Iran that Iran might not take it because it had come from the United States. MR. BOUCHER: All I can tell you is that Iran has stated its willingness to receive international assistance at this time and conveyed to us, through the Swiss, the idea that that specifically includes the United States.

[Iraq: US Relief Efforts]

We, I think, have a pretty comprehensive rundown of the U.S. commitments to the relief effort. First of all, let me update you on the size of the problem and tell you that the U.S. effort is on-going. I'm sure new commitments will be made. Marlin indicated yesterday that we will go for a supplemental to obtain any other funds that we need. I told you that we were still looking for other kinds of assistance that we could provide. Some indication of the scope of the effort is that we understand the U.N. will be launching an emergency appeal for between $450 and $500 million to address the needs of the estimated 1.7 million Iraqi displaced persons and refugees in Iran, Turkey, and then Syria and Jordan as well. The International Committee of the Red Cross has issued a new appeal for $73 million to finance its programs in the areas of health, water, sanitation, protection and tracing, and basic relief assistance throughout the region. The League of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has an appeal for $8.5 million for Iraqi refugees in Turkey, $21.5 million for displaced persons in Iraq, $23 million for refugees in Iran. Some of these figures, and what I'm about to say about U.S. assistance, is also detailed in an update on the disaster assistance effort done by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. If we haven't put out copies of that, we should be able to get you enough copies of that shortly. As far as the overall U.S. effort, let me go through some numbers with some caveats. The first is sort of a backward caveat. Included in some of these lists are supplies that were sent into the region in January for the needs that were expected during the war. Since much of those supplies in that infrastructure is being used now, it's being counted here, being cited as part of the effort. Second of all, this sort of forward caveat that I issued before, this is by no means the end of the U.S. effort. This will be a continuing effort by the United States and other countries to assist these people. The items I would cite as sort of a rundown of the effort are $25 million in 506(a)2 Defense Department funds. This is Defense Department goods and services that are being used for supplies and transportation for the U.S. air drops. The number I think I had was 214 tons, total, air drops so far. There's probably additional expenses for the air drops that aren't counted in this. There was $424,500 in Defense Department plastic sheeting that was sent to the area in January that is now being made available in Turkey as refugee shelter. There's $10 million that the President announced last Friday. These are funds from the Emergency Refugee Migration Assistance Account. Six million of this is going to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, $2 million to Turkish organizations, and $2 million to the International Red Cross. There was a $3 million January contribution to U.N. programs. This is the whole series of U.N. organizations that set up the infrastructure in January. There's the additional $1 million that the President announced last Friday that goes to the International Red Cross and to UNICEF for use inside Iraq as well as another thousand tons of food. There's $275,000 in disaster funds that I think we've cited before. This is for local purchases in Turkey. It is being used to buy blankets, water, baby food, and clothing. There was another $136,860 of supplies for the International Red Cross. There is $855,752 of stockpiled commodities from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. This includes tents, blankets, water containers, plastic sheeting. This is the stuff coming out of the stockpiles in Italy and Panama. I'd also cite $12.1 million in food assistance. This is Food for Peace Assistance. It includes 17,000 metric tons of rice, vegetable oil, and flour that are already in the region and available now for distribution, as well as the 12,000 metric tons of wheat and rice that we spoke of the other day. That's due to arrive in Turkey in the next few days. There are various ways of doing the total so I'll do them in various ways. I think we've spoken before about $28 million that was contributed by the United States to the initial effort for displaced persons. That's back in the August-to-October period of last year. Counting since January, the total comes to something like $52.8 million. That includes $7.6 million that was in response to the January appeals and therefore you could count also $45 million since the beginning of April. So there are different ways of counting it. That's a pretty good picture of the scope of the U.S. relief effort right now. As I said, in addition, there are assessments and teams and a lot of other work being done that will produce other results in the coming days, I'm sure. Q Do you have anything in response to that earlier question about the Kurdish spokesman saying that the Iraqis had launched attacks on them? MR. BOUCHER: There was one report in the media of Iraqi helicopter gunship attacks on dissidents or refugees in the Halabja area in northern Iraq. We have no confirmation of those reports. Overall, I'd say there's been heavy fighting today between dissidents and Iraqi government forces in the vicinity of Kirkuk. There's also been some fighting yesterday west of Sulaymaniya, and there continue to be some scattered, small-scale clashes between government forces and dissidents in southern Iraq. Q Richard, on the helicopter question, when a helicopter takes off, it is not possible to see from a distance whether it is going to attack the refugees or what. So the U.S. response to a helicopter taking off is what? That it would shoot it on sight? MR. BOUCHER: That kind of operational detail is something I'm not prepared to go into, so I'm afraid I just can't help you with that question. Q Well then, let me just put it broader in policy terms. Has the U.S. warning about fixed-wing aircraft now been expanded to include all helicopter flights inside Iraq? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, I'm not prepared to go to that level of detail, but I think I told you that the warnings that we had issued were in terms of no interference of any kind with the international relief effort. In these discussions, we also noted to the Iraqis that the U.S. would respond to any efforts to disrupt these operations. But I'm not in a position here to go into the details of some of the specific things you're asking. Q Have there been helicopter flights over Kirkuk in the past 24 hours? MR. BOUCHER: I just said that we have not seen any air activity. Q Oh, you did. I'm sorry. Q Can you draw the distinction between a willingness to protect people in northern Iraq on the Turkish and Iranian borders but not people in Kirkuk who are being attacked by the Iraqi government? MR. BOUCHER: I think I said before that our warnings to Iraq have been issued in terms of no interference with the international relief efforts. Of course, we said before that we will defend any coalition forces if there's an attack or threat to them, but we've also said very clearly that we're not intending to intervene in the internal conflict inside Iraq. Q So what is the message to the Kurdish people from the United States Government about how it is handling this different or this balancing act? That if they flee -- MR. BOUCHER: The message to the Kurdish people is that we are mounting a major effort on our part and on the part of the international community to take care of their needs, that we have made very clear that that assistance should and must go safely to them inside northern Iraq, and that we will make sure that the international community is able to help them. Q So that you can guarantee their safety on the border but you can't guarantee it in Kirkuk, basically; is that fair? MR. BOUCHER: No. Q Is there any time limit on these warnings to Iraq not to interfere? MR. BOUCHER: As I stated, we said that they shouldn't interfere in any international relief operation -- Q As long as they're going on for two or three years? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware of any time limit. Q Four years? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware of any time limit. Q Richard, clearly, you do not want to tell us the details of the precise warnings that the Iraqis were given -- MR. BOUCHER: That's right. Q Is it fair to say that the message that they were given yesterday in both places was more precise or different, in its operational details, than what they were told on Saturday? MR. BOUCHER: No. I don't think I would state that. What I did say was that we gave them the message again yesterday to reemphasize the message, first of all, and second, of course, because now we do have relief operations and it's become all the more important that they understand clearly the message. Q Was it the same message or just underlining the earlier one? MR. BOUCHER: I, again, am not in a position to get into detail. I said it reemphasized the earlier one, and I think I described those messages in very similar terms. Q Was there a change in the rules of engagement by U.S. forces? MR. BOUCHER: I won't touch a rules-of-engagement question over here; and I don't think the Pentagon will touch it over there, but you can ask them. Q Richard, is the U.S. Government now satisfied that the Iraqi government has accepted without reservation U.N. Security Council Resolution 687? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, that matter is still under discussion up at the United Nations. I understand there will be some meetings this afternoon on the subject by Security Council members. We have received a letter at the United Nations. It contains what is said to be the text of the National Assembly decision. And once our examination is complete and our discussion with those members is complete, the Security Council will take action. But, really, the best I can do for you at this moment is to say it's still under discussion in New York. Q If there is a safety area or a sanctuary that's been created de facto -- sanctuary created by these warnings -- why can't most of the refugees return to their homes and then be protected from there? It would be easier to provide for them. They'd have shelter rather than plastic sheeting and tents. Has there been thinking about that, consideration of that? MR. BOUCHER: Well, there certainly has, and the President and the Secretary have both said that the goal of our efforts should be to permit these people to return to their home in safety and with all their rights. But at this point, in terms of the international effort, you've got to deal with people where they are and take care of what they need; and that's what we're really trying to do. Q But the warning talks about "in any part of the country." MR. BOUCHER: They shouldn't interfere with the relief efforts. Q They shouldn't interfere -- MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q -- with relief efforts. So if these people went back to their homes and the relief efforts continued -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't know how to answer your question because the fact is that these people are still where they are and we're not going to say: "We won't take care of you here. You go over there." We're going to take care of them where they have their needs. We are taking care of them where they have their needs, and that's the focus of the international effort right now. Q Yes, but they can be -- I don't want to belabor this, but they can be told. Announcements could be made that -- "Well, go home and we'll take care of you at home." And then people won't have to walk around -- kids won't have to walk around barefoot in the rain. MR. BOUCHER: Well, I think its fairly obvious that kids don't like to walk around barefoot in the rain and that it's not a happy thing to be displaced from your house and to be in some very mountainous part of the country, and I'm sure people would rather be at home. But the fact is we'll take them wherever we can. Q Richard, does it appear to you that the Iraqis, anyway, in light of no helicopter flights, no noticeable air activity -- that the Iraqis, anyway, interpret your reemphasized warning as a warning not to fly helicopters any more? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, I'm sorry. I'm not going to go into details. I'll report to you the facts as we see them on Iraqi military activity. I'll tell you about our warnings to Iraq and the way they were phrased, but there's a certain level of detail I'm afraid I'm just not in a position to go into. Q If, if -- the hypothetical -- (laughter) -- MR. BOUCHER: It's hypothetical. You want to ask the question anyway, Richard? I'm sorry. Q It's wrong. (Laughter.) MR. BOUCHER: Go for it! (Laughter.) Q It started with if, O.K. Q A big mistake. MR. BOUCHER: Chris, you had something? Q Yes. I just wanted to clarify what you've observed the last couple of days. Yesterday you saw almost no air activity -- some in the central part of Iraq, which wouldn't be interfering with the relief efforts because there aren't any there anyway. And in the last 24-hour period from today, you've seen no activity in the entire country? MR. BOUCHER: I think we can go back a little farther than that. I think I said on Monday that for two days or so we'd seen virtually none. Yesterday I said we saw some limited activity in central and southern Iraq, and today I say we cannot confirm any activity on the part of the Iraqi military -- fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters today. Q So what would you say their reaction to these warnings has been? MR. BOUCHER: I would just conclude what I've been saying. That's the objective observation that for several days there's been virtually no Iraqi air activity. And what has occurred, what we've noted, has been limited activity in central and southern areas. Q Well, Richard, if a helicopter attacks some civilians in Kirkuk who are not fleeing from anyone but are there, is that interfering with the relief operations? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, definitely that's a hypothetical because today I reported on heavy fighting between dissidents and Iraqi government forces in the vicinity of Kirkuk, but I said that we can't confirm any air activity -- Q Right. MR. BOUCHER: -- on the part of helicopters. So -- ? Q But at what point does a civilian become a refugee or eligible for relief? MR. BOUCHER: I don't understand your question. Q Well, what I'm saying is that a civilian fighter today can turn into a refugee if he starts walking north; right? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q But you're saying that if a helicopter of the Iraqi armed forces attacks him, then he will be subject to retaliation from the coalition air forces; am I right? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, what we're saying is that Iraq shouldn't interfere with the relief operation. The details of that I said I wouldn't go into; but I don't quite see the distinction you're making. At this point I said that I don't think we have evidence that Iraq has tried to interfere with the relief operations. Q Does, for example, a Shiite living in southern Iraq receiving some form of international aid -- come under the protection of this warning? MR. BOUCHER: Again, I think I said very clearly that we've told Iraq that it's forces should not interfere with the relief operations anywhere in the country, whether that's northern or southern Iraq. Q Do you plan to move the relief operations anywhere near Kirkuk in the near future? (Laughter.) MR. BOUCHER: You know, that's a real question for the air-drop people, for the Defense Department people, and for what the U.N. is able to set up in terms of its international relief operations. I think we've described their efforts to carry out relief in various parts of the country. The International Red Cross is operating in various parts of the country already, and there are relief operations in a lot of places. Q Some private organizations. Q I'd like to ask about something else if -- are there more questions? MR. BOUCHER: Yes, O.K.

[USSR: Diplomatic Notes re Release of Cuban Missle Crisis Correspondence]

Q About Cuba, Richard, what's the U.S. position on releasing the Kennedy-Khrushchev correspondence, now that the Soviets say it's O.K. with them? (Laughter.) MR. BOUCHER: First, to confirm that we did get a diplomatic note from the Soviets on this subject. I think the note also was made part of the court case somehow. I think the first thing to note is we have released and we have published several letters between President Kennedy and former Soviet leader Khrushchev. In fact, I understand that we've released at least a thousand documents relating to the Cuban missile crisis which includes correspondence, cables, and there are a variety of other things. Some of the specific letters between Kennedy and Khrushchev have not been released because of concerns that they contain information still relevant to current policy questions, but we are continuing to review the matter. There continue to be some requests that we will review.

[China: Report of Nuclear-Related Assistance to Algeria]

Q Richard, do you have any comment on the piece in today's Washington Times about the Algerian-Chinese nuclear program? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. We have indications that China is providing nuclear-related assistance to Algeria. I want to make clear, however, that we have no reason to conclude that China has agreed to provide any assistance to Algeria for nuclear weapons development. As far as non-proliferation goes, China has publicly and privately pledged on a number of occasions that it does not engage in nuclear proliferation and that it will not help other countries develop nuclear weapons. It has also said that it will require safeguards on its nuclear exports. We have stressed our concerns about nuclear proliferation to the Chinese on many occasions. We've told them that we expect China to abide by its public commitments on non-proliferation as well as the private assurances to us. And, of course, this is an issue that we continue to discuss with the Chinese; and we will continue to review China's non- proliferation practices to determine whether they are consistent with its pronouncements in this area. Q What sort of assistance then? MR. BOUCHER: I'm afraid I'm not able to go into any specifics nor the specific allegations that were in the article. Q I'm on something completely different. Does the United States have any position on the position of Albanian Jews moving to Israel? Have the Israelis given the United States any assurances that Albanian Jews won't be settled in the Occupied Territories? (Laughter.) MR. BOUCHER: I really hadn't thought of that angle, Jan. Q Aa-h-h-h! (Laughter.) MR. BOUCHER: I think I'll leave the issue of settlements to what the Secretary has said during the course of his trip. Q Thank you. (The briefing concluded at l:43 p.m.)