US Department of State Daily Briefing #61, Monday: 4/15/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:27 PM, Washington, DC Date: Apr 15, 19914/15/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Subsaharan Africa, East Asia, Europe, Eurasia Country: Iraq, Kuwait, USSR (former), Jordan, Iran, Turkey, Cyprus, South Africa, Israel Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Regional/Civil Unrest, Development/Relief Aid, Refugees, EC, POW/MIA Issues, Trade/Economics, Terrorism, United Nations, State Department, Arms Control (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: What I'd like to do is make one announcement and then give you, as we do everyday, the situation overall in Iraq and a situation that's all encompassing, and then you can ask your questions concerning displaced persons and refugees, if that's OK.

[Announcement: Secretary's Travel to Luxembourg/Middle East]

Secretary Baker reported to President Bush on his trip over the weekend. The President and the Secretary are convinced that all parties are taking a serious approach to peace in the Middle East. The President and the Secretary believe that follow-up now, directly with the parties is important if progress is to be made. Thus, the Secretary will be returning to the Middle East this week. While we believe all parties are serious, there is much work to be done, many questions to be answered, and still a long way to go. Enroute to the area, the Secretary will meet with the EC Ministers in Luxembourg on Wednesday evening. This is something that had been discussed last week in President Bush's meeting with President Santer and Chairman Delors. Secretary Baker discussed this when we were in Geneva on Saturday. This is consistent with our commitment under the EC declaration to hold semi-annual Ministerial-level consultations. They will also be discussing the Middle East and the current situation with the refugees and displaced persons. We will be leaving tomorrow; probably returning next Tuesday or Wednesday. Our meetings in Israel will begin on Friday morning. I am not in a position at this briefing to announce all of our other stops. We're still in the process of getting that worked out. I would please strongly urge all of you to sign up, who wish to travel, immediately after this briefing. The sign-up sheet will come down at 2:00 p.m. Q Why so long this time? MS. TUTWILER: How much advance notice? On the situation in Iraq -- Q Can we take a filing break on that? MS. TUTWILER: On that? Q We want to get the story out before we get there. (Laughter)

[Iraq: Update on Fighting: Iraqi Troops and Rebels]

MS. TUTWILER: We still have no information to confirm reports in the international media of recent Iraqi tank, artillery, or helicopter gunship attacks on refugees in northern Iraq. There was, however, some heavy ground fighting between government forces and armed dissidents in the Sulaymaniya area of northern Iraq over the weekend. We cannot confirm media reports of fighting in southern Iraq over the past two days.

[Iraq: Refugee Update]

On the refugee situation, and I'd ask that you bear with me but there are a number of different areas to cover on this and we tried to get as much together for you as we could.
According to international organizations and Iranian officials, one million Iraqi refugees have entered Iran and hundreds of thousands are at or moving toward the border. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have been actively involved in Iran since before the beginning of the refugee influx. The United States and the international community are providing assistance through U.N. and international relief organizations. We are in touch with Iranian officials through our protecting power, Switzerland, and we are considering ways we may be of further assistance.
Nearly 400,000 Iraqis, mostly Kurds, but including some other groups, have fled to Turkey and are presently camped in the mountains near the Iraqi border. Another 400,000 displaced civilians are reported to be across the border in Iraq. There have been some reports that we saw this morning of shootings by Turkish military. We can neither confirm nor deny the reports of alleged shooting of refugees or looting of relief supplies. We are checking on these reports, and obviously, we certainly hope that they are not correct. On organization and distribution: In these early stages of this massive relief effort, organization continues to be a problem. However, we continue to work with the Government of Turkey and international relief organizations to establish effective and efficient means for delivering and distributing relief supplies. Relief organizations are now present at four of the drop sites and are working to establish effective delivery assistance. UNHCR is working inside Turkey and is managing the refugee camps on the Turkish territory. There have also been reports this morning of the Turkish government agreeing to move some refugees off of the mountains. The Turkish government has announced plans to move 25,000 to 30,000 refugees currently located near the Turkish border to Silopi in the near future. The United States will provide assistance as required. We continue to work with international organizations and the Government of Turkey to develop methods to move effectively to deliver assistance to the refugees. This includes looking at ways to relocate the refugees to more easily accessible locations. On Sunday, April 14, 19 military relief supply missions -- these are United States -- were flown. I'm sorry -- to break down the 19, it's 11 U.S., 4 British, 4 French. These missions delivered 176 tons of prepackaged meals, water, food stuffs -- milk, sugar, flour, salt, and tea -- tents, blankets, clothing, ground sheets, sleeping bags, tarp rolls, and baby food. Seven of yesterday's flights were helicopter flights from Diyabakir -- which as you know, many of you were with us there last week with Secretary Baker. There are 8 primary drop zones: five in southern Turkey and three in northern Iraq. To date, 152 military relief flights have air-dropped 1,029 tons of relief supplies. The military continues to expand its delivery capabilities for the largest United States relief effort mounted in modern military history. Total deployment in Turkey now is nearly 8,300 people. U.S. military personnel are providing a variety of services to Operation Provide Comfort, including air and land transportation, medical and engineering assistance, and water purification.

[In Southern Iraq:]

An estimated 30,000 people are currently being assisted in coalition-occupied southern Iraq. In light of Iraqi acceptance of UNSC Resolution 687 and the commencement of the deployment of the U.N. Observer Unit to the demilitarized zone, coalition forces will begin withdrawing from their current position in Iraq and start moving south to the demilitarized zone established by the U.N. resolution. Coalition forces will remain in the demilitarized zone until the U.N. Observer Unit is in place and functioning along the Iraq-Kuwait border. Until this occurs, coalition forces will continue to protect and provide humanitarian assistance to refugees in the demilitarized zone, to include the refugees in Safwan. If there are any other refugees in the formerly occupied area desiring to move into the demilitarized zone, they will be provided assistance and protection by coalition forces. Refugees at the camp in Rafha, outside the demilitarized zone, will remain under the care and protection of the coalition forces until the refugees are moved to a more suitable location. As many of you all may know, there are a number of officials that the Secretary met with in Geneva on Saturday who are now in various capitals meeting with other governments concerning this situation. If you want, I can give you a list of their whereabouts later. Can I do one more thing? Q That was Friday. MS. TUTWILER: Friday. I'm sorry. Q Unless you went back on Saturday --

[Iraq: Death Rate on Turkish Border]

MS. TUTWILER: Sorry, I'm confused. Concerning the death rate: The statistics we have are estimates from international relief workers on the Turkish border. They estimate that between 400 and 1,000 people there are dying every day, mostly from preventable diseases. Supplies and medical assistance are being moved in as fast as is humanly possible. In addition to international relief workers, U.S. military medical teams have been deployed to the Turkish border to provide basic medical assistance. That's it. Q Would American military forces be involved in the transportation of the refugees to more accessible locations? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know, Mark. A lot of these questions -- we did the best we could of pulling this all together for you this morning. The Pentagon will do a briefing and they will be in a better position to answer detailed questions like that. I just am not in a position to. Q On southern Iraq -- MS. TUTWILER: Southern? Q Yes. The 30,000 people that are in the occupied territory now, you seem to beg the question, what happens to them in a longer term kind of situation. You're saying if they want to, they can move into the 6-kilometer demilitarized zone. But eventually our forces will move out of that as well, leaving only United Nations forces. It will be up to the host nation to decide what happens to those people; is that not correct? MS. TUTWILER: Secretary Cheney did a very lengthy interview yesterday -- I cannot remember on what American network -- giving a lot of details concerning this. But our basic -- and I do not know all the details of it -- our basic policy was enunicated by him yesterday; by me again today. These people are not being left by our military there. We are moving them. We are going to continue to take care of them as we have throughout. I would also refer you to testimony this morning. Princeton Lyman, who is the Director for the State Department of all refugees, testified in open testimony this morning for well over an hour and has a very detailed opening statement, that we'll make available to you in the Press Room afterwards, which has an enormous amount of detail in it. Q Margaret, do you have any indication that the Blue Helmet Forces that will replace the coalition in the demilitarized zone would be equipped or ready to engage in combat if it's necessary to protect the refugees? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know, Norm, if they are equipped or ready to engage in combat. Have you answered this, Richard (Boucher)? I know that the United States, as a Perm Five member, as the others routinely, and in this case, it's my understanding, will have approximately 20 observers there. I believe the entire force that has been announced is around 1,400, as I remember. But whether they are actually armed, is I believe what you're asking me, I don't know, Norm. Q I'm just asking if they'd be prepared to fight. Because, normally, U.N. forces don't if it comes to that. As long as nobody challenges them, they work fine. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know if the United Nations has addressed themselves to this question in the mandate. I'll just have to check for you. I just don't know. Q Margaret, on the Mideast peace issue -- Q Could we stay on refugees for a couple more? The question of those being brought off the mountain, a lot of us that were up there believe that it would be easier to look after these people if they were brought off the mountain, in terms of getting them out of the cold and getting them to a place with more accessible communications. Has the United States asked Turkey to accelerate this process? MS. TUTWILER: I think not only the United States is seeking to move as fast as we all can move, I think the Turkish government is, as witnessed by what they've said today -- 25,000 to 30,000. You were with us and you physically saw -- I believe it was close to a 2-hour helicopter ride we had to take from the closest airport through that very, very treacherous mountainous terrain. I do not know, Alan, what the various members of the international organizations will come up with. There are various proposals that are now being discussed. The most immediate problem for the world, that the world is reacting to, is to somehow get shelter, get food, get medicine to these people even up in this incredible terrain. So I don't know if they will come up with, in the next 24 hours or 12 hours, the plan that says it is wiser to move them to a plateau in Iraq or to move them down into Turkey. These are all conversations that are on-going out on the ground there on the situation. Q Can you also clarify what it is exactly that the Iraqis have been told not to do north of the 36th parallel? MS. TUTWILER: I would ask Richard, who was here last week and did the exact specific guidance. But I believe it's all clearly out on the record. He addressed himself to it almost everyday last week as did Marlin. My understanding is -- nothing to prevent the humanitarian relief agencies and efforts north of the 36th parallel. As Marlin reiterated this morning -- he briefed around 10:30, I believe, and I am aware that the United States Government has met with Iraqi officials twice, I believe it was a week ago Saturday and then last Wednesday -- you could characterize those, if you wish, as Marlin did this morning, as warnings. Q Margaret, you mentioned this high rate of death from preventable diseases. Has the problem of starvation largely been overcome, and we're dealing largely now with the problem of disease? Or is there still a problem with the food? MS. TUTWILER: I couldn't say that any one of the problems that these innocent people are facing have been overcome. Obviously each day that goes by, the international community, the international organizations, are making more progress. You have seen yourself, I assume this morning, any number of reports of the efforts of our military, of the British, of the French. So I do believe that some relief is being given to these people. But, obviously, when you're dealing with the magnitude, as Princeton Lyman testified this morning, I think overall now we're dealing with over 1.4 million individuals, that is a massive amount of people, especially when it's compounded by this very, very treacherous terrain that these people are in. Q But are we focusing now, because of the increased deaths, on providing more medical assistance? Is that the particularly urgent need right now? MS. TUTWILER: We're focusing on saving lives. That includes getting shelter, it includes getting food, it includes medicine. I would say it includes everything that we can possibly do to move and get going to save lives. Q But there's no recent shift of emphasis -- MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of. Q -- (inaudible) emphasis is on medical? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of. Q Do you happen to know whether the death toll is going up or down? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. It's obviously going up, George. I don't believe it's what it was last week. Q Maybe it was 2,000 last week? MS. TUTWILER: No. I would characterize it -- this is as of today. I would, from my own reading, have to characterize it as each day goes by, which has been everyone's concern, these people become weaker. I would characterize, without asking -- I'll be happy to go check my facts -- that it would be pretty obvious, I believe, that it is probably getting worse. Q If these people were moved into a plateau inside --- MS. TUTWILER: Lower, is what I mean. Q -- Iraq, that would amount, wouldn't it, to a safe haven or a safe environment? MS. TUTWILER: We've already addressed ourselves to that a number of times. General Scowcroft did again yesterday. There's no question in my mind that it is a de facto type of safe haven. As you know, we have also asked the Iraqi government that nothing interfere with these various international relief agencies operating there in northern Iraq. Q You're aware, as you drop supplies, you are not just hitting refugees; you are also hitting the fighters that are resisting the Iraqi government, are you not? If there is heavy ground fighting reported over the weekend, in all probability they have gotten food and shelter and help from the air drops which the United States has been doing. So, inadvertently, the U.S. is helping the Resistance to try to overthrow the government of Saddam Hussein, are you not? MS. TUTWILER: The United States, as you know, has never had as an objective or a goal the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The United States has made perfectly clear, as the Secretary of State made clear to you, I believe, standing outside the U.N. Mission in Geneva on Friday, that none of us would shed any tears should the Iraqi people decide that they would like to have a different leader. As far as your other report, I'll be honest with you, John, I have not heard that yet this morning, that somehow our supplies are getting into the wrong hands. I don't know that. Q That would be the wrong hands if they fell into the hands of the Kurdish -- MS. TUTWILER: Are you telling me the Iraqi troops? Q -- the Kurdish Resistance -- MS. TUTWILER: Of -- Q When you drop air supplies in their territory, you're obviously not just feeding women and children that are running for their lives. You're feeding fighters who have a goal of overthrowing the government of Saddam Hussein. You are helping the Resistance by feeding the refugees. MS. TUTWILER: We are helping people, it's my understanding, who are fleeing their villages, their towns, based on, obviously, very real fears. There is one person who has caused this fleeing and that is Saddam Hussein. People are abandoning whole villages -- just up and leaving. You saw with your own eyes -- you were there -- what they are fleeing into. That only, in my mind, can translate into a horror and abject fear to leave your home, to leave everything, to put yourself in a situation that is almost indescribable that many of us saw when we were there last week. Q If you are feeding and assisting the Resistance, so be it. Is that what you are saying? MS. TUTWILER: If there is a hungary soldier, John, that is walking along that road that we overflew, that is up in those mountains, I do not believe that we are singling out men who may be in the Resistance, who may have fought in a village, etc., who are sitting on a mountain, freezing cold and no food for themselves or for their family -- I'm not aware of such a policy. Q But if it allows them to fight another day, that's just fine with the State Department; is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: This is all your pushing of the envelope. I'm trying to describe exactly what we are doing. I'm not aware that we're making a distinction. You were there. Q I'm not making a distinction. That's the point. MS. TUTWILER: But can you imagine on the mountain site where you and I were, how are you supposed to sort it out? You saw. Do you know that when we were there, as we were told, there were approximately 40,000 people. Two weeks before, there had not been a single person. As of today, we believe there are over 80,000 at the site where we were. Now how in the world would you possibly sort it out? I personally saw a lot of men. I don't know if they were armed. I don't know if they were in the Resistance. But I don't think that we're up there saying, "No, you can't have shelter and food and medicine." Q But you're also not being naive about the fact that you are helping the Resistance? You are helping the Resistance, and I'm just trying to get a statement out of the U.S. Government -- MS. TUTWILER: I understand what you're trying to do. We are helping people who have fled their homes. Q Margaret, does the United States -- you just stated that one person caused all this and that's Saddam Hussein. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q Is this a war crime? MS. TUTWILER: That, Alan, as you know, is something that our government has discussed throughout this crisis over the last nine months. I am unaware of any decision that the United Nations took. As you know, it was not in the 25-page resolution, the last resolution that just passed. As you know, we have said that is something that we are willing to discuss but it is not something that we have been actively moving on. Q I didn't ask if you decided to move on it. I just asked if it was a war crime. Let me rephrase it. Is it a crime? Is it a crime? MS. TUTWILER: It is criminal what has gone on inside of this country. It is criminal, in my opinion, that one leader, because of his own arrogance, would choose to put his nation through what he has just put his nation through and apparently continues to put his nation through. Q So you agree it's a crime. And you also say -- and President Bush has said many times -- that this is a civil war. Right? So this is a crime committed in a civil war. Is it a war crime? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have an international definition for you, a legal definition, which is what you're asking me. I will be happy to ask the lawyers if this is, indeed, a war crime. Q If this is not a war crime, what is? MS. TUTWILER: I have stated what our policy has been throughout concerning war crimes, war tribunals, etc. But I want to be careful here because, as you know, under international law there are very specific definitions of any number of things, one of which is this. So I would rather refrain from answering your question head-on until I have checked with the lawyers. Q If it's not a war crime, and you agree it is a crime, do you think the criminals ought to be brought to account for their crimes? MS. TUTWILER: This is nothing but, Alan, seriously, an indirect way of getting me right back into "Is the United States going to pursue Saddam Hussein as a criminal? Are we going to have a war tribunal? Are we going to try to try him on war crimes?" I've answered it. Our policy hasn't changed. Q Maybe you could state for us, for the record, why the United States would not want to pursue these and all the other crimes that he has committed? What are the reasons against doing this? MS. TUTWILER: We said, and we have continued for the last nine months to work as a coalition. We have worked through the United Nations. As I just pointed out, in the last resolution that just passed -- it was 25 pages, I believe, in length -- this item was not mentioned. I have to assume that was on consensus by the majority of the nations who wrote the document. Q Margaret, the European Community this morning voted to seek a war crimes trial for Saddam Hussein. MS. TUTWILER: I saw that. Q Does that affect the U.S. position? MS. TUTWILER: I saw that briefly right before I came out to the briefing, and it is obviously something that we will want to take a look at. There was just, as I read, a three-sentence wire. It did not say any specifics or what exactly the literal proposal was. And this is something that could well come up at Secretary Baker's meeting with the EC Ministers on Wednesday. Q They were members of the coalition. Wouldn't they -- MS. TUTWILER: That they would bring up. Not the that the Secretary would. Q Since they were members of the coalition, would we be inclined to support a position like that? MS. TUTWILER: That get's me right back to Alan's questions. That would obviously be a Presidential decision. I am unaware of any change in our policy concerning this. Q Was there a significant number of Kurds who stayed behind in their villages? And do we know, if there are a significant number, what has happened to them? Saddam keeps saying that it is safe to return. Do we have any evidence one way or another about what is happening there? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know, Pat, how many, if any, are back in their villages. I read one report, which I am sure many of you have read, that some are deciding to give up on the mountains and go back to the villages; but we, as of this morning, don't have an accurate number on that. Yes, Johanna. Q On the Mideast, when we were last there Secretary Baker said publicly -- you know, he cautioned journalists not to rush to judgment, and privately we were told to resist immediate gratification. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q I guess it comes down to, why is he rushing back? MS. TUTWILER: That's your characterization of "rushing back," not mine. (Laughter) We could have stayed. Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: That's right. We could have stayed. We could have left yesterday. We could have left today.

[MIddle East Peace Process: Discussion]

Q Then why this stately progress back to the Middle East after such a long time gap since he was last there? (Laughter) MS. TUTWILER: It is that he and the President, as I expressed, after discussing this this weekend and the Secretary giving the President a full debrief, think that it is prudent to return to the region to continue working this issue with the various parties. And as we have said all along, none of us knows how long the window of opportunity is going to exist and you do not want to somehow inadvertently miss an opportunity that may well be there. And so that is the reason it was determined to go back to continue to work this in person, and that is exactly what we are going to do. Q Will the Secretary be going to Jordan? MS. TUTWILER: That's under discussion right now. Q Is this a "make or break" kind of trip? I mean, is the Secretary going to keep -- MS. TUTWILER: No, no, no, no. Q -- keep running off. (Laughter.) MS. TUTWILER: I would never say yes. Q Is he going to keep going to the Middle East every two -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I don't have a crystal ball. Q -- weeks if there is no -- I mean, there hasn't been any real substantive move by any of the parties that a lot of us can see. Is he going to want something now? He himself has said that if the parties themselves don't want peace, he can't do it. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to set him up for those types of odds. That wouldn't be how I operate. And I can't tell you if he is going to make another trip or ten more trips or 63 more trips. But I do know that he will continue to be engaged, as he has said, as long as the parties themselves are serious about trying to find a way to resolve this very intractable problem. And he will continue to, as we said, act as a catalyst. He, as you point out, said that we cannot want peace in the region more than the people who live there. We cannot impose it from the outside. He and the President believe that there is genuine, serious work being done right now on this issue by the various parties, and he is going to continue to be engaged as long as those are still the factors. Q You said Jordan was under consideration. MS. TUTWILER: Uh-hum. Q Can you say what other Arab countries are under consideration? MS. TUTWILER: Why don't we just maybe do that afterwards. Q On the business of the trip -- MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me. The reason, George, is that we are really in the process right now of notifying a lot of governments, and it would just be inappropriate to say it now before those are completed. Q Since the Secretary left Israel, there have been some very strong statements by some of the ministers, including Minister Sharon -- MS. TUTWILER: Uh-hum. Q --about continued settlement building and prospects. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q Are those negative signals also an element in the decision that he go back? MS. TUTWILER: I can't say that anything that Minister Sharon has said since we left Israel has anything to do with Secretary Baker returning to Israel, no. Q Well, the broader question is, the importance of going back, is that important because of hope of possible breakthrough or despair that the window is closing? MS. TUTWILER: No. I think it is just as clear as I have tried to state it -- that if you believe that the parties are serious, that the parties are engaged, the most effective way that most people communicate in something that is this intractable, this difficult, is in person. And so he views, and the President views, that it is important to go back, to take advantage of staying engaged; to take advantage of this window of opportunity that we have all addressed, including the parties in the region, that has presented itself in the aftermath of the Gulf crisis; and to see if you can make progress. And that is what he is going to try to do. Q That is a pretty good description of the housing settlement problem -- intractable, difficult. MS. TUTWILER: Uh-hum. Q How come the Secretary doesn't feel it would be helpful to see Mr. Sharon? When he goes to Israel, he has met with Rabin. He has met with all sorts of people, not just the Prime Minister. He has met with the Foreign Minister; he has met with the Defense Minister. He stops in Geneva; he talks with a political leader who represents about twelve percent of the population right now. Sharon represents a much stronger view in Israel. MS. TUTWILER: Uh-hum. Q And it seems to be a problem, this housing problem. Why doesn't he talk to Sharon about it? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, Barry, it has never been raised either by us or by him; and I am unaware -- I think he has been Secretary of State, what is it now? 28 months -- that he has ever met with an Interior Minister or Housing Minister in any country we have been to. Q He met with the Interior Minister here. MS. TUTWILER: He met Sharon here? I don't remember that. Q He's not the Interior Minister. MS. TUTWILER: The Housing Minister. Q But the Interior Minister in the last government was Rabbi Perets, and I distinctly remember. MS. TUTWILER: Well, your memory is better than mine. Q You can check it up. I refer you to the record. MS. TUTWILER: I'm sure you're correct. (laughter.) Q He tends to meet in certain countries -- MS. TUTWILER: It's never come up. Q -- a broad spectrum. It's never come up, but I mean -- MS. TUTWILER: Either way. I mean, they have never requested it and it has never come up on our side. Q I have a hunch that the U.S. Government has the authority to make it come up if they wanted it to -- MS. TUTWILER: I guess if we wanted it to, we could request a meeting. Q But there is no point to it? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to sit here and prejudge for Secretary of State Baker something that I'm not aware has ever been raised to him, or ever thought about. So I can't tell you, yes, he would do it. Q Barry is asking why hasn't the Secretary thought it important to meet with Sharon, since his policy is inextricably linked with what Baker is trying to do in the Middle East? MS. TUTWILER: Because the Secretary of State deals with the head of that government and -- you weren't on the trip, but the others were -- he discussed this very issue, which you would know, with the Prime Minister, with the Foreign Minister. There is not a meeting that he has, and he is discussing it at the head of state level. I don't find that that unusual. Q There is some question whether the head of government speaks to Sharon either. (Laughter.) Sharon seems to be doing what he wants to do, and Shamir seems to be implying that it is not his policy. MS. TUTWILER: That's something I'm not going to get into. That's an internal matter, and you would have to ask the Israelis. Q Margaret, this is a curiosity, though. MS. TUTWILER: Yes, Alan. Q When he is in Israel -- MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me? Q When he is in Israel, why does he always meet with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister and the Defense Minister separately? After all, they are all in the same party, and they are all in the same government. And this leads to a kind of absurdity where you meet with the Prime Minister and then Baker meets with the Foreign Minister to tell him what the Prime Minister said. (Laughter.) MS. TUTWILER: I don't find this that unusual. Secretary Baker meets with many of his Foreign Ministers either here or after a meeting with our head of state. I don't understand. He does that all the time. Q But when he goes to Israel, they are always inevitably separate meetings. Does that reflect some kind of disarray in -- MS. TUTWILER: He does it all over the world. I mean, that's not that unusual. He meets for hours with the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union and on one day out of three days goes and meets with the head of state. Q I believe the Foreign Minister -- MS. TUTWILER: We do it all over the world. Q But when he does that, the Foreign Minister is always present. MS. TUTWILER: Well, you could ask the Israelis. I mean, it is not some specific request that we have put in that we want to have meetings specifically structured a certain way. Q What I'm getting at is, whose request is it? MS. TUTWILER: I really don't know that level of scheduling details. I'll be happy to try to noodle into it for you. It's something that I have not spent time focusing on. Q But to get back to Jim's question about settlements, first of all, does the U.S. Government have any response to the hard-line tone out of Israel the minute that your plane in Israel left on settlements? And what's the status of the $400 million? The Israelis yesterday reported that it was once again being held up as some sort of punishment because of this hard-liner. MS. TUTWILER: My understanding, Jan, is that we announced -- I believe it was on April 9 -- that that money had gone; and I believe we told you that the Israeli government, on March 28, just finished their negotiations or finalized it -- I believe with the banks. And I believe the final AID technical part of it was done April 9, but I'll be glad to check the record for you.

[Cyprus: Meetings with Turkish-Cypriot Leader]

Q Margaret, Mr. Kimmitt is meeting with Rauf Denktash, who is the so-called leader of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. I understand that the Secretary is going to meet briefly with him, too. That's highly unusual. Can you tell us why? MS. TUTWILER: You are correct on both points of his meeting with him. As part of a private visit to Canada and the United States, Mr. Denktash will meet with Under Secretary of State Kimmitt, as you mentioned, and will call briefly on Secretary of State Baker. Mr. Denktash will be seen in his capacity as leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community and as one of two equal participants in the intercommunal negotiations conducted under the auspices of the United Nations which seek a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem. In these discussions, we will urge Mr. Denktash to participate constructively and imaginatively in the intercommunal negotiations. The discussions are intended as a contribution to this process of dialogue. They do not imply a change in United States policy towards Cyprus. The United States recognizes only a single state of Cyprus and does not accept that there is or can be an independent Turkish-Cypriot state on the island. As we have stated in the past, the United States deplores the division of Cyprus and actively supports the efforts of the United Nations Secretary General to assist the two Cypriot communities in reaching an agreement on a new federated state of Cyprus that will be bi-zonal and bi-communal in character. Q Is this the first time a Secretary of State meets with Mr. Denktash? MS. TUTWILER: Is this the first time a Secretary of State ever has? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I'll check for you. Q Did you say that the visit was official or private? MS. TUTWILER: As I said, Mr. Denktash is on a private visit to the United States and Canada. Q Last week the U.S. asked the Soviets for their assistance in -- for information on U.S. prisoners of war held in that country. Can you tell me more about what motivated that request and whether or not, in making it, this is a sort of U.S. concession that POWs were taken into the Soviet Union during and after the Korean and Vietnam wars? MS. TUTWILER: I believe that Richard got this question on Friday and that the Department posted an answer on Friday afternoon. I don't have it with me, and I'd be happy to refer you to the Press Office which, I am sure, has a copy of it.

[South Africa: EC Decision to Lift Sanctions]

Q Margaret, just one more on the EC. Will the Secretary be discussing the South African sanctions? Do you have any comment on what the EC did today regarding the sanctions? MS. TUTWILER: Again, I just briefly saw that. As you know, our policy is longstanding, and the President has stated it any number of times. I don't know of any change whatsoever in the President's policy concerning lifting of the sanctions. I don't know if that will come up at this meeting or not. Q You sort of breezed over the U.S. / Iranian contacts. MS. TUTWILER: Uh-hum. Q Can you be a little more specific? Are we, number one, doing air drops along the Iranian border? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I know of. Q Or are we just limiting ourselves to around the Turkish? Okay. I know that we have offered to help Iran with its refugee problem. Is there any positive or negative response from the Iranian government? MS. TUTWILER: As you know, the Iranian government has publicly, last week when we were on the road, asked for international assistance. We have responded and said that we want to be part of that assistance. We are going to be part of that assistance, the details of which, John -- I checked on this this morning -- are still being fleshed out. For instance, how do you get United States supplies, whatever they may be when they determine what they need, to this area? Who is going to take it? Right now, these conversations are going on. There have been no direct contacts between the U.S. and the Iranian government. It is all being handled through the Swiss, and obviously we are in constant contact with the international relief organizations. But there is nothing specific yet that I could tell you that has been worked out. Q Still on Iran, Iran's Foreign Minister is being quoted as saying there are still 22 Iraqi war planes on its territory. Does the U.S. have its own notion of how many Iraqi planes remain there? Has it tried to do anything about it? MS. TUTWILER: Have we tried to do anything about it? You mean, have them returned? Q Yes, like that's an example. MS. TUTWILER: Return them to Iraq? Q I say, can you tell us what you know about the status of Iraqi warplanes in Iran? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is that Iraqi airplanes are still in Iran, and I have not heard that the Iranians have changed their policy -- Q Of holding onto them until the war is over? MS. TUTWILER: -- of sending them back. Q Okay.

[Iran: Article on Reagan Campaign Manager/Hostages]

Q Margaret, also on Iran, have you seen the piece in today's New York Times by Gary Sick, formerly of the National Security Council, with what he considers to be possibly new evidence of an October surprise in 1980? Have you seen it? Have you any comment on it? MS. TUTWILER: I will be honest with you. I saw the headline. I haven't had time this morning to read it. And Marlin responded to this question and said that it's the same old rumors and -- I can't remember the other adjective Marlin used -- that had been around for years. He had no comment on it, so I know I don't. Q Margaret, could I just clarify a point on the figures that you gave for fatalities in the camps? Were you referring only to the camps on the Turkish border? MS. TUTWILER: Uh-hum, yes. Q Okay. MS. TUTWILER: I'm only referring to Turkey. Q Margaret, are there any scheduled meetings this week between Department officials and members of the Iraqi opposition? MS. TUTWILER: I didn't ask this morning. I'll be happy to ask the Bureau if there are any such scheduled meetings. Q Can we try the START situation and the summit, and I hope you won't shift us to the White House because this is -- MS. TUTWILER: I will. Q Well, you shouldn't -- MS. TUTWILER: Marlin just answered it all this morning. Q Yeah, Marlin made no sense because -- (Laughter) MS. TUTWILER: Now that's not true. Q No, he made no sense in the sense that from this building you folks have been saying -- and the Secretary of State has been saying -- that the last summit was postponed because you didn't have a START treaty and because there was a war on. Now, is the START treaty a precondition or isn't it a precondition? Are you zigging or zagging now? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, what I want to do, Barry, because Marlin did answer these questions this morning -- it is obviously a Presidential summit; it's a White House summit; it's not a State Department summit -- is refer you to how he answered the question on behalf of the President this morning. I will be happy to talk to him after the briefing to tell him that you are a little bit confused and see if I can get a more direct -- Q I'm not confused. The Administration is changing its stand -- MS. TUTWILER: -- a direct answer for you. Q The Administration seems to be zigzagging without admitting it is zigzagging, because when you folks here put out a piece of paper saying why there is no summit -- or as the Secretary at least explains it at the White House -- there were two reasons. One was the war in Iraq and the START treaty wasn't finished. MS. TUTWILER: And I think that he had said we would hope -- Q Hope to get it; hoped to have the summit by the end of the first of the year. MS. TUTWILER: As I remember his joint press conference with the Foreign Minister at the White House, I remember the word "hoped." I don't believe he said that it was locked in concrete, must have. But I would like to just have the liberty of checking the record. Q No, no. You are getting it -- look. He said very specifically, the summit was being postponed for two reasons. MS. TUTWILER: I remember that. Q It's unseemly to have a summit while there is a war on, and the START treaty isn't ready. Then he said, "We hope -- MS. TUTWILER: We would hope to make progress, right. Q -- to be in a position to have the summit before the end of the first half of the year. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q Okay. Now it seems the completion of a START treaty is not a prerequisite to a summit. And I just want to give you folks another chance to swing at that. MS. TUTWILER: Okay. I would just like the chance to call my good friend Marlin and check in with him. This is not something that I spent a lot of time on last week when we were in the Middle East, and I would just like the opportunity to check. Carol? Q Margaret, there are reports out of Moscow that the Soviets have now apparently put the emigration law on a decided backburner, and this had been -- or the United States had often emphasized how important this was, not just because it was connected to MFN and trade benefits, but also because the United States thought this was important in terms of codification of human rights in general. I was just wondering what your reaction is? MS. TUTWILER: I am not aware that they have done that. Obviously I am aware that they have not yet passed their emigration legislation, but to be honest, Carol, I don't know where they are with it. I would just like to bring myself up to date on where they are. Q A senior parliamentarian apparently is now saying that conservatives have actually delayed, tied it up. MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard about it. I'll ask for you. Q Margaret, this is perhaps something else you have not had a chance to focus on, but Friday night the State Department put out a statement by the President on foreign aid. MS. TUTWILER: Uh-hum. Q Proposed sweeping changes in foreign aid, perhaps the most sweeping changes in thirty years. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q And I just wondered what the rationale was for putting it out at that hour. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I wasn't here. Do you know, Richard? MR. BOUCHER: That's when it was ready. MS. TUTWILER: That's when it was ready? I don't know. I wasn't involved in it. I understand there was like a four-page attachment, fact seat, or something that went with it. I don't know, George. Was it put out here or at the White House? MR. BOUCHER: Here. The White House talked to the wires and then we put out the background info. MS. TUTWILER: Oh, okay. I don't know. Q Margaret, give me one more chance on the Middle East. MS. TUTWILER: Okay. Q The Administration keeps mentioning this window of opportunity. Yesterday General Scowcroft described it as a narrow window of opportunity. Is the window of opportunity closing, and if so, why? MS. TUTWILER: I just can't answer that, Jim. We have always said that a window of opportunity exists; and, to be honest with you, in almost every capital we have visited the same sentiments have been expressed privately and publicly to the Secretary of State. None of us -- and this has also been stated -- knows how long this opportunity is going to exist. I just don't have an ability to look into the future and say it is going to end on, you know, May 3. I don't know. But the belief is that the window of opportunity is still there; and they want to make sure that we continue to take advantage of it, have left no stone unturned, and have genuinely worked honestly and seriously with the parties in the region to see if you can make progress. And that is what he is going to continue to do until I guess you get to a time, as he has said, when the parties themselves are no longer interested. Then, in my mind, you would say the window closed. Q Margaret, when you said the President and the Secretary are convinced that all parties are taking a serious approach -- MS. TUTWILER: I said they believed. Q Are you referring just to the willingness to join in a peace conference or anything beyond that, and, if so, can you describe what that is? MS. TUTWILER: No. They believe that the parties are serious and are dealing with this issue, the whole issue. There is not just one particular part they have peeled off and said this one everyone is serious about and this one they are not. As you know, much of the substance of these discussions has not been out in the public. I would envision that that will remain to be the case. Much of it he has put out, as have other officials. So you are well aware of what others think about the various parts that they have talked about publicly; but there is a belief, I believe also, and I cannot speak for others, on behalf of the others he has met with that everyone is serious, and we'll just have to just see how it evolves, how it goes. Q Margaret, President Gorbachev will visit tomorrow in Japan. Could you give us any article today about his visit? MS. TUTWILER: Could I give you what? Q President Gorbachev will visit Japan. MS. TUTWILER: I understand that. Q So could you give us any article today about this, about his visiting Japan, any comments? MS. TUTWILER: An outlook on his visit? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure that we have an outlook on his visit to Japan. If you are concerning yourself with the Northern Territories, our policy is well known on that and has been articulated from this podium many times. But concerning his visit to Japan, or any type of statement -- I think his visit just begins tomorrow, doesn't it -- I'm not sure that we will be in a position to do that for you. That's kind of highly unusual for us. But I will check on it for you. Q Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 1:13 p.m.)