US Department of State Daily Press Briefing #98, Friday, 6/14/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:00 PM, Washington, DC Date: Jun 14, 19916/14/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, Subsaharan Africa, South Asia Country: Iraq, Kuwait, USSR (former), Angola, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Lebanon Subject: Immigration, Regional/Civil Unrest, Development/Relief Aid, Trade/Economics, CSCE, Military Affairs, Security Assistance and Sales, Mideast Peace Process (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: As I mentioned, if it's okay with you all, I would like to try to make a meeting with Secretary Baker at about 12:20. If not, obviously I'll stay.

[USSR: Name Change for Leningrad]

I have two things that were asked of me yesterday that I'd like to give you some more information on. Barrie Dunsmore very graciously helped me yesterday on the position concerning changing the name of Leningrad; he was absolutely correct. It is the State Department's understanding that this change would require approval from the Russian and Soviet Parliaments before it could take effect. In the event that the name change is adopted formally, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names would need to make a formal determination before the U.S. Government could adopt the new name for official use. My understanding is the Board of Geographic Names is an interagency board, and we are represented by the Office of the Geographer.

[CSCE: Meeting Adjenda]

On Carol Giacomo's question yesterday, and I believe Patrick asked me also, for a brief agenda of the upcoming CSCE meeting. As all of you know this is the first meeting of the CSCE Council of Ministers that was established by the Charter of Paris; that's the November 21, 1990, meeting that the President and other heads of state attended. The ministers will hold three sessions, and I'm basically just giving you the shortest abbreviated form of what the sessions will deal with. One is European architecture and democracy; (2) economic transitions; (3) future work of the CSCE. During these sessions, there may be discussion of the following topics: Yugoslovia, Albanian membership, and post-Helsinki security negotiations. The ministers may also follow up on some of the ideas that Secretary Baker has put forward, one of which is a mechanism for calling emergency meetings at sub-ministerial level, strengthening the conflict prevention center, and consideration of establishing fact-finding missions. We expect that the Secretary's speech in Berlin the day before will also set themes and perhaps introduce additional ideas. In an effort to make this a working meeting and focus on decisions taken, we would anticipate that a short decision sheet will be issued at the conclusion of the meeting. That's all I have.

[Immigration: Lookout List Purged]

Q The Times and the Post have stories today about the purging of the "lookout list" of undesirable aliens. Do you have anything? MS. TUTWILER: I have a lot, all of which I won't give you. I'll be happy to post it; but the gist of it, which I think you'd be most interested in, is: As you know, this act was created in 1952. Currently there are 2,700,000 names listed on our "lookout" system. Of the total, there were 300,000 names listed as ineligible for ideological or political reasons, 120,000 of which have already been purged from the system. I can go through all the laws and regulations, if you'd like. I've got pages on it. Q No, no. What was the action which was taken this week? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding, George, is that in November of 1990, there was a new immigration act that was passed. That went into effect, as contained in the legislation, on June 1. June 1 is what triggered going through, looking at these names, and there's where we are. Q So 120,000 were purged consistent with the June 1 deadline? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. But I have to be careful here and tell you that, obviously, since we've known about the legislation since last November, I cannot stand here and tell you that they did not begin doing their work until literally on June 1. But June 1 is when those names actually started coming off. A lot of this, as you know, is case-by-case work. Q Margaret, when you say that 120,000 of 300,000 for ideological or political reasons have been purged already, that suggests you're still going through the rest of the 300,000? Or what does that -- MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q -- you said had been purged already. So you're working your way through the entire 300,000, and the goal is to -- MS. TUTWILER: You've got it. You do it literally case-by-case. For instance, what if an ideological person is also a terrorist? That name will not be purged. Q What's an ideological person? MS. TUTWILER: As you know, I'll be -- Q A person who believes in something? Q We don't want any of those! Q I know it's a pragmatic Administration, but what's an ideological person? MS. TUTWILER: I will be happy to get the actual piece of legislation for you. As you know, this law contains 33 grounds of exclusion into nine categories. Our law says one of which is -- what was the exact phrase? -- "health-related grounds such as communicable diseases, criminally related grounds such as trafficking in narcotics, security grounds such as terrorism and others, such as becoming public charges." I know your question. I'm trying to find it. Q (Inaudible) that goes to action. I'm thinking of the First Amendment a little bit. MS. TUTWILER: I don't have all the categories, Barry. I'll be happy to get it for you. I've got about 20 pages here of information. I just don't have it for you. Q I know this is a very heavy subject, and it's very complicated. MS. TUTWILER: Yes, it is. Q When you say "case-by-case," does that mean investigators go out and -- I don't know what -- or embassies look up a guy's thinking and if it's changed over the last few years -- MS. TUTWILER: I didn't get to that level of detail. My understanding is that these files have been kept in some type of computer system since 1952. My understanding is that all our consular offices around the world can punch into this computer, and the information concerning individuals comes up. I have never seen one of these forms. I didn't ask the experts this morning to get to that level of detail. I just assumed that under these categories that have been established since 1952, there's a form and a system that it pops up under. Q Under the McCarthy period. Q Is the Chairman of the PLO, Mr. Arafat, excluded under these grounds or under other grounds? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q Could you take the question? MS. TUTWILER: I'll look into it. I'm trying to find the list for Barry, and I can't find it. Q Margaret, do you have any comment on the House decision to keep the $20 million of aid to UNITA covert? What is the purpose of keeping aid covert after the peace agreement says "no lethal aid" and we agreed to -- MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, Jan, I haven't seen that, and I'll be happy to look into it for you. Q Would you? MS. TUTWILER: This is something they did when? Q On Tuesday, as far as I can make out. MS. TUTWILER: I have no knowledge of it. I'll look into it. Q Also, on House aid -- MS. TUTWILER: On what? Q On aid. The House has voted to suspend aid to India. Do you have any comment on that? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. It has been our standard policy, as I think you're familiar with, that, in principle, we oppose any country-specific provisions in the Foreign Assistance Act. The Administration has submitted its own Foreign Assistance Act which represents Administration views on how best to proceed on foreign assistance. My understanding is that this has only been done, as you point out, by one branch of the legislative branch, by the House.

[Pakistan: US Meeting Summary; Assistance ]

Q Same general area. Do you have anything yet on the visit by the Pakistani delegation here this week? MS. TUTWILER: I'll be happy to -- which we were planning to do -- post for you after this briefing a very lengthy statement. I can only comment in general on Secretary Baker's meeting this morning that he held here. I believe it was 9:00 a.m. Generally speaking, in that meeting, the Secretary began by telling the delegation that he had had a full briefing from his Under Secretaries, Reggie Bartholomew and Robert Kimmitt. He had also talked to his colleagues at the White House and at the Defense Department. So they did not get into a level of detail that, it's my understanding, they have in the other meetings. And, as I said, we have a very lengthy statement for you. The Secretary and the Pakistani delegation both reiterated the importance of our relationship and our longstanding relationship. They also touched on Afghanistan, and they said that these discussions will continue and be ongoing. We would characterize his meeting -- Secretary Baker's -- as a very good working meeting. Q But is there anything you can say about the status of U.S. assistance? MS. TUTWILER: No. There's no change in that, George. Q Also, vis-a-vis the Congress, do you have any comment on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's decision to vote in this thing about the aid to -- to lift the embargo against Vietnam? MS. TUTWILER: You're asking me things, Jan, today, I'm sorry, I'm just -- you've done a lot more congressional reading than I have this morning. Sorry. I don't know. Q They've been active in the last 3 days. MS. TUTWILER: It has not gotten on my radar screen, so I'll be more than happy to look into it for you. Q Margaret, the Israeli Foreign Minister, Mr. Levy, told a few of us yesterday that he had understandings from the United States that Israel would not have to negotiate with anyone, any Palestinian, that it didn't find acceptable. Could you shed some light on those understandings? MS. TUTWILER: I'm going to do exactly what I saw the Foreign Minister quoted as doing, which is what I did yesterday, which is say that he was not going to get into the details of his discussions with Secretary Baker. You have heard our own Secretary of State and our President say that, of course -- I believe you're referring here to the PLO -- we obviously are not, have never, are not going to ask Israel to be negotiating with the PLO. So I didn't see anything new and different, to be quite honest, in what I have read the Foreign Minister said -- and I looked at a number of stories this morning. And he and Secretary Baker have not, in any of their numerous and many meetings, discussed the details of those meetings and certainly not about the peace plan. Q Without going into the details of what was or wasn't said, which I didn't ask, he didn't mention PLO. He said Israel would not have to negotiate with anybody that it didn't find acceptable. MS. TUTWILER: I guess that is up for the individuals to decide, wouldn't it be, Alan? No one can force anybody to meet with someone they don't want to meet with. Q He said he had an understanding with the United States and -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware that the United States has ever said that anyone has to meet with someone that they choose not to meet with. Q Anything on the Secretary's official schedule before he departs? I mean, over the weekend. Any meetings with the President, any special activities? MS. TUTWILER: No, not that I've heard about, Barry. Q Margaret, the Soviet Ambassador this morning said that he thought it was likely that a U.S.-Soviet summit would be held within a month. Other faceless people in the White House say it's going to be the fall before there's a summit. Everyone seems to have exact ideas, but they're all very different. Do you want to throw in your lot here? MS. TUTWILER: I'll throw in with the President of the United States, who addressed this issue this morning before departing at Andrews Air Force Base. And his exact quotes are, "No decision at all. We're still hoping and trying to go forward. As far as we're concerned, if we can get the difficulties on START worked out, we can still have a meeting at the end of June." The President added that he had set aside time on his calendar in both late June and late July for a possible summit. Q The Soviet Ambassador was pretty optimistic about being able to get those differences worked out in a matter of a few weeks. What's the assessment here about where we stand with START? MS. TUTWILER: I'll be better able to answer that after Secretary Baker sees the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union in Berlin in just a few days. Q Margaret, anything scheduled? Q Is there a time on that? MS. TUTWILER: No. But I could probably after the briefing tell you some of the details of the schedule that we're looking at. Q Margaret, will anybody from the State Department, in the Secretary's absence, be meeting Mr. Yeltsin next week? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. As I think we'd said earlier, I know that the Acting Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger, will be meeting with him. I just don't know whether it will be in this building or if he will be attending the President's meeting. Q Margaret, the issue of south Lebanon was raised yesterday during the discussion between Secretary Baker and the Israeli Foreign Minister. MS. TUTWILER: It was? Q That's what the Israeli Foreign Minister said. MS. TUTWILER: That's correct. Q Can you confirm that? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q And can you assume that Secretary Baker said that the attacks on south Lebanon are not helpful to the peace process? MS. TUTWILER: Without -- just as I refuse to for Alan -- going into the detail of what the Secretary said, I was in the meeting and, yes, the Secretary raised south Lebanon, and he restated our policy that you, I believe, are very familiar with concerning our views on that situation. Q But did he ask the Israelis to stop retaliating if attacked? We got an opposite impression from the Foreign Minister -- that the Secretary understood why Israel is intent on protecting its borders from terrorist attacks. MS. TUTWILER: The Secretary -- I was there -- restated America's policy on this, this Administration's policy on this; and they did not have what I could characterize as an extremely lengthy conversation concerning this. It is a point the Secretary raised. Q No. But, I mean, "this," "it." I don't know what "this" means. MS. TUTWILER: It didn't ever come up in that context, Barry. Q No. What I'm saying is the U.S. policy on Lebanon has many features to it, like territorial integrity, all foreign forces leave. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q The Foreign Minister told five of us yesterday that he explained, first of all, that Syria evidently has given a green light to people to strike Israel from Lebanon and that he explained how Israel was determined to protect the border and protect its cities in northern Israel from attack. And then he said -- through translation, so it gets a little, you know, dicey -- "And the Secretary understood this," meaning either "he heard me" or "he agreed with me" or whatever. And in Hebrew apparently it was a different word, so I'm not sure. But that's different from, you know, the notion -- MS. TUTWILER: I understand. Q -- that the Secretary took him to task for defending Israel against terrorism. MS. TUTWILER: I didn't say that. I haven't characterized it that way, and I believe what I stated was to say I'm not going to go into the details, as I didn't on the peace process, of what he discussed concerning Lebanon. I acknowledged that he discussed Lebanon, as the Foreign Minister told you. I'm not going to go into who said what. We just don't do that. And I characterized it, generally speaking, as the Secretary of State restating America's policy, this Administration's policy, concerning southern Lebanon. Is that it? Q I guess so. Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: Have a nice weekend. Q You too. MS. TUTWILER: Thanks, Barry. (The briefing concluded at 12:15 p.m.)