US Department of State Daily Press Briefing #107, Thursday, 6/27/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:31 PM, Washington, DC Date: Jun 27, 19916/27/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, E/C Europe, Southeast Asia, Subsaharan Africa Country: Iraq, Kuwait, Yugoslavia (former), Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia-Montenegro, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, USSR (former), Syria, Vietnam, South Africa, Antarctica, Germany, El Salvador Subject: Regional/Civil Unrest, Development/Relief Aid, Travel, Democratization, Human Rights, United Nations, Mideast Peace Process (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Yugoslavia: Situation Update]

MS. TUTWILER: I have another fairly lengthy statement on the situation in Yugoslavia I'd like to make, to begin with, and then we can answer questions and then I'll do other subjects. Whatever you choose. I'd like to start by repeating what the Secretary said last night in a speech that he made here in town: "We will not reward unilateral actions that pre-empt a dialogue or the possibility of negotiated solutions, and we will strongly oppose intimidation or the use of force. The United States continues to recognize and support the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, including borders of its member republics. At the same time, we can support greater autonomy and sovereignty for the republics -- in other words, a new basis for unity in Yugoslavia -- but only through peaceful means such as negotiation and dialogue." The situation in Yugoslavia today, in our opinion, has continued to deteriorate; the atmosphere there is tense, though we have no confirmed reports of violence today. The Yugoslav National Army is moving to take control of Yugoslavia's borders with Italy, Austria, and Hungary and has occupied several key points, including airports in Slovenia. The danger of major confrontation has increased substantially. As Secretary Baker remarked last night, "Yugoslavia is a powder keg." We have no reports of any incidents involving United States citizens. Specifically, the situation in Slovenia: The Yugoslav Army is moving to take control of border crossings and airports. All three Slovenian airports and many international border crossings are closed to travel in both directions, reportedly including Italian border crossing points. Barricades of trucks and buses were set up at the Ljubljana Airport and subsequently crashed by Yugoslav Army tanks. The Slovenian President ordered Slovenian forces to respond "with all means available." He recalled Slovenian representatives from federal institutions and ordered Slovenians in the federal army to refuse orders directed against Slovenia. He also broke off talks with federal authorities, something which we strongly urge him to reconsider. Slovenian Territorial Defense -- their National Guard forces -- have surrounded several Yugoslav Army posts with vehicles. Civilians are blocking barricades and convoys. In Croatia: After several violent incidents yesterday, Croatia reportedly, as of this briefing, remains relatively calm today. The incident we referred to yesterday in Glina, we can now confirm that four people are dead and several were wounded. An employee of the federal Interior Ministry was shot dead yesterday in eastern Croatia. Australian journalists were roughed up by a crowd in the costal Croatian city of Split. Serbia: Serbian authorities yesterday arrested one of the three Kosovo Albanian leaders who Secretary Baker met with in Belgrade last week on charges stemming from a June 13 demonstration. A Serbian court sentenced him to 60 days in jail. Concerning the federal Government of Yugoslavia: The Yugoslav collective presidency met today but without the members from Slovenia, Croatia, and Macedonia. We have no reports of any action coming from that meeting. The Prime Minister is meeting with his cabinet, including Defense and Interior Ministries, today in Belgrade. Our Ambassador -- Ambassador Zimmerman -- delivered earlier today demarches to the Prime Minister and Serbian President and spoke by telephone with the Slovenian Foreign Minister. The Ambassador conveyed a copy of the June 26 statement that we read here from the podium yesterday and strongly emphasized the fundamental need to avoid violence in dealing with the present crisis. In all of our meetings with federal and republican authorities in Yugoslavia, we continue to stress the importance of political dialogue and a negotiated settlement. Concerning what we are doing in the international arena, we are in constant communication, and have been, with our friends and allies on this situation. They all -- as you know, they're individually expressing -- share our firm belief in the need for dialogue and negotiation. I believe many of you are aware that we issued a new travel advisory yesterday here at the Department. It urges Americans to defer all travel to Yugoslavia. Those currently in Yugoslavia should contact the United States Embassy in Belgrade or our Consulate office in Zagreb. A copy of that travel advisory is obviously available for you. It also, I would like to point out, urges United States citizens in Yugoslavia to avoid travel by rail and road within the country because of these various road blocks I've previously described. Americans should refrain also from participation in or attempts to photograph any types of events that they may be seeing that are going on -- if they're out driving around. We are not, at this time, recommending that Americans resident in Yugoslavia depart. Q Margaret, Germany and some other European countries have called for an emergency meeting of the CSCE Foreign Ministers. How does the U.S. feel about that? And what, if anything, could CSCE possibly do at this point? MS. TUTWILER: Number one, that is something that has come up just this morning. It is something that we are in discussions on right now, so I don't have for you anything more than we're well aware of it and the discussions are going on. I am not also prepared to say what CSCE would itself be prepared to do. As you know, many of the republic leaders that we met with, and the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, were, indeed, aware of the CSCE's strong public statement that was issued by 35 nations. They also have expressed that the delegation that visited from the EC was a very important visit to their country. I, with my bias hanging out, believe that the Secretary of State's visit helps in explaining to people how strongly the international community feels about this. As you know, CSCE has just made a decision -- I believe it takes 12 nations -- to call, or trigger, this emergency session. This would be, it's my understanding, the first time they have used it. So I do not have for you yet -- if, indeed, a unanimous decision is made by 12 nations to call this -- what it is they will come up with that they would, in addition to their individual governments making statements as we are, would perceive that they would do. Q You just said that the United States would support greater autonomy for these republics. How would you envision that greater autonomy? I mean, in what form? MS. TUTWILER: That's something that they all have to work out. But we said yesterday, and I will say again today, and Marlin said from the White House again today, that we are also aware of and recognize national aspirations of the peoples who are living in the various republics. Q You need to flesh that out a little bit, though. The Secretary also talked about sovereignty for those republics. I think it was only yesterday, or perhaps the day before, that you used the phrase "sovereignty" to refer to another nation. Is the United States suggesting somehow now that the federal Government of Yugoslavia ought to negotiate sovereignty with each of its republics? MS. TUTWILER: The United States Government is strongly suggesting, as the Secretary did again last night -- and I believe I've attempted to do today -- that the republics and the center should choose dialogue; they should avoid violence; they should avoid inflammatory gestures that can, as we have said, explode this very tense situation that exists there in this country. We have said this is obviously something for the Yugoslavian people to work out among themselves, but they are to work this out through dialogue and through negotiation and not through precipitous types of incidents that will fuel the flames of this tension. As we have said, we are for avoiding violence. Q Can you address the question of what Secretary Baker meant when he used the phrase "sovereignty" to refer to the republics last night? MS. TUTWILER: No, because I didn't bring every single word that he said last night. He said a great deal in his speech. "At the same time, we can support greater autonomy and sovereignty for the republics. In other words, a new basis for unity in Yugoslavia, but only through peaceful means such negotiation and dialogue." I believe, Ralph, without starting the habit, which I refrain from doing, of interpreting what the Secretary of State says -- you were on the trip with us, and I believe in any number of the meetings with the republic leaders, several of them themselves discussed a new basis for unity; some used the phrase "a new community." Others said that they did not like the phrase, "confederation." Others said they did not like the phrase "federation." So this is what I believe, in my mind -- again, without presuming to interpret what the Secretary is saying -- simply what he is referring to: that we all recognize something here is going to be worked out. Q So you're saying that whatever the Yugoslav people work out would be all right with you as long as it's done peacefully -- MS. TUTWILER: Peacefully and through negotiation. Q But how do you feel about -- Q (Inaudible) what the Soviet Union's position is on this question of calling an emergency meeting? Do you know if they're one of the 12? And has the Secretary, or anybody else from the State Department, been in touch with the Soviets in the last 24 hours to discuss the situation in Yugoslavia? MS. TUTWILER: The Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman, I've read on the wires this morning, has stated what Soviet policy is concerning this situation. I would characterize it, from one wire copy I've seen, as almost literally identical to the United States position on this. I will reserve to be corrected if the wire copy is incorrect. The Secretary has not spoken with the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union this morning. As I mentioned to Carol, this has just come up, Mary. I do not know if someone has been in touch with the Soviet Union concerning this suggestion that has just evolved in the last, it's my understanding, 8 hours. I do not know what the Soviet Union view will be concerning such a thing. Q Margaret, what's your position on the federal army moving in to take over those border crossings and key airports? MS. TUTWILER: I will do what I did yesterday and continue to say that we, the United States, firmly oppose the use or threat of force to resolve the political differences in Yugoslavia. We continue, and will continue, to call on all parties to avoid unilateral acts and to continue dialogue. Q To follow that up, though, Margaret, you did offer a piece of concrete advice to the Prime Minister of Slovenia. I think you said that the U.S. urges him to reconsider the decision to break off talks with the federal officials. Are you, in your most recent statement a moment ago, urging the federal government to reconsider its use of military force to control borders, airports, and other crossing points? MS. TUTWILER: It's not the interpretation I'm trying to give. What I am going to refrain from doing is inadvertently or innocently saying something from this podium that could be misinterpreted on the ground and taken out of context or, more importantly, misinterpret what the United States' views are by those who might want to use a statement one way or the other. So what we are going to do, and continue to do, is urge all to avoid violence and to use dialogue and negotiations. Q Margaret, is there a concern here -- the United States has said it will not recognize Slovenian or Croatian independence. Is there a concern that some of the neighboring countries -- in particular, Bulgaria -- may, in fact, do that? And what is the U.S. view of other countries possibly recognizing these republics? Would that be unhelpful to the situation as far as the United States is concerned? MS. TUTWILER: Right now, Mary, I don't have that situation. As you know, when we were in Berlin, Secretary Baker did not meet with the Bulgarian Foreign Minister. He met with a number of Foreign Ministers from neighboring countries of Yugoslavia. I'm unaware, to date, of any government who has said that they intend or are planning to recognize these two republics as independent states. Q Would the United States hope that nobody would, in this kind of situation? MS. TUTWILER: I think that by our being a participant in the CSCE statement, and by the statements that we have made, that we have been quite clear about what our view is. Again, I just have to say, I'm unaware, to date, of anyone who has a different view of this from our own. Q Margaret, I know you're still considering the CSCE thing. But is there is any reason you can think of or you know of, or can tell us, why the United States might oppose a CSCE meeting? MS. TUTWILER: No, I can't. I want to, (1) let the preliminary conversations that are going on right now go on before I announce that the United States is going to something right now. My understanding is, these are just preliminary discussions that started late last night. Q Has there been any discussion where it might be? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I personally am aware of, as of when I came to the podium. Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: I don't have any of those answers yet. This is just something that has started, it's my understanding, our night time here last night. The experts in our European Bureau made us aware of this early this morning, and it's something that is in the process of just being discussed. I don't know when, I don't know where, I don't know if, I don't know who would be represented. I don't have answers to all that yet. Q Margaret, has the central Government in Yugoslavia reaffirmed to the United States in the last 24 hours a commitment not to use force against Slovenia or Croatia? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware that Ambassador Zimmerman yesterday put a question like that to the Prime Minister. We have been very, very clear on our views of the use of force. I do know that our Ambassador took with him yesterday -- not only to that meeting but has been using it in other meetings -- our very strong statement that was made yesterday and, again, the Secretary made one last night. But I'm not sure, Mary, that that is exactly how an Ambassador would deal with the situation with the Prime Minister. I think they're very familiar with our views. In fact, as you know, we were just there less than a week ago, and the Secretary met with the Prime Minister for over 4-1/2 hours. Q To borrow a phrase the Secretary used last week, is the United States -- are the United States' concerns allayed in any way by the response Ambassador Zimmerman received to the demarches of the United States Government? MS. TUTWILER: I don't think that we would change our characterization today that our fears have been lessened. I think that my characterizations today, and his last night, of the situation is a potential powder keg; that we view this as a very tense situation. It's a very serious situation that's there. I know of nothing that has happened in the last 24 hours that would allay those fears. Q Margaret, is anybody in the Administration looking at it from another point of view -- that is -- MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me. One thing. I wanted to remind you, Ralph, that I had said also -- I just couldn't pull it up from my memory -- the danger of major confrontation, in our opinion, has increased substantially. Q Do you know whether that was following Zimmerman's demarches, or whether that was a statement that essentially repeated what Baker said last night, which would have been before his -- MS. TUTWILER: No. This is based on after Warren's meetings, and the actual situation there on the ground as it evolves and develops. Q Has anybody looked at it from the other point of view -- that is to say, if the idea is to diffuse this powder keg and to somehow resolve this all peacefully, why is the United States not willing to say, "Hey, guys, break it up peacefully; go your separate ways, if that's what you want." Why is there this insistence on staying united? What would be so horrible about having four or two or three separate countries coming out of this? MS. TUTWILER: That has been the policy and the position of this Administration -- of our government -- and, as I would point out, every government that I can think of that has been commenting on this. It is not, as we have said -- in Secretary Baker's statement last night, and again I said today -- that we are not cognizant of or sympathetic to people's national aspirations. As you know, this is probably one of the most complex puzzles that anyone could ever imagine here within one country, exactly what many people had feared: The use of violence, the use of provocative acts, etc., could continue and, in fact, in our opinion, could escalate. So right now, we believe of our policy that the best way to pursue this is through dialogue and negotiations. It is obviously up to the Yugoslavian people to determine what comes out of those negotiations. We're not making a statement concerning that. What we're making strong statements on is concerning what is actually going on on the ground right there. It's for them to work this out. Q It's not clear to me, at least. If you consider the use of force -- I mean, if you consider moving the army, the federal army, as constituting a use of force? Or do you mean by "use of force," the use of higher power? MS. TUTWILER: I'm going to continue to answer that question, as I did earlier to Ralph, that we are calling on all parties to restrain from the use of force, to resolve these political differences through dialogue. I am not going to let comments that I make from this podium somehow be used by one entity or another for purposes that they were not maybe necessarily originally intended for. So I'm just going to continue to answer that question this way. Q Margaret, if I could follow up on Ruth's question. Is there concern that if there is a breakup in Yugoslavia, this might encourage other minorities in Eastern Europe and perhaps even in the West to secede? MS. TUTWILER: We've expressed ourselves on that. I have, personally, in the last 2 days -- I don't have anything new to add to that part of the story. It's all out there on the record. We have great concerns, as many others do, as you know, that somehow that this could spill out into other areas.

[USSR: Baltic States Update]

Q Margaret, speaking as you did of sympathizing with national aspirations, do you have any comment today on the events in Vilnius reported yesterday by various and sundry Soviet sources? MS. TUTWILER: As you all know, Soviet Black Beret troops briefly took over the Central Telephone Exchange in Vilnius on June 26. A Soviet Interior Ministry official told TASS the troops had been sent in to seize weapons stored at that facility. He added that the troops had, in fact, found weapons but had not arrested anyone. This further use of military force in Lithuania does not contribute to an atmosphere in which good-faith talks between the Soviet Union and the Baltic states can take place. We are taking up with the Soviet authorities our serious concerns over this latest incident involving Soviet Black Beret troops. I would like to inform you that we instructed our Embassy last night to approach the Soviet Foreign Ministry to stress once again our view that a solution to the Baltic issue can only be found through peaceful dialogue and negotiations. We've expressed to the Soviets before our serious concerns about on-going violence in the Baltics and the origins of these incidents yesterday are not entirely clear to us, but we will continue to believe that intimidation and coercion will only add to problems, not solutions. Q Margaret, there's been some speculation that perhaps this event or incident was undertaken to embarrass Gorbachev. Do you have any reason to believe that that's true? MS. TUTWILER: I can't say that I have any reason to believe that that's true. I'm well aware of that theory. That theory is one that does not come as a surprise to us. But as of today, we do not know exactly what was behind this attack, and we cannot draw a conclusion for you based on what information we have, to date, one way or the other. Q What have you heard so far from the Foreign Ministry concerning this? MS. TUTWILER: This demarche was made late last night, Carol, and right now, I don't have a response for you. It hasn't come back yet as of the briefing. Q Just one more. To what extent could this incident mar Gorbachev's meeting in London with the other G-7 leaders? MS. TUTWILER: None of these incidents are helpful. As you know, you've heard the Secretary of State speak many times about the Baltics being one of the absolute number one concerns that we have when it is put in the context and questions of people asking us what can the West do for the Soviet Union. Q Does it affect in any way the negotiations underway between the U.S. and the Soviet Union either over the START treaty or the subsequent discussions about holding a summit? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, Ralph, I haven't heard that connection made. Reggie, as I reported to you yesterday, had gotten to Geneva. They had, it's my understanding, a 1-hour meeting yesterday afternoon and are scheduled to meet again sometime this morning. But, no, I haven't heard it connected with that. Q Can we go on to other national aspirations? MS. TUTWILER: If you want to. Q There's a report out of Jordan this morning that the PLO is now willing to join a Jordanian and/or Arab joint delegation to peace talks with Israel. You're looking puzzled, as in, "I don't know about that." MS. TUTWILER: I haven't seen that report.

[Iraq: UN Resolution and Update]

Q OK. Can I ask you about Iraq. What can the United States do now that it has exposed Iraq? What else can the United States do? MS. TUTWILER: Let me bring you up to date on what we have done, OK. The U.N. Security Council held urgent, formal and informal sessions for several hours yesterday in an attempt to express deep dismay at Iraq's attempt to conceal the extent of its nuclear weapons-related program. The Security Council charged the Security Council President, currently it's Cote d'Ivoire, to meet with the Iraqi Permanent Representative today on behalf of the whole Security Council to demand new written assurances that Iraq will comply with Resolution 687. The Security Council President will also indicate that the Security Council insist that Iraq make available immediately to the Special Committee that equipment which was removed from the site in Iraq. Deputy Assistant Secretary Mack called in the head of the Iraqi Interests Section in Washington this morning. The Deputy Assistant Secretary stressed the need for strict adherence by Iraq to the provisions of Resolution 687 regarding inspections. The Iraqi diplomat provided a copy of an Iraqi Foreign Ministry statement on the inspection which pleads that the problem related to the holidays. The Deputy Assistant Secretary rejected this assertion, noting that the inspections were adequately coordinated in advance by the inspectors with the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. That does not mean to the actual sites but that what time they would be in town to coordinate the visits. We told him that the issue will be raised in detail in New York today with the Iraqi U.N. Ambassador as well. That's where we are. Q Will the U.S. raise it in New York today with the Iraqi Ambassador? MS. TUTWILER: That's being worked out, Ralph. There are not final decisions on how it's going to be done. Q Wait a minute. MS. TUTWILER: Let me put it this way: It could be, without saying what we are or are not going to do, part of a group, part of a smaller group, on our own. It's just not worked out. Q Is some consideration being given to a bilateral discussion between Iraq and the United States on this subject? MS. TUTWILER: It's a possibility. Q Could you find out about that? If a decision is made, could you let us know promptly, please? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. If I know about it promptly. Q The question still stands if you can tell us what the United States can do to enforce her position on Iraq now with regard to the nuclear material. MS. TUTWILER: Secretary Baker was asked this question last night, and I'll just continue to refer you to what I said yesterday, and what he said again last night. We expect, as I believe the international community does, Iraq to abide by U.N. resolutions. And I would remind you that Iraq voluntarily itself said weeks ago, if not months ago, that it would abide by U.N. Resolution 687. Q Why would getting written assurances make -- I mean, it's a notion that if they're written, that somehow makes it better. No, I'm serious. MS. TUTWILER: I know you're serious. That is something that the Security Council yesterday felt would be important to have, maybe. I don't know. They feel that it is one more, putting in concrete. Since they'd already agreed to Resolution 687, now they're going to agree -- I assume, I don't know -- in writing to this specific part of Resolution 687. So it's a way of, you know, making a nation -- put in writing. Q Can you get specific information on what the missing equipment is? I mean, are you going to have any way of knowing if the Iraqis turn up and show you one thing, if that's what you're looking for or not? MS. TUTWILER: That gets into an intelligence matter, and I can't get into a lot of detail -- hardly any -- on what it is that we may know or not know about what was at that site. Q On that subject, might I repeat our request to see the photographs taken by the United States and presented to the members of the U.N. Security Council on which these -- now these concrete actions are being based? MS. TUTWILER: Without confirming the question that you've asked me, which I am unable to do, my understanding is that the meeting yesterday was members only, and that there is no plan, that I'm aware of, to disclose the contents of that briefing to the public. Q The reason for that is because you don't want the Iraqis to find out what equipment they have or, I mean, the American people can't find out about this? MS. TUTWILER: It was an intelligence briefing, it's my understanding, and I do not have any leeway, and I'm not confirming the premise of your question that you asked me. I'm just stating that my understanding is this was members only and that it was decided that nothing at that briefing would be disclosed to the public. So it's an intelligence matter. Q What's the status of this team? Are they going to hang around and try and go to other sites, or -- MS. TUTWILER: That is my understanding. But again, that gets me back into, I cannot obviously say emphatically that they are or they are not, because you do not want to tip your hand. We cannot say where they are going or when they are going, because it could tip your hand, and we'll go through another incident like this. But my understanding, as of this morning, they are still there. Q Margaret, I hope you can be more elaborate about this statement made by the Secretary yesterday on the Hill to the effect that we expect Iraq to comply with United Nations resolutions just like we expected them to in the period from August to January 15th. I find that really confusing. I don't understand what he means. MS. TUTWILER: I wasn't confused at all. We used it yesterday -- I did myself a number of times -- and the Secretary repeated it last night in Rosslyn, Virginia, where he gave a dinner address to the Gannett Foundation. So, I mean, I think it's pretty clear. I don't know that it needs a further elaboration. It just speaks for itself. Q No. The analogy was the period when the Iraqis were really challenging every kind of resolution coming out from the Security Council and every kind of statement coming from the United States Government. It gives the impression that we are in about the same situation like that period. MS. TUTWILER: I'm just not going to interpret what I believe is a very clear statement by the Secretary of State that we, the United States, as we have in the past, expect Iraq to abide by United Nations resolutions. Q Margaret, can I say something about the -- MS. TUTWILER: And after all -- excuse me -- this is one that they said they were abiding by. Q Can I say something about the nuclear equipment again itself? Is the United States concerned -- worked up about this issue because Iraq is deceiving the United Nations and avoiding the U.N. sanction, or is it concerned about Iraq's nuclear capability, and that the revelation of this existing equipment discloses some threatening status of Iraq's nuclear capability? Do you understand the distinction I'm making there? Q Yes. And I think that I would characterize the United States as being concerned about both. After all, there are those in the Iraqi Government who are saying that these economic sanctions are very uncomfortable; that they are putting a great deal of hardship on their people; that they are interested in "rejoining the community of nations," etc. As you know, we have characterized their current leadership as basically -- I can't remember if the President used the word or not, so I won't -- but someone that we will find it next to impossible to do business with. And if you are trying to rejoin the civilized world and the community of nations, this is certainly not getting you off to the right track on building trust and basic international understandings between governments. Q Do you have anything to say about the nuclear threat? MS. TUTWILER: That is a great deal of concern to us. After all, we're not dealing with a nation that has not been extremely aggressive and a nation that has shown us in the last 9 months exactly what they will do. They invaded another of their neighbors, took over a country. I think it is both that we would be very concerned about. Q Margaret -- MS. TUTWILER: They haven't had a pattern of restraint in the use of arms. Q Also, the U.S. has said in the wake of the war that it thought it had pretty much destroyed Iraq's nuclear weapons capability, and what I'm trying to get it is whether the revelations of this equipment in any way undermines that statement. Does the U.S. now feel that Iraq has some nuclear capability -- weapons capability that the U.S. was not aware of previously? MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to be the person to address nuclear capability, but I would say that I'm aware of Administration people -- and from the briefings I remember from the Pentagon -- of saying we thought, and I'm paraphrasing here, we got a substantial amount of these weapons of mass destruction, etc., etc. But I think if we had believed we had had it all, we and the international community would not have formed this U.N. Special Commission. We would not be in there trying to verify for ourselves, insisting on the verification, and insisting on these very technical people who make up this team being there from many nations, is my understanding, to ensure ourselves that these are rendered incapable. Q Margaret, does Iraq risk renewed war if it doesn't comply, or just prolonged sanctions? MS. TUTWILER: That is a totally loaded question for me to address myself to. It obviously would be best addressed in another building in this town -- not here. I cannot begin to answer something like -- I mean, that's just -- as you know, that's no way. Q But all options are open. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to do this. I'm going to stick to the United States Government's position which is that they should abide by United Nations resolutions. Q Margaret, has this in any way increased your motivation to take part in this rapid deployment force that's being discussed for southern Turkey, or wherever, to help the Kurds? I mean, having discovered how untrustworthy the Iraqis supposedly are -- do you see the connection? MS. TUTWILER: Not really. I have to be honest with you and have not, in discussions I've been in, seen the two married and connected. Q If the idea is that the Iraqis can't be trusted -- MS. TUTWILER: I understand what you're saying. Q -- then why would they be trusted with the Kurds any more than -- MS. TUTWILER: I understand. But, as you know, in the refugee situation and the Kurd situation, we have got -- or I've forgotten how many on the ground now -- I believe we will have a U.N. system in place. We will have international humanitarian observers there. We will have 500 U.N. people, I believe. So we believe we are addressing that situation with the types of measures we've been taking all along, and those that are under discussion for the future. And so to address the other part of the equation, you have the U.N. Special Commission who is in there with these, it's my understanding, extremely technical, knowledgeable people on chemical, biological, nuclear, etc. So I think both are being addressed in the overall picture of the aftermath of the war and Iraq's behavior. Q Margaret, has the Administration gotten a response yet from Syria to the President's letter on the peace process? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Did you receive any questions or points of explanation from the Syrians about the letter? MS. TUTWILER: Have we received what? Q If you received any notes from the Syrians, asking for explanation of some points of the letter, maybe -- MS. TUTWILER: The Syrians have had a number of conversations with the United States Ambassador in Damascus. He has passed those conversations, obviously, on to the Department. And when there has been a need for a further clarification, of course the Department has furnished him with that. Q Can I ask a question on the moving of the German capital from Bonn to Berlin? Is the State Department ordering its Bonn Embassy to research the question, or maybe is the Bonn Embassy researching the question itself, whether the cost of that move, maybe any losses on the real estate market and whatsoever, could be shouldered by the Germans, for them to pick up the bill for that? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard such of a conversation. I'm sure that there are people here in this building who are aware of what the cost would be to move, but no, I've not heard any conversations like that. Q So it won't be to the Embassy whatsovever -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't know, sir. I'll be happy to take your question and check in with the people who manage property here. I just don't know.

[El Salvador: US Non-Leathal Military Aid]

Q Margaret, on the issue of monies to El Salvador, do you have anything on the release of the frozen funds in 1991? MS. TUTWILER: Yes, I do. The Administration is beginning the process of apportioning $21 million for non-lethal military aid to El Salvador from the $42.5 million still available for fiscal year 1991. Actual disbursement of these funds will be on a case-by-case basis to place orders for medical supplies, field rations, and spare parts as they are needed over the coming months. The items being considered are sustainment equipment that would be delivered to El Salvador through the end of the year and into early 1992. We have also set aside $5 million of the remaining $21.5 million to support U.N. cease-fire and human rights verification efforts and demobilization of combatants. Our clear preference would be to spend our assistance to support a cease-fire. We regret that the FMLN's continued introduction of sophisticated weapons, including SA-16 surface-to-air missiles into El Salvador and their failure to agree to a cease-fire by their own May 30 deadline led us to take this step. We urge the FMLN and the Salvadoran Government to reach a resolution of outstanding issues, leading to a rapid cease-fire at the earliest possible date. Our assistance funds could then be used to support a cease-fire and demobilization, as provided by law. Q From your statement, am I to understand that none of the monies are going to be used in munitions? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding -- and I had a conversation with Bernie Aronson this morning on this subject -- is it will be used for the things I listed: medical supplies, field rations, and spare parts. Q Do you know how much money will be in this first allotment of that? MS. TUTWILER: No. And, as I said, it's going to be done on a case-by-case basis. Q What does the rest of the disbursement depend on? MS. TUTWILER: What does it depend on? There is -- and I'll get for you; Bernie went through it really rapidly with me this morning -- as you know, I believe it was in January that the Congress issued a statement that put out specific criteria. I'll have to just refer you to that. I'll be happy to get it. Q It still holds? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. It still holds. But then, as you know -- and I'm not the expert in this -- that the President was given -- Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: Right. OK. Q How was the amount, $21 million, arrived at? As I understand it, there were $42.5 million that were retained. MS. TUTWILER: $42.5, correct. My understanding from speaking with Mr. Aronson this morning is that the reason this was determined -- one of the reasons now, as you know, it's an elaborate procurement problem or situation to go through. The Administration would begin this process now because of the lengthy period required to ensure that needed sustainment supplies will reach El Salvador in the months ahead. We will halt this process and review these needs as soon as there is agreement on a cease-fire. Q Yes. But what I mean is why only -- MS. TUTWILER: Why $21 million instead of $33? I don't know. I'll be happy to ask Bernie. Q Margaret, do you have anything new on the accusations against the Libyans being involved in the PanAm 103 flight? MS. TUTWILER: No. As you know, our response always has been and will continue to be that we do not want to jeopardize the success of ongoing investigations in the hope of bringing to justice the responsible parties by publicly commenting on press reports concerning this. Q Do you have any assessment about the Party Congress of Vietnam? MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me? Q Any assessment of Party Congress of Vietnam? MS. TUTWILER: No. I don't. Q On that same subject, though, on Vietnam, does the State Department have a point of view on the attempt by some members of Congress and other U.S. citizens' organizations to establish an independent office, separate from the U.S. Government office, in Vietnam to investigate MIA/POW cases? MS. TUTWILER: The only one I'm aware of that we support -- and correct me if I'm wrong, Richard -- was General Vessey's mission, and they were going to set up an office there, weren't they, and we totally support that. Q They are. But it's a group of Congressmen. MS. TUTWILER: Congressmen now are? I'm not aware of that. I'll check into it for you. Q Please. MS. TUTWILER: Sure. But I know we support the General Vessey mission.

[France: Paris Oil Conference Meeting]

Q Margaret, this morning the French Government announced that the U.S. would participate in an international oil meeting in Paris next week. What made the U.S. change its mind and send a representative? MS. TUTWILER: We are aware of the basic French and Venezuelan concerns about oil market volatility and have given careful consideration to the invitation of France and Venezuela to participate in ministerial level discussions among oil producing and consuming countries in Paris on July 1 and July 2. We wish to reaffirm, however, our basic belief that stability of the oil market is to be found in the efficient interplay of market forces and not by government intervention or by cartels. We hope that the Paris conference will in no way create expectations of government intervention in the oil market. In recognition of our strong ties with France and Venezuela, however, and on their assurance that the conference's aim is solely for enhanced market transparency, we will send an observer to the conference. Q What level, and I assume it's coming from -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure that this morning, a decision, its my understanding, of what level has been determined. Q So that representative will come from State, not Energy? MS. TUTWILER: That, I believe, is still under discussion also is my understanding. Q Margaret, on the commutation of the sentences in Kuwait -- I don't have it in front of me -- but it seems I recall that the statement you put out said something about it shows there was a careful review. It seems more like a snap of some royal fingers and 29 death sentences automatically -- MS. TUTWILER: A snap of what? Q Some royal fingers (laughter) -- Q Not royal finger -- royal fingers. Q 29 death sentences become life sentences. Is that the end of the story for these people? Are you satisfied there was due process, and that justice has been done? MS. TUTWILER: As you know, the system that was set up, as I recall, when they had martial law, is that all of these sentences were always under review by the Crown Prince and the Amir. That is how I recall this. So I have to assume under the system that was set up, they reviewed it, and, after their careful review, the Crown Prince and the Amir decided to commute all these death sentences. Q Margaret, two questions: Anything new on South African prisoners, political prisoners? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q OK. And on the Antarctic briefing, or any other statements on -- MS. TUTWILER: I asked again yesterday, and I don't have an answer for you on an individual doing a briefing. Obviously, we will supply you with the information that you need. But as far as a full-blown briefing, to be honest with you, I wouldn't be optimistic, and I will continue to ask for you. Q In your questions, could you ask whether the U.S. is softening its position under world pressure? Can you find that out and let us know? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q Margaret, can I just come back to some questions that were asked earlier, basically stemming from Carol's question about Iraq and the situation against Iraq. The Secretary's statements -- both of his statements yesterday drew the analogy to the period between August 2 and January 15. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q Part of the -- one of the other things that went on during that time period was an intensive effort by the United States to organize the coalition which eventually went to war against Iraq. Are the same kinds of consultations underway now on as broad a basis to establish a coalition to take action against Iraq in response to its deception and its refusal to comply with the current U.N. Resolution 687? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware of any nation or coalition partner that was not -- and I can't speak, obviously, for other nations -- as concerned as the United States was yesterday at this deception. And I would refer you to any number of Ambassadors who represent their nations in New York at the U.N. of their public statements to this effect. I'm not aware, other than the -- as I said, on an urgent basis, they met for many hours yesterday, both formally and informally. Actions that the Security Council has taken, other than the ones I've told you this morning. But, without naming names, I am very confident -- I know of no one who was not genuinely concerned on this situation and did not support what the Security Council was requesting that Iraq now do. Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: Thank you all. (The briefing concluded at 1:16 p.m.)