US Department of State Daily Press Briefing #111: Monday, 7/8/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12: PM, Washington, DC Date: Jul 8, 19917/8/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa Country: Iraq, Yugoslavia (former), Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia-Montenegro, Israel Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Regional/Civil Unrest, Democratization, United Nations (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I have a few housekeeping things I'd like to do at first, just as reminders. I believe all of it you know. Last week, I believe it was, the White House announced the Secretary will be doing a briefing at the White House on Wednesday. Obviously, that means we won't have a briefing here. Thursday, we've already announced that the Secretary will be testifying, so we won't have a briefing here. And Friday, I would envision, if it's anything like it's been handled over the last 31 months, that the Secretary and the Foreign Minister will, in some shape, fashion or form, speak to you at the conclusion of their meetings. So we're not planning a briefing here on Friday. (Laughter) So it's today and tomorrow. Q Margaret -- MS. TUTWILER: Wait a minute. One more little tiny thing. Q The Secretary's testimony on Thursday is unchanged by the arrival of Bessmertnykh? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. As you saw the White House statement this morning, they will meet Thursday afternoon -- we're looking at 3:00 p.m. -- and that is what was in the President's original letter to President Gorbachev, so that's all worked out. It will be Thursday afternoon, and then obviously they're both prepared to meet on Friday, if need be. One other housekeeping matter, then I'll take your questions. To officially announce the ASEAN trip: Secretary Baker will travel to Malaysia to attend the ASEAN post-ministerial conference on July 22-24. A sign-up sheet will be posted for you all today, and it will be taken down on Wednesday, July 10, at 3:00 p.m. Q One more on the CFE briefing. Do you anticipate -- MS. TUTWILER: CFE? His testimony? Q The testimony on Thursday. The question is, do you anticipate that that will be largely or completely CFE, or is it more broad-ranging than that? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding from Janet is that it is a CFE testimony. I mean, obviously, as in any case they can ask anything they want, but that's the purpose of it, and that's why it's been called. Q Is that in the morning? MS. TUTWILER: As I recall, we announced it last week, and I believe we said it begins at 10:00 a.m. Q Margaret, are there any other stops on that trip to Malaysia? MS. TUTWILER: None that I currently am in a position to announce. Q Oh, so later! (Laughter) MS. TUTWILER: As in any trip that he takes, we always maintain the flexibility to say that a number of things are under consideration; they always are. I have no idea if any of them will come to fruition or not. But right now, what I do know that's real, that's a given, that's a fact, is we're going to be in Malaysia for the ASEAN meeting. Q Do you know if Foreign Minister Bessmertnykh has been invited to the ASEAN meeting? MS. TUTWILER: I do not. I have heard, and I believe read, stories to that effect, but of my own knowledge, I do not know. Q When does the Secretary leave Ankara to get to Malaysia? MS. TUTWILER: Currently what we are looking at is some time on the afternoon of that Saturday, and off the top of my head I can't remember the date. The President -- and I don't want to be announcing his schedule, so I won't -- but some time that afternoon when the President finishes something that involves the Secretary, our current plans would be to go on, and that -- the last time I checked -- would put us into Malaysia, as I remember, some time in the very early afternoon. And then there is a ministers' dinner that night, with one refueling stop, and then 8-1/2 more hours to go. Q Is that before the dinner or after? (Laughter) Q (No response) MS. TUTWILER: Is that it? This was easy. (Laughter) Q No, no. It's not that easy, Margaret. MS. TUTWILER: Let's forget it. (Laughter) Q What can you tell us about the remaining details that need to be negotiated that bring Foreign Minister Bessmertnykh here? MS. TUTWILER: Not a whole lot. As you know, because you, I believe, were with us both in Portugal and in Berlin, the ministers had discussed this possibility and both agreed that if there was a reason to get together, that they would do so. The President -- as you know, the White House has confirmed -- sent a message to President Gorbachev this weekend and in part of that message suggested that the two ministers get together to see if they can move this forward. And President Gorbachev has responded and agrees, and Minister Bessmertnykh is enroute. As I did on Friday, I believe it was -- no, we didn't brief Friday -- Wednesday I gave you a basic outline of what had been accomplished in Geneva without putting a lot of adjectives on it, and I said that all three main subject areas remained to be closed out, including some other issues in other areas. So there's nothing that I can go really beyond that. The Geneva talks, as we characterized, were intensive. We characterized them as productive, but, obviously, more work remains to be done. Q Are we at a point where political decisions, as against technical decisions, have to be made in order to push this through to completion? MS. TUTWILER: I think they always, to my understanding of this, pretty much go hand-in-hand. In other words, you have to have the technical teams say X to you, and then once they've done their bit, then obviously the political work hard on their end. So I think they're both -- they work really together, to be honest with you. And, as you know, in Geneva the talks are so technical in some areas that we even send -- as I understand, the Soviets do too -- physicists who were over there to understand some of the extremely technical matters that they are trying to close out; that they are really, really difficult technically. Q Margaret, how do you get an agreement on these issues? Is the United States prepared to compromise on any of these three roadblocks? MS. TUTWILER: That would be a Presidential decision, wouldn't it? And I believe I saw the White House characterize that the President felt that his team had gone to Geneva with some authority -- as I believe what I have seen written -- I could be paraphrasing here -- and that he's very anxious, as you know, to get a START agreement. President Gorbachev says that he is. And they both are very committed to getting this done. So the ministers are going to take a whack at it on Thursday and Friday. Q Yes, I know. But to get a deal, you see, some suspicious people suspect that you think Gorbachev is so eager for American dollars and American aid that you can hold tight and hold tough on these last issues and have him come to you. So I'm trying to get a feeling if the Administration is dealing with START separate from other problems, and if it's in a position to split the difference on some of these issues, or you're just going to hang tough until he caves? MS. TUTWILER: I've never heard the Administration link the two, to be honest with you, Barry. If they are linked, I'm completely unaware of that. Obviously, START is linked to a summit. Q Right. MS. TUTWILER: I have never heard it linked to the G-7 summit which takes place before that, where you know President Gorbachev said he wants to discuss economic matters. The other part of your question was what? Q Basically is the Administration prepared to compromise over these issues, or are you going to hold fast to your positions? MS. TUTWILER: One, I obviously cannot pre-empt any presidential decisions that he may or may not be making. But, having said that, I'm not aware that the United States has ever stated their interest in getting a START agreement as anything other than United States' interests. Obviously, the President or the Secretary of State would not negotiate a treaty that is not ratifiable by our Congress, and so I would tell you that they are working very hard to get a treaty but a treaty that is a good treaty for the United States. Q Margaret, speaking of nuclear weapons, how much stock does the Administration place in the new guarantee from Saddam Hussein that the U.N. team will be allowed to inspect all of his nuclear weapons? MS. TUTWILER: Obviously, as many have said, the proof is in the pudding. As you know, just today we received an Arabic text of a 29-page document that the Iraqi Government sent to the IAEA. I cannot at this briefing be able to go into a lot of detail for you, because we have not fully yet transcribed the text, obviously. However, we understand that the document that Saddam Hussein's government -- in the document Saddam Hussein's government admits Iraq was engaged in a nuclear weapons program, contrary to previous repeated denials of the Iraqi Government. This includes a uranium enrichment program. Also, I would tell you that on the face of it, today's document is a step forward, but we will judge Saddam Hussein's pledges today by the actions of the Iraqi Government, not by these words. Only the Special Commission and the IAEA, through their rigorous inspection efforts, can get at the truth of Iraq's nuclear weapons-related program. To be credible, Iraq's promises must be followed by concrete cooperation with the inspection teams. And it is my understanding that the third inspection team arrived in Baghdad on Sunday. Q Margaret, does the U.S. insist on seeing evidence of the centrifuges or other parts that it believes the team saw when the Iraqis were trying to spirit them away? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is that not only the United States but any number of nations are going to and have insisted on seeing everything. And my understanding is there can still be surprise inspections, and we are not coming out here today and saying that everything that's in this 29-page document they've submitted is everything there is. And, as we have said, these rigorous inspections are going to continue, and we will not be satisfied until we have had an opportunity to see everything that we want to see and that we believe is there. Q Does the United States -- Q Margaret -- Q Let me follow up one more time, please. MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q Does the United States reserve the right to take military action? MS. TUTWILER: As you know, that's a question that's asked in any number of different scenarios, and the President's steady response is, "We don't discuss military options." Q Margaret, can you tell us, please, does the United States now believe -- since, obviously, the United States did not know originally, exactly the extent of Iraq's capabilities, its research, its supplies -- does the United States now believe it knows exactly what is in Iraq and exactly what it is looking for? Do you have any way of knowing that even if you have these inspections, you're going to get everything? MS. TUTWILER: (1) I don't agree with the first part of your question. You're assuming that our intelligence did not know everything that was there or things that they have now said, so I don't agree with that. And (2) the United States is -- I believe this answers your second question -- going to continue, as is the United Nations it's my understanding, to press for -- we want to see seeing everything that we may think is there. You have now told us X information in a 29-page document. We'll be the judge of if we think that's all or not. Q But my question is, do you believe that you know everything that he has? Are you confident of your intelligence that you know everything he has? MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to lock myself into something, Mary, that says we know every single, solitary thing. But I would certainly stand by our intelligence that we feel that we have a pretty good picture of what's going on. Yes. Q Margaret, aside from the fact that he's cheating and it may be a violation of the treaty -- MS. TITWILER: And has lied. Q -- of the cease-fire, can you tell me what the threat is to the world security or American security or to Iraq's neighbors -- the nuclear threat from Iraq? MS. TUTWILER: This is someone who, within the last 9 months, just invaded a basically defenseless neighbor. Q No, no. What are his capabilities? Does he have the capability of making a bomb in the next year? Is that what we're afraid of? MS. TUTWILER: I think we would -- anyone would be afraid of -- I don't know the answer technically to the first part of your question. I'd have to check with an expert. But anyone would, obviously, just based on words, deeds, and past behavior in the last 9 months have to fear someone with his track record having this type of uranium-enriched material. Q I know, but the intelligence that you cited suggested that any making of a bomb would be a crude bomb some years away. And now after we've bombed some of those places, that the intelligence, as you suggested, knew about, I wonder whether that is still the case? Can he make a -- MS. TUTWILER: I haven't checked on that, Saul. Q Can he make a bomb? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I have not checked on that -- Q The reason -- MS. TUTWILER: -- to be honest with you, since we were in the war, and I'll be happy to check on what our analysis is of "what is their capability today?" I know what it was when the war ended. I don't know now. Q I would like to know that since we're talking about killing some more people there in Iraq -- that's what military action means -- whether we would be killing them in order to cut off an imminent threat of nuclear attack from Saddam Hussein. MS. TUTWILER: As you recall, the United Nations resolution concerning the use of force resolution back -- when was it passed? November 29 -- specifically addresses itself to security in the region. Obviously, someone like Saddam Hussein, having nuclear enrichment material that I don't believe he's using for any other purposes than aggressive purposes, would be of concern. It has been of concern. There's an entire United Nations resolution. There are three teams that have been there. Q But it's one thing to have nuclear enrichment material, and it's another thing to make a deliverable nuclear weapon. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. And it's another thing to continue to lie to the international community. It's another thing to now all of a sudden on -- what is today? -- July 7, we get a 29-page document saying -- Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: Yesterday we got it -- saying what exactly we've been claiming is there. You have two inspection teams, one of which had small firearms fired over their head. You have them running around hiding material. I mean, we are not dealing here with -- anyone who would make any rational deduction would want to be forthcoming. Q According to John Goshko and other people writing out of the United Nations, it appeared that only the United States was talking about a military option. I'm simply trying to find out what threat there is to the region -- immediate, imminent threat there is to the region -- from Saddam Hussein's nuclear cheating and whether that -- therefore, to make a judgment on whether that warrants a military response. If you could find out -- MS. TUTWILER: I have never acknowledged or answered your questions concerning all military responses that you keep saying. I haven't engaged in that conversation with you at all. Q Margaret, do we believe at this point that we know the location of all the material which was at that site where the firearms were fired over the head of the U.N. team, and which has now been dispersed? MS. TUTWILER: This is something that I cannot answer, because it gets into an intelligence matter. Q Margaret, on this document, now that you've quoted partially and selectively from it, could you undertake to release the whole text? MS. TUTWILER: The document was sent to the IAEA. I will be happy to request. I don't know any reason why we could not, but it's not our document. And it is true that this was just received, I believe, this morning our time. They have not fully translated from Arabic the whole thing. Q And this selective piece of information on it, did they flatly say that they have, in fact, a nuclear weapon program? They used the word "nuclear weapons"? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I can't answer that. I haven't read the document, and I haven't seen it portrayed that way. Q Margaret, you were asked about dispersing that equipment. Didn't you say earlier that U.S. intelligence pretty much knows where everything is, or were you speaking more generally? MS. TUTWILER: I did, Barry, but what I'm not going to do, and I know that you wouldn't want me to do it either, is to somehow on this podium give information to another government that might be very useful to that government. I don't believe I've ever from the podium, or when asked last week, answered the question, "Do we know where X is or do we know where X material has been moved?" I'm just going to continue to refrain from doing that. Q This is the same U.S. intelligence, for instance, that said last year Iraq is 5 years away from the bomb. This is the same U.S. intelligence that got General Schwartzkopf to say, "We've destroyed all their nuclear capability," which turned out to be a little bit wrong. But right now while we're trying to -- you know, it may come a year from now we'll have to reconstruct what the officials were saying this year. And you're saying generally speaking intelligence knows now -- they didn't seem to know while the war was going on -- they know now basically where Iraq's goodies are? MS. TUTWILER: That's your conclusion that U.S. intelligence did not know. Q Schwartzkopf said it. MS. TUTWILER: I've never seen General Schwartzkopf say that "100% we didn't have any intelligence and any information, and we were just out there helter-skelter and didn't know what we were doing." Q No, no. He said, "We've eliminated their nuclear threat," and that's one reason the war was closed down. MS. TUTWILER: I have never heard that's why the war was closed down. Q Margaret, you said earlier, "We understand the Saddam Hussein government admits it was engaged in a nuclear weapons program which includes the uranium enrichment program." Is that from reading of the document or from what you were told was in the document? MS. TUTWILER: This is my understanding of a brief informal synopsis of what we understand is in a document that was delivered to -- is it Vienna or Geneva? MR. BOUCHER: Vienna. MS. TUTWILER: -- and is in the process of a first-glance translation from Arabic of 29 pages. I have not, to my knowledge, quoted directly, literally, verbally from the document. But we have a pretty good idea, and did early this morning, of what's in the document, which we've characterized. Q Margaret, you were saying you wouldn't talk about military options, but can you talk about any other diplomatic options? Is the U.S. going to be pressing the U.N. to do anything further? Are the U.N. members going to be meeting anything further along the U.N. lines? Anything further along allies lines, diplomatically on this issue? And also what is the latest on the search for chemical weapons -- for Iraq's chemical weapons capability? MS. TUTWILER: The chemical weapons team, it's my understanding, we said last week would be getting in there at the end of July. I don't believe they're there yet. Q And there was nothing in this document that would refer to chemical weapons. MS. TUTWILER: If it does, I'm unaware of it. On ballistic missiles, you've all seen this weekend what's been going on with the ballistic team that is there. That has gone very well. What was the first part of your question? Oh, what's going on at the U.N.? The U.N. met in at an informal meeting -- the Security Council did -- on Friday, and there's not a scheduled formal meeting today or informal meeting. Obviously, everyone will be very interested to get this text and to be studying the text of this letter that they've just sent. Q Would the U.S., though, be asking the U.N. to do anything further? Would the U.S. be asking them to do anything further? The U.N., that is. MS. TUTWILER: Further than what we are all asking, which I have just stated, is that the inspection -- the third inspection team just arrived there yesterday. We are going to be insisting upon verification of the words that are contained in this document. I said we we were going to continue surprise inspections. I said we were going to continue to hold their feet to the fire to show that we're not just going to take words in a document. We need to see, based on past experience, actually on the ground, satisfy ourselves of what is going on. Q Margaret, what are you saying to the Arab governments who are complaining that the United States is following a double-standard policy when it comes to nuclear forces or nuclear weapons in the Middle East? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware of any Arab government that's had any complaints concerning what's going on in Iraq with Saddam Hussein. Q Margaret, can I go back to Saul's line of questioning, please? Last year when the Administration was trying to force compliance with U.N. resolutions, there was a building of a coalition, in fact, a military coalition. In fact, the Secretary of State made trips to sort of organize -- MS. TUTWILER: Right. I remember those. Q OK. Now that you're threatening them, I don't hear any sign of any -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware I've been out here threatening anybody. Q I don't mean you. Now that the Administration is raising the possibility of a military option -- which it has raised -- has there been any renewal of coordination with that old coalition? Any rebuilding of military preparedness? I don't see any sign of it. It sounds like words this time. MS. TUTWILER: This keeps getting me into an area that I'm simply not going to get into that you're very familiar with -- Q Uh-huh. I'm not going to ask you if they -- MS. TUTWILER: -- Administration's policy -- Q I'm not going to ask you if they're going to attack them. MS. TUTWILER: It's an indirect way of asking. Q No, it isn't. MS. TUTWILER: Concerning the coalition, obviously, we have been in very close consultation in New York with our U.N. counterparts through our representative there at the United Nations. Obviously, we are staying in very close contact with what's going on with the IAEA team, with the U.N. Special Commission Team. So as far as consultations, I'm not aware, to be honest with you, since the war ended, that that has stopped. We are in constant contact at different levels with our coalition partners concerning this situation. And I would also like to remind that the Iraqi Government themselves said they would fully abide by the Resolution 678. Well, I mean, it's like pulling teeth -- they haven't. Q No. Yeah, I'm not questioning whether they've complied, obviously. I'm wondering if there's any preparedness going on, because last time you could see this. MS. TUTWILER: Preparedness for what? Q Preparedness for the possibility of using a military option. Last time when you were raising that threat, you were also doing things, so far as building a very odd coalition, but a coalition that you used to prosecute the war with. I don't know that that's going on now, and you say this consultation -- the IAEA, or whatever it is -- the IAEA is not part of a war machine; it's an inspection team. MS. TUTWILER: And you know that -- Q I'm talking about -- MS. TUTWILER: -- some interpret the resolution -- that was resolution, what is it? 678, the use of force resolution -- has contained within it authority for whatever a coalition or anyone would like to do. Q Absolutely. MS. TUTWILER: So you might, if you were going down that avenue, which I am not -- I am not acknowledging the premise of your question at all, so the record is clear -- then there are some that could argue that -- for instance, you brought up all of our trips in building this coalition. I'm not aware that the coalition has ever disbanded itself. Q OK. Q I just want to make clear, if I may, that my request is for some kind of statement on what exactly is -- or as precisely as you can -- the nuclear threat from Iraq that might lead to such options as the Secretary suggested we should stay tuned for. MS. TUTWILER: I believe -- and I will certainly get you a more technical expert answer -- but I don't believe that anyone questions a regime like Saddam Hussein's, who has just now come forth and told what he claims is the truth in 29 pages -- having this type of capability, Saul, whether it's for 3 weeks from now or 18 months from now or 10 years from now. This is not exactly a stable type of individual we're dealing with. Q Margaret, I don't want to beat it to death, but if it's 10 years from now, there may be some diplomatic solutions rather than resorting to the military action, which is something that has been, indeed, raised. Q Margaret -- I'm sorry -- MS. TUTWILER: OK. Q If the people -- if the Iraqi leadership who prepared this document have no credibility, what value could this document in real terms actually be to the United States? MS. TUTWILER: Obviously, this regime does not have a lot of credibility with us. You've heard the President address himself to it, but, obviously, we're dealing with him. They have just sent a 29-page document which they say is the whole truth, nothing but the truth, here it all is. We have said fine, these are wonderful words. We appreciate your forthrightfulness at this moment in time. We are going to insist on checking out what we know ourselves, which you now are telling us on the ground, we are going to see it for ourselves. We are not just going to accept this document, pocket it and say, "Well, it's all solved; that's it." Q Is there any reason -- you suggested, if I am not mistaken, that there is some reason to be encouraged that they are at least coming forward with something. MS. TUTWILER: At least we characterized it as a positive step. It's a lot better than shooting over people's heads and running around frenetically hiding equipment Q Right, I understand that, but if their track record is so dismal, which it appears to be, why would this be any indication that it is anything more than a propaganda stunt? MS. TUTWILER: Maybe it will prove to be that. That's why I keep saying we are going to insist on checking this out on the ground. Carla has had a question for the last 10 minutes. Q Do we have any sense of the timing of this third inspection team, when they are going to get back, when they're going to make their report? MS. TUTWILER: When will they get back? I can't answer when they are going to get back and I can't say what they are doing because that, again, compromises them. They arrived in Baghdad on Sunday. Q Is there any plan for a report to the U.N. this week, or anything we can -- MS. TUTWILER: Each one of these teams, Carla, it is my understanding, routinely stays in contact through the headquarters in Vienna, the IAEA, and also through the U.N. So I don't want to, obviously, compromise this mission on how long they are planning to stay and what they are going to do, but I have been under the impression, especially the last two teams, when that incident happened that morning, we weren't out of the information loop for very long at all. They reported right back. Q Margaret, the Swiss Ambassador to Washington is in the Middle East -- he's in Israel now, I think, as a U.N. -- as a representative of the Secretary General. In fact, he has been invited -- this may be not something you can be briefed on. Ambassador Bruning -- MS. TUTWILER: I remember some weeks ago that he was going. Q Okay, well Jordan and Egypt invited him, possibly Syria, the Israelis said, "Sure, come along." And I think he is there now. I'm trying to get a notion of what the United States sees his role as being, because U.N. participation, of course, is the key issue in the Middle East on policy -- MS. TUTWILER: I've heard this raised, Barry, but it was several weeks ago, and I believe -- correct me if I am wrong -- it was raised in the context of the Secretary General's Special Representative periodically makes routine, it is my understanding, visits to the region. That was my understanding of what this was about. Q All right, but I -- MS. TUTWILER: But I'll check further for you. Q But I wouldn't want you to ad lib it, but -- MS. TUTWILER: That's my memory of what this was about. Q -- if you could find out, because it is very important, there is a great significance whether we think he is just, you know, the Secretary General's eyes and ears, or if we really think he has some role to play and we are putting some chips on him. MS. TUTWILER: I believe it is in the context of how I characterized it, that from time to time, and I don't know for how long, that the Secretary General does have a special representative covering the Middle East region, and that from time to time that individual visits the region. That is my understanding, but I will reserve to be corrected, of what this visit is about. Q Margaret, since we last broached the subject, there have been any number of statements by Israeli leaders about their determination to continue with their settlements. Bulldozers are in action, grounds being cleared, apartment blocks are going up. Do you have anything new to say about that today? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Do you want to ask upstairs -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't need to ask upstairs. You can refer yourself to what the President said just last week concerning this subject when he was asked. Our policy is very well known. It has been articulated on any number of times by the President, the Secretary of State, Marlin, myself. I mean, it is no secret of what our policy is. And it is no secret that we see the things that you have mentioned, too. It is -- you know, as we have said before, this is something that the President feels very strongly about, but yet we always say that good and close friends can agree to disagree agreeably. Q Don't you feel, as the world's only superpower and the chief bankroller of Israel, a tiny bit impotent when you carry on making your views known and they throw them back at you in your face and then say, "Give us more money, as well"? MS. TUTWILER: No, the United States Government does not feel impotent, Alan. I can't buy into that. And the United States Government, in the form of the President of the United States, just last week said how strongly we feel about settlements. And we do. Q Can you offer any evidence to refute my claim that you might feel a little impotent? MS. TUTWILER: I know that we don't feel that way. Q If you take the testosterone out of it (laughter) and just put it a little differently, does the United States Government feel that its good friends in Israel are pursuing a course which the United States Government finds not in the best interests of the Middle East and the United States? MS. TUTWILER: The United States Government's position on settlements is well known. Q I see. Q Margaret, if I had a good friend and he kept -- Q Wait, wait. What about Syria? What do you hear from Syria? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q While you are on the Middle East, have you heard anything at all about a possible trip by King Hussein to Europe to meet with President Bush and Secretary Baker? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard a thing about it. Q Margaret, on the Middle East, the Israeli officials have been saying for some time now that they are not going to allow the Lebanese Government to deploy its army in those areas under Israeli control in the south. Do you have any comment on that? MS. TUTWILER: As you know, we have stated that our long-term goal has always been the restoration of Lebanon's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity and the extension of Lebanese Government authority throughout the country. We have been encouraged by the progress the government has made in extending its authority, including into parts of south Lebanon in recent days. These are welcome steps in a difficult ongoing process. The true measure of success will be the situation on the ground over time. We call on all concerned parties to continue supporting the Lebanese Government in its efforts. As you know, we have said many, many times from this podium, we support the withdrawal of all non-Lebanese forces from Lebanon. We believe the security and safety of all the people of south Lebanon and northern Israel can best be assured by a strong, effective central government in Beirut and the extension of its authority throughout the country. All parties in the region are well aware of our position on this; and, as you know, we strongly support the Taif agreement which is where most of this, as you know, is all contained. Q Do you also strongly support what they have been doing to the Palestinians and to the PLO as the Syrian-backed Lebanese Army asserts its -- whatever? MS. TUTWILER: We support the Lebanese Government as it has been disbanding and disarming militias, and that contains obviously the Palestinian groups that are there. My understanding is that all of them are not completely disarmed, but that they have predominantly disarmed the Druze militia, the Christian Lebanese forces, and the Shi'a Amal have been disarmed. At this point, you know there was a report this morning that Abu Nidal was being disarmed. We can neither confirm nor deny that as of this briefing. Q Margaret, did the Lebanese Government ask the United States to intercede on its behalf with the Israelis? I mean, are you being asked to mediate? MS. TUTWILER: To mediate? No. Q I mean, some sort of an arrangement in the south? MS. TUTWILER: No. The Lebanese Government is well aware of our position on this. We articulate it all the time. But, no, we have not been asked. Yes, Mary. Q Can you be a little more specific on our position? Foreign Minister Levi said that Israel will not withdraw from south Lebanon until Syrian troops withdraw from Lebanon. The United States says that we want all the troops to withdraw. Do we support the notion that Syrian troops have to go first? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to get into a first or second. Our policy is very articulate, it is very well stated, and we have been consistent in this. It is my understanding, for a very long time, and certainly since the Taif accords, that -- as you know, Syria was a participant in, and that Syria has told the United States that they fully support Taif and its full implementation. Q Margaret, did Secretary Baker ask Foreign Minister Levi, when he was here in June, to withhold Israeli bombardments of Palestinian positions in the south when the Lebanese Government made its move to extend control into the south? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Are you sure? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sure. The way you posed the question to me, I'm very positive. I was in the meeting. Q Did he say something to the effect that we understand that the Lebanese Government will be taking these steps and we would appreciate -- MS. TUTWILER: We have gone through this once before when you weren't here -- Q And we would appreciate Israeli restraint -- MS. TUTWILER: -- and we said that the situation concerning the situation in southern Lebanon was discussed by the two Foreign Ministers in their visit, which was many weeks ago here to the building. Q Why did the Israelis here and in Israel say that the Secretary passed on, not a formal request but brought up this subject and said the United States would appreciate Israeli restraint in this issue? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to characterize what the Secretary did or did not say in a small meeting with the Foreign Minister. I have acknowledged previously, and again today, the subject of the situation in southern Lebanon was brought up and discussed by the two ministers. Q The Israelis have not been bombing. Is that something the United States appreciates? MS. TUTWILER: I think that the United States appreciates anything that anybody in the region is doing to try to help implement the Taif accords. Q Margaret, does the United States Government consider the agreement between Israel and Lebanon in May l983 as valid and applicable now? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. That is something I would have to take and look at. Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not that familiar with it. Q Margaret, over the weekend, a group of Haitians and Cubans were stopped en route to Miami. This was the first time that Cubans and Haitians had come over together, and the Haitians were sent back and the Cubans were given asylum. What is the reason for the policy difference between the two groups? MS. TUTWILER: I know nothing about the incident, and I'll be happy to look into it. I never heard of it. Yes, John? Q Margaret, could you give us an update on Yugoslavia as of today, please? MS. TUTWILER: Gladly. Yugoslavia. The situation in Slovenia remains calm. The cease-fire appears to be holding. In Croatia, there have been no new reports of ethnic fighting since the clashes ended on Sunday. We welcome the EC-brokered Brioni agreement as an important development in finding a peaceful solution to Yugoslavia's crisis. We strongly support the role of the EC in helping to bring about a cease-fire and in promoting dialogue. We call on all parties to continue to cooperate with the EC efforts. We urge them to continue the process of serious negotiations. Throughout the crisis, as you all know, we have been in close consultation and contact with the EC on its efforts to address this crisis. As you know, on July 3rd, the two Foreign Ministers were here. The head of the Netherlands is President of the EC right now. For its part -- I'm sorry. We also support Friday's EC announcement to cut all arms sales to Yugoslavia and its decision to cut its financial assistance, which totals $9l2.5 million, leaving in place a $43 million assistance program designed to encourage market reform. For its part, the United States will join the EC in prohibiting all arms sales to Yugoslavia and in urging the rest of the international community to adopt a similar stance with respect to arms sales. The United States will also suspend further funding for training of Yugoslav military officers in the United States. Unlike the EC, the United States has no financial assistance programs for Yugoslavia. Like the EC, the United States will maintain our technical assistance program which is designed to promote political and economic reform throughout Yugoslavia. Our technical assistance program amounts to, as you know, $5 to $6 million during the current fiscal year, of which about half has already been disbursed. Most of our assistance is directed at supporting market reform, including privatization and modernizing Yugoslavia's banking and financial sector. Other activities are designed to improve energy efficiency in industry and support democratic development, particularly an independent media. Q The United States has been willing to let the EC take the lead in approaches to Yugoslavia and in attempts to bring about some negotiated settlement. This is a matter that in the past might have been handled through NATO or some other device like that. Do you think that this sort of action by the EC might serve as a useful model for dealing with other ethnic disputes in Europe in the future? MS. TUTWILER: It could. I mean, I can't categorically say that it would. And also, when you say just the EC, you are correct on how closely we have been consulting with the EC, but also remember the CSCE mechanism was used for the first time. They had a 2-day meeting last week in Prague. Q And proved to be basically useless, and that's why the EC got involved. MS. TUTWILER: That's your characterization. Obviously, I cannot ascribe to that. But we think that it was an important meeting. We think they issued an important statement afterward. After all, you have 35 nations there. I'm not aware of any nation that dissented and said, "Oh, no, we can't possibly sign on to this." And so I think, as a first test, that it was an important meeting, and no one, I think, before the meeting ever envisioned that they could "solve this situation." I'm not sure that the EC themselves would tell you that they have it solved, but they certainly are working very, very hard, and we are very pleased with the results of yesterday's meeting. Q Margaret, can I follow up -- Q Margaret, on the arms sales -- MS. TUTWILER: Arms sales? Q Yeah. Are there any U.S. arms sales to Yugoslavia, or is it symbolic? MS. TUTWILER: No. My understanding is that right now there are not, and previously the United States had sent what was characterized to me as "small parts." We have never had any big arms sales program with Yugoslavia, and there has not been even any small parts going in the last several weeks or months, is my understanding. Q While you are tidying things up, there is a $5 million program, about $3-l/2 million non-military that has been disbursed. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q What are you going to do, hold up the other million and a half? MS. TUTWILER: That's under technical, as I just said, and so that type of -- we don't have a financial assistance program. Q Right. MS. TUTWILER: That's what the European Community has stopped. Q Right. MS. TUTWILER: The European Community is going to continue their technical assistance, which is $43 million. Ours, you are correct, over half that's gone is comparable to that which goes toward democratization, helping the media, those types of things. That we are not going to stop. Q Do you mean small parts or spare parts? MS. TUTWILER: Small parts is what I was told. Q Margaret, could I ask you a question on Yugoslavia? MS. TUTWILER: Yugoslavia, uh-huh. Q The Prime Minister of Hungary, Mr. Antall, made the statement over the weekend by having talks with President Cossiga of Italy to the effect that both after World War I and the Second World War, the peace treaties did not allocate the Province of Vojvodina, which is bordering with Hungary, to Serbia but to Yugoslavia -- that is, to the Federal State at the moment -- arguing that if Slovenia or Croatia should leave the federation, then Vojvodina should be given territorial autonomy. Could you comment on that? MS. TUTWILER: No. I'll be happy to take your question and look into it. I'm unaware of these statements that were made this weekend, and look into it for you. Q Could you please then take the question? MS. TUTWILER: I'll look into it for you. Q Thank you. Q Margaret, if the United States did not send weapons to Yugoslavia, what does this decision to join in the embargo mean? Does that mean that U.S.-made weapons should not be sold by third countries to Yugoslavia? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding whether it is U.S.-made or other nationality-made, we are supportive, and you know the Secretary himself announced this on Friday here at the State Department of an arms embargo to Yugoslavia. So I don't think that we're hung up about who is making them. Q It is purely symbolic. MS. TUTWILER: Maybe it's purely symbolic, but the EC has come out with a statement this weekend saying they reviewed it, and we definitely are strongly supportive of this. It is no secret, as the Secretary has said previously concerning economic assistance, our leverage over Yugoslavia, he stated himself on the trip, was minimum. We make no secrets of that. I'm not here to tell you that we're trying to say that we're doing anything other than we raised this issue last Friday. We strongly support the EC efforts in it, and we urge all other countries that are selling weapons to Yugoslavia to please cease. Q And it worked. It was a U.S. initiative, and it worked. I would just like to know if it has any concrete implications at this point? MS. TUTWILER: What do you mean? Do I know if arms have stopped going to Yugoslavia as of this morning? No, I don't know that. Q The Secretary suggested this arms embargo, and it worked. The EC followed through. The EC was selling weapons to Yugoslavia. I would just like to know if what you are announcing now, that you join in the embargo, does have practical implications on the -- MS. TUTWILER: Practical implications, as I said earlier, it is my understanding, several weeks ago, or many months ago, we were selling something called small parts, spare parts. It was not a big account, it is my understanding, never has been. So, obviously, since we are supporting this, should those types of sales come up, the United States Government would not be supporting them. In fact, I can literally tell you how their arms sales go, if you wait just one second. Yugoslavia is eligible to purchase arms from the United States on a cash basis, either through government-to-government channels, or through direct commercial channels. The United States Government has no foreign military sales to Yugoslavia pending approval, nor any previously approved FMS sales pending delivery. Direct commercial sales to Yugoslavia must be licensed by the Department of State, which reviews such sales on a case-by-case basis. So, Patrick, if someone is commercially putting in an application, obviously it isn't going to go anywhere. Q Thank you. Q Margaret, does the arms embargo, as you understand it, apply to arms sales to Slovenia and Croatia, or only to the Yugoslav Federal Government? MS. TUTWILER: No. My understanding, it's to everybody. Q Everybody in what is still, by the United States and most countries, considered Yugoslavia. MS. TUTWILER: You bet. Q Margaret, do you know whether this issue of the arms sales or, in general, the Yugoslav issue has been discussed by the Secretary with any of the Soviets -- Bessmertnykh or anyone else -- in recent days? MS. TUTWILER: I can tell you he has not discussed it with the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union. I don't know at any other levels in our government. Obviously the Soviets have a representative at CSCE, so they have all been in the same room. But as far as the two Foreign Ministers, it has not been discussed. Q Margaret, is there anything else on the agenda with Bessmertnykh besides START? MS. TUTWILER: Right now, the purpose of the meeting is START, and I can't foreclose that the two gentlemen will determine to discuss other subjects. But right now, the purpose of the meeting -- and you have seen the delegation the Soviet Union is bringing -- it's START. Q Is anybody left in Geneva of the negotiating teams, or is that totally disbanded? MS. TUTWILER: We have a permanent presence there and a permanent office. Q So what happens -- MS. TUTWILER: I mean, there is staff that is there all the time. Q What happens technically if they come to an agreement? Are those staffs -- the negotiating teams -- ended there, or does it go back to Geneva for some -- MS. TUTWILER: Where they would actually write the text and translate it into the languages? I assume this is in their headquarters in Geneva. Q Margaret, have the Soviets not indicated that they would like to discuss Yugoslavia during the Bessmertnykh talks? MS. TUTWILER: In the message that was received this morning, no. This is all on START. But, again, be realistic. I mean, if the gentlemen sends the arms controllers out to do work, are the gentlemen going to discuss other subjects? I have never, to be honest with you, you all can correct me, seen the Secretary of State and the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union have a one-issue meeting. So I would assume that, of course, they will discuss other subjects. But not to detract from and get away from the purpose of this meeting. Q Margaret, have you reviewed your position that the federal army seems to be out of civilian control? MS. TUTWILER: I didn't review that this morning. As you know, the other day what we had said was that it appeared to be out of control. We weren't sure who was in control, and it is just something this morning I didn't address myself to. I don't believe that we have a radically different characterization. If I had to go on instinct, it would be we have a more favorable characterization of actually because of what is going on there on the ground. Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: Thank you all. (The briefing concluded at 12:52p.m.)