US Department of State Daily Press Briefing #130, Friday, 9/6/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:17 PM, Washington, DC Date: Sep 6, 19919/6/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, E/C Europe, Eurasia, Subsaharan Africa Country: Iraq, Yugoslavia (former), Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia-Montenegro, Israel, USSR (former), Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania Subject: Regional/Civil Unrest, Democratization, Refugees, CSCE, Mideast Peace Process (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Horn of Africa: Additional $22 Million in Relief Aid]

MS. TUTWILER: I want to do two things, please. One, I've been requested to make a statement concerning the Horn of Africa, which I'd like to make. Then I would like to confirm for you more of the Secretary's schedule that we have confirmed overnight. This statement is the President has authorized the use of $22 million from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund to meet the unexpected and urgent needs of refugees and other displaced persons in the Horn of Africa. These funds will be contributed to international and non-governmental organizations for their relief programs in the region. The United States has also recently contributed $10 million to the relief programs to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for refugees and displaced persons in the Horn of Africa. These new contributions bring the total FY 1991 U.S. Government contribution of food, disaster assistance, and refugee relief for the Horn of Africa to over $308 million. The $22 million from the Emergency Fund will enable the United States to respond to recently announced appeals for additional funds for emergency programs by U.N. and Red Cross organizations. At 2:45 this afternoon we will have a BACKGROUND briefing in this room on the political and military situations and humanitarian assistance programs for refugees and other displaced persons in the Horn of Africa. For your information and not for publication, the briefers will be Herman Cohen, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, and Princeton Lyman, Director of the Office of Refugee Programs. I started it by saying I was asked to do that, and I did. Secretary Baker's schedule: I would like to confirm for you that the Secretary will be going to Leningrad. He will be having a meeting with the Mayor and the Mayor's associates, and we will be overnighting in Leningrad. I would like to confirm for you all three Baltic states, and the order in which we will go in is Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. We will not be overnighting in any of the Baltics. The Secretary will also be visiting a republic -- the Republic of Kazakhstan. We will be meeting with the President of Kazakhstan. We will be overnighting in Alma Ata. As of 10 minutes ago, our Embassy can confirm some of the meetings we have in Moscow. All, I cannot, but I can tell you that we have various requests out. Obviously, we have a request out to meet with President Gorbachev, with President Yeltsin. Others that we have requested to see while there are the Soviet Foreign Minister, the Russian Foreign Minister, the new head of the KGB, the new Defense Minister, the Mayor of Moscow, and the Economic Commission which is composed of a number of individuals. What I will do at the end of the briefing is to go through it with you. We now have all of the overnights locked in, and there are no changes, and we are returning on the 20th. And, as I believe you all are aware, we, unfortunately, leave on Sunday the 22nd for our U.N. week. That's where we are on that. Q Do you mean you have the overnights -- you have the dates of these? MS. TUTWILER: I have every date, and I have every overnight. I mean, I'll be happy to go through it, if you want to go through it now. Q The one that we don't know is the Kazakhstan. That's all. MS. TUTWILER: No. I said we're going to be overnighting in Alma Ata. Q What night? MS. TUTWILER: Oh, I'm sorry. Sunday. Q When is the meeting with the new head of the KGB? Q He wants his file. [Laughter] MS. TUTWILER: The Secretary -- these are, as I said -- and please do not say these are the only people he's meeting with. It's not. I just don't, as we have in the past -- Q There have got to be other people. MS. TUTWILER: There are -- go through the enormous entire list. At the end of this briefing, I believe Mary Ann [Yoden] said she's going to try to have for you the press schedule. The purpose of all of these meetings, as the Secretary said to you the other day, he wants to meet with as many Soviet reformers as he can and to engage with these individuals, and that's what he's going to meet with them. He wants to meet with them. Q Is it fair to say that he is requesting meetings with representatives of all of the republics -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q -- or is that not the case, as he's not going for some? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. The reason that we are going to Alma Ata is that it's something we had tried to wedge into our 23-day trip in July -- I believe Jim Mann was on -- because the President of the republic had asked Secretary Baker -- I believe it's on three occasions -- to please come to his republic. So that is why we have singled out that republic. It is something the Secretary definitely wanted to go do, and he has had two very lengthy meetings with that President. I have said that I have not, or am not in a position right now to announce the entire schedule. Yes, we are trying, understandably, not to visit other republics but to meet with representatives of the other 11 republics. Understandably, these men are very, very busy right now, and our Embassy is very busy, and we're trying to work it all out. I would envision -- well, I better not do that. I'm not sure how it's going to work out. There are several different options and scenarios we're working on. Q When did he meet with Nazarbayev before? MS. TUTWILER: Remember, when we -- I don't remember the date. He had an hour and a half meeting with him that began at Spaso House about 11:00 p.m. at night, after the dinner with the reformers. Q Oh, O.K. MS. TUTWILER: Remember, he flew 6-1/2 hours to meet with him. And then most recently in July he spent a fair amount of time with him during the state visit of President Bush. He was seated beside him at this state dinner that Gorbachev hosted for Bush, and I believe he was seated at Secretary Baker's table at the dinner that we hosted for President Gorbachev and his delegation. Q Do you expect Secretary Baker to have meetings with Mr. Shevardnadze or -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q -- Mr. Bessmertnykh? MS. TUTWILER: I am not aware of a meeting that is being anticipated with former Foreign Minister Bessmertnykh. But, as is the case, in every visit we have made to the Soviet Union, it is not a secret that the Secretary and Eduard Shevardnadze developed a personal relationship. They have had personal meetings. I can't think of a time we've gone when they have not seen each other at Mr. Shevardnadze's apartment. Q Margaret, also on Moscow, the three Baltic states have applied for membership in the CSCE meeting which will be going on at that time. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q Does the State Department take any position on whether they should be admitted as members, and, if so, should it be done now? MS. TUTWILER: We have always said, Jim, our policy is that they should, it's my understanding, be admitted. As you know, this CSCE operates on consensus, and previously that consensus was unobtainable, which we said publicly that we recognized. It is my understanding -- and please check with the CSCE -- I believe the German Foreign Minister is on the record this morning discussing that they, indeed, want to do this for this meeting, and I believe that there is some type of meeting we will not be at, but obviously we'll be represented -- I think it's for Monday morning -- with the CSCE members to discuss this very issue. Obviously, our representative will be voting. Yes, they should be. Q At this -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes. And I think it is scheduled -- I believe what I heard yesterday -- for Monday morning, and I'm pretty sure it's in Moscow, because, you know, we're going to Mexico and having to miss the first day of this; that there is some type of meeting that the CSCE delegates -- if it's Foreign Minister level or your representative -- are having prior to the official opening of the CSCE where this issue will be discussed. Q This morning Ambassador Kampelman at a briefing -- he was expressing what he said was his personal opinion -- said that he believed it shouldn't take place at this meeting, because it's going to set an important precedent for the other republics coming down the pike, both from the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. MS. TUTWILER: I, one, am totally unaware if Ambassador Kampelman has done a briefing this morning. And I said this is what I believe I've heard in the 2 days I've been back here. I certainly could be misinformed and be incorrect. But I do know that our policy has always been that we support, as I recall, over the last 2-1/2 years, membership for these countries in the CSCE. If I'm misinformed, then I will honestly say that I don't know what I'm talking about. And I believe it is done -- the rules of CSCE is by consensus. Every time Secretary Baker would be asked this, he would say and would say it publicly because there is the consensus rule. And he would say this to the Baltics, in the meetings I was in, that we are working and supporting at each of these meetings, as you recall -- including our own in New York -- they were observers, official observers or guests of a country. That had always been our position. So let me check upstairs with the bureau and see what our Ambassador Kampelman has said or if I am speaking incorrectly. Q Margaret, just one more on the list of people he's meeting. Has Baker ever met with the previous KGB head? MS. TUTWILER: No. Nor has he ever met with the previous Defense Minister -- Q Did he ever request a meeting? MS. TUTWILER: -- in Moscow. Q Did he ever request a meeting with the previous KGB chairman? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q And the Defense Minister -- you're sure of that too. O.K. MS. TUTWILER: He met with -- Q Ever met Yazov? MS. TUTWILER: -- former Defense Minister Yazov when he was here in Washington, D.C. Q But in Moscow? MS. TUTWILER: In Moscow I do not recall us ever requesting a meeting with the Defense Minister. Q Margaret, the Russian Federation has now accepted the change of name -- Leningrad to St. Petersburg. I know you have your own procedures about changing names and the Geographer has his procedures, but at what point does the United States go along with that change? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know that the United States has a vote in this. I don't know what you mean. Q At some point, the geographer of the State Department recognizes the -- MS. TUTWILER: Oh, I have no idea, Alan. I'll be happy to look into it. I don't know. Q For example, since it's supposed to take place immediately, is the schedule going to have the Secretary in Leningrad or St. Petersburg? MS. TUTWILER: That is one thing I had not thought about. But now that you have cleverly reminded me of it, I will make sure that we have it correctly on our schedule. I had anticipated other things like that but that is not one. Also, Alan, I wasn't aware, unless it just happened this morning, that that has officially now been done. I just didn't know it. He did this morning? Q The Russian Federation made the decision. MS. TUTWILER: Sorry. It's hard to keep up with all this. Q Nobody knows anymore who decides these things. Q They say it's the last time, but who knows. Q It may not be the last time. Q It's also a problem with the name of the country. MS. TUTWILER: I have that answer. The State Department does have an answer on that. I hadn't thought about Leningrad. But on the name, we are still calling the U.S.S.R., the "U.S.S.R." The new Union Treaty draft foresees "A Union of Sovereign States." But until this process is completed, we are still referring to this as the "U.S.S.R." Q And what does the State Department think about these developments? MS. TUTWILER: Which ones? Q Going more to substance. The creation -- MS. TUTWILER: The transitional government? Q -- of a new union, or whatever it's called, do you like what's going on there? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know that I have anything to add to what the Secretary of State did on Wednesday in his press conference. Q It hadn't happened when he was here Wednesday. It's happened since his press conference. The latest development. It seems that maybe they've come down now in agreement on a new system of government, and I wondered if the State Department thought that it was a good development? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. We are encouraged that Soviet lawmakers are pursuing political change in the U.S.S.R. through peaceful and orderly democratic processes. We are particularly encouraged that the Soviet Congress' resolution on the transition includes commitments on the part of all the republics to the U.S.S.R.'s international agreements and obligations, including those for arms control, human rights, and foreign economic relations. Our response to further developments in the Soviet transition will depend, to a large degree, on the Soviets' continued observance of an orderly, democratic process, and commitment to international obligations. I can tell you that to the best of our knowledge, I can go through what these three bodies are that have been formed, as we understand it. Also, it goes without saying that yesterday's actions by the Congress of the People's Deputies are a historic step toward abolishing the totalitarian Soviet system and creating conditions for a rapid and orderly transition to a democratic system based on voluntary ties among the republics. It is our understanding that there are going to be three key bodies: The State Council composed of President Gorbachev and leaders of participating republics will be the interim Executive; an Inter-Republic Economic Committee, chosen by the republics, will serve as a transitional Cabinet; a bicameral Supreme Soviet will approve legislation and ratify international treaties of the U.S.S.R. Deputies chosen by the republics will predominate in the upper house -- the Council of the Republics -- while deputies from the current Congress will make up the lower house, the Council of the Union. By their prominent role in choosing members of the new leading bodies, it is apparent that the republics will now play a substantially expanded role in decisionmaking. It is our understanding that decisions on key domestic and foreign issues will have to reflect a consensus among the republics and the central government. While this arrangement will present new challenges to U.S.S.R. leaders, the historic decisions made yesterday demonstrate an ability to cooperate for the good of their peoples. Q Haven't they, in effect, set up -- MS. TUTWILER: You have no idea how difficult it is to look at you all in your T-shirts. [Laughter] It's funny. Alan, I'm sorry. Q Haven't they, in effect, set up a kind of new Yugoslavia in all this? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to buy into characterizations. We are dealing with the situation as it happens; and as Secretary Baker laid out our principles the other day, as the President has, and has said what we are interested in. All of these changes, obviously, are in great transition and that we are not going to be judgmental and characterize what our opinion is or is not of that other than with our principles. Q The one element that seems to be lacking so far are popular elections. When would the United States like to see those take place? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have a time-frame for you, Jim. Obviously, our preferred model, whether it's in the U.S.S.R. or in other nations, is for free and fair and open elections. But I have not heard discussed -- and I don't want to just guess for you -- of some time-frame that the United States has for free and fair elections that they will or will not be suggesting to the Soviet Union. But, obviously, it's our preferred method of government all over the world. Q Margaret, does the U.S. feel that when Secretary Baker meets with these people, that he's requested meetings with -- the Defense Minister, the KGB chief, and so on -- when he meets with these people, that they will be representing, or have the power to represent and make statements and commitments on behalf of all of the people who reside in the borders of what used to be the U.S.S.R., with the exception of the three Baltic states? MS. TUTWILER: I don't think that he has any reason to believe otherwise, Ralph. But your question is so narrow for me that, again, this situation is -- as you know better than I do -- in transition. I believe that the new council -- it's called the State Council -- also put out a statement concerning central command and control concerning nuclear weapons. Now, does that say that it represents all these people? My understanding is that the center and the republics were up all night long working out all of these types of statements. The center and the republics, through this council, have recognized the independence of the Baltics, it's my understanding this morning. I saw in one wire they've made a decision concerning military pay. So I would have to say that they are forming and working out their new relationships and who has authority over what -- people are obviously in hours upon hours of conversations of what type of authority they want different institutions and individuals to have. It's the best way I know how to answer it. Q Earlier today, both Gorbachev and Yeltsin that the Soviet Union intends to withdraw militarily from Cuba. Do you have any comment on that? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't seen that statement. I've seen various statements that both gentlemen have made over the last 10 days. I would just refer you to what our President and our Secretary of State has said concerning Cuba. Our policy hasn't changed. It's something we've been calling for for many, many years and would welcome it. It is something that Secretary Baker has brought up on any number of occasions when he has met with the Foreign Minister of the U.S.S.R. or with President Gorbachev. There is no secret about what it is we would like to see them do and have pushing them to do. Q I believe this was the first time publicly that both men said -- MS. TUTWILER: If that's what they said. Again, I haven't seen that. Obviously, it is something that we would welcome. Q Margaret, do the actions taken by the Soviet Congress satisfy the concerns the Secretary raised the other day about central control of nuclear weapons and fulfilling treaty commitments? MS. TUTWILER: I'll answer you the other way around by saying I'm unaware as of this morning, with this latest statement, of any dissatisfaction. But, again, we're leaving in -- what? -- 36 hours or something. He will be there and will have an opportunity to talk with these various people. I've said we're going to see -- or have requested a meeting with the Defense Minister to discuss these very things. I think he will have, as all of us will who will be on the trip, a much better feel for these types of questions at the end of next week. Q Can you give us a feel on a different subject, please; where the Administration feels it stands with Congress on the Israeli loan guarantees? I gather that Baker has been a busy little bee up on Capitol Hill cutting various agreements with members. Do you feel you have an agreement with the leadership to delay consideration of these loan guarantees for 120 days? MS. TUTWILER: Let me answer you this way, by pointing out that the President, about 30 minutes ago, addressed himself to this with Secretary Baker in the Oval Office. What I would like to say is that, as you all know, we have worked very hard to increase Soviet-Jewish immigration. We support assistance to Israel to help on absorption of Soviet immigrants. But we would like to have the timing of consideration of that assistance delayed in order, as the President just said this morning, to give peace a chance. What the Secretary has been asking various members of Congress to do is simply and only, a 120-day pause for peace so that there will not be the necessity of a debate on all these issues with the possibility of adverse affects to the peace process. He told you all here Wednesday that he would be closely consulting with Congress. He has been, and he will continue to. What I'm not going to do is go through a laundry list of who he has seen and who he has talked to. You are correct; he has been very actively working this issue since Wednesday afternoon, meeting with Congress, and he has continued to do that today. As you all are aware, we announced yesterday that Ambassador Shoval will be meeting with the Secretary here at 4:30. And, as you know, the Secretary said on Wednesday that he would like very much an opportunity to discuss this issue in detail with Prime Minister Shamir, and we have a meeting, as you know, scheduled with the Prime Minister next Monday -- a week from Monday. Q Do you have any advice for either the American-based lobbies or for the Israeli Government in terms of how they ought to proceed now on this issue? There is a major campaign which has been mapped out by AIPAC to begin next week when members of Congress come back. Do you have any words on that or to [inaudible]? MS. TUTWILER: No. I'm certainly not going to be in the business of giving them advice. I have read various reports of what different organizations or individuals may or may not be intending to do. The President has spoken publicly to his views on this today; and, as you rightly pointed out, the Secretary has spent a great deal of time, one-on-one, discussing this with Senators and with Congressmen explaining our reasoning; and, again, that all we are asking for -- all -- is a l20-day pause for peace. Q Margaret -- MS. TUTWILER: That is all. Q -- the President said during his comments this morning also that the Secretary had two very friendly conversations with Prime Minister Shamir. Is the U.S. able to say that the Secretary and Prime Minister agree on this l20-day "pause for peace" as you call it? MS. TUTWILER: No, I'm not willing to say that. Q Margaret, can you -- Q Because they don't agree or because you're not willing -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm not willing to get into it. I certainly agree with the President's characterization of the two conversations the Secretary of State had with the Prime Minister. Q I wouldn't have expected you to disagree with anything the President said. MS. TUTWILER: But that is quite different than getting into the substance of those two phone conversations. And, again, Secretary Baker has said -- and I have no reason to believe that is not going to be the case -- that he would like an opportunity to discuss this in quite some detail with the Prime Minister when he is in Israel. Those two phone conversations -- the only thing I will help you on -- did not go into an enormous amount of detail, were not envisioned to, and he did not intend for them to. Q Is the U.S. in agreement, since it says it supports assistance for Soviet emigration to Israel -- is the U.S. in agreement that after the l20-day pause, the U.S. would go ahead with the guarantees and simply doesn't want to debate it or discuss it during that l20 days? MS. TUTWILER: We definitely -- and I believe the President used this himself this morning by saying that it would not -- I'm paraphrasing now; check your own records -- he used the words "did not to want to debate it at this very historic moment when we have an opportunity to maybe bring forward a peace conference." I'm again paraphrasing because I just saw it. Q But, Margaret -- MS. TUTWILER: Wait one second. And so -- I can't remember what else your question was? Q The point of the question is -- MS. TUTWILER: What will we do at the end of l20 days? Q The point of the question is: Are you asking Israel to say -- to just wait l20 days and then we'll guarantee the loans, or are you making a commitment -- MS. TUTWILER: Let me help you on this. Q -- on the assistance, which you say you support? MS. TUTWILER: Let's go back and do a little history. If you remember the time that Defense Minister Arens was here after the conclusion of the war, the agreement was that after -- and we either said Labor Day or in September -- Q They said to wait. They did wait. MS. TUTWILER: -- to bring this up. Q Right. MS. TUTWILER: No one has ever said -- either the Israeli Government or the United States -- that at that moment, everything is done. I think the Israeli Government -- and I've seen Prime Minister Shamir this morning quote it -- realizes this is an enormous request budgetarily. Secretary Baker spoke with you the other day about many questions that have arisen from the Hill, from you all -- "Where does this money come from?" "How do you do the accounting?" There are enormous amounts of questions with it. So what we had agreed to with the Israeli Government was that they would delay, themselves, instead of raising this in whatever it was -- March or April -- to not submit their formal request until September. That is the agreement. That is, indeed, what they will be doing. What we are asking for is simply and only a l20-day delay, pause for peace, at this time. I'm not going to play what happens on l2l days. I just simply can't do that. Q A delay of what -- a delay of not talking about it, a delay of not considering it, a delay of -- Q A delay of what? MS. TUTWILER: It's my understanding. A delay of having the Administration deal with this issue during this l20-day period. Q You are delaying congressional debate is what you want. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q He said something about an enormous -- I forgot the word -- budgetary thing. MS. TUTWILER: My understanding -- Q What does it cost the Treasury? My understanding is it doesn't cost the Treasury a penny. MS. TUTWILER: I can't do that because it -- Q Then why did you say it has an enormous effect on the budget? What effect would it have on the U.S. budget that you know of? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding of the ways that this is being explored and contemplated -- and I am not going to do all the OMB numbers; this is an OMB matter -- Q No, no; I know that. MS. TUTWILER: -- is that there is in effect, Barry, on our budget -- Q Set asides. I said it. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. But I'm not an expert in this and I don't want to try to do -- Q I don't know if you wanted to leave the impression that the State Department said this will cost the Treasury money. MS. TUTWILER: As you know, we are talking about a substantial amount. Q A loan guarantee we're talking about. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. But there are, as you say -- thank you for reminding me of the technical term -- it's my understanding "set asides." There are all kinds of budget things in this, and I really don't want to get into that. But, yes, I am aware this is not cash. Yes, we're talking loan guarantees. Q And when you talk about -- you know, l20 days -- obviously, you have in mind the attempt to set up a peace conference. Would the setting up of a peace conference improve prospects for approving this loan guarantee? MS. TUTWILER: The President said this morning that these two issues are not linked, and the Secretary had said that the other day. Q You're not putting it aside because of the peace conference? MS. TUTWILER: We are asking for this delay of l20 days -- Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: -- because -- precisely because -- we want to avoid any linkage. If the $l0-billion-guaranteed issue is raised now, others are bound to raise all sorts of questions about how and where this money is going to be used. Issues related to the occupied territories are bound to be raised. We are seeking to avoid that linkage so that we don't undercut our ability to launch peace negotiations. Obviously, there is an effect between these two things; and we are weighing that effect. But in our minds, this is not linkage. This is an effort to avoid linkage questions from arising at this time. Q How about the issue of suspending settlements? And in the weeks leading up to the current period, there was an attempt to promote a deal in exchange where Israel would suspend settlements in exchange for suspension of the Arab black-listing of companies that do business with Israel. Is that still an idea that's going to be promoted or don't you want to link that to a peace conference right now? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, I am not aware -- it's been 5 weeks since we've been out of here -- that anything has changed on that score. On that last trip, or the trip before, is when a number of Arab nations said, "X." I am not -- it's just something in the last 2 days I haven't been into. But I haven't heard a change in this, Barry. Q I don't want to get too intricate but you don't want to talk about a housing loan now because it's linked to issues, and one of those issues is settlements. So I wondered if you're also going to stop pushing a suspension of settlements as being a possibly upsetting issue right now. MS. TUTWILER: Generically speaking, not specifically at answering your question, our policy on settlements has not changed. What we're talking about here is not that we are trying to avoid that type of linkage by having a l20-day delay. Q But is the United States continuing to pursue the policy the Secretary pursued two trips ago when he was requesting a freeze of settlements in exchange for a freeze of the Arab boycott? MS. TUTWILER: I'd rather not do that prior to the -- we're leaving in 4 days -- because I haven't asked that literally since I've been back, and I don't want to misjudge or misstate something if something's changed since I've been gone. Q Margaret, in the advance publicity for the loan guarantees, the Israeli Government said that the money would be used for the absorption of Soviet and Ethiopian Jews. Is there anything in U.S. law or U.S. tradition which would forbid the targeting of such funds for a specific religious group? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q Could you check, please? MS. TUTWILER: All right, yes. What religious group? What do you mean? Q The Jews -- the Soviet Jews. MS. TUTWILER: That something in our law would prevent this? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. In the past, there have been parts of the aid bill knocked off because it specifically was targeted, for example, a synagogue in France. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I'll be happy to ask; I don't know. Q Margaret, has there been any response from the Chinese Government regarding the official concern voiced here about the incident involving the three U.S. representatives in Tiananmen Square? MS. TUTWILER: It is my understanding that the Assistant Secretary for East Asia met yesterday with the Chinese Ambassador here in Washington, D.C. Both expressed their differing perspectives and concerns about the flower-laying incident at Tiananmen Square. And beyond that I have no details to offer on this diplomatic communication. Obviously, we -- the United States -- still view the delegation's action as an expression of its deep concern and sympathy for pro-democracy activists in China. Q [Inaudible] MS. TUTWILER: I don't know; I didn't ask. Sorry. Q Could you? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q Is this likely to provoke any change in U.S. policy toward China? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm personally aware of since I've been back. Q Do you have anything on the fighting in Liberia? MS. TUTWILER: No, but I will be happy to look into it for you. Q Just one more quick one on the Israeli thing. Has Secretary Baker spoken with Senators Kasten and Inouye about this subject? MS. TUTWILER: What I really want to refrain from doing is -- to let those Members of Congress who choose to confirm, as many have, that they have spoken with the Secretary. I don't want to give out a list. Q Is the Secretary in contact with the leaders -- MS. TUTWILER: I just don't want to come out with a list. Many people are quietly discussing things. I mean, I just can't do that. Q It's only for the record, and we only asked for list, but okay. Q Senator Pell has made it public that he's coming over here to meet with the Secretary this afternoon. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q Is there a possibility we can get a photo-op on that? MS. TUTWILER: You have one on at 4:30, it is my understanding, where we have opened it up to the entire press corps with Ambassador Shoval. I think that is probably all the Secretary will want to do today. Q He doesn't want to be photographed lobbying Members of Congress. MS. TUTWILER: If you all want to do a straight-up photo. Yesterday you didn't want to do a photo with Shoval. He has already done one thing with the President this morning in the Oval Office, so if you want a straight photo, no problem, and the reporters go to the Ambassador. If that's agreed upon, no problem, provided Senator Pell doesn't have a problem with it. Q Can you tell us, was the meeting with the Chinese Ambassador specifically about the Pelosi visit? MS. TUTWILER: It's my limited understanding, yes. Q No other matters discussed? MS. TUTWILER: I didn't spend a lot of time on this this morning. I don't know. I'll be happy to ask Dick Solomon. He's here. He's in the building. I just haven't had a chance to do it. Q Margaret, is Secretary Baker's contacts including contacts with leaders of Jewish organizations, like AIPAC or other committees or whatever? MS. TUTWILER: Has he? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: He has not. Q Is he about to? MS. TUTWILER: He well may. There is nothing specifically scheduled. It is -- as he always has, contingency plans which Barry loves. There are a number of things that he is considering doing, one of which is what this gentleman has just mentioned. There is nothing that I know of, since before he went to the White House, that is on his schedule. Q He wants next week's rally called off? Do you know? MS. TUTWILER: A rally? Q They are organizing something for next Thursday. MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard anybody speak of that rally. Q It isn't AIPAC. It's another group. MS. TUTWILER: A rally here? Q Yes, on the Hill. It is sort of -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry, I haven't heard about the rally. Q --lobbying in support. MS. TUTWILER: If it's of concern, I haven't heard Dennis or the Secretary or Janet or anybody mention it. Q Can the same thing be said about plans for meetings with groups with Arab interests, Arab/American groups, for example? MS. TUTWILER: There really generally is, just as there are with congressional calls he is making, a number of ideas that he has and that staff who are working this are putting forward to him. There are no scheduled meetings with what we would characterize as any outsiders that I know of as of ten minutes of one, but there are a number that are being possibly considered, or, should we run out of time, then maybe he would make phone calls. All of the congressional contacts that he has made in the last 30-something hours have not been in person. I would tell you the vast majority have been by phone. Q Does the Administration believe that it has general agreement by the leadership in Congress to postpone debate on this? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to answer on behalf of the leadership. They'd have to do that themselves. Q What does Baker say? MS. TUTWILER: I can't do that. Q Margaret, the l20 days is supposed to start when? As of today? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know that we have a specific -- my understanding is that -- I mean, I don't know what day it begins from. Q It starts in December. MS. TUTWILER: Right. December or January, is what I've heard. Q Margaret, just out of curiosity, why is the U.S., the Administration, requesting a delay on something that hasn't been asked for yet by the Israeli Government? MS. TUTWILER: Because as Barry just pointed out, and many of you, I believe, know, I have read in the newspapers that in the meeting this afternoon, that Ambassador Shoval is bringing what is called a formal request. Q But President Bush made this announcement on the basis of press reports that the Israelis -- MS. TUTWILER: No. The President, I believe this morning, was asked a question based on press reports this morning from various unnamed officials, speaking in various publications, of what he was or was not doing. He decided to say what he is doing. And Ambassador Shoval -- that's what I've read -- I don't know what he is coming here with, but I assume if it is correct what you read, that he's coming with what is called a formal request. Q Margaret, you said that you want to give peace a chance. Is it -- MS. TUTWILER: I said that is what the President has said. Q Right, right. Is it because you believe if Congress approves the loan guarantees, some of the Arab countries might pull out of a peace conference, or if it doesn't approve the guarantees, Israel might pull out of the peace conference? MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to go into a lot of analyses of what we think might or might not happen. I've tried to describe what our reasoning is for this, why we think this is not the time to do this, why we think there will be a definite effect, and why we are pursuing -- which has been made public today by the President -- our policy and our desires to work with the Hill to have only simply a delay of l20 days on this request. Q But how would a chance for peace be hurt by pursuing this issue specifically? In what way? MS. TUTWILER: I answered that in response to Barry's question. Q Margaret, I know the Secretary, heaven defend, does not engage in politics anymore -- MS. TUTWILER: Not in this building. Q -- and he would not consider this to be politics, then this is diplomacy, is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Since he answered a question I believe about 3 months into this tenure that was characterized as a blatantly political comment, as you all know, we do nothing here that is political. Q What the heck, Margaret, if John Dancy asked you that, let me ask you if the Secretary thinks the housing loan guarantees should be used as a reward for setting up a peace conference and/or does he think, as he feels about freezes and boycotts, that there should be some balancing act with the other side, the Arab side presumably, get something as well? Is that the reason for wanting a delay? MS. TUTWILER: I just go right back to our sole reason for this is that if the $l0 billion guarantee issue is raised now, others are bound to raise all sorts of questions about how and where this money is going to be used. Issues related to the occupied territories are bound to be raised. We are seeking to avoid that linkage, which is the linkage you have just asked in your question. That is what we are seeking to avoid. Q Margaret, I'll drop it, but I mean, the point is -- MS. TUTWILER: I know. It gets real complicated. Q In l20 days from now, there are still going to be issues over occupied territories and issues over Soviet emigration, and all these issues will still be there l20 days from now, so if you are not linking it to the peace conference, and the issues are eternal, or almost eternal, it seems. I don't even understand the thinking except you don't want to get into a brawl right now. MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to use new words -- Q "Brawl" is a good word. MS. TUTWILER: -- to explain this. I have done the best that I can within the parameters that I'm operating within, and I think that I have fairly and accurately articulated and explained why the President, the Secretary of State, and the Administration have decided at this time to pursue this policy. That's the best I can do for today. Q Do you want to take a swing at Yugoslavia and tell us if the Serbs are keeping the faith on the cease-fire, and any reflections on the latest reports of resumptions of fighting? MS. TUTWILER: It's our understanding this morning that the fighting continues. Judging from reports received today, it has neither escalated nor de-escalated in the past 24 hours. We have been particularly disturbed by the use of major weapons systems by the Yugoslav military in violation of the cease-fire, including jet aircraft and air-to-ground missiles. Our Ambassador, Ambassador Maresco, underscored this concern at the September 3-4 CSCE meeting of senior officials in Prague. I understand that the EC Foreign Ministers are meeting today and that they have, I believe it is publicly announced, the EC's intention to proceed with the conference tomorrow. We support this decision even as we condemn the continuing illegitimate use of force by Serbian militants and the Yugoslav military in Croatia. That is everything I have on it. Q Margaret, Germany has opened talks with the former occupying powers on lifting some of the special privileges that their armed forces have enjoyed in Germany for a number of years, including not being subject to German law. This is very obscure, but can you -- MS. TUTWILER: It's a terrific question, and it is-- Q Can you take the question? MS. TUTWILER: --something that I have not been exposed to since I have been back. I'll take it. Q Thank you. (The briefing concluded at l2:56 p.m.)