US Department of State Daily Press Briefing #147, Wednesday, 10/2/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:17 PM, Washington, DC Date: Oct 1, 199110/1/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, E/C Europe, East Asia, Subsaharan Africa Country: Israel, USSR (former), Haiti, Philippines, New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, Pakistan, Vietnam, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Regional/Civil Unrest, Democratization, Arms Control, Nuclear Nonproliferation, State Department, Development/Relief Aid, Refugees (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I have two announcements I'd like to make, please. The first one concerns the Baltics. Today, the United States of America began official Embassy operations in the Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Pending the designation of a U.S. Ambassador, a Charge has been designated for each country. I will post their names and I will also post a lot of details about the opening of this. Just to let you have the gist of it, each Embassy is currently operating from temporary hotel offices, and I'll give you those names and phone numbers in the Press Office. All three Embassies are providing limited consular services to American citizens. Routine visa services will be provided by these new Embassies when suitable office facilities are located and appropriate staff assigned. We've had approximately six individuals there, including the Charge, for the last several weeks. That is the staff as it is right now, but we do plan at some point to increase those numbers. You all asked me yesterday -- and I said I'd get it to you as soon as I could -- about our U.S. mission to the Soviet Union. I am pleased to announced today that Secretary Baker spoke with the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union last night. As you all know, he's still in New York. They discussed the follow-up to the President's initiative on nuclear arms. A senior level United States team will be traveling to Moscow in the next couple of days. It will be led by Under Secretary of State Reginald Bartholomew, and includes senior representatives from the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, ACDA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The team's mission is to expand on the details of the President's initiatives and answer any questions the Soviets may have and to encourage and facilitate rapid and positive Soviet decisions on the matching steps the President called for. Under Secretary Bartholomew and the team plan to meet in Moscow with senior diplomatic and military officials that the Soviets designate, including representatives of republics. We expect the Bartholomew team to stay in the Soviet Union for approximately four to five days. As soon as I have the team's actual departure time, I'll give it to you. Q Margaret, is the October 9 Washington meeting still on? MS. TUTWILER: No. Remember, yesterday -- Q You said they would -- your word was the "interrelationship." MS. TUTWILER: Correct. That is something that -- that date will slip. As you know, that was a previously scheduled trip that Obukhov was making here. Reggie will now see him in Moscow, and then they will work out when to reschedule that particular meeting and where. Q Margaret, is the Secretary taking part in today's OAS Foreign Ministers meeting? MS. TUTWILER: Yes, he is. Q Margaret, does the United State -- would the United States support a peacekeeping force by the OAS? MS. TUTWILER: The President answered a number of questions this morning on his way to the helicopter. If you haven't seen the transcript, I'd refer you to it. But, basically, he said -- and I'm quoting him -- "I am disinclined to use American force." This was in response to questions your colleagues were asking. On another question, he said, "There might be some talk over there" -- meaning at the OAS -- "now about a multinational force of some sort, so we'll have to wait and see." But he spoke this morning and answered a number of questions. Q But the two are not mutually exclusive. Would he perhaps use American forces as part of a multinational force? MS. TUTWILER: Let me tell you what's usually been my rule here. He's just answered these types of questions this morning, and I'm just not in a position to go further than what the President just said this morning. The Secretary will be meeting at the OAS. I believe the meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. We do not yet have the exact speaking order. We would hope that he will be speaking early in the session. We will obviously be giving you his remarks as soon as they're finalized here. We'll give you his text. Q (Inaudible) remarks? MS. TUTWILER: Secretary Baker's remarks. Q Have you had any contact with the new rulers in Haiti regarding any sort of developments on the future? MS. TUTWILER: The only contacts I'm aware of were two days ago when our Embassy officials discussed with them and with the President's staff his safe passage. Q Does the Administration still think a peaceful resolution is possible, or are you holding out the threat -- as you have in other usurpations of rights -- on the use of force? MS. TUTWILER: Am I holding out the right to use force? Q Well, is the U.S. entertaining the possibility of using force to correct what you obviously consider to be an unconstitutional takeover of power? MS. TUTWILER: Again, I have to refer you to the President's comments this morning concerning the possible use of American force and what he had to say concerning possible use of a multinational force. I just don't have anything to add to what he just said. Q The Haitians have criticized some aspects of the U.S. reaction to what has happened in Haiti, specifically, there are some who charge that the U.S. originally opposed the Security Council taking up this issue and has now dropped that opposition. And also -- MS. TUTWILER: The Security Council in New York? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: That's erroneous. The Security Council, it is my understanding, met informally Monday night, September 30, to discuss possible U.N. actions in response to the coup. Despite United States and French interests in a Security Council role, the overwhelming majority of Council members were opposed, citing the Council's obligations under the U.N. Charter to act when international peace and security are threatened. The situation in Haiti, these members argued, was an internal matter. Q Is that still the position of the Security Council, as far as you know, or is that position -- MS. TUTWILER: As far as I know. Q And, also, the other area of criticism has been that instead of hustling Aristide out of the country, the U.S. could have sheltered him in their Embassy, for instance, to keep him in Haiti? MS. TUTWILER: I guess there are a lot of "what ifs," Mary. I'm not going to sit here and second-guess someone who fears that their life is threatened and conversations that I don't have a lot of personal knowledge of. I wasn't on the ground. I wasn't doing the assessment. This gentleman, as we expressed yesterday, made this decision, I'm sure, in consultation with the advice he was getting from his security guards and from his family. Q Margaret, still on the Security Council: You said it was the position of the majority of the Security Council that it was an internal matter. MS. TUTWILER: That's my understanding. Q Was that the position of the majority of the Permanent Members? MS. TUTWILER: I was answering Mary's question concerning the U.N. Security Council. I said what the French and the United States positions were. I said the majority did not think the same, or similarly as these two countries did. Q No. Is that the majority of the Permanent Members or the whole Council? MS. TUTWILER: Well, the Security Council -- oh, I'm sorry. I forgot the nuance. Sorry. I'm assuming we're talking about the whole Security Council. Q Does the United States support economic sanctions, an embargo, against Haiti and various other stringent economic measures that would be in a multilateral nature? MS. TUTWILER: The United States would hope that the international community, the Ministers that are meeting at the OAS, will take strong measures to isolate diplomatically, politically and economically those who have taken power in Haiti, and move to restore Haiti's legitimate democratic government. We will be consulting, as we have been since this crisis happened, with other members of the OAS -- member countries -- on the best way to bring this about. Q The answer to the last question is "yes," -- you would support some kind of economic sanctions? MS. TUTWILER: We've already, yesterday, suspended our own aid. I think you've seen the French have; a number of other countries. I didn't bring the list with me. Economically, this is definitely, in my opinion, costing something. Q But imposing an embargo is a different matter. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q It's much more complicated and it's a much tougher stand. MS. TUTWILER: That's correct. Q Where do you stand on an embargo? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have an answer for you on that. This afternoon, it's my understanding, a number of things are being discussed right now over what will be tabled, what will be discussed. I'm not going to pre-empt what may come out of this OAS meeting and what, indeed, the United States' positions will be before that meeting. Q Is Baker meeting with Aristide at any time during his stay here in the U.S.? MS. TUTWILER: Not to my knowledge, that anything has yet been scheduled. My understanding is he was to arrive here at Andrews at 12:30. Q Right now. MS. TUTWILER: Right now. Q Frankly, I didn't realize there was distinction. But there's a fine point on aid, and I don't know if you have the answer. Has the United States suspended aid to the Government of Haiti and not aid -- support for such operations as Red Cross -- other forms of humanitarian -- evidently, there is a distinction. MS. TUTWILER: There is. And it's a similar question you asked me yesterday. Q No. I didn't know to ask yesterday. MS. TUTWILER: You asked about, I think, the starving people yesterday. Q Well, I asked why you're doing this. MS. TUTWILER: As I looked up yesterday -- and I think we gave you all yesterday afternoon -- in 1991, we still have $66 million left that has not gone. So that also is being stopped by us. As far as non-governmental organizations distribution of aid, that's something we haven't made a decision on. Q There are questions on the Hill about that. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q Sixty-six of your eighty-eight? MS. TUTWILER: Of '91. All of -- Q Sixty-six of eighty-one. Q Eighty-one million dollars. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Yesterday, I came down here and said they hadn't had a chance to tabulate the 1991 dollars. I gave you what the totals were, but we didn't know yet if all of it had gone. I do know today now, out of '91 dollars -- even though that year has ended -- we have about $60 million left in that. Then you will have all of the '92 that was instantly suspended. Q Margaret, do you have anything on the reports that the army is actually killing Aristide's aides and other officials that were associated with him? Do you have anything on the actual situation in Haiti today? MS. TUTWILER: The actual situation? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: I have an update for you. Our Embassy reports that Port au Prince is quiet this morning. Earlier, scattered firing has died down. Soldiers continue to patrol the streets. There are no large crowds. The dusk to dawn curfew remains in effect. The airport is still closed. There does not appear to be any central government in control. Yesterday, I gave you a figure that I want to correct today. We now have a better count of Americans. Yesterday, I told you there were approximately 6,000. Today, I want to tell you there are approximately 8,000 Americans. There have been no reports of casualties or deaths involving American citizens. And as you know, we continue to urge all Americans in Haiti to remain indoors and to be in contact with our Embassy and also to, obviously, defer all travel at this time. Q You said that there's no central government in control, are you saying that the coup is failed? Are you saying that there is disorganization among the coup-makers or attempters? What are you saying about what's happened? MS. TUTWILER: As you know, we had a strong statement yesterday saying that we do not recognize the junta. We do not recognize them as the legitimate government of Haiti. That is still the case today. There is a lot of confusion down there. There is, as you've seen, a number of people who are obviously calling for the return of their President. So, I am saying a simple statement that there does not appear, in our opinion, to be a central government. Q But if everything is quiet, it would seem the new folks have a firm grip? Nobody is even raising, you know, a voice, a peep. MS. TUTWILER: Just because they are not -- and we are glad that they are not, because we are urging people obviously not to have violence and be on the streets. Just because you are not seeing mob scenes, as one example, does not mean that the legislature is up and running and functioning -- Q Oh, sure. MS. TUTWILER: -- that people are making decisions, that a government is working as normal. Q Does it appear that this coup, unlike the many other coups that have occurred in the last five years, is not consolidating its power with the speed that past military take-overs have? They have been effective in immediately grabbing power in the past. Does that not appear to be happening? MS. TUTWILER: I want to be careful on making predictions and sending that type of analytical work from this podium. I would just continue to say that we do not recognize the junta and we only recognize the government of President Aristide. Q Margaret, is there any evidence of organized resistance at all in Haiti? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I -- to be honest with you, I don't want to say an emphatic no. It is not something that I have seen a lot of this morning. I'll be happy to ask. Q Is there sporadic resistance? Is there any shooting back? MS. TUTWILER: I have seen sporadic resistance myself, just from your own reporting of this. Q Margaret, if Haitians are interdicted at sea in the coming days, will they be returned to Haiti as in the past, or will they be given some sort of provisional asylum? MS. TUTWILER: That's something that I answered yesterday. We looked into it and I don't have a better answer for you today. We have no evidence of that going on in the last 24 or 36 hours, and so I don't have something to tell you on a "what if" because it hasn't materialized. Q Margaret, the other criticism being heard from the Haitian community is about President Bush's speech in Florida on Monday in which he made no mention at all of the situation in Haiti, even though he went out of his way to mention Cuba and how he hoped for a democracy there. Do you know if State looked at that speech? If it was vetted here? If there was any consideration to mentioning it? MS. TUTWILER: Number one -- I should and I'll try -- I'm not familiar with the President's speech on Monday in Miami. I do not know if it was vetted at the State Department, looked at by the State -- I have no idea and I have not heard the criticism that you have raised. Q Can I ask about the German Foreign Minister coming in today? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q Is this part of moving -- I mean, there may be other reasons -- but will they get into the nuclear proposals? Is that one of the major subjects? MS. TUTWILER: This was scheduled a long time ago, Barry. It is my understanding Foreign Minister Genscher is here as part of the German unification visit to this country. I'm not sure if he is doing it to other countries. Q It's the first anniversary. MS. TUTWILER: Right. I knew it was the first anniversary, but I don't know if he is doing other countries. The President's speech came up after that visit was scheduled. I'm sure they'll discuss it this afternoon. Q And when you referred before to the Soviet republics being present in the talks -- MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q Is that -- there are at least two possibilities -- is that because that's the way you are going to do things from now on and deal both with the central authority and the republics, or does it relate to the fact that a lot of these battlefield weapons, nuclear weapons, are in the republics? MS. TUTWILER: I think the answer is both of the above. Q Okay. MS. TUTWILER: I mean, it is how we have been doing stuff, as you know. Q The nuclear is a special situation because the weapons are all over the lot. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. And you know we have voiced our opinion, and the Secretary has, and the Soviets have said it's their similar opinion -- that all nuclear weapons should be under one central control. Q Margaret, as a nuclear off-shoot, do you have anything to add to the Pentagon's reading yesterday on the "Neither Confirm Nor Deny" policy? MS. TUTWILER: No, but I thought that you might ask, and so I do not have much to add to what Pete said. We have had no formal discussions with the Government of New Zealand on this issue since the President's announcement. I believe that both we and the Government of New Zealand are still studying the possible implications of various aspects of the President's September 27 announcement, and we hope that the Government of New Zealand will take steps to restore their role in the alliance. Q When do you intend to have formal discussions, or will they all be informal background discussions? MS. TUTWILER: There is nothing that I have to announce on a formal discussion. Q Is Lawrence Eagleburger still supposed to be the point man with New Zealand on relations, or is he too busy now doing other things? MS. TUTWILER: I didn't know that Larry was the point person on New Zealand. Q He was supposed to be a few months ago, but things have changed. MS. TUTWILER: The Secretary of State, as I recall, has had a number of meetings with the Foreign Minister of New Zealand. I'm sure that this is one of the many things that the Deputy Secretary works on, but I honestly have never heard the characterization that he is the point man on New Zealand. Q Margaret, if tactical nuclear weapons come off ships, there is nothing left -- is there? -- of the policy where you won't declare whether or not a ship is carrying nuclear weapons. In effect, it's -- MS. TUTWILER: Pete Williams answered this -- Q Oh, did he? MS. TUTWILER: -- at length yesterday. Q It makes it academic. MS. TUTWILER: He basically said -- and I don't want to -- get his transcript -- paraphrase it, but that, obviously, things were evolving and changing. Q So can't you say something positive about New Zealand coming back into the good graces of the slightly less nuclear United States? They are asking. They are calling it. MS. TUTWILER: It's not quite that simple, Barry, and I have to leave it where I have left it. Q Is there an ANZUS any more? Q Margaret -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes, Alan. Q The situation in Zaire, the new love affair between Mobutu and the New Prime Minister has proved to be very short-lived. MS. TUTWILER: What happened? I honestly do not know about Zaire today. Q The Prime Minister has declared that Mobutu is a monster and -- MS. TUTWILER: I haven't seen that today. We have done Zaire every day. I really didn't do anything on Zaire today. I was unaware that anything had changed since yesterday. Q Do you have any read-out -- MS. TUTWILER: On who? Q -- any expectations of the Sisulus' meeting. Why are they meeting? MS. TUTWILER: They are here on a private visit, and as you know, the Secretary saw them when he was in South Africa and had met with them previously here at the Department. He is delighted to see them again. Q I might try you on another one. MS. TUTWILER: I'll try. Q The Vietnamese have changed their attitude with regard to forcible repatriation of boat people from Hong Kong. Do you have any -- MS. TUTWILER: You struck out twice. That's something else I'm sorry that I just did not have a chance to get to this morning. Q Can you -- MS. TUTWILER: I'll take it. I'll look at it. Sure. Q Margaret, apparently there is an agreement in the Philippines to have the United States stay on that base for three years instead of one year. Any reaction to that? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is that's something that is being discussed, and has to be discussed with the Philippine legislature; that Mrs. Aquino made her statement and her decision yesterday, but that it still has to be discussed in their legislative body. Q But I believe she said that there is an agreement between her and key members of the Philippine legislature. MS. TUTWILER: I'm only as good as the information the experts give me, and my understanding is, yes, I'm not refuting that, but I'm saying -- my understanding of their government's process is that they have to have a discussion, and those discussions are on-going with their Senate and their legislative body. Q Margaret, just for the record, will this team going to Moscow be prepared to take up with the Soviets multiple warhead missiles carried on U.S. and Soviet submarines -- well, U.S. submarines? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I'll ask. Q Could you ask? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q Because yesterday you said they would be willing to talk about nuclear weapons. The Soviets have their own agenda. I'm trying to see if the United States is prepared to discuss it. MS. TUTWILER: I said yesterday that -- not that specific thing -- Q Well, there are certain holy of holies that you will never discuss. MS. TUTWILER: But I did say yesterday that we don't -- we haven't heard -- remember earlier this week, President Gorbachev's spokesman had said the middle of the week we would be hearing from President Gorbachev in response to Bush. We haven't yet. Q Well, this relates to Mr. Pankin talking to the Secretary last night. Perhaps the agenda is a little clearer now? MS. TUTWILER: They didn't run into that level of detail. Q I mean, I'm not going to ask you what Pankin and Baker talked about, because you wouldn't tell me. I'm asking though if the U.S. is ready to go beyond talking about banning missiles that the Soviets are rich in -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Let me ask Reggie. Q -- to ban missiles that the U.S. is rich in. MS. TUTWILER: Let me ask Regie. Q Margaret, talking of nuclear affairs, the new fiscal year for 1992 has begun, and for the first time in a decade, no military aid has flowed to Pakistan. I believe Mr. Bartholomew was to visit Pakistan and India some time last month, but for some unknown reason he didn't make it. Is the military relationship between Pakistan and the U.S. completely out? Is it out the door now? MS. TUTWILER: One, I'm not up to speed on our 1992 aid to Pakistan; and, two, my understanding is that Reggie is scheduled to go to the region, including that country, some time later this year. I'm not aware of a trip that was last year, but I'll be happy to check for you. Q So obviously this nuclear non-proliferation controversy is going to be high on the agenda, I guess. MS. TUTWILER: As you know, proliferation has been high on the agenda concerning that region -- that I'm aware of in this Administration, it has been any number of times, and I'm sure it was in previous Administrations -- since we have been here at the Department. So that's not something that's new when you have discussions concerning that region of the world. Q One more on Pakistan -- MS. TUTWILER: In fact, excuse me, the Secretary himself just met with the Pakistani Foreign Minister in New York and the Indian Foreign Minister and others in that region and it was one of the main topics of the conversations in those bilateral meetings. Q Still on Pakistan: Has the U.S. protested to the government about the Americans who are allegedly going to get their feet and hands cut off because they had apparently robbed a bank? MS. TUTWILER: This has been raised a number of times by the Charge of our Embassy in Pakistan, and he has raised this and will continue to raise our concerns with senior Pakistani Government officials. A consular officer has visited the detainees on four occasions since the July 7 arrest, and also met with the superintendent of the prison prior to the sentencing to relay U.S. Government interest in the case. Q Has the U.S. warned Pakistan that if they carry out the sentence, it would be viewed very -- with more than just concern? MS. TUTWILER: That's not how our consular officers operate, to be honest with you. We have, as we would in any country, in any instance, our Government regards incarceration of its citizens as a very serious matter, especially when mistreatment may be involved. We obviously have raised, as I have just told you, our concerns, but that is quite different than threatening. Q But isn't this something that has to be raised at a much higher level than just consular officers? MS. TUTWILER: I said a consular officer had raised this at a very senior level -- senior levels, plural -- of the Pakistani Government on more than one occasion, and will continue to do so. Q Margaret, are you denying the United States has a hands-off approach to this subject? MS. TUTWILER: Alan. Q I guess it would help if you could say that the Secretary brought up that concern, too. You can't say that, can you? MS. TUTWILER: I don't remember everything that was brought up in that bilateral. I can go back and check the notes of the meeting. Q That would obviously elevate it. Q Margaret, a couple of questions on Israel. There is a report that the Israeli Government is cutting back on the rate of expansion of settlements. Have you seen that, and do you have any comment? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't seen that report, and I don't have a comment. Q And, second, do you have any comment on the vote in the Senate today in effect supporting the Administration on the l20 day delay? MS. TUTWILER: I'll have something for you later this afternoon on that. Q Margaret, will Prince Ranariddh be meeting with State Department officials, and what will they talk about? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry, who is that? Q Prince Ranariddh, the son of Prince Sihanouk is in Washington today. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware of any such appointment. I'll check. Q Thank you. Q On the Palestinians, any meetings set between the Secretary -- MS. TUTWILER: Soon. Q Margaret, do you have an answer yet on whether or not the Soviet journalists are going to -- whether or not there will be a change of policy by the State Department on whether they can wander the halls of this building, number one, and whether or not they can travel in the United States, number two? MS. TUTWILER: You'll be very pleased to know that I raised this personally yesterday with the Deputy Secretary of State, who was extremely helpful to me in the previous cases that Jim Anderson raised. I just did that yesterday at l p.m. and I have not had an opportunity to talk to Larry this morning concerning -- and everything else he has got going on -- what kind of follow-up he has for me yet. But I didn't forget. Q We'll keep asking. MS. TUTWILER: Please do. Q Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 12:42 p.m.)