US Department of State Daily Press Briefing #176, Tuesday, 11/26/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12: 14 PM, Washington, DC Date: Nov 26, 199111/26/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Eurasia, East Asia Country: Japan, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Israel, Ukraine, USSR (former), Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq Subject: Environment, Nuclear Nonproliferation, Arms Control, Democratization, Mideast Peace Process, State Department, Regional/Civil Unrest, Development/Relief Aid, Immigration, Refugees, OAS, Military Affairs (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I have one statement I'd like to make, and then I'll be happy to take your questions. It concerns driftnet fishing. We have a longer statement for you that we'll put out after the briefing, but I would just like to note that the United States welcomes the announcement that Japan has agreed to end the use of large-scale driftnets on the high seas. By making this decision, Japan has demonstrated its commitment to the protection of living marine resources, and this is a clear victory for the ocean environment. Under the terms of a resolution to be introduced in the United Nations General Assembly, Japan will reduce its fishing effort in large-scale high seas driftnet fishing operations by 50 percent, to be achieved by June 30, 1992. As many of you know, the global moratorium will be fully in effect by December 31, 1992. Q Margaret, while we're in the international arena, can you say what the U.S. is doing about the nuclear -- the North Korean nuclear situation? Is Mr. Pickering about to meet with the North Korean Ambassador at the United Nations? MS. TUTWILER: If he is, I have no knowledge of that at all. What we are doing is what we have continued to do, which is to insist that Iraq abide by the United Nations resolutions. You asked me about Iran -- I'm sorry. I'm sound asleep. Q North Korea. I'm sorry. MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry. I'm exhausted. Q It's sort of a left-field question. MS. TUTWILER: I thought it was Iraq. On North Korea -- I'm sorry, no, I don't know of Pickering meeting with them either. And are we specifically getting ready to do anything? No. As you know, the Secretary on his trip there said that this is, in our minds, the single largest concern in that region on the peninsula. It is being and was discussed by him diplomatically in all of the countries that we visited and in all of the bilateral meetings that he had. But as far as something specific that I have that the United States in coordination with others is prepared to announce today, no, I don't. I'm sorry I got confused. Q Recently, the House and Senate held a hearing that many witnesses criticized the U.S. Administration policy that it is too slow to meet the imminent danger with the nuclear -- North Korean nuclear development proceeding. And yesterday Senator Cranston also maintained that the Administration has shut the barn door after the cow has escaped. Do you have any -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware, number one, sir, unfortunately, of some testimony that was last week, and I'm not familiar with what the Senator said yesterday. I would just refer you to any number of times -- I believe it was, what, last week we were in Asia -- that the Secretary spoke any number of times on this subject, and I'd just refer you to his public comments. Q On the Middle East, have you now received any fresh acceptances or rejections? MS. TUTWILER: No. But we have received from the Syrians and the Palestinians what I would characterize as responses that show a readiness to respond positively with some questions. Q One of the questions from the Palestinians is apparently that they want visas or a visa at least to be issued to somebody from the PLO. Can you confirm that? MS. TUTWILER: No. Their communications with us are quite lengthy, and I am not going to go into the substance of either the Palestinian or the Syrian responses that we had yesterday. As you're all aware -- and I certainly am not anticipating speaking for the Government of Israel -- many Israeli officials have said that they, too, have questions. So I'm just not going to go through a tick-tock. As I said yesterday, our proposal -- the co-sponsors' proposal -- is out there. We cannot want the parties to continue their bilateral talks that they began in Madrid more than they want to. Q Margaret, yesterday when you went through the visa policy -- MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q You know, on the one hand you -- not "on the one hand," maybe they're entrain -- but you said that the Secretary has the authority to seek a waiver, and then you reminded us of humanitarian circumstances. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q I really would like to try again today and see if you consider these peace talks an area where a waiver might be used? In other words -- MS. TUTWILER: No, I do not. Q -- you seem to be saying only in humanitarian issues would the Secretary get engaged. But -- MS. TUTWILER: The law is quite clear, and I said yesterday and gave you three examples and, in fact, read to you the correct title of the law. I told you what the Secretary of State under the law had the authority to do, and I used three examples. I believe, Barry, when I mentioned the humanitarian example, I said in the instance of someone who is sick, who has a family member who could be dying, that is not, in my mind, a bilateral negotiation. Q Well, Margaret, would it be correct to characterize these Syrian and Palestinian responses as conditional acceptances? MS. TUTWILER: Uh-huh. Q And are -- MS. TUTWILER: Well, I don't want to say "conditional." No. Not conditional acceptances. "Conditions" is another adjective you could say versus what I chose to say, which was "some questions." But I cannot characterize for you, nor am I going to, whether it is a "yes, but," or a "no, maybe." I'm not going to do that. There were responses. They were on Monday. But they are a readiness to respond positively -- which is not responding positively is another way to interpret that -- with some questions. So I do not want to characterize for you those two entities -- Q And what's the next step? MS. TUTWILER: Discussions are on-going. But, to be honest with you, and this is being expressed to the parties, here is the proposal. We think it is a reasonable proposal. You had not only the two weeks you requested, but three weeks, and the ball's in your court. If you choose to accept to continue these bilateral talks in Washington on December 4, it is quite clear the choice is theirs. Q But at the same time are you endeavoring to answer these questions that they raise? MS. TUTWILER: No. I believe Barry asked me yesterday, are we putting or accepting or agreeing to conditions on our proposal, and I answered in the negative. That's true again today. Q Margaret, could you be a little more specific? Are you saying that they said, "We have the following questions. If you answer these questions in a way that satisfies us, we can assure you that we will say yes, and we will be there December 4." In other words, they're not saying what they're going to do if you don't answer the questions, and they are saying that if they like the answers from the questions, they'll come. MS. TUTWILER: Well, both responses -- it won't come as a surprise to you -- aren't identical. So you cannot lump them as each response was exactly the same. It's not. Both responses yesterday had any number of questions; one group had more questions than the other. But an impression is left of a readiness to respond positively. But that is quite different from the Jordanian official acceptance last Friday; the Lebanese Government official acceptance of yesterday. It's a different situation. Q But you're saying you're not going to respond to those questions, right, because there's no conditions. So is it your understanding that if you don't respond to the questions, the answer is no. MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is, as it's always been, the ball's in their court. The proposal is out there. It comes as no news to anyone. After all, when you accepted the original invitation to the Madrid peace conference that was negotiated over eight months, you knew that it was to be followed on. And I don't know of a single party that said they did not subscribe to -- that the point of going to Madrid was to have direct, bilateral negotiations. So what I'm telling you is that our proposal is out there. It is, in our minds, a very fair and reasonable proposal, and that it is there to pick up. Q You said talks are still going on. MS. TUTWILER: Well, conversations, I mean. Q Are these conversations aimed to clarify the issues raised by these questions? Is that what they were? MS. TUTWILER: These talks that are going on, in capitals and with our experts here, are to restate basically what I've just stated to you: Here's the proposal -- Washington, D.C., December 4, and let us know. Q If they're not, as you say, to agree to conditions -- MS. TUTWILER: We're not. Q -- or to answer questions, I assume that it's at least to clarify some of the questions that have been raised by Syria and the Palestinians. MS. TUTWILER: We don't need the questions clarified. The questions are quite clear. But we are not in the business, at this point in the game, of dealing in conditions to the acceptance of a response that they knew was what they originally signed on to -- is what I am saying. And once you start down that road, Saul, here is an example of two -- and I'm using the words "some questions." As you all have read and I have read, senior Israeli officials, on the record, are saying they, too, have some questions. Some of you have characterized these as conditions. Where does it end? If you start with one party and you meet their needs, then how are you going to not be able to continue and continue and continue? What I said yesterday is true today. What is, in our minds -- and I think in the minds of most of the people of the world -- important here is not really a building, is not a room, is not a motorcade. It is the substance and beginning these talks about something that is very, very important to these parties -- they have all said that it is -- to the people there of the region and to most countries of the world. Q One other thing: Did I understand you to say earlier that you do not deem the peace talks as a reason -- and the possibility that Palestinians might want PLO -- as a reason for a waiver? You do not deem the peace talks a reason for a waiver of the prohibition against PLO people coming here? MS. TUTWILER: To Washington, D.C.? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. I've said yesterday that our policy had not changed, and that it would not change. Q Margaret, two questions, if I might: There's obviously a real difference here in the way the Administration is handling the invitations to these direct talks and the way it handled the eight months of negotiations leading up to Madrid. I mean, now you -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't know what you think the difference is. Q Well, the difference seems to be that you -- for instance, as you said in the briefing the other day, every comma and every word of the invitation to Madrid was negotiated over a period of eight months. The cable was sent out saying -- MS. TUTWILER: This is part of that. Q O.K. So are you saying that the reason they shouldn't have these questions now is that presumably this was all dealt with in the run-up to Madrid? You seem to have much less patience with them this time around than you did getting to Madrid. Is that because you thought this was all put to bed then? MS. TUTWILER: Mary, I believe that we posted the other day a public copy of the invitation. I would refer you to it; read it yourself, and you will clearly see in there: Bilateral talks beginning X. So I would steer you toward -- or our firm belief is that when you say you spent eight months discussing this, you're right. And so what has changed today? I would say that nothing has changed. What we're saying is that here is the proposal. We delayed for two weeks, which was not prior to Madrid, at your request. And we have then, because of our travel, we had another week's delay. Then, as I explained yesterday, we had one from Tuesday to Thursday. All I am simply saying is here is the proposal from the co-sponsors. If you choose to come, we think these are important talks. We believe that you believe they're important talks and let us have your response. Q If I could just follow up on that, just to make one thing clear. You've had nothing you would even consider a conditional response or a response with questions yet from the Israelis, correct? MS. TUTWILER: In official channels? No. Q Have you had discussions with them? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. You all know about those. But official channels, which is what she's asking, which is how we'll be answering each response, no. And the Israeli Government, I believe, has said -- correct me if I'm wrong -- that they want to take this to their cabinet. It is my understanding their cabinet is meeting tomorrow. So, no, there is no official Israeli response, but that comes as no surprise to us. They have said not to expect one until Wednesday. Q Even while the U.S. is saying, you know, "Come without qualifications. We want a straight-away acceptance," you're also engaged in conversations with these parties, making suggestions. MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q And these can intersect. In other words, if you make suggestions that seem to tilt in the direction of a yes to one of those questions, well in a sense you're dealing with the questions. Philosophy aside, the notion, for instance, that you're saying to the Syrians, "Tell us what you plan to do? Would you be willing to go ahead and simply come to peace terms with Israel, assuming you could get the Golan Heights back?" And to say to the Israelis, you know, "If you could have peace with Syria, how much territory are you prepared to give up?" That sort of tells the Syrians that the U.S. feels they ought to have some territory. But, in any event, is that a pretty good description of what you've told the Israelis and the Syrians? MS. TUTWILER: What I am going to refrain from doing -- I've done that all week -- is getting into the specific, literal cable documentation that went out to the various parties. I will tell you and continue to say this is nothing more than United States' views, United States' suggestions. Every word of this has been discussed any number of times with the parties involved. Nothing contained in this cable was new to anyone who received it. I think that it is quite obvious to all what the issues are, and I would further say this is no different than United States and Soviet Union and others' suggestions prior to Madrid -- which is all they are -- suggestions. You might, you know, give some serious thought to your intervention, and people can choose to take it or not take it. That's their call. But there is nothing new substantively in this. And I double-checked myself this morning. I have checked with the experts, and I have reread the cable. And so it is -- to be honest with you -- a little bit something being made out of nothing. Before Madrid, we had suggestions for individuals that they could take or not take. Q That's exactly why I didn't ask you about some of the other examples, because they all -- none of them deviated from positions the U.S. has even taken in public statements in Madrid. MS. TUTWILER: There's nothing new in that. Q Saying such things as, "As you work on self-rule, you know, put aside the permanent arrangement and try to experiment with arrangements right now." But the Syrian thing is significant, because the question the Syrian -- one of the -- the predominant question the Syrians seem to be asking is, "If we go there, can we be confident that the Israelis are willing -- one version is give up territory, the other version is discuss giving up territory. That's something the Israelis don't want to do as a precondition for talking to the Syrians. So that's why I'm asking specifically about the Syrian thing, because it really goes to the heart -- it may not be new, but it goes to the heart of Syria's acceptance or whatever or sitting on its hands for the December 4 Washington meeting. MS. TUTWILER: I'm a little confused. What is your question? Q O.K. I'm saying what I think you're telling the Syrians and the Israelis, and I need you to confirm it, may not be new, but it goes to the questions the Syrians have raised -- the conditions the Syrians have raised for coming to Washington. MS. TUTWILER: I have said today, and I said yesterday, that our proposal is out there; that we are not accepting conditions. I have said that our cable dealt with subjects, as you've just confirmed, that are not new. There is no secret about what these negotiations are about. Everyone knows what all the subject matters are. There are any number of them. At some point the continuation of these bilaterals, Barry, must, if the parties want it to, get to substance. They will determine what that substance is. They will determine their own time line. They will determine what they will and will not discuss, what they will and will not negotiate. All the United States has done is expressed our views or made, as I've said, suggestions. But what I am not going to do is get into the literal specifics of our cable traffic. I'm just not going to do it. Q Let me ask you a quick technical question: You called this cable "documentation." Is that -- MS. TUTWILER: Cable traffic. Cable -- Q O.K. No, no. But we went through this yesterday. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q Come here December 4, Washington -- MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q -- was a simple stated cable. But there seems to be some backup material containing these suggestions. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Same cable. Q Is it in the same cable, on paper? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Same cable. Q Well, the identical things could have been said to the parties -- MS. TUTWILER: They have been. I just said that. Q They have been? MS. TUTWILER: There is nothing in this cable that experts have not had discussions over. Q No, no. I didn't mean that. I meant you couldn't have sent identical cables to Damascus -- MS. TUTWILER: That's correct, and I answered that yesterday and the day before. Q -- and to Jerusalem -- or you probably sent them to Tel Aviv, to Damascus and Israel, if you're asking the Syrians "suppose," and if you're asking the Israelis "suppose." Q What's your question? Q They're not identical. MS. TUTWILER: I answered it yesterday when asked, "Are all these cables exactly identical?" I said, "No, they are not." And I believe I was asked that on Friday, and I said, "No, they're not." Q Margaret, given what you said about the preparations and the expectations that once people agreed to come to Madrid, they signed on to continuing with the bilateral talks, is it fair to say that the Administration is disappointed that two of the parties at this point have a host of questions they want answered before they give a positive response? MS. TUTWILER: No. I think that would be an unfair characterization. I believe that these are sincere questions. There's no reason for me to doubt that they're sincere, and we will continue to express our views with our co-sponsor. As a matter of fact, the Secretary talked to Minister Shevardnadze this morning. I don't choose to speak for and should not for Minister Shevardnadze, but he obviously agrees with the approach, and he is working on his end as a co-sponsor, as we're working on ours -- if the parties choose -- and we all think it is important to be in Washington on December 4. Q Margaret, have you decided on the building? Is there going to be one building or are there going to be separate sites? MS. TUTWILER: No, that's something that the co-sponsors don't have a final decision on. Q Are the talks going to run simultaneously or concurrently? MS. TUTWILER: That is another decision the co-sponsors haven't made yet. Q How about where? Q Did you just say Shevardnadze was going to be here on December 4th? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q That's what it sounded like. MS. TUTWILER: You can have one. I thought that Barry asked me about Iraq this morning. He asked me about Korea. Q You didn't say Shevardnadze? MS. TUTWILER: I said he spoke to Shevardnadze this morning. Q (Inaudible) if they choose. All the parties, of course, would include the sponsors. MS. TUTWILER: All the parties -- Syria, Jordan, etc. Q Wouldn't it include the sponsors? MS. TUTWILER: The co-sponsors will be here at some type of expert level, just as ours will be at an expert level. Minister Shevardnadze has never anticipated, to my knowledge, being here nor has the Secretary. Q So the Secretary won't participate either? MS. TUTWILER: He never was going to. Q But yet -- MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me. The bilaterals have always, always been envisioned at the expert level. Q There was a minor question on that the other day, though, whether they would be drawn from the Soviet Embassy or from the Foreign Ministry. Has that bridge been crossed? MS. TUTWILER: No. In fact, Minister Shevardnadze and the Secretary discussed that this morning. They will be talking again in the near future, and the Minister has not made a decision on that. Q You remember last week, there was to be a second conversation between them on Friday? MS. TUTWILER: This was it today. Q This is that -- MS. TUTWILER: This is it; it happened. Q Does the invitation for the multilaterals have to wait until you get the bilateral situation nailed down? MS. TUTWILER: Not necessarily. Q Do you expect the multilateral invitation to go out this week? MS. TUTWILER: I don't like to set myself up in time frames. I don't have anything to announce today on multilaterals, and I don't know whether I will or will not this week. Q Margaret, how many trips is the Secretary planning overseas before the end of the year? MS. TUTWILER: There's only one trip that you're very familiar with, which is the NATO meeting that has been publicly announced; and always at the winter NATO meeting, the Secretary of State has an EC meeting. That is the only publicly announced trip that I'm aware of between now and the end of the year. Q Will he see Shevardnadze at the NATO meeting? MS. TUTWILER: As you know, at the Rome summit, the Heads of State had a communique or declaration saying that the Soviet Foreign Minister and the Foreign Ministers of Eastern and Central Europe would be invited to the NATO meeting. It is my understanding that NATO is thinking about the 20th for that meeting. I don't know if the Soviet Foreign Minister is or is not going to attend. Q Margaret, do you have any reaction to the latest failure of the republics to sign the Union Treaty? MS. TUTWILER: Not really, Alan. It's something that we obviously are interested in, that we follow closely. But this is something for the republics to work out among themselves. We really don't have much of a comment other than that. Q Margaret, how about some readout on the Obukhov meeting yesterday? MS. TUTWILER: They're still meeting. They met yesterday afternoon. They re-engaged this morning. It's my understanding that they are planning to continue their meetings this afternoon. So as soon as they conclude, yes, we'll try to get you something. Q Can we do Haiti? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q Wait, wait, the Soviet Union; one more question on the Soviet Union. Is the Administration actively coordinating a response with the EC in anticipation of the Ukraine voting for independence on Sunday? Is there any coordinated response planned? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of, Mary. Q Have there been consultations? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sure that there have been discussions; but, Mary, I haven't heard about those. So I don't want to steer you toward thinking that there's a huge consultation effort going on. If it is, I'm unaware of it. Q Are we ready to recognize an independent Ukraine? MS. TUTWILER: It would be premature for me -- today is what? -- November 26 to say what the United States' policy or position will or will not be in advance of a referendum that's to happen, I believe, this Sunday, December 1. Q Margaret, does the United States still believe that the borders of the Soviet Union -- now that the Baltic republics have gained their independence -- should be permanent in the way that they are now, or do you believe that the republics now have a right, and the people in the republics now have a right to secede? MS. TUTWILER: What I will do, Alan, is refer you to the Secretary of State's five principles. As you know, either Principle 2 or 3 addresses borders. That's our policy. Q I have a question on East Timor. Two American journalists -- Amy Goodman of Pacifica National News, and Alan Narin of the New Yorker -- witnessed a massacre in East Timor and were severely beaten, in fact, with the butts of M-16 rifles supplied by the U.S. Yet the State Department declined this morning to attend the Congressional hearing on that matter. During that hearing it was stated that the Administration has been actually pushing to water down the resolution that would cut off aid to East Timor, or rather have it reconsidered until a thorough investigation has been completed in that matter. What is the Administration's position on aid -- military aid, IMET aid -- to the tune of $2 million a year? MS. TUTWILER: I'll be happy to take your question. I will refer you to the record over any number of days where both I and the Deputy Spokesman, Richard Boucher, have addressed ourselves and our concern to the situation in East Timor. And I'm unaware of the testimony this morning, so I'll be happy to look into that. Q Has the United States -- while we're on that subject -- come to any judgment about the alleged investigation that the Indonesian military has conducted into that massacre? Or is that a true, fair, accurate -- MS. TUTWILER: I'll look at it, Alan. It's something I haven't looked into for the last two days. Q Other governments have dismissed that investigation as a charade. We haven't yet heard from you. MS. TUTWILER: I'll be happy to. Q Could you give us an update on Haiti, please? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. I'm going to do Haiti right now. Q I'm sorry, I have one further question on Timor. The two journalists that testified today on the Hill said that they haven't been approached by the State Department for a debrief on their experience. Could you confirm that? MS. TUTWILER: Sir, I just said, in response to this lady's question, I'm unaware of testimony on the Hill this morning. I said I would be happy to look into it. So it's a little difficult to respond to something I know nothing about. Q Then I'll formulate a question in another manner. Has the State Department approached the two witnesses of the massacres three weeks ago for a debrief, a formal debriefing? MS. TUTWILER: I do not know. I will be happy to look into this for you. George, do you want to do Haiti? Let me give you an update on people -- the total number of Haitian boat people picked up since the coup, according to the Coast Guard -- and I want to start today, as we did in the Kurdish situation -- to use approximate numbers. You will see today that Pete [Williams] may have different, more current numbers at the Pentagon than I have, so I'm going to start using approximate, if you don't mind. The number that I have for today is 5,036. Five hundred and six Haitians were picked up by the Coast Guard yesterday. Of the overall total of 5,036 Haitians, 4,028 remain either at Guantanamo Bay or on board Coast Guard cutters. Six hundred forty two are at the U.S. Naval facility at Guantanamo Bay; 823 are on the U.S. Naval vessel "Tortuga," which is moored at Guantanamo Bay; and 2,563 are still on Coast Guard cutters. One hundred and twenty is the same number today as it was yesterday who have been found to have a plausible claim to asylum and have been flown to the United States. The numbers in Honduras and Venezuela have not changed nor have the numbers of those repatriated to Haiti, which was 538. Q Are you trying to persuade other nations in the region to provide temporary shelter? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q Any luck? MS. TUTWILER: Other than Venezuela and Honduras, to date, no. But, as you know, I believe we said that Trinidad and Tobago had an interest, and Belize; but, no, they have not had any temporary safe havens yet for Haitian refugees. Q Margaret, has any -- because the embargo seems to be contributing to the economic problems that, in turn, contribute to the exodus, is there any thought being given to modifying the embargo, perhaps, to diminish the impact on the poorest people of Haiti? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I am aware of, but I would refer you, really, to the OAS which, as you know, has been the lead in this. I'm not aware of anyone who has suggested or tabled or made a move yet to do such a thing. Q Margaret, now that the talks in Cartagena have failed, what prospect is there of getting Aristide back in the near future? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is, as you correctly point out, those talks broke down on Sunday after three days of talks. But I am not aware that the parties have said that they will never get back together. In fact, what I believe is going on is that people are continuing, through the OAS, to encourage those talks to resume. Our policy is, we certainly hope that they will resume. Q Margaret, with the settlement camps now being set up, will the United States stop trying to repatriate the refugees to Cuba -- I mean to Haiti? MS. TUTWILER: We're all making mistakes today. That's okay. As you know, we're under a temporary court restraining order, so there has been no repatriation since the judge issued that order in Florida. And, obviously, we are abiding by the law. Q Are you still trying to get it overturned? MS. TUTWILER: We still are working with the Justice Department and working on this issue. You know that we think that it is the humane thing to do -- to save lives; not to encourage people to take out in these boats. We believe that our policy is correct on repatriation. Q There are reports that once these Haitians are taken on board the Coast Guard cutters, that the Coast Guard then sets fire to the boats, the little -- MS. TUTWILER: Does what? Q Sets fire to the boats. Do you have anything on that? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. You might ask the Coast Guard. I don't know. I've never heard that. Q Margaret, how much room is there in Guantanamo Bay? Surely, you're going to reach another limitation at this rate -- 500 a day? MS. TUTWILER: Pete Williams is doing a very thorough Pentagon briefing today on this. I will tell you, after talking to Pete this morning -- and I would again refer you to the Pentagon briefing -- it's my understanding that the Pentagon is going to build basic facilities. There are tents, it's my understanding, to accommodate 2,500 people. There is the ship I just mentioned that is moored there at Guantanamo Bay that has 800-plus people on it. There is another U.S. Navy vessel -- it's my understanding -- that's also moored there that has 200-something people. In this temporary safe haven shelter, we will be giving them medicine, food, shelter, etc. But I point out that this is a temporary measure. We said yesterday that the ten Coast Guard cutters were in extremely difficult situations, for these people and for the Coast Guard. This is a decision yesterday that the Administration made to alleviate the situation on the Coast Guard cutters, but this is temporary. Q Do you have any estimate how much it's costing? MS. TUTWILER: Costing? No. Maybe Pete can answer that at the Pentagon. Q Maybe you should consider moving them to Clark Naval Base. From there, they could be involuntarily repatriated to Vietnam. Q Can you define "temporary" a little more? MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me? Q Can you define "temporary" a little more closely? MS. TUTWILER: Temporary is temporary. As I said to George's question, we are working within the law. We are making our case through the Justice Department and obviously, our views are that repatriation is the kind, humanitarian, proper thing to do in this situation. So I can't tell you what is temporary. But what we don't want to do is exactly what we didn't want to do the other day, to send a signal that somehow this is some permanent solution. And then you have more and more people taking off on these boats because they somehow have heard that the United States is housing people at Guantanamo Bay. That's just irresponsible of us, not to point out that this is temporary. Q Are you aware -- Q Was the State Department involved in the decision to set up the camp? MS. TUTWILER: Of course. It's an interagency thing. Q Do the refugees continue to claim military retaliation when they return, even though I know you answered the question yesterday? MS. TUTWILER: I keep hearing you all ask me this, but I have to tell you that we stay in close contact with the International Red Cross, church groups there, our own Embassy, every humanitarian group that is there, and I cannot, as of this briefing -- and I checked again for you this morning -- give you an example that we have uncovered, that we've been told about, that we know about. So I'm not going to say categorically that nothing is going on. But if it's going on, the information is not getting to us. Q Margaret, this full exodus, of course, underlines the necessity for a political solution -- MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q Right. And I was wondering, since a political solution is pivotal in this case, whether the State Department is looking at various possible compromises that might not necessarily involve Aristide himself? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q You do not? MS. TUTWILER: This is not for the United States to decide. We're working through the OAS. But, as you know, the United States, on the political side, has strongly stated what our views are -- that the constitutional government of President Aristide has to be returned to Haiti. That is something we feel strongly about, and I'm not aware of anyone in the hemisphere, in the region -- a member of the OAS -- who has expressed contrary views. Q Back to your statement of the Japanese agreement on fishing, please. Some countries, including Korea, are asking for moratorium to find if the driftnet fishing method is really damaging the sea ecology. So are you going to give some more pressure to sign the agreement -- for the country to sign the agreement -- MS. TUTWILER: For Korea? This is something that the Secretary spoke to, not only with the Japanese when he was recently in Asia, but also spoke with the South Koreans about. It's something that the Secretary has had a personal interest in since he became Secretary of State. It's something this Administration has an interest in. We will continue to express our views on this subject to the Koreans. Q Margaret, will you repeat what communication you've had from the Japanese regarding driftnets? MS. TUTWILER: What communication? Q Yes. What announcement they made, I guess, to the government? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. We have a longer statement for you that I said I would post afterwards. Basically, Japan has announced that they -- just to repeat myself -- have agreed to end the use of large-scale driftnets on the high seas, and all the rest of it, I'll give to you afterwards. I did it earlier. Q Are you satisfied with that response? Is the State Department pleased? Is it considered a victory? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to say if it's victory or not. We say we welcome it, we are very pleased. Q But some scientists are maintaining that driftnet method is not really destroying the sea ecology as the State Department -- the United States maintains. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not a scientist, and I am not going try to pretend to be one and get into a debate with you about the ecology and scientific data on this subject. I know that this is something that the United States cares about. I think that anyone -- you don't have to be a scientist to see the photographs of this -- couldn't help but care. It is something we have been working very hard at the United Nations on, and we have been working bilaterally on. As I stated earlier, we think this is a clear victory for the ocean environment. That's our view. Q Margaret, I hate to change the subject or belabor the Middle East point, but perhaps you could help me on two questions I'm not clear about. MS. TUTWILER: I'll try. Q One is -- I guess I didn't understand whether there's a clear answer to Barry's question about whether -- I guess you're calling them "proposals" for the bilaterals -- whether they included a mention in these proposals to Syria and Israel about a withdrawal from the Golan Heights if, in fact, some other factor was reached; and (2) whether they might have also mentioned Syria, for example, recognizing Israel were, say, some withdrawal to happen? MS. TUTWILER: It is a very similar question that Barry asked me. It's one that I'm going to continue to refrain from answering. I have stated as clearly as I can what was contained in this cable, and I have been unable, and will continue to be unable, to get into the literal specifics of our suggestions and our views. Q Okay. And, secondly, do you believe -- rather than perhaps hope -- that the bilaterals will start in Washington on December 4 with all parties there? MS. TUTWILER: I don't do predictions. I found it very useful to refrain from doing so. So I'm going to leave it right where it is -- the United States and the Soviet Union think that this is important; believe that the parties themselves think it is important; and, we certainly hope that the continuation of these bilaterals begin in Washington on December 4. Q I just wanted to know if you have anything on the latest reports of attacks by the Iraqi army on Kurds again? There are new reports. MS. TUTWILER: It's a situation that we constantly monitor, that we are concerned about. But, no, I don't have anything new. Q And I have one more question about the Middle East, and that has to do with the visas. I know that you're not answering questions or conditions. You said the ball is in the court of those to whom the invitations went out. But is there any discussion with the Palestinians about how they might proceed with consulting with those they want to consult with in the absence of visas for PLO members? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Thanks. (Press briefing concluded at 12:52 p.m.)