US Department of State Daily Press Briefing #181, Thursday, 12/5/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:01 PM, Washington, DC Date: Dec 5, 199112/5/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, Caribbean Country: USSR (former), Haiti, Lebanon, Syria, Yugoslavia (former), Croatia, Israel, Germany Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Terrorism, Democratization, Development/Relief Aid, United Nations, POW/MIA Issues, Immigration, Refugees (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I have one statement I'd like to make concerning shipment of American humanitarian goods to the Soviet Union. As part of the humanitarian medical assistance initiative for the Soviet Union announced by the President on December 12, 1990, urgently needed pharmaceuticals and medical supplies will be flown in mid-December from the United States to Russia, Byelorussia and Armenia. The two-hundred-ton shipment, coordinated by Project Hope with the San Francisco-based International Foreign Policy Association, and Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze's Foreign Policy Association in Moscow, will be delivered to children's hospitals in Moscow, Minsk and Yerevan. Medical supplies were donated by American manufacturers and charitable organizations, including the United Way of the Greater Bay Area, and UNICEF International. To date, under the Presidential initiative, the United States has shipped over $l9.8 million -- retail value -- of donated medicines and related supplies to several republics and localities in the USSR and the Baltics. Subsequent shipments are planned for other areas that suffer acute and immediate shortages of medicines. As the President announced in August, a separate program is being set up for the Baltics. Project Hope, an international non-profit health organization, is coordinating this shipment with the United States Government support. An American military C-5A cargo aircraft and a Soviet military cargo plane are scheduled to leave Andrews Air Force Base for Moscow on December l7th. Supplies will be forwarded from Moscow to Minsk and Yerevan. The coordination of U.S. and Soviet military resources marks a new step in bilateral cooperation to meet humanitarian needs. A team from Project Hope will accompany the delivery of medicines and supplies directly from the airports to the medical facilities. The International Foreign Policy Association has scheduled a press conference today regarding this shipment at San Francisco's international airport. Q Two hundred tons means how much in dollars? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q Well, yesterday your statement said -- MS. TUTWILER: I'll ask if they can break it out for you. Q Yesterday, your statement said the total was $l8 million, I think, and so if today's total is $l9.8, it's probably the difference. MS. TUTWILER: Thank you, Carol. We did put out one yesterday, but yesterday's, remember, was an Aeroflot flight, and this is a coordinated exercise and we are using both our military aircraft and theirs. So that's what we -- Q Could you just check and see if they know what's -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes, sure. And we have also, as you know, each time we have made one of these shipments since the President's initiative, we have either posted or we have done from the podium what it is, and I have all that back-up for you, too. Q Margaret, if there are no questions on that, reports -- I know you have touched on this -- but reports keep persisting that, essentially attributed to the U.N. hostage release efforts, that the deal is that there will be no recriminations, no reprisals, that somehow the U.S., as part of an agreement, that if the hostages get out there will be no reprisals, no hard feelings. Is there any truth to that, to those reports? MS. TUTWILER: One, you got two questions there for me, and let me take the last one first. Q Okay. MS. TUTWILER: There have been no deals. There have been no promises. This Administration has not negotiated anything. Your first question says, will there be any recriminations, basically? Our policy is that taking Americans hostage overseas is a violation of United States law. The United States continues to condemn hostage-taking. Any injury to a United States citizen is a grave concern for us. We would remind you that hostages are still being held. Thus we will have nothing else to say or no further comments on this. Q But you do have a position, don't you on the remains of the two -- Colonel Higgins -- MS. TUTWILER: That's a separate issue. You asked -- Q No, I mean, isn't that a continuing demand, that the hostages -- MS. TUTWILER: Absolutely that is a continuing demand. As you know, there are two German hostages, and also we are demanding that we have, we know about -- the return of [the remains of] Colonel Higgins and Mr. Buckley. Q Do you have any position on the reports that the German Government may be willing to strike a deal for the release of the two Germans still held captive in Lebanon? MS. TUTWILER: No. I would refer you to the German Government. Q Margaret, can you say that the U.S. and the United Nations have not discussed the question of prosecution and extradition of terrorists in Lebanon responsible for the capture of U.S. hostages? MS. TUTWILER: I have just said that there are hostages that are still being held and that I am going to have no further comment other than saying it is a violation of United States law. Q So, you can't say whether the U.S. and the U.N. have discussed that question? MS. TUTWILER: I am not going to have any further comment on this. There are hostages that are still being held. Q On those two brothers the Germans are holding, does the U.S. have a position on whether they should be prosecuted if there is evidence against them? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, Barry -- Q I mean, you want other countries, don't you, I thought, to deal with the terrorists in a legal way, don't you? MS. TUTWILER: We have never said that people should, as I recall, deal with hostage-holders. We have said we do not deal. What? Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: He was saying the other people. Q Not the hostage holders. MS. TUTWILER: Which people are you talking about? Q The Hamadi brothers. Q Do you have a position on whether they should be released as part of -- MS. TUTWILER: As part of a deal? Q Well, just released, period. Some deal or not deal. MS. TUTWILER: Period -- I'm not going to comment on. I'll be happy to take your question. As part of a deal, as I recall our policy, correct me if I am wrong, we don't deal. We recognize that other sovereign nations -- and we've been through this hundreds of times before -- have different policies concerning dealing. Q Margaret, does the United States consider those who held U.S. hostages in Lebanon to be terrorists? MS. TUTWILER: If you want the legal definition, I will be glad to refer you to the legislation on whether hostage-holding is a terrorist activity or not. As you know, this is a sensitive legal definition. Obviously, in my mind, it is terrorist activity, but I will refer you to the legislation on how they legally describe terrorist activity. Q Just for the record, you say "We don't deal," you mean the Bush Administration, because certainly the U.S. Government has dealt extensively for the hostages over the years, trying to buy their freedom and so and so forth. Your Administration doesn't deal, is what your are saying. MS. TUTWILER: This Administration has made it clear from day one we do not deal on hostages. Q Margaret, what is -- MS. TUTWILER: And have not. Q What is your understanding on when the Arabs and the Israeli parties are going to be negotiating with each other? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have an understanding. Q Well, there were discussions in this building today -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q Do you have any solution for this impasse? MS. TUTWILER: No, as I have said, the United States is continuing to work the issue, and those talks will continue. As you know, Ambassador Djerejian has already had, I believe, two meetings this morning. These were scheduled yesterday. He has two more scheduled for this afternoon. Today, he is going to meet with the individual heads of the four delegations that are in town. Any number of experts here are having any number of conversations with representatives of either the delegations or other governments, et cetera, and we are working the issue. Q There is a head of the Israeli delegation? MS. TUTWILER: There are three official delegations here. There are four parties, entities, excuse me. Q There is no head of an Israeli delegation? MS. TUTWILER: No. I'm talking Palestinian-Jordanian as one delegation; Syrian, one delegation; Jordanian, one delegation; but there are four -- Q Lebanese. MS. TUTWILER: Lebanese, but there are four parties. Q But there is no head of an Israeli delegation in Washington now? MS. TUTWILER: I didn't say so. So that is why I said other governments, other parties, other people who are in town. There is lots of phone traffic. Q So are you going to issue a new invitation? MS. TUTWILER: No, sir. Q There will be no new invitation specifying a new date for these parties to come together. MS. TUTWILER: That would fall under the category of issuing a new proposal, and that is something that we are not going to do; we are not entertaining doing, and to my knowledge no one has suggested it to us, officially, that we do so. Q Let's take it one day at a time. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q Tomorrow at ten o'clock, the rooms are available? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q Monday? MS. TUTWILER: Absolutely. Q Okay, now you understand that some of the Arabs say Monday they want to mark the anniversary of the rebellion. MS. TUTWILER: I've heard that. Q But still the doors are open? MS. TUTWILER: Absolutely. Q Okay. Q Margaret, some of the Arab delegation officials, including, I believe, the Syrian here this morning, said that they have asked the United States to announce a date, or to set a date, on which the talks would resume. I think you just said that no one has suggested that, but maybe I mixed up what they have said suggested -- MS. TUTWILER: I said that I am not aware of an official -- Arab or entity, party, negotiation -- official request for a new proposal. I am not aware of that. Q Have any of the delegations with whom U.S. officials have been meeting at whatever level asked the United States to set a new date for negotiations to begin? MS. TUTWILER: Any number of these conversations -- obviously, we are trying to solve a problem. That's what we are interested in. We are trying to resolve this issue -- have suggested any number of things, Ralph, to us. They are all talking to you. They are talking among themselves, et cetera, but what I am not going to do is go through every day, as I said, and be a debriefer of everything that is going on. We are working the issue. We have been working it for many days. We will continue working it today. Q I'm just trying to get at, when you said, "No, sir, that there would be no new invitation issued" -- MS. TUTWILER: No new proposal. Q Does that mean that the U.S. will not set a date on which negotiations will resume, or does that mean that setting a date and issuing a proposal or an invitation are two different things in your mind? MS. TUTWILER: There will be no new co-sponsor proposal. Just remember, this was not an invitation. This was a proposal. Madrid was a formal invitation. We are, obviously, interested -- as we believe all of the parties are -- in continuing what began in Madrid, these bilateral talks, and we are working to help the parties come to agreement on meeting, continuing those meetings. Q Have any of the parties told the United States that they don't intend to stay beyond a certain time, whatever? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I've heard of. Q So all of the Arab delegations who are here have indicated to the U.S. that they are prepared to remain, apparently, indefinitely? MS. TUTWILER: I'll refer you to the Arab delegations that are here. They all have spokesmen; they all are speaking to you all quite frequently. I'd refer you to them for what their intentions are. You asked me what I had heard. I said I haven't heard that. Q By day's end you said that Djerejian will meet with all four Arab groups. He saw the Syrians and the Palestinians this morning? MS. TUTWILER: He saw the Syrians, which you all, I believe, have a transcript of their remarks. That was at 10:00. He is seeing the Lebanese at 11:30. He will be seeing the Jordanians, I believe, at 1:30; and he will be seeing the head of the Palestinian delegation at 3:30. In addition, I said there are any number of phone calls, other meetings. There's a lot of work going on. Q No. Meetings. Wait a minute. You said there's lots of phone traffic. MS. TUTWILER: I also said there were other people having meetings. Q Well, maybe we could simply ask just straight out, are the Israelis -- MS. TUTWILER: I am not going to sit here, Barry, and go through every individual expert's schedule in here. Q Really, there's only one other delegation and that's the Israeli delegation. MS. TUTWILER: They're not in town, it's my understanding. Q Right. There are Israeli officials in town. MS. TUTWILER: Right -- that we met with the day they arrived. Mr. Netanyahu met here with Ambassador Ross, if you recall. Q I do recall. And the Israelis -- that afternoon, Mr. Netanyahu, and again yesterday, suggested a willingness to have some, what they call "technical" meetings with the Arabs. The question I'm asking you is whether the U.S. has met with an Israeli official, like Netanyahu, since then; and is the U.S. interested in this? They say they haven't heard from the U.S. or from the Arabs on this. MS. TUTWILER: There are any number of phone conversations by United States officials here, Barry. And I am not -- as I haven't in the past -- going to go through every United States official who is talking to every Israeli Government official who is here and every member of the delegations, various delegations, that are here. I'm just not going to do it. Q Can you be any more helpful about how the U.S. would like to see this inability to resume the bilateral talks be resolved? What is the U.S. idea on this? MS. TUTWILER: I think it's quite obvious: Let's all meet; let's get on with it. That's what we're all working on. That's what the United States is trying to help do. But, again, Ralph, as I say every day, we cannot force anyone to do something they don't want to do. We can't want these talks more than the parties themselves. We are trying to help. We have no reason to believe that the parties do not want these talks. I said the other day -- and I'll still say it -- we don't have any reason to believe that these talks aren't going to go forward. Q You said the other day that this is not a game. MS. TUTWILER: It's not. Q This is serious. Does the evidence of the last two days indicate to you that all or some of the parties are playing a game? MS. TUTWILER: I'll let you put your spin and interpretation and adjectives on it. I have said many times that we would like to see this procedural wrangling be set aside and to get on, as you say, with the serious business that everybody came to town for and everybody says over the last eight months -- nine months, I guess it is now -- that they are interested in doing. I just mentioned in response to Ralph's question, we have no reason to believe that the people have changed their minds about the seriousness of this and the seriousness of having the continuation of these talks. Q Margaret, what you said was that you have no reason to believe that the talks would not go forward. Do you have any reason to believe that they will? MS. TUTWILER: The question is, will they not, Jan? I don't have a crystal ball. I'm not going to do -- Q The question is, if they will? Because they're all here and none of them have shown any willingness to get on with it. MS. TUTWILER: We're working towards that goal -- all of us. Q Margaret, have you received the text of the statement that was issued yesterday after the meeting of the four delegates -- the four parties, Arab parties -- saying that they will continue the talks in Washington and they will ask the United States and the hosts -- the co-hosts -- for the conference to take a position about Israel's absence from the talks this week? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't seen that. I have spent, as all of you have, a great deal of time on this subject. I was here very late last night and have been involved in this a lot this morning. I'm not aware of any such formal statement, and I'll be happy to ask. But no one has raised that. I haven't heard a thing about that. Q There were reports this morning that the Israelis, when they convene for the first meeting in the bilateral talks, are going to propose to the Palestinians elections in the West Bank and Gaza to elect their representatives in preparation -- MS. TUTWILER: I would suggest that you refer that question to the Israeli Embassy here in town. I'm not answering questions of what people's positions will or will not be. Q My question is, have you been told by the Israelis about such attitude? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to address myself to various people's supposed positions. I'm not going to do it. Call their embassy. They have an embassy here. They have an entire press operation. They have Mr. Netanyahu here who is answering lots of your questions. I'm just not going to do it. Q Margaret, I'd like to ask a couple questions about the Syrian election, which I know was alluded to in one of the briefings earlier this week. To your knowledge, were there any U.S. election watches in that election? MS. TUTWILER: Not to my knowledge, but I didn't ask. Q Did you make a determination on whether it was a free and fair election? MS. TUTWILER: Alan, I don't believe that's something that we've spent a lot of time looking into; no. Q Did the Secretary of State or the President congratulate President Assad on his victory and winning a new seven year term? MS. TUTWILER: You'd have to ask Marlin (Fitzwater) concerning White House statements or White House congratulatory letters. I'm unaware of a congratulatory letter that's been sent in the Secretary of State's name, but I'll be happy to take your question. Q Margaret, back on the discussions that Mr. Djerejian is having today. If there's not going to be any new U.S. proposal, what is he talking to these people about? MS. TUTWILER: He's talking to these people, as we all have been over many days here, about trying to find a way to get the talks that were begun in Madrid resumed here. Q But you said there's no question they will be? I thought you just said, "We have no reason to believe they wouldn't be resumed." MS. TUTWILER: That's exactly how I said it. I did not answer Jan's question, "Can you guarantee us, tell us absolutely, positively, locked-in-concrete, that they're going to happen?" I don't do predictions. Q I didn't ask you to guarantee. I was asking you if you had any reason to believe that the talks would go ahead? Q I just thought you said you have no reason to believe the talks won't go ahead. MS. TUTWILER: That's my personal view. Q Your personal view? MS. TUTWILER: That's our view. Do you have any reason to believe so? Do you know anyone who has -- speaking for these governments and their capitals, speaking here since they got into town -- who has said, "These talks are stopping here." That leads me to believe that people are still interested in having these talks. Maybe it is a wild assumption on my part. Q It's not wild. There have been moments of suspense. MS. TUTWILER: And maybe that's crazy. But no one has said -- no one that I'm aware of -- or no capital has issued a statement saying, "That's it, we are never going to have these talks." We're getting quite the opposite from everybody, saying that these are important; that we want to have these talks. The Israelis have announced officially today -- or yesterday; we're reading it today -- that their delegates will be here, I believe, on Sunday. Well, I think they're coming to talk or they wouldn't be coming. Q We have seen interruptions, to use the Secretary's term, and there is some sense of suspense as to whether or not the sides will actually sit down and negotiate over issues, certainly. So that's why we're asking. MS. TUTWILER: I understand why you're asking. But I don't have all these answers, but I don't have evidence that -- Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: Right -- that it's nowhere. Q Even though we don't get anyplace, let me try -- Q (Inaudible) that's the trouble; that's what we're looking for. We have delegations -- MS. TUTWILER: You've got all the evidence that I've got. Okay? You're following it just like we are. My understanding is there's a press conference being held right now at 12:00 noon. My understanding is there's another one at 2:00. So you're getting, in my opinion, a fair amount of information and people's opinions who are here in town representing these groups. Q The one thing that we don't know -- which is what we're all asking you -- is, what is the United States attempting to do about resolving the impasse? We've heard plenty from the Arabs and the Israelis. MS. TUTWILER: I think I said -- this will be my fourth time this morning -- the United States, through our -- Q You're holding meetings. MS. TUTWILER: -- experts are discussing this. I have said we're trying to find a way to bridge this problem, which is what we said we would do. I have said, we think these talks are important. I have said, we're working the phones. I have said we're having all kinds of meetings. So I don't know what else would you like me to say the United States is doing? We're working the problem. Q We've asked the question of whether the U.S. will suggest another date. MS. TUTWILER: I answered that. Q You've answered that question. I think a lot of us are confused about what else the U.S. -- if it's not suggesting another date -- what else could the U.S. do? MS. TUTWILER: Ralph, it's quite different issuing a new proposal by the co-sponsors and working a problem. Q We didn't ask whether you were going to issue a new proposal. We asked if you were -- MS. TUTWILER: That's what John McWethy asked me. Q Well, I asked if you were going to set a date or suggest a date? MS. TUTWILER: That's issuing a new proposal. That's walking away from the proposal that's on the table which is that we will be open and ready for business on December 4. Q You may choose to reinterpret our questions, but that's not what our questions are. Can I ask you whether the Palestinians -- whether there are any U.S. travel restrictions on any of the Palestinians who are here for the talks, either -- MS. TUTWILER: I haven't asked. I'll be happy to ask. Q Would you, please? MS. TUTWILER: Also -- and I know you know this -- our proposal -- because I've said it everyday for the last two weeks -- never had a closing back-end, book end. So, December 4 is what the original proposal said: Open and ready for business. And so when Johanna asked me yesterday, "Does that mean December 28 or December 16?" I said, yes. The only thing I've said is that I would hope, from a very selfish point of view, that staff would not be here working on December 25. If it is needed to be, of course, we would be here. But it's totally, always been, open-ended. Q Open Saturday and Sunday? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q We've heard the United States say that before. We all remember Shultz saying that nobody has said no, which is just what you said a few moments ago. MS. TUTWILER: They haven't, to my knowledge. Q And they haven't said no. They still haven't said no to his proposal. The fact is, it hasn't happened. That's why that answer is not fully satisfactory. MS. TUTWILER: We're working on it. Q Two easy ones, Margaret. MS. TUTWILER: Pardon? Q Two easy ones. MS. TUTWILER: I bet. Q You saw me writing, huh? The first one: What's happening on the nullification of the Zionism as racism resolution? MS. TUTWILER: We're actively working it. The Secretary received a report this morning from the Assistant Secretary of International Organizations here at the Department. He is working this, as we said we were. We made the announcement on Monday. We're working it. Q Any date yet, though, that you can think, on a vote there or -- MS. TUTWILER: No. We said by December 17. Q O.K. Second question, please: Concerning the past activity on the part of the Syrian Government, or people acting on behalf of the Syrian Government in the United States, and I'm making reference to File No. 4044 at the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents' Registration Act, and this goes back to late '87 where an American corporation filed as a foreign agent on behalf of the Syrian Defense Ministry. And one of their stated purposes was to raise approximately $600 million on the U.S. capital market to fund exports to Syria. The first part of four questions: Number one, what's the SOP when the State Department receives a FARA file? According to law and rule of regulation, Justice always sends it here. MS. TUTWILER: I'll be happy to take your question. Q O.K. Second part: Can you tell us what, if anything, State did on File 4044? And, finally, the name of Waheeb Antakly -- I can give your staff the names -- MS. TUTWILER: That would be wonderful. Q O.K. Thank you. I've been trying for six months on this. Q Margaret, I'd like to ask you about Libya. There are reports quoting Colonel Qadhafi as saying that he will phase out support for liberation movements. MS. TUTWILER: George, I saw that literally as we were walking down the hall, and so I don't have a comment. We've seen one blip on a wire, and I'm going to refrain from commenting until we actually get the text and see what he said. I just don't know. Q There are also reports that Libya has detained the two Libyans who were indicted a couple of weeks ago. MS. TUTWILER: Right. That we know a little bit more about, although it is from press reports, but they were yesterday's. As you know, we have said publicly in the President's statement what Libya must do. It knows very well what it must do to comply promptly and in full with the demands that were made last week by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Those demands apply both to Libya's involvement in the bombings of Pan Am 103 and UTA 772, as well as that government's continuing sponsorship of international terrorism. What is needed from Libya is action to meet those demands, not further delay, and farcical suggestions, such as Libyan investigation of Libyan officials for undertaking acts of terrorism commissioned by the senior leadership of Libya. Q Margaret, follow up on that. MS. TUTWILER: Yes, Carol. Q The Arab League apparently has decided to investigate this and is asking the United Nations to investigate the charges, the indictments against these two suspects. MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard that -- that they're asking to do another investigation of our investigation? Q I think they're asking the U.N. to actually do the investigation. MS. TUTWILER: I'll be happy to take your question. I hadn't heard that. I don't know that. Q (inaudible) supported Libya's proposal for a kind of world court, an international forum for the investigation. You don't have any comment on that? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know about a world court, if that's the statement this morning, but I know what we think about the suggestion that we saw press reports of yesterday that they would take care of this situation. I've just given you our reaction to that. Q Margaret, Yugoslavia, Germany and Austria are again moving towards recognition of Yugoslavia, they say by Christmas. What's the United States -- sorry -- of Croatia and Slovenia. What's the United States' position on recognizing the independence of those republics? MS. TUTWILER: Our policy hasn't changed. I'll restate it for you. We believe that the best hope for ending the violence in Yugoslavia and making progress towards a just and comprehensive solution is to stick to the principles we have been advocating since this crisis began: No recognition of changes in internal or external borders achieved through force, intimidation or threats; resolving disputes through peaceful negotiation; and, respecting the human rights of all citizens, including the members of all national groups in all the republics. In regard to the future of Yugoslavia and its republics, we have made clear -- and we've stated many times -- that we are prepared to accept any outcome that is chosen peacefully, democratically and through a process of negotiation. Q Follow-up on that: Have you been in touch with your friends in Germany and Austria, elsewhere in Europe, to try and dissuade them from recognizing the independence of these republics? MS. TUTWILER: Not to my knowledge, Alan. We obviously have very close relationships with the countries that you have mentioned, and we obviously have been, as you know, strongly supporting the EC position on this. The Secretary has met any number of times with Minister Van den Broek and has kept up to date on this. I think I mentioned to you last week, former Secretary Vance called the Secretary and gave him a personal debrief on his most recent mission to Yugoslavia. But I am not aware of any official United States Government lobbying, to use another phrase, to not recognize. I personally have no knowledge of that, and our policy is, as I've just re-enunciated today. I know it's been consistent for many, many months. Q There was a concern that Chancellor Kohl, for instance, is on the record as stating another view. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to speak to the German Government's view on this. I would just refer you to Bonn for them to respond. Q Margaret, I've got to try again. I'm sorry. MS. TUTWILER: That's O.K. Q You folks say you're interested in getting going as quickly as possible. That's the main thing. The Israelis two days in a row said they are ready now, even though their delegations aren't here, for technical discussions to deal with procedural issues, and, you know, then get down -- then Monday their delegation will arrive. They say there's been no response from the U.S. or from the Arabs. Does the U.S. see any merit in this offer? Has it been taken up with the Israelis? MS. TUTWILER: I'd be very careful, Barry. The only way I've ever seen that is as "unnamed officials." Q No. Mr. Netanyahu actually said it at -- well, you're right the second day. MS. TUTWILER: You better be very careful. Q I'm very careful. The first day he said it straight out at a news conference. He said, "We ought to have some sort of procedural -- we're willing to have some procedural." Yesterday it was unnamed, but it began with Netanyahu the day before. MS. TUTWILER: I listened to Mr. Netanyahu's press conference when I got home last night, and I believe what you're asking me about -- Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: I watched it last night, though. He did one yesterday, remember, with Ambassador Shoval. Q I'm talking the one he gave the day before yesterday. MS. TUTWILER: O.K. Well, anyway you need to call the Israeli Embassy and ask them. The only way I have seen, which you are specifically asking me this morning, which I do have some knowledge of, is as "unnamed officials." So I would call the Israeli Embassy here and ask them what the Israeli official government position is concerning having technical -- any kind of talks without their delegation here. Q The Israelis have not suggested that to the United States? MS. TUTWILER: I'm saying call the Israeli Government for what the Israeli Government is or is not officially suggesting. Q And when I get what they say, what should I do with it, so far as getting a U.S. response? Put it to the Press Office? MS. TUTWILER: Call me on the phone. Q O.K. The other thing is the Palestinians that Mr. Djerejian is meeting with, is he meeting with Palestinian advisers, members of the Palestinian delegation, or do you happen to know, or some mixture thereof? MS. TUTWILER: Not to my knowledge. I think I announced yesterday, or was it the day before, that he had had a meeting with Hanan Ashrawi. Q No, no. Today. He's meeting with Palestinians today. MS. TUTWILER: I said I don't know today. Q Oh, O.K. You don't know. Well, could I ask if when you're able -- when someone is able to find out which Palestinians he met with and most specifically the two people who were given waivers because of Mr. Baker's intervention are part of the group coming over? MS. TUTWILER: We're already answered that question, and we answered that the other day and said they wouldn't -- Q Whether the policy has changed -- MS. TUTWILER: This policy hasn't changed -- that they would not be meeting with United States' officials. As you know, we do not have a dialogue with the PLO, and we are not meeting with those individuals. They are not part of the delegation. This is our policy, and our policy hasn't changed. Q Margaret, have any of the parties said that they want the facilities tomorrow morning? MS. TUTWILER: Ask them. I don't know. I haven't asked. Q Well, yesterday you asked them, I believe. Did you ask them again today? MS. TUTWILER: Yesterday I got asked that question, and I said that I didn't know, to my knowledge. We, obviously, have staff, administrative staff support here to help these people. I couldn't and cannot be held accountable for everything every person in the building might say to a member of a delegation. The facilities are just open and ready every day. Q Margaret, do you have anything on Haiti today? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. I've got some new numbers for you. There were 50 Haitians that were picked up yesterday, according to the Coast Guard. This now brings the total number of Haitian boat people picked up since the coup to approximately 6,420. Our number for plausible cause for asylum has risen to 210. Those individuals have been flown to the United States. Seventy-three of the 100 who went to the temporary safe haven in Venezuela have been returned voluntarily to Haiti on December 3. And concerning -- I think, Ralph had asked me yesterday -- where we are on the court case, the Justice Department entered an emergency motion for a stay of the preliminary injunction yesterday morning in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The rest of the numbers, George, I won't go through. I can give them to you, but they're all the same. Q Margaret, there are reports from the Middle East that the investigation in the bombing of the American University in Beirut came out with a result that Israelis were involved somehow in the bombing of the university. Do you have anything on that? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Are there any U.S. investigators participating or at least watching what's going on? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I'll be happy to look into it for you. Q When the U.S. and Benjamin Netanyahu had talks the other day -- I've forgotten which day it was -- did the subject of U.S. hostages in Lebanon and Israeli prisoners -- Lebanese prisoners come up? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I'll ask Dennis (Ross). As you know, Mr. Netanyahu himself has said he came here to pass on a message to Secretary Baker from Prime Minister Shamir. He's made that message public. I didn't ask. I don't know. Q Any comment about the solving of the problem of Polish Prime Minister, which the news came today from Warsaw, that Walesa announced he's appointing a new Prime Minister of Poland? Do you know about that, and do you have anything on it? MS. TUTWILER: No, I don't. Q Do you have anything at all about the search for the alleged missing POW in the Soviet Union? Remember, it's been awhile. MS. TUTWILER: I know. You've asked me about it frequently, and the last time, Frank, I was into this the two Embassy personnel that we had sent to Alma Ata had returned to Moscow. I believe, and we had made available for you that day, the author's -- in the author's view, a corrected English translation. And this is something that we are now working from Moscow, and that, yes, we will continue to pursue. But I don't have anything specifically new for you. Thank you all. (The briefing concluded at 12:34 p.m.)