January, 1992

US Department of State Daily Briefing #1: Friday, 1/3/92

Boucher Source: State Department Deputy Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: Jan, 3 19921/3/92 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, E/C Europe, South Asia, East Asia, Caribbean, Southeast Asia Country: Iraq, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, Pakistan, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, North Korea, South Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Algeria, Haiti Subject: State Department, Development/Relief Aid, Immigration, Mideast Peace Process, International Organizations, Nuclear Nonproliferation, Terrorism, POW/MIA Issues 12:51 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to do a couple of things off the top. The first is a statement on the new year in Iraq. The second is to update you on the question of recognition of republics or new states that have been created. Also, I would like to remind you that yesterday we put up a statement on Yugoslavia commending the commitments that people had undertaken to a ceasefire and strongly supporting the efforts of Cyrus Vance.

[Iraq: Statement on International Aid Efforts/ Government Barriers]

On Iraq: As the people of Iraq enter the new year, they should know that the international community remains gravely concerned with their continued suffering and deprivation at the hands of the Iraqi regime. Arrangements have been concluded with the Turkish Government to extend for another six months "Operation Provide Comfort." We commend the people and the Government of Turkey for generously responding to the plight of the people of northern Iraq. U.N. humanitarian assistance programs also continue in Iraq under arrangements specified in the Memorandum of Understanding renewed now through June of 1992. We'll be giving you some more extensive material on what's going on there; but if I can, I'd like to hit a few highlights to bring you up to date. There are approximately 375 United Nations humanitarian personnel, 500 U.N. guards, 300 Red Cross workers, and 192 workers from private organizations in Baghdad and dozens of other cities in Iraq. The U.N. and its agencies have provided nearly $300 million in humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi peoples since March, and the Red Cross has provided another $100 million. U.S. contributions include $94 million to U.N. agencies, over 63,000 metric tons of food, $6.9 million to private agencies, and total nearly $600 million overall when you include the "Operation Provide Comfort" expenses. Meanwhile, the Iraqi regime continues to impede international assistance. The Iraqi Government has caused large supplies of donated vaccines from UNICEF to sit unused at one facility. There have been numerous reliable reports that Iraqi Government officials are warning needy Iraqi citizens not to accept aid from international relief organizations. In October, the Iraqi Government issued an order prohibiting foreign groups from distributing food through local maternal child health centers, depriving about 50,000 beneficiaries. In the south, the Iraqi Government has restricted the access of U.N. and voluntary relief workers. Displaced Shi'a are known to inhabit a large marshland, and unclean water there is a major problem for them. The United Nations Security Council has provided the means for Iraq to raise nearly a billion dollars from the sale of oil to meet the near-term humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people through U.N. Security Council Resolutions 706 and 712. We call upon the Iraqi Government to immediately and unconditionally accept these U.N. Security Council resolutions. I'll proceed.

[Former Soviet Union: US Diplomatic Relations with Russian Federation and Other Republics]

I've been getting questions about recognition of new states, and I thought I'd just review for you where we stand on that and what our intentions are. As you know, on Christmas Day the President recognized the independence of all 12 former Soviet Republics and proposed the establishment of full diplomatic relations and the exchange of ambassadors with six of the new states -- Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. President Yeltsin has responded formally and positively to this letter on December 31. Although we have not received formal responses from the other states, their informal reactions have been positive. President Yeltsin's response means that we now have formal diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation. In practical terms, our Embassy in Moscow will be accredited to the Russian Federation. Our Consulate General in Kiev will become an embassy once we have a positive Ukrainian response. We've had plans for some time to establish posts in Alma Ata, Yerevan, and Minsk; and we will open functioning embassies in these cities before the end of the fiscal year. We will also move to open an embassy in Bishkek. So that's where we stand on those things. Q How many embassies did you name will be opened by the end of this fiscal year, which means the end of June? MR. BOUCHER: We have Moscow already. The Consulate General in Kiev will be converted. We'll be having posts in Alma Ata, Yerevan, and Minsk. Those are all planned by the end of the fiscal year -- and then Bishkek. Q So we have five out of eleven; is that right? MR. BOUCHER: Six out of twelve, and then -- well, to six out of twelve we have offered full diplomatic relations; and we expect to have embassies in at least five of those by the end of the fiscal year. We'll also be moving on Bishkek. Q Who will the rest be, then -- missions, or something like that? MR. BOUCHER: At this point, that would depend on the establishment of formal diplomatic relations -- the opening of embassies in the other Republics. Q Where is the money coming from to pay for these? MR. BOUCHER: I guess the answer to that is, we're finding it. We've had underway for some time an effort to move positions and money from western Europe and other places where we could to eastern Europe and to expand our presence in what was the Soviet Union. So part of this -- as I said, there were plans underway for some time. We've been working on getting posts of some kind in Alma Ata, Yerevan, and Minsk. Q You're reprogramming money, then? You're not asking for a supplemental? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think we are. I'll double-check that to make sure. Q I understood you're reprogramming money -- some of it, anyway -- from money earmarked to build the new embassy, or renovate, or however you care to characterize it, the embassy complex in Moscow, the one that had been bugged and had been idle. Hasn't some of the money been taken from that and spread around? MR. BOUCHER: I hadn't heard that, John. Let me try to double-check and get you a better answer to the question of "Where is the money coming from?" Q Richard, just a minor point. Aid that was allocated for Pakistan was never provided because of their nuclear program. What happened to that money? It was a whole chunk of money that should have gone to Pakistan in the form of aid. Presumably it's floating through the system somewhere. Could you take the question? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know what happened to that. I'll have to look into that. Q Richard, do you expect that these countries in which you will have embassies established by the end of September, the fiscal year -- I was wrong in saying the end of June -- will they have embassies in Washington at about the same time? MR. BOUCHER: That's something you'll have to ask them. I don't know what their plans are. Q Who will represent them in the meanwhile? MR. BOUCHER: Again, that's something you have to ask them. It's not something I can answer for you. Q Richard, do you expect -- you're going to have five or six new ambassadors. Are these going to be professional Foreign Service Officers or mostly political appointees, or a mix? MR. BOUCHER: I can't answer that question at this point. As you know, the White House does ambassadorial appointments, so far be it from me to try to project who they would appoint. We've been taking the steps necessary to follow through on the President's recognition plan. The Administration is reviewing ambassadorial appointments to the countries with which we are establishing diplomatic relations. Add to that, we are sending out survey teams to look at potential properties in these cities, and we're seeking officers in the State Department with proper language skills and area experience to serve at these posts as well. Q Just as a matter of interest, is there anyone in the State Department who speaks Armenian? MR. BOUCHER: I expect there is. Q Or Uzbeki? MR. BOUCHER: I expect there is. I don't know if you noticed, but I think in mid-December there was a personnel notice that went out asking people to report on their language skills. We've been following that up. I'm not sure we've found the people yet. Q Could you take the question and try to provide us information about language skills -- languages such as Armenian, Uzbeki? There has been a notice in the past about a dearth of language specialists in some languages. It would be interesting to know how many people you have that do speak some of these languages. MR. BOUCHER: I'll see if we have some kind of answer for that at this point. What I've seen so far is that we've gone out with a notice looking for it. I know that we have people with these language skills in various languages -- some people who have done graduate work, specializing in various areas of Soviet Central Asia, and things like that. So we do have people, and we have had people in the past assigned to our Embassy in Moscow who were specialists in these other republics. Q Can you bring us up to date on the status of the embassy buildings in Moscow and here in Washington? I see the lights burning at night out there on Wisconsin Avenue. MR. BOUCHER: As far as I know, nothing has changed with the Embassy in Washington. I just don't have an update for you on our plans in Moscow. Q Did you get the plans of the bugging in the building, supposedly turned over? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Ambassador Strauss, I think, said he got them in early December. Q Richard, could you give us your reaction to the announcement by the Palestinian delegation that they will not be on hand here next week? MR. BOUCHER: We're in touch with the Palestinians on the issue. We have encouraged all the parties to focus on peace and to resume bilateral negotiations next week as they had previously agreed.

[Israel: Deportation of Palestinians/US Call for Reconsideration and Condemnation of Violence]

Q Can I ask you one on the same area, Richard? There are reports from Israel that they will deport, or they decided to deport, 12 more Palestinians. MR. BOUCHER: The United States strongly condemns the Israeli Government's decision to deport Palestinians. We have urged Israel at the highest levels to reconsider and to rescind its decision. Israel well understands our long-standing policy on deportations. We strongly oppose deportations as a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention as it pertains to the treatment of inhabitants of the Occupied Territories. The United States believes that charges of wrong-doing should be brought in a court of law based on evidence to be argued in a fair trial which would afford full judicial process. We also condemn and are saddened by the recent murder of an Israeli citizen in the Gaza Strip and all other acts of violence in the Occupied Territories. We view with concern the rise of violence against Israelis in recent months. Those who have carried out these acts of terror and murder against Israelis are quite simply enemies of peace. At the same time, we believe deportations are a form of retaliation and are not a remedy, nor are they a deterrent to violence. We have long called on all parties to avoid unilateral acts, be they words or deeds, that would raise tensions, invite retaliation, or complicate the ability to pursue peace. The real remedy for chronic violence in the Occupied Territories is not retaliation but the process of Arab-Israeli negotiation. Thus, on the eve of resumption of negotiations where Israel has Arab and Palestinian partners for peace, it is hard for us to understand why such unilateral acts were taken. Q Who are you in touch with? Can you tell us about -- from the Palestinian side -- calling on them to resume or to appear here and to show up for the talks? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know who exactly they've talked to, frankly. I think they may have talked to a number of people. Q Can I also ask if this statement was delivered to Israel in an official fashion, or is that the way they will hear about it? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know if these precise words have been delivered to Israel, but our concerns and our condemnation of the deportations certainly were. I said we've urged Israel at the highest levels to reconsider and rescind its decisions. Q Just one last thing about it, please. There are also reports about budgeting money for settlements and a decision already to build 5,000 more or 5,500 more housing units in the territories. MR. BOUCHER: I don't want to get into commenting or trying to examine in detail Israel's budget. I would say that our opposition to settlement activity is well known. In light of our opposition to settlements, and in light of the enormous challenge that Israel is facing in absorbing Soviet Jews under stringent budgetary conditions, it is hard to understand, if press reports are accurate, how an estimated quarter of the government housing budget will go to increased units in the Occupied Territories. Q Why is that hard to understand? MR. BOUCHER: They have many, many other needs for the money, I think, is what I said. Q Two other things. Do you expect any sort of talks to resume on Monday here in the building? MR. BOUCHER: As I think I said earlier, we are encouraging the parties to focus on peace and resume bilateral negotiations next week. At this point, the timing and the venue are not pinned down. Q What happens if the Israeli Government collapses with the talks, which is a possibility? MR. BOUCHER: That's a "what if" question. I'll deal with that if it happens. Q Have you heard from any of the other participants in the bilateral talks? MR. BOUCHER: We're in touch with all the parties. We've been discussing these issues of timing and venue. As I said, it's not pinned down yet, so I don't have anything to announce for you. But we're in touch with all the parties concerning the question. Q When will the doors be open, Richard? MR. BOUCHER: Again, I say the timing and the venue are not pinned down at this point. I don't have anything to announce. Q Are you suggesting that the venue could be different? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think the venue was specified at the end of the last round, nor have I specified it subsequently from here, nor am I specifying it today. That's all. Q So a building other than the State Department is a possibility? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not trying to raise any particular possibility, Mark. I'm just saying it's not pinned down yet and when it is, we'll tell you. Q I thought, because there was never that second bookend, that the doors were still open from December. They never closed; right? MR. BOUCHER: Chris, we've never made a big issue of this. The parties said they intended to resume their talks during next week. We've supported that, we've welcome that, and we've been working with them to pin down the details. Q Richard, have you been notified officially by the Palestinians about their putting off plans to travel to Washington? MR. BOUCHER: I know we've talked to the Palestinians. As I said, we've encouraged them to focus on peace and resume bilateral negotiations next week, as we have all the parties. I've seen what they've said publicly. I don't know precisely what they've told us privately, but I assume it's more or less convergent with what they've said publicly. But in any case, you can ask them what they've told us. Not me. Q Richard, the National Association of Arab-Americans said they're coming in here this afternoon to meet with Ambassador Djerejian. Do you know what the topic of the meeting is? Is it related to this? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. I hadn't heard about the meeting. I'm sorry. Q Richard. Q Richard, your statement and your responses to some of the questions raise a lot of questions. But let me start with the question about -- that you said, I believe: "It's hard to understand -- can you hear me? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q -- "hard to understand why such unilateral acts are being taken by the Israeli Government." In response to this, I was just wondering, you talked about going to a court of law, so forth and so on. This is well understood. This is the procedure that's followed. Why haven't any Arab -- any official -- said anything at all of remorse, made a plea to their people: Don't kill? Four civilians were killed in the last two months; 67 in four years or so in cold blood. MR. BOUCHER: Joe, let me just cut you off. Q Why don't we get something -- MR. BOUCHER: If you want to ask other people about their views, you can go ahead and do that. I'll state for you the views of the United States Government, as I've just done for you. Q Well, in the view of the United States Government, have you asked the Arabs to appeal to their own people to stop the killing? MR. BOUCHER: I have expressed the views of the United States Government. Q Well, no -- I understand that, but I'm asking you whether or not the United States Government has asked these Arabs, these spokespeople who come here speaking for the terrorist PLO, "Why don't you tell your people to stop the killing?" MR. BOUCHER: Again, Joe, we've consistently urged everyone to act responsibly and to focus on the issue of pursuing peace. That's been a position that we've taken repeatedly with all the parties. That remains our position today. Q Would you undertake to ask -- would you undertake -- MR. BOUCHER: Let's move on, if we can. I'm sorry. Q Richard, Prime Minister Major is suggesting a summit of heads of government of all the Security Council nations. Does the United States support that idea? MR. BOUCHER: Alan, we've had contacts with the United Kingdom regarding a Security Council meeting like this, but I'm afraid for anything at the summit level you'd have to ask your questions at the White House. Q Richard -- MR. BOUCHER: I'll move back to you Mark soon. Q -- has there been any decision made to upgrade the level of talks with North Korea in Beijing above the political counselor level; and, if so, was that a response to actions by North Korea in the past few weeks? MR. BOUCHER: That's something I'll have to check on for you. Q Richard, you mentioned, I think, the need to resettle -- to settle -- Soviet Jewry in connection with the Israeli budget decisions. Are you drawing a possible connection here with the issue of loan guarantees, and do the budget decisions imperil the loan guarantees? MR. BOUCHER: At this point, I'm not going to get into the question of loan guarantees. Q Your l20-day silence has expired, hasn't it? MR. BOUCHER: We never set a precise date to it, so I can't say that absolutely, no. Q Richard, do you have anything on this helicopter of Cubans that landed in Florida today? MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't. I think Customs Service was tracking it and received it and that they've been talking. I've seen them on the news. Q O.K. And while we're more or less in that part of the world, do you have anything on these Kennedy-Khrushchev letters on the Cuban missile crisis? MR. BOUCHER: We have had requests to release the few remaining classified pieces of correspondence between President Kennedy and Soviet General-Secretary Khrushchev from the period of the Cuban missile crisis. We're looking closely at the texts to see if they can be released, and we have been in touch with the Russians on this issue as well. I don't have a decision to announce today on this question, nor do I have at this point a date when a decision could be expected. Q Richard, the reports that the United States has decided not to seek sanctions against Libya because of the Lockerbie indictments -- can you comment on those reports? MR. BOUCHER: Those reports are simply incorrect. Should Libya continue to fail to comply voluntarily with our demands for justice, we have ruled out no option to gain their compliance. We're currently engaged in an extensive diplomatic effort in capitals worldwide, including those of the U.N. Security Council members, to secure Libya's full and prompt compliance with the demands made on November 27. The demands, which up to now Libya has sought to evade, require Libya to do the following: -- to surrender for trial all those charged with the crime and to accept responsibility for the actions of Libyan officials; -- to disclose all it knows of this crime and to allow access to witnesses and evidence; -- and to pay appropriate compensation. We have demanded, further, that Libya cease all forms of terrorist action and all assistance to terrorist groups. To date, Libya has not complied with any of these demands. Q Richard, the Administration consistently rules out no options. The statement is fairly strong against Libya, but it again fails to say what else -- what the U.S. would do. Can you rule in any of the options? Can you say finally what's being discussed? MR. BOUCHER: At this point, I can't. We've been consulting closely with the French and the British, as well as other governments, about what actions we can take -- including possible U.N. Security Council action -- to make clear to Libya that it must comply with the demands. That's about all I can say for the moment. Q I have a question. Have you any further evaluation of what General Kalugin has been saying the last several days? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think I have any further evaluation for you. The latest news on that is just to say that he's been cooperative in facilitating a meeting with the officials that he's talked about. We expect that meeting might take place very soon. Meanwhile, General Kalugin has agreed to meet with Department officials during his visit to Washington. Q Second point: We had a long talk yesterday with Mark Souter, an independent journalist who's now in Moscow, and Souter has some questions to pass on to the State Department. MR. BOUCHER: He's been here himself in person. Q Yes, but he had one particular question. He says the Embassy in Moscow recently gave the former Soviet Union a list of 50 persons that we thought were missing; and according to what the Soviets told him, the first two people on the list had already been repatriated. The question: Who's coordinating this list that goes through the Department and the Embassy to the CIS of persons who are supposedly missing? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know where that particular list came from, frankly. I'd have to check on that. Q A third question: You say the Department does have plans to meet with General Kalugin while he's in Washington? MR. BOUCHER: That's right. Q And since the USSR is demised, are there any new requests that have been made to the CIS for information on POWs or MIAs? MR. BOUCHER: We have consistently followed up, consistently tried to work with officials at different levels and different Republics to pursue this issue. We continue to work with Russian officials and officials of other Republics where it's appropriate to pursue any reports that we get -- even ones that we don't have real substantiation for -- to check out as best we can, and to gain their cooperation as best we can in pursuing all these leads. Q What about consular access to the areas where some of these persons have been reported? MR. BOUCHER: We had one problem getting to a town called Saryshagansk, where there was a report that an American from Vietnam had moved. The Secretary raised this during his recent trip to Alma-Ata. President Nazarbayev assured us that the trip would be approved and that Embassy officials will visit Saryshagansk with a Kazakh escort shortly. Q Shortly. One other question then, on a related matter: Izvestia has also reported several times the recovery by the USSR military of the black box off a KAL 007. Is any request outstanding for access to this black box information? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know that. Q Richard, on Cambodia, there have been calls for a speedup in deployment of peacekeepers -- U.N. peacekeepers. Is the United States considering supporting those calls because of the deteriorating situation in Phnom Penh? MR. BOUCHER: Ted, I'll have to check on that. I'm not sure if we've had a schedule yet from the U.N. So I'll check and see if there's anything we can say on that. Q Richard, on the Arrow -- MS. TUTWILER: Hold on. We've got people over here waiting. Q Do you have anything to say about the development on the Korean Peninsula? MR. BOUCHER: I have nothing new to say today. I think we welcome the steps that President Roh has taken and the progress that he's achieved, and I'm not aware of anything brand-new today. Q The North Korean nuclear threat has been a primary concern of the United States. And now that North Korea has agreed with South Korea [on a] nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, can you expect an improvement of relations between North Korea and the United States? MR. BOUCHER: I have nothing really new to say on that at this point. We have stressed that the steps that were taken and agreed to recently emphasize the primary importance of the North-South dialogue in improving the situation on the peninsula, so I don't have anything from the U.S. side at this point. Q Richard, just coming back to these letters for a second, please. Where are these letters physically? Are they in the National Archives, Kennedy Library -- or just where? And then I have a separate question that's unrelated. MR. BOUCHER: I'm not sure I know that at this point. Q [Inaudible] two questions and a clarification. (Laughter) MR. BOUCHER: No, I just don't know that, Frances. I'm sorry. Q O.K. The unrelated question concerns Georgia and the virtual civil war there. Is the U.S. Government monitoring that, and is there any thought to sending someone there, sort of like Cyrus Vance was sent to Yugoslavia? MR. BOUCHER: Well, Cyrus Vance was sent to Yugoslavia by the United Nations -- Q That's right. MR. BOUCHER: -- and the Secretary-General. I haven't heard of any plans -- Q But with the support of the United States, right? MR. BOUCHER: I haven't heard of any plans from the U.N. to get involved in Georgia, but you can ask them. And, yes, we are following the situation as best we can -- following closely the situation in Georgia. Q Why isn't there any thought to sending someone there? MR. BOUCHER: You know, I don't think I can say that the two situations are comparable. I'm sure that -- well, I'll just leave it at that. There just isn't -- Q O.K. MR. BOUCHER: -- that I'm aware of. Q Richard, what do we know about the whereabouts of the businessmen who were held in Iraq, and do you know of any others at this point? MR. BOUCHER: I don' know of any others. On the two that were held in Iraq, the Polish Government has notified the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw this morning that Iraqi officials released the two detained Americans to Polish officials in Baghdad late yesterday. The two Americans are staying at a Baghdad hotel. They are expected to depart Iraq for Kuwait sometime this weekend. Members of the International Committee for the Red Cross will assist in the handover of the two Americans. And, as usual, we've notified the families of all the developments. Q Can I follow up? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q What do you know about their treatment during that time? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any real information on their treatment at this point. I think some of the newsmen have talked to them, and we've started to see some reports and I'm sure we'll be interested in talking to them as well. Q Richard, any comment on the results of the elections in Algeria? MR. BOUCHER: No, not at this point. They have a second round still to come that will decide the final make-up of the parliament. Q You're following the elections and -- MR. BOUCHER: Yes, certainly. Q O.K. Q Yesterday, the Ambassador of North Korea to the United Nations said the United States should pull out the military from South Korea now that the threat of the Soviet Union has disappeared. What is the reaction of the United States on that? MR. BOUCHER: I think I'll let the Pentagon update you on their plans for the military in Korea. As you know, what we do is done in careful consultation with our Korean ally. At this point, I'm not aware of any plans to pull out the U.S. military from Korea. Q There's another question -- MR. BOUCHER: Let's go over here. Q All right. Q The Middle East again, please. Who is the co- sponsor of the Middle East peace conference with the United States? And another thing: What is the current status of the Moscow multilateral conference? MR. BOUCHER: These are both questions that I believe the Secretary answered during his trip. The Russian Federation, I think, has agreed to co-sponsor -- continue as the co-sponsor -- to the peace talks and that the multilateral talks are still scheduled for Moscow at the end of the month. Q Do you have a date for the Soviet aid conference here? MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't at this point. Q Why not? (Laughter) MR. BOUCHER: I don't have anything to announce today, John. Q Has anything happened, to the best of your knowledge? MR. BOUCHER: The conference is still being planned. Q Richard, Amnesty International has complained that U.S. authorities are not allowing them to go Guantanamo to talk to Haitian boat people. They say they can't understand why, but it raises suspicions that the U.S. might have something to hide. Do you have any reason -- any explanation for why they've been denied permission? MR. BOUCHER: I didn't know that they complained about it nor that they've been denied permission. I think the Pentagon controls access to Guantanamo, and they've had a lot of reporters down there, a lot of people down there. I'm not sure. I don't know anything about the Amnesty case. Q Would you be able to look into it? MR. BOUCHER: I think you'd better ask the Pentagon. Q A follow-up with this story. Do you have any comment on the report by Human Rights Watch to effect that the U.S. Administration hurt the human rights position all over the world by its policy during the last year? MR. BOUCHER: I think I made a comment on that on Monday. Chris? Q Another POW/MIA story. There's a Newsday story about a former NSA official giving an affidavit saying that there were several hundred POWs shipped to the Soviet Union in the early Eighties. MR. BOUCHER: We're aware of the allegations contained in the article. I don't believe we've yet seen the affidavit that is referred to. We have no evidence to substantiate such a claim, but we will raise it with Russian authorities and others as we have done with the other reports which we've seen. Q Richard, there have been some reports about the Arrow project. I was wondering whether the State Department has any plans about moving forward in the budget for it in the past several years? MR. BOUCHER: I think that's a Pentagon question, not mine. Q Do you have any idea when you might get some information about the Syrians and the Lebanese coming here? I understand that the Jordanians said they will be coming. Is that right? MR. BOUCHER: Various parties have talked about their plans at this point. If you want to know what their intentions are, I suggest you ask them. As I said, it's not all pinned down at this point. When it is, we'll tell you about it. Q On Cuba again. Carlos Aldana, a leading member of the Cuban Communist Party, says the opposition in Cuba is directed by the CIA. He made a speech to the National Assembly. Any comment or reaction? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know what you're talking about. I don't understand. What did he say? Q He says the opposition in Cuba is directed by the CIA. MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't have any comment on that. Q Can you make available to us what you read about the deportations? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. I'll try to get it cleaned up for you. Q Thank you. MR. BOUCHER: Thank you. (Press briefing concluded at 1:24 p.m.)