US Department of State Daily Briefing #6: Friday, 1/10/92

Boucher Source: State Department Deputy Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: Jan, 10 19921/10/92 Category: Briefings Region: Eurasia, MidEast/North Africa, Subsaharan Africa, Caribbean, E/C Europe Country: USSR (former), Israel, Zaire, Yugoslavia (former), Cuba Subject: Cultural Exchange, Immigration, Mideast Peace Process, Refugees, Nuclear Nonproliferation, Military Affairs, Regional/Civil Unrest, Arms Control, State Department 12:20 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I thought I'd start off by giving you some more information on the trip of Under Secretary Bartholomew. He and his delegation plan to depart Washington on Tuesday, January 14. He should arrive in Moscow on the 15th. He will visit Russia, Ukraine, Byelarus, and Kazakhstan -- not necessarily in that order. Arrangements for the last three places are still being finalized. He and his team plan to return on January 22. The team will include representatives of the Departments of State, Defense, and Energy; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; and the National Security Council staff. Among the people are people who work on the policy issues, people who know about export controls, in particular, and scientists and engineers. Among the topics that they're prepared to discuss is essentially what Margaret told you yesterday. They expect to discuss a very wide range of subjects, the vast majority of which come out of issues that the Secretary raised during his trip. Major subjects include nuclear safety and security, chemical and nuclear weapons, disabling and dismantling, and proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. They'll focus on establishing strict export controls and legal obligations under international agreements. Q Richard, is there room there for negotiations as well, meaning, of course, the follow-on to START and the unilateral offers that Mr. Gorbachev made? MR. BOUCHER: As I said, they'll be discussing a whole wide range of subjects. Exactly how they will discuss those issues, I don't think I can predict at this time. Obviously, this whole process of dismantling nuclear weapons has a lot to do with the initiatives that the President took in terms of what we were going to do and the response from President Gorbachev about what they were going to do, and then the subsequent agreements out there in Minsk and Alma-Ata where the republics and the states of the commonwealth stated their intentions. It has a lot to do with that. Q Richard, I noticed that you mentioned chemical weapons for the first time. This is something new, I believe. MR. BOUCHER: It is, I think, the first time that I've mentioned it specifically, although, we've always said that proliferation and destruction of weapons is something that's been of concern to us. As you know, we're negotiating various chemical weapons agreements. The two sides -- the U.S. and the Soviet Union -- in the past have had various undertakings in that area as well. Q Is it the United States aim that not only the nuclear weapons should end up with Russia, away from the three other republics, as Yeltsin proposed, but also the chemical weapons would end up ultimately with Russia, or be eliminated? MR. BOUCHER: Frank, you can correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not sure that we've ever specified that they should do X, Y, or Z with particular weapons systems. They have announced their intentions to do things, and I think we've welcomed that. So I'm not going to try to specify anything specific on chemical weapons here other than to say that it's obviously an area that we want to talk to them about. We have in the past. Each side has taken various initiatives on these weapons, and I'm sure they'll want to discuss where we stand on some of those. Q Richard, would you expect the dispute between the Ukraine and Russia over the Black Sea fleet to come up inasmuch as if Ukraine makes good on its pledge to bring this fleet under its control, it would give it something like over a million troops? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know if it would come up or not. If it would affect some of the topics that they're discussing, it might come up. I don't think we would necessarily raise that in and of itself. Q It would seem to reflect directly on the CFE Treaty and the limits that were set in that accord. MR. BOUCHER: I don't know enough about the Black Sea fleet to say that. On the whole question, let me say something. And that's that the whole question of military relationships among the new independent states is a subject of on-going discussion. Among those states, we expect that these matters will be worked out among the states through negotiations and in a way that is consistent with CSCE principles and with the other international obligations. We'd also like to see this matter done in a way that strengthens stability and the common interests of the states in pursuing responsible security policies and in building democratic and free market systems. During this transition period, the states of the commonwealth have managed to reach amicable agreements in a number of areas. We trust that they will be able to do so in the important military sphere as well. A conflict over these issues is in no one's interest and will only detract from the real need to push forward with necessary economic and political reform. Q Can you turn the pie upside down? Is the conflict threatening to stability? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think I would go that far. As I said, they've managed to reach amicable agreements on other military issues. We trust that they should be able to do that in this sphere as well, but we do point out that continued debate and conflict is not in anyone's interest. We continue to maintain our strong interest in seeing the process of political and economic reform move forward. Q There are various ways to look at what's going on, but one might be that the Ukrainians are resisting Yeltsin's assumption of greater and greater control in the military and in other areas. He's all but succeeded -- the Soviet leader -- as the leader of the former Soviet republic, some would say. Does the U.S. have any qualms about the amassing of power of Boris Yeltisn? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any analysis for you, Barry. I don't think I could try to address the second part of your question without buying into the analysis on the first part. Q Can I approach this from this point of view: There are reports today, I believe, that the Ukrainians are in control of an awful lot of tactical nuclear weapons. The whole question, of course -- you emphasized that the United States is concerned about nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons safety, proliferation of weapons. What is your understanding? Whose finger is on the nuclear button in the former Soviet Union exactly? MR. BOUCHER: Frank, there are reports every day about these things. I saw one wire service report that said they weren't moving them. I saw another TASS report this morning where a TASS or Ukranian fellow -- reporter -- had gone to a location where he said they were being moved. That report quotes a colonel as saying that they're proceeding apace with their plans to remove all the tactical nuclear weapons from Ukraine to Russia by, I think it's July 1st of next year. So the indications, I think, are what we put up in our answer yesterday, that they've pledged to do this, and they keep saying that they are doing it. So that's kind of the answer to that one. Q But on the strategic weapons, is the United States perfectly satisfied that it is not only under a unified command but of a single command, perhaps, of Yeltsin's command? The long-range missiles that are capable of hitting the United States? MR. BOUCHER: Frank, I'd go back to what the Secretary said -- and I think it was in his Princeton speech -- the differentiation between a single unified control over nuclear weapons. We continue to see those kinds of assurances coming from the various parties in the commonwealth and the military structure. He differentiated between that single unified control over nuclear weapons, which was very, very important to us, in saying that collective decision-making over their use or non-use was a separate issue. I think the reports you're referring to are more on the collective decision-making side. Q In your statement, you said that the republics have been able to work things out amicably in some of the other spheres, such as economics and some of the political struggles and we trust that they will be able to do the same in the military sphere as well. That comment sort of has blinders on it. First of all, the commonwealth has not been able to work out a lot of important issues, economically and in the other spheres. What makes you trust that they will do so amicably in the military sphere? In fact, indications are just the opposite; that things are starting to come apart in not only the military but in the other spheres as well? MR. BOUCHER: The point, John, is there are a lot of things that they are working through. They have worked out many of them amicably. We think that they should be able to work this one out as well. Q You hope they will work it out. MR. BOUCHER: We think it's possible to work out this issue without coming to any great sense of conflict. Q Once there was a joint commission -- a U.S.-Soviet joint commission -- on nuclear proliferation. Does it still exist, or it was inherited by the Russian federation or going to be re-established as a U.S.-Russian, or what? MR. BOUCHER: I don't exactly remember what joint commission you're talking about. Proliferation certainly has been a consistent topic that we have discussed with leaders of the former Soviet Union. It has been a consistent topic that the Secretary has raised and discussed during his trips and during his meetings with leaders from the various republics and the new states, and it's a subject that we continue to raise and discuss in the form of this trip by Under Secretary Bartholomew. Q As far as I remember, there was a kind of periodic meeting that was held one time and another for the proliferation issues between the two countries. MR. BOUCHER: Are you talking about the discussions that Under Secretary Bartholomew had with Obukhov. I think there were a couple of meetings like that. At the second one, there was some -- Q It's even all the -- MR. BOUCHER: One last fall, there were some representatives of the republics. Certainly, we continue to discuss these issues with all the parties involved. Q Richard, will the State Department be serving stale coffee again Sunday? Will the Arab and Israelis resume their negotiations here? MR. BOUCHER: We'll probably serve some stale coffee no matter what the Arabs and Israelis do. Let me give you the status as far as we know it on that. The joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation arrived in Washington yesterday evening, and the Syrian delegation arrived this morning. We expect the Lebanese delegation to arrive this afternoon. We do not know at this time when the talks will resume, but we hope it will be as soon as possible. We've been encouraging the parties to promptly set a starting time for the negotiations. Q Let's jump ahead. Does the United States have a position whether they would like to see the talks go on indefinitely or would it be -- or does the U.S. agree with the Israeli view that 4 days are pretty ample for this round? I think they're making plans to go home Wednesday. MR. BOUCHER: As in previous rounds, we haven't set a closing bookend to the facilities or to our willingness to help out. Q Richard, Hanan Ashrawi said that the letters of invitation for the original talks weren't clearly laid out; that there should be two tracks -- a Jordanian track and a Palestinian track. That was in your letter of invitation, according to her. What's your view of that? MR. BOUCHER: My view of that is that we've discussed this issue before, that we've made the letter of invitation public. We provided copies. I can get you one from the Press Office right after the briefing. You can do any sort of examination you want on your own. Q Would you agree with her interpretation? MR. BOUCHER: I'll stand by the language in the letter of invitation, and we'll provide you a copy. Q Richard, will you honor my request, too? MR. BOUCHER: Joe, you can have five copies. Q While we are in the area, Richard, Israel, in an attempt to circumvent the Security Council Resolution 726 about the deportation of Palestinians, it is playing with some ideas like the idea of the Chief of Staff, Ehud Barack deporting 1,200 Palestinians for a year and a half -- a limited period of time. Yesterday, there was a story in Ma'ariv saying that -- the Lebanese paper in Israel -- that Israel is thinking about a sort of population exchange, deporting people from the West Bank to Gaza and from Gaza to the West Bank. What does the State Department -- the U.S. Government -- think about such schemes and ideas that the Israelis are inventing now? MR. BOUCHER: As you yourself point out, there have been a variety of different kinds of reports coming out in the Israeli press. I think I'm just not going to start commenting on each and every one of them. Q About this latest thing, which is -- they are discussing at the Cabinet level, or at the security apparatus in Israel. MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any comment at this point on it. Q Richard, does the State Department have a situation report on Zaire? Has it disintegrated perceptibly in the last few weeks? There are reports of food running out. I know the Ambassador is still there. But I wonder, is there any unusual concern now about the country's survival? MR. BOUCHER: I haven't seen any unusual concern, but I have to admit not to having asked for an update for awhile. Let me see if I can get you something on the situation. Q Is the United States now using satellite imagery to track the settlement growth in the occupied territories? MR. BOUCHER: John, that was a story that I saw this morning, and I have to admit, knowing that whatever the facts may be of the matter, that I would not be in a position to comment, that I didn't even ask about it. Q Why, pray tell, would satellite imagery of civilian things in a friendly country be classified? I mean, talking about that? MR. BOUCHER: All questions involving satellite imagery of anything are classified. They haven't been discussed as far as I know, certainly not from here. Q Even though the same information is available commercially on Landsat, for example? MR. BOUCHER: If it is, then don't ask me. Q Are tje experts still meeting on the aid conference, and can you say anything about that? And, if they [inaudible] ask for a meeting, is this going to continue through next week still? MR. BOUCHER: Margaret talked about that yesterday. It was a meeting on Wednesday through most of the day, and Margaret gave a readout about how it looked at the end of that. And we expect the various participants to continue to be in touch with each other as we approach the conference itself. Q So they're no longer in this building having a meeting? MR. BOUCHER: No. It was a meeting through most of the day Wednesday, and that was it. Q Richard, can you say whether or not there was -- that the -- you say you can't comment on this satellite business, but can you tell us whether or not this story is right or wrong? (Laughter) MR. BOUCHER: No. I'm afraid I can't. Q You can't. Let me go back to the business of the resolutions. Can we get copies of these resolutions? It's quite interesting to point out -- I mean, I'm asking for the copies, because in the 3 years of the Bush Administration, there were five times in which the representative at the United Nations voted on the word "Palestine" favorably. Whereas in the Reagan Administration and three yeses, and it goes on from there -- I'd like to see just where this works out, because they started with Jimmy Carter after the Camp David accords. Can you get the texts of those resolutions? MR. BOUCHER: I think these are all public U.N. documents, and you can get them all from the U.N., I'm sure. Q Now, in connection -- a little further about the dealing with the fact about the so-called spy planes and so on and the satellite imagery, the Treasury Department now admits -- the U.S. Treasury Department now admits that it was a report to the effect that Israel owed $700,000 in postal charges or something like that. The United States is wrong. It's inaccurate, and they've published something officially on it, and it will go -- in their quarterly publication it will go a little further. Isn't this another indication that some of this material that we've been seeing about Israel's economic status and obligations pretty much in there, if not maliciously distorted, in order to destroy Israel's relationship with the United States? MR. BOUCHER: Joe, I don't know, because I don't know what you've been seeing, and I don't know what the Treasury Department has said about overdue postal bills. So you'll just have to check with them and do whatever you want to do. Bill. Q Richard, what's the status of U.S. recognition of Croatia as a separate state, and what's the response to the charges being made by them and their supporters of a de facto U.S. tilt toward the established order in Yugoslavia, which is to say the Serbian control? MR. BOUCHER: Bill, the status of our policy on recognition is that it hasn't changed. I think it's opportune to reiterate what we said in Wednesday's statement after Under Secretary Kanter's meeting with the Bosnian Foreign Minister. Like the European Community, the United States is firmly opposed to any attempt to change external or internal borders by force. The U.S. would strongly condemn any attempt by any side to use force or intimidation to threaten the territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I would also refer you to what we've said regarding the so-called Serbian republic of Krajina, which is that we do not accept territorial changes achieved by force, intimidation, or ultimata. We've repeatedly said that any settlement must include strong protections for the rights of all national groups in all republics, and we've repeatedly said that we will accept any outcome that is chosen peacefully, democratically, and through negotiation. Q So you're stating that there will be no recognition as long as fighting continues, and that change is achieved by force? MR. BOUCHER: I'm stating that we do not accept changes that are made by force, and that we would accept any outcome that they can achieve peacefully and democratically. Q Richard, who do you have relations with in that area of conflict? What part of the fractionated society are we dealing with? MR. BOUCHER: At this point, I believe that our Ambassador is in touch with people throughout the country, throughout the different republics, different parts of the political spectrum. I think you've seen from the series of people who have visited Washington that we've met with them; that we meet with a whole variety of people. Q Which is the government? Which do we recognize as the legitimate government? MR. BOUCHER: John, that's a pretty complicated question right now. It's a confused situation. As I said, we continue to deal with people throughout the country. We continue to tell them the U.S. view, and that's the way we operate. Q In actuality, we don't know which -- I mean, the U.S. at this point hasn't really decided which is the legitimate government there? MR. BOUCHER: It's for them to work out peacefully, democratically and through negotiation. We'll accept whatever outcome they work out that way. Q There are those who believe that U.S. policy tilts toward the Serbs who used to govern with undisputed authority. MR. BOUCHER: I don't know why you would say that, Bill. I think I've made very clear that we don't accept solutions that are being imposed by violence; that we look forward to seeing them work out something through peaceful negotiation. We've supported the efforts of the European Community and its negotiator and of the U.N. envoy, Cyrus Vance, to try to work out a political settlement on that basis, and that's what we've been urging all parties to do. We've also said that we don't accept what's called the Serbian "rump" government or presidency, and the changes -- some of the resignations that have occurred in the former federal institutions. Q Richard, we asked yesterday about the conditions and the parameters of the visit by our PLO guests this coming week, I guess. Do you have something on that? MR. BOUCHER: You're talking about Nabil Shaath. He applied for his visa in Cairo on January 4. We understand at the time, and I think we've told you, that he will address the annual conference of the Arab-American Institute later this month. There was a waiver recommendation approved here on January 6. Immigration and Naturalization Service subsequently waived his ineligibility. The waiver is for a B-1 visa valid for a single entry. At this point I don't have any information yet that he has picked up his visa or come to the United States. Q Richard, could I go back to the settlement question for a moment. Is the United States satisfied with the adequacy of the information it is getting from the Government of Israel about new settlements being established? MR. BOUCHER: That's not something I've looked at recently, John. I'm afraid I can't give you a judgment at this point. Q Could you take the question? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not sure it's a question I can address at this point. Q Richard, on Nabil Shaath, the B-1 visa that he was granted, you say is for one entry. But does it have a required departure time, and does it have any restrictions on things he can do while he's exercising his rights under that visa? MR. BOUCHER: As I understand it, there are no restrictions that will be annotated on it. Q What about the departure time? MR. BOUCHER: Let me put up later sort of the whole procedural aspect of this to you about how waivers are done. But as for the period of stay, the period of stay is normally decided, for someone who comes to the United States, by the INS officers when they reach the port of entry, and they determine what's the appropriate period of stay for the purpose of the visit. Q Richard, on the settlements, does the State Department take any position on the so-called Leahy plan or Leahy proposal in which the costs of settlements would be deducted from any housing loan guarantees? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware that we have. Q Richard, the appointments schedule for the Secretary and the other top people here is a total blank today which makes me think something's got to be going on. [Laughter] Is there a change in listing the activities, or is he just sort of -- I don't know what -- Q Napping. Q I don't know about napping, but contemplating or something? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, there's no change in our listing of his activities. Q Shorter and shorter list every day. MR. BOUCHER: As you know, we list public appointments with foreign visitors. There's no change. When the Secretary's in his office working with people in the building, as he is today, just nothing ends up on his public schedule. Q Is he doing anything today you want to tell us about? MR. BOUCHER: Nothing particular, no. Q Does the visit to Prague still stand? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q Richard, the Russian competitors in the America's Cup race are apparently being subjected to travel restrictions which date from the time of those restrictions against the Soviet Union, and I was wondering if there'd been any thought being given to lifting those travel restrictions so as they can sail off the waters of San Diego without an escort -- [laughter] -- or travel in the area without an escort? MR. BOUCHER: Bill, I'm a little perplexed by your question. You mentioned it to me earlier, and I tried to check a little bit into it, because, when you originally called me, I didn't know anything at all. The travel restrictions -- the reciprocal travel restrictions that we've had with the Soviet Union had been for diplomats and officials -- people resident or assigned here to embassies and official offices. They had not been for ordinary travels/sports people, and even those restrictions in closed areas that we had, there were procedures for people to apply for waivers as we have been required and done in the former Soviet Union, and we used to get waivers much of the time. So I'm not exactly sure what restrictions there might be that you are referring to. Whether the Navy has any restrictions as far as people approaching its facilities there, I think is something you might ask them. But in general, our reciprocal restrictions with the Soviet Union have only applied to diplomats and officials and not to sportsmen and yachtsmen. Q And do those restrictions still apply, Richard? MR. BOUCHER: We were undertaking a process with the central government -- the government of the former Soviet Union -- to drop those restrictions on a reciprocal basis. I think you are familiar with what we used to call the "Open Lands" proposal, and we had some discussions, but we never finalized those at this point, so they still exist, and we're still interested in dropping them. Q Richard, did you have anything new today on the three exiles who were arrested by the Cubans? MR. BOUCHER: The first thing I would like to say is that the Cuban Government's allegations of U.S. Government involvement in a terrorist incident are untrue and unacceptable. We're telling this to the Cuban Government through diplomatic channels. We are also again requesting information on the alleged incident to assist the FBI in its investigation. To date, Cuba has shown no signs of pursuing this investigation in a serious manner and has instead concentrated on propaganda. We're also making a second request to the Cuban Government for information on the individuals arrested. If any are U.S. citizens, we will request immediate consular access. Preliminary information indicates that none of these people are U.S. citizens. We're checking U.S. Government records, however, to confirm their status. Q What do you base it on? Q MR. BOUCHER: What is their citizenship , if they're not Americans? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know precisely what their citizenship is, George. Q Do you know their residency? MR. BOUCHER: They were reported -- and, again, all I think we really have are the Cuban Government press reports, and maybe a few reports from our own media. They were reported to be residents of Miami. And, therefore, the prospects exist that they were green-card holders or had some other status in the United States. But, as I said, we're continuing to follow up on this. We'll continue to press the Cuban Government. We're consulting with other U.S. Government agencies for information. We'd encourage family members to contact the State Department if they know that a U.S. citizen relative is among those held. Q But you've asked the Cuban Government? You've put these questions to the Cuban Government, and they've either refused information or just said nothing? I mean, what specifically? MR. BOUCHER: As far as I know, we don't have any response at all, but I'm sure we don't have any specific or informative response. As I said, they showed no signs of pursuing this investigation seriously, so we're going back to them again. Q Richard, there was a report this morning -- Q Do you also intend to bring this up -- Q There was a report this morning -- MR. BOUCHER: Let's stick on this one. Q Did you -- MR. BOUCHER: Could you hold on a second, Joe? He had a follow-up. Q Did you ask to interview the people charged in Cuba? MR. BOUCHER: We've asked for information on them, and we've said that if any of them are U.S. citizens that we should have immediate consular access. Q You are not entitled to consular access if they are not American citizens? MR. BOUCHER: That's my understanding, yes. Q There was a report this morning that Saudi King Fahd has openly endorsed President Bush for reelection, and driving down the prices -- it's in a respectable paper -- to stimulate the U.S. economy and help President Bush gain reelection. Do you know anything about this and can you say anything?-- MR. BOUCHER: No, I'm afraid I don't. Q Does that mean he's a "fat cat" [inaudible]? (Laughter) Q Would you say that's a welcome endorsement or anything like that? [Laughter] MR. BOUCHER: I don't speak on behalf of the President on things like that. Q Richard, may I ask a question that you probably do not have an answer for but which, perhaps, you can find one. How many uniformed security people work for the State Department now in this building? Is the number going up? What do they cost? And what are they protecting everybody against? There appear to be more and more of them roaming around and checking, etc. And with the collapse of the Cold War and the Soviet Union, one could assume that the espionage threat has diminished. Is there some big terrorist threat the U.S. continues to be afraid of? Street crime? What is this phalanx of security people protecting everybody against? Q [Inaudible] MR. BOUCHER: Let me answer that one just by saying, "All of the above." And as far as how many guards we have, I'll try to get you that. Q Can you? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q And what -- is it increasing, and how much -- MR. BOUCHER: What does it cost. Q -- does it cost? MR. BOUCHER: I'll see if I can find those pieces of information out for you. Q I'd like to follow up on that, if I may. Is there any thought being given by the State Department to issuing members of the press corps security clearances? MR. BOUCHER: Not that I have heard of, Bill. Q Then may I ask why it's necessary for members of the press corps, when filing for accreditation or reissuance of a pass, to fill out waivers of the Privacy Act, release of information forms, and to be fingerprinted each time this pass is renewed -- since it appears that we are not going to be allowed to handle classified information. Were we to be allowed to handle classified information, I would, of course, withdraw my question. [Laughter] MR. BOUCHER: As usual, when we're presented with two choices, we take neither of the above. The question of access to this building, Bill, is one that is of concern to all of us who work here. It's, as John said, a question of many different things and not just the issue of espionage but terrorism and security threats. And you're aware that at various times, we've tightened security here in order to prevent anyone in the building from being harmed by terrorism. It's something that we go through carefully, and this remains a secure building where classified information is being handled; and, therefore, we reserve the right to control access to this building. And we offer passes to the press people who work here with us, but we want to know who they are before we give them a badge. Q Richard, is there a decision to no longer have stakeouts in the lobby and C Street? There seem to me more and more as it gets colder [laughter]. And as the number of countries multiply and despite your confidence that they all adhere to the five or 47 principles that the Secretary brings to them -- MR. BOUCHER: None of which involve stakeouts. Q None of them. But the market economy, I'm sure, they all believe in. But why is it that reporters no longer -- maybe it's just a coincidence, but the last several stakeouts -- you know, the reporters, and of course the Secretary's guest -- for instance, the Armenian Foreign Minister -- have to do their standup outside where, you know, the planes get in the way of any audio, etc. Is that some new security concern? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, there's been no particular change on that either. There's been, I think, a fairly consistent policy of when we do stakeouts inside the building and when we don't. And I think we continue to follow that policy. Q Also, I find it disturbing -- when you're working on a story, you can be surprised if you really get absorbed in this dynamic stuff we do every day -- to find a large and very well-tailored policeman standing next to you. And I don't think he's checking your lead. [Laughter] I don't know why you have -- maybe it's just every guy with a gun and a club gets to choose his own parameters [laughter], but I don't know why these people wander into the Press Room and look and stand alongside you and sort of either tell you "Good morning" or sort of stare blankly at the sheet of paper in your typewriter. They may not like the lead, but we're getting invaded -- MR. BOUCHER: Barry -- Q We're getting invaded by an excess of security forces is what the people before me are saying rather politely, and perhaps I'm not saying so politely. MR. BOUCHER: Barry, as John pointed out, there are guards throughout this building. This remains a U.S. Government building where classified information is handled, where we control access, where we do have guards in our building. When I see them I usually say "Hello." If you don't like where they're standing, you might ask them to move. Q No, no. I say -- Bill's point is we don't have access to classified material. I'd personally give up -- would like to surrender -- the protection of these people with clubs who seem to appear in the News Room to inquire into my well-being. I don't really need them around. MR. BOUCHER: Barry, if you'd like to relinquish your building pass you can do that any day. Q No, no. I would like to keep the Press area secure from wiretapping -- which I don't suppose is going on again, although it did in the Nixon-Kissinger era -- and I'd certainly like to keep it apart from all your guards. I don't mean yours; the State Department's phalanx of guards -- your answer to the jobs problem. MR. BOUCHER: Barry, if you want to set up your own press center and work outside of this building anywhere, you can go do that any day of the week. You are inside a building which remains a U.S. Government building where we handle classified information; and we, I think, have the right and the imperative to control access to this building and to make sure it remains secure. Q You talk about access to the building. Talking about the Press Room, where there is no classified information -- God only knows -- there's hardly any information at all. [Laughter] And the question is: Why are guards entering the Press Room and looking over what you're doing? That's all I'm asking. Q Could you also take the question as to why it is necessary to reauthorize Privacy Act waivers and access to information each time a pass is renewed -- not to mention fingerprinting each time? MR. BOUCHER: Bill -- Q My fingerprints have, as far as I know, not changed [laughter] since they were first taken by the military when I was approximately 2l years old. And I just wondered why -- MR. BOUCHER: I'll check and see if they do that. I'll -- O.K., let's -- Bill, I will check and see if there's any way we can make the procedures easier for you. Q On the buildings though, this may have been covered in my absence -- but what happens now with the raising of the flags at the various republics? Has anything been done about that? Is there a ceremony when other flags are going to go up? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware that we'd address that. I really don't know at this point. Q So could you ask about that? We already have diplomatic relations with Russia. I don't think the Russian flag is flying there. MR. BOUCHER: No. We've had some other responses now. We had formal responses from republics soon to be mentioned. We've had formal responses from Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, and Byelarus. Therefore, as before, we consider full diplomatic relations to exist between the United States and these four countries. We don't have formal letters from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. But, as you know, we've been in close touch with those people. All indications are positive. In fact, the Secretary has just sent a representative -- Deputy Under Secretary Bob Fauver -- out to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to talk to them about economic reform and things like that. So we're in close touch with them. Q What was the name? I didn't get the name. MR. BOUCHER: Bob Fauver is -- Q Do you have a target date for relations with Armenia? The Foreign Minister was confident that it's imminent. MR. BOUCHER: It's happened. I don't have the date that we received -- Q How many Embassies will there be and the establishment of offices? MR. BOUCHER: All of these? Q Yes. MR. BOUCHER: The establishment of an office? Q Yes. MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't think I have a date for you. If I remember correctly, when the Armenian Foreign Minister came in, he gave the letter -- the recognition letter -- to the Secretary at that time. Q Richard, the conference on the 22nd and 23rd, which is going to be held here in the State Department -- will the State Department be issuing special credentials for press who may be coming from overseas to cover this event, which we understand is going to involve up to 60 Foreign Ministers and other dignitaries? MR. BOUCHER: That's something I'll have to check on, Alan. Q Are you going to set up a special Press Center, or do you expect them to work out of the confined space that we have? I mean, it's perfectly adequate for our day-to-day needs; and I wouldn't want you to understand that I'm complaining in any way [laughter], and I don't want to set up another one outside. But if there's an influx of journalists, it might find itself a little bit confined. MR. BOUCHER: Alan, I'll see if we're in a position yet to talk about the press arrangements for the coordinating conference. Q Thank you. Q I would like to pose a question -- one more question. MR. BOUCHER: O.K., we got one more from Sonia. Q The Bulgarians go to the polls on Sunday for the first time to directly elect a President. Have you got a comment? MR. BOUCHER: I'm afraid I don't. (The briefing concluded at l2:59 p.m.)