US Department of State Daily Briefing #8: Monday, 1/14/92

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: Jan, 14 19921/14/92 Category: Briefings Region: E/C Europe, MidEast/North Africa, Caribbean, Central America, South America, Southeast Asia, Eurasia Country: USSR (former), Israel, Cuba, Libya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Indonesia, North Korea, Pakistan, Iraq, Algeria Subject: State Department, EC, Mideast Peace Process, Human Rights, United Nations, Nuclear Nonproliferation, Democratization, Immigration, Travel, Regional/Civil Unrest 12:11 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I don't have anything. I'll be happy to try to answer your questions.

[Former Yugoslavia: Recognition of New Entities by EC/Others]

Q All right. Tomorrow the EC will recognize the independence of Slovenia, Croatia -- MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q -- and, without taking sides on the issue, I wondered if the State Department -- if the U.S. Government would follow a different course or if it's going to get in the mainstream. MS. TUTWILER: Number one, I'm aware of reports and statements by various EC officials, etc., that that is indeed what they will do tomorrow. I am not in a position, nor should I be, to confirm for you that that is indeed what will happen or what they will do. I'd have to, understandably, refer you to EC officials to comment on that. Concerning the United States, I'm speaking today, our policy on recognition has not changed. We will accept any outcome that is chosen peacefully, democratically and through negotiation. Any settlement must include strong protections for the rights of all national groups in all republics. The United States is firmly opposed, as we've said many times, to any attempt to change external or internal borders by force, and the United States continues to support strongly the efforts of Cyrus Vance, the envoy of the Secretary General, and of Lord Carrington, the European Community's envoy to achieve a lasting ceasefire and an overall settlement. The only thing that I could add to this today, Barry, for you is that it goes without saying, as in this case and as in others that come up, that governments will decide for themselves how best to address the situation in Yugoslavia. Q Well, all those familiar tests that you have just enunciated, probably for the fiftieth time -- MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q -- in the last, you know, few months, the question is how would they apply to the current on-the-ground situation? In other words, has change come about peacefully? Have the people of these provinces or republics decided adequately on their own to go their own way? Is this some -- have they met the test of statehood -- the yardstick of statehood that the U.S. would apply? MS. TUTWILER: The United States' policy has not changed today. And we have set out, and, as you point out, fifty or more times, have stated what I just restated today of what have been our guiding principles and policies. Those haven't changed today. I am aware of your original question of reports that the EC will indeed recognize tomorrow. As you know, the Vatican, as I believe did yesterday. Concerning violence, the actual situation, as we know it this morning on the ground in Yugoslavia, is that we have no reports of serious violations today, but that we do have reports of sporadic outbursts of gunfire. You have seen, and we've seen, various unsubstantiated reports of other people who claim they're going to continue "their violence," etc. So that's the situation on the ground today. The United States will make its decisions -- as the Secretary has enunciated and as the President has -- and will support what the people determine peacefully through negotiation. Q So which government do you recognize? MS. TUTWILER: Our Ambassador on the ground there has been and will continue to be dealing with all of the various entities that have been created in what I think honestly can be described as an evolving and, at many points over the last several months, confused state. But Ambassador Zimmerman and his staff have been working there very long hours seven days a week, and they are dealing with all of the various factions and all of the various entities, as you know, that have evolved. Q So you don't really recognize any of the entities. You are dealing with all of them, but you don't recognize them as a legitimate government. MS. TUTWILER: Well, he is a United States Ambassador accredited to Yugoslavia. That has not changed. Q Margaret, have you read the review? MS. TUTWILER: Is the policy under review? Q Is that policy under review? MS. TUTWILER: I would say that since the situation in Yugoslavia has radically altered itself since, say, six months ago, that obviously the United States throughout this has been evolving its policy. We wouldn't, for instance, have to be enunciating today these policies if the situation were as it were a year ago in Yugoslavia. Q You brought up the violence. You made a point of violence. Are you -- is the State Department saying that the situation -- that in a violent situation or in a situation where violence is imminent or likely or recurrent, that it is no time for the U.S. to recognize the independence of these various parts of Yugoslavia? MS. TUTWILER: The United States has been concerned throughout, Barry. All of us have seen a lot of innocent loss of life in this situation. And we have as far back as the Secretary of State's trip to Yugoslavia, when he met with all of the six republic presidents, urged dialogue, not taking unilateral actions that indeed precipitate violence, which some would argue is indeed what happened; and that this should be negotiated and done to the best of everyone's human ability in a peaceful manner. That is obviously not what evolved over many months. Now you do have basically, I believe it's the 15th ceasefire, and so far that seems to, by all measures, be holding. Q Margaret, let me approach it from another side - MS. TUTWILER: O.K. Q -- the Yugoslav question. MS. TUTWILER: Withholding recognition to the two main republics has not stopped the violence. O.K. That's a fact. Does the United States believe that extending recognition, perhaps, would provide a certain measure of protection to these republics, and also, in effect, could prevent the spread of violence? MS. TUTWILER: The United States would not want to do anything that in their opinion could somehow be misinterpreted and could contribute to any violence. The United States' policy on recognition, as I'm standing here today, has not changed, for the reasons I've enunciated, and we clearly recognize that sovereign nations' governments will be making their decisions and their determinations based on the criteria that they choose to do so. Q But certainly you have made some kind of a conclusion -- you have some kind of an analysis -- that whether diplomatic recognition at this point in time would be helpful in preventing further violence. What is the U.S. Government's analysis in this regard? MS. TUTWILER: Since there are many people, as you know, that are contemplating recognition that are our very close allies and close friends, I'm going to refrain from saying whether we think those sovereign nations should or should not. Those nations are making their own determinations as they rightfully have the right to do so. I have expressed what the United States' policy is. Q Well, you have also indicated repeatedly that the policy may be about to change. It is always -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't think I said that. Q It is always true that policy hasn't changed today. I mean, you could have said that yesterday or six months ago. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q You seem to be emphasizing that today, however. MS. TUTWILER: I just always, Ralph, think that it's wise in this business to leave yourself -- the same thing you do in reporting -- openness to -- situations change. I'm not trying to send you any kind of signal whatsoever, nor do I have the authority to do so. The President makes this policy. The President determines when and when we do not recognize countries. So I am clearly, as best I can, telling you that our policy has not changed, for the reasons I've stated. But I am not trying to -- Q Situation -- MS. TUTWILER: I certainly hope that I have not, and let the record reflect, sent any kind of signal that the United States' policy, I somehow secretly know, is going to change this afternoon at 5:30. I don't know any such thing. Q Does the situation to which you refer include recognition by other countries? In other words, does the situation change when other countries recognize these republics? Does the situation for the U.S. change, depending on what other countries -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm sure, Ralph, that the policy-makers here at this Department and the policy-makers at the White House will take that into consideration as they deliberate the situation in Yugoslavia as it evolves. Q Margaret, can you tell us where the Ambassador to Yugoslavia is right now? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't asked. I assume in the capital. I don't know. Do you think he's here or -- Q Well, I'd like to know whether he's here or whether he's operating from somewhere else than Belgrade? MS. TUTWILER: I have never heard of him operating from somewhere other than the capital of Yugoslavia. He obviously travels within the country of Yugoslavia. Whether he is back here right now on consultations, I haven't asked. I'll check into it for you. Q There has been in the West Bank an ambush this morning or actually this evening their time involving unknown assailants who have attacked a group of settlers. Six settlers are wounded. The Israeli army has now sealed off the area and not much more is known about that. Do you have a response to the continuing violence which apparently had something to do with the peace talks? MS. TUTWILER: One, I only learned of this incident about one and a half minutes minutes before I came to the briefing, so I do not have any of the facts about it. I have no reason to doubt, obviously, what you are portraying to me, but I've just not had an opportunity to look into it myself. Having said that and not knowing any of the facts, obviously we have stated many, many times -- and long before Madrid, if you will remember -- that we would condemn any parties, and that we recognized that there would be elements that would be very intent on subverting the process, on derailing the process, who would have an interest in trying to break down the peace process. I do not know, since I don't know the facts, whether this indeed is an example of that or not. Whether it is or not, we obviously condemn any violence directed against innocent human beings who were there in their country. Q Do you urge the negotiators in situations like this or any of the other ones that seem to surround the peace talks to ignore what's going on? How do you -- what sort of message do you send to the negotiators? MS. TUTWILER: That is something that obviously their governments and they as individuals determine what their policy, public position, will be, and what their personal attitude will be. There has been throughout this, as I recall, a number of incidents, and those entities, governments, have decided that the peace process was very important to them, something that many say they have waited a very long time to get to, and they have continued. We condemn the violence. We condemn any innocent person who is put in harm's way for political motives or any other motives. But we also at the same time believe and agree with the parties that the process that has been launched -- and, as you all know, there was in our opinion a step forward taken yesterday, which we're very pleased with here in the actual talks -- and we believe that a comprehensive peace settlement on this will, hopefully, in the future prevent these very types of things. Q Margaret -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes, Barry. Q -- the State Department said a few times that they'd like to see the negotiations get to the substance, and apparently there's some movement now. Is this the occasion, this round -- is this the time the United States would like to see Israel put forward an autonomy plan for the West Bank and Gaza? MS. TUTWILER: Those are the types of things, Barry, that the Israeli Government is best able to determine and should rightfully determine -- not us. Q Well, then how can you get to substance on the Palestinian issue if you don't talk about an autonomy plan? MS. TUTWILER: Again, Barry, that is something for -- they are in negotiations. I believe they're in negotiations right now as of this briefing, as you and I are having this conversation, and it is -- we are very pleased with what transpired yesterday. We view it, as I said, as a step forward. We are pleased that the parties have overcome the procedural difference that was preventing the parties from engaging on substance. And we have been saying for many, many weeks, as you know, that we believe the parties wanted to get to substance; that that, after all, is what this effort is all about, and we're very pleased that that step has been taken yesterday. And it is my understanding that again today they have all announced to you all they will be having their three press conferences, and my notes show that they're at the exact same time and places as the ones I announced yesterday. Q Margaret, would you like these talks to keep going? Q [Multiple questions] MS. TUTWILER: Jim, yes. Q Would you like these talks to keep on going this week? MS. TUTWILER: That's for the parties who are here to determine. We, as you know, try to not inject ourselves in that, and we certainly would not be injecting ourselves in it publicly. It's up for them to decide. Q But as far as the U.S. point of view is, would the United States Government like the talks to continue as long as they are into substance? MS. TUTWILER: In a generic sense, of course. Q Margaret, could you just clear up something that you said before, when you said that you condemned innocent human beings being hurt in their country. MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me, Jan. If we want to -- if this was in the Occupied Territories, I was just -- it was a word. I apologize. I understand the nuance. It was nothing meant by it. It was just an easy adjective to use. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Q O.K. So on nuances, when you spoke of "innocent people being put in harm's way," I don't suppose you meant by that that the Israeli Government has put these innocent settlers -- MS. TUTWILER: No, I did not. Q O.K. I didn't think you did. MS. TUTWILER: I was trying to be compassionate. We're a humanitarian nation. We care about these people. He's just told me that six people had been harmed. You bet. Q (Multiple comments) MS. TUTWILER: It is. But you're great about pointing it out to me. Thank you. Q Margaret, as long as we're playing this game -- MS. TUTWILER: O.K. Q -- do you believe that settlers who are almost always armed are innocent? MS. TUTWILER: Come on. I do not know what happened here. John has pointed out to me that there was some type of an attack on six people, and six people are wounded. I honestly don't know if they were in a car, a train, a bus, an airplane. He says these people were wounded. I don't know the facts of the matter. But generically speaking, as I've tried to express, do we -- whether it is in this area or another area, do we condemn this type of thing? Yes, we do. Q Well, if they were ships and they were armed, it would not be innocent passage. I was just wondering if the same thing applies to individuals. MS. TUTWILER: Well, why don't I do this and apply to myself an enormous amount of discipline and stop talking about an incident that I do not know the facts about; that we could all sit out here and talk about, but I'm not well grounded in literally exactly what happened. Did the individuals that were wounded have their weapons on them or off them? Are they authorized to have them? I just don't know. Q Margaret, on the multilaterals, can you tell us any more about who's been invited, who's accepted? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Specifically, can you tell us if the Palestinians are going to be invited separately or as in Madrid in a joint delegation with Jordan? MS. TUTWILER: I wouldn't envision that there would be any change in the Madrid terms of reference, but I will be happy to check that for you. Yesterday I had said to you that we anticipated issuing the formal invitation yesterday. That did not happen. But it was done today. Q One more on -- Q Wait. Whoa, whoa. Q What was the invitation for? MS. TUTWILER: The official invitation to the multilaterals. Q Right. MS. TUTWILER: As you know, I said yesterday the dates, etc., and Moscow hosting. They've been out there for weeks. Q That's not changed. Right. MS. TUTWILER: But an official, diplomatic invitation -- no changes at all -- was indeed sent from this Department, I'm sure, in conjunction with the Russians today. Q May I just continue my -- Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: We don't do that. I did that yesterday. Q Can I -- MS. TUTWILER: Let me do this one more time. I'm going to continue to say it every day. I'm not putting out the list of the attendees to the Coordinating Conference until the morning of the conference. For the multilaterals the same rules are going to apply. We'll put them out that morning or, for those of you who travel with us, as we travel, or something like that. Q May I just continue my question? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q You said that you thought that the Jordanians and Palestinians would form a joint delegation as in Madrid. And one of the subjects to be discussed in Moscow, as outlined in the invitation to Madrid itself, was refugees, and that specifically, I suppose, includes Palestinian refugees. MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is this is a sub-topic. Whether it's formally, but this is a general understanding -- one of the subjects to be discussed is Palestinian refugees. Q So how can you have a conference to discuss Palestinian refugees and not invite Palestinian refugees? MS. TUTWILER: I don't believe that I told you we would not be inviting Palestinians. You asked me, would they be coming. Q You didn't tell us who were you inviting. Q You said that they would be coming in a joint -- MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q -- delegation with Jordan, and that joint delegation, the Palestinian component of it, represents Palestinians from the Occupied Territories. MS. TUTWILER: I'm well aware of that. Q There are hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees living in very squalid camps outside the Occupied -- MS. TUTWILER: That's correct. Q So my question is, how will they be represented if they're going to be discussed? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is -- I'll restate again -- is that the exact same terms of reference that all agreed upon, that everyone agreed upon going in, are to be carried over into the multilaterals. I said I will double-check myself on that specific since I have not addressed myself to it for several weeks. But I'm pretty sure I'm correct. Q Can we have a copy of the invitation? Q The public is going to have no way of knowing whether anyone declined the U.S. invitation unless somehow we know who was invited. I mean, if you withhold releasing the names of the people to whom the United States Government and the United States people have extended an invitation, until you find out who's coming, then we'll never know whether anyone declined. Is that essentially -- MS. TUTWILER: And the case may be, Ralph, if you want to build hypotheticals -- Q That's not hypothetical. MS. TUTWILER: -- that we've only invited those that there's already been pre-conversations with who've said they're coming. Q I don't need to go that -- MS. TUTWILER: So the list may be the exact list that it always was. Q But, for example, we won't know -- we've had extensive discussions over 10 or 12 months about whether Syria would attend such a conference. MS. TUTWILER: And Syria has publicly said they will not. Q Right. And so we don't know whether the United States has invited Syria. MS. TUTWILER: Uh-huh. (Laughter) Q Is it your purpose to prevent the American people from learning who has been -- who has declined the U.S. Government invitation? MS. TUTWILER: No. I think the American people are very savvy and understanding people, and that they appreciate their government being able to conduct its diplomacy through privacy in many instances. After all, that has been a tradition of decades in our country. Most people say that it's a fair way to operate -- Republican or Democrat; Administration in, Administration out -- and we could also be doing through our own prerogative -- you may disagree with it -- individuals at their request or a favor who have requested, "We would rather continue discussing this with you," or "We do not want you to issue an invitation," or "We do not want to be put in the position of saying we did not come." So I understand your point, but I would argue that on a need-to-know basis that the American public is probably going to survive between now and this conference not knowing if there was some country that was or was not invited. And we will -- I believe we have a fairly good record. I know we certainly try on being forthcoming. My current plans are, as I said -- I think last week and yesterday -- on the morning of the Coordinating Conference -- which there's been a lot of interest in who's invited, who's not, who's accepted, what level are they coming, etc. -- instead of doing this piecemeal, which we thought was inefficient, we're going to put the entire package out on that morning or late the afternoon before, so that you all can then disseminate this information to the American public. Q And then presumably attempt to determine at that point who else was invited but didn't come. I guess that's the only way to do it. MS. TUTWILER: We will probably, I would envision, not put out if there was a case of someone -- I would let those countries determine if they want to tell their publics why they chose not to attend one of these two conferences in January. Q (Multiple questions) Q Could I just follow this up? A sunny day in Algeria, there was one of those rare news conferences which we don't see too many of in Washington -- MS. TUTWILER: When? Q In Algeria. The Secretary of State and I think the Algerian Foreign Minister had a joint news conference -- MS. TUTWILER: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you said a "sunny day." Q -- and the question came up whether Libya and Mauritania would be welcome, for instance, because the question that was the Magreb States, would they be welcome, and the answer was, "Sure. We'd like to see Libya -- not like to see, but they'd be invited. Is Libya being invited to this multilateral conference? MS. TUTWILER: Number one, your characterization is a little bit of an embellishment. If you check the -- Q Is it? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Because you asked me this -- Q It wasn't sunny? MS. TUTWILER: You asked me -- Q (Laughter) MS. TUTWILER: The sunny is correct. But the embellishment of what the Secretary of State said -- you asked me this in December. I went back and got the transcript. Q You don't live with it. I thought it was news. MS. TUTWILER: I remember well. Q He didn't say Libya could be there? MS. TUTWILER: I checked the record of what he exactly said, and I said that's a little bit of an embellishment, which is fine and that's your prerogative to make things up. Q (Laughter) MS. TUTWILER: Two -- I will break -- Q (Laughter) Q You allow me to make things up, while you, of course, get everything exactly right. MS. TUTWILER: Go for it. Q O.K. MS. TUTWILER: I will break my own rule and answer your question on Libya and answer it negative. Q They're not invited. MS. TUTWILER: That's a negative. Q And by the way -- MS. TUTWILER: It's the only time I'm breaking that rule. Q I meant Libya as a country or Libya as part of a grouping. In both cases, they weren't invited. MS. TUTWILER: It's a negative, Barry. Q Margaret, can you give us a sense of the magnitude? Are we talking dozens of countries? MS. TUTWILER: Which conference are you talking about? We have two this month. Q The one we're talking about. MS. TUTWILER: Which one? Q This multilateral conference to which invitations were issued today. MS. TUTWILER: What's today? Q Three. MS. TUTWILER: Oh, I'm sorry. Three. You're right. Q Four. Q U.N. MS. TUTWILER: Four. That's right. I'm sorry, Johanna. Q And GATT. MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to do numbers. I saw the report the other day that I responded to -- I think it was Jan's question over there's a report out that somehow the United States has narrowed the scope of the attendees at this. I declined to answer yesterday on the basis of if I acknowledge it's narrowed, then I have to go through, well, who all was invited and who wasn't. So, if you will just bear with me. What do we have, about 12 more days til we get there? Then I know the questions I'm going to get at that point when the list is out, and I will try to be prepared to answer them for you in a forthcoming manner why so and so wasn't invited, or why so and so is invited. Q (Inaudible) -- Barry's question and ask why Libya wasn't invited? MS. TUTWILER: Why? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: I think that that goes without saying, and it's perfectly obvious under the circumstances concerning Pan Am 103 is you know -- I believe it was in November this Government in coordination with the United Kingdom and France put out pages of information concerning the downing of Pan Am 103. And I cannot envision a circumstance, until the Libyans do what was requested at that time, where we the United States would be co-hosting Libya at a conference. Q To help us understand the terms of reference for the regional peace conference, could we have a copy of the invitation? Would that be classified for some reason? MS. TUTWILER: I'll ask. We gave you the copy of the Madrid invitation. Q That's right. MS. TUTWILER: Sure. I'll ask. Q Good. Thank you. Q Margaret, there's a report out of Havana that Castro has made a statement to a group that included U.S. types sort of foregoing revolution and substituting, and all that sort of stuff. Does the United States find this credible? Do you see a softening in the position of -- MS. TUTWILER: Several things I could say about this is that, one, all we have seen here at the Department so far are press reports. The experts in the bureau, I am sure, will be talking to those American officials who were there when they returned. That is a guess on my part, but I would have to assume it. It is my understanding from talking to the experts this morning that the words that were said there by Castro are words that he has said in the past. This conference was a closed conference. If the statement that we have seen in the press is an accurate statement, we would welcome such a change in Cuban policy. We would also welcome Cuba's full support for the Central American peace process. That would include openly calling for an end to insurgencies and support for the democratic governments. Q Is a U.S. representative going to be present in Mexico City? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. You would have to ask maybe the Mexican Embassy here. Q Do you have anything -- Q (Inaudible) directly received from the Cuban Government, the text of what Castro said? MS. TUTWILER: I hadn't asked. We have nine employees at the Interest Section there in Havana. I don't know if they've asked this morning or not. All I know is that here in the Department, by the time I was preparing for this briefing on this question, we had not yet received a text. Q I was told by the head of the Interest Section that attended these sessions last week on the Cuban missile -- MS. TUTWILER: That's interesting because I asked this morning, "Did we have someone represented at that meeting?" I was told we did not. So I will check it out. Either my source is wrong or yours is. Q Can I ask you about El Salvador? MS. TUTWILER: El Salvador? Q Yes. The Government and rebel negotiators have been working at the U.N. to nail down this agreement before the Thursday signing ceremony. Apparently, the final hang-up had to do with U.S. aid levels. Do you have anything on that? MS. TUTWILER: I hadn't heard about that, George. But I'll be happy to look into it for you. Q Margaret, is there any thought of -- or plan -- the Secretary to meet Daniel Ortega when he's in Managua? MS. TUTWILER: No. I saw that yesterday in some story yesterday afternoon. Q The Sandinista paper had apparently reported that. MS. TUTWILER: I have had any number of meetings with Assistant Secretary Aronson and his senior-level people concerning this trip, and that has never come up. Q Margaret, the Post reported yesterday that three Americans were killed in a helicopter downing in Peru on Sunday. They said that it was part of the anti-drug effort. Do you have anything on this? MS. TUTWILER: I had an enormous amount on it yesterday. I'd refer you to the Press Office, and they'll be happy to give you -- it's an enormous amount of detail that we have. Q On East Timor. Are you satisfied with the replacement of an Indonesian General in East Timor? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware, sir, personally, of a replacement of a General in East Timor. I'd be happy to look into that for you. Q Military commanders. The Portuguese President met with President Bush last night -- yesterday evening -- and reported upon leaving the room that the President was very aware of what's going on in East Timor. He mentioned that he had been asked about it in Australia. Then he asked President Soares of Portugal, "What can we do?" What exactly did the President have in mind? MS. TUTWILER: Sir, I would refer you to the White House since that was a White House meeting. I read a White House statement that the White House released last night concerning the meeting that President Bush had. I haven't seen, unfortunately, any comments that he and the Portuguese Prime Minister made at the conclusion of their meeting. Q Margaret, is the U.S. ready to announce anything yet about talks with North Korea in New York? MS. TUTWILER: No, but we are very, very near. Q At what level would those talks take place if they were to take place? MS. TUTWILER: I am, unfortunately, prohibited by people that I love and respect here from getting you any more details on this, but I would steer you towards "very near." Q Today? MS. TUTWILER: Not today. Q This is exciting. MS. TUTWILER: Isn't it. It's even more exciting to be in my shoes and not be able to tell you. Q I can't wait. Listen, on Pakistan we tried yesterday to find out if the U.S. Government has decided, because this government makes, like previous Administrations, makes a lot about -- it's concern about proliferation. We asked if Pakistan has the ingredients of a nuclear bomb. The papers that came out spoke ambiguously of that area -- India, and all. We didn't ask about India. Does Pakistan have the ingredients for a nuclear bomb? MS. TUTWILER: I agree with your characterization -- Q They happily know, so it's not a secret from them. The American public -- can we deal with this, finally? MS. TUTWILER: I understand. I agree with your characterization of the statement that came out to such a degree that I met this morning with Under Secretary Bartholomew and Assistant Secretary Clark. But I will tell you, they have a very convincing case. I have my job to do and you've obviously got yours. The information that you want is classified. I am not going to start today discussing classified information. Our knowledge of the detailed status of the Pakistani nuclear program is classified. For the United States to provide military and economic assistance to Pakistan, the President of the United States must, by law, certify that Pakistan does not possess "a nuclear explosive device." The President of the United States, as you're very familiar with, did not issue such a certification in October 1990 or 1991. Thus, our U.S. assistance was suspended, which is a well-known fact. This Administration is concerned about unsafeguarded nuclear programs in both Pakistan and India, and hopes to make progress on regional non-proliferation discussions. We have been, and we continue to be, actively engaged in high-level dialogue with Pakistan on this issue, and we cannot reveal the details of those sensitive -- obviously, it falls in the classified area -- and on-going diplomatic process. But when you asked me your question, I only have one way to answer this, Barry, and that is, that what we have said is that we are unable to say Pakistan does not possess a nuclear explosive device. Q That answers the question. On that same problem area, there's a fresh report that German firms provided Iraq -- MS. TUTWILER: Centrifuges. Q -- with significant -- yes -- material. I wonder -- the German Government denied that all along. I wonder if the U.S. Government was aware of the traffic between German firms and Iraq, and whether the U.S. Government tried to do anything about it. In fact, even today, are you able to substantiate those reports? MS. TUTWILER: What I don't have for you is the allegation concerning Germany. I do have for you our information concerning the discovery or finding by the IAEA inspectors. It's the same event, but your question was more geared to Germany. That part of the equation, I'm not confirming. I don't have. Iraq's admission that it bought and received thousands of centrifuge enrichment components directly contradicts Iraq's earlier assertion that Iraq's nuclear program was "just a research and development program." It is clear that the large number of centrifuge parts involved and their unambiguous use in uranium enrichment makes clear that Iraq was pursuing production-scale uranium enrichment whose only logical purpose in Iraq's program would be to produce material for use in nuclear weapons. This is yet another example of Iraqi duplicity about the scope and intent of its nuclear weapons program. This latest development reaffirms the need for continued United Nations inspections and continued U.N. economic sanctions. Q On that -- MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me. Can I do one more thing? It's my understanding, Barry -- and as you well know, I'm not an expert on this -- these centrifuge parts would contribute to a potential ability to enrich significant amounts of uranium. Such production of highly enriched uranium would have overcome one of the remaining hurdles for the Iraqi nuclear weapons program. To date, however, United Nation inspectors have not yet found any evidence that Iraq has produced significant quantities of highly enriched uranium. Q Have they found any evidence that they have a centrifuge -- functioning centrifuges? MS. TUTWILER: It's my understanding from yesterday from a United Nation's spokesman that the Iraqis said they destroyed some of these centrifuge parts, but that yesterday the U.S. inspectors demanded to view any such destroyed parts. I'd have to refer you to them about whether they were allowed to do so or not. Q The reports say as a result Iraq would be capable of turning out approximately one nuclear bomb a year. MS. TUTWILER: That, I don't have. Q Does the U.S. have any judgment as to how close they were? MS. TUTWILER: That, I don't have. To be honest, I haven't seen that statement or heard that one. Q The U.S. representative on the U.N. Commission on Iraq's nuclear capability is complaining today again that his commission has been hamstrung by a lack of money. It's not the first time he's made this complaint. MS. TUTWILER: By a lack of money? Q By lack of money. He says that they've had to curtail their activities because they're under-financed. Are you aware of his statement? MS. TUTWILER: Is this Mr. Kay? Q Mr. Galucci. MS. TUTWILER: No. I'm not aware of that statement. It's something that I would be more than glad to look into. I have not -- to be honest with you, I don't remember, in the past -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- that issue coming up, that there was somehow a problem of funding for these different inspection teams. Q I think a few of us were at a seminar that he gave a few months ago here in Washington -- MS. TUTWILER: Really. I just don't remember it. Q -- in which he made that complaint. MS. TUTWILER: Really? Q He made it again today. MS. TUTWILER: I don't remember that. I'm sure you're right. I'll be happy to look into what the situation is. In fact, I tried to get this morning, since we haven't done it in so long, how many teams have been in there, where are we on all the teams, and we just weren't able to pull it together that fast. Q A little more on the production thing, for just a second. You said there was no evidence -- the U.S. has no evidence, or the U.N. has no evidence of actual production of significant amounts of uranium; is that correct? Did I get that right? I'm not sure I did. MS. TUTWILER: What I've got is, to date, the United Nations inspectors have not yet found any evidence that Iraq had produced significant quantities of highly enriched uranium. Q Doesn't that deal with the question of whether they were capable of producing a certain number of bombs per year or anything if they -- MS. TUTWILER: It may well be. But I don't -- yeah, I said I would. Q Could we kick that back? If that means that's not significant enough to produce the weapons? MS. TUTWILER: That's right. But if you recall -- and I'm thinking back now to almost a year ago today -- I believe that we have consistently refrained from various reports that have been out in the press over what is United States' view of how close was or how long would Iraq need to have completed a bomb. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe anybody in this Administration ever went on the record that I can recall saying, in our view that it was 18 months or three years or six years. But I will see if they'll re-address it today. Q Does this evidence in any way -- does this new U.N.-found evidence corroborate information the United States had previously? Or was the United States surprised to discover this report from the U.N. as well? MS. TUTWILER: The United States has throughout been lending many various types of assistance to this inspection operation that we fully support. That is well known that we support, and I'll just have to leave it at that. Q Margaret, as I understand it, these discoveries were made by this special inspection team; not by the standing IAEA, which raises again why the United States Government seems to have so much confidence in the IAEA procedures when they didn't have a clue about this massive program that apparently has been going on for years? MS. TUTWILER: Who didn't have a clue? Q The IAEA. MS. TUTWILER: I think that would be unfair to the IAEA institution. I believe they had more than a clue, Jim. I believe that all of us -- and we have all acknowledged it and stated it -- that, for the United States speaking, that this is something that we have readily admitted that there were parts of this buried in the desert, out scattered around in a fairly large country, that, yes, we did not know. That is why we have said, and we continue to say, that it is so important to us -- and to my knowledge, everybody else in the coalition, at the United Nations -- that these teams continue going in there. They continue demanding and being able to see any and everything that they want to see, whether it's in the nuclear field, the chemical field, or the biological field. Q Margaret, I think Jim put a very valid point out, which is that Iraq was subject to IAEA supervision and a signatory to the non-proliferation agreement before the Gulf crisis and before the Gulf war. IAEA was inspecting Iraq's nuclear facilities before and had no notion of the scale of what was involved. Now, you're talking about IAEA inspections in North Korea, in other countries, and the question is, what confidence do you have that this inspection regime is adequate in light of the Iraqi success in invading it? MS. TUTWILER: I've said this before and I'll say it again today. I know of no reason that the United States Government does not have confidence in the IAEA inspectors. This is the avenue, on this particular type of inspections, that the United Nations -- and I'm unaware of anyone who has objected to it -- is supporting. We are sending these individuals in there. They have done a very good job, it's my opinion. Q But those are separate. That's different. Q You're talking about a special commission from the United Nations that is going in there with the help of the IAEA. Prior to the war, the IAEA was in charge of doing these inspections and did not have a clue as to what Iraq was doing. Alan's question, Jim's question goes to the point of, does the institution itself, aside from the special commission, have any credibility to inspect North Korea, to inspect other countries that have nascent nuclear programs? MS. TUTWILER: I understand the question, and I believe that you can understand my response, that the United States, to my knowledge, does not have any reason to not have confidence in the IAEA institution and its personnel. I am unaware of any official United States complaints about the operation, the institution of the IAEA. Q Why is that, Margaret, since they clearly messed up? MS. TUTWILER: I will be happy to ask the experts if they will entertain your questions. Q But isn't it true that they actually can only inspect what the country that they're inspecting allows them to inspect? They go into Iraq and Iraq says, "Okay, here's our facility," and they inspect it and then they go home. The question is -- nobody is impugning the institution or its personnel. The question is -- MS. TUTWILER: (inaudible) for asking me. (Laughter) Q No, no. The question is: whether their procedures, whether their authority is adequate to ensure that other countries in the future don't do what Iraq did? MS. TUTWILER: I am not an expert on the IAEA. I do not know that since this situation in Iraq, if they have taken it upon themselves to do some type of internal review; if they are looking at a different scenario for doing their business. I just am not the person who is in the position today to answer those kind of questions. I will be more than glad to ask our Department to call the IAEA headquarters and ask these types of questions for you: Are they doing an internal review? Are they looking at how they might do things differently in the future? I just don't know. Q We're asking about U.S. policy, because a lot of U.S. policy is predicated on IAEA inspections, and North Korea is a classic example. Are you satisfied with the way that they conduct their inspections? Do you have confidence that those inspections can prevent countries like North Korea from concealing their nuclear capabilities? MS. TUTWILER: I think I've lost count. This is the fourth time I'm going to say it. I know of no United States lack of confidence in the IAEA institution or its personnel. I don't know how many times to say it. Q Then the question becomes, Margaret -- excuse me -- Ralph, could I just follow up my own question. Q Does the United States have confidence in the IAEA? MS. TUTWILER: I'll take all questions that have been asked in the future concerning the IAEA operations -- the United States Government's view of it and its personnel, it's job during the war, et cetera. I will take them all under consideration and try to get you all a very, very thorough readout on the IAEA operations. Q Does the U.S. believe that it had sufficient authority to find out what it needs to know? MS. TUTWILER: We'll put that on the list, too. That will be good. Q Just to review the bidding. What the IAEA did in Iraq was go and take pictures every six months of this wad of 28 pounds of enriched uranium at the Osirak reactor which was bombed in 1981, and then they left. Then they said, no problem. This has been going on since 1981. The question has also been raised by the fact that the IAEA apparently did not have a clue, also, about the Pakistani program which you sort of allude to. MS. TUTWILER: That feeds into Alan's question on North Korea. Q In both cases, could you explain to us, or have your people explain to us, why the U.S. Government continues to have confidence in a program -- in an inspection program which appears to have missed such massive violations? MS. TUTWILER: That's your original question. I said I would take all questions under consideration on the IAEA. Q New subject? Margaret, can you tell us anything new about this aid conference which is next week -- a week away. What is the arrangement going to be for the press? MS. TUTWILER: For the press? Yesterday, I announced credentialing for the press. I think that was supposed to be done yesterday afternoon. Q Is there a filing center? MS. TUTWILER: Oh, no, there's no separate filing center. Q Can you tell us anything about participation? How many countries you're expecting? MS. TUTWILER: No. That's kind of the same question that Ralph had asked me earlier. I said I'm really going to refrain and put it all out as one completed package probably on the morning of the conference. If not then -- because I know that will jam you up -- we will probably try to get it out to you the afternoon before. Q Are you working the afternoon the day before? MS. TUTWILER: Am I? Q I believe that's a Federal holiday. MS. TUTWILER: That's Tuesday, the 21st. Q That's the day the conference starts; right? MS. TUTWILER: To my mind, the conference starts on Wednesday, the 22nd. Q Margaret, do you have anything different to say on Algeria than you had yesterday? Because there are continuing fundamentalist charges that the constitution has been short-circuited. MS. TUTWILER: The only thing different, Barry, acknowledging that today there is a difference between the two parties concerning the constitution; that today our position is going to be, we're not going to interject ourselves in that debate. We are not going to take sides on whether they are, indeed, operating within their constitution or, as the opposition claims, they are not. Q That sounds like the policy is evolving. It sounds like an evolution of policy. You wouldn't call it a change? MS. TUTWILER: It would be a really boring world if you had no flexibility, wouldn't it? You have to react to things that are going on. This situation has developed overnight, it's my understanding, and the opposition is now claiming that they are not operating within the constitution. As I explained the process yesterday, the Prime Minister's organ and the High Security Council, they believe they're operating under the constitution. For the United States today, we are not going to get ourselves in a position on commenting one way or the other on the Algerian constitution. Q Just a quick -- Q Can I just follow up on that, please? Do you feel that your interpretation yesterday was wrong? Or do you just see that given the delicacy and the complicatedness of the political situation there that it's just better for you to back off? MS. TUTWILER: If we were wrong, I am -- and I think I have a track record with you -- I'm the first to come out here. I have no hang-ups in saying, we were wrong; we made a mistake. Yesterday's situation -- after all, this evolved over the weekend -- that's how it was, or looked to us, yesterday. Since that briefing, loud and clear, the opposition there on the ground have said publicly that the mechanisms that are in place are unconstitutional. So that has evolved since we made our statement yesterday on how we viewed the situation, or how the situation, as we understood it, had evolved. That's the only thing that has changed. In light of that, we have decided -- and I think it's a correct approach, obviously, that we are not going to get in this constitutional debate at all. So, we're not. So, it is definitely a change from yesterday, and that is where we are today. Q Can I just finish up on this? I don't mean to beat a dead horse. MS. TUTWILER: No, it's no problem. Q One would have assumed -- MS. TUTWILER: We could do IAEA again? (Laughter) Q I promise, I won't go on that long. One would have assumed from your statement yesterday that the United States looked at the constitution, looked at the mechanism that was put in place and decided that the legal interpretation was, this was in the constitution. But what you're saying today suggests that political factors are more at work; that the opposition -- that it's not because you feel that you misread the constitution but that the political opposition now says it's wrong and so therefore the United States is withdrawing its interpretation? MS. TUTWILER: Without interjecting myself into a very live debate now in Algeria that has developed that didn't exist, to my knowledge or our knowledge yesterday -- which I don't want to do -- I am not walking out here today, to answer your question that you asked me: "Are you saying you were wrong yesterday?" I would answer for you in the positive, if that's indeed what we thought. But that is yesterday. Do you see what I'm saying? So, today I'm not interjecting myself into this by saying, yes, that it absolutely is constitutional. That would be taking sides. Okay? Q Are you withdrawing your concerns of yesterday -- MS. TUTWILER: No, I answered that. Q -- about interruption of the electoral process? MS. TUTWILER: Am I withdrawing that concern? Q Yeah. MS. TUTWILER: No, I'm not. Q Has our Ambassador spoken with anyone in the government, whether it's constitutional or not? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sure she has. I just haven't checked that literal fact, but I can't imagine that she hasn't. Q Can you answer that question? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q In Algeria, and elsewhere, is Islamic fundamentalism, as far as U.S. policy is concerned, a threat to democracy? MS. TUTWILER: I answered that quite extensively yesterday and I'll be happy to get you that statement from the Press Office. Q Do you have anything on arrests in Kenya yesterday? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Are the Israelis and Lebanese negotiating, do you happen to know? MS. TUTWILER: Today? Q Yeah. There was a problem yesterday, an illness problem. MS. TUTWILER: The illness problem -- I believe that the head of their delegation is here, and it's my understanding they began at 10:00 a.m. this morning. Q Margaret, has anything changed on the three Cubans that are facing the firing squad? MS. TUTWILER: The what? Q Those three Cubans facing the firing squad? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I know of. Q Their families are coming here this afternoon seeking some sort of help. MS. TUTWILER: Coming to the State Department? I don't know. I hadn't heard that. Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: Thank you all. (Press briefing concluded at 1:04 p.m.)