US Department of State Daily Briefing #19: Tuesday, 2/4/92

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: Feb, 4 19922/4/92 Category: Briefings Region: South America, South Asia, East Asia, Caribbean, E/C Europe, Subsaharan Africa, MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia Country: Venezuela, Pakistan, Japan, Haiti, Yugoslavia (former), Macedonia, South Africa, Iraq, USSR (former), Israel Subject: State Department, Regional/Civil Unrest, Democratization, Immigration, Refugees, Cultural Exchange, Military Affairs, Arms Control, Development/Relief Aid, Terrorism 12:12 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I don't have anything. I'll be happy to try to answer any of the questions you may have.

[Venezuela: Attempted Coup/US Support for Government]

Q There was an attempted coup in Venezuela earlier today, and I believe you issued a brief written statement about it. Can you tell us whether it is your understanding that the coup has been crushed and elaborate on your statement a little bit? MS. TUTWILER: The President, as you know, spoke this morning and elaborated on the State Department statement of early this morning, so I would refer you to -- I believe it was around 7:30 a.m. -- the President's statement as he was boarding the helicopters, I believe, enroute to Florida. Concerning the overall situation, I've just gotten off the phone with Assistant Secretary Aronson, and in our opinion -- keeping in mind that we have fragmented information -- the situation is still a little confused, and we are obviously watching it very closely; and that our information is that the rebellion is being contained. Q Has the Government of Venezuela asked for any help from the United States? MS. TUTWILER: No. As you know, President Bush, sometime between 2:00 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., spoke with the President of Venezuela. In that conversation, there was no assistance that was requested, nor in follow-up conversations that Assistant Secretary Aronson has had. And he did, though, ask, as he has publicly stated -- President Perez asked for a strong statement of support from the United States, which obviously we instantly did early this morning. And again the President has spoken very forcefully about this just this morning at 7:30. Q Was the Secretary awakened? MS. TUTWILER: The Secretary was awakened a little before 2:00 a.m. by Assistant Secretary Aronson. The Secretary in turn awoke the President sometime between 2:00 a.m. and 2:30. Q What does this coup tell you, though? This happened in our hemisphere in a country traditionally democratic. Don't you find it disturbing that something like this could happen on top of Haiti, which is another recent development? MS. TUTWILER: Of course we find it disturbing, but I would also have to say that we do not, nor has anyone stated yet privately or publicly that we're aware of, know what the motives were. It is our understanding that this coup attempt was undertaken by a group of mid- and lower-ranking officers. It is also fairly well-known that for some weeks we and other governments have heard of discontent in the Venezuelan military. Some of these reports have appeared in the press and have been public. However, neither we nor the Venezuelan Government predicted this action. And again we don't know -- no one has said -- what their motives were. The people that have been identified so far are mid- and lower-ranking officers. Q There are reports that there's widespread corruption in Venezuela, and this may have triggered this coup. Would you care to comment? MS. TUTWILER: That would be purely speculative on my part. I have said that we don't know what the motives were for these lower-ranking officers who had this attempted coup. I would be purely speculating, which would be totally irresponsible. Q Margaret, as you just said, the U.S. had not really anticipated this kind of problem in Venezuela. Does the U.S., now having seen it occur, consider Venezuela to be among the more fragile democracies in Latin America, or does it consider this to be something of an aberration that does not affect the fundamental underpinnings of democracy in that country? MS. TUTWILER: At first glance, Ralph, it would be our -- and again I said it was fragmented information -- as you describe, a fragmentation. But I don't think that I am in a position here at 12:15 today to tell you that we have had a thorough analysis or that all the facts and information are yet in to us -- and I would even venture to President Perez -- of exactly what went on, what were the reasons, what were the motives, what was behind this, what does it mean. Q New subject? MS. TUTWILER: It's fine with me.

[Pakistan: Foreign Secretary's Meetings at the Department]

Q Can you say something about the visit of the Pakistani Foreign Secretary? What's the background of that? What do you expect from that? MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me. I'm sorry. Q Do you have anything on the visit of the Pakistani Foreign Secretary who is spending practically the whole day in the State Department today? MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q What is the background for that, and what do you expect from it? MS. TUTWILER: I will leave it to the officials that he is meeting with to characterize for you after their meetings how the meetings went. I believe that this was something that had been scheduled quite some time ago, and I don't have a lot of detail for you, other than, you're correct -- he's meeting with a number of senior officials here at the Department today. I would imagine that they would discuss a whole range of bilateral issues between the two countries. Q Is it possible to do a readout later on? MS. TUTWILER: I'll ask the various officials that he's meeting with. Sure.

[Japan: Prime Minister's Comments on US Work Ethic]

Q Margaret, on another subject, yesterday the Japanese Government had expressed regret about the statement by the Prime Minister in the Diet. Since then, have they apologized? MS. TUTWILER: If there is such a -- if you mean another communication -- Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: -- I'm not aware of one. As we said yesterday in the statement that I read here, there was -- I didn't bring it with me today -- as you correctly point out, that they regretted in one point, and I believe the last line said it was not intended -- correct me, if I'm wrong on the record. So I'm not aware of any further communications on this. Q And do you consider the matter closed then? MS. TUTWILER: As far as I know. Yes. They issued a statement, and the statement speaks for itself of what he said his intentions were or were not. Q On that subject, Margaret, with the repeated series of exchanges between Japan and the United States on this -- of this flavor, shall we say -- does the U.S. think that something else needs to be done about maintaining the U.S.-Japanese relationship? Is there something that ought to be reviewed about the way the U.S. and Japan conduct business, either their trade or their diplomatic relations? Is there a problem here that needs fixing or -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware, Ralph, that there is a review of the Japanese-United States relationship. As you know, it is a very key and important relationship to our country, and the Japanese leadership expressed the same thing on their behalf. The President of the United States just met last Friday in New York with the Prime Minister of Japan. I'm unaware of any characterization of that meeting, other than a reinforcement of the strong ties between the two. So I'm not aware that, one, there's a need, or, two, that there is such a review going on. Q And the comments made just -- by the Japanese Prime Minister just a few days after having met President Bush don't suggest to the U.S. Government that maybe all was not what it seemed to be in the meeting between the President and Miyazawa -- President Bush and Prime Minister Miyazawa? MS. TUTWILER: The same Prime Minister that made those comments after meeting with President Bush, in my calculation, within hours had his press spokesman put out what his views were on what he viewed as a misinterpretation of what he had said. So I have to refer those types of questions you're asking me to the Japanese. Marlin spoke to this yesterday on behalf of the President. I believe the President himself spoke on it, and I just don't have anything new or different today on it. Q Does the U.S. think Prime Minister Miyazawa's remarks were misinterpreted? MS. TUTWILER: The Prime Minister has said what his remarks were intended to be, and I will leave it to what the Prime Minister himself has said, which makes perfect sense in my mind. If you say something, and then you say: "Hey, wait a minute, this was misinterpreted, I meant ..." Who are we to doubt that? Q Which comments by the Prime Minister are you taking at face value then? I mean, I'm not trying to be facetious, but there does seem to be a repeat problem here with -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm only aware, Ralph, in Prime Minister Miyazawa's tenure of one comment, if you're talking about a repeat pattern of his. I have said that within hours, the Prime Minister issued -- officially issued a statement. The statement speaks for itself. If you somehow have missed the statement, I have a copy of it -- I'll be happy to give it to you -- and I really have nothing further to add.

[Haiti: Update of Boat People Situation/Repatriation Issues]

Q Can you bring us up to date on the Haitian situation? Has the fact that the United States has begun returning the refugees stopped the flow of people who are getting into boats and being picked up? MS. TUTWILER: That's hard to analyze, John. As you know, throughout this humanitarian crisis, there have been many, many days -- sometimes even weeks -- when there have been no people that have been picked up. We can't tell you that people during that time did not drown. Yesterday, it's my understanding from the Coast Guard figures, there were 24 people that were picked up. But again I cannot read into it for you, because there has not been a steady pattern or a pattern you could bank on. Some weeks, as you know, there have been as many, as I recall, I think 3,000. Others there have been none. So we certainly hope that people are not, as we have from the very beginning, putting their lives at risk in getting into these boats. Q And you know of no incidents involving the persecution or the targeting of any of the people who have thus far returned -- the 381 that were returned yesterday? MS. TUTWILER: None. And we are monitoring it closely. We have said humanitarian organizations are, specifically the Haitian Red Cross. I believe that the OAS is in the process of setting up some mechanism to have monitors there at Port-au-Prince also. But I can tell you that every bit of the operation yesterday, both in Guantanamo and in Port-au-Prince went off without incident. Q Do you anticipate it will be at approximately the level -- the returnees -- at the 300 to 400 level, because that's all Haiti can accommodate in the days and weeks ahead? MS. TUTWILER: We have two cutters that are leaving Guantanamo later today and will arrive in Port-au-Prince tomorrow. And as far as how long this will take, we think it could take up to several weeks. It will depend on the number of new pickups. As you know, over the weekend, there were a number of new pickups. Yesterday there were 24. So that's one factor that will influence, obviously, how fast you can do this. And there are some 4,000 Haitians at Guantanamo who are still being interviewed. Q Margaret, can you give us a little more information -- Q [Inaudible] -- interviewing, if you know, that process will continue? Q Can you give us a little more information about the way the monitoring is being carried out? Are you watching people back into their villages or only on the dock at Port-au-Prince? How is the United States keeping up with -- or keeping track of these people to make sure they are not persecuted? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding, Norm, is that we have had 11 years of experience with this, and that it's not just there at the dock; that there is follow-up. It's our Embassy personnel in coordination with the other organizations I've mentioned, and I don't have for you a more literal [procedure] of how they do it. But I know that we obviously in this case, as in others in the past, have watched it very carefully. And, yes, I have been told that it is not just there at the dock. There is follow-up. Q Could I ask how many people are there in the U.S. Embassy that are available to be doing this work? I understand there are fewer people now than there have been in the past. MS. TUTWILER: That's true. We had a drawdown, and I believe right now the number -- let me check my own record -- is between 25 and 30. I do not have a figure for you of the OAS and how many they will be sending. I don't have a figure of the humanitarian organizations, and I don't have a figure of how many members there are of the Haitian Red Cross. Q What about the Ambassador? MS. TUTWILER: The Ambassador is still here. Q No change. No plans to return? MS. TUTWILER: No change.

[Haiti: Embargo/Retargeting Issue]

Q Do you have anything on the embargo with respect to tightening it, loosening it, or leaving it where it is? MS. TUTWILER: Retargeting? Mr. Aronson mentioned this last night on the MacNeil/Lehrer show, and I thought that I might get asked a further amplification, so I asked him to please help me on what exactly is this retargeting. What it is, is that we have been analyzing the embargo's effects to see how it can be strengthened, while at the same time trying to reduce as much as possible any unintended suffering by innocent Haitians. The Treasury Department is now prepared to grant, on a case-by-case basis, licenses to individual companies operating in the assembly sector -- it's my understanding, George, the assembly sector is something that was set up in the Reagan Administration under CBI -- in Haiti by permitting export of materials manufactured in the United States, assembly of the finished product in Haiti, and importing it back to the United States. The assembly sector in Haiti normally employs an estimated 40,000 people, almost all of whom are now unemployed. Each of these assembly workers supports in turn an estimated additional six to seven dependents. We want to help these workers and ensure Haiti does not lose this source of employment. At the same time, we are trying to retarget or fine tune the embargo to tighten its effects on individuals who may be aiding and abetting financing the coup or military or police violence. We are currently seeking to develop evidence against such individuals. Under the authority of the executive order, such individuals could have their assets in the United States blocked, and U.S. citizens would be prohibited from any financial dealings with them. We have separate authority to deny such individuals visas for the United States. We have been monitoring the effects of the embargo from the beginning. We now believe we have enough information to make finer distinctions about the effects of the embargo. Our information is that the sanctions on the assembly sector largely affect innocent Haitians only and have no serious impact on those behind the coup. However, we want to stress that these licenses will be issued by Treasury -- our Treasury Department -- on a case-by-case basis. If one of these companies is, in fact, owned by an individual actively supporting the coup, we do not believe that Treasury would issue a license. Q Is it fair to say that the U.S., in looking back now, had not anticipated the loss of these 40,000 jobs, or did the U.S. anticipate the loss of the 40,000 jobs but think that that was an inevitable result of attacking those who were behind the coup? MS. TUTWILER: I think that the United States, in conjunction with the OAS, felt that we had to make a strong statement of our support for this overthrow of a democratically elected person. Always with embargoes, Ralph, it has been my experience in my tenure in government, innocent people get hurt, but we wanted to make a serious statement. We are now and have been reviewing our embargo, and, when Bernie [Aronson] mentioned retargeting or fine-tuning last night, this is where it is going to be aimed. What they're looking at is this assembly sector. Q Do you have one example of what -- assembly of what? Chairs, toys? MS. TUTWILER: Well, he gave he examples on the phone this morning, and I'm not positive that I'm the best person to do this for you. It's very complicated. There's a chain of events in this assembly sector, like the production of a pocketbook. One person -- and don't hold me to this, because we went through it fast -- produces one part of it, another person produces another part, and it's some type of assembly -- not line -- but assembly in getting the final product together, so a lot of people are involved in it. Pocketbooks was the example he used with me this morning. Q Not electronics and things like that; it's lower-end users. MS. TUTWILER: He used pocketbooks. I didn't ask. Q Baseballs? MS. TUTWILER: What, George? Q Baseballs? MS. TUTWILER: George says baseballs also. I don't know. [Laughter] Q Margaret, are we getting help from the EEC countries, because they had been cited in the OAS's having violated the embargo. Have we talked with them recently, and what type of response have we gotten? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I'll be happy to ask for you. Q Margaret, can you tell us the legal basis for freezing the assets of foreigners who have participated in a coup in their own country? I thought that was mostly on drug money and places where governments had changed hands. MS. TUTWILER: No, I can't. But I know the Treasury Department can, and I'll be happy to, if I have time -- I'll get somebody in the Press Office to call Treasury for you and get you what the regs are -- the regulations. Q Margaret, new topic? Q Let me just throw one more requested question: Could you take the question of what -- assembly of what and provide us with some specific examples of what type of things we're talking about? MS. TUTWILER: Some other examples? Yes. No problem. Q Is this a U.S. initiative, or is it in coordination with the OAS? MS. TUTWILER: These are our laws, and what we can do under our laws. Q Right. MS. TUTWILER: Obviously, there has been ongoing, and we'll continue consultation with the OAS. They may have, in each of their sovereign nations, different laws. They are well aware that we have been reviewing and looking at the effects of this embargo. Under our law, this is what we can do. Q But the embargo is an OAS embargo supported by the United States. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q O.K. So the lifting of the embargo -- or the easing of the embargo -- MS. TUTWILER: Fine-tuning, retargeting. Q Well, 40,000 people is a hell of a fine-tuning. But anyway, when do you hope to implement this? MS. TUTWILER: This is something that is currently, right now under consideration and active -- how do we implement within our government. I can't tell you when literally it kicks in. I'll be happy to ask Bernie [Aronson], but it is not -- and I know you didn't seriously mean that -- a lifting of the embargo or a change of U.S. policy on the embargo. It's really refining it, retargeting it. As I said earlier -- and I had this experience when we were at the Treasury Department -- embargoes do hurt innocent people, and we are very well aware of that, and that is not what the intention is. Q Margaret, does the United States assume that the need for an embargo would have ended by now? MS. TUTWILER: I don't think that you ever can put a time frame on these kinds of things, Johanna. I think that it was a measure that any number of countries felt at the time it was the appropriate thing to do. We have not changed our view of that, and I'm not aware that anybody else has. But I don't think whenever you put these embargoes on in various instances and countries that you say, "Well, in 3 weeks it ought to work," or 6 weeks or 9 months. You just never know. Q Let me ask it another way. Is the United States satisfied with the progress that the OAS has made in restoring the political stability of Haiti? MS. TUTWILER: Obviously not. We don't have political stability in Haiti. We, as you just pointed out to me a few minutes ago, we had to recall our Ambassador based on violence that was there in Haiti -- political violence. President Aristide is not in Haiti. So I can't say that we or the OAS, or anybody else that I'm aware of that has an interest in this, is satisfied that constitutional government has been restored in Haiti. Q But the question is, are we satisfied that the OAS is moving expeditiously? Do we think they could be doing more? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know of any dissatisfaction that we have had from the very beginning with the OAS. As I recall, these were unanimous consensus, as I recall, votes by the OAS. The OAS acted very, very quickly. I'm unaware of any dissatisfaction. Everyone that I'm aware of has been doing whatever they can, with the means available to them, to try to ensure that democracy is restored in this constitutional government in Haiti. Q Have you heard any complaints or dissatisfaction from the OAS on the actions that the U.S. Government is taking today? MS. TUTWILER: None that Bernie [Aronson] expressed to me this morning. Q Margaret, there are reports that Haiti is getting fuel through Curacao, which is not a member of the OAS. Are you making representations to the government of Curacao to ask them to stop that? MS. TUTWILER: Number one, I'm not aware of that. I'll be happy to ask them to look into it for you. Q Margaret, last week, I suggested to, I believe it was Joe Snyder, that it would nice to have Ambassador Adams to come here to do a briefing for us. That was almost a week ago. Are you aware of whether or not that subject has been broached? MS. TUTWILER: I wasn't aware of that particular request. It's not because, I'm sure, Joe hasn't tried to get my attention -- I've only been back 2 days -- and I will look into it this afternoon and see where we are on that. Q Margaret, last Friday, during the special briefing for the annual human rights report, I asked Assistant Secretary Richard Schifter if the State Department located the number of the Greek minority in the republic of Skopje, Yugoslavia, which is under the oppression by the Gligorov Administration. He promised to look into that. I'm wondering if you have any answer? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't had a chance to see Ambassador Schifter since I returned. I'll be happy to ask him if he's had an opportunity to look into this for you. Q Margaret, on my two taken questions yesterday -- MS. TUTWILER: I can't remember what they were. Q One was on South Africa agreeing to have an interim government? MS. TUTWILER: I believe we posted something yesterday afternoon. Q I know, but do you have anything you can read, though? MS. TUTWILER: Do I have something to read? No. Sorry.

[Iraq: Number of Scud Missiles/UN Inspections and Funding]

Q What about the Scud missiles in Iraq? MS. TUTWILER: I believe we also did that yesterday. Q I'd still like to get your voice? MS. TUTWILER: I know. I'm sorry. Q Margaret, a follow-up on the Scud missiles. You indicate that there may, indeed, be hundreds of them which have not been found by the people who are looking for them. Is that a number which you've known about for some time, or it seems somewhat surprising? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know if it's a number that we've known for some time or not. As you know, this is why we keep saying that all of these United Nations sanctions, these inspection teams, etc., must actively keep pursuing their work; they must be allowed to see anything that is suspect to them or they have a reason to believe they'd like to see. So whether the number "hundreds" comes as a surprise to me, my instincts would be -- not having asked the question -- that, no, it doesn't. Q Does it indicate any failure on the part of the international effort to -- MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of. I don't know anyone who claimed that every single, solitary Scud, weapon of mass destruction, any possible thing that Saddam Hussein may choose to use in the area of arms was gotten. I'm just not aware that anybody made that claim. Q It's just that -- there's a big difference between single, solitary Scuds and hundreds of Scuds. MS. TUTWILER: There's a big difference between saying that you got and crippled an army and a massive machine, which I know everyone has said -- and I don't believe there's any question about that -- and just as we found -- what were those things called the other day? We found a number of things. I can't remember the names of them -- centrifuges? Q Centrifuges. MS. TUTWILER: Is that what they were? -- 2 weeks ago or something. Remember, the inspectors found that. There's another example, and I can't pull it out of my memory, of something else the inspectors found. That is why we -- and I'm not aware that anybody disagrees with this -- are continuing to monitor, track, look at, search for exactly what all is there. Q Is there any confidence that the conditions on the ground are or will be such that these will, indeed, be rooted out? MS. TUTWILER: Is there any confidence? There's no lack of confidence that I know of that these teams that have been in there -- and I haven't checked recently the number. The last time I did it, I believe it was 18 different teams in all of the different categories. My understanding is these teams are still going. I'm not going to stand here and tell you that they will find every single, minuscule, tiny little thing that is there. But are they doing a thorough job in the world community in the United Nations, it's my understanding, absolutely. Look at the things that they are, indeed, turning up, they're destroying. Yes, as you know, there have been incidents and those incidents have been resolved, and these inspections continue. Q Margaret, those teams are running out of money. Is the United States committed to keep them going if the U.N. cannot continue to fund them? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. We were asked this question about 3 weeks ago -- the money question. To be honest with you, Connie, I cannot remember all of the detail we gave you. We're aware of the problem. It is, as I recall -- I think we said it was a serious problem and something that we obviously believe, yes, these teams should keep going.

[Iraq: List of US Companies that Sold Products for Production of Weapons of Mass Destruction]

Q Still on Iraq. The chairman of the House Banking Committee suggests the United States Government has not had the money or not been able to adequately pursue cases of U.S. firms that may have supplied Iraq with technology or equipment with which to build its military machine. Has the State Department received from the U.N. Special Commission the lists containing the names of U.S. companies whose equipment was found there? And if it has received them, has the U.S. -- has the Administration begun investigating them? What's the status of those investigations? MS. TUTWILER: We've stated here from this podium -- I have -- that it is our policy that the IAEA should publicize these lists. That is not their policy, but we have stated here weeks ago what our views of this were. We have urged that the IAEA and the U.N. Special Commission release to the public the names of all companies found to have sold parts, equipment, or services used in developing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. In addition, we have made a formal request today to the Special Commission and IAEA for a list of United States companies whose products were being used in Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We obviously have not yet received that list. As I think you're aware, the IAEA recently identified and named publicly 13 companies whose products were being used in the Iraqi nuclear program. One of these companies was an American company. If the IAEA gives us our list of American companies, and they give it under the IAEA rules -- which is under a confidential basis -- obviously, we would share that on the same basis with the United States Congress. Our view, and it's been stated publicly -- it's long held -- is these lists should be released to the public. Q Would the U.S. -- does the U.S. point of view mean that the U.S. thinks those lists ought to be made public before they're provided to the U.S. Government? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. We've been saying that. But that's not the policy of the IAEA and the U.N. Special Commission. It's our view. Q Why is it that the formal request was made today? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q They were obtained by the IAEA, at least a month ago I think. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q Can you offer us some clarification on what has happened at our embassy in Moscow whereby the rules have finally been changed on American employees fraternizing with people from Russia? Is this the case now in all the republics? Is there any country in the bloc that we still have -- that the United States still has restrictive fraternization rules? MS. TUTWILER: Number one, this applies to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and, as you know, we have just, at the end of last month, opened embassies in the Ukraine, Byelarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. So all of those, it's the same new rules. I want to be honest with you and say that there are a few restrictions that are left. Predominantly, my understanding of this is that this is "romantic involvement." That is something that is also being reviewed. But the first bulk of these types of prohibitions or restrictions that existed under the old Soviet regime have been removed. I don't believe, John -- since we have no personnel in these other places -- that there's been a change there. As you know, we haven't yet recognized the six. I'm not being sarcastic. I'm serious. If an embassy person goes out to a place we don't recognize -- it's a question I didn't think to ask this morning -- "Do the rules still apply there?" As you know, some of these places have not yet said that they are a democracy. They have not ascribed to our five principles. So my instincts would be, probably, the rules would still be the same. But on the six that we've recognized, they're gone except for the one I mentioned. Q So are the standards by which American employees at the embassy must now operate, are those standards the same as they would be in France, for example, or in Britain? MS. TUTWILER: Other than the one restriction, and there may be one other that I mentioned to you. Q "Romantic involvement" with someone from the country is prohibited? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. There's still that restriction which I said is also under review. Q You can't remember what the second one is? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not even sure there's a second one. I think this is the only one that is left; it's my understanding. Q Can you take that and find out precisely what's left? MS. TUTWILER: I asked this morning. Yes. [Laughter] They're my friends. Q Does "romantic" involve -- 4 MS. TUTWILER: What? Q [Inaudible] MS. TUTWILER: No. Q In France, you can be romantically involved? [Multiple questions] MS. TUTWILER: Yes. I asked the same question this morning. Yes, you can. Q They could compromise you in France or Britain the same way as you can -- MS. TUTWILER: Obviously, when I was discussing this this morning -- you've got to use your common sense. But I mean, really, in all of Western Europe, yes. Government people marry foreigners. It goes on. It happens. [Laughter] Q But that is -- MS. TUTWILER: I mean, really. That's what I mean by common sense. But, yes, I asked your very question this morning. These kinds of rules do not exist in all of those Western European countries or many other countries around the world. Q So that sets up a -- we are obviously discriminating against Russia because we feel it is still in a transition; is that correct? And there are still potential threats from Russia, even though we have declared our great friendship for each other at Camp David, so on and so forth? MS. TUTWILER: You wouldn't be surprised if I did not buy into your description of "discriminate against." This is really something that was not easy to get done. We have big bureaucracies here. Bureaucracies move slowly. This is something that Secretary Baker and others in this government have been trying to get done. We, to be honest with you, are very pleased that you have fraternization, new regulations and rules. We welcome this. We are very glad about it. Yes, there are still higher security threats which have to be taken seriously -- it's not a joking matter -- in some areas. You're absolutely correct, the whole world can see that the former Soviet Union is in transition. Another thing we are doing, if you'll recall -- I believe it was back in 1985, in Moscow, I can address myself to -- you could not have foreign nationals serving there. We now plan to hire a limited number of local, national employees to work in our new embassies -- in Kiev, Bishkek, Mensk, Alma-Ata, and Yerevan. We also plan to hire local nationals to work at our embassy in Moscow. I assume they're going to -- I don't know this for a fact, but it would obviously apply to St. Petersburg. That is something that Ambassador Strauss, when he was confirmed and sworn in, spent a great deal of time, to be honest with you, up on the Hill to try to get done, once he saw what the actual situation there was in the Embassy, and we're very pleased that that also has taken place. Q One last question on the restrictions. Are our diplomats in Moscow restricted on where they can travel in Russia and are their diplomats in Washington restricted on where they can travel? MS. TUTWILER: The 25-mile rule? Q Yeah. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know if we've changed that. I thought we had. [TO STAFF] Hadn't we? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know where it stands right now. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know, let me check. I know that's one of the other things that was under review. I thought that one had been changed. Let me check. Q On a parallel subject -- MS. TUTWILER: Both theirs and ours. Q -- does this transition now simplify what the United States is going to do about its chancery building and embassy building? I notice there is a $140 million or $180 million in the budget for it. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know, to be honest with you, with all those changes exactly where we are on that. I know where it ended -- the solution that was resolved -- before there was no more Soviet Union. I honestly do not know what the thinking is now with the changed circumstances. I'll be happy to ask management for you. I just don't know. Q Anything new on the housing loan guarantees today? Any decisions made? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Any comments on Mr. Shamir's comments yesterday? MS. TUTWILER: Has it been set? Not to my knowledge. But, again, I would steer you toward the end of the week. Q Any statements or comments on Mr. Shamir's statements yesterday -- again, about no interference? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Margaret, there's a hearing today on the Hill at which counter-terrorism officials in the Justice Department are confronting a witness who participated in assisting the U.S. to learn information about certain terrorist activities. Does the State Department believe that U.S. Government procedures for making it easy for those who want to come forward with information about terrorism from abroad can do so? Are those procedures adequate? Are they smooth enough, good enough, to get the counter-terrorism job done? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not in a position to judge this. I know nothing about the testimony or the hearing, so I'll be happy to ask the counter-terrorism experts if they can, maybe, talk to you. I know nothing about it. I hadn't heard of it. Q Margaret, on the budget proposal, there's two items proposed for deletion by the Administration. One forbids the State Department from contracting with firms that observe the Arab boycott against Israel; the other prohibits the issuing of Israel only passports in order to help pressure the Arab countries to allow people with Israel stamps in their nation. Yesterday, an American Jewish group sent a letter to Secretary Baker protesting that these items are being proposed for deletion. Can you explain the policy decision behind proposing these for deletion, and what the State Department's response is to the letter? MS. TUTWILER: What I'm going to do is defer to the Secretary of State's public testimony tomorrow on our FY-93 budget. He will be testifying tomorrow before the Senate, and he will be testifying on Thursday before the House. I will let those types of questions be answered by him in his public testimony. Q Margaret, French Foreign Minister Dumas said today that the U.S. had finally agreed to a long-standing French proposal for a four-power meeting on nuclear issues and arms control. That's Russia, the U.S., France, and Britain. Is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: What I need to do, Patrick, is talk to Reggie [Bartholomew]. I'm aware that this subject was discussed at the head of state level in New York on Friday and Thursday. I would rather check with Reggie before I answer that for you. It's something that has also been discussed at his level, and I'll just see what I can get you. Q Margaret, in returning the refugees to Haiti, have you been in touch -- has the Department of State negotiated or been in contact with President Aristide and kept him informed? And what is your relationship with the coup leaders on the return of the refugees? MS. TUTWILER: They have issued any number of statements -- the most recent I saw this morning that was played on CNN -- saying that none of these people will come to any harm. As I stated yesterday, obviously things could change. We would certainly pray not. In the 11 years of experience with this, there has not been any incident. I haven't asked, but I am sure that Assistant Secretary Aronson, or his experts, stay in touch with President Aristide. I just haven't asked that in awhile, but I can't imagine why they wouldn't. Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: Thanks. (Press briefing concluded at 12:49 p.m.)