US Department of State Daily Briefing #29: Wednesday, 2/26/92

Boucher Source: State Department Deputy Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: Feb, 26 19922/26/92 Category: Briefings Region: Eurasia, Caribbean, MidEast/North Africa, East Asia Country: Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, USSR (former), Haiti, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Japan, China Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Regional/Civil Unrest, United Nations, Military Affairs, Trade/Economics, Human Rights 12:45 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Former Soviet Union: US Supports Russian Foreign Minister's Efforts to Mediate Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict]

MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. If I can, I'd like to start off with a statement that adds to the Secretary's comments of yesterday on Nagorno-Karabakh, then I'll tell you about the return of Ambassador Adams to Haiti, and then we can take questions. As you know, the Secretary addressed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and our support for Russian-Kazakh mediation efforts yesterday in his testimony. But we are concerned about the increasing violence in the area, and I'd like to amplify on his remarks somewhat. The U.S. Government strongly supports Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev's constructive efforts to mediate the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We call upon both the Armenian and Azerbaijani Governments to implement the communique issued on February 20 by Foreign Minister Kozyrev and the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers. Implementing this communique would be a significant step toward ending the violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and beginning the process of resolving the conflict through good-faith negotiation. The United States Government has consistently stated that a lasting solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute can only be achieved through good-faith negotiations between the parties themselves. The Russian-Kazakh mediation effort, renewed by Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev last week, offers the best hope for beginning such good-faith negotiations. The United States Government also welcomes the recent CSCE rapporteur mission to the region and CSCE support for Foreign Minister Kozyrev's mediation effort. At the same time, the U.S. Government is deeply concerned by reports of escalating fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and continuing blockades throughout the region. This escalation of fighting only increases human suffering and further complicates efforts to achieve a lasting resolution to the conflict. The blockades must end, particularly at a time when the rest of the world community is coming together to relieve humanitarian need in Azerbaijan and Armenia. We urge all sides to end the fighting and lift the blockades in the region. Q Richard, are any actions planned by the U.S. Government? MR. BOUCHER: We, as you know, sent some humanitarian shipments into the area. We've been in contact with the various parties; and I guess our actions would be to continue to support the efforts of the Russian Foreign Minister, of the Kazakhs, and of the parties themselves to try to settle the dispute. Q As far as Azerbaijan, he just recently, I believe, said the U.S. would have diplomatic relations; and he couched it in terms not of approval but of an opportunity to maybe be of some influence. Is there any reconsideration of that? Is there any tactic that might be used diplomatically to put pressure on the Azeris? MR. BOUCHER: I think the Secretary made clear over the past two days of testimony that the richness and depth of our relationships with the various republics would be dependent on how strongly they adhered to the principles, including the CSCE principles. And so that's what I would say is the modulation of our relationships there. Q What is the distinction the United States makes between the Republics of Georgia and Azerbaijan, where we're withholding establishment of diplomatic relations with Georgia because of the fighting inside that republic? They don't seem to be viewing Azerbaijan in the same light. MR. BOUCHER: I think the Secretary made clear the different situations during the course of his meetings in the New Independent States and his meeting with the Georgia representative in Moscow, and he's addressed it in testimony over the past few days. I don't want to try to do any further comparisons. Q Would you favor sending a peacekeeping force there, perhaps a United Nations peacekeeping force or some other type of peacekeeping force? MR. BOUCHER: At this point, Frank, the situation really depends upon the parties. We favor the efforts that are being made by the Russian and Kazakh Ministers, and that's the point we're at right now. Q Do you want to bring the Europeans in? The West European Union folks are here. They've been having talks for three days. They have, you know, larger plans for that union and peacekeeping missions and a brigade turning into a bigger force. Is it too early to at least maybe ask the Europeans or consult with the Europeans about interceding? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, the Europeans are involved -- Q In Yugoslavia. MR. BOUCHER: -- as we are, through the CSCE. There was a CSCE rapporteur mission that completed its visit to Nagorno-Karabakh not too long ago. They're preparing a report that's going to be presented to a meeting of the CSCE committee of senior officials tomorrow in Prague. So we're all involved in supporting these efforts. O.K. We'll go on to Haiti. Q One more question. MR. BOUCHER: One more, Sonia. Q Does the United States think Iranian efforts to mediate between Armenia and Azerbaijan are helpful? MR. BOUCHER: Sonia, as the Secretary said yesterday and as I said again today, we think that the efforts of the Russian and Kazakhs are the best way to go on this.

[Haiti: US Ambassador's Return to Port-au-Prince/ US Supports Agreement Reached Between Aristide and Haitian Parliament to End Crisis/Repatriation Issues]

O.K. Haiti. Secretary Baker has instructed U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Alvin P. Adams to return to Port-au-Prince immediately. Ambassador Adams was withdrawn in response to the attack on Prime Minister-designate Rene Theodore on January 25 when one of Mr. Theodore's bodyguards was killed. The agreement reached between Haitian President Aristide and representatives of the Haitian Parliament on February 23 offers Haiti's best chance to end this crisis through a peaceful, negotiated settlement. We strongly support this agreement and urge its rapid approval and implementation. Ambassador Adam's return signifies our willingness to work with all Haitian parties toward ratification of the agreement and the creation of a government of national consensus which is called for in the February 23 accord. Mr. Theodore and Haitian legislative leaders, including the President of the Senate, Dejean Belizaire, and the Chamber of Deputies, Alexandre Medard, returned to Haiti Tuesday. They were peacefully permitted to enter the country, and they went directly to the Parliament building to work on ratifying the accord. Q Richard, while all these people are going back, do you have any traffic in the opposite direction to report? MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't. As a matter of fact, I have other people that are also going back to Haiti. There were no Haitians picked up at sea yesterday. In fact, none have been picked up now since February 19. The numbers in the other direction are 517 Haitians that were repatriated to Haiti from Guantanamo on Monday. There's a further 510 Haitians who are being repatriated today. This brings the total number of Haitians repatriated since the coup to 6,493, and there will be further repatriations on Thursday and Friday. Q Any growth in the total of people found to have a legitimate political fear? MR. BOUCHER: The latest numbers I have on that, since there have been some flights from Guantanamo to the United States, are now that 1,827 Haitians have been flown from Guantanamo to the States to pursue their claims of asylum. To date, 5,293 Haitians have been found to have a plausible claim to asylum according to latest information we've gotten from INS. Q Richard, what decision, if any, has been made on those Haitians who tested HIV positive? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware of any decision, but you'd have to check with the INS on that. Q Could we ask about the Middle East? MR. BOUCHER: Do you want to finish on the Haitians first? Q Can you tell us about where we stand with Aristide? The Haitian Ambassador said that he could be returned within two months. Is that realistic? And do you think the fine-tuning of the embargo might have made it easier for the current regime to resist his return? MR. BOUCHER: The return of Aristide, I think, is addressed in the agreement. They created a process -- well, here's where we stand. The legislative leaders, as I've said, have returned to Haiti. President Aristide and Prime Minister-designate Theodore continued their discussions Monday and released a protocol governing how they will collaborate until President Aristide's return. They also created a process which will include the participation of the OAS Secretary General, Baena Soares, to determine the modalities for President Aristide's return. So I don't have a timetable for that. That's something they'll have to work out as part of that process. Q And do you think the easing of the embargo or the fine-tuning, in your words, of the embargo might have made it easier for the regime to resist his return? MR. BOUCHER: I just don't know. This is an agreement that we expect to be ratified and implemented. We've urged that. We strongly support it and want to see it followed. Q But has the Haitian military signaled to the U.S. Government it's more willing now than it was before to accept Aristide's return? I understand they were pretty adamant about not letting him back. MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware of any recent signals, Frank. In fact, I don't think I've seen many public statements either. I think the fact is these people are back there. The Parliament, the legislature, is going to work on these things. We think that they ought to ratify this agreement as soon as possible and proceed to the next steps, which are things like Theodore forming a government and moving forward with this agreement. I also understand the OAS Permanent Council is going to meet to hear a report on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. from the Secretary General about the process of negotiations. Q Richard, is the State Department involved at all in the negotiations, as Senator Leahy mentioned yesterday, on the housing loan guarantees for a compromise proposal? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not sure what you're referring to that Senator Leahy mentioned yesterday -- Q He said, "Within the next few days." MR. BOUCHER: -- but the Secretary mentioned in very extensive testimony where he stood in his discussions at this point. Q Right. I'm asking -- he didn't address that particular point. Senator -- MR. BOUCHER: I really don't have anything to add to what he said yesterday, Jim, so I'm not in a position to do that either. Q Well, let me ask the question anyway. MR. BOUCHER: O.K. Q Senator Leahy said within the next few days he is going to put forward a reasonable compromise proposal if there is no agreement between the Israelis and the United States Government. I'm asking: will the State Department be involved in the negotiations that Senator Leahy intends to conduct? MR. BOUCHER: Who did Leahy supposedly say that he was going to negotiate with? That's what I don't understand about your question. Q Among others, Senator Kasten. MR. BOUCHER: O.K. Well, in any case, with your having asked the question, now let me give the answer. The Secretary has discussed this issue and where he stands on it extensively over the course of the past two days, and I don't have anything to add. Q Richard, the Secretary stands against any further settlements on the West Bank, and so do the Palestinians. But the Palestinians are not moving on the negotiations because they want those settlements stopped first. Does the Secretary -- we don't see him too often -- does he think that the negotiations should proceed on self-rule even though there is this problem over settlements? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, without buying into all your characterizations as part of this, the Secretary, first of all, addressed this question. He said that we're not interfering in the negotiations. We're not negotiating on anybody's behalf as regards the settlements question. We're taking a position based on longstanding U.S. policy of many Administrations. You've seen various statements by the parties on their peace process talks. Those talks are continuing. Our understanding is that talks have gotten into some of the substantive issues that divide them; that each group appears to be searching for a way to organize productive talks on these issues. They're continuing their discussions, and we'll leave it for them to provide further details on where they stand. Q The Palestinian spokesman saw Djerejian today. Do you want to either give us a report on what they talked about? And, if you can include in it, when the spokeswoman came out and said the Paletinians are asserting their national rights in these negotiations, do you agree -- does the State Department agree that this is the format for the Palestinians' national rights, which I assume means statehood -- I don't know what else it could mean -- to be pursued? Or is this negotiations over limited self-rule? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, I'm not -- Q You've set the rules for the negotiations, you know -- the U.S. and the Russians. MR. BOUCHER: Barry, we have never in the past -- and I'm not going to start today -- reacted to every statement that's made by people who are in the process of negotiating something. I therefore don't have anything specific to say on what you're telling me that somebody said. Assistant Secretary Djerejian did meet this morning with Hanan Ashrawi and Faisal Husseini. He's also scheduled to meet with Souheil Chammas of the Lebanese delegation. Yesterday he met with Ambassador Allaf of the Syrian delegation. He held consultations with Ambassador Hadass of the Israeli delegation. I'm sure the only way I can characterize their discussions is to talk about the peace process and how things are going. Q He didn't see the Israeli -- just consulted with him? You mean by telephone? Is that what -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't know exactly -- Q Or is that a synonym for actually having a meeting? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know exactly how that occurred. Q Richard, after Moscow there was a statement by the Secretary that he intended to play a more active role at this session that was to convene on the 24th. Is that active role limited to his testimony regarding the loan guarantees, or is there in fact some other involvement that would be characterized as a more active role than he played in Moscow? MR. BOUCHER: As I remember it, after Moscow as well as at other times, the Secretary repeated that we expected to be a driving force in these negotiations, but that the decisions in negotiating was really up to the parties; that we would stay involved, as necessary, and from time to time we might submit bridging proposals. That attitude on the part of the United States has not changed. Q Have there been any such bridging proposals proposed this round? MR. BOUCHER: Not that I'm aware of. Q Since you are the party which initiated, or possibly the host here for the talks in Washington, what's your opinion of the proposal made by the Israelis early -- I think on Monday -- about the self-government or self-rule -- that they, the Israelis, want to discuss it with the Palestinians piece by piece instead of coming with a long proposal or comprehensive proposal over the self-rule or self-government. You have an opinion on this? I'm quite sure that -- MR. BOUCHER: We're now in the fourth round of bilateral talks between these parties, starting with Madrid. We have not in all the previous rounds -- nor am I going to start to at this round -- start commenting on proposals by different sides or statements by each and every person from each delegation. Q But this is the core of the whole -- you know, when the Palestinians say that they will assert national self-rule, or whatever, I mean, this is the core of this whole peace talks that we are talking about. MR. BOUCHER: And the peace talks are peace talks between the two parties, and I'm not going to try to comment on everything they say or negotiate or discuss. Q Richard, what about the venue? The Israelis said yesterday that they'd submitted a long list and that they understood that there had been no list submitted by the Arabs. Now, this is a bridging proposal: Are you entertaining, as a result of the visit on Djerejian this morning, a new list from the other side? MR. BOUCHER: Again, the talks are between the parties. They're discussing a number of issues. They've been very thorough in briefing you on what's going on in their talks. We're not going to try to assume that role for them. I'm sorry. That's not a question I feel prepared to answer. Q But the Israelis said that you were considering and were going to compare and hoped to get a simultaneous venue for the next section of the talks. Is that true? MR. BOUCHER: I believe all the parties have themselves said this issue of venue has been discussed between them, and I'll leave it to them. Q No, no, Richard. The United States Government, stepping in as the host, asked all the parties to present a list, by some accounts, of ten possible places for the next round. Baker is already on the record saying at some point it might be a good idea to go some place else other than Washington. The United States initiated this idea. The Israelis say no one but the Israelis have responded. Is that accurate, and do you have anything to say about it? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, if you want to know if the various parties have presented lists in their talks with each other, you can ask each of the various parties. Q But you're the folks that asked the parties to respond. Don't you have anything to say when someone responds or not? MR. BOUCHER: I don't remember having said that, Barry. I don't remember having discussed that in that much detail. Q You mean the U.S. did not ask for suggestions? MR. BOUCHER: I didn't say that. I said we have never gotten into that level of detail about these negotiations. Q Well, I mean, if you're going to be a driving force, it strikes me just asking where we move next might be mild or maybe a low-gear version of the driving force. MR. BOUCHER: I can't answer you on some of these details at this point, Barry. We're not just -- Q Well, can you give us any examples where the U.S. has been a driving force to date? Or is it not yet timely to be a driving force? MR. BOUCHER: I would say that we're in the fourth round of discussions. Q A little early? MR. BOUCHER: We're open and ready for business. We're helping people out. They're having talks. They're dealing with some of the substantive issues, and I think that's what we hope to see and we're seeing it. Q And you're providing transportation to get them to and from the State Department; isn't that correct? MR. BOUCHER: Are we really, Alan? I don't know. That's not a detail I was prepared to deal with. Connie. Let's go to the back. Q This Washington Times story about Jordan and Iraq -- Jordan providing back-door assistance to Iraq. Do you have anything on that? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Let me say a couple of things about that, starting with the fact that, of course, the Secretary addressed the policy issues relating to Jordan yesterday in his testimony. I believe that specific story talks about jet airplanes and repainting and things like that. I have to say we have absolutely no information to substantiate that report. The situation, as we see it, is that most of what transits Jordan is food and medicine, which are not under embargo. We know that some other items -- mostly consumer goods -- have leaked across the border as well. We monitor this situation very closely. We're in regular contact with the Jordanians about it, as the Secretary mentioned yesterday. The Jordanian Government has taken many visible and sometimes unpopular measures to ensure compliance with sanctions. In any case, it's clear to us that whatever leakage occurs has not significantly undercut the overall impact of sanctions on Saddam's regime. Q Richard, the U.S. monitors with its own personnel in Jordan, for instance? You know, the way they keep track of settlements, for instance, on the West Bank. MR. BOUCHER: Howard, I think I have to just leave it to say that we're in close touch with the Jordanian Government, and we also follow the situation there closely. Q But you're getting reports from the Jordanians on compliance? MR. BOUCHER: We talk to them regularly about the question of leakage and compliance and issues like that, and we also monitor the situation. Q How satisfied is the United States -- MR. BOUCHER: Let's go back here. Q I'd like to go back on the Middle East. The mood of the negotiation, is that getting better or worse or the same? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to try to characterize it. The parties have done a great job of talking to you every time they walk in and out of the building, and I'll leave it to them. Mark? Q How satisfied is the United States with Jordanian cooperation? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have a way of characterizing it, Mark, other than noting the facts as I've noted them. They've taken a number of steps to ensure compliance with the sanctions. Naturally that pleases us. There is some leakage going on. We'd like to see steps that could make that stop. But as I said, in terms of the overall impact, it doesn't appear to have had a significant impact in propping up the regime. Q With regard to the issue of human rights, on February 10 the U.N. Human Rights Commission -- a special rapporteur of the Commission in Geneva -- issued a request to the U.S. Government regarding a response on accusations of political persecution against Democratic Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche. They have received no response from that request. Is this stonewalling on the part of the Government to respond to a U.N. Human Rights Commission? And is it wise, in the situation now -- when the United Nations, of course, is playing a much more significant role -- in regard to U.S. policy? And doesn't it contradict the concern for human rights violations everywhere, or is there a special criteria in one part of the world and not in the other part of the world? MR. BOUCHER: I wasn't aware of this request from the U.N. Human Rights Commission. I'll have to look into it and see if it has any deadlines or anything like that attached to it. Q In the question -- in your response on Jordan, you used the phrase -- once it was printed and once you verbalized it -- "There's some leakage." Now, wait a minute. You said at the beginning of your statement, food and medicine -- sort of humanitarian. MR. BOUCHER: And I also said we know that some other items, mostly consumer goods, have leaked across the border as well. Q Well, there's a little air between "some other/mostly." Is there anything -- what is Jordan doing for Iraq that you can tell us, apart from food and medicine? There's some leakage. Most of the some other items. I think you're leaving something out -- the State Department is? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have a list of items that have been shipped surreptitiously. Q Well, anything that goes "bang bang," for instance? MR. BOUCHER: I'll check if anything that goes "bang bang" is going across the border into Iraq. Q Besides sandwiches.

[Kuwait: Situation A Year After Iraqi Invasion]

Q Richard, I understand it's Liberation Day today in Kuwait. Do you have any words to mark that occasion? And if I may, after you've answered that, I have a follow-up. MR. BOUCHER: He already thinks that my response is going to be insufficient. (Laughter). Q No, no, not at all. MR. BOUCHER: I asked people to look at the situation just in case you wanted me to do this, so let me go through it in some way. One year ago, coalition forces achieved the goal of driving out Iraqi occupying troops from Kuwait. This was a military triumph, but it was also a stunning victory for the international rule of law. One year after Operation Desert Storm, we note that, first of all, the Iraqi dictator can no longer threaten to blackmail the world with weapons of mass destruction or with control of critical energy resources. The United Nations is supervising demarcation of the Iraq-Kuwait border, and United Nations observers supervise a demilitarized zone which straddles the border. Kuwait is free from the grip of a horrific occupation. Kuwait is also well on its way to restoring the economic and social infrastructure. For example, Kuwaiti schools opened on August 24. Firefighting teams, as you know, have brought the wells under control well before the experts had predicted. Life has fully returned to a shattered country. Following liberation, the Emir of Kuwait announced that the government would hold elections for the National Assembly in October 1992. That is a move which we strongly support. The Kuwaiti Government abolished prior censorship of the press on January 12. Kuwaiti press coverage of the opening of the campaign season and the full range of political and social issues, we understand, is critical and is vigorous. Regrettably, there is much unfinished business. Over 1,000 Kuwaitis and other residents of Kuwait who disappeared at the hands of Iraqi forces still remain unaccounted for. Iraq is obliged under the U.N. Security Council resolutions to cooperate fully with the International Committee of the Red Cross on repatriation of all detainees. It has thus far refused to do so. The United States will accept nothing less than full Iraqi compliance with this as well as other United Nations Security Council resolutions. Q I note one omission from your statement, otherwise a very full statement; and that is that before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait there was a flourishing Palestinian community of roughly a quarter of a million people in Kuwait. Since the liberation, that community has been sent away, deported, transferred, to use a word, from -- to borrow a word from the Israeli lexicon. Don't you think that's worthy of comment in some way? MR. BOUCHER: I hadn't focused on that situation in particular, Alan. I know you've been following it. Various people have been following it. We've seen various reports about what's going on there with this community. Let me see if I can get you some kind of update. Q Well, with the greatest of respect, you just gave us a very full statement. You talked about oil wells; you talked about elections; you talked about the military triumph; you talked about the Kuwaitis that are still missing. You completely omitted the Palestinians. I find that -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't think I tried to focus on any particular community or group in Kuwait, Alan. Q Or a group that no longer is in Kuwait, in this particular case. MR. BOUCHER: I'll look into it and get you something. Q Do you have any comment on it? MR. BOUCHER: Not off the top of my head. I said I'd look into it and I'd get him something. Q You've addressed this issue before. MR. BOUCHER: We have addressed the issue before. We expressed our concerns about some of the violence that took place in the -- Q This is an omission -- MR. BOUCHER: We cited in the past, I think, many of the steps that were taken to end the abuses which had occurred against Palestinians and some others inside Kuwait. We have, as I said in my statement today, not really focused on any particular groups or the population inside Kuwait, but I'll be glad to get an update. Q Can I ask you one more? There are 250 women -- mostly Asian women -- who have taken refuge in the embassies of Sri Lanka, the Philippines, India and Bangladesh. They're maids who have come to Kuwait to work for Kuwaitis and they say that they've been beaten and raped and cheated. There are pictures of some of them with cigarette burns on them, and they're basically barricaded in the embassies. Are you aware of this situation? If you are, do you have any comment on it? MR. BOUCHER: I personally am not aware of it. I'll have to look into it and see what we know. Q Richard, a follow-up on the same issue. A large percentage of the Palestinians who were expelled from Kuwait are now in Jordan -- something approaching 250,000, it's my understanding. It comes close to the number of formerly Soviet emigres now in Israel for whom the U.S. has expressed a great deal of support and is now obviously negotiating the $10 billion loan guarantees. Is there any intention on the part of the U.S. to take some level of similar responsibility in supporting the Jordanian Government's efforts to provide housing, for example, for the Palestinians who are, I believe -- many of the them -- still in camps in Jordan without adequate shelter, food, education, medical care, etc., in very large numbers as a result of the Gulf War? MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to look into that. Q Can I go back to the Leahy-Baker question and simply ask, are the two coordinating or consulting -- coordinating is really what I mean -- in the public statements they're making about housing loan guarantees and settlements? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know, Barry. Q Could I put the question -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't know how to answer that. The Secretary and Senator Leahy have met in the past. The Secretary has consulted with various members of Congress as he's gone forward with his discussions. That's about all I can tell you on that. Q But Leahy is out front, especially. It has some earmarks of a good "cop/bad cop" technique. The Secretary is rather adept at political strategy, and I wonder if somehow this is going to turn out to be the result of Israel being offered something they could have had in the first place but it would look a lot better after all this. And I wonder if the two are working together. MR. BOUCHER: Barry, I'm not in a position to go beyond saying that the Secretary has consulted with various members of Congress. You know that he's had meetings with Senator Leahy. He himself has described his negotiations with the Government of Israel and his three meetings with the Israeli Ambassador. I don't have anything to go beyond that. He's described what he's doing. Q By the way, when you talk about "driving force," is he considering a trip to the Middle East in April, do you know? MR. BOUCHER: Not that I've heard of, Barry. Again, I'd have to check. Q There was talk yesterday in the briefings of the delegations to the peace talks that they would like to extend the current round of peace talks until March 11, since the month of Ramadan will begin next month and they will not be meeting for a long time. Do you have any opinion on this -- extending this beyond March 4, which had been set earlier? MR. BOUCHER: Well, as far as we're concerned, the parties are welcome to stay and negotiate as long as they like. Q Richard, has the Department been approached by the Japanese Government to get involved in the stabbing murder of a Japanese businessman in California a couple of weeks ago in what may have been a hate crime? MR. BOUCHER: I'd have to check on that, Bill. I don't know. Q Can you, please? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q Richard, another question about the missing Kuwaitis. You say the U.S. will accept nothing less than Iraqi compliance with the requirements to allow inspectors. What kind of deadline, what kind of muscle are you envisioning behind that commitment? Q Can we get a copy of that statement about Kuwait, please? MR. BOUCHER: I'll try to get you a copy once I clean mine up. I think the basic point is that in accepting Resolution 687, Iraq reaffirmed its obligation to work with the International Committee of the Red Cross to resolve this issue. As I said, they haven't lived up to this obligation. They continue to deny ICRC unrestricted access. They haven't cooperated with the ICRC in investigating the whereabouts of those on the list of missing submitted by the Kuwaiti Government. In fact, in their statements to the United Nations they even refused to acknowledge the existence of such a list. We're continuing to work with our coalition partners to resolve this and all the other outstanding issues from Resolution 687. We think that maintaining the economic sanctions which the U.N. has imposed upon Iraq, is a key to obtaining Iraq's compliance with this and the other applicable resolutions. Q Do you have any comment on Mubarak-Mitterrand talks regarding Libya and the pressure on Libya which are going on in Paris today? MR. BOUCHER: No. Q Richard, China has handed down some sentences from the Tiananmen Square days. Do you have any reaction to that or statement on it? MR. BOUCHER: We're deeply disappointed that the Chinese Government persists in considering peaceful expression of political views to be counter-revolutionary incitement, thus deserving of imprisonment. We again call on the Chinese Government to immediately release all those detained purely for the peaceful expression of their political and religious views. Q The usual follow-up -- any action, apart from the statement from this Department? You want to put back the sanctions you took away last week? Do we want to delay MFN, or any -- MR. BOUCHER: We maintain various measures that have been imposed in the past. We continue to urge the Chinese Government to take these steps. We continue our discussions and hope to continue our dialogue with them on human rights issues. Q Richard, it would be useful if you could maybe provide us -- if it's possible -- with a list of measures that are still in place, because I guess some of us are finding it hard to keep track of what's still there and what isn't there with regard to sanctions. MR. BOUCHER: It shouldn't be too hard, Alan. It's essentially what was imposed in June 1989. Q Does that include a ban on high-level contacts, for instance, and meetings? MR. BOUCHER: It includes the cancellation of the high-level ceremonial type visits that we've had. We've said then, and we have said over the course of some meetings, that when we have business to pursue at a certain level, we'll do that. You know the Secretary has had some meetings, but you also know that we're not delivering weapons. We haven't gone forward with the liberalization of high tech that was planned at the time. We're not supporting OPIC insurance, OPIC programs, trade and development programs for China. We're not supporting multilateral development loans that fall outside of the area of basic human needs. Those are the ones that I can remember off the top of my head. Q Well, was it stated as ceremonial visits -- were the words a ban on ceremonial visits? I know that the Secretary has had some meetings, but -- MR. BOUCHER: The Secretary has had some meetings. We've had some other meetings where it was important to pursue business and to get progress like the progress we've seen in the areas of non-proliferation, missile technology control, and to continue the dialogue that we've had on human rights. Q Yeah, but my question is, when that was originally stated, did it say "ceremonial visits," the way you've just expressed it? MR. BOUCHER: It said that there were not going to be certain high-level visits, and I think we specified at that point exactly which ones. Q Last Thursday, when Faisal Husseini met with Secretary Baker before the peace talks began, he brought to the Secretary the concern of the Palestinian delegation that two members of the delegation -- Hourani and Shoubaki -- were arrested and they are behind bars. I think there was some assurances of Mr. Husseini, when he -- after the meeting, he spoke here briefly that the Secretary will follow this and the State Department is very concerned about this. Have you been following this with the Israelis? And what do you have to report to us so far, and when will they be released, if you can? MR. BOUCHER: Last week, when this happened, we expressed our concern. We said we raised it with the Israeli Government. I will try to get you -- I'll see if there's update on that. Q Thank you. (Press briefing concluded 1:21 p.m.)