US Department of State Daily Briefing #38: Monday, 3/16/92

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: Mar, 16 19923/16/92 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia Country: Iraq, Israel, USSR (former), Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Ukraine Subject: Military Affairs, Mideast Peace Process, Development/Relief Aid, State Department, Security Assistance and Sales, United Nations 12:27 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Former Soviet Union: Aid by US and Other Countries/ Establishment of New Embassies/Nuclear Arms Issues]

MS. TUTWILER: I think it was about two weeks ago or maybe less than two weeks, the Secretary had a meeting shortly after we announced the new position of Rich Armitage for the current job that he's here doing for the Administration. At that meeting, we decided that if we could, hopefully once a week -- and I'll try for Mondays -- we will give you an update of what all is going on that we can obviously tell you about or have something to report on. So I'm going to start today. Don't hold me to it, because I said we will try to do this once a week. Sometimes there may not be anything to report, but we're going to aim to try to do it once a week. So our first report to you is following Operation Provide Hope, which moved about 2,200 tons of emergency relief supplies by air to the 12 newly Independent States, we are continuing our efforts to provide needed assistance to these states. 1. The Center for Disease Control has undertaken a vaccination survey in Alma-Ata, Bishkek and Tashkent. The survey is expected to be completed in three weeks, at which point we expect to transport up to ten flights of vaccine. 2. The Defense Department has been transporting relief supplies from various cities around the United States. Flights have already taken supplies from Pittsburgh and Albany. Future flights will carry supplies from Decatur, Illinois; Seattle, Washington; La Crosse, Wisconsin; and Spokane, Washington. Other flights we'll announce as we get them, and they anticipate definitely having more. 3. On March 13, a private sector U.S. railroad executive left for Moscow to join us in working with Russian railway authorities on solving problems with railway operations. Likewise, a shipping executive already has been assisting Ambassador Armitage's Moscow office in the area of ports and harbors. 4. Last Thursday, Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger met with private sector representatives to discuss how to facilitate investment in the New Independent States. They looked at basically four key areas: (1) clearing away legal impediments; (2) obtaining adequate protections in the New States; (3) looking for accelerated privatization; and (4) creating a data bank for potential investors. 5. NATO has prepared a final draft plan to move some 22,000 tons of excess U.S. military food and medical supplies from Western Europe to the New States by surface transportation. We would hope to have all of this material moved by June 1. In addition, several weeks ago the Secretary of State announced that we would have or would hope to have people on the ground in five additional republics opening embassies. That has been completed. We said we hoped to have it done by March 15. That was yesterday. They're all there. The additional places where we now have personnel are Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. We now have Embassies in 11 of the 12 New States of the former Soviet republics. Our new Embassies are staffed by five to six officers led by a Charge d'Affaires. Some of these staffs will probably grow but all of them may not. We have moved into office buildings in Kiev, Bishkek and Alma-Ata, and the other Embassies remain in temporary locations, usually in local hotels, pending the identification of more permanent office and residential facilities. Also, as you may recall, some of you had asked me several weeks ago about flags flying here in the lobby to represent the change. As many of you know, the Soviet Union flag, obviously, is not there -- since December. The Russian flag has been, and the Ukrainian flag. The other nine flags are in the process right now of us getting the actual drawing -- for lack of a better phrase -- of the new countries' flags, and then having them made here, and then putting them up in the lobby. So that work is also in progress. That's all I have. Q Could I follow up on the Embassies? Mr. Shevardnadze has made a plea yesterday for recognition of Georgia. He said it would prevent what he called "Lebanonization." He asked for Western recognition. Is that being considered? MS. TUTWILER: That has never not been under consideration. I'm not aware of the former Minister's comments from yesterday. It is something he discussed with Secretary Baker prior to his returning to Georgia. If you recall, they had a dinner recently when the Secretary was in Moscow, which they normally do. But I didn't see his statements from yesterday, but I know that it is something that we obviously have under consideration and will continue to assess and review. One of our main concerns, as you know, on humanitarian assistance to Georgia had been the safety of even getting aircraft there on the tarmac to the people there, and it's something that Mr. Armitage is tasked with, in coordination with our Air Force, to continue to monitor -- [and will report] as soon as it is safe to let humanitarian assistance go forward. Q The document follows the lines of the arguments the Germans made for recognition of the Yugoslav republics, and they said then that recognition would stop the violence, and it did. In the light of that experience -- MS. TUTWILER: Stopped it where? Q In Yugoslavia, it stopped the fighting, and it did have a considerable impact once recognition was made by the West Europeans and other countries. In the light of that experience and Mr. Shevardnadze's plea yesterday, is there some new thinking going on in this building? MS. TUTWILER: As I said, this is something that has been under review, continues to stay under review, and I have nothing to announce to you of a change of our policy. And it is something that we have said since the very beginning that we are going to continue to look at, and we are. Q Margaret, it seems to be widely regarded that such humanitarian efforts as you outlined here are all well and good, but that more is needed from the United States, and Nixon obviously made a big issue out of that last week, and there have been Republican -- leading Republican voices who have joined him in that. At a conference -- the Nixon conference last week, Ed Hewitt talked about the package -- just very vaguely -- the package that the Administration is working on in terms of debt relief, stabilization fund. He said these things were under consideration. Is there any thought being given to accelerating a U.S. package in this regard? Have you made any decisions about whether to go for debt relief or how much or whether to support a stabilization fund? MS. TUTWILER: If we have, Carol, I'm unaware of those decisions. I'm unaware that Mr. Hewitt spoke last week to this conference. I know that the President responded to a question last week, I believe, about the stabilization fund, and that's just something I haven't followed closely. I'll be happy to ask Mr. Zoellick if there's something in addition that we have that I just don't know. Q Margaret, can I ask a question along this line? Could you give us some details about this meeting last week between Eagleburger and the private companies' executives? MS. TUTWILER: Not any more details than the ones that I broadly, generally outlined for you. Those are the four major areas that they discussed. To be honest with you, I don't even know who was in the meeting. I just got this information this morning for you from Mr. Armitage, so I don't have anything else on it. Q Four areas -- those are raised by Mr. Eagleburger or by the private executives? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know that much detail about the meeting, but it seems a given that both parties at the meetings would have interest in that before investing in those new republics in the subjects and topics that I mentioned. Q Another follow-up on one of the other things: You said that the NATO draft plan for surface transportation involved -- I think you said it involved aid from Western Europe to be sent in, you thought, by June 1. The question is, what has happened or what's underway with regard to the proposal by Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland for the purchase of medicines and other commodities in those countries for shipment overland to the former Soviet Union? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I'll be happy to ask for you. As you know, this is a massive undertaking for a lot of people, our government included. So it's hard to keep up with every single part of it. That is definitely something that -- one of the things those three countries have mentioned to us. They've mentioned others. I'll just have to follow up with someone who's tracking on it on where indeed they are on that portion of it. Q Could we go to the Middle East? Q Wait, wait. Q Could we stay on this area for a minute? Q What about the other side of this? Are the former Soviet republics establishing Embassies in Washington now? If so, where are they, and so on and so forth? Do you have anything on that? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have anything new. As I remember, when this first started evolving, that Russia said that they could use space within their Embassies around the world -- not only in Washington but around the world. I believe -- I'd like to reserve on this -- that some of them indeed are here in Washington operating out of that Embassy, but let me just check for you. Q On this, Margaret, since there is no space at all in the Russian Embassy in Washington and since the new building of the Russian Embassy remains unoccupied, do you think there will be in future -- in the foreseeable future -- any changes of the policy both in Moscow and here in Washington in regards to what should be done with the Embassy office buildings in Washington and Moscow? MS. TUTWILER: Right. I don't know where we are on this Russian building that's here. I know that prior to December we had worked out a compromise and a plan with the Hill. Now that we have a change, I'm not sure if that's going to affect what was decided back then, and Secretary Baker discussed this with Senator Hollings about two weeks ago in testimony, if you'll recall. So that's all I know about it, and I don't know specifically about the Russian -- the new building that's here. As you know, it's been totally linked and tied to our building in Moscow. Q Margaret, could I ask a question about the vaccine? This is government vaccines that are going, or are you buying it from the private sector, and why is it only going to Alma-Ata, because the stories are that all of the Central Asian republics -- their children are not being vaccinated? MS. TUTWILER: One, I don't know the details. I didn't get into that much detail with Rich [Armitage] this morning. I'll be happy to ask those questions. But, two, let me point out for the record the United States, I believe, sent at least one, if not more, medical flights on our Operation Provide Hope exercise to all of the Central Asian republics. We are very well aware of their need for medicine, and we have been supplying medicine to those republics. Q Margaret, before launching this massive effort -- a lot of it goes from Germany and all that -- people in the government are arguing that it is needed because there's a real possibility of starvation during the winter. Now that the winter is almost over -- not quite but almost over -- did this aid avert massive starvation? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware of any, number one, starvation, much less massive starvation. I would certainly hope -- but I don't have the statistics or the analytical work in front of me -- that our assistance, as the assistance of many nations around the country, helped avert what we all believed could potentially happen. We all should be, as human beings, very, very pleased that nothing of that magnitude did indeed happen, and in fact I would point out in many of the republics -- former republics that the Secretary of State visited, their leadership would -- this was months ago, weeks ago -- would tell us, "Food is not necessarily our problem. What we really need is medicine. We need medical supplies. We need technical assistance." So each state, former republic, is different and is in different circumstances. Q My question really is whether the aid made a difference in averting starvation or hunger, whatever -- whatever degree you want to assign to it -- or perhaps the experts were wrong in predicting that there could be massive starvation. MS. TUTWILER: I don't think there was unanimity with all experts on that there was going to be, indeed, starvation or massive starvation, and I don't know anyone that is questioning the assistance from the United States, both food and medicine -- from Japan, from Germany, from the EC, from any number of places -- doesn't help. There was a very, and is, serious situation for people. Every day ordinary people on the ground -- their grandmothers, their children, their husbands, their wives -- there was situation, and the world got together, and the world, as it does, is humanitarian, and lent assistance. So it's bound to have helped. It couldn't possibly have hurt. Q The German press is reporting that some nuclear warheads are missing in Kazakhstan and may have turned up in Iran, and both Russia and Kazakhstan have denied that. MS. TUTWILER: That's correct. Q What is the United States' position? MS. TUTWILER: We have no independent information to confirm those reports, and you correctly point out that on the record, spokesmen for both those governments have denied this report. And we have no independent confirmation of it ourselves. Q But, Margaret, does that settle the issue, or does this -- or did the reports raise a question that the United States is going to have to go back and review? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you -- and some of this obviously is intelligence, so I can't get too far into it -- this in our opinion is an old report. It's been around for a long time. And, as I said, we have no information to confirm this report, and those two governments themselves have knocked it down. I would also point out that our Charge d'Affaires, as so happens, is an expert in arms control, and he is there on the ground, and he has had extensive conversations with the Kazakh Government and leadership concerning arms matters and nuclear weapons, etc. Q So the United States believes that all the tactical nuclear weapons from Kazakhstan have been sent to Russia? MS. TUTWILER: I didn't say that. This report is that two or three have been sent to Iran, and we have no independent confirmation of that one report that I've seen. Q On the other hand, you can't -- you also can't confirm that all of them have gone either to Russia -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't believe, Carol -- correct me if I'm wrong -- didn't they, as the Ukrainians and the Byelarus, said by July of 1992 they hoped for all of this to be done. I'm not aware that any of them have said to date that they are all indeed transported and moved. Q But there have been reports that the weapons had been all consolidated in Ukraine, Byelarus and Russia, and therefore presumably out of Kazakhstan. I think those reports were confirmed, maybe, even at one point. MS. TUTWILER: I'd rather instead of trip up on my own memory, I don't remember myself either Kazakhstan or the United States or the CIS saying that all tactical nuclear weapons had been by now, March 15, removed from Kazakhstan. So let me just check the record and check the facts. Q To make one more stab at it, there was an official -- an anonymous official quoted in a story yesterday, saying -- MS. TUTWILER: How unusual. Q Yes. I know. It's the first time I've ever seen it. MS. TUTWILER: There have been a lot of those lately. Q Saying that they had been under the impression that all of the weapons -- tactical weapons have been removed from Kazakhstan, but that suddenly it looked like maybe these two or three didn't make the cut. So there seemed to have been a little bit of confusion. MS. TUTWILER: O.K. Well, I'll see if I can sort it out for you as an official. Q Is there an auditing system that's been set up between the United States and the republics of the former Soviet Union, or between the U.S. and the CIS? Is there some kind of accounting system that's been set up, whereby both sides can be assured by cross-checking information with one another? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I know of. I believe -- Richard [Boucher], can you help me? Do you remember at our conference here we hosted in January, there was some discussion of setting up some type of system, and I just don't know where we are on that. MR. BOUCHER: I don't recall. MS. TUTWILER: As I recall, there was. One was a data bank, as I remember, for the OECD, and another was some type of data bank, if I'm not mistaken, through a NATO type of mechanism, as I recall. Am I right? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: I just don't know where we are on that.

[Israel: US Housing Loan Guarantees/ IG Report on the Office of Defense Trade Controls]

Q Margaret, what about the loan guarantees? Has the Secretary made any statements about the compromise offer from the Senators? MS. TUTWILER: Over the weekend? No. He hasn't made any statements. Q Do you think anything will come today? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I can't prejudge today. It's something that he worked from his residence on over the weekend -- experts have worked on over the -- State Department experts have worked on over the weekend -- but I have nothing to announce. The Secretary is continuing, and his staff of experts, to work this issue. Q Margaret, could you be a little more specific about -- MS. TUTWILER: Not really. Q -- what you mean about "he worked from his residence"? Was he talking to people on the Hill? Was he talking to the Israelis? Who was he talking to? MS. TUTWILER: He talked to other Administration officials, and he spoke with, I believe, members of the Hill. If not, he was receiving reports through his staff -- from staff that work for him, that work for Senators on the Hill -- so staff to staff. Q Margaret, Richard was not able to be very helpful last week concerning the reports of unauthorized transfers of U.S. military technology from Israel to third countries. Can you be more helpful today than he was last week? MS. TUTWILER: I can be as every bit as helpful as Richard was on Friday. And this is, as you know, as Richard point out, a confidential IG report that has not gone forward. It is not a final report, and we are not going to comment on reports that are not final. Q Has the Secretary been following the issue during the time that the Inspector General was looking into it? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know what you mean by "following." Was the Secretary of State aware of this audit? Of course, he was. Q Was he aware of what the purpose of the audit was and of what its preliminary findings have been over the past couple of years? MS. TUTWILER: The extent of his knowledge while an audit is going on, I haven't asked. But am I well aware that he was aware that there was an audit of this subject matter? Of course. Q Margaret, Israeli Cabinet ministers -- named Israeli Cabinet ministers have said on the record, on television now for the last couple of days that there is a smear campaign by the Administration against Israel, and that these charges are patently false, and yet the Administration is not saying that they're false. The Administration is simply saying that it's not going to comment on a report. Could you tell us, is there a smear campaign underway here? MS. TUTWILER: There's not a smear campaign that I'm aware of, Mary, and I don't think that you can call a smear campaign by unnamed officials, whoever these irresponsible people are in our Government. I understand it's your job to write what people tell you, but it is an understatement to say it's unfortunate that unnamed officials for some reason -- whatever their motives are -- continue to blatantly leak things, especially things that have not even run their course -- when you referred to this audit -- and it's simply, to be honest with you, it is, I understand, part of your business. I'm not blaming you, but the individuals who are doing it, in my personal opinion, it is really the height of unfairness. Q Do you think it's caused damage to U.S.-Israeli relations, and also could you tell us, is the Secretary meeting with Mr. Arens tomorrow, and my understanding is that he requested that Mr. Arens meet with him. Is that true? MS. TUTWILER: Your understanding is correct. The Defense Minister is here on a private visit. The Secretary and the Defense Minister have a good personal relationship. They worked very hard together when they were both Foreign Ministers together, and the Secretary asked if Minister Arens could come by and have a chat. He said yes. Q Finance? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry. Finance. Q When is the Secretary meeting -- MS. TUTWILER: He's not Finance. He's Defense. Q Right. Defense. MS. TUTWILER: What did I say? Finance? Q You said Foreign Minister. MS. TUTWILER: He was the Foreign Minister when we first came here. Q When is Secretary Baker and Minister Arens meeting? MS. TUTWILER: Tomorrow. Q I mean, yes, when? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know what time. Q Morning, afternoon? MS. TUTWILER: I didn't ask. We'll post it tonight. It will be on the public schedule. Q Can I go back to "working on the issue from his residence"? That connotes -- MS. TUTWILER: The phones. Phones. Modern conveniences. Q You don't mean that there's a piece of paper. MS. TUTWILER: No. I didn't say there wasn't, but that he is on the phone. He's on the phone. Q Well, that's my question. Is there going to be a policy statement issued from the Department at some point today? MS. TUTWILER: No. Why do you think that? No. Q Well, I think there might be some congressional moves tomorrow, so I wondered -- MS. TUTWILER: There might be. But they're still working together on the issue. Q For our guidance, you would prefer to steer away from this afternoon for any Department statement about -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't ever like to lock myself into any. I'm not steering you toward -- I know of nothing, but, if someone is upstairs and has gone to the Secretary and said, "By the way, at 3:00 o'clock, can we do the following," I'm down here. Coming to this podium, I knew of no plan to do anything today publicly. Q But is the issue still unresolved? In other words, is the Secretary or staff still working with Hill people over unresolved issues in this, or was there a general agreement or understanding worked out over the weekend (inaudible) -- MS. TUTWILER: I wouldn't characterize it in your second tense. I'd characterize it in your first. They're still working the issue. Q Margaret, is the Administration making any attempt to find the officials you're calling irresponsible officials who are causing this unfortunate leaking? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware if you're speaking of an FBI investigation of a leak of one that has been called, no. Q Any kind of inquiries at all to find out who's leaking classified documents? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, Secretary Baker's attitude -- and I have to say that I think most of you would agree, and I know I do -- you can spend an enormous amount of manhours and untold sums of taxpayers money trying to find unnamed officials. You all, rightfully so, do not say who your sources are, and there are in this building alone 8,000 people who work in this building. And so you do not want to, as I said, launch a big, huge investigation every time someone does something that you think is irresponsible. And from time to time, as you know, Presidents do decide to do that type of thing. I'm unaware in this incident that that has been called for, but that does not excuse, in my personal opinion, the irresponsibility of the Government officials -- our people, our side of the aisle -- who are somehow doing this. Q Margaret, let's hear about what is irresponsible and what is not. MS. TUTWILER: Leaking material that has not even run its course. Q You're saying that the people who leaked material are doing so irresponsibly. You're not casting any doubts with your use of the phrase "irresponsible" or the "height of unfairness" on the substance of the information they're leaking. You're just casting doubt on their motives for leaking it. Is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: Right. I'm not getting into the substance of a report that is still, it's my understanding, in draft form. Q Does the Secretary -- Richard was asked on Friday whether the Secretary has full confidence in Assistant Secretary Clarke's performance on this issue, and the answer was, "Of course." MS. TUTWILER: That's the same answer I'll give you today: Of course, he does. Q Does the Secretary have anything to say about Assistant Secretary Clarke? MS. TUTWILER: What do you mean, to say -- Q -- other than the words, "Of course." MS. TUTWILER: I don't think -- to be honest with you, Ralph, what else would you have someone say? That's part of the problem with these irresponsible leaks. In my personal opinion again, this is extremely unfair to an individual, to a career public servant. All you have to do is read your, you know, colleagues -- some of the people -- unnamed people saying these things. It is unfair to an individual to be judged by unnamed sources who are leaking material that may or may not be true, may or may not have any substance to it whatsoever, and the Secretary does feel very badly for Assistant Secretary Clarke on that score. It is not any fun for anyone to have to deal with unnamed sources, accusing you or saying things about you. For instance, we continue to read that Assistant Secretary Clarke is being fired. Richard [Boucher] categorically on Friday denied that. I will do it again today on Monday. However, you have continued to read that allegation on Saturday and Sunday, and that is what is so unfair to an individual. There is zero truth to that -- zero, zero, zero. Q In view of the Secretary and the President's repeated declarations that stopping proliferation is one of the highest priorities of this Administration and one of the major issues of the 1990s, and so on, does the Secretary take responsibility for whatever might ultimately be reported in the final report as having occurred on his watch on the question of technology transfers to Israel and other countries? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to subject him, when you say, "Does he take responsibility?" I don't know what's going to be in this report. As head of a department, obviously, he's in charge of a department. But how do I know -- I don't know -- what is ultimately going to be contained in this report. If it's one individual who's gone off half crazy, is Baker responsible for someone who's off their rocker? Not in my mind. Is Baker ultimately responsible for the business of this Department? Yes. And I cannot get into -- you have read various reports, some of which contain some truth in them, about once the Department learned about some things, that actions were taken. All of that will be made public to you shortly. Q You can't say now what actions have been taken to -- MS. TUTWILER: No, I'm not going to get into it. It's not a final report. Q But the actions that have already been taken have nothing to do with whether the report is final or not? If things have already been done, you presumably could tell us what has been done to improve the situation? MS. TUTWILER: I might, but I'm not going to. It gets into the report. Q Going back to the irresponsible claim, can I just ask you, Assistant Secretary Clarke, when asked on Friday after his testimony, did say that there were concerns about the Israeli transfer -- MS. TUTWILER: He said this where? In public testimony? Q He said it to reporters On the Record after the testimony. He said there were concerns and they were being looked into. That, to me, is confirmation that there is some concern and that it is being looked into. You couldn't classify them as being -- MS. TUTWILER: No one has denied this is being looked into. We've told you, there is an audit. We have said we're not going to discuss an IG confidential report. I'm not aware that we've ever denied that. What we are not talking about is, until -- and I think it's only fair again -- a report has run its course, which I believe on Friday Richard went through all the various steps that exist, whether it's the PM Bureau or my bureau, or anybody else's bureau around here, that when you have an audit there are certain fundamental decencies and steps that you go through. Those aren't completed yet. I believe it's in approximately two weeks this report will be made public, yes, with a classified annex. We said that we will be happy at that time to answer, on the public portion of the report, all the questions that we can about what the audit or the report found. Q Margaret, to whom does the Inspector General report to? To whom is he responsible? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure where this actual report -- I believe Richard explained on Friday that reports go to various senior level officials here. I would envision that this report will ultimately go to the Secretary of State through the Deputy Secretary of State. Q Before it's made public; right? MS. TUTWILER: Of course. Q Now, the question that I have here is, there is a report to the effect that the allegations -- that Clarke wasn't the final judge on this. It went to higher officials. To whom would these reports go beyond Clarke, if there were -- MS. TUTWILER: What reports? Q These allegations about part of this smear campaign that they're talking about? MS. TUTWILER: I'm unsure what reports you're talking about. Q Well, the allegations that have been leaked by these people you called "irresponsible, half-crazy," so on and so forth, which is good language and it's appreciated. But the question is, who would look into this -- who would make the judgments besides Clarke and the Inspector General? MS. TUTWILER: On the report that's working its way through the system now? It's my understanding that this particular report will at some point be forwarded to the Deputy Secretary of State for forwarding onto the Secretary of State. Q Mr. Arens, over the weekend, expressed dismay publicly that no one in the Administration had bothered to contact the Israeli Government about these concerns, if there are concerns about alleged transfers of arms and technology. Can you tell us, is this the text that the Secretary wants to discuss with Mr. Arens tomorrow -- all these reports? Is this going to be the item for discussion? And is it true that you haven't discussed any of these issues with them in the past? MS. TUTWILER: Number 1, I don't know. I'm not the PM Bureau, and I have no idea. This has been on-going, apparently for a long time. I don't know how they're set up. I don't know how they normally work. I don't know the answer. On his meetings with Minister Arens, I can tell you that that was suggested, I think, before we left on this last trip, if not on the trip, and that was several days before this leak. So, no, that is not why he asked to see him. He has a sincere friendship with him. As I said, they both served together at the first of this Administration as Foreign Ministers. It's a private visit. Secretary Baker asked, if he had any time he would like to see him. He said, sure, he does; so they are. Q Is there an American team going to Israel to look into these things? There was a report to that effect. MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Israel has agreed to a team of U.S. experts to travel to Israel to ensure that there are not any misunderstandings on technology transfer questions, including on the Patriot missile. We welcome this Israeli gesture, which is in keeping with the strong ties between our two countries. I have no announcement for you concerning timing or who is going. Q Margaret, how did this mission -- Q Can you tell us when it was requested by the United States? Q Yeah, how did this come about? MS. TUTWILER: Probably last Thursday or Friday. Probably Friday is the first I heard of it. Q Before or after the leak? MS. TUTWILER: Well, obviously, after the leak. I want to be careful here. I don't know. I don't want to be held to something that turned out wrong. Q Is it at the Israeli initiative? MS. TUTWILER: Literally, I said, Israel has agreed to a team of U.S. experts to travel. Q Does that mean that the United States asked them to? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q Margaret, Richard, in speaking about this on Friday, said, without getting into the contents of the IG report, that it was -- the investigation or the audit was a global affair, including facilities overseas and so on. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q I think we can presume then that there would already have been teams of some kind that would go to various places already. Why does another team have to go? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know, Number 1, that teams have already been to places. And I have answered correctly and honestly this one. Q The team had not go to Israel, right -- MS. TUTWILER: You know more about it than I do. I don't know. Q No, no, no. That would really be amazing -- it would be very bad if the IG's report came out and a team had not been to Israel already to look at this; correct? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know if that's how they routinely handle this; if they do it embassy-to-embassy, staff-to-staff, phone-to-phone, cable-to-cable, or if they send teams out. I just don't know. I don't know if a team has been there or anyplace else. You seem to know that's how we standardly operate. I don't know that. Q So you're saying it is possible that this report is coming out now without anybody having gone to Israel to investigate this problem? MS. TUTWILER: No. I am saying to you that I do not know, as part of how these matters are handled, either with Israel or any other country. You're telling me that teams apparently are sent. I'm telling you, I don't know if that is how it is handled. Q Can we look into that question, whether a team has gone? MS. TUTWILER: I'll be happy to look into it for you. Q Is this an IG team, or is it a separate track from the IG report? MS. TUTWILER: I said I have nothing to announce on timing or who is going. Q But policy-wise, is this something that relates to the IG's report itself and the work in finalizing it? Or is this a team that is looking into the issues on sort of a parallel but a separate-track policy point of view? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not exactly sure what your question is. The subject has arisen, as we all know. Q Is this part of the process of finalizing the IG's report, or is this part of a separate look at the issue for a response to the IG report? MS. TUTWILER: With respect to Chris' question, I don't know if a team is routinely, normally sent before an IG report is finalized. I don't know that, and I don't know if teams have been going out there as part of an IG investigation. I just don't know. Q Do you have some feel for what level this team will be? MS. TUTWILER: No. That's why I said that there are zero decisions on timing and who. I have no idea. Q Since Mr. Eagleburger has been involved in the past, in years past in this issue, inside the Department, is it possible that he might be sent by the Secretary? MS. TUTWILER: If I had something to announce, Ralph, I would. Q Margaret, I know that you speak for the Department, and so on. But your expressions about the irresponsibility and the other words that you used about these people who have been leaking this stuff, would it be fair to say that the Secretary of State feels this way about the leakage -- about the leakers? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know any Secretary of State that appreciates leaking, including this one. Q No, I mean -- MS. TUTWILER: The President just spoke out the other day about unnamed officials on another subject, speaking out that he wished that people would speak on the record. To be honest with you, I served in the Reagan Administration; this is nothing new. All Administrations go through this. People leak. It's a fact of life. Q Can I go back to the question, for a second, of when it was decided that the team would go? The irresponsible leaks, to use your words, occurred and then the U.S. Government decided to send a team to ask Israel if they would accept a team. At what point did Israel say it would be okay to do that? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to discuss when the United States Government discussed with Israel sending a team. I'm not going to do it. Q Can you tell us when the final okay was given -- agreed upon -- MS. TUTWILER: Either this morning or over the weekend. I knew about this Friday. Larry (Eagleburger) called me and told me about it. I don't know if Larry finalized it over the weekend or if he had finalized it this morning. I just didn't ask. Q Can I change the subject? Q There's still a few more on this one. Q One more. There is a report that the Joint Chiefs of Staff vetoed the transfer of missiles to Israel during the Persian Gulf War. Do you have something on that, please? MS. TUTWILER: I believe it's called the AIM-9M. Q Right. MS. TUTWILER: That is something we do not comment publicly on alleged refusals by the U.S. Government to sell particular weapons systems, or on discussions about when we will make such a system available to specific recipients. Q Well, in this case, did the State Department then agree with the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- no missiles to Israel? MS. TUTWILER: Basically, we're not commenting, which will come as a gigantic surprise to you, on another story that is now on -- in a Monday newspaper. Q Another quick question on the -- back on the IG report, for just a second. Has Baker spoken with Assistant Secretary Clarke about this subject? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q How recently has that occurred? MS. TUTWILER: Either last Wednesday or Thursday night. I can't remember -- or Tuesday night, maybe. Q He hasn't spoken with him since the irresponsible leaks, though? Or has he? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q He has? MS. TUTWILER: Anybody -- when you walk around in moccasins -- and I understand that it's part and parcel of the game -- who has these types of things bandied about, written about you publicly, it's no fun, Ralph. Of course, the Secretary of State, who is a gentleman, who is compassionate, who has had things written about him that haven't been much fun, that he has an empathy with someone who is getting bandied about with, as I expressed, these irresponsible phrases such as that Dick Clarke was being fired, which is pure garbage. It is not true; it wasn't true when it was leaked, isn't true today, and it isn't going to be true in the future. So, of course, he has spoken to him, in a sense of camaraderie. These things are tough. It's tough to go through this kind of stuff. Believe me, he's been through a fair share himself in all of his government jobs -- Secretary Baker. Q Is Mr. Clarke remaining in his position? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not getting into whether people are or are not, in normal rotations. As you know, the policy of this President, when he came in as President, made it totally clear in public to everyone that he reserved the right, at the end of three years for both political and career appointees, to rotate people. Political appointees would go to another job or back to the private sector or, in the instance of career people, they will serve in another capacity. Many announcements of those rotations that were decided months ago have already been announced by the White House. Many have not yet been announced. Q Margaret, does the Secretary think that Assistant Secretary Clarke has done a good job? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know any reason to believe the Secretary doesn't think that he has done a good job. It's never been a question I've asked him. Q Margaret, could we change the subject for a second? MS. TUTWILER: It would suit me. Q One more on this one, please. You and Richard have commented selectively on the contents of the Wall Street Journal report on Friday. One of the things that you found particularly irresponsible and unfortunate is the things about Secretary Clarke. We can understand from his personal point of view why that was unfortunate. MS. TUTWILER: And your own. You're a human being. It's no fun. Q Right. Exactly. Are there other things in the Wall Street Journal report that you find -- or is it just that you find unfortunate and irresponsible? Because if there are other things that are wrong or unfortunate, you have not spoken to that. MS. TUTWILER: Number One, I think it's irresponsible to leak classified information, whether it's on this or any other subject. I have felt that way for the nine years or ten years I've served in government. Most people that I associate with feel the same way. So I would start with classified information being leaked. Two, it's irresponsible, in my view, and not fair to the process, to leak a study that has not concluded, that has not finished. It may well end up with the exact conclusions that people have written. But that's not fair to the bureau, to the individuals involved, not to let the system run its course. I'm not complaining to you all. I understand, I think, as well as anybody, it's your job. That's how this all works. But it doesn't alleviate your not thinking that it's irresponsible. It goes on. I know that. I'm not naive about this kind of stuff. Q What you're saying, Margaret, in effect, is that the irresponsibility, the unfortunate aspect applies to this whole business of the reports in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times -- MS. TUTWILER: Leaks -- leaks are irresponsible. Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: Leaks about this or anything. Q The leaks, yes. MS. TUTWILER: We deal with them all day long. Q The whole thing. MS. TUTWILER: This one just happens to have gotten a lot more news than most of them. Q It doesn't only apply to what was said about Mr. Clarke but about the reports; the allegations that were supposed to have come out from somewhere in this Administration? MS. TUTWILER: I don't believe that I, nor Richard, have commented one way or the other on the substance of this report. We have both said that -- I believe it's in about two weeks -- the public portion of this report will be made public with a classified index. I have commented on a view of leaks. I have commented on how hurtful and unfair it is to bandy someone's name about by unnamed officials. I have not addressed myself, nor am I going to prior to the public report, on the substance contained within the report. Q In other words, Margaret, you're not willing to back up the Israeli Government when they say, these reports are totally false; there's nothing to them, and these are false allegations being floated for reasons of sullying, as one of the Ministers said, their reputation? The Administration is taking no position on the fact that the Israelis say these are patently false reports? MS. TUTWILER: No. I've told you that the Administration is not commenting on a confidential IG report that is not final. Q Last week your office expressed concern about the statement by the Ukrainian President about the nuclear arms withdrawal from the Ukraine to Russia. MS. TUTWILER: That's correct. Q And then I understand there was some clarifications made by Kravchuk on Saturday. Do you think there is any cause for concern anymore? MS. TUTWILER: As I believe Richard said to you all on Friday, we had sent a demarche to our Charge d' Affaire to find out exactly what these statements meant. He had a meeting on Saturday with Ukrainian officials. They confirmed their commitment to withdrawal of tactical nuclear weapons to Russia by July 1992. They seek assurances that nuclear weapons being withdrawn are being destroyed. The Ukrainians indicated that this issue would be discussed at the March 20 CIS heads of government meeting in Kiev. We are reassured that the parties involved are attempting to work this out in a manner consistent with safety and security. Q Did the United States make any suggestions as to how the Ukraine could be reassured? Have you spoken with the Russians about how -- have you done any mediation, in other words? MS. TUTWILER: I'll have to ask. I don't know if Reggie (Bartholomew) has done that or not, to be honest with you. We felt this was a very good meeting on Saturday. We were very reassured by the answers that Mr. Gunderson, our Charge d'Affaires had. So I don't know if they have or have not. I'd have to ask Reggie. Q There is no reason, then, for you to be concerned with the kind of position the Ukrainian Government is taking? MS. TUTWILER: I've told you that we were reassured by what we heard on Saturday from Ukrainian officials who met with our Charge d'Affaires. Q Margaret, (inaudible) in the removal of the weapons from the Ukraine to Russia is still in effect; right? They haven't resumed? MS. TUTWILER: It's my understanding, and they said that they will be discussing this -- I believe it's this Saturday; it's March 20. If that's not Saturday -- Q Friday. MS. TUTWILER: Friday? Thank you. -- in Kiev. So we will obviously, as we have these other meetings, be very interested in what comes out of that meeting. Q On a related issue. Do you have any comment on Yeltsin's decision to become Defense Minister and have a Russian army? MS. TUTWILER: We saw the reports this morning that President Yeltsin has established a Russian army and has named himself Acting Minister of Defense. In our view, such a development would in no way lessen the importance of maintaining central command over the nuclear arsenal of the former Soviet Union. Nor would it reduce the importance of peacefully resolving the military-related issues before the leaders of the newly independent states.

[Turkey: US Earthquake Aid]

Q Margaret, is the United States planning on sending any aid to Turkey following the earthquakes over the last two or three days? MS. TUTWILER: We've already sent some. This weekend -- our Ambassador, as you know -- all Ambassadors have at their ready a $25,000 emergency cash disbursal that they can give from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. That was done. He gave that to the Turkish Red Crescent Society. We have a consular officer who is on the ground at the site. We know of no Americans that have been injured or dead. As you know, we have had U.S. military forces assigned to Operation Provide Comfort at Incirlik Air Force Base in southeastern Turkey who are assisting Turkish authorities in the search and rescue effort. The U.S. is also providing relief supplies to the region. The U.S. Geological Survey is providing technical assistance to the Turkish seismic officials. Q What about things that your country is very good at, such as the dogs that are trained to sniff people out that were sent down to Mexico, all this (inaudible) equipment -- MS. TUTWILER: Alright, here is something else, sorry. Operation Provide Comfort forces have dispatched a 25-man team to the earthquake area along with two helicopters. They've delivered 450 cases of food, 60 boxes of clothing, 45 boxes of blankets, and 45 cases of water, plus portable lighting units, a 2-vehicle and construction tools. They are also assessing airfield condition emergency medical assistance needs, communication, and local air traffic control.

[Iraq: Aziz Pledges Cooperation with UN Resolutions]

Q Margaret, on Iraq -- MS. TUTWILER: Iraq? Q Iraq. Do you have any information about reports in recent days of increased military action both toward the Kurds in the North and toward the Shi'ites in the South and whether there's any -- MS. TUTWILER: I hadn't heard about that. No. If it's going on, I hadn't heard about it this morning. Q How about, in the aftermath of last week's U.N. talks, do you -- I guess Tariq Aziz went home over the weekend. Do you have an -- MS. TUTWILER: He did. Q -- assessment at this point in terms of what he told the U.N. and the Special Commission over the weekend -- whether that begins to meet the U.S. concerns? MS. TUTWILER: The President spoke out about this this morning. I have a wire copy, and I believe he was in Milwaukee. So I'd refer you to what he summed up for you on that. I don't have a lot to add, obviously, to what the President said. You're correct, Tariq Aziz has left. There are a number of inspection teams that are still in Iraq. There are other ones that will be going. Obviously, what we want to see is deeds, not words. It is my understanding -- correct me if I'm wrong -- that basically Tariq Aziz said that they would cooperate. So we want to see, obviously, if they do. Q Margaret, on Friday, the Secretary met with King Hussein as a follow-up to the White House meeting. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q Was the issue of debt relief discussed between the Secretary and the King? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q Do you know what was? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know, Jim. We had a readout for you on his separate meeting, and I don't have it and I didn't go to the meeting. I just don't know.

[Inspector General: Role at the State Department]

Q Margaret, just one more -- maybe two more on this IG thing. The Inspector General is a sort of semi-independent person in this building. Is that -- MS. TUTWILER: I think he's now independent. I think that changed during our Administration. Q But he's appointed to the position by the Secretary of State; is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: I believe it's a Presidential appointment. I would tell you that, as you know, Mr. Funk served in the Reagan Administration in this capacity so he's a holdover in the Bush Administration. When we came to the State Department, similarly, as when we went to Treasury, there was, I believe, legislation in the works to change it to an independent position. He was already in the position when they changed the parameters of how they operate, and he obviously is still there. So I don't know, Ralph, if he retired -- a hypothetical -- what the mechanics are under the new legislation for appointing someone. I just don't know. Q Had he worked as an Inspector General previously? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q Do you know whether he's ever worked with Baker before? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. He was here -- I don't know for how long -- in the Shultz Administration at State. I don't know. Q At Treasury? MS. TUTWILER: No, at Treasury, he was not. But when we were at the Treasury Department -- when Secretary Baker was Secretary of the Treasury -- legislation was also created by the Hill to make the independent Inspector General there somehow function a little differently. And I believe that gentleman's name was -- I can't remember -- Mike Hill, maybe. No, but Sherman Funk was not at Treasury, to my knowledge while we were there. Q Margaret, can I take you back to an answer which you gave to the news about appointment, or self-appointment by Yeltsin as Minister of Defense. You said that in your view it would in no way lessen the importance of having a unified control over the strategic arsenals, etc. Does it imply then that you're not exactly sure of exactly what would happen if there is a splintering of the unified control of the Soviet Union as a result of formation of a new Russian army and Yeltsin becoming an active Defense Minister vis-a-vis, say, a unified Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Shaposhnikov. By your statement you're just expressing a hope that wouldn't happen, that -- MS. TUTWILER: I said it's our view. Q Am I right in detecting some hint of concern in this statement? MS. TUTWILER: No. That's your reading into it. This is something, as I believe -- correct the record -- that President Yeltsin has said many times publicly, that if the other republics, indeed, form their own armies that he may well look towards establishing a Russian army. But check his record. After all, this is his decision. I've given you our view of this this morning. Q What is your view of Shaposhnikov's role at the moment? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware that in this announcement that his role has changed. Q Can you give me a comment about the report of the Washington Times this morning that a U.S. carrier America is moving toward Iraq to give punitive hit and also that CIA is preparing to flood the Iraqi economy with a lot of bogus money, counterfeit money. MS. TUTWILER: President Bush has answered in Milwaukee the first portion of your question, and I'd just refer you to his record. He just answered it this morning. Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: Thanks. (Press briefing concluded at 1:19 p.m.)