US Department of State Daily Briefing #41: Thursday, 3/19/92

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: Mar, 19 19923/19/92 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia Country: Iraq, Israel, Libya, Argentina, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh Subject: Military Affairs, Mideast Peace Process, United Nations, Security Assistance and Sales, Terrorism, Democratization, Regional/Civil Unrest, Media/Telecommunications, Travel, Immigration 12:02 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Israel: Reported Transfer of US Patriot Technology]

MS. TUTWILER: I have one housekeeping matter. The team of U.S. experts that will discuss Patriot issues with the Government of Israel will leave for Israel today. The team will consist of three State Department, one Defense Department, and 13 U.S. Army experts. It will be led by Sinclair Martel, who is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs here at the Department. I do not have the exact time of the team's return. As I said the other day, though, we expect that they would be there a few days and then return. Q Could you spell his name, kindly? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Sinclair, S-I-N-C-L-A-I-R; Martel, M-A-R-T-E-L. Q The fact that the team is led by a State Department official, and the Department is, of course, responsible for monitoring and enforcing export regulations, would indicate, would it not, that what you're looking at, really, is the possibility of the improper transfer of material, not just counting the Patriot missiles, and so forth? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to get into that. I have said what the team is doing. We've told you why they're going out there. They'll be there a couple of days and they'll be back. When we first announced that Israel had agreed to such a team, we said that it would be headed by the State Department. It, indeed, is. Q What have the Israelis told the U.S. that this team would be welcomed to see? Can you go into -- MS. TUTWILER: I have no idea because I haven't asked. As I told you, this is something -- or maybe you weren't here that day -- that was discussed by the Deputy Secretary of State and Ambassador Shoval, and I haven't asked. I don't know. We put out a statement, as you know, I think, on -- I don't know -- Monday or Tuesday of this week. I didn't bring it with me. I could read it to you again. It says that Israel has agreed and it said the purpose of it, and I just didn't bring it. Q There's a purpose to my question, too, as there is a purpose to all these questions. We're trying to determine -- MS. TUTWILER: There always is. Q Yes, indeed. We're trying to determine -- we don't have you every day to ask the question either -- we're trying to determine what the U.S. expectation is. So one way to get it is to say, what have the Israelis told you they could look at, which might be slightly different from a welcoming statement that's put out in the press. MS. TUTWILER: Number one, I can't answer something I haven't asked about. Number two, I believe, in our statement that we put out that we did two days in a row -- correct me if I'm wrong -- we said that they were going, obviously, to discuss this. They will be discussing it. Q Your description of what they would go to discuss is different today from the one you gave yesterday and the day before. MS. TUTWILER: Not in my mind. Q Previously -- well, it is in my mind. The text is out there. It can be reviewed. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q The text previously said that the team would deal with technology transfer issues including the Patriot issue. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q Today you said it will discuss the Patriot issues. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q Do you mean to be limiting the delegation now to that one issue? MS. TUTWILER: Maybe you weren't here on Wednesday -- Q I was here. I was here on Wednesday. MS. TUTWILER: Remember, we went through this, and I was asked that question. Your statement says one thing; why are you telling us another? I said I would steer you towards my verbal explanation of our statement. I recall after the briefing I explained to you how we had worked out this statement. So I have been totally straight about it, that this is a specific mission. It is to discuss Patriot issues. A team's going. We've announced who the team is today. The team will be back in a few days. I just don't know when. Q Can you tell us when the -- the statement, as you pointed out one day from the podium, was carefully worded. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q Can you tell us when it was decided that the other issues would be dealt out of the mission, and for what reason they were dealt out? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I haven't asked. Q Margaret, on another subject. Can you -- MS. TUTWILER: Can I do my statement, please? Q Oh, sure.

[Libya: US/UK/France Propose UN Air Embargo/ US Advises Americans to Depart]

MS. TUTWILER: Thanks. The statement concerns Libya. On November 27, 1991, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France announced the conditions the three governments require Libya to meet concerning its responsibilities for international terrorism, including the bombings of Pan Am 103 and UTA 772, which together took the lives of 441 men, women, and children from more than 30 countries. On January 21, 1992, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution deploring the Libyan Government's lack of an effective response to the tripartite requests regarding Pan Am 103 and UTA 772 and urging Libya to provide a full and effective response to those requests. Today is March 19. The Government of Libya has not complied with the requirements of U.N. Security Council Resolution 731. Instead, Libya has attempted to delay and divert attention from the fundamental issues. The three governments have decided to submit a second resolution to the United Nations Security Council asking that it impose mandatory sanctions on Libya, including an air embargo, until Libya complies with the provisions of Resolution 731. Since 1981, United States passports have not been valid for travel to Libya, unless they are specially endorsed by the United States Government. Similarly, all financial transactions with Libya have been prohibited. Although there are no new travel restrictions on foreigners in Libya, we cannot predict Libya's response to U.N. Security Council sanctions. In any event, once airline links are broken, it will be, obviously, more difficult to leave the country. The United States Government strongly advises American citizens who may be present in Libya to depart immediately. If you needed to know, I asked, "What would be the approximate number of U.S. citizens there?" We think it could be as many as 500 to 1,000. And they -- our estimate, because we don't know, as you know, they don't have valid passports -- would be predominantly oil workers. Q Margaret, besides cutting air links, what other practical implications will this embargo have? MS. TUTWILER: What are the practical -- Q I mean, besides cutting air transportation, what else would this embargo affect? MS. TUTWILER: Are we looking at in these sanctions? Q Right. I mean, will we -- MS. TUTWILER: In the second sanction? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: I can't today go into the draft that is up there. But we felt -- as the French have done today and the British -- that it was important, if, indeed, there are Americans in Libya and if this second resolution passes -- and we have no reason to believe it will not -- it goes into effect quite rapidly, and for American citizens that are there, we felt it only fair to give them forewarning that this is what we are working on. The second resolution does contain other measures also. We're just not announcing those today. Q Can you give us a broader definition of what the air embargo is? MS. TUTWILER: A broader definition? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: It's an embargo. I don't understand what you mean. Q Well, including, presumably, passenger airlines, cargo airlines. What other -- MS. TUTWILER: Right. That's an embargo. Q Would this also include a cut-off of oil shipments from Libya? Certain countries get a huge percentage of their oil from Libya. MS. TUTWILER: What I'm not going to be able to do today is to go into the other aspects of the draft resolution that we are right now working up in the Security Council that could contain -- does contain -- other suggestions that we, the French and the British have for the Security Council in its second resolution. This one, specifically, we felt an obligation, as did the French and the British, to let citizens of our respective countries know who were there that, yes, we are working on a resolution that does contain an air embargo. It would, when it passes -- if it passes -- go into effect quite quickly, and you could be trapped there. Q What is the timing on this? When do you expect to take it to the Security Council, and when do you hope to get passage? MS. TUTWILER: We're working it in the Security Council right now -- the draft resolution. I don't know when they will vote. Q You don't happen to have a list of airlines that travel regularly to Libya, do you? MS. TUTWILER: Do I? No. Q No U.S. airlines are scheduled? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q This resolution, is it going to close down Libyan-Arab airlines completely? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q Is the intention of this embargo to prevent the airlines of other countries, for example, Italian airlines or anybody else who has flights in and out of Libya, from -- MS. TUTWILER: It's my understanding. Q So it would be to close down all air traffic to and from Libya, is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: It's an air embargo. Q So, how do you enforce it? MS. TUTWILER: Well, if the members of the Security Council vote -- how did you enforce the embargo that we just successfully did against Iraq? This is a United Nations resolution. The first resolution was voted on unanimously. It has been my observations that most members of the United Nations adhere to United Nations Security Council resolutions. I can't stand here and tell you what various countries may or may not do in light of -- if such a resolution is passed. But, obviously, this is something that has been discussed -- our Government has discussed with any numbers of governments over the last several weeks or even months. So this is not something that has not been fully discussed, but I can't speak for what other countries are or are not going to do. Q Will the resolution include some kind of provision for penalties imposed on countries that violate the embargo? You may be talking about civilian airlines, so what do you do if countries with civilian airlines fly civilian airplanes into Libya in violation of the embargo? MS. TUTWILER: What I don't want to do today -- and I apologize because I know it's frustrating for you -- is to get into all of what we are working on right now in our draft resolution. I've explained why we thought it was necessary to publicly state what a portion of it is. I don't know when the vote is going to come. When it does, obviously, the resolution is made public, and I will be, hopefully, prepared and more than glad to answer all of those types of questions. But in advance of that, I just can't do it. Q Who is allied in this resolution -- the United States and Britain? Anyone else? MS. TUTWILER: And France. Q Is this announcement being made simultaneously in London and Paris? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. That's what I just mentioned. Q What effect, do you think -- MS. TUTWILER: Well, "simultaneously," I can't tell you. But today, yes. I think the French have already made theirs and the British are in the process of making theirs.* But, yes, it was agreed upon that all three of us would do it today. Q What effect is this air embargo intended to have on Libya? MS. TUTWILER: I guess, Ralph -- I don't know how they will interpret it. We're obviously -- Q (Inaudible) MS. TUTWILER: -- trying. We -- the United Nations * Check with individual countries as to when they will issues their statement. has already passed one United Nations resolution. If you don't recall, I will refresh your memory on what that has called for them to do, which they have not yet done, which was to surrender the bombing suspects for trial, cooperate fully in the investigation, pay appropriate compensation, and cease all support for terrorism. As I just pointed out, that resolution was passed, I believe, on January 21, 1992. Today is March 19. So the United Nations Security Council is now going for a second resolution. Q Margaret, can I try -- if we're still on Libya, I want to move to Iraq. Q Margaret, I'm sorry to ask again but for months now it's been talked about cutting air links to Libya by which you would go around to other countries and all these countries would agree to decline landing rights, so, effectively, Libya couldn't have an airline. When you talk about an air embargo, to me, that means quite a different thing. That is saying it's something you enforce, as you said, in the same way that the air embargo on Iraq was enforced, which is by threat of military force, for one thing. MS. TUTWILER: I didn't say that. Q That's how the air embargo on Iraq was enforced. The other thing is that it wouldn't just apply to regularly scheduled airlines, it would basically apply to -- it's putting an air blockade on a country. Is that what you're talking about when you say "air embargo?" MS. TUTWILER: Chris, I take issue with that: That the embargo from the United Nations was enforced by air power. From August to January 16, I'm not aware, except for a couple of instances that you're aware of, that the world community was not voluntarily enforcing an embargo -- a total embargo -- against Iraq. So I would just not accept, which is my prerogative -- you can argue with me -- the premise of your question, that that's how we enforced it for those months -- an embargo. Sorry. The embargo was voluntary by all countries that I can recall except for -- Q Those would apply to the other countries. However, it might not apply to the country against whom the embargo is instituted -- in this case, Iraq. I mean, in this case, Libya. So if Libya wants to do something -- when you say we're going to enforce an air embargo as we did on Iraq, I think there is an implicit threat of military force, if they attempt to just fly planes out to do their own whatever they want to do. MS. TUTWILER: By no stretch of the imagination in what I have just said have, in my mind, led you to that conclusion. Q Can I follow up on that, please, for just a second? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q Is it your intention -- the three nations -- to prevent Libyan airlines from operating any place other than in Libya? For example, if a Libyan corporation, or a Libyan aircraft were to fly from -- I don't know; it doesn't matter -- from Country A to Country B but neither one of them being Libya, is this provision intended to prevent that from occurring or only from flights coming and going to and from Libya? MS. TUTWILER: Until we have a provision, I am simply not going to be able to get into all of the details of what will eventually -- since they're working on it right now -- come out in the provision. What we had an obligation to do, in our opinion, is to let -- as we have said, there are possibly 500 to a 1,000 Americans, we believe, may be in Libya. We are publicly saying that one of the things we are pursuing, we are looking at, we are actively working on right now in the United Nations, in a potential second resolution, is an air embargo. I will definitely flesh all of this out for you, to the best of my ability, once you have a second resolution. But we felt it's an obligation to do this to let people know -- that's why we've said, "leave immediately." Q Regarding the citizens who are present in Libya -- French, British, and U.S. citizens -- is there any threat to them, in your view, from someplace other than the Libyan reaction, as you put it, to the embargo? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know what other threats they may or may not be under. They're there without United States passports, except for those special cases where the United States grants permission. As you know, sometimes journalists go there and interview individuals. We then -- the U.S. Government -- give you a visa, or whatever it is we have to document for you to travel there. But these people are there. Keep in mind, I said since 1981 we have not been issuing passports to Libya. So these people are there, Number 1, not at the sanction of the United States Government. But even having said that, there are American citizens we believe that are there. Since we're working on something that could -- we said we did not know what Libya's reactions would be to this second resolution. We felt an obligation, as the French did and the British, to inform those who were there that, yes, we are working on an air embargo. Q But the question is whether there is any danger to those people from some source other than what you described as Libya's potential reaction to the air embargo? MS. TUTWILER: Well, who knows? I don't know. Q Margaret, on another subject. Q (Inaudible) with the other two members of the Security Council, specifically with Russia, which seems to be the only country which has any kind of air links with Libya? MS. TUTWILER: It's my understanding it's not the only country that has air links with Libya. Q Among the big five on the Security Council? MS. TUTWILER: It's not my understanding either. You wanted to know if we have discussed this with the Russians? I'm quite sure that we have. Q And what was their position on that? MS. TUTWILER: You would have to ask them.

[Iraq: US Working to Intensify UN Inspection Regimes]

Q Margaret, on the Iraq situation, if I may? MS. TUTWILER: Iraq? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: Got it. Q First of all, whether the United States' view is that no further resolutions are required to force Iraq, even by military means -- if that turns out to be the option -- to comply with the resolutions? MS. TUTWILER: Barry, I haven't, to be honest with you, heard that particular question addressed. What I would tell you, contrary to some news reports this morning, what the United States is doing -- which is public information -- is we are working to intensify the United Nations inspection regimes. I listed the other day the number of the regimes that are there now. One came out yesterday. I've listed the number of regimes that are going in. That is what we have been working very hard on and will continue to have our focus on. Q Why do you say "contrary?" You mean, because the news accounts are focused on military measures? Is that what you mean? MS. TUTWILER: I read some reports this morning from unnamed officials and unnamed sources along those lines. So what I'm saying is, what I am aware the United States Government is working on -- that we have all clearly said -- is that our focus is on intensifying the United Nations Security Council inspection regimes. Q At least two Arab leaders seemed to have taken the notion of a military option seriously enough to register the disapproval of that approach: The President of Syria and the President of Egypt. I wonder if they've communicated their reservations of that to you -- the State Department -- or whether the State Department has tried to dissuade them -- tried to persuade them to stand with the coalition, whatever the decision is? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sure the State Department -- I don't know if they have communicated those views to us through diplomatic channels. I saw a wire copy this morning where they had said what you've said. Q (Inaudible) made a statement, clearly. MS. TUTWILER: I've seen it, through the wires. So I don't know the answer, if they have done it through diplomatic channels. But I know that they know very well what the United States views are on intensifying the inspection regimes that are either currently in Iraq or going to Iraq. So that I know is well-known to them. Q Margaret, are you denying or are you prepared to deny that there is no such thing as a list of options prepared by the State Department and the Pentagon and other agencies and given to the President that is now under consideration that includes both economic measures that can be taken against Iraq if it fails to comply with the inspection teams and military options? Are you denying that such a thing exists and that there's been any discussion of that in the Administration? MS. TUTWILER: As you know, Mary, we never discuss options, and I'm not going to begin today. Q Margaret, throughout -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm going to answer you the same way the President of the United States answers when asked this question, whether in this situation or others: We never discuss options. Q Margaret, since -- Q Are reports by unnamed officials irresponsible? MS. TUTWILER: I think all leaks are irresponsible. Q Including the ones on these subjects you referred to this morning? MS. TUTWILER: If you ask me a general question on whether I think leaks are irresponsible, yes, I think leaks are irresponsible. Q Including those being hurled against Israel? Q (Multiple comments) Q Could we go back to Iraq? Could we stick to the Iraq -- do you want to go, Alan? Q (Inaudible) -- Iraq -- inaccurate -- the report that you referred to? MS. TUTWILER: I'm going to answer you the same way: That we do not -- those reports -- or a generalization of those reports, from what I read -- and I only skimmed them -- was that there are certain options. Your question back to me. What I'm going to continue to answer you is the same way the President, the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, whether this instance or others, always -- in this Administration and others that I have served in, always say we never discuss options. I have nothing more to say about it. Q You say leaks are irresponsible. I assume that you mean by that, even -- MS. TUTWILER: I understand why you don't think they are. Q No, no. I'm trying to give you an opportunity to deal with this thing -- MS. TUTWILER: I've dealt with this. Q -- if leaks are irresponsible, I assume you mean leaks that are factually true as well as leaks that are not factually true. You say leaks are irresponsible. MS. TUTWILER: From my moccasins. I understand why they're not from yours, but from my moccasins -- Q I have no moccasins on. MS. TUTWILER: The press corps -- Q Just regular shoes. MS. TUTWILER: From your shoes. Q No. I'm sort of -- MS. TUTWILER: Leaks are irresponsible. Q Just think of us, if you would, as sort of, you know, asking the questions the public would have if they had an opportunity to come to a briefing. This isn't a journalism thing. We're just wondering -- Mary's asking if you're trying to knock down the reports. MS. TUTWILER: I understand. Q I don't think you are. I think you just say you don't like leaking. MS. TUTWILER: I am going to just continue -- those reports that I saw, generally speaking -- I apologize to the authors. I did not read them; I skimmed them -- in my mind I skimmed them and said, "Ah ha, this is about options." Q Right. MS. TUTWILER: I don't have to delve into this because I know what my answer is. We don't discuss options. Q No, no. Not publicly -- MS. TUTWILER: So that's the depth of my getting into it. Q Margaret, one last thing, and I'll pass. I'm sorry. But your coalition which was put together with great care -- and it took a lot of work and a lot of travel by the Secretary of State -- MS. TUTWILER: It did. Q I would like to ask you in a general sense, if you -- because I don't suppose you'd answer in a specific sense -- is the Administration confident that it has the same firm coalition for its policy on Iraq that it had in attacking Iraq for the invasion of Kuwait? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware, Barry, of any change in the international coalition. Q Margaret, can I ask you, since August 2, 1989, when Iraq invaded Kuwait -- Q 1990 Q When was it? Q 1990. Q It seems like only three years ago. [Laughter] Since whenever the hell it was that the United States -- that Iraq invaded Kuwait, the United States has acted multilaterally through the United Nations, can one assume that it will continue to act in that way? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q Second -- Q Margaret, I know I'm late, but I wonder if I could get some of these questions in. Has the team been named that will go to Israel to look -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes, sir. I just did it. Q That's all taken care of. O.K. What about the $300 million issue that you raised yesterday? I think there's been some misunderstanding, at least as I read the papers. The $300 million, if I'm correct, is not tied to a deduction from any of the $2 billion or whatever. This is where the compromise offered by the Secretary comes in, I believe, but I may be wrong, instead of having a deduction made, as he told the Congress two weeks ago. Is that right? MS. TUTWILER: What I really would like to do today is refer you to the record of yesterday. I spent over an hour on this subject -- I'm sorry you weren't able to be with us -- but I really honestly do not want to replow old ground. So I'm going to be really disciplined today and leave it with: Senator Leahy spoke yesterday, the Administration spoke yesterday. Everybody's aware that we're unable to bridge the gap, and I really will get you a very thorough, the best I could do, explanation yesterday of our proposal and the specifics, and I'm going to really refrain today, if it's okay -- and I beg your indulgence -- of just not replowing this old ground. Q No. I didn't want to replow it. I just want to -- MS. TUTWILER: We plowed it very thoroughly yesterday. Q I have the transcript, I read it, and I understand, of course, that there was a lot of confusion according to the transcript. MS. TUTWILER: That's unfortunate. Q O.K. You say we're unable to bridge the gap as of today, and we'll go from there. MS. TUTWILER: That's what we said yesterday. Q All right. What about this thing in Buenos Aires? I understand that the President of Argentina has asked for CIA assistance to investigate. Do you have something on that? MS. TUTWILER: And you would have seen yesterday in the transcript that you mentioned you just read where I answered that we have been asked for or that we have offered assistance, and we declined yesterday to say specifically what type of assistance that was. Q You're still not -- MS. TUTWILER: A number of questions I got on that yesterday. Q You're not saying any more than -- Q Can I ask about Iraq for just a moment, please? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q Could you tell us if there is a deadline in your mind for this team to finish its inspection there and to either be successful or to be turned down? MS. TUTWILER: In one of these irresponsible leaks, someone has misled -- one of your colleagues -- into that there is somehow a March 26 United Nations Security Council deadline. No such deadline exists. We have said that if Mr. Ekeus has had any types of private conversations with Iraqis, we would refer you to his office. But there is no official United Nations Security Council deadline. I have seen it printed as March 26, and I have seen it printed as March 29, neither of which are real. Q But you're not prepared to let this just drag on indefinitely. MS. TUTWILER: Well, I mean, the Security Council deals with this. We are dealing with it. I've told you where our focus is right now -- on intensification of these inspection regimes, and that's where we are right now. Q Margaret, can I take you to another area and ask if you have any response to Najibullah's offer to resign? MS. TUTWILER: Yes, I do. A political settlement in Afghanistan is what everyone needs. The United States continues to give full support for the United Nations Secretary General's peace plan which includes formation of a transition mechanism. Najibullah's departure would be a contribution to this. As the Secretary General has said, the transition or interim government needs to assume full authority from the time it has been formed. Q Margaret, back to the loan for a minute, even though I think you're a little tired of this subject. Two questions: First, has the United States -- because most of the negotiations, all the negotiations really over the weekend, was with the Hill -- has the United States made this proposition to Israel as an offer to Israel? Not as an offer to Congress. MS. TUTWILER: As I said yesterday, we have stayed in very close contact, much of which is public and through normal diplomatic channels with the Government of Israel, and I am really not going to delve into this subject matter today. Q The question simply is -- MS. TUTWILER: I've answered it. We have stayed in contact with them. Q I understand. You didn't answer the question, and, if you don't want to answer the question, that's your prerogative. The question is, has this proposal been made to the government that requested the loan? MS. TUTWILER: The United States Government, through the Secretary of State and the Israeli Government designated their U.S. Ambassador -- Ambassador Shoval -- have stayed in very close contact throughout this entire process at their levels and at our expert levels throughout this building, their Embassy here, and with their officials in Jerusalem. Q The second question: You gave an unclear answer yesterday, and I want to try -- maybe we can get it a little clearer today -- whether this proposal for freezing settlements applies to Jerusalem? You said it applied to the Occupied Territories. MS. TUTWILER: Right. And what I am not going to do today is go back through -- I was asked that yesterday. I answered it yesterday. I'm really not going to do it. I did an hour on Monday. I did a little bit over an hour yesterday. Where we are in the process, which is important, is Senator Leahy said it on the floor yesterday, and we have said it: We are unable to bridge the gap. Q I get that point -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm just not going today -- Q That's crystal clear that -- MS. TUTWILER: -- through all of these many questions that I did yesterday. Q Well, I'm sorry. I'm still going to ask you -- MS. TUTWILER: O.K. Q -- and it's going to go like this. MS. TUTWILER: O.K. Q I'm asking you if the Administration is insisting on a freeze on settlements -- what you call "settlements," simply people living, Jewish people living in East Jerusalem. And, if you are, how does that square with the letters that the President wrote to Rudy Boschwitz, wrote to Mel Levine, wrote to the Mayor of Jerusalem two years ago when this issue first was stirred up by the President at that point, that he supports the right of Jews to live any place in that city -- East and West, as he put it. MS. TUTWILER: And I'm going to refer you to the record, because I answered this question yesterday, and continue to say that for today my answer on any and all questions on this subject is, we are in a position right now where we are unable to bridge the gap. Whether something develops here, Barry, or people put forward proposals or we go somewhere else, I don't have a crystal ball, and I can't predict that for you. But for today that's really all I have to say about this. Q Does the State Department favor or disfavor the passage of a continuing resolution on a foreign aid bill as adopted by the House as of now? MS. TUTWILER: This is something that the Administration is looking at right now, and I don't have an answer for you at this briefing. Q All right. The other question is, is it an obstacle to peace for Jews to live in Hebron? MS. TUTWILER: That's something that I personally want to look at only because I am not an expert in this area, and I want to get you an experts' answer. Q Is it an obstacle to peace for the Government of Syria to say that it was not involved in either bombing and not express a word of regret at the killings in Argentina? MS. TUTWILER: I think that would be best addressed to the Government of Syria, and I believe John has a question for me. Q Do you have any reaction to Senator Leahy's statement yesterday that he was not going to move a foreign aid bill this year? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Do you have any plan to proceed on aid to the CIS and U.N. peacekeeping if there is no foreign aid bill? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. And it's not one that I'm going to be in a position to discuss here at this briefing. It's obviously something that the Administration knew all along could be one of the ways this thing resolved itself, and it's something that the Secretary is working on right now. Q Margaret, one of the other things that Leahy did yesterday was to basically accuse the Administration of negotiating in bad faith, and I wondered if you had any comment on that? He said it appeared to him that the Administration had no intention of compromising. That they weren't interested in compromise, they were interested in -- Q (Inaudible) Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: No, I don't, because that falls right into the category of a subject that I am only going to discuss today in one way, which is to say we're unable to bridge the gap. Q Margaret, (inaudible) described it as a "take-it-or-leave-it" proposition that the Administration had made. Is that a proper characterization of the Administration proposal? MS. TUTWILER: I'm just not going to get into this today. Q Can you say whether -- when you say "the Secretary's working on the issues of former Soviet Union aid and peacekeeping," is he working on it in talks with members of the Congress? MS. TUTWILER: He's working on it internally right now. Q Margaret, can I go back -- MS. TUTWILER: But I don't want to mislead you, Ralph, that there's never been a conversation between him and a member of the Hill over these many months of this or weeks of this concerning "what if." I mean, I want to be careful. Q But now we're no longer in a "what if" situation -- MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q -- so that's why I'm asking whether now -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't know since yesterday of a specific meeting or phone call that he has specifically had concerning that. I am aware that, yes, he has had internal conversations.

[Pakistan: US Document on Capability of Producing Nuclear Material/Arms]

Q What about Pakistan? Have you been able to verify the letter that was released -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes, I was. We got that done for you. And my answer today is that the document appears to be part of an internal State Department working document. It's my understanding, Johanna, that the request for information on Pakistan's nuclear program was made by a private organization called the National Security Archive in 1988, and under this request the document in question was released in part in March 1992. Q Well, that doesn't really answer the question, which is -- MS. TUTWILER: Yesterday I couldn't even tell you about the document. Q O.K. But the question is the document seems to suggest that this State Department knew for some years before it publicly admitted that Pakistan was developing nuclear capability, and the question is, what is your response to that? MS. TUTWILER: O.K. Our response to that is what it has always been, which is that it's not our interpretation. The Pressler Amendment which was in -- my interpretation of your question, okay? The Pressler Amendment, which was enacted in 1985, requires that the President certify that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear explosive device, and that the United States' assistance will reduce the risk significantly that it will possess one. The statutory standard was whether Pakistan possessed nuclear weapons, not whether it was seeking nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the legislation acknowledged that there was a role for security assistance in reducing the risk that Pakistan would possess nuclear weapons. The United States has consistently opposed proliferation in south Asia for decades, and we remain actively engaged in high-level dialogue with Pakistan and India on non-proliferation issues. The Administration has fully complied with all requirements of U.S. law governing the Pakistan nuclear issue, and I'd refer you to Secretary Baker's most recent testimony where he addressed this question and said that we -- this Administration -- certainly has lived up to the letter and the spirit of the law. Q Just to follow that up, where does India come in? This is Pakistan. Where does India come in? MS. TUTWILER: What do you mean, where does India come in. She's asking me about a specific document. Q You mentioned also India. She mentioned a document about Pakistan, and the Pressler Amendment lists Pakistan, and you mentioned that the talks are going on in India. Where does India come in? MS. TUTWILER: I have said that we have engaged in high-level dialogue with Pakistan and India on non-proliferation issues. Sir, we're engaged in non-proliferation issues with many different countries. Q But every time from the podium a spokesperson is asked about Pakistan's behavior on nuclear weapons, somehow the answer comes back "Pakistan and India." I guess we're trying to find out why you're dragging India again in by the heels on this. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I know that in this full explanation to Johanna's question that she asked me yesterday, asked me today, it's just an aside of what the Administration is doing. Non-proliferation does matter to us. They're neighbors. They're right there. Reggie [Bartholomew] is talking to them. I believe there are -- correct me, if I'm wrong -- five countries, as I recall that are involved in these talks. Maybe next time I'll list all five. Q But the allegations are about Pakistan. Q Margaret, can I ask you, despite the Secretary's denials, which we all noted and reported, this story, this allegation, which includes his alleged use of an "F" word, seems not to be going away. Are you disturbed at the fact that the Secretary's denials seem not to be totally believed, and that eminent columnists writing for distinguished newspapers continue to spread these lies? And how do you account for that? MS. TUTWILER: I don't ever comment on columnists writing. I haven't done it for three -- over three years. I'm not going to start today. And I'm not aware of anyone that does not believe the Secretary's flat denial of the incident that you have raised by an unnamed official for a meeting that there is no record of, that never happened. Q But, I mean, my question didn't question his denial. My question asks if there was concern or anxiety or if he were upset -- MS. TUTWILER: No. Q -- at the fact that his denial has not been accepted. It has been repeated -- the allegation has been repeated. It has been repeated in The New York Times, not in the New York Post this time. MS. TUTWILER: Well, the Secretary has been around this town for many years. He knows as well as anybody, once something -- even something as outlandish and, as we described it, garbage that was written in a publication, you know as well as I do that people then write it. But that's quite different than what I thought you were saying is that people do not believe the Secretary's denial. I'm not aware that anyone doesn't believe his denial. Q Except for what it's worth, William Safire obviously doesn't believe it. He wrote in his column today that he has information to believe that the Secretary made the comments not once but twice. Q And that they would be in his memoirs. Q And they will appear in memoirs, he said. MS. TUTWILER: Well, I don't comment on columnists' reports, and I've been asked many times about many reports by that columnist, and I've never responded to one. I'm not going to today. Q You didn't comment on the Koch column only a couple of weeks ago? MS. TUTWILER: I said on that day, Ralph, that I would make an exception to the rule that I've had for over three years, because it was such an outlandish, outrageous statement that was made about the Secretary of State. So, yes, I said at the time, I acknowledged, I am breaking my own rule, but this is a case that requires it, and so I did. Q So in this case, though, you're choosing not to make an exception. You're -- MS. TUTWILER: That's correct. Q Margaret, there's another thing one hears -- Q Let's go. MS. TUTWILER: John says let's go. Q Wait a minute. Q I'm sorry. Excuse me. Can I -- Q One more on Bangladesh. MS. TUTWILER: Bangladesh? Q Do you have anything on the visit of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh? She mentions that one of the things she is raising is the large number of refugees and also the concentration of Burmese troops on the (inaudible) border. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. And I would refer you to the White House. The President, as you know, has a meeting with the Prime Minister this afternoon. It's my understanding that there is a White House readout after that meeting, and I feel quite sure that those issues will be discussed between the Prime Minister and the President. Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: Thanks. Q Wait a minute. One more on the Libya thing, if I could, just a detail: Can you give us -- offer us an explanation as to why Assistant Secretary Clarke is not heading this delegation? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I didn't even think -- Q Israel. You mean Israel. MS. TUTWILER: It's not Libya. Q I'm sorry. The Israel delegation. I'm sorry. MS. TUTWILER: It didn't occur to me to even ask. The DAS, the Deputy Assistant Secretary, is, and this is the delegation. I don't know what the levels are at the other Departments. I have no idea. Q Is the DAS the point person on the subject of this inquiry in a broader way than just this one delegation? MS. TUTWILER: I don't now. Q Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 12:42 p.m.)