US Department of State Daily Briefing #48 Monday, 3/30/92

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: Mar, 30 19923/30/92 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, Subsaharan Africa, Southeast Asia Country: Iraq, Israel, USSR (former), Russia, Angola, Libya, Thailand, Cambodia Subject: Military Affairs, Mideast Peace Process, POW/MIA Issues, Nuclear Nonproliferation, Science/Technology 12:10 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Former Soviet Union: US Assistance Update/Technology Exchance/ International Science Center]

MS. TUTWILER: I want to do two things. One, as you know, this is Monday, and on Mondays I do an update on where we are on assistance to the former republics of the Soviet Union. So I'm going to do that today, and I'm going to then have a statement on the Middle East peace process. As is customary, as I've said, I'd like to begin with where we are. Today you'll notice that I've included other baskets, other than humanitarian and technical assistance, and I'll start with the security and defense cooperation area. I would like you to note the two statements issued by the White House on Friday regarding our policy with regard to technology exchange with the former Soviet Union. As you'll see in those statements, we have moved ahead with purchases of the Topaz space nuclear reactor, Hall thrusters and Plutonium 238. We have also made clear we will consider future import and export license applications on a case-by-case basis with a presumption of approval. In addition, as part of our effort to eliminate bureaucratic impediments to increased cooperation between the United States and the former Soviet Union, we have disbanded the GOSSAT Review Committee, determining that it represents an unnecessary bureaucratic layer. Its functions will now be taken up by the higher level Policy Coordinating Committee in this area. I would also like to note that with regard to the science center, Dr. Gallucci is in Moscow where he is working to finalize the agreement to establish the center, to survey sites for the center and to discuss initial projects for the center that will focus on nuclear reactor safety. He will also be meeting with weapons scientists. On Thursday, he will go to Kiev where he will be discussing with Ukrainian officials and scientists their participation in these activities. We have also initiated a $1 million program to provide three to six month internships for 150 defense scientists from the former Soviet Union. The Department of State, in conjunction with the Department of Commerce, has contacted American scientific and research companies to ask them to host these interns. The United States Government will pay the airfare and a small stipend for each scientist and ask that the American companies cover any other costs, including insurance and training. Scientists will begin arriving shortly, and all 150 will have arrived by September 1992. Although the initial funding for the program is $1 million, we are prepared to add additional funds as needed. An agreement to transfer $1 million from the Agency for International Development to the Department of Commerce for this activity was signed Friday, March 27. In addition, we will begin another program that will place at least 150 scientists as visiting scholars at American colleges and universities for one to two years. The schools will provide the bulk of the funding for these entry-level teaching and research positions. The United States Government will award small grants to cover a portion of the stipend and relocation costs. The program will cost $1.5 million. The first scientists should arrive by fall semester of this year. In the diplomatic area, the U.S. delegation to the United States-Russian Commission on POWs held successful talks in Moscow on March 25-27. The delegation, as you know, was headed by Ambassador Malcolm Toon and included representatives from the Executive and Legislative Branches. The American delegation obtained documents providing the names and burial sites of eight U.S. nationals who died in the Soviet Union during World War II. According to the Russian side, the eight had previously been unaccounted for. The Joint Commission agreed on priorities for ongoing research and procedures for facilitating an exhaustive investigation of relative archives. Commissioners established contact points for both sides to follow up on outstanding questions and agreed in principle to a second Commission meeting in May. In the economic area, a delegation of U.S. experts headed by USTR will hold talks in Moscow, March 30-April 7. This delegation will meet with delegations from a number of states that the Secretary has visited in the former Soviet Union to finalize trade agreements with the United States. Today, because Ambassador Armitage gave me so much that went on last week, I have a six-page statement that I will give to you. I would ask that you do take an opportunity to please review it. It has additional new flights. It has additional new seavans. It has such things as an effort to help stem pollution from an oil well explosion near Tashkent. The Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Committee, with assistance from the Departments of State and Defense, located oil well control equipment in Houston, Texas, and it is on its way right now to Tashkent. So other than make you sit through all of this, as much as I know you'd like to, that full statement -- which is six pages of activities just covering last week and what's moving and what's going -- is available right after this. Unless you have any questions, I'll go to my Middle East statement. Q Would you make your opening statement available also, please? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. It's in a mess right now, so I'll -- it has to be retyped.

[Middle East Peace Process: Bilateral Negotiations]

Q Margaret, do you have a date for this follow-up meeting to the meeting held here in January, that's supposed to happen in Lisbon? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure that -- the EC is hosting that meeting -- that they have announced the date. We have an idea, yes. They've privately told us what they're looking at, but I'm not sure that's been publicly announced by the EC. On the Middle East: The United States and Russia, as co-sponsors, have proposed to the parties that they resume the bilateral negotiations. We have proposed that the next round take place in Washington, D.C., beginning April 27, and that the subsequent round take place at a venue outside the United States closer to the region. We have asked the parties to provide us with lists of alternative sites. Israel has provided such a list, and we hope the Arabs and Palestinians will provide a list as well. Before April 27, we will announce the venue of the subsequent round of talks, whether we have received the list or not. This proposal, as has been reported over the weekend, was delivered over the weekend. We do not have replies from anyone yet. We are waiting for those replies, and that's where we are, and that's what's contained in the new proposal. Q A tiny technical question: Do you have some idea of how much -- or when that subsequent round would be held? Do you have some -- MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Well, at least roughly -- MS. TUTWILER: Roughly, we don't. Q -- would you want to hold it before the Israeli elections? MS. TUTWILER: Roughly, we don't. We're trying right now, Barry, to get agreement to this fifth round, and, as I've just announced, it is a different proposal than those in the past. You have been one person who has consistently asked me when the United States thought it was appropriate to move closer to the region, and I told you that we believe that time is now. Q Well, I've been one of the people who have asked you whether you had heard from the Arabs yet on your request -- MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q -- for ideas and -- MS. TUTWILER: And I've answered that question today. Q Yes. Now you have finally acknowledged -- MS. TUTWILER: Finally. Q -- that the U.S. has. Are you coming forward now after some six, eight weeks -- I don't know -- because of some impatience that the Arabs have not given you any suggestions, despite the Secretary's longstanding request? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure that it's been six weeks since they were here. Q It's a long time. MS. TUTWILER: It's certainly not eight. Q Well, no, it's not six weeks since they were here. It's -- MS. TUTWILER: They all left here -- Q -- twenty-two days. But the point is even before the U.S. was asking for ideas. MS. TUTWILER: That's correct, as we have been throughout the entire process, starting back many months ago. The Secretary, as you will recall, had a meeting personally with each of the heads of delegations prior to their leaving. Those were private conversations. Much of what I've just announced was discussed there, and this is where we are. So they've had the 22 days -- if that's what it is -- Q Twenty-four, actually. MS. TUTWILER: Twenty-four -- whatever it is -- to mull this over. And, as you recall, one other time we issued a proposal and we've decided that now is the time -- or over the weekend -- to do a second proposal, which we've done. Q A quick follow-up: When you ask for places, do you ask for time -- suggested dates or just suggested places? MS. TUTWILER: No. Places. Q There is not the same deadline. You've said that you're going to make the announcement on the venue, regardless of whether you receive suggestions from the other parties or not. Have you made that same statement to the parties with regard to the time? MS. TUTWILER: The time? Q That you will announce a time -- MS. TUTWILER: For the sixth round? Q For the sixth round. That you will announce -- MS. TUTWILER: No. Q You have not made that same statement. MS. TUTWILER: No. Q So then let me just come back. You said you thought -- you said that the time is now for the talks to move closer to the region. MS. TUTWILER: For the fifth round. Q What you mean is the time is now to say that they should move closer to the region. You haven't decided when the time is for them to move closer to the region, right? MS. TUTWILER: No, no. What we've said is that, in our view, they have had, as Barry points out for me, at least three weeks to mull over, discuss with their governments, the suggestions the Secretary of State made when they left here. We have now -- as you know, we've done this once, to my knowledge, in the past -- issued a new proposal. It is: Fifth round begins, Washington, D.C., April 27. At the same time, we are saying we will announce where the sixth round -- city/location, not timing -- will be prior to the April 27 fifth round beginning. So the United States has now, as we've always said, at some point we would say when we thought the time was ripe or correct to move closer to the region. We now feel that time for the sixth round is here, and we want it decided before the fifth round. Q And does the new proposal contain any changes in the nature of delegations or the rules about who participates, or anything like that? MS. TUTWILER: No. None. Q A clarification: Are you saying the parties are hearing for the first time today that you're going to announce the venue for round six? MS. TUTWILER: No. They all had messages at the end of last week. To be perfectly honest, I don't know if they were received on Saturday or Sunday. So this is all contained in their messages, some of which has leaked over the weekend, all of which had not. And so we want to be straightforward with you on it's not just April 27, Washington, D.C. This is a new approach, new proposal, and it contains new information for you. Q Margaret, why "closer to the region?" Why not "the region"? MS. TUTWILER: It has always been our view, "closer to the region." Q Well, the Israeli view has been that they wanted the talks moved to the region, and my impression was that the United States agreed that at some point they should be moved to "the region." MS. TUTWILER: No. If you check the record, Johanna, we have always said "closer to the region." Q Well, does that mean just generically Europe, as in the realm of -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to get in -- Q What do you consider "closer to the region"? MS. TUTWILER: The parties are giving -- one party has -- we are asking the other parties to give us their list, their suggestions. I'm not going to define "closer" for you. Q Margaret, on the other hand, you've got -- all the parties except Israel seem to be content with leaving it here and haven't come up with any other proposals. Why has the United States, and why, in consultations with the former Soviet Union, now decided that now is the time that it should move closer to the region when obviously the vast majority of the parties have no interest in it moving closer to the region? MS. TUTWILER: Well, that's your deduction. Q We haven't given any ideas? MS. TUTWILER: Ours may be a different deduction, and we have decided at this time, this is the United States' view. Again, Mary, no one has to pick up on it. No one has to come. Q Could you tell us why, Margaret, why now? Why is the time ripe now? MS. TUTWILER: Why not today. It could be in three months. It could have been six weeks ago. Because the Administration, based on its intelligence -- it may be a little different than yours -- in their private, diplomatic conversations with all of the parties has decided at this time, for our reasons -- all of which I'm not going to get into with you -- that this is the proposal we were going to make. We've made it. It's out there. We certainly hope that everyone picks up on it. I have to leave it to them to respond to their characterizations of this proposal. They have all received it over the weekend.

[Israel: Reported Transfer of US Patriot Technology/ US Team Returns]

Q Margaret, do you have any feedback on the team that went to Israel to check the allegations that they were illegally exporting Patriot technology to China? MS. TUTWILER: The Patriot team mission? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: Right, Alan? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: The team leader, as you know, was Deputy Assistant [Secretary] Sandy Martel. He returned to Washington, D.C., on Saturday night. Other team members returned yesterday, which was Sunday. And there are two things that are happening here, at the Department, now that the team is back. Deputy Secretary Eagleburger will receive an oral briefing, if he has not already this morning, from Deputy Assistant Secretary Martel. He will receive a written report on the mission that will probably not be done today. Deputy Secretary Eagleburger will then brief the Secretary and obviously pass on the report, and we will have something to say to you later this week. Q Why not the Secretary? Why not brief the Secretary? Does the State Department not consider it that important a mission? MS. TUTWILER: This is how most things, Johanna, work through the building. The Secretary will have a brief. For all I know, if Deputy Secretary Eagleburger has already had a brief, then he has done a preliminary brief of the Secretary. But there is no written report yet, so there's nothing -- no statement. As we have said, we would have something to say. Today, with most of the team, it's my understanding, just arrived back here yesterday, I'm not in a position to do that for you. Q Margaret, has Richard Clarke been briefed, and will he be briefed in this connection, or does Martel go directly to Eagleburger, skipping Clarke? MS. TUTWILER: I have no idea, because I haven't asked. But I cannot imagine that the Assistant Secretary for the shop that Deputy Assistant Secretary works in would not be briefed. Q I can't either, but you didn't mention it, so -- you were very specific about how the briefing process would occur. Q Do you have an initial reading on the allegations? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Is there cause for an inquiry into reports in the Telegraph in London that missile technology was given by Saudi Arabia to China? Is that something the State Department has to look at? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have anything to add to what Defense Secretary Cheney said on that subject yesterday. He answered the question yesterday. Q Margaret, what about the IG's report? MS. TUTWILER: The IG report is going to the Deputy Secretary today or tomorrow. The Deputy talked to the IG this morning. The Deputy will review it and send it on to the Secretary for his information. The Inspector General will send his report to Congress as required and release the public portions of his report at the same time, sometime later this week. I don't have a complete timeframe for you. Q Margaret, this is going to be -- sound a lot like hair-splitting, but let me ask you -- MS. TUTWILER: That's O.K. Q -- because that's the way the Middle East is. Is it a package offer that the Secretary is making? What I'm trying to say is, can you get acceptances to the 27th of April and people still say "no" to the next round or simply not come forward with suggestions? Or are you looking -- obviously, you're looking for a two-part answer. MS. TUTWILER: A package proposal. Q It's a package proposal. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q Is it so much a package proposal that he would not proceed with the 27th of April, if he can't nail down the next round after that? MS. TUTWILER: It's a hypothetical for me. We've presented it. I've given you the absolute guts of it, the substance of it. That's how it was presented to the parties, and that is what we've asked for a response to. Q It's kind of early to have gotten one, but have you got one yet? MS. TUTWILER: No. I said -- Q From any of the parties? MS. TUTWILER: I said we hadn't. Q No. Any of them? MS. TUTWILER: None of them. I said that earlier. Q Margaret, do you anticipate any more hands-on action by the United States in the fifth round? Do you think there will be bridging proposals? Do you think there will be an American policy on the table? Anything like that? MS. TUTWILER: Well, I've never heard that the Americans can put an American proposal on the table. These parties are negotiating between themselves. I can't anticipate, number one, is there going to be a fifth round. Number two, whether the parties themselves will call the United States and Russia into the room, which is what the rules are, that so far has not happened. But, as you know, around the margins, the United States has been very instrumental and helpful. We will continue, as we have throughout, to make suggestions. We have ideas, but we're not in the room, and no one's asked us yet in the room. Q The United States is essentially making the rules, so that was what I was asking, if there was any plan on changing the procedure this time, or if it's going to be essentially as it was in the first four rounds? MS. TUTWILER: The United States, I would argue, is not making all of the rules. The United States got the parties to the table after a great deal of negotiations. But, if you'll recall, in the Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian negotiations, they, themselves, have decided to make their own rules in some areas and have changed some of the ways they chose to operate, which was, obviously, perfectly agreeable with the United States and Russia. Q Margaret, what do you have to say about the resignation of David Levy and his putting that in the context of the Israeli Government's failure in U.S.-Israeli relations and the peace process? MS. TUTWILER: Secretary Baker was very sorry to hear of the Minister's announcement yesterday. As you all know, they have had a very good working relationship. He knows that the Minister is dealing with a very tough decision. It's my understanding he has eight days before this is actually final or not final. Secretary Baker is very appreciative of Minister Levy's commitment, support and contributions to the process of peacemaking. Q Did he call Levy? Has there been any contact between the Secretary and Levy? MS. TUTWILER: No, he has not. He felt that that would be intrusive. This is, obviously, something that is very personal with the Minister. It's something that is very -- I'm sure on a personal level -- tough to wrestle with, and the Secretary thought that that would be intrusive at this time. Q Margaret, two more -- I was trying to get some follow-ups on the missile inspection team. Will their report be conclusive, because Cheney yesterday implied that it won't be. MS. TUTWILER: I can't characterize it yet for you, Connie. Q Now, is that the only missile inspection team contemplated -- just Patriots -- because there have been reports of other types of technology transfer? Will anything else be investigated? MS. TUTWILER: I can't answer that either. Q Margaret, has the United States established that, in fact, Patriot technology ended up in Chinese hands regardless of the source? MS. TUTWILER: That's something that I also can't answer. That would, obviously, fall right smack-dab in the middle of an intelligence classified matter, and I can't deal with that for you. Q Margaret, I'm just curious on the invitation that went out on Friday to the Middle East -- MS. TUTWILER: I think on Thursday night or Friday. Q O.K. Is there any kind of deadline on a response? Did you ask them to get back to you by a certain date? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of. Q (Inaudible) -- invitation. MS. TUTWILER: No, it's not an invitation, as Barry points out. I believe the only word I used today is "proposal." Q Well, no, because I would ask -- I'm not trying to help you -- MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q -- but, if it's an invitation, you could set new terms, couldn't you? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. And I believe that I have refrained from using that term today. Q Proposal -- MS. TUTWILER: Proposal. Right. We'll have to remember this. Q Margaret, the United States is hosting a round of regional Middle East talks in May on arms control here in Washington. This was one of the things that was agreed in Moscow. Do you have any dates for -- MS. TUTWILER: We're hosting what? Q -- multilateral Middle East talks on arms control? MS. TUTWILER: Sorry. I haven't looked into that, Alan, in a long time. I'll have to ask. You're right. Q It was supposed to be in May, so -- MS. TUTWILER: Well, today's March -- what? -- 30th? Q Could you look at it and see if -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes. I said I would. Q -- if the invitations, or whatever they are, have gone out this week? MS. TUTWILER: To that -- Q For all those subcommittees. MS. TUTWILER: O.K. Q And there is another part of that. There was a report in the Israeli press that the talks, which I think are to be held in Canada on refugees, that the Israelis have notified the United States officially that if Palestinians from the Diaspora are invited, they, the Israelis, would not attend. I wonder if you know anything about that or can you -- MS. TUTWILER: I hadn't heard about that. Q Can you take the question and find out? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. I'll look into it. Q Margaret, for the sake of being accurate, did you actually accept the gist of Barry's question that the delay was due to the Arabs' delaying tactics or refusal to answer or -- MS. TUTWILER: Delay on what? Q On the next meeting and the venue, because the implication was that the Arabs were the reason for the delay. MS. TUTWILER: I haven't characterized yet that there has, in our view, been a delay. As Barry points out, I think it's only been three weeks since these various delegations reported back to their countries, to their governments. So I can't characterize that we think there's been some gigantic delay that we did not, when they left town, envision and discuss with them probably the end of April would be a good time. If you'll recall, there are a number of religious holidays that are in this timeframe, so I can't say that we think this has been any big delay. Q And just to follow up, please -- Q (Inaudible) April 27th meeting, if there's no agreement on the venue for the meeting to follow that, is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: I can't be this categorical. It's the same question Barry asked. We've put out a proposal that we've asked for responses to the entire proposal. On a hypothetical, I can't deal with today. What if five parties come back and say, "We want to do the fifth round but we don't want to deal with the other part." Are we going to say, "Oh, no, you can't have a fifth round until you do this." I can't answer that for you. Our proposal is a package proposal. That's what we've asked for a response to. Q In the invitation, did you include a proposal -- MS. TUTWILER: It's not an invitation. It's a proposal. Q In the -- whatever -- package, deal, proposal, whatever. In that, did you recommend a venue for the sixth round? MS. TUTWILER: No. They know that we have asked them. And I have said that the Israelis have given us a list of alternative sites that is satisfactory to them. The Arabs and the Palestinians have not yet. Q Did you inform them of what the sites are that the Israelis would agree to? MS. TUTWILER: No, not to my knowledge. I want to be careful. If some official in this building has done that, I don't know. Q (Inaudible) in the document? MS. TUTWILER: No. Absolutely not. Q Margaret, in a previous round you announced from the podium that you would be open and ready for business regardless of who showed up. You're not making that same statement with regard to the fifth and sixth rounds, are you? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, Mark, I hadn't thought about it. This is a serious proposal. We think it's important that the fifth round begin. I can't imagine why we would not, to be honest with you, treat this one like all others. We're open and ready for business on April 27. I said earlier, we haven't had any responses -- it's understandable; they received this in -- it's a weekend -- and that we hope that everyone comes to the fifth round. Q What about for the sixth round? MS. TUTWILER: The sixth round -- I've just said, we're working on. We don't have lists from the Arabs. There's not a lot we can do right today when we don't. We have a list from the Israelis. We've asked the Arabs and the Palestinians to give us their list to try to bridge the gap, get over this venue problem. Q And if they don't? MS. TUTWILER: If they don't, we'll deal with it when we get there. We're not there today. We've got a proposal that's out there. I've given you everything that's in the proposal. I've said it's understandable that over the weekend that people have not yet responded. That's where we are. Q Margaret, in proposing the venue for the sixth round, will the United States limit itself to sites on somebody's list, or is it possible that you might come up with a site that hasn't been proposed by any of the participants? MS. TUTWILER: Well, since I've only got one list right now, and I've said that we would be announcing this, it wouldn't be on -- what? -- five other lists. Q No. You say you want other lists. If you get them, presumably, if there's an overlap, that would probably be the logical place. MS. TUTWILER: That might help. Q But if you don't get other lists -- MS. TUTWILER: Right. That's our thinking. Q If you don't get other lists, or if their lists have no overlap, would you pick a spot that is not on any of the lists or would you pick a spot -- MS. TUTWILER: You got it. Q -- from one of the lists? MS. TUTWILER: We've said that if we have not received all of these lists -- whether we've received them or not -- we'll name an alternative site. Q But you're not bound by the lists? That's what I'm asking. MS. TUTWILER: We only have one list. I can't be bound by things I don't have. They know, and they've known for weeks, that the Secretary of State has requested -- we've been requesting -- give us your list, for the very rationale that you just point out. Maybe two cities on all lists, or one city, is on everybody's list. Bingo! You'd be home free, wouldn't you? We're saying, if we don't have all those lists, we're prepared and we're going to name a site. Q I guess what I'm asking is, if it turns out that you only have the Israeli list, would you take one of the cities off the Israeli list or might you pick something else? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't gotten to that level of detail, but we will name a city.

[Angola: Secretary Baker's Letter to Dr. Savimbi ]

Q Is there a Baker letter to Savimbi you can tell us about? MS. TUTWILER: Not a lot. I can tell you that he did send a message to Dr. Savimbi. I think it went out over the weekend. You know our practice is that we don't discuss his diplomatic correspondence. The letter was delivered to UNITA representatives here and in Luanda. They assured us that the letter would be immediately transmitted to Dr. Savimbi. Without commenting on the contents of this specific message, as you know, I believe I said on Thursday, the issue of alleged UNITA human rights abuses has been a part of our ongoing dialogue with UNITA officials. We have called upon UNITA to address these allegations, including the welfare and whereabouts of the two former UNITA officials, in an open and public manner. Q Margaret, since, as you say, this has been an ongoing theme of your discussions with UNITA, why was it necessary to send a new letter to Savimbi? MS. TUTWILER: Why did we send a message over the weekend to the Arabs and the Palestinians saying once again, please send us lists? Part of -- a lot of what we do is repetitive. It's just like any ongoing dialogue you have with any number of friends and other countries, etc. Things do tend, as you know, not to just clean themselves up immediately, and so you continue to press and continue the dialogue.

[Libya: UN Proposal on Sanctions]

Q Margaret, is the U.S. hoping for a sanctions vote at the United Nations today? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding, Bill, is that they tabled a resolution over the weekend. They are right now, as I'm briefing, in informal session. My latest guidance is not to look for a vote today. Q Let me follow up, if I may, please. Can you talk at all about what sort of sanctions the U.S. seeks? MS. TUTWILER: No, other than, as you know, the air embargo. Q A follow-up: If these reports of torture and disappearances are true, what practical effect will it have on U.S. relations with UNITA? MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to speculate, Connie. The Secretary, as I've said, without going into the content, has sent a message as the Secretary of State to Dr. Savimbi, who, as you know, he has known for many, many years. It was delivered to their representatives. I don't even know if Dr. Savimbi has yet received it. Q Margaret, the President of Cyprus will be seeing the President of the United States in about three and a half hours. And deep down in that book, when you deal with small countries, do you have anything on Mr. Ledsky's trip there? Anything on Mr. Kanter's trip there? Anything you could say -- the President spoke on the subject during the Greek Independence Day. MS. TUTWILER: I didn't think Arnie went to Cyprus. Q No. He went to Greece and Turkey. MS. TUTWILER: Greece -- Greece, Turkey, and Germany. Q Yeah, which hold the key, probably. MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, Barry -- and I guess I should have known -- I haven't seen the President's schedule today. And, so, no, I don't have anything on Cyprus. Q On Thailand, do you have anything -- MS. TUTWILER: Additional? Q Yeah. MS. TUTWILER: No. From what we said on Thursday and Friday, I do not. It's my understanding that they're still in the process of forming that new government. It has not been formed. Q Margaret, there are specifically people on the ground who would like you to produce evidence that the leader in question had been a drug trafficker. Is the State Department prepared to open the files of that visa request, or in any way -- MS. TUTWILER: I doubt it. Q -- release it?

[Department: Secretary to Remain Removed from Politics]

Q In a big country -- do you want to comment today on the reports that Secretary Baker is giving President Bush advice? And does Secretary Baker have any plans to get involved in the campaign? [Laughter]. MS. TUTWILER: There are no plans that I have any knowledge of. The Secretary of State is a friend, as you know, of 35-plus years, I think now, and he and the President talk quite frequently and I'm sure they discuss a number of subjects. Q Is there any rule against him getting involved in politics as Secretary of State? MS. TUTWILER: There's a gentleman's agreement, as you know, that, it's my understanding, has existed for decades in both Democrat and Republican administrations that the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and I believe CIA, as a gentleman's agreement -- there is no legislation -- do not involve themselves in partisan politics, i.e., signing fund-raising letters, going to campaign events, giving campaign speeches -- those types of partisan activities. Q But, Margaret, I thought the Secretary enjoyed politics. MS. TUTWILER: You will recall that very early into this Administration, right here in this room, the Secretary of State -- I believe many of you will remember -- made a remark that was wildly interpreted as "partisan" politically. Since then, in deference to your sensitivities, he has refrained from ever making another political statement. Q Couldn't he think of a better reason than deference to our sensitivities? Q Does that gentleman's agreement extend to communications with the campaign organization? MS. TUTWILER: Look, I'm not going to stand here and tell you that Bob Teeter, for instance, who has been a friend of Jim Baker's for -- what? -- eighteen years -- they go fishing, they go hunting, their families are friends -- that he has never talked to Bob Teeter since Bob has gotten in town. That would be a ludicrous statement for me to make. But that is quite different from saying that he is receiving every night from the campaign the overnight tracking; that he and Bob are somehow huddled every morning on the phone or having breakfast. That just doesn't exist. Q How about something between those two extremes, however? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, I cannot personally -- but, of course, I'm not a watch-keeper of Secretary Baker's phone logs -- I can't remember the last time that they have spoken. They're friends, so it's normal that they would talk. Q Margaret, specifically, the New York Times reported on Sunday that the President views -- that the Secretary of State views the President's campaign team as running a 3-ring circus and that he views it with horror. Is that true, Margaret? Is he horrified by the state of the President's campaign apparatus? (Laugher) MS. TUTWILER: I woke up yesterday morning and read that piece, and I found parts of it interesting. Q Does that mean you agree with it? MS. TUTWILER: I'm going to leave it like that. I found parts of it interesting. Q Which parts? Q In your list of the gentleman's agreement, did you include private advice to the President? I didn't catch all the delineations? MS. TUTWILER: Look, the President of the United States and the Secretary of State have been long-time personal friends, going way back. Way back. Of course, they talk. It is ridiculous to assume they do not, but they talk on any number of subjects. A close family friend has an illness in Houston. Do they talk about that? Of course, they do. I'm not going to stand here and say that the Secretary of State and the President have never had a political conversation concerning -- this is an election year. I have to assume, as I know you all do, that, of course, they do. But those are private conversations, as friends. Q So, Margaret, what are you going to do if you find out who leaked all this stuff to the Times? MS. TUTWILER: What stuff? Yesterday's article? Q No, the interesting stuff. Q And will he have to apologize, or her? MS. TUTWILER: Come on. Q Well, you said the team -- MS. TUTWILER: A lot of unnamed irresponsible officials, some of whom have no idea what they were talking about.

[Department: Foreign Aid Budget]

Q On another subject? Are you preparing for our foreign aid to come to a halt Tuesday night, or do you think Congress will act in the nick of time to pass another CR? MS. TUTWILER: I'm going to leave where the President left it yesterday in his chat with some of your colleagues coming back from church. I don't have anything to add to that. The President said that he may have something for you later this week on -- Q Not on -- MS. TUTWILER: I know, but it's all tied up -- the CR is definitely tied up with whatever the President -- he said he was going to have something for you later this week -- is planning to do, concerning aid to the former Soviet Union. Q Is the Secretary at this point consulting actively on the Hill about (a) the CR and (b) the Soviet aid plan? Is he meeting with leaders on that? Is he talking on the phone over the weekend with them? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Is there any groundwork being done on his part with people on the Hill? MS. TUTWILER: On which thing? You're asking me about both -- Q On both; on each of them. MS. TUTWILER: On CR, I believe he had a few conversations last week with some of the relevant Congressmen. I know of none over the weekend. He has no scheduled meetings today or tomorrow that I'm aware of. Obviously, he is extremely well briefed on the plans the President is making for later this week, and the substance and contents of that. But I don't know of anything in the next 48 hours that he has planned on the CR. Is he being kept abreast of where they are in the CR process? Absolutely, from staff here, from Janet Mullins and others. Q Let me follow up on one other, which is, people on the Hill say it will be very difficult, in the current political climate, to get a CR through, particularly in the House. How do you view the possibility of there not being a new CR on a timely basis? MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to do predictions for you. The House is dealing with this right now. I don't want to prejudge our view of what may or may not come out of that. Q Has the FSU aid program -- MS. TUTWILER: On the what? Q The FSU aid program. You've answered it for the CR: No consultations in the next 48 hours. Is he actively consulting on the FSU aid program? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Has that been completed -- the consultations been completed on that subject? MS. TUTWILER: No. The consultations have not been completed. Again, the President -- I will leave you to what he had to say about this yesterday -- that he would have something later for you in the week. I don't have anything to add to what the President said. The Secretary, obviously, as I believe has been reported, has finished his internal deliberations here and, indeed, has finished -- which we said his next step would be -- his high-level consultations with his colleagues in the Administration from the relevant bureaus and departments. Q So it would be accurate for us to conclude that the state of play right now is, the President wants to spring it without consultations before -- or at least without consultations via the U.S. Secretary of State on this subject? MS. TUTWILER: You can conclude whatever you want. What I'm not going to do is pre-empt a Presidential plan that, for all I may know or that you may know, could, indeed, have a Congressional component. That is not my job. That is not what I'm here to do. The President said he would have something for you later this week. He will. Q But, Margaret, when you say that the Secretary is very well briefed on what the President will have, there were reports, of course, last week that the Secretary submitted a proposal to the President on Thursday. That did happen? He did submit a proposal? MS. TUTWILER: He has been working, all along, on the avenue, etc., and where we go. He has definitely been in very close contact with the White House. He has submitted what his views are, and is continuing to discuss it as he did over the weekend. Q What his views are on the substance of what should be offered and how to offer it? I mean, the vehicle, the policy -- MS. TUTWILER: The whole ball of wax.

[Thailand: Denial of Visa for Narong Wongwan]

Q Margaret, can we go back to Thailand just for one? MS. TUTWILER: Thailand? Q Yes. Back in July, Mr. Wongwan was a Cabinet-level official in Thailand. This is when his visa was denied for alleged drug-dealing. Just recently the Administration certified that Thailand -- there's not a pattern of drug corruption in the Thai Government. I don't see how those two fit together. Are they saying that the case of Mr. Wongwan is isolated and there's no connection between him and any other Cabinet officials in those allegations? MS. TUTWILER: Number one, I don't have anything to add to what I've said concerning that gentleman; that I believe I did last Wednesday or Thursday. I just have nothing else for you. I don't have it with me. I believe, as I recall -- it was in response to Bill Plante's question -- I said specifically what the law says concerning -- I believe it was in July -- a visa denial. I'm not aware of the additional report you've just brought to my attention concerning the Thai Government. I'll be happy to look at that. Q Every year the President certifies that countries are -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm just not familiar with it. Q -- and Thailand was certified. And a follow-up to that: Has there ever been a Cabinet-level official that was denied a visa to the United States -- a Cabinet-level official in another country? MS. TUTWILER: I have no idea. Q Can you take that, please? MS. TUTWILER: I'll see if someone has the time to do that type of research for you. What year, period? You said the world? Come on. Q You can limit it to the last five years, even. MS. TUTWILER: I probably could, but my colleagues would probably kill me. So I'd have to be honest with you, I'm not sure somebody can do that kind of research for you. I'll look at it and see how time-consuming that would be.

[Cambodia: UN Reports Low-Level Fighting/ US Mechanism for Contacting Khmer Rouge]

Q Margaret, do you have any comment on the state of the ceasefire, and so on, in Cambodia -- the state of fighting and politics in Cambodia right now? MS. TUTWILER: It's my understanding, Ralph, is that the UNTAC commander has characterized this, basically, as low-level fighting. At this point, our information on the situation, to be quite honest with you, is sketchy about what is currently happening. We did urge Hun Sen, during his visit here last week, to exercise restraint. We have also asked the governments in contact with other factions, including the Khmer Rouge, to make similar requests. We urge all the parties, as you know, to adhere to the ceasefire, cooperate with the U.N. commanders, and permit the full deployment of U.N. troops. Q There's no judgment on whether the Khmer Rouge is trying to seize advantage, as some analysts seem to believe? MS. TUTWILER: Not at this point. Q You're not blaming anybody particularly, are you? MS. TUTWILER: No. At this point, our information is sketchy, and our characterization -- the only characterization we have this morning is from the U.N. commander in the region who characterized it as low-level fighting. Q Is it your view then, on the basis of both that characterization and your urging to allow the deployment -- is the deployment of the peacekeeping force in jeopardy at this point? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I've heard anyone mention. Q Margaret, are there any tentative plans for the Secretary to testify on behalf of whatever bill -- Q Can we stay on the subject for a moment? Through which third country do you talk to the Khmer Rouge? MS. TUTWILER: I'll have to ask. Q Are there any tentative plans for the Secretary to testify in behalf of whatever bill is submitted by the Administration on foreign aid? MS. TUTWILER: There's no request that I'm aware of for the Secretary right now to testify on any subject. Q As you know, members of Congress have suggested that it would be very, very difficult to get a foreign aid bill at all -- MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q And, certainly, with not -- almost impossible to get it without some support, active support from the Administration. That active support, it would seem to me, as it has in the past, would be testimony from the Secretary of State. MS. TUTWILER: That's one avenue that's available. But to be honest with you, the pattern is that the Hill requests the Secretary to testify. I'm not aware that we have put up a request in the past, "Hey, can we come testify?" But you are absolutely correct. Q Unless, of course, there's an aggressive campaign to get something passed. Then you do suggest that -- testimony. Is there any suggestion that -- MS. TUTWILER: There are a lot of things we're looking at right now. But the first thing that's going to happen is, the President, in his choosing his timeframe and his forum, is going to announce whatever it is he may or may not have to announce. Q And how about the START testimony -- is there any target for him going up and starting that? MS. TUTWILER: Not yet, no. We're working the issue. Not here. Overseas. Q I know you work it, but I just wanted -- Q Back on the Patriots for just a second. You indicated that something would be said later on this week. The Israelis seem to make a big deal about asking for an apology or some kind of statement to clear their name, and so on. You don't seem to be in very much of a hurry to get out the word even though Eagleburger obviously has the word this morning from the delegation. Is there some reason for that? MS. TUTWILER: That's your characterization. We think also, as I think it was Johanna or Mary pointed out, what a very, very serious mission this was; that to do a very thorough report, Ralph, some of these people -- it's my understanding, about half the team just arrived in town yesterday. I know you have flown that distance yourself a great many times. I don't believe they were asked to stay up all night long to get this written report ready for Larry Eagleburger. Q They just complete their work at the last minute just before leaving there? They were unable to -- MS. TUTWILER: Ralph, they've been on a mission. They fly commercially. Q Right. MS. TUTWILER: I don't it lends itself to working with classified documentation. These men -- I believe it was all men -- have just, basically, returned. This is Monday. It's five of one, and I think it would be -- most people here do -- irresponsible to not give a thorough report of what was found. After all this is -- or was -- a serious, irresponsible leak by someone. Q On the IG's report, the timeframe is no longer by the end of this month; is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: I told you that originally, Sherman Funk told me -- this was weeks ago -- he thought it would be about two weeks. Then last week, I started saying the IG thought by the end of the month, which I said, I was taking, could mean Tuesday, March 31. I was very careful to say the IG had never point-blank said that to me. Larry has talked to Sherman this morning, and that's what we're telling you -- later this week. Q Is there some of kind release together -- MS. TUTWILER: Together? Not in my mind. (Press briefing concluded 12:52 p.m.)