US Department of State Daily Briefing #73: Tuesday, 5/12/92

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: May, 12 19925/12/92 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, E/C Europe, South Asia, Caribbean Country: Israel, USSR (former), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, Macedonia, India, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Development/Relief Aid, Regional/Civil Unrest, CSCE, Security Assistance and Sales, Refugees, State Department, Nuclear Nonproliferation, OAS 12:17 p.m. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Former Yugoslavia: US Recalls Ambassador Zimmerman for Consultations]

MS. TUTWILER: I have one statement I'd like to make concerning Yugoslavia. The United States Ambassador -- Ambassador Zimmerman -- is being recalled from Belgrade for consultations. During these consultations, the United States Embassy will be headed by the Deputy Chief of Mission. The United States is taking this action in coordination with the European Community, and in light of the aggression carried out against Bosnia-Hercegovina by Serbian civilian and military leaders, in clear and continuing violation of all CSCE principles. The United States will continue to work closely with the European Community to seek strong collective action against Belgrade's aggression against Bosnia. The United States strongly endorses the EC Foreign Ministers' May 11 declaration on Bosnia, including the demand for the full withdrawal of the Yugoslav National Army from Bosnia and the reopening of the Sarajevo airport under safe conditions. That's it. Q You say he's being recalled, but he will go back? Q She didn't say that. MS. TUTWILER: I didn't say that. Whenever you recall an Ambassador, you don't normally say for what specific amount of time. As you knw, the EC recalled -- I think they used the phrase "withdrawing their ambassadors for consultation." The standard policy phrase the State Department uses is, "recalling for consultations." Q Will he go back? MS. TUTWILER: That's a total hypothetical for me. He's being recalled for consultations. Q Margaret, when is he due back? MS. TUTWILER: He is preparing today to leave. For security reasons, I'm not going to announce today when he will arrive, nor have the other ambassadors that are leaving. While he is in the process of leaving, he is working today, specifically, on trying to somehow arrange for emergency aid and assistance -- humanitarian assistance -- to somehow be facilitated in getting to the people who are in need. Q Margaret, what effect does the United States think the recall of the U.S. Ambassador will have on the Serbian government in Belgrade? MS. TUTWILER: I wouldn't venture a guess. I think the government there would be the best to answer that question. They would be the best, in my opinion, to judge whether they care or don't care. Q What effect does the U.S. hope it will have? MS. TUTWILER: We hope, whether it's a United States Ambassador being recalled or it's EC ambassadors being recalled or it's constant statements, what we all would more than hope, Ralph, is that those who are responsible for this constant violence and hardship on people -- this morning, the latest figures that we have on refugees alone is over 700,000. My understanding is that the United Nations has a figure that is much higher. I spoke with Ambassador Goulding this morning, and he said their figure is closer to over 1 million. You know that the news media themselves have been reporting that there are over 1,300 people that have died in the last six weeks. All of us have done whatever -- and in some instance, you all may judge it as limited -- to do whatever we can to try to influence a cessation of this constant hardship and tragedy and disruption in people's lives and people's lives that have been taken. It is a real tragedy. Q Margaret, does the State Department have any view on the EC monitors pulling out? Do you have any fears that the Bosnians will believe that Europe and the United States are basically now throwing up their hands and saying, "What else can we do? We can pull out our ambassadors, we can protest, but there's not a lot more we can do." Lord Carrington, this morning, made a comment along those lines, saying that there's only so much we can do here, and there may come a point when these people are just going to have to fight this out. What else can be done? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware of Lord Carrington's statement this morning. My understanding is that he is still actively working on this issue, as he has been. So I'm just not aware of that statement. I don't have a laundry list for you, as we have not throughout this, of what else can be done. As you know, on the economic side, for the United States, we have done what we could do which we acknowledged at that time was not a whole lot of leverage that we had on the economic area. We have worked very closely with the EC and with our European allies. We will continue to do so. Today, at the CSCE, the senior officials did reach a consensus decision. It's the first time, it's my understanding, that they reached consensus on using the mechanism where a country that you are discussing can -- it's my understanding -- stay or allowed to stay in the room, but they are in suspension from participating on issues about Yugoslavia until June 30, when they will meet once again. So there is something that, as you know, we've been working on, something like this, along these lines since the Foreign Minister of Bosnia was here at the Department and since the advisers got together -- the senior officials -- and I think it was April 29. Q But are you disappointed that the EC monitors have had to withdraw because they said it was simply too dangerous to be there? MS. TUTWILER: Well, Mary, I don't think that I should be the judge, and would certainly not characterize "disappointment" if the EC has judged, or the U.N. judges, or whatever people or entities judge, if a situation is unsafe, I cannot stand here and say that I'm a better judge of that or that people who are trying to help should put their lives on the line in a situation where they're trying to help. By even going there, their lives are already on a line. But at some point, yes, people have to make a decision on how dangerous the situation is that you are asking your personnel to go into. We make those decisions concerning Americans all the time. Q Margaret, what effect do you expect this action by the CSCE to have? MS. TUTWILER: That's similar to Ralph's earlier question. I don't know. I can't prejudge that. I don't know that any one thing or a combination of things -- what has influence on the leadership in Belgrade, on the leadership in Croatia, on the insurgents in Bosnia who are taking matters into their own hands. I don't know that. Q But the CSCE action that was taken today? MS. TUTWILER: The CSCE action is another action that a group has taken. I don't know whether it matters or does not matter to Belgrade. Only they can answer that for you. I will say that the Yugoslav representative at the meeting did protest prior to the vote. That does not, I would guess, say that comes as a big surprise that they were not supportive of this action. But whether that actually makes a difference there on the ground, I don't know how to prejudge that. Q Do you have any idea what it means in terms of administrative action within the CSCE? MS. TUTWILER: They cannot take or participate in -- between now, today, and June 30 -- when the CSCE is discussing issues concerning Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav delegate will not be able to participate in that, and that is called "being in suspension," but it is issue-specific, so that I am clear with you. Q I skimmed over the text of that statement. I didn't see any reference to the word "suspension." Maybe I missed it. It's possible I did. Is this resolution, or this declaration, or whatever it's called, as far as the U.S. had wanted the CSCE to go? MS. TUTWILER: We're very pleased that the CSCE has taken the action that it has taken, Ralph, and we have stated previously what the United States view was at this particular meeting in Helsinki. Q Is the United States pleased with the position the Russian Government took during these discussions? MS. TUTWILER: I don't make a practice of, and I'm not going to start today, characterizing positions that were or were not taken by various members of an organization that we are in. It is my understanding that in this vote that was actually -- I believe it was called a vote -- that was taken today, just a few hours ago, it's my understanding, that the Russian representative there did, indeed, vote for this. It's my understanding this was by consensus, except, as I said, the Yugoslav representative, obviously, protested the proceedings. Q But the meeting did have to suspend or go into a recess for a while to allow the Russians to reconsider their previous position. MS. TUTWILER: I can't dispute the facts that you have. Q Margaret, also on Yugoslavia: What is the State Department's position on Macedonia? What do you call it, and how do you deal with it? It appears to be a very sensitive issue in -- MS. TUTWILER: It is a very sensitive issue, and we've dealt with it sensitively here. I have addressed that a number of times. Basically, what we have said, Jim, is that we recognize, as I know that you know, our close ally and friend, Greece has very strong concerns about this and we are very sensitive to the Greek Government, who are our friends, and this is something that we will continue to work with, in the context of our own analysis of this. As we said -- I'm pulling this all up from my memory; it's all on the record for you -- the EC -- I believe I'm right. (TO STAFF) Richard (Boucher), didn't they say they were going to address this at this most recent meeting? The April meeting, I think, Jim, they said they were going to address this issue at the May 11 meeting. I don't know whether they did or did not. Q But in the meantime -- MS. TUTWILER: But our Government is not, today, in a position to -- or I'm certainly not -- to give you a United States answer on recognition, if that's your question, about Macedonia. Q When called upon to use a name for that area, what do you call it? MS. TUTWILER: I believe everyone that I've heard, just as you pose the question to me, currently calls it Macedonia. I'm not aware of any other -- I'm well aware, as you are, of a suggestion of a name change, but I am not aware of anyone that has called it anything other than "Macedonia" to date. Q Is the Secretary concerned -- you mentioned that we might judge these to be narrow actions. I can't remember your adjective. Is the Secretary concerned that his credibility is somewhat undercut by the situation on the ground in Bosnia? That is to say, he went to Yugoslavia; he laid out certain standards of behavior he asked people to live by, and one of them was a peaceful negotiation toward independence. The people of Bosnia had a referendum. They voted for independence. They did everything by the book, if you will, and now they're getting slaughtered, and the West is suspending Serbia for a couple of months from CSCE. Boy, that hurts. Is he worried about his own position here? MS. TUTWILER: No, ma'am. You point out that he went to Yugoslavia. He did. I cannot remember if you were with us on that trip or not. In each of those six meetings that he held -- they were were very frank meetings, very candid meetings -- he said exactly what the United States' position would or would not be. He said that, or strongly suggested, do not take unilateral acts that will, indeed, lead to violence. Everyone, to be honest with you, I guess, said "Thank you very much," and went on and did exactly what they wanted to. That is quite different than saying that somehow he thinks his credibility is somehow being hurt because, in my mind, it is not. In the Bosnian case, when he met with the Foreign Minister on a humanitarian basis -- recognizing that they had done everything exactly as the international community had asked -- you're aware we sent in, I think it was within two and a half days, six airplanes -- I think they were C-141s -- of humanitarian, as I recall, medicine and food and blankets from the United States. We acted quite promptly. So, no, I would not say that is a concern of his at all. He is obviously concerned about the deteriorating situation in Bosnia. Anyone who stays abreast of the facts coming out of there couldn't help but be concerned. Q Another way to ask the question, I suppose, is, does he wish that diplomacy offered him stronger weapons? He doesn't seem to have a very strong hand here? MS. TUTWILER: If you want to go back in time, as I said earlier, when this all began, even, I believe, on that very trip, questions were asked, when the Secretary went to Yugoslavia, "Exactly, sir, what economic influence" -- at that time, the EC, you remember, was talking about using their economic lever -- "does the United States have?" He answered it quite openly: "Very little," were his exactly words, as I recall. It's not an area, from the very beginning, that you had a lot of leverage that you could use. Whatever leverage we have had, in my opinion, he's used. Q Do you have an assessment of how long Sarajevo can hold out, or is it close to being taken over completely by the Serbians? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have that kind of analysis for you. I have what I think you already know, is that heavy and indiscriminate shelling continues in Sarajevo. The JNA continues to control the airport. Joint JNA and Serbian irregular forces are taking control of several districts, and continue to move further into the city. There is intensive street-to-street fighting. Elsewhere, fighting continues in Mostar. Sometimes intensive fighting and shelling continues in several other towns in Bosnia. In recent days, fighting also increased in eastern Croatia, including Serbian and JNA attacks on several towns in that area. Q What about food stocks? MS. TUTWILER: I didn't get an update on that today. Yesterday, I believe Richard might have addressed it, and I know we did last week. It is a very serious problem. Not only the food stocks, but it is being compounded by the fact that food caravans or food deliveries can't get through. Food is a problem, electricity is a problem. I'm sure medicine is a problem. There are a lot, it's my understanding, of children that are in this area that desperately, obviously -- if you don't need medicine, you certainly need food and clean water. Those who have taken things into their own hands, or being directed by others, have even cut off humanitarian relief efforts. That is what -- when I think someone asked me earlier what Ambassador Zimmerman was doing today, he is right now trying to find a way to give some type of humanitarian assistance in to these people. Q Does the U.S. have a view of strong Russian support for the Serbian government and the Serbian position? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not exactly sure what your question is. Q My question is, does the U.S. Government have a view on the fact that Russia continues to strongly support Serbia in this dispute? MS. TUTWILER: There are a lot of people, John, it's my understanding, who support various factions in this former Yugoslavia, and there are some very strongly-held ties and very strongly-held views. So I'm not going to address your question -- I'm not going to single out Russia, I'll put it that way, because, as you know, I think -- what I'm referring to is there are several others you could put in the category of "Count me as having a strong view on one side or the other." So I don't want to put myself in the position of singling them out. Q Margaret, can you explain, why are the options at this point with the situation that you've just described, of this indiscriminate violence against civilians, and what's basically happening here is that Bosnia is being carved up between Serbia and Croatia and probably won't exist if this goes on much longer. How is that different from what Iraq did to Kuwait when we decided that the use of force was necessary in a case where a state that was a recognized state and that had not been an aggressor had been overrun by another state and trampled? That's exactly what's happening to Bosnia. So why are the options limited to economic and diplomatic options? MS. TUTWILER: As I recall, in the situation concerning Kuwait, the President, when announcing and enunciating the decisions he had made -- I believe I'm correct -- said it was in the national security interest of the United States. I also believe, that I recall, concerning -- I don't do comparisons, as you know. This situation, when asked -- which I believe is one form of your question -- "Is the United States considering or why aren't you sending force," we have also answered that honestly and said, no, that is not an option, that is not something that the United States is considering doing. I don't think that the two situations, to be quite honest with you, are exactly identical and that's why we don't do comparisons. I understand very well some of the things that you are expressing, but it doesn't alter the fact that they are not exactly identical situations. Q Are you saying that the main difference is national security -- that we don't have a national security interest here? MS. TUTWILER: I said that -- when you said that these are basically identical situations, what I recall of a situation that you would like me to do a comparison with -- at the time the United States expressed that it was in our national security interest. I believe that that was further elaborated on numerous times by the President or the Secretary of State, etc., of what exactly we meant by that. Q And you're saying that we don't have a national security interest here? Are you saying that? Or should I rephrase it and say, do we have a national security interest here? MS. TUTWILER: I don't do comparisons and I'm not aware of a national security interest, literally, since that's what you're trying to pin me down on -- literally, that I have heard expressed by our Government. Q Margaret, a question about sanctions against Glavkosmos. Will these sanctions prevent the purchase of Russian space nuclear reactor by American companies? MS. TUTWILER: From the entity that has the sanctions, those sanctions are in force -- can be up to two years. So your question is very hypothetical, number one, for me, and broad-gauged. From this particular entity, yes, that's what it would involve, for two years, unless, it's my understanding, under our law, if they do not do this, then it's all lifted as in cases with many other countries. Q India said that the United States suggested to sell India the same type of technology in the past. Can you comment? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is that an American private firm had some conversations many months ago and the American firm decided on their own not to pursue the venture. Q Do you think that these sanctions may have an effect on our economic cooperation and the forthcoming visit by President Yeltsin? MS. TUTWILER: I don't think that it will have, if you're talking, generally speaking, an overall economic effect on U.S.-Russian relations. But relations between the United States and this particular entity, of course it will. Concerning President Yeltsin's visit, I can't prejudge whether this will or will not be on the agenda to be discussed. We said that it has been discussed at the Secretary of State's level, at the Under Secretary of State's level prior -- previously, any number of times. Q Margaret, there are a couple of questions left over from yesterday's briefing. I'd like to ask just a couple of those. One, do you have any assessment of how many deals would be affected by the sanctions; and (2) what about the other countries which are members of this regime? Do you think they would be involved in any kind of deals with the Glavkosmos, and are there any restrictions to be imposed on those countries as well? MS. TUTWILER: I'll try to answer your second question first. My understanding, when you are a member or a party to the MTCR, in the case of the United States, we have a specific piece of legislation that kicks in. I'm not aware that the other member countries have specific pieces of legislation. But, obviously, being a member of the MTCR or a signatory to it, then, obviously, you've signed up; you've agreed to the rules. You subscribe to the rules. Why in the world would you be a member if you were going to then circumvent the rules. So that's my understanding of how those two things work. On your first question, "How many possible" -- what? Q Deals between Glavkosmos and American companies or American -- MS. TUTWILER: In the past? Q In the past, in the future, the present? MS. TUTWILER: It's my understanding that at this time there are no imports or exports involving Glavkosmos under review. It appears that fewer than a dozen exports to ISRO -- which you all know is the Indian Space Research Organization -- of items controlled under the Missile Technology Control Regime were licensed in that time. They were dual-use items not intended for use in a missile or space launch vehicle program covered by the MTCR. Because of ISRO's involvement in India's space launch vehicle program, licenses for ISRO have been carefully examined during the licensing process. Q Margaret, one clarification, please. Q (Inaudible) time are you referring to? MS. TUTWILER: Over the last two years. Q Margaret, on the first point you made, the last time the United States imposed sanctions against the Soviet Union was back in the Eighties -- the pipeline sanctions -- and those didn't work because some other countries in Western Europe did not go along with the sanctions. How sure can you be this time of the countries who are members of this regime would go along with the decision by the U.S. Government? MS. TUTWILER: Number one, this is not the United States imposing sanctions against the Soviet Union or against today's Russia. This is against a specific entity, as Richard explained at quite some length yesterday, both in the case of Russia and in the case of India. The MTCR does not issue sanctions against countries. It's against entities, and that is, indeed, what's happened. In the case of the United States, as I explained, we have a law that then we put on specific sanctions, which he explained at length yesterday. Q Could I ask you whether the United States delayed announcing the decision until yesterday to allow the Topaz technology transfer to be completed? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I have any knowledge of. My understanding is that the group that governs Topaz is not Glavkosmos, and they, too, have nothing to do with each other. That's what the experts told me this morning. There was a question Richard got yesterday, and it's my understanding that the contract for Russian nuclear engines does not involve Glavkosmos and, therefore, is unaffected by the sanctions. Q And Glavkosmos does not purchase materials from the same entity, whose name escapes me at the moment, that manufactured the Topaz technology? MS. TUTWILER: This is what the experts explained to me this morning. I did not, I'll be honest with you, get into more depth than that question, which is one someone had raised yesterday to Richard. I'll be happy to ask them for you. Q All right. But then the question I asked originally sort of still applies, which is did the U.S. delay announcing this -- MS. TUTWILER: I said not to my knowledge. Q -- to prevent any glitch -- MS. TUTWILER: I've never heard of it. Q -- even though the two things -- no. MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard of a delay, and not even knowing your delay question, I knew someone's Topaz question from yesterday, and the experts, who I have found to be very reliable -- they've worked with me for over three years -- said that there's no connection. So I said O.K. Q Margaret, did you have any reaction from Russian Government on this action on these sanctions? MS. TUTWILER: Did I have any what? Q Reaction from Russian Government. MS. TUTWILER: That's an excellent question. I don't know. I didn't see Reggie [Bartholomew] this morning. I'll be happy to ask. I don't know. I know that they knew at, as I said, the Secretary's level and Reggie's level for many weeks that we had no choice -- the United States. We have said that all the MTCR partners are in agreement. There is no disagreement among the partners. So they were well aware, going as far back, that I can recall, when the Secretary met -- weren't we in Brussels in January for the NAC-C meeting? -- one of the agenda items, certainly not the main agenda item, in that particular meeting this was discussed. And so they knew that we, under our law, would have no choice. Q Margaret, still I'm not entirely clear on what exactly triggered this decision -- this announcement at this particular time, at which time you decided that you were totally fed up and you couldn't take it any more -- you have to go on and say, "We're going to have sanctions against this Glavkosmos." MS. TUTWILER: I believe that there is a legislative calendar, clock that was ticking, and that that is what determined the timing. Q What is it? MS. TUTWILER: I don't remember what it is. I'll have to ask Reggie [Bartholomew] and them. But I remember that there was -- because there's legislation, because the MTCR and all partners are in agreement on this, there was a time certain, in my mind, in the legislation when the United States has to take action. I can't remember what it was. Q Another area -- on the Middle East: The U.S. has said it's closely watching what's happening with the Iraqi intentions to move its Shi'a population from the marshes. Have you seen anything new on that? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Margaret, on another -- Q Margaret, can you give us an update on the multilaterals? MS. TUTWILER: There's not a lot. Our characterization of yesterday's meetings here that we hosted -- the arms control and regional security working group -- they were serious talks. They were businesslike. We believe they got off to a very good start. All those who spoke clearly reflected a desire to engage on the subject, while making clear the multilaterals on arms control and the other issues could not be an alternative to the bilateral talks. There was a general recognition that these talks are an important complement to the bilaterals. The co-sponsors opened the discussion in the working group by offering a broad overview and suggested a road map for how to approach the question of arms control in the region. During the afternoon the working group reviewed the history of the broad concepts and methods of arms control. I do have for you today who's speaking or addressing them. It's again a seminar session, as you know, followed by discussions. Yesterday Ambassador Ross spoke or opened it up, and he told me that that was followed by approximately a two-hour discussion after his opening statements. Today at 9:30, there's a presentation on the U.S.-Soviet arms control experience by Ambassador James Goodby and Ambassador Obukhov. At 11:15, there's a presentation on bilateral and multilateral communications arrangements by Assistant Secretary Richard Clarke. At 12:15, The heads of delegations will visit the Nuclear Risk Reduction Center and the CSCE Center. Those are both sites at the State Department. Many of you, I think, went to that. They have a lunch hosted by the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency today, and at 2:30, there's a presentation on the evolution of the confidence and security-building process by Ambassador James Woolsey. At 3:45, they have a presentation on the Incidents at Sea Agreement by Vice Admiral Leighton Smith, and on the Dangerous Military Activities Agreement by Alexander Yereskovsky. At 6:00 o'clock, there's a reception by Ambassador Ron Lehman, as you know, the head of ACDA. That's their schedule for today. Q Can we have a copy of that, so we can have the names? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q Is there a reason why Dennis' [Ross] opening remarks yesterday cannot be made public? Why they must be secret? MS. TUTWILER: They're not secret. Dennis had them written on a little card, and Dennis spoke extemporaneously. There was no prepared text, and he -- I asked him the same question yesterday -- he spoke extemporaneously from an outline on a card. Q There's a transcript of what he has said. Is there a reason why -- MS. TUTWILER: From my understanding, there is not. There are no note-takers in these meetings -- Q No note-takers; nothing. MS. TUTWILER: -- and there are no transcripts. Q Margaret, what is Ambassador Obukhov doing here? MS. TUTWILER: What is he doing here? Q Yes. In which capacity? MS. TUTWILER: What do you mean "in which capacity"? He's the Russian representative to the arms control talks that the United States is hosting, and, as you know, Russia is a co-sponsor in this large process with us. That is who the Russian Government decided to send. Q I'm sorry -- (inaudible) -- O.K. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know who else is here from the Russian Government. Q Are any of the Middle East parties who are participating in these talks speaking today? MS. TUTWILER: Not on today's schedule that I have. Q Did any of them speak yesterday? Is that what you were referring to when you said a two-hour discussion? MS. TUTWILER: After Ambassador Ross spoke, it's my understanding that a number of people took the floor. I did not get -- write all that down from Dennis [Ross], but this morning when he went over it -- I'd be doing it from memory. I mean, yes, a number of people got up and made responses or spoke -- "took the floor" is what Dennis' phrase was. Q So I guess the key question is, were any of those who did so Middle East parties? MS. TUTWILER: Well, they're the only other people basically that are here. There are 13 Middle East parties that are here. There's one EC representative, I think. The other day when I announced it, I said I think Canada was here and Australia. Yes, the names that Dennis gave me this morning are clearly in the region. Q Margaret, were all participants -- were they all involved yesterday and all involved today? My understanding was that the Saudis showed up late. MS. TUTWILER: The Saudi representative did show up late -- Ambassador Ross was in the process of speaking -- and the Ukrainians were not there yesterday, and they said that it was simply a scheduling problem that they had. They are here today. Q Margaret, tomorrow, as you know, the refugee talks begin in Ottawa. Could you answer the question that was asked a few days ago about what the U.S. position is on the U.N. resolution about right of return for Palestinian refugees? MS. TUTWILER: The United States has supported U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 since it was adopted December 11, 1948. We continue to support it. I am not going to get into any interpretations of this, at this point, of its terms or elements. Q Margaret -- MS. TUTWILER: We've supported it since 1948. Q What do you mean, you're not going to get into any interpretation? MS. TUTWILER: Concerning this resolution, I have basically to point out factually that we've supported it since 1948, we continue to support it, and beyond that I'm not going to -- as we have in many instances -- not going to today debate "What does U.N. Resolution 194 mean?" etc., etc. Q Do you mean if I say, "Well, U.N. Resolution 194 appears to say that Palestinians can return to their homes," which means wherever -- in Jaffa is they want to, not just in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip -- you will consider that an interpretation? MS. TUTWILER: That's correct. Q Margaret, what about the other U.N. resolution -- Security Council Resolution 237, which I think was passed in '67 or -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q It deals with the same subject, but after a different war. MS. TUTWILER: Right. I remember Alan asking me about 194. I'm sorry, 237 I don't know. I'll be happy to look it up for you. Q Margaret, you've probably addressed this in one form or another, but could you say again why it is exactly the Palestinians are not invited to the arms control segment of this? MS. TUTWILER: Because the co-sponsors felt, and I think you would acknowledge, too, that these talks basically concern themselves with armies, with navies, with air forces, with procurement of weapons, etc., and that the entities that have those capabilities are best there to address those. As you know, we said we were starting off with our experience and the former Soviet Union's -- represented by Russia -- experience over talking about arms control matters. And so it was clear from the very beginning, in our view, for those reasons that no, they would not be invited, and they were not. Q Well, Margaret, under those circumstances, why are there any Palestinians at all there? MS. TUTWILER: Where? At the arms control? Q At the arms control talks. MS. TUTWILER: They're not. Q They're not? MS. TUTWILER: Never have been. Q Margaret, don't Palestinians get access to weapons? I thought the guerrilla or terrorist attacks, or whatever you call them, are not conducted with bare fists. They're usually carried out with weapons provided to Palestinians. How -- number one, doesn't that sort of cut into your argument that they're unarmed, defenseless people? And, secondly, if they do indeed get arms, how do you deal with that part of the much larger subject of weapons? Are you taking up, for instance, supply of terrorists, supply of guerrillas, supply of commandos in this conference? Is that one of the subjects? MS. TUTWILER: I have listed all the subjects, and in fact I just went through every presentation today. Q I was at the pool trying to get some information on the -- MS. TUTWILER: At the pool? Q The pool. You just had a pool -- not the swimming pool -- [Laughter] -- MS. TUTWILER: I thought they've added something here. [Laughter] Q I want to go, too! MS. TUTWILER: I did just go through the entire schedule for today, and I think that you would grant me that it does definitely deal with such things as the initiatives that we've expressed -- all types of former agreements. I don't believe that I just said that they are poor and defenseless people. I believe that -- Q No, no. But you said they have no army, no weapons, and they do sometimes get their hands on weapons, and I wondered if that doesn't make them eligible for discussion of weapons. MS. TUTWILER: This is arms control and regional security working group. I don't believe, to my knowledge, that the Palestinians -- and I think they would readily acknowledge themselves -- have a navy, an army, an air force. I do not believe they're into weapons acquisition and production, and that, in our minds, from the very beginning, they would not be in this meeting. The people who are in this meeting do fall into this criteria and have these types of things. Q So the meeting is about organized military establishments -- armies, navies, air forces, government procurement policies, nuclear threats -- things of that sort. It's not about actual hand-to-hand combat involving all sorts of weapons, and the fact that there are a lot of floating weapons around that part of the world. MS. TUTWILER: Right. I've only been here a little over three and a half years now, I think. I don't believe that I've ever debated or discussed arms control as hand-to-hand combat. I believe that everyone knows what arms control is, Barry, and it couldn't be any clearer -- or regional security. Arms control, in my mind, is something quite different -- and maybe I'm, you know, mistaken -- than hand-to-hand combat. Q You're just coming out of a back room where the main arms control issue was the U.S.-Soviet "big bang" stuff, but now you're dealing with the Middle East where arms control takes another form. A lot of the fighting in the Middle East is very -- unfortunately, very disorganized. It isn't, you know, U.S.-Soviet standoffs and NATO and all that; it involves a lot of loose weapons, a lot of stuff -- MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q -- for instance, the U.S. gave Afghanistan which may slip in there -- gave the guerrillas in Afghanistan. So really what I'm asking you is if you have any mechanism for dealing with that type of weapons proliferation; and, if you have, or you haven't, I still don't understand why the Palestinians aren't part of the discussion. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know how more clearly to define our thinking process and our rationale and criteria for why they are not. They're not. We think that we decided this on very valid criteria. The people who are here are discussing these types of things. I can't answer for you in the future, down the road, do they get to a level where they say, "Let's discuss hand-to-hand combat, or let's discuss a different type of arms control." But that is not what this was set up to do. The Palestinians were not invited. They are not here. And, when you see -- and I'm sorry you were in the other pool -- when you see the agenda of who is speaking today -- the head of ACDA, the former arms control negotiator for the United States at the CFE talks -- I think you might see that our rationale was not completely off the mark of why they are not included. Q Margaret, following up on one of your remarks there, though, the U.S. wouldn't deny that since it is organizing negotiations on interim self-government in the occupied territories in another forum, that at some point the Palestinians will have an interest in learning about and perhaps even participating in arms control arrangements that are made between Israel and its neighbors in the region, considering the physical location of where the Palestinian people are. MS. TUTWILER: I grant you that, but this is the beginning of a process that, as you know, we have worked very, very hard to launch, and that a number of players in the region were very, very interested in these multilaterals. We've launched two. Another is launched tomorrow. They will all five be launched this week. And so I did not say that forever and ever these would not evolve. But we are very pleased with the number of participants who are here at this particular one that we are hosting. It's my understanding for the one in Brussels, I believe 39 countries were there. So we are very pleased with the process. It doesn't mean that it won't evolve, and that you can't in the future discuss certain things or add participants, or some participants might say, "This isn't for me," and get out. But for today, I've answered the question, "No, they were not invited, and they're not here," and that was the criteria and reasons why. Q Margaret, though, Egypt is here, and apparently it's working on an atomic energy program with Argentina. Do you have any comment on Egypt's atomic energy program, or do you have any knowledge of what it is they're trying to do? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know anything about Egypt's program. I'll be happy to look at it. Q Margaret, when you say you're pleased with the process, does that include even the talks on refugees and the talks on economic development where, after all, one of the key players in both instances -- Israel -- is not going to attend these talks? How can you be pleased with that? MS. TUTWILER: Well, I do not believe -- I forgot, honestly, to check today -- but as of yesterday we had not, as you know, officially heard from the Israeli Government. We have said that all along we are well aware of their views. They've made them very well known. And, obviously, we would be disappointed that any of the players did not go to any of the meetings. The Israelis, as you know, are not the only ones. The Syrians and the Lebanese, to my knowledge, are still not attending multilaterals. Q Margaret, do you happen to know, there are six delegates, or whatever, who were just in the Nuclear Risk Reduction Center - six -- handful -- just six. Is this going to go on in rotation, or why these six, or, you know -- MS. TUTWILER: I honestly don't know. Q -- what arrangements. I don't know that you'd happen to have it here, but I'd be curious if you're going to let the others look at it, or were the others not interested -- I don't know. MS. TUTWILER: I announced that as part of the schedule. Why six only went, I don't know. Maybe the discussions -- you know, were so involved in the discussions, or I don't know. Q They were all prepared in advance. I mean, the names were known in advance, so I don't know. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q I think it was an arrangement. I just wondered. MS. TUTWILER: I have no idea. My understanding -- oh, yes, I do. Never mind. I announced it -- at 12:15, heads of delegations visit Nuclear Risk Reduction Center and CSCE Center. So maybe, you know, the others had something else to do. I don't know. Q Margaret, do you have any update for us on the situation in Afghanistan? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q When is the United States going to send back an Ambassador or Charge -- MS. TUTWILER: There's no decision that I'm aware of. Q -- or Embassy people? MS. TUTWILER: No decision has been made on that that I know of. Q What is it waiting on? MS. TUTWILER: For the President and the Secretary and the experts to decide that now is the time they would like to do such a thing. Q Is it a question of safety or a political issue? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't asked, Don. I just know that last week was the last time I inquired about this and the United States had not made a decision. And I did not sense that one was about to be made. But that was last week. I'll check again today, but I've heard nothing about that. Q And could you find out what is the basis for the decision? I mean, is it simply a question of physical security, or is it something further? MS. TUTWILER: As you recall, in the Bush Administration, when we withdraw the nine personnel that were there, that was a safety concern. I am sure that one of the main concerns right now has to be safety. I'm not aware, to be honest with you, that anyone has started sending personnel back that I've heard of. I'll be happy to see if there are other criteria that are going into the thinking, but safety would be the first that would come to my mind. Q Margaret, can I go back to the question I asked you earlier on Iraq and say that considering what happened when Iraq made its move against the Kurds, is the United States at all concerned about the fate of these people in the marshes? MS. TUTWILER: I really don't have anything additional for you, Jan, other than what we've already told you, which is that we're closely watching it. We're aware of it. We have no new information at this point on Iraqi moves against those who have taken refuge in the southern marshes. Last Friday, we said we viewed the Iraqi announcement with utmost concern. The comparison to Iraq's massive human rights abuses against the Kurds cannot escape us. We thoroughly condemn such force relocations of Iraqi citizens which are clear violations of U.N. Security Council Resolution 688. And I don't have anything additional for you other than we and the international community are going to continue to watch this closely. Q Margaret, do you have anything on the recent shooting down of a private plane by the Honduran Air Force near Swan Island? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard about it. Q Anything new on Peru or Haiti? Is the policy not going to be changed? Any changes considered until the OAS meeting? MS. TUTWILER: Any policy changing from us? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of on Haiti or Peru. Q Is the Secretary going to the OAS meeting? MS. TUTWILER: No, he is not. He will be represented -- the United States will -- by the Deputy Secretary. Q Is he going to Rio? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sure that he will. As you know, he routinely or almost all the time travels with the President of the United States, so I'm assuming he will. Q There's a lot of refugees coming from Haiti now. Is the policy still the same, to repatriate them? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q Margaret, just one more -- back on the U.S. Ambassador recall from Belgrade, a moment ago when discussing Afghanistan, you said that as of last week you did not sense that any imminent decision was pending on the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q Can you tell us when you sensed that a decision was imminent on the U.S. Ambassador to Belgrade? MS. TUTWILER: That has always been an option, Ralph, throughout this, and when a final decision was made was either some time last night or first thing this morning, but it has always been an option. Q Why did the U.S. not act simultaneously -- the U.S. has made a big point in recent weeks of coordinating with the EC and working closely with the EC and, you know, conversations all the time on recognition, when the recognition of Bosnia and all of that. Why did the U.S. choose not to act simultaneously with the EC on this particular issue? MS. TUTWILER: There have been a number of things throughout this process where it hasn't been simultaneous. When I made the announcement that we, too, were recalling our Ambassador for consultations, I said it was in coordination with the EC. The EC has known, as we have known, we all had this option available to us throughout. They had an EC meeting yesterday concerning this. This was one of the things that they decided. As you know -- if you have not seen it, I would refer you to it. They have a quite lengthy statement where they call on Belgrade to do a number of things, and we announced ours today at noon. Q But, Margaret, was there a reason we hesitated. You said the decision wasn't taken until last night or this morning. In other words, you knew about the EC decision, and you still weren't sure you were going to withdraw your own Ambassador. Was there some reason why you were hesitating? MS. TUTWILER: For the very reason that we have been in such close coordination. This is coordinated. That's why we stated it this morning as coordinated. And we have had all along this option. I remember weeks ago, I was asked, "Why don't you pull your Embassy out or pull your Ambassador out?" In coordination now is the time that a number of countries apparently decided this was the appropriate time to do that. That option's always been there. Q But the U.S. chose not to do it with a number of countries. It chose to wait until those other countries acted first. MS. TUTWILER: Well, the United States, right after the Bosnian Foreign Minister's visit -- we went out to CSCE and said something that we thought should be done. There were phone conversations that were going on, and that's what I mean by "coordination." Our representative there in Helsinki -- this did not come as a surprise to governments -- of what he was going to be saying. So I have said this was done in coordination. There's a what? -- 12 or 14-hour time difference. They've made their announcement. We've made our announcement. How do you know it wasn't coordinated, so that you had, you know, a two-day story out of this. Q That's why we're asking the question, so we could find out. Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: Thanks. (The briefing concluded at 1:04 p.m.)