US Department of State Daily Briefing #74: Wednesday, 5/13/92

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: May, 13 19925/13/92 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, E/C Europe, South Asia, Europe, Southeast Asia, Subsaharan Africa Country: Israel, USSR (former), Lebanon, Qatar, Afghanistan, Russia, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, United Kingdom, Thailand, Angola Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Development/Relief Aid, United Nations, State Department, Regional/Civil Unrest, Military Affairs, Arms Control 12:10 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I don't have anything. I'll be happy to try to answer your questions. Q Your comments yesterday about the 1948 U.N. Resolution, do you have any elaboration on that? I understood you were supposed to get back to us with a posted answer late last night. I don't know whether you ever did. MS. TUTWILER: We did. Q You did. MS. TUTWILER: That was in response to Carol Giacomo's question, which was not on Resolution 194. I believe it was on Resolution 237. I'll be happy to state for you what we did post last night. On June 14, 1967, the United States joined the Council in unanimously adopting Resolution 237. We continue to support it. However, just as I said yesterday, with respect to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194, we will not get into any interpretation of the terms and elements of either resolution. The issues raised in both these resolutions, like those raised in many other U.N. resolutions relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict, can only be resolved through a process of direct negotiations among the parties themselves. Outside parties are not going to resolve those issues. Clearly, the process of negotiations must take into account the needs and requirements of the parties themselves. What they determine through their negotiations is what matters. That's what we stated last night. Q Should those issues be dealt with -- the question, for example, of -- just to pick one -- of Palestinian right of return -- should that be dealt with, in the U.S. view, in the multilateral discussions on refugee issues? MS. TUTWILER: No. We've clearly said that we did not, and that's what I believe I just stated -- that it is not to be handled in the multilateral fora; that we believe that is for the parties to discuss among themselves, not in the multilaterals. Q If the session on refugee issues is about refugee issues, what's the rationale behind the U.S. feeling that this type of refugee issue ought not to be discussed there, or do you not consider it a refugee issue? MS. TUTWILER: Our strong position has always been, which is well-known to all parties, that it was not to be discussed -- our strong position -- at the multilaterals. Obviously, we cannot prevent sovereign nations, should that be their choice, of bringing up anything they want to bring up -- whether in that fora or any other fora. But that's our strong position. It has always been our position. In our opinion, as I just stated, it is an issue that can only be dealt with in final status bilateral negotiations, and we will not support any follow-up on this issue in the multilaterals if it is raised. We've made this position very clear to all the parties. Q Margaret, were those two resolutions mentioned between Israel and Washington during the -- you know, before the peace talks started when you were negotiating the format of the peace talks? Was that issue popped in? I mean, was it was mentioned by Israel or by you during those -- MS. TUTWILER: Was the issue or were these two resolutions? Q The two resolutions. MS. TUTWILER: The first I'd ever heard of the second resolution was yesterday when Carol raised it, and Alan raised the last one last week. I'm not aware of these two resolutions, but I'm not the expert or the negotiator who is attending all these hours and hours and hours of meetings that are going on. So I don't know that I can answer your question for you: "Has anybody ever raised these two resolutions in any meeting over the last eight or nine months?" I don't know. Q But, Margaret, these -- I mean, you said you're not familiar with them. Do they call for direct talks between parties in order to bring their resolution? MS. TUTWILER: That is very similar to a type of question that Mary Curtis asked me yesterday, which calls for an interpretation by us of these two resolutions, which I declined to do yesterday. I am declining to do so today. Q But, I mean -- what I mean is these resolutions were adopted by the Security Council. If I remember, 194 at least was. I don't -- MS. TUTWILER: On December 11, 1948. Q Wouldn't it be up to the Security Council to interpret them then rather than the United States Government or any other government for that matter? MS. TUTWILER: I'm really not going to engage in this debate. I have said that I was not going to yesterday. I'm not going to today. I will not be doing so tomorrow. We've given our reasons why, which I just have restated again twice today. Q Margaret, have you heard from the Israelis on this? Have they expressed concern? MS. TUTWILER: We obviously heard from the Israelis once, much to our amazement and especially my own, since I was the briefer yesterday and many of you were here, and no one who attended this briefing yesterday, who was in this room, had any trouble understanding what the guidance was. No one who reads the transcript could possibly have any trouble, nor did we see anyone who did except, to be quite honest, members of the Israeli press. And I read this morning any number of Israeli press stories that said I had made an announcement yesterday. I made no such announcement. If you will recall, I responded to a question which the transcript clearly shows. The transcript, in my opinion -- is there for all to see -- clearly shows that I said I would not be giving any interpretation on the terms and elements. When posed an example by one of your colleagues here in this room, I declined to engage on that subject. So I don't blame the Israeli Government for calling and saying, "What in the world is going on," when you're reading wild and amazing reports of what went on in this room. [Laughter] Q Wild and amazing. MS. TUTWILER: They were pretty wild when I heard about them. Q Is that the first time you've seen wild and amazing reports from that part of the world -- [laughter] MS. TUTWILER: No, it's not. Q -- about what goes on in this room. MS. TUTWILER: That's correct. But it's a weird way, I think that you all would agree with me -- to be a little bit serious, I know that the only commodity I have is my credibility, and I know that you all operate that way also. And it's a little different way to operate, and you all certainly -- you know, I'm not here to lecture you to do your own jobs -- but credibility, I think, does matter on both sides of this business. And to go out and say that I came out here and made this announcement -- I didn't make any such thing -- and to somehow say, as you all have read, that -- and I don't know who these people are. I have seen -- the Embassy sent me some press reports this morning, and it's comical to read. There is no way you could get from the facts, as we all -- and many of you were here yesterday -- know them to some of the -- that's why I called them "wild interpretations" of what I said. It's just -- yes, it was kind of amazing. Q Margaret, do you have anything on the reduction of food aid to Lebanon? MS. TUTWILER: Food aid to Lebanon? Yes. There's a story today -- and I can't remember where it is -- that the United States has stopped or reduced -- Q New York Times. MS. TUTWILER: Was that where it was? -- food aid to Lebanon. The truth is that we have not stopped food aid. The program is continuing at its normal pace for now, and the Save the Children Fund continues to act as the agent for importing and distributing food aid to Lebanon. The program will continue at least through 1993. There are reserves in country. Ships arrived in Lebanon with U.S. food on March 6 and March 13. Another ship with vegetable oil, rice and lentils is scheduled to arrive on June 12. After a one to two-year evaluation, the Save the Children Fund recommended cutting the program by 25 percent in 1993. We have been working on a phase out plan by the end of 1993; however, we will be taking into account the economic conditions in Lebanon when making decisions about the future of the program. Food aid has been a major component of our assistance program to Lebanon, but we have been looking at ways to shift our assistance from disaster relief and food aid to reconstruction. The United States Government has asked for an increase in other types of assistance funds to Lebanon in FY-1993, and those fall into the area of economic and reconstruction. Q An AID spokesman told me this morning basically the same thing, but that the United States had decided to reduce aid by 25 percent this year and is considering cutting it off in '93. MS. TUTWILER: I can only answer you with the information the experts gave me this morning. That's not my understanding, but I am not at AID and I'm not an expert on this. I did get -- I have the '91 numbers. We asked for the '92 numbers prior to the briefing, and I was unable to get them for you. I'll try to get them this afternoon. Q Margaret, just to clarify something you said, I think I just wasn't able to write it fast enough. MS. TUTWILER: That's O.K. Q You talked about a phase out plan, and I may be missing words here -- phase out plan by the end of -- MS. TUTWILER: By the end of 1993. Q Now, does that mean that you're going to work on having such a phase out plan -- such a plan available by the end of 1993, or does the United States intend to phase out -- does the United States plan to phase out aid by the end of 1993? MS. TUTWILER: My limited understanding of this is that the United States is in agreement with the organization Save the Children; that there needs to be a review or a look at the types of assistance that Lebanon needs now, and that that is what the United States is doing. It's my understanding that Save the Children themselves have said that a 25 percent reduction in food aid is what they believe is needed. The United States, it's my understanding, is that we are looking at new and different types of aid to Lebanon that will fall in the category -- if this is what is adopted -- of economic and reconstruction types of aid. So I'm not sure, Ralph, that there's a definitive answer right now for you. Q What is the rationale for the recommendation that need is diminishing, or is this just impossible to distribute in a chaotic situation? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Maybe Save the Children can give you what they base their criteria on. I don't have that with me. Or maybe AID can, which, obviously, has been dealing with this more than I have. Q Margaret, can you give us an update on the arms control talks today -- what the groups were doing and -- MS. TUTWILER: The multis? Q Yes. The multis. Is there anything you can say at all about the content? MS. TUTWILER: Basically I can give you the schedule, as I did yesterday. There's no, as you know, real substance -- not substance that I can say. They're obviously doing substance. [Laughter] I want to be careful. I don't want to have a wild story about this. Yesterday's talks -- I only spoke briefly this morning with some of the people -- they again were very serious and businesslike. The morning session consisted, as I believe you're aware, of presentations and discussions on the political setting for U.S.-Soviet arms control experiences together. There was also a presentation on the communications arrangements, both bilateral and multilateral, that facilitate our arms control and confidence building efforts. The afternoon session started with a presentation on the evolution of the confidence and security building process and was followed by presentations of two specific U.S.-Soviet agreements -- the Incidents at Sea Agreement and the Dangerous Military Activities Agreement. Today, it's my understanding, at 9:00 a.m., they will visit the On-Site Inspection Agency, which is my understanding is somehow connected to the Department of Defense. They will have a presentation by Major General Robert W. Parker, who is the Director, and by General Vladmir Medvedev -- Q Medvedev. MS. TUTWILER: Medvedev, General Head of Russian NRRC. At 12:30 p.m., there is a luncheon and discussion for heads of the delegations hosted by OSIA. At 3:30 p.m., there is a session for regional delegations and co-sponsors at the State Department. I don't have the specifics of that one yet. And at 6:00 p.m., there's an informal reception with members of the academic community hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Q Margaret, the way you describe it, it sounds pretty much like, as you said the other day, a seminar or a lecture seminar almost. MS. TUTWILER: That's what it was intended to be. Q Is there no communication between the other 19 parties? MS. TUTWILER: Well, sure. I mean, they're spending all day together every day. Q I mean, are they engaged in a dialogue with themselves in addition to responding to the United States and the Soviet Union? MS. TUTWILER: Have they broken off into separate groups? Not that I'm aware of. Q Well, during the course of the group therapy -- whatever you're calling it these days -- [laughter] -- do they discuss things among themselves? In other words, do the Israelis and whatever Arabs are there talk about the possibilities of Middle East arms control? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't been attending these sessions. It's a very good question. My understanding is, for instance, yesterday I said Ambassador Ross gave the opening presentation, followed by, he said, a little over two hours of other individuals taking the floor and speaking. It's not my impression that this is set up in a rigid fashion where there cannot be a free flow of dialogue and conversation. So I would be venturing a guess, but I would assume that, yes, they have had discussions. That's how it was always envisioned and set up, that discussions would follow speakers. It would be a pretty limited discussion if it was just the United States and the Russians who were discussing this. There are a lot of people here. My understanding is they are, but I'll ask those who are in the room. I'm not. Q All the speakers are either Russians or Americans. MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q I mean, there are no speakers from the region. None. Nobody. MS. TUTWILER: Those are the "presenters." They're making the presentations. Afterwards, Ralph asked me, I believe yesterday, did anyone else take the floor and speak, and I said yes, they did. Q They speak in terms of commentary or ask questions or ask for clarifications, but, I mean, from the schedule, no speakers -- no formal presentation or even lengthy official presentations by the various parties such as occurred in January in Moscow. I mean, this is really a series of lectures being given by American officials, Russian officials, with the participants in the region asking questions, clarifications, making passing comments, but that's it. I mean -- MS. TUTWILER: Well, it may be a great deal of concern to you, and that's understandable, but the participants knew very well what they were coming to. We said all along, we've said it publicly, it was a seminar with discussion. I have read any number of comments by gentlemen that are attending these sessions, and they have been very positive about them. And, you know, I haven't personally heard internally or seen publicly complaints about the format, the structure, what has gone on. And so I don't know how to respond to your question, other than this was not some surprise that was sprung on the participants when they got here, and it is my clear understanding that there is indeed, sir, discussion. There are identified categories, which is not unusual for a meeting of this type, and that when a presenter finishes his presentation in that area, people are free to voice their opinion of it, take the floor and discuss that. Q Margaret, will the classes continue or -- MS. TUTWILER: The "classes"? [Laughter] And then Jim's got his "group therapy," and we keep calling this a seminar -- Q Right. MS. TUTWILER: -- with discussion and multilateral talks. Q Will the seminar with discussion -- we haven't seen the evidence of multilateral talks yet, but anyway will it -- MS. TUTWILER: They're all here. Q Will the discussion and seminar continue? MS. TUTWILER: We had a beginning and an ending date which we announced, as you know, weeks ago on this one. At the end of this, I feel certain that you will see an announcement from this group and from the other four groups of their next meetings and where those will be and the dates. Q Will there be final exams or papers due by the participants, or anything like that? [Laughter] Q Can we give a pop quiz? Q That's asked only partly facetious, actually. MS. TUTWILER: I understand. Q My question really is, will the participants -- is part of this seminar process to get the participants to respond, either later at another session or in writing or some way by drawing up papers on how these U.S.-Russian agreements might apply to their situations, or anything like that? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't asked that specific question, Ralph. I'm not sure that they've been tasked or been asked or thought about writing papers. I don't know that anything would prevent them from doing so. But I think -- I know, at least from the United States' point of view, and again from just reading comments that people have made to you all, that all I have seen is positive commentary, that this is a worthwhile exercise -- exactly what it was intended to be when we started discussing this, what, over a year ago. And we still subscribe to, and I don't know anybody that doesn't, that this is constructive, that this is useful, and the best model. Jim had asked me, I believe, why do you just have -- or someone did -- Russian and American speakers -- is that it is a very good model, in most people's estimation, of how did you start your talks. You know, how did this work. The types of things that the people in this region are very interested in, we are a good model for the good and for the bad, and here are experts who have dealt with this for years. That would be, in my mind, a learning experience. Q Margaret, is there any chance that we might give a pop quiz at the end of this in the form of a press conference? MS. TUTWILER: A press conference? All of the working groups, it's my understanding, are handling it differently. My understanding -- in fact, I read that the economic group in Brussels -- I read the Portuguese, I believe, made a statement afterwards, or maybe had a press conference. The group here has not decided to do it that way. I have asked on your behalf in advance of this meeting, and daily. They did agree yesterday, once all the parties got here, to the photo op with reporters of their tour of a facility here at this building; and I will re-ask again, at the end of this if they will -- either the host or the group -- meet with you all. Q And when is the end of this? MS. TUTWILER: Don't they stop tomorrow? Mid-day tomorrow. Q Before the sessions stop, is there any possibility the world might actually see one of these sessions take place? MS. TUTWILER: We asked on your behalf, and we asked when all the parties were here and there was no agreement by the parties that they wanted to be filmed. Sorry, we asked. Q There was an Israeli air raid this morning over south Lebanon. Would you see that type of action as being consistent with the spirit that prevail here at the peace talks? MS. TUTWILER: One, I only have press reports of that raid. We don't have any independent information about it. We have said in the past that anybody, anything that would or could be viewed as disruptive, obviously, we would call on those not to do so. There have been any number of examples and instances throughout this entire process where we have called on everyone to use the same type of philosophy. Q One other thing in that region, Margaret. MS. TUTWILER: On what? Q In that very area. There are reports from Qatar that the government there is arresting citizens of Qatar because they are -- arresting them -- denying them access to their passports and denying them the right to leave their country because they reportedly asked for more public participation -- democracy and voting -- in Qatar. Are you aware of that, and do you have any comment? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard about that. I'll be happy to look into it for you. Q Margaret, do you have anything on reports that Mr. Kozyrev is going to Afghanistan? MS. TUTWILER: Yes, I do. Not only are there reports, it is true. It is something that he and the Secretary have discussed. The United States sees the visit by the Russian Foreign Minister to Kabul as a positive step. We share with Russia the goal of a peaceful, political solution to the Afghan conflict and a peaceful transition to a permanent, broad-based government. We also hope that the Foreign Minister's visit will contribute to a humanitarian resolution of the prisoner of war issue, which has tragically affected people on all sides of this conflict. The United States urges all Afghan factions to work constructively for a final, political resolution of the Afghan conflict. Q We would be remiss if we didn't ask whether, since Baker and Kozyrev had discussed this, whether the United States would consider a similar visit to be a useful thing? MS. TUTWILER: The United States has made no decisions -- do you mean by the Secretary of State? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: By the Secretary of State, there is no suggestion or option that I'm aware of concerning a Secretary of State visit. As I said yesterday, obviously, we are in the process of reviewing the situation there concerning United States representatives. I would point out that the Russians have representatives there on the ground. We do not, as you know. So one of our main concerns is safety, as you know, and they are in a much better position with men there on the ground to facilitate their Foreign Minister's visit. But concerning U.S. representation possibly going back, that is something that, obviously, we are looking at, but there's nothing to announce and no decisions have been made. Q How close is that decision to being announced? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know that -- a decision has not been made, so I don't know when there's an announcement. It is something that we are moving ahead on, that we are looking at. Obviously, security is the major concern, but there's just nothing to announce yet. There's no decision. Q Margaret, as you say, they have people there on the ground. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q How helpful are they being to you, with giving you an assessment of what's going on? MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me? Q How helpful are the Russians being in giving you an assessment of the day-to-day situation in Afghanistan? MS. TUTWILER: I've never asked. I don't know. Q Margaret, do you have anything on Yugoslavia and the U.N. report that peacekeeping ought to be suspended in Bosnia? MS. TUTWILER: The report, it's my understanding, is expected to be made public today. There is not -- before I briefed -- scheduled a Security Council meeting yet to present the report. We do not literally have a copy of the report down here. So that's all I know on the report and what they will decide. Q And the situation in Bosnia, do you -- MS. TUTWILER: I have an update. Last night, joint Serbian forces continued heavy shelling of Sarajevo. The JNA continues to control the airport. Joint Serbian forces continue to widen their control of the city in intensive street-to-street fighting. We understand that in Sarajevo food supplies are desperately short to non-existent. In some districts even bread is unavailable. There is nothing to feed small children, with no milk or baby formula. The city has also run out of medical supplies. Elsewhere, very heavy Serbian shelling and fighting continues in Mostar. We understand that that city is without water or electricity. Reports indicate that for want of better alternatives, residents have begun burying their dead in the town park. Sometimes intensive fighting and shelling continues in several other towns in Bosnia-Hercegovina, reportedly causing many thousands of additional displaced persons. As you know, yesterday, we had the refugee number at over a million -- the United Nations number. In recent days, fighting also increased in eastern Croatia, including Serbia and JNA attacks on several towns. I also would like to let you know that Ambassador Zimmermann is still there. The reason he is still there is that he is working on an urgent basis, desperately to help the UNHCR and other international relief organizations which are hoping to send two convoys of emergency aid to Sarajevo from Zagreb and Belgrade over this weekend. He is there helping these international organizations; and the United States contribution to this effort will be food. But, again, as I said yesterday, even humanitarian relief convoys are finding it, if not impossible, next to impossible to get into these areas. But he is, yes, leaving. I knew you would ask, "Why is he still there?" This is the reason he is still there. But, yes, he's coming out. Q Yesterday, the Foreign Minister of Bosnia testified on the Hill and called for the international community to make the airports in his country international zones so that food aid might be delivered. Is that something the United States could support? MS. TUTWILER: It's something, Johanna, that I'd have to take. It's something I'm not familiar with legally, all the ramifications, etc. You know that, after we met with him, we did send in six airplanes, and our concern there was, obviously, safety, and Ambassador Zimmermann had to work very diligently. As you remember, the airport at that time could be open by those who were controlling it. They did, indeed, open the airport, not only for our humanitarian relief, but for former Secretary of State Vance's visit, etc. I don't know about this idea. I'll be happy to ask. Q Margaret, what about the general issue of -- the option of an airdrop of supplies; not landing but, as was done with the Kurds, just parachuting it in or something? MS. TUTWILER: That's another suggestion I just haven't heard anyone discuss yet. I'll see if anyone is looking into that. Right now, what I know we're looking at are these two convoys. I would assume that the UNHCR and these international organizations are working with those who control these access routes to see if you can have a safe passage for this humanitarian relief. Q Just out of curiosity, in view of Mr. Baker's interest -- after talking with the Bosnian Foreign Minister, I guess, three weeks ago or so, whenever he was here, why didn't the Secretary see the Foreign Minister this time? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I don't know if the Foreign Minister requested to see him. I believe, on this visit, that I did see that he saw Deputy Secretary Eagleburger. I don't know if it was a scheduling conflict, and I honestly don't know if he even requested to see the Secretary. The last time he had requested to see the Secretary on an emergency basis and we were involved in altering the Secretary's schedule to accommodate his. He had that afternoon, I recall, a commercial flight that he had to get to get of here, to get back. So I just don't know, Ralph, if he even asked this time. Q Margaret, is the Macedonian leader coming to Washington for consultations here? MS. TUTWILER: I've heard something about that. I'm not sure if there's -- I'm not sure what the answer is. Q Do we have any comment on the Philippine elections? MS. TUTWILER: Not yet. Q You're preparing to do something, but just not today; is that it? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is that it's still unofficial and it's unofficial until May 18. Q Do you have any sort of assessment as to how fair it was, how -- MS. TUTWILER: Not yet. Q Margaret, in view of the cease-fire, U.N. efforts in Yugoslavia are sort of coming to a standstill, where do things stand on NATO expanding its responsibilities into this situation? There's talk at that level about -- MS. TUTWILER: There had been talk. I don't know where that stands. It's something -- there's nothing new that I know of. Q In light of developments, there's nothing new on that? MS. TUTWILER: There's nothing new that I'm aware of. Q Margaret, since the Chilean President has been here, has the Administration and Chile sealed their deal for aircraft sales? MS. TUTWILER: I would leave that, or any types of Chilean announcements, to the White House. That's where they are right now meeting. Q The U.S. Government has shown a very strong reaction to Serbs attacking Bosnia-Hercegovina. A similar attack is occurring in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenians are trying to capture and annex the Azerbaijani territory to Armenia. It has become common knowledge that the attacks are waged from the Armenian territory by tanks and actually with Armenian air support. What would be the reaction of the U.S. Government in face of this serious situation? MS. TUTWILER: Sir, we have spoken out equally as forcefully concerning that situation. The Secretary of State has had any number of meetings with the various Foreign Ministers. That is something that we have continuously and consistently called for, just as we have in Yugoslavia, a cease-fire, a dialogue, negotiations, and for whatever is resolved, for it to be resolved peacefully. We call on all of those who have the authority, or the leadership to influence, going that route versus a violence route to please support, obviously, the peaceful route in that situation. Q Do you have anything on the attacks being -- MS. TUTWILER: Which attacks? Q -- mounted from Iran? MS. TUTWILER: From Iran? Q Yeah. MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard about attacks from Iran. Attacks from Iran, is what you said? Q The air support from Armenia. MS. TUTWILER: Okay. Sorry. Bill and I both misunderstood. I can't speak to a specific attack. As you know, we have, I think, consistently spoken out on that situation. It's a situation that is obviously of concern to us as it is to many others. The Secretary spoke most recently -- I believe it was last week -- with the Foreign Minister of Armenia, and he has spoken, I believe recently, with other Foreign Ministers concerning the situation. Our policy has not changed on that anymore than it has on the Yugoslav situation. Q Margaret, once our Ambassadors -- I mean the EC and the American Ambassadors are gone from Belgrade, what will be our capacity of maintaining some kind of dialogue with authorities in Belgrade? MS. TUTWILER: Our Number two man in charge, the DCM, will be there. He will have that capability. There is no, at this time, decision to pull down Embassy personnel there, and they will continue doing their work, as they have. And as you know, in this unique situation, they were all either accredited or sent to the country of Yugoslavia. Obviously, Yugoslavia, as we all know it, no longer exists, and the situation has evolved. Their duties and their contacts throughout the former Yugoslavia have obviously changed also, and they will continue those. Q Margaret, what's the status, by the way, of U.S. review of the issue of recognition for Macedonia? MS. TUTWILER: Still under review. Q Would you say that there's coordination going on with the EC on that subject? MS. TUTWILER: We stay in close contact with the EC concerning that subject. I'm not aware that the EC made a decision at their most recent meeting where this was discussed, which I believe was Monday, May 11. Q And which model should we look to, those of us from the press, should we look to the model of the U.S. recognizing at the same time as the EC, or looking to the one where it recognizes it shortly after it learns of the EC's decision? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure which model we're going to follow on this particular decision. We like to keep a variety of ways that we deal with different situations, and I'm not sure that decision has been made. Q Margaret, the families of -- MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me. But I am positive that it will be closely coordinated. If not at the exact simultaneous moment, as in all the other majority of decisions, it will come very close to it. Q Margaret, the families of the British who were killed in the friendly fire incident have asked repeatedly for the pilots to testify at the inquest. What's the position of USG on that? MS. TUTWILER: I would refer you to the Pentagon -- Pete (Williams) did an extensive briefing on this yesterday and spoke on behalf of the Defense Department and the Administration concerning our policy. Ambassador Seitz, as you know, met with two of the families yesterday. He was already scheduled to be -- it's my understanding -- in Birmingham, England, for some speech, and that he met with two of the families there privately. He took that occasion to restate to them what our policy is. Generally speaking, as you will find when you see the briefing, our policy is that, no, we are not going to send the pilots for this. Q The reason I ask is that Pete's briefing came before a meeting with Mr. Cheney with our Secretary of Defense, and I was wondering if the situation had changed following the meeting with Mr. Rifkin? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of, but the Defense Department could best answer that instead of me. Q Margaret, do you have an update on Arnold Kanter's visit to Thailand? And as a follow up, any decision yet on whether to release aid? MS. TUTWILER: There's no decision on aid; and I don't have a lot of follow up on Arnie's visit. I can post for you who all he met with, etc., and characterize his visit to Thailand. It has been a very good and constructive visit. But, no, I have nothing new for you on aid. Q But can you say anything about what message he delivered to Suchinda? The United States had said initially that it accepted Suchinda's accession to the Prime Ministership as constitutional. I just wondered whether you still thought it was constitutional and whether you said anything to Suchinda about how relations between the United States and Thailand might evolve with him in that position? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, I don't have that level of detail of Arnie's visit. I'll be happy to ask his staff that's here if they could fill it in for you. Q Margaret, any reaction to North Korea's following through on their promise to turn over U.S. war remains? MS. TUTWILER: Our reaction is the same as the one the Pentagon gave yesterday. I would refer you to them. They did an extensive briefing on this subject also. I really don't have anything to add to what the Pentagon has already said on this. Q Margaret, do you have anything on the fact that one of the two deserters from UNITA, who is supposedly or alleged to be responsible for the murders of two senior UNITA officials, over which there has been some concern, and Mr. Baker wrote to Mr. Savimbi, is actually in Virginia? Is the State Department aware of it, and do you have any comment? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is that we are aware of it. I don't know what particular comment we would have. I believe the man's name -- we had all of this yesterday -- is General Puna. Q Puna. MS. TUTWILER: Puna. Right. I just don't have a lot of specifics on it. But yes, my understanding is we're well aware that he's here. Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: Thank you all. (Press briefing concluded at 12:45 p.m.)