US Department of State Daily Briefing #77: Friday, 5/18/92

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: May, 18 19925/18/92 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, E/C Europe, Southeast Asia Country: Israel, USSR (former), Armenia, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Thailand, Serbia-Montenegro, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Development/Relief Aid, Security Assistance and Sales, Regional/Civil Unrest, Narcotics, Arms Control, EC 12:23 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Former Soviet Union: Update on US Assistance/Condemnation of Fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh/US Discussions with Russia/EC/Turkey]

MS. TUTWILER: Our weekly CIS update, as we do every week. I will be very brief in what I have to highlight. We have very lengthy fact sheets or statements on each of these things. The Export-Import Bank has taken action in two areas of benefit to Russia and U.S. business. Ex-Im has reached agreement in principle with the Russian Energy Ministry and Central Bank for a $1 billion five-year facility for the purchase of U.S. oil and gas equipment and services. Ex-Im has also proposed two lines of credit of $100 million each for the purchase of U.S. equipment and services in the areas of environmental cleanup and nuclear power plant safety. Secondly, the United States based Soros Foundation has promised a grant of $5 million to the Russian Ministry of Education. The grant will help reform curricula and teaching methods away from Marxism-Leninism. The Deputy Minister of Education for Russia is here with us today at the briefing, and, if any of you should have any questions, she will be glad to answer those for you afterwards. And I have a more lengthy statement concerning this agreement between this foundation and the Russian Ministry. Three: In the area of humanitarian aid, U.S. Air Force cargo aircraft delivered shipments of vaccines and medical supplies to four Central Asian states last week. During the next four months, more than 500,000 infants will be immunized with the vaccines. As you know, this and many other subjects will be discussed this weekend when Secretary Baker is in Lisbon for the second Coordinating Conference on Assistance to the Former Soviet Union. The third thing I'd like to do is make a brief statement. Over the past weekend, there have continued to be a number of very unfortunate distortions and misinterpretations of United States' policy on the peace process. For that reason, we feel it is important to respond today. Issues related to the peace process are highly nuanced and can all too easily be distorted when reduced to simple headlines. As we've said repeatedly, what's important here is the process of direct negotiations between the parties themselves. That process has clear terms of reference, agreed by all the parties, which are incorporated in the invitations sent to the parties before the Madrid peace conference. The agreed terms of reference specifically name only two resolutions -- 242 and 338. It is these resolutions, not the many, many other resolutions passed by the United Nations over the years that constitute the agreed terms of reference for the peace process. Because this historic negotiating process is underway and particularly in the midst of a heated political campaign in Israel, henceforth I will not be responding to every comment or question on the peace process or on the Arab-Israeli conflict. I'd like to remind you that there was a similar time when we took the same position during this Administration, and to the best of my ability I am going to try to follow my own rules. Q Margaret, are all these distortions coming from the Israeli side or the Palestinian side? Can you name the parties? MS. TUTWILER: No. I don't want to name. Q Can you give us any example of the distortions? MS. TUTWILER: No. They are easy to find. You can find them. Q What was the other example? MS. TUTWILER: What? Q What's the other example of -- MS. TUTWILER: The other times in this Administration when there has been an upcoming election, if you'll recall -- I don't believe you were here at the time -- we did a very similar -- took a very similar step for these very reasons, and this is the same step we're going to take this time. Q Margaret, has the Secretary been in touch with the Israelis -- Q Which election? MS. TUTWILER: In Israel. What? Q I'm sorry. Sid, are you still talking? Q Go ahead. MS. TUTWILER: He got it. Q Has the Secretary been in touch with the Israeli Government on their concern about the reaffirmation of U.S. support for the Palestinians' right to return and the hullabaloo this has caused? MS. TUTWILER: Not to my knowledge. To my knowledge, Barry, they have not at his level called him nor has he called them. Obviously, staff, as they do on any number of subjects -- that's why we have a full-blown Embassy there, etc. -- continue to discuss any number of things. Q Margaret, I think what you're saying is that Security Council Resolution 194 has nothing to do with the terms of reference of the peace process. Is that correct? MS. TUTWILER: That is very correct. It was never, ever suggested that it did -- never has. And, if you are -- which I know you are -- aware of eight trips that the Secretary of State took to the region, you're aware of a public document that was negotiated over -- I think it was approximately eight months. That was never, ever in the document that you have possession of. So the distortion is to somehow -- unfairly -- to misrepresent that the peace process somehow now has or is built on or terms of reference include other resolutions. It simply does not, never has, and is not going to in the future. Q Margaret, when you talk about the peace process and, you know, it's a very specific question I'm trying to put to you. It is a two-track process. When you talk about these resolutions being the basis and the only basis for the peace process, you mean the multilateral talks as well as the bilateral talks? Because it's afterall at the multilateral talks that the refugee issue is being dealt with more squarely. MS. TUTWILER: And your question? Q My question is, does this -- is this resolution in the U.S. view -- the one we're talking about, the controversy provoking one -- is this resolution part of the framework for the multilateral talks, especially insofar as refugees are discussed? MS. TUTWILER: That falls, unfortunately, Barry, into the category of the questions that henceforth I'm simply not going to deal with, because of the very reasons that we felt compelled to make a statement today. And I will be happy at some point in the future to delve into any and all of this with you or the various groups or the various entities, but today and henceforth I simply am not going to be able to -- much as I'd like to -- engage with you on any number of comments or questions that may arise or you may have concerning this. Q Maybe I muddied it up a little bit. MS. TUTWILER: That's O.K. Q You were very straightforward. Jim asked you a very straight question; you gave a very straightforward answer. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q You ruled anything but those two resolutions out of the peace process as a basis for discussing the peace process. Now, the peace process has two parts -- bilateral peace talks and multilateral discussions of other issues including the refugees. Does your answer apply to both phases or both tracks or both arenas of the peace process? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to do this. I'm going to continue to tell you -- Q Ah! What you're doing is you're leaving it open that what the U.S. is holding -- is co-sponsoring peace talks on the basis of 338 and 242, but you won't say if the U.S. thinks a discussion of refugees should be based in part on this resolution. MS. TUTWILER: It is for this very reason of what you are, yourself, with all due respect, doing right now to a statement that I just made that we -- and it's our judgment, and you have every prerogative to disagree with it -- are not going to engage with you or with anyone else concerning this subject. And that is why, because of exactly what you were doing, we felt and compelled to come out here -- and I know that you, as much as anyone in this room, are very familiar with the Madrid invitation. I know that you know that there are two resolutions that are mentioned in that invitation -- 242 and 338 -- and that is what I have responded to this morning. And some of these stories that are all distorted in our personal opinion -- I think you're nodding you would agree -- and view of misrepresentation of what are the agreed-upon terms of reference -- two resolutions. Q Margaret, you keep talking about distortions. MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q Are you referring to stories in the American press or things that are being said or done outside of the United States? MS. TUTWILER: Well, I was asked that a little earlier, and I refrained out of a sense of graciousness, for nothing else, not to name who is distorting and who is misrepresenting. I think we all -- you weren't here last week; we went over this a little bit -- were -- you can go find it out for yourself. Q Margaret, does this suggest in any way that the U.S. position on 194 is any different than it was last week when you were asked about it? MS. TUTWILER: I have a very few words for you, Johanna, on 194. What is important here is the process of direct negotiations. The agreed terms of reference for that process specifically name only two resolutions -- 242 and 338. It is these resolutions -- not the many, many other resolutions passed by the United Nations over the years -- that constitute the agreed terms of reference for the peace process. Beyond stating that, I am not saying anything else. Q Last Thursday you reaffirmed the support of the statement you made last Tuesday on 194. Will you do so again today? MS. TUTWILER: I believe that was a question that you asked me on Thursday and today I will tell you that henceforth I am not going to respond to every comment or question on the peace process or the Arab-Israeli conflict. Q But has your position changed from last Thursday, or does that answer stand in the record? MS. TUTWILER: Henceforth I am just not going to respond to every comment or question on the peace process or the Arab-Israeli conflict. Q Not even to subscribe to a comment you made earlier? MS. TUTWILER: I know that you don't want me to repeat this a third time. Q Margaret, what is the source of the misunderstanding? Should we understand from your earlier statement that you are practically putting a kind of a media blackout on the peace talks because of elections in Israel? MS. TUTWILER: We're not putting anything other than what we have done previously, which is for the very reasons that I've stated, we are stating and taking the position that we are not going to respond to every question and comment that we get at this particular time concerning this. We did this once before. It is not unusual. This is not some abnormal step we have taken. I understand that it is frustrating for some of you who would like to have a debate here -- an engagement. That's perfectly natural. But I simply will not be able to engage with you. Q For the record, when did you do it before? MS. TUTWILER: I can't remember the exact dates. I'll get them for you. The last time that I recall doing it was about, I think, 14 or 18 months into this Administration. I'll just have to get the dates for you. Q When you were trying to arrange the peace process, you think? MS. TUTWILER: It was all wrapped up in a lot of things, yes, and we just decided that it was really healthier not to, and so we're not. Q Margaret, to couch it in a little broader terms, is it the United States' policy to selectively distance itself from its international obligations when it sees that that is what best suits its purposes? (Laughter) MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure I understand what your question is. Q It's pretty clear. MS. TUTWILER: Well, not to me. Q For instance, as in this case, to set aside other guarantees we've made in the United Nations in this case for the purpose of the peace talks. Are we going to expand that in broader terms when it may suit our needs to distance ourselves from other types of obligations? MS. TUTWILER: As much as I'd love to engage with you, Sid, I'm not going to. I've said I think, as clearly as humanly possible in English, concerning the peace process over a negotiated document that you have a copy of, there are two resolutions that are named in that document. Those are the terms of reference -- 242 and 338. Q Right. But the broader question is whether we stand by documents we've signed -- all the documents we've signed in the United Nations. MS. TUTWILER: That's just another way, I believe, of asking me Mr. Plante's earlier question. Q Margaret, surely this position you're going to take now just gives the irresponsible ones among us more opportunity to distort things. (Laughter) MS. TUTWILER: Well, then you ought to maybe, you know, have a little talk with yourselves and say, "We're only going to go by what the record says." Q Surely, the less information we have, then the more -- MS. TUTWILER: Then you'll be on your own. Q Margaret, new subject. Can I ask you what the status of U.S. aid and U.S. exercises in cooperation with Thailand is at this point, in light of the rather violent demonstrations -- MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q -- and the arrest of the opposition leader in Thailand over the weekend? MS. TUTWILER: Exercises, Ralph, are under review. Aid, as you know, had already been suspended. I want to be straight with you, though, and say that, as you know, following the 1991 coup, we suspended most forms of assistance. However, given the importance of the counter-narcotics effort, we continued counter-narcotics assistance. That aid was $4 million in FY-91, and the same amount is budgeted for FY-92. Q Is that assistance under review at this time, or does that continue to be exempt from review? MS. TUTWILER: That's still going. Q So there's no review of that even as well? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q And what about diplomatic contacts with the Thai Government? You obviously had a senior official there last week. Is there anything that the events of the past couple of days, few days, will do to U.S. relations with Thailand? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure that I can give you that quick of an analysis. The situation there is still tense. It is ongoing. We will be issuing today a travel advisory, warning Americans or recommending that American citizens stay away, obviously, from the demonstrations and to avoid areas where the protests have occurred. There are about 16,000 American citizens who are registered in the Bangkok area. As for our information as of right now, we have no information of Americans being injured. We understand that one AP photographer, whose nationality has not yet been determined, was injured. We're following up on this, but we don't have any other specific details involving Americans. And, yes, when Mr. Kanter was there last week, he expressed the United States' view that the situation obviously that was building at that time, you'll recall, be dealt with in a peaceful way. We don't know specifically what triggered the events last night -- what precipitated the violence on Sunday night. We don't have that information for you yet. Q What about the arrest of the -- the taking into custody of the opposition leader -- I think the former Mayor of Bangkok, if I'm not mistaken. Does the U.S. have any view of -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't have anything on that. Q Do you have any judgment about the way the military and the security forces behave themselves? MS. TUTWILER: Let me just give you, which would be easier, exactly what we have on the situation there on the ground. I've said that Under Secretary Kanter, when he was there, repeatedly expressed our hope that issues and disputes would be resolved peacefully. We are concerned over the reports, obviously, George, of the loss of life and injuries. We have expressed our concerns to senior Thai civilian and military officials over the last 24 hours. We continue to monitor the situation closely and hope the issues in dispute can be resolved without further bloodshed. Q So you say you have been back in contact with them in the last 24 hours? Did I hear you correctly? MS. TUTWILER: We've expressed our concerns to senior Thai civilian and military officials over the last 24 hours. Q Did the Secretary make a call? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Margaret, does the aid to the cross-border refugee operation -- is that affected by all of this? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know, Jim. I'll have to ask. Q You said "exercises were under review." What are you referring to? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure if we named them by name, so I'll be happy to take your question. Q Operation Cobra something it was named. Q Operation Cobra Gold. Q Margaret -- Q (Inaudible) -- joint military operation.

[China: Harrassment of Reporter]

Q Same general area, Margaret: Do you have a reaction to the harassment of a Washington Post reporter over the weekend, and what effect does this have on China's MFN status -- the certification which has to take place, I think, fairly shortly? MS. TUTWILER: The second part of your question, I can't analyze it for you that quickly and tell you what effect, if any. On my own, I couldn't imagine that it would have a positive effect. Let me go through what we can tell you about the event concerning this reporter. On Sunday afternoon, May 17, Washington Post Beijing Bureau Chief Lena Sun's office and residence were searched by officers of the Beijing Office of the Ministry of State Security. The search lasted three and one-half hours. Ms. Sun was permitted to make and receive brief telephone calls during the course of the search and investigation. Her husband and 33-month old child were held in their separate apartment on another floor of the same building under similar circumstances. Two U.S. Embassy officials came to Ms. Sun's office during the incident but were denied entry by a Chinese official. The Chinese officials confiscated various documents, including personal papers and two notebooks related to stories Ms. Sun had written. Ms. Sun was told by these officials that she had engaged in activities incompatible with her status as a foreign journalist. Ms. Sun has requested an appointment with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Information Department to seek clarification of this incident. As of Monday evening, May 18, she had been unable to secure such an appointment. When advised by phone call Sunday afternoon, May 17, by Ms. Sun's husband of the situation, our Embassy's political counselor-minister, together with the Consul General, proceeded immediately to the Washington Post Bureau. They were denied entry to Ms. Sun's office but remained outside the door throughout the course of the three and one-half hour search. Another Embassy officer met with Ms. Sun after the search and subsequently raised the incident with Ministry of Foreign Affairs press spokesmen. Yesterday, the State Department protested to the Chinese Embassy over this incident, and we are following up today with another protest at a higher level. We are also instructing our Embassy to deliver a similar protest. May I also point out, just generally speaking, press conditions in China. There have been a number of incidents over the past several months directed against foreign journalists serving in China. We deplore any actions taken by the Chinese Government intended to harass foreign journalists and interfere with their ability to report openly on events in China. The United States Government has no specific guidelines for journalists going to China. Generally, through an informal network of reporters in Beijing and the Foreign Correspondents Club, journalists are apprised of recent trends in PRC Government-media relations. The Embassy also maintains a wide range of professional and social contact with foreign journalists and reports, as in this case, incidents of harassment to the Department. Q Margaret, do you believe, or does the State Department believe that the Chinese Government's reaction at this point to the incident is sufficient -- is what? MS. TUTWILER: We're not in the best position to judge that. We've obviously said that we deplore this type of thing, but we don't have right now, Don, all of the facts contained in this. I have said that we have protested it; we're going to protest it at a higher level today, so that, obviously, is our view of it. But the specifics, I can't get into what the Chinese say about what it is, etc. But, obviously, we have expressed our view. Q Is their answer satisfactory to the U.S.? What do they say? Do they just -- MS. TUTWILER: We don't have an answer yet, Ralph. Q Have they accepted a protest note, or have they rejected it, at the lower level? MS. TUTWILER: I didn't ask about it. I don't know the answer. No one expressed that they had rejected it, if that's your question. Q Given the fact that this is the latest in a pattern of acts of harassment against journalists living there -- both American and other nationalities -- is the United States taking under review the MFN situation? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of. Q The certification has to be done periodically, and I just wondered if it has come under review? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I have any personal knowledge of, John. I'll be happy to inquire for you. But no one raised that this morning. Q When Mr. Kanter was there -- what? -- last week -- MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q -- we were told this was one of the issues he raised with them. Not this specific instance, but this type of instance. Did he, indeed, raise that with whoever he spoke with, and what did they say last week -- the Chinese say last week about it? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have that detail. I'll be happy to get his staff to give this to you. I'm not ducking you. I just don't have it. Q Margaret, a follow-up to John's question, when he asked you about whether there was a review of the MFN certification, and you said not that you're aware of. Why not? What's the -- MS. TUTWILER: I can't answer something that I'm not aware of. If the Administration has made such a determination, I'm just personally not aware of that. I will be more than happy, as I said, to inquire. Q But you came out, for example, prepared today to say that exercises with Thailand are under review as a result of an incident. Why is the U.S. Government not reviewing MFN status for China in light of this pattern of harassment against journalists? MS. TUTWILER: I am not aware of a determination made by this Administration to review their policy on MFN as of this morning's briefing. I was aware of an exercise that is under review as of this morning. Q How about about any other economic relations or political relations with China? Is anything under review aside from the protest note that we are going to make at a higher level? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I am personally aware of. I'll be happy to ask if anything concerning U.S.-China relations, because of this incident and, as John says, a pattern of incidents which we've pointed out, is under review. Q When you say there's a higher level protest, could you be more specific? MS. TUTWILER: No. They didn't want to be. Q Margaret, another area. MS. TUTWILER: I asked your question. Q Six days ago the situation -- the subject is the embassy in Kabul: Will it be reopened? Six days ago we had an answer that said, among other things, somebody is going to go to take a look at it. MS. TUTWILER: Who said that? Q I mean, there was a printed response. I'm trying to find out if the situation has moved at all since May 12. Have you sent somebody to Kabul? Are you going to reopen the embassy? Are you still concerned about security, etc.? Can you bring us up to date? MS. TUTWILER: There's really nothing to update you on, number one. I'm not aware, Barry, that we put out a statement that said someone is going. I believe we put out a statement that said we are making preparations for someone to go when we have determined, first and foremost, that it is a safe situation. That determination has not been made, to my knowledge. Q Does that mean it's not a safe situation yet? MS. TUTWILER: That would be my deduction, yes. Q You mean, you're not uncertain? You know the situation is unsafe? MS. TUTWILER: I think I would know that -- if I would be announcing someone's going, then we would have determined it was safe. Q The question: It's possible the situation is -- the State Department is uncertain whether it's safe enough to send somebody, (a); or the State Department has concluded it simply isn't safe enough to send somebody, (b). MS. TUTWILER: I think, it's a combination of both, because we also pointed out, we don't have someone there on the ground. So I believe it falls in both categories.

[Kazakhstan: Status of START Discussions]

Q The Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan, yesterday, released a statement saying that it received assurances from Washington that in case it becomes a target of aggression, it would receive some help. So, question number one: What kind of assurances were given by Washington to the Kazakh Government? And question number two, what is the Administration agenda for the trip by the Kazakh President to the United States? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have the entire agenda for you. Maybe the White House can give you that since it is a visit here and he's seeing President Bush. I can tell you that Secretary of State Baker received a call from the President of Kazakhstan on Saturday morning. In that call, he told him much of what you have seen, later released by their Foreign Ministry. The Secretary of State will obviously continue his discussions with the President this afternoon when he greets him on his arrival, I believe, around 3:00 or 3:30. The United States welcomes Kazakhstan's announcement that it will sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state. This reaffirms previous commitments made by the Government of Kazakhstan. On security assurances, the United States has not considered any new security commitments to Kazakhstan or any other state. On START, we look forward to confirming final arrangements for Kazakhstan's ratification of the START Treaty. We believe that strong support by Kazakhstan for START and other nuclear non-proliferation, as well as its integration into multilateral structures, such as CSCE and the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, will serve the security interests of Kazakhstan as well as its neighbors and the world community. Since 1968, the United States has been committed to seek immediate action by the U.N. Security Council to provide assistance to any non-nuclear weapons state party to the non-proliferation treaty that was the object of nuclear aggression or threats. We reaffirm that commitment. And, specifically, on START, which I feel sure is where the bulk of your questions may well be, that is something that the Secretary of State is going to continue, as I said this afternoon and throughout this visit, and he is also continuing those discussions with the other three countries involved. Q So by saying, Margaret, that Secretary Baker did not release any new assurances -- I mean, the old ones which were released in back 1968 are still in force and nothing new in the discussion? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Nothing new. The same thing we went through -- if you recall, a few weeks ago, there was a little bit of confusion concerning the statement made by a Ukrainian Government official about security assurances. We came right out here and said it was the same thing as 1968. Q Were there any questions raised at all about some kind of new assurances from the Washington Administration by the Kazakhstan President, similar to what Kravchuk was planning to get here and didn't get? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know the answer to your question. Q Margaret, can I ask a quick one on CODESA, please. I've been trying -- MS. TUTWILER: Whether he raised it or not, I don't know. Q On the same subject. Did Kravchuk get that reassurance that you just said is due Kazakhstan, too? MS. TUTWILER: Number one, Barry, I don't even know that he asked either the Secretary of State, or his staff has asked our staff. If anyone had asked, they would have gotten this answer, which is the same answer. Q I know. But could you put in the question, just whether -- because it sounds like -- MS. TUTWILER: Have they specifically asked? Q -- it's exactly the same procedure you're going through with this visit as with the other. MS. TUTWILER: It is. Well, sure. Q But I just don't know if the other fellow got that -- because he didn't get anything special on security, and you're very clear today what the approach is. The question is, did he get that assurance about assistance in the event of, etc.? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sure, because it's something that is our policy since 1968. I will find out for you, if he asked. If he asked, I can't imagine that someone did not state exactly what our policy and position are. But, yes, I will ask. Q Does Secretary Baker plan -- Q Does the Administration now feel that the START protocol is essentially wrapped up, or will be wrapped up with this visit? MS. TUTWILER: I would not go out on a limb and characterize that in that fashion for you. That's why I specifically said, not only are there things that remain to be discussed during this Kazakhstan visit but with the other three countries as well. Q Anything on the rupture of the CODESA talks in South Africa? Q Hold on a second. Could we stick with this one? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. Q Does the Secretary intend to discuss this in Lisbon with the Foreign Ministers of the other principals this weekend? And is the situation such that you would expect the protocol to be initialed by the principals during the Lisbon visit this weekend? MS. TUTWILER: I can't imagine him not discussing it in Lisbon this weekend, and I cannot prejudge for you whether there will or will not be any type of initialing. Q Is that your intention, if you are able to wrap it up with the President of Kazakhstan here? MS. TUTWILER: That would be terribly unfair from my position to prejudge what the Secretary of State is or is not trying to accomplish -- whether it's Lisbon or next weekend. He is, as you know, working on this issue. He has been working on it for weeks. It has been very time consuming, in some instances; it's been very difficult; it's been very technical, and he is going to continue doing what he can, which is the ultimate. As you know, what we are interested in is trying to have a START ratification process, and he's going to do what it takes to try to accomplish that. Q In addition to the conversation with President Nazarbayev on Saturday, has Secretary Baker discussed this issue, or these issues, with other former Soviet leaders in recent days? MS. TUTWILER: The Secretary, personally? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: Over the weekend, the Secretary personally has not. Others in this government at what I would call senior level have discussed it with other senior level individuals either by cable through embassies, or on the phone with other officials and other governments, but he had not. He had one phone call. Q Could you say who these others are? Are they State Department people? MS. TUTWILER: Yes, State Department. Q Who are they? MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to get in the habit of going through everyone's weekend phone calls. I said at a senior level. As you know the Under Secretary here, Reggie Bartholomew, works quite diligently in this area. Ambassador Ross works in this area, Jim Timbie works in this area, Assistant Secretary Clarke. There's just a whole host of people who work under this big umbrella, but I don't think I'm going to start coming out here and going through everybody's daily cable traffic or phone logs. I'm just not going to do it. Q The conversation Saturday -- Q Hold on Barry; just a second. Does the Secretary plan to have a substantive discussion this afternoon with Nazarbayev, or is it just a meet-and-greet operation to greet him? MS. TUTWILER: I've never known him to have a frivolous meeting with another head of state. I can't imagine him not taking the opportunity to discuss substance, whether it will be this substance or other issues that he has to discuss with the President to go ahead and discuss those this afternoon. As you know, he has a scheduled one-on-one breakfast in the morning; but I've just never known him not to use every opportunity. Q With another head of state? MS. TUTWILER: What? Q With another head of state? MS. TUTWILER: He is a head of state. Right? I said Secretary Baker with a head of state. Q With another head of state? MS. TUTWILER: Oh, sorry. Q In Saturday's non-frivolous conversation with Nazarbayev, did the Secretary offer or raise the possibility of going onto Alma-Ata, to other places, if necessary, to wrap up this agreement? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know whether he discussed that on Saturday or not. That option has always been out there. Q Do you have any comments on the breakdown or the interruption of the CODESA talks? MS. TUTWILER: Not particularly, Connie. It's our understanding that they are still talking; that there have been some problems, but overall our Embassy has reported to us that they feel that there has been significant progress and we applaud it. Q Is the United States offering any sort of assistance, or behind-the-scenes assistance? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know of any specific assistance that we are offering. Obviously, if anyone asks any types of questions at our Embassy, I'm sure people feel free to discuss it. But actually involved there in the negotiations, no. Q Also on Mozambique: Will the U.S. become formally involved in Mozambican talks? There was a report yesterday. MS. TUTWILER: Not that I've heard of, but I'll be happy to ask the African Bureau for you. Q Margaret, how did the elections in the Kurdish area go off over the weekend? Have you heard? Was there any attempt to interfere by the Iraqis? MS. TUTWILER: I have not heard. We don't have anything -- excuse me? Q They were postponed. MS. TUTWILER: They were postponed, George says. That's why I haven't heard anything about them. Q On Bosnia: On Sunday, the Turkish media was saying that the Turkish President suggested to President Bush that an international strike force be engaged in Bosnia and that Turkey would be prepared to contribute Turk troops. This morning, the Italian Premier called on President Bush to take the lead in helping civilians caught in the fighting in Bosnia. Does the U.S. have any reaction on that, or what are you looking at for Bosnia? MS. TUTWILER: Neither of your two statements am I personally familiar with. They're both White House questions, in my mind. We've stated here what the policy is concerning U.S. troops or U.S. military in this situation, and the answer has been, no. I'm not aware of any change in our policy. Q Or in any effort to help the U.N. relief effort that begins tomorrow? MS. TUTWILER: That does not begin tomorrow. It's my understanding, there is a postponement. One of the convoys, as you know -- the 35-truck convoy -- was scheduled to leave yesterday, which was Sunday. One was originally scheduled, about a dozen trucks, to leave on Tuesday. Both have been postponed until this Friday. Q Another question on Iraq? MS. TUTWILER: Iraq? Yes. Q Is the United States helping to gather and transport documents detailing the treatment of Kurds by Saddam Husayn -- helping to transport them from northern Iraq back to the United States? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have a lot of specifics for you, Sid. We are obviously interested in any information which reveals and chronicles the atrocities committed against the Iraqi people by Saddam Husayn's regime. As I said, I cannot get into or comment on specific operations aimed at furthering this objective. I would remind you that the U.N. Human Rights special rapporteur on Iraq submitted a report to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in February. That report details extensive and ghastly Iraqi human rights abuses against the Iraqi people, particularly against the Kurds and the Shi'a. Q Did we ask Ankara's permission to use U.S. military assets at Incirlik Air Base? MS. TUTWILER: I have absolutely nothing further to comment on this subject. Q The diplomatic side with Turkey? MS. TUTWILER: No specifics. Q Still on Iraq. Could I ask you to go back in your memory to 1990, I guess, just before the -- or just after the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq? Can you tell us whether Secretary of State Baker either sought or otherwise obtained or was given a waiver of U.S. Government conflict of interest regulations so he could participate in decision-making on Iraq policy, notwithstanding his general proclivity to recuse himself from oil-related matters? Did he receive a waiver at that time? MS. TUTWILER: I believe the entire Cabinet did, Ralph, if you check back at the White House. Obviously, he would fall under that category. I believe it was a general Cabinet-wide waiver. It's all been part of the record, it's my understanding. I am pulling this back out of my memory, and I'll be happy to recheck the facts, but that's how I remember it. Q Do you know whether Baker himself ever saw or signed or reviewed, or anything, that waiver? MS. TUTWILER: Why would he do such a thing? This is a White House directive. Q I'm just asking whether he did. I don't know whether -- MS. TUTWILER: I have no idea. I've never asked, but that seems highly unlikely. The White House function, from our own job going back -- you asked me to go to 1990. I'll go back to the early Eighties when he was Chief of Staff, those types of functions are done at the White House, not at the State Department. So I don't know why he would. Q Although in the past he has -- well, I think. I'm not sure of this, but for example, when he deals with Kazakhstan, he recuses -- he makes his own decision on not taking a waiver or not seeking a waiver to discuss oil-related matters. MS. TUTWILER: But there's a big difference. This was a directive from the White House. A White House waiver, it's my limited memory of this -- please let the record show if I am incorrect. I believe it covered the entire Cabinet and senior government officials at the time. Obviously, he knows what he is recused from on specific cases. Kazakhstan, I do not believe is a similar situation to the situation you had concerning Iraq and Kuwait at the time. He does not engage, nor has he, whether it's Kazakhstan or any other country, specific subjects concerning energy because he knows full well he is recused from them. But if you are then presented and basically a lead-up to a war, a very unusual situation in our country and the world, it would be, I think, a little unusual for the Secretary of State to be recused at such a time in our nation. It doesn't make any sense. Q And just out of curiosity, is there any reason, do you know at this point, in terms of the history of that conflict, why such a directive would not be made public? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware that it wasn't. I remember that everybody made perfect knowledge of it. I don't know what the legal office rules are at the White House. Maybe your colleague over at the White House could ask and inquire for you. But just guessing, I would assume that someone at the White House said to someone that we have a number of people who have recusals in this matter, one of whom is the Secretary of State. So the White House probably did say, yes, that would present us with quite an unusual problem, so they did something about it. Q Thank you. (Press briefing concluded at 1:03 p.m.)