US Department of State Daily Briefing #79: Wednesday, 5/20/92

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: May, 20 19925/20/92 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Caribbean, E/C Europe Country: Israel, USSR (former), Kazakhstan, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, United Kingdom, Thailand, China, Haiti, Kuwait Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Development/Relief Aid, Arms Control, Regional/Civil Unrest, Military Affairs, Refugees, Immigration, Security Assistance and Sales, State Department 12:20 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I have a few things I'd like to do. One is a housekeeping matter. Then I'd like to give you where we are concerning the -- basically the end of the Kazakhstan visit here, specifically on START, and then I have a statement I'd like to make concerning Yugoslavia. The first is I would like to introduce to all of you two new interns who will be working with us through the summer. First is Cheryl Windham who is returning to the Press Office for her second summer. Cheryl is a junior at James Madison University where she is pursuing Bachelor degrees in international business and public relations. She's originally from Pearl City, Hawaii, and now resides in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Next is Alice Ruth Fuller. Alice is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. Alice is a junior at St. Augustine's College where she's majoring in communications with an emphasis on television broadcasting. This is her first internship in the Department, and I welcome both of you back for the summer, and thank you so much for being here to help all of us.

[Kazakhstan: Update on START Ratification]

On Kazakhstan: On START ratification, we are satisfied that there are not any remaining differences between us and Kazakhstan. We are pleased that we have been able to work out these understandings. As you know, there were departure statements at the White House yesterday and fact sheets at the White House. The understandings that we have with Kazakhstan should facilitate agreement with the others. The Secretary of State believes that we are making good progress. Hopefully, we will be in a position to put this to bed in Lisbon this weekend. There are still some important details that have to be wrapped up. Experts are working actively on those details since they arrived here this morning. They will continue working on them. And, other than that, I am going to continue to refrain from getting into any specifics in the middle of this very delicate negotiation. I will, obviously -- our experts will be with us in Lisbon, and we will try -- and I've already talked to the senior experts -- to do a backgrounder -- either make it or not make it for you -- that will lay out exactly how this was either put together or it failed to be put together, etc. But today I really have to again refrain from anything specific about where they are, other than -- in my opinion I think you've noticed I have moved the ball forward by saying, "Yes, we are working towards getting this done this weekend in Lisbon." Q Experts arrived from where? MS. TUTWILER: What? Q Experts arrived here this morning, you said. MS. TUTWILER: Oh, No. Q Is this from other countries? MS. TUTWILER: I misspoke, sorry. No. Experts here, since they arrived at work. Q Oh, I see. MS. TUTWILER: American experts, since they got in early this morning, have been working the issue. Q Well, then, Margaret -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes, Barry. Q -- let's try to pursue it a little bit. MS. TUTWILER: O.K. Q We were told yesterday: A matter of weeks, not months. We were also told that essentially it's a matter of accommodating this agreement to the two other republics -- more like a translation problem or a definition problem, and it was procedural. Is that still the case, or is there -- because, you know, none of us saw that Russia -- and I don't think it is a problem, and Byelarus, you know, is sort of a technical matter, not like Kazakhstan and Ukraine. But is that the right understanding? MS. TUTWILER: Well, not necessarily, Barry, and everyone has not, throughout this process, including ourselves, told everything they know or negotiated this publicly. And I wouldn't honestly come out here and say that there were [not] some important details that have to be wrapped up. Now, you used two adjectives. Does that mean just a matter of a simple interpretation? That can be very important if you and a party agree to what this means, and when you ask a third party or a fourth party, they say, "No dice. It does not mean that." So interpretation, I would argue a little bit with you, can be very important when you are trying to get agreement on what a document does or does not mean. I would not have come out here and said that we're making good progress; that we hope to be in a position by this weekend, which is only three days away, to wrap this up, if that was not the overall feeling of the United States Government. But I also want to be honest and candid, there's a reason I'm saying there are some important details that are yet to be worked out, and they are not just something that is so simple we're not taking it seriously. In other words, I'm not playing a game with you here. Q But these are details that have to do with the other parties. You're satisfied that you've got an agreement with Kazakhstan, but one assumes from what you're saying -- reading between the lines -- that it's necessary to now get everybody else to buy into what you've done with Kazakhstan. MS. TUTWILER: That's always been the case with all four parties. Every time you -- and in fact you will find the record will show I used the exact same words at the beginning of my statement at the completion of the Ukrainian visit concerning where we are on START. I've used the exact same words today with the Kazakhstans. And so, yes, the Secretary -- every time you reach agreement with one of these parties, you have to then through interpretation and through details, go and make sure it satisfies the concerns of the others. And we're almost there, but we're not home. Q I take it there was no need for Mr. Baker in terms -- if it was the President, we'd know about it -- but no need for Mr. Baker to see Mr. Nazarbayev again after last evening, right? MS. TUTWILER: There are no such planned meetings. I do not believe -- Q There were no morning calls or anything this morning? MS. TUTWILER: No. I do not believe there is a need to do that at all, and there are no planned meetings along those lines. Q Margaret, is the problem now taken care of on Kazakhstan's desire to have Russian nuclear weapons perhaps stationed there at some point? If so, how did that problem get solved? MS. TUTWILER: That's something that I am not at liberty to get into today. Q Margaret, (inaudible) -- there are no details to be wrapped up either with Kazakhstan or with Ukraine; the only details to be wrapped up are with Russia and Byelarus. Is this correct interpretation? MS. TUTWILER: No. I would not make that statement. Q You wouldn't make this statement? MS. TUTWILER: I would not. I have very carefully chosen to characterize the end of this visit, as I did the other. And, as we've said -- I think I have every day -- there is still work that needs to be done with all four parties, and I know that it is frustrating, because I'm talking in riddles, I guess, being on the inside, but there are just remaining items that have to be worked out, to be honest, a lot of which has not been in the public arena, and I'm not at liberty to get into it. Q Can we jump ahead a little bit and say if it's wrapped up -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q -- you know, those old hypotheticals that you usually don't like to respond to -- but, if it all falls into place, will the Administration then immediately pursue ratification? I mean, begin testimony, etc. What will the agreement on the protocol mean so far as getting the Senate to move and going into the next round of negotiations? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have the legislative steps, Barry, but overall, yes, I could say that we would certainly desire to move immediately. I don't know -- I would have to get with Janet and, obviously, the Secretary on when testimony, etc., etc. But that has been one of the strong talking points that the Secretary has been using -- that we have a legislative clock that's running, and that we simply, you know, do not have months and months to continue to discuss some of these very, very detailed matters. Q Do you see it as possible to finish the ratification process by the end of this session? MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to prejudge that, to be honest with you. As you know, there are two bodies that are involved. I don't want to obviously speak for the other. I know that the last time the Secretary of State was asked this, he said that he certainly hoped so and believed so and would work towards that end. Q Margaret, did you have a chance for anyone in the State Department to talk with both Moscow and Minsk about the agreement which was reached yesterday with Nazarbayev? Did you discuss it? MS. TUTWILER: Yes, we have. Q And what was the reaction? MS. TUTWILER: I'm going to continue to tell you that their work remains to be done. But throughout this entire process there have been any number of conversations with all four capitals, and those continued yesterday and I'm positive are continuing today. Q What was the level of discussion, please, with Minsk and Moscow yesterday? MS. TUTWILER: What do you mean, "What was the level?" Q I mean, did you talk to the Foreign Minister or to the President or to whom? MS. TUTWILER: I didn't keep track of it. There are an enormous amount of -- or a number of experts that are involved in this. The Secretary of State did not have any phone conversations yesterday with their Foreign Ministers. The Secretary of State did yesterday meet with the Russian Ambassador. The other experts who are working on this have had any number of phone conversations, but, no, I don't have their phone logs with me. Q New subject?

[Former Yugoslavia: US Bars JAT Landings]

MS. TUTWILER: New subject. I have a statement on Yugoslavia. I mentioned yesterday that we were actively considering further concrete measures either alone or in concert with our allies in response to continued Serbian aggression. Today I want to announce one of those measures. On May 16, on instruction from Secretary Baker, Ambassador Zimmerman sought assurances from Serbia that relief convoys would be allowed free passage into Sarajevo, and that the Sarajevo airport would be reopened immediately for humanitarian flights. Ambassador Zimmerman informed Serbia that failure to take these steps would result in immediate termination of JAT landing rights in the United States. That is the Yugoslav Airline. On May 18, Serbia made clear its response when Serbian forces attacks a Red Cross relief convoy heading into Sarajevo, destroying desperately needed humanitarian supplies and killing an ICRC delegate. And yesterday, as further evidence of their intransigence and brutality, Serbian forces took hostage a convoy of women and children fleeing Sarajevo. We estimate, or we have various reports of that number of hostages being anywhere from 1,000 individuals to 7,000. Effective today, we have asked the Department of Transportation to terminate the authority of the Serbian national carrier, Yugoslav Airlines, to fly to and from the United States. This means that their three weekly flights from Belgrade to New York City and on to Chicago will end immediately. We are also considering a series of further measures in response to continued Serbian aggression which we will be discussing with our allies and friends over the next day or two. When I have more details on those steps, I will obviously give them to you. Q Margaret, is the meeting with Prime Minister Major on Friday night concerned with these other measures? MS. TUTWILER: Not really necessarily, no. I can't imagine, John. That meeting was called to discuss a wide range of issues, not specifically about this. And I would imagine during the course of that meeting, that they would discuss Yugoslavia. But that wasn't the purpose. Q Margaret, your statement deals only with -- Q Margaret -- Q Go ahead, Jim. Q On other steps, do the Serbs have any funds in American financial institutions that could be seized, frozen or otherwise locked up? MS. TUTWILER: It's my understanding that they do. Q Is that one of the steps being considered? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to, as I have not in the past, go through other various options or steps that are being considered. There are a number. Q And as -- considering itself the successor state to Yugoslavia, does that mean that funds which formerly belonged to the Yugoslav republic or federation, or whatever it was called, now go over to the possession and ownership of Serbia? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry? Q Funds that used to be held in American institutions under the name of Yugoslavia, were those then transferred to the ownership of the Serbian entity that now exists? In other words, do they, as successor nation, also get the benefit of those funds which are in American financial institutions? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know legally the answer to your question. Those matters, as I understand, are normally handled at the Treasury Department. I just don't know the answer to your question. But, as you know, we have not recognized, nor am I aware that any other country has, the new -- I think they call themselves the Republic of Greater Serbia. So I'm not sure that that issue is before us yet, and I'm not answering -- declining to answer your question concerning the possibility of the United States freezing whatever assets are here in the United States. And I don't have a figure for you. The Treasury Department would have such figures. Q Margaret, your statement is, of course, entirely on Serbs -- on Serbians, which is sort of the State Department's approach at the onset. But subsequently you began to find a lot of people to point blame at. Could you elaborate a bit why -- I mean, is Serbia the most blatant violator of -- but are there other parties that you still think are errant or what? MS. TUTWILER: Absolutely. And we have said that. And each time we have made these statements -- you're correct, we have named six different parties in this situation that we have called on to please stop their aggression and violence and to use their influence. But we have consistently said that the greatest, in our view, influence is the Serbian leadership in Belgrade. Q Margaret, my understanding is that this step is motivated by a desire to get humanitarian relief supplies -- MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q -- through to people who need them. Well, could you please explain to me how stopping flights from Belgrade to the United States three days a week is going to help those people? MS. TUTWILER: You might be interested to know that JAT rights to fly to the United States and its current three weekly flights from Belgrade to New York City and on to Chicago -- it's our understanding, our estimate, that 80 percent of JAT's profits derive from its service to the United States. This will affect, in our opinion, foreign exchange earnings for Serbia. Now, I can't judge for you whether that's an impact or not -- you can ask them -- but it is our estimate out of our Embassy of where 80 percent -- even though I understand you're saying it's only three flights -- of their earnings derive from. Q No. I mean, it's not a question of flights. It seems to me that you've got one problem, which is humanitarian relief to refugees, and you attack it by doing something completely different. Wouldn't it be better to do something that actually got the relief supplies to the refugees -- MS. TUTWILER: It would. Q -- such as sending armed escorts along with those relief convoys, as has been suggested by the Foreign Minister of Bosnia. MS. TUTWILER: It would, and we will continue to do everything that we can that stays within the perimeters of our policy. And, as you know, we spent quite a bit of time yesterday discussing this Administration's policy of -- there is no decision or intent to send American forces into Yugoslavia. Q Margaret -- MS. TUTWILER: So we will -- excuse me -- continue to search for ways, Alan, to be of assistance. But yesterday one of you said, "Well, you've absolutely done nothing." So now I've come out -- as we said yesterday, we were actively considering alone or in concert concrete steps. Here's a step that we took within 24 hours that we have been discussing. In fact, in Ambassador Zimmerman's last meeting on Saturday, this was the request before he departed that he be able to see Milosevic. He was unable, I believe, to see him, but he -- I can't remember who he saw -- I think the Foreign Minister -- to pass this message from the United States Government of exactly what we were going to do, and there was a time frame involved. Q And this was what he warned the Serbs he would do -- this specific step -- or did he outline a number of things? MS. TUTWILER: He specifically said, "With a time frame," and this was before the International Committee of the Red Cross convoys, specifically what the United States Government was prepared to do by a certain time, and we have now done it. Q You're saying there are other things on a list? In other words, is there a range of options for which they have a similar timetable? MS. TUTWILER: He did not go in with a range of options or a list. We have always had a range of options. We still have those range of options, and I'm sure that the officials in Belgrade could figure out what some of those are or are not. But I'm not aware that he has ever presented a list of options that either we or the EC or the U.N. or anybody else is looking at. Q But, Margaret, you're saying that they specifically -- Ambassador Zimmerman specifically informed the Serbs that we would cancel their right to fly to the U.S. if they didn't let the relief column in, and that they attacked the relief column, knowing that in advance? MS. TUTWILER: No. We did not know on Friday night, when this instruction was sent to the Ambassador who delivered it on Saturday morning, that there was this specific International Committee of the Red Cross convoy. If you recall, at that time on Friday we were discussing two convoys that were due to leave on Sunday, both from -- one from Belgrade and one from Zagreb -- basically about 55 trucks. Those are the two we knew about at that time. So those are the two that we were saying on Sunday -- he was doing this on Saturday morning -- do not prohibit the safe passage of those two convoys. We didn't know about the Red Cross one. And, as I said yesterday, the two that were supposed to go on Sunday were delayed til Tuesday and were delayed until Friday. They are still scheduled to leave Friday. In the meantime, there are a number of mini-convoys that are going. They are -- two tried yesterday. They're experiencing some difficulties, and my understanding is they are still out there trying. Q Was this done in conjunction with the European Community? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry. What? Q Was this move taken in conjunction with the EC or CSCE countries? MS. TUTWILER: This is one of the moves that the United States took alone. It is something that we have -- obviously, throughout this entire process -- all discussed -- the various options that are available to us, and it is something that the United States -- as we said yesterday, we're looking at some things we would do alone and some in concert. We made our own decision. Q Just to clarify a point: Is this round-trip service? You said it serviced Belgrade, New York, and onto Chicago. I just assumed, but I want to make sure -- MS. TUTWILER: But then it goes back. Q -- that you can fly -- you can hook a flight from Chicago and New York to Belgrade? MS. TUTWILER: On their airlines? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: Yes. No United States airlines fly to Yugoslavia. Q Do you have any idea what the dollar figures are on any of this -- 80 percent of their profits? Are their profits a hundred dollars? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have -- I will see -- I understand. Q Is it a meaningful figure? MS. TUTWILER: To be honest with you, it's a fair question, but I do not believe -- and we searched for this information -- that the Embassy would put a 80 percent figure on it if it was not a substantial amount of revenue to the airlines in their whole big picture. But I will try to get for you, if I can, the numbers. Q Margaret, you mentioned the hostage-taking. Is there -- MS. TUTWILER: Being held hostage. Q Is there any action contemplated specifically in response to that? MS. TUTWILER: None that I know of. Q Margaret, is the U.S. Government withholding recognition of the republic of Greater Serbia as a punitive action, or just because it's -- MS. TUTWILER: The whole international community is. I cannot remember the one country that has recognized them several weeks ago. I don't want to name one and make a mistake. There's one, and I can't remember who it was, that did. The entire international community has not individually or as a group made a determination on that. We've said all along that it could be part of any kind leverage; you all have asked before the continuity question and the question of legitimacy. Q What's the status of the women and children taken hostage as of today? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have a status for you other than we are aware of that situation. I don't have any concrete, good details for you other than that our numbers run anywhere from a thousand women and children to 7,000. There are various reports about exactly what the situation is, and we just don't have a lot of intelligence that we were comfortable with in going with a lot of detail on today. Q I may be the only one who is still confused about this. But when Zimmermann went in, did he specifically say that the sanction would be cutting off the JAT airline? MS. TUTWILER: Yes, correct; specific. Q Did he cite any other possible sanctions? MS. TUTWILER: No. I answered that earlier. He specifically said this. He specifically said humanitarian relief convoys, whether it was the one on Sunday or future ones, and specifically open the Sarajevo Airport, or whatever influence you have on the ability to get that airport open for humanitarian relief, please do so. Q Did he say -- he wasn't specific about other measures. Did he at least say, in general terms, "and there will be other sanctions, other punishment?" MS. TUTWILER: I doubt it. Q He was only specific about the airline? MS. TUTWILER: Correct. Q Do you have any information on people who may be -- Yugoslavians -- who may have travelled to the States and now can't get back? MS. TUTWILER: They're going to have to find alternative methods. Q Do you know how many that might be? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. May I mention one other thing? When you asked me about the women and children, John: We also understand that two organized groups have fled from Sarajevo. The first group of about 200 included a wounded American AP photographer. After being stopped and held temporarily by Serb forces, that group was released and is now safe in a city in Croatia called Split. Q Can we change topics? Did the United States receive a bill from Peru for military engagement? MS. TUTWILER: That's something that I'll refer you to the Pentagon on, to be honest with you. I think they're handling that. Q The State Department commented on it yesterday. MS. TUTWILER: I saw an unnamed official comment on it. Obviously, we know about it, but I'm just going to refer you to the Defense Department. That investigation is still on-going, as you know, and I'd just rather let them answer the questions today, if that's okay. Q Margaret, do you have anything on Thailand today, an update on the situation?

[Thailand: Situation Update]

MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Thailand: My update is that as of late evening today, Bangkok time, the situation was tense but relatively quiet. A 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. curfew was announced. Over the past 24 hours, demonstrators assembled at a downtown university where there was no violence. Demonstrators near the democracy monument clashed with police and there were incidents of vandalism in Bangkok. We have no confirmed figures on deaths or injuries, but reports on the number of deaths have ranged, as I said yesterday, anywhere from about 19 to 100, or more than a 100. There have been some demonstrations in provincial cities but no violence, and the airport is operating normally. Q What do you understand about the military, and whether or not some military units may be moving against Suchinda? MS. TUTWILER: That is something I don't have anything for you as of this briefing. Q Yesterday, you made a lot of the U.S. cutting off aid to Thailand. But my understanding is that there is still a considerable chunk of change in foreign military sales and also in commercial export licenses as well as the humanitarian DoD program and another account. MS. TUTWILER: The narcotics one? Q No. Some sort of developmental account, which means that the Thai military is still getting quite a significant financial boost from ties with the United States. Is the United States prepared to break those ties as well? MS. TUTWILER: It's something I don't have a ready answer for you. I thought yesterday we had put out a Fact Sheet; and what you're saying is, this is not complete. I will certainly go check that and ask why it was not complete. I am aware of the narcotics we talked about; I'm aware that yesterday the $60 million, which we broke out, is basically what we've done since February. It's my understanding, Carol, that following the coup in February 1991, we suspended assistance in the FMF [Foreign Military Financing] pipeline, which is credits and grants for Thai military procurements, and no new assistance had been planned since Thailand had already been graduated from the FMF program, which is my understanding is a normal thing that happens. However, the Thai Government, using its own funds -- not United States funds -- has made purchases through FMS [Foreign Military Sales] channels. Sales from February 1991 until recent developments totalled about $500 million. It's my understanding that we review requests for FMS purchases on a case-by-case basis. Any new requests will obviously be reviewed in light of the current conditions. But your other categories, I just don't have any knowledge of. Q The bottom line, though, would be that even after the 1991 coup, which the United States opposed, and felt so strongly about it, decided to cut off some kinds of aid-- MS. TUTWILER: Suspend it. Q Well, suspend it; --there was still a significant relationship -- financial relationship -- with the military which basically supports the Thai military which performed the coup and which is now behind a lot of the violence that's going on now. Is this something the United States wants to be on record supporting -- a military that is violently reacting to pro-democracy demonstrations? MS. TUTWILER: I understand your question. It's a very valid question. I cannot answer the question of "Why, on a case-by-case basis, from February to now, using Thai money -- not United States money -- there were approximately $500 million worth of purchases?" I don't know if those were for radios or if they were for guns. I don't know what goes in that category. I'll be happy to find out for you. I do know that as late as ten days ago, when Under Secretary Kanter was there, one of his messages was, we urge you to continue using restraint. We, yesterday -- and John Dancy pointed out to me -- pointblank talked about our view of the use of "deadly force." You know in other instances -- most recently in our own country -- we have said that we recognize that countries have a right to -- not use deadly force, obviously -- but to maintain law and order in their streets. So I can't square it off for you perfectly. I understand the other questions you're asking. I will ask why we did not give you a thorough, full chart. I don't know. And I will see if I've answered you adequately, and if I have not, if the experts here would like to give a stab. Q Margaret, beyond the condemnation, which you issued of the coup -- of the suppression of the pro-democracy movement and the violence yesterday -- has the United States had any private contact, any further private contact with the government of Prime Minister Suchinda to advise it of how it feels? MS. TUTWILER: Other than the one that I mentioned yesterday where the Ambassador had gone in with a message from Secretary Baker, on behalf of our government, I'm not aware of one. But that was a specific one that I knew something about. I am positive that our embassy officials there continue to talk, I would assume, not only -- we said yesterday -- to the government but to the opposition types. Q In the discussion with the opposition, is the United States discussing the possible removal of Prime Minister Suchinda? MS. TUTWILER: I would find that highly unlikely. Q Do you have any condemnation to offer of the Prime Minister himself or of his conduct in this situation? MS. TUTWILER: We have not, Bill, drawn those types of conclusions. As you know, what we have been calling for is for the parties involved -- and there are a number, as you know, of opposition parties; there's not just one -- with the leadership to, obviously, get back to peacefully discussing their differences and their grievances. Q Do you have any comment for the Thai Government's criticism that the whole demonstration was instigated and organized to topple the democratic government? Do you have any information that the (inaudible) demonstration was influenced by communist infiltrators -- that they said? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q A follow-up to this: Did you detect any kind of anti-U.S. orientation of the demonstrations against the government in Thailand? MS. TUTWILER: None that I've heard anything about, and we have no reports of any Americans who have been injured or hurt. I think the universe, we said earlier, of Americans in Thailand was about 16,000. Q The Russians have issued -- Shaposhnikov has issued a rather strong warning against Turkey for any interference -- against any interference in Nagorno-Karabakh, suggesting that it could precipitate, as he put it, a third world war. Has the United States made any -- addressed any warnings or suggestions to Turkey that they stay out of that feud, of what's going on there? MS. TUTWILER: I'm unaware of the specific warning that you're referring to. I know nothing of it. I am well aware that throughout this, over the many months, the United States has stayed in very close contact with Turkey concerning this situation. The Turkish Government, it's my understanding, as well as the Turkish Foreign Ministry, issued statements yesterday on the situation. Questions regarding the content of their statements, I have to let them answer. We, the United States, have been in touch with the Turkish Government on this current situation. Turkey is playing a constructive role in working to end the violence and find a way to peacefully resolve this situation. The U.S. Government has called upon all parties to the conflict to end the current fighting and act with restraint. We have strongly urged both Armenia and Azerbaijan to take steps to end the violence and work with the CSCE mediation effort to achieve a lasting solution to the conflict. The United States Government does not support intervention in this conflict by any outside party. Q Have the Turks responded to this by saying that they will not intervene and that they do not want to get involved in that fighting? MS. TUTWILER: Our view of the Turk -- the Turks right now, Saul, is as I characterized it: It has been both at the Secretary of State level, at our Ambassadorial level, and others. They have played a constructive role. They have been very helpful. They issued their own two statements, it's my understanding, yesterday, and I would just refer you to their statements of yesterday. Q So you don't understand the reason for -- MS. TUTWILER: I haven't even seen the statement of Shaposhnikov. I hadn't heard about it. Q Has Iran also been playing a constructive role in this? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know whether they have or have not, Jim. I'll be happy to ask our view of that. As you know, we have said, whether it was Iran or others, anyone that could use influence to stop the violence and loss of innocent life, we have said that, obviously, we would support that, regardless of who it was, on that issue.

[China: US Ambassador's Demarche re: Harassment of US Journalist]

Q Margaret, do you have any update on the case of the Washington Post correspondent in Beijing -- Lena Sun (inaudible) from the authorities? MS. TUTWILER: Not a lot. We are keeping the Washington Post, throughout this, very, very -- in our opinion and I think they're satisfied -- well informed. Ambassador Roy made a demarche in Beijing May 20 to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, similar to the one made by Assistant Secretary Solomon to the Chinese Ambassador here in D.C. on May 18, to once again express our deep concern about this incident. It's my understanding that there is an official Chinese statement that was issued on May 20 that stated that the Washington Post correspondent, Lena Sun, had been given a "serious warning." We hope that with the issuance of this statement the Chinese investigation is concluded and that Ms. Sun will be unhampered in the pursuit of her activities as the Washington Post Bureau Chief in Beijing. Q So you're saying she shouldn't take that serious warning as inhibiting? The State Department would not have a reporter being warned as a means of curtailing their journalism -- their activities? MS. TUTWILER: What I want to be very careful -- Q A serious warning is a form of censorship, is a form of intimidation, isn't it? MS. TUTWILER: What I want to be very careful about is that she, which the Washington Post is well aware of, went to a meeting -- she was requested to -- at the Chinese Foreign Ministry. I do not want to somehow, innocently from this podium, hamper her situation. We have, as I stated, kept the [Washington] Post very, very informed of everything that we know and have been right there with her throughout this when she has requested our assistance and wanted our help. So I really am not ducking your question. We have said how many times we've protested this. The Washington Post and their correspondents, obviously, will decide how they want to handle it. The United States Government has protested this a number of times, and have worked it there on the ground and here in Washington. So I just want to be sensitive to the situation. Q Margaret, on Haiti: We understand that the refugee population at Guantanamo Bay is likely to go over the stated capacity today. Does the government have any plans to open another base for Haitian refugees, or change the policy on allowing them to stay there until it's established whether or not they have a basis to be considered political refugees? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware of a change in policy. I am aware that the number yesterday was, I believe, the largest number yet that we have picked up. It was 1,471. That brings the total picked up since the coup to 34,033 individuals. Nine thousand sixty-two of those Haitians interviewed thus far have been found to have a plausible claim to asylum; 6,563 have already been flown to the United States; 167 on Monday of this week. The repatriation to Haiti of those found not to have a plausible claim is continuing. Thirteen thousand two hundred and seventy-two have already been repatriated. A further 252 are being repatriated today. Some 11,500 Haitians are on shore at Guantanamo Bay. I have seen, to be honest with you, Bill, different numbers concerning the Pentagon's capacity there, so I'd really rather let the Pentagon answer what we will do. Let me just give you one other little fact. I've got 1,853 Haitians are on board Coast Guard cutters as of today. Q Well, according to their numbers, 12,500 is capacity. If they've got 11,500 now and 1,471 more that they picked up yesterday, they're going to be over. MS. TUTWILER: That could well be. Q Do you have anything that addresses what the U.S. Government wants to do about this? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have an answer for you today. The United States Government is well aware of this situation even prior to yesterday's very large number of Haitian refugees. And, again, concerning if, indeed, the accurate Pentagon number, which is the number that I also have, is 12,500, and they see that in light of continuing numbers, they cannot expand, I can't answer for you what decision will be made. Q At what level or in what place is the decision being considered as to what to do next? Is this up to the Pentagon to find a way to stack these people, or does the State Department provide some sort of guidance as to what they ought to do once that camp fills up? MS. TUTWILER: You can be assured that not only at the Pentagon but at the State Department the Haitian policy is decided at the most senior levels of both of those Departments. Q Margaret, do you know if many of these recent numbers that have come out are repeat -- are repeaters? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have that for you yet. Since they're still on boats -- they haven't even been screened in yet -- there's no way for me to be able to tell that. Q In that same general area: Have you seen the report that India has sold Cuba ten thousand tons of grain? And do you have any views on that? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have anything on that; no. Q Margaret, I'm curious to know whether you have anything on the decision of the Kuwait Government to prevent that institute on government and democracy, sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy? MS. TUTWILER: No, I don't. I'll be happy to get you something. Q Margaret, is Secretary Baker giving part of his time and energy to the election campaign of President Bush? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Margaret, that might be it unless you have something on the baby of Murphy Brown. MS. TUTWILER: Unless I have something on what? Q Baby Brown or Murphy Brown. You want to leave that to Fitzwater? MS. TUTWILER: Marlin will handle that one. (Press briefing concluded at 1:00 p.m.)