US Department of State Daily Briefing #85: Friday, 5/29/92

Boucher Source: State Department Deputy Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: May, 29 19925/29/92 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, Caribbean, South Asia, E/C Europe Country: Israel, USSR (former), Haiti, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Lebanon, India Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Development/Relief Aid, Refugees, Immigration, Regional/Civil Unrest, Military Affairs, Arms Control, Terrorism, Nuclear Nonproliferation 12:16 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I don't have any statements or announcements for you, so I'd be glad to take your questions.

[Haiti: Update]

Q Do you have any new numbers on Haitian refugees? MR. BOUCHER: I have some new numbers. I don't have any new numbers from the Embassy on processing in-country. I've got new numbers that 282 Haitians were picked up yesterday. Twenty-nine people were returned directly yesterday. It gives totals of 1,271 Haitians who have been picked up since the new policy came into effect, and 300 and -- why there's only 339 returned directly to Haiti? More are scheduled to be returned today. All the Haitians picked up will be returned directly. Let me just finish the other numbers and stop asking myself questions. The other numbers that are significant are the numbers of people returned from Guantanamo. The repatriation to Haiti of those Haitians at Guantanamo who were found not to have a plausible claim to asylum is continuing. There were 475 of those people repatriated from Guantanamo yesterday. Alan. Q Richard, there's been reporting of severe malnutrition in Haiti. I heard one report this morning about an area in the country where children were said to have distended bellies. The food situation apparently was appalling, and that's despite U.S. food aid. MR. BOUCHER: We heard the same report. I think the report also said that some of the only food some of these people had was coming from the United States food aid. Q Yeah, absolutely. Granted. But are you reasonably sure that your aid is sufficient actually to avert severe malnutrition and severe health effects, especially on children? MR. BOUCHER: The situation is a difficult one. Haiti has always been a poor place. There is, I think as we said last week, estimates that about 15 percent of the annual food production may be lost this year; half of that loss is due to an early drought and lack of supplies and general economic slowdown being the other factors. As we've said before, U.S. food is reaching hundreds of thousands of people, and we're in the process of expanding that program. In addition, U.S.-supported health programs are reaching about 1.9 million Haitians. That's one-third of the population. This is something that we keep a close eye on. We have tried, and the OAS resolutions have asked that countries do everything they can for the humanitarian needs of the people in Haiti, and it's something that we'll continue to monitor closely to ensure that we are meeting those needs. Pat. Q Do you have any comment on the latest violence in Yugoslavia? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Let me give you the update on what's going on. Last night Serb forces launched their fiercest bombardment yet against Sarajevo. Multiple rockets, heavy artillery shells, mortars, and tank fire poured into the city for about four hours. Much of the center of Sarajevo is still burning. We do not have casualty figures at this point. There were numerous shells that hit the Bosnian Presidency building, heavily damaging several floors. The Serb commander outside Sarajevo is threatening to attack the city again unless the Bosnian Government allows all JNA personnel and heavy equipment out of the city. The Bosnian Government says it will allow JNA personnel to leave Sarajevo, but that they may not take with them their heavy weapons and equipment. The U.S. deplores and abhors this terrible attack against the innocent population of Sarajevo. As we've said repeatedly, we hold the Serbian civilian and military authorities in Belgrade accountable for the actions of Serbian forces in Bosnia. As for the food situation, it continues to be very grave. Although one large bakery is still working. Sarajevo still has wheat with which to bake bread. The distribution is very difficult and very dangerous. At least two large neighborhoods have not had food deliveries for the last two months. As we've seen, people are willing to risk their lives to get bread. Some residents of Sarajevo cultivate small vegetable gardens, but there is not much else. There's no milk, no dairy products, no meat, and no fruit. As you know, as of last Friday, UNHCR suspended all of its convoys into Bosnia because of Serbian unwillingness to allow deliveries through Serb-controlled areas. For details on that, you can contact the UNHCR. We also understand that the Red Cross has had to pull its people out. Q Richard, you quoted the Bosnians yesterday as saying that there was starvation there. Do we independently know this? MR. BOUCHER: We don't have anybody in Sarajevo at this point that I'm aware of, and I haven't seen any U.N. reports. I think yesterday we quoted as saying that there were people dying from hunger-related deaths. We have no reason to doubt that, but I can't confirm from my own information.

[Former Yugoslavia: Shelling of Dubrovnik/Situation Update]

Q Richard, do you have anything on the shelling of Dubrovnik? MR. BOUCHER: I was getting to that when we were interrupted. As far as elsewhere in Bosnia, let me do that first. We really don't have much information because telephone lines are down. We understand that sometimes severe fighting continues in many other towns causing many thousands of additional displaced persons. We also have confirmed reports that Serbian and JNA forces in Croatia are conducting a heavy artillery attack against Dubrovnik today, in clear violation of the cease-fire agreement and against all norms of civilized behavior. We understand that some of the shells have hit the old city. We strongly condemn these attacks, and we think they directly threaten the U.N. peacekeeping mission. Q Do you think these are the same folks that are shelling Sarajevo, too -- same motive, same command? MR. BOUCHER: I've described the Serbian responsibility for the attacks in Sarajevo and the attacks in Dubrovnik are being conducted by Serbian and Yugoslav national army forces. Q Richard, the bottom line seems to be, despite all the heavy rhetoric from the United States, despite sanctions, despite the threat of new sanctions, the Serbs not only don't care, they seem to be intensifying the violence. Where do you go from here? MR. BOUCHER: Carol, we go where we are going, and that's we're proceeding in the United Nations to consult on a comprehensive set of economic sanctions that will make clear to the Serbs that they can't expect to behave like this without paying some price. We're moving forward on that. We're having consultations this morning with a broader range of Security Council members. We also go where we're going in terms of humanitarian supplies, and that's to make attempts to make the relief available and to continue to support the efforts of the United Nations and others to find ways of getting humanitarian food supplies in there. Q Richard, as you point out, this terrible situation for someone who is not a Serb these days in what used to be Yugoslavia, based on that -- and on your description -- would it not be the case, then, that anybody who is not a Serb -- a Croatian or Bosnian Muslim, particularly -- would have a justifiable fear of persecution on ethnic or religious or some other grounds? Therefore, would they be presumed to be eligible for political asylum in the United States should they have a place to apply? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, I think that's hypothetical at this point. We do these things on the basis of individual interviews, case-by-case basis. I don't know if we have any Yugoslav refugees in the pipeline at this point. I don't think that's some sort of solution to the problem. What people want is to be able to live in peace. Those Serbs who live in Sarajevo, I don't think the shells are only directed at people who are not Serbs. I think everybody who lives in Sarajevo is subject to this kind of indiscriminate and horrible shelling that's going on. So it's little comfort to them to be Serbs in Sarajevo, knowing that those are Serbian rockets coming down on them. In terms of individual refugees, that would be looked at on a case-by-case basis. But the problem is for people that are being forced out of their homes, who only want to live in peace in their own homes. Q Well, to put it on a less hypothetical basis, for example, a Yugoslav -- or someone carrying a Yugoslav passport in the United States, would he be eligible to apply and be considered for political asylum in the United States? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, anybody can apply for political asylum in the United States. Whether your hypothetical Yugoslav is going to get it or not, I can't tell you at this point. Q Richard, as the situation in Sarajevo just is getting so dire, there are thousands of peacekeeping troops in Croatia. Is there any discussion at all about trying to use them to open up corridors, or somehow get the humanitarian aid into Sarajevo and elsewhere? MR. BOUCHER: Pam, we've, I think, said our piece on military force. The United Nations Secretary General has talked about this recently, and I really don't have anything to add to what was said before. Q Has the NATO option been pushed along at all in the last 24 hours? MR. BOUCHER: What NATO options, Sid? Q The option that U.S. forces under the NATO flag would go -- would be directed by the CSCE to intervene in Yugoslavia? MR. BOUCHER: Sid, I don't think any of us ever said that U.S. forces under the NATO flag, under the auspices of the CSCE, would go to Yugoslavia. Let me try to update you on the situation, to sort of review for you the situation. In a general sense, NATO and the CSCE have been considering the issues of peacekeeping. Let me make clear from the outset that this has been a general discussion. It is not being done with reference to any specific operation. We've had discussions in these institutions going back at least several months, if not longer, about the role of these institutions in helping out in conflicts and dangerous situations in Europe. Secretary Baker addressed this following the March 10, 1992 North Atlantic Cooperation Council Ministerial Meeting. At the time, he said that NATO's infrastructure, its resources, and its operational experience are well suited to support peacekeeping efforts that may be sanctioned by the CSCE or the United Nations in the future. He also said that the United States supported a Dutch proposal to consider the role for the NAC-C to complement CSCE on security topics, and that that idea should be considered as well. We support the idea of giving CSCE authority to oversee peacekeeping operations in Europe and for it to draw on the resources of other institutions such as NATO for the development and implementation of peacekeeping operations. The Alliance has been looking at this general question of peacekeeping under CSCE auspices. NATO's Defense Ministers said at their May 26-27 Ministerial that the Alliance would consider ways to support CSCE mandated peacekeeping, and the Foreign Ministers will address this at their upcoming ministerial in Oslo on June 4. The CSCE, for its part, is set to address the possibility of CSCE mandating peacekeeping within the CSCE territory at its summit meeting on July 9. Q Richard, while one applauds the success of the United States in getting the international community to act toughly against Serbia, I imagine that in the policy levels of this and other buildings, one also has to be weighing the chances of that policy succeeding, and also the possible cost of it failing. What assurance, given past history, do you have that what you're doing at the U.N. will, in fact, achieve the object of relieving the siege and saving the lives of all these people in Sarajevo? MR. BOUCHER: Alan, we certainly don't predict or have any guarantee of success. We're taking these steps. We think the United Nations ought to take these steps, and we think the international community ought to take these steps because they're the right thing to do, because you can't allow forces to inflict such carnage on innocent people in Sarajevo without making sure that they understand that they have to pay a price. Q It seems to me -- well, there are two issues here. One is as you've just stated: making sure that people who do these things know they have to pay a price; and the other is: saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in a city who are facing, by your own words, imminent starvation. Now, you've outlined what you're doing about the first of those -- making sure they pay a price. What are you doing about the second? MR. BOUCHER: I just outlined, in response to your colleagues' questions a few minutes ago, the fact that there were two principal things that we were doing. One was the issue of sanctions, looking for comprehensive economic sanctions at the United Nations; and the second was to look for ways to get humanitarian relief supplies in. You know that because of the security situation, the U.N. has had to cancel its convoys. The Red Cross has had to pull out. As you know, we were able, early on in this situation, to get relief flights in and that we've provided supplies that can be used for further convoys. At this point, the issue of getting assistance to those people who need it so badly is an issue that the United Nations people are working on, on the ground, and I believe the U.N. Secretary General briefed on that in the last day or two. And second of all, it's a matter of bringing the proper pressure to bear so that the airport will be opened up, so that safe passage will be brought for the convoys. There have been flights in and out of Sarajevo airport for high-level envoys like Cyrus Vance. I believe Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev went in and out of that airport. So the fact is, that airport can be opened if the proper people make the proper decisions to open it. We want it to be opened to relief supplies, and we're trying to do whatever we can to bring influence and pressure to bear on those people to make sure it is opened. Q Richard, does the JNA -- and one assumes its surrogates, the Serbia militiamen -- continue to be resupplied from outside in terms of armaments, ammunition? And, if so, do we know where that is coming from? MR. BOUCHER: As you know, John, from some time back, there is a total arms embargo on the area, on the former Yugoslavia, from us and from others. I'm not aware of any reports, but I'd have to check and see if we have any violations of that. Q If the embargo is in effect and is effective, one would assume that the JNA is drawing down its weapons and ammunition supplies rather rapidly. Is the arms embargo, in fact, effective? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know, John. I don't have an assessment, but your conclusion is not the only one. One can conclude that they might have had a lot of equipment and ammunition supplies to begin with. Q Could you take the question and see if you can get some sort of readout on it? MR. BOUCHER: I'll try to see if we have any information on that for you, yes. Q This was supposedly the target day for the U.N. Security Council to try to pass sanctions. What's the status of the sanctions? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think, Pat, we ever predicted that we would get passage on any specific date. We have been pushing to get a comprehensive economic sanctions package out of the Security Council as soon as possible. This morning, we've been consulting further with other U.N. members. They were due to have an informal session -- discussion among the whole Council about now, at the end of another meeting. We don't have any specific schedule on a vote at this point. Q What about the issue of an oil embargo, in terms of Russia and China -- any indication whether they'll go along? MR. BOUCHER: The oil embargo is one of the elements of a resolution that we felt should be included. It was one of the elements that I listed yesterday. And as for other countries' positions, you can ask them. I'll wait and see how they vote. Q We've seen some criticism of the Milosevic regime from the Serbian orthodox church. Does the United States have any observations about that? It's apparently an unprecedented move by the church. MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't have any observations of that. You've seen some criticism of the Milosevic regime from us as well. Q Another subject. MR. BOUCHER: No. Chris. Q Richard, you said that one of the levers that you have over Milosevic is his desire to be a member of international organizations, including the U.N. I just wondered, yesterday you talked about specific things you wanted in the resolution in terms of economic sanctions. What about continued Yugoslav membership in the U.N.? Should that be part of a resolution, and what is the U.S. thought on that? MR. BOUCHER: The U.S. thought on that, Chris, is the thoughts that were expressed by Secretary Baker last week and by Ambassador Perkins at the United Nations. I have the quote somewhere. But as for whether or not it's in the resolution, frankly I don't know at this point. In the texts -- as they go through the drafts, the various elements are discussed. I don't know where they stand on that right now. Q Just summarize what the basic U.S. view is. MR. BOUCHER: Well, Secretary Baker said on May 24 in Lisbon that: "We, for our part, will not accept Serbia and Montenegro as the continuation state of Yugoslavia in multilateral institutions." Ambassador Perkins last week, during the discussion of Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia and Slovenia, said that: "The changes that have taken place in Yugoslavia have fundamentally altered the previous structures, and that if Serbia and Montenegro desire to sit in the United Nations, they should be required to apply for membership and be held to the same standards as all other applicants." Q Richard, just to go back to the shelling of Dubrovnik, does this building draw any conclusions from that activity, such as Bosnia may not only have designs -- excuse me -- MR. BOUCHER: Serbia. Q -- Serbia may not only have designs on Bosnia but also Croatia? MR. BOUCHER: There has been constant fighting. Dubrovnik has been shelled before -- before the ceasefire in Croatia. There has been fighting in various places at various times. I don't have any broader conclusion at this point. I think the important point to note is that it's going on; that it violates the ceasefire; that it's against the norms of international behavior, and that it should stop. Q Richard, in the past in Europe on occasion, leaders have arisen who have been so aggressive, so brutal, that the only solution -- the only way to bring peace -- was to get rid of them. Do you think that Milosevic and his government are in that category? MR. BOUCHER: Alan, you're really asking me to speculate on the use of military force, and I'm not going to do that. Q Do you have anything on the multilateral talks in the building? Are you going to -- MR. BOUCHER: We put up a rather long discussion of it. Do you mean in the Lisbon steering group meeting? Q Are you going to have a briefing after it? Yes. And they said from yesterday you were going to have a briefing. MR. BOUCHER: Oh. You're talking about the Perm-Five meetings that are taking place today. Q Yes. MR. BOUCHER: The meetings went from about 10:00 o'clock yesterday until 5:00 or after 5:00 yesterday afternoon. They resumed again about 9:30 this morning. They're scheduled to go until late this afternoon, and we will put on some kind of briefing for you, but I don't have a precise schedule of that at this point. Q Another subject -- Q Wait, wait. Q Richard, are you expecting a communique out of this meeting? MR. BOUCHER: No, I'm not. I haven't been told that there is one, let's put it that way. Q You say you will put on some kind of briefing? MR. BOUCHER: We'd like to talk to you afterwards sort of informally about what meets our needs and your needs. Because it will be later in the afternoon, we want to find out how many people are interested, and what's the best thing to do for them. Q Wednesday, about. MR. BOUCHER: You want to do it Wednesday, George? [Laughter] Q Monday morning. MR. BOUCHER: You want to do it Wednesday, George? We'll take opinions afterwards, if we can. Q Richard, the Saudi Foreign Minister is here apparently. Has he come to bless the efforts of the Perm Five and give up any need for further arms supplies? MR. BOUCHER: Howard, I understand he's here in the United States on a private visit; that the Secretary is going to have a meeting and lunch with him today. They expect to discuss a broad range of bilateral and regional issues. Q Can we have a readout of that? MR. BOUCHER: We'll see if we can get you one. Yes. Q Richard, are you detecting any kind of progress in talks behind the scenes, if there are any, between the British Government and Libya with regard to the Lockerbie accident? MR. BOUCHER: If there is any such thing, you'd better ask the British Government or Libya about it. Q Do you believe there is a kind of behind-the-scenes talks between them? MR. BOUCHER: I have no idea, but you better ask them. Q On Lebanon: It seems the Israelis today pushed beyond the security zone line, and they went to some villages and destroyed houses. Do you have anything on the situation, new? It seems nobody is listening to your urge for restraint. Do you have anything more on the situation today or -- MR. BOUCHER: I do not have anything new on the situation. I hadn't seen those reports. As you know, we've been urging people to exercise restraint and continue to be in touch with people. Q A follow-up: Yesterday the Secretary General of the Arab League, Abdel Meguid, said there is a need for United Nations Security Council action on south Lebanon, and he said the French President seems to agree with him on that. What's the U.S. position on a U.N. -- more U.N. enforced role in south Lebanon now -- or Security Council work -- action on Lebanon now, on south Lebanon? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. I'm not aware that there's anything before the Council at this point. Q But do you support an action in the Security Council for -- MR. BOUCHER: At this point I really don't know what's being proposed. I wouldn't want to take a position at this point. Q Just back to Haiti briefly. Do you have anything on the Solicitor General's trip up to New York to argue the case -- MR. BOUCHER: The court hearing today -- there's been another request filed in the court -- let me get the location for you -- District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The group that were plaintiffs to the ongoing litigation have asked for a temporary restraining order. The court has not yet acted on that request. The Solicitor General is representing the government at a hearing before the court on the request this afternoon. You can contact Justice for further details on that. Q Do you have more information on the expanded effort to make it easier for Haitians to apply for political refugee status? MR. BOUCHER: The President talked about yesterday the direction that he had given to the State Department to make sure that we had people outside of Port-au-Prince who were in a position to talk to potential people interested in asylum and take applications. We are in fact in the process of sending three new staff down to Port-au-Prince. They've been identified. They'll go down there shortly. We are talking with our Embassy down there about setting up a program to make Embassy personnel available outside the capital in order to facilitate refugee processing for those who may have difficulty traveling to Port-au-Prince. The exact details of that kind of schedule and arrangement are being worked out with the Embassy at this point. Q Richard, do you have -- you may not -- but do you have a read on, in Haiti, the military unrest -- unrest among the military, perhaps Aristide loyalists preparing for -- well, some sort of an effort to overthrow whoever it is that's ruling down there? MR. BOUCHER: The violence that's occurred in the past few days or so, I think yesterday we expressed our concern about it. The information that we have is that some soldiers have been killed, according to reports, by some within the military. In fact, according to some reports they've been killed by people within the military, but the circumstances of those killings are unclear. In other cases, they're apparently clearly political motives. I think we talked yesterday about the killing of Georges Izmery, the brother of a prominent supporter of Aristide; the detention of Mayor Evans Paul at the airport. In addition, I've been told that a local VOA correspondent was roughed up on May 23. I'd repeat what I said yesterday that we condemn the violence. We call on Haitians to work to restore democracy so that an atmosphere of calm and rule of law can be restored, and point out once again that we're widely publicizing the availability of asylum processing at our Embassy in Port-au-Prince, so that those who do fear persecution have an avenue to apply for asylum in the United States. Q But at this point, you wouldn't say that there's any sort of unrest among the military? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any general observations. I'd just note that there are reports that some of this violence, some of the killing of soldiers, has in fact been conducted by people within the military. Q Are these news reports you're citing or your own reports? MR. BOUCHER: I think it's information that is being reported or discussed down in Haiti that's reached our Embassy. Q Do you have any information on the impact of the President's ruling, or whatever you want to call it, yesterday, in which foreign vessels which do business with Haiti will be barred from visiting U.S. ports? How frequently over the past eight months has that occurred? MR. BOUCHER: I'm sorry, George. I don't have that kind of information. Q Richard, again on Libya, there were reports that most of the Arab countries are not abiding by the resolution with regard to the lowering of their diplomatic representation in Tripoli. Have you had any contacts with Arab governments who are not abiding with this part of the resolution -- putting pressure or something? MR. BOUCHER: I think if you saw our answer the other day on the question of how much compliance there was with the resolution, we noted that the U.N. Sanctions Committee is in charge of following this situation and the aspects of compliance. Reports were due, I think, from all countries, and they've gotten 55 or so, so far. It will be up to them to make an assessment. Certainly, all along we've been in touch with other governments around the world, urging the most complete possible compliance with this U.N. resolution. Q Can we get more information about -- more detailed information about who is abiding, who is not, because 55 out of -- MR. BOUCHER: I think you'll have to get that from individual governments or from the United Nations, if they have any sort of summary of the reports they have. Q Richard, back on Haiti: Could you take George's question? I mean, it's kind of hard to -- MR. BOUCHER: What was George's question? Q He wanted to know about the impact of the order closing the ports to ships that are violating the embargo. MR. BOUCHER: Well, he wanted to know how many ships which had traded with Haiti have subsequently called at United States ports. I have no idea if we have that information, but I'll try to see if we have it. Q How many have been turned away? Q Yes. MR. BOUCHER: Well, he was asking in the past eight months. The order went into effect yesterday, so I think it was -- we'll let George define his question. I don't know if we have the information on previous calls. In terms of Haiti itself, there have been oil shipments, for example, into Haiti by vessels. Particularly, I think, some 90 percent of that has come from European Community sources, since the European Community has not been imposing the embargo. So in this case, where you don't have governments imposing the embargo, we think this is a serious step that will discourage shippers who trade in the area and presumably trade with the United States from allowing their ships to be used in this trade. Q Richard, what's the logic of having OAS sanctions against Haiti -- which, as you just pointed out, the EC is not bound by and doesn't observe -- and U.N. sanctions against Serbia which are mandatory on all U.N. members? Surely, I mean, to be effective -- if you want to have an effective embargo, you should go for the kind of sanctions that are mandatory on everyone. MR. BOUCHER: I can't do a comparison of it for you, Alan. You know that the United Nations has as part of its charter certain respect for regional organizations and a desire to see regional organizations handle problems to the extent that they can. The OAS has been on top of the situation in Haiti. It does have an embargo which has a certain effect on the regime there. It has a certain effect in pushing them towards trying to deal with the requirements of the OAS resolutions, and we hope to tighten the embargo and have a further effect in that direction. Q Well, that embargo was imposed, if I'm not mistaken, on November 8, or something around then, and we're now on May 29. What effect has it had so far? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think any of us ever gave a specific date by which this embargo would, you know, bring down the government or cause them to cave. The effect is the one that we've been noting over the past several days. They have been unable to consolidate their rule. They have been unable to hold an election that they thought they were going to have, and they've been maneuvering and looking for ways of reconstituting a government with the specific intention of dropping the sanctions -- getting the sanctions dropped. Now, if they have -- if that has become a high enough priority for them, then one has to assume that the impact of the sanctions is not negligible. Q Well, one of the impacts of the sanctions has been to increase the misery of the population in general, and you, yourself, gave figures on how many people the United States had to feed. Surely, the best thing would be to have the most effective sanctions regime possible to do the maximum -- have the maximum effect in the shortest possible time. MR. BOUCHER: And the OAS has been doing that, and the OAS has just done that about a week or ten days ago with various steps to tighten the embargo. The United States has just implemented that OAS resolution. We continue to look for ways to tighten the embargo and to focus its effects on people in the de facto government. For example, we've revoked visas of some people that are associated with that government. We continue to look for further actions like revoking further visas. Q Richard, just to follow on Alan's question. In a situation where you have a U.N.-mandated set of sanctions that contradict a regional body's sanctions, which is the EC, which one would supersede? How would that work? If, for instance, the U.N. approves an oil embargo -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't think as a practical matter, Sid, you've had that sort of situation. I would say that's pretty hypothetical for me at this point. I don't know what the questions of international law that describe those things are. You can go find yourself a lawyer, if you need to. Q Well, hold on, Richard. It's getting -- it could very well happen here in this situation. MR. BOUCHER: Well, as a practical matter -- Q What is the United States going to do if the EC says, "We're not going to do an oil embargo, whether the United Nations says we should or not." MR. BOUCHER: I'm sorry, Sid. It's hypothetical as far as I'm concerned. Q Richard, couldn't you just state for the record that U.N. resolutions passed by the Security Council are mandatory on all U.N. members? MR. BOUCHER: I could if I wanted to, but he's asking, I think, a slightly more complicated answer that I'm not going to get into. Q Richard, do you have any comments on the Indian missile launching test? MR. BOUCHER: We regret India's decision to proceed with the further testing of its IRBM called the Agni. We believe that ballistic missile programs in areas where there are chronic regional tensions undermine rather than enhance regional security. Q Do you envisage any steps taken by the United States Government against India in this regard? MR. BOUCHER: The missile, as an IRBM, I understand, would be covered by MTCR guidelines, and therefore, you know, there wouldn't be any trade with that missile [company] by people who respect the MTCR. Q Just to follow it up -- MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q However, if India should not understand, in spite of the fact that it has the fourth largest army in the world, and it is the second most populous country in the world, and also there are certain countries which attacked India in the past? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not arguing the past. What I'm saying -- Q At present. MR. BOUCHER: -- and our view is that ballistic missile programs in areas of tension, where there's chronic regional tensions, that introducing and developing ballistic missiles in that environment does not enhance security but rather it makes it more difficult to achieve stable regional security. Q Do you have any concern that India will furnish missiles to other parties? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know what India may or may not be doing with other parties at this point. Q Reading their past policy of being almost a neutral country, do you read any expectations of them to trade in missiles and the technology know-how? MR. BOUCHER: I have no idea what India's plans are, or what their intentions are. I think our views on the guidelines that cover international trade and weapons of mass destruction, whether it's nuclear, ballistic or other programs, are very well known. Q Thank you. MR. BOUCHER: Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 12:52 p.m.)