US Department of State Daily Briefing #94: Thursday, 6/18/92

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: Jun, 18 19926/18/92 Category: Briefings Region: E/C Europe, MidEast/North Africa, East Asia, North America, Caribbean Country: Yugoslavia (former), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, USSR (former), Russia, Mexico, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Haiti Subject: Regional/Civil Unrest, Military Affairs, Narcotics, POW/MIA Issues, Terrorism, Refugees 12:20 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Former Soviet Union: Update on Increased Fighting in Nagorno- Karabakh]

MS. TUTWILER: If it is okay with you all, I have one statement I'd like to make concerning the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. The United States Government strongly condemns the recent fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. The military actions now underway threaten to undermine the prospects for good faith negotiations to resolve the conflict. The United States Government has consistently stated that a lasting solution to this conflict cannot be achieved through violence. Rather, the only path toward a peaceful settlement is through good faith negotiation based on CSCE principles. We call upon all sides to end the violence immediately, recommit themselves to the CSCE mediation effort, and take steps to de-escalate the conflict and create an environment in which good faith negotiations can succeed. The CSCE mediation effort is the best opportunity for resolving this tragic conflict. The United States Government calls upon all parties to the conflict to honor CSCE commitments that require disputants to refrain from any action which may aggravate a dispute and make it more difficult or impossible to settle. We urge all parties in the region to act with restraint and to cooperate with the ongoing CSCE mediation effort. We call upon the representatives of the Armenian community in Nagorno-Karabakh to attend the preliminary meeting now underway in Rome of the participants in the CSCE conference on Nagorno-Karabakh. The United States Government has repeatedly stated that the quality and character of its relationship with both Armenia and Azerbaijan will depend on their demonstrated commitment to CSCE principles, including the peaceful settlement of disputes. Q Margaret? MS TUTWILER: Yes. Q In the view of the United States, is one side or the other playing the role of aggressor in this latest flare-up? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure that we have an analysis. I know that we are not in a position to state that we do have such a view. The reason that we have made this statement today is because, as you know, there is an increase in the violence there, and it is something that we have continuously been watching. We have been urging that they please resolve this through the system that currently exists right now; that is, in Rome, they're meeting in Rome. But, no, I can't say that we can draw that conclusion today that one side is more guilty than the other. We are calling on everybody that is resorting to force and violence to not choose that path. Q Do you have a pure narrative of recent events that you can offer us? I mean, when you talk about -- MS. TUTWILER: I can. It's very sketchy in some parts and detailed in others. I'll be happy to get it for you. It lists specific villages and cities that I personally am not sure that you are that familiar with. I know that I was not. So, yes, we have it available for you, and I'll be happy to post that.

[Former Yugoslavia: Update]

Q Do you have an update on Yugoslavia? MS. TUTWILER: Let me do what I normally do -- that is all three parts of this, which is the situation on the ground, convoys, and effects of sanctions. I do not have any new refugee numbers today for you. Yesterday, Serbian forces resumed heavy shelling of Sarajevo. These attacks continue today, mainly directed at outskirts of the city. We understand Serbian forces have expanded their control over areas adjacent to the airport, including Dobrinja, which, as you recall the other day, I said was a suburb there of the airport. Serbian forces are using tanks and armored vehicles in their attacks on Dobrinja. We understand that the dead remain uncollected on the street. Residents report that Serbian forces are taking away non-Serbs from areas they now control. Clearly the cease-fire is not holding. Serbian forces continue to control Sarajevo's airport, which remains closed. The food situation continues to be critical. We note that several Western journalists who gained access to Sarajevo in recent days have filed shocking reports on the food situation. The Serbian regime and its allies in Bosnia continue to voice peaceful intentions while continuing their brutal tactics on the ground. Over the past 48 hours, they have flaunted the latest U.N. cease-fire in a flagrant attempt to seize further territory around the Sarajevo airport. Instead of moving to comply with United Nations resolutions, the Serbs are continuing their attacks on Sarajevo, while talking about possible cooperation with United Nations efforts to reopen the Sarajevo airport for humanitarian relief. They should realize that these tactics do not fool anyone in the international community, and will only earn them stronger condemnation and continuing isolation. Concerning convoys: The United Nation's peacekeeping convoy, which left Belgrade for Sarajevo on June 16th, spent two nights at the Serbian barracks. That is a location south of the city. This morning, they entered Sarajevo. That convoy included U.N peacekeeping types and UNHCR officials, and carried about l5 tons of emergency relief. We understand two UNHCR officials in Sarajevo will coordinate distribution when conditions permit. We understand that Tuesday a UNHCR convoy left from the port of Split, which you know is in Croatia, for Zenica, which is in Bosnia. The convoy is composed of l2 trucks with l00 tons of supplies, including 8 tons of United States food. It arrived today in a town only a few miles from Sarajevo. We understand that after unloading some supplies, it may continue to Sarajevo this afternoon. We understand that Project Hope and the Italian and French Governments have sent convoys which may have gotten through, but we cannot confirm this. International relief organizations, including UNHCR, UNICEF, and private relief groups, among others, continue to send smaller convoys of relief supplies to areas in Bosnia. On the effects of the sanctions: We note reports from Belgrade media that the termination of natural gas deliveries has caused over 60 factories to close. Among these are Serbia's only printing paper producer. Belgrade media also report that over 500,000 workers will be laid off in the near future. We note continued reports that organized labor is dissatisfied with the regime's policies. We also note continued reports of shortages and panic buying of food and fuel in Belgrade. Frequent demonstrations, while still relatively small, indicate that obviously some people are not united behind President Milosevic's policies of aggression. The United States will continue to work with our allies to ensure that sanctions enforcement is comprehensive, strict and effective. Q Margaret, I suppose this is implied in some of your remarks, but is it the U.S. assessment that public dissatisfaction with the regime is substantial, is within reach of forcing the regime to leave office? MS. TUTWILER: There is no way that I, one, would ever even attempt to predict something like that, but what I would say that I'm aware of is -- I also don't want to do an adjective like "substantial." There was one, as I recall, about two weeks ago, a fairly large demonstration in Belgrade. I recall -- I think it was this past weekend or last week, there were two relatively small student demonstrations on a campus. So, demonstrations are continuing. They are frequent, but I don't know how to judge and say whether they are "substantial" -- if you judge it by numbers alone, or in the city of Belgrade, is this something quite substantial, just to put it in the context of in Belgrade. But we are definitely aware of these demonstrations, and they -- to be honest with you, I believe one was led by the church. There are two, that I can recall, led by students. We have pointed out today that organized labor is, in our opinion, dissatisfied with these policies. So, we will just continue to watch it. But I can't guess for you what is going on internally in the Milosevic government. I don't know. Q Margaret, you said a moment ago that the tactics of talking peace and making war essentially don't fool anyone. They may not fool anyone, but at least up to the moment they seem to have been successful at achieving what the Serbian forces seem to want to achieve, that is, keeping out aid, keeping out assistance, and continuing the fighting, and making it impossible for the rest of the world to assist the people in Bosnia who need it. The question is: Regardless of whether or not the tactics can fool anyone, is there anything the rest of the world can do to prevent those tactics from being as successful as they have been in the past? Are you considering new steps to try to keep them from being successful? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have any new steps to announce. As you know, the Secretary of State has said to you that there are additional United States measures that the United States could take. I have none to announce for you at this time. We are, as you know, very actively working to help support this United Nations effort, as I believe everyone is, and one reason why -- and it's a fair question that you continue, rightly so, to say, what effects do we have or are you getting on your own in Belgrade. I think that some of the things that we have reported to you are having an effect. I am not claiming that sanctions will convince these individuals to let humanitarian aid go forward. I don't know what will convince them. Q If I can follow up on the basis of the Friendship Charter signed yesterday by Presidents Bush and Yeltsin that contains this call for a mechanism to help mediate these conflicts and keep the peace once it's established, is there anything new the U.S. and Russia, in the course of this agreement, have decided can be done to help mediate this dispute? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I'm aware of. Q Margaret, have you seen reports of some form of alliance between Bosnia and Croatia, and, if so, do you have any comment on it? MS. TUTWILER: Yes, it's a military alliance, is what we have knowledge of. We don't have a lot of knowledge of it, Alan. On June l5th, the Bosnian President and the Croatian President issued a joint statement expressing support for Bosnia's independence and resistance against aggression by Serbian military forces. The statement is an agreement on generally shared principles which both sides have previously reiterated. We are seeking further clarification of the agreement. We have not seen it. We remain committed to the principle of no forcible changes of borders. The United States view is that all military forces in Bosnia must come under the authority of that state's legitimate government, or have its agreement to remain on its territory. We also reiterate that all sides in this struggle must stop the fighting and resume serious negotiations. So, under the situation that exists there on the ground, we do not have more information on this particular "military pact" that was supposedly agreed to. We have just seen a text issued. Q Would you be concerned if it turned out that Croatian troops, as opposed to irregulars, entered this fighting on the side of Bosnia and against the Serbs? MS. TUTWILER: Without saying whether they enter or not, because it is a hypothetical for me, we have in the past called on Croatia and Croatian irregulars, as we have Bosnian Muslims, that they, too, bear responsibility in this situation in Bosnia. We have called at different times on those entities or individuals to please do what we are asking the Serbs also to do, which is to stop this violence and to negotiate this process under the CSCE principles. Q And where are you on establishing diplomatic relations as opposed to recognition with Croatia? MS. TUTWILER: I honestly don't know. I'll have to ask. It hasn't come up in a while. I don't know. Q Margaret, there is a report out of Belgrade saying that the American diplomats and their families are leaving Belgrade. Is it the implementation of the previous sanction, or is it a new thing, or have you decided to -- MS. TUTWILER: It's not new. The Secretary of State announced in London, if you recall, after his visit with the Prime Minister, that one of the things the United States would be doing unilaterally would be a reduction in our Embassy staff there in Belgrade. That is being implemented now. I will refrain from going into any details for security reasons, but it is a downgrade of our Embassy staff as was announced -- and dependents -- that yes, we'll be leaving. Q But it is not a closing down of the U.S. -- MS. TUTWILER: Correct, absolutely is not.

[Russia: US POWs/MIAs]

Q Margaret, do you know yet when Mac Toon is going to Moscow, or any of the details on what he is going to be doing? MS. TUTWILER: I know when he is going. It's this Saturday. I don't have an enormous amount of details for you. We will continue to be getting those to you as we get them. He will leave for Moscow Saturday. He will meet with the General to review in detail the new POW issues raised by President Yeltsin in Washington. Ambassador Toon will be accompanied by State Department and Defense Department officials. I don't have those lists for you as of today. And on the other mission that General Scowcroft mentioned this morning when he was on -- I believe it was the NBC's Today Show -- he mentioned a team that was going today. A team of American and Russian investigators left Moscow this morning on a Russian plane leased by the Embassy to look into reports that an American POW from the Korean War had been held in a prison camp near the town of Pechora as recently as l8 months ago. The American portion of the team is composed of an Embassy official, two Department of Defense POW investigators, and an investigator from the Senate Select Committee on POWs. The Russians sent representatives from the Russian joint POW/MIA Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Our Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy Moscow is responsible for coordinating work on the POW issue. The day-to-day work is carried out by an Embassy officer, two Department of Defense POW specialists working out of the Defense Attache's office, and an investigator from the Senate Select Committee on POWs. This staff is augmented as needed by specialists from the POW/MIA offices of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. The staff is conducting interviews with persons who might have information relative to American POWs, and is investigating any information which becomes available. They also maintain contact with the Russian POW Commission members to coordinate the archival work being carried out by the Commission. Q Margaret, didn't the Pentagon just either yesterday or the day before say that they had no record of any U.S. citizen missing in action by the name of that person who was reported to have been held in that town of Pechora? MS. TUTWILER: Well, to be honest with you, Ralph, as you know, the President has stated, the Secretary of State did this morning, and it is our standard policy -- the Defense Department will be saying the same thing today -- we do not discuss names for obvious reasons. But having said that, I will tell you, you are assuming that we have a correct name. I would steer you not on that assumption. We are not sure what a name is or names are. We have said, the President has said just yesterday, President Yeltsin has answered I don't know how many questions concerning this subject in the two days he was here in Washington. I have nothing to add to what they, themselves, have responded on behalf of their governments. But it is obviously something -- the President has sent Ambassador Toon on this special mission. A mission left for Moscow this morning. And we obviously, as we have in the past, will continue to -- each and every allegation that is made, or suggestion that is made, the United States Embassy will, obviously, treat seriously and look into it. If you will recall, here at the State Department, before this was a big issue, to be quite honest, there was a report out of Kazakhstan of a live American that was in Kazakhstan. We instantly sent an Embassy official out there, and there was no substantiation to this report at all. They could not find anyone in the village where he was supposedly to have been, who knew of any American who had been there. So, we treated it seriously and it turned out there was no American. Q Margaret, has the Secretary scheduled time to begin testimony on the START treaty in the Senate? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. He will be testifying on that next Tuesday, which, I believe, is June 23rd. That has been scheduled. Q Speaking of the Secretary, there was some consternation in the Press Room this morning when the Washington Post Style section disclosed that the Secretary would appear tonight on the MacNeil/Lehrer, and there's been no announcement by the Press Office -- MS. TUTWILER: I haven't read the Washington Post Style section. Q Is he going to be on MacNeil/Lehrer tonight? MS. TUTWILER: He is, and that is something that was decided last night, I'm guessing, sometime between 6:00 and 7:00 when he returned to this building, the only time he had been here. So, I haven't read the Style section. It is something that we were prepared to tell you about once there was a final sign-off, which, to be honest with you, the Secretary of State made a final decision this morning, and we were going to, as we always do, tell you at the end of this [briefing]. He also is right now looking into doing a Sunday shows. So, if that appears in the Style section tomorrow, they have not been confirmed, but it is under active consideration.

[China: Agreement with Crestone Energy Corp. to Develop Resources in Disputed Area in South China Sea]

Q Margaret, apparently an American oil company has been given exploration rights to a disputed area in the South China Sea by China. Do you have anything on that? MS. TUTWILER: Crestone is a private corporation, and the United States Government takes no position on the contract itself. Given the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, we have informed Crestone that Vietnam also claims waters covered by Crestone's agreement with China. Regarding the competing territorial claims in the South China Sea, the United States takes the position that the countries involved in this territorial dispute should resolve their differences peacefully, and that freedom of navigation should be preserved. An American Embassy officer attended the signing ceremony. The officer's presence at the event should in no way be interpreted as showing support for Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Embassy had no involvement in this matter prior to the announcement of the agreement at the reception. Q Where was that signed? MS. TUTWILER: I believe it was in Beijing. It is my understanding that routinely American officials are invited to receptions in Beijing, and that the Embassy official who went did not know that there was an agreement that was going to be signed at this particular reception. Q The President of Crestone has said that China has vowed to protect them with the full force of their navy. Pretty inflammatory remarks. Does the U.S. have a position on that? MS. TUTWILER: You would have to address your questions to the PRC authorities or to Crestone. Concerning overall policy, the United States Government strongly opposes the use of force to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Q Margaret, the State Department routinely also offers businesses and, for that matter, tourists and other private individuals guidance on conducting travel business and recreational travel in certain areas. Did the United States Government offer advice to this U.S. firm about whether it would be a good idea to conduct business or travel in the area which is disputed between China and Vietnam? MS. TUTWILER: My limited understanding of this this morning is that the Embassy officer, who went to this reception that was hosted by a United States company, did not know, when he accepted the invitation and appeared at the event, that there was a signing ceremony over an agreement. So I can't answer the question of, "Has this United States company had prior conversations either here in our country or there with representatives of our Embassy in Beijing?" I just don't know that much about this particular event. Q And you might want to take the question, then, of whether the United States has any business travel advisories or business conduct advisories for the disputed South China Sea area where this U.S. firm appears to be conducting business. MS. TUTWILER: Uh-hum. Q Or whether the State Department was asked, solicited, or gave any advice to this company regarding their investment? MS. TUTWILER: Uh-hum. Q Coming back for just a second to the START -- the Secretary's testimony next week. Will that -- now that the U.S. and Russia have signed these other agreements on military reductions, will the Secretary -- is it the State Department's view that that ought to be sort of rolled into the same subject with the START ratification? Will they be dealt with separately? MS. TUTWILER: As the President's statement clearly states yesterday -- if you look at the last paragraph of how the follow-on to START will be handled, that is a building upon START. START is still to be ratified. We, obviously, hope that it will be ratified quickly. The Secretary of State will be giving testimony next Tuesday. The new agreement will be recorded in a treaty that will require Senate ratification, but it is separate from START ratification. Q So the Administration's position is that the Senate ought to go ahead and ratify the START treaty as it is -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q -- without waiting for what the Administration says will be a brief treaty on this follow-on matter? MS. TUTWILER: Sure. It's understood that you finish and ratify START; that this new agreement is an agreement now that will be recorded in a treaty that will, in addition, be submitted for ratification to the Senate. In the joint understanding that was signed yesterday, to use their literal language, "The two Presidents directed that this agreement be promptly recorded in a brief treaty document which they will sign and submit for ratification in their respective countries. Because this new agreement is separate from the bills on the START treaty, they continue to urge that the START treaty be ratified and implemented as soon as possible." Q When you say it's understood, is that understood with between the U.S. Senate and the Bush Administration that that's how it will be handled? Or is it understood between the U.S. and Russia? MS. TUTWILER: I can't imagine that the United States Senate would have an objection to participating in the ratification of a follow-on to START. Q That wasn't the question, though. The question was whether -- you said it was understood that they would deal with START first and the other treaty subsequently. MS. TUTWILER: In our country. That's how we're doing it. I believe -- Q Is it understood with the Senate? Is that understood with the Senate? MS. TUTWILER: We have testimony that has previously been scheduled for June 23 that's on START ratification, so -- Q -- We'll have to wait to see what the Senators said on Tuesday. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware that the Senators have called and want to cancel testimony. I'm not saying either, Ralph, that -- obviously, just as the Secretary of State has responded to your questions over the last two days that he will, in testimony, answer any questions that they have. But the purpose, the original purpose, was on START. START still does have to be ratified. But, obviously, the Secretary of State will answer questions, as he has over the last two days, from you all, from anyone, concerning what it was that was agreed upon here in Washington by the two Presidents, should the Senators have such questions. Of course, he would. Q Margaret, do you have any indication that the Ukrainians are unhappy with this new treaty? Specifically, that President Yeltsin is out there negotiating, they feel, their behalf, cuts in the missile force? MS. TUTWILER: It's not my understanding. The Secretary of State spoke either yesterday or the day before with the Foreign Minister of the Ukraine, and that's not the impression that I have. Q What impression do you have? Q Margaret, on the Dotan affair -- MS. TUTWILER: On the what? Q Dotan affair in Israel, and Dingell's committee. Are you familiar with that? MS. TUTWILER: No, I'm not. Q Dotan is a Colonel who has been put in prison for 13 years. It has to do with General Electric and Pratt-Whitney creaming off of certain profits. MS. TUTWILER: I know absolutely nothing about this. Q Could you check and see. Because the Prime Minister's office has said in Jerusalem that they would not permit Dingell's committee to come -- to send investigators face-to-face with Dotan in jail. Dingell has said he's going to cut off Israeli aid. It's a major confrontation. But as of two days ago, the Prime Minister said -- or the Prime Minister's assistant said that they thought that they would be able to discreetly take care of this with the Department of State. Is the Department of State going to testify in the Dingell committee on June 24, specifically? And are you negotiating at this present time for doing something else beside a face-to-face? MS. TUTWILER: I can't answer any of your questions because I know absolutely nothing about the subject matter you're asking. Q Could you take it? MS. TUTWILER: I'll look at it. Q In his background briefing, Secretary Baker said that the one of the top agendas at this meeting was the Northern Territories issue between Japan and Russia. So could you elaborate specifically in what way did both Presidents discuss that issue? MS. TUTWILER: I won't be able to do that, but maybe Marlin (Fitzwater) could answer that question for you over at the White House. I wasn't in those meetings. He should be appropriately handling the meetings of the two Presidents and what they discussed. Q Catching up on a couple of other items that occurred this summit. The other day, I think, Assistant Secretary Djerejian held a meeting with the Jordanian Ambassador. Has the U.S. offered to assist Jordan in any concrete way in strengthening enforcement of the embargo against trade with Iraq, such as -- MS. TUTWILER: Let me take a look at that for you. Q The specific question is, has the U.S. offered to send some kind of auditing group, or whatever? MS. TUTWILER: I understand. Q Margaret, with the release of the two German hostages, is it the view of the United States that the hostage saga is over? MS. TUTWILER: I will restate for you, if I can find it, what the President stated earlier this week and the Secretary of State, because I want to be careful to make sure that I reenunicate our policy literally concerning this situation. It's not new policy, but I want to use the exact words. For some reason now, I can't find it. Wait one second. Yes, I can. Our policy, as you know -- which I'll restate -- is that we repeat our call for the immediate, unconditional, and safe release of all persons held outside the legal system in the region, as well as a full accounting of all persons who may have died while in captivity. President Bush, as you know, said that he was very pleased with this release and that he viewed this as a significant step forward. Q Outside the legal system in the region -- would that include prisoners who were picked up by, for example, Israel without judicial process, shall we say? MS. TUTWILER: It includes all persons that are held outside the legal system. It is not new words I am using today. This is standard policy that has been the policy of the Bush Administration. I am just reenunciating our standard policy concerning the Bush view of hostage-holding by everybody. Q I didn't make any reference in my question to hostages. I'm asking whether the U.S. is calling on Israel to facilitate the unconditional release, for example, of Sheik Obeid, who was picked up outside the legal -- or I would define it as outside the legal system? MS. TUTWILER: And you've got me now into "in-area" specifics, which I have, as you know, refrained from doing. I will just simply continue to state for you that we are talking about unconditional and safe release of all persons held outside the legal system in the region, as well as a full accounting of all persons who may have died while in captivity. Q Margaret, since the United States has the right to kidnap suspects, even with countries that it has treaties of extradition, how does it view it now -- does it view in a different light the activities of Israeli agents who pick up people in Lebanon with which Israel has no treaty of extradition? MS. TUTWILER: As much as I would love to engage in this subject matter with you, I'm simply going to refrain. Q Coming back to the hostage thing for just a second. Does the -- on Monday, when President Bush was asked about this, the two German hostages actually had not, in fact, been released. Now that they have been, is there anything the U.S. can say about whether it is reopening or re-offering its invitation to the Iranian Government to designate a representative to talk with the United States about a wide variety of issues? MS. TUTWILER: There's no reason to re-offer that offer. It has been there since the President was sworn in on the day of his inaugural. The President, I believe, on June 17, in an interview, did address himself to this. He said, "When all the hostages are released, that would remove an enormous impediment to better relations with Iran." This is President Bush. "We still have some other problems with Iran, as you know, but I will be watching this very carefully. Our policy was not to negotiate with the hostage-takers. That policy has been vindicated." Q Now that those hostages have been released, has the U.S. heard from the Government of Iran by way of designating a representative? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't asked, but I haven't heard that we have. Q Could you, just for the record, tell us what the other problems are that have to be corrected before the United States would enter into talks with Iran? MS. TUTWILER: In the same Inaugural Address that the President gave, that Ralph was referring to, where he made this offer, he said that there were obviously two things -- there are more -- that the Iranian Government has to do. The hostages was one; and the second is in state-sponsored terrorism. I can get you other lists. For instance, you are aware of our views on the death threat on Salmon Rushdie, and there are other areas of concern that also are problems for us. But those are the two main ones that I recall the President addressed in that speech. Q Can you tell us whether the United States and Iran have exchanged any recent messages? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I know of. But, again, Ralph, I haven't asked. Q Margaret, when President Yeltsin was here he made another disclosure that following World War II -- you may not have anything on this -- following World War II, the Germans dumped an enormous amount of chemical weapons in casks in the Baltic Sea, and he had asked the United States to help them -- the United States Navy, in particular -- to help them remove it because 34 years later they're starting to rust and they're afraid that it could trigger an environmental disaster. Do you all have anything on that, or could you get us something on that? MS. TUTWILER: I thought I was familiar with most of what President Yeltsin had said while he was here. I don't recall that particular statement. I'm not doubting your assertion that he said it. But, no, I don't have anything on it, and I'll be happy to look into it for you. Q On Central America -- on Haiti: There have been some complaints to the news media from shippers who say they are trying to carry humanitarian assistance to Haiti and who say that because of the new restrictions imposed by the United States on trade with Haiti, even when they have humanitarian cargos, they're unable to get them through because of the new requirement for case-by-case processing. They say bureaucratic delays are, in effect, forcing people to go without even the humanitarian aid. Do you have any comment on that kind of complaint? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard about that. I'll be happy to look into it for you. I was aware, as I believe you are, about three weeks ago of one incident of a ship that, as I recall, was carrying fuel -- oil, I believe -- but I haven't heard about it. I'll be happy to ask the bureau. Q Margaret, following on from Alan's question about the -- MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me? Q Following on from Alan's question about the decision that allows the United States to go into countries and take people out, how does this impinge on the two Libyans and the Lockerbie incident? Does it mean that the United States could, in fact, go into Libya and take them out? MS. TUTWILER: What I will do for you is to restate for you, if you don't have it -- the Secretary of State answered our policy on -- not Libya, but on this question. Your interpretations are, or what you're saying to me is it's United States policy to kidnap people. The Supreme Court, and I believe the State Department, has put out statements for you everyday saying that this was basically, and I'm paraphrasing -- I'll refer you to the record -- the decision was on a domestic case. I'm well aware of headlines that said Americans now have the green light to go start kidnapping people. I will restate for you what our policy is. It was enunciated by the Secretary this week, which is consistent -- it goes back -- there was a White House statement, I believe, of October 13, 1989, that I would refer you to. We made it available two days ago in the Press Room. Secretary Baker was saying, "I think it is important to point out that the President wears two hats. He wears a hat as the chief law enforcement officer of the nation, but he also constitutionally wears a hat to conduct the nation's foreign policy. We have established interagency procedures which will permit the President to make determinations in cases, weighing the foreign policy consequences as well as the law enforcement consequences." That basically tracks with, obviously, the October White House statement when this came up once before and other statements that we have put out since then. Q Have we now given assurances to Mexico that we won't kidnap anybody else inside their territory? MS. TUTWILER: I read that this morning. What we are not going to do is go into any of the substance or details of the conversations that we have had ongoing since this ruling with Mexico. Q Is there sort of a rule of one-per-country, or -- Q Margaret, to look at this from another angle, though, is the U.S. now prepared to have other governments come into this country and kidnap Americans who are suspected of some sort of wrongdoing? MS. TUTWILER: It's really terribly hypothetical for me just to sit here and formulate policy for you. Again, I want to go back to this decision, it's my understanding -- I am not a lawyer -- was a Supreme Court ruling on the domestic, legal system here in the United States. I know it was interpreted as meaning -- well, by headline writers -- that the United States can now go kidnap people around the world. All I'm going to continue to do is to state for you what our policy is concerning that subject, as enunciated by the President and the Secretary of State. Q I guess the concern here would be, can Americans feel secure that the United States Government can protect them if other governments say we're going to try to do the same the United States did? MS. TUTWILER: I understand. I don't want to just freelance with you or totally speculate on something that's totally hypothetical. We don't have an instance of this. I do not know, should an incident come up, what the United States view would be because of this particular circumstance. It's another way of saying -- I'm just not going to freelance on it. Q It's not totally hypothetical. We're both obviously thinking on our feet here at the moment. But there was a recent dispute between the United States and Britain which was conducted through diplomatic channels over the legal aspects of something that happened in the Gulf war: A couple of pilots, the Brits wanted them for testimony in a case, and so on -- MS. TUTWILER: That wasn't kidnapping. Q There was no kidnapping involved up to this moment, anyway. MS. TUTWILER: As I recall, they cooperated fully. Q The question that Carol raises is, would those two American pilots -- can those two American pilots feel secure that the Government of Britain -- MS. TUTWILER: Is not going to kidnap them? Q -- is not free, under the reciprocal privilege the U.S. claims, to persuade them to come to Britain and give testimony through means that some people might define as kidnapping? MS. TUTWILER: Number one, it's my understanding that those pilots -- I can't recall the number -- cooperated fully. They did give testimony here. They cooperated, it's my understanding, which the British Government has acknowledged. I am not aware of a threat to kidnap them -- certainly, not by the British Government. Maybe the question would be best asked to the Embassy here in town if they know of any information of someone who's -- especially their government -- considering kidnapping these two gentlemen. I don't think that that's under active review, but I can't -- Q I don't think there was any threat from the United States to kidnap the Mexican individual either, as I recall. I don't think the U.S. threatened that in advance. MS. TUTWILER: I don't do comparisons. But let's not get away from the facts that that was an absolutely egregious case of a United States Drug Enforcement Officer that was tortured, that was beaten. It was an absolutely horrendous thing that an American citizen was put through. In my mind there is no comparison, in a state of war, Americans, in the line of duty, doing what their country has asked them to do and then being called over, no matter where it is, to publicly put themselves through, after all, for just doing what their job is. There's just no comparison to me, Ralph. Q Margaret, has any other country, apart from Mexico, requested clarification on this ruling? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't asked. I'll be happy -- Q Could you take the question, please? MS. TUTWILER: -- to do an around-the-world check for you. Q And has any -- well, it's a serious question. MS. TUTWILER: It is. Q If you have an extradition treaty -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q -- and the Supreme Court rules -- MS. TUTWILER: I'll put it to you this way: I believe if there had been an enormous amount of consternation from other governments, I would have heard about it in the last three days. I haven't heard a word. Q Other countries have issued statements, including Presidents of other countries. MS. TUTWILER: Then you're more up to speed on this than I am. Q I can refer you to Argentina, Venezuela, and Canada, to name three. MS. TUTWILER: Okay. Q Have any countries come to the United States and asked to amend their extradition treaties in such a way as to prevent this happening? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I have any knowledge of. I'll be happy to, again -- I have to go to every bureau to check this for you to see if any country has. I haven't heard about one doing that. Q Margaret, is it the intent of extradition treaties to leave this loophole where, theoretically, it would be possible to kidnap -- the intent of an extradition treaty -- correct me if I'm wrong -- is that if somebody is suspected of a crime in your country, you can have recourse through the legal system of that country to have him brought here and vice versa. It's not the intent of extradition treaties to leave a loophole for kidnapping? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I'm not a lawyer. I think that that would best be answered by a lawyer and especially one who is familiar with international law. Q Perhaps you can provide us with a definition of the intention of an extradition treaty? MS. TUTWILER: I will certainly have the lawyers here, who are obviously much more knowledgeable about the legalese in international law than I am, and let them see if they can take a stab at your question. Q Another subject, Margaret: Among the flurry of papers that were signed yesterday, and so on, and distributed to us, I think there are several of them that -- at least, I've never gotten. I did make an effort to try to get them. Are they available now -- MS. TUTWILER: That's correct. Q -- the 3 or 4 or 5 of them? MS. TUTWILER: One of them was a busted signal through staff, and it's available at the end of this briefing. The other, to be honest with you, is a Memorandum of Understanding concerning our Embassy. And before we do release that, we are going to consult with the Hill first. So there is a substantive reason on that. Q I thought there was 4. MS. TUTWILER: I only know of 2. There is a busted signal staff-wise on the second one, which is the Baker-Kozyrev agreement on the follow-on to START. If you know of two more, just bring them to my attention. I'll see what the problems are of those. These are the only two I'm aware of. Q So when will the MOU on the Embassy be released? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Understandably, as you know, there has been an enormous amount -- rightfully so -- of Congressional interest in this situation for years. This is something that we wanted to have an opportunity to consult with those members on the Hill who have the most interest in this, so I don't have a time frame for you. Q Didn't you consult with them first before -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm sure that they, but I don't know if there was a final change or if it's a Congressional courtesy before we make this totally public, to consult with the Hill; the reason I found out for two. Sid thinks there are two more. I'm not aware of that. Q Last night we were given -- they signed 6 agreements. We were given -- there were four missing. MS. TUTWILER: Maybe we can sort this out afterwards. Q On one of the agreements -- I don't know how familiar you are with all of them, but I'm curious -- MS. TUTWILER: Not very. Q I'll ask anyway. The agreement on civil aviation appears to open up the air channel that was being used by KAL 007 at the time it was shot down over Kamchatka Island, which was at the time prohibited Soviet air space. Is that essentially the thrust of that agreement, that the Russians are opening up this formally secret or restricted air space in a way that had it been open in 1983, it might have prevented the shooting down of that plane? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I'll ask the people who negotiated it and get you an answer. Q Thank you. MS. TUTWILER: Thank you all. (Press briefing concluded at 1:05 p.m.)