US Department of State Daily Briefing #105 Wednesday, 7/15/92

Boucher Source: State Department Deputy Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: Jul, 15 19927/15/92 Category: Briefings Region: E/C Europe, MidEast/North Africa, Subsaharan Africa Country: Yugoslavia (former), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, USSR (former), Iraq, Jordan, South Africa, Israel, Lebanon, Kuwait Subject: Regional/Civil Unrest, Military Affairs, Development/Relief Aid, United Nations, Resource Management, State Department, Democratization, Travel 12:14 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Former Yugoslavia: Update]

MR. BOUCHER: I thought, if I could today, I would start off with the update on what's going on in Sarajevo and elsewhere in Bosnia and Croatia, etc., and then I'd be glad to take your questions. On the fighting: Serbian forces continued their shelling attacks against Sarajevo yesterday and last night. This morning, some Serbian shelling and fighting continues. Electric power continues to be out in most of Sarajevo. Serbian forces apparently have allowed Bosnian electric engineers to re-route some electricity to Sarajevo, but this is reportedly a small fraction of the normal supply; and, at the same time, Serbian snipers are specially targeting electric repairmen who are working to restore the power. The airport remains open, but the security situation there is deteriorating. All day yesterday and last night, Serbian shelling was very heavy against Dobrinja, the strategically important residential area adjacent to the airport. Fighting there continues today. Major offensives by Serbian forces continue in three areas that Margaret talked about this week: In the north-central Bosnian corridor on the eastern front; along the Drina River including the town of Gorazde; and in Hercegovina. Radio reports indicate fierce fighting continues in Gorazde. Ham radio operators there report that most of the buildings in town have been damaged by Serbian shelling. Reports indicate that Serbian forces also heavily shelled the town of Tuzla, to the north of Sarajevo. Serbian units from Serbia and Montenegro continue to re-enforce the Serbian offensive in Bosnia in flagrant violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions. We condemn and deplore the Serbian forces' intensifying campaign of forced expulsions of non-Serbs from areas where fighting is going on. We note also with concern a report about problems faced by Bosnian refugees at the Croation border. We understand that there is a meeting tomorrow in Austria of countries which have been absorbing refugees, which will be discussing the many difficulties being faced by refugees these days. Fighting continues in the Dubrovnik region, and, in particular, we're concerned by reports of continued shelling of Dubrovnik by Serbian forces. But elsewhere in Croatia, the situation is relatively quiet. An update on NATO and WEU activities: As you know, the NATO Foreign Ministers agreed in Helsinki on July 10 on a NATO maritime operation which would draw on NATO and other assets to monitor compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions. This operation is in cooperation with the operation of the WEU. There have been a number of discussions already between NATO and WEU authorities. NATO authorities are meeting today in Brussels to discuss the practical details and modalities for cooperation and coordination between the NATO maritime operation and the WEU operation. Our understanding is that NATO ships are gathering in the Ionian Sea, and have not yet moved into the Adriatic. Further details, you can probably get from the Pentagon. On assistance flights: On July 14, there were a record 20 flights carrying humanitarian relief supplies into Sarajevo, including two U.S. Government flights. These flights carried over 250 metric tons of food and medicine. The U.S. flights carried 22.5 metric tons of MREs, which will provide approximately 33,750 meals. There are another 20 flights scheduled for today. On convoys: There is a 32-truck UNHCR-organized convoy that left this morning from Split for destinations in Bosnia-Hercegovina. The convoy contains four trucks containing U.S.-donated MREs as well as UNICEF powered milk and high-protein biscuits. Some of this food is destined for Sarajevo as well as other places in Bosnia-Hercegovina. My understanding is that the convoy's intention is to go to a town that's about 50 kilometers outside of Sarajevo where it will off-load the stuff for Sarajevo and it will then be taken into town by NGOs. This is a system that's been used in the past to move stuff overland into Sarajevo. An ICRC convoy to Knin and other nearby towns departed this morning carrying 5,800 family parcels. Another ICRC convoy also left this morning with eight tons of medical supplies for Mostar, Zenica, and Travnik. Doctors Without Borders has shelved its plans to send a convoy to Gorazde because of security concerns. They will continue to evaluate the situation in order to bring in a convoy as soon as possible. That's it for the update. Q Richard, once again the daily report is focused on artillery barrages. So let me try again to see if what Secretary Baker said in Europe last week has borne fruit. As you recall, the President met with the -- the U.S. President met with the President of Bosnia. And Baker, in a readout, said that he had asked for help on pressuring Belgrade to remove the artillery. Baker's quote was, "We're considering it. It's been taken on board;" Which I take to mean it's a live option. Do you know if there's been any decision, or if it has been dismissed as impractical? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware of any decision or any further development of that request, or of that issue. Obviously, those decisions are made by the President, and therefore it would have to come from over there. But I'm not aware of anything new on that. Q And the other thing that was left hanging, or the other major thing left hanging is: After Baker saw the President -- the Prime Minister-designate, or now Prime Minister of Belgrade -- for the Federation, he gave him what amounts to an ultimatum -- you know, withdraw troops; about five or six major points. Mr. Panic was supposed to take this back with him and, presumably, report back. Has the U.S. heard anything from the new Panic Government as to whether it will comply with any of these demands? MR. BOUCHER: We've been in touch with a variety of people, I think Margaret mentioned yesterday. We're always in touch with a variety of people in Belgrade. As far as I understand the situation there, Panic gave a speech yesterday where he said some things that we can readily identify with -- things like the call for the removal of heavy weapons from Bosnia and for the cessation of hostilities there. But, as the Secretary made clear, the key to a solution is compliance with all U.N. Security Council resolutions and the reversal of the aggressive policies of the Serbian Government. Actions count, not words. And I don't think we've seen those sorts of actions yet. Q Nor any specific message, really, or reply from Belgrade? MR. BOUCHER: Again, Barry, we've had conversations with a variety of people in Belgrade, and I'm sure we've talked to Panic's people to some extent. But what really matters is what goes on on the ground, in terms of the shelling and the artillery and the status of forces. Q Richard, do you have a response to the request from the Bosnians for an emergency airlift to Gorazde, which is supposed to be in very serious shape and is not getting supplies like Sarajevo is? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any specific response to that. You should probably check with the U.N. since, as you know, we've been flying under U.N. auspices and as requested by the U.N. Q Do you know if there's -- has the U.S. been involved in any discussions with the U.N. about the possibility? Is there an airport there? Is it even possible to have an airlift there? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know the logistics of the situation there. As I think I just reported to you, Doctors Without Borders were trying to get a land convoy into the city of Gorazde, and were unable to do that because of security concerns. So I'm sure the people on the ground are trying to take care of people wherever they can. But exactly what they're considering in terms of flights or convoys or what may be possible there, I don't know the logistics. Q And can you tell us if there's anything new today about possibly going for another U.N. resolution? MR. BOUCHER: Nothing new on that. The U.N. is going to meet -- the Council is scheduled to meet in formal session on Friday to discuss the attack on Gorazde. There is no Security Council discussion scheduled today. The Council is doing South Africa. Q Richard, you mentioned that the airport in Sarajevo -- I don't have your exact phrase -- MR. BOUCHER: The situation is deteriorating. Q Does that suggest that the U.N. is reviewing its plans, or it might change its operations there? MR. BOUCHER: I don't want to suggest something on behalf of the U.N. at this point. I think the U.N. is -- they're, obviously, in very difficult circumstances. The Council just authorized the dispatch of 500 more people to support the operation out there, and I'm sure they'll continue to do their work under very difficult circumstances. But at this point, there's nothing before the Council that I'm aware of. Q Yesterday, Margaret said that the United States was not, at this point, "shopping" a new resolution. Does that still stand? MR. BOUCHER: That still stands. Yes. Q Do you have any confidence that Panic can made good on what he said yesterday in his speech on attempting to end the violence in Bosnia-Hercegovina? MR. BOUCHER: I would go back to what the Secretary said last week after he met with Mr. Panic, and that's: We don't doubt the sincerity of intentions but what's going to matter is what he can, in fact, accomplish, and we have to see a change in the policies. Q What's your assessment of his ability to carry that out? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any different assessment now than the one the Secretary gave last week. Q Can I push the dialogue, if that's the point, an inch or two -- I mean, with Belgrade? This may get into the area of nuances and -- they close in New Haven, usually. The Secretary -- initially, you had broken off, in effect, any talk with Belgrade. The Secretary went out of his way to say, even though Panic -- he's meeting with Panic in Helsinki, he's not meeting with him as an intermediary of the government. We're having a meeting, but we're not really talking to them. That's kind of hard to grasp. But now you speak of contacts and all. So, could it be said that the United States is moving back towards some type of normal diplomatic discourse with Belgrade in the hope of ending this war; that you're ending your isolation of the Federation? MR. BOUCHER: No, I wouldn't say that, Barry. Margaret, I think, described the situation fairly accurately yesterday when she said that we do meet with a variety of people out there. Certainly, our efforts are devoted to trying to get the humanitarian situation resolved. In that respect, we do meet with people that may be able to help him push it in that direction. At the same time generally, we have avoided meetings with senior officials of the so-called Federation -- what is it? -- Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and we have not recognized them. We were a leader in seeing that they were excluded from the CSCE until October. We have made very clear our view, in other international organizations, they will have to qualify for membership, so there's been no change in those policies. Q Richard, can you address the issue of who supplies, or provides both sides with equipment and military hardware in this area? MR. BOUCHER: I can't do that in any detail at this point. We have described, I think, the equipment that was left by the Yugoslav army in the hands of Serbian forces inside Bosnia. We've made clear that there was a great deal of such equipment. But, as you know, for some time there has been an arms embargo. I can't remember if it's the U.N. or if it's otherwise. I remember there's a U.S. and an EC statement a long time ago that there should be an arms embargo of all the warring parties in what was formerly called "Yugoslavia." So, in terms of outside supply, there shouldn't be any at this point. Q Do you have any reaction to the meetings with Lord Carrington today in London in which the leader of the Bosnian Serbs said they had agreed to allow convoys, land convoys? MR. BOUCHER: I've seen some statements quoted in the wires. I don't have enough of a readout to react specifically to that. We do understand that they've resumed preliminary talks in London today; and that the Bosnian Serb leader, Karadjic, Bosnian Croat leader, Boban, and the Bosnian Foreign Minister, Silajdzic are all there. Of course, we welcome the effort by the EC and Lord Carrington. We urge the parties to discuss this seriously to resolve the issues peacefully. But at this point, I don't have enough of a readout to try to characterize any of those statements that I've seen. Q Richard, there's just one aspect of U.S. policy I wanted to check with you. Is it the U.S. position right now that -- is it still the U.S. position that the borders have to go back to being the borders that they were of each of these republics before Yugoslavia split up? That when we recognized the various republics as independent states, we recognized them with the borders they had as republic entities within Yugoslavia and therefore the United States would demand that Serbia has to relinquish the two-thirds of the country of Bosnia that it has gobbled up? MR. BOUCHER: Mary, I think in some ways you're not characterizing our position accurately. I think there's a slight difference, in that what we've always said is that borders should not changed by force and any forcible incorporation and forcible changes in borders should not occur. That's a standard CSCE principle; and that any changes -- it flows from that -- that any changes that were made in arrangements or in borders should be made peacefully through negotiation. That has always been our position. Q So, when the U.S. -- the U.S. has recognized Bosnia-Hercegovina as a country. Did you recognize it with the borders that it had as a republic entity within the former Yugoslavia? And do you still recognize it that as a -- MR. BOUCHER: That's right. And we said at the time that any changes in the situation should be negotiated peacefully. Q So you don't recognize the changes that have been made on the ground? MR. BOUCHER: We don't recognize changes that are made by force in borders, no. Q Richard, you said early on that Serbian units were being reinforced by Belgrade? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q What kind of reinforcement -- ammunition? And what kind of evidence do you all have that that's the -- MR. BOUCHER: Sid, I'm sure I'm not able to go into the evidence. I'll have to check and see if I'm able to go into more detail about what kind of reinforcement is being given to the Serbian offensive in Bosnia. Q Does the U.S. think that the Panic Government is capable of getting that artillery removed? MR. BOUCHER: That's similar to the question that Mark asked; and, really, I don't have any new characterization. Whether or not he's able to do that remains to be seen. What I've made clear is that our standard for judging this is the one that the Secretary enunicated last week, and that's that there are some very specific things that we think need to be done to resolve this situation. We certainly don't doubt Mr. Panic's intentions to try to do that, but it will be those kind of steps which will actually change the situation for the better and they need to be taken. We can't rely just on words. Q When does his 21-day waiver expire? MR. BOUCHER: I think it was a 30-day waiver. I think somebody asked us the other day, and I never got through -- I never talked to Treasury to get the exact time. Q I know the Secretary commented last week after the meeting in Helsinki. He talked about a 21-day waiver? MR. BOUCHER: I think it would be whatever it is in the Treasury license that he would have been given. I'll have to check again and see if we can get that information for you. Q What does that waiver actually entail? What does it allow him to do? MR. BOUCHER: Again, without knowing the details of exactly what it is, I think it's probably to spend money or to be able to transact business with the government that's under embargo. Q Richard, do you have any information -- MR. BOUCHER: Not necessarily commercial business, but I assume to pay for hotel rooms and to expend money in that place. Q And do you have any information that the arms embargo is being violated, specifically by Russian businessmen using the river system leading into Yugoslavia? MR. BOUCHER: I personally have not heard anything like that, Sid. Q Is that something you could check? MR. BOUCHER: I'll check on it. Is there something specific you want us to check out? Q Yeah, if you have information that the arms embargo is being violated by Russian businessmen using the river system leading into Yugoslavia? MR. BOUCHER: Is there any specific report of the kind of arms or who they're sending them to, where they're going to? Q They're sending them to the Serbians. MR. BOUCHER: To the Serbians? I'll see if we have anything. Q On another area, are you -- Q Sure.

[Iraq: Disputed Border With Kuwait/Continued Blocking of UN Team]

Q I would like to ask you about what's happening with Iraq. The Iraqis seem to be growing increasingly intransigent. As I understand it, they've now boycotted the final meeting on demarcation of borders with Kuwait, and they have said that there's no possibility of compromise on the standoff in front of their Agricultural Ministry. What exactly is the U.S. view of this? Do you view this as a serious threat to the sanctions that are imposed on Iraq and to U.N. activities in Iraq; that Iraq is now saying, "You can't go here. This is a no-go point." And that they're not accepting the border demarcations. MR. BOUCHER: The border demarcation, I have not looked into specifically. But, clearly, that was part of the United Nations resolution that Iraq accepted after the war that were part of the cease-fire resolutions. That Iraq accepted, and we would expect them -- as we do in all other cases involving the elements of those resolutions, we would expect them to comply. Let me tell you a little more about our views of the standoff in Baghdad. Since July 5, the Government of Iraq has prevented a U.N. Special Commission inspection team from carrying out an inspection at the Agriculture Ministry building in Baghdad. U.N. Security Council Resolutions 687 and 707 give the Special Commission the unqualified right to "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access" to any site it suspects contains items related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. The Security Council President's statement of July 6 declared Iraq's denial of access "a material and unacceptable breach of the provisions of U.N. Security Council Resolution 687," and thus, you see, it's not just a U.S. view, but rather it's the Security Council as a whole that sees this as a very -- it says "a material and an unacceptable breach." By continuing this type of violation, the Iraqi Government is putting at risk the cease-fire that concluded Operation Desert Storm. In fact, Secretary Baker spoke by telephone yesterday evening with U.N. Secretary General Boutros-Ghali to discuss with the U.N. leader Iraq's latest confrontation with the United Nations. The Secretary told Boutros-Ghali that Iraq must not be allowed to flout the authority of the Security Council and violate the requirements of the international community as expressed in the resolutions of the Security Council. Secretary Baker expressed our strong support for the U.N. Special Commission Chairman Rolf Ekeus who is working to resolve this situation. The United States is determined to see that Iraq meets all its international obligations under U.N. Security Council Resolution 687, and we are consulting with Chairman Ekeus and key coalition partners on steps to ensure that the U.N. Special Commission can do its vital job. Q What options does the U.N. have in a situation like this, Richard? The Iraqis are -- in fact, today you must have seen the wire stories that said there are -- the inspectors are now being subjected to more threats from people on the streets in Baghdad. What can the U.N. do? You already have a full range of sanctions imposed on the Iraqis. What more can you do if they simply say, "You can't go here," and I wonder if you could tell us a little bit what your thinking is on what happens if they succeed in this instance? If the inspectors simply have to give up and cannot enter this building, what is the importance of that? MR. BOUCHER: Well, I would call that last half of your question a hypothetical, because we're -- as I just said, we're very determined to see that Iraq is not allowed to break out of the requirements of the U.N. Security Council resolution. As far as what the options are, we are talking to -- as I said, to Chairman Ekeus about things that he is trying to do to resolve the situation, and we're talking to other countries about options. We always have options, but I'm not about to lay them out for you here. Q I mean, that's sort of a somber description. The New York Times account from Baghdad, for instance today says, "Without publicity, the U.N. has sharply increased its efforts to hunt down stockpiles and production sites of weapons of mass destruction. The first time the team inspectors went here or there, they found that there's no rebuilding of a nuclear facility." You give a different description of Iraq's behavior. MR. BOUCHER: Well, the description of Iraq's behavior is the description of what's going on in Baghdad. It's a description of this as a material and unacceptable breach of the resolution. Q That one site you're talking about. MR. BOUCHER: -- which has been agreed to by -- that was what the Security Council said about it, and I'm making very clear that we see this situation as serious, and we're determined to see that Iraq comply with the U.N. resolutions. Q What do you mean when you say the cease -- you didn't use the word "jeopardy," but I was sort of -- Q Putting at risk. Q Putting at risk. MR. BOUCHER: Putting at risk, the cease-fire -- Q Do you mean the United States will go to war with them? Who's putting -- what are you trying to -- I don't understand that sentence. MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to try to amplify on that sentence, Barry. As I said before, these are requirements of Resolution 687, which was the cease-fire resolution, and Iraq is being found in material breach of that resolution. Q An end of the cease-fire or a breach of the cease-fire could open the way for new hostilities, isn't that correct? MR. BOUCHER: I don't want to speculate on this kind of stuff, Mark. Q Isn't that technically what happens when -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't want to engage in speculation at this point. Q Richard, to follow up on what Barry said, it seems that overall Iraq is -- that there are a lot of other inspections going on in Iraq. There isn't a pattern of the Iraqis refusing entry. Why is it so important to get in this one building? If you've got inspectors running all over the country, and they're seeing all of the things that they want to see, why is this one building so important? MR. BOUCHER: Mary, I believe the United Nations had made clear why it felt it had to go into this building. They were looking for documents relating to ballistic missile capabilities and production. I think Ekeus gave a press conference about a week ago where he described the reasons for wanting to go into this building. What else is very important that these are key elements of U.N. Security Council resolutions; that it's important that the United Nations Special Commission -- that the inspectors be allowed to select the sites that they need to go to to do their work, and that they be allowed to do their work. I think it's important to all of us that, you know, one nuclear weapons or one pile of Scuds not be allowed to survive this process. The important thing is that this be a thorough process, as it was established by the United Nations, and the important thing is to see that the United Nations resolutions are respected. Q But, Richard, isn't it true that the Iraqis are allowing an awful lot of inspections and destruction? I mean, I've talked to the inspectors -- MR. BOUCHER: As we've seen many, many times throughout this process, going back over a year now, I believe, Iraq has made various disclosures and allowed certain things to be destroyed, allowed certain things to be inspected, allowed certain things to be documented, and then has tried to stop the process. And when the process then proceeded -- "cheat and retreat" is what we used to call it -- and when the process then proceeded, we found more. So it's important that this inspection be thorough, and it's also important as a matter of principle that the U.N. resolutions are complied with. Q And did you mean to imply that you don't -- MR. BOUCHER: We have others with questions. Q Do you have any comment or reaction to the Iraqi rejection or refusal to accept the sale of oil that was suggested by the United Nations formula? MR. BOUCHER: That's been a continuing problem. It's been a continuing problem not only vis-a-vis Iraq and the United Nations in terms of the United Nations having made a proposal which would allow for the humanitarian needs of the people of Iraq, but even more so it's been a continuing problem for the people of Iraq who have been suffering under a regime that's not willing to do what it takes to help them out. Q Why the insistence of having the oil to be shipped through Turkey instead of using the facilities that Iraq has in the ports -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't know the exact details of how the arrangements would be made, but I think the U.N. Security Council was very clear that it was making arrangements that would provide for the export of oil in order to take care of the humanitarian needs of the people of Iraq. And they had several meetings with Iraqis to try to work out the modalities of that. My understanding is that the Iraqis have not yet agreed. Q And is it true that $350 a day that inspectors receive if they are -- according to -- MR. BOUCHER: I have no idea. Q I gather that the Jordanians are allowing U.N. inspectors to monitor their border with Iraq. Do you have anything on that or reaction? MR. BOUCHER: I just saw a wire story on it. I don't know much about it. Q Do you think we can get an update, though, especially with Baker going out there, what the U.S. judgment now is of Jordanian compliance all around? I understand that the -- MR. BOUCHER: I know that Jordan recently has been taking some steps to make enforcement more effective, and that we welcome those kind of steps. I'm not sure I can get you anything more detailed, perhaps, until the trip, but I'll see if I can. Q An official yesterday, I think, used the word that, "We're angry at Jordan." Are we less angry by allowing the U.N. to inspect their borders? MR. BOUCHER: "An official?" This is the ubiquitous unnamed official? Q In a speech yesterday. Q No. It's a big guy. MR. BOUCHER: Oh. This is a real official with a name? Q A real official with a name. MR. BOUCHER: No. I don't have anything further to say on it. I'll see if there is any characterization of our attitude. I doubt if that's it. Q Richard, on the telephone in Wyoming, I wondered if you can give us any information, even to the extent of trout fishing catches or whatever, on Mr. Baker's time in Wyoming? He's gone fishing? Has he caught any fish? Has he found a way to keep in touch with the Democratic Convention, or is that sort of remote from his mind? MR. BOUCHER: I have not bothered the man with questions about how many fish he's caught, Barry. I'm sorry, but -- Q Well, has he caught more than the President? MR. BOUCHER: I think both he and the President spoke about it yesterday, and they described various kinds of fish in more detail that they were interested in. So I'll leave it at that. Q I think we ought to -- boastfully the Secretary said he'd probably catch more fish than the President, but there was a certain diplomatic ambiguity about it. MR. BOUCHER: I see. I'm not in a position to clarify that now. Q You don't have a catch total for us today? MR. BOUCHER: I don't, Barry. Q Do you know, by the way, seriously if he's able -- I don't know if he can hook up on this 17-acre rustic retreat with television, but is he able to watch the Democratic Convention? Does he plan to -- I know he's not into politics, but will he watch the convention? MR. BOUCHER: The only thing I've seen him say about the trip was that he was interested in fish rather than anything else. Q The President wants to watch the convention but Baker's not -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't -- you can ask some time later. Q Can we go to Israel and Occupied Territories? The President of the United States opposed -- since the United States is opposing new Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories, does it make any differentiation or effort to understand Mr. Rabin's rationale for security settlements and political settlements? MR. BOUCHER: That's an issue I'm afraid I don't have anything more to say on here. It's something that we had before. Q And if I continue: Do you favor a meeting in Jerusalem between the Palestinians and Jordanian representatives with the Israelis before the Rome talks and any progress there or after the Rome talks? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to get into that level of detail. I'm not aware of proposals like that, so I can't comment on it. Q Last but not least: When will the Rome talks take place? I understand that the Italians want it after the holiday after the summer vacation. MR. BOUCHER: I don't have a date for Rome. Q Do you have some more of those little details like where the Lebanese will hook up, and is it Aqaba or Amman? Just a few remaining details of the trip. MR. BOUCHER: I don't really have many remaining details on the trip. Staffs are still working on seeing if we can make arrangements for a meeting with the Lebanese. I think it's in Amman rather than Aqaba for the Jordanians, but we'll get you a schedule once things are firmed up. Q Richard, there -- MR. BOUCHER: Let's go back here. This lady's been -- Q Can you tell us anything about the trip that Dennis Ross made to Russia? How those talks went on a joint early warning system and global positioning system? MR. BOUCHER: I could. But rather than read you the two-page joint statement that we put out yesterday, I think I'd just like to give you a copy. Q Richard, back on the peace talks, there's a report out of Lebanon today that the Lebanese Foreign Minister is refusing to meet with Baker? Do you all have anything on that? MR. BOUCHER: That's not exactly the report I saw, but in any case, no, all I would say is that we've been working -- staffs have been working on trying to make arrangements that work for both sides. Certainly we'd like to meet with him, and Secretary Baker has met with him often in the past. We're still trying to work on arrangements. Q Well, has he said he won't meet with Baker? Have you all -- MR. BOUCHER: At this point I'd just say we're still working on it. Chris. Q The U.N. is taking up South Africa today. What does the United States want to happen at that session? MR. BOUCHER: I think Margaret described in some length yesterday what we were looking forward to from this session. I'll do it a little more briefly and try to update you. We've been in consultations with a variety of delegations, including many African, non-aligned and Security Council members on the text of a resolution. The resolution would express the Council's concern for the violence in South Africa and would call for a U.N. role in consulting with all the South African parties on the issue of violence, and how to get the parties back to the negotiating table. The details are being discussed, we think, in a constructive and a positive atmosphere. In this context, U.S. officials have met with a wide range of African leaders on the issue, including South African Government officials as well as representatives of the ANC and other members of the negotiating process in South Africa. Q What is the U.S. position on re-imposing sanctions on Pretoria? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have anything new on that. Q Thank you. Q Do you have anything on Nablus is under siege now, prior to Secretary Baker's visit to the West Bank? MR. BOUCHER: I guess I would say just briefly that we're certainly aware of the situation. We understand that the ICRC and UNRWA are trying to work to resolve the situation peacefully. Our Embassy and Consulate in Jerusalem have been in touch with both sides -- various parties out there. We've been urging people to resolve this peacefully, and we're urging them to exercise maximum restraint. Q Could I go back to Iraq for just a second. You wouldn't be using this language about putting at risk the cease-fire just based on the one standoff at the Agricultural Ministry, would you? And haven't the Iraqis indicated at the U.N. that they are just -- they are not going to cooperate any more across a broad front of things, and they are -- it's over. They feel like they cooperated. Now they're not going to any more. MR. BOUCHER: Chris, I'm not aware of any specific statement to that effect by the Iraqis. Certainly they have at various times pleaded or asked for the lifting of sanctions and claimed they were in compliance. I think they've done this now for more than a year that they've made such statements, claiming they were in compliance, and every time it was found that in fact they weren't. There was more to be found; there was more to be destroyed. And, as Mary pointed out, there are various things that Iraq is doing that are not in compliance with the understandings and the agreement of the Iraqi Government to the U.N. Security Council resolution. But the issue of inspections in Baghdad is a very important one. Q How do you consider the enclave -- the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq as a result of after the elections and the extension of the stay of the United Nations forces in Turkey for another six months. There are some apprehensions that this is a de facto partition or cutting that part from Iraq. MR. BOUCHER: I think we've expressed our views on that before at the time the elections were held. We certainly don't believe in the partitioning of Iraq, we continue to believe in its territorial integrity, and those elections, I believe, were for local administrative offices, and we didn't think they conflicted with that policy. Q But you favor that the Iraqi Kurds in northern Iraq negotiate their -- whatever grievances with the central government in Baghdad, or what do you favor? MR. BOUCHER: Well, we would favor that everybody in Iraq gets to decide their future peacefully through elections. Q Richard, did you mean to imply when you answered the question on the border demarcation dispute, that that's somehow not as important as the dispute at the Agriculture Ministry? MR. BOUCHER: I didn't mean to imply that, Mary. I meant to imply that I hadn't really prepared anything in detail of that. That, too, is a key part of the U.N. resolution and needs to be carried out. Q Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 12:46 p.m.)