US Department of State Daily Briefing #116 Monday, 8/17/92

Boucher Source: State Department Deputy Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: Aug, 17 19928/17/92 Category: Briefings Region: E/C Europe, MidEast/North Africa, Subsaharan Africa, Caribbean Country: Yugoslavia (former), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, USSR (former), Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Israel Subject: Regional/Civil Unrest, Military Affairs, Development/Relief Aid, United Nations, International Organizations, Human Rights, State Department, OAS, Democratization, Trade/Economics 12:43 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Good to see you here. Let me do a few updates off the top. I'd like to say -- just mention, first of all, that the Monday update on assistance to the New Independent States will available in writing in the Press Office. I'd like to give you some updates since some things are going on Somalia, and with regard to the Yugoslavia initiative. So let me do Somalia first.

[Somalia: Update on Humanitarian Aid]

On Saturday, we began an airlift with an ICRC aircraft that delivered 130 metric tons to Bidouba. This is one of the up-country flights that we talked about last week. The President, as you know, made some decisions and put out a statement on Friday about additional support for the humanitarian needs in Somalia. The World Food Program now has plans for airlifts into identified secure airports in the interior. They're pulling together the appropriate supplies for more airlifts this week, and the ICRC, as I said, is also airlifting food. Seaports are being used but security problems are impeding the ability of the non-governmental organizations to get supplies from the port to the needy people. That's why the U.N. and now the United States are focusing on airlifts to targeted areas outside of Mogadishu. Once the U.N. guards are deployed, we hope greater use of the ports will be possible. We have already started moving additional personnel and lift capacity to Kenya in order to speed up this airlift of support to Somalia. And on the airlift of the guards, we're in touch with both the United Nations and the Government of Pakistan concerning the President's offer to airlift the 500-man Pakistani contingent to Somalia. We're working with the Pakistani Government to arrange the guards airlift as quickly as possible. And, finally, we'll do a briefing here tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. on humanitarian assistance efforts and the situation in Somalia. The briefers will be both State Department and AID people, including Andrew Natsios, who is the Coordinator for Assistance to Somalia. So it will be tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. here. Q Is that on the record?

[Former Yugoslavia: ICRC Visits to Detention Centers/ US Support and Update]

MR. BOUCHER: On the record, yes. I guess I'll go straight into Yugoslavia. And then if we have questions on Somalia, we can go back and forth, or other things that you might want to ask. On Yugoslavia, let me run down the initiatives that we started a week or so ago and tell you where we are. The latest information we have on ICRC visits to detention centers is as of August 13, which was last Thursday. At that point, they had visited 12 detention centers, holding a total of 7,960 people. As you know, those included detention centers operated by all three sides. We continue to support the ICRC's efforts to gain full access. And, as you know, last week, we obtained statements of strong support for the ICRC access from the U.N. Security Council, from the U.N. Human Rights Commission and from the CSCE Committee of Senior Officials meeting that took place as well, and I believe a number of other governments have expressed their support for that and made demarches similar to our own. On the U.N. Human Rights Commission: Last Friday, they adopted a consensus resolution on the human rights situation in what used to be Yugoslavia. The resolution strongly condemns all violations of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, especially in Bosnia-Hercegovina. The resolution appoints a special investigator on the human rights situation there. He is to report by August 28 to the Commission and to the Secretary General. The Commission's chairman announced at the end of the special session that he was appointing Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a former Prime Minister of Poland, as the Special Investigator. Now, this appointment must be endorsed by a resumed session of the U.N. Economic and Social Council. That session is now scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10:00, and we'll be, obviously, seeking the endorsement of the appointment there. The Human Rights Center in Geneva is assembling a support team to assist the Special Investigator, who is mandated to make an immediate visit to the former Yugoslavia and report back on August 28, or by August 28. The U.S. stands ready, of course, to provide any assistance or cooperation that he might need in preparing his report. The CSCE Committee of Senior Officials met August 13-15 in Prague at the U.S. request to consider President Bush's August 6 proposals on former Yugoslavia. They adopted a series of measures based fully on the President's proposals, which implement his ideas and initiate a program of action. The program includes the following elements: The meeting strongly and repeatedly condemned Serbia, particularly for human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing. They decided to dispatch human rights rapporteur missions to Bosnia immediately with the primary mission of gaining access to detention camps. They called for consideration of the creation of safehavens in Bosnia. They agreed to dispatch CSCE long duration mission to Kosovo, Sandjak, and Vojvodina. They welcomed EC efforts to place monitors in neighboring countries of former Yugoslavia to help prevent the spread of tension, and will consider material support from the CSCE for that. They decided to explore with the authorities in Skopje the dispatch of similar missions under CSCE auspices. They requested that the Chairman in Office examine means of strengthening U.N. sanctions against Serbia, including the deployment of technicians. They prepared a response to the U.N. Secretary General's letter of July 31 to the CSCE on the former Yugoslavia, which commits the CSCE to help the U.N. carry out peacekeeping activities, including the monitoring of heavy weapons in Bosnia. They endorsed the trip of the the Czechoslovak CSCE Chairman in Office -- that's Foreign Minister Moravic -- to former Yugoslavia to convey a strong political message to the Serbian authorities and to expedite the CSCE decisions that I've outlined above. They called on the Chairman in Office to report on the above actions to the London EC Conference on the former Yugoslavia which begins on August 26. And, finally, they decided that the CSCE steering group on the former Yugoslavia would remain in permanent session in Vienna to monitor the situation and that an ad hoc group would be established at the Conflict Prevention Center in Vienna to examine further possible CSCE contributions to peacekeeping. On the rapporteur mission itself, that was decided, as I mentioned, on August 15. We will press for the mission to leave within the next week to ten days. It's primary mission will be, in close coordination with the ICRC and the U.N. Human Rights Commission, to inspect all alleged places of detention in the shortest possible time. The rapporteur mission is to report back to the CSCE by the next Senior Officials meeting which is now scheduled in Prague on September 16. But, obviously, some results might be available before then. On diplomatic relations: On Tuesday, last week, the Governments of Croatia and Slovenia accepted our proposal for diplomatic relations. On Friday, the Government of Bosnia-Hercegovina accepted our proposal. Their acceptances put into effect our formal establishment of full diplomatic relations. We're working to open missions at the earliest possible date. The President, of course, will announce his selections for U.S. Ambassadors to those countries. For you flag aficionados, we've removed from the Main State Department lobby the flag from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and we're now displaying the flags from Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia. Q When did you do that? MR. BOUCHER: I think that was done this morning. Sanctions monitoring, and particularly with regard to Romania: We're continuing to work with the Government of Romania, with our NATO and with our NACC partners to put international teams of sanctions monitors in place in Romania as soon as possible. The meeting is now scheduled for August 19 in Brussels. I would note as well that the CSCE in Prague also called for the CSCE to consider ways to assist states bordering on Serbia to enforce sanctions monitoring, including by placing teams on neighboring territories, and this decision will be reviewed again by the CSCE on September 16. There's two things going on with that. Q Richard, can you go back a step? On Serbia, my recollection was that the United States pulled its ambassador out, but never formally broke relations. Am I wrong? MR. BOUCHER: I'd have to go back in the legal language. But, basically, what we've said is that we don't recognize them as the successor state and that they have to, for example, in the United Nations and elsewhere, that they have to qualify for membership as a separate state. Q But we still have diplomatic representation in Belgrade? We still have representatives in Belgrade who are active and doing whatever they can to help the needy, to stop the fighting, and things like that. Q But do you have relations with Belgrade? MR. BOUCHER: Can we go on and just finish up on NATO and another couple things? And then if you want to ask more of these questions, I'll be glad to go back to them. On NATO, the North Atlantic Council met on Friday to continue discussions on recent developments in the former Yugoslavia. The allies expressed support for the relevant U.N. resolutions and all efforts to implement those resolutions. The Council considered the preliminary contingency planning undertaken by the Military Committee to review how the alliance might support the U.N. Security Council resolutions. The Council directed the Military Committee to continue its work on a range of options, including how NATO might contribute most effectively to the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 770, and asked the Military Committee to report back by August 24. NATO is establishing liaison with the CSCE and the Western European Union to facilitate appropriate coordination of efforts. We will continue to review within NATO, the CSCE and other international fora, and bilaterally possible next steps to implement the U.N. Security Council's "all necessary measures" resolution. However, no final decisions have been made about how that is going to be done. And, finally, if I can, I'd like to go through flights and convoys. On Friday, August 14, there were 24 relief flights that delivered 297 metric tons of humanitarian aid to Sarajevo. On August 15, there were 17 flights that delivered a 189.6 metric tons; and on August 16, 15 flights delivered 200 metric tons. Cloud cover and mechanical problems affected the number of flights into Sarajevo on August 15-16. The U.S. flew five of the flights on August 14. We carried a total of 60.9 metric tons. On August 15, the U.S. flew two flights carrying 21.4 metric tons; and August 16, the U.S. flew two flights which delivered 27 tons of MREs. And on convoys, the UNHCR reported that the land convoy to Gorazde of eight trucks and their armored personnel carrier escorts returned to Sarajevo safely after being halted August 16 by land mines. The convoy reportedly delivered 46 metric tons of food and 10 metric tons of medical supplies. A UNHCR spokesman said that the agency will attempt to send additional convoys to Gorazde, but must first evaluate the success of the convoy that just returned. It is already clear that better UNHCR/UNPROFOR communications are needed. UNHCR's land convoy planning cell began its work last week and is preparing recommendations on communications and other issues. The UNHCR reported that the food situation in Gorazde was not as bad as it had expected but that, nonetheless, significant amounts of food supplies are needed. There is also a desperate need for medical supplies. The U.N. reported that it found great destruction in Gorazde as well. UNHCR-Zagreb reported that a four-truck convoy left for Banja Luka today with 40 metric tons of bulk food. There was a weekend convoy to Sarajevo from Split. They returned to Split on August 16 with no problems. The convoy to Konjic and Prozor from Split is scheduled for August 18. UNHCR-Zagreb reported that last week a small convoy to northern Krajina delivered blankets and some food, mostly to the Banja Luka area. This week, three to four trucks are set to go to the Knin area. Their exact destinations are not yet specified. I'll stop with those updates and go back to questions. Q I'm wondering if the United States has broken relations with Belgrade? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, we removed our Ambassador. We have said that they're not the successor state. We maintain representatives in Belgrade who are active in trying to resolve the conflict. We have discussed these questions of legal status and accreditation before, and there's really been no change in it. Q I guess I don't know if the United States has relations with Belgrade. I know what you've done, but you have abandoned embassies all over the world without breaking relations. So I just wanted to close the chapter here if -- MR. BOUCHER: I'll see if there is a legalistic sort of answer I can get you. But in practical terms, we have people there. They continue to meet with members of the Serbian and Montenegrin governments and anyone else that they feel they can meet with in order to try to get humanitarian relief in, try to get access to camps, and try to help resolve this situation. Q Did you say that the CSCE rapporteur wasn't going for another 10 days? MR. BOUCHER: We said that we were urging that he go within a week or 10 days, I think it was. Q I'm just curious. If the Red Cross is on the ground already and you've got -- MR. BOUCHER: The U.N., hopefully, is going shortly. But there has to be a confirmation by ECOSAC tomorrow. Q Right. But isn't this guy gong to be behind -- MR. BOUCHER: Once that is done, he should be able to go immediately. We will be pressing for him to go in as soon as possible. This was what was given to me as a real expectation of when he might go. I don't know if that has to do with his schedule or the CSCE. But, certainly, we will press for people to go as soon as possible. Q The London Conference: At what level is the United States going to be represented? MR. BOUCHER: Mr. Eagleburger will represent the United States. Q And when is he going to be leaving? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have an exact travel schedule for him yet. We'll have to see. Q Richard, on a similar vein, you said that NATO had referred contingency planning to its Military Committee to report back on the 24th. That sort of signals Serbia that it doesn't have to worry any time soon? MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't say that. I would stick with what the President has been saying, that he, certainly, for one, doesn't rule out any options. He has said that his hope is that we can work things through the United Nations; use moral persuasion to get the camps open, that we can get the humanitarian relief in there with cooperation, if that is possible. My understanding that at the WEU meeting that was held last week, that they also mandated a group to work this week and report back on the 24th. We're also discussing this directly with other allies, so there's a whole variety of discussion going on. All options are open, as the President said yesterday. Q Does that suggest that the Administration has made a determination that at the moment force is not needed to get humanitarian supplies in? MR. BOUCHER: No, I wouldn't say that. The President has expressed his hope that we could maintain the relief effort through cooperation. But, certainly, the all measures necessary resolution would include both military and non-military measures. We're talking to our allies on a wide range of options involving both non-military and military measures. Q Richard, today Serbian military commanders are saying that on these convoys, particularly this one that just went into Gorazde, that they're bringing in weapons. Is there any -- and that there has also been three air drops of weapons to the Bosnian defenders. Can you comment on that all? MR. BOUCHER: I've seen those charges made in press accounts. I've described to you what is our best information about what these convoys have been carrying. The convoy to Gorazde, I think, specifically carried 46 metric tons of food and 10 metric tons of medical supplies. I'm sure you can check with the UNHCR and UNPROFOR to get any more details you want on that. But I have never seen anything that would give those charges any credibility. Q Has U.S. policy gotten far enough to get a position on rearming these people? Do we have a position on it at all? MR. BOUCHER: I think -- you mean lifting the arms embargo in Bosnia? Q Right. MR. BOUCHER: I think we've addressed that several times before and said that we didn't want to do anything that could only increase the violence and bloodshed. Q Richard, on Somalia, has the food that was authorized by the President Friday started flowing yet? And do you have any estimate of when, if not? MR. BOUCHER: The 145,000 tons? I don't know exactly. I will try to get the briefers to give an update on that tomorrow. Some of these flights have started under the ICRC, and we are moving air assets and personnel into Kenya to support additional flights into the interior. The airplanes and people are being moved down there already. There is food. We've provided, I think, $77 million is the total amount of assistance that we've been providing. I think there is food. The problem has been distribution, either getting it from protected areas to the people that need it or getting it to places in the interior, so that is what's being done. Q The Pentagon airlift has not actually started; is that correct? MR. BOUCHER: I'd have to double-check and see whose airplanes are being used for this. But assets and aircraft and personnel are being moved into the area. Whether this flight on Saturday was actually a U.S. plane or not, I don't know at this point. Q Are we taking any action in the Security Council on Somalia? If they run into trouble with some of these clans, are they going to seek all measures necessary type resolution? MR. BOUCHER: The President, on Friday, in his statement -- or White House statement -- referred to the fact that we would seek a resolution involving the possibility of additional measures. We're in consultations, I think, this afternoon. We have consultations scheduled for the Five Permanent Members of the Security Council who will discuss that.

[Iraq: US Consulatons at UN/US Support for Inspection Teams]

Q Richard, can you tell us what steps the U.S. is taking vis-a-vis Iraq if we are going to try to limit their flying of aircraft; we're going to protect some of the Kurds? Would you bring us up to speed on that? MR. BOUCHER: At this point, I think all I can tell you is that we're talking to other governments. We continue to consult with other members of the coalition on ways to ensure Iraqi compliance with Resolution 688 and all other resolutions. You know what the President said yesterday: That the U.S. has plans to be sure that Saddam Husayn does what he's supposed to do, and that is comply fully with Resolution 687 and also with 688 which refers to the brutalization of his own people. We've not ruled out any option. We're continuing to consult closely with our coalition partners. Q Richard, that's pretty much the same text as you were reading to us a few weeks ago. Have these consultations pointed in a certain direction? Is there anything about that? MR. BOUCHER: Howard, these consultations have been ongoing. We've had productive exchanges with these other governments, but at this point I'm not prepared to specify any particular direction for them. Q Has the situation changed in southern Iraq itself? MR. BOUCHER: Not appreciably. The situation is that over the past several days there's been a significant amount of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter activity in the south. I'm not able to give you details of those operations because of intelligence sources. The army continues its combat operations against civilians in the south. Saddam Husayn's brutal actions against the citizens of Iraq we think are flagrant violations of U.N. Security Council Resolution 688. You know the information that was presented by the U.N.'s rapporteur last week -- Max van der Stoel -- to the U.N. Security Council session, and there was additional information presented by Ambassador Perkins. These violations are of great concern to the United States, and we think they should be to all members of the international community. As I said, we continue to consult with other members of the coalition on ways to ensure Iraqi compliance. Q Richard, you just mentioned the army. It's quite obvious how an air cap or a "no-fly zone" would affect the use of -- Iraq's use of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters against its own people. But how -- maybe I'm missing something -- but how would that kind of a cap -- which, of course, you haven't acknowledged the U.S. is considering, but it is -- how would that be a shield against ground assaults on the Shi'ite people? MR. BOUCHER: Well, as you, yourself, noted, Barry, I have not gotten into specifying the options that may be under consideration and the factors that may go into our consideration of different options. We have not ruled out any options, and we're continuing to consult closely with our allies. Q Richard, back on these flights, you said over the past several days there's been a significant amount of fixed-wing and helicopter activity in the south. MR. BOUCHER: That's right. Q Usually it's a question of whether this is proficiency flying, as in training, or whether it's attacks on Shi'ite villages. Can you tell us which this is? MR. BOUCHER: I can't. My people have asked me not to go further into it, because it deals with their sources of information. Q Richard, could you tell us something about the inspection that just concluded today? Are you disappointed that it went off without a hitch and there was no confrontation? (Laughter) MR. BOUCHER: Mary, we really have to leave this one to the U.N. Special Commission. We understand that they've finished their work. You'll have to get more details about what they accomplished -- I think the reports I've seen in the press from the head of this team said that he thinks they did accomplish something in their work this time, and, of course, they'll be reporting, as appropriate. They're the ones who choose what to inspect and when to inspect it, and we think their work is very important, and we fully support it. Q Are you satisfied with how this inspection went? MR. BOUCHER: We fully support what the Special Commission does. I don't have a full and detailed readout on this particular inspection at this point. They have said to the press that they are confident, I think, that they have accomplished something; that they have gotten useful information through their work, and we fully support what they're doing. Q Richard, yesterday the President said that the New York Times' story actually as a breach of security. Do you have any indication that the U.N. inspection team might have changed its plans because of the report of what they were about to do and what the United States was then about to do? MR. BOUCHER: That's something you'd have to ask them. Q You don't want to comment at all about the possibility of a breach of security? I mean, the President did say there was one. MR. BOUCHER: I think the President did, and, of course, I'm not -- you know, he said that, and it's true. But as far as whether the inspection team changed their plans, anything regarding the sites that they planned to visit or did visit is really in their bailiwick. The President said very clearly, "What they elect to inspect and when they do these inspections is strictly for their decision. The U.S. role is to provide support for their efforts." So I support their efforts, but, if you want to know what they elected to inspect and when they did that, you'll have to go to them. Q Isn't it true that the United States provides much of the intelligence to the inspection team so that they know what they're looking for partly because of what we tell them? MR. BOUCHER: We provide a lot of support to the U.N. Special Commission. We always have. We've made no secret of it. We've provided information to them. We've provided personnel to them, and we'll continue to support them. Q I notice that their inspection spokesman said today that they were able to visit all of the places that they had planned to do prior to their departure, but there was a report at the end of the week that the United States had provided additional intelligence to them at the end of the week. So are those two things linked? MR. BOUCHER: We provide information to them on a continuing basis. But, if you want to ask about their plans and if they've changed their plans, you have to ask them. Q Richard, can you tell us, is the United States eager for the special teams to inspect more ministries? MR. BOUCHER: Mary, once again, what they elect to inspect and when they do these inspections is strictly for their decision. That's a statement by the President yesterday. I'm not going to characterize in any way what they should or should not be doing. We think that they're doing an excellent job. They are continuing their efforts, and we support their efforts. Q But is there a basis for their doing that, can we assume? MR. BOUCHER: Excuse me? Q I say, is there always a rationale, apart from asserting their right or any wish to challenge Husayn? Every time they seek access to a place, are they seeking the access because of some suspicion or some evidence, or are they just -- or do they sometimes simply affirm their authority by -- I hate to use the word willy-nilly -- but by just saying, "We're going to here, we're going to go there, let us in," just to show that they can go where they can go? MR. BOUCHER: Again, Barry, that's a question you have to ask them, how they choose their targets for inspection. They have a mandate from the U.N. Security Council to uncover, identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and that's what they do. Q Well, the U.S. is "them" in a sense, so it really isn't a misplaced question. The U.S. is very much in the driver's seat of this -- MR. BOUCHER: We're very much supporting them in a variety of ways, many of which I've specified for you, many of which we've -- I mean, all of which we've talked about in the past. Q All right. To move one step further -- MR. BOUCHER: But they make the decision. Q O.K. See if you can go an inch further. Does the United States indicate or select or name places for them to look at? Or do they make those decisions -- based sometimes on information the U.S. provides -- but is the site their choice? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, might I quote to you what the President said yesterday on this subject. Q No. No politics involved here if you're going to quote him. MR. BOUCHER: "What they elect to inspect and when they do these inspections is strictly for their decision. The U.N. makes these decisions. Dr. Ekeus makes these calls. He has our full confidence, and what he plans to do next is his business. That's not something that's done by the United States." Q Can I go back to the fixed-wing aircraft in the south? Is there any evidence that the frequency of those flights has increased in recent days? MR. BOUCHER: I think I have to limit myself to the way I described it. I described it as a significant amount of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter activity. Q Richard, the point is Ambassador Perkins made a strong and rather detailed statement last Tuesday -- MR. BOUCHER: That's right. Q -- and I guess what some of us are driving at is since there seems to be a new confrontation building, now that the inspections have been carried out, is your information -- is there any acceleration in any of these -- what he calls a "reign of terror." Is there any acceleration of that since he made his statement? For instance, he had in his statement that Saddam Husayn ordered his military people to torch these villages. That's an ambiguous statement. I don't know if they carried it out, or we've intercepted those orders, and they've subsequently been carried our, or they've been stopped? In other words, we're interested in the most recent -- if there's a buildup in these acts in the last few days literally? MR. BOUCHER: Well, that's why I tried to describe to you that over the past several days there has been a significant amount of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter activity in the south. The Iraqi army's pressure against the people in the marshes continues. They continue their practices of making forays of intimidation of people. There have been skirmishes that continue to occur, so that the military pressure on the population in the south has continued. Ambassador Perkins and Rapporteur van der Stoel last week described in somewhat greater detail many of the things that have gone on over the past several weeks. Q Would the U.S. or the coalition require explicit Security Council authority to impose a no-fly zone over portions of southern Iraq? MR. BOUCHER: At this point I think I have to say that in regard to that specific question or that specific option that it's hypothetical, but my understanding is that we're not anticipating any further Security Council action with regard to those measures in 688. Q Well, the relevant measures are -- 688 is not under Chapter VII, I believe, so it doesn't entail any enforcement mechanism. So in that case are you going to simply arbitrarily by fiat declare -- would you simply declare it under the authority that you have the aircraft to keep them from flying, as is done in the north? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any -- I don't have a copy of 688 with me, so I can't do a legal explanation of it for you. But my understanding is that we're not intending -- at this point we don't anticipate any further Security Council action on this subject relevant to 688, but we are consulting with various governments about different options to ensure Iraqi compliance with this and other resolutions. Q And you are consulting specifically on this action in New York at this -- last Friday with the Security Council members, so what -- do you expect them to do anything else in connection with this? You don't need authority per se. Is this just a matter of going through all the diplomatic channels? MR. BOUCHER: At this point I'm just -- all I can really tell you is that we don't anticipate any further Security Council action on the south at this point. Q All right, but can we push you just a trifle further -- that's my understanding, too, as you described it. But will there be a declaration? Is there an anticipation of some statement by the allies? In other words, you know, there have been reports -- some of us -- several of us are hearing, you don't need a new resolution. You think you have what you need, even though you don't have an enforcement clause in 688. But the question arises, will the allies make some declaration, do you think, telling Saddam Husayn again that they don't like the way he's been treating his own people? MR. BOUCHER: That gets back into the questions of what these various reports about what we are going or not going to do about the problem created in the south by Saddam Husayn's army, and its pressure on the people who are living down there, particularly in the marshes. And at this point I don't want to go into one particular scenario or another for you. I'd just say that we're consulting with our allies. We're consulting on a variety of options, and that these consultations that are devoted to how to achieve our common goal that we see Iraq comply with Resolution 688 and with the other relevant Security Council resolutions. Q The situation in the south has been going on for some time now. When the senior Iraqi opposition group met with the Secretary -- Secretary Baker -- several weeks back, that one of the actions they asked for was to shut down the airspace, because the people there were under such attacks. Is there any sense of urgency in moving ahead now? Do you have a sense of what timing will be involved, because again this has been a problem that's been going on for some period of time? MR. BOUCHER: It's been a problem that's been going on for some time, but I would really refer you to the van der Stoel report last week to the United Nations and Ambassador Perkins' statement. It's clear that the Iraqi repression of its population in the south has accelerated in recent weeks. I've said that it continues to be a problem in terms of repression and brutal suppression of people in terms of military action -- Iraqi military action. I can't predict any precise timing, but it is a serious concern -- violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions are a serious concern to us, and that are obviously causing great harm to the people in the south. Q Richard, to follow up on that question, then why haven't you done something? I mean, you say that it's getting worse and you're just continuing to consult with your allies. I mean, what's the problem here? What is keeping you from doing something about this? You can't decide what to do? The allies have disagreements? Why hasn't there been a decision? You've been coming out here for weeks saying, "We're consulting with allies." Is there a problem with the allies, Richard? MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't describe any particular problem. I think we all share the concern about the problems that are in the south, and, when we have something to announce, we'll announce it. Q So, Richard, why haven't you had anything to announce? What is the hang-up? MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't describe any particular hang-up, Mary, but I'm not about to prematurely get out and announce anything in particular. Q Richard, the current Newsweek says that when Mr. Ekeus was here recently, he told Deputy Secretary Eagleburger that they were planning some surprise inspections in Iraq, and the article either explicitly or by inference suggests that the United States approved this course of action. Did he make such statements to the Secretary, and, if so, what was the U.S. response? MR. BOUCHER: I really think that questions on the inspections that they might be undertaking are properly left to the Special Commission, and I think you ought to ask Mr. Ekeus. Q Well, this one involves the Special Commission -- MR. BOUCHER: Obviously -- let me say one more thing, Don, and that is that they have the authority to go anywhere, anytime that they feel it's necessary to go to carry out their inspections. They have done surprise inspections or very short-notice inspections in the past, and we would certainly expect them to continue doing that as long as it contributes to their work. Q Did he tell them that? MR. BOUCHER: That's a question you'll have to ask him, since you're putting words in his mouth. Q Richard, on the subject of consultations, you've indicated that Mr. Eagleburger is going to the London conference on Yugoslavia. Will that trip involve any other consultations on other subjects in London or other places? MR. BOUCHER: I have no idea at this point, Barrie. We'll get you more information on the trip closer to the trip. Q What are the dates of that, that he will be attending that conference? MR. BOUCHER: I think the London conference is from the 26th to the 28th, but I was asked before if I could specify when he'd be leaving and when he'd be getting back, and I just can't at this point. Q When you talked about consulting on Iraq with coalition partners, could you be a little more specific? Does that include -- we know who are in the coalition. This is not just Britain and France, the usual people you consult on U.N. resolutions. Are you consulting with the Saudis and other Arab partners? MR. BOUCHER: At this point, Barry, I'm afraid I'm not in a position to give you a list. Q Richard, a little under -- Q Just the region would help. I mean -- MR. BOUCHER: We're discussing -- Q You hardly do anything without consulting with the British and the French -- MR. BOUCHER: We're discussing this issue with other members of the Security Council and other governments as well. Q Richard, a little under half of the standing U.S. air forces in the region are in Turkey at Incirlik Air Base. To use those planes in any other mission, other than Provide Comfort, would require special permission from the Turkish Parliament. Have we requested that permission? MR. BOUCHER: I think that gets into details of discussions with other governments that I'm not prepared to go into at this point, Sid. I'm sorry.

[Haiti: US/OAS Efforts at Political Settlement]

Q Can we do Haiti? MR. BOUCHER: Sure. Q What do you have on the meeting -- MR. BOUCHER: What do you want to know? Q There are meetings upcoming in Haiti involving U.S., U.N., OAS officials, and I'd like to know what you have on that one. MR. BOUCHER: O.K. Let me give you a little context, and then tell you about the meeting. We and the OAS are working to bring about a negotiation that can result in a political settlement in Haiti. There have been no new developments on the embargo at this point. Obviously, we hope a political settlement can be reached as quickly as possible so the embargo can be lifted and so that Haiti can resume badly needed trade and economic development. OAS Secretary General Baena Soares and eight OAS Ambassadors, including the U.S. Ambassador to the OAS, will travel to Haiti tomorrow. The Secretary General's mission will meet with all sectors of Haitian society to promote a dialogue leading to the resumption of a democratic process in Haiti. We urge all Haitian leaders to work constructively with the OAS mission in search for a solution. Q Have you looked into that incident last week where some returned boat people appeared to have been put under arrest by the security people in Haiti? MR. BOUCHER: I think we had something for you on Friday afternoon when that occurred. There was a group of people who came back. The police questioned them, and I think they said it was in regard to finding out who had organized it. They had some suspicion that the boat might be stolen, and that there might be other irregularities associated with it. I think it was a small number of people that they actually detained at the end of it. Q Do you have anything on U.N. involvement in this mission? MR. BOUCHER: Not at this point. No. Q Could you take the question? MR. BOUCHER: I'll check and see. Q On a different topic, do you have anything on the sale of remotely-piloted aircraft by Israel to India? MR. BOUCHER: No. Q Do you have anything on the arrival of the Israeli negotiating team on the Dotan affair? MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't. I'll have to see if there is such a team. Q Could I have a follow-up on that? There's a report that Molly Williamson in Jerusalem talked with Saeb Erekat and other members of the Palestinian delegation concerning the terms and conditions for the loan guarantee, and they're now considering those in Tunis and going to consider it in Damascus. Will you be issuing any details on that before the 24th of August? MR. BOUCHER: I hadn't been led to expect by anyone in this building that I would be issuing any details of that, and I'll have to check on this report that Molly may have sat down with some people and told them about it. Of course, the President and Prime Minister gave a readout in Kennebunkport of their discussions up there. Q Well, Richard, I thought you had already sent up the legislation. MR. BOUCHER: My understanding is that the President started the consultations with Congress last week with a Congressional leadership meeting, and that we weren't planning on putting out any further details of our discussions with the Israelis until we have finished out consultations with the Congress on the subject. Q So you don't anticipate putting forward any legislation before the 24th? MR. BOUCHER: I don't anticipate putting forth any details. That's all I know. Q Thank you. MR. BOUCHER: Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 1:24 p.m.)