US Department of State Daily Briefing #137: Wednesday, 9/30/92

Boucher Source: State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: Sep, 29 19929/29/92 Category: Briefings Region: Subsaharan Africa, E/C Europe, Caribbean, MidEast/North Africa, Europe, South America, Eurasia Country: Yugoslavia (former), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, Somalia, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, South Korea, North Korea, Russia, Iran, Germany, Brazil, Hungary, Tajikistan, Haiti, Romania Subject: Regional/Civil Unrest, Military Affairs, Development/Relief Aid, United Nations, Human Rights, Democratization, POW/MIA Issues 12:33 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MR. BOUCHER: First of all, an administrative announcement, then a Yugoslav update and then a Somalia update, and then we'll take questions. First, the administrative announcement is that tomorrow, October 1, the Acting Secretary is hosting the U.S.-Australian Ministerial Meeting here in the building. At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Eagleburger, Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Gareth Evans, and Australian Defense Minister Robert Ray, will hold a joint press conference. The press conference will be about 1:50 p.m, upstairs in the Benjamin Franklin Room. And in honor of the occasion, we won't have a regular press briefing here tomorrow. Q That's awful flimsy. MR. BOUCHER: It's a press conference by the Acting Secretary. Q Do you think "Australia" wipes away all our questions about Yugoslavia? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, I'd be very happy to see you ask some questions about Australia. Q We'll ask him and embarrass the Australians. Q It won't be restricted to the purpose of the bilateral, will it? MR. BOUCHER: The purpose, in our minds, of holding the press conference is so that we can tell you all about the bilateral with the Australians. I don't know if that's going to coincide with the purpose in your minds. Q Is there going to be a pick-up time? MR. BOUCHER: I haven't worked out the administrative arrangements, but we'll have them for you later.

On Yugoslavia:

The humanitarian assistance airlift to Sarajevo, as you know, remains suspended but efforts are being made to resume the flights. In response to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees request for participating governments to consider resumption of the Sarajevo airlift and to an urgent appeal from former Secretary Vance to the Acting Secretary for a U.S. lead in resuming the humanitarian airlift, the United States is prepared to restart the airlift in conjunction with other nations and we have informed Mrs. Ogata, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, of this. As far as land convoys go, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Split sent an eight-truck, 56-ton convoy into Sarajevo on Monday, and that convoy went safely. Also on Monday, and also from Split, there was a 15-truck, 81-ton convoy to Vitez, and a five-truck, 40-ton convoy to Konic. Yesterday, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in [agreb sent a two-truck, 44-ton convoy to Banja Luka. Those are the basic facts on Yugoslavia. Q Can I ask a question? MR. BOUCHER: Sure, or I can do Somalia quickly and we can go anything. Let me do Somalia quickly, and then we'll go on.

In Somalia,

we had 18 relief flights to destinations in Somalia and Kenya yesterday. The total was 211 metric tons. The breakdown is as follows: There were 11 missions to Baidoa, which delivered 138 metric tons; there were four missions to Oddur with 38 metric tons; and three missions to Wajir, in Kenya with 35 metric tons. The U.S. Navy Amphibious Ready Group has completed its mission in support of the deployment of the 500 United Nations food security guards to Mogadishu, and that group has departed for Australia. That's what I have in the way of updates, and now, Barry. Q You said on resuming, or being ready to resume the airlift, is the airlift made more difficult by the absence of an air cap or a "no-fly" zone? Apparently, that isn't -- -- not apparently -- that hasn't been approved or even near approval yet, despite the State Department's best efforts. Will there be some -- would you be better off with an air cap, or would you be running a risk without an air cap? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, the people involved in this, and that is primarily our military planners and those of other governments, obviously have to look at the security situation for aircraft when they decide whether or not we should restart. They've looked at the situation. They've decided that they're prepared to restart. As far as the air cap, "no-fly" zone, that kind of idea, that's something that's still under consideration. Q Those military planners are the same people who are philosophically opposed to an air cap, so -- MR. BOUCHER: Barry, you're dealing with things in the newspapers that I don't think I've commented on or tried to confirm with you. But if you want to ask them for more about their thinking, you can certainly ask at the Pentagon. But I wouldn't necessarily relate -- Q But we did have a little -- a few times with Mr. Eagleburger last week, and he seemed unqualifiedly in support of an air cap. He said it was a matter of working it out. But here another week is slipping by, so -- MR. BOUCHER: Barry, I don't think -- Q -- does the State Department support an air cap? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, I don't think that was what Mr. Eagleburger said. What he said, was that it was under consideration; that it was something that we were discussing. He said that there were a number of questions that had to be considered and that ultimately the question has to be decided by the President. Q I think if you look up what he said, with all due respect, you'll find after he -- MR. BOUCHER: With all due respect, you'll find my version is little closer. Q Well, I think you won't find him saying, ultimately, by the President -- I think you'll find him saying at the end -- just to make sure we didn't get the wrong impression -- that doesn't mean, of course, that we're not favor of doing this. MR. BOUCHER: That's right. Q That the problem was essentially procedural. MR. BOUCHER: He said there were a number of questions that had to be answered. He cited some of the specific ones with regard to UNPROFOR. It's still under consideration. There's no decision I have for you at this point. Q If the military planners feel that it's okay to resume the airlift without an air cap, but an air cap is still under consideration, why would it still be under consideration? What other reason would there be for it? MR. BOUCHER: Howard, that really gets into hypotheticals. If we decide to do something in the way of an air cap or a "no-fly" zone, then we'll talk about it then. Q What does the U.S. think of the continued flying of missions by Serbian pilots using Yugoslav aircraft in Bosnia at a time when the United States and other nations are trying to resume a humanitarian airlift into Sarajevo? MR. BOUCHER: We have, I think previously, expressed our concerns about flying that might endanger the relief flights. You remember we talked about the shadowing of aircraft from what we've done to try to see that that doesn't re-occur. Certainly, we have concerns about the continued flying and the continued violence that occurs in a variety of ways. Q Have you received any assurances from those who operate these Serbian aircraft that they will not shadow aid flights that go in? MR. BOUCHER: I think when we made the original demarches, people said that it was not their intention to endanger the aid flights and that they wouldn't do it. But, obviously, we'll have to see what happens when we resume. Q Wait a minute. They said they were not going to endanger, but they also said they weren't going to fly, in London; didn't they? MR. BOUCHER: Again, Ralph, that's right. At this point, therefore, you have to see what happens when we restart. Q Wait, wait. You have to see what happens. Is the U.S. position now that everybody is going to restart the airlift and just sort of see what happens; we'll try it again and see if it can be safe? MR. BOUCHER: No. I mean, obviously -- you know what Mrs. Ogata has been doing. She's been working on various assurances from different parties, and other questions that she laid out before have been examined. She thinks it's time and it's safe to restart the airlift. We agree with her. We've informed her that we're prepared to restart the airlift. But I can't give you a guarantee of what's going to happen when we do. Q This is an important point, because the airlift was stopped when an Italian plane was shot down by missiles. If you're going to send American pilots to fly planes over this very dangerous area, then you ought to be able to stand up on the podium and tell their parents that they won't be shot down by missiles. Can you do that? MR. BOUCHER: I just stood up and said that to the best of our ability people have examined these questions, and we think it's safe to restart the airlift and that we're prepared to restart it. As you know, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has been working on establishing the conditions that were necessary for restarting the airlift. She is comfortable in recommending that we do that now. We're prepared to go forward with it. Q What are those conditions, Richard? MR. BOUCHER: I don't remember the exact list, but she had a list that she mentioned. Q But, generally, can you say generally what -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't remember exactly what it was, Sid. I'm sorry. Q Richard, in this complex situation, you sort of have to divide things. Whether appeals are honored is one part of the problem. But just to go back half a step, has the United States -- after all, the demarche covered a lot of ground, including U.S. disapproval and anger over what had happened. Has the United States made a recent appeal to Belgrade -- whether or not it does any good or not -- has it made an appeal to Belgrade to not shadow airplanes and to not use air power against Bosnian and Croatian positions? MR. BOUCHER: I think I described in great detail the demarches that we made about two weeks ago on -- Q At the time -- that was two weeks ago. MR. BOUCHER: -- shadowing of aircraft; that we made those both to Milan Panic and to Karadzic, the head of the Bosnian Serbs. I don't remember the exact details of the response. But if that's what you're interested in, I'll try to get something for you. Q I'm not interested in the response. I'm interested if we have renewed -- if the U.S. has renewed that appeal in light of this decision to resume the flights. Have they said again, hey guys, would you please hold your fire and stop shadowing us? MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to check on that. Q Did Mr. Panic make any assurances yesterday in his meeting with Eagleburger on this topic? MR. BOUCHER: That's something I'd have to check on as well. I don't know. Q Was there a firm decision in London on the "no-fly" zone? MR. BOUCHER: I guess, Mark, it depends what you call firm. The parties agreed to ban military flights. We have been working since then, in a variety of ways -- discussions in the Confidence-Building Measures Work Group that's been meeting in Geneva, and in discussions that we've had, as we've talked about before, with others. So the question is one that's still under consideration, as far as our role in that is. Q Was the American contribution to that discussion in London made with the President's authority? And can you -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't know what you're referring to, Mark. There was agreement by the parties in London to a ban on military flights. The parties themselves said we will not fly military flights over Bosnia. The question since then has been whether they're prepared to implement that or not. And, if not, what role the United Nations or other governments should take in seeing that ban implemented. Q Was there a decision on the "no-fly" zone in London? MR. BOUCHER: You can look back at the London documents. I don't remember the exact phrasing, but I've just told you three times, yes; that there was a decision by parties not to have military flights over Bosnia. Q Well, Richard, what sort of hollow gesture is that if they agree to do it but don't agree to implement it? MR. BOUCHER: Again, Sid, there were a number of things that people agreed to do in London, and the process -- our goal in going into London -- and I can do this in more detail if you want to -- our goal was basically to try to get a process going, get something going, that would hold their feet to the fire and see that they did those things. That's the process that's underway.

[ US Goals at London Conference]

Q Do you have those things that have been implemented? A better way to phrase it would be, could you list for us, please, which commitments made by the parties in London have been implemented to date? MR. BOUCHER: I can't do that precisely, Ralph, because I don't have in my head all the list of the commitments of the parties. There were -- Q (Cross-talk) MR. BOUCHER: Hang on. Let me answer this one first. Okay? Our goals in going into London, I think we made very explicit. We didn't say that London would solve the problem. We didn't say -- we said there were no easy answers, no quick fixes, no magic bullet. The goal in going into London was to find a durable solution to an extremely complex problem. We and other participants in London made it clear that the conference wouldn't achieve an overnight settlement. And instead, we set two basic aims, both of which we think we achieved in London. First, the conference established a permanent structure for a political settlement. That structure -- the follow-on talks in Geneva -- has gotten all the parties to the conflict to sit down and negotiate solutions. That is underway. The talks are focused on the most critical issues: the conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina, the establishment of confidence-building measures, and humanitarian assistance. Second, the London Conference launched a series of international actions designed to tighten the sanctions on Serbia and Montenegro, to monitor human rights issues, and to prevent the conflict from spreading into other areas. Those missions are being carried out now by the U.N., the EC, and the CSCE. Let me cite a few examples: The long-term monitoring missions from Kosovo, Vojvodina and Sandjak have begun their work on the ground. The first EC teams to monitor the potential spillover into neighboring countries begin on October 2. The sanctions assistance missions for Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary are leaving Washington today, for the U.S. side, and they will be fully operational by October 5; and the long-term mission to Macedonia is also in place. So the structure that we set up in London -- and many of those involve specific agreement by the parties to allow this to happen -- has been set up. The elements of monitoring missions, sanctions assistance, tightening the enforcement, those things have been carried forward as well. Q Richard, can you be a little bit more specific, because of some of the commitments you didn't mention. What about the collection of heavy weapons, which the clock -- you announced, I think two weeks ago -- had started which you believe has now run out; what happened to that? MR. BOUCHER: That situation hasn't changed. We've talked about that over the past few days. Nothing has really changed on that. Q Okay. What about ethnic cleansing -- is that still going on? MR. BOUCHER: Alan, you're getting back to sort of, "Did we solve all the problems?" No, we haven't solved all the problems in the former Yugoslavia. And I just said that was not what we were pretending to do. What we intended to do was to set up a structure that can put things -- that can get people to the table, where they are, and they can bring the pressures that are necessary to get them to reach a solution to make all these things possible. Q So you're aim was not to set up a structure that could protect the lives of innocent civilians who have been -- MR. BOUCHER: No. Indeed, Alan, our aim was to set up a structure that will protect the lives of innocent people, that will bring humanitarian relief to those who need it, that will do things like close the detention centers, prevent human rights abuses, and we're doing that in a whole variety of ways. Q What would you suggest to those people who are still being victimized? Just be patient? MR. BOUCHER: Alan, I can't offer help for every single individual that's being victimized. We're trying to solve the problem. We've set up ways of doing that. Q Can you offer help to any single individual? MR. BOUCHER: I think -- I would already say that the efforts of the international community, including journalists, who have exposed many of the detention centers and the human rights abuses that have taken place there, have probably already helped many specific individuals; yes. And the efforts that we've made all along in bringing humanitarian assistance to people have, indeed, helped many specific individuals. Q Do you have any comment on the horrific figures that have come out, estimates of possible deaths this winter? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any comment on specific figures. I think you can suggest all kinds of different figures. The fact is, and we've recognized this all along, that we're facing a potentially severe humanitarian tragedy this winter in Bosnia. Our focus is to prevent that tragedy from occurring. We've been in very close touch with the UNHCR and with other donors about increasing humanitarian assistance to meet Bosnia's needs this winter. We also think that the humanitarian crisis could be eased if the sieges of the Bosnian cities were to be lifted. As was agreed at the London Conference, President Izetbegovic has expressed Bosnian readiness for a cease-fire if the sieges could be lifted. And yesterday we urged all the parties to agree to a cease-fire and the ending of the sieges to alleviate a terrible winter in Bosnia. Let me cite some of the specifics that we're doing in terms of preparing for the winter. At the London meeting, I think you know, the Acting Secretary pledged an additional $40 million. That's in addition to the $51 million that we've already provided in humanitarian aid. I understand that that has been provided already to UNHCR. Virtually all of this assistance supports the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugee requirements in terms of clothing, food and shelter. In addition, we're shipping a thousand rolls of heavy duty plastic sheeting for winterization repairs and ten thousand multi-fuel space heaters for temporary shelters that don't have central heating. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been coordinating the planning. We've had humanitarian aid experts and military logistics experts working with them on this. Given the weather in Yugoslavia, obviously, the most important aspect is to expand land convoys and to bring in the supplies that are needed. We've had some success in this in expanding the land convoys, and we think that the beefed-up UNPROFOR should be able to do more. Q You may have said at the beginning, but the air -- now it becomes relevant; I can't recollect -- the air relief involves what -- food and medicine? The land is really the winter material, etc.? MR. BOUCHER: No, I think it's the same -- Q A combination? MR. BOUCHER: It's the same kind of thing in both cases. It's whatever is needed, where it's needed. Q Just to go back, will we also be sending them fuel to put into the multi-fuel heaters? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know what the situation for fuel is. But, obviously, the planners are looking at whatever the needs are. Q Richard, you mentioned one request from Mrs. Ogata. I believe yesterday there was another one, and that was for extra -- additional peacekeeping troops to prevent what she said would be a new outbreak of ethnic cleansing? MR. BOUCHER: As I understand it, what she was calling for was for the expeditious deployment of this beefed-up UNPROFOR contingent. And, yes, we share her views that it's important to get those people in there as soon as possible. We're confident that the governments that are contributing troops are working on it as soon as possible. And in order to accelerate this, we're offering airlift and sealift for this project. Q Richard, I'm sure you saw yesterday that there was a slight confrontation between U.N. guards and some Serbians in Bosnia. They were trying to detain a driver of one of the convoys. Is the Administration concerned that the beefed-up U.N. presence will only invite increased attacks? In addition, are they concerned about the safety of the U.N. peacekeepers there? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware, Sid, of this specific incident that you mention. But the whole purpose in expanding UNPROFOR and providing it with some military component is to basically prevent them from being hassled. If you look at the mandate that they've been given by the Secretary General and the Security Council, that mandate includes the need to take whatever steps they deem necessary to ensure that supplies are delivered. Q Richard, what -- in announcing the resumption of the flights, there is an underlying assumption, which you touched on briefly, by suggesting that something has improved in the security situation, or at least that something has changed in the security situation that justifies a resumption of flights. What is it about what's happened in the past two weeks that has either changed or improved to permit the resumption of flights? Only yesterday you spoke about continued shelling of Sarajevo. There was the firing at the two U.N. helicopters either yesterday or the day before. At least, on the surface, it doesn't appear as though the security situation for flights has improved. Does the U.S. think it has? MR. BOUCHER: Well, I think to some extent -- and this is what experts have to do and not people like me -- but you have to differentiate to some extent between the security situation overall and the security situation for flights. Clearly, the situation -- the security situation overall in Sarajevo has not been good for many, many months -- months during which we did indeed fly in, and there have been shots in the air, and there have been attacks on the courageous people who were both on the ground and flying in the airplanes to get these supplies in. Airplanes have taken shots before, and there were brief suspensions, but this particular suspension -- the extended one that we've been in now -- was the result of the downing of the Italian airplane by a missile from the ground -- I think that was what they determined. And so that particular -- the particular security situation with regard to flights has been looked at. And, as I said, Mrs. Ogata is -- I forget, she had a whole list of things that she wanted to get cleared up before she recommended the resumption. She's now recommended that resumption, and we're prepared to do that -- to restart as well. Q Can I just follow up on the question of the Italian plane downing? You said that they concluded it was downed by a missile from the ground. Has the U.S. done any further investigation on that to determine what missile it was that struck the Italian plane, and by any chance was it -- might it have been a U.S. missile that did that -- U.S.-manufactured missile? MR. BOUCHER: The investigation was being conducted by the Italians and by the U.N. -- by UNHCR. They put out an initial set of conclusions. I'm not aware that they put out any finals. Q Has the U.S. -- does the U.S. Government know the manufacture -- the origin of that missile? MR. BOUCHER: I certainly don't, but -- Q Could you take that question? MR. BOUCHER: -- the investigation is in the hands of others. I don't think it's for us to answer, Ralph. Q I'm trying to figure out -- I mean, the decision might likely have been impelled by the approach of winter as much as by any improvement in the security -- it must be a combination of reasons to decide to go now and not to have gone a few weeks ago. Have you got -- MR. BOUCHER: Barry, the winter comes quickly in this area -- Q That's what I mean. MR. BOUCHER: -- if you've seen the press reports. Q That's what I mean. Isn't that forcing -- isn't it forcing a gamble? MR. BOUCHER: That is the underlying assumption that goes below all our efforts, and that is that we are trying to move things as best we can, as soon as we can, and -- Q And could I ask you this -- MR. BOUCHER: -- as long as we can ensure that the manner is safe; that it's safe to do so. Q Good. Can I ask you, and maybe the Pentagon would be the place, is there a new -- a revised upward estimate of Serbian forces in Bosnia? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think I've ever had one. You might try the Pentagon.

[Haiti: US Support for Restoration of Constitutional Governement]

Q Speaking of intractable issues, could I ask about Haiti? This is the first anniversary of the coup, and I wonder if you have any observations now that this milestone has been reached? And there were also some allegations last night on the PBS documentary on Haiti by some Aristide's friends that the United States was behind the coup. MR. BOUCHER: Let me take the second one first. The charge that the United States was somehow behind the coup was just outrageous. The U.S. strongly supported the electoral process that led to the election of President Aristide. We were the first government to recognize President Aristide's election. We provided more aid than any other government -- $85 million -- after President Aristide's election, and in fact our Ambassador risked his life the night of the coup to save President Aristide. We think the comment is entirely false, and we'll make our views known to President Aristide's representatives. Since I thought you might ask me about where we are in Haiti today, I can tell you where we are in terms of Haiti. We continue to support the restoration of democracy in Haiti, and we're supporting diplomatic efforts to achieve that result. The OAS is now engaged in a step-by-step approach to reach this settlement. The first step was the agreement reached this month between representatives of President Aristide and de facto Prime Minister Bazin to send a civilian mission to Haiti. That mission is now in Haiti. Its purposes are to monitor human rights, to monitor the effects of the embargo and the delivery of humanitarian aid, and to evaluate the prospects for negotiations towards a political settlement. The next step is to attempt to bring representatives of President Aristide and representatives of the de facto government together again to discuss ways in which the political issues might be resolved. The OAS Secretary General has asked former Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley to join that effort to facilitate a regular ongoing dialogue among the Haitians. We continue to urge the Haitians to join a dialogue and to work constructively towards the settlement of their nation's crisis. Our embargo remains in place. Non-humanitarian aid remains suspended, but in the fiscal year ending today, we've provided $67 million in humanitarian aid for Haiti. Q I noticed just on that that you support the restoration of democracy. Do you also support the restoration of President Aristide? MR. BOUCHER: We support the restoration of President Aristide's constitutional government, I think is the way we've always put it. Q Richard, it's the last day of September, and I think this was the month the U.S. thought that the Syrians should redeploy or begin redeploying their forces in Lebanon. Do you have anything new on the subject? Any indication that they're pulling back to the Bekaa Valley? Any new message you wanted to deliver to Damascus publicly through this forum, or are you just going to sort of wait for them to make a move? MR. BOUCHER: Well, I think we've made our views very clear, Barry. I don't have anything new for you today. Q Are you going to re-interpret -- I mean, is the interpretation of Taif, the U.S./Djerejian interpretation, still standing -- that September, this month, was the time to begin the redeployment under the Taif Accord? MR. BOUCHER: Again, the view that has been stated from here and that Ed Djerejian has stated was that we felt a decision should be made now, and that redeployment should take place as soon as possible, and that view has not changed. Q What's the purpose, by the way, on that subject, of today's meeting between Foreign Minister Shara and Secretary Djerejian in New York? Is it to discuss the Taif Accord or other issues or -- MR. BOUCHER: I would have to check. I don't know. Q On the same subject, the same area: Mr. Rabin this morning also appealed again to Mr. Assad to meet with him to discuss the further movement in the peace process. Does the United States have any thoughts -- I asked the question yesterday, but I keep asking this. Are you aware of this? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any further thoughts for you, no. Q Are you aware of it? MR. BOUCHER: I didn't know that Prime Minister Rabin had said something new today. Q Well, he has some statements to this effect -- MR. BOUCHER: It's interesting, but I don't have any new views. Q Richard, you may have answered all these questions, but I have several. One is, has the State Department done -- said anything to the government in Budapest about the Vice President of Budapest -- the Vice President of Hungary's remarks, anti-Semitic articles, and so on? Congress had quite a discussion about that last week. MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. Q You haven't seen anything? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know, Joe. It's new to me. Q Well, would you look into it, please? MR. BOUCHER: I'll check and see. Q The other thing is there's lots of burning of the Jewish barracks at the death camp Sachsenhausen. Has there been any comment made by the -- our people in Bonn to the government as to what they're going to do about this and so on, or made any public comment? MR. BOUCHER: We had that question a couple of weeks ago, and I don't remember the answer. I'd have to check on that. Q All right. The other thing was about the deportation -- have you said anything about the deportation by Germany of the gypsies to Romania? Is that a cleansing process, too? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware that we've said anything on that, Joe. Q Richard, would you care to comment today on the outcome of the impeachment process of President Fernando Collor? MR. BOUCHER: I'd just say that Brazil is dealing with an important matter through its democratic and constitutional processes, and we don't have any comment to make on it at this time. Q Richard, can you confirm the statement of Prime Minister Milan Panic made yesterday after meeting Secretary Eagleburger that Washington gave its support to the demand to Security Council of a partial breakdown of oil embargo for winter? Did you understand? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware of that statement by Panic. Q It was reported by a Belgrade newspaper yesterday. MR. BOUCHER: Well, I didn't read the Belgrade newspapers yesterday. Q Don't you get in early? MR. BOUCHER: Not early enough, Barry. We put up a readout of that meeting yesterday afternoon. We're aware that the -- Panic has made clear their desire to see some humanitarian deliveries, as I guess they call them, of heating oil. That's something that we'd have to take a look at along with the Sanctions Committee. Q Well, but let's get to the bottom of that question, which is, does the U.S. envision any lifting or easing in any way, shape or form of the economic embargo against Belgrade that's in existence now? Is there any reason to consider that at this point? MR. BOUCHER: No. In fact, our steps -- our efforts have been devoted to tightening the embargo in a whole variety of ways and things that have happened recently which, again if you ask, I'll be glad to tell you. Carol. Q Just on that -- I have one question, but just on that: I mean, the statement that you put out yesterday after the Panic lunch I think had some wording about how you're going to work even more fervently to tighten the sanctions, and now today you're suggesting that there is a little sort of room here, which -- MR. BOUCHER: No, I'm not, Carol. There is, I think, a specific request that they're making for some heating oil under certain conditions. I'm not aware of the details of it, but I'm just saying that's something that would have to be looked at in the Sanctions Committee. In fact, we are taking a number of steps to tighten sanctions. We have -- let me go through it all with you if I can. The U.S. members of the sanctions assistance missions to Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania leave Washington today, and they arrive in the countries tomorrow. All of the teams will be fully operational by October 5. The initial phase will be 27 planned monitors. Nine of these will be U.S. customs officers. The U.S. will have two two-man teams and a mission leader in Romania. We'll have one two-man team in Bulgaria, and one team in Hungary. There has been some leakage in the embargo and some leakage obviously continues, but there has also been a number of steps which we think can prove effective in tightening the embargo and limiting the leakage. A couple of things to cite: First, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria agreed in London to exercise control over transit trade on the Danube. Since then the transit trade on the Danube has been reduced substantially, and with the deployment of the monitoring teams and working with those governments there, we think we can reduce that further. Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria have begun channeling all transshipments through a manageable number of control points, and this, too, will facilitate the monitoring. Sanctions fact-finding missions have visited Croatia and Slovenia. Missions will go next week to Macedonia and to Albania. On September 19, the EC adopted strict licensing procedures for items being shipped to neighboring states. The exporter must now present an import certificate from national authorities and follow up with proof of delivery. Romania has also adopted this system. The U.N. Sanctions Committee now requires that all transiting shipments be sealed, and that seals be verified at all points of entry and exit. Although some oil continues to get in, we do see the effects of the cut in energy supplies on Serbia. We think the cut has been substantial. And, as you know, air service to and from Serbia and Montenegro has effectively been cut off. The Danube riparian states -- that's the ones we talked about before -- have barred or detained all barges owned by Serbia-Montenegro, and we understand that the Montenegrin ports of Bar and Kotor are virtually idle. So there is some effect, and there's a lot of steps being taken, in fact, to tighten the embargo. The arrival of the sanctions assistance missions in these three countries will help their authorities enforce the embargoes. And, as you know, one of the primary sources of leakage has been along the Danube and through transit, and there are a number of steps that we are taking that will tighten -- clamp down on that. Q I'm sorry to say this, but I'm still confused about what the U.S. position is on Panic's request for certain what he calls "humanitarian shipments." You've just gone through a great litany of things the U.S. is trying to do to help tighten the embargo and prevent oil, among other things, from getting to Serbia and Montenegro. But a moment ago you repeated that his request for heating oil under certain conditions ought to be looked at by -- the U.S. thinks it ought to be looked at by the Sanctions Committee. Is the U.S. opening the door to allow some shipments of any kind of supplies to Serbia and Montenegro that would in any way open the embargo or loosen the embargo, or however you might want -- you used a different phrase in the case of Haiti recently. I've forgotten what it was -- "fine tune" -- fine tune the embargo? I don't want to get caught in the phrase, but I don't understand what the policy is now. MR. BOUCHER: Ralph, the policy is to clamp down on sanctions and to tighten the sanctions. Countries -- anybody has the right under the sanctions to apply for humanitarian exceptions, and those have to be looked at by the Sanctions Committee. That's all I'm saying in terms of the heating oil request. Q Is the heating oil by definition a humanitarian commodity? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know that it is by definition, no. Q Well, I mean by State Department definition -- food and medicine are. MR. BOUCHER: I have never read a State Department definition of humanitarian commodities. Q But you know food is. It's like pornography, you know it when you see it. You know, as Baker used to say. MR. BOUCHER: We'll know it when we see it. Q With the PLO and terrorism, you know it when you see it. MR. BOUCHER: Anything else? Q Are you more inclined to sort of consider this request because it's coming from Panic whom the U.S. has now praised for -- MR. BOUCHER: Carol, I'm not more inclined. I'm not trying to push the envelope on this. Obviously, they can bring this request. The place to look at it is in the Sanctions Committee. We gave you the statement yesterday on Panic. I think we made very clear what our views are of tightening the embargo and what our views are of humanitarian needs, and that's all I'm saying today. Q Well, Richard, can you just offer any indication of the American position going into the Sanctions Committee? It doesn't -- MR. BOUCHER: No, I can't at this point, Mark. Q Richard, there are 2,000 -- over 2,000 Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike in Israeli jails in the last three days -- open-ended hunger strikes -- and there is also strikes and demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza and solidarity with these Palestinian prisoners who are asking to improve their lot and their conditions in Israelis jails. Do you have anything on this? MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't have anything on that. Q Can you take the question, please? MR. BOUCHER: I'll see if we have anything to say. Q Do you have anything on the North Korean criticism of the U.S. position on the nuclear issue?

[North Korea/South Korea: US Support for Bilateral Nuclear Inspections]

MR. BOUCHER: The criticism was that somehow the United States was blocking progress in the North-South agreement. The answer is no, we're not. The details of the inspection regime to implement the joint North-South denuclearization accord are currently being negotiated by South and North Korea. We've stated our views on this issue several times. Credible and effective bilateral inspections under the Joint Declaration are an essential complement to the International Atomic Energy Agency inspections. They're needed to reassure the international community that North Korea is meeting its international commitments in nuclear non-proliferation. President Bush stated our views before the Republic of Korea's National Assembly in January of 1992. He said, "To any who doubt President Roh's declaration of December 18, 1991, South Korea with the full support of the United States has offered to open to inspection all of its civilian and military facilities, including U.S. facilities," and that remains our position. Q Richard, not looking for trouble here, but I do really want to watch this one if I can, because it might just slip by and become a fact. Does the visit to Macedonia mean that the United States is dealing with Macedonia as a government? And, secondly, the Greek Foreign Minister said that only two things were needed for Greece to accept Macedonia, and one was the name to be changed and something about not using emblems and flags and other that were, you know, reminiscent of Greece. Has the U.S. position on Macedonia changed in any way? Is it a country? MR. BOUCHER: No, we haven't changed our position on recognition. Q Do you have any condition or you are going to make any condition for the meeting North Korean nuclear inspection team for the U.S. bases in Korea? MR. BOUCHER: Well, the details of the regime are being worked out between the South and the North, and we leave it to them to work it out. Q Well, what is the position concerning -- maybe you have a condition to open the U.S. -- MR. BOUCHER: The position of the United States is that we fully support the South in working this out. Q So nothing particular to convey any condition, even to the South Korean Government, in the negotiation process? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know, but I don't have anything particular to convey to you now. Sorry. Carol?

[Tajikistan]

Q What do you have -- or do you have anything to say about what's going on in Tajikistan? Apparently there's a report that Russian troops have taken over the airport. Are you particularly concerned about this? MR. BOUCHER: There are some new reports today. I'm not quite sure that what -- well, there are some new wire service reports today, and I don't have any particular details on that. I think in general our Embassy is telling us that the everyday life continues and is normal in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan. There are demonstrations and protests that occur routinely, but these so far have been peaceful. We do have reports of increased fighting in the southern region of Kurgan Tyube. Overall, we'd describe the security situation in the country as volatile. That's where it stands now. Q How about the presence of Russian troops there, though? Does that bother the U.S. at all for the Russians to be involved? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any particular comment on that. Q Is that something the U.S. thinks ought to be referred to the CSCE for cross-boundary -- cross-border intervention? MR. BOUCHER: I think -- again, I don't have any particular comment on their presence there, Ralph. That's something that's always been between two other governments. Q Richard, a day later, anything new on Russia, Iran and submarines? MR. BOUCHER: No. Q No, no. There a second part of that question -- how about reactors? MR. BOUCHER: Reactors, no. Q Yes. Mr. Eagleburger made two requests, that they don't sell diesel submarines, they don't sell reactors. Great ambiguity on the submarines from Moscow. Nothing at all that I've noticed on reactors. MR. BOUCHER: I haven't seen anything new on reactors, but again you can ask them, if you want to. You can ask the Russians what the status of the submarines and reactors are. Q I would just get confused. Q Have you got the clarification from the Russians that you sought earlier this week? MR. BOUCHER: No. I was asked if we had anything new. We don't. Sid had a question down here. We've got one back there, too. Q Just a quick question. You might not have it there. MR. BOUCHER: I might. Q But as winter is approaching, are we planning to do any further extended aid for the former Soviet republics? MR. BOUCHER: We've been doing a lot of planning for it. I think we've put out every Monday an update on where we were in deliveries, in doing various things, and that kind of planning continues. Q But are we going to step it up over the winter? I mean, maybe there's somebody here we could get some sort of -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't quite know what the numbers are, Sid, but, obviously, we've been focused for a long time on the needs of this coming winter, and we're trying to make arrangements and planning for that. Q Richard, I was going to ask you whether or not -- MR. BOUCHER: We had one more in the back. Q Returning to Haiti for a moment, I believe Aristide has called for a tightening of the embargo against Haiti. Any U.S. position on that? MR. BOUCHER: The embargo remains in effect. As you know, about May of this year, I think it was, we did, in fact, tighten the embargo in some ways in order to increase the pressure on the people that were responsible for the coup, and that remains in effect today. Q Because I know there are -- I've talked to some critics of the Administration who feel that the U.S. has somewhat dragged its feet on the Haiti situation, which we're a year later, the trade embargo, for instance, they point to has been somewhat porous? Any response at all to that kind of criticism? MR. BOUCHER: Has been somewhat what? Q Has been somewhat -- the trade embargo has been somewhat porous. MR. BOUCHER: Porous. Q Porous. MR. BOUCHER: There are holes in the embargo -- Q Yes. MR. BOUCHER: -- just like there are holes in any embargo. But, you know, we've had the embargo in effect. It remains in effect. We've tried to tighten it and focus it on the -- so that it hits the people that we want to hit and not the people that we don't want to hit. I've just described to you today where we stand in terms of Haiti, in terms of the efforts that we and the OAS are making to try to resolve this, and those efforts continue. Q Richard, we haven't seen anything from Moscow or from the Russians about their participation in the bilateral talks here in any form. I haven't seen anything about them. They haven't made speeches like Mr. Djerejian did the other day. Is there consultation between our people and the Russians on how the talks are going and what they think and what can be done? Are they in agreement? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. There's consultation. There's contact. I think they have a presence here when the talks go on, and they remain the co-sponsors. There's no change in that. Q Richard, you said earlier you hadn't said anything about the deportation of the gypsies from Germany. Do you have anything at all to say about that? MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to see. Q Thank you. Q Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 1:17 p.m.)