US Department of State Daily Briefing #177: Tuesday, 12/8/92

Boucher Source: State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: Dec, 8 199212/8/92 Category: Briefings Region: Subsaharan Africa, E/C Europe, Eurasia, MidEast/North Africa Country: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, Somalia, Russia, Ukraine, Mozambique Subject: Regional/Civil Unrest, Military Affairs, Development/Relief Aid, United Nations, Arms Control, Mideast Peace Process, Democratization, Refugees l2:05 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

Details of Acting Secretary's Trip to Stokholm, Geneva, and Brussels]

Tripsters: More information on the trip for those of you who are planning to going. And if this makes you change your mind, then tough luck. The sheet's coming down now anyway. (Laughter) Departure is now set for Saturday morning. We'll go to Stockholm. Overnight Saturday night in Stockholm. There'll be no other stops along the way. Departure from Stockholm is now set for Tuesday, to go on Tuesday to Geneva, spend the night in Geneva, have the meetings Wednesday, and then late Wednesday go on to Brussels, and still plan on coming home Friday night. Q What time? MR. BOUCHER: Oh, late. I don't know exactly when. Q Friday night, Brussels time? MR. BOUCHER: Friday night everywhere. (Laughter) Q Richard, assuming that Mr. Kozyrev is still Russian Foreign Minister [`reporter's microphone falls] -- assuming that he doesn't meet the fate of this microphone -- will the meeting with him be on Sunday? MR. BOUCHER: I can't give you the precise schedules of any meetings at this point, Alan. As we've said before, we do expect Mr. Eagleburger and Foreign Minister Kozyrev to meet in Stockholm. Q Well, given the fact that I think the CSCE meeting itself is not scheduled to convene until Monday, does one infer from this Saturday morning departure that it would be the Kozyrev meeting that is causing this decision? MR. BOUCHER: I can't give you precise times of any meetings. Certainly, he'll have some activities in Stockholm on Sunday, but we'll try to get a better schedule for you later in the week.

[Former Soviet Union: Status of START]

Q Does the President's call to Moscow improve the chances of START during this trip? MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't forecast START during this trip. Our goal is to work on START, is to try to wrap up START as soon as we can, as we've been saying. Marlin said yesterday that we hope to be able to wrap it up before the end of the Administration. We're working vigorously to that end. You should see this meeting in that context. It's one of a series of exchanges that we've having with the Russians on START II. It's a meeting where certainly they will discuss the START II agreement and continue to do what we've been doing -- that's to try to work hard on language that pins down the technical details of the understandings that we reached last June. But at this point I can't predict anything specific for that meeting. Q Well, the Russians have sent a draft, and it's been here about a week. There were a dozen or so questions, but there were four that seemed to be especially important. Can you say, even if you can't be specific, if their draft presents any resolution or points to a resolution of at least some of these questions? MR. BOUCHER: I can't, Barry. I really can't get into the details. We've been saying for some time that there are technical issues that concern the detailed implementation of the agreement that do remain outstanding. That's true today. Details are under negotiation. We don't think it's appropriate to comment on them while we're negotiating them. What Foreign Minister Kozyrev told the Acting Secretary in September in New York was that there were no political issues to be resolved, just technical details. That remains the case today, and the agreement remains firm to reduce strategic arsenals to 3,000 or 3,500 warheads and to eliminate all MIRVed ICBMs by 2003 at the latest. So those things are firm. The outlines of the agreement are firm. We have to pin down the technical details, but we're not in a position to get into them now. Q Does the prospect of the Ukrainians approving START I and NPT participation next weekend have any positive effect on the talks between the U.S. and Russians? MR. BOUCHER: There's no specific link between them. START II is a negotiation with the Russians. Certainly, anything -- let's put it this way: START is important in its own right. The ratification of START and the NPT and the Protocols that went with START is important in its own right, that constitute a major reduction in nuclear weapons, constitute an eventual entry into effect of that, constitutes the framework or one of the bases for setting up many of the systems that START II will eventually rely on in some ways. But, at the same time, START II is a separate agreement being negotiated with the Russians. And it's something that we are pursuing more or less independently, even as we try to work with other governments to ensure the ratification of START. Q Can I ask one more quick one? Is it the U.S. view that the Russians have a means, the financial means, to resolve these technical disputes? MR. BOUCHER: I don't quite understand the question, Barry. Q Well, some of the things that the U.S. wants them to do and some of the things that they prefer an alternative approach to are based in part on the fact that they're expensive to carry out. MR. BOUCHER: Well -- Q I mean, like keeping old silos, for instance, and moving mobile missiles into them. MR. BOUCHER: I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to get into any specific details of what is under discussion for you now. I guess I would say in general that we have various programs that are available to try to help them with this process. We've talked about it before. If you look in the original understandings that were reached, some of the dates for destruction are things like 2003 or the year 2000, if they can make it with whatever assistance. But I'm not pledging assistance in any specific area other than to say that that concept is out there and that we are working with them on programs. And about a week or two ago we gave you an extensive list of some of the programs that we're undertaking.

Ukraine: Prospect for Approval of START/NPT]

Q Richard, is the Administration working on a package of benefits and reassurances for Ukraine to push them towards ratification? MR. BOUCHER: Let me tell you where we stand with the Ukraine. Committees of the Ukrainian Parliament are now examining the START treaty and the NPT. The full Parliament is scheduled to meet next week. We don't have details on how their agenda will be set. As we said before, the Ukrainian Government has assured us of its strong commitment to ratification of START and the NPT, and we expect that Ukraine will ratify both treaties. Now, in terms of what we're doing with Ukraine, I think you've seen a lot of this before, but just to review it. We've discussed security matters with Ukraine. These discussions are continuing. As you know, Ukraine is a new country, and it's in the process of formulating a national security policy and building relationships with other states. So we've had discussions on the subject of security. We've also had discussions with them, and I think we've given you some of the details of that in the handout we gave you last week, about specific projects to make use of Nunn-Lugar assistance. Nunn-Lugar assistance is $800 million in assistance to the the Newly Independent States with nuclear weapons on their territory that would help them eliminate strategic offensive arms and nuclear weapons as well as prevent weapons proliferation. So we've engaged in detailed discussions with all four of these states -- Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia -- to define the specific projects that would make use of that money. I think we've talked about the agreements that we reached in principle in five areas in late October -- an umbrella agreement to authorize assistance in materials control and accounting, government-to-government communication links, export control assistance and emergency response equipment. In addition, we've talked about U.S. assistance in destroying ballistic missiles in silos. So we'll be following up on those conversations in future meetings with Ukraine as well. Q Richard, how much of that $800 million has actually been committed? MR. BOUCHER: As of whenever it was we last gave you this -- November 25th, I think it was -- there was $204.5 million that was committed. Q And what's the status of the science centers in Kiev and Moscow? MR. BOUCHER: Again, that's covered in the November 25th -- I think I'd refer you back to that. I'm not sure there's anything new since then. I'll check and see if there is. Q Do all of these new programs, the new components, do those fall into Nunn-Lugar? And, if not, how much extra were you planning to spend? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know the exact accounting of each program, Sid. I just don't know the answer to that, I'm sorry. Q Is all of the -- the roughly $200 million there? All of that is in Russia at this point? MR. BOUCHER: In terms of committed money? That's something I'll have to check on. Let me see if there are any committed monies -- there's the $l0 million for the science center in Kiev which has been -- I'm not sure if it's formally committed under the programs, but which was promised in a very formal way. Let's put it that way. I'm not sure exactly, again, where that stands, but I'll try to check on that. Q Let me make one little one on START. Maybe you said this before I got in, I'm sorry. Did you say whether Kozyrev and Eagleburger will meet in Stockholm to discuss the START II Treaty? MR. BOUCHER: We expect them to meet in Stockholm to discuss the START II Treaty and other matters, of course. I don't have details on the time of that meeting yet. Q How about in other places now? That will be it? MR. BOUCHER: That -- Q I can't remember if the Russians would be in Geneva for Bosnia. MR. BOUCHER: The Russians are certainly one of the members of the Steering Group and, therefore, invited. I don't know yet whether Minister Kozyrev will be there. Q Richard, will Eagleburger have a chance to meet with -- I don't recall his name now -- the Ukrainian Foreign Minister in any of these meetings? MR. BOUCHER: Again, I have to decline to try to specify specific meetings that he'll be having -- Q Will he be -- MR. BOUCHER: -- other than to say he generally expects to meet Kozyrev. I don't know about -- Q Not Kozyrev. MR. BOUCHER: -- I don't know about other meetings at this point, whether -- no, I know. He's asking about -- I'll finish a sentence one of these days, partly my own fault. But I don't know about other meetings that he might be having at this point. And we'll try to get you a more detailed schedule later And I'd have to leave questions like, specifically, whether he'll see his Ukrainian counterpart, until we can get you more details on the schedule. Q Richard, another assistance question: Is the Administration making any special effort to commit the rest of that $800 million before the end of its term? MR. BOUCHER: I think that may be a question that's better asked at the White House, Carol. I think my answer from the standpoint of this building would be that we've been working hard on these programs. We've been trying to move forward. We have this money. It's important money; it's an important process. It's important to use it and to destroy nuclear weapons, which is basically what it's all about, in a safe, secure -- safety, storage and dismantlement, I guess is the way it's called. So we're moving ahead as fast as we can in defining specific projects with these different governments to use this money that we have available for a very important cause. Q Can we try a new subject? MR. BOUCHER: Glad to.

[Middle East Peace Process: Bilateral Talks and US Efforts to Encourage Progress]

Q The Mideast and the possibility of a direct American participation in the talks. I mean sitting in at the table. That's what the Palestinians seem to be calling for. And their spokeswoman came out yesterday and said, "You're looking at it." Have you looked at it? MR. BOUCHER: Well, you're familiar with what we've said before about actually going into the negotiating room and somehow being "in the room" -- Q Yes. MR. BOUCHER: -- as we've called it; and that would require a request from both the parties for the co-sponsors to enter the room. But as we've said, and as Assistant Secretary Djerejian I think has said very recently, we continue to work as long and as hard as needed to see the talks succeed. We're actively engaged. We work quietly and intensively with the parties in a variety of ways to encourage forward movement in the negotiations, but to be true to our role I'm not going to discuss further details. Q Richard, just so that we don't get caught on a technicality -- if that's what it turns out to be ultimately -- the formulation about going into the room is a restriction on the U.S. entering the room in which the other two parties -- whichever two it happens to be -- are already negotiating. There's no stricture or restraint on the U.S. from inviting two other parties, or perhaps more, into a different room at the same time and having all three parties physically at the same table or around the same coffee table or whatever -- if not the negotiating room that they've been part of. Isn't that -- MR. BOUCHER: That's true, Ralph. There's sort of a distinction between entering into the negotiations and having a joint meeting with various parties. But I think without -- you know, I'm not able to go into more detail about how we facilitate this process, how we engage in this process. There are probably many ways available to encourage the process. We don't really want to comment on how specifically we may or may not be engaging in our private consultations on the matters. Q But there are ways. My point was simply to ask whether there are ways in which the U.S. and two or more other parties could get together in the same place, at the same time, without violating the restriction on going into the room without an invitation. And I think your answer to that is: "Yes, there are ways." MR. BOUCHER: Without actually -- I don't want to get hung up on restrictions, but without actually becoming a participant in the negotiations, there are many ways that we can keep in touch with the parties, that we can work with the parties, and that we continue to do what we've done all along, and that's to encourage them to make progress towards the goals that were laid out in Madrid. Q But you choose not to say the two sides are too far apart for the U.S. to be a useful bridge right now. You don't remind us of that -- MR. BOUCHER: "Bridge" -- Q -- tactic? MR. BOUCHER: Well, there's a whole language that goes with these Middle East peace talks. "Bridge" has usually been used in terms of one side has a proposal, another side has another proposal, and somebody puts a paper on a table that's a bridge between the two. I wouldn't describe it that way at this point. We have certainly been very active with the negotiations. We've made suggestions and had ideas in play, just as we have in previous rounds. Q Richard, would your formula include the possibility of putting forward a detailed proposal at any point? In other words, would that fulfill the conditions -- MR. BOUCHER: Jim, I don't want to include or preclude any particular possibilities. We work closely, we work actively, but we also work quietly with the parties in trying to encourage them to make progress. So I'm not going to rule out any particular possibilities. Q How would you characterize the President's reported meeting with the delegates on December 17? Is that a farewell? Is that a negotiation? MR. BOUCHER: I'd leave it to Marlin to characterize it. He announced it yesterday, so I wouldn't call it a reported meeting, but I would leave it to Marlin to characterize it. Q Richard, your Ambassador in Tel Aviv is quoted -- he gave an interview to the Israeli army today on their radio station. He's quoted as saying that there is little expectation of progress until the Clinton Administration comes in. Does that reflect official thinking in this building, or was he freelancing? MR. BOUCHER: I guess I'd say the way we see it is that we wouldn't use the word "pessimism" in describing what's happening. After talking with the various parties, and we've had meetings with the parties over the last couple of days -- more meetings today and more contacts with them today -- we don't get the sense that any of the parties are intending just to mark time during our transition. They've all reiterated to us here that they want to make progress now. All the parties to the negotiations have vested interest in seeing them succeed, and we think all the parties are strongly committed to the talks. We've made it clear to the parties that they should not be distracted by our transition. The best thing they can do is to maintain a strong commitment to these negotiations with a view towards obtaining positive results during this period. Q Richard, is the reduction of the Palestinian delegation from 14 to 4 in keeping with the Madrid rules -- the terms of reference as you call it? MR. BOUCHER: I don't remember anything in there about size of delegations, Jim. You may be more familiar with it than I am, but I don't remember anything in there. Q Well, Mr. Rubinstein, who is very familiar with them, said yesterday that it was not in keeping with the terms of reference set up in Madrid. MR. BOUCHER: I would have to check on the Madrid terms of reference. I think you, too, have -- you also have the invitation written for Madrid that are the basic terms of reference. Q But it's certainly true, Richard, isn't it, that they spent two rounds -- the first two rounds -- sitting on the sofa negotiating the framework and the exact composition of the delegations? I'm talking now in reference to the Israelis, the Jordanians and the Palestinians, and that at the end of the two rounds -- I think it was last January -- they came to a specific agreement on the composition of those delegations. MR. BOUCHER: Well, in that case, it's an agreement between them and you can ask them whether what's going on is in keeping with those agreements. It's not something that I think we had a role in. We had a statement on it at the time, in terms of the arrangements that they worked out for their own negotiations. Jim is asking about Madrid and, of course, we did issue the invitation to Madrid that has the terms of reference. So that's a question that I can entertain. I don't remember anything in it about composition of delegations. But anything that they worked out between themselves would be something between themselves and you'd have to ask them about it. Q Richard, just a technicality on the President's meeting with the Middle East negotiators that you talked about a minute ago. Has a date been set for that meeting yet? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have anything beyond what Marlin said yesterday, and I think he just said "at the end of the round." Or toward the end or something like that. Q Does the round have an end? MR. BOUCHER: The expectation, the suggestion was that this round would be from December 7 through the 17. Q How about -- if you're not ready to call it a violation of the rules -- how about the Israeli complaint that it makes it harder to get things done when you have a four-person delegation and one of them has a heavy cold, reducing the delegation to three? Is that, in the U.S. view -- and all your statements here about wanting things to move as quickly as possible -- is that a good way to proceed, do you think? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, we are not in the habit of reacting to every statement by every member of a delegation or people in the region. I'm not going to try to characterize somebody else's statements. I've told you what we see -- that we have talked to the parties, that we see their -- we think they have a strong interest in continuing. We've urged them to continue and not to be distracted by the transition. And after talking to them, we also get a sense from them that they do remain committed, and that they have restated their commitment to achieving what they can. Q Richard, sliding along somewhat to Jordan, do you have any information about the assassination of an Iraqi nuclear technician/engineer in Jordan? MR. BOUCHER: I saw a press report about it. I don't have anything on it.

[Bosnia-Herzegovinia: Update on Fighting]

Q Can we deal briefly with Bosnia-Herzegovinia? The Secretary General of the Western European Union has come out today and is extremely critical of the Western effort to deal with things there. He says, "Our credibility today is zero politically because we are just not doing anything." I gather from the situation on the ground, the road has been cut to the airport and so relief supplies are not moving, and the U.N. personnel have taken to bunkers because the shelling is so heavy. Do you have any -- are you optimistic, pessimistic, discouraged, angry? What's the situation? MR. BOUCHER: Okay. As far as the statements of the head of the Western European Union, I think I'll leave it to the members of that organization to comment if they want to. What we see going on today in Sarajevo is about what you see, and that's fighting is extremely heavy in Sarajevo today. UNPROFOR units in the area had to retreat under fire. This puts the resumption of the airlift, which was scheduled tomorrow, into serious question. There is heavy fighting on the road from the airport to town involving Bosnian Serb tanks. The Bosnian Government offensive in the hills northwest of Sarajevo failed yesterday after heavy losses, and there's been sporadic mortar and machine gun fire into Hrasno, a suburb of Sarajevo. Fighting is also reported in Gradacac and Bihac. We're certainly concerned about the continued escalation of the fighting and the continuation of the fighting around Sarajevo. We've remained determined not to accept results that are achieved through the force of arms. We remain determined to continue on our course of using sanctions to make it clear to the Serbs that their policies and their support for these kinds of military operations is not acceptable. I think we would say that the Serbian leadership should know that a continuation of those policies can only lead to greater hardship for the Serbs. Q You think the Serbs are getting the message, do you? I mean, it sort of looks to me like they're kind of thumbing their nose at you. MR. BOUCHER: And we're going to have to keep at it. We've taken a number of steps, you know, to tighten sanctions enforcement. Some of them fairly recently. We're trying to make sure that those steps are effective, and we'll continue to try to make sure that those steps are effective. Q Is there any review of the arms embargo -- a U.S. position on the arms embargo? MR. BOUCHER: It's a subject that keeps coming up, it keeps -- it's a subject under more or less continuous discussion, but there's been no change in the policy. Q What about the "no-fly" zone? How does that stand? MR. BOUCHER: There's nothing new on that. Q Wait, wait. Is the policy being reassessed? You're less emphatic now, in the last two days, than you were in the previous weeks. MR. BOUCHER: I guess I'm less emphatic, George, because it is something that gets discussed. It is something that papers get written on. I wouldn't want one of you to find out that somebody had thought about it somewhere or written a paper about it somewhere, or written a response to some other government about it somewhere and to think that that was a reassessment or a review and that I was somehow misleading you. It's a subject that has been continuing in the air. It's not -- there's been no change in policy at this point. There's nothing -- the policy remains the same. Q Richard, have you figured out in the last 24 hours whether the helicopter you mentioned yesterday was on a combat mission or not? MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't have anything new on that. Q How close are we getting to the point at which the change will occur? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know, Ralph. Changes will occur when they occur. Q Yeah, but it's -- MR. BOUCHER: You mean on the "no-fly" zone, or on arms embargo? Q On the arms embargo. MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to predict any change in that. There's been no change in policy at this point. There's no -- well, there's been no change in policy at this point. Q Is there an increase in the number of papers written or the number of responses written in the last two weeks? MR. BOUCHER: I don't want to predict anything or lead you to predict anything in particular, Ralph. We have just seen a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Countries in Riyadh where this subject was discussed quite a bit. People asked us for our views. The views of Vance and Owen were stated directly at the conference there. We have communications back and forth with other governments about this. We're interested in this subject. You know that other governments are interested in it. So if there's been an increase in paper, it's not necessarily that there's something new going on inside the U.S. We obviously keep our eye on the situation. It's a subject that's been in the air, and it's something that we've discussed. But it's not -- there's been no change in policy, and there is no specific plan to change policy at this point. Q Is it fair to guess that the staff officers on the desk, on the Yugoslav desk, might be pressuring the Seventh Floor on this issue? MR. BOUCHER: No. Q Richard, can I ask something which I've asked -- MR. BOUCHER: The gentleman in the back. Q In view of the upcoming EC summit in Edinburgh, which is expected also to examine the issue of Skopje, could you please once again clarify the U.S. position on the matter? MR. BOUCHER: I'll leave Edinburgh to the EC. That's really something that we would leave to them. Our position on Macedonia has not changed. Q Will the U.S. have any representation at Edinburgh, by the way? MR. BOUCHER: No. We're not members of the EC. Q I understand that. Eagleburger won't visit there at all, will he, while that summit is going on? MR. BOUCHER: No. I just announced he was on his way to Stockholm on Saturday. Q Those are not inconsistent. MR. BOUCHER: And that he would be in Stockholm on Sunday, and that he would be in Stockholm on Monday. And if you compare that to the dates of the Edinburgh summit, he won't be there. Q The United States spent -- you from this podium and other people who represent the State Department and from the White House -- have spent a lot of time condemning the different things that have happened in Bosnia-Herzegovinia. As the situation has gotten progressively worse, the State Department seems to have gotten more and more muted in its descriptive criticism of what is going on. And today you come up with a statement that there's been no change in policy, no plans to change policy, as though the direction and the status quo is something which is acceptable. MR. BOUCHER: He was asking me specifically about the arms embargo on Bosnia. John, first of all, I don't accept the prospect that we've become more muted in our criticism of what's going on. I think we've been very clear, very factual, and very active in terms of putting information out about what is going on. You'll see our fourth report to the United Nations, just yesterday, on the atrocities of what's happening out there, and it's awful. We've made no secret of our view on that. We've made no secret of our view of the policies of the current Serbian leadership, and the need for those policies to change. We've made no secret as well of the efforts that we have underway. We do have efforts underway not only to deliver humanitarian relief and feed people, but to expand those efforts. We've been working with the United Nations and other governments in getting convoys through in different routes and trying to make sure that we do as much as we can in that area, albeit with a very, very difficult security situation out there. And, finally, we've been continuing to pursue a course of sanctions against Serbia and to pursue a course of making those sanctions as tight and as effective as possible so that those in Serbia who support these policies also feel the hardship that can be created by their support for those policies. Q How are things doing on further steps on the "no-fly" zone? You still discussing them? MR. BOUCHER: Again, nothing new today. Q Richard, you've recounted in the last couple of days the fact that these policies that we pursue have had no effect on changing the policy of Serbia. We've found that the Serb policies remain the same. In fact, they have apparently stepped up the war in violation of all the London agreements and everything. Doesn't that -- doesn't it stand to reason that if our policy has not changed their policy except to make it worse, that it's time for a policy reassessment of some sort for the United States? MR. BOUCHER: Saul, we're obviously constantly looking at this situation to see what more we can do. We've discussed, I think in public -- the Acting Secretary has and many others of us have -- discussed the pros and cons of various courses of action that have been recommended. We have pursued policies which I think have been well explained since London. We have made very clear that sanctions would be a key aspect of what we are doing, and that we would take many, many measures to make sure that these sanctions are enforced, and indeed we have done that. We have made clear that we intend to pursue whatever ways are possible to get humanitarian relief to people. We've made clear that we're going to pursue things like prisoner releases from the camps. There has been some small progress in some of these areas, but certainly the policies of the Serbian Government haven't changed, and their support for the attacks being carried out in Bosnia has not changed. Q Well, can you spell out a little bit more in detail, when you say you're always looking, what exactly is going on in the way of looking at the possibilities? Can you tell us? MR. BOUCHER: Saul, I don't want to try to forecast some dramatic shift or some, you know, new change. I mean, we are obviously very concerned about the situation in Bosnia. It's a subject of high-level attention and low-level attention and constant attention at all levels of this government almost every day. It's something that we continue to work on. We're coming up on a couple of meetings next week. We're meeting with the CSCE which has had an important role in Bosnia and Yugoslavia, both in reporting on atrocities and setting up monitors at flash points and things like that. We're coming up in a meeting in Geneva with the Steering Committee, which is a chance for us to review with other members of the Steering Committee that was created in London, what the situation is and to provide policy guidance to the mediators -- Secretary Vance and Lord Owen -- as they go forward with their activities. There are indeed conversations going on in Geneva this week with the working group on Bosnia, where the parties are actually talking about constitutional arrangements. But, at the same time, that effort is paralleled by an attempt by groups in Bosnia, particularly the Serbs, to try to take more territory on the ground. So we're continuing to pursue this course. We're continuing to review this course. We'll talk about it with other governments next week in Geneva, and we'll try to provide guidance at that time for the continuation of the efforts of Vance and Owen. Q Has the Assistant Secretary changed -- has the Acting Secretary changed his view that this is essentially a civil war? MR. BOUCHER: Saul, you're doing injustice to the Acting Secretary by reducing his view to that, and I'd just refer you back to what we've said before. Q Has he changed his view on -- he stated the other day, on Sunday, that we cannot possibly become militarily involved? MR. BOUCHER: It's a subject he's discussed repeatedly, and I think you'll find a remarkable consistency in his remarks over time, and, no, he hasn't changed his view since Sunday. Q Right. This is not one of the subjects on which papers are being written? MR. BOUCHER: I have no list of the papers being written, Saul. I'm sure that everybody looks at every possibility as we come up into these things, but the basic views of the U.S. Government haven't changed. Q Can I just pose the one question about pursuing policies which are in fact or would seem at least already in place? With a great deal of flurry and fanfare, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution a few weeks ago that called for the use of all necessary means to provide relief supplies to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, you've said here today that the situation in Sarajevo was such that the chances of resumption of the airlift are put in serious question because of the fighting there. Doesn't it seem logical to ask, are we considering the use of all necessary means to re-establish the supply of humanitarian goods and services to Sarajevo? MR. BOUCHER: You got something specific in mind for us, Barrie? Q Well, it was widely interpreted as a use of force resolution, just as it was in Somalia a few days ago, but we've never seemed to have been willing to pursue -- MR. BOUCHER: Barrie, if you look back at the U.N. and what the U.N. has done on this matter, they have expanded the number of troops in the U.N. forces from whatever it was -- 14,000 -- with most of them in Croatia to add a six to eight thousand-man contingent in Bosnia to help with the delivery of relief supplies. Those troops have gone in, some of them, with U.S. assistance. They are in the process of being deployed to various areas. They haven't gotten to all the places they want to go yet. The U.N. has done that. The U.N. has continued to pursue the airlift. They have continued to work on the ground. They're the ones that work on the acceptance and delivery of the goods that are flown in by airlift. They're the people who have negotiated with local authorities and people who have guns in the area to try to make sure it's safe for people like us to fly in. We have relied on the U.N., and the U.N. has taken a number of steps and has been very active in trying to make sure that these things happen. We've described to you the activities that in conjunction with the beefing up of UNPROFOR, we've been able to get relief supplies into some new areas and towns. So that activity has continued, and they've used a variety of means to try to ensure that humanitarian deliveries are continued. Q But on its face it's not working. Sarajevo is cut off, and the U.N. Commander, just I think a day or two ago, said the whole thing is not working. MR. BOUCHER: And his superiors had other things to say about that, so I'll leave it to the U.N. to describe how they think things are going on any particular day. We've had cutoffs of relief supplies before in terms of the flights into Sarajevo, and through the efforts of the United Nations we've been able to turn them back on. Q Is it reasonable for us to wonder if the U.S. will have concluded its review of military flights over Bosnia by Geneva -- the Geneva meeting next week and will have drawn some conclusions by then as to whether the U.S. thinks there have been military flights? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not able to give you any particular timetable on the next steps on the "no-fly." Q Go to a new topic? MR. BOUCHER: Sure.

[Somalia: Update]

Q Do you have an update on Somalia? MR. BOUCHER: Somalia. We continue to fly in relief flights. I can give you a few numbers on that. Yesterday there were 13 missions, delivered 160 metric tons to Baidoa, Belet Weyne, Oddur and Wajir in Kenya. Those are all military missions. I don't have an update on the civilian ones. We've been in touch with Ambassador Oakley. He's assumed his duties as a Special Envoy in Somalia. He's been in touch with U.N. Special Representative for Somalia, Ismat Kittani. He's actively coordinating with representatives of the private relief agencies in Mogadishu and, of course, with the U.S. military. He's begun his discussions with Somali political leaders. I think you've seen the press reports that he's met with General Aideed and Ali Mahdi already, and he's working to help assure the peaceful entry of U.S. forces into the country. Q Any evaluation of those discussions? MR. BOUCHER: He's talked about them. He's basically carrying the message of the need for the parties to cooperate in the deployments of U.N. coalition forces; the need -- the absolute necessity of cooperation with the U.N. and the private relief organizations in the delivery of humanitarian assistance and, of course, working with the United Nations on rebuilding Somalia's administrative structures. He got a positive response from both Ali Mahdi and General Aideed. They pledged their cooperation with the deployment of coalition forces, and we should note also that both issued statements on Saturday, December 5, in which they promised to take measures to ensure that no harm would come to coalition forces when the deployment began. Q Are Marines going in tonight? MR. BOUCHER: That's a good question to ask the Pentagon, Sid. Q Do you have any more information about what kinds of things were delivered on these 13 flights? MR. BOUCHER: I'm sorry. I don't today. Q These were just military missions. They were not delivery of food and -- MR. BOUCHER: No, these are the opposite. These are humanitarian assistance missions. These are the humanitarian assistance missions that we've been flying since August. They go to different parts in Baidoa, Belet Weyne and Oddur, Wajir in Kenya are destinations that we try to get to almost every day. Q Do you have a list of the countries who are volunteering troops for the coalition? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have a list for you, Jim. Some of them have made public statements, and I think it's better, as we have sometimes in the past, to wait for individual countries to be able to make public statements. The total comes now to about 35 countries that have offered either troops, support facilities or financial contributions in support of the efforts underway to help people in Somalia or the efforts that are planned for the future. We're discussing these offers with the countries that are making them to determine how best to integrate them into the overall effort. I don't think it would be appropriate for us to make an announcement when we're in private discussions with a particular country about the nature and extent of that country's contribution and how it fits into the extensive planning and coordination that would be required, since those discussions will affect the contributions of the offering countries. Q Richard, why are we -- MR. BOUCHER: Some countries have made public announcements. You can get that from other sources. I don't think it's in our interests to provide a partial list, one that may inadvertently become incomplete. We would expect that we'll be able to release a complete list once our discussions are complete and the countries themselves that made public disclosures. Q Why are we discussing it? Why shouldn't we just turn it over to the United Nations, since this is a United Nations thing, not an American thing? MR. BOUCHER: We're leading the coalition that's going in in the initial phase, and, of course, then the U.N., if you look in the resolution, also has the responsibility in setting up the peacekeeping to follow. Q Since most of this is long-range, why don't we just turn it over to the United Nations? MR. BOUCHER: No. Many of the offers that have been made -- the ones I've seen in public -- have been offers to go with us, basically to be there with us. Q Richard, can you give us a breakdown of the 35 countries offering troops, support facilities or financial contributions -- how many of those approximately 35 are offering to supply troops -- maybe that would be enough? MR. BOUCHER: It's something around a dozen or slightly more that have offered to provide military forces in one form or another. Q And also you said that Ambassador Oakley was discussing with the political leaders in Somalia the safe entry of -- peaceful entry -- to assure the peaceful entry of U.S. forces into the country. Is he not discussing the peaceful entry of all coalition forces, or is there someone else who's discussing that or -- MR. BOUCHER: Oh, that's an inadvertent error. He's discussing -- he wants everybody to be able to go in peacefully, Ralph. Thanks for pointing it out. Q No, but the question was whether there would be -- my question was aimed at determining whether there would be any other forces other than U.S. forces entering the country initially. MR. BOUCHER: Ralph, that's a question you can ask at the Pentagon. Q Richard, do you have any information on Italian relief worker who was kidnapped yesterday, and do you see that as a separate incident, or do you see any connection with the announcement of a landing by U.S. troops? MR. BOUCHER: Jacques, all we've got on that is what we've seen in the press reports, and I haven't seen that connection made, but I don't have any other information for you on that. Steve? Q Yes, on the number of countries providing troops, are any of those countries African countries? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think it's -- I can start narrowing this down too much more than I already have, and the numbers keep changing because we're in constant discussion back and forth with different governments. But in terms of support in one way or the other for the operation, including troops, I'd say we've heard from -- and you've probably seen the public announcements -- we've heard from countries in Africa, from countries in the Arab world, some countries in Europe as well, and various other governments around the world. Q Further south: Do you have any comment on this ground swell up at the U.N. for some sort of intervention in Mozambique? MR. BOUCHER: Groundswell? The Secretary General is developing recommendations or has, I guess, developed some recommendations for a U.N. role in Mozambique. We appreciate his efforts in doing that. We believe an active U.N. role is essential to the prospects for peace and democracy there. We're currently studying the Secretary General's report, as well as the means which may be available to pay for a U.N. operation. We anticipate that any U.N. operation in Mozambique will enjoy the full support, including the financial support, of the international community. Q Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 12:46 p.m.)