US Department of State Daily Briefing #178: Wednesday, 12/9/92

Boucher Source: State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: Dec, 9 199212/9/92 Category: Briefings Region: Subsaharan Africa, E/C Europe, Eurasia, North America, MidEast/North Africa, South Asia Country: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, Somalia, United States, Russia, Macedonia, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan Subject: Regional/Civil Unrest, Military Affairs, Development/Relief Aid, United Nations, Arms Control, NATO, State Department, History, Mideast Peace Process 12:10 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MR. BOUCHER: Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. I'd like to welcome you all here.

[Somlia: Ambassador Oakley's Contacts with UN/Parties to Conflict/Other

I don't have anything particular to start off with. If you want me to, I'll tell you a little bit about what Ambassador Oakley has been doing. I guess that's the key question. We are in touch with Ambassador Oakley. He's assumed his duties as U.S. Special Envoy in Somalia. He's been in frequent contact with U.N. Special Representative for Somalia, Ambassador Kittani. He's actively coordinating with representatives of the private relief agencies in Mogadishu and with the U.S. military. He met yesterday with General Aideed and Ali Mahdi. He met today with some of their representatives, and he'll be meeting with other Somali leaders in days to come. That's the basics. Go on to any questions. Do you want to -- Q Do you have any assurances from them them? MR. BOUCHER: I think we said yesterday that they had offered their assurances in the meetings; that they would welcome the U.N coalition forces. They've also themselves issued statements last Saturday, and I think some of them were statements on radio that offered assurances and urged people to cooperate with the U.S. and other U.N. forces that are arriving. Q Where is Kittani? Is he in Mogadishu? Is he -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't know exactly where he is now. I don't know. Q What is Ambassador Oakley asking these leaders to do? Is it purely a question of asking them to get out of the way or coordinate with the incoming American troops, or is he asking them something more about the future of their country? MR. BOUCHER: Well, it's a number of things, and I think we went through most of them yesterday. He's talking to them about the need for all parties to cooperate in the deployment of U.N. coalition forces. He's talking about the absolute necessity of Somali cooperation with the U.N. and private relief organizations on delivering humanitarian assistance and working with the U.N. on rebuilding Somalia's administrative structures by initiating rehabilitation programs throughout the country. He's also encouraging the Somali faction leaders to begin meeting with each other to discuss the future of their country, and I guess I'd note in that context that there was a lot of discussion at the conference in Addis Ababa last weekend on the 3rd and 4th by the various Somali factions and leaders who attended that meeting; and that the United Nations plans another conference for Addis Ababa in early January. Q You're looking at a Somali peace talks scenario? MR. BOUCHER: The U.N. is sort of sponsoring or supporting most actively -- the U.N. is most active in this area, in the political reconciliation area, and we're supporting their efforts; and, obviously, Ambassador Oakley is supporting their efforts in his discussions. So I'd leave it to them to describe it. The kind of contacts and discussions on political reconciliation are obviously intended to lead towards a peaceful and stable situation in Somalia. Q Can we call him -- to use an old phrase, "an honest broker"? MR. BOUCHER: Oh, I don't -- I don't have any way of describing it other than I have. He's out there. He's working with all the parties to try to -- Q Will the U.S. be a "driving force" in trying to re-establish the government in -- Q Is Jim Baker going to Somalia? (Laughter) MR. BOUCHER: I've described what Ambassador Oakley is doing. I've described our support for the United Nations efforts, and you're well aware of the active role that the United States is playing in the U.N. coalition that's there right now to try to stabilize the situation and ensure the delivery of humanitarian relief. Q Here's a question you probably won't appreciate. Has the U.S. moved from a purely humanitarian role to some quasi-political role in Somalia now? MR. BOUCHER: No. We've said all along that we are not there to take over the country. Q All right. You don't have to take over the country to play a political role. I mean, you know, I didn't ask you if you could take over the country. I'm asking you if the U.S. is playing a political role in Somalia? MR. BOUCHER: O.K. Do I get a turn? Q Yeah. MR. BOUCHER: O.K. We're not there to take over the country. Q Good. (Laughter) MR. BOUCHER: We're not encouraging any sort of administration like that. We are supporting the United Nations efforts to try to reconcile the factions and begin the rehabilitation of the country's structures, both local, regional, administrative structures especially. We're not there to impose a U.S. will, and our political role -- if you want to call it that -- is one of trying to encourage the factions and the parties in Somalia to cooperate with the United Nations -- to cooperate with the United Nations forces, first of all, who are there now and ensuring the delivery of relief, and to cooperate with the United Nations in trying to reconcile their differences and create a more stable situation for the long term. Q Does the Somali government-in-exile have a role to play in this process? MR. BOUCHER: It's not for me to define the factions, Sid. I think I'll leave it to the U.N. to -- Q We're talking about an elected government that -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't know what you're talking about by the "Somali government-in-exile." Q There's a Prime Minister, there's -- MR. BOUCHER: I'm sure the United Nations will be in touch with whatever the appropriate factions there are. Q Well, do we recognize this government? MR. BOUCHER: We don't recognize any government in Somalia, nor does the United Nations, nor does any other government that we know of. Q Richard, the language you're using of talking to the parties and the factions, and so on, is language we've heard many times around the world. But what seems to be different in Somalia is that these don't really seem to be factions of anything. They don't seem to be competing forces in constituting a government; they are simply leaders of armed men who don't seem to have any particular -- Q Political axe to grind. Q -- political function. MR. BOUCHER: Well, various people there have either political or military claims to leadership, and there are, you know, national leaders and people who have been in government in the past. Q They're former leaders. MR. BOUCHER: Former leaders. At present, yes, the U.N. called the situation in Somalia unique, and one of the things that makes it unique is this state of anarchy that exists, the lack of a government. It's not somebody in power and somebody out of power; it's contending parties. But at the same time there are parties, there are leaders, there are people who have military forces, there are people who can contribute to this if they're brought together. There were a very large number -- I think it was a hundred or something like that -- of Somali representatives that were at the conference at Addis Ababa. I don't know how that breaks down into different groups, but, obviously, there are a lot of people that could get together if they were willing to do so and try to re-establish some sort of harmony inside that society, and that's what the U.N. is trying to do. Q Yes. I guess what seems to be the case, though, of those hundreds of people who would like to have order reconstituted in Somalia, they aren't the people with the power and the guns, and the people with power and guns -- MR. BOUCHER: Oh, I don't think you can say that, but -- Q The people with the power and the guns don't seem to be -- really have political aspirations to reconstitute a government. They're doing just fine the way it is with chaos. MR. BOUCHER: Well, Chris, I don't think your judgment is right. I mean, that's not what people on the scene are reporting. If you look at the statements that some of the leaders have made, they express an interest in this. There was a joint statement that was done, that I think we made available yesterday, that came out of the meetings with the Somali leaders and factions in Addis. It is a more difficult situation, perhaps, than in other places where the U.N. has taken on this task. It's not somebody in power who wants this and somebody out of power who wants that, and you sit down and see if you can bridge any differences. It's an organizational task, but it's not something that the U.N. is unknown to, and it's not something that should be abandoned just because it's complicated. There are a lot of people in Somalia who represent different interests, and one of the things that over the long term the U.N. has been working on and will continue to work on, and we'll continue to support them, is to try to get those people together in some fashion to reconstitute a national authority. Q Well, there are a number of people who observed the U.S. move -- rather rapid move into Somalia somewhat cynically, and who say that the United States is essentially taking advantage of a vacuum in this country -- a political vacuum in this country to move in and "rescue the country," and then -- with the anticipation that the U.S. would be able to establish bases, even leave military equipment, and so on, in place in a rather strategic portion of Africa, and one that has an important role in the Middle East as well, in the Persian Gulf. Does the U.S. intend to withdraw? Well, first of all, do you have any comment on that kind of analysis of the U.S. role? And does the U.S. intend to withdraw not only its personnel, as President Bush has talked about, but also facilities and equipment that it's bringing in now that might be seen as a kind of prepositioning of military capabilities there and taking advantage of the vacuum that exists there? MR. BOUCHER: Ralph, I think, first of all, the thing to note is you say there are a number of people that have said these sorts of things, and there may be a number of people, but I would point out that the Somali leaders, the clan leaders, the Organization for African Unity representatives, people like the Arab League and people around the world and throughout Africa especially, have welcomed this mission and have said that they understand its humanitarian purpose, and that they support that. We're doing this under a U.N. resolution in full cooperation with the United Nations, with close liaison with the United Nations and its Secretary General. We're doing this with a specific mandate to go in and establish a situation where food can be delivered. The U.N. resolution itself and all the planning and discussion makes very clear that the peacekeeping operation that is to follow will be a normal U.N. blue helmet operation. We are talking to other countries about troop contributions. We're emphasizing to them in particular the importance of participation in that longer-term peacekeeping operation. Putting that force together is, of course, a U.N. responsibility, but the plan I think has been clearly laid out. It's been clearly discussed. It's in the U.N. resolution. It's been clearly discussed by U.S. representatives, and that's the way things will go. Q And what about the question on withdrawal of U.S. equipment and -- MR. BOUCHER: Specific timetables or specific equipment and withdrawals of troops or equipment I think I have to leave to the Pentagon. But I think the overall scenario, the overall plan, has been made very, very clear it's a U.N. organized, controlled situation where this initial force will withdraw, and that the peacekeeping operation to follow would be a normal blue helmet U.N. peacekeeping operation. Q Richard, I think there's great support for the U.S. as a humanitarian intervener, but I don't know if there's great support for the U.S. to help shape the settlement. Would you -- you talk about bridging differences. You talk about encouraging cooperation. Apart from the humanitarian -- I know it's hard to separate humanitarian missions from interference, which is based on clan leaders' fighting, but is the U.S. a mediator? Is the U.S. moving into a role of mediating between these various clans? MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't describe it that way, Barry. I'd describe it the way I have described it, and that's working with the U.N., supporting the U.N., supporting the efforts of Ambassador Kittani, who is specifically charged by the U.N. with this effort at rehabilitation and reconciliation. That is our role. In our conversations, rather than omit any reference to those political subjects, we do discuss them, and we discuss them in the context of a need to cooperate with the U.N. and work with the U.N. in that regard. Q Richard, are you able to spell out clearly the conditions that would allow American ground troops to withdraw and turn the operation over to the United Nations? MR. BOUCHER: Those have been spelled out repeatedly by the briefers at the Pentagon. I really think I have to leave it to what's on the record and what they have to say. Q I don't think they have been clearly spelled out. For instance, it's not known about to what extent you're going to alleviate the starvation before leaving; to what extent the country has to be pacified; to what extent there has to be any move toward reconciliation among the warlords. Can you address those? MR. BOUCHER: Well, I would say that when General Powell and Secretary Cheney did their briefing last week, they put up the signboard that had this specific mission to which our troops had been assigned. You're aware of the mission in the U.N. resolution, the mission that we, ourselves, have identified for our troops. So I think that is very clear, and I guess we just differ on that. Chris? Q When will Ambassador Oakley's mission as Special Envoy be complete? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think there's any specific timetable. Q No, I don't mean literally when, but what has to happen for that mission to be complete? MR. BOUCHER: Again, I don't know of any conditions or timetable that's been placed on that. I'll check and see if there's some limitation, but at this point I think he's there, and he'll be working. I don't know of any time limit. Q Well, again, I misspoke. I didn't mean -- MR. BOUCHER: Time limit or specific conditions under which he would leave. Q Right. MR. BOUCHER: So I don't think there is, but I'll check. Q Can we try something else? Q Is Ambassador Oakley planning to seek assurances of cooperation from the gang known as the media, and also -- MR. BOUCHER: I thought Pete Williams sought those yesterday, and then I saw the pictures of what he got. Q But more generally, do you have any comment on those pictures, the specter of journalists descending on Marines as they land? What does it mean for your diplomacy? MR. BOUCHER: I think I'll leave those comments to the Pentagon. I think Secretary Cheney gave some of his own personal reaction this morning, as a matter of fact. Q Could we try something else? Q Still on this subject. You mentioned a moment ago that Oakley had been -- among the things Oakley was doing was talking to other countries about troop commitments, and so on. MR. BOUCHER: I didn't say Oakley was doing that. We're doing that in other ways, yes. Q Sorry. The U.S. is -- Oakley said this morning, among other things, that the U.S. did not anticipate the Government of Italy, for example, contributing any troops. I thought, perhaps wrongly, that they were going to do so, but what's the status? MR. BOUCHER: You thought correctly, and some people thought wrongly that Oakley had said that. In fact, I don't think he did. He did not say we don't welcome Italian coalition -- Italian participation -- Q I don't think that's exactly what I said. MR. BOUCHER: -- not coalition. Q What I'm -- MR. BOUCHER: Nor did he say that they would -- Q (Multiple comments) Q My question was not -- MR. BOUCHER: O.K. Let me tell you about the Italians, O.K.? Q The question was whether the U.S. expected Italy to send troops? MR. BOUCHER: Italian troops, in fact, should arrive there fairly soon. Anyone who might have thought that he had said that we did not welcome Italian participation in the coalition in Somalia would have been wrong, because we're, of course, delighted to see that our Italian allies will join us in this mission. Ambassador Oakley did say that he's not the person who makes the decision on the composition of coalition forces, and that he did not know who would be arriving as part of the coalition. He has subsequently made clear to the media in Mogadishu that we welcome Italian forces with whom we have a great deal of common NATO experience as part of the United Nations coalition. And I'm told that the situation on the ground in terms of foreign governments, foreign countries, is that the lead units of a contribution previously announced by the French Government have arrived in Somalia, and some initial Italian units may arrive soon. Q What about the others? I mean, do we have -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't have other lists. We're still in the process of identifying units that are available and integrating them. Q Who's going to arrive? When do we expect -- MR. BOUCHER: These are the only ones I can announce the arrival or imminent arrival of at this point. Q On another ally, Richard, the French -- as you understand it, will the French deployment be anything other than the troops that they already have in Djibouti -- and that's a long way away from Mogadishu, obviously -- will they be taking them out of Djibouti or is that -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. That's something you'd have to ask the French Government. Q Richard, I know you didn't answer the question that was asked a minute ago, but just to follow up on it. I don't feel any need to defend the media in this, but in the question of your request for comment on the pictures, and so on, the U.S. Government did provide, did it not, detailed information to news reporters on when U.S. troops would be arriving on the beach, even going so far, did it not, as to advise the media on where the best pictures -- Q You're not defending the media? (Laughter) Q -- might be obtained, and at what time those pictures might be obtained? MR. BOUCHER: Ralph, I'm very happy to leave this whole question to the Pentagon. They're the ones who are there, along with the journalists who are there, and I'll leave it to the Pentagon and the journalists who are there. Q I just want to make sure people who read the transcript see it all, that's all.

[Department: Appointment of Lawrence Eagleburger as Secretary of State/History of Office]

Q I don't know if asking about Eagleburger should be put to the White House or here, but assuming here is the place, after yesterday's experience, can you tell us if he now has plans to meet with -- if the full and real Secretary of State, no longer acting, has a scheduled date now with the Russian Foreign Minister in Stockholm? You were trying to arrange it. Have you arranged it? MR. BOUCHER: We expect the Acting -- I almost said it wrong -- we expect the Secretary of State, Mr. Eagleburger, to meet with Foreign Minister Kozyrev in Stockholm. I really don't feel comfortable giving details of the schedule at this point, but we do expect them to meet there. Q Well, was it contingent on -- the inference of the question seems to be that the meeting was contingent on his being Secretary rather than Acting Secretary? MR. BOUCHER: No. Let's -- I've been reminded many times not to impute inferences to questions, but I think -- Q But in any case -- MR. BOUCHER: That was in no way contingent. The Foreign Minister has previously seen the Acting Secretary. Q Speaking of the appointment, though, or the nomination yesterday -- I guess "nomination" would be the correct way of phrasing it. Q Swearing in. MR. BOUCHER: No, swearing in. Q What was the rationale behind doing that secretly, if you will? Doesn't Eagleburger deserve to have his nomination announced publicly by the Administration and then have him sworn in -- MR. BOUCHER: I think that's a question you need to ask the White House. It was announced publicly in a statement by the White House. Q After the fact. MR. BOUCHER: It's just that this statement came out after he was sworn in. Q But, Richard, a housekeeping on that. What does that mean for all the other people who are acting something or another? Do they then become full whatever it is that they are? MR. BOUCHER: No, it doesn't, for all the semi-toughs, or whatever we are, that are acting around the building. No, it doesn't change our status. The situation with the Secretary is, in fact, somewhat unique, because there are certain things by law which the Secretary of State or the Acting Secretary of State has to do, and where he has certain specific responsibilities that can't be separated from the job. And, therefore, you have to make sure that you have a legal Secretary of State at all times. For the rest of us, unless we're called upon to exercise some legal authority, it doesn't really arise. Q Signing a treaty, for instance? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Something like that. I'm not sure what has been delegated and what hasn't, but there are certain things that were imposed precisely in that office, and there has to be, legalistically speaking, there has to be a formal occupant. Q Well, another question on that is that -- Q (inaudible) START II? MR. BOUCHER: That's speculative. Q -- when Eagleburger became Acting Secretary, he was one of many Foreign Service Officers who have held the post of Acting Secretary of State. How many others besides himself have ever risen through the ranks and become full Secretary of State? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. Q Could you find out? MR. BOUCHER: I'll try to check. Q Could you also take the question of length of tenure, whether -- who is the shortest tenured Secretary of State? MR. BOUCHER: Who is the shortest Secretary of State? (Laughter) Q Shortest tenured Secretary of State. Q The heaviest. MR. BOUCHER: I'll see if we can find that out. Q I'm curious to know if he gets a portrait? MR. BOUCHER: We all are. Q And does his pension increase? Q How much it will cost? Q No, I don't care about the cost. I'm just curious to know -- Q Richard, will he get full retirement benefits of Secretary of State? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think there's any change in the salary or pension, or anything like that. Q But, I mean, he doesn't have to be approved by Congress to get full retirement benefits? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know what his pension situation is, Martin. I just don't. I'm told it's not changed by this situation. Q Richard, this is a clarification, he is no longer in the Foreign Service, as I understood it. He was -- MR. BOUCHER: Well, that's true. He left and came back. Q So he's not in the service. Q He's former Foreign Service, and he's the highest person -- the highest placed Foreign Service Officer. Q Is there a Deputy Secretary of State now, or is one being appointed? MR. BOUCHER: No, there's not. Q So the position is vacant? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Well, I don't know. I mean, he may be concurrent. Q Richard, Yugoslavia -- MR. BOUCHER: He could be both. Q (Multiple comments) Q Go ahead, I'm sorry.

[Macedonia: US Recognition]

Q You were asked yesterday about Macedonia, and you replied that U.S. policy had not changed, and we all accepted that. MR. BOUCHER: Uh-huh. Q Macedonia is a -- you know, is in a weird situation. So, for the record, I wondered if you could provide us just for our own benefits with a restatement of what U.S. policy is/ MR. BOUCHER: O.K. We're all familiar with it, but one of us is not familiar with it to recite it from the podium, so I'd be glad to get that for you later. Q The follow-up is that everyone is aware that there are risks of this conflict spreading -- conflict in Yugoslavia. One of the places it could spread to is Macedonia. At the moment, with the United States not recognizing Macedonia, would Serbian aggression against Macedonia -- I realize this is hypothetical, and I realize that you could do the Tutwiler thing and say, "I don't take hypotheticals" -- MR. BOUCHER: I could do the Boucher thing and say I don't take hypotheticals, too. Q Are you about to do that, or can I -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't know, Alan. You can finish the question. Q If there were to be -- this is not -- it may be hypothetical, but it's certainly not impossible -- aggression against Macedonia, would that be regarded by the United States as aggression against a foreign state, or would it be regarded as intervention within the borders of what were once Yugoslavia? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know the answer to that, Alan, and I don't know if a precise legal definition is either available or, in fact, appropriate to the way we would view this situation. You know the efforts that we have been making all along, many of those efforts have been directed at preventing a spillover of these confrontations into various places. We have put in CSCE monitoring missions in various neighboring areas around Bosnia, including parts of Serbia, like Kosovo, Vojvodina and Sandzak. We've had a monitoring mission headed by the United States, in this case in Macedonia, where we've had, under the CSCE, we've had people there whose job it is to try to prevent an escalation of the violence and a spillover of the confrontation into new areas. So, certainly, that has been one of the things that we've been very concerned about, and one of the things that we, with the other members of the CSCE, have been active on, and where we have been active specifically with reference to Macedonia. Q What evidence has the U.S. seen, if any, of Serbian aggression in Kosovo, for example? MR. BOUCHER: I think we've talked about the various incidents that have occurred there. We've described our concern about the tensions that are there, so I think I'd just leave it to what we've said already. Q Is the U.S. in touch with the Albanian Government about the situation in Kosovo? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know specifically that we are in touch with the Albanians, but certainly we've been in touch with a variety of countries. We've discussed the situation in Kosovo with others. It's been discussed in particularly the CSCE where Albania and other neighboring states are represented. So I'm virtually certain, but I can't tell you specifically that we have.

[Former Yugoslavia: Embargo and Its Effects/Reported Violations

Q Richard, has the United States become aware of rather substantial violations of the embargo by businesses in Greece, and is the United States addressing that to the Greek Government? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have anything specifically on Greece at this point. We have pursued evidence or information that we might have on sanctions violations by companies in various locations. We've pursued that rather actively. We've sought to strengthen sanctions monitoring in certain ways. In fact, I have something of an update on what they are doing, and what we are doing to enforce them better, which I'll use the occasion to give you. The newly tightened sanctions in our view are having a substantial effect on the Serbian economy. Inflation is higher than ever. Serbia's experiencing severe industrial disruptions, including plant closings and unemployment. Road and rail traffic is down 60 percent since sanctions went into effect in June. Local press reports indicate that transportation problems have piled up to an enormous extent as a result of the sanctions, and Serbian officials today called the new U.N. resolution "a direct blow" to Serbia. But through sanctions circumvention the Milosevic regime is still managing to obtain some needed goods. The unwillingness of some companies in the East and West European states to stop trading with Serbia is still causing problems. We have interdiction efforts underway. As you know, the Adriatic interdiction operation began on November 22. NATO and WEU warships have challenged 930 vessels. They have boarded 62, and one ship was found to be carrying goods bound for Serbia. The new resolution confirms that it is the responsibility of the Danube states to enforce sanctions on the Danube. Unlike the Adriatic, which is international waters, substantial portions of the Danube are within national control and fall under local customs jurisdiction. Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania have all agreed to undertake enforcement operations. They have found it difficult to act against third country ships on their own, and they have called upon the international community for technical assistance and equipment. In response to requests from Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, we are expanding the CSCE sanctions monitoring assistance teams that have been in place in Danube states and Macedonia since October. At CSCE meetings on December 4, we also began working on plans to provide boats and equipment to Danube states. Q How about countries outside the area? Are they responsible for -- I mean, you talk about companies -- MR. BOUCHER: I said there were -- well, Barry, I don't make the leap from companies to countries. Q I know you don't, and I don't know why you don't, because, as you know so well, in most countries companies operate very much under the influence of their governments. They're not rally freelancers, not even in this country. MR. BOUCHER: I don't think that's true for ourselves or allies in Western Europe. You have attempts to evade U.S. export control laws all the time that we find and we punish. Q Yes, you jump right down on them, that's right. MR. BOUCHER: That's what we expect of other government when they find that companies in their -- under their control are trying to violate the sanctions. Q So what can you tell us about the now three week old Egyptian investigation that you announced about their company violating the oil sanction? MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to check and see where that lead to. Q Can you tell us -- can you give some of the countries where these companies operate? These violators that you say are still persisting in getting things through, in what countries do these companies exist? MR. BOUCHER: I'll see what more details I can get you. I referred to -- Q Well wait a minute -- MR. BOUCHER: Hang on, hang on. I'll see what more details I can get you on that, Barry. I think I just referred to companies in both West and Eastern Europe that were involved. We do have information on potential sanctions violations, and we do follow that information up with governments. That is not always information that is easy to share with you here because of the sources of that information, so I'll see if there's more I can get you. Q Is the U.S. satisfied with the enforcement by countries? You said that you do ask countries to enforce -- MR. BOUCHER: I would say in general we are satisfied. Q Including the countries of the companies which a moment ago you said were unwilling to stop trading and are still causing problems -- are you satisfied with the enforcement levels in those countries? MR. BOUCHER: I would just say that, in general, we are satisfied that we've gotten cooperation from a number of governments. In this respect, I don't have a comprehensive rundown because unless I can start talking about specific countries, I can't say that, you know, this has been handled well and that hasn't. Q Even if you don't want to talk about specific countries -- MR. BOUCHER: I will see if I can get you more on that as well. Q Can you specify the companies that are still causing problems, in the U.S. view? MR. BOUCHER: Again, I've been asked for more information. I'll try to get you something. Q (inaudible) MR. BOUCHER: I don't have that one. I'll check. Q Do you have a reaction to the Serbian offer to grant safe passage to the population of Sarajevo? MR. BOUCHER: In our view, Barrie, what's required is not safe passage, but it's an end to the Serbian-sponsored depredations of the population of Sarajevo. Q Richard, one of the problems with sanctions -- just to come back to that -- which you didn't refer to in your statement, was the question of transshipment. You referred to the Danube and you referred to the Adriatic. MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q A couple of weeks ago I recall you issuing a threat from this podium to say that if the question of transshipment -- that is to say, goods that were supposedly in transit across Serbia but were then diverted to Serbia -- continued, the United States was willing to present a new U.N. resolution that would ban transshipments. Since then I haven't heard anything from you. Have you -- MR. BOUCHER: If I'm not incorrect, that resolution was passed. Q So transshipment is now banned? MR. BOUCHER: Transshipment and key commodities were specified. Q Yes. Sorry. Q Can I just split a hair? The questions we're all asking, I hope, when you get an answer -- if you get an answer -- apply to Serbia and Montenegro -- MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q -- because they violate -- you know, the Egyptian violation is Montenegro. MR. BOUCHER: Yes, sure.

[Bosnia: Update]

Q But back on the evacuation, can you update us on plans for relief? MR. BOUCHER: On relief? Q To Sarajevo? MR. BOUCHER: O.K. The U.N. is hopeful that a convoy can reach the city by the end of the day. The road from the airport we understand now is open. We've had reporting from our Embassy in Zagreb on that. In terms of airlift, the airlift remains suspended because of the small arms fire last week and, in particular, the continued Serbian shelling that goes on around the airport. UNPROFOR and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees will determine when the airlift will be resumed. In addition to that convoy that they're trying to get into the city of Sarajevo today, there was a land convoy that reached Sarajevo on Monday. Q I'd like to know what the U.S. reaction -- what the Government's reaction would be to statements by Reagan, now Shultz, former Secretary of State, calling for U.S. military intervention. I think Shultz actually used -- suggested U.S. bombing and use of smart weapons to knock out Serbian attack positions. I think there's a French official commenting today about the need to do more. Do you have any comment on any of that? MR. BOUCHER: Well, let me address it in two ways. One is to sort of tell you where we are and what we're doing. And the second, which I guess I'll do first, is to talk about some of those ideas and statements that you've seen out there. I think one of the important things is to look at what can be effective and whether additional steps could effectively change the situation. Another is to take into account the views of those with troops on the ground. Now, in the context of the meetings next week, we do expect to have a full discussion with other governments and, of course, we will be looking at all the options with regard to that. But I would say that in general our policy to Bosnia has been based on four elements: -- You've got preventing widening of the conflict. -- You got pressing through all means for the delivery of humanitarian relief. -- You have pressuring the Serbian Government to end its support for aggression in Bosnia, especially through the effective enforcement of sanctions. -- And, finally, encouraging political negotiations through the mechanisms that we established at the London conference. We do continue to face a very difficult and complex situation on the ground. The organizations that we're meeting with next week have been actively involved. The CSCE has been actively involved in reporting on human rights abuses, and stationing monitors in hot spots and trying to prevent spillover, and assisting with sanctions enforcement. NATO has been involved in monitoring of military flights and enforcing sanctions in the Adriatic. And, of course, we all know of the efforts of Secretary Vance and Lord Owen and the London Conference mechanisms in trying to see that the agenda set in London was achieved and to offer the parties a prospect for reconciliation. In advance of next week's meetings, we're looking at various measures we can take on this agenda, working with other governments, with the U.N., with the CSCE, with NATO, and especially with Vance and Owen. The meetings provide an opportunity to review where we are, offer guidance to Vance and Owen as they pursue their efforts, and to take further steps. At this point I don't want to forecast any specific steps. We are, of course, looking at all possible options and we'll talk to others next week about how to proceed. Q None of the agenda items you referred to earlier, I don't think -- unless you put them under one of the categories -- none of the agenda items deals with stopping the fighting and stopping the actual aggression to which you referred. MR. BOUCHER: I said pressuring the Serbian Government and its support for aggression in Bosnia. Q Right. But that's pressing the government as distinct from doing something to actually stop the attacks. A lot of the attacks are being conducted by people that claim not to be part of the Serbian Government. MR. BOUCHER: Well, we've talked about that before, and I think we've made very clear our view that those people could not operate without the past support and the continuing support of the Serbian Government. Obviously, all the parties -- we've encouraged all the parties to settle their differences peacefully, all the parties inside Bosnia to settle their differences peacefully and to stop the fighting. And that falls under several of the categories I mentioned. Q And you don't have any specific comment on Shultz' remarks dealing with the use of specific kinds of military force? MR. BOUCHER: Not on those specific things, no. Q Richard, drop back to the U.N. "no fly" zone, another hardy perennial. When this was first proposed, the United States wanted and suggested an enforcement mechanism, but it deferred to its allies who didn't want one. And at the time it was said to us, it was explained that if this resolution was violated, then the United States would very quickly put through an enforcement mechanism. What exactly is the problem here? Has the United States changed its mind? Is the United States still not clear that the resolution is being violated, or is the United States listening to allies, maybe people who have troops on the ground, who don't want the resolution? MR. BOUCHER: Alan, I've described the situation with regard to "no-fly" repeatedly. We've reported to you on the Secretary General's reports of flights that appear to violate the ban. We've told you that we do intend to see that the terms of the U.N. resolution are honored. We've said we're in consultation with our allies, with the United Nations, that we're considering further steps to make the ban effective, and I guess I'd add that we would expect to have a further discussion of the situation with allies during the course of next week's meetings. Q Well, the United States is capable, when it wants, of acting with amazing speed in the United Nations. I mean we've just seeing this on Somalia. This resolution was passed on October 9th. The U.N. Secretary General's report came -- what? -- two weeks ago? MR. BOUCHER: Well, there have been several reports. Q O.K. What is taking so long? MR. BOUCHER: Alan, you're aware of movement in different paces in different areas. We have to discuss this with allies. This is something that we've done with the United Nations. We're discussing it with countries that have troops on the ground. We're discussing it with countries that are interested in the situation there, and with the United Nations as well. It's something we're working on. Q Has the United States made -- MR. BOUCHER: I have no particular timetable for it. Q Has the United States made a decision on what it wants? Without you disclosing to me or to us what it wants, are you clear in your own minds -- is the Administration clear in its own mind what it wants to do here, or is it still thinking its position? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think it's either/or. It's a subject that has to be discussed with other governments. We can come jointly to conclusions about what the next appropriate steps are. Q How does the Administration feel about the irony that the "no-fly" zone seemingly applies now only to U.N. flights, while the Serbs can operate with impunity? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think that's an irony that is necessarily one thing related to the other, Howard. Q Richard, any kind of determination yet on the combat nature of the Serbian helicopter flights? MR. BOUCHER: On those reports we had, no, there isn't. Q What's the status of analysis of that? MR. BOUCHER: It's something that I said we would continue to pursue information. I just don't have any conclusions at this point. Q The last days we heard of reports were Monday and Tuesday of last week -- have they topped 200 now? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know what the number is. I guess the number would come up in the next -- November was l75, I think. I don't have a running count. Really, that information, as we said, is collected, analyzed and put forward by the U.N. and the Secretary General who has reported regularly. You can check with the U.N. as to when the next report might come out. I think we have we've seen some indication of flights in the past few days. Let me see if I can -- have reports of possible violations on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Q This week. Yes, O.K. Q Richard, you stopped using the language you used when the first resolution was passed. You talked about a two-stage process and the U.S. would move promptly to the second phase. You're not using that any more because I guess "promptly" has passed, or I mean are you still using that language? MR. BOUCHER: Ralph, I would say what I've been saying all along, what I said again today, that we do intend to see the terms of the resolution observed. Q Richard, in your statement earlier about considering all options in the meeting next week, possibly taking some further steps, do you mean to roll back on the strong impression you left yesterday that the policy is set, there's no change. "I don't expect any change. I don't expect a lot of movement." It seems to me that today's statement is meant to modify that. MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't think I said that yesterday, first of all. I said yesterday that some issues were under discussion. We're preparing for meetings next week -- with NATO, the CSCE, with the London Steering Committee. We do expect to discuss the full range of issues, and we're looking at those various issues. Q Do you expect to see this -- MR. BOUCHER: I told you specifically that I can't forecast any specific steps. I didn't -- it's pretty much what I said yesterday too, that we're looking at various things. Q With respect to the arms embargo, you said, "There's no specific plan to change policy." MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q Can you say that again? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q Could I ask you about the Mideast talks? Q Still on Yugoslavia, do you have anything to tell us about what the U.S. and NATO are doing about preparing contingency plans for taking further steps in connection with former Yugoslavia? Are these related to the contingency plans you discussed sometime ago for enforcement activities, or are they contingency plans for other things; and, if so, what? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any specific information on what they're doing at NATO. I saw a press report this morning, I think sourced to sources, that indicated some contingency planning. I'd just say that we -- NATO, like military authorities everywhere, make contingency plans. That's about all we would have to say on that. There are some upcoming meetings. We have the Defense Ministers Meeting -- NATO Defense Ministers. I think it's 9th and l0th, maybe the llth. And then you have the Foreign Ministers Meeting the l7th and l8th. That's one of the meetings at which I said that these various things regarding Yugoslavia would probably be discussed. And we're preparing for those meetings. Q All of those things are true, of course, but NATO doesn't operate -- doesn't make contingency plans unless it's l6-member nations instruct it to do so, or have a desire for it to do so. Has the U.S. suggested, requested, inquired of NATO about making contingency plans of some sort or other? And, if so, what is the U.S. desire of NATO for a contingency plan? MR. BOUCHER: I'll see if we have any information like that for you. I think most of the planning that was done previously in NATO, and maybe whatever is being done now, was under a request by the NAC -- by the North Atlantic Council meetings -- for the NATO military authorities to do some specific planning. So you might inquire at NATO whether there's been such a decision there as well. Q Richard, back on the Shultz suggestions, is there anything in the suggestions that he made that would be in opposition to the four criteria that you listed here for the U.S. policy in Yugoslavia? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, I don't want to offer any specific critique of various statements that have been made by different people. We've tried to describe for you the policy that we're pursuing. We've told you that we're preparing for meetings next week with organizations that are actively involved with the situation with the former Yugoslavia, that we're looking at all the various subjects that might come up there. But I'm not trying to preview or forecast for you any specific shift or steps. Q Has he been in touch, informally or otherwise, with the current Administration in this State Department now? MR. BOUCHER: I really don't know. Q Can I ask if the U.S. has a view about today's interruption in the peace talks? Is the U.S. doing anything today about meeting with the parties? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware of any specific meetings or contacts scheduled for today, although we do have meetings and contacts and telephone calls all the time with different delegations, so I can't rule them out. Our understanding is the Arab delegations decided to join the Palestinians in not conducting negotiations today because of the fifth anniversary of the intifada. We reget this decision. In our view, no opportunity should be lost in the engagement of the parties to advance the Arab-Israeli peace talks. Q Is the U.S. aware of this decision prior to, let's say, the time that the talks would have, with the previous scheduling, begun this morning? MR. BOUCHER: I understand we learned of it late last night. Q From (inaudible)? MR. BOUCHER: I didn't get an answer to that one. Q But you didn't make any changes in logistical planning and so on for those talks this morning? For example, staff was present to accommodate the parties as if they were to arrive this morning at 10 o'clock? MR. BOUCHER: On days when know they're not coming, we usually don't put people out. I'm not sure we got the word around this time. Q Well, Richard could you find out -- the Israelis heard first from the Jordanians, I understand, and never heard from the Syrians or the Lebanese. It would be nice to know who the host and sponsor from? MR. BOUCHER: Host and co-sponsor. Q Host and co-sponsor. Well, I don't know if they notified the Russians, but --they're sort of sideline hosts. MR. BOUCHER: I'll see if we can find that out for you. Q Do you have anything on a situation facing the Kurds? Some people are concerned that they might face a rough winter because of the supply situation there. MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to get an update on that, George. The last time we checked I think there were some trucks moving in again from Turkey, and I think that has continued. But I'll try to get an estimate of the volume if I can. Q I had the same question, but to just follow up: Are the Iraqis behaving themselves? MR. BOUCHER: I'm pretty sure the answer to that is no. You want some more specifics? Q Well, yes. (Laughter) Q You don't have to check on that. MR. BOUCHER: You don't have to check on that. That one's no. Q Richard? MR. BOUCHER: I'm sorry. Carol had a question, too. Let's do Carol. Q Does the U.S. have any comment on the Russian Congress vote on Gaidar -- Yegor Gaidar? MR. BOUCHER: I heard about it. That would seem to me the kind of thing we don't usually comment on at all. Q Well, I mean the United States is concerned about the progress of reforms there. MR. BOUCHER: And I would be happy to restate our strong support for reforms there. We have the Presidential statement at the beginning of the conference -- of the Congress that stated very clearly our support for the reform process and the fact that we would continue to support it. But we haven't tried to comment on specific governmental changes. Q Did you identify Gaidar with the reform process? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, I'll leave that sort of analysis -- Q No, no -- MR. BOUCHER: That's not for us to do. Q No, no. MR. BOUCHER: It's not for us to comment on specific individuals of foreign governments. Q Can I ask you about -- you know, his future? Gaidar -- you've been beating the drums for -- not you, but the State Department is beating the drums for reform. Gaidar is the symbol of reform, to most people; and I wondered if the State Department has a similar view that he's been the symbol of reform? MR. BOUCHER: Barry, it's not for us to comment on specific individuals in foreign governments. Q Wait a minute, do you support Yeltsin? Q You do that all the time. Q My God, we go half-way -- three-quarters around the world to give Shevardnadze a pat on the back. Q And you wouldn't hesitate a moment to comment on Sadam Husayn, if asked. So -- MR. BOUCHER: I'll see if we have any comment on Mr. Gaidar. (Laughter) Q Well, more generally, are you concerned that this vote would undermine Yeltsin and his ability to carry forward the reforms? MR. BOUCHER: I'll see, Carol, if there's anything we want to say on that. We have, as you know, avoided to get to a certain depth in foreign governments' politics, and the way they deal with their parliaments. This seems to me a similar situation, but I will see. Q Is it still your position that you will not meet with the PLO, or are you reviewing that policy? MR. BOUCHER: That policy hasn't changed. Q That wasn't the question, though. What's the answer to the question? MR. BOUCHER: Are we reviewing that policy? Q Yes. MR. BOUCHER: Not that I'm aware of, but I'd have to check before I can tell you no. Q The criteria for resuming talks with the PLO remains unchanged? MR. BOUCHER: As far as I know, yes.

[Afghanistan: Update on Fighting]

Q Richard, do you have an update on what's going on in Afghanistan -- Kabul? MR. BOUCHER: Kabul. Fighting. There are what we would call fragmentary and contradictory reports of some kind of coup going in Kabul, but we're really unable to determine what is occurring. Regardless of the details, our basic approach remains the same. A resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan must come about through political and not military means. We support a political process resulting in a representative government that's acceptable to the Afghans. We do not favor any individual or any faction. Q Have we retrieved all of our Stingers yet? MR. BOUCHER: Sid, I don't have anything to say on that subject that I didn't have to say before. Q Will you have something to say on the day when the process of -- where we stood last on that issue was the U.S. was going to make its best efforts. Will you say something on the day when that -- MR. BOUCHER: I don't think we've ever spoken of any specific weapons system, and I wouldn't expect to do that in the future. Q (Multiple comments) Q If you're named full acting spokesman -- if you're named full spokesman, no longer acting spokesman, will we hear about it here or at the White House? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. I don't expect that either. Q You say that you're supporting the peaceful resolution of the conflict there. What efforts are you making to help that peaceful resolution? MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to check on that, Jacques, and get you something. Q Good night -- I mean -- (Laughter) MR. BOUCHER: Anybody who wants to do this instead of me, feel welcome. Q Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 1:00 p.m.)