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US DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING #2: 
State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher 


                         DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                               DPC #2

                 TUESDAY, JANUARY 5, 1993, 12:20 P.M.
                (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)


         MR. BOUCHER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  Let me 
just start off by reminding you, we've got a briefing scheduled here
today.  This afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Ambassador Robert Oakley will be
here to take your questions, update you on the situation in Somalia.
He's been back for a couple of days and will be returning at the end
of this week -- returning later this week, probably Thursday -- to
Somalia, so it's a chance to talk to him while he's in town.

         That's about the only thing I have to announce, so I'd be glad 
to
take your questions.

         Q  The usual update needed, please.  Late stories now that 
there's some huddling in New York on a resolution.  Are you making 
headway on that "no-fly" -- apparently Spanish, Americans, etc., 
speaking?

         MR. BOUCHER:  It basically remains, in terms of policy, where
 Joe Snyder: had it yesterday.  We think a resolution is necessary.  
We are continuing to work on a resolution with other governments; 
and there was going to be another meeting this afternoon, I 
understood, to discuss this with key governments, key allies, up in 
New York.  But that's about where it stands.

         Q    Those being the folks who have troops there, because 
that's
 where the concern seems to be?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Yes, some of them have troops there.

         Q  Is there a likelihood -- does the U.S. even want to see a 
resolution passed before the conclusion of the, or before the 
continuation, shall we say, I think, on Sunday or Saturday in Geneva 
of the Bosnia talks in Geneva?

         MR. BOUCHER:  We want to see a resolution as soon as possible,
Ralph.  That's what Joe said yesterday, and that remains the case
today.

         Q  The U.S. would like to see one before those talks resume?

         MR. BOUCHER:  My understanding is that the Secretary
General has asked that enforcement, the enforcement phase, not
take place while those talks are on-going or while those talks
continue.  But, as you know from our previous discussion of
this, there has always been a phased approach or a warning time
or something built into the resolution and there was discussion
on how long that should be.  So that remains a point of
discussion.

         But we continue to proceed.  We're trying to work out
the resolution.

         Q    Could I ask the State Department's philosophy on
that very point?  Is it not your view that negotiations and
enforcement are complementary?  Is one necessarily in conflict
with the other?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  We don't see them as in conflict.
We think an enforcement resolution is still necessary, and we
think we need to have a resolution as soon as possible.

         Johanna?

         Q    How would you handle that pragmatically?  If a
resolution with, say, a 15-day waiting period is enacted, would
the clock not start on the 15 days while talks are going on?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, the details of the language of the
resolution really have to be worked out in New York, so I don't
want to get into hypothetical situations on that.

         Q    I was thinking more of the Secretary General's
request.  Does his request suggest that the clock not start when
those talks are going on?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Our understanding is that the Secretary
General has asked only that actual enforcement of a "no-fly"
resolution be deferred until the results of the talks in Geneva
become clearer.  That's the way we have it.

         Of course, that position has to be taken into account
by those who are drafting the resolution.  We're continuing to
work on the resolution, and we're continuing to try to get one
as soon as possible.

         Q    Does the State Department have a position on the
Vance position which is, keep the country intact but divide it
up into something like ten ethnic provinces?  Is that in line
with the territorial integrity of Bosnia that you folks
recognize?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Let me give you an update on where things
stand.  We certainly support the efforts of the Co-Chairmen to
find a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Bosnia, one
that's in accordance with the U.N. Security Council resolutions,
with the London agreements, and with CSCE principles.

         And we have often discussed, not only in supporting
those various documents and statements, but also we've discussed
our own position, I think, many times on these things.

         Yesterday, at the talks the Co-Chairmen, Cyrus Vance
and Lord Owen, presented a package of three documents to the
parties.  The package consisted of constitutional principles, a
map of administrative or provincial districts, and a draft
military agreement.  After the parties had expressed their
initial reactions to the package, the talks were adjourned, as
planned, for the Orthodox Christmas holiday.  They're scheduled
to resume on January 10, and all of the participants are
expected to return.

         We are encouraged by the fact that they continue to
participate in the talks.  We would encourage them to use this
recess to reflect upon the Co-Chairmen's package.  And, as I
said, we support the Co-Chairmen's efforts to try to reach a
negotiated settlement.

         Q    But do you support the specifics of the package?
The efforts, I know you support.

         MR. BOUCHER:  The specifics of the package, of course,
are to be decided out there in their discussions.  It wouldn't
really be appropriate for me to get into the details at this
point.  But I think you know our basic policies, as we've
expressed them previously in the U.N. Security Council
resolutions, the other statements that we've made.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, we think, needs to be recognized.  It needs
to have its structure that can be worked out and agreed to by
the parties; and we should not, in that process, condone or
countenance or support the process of ethnic cleansing that's
been going on.

         Q    What about the process of carving up Bosnia into
cantons?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Again, there's a map, there's
constitutional principles.  These details of the administrative
or the political provincial structure of Bosnia are being worked
out at these talks.

         Q    But isn't our position to support the integrity of
Bosnia as we recognize them?

         MR. BOUCHER:  And I just restated it.

         Q    You did not.

         Q    (Inaudible)

         MR. BOUCHER:  I said we think that Bosnia is something
that needs to be -- you know, Bosnia is an entity that needs to
be recognized.  It shouldn't be carved up.  Let me put it that way.

         Q    Wouldn't the breakdown into ten provinces be
exactly that -- carving it up?

         MR. BOUCHER:  There has to be some administrative
structure.  The questions that they are discussing are "What are
the responsibilities, what are the authorities of the different
levels of administrative structure?"

         Q    Let me come back to the Secretary General, because
I didn't understand what your position was.  Could you clarify
it?  Do you accept Boutros Ghali's request for enforcement not
to begin, assuming the resolution is passed -- for enforcement
not to begin until the Geneva process has run its course?  Do
you accept that request?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Alan, the way that you state it and the
way that I stated the Secretary General's request are not
exactly the same.  He asked that an actual enforcement be
deferred until the situation with regard to the Geneva talks
becomes clearer.  That is obviously a position that we're taking
into account as we discuss these issues up in New York in terms
of the drafting of a resolution.  But we are continuing to push
for a resolution.

         Q    When you say "take into account," does that mean
that the resolution will include some provision to that effect
or that it will include a provision that goes some way towards
that, or what?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I can't tell you at this point.  The work
is still being done.

         Steve?

         Q    Are we to assume that this package, this
three-point package, that was presented by Vance and Owen was
not run by anybody here in the State Department before it was
presented to the parties -- or in the administration?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I just don't really know.  We have a man
on the scene who has been there working with the various
parties.  Certainly elements of this have been discussed before.
 We've been keeping in close touch with Vance and Owen.

         I don't know if the package itself, as a total entity,
was run by us or not; but certainly we've been in close touch
with the U.N. and EC negotiators out there over time.

         Q    Just to follow up on the "carving-up" aspect of
it, putting together what you've said about the U.S. thinking
that Bosnia should not be carved up, but also putting together
the fact that you've listed the elements of this package and
that you haven't expressed any opposition to it, can we draw the
conclusion that the United States Government does not think that
this map that was presented constitutes carving up of Bosnia?
The U.S. does not think it constitutes carving up?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have any reason at this point to
say that it does.  I'd just say that the specifics are being
worked out out there; that Vance and Owen are operating under
U.N. Security Council mandates, under the achievements of the
London Conference, and the CSCE principles, and the other things
I've cited.  Those provide ample background to the kind of
resolution of this that the international community would find
acceptable.

         The international community, including the United
States, have repeatedly said that we think ethnic cleansing
should not be countenanced, that it should not be supported, and
that Bosnia-Hercegovina needed to remain an entity, a country.

         Q    Richard, the issue isn't really ethnic cleansing,
honestly.  You keep bringing that up.  I would imagine the
United States would stand four square against murdering people.

         The Muslims are the majority.  They're screaming their
bloody heads off at these talks.  You call it "adjourned."  They
more like broke down.  They say their country will be divided
into cantons.  I suppose that will echo other small countries
who would also not have their fate determined by the United
Nations or U.N. envoys.

         Doesn't the United States have an independent policy of
its own?  Why aren't you saying something about no cantonization
of a small country?  The Croatians are ripping off the top of
the country, the Serbs have ripped off more than 50 percent of
the rest of the country, and the Muslims are between a rock and
a hard place.  They've got to keep negotiating something that
they object to, and you won't enforce the "no-fly" zone while
the negotiations are going on.

         There's no question mark at the end of this statement.
I just don't understand U.S. policy.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, Barry --

         Q    It isn't about ethnic cleansing.  Everybody is
against -- presumably, every civilized nation is against ethnic
cleansing.  The question is, will there be anything left of
Bosnia-Hercegovina that will be run by the majority of the
people there?  That's the question.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I still don't hear the question mark, but
let me --

         Q    The question is, does the United States support
the independence of a country with a majority group in the
country having full control over that country?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Barry, since you're giving me so much
time, I could walk back and get all the U.N. resolutions, get
all the London agreements, get all the CSCE principles, which I
referred to which state very clearly what the international
community will accept and what it won't accept.

         We have stated very clearly in the past many, many
times our opposition to cantonization of Bosnia-Hercegovina
along ethnic lines.  That has not changed.

         Ethnic cleansing is an issue because it's ethnic
cleansing that has tried to displace populations and create
areas that would be recognized along ethnic lines.

         The purpose of the effort underway is to try to get a
political structure for Bosnia-Hercegovina that can be agreed to
by the parties which provides a political and administrative
structure to the country of Bosnia-Hercegovina and which does
not in fact contribute to the process of ethnic cleansing or to
dividing the place up along ethnic lines, in terms of ratifying
the kind of changes that are being made by force on the ground,
changes that we said were not acceptable.

         The constitutional principles, for example, at one
point include the need for the parties to cooperate with the
Human Right Commissioner, the High Commissioner for Refugees, to
see that people who are displaced, to see that refugees, are
able to return to their homes.  That has been something that we
have always supported.

         So without specifying exactly how the details have to
be agreed between the parties and exactly how the proposal
should be made by Vance and Owen, I think you can say that they
are operating under the same general principles which we have
stated and we have supported many, many times.

         Q    Can we deduce from that last statement that the
United States will oppose any plan that codifies ethnic
cleansing, territorial gains, by the Serbs under the rubric of
ethnic cleansing?

         MR. BOUCHER:  We've stated that many, many times,
Johanna.  I don't want you to go suddenly and apply this and say
that we said that about the plan that Vance and Owen are working
on because we haven't said that about their plan.  We said that
they're operating under the same kind of principles that we're
operating under.  You've seen us state and many of these
international bodies state many times that the work of political
settlement should not be to codify acquisitions of territory by
force.

         Q    But would it be correct to say, as we have in the
Middle East peace talks and the peace talks going on in Somalia,
that whatever the parties decide among themselves is fine with
us?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think, Sid, that we've stated in this
case very clearly that there are certain principles that a
settlement needs to accord with in order to be acceptable to the
international community.  We've made that very clear.

         Q    As a practical matter, doesn't the map that was
presented at the talks this week represent a dividing up of the
place along ethnic lines?  Not to use the word "cantonization,"
because that has legal implications.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not going to try to comment in any
great detail on their specific efforts or their specific map.

         Q    Aren't the divisions that are drawn on that map
related to the ethnic populations of areas of Bosnia-
Herzegovina?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That sort of detail and that sort of
question is something that Vance and Owen need to explain -- how 
those divisions come up with.

         Q    Richard, do you have an update on the situation in 
the camps, the prisoners?  How many have been released?  How 
many are still there? 

         MR. BOUCHER:  We have a Red Cross report of December 31 
now that relates only to the prisoners that were registered by 
the International Committee of the Red Cross, and both the Red 
Cross and we believe that the number of actual prisoners is 
probably much higher than the numbers I'm about to give you.

         But what they had in terms of registered prisoners, the
Bosnian Government had released 137 registered prisoners and
still hold 887.  The Bosnian Croats released 357 registered
prisoners and still hold 537.  The Bosnian Serbs have released
5,040 registered prisoners and still hold 1,333 registered
prisoners.

         Now we have continued to support the efforts of the
ICRC in trying to get access to additional facilities where
people may be held and, of course, to support their efforts to
get the prisoners released and to close the camps.

         Q    Now, you said the actual number of prisoners could
be much higher?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's right.

         Q    There was a figure published in Time Magazine,
saying that the U.S. Government is sitting on information about
70,000 prisoners in Bosnia.  It was in the last issue of Time
Magazine.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have precise information for you
on the various estimates that there are.  As I said, some of the
estimates are much higher.  I would just say that we are sharing
our information and have been sharing the information on a
regular basis with the Red Cross, who are the people trying to
work on this problem on the ground.

         Q    So you're denying the report by which your --
which says that you're sitting on intelligence estimates, and
that you are not providing those figures to either news media or
international organizations.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I don't have them for you today,
but we have provided our information to the International
Committee of the Red Cross who, as I say, is the organization
that's working on these releases.

         Q    All of it, Richard?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Everything that we have that's relevant,
yes.

         Q    Have you provided that figure of 70,000 prisoners?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know for specific estimates what
we've provided.

         Q    Could you take that question?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll see if we can, yes.

         Q    What's been the general condition of detainees,
say in recent weeks or the last couple of months?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have anything new on that,
Howard.  I'd suggest the Red Cross might be in a better position
to provide that.

         Q    One more on the "no-fly" -- what's the status of
the flights in the last two weeks, let's say?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's something I'll have to check on.
I think there have been -- I don't know about the last 24 hours
or so, but in general over the last week or two, there have been
further reports of flights that were not authorized by the U.N.

         I don't think the Secretary General provided any report
last week.  I'm told that we expect another report from him this
week.

         Q    Do you know approximately what the total is now
since the --

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't.

         Q    -- "no-fly" zone was imposed?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't.

         John?

         Q    Could we deal with a different subject?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.

         Q    A Ukrainian delegation is coming here this week to
talk about returning the nukes to Russia.  Who are they meeting
with at the State Department?  What are they doing?  What's the
purpose of their visit here?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll have to get you something on that, John.

         Q    Richard, also on another subject, does the State
Department take a position on the proposed sale of a chemical
plant to Iran?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Let me say a couple things about this,
Jim.  I mean, first of all, some things in terms of dual-use
sales are still under inter-agency discussion.  I think there
was a report about crop-dusting aircraft, and that I know
remains under inter-agency discussion.  I'm not going to get
into specific agency positions, be they ours or others.

         Marlin, I think, addressed the chemical plant.  That
was one that I wasn't able to pin down the exact status on, but
he says that was rejected weeks or months ago.

         I would say in general on the policy question that we
have had long-standing concerns about Iran's policy of terrorism
and about its intentions regarding the development of weapons of
mass destruction.  And, given those concerns, we think that even
sales of technology and equipment for ostensibly strictly civil
purposes have to be given the most careful scrutiny.

         Q    Well, for example, would it be feasibly possible
to use a crop-duster airplane to spread poison gas over a
civilian area?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That is the kind of question that I expect would 
be addressed in terms of the inter-agency discussions.

         Q    Does "giving careful scrutiny" mean that cases
like the ones you've just discussed ought to be rejected --
sales like that ought to be rejected, or --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I really can't get into specific
decisions on specific sales at this point until they've been
made.  These are subjects of continuing discussion.  All I can
say is that they need to be looked at very, very closely, and in
fact they are being discussed inter-agency.

         Q    But you said the chemical plant, or whatever it is
-- fertilizer plant -- has been ruled out?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That was one that I wasn't able to pin
down the status of exactly.  Marlin, I see, is quoted in the
wires as saying that was rejected or ruled out.

         Q    Could we talk about Iraq for a moment, regarding
reports that they may be moving ground-to-air missiles in and
around the "no-fly" zone area.  Any general thoughts on that?
And also there's been a report that there was some kind of a
demarche, either sent from the United States or from the U.N.
about recent Iraqi behavior.

         MR. BOUCHER:  In terms of specifically what's going on
with missile and other Iraqi deployments, that's something I
think I want to leave to the Pentagon.  They're the eyes and
ears there.

         In general terms I think we have warned Iraq repeatedly
about violations of the "no-fly" zone and other acts that are
aimed at disrupting the implementation of the U.N. resolution.
We do take incidents seriously, and we're continuing our
consultations with our allies on Iraq's blatant disregard for
U.N. Security Council resolutions.

         Q    Does the movement of missiles constitute something
that fits in that second category which I can't paraphrase right
now?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Iraq's blatant disregard?

         Q    No.  Just before that.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Acts aimed at disrupting the
implementation of U.N. resolutions?

         Q    Yes.  "Aimed at disrupting."  Does moving of
missiles on the ground aim at disrupting?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I really don't think I can try to address
the movement of missiles in any specific terms.  I have to leave
that to the Pentagon.

         Q    Without stepping on the Pentagon's turf, can you
generally confirm that that's what's --

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.

         Q    What's the situation in the north?  I guess it's a
week or two since we last discussed the convoys to the Kurds and
Iraqi interference.

         MR. BOUCHER:  It's something I'll have to check on, Howard.

         Q    Cuba.  Hijacking.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Cuba.

         Q    Going to prosecute?  U.S. Government upholding its
policy against hijacking of aircraft?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think that was something that Joe
yesterday either left to INS and Justice, or would have if you
had asked yesterday.  (Laughter)

         Q    Would you restate --

         MR. BOUCHER:  It's not something I have anything on today.

         Q    Would you restate the U.S. Government's policy on
hijacking of aircraft in international airspace?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Ralph, it's something that's carefully
crafted, and it has specific language associated with it that I
think we've used many times that I don't have with me today.

         Q    Do you think you could take that question and
provide that language to us --

         MR. BOUCHER:  We'll try to find out for you.

         Q    -- on a fresh basis --

         MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.

         Q    -- so that we would know that it applied at the
current situation?

         MR. BOUCHER:  O.K.

         Q    And can you say anything about the Haitian boat --
the boat of Haitian refugees that landed in Miami today?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, I can't.  I didn't know about it.

         Q    Richard, back on Iraq for a moment, I think we
forgot to ask Joe yesterday, does the State Department take any
position on whether the Iraqi leadership should be considered
for trial on war crimes because of past massacres of Kurds and
others?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Jim, that's something that -- the whole
question of war crimes in Iraq is something that we have
addressed before.  The United States Government has supported
the continuing collection of information about possible war
crimes in Iraq.  The new reports that we have add to reports of
Iraqi Government abuses against the Kurds in 1988 and its
abysmal human rights record over the years.  That's a record
that we have strongly condemned.

         We're examining the new reports to see if the
information provides a basis for any further action.  That's
where we stand on that.

         Q    I mean, we've known about the 1988 gassing of
these Kurdish villages for years, and there's been documented
evidence which has been confirmed by the State Department.  Does
that constitute a war crime?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Legally, I don't know.  I guess I'd have
to say I don't know.  I assume so, but I don't know.

         Q    Well, if you don't know, is it still under active
consideration?  Are there some political considerations here
that are not evident to me?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Jim, I don't know what's evident to you or not. 
 We have discussed this subject, I think, repeatedly over time.  We 
have collected information.  We have new information that we're 
looking at.  There have been these new reports about the 1988 
massacres and destruction of Kurdish villages.

         We have been active in collecting information and assisting 
others in collecting information, and that's pretty much where we 
stand on the issue.  We'll look at this new information and see if it 
provides any ground for further follow-up action.

         Q    Do you have anything on transition arrangements --
how that's going?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Secretary-designate Christopher was here
yesterday, began work in the building yesterday.  We expect
he'll be meeting with Secretary Eagleburger shortly.

         Q    Like today?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Not today, but within the next couple of days.

         Q    He hasn't met with him yet?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Not formally in this building that I know
of.  They've talked on the phone at least once and probably
other times.

         Q    What is the precedent for a Secretary of State-designate 
moving in and having staff and so forth?  Do you know?

         MR. BOUCHER:  All the time.  We provide the transition,
including the Secretary-designate, with offices.  We loan them
staff.  We provide them papers, information material.  That's
the way transitions work.

         Q    For whatever it's worth, I'd like to request an
opportunity to have a photo op and have reporters present prior
to or after the meeting with Eagleburger.

         MR. BOUCHER:  O.K.  We'll see.

         Q    Richard, it looks like the -- two things:
Arrangements are breaking down in Cambodia involving in the
United Nations.  Would you agree that there is a -- there does
appear to be a breakdown?  And also it appears that the
situation in Angola has gotten worse in the last 24 hours, and
do you believe that that, in effect, has cancelled whatever
progress had been made toward peace negotiations?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Joe talked about Angola yesterday.  I
don't have anything new on that today, so I think I'll just
leave that with what he said.

              In terms of the Cambodia situation, the issue is
the violence that has occurred, particularly against some of the
parties -- various political parties in Cambodia.  There have
been violent attacks on the offices and personnel of various
political parties.

         Prince Sihanouk wrote a letter on January 4 to the U.N.
Secretary General's Special Representative, Mr. Akashi,
expressing his deep concern about that violence; and we of
course share that concern.

         We condemn these attacks in the strongest terms, just
as we've condemned the Khmer Rouge's recent attacks on innocent
civilians.  We've called upon all Cambodians to desist from such
actions and to demonstrate restraint in the run-up to elections.

         However, we believe that the best way to resolve these
serious problems is for the Cambodian leaders not to disengage
from the peace process at this critical juncture but to work
actively with the U.N. Transitional Authority in Cambodia to
protect and promote the process.

         We've repeatedly expressed our concerns about such
attacks to all the Cambodian parties, including the State of
Cambodia, and we've also asked UNTAC -- the U.N. Transitional
Authority in Cambodia -- to take effective actions to protect
those Cambodians engaged in political activity.

         We welcome some additional measures that were announced
by Special Representative Akashi in his message to the Cambodian
people on December 25.  He's posting a 24-hour guard around
those party offices that are most at risk and setting up a
prosecutorial office to investigate and bring to trial those
suspected of these attacks.

         We would urge the U.N. Transition Authority to
vigorously implement the measures that are announced and to
consider on an urgent basis what further can be done to ensure
law and order and full respect for human rights.

         Q    Do you have anything specific to say about
Sihanouk's withdrawal from the peace process?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I think I just said specifically
that we don't think that the best way to resolve these serious
problems is for Cambodian leaders to disengage, but rather that
they should work with the U.N. Transitional Authority.

         Q    Richard, I almost hate to ask, but what is the
status of invitations for the next round of the Middle East
peace process?

         MR. BOUCHER:  It's something that we'll be discussing with
the parties.  There's no news at this point.

         Q    Can you tell us anything about Secretary Djerejian's
meeting with the Syrian Ambassador scheduled for today?

         MR. BOUCHER:  All I can tell you is it's a regularly
scheduled meeting to discuss issues of mutual concern and the peace
process.

         Q    Are you concerned about the delay in the Syrian
withdrawal from Lebanon?  Is that one of the subjects which are
going to be discussed in this meeting?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I can't get any more specific about the
subjects of this meeting.

         Q    When did the Department of State begin having
"regularly scheduled meetings" with the Syrian Ambassador?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Ever since we've had a relationship, I guess.

         Q    Regularly scheduled meetings with the Syrian 
Ambassador?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know if this is regularly scheduled
in terms of, you know, every Tuesday or every month, or something
like that, or if it just means regularly, periodically and
frequently; but we have periodic and frequent contacts with the
ambassadors from many countries, including the Syrians.

         Q    Is it possible to get a readout afterwards?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll see if we can, but I doubt it.

         Q    Richard, on yet another subject, there's a story in a
Turkish newspaper which says that the United States has been using
the Somalia relief defense effort as a cover under which it is
exploring for oil in the Somalian desert -- drilling wells.
(Laughter)

         MR. BOUCHER:  I haven't been reading the Turkish
newspapers, but based on what we've seen from the Pentagon and the
reports from all the news people and journalists who are running
around Somalia, I don't think I've ever seen anybody report
anything that might be related to drilling wells.  So I think I can
reject that out of hand.

         Q    If you strike it, you'll let us know?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I don't think there's anything that
would even get close to that.

         Q    Thank you.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Thank you.

         (The briefing concluded at 12:48 p.m.)

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