930111 Daily Press Briefing  Return to: Index of 1993 Daily Briefings || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

Note: This Electronic Research Collection is an archive site. For the most current information, please visit the US State Department Homepage.

                         DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                               DPC #6

                 MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 1993, 12:40 P.M.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  Thank you
for waiting for me.  I will start off, I can -- (Laughter)  go home,
have lunch.  Actually, I would have preferred that, and thank you
even more effusively if you had done that.

         Anyway, if I can start off with a statement on the Chemical
Weapons Convention that we're proceeding to Paris to sign, and then
we can go on to your questions.

         The Secretary of State will depart Washington tomorrow 
morning for Paris to attend the Chemical Weapons Convention 
signing ceremony, and to sign the Convention on behalf of the United 
States.  The United States has long been committed to the global 
elimination of chemical weapons and welcomes the completion of 
this landmark convention.

         However, we also note the statement by Arab states last week
highlighting their concerns about the Convention.  However, at the
same time, we continue to urge the Arab states, as we do all nations, to 

         The elimination of chemical weapons is an important step 
towards the control and elimination of weapons of mass destruction. 
The United States believes that progress toward the elimination of
chemical weapons should not be held hostage to progress in other
areas, and that there should be no linkage between the Chemical
Weapons Convention and issues in the nuclear or biological field.

         At the same time, the United States renews its call to all
nations to adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the
Biological Weapons Convention.  We also support the pursuit of
regional efforts in this area, such as President Mubarak's call to
make the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.

         As far as the trip itself, we'll be leaving Tuesday morning.
We'll be coming back on Thursday, probably in the afternoon.  In
addition to signing the Convention, he will have a series of bilateral 
meetings out there in Paris, and we will get you a schedule this 

         Q    Can you say who any of the bilaterals are with?

         MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, I think it's the Japanese
Foreign Minister, the South African Foreign Minister, and the
Russian Foreign Minister.

         Q    And, are there are going to be more, or are those
the only ones you know of?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Probably more.  Those are the confirmed

         Q    What do you expect him to -- the South African
Foreign Minister, what's the topic?

         MR. BOUCHER:  To discuss the situation in South and
southern Africa with him.  I don't have anything more specific.

         Q    (Inaudible) the CW Convention, do you believe it
should be sent to the Hill and ratified quickly, or are there
still operational things that need to be worked out, as I
believe there are to the procedure, that it should not really be
ratified for some months yet?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's something I think I better check on.

         Q    Still on the treaty, Richard.   Does the U.S. expect 
countries such as Syria, Iran, China, Libya, to sign the treaty?

         MR. BOUCHER:  We have, first of all, encouraged and
urged all countries to sign.  There was a statement out of Arab
countries last week that expressed their concerns about it.  And
so some of them have indicated they may not sign, or all of them
have indicated they may not sign.  Part of the reason for the
statement today is to express our hope that they, in fact, would
reconsider and would sign.

         Q    Wouldn't it be true that the effectiveness, shall
we say, of the attempted ban of possession and manufacture of
chemical weapons would be undermined seriously if a number of
key suspect countries failed to join this convention?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, we think that's it's important that
all countries join it and sign it in order for it to be effective.

         Q    And what steps has the U.S. taken to get countries
such as Syria, Iran, and Libya to sign the treaty?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Without trying to address specific
countries, because I just don't have that information, we have,
first of all, urged all countries to join up and sign, and this
has been part of our diplomacy for some time.

         Second of all, we have specifically addressed some of
the Arab governments and have talked to them directly, including
in high-level messages to urge them to join up to the

         Q    Richard, how would you address consensus of those
Arab countries about Israel having nuclear weapons and their
thinking that this is a deterrent of a sort?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I would address it the way I just did, to say --

         Q    You did not.

         MR. BOUCHER:  -- that the Convention is important in
its own right; that it shouldn't be linked or adherence to this
Convention should not be linked to other nuclear issues or
biological weapons issues; that, indeed, we do support proposals
such as President Mubarak's proposal for a zone free of weapons
of mass destruction in the Middle East; and we also support and
have continued to urge all countries to join in a non-proliferation 
treaty in the Nuclear Safeguards Regimes that exist.

         Q    Is there any copy of your opening statement?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'd be glad to give you one.

         Q    Richard, on Iraq, could you tell us what the
latest developments there are?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, the latest is that there are still
a couple of things going on with Iraq, as we usually have them;
that the Iraqis sent some people down across the demilitarized
zone to retrieve material -- I guess, to retrieve material from
the demilitarized zone, and I can tell you some of that.

         I think you're also aware of their statement last week
to U.N. Inspectors.  The U.N. Inspectors would not be allowed to
fly their aircraft into or out of Iraq, and the Security Council
had a statement -- the President of the Security Council had a
statement -- last Friday evening that said that was an
unacceptable and material breach of their obligations.

         As Marlin (Fitzwater) said this morning, this is a
continuation of the pattern of Iraq of trying to cheat on their
obligations; that we view this seriously.

         We have asked the Security Council to consider these
steps -- these events -- and the Security Council will, indeed,
be considering them this afternoon.  I understand that at an
informal meeting of the Council is scheduled for 3:30.

         Q    Is the United States requesting any kind of action
beyond a condemnation by the Security Council?  Are we seeking
with our allies to do something to Iraq?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The Security Council, I think, has, first
of all, made clear how seriously it views the interference by

         I would say generally, as we go into this meeting this
afternoon with other members of the Council, that we're looking
for ways to ensure that both the United Nations' people on the
border -- UNIKOM -- and the U.N. Inspectors -- UNSCOM -- are
able to carry out their activities despite the attempts by the
Iraqis to interfere.

         Q    Richard, can you clarify something for us?  Marlin
said today that the U.S. had said there would be no more
warnings to Iraq.  How does that jibe with going back to the
Security Council yet again?  What exactly is the U.S. doing in
the Security Council again?  If there's been another breach and
the U.S. has said they're not going to try for another warning,
what is the point of another meeting?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I think that relates to two things:
 One, I don't have a full transcript, in context, of everything
that Marlin said.  I saw his quotes on the wires.  But, if you
want clarification of exactly what Marlin said, I think you
better go to Marlin.

         I would point out two things in that regard, though:
First of all, that the White House statement on Saturday, on the
missiles, made it clear that there would be no further warnings
if there were violations of the January 6 demarche, as it
related to missiles in the "no-fly" zone.

         But, second of all, I described the Security Council
action this afternoon.  What we're looking for from the Security
Council -- and I believe Marlin has described what we're looking
for in terms of the Security Council -- is to look for steps --
steps that can be taken to ensure that Iraq complies with these
U.N. resolutions; to ensure that these U.N. agencies are able to
carry out their very important functions despite the attempts by
Iraq to interfere.

         Q    So "no more warnings" should be taken in its
narrowest possible context, just with regard to the one demarche
and the missile issue?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not trying to parse Marlin's words.
I think you'll have to do that.  I'm trying to explain the
situation and the things that appear to be relevant.

         Q    Richard, does the threat of military intervention
still hang over Baghdad's head -- U.S., Russia, etc., military
intervention separate from a U.N. statement; unilateral actions?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Sid, I would just remind you of what the
White House statement said on Saturday.

         Q    Richard, could you talk to us a little about what
you understand this incursion to be?  And have there been others
of a similar nature?

         MR. BOUCHER:  There have been others.  Basically, the
context is, as follows:  Since the ouster of Iraqi forces from
Kuwait in 1991, the U.N. has permitted both Kuwait and Iraq to
retrieve certain material from the demilitarized zone under
UNIKOM; that is, U.N., Iraq, Kuwait Observer Mission supervision.

         On several occasions last week, Iraq undertook
retrieval actions in violation of the United Nations procedures.
 Of concern to us are the numbers of the Iraqi personnel
involved, the fact that some are military, and the failure to
coordinate their activities with UNIKOM.

         The latest confirmed incident was on January 10 --
that's yesterday -- when approximately 200 Iraqis, including
armed military personnel, crossed into the demilitarized zone
and forcibly removed some material.  UNIKOM personnel attempting
to prevent the Iraqi action were threatened by the Iraqis, and
the Iraqis damaged some UNIKOM vehicles.

         We consider Iraq's actions gross interference with the
mission of UNIKOM.  Ambassador Perkins and his British, French,
and Russian colleagues made this clear in a demarche yesterday
to Iraqi Ambassador Hamdoon in New York.

         The Security Council, as I said, is to meet today to
consider appropriate action.

         Q    What about retrieving weapons which supposedly are
specifically excluded from the type of material that they're
supposed to be able to get from the zone even if they had
permission to enter?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Again, those sorts of things are decided,
indeed, by UNIKOM, by the U.N., and these actions that the
Iraqis undertook were not done in coordination with the United

         Q    So, this doesn't sound like the U.S. Government is
all that agitated about this particular violation.  If you rate
the kinds of things that have disturbed the U.S. Government,
missiles in the "no-fly" zone apparently, definitely got the
U.S. attention --
 -- this does not appear to be anything more than a further
irritant, as you're describing it.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I wouldn't say that, John.  I would go
back to what Marlin said this morning.  We have a pattern of
interference with Iraq, a pattern of cheating, a pattern of
non-compliance.  That is of concern to us.  As much of concern
to us as the attempts to violate the "no-fly" zone and, of
course, we've expressed our concern about the attempts to
threaten pilots who are enforcing the "no-fly" zone.

         Iraq's failure to comply with its obligations has been
and will continue to be a very serious matter to us and one that
we continue to deal with on an on-going basis.

         Q    What do you make of the timing of this, coming
right after this chance confrontation over the "no-fly" zone,
and now, suddenly, you have the situation with the inspectors
and these raids?  What do you glean from that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have any gleanings for you at
this point, Pat.  I think, essentially, you're asking me to put
myself in the Iraqi mind and say why they're doing this now.  I
think I have to leave that for them.

         Q    Richard, have there been any other such
incursions?  Have there been other such incursions that we have
not heard about?

         MR. BOUCHER:  There have been other incidents like this
in the past.  I think there was one last week that was reported
on that we talked about.

         Q    Any before that?

         Q    What about the one this morning?

         MR. BOUCHER:  This morning, I don't have the facts on
it.  It's not clear to me exactly what happened this morning.

         (Multiple questions).

         MR. BOUCHER:  That, I have to leave to UNIKOM.  There
was some stuff in the bunkers there.

         Q    So, Richard, you're not sure --

         Q    Did Iraq take any Silkworm missiles?

         MR. BOUCHER:  My understanding is that they did, but I
leave it to the U.N. to describe exactly what they took.

         Q    Richard, you said earlier that yesterday was --
the 10th was -- the last incursion.  Are you saying you're not
sure when the last incursion was?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, I said that was the latest confirmed
incident; that we don't have confirmation of anything today yet,
but we have some reports.  I just don't have the facts on what

         Q    You have reports that the same thing may have
happened today?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Something may have happened today.  I
don't know if it's the same thing.  I just don't have good
information on what's going on out there today.

         Q    Richard, this demarche --

         Q    Richard, are these incursions -- have they been
going on for quite some time, and have they increased in their
numbers in the last couple of weeks?  Or, has this just been
happening and nobody talking about it?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have a good enough history on
that to make that kind of statement for you.

         Obviously, this particular incident is of great concern
to us.  It involved threats to U.N. personnel.  It involved what
the U.N. considers, or what we and the others who talked to
Ambassador Hamdoon yesterday consider to be gross interference
with the mission of UNIKOM.  So, these are serious incidents,
more serious, I guess, than in the past, but I can't give you
the whole history of it all.

         Q    Basically, it was at gunpoint, you're saying?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  I think they -- they were armed
Iraqi military personnel who crossed over.  They forcibly
removed some material and they threatened U.N. personnel.

         Q    Did the United States have any discussions about
this latest series of incursions with the Kuwaiti Government?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know specifically that we have,
but I would assume that we have.  I just don't know

         Q    What I was wondering is, I seem to recall that at
the end of the war the United States left a good deal of
military hardware in Kuwait for the purpose of self-defense, and
I wonder if -- what you're saying is that that's not called into
question here because this is in a zone controlled by the U.N.?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  This is -- the U.N. has established
procedures so that material, where appropriate, that was Kuwaiti
material or Iraqi material, that was left in the demilitarized
zone could be retrieved by those governments.

         In this case, the Iraqis came down and retrieved
material from the demilitarized zone that, I guess, was
originally Iraqi property, or that they assumed to be, but
without any appropriate coordination with the U.N., without the
permission of the U.N., and they did it forcibly and with arms.
That kind of interference with the U.N. is obviously not

         Q    The question:  Why didn't the Kuwaitis defend it?
Is that inappropriate, in line with what --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think this is in the demilitarized zone
the U.N. had set up.

         Q    Richard, was there a warning in this demarche the
same as there was in the last one?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I would characterize the demarche
generally by saying that we put Ambassador Hamdoon on notice
that the Security Council would deal with Iraqi interference
with the work of UNIKOM.

         Q    Richard, wasn't the UNIKOM forces in the
demilitarized zone -- I hesitate  to say "forces" because
they're unarmed -- the UNKIOM personnel -- weren't there
supposed to be some dismantlement operations going on, and
wasn't there a U.S. citizen who was involved in that a few
months ago and there was a little incident over that?

         My bottom line question is, why were the Silkworm
missiles still futzing around there, hanging around there, for
so long?  Why did the U.N. allow those temptations, shall we
say, to remain within reach of the Iraqis so long after the U.N.
has been in there for such a long time trying to dismantle those?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I guess I don't know the answer to that,
Ralph.  That's a question the U.N. would have to answer.

         Q    Well, does the U.S. cover -- does the U.S. have
any views on whether that equipment should be permitted to
remain in its current state sitting there as targets for Iraqi

         MR. BOUCHER:  I would turn it around, Ralph, and really
say that our views are on the fact that the Iraqis shouldn't
interfere with the U.N. operations down there.  They should
comply with the procedures that are established by the U.N. and
they shouldn't be down there with armed personnel threatening
the U.N.

         Q    Richard, aren't the Silkworms covered under the
Missile Destruction Protocol?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know.

         Q    They're supposed to be destroyed next week.  That
was the idea.

         Q    Richard, you talk about the pattern of interference and 
the pattern of cheating.  Basically, this pattern has been going on 
for 2 years, not for 2 weeks.  Is there any kind of solution 
you're talking about with the U.N. right now that you haven't 
discussed before.  You haven't been able to force compliance either 
through sanctions or through the ultimatums which have been issued.

         It's a little bit easier when they have missiles
pointed at allied planes; you can threaten to take out the
missiles.  What can you do to force compliance that you haven't
done in the past?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, Susan, I think I have to leave that
kind of question to the U.N. this afternoon to discuss, and
obviously we're also considering our options.

         Q    Can you say --

         Q    Our own unilateral options?  Is that what you're saying?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I would just say we're considering what
course of action the U.S. Government should follow.  I don't
want to link it to anything particularly.

         Q    What should become of the Silkworms?  They're
currently, presumably, in Iraqi hands.  Does the U.S. have a
view as to what their --

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, obviously, they shouldn't be in
Iraqi hands.  I don't have the details on it, but I saw a press
report saying that the U.N. person who is in charge of this had
already demanded that the Iraqis return them.

         Q    Can you say anything about the degree of
coordination with Governor Clinton's people?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.

         Q    Richard, on two follow-ups?  If they had
coordinated with the U.N., would the Iraqis have had gotten
permission to go down and get the Silkworms?  That's what I
don't understand.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know.  I kind of doubt it, but
that question has to be answered --

         Q    And also, before you go, what about the Shi'ites
and the Kurds?  Has there been any harassment of those two
groups in recent days?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not aware of anything new.
Obviously, the kind of pressures that the Iraqi Government have
been placing on them have continued.

         Q    Are we going into this U.N. Security Council
meeting with some recommendations, a course of action, that we
are trying to sell to our other members?  Or, are we simply
going in to have a general discussion about this latest event?

         MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, Pat, I don't think I can
get too specific.  I would describe to you what I have
described, that we're going into this meeting to confer with
other Council members, to look for ways to ensure that the U.N.
people are able to carry out their mission despite the Iraqi

         Q    Could you characterize the stiff response that
Boutros Ghali -- the U.N. Secretary General -- is recommending?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think I've seen his
recommendations at this point.

         Q    How strong a point do you want to put on the
potential for unilateral U.S. action?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I didn't try to put any strong point on
the potential for unilateral action.  Obviously, in this
endeavor we have worked with the U.N. Security Council.  We have
worked with other allies.

         Yesterday, Ambassador Perkins, his French, British, and
Russian counterparts met with the Iraqi Ambassador on the
situation and have talked to him to make very clear that Iraq's
action was gross interference, and that we would consider -- the
Security Council would consider -- what actions to take.

         Q    But, Richard, it's correct to say also that while
we're dealing with this in the Security Council, we are also
considering dealing with this outside the Security Council?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I guess, Sid, I would say that we are,
first of all, going to the U.N. Security Council to discuss this
with them.  Obviously, we're considering what the best course of
action is.

         Q    In other words, Richard, if they decide to do
nothing, we think something should be done?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Mary, I want to leave it for the meeting
this afternoon.  We'll go to this meeting this afternoon and see
what they can do.

         Q    The discussions so far, have they been Perm Four
or Perm Five on this subject?  Do you have any idea what --

         MR. BOUCHER:  The discussions yesterday, I know, were
us, the British, French, and Russians.  I'm not aware exactly if
there are any preliminaries in some other group before we go to
the Council this afternoon.

         Q    How much are other nations nearby, such as Turkey,
holding back any allied action or U.S. action?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I wouldn't want to characterize positions
of other governments.

         Let's go to Ruth first.

         Q    Have you tried to convince the Chinese privately
that they should get on board here?  How do you view their
position on this?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Again, I just told Ralph, I don't know
where we stand in terms of the preliminaries to going to the
Council this afternoon.

         Q    Does the fact that this episode goes to the
Security Council, whereas last week's "no-fly" zone incidents
were dealt with by the coalition members, reflect greater
seriousness, or just the fact that it's UNIKOM that's directly

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'd describe it as just things that are
being handled differently, that the "no-fly" zone is operated by
some of the allies, and we talked to the Iraqis.  Actually, it
was the same four last week that talked to them about the
"no-fly" problem as talked to them last night about the UNIKOM

         Q    In the same area.  Different subject?

         Q    One more on Iraq, Richard.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Okay.

         Q    Are the Iraqis still in compliance on the "no-fly" zone?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think I'll just stick with the White House 
statement of Saturday.  I don't really have anything new on that.

         Q    The DMZ area is under the United States Air Force
surveillance, including air patrol and satellite?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I would have to leave that sort of
question to the Pentagon on where the air patrols fly.

         Q    When did you know that the Iraqi forces crossed
the border first?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I really don't know precisely when we

         Q    Just to follow up on that.  I don't think you ever
said -- but correct me if I'm wrong -- that there was Iraqi
forces that crossed.  You said there were some military
personnel, didn't you?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I said that it was armed military
personnel; approximately 200 Iraqis, including armed military

         Q    Do you have any idea how many of those estimated
200 were military personnel?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't.  But, since UNIKOM was
there, the U.N. might have more details.

         Q    And also, can you tell us whether the U.S.
believes the Silkworm missiles to be operable?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's something I'd have to check on.
But, again, the U.N. might have better information on that.

         Q    I just wanted to ask you if you could confirm or
disconfirm reports that -- attributed to Ambassador Shoval --
that the United States would not support imposition of sanctions
at the Security Council, with regard to the deportations?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Let me try to run through this situation
as regards the deportations.  We do --

         Q    Richard, before you do, could I just call a filing break?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Filing break?  Okay.  We are in close
touch with the parties.  We're in close touch with the United
Nations on the situation of the deportees.

         We fully endorse the efforts of the United Nations
Secretary General to resolve the situation of the deportees.  I
think his envoy is still in Israel today, if I'm correct.

         We supported and support the United Nations Security
Council Resolution 799.  It is our strong desire to avoid having
the United Nations Security Council face a Chapter Seven
sanctions issue on this subject, and we've continued to urge the
parties to resolve this situation on a humanitarian basis.

         Q    And, if the situation is not resolved, then, would
the United States still oppose any kind of sanctions?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think we would say that situation is
hypothetical.  The direction of our efforts is to encourage the
parties to resolve this on a humanitarian basis.

         Q    Again, on Clinton -- do you know whether the
Clinton Administration has been contacted on this, whether
they've expressed any --

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't.

         Q    Richard, you didn't actually answer my question.
Can you confirm the reports, because it's Ambassador --

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, I can't confirm the reports.  I don't
think I've actually seen Ambassador Shoval quoted to that

         Q    (Inaudible) he did say that.  He quoted it to the
highest State Department sources.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I would just say that I've described to
you our approach on this issue, and that's where we stand right

         Q    Will the United States -- let me ask you the question:  
Will the United States support imposition of sanctions?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I said that we have urged that it be
resolved on a humanitarian basis; that we hope -- it's our
strong desire to avoid having the U.N. Security Council face an
issue of Chapter 7 over this, and that we have continued to be
in touch with the parties and are trying to see this situation

         Q    Have you given assurances that you will not support it?

         Q    What parties, Richard -- excuse me, can I just follow?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Again, we're not that far down the road.
We are at this point right now.  I've described to you the
situation where we stand now.

         Q    Who are you in touch on the Palestinian side with
regard to this?  You said "with the parties."  Are you in touch
with the Palestinians?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have a complete list of people,
no.  I don't know.

         Q    But, are you in touch with the Palestinian side?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll have to double-check on that, yes.

         Q    You're not sure, then.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll have to double-check.

         Q    Can you give us a status report on the situation
on the beaches of Haiti and the armed -- or the flotilla of --
boats that are getting ready to shove off next week?  Do you
have any sort of --

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  I don't have any new information on
that, John.

         Q    Do you have anything on the Yugoslavia talks?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.  The situation as regards the talks.

         Yesterday in Geneva all the parties were present, and
the talks resumed on the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

         Bosnian President Izetbegovic, Serbian-Montenegrin
President Cosic, Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic, Bosnian Croat
leader Boban and Croatian President Tudjman were all present.

         President Izetbegovic left later in the evening for the
OIC mini-summit in Dakar.  He is expected to return to Geneva
this evening for the plenary tomorrow.  In the meantime, Foreign
Minister Silajdzic heads the Bosnian delegation.

         Serbian President Milosevic arrived in Geneva today to
participate in the talks.  This is the first time he has done

         The parties are holding bilateral talks today on the
three drafts proposed by Vance and Owen; that is, the constitution, 
the map and a military accord.  All three drafts remain under 
discussion.  Our position is that we would encourage the parties -- 
all the parties -- to engage seriously in reaching agreement in 
accordance with the principles of the U.N. resolutions, the London 
Conference agreements and the CSCE principles.

         Q    Richard, the U.S., I think Secretary Eagleburger
essentially, branded Milosevic and Karadzic war criminals in the
last session of the Geneva talks, or the last session of the
Geneva Steering Group meeting.

         Does the U.S. have any objection to the -- to those
people -- taking part in the negotiations, is the first
question.  And the second question is, would the outcome of the
negotiations in any way affect the U.S. view of those
individuals, as far as their record of past performance is
concerned, and the prospects for prosecution?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Ralph, I don't think we've tried to tell
the negotiators who they needed to negotiate with or could
negotiate with in order to try to resolve this situation.  We
have indeed supported their efforts, and we have tried to get
the parties to come to a political solution that would be
acceptable to all sides, and that would accord with the basic
principles that have been laid down by the international
community on this.

         As far as what the eventual outcome could do to affect
this situation, I think it's really too early for me to
speculate on that.  The Secretary said when he was in Geneva
that there were a lot of people who would have to answer for
their actions, and for what they had done to prevent crimes from


         Q    Does the United States have any view on the
objectives of these negotiations?  That is to say, would the
United States be in favor of any settlement that would reward
aggression or reward ethnic cleansing, for example?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think we've previously said many, many
times that we would not be in favor of such a solution.  I would
remind you that there is abundant evidence of the views of
ourselves and other members of the international community on
this, and that's why I cite some of these principles and views
that have been laid down in the past.

         Q    But, what would happen -- supposing the Bosnian
President, when he was here last week, suggested he's under a
great deal of pressure from Vance to negotiate and to accept
some of the -- and he is resisting because some of the things,
according to the map -- some of the places that would be in
Serbian control, according to the map, would include Brcko, for
example, where there was some horrible alleged war crimes.

         What would the United States do?  I mean, what kind of
input would the United States have in the event that such a
settlement was on the table, and it was up to the Bosnians to

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, that at this point, I think, has to
be said is hypothetical.  We've made clear that our views on the
basic outlines of this situation, our views on how a political
settlement could be reached, and the principles that it should
be in accord with.  The international community has spoken many
times on these issues.  But, I'm not going to get into the level
of detail that you're asking me to in terms of how the
negotiations are going and the map.

         Q    Just finally, were there any assurances given to
Izetbegovic when he was here last week, either at the White
House or by Under Secretary Kanter, that the United States would
support Bosnia in the event -- in the argument -- that some of
the territories that it might be asked to give up were won by
aggression or ethnic cleansing?  Was there any suggestion that
the United States might --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't really know, Saul.  Under
Secretary Kanter -- Acting Secretary that afternoon -- met with
the President of Bosnia-Herzegovina over at the White House with
General Scowcroft.  I really didn't get a readout in that much
detail of that meeting.

         Q    Richard, French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas said
yesterday that France is prepared to go in militarily,
unilaterally if necessary, to liberate the concentration camps.

         I wonder, (a) if the United States thinks that's a good
idea, and (b) if the United States might join the French in that
effort, and (c) why you haven't done it until now?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Good questions, Johanna.  I'm afraid I
don't have any answers on those questions yet.

         Q    Richard, anything today on --

         Q    What does that mean?

         Q    Can you comment on the French --

         Q    I mean, you have no comment, you --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have any reaction at this point
to those reported statements.

         Q    Well, all right.  Take it out of the context of
reaction and just say, what are the U.S. views on using military
action by forces already there to liberate prisoners in Bosnia
and surroundings?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's something I'll have to check on.

         Q    Is this the first time the U.S. Government has
been confronted with this issue?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't think so.  I don't think it's
the first time we've seen statements of that sort.

         Q    So that means -- is there some review of that --
previous U.S. positions on that, that you'd have to check?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  The fact is that I tried to check on
it this morning and couldn't get a decent answer, so I'll work
on it some more and see if I can get you one, to put it bluntly.

         Q    Richard, can you --

         Q    To go back to the --

         MR. BOUCHER:  We have Jacques over here.

         Q    -- to the issue of the -- of war criminals?  Are
you -- is the U.S. Government totally opposed to any form of
amnesty or immunity to war criminals in Bosnia?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Jacques, I think if you look back at what
the Secretary said in Geneva, that he felt that it was very
important that people had to answer for what's gone on there.

         I don't know of any such proposals or that we've
commented one way or the other on other things that you're
talking about.

         Q    Do you have any indication that in Geneva the --
amnesty was offered to the -- some of the Serbs in order for
them to go along in the negotiations?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Are you stating that as a fact, or are
you asking me if that's --

         Q    I'm asking the question whether they did indicate

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think that's something you'd have to
check with the people in Geneva who are negotiating.

         Q    Richard, what steps is the U.S. taking in the wake
of the assassination of the Bosnian Vice Prime Minister on
Friday?  Is the U.S. going to ask the U.N. Security Council to
warn Bosnian Serbs about their actions or undertake any
activities under the authority already available to the
coalition partners in Bosnia?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I can give you our basic views on this,
Ralph.  I'm not sure it's come up again in the U.N. Security
Council.  Of course, the Security Council discussed the issue on
Friday and came out with a statement itself Friday evening about
that situation there.  And, we have deplored and condemned the

         It occurred last Friday.  The killing was by a Bosnian
Serb soldier.  Turajlik, I guess his name is, was assassinated
as he sat in an UNPROFOR vehicle on the road to Sarajevo Airport
after a considerable discussion between UNPROFOR officials and
Bosnian Serb forces.

         Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic has reportedly apologized
for the assassination, calling it an "unfortunate happening."
Frankly, we think fortune had nothing to do with it.  This was
cold-blooded murder by soldiers that were under his command.

         The Bosnian Serbs had no right to stop nor to harass
the UNPROFOR armored personnel carrier.  No one has the right to
shoot an innocent civilian who is in the protective care of the
United Nations.  I believe this shows the total contempt for the
United Nations on the part of the Bosnian Serbs.

         We expect Karadzic and the Bosnian Serbs to investigate
and to punish those responsible for this heinous murder, and to
ensure that UNPROFOR is unhindered in performance of its
international humanitarian duties.

         Q    I don't understand why this fellow, a cold-blooded
murderer, indirect murderer, is sitting at a table in Geneva,
and the United States is urging that Bosnia, among others -- the
United States is participating or suggesting that Bosnia sit
down and talk to him.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, I would say that first of all we
think the responsibility of the Bosnian Serbs, if they do indeed
see this as an anomaly of some kind or as a crime, that their
responsibility is to investigate and to punish those responsible
for this murder.

         Q    Is there any indication that that's happening?

         Q    (Inaudible) -- at the U.N. also yesterday.  They
said it was all the U.N.'s fault for stirring this up.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, it's not.  I mean, we've stated our
views very clearly.

         Q    The other thing -- the Bosnian Government
yesterday was talking about filing criminal charges against
UNPROFOR for not protecting --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I have not seen anything like that.

         Q    Richard, when you say that it shows the total
contempt with which the Bosnian Serbs hold the U.N., then to go
back to Saul's question, if they hold the U.N. in total contempt, 
how can they have any respect for the process the U.N. is fostering 
of negotiations, and how can you take their  participation in the 
negotiations seriously?  I mean, what's the point?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Mary, I would say a couple things on
that.  I would say, first of all, that there needs to be a
political solution; that people that are involved and that are
able to bring that political solution should indeed cooperate
with the U.N., with Vance and Owen, the EC and the U.N. in order
to bring about that political solution.

         But, I'd remind you at the same time that we do think
that a change in Serbian behavior is necessary.  We have imposed
tough sanctions on Serbia.  We have continued to take efforts to
reinforce those sanctions and to tighten those sanctions and to
ensure that there is a price to be paid for the kind of behavior
that Serbia has supported in Bosnia.

         We have also proposed in various ways, various steps to
limit the abilities of the Serbs to carry out that kind of
aggression through, for example, the ban on flights in Bosnia
and our attempts to get an enforcement resolution.

         Q    But, Richard, given all the things you've just
said and all the sanctions that you've imposed and all the price
that you've tried to exact from the Serbs, it's still a fact that three 
days ago they performed an act that you called "demonstrates the 
total contempt in which they hold the United Nations."

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's right.

         Q    Therefore, how can anyone believe that there's any
hope for these talks to succeed when, as you say, today despite
the sanctions they hold the U.N. in total contempt?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know if I have quite an answer to
that, if you put it that way, but the fact is that a political
solution is needed, and there are people who are seriously
engaged in trying to get one.  And if a change in attitude is
necessary, then, you know, we can only encourage people to 
cooperate with this process, to reach agreements, and above all
to implement them, since we've had plenty of agreements in the

         Q    I'm simply asking whether the definition of a
political solution -- I mean, Munich was a political solution --
but is the definition of a political solution the reversal of
such crimes as the Secretary of State has accused the Bosnian
Serbs of, and the reversal of their aggression against a state
that we recognize?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, I don't know what you mean by a
"reversal of the crimes."  There have been people killed, and
we're not about to be able to bring those people back to life.

         Q    Well, I'm talking about a reversal of --

         MR. BOUCHER:  We have made very clear that we think
that people who committed crimes should be identified, and that
they should try to -- they should have to answer for them.
We've also made clear to you on a regular basis our views about
the need for a solution that recognizes the sovereignty and
independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina that does not accept the
process of ethnic cleansing that has been carried out; and a
solution that allows people once again to live in peace in

         Q    So we would object, for instance is what I'm
asking -- so we would object -- the United States would object
-- to any political solution which rewards or confirms or
affirms or solidifies, legalizes the ethnic cleansing in such
towns, Brcko, for example, that the Serbs took through such
means.  Is that right?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, without trying to get into
questions of the map that you were asking earlier, I think I've
stated our rejection of ethnic cleansing many, many times.  I've
stated it three or four times today, and it's been amply 
demonstrated by the international community that the purpose of
a political solution is not to ratify the results of ethnic cleansing.

         Q    Richard, a small point, but has anyone figured out
why the U.N. -- UNPROFOR -- opened the door to the armored
personnel carrier?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's a question the U.N. would have to

         Q    Richard, in response to the total contempt for the
U.N. that you described and the cold-blooded murder, is the U.S.
considering what available options it has to respond to this

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'd have to see what further we think the
U.N. or others can do on this, Ralph.

         Q    Are you going to call on Hamdoon again to complain
to him, maybe about -- (laughter).

         Q    Are you still working on the "no-fly" zone
enforcement at the U.N.?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Indeed we are.

         Q    Do you have anything new today on Kenya or the
mess in Angola?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have anything new on Kenya.  I
haven't seen the final report yet, if the IRI has a final

         On Angola, there's been -- heavy fighting continued
over the weekend, particularly in the provincial capitals of
Huambo, which is where UNITA has its headquarters, in Kuito and
Saurimo.  This has resulted in substantial loss of life.  At
this point, we don't have any accurate information on how many
people have been killed.

         Q    Is there any hope at all for follow-up elections,
or have you give up on that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, we've continued our contacts with
both the government of UNITA and UNITA.  We've urged the
government and UNITA to end the fighting, to get back to
face-to-face negotiations.  We're working closely with the
United Nations and the other official observers to this end.

         Special Representative of the U.N., Margaret Anstee, is
also continuing her efforts of facilitating face-to-face talks
between high-ranking military officials.  We've supported her
efforts.  We've repeated our calls to both the government and
UNITA to agree immediately on the venue and the modalities of
such a meeting.  So, basically we've considered our -- continued
our efforts.

         But, I'd repeat what we said last week:  That both the
government and UNITA are responsible for deciding whether to
seek a peaceful solution or to condemn the Angolan people to
more war.

         Q    And on South Africa, could you please give us some
more details --

         Q    Let's stay on Angola.

         Q    All right.

         Q    You said "substantial loss of life."  Do you mean
civilian casualties or military casualties or what?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know.  At this point I don't have
detailed information on that.

         Q    Could you please try to get us some more detail on
why Eagleburger is meeting with South Africa, and do you have
any update there or anything else?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have any update there.  I'll see
if there's anything more we want to say about the meeting in

         Q    Speaking of elections --

         Q    Richard --

         Q    -- do you have anything on Montenegro's elections

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.

         Q    Can you also try to take a look at what I asked,
and if you could give us an answer later on whether there was --
in his meeting with U.S. officials -- the Ambassador was
promised, made such a promise or not?

         MR. BOUCHER:  At this point I've described the
situation to you, and I think I'll have to stop with that.

         Q    So you don't can't -- you don't want to take the
question?  Is that what it is?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't.

         Q    Thank you.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Thank you.

         (The briefing concluded at 1:22 p.m.)

To the top of this page