930112 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 #7

                TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 1993, 1:09 P. M.

         MR. SNYDER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I apologize
for the delay.  Let's begin with your questions, if we could.

         Q   What caused the delay?  What were you preparing for us 
that caused the delay, and could we have it?  (Laughter)

         MR. SNYDER:  What are your questions, please?

         Q   Well, what is your understanding of the situation in the 
Geneva peace talks?

         MR. SNYDER:  The plenary talks in Geneva were to resume today 
and focus on the draft constitutional principles.  That's one of the
three items in the Vance-Owen plan.  However, a short time ago in
Geneva, Vance announced the talks had been adjourned "temporarily"
because Bosnian Serb Leader Karadzic has flatly rejected all three
draft documents.

         Karadzic reportedly is particularly opposed to the draft
constitutional principles.

         I did note just before coming in, however, that the wires are
 now reporting a reversal by Karadzic, so we're trying to find out
exactly what's going on.

         We also understand Lord Owen has just announced that Serbian
President Milosevic and President of Serbia-Montenegro Cosic have
accepted the constitutional principles as reasonable.

         So that's where it stands.  We're trying to clarify exactly
where they stand.

         Q  Whom do you trust?

         MR. SNYDER:  Well, we're trying to sort it out.  I mean, the
point is that the talks are still going on.  It appears that there
may be a temporary suspension, but it is characterized as 
temporary, and they're still trying to work it out.  So that's the best 
we can do for something that's moving kind of fast.

         Q    Can we try you on something else that's moving
fast -- Iraq.  What's --

         Q    I'd like to just --

         Q    Oh, I'm sorry.

         Q    -- want to complete that.

         MR. SNYDER:  Sure.

         Q    Is there anything further on -- was there ever an
answer on the Roland Dumas statement of yesterday?  Did you

         MR. SNYDER:  No, there wasn't.  I've got a little
something here.  Let me run through it.

         I want to start off by saying the plight of the
prisoners in detention camps in Bosnia is deplorable.  We all
agree on that.  We have repeatedly called for the closure of the
camps and the immediate release of the prisoners by all sides in
accordance with U.N. resolutions, the London agreements and
international norms.

         The camps are an important item in our agenda in the
U.N.  We have shared extensive information with the
International Committee of the Red Cross, and we have offered to
accept freed prisoners as our way of supporting the ICRC

         I would point out that to date the Security Council has
not taken any steps that would give the U.N. or any country
acting unilaterally with forces in Bosnia now the authority to
liberate the camps by force.

         Q    Is that offer to accept freed prisoners beyond the
offer we've already made?  Is this an open-ended --

         MR. SNYDER:  No.  It's the offer that we made.

         Q    For 1,000.

         MR. SNYDER:  For 1,000, and several dozens of those
places have been filled.  We had an update.  I don't have that
number right now.

         Q    Would the United States support action in the U.N.
to authorize forces to liberate the camps?

         MR. SNYDER:  There isn't action going on now, and we'll
have to see if it comes to that.

         Q    What do you mean?

         Q    That sounds like a no.

         MR. SNYDER:  It's something that we're looking at.  We
don't have a position on it.

         Q    You don't think that the camps should be

         MR. SNYDER:  We think the camps should be closed down
immediately and the prisoners should all be released.  That's
what we think.

         Q    But you don't think anybody should try to do that?

         MR. SNYDER:  And we're working through the ICRC,
through the U.N., with the parties involved to try and get that

         Q    But you're not advocating at the U.N. that force
be used to do that?

         MR. SNYDER:  No, we're not at the moment.

         Q    Why doesn't the U.S. think that the use of all
necessary means resolution includes the provision of
humanitarian assistance to the prisoners by way of liberating

         MR. SNYDER:  Well, I mean, you've kind of parsed it
beyond the language of the resolution itself.  And in doing that
-- I mean, that all necessary means was for the delivery of
humanitarian assistance.  There is no resolution, as I
understand it, calling or authorizing all necessary means to
free the prisoners.

         Q    But there is one authorizing all necessary means
to gain access by the EC mediators, as I recall, to the camps.

         MR. SNYDER:  Well, my understanding is that there is no
Security Council action that authorizes freeing the camps.

         Q    So are we considering the possibility of asking
for such?

         MR. SNYDER:  At the moment our efforts are focused on
the diplomatic efforts, the efforts of the ICRC on the ground to
register folks to get in relief to them, and our calls for the
closing down of the camps.

         Q    Another one of the -- from the "department of lip
service," the enforcement of the "no-fly" zone.  Is it a fact --
we haven't heard much about this, but on various occasions,
Administration officials assure us that the United States is
still pressing for this enforcement resolution.  But isn't it a
fact that you effectively suspended efforts to get this
resolution while the Geneva Conference plays itself out?

         MR. SNYDER:  Alan, no, it's not a fact.  For several
weeks since the conference began, we have said -- at least last
week and this week -- well, last week they said -- it probably
didn't come up yesterday, as I recall -- that we are pushing for
a resolution.  We want to see a resolution.  We think a
resolution allowing enforcement is important.

         We have been asked by the Secretary General to hold off
any enforcement until the Geneva Conference plays out, but that
isn't stopping us from moving ahead on a resolution.

         Q    What is stopping it?

         MR. SNYDER:  We are continuing to work.  We're trying
to work out the problems that we've been trying to work out over
the last several weeks, and we haven't been able to do so.

         Q    Who's causing the problems?

         MR. SNYDER:  They're the same problems that the
Secretary discussed at some length during his mid-December trip,
and I think perhaps in the later trip as well.  We are concerned
about the countries who have troops on the ground.  There's a
question of some sort of a delay built into the resolution.
We're trying to work all of those items out.

         Q    I thought the Brits had agreed to go along with
it.  Have they changed their mind now?  Are we back to where we

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know tactically exactly where it
stands.  We haven't been able to work it out, and we're trying
to work it out.  We're trying to work it in the Security Council
where we need -- a certain number of votes that we need, and
we're trying to get it.

         Q    How are you trying to work it?  Who has met with
whom recently that you can tell us about?

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know specifically.  Discussions
continue in New York.  Typically on these things, we also have
discussions in capitals, but I haven't looked lately exactly at
what's going on.  But it remains actively on our agenda.  There
are also a few other things going on at the U.N., obviously.
But that is an item that is very much still on our agenda, and
we want to see it passed.

         Q    Wouldn't you agree that there's a "boy who cried
wolf" problem here?  I mean, you've been telling us now for
three months or more that you want the enforcement of this
resolution passed, and you haven't got it.

         You're the world's only superpower.  When you want
something badly enough, you usually get it.  What's the problem
here?  Don't you want it badly enough?

         MR. SNYDER:  The problem is that there a number of
sovereign nations involved, obviously, in the United Nations,
and we're working through the rules that apply in the United
Nations.  We want the international community to be along
together with us on this, and that's the approach that we're

         Q    Joe, on Iraq, can you tell us --

         Q    Wait.  On Bosnia (inaudible).  The Islamic
Conference yesterday met and agreed to ship arms to Bosnia and
help the Bosnians if the Serbs don't stop shelling to --
basically military intervention, or at least help.

         Do you have any reaction to that?  Do you have any
reaction in general to the escalating -- or to that and also to
the Bosnian anger about the U.N. not allowing them to interview
U.N. personnel over the assassination?

         MR. SNYDER:  First of all, on the OIC and the arms
embargo.  Our position remains as it has been, that we think
that the arms embargo should remain in force.  That hasn't

         On the investigation, first of all let me repeat what
Richard said yesterday and what we said over the weekend.  We
think the assassination of Deputy Prime Minister Turajlic was an
outrageous act of terrorism which we strongly condemn.  The
Security Council Presidential statement of January 8 calls on
the Secretary General to undertake an investigation of the
incident and report to the Council for further action.  This
investigation is underway.

         We think that both the U.N. and the Bosnian Government
have roles to play in investigating this tragedy, and we urge
the U.N. and the Bosnian Government to cooperate closely to
bring those guilty to justice.

         Q    Do you, looking at both of these things, have the
feeling that the situation on the ground is worsening?  The
assassination on Friday seems to have triggered the Islamic
action, seems to have triggered the Bosnian anger, the talks are
collapsing in Geneva.  I just wondered if you have an assessment
about where we stand.

         MR. SNYDER:  Well, I'm not so sure that the situation
on the ground is deteriorating.  The fighting is an up-and-down
thing.  The update that we have for today is that there was a
lot of machine gun and mortar fire in Sarajevo this morning,
especially around the Parliament.  And in northeastern Bosnia,
there was Bosnian Serb shelling overnight of Gradacac, with
reports of an infantry attack there today and continued heavy
fighting in Brcko.

         But the fighting has ebbed and flowed.  I don't know
that it's necessarily intensified.  I'm not aware that it has
intensified since the assassination.

         Q    Correct me if I'm wrong.  Wasn't there some
reconsideration on the part of the United States at least at
some point about the arms embargo?  Didn't the Secretary say  --

         MR. SNYDER:  The Secretary said we were looking at it.
We were considering the possibility of a change, but our
position hasn't changed.

         Q    And why is that?

         MR. SNYDER:  Because when we looked at it, when we
talked to others who were involved, including other Security
Council members, including Mr. Vance and Lord Owen, we concluded
that it was best that the embargo remain.

         Q    So is there any sort of high-level demarche
planned or any high-level meetings planned to try to dissuade
Islamic countries from breaking that embargo?

         MR. SNYDER:  Not that I'm aware of.  The U.N. ban on
the shipment of arms to all of former Yugoslavia remains in
effect, and we think it ought to be respected.

         Q    Do you think that it would make it a more
explosive situation if they do go ahead and start shipping

         MR. SNYDER:  Our concerns are that we think there are
enough weapons there already.  We don't think that adding more
weapons to the situation is going to help the situation and help
to achieve a peaceful solution.

         Q    So the review is over?

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know that the review is over.  You
know, the entire approach to Yugoslavia is something that we
look at on a daily basis.  Obviously, the situation changes.  We
have a policy that responds to what the situation is, so I
wouldn't ever rule it out.  And, of course, I'm talking for this
Administration, and we're talking about basically one week left
in this Administration.

         Q    Joe, Vance and Owen seem to have a great deal of
influence in stopping the United States' attempts at the
"no-fly" zone, in stopping what the United States seems to want
on an arms embargo -- that is, reconsideration --, Vance and
Owen, or Vance anyway made an attempt to stop the Secretary of
State from seeing the President of a country the United States

         I wonder, to what extent are Vance and Owen influencing
American policy?

         MR. SNYDER:  To the extent that they're working very
hard, as they have, for a long time on trying to reach some
kind of a peaceful resolution to the situation there -- they've
got talks going on now.  The talks continue.  The talks seem to
be making some progress, and we would like to see their efforts
move forward, and we will certainly do what we can to support
their efforts.  That doesn't mean they hold a veto power over
what we do, but we -- it's a serious effort, and it's one that
we support, and we want to see succeed.

         Q    Sometimes, though, negotiators for the United
Nations tend to negotiate things which the United States might
not agree with.  Is the United States at all having any input on
the negotiations and on the content of what they're negotiating,
and the deal that they're allegedly negotiating, or are we -- or
is the United States simply leaving it to Vance and Owen?

         MR. SNYDER:  We are in very close touch with Vance and
Owen in Geneva, with the various parties in Geneva.  We're
working closely with them and supporting in any way that we can.

         Q    Joe, Owen said in an interview apparently that
there's consideration of using air power to enforce the
agreement if and when there actually is an agreement among the
parties.  Is that something the U.S. would be willing to
participate in?

         MR. SNYDER:  Well, that's hypothetical.  We'll have to
see what the agreement is.  I mean, the notion is that the
agreement is going to be a peaceful agreement that doesn't need
enforcing.  It's going to be an agreement in which all parties
agree and get together and an important element of that is a
military component which would lead to an end to the fighting.

         Q    You say that you have been in very close contact
with Vance and Owen.  Has this subject not come up -- the
question of enforcing the agreement and how much the United
States would be willing to do to enforce it?

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know.

         Q    Could you check?

         MR. SNYDER:  Again, the agreement is not something that
I would characterize as having an enforcement element.  An
agreement is something where all the parties say that they are
going to comply with the agreement.  So I don't know quite how
enforcement comes into it.

         Q    Joe, one more on the assassination of Turajlik.

         MR. SNYDER:  Sure.

         Q    The U.S. a couple of days ago put out a piece of
paper saying that it had -- effectively saying that it had
threatened Pakistan with putting Pakistan on the terrorism
list.  Has the U.S. considered putting Bosnia -- I mean, Serbia
and Montenegrin governments on the terrorism list?

         MR. SNYDER:  I'm not aware of that, no.

         Q    Could you take that question?  You just described
the assassination as an act of terrorism, which I don't think it
was described as yesterday.

         MR. SNYDER:  Well, I'll take it.  I mean, I didn't say
it was a state-sponsored act of terrorism.

         Q    That's exactly what the question is about.

         MR. SNYDER:  Of course, the terrorism list has to do
with state sponsorship.

         Q    Right.  And --

         MR. SNYDER:  I'll look into it.

         Q    Joe, do you have any figures -- does the United
States Government have any figures on the number of people who
are dying in Bosnia outside of Sarajevo every day?

         MR. SNYDER:  Certainly no comprehensive set.  I mean,
we've seen a lot of the same reports that you've seen.  We don't
have a lot of people on the ground in Bosnia.  It's a little bit
hard to keep figures.

         Q    Well, do you have an estimate or an idea of how
many may have died so far, say since the onset of the winter or
the beginning of the year?

         MR. SNYDER:  Probably not a very accurate one.  Let me
see if I can come up with some, if we've done any thinking about
it or looking into it.

         Q    Is the United States --

         Q    (Inaudible)

         Q    One more.  Is the United States considering air
drops of aid?

         MR. SNYDER:  This is one of the options which has been
considered.  The governments that are involved in the U.N. High
Commissioner for Refugees' air cell have looked into the issue
in general.  However, no decision has been reached.  We're one
of the governments involved in the air cell, so we've looked
into it, but no decision.

         Q    Has the U.S. offered in that "looking into" to
participate in such air drops if the UNHCR decides that that's
the right course of action?

         MR. SNYDER:  On the details of exactly how it would be
carried out, I would suggest you go to the Department of Defense
who run our operation there.

         Q    Joe, several months ago we asked this podium the
same question, and it was said that the Administration had ruled
it out -- completely ruled it out, because the goods would not
get to people who need it the most.

         Are you saying now that we're reconsidering that
position and may be willing to advocate air drops?

         MR. SNYDER:  I'm saying what I just said.  It's one of
the options which has been considered.

         Q    So we're reconsidering our --

         MR. SNYDER:  We're looking --

         Q    We're reconsidering our position.

         MR. SNYDER:  The UNHCR is looking into it.  We're
participating in that, and no decision has been made.

         Q    And what -- excuse me, just a quick one -- what is
an "air cell," and who else is in it?

         MR. SNYDER:  The air cell is the peculiar terminology
they use, I think it's in Geneva, and it's the body that
schedules the flights -- the relief flights into Sarajevo --
through Zagreb into Sarajevo.

         Q    Who else is in it?

         MR. SNYDER:  The other countries that have flights.  I
don't have a list of them here.

         Q    Joe, could you -- would you agree with the
proposition that the humanitarian aid that's going to Bosnia has
not been sufficient to prevent the death -- the winterization
efforts have not been sufficient to prevent the deaths of
hundreds of people from cold and lack of food, lack of medicine,
since the winter began?

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know how many people have died.  I
said I would look into that and see what our estimates are, so I
wouldn't be able to go along with that.  Certainly, there is
very clear evidence that people have died from -- particularly
from the cold.  Lots of people have died from the fighting as

         To the extent that people might have been saved, I
guess through relief efforts, I guess you could call it not
completely successful, but --

         Q    Not completely successful.

         MR. SNYDER:  But --

         Q    What would you call it?  An unexpected patient
outcome, something -- or negative patient outcome?

         MR. SNYDER:  The relief effort has been a large-scale,
I would almost say a massive, effort which has gotten in tons
and tons of food and other materials.  The international
community is focused very definitely on this problem, has worked
very hard to do what we can to alleviate the problem.  And we
have been successful, I would say, in alleviating a tremendous
amount of suffering.  We haven't been able to alleviate all the

         Q    Iraq?

         Q    Iraq?

         MR. SNYDER:  Are we through with Bosnia?  Okay, sure.

         Q    The situation on the ground?  Do we now know that
there, in fact, have been three incursions, and do you count
today's?  You weren't sure yesterday what the situation was.
And also on the missiles?  Does anybody know where they are?

         MR. SNYDER:  On the incursions:  We understand that
both yesterday and today approximately 200 Iraqis in civilian
clothes entered the DMZ, dismantled warehouses and removed goods
without U.N. permission.

         In terms of the missiles, Bob Hall covered that very
extensively in his briefing today, and I've got nothing to add
to what he said.

         Q    No uniforms yesterday or today --

         Q    Just a second.  On the 200 Iraqis in civilian
clothes, you could describe the 25 or 50 people in this room as
wearing civilian clothes.  Do you have any reason to believe
they are anything other than civilians?

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know.  Let me check.  They went in
in civilian clothes.  The Iraqis apparently are claiming that
they're some sort of contractors.  Let me check and see if we've
got a judgment as to who these people might be and who they work
for and what kind of clothes they wear when they're not crossing
the border into Kuwait.

         Q    Is Iraq still testing the coalition, does the U.S.

         MR. SNYDER:  Let me refer you to a much more articulate
and, more importantly, more definitive source than I, and that
is Marlin Fitzwater this morning, on Fox Television, gave an
interview and addressed a lot of the things I know that you're 
interested in.  Let me read a couple of things that he said, if you'd 
like, but I would refer you to the transcript.

         He said, "We're very concerned about this third
incident because it continues the pattern of cheating on the
U.N. resolutions that we've been seeing over the last several
weeks.  Saddam has obviously picked up this activity in the last
many days.  He's tried to get around the resolutions in any
number of ways.  So the U.N. condemnation last night really put
the world community on record as saying this is not acceptable
and we're now in a position of watching to see how he may
proceed from here.  It is a matter of extreme concern."

         Q    You think that's more articulate?

         MR. SNYDER:  I'll let you judge the articulateness of
it.  It's certainly more definitive.

         Q    Joe, in light of the fact that you just said that
200 Iraqis went in again today, after the U.N. resolution, does
the U.S. think the U.N. resolution has had any effect on Iraq's
behavior, aside from demonstrating -- aside from putting the
world on record?

         MR. SNYDER:  It certainly didn't deter this one
particular act, but we certainly hope that it does have some
effect in deterring Iraqi behavior.

         Q    Joe, yesterday, you sort of didn't want to --

         MR. SNYDER:  We expect it to do so.

         Q    Well, you didn't want to talk about what it was
you were going to do when you went into the Council session.
But now that it's over -- I mean, were you expecting it to be --
were you expecting some sort of firmer action other than the
condemnation?  Are you disappointed in the results?  What was
your position going in?

         MR. SNYDER:  Not at all.  This was what we were trying
to get.  I saw reports that we were somehow disappointed, or
this is weaker.  I'm told this is -- we were extremely happy
with the outcome of the U.N. session.

         Q    The idea -- you said you were going in there to
get something that would allow the U.N. to continue doing its
work.  And yet the condemnation doesn't appear to have had that
goal at all -- had that effect at all.

         MR. SNYDER:  There was today, a few hours after the
President's statement, an incursion.  We do hope and expect that
Iraq will pay attention to this.

         Let me talk a little bit about the statement.  The
statement determines that Iraqi actions -- that is, on two
counts:  the incursions and on the prohibition of flights by
UNSCOM -- constitute material breaches of Resolution 687, which
established the cease-fire and provided the conditions essential
for the restoration of peace and security in the region, and it
warned Iraq of the serious consequences that will flow from
continued defiance of the Council.

         The statement lays the foundation for action by the
Council or Member states that cooperated with Kuwait in
accordance with Resolution 678 to respond to violations of the
sort addressed by the Council in the statement.  The possible
use of force is not excluded.

         Q    Joe, how much of a problem is the deportees, the
415 Palestinian deportees -- wait.  This is on this.

         My understanding from talking to diplomats in New York
yesterday is that the non-aligned movement was not willing to go
along with any stronger action and was very reluctant on this
action because they saw a linkage -- they see a linkage between
Israel refusing to take back the deportees, as the Security
Council has said they want them to do, and nobody doing anything
about that.

         Is that going to keep rearing its head as a problem for
the United States and its allies as it's trying to cope with
Iraq -- this linkage?

         MR. SNYDER:  Obviously, we don't see any linkage.  We
don't think there is any linkage.  The statement that came out
last night, as far as I can tell, having read it reasonably
closely, doesn't make any linkage.

         Q    Are you having a problem in your diplomacy in
trying to get wording on resolutions because there's an attempt
here to draw a linkage?

         MR. SNYDER:  We got a statement last night that we're
very happy with.

         Q    Joe, is there not a linkage in the fact that all
Security Council resolutions are equally important and all of
them should be observed no matter who they're aimed and directed
against?  Or is it the fact that there's a double standard, that
Israel doesn't have to obey Security Council resolutions and
Iraq does?  Isn't there a linkage there?

         MR. SNYDER:  We support the United Nations Security
Council Resolution 799 -- you're talking about the deportees --
which urges Israel to return the deportees to Israel.  We think
that that resolution should be observed.

         Q    Is the possible use of military force not excluded
in connection with that resolution also?

         MR. SNYDER:  The United Nations Secretary General is
working to resolve the situation with the deportees.  We support
his efforts, and we urge the parties to resolve the situation

         Q    Joe, could you just answer my question?  I still
feel like it wasn't answered.  Could you just confirm for me
that it is true that in the negotiations that went on yesterday
this issue of the deportees came up and there was an effort on
the part of the non-aligned nations to link it?

         MR. SNYDER:  Mary, I don't know.  I can't confirm that
for you.

         Q    Could you take the question?

         MR. SNYDER:  I'll look into it and see if there's
something we could say about it.

         Q    The Iraqis claim that they are justified before
January 15 going into that area to clean out property which they
consider to be their own.

         Leaving aside the question of notice, are they
justified in going back in there before January 15?

         MR. SNYDER:  No, they're not.  I would refer you to the
language of the resolution -- of the statement.  It's very
explicit; it's very clear.

         "The Council condemns the action taken by Iraq on 10
January 1993 to remove equipment by force from the Kuwaiti side
of the demilitarized zone without prior consultation with
UNIKOM, and through UNIKOM with the Kuwaiti authorities, as set
out in the letter of 8 January '93 from the President of the
Security Council to the Secretary General.

         "In particular, the Council draws attention to the
removal by Iraq of 4 HY-2G anti-ship missiles and other military
equipment from the six bunkers in the former Iraqi naval base at
Umm Qasr on Kuwaiti territory, in spite of the objections of
UNIKOM and their efforts to prevent this.

         "This action is a direct challenge to the authority of
UNIKOM, and it amounts to clear-cut defiance by Iraq of the
Council which stipulated in a letter of 3 November 92, from the
President of the Council to the Secretary General, that the
military equipment in the six bunkers should be destroyed by or
under the supervision of UNIKOM."

         This is very clear.  This was a unanimous statement by
the President.  It was agreed to by all of the Members of the
Security Council.  I think the position is quite clear.

         Q    Why wasn't it destroyed by UNIKOM in this intervening 

         MR. SNYDER:  You'll have to talk to the U.N. about that.

         Q    Joe, did the Iraqis use force in the incursion this 

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know.

         Q    In other words, you said -- in the resolution it
said that they had clearly flaunted the U.N. by using force.

         MR. SNYDER:  Using force, yes.

         Q    Today --

         MR. SNYDER:  This was on the 10th.  This is the action
on the 10th -- the missiles.

         Q    Today they seem to have gone in in civilian
clothes.  The question is, did they draw guns?

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know specifically.  I'm not sure
yesterday as well.  The description we had of yesterday and
today was identical, that they went in in civilian clothes.

         Q    Is this a guess that the U.N. people on the ground
are just letting them walk in at this point or not?

         MR. SNYDER:  You'll have to talk to the U.N. about
exactly what they're doing.

         Q    This incursion occurred after the U.N. passed its
resolution.  Does the U.S. view this now as a provocation since
the passage of the resolution?

         MR. SNYDER:  I'd go back to what Marlin said when he
was asked about this.

         Q    Do we know what they took, Joe?  Was there
anything major like Silkworm missiles?

         MR. SNYDER:  Well, we do know -- do you mean today?

         Q    Yes.

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know.  You should check with the
U.N. on the details of exactly what happened.

         Q    Joe, the UNIKOM forces are unarmed, as I
understand it.  Is the U.S. prepared and are its allies prepared
to send in armed guards to protect UNIKOM?  And do they feel
they have the authorization already to do that and they wouldn't
need a further authorization from the Security Council?

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know if UNIKOM guards are unarmed.
 But yesterday's statement, one of the things that it did was --
"The Council invites the Secretary General as a first step to
explore, on an urgent basis, the possibilities for restoring
UNIKOM to its full strength and to consider in an emergency such
as this the need for rapid re-enforcement as set out in
Paragraph 18 of his report," and so forth.

         UNIKOM was a much larger force than when it first went
in.  There were combat units that went in with it.  Those, I
understand, have been withdrawn.  The Council is now urging the
Secretary General to restore those units.

         Q    Where would the combat units be drawn from?

         MR. SNYDER:  I think they were five companies from five
different countries, as I recall.

         Q    Including the United States?

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't think so.

         Q    Joe, are U.N. inspection operations, and so on,
continuing inside Iraq at this time?

         MR. SNYDER:  Well, we do know that the one team that
was going to fly in didn't go in because of the other action
that the Government of Iraq has taken, and that is saying that
UNSCOM can't fly its own airplane in.

         I don't know whether there are UNSCOM or IAEA people on
the ground in Iraq right now.

         Q    Joe, is the Security Council today discussing what
to do next, or what the next steps will be?

         MR. SNYDER:  Sid, I didn't ask what's going on at the
Security Council today.  I'm sorry.  Let me check and see if I
can get something for you.


         Q    Joe, what is the overall objective, U.S. policy
towards Iraq?  Is it merely to get Iraq to comply with its
international obligations, or is it something more, for example,
to change the government in Iraq?

         MR. SNYDER:  In the first instance, certainly we want
to see Iraq comply with its international obligations.  There
are a whole series of those and they are quite clearly not in
compliance with these obligations.

         As for our attitude toward the government, I think the
President and the Secretary have many times in the past
described our feelings about Saddam Hussein, and I've got nothing
to elaborate on what they said.

         Q    Joe, there are some people on the ground there in
the Middle East, in the Persian Gulf, suggesting that these
Iraqi actions are sort of de facto Iraqi recognition of the
borders that will be -- without announcing that they recognize
what the Commission or agree with what the Commission did in
taking back the stuff, which they're allowed to do under the
agreement, as a sort of de facto recognition of these borders
that were established and will go into effect on January 15.  Do
you buy that?

         MR. SNYDER:  Well, it's a strange sort of de facto
recognition to defy the United Nations, which demarcated the
border, or commission authorized by the Security Council,
demarcated the border.  I don't know what's on their minds.

         The border now has been demarcated, and they should
recognize it.

         Q    It doesn't go into effect until the 15th.

         MR. SNYDER:  The demarcation was of a border which
previously existed.  The border wasn't moved.  The border
markers may have been moved but it was a border that -- the
demarcation was based on a 1953 Iraqi-Kuwaiti agreement, or 19
-- let me get the exact date -- 1963.  Iraq and Kuwait formally
recognized their boundary in a 1963 agreement, registered with
the United Nations.

         The Border Commission, which was authorized by
Resolution 687, has completed its work on the land boundary
based on the 1963 agreement, and the Security Council has
approved the results.

         Q    But what is the January 15th?  Isn't there a
January 15th date?

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know about the January 15 date.  I
must say, it's not in what I have here.  I asked about the
border.  I don't know specifically -- the Council has approved
the results of the Boundary Commission's work.  Was there a date
in --

         Q    A date until which they can remove the weapons.

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know the details of that date.  In
any case, it's not a new border being set up as of January 15.
It's the demarcation of a border which has existed since 1963.

         Q    So January 15 has no --

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know specifically what the January
15 date is.

         Q    I understood that that's the day the border that
the Commission decided upon actually goes into effect --

         MR. SNYDER:  I don't know.

         Q    -- and that the markings are actually --

         MR. SNYDER:  In any case, the President's statement
made it very clear last night that this was totally unjustified
behavior on the part of the Iraqi Government.

         Q    Joe, also on Iraq:  Is the shuffling around of
surface-to-air missiles in the northern "no-fly" zone a
violation of what the United States warned about last week?

         MR. SNYDER:  The Pentagon talked about that today.  I'm
just not going to elaborate on it further.

         Q    Sliding along to the deportees, you said earlier
that Boutros-Ghali -- the Security Council still had an effort
going to resolve that situation.  Have you seen any signs of
that effort is proving fruitful in any way?

         MR. SNYDER:  There have been changes on the part of the
Israeli Government's position towards these people.  I don't
know if it's a result of the work of the U.N., but the U.N.
effort continues.

         Q    What do you mean, "changes," Joe?

         MR. SNYDER:  I have noticed, over the course of several
days, the Israeli Government has said one thing or another which
is slightly different.  I don't know.

         Q    Could you be more specific, Joe?

         MR. SNYDER:  It's what they have said.  I have noticed,
in press reporting, of what the Israeli Government has said.
Several people have left the area, and they said no one was
going to leave, and so forth.  I don't know to what to attribute

         In any case, the U.N. effort is one that continues.
It's very active.

         Q    How is it continuing?  The envoy is no longer in
Israel, I understand.

         MR. SNYDER:  He is going to be reporting to the
Secretary General, as I understand it, and further action will
be taken after that.  It's not an effort that anyone has said is
over.  The participants haven't said so, the U.N. hasn't said
so, so it continues.

         Q    On a related matter, do you have any comment on
PLO leader Yasser Arafat's remark reported from Dakar yesterday
saying that all the Middle East peace talks would be cancelled
until the deportee situation is -- until a solution is found for
the deportee situation --

         MR. SNYDER:  Ralph, I don't have a specific comment on
what Mr. Arafat might have said, but our position is well known.
 We believe strongly the continuation of the talks is in the
best interest of all the parties.  At the same time, we continue
to work actively, especially in the U.N. context, to deal with
the deportation issue.  We do not believe these issues should be

         Q    Can I revisit this issue of the assurances or
commitments that may or may not have been given to Israel, which
Richard was asked about yesterday?

         Since the Israeli Ambassador, Mr. Shoval, was on the
record in public in saying that Israel had a commitment that the
United States would veto any sanctions resolution should one
come before the U.S. -- I'm sorry, the U.N. -- could I ask you
to be equally forthright in public and on the record in stating
what the actual situation is?

         MR. SNYDER:  Alan, of course you can ask.  I'm going to
let Richard's comments of yesterday stand.  I've got nothing
further to add.

         Q    Does the U.S. have -- has the U.S. invited the
parties to the Middle East peace talks back for a -- or
suggested a date for them to return to Washington for the talks?

         MR. SNYDER: No, not yet.  We'll be doing that shortly,
but that hasn't been done yet.

         Q    Are you calling the Israeli Ambassador a liar?

         MR. SNYDER:  I've just got no further comment.

         Q    Are you saying that he's speaking the truth?

         MR. SNYDER:  I've got no further comment.

         Q    Thank you.

         (Press briefing concluded at 1:45 p.m.)

To the top of this page