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US DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING #12 
State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher

                       DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                       DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #12

              TUESDAY, JANUARY 26, 1993, 12:43 P.M.
              (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)


    MR. BOUCHER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  Just
off the top, I'd like to tell you that today our mission to the
U.N. in New York is presenting the U.N. Secretariat with a fifth
U.S. Government report on violations of humanitarian law in
former Yugoslavia.

    We're asking, as with the previous reports, that the report
be circulated as a U.N. Security Council document, and that it
be provided to the U.N. Commission of Experts, the War Crimes
Commission, that is examining allegations of grave breaches of
the Geneva Conventions.

    As with our previous four reports, the report documents
numerous examples of willful killing, torture of prisoners,
deliberate attacks on non-combatants, wanton devastation and
destruction of property, and other violations of humanitarian
law by all parties to the conflict, including mass forcible
expulsion and the deportation of civilians.

    In this report, we've added a new category of violations,
that is, impeding the delivery of food and medical supplies to
the civilian population.

    Q    Richard, what is the last date of the incidents that you have
in this report?

    MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know.  I have to admit to not having
had a chance to read this one this morning -- you'll have to get
copies.  We intend to continue to prepare such reports and
present them to the U.N. as further information becomes
available, and copies of the latest report are available in the
Press Office.

    Q     Richard, is it the policy of this Administration to pursue
war crimes as vigorously as the last one did?

         MR. BOUCHER:  It is certainly the policy, Alan.  I
think you'll see that the Secretary talked about it briefly
during his confirmation hearings, and certainly that is an issue
that we will continue to pursue.  The collection of information
-- provision of this information to the U.N. War Crimes
Commission.

         Q    Has there been any discussions or any progress
that you can tell us about on the setting up of some kind of
tribunal?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Nothing specific that I can tell you
about today, no.

         Q    Richard, what's the update on other countries that
have contributed similarly?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Some of the countries which have
submitted reports or information in response to the request from
the Security Council are Australia, Austria, Canada, Colombia,
Russia, Venezuela and Denmark.  I'm not sure that's an
all-inclusive list, but at least we know those countries have. 
And, of course, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and
Serbia-Montenegro have also submitted reports.

         Q    I haven't seen the reports, Richard, but I assume
these alleged incidents, crimes or whatever they are, are still
ongoing?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That was similar to the question I was
just asked:  What was the last date of an event?  And I
admitted, I confessed, that I had not read it.  So you'll have
to see the copies in the Press Office, and you can check that
yourself.

         Q    The new category of impeding the distribution of
food supplies -- is that -- why is that a crime, or is that just
a violation of the U.N. Security Council sanctions?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have the complete legal
explanation of the various Geneva Conventions.  I'm sure it's
covered somewhere in there.  I think it's also been cited in the
U.N. Security Council resolutions.

         Q    As you know, the countries are supposed to take
all necessary means to unimpede distribution of food supplies --

         MR. BOUCHER:  Ensure it's delivered, yes.

         Q    -- and other humanitarian supplies.  So is there
any action along that -- along those lines, or is that something
that's still to be worked on by the new Administration?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, in terms of what the international
community has done over the past several months, I think we've 
discussed it a number of times.  There is an UNPROFOR presence
that was beefed up at the end of last summer or the early fall. 
They have been escorting convoys.  You're aware of the efforts
that they've made to get into different places. 

         They've got into some of the towns that have previously
been closed to them.  They got into Zepa.  They got into Tuzla
when that was cut off, and other places, and they've been
expanding their routes through a lot of different means.

         Q    On a related issue, are you aware of the diesel
boat, the Bihac, towing six barges up the Danube, which has
ignored calls from Bulgarian and Romanian customs officials to
stop and has threatened to foul the waters of the Danube and is
steaming to Serbia with 6,000 tons of diesel oil from Ukraine?

         MR. BOUCHER:  We're aware not only of the Bihac, which
is pushing an oil cargo up the Danube -- it's a Serbian vessel
-- but we also understand that four additional Serbian barge
groups may also have escaped Romanian custody and are moving
upstream toward Serbia.

         We note that Romania had detained the vessels in
accordance with U.N. resolutions.  The Bihac escaped Romanian
custody after the Serbian captain declared that he wanted to
return to Ukraine.  He then reversed on the river and set out
for Serbia.

         The captain had earlier threatened to blow up his
vessel or spill oil into the Danube.  He's still claiming that
he will set the ship on fire rather than be detained.  The other
four vessels apparently fled shortly after the Bihac.

         We've asked our Embassies in Romania and Bulgaria to
obtain their host government's account of what has led to the
escapes.  We've also asked our Embassy in Belgrade to put the
Serbs on notice that environmental terrorism is a war crime and
will be treated as such.

         The U.N. Sanctions Committee met over the weekend to
consider the Bihac case.  The Sanctions Committee asked its
chairman to tell the Romanians that U.N. Security Council
Resolution 787 gives them the authority and indeed the
responsibility to use all necessary measures to stop vessels
suspected of sanctions-busting.

         We've told the Romanians and the Bulgarians the same
thing on several occasions, as recently as today.  So we've
continued to be in close touch with the other countries in the
Security Council Sanctions Committee, as well as with the
Romanians and the Bulgarians to try to see that these vessels
are stopped.

         Q    But, Richard, the Romanians have said before that
they don't have the power to enforce these resolutions,
particularly if it gets to an egregious example like this.  I 
mean, given the fact that the Romanians say that -- I mean, you
say that you're putting the Serbs on notice, but basically
you're letting them get away with it.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, Carol, this is an ongoing issue,
and I wouldn't say that we're letting them get away with it.  I
would say that we have been supporting and helping countries
like Romania and Bulgaria and the other neighbors with
assistance to help them monitor and police the Danube.  We have
clarified for them in the U.N. Security Council resolutions and
through actions such as consideration by the Sanctions Committee
over the weekend, that they do, indeed, have the authority to do
this, and we've been cooperating with them in trying to help
police the Danube.

         And you're aware all along that we've taken a series of
steps over time to try to tighten enforcement; that we have been
focused on these problems on the Danube where one of the
loopholes has existed, and we will continue to look at steps to
tighten enforcement of the sanctions.

         Q    But the bottom line is that five ships got away,
and there's nothing you can do to stop it.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I'm not sure at this point there's
still nothing we can do to stop them.  But the bottom line is
there will be some leakage, and whenever there is, we're going
to look at more ways of tightening the sanctions and making sure
it stops.

         Q    Are you treating this as a fait accompli?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.

         Q    Well, are there contingency plans to stop these --
is there coordination going on between any of the countries in
the region?

         MR. BOUCHER:  There is a lot of discussions with other
countries in the U.N. Security Council.  The Sanctions Committee
has addressed this, and, yes, we're in very close touch with the
Romanians and the Bulgarians, and we'll see what can be done. 
Maybe they can't stop these shipments; maybe they can, but I
wouldn't say that we've given up on it.

         Q    The Bulgarian and Romanian Governments says that,
short of firing and using force, they're not able to stop them. 
They say the United Nations authorization doesn't extend to
this.  You used the phrase "all means necessary."  Are you
saying that they're misinterpreting the authorization?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm saying what I just said in answer to
a question, and what I said at the beginning.  The Sanctions
Committee asked its chairman to tell the Romanians that U.N. 
Security Council Resolution 787 gives them the authority and
indeed the responsibility to use all necessary measures to stop
the vessels that are suspected of sanctions-busting.

         Q    Does that include the use of force, then?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not in a position to specify whether
they're going to use force or not -- whether that's under
consideration.  I just don't know.  But certainly "use all
necessary measures" is fairly clear.

         Q    Unless I'm mistaken, CSCE asked NATO and NATO
agreed to help enforce this and sent some ships to help enforce
the embargo.  Do you know whether the United States is willing
-- is about to participate in an attempt to stop these barges --
or NATO?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't remember any request like that,
Saul.  Your memory may be better than mine.  But, you know,
you're aware of the assistance that we've given them in
monitoring.  It's been customs experts, it's been people who
monitor the traffic.  We have a fix on what's going on.  We've
told the Romanians and the Bulgarians that they can and should
stop these vessels.

         And I guess all I could say is, in general terms, that
we'll continue to look at situations like these and do whatever
we can to plug the holes and tighten the enforcement of
sanctions.

         Q    Richard, what about the Ukrainian end of this? 
This oil comes from Ukraine, 36,000 tons of it, and Ukraine is
also subject to following U.N. resolutions, as well as being in
a situation of requesting and receiving U.S. aid for various
things?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.  I don't have any information at
this point on what these barge owners might have told the
Ukrainian Government or on our discussions with the Ukrainian
Government on this.  I'm sure we've discussed sanctions
enforcement with the Ukrainians in the past.  It is incumbent
upon all nations to monitor exports carefully and to try to make
sure that nothing that is exported from their countries is going
to Serbia and Montenegro in violation of the sanctions.

         Q    Richard, on this whole question of Bosnia,
Secretary Christopher yesterday talked about the National
Security Council meeting that's expected to be held soon.

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, he didn't.

         Q    I think he mentioned it, didn't he, in the
transcript?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, he didn't.

         Q    Madeleine Albright mentioned it in her
confirmation hearing.  Can you tell us anything more about that?
 How soon is this meeting supposed to take place, and is there
what you would call a formal policy review underway of policy
toward Bosnia here within the Department?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Mary, I don't have much to say beyond
what the Secretary said yesterday.  I think I've told you before
that we are looking at all the various options to advance the
agenda, to advance the efforts that we're making in different
areas out there.

         The Secretary reiterated yesterday again that it is a
matter of very high priority for the Administration, something
they're looking at.  As for specific meetings, you'd have to ask
that over at the White House, and I'm not sure it's -- well,
we'll see what they want to say on that.

         Q    Richard, a quick --

         Q    (Multiple questions)

         MR. BOUCHER:  Slow down here.

         Q    Just go back for a second to the Ukraine.  We're
sure that that is Ukrainian oil those Serbian ships are
carrying, or did they just stop in Ukraine prior to coming to --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I guess I'd have to double-check that for
you, Sid.  I'll have to check on that.  The captain did say he
wanted to return to the Ukraine, and I think that implies that
he was coming from there, but I'll have to see.

         Q    Richard, do you have anything to say about the
Croatian-Serbian fighting and how that's complicated the whole
issue?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I'll be glad to tell you what's
going on and what the United Nations did yesterday.  We have
reports that the Croatian offensive is continuing in what's
called the "pink zone," which is next to the U.N. protected
areas south of Zadar on the north-central Dalmatian coast. 
There was heavy combat in the region yesterday.

         Yesterday the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted
Resolution 802 that condemns the Croatian offensive.  It demands
the return of heavy weaponry that was seized from UNPROFOR
controlled storage by Serb paramilitary units.

         The U.S. joined the Council in condemning the Croatian
action that claimed the lives of two UNPROFOR peacekeepers.

         At the same time, we are concerned over the
intransigence of Serb paramilitary units which have blocked at
every turn the implementation of the Vance Plan in the U.N.
protected areas.

         We note that, under the Vance Plan, the transit
corridor and bridgehead at Maslenic that were the objectives of
the Croatian attack were to have been returned to Croatian
Government control by the Serbs several months ago.

         So that's pretty much where we stand on that.  We've
addressed this in conjunction with the partners in the U.N.
Security Council, and they came out with a statement yesterday
that condemned the Croatian attacks and in particular the
threats against U.N. peacekeepers and indeed the loss of lives
of two of the UNPROFOR peacekeepers.

         Q    Richard, just to follow up on that, you've
expressed doubts here recently about the peace talks and their
ability to come up with a plan that will stick.  Does this
deepen your doubts or heighten your doubts or broaden your
doubts? 

         MR. BOUCHER:  Do I look higher, broader or deeper today
than I usually am?  Mary, we've, I think, discussed that before
-- this fighting in areas that were previously more or less
stable or peaceful -- certainly a very serious concern to the
Council -- to the U.N. Security Council.  We've addressed it up
there.

         We support the efforts that Vance and Owen are making. 
The talks in Geneva are, in fact, continuing.  So I have really
no change in that.

         Q    Richard, one more on the atrocity report, do you
know if Secretary Christopher agrees with Secretary Eagleburger
that Milosevic and Karadzic and some other political leaders
should be required to answer war crimes cases?

         MR. BOUCHER:  It's not a question I've specifically
asked him, so I guess I can't volunteer something.

         Q    Can I follow up on Mary's question.  Russian
Foreign Minister Kozyrev said today that he would like to go
beyond condemnation and press for sanctions against Croatia in
the United Nations.

         Would the United States support that position?  And how
-- if you could add also, President Yeltsin has come out fairly
strongly criticizing the United States for failing to take the
Russian viewpoint into account in its policy towards the former
Yugoslavia as well as Iraq.  Have you got a comment on that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  A three-in-one blow, huh.  O.K.  On the
issue of sanctions and Croatia, we've seen the statement.  I
think the point that we're at now is that the United Nations has
passed a resolution just last night which calls on the parties
to cooperate with UNPROFOR, to cooperate with the U.N.
peacekeeping plan, and indeed we think that this statement --
the Council statement should be complied with.

         Beyond that, I'd just say that we are following the
situation closely, and we will watch for the parties to comply.

         On the statements at Yeltsin's press conference,
basically that -- to say that in the cases of Iraq and Bosnia,
we have indeed been acting pursuant to U.N. Security Council
resolutions, which was the point that President Yeltsin
stressed.

         These resolutions, of course, were worked out in
cooperation with Russia and approved by Russia as a U.N.
Security Council permanent member.  We've worked closely with
our allies and with other Security Council members, including
the Russians, in efforts to build consensus, to uphold
international law and the standards of conduct that prevail in
the world.

         We think this kind of continued cooperation is
essential, and we'll continue to work with them to resolve
conflicts and arrive at peaceful political settlements of
disputes.

         Q    What representations have been made to the
Russians?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not sure that any have.  The ongoing
cooperation between the United States and Russia I think is
apparent to you all.  Its cooperation at the United Nations,
especially in the context of the roles that both of us have in
the Security Council, has been a matter that we have worked very
closely with the Russians with, and we've cooperated closely and
consulted closely, and we'll continue to do that.

         Q    Is the State Department taken aback by Yeltsin's
criticism?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Howard, I would just say that what he
pointed to was the need to work with the U.N., to work in the
U.N., and that's something that we're doing very closely.

         Q    Richard, do you see this statement as possibly a
tactical move to answer domestic critics, or are you concerned
that it might be a strategic change in Russian foreign policy?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think I can really analyze the
domestic situation that much for you from here.  We're certainly
aware of the domestic pressures that are out there.  
In his statements, once again I'd say he emphasized a foreign
policy in cooperation with the United Nations, and that's
something that we're doing, and we're working closely with the
Russians at the U.N. Security Council.  We both have important
roles up there, and we're working together up there.

         Q    Has Christopher been in direct touch with Kozyrev
or --

         MR. BOUCHER:  He had a brief conversation, I think,
with Kozyrev a couple of days ago.  I don't think there was any
conversation about this particular matter.

         Q    Do you think this matter is going to speed up or
slow down a Christopher-Kozyrev meeting?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  

         Q    Do you have anything to announce about a
Christopher-Kozyrev meeting?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  Just, you know, the White House
addressed the issue on Saturday.  There's nothing new since
then.

         Q    Another Security Council issue is the report by
Boutros-Ghali which said that the Security Council should make
Israel comply with 799, using whatever means are necessary. 
What are your reactions to that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, the Secretary General has
distributed his report to the Security Council yesterday
evening.  It's based on the consultations of his Special Envoys.
 The report will be considered by the Security Council and
discussed there.

         On the general issue, we believe there's an opportunity
to resolve the issue through active diplomacy.  We would like to
see those efforts exhausted before the Security Council
considers taking action.

         In this regard, we'd also note that the issue remains
under active consideration by the Israeli Supreme Court, which
is expected to render a decision soon.

         Q    Richard, has this Administration, as the previous
one did, given assurances to Israel that it would not support
sanctions as a result of this incident?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Sid, our position on Chapter Seven is I
think what we've said before, that we wouldn't see any
constructive purpose in a Security Council debate over Chapter
Seven's issues on this subject.

         As I said before, we're actively working with the U.N.
and the others to bring about a satisfactory resolution on this
question.  We think that there is an opportunity to resolve the
issue through active diplomacy.  We'd like to see the diplomatic
efforts exhausted before the Security Council has to address the
issue.

         Q    Richard, Prime Minister Rabin has said that if
Chapter Seven were used in this instance, the peace process
would collapse.  Does the United States agree with that?  Do you
think that's a real -- that there's a threat here to the peace
process?  Is this whole issue posing a threat to the peace
process as far as you're concerned?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I hadn't seen that particular statement
by Prime Minister Rabin.  Of course, we continue to believe in
the importance of the peace process.  We've discussed here
before the importance of resolving this issue of the deportees
and not allowing it to derail the peace process, because that
peace process overall remains strongly in the interest of all
the parties.

         Q    Richard, what can you tell us of Christopher's
telephone conversation with Rabin over the weekend?

         MR. BOUCHER:  It was on Sunday.  It was basically a get
acquainted call.  They discussed a range of bilateral issues. 
They discussed the advancement of the Middle East talks and
agreed that that was a top priority.

         In that connection, of course, they also discussed the
deportees issue.  Secretary Christopher stressed the need to
find a timely resolution of the issue.

         Q    Richard, you keep -- I may be dense, but you keep
talking about settling this through diplomacy and resolution. 
What is the objective of settling?  Is this to get these guys
back into Israel or is there some other possible settlement?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, it's not necessarily for us to
dictate a possible settlement.  There is a U.N. resolution on
the subject which we supported.

         I think the interests of the parties, in terms of
getting back to the peace talks and not allowing this issue to
derail the process, are in finding a resolution that is
satisfactory to the various parties on the question.  I think I
have to leave it at that for the moment.

         Q    Richard, did the Secretary discuss going to the
Middle East?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have the full details of
everything that he discussed in his conversation with Rabin.  Of
course, he mentioned that as something that he was thinking
about in his confirmation hearings.

         Q    Can you explain why it is that it might not be
constructive to vote for sanctions on this issue?  What is the
argument or the logic that the State Department advances?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The issue, John, is one that has been of
concern to a lot of people out there.  We think that the best
process to be followed is one to try to resolve it, to try to
find a satisfactory resolution here.  Of course, you're aware of
our support for the U.N. Security Council resolution.  We're
also aware of the difficulties that Israel has faced in the past
with extremists groups.

         We don't see what purpose would be served by engaging
the Security Council in a debate on Chapter Seven sanctions.  We
think it's much better to pursue the efforts that we have
underway that others are engaging in, that others are
considering, to try to resolve the issue, since, in the end,
that remains the purpose both of our diplomatic efforts and of
the U.N. Security Council.

         Q    Are you saying the Administration would veto any
sanctions in this matter?

         MR. BOUCHER:  It's really a hypothetical question since
there's nothing before the Council at this moment.

         Q    Can you address what the American Ambassador
allegedly told Israeli Army Radio that the United States would
support Israel on the sanctions issue?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I hadn't seen that quote.  I hadn't heard
that.

         Q    Richard, do you have anything on --

         Q    We informed the Israelis that, in any way, that we
would support them on the sanctions -- support the Israelis on
the sanction issues, as they appear to believe is the case.

         MR. BOUCHER:  As I said, Saul, at this point, that's a
hypothetical question in terms of a U.S. veto.  In terms of what
we would like to see happen in this situation, I told you that
the Secretary talked to Rabin about it and talked about the
importance of the Middle East peace talks, but also stressed to
Rabin the need to find a timely resolution of the problem.

         We're in contact with other governments.  We're in
contact with the United Nations authorities about this issue. 
We're in touch with other members of the Security Council about
the issue, and our position is what I just said -- that we don't
see a purpose in having a debate in the Security Council at this
point on Chapter Seven.

         Q    But just finally since we voted against Israel on
the resolution, and since Israel -- and therefore we believe
Israel to be at fault, wouldn't the American threat of
supporting the sanctions be a little bit -- strengthen the
American hand in trying to achieve a diplomatic solution?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, I haven't tried to make threats one
way or the other.  I've said that we have tried to be active and
others are active as well.  We supported the efforts the United
Nations has made to try to find a satisfactory resolution to
this problem, and that remains the issue:  Can you resolve this
problem satisfactorily?

         Q    Richard, the --

              (Multiple questions)

         MR. BOUCHER:  Slow down a little bit.  Norm.

         Q    Richard, the question of whether the United States
would veto sanctions against Israel is certainly, as you say,
hypothetical -- 

         MR. BOUCHER:  I agree.

         Q    -- but it's a hypothetical question that the
United States has been answering in the affirmative for almost
20 years.  Is it that you no longer can say what U.S. policy has
been since shortly after the 1973 war that a resolution imposing
sanctions against Israel would be vetoed?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Norm, in my four years doing this, I
don't remember ever having issued a blanket veto threat.  I
think we've always said that when resolutions are presented to
the Council, we consider them, we look at them, and then we
decide how we will vote.

         I'm not trying to change some long-standing policy, but
I'm not aware that there has been such a long-standing policy. 
I'd have to check.

         Q    Richard, when you say you want to see it resolved
in a timely manner, what are you talking about?  Are you hoping
you can keep negotiating this until the two years runs out and
the deportees are allowed back in?  Or what is considered
"timely" here?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think I should try to specify in
any greater detail from this end of it some particular solution
or some particular timetable.  Obviously, it's an issue that
people are concerned about.  It's obviously an issue that is of
concern in relation to getting the peace talks going again, and
that remains very important, the most important thing in the
region right now.  We're devoting our efforts to try to see it
resolved in a timely manner.

         Q    But, Richard, in his telephone conversation with
Rabin, did the Secretary get any kind of assurance from him
that, indeed, there was the potential for a diplomatic solution
to this, that there was any maneuverability in their position?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I just don't know, Susan.

         Q    Richard, what do you say to those who argue that
there's a double standard at the United Nations that Iraq,
Bosnia, or Serbia, are treated in one way and Israel has a
special status, is treated with special kid gloves when it is in
violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions?  What do you say
to that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Alan, I say what we've said here before,
and that is that the U.N. Security Council passes resolutions,
takes views on issues, and we join in with other countries there
in expressing our views on issues and looking for solutions to
problems.  And when you have a problem of Iraq invading its
neighbors and trying to develop weapons of mass destruction that
threaten the whole region, you try to solve that problem. 
That's why we have a process of U.N. inspections and, indeed,
long-term monitoring that's out there.

         When you have a problem of aggression in Bosnia and
people not getting fed, you try to solve that problem.  And just
as with those other resolutions, when there are resolutions and
problems that exist, we try to solve the problem, and that's
what I'm trying to stress for you today.

         Q    Richard, does the State Department believe that
there will be another round of peace talks if the deportees
remain on the mountain in Lebanon?

         MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, I think you've seen
various comments by various of the parties to the talks.  We
certainly continue to believe strongly in the importance of the
talks and getting the parties back together.  But as for setting
another round and specific dates, it's something that we still
have to discuss with the parties.

         Q    Did you clarify, finally, the U.S. position on
Skopje's application for recognition which has been pending
(inaudible) at the U.N. Security Council?

         MR. BOUCHER:  When I checked this morning, I was told
there's no immediate movement on the Macedonian application,
that discussions in New York continue on the issue and that
we've not taken a final position.

         Q    Could you confirm reports that Secretary of State
Christopher is going to meet tomorrow with the Greek Foreign
Minister, Mr. Papakostantinou?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll have to check on that for you.

         Q    Thank you.

         Q    Do you have anything on the Secretary's meeting
with Jesse Jackson this morning?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The meeting -- Jesse Jackson, as you
know, has just returned from Haiti.  He gave the Secretary a
report on his trip there.  While he was down there, Mr. Jackson
met with General Cedras, with Bazin, and others down there.

         The Secretary saw it as helpful to have this report
from Mr. Jackson.  During his visit, Jesse Jackson apparently
emphasized the importance of democracy in Haiti, of restoring
democracy to Haiti, and that's what he talked about with the
Secretary.  He supported President Clinton's efforts to achieve
the restoration of democracy.

         And during his visit to Haiti, Jesse Jackson also
apparently emphasized to the parties down there the importance
of a non-violent transition to the restoration of the democracy.

         The Secretary appreciates the report.  He appreciates
the fact that Jesse Jackson made the trip and found the report
constructive.

         Q    Richard, do you have anything new on the situation
in Angola?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Fighting has continued in various parts
of the country.  Our understanding is that UNITA is still in
control of the northwestern city of Soyo, and that oil
production in that region has been halted.  The government
claims to have taken control of the city of Huambo on January
25, and over the weekend Luanda's water system was destroyed,
reportedly by UNITA forces.  The capital is currently without
water.

         In the meantime, however, both UNITA and the government
have agreed to send delegations to Addis Ababa for discussions
on military and political issues.  The talks are scheduled to
begin tomorrow under U.N. auspices.  The observers -- that's the
United States, Portugal, and Russia -- are also sending
delegations to Addis in support of the talks.

         Q    What is the State Department's reaction to the
request that we believe was made by President dos Santos for
full recognition of his government and full relations between
the United States and Angola?

         MR. BOUCHER:  There was a letter on January 18 from
President dos Santos to now President Clinton.  Generally, on
the question of recognition, I'd refer you to what Secretary
Christopher said during his hearings, and that is that the
question of recognition is under review.

         Q    Can I just ask you, this attitude of being under
review, is it different from the attitude of the previous
administration after the elections?  Is this new?

         MR. BOUCHER:  In terms of the past position, the one I
remember that we've said is that we would recognize the
government that emerged from free and fair elections. 
Certainly, since the elections, there have been a lot of
developments and the current status is that we're looking at it.
 It's under review -- the question of recognition.


         Q    Tomorrow, you have the Deputy Foreign Minister of
Angola here.  Can you confirm or advance anything on that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Our understanding is that he is -- this
is the Angolan Foreign Minister, I understand -- Venancio da
Moura.  He's in New York for discussions with U.N. officials. 
It's still not clear who he might meet with if he does come to
Washington.  He has indicated he may come to Washington, but
it's not certain at this point.

         Q    On Friday, in the statement that you issued, the
United States threatened -- it said there would be the gravest
implications if UNITA moved on Cabinda.  Should this be taken to
suggest that you would use force in order to protect those oil
facilities?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Carol, I think at this point I'll have to
let the statement speak for itself.  I don't want to suggest
anything else.

         Q    And by letting it speak for itself, you basically
are leaving that threat out there.  Is that what the American
people should believe is the intent of the Clinton
Administration, to use U.S. troops --

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's not exactly what the statement
said.  The statement said that there would be gravest
implications or serious consequences if there were, indeed, an
attack there.  At this point, we don't have any information to
indicate any moves by UNITA forces against Cabinda.

         Their representatives both in Washington and in Angola
have said that UNITA has no plans at the present time to attack
Cabinda.

         Q    That's a pretty serious position for the U.S.
Government to take; and carried to its logical extension, it
would suggest that military force was a possibility.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not carrying it anywhere, Carol.  I'm
leaving it where it was on Friday.

         Q    Are those oil fields considered vital to national
security?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Again, Mary, I don't want to get into
statements that might have other implications.  The statement
that we issued on Friday is as much as we have to say on that
matter at the moment. 

         Q    Richard, a question on Czechs and Slovaks who are
electing their respective Presidents today.  In the Czech lands
the major candidate is a former dissident -- Vaclav Havel -- and
in Slovakia it's a former communist, Roman Kovac.  Any comment?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.

         Q    Will you have any?  Can you --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know if we may at some point,
after the elections, have some comment on it.  We don't
generally comment on candidates in other people's elections.

         Q    Will you tell us anything about the status of
assigning ambassadors now?  Is there a United States Ambassador
to Slovakia nominated, or in the process?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I haven't checked on that recently. 
That's something that is usually announced out of the White
House.

         Q    I would like to go back to the oil barges, please,
on the Danube.  Can you say whether or not there is, as far as
you know, any United Nations authority to use force to stop
those barges by anybody in order to enforce sanctions?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, I'll tell you once again what we
discussed before.  The Sanctions Committee has asked its
chairman to tell the Romanians that U.N. Security Council
Resolution 787 gives them the authority and, indeed, the
responsibility to use all necessary measures to stop vessels
that are suspected of sanctions-busting, and that's a point that
we have made to the Romanians and Bulgarians as well.

         Q    "All necessary measures" means force in this -- 

         MR. BOUCHER:  It means all necessary measures.

         Q    Do you know if the Romanians asked for
reinforcements or help in any way?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know, no.

         Q    Richard, do you know what the play is on this
whole question of expanding the Security Council to include
Germany and Japan, given Secretary Christopher's comments
yesterday about this and looking favorably upon it, and British
Prime Minister John Major's comments that this is clearly
something that would have to be discussed?

         Is this in active discussion?  Is the U.S. now actively
lobbying to have Germany and Japan put on the Security Council?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think I can go that far.  It's a
question that, of course, the Secretary talked about.  He cited
President Clinton's statements during the campaign, that we
could, indeed, support permanent seats for Germany and Japan. 
He reiterated that position.  He also acknowledged the
complexity of the issue, so it's something we're looking at,
we're considering we are thinking about, but I don't think I can
go beyond that at this point.

         Q    Do you have a position on whether the seats now
occupied by France and Britain should be combined into a single
European seat -- EC seat?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think we've made any statements
on that, Mary.  As you point out, there are a lot of issues that
have to be looked at.  It is a complex issue.  It's something
we'll have to be looking at.

         Q    Didn't Ambassador Albright say something about
that in her confirmation?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know.  Maybe she did.

         Q    I think she did.

         Q    Richard, you use the words "could support."  Does
that mean you do support or you don't support?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't want to try to talk too fine line
on this.

         Q    It doesn't say anything.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not -- it certainly -- I refer you
back to what President Clinton said during the campaign, and I
refer you to what Secretary Christopher said yesterday.  We've
addressed it a number of times.

         Q    Yesterday, he said -- he quoted President Clinton
as saying that he could envisage.  Well, again, "could envisage"
doesn't say I do envisage or I will envisage.  When you use a
word like "could," you're not being specific at all.  You're
ducking.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm sorry, but the word used was "could."
 I can't change it now.  It's what's been said.

         The point, Jan, without trying to find nuance
everywhere where none may exist is to say that there is a
legitimate reason to look at the membership of the Security
Council.  There are reasons to consider the status of Germany
and Japan, the possible status as future permanent members of
the Security Council.  At the same time, you have to recognize
that it is a very complex issue, and it will require a lot of
discussion, a lot of consultations with other governments.

         Q    (Inaudible) U.S. supports including Germany and
Japan as permanent members?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't want to try to find any more
nuance in these few sentences.  I'll refer you to what the
Secretary said yesterday.  It was quite a long answer.  He gave
quite a clear idea of what he's thinking about.

         Q    Has there been any progress in getting
international -- ICRC or anybody else into the camps in Serbia
that the State Department discovered a couple of weeks ago?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, on the question of "weeks ago,"
we've been providing information all along to the ICRC and to
the others out there about what we knew.  We prepared a list in
mid-December, and about a week after we drafted that report we
sent it out to ICRC and the UNHCR and they had it, I think, by
January 4.

         The list is shared with the ICRC in order to aid them
in carrying out their responsibilities.  The intention was to
provide them with a list of places where they might look for
detainees.

         Now, our understanding is that the ICRC has sent the
list to its field offices for their information and use.  They
are aware in some cases of camps on the list which have been
closed.  Unfortunately, they have no access to large areas of
eastern Bosnia.  They're continuing to investigate possible
camps to the best of their ability.  So I guess the answer is,
they've started to check some places out and found a few that
are closed.  They have it.  They have it in the field, and
they're doing what we had hoped they would do and are sending it
to them.

         Q    Richard, since we are back on the camps, several
weeks ago the U.S. Government made a strong commitment to take
over here in America 1,000 prisoners and their families who have
been released from those camps and were sitting somewhere in the
cold.  What happened to those people, and how many of them are
here now?

         MR. BOUCHER:  It's something I'll have to check on,
Jacques.  As I remember it, when we made the offer, the U.N.
High Commissioner for Refugees was going to refer people to us
who wanted to come to the United States.  In fact, at one point,
there were very few people who did.  Most of the people involved
did want to stay in the region in order to return to their
homes, which is the way we've been handling this all along.  And
then there was the immediate question of getting people out of
the Karlovac facility where they were staying so that other
people could come out of the camps and move in there.  I think
those people from Karlovac went to Switzerland, by and large,
where they had an immediate offer.

         There were enough offers from the international
community to take care of the people we needed to right away.  I
think our offer still stands, and I'll have to check at this
point how many people UNHCR has referred to us.

         Q    Regarding the Israeli loan agreements, has there
been any holdup on the formal signing of a loan agreement with
Israel?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think it was all done a couple of weeks
ago.

         Q    Do you have any statement on that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  I'll see what I can get you.

         Q    Thank you.

         (Press briefing concluded at 1:25 p.m.)

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