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                         DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #44

                 MONDAY, MARCH 29, 1993, 12:32 P. M.
                (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)



         MR. BOUCHER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I'd like 
to start out with a couple small announcements and one not so small.

          The first is that Secretary of State Warren Christopher will 
be appearing in open session before the Subcommittee on Foreign 
Operations of the Senate Appropriations Committee at 10:00 a.m. on 
Tuesday, March 30.  The room number is 138 in the Dirksen House Office 
Building.

          Q  House?

          MR. BOUCHER:  In the Dirksen Office Building.  We'll reconfirm 
that for you.  The subject is the Fiscal Year 1994 budget.  Given the 
Secretary's testimony, we won't be doing a regular briefing here 
tomorrow.

          Second:  Secretary of State Warren Christopher has today named 
Michael D. McCurry as his Spokesman for the Department of State and his 
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.  Mr. McCurry 
will formally assume his position on April 5, and he'll begin conducting 
the State Department's regular briefing for news media later this 
spring.

          He's a veteran press secretary.  We'll have more biographical 
details available for you and a written statement slightly later. And he 
happens to be with us today to watch the show, so this is Mike over 
here.  I'm sure you'll all make him feel welcome.

          Q  Where are you going, Richard?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We'll see.

          Q  Richard, was that the big announcement?  (Laughter)

          MR. BOUCHER:  Yes, that was the big one.  (Laughter)

          No, this is the big one.  I'd like to introduce Maeve Dwyer, a 
new Foreign Service Officer who will be with us until September as one 
of our Press Officers.  Maeve is over here.  She can stand up, if she 
would.

          She's from Potomac, Maryland.  She holds a Bachelor's Degree 
from the University of Chicago and a Master's from Northwestern 
University.  She joined the Foreign Service in January of 1992 and has 
served since then in the Citizens Emergency Center and other Department 
assignments.  So she'll be with us as one of our Press Officers and, I'm 
sure, will be getting to know all of you.

          And that's all I have in the way of announcements, so I'd be 
glad to take your questions.  George?

          Q    Can you flesh out at all what the Secretary said this 
morning about pressuring the Serbs?

          MR. BOUCHER:  He has talked a couple of times.  He mentioned 
on television yesterday, I think, some of the things that we were doing; 
and I mentioned on Friday some of the directions that we're going.

          We're going to make an all-out diplomatic effort to get all 
the parties -- and in this case that means the third party, the Serbs -- 
to sign an agreement consensually and in good faith.  We've urged the 
Bosnian Serbs to come to agreement quickly to see that this tragic 
conflict can end.  We've made clear that if the Bosnian Government and 
the Bosnian Croats signed an agreement, as they now have, and the 
Bosnian Serbs do not, a new dynamic will come into play.

          There are additional diplomatic and economic pressures that 
the Administration can bring to bear on the Bosnian Serbs and their 
supporters in Belgrade.  Toughening economic sanctions against Serbia is 
under active consideration.  As you know, we have been taking a number 
of steps to tighten the existing sanctions regime; and we're also 
discussing with other members of the Security Council a new draft 
resolution, although it hasn't been circulated to the full Council.  So 
we'll be working on that this week.

          We will also be pushing on the "no-fly" zone enforcement.  We 
still want to see it enforced, and we expect that a further discussion 
of the "no-fly" zone enforcement resolution will also take place this 
week.

          As the Secretary said yesterday, we continue our humanitarian 
airdrops and the efforts by the United Nations as well as ourselves to 
get humanitarian assistance in, so there's a whole variety of things 
that we're doing.

          Q    If the "no-fly" would happen this week, Richard, do you 
have a commitment on the part of the Russians to acquiesce to that 
timetable?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We, as you know, discussed this last week.  
We've said, and I think you heard Minister Kozyrev say, that they asked 
for a seven-day delay so that it could be considered this week.  So we 
do expect there to be consideration this week.

          Q    Richard, is there a connection between the "no-fly" 
enforcement resolution and a possible signature by the Serbs of this 
peace accord?  In other words, if they sign, will that cause a further 
delay in that resolution?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Alan, as you know, in our view -- and this has 
always been our view -- "no-fly" enforcement was an important step, 
whatever the status of negotiations.  We think that a "no-fly" zone, a 
properly enforced "no-fly" zone, can either contribute to the 
implementation of a resolution or be part of the additional steps that 
are necessary to stop the fighting and get to a consensual agreement.

          So the simple answer is no.  We think it's necessary, whatever 
happens in the agreement.

          Q    New subject?

          Q    The Middle East:  Could you please give us a little bit 
about the meeting between Mr. Husseini and Mrs. Ashrawi with the 
Secretary on Friday and comment on the decision of the Arab Foreign 
Ministers in Damascus not to respond to the invitation of the United 
States unless the United States will respond to their appeals or the 
request of the six points of the Palestinians which was approved between 
the Palestinians and Mr. Christopher in Jerusalem last month?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Okay.  First, on the meetings, Friday and 
Saturday.  The Secretary met with Faisal Husseini in a one-on-one 
discussion on Friday for about 40 minutes and on Saturday for an 
additional 30-minute session.  The Palestinians, our peace team and 
representatives from the Russian co-sponsors also held discussions on 
Friday and Saturday.

          I would note that the Russian Foreign Ministry sent one of 
their senior officials involved with Middle Eastern affairs to come and 
join us in these conversations.  And so we not only had the Palestinian 
team in town, but we had an active participant from Moscow as well; and 
that was something that was very important to us, to join with our co-
sponsors in having these discussions.

          All in all, we met with the Palestinians for over four hours 
of talks over the weekend.  Consultations were useful and productive.  
We and the Russian co-sponsors are encouraged by the prospects for 
resuming the ninth round of negotiations on April 20.

          Following our talks with the Palestinians, Secretary 
Christopher sent messages to the parties and others in the region, 
expressing the importance of making progress in the Middle East talks 
and our expectations that the talks will soon resume.

          We believe that all the parties have a high stake in resuming 
and in the success of the Middle East peace talks.  We think these talks 
offer the best opportunity to address the needs of the people in the 
region for genuine peace.

          As you note, the Damascus meeting postponed a decision on 
responding to the co-sponsors' invitation while consultations with the 
co-sponsors continue.  Israel, as you know, has accepted the invitation.  
We remain encouraged that all of the parties will decide to resume the 
talks on April 20.

          We have now had discussions -- pre-consultations with the 
Palestinian and Israeli delegations on next steps in the Israeli-
Palestinian track; and we have, as you know, invitations out to the 
other parties to come to Washington for pre-consultations.

          Q    Can we have a copy of that statement?

          MR. BOUCHER:  It will be in the transcript.

          Q    Nobody said they're coming for pre-consultations?

          MR. BOUCHER:  At this point we've had discussions with the 
Palestinians and the Israelis.  We don't have any others scheduled at 
this point.

          Q    What did they say?  Did they say they're coming next 
week?  Did the Palestinians and Israelis say --

          MR. BOUCHER:  As I said, we're encouraged that the parties 
will attend the talks on April 20, but you'll have to ask them more 
specifically for their answers.

          Q    Well, the question is whether the United States is 
sweetening the pot in some way to get the parties to the table. What can 
you tell us about that?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I would tell you that we think it's important 
for the parties to come.  We think that there are important 
opportunities, as the Secretary has said -- that there are opportunities 
this year for breakthroughs.  And we've been working with the parties, 
not only to emphasize what we see as their interest in showing up at the 
talks, but we've been meeting with them to try to make it clear and to 
try to move towards real substantive progress in the talks.

          Q    I don't know that that answers the question.  In 
Jerusalem the Palestinians seemed pleased with what you've said about 
Jerusalem -- about East Jerusalem.  Could you tell us what it is that 
you said to them about East Jerusalem that causes them some happiness?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I can't.

          Q    Did you say anything about East Jerusalem's status as 
being an issue in these discussions which deal with self-rule and not 
with final status?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Barry, you know our positions on that, and 
nothing has changed.

          Q    Then why are they so pleased with your statements on East 
Jerusalem?

          MR. BOUCHER:  You'll have to ask them, Barry.  I can't tell 
you.

          Q    Can I go back to the question you didn't answer about the 
six points which were agreed between Mr. Christopher and the 
Palestinians.  Mr. Qaddumi today in Damascus relayed the six points, and 
he said that the United States' position has been unclear towards the 
requirements for the Palestinians to come back to the peace talks on 
April 20.  Can you address the six points that was agreed between Mr. 
Christopher and the Palestinians, please?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I can't address any specific points in detail.  
The issue of deportations was indeed discussed during these talks.  It 
was discussed in detail in the context of our consultations on resuming 
the next round.  But at this point I'm not in a position to go into any 
detail for you, other than to say that we think that there is a 
framework in place that's consistent with United Nations resolutions 
that can lead to resolution of this issue.

          Q    Richard, the Palestinians have been asking for a more 
forthright and more forthcoming statement from the Israelis on further 
deportations.  In a context of discussing the deportations over the 
weekend, was such a step by the Israelis discussed?

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, I'm afraid I can't go into details on this 
issue.

          Q    Well, the Israelis made a statement on that in Jerusalem; 
and the statement was -- which was coaxed by Egypt and by you folks -- 
that deportation is not a policy and what happened in December was an 
exceptional event.  That's apparently not enough to satisfy the 
Palestinians

          Is that enough to satisfy the U.S.?  This is all in the 
context of the Secretary of State and the President of the United States 
both `having: said a deal is a deal.  Now, what we're trying to figure 
out is if you're sweetening it, as Johanna says, or unravelling it to 
coax the Palestinians into the talks?  Or are you sticking by your 
original statements -- you, being the State Department?

          MR. BOUCHER:  As I said -- me, being the State Department -- 
as I said just a few moments ago, we believe that there is a framework 
in place that's consistent with the U.N. resolution and that can resolve 
the issue.

          Q    That was the President's statement last week.  Has that 
framework changed since last week?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The framework is the one that has been announced 
and the steps that were announced that were to be made, to be taken.  We 
have had extensive discussions on this. We had detailed discussions over 
the weekend, but I'm not going to go into any detail on them from here.

          Q    But, Richard, the framework -- since we're playing 20 
questions -- the framework does not rule out a further step by Israel, 
does it?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No.  The framework is not only the initial 
returns and the cutting of the sentences, but it's also a process.  We 
said that the framework of the process that's in place, we believe, is 
fully consistent with the resolution and can resolve the issue.

          I'm not in a position to get into a big debate over details, 
over specific steps, at this point.  But this is something that we've 
discussed extensively, and I would say that we remain encouraged that 
the parties will be back to the table on April 20.

          Q    But the Palestinians had made this the sine qua non for 
coming back.  It's not a debating detail.  It's a fairly central issue 
in whether or not they're going to be here at the talks.

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't disagree with that, John, but it's not 
an issue that I feel comfortable that I'm in a position to get into 
detail on at this point in public.

          Q    Richard, do you have any detail on reports that Iraq is 
shipping oil to Iran for further on shipment to the world market?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Alan, because of the nature of our information, 
there's a limited amount that I can say on this subject as well, but we 
can confirm a shipment of oil from Iraq to Iran.

          We remain fully committed to gaining full Iraqi compliance 
with all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions. We believe and know 
that this requires the full support of the entire international 
community, including Iran.

          Q    Can you tell me when this happened, when it began?  Is it 
a one-time incident, or have there been several?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not in a position to go into any discussion 
of those kinds of details.

          Q    What about the scale of it?

          MR. BOUCHER:  That, again, is something I can't go into.

          Q    What about what they're doing with the oil?  Can you get 
into that?  Is Iran using the oil or is it shipping it off to places 
like maybe Serbia or someplace?

          MR. BOUCHER:  That's also something I can't get into.

          Q    Richard, can you describe U.S. policy towards Saddam?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Can I describe it?

          Q    What is it?

          MR. BOUCHER:  It's exactly what the Secretary said yesterday.

          Q    There were some reports over the weekend that the 
Administration was interested in de-personalizing hostilities with 
Baghdad.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Again, the Secretary described it yesterday, and 
I'd really stick with his answer.  He was asked exactly that question 
and described fully and completely our policy.

          Q    Richard, has the Administration been in contact with Iran 
on this issue?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We have made our views known to Iran through 
diplomatic channels.

          Q    Have you reported this to the Sanctions Committee of the 
United Nations?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Alan, that's not something I have anything on.

          Q    Could you get an answer on that since that doesn't seem 
to violate any of your confidential sources?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'll see if I can.

          Q    Richard, on Yeltsin's tightrope act, does the State 
Department have any -- high-wire act -- does the State Department have 
any view as to his actions on the press, putting the press under central 
control, a reversion to something we're all familiar with in Moscow?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The importance of the press, particularly in a 
situation like this of a political discussion or a political debate 
that's evolving, I think really can't be underestimated.

          We strongly support the maintenance of civil liberties, 
including freedom of the press, as the political process in Russia 
unfolds.

          President Yeltsin, as you know, in his original statement 
talked about preserving civil liberties, and there are now further 
statements by him but also by the parliament.  The parliament has passed 
something that would take over the media, and that is something that 
we're watching carefully.

          We continue to watch this aspect of events particularly 
carefully.  But beyond that -- well, as the Secretary said, if the 
parliament were to take control or muzzle the media, we think that would 
have very adverse consequences, that that would be a very adverse 
development.  But beyond that, I think just to say that we're following 
it closely, but we're not going to try to comment on each particular 
step.

          Q    But have you made a special point of this by 
communicating this to the Russian Government?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We've made clear in our discussions with the 
Russians the importance of safeguarding civil liberties, including 
freedom of the press.

          Q    Do you have any observations about the way that the votes 
were conducted in the parliament over the weekend?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't.

          Q    The fact that they happened with a secret ballot?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't.

          Q    Richard, the Wall Street Journal says today that the 
Clinton Administration is considering a one billion dollar aid package 
to Russia over and above the $700 million which has been discussed by 
the Secretary and others.  Is that true?

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, at this point, I think it's premature for 
me to try to address that.  The President and the Secretary have made 
clear that we're working on tangible grass-roots, important, innovative 
proposals.  But to try to comment on any specific figures or any 
specific proposals in advance of that, I can't do it.  They'll be 
announcing it when they can.

          Q    Grass-roots proposals are one thing for programs and 
technical aid and that sort of thing, but this sounds like a different 
kettle of fish.

          MR. BOUCHER:  We're not at the point now, John, where we can 
give any particular figures for any aspect of the program.

          Q    Richard, there was a report in the New York Times 
yesterday about progress toward a breakthrough in Haiti.

          Q    Can we stay on Russia for just one more?  Do you have any 
general observations about the outcome of events now that the parliament 
has finished?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't, Alan.  As you know, we've followed 
the situation closely.  We've discussed our support for democracy 
before.  The President and the Secretary have made absolutely clear our 
support for democracy and market reforms and our support for President 
Yeltsin as the leader in those directions.  But we try not to comment on 
every event or outcome as this process unfolds.

          Q    You're not pleased that he survived an impeachment vote?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Alan, I wouldn't want to start commenting on one 
specific event; just to say that it's not for us to comment on every 
twist and turn.  It's for us to state the principles of our support, and 
we've stated those very clearly and abundantly.

          Q    On Russia, last week, Lee Hamilton said something about 
the money -- $800 million -- to scrap the nuclear weapons, that it was 
not handed to the Russians, the amount, the whole amount, and the other 
economic package which he said is not the problem that you allocate more 
money, you just deliver the money.  Could you address this -- how much 
money was dispensed from the United States Government?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have the exact figures with me. I think 
the Secretary was asked and in fact commented on this, on the use of the 
$800 million in Nunn-Lugar funds.  Some of it has been spent.  The 
Secretary made clear that he thought it should have gone faster and 
should go faster, in terms of using that money.

          But as far as going into specific programs that he's about to 
start, or the President is about to start, I really think I should leave 
it at what the Secretary said last week.

          Q    Richard, the Secretary's comments yesterday seemed to be 
an effort to marginalize the parliament in the political debate, at 
least as far as Westerners think of the political debate in Moscow.  Is 
that a correct interpretation?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Mark, as you know, I'm not in the habit of 
Monday-morning quarterbacking what the Secretary says on Sunday.  He 
made clear our views on the situation, as we have in the past.  I'll 
leave the Secretary's remarks for themselves.

          Q    Do you have anything on Haiti?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Haiti: the status of efforts.  Our understanding 
is that the envoy, Dante Caputo, has extended his visit to Haiti, that 
he's still down there.  He's still engaged in discussions with all 
sides.  As you know, we strongly supported his efforts and hope that he 
can move forward on the political negotiations that he's got underway.

          Ambassadors Pezzullo and Redman are keeping informed. They're 
active in terms of meetings and discussions.  Ambassador Pezzullo is 
back in Washington, and Ambassador Redman is in Haiti.

          Q    You don't want to characterize at all the situation in 
terms of whether they are any closer to a breakthrough or not?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't.  I know there were news reports 
that did that, but I think I have to leave it to the envoy himself to 
characterize the status of his talks.

          Q    Can I take you back to the Occupied Territories, Richard?  
Can you address the escalation of violence in the Occupied Territories 
and the new orders of disengagement or engagement of Israeli forces -- 
Mr. Rabin's advice to the Israelis to take care of themselves and defend 
themselves?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have any specific comment on the advice.  
I think, on the violence, we've made our position very clear in the 
past.  We deplore the violence that has been going on.  We've called on 
the parties to dedicate their efforts to resolving their problems at the 
negotiating table.

          Q    Richard, yesterday, Secretary Christopher indicated that 
not the whole package will be unveiled in one forum and that we'll have 
to wait until the Tokyo summit of June 7.  Is that a correct assessment 
of how things might be going? And part of the package might be unveiled 
--

          MR. BOUCHER:  I can't go into any more detail than the 
Secretary did.  As you know, he has talked in the past about the 
bilateral components, the multilateral components, that we're working 
with the G-7 countries.  We're working with the G-7, obviously, in the 
lead-up to the Foreign and Finance Ministers meeting in April and then 
on to the summit.  So there are aspects of this that will unfold.  But 
he and the President have also promised that you'll see a good and 
strong program come out at the summit that President Clinton has with 
President Yeltsin.

          Q    Thank you.

          (Press briefing concluded at 12:55 p.m.) 
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