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                         DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #54

                WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 1993, 12:42 P.M.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I don't 
have any announcements or statements, so I'd be glad to take your 

         Q   Richard, the statement you all distributed last night about 
the Chinese -- did the Chinese -- was that the plane the Chinese shot 

         MR. BOUCHER:  That was a -- yes.  I think I have a little more 
information on it.  It was an incident that occurred on August 21, 1967, 
after the plane inadvertently entered Chinese air space, the plane was 
shot down by Chinese forces.

         We had earlier information from the Chinese that the airmen had 
died when their aircraft was shot down, but the photos and evidence that 
we obtained are the first hard evidence that would confirm that.

         Q   Is that the only plane we know of that the Chinese actually 
shot down during the Vietnam War?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The Pentagon may have more on this.  I'm told 
that there are eight Americans listed as unaccounted for in China as a 
result of the Vietnam War.  None of them are believed to have survived 
their incidents.


         Q   Do you have anything to add to Mr. Bartholomew's statement 
this morning about possibly lifting the arms embargo?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I haven't seen the exact text of what he said.  
The press reports are along the lines of what we said before and what 
the Secretary, in particular, has said before, that if the Bosnian Serbs 
don't come into the negotiating process in a constructive way and cease 
the aggression, that we would intend to raise with others in the Council 
the prospect of lifting the arms embargo.

         In the meantime, we're strongly supporting the U.N. Sanctions 
Resolution, the so-called Omnibus Resolution, which would toughen and 
tighten the sanctions regime and bring more pressure on the Serbs to 
come to an agreement.  As you know, we're also participating in the "no-
fly" zone and doing other things.

         Ambassador Bartholomew is now in the region and he's making 
these points to his interlocutors in the region.

         Q   Is this government any further along in its thinking?  I 
know there will be a vote on the sanctions on April 26, if there is no 
movement by the Serbs in the negotiations. But is this moving further, 
closer to some kind of action?

         MR. BOUCHER:  We are taking action in all the areas that I 
mentioned -- the "no-fly" zone, the airdrops, the trip by Ambassador 
Bartholomew to the region, the sanctions resolution -- that remains 
where the action is.  What he said about the arms embargo, as I 
understand it, is similar to what we said before. 

         Q   Richard, on the subject of lifting the arms embargo, we 
realize that this was something that was tried once before and no one 
was interested.

         But could we ask you, if you plan to do this, would it be done 
more vigorously?  Would it be done at the highest levels?  Would it be 
done seriously?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The obvious answer is, yes, Barrie, without 
leading you to any particular conclusions.  I think it's important to 
point out that we understand the difficulties that other governments 
have with the idea.  Both the President and the Secretary have referred 
to those and talked about them before.

         We also understand the importance of continuing to pressure the 
Serbs, and we are moving in a variety of ways to pressure the Serbs, 
both diplomatically and through the new sanctions resolution that we're 
promoting at the United Nations, and we intend to continue to do that.

         But if you look at our track record, when this Administration 
has decided to do things, as the Secretary outlined the series of steps 
we would take on February 10, he has followed up vigorously and, as 
necessary, at high levels with each of those steps.

         Q   The British Government, in particular, has said that were 
the arms embargo to be lifted, it would cause the humanitarian effort in 
Bosnia to dry up; and the President has acknowledged that as a problem 
of lifting the arms embargo.

         MR. BOUCHER:  And the Secretary has as well.

         Q    Well, does that mean that you are now willing to accept 
that consequence, that you're willing to sacrifice a humanitarian effort 
for the sake of lifting the arms embargo?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Mary, as far as I know, I have not said anything 
new on the arms embargo today nor do I think that Ambassador Bartholomew 

         It remains our intention to raise this if the Serbs continue to 
fail to come back into the negotiating process and fail to cease their 
aggression.  But I've told you the things that we're actively working on 
right now.  The arms embargo is an issue, it's a complicated issue, it's 
a multilateral issue, it's something that would have to be discussed 
with others.

         Q    Excuse me, Richard --

         MR. BOUCHER:  But we haven't done anything new on it today.

         Q    But that doesn't answer the question.  The question is -- 
Ambassador Bartholomew confirmed what you said the United States already 
has said it wants to do, which is lift the arms embargo.  The British 
Government has said, if the arms embargo is lifted, the humanitarian 
effort will be sacrificed.

         MR. BOUCHER:  As far as I know, Mary --

         Q    What I'm saying is, is that a price you're willing to pay?

         MR. BOUCHER:  -- neither Ambassador Bartholomew nor I have said 
anything new on this.  We have not said that the time has come to 
sacrifice the humanitarian efforts, nor have we said that we have 
mounted some new campaign to lift the arms embargo.  It's something, as 
I said, that we would intend to raise if the situation continues, but we 
are actively working on getting new sanctions resolutions and other 
things right now.

         Q    Do you have any response to Lady Thatcher's remarks 
yesterday on this issue?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No particular response.  You know our position on 

         Q    Richard, do you have any indication that Ambassador 
Bartholomew is making any progress in trying to get the Serbs to sign 
the Vance-Owen plan?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't really have anything new at this point on 
it.  He has continued his meetings.  Let me see exactly where he is now 
because -- I think he's meeting with the Serbs today.

         Ambassador Bartholomew, General McCaffrey, and Deputy Assistant 
Secretary Johnson are in Belgrade today for meetings with the Serbian 
President Milosevic, with Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic, with Russian 
Special Envoy Churkin, with General Panic, with President Cosic, and 
with representatives of Serbia's democratic opposition, independent 
media, and humanitarian organizations.  They're planning on meeting with 
Bosnian President Izetbegovic in Zagreb this evening.

         Yesterday, they met with Croat leader Boban in Mostar, and with 
Croatian President Tudjman and Bosnian Presidency member Ganic in 

         They proceed on Friday to London and then onward to Paris.  So 
at this point, we don't have a final result.  They're just having their 
meetings in Serbia today.

         I think I would point out that, obviously, the focus of the 
trip is to bring further pressure on the Serbs to try to bring them into 
a settlement, a negotiated settlement.  We're telling people that we 
remain supportive of the Vance-Owen process and that we're urging a 
resumption of the talks.

         Q    But what additional pressure can be put on the Serbs that 
has not been tried before?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, the principal pressure that we're working 
on right now is -- well, there's two aspects.  The first is the 
diplomatic one that is coming down on them from a lot of different 
places.  But second of all is the prospect of the much tighter sanctions 
in the new U.N. resolution.

         We've said to you for a while now that we wanted a resolution 
to toughen and tighten the sanctions and, indeed, now we have 
understandings to go ahead with such a resolution.

         Q    Richard, I'd like to give you an opportunity to address a 
little more some of the remarks that Lady Thatcher said --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I appreciate it, Barrie.  I'm not sure I need it.

         Q    Well, among other things, she accused the Western world, 
generally, of pusilanimity in its handling of this issue.  She does 
propose lifting the embargo and she does propose using air support and 
she does propose pulling out the troops involved in the humanitarian 

         Is there anything within the recommendations of this -- after 
all, one of the leading lights of the Western world for many time -- 
worthy of consideration by the United States?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm sure there are things that she says that are 
worthy of consideration.  I haven't done the same kind of analysis as 
you have of her remarks.  I think our positions on these issues are well 
known, and I think you'll see that we are doing what we said we'd do.

         Q    A Congressional delegation is just back from travelling 
some of the same country that Bartholomew is in and came back and said 
-- and with the conclusion that the Bosnian Serbs figure that since 
Secretary Baker warned they would become a pariah state -- they've 
captured more of Bosnia and that the threat of -- they're willing to 
forego the threat of sanctions and even if the effect of sanctions if, 
in the meantime, they could capture the rest of Bosnia that they want.

         Can you tell me why sanctions will work now and the threat of 
becoming a pariah state will work now when that threat was laid down a 
year ago and has not worked since?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, I don't think we've even claimed that there 
was a magic solution to this problem.  It's a complex one, it's a 
difficult one.  It's one that has to be worked multilaterally.  The 
United States doesn't have the power in and of itself to solve, and 
which the international community has tried various things and, 
obviously, we're not there yet.

         We've made some progress in different areas.  The sanctions, 
indeed, have caused hardship to the Serbian economy. I guess the main 
argument I would make in their favor is that there is something that 
obviously is of concern and is raised which the Serbian leadership would 
like out of.  So they're having some effect there.  You've seen the 
effect in inflation in the banking system and things like that.

         I guess the alternative to the argument you're making is to 
say, "Oh, well, let's not do anymore sanctions."  I think it's important 
to continue to tighten and toughen those sanctions.  The Secretary has 
explained that many times and, indeed, we are going forward with 
increasingly tightened and increasingly tougher sanctions so that 
eventually we hope they will have the desired effect.

         Q    But, again, Lady Thatcher is suggesting that the 
humanitarian efforts are simply prolonging the agony and, indeed, 
keeping people there so that they can be massacred, as she put it.  
Aren't you therefore rethinking a policy that has not succeeded in 
stopping the killing or closing any of the camps in a year?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, I don't want to get into a debate with Mrs. 
Thatcher either directly or indirectly.  The efforts, I think, that 
we've made are clear.  The fact is, we kept people alive.  We've saved 
children.  We've saved innocent people.  We fed them.  We've taken care 
of them with medical supplies; in some cases, we've evacuated them to 
places of safety.

         The international community and the workers who are out there, 
I think, deserve our every support.  Just consider what you're saying in 
the alternative.  So we're not supposed to feed people?  I'm not going 
to get into a long debate with Mrs. Thatcher through you guys, but let's 
consider the alternatives in some cases.

         Q    Let me ask you something else.  Lord David Owen, in an 
interview in Foreign Affairs, is suggesting that you might hold out one 
further threat, which you haven't done, and that is the use of force.  
In the past, Presidents have always withheld that option, and held it 
out as a possible option in order to advance diplomatic objectives.

         Would the United States consider, as a possibility, the use of 
force to get the Serbs to sign on to the Vance-Owen plan?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, this President, indeed, I think has 
addressed those questions before.  I really don't have anything new to 
say on those subjects.  We have laid out clearly what we're doing, what 
we're trying to do, and what we will continue to do, and that's what 
we're doing.

         Q    Is the use of force an option?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Let somebody else -- let's let somebody ask a 

         Q    May I ask if the use of force is an option?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have any new answer on that today.

         Q    Is it the case that the United States, unimpeded -- if you 
were acting on your own -- would lift the arms embargo for the Muslims?  
Is it the Europeans that are stopping you from
doing that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's such a hypothetical thing.  We're aware of 
the concerns of the Europeans.  We've said that if the situation 
continues, if the Serbs don't enter into negotiations, that we would 
intend to raise it.  But it is a multilateral embargo; it's a U.N. 
Security Council embargo.  It just has to be multilateral.


         Q    Just to follow this up a teeny bit.  The U.N. workers on 
the ground in Bosnia -- because of the severity of the massacre, I 
suppose, at Srebrenica -- are now questioning their own effort, the U.N. 
effort to get humanitarian food to people when, perhaps, the U.N. should 
have been doing something else like stopping the bloodshed or getting 
them out, or something.  Is there a similar review or second-guessing 
going on in this building about U.S. posture on the question of 
humanitarian aid?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The question of humanitarian aid has been 
important to us.  I think we've said that the team that went out there 
came back, had some ideas and recommendations which are indeed being 
looked at.  Those run the gamut from easy things that we were able to do 
right away to things with much broader implications that we're looking 
at in a separate review.

         I think the only answer I can give you is that we've clearly 
laid out a policy.  We're carrying forth with that policy.  Obviously, 
we always keep other options in mind.  We always keep other options 
under review.

         Q    Richard, if I could just ask you to clarify the position 
on lifting the embargo.  You're saying, "we're going to consult."  Are 
you going to consult -- in what form?  Are you going to say, "Hey, we 
think we should lift the embargo?"  Or are you going to say, "Fellows, 
what do you think about lifting the embargo?"  Is there something you 
will do actively, as a policy of your choice?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Barrie, I can't tell you at this point.  I 
haven't seen talking points that aren't written yet.

         Q    One more stab:  Senator Dole joined the bandwagon, I 
suppose, and put out a statement today, again, criticizing the Clinton 
-- as he referred to it -- reversal of policy.  He, too, called for the 
lifting of the arms embargo and said he thinks it's well worth the 
trade-off of our allies pulling out their troops.  Would you support 

         MR. BOUCHER:  Again, it's a difficult question.  It's a complex 
question.  The Secretary, the President have addressed the issues many 
times.  We have given our position on that, and when we have something 
new, we'll tell you.

         Q    Richard, on another aspect of this humanitarian aid 
question, as you know, UNHCR says that they're running out of aid to 
give people, regardless of whether it's a good idea or not to give them 
aid.  Is the U.S. prepared to do anything about that?  What's it doing?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Mary, yesterday, I think I ran down some of the 
shipments that we had gotten in recently and some of the additional 
items in the pipeline -- the new stuff.

         The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs. Ogata, said 
yesterday that financial contributions to the relief effort in the 
former Yugoslavia have waned considerably and that no substantial 
pledges have been made since the consolidated appeal last month for the 
period April to December 1993.

         I'd point out that in Fiscal Year 1993, the United States has 
contributed more than a $140 million in cash, food, and other relief 
materials to the humanitarian effort in the former Yugoslavia.  Most of 
this assistance has gone into Bosnia and Croatia.

         We're providing an additional contribution of $3 million to the 
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees for its food program in Bosnia given 
the urgent needs that they're talking about now.  I discussed yesterday 
some of the shipments that had gotten in.  I think we got one in Friday, 
and we have more on its way.

         We're also in active communication with the European Community 
to urge a substantial fulfillment of its pledges on humanitarian 
assistance in the former Yugoslavia.

         Q    What do you think seems to be the problem here?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The problem is that they've had not enough food 
in the pipeline.  As far as we understand it, they haven't had to 
actually cut distributions or rations at this point.  But they've cited 
the fact they're not getting enough food into the pipeline, and we're 
redoubling our efforts and talking to other donor countries to get them 
to redouble their efforts to make sure that these people continue to get 
the food that they need to care for people.

         Q    Excuse me, Richard, I should have phrased that question 
more carefully.  I mean, do you think the reason that contributions are 
waning, have gone down, is that other governments are rethinking the 
wisdom of humanitarian aid, or that they're sick of the whole mess in 
Bosnia, or what's the problem?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know.

         Q    You say you're in active communication with the European 
countries.  What sort of response are you getting as to whether they're 
adding more things to the pipeline?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I haven't -- I don't have any responses at this 

         Q    New topic?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Change topics?

         Q    On the Middle East.  Do you --

         Q    Just one more:  Have there been any violations of the "no-
fly" zone in the last --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think NATO and the Pentagon have been briefing 
on that, so I don't have that information for you.

         Q    The last one on that subject:  Mrs. Thatcher said the West 
is an accomplice to massacre.  Isn't that strictly correct when we're 
stopping weapons reaching the Muslims and totally ineffective in 
stopping heavy weapons reaching the Serbs?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Once again, I'm not going to get into a debate 
with Mrs. Thatcher and everything that she said.

         Q    (Inaudible)

         MR. BOUCHER:  I do not agree with that.  We have pursued avidly 
a policy to stop the killing, to try to get a negotiated solution --

         Q    But the weapons are getting through to one side only.

         MR. BOUCHER:  The weapons are -- by and large, the army has 
been a manufacturer and in fact an exporter of weapons in the past, and 
they've had a lot of weapons there.

         Q    Coming down the Danube.

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, that's not quite true.  The information I 
have on the Russian situation -- I know you're probably referring to a 
report this morning -- we've heard versions of that story for several 
months.  We have no reason to believe it's true.

         We've also received reports of Russian firms providing goods 
other than arms to the Serbs.  We have approached -- when we come across 
such information, we approach the Russian Government, and the Russian 
Government has been very responsive when we've raised specific cases.  
In general, I would say that Russian companies have been no more prone 
to sanctions busting than companies in other states neighboring Serbia.  
We have no reason to believe that the Russian Government has been 
involved in any sanctions violations.

         Q    Did you know, though, that Belgrade is shipping arms over 
the Drina --

         MR. BOUCHER:  We've said for a long --

         Q    -- in plain sight of airplanes, incidentally, and 
reporters, to the Bosnian Serbs.

         MR. BOUCHER:  We've said for a long time -- we've pointed out 
to you many times in the past that the Bosnian Serbs derive their 
support from Belgrade and that is one of the reasons why we continue to 
put pressure on Belgrade, and why we continue to seek things such as 
tougher sanctions on Belgrade.

         Q    And you think that sanctions would prevent Belgrade from 
shipping the arms to the Bosnian Serbs.

         MR. BOUCHER:  We think that sanctions will make the Government 
in Belgrade more willing to use their influence to bring about a 
negotiated settlement and an end to the fighting.

         Q    Do you have any evidence that the sanctions that we've had 
so far -- and as I understand it from this podium, you've said that the 
American sanctions were already pretty tight -- do you have any evidence 
so far that any of the sanctions so far has slowed the movement of arms, 
tanks, from Belgrade to the Bosnian Serbs?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, I don't have any update on the precise 
movements across the border, but the key point is whether we can make 
the parties willing to stop the fighting and to reach a negotiated 

         Q    And have you succeeded in the last year?

         MR. BOUCHER:  We've succeeded through our efforts and through 
our engagement to bring about some progress in the talks between the 
Bosnian Muslims and the Croatian side.  We are continuing our efforts to 
try to get the Serbs in.

         Q    I've asked this before, but has ethnic cleansing ceased?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, we've told you many times -- I would invite 
you to read the report we put out yesterday.  We've documented the 
continuation of practices associated with ethnic cleansing.  We've been 
very clear about that.  We've been very clear about the need for 
punishment for those who perpetrate such crimes.

         Q    That report shows, Richard, that the ethnic cleansing and 
the atrocities have actually increased since the policy of sanctions and 
pressure on Belgrade itself.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I wouldn't draw that conclusion from that report.  
The reports in there are provided for the purpose of pursuing the 
possible war crimes prosecutions.  It's not a comprehensive report on 
everything that goes on.  It's a good solid report of information that 
we can acquire through direct sources or eyewitness reports of crimes 
that may have occurred that could be followed up on for the purposes of 
the war crimes

         Q    Is there any --

         MR. BOUCHER:  There's a lady in the back that has a question.

         Q    This is a question on South Africa.  Would you tell us 
again what the official position is on recent events in South Africa, 
and has the government been in contact with officials in South Africa?  
Secondly, some critics are saying that if the U.S. Government had put 
more pressure on the South African Government to hold timely elections, 
then possibly some of the violence that's occurring now wouldn't have.  
What is
your --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know who these critics are.  I think our 
position in support of a negotiated solution and in working with all the 
sides out there and urging them to come to the table and to negotiate 
their differences has been very, very clear; and, indeed, I think we 
have a process there that has resumed in that regard.

         We have been firmly in support of the movement and the 
transition to a non-racial democracy in South Africa, and we have 
expended considerable efforts to see that happen.

         As far as what's going on down there, we've been in touch with 
our Foreign Service posts in South Africa.  They report that there's a 
work "stay-away," they call it, that's been called by the ANC and the 
other parties in commemoration of the Chris Hani assassination, and that 
that has largely been successful.  Traffic is lighter than usual in most 

         Commemorative services for Chris Hani in Johannesburg have been 
peaceful and disciplined.  We've just learned, however, that there were 
four people who have been shot and killed, apparently by police at a 
Soweto police station where demonstrators marched following a memorial 
service in Soweto Stadium.

         A number of people were also critically wounded.  Our Embassy 
is seeking further detailed information regarding the circumstances of 
that incident.

         In Cape Town, there were small groups that broke off from the 
peaceful main body of 20-30,000 demonstrators and engaged in random acts 
of vandalism and looting.  We understand that there's been some looting 
in Port Elizabeth and some problems in Pietermaritzburg.  We don't have 
details on that at this time.

         Our position is that we have urged all the South Africans who 
mourn the death of Chris Hani to conduct themselves in a disciplined and 
a non-violent manner.  To do otherwise, we think, would abet those who 
are seeking to undermine and disrupt the ongoing negotiations on South 
Africa's future, and I think we've welcomed the renewed commitment by 
the parties to those negotiations to keep that process moving forward.

         Q    Do you think the process is moving too slowly, which 
allows the right wing to become more strong, and thus these violent 
situations to appear?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I really wouldn't speculate on that.

         Q    Can I move over to the Middle East?  Do you have any 
comment on the recent violence in the Middle East, the death of the 
three Israeli soldiers, and can you give us any readout on how the talks 
are going here?

         MR. BOUCHER:  As for a readout, I think we'll wait until we've 
had a good round with everybody.  We're seeing two others today.  I 
think it's the Lebanese at 11:00 and the Palestinians at 3:00.  So I'll 
see if I can get you some kind of readout on these last two days of 
consultations after that. Either after that or maybe tomorrow.

         As far as the violence in southern Lebanon, we understand that 
three Israeli soldiers were killed and others were wounded by a roadside 
bomb on April 13 in the so-called Israeli "security zone."  The Iranian-
backed Hizballah are believed to be responsible.  Israeli defense forces 
retaliated with artillery and helicopter attacks which injured at least 
four Lebanese civilians.

         The United States regrets the killing and wounding of Israeli 
soldiers and the wounding of innocent Lebanese civilians.  We condemn 
those who provoke violence in southern Lebanon.  We support the full 
implementation of the Taif Accord which calls for the disarming of all 
militias, including Hizballah.

         Assistant Secretary Djerejian has been in touch with the 
Israelis, the Syrians and Lebanese concerning these incidents, and we 
continue to call on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to use 
their influence to end the violence in southern Lebanon.

         Q    Does the State Department think that having the talks 
continue in one flow without interruptions will alleviate the violence 
in any way?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Certainly we think it's important to have the 
talks and to have the talks as frequently and continuous as the parties 
themselves can do.  We have made very clear that we don't think that 
those who want to resort to violence should be allowed to disrupt the 

         Q    Richard, do you have any reading of the current situation 
in Haiti and reports that President Aristide has made a major concession 
regarding amnesty?

         MR. BOUCHER:  We've been leaving it to Dante Caputo to talk 
about his efforts.  He is indeed down there again.  We are in close 
touch with him through Ambassador Pezzullo and Ambassador Redman, but 
we've been leaving it to him to talk about the status of his efforts.

         Amnesty, of course, has been a long-standing issue in the 
negotiations and discussions.  I think you'll remember the Secretary 
talked a week or two ago about the need for some kind of assurances of 
security for all Haitians as part of a broader political settlement of 
Haiti's crisis.  But just what those assurances should be, we really 
leave to the Haitians themselves to work out.

         Q    Well, Richard, have you seen a transcript of his Creole 
language -- has the Administration seen a transcript of his Creole 
language statement on the radio yesterday?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I would expect we have.  I personally haven't 
seen it, though.

         Q    Could you see if we have a -- can confirm that he is 
agreeing to the amnesty based on our translation of that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll see if we have a transcript that we can 

         Q    Richard, on another area, what do you have to say about 
the rapidly deteriorating situation in Cambodia and the move by the 
Khmer Rouge now to pull out of Phnom Penh and the alarm being expressed 
by the United Nations as a result of that move?  Do you think that 
things are collapsing?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The usual tendency to the undramatic portrayal of 
events, huh?  Let me try to make clear what we understand is going on, 
and what we understand is not going on.

         We understand that Khmer Rouge officials have temporarily 
withdrawn from their offices in Phnom Penh.  We also understand that 
they have withdrawn their representatives from a number of mixed 
military working groups in key provinces.  We do not have any reports 
that they have withdrawn from the Supreme National Council or from the 
peace process as a whole.

         In response to the Khmer Rouge withdrawal from Phnom Penh, the 
U.N. Transitional Authority in Cambodia has indicated to the Khmer Rouge 
that it is prepared to work with the Khmer Rouge to address their 
security concerns, which was the reason they stated for pulling out of 
Phnom Penh.

         For our part, we continue to be committed to the peace process.  
We've urged the U.N. Transitional Authority to proceed with preparations 
for the upcoming elections in order to give the Cambodian people an 
opportunity to determine their own political future.

         Q    But, Richard, I mean, how do you feel about the Khmer 
Rouge claiming they have security concerns when they appear to have 
killed seven U.N. civilian workers recently?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, we've --

         Q    I mean, do you feel that there's any basis for those 

         MR. BOUCHER:  We've said and we believe that they're 
responsible for more than that.  Some of the attacks against the 
Vietnamese are reported and presumably have been carried out by the 
Khmer Rouge.  We've made very clear all along that we believe the Khmer 
Rouge should be part of this process.  The U.N. has expressed itself on 
that repeatedly and has brought some sanctions against the Khmer Rouge 
for that reason.

         At the same time, we've also made very clear that if they 
didn't want to be part of this process, we felt that should not prevent 
it from going forward, that it was important, and the U.N. indeed has 
been going forward with the resettlement of refugees, with the 
registration of voters.  Some 95 percent of the eligible voters, I 
think, are registered.  So they continue to go forward with what is a 
very important process in Cambodia.

         Q    Richard, do you think the Khmer Rouge is succeeding in 
driving the U.N. -- can they succeed in completely sabotaging this 
mission of the U.N.?  As you know, some U.N. civilian observers have 
talked about leaving, because their security situation has deteriorated 
so severely.  And do you still feel it's important to have the Khmer 
Rouge involved when they're killing U.N. officials?

         MR. BOUCHER:  We still feel that it's important to move, as we 
say, from the battlefield to the ballot box.  Yes, we feel it's 
important for people to stop killing officials and stop killing others 
and to join in the political process.  That's what all this is about.

         Q    Richard, do you have anything on an incident involving 
Americans, perhaps an attack, in Cancun?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  I hadn't heard of it.  I'll check and see if 
we do.

         Q    Richard, a senior Liberian official this morning accused 
Libya of arming Charles Taylor's troops, the people who brought us the 
killing of the four American -- five American nuns.  Does the 
Administration concur with that assessment?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's something I'd have to get an update on, 
Sid.  I'll check.

         Q    Richard, do you have any reports of unrest in Baghdad?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  Should I?

         Q    Yes.  Well, actually, there are --

         MR. BOUCHER:  O.K.  I'll check on that one, too.

         Q    It's not just unrest, Richard.  There are reports of 
senior Ba'ath officials being executed right and left and thrown on 
people's doorsteps.  It's a little more than unrest.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Yes, I'll check and see if we have anything on 


         Q    Richard, can I try one more run on lifting the arms 
embargo.  You have said and the Secretary has said that the primary 
problem with that is our allies have objected because they have 
peacekeeping forces on the ground, and these people would be put at risk 
if more arms are put into the region.

         So I can understand why those are our allies' objections to 
doing it, if (a), then (b), we would have to -- they have to take their 
people out.  But now today you seem to be raising that as a reason that 
you don't want to lift the arms embargo, because you said we've been 
keeping people alive; we've been getting medicine, and so on.

         So I can understand why the people who have troops on the 
ground -- that is something that they realize they would have to remove 
them if the arms embargo was lifted, but now it seems to be an argument 
you are raising.

         Q    Chris, that's certainly not what I said.  I said very 
clearly that the humanitarian stuff is important, and it is important, 
and we'll proceed with it.  It's also clear that it has to be 
considered.  I don't think anybody doubts the importance of that.  But 
we also think that if the situation continues and the Serbs don't 
participate in reaching a settlement that we should raise and we would 
intend to raise, the issue of lifting the arms embargo.  And at that 
time we'll have to consider the implications for the humanitarian aid 

         Q    Have the Serbs been given any kind of deadline?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The Serbs have been pressed to join the process 
immediately.  That pressure is existing, it's underway, it's continuing, 
and it will grow, and we've said that that pressure will continue to 
grow as time goes on.

         Q    Can you say whether the lifting of the arms embargo is one 
of the recommendations on the paper that you've probably read by now, 
that was submitted, that we talked about earlier?

         MR. BOUCHER:  It's not among the humanitarian ideas, that the 
humanitarian team came back with, no.

         Q    Did they discuss the possible lifting or the implications 
in lifting the arms embargo?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Not in what I've read, Saul.

         Q    The Vietnam POW document -- anything further on that in 
terms of its evaluation or any response/reaction from the Vietnamese 
that's come through channels?

         MR. BOUCHER:  There's nothing further at this point in terms of 
the analysis and evaluation.  I think the Pentagon's talked about that.  
It's ongoing.  We'll also, as we've said, raise it as the first order of 
business during General Vessey's trip.  We did provide copies of the 
document to the Vietnamese Government.  We conveyed to them the 
seriousness of the questions that were raised by the document, and we 
asked the Vietnamese to investigate as quickly as possible.

         They, as you know, have questioned the document's accuracy, but 
they've pledged to fully investigate the matter. It will indeed be 
raised as the first order of business when General Vessey gets there 
April 18.  We've also told the Vietnamese that General Vessey would like 
to discuss the matter directly with General Quang.  The Vietnamese have 
also reiterated their government's statements to us that it did not hold 
U.S. prisoners after 1973.

         Q    Richard, have we asked to see the original of that memo in 

         MR. BOUCHER:  General Vessey will have to discuss this out 
there, and, you know, at this point we've asked them.  We've given it to 
them and asked them to investigate, and I have to assume that that would 
be part of any serious search for information relating to this document, 
would be to look for a Vietnamese original.

         Q    (Inaudible) undertaken a serious search?

         MR. BOUCHER:  They've pledged -- as I said, they've questioned 
its accuracy, but they've pledged full investigation.

         Q    Richard, just one more question on the Middle East:  As 
the closing of the occupied territories goes on, seemingly without end 
now, according to the Israeli Government, does the United States have 
any growing concerns about the economic or other conditions in the 
territories that might be brought about by this open-ended closing of 
the territories?  Is there a legal problem there?  Is there a 
humanitarian problem?  Do you have any problems with it?

         MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, Mary, I think I'm going to decline 
to get into specifics about specific measures.  We've expressed our 
general views on the situation out there, but I'll leave it at that.

         Q    Thank you.

         (The briefing concluded at 1:18 p.m.)

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