930419 Daily Press Briefing  Return to: Index of 1993 Daily Briefings || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

Note: This Electronic Research Collection is an archive site. For the most current information, please visit the US State Department Homepage.
                         DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #57

                 MONDAY, APRIL 19, 1993, 12:53 P. M.
                (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)



         MR. BOUCHER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I have two 
administrative announcements, and then we can get on to your questions.

          Secretary Christopher will be appearing before the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee tomorrow morning at 10:20, I'm told, 
regarding the 1994 budget.  Room number is 419 Dirksen Senate Office 
Building.  Given that appearance, we won't be doing a briefing from here 
tomorrow.

          The second event to tell you about is that Secretary of State 
Warren Christopher and Postmaster General Marvin Runyon dedicate a new 
postage stamp honoring former Secretary of State Dean Acheson on 
Wednesday, April 21.  The ceremony will be held in the State 
Department's Dean Acheson Auditorium, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

         The Secretary will be making remarks and the event is open to 
the press, and we also expect it to be piped into the briefing room. 
Anyone interested in covering the event should contact Eileen McCormick 
Place on 647-1710.  She's in the Office of Public Liaison. You should 
contact her by Tuesday.  The event is Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

          Q  Richard, do you know more about the stamp?  What 
designation is it?  Is it 29 cents or first class mail or --

          MR. BOUCHER:  I think that's a bit of news that we'll hold 
until the unveiling.  I don't know, frankly.

          Q  And is there no briefing on account of this momentous 
event?

          MR. BOUCHER:  That's a good suggestion.  I hadn't thought of 
it, but I thought we'd wait until after the stamp to do a briefing.

          Q    Will the Secretary take any questions at that event, or 
is that a remarks only?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I think that's remarks only.

          Q    And what was the change -- what caused the change from 
the Loy Henderson Auditorium to the Dean Acheson Auditorium?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I think it's more appropriate.

          Q    Richard, are there perhaps other past Secretaries of 
State with stamps at this stage --

          MR. BOUCHER:  That's something you'll have to check with the 
Postal Service on.  They set the schedule.

          Q    Was there a committee?  I mean, did they vote?

          MR. BOUCHER:  These things are usually decided far, far in 
advance, several years in advance actually, of significant 
anniversaries.

          Q    Jan asked whether it was the young or old Dean Acheson 
who would be --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Again, that's a bit of excitement that you can 
save for the unveiling, when they actually pull the cloth off the stamp.

          O.K.  That does it for announcements.  I'd be glad to take 
your questions.

          Q    Do you have anything to say about the developments over 
the weekend concerning Bosnia?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The Secretary this morning, of course, addressed 
some of the policy issues involved.  I think -- let me tell you what we 
know about the situation out in eastern Bosnia and Srebrenica.

          A Canadian UNPROFOR unit arrived in Srebrenica Sunday 
afternoon.  Sarajevo Radio has reported Bosnian Serb shelling of 
Srebrenica over the weekend, but UNPROFOR was not able to confirm those 
reports.  We've not had any reports of fighting in or around the city 
this morning.

          Helicopter evacuations of the wounded began on Sunday. 
Approximately 100 patients were taken by helicopter from Srebrenica to 
Tuzla.  Helicopter evacuations are expected to continue today, weather 
permitting.

          The local authorities in Srebrenica and Tuzla have announced 
that there will be no evacuation of civilians from Srebrenica at this 
stage.

          On Saturday, the Bosnian Government and Bosnian Serb 
representatives reached agreement on plans for the demilitarization of 
Srebrenica.  As part of that agreement, the Bosnian Government defenders 
of Srebrenica are to turn over their arms to UNPROFOR.  As far as we 
know, this process has not yet begun.

          The Bosnian Government military Chief of Staff, General 
Halilovic, Bosnian Serb General Mladic, and U.N. representatives were 
scheduled to meet in Sarajevo again today.

          As far as convoys go, there were two convoys that are being 
sent from Belgrade to eastern Bosnian today.  One is nine trucks of food 
for Srebrenica and one is ten trucks of food for Tuzla.

          Over the weekend, the United Nations adopted two resolutions.  
I'll review those for you.

          First of all, they adopted Resolution 819 Friday evening, 
demanding the establishment of a safe area around the city of 
Srebrenica.  The resolution was introduced by the nations of the Non-
Aligned Movement.  The United States supported the resolution as an 
attempt by the Security Council to restrain Bosnian Serb behavior and to 
prevent the taking of the city by force.

          In reaction to events on the ground in eastern Bosnia, the 
Council on Saturday adopted the Omnibus Sanctions Resolution by a vote 
of 13, including the United States, to zero against, to two abstentions, 
with Russia and China being the abstaining countries.

          Tougher economic sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro, the 
Bosnian Serbs' main source of support, will take effect April 26 as a 
result of Saturday's vote on this resolution.

          The events in Srebrenica on Friday and Saturday were an 
outrage to the world community, and the United States supported the call 
for immediate action on the Sanctions Resolution.

           We urged the Russians not to veto the resolution, and they 
did not do so.  In light of the flagrant disregard for world opinion 
that was demonstrated by the Bosnian Serbs, we feel the Council had no 
choice but to adopt the resolution at this time.

          The resolution was adopted to include a nine-day waiting 
period before the tougher sanctions take effect.  We thought that this 
resolution offered the best prospects for adoption by the Council.  As 
you know, that was the date that was in the original resolution, and 
it's always been in play. It was adopted.  Now the sanctions will take 
effect on April 26, and we felt that given the prospects of that 
adoption, we should support it.

          The resolution will lead to a significant reduction in the 
number of land border crossings for all goods into Serbia and 
Montenegro.  All transshipments will be controlled and monitored.  
Certain assets of companies will be frozen.  Trade with Serb-controlled 
areas and the U.N.-protected areas in Croatia would be subject to the 
same control that the other trade is subject to and would be subject to 
the control of governments in Zagreb and Sarajevo.

          Commercial vessels will be prohibited from entering the 
territorial waters of Serbia-Montenegro.  Vessels, trucks and aircraft 
used to violate sanctions would be impounded, and most financial and 
other services to Serbian and Montenegrin firms would be prohibited.

          So, basically, the new resolution goes into effect April 26, 
with tighter sanctions, tougher sanctions, effectively the U.N.-
supervised economic isolation of Serbia.

          Q    Richard, could I ask a follow-up question on that?  You 
told us Friday that the sanctions would go into effect immediately upon 
adoption.  What caused the United States to reverse itself on the timing 
when the sanctions would go into effect?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The date of April 26, as you know, has always 
been in the U.N. resolutions in one form or the other. In the original 
resolution is the delay for implementation.  In more recent discussions, 
it was the date on which the vote would take place.  While we might have 
felt that the resolution -- the immediate imposition of sanctions was 
appropriate given the events of last week, it was clear that in the 
minds of others as well that the continued use of that April 26 date was 
an important factor in getting adoption of the resolution by the 
Council, and therefore we supported the resolution with that in it.

          Q    Was there a Russian or a Chinese veto threat on a 
resolution that would take effect immediately?

          MR. BOUCHER:  You'll have to ask them about their actions.

          Q    Richard, excuse me, you told us Friday that they were -- 
it was understood here that they would go into effect immediately.  
There was some triggering action that caused the United States to back 
off that position.  Why can't you tell us what it was?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I told you that the triggering action, if you 
will, was our desire to see a resolution passed; to see the certainty of 
sanctions imposed; to see the Serbs faced with the certain prospect of 
these sanctions that will inevitably take effect on April 26, if they 
don't play ball with the peace process and stop the killing.  So our 
desire to see that resolution passed was what led us to accept a 
resolution that had the April 26 date.

          Johanna.

          Q    Do you have any numbers on the assets that Serbians have 
abroad?  I mean, does this amount to anything?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We got the numbers on the assets that Treasury 
is taking care of or seized or frozen in the United States already.  I 
don't have numbers on worldwide assets.  I think the key element here is 
the prohibition -- in terms of assets and financial services -- is that 
the measures that are decided will prevent the Serbs from using their 
assets, using financial services, in order to violate the embargoes.

          Q    Richard, is there anything the Serbs can do at this point 
to prevent the taking effect of the sanctions resolution?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'd have to look at precisely how it's worded in 
the resolution.  I don't have it with me.  But basically the desire -- 
well, the resolution is constructed in order to provide them with an 
incentive to reach a peace agreement first -- well, first of all, to 
stop the fighting, to use their influence to make sure the fighting and 
the killing stops, and second of all, to enter into a peace agreement.

          Q    What does that mean?  Signing the Vance-Owen agreement?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'd have to look at the exact wording of the 
resolution, and of course the Council would have to consider whatever 
they did.

          Q    But there's been no other peace agreement negotiated, 
correct?

          MR. BOUCHER:  That's right.  That's the agreement on the 
table.

          Q    Following up on that, a minute ago you said, "If they 
don't play ball and stop the killings, the sanctions would go into 
effect."  Is there anything that prevents them from going into effect -- 
they will go into effect on April 26, will they not, regardless of -- 
wouldn't the Security Council have to do something else to prevent them 
from going into effect?

          MR. BOUCHER:  That's my understanding, Ralph.  I didn't bring 
the resolution with me, but something else would have to be determined 
to prevent them.

          Q    Richard, you referred to the demilitarization of 
Srebrenica.  Isn't that a euphemism, for basically the surrender of all 
arms by the Bosnian defenders?  The Serbs aren't being demilitarized.

          MR. BOUCHER:  No.  And I described for you in the next 
sentence what it meant.  It meant that the U.N. would engage in a 
process of disarming the government forces there.  As part of that 
agreement, the Bosnian Government defenders of Srebrenica are to turn 
over their arms to UNPROFOR.

          Q    So, Richard, do you consider Srebrenica to have fallen 
essentially?

          MR. BOUCHER:  At this point I think it's immaterial to argue 
over the status of Srebrenica.

          Q    Richard, can you tell me what plans the Western allies 
have and the United Nations has to amass the force to seal the borders 
of Yugoslavia and thus make the sanctions work or really implement these 
sanctions?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The effect of implementation of these sanctions 
will require additional resources on the Danube, on the land borders 
with Serbia and Montenegro, and expanded maritime interception of the 
Adriatic.  We're working closely with other EC and CSCE countries to 
enhance our ability to control and enforce the movement of goods into 
Serbia and to enforce these sanctions.

          So immediate things I can tell you about, but basically we're 
in discussions with other governments about other things. The Western 
European Union intends to place and interdiction force on the Danube to 
control the barge traffic.  This is in addition to the support that 
we've provided -- the six boats and Coast Guard training that we've made 
available to Bulgaria and Romania.

          The United States will furnish to the United Nations Sanctions 
Committee a list of companies and ships which are under Serbian and 
Montenegrin control.  That will be given to member states so that they 
can proceed with the elements of the resolution that are involved with 
seizing those kinds of assets.

          The measures that we're undertaking will enable the world 
community to better implement the measures that are contained in the new 
resolution, and I'm sure there will be other steps that you'll see to 
further tighten the enforcement.

          Q    Are you ready to offer military personnel or other kind 
of personnel to police the borders and the Danube, or are we simply 
leaving it to the neighboring states to do that?

          MR. BOUCHER:  It's neither the one or the other.  We have 
provided customs personnel and other personnel to assist the neighboring 
states to enforce the sanctions, and we'll continue to do that.

          Q    I know you said the other day that in spite of this help, 
the sanctions have been pretty leaky, and now they're being tightened.  
I'm trying to find out what kind of steps we're taking in tightening --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, I just read you a long list of steps that 
we're taking, and I think I described those Friday as the tools that are 
necessary for the people who are enforcing sanctions to take the --

          Q    Well, are we moving any more ships in the area? Are we 
doing something else with our forces, rather than simply giving people 
Boston Whalers?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, that's the exact same question you asked 
Friday, and I will answer the question the same way I answered it on 
Friday.  I think the first important thing that this resolution does is 
it takes effective measures so that there's no -- it's not questions of 
paperwork, it's not questions of false documentation, so that there are 
very clear steps that can be taken by the people who are already out 
there to make sure that there's no commercial traffic in the maritime 
waters, so that they can intercept traffic there; to make sure that 
barges just plain don't cross certain stages, to make sure that any 
vessels or rolling stock or other assets -- transportation assets -- 
that are being used to violate the sanctions or owned by Serbia-
Montenegro can be seized.

          I think the first thing that it provides the sanctions 
enforcers, if you will, with is the clear authority to stop the traffic, 
and that authority is something that will itself constitute the tighter 
enforcement of the sanctions.  But, second of all, we have also 
cooperated with the other governments in the region.  We have provided 
personnel.  We've provided equipment, much beyond just a couple Boston 
Whalers, as you describe it, and we will continue to do that, and we'll 
continue to work with other governments to provide further stuff.

          Q    Can you tell me what we supplied besides DEA agents or 
drug enforcement agents -- customs agents, rather, and Boston Whalers?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Again, it's the same list of things that I 
described for you on Friday.  We described -- we supply ships in the 
maritime enforcement that NATO and WEU have in the Adriatic.  We've 
provided personnel.  We've provided coordination.  We've provided 
communications.  We've provided assets like the boats, and we have 
worked with others in the international community to provide more.  I'm 
probably not thinking of half the things that we've done in this case.

          Q    Richard, can you give a U.S. assessment of how -- what 
effect these sanctions are likely to have on Serb behavior and when?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Alan, with any sanctions, that is the most 
difficult part.  The new sanctions will be tighter.  They will be 
tougher.  They can have a -- will have an effect on the Serbian economy.  
As to what changes that might result in Serbian behavior, certainly I 
can tell you their intention. Their intention is to make Serbia pay a 
price for its support for the Bosnian Serbs and the fighting that's 
going on in Bosnia, and to make them change their calculations of their 
interests so that they find that their interests are such that they 
should get back to the table, stop the fighting and engage in peace, and 
they're directed to that end.

          Q    Have you done an analysis of previous cases of sanctions?  
The ones that spring to my mind, of course, are the Iraqi sanctions and 
the Libyan sanctions.  There were the sanctions that Britain imposed on 
Rhodesia which went on for about 15 or 16 years.  There's the Cuba 
embargo.  There's the Haiti embargo.  In any of those cases, has that 
produced a change in the behavior on the part of the party that is being 
punished?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Alan, I don't think the point here is to try to 
debate or analyze previous cases.  You could probably debate that all 
night long.  The point is whether the Serbs are going to be allowed to 
support this kind of aggression and not engage in peace talks without 
paying a price, and without our attempting in some way to pressure them 
to change their behavior.

          Q    Well, with all respect, if you take certain action -- 
you, yourself, say it's difficult to gauge what effect that action will 
take -- and surely our only guide to the possible effect that such 
action takes is to analyze past examples of such action and to realize 
that in no case has it had any effect whatsoever.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, perhaps that's not our only guide, Alan.  
Perhaps the additional guides are the facts that they seem to care 
enough about sanctions to want to get out of them. That may be a good 
enough argument for imposing and tightening.

          Howard.

          Q    Can we go back to Srebrenica, and I'm not clear on 
whether or what kind of role the U.N. has undertaken to play in this 
demilitarization.  Does that mean that the protection of the civilians 
is in the hands of 120-odd Canadians?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I think for further clarification of exactly 
that role on the ground, you'll have to get it from the U.N.

          Q    Is it something that the U.S. supports?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, we have supported the U.N. resolution that 
calls for an end to the fighting there, that calls for an end to 
military attacks there, that calls for an end to Serb support for the 
Bosnian Serb army.  The declaration by the U.N. that Srebrenica should 
be a safe area is something that we supported, and the United Nations, 
the UNPROFOR, has sent the Canadian soldiers there, and they are engaged 
on the ground.

          Q    Does the U.S. believe that a small number of lightly-
armed Canadian soldiers could fulfill that daunting task?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Howard, I just can't tell you.  It depends on 
what happens.  So far the fighting has quieted, and they are there.  
We'll just have to see how things develop.

          Mary.

          Q    On the Russian role in all of this, there's been two 
statements today now from Russian officials.  Vitaly Churkin was very 
critical of the Security Council's action and described its "hastiness."  
And Kozyrev called for a meeting of the Security Council on either 
Sarajevo or Srebrenica to discuss the situation in Bosnia.

          And I wanted to ask you if there's been any formal request as 
far as you know, and is the United States interested in a U.N. Security 
Council meeting on either Sarajevo or Srebrenica?  And also do you feel 
that a price has been paid by the United States in its relations with 
Russia in pushing this resolution in what seems to have been against 
Russian wishes?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not sure I can answer any of those 
questions, Mary.  Certainly, we felt it was time for this resolution.  
As you know, we agreed to keep a resolution that had the 26th in it as 
the effective implementation date, which was what had already been 
discussed by the Council.

          We did want to avoid any blocking of the resolution by the 
Russians, and we urged them to allow the resolution to go through, and 
indeed in the end they abstained.

          So we felt the resolution was the right thing to do. We felt 
it was important to do it now, and we went forward, along with other 
members of the Council on it.

          Q    And what about the meeting of the Security Council on 
Sarajevo --

          MR. BOUCHER:  I have not heard of that idea.  I'd have to 
check on that and see if there's anything before the Council.

          Let me check with some of the others -- in the back.

          Q    If we could move to another part of the world.

          Q    (Chorus of no's)  (Laughter)

          MR. BOUCHER:  O.K.  We'll get there.

          Q    Richard, back on the safe-havens measure which you said 
the U.S. supports.  In supporting it, is the concept that this is a 
stop-gap measure intended to basically preserve life for the moment, or 
is this an open-ended and serious commitment to protect the Muslim 
population in that community so that they will not be forced to leave?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Terry, I think I just have to stick to the 
resolution as adopted.  The resolution was adopted in order to prevent 
the further fighting and the further killing that could go on there in 
the absence of an end to the fighting.  So it was passed in order to 
declare it a safe area where people could live without being attacked, 
and I'll just have to stick with the language of the resolution.

          Q    So essentially it is considered a stop-gap measure.  Both 
you and -- the U.S. has not made a decision about whether this should be 
an ongoing effort to protect that particular population at this point?  
They're dealing with the immediate problem, not a more extended question 
of what happens next?  Is that right?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Again, I don't think I can answer.  I'd have to 
look back at the U.N. resolution to try to get you --

           Q     -- but in voting for -- whenever you vote for a 
Security Council resolution, you've normally analyzed it, looked at the 
implications, looked at what commitments are being undertaken, what it 
implies in terms of what the U.S. will do, what it implies in terms of 
U.N. credibility.  That's sort of standard for going -- with any of 
these things.  So you must have had some sense as to what it is you 
voted for, or do you not know what you voted for?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Terry, we know what we voted for.  What we voted 
for is the language of the resolution.  I'm afraid I'm personally just 
not in a position right now to try to interpret the resolution for you 
to the extent that you want me to.

          Q    Could you take the question --

          MR. BOUCHER:  I described the resolution as one that was 
intended to restrain Bosnian Serb behavior and to prevent the taking of 
the city by force.

          Q    Could you take a question which attempts to get at what 
is the goal of this bringing in Canadian troops?  Do you expect the 
Muslims to continue to live there for the years ahead, or do you expect 
them to get on a truck and get out of there before the shelling starts 
again?  What's the goal?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not sure that was the question I was just 
being asked.  But in any case, I will try to get you clarification as to 
the extent to which the resolution was to stop the immediate fighting or 
whether the -- for time to come the U.N. had committed itself to protect 
the population of that town.

          Obviously, there are U.N. people on the ground that are trying 
to work a satisfactory solution with the parties that are out there, and 
to a great extent those final decisions get made by people out there.

          Q    Richard, perhaps it was help --  just to follow up on 
this -- the President has called for safe-havens.  One report, the 
executive summary --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Excuse me?

          Q    The President did in earlier statements during his 
campaign suggest the possibility of safe-havens --

          MR. BOUCHER:  That's a little different than what you said the 
first time.

          Q    He was specifically talking about Sarajevo.  We have the 
executive summary of some findings of the team that was sent out there 
which suggested the creation of safe-havens.  It may be that this is the 
first of several safe-havens, and I'm trying to find out -- also, I 
would like to find out, if we can -- whether this Security Council 
resolution is part of what is foreseen as safe-havens in a temporary or 
a semi-permanent fashion in order to hold these populations in these 
areas, pending some sort of peace agreement?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, the language of this resolution was the 
establishment of a safe area around the city of Srebrenica, not exactly 
the same term that you've used and that's been used before.  As far as 
sort of other options and calls that have been made and things 
recommended in the humanitarian report, those are things that we've told 
you are under review, and the Secretary has told you again this morning 
that there is fairly urgent work ongoing to review a whole variety of 
options.

          Sid.

          Q    Richard, can you offer an --

          Q    (Inaudible)

          MR. BOUCHER:  O.K.  Sorry, Jan.

          Q    Thank you.  In response to Mary's question about whether 
or not you'd considered Srebrenica had fallen, you said that its status 
was immaterial.  But for weeks we've been hearing how important 
strategically Srebrenica is.  Why is its status immaterial?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I didn't mean to imply anything strategic about 
that.  I was just meaning to say that with the issue having been decided 
by the Security Council, that the events in Srebrenica on Friday were of 
such grave concern that we should immediately move and vote this 
sanctions resolution; that in terms of the implementation of these 
sanctions and the ongoing process, that the exact nature -- I think on 
Friday we were dealing with questions of fallen, or forced to surrender, 
decided to surrender and questions like that.  Those exact questions are 
not the operative ones now.

          Obviously, the welfare of the population in Srebrenica, the 
importance of maintaining their welfare, have been dealt with by the 
United Nations in voting these resolutions.  And, clearly, what the 
Council is seeking is an end to the fighting, and that's something that 
we've supported.

          Q    Richard, I want -- The New York Times --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Let's work our way over this way.

          Q    The New York Times reported yesterday that -- citing U.S. 
intelligence reports -- that artillery from Serbia was involved in the 
last week's attack against Srebrenica.  And I wanted to ask you, (a) if 
you could confirm that, and (b) whether that's the first indication that 
the White House has had that Belgrade is actively participating, or 
whether that's old news?

          MR. BOUCHER:  There have been various press reports about the 
kind of support that the Serbs have offered to the Bosnian Serbs both 
over time and in this particular situation in eastern Bosnia.  I'm 
afraid I'm not in a position to share with you what we know about that 
support -- the nature and extent of that support -- because of the way 
we get our information on this.

          I would say that we have long recognized that the Serbs are in 
a position to influence events.  They have provided significant support 
in the past to Bosnian Serbs, and we feel that they're able to bring the 
fighting to a halt, should they wish to do so, and that's one reason why 
we keep passing and toughening and tightening the sanctions against them 
to make them willing to do that.

          Q    Just to be clear, you wouldn't view this as an 
escalation?  Before we knew that Belgrade was providing arms and 
materiel.  If there were evidence now that they were also participating 
actively in the shelling of a town, would that be an escalation from 
what we knew before?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'm afraid I just can't get into that, Johanna, 
because of what we know and how we know it.

          Q    Richard, can you offer an explanation as to why U.S. 
jets, attached to the "no-fly" zone enforcement activity, are flying at 
altitudes of less than 200 feet over Serbian-held areas in Bosnia?

          MR. BOUCHER:  That sounds like a very military question that 
I'll leave for the Pentagon.

          Q    It could also be a diplomatic message, Richard.

          MR. BOUCHER:  If they say it's a diplomatic message, then I'll 
interpret it further for you, but I will leave the jets to them for the 
moment.

          Mark.

          Q    In view of the record with the past cease-fires, is there 
an American or a NATO commitment that you're aware of to ensure the 
safety of the Canadian U.N. troops now in Srebrenica?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Mark, NATO has made very clear -- and I'm trying 
to think -- it was, I think, in a December NATO Communique, and I'm sure 
in subsequent statements by NATO, that there should be no interference 
or attacks on the U.N. peacekeepers who are out there.  Not only have we 
said that interference with humanitarian relief shipments and the U.N.'s 
role out there, in our mind, constitutes a war crime, but we have also 
very directly stated that we would brook no interference with the forces 
out there.

          Q    Is there concern that the Canadians could be potential 
hostages to the Serb forces --

          MR. BOUCHER:  I wouldn't want to generalize in that way.          
Q    Richard, in a column in the New York Times today, it was alleged 
that American planes flying over the "no-fly" zone -- patrolling the 
"no-fly" zone, are, in fact, on photographic missions -- some of them.  
Can you speak to that, please?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I can't, John.  Again, the missions of the 
aircraft are something the Pentagon might address.

          Q    And a second question:  You used the phrase, that the 
Serbian Government in Belgrade was in a position to "influence events" 
taking place inside Bosnia.  In the past, I believe you have used the 
phrase "control events."  Has your opinion of their ability to have an 
effect there changed?

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, frankly, I don't remember if we've used 
the word "control" or "influence" or "determine" or whatever.  No, our 
opinion has not changed.  We consider it within their power to make the 
fighting stop, if they wish to do so.

          Q    Is it the intention of the U.S. Government to make public 
the recommendations, however edited, of the group that went over and 
took a look on the ground?  The U.S. --

          MR. BOUCHER:  We've provided you with the executive summary 
last week.

          Q    For those of us in Hong Kong or Tokyo --

          MR. BOUCHER:  You can get another copy; certainly.

          Q    Can we break for another subject?

          Q    Yes, good idea, please.

          Q    The Pakistani President --

          Q    (Inaudible)

          Q    Just a moment, please.  That's not the way it works here.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Okay.  One last one.

          Q    There apparently is some confusion as to what will happen 
to the Bosnian Government defenders of Srebrenica.  Does the U.S. have a 
view as to whether they should be taken by the Serbs as potential war 
criminals, as apparently the Serbs have said?  Should they be allowed to 
leave the town and go elsewhere, to other government-held areas?  What 
should become of the disarmed (inaudible) defenders in the town?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Terry, I'm not sure we do have a view on that, 
but I'll check and see if we have anything to say on that.

          Q    The Government of Pakistan was dismissed by the President 
there.  Do you have any comments on the situation there, please?

          MR. BOUCHER:  For those that aren't up to speed on what's 
happened out there, I'll start off by reviewing what has happened.

          On April 18, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed Prime 
Minister Nawaz Sharif and dissolved the National Assembly, citing the 
government for corruption and mismanagement.  The President appointed a 
caretaker Prime Minister, Sher Mazari, and an interim government is now 
being formed.  The President has called for national elections on July 
14.

          We understand the situation is calm and there is no threat to 
Americans.  We are following developments there closely.  As the 
situation evolves, we hope that all the parties will act according to 
the laws of Pakistan and work to strengthen the democratic process.

          Q    Copy, please?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Sure, we'll get you a copy later.

          Q    Any change in the U.S. diplomatic presence in Pakistan as 
a result of these announcements?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No.

          Q    Can I try on the Middle East, please.

          Q    In that, a similar action in Peru.  How come we're not 
condemning this?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Excuse me?

          Q    When the President of Peru took a similar step, we 
condemned it.  Why are we --

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not sure the situations are at all 
comparable, Sid.  I'm told that under the constitution, the President of 
Pakistan does have the authority to dismiss the government and the 
National Assembly.  As I've told you, they've called for new elections 
on July 14.

          There are reports that indicate that the former Prime Minister 
is going to challenge the legality of his dismissal in Pakistani courts 
and the Speaker of the National Assembly has also announced an intention 
to challenge this, but, obviously, those questions are to be decided in 
Pakistan.

          Q    Richard, on the Middle East, do you have anything further 
to what the Secretary said on the postponement of the talks?  And is the 
U.S. changing its position on the deportations at all?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The situation is really the one the Secretary 
described this morning and that we described to those who might have 
called us on Saturday.

          Secretary Christopher called Syrian Foreign Minister Shara on 
Saturday to emphasize the importance we attach to resuming the Middle 
East peace talks as scheduled and to express our view that too much time 
has already been lost.

          Foreign Minister Shara expressed Syrian continued commitment 
to the peace process.  He indicated that the decision on resumption 
would not be made until the Arab Coordinating Committee reconvenes.

          The Secretary also talked to Egyptian Foreign Minister Moussa 
on Sunday.

          The Arab Foreign Ministers and Palestinian representatives 
have continued to meet in Syria.  I think they're meeting today again.  
They, in our discussions with them, have expressed a continued 
consistent commitment to the process, and they're in the process of 
reaching a decision on resumption.

          Clearly, they have not accepted for tomorrow, and there may be 
a delay of something like a week.

          Our view remains that we believe it's important for them to 
decide.  We believe that the needs and the concerns of all the parties, 
and especially the Palestinians, can best be addressed by a return to 
the negotiating table without any further delay.

          Q    On the Palestinians, I asked, is there any change on the 
deportee situation beyond what President Clinton said last week?

          MR. BOUCHER:  There is no change.  I think we've made clear 
that there are things that would happen if they accept to come back to 
the talks.

          Q    You had a specific invitation for April 20.  Do you have 
another specific invitation in place of April 20, or are you going to 
play it by ear and let everyone kind of straggle in to Washington on 
different planes and, you know, when everyone is here and sometime in 
August, we'll get going, or what?

          MR. BOUCHER:  First of all, we don't assume that it will be 
some time in August, Alan.  We said that they are considering this.  
They have obviously not accepted to come for tomorrow.  We would expect 
them to come without undue delay. There may be a delay of a week.  
That's what we're hearing, but we're waiting for their final formal 
answer on resumption of the talks and when they're prepared to resume 
before we can go ahead and tell you firmly what the date is.

          Mary.

          Q    Richard, there was a very critical announcement made 
today that Saudi Arabia is going to start funding the PLO again and has 
urged the Gulf states to start funding the PLO, funding that was cut off 
as a result of the PLO support for Iraq.

          The Saudis specifically said that was an attempt to get the 
Palestinians back to the negotiating table.  Did the United States ask 
Saudi Arabia to start funding the PLO again?  Or, alternatively, does 
the United States welcome this move by Saudi Arabia as a step toward 
bringing the parties back to the table?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not sure I want to accept your two 
alternatives, Mary.  At the moment, I don't have anything on that.  I'll 
check to see if there's any --

          Q    Can you take the question, Richard?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'll see if there's anything we want to say on 
it.  I don't promise that there is.

          Q    Richard, Vietnam?

          Q    We've got one more question on the talks, please.

          MR. BOUCHER:  We'll finish with the Middle East.

          Q    Throughout this whole, long process, the Secretary has 
expressed confidence that the Palestinians would return. And every time 
we ask him why he expressed that confidence, he smiled serenely and 
wisely and said he just thought that was going to happen.

          Does the Secretary now feel that the Palestinians have pulled 
the rug out from under him?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, John.  He feels that -- he continues to have 
confidence that they will return, and that confidence is based on our 
extensive discussions with the parties and that confidence is based, I 
think, on the understanding of the importance to the parties of moving 
forward on the peace process.

          Q    Richard, going back to an earlier question, is there an 
invitation now pending to the parties to resume the talks on a certain 
date, or is there --

          MR. BOUCHER:  There is an invitation pending to resume the 
talks tomorrow.

          Q    Okay.  And so we should wait until after tomorrow when 
they don't show up to ask whether there's an invitation; is that what 
you're saying?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, you should wait until you hear what their 
response is to that invitation before we can tell you what date they're 
going to be able to resume.

          Q    You said you had their response to that invitation 
earlier.  You said they had not accepted for tomorrow, you said.

          MR. BOUCHER:  No.  I said --

          Q    Those were your words -- "they have not accepted for 
tomorrow."

          MR. BOUCHER:  I said they're in the process of reaching a 
decision.  They clearly -- I mean, they've not accepted it yet.  They've 
not accepted for tomorrow, or any other date for that matter, and 
they're talking -- in our contacts with them -- they're talking about 
seeking a delay of perhaps of a week.

          Q    When these talks first began, as part of the way the 
United States put pressure on people to show up, was to simply to say 
that the doors would be open at such-and-such a date and anybody who 
wants to show up, they're welcome.  Is that what's going to happen, or 
are you going to wait for everybody to respond to the invitation?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, we're ready to resume the talks whenever 
the parties tell us that they're ready to resume.  It's not anticipated 
that the Israeli delegation will now show up until later this week.  So 
when the parties are ready to have talks, we're ready to help host them.

          Q    You don't intend to say, we're going to open it up --

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think, in the past, when there have been 
delays, that we've made a big show of opening the doors and that sort of 
thing.  We're ready to help the parties have talks whenever they're 
ready.

          Q    Richard, (inaudible) was a situation before when, at 
least one of the -- there was always one party present when delays 
occurred.  At this point, you've essentially -- it seems to me, anyway 
-- you've essentially caved and said to all the parties, just let us 
know when you want to come back.  That is a different attitude and a 
different approach than the one the U.S. has taken up to now, which has 
been to set a date --

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think it's any different, Ralph -- I'm 
trying to remember the precise circumstances -- there was the 
circumstance before where the parties were not --

          Q    Well, the announcement was simply made that the door was 
open if anybody wants to show up --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, we remain in the same position, that we're 
prepared to facilitate the talks on any day the parties want to come and 
get together for talks.  It's our view that they should do that without 
delay.  It's our view that the parties that are still considering this 
should reach a decision without delay and should decide to come back to 
the talks; that those talks remain important for them and for us.

          Q    Is the U.S. taking any steps to encourage that decision?  
You already mentioned that the Secretary has spoken Shara and Moussa.  
Is the U.S. using its Ambassador in Damascus to talk with others?  Are 
there ongoing communications with other Foreign Ministers, with the 
Palestinians?

          MR. BOUCHER:  There are ongoing contacts with a whole mix of 
people, with a whole variety of people.  Ed Djerejian is in close 
contact with the parties from here.  We have contacts through the 
Ambassadors and elsewhere.

          Q    Richard, can I ask you just one more question on this -- 
over here?  Does the United States believe that Israel should do 
something more to get these talks started?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We believe that the parties who are still 
considering the invitation should decide to come back to the talks.

          Q    That doesn't answer the question, Richard.  It's a "yes 
or no" question.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Mary, you have my answer.

          Q    Forgive me if you've answer this:  Have you confirmed on 
the record, as reported, that the United States is seeking continuous 
talks rather than separate rounds, where you would have to go through 
this every few weeks?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Have I confirmed that on the record?  No, I 
haven't.

          Q    Could you?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I'm not prepared to go into details at this 
point.

          Connie.

          Q    South Africa -- the latest violence:  Do you have any 
statements on that?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The situation:  There was an overflow crowd 
numbering in the hundreds of thousands that attended a memorial service 
for the slain ANC and South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani in 
a Johannesburg stadium today. Ambassador Lyman and other members of the 
mission staff attended.

          The crowd inside the stadium was orderly.  However, there have 
been reports of some violence outside the stadium. We don't have any 
specific information beyond press reports as of now.

          In most cases, this weekend's nationwide memorial services 
were peaceful.  I think that's a credit to the ANC marshals and to the 
others that were determined to keep the peace.  The most serious of 
several incidents was the killing of two black demonstrators in 
Johannesburg by a white South African.  The assailant, reportedly a 
member of an extreme right wing organization, has been arrested.

          Q    The killings of the 18 blacks, do you have any statement 
on that?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't.

          Q    Can we do Vietnam?

          Q    Richard, on Vietnam?  Any report from Mr. Vessey?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I think there was a joint statement that Vessey 
and his counterparts issued before leaving Vietnam.  In addition to 
that, I really don't have anything more to say. He's on his way back to 
Washington from Hanoi.  We don't expect to be able to provide details of 
his discussions nor further details beyond the joint statement until 
he's had an opportunity to come back and report to the President.

          Q    Did he meet with Quang?  Did he meet with --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Yes, he did.

          Q    Has he issued any statements at all?

          MR. BOUCHER:  He's talked out there about it.  I've seen some 
quotations in the press, and there's been, as I said, a joint statement 
that was issued out there.  But that's all I have.

          Q    I believe he indicated that he thought that the document, 
which surfaced last week from a Russian archive, was authentic, which 
was further than you were willing to go last week.

          MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, George, we're going to have to 
come back and hear his -- let him come back and hear his assessment.  We 
told you how important it was to us that he go out and examine the 
situation personally and be discussing the situation and getting some 
answers out there.  So I really think it's important, first, that he be 
able to come back and report before we can say more.

          Jan.

          Q    Richard, do you have anything further to say on the 
situation in Haiti, other than what the Secretary said the end of last 
week?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The Secretary put out a statement on Saturday 
after his meeting with Dante Caputo.  He met with Caputo on Saturday to 
review the situation of the Haiti talks.

          As you see in the statement after the meeting, Mr. Caputo's 
talks with the Haitian military last week were disappointing.  Their 
reaction to the latest proposal is a matter of serious concern to us and 
it's time for the military leadership of Haiti to indicate its 
seriousness in pursuing a settlement of Haiti's crisis.

          We continue to support Mr. Caputo's effort, and we remain in 
close touch with him, the United Nations, and the OAS.

          Q    What happens now?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, we hope that by careful reflection, the 
military leadership in Port-au-Prince will decide it's time to make 
decisions and that that will result in sufficient progress to permit the 
negotiations to move forward.

          Q    Do you have anything on Cambodia?  You know, another 
peacekeeper was killed there.

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have anything new on that, Mary. I 
wasn't aware of that specific report.

          Q    Richard, on Japan, it seemed pretty clear, after the 
President's meeting with Miyazawa last week, that the U.S. and Japan are 
very far apart on what the President described as the need for measures 
of success of agreements.  How will the Administration seek to persuade 
Japan to compromise on this point?  And if the Japanese continue to 
stonewall, what will the response be?  Will you consider a retaliation?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I think also, you saw from the President's 
discussion with Miyazawa, a commitment to try to work together on these 
issues.  So I'll reject the second half of your question as 
hypothetical, but the first half, I'll try to find for you how we intend 
to follow up.

          Q    Richard, can I just ask another one or two on Bosnia, 
please?  The Russians -- Secretary Christopher said last week that the 
Russians had promised the United States to cooperate in passage of the 
resolution.  One might draw the conclusion --

          MR. BOUCHER:  On the 26th.

          Q    That's right.  One might draw the conclusion that by 
abstaining, they have, in fact, cooperated toward the passage of the 
resolution.  My question is, have the Russians pledged to the U.S., or 
the other Permanent Members of the Security Council, to cooperate in 
implementing the resolution beginning on April 26?

          MR. BOUCHER:  You mean if they've offered some sort of 
assistance like we and the WEU and others have?  I'm not sure, frankly, 
on that.  They have repeatedly, I think, emphasized their desire and 
their willingness and their intention to adhere to U.N. resolutions.

          I think we've told you in the past where we had evidence of 
possible violations by Russian firms, that we've approached the Russian 
Government, as we do other governments where we have evidence or 
information that their firms might be violating, and in fact the Russian 
Government's cooperation in those cases has been very good.  So I would 
expect, we would all expect them to implement the sanctions and, as they 
have in the past, to respect the U.N. resolutions.

          Q    And on a technical matter, with regard to the seizure of 
vessels and trucks and so on, and impoundment of them, is it the U.S. 
understanding that any of those assets would be impounded when there is 
no evidence that they are being used to violate the sanctions?  Or is it 
only when an asset actually comes into play, as in violation of the 
sanction, that it is subject to impoundment?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Again, I'll refer you specifically to the 
language of the resolution.

          Q    Well, I don't know if that's necessary --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Vessels, trucks and aircraft that are used to 
violate the sanctions will be impounded and subject to forfeiture.  But 
I think for more information, we both ought to look at the resolution.

          Q    So the list -- the reason I ask is, you said earlier that 
the U.S. would be providing a list of assets that it is aware of to the 
Security Council for enforcement.  That is not for the purpose of 
seizing those assets prior to any evidence of their involvement in 
sanctions violation?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Again, Ralph, exactly what has to happen to 
certain different classes of assets that are discussed in the 
resolution, I think we ought to look at the resolution to be clear.  
But, certainly, our information is to assist people in enforcing the 
resolution.

          Q    Will the United States be making public that list that 
you're going to be turning over to the United Nations on a list of 
companies doing business with Yugoslavia?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I think Treasury pretty regularly provides 
information on front companies, or Serbian-held companies, and I would 
expect them to continue to do that and that would be essentially the 
nature of the information that we're providing to others.

          Q    Do you have any comment on David Owen's public call for 
military action?  Specifically, air strikes against -- against supply 
routes from the Serbs to Bosnia?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't, Ralph.  I think the Secretary and 
the President have made clear that there are a great number of options 
that are under consideration on an urgent basis; and at this point, I'm 
not going to get into any specifics.

          Q    Apropos of that, you, by now, probably have had a chance 
to read the words the Secretary used this morning.  At the very end of 
his comments, he talked about "look forward to considering those 
options."  It's not clear what "those" refers to there.  Is he referring 
to the broad panoply of options that include military options, or is he 
referring to the ones that he seemed to be talking about earlier in his 
remarks, namely, non-military ones?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Ralph, I think I'll leave it to the Secretary.  
But it seems to me clear that they're considering a wide variety of 
options; that this has a very high urgency within our government, as he 
said, and he'll be moving forward to consider, along with his 
colleagues, other options that are available.

          Q    Can you tell us what the status of Reginald Bartholomew 
is?  What is he engaged in right now?  He's finished with his trip, 
obviously, and has come back, and so on.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Sure.  He returned to the United States on 
Saturday.  He's in Washington for meetings and consultations.

          I can review for you his trip, if you'd like me to.

          Q    No.

          Q    (Inaudible) noteworthy in it that wasn't -- I realize you 
don't trust press reports, but --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, let's see.  He visited Zagreb, Sarajevo, 
and other areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina; Belgrade, London, and Paris.  He 
met with Croatian President Tudjman, Bosnian President Izetbegovic and 
Vice President Ganic, and the leader of the Bosnian Croats, Mate Boban.  
In Belgrade, he met with Milosevic, with President Cosic, Chief of Staff 
Zivota Panic, the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Karadzic, and members of 
the democratic opposition and independent media.

          He also met with U.N. and relief officials during his visit.  
He delivered a tough message to the Bosnian Serbs and the Serbian 
authorities, warning them that there would be increased international 
pressure on them if they did not stop the fighting and rapidly come to 
an agreement on a peace settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina within the 
Vance-Owen process.

          He urged the Bosnian Government and the Bosnian Croats to 
stick to the peace process and to work together to prevent the fighting 
between their forces that has recently broken out and to ensure the free 
movement of supplies to those who need them.

          He also visited France and the United Kingdom where he 
reviewed his visit to the former Yugoslavia and explored with the French 
and British officials possible next steps on the crisis.

          Q    Based on all those conversations, what conclusions is he 
drawing about, say, the viability of Vance-Owen at this point?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Terry, I think -- not necessarily putting 
conclusions in his head after his visit, but our goal remains to see a 
peace agreement concluded, and our goal remains to pressure the Serbs to 
enter into good faith negotiations towards such an agreement.

          You know the Vance-Owen process is the one on the table.  It's 
the one that two of the parties have agreed to, and it's the one that we 
think the Bosnian Serbs should enter into and reach agreement with.

          Q    Wasn't one of the purposes of his trip to assess whether 
Vance-Owen was a realistic and timely possibility at this point, or 
whether the situation has deteriorated to the point where it really 
isn't a particularly viable option?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think we ever described his trip that 
way, Terry.

          Q    Was he involved in the meetings with the President over 
the weekend?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know.

          Q    Thank you.

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

To the top of this page