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                         DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #66

                 WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 1993, 12:53 P. M.

          MR. SNYDER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I'd like 
to begin by answering a question that was asked yesterday, and we were 
not able to get the answer out.  This concerns the retired U.S. Army 
Colonel, Aleksander Einseln.

           The Estonian Parliament has confirmed retired U.S. Army 
Colonel Aleksander Einseln's appointment by President Meri as Commander-
in-Chief of the Estonian Defense Forces, and we understand that Colonel 
Einseln has accepted the position.

          Under U.S. law, both active and retired service personnel need 
the approval of the appropriate service secretary and of the Secretary 
of State to assume official positions with foreign governments.  The 
Secretary of the Army approved the request.

          The Secretary of State is required to review the application 
for possible foreign policy implications.  Earlier this year, the 
Secretary decided after careful deliberation to disapprove a request by 
Colonel Einseln that he be allowed to accept this position in Estonia.

          This Administration has placed a high priority on promoting 
stability and mutual understanding among the nations of Eastern Europe 
and the former Soviet Union.  In these times of change and deliberate 
movement toward democracy in the region, our goal is to reduce tensions 
and to support those steps that lay the foundation of long-lasting 
cooperation.  We remain very concerned about any steps that could be 
misinterpreted about U.S. intentions in the region.

          There are several legal steps the U.S. Government could 
explore in response to Colonel Einseln's acceptance of the position 
without appropriate approval.  No decision has been made as to whether 
any action will be taken against Colonel Einseln.

          Q    What are those steps?

          MR. SNYDER:  Well, since we haven't made any decision about 
it, I don't want to go into what they are.

          Q    Could he lose his citizenship or passport or vote?

          MR. SNYDER:  No.  The question of citizenship is a separate 
matter.  He is a U.S. citizen, and the decision on whether or not to 
approve his taking this position is not related to the possible 
relinquishing of his citizenship by a potentially expatriating act.  
Taking a position in a foreign government for any citizen has the 
potential for causing that person to lose his citizenship.

          We review those cases -- cases like that on a case-by-case 
basis.  He's just taken this position.  We haven't really done a review 
of this, although we probably will look at it, but it's a separate 
question from the law which prohibits a current or retired military 
officer from taking a position.

          Q    Regardless of whether it's a separate issue or not, what 
you're saying there is he could lose his citizenship by having taken 
this position, regardless of whether it's related to this particular law 
or something else.

          MR. SNYDER:  Right.  I mean, that's what the Immigration and 
Nationality Act says.  There are a number of grounds for losing one's 
citizenship.  One of them is taking a position with a foreign 
government, unrelated to the fact of whether he was an officer in the 
military.  With any American citizen, there's always that potential, and 
we review these on a case-by-case basis.  It's a very rare thing now, as 
you know from other cases that have come up.

          Q    Wouldn't the Secretary of State's decision to disapprove 
of him taking the position give you a pretty good idea of how the 
Secretary of State would feel about whether he should keep his U.S. 
citizenship, or is there some other factor that enters into that?

          MR. SNYDER:  The difference between any American citizen and 
the possibility of losing his citizenship in this particular case is the 
fact that he is a retired military officer taking a position in command 
of foreign troops.  That's a separate -- that's why it's a separate 

          Q    Can you explain why by taking this position he is 
contributing somehow to tensions in the region?  I mean, is it that the 
Russians are objecting?  Have you been in touch with them?  Is that the 

          MR. SNYDER:  We understand Estonia's security concerns, 
obviously, in this situation, but it's also true that we have to take 
into account the sensitivities of other countries in the region.

          Q    What if he voluntarily renounces his own citizenship?  
Does the U.S. Government have any recourse?

          MR. SNYDER:  That's a hypothetical question, Jim.  I don't 

          Q    Also, I thought the issue of U.S. citizens taking 
official roles in other governments is still in limbo after this 1967 
case in which the Congress never acted.

          MR. SNYDER:  There are a whole series of court cases. There 
are also a whole series of expatriating acts.  I don't have the list 
here.  And in a series of cases the courts have gradually -- I'm not a 
lawyer, so this is a very general sort of explanation -- the court cases 
have had the tendency of removing the automaticity of certain 
expatriating acts, and the element that's been introduced is the 
intention of the person to voluntarily give up his citizenship by 
performing the act.

          But you said it's in limbo.  The law is written very 
categorically, and it once was a fairly categorical and automatic thing, 
but court interpretations have changed that. Nonetheless, the law 
remains on the books, and taking a position like this is defined in the 
laws as an expatriating act.  But the point is we review each one of 
these now on a case-by-case basis.

          Q    Joe, you said the U.S. is going to take into 
consideration the concerns of other nations.  What nations have 
expressed their concerns to the United States?

          MR. SNYDER:  No.  I just said in making this decision we have 
to take into account sensitivities of other countries in the region.

          Q    What sensitivities have been expressed to the United 

          MR. SNYDER:  I'm --

          Q    Let's put it this way --

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't really want to go into --

          Q    Have there been any expressed?

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't know.  Let me see if I can find out if 
anyone --

          Q    Would you take the question as to whether the U.S. is 
taking into account sensitivities that have not been expressed by 

          MR. SNYDER:  Let me check and see if we've had discussions 
with anyone else on this.

          Q    Have you been in touch with the Russians on this?

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't know.  Let me check.

          Q    Is the Secretary discussing this at all in his talks in 

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't know.  I doubt it, but I don't know for 

          Q    Joe, would this be entirely up to the Department of 
State, or would other -- would the Department of Justice become involved 
in the decision as to whether to prosecute, as it were, this case?

          MR. SNYDER:  If it were a decision to prosecute, of course, 
the Department of Justice would be involved.  I mean, we don't 

          Q    In other words, can Justice act unilaterally, or do they 
need your approval to go forth with this?  If you decide not to bring 
the case --

          MR. SNYDER:  We haven't made any decisions about any further 
steps, and I really don't want to discuss what the possibilities might 

          Q    I'm just trying to understand the logistics of this, how 
this works out.

          MR. SNYDER:  It depends on what other positions we might take 
as to how it would work out.  I can tell you, if prosecution were 
involved -- and I'm not saying that it is or it isn't -- obviously, the 
Justice Department would have to be involved.  But we have not made any 
decisions, and I really don't want to speculate about what future 
decisions might be.

          Q    Joe, do you have a time frame for when you will make a 

          MR. SNYDER:  No, I don't.  Sorry.

          Q    It could be in five years, it could be --

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't know.

          Q    In that case, the Estonian Government gave some official 
request to give some paper or government paper in that Colonel case?

          MR. SNYDER:  I'm sorry.

          Q    Estonian Government gave some official requests to your 
government --

          MR. SNYDER:  I'm going to check and see if we've discussed 
this with any other governments.  That question was asked.

          Q    I mean, you received any letter or request from the 

          MR. SNYDER:  I'll check and see what kind of communications we 
might have had or that we might want to talk about in this case.

          Q    New subject?

          MR. SNYDER:  Sure.

          Q    Do you care to offer us an explanation as to why the 
Administration feels $14 million ought to go into the occupied 
territories now for Palestinian --

          MR. SNYDER:  I thought that the statement that we put out 
yesterday was fairly clear on why we felt that way.

          Q    Is it something -- I noticed it was added to or 
contributed at the conference in Rome to a number of other contributions 
from other countries.  How large a fund does the United States imagine 
the international community ought to develop?  The U.S. has called on 
others to make contributions. How much money does the U.S. think is 
necessary or is justified?

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't know that there's necessarily any target 
figure there.  I'll check and see if any other governments have pledged, 
but I don't know that there's any specific number.  The $14 million is 
the amount that we have done.

          Q    Why is the U.S. doing it?

          MR. SNYDER:  It's explained in the statement.

          Q    Does the U.S. think that Israel has not adequately 
provided for the infrastructure of the occupied territories?

          MR. SNYDER:  That's not what the statement says.  We've given 
our reason for why we're doing it in the statement.  I can repeat it for 

          It's a program for job creation and possibly other urgent 
needs for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  It also 
says we're encouraged by the resumption of bilateral negotiations in 
Washington last week, and we believe this step will help promote 
progress in these talks.

          Q    It talks about the money being used to build 
infrastructure -- roads, utilities, sewer systems, and so on. Have those 
not adequately been provided for the people in the occupied territories 
up to now?

          MR. SNYDER:  Well, obviously, there is certainly a need for 
them, if we are planning to spend $14 million to help build them and to 
help create jobs in the course of doing that.

          Q    Is this a gesture of good will on behalf of the United 

          MR. SNYDER:  I'm just going to let the statement stand.  I'm 
not going to interpret it any further.

          Q    Who administers it, or who --

          MR. SNYDER:  It's an AID program.  Let me see.  It's funded by 
AID.  Let me just check and find out who is going to administer, yes.

          Q    Well, who actually gets the money?

          MR. SNYDER:  Typically, our assistance program in the West 
Bank and Gaza has been implemented largely by private voluntary 
organizations.  In this particular instance, let me just check and find 
out.  I don't have that.

          Q    Joe, did the United States have a meeting today, or is it 
planning a meeting this week with North Korea?

          MR. SNYDER:  Yes.  The United States and the Democratic 
People's Republic of Korea political counselors met in Beijing on May 5 
for the 32nd time.  As you know, we don't generally characterize the 
content of these diplomatic discussions.

          Q    Was there enough that came out of that meeting to allow a 
higher level meeting to go forward?

          MR. SNYDER:  Without any specific reference to what might 
happened at that meeting, let me tell you our position on another 

          The U.S. is willing to meet with North Korea to help resolve 
the current situation resulting from actions North Korea has taken in 
the nuclear area.  I have nothing further for you about any meetings at 
this point.

          Q    What about the level of the meeting?  You said, "the 
United States is willing to meet."  At what level?

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't really have anything further about any 

          Q    And has North Korea responded to that overture in any 

          MR. SNYDER:  North Korea requested the meeting.

          Q    At this May 5 meeting, they requested it?

          MR. SNYDER:  They requested the May 5th meeting.  They 
responded to -- I've just stated our position here.

          Q    But did they request another meeting, or did they request 
today's meeting?

          MR. SNYDER:  They requested today's meeting.

          Q    It is known that a certain North Korean high-ranking 
official is visiting the State Department this week or early next week.  
Did you issue a visa to the North Korean?

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't know what you're talking about.  I have 
not heard any senior North Korean official visiting the State Department 
this week or next week.

          Q    You have never issued a visa to a North Korean official 
to visit Washington, D.C.?

          MR. SNYDER:  I am certainly not aware that there's any North 
Korean official visiting.  I'll look into it and see if there's 
something to say.

          Q    They said it is known that there will be a high-ranking 

          MR. SNYDER:  It may be known, or it is known, but I don't know 
it.  I'll check and see if there's anything going on.  I would suspect 
-- let me check and see.  I've not heard of any North Korean official 
coming to the State Department in the next week or two.

          Q    Joe, do you have any position on the Syrian or Arab 
decision to stay here through next week?

          MR. SNYDER:  Yes.  We welcome the decision by all of the 
parties to continue negotiations next week.  We think this decision 
reflects the commitment of all the parties to advancing the process and 
the fact that the talks are now focused on core issues.

          Q    Are there any high-level meetings planned in the State 
Department with the delegations?

          MR. SNYDER:  Well, Ambassador Djerejian and his team have more 
or less continuous meetings.  As we've said before, we're not going to 
sort of go into listing each one of them. But, certainly, Ambassador 
Djerejian is in touch with them.

          As for plans for other meetings, I don't have anything.

          Q    Is there any U.N. Security Council meeting expected 
shortly, like today, to deal with the first resolution on Bosnia?

          MR. SNYDER:  Ralph, once again, I don't know, but I really 
have not kind of looked into the various Bosnian questions which might 
arise, for the reasons I explained earlier in the week.

          Q    The Secretary of State is not at the U.N., or to my 
knowledge he's not.

          MR. SNYDER:  Again, as I said earlier in the week, what might 
be going on at the U.N. is very much involved in what the Secretary is 
doing right now.  I'm not in a position to go into where we are on that 

          Q    Would you care to approach the topic of command and 
control of a peacekeeping operation in Bosnia?  What is the standing 
U.S. position on command and control of peacekeeping operations in 

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't know that there is a standing U.S. 
position on command and control of peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.  
There are certain members of the U.S. military in Bosnia right now 
working with the U.N. Protective Force and with the U.N. High 
Commissioner for Refugees.  I think this was discussed at some length 
yesterday at the Pentagon at their briefing, and I really have nothing 
more to say about that.

          Q    Would the U.S. anticipate that those arrangements would 
be the ones the U.S. would support in the future as well as the ones 
they support currently?

          MR. SNYDER:  Ralph, I just don't want to get into it. I'm 

          Q    Do you have any comment on the situation in Cambodia?

          MR. SNYDER:  Situation in Cambodia?  Yes.

          Q    You mean on the U.N. peacekeeping operation in Cambodia, 
right?  Or are you talking about something else in Cambodia now?

          MR. SNYDER:  I was asked about the situation in Cambodia.

          Q    But it has to do with the U.N. peacekeeping operation 

          MR. SNYDER:  Partly, yes.  But can I say it first, and then -- 

          Let me run down -- there have been a number of attacks since 
the weekend.  Let me run through the facts, as we know them.  I 
mentioned one of them yesterday, but there are several others.

          On Monday, Khmer Rouge troops launched an attack near the 
northern provincial capital of Siem Reap, near Angkor Wat. They withdrew 
several hours later.  There were no reported casualties among UNTAC 
personnel.  One tourist was reportedly injured.  There were several 
local casualties and some Khmer Rouge troops were killed.

          Also on Monday, five Indian UNTAC soldiers were lightly 
wounded by unidentified attackers in Kompong Cham Province.

          On May 4, a convoy of UNTAC military personnel and civilian 
police was ambushed by unidentified assailants on May 4 in Banteay 
Meanchey Province in northwest Cambodia.  One Japanese civilian police 
officer was killed, and three Japanese police and five Dutch Marines 
were injured.  We understand that several of the injured UNTAC personnel 
were evacuated to Bangkok for medical treatment.

          In a separate incident yesterday, UNTAC compounds in the 
Kompong Thom provincial capital came under artillery fire by 
unidentified assailants.  There were no UNTAC casualties.

          We condemn the violence against UNTAC personnel and civilians 
in Cambodia; and, of course, we greatly regret the loss of life by the 
one member of UNTAC.

          Q    Does the situation in Cambodia serve as an example for 
the kind of behavior the U.S. would expect others to follow in 
connection with U.N. peacekeeping operations in other places such as the 
Middle East or Europe?

          MR. SNYDER:  Ralph, the U.N. has had peacekeeping operations 
in a lot of different places, and people have reacted -- the population 
in those countries have reacted in a lot of different ways.  I don't 
think you can necessarily draw analogies from one place to another.

          Q    The President is trying to build public support now for a 
possible U.S. participation -- for his publicly pledged U.S. 
participation in a Bosnia peacekeeping operation. Does the kind of the 
activity you just talked about in Cambodia lend -- contribute toward 
creation of a strong public support for entry into additional 
peacekeeping operations?

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't really want to make that kind of 
connection.  I think the situation in Cambodia is very much related to 
the role of the U.N. there; the U.N. forces there is very much related 
to the very peculiar situation in Cambodia.

          I can say, in relation to Cambodia, that we continue to 
support fully UNTAC's efforts to hold elections as scheduled for May 23-
28.  We don't see how a postponement of the elections, as some people 
have suggested, would improve conditions for the elections.  We remain 
committed to U.N.-sponsored elections as scheduled.

          We think it's important that the Cambodian people -- and I 
would note that 95 percent of those eligible registered to vote -- not 
lose this valuable opportunity to choose their own leaders.

          Q    So even if the Khmer Rouge area cannot be opened to the 
general voting schedule, the general election will be executed, 
according to the schedule; do you think?

          MR. SNYDER:  UNTAC support intends to do that, and it's my 
understanding.  We strongly UNTAC in their efforts to have these 
elections held as scheduled.

          Q    So even though the Khmer Rouge does not support the 
general election, the UNTAC election schedule will be continued, will be 

          MR. SNYDER:  That's my understanding, yes.

          Q    What do you think -- what area do you think the Khmer 
Rouge has procured now that the general election cannot be executed, do 
you think?

          MR. SNYDER:  You mean, how much of the land area and how much 
of the population fall under their control?  I don't know.  Let me see 
if I can get something on that.

          Q    Thank you.

          (Press briefing concluded at 1:12 p.m.)

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