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                                                      DPC #68

                MONDAY, MAY 10, 1993, 12:37 P. M.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  One 
administrative announcement.  Secretary Christopher will be appearing 
before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tomorrow morning at 10:00 
o'clock to testify on START II.  The room is 419 Dirksen Senate Office 
Building.  Given this appearance, we won't be doing a briefing in the 
briefing room tomorrow.

          Q    Ten o'clock, Richard?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Ten o'clock.  419 Dirksen.  START II.

          Q    What's the alleged subject?

          MR. BOUCHER:  START II.

          Q    What's the reason for this hearing?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Because the Senate has to provide its advice and 
consent, and the Secretary is testifying on the treaty.

          Q    Oh, on the Treaty.  So it's just START.

          Q    Richard, is the United States planning to move forward 
with this, even though Russia hasn't acted?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Carol, I think I'll leave the exciting details 
of this to the Secretary's testimony tomorrow.

          Q    Is Strobe Talbott back from his trip?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No.  He's continuing his trip.

          Q    When is he due back?

          Q    Is McCaffrey still out there with him?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Hang on.  Let's see, Strobe -- Ambassador 
Talbott is in Kiev May 9-10.  He will also visit Yerevan, Baku, Moscow, 
Yekaterinburg and Tallinn.  I don't think I have the exact dates, but 
he's got a few more stops to make before he comes back.

          Q    He went to Moscow first.

          MR. BOUCHER:  He went to Moscow first.

          Q    From Bonn.

          MR. BOUCHER:  That's right.

          Q    With General McCaffrey.

          MR. BOUCHER:  That's right.  I don't know if General 
McCaffrey's still with him or not.

          Q    Did any of the Ukrainian high-level officials ever see 

          MR. BOUCHER:  My understanding is he met with senior leaders 
of the Ukrainian Government, including President Kravchuk, the Deputy 
Prime Minister, the Deputy Foreign Minister and parliamentary leaders.

          Q    When is he due back?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have the exact date.  I'll get it for 

          Q    As long as we're asking schedule information, is the 
Secretary of State going to New York on Wednesday to meet with Boutros-

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, the Secretary's been looking for an 
opportunity to go over a number of issues with the Secretary General of 
the United Nations.  But at this point whether that takes place in 
person and whether it occurs this week are both not firmly set.

          Q    You know the U.N. announced it today at their mid-day 

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I didn't.

          Q    No.  Well, they did.  (Laughter)  So --

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'll see.  As soon as something is set from our 
side, we'll give you something definitive.

          Q    Perhaps a fast-moving organization can be matched by the 
U.S. Government.

          MR. BOUCHER:  As I said, it's not certain that it will take 
place this week.

          Q    Any other travel plans for the Secretary?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Not at this point, Sid.

          Q    Richard, do you have anything on the diplomatic 
activities taking place to forge a united front or united position 
concerning the Bosnia situation?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.  We've continued to discuss the Bosnia 
question with friends and allies in a variety of ways, both here in 
Washington, at the U.N., and in capitals.  The Secretary himself over 
the weekend spoke with Foreign Secretary Hurd, with Foreign Minister 
Juppe, with Foreign Minister Kozyrev, with Belgian Foreign Minister 
Claes and with Danish Foreign Minister Petersen.

          We continue to discuss with our allies further steps that we 
can take together.  We're watching very carefully what's going on on the 
ground, both in terms of the respect for the cease-fire and in terms of 
the cut-off that the Serbian leadership, President Milosevic, announced, 
cutting off the supplies to Bosnian Serbs.

          As you know, some in Europe have said they want to await the 
outcome of the referendum among Bosnian Serbs.  And you know as well 
that we don't place any particular legitimacy on that referendum, but 
certainly the Europeans' desire to see the outcome has to be taken into 
account in our calculations.

          So we are continuing our consultations.  We're continuing our 
efforts to define the further steps that the international community can 
take together.

          Q    So, Richard, European allies' hesitancy to go forward 
with discussions on military action, where we are agreeing to abide by 
that until the referendum -- we are backing off -- we are not going to 
continue with action over the next seven days.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Sid, I guess what I would say is we certainly 
don't want to see this time wasted, and we're continuing our discussions 
with our European allies.  But, as you note, their desire to see the 
outcome of the referendum will indeed affect our ability to finalize the 
decisions on further steps or they may indeed affect our ability to 
finalize the further steps.

          During the Secretary's trip, there was clear agreement on the 
need for stronger measures should the Bosnian Serb side reject any 
prospects of reaching peace under the Vance-Owen plan or reaching a 
negotiated settlement.  We've been consulting on just exactly what steps 
we should take, what steps we can take, in concert with our allies.  So 
we're continuing those consultations.

          Q    But certainly in marked contrast to the mood on the 
aircraft on the way home from Europe last week, where it was anticipated 
-- and, in fact, a senior Administration official said that it was most 
likely that some sort of very definitive action, either going to the 
U.N. or whatever, would happen in the next few days.  And now there's 
this radical mood swing on the part of the Administration.  Is that 
because the Europeans have just resisted mightily over the weekend, or 
what's happened here?

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, as I said, the Europeans, you know, do 
have this referendum in mind.  And while we certainly continue to press, 
we continue to want to move forward to decisions on just what exactly 
the steps are that we could take together, we do indeed want to take 
these actions in concert with our allies.  They have agreed on further 
measures.  Should the Bosnian Serbs reject the prospect of reaching a 
negotiated settlement, then we will continue to pursue this.

          Q    They've agreed on further measures or the need for 
further measures?

          MR. BOUCHER:  They've agreed on the need for further measures, 
and we have to define just what those measures should be.

          Q    Since you're watching it so closely, what is your 
assessment at the moment of the Belgrade Serb cut-off of the Bosnian 
Serb supply line?

          MR. BOUCHER:  O.K.  Let's see what we know there.  As you 
know, President Milosevic, the Serbian President, has said that the 
border between Serbia and Bosnia will be closed.  The results at this 
point are mixed.  We understand yesterday that an official of the 
Bosnian Serb government apparently was able to enter Serbia after some 
delay at the border.

          The responsibility for ensuring that there is no transit of 
goods across this border, no support for the Bosnian Serb side, lies 
with the Serbian leadership and lies with Milosevic.

          Ambassador Bartholomew talked to President Milosevic, I think 
it was on Friday, to make clear our view that this responsibility lies 
in President Milosevic's hands, and that we expect to see it carried 
out.  So I don't have a definitive judgment at this point, Ralph.

          Q    I apologize, but who did Bartholomew speak with on Friday 
about that?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Milosevic.

          Q    With Milosevic.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Right.

          Q    There must be some read on the traffic across the bridges 
or something.  I mean, that's fairly observable activity.

          MR. BOUCHER:  As I said, we don't have a definitive read one 
way or the other.  There are some reports of things being held up.  
There are other -- and slower traffic.  There are other indications of 
some people who were -- who they originally said would not be allowed to 
cross have indeed crossed, so there's no judgment --

          Q    People.  You mentioned just this one official.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.

          Q    That's one person, but what about goods?  Are those --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Again, at this point I really don't have a 
definitive read on it.

          Q    Would it help if there were independent international 
observers allowed at that boundary to observe the crossing situation?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Certainly it would, and I think you've seen the 
European Community came out today with a statement or decision to try to 
do that; and that's certainly something that could be useful.

          Q    Did Ambassador Bartholomew talk with President Milosevic 
about that?  Did he urge Milosevic to allow observers to be deployed 
along that border?

          MR. BOUCHER:  They talked on Friday, so it was before the EC 

          Q    Well, but is it the U.S. view that those observers would 
be a good idea, and did the U.S. convey that view to Milosevic on 

          MR. BOUCHER:  Let me double-check and see if I can get that 
for you.

          Q    Richard, what's the purpose of the Secretary's trip to 
the Hill this afternoon?

          MR. BOUCHER:  He's going up to meet with members of the 
Senate, and I can't remember if it's the House as well, but to discuss 

          Q    He's meeting with the Intelligence Committee, isn't he?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Let me double-check.  I didn't bring my 
schedule.  I don't think they identified who it is.

          Q    Is it a report on his trip or looking forward to further 

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I think any conversation at this point 
would involve both.

          Q    Richard, back on the sequencing of this referendum that's 
suddenly holding things up.  Thursday morning in Brussels, Secretary 
Christopher says the thing has no legitimacy -- the referendum.

          MR. BOUCHER:  That continues to be our view.

          Q    And then he has rounds of meetings there, and then he 
goes on to Bonn, and he has rounds of meetings there; he talks by phone 
with the French Foreign Minister, and then on Thursday night we talked 
to a senior official who says, "We're close to closure."  And then, all 
of a sudden, people come back here over the weekend and this referendum 
-- which everybody in the State Department was aware of when this senior 
official was saying we're close to closure -- is now all of a sudden a 
milestone that has to be passed before you can get to any further 
action.  And I just don't quite understand the sequence.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, David, without trying to comment on senior 
officials, I think the point I'm making today is we want to continue to 
press forward, and we have indeed continued our consultations with 
allies, knowing the views that they all expressed during the course of 
last week, their understanding and indeed agreement that should the 
Bosnian Serbs reject a negotiated settlement that stronger measures were 
indeed required.  We have been trying to move with them towards 
agreement on the stronger -- on the further steps that we can take 

          We have made very clear all along that we think that this 
policy -- these steps have to be multilateral ones, and that's what 
we're trying to reach closure on -- an understanding with our allies.

          Now, as a practical matter, they are making clear in our 
consultations that some of them wish to await the results of this 
referendum before they reach closure with us, before they agree with us 
on the specific further steps that we can take. So we've set up the 
situation, but as a practical matter it appears that they will want to 
await the results of the referendum before we can agree on final steps.

          Q    But that was all on the table Thursday night. What 
happened to change things?  I mean --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, we've had further -- I think I've 
recounted to you that we've had a number of discussions since Thursday.  
We've continued our consultations with the allies. We've continued to 
try to move forward.  But at this point, I think, given that some of 
them want to await the results of the referendum, I can't predict 
exactly when we might be able to reach agreement with them.

          Q    So you met new resistance that you had not met before?  
That's what you appear to be saying.  In the course of these 
consultations over the weekend, there was a new wave of resistance by 
the allies to moving forward?

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, again, I think -- you know, I've tried to 
characterize the situation for you as we stand today in a fairly upfront 
and honest fashion.  We stand today with the United States trying to 
continue our discussions -- or continuing our discussions with other 
governments, but with the full knowledge that some of those governments 
want to wait until after the referendum.

          Q    So you didn't answer my question.  Over the weekend did 
you encounter a new wave of unhappiness on the part of the allies about 
the direction that things have been going? That's apparent.

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think I want to try to characterize the 
views of our allies.  This is something that we've continued to raise 
and will continue to raise in our consultations.

          Q    But your feeling is that there's something internal 
within the U.S. Government here other than the allies' feelings about 
the referendum, since the allies' feelings about the referendum could 
have been expressed before this weekend, and I'm sure were.

          Yet you hear the sound of brakes going on all over town on 
this thing.  Has something changed about the U.S. Government's attitude 
toward these stronger steps, including military action?

          MR. BOUCHER:  David, I think the best I can do for you on that 
is to describe the U.S. Government's attitude, which I think you'll find 
remarkably similar to our attitude before.  We believe that with the 
Bosnian Serbs rejecting -- with the Bosnian Serbs rejecting the 
prospects for a negotiated solution, rejecting the Vance-Owen plan, that 
further steps are required; that stronger measures are necessary.

          Q    Including military action?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Including military action.  We have discussed 
possible steps with our allies.  We are looking to reach agreement with 
our allies on the steps that we can take together.  We've made clear all 
along that we want to take these steps together.  That is the 
environment that we're operating in, and part of that environment at 
this point is the allies' desire -- the desire on the part of some of 
our allies to await the results of the referendum.

          Q    Richard, might this breather have something to do with 
the President's meeting on Saturday with the Secretary of State?  Having 
heard a report from the Secretary, perhaps the President decided that a 
breather was in order?

          MR. BOUCHER:  You'll have to ask the White House about the 
President's decisions.  But, yes, there was a meeting Saturday to review 
where we are.  There were a number of further consultations with allies, 
and these will continue.

          Q    Can you tell us whether as a result of that meeting it 
was decided -- I know you aren't going to say whether the President 
decided or not, but as a result -- that was one of the events you didn't 
mention in your summary of the Secretary's consultations over the 
weekend.  Is it possible that --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I'll leave it to the White House to 
mention those sorts of meetings which you're all familiar with.

          Q    Is it possible that after the consultation with the 
President, it was decided by the U.S. Government that there was no point 
in pushing -- pressing harder or pressing forward until after the 

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, Ralph, I guess what I'd point out to you 
is the Secretary, as I described it, made a number of phone calls over 
the weekend.  They were all made, as far as I know, after the meeting 
with the President.

          Q    And is there any -- they were all made after the meeting 
with the President.  Is there any relationship of this attitude today 
versus the attitude last week?  Is there any relationship to that and 
the President's decision, apparent decision and an announced decision to 
"refocus" his attentions on U.S. domestic matters?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I hadn't seen that announcement, Ralph, but I 
would just say that, you know, we've laid out what the policy is.  The 
Secretary pursued this last week.  The Secretary pursued this over the 
weekend, and we'll continue to pursue it.

          Q    Well, just to go back a little bit in history one more 
time.  The Secretary said while standing in front of NATO that what 
happened -- the rejection by the Bosnian Serb parliament -- would cause 
the United States to refocus its energy, intensify its efforts to bring 
about the policy which the President has not yet announced, but which 
would bring further pressure on the Bosnian Serbs.  So that statement is 
now null and void?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I wouldn't say that statement's null and 
void, John.  Last week you saw the Secretary talk to over half of the 
NATO Foreign Ministers last week.  Over the weekend he talked to many of 
them again -- four, five or six of them. We've continued our discussions 
with other governments.

          As I said, we're directing our focus at trying to reach 
closure with these other governments on steps that we can take together, 
on specific steps that we can take together.  As a practical matter, the 
environment that we're operating in involves the desire on the part of 
some of the Europeans to await the results of the referendum.

          Q    Well, Richard, does the Secretary still feel that the 
results of the Serb parliament decision are going to bring about a 
dramatic shift in opinion in Europe, as he said last week?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I guess, John, you know -- certainly the 
understanding with other governments that stronger measures are 
necessary has been -- was made clear by the trip last week.  The 
decisions on exactly what steps we can take have not been taken, because 
we're still in discussions with our allies.  We want to do this 

          I guess at this point it's clear that awaiting the results of 
the referendum is in one way a desire on the part of our allies to await 
a determination on the final rejection of that.  We think that the 
rejection of the political process, the rejection of the negotiated 
process, indeed should and will, when that determination is made, lead 
to a different change in the climate.

          Q    Would you agree that a decision to put off a decision is 
hardly a dramatic shift in opinion?

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, I think I would tend to agree that at this 
point it seems that those who want to wait for the referendum have not 
made the determination that the Bosnian Serbs have indeed rejected the 
negotiating track.  We think that that rejection to us at least is 
clear; that that determination can and should be made at this point.

          We understand that they want to wait, I guess, to make that 
determination until after they see the results of the referendum.  But 
it was clear in the consultations we had last week and in the statements 
we made last week that the other governments to which we talked were 
clear in their understanding that should the Bosnian Serbs reject the 
negotiating track, that stronger measures would be necessary.

          Q    Just to follow up on Jack's question, at that same stake-
out, the Secretary also said that since Karadzic had conditioned his 
signature to the Vance-Owen plan with acceptance of it by the 
parliament, legally speaking the initial signature was now no good.

          Therefore, can the United States -- based on that statement, 
can the United States accept the results of this referendum, even if 
they are positive, as being binding on any of the parties?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We don't see those results as legitimate.  We 
don't see that referendum as legitimate in a whole variety of ways.  We 
have made clear our view, as the Secretary did last week, that that 
referendum has no legitimacy; that the outcome in the Bosnian Serb 
parliament made null and void the signature on the Athens documents, and 
that remains our view.  As I said very frankly to you earlier, that does 
not appear to be the view of some of our friends and allies.

          Q    And we may be forced to bless something that we think is 
not a binding document, because of --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Sid, it's not really for us a question of 
legalisms, as much as it is a question of the actual circumstances on 
the ground.  If the Serbs stop the aggression, if the Serbs stop the 
shelling, if the Serbian Government does indeed cut off supplies to the 
Bosnian Serbs, then we would expect to see a change in the situation.  
That, in the end, is what this is all about.

          Q    Richard, what kind of message do you suppose the 
Administration's current vacillation sends to the Bosnian Serbs?  Would 
you think they would be shaking in their boots and more likely to want 
to end this war when they watch the vacillation of the allies and the 
U.S. Government on this issue?

          MR. BOUCHER:  First of all, John, I can't agree with your use 
of -- your characterization of our situation right now.  It is clear 
from the Secretary's consultations last week that the allies agreed with 
us that should the Bosnian Serbs reject a peaceful course, that stronger 
measures would be necessary and indeed would be taken.

          We have not yet agreed on precisely what measures those should 
be, but that is something that emerged from the consultations as being 
clear.  It is clear that we in the international community expect the 
Serbian leadership to live up to its pledges of cutting off support for 
the Bosnian Serbs, and it is clear from the position of the 
international community that we expect the cease-fire to be respected.

          We're watching very carefully all those things, and we are 
indeed continuing our discussions with allies.

          Q    Richard, on that cease-fire document, some of the reports 
in the last 24 hours say that new fighting, which has broken out in 
parts, involves the Croats.  Do you now think that it was a mistake not 
to have included Croatia in the cease-fire agreement?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Jim, as you point out, my understanding is the 
cease-fire is one between the Bosnian Government and the Bosnian Serbs.  
That cease-fire appears to be holding.  Sarajevo was relatively quiet 
last night.  There was only sporadic small arms fire reported and little 

          The Bosnian Serbs reportedly did attack Doboj in northern 
Bosnia, Tuzla in northeastern Bosnia, Gorazde in eastern Bosnia, and the 
area around Bihac in northwestern Bosnia on Sunday.  There are no 
reports that these attacks are continuing today.  So, therefore, today 
we conclude that it generally appears to be holding.

          Now, the fighting between the Bosnian Croat and the Bosnian 
Government forces in Mostar started on Sunday morning and continues.  
There are strong indications that ethnic cleansing by the Bosnian Croats 
is taking place.  Bosnian President Izetbegovic has called upon Croatian 
President Tudjman to do what he can to stop the fighting.

          As you know, we've earlier expressed our concern about 
fighting between the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Government directly 
to President Tudjman.  We've urged him to exercise his influence with 
the Bosnian Croats to stop it.  We will continue to raise this issue 
with President Tudjman.  We're also in direct contact with Mr. Boban, 
the Bosnian Croat leader, about this situation.

          The United Nations is on the ground there working to try to 
bring this fighting to an end, and we certainly think it's important 
that they succeed in their efforts.

          Q    Well, is there any thought of expanding the existing 
sanctions which apply to Serbia and Bosnian Serbs to the Croats in light 
of these events?

          MR. BOUCHER:  At this point I haven't heard of any new 
proposals in front of the United Nations.

          Q    Richard, coming back for just a second to the Secretary's 
anticipated consultations with Boutros-Ghali, which I realize you aren't 
confirming at the moment, but you said, I think, that he has wanted to 
talk with Boutros-Ghali about a number of things for some time.

          Is it the State Department's position that the Secretary would 
meet with him on a wide variety of issues, or is this a consultation on 
Bosnia?  Is Bosnia the headline, and then other things fall under it?

          MR. BOUCHER:  You can decide what the headlines are, but 
there's a whole series of issues that have to do with the United Nations 
that the Secretary and the Secretary General would be expected to talk 
about when they next talk, whether it's in person or whether it's on the 
phone or whether it's this week or some other time:  Haiti, Somalia, the 
issue of peacekeeping, as well as Bosnia all come to mind.

          Q    The reason I ask is I was trying to get an idea. You've 
been pretty careful to outline what the Secretary has done in the last 
couple days, three/four days of consultations. Does he have plans for 
this week?  And, if so, can you be any more specific about other 
consultations he intends to pursue this week on the subject of Bosnia, 
either with the allies or with other members of the U.N., perhaps other 
parties around the world on this subject?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Ralph, we've been keeping in touch in a variety 
of ways, both at the Secretary's level, Ambassador Bartholomew, and 
through our embassies with other governments, and continue to discuss 
these issues.  So those consultations will continue.  I can't predict 
exactly what will take place at his level, what will be in the form of 
phone calls or messages.

          Q    But there isn't anything formal laid on at this point for 
him to either hold meetings or have phone conversations with anyone 
specific on this subject?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'd have to look back at his schedule to see if 
there are any specific meetings scheduled.

          Q    The reason I ask is that falls in the category with the 
Boutros-Ghali meeting of putting Bosnia in a bag with a lot of other 
things that need to be discussed at the moment, as distinct from the 
situation it was in last week when the Secretary was clearly devoting 
probably 95 percent of his time to that issue.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Ralph, it continues to be an important issue 
that's before us, that's before the international community, and we're 
continuing to work with other governments in a whole variety of ways.

          Q    The EC invited the U.S. and Russia to send troops to safe 
havens.  What is the U.S. --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Was that in the statement today?

          Q    Yes.

          Q    It was certainly in the wire stories.

          MR. BOUCHER:  I haven't seen those stories.  I don't have 
anything for you at this point.

          Q    Give us the U.S. position on sending troops to protect 
safe havens.

          MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, David, I don't think I want to go 
into any more detail on our views of any particular option.  As you 
know, we carried out some consultations last week with the Europeans on 
the direction that the President has set.  At this point, we haven't 
tried to get too detailed in the pros and cons of individual options.

          Q    Do safe havens -- does sending troops to protect safe 
havens fall within the blanket prohibition that the President has laid 
down against sending U.S. combat troops?

          MR. BOUCHER:  David, it's very enticing to try to apply those 
rules in specific situations, but I think I have to stay away from 
specific options at this point.

          Q    But has there been any change in that prohibition?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No.

          Q    What do you know about the situation in Zepa? Anything 
left there to protect?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I think we really don't have much more than the 
press reports at this point.  The city has apparently sustained serious 
damage.  There are some Muslim inhabitants that remain in the city.  I 
think we've seen press reports that put those at small numbers.

          The French and Ukrainian troops should arrive in Zepa today to 
begin implementing Security Council Resolution 824 in regard to that 
city.  So we may see more information from them fairly shortly.

          Q    Didn't the discussions over the weekend -- the Secretary 
spoke to Kozyrev.  Did the Russians -- you said the Europeans want to 
wait for the referendum.  Do the Russians feel the same way?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'll leave it to individual governments to 
characterize their views.

          Q    The Greek TV, MEGA, and the Greek daily newspaper, 
Kathimerimi, in Athens, reported over the weekend that the U.S. 
Government, in retaliation for the Lalas espionage case, is going to 
expel a number of Greek diplomats from the Greek Embassy here in 
Washington, D.C.

          Can you confirm this?  And as a matter of record, could you 
please, once again, clarify the U.S. position for any political 
implication of this matter at this stage in the relations between Greece 
and the United States of America?

          MR. BOUCHER:  As far as the U.S. position on this matter, I 
think that was characterized last week, and I won't bother repeating 

          As far as the question of whether we intend to expel any Greek 
diplomats, I'll check and see if there's anything I can say on that.

          Q    I don't recall the U.S. position being expressed. There 
were some comments made about his activities -- some limited comments -- 
and then there was a blanket refusal to comment on the case because of 
it being in judicial status, none of which has anything to do with the 
relationship between Greece and the United States.  I may have missed 
something, but is there --

          MR. BOUCHER:  I may have missed something, too, Ralph. I'll 
see if there's anything further we can say about it.

          Q    Maybe you can look and see whether there's anything to be 
said about the relationship between Greece and the U.S. following this 

          Q    Richard, could I ask about Haiti, please. Richard, 
Richard --

          Q    Can I just get my question in on the discussion with 
Kozyrev?  Can you tell us anything further about that?  Was it confined 
only to Bosnia issues?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't have anything further about that.

          Q    Assistant Secretary Winston Lord was announced to travel 
to East Asian countries -- Singapore, (inaudible), Japan, Thailand, 
Cambodia, and China where he will discuss non-proliferation matter, that 
presumably should have included North Korean nuclear matters.

          But in his long schedule, Seoul is dropped in the travel 
schedule.  So do you know why Seoul is dropped from his long travel 
schedule?  It seems quite natural that for discussing the North Korean 
matter, he should have stop in Seoul, Korea.

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know that Seoul was ever on the travel 
schedule.  I'll try to get you his schedule.  I would point out that 
Under Secretary Tarnoff was just in Seoul not too long ago.  So we've 
had very close contacts with our Korean allies on all these issues.

          I think he just arrived in Beijing and has meetings there 
starting tomorrow.

          Q    Do you have any developments concerning U.S.-North Korean 
high-level talks?  They have offered that kind of --

          MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, I have nothing new on the 
question of higher level discussions.  We are willing to meet with North 
Korea to help resolve the current situation that results from the 
actions that North Korea has taken in the nuclear area.  As you know, 
it's our intention to support the international community's call for 
North Korea to abide by their obligations.

          We've had a 33rd meeting of the political counselors in 
Beijing.  That meeting took place on May 10.

          Q    And just one more, please.  Do you have any discrepancy 
of policy attitude toward North Korea, between the Korean Government and 
the United States?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We coordinate very closely with our South Korean 
allies, and I'm not aware of any differences of opinion in that regard.

          Q    The other day the Korean Government announced that the 
United States and North Korea would have a high-level talk headed by 
Secretary Tarnoff, and you did not confirm that matter.  Did the Korean 
Government give some explanation for that matter to your government?

          MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, I just have to tell you that I 
really don't have anything further for you on any meetings.  There's no 
meeting that's been scheduled.  But, as I said, we're willing to have 
such a meeting.

          Q    There's a report that the United States and some allies 
are interested in going to the Security Council with a proposal for a 
500-member international police force for Haiti. Do you have anything?

          MR. BOUCHER:  George, at this point, there's nothing formal 
before the Security Council.  There's no resolution that's been 
introduced or much less passed.

          We see the U.N. and OAS presence in Haiti as having a positive 
role in promoting respect for human rights and deterring political 
violence.  At the U.N., a number of members have been consulting 
recently on ways to strengthen the international presence.  One of these 
options under discussion would entail the deployment of international 
police monitors. These police could be helpful in efforts to 
professionalize the Haitian police and would, by their presence, promote 
security and confidence.  This would reinforce and be helpful to any 
future political settlement.

          The deployment of international police monitors under U.N. 
auspices would require U.N. Security Council approval.  At this point, 
the size of the force is not set, or the size of the police monitors is 
not set.  This is an idea that we've been discussing with others that we 
would certainly support, although there's been no decision made about 
how the United States might participate.

          Q    Can you say (inaudible) to a U.N. resolution?

          MR. BOUCHER:  It would have to come through a U.N. resolution; 

          Q    We would support, including manpower?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We would support the deployment of international 
police monitors for the reasons that I gave you, but no decisions have 
been made about whether or how the United States might participate.

          Q    Is that "whether" or "how"?  Because earlier you just 
said on "how."

          MR. BOUCHER:  It's "whether or how."

          Q    Returning to Bosnia for one second:  Can one presume if 
there is a rejection by the plebiscite or the referendum by the Bosnian 
Serbs, that after next weekend the U.S. Government will come back to 
life again and start pushing in a public and intense way on the measures 
which the Secretary was pushing last week and which now have sort of 
been held in abeyance?  Is that the strategy?

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, I don't think you've characterized my 
remarks today quite accurately.  But, nonetheless --

          Q    Be that as it may.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Be that as it may, between us.  We continue to 
believe that rejection by the Bosnian Serbs of the negotiated path 
should, can, will indeed lead the international community to move 
forward on further steps.  There was agreement in the Secretary's 
consultations last week that a rejection like that would indeed cause 
the international community to agree on further steps.  We made some 
progress in discussing that during the course of last week's 

          At this point, we are still discussing what specific further 
steps can be taken.  Certainly we would expect that should others reach 
the same conclusion as we have, that that would galvanize the 
international community to further action. But it's something that we 
continue to pursue, that we will continue to discuss this week.

          As the Secretary -- I think we made clear during the course of 
our discussions last week, we don't wish to see this time wasted.  We 
don't wish just to wait for the referendum. Indeed, we don't see any 
purpose in waiting for a referendum that we see as illegitimate.

          We do want to move forward with this.  We do want to try to 
reach agreement with the allies on the specific steps we can take, and 
we'll continue those efforts.

          Q    Wait a minute.  You are wasting time, though.  By your 
own admission, until the referendum is history, you are forced into 
wasting time, aren't you?

          MR. BOUCHER:  As a practical matter, we do see a number of 
governments that want to await the results of the referendum.  That's 
the environment that we're operating under.

          Q    How can this time be used?  In what way could this time 
be used and not wasted?  Should the decisions be made before the 

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, as we've said before, Ralph, we think the 
decision should be made, indeed, without waiting for the referendum, and 
that's the course that we'll continue to pursue.

          Q    Is the U.S. taking any steps to make that happen, or 
calling a meeting, or anything like that?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We're continuing our discussions.  We continue 
discussions with allies in a whole variety of levels.

          Q    Richard, you said you haven't seen the EC statement 
today, so let me ask this question in terms of the way Europeans have 
put it, even before that.  Do you agree with the point that some 
Europeans have made, that the United States really would have moral and 
political authority in this matter if the United States had troops 
participating along with European troops on the ground?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Doyle, I think the United States, first of all, 
has some personnel on the ground; small numbers compared to the 
deployments that others have in UNPROFOR.  We have a role in virtually 
everything that's going on in Bosnia, whether it's delivering 
humanitarian supplies or enforcing the "no-fly" zone.  We've made clear 
that we're prepared to engage in the implementation of a Vance-Owen 
plan, including with military forces.  So I think the United States has 
made clear that it's willing to participate in these steps.

          Q    Richard, on another subject:  Has the State Department 
been informed that the Palestinians are going to cut back the size of 
their delegation to the Washington talks?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We've been in touch with the Palestinians and, 
of course, the other delegations involved in the talks.  I leave it to 
them to describe their delegations.  We understand that the meetings are 
still scheduled; that the Palestinian side is expected to meet with the 
Israelis this afternoon.

          Q    Would you find it objectionable if the Palestinians were 
to cut from 14 to, say, three?

          MR. BOUCHER:  That's what I would call a hypothetical, Jim.  
I'm not going to try to address that at this point.

          Q    Because that's what they've announced in Tunis.

          MR. BOUCHER:  The meetings are still scheduled this afternoon, 
and we certainly encourage the parties to continue to make progress.  
They've been discussing some of the difficult -- some of the core issues 
involved in these talks, and that's something we continue to encourage, 
promote, and hope they continue at.

          Q    On the plot to kill former President Bush:  Just about 
ten days ago, the Secretary indicated that he hadn't even heard of it or 
barely heard of it.  From the podium, there was expressed a need to 
investigate.  Where do things stand now?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The Secretary, I think at that point, didn't 
have any information other than what had appeared in press reports.  We 
got more information from the Kuwaiti authorities.  I think it was April 
27th.  We've been evaluating that information.  The investigation is 
ongoing.  The Secret Service and the FBI are working with the Kuwaiti 
authorities on the investigation, but the investigation is continuing.

          Q    The U.S. has strongly-held and expressed views on Iraq's 
role in terrorism and, in fact, just issued a report on terrorism only a 
few weeks ago -- a report issued after this incident took place, 

          What is the U.S. view of what the international community 
ought to do, or more directly, what the U.S. ought to do in light of 
such a plot being disclosed?

          MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, Ralph, since the investigation is 
continuing, I don't think it would be appropriate for me to speculate on 
what we might do depending on the conclusions that are reached.

          Obviously, we'll determine what the proper course of action is 
to take once the investigation is complete.

          Q    Is there some doubt -- is there any doubt in the U.S. 
Government's mind at this point, at this stage in the investigation, 
that there's a concrete attempt to assassinate President Bush?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Ralph, the investigation is ongoing.  It just 
wouldn't be appropriate for me to try to draw conclusions one way or the 
other at this point.

          Q    Well, you wouldn't have draw conclusions to go that far.  
Conclusions about who did it and who is responsible for it is one thing.  
The issue of whether one existed is something that you ought to be able 
to answer at this point.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Ralph, as you know, we have a very strong policy 
of not trying to interfere in any way in investigations or drawing any 
premature conclusions, and I just can't do that for you today.

          Q    What about the American held in Iraq?  Anything new on 
that case?

          MR. BOUCHER:  He is still being held in Iraq.  There have been 
really no new developments.

          We understand our Polish protecting power was to have seen him 
yesterday.  We're not sure if that took place.  They last saw him on May 

          Since his detention, we've made demarches to the Iraqis 
through the Poles, through our Mission to the United Nations, through 
the Iraqi Interests Section in Washington, all pressing for the release 
of Mr. Beaty immediately.

          We remain in touch with Iraqi authorities with the aim of 
getting him released.  The International Committee of the Red Cross has 
also requested that Mr. Beaty be released on humanitarian grounds, and 
we understand the appeal of his sentence for illegal entry is still 

          Q    Which leads me to ask, has the United States been in 
touch with the Government of Iraq concerning the plot to assassinate 
President Bush in any way?  Have you made any demarches on that score, 
discussed it at all?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Once again, Ralph, I think that's a matter that 
does involve something under ongoing investigation, and I really can't 
get into it at this point.

          Q    Well, you've said publicly that the Kuwaiti Government 
informed you about this matter on April 27.  Since April 27, has the 
U.S. Government talked with the Government of Iraq about the information 
it received from the Kuwaiti Government on April 27?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'll see if we can get you an answer on that.

          Q    Any development on the Cambodian situation?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Overall, I think I have a little bit of new 
information.  I think Joe Snyder, last week, went into some of the 
incidents that we're aware of.

          In the past week, there were a number of cease-fire violations 
and attacks on U.N. personnel in Cambodia.  Most recent was on May 7 
when a group of armed men attacked the U.N. Transition Authorities 
office in Kompong Speu Province.  The group fired mortars, rockets, and 
small arms towards the compound.  Four Bulgarian soldiers were injured, 
as were a Columbian U.N. civilian policeman and a Cambodian guard.  
During the attack a Filipino civilian policeman died of a heart attack.

          According to the U.N. Transition Authority, the Khmer Rouge 
were responsible for last week's attack near Angkor Wat. They're 
strongly believed to be responsible for a number of other attacks in the 
past week.  The U.N. is still investigating some of the other incidents, 
including the May 7 attacks.

          We condemn in the strongest possible terms these direct 
attacks by the Khmer Rouge against U.N. personnel.  There have also been 
a number of other incidents of political intimidation, including 
killings of party workers since the election campaign began on April 7.  
The Phnom Penh authorities appear to be responsible for many of these 
incidents.  We issued a statement on April 30 deploring these types of 
incidents and calling on all parties to take steps to punish any who 
engage in these illegal activities.

          Our policy remains the same.  We believe that elections can 
and should go forward.  The Secretary General has indicated the United 
Nations will move ahead with election as scheduled, and we continue to 
fully support the U.N.'s efforts to hold the elections.

          Q    And Japan is reported to consider a possible withdrawal 
from UNTAC command in Cambodia because of the recent violations of the 
Khmer Rouge.  Have you had any discussion of that matter with the 
Japanese Government?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We have been in touch with a number of 
governments on the issue.  We're aware, certainly, and regret the recent 
death of a Japanese civilian policeman, but we understand that Japan 
remains fully committed to supporting the effort in Cambodia.

          Q    So you do not expect any possible withdrawal -- Japanese 
withdrawal -- from the U.N. --

          MR. BOUCHER:  As I said, we understand the Japanese Government 
remains fully committed to supporting that effort.

          Q    One more little tidying up on the Iraq communications 
matter.  Lest the question be rewritten in such a way as to produce a 
very narrow answer, you provided extensive details on the channels for 
communication with the Iraqi Government and, in some cases, the number 
of communications on the issue of the U.S. citizen who is being held 
there.  I would like to know not only whether the U.S. has communicated 
with Iraq on the subject of the plot to assassinate a former U.S. 
President, but also through what channels and to what extent the effort 
has taken place?

          I realize you haven't promised an answer, but I'd like to 
phrase the --

          MR. BOUCHER:  If we can get you an answer, we'll try to get 
you those elements of detail as well.

          Q    Thank you.

          (Press briefing concluded at 1:23 p.m.)

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