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                                                      DPC #70

                  MONDAY, MAY 17, 1993, 12:39 P. M.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  One 
administrative announcement off the top.  Secretary Christopher will be 
appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee tomorrow morning at 
10:00 o'clock to testify in support of the Fiscal Year 1994 budget.

         The room is 2172 Rayburn House Office Building.  Because of 
this appearance, we will not have a regular press briefing tomorrow in 
this room.

         Q.   Richard, is the U.S. interested in a Foreign Ministers' 
meeting in New York as one way, perhaps, of trying to figure out what to 
do next in Bosnia?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Barry, I think what you've been hearing about is 
a ministerial on peacekeeping that was being discussed.  It was 
tentatively considered for this week in New York.  We fully support a 
properly prepared ministerial on peacekeeping, one that can build on the 
agenda for peace that the Secretary General has come out with.

         We're working with other Security Council members on a date for 
that meeting.  The Secretary has discussed this over the weekend with 
some of our friends and allies on the Security Council, but we do point 
out it's budget time in the United States.  Financial aspects of this 
peacekeeping matter are important.  This is a very big issue, but the 
money side of it is key, and we believe that we all have to be properly 
prepared for the meeting.  So we don't think that that meeting should be 
this week.

         Q.   All right. Let me try -- I'm sorry.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I would point out that a ministerial on 
peacekeeping is not contingent on developments in Bosnia, nor do we 
believe that action on Bosnia by the Security Council is contingent upon 
a peacekeeping ministerial.  The U.N. deals with Bosnia all the time.

         I believe the Secretary this morning told you that he was in 
touch and would be further in touch with various members, with various 
Europeans and allies, members of the Security Council.  That will 
continue.  At this point the only specific meeting that is scheduled is 
he expects to see Foreign Minister Juppe a week from today, on next 
Monday.  Whether he has other meetings, individual meetings with others, 
we'll see.

         Q    Where?  Here?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.

         Q    Well, listen, just quickly, when you said he talked to 
people on the Council, did he tell the Foreign Minister of Russia about 
your reservations about having this meeting at this point?

         MR. BOUCHER:  He's talked to a number of people, and we've been 
in communication with the other governments and the members of the 
Council about this big peacekeeping meeting which we support and which 
shouldn't be now.  He talked over the weekend, I think, to Foreign 
Secretary Hurd and to Foreign Minister Kozyrev about it.

         Q    Foreign Minister Kozyrev has published a schedule for his 
trip in which it says he's coming to New York.  Would the Secretary see 
the Russian Foreign Minister, regardless of whether it's related to a 
peacekeeping ministerial or --

         MR. BOUCHER:  Again, the Secretary said this morning that he 
would expect to be talking to his colleagues further, either by 
telephone or in person.  Depending on how people's travel plans work 
out, it's always possible that they might get together, yes.

         Q    Is it possible that the Ministers would all come to New 
York for a ministerial, and the United States would say, "Gee, we don't 
have our -- we haven't had our budget hearing yet," so the U.S. would 
sit out of that meeting?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think all the members of the Council -- in 
terms of the agenda for peace, the big peacekeeping meeting -- I think 
all the members of the Council would want to have us there.  I don't 
think that's a very likely scenario, Ralph.

         Q    It's unusual, to say the least, to have a permanent member 
of the Security Council call a meeting in which the other members of the 
Security Council -- or at least one major other member is disinclined to 
come.  That would certainly seem to show some kind of rift between 
Washington and Moscow, at least in communication, if not in intent and 

         MR. BOUCHER:  Terry, I didn't see Minister Kozyrev's call for a 
meeting.  This meeting of the Council on peacekeeping in general has 
been discussed for quite some time, frankly, and was tentatively 
scheduled for this week.  We are in touch with people and saying we 
think everybody has to be ready, including us, and it's not the time for 
us right now.

         But it doesn't certainly preclude the Council from taking 
action on Bosnia.  It doesn't preclude us from being in touch with other 
members of the Council on Bosnia.  It's just that this larger meeting to 
discuss the overall issues of peacekeeping we don't think it's time for 
it this week.

         Q    I think the Russian Ambassador to the U.N., Vorontsov, or 
the Russian Mission at least did put out word on Friday that this 
meeting was going to take place.  And again Kozyrev's schedule is he 
would come.

         MR. BOUCHER:  It has been tentatively scheduled for this week 
for quite some time, frankly.

         Q    Are we getting hung up on the question of what the nature 
of the meeting is?  Should we be --

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I think you may be.  I'm not trying to 
address -- I'm trying to address the big meeting on peacekeeping --

         Q    So let's ask you a different question then.  Is the 
Secretary of State prepared to go to New York for a meeting with other 
Foreign Ministers of the U.N. Security Council to discuss Bosnia or 
other issues on Friday?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, at this point, Ralph, there's nothing like 
that scheduled, and, if we don't have the meeting -- the big meeting on 
peacekeeping that people were thinking about, then I can't say that 
there would be other ministers in New York to meet on another subject.

         So the Secretary does expect to talk to Ministers.  He would 
expect to meet with them and talk to them by phone individually, and 
that's what we expect at this point.  I don't think there's anything 
else of a larger nature scheduled at this point.

         Q    Richard, can you tell us something more about the 
Secretary's conversation then with Mr. Kozyrev who's going to the region 
tomorrow, I believe, and he's going to continue to push for the Vance-
Owen plan.  What is the Secretary's feeling about this trip, and did 
that come up in the weekend discussion?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know if it specifically came up in those 
weekend discussions.  I know that we were aware in advance of Minister 
Kozyrev's plan to travel.  I don't know exactly how they told us or how 
we heard.  Obviously, the Russians, like other members of the 
international community, are making efforts to try to resolve this 
situation in Bosnia, and we think those efforts are important.  We 
understand he's going to be in Croatia tomorrow and Split, where he'll 
be meeting with President Tudjman and Bosnian President Izetbegovic.

         Q    Richard, can I follow on that?  In the U.S. view, is 
Vance-Owen still on the table, or is it dead?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Johanna, I think our view of this is it's not for 
us to make that determination.  It's really for the parties.  We've made 
very clear that there needs to be negotiating process.  There needs to 
be a negotiated solution to this -- to the fighting, to the conflict out 
there, and so there has to be a negotiating process.

         It's up to the parties to accept or reject or declare dead, or 
whatever they want, the process that we have now.

         Q    But the U.S. would have no objection if --

         Q    (Inaudible) -- if they declare it dead.

         Q    No, no, the allies would --

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  I think, John, our view is that the point is 
that what has been missing here is not a forum to negotiate.  There's a 
been a forum to negotiate, and there are probably other forums to 
negotiate.  What's been missing here is the willingness of the Bosnian 
Serbs to enter into good-faith negotiations and try to reach an 
acceptable political settlement with the other parties.

         So that's where our focus is, and that's where our focus is in 
the discussions that we're having with other governments right now -- to 
look at the situation and to decide on what next steps we can take, 
together with our allies, to stop the killing, to achieve a negotiated 
settlement, and to contain the conflict.

         Q    The United States would have no objection if the three 
parties decided, "Let's push Vance-Owen to the side and just carve up 
Bosnia in three pieces"?

         MR. BOUCHER:  You know, Johanna, that's a really hypothetical 
sort of situation.  I suppose there are all kinds of things, scenarios 
that you could play out in that way.  There does need to be a political 
settlement.  It needs to be a settlement that's consensual.  We've made 
that clear all along. It needs to be a settlement that the parties can 

         But, as I said, what's been missing from this process is not a 
forum to negotiate.  It's the willingness to negotiate in good faith by 
the Bosnian Serbs.

         Q    Let's try to zero in on the U.S. view of Vance-Owen, if we 
could.  Some months ago, the U.S. contributed Bartholomew as a mediator 
to help Vance and Owen.  So I guess one measurement would be whether the 
U.S. is attaching any weight to this process.

         Is the process continuing?  Will Bartholomew keep working with 
Vance and Owen?  Does the U.S. see any hope that this approach can bring 
about a settlement -- this specific one -- Vance and Owen, European 
Community and U.N. working together, dividing the country up into ethnic 
zones, if you want me to load it a little bit.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Not particularly.  Barry, Bartholomew's still on 
the job.  He's still in touch with the parties.  He's still in touch 
with other allies about how to move forward, how to achieve a negotiated 

         Owen and Stoltenberg are still working, still having meetings.  
I think our point, though, is not the forum to negotiate.  The point is 
the willingness of the parties to achieve a settlement, and what we've 
seen so far through the Vance-Owen negotiations that have been held is 
that the Bosnian Serbs have not negotiated in good faith.  And that's 
what needs to take place, and that's what's the focus of our efforts at 
this point.

         There is a forum to negotiate.  There may be other forums where 
the parties could achieve an agreement.  But the negotiation, the 
settlement that ultimately has to take place, has to be a consensual 
one, and, therefore, there has to be a process for achieving it.

         Q    There is a piece of paper and there is a map and it's 
signed on by two of the three parties.  The President at his press 
conference last Friday took as one of the accomplishments of his policy 
so far was to get the Bosnian Government to sign on to a Vance-Owen 
agreement, as opposed to the Vance-Owen process.

         Now, you're suggesting, though, that the Vance-Owen agreement 
depends on what the parties themselves think of it, not what the U.S. 
thinks of it.  But, obviously, the President has thought well enough of 
it to make that one of his accomplishments in getting the government to 
sign on.

         So go back to the question again:  Where does this piece of 
paper -- pieces of paper stand at this point in the U.S. view?  Is this 
what should be the basis of a settlement?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Terry, once again, the President indeed did say 
that we have achieved some measure of progress by getting to a point 
where two of the parties can agree on a solution.  What I'm pointing out 
here today is what's missing is the third party, is the Bosnian Serbs 
willingness to negotiate in good faith; and that has to be a focus of 
our energy at this point.

         The agreement that has to be reached has to be one that's 
acceptable to all the parties.  It's one that we have made efforts to 
try to get the third party to accept, and we'll continue, as I said, to 
try to get that party, the Bosnian Serbs, to a position where they're 
willing to accept a negotiated solution.

         So the solution is what the parties can agree to, and what the 
parties can agree to is what they're willing to negotiate.  And at this 
point I can't say that one of the parties has been negotiating in good 

         Q    So, Richard, it would be fair to say, then, the 
Administration would accept any agreement that all three parties could 
agree to?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think it's always been our position that the 
negotiated solution has to be one that's acceptable to all the parties.

         Q    So what those three parties can agree to we would be 
willing to bless?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think that's always been an element of what 
we've been saying.  That doesn't mean that we want to throw out 
everything, or that we want to completely try to find some new wholesale 
solution.  I mean, there have been other proposals that you've seen from 
the Bosnian Serbs of having other negotiators, of having other fora, of 
having some sort of new direct talks.  So that's just so far proven 
that's not been acceptable to the other parties who have, indeed, agreed 
so far.  John.

         Q    Richard, one of the things that's been discussed among the 
allies is taking elements of the Vance-Owen plan which might be do-able 
right now and trying to put them into effect.  One of those elements is 
possibly trying to expand the safe havens, push them outward.  Does the 
United States have an opinion on that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I can't give you anything definitive at this 
point.  Obviously, we're still looking at various options. I think the 
Secretary said today, again this morning, that there are various 
options, all options are still on the table, including the ones that we 
proposed to the Europeans. They have some ideas of their own.  
Obviously, we're looking at those sorts of ideas, but at this point 
there are high-level decisions, high-level meetings that have to occur 
for us to go forward on this, and we're continuing to discuss with our 
allies what the next steps should be.

         Q    But in principle, would the United States be willing to 
consider the Vance-Owen plan as still alive and perhaps do-able in 

         MR. BOUCHER:  John, I know that that idea has been floated.  I 
just can't come down on one side or the other of any particular option 
at this point.

         Q    Richard, can you say what the policy is of the United 
States, not with respect to Vance-Owen, but with respect to what Vance-
Owen sought to achieve, and that is something that now the Bosnian Serbs 
and even the Croats are suggesting is not possible, and that is a 
Bosnian state.  And there are some people in this country, as you know, 
who suggest that a Bosnian state is artificial, and therefore the United 
States should not try to manufacture one, as it were, with this policy.

         I wonder whether you can make a clear statement as to whether 
it's the policy of the United States to see that a Bosnian state grows 
out of this, or is that, too, up to the parties?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, we have always been opposed to the 
acquisition of territory by force.  We've always been opposed to 
changing of borders by force.  We have always supported a Bosnian state.  
We have always -- you know, we've named an Ambassador, and I think he's 
just recently been confirmed.  So, yes, we support a Bosnian state; we 
always have.

         Q    But as part of the policy, the basic policy, whether it's 
Vance-Owen or some other vehicle, that the United States is committed to 
the survival of the Bosnian state as delineated at the borders, which 
were delineated at least overall by Vance-Owen.

         MR. BOUCHER:  As you know, we've always been against changing 
of borders by force, and we've always supported a Bosnian state.

         Q    Richard, what's the American reaction to a proposal 
circulated by France at the U.N. that lays out several options for 
beefing up the safe areas that were designated by the Security Council?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Once again, Mark, as with the specific questions 
about incremental implementation, I can't come down for you today on one 
or another specific step to go next.  We are in discussion with our 
allies.  We are trying to define specific steps that we can take 
together.  The Secretary said this morning this is a new opportunity for 
us to look at this again with our allies.  All the options are still on 
the table, including the ones that we proposed during the Secretary's 
trip to Europe, and we'll be going through that process and obviously 
making the decisions that we have to make and then going forward with 
our allies.

         Q    Richard, you said that the focus of U.S. attention now 
should be on the party that is refusing to negotiate in good faith.  
What is the United States doing about that aspect of the problem, as 
distinct from the one about the broader peace process, and so on?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The United States, as you know, has supported the 
idea of putting monitors on borders, on the Bosnian-Serb border, to make 
sure that the cut-off announced by Milosevic becomes effective.  Results 
on that are still mixed.  We still have the same pattern that we've seen 
last week of some places where there appear to be delays and closings, 
and others where supplies and vehicles are still getting through.

         And we have -- the U.N. has been working on the ground, 
obviously, to try to stop the fighting and try to protect areas that are 
affected by the fighting, and that's going on both with regard to the 
attacks by the Serbs and the attacks by the Croatians in recent days.

         So, yes, the focus is on the Bosnian Serbs and on the goals 
that we've enunciated before, and that's stopping the killing, achieving 
a settlement, and containing the conflict.

         Q    Ambassador Stoltenberg asked the United States last week 
to consider, along with Russia, contributing border monitors to that 
operation.  Has the U.S. made any decisions on that aspect of the 

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think I'd seen that from Stoltenberg.  As 
far as I know, what the President said on Friday is still true, and 
that's we hadn't seen the suggestion that we be part of that.  That was 
going to be UNPROFOR.

         Q    And the U.S. isn't volunteering?

         MR. BOUCHER:  At this point I haven't seen the suggestion that 
we be part of that.

         Q    Richard, did the conduct of the referendum fulfill your 

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think it did, Jim.  It's no surprise that all 
the indications are that the Serbs are voting overwhelmingly against -- 
the Bosnian Serbs against the Vance-Owen agreement.  Apparently there 
was one official -- one precinct that reported official results that 
were 99 percent against.

         We don't give credence to this referendum.  In our eyes, it has 
no legitimacy, for the reasons the Secretary has explained before.  The 
results we're seeing are no surprise. Bosnian Serbs in the past have 
repeatedly rejected the agreement.

         Q    Richard, it's now been a week since the United States was 
forced to slam on the brakes after the Secretary's trip to Europe, where 
he campaigned country to country trying to drum up support.

         It now sounds as though after waiting this week, which the 
allies wanted, that the United States is basically not necessarily 
vowing to work that much harder but just vowing to have another round of 
phone conversations.  There's no particular language of resolve on the 
part of the United States here.  It's just sort of going along with the 
status quo.

         MR. BOUCHER:  John, as I said, there's still high-level 
discussions going on within the United States Government, but there are 
also high-level discussions and consultations going on with our allies.  
The Secretary told you this morning that we will be working with our 
allies to concert our position; that there are new opportunities with 
regard to the attitude of Milosevic with respect to the border, and new 
opportunities that arise now that the matter of the Bosnian Serb 
rejection has been clarified.

         So we will be looking to find a consensus with our allies, and 
we'll be in touch with them.

         Q    But out of his mouth and out of your mouth, there are no 
longer words like "including military force."  I know you said and he 
said it's still on the table, but it's certainly not language which is 
volunteered by either you or the Secretary anymore.  Why is that?  Why 
not say that that's what you stand for anymore?

         MR. BOUCHER:  John, when we say, "All the options are still on 
the table," as he and I have both volunteered today, I think that makes 
very clear that options, including military force, are still on the 
table.  And, obviously, if our focus is on the Bosnian Serbs in getting 
them to reach a negotiated settlement in good faith, that you have to 
consider a whole variety of options that might help achieve that.

         The important thing is that we want to act in concert with our 
allies.  We've made that clear before, and that just today, at this 
moment, the point we're at, is discussing within the U.S. Government and 
consulting with our allies about what the next steps are that we can 

         Q    Richard, the Secretary, or somebody who looked very much 
like him, said at the end of the trip that he hoped to come to closure 
on a consensus.

         I'm going to try real hard to get the State Department's true 
opinion of Kozyrev's trip.  Can you do anything until Kozyrev comes 
back?  Doesn't this delay closure for a week, at least?  Is he helping 
you by going out there?

         MR. BOUCHER:  (A) I don't know that Kozyrev is out there for a 
week, first of all.  Second of all, my understanding is he has a meeting 
with Tudjman and Izetbegovic tomorrow in Split.

         Obviously, any efforts that can help to resolve the conflict 
are useful.  But the fact that he's traveling doesn't prevent us from 
being in touch with them; the fact that he's traveling doesn't prevent 
us from talking to him and to other friends and allies about the 
situation there.

         Q    Richard, back on the border monitors.  Where does that 
resolution stand?  You hear monitors, you hear observers, the President 
seemed to talk about forces.  What is the plan?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The plan is being discussed up in New York.  
There's another Perm Four -- the U.S., U.K., France, and Russia* -- 
meeting today on the border monitors resolution.  The exact words, 
"monitors," "observers," and staffing will be set in the resolution.  
But our understanding is it would be monitors on the borders and that 
they would be drawn from UNPROFOR.  (* Correction:  Perm Four plus 

         Q    And you expect this resolution to pass when?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have a precise time frame for it.

         Q    Is there a number of monitors that would be included?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That, too, has to be discussed in the context of 
preparing the resolution.

         Q    And what are they monitoring?

         MR. BOUCHER:  They're monitoring to see whether Mr. Milosevic 
is willing to make good on his word; whether he's willing to, indeed, 
cut off the supplies that he's promised to cut off.

         Q    Whose side of the border would they be on?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Once again, Tim, the exact deployments, I can't 
specify at this point.


Correction:  Perm Four plus Spain.

         Q    I'm just curious why Perm Four and not five?  Why would 
the Chinese not be there?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Perhaps the people most interested in the 
resolution are discussing it.

         Q    Richard, does that suggest that you just take the 
abstention for granted and don't even include them in the meetings?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Johanna, there are a lot of different discussions 
at the U.N. and different groups -- different groups of people get 
together and discuss them.

         I think if you look back at the history of what we've done on 
Bosnia, the countries that have been most active and most concerned are 
included among those four.

         Q    Richard, you said traffic seemed to be getting through.  
Does State know in any way if weapons are getting through?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I can't at this point go into any detail.

         Q    Richard, will there be U.S. monitors?  You kind of dropped 
your voice at the end of who's going to be among the monitors.  Will 
there be some U.S. forces there?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The plan, as I understand it -- and I think I 
just explained -- was to have UNPROFOR monitor it.  I had not seen any 
suggestions that the U.S. be a part of it.

         Q    Are discussions being expanded to include the possibility 
of monitors along the Croatian-Bosnian border?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The meeting is supposed to be taking place right 
now, Mark.  I have no idea if it's gotten to other things like that.

         Q    Richard, if the Secretary to speaks to any Foreign 
Minister today, could we be told at the end of the day -- before the end 
of the day -- if his list -- he's busy on the phone.  We know the 
weekend folks, but we don't know the Monday people, do we?

         MR. BOUCHER:  If he talks to any further Foreign Ministers, 
I'll be glad to try to get that information for you.

         Q    How would the monitors work, Richard?  Would they have to 
be invited in some separate way since they, technically speaking, I 
guess, wouldn't be in Bosnia, not if they were going to -- well, I don't 

         MR. BOUCHER:  It depends on the permutations.  I'm not sure 
Milosevic, despite the fact that he announced that he was doing this, 
has been willing at this point to accept the concept that there should 
be people there who would see whether he's actually doing what he 
promised to do.  So that obviously becomes a factor in terms of trying 
to deploy on the Serbian side.

         Q    In the Secretary's phone call with Kozyrev, did they 
discuss seeing one another at the end of this week, either in New York 
or in Washington?  Or did they avoid even getting into that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Terry, I'm afraid I wasn't there for the 
conversation on Saturday.  They discussed both the issue of the 
peacekeeping meeting -- the U.N. peacekeeping meeting -- and the 
Secretary told him what our views were of that.  They also discussed the 
situation in Bosnia at that point.  Whether they discussed any specifics 
about getting together, I don't know. We're obviously in touch with the 
Russians.  Depending on Mr. Kozyrev's travel, it's obviously possible 
they might see each other soon.

         Q    It seems like a rather obvious question and one that you 
really to know ahead of time in order to work out the Secretary's 
schedule since we know he's very busy; too busy to see the President of 
Macedonia, for instance.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Terry, they keep in close touch together.  They 
can talk on the phone.  If they have the possibility of seeing each 
other, I'm sure they'd be happy to see each other, as with others.

         Q    On the border monitors, still, you said the meeting today 
included only U.K., France and the United States. Russia isn't part of 

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  I said Russia was part of it.

         Q    On the border monitors also, when you said that Milosevic 
has been unwilling to accept the concept, did the Perm Four float the 
concept by him and he indicated he wasn't willing to accept it?  Or are 
we just assuming that he's not willing to accept it?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know who exactly has talked to him, so I 
just don't know exactly who floated it.  But the understanding that we 
have is that he has not yet --

         Q    So it was floated?

         MR. BOUCHER:  It was.  It was floated.  I just can't remember 
by whom.

         Q    He said "no," or what?

         Q    Does he have to accept it in order for the U.N. to go 
ahead with this resolution and deployment of the forces?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The Council will have to decide, basically, what 
they want to do in this respect.

         Q    A question was asked of the Secretary and it wasn't quite 
answered.  Is the United States now sort of leaving it to the Europeans 
and to the Russians to see if they can work out something that the 
United States has, until now, been unable to work out -- this consensus?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think that -- I think the question did 
arise and the Secretary did answer it.  He said we will be working to 
try to concert our positions with the allies.  He said that our ideas 
were still on the table along with other ideas.  He noted that the 
Europeans had particular ideas on the subject about the way they would 
like to go forward, and obviously we'll be discussing those with them.  
So we're talking to each other.

         I'm not sure it's a matter of us leaving it to them or them 
leaving it to us.

         Q    But last week began with the United States sort of leading 
the way towards trying to establish a consensus by taking a couple of 
suggestions to the Europeans.  That, having apparently failed, it now 
seems to me that the United States is now leaving it to the Europeans to 
decide what they are willing to do and go along with that sort of 
consultation; is that correct?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I wouldn't describe it that way, Saul. You've 
seen that we've been in touch with them.  We've picked up the phone and 
we've sent them messages.  We're still in close consultations with our 

         They made clear during the course of our consultations on the 
position of the President's direction; the position that we brought them 
was to make clear, during the course of our trip, that those options 
were not excluded, and they're not excluded at this time.  So those 
options are still on the table, so it's not a matter of passively 
sitting back and waiting to see what they'll do.

         Q    Even the President said --

         MR. BOUCHER:  It's a matter of being in touch, of consulting 
and looking for the kinds of steps that we can take together.  The 
Secretary has said that we will be looking for a strong consensus and he 
would be active in trying to get that.

         Q    The President said, if I may -- the President said the 
other day, even on the business of air power, that this was now what he 
was seeking, or at least what he was looking at, was standby authority, 
to use that in the event that nothing else worked, and that was a 
European offer, if I recall.

         MR. BOUCHER:  If I remember correctly, Saul, the other day the 
President described the option that Secretary Christopher had taken with 
him to Europe.

         Q    Are those still the things that we're trying to press on 
the Europeans?  Or are we simply suggesting, if you can't do that, then 
let's see what else we can do?  Is that what the attitude is?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think I've answered the question about four 
times, and it's obvious we're somewhere in between that. The Secretary 
said this morning that no decisions had been taken with respect to 
mounting a new campaign with the allies.  At the same time, we're 
certainly not passive.  Our ideas, we've put them in play.  We've gotten 
agreement by people that they're not excluded, and we're obviously 
interested in their ideas as well.

         We're at the point of trying to concert efforts with the allies 
and try to reach agreement on a strong consensus, a consensus with which 
we can go forward.

         Q    Richard, on today's meeting on the border monitors, does 
the United States take the position that these monitors ought to have 
some enforcement or interdiction capability or not?

         MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, we think that a monitoring 
presence should be able to be effective in monitoring the traffic and in 
seeing that Milosevic lives up to his word.

         At this point, we are working out the details to do that.  I'm 
not going to be able to go farther for you while this stuff is still 
being worked on.

         Q    Richard, I wasn't clear what you said about Milosevic's 
attitude.  You said "not sure he is willing to accept the concept."  
It's been floated by him and he's not reacted, or reacted negatively, or 
exactly what's happened?

         MR. BOUCHER:  David, let me check and see if I can get you a 
little more detail on who floated it and what his reaction was.  I think 
that's the best.

         Q    Is there any other resolution the U.S. is proposing at the 
U.N. Security Council on Bosnia at the moment?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Any other resolution at the moment?

         Q    Yes.  Does the U.S. have any ideas that are being proposed 
in form of resolutions at the U.N. Security Council right now?

         You're working on the one on monitoring.  Are there others?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Ralph, the one that's being discussed most 
actively right now is the one on monitoring.  There's always ideas up at 
the U.N. for other resolutions and things that are being discussed.  
You've seen various statements from the Council; you've seen a focus by 
the Council on Croatian fighting in recent days and within the last 
week.  We have a very active process up in the United Nations, and that 
process will continue.

         Q    Can you tell us a couple of things that the U.S. has 
pending now that are not passed --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know that the U.S. has any other 
particular resolutions on the table at this point, Ralph.  But that 
doesn't mean the Security Council can't act and can't act swiftly, and 
it doesn't mean that we're not actively working up at the United Nations 
on this whole process.


         Q    It's been reported that the Serbians are making it 
conditional that there be monitors placed also on the Bosnian-Croatian 
border to interdict any military supplies that might be coming in that 
way.  What is the U.S. position on this kind of quid pro quo?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I hadn't seen any suggestion like that. I think 
Mark asked about that kind of idea, at least.  I'll see if we have 
anything on that, Barrie.  I just don't know if the discussions in New 
York have gotten to that.

         Q    Just another thought:  I'm having a little trouble 
squaring the notion that the United States is still actively trying to 
work something up with its allies on this issue and the evident 
reluctance of the Secretary of State to participate in a full-blown 
Foreign Ministers' meeting.  And I'm wondering, is the United States 
reluctant to do this because it believes it would raise expectations?  
And given the track record of the past couple of weeks, probably nothing 
would be accomplished.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Barrie, the meeting that was being discussed for 
this week was not something that came over the past several weeks.  It's 
something that's been discussed for some time, and that's getting the 
members of the Council together at the Foreign Minister's level to 
discuss the overall issue of peacekeeping, to discuss the Secretary 
General's agenda for peace which came out, I think, about a year ago 
now.  That is the meeting that we said we thought needed to be fully 
prepared and we didn't think should be held this week.

         The Secretary is certainly not reluctant to be discussing 
Bosnia and the situation that we face now with his partners, with our 

         He made very clear this morning that he expected to be in touch 
with them by telephone, some of them in person.  He has a meeting 
scheduled with Alain Juppe, the Foreign Minister of France, for next 
Monday.  He may, indeed, be seeing other members of the Council or 
fellow Foreign Ministers in other ways.

         Q    Anything new on U.S.-North Korean contact?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Nothing new for you at this point.

         Q    Can you just tell us what the state of play is on this 
suggestion that U.S. troops might be sent to Macedonia? Have we talked 
with the Macedonian Government?  Are we still pursuing that in the U.N.?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not aware of anything new on that.

         Q    On Angola, Senator Simon said the U.S. might recognize the 
elected government this week.  Do you have anything on that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Nothing new on that either.  That's still 
something that's under review.

         Q    Where is he getting that from?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Connie, you can go ask him.  I don't know.  I 
don't keep tabs on who he talks to.

         Q    Do you have any other statements that you'd like to offer 
on the subject?

         MR. BOUCHER:  If somebody has a serious question, I will deal 
with the answer.

         Q    That's a serious question.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Sonia.

         Q    Another serious question:  The Prime Minister of Slovakia 
arrives in town tonight.  Does he have any meeting scheduled in this 

         MR. BOUCHER:  It's something I'll have to check on.

         Q    The agency that used to be TASS is reporting a drunk 
driving incident in Moscow involving a U.S. diplomat, so far unnamed, in 
which a couple of people have been killed.  Do you have anything on 

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have anything for you at this point.  
We'll have to get you something on that.

         Q    Richard, in the statement last week that the State 
Department Press Office put out on the Saudis firing fundamentalists, 
which claimed to have set up the first human rights group.  It went on 
at length -- well, it didn't go on at length -- it actually wasn't a 
very long statement, but it stressed how much you like the Saudis.

         Would you tell us, please, if you like their firing of these 
guys?  And would you tell us, please, at some point, what these embassy 
conversations have produced?  Is it something the U.S. disapproves of?  
Or is it -- you know, it looks like a brush-off.  You're looking into it 
and the relations are great and you stand four-square behind the Saudis 
and all that.  I don't sense any disapproval of the breakup of a so-
called human rights group.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Barry, I would suggest you read the statement.  
I'll see if there's anything more that we found out about the reports 
that they were being broken up.  I think we did say that we were looking 
into it, and, indeed, we are.

         I think one thing we made clear in the statement is that we had 
indeed met with these people.  We've made clear around the world our 
support for human rights.  We've met with these people.  We also made 
clear in our statement that this was a normal part of embassy business.

         Q    What's happening with the investigation of the plot to 
kill former President Bush?  And, also, the American who is being held 
in Iraq?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The American who is being held in Iraq, I don't 
have anything new on.  Our understanding from Kuwait is that the Kuwaiti 
Attorney General has announced that the trial of 14 suspects will begin 
on June 5.  The trial, obviously, is something that we will follow very 

         U.S. law enforcement officials are continuing their 
investigation with the cooperation of the Kuwaiti Government.

         Q    Does that suggest that U.S. law enforcement officials will 
not conclude their investigation until after the trials are completed?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I wouldn't jump to that conclusion.  When they 
might conclude is a question you'd probably have to ask the FBI.

         Q    Did they get to talk to the suspects --

         MR. BOUCHER:  Yes, they've interviewed some of the suspects.

         Q    When?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Last week.

         Q    Do you have any new assessment today beyond what was said 
last week on the Middle East peace talks?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  We gave our judgment last week.  Ed 
Djerejian did a nice, long briefing on it.

         Q    A follow-up on that.  One of the things he said there was 
that the U.S. and the Israelis and Palestinians would be continuing 
their discussions of the effort to reach a joint progress report, 
essentially, on the Palestinian-Israeli track. Can you give us situation 
report on those follow-up efforts? Have there been any?

         MR. BOUCHER:  We've been in touch with the parties, the peace 
teamers are in touch with the parties on a pretty regular basis.  I 
think the parties made clear that they wanted to discuss and work on our 
paper during the period before talks resume.  We hope that will be in 

         During this period of adjournment, there's still a lot of work 
going on in terms of our contacts with the parties.

         Q    Richard, will there be invitations going out for the post-
adjournment session?  Or are we just assuming they'll come back?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Sid, obviously, we'll be talking to the people 
about when they expect to arrive back for talks.  The word "invitations" 
has a sort of more formal aspect that's been used in this process.  I'm 
not sure I would characterize it that way.  But, certainly, there will 
be discussions with people as to when they want to come back to continue 
their negotiations.

         Q    Richard, on China, can you give us an update on the number 
of prisons that U.S. officials have asked to visit because they suspect 
them of exporting prison-made products to the U.S., and the Chinese 
response to this request?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I had all the numbers last week and I don't 
remember them, so I'll have to get that for you a little later.

         Q    And related to that, do you care to offer us a status 
report on Ambassador Lord's visit and the outcome of the 
Administration's talks with the Chinese, for example, on MFN?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think Ambassador Lord himself has discussed 
this somewhat on his trip.  In his meetings in Beijing, he discussed the 
areas of chief concern to us -- that's human rights, non-proliferation, 
and trade.  There was also some discussion of issues like Korea, 
Cambodia, regional security.  But the main focus is on these issues and 
our bilateral relationship.

         We thought that the meetings were frank and useful.  In our 
view, there are some serious problems that need to be addressed by China 
to permit improvement in our relations, but that is a goal that both 
sides share and that's something we want to keep working on.

         Q    Does the Administration have --

         Q    Do you have any word on the health of Li Peng?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.

         Q    Does the U.S. have a view at this point, now that the 
Secretary is back from his trip, on what recommendations should be made 
on MFN, which comes up in just a couple of weeks?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The Assistant Secretary is not yet back from his 
trip because he was going on to some other stops.  But what our view has 
been is that we want to see progress made in these areas, in these key 
areas of human rights, trade, and proliferation.

         Whatever progress we see will obviously be a key factor in 
determining the Administration's position on MFN status, but I don't 
have any final announcements for you yet.

         Q    Thank you.

         Q    One more question.  Any comment on the weekend reports in 
the papers about the sale of nuclear materials -- black market sales in 
the former Soviet republics?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.  That's something we've looked into and that 
we've discussed fairly frequently in the past, so I don't have anything 
new on it at this point.

         (Press briefing concluded at 1:20 p.m.)

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