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Thursday, August 26, 1993

                                   BRIEFER:  Michael McCurry

Subject                                          Page

Parliament Approves Robert Malval as PM ........  1
UN/OAS Expected to Suspend Embargo .............  1-2

Death of Amy Biehl .............................  2

Status of Government Transition ................  3

Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman Indicted in World Trade
      Center Bombing/Retaliation Threatened ......3-6,18-19
--  Security of Americans/US Posts Abroad ......  4-5,18-19
--  Egyptian Request for Extradition ...........  5-6
US-Egyptian Contacts ...........................  5-6,18

Possible Link to Terrorism Activities in US ....  6-7,17
Status of Ambassador to US .....................  7
Security of US Mission .........................  17-18

US Concerns re:  Non-Proliferation .............  7-8

Transfer of M-11 Missile Components to Pakistan   8-13
--  US Determines MTCR Violated/Response .......  8-13
--  MTCR Standards for Missile Violations ......  10-11
Ship Suspected of Carrying CW Precursors Arrives
      in Saudi Arabia/Inspection/US Role .........11-13
--  Applicable CW Convention ...................  12

GAO Report on Arrow Missile ....................  12

US Expects Bilateral Talks to Resume Next Week .  13-15
--  US View of Talks/Expectations/Secretary's
          Role ...................................13-14
--  Secretary's Contacts with Parties ..........  14-16

Working Group with US to Investigate POWs/MIAs .  16

                           DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                           DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                   DPC #120

                   THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 1993, 1:17 P.M.

         MR. McCURRY:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I have no prepared 
statements today so I can go straight to any questions that you might 

         Q     Do you have anything on Haiti?

    MR. McCURRY:  On Haiti?  Only that we understand that yesterday the 
Chamber of Deputies did complete the process of approving Mr. Malval as 
the Prime Minister.  That will now clear the way for him to be sworn in 
and to assume his duties.

         I believe under the Governor's Island Accord -- the provision 
that had been made under that accord was that the sanctions that had 
been developed by the United Nations would be suspended once the Prime 
Minister is approved.  My understanding is that the process now is that 
the Security Council will approve a resolution, probably today or 
tomorrow, that will formally suspend those sanctions.  Consultations 
have begun also among the OAS Foreign Ministers to suspend the OAS 
embargo, and we expect that process will be completed shortly.

         Q    Well, does the U.S. have a position as to whether the OAS 
embargo should be suspended as well?

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, I think that we will work with them.  I 
think that would be consistent since the expansion of the OAS embargo to 
the wider world community by the United Nations was part of the effort 
to see this process brought to a completion.  It would make some sense 
to review the status of that OAS embargo.  I don't know specifically 
that we will take that position within the discussions.  We clearly will 
talk within the OAS about the status of that embargo, but it certainly 
would be consistent with the decision to lift the U.N. embargo that the 
OAS embargo itself would be reviewed.

         Q    Mike, when does the battalion of U.S. troops go down, and 
when does the $10 million to clear up arrears go out?

         MR. McCURRY:  The question of funding and then the 
participation in some of the things that were agreed to in the accords 
are things that are all under review at this point, and I just don't 
have anything new on that.  I know that it's a question that the 
government is examining very carefully through inter-agency discussions, 
as well; and I think as soon as we get more detail on how that will 
occur, we'll provide it to you.

         Q    Mike, on Africa.  Two on Africa.

         MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

         Q    The first, the killing of the American from California.

         MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  That was a tragic event.  There are many 
people, both in the Department and in an outside organization called the 
National Democratic Institute, that knew Amy Biehl quite well.  We offer 
our heartfelt condolences to her family.  We stand ready to assist them, 
obviously, through our consular activities and already are in the 
process of assisting them.  I think that the White House is also going 
to be in contact with the family to express the President's condolences 

         I've got some details on the event but I think most of that has 
already been made public.

         Q    What do you think it will do for the future of the U.S.-
South African relations?

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, I think that this is an individual incident 
of violence, apparently.  We clearly will be interested in learning more 
about the prosecution of those responsible for this death; and we will 
also attempt to find out more about the nature of this violence to see 
if there is any need to make changes in our consular information sheet 
that we provide on South Africa, which already does make reference to 
the risk that is presented to some foreigners because of being 
inadvertently caught up in the violence that is, I think, often a part 
of the daily life in South Africa.  Again, this is a very tragic death 
that the United States regrets.

         Q    You don't have any more on that --

         Q    (Inaudible) to the Indo-American talks, with Dixit and --

         MR. McCURRY:  How will it affect it?  Will this have a 
diplomatic effect?  I don't suspect that it will; but, as I say, we are 
trying to get more details on the incident itself.

         Q    No, I'm talking about the Indo-American talks.

         Q    Indian-American talks.

         MR. McCURRY:  Oh, oh, oh. -- 

         Q    Indo-American talks?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know.  I don't have anything new on that.

         Q    On Nigeria, what happened today?  Power wasn't turned 
over, I assume?

         MR. McCURRY:  In Nigeria?  The last I heard they had a parade 
and there were nice salutes and things like that.  Let's see, actually 
we have not had any official announcement of his retirement from the 
military; and the future role of Babangida seems to be somewhat in 
doubt.  We also do not know who the transfer of power will -- who will 
get the transfer of power if power is, in fact, transferred.  So we 
clearly haven't been informed of the General's intentions, but we'll be 
watching the situation closely.

         Q    Have you taken any further steps?  You talked about aid or 
training programs over there.

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, that's a question that is under examination 
within the government; but we have not taken any further steps at this 

         Q    Mike, also on Nigeria, the other day when you were talking 
about it, you used the phrase "President-elect Abiola".  Is that to say 
that you, the U.S. Government, recognizes him as a legitimate -- ?

         MR. McCURRY:  No, no.  That was a phrase that probably it was 
easy to read too much into.  I was just simply indicating what 
information we had.  There was an election held on June 12.  The results 
of that election have never been announced, although there was an 
apparent victor in that contest; but there is not anyone that has been 
declared a President-elect, and that is precisely the problem.  The 
problem is that the results of the election were never announced.

         Yes, Ralph.

         Q    Go ahead.

         Q    Forgive me if you already talked about this before I came 
in, but has there been a terrorism alert announced to go along with the 
indictment of the Sheik -- in the Middle East?

         MR. McCURRY:  We are aware of some reports in the region that 
indicate that some are threatening violence.  That is of very serious 
concern to us.  We are reviewing very promptly the status of all of the 
travel information that we provide to U.S. citizens abroad, both our own 
employees and those travelling.

         I will say, as many of you know, at the time earlier in the 
year of the arrests in New York there was a worldwide travel alert that 
was issued that did ask American citizens travelling abroad to be much 
more conscious of their own security and safety; so that advisory 
certainly remains in effect.

         Q    At that time you also extended the advisory to Americans 
travelling in the United States.

         MR. McCURRY:  I remember.

         Q    Oh.  I just wanted to remind you in case you had 

         MR. McCURRY:  No.

         Q    In light of the reports, not only from the Middle East but 
elsewhere around the world, of threats to engage in further attacks in 
the United States, do you have anything to say about that situation?

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, as I should have probably indicated that 
first time around, the United States will be in close contact with those 
agencies that are responsible for the domestic safety of U.S. citizens 
through specifically the FBI and other agencies, like the FAA, that look 
very carefully at security issues; and certainly we'll share information 
that we have with them and, I'm sure, the vice versa will occur.

         Q    Have you had -- by your remark earlier that you have seen 
reports from abroad about the threats of terrorism, has the United 
States had any information that would lead you to a specific and clear 
threat, terrorist threat in any particular region of the world?

         MR. McCURRY:  I am not aware at this point today of any 
specific threat that we consider a credible threat that we are 
investigating, but we are very vigilant when it comes to looking for 
that type of information around the world as it relates to the safety of 
U.S. citizens abroad.

         Q    How capable are the Sheik's followers, particularly in 
Egypt, of carrying out violence against Americans?

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, what we know about their capabilities and 
what we suspect they might be capable of doing is something that we 
can't say much about because it involves our understanding through 
intelligence of how they operate; but clearly, when we feel that there 
is important credible information about threats, we will share that.  As 
a general proposition, the purpose of our worldwide alert earlier in the 
year was to remind people to be conscious of their own safety as they 
are travelling abroad and to take the kinds of precautions that many of 
us who travel abroad are familiar with, as to packing luggage, as to 
being conscious of receiving packages from other individuals.  These are 
all steps that it's good for American citizens to be aware of as they 
travel abroad, especially at a time when there are such threats being 

         Q    How do you characterize the cooperation between the U.S. 
Government and the Egyptian Government in that sphere?

         MR. McCURRY:  I think in that sphere of cooperating on the 
nature of threats and terrorist-type threats, there is very close 
cooperation for which we are grateful.

         Q    Does this close the extradition to Egypt of the Sheik 
Omar?  Does it put it on hold now?

         MR. McCURRY:  It doesn't put it on hold.  Let me review for you 
the status of the extradition request.

         We have received, I think as many of you know, an extradition 
request from Egypt.  We have not made a decision on presenting that 
extradition request before a U.S. court of law; and in part that's 
because of the very technical legal requirements associated with our 
extradition treaty in effect with the Government of Egypt, which is a 
document that, I think as some of you know, dates back to the 19th 
century.  It presents enormous legal difficulties that are being 
examined by the United States, and those legal issues are still under 

         In any event, the general policy of the United States is to 
have persons believed to have committed crimes on U.S. soil face justice 
here first if there is sufficient evidence for prosecution.

         Q    Have you had any contact with the Egyptian Government 
since the indictment was announced that would indicate the extradition 
request is either being renewed or left standing or withdrawn?

         MR. McCURRY:  Any further change in their having submitted 

         Q    Has the Egyptian Government expressed to the United States 
any change in its extradition request following the revelation, if you 
will, that the U.S. intends to prosecute here.

         MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of any change in their request.  
This matter is something that we do discuss with the Egyptian 
Government, but they have made the request.  They understand that it is 
now under review in the United States.  They are certainly aware and 
were made aware of the pending indictment; but beyond that, I don't have 
any further information on their view of the extradition request itself.

         Q    Did they reiterate their request?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know whether they did or not; but it 
would be proper to ask them that question directly, I think.

         Q    The Egyptian Government already announced that their 
extradition request stands, even after that.  Do you have any comment on 

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, that's more information, frankly, than I 
have; but, again, their extradition request stands; and as a general 
matter, our policy is that an individual under indictment would be tried 
here first and face justice here first.

         Q    On a related matter, does the information the United 
States Government has in connection with the indictment and the, now, 
publication of the indictment change in any way the U.S. Government's 
approach toward the Government of Sudan, either regarding its activities 
at the U.N. or its activities on terrorism in general?

         At the time Sudan was placed on the terrorism list, I think 
officials made it clear that the New York case was not related to that.  
Is it related now, now that you have publicized more information about 
this case?

         MR. McCURRY:  The best answer is to refer you to the FBI 
because they are the ones, through their investigation, that would 
determine any involvement by Sudanese Government officials in the 
matters that they are investigating; so I really do refer you properly 
to them.

         I'm not aware that they have developed any clear evidence of 
such involvement as of this point, but I'm not the best person to ask 
the question.  I think it is a question more properly directed to the 

         Q    Well, just to pursue that a bit.  You would be the agency 
that would be responsible for taking any action regarding Sudanese 
diplomats in New York.

         MR. McCURRY:  That's absolutely correct.  If there were 
requests to declare persona non grata status any diplomats at the United 
Nations, specifically at the Sudanese mission, the Secretary of State 
would be so informed and would initiate the process; and we have not 
been --

         Q    That has not been done?

         MR. McCURRY:  The request has not come to us, and that has not 
been done.

         Q    So at this point there is no change in the status of any 
of the diplomats at the Sudanese mission in New York as a result of this 

         MR. McCURRY:  As a result of this indictment, I am not aware of 
any change in the nature of any of the diplomats at the Sudanese mission 
at the U. N., no.

         Q    Mike, do you happen to know if the head of the mission has 
been able to present his papers to be the Ambassador to the U.S.?  Has 
there been any slow-down on that?

         MR. McCURRY:  I was not aware that he had been nominated or had 
been designated.  I wasn't aware of that.  I can check on that.

         Q    Mike?

         MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

         Q    On an unrelated matter, in view of yesterday's sanctions 
on China and Pakistan, how far is the U.S. prepared to go to push other 
South Asian nations, for instance India, to make concessions on 

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, I think in the case of India, as you know, 
we have worked through the Russian/Israel contract that we dealt with 
earlier in the year.  We are working very directly with them on our 
concerns concerning non-proliferation, and the importance of this issue 
and our effort to deal with them in a bilateral way will certainly be 
intensified as we deal with the issues that arose from the prior contact 
we had with them on the Russian transaction.

         Q    The Prime Minister is coming here.  His spokesman had a 
little news conference, or what he claimed was a news conference, 
yesterday and said that this issue had been pretty well smoothed over, 
the technology problem.

          MR. McCURRY:  I think you know that we have worked out a 
cooperative arrangement with them on that issue; but it is something 
that we will continue to work with other countries, particularly in the 
sub-continent.  We will continue to work with them directly on these 
proliferation issues because they are of very great concern.

         I think he was speaking of the one --

         Q    Yes.

         MR. McCURRY:  -- transaction.  I think that he was correct in 
saying that we have looked at that issue and resolved it to our 
satisfaction and continue to have a dialogue on that case.

         Q    Has it been cancelled?  Is that what the resolution is?

         MR. McCURRY:  I think they are still negotiating with -- if I 
am not mistaken, they are still negotiating with Russia on the status of 
that contract.  Our concerns, our proliferation concerns have been 
addressed very directly.

         Q    You mean they have changed the package to suit your 
proliferation concerns?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know that for a fact.  I wouldn't want to 
suggest that.  I would want to check that.

         Q    I don't understand what puts the U.S. at ease now.

         MR. McCURRY:  No, I didn't say we were at ease.  I said we --

         Q    On that deal.

         MR. McCURRY:  We are going to continue to work through that 
issue very directly with them; but we are now at the point where, I 
think as you all know, the sanctions that had been imposed and waived 
are no longer the issue.

         Q    Mike --

         Q    Have you heard anything from China after yesterday's 

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, we are aware of the comments that the 
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman made.  We also did have  a 
preliminary reaction from the Ambassador yesterday when Dr. Davis met 
with the Ambassador; but we have not had any further reaction from the 
Chinese Government to our proposal that we engage in a dialogue with 
them on these issues.

         Q    Do you have any new statistics?

         Q    But you said there was no reaction.  You said that he 
accepted it and said he would take it back to his government.

         MR. McCURRY:  I said he said he accepted it.  I think I 
indicated that he had reiterated the denial that they have made in the 
past and that he did say that he would take it under advisement and give 
it to his government.

         Q    And you are saying now that you haven't had any 
reiteration of that denial since the meeting yesterday at any other 

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't want to say that, Ralph, because I think 
there was a plan to have a follow-up contact through the Embassy in 
Beijing today, and I just don't have a read-out on that contact.  We 
wouldn't expect it at this point to have been any more than the denying 
-- we wouldn't expect the reaction to have been much different from some 
of the public comments they made.  What we are interested in, though, is 
knowing the degree of interest that the Chinese might have in working 
with us cooperatively to satisfy our concerns.

         Q    Do you have any new figures on how much this might cost 
the Chinese Government -- the estimate?

         MR. McCURRY:  Yesterday we talked about what we suspect the 
economic impact would be to the United States --

         Q    Right.

              MR. McCURRY:  -- acknowledging that we do pay a cost for 
imposing these types of sanctions.

         The cost on the Chinese is partly political because they now 
have faced sanctions from the United States of America; but it is partly 
economic.  They had a desire to move more aggressively into the 
commercial space-launch business.  I think I recall seeing one estimate 
on what the effect of our sanctions would be to their attempt to work on 
some commercial launches and that the estimate was, I believe, in the 
neighborhood of $125 million of revenue that they would lose from not 
being able to launch certain types of U.S.- manufactured satellites.

         But, again, as we said yesterday, a lot of that is speculative 
because it involves contracts that were not in force.

         Q    Mike, on the missiles, I was going through the MTCR 
guidelines and, as I read it, there are two conditions necessary before 
a missile qualifies.  It has to carry a 500 kilogram payload over a 
range of at least 300 kilometers.

         The Pakistanis, I think, you know, say that the M-ll doesn't do 
that.  It may fly 300 kilometers but not with a 500 kilogram payload.

         Are you certain -- do you have any evidence that in fact the M-
ll qualifies on both of those counts?

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, I think they have made representations to 
us, and I think they have said things publicly about what the 
capabilities of the missile are.  That is the reason why, when we 
addressed specific questions to them, we raised exactly those types of 
issues.  In fact, I think, as Dr. Davis indicated and as I indicated 
yesterday, we did not receive satisfaction to very specific questions we 
asked about both the shipment itself and about the capabilities of the 
missile itself.  I think that that is, among other reasons, why we felt 
very satisfied that it was unambiguous that a Category II MTCR violation 
had occurred.

         Q    Well, the question then becomes that you didn't get 
satisfactory answers from them yesterday or earlier in your discussions 

         MR. McCURRY:  That we --

         Q    Do you have independent evidence that the M-ll missile, in 
fact, qualifies?

         MR. McCURRY:  We have information that leads us to believe we 
are on very firm ground in making the determination made yesterday -- or 
made two days ago.

         Q    Mike, isn't throw-weight and distance moot?  Because, if I 
recall correctly, about a year ago, MTCR was changed to read that 
transfer of these materials to any government, any entity that poses a 
proliferation risk will be a sanctionable activity.  

         MR. McCURRY:  That's an interesting question.  I don't know the 
answer to that.

         Q    Could you take that, because --

         MR. McCURRY:  I'll take that to see if there was --

         Q    -- because I recall clear as day Margaret or Richard up 
here talking about that.

         MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

         Q    Also on China, do you have anything on the vessel which 
was steaming toward Saudi Arabia at last sighting?

         MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  Let me clear this up first and I'll get to 
that next.

         I will check that.  To make sure I understand the question 
right, the question is:  Would the capabilities of the missile be a moot 
point, because if it is anything involving a transaction -- a missile 
that has a mass destruction capability of any nature -- 

         Q    My understanding was they took out the throw-weight and 
distance thresholds and said just any transfer to a country that poses a 
proliferation risk.

         MR. McCURRY:  I'll check.  I strongly doubt that, because we 
cited that very specifically yesterday in the way we looked at it, but 
I'll check further on that.

         On the Yin He, the ship has now arrived in port in Dammam.  
It's not certain when the inspection will take place, partly because 
it's a weekend and I believe a holiday weekend in Saudi Arabia.  But we 
are prepared to provide technical advice, and we'll render assistance to 
the Saudis as the ship itself is inspected.

         Now, my understanding is that because this is a ship with a 
large volume of cargo, the inspection itself could take several days.  
We are not anticipating knowing much about the contents of the cargo or 
the results of the inspection itself until probably into next week.  
That's partly because of the holiday weekend and partly because it just 
will take a lot of time to off-load the ship and to inspect the vessel 

         Q    Did you send this team there or something to -- 

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know that.  I asked someone or I had seen 
something that indicated we're providing some assistance.  I don't know 
whether that's being done, who they are, what type of folks they are -- 
if they've got some specialty in cargo transactions or something.  I can 
try to check a little further.

         Q    Are they expecting easy access to this ship?  I mean the 
Chinese were putting up quite a fight to not have any U.S. inspectors 

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, I believe that they had worked out a 
cooperative arrangement for conducting the inspection.

         Q    The Chinese are cooperating with this plan and the ship 
will be completely inspected under the agreement, is that correct?

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, that was my understanding.  My 
understanding was that they had agreed to cooperate, yes.

         Q    And the Saudis will do the inspection?

         MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

         Q    (Inaudible) this does not allow certain transfers of 
payload -- a certain size and all that.  Do you have anything on the 
chemical side, in which one country is not able to sell to another 
country?  Are there any U.N. resolutions or laws or anything of the 
kind, because I'm trying to find out what's the basis of your objection 
to the Chinese shipment?  Is there any U.N. sanction on it or anything?

         MR. McCURRY:  Any U.N.-related sanction?  I don't know the 
answer.  I know that there is a Chemical Weapons Convention that is to 
come into effect, but it has not been placed in effect.  I am not sure 
what the governing rules are -- whether they are U.S. export law or 
whether they are international conventions or international rules.

         I can check to see what -- I guess the question, as we take it, 
would be:  What are the international regulations that might apply to 
the shipment of chemical weapons and chemical weapons precursors?

         Q    Staying with technology transfer, is there any plan for 
the State Department to send an inspection team to Israel to follow the 
reports made by the GAO on the Arrow missile?

         MR. McCURRY:  You're going to stump me because I actually had 
some guidance on the GAO report on the Arrow yesterday and I didn't 
bring it with me today.  I'll have to take the question.  I can't recall 
if it said what type of follow-up would be -- but I'll get an answer to 
the question.

         Q    Back on the Chinese ship, Mike, you said the Saudis were 
going to do the inspecting.  What is the U.S. role?  The U.S. will be 
there as observers?

         MR. McCURRY:  I think we are there, my understanding is, to 
provide technical advice and we will render assistance if any assistance 
is requested.  I don't know whether that's technical assistance or it's 
help in determining what to look for, or help in understanding what the 
nature of the cargo might be.

         Q    But the U.S. team is not going to get on board?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know for a fact that they won't get on 
board.  It's my understanding they will be available.  I haven't seen 
anything that indicates to me that they'll actually board the vessel, 
but I can check further and see if that's the correct information.

         Q    Apropos of the holiday weekend you spoke about, do you 
have a firmer idea now -- since tomorrow, I presume, starts the holiday 
weekend -- what the status of the Middle East peace talks will be next 

         MR. McCURRY:  The preparations are continuing vigorously.  I 
think there's been a great deal of contact with the parties themselves 
in preparation for the beginning of the sessions.  We're still not 
exactly sure which day next week they will begin.  They still are 
telling me at the end of the month; and I say, well, that could be 
Monday or Tuesday, and after that you run out of options as far as I can 

         But, again, just where we are:  We haven't received formal 
confirmation from all the delegations, but we do expect all the parties 
to participate.

         As far as the Arab parties, I think that they are meeting in 
Beirut for a coordination session -- I'm told later this week.  I don't 
know whether it's tomorrow or beyond tomorrow.  But I expect after that 
we will hear back from them some formal answer on what day we will begin 
the discussions.

         Q    Is there any plan or consideration being given now to the 
next trip by the Secretary to the region or perhaps by the team of 
Djerejian and Ross, or just Ross, or whatever -- a combination?

         MR. McCURRY:  At the moment, we're taking things one step at a 
time.  We will certainly let the parties speak for themselves about what 
type of proposals they're going to get into in this next round and what 
kind of progress they expect to make.  It is good to get that directly 
from them.

         I do think that we think this is an important moment.  To kind 
of look back to where we were, we had a process that really was not 
making much progress.  The Secretary made a trip to the region in the 
aftermath of violence in the region, which  clearly put the talks in 
jeopardy.  I think that we are now confident that the process is back on 
track as a result of the Secretary's trip.

         The participants in the negotiations themselves have been 
actively engaged in looking at the key issues.  They've been talking 
about substance as opposed to process, which we feel is certainly 

         While we think the coming session is likely to be a short 
session and we don't expect major breakthroughs, we do think that there 
is opportunity now for some constructive discussion focusing in on the 
key issues that help move this forward.

         Now, beyond that, do you get into further travel by the 
Secretary to the region; do you get into further direct discussions 
between the parties?  Those are things we'll kind of see where we are as 
we go through the talks next week.

         But I think, as you hear the parties talk themselves about 
where they think they are and where they think the dialogue will go next 
week, there is at least some measure of optimism that they will make 

         Q    How short a session do you think this will be?  What's the 
U.S. goal for this session?

         MR. McCURRY:  Our goal, simply put, is to see the parties -- 
they had been at a point where they were not formulating positions that 
were based on the real tough issues that have to be addressed if this 
process is going to go forward.  They are now beginning to do that.

         I think our goal for this next session would be to see them 
fully engaged on some of those tough issues and to begin addressing 
formulations that could work towards, presumably, some type of 
declaration.  But, again, I am not suggesting that there will be any 
major breakthroughs in this next round, but we think things are now set 
for there to be some significant progress.

         Q    Mike, which hat will the Secretary be wearing during this 
round -- active intermediary, honest broker, or full partner?

         MR. McCURRY:  It's a multiple choice question.  The best answer 
is all three.  We've got a full partner role that sometimes involves the 
Secretary as an active intermediary between the parties; sometimes as a 
participant in dialogue back and forth -- carrying messages back and 
forth.  Frankly, his personal role is different dependent on which 

         But I think under the general heading of "full partner," you 
see a wide range of activities by the Secretary himself, including, 
frankly, some work that he's been doing  even on vacation -- contact 
with the parties in the region -- to help make sure that things are 
poised for a good discussion next week.

         Q    So he will be willing to carry messages, say, for 
instance, between the Israeli delegation and the Syrian delegation while 
they're here?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know.  His trip in the region, when he 
was dealing with national leaders, was more of that nature.  I expect 
that the work by the delegations themselves, while they're here in 
Washington, will resemble the work as it has occurred in the past, but 
we'll see how things develop.

         Clearly, in our full partner role, we are more engaged because 
the parties themselves are more engaged.  I guess that's the best way to 
put it.

         Q    Does the U.S. Government take any position on the concept 
of splitting off Gaza and possibly Jericho first before the rest of the 
track is -- on the Palestinians -- is finished?

         MR. McCURRY:  Do we take a position on that?  No, the parties 
themselves are clearly engaged in some serious discussion of ideas along 
those lines, and I don't want to comment on the merits of that 
particular proposal since it's something the parties themselves will 
address as they get into their dialogue next week.

         Q    Could you say who the Secretary has been in touch with?

         MR. McCURRY:  Prime Minister Rabin and Foreign Minister Shara, 
I know of for certain.  I can check and see if there are others as well.

         Q    Can you tell us anything more about that, such as when 
those conversations took place and how frequently it occurred?

         MR. McCURRY:  They were, I believe, telephone calls.  I'm not 
sure how many.  I think they were -- I will double-check for sure -- I 
believe they were earlier this week.

         Q    So that was independent of trying to settle things down in 
south Lebanon a couple of weeks ago, because he talked to both of them 

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know -- I haven't had an opportunity to 
ask the Secretary about the content of the call.

         Q    But has he talked to them since he called to tell them to 
cool it in south Lebanon?  Has he talked to them since then about the 
peace talks?

         MR. McCURRY:  You mean, since they were --

         Q    Two weeks ago the Secretary called Shara and Rabin to talk 
about the recent violence.

         MR. McCURRY:  Oh, yes.

         Q    Okay.

         MR. McCURRY:  He has been in contact with them since then.

         Q    Mike, the Palestinians are coming here with a very clear 
PLO label and, frankly, the Israelis don't mind too much.  There is lot 
more contacts between PLO officials and Israelis.  Has the U.S. 
Government decided to change its position towards a dialogue with the 

         MR. McCURRY:  No, we don't have a dialogue with the PLO.

         Q    And you do not intend to proceed with a dialogue with the 

         MR. McCURRY:   No.  No change in our policy.

         Q    (Inaudible) what would be the terms for changing -- 

         MR. McCURRY:  That would put us into an exhaustive conversation 
here that I don't think we need to have right now, suffice to say that 
there's no change in our posture on that.

         Q    North Korea and the United Nations command in Korea 
assigned a working group to investigate the MIA/POW issue of the Korean 
War yesterday.  Do you have any working schedule of the group or any 

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't have.  I'll have to check on it.  I just 
didn't have anything with me on that.  This is a working group that is 

         Q    A working group to investigate the POW/MIA issue of the 
Korean War.

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't have anything on that.  Now that you say 
that, I recall seeing something about it; but I haven't looked 
specifically at it to get the right kind of answer, but I'll take a look 
at it and see if I can get you some information.

         Q    Mike, one last question on terrorism.  Is there any chance 
that terrorism here against U.S. targets would affect U.S. ties to, say, 
Egypt or Algeria?  Anything like that?

         MR. McCURRY:  That's such a speculative question, I  wouldn't 
want to answer that.  I wouldn't want to suggest to anyone anywhere in 
the world that we are less than vigilant and less than determined to 
thwart any such incidents.

         Q    Further on that subject, are there any implications as a 
result of the indictment yesterday that changed Sudan's status relative 
to the terrorism list or anything like that?  Is there any 
reconsideration of Sudan's status on the terrorism list?

         MR. McCURRY:  Again, to go back, it was real important that the 
Secretary make clear, in making that determination to place Sudan on the 
terrorism list, that we specifically set aside these questions about the 
alleged plots in New York which are being investigated.

         Once having set that information aside, it doesn't re-enter the 
equation as to their listing.  Obviously, there's no information out 
there that would suggest that they should not have been listed.

         Q    No.  I guess I was asking about -- at the time you 
announced the terrorism list thing for Sudan, you made a point of 
separating the very small amount but nonetheless some aid and 
cooperation on the humanitarian basis that is continuing with Sudan.  I 
wonder whether any of that has been changed or if there was any 
reconsideration of contacts with the Government of Sudan?

         MR. McCURRY:  Oh, no.  We remain determined to pursue with the 
Government of Sudan questions about humanitarian aid, and we fully 
expect them to work with us to make sure that necessary relief can 
arrive to those who are starving.  In fact, we would be very concerned 
if there would be any indication to us that that humanitarian relief was 
being interrupted.

         Q    Are we keeping the staff in Khartoum at the same level?

         MR. McCURRY:  There's been some change in the status of 
dependents and others.  We're working closely with the American 
community in Khartoum to make sure that we are satisfied about their 
security.  But we will certainly keep a diplomatic presence in Khartoum.

         Q    Do we have questions about the security of U.S. dependents 
in Sudan?

         MR. McCURRY:  I think there were concerns -- I can't remember 
exactly.  I think at the time that we made the listing we did engage in 
a draw down of some of the dependents and others.  We covered a little 
bit of that, I think, at the time we talked about the listing.

         Q    And what about now?  In the wake of the indictment 
yesterday, is the U.S. Government withdrawing personnel or dependents 
from any of its embassies as a result of that indictment announcement?

         MR. McCURRY:  I am not aware of any changes in that, although I 
do believe, consistent with what we do any time there is that type of 
threat, we have sent notice to all posts to review their security 
procedures and determine if any changes are needed.  We do that 
periodically whenever there is any type of an event that might lead to 
any conceivable response.  We always take those types of precautionary 

         Q    This is because of the indictment that you sent a notice 
to all the posts to be -- 

         MR. McCURRY:  I think it's more specifically because of some of 
the reactions to the indictments that we are aware of at this point.

         Q    Did that go out yesterday or today?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know if it went out yesterday or today.  
It may have gone out today.

         Q    I forgot to ask this yesterday.  Because the Secretary is 
on vacation, it's obvious that you're in touch and he's in touch, doing 
a lot of things.  Has he had any contact with, for example, the 
Government of Egypt -- or perhaps with others in the region -- as a 
result of, or in connection with the announcement yesterday of the 
indictment of Sheik Rahman?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know whether he personally was involved 
in notifying the Government of Egypt.  I do believe that we took steps 
to make the Government of Egypt aware of the pending indictment.

         Q    I'm not so concerned about -- I doubt that he would be the 
one who would notify them.  But it seems possible to me that he might 
well get on the phone and try to discuss the issue of extradition a bit 
and maybe smooth feathers, if any feathers needed smoothing.  Could you 
at least take the question as to whether he's had any personal 
involvement in this?

         MR. McCURRY:  He may well have, Ralph.  I'll check and see if 
he did; whether I can say whether he did or not.  I am not detailing all 
the contacts that I'm aware of that he's had, because some, frankly, are 
private communications that he's had.  But I can check further on that 
specific case.

         Q    Mike, just to go back to the warning.  What specifically 
was the warning that was issued to the posts around the world?

         MR. McCURRY:  It's not a warning.  We advise all posts that it 
would be wise for them, from time to time, to review their security 
procedures and satisfy themselves that they've got the right diplomatic 
security procedures in place, and to notify us if there are any changes 
that are needed, as they routinely do.  There's a high priority placed 
upon that at virtually every diplomatic post anyhow.  But from time to 
time, the Department will share information with posts abroad to say, in 
light of certain developments, it would be good for you to look at your 
security procedures.

         We do that fairly regularly when there are any types of 
incidents that we think have the potential for provoking a response.

         Q    Have any U.S. personnel been sent from Washington or other 
stateside destinations abroad to beef up security or install any 
additional equipment, or anything of that sort, as a result of the 
impending announcement of the indictment?

         MR. McCURRY:  Ralph, I don't believe so, but I don't want to 
say "no" to that question, because --

         Q    There might be routine things.  That's why I asked "as a 
result of."

         MR. McCURRY:  Right.  We have routine security things going on.  
I'm not aware of anything in connection with the announcement of the 

         Q    Mike, is General Aideed of Somalia covered by any of the 
reward programs declared by the State Department?

         MR. McCURRY:  No.

         Q    Why?

         MR. McCURRY:  Because the reward program that the State 
Department administers is a reward program that deals with acts of 
international terrorism.

         Q    One more question:  Have either the Pakistan or Chinese 
Governments drawn a parallel between -- or complained about the fact 
that the United States is supplying the same Category I and Category II 
items to Israel -- which is an unacknowledged proliferator -- have they 
cited that case at all?

         MR. McCURRY:  Not that I'm aware of, no.

         Q    Could you take that question?

         MR. McCURRY:  I'll check and see.  As I say, we're continuing 
to have diplomatic dialogue with both governments.  But as of today -- 
or we'll check and see if there is anything, we will post that and let 
you know.

         Q    Thank you.

         (Press briefing concluded at 2:00 p.m.)


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