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Tuesday, September 7, 1993

                                           BRIEFER:  Michael McCurry

Subject                                               Page

Town Meeting in St. Louis on Thursday Sponsored
  by Department/Ass. Sec. Djerejian to Keynote .1-2

Bilateral Talks/Duration .......................2-11
Discussions between Israel and PLO .............2-11
--  Prospects for Agreement/Timing/Signing .....2-11
--  Funding for Implementation/US/G-7 ......7-10
--  Mutual Recognition .........................2-3
--  Impact on Multilaterals ....................3,10
Secretary's Contacts with Parties/Others .......7,11

Inspection of Ship Suspected of Carrying CW
  Precursors ...................................11-13
Protest re:  US Sale of Aircraft to Taiwan .....16-17
Endangered Species Violations ..................16

Foreign Minister's Meetings at Department ......13
Raid by US Rangers .............................14
US Diplomat Shot ...............................14
Aideed's Capabilities ..........................15

Bosnian President's Visit to US ................14,22-23
US Concerns re: Condition at Croat Camps .......17
Assessment of Conditions by Amb. Jackovich/
  Senator Lugar ................................18,21
Prospects for NATO Air Support .................18-22
Status of Negotiations on Agreement ............19-21

Conflict in Nagorno-Karabak/US Diplomacy .......15,17

Discussions with IAEA ..........................15-16
US Conditions for Continued Discussions ........16

Defection of Diplomats to U.K. .................16

Inspector General's Inquiry into the Handling of
  Republican Holdovers' Personnel Files ........21-22


                           DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                           DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #124

                 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 1993, 12:49 P. M.

         MR. McCURRY:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I'd like to start 
with one quick housekeeping item.  On this Thursday, September 9, the 
World Affairs Council of St. Louis and the Department of State are going 
to co-sponsor a town meeting in St. Louis that will feature remarks by 
Assistant Secretary Djerejian on the situation in the Middle East, 
followed by briefings on NAFTA and on the subject of terrorism.

         I just call your attention to this.  This is one of a series of 
things that the Department will be working on with local groups, again 
to try to bring some of the current issues in foreign policy directly to 
American citizens.  This is something that Secretary Christopher has 
often talked about, about this being one of his goals to engage the 
American people directly in a discussion of relevant foreign policy 
issues from time to time.  There will be more information -- if you're 
interested in this session -- more information available in the Press 
Office after the briefing.

          With that housekeeping item, any questions?

          Q    Will it be piped into the briefing room?

          MR. McCURRY:  We'll check and see.  I don't know that we were 
planning to do that, but if there is sufficient interest, we will 
certainly investigate that.

          Q    And is it on the record?  I presume it must be.  It's a 
public forum.

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  It's open for press coverage.

          Q    Open for press coverage.

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

          Q    Is Djerejian going out there?

          MR. McCURRY:  He will be going out there that day and 
returning that day.  He's making a quick trip -- even though there are a 
great many things going on in his part of the world these days, the 
Bureau of Public Affairs is pleading with him to make good on that date 
because it promises to be a very interesting program.

          Q    Well, this is a very pleading audience too.  Do you think 
-- Thursday's kind of a good time because the round may or may not be 
over then.  Do you think you could get Ed Djerejian or someone very much 
like him to give us something on the record to wrap up this round of 
talks here, so we don't have to go to St. Louis?

          MR. McCURRY:  It has been our custom at the conclusion of a 
round of talks to try to have someone knowledgeable available to you to 
answer any questions you might have, and we certainly will try to keep 
with that custom.

          Q    If you could do it on the record, you know, on the same 
plateau with the St. Louis World Affairs Council, that would be very 

          MR. McCURRY:  On the record in my book is always better 

          Q    Mike, what's your understanding of when this round will 

          MR. McCURRY:  I think the original plan was for the 
delegations to be meeting Tuesday through Thursday last week and this 
week.  I don't know of any change in that preliminary schedule, but I 
haven't checked to see how the delegations themselves are addressing the 
question of how long they plan to remain in session this week.

          Q    Mike, would you take that question, because some of us 
understood that the delegations were planning to be here through at 
least some part of next week anyway?  It would be interesting to see 
what your interpretation is of the end of the round.

          MR. McCURRY:  We'll check with them.  That's kind of a day-to-
day thing that they address themselves, but we'll certainly see if they 
have any new thoughts on how the calendar looked this week.

          Q    What is your understanding of the state of play for the 
recognition agreement between Israel and the PLO?  Do you understand 
that Arafat has the authority necessary to renounce the PLO charter and 
renounce terrorism?

          MR. McCURRY:  Bud, that's not a subject I want to address.  I 
think that is a subject that the parties themselves -- in this case, the 
PLO would have to address directly because it involves issues of 
internal governance for the PLO.

          It is clear to us that there are remaining issues that have to 
be addressed in looking at the question of mutual recognition, and that 
both parties are doing that.  Again, I really don't have much to say 
publicly to add to what we have said in the past on this.

          Q    While you may not want to address it, it is still fairly 
central to the whole argument that's going on.  Do you understand -- 
without you addressing it from the podium -- does the United States have 
a clear understanding of how much authority Arafat has and how far he 
can go?

          MR. McCURRY:  Well, we have understandings, and it's a 
situation we look at, but it's not something we are entering into, 
because it involves this question internally that the PLO will be 
addressing itself.

          Look, our perspective on this is pretty clear.  We support the 
declaration of principles that's been reached between the two parties.  
We view that as a historic achievement in its own right.  That is 
proving to be a catalyst for progress on some of the other tracks as 
they look for a comprehensive settlement, and our interest has been in 
promoting the importance of the joint declaration of principles that has 
been reached.

          Now, there is a separate issue of mutual recognition that is 
one that the two parties themselves are dealing with at this point, and 
frankly that is a delicate, tough issue that the parties themselves are 
best able to address.

          Q    Mike, but there is a very strong collateral issue of U.S. 
recognition or a resumption of the dialogue, which may be the same 
thing, with the PLO.  And you must have -- or you and the people in this 
building must have considered what your terms are, what are the 

          Israel has three.  It's been clear for days, for weeks now.  
They want three things.  They want the covenant rewritten, they want 
recognition of their right to exist, and they want a halt to the 

          Now, you know, you might say that the U.S. will await 
developments.  You might say you have the same three conditions, or you 
might simply want to undo the reason you stopped talking to them, which 
is to stop engaging in terrorism.

          Can you select from that group or add any of your own what the 
U.S. wants from the PLO for its own American recognition?

          MR. McCURRY:  I really don't have anything new to add.  We've 
talked and you've heard the Secretary himself say that this is a 
situation we're looking at very carefully; but I don't have anything 
further to say on what the Secretary's already said.

          Q    Are you engaging in any contacts with Congress about it?  
Are you moving papers?  Are you requesting things from Congress?

          MR. McCURRY:  There's substantial interest among members of 
Congress who are returning from their recess in this general subject 
about where are we with the Middle East discussions and what's 
happening.  We have certainly had contact with members of Congress, but 
I don't know whether it addressed this specific issue.  I don't have a 
full readout on each and every contact we've had, but there would likely 
be a substantial interest in that question.

          Q    A follow-up:  Have you requested a legal assessment from 
Congress, from anyone in Congress, from a commission in Congress, on 
that issue of recognition of the PLO?  I mean, re-opening the dialogue 
with the PLO?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not that I'm aware of.  I'm not sure that would 
be the type of request we would make of Congress, but not that I'm aware 

          Q    There are reports on a kind of signing ceremony to take 
place as early as Monday in the White House between the Israelis and the 
Palestinians?  Do you have anything on that?

          MR. McCURRY:  No, no dates are set for any signing ceremony, 
because at this point we're waiting to hear from the parties themselves 
on the status of their discussions, whether in fact they've got an 
agreement that is to be signed.  So we certainly will keep you apprised 
if that changes.

          Q    You gave the impression that it's only a matter of time.

          MR. McCURRY:  Well, I think we felt this conceptual 
breakthrough that has resulted in a declaration of principles is 
something that now needs to be formally put forward and the discussions 
about implementation have to begin to move on that.  So in that sense, 
yes, it's a matter of time.  But the question of how they would bring 
this document to finalization and how they would formally agree to it is 
something that we clearly are still discussing with the parties, and the 
parties themselves are discussing this important question of mutual 

          Q    Do you prefer it to take that way?  Do you prefer it to 
take that way, the signing to be -- to take place in the White House in 
a ceremony, in a kind like a showy --

          MR. McCURRY:  Well, it's a great address, and it would always 
be a wonderful place to have an event of that nature.  But, again, it 
would be entirely speculative and premature at this point to suggest 
that that's what's going to happen.  We have to wait and see what 
happens.  You'll certainly hear from the parties the moment they've got 
more to say about the status of their discussions, I'm sure.

          Q    But that has been offered?  The White House address and 
President Clinton's participation, that has been offered?

          MR. McCURRY:  It's been widely reported over the last couple 
of days that it's been offered.  I don't have any reason to dispute 

          Q    If the White House is offered or if the United States has 
offered as a signing -- for the signing ceremony, doesn't the United 
States have to have a policy about its relations with the PLO before it 
can play host to the PLO as one of the parties to --

          MR. McCURRY:  It would as a simple question of protocol, but 
again that's among many reasons why this is entirely speculative, since 
there's no change in our policy on that question.

          Q    In the signing ceremony, does the signing at all have to 
hinge on recognition, mutual recognition?  Can you envision something 
being signed without --

          MR. McCURRY:  Not in our view.  In our view there's a very 
important historic achievement here, which is the framework for a 
discussion of peace as it relates to the declaration of principles that 
you've seen put forward.  That in itself is an important, impressive 
breakthrough, and one that will need to be formalized.

          The other issue, which is -- if you think about this, the 
conceptual breakthrough is the declaration of principles which the 
parties reached.  It is really a psychological sea change in the history 
of the Middle East for them to move into the discussion about 
recognition.  But, again, that's one that the parties themselves have to 
address and they, apparently from what we hear, are addressing.

          Q    Michael, to go back to the issue of the date, you have 
been quoted in The New York Times over the weekend saying that it's been 
offered and --

          MR. McCURRY:  Where?

          Q    -- it's a tentative date.  What kind of characterization 
do you have to put on that exercise?  Was it offered?  Was it suggested?  
Was it proposed?

          MR. McCURRY:  It was a blissful Labor Day weekend, so I may 
have missed that report.  But the idea that they tentatively -- I mean, 
look, everyone here knows how a White House event happens.  It happens 
with a great deal of planning.  So do you have advance people running 
around making contingency plans?  Sure, that would be expected.  But 
that doesn't suggest that there is a document that is ready to be 

          The parties themselves will let us know at what point they're 
ready to formalize that.  We are working directly with them on that 
question, and that's something that you'll see developed, presumably 
over the next several days.

          Q    Going back to the question of hinging on recognition of 
the PLO, you were addressing a moment ago whether the signing has to 
hinge on recognition between Israel and the PLO.  Does a signing 
ceremony or does any signing event hosted by the United States hinge 
upon any change in U.S. policy toward the PLO, or is it possible that 
such an event could occur with no change in the current U.S. policy 
toward the PLO?

          MR. McCURRY:  It's a real hypothetical question as we look at 
what the parties themselves are doing.  But for those of you who have 
seen some of the leaked versions of this document, it's clear that it is 
in the nature of a declaration of principles that was very much like the 
ones the U.S. put forward to the two delegations negotiating here.

          Q    I don't think I made my question clear.  My question is 
about hinging it, as far as the U.S. is concerned -- not hinging it on 
relations between Israel and the PLO -- could the U.S. host an event at 
which the PLO participates without any change in U.S. policy toward the 
PLO?  Regardless of what Israel and the PLO does, does there have to be 
a change in U.S. policy toward the PLO, or is the Administration's 
position that because you've managed the peace process, you can host an 
event related to the peace process without changing U.S. policy toward 
the PLO?

          MR. McCURRY:  It splits some hairs.  The question itself 
splits some hairs.  Is there a possibility that the United States could 
go ahead and see these two delegations here signing this document 
without any formal change in policy?  I think the answer to that is yes.  
I mean, the two delegations could clearly sign the kind of document that 
we've seen described as the current draft of the declaration of 
principles without their being any change in policy on recognition.

          Q    By -- 

          MR. McCURRY:  By the United States.

          Q    Can you provide us Christopher's contacts, phone calls, 
etc., the last 24-48 hours?

          MR. McCURRY:  I tried to get a complete readout on what he had 
done over the last 24-48 hours, and I don't know that there was a lot 
new.  He has had some extensive consultation by cable -- I think, as 
many of you know, both the President and the Secretary have had 
extensive contact by cable -- with governments in the region, especially 
Arab governments in the region and encouraged their support, 
specifically Gulf Cooperation Council members, I believe over the 
weekend.  A lot of these were actually delivered over the course of the 

          He has also been in contact with the EC, encouraging them -- 
actually giving them an the update on the negotiations as they now stand 
and encouraging their strong support for the agreements that are being 
reached between the Palestinians and the Israelis.  There may have been 
additional phone contacts that he personally made that I don't have, but 
I will see if I can get something further on that.

          Q    Christopher said last week that the United States was 
prepared to at least partially underwrite part of the Palestinian-
Israeli agreement monetarily.  The Israelis say the U.S. will not be hit 
with a large bill.  Can you talk to us some more about where the 
thinking on that is or the actual planning?  Are you sitting down and 
drafting some thoughts on --

          MR. McCURRY:  There have been many discussions underway about 
what will it take to make sure that this is a successful transformation.  
How would the implementation of these agreements be, in fact, a success.  
Now, we have been -- I think you've heard me say in the past -- been in 
contact with a variety of other people who would have an interest in the 
success of this type of negotiation:  with our partners in the region, 
with Japan, with the European Community, with others in the world 
community, who perhaps through international financial institutions or 
through other participation would want to see to it that this type of 
empowerment of the Palestinians in the region is successful.

          So now as to the details of where the planning is on that, the 
one thing I can tell you is that nothing would proceed beyond an initial 
planning until there was very close consultation with Congress and until 
we knew more about the range of participation that would exist by other 
interested parties.

          Q    Can I follow that up, Mike?  I had a somewhat different 
impression.  I thought Christopher was speaking -- and (inaudible) sort 
of echoed this -- by saying that it would be almost no -- and at one 
point he said totally no cost to the taxpayer.  I thought he was 
speaking of underwriting -- he didn't use that word -- in a sense the 
U.S. would, you know,  work on development, would sort of quarterback, 
would sort of be the initiator of a development program for Palestinian 
administration that would be underwritten by the Japanese, the 
Europeans, the Gulf countries.

          MR. McCURRY:  I think the Secretary -- I wouldn't want to 
suggest there wouldn't be some cost to the United States -- the 
Secretary was directly addressing the question of was the United States 
going to foot the bill for this transformation.  He said no, we would be 
working with a lot of our partners in the world community to share the 
costs and to share the opportunities that would exist to participate in 
this type of fund.

          So describing the role as being a quarterback -- there are 
certainly many in the world community we would work with to try to 
develop the resources to make sure that this type of effort is 

          Q    Mike, the agreement explicitly refers to the G-7 as a 
party that would be called upon by the Palestinians and the Israelis to 
spearhead development -- to come up with a development plan I think is 
exactly the wording that it says.  Has the U.S. taken any initiatives 
with the other -- with the G-7, through the G-7 process to begin such a 
development plan?

          MR. McCURRY:  I will need to go back and double-check this, 
but I think it's reasonably true that that idea was injected initially 
at our suggestion, that the G-7 would be a good venue for those types of 
discussions.  We have discussed with our G-7 partners in the past the 
need to be there with substantial resources as they conclude this type 
of an agreement.

          Q    Mike, during the discussions, the initial discussions 
with Congress that you described to Jacques, did this issue -- was this 
issue presented to them in a preliminary way?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know.  I know that the question of 
funding for the early empowerment effort is something that has been 
raised in the past as we've talked through these issues with Congress.  
I don't know whether anything that's happened today has included that, 
and we would mostly be talking today since Congress is by and large just 
returning today, although there has been substantial interest on the 
part of various members of Congress who follow these issues carefully.  
I don't want to rule out that anyone's described this.

          Q    Was it on the State Department's agenda when they went up 
to the Hill to present this to Congress?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not certain that anyone has actually been up 
on the Hill.  I think that they may do that, but I  don't -- I think 
largely what's happened at this point are members coming back from 
recess, checking in and finding out more from us on the status of 

          Q    Mike, has the conceptual breakthrough between Israel and 
the PLO had any effect on the multilateral talks?

          MR. McCURRY:  Good question.  I don't know the answer to that.  
I'll check.  I've been following what the effect has been more on the 
bilateral tracks, but I'll check with those who are working with the 
parties on the multilateral track.  I know that the Russians certainly 
feel that this has been a catalyst, and they are co-sponsors with us of 
the process as well.  We've been in contact with them on some of the 
same issues that do arise in the multilateral track, but I'll check 
further on that.

          Q    Beyond money, is there any other type of U.S. assistance 
being contemplated for the Palestinians -- advisers, security assistance 
-- and is there any military assistance being contemplated at all?

          MR. McCURRY:  None that I'm aware of at this time.

          Q    Speaking of money, I know you're not dealing with 
specifics at this point, but do you have ballpark figures for what the 
empowerment would cost?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't.  There have been a variety of analyses 
developed within the region.  There have been some -- I think I saw some 
figures that the World Bank was putting out the other day on what their 
estimates are.  I think a lot of people are looking at the question.  I 
don't know that we have any definitive estimates ourselves, but as we 
develop those, we'll try to share them.

          Q    Have you been given any estimates by either the 
Palestinians or the Israelis?

          MR. McCURRY:  As I say, a lot of people who have looked at it 
-- economic development experts and others -- have assessed on their own 
what they think the likely cost would be, and those are widely ranging 
figures.  I wouldn't want to pick out any one as being any more 
authoritative, but they do range quite a bit in the amount of money 
required, both for the actual ongoing costs of the civil functions that 
would be assumed by the Palestinians, and then also the initial one-time 
capitalization of reconstruction and other things that would be required 
to bring facilities up to par.

          That's obviously something that will be studied with a great 
deal of interest by a variety of institutions as we look ahead.

          Q    Could I just get a clarification?  So there is no 
assistance being contemplated beyond financial, is that what you're 

          MR. McCURRY:  I haven't heard of any.  Now, whether there are 
people within the government who are making plans or looking ahead or 
looking at scenarios, I can't speak of them, but nothing that I've seen 
put forward in an official sense.

          Q    Going back to Jacques' question for just a minute about 
contacts, can you tell us -- the Secretary has had something of a 
special role in the Syrian-Israeli track, particularly after his last 
trip.  Can you tell us whether the Secretary has been back in touch with 
Foreign Minister Shara or other Syrian officials beyond the cables that 
were sent out over the weekend?

          MR. McCURRY:  I will take the question to see what his most 
recent contact with the Foreign Minister has been, or with any others on 
that track -- on the Syrian track.  I just don't know the answer, but I 
can find out.

          Q    Mike, just to go back to your response to a previous 
question on anything the U.S. has offered, the Secretary a couple of 
months ago said very clearly that the United States is prepared to 
assist in crafting or participating in some sort of security 
arrangements on the Golan Heights.  Are you all taking that back now or 

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  No change in what he has -- we have 
indicated our willingness to participate in the past.  The parties 
themselves are well aware of what our commitments have been.  There have 
been discussions around some of those issues, but I just don't want to 
get into the detail of what's being put forward at this point when 
they're still talking about these relevant issues.

          Q    Mike, just how do you read the reaction of the Syrians to 
the rapprochement between the PLO and the Israelis?

          MR. McCURRY:  I believe there were some concerns expressed, 
but there is now -- there seems to be an acceptance of the formulations 
that have been put forward by the Israelis and the Palestinians, and 
that is, of course, welcome.

          Q    Still on Syria, that reminded me actually, the New York 
Times reported this morning that the Secretary's shuttle visit to 
Damascus on the last trip was conducted essentially as a way of prodding 
the Palestinians to think that there was something cooking on the Syrian 
front.  I think the Times reported that the Secretary had nothing 
particular to say to President Assad when he went back on the last day.

          Do you care to comment on that at all?  Is that --

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know -- I think that was an interpretive 
piece.  It may have had the effect of creating that type of dynamic, but 
certainly the Secretary had many  reasons, as we indicated at the time, 
to return to Damascus on that last stop to meet with President Assad.

          Q    New subject.  

          MR. McCURRY:  Warren.

          Q    There seems to be a spectacular sort of mistake by the 
United States in accusing this ship of having chemical weapons and not 
having -- can you tell us why the State Department doesn't feel like 
China's owed an apology?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't have anything beyond what we've said 
over the weekend on that.  We had a statement, I think as you know, I 
believe on Saturday on that.  Nothing new to add.

          Q    Mike, again on the Middle East, there was discussion 
earlier, a proposal for Shimon Peres which he called "the Marshall Plan 
for the Middle East," and when we talk about cost of the transition, we 
talk -- I guess you intend on the one hand the cost of the transfer of 
the civil administration to the PLO, but there's also some more basic 
problems -- water projects, infrastructure projects.  Are those also 
taken into consideration in terms of possible developmental aid in the 
aftermath of such a peace by the United States?

          MR. McCURRY:  I was describing earlier in response to Susan 
some of the things that are being looked at.  Those are certainly things 
that are being examined by a variety of experts who are studying the 
question -- what would be required to actually implement this.

          As I say, we are aware that a lot of that type of analysis is 
being done.  I just don't have anything for you that represents our own 
definitive assessment.  But many of the things that you cite are 
correct, that there would have to be both infrastructure facilities, 
necessary improvements in addition to the ongoing costs of this transfer 
that would have to be looked at carefully.

          Q    Mike, can I come back to the "Yin He" for just a moment?  
Your accusation -- the State Department's accusations about China's 
conduct on that ship, and so on, stand on the record.  Unless you say 
something to revoke them, they're still there, and you leave the 
impression that the United States still believes there was something 
fishy about that ship.

          MR. McCURRY:  Well, we do.  We had information from a number 
of credible sources that -- I knew I was going to mispronounce this -- 
thiodiglycol and thionyl chloride were contained within the cargo on 
that ship.

          Q    Well, what happened?  It wasn't found.

          MR. McCURRY:  It wasn't found.  

          Q    Does that cast some doubt on the U.S. Government's 
credibility when it makes an accusation with regard to China or with 
regard to anyone else for that matter?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.

          Q    Why not?

          MR. McCURRY:  Because we've had sufficient credible 
information that those items were in the cargo.  We worked closely with 
China and the Government of Saudi Arabia to examine those questions; and 
we will continue in the future to take a look at all these issues 
regarding proliferation, including chemical weapons proliferation, and 
make sure that our concerns are satisfied.

          In fact, that is exactly the type of cooperation in this 
instance that worked to resolve this matter that could be used to 
resolve some of the other outstanding issues we have on the 
proliferation front.

          Q    Are you saying that the cargo could have been unloaded 
somewhere between China and Saudi Arabia?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not saying that.  There are some in the U.S. 
Government who believe that to be true, but I'm not saying that.

          Q    Mike, wasn't there hundreds of containers?  Wasn't that 
the original report that we got, and it seems hard to believe that, the 
ship's entire cargo would be dumped without a --

          MR. McCURRY:  Well, no.  The ship was a container ship, so it 
had hundreds of containers.  I don't think anyone ever suggested that 
they all were a shipment of one type.

          Q    There have been reports that this search cost the Chinese 
millions of dollars.  Is there some discussion with the Chinese about 

          MR. McCURRY:  There is not.   The agreement that was reached 
between the countries at the time that the inspection was done -- the 
inspection itself was done with the full consent of China, and the U.S. 
Government informed China prior to the commencement of the search that 
it would not accept any financial liability as a condition of the 

          Q    Do you have anything to complain about the accuracy of 
the inspection itself?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  As I say, we obtained information from a 
number of credible sources that the Yin He was transporting those 
chemicals, that they were destined for use in Iran's chemical weapons 
program, and we undertook an inspection of the cargo to see if we could 
see whether those chemicals were still on board the ship.

          Q    On a related matter, has China responded to the U.S. 
invitation for it to have further discussions or negotiations on the 
question of missile technology proliferation?

          MR. McCURRY:  We made the offer at the time that we discussed 
with them the M-11 issue.  We made a standing offer to work in a 
cooperative spirit to resolve some of our concerns.  I'm not aware that 
they have taken us up on that offer, but we will continue to be in 
contact with them on it.

          Q    Well, sanctions also were imposed against Pakistan.  When 
the Pakistani Foreign Minister was here, I believe last Thursday, I 
don't recall seeing a readout on that.  Do you have one?

          MR. McCURRY:  At the time he was here, I did have a very brief 
readout.  I don't have it with me right now; but I believe it indicated 
that they had good, productive discussions on a number of issues beyond 
just proliferation concerns.  They addressed regional security issues 
and other issues of bilateral interest.  It was not dominated by the one 
subject of the M-11 by any sense.  It was a broad-ranging and fruitful 

          Q    Well, do you remember what the guidance said about the M-
11 issue?

          MR. McCURRY:  It said it was raised but it was not the focus 
of the discussion.

          Q    Mike, you seem to be indicating that by some method -- 
you seem to be indicating that the United States is not flat wrong in 
what it believed was in this cargo.  Is that a correct characterization 
on my part?  Because it seems, from the evidence anyway, that the U.S. 
is flat wrong; but you're saying that's not the case.

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm saying that we had good, sound, credible 
information upon which we initiated our concerns, or which we directed 
our concerns privately to China and then undertook to inspect --

          Q    How do you explain the disparity between your good, 
credible information and what was actually found on board the ship?

          MR. McCURRY:  As I say, there are a variety of theories within 
the U.S. Government about what might have happened.

          Q    And none of them include the fact that you might have 
just been flat wrong?

          MR. McCURRY:  I haven't seen any information that suggests 
that we may have been flat wrong.

          Q    Mike, another subject, but speaking of good, sound, 
credible information, sort of the revisionist view of the Somalia raid 
-- that there may indeed have been some Aideed operatives or people at 
those buildings where the raid took place?

          MR. McCURRY:  I've seen news accounts to that effect this 
morning.  I don't have anything new for you on that.  I know that the 
Pentagon was looking carefully at those questions this morning and plan 
to address them as the day went on today.

          Q    One more on China.  Do you know if the Secretary plans to 
meet with the Chinese Foreign Minister when the two of them are in New 
York at the U.N.?

          MR. McCURRY:  I've seen some things that indicate they might 
do that, but I don't have any firm details on that.

          Q    Mike, are there any plans for any meetings here with 
President Izetbegovic when he comes tomorrow?

          MR. McCURRY:  There are lots of plans underway.  I think 
President Izetbegovic is in New York today, as you know, and I think 
does plan to be in Washington tomorrow; but I'd really prefer to let the 
White House handle that.

          Q    Will he be meeting at all with the Secretary?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think we've got some plans underway to that 
effect, but I'm really going to kick it back over to the White House 
because I think they'll be in a position to say something further on 
that later today.

          Q    Can I ask the name of -- do you happen to have the name 
of the U.S. political officer who was injured in Somalia the other day?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't.  I don't.

          Q    Can you take that, or is that a name you'd just as soon 
not hand out?

          MR. McCURRY:  I can take the question although I'll refer it 
back over to the Pentagon because they've been in contact with UNOSOM 
Public Affairs on handling the question.  I just don't have it here.  I 
had seen it earlier; I just didn't bring it with me.

          Q    Do you have anything to say -- as long as you're on 
Somalia -- about the charges that the Italians refused to come to the 
aid of the Nigerians, seven or nine of which were killed over the 

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't have anything to say on that.  We are 
aware of those news accounts.  We're looking into that.

          Q    Is there a new assessment on the part of the U.S. 
Government -- or new fear -- that if Aideed is taken, there could be 
hostage-taking of either journalists or NGOs from the outside?  Is that 
something that you are now concerned about that perhaps you weren't a 
while ago?

          MR. McCURRY:  We have been watching very carefully what 
General Aideed is up to and what he is capable of.  We have a range of 
concerns about his capabilities to disrupt civil authority in Mogadishu 
and to disrupt the humanitarian effort there.  As you've heard Secretary 
Aspin and many others say, that's precisely among the reasons why we're 
addressing that situation now on the ground; but we certainly continue 
to monitor and develop information that will help us understand the 
types of activities that General Aideed and his clan are capable of.

          Q    Mike, do you have anything on the internal situation in 
Iraq in the light of the Cabinet reshuffle and the reports of death 
sentences being executed?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't have anything.  We, of course, have seen 
those reports.  That's something that, as you would expect, we monitor 
very carefully; but I don't have anything to provide right now as our 
current assessment of what that all means.

          Q    Michael, on Azerbaijan:  My original question on  
Elchibey, do we still consider the man as being the President after what 
happened over the weekend?  And could you shed some light on the tension 
between Turkey and Armenia?  Do you have a reading on that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I've been looking at that myself.  I haven't 
seen anyone develop a definitive answer on that.  Of course, obviously 
because of the referendum, we would want to address very carefully what 
we do say on that, so I will take the question and see if we can get an 
update on our view of what's going on there -- the fighting and the 
concerns about outside military involvement in the theater itself.

          Q    And can you put what the Minsk Group is going to try to 
resolve that?

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  The Minsk Group, I think they were 
scheduled to meet today, I believe, weren't they?  I'll see if we can 
find out and get any type of readout on that.

          Q    Can you tell us how the U.S. assesses the result of the 
talks between the IAEA and North Korea?  And my second question is what 
is the U.S. posture on the high-level talks between the U.S. and North 

          MR. McCURRY:  We don't have any direct comment on the 
discussions underway between the IAEA and North Korea.  It is our 
expectation that those consultations develop and address  all the 
questions that remain on the agenda because they are important.

          In answering your second question, it is that dialogue with 
the IAEA, as well as the North/South dialogue which we believe must 
resume and continue, which is critical to our ability to engage in a 
third round of discussions with North Korea at some date in the future.

          These are related questions, and the importance of the IAEA 
discussions with North Korea cannot be overstated.

          Q    Last week, the Chinese Embassy here lodged a protest 
concerning the U.S. sale of E-2 Early Warning Aircraft to Taiwan.  Do 
you have anything on that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I had seen something about the protest, but I 
don't have anything by way of a response.  If and when we do provide 
that response, I'll see if I can share it.

          Q    The other day you said you are not selling E2-C, instead 
of E2-T aircraft.  Can you say something on that?

          MR. McCURRY:  About the difference between the configuration?  
There's a difference between the two designations as they relate to the 
capability of the aircraft, but I would want to go back and retrieve 
that and get the precise answer to satisfy the question.

          Q    Also on China.  The U.S., I believe, condemned China in 
Brussels today concerning alleged violations of some endangered species 
convention.  Do you have anything on that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't.  I'll direct you to the Interior 
Department.  The question is whether or not to certify China under the 
Pelly Amendment for trade in rhino horns and tiger parts.  My friend, 
Secretary Babbitt, is addressing that question today.

          We have talked to the Chinese Government about it in the past.  
We know that they have made significant efforts in the last several 
months to combat this trade by their nationals; but, nonetheless, they 
continue to be a primary market for rhinoceros horns.  I think the 
Interior Department will be developing that more directly.

          Q    Michael, did the U.S. Government have the chance to 
debrief the two Iraqi diplomats who deserted to London?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know the answer to that.  Obviously, the 
British were in close contact with them; but I don't know that we had 
any direct contact with them ourselves.

          Q    Can you take the question?

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes, I will.  I'll take it and see if we can 
find that.

          Q    When did the Chinese deliver a demarche on the -- that 
you were talking about before?

          MR. McCURRY:  About the Taiwan sale?

          Q    Yeah.

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know.  I'd have to check and see.  I 
think it was fairly recently, or it was a subject I saw raised fairly 
recently.  I don't know that they formally demarched or not, but I know 
the subject came up in some contact fairly recently.  I just don't 
remember --

          Q    An Armenian question:  The press reported and several 
European newspapers said that the Armenian side trained PKK terrorists 
in Armenian territory.  They trained helicopter pilots, they trained 
some sabotage group.  Do you have anything about that?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  I don't have anything on that.

          Q    Will you take the question?

          MR. McCURRY:  I will check and see if we can get anything for 
you on it.


          Q    Mike, anything yet on the Woodruff investigation?

          MR. McCURRY:  They're developing some things.  I understood 
that were in contact with some of the other agencies, particularly the 
FBI, to see if we couldn't prepare a final report sometime soon.  They 
said they were moving towards that end at the end of last week.  I 
didn't check today prior to the briefing, but we continue to ask them to 
decide when we can provide some type of public accounting of their own 

          Q    Anything on the Funk investigation?

          MR. McCURRY:  Nothing on the IG's look at the files issue.

          Q    This report that came out of Mostar over the weekend 
about the prisoners being kept in underground tunnels, starved, and 
beaten.  Do you have anything on that?

          MR. McCURRY:  We are seriously concerned about those reports 
and the others that we've received about inhumane conditions at some of 
the Croat detention camps where they're holding an unknown number of 
Muslim prisoners.  We've also seen some of the news accounts from the 
region which detail what have to be called deplorable abuses and human 
rights violations.

          We've raised our concerns with senior Croatian and Bosnian 
Croat officials, insisting upon free and full access to the camps, and 
we've made clear that we hold them responsible for ending these abuses 

          Q    Still on Bosnia.  Senator Lugar, who returned from a two-
week diplomatic mission, visited Croatia and Macedonia and some of the 
areas.  His assessment was that -- he said the Serbian forces were more 
like hoodlums to a U.S. ground force presence, and a peacekeeping force 
would pose mainly a threat somewhat resembling some sort of guerrilla 
force.  He said that organized resistance would probably collapse in the 
face of a U.N. presence there.  Is that the State Department's 

          MR. McCURRY:  Was he referring prospectively to implementing a 
political settlement?

          Q    That's right.  He said that in the event there's a U.S. 
ground force presence and a peacekeeping force that would follow a 

          MR. McCURRY:  So he was suggesting that could be a successful 
participation of the United States?  We certainly will be very 
interested in his remarks.  I was not aware he had commented at that 
length; but he is someone whose opinion the Department values very 
highly, and we will be finding out more about his assessment from being 
there on the ground.

          I should say, also, we've had Ambassador Jackovich in Bosnia 
returning to Sarajevo, I believe, this week who has been moving around, 
looking at much the same type of question.  These assessments will 
become important to us as we move ahead in looking at what the next 
steps would be if and when there is a political settlement that's ready 
to be implemented.

          Q    Where is Ambassador Jackovich?

          MR. McCURRY:  Right at this moment?  I think he was in -- he's 
currently on his way back to Sarajevo where he'll continue to report on 
the situation.  Last week I saw some reporting from him from around 
other parts in Bosnia.  He had gone to the Mostar region and looked at 
some things there, but I believe he's going back to Sarajevo.

          Q    Last week the U.S. was again talking about the 
possibility that some sort of air strikes might be necessary.  It has 
been now five or six days since those comments were made and there 
doesn't appear to be much progress or any progress in the peace talks.  
There also doesn't appear to be any movement forward toward actually 
implementing that sort of bold talk.  Am I correct in that assessment, 
that we basically are static?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  I think there are preparations that are 
made and fine tuned to carry forward on the NATO initiative, should it 
be necessary.  But again, that hinges on  the question of whether 
Sarajevo and the other areas in Bosnia are being strangled.  There has 
been some slight improvement in some of those conditions, but not any 
evidence that the Serbs are continuing wholesale strangulation of 
Sarajevo at this point.

          Again, we are looking for improvement -- significant 
improvement -- over time in the humanitarian condition.  That's 
something that we continue to press quite vigorously.

          Q    Have we pressed with our allies on this since the U.N. -- 
the Security Council has given a go-ahead on this; and what you say is 
the strangulation is proceeding slowly, or a little more slowly than it 
has been, but strangulation nevertheless which would seem to be the 
criteria for launching these air strikes.

          Is the United States pressing to do this in the military 
councils of NATO, perhaps?

          MR. McCURRY:  We have pressed vigorously to remind our allies 
of the commitment that does exist and to provide our interpretation of 
what we think the events on the ground and the results of the recent 
discussions in Geneva have been.  Again, I would say our view at the 
moment is that the parties must return and finish the work that they are 
close to finishing on an agreement.

          I think you all know that we covered last week some of the 
things.  You heard the President and the Secretary talk about what we 
believe is the current posture of the Bosnian Government in those talks, 
but the important thing is for a settlement to be reached so that work 
preparing for this coming winter can now proceed unhindered.

          Q    (Inaudible).

          MR. McCURRY:  Because the humanitarian situation in Sarajevo 
and elsewhere in Bosnia will surely deteriorate absent any type of 
political settlement that can be reached in good faith by the parties 
and implemented.  That is a key in many ways to ensuring that there can 
be the type of humanitarian relief that will save lives this winter and 

          Q    You're pre-supposing a return to the peace talks in 
Yugoslavia is going to yield positive results?

          MR. McCURRY:  We think that the parties were very close.  We 
do feel that if they could -- in the case of the Croats and Serbs, if 
they could show some flexibility at this point, an agreement could be 
reached which could be very important to the long-term health of 
hundreds of thousands in Bosnia.

          Q    The President last week made some new threats of the use 
of force.  Now you're talking about the deplorable conditions that the 
Croats are putting the Muslims under.

          What credibility do these threats have -- and you're causing 
alarms or calling for some alleviation of the conditions -- if the 
United States and other nations continue to voice the threat and never 
use it, and the strangulation and the conditions go on?

          MR. McCURRY:  The President referred very directly to the 
types of things that would happen.  The NATO air strikes are related to 
the resumption of shelling; a significant deterioration in the 
humanitarian condition rather than what we're now seeing, which is 
modest albeit painstaking improvements, and disruption of humanitarian 
efforts elsewhere.  What credibility do these strikes have?  Well, those 
things have not happened.  There has not been a resumption of shelling; 
there's not been a resumption of wholesale military action by the 
parties themselves.

          There have been some slight improvements in the humanitarian 
situation, and there's been unhindered access by humanitarian convoys at 
most places in Bosnia.  The credibility of the air strikes is very 
directly related to those material facts on the ground, I would suggest.

          Q    So you're suggesting -- but earlier, you suggested that 
the situation is not markedly improved in Sarajevo or any place else?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'd say it's improved very slightly.  What I 
suggest is that we want to see consistent, dramatic improvements in the 
humanitarian situation and the achievement of a political settlement 
that then could be implemented would be the surest way of speeding that 
type of humanitarian improvement.


          Q    Last week, the Secretary and the President urged the 
Serbs and the Croats to be more flexible.  Did Ambassador Redman say 
anything similar to that at the time, in the third week of August, when 
the talks recessed and all parties were given a 10-day deadline by the 
mediators to approve the agreement?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't believe that that was -- there was a 
different message.  He was in close contact with the parties at that 
time.  He was certainly encouraging them to reach an agreement.  I think 
throughout the contact that he's had, especially with the Croats and the 
Serbs, he's encouraged them to be flexible and to understand the 
legitimate concerns of the Bosnian Government; but that specific 
message, I'm not sure in looking back chronologically when that message 
was conveyed.

          Q    So the United States did not take a specific position 
when the talks were going on and it might have had some means of 
actually pressuring the Serbs and the Croats at the bargaining table?

          MR. McCURRY:  We have not taken a specific position on the 
nature of the outcome of the discussions, which is to say we have not 
had our own preferred map or our own view of what type of settlement 
should be reached.

          We have expressed recently -- your question is really how 
recently have we expressed some desire or some interest in seeing some 
of the parties show some flexibility so they can finalize an agreement.  
I do think that we have consistently expressed to the parties our belief 
that an agreement bargained in good faith would be an important outcome 
because it would result in saving lives.

          Q    Mike, earlier you said that progress in relieving the 
humanitarian situation in Sarajevo had been painfully slow, and a moment 
ago you said the United States wants to see consistent, dramatic 
improvement in the humanitarian situation.  Is it fair to say then that 
the warning still exists because the improvement has not been fast 
enough to suit the United States?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not extending the warning of NATO air 
strikes beyond where the President of the United States and the 
Secretary placed it correctly last week; but it is manifestly clear that 
the goal of our policy has been to see an improvement in the 
humanitarian conditions there.

          A question earlier suggested, well, if strangulation continues 
or reappears or it is clear that there are people thwarting the ability 
of the citizens of Sarajevo and other places to have the benefits of 
some of the humanitarian aid that UNPROFOR is attempting to address, 
that would present the type of situation as directly addressed by the 
NATO communique.  So, in that sense, the threat of air strikes does 

          Q    Michael, is the U.S. Ambassador going to Sarajevo to stay 
or to proceed later to his station in Zagreb?

          MR. McCURRY:  Ambassador Jackovich?

          Q    Yes.

          MR. McCURRY:  His ultimate address would be Sarajevo, as the 
Ambassador to Bosnia; but he has been in and out of Sarajevo over the 
recent period.  Again, as I say, I report he's going back there today; 
and I'm not sure how long he will be at post there.

          Q    Mike, one more question on the files matter.  You said 
that you had nothing to say about the Inspector General's report.  Has 
the Secretary taken any administrative action with regard to any 
employees of the White House Liaison Office at the Department?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  He has not taken any administrative action.  
Again, on that issue, the White House Liaison Office requested files 
from storage, which is perfectly proper for the White House Liaison 
Office to do.  Beyond that there's not information that's been examined 
or developed by the Inspector General to warrant accusations against any 
particular individuals at this point.  That's my understanding.

          Q    So we know where things are at different points in time, 
the employees of the White House Liaison Office today are the same as 
those who were the employees of the White House Liaison Office on 
January 21, or whenever they first moved into the office; is that 

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know that for a fact.  It's a small 
office.  To my knowledge in recent months, it's had maybe three people 
associated with it.  I think there have been some people rotating in and 
out of the office, but I don't know the status of each and every 
individual in the office.

          Q    Since there are only three of them, it wouldn't be too 
hard to find that out.

          MR. McCURRY:  It's not proper for me to comment on that or to 
single out any individuals because there's no reason for us to suggest 
that any three particular individuals are involved in something at this 
point.  That's something, clearly, the Inspector General will examine.

          Q    Did any of those three individuals rotate out after the 
Secretary or his staff learned of the decision to request these files?

          MR. McCURRY:  No, there's not been any change in their status.  
I think there was one individual who may have been on a detail to 
another agency to work on an existing project, but that had occurred to 
the initiation of an Inspector General examination.


          Q    I just wanted to make it clear.  Neither the Serbs nor 
the Croats face the warning of U.S./NATO military action if they don't 
show greater flexibility in these negotiations?  That's not part of the 

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  The warning, as the NATO communique was 
developed and addressed in August, specifically relates to the 
humanitarian situation, i.e., specifically the strangulation of Sarajevo 
and then the unimpeded access to humanitarian relief elsewhere in 

          Q    I think we would be remiss if we didn't ask, since you're 
planning meetings with President Izetbegovic, are you also planning 
similar level of contacts with the leaders of Croatia or Serbia?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think the difference is that, to my knowledge, 
they don't plan to be here in the United States which is why we were 
discussing Izetbegovic.

          We have had very high-level contact with them through 
Ambassador Redman in Geneva on a fairly on-going basis up until the 
suspension of the recent discussions.

          Q    Thank you.

          MR. McCURRY:  You're welcome.

          (Press briefing concluded at 1:44 p.m.)

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