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Wednesday, September 8, 1993

                                           BRIEFER:  Michael McCurry

Subject                                               Page

US Welcomes Transition Agreements ..............      1-3
US Welcomes ANC Statement re: Lifting Sanctions       1-3,22
Possible US Assistance .........................      2-3
US Contacts with Parties/Future Contacts .......      3

Bosnian President's Meetings at UN/with US 
  Officials ....................................      3-6,13-14
Negotiations on Political Settlement ...........      4-11
--  US Efforts at Resolution/Adjustments .......      4,6-7
--  Implementation/Peacekeeping/US Role ........      4,7-9
--  NATO/US Air Support/Participation ......      7-9
--  Incentives for Settlement ..................      10-11
US Protests re: Condition at Croat Camps .......      9
Humanitarian Relief/Winterization/Donations ....      9-10
Fighting/Troop Movements .......................      9-13
Prospects for NATO Air Strikes .................      12
US Discussions with Allies .....................      13

Dr. Savimbi's Contacts with Asst. Sec. Moose ...      14-15

Foreign Minister's Meetings at Department ......      15

Strobe Talbott's Visit ..........................     15-17

Strobe Talbott's Visit to Central Asia, Latvia,
  EC, NATO .....................................      16-17

Discussions between Israel and PLO .............      17-20,22-23
--  US Discussions with Congress ...............      18-19
--  Statement by Gulf Cooperation Council ......      21
Bilateral Talks/Duration/Cosponsors ............      18

Inspection of Ship Suspected of Carrying CW
  Precursors/Financial Liability ...............      21


                           DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                           DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #125

                 WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1993, 12:56 P.M.

          MR. McCURRY:  Good afternoon everybody.  I'd like to start 
with a statement on South Africa.  We welcome the September 7 agreement 
by the negotiating parties in South Africa to establish a Transitional 
Executive Council.

          Agreement on the Council and three other draft bills is a 
significant step forward in South Africa's transition to non-racial 
democracy.  We expect the South African Parliament to approve these 
bills during its two week session this month, thus establishing the 
basis for holding free and fair one-person/one-vote elections scheduled 
now for April 27, 1994.

          Much work remains to be done, however, including the 
completion of a transitional constitution and the implementation of the 
TEC -- the Council itself.  We urge all parties to participate fully in 
the transition process and to rededicate themselves to achieving a 
peaceful and democratic South Africa.

          We also welcome the announcement made September 7 by the 
National Chairman of the ANC, Thabo Mbeki, that the ANC expects to call 
for lifting remaining economic sanctions by the end of September.  This 
would set the stage for the return of foreign investors who will 
ultimately play an indispensible role in enabling a democratically-
elected government to address some of the legacies of apartheid.  That 
statement will be posted and will be available.  With that, I'll take 
any questions you might have.

          Q    What specific sanctions remain, and when can they be 

          MR. McCURRY:  Most federal sanctions against South Africa were 
lifted, I believe, in July 1991.  There are some remaining federal 
sanctions that prohibit the import and export of arms to South Africa 
and the export of any commodity to the South African military and 
police.  There's also a Gramm Amendment to the Bretton Woods Agreement 
that restricts U.S. support of IMF lending to South Africa.

          Once the Transitional Executive Council is established, we 
will take steps to remove South Africa from the provisions of the Gramm 
Amendment.  The other remaining sanctions, on arms and trade with the 
military and the police, are based on U.N. resolutions; and, obviously, 
it will be up to the U.N. to take action to rescind those resolutions.  
I'm not aware at this point of any discussion to that effect at the 
United Nations, but we will be watching that.

          Then, in addition to the federal sanctions question, the issue 
that often arises is sanctions that are in place by state and local 
governments and then restrictions on investments by institutional 
investors -- large pension funds, pension funds of typically municipal 
workers or state workers.

          If and when there is a call for the lifting of sanctions by 
the ANC, that would set the stage for almost 160 various state and local 
and other institutional entities to lift their sanctions that are in 
place.  We would hope as the ANC disseminates its message, if and when 
it does so, that we would then be in a position to assist local 
municipalities in understanding the new posture as it exists in South 
Africa.  And, of course, we would do what we could to encourage state 
and local governments to lift their own separate sanctions.

          Q    Mike, I missed what you said at the very beginning.  What 
is it that triggers the lifting of the Gramm Amendment?  Is it the same 
call from the ANC or the call from --

          MR. McCURRY:  When the ANC itself calls for the lifting of 
sanctions, that's when we then can go and explore lifting the Gramm 
Amendment restrictions itself.

          Q    I thought there was one condition for that and then a 
different one for the state and local municipalities, but I 

          Q    Why are you waiting on the arms embargo?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm sorry?

          Q    Why are you waiting on the arms embargo?

          MR. McCURRY:  On the arms embargo?  I think they're just 
waiting to make sure -- there are certain things that, I think, are 
covered in some of the agreements themselves and some of the discussions 
among the parties that then affect some of the military training and 
transfer issues that they're looking at.

          Q    Is the Administration drawing up a plan for military 
training for a transitional government when a transitional government 
comes into being?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know the answer to that, Ralph. I don't 
know that we've addressed that in the past, so I'll take that up as a 

          Q    How about the issue of any other U.S. Government help to 
that transitional government?  Where does the U.S. Government stand in 
its thinking or drawing up a plan on that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think that's something that they've been 
looking at as they remain in contact with the parties, and I think 
that's something that was discussed at the time that both de Klerk and 
Mandela were here.  They will, I think, probably be coming for sessions 
at the United Nations; and I think there will be an opportunity for 
further discussion with them, at that point, about how the Transition 
Council itself will operate and what type of assistance they will seek 
from partners in the world community.

          Q    Mike, did Christopher send a cable or message similar to 
what you just read to us to either Mandela or de Klerk since the events 
in South Africa?

          MR. McCURRY:  He has not, although you may want to check in at 
the White House on that question.  I understand they might be involved 
in something similar to that later on today.

          Q    Who will be at the UN, Mandela --

          MR. McCURRY:  I think Mandela is planning to attend.  I'm not 

          Q    Would the Secretary meet with him there in this context 
of how to deal with sanctions and aid to a new government?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know the answer of whether we will or 
not.  We'll be looking to see how the schedules develop when they're 

          Q    Michael, you said if and when the ANC calls for the 
lifting of the sanctions.  Don't you consider the call made today by 
Mandela himself as sufficient for the lifting of the sanctions?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  We understand that they will call.  They're 
watching the development of certain things themselves.  At some point in 
the near future -- and by the end of September, our current 
understanding is, from the remarks by Mr. Mbeki -- they will then call 
for the full lifting of sanctions.  So that actually hasn't occurred 
yet, and it is important to us that that actually happen.

          Q    Mike, on another subject, if possible.  Izetbegovic 
seeing the Secretary and the President -- can you give us some idea of 
what the U.S. might be able to do for him besides offer words of 

          MR. McCURRY:  We've done, certainly, more than that already.  
I think, as you know, we have urged that the Croatian and Serbian 
parties in the negotiations in Geneva show more flexibility as it 
relates to some of the concerns that President Izetbegovic has about the 
status of the draft maps and some of the territorial issues that they're 
examining in the Geneva negotiations.  We've expressed our sense that 
those adjustments seem to be something that in the spirit of reaching a 
settlement could be undertaken by the parties negotiating in Geneva.  I 
think that that's certainly likely to be a subject of their discussion 
today -- as will be our general sense that it is important, as I think 
we've discussed here yesterday, to reach a political settlement so they 
can begin addressing the humanitarian situation, which still does remain 
grim.  That's something that will certainly be part of the conversations 
that President Izetbegovic will have, certainly, with Secretary 
Christopher and I would imagine with President Clinton as well.

          Q    Mike, one of the things Izetbegovic says he's looking for 
is a guarantee from President Clinton that the U.S. will participate on 
the ground in securing an agreement.

          The U.S. has taken a position up until now that they need to 
see what the agreement is and whether it's fair and enforceable.  The 
agreement that exists now won't change much if these adjustments are 
made.  Is the U.S. prepared now to say that they're willing to -- or 
will guarantee  -- that they'll go in to help enforce the agreement?

          MR. McCURRY:  I won't go beyond the commitment we've already 
referred to in the past.  That's certainly something that they will be 
discussing today.  I think President Izetbegovic, in the past, has 
inquired about our posture as it relates to implementing a political 
settlement.  We have indicated to him that we are certainly willing to 
make good on the commitment to participate and will do so after we see 
exactly how the political settlement itself is structured, whether it's 
viable, whether it's enforceable and being enforced by the parties 
themselves.  So I imagine they will address those issues today and learn 
more about President Izetbegovic's posture currently as far as it 
relates to returning to the negotiations in Geneva.

          Q    Is it correct to assume that "participate" means troops 
on the ground, or is possible that the U.S. would participate without 
troops on the ground?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think the assumption in the past has been that 
it would involve troops on the ground.  We haven't looked at that issue 
directly enough and don't know enough about the nature of the agreement 
itself -- it would be premature now to speculate on exactly how the 
participation would take place; but we have talked in the past about the 
possible use of ground force, and that's certainly the commitment that 
is on the record.

          Q    You said it was important to reach a political settlement 
so that, essentially, the world can deal with the humanitarian situation 
which remains.  Is that the approach that the Administration will have?  
Because if the Croats and the Serbs do not show the kind of flexibility 
you are urging, that leaves the Muslims with a fairly grim choice.  
Either they buy into the peace agreement as it now stands or continue 
the war.  Is that basically the set of choices which --

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  The choices that they face are grim.  I 
think you've heard the Secretary himself say the alternative to a peace 
settlement is grim as well: continuation of the fighting, which would 
pose a very serious risk to the ability to help folks endure the coming 

          Q    So there's not a whole heck of a lot of consolation that 
the U.S. can offer Izetbegovic at this point.  What we've got is out 
there and it's not much.

          MR. McCURRY:  That's correct.  It's not consolation.  We can 
help him understand the nature of the commitments we have made and the 
nature of the commitments NATO has made, and help him understand our 
view as it relates to the negotiations in Geneva, which is that they do 
need to return to the bargaining table and get an agreement.

          Q    Can you clarify the nature of the commitments the United 
States has made if he signs -- if he picks one grim choice and signs the 
agreement that's now on the table?

          MR. McCURRY:  I can't.  That's a question I think you've seen 
various senior officials in the government address from the President on 
down in recent days, and I don't have anything to add to their 

          Q    They all seem to have caveats -- that is, we would 
participate in a settlement, but only if under certain circumstances; we 
would have humanitarian aid, but we're going to get the help from other 
countries; we'd like to see the strangulation lifted, but the Europeans 
and NATO...

          I'm just wondering, what is it that the United States -- for 
the United States -- can tell Izetbegovic that would give him an 
incentive to either press forward for his extra four percent or sign?  
What incentive are we offering him?  What commitments the United States 

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm stumbling on your question because I think 
we've made a lot of our commitments well known to him in the past.  I 
think this is an opportunity, really, for President Izetbegovic to 
assess the situation in Bosnia, as it stands currently, and the status 
of the negotiations.  I don't know that he comes seeking those types of 

          Q    Hasn't he already done that with Mr. Jackovich and a lot 
of other folks and a lot of other folks?

          MR. McCURRY:  And Ambassador Redman.  He has.  He has.  He 
certainly is meeting with us, as he did with the United Nations Security 
Council yesterday, to help the world community understand the 
predicament that Bosnia is in and the situation that he is in as 
President.  I think it helped him, certainly, to be in a position to 
share that with the Security Council yesterday.  He is aware of the 
commitments that we have made already.  I think the purpose of this 
meeting is clearly much more to understand better.

          Q    He was met, essentially, by a wall of silence in the 
Security Council  --

          MR. McCURRY:  Not by the United States --

          Q    Other than Ambassador Albright, there was a mute 

          MR. McCURRY:  That's correct.

          Q    That's the kind of response he's getting from the rest of 
the world.  And, in essence, when he comes to Washington, Washington has 
to point to that moot response, don't they, and say, "There's not much 
more that we can do?"

          MR. McCURRY:  The United States was not mute in response to 
his presentation at the Security Council yesterday.  The Ambassador, 
very correctly I think, approached some of her colleagues on the 
Security Council on that very issue.  Certainly, his visit here is to 
revisit some of the things that have been done at the initiative of the 
United States within NATO to raise the additional prospects of military 
action should there not be the type of movement towards an agreement and 
towards the lifting of the strangulation of Sarajevo that imperils the 
citizenry there.

          Q    But, Mike, the British and the French were silent mostly, 
and they're involved.  The United States -- the American delegate asked 
that the world come to the aid of this country, which is a United 
Nations member.  In a sense, she was also asking -- she was asking that 
of the British and French.  But I'm not clear on exactly what it is that 
she was prepared to promise on the part of the United States that the 
President of the United States might be telling Izetbegovic.  She did 
make a very fervent appeal.

          But what is it that the United States is prepared to do to 
protect Bosnia's position at the peace table right now?

          MR. McCURRY:  It's not what we're prepared to do.  It's what 
we have done, which is to urge flexibility on the  part of the other 
parties negotiating there.  We've actually acted already, in a sense, to 
assist and improve the positions of the Muslims at the negotiating table 

          Q    And are you saying that that's all there is?  Are you 
saying that's there is; that everything the United States can do, it has 
already done?

          MR. McCURRY:  No, I don't.  That's sort of a hypothetical type 
question.  I wouldn't want to say that.

          Q    Did Secretary Christopher share Ambassador Albright's 
disappointment?  And did that prompt him to raise the silence with his 
counterparts, the French and British Foreign Ministers?

          MR. McCURRY:  I would say, in the first instance, yes.  I 
think he shared some of her frustration and disappointment at their lack 
of a response to President Izetbegovic.  I don't know that he has raised 
that today.  He hasn't raised it today.  He has had discussions fairly 
recently with both Foreign Minister Hurd and Foreign Minister Juppe as 
it relates to Bosnia.

          Q    Can I pick up on that?  May I please?  It's a week, I 
guess, since the State Department publicly announced support for the 
four percent of the -- a slightly larger slice for the government of the 
land that was seized from them.  Maybe it's steely silence.  Have the 
allies signed on to that proposition quietly, perhaps?  Do France and 
Britain support the U.S. in that position, do you know?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'd leave it to them to answer that question.  I 
think that we've made them aware of our view of the negotiations in 
Geneva.  We've certainly let them know that we think there are some 
legitimate concerns being raised here that could be addressed with 
flexibility on the parts of the Croats and the Serbs.  That point of 
view has been communicated very carefully to our European friends and 
allies.  I'm frankly not aware of what response they have made to us 
other than to receive our view of the situation.

          Q    Mike, coming back to the U.S. pledge to participate in 
enforcement of a peace agreement if there is one.  Does the U.S. foresee 
itself participating in such enforcement as the United States or as part 
of NATO, or as part of a U.N. operation?  Can you describe the 
circumstances of that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think our view is that the work that has been 
done by the world community in Bosnia has been most effective when it 
involves a military effort when it's been done under the auspices of 
NATO.          Q    Does that mean the United States would not 
participate if it didn't involve NATO?  Would the U.S. participate only 
if it involves NATO, I guess is the better way to phrase it?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know I'd say "only."  I would expect if 
and when it becomes time to participate in that type of implementation, 
it's more likely that it would be done under the auspices of NATO; but, 
again, with the caveat that that's not a point we're at the moment 
because there has not been an agreement reached in Geneva.

          Q    Mike, you have given the Secretary General a role in 
deciding whether NATO launches air strikes.  I understand that he would 
approve the first strike.  Will that same kind of role not apply if the 
United States joins in a peacekeeping effort with forces on the ground?  
Will the U.N. Secretary General have any command and control role in 
that at all?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't think those questions have been 
addressed yet by those who are doing planning.  My understanding is that 
there has been, at this point, some planning but they haven't addressed 
the political questions about command and control.

          Q    But they must be quite far along in the process of 
planning for a peacekeeping operation.  The pledge was made some time 
ago, and you wouldn't have made the pledge if you didn't have some idea 
about how it could be done.  If you feel it would be best done under the 
auspices of NATO, should we interpret that to mean that the U.S. now 
thinks Russia really wouldn't be able to play a part in it because 
they're not a member of NATO?  Or would there be some way of involving 
Russia in a peacekeeping operation?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think those are all questions that just have 
not been addressed with clarity by the United States yet.  I think, as a 
general proposition, our view is that the NATO framework is a good way 
to conduct efforts with respect to Bosnia as it involves a military 
element.  We take the view that would probably be so as it relates to 
implementing a peace agreement as well, but it's just premature at this 
point to say that that's how it's going to be done in any sense.

          Q    I thought NATO -- when the Secretary was there in Athens, 
didn't they have a rather detailed discussion and a fairly lengthy paper 
on the subject?

          MR. McCURRY:  They had a very lengthy planning process which 
went into implementing the Vance-Owen agreement.  I know that they've 
looked at the issue of how would they participate in implementing a new 
agreement.  But, again, part of the problem here is it's not clear what 
the nature of the new agreement will be.

          Q    I know, but the fundamental issue of who participates -- 
would Russia participate together with the United States?  That's not 
something -- it seems to me anyway -- that it would matter very much 
which agreement it is that's agreed to.  If the U.S. has said it would 
participate if all the parties agreed to something, it doesn't matter 
what they agree to.  You're saying it hasn't been dealt with.  Okay.

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm just saying, they've thought about this but 
they've not reached a point where they've made decisions that they're 
ready to announce on that.

          Q    Is there any further message you have for the Croats who 
apparently continue to do what you called yesterday deplorable things to 
their Muslim captives and to the Muslims?

          MR. McCURRY:  We indicated yesterday that we had made some 
very stern protests to the Croats on that, and we've talked in the past 
about additional steps that the world community might take in connection 
with behavior of that nature; but I don't have anything today that goes 
beyond what we've said in the past on that.

          Q    The U.N. is indicating, again today, that it is 
desperately short of all the normal kinds of supplies that are pumped 
into Bosnia, or have been pumped into Bosnia -- that they can't come up 
with the plastic sheeting and blankets and things, barely are getting 
enough food and are 40 percent short going into winter here.

          Where does the U.S. stand on that issue?  Are there plans 
being made for some new kind of campaign?  The last time you spoke to 
that issue, apparently nobody paid any attention.

          MR. McCURRY:  We are assessing the humanitarian situation and 
watching what's happening with humanitarian convoys and airlifts.  We do 
agree that there will be shortages.

          I think you're talking, really, about some of the planning 
that's being done for winter.  I haven't had a chance to look at that.  
I've seen some things indicating that we are assessing very carefully 
what the needs will be for the winter months.  I just don't have 
anything here.  I can maybe get an update later on or tomorrow for that.

          Q    Do you think we can get an update as we did last week on 
your two key points, whether the fighting has resumed.  The report last 
week was good.  It pointed fingers where they had to be and it gave 
counts of trucks and such.  If you could do something like that -- 
because now it makes more sense.  It really follows, clearly, after the 
conditions the U.S. laid down.

          MR. McCURRY:  I will do that.  I think you probably are aware 
there are news accounts today that there is some fighting in north 
central Bosnia, there is some shelling of  Bosnian Government positions 
taking place, and there are reports that there is some new activity on 
Mount Igman.  So we will be watching that today.  And as we can get more 
information, we'll see what we can make available.

          Q    You don't have any further details --

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  UNPROFOR spokesmen in Sarajevo have 
confirmed some of those initial reports that there has been some 
amassing of troops on Mount Igman.  We have very sketchy information at 
this point.

          Q    The issue I was addressing was a donor issue.

          MR. McCURRY:  Right.

          Q    That the European nations, the Japanese, and the United 
States are all far short of providing the kind of things to fill the 
warehouses to begin with.  Whether or not it ends up being delivered is 
another question; but the donors are no longer kicking in.

          Q    Mike, what does that say --

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes, they are not building.  It's not that 
they're not kicking in.  There's a significant amount of humanitarian 
relief going up.  The concern is that they're not building the warehouse 
storage to the point that they think they will be able to make it 
through the winter effectively.  That is a real concern.  Clearly, no 
one should have the impression that there's not a great deal of relief 
activity that's occurring there -- movement of convoys and provision of 
supplies.  There's a lot of detail --

          Q    According to the U.N. today, they don't have, in the 
warehouses, blankets, plastic sheeting, the kinds of things that they 
would like to be providing.  They have some food but they do not have 
the other critical things, and there's no housing for people in places 
like Mostar.  They're living outdoors.

          MR. McCURRY:  I can get more on that.  That squares with some 
of the assessments that we've had from the ground.  Part of the reason 
for that is, clearly, because they've been involved in the day-to-day 
activity of providing relief to people who are desperately in need on a 
day-by-day basis.  So their planning and their preparation for winter 
has been affected accordingly.  But I think that's largely true.  We'll 
see if we can maybe get some more on that type of preparation effort.

          Q    I can see with the coming of winter what incentive the 
Muslims have to settle.  Could you tell me what specifically are the 
incentives for the Croats and the Serbs to be more flexible?

          MR. McCURRY:  What incentives --

          Q    What incentives do they have to be more flexible?

          MR. McCURRY:  It is true that every time Milosevic, for 
example, addresses any of these questions, he instantly raises the 
subject of economic sanctions.  So economic sanctions are clearly having 
an impact.  And the threat of economic sanctions on Croatia might very 
well be having an impact.

          Q    Economic sanctions don't seem to be having much effect.  
There are no economic sanctions against Tudjman, and there are no 
economic sanctions against Karadzic.  I'm asking what specific 
incentives they have to be more flexible since they are the parties at 
the table?

          MR. McCURRY:  In the case of Karadzic -- with Serbia -- they 
have an on-going relationship with Serbia that is dependent on Serbia's 
economic productivity which, at the moment, is a very real concern to 
Milosevic.  That's what I was suggesting to you.  As you know, when we 
make protests in the region, we do address them to Croatia and Serbia 
specifically for that reason, because we believe they have some measure 
of influence over the parties.

          Q    Mike, you just said that the U.N. has confirmed the 
massing of Serbian troops on Mt. Igman, and the Administration has 
nothing to say about that?

          MR. McCURRY:  It's the purpose.  We see troop activity on Mt. 
Igman.  We're not certain what the troop purpose is about.

          Q    What difference would it make?  They were supposed to 
withdraw or face NATO air strikes.

          Q    But that's what (inaudible) Serbian troops --

          MR. McCURRY:  Both governments, the Bosnian Government and 
Serb forces.

          Q    Are you apprehensive about the sketchy reports which are 
described as ominous troop movements?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think I said that the reports are of great 
concern to the United States, and we'll be monitoring them carefully, as 
we are already monitoring the situation carefully.

          Q    Does that indicate that the President's threat of air 
strikes that was renewed last week carries absolutely no credibility at 
all with the Serbs?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  Lee, did you have a question?

          Q    No, I just asked that one about the -- also, did you want 
to reissue any warnings to any of the sides about the strangulation of 
Sarajevo, given the massing -- the reports of the massing of the troops 
on Mt. Igman?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not reissuing warnings.  I think they know 
the seriousness of the situation.  We know the seriousness of the 

          Q    Mike, you're obviously not -- not only are you not 
reissuing warnings, but you're not terribly concerned about the return 
of some troops to the area.

          MR. McCURRY:  That's not true, Ralph.

          Q    The President --

          MR. McCURRY:  I just said we were concerned.

          Q    You said the reports are of great concern to the United 

          MR. McCURRY:  Right.

          Q    If they're such great concern to the United States, the 
President said last week that if the strangulation continues, NATO would 
take action.

          MR. McCURRY:  Right.  What's the question?

          Q    Is NATO going to take action now that troops are 
returning to the places from which the U.S. had praised them for 

          MR. McCURRY:  You know how and when a decision by NATO to 
employ air strikes would be made.  It wouldn't be made by me standing 
here announcing it.  It would be made by the North Atlantic Council 
meeting to review the situation.  So, determining whether they are going 
to gather to meet to address that question is the way to understand 
better what might happen.

          Q    Well, are consultations underway among the NATO allies?  
Is the Secretary on the phone with the NATO allies to discuss this very 

          MR. McCURRY:  As I indicated earlier, he is.

          Q    Are there any tentative plans for a North Atlantic 
Council meeting?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of any plans for a meeting, but I 
think it remains possible that a meeting could be called on short 

          Q    You said Hurd and Juppe, right?

          MR. McCURRY:  Hurd and Juppe, he has talked to about this, and 
he's been in conversation with others.  I think you also saw that the 
President discussed Bosnia with both President Yeltsin and Chancellor 
Kohl yesterday.

          Q    I thought you said that discussions with Hurd and Juppe 
were related to the U.N. appearance by President Izetbegovic.  That was 
not what you said?

          MR. McCURRY:  No, no.  They discussed, among other things -- I 
mean, they obviously had Middle East questions to review and other 
issues as well, but they reviewed the situation in Bosnia and our 
assessment of the situation.

          Q    In his discussions, did the Secretary suggest a meeting 
of the North Atlantic Council?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not that I'm aware of.

          Q    Did they discuss the return of troops to Mt. Igman?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  That's a report as of today, and these 
calls were several days ago.

          Q    And those consultations are not relevant to the present 
situation essentially.

          MR. McCURRY:  Well, they're relevant to the situation in 
Bosnia.  We've got one news account relating to one aspect of Bosnia 
today, but the overall assessment of the situation in Bosnia is very 
much what's at stake here.

          Q    Mike, are you going to have any kind of readout after 
these meetings or is this it?

          MR. McCURRY:  I believe we will.  I was discussing with the 
White House earlier how they planned to do it.  I'm not quite certain 
what arrangements they plan to make, but I do understand that they're 
going to provide some form of readout.  Whether they do it through a 
statement or making some people available, we'll know more later on in 
the afternoon.

          Q    Why is the Secretary not allowing himself to be seen 
publicly with President Izetbegovic?

          MR. McCURRY:  Well, that's not true.  He's going to greet him 
here -- meet him here, accompany him to the White House.  We'd certainly 
want to put the focus on his meeting with the President, and that's the 
only reason why we're not doing anything more elaborate by way of press 
arrangements here, because they'll be doing that at the White House.  
That's how we often handle this.  We handled the recent visit of 
President Aristide exactly the same way.

          Q    So he'll meet him at the front door, and he'll escort 

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  I think they're going to meet here before 
they go over to the White House.

          Q    So he's meeting him at the front door, are you telling 

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

          Q    We won't see them after their meeting here, is that 

          MR. McCURRY:  Probably not, because I think they go from here 
straight over to see President Clinton.

          Q    That's what I was trying to get at.  Okay.

          MR. McCURRY:  They go from here to see President Clinton 

          Q    Mike, last time President Izetbegovic was here, I believe 
it was Cyrus Vance -- maybe it was Lord Owen -- called the 
Administration -- I think it was Eagleburger at the time -- asking that 
they not meet with Izetbegovic.  Did Owen or Stoltenberg do anything 
similar to that this time?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not that I'm aware of.  I will check, though, 
and see if they did.

          Q    On another subject, Angola.  Do you know anything about 
Jonas Savimbi making a call to a senior State Department official to 
renew -- about renewing the peace dialogue there?  Anything on that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I've got a little bit about it.  I haven't had a 
chance to review it at all, but let me run through what I've got.

          I can tell you that Assistant Secretary Moose has spoken by 
telephone twice with Savimbi during the past few days.  It's obviously 
related to the fighting which continues in Angola and which continues to 
take scores of lives each day.  We have urged both the Government of 
Angola and UNITA to end the killing and come to a negotiating table 
without further delay.

          We also endorse the efforts -- there's a U.N. Special 
Representative, Mr. Beye -- to restart peace talks.  As a first step, he 
has obtained agreement from concerned African heads of state to meet in 
Libreville with Dr. Savimbi.  The United States is prepared to attend 
that meeting.  We have strongly urged Dr. Savimbi to accept this 
important invitation immediately so that there can be rapid resumption 
of  negotiations within the framework of the accords that were 
negotiated previously.

          Q    Did Secretary Moose initiate either of those two phone 
calls or both, or do you know?

          MR. McCURRY:  All I have is that he spoke twice.  I don't know 
who initiated the call.

          Q    What was the purpose of the call?

          MR. McCURRY:  Well, to discuss the need for them to resume the 
negotiations according to the Bicesse and Abidjan Accords.

          Q    Well, it must of been important.  I mean, if he called 
Moose -- I don't think he's going to call Moose to ask him or tell him 
to resume the peace talks.

          MR. McCURRY:  I just am not certain we initiated the calls.  I 
think that we initiated the calls, but I don't know that for a fact.  I 
can check that.

          Q    Do you have any response to the Pakistan Foreign 
Secretary's request of Secretary Christopher that the Pressler Amendment 
be reviewed or, in fact, lifted because it wasn't serving any purpose; 
in fact, it was (inaudible).

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't have anything for you on that.  I know 
that they discussed the Pressler Amendment.  But I'll see if we have any 
response to asking that they address that.

          Q    And also a general assessment of the talks, if you could 
have any kind of a response?

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes, I will see if there is anything further, to 
provide some of the things that we indicated earlier.

          Q    Michael, yesterday Ambassador Talbott spoke about a 
change in management in Azerbaijan.  Is the U.S. Government ready to 
accept the de facto situation there and discuss with open discussion 
with Aliyev?

          MR. McCURRY:  First of all, I think, as he indicated 
yesterday, he will be leaving for the region, I believe, later today.  
He did address before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at some 
length our current view.  I think he does plan to meet -- I'll double-
check that -- yes, he will have discussions with Ter-Petrosyan and with 
Speaker Aliyev when he's in the region.

          They clearly will be talking about the fighting in Nagorno-
Karabakh and the Minsk process itself, and what can be done within the 
framework of the Minsk process to seek an end  to the fighting.  Those 
discussions, I think, start again tomorrow in Moscow, if I'm not 
mistaken, with Ambassador Maresca participating for the United States.  
And, as we have been, we'll continue to work through that process to 
address the fighting.

          Q    Have you made any new determination concerning Elcibey?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  I think that you are right in describing 
how Ambassador Talbott referred to him.  I think he also referred to him 
as the democratically-elected President.  But our discussions will 
proceed, understanding that the importance of addressing the fighting 
means that you deal with the realities that now exist.

          Q    Where is Talbott going on this trip?

          MR. McCURRY:  Let me give you a rundown.  He's leaving today, 
and it's a lengthy trip.  He'll be gone until the 18th.  He'll be 
accompanied by Nick Burns from the NSC, who's now the Senior Director 
for that basket of issues.  I don't know if they divide it the same way 
as we do here.

          He will be in Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, 
Kyrgyzstan, Uzebekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Russian 
Federation, Latvia, the EC and NATO.

          Q    You said Kurdistan?

          MR. McCURRY:  From the 8th to the 18th.

          Q    Where's Kurdistan?

          MR. McCURRY:  We'll post this.  We'll post this so you'll have 
the whole listing.  We don't have a complete day-by-day itinerary.

          Q    Where is Kurdistan, Mike?

          MR. McCURRY:  It's in the region.  (Laughter)

          Q    Does the United States recognize Kurdistan?

          MR. McCURRY:  I would muff it if I answered it.  

          Q    You'd rather talk about --

          MR. McCURRY:  I'll tell you more about what I've got here on 
his trip.  This is Talbott's third trip to the NIS states.  After this 
trip he will have been to every country in the region.

          Q    The region.  What's the region as you're defining it -- 
Central Asia?

          MR. McCURRY:  Transcaucasus.  Transcaucasus and Central Asia.

          Q    But you'll post the specific list --

          MR. McCURRY:  And I will post this specific --

          Q    And presumably it will not include Kurdistan.  (Laughter)

          MR. McCURRY:  And any other trick questions.  (Laughter)

          Q    Is Talbott planning a meeting with Elcibey?

          MR. McCURRY:  They have been in contact recently.  I don't 
know whether he plans to meet on this trip or not.

          Q    So he's going to meet with Aliyev but not with Elcibey?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know that he's planning to meet with 
Elcibey.  I do know that they have been in contact fairly recently.

          Q    But we still consider Elcibey as the President of 

          MR. McCURRY:  He's the only democratically-elected official in 

          Q    Does the State Department have any information to the 
effect that Russian Ambassador Lukin is being replaced, and, if you do, 
do you have any comment on that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of that report.  I can check on 
it.  What's the report?

          Q    Just someone told me that he was -- Kozyrev was dumping 
him for being too pro-American.

          MR. McCURRY:  Okay, I don't know.  I'll check and see if we 
know anything about that.

          Q    Michael, one last question on Azerbaijan.  Can you talk a 
little bit about the tension between Turkey and Armenia?  Do you have 
anything on that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't, other than to say that we have been in 
contact with Turkey, Russia and Armenia to assess the situation, to 
encourage them to work within the Minsk Group framework, to express our 
concern about the fighting.  We're also aware of the fighting close to 
the border with Iran which has been of great concern to us, and we've 
addressed that in our conversations with the parties.

          I don't really have anything more beyond that, just more 
situation updates, but mostly information I think you're familiar with 

          Q    Mike, is the Russian Foreign Minister coming to the 
United States?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of any immediate plans for him to 
come.  I think he may be planning to come in connection with the U.N. 
General Assembly, although I can't confirm that.

          Q    Mike, on the Middle East peace talks, the Israeli 
Government -- Rabin is in trouble with his cabinet.  It looks like he 
might lose the majority he needs.  Arafat seems to be running into some 
problems, too.  You all still think things are going swimmingly, and 
that Clinton will be hosting a signing ceremony on Monday?

          MR. McCURRY:  Those are your characterizations.  We've 
cautioned people all along that this is a difficult process, and 
agreements are difficult to come by, and that we're taking this one step 
at a time.  I think you're just seeing the parties themselves, and news 
from the region indicates some of the complexities that are involved.  
But some of the things you just cited are clearly internal matters upon 
which we have no direct comment.  But I really don't have anything new 
to share today on what's going on.

          We clearly are very closely in contact with the parties as 
they negotiate here.  We're aware of the discussions that are going on 
directly between the PLO and Israel.  We know that they are -- the 
parties themselves describe themselves as being close on those 
questions, and that's something that we are watching very carefully.

          Q    You really had to have been on your toes to catch the 
Palestinians and Israelis this morning.  Do you know why they only met 
for 30 minutes?

          MR. McCURRY:  Why they met for 30 minutes?  I think they 
probably exchanged their latest reports from elsewhere.

          Q    Mike, I have several questions here, but first a little 
technical question as to whether or not --

          MR. McCURRY:  Those are the kinds that can really get you into 

          Q    Yes, I understand.  But you know how it works.  Has the 
State Department been in touch with Congress regarding hearings 
regarding this breakthrough between officials of Israel and the PLO?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know the answer to that.  I don't know 
whether we've been in contact with them about hearings.  I think there 
is, as you can well imagine, substantial interest in the United States 
Congress about the status of the negotiations themselves.

          I think that there have been a variety of people in the 
Department who have had contacts with members of Congress about our 
assessment of where things stand at the moment and what might happen.  
There may be some interest on the part of members of Congress in having 
hearings, but how those would be structured and who would testify on 
behalf of the Department is premature to address at this point.

          Q    Well, the reason I'm asking is that there's a report this 
morning that Congressman Hamilton didn't know anything at all about it 
until he read about it in the papers.  So I'm just wondering whether or 
not there's been close consultation.  

          MR. McCURRY:  You mean, he didn't know -- I think he was in 
the same position as many people were.  (Laughter)  I don't know that 
that entirely surprises.  I don't think that indicates anything about 
our lack of interest in keeping him well informed on the status of the 

          Q    Mike, is the current round of peace talks extended until 
next Tuesday?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know the answer to that.  I do know that 
there's strong interest, clearly with no surprise, for at least one of 
the delegations to return home in time for the high Holy Days, which 
would mean that they would have to leave probably by Tuesday, I would 
imagine.  But I don't have anything further on what their own plans for 
discussions are over the next several days.

          Q    May I continue, Mike, please?

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

          Q    There's a report this morning by the -- attributed to a 
fellow in Tunis described as the principal architect of the breakthrough 
on the part of the PLO that the United States and Russia are guarantors 
of the agreement reached between the Israeli and PLO officials.  Have 
you seen anything about that?  And what does that mean in terms of the 
United States guarantor of the agreement?

          MR. McCURRY:  I haven't seen the role described in that 
fashion.  The United States and Russia are co-sponsors of the 
negotiations that are underway here in Washington, and indeed the 
process itself has helped in part to lead to the breakthrough that the 
PLO and Israel have made on the declaration of principles.  But I think 
the role that Russia  and the United States would play in connection 
with that declaration is not any different from the one that we've 
discussed here in the last several weeks.

          Q    But they're co-sponsors of the process that's taking 
place here in the State Department, but not co-sponsors of the agreement 
made in Oslo or co-sponsors of the agreements -- or guarantors of the 
agreement that may be reached.  Is that correct?

          MR. McCURRY:  Let's see what agreements are actually reached.  
The declaration of principles that has been reached between the PLO and 
Israel in their discussions is something that we, as I think you know, 
have embraced enthusiastically, and it's something that we have 
described, in various ways, our ways in participating in implementing 
that agreement.  I'm balking at the word "guarantors," because that 
implies a legal commitment within a document, and I am not aware of 
where they are at the moment with that document.  So I don't want to 
extend that commitment.

          Q    Do you know, Mike, if there are any plans to provide 
assistance to the Palestinian entities which supposedly will emerge at 
some point in Gaza and in Jericho?

          MR. McCURRY:  Are there any plans to?

          Q    Yes.

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know the answer to that.  I know that 
there's a general sense that there will have to be resources that will 
be made available, but as to which entities or how that will be done, I 
think that's beyond my understanding of where they are right now.

          Q    Mike, legally speaking on the guarantor question, would 
the United States and Russia -- would they be guarantors for an 
agreement that was reached in the formal peace talks?  Is that part of 
the Madrid format?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know the answer to that.

          Q    Could you take that question, if we are committed to be 
guarantors of agreements reached in the formal talks, and if that 
commitment legally extends to agreements, such as --

          MR. McCURRY:  It's similar to Joe's question in a way.  It's 
what legal obligations might exist as a result of witnessing this 
document, if and when it is produced for signature.

          Q    Or if it is something different from what we have 
committed to in the formal talks, I think it's an important distinction 
in the question.  Could you take it, please?

          MR. McCURRY:  Right.  I'll see if we can.  My strong suspicion 
is we can't really develop any answer to that at this point, because 
we're dealing with a document that doesn't exist.  It's only been talked 

          Q    (Inaudible) -- for the talks, the formal talks, 
agreements on the formal talks.

          MR. McCURRY:  If there was something that was developed -- if 
this was signed as a result of the delegations here.

          Q    No, just in the formal talks, are U.S. and Russia 
guarantors of those agreements.

          MR. McCURRY:  Okay.

          Q    And then, if they can, extrapolate that to what they're 
working on now -- what the PLO and Israel are working on now.

          MR. McCURRY:  Okay.

          Q    Mike, another question -- another subject.

          Q    Wait a minute, don't go away.

          MR. McCURRY:  Follow up on this.

          Q    Yes.  There was quite a lot of enthusiasm about the Gulf 
states endorsing the agreement, but the whole story wasn't told 
apparently, because the Saudi Arabian Embassy has given me -- provided a 
statement that says that the Council welcomes a draft agreement because 
"the principle of land for peace will bring the full Israeli withdrawal 
from the occupied Arab lands, foremostly the Holy City of Al-Quds, 
(Jerusalem)," and so forth, and so on.

          I mean, what does this mean?  I mean, are we party to anything 
like this?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not that I --

          Q    Is this the State Department's understanding of the Saudi 
Arabian and other Gulf states' idea of what this agreement means?

          MR. McCURRY:  That statement may have lost something in 
translation.  (Laughter)  I'm not sure that it reflects exactly.

          Q    I'll give you a copy after the briefing.

          MR. McCURRY:  Okay.  I will look at it and see if there's 
anything for us to clarify on that.  That's not, I think, our 
understanding of the agreement that is emerging as the way we have 
characterized it here and not the way that it was characterized there.

          Q    Another subject, on the Chinese ship -- yet one more.  
Does the U.S. Government consider this episode to be closed?

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

          Q    And what about the issue of restitution or claims against 
the U.S. Government?

          MR. McCURRY:  We got into that a little bit yesterday.  I 
think our view is that since the agreement to inspect the ship was 
freely entered into by China and consistent with some of the 
international agreements that are not yet in effect but have been 
negotiated, that there was not a financial liability incurred on our 
part; and that we suggested, I believe yesterday, that we made that 
clear to the Chinese prior to the inspection.

          Q    And have our crack government spies figured out where 
they put the chemicals on the way to Saudi --

          MR. McCURRY:  Argumentative.  Out of order.  (Laughter)

          Q    Mike, on another subject, now that the negotiators in 
South Africa have agreed on a Transitional Council, will the Secretary 
of State certify that South Africa is no longer a country that practices 
apartheid and allow the U.S. to vote for loans in international 
financial institutions?

          MR. McCURRY:  We covered a little bit of that earlier, Steve.  
There are some questions about our posture in lending institutions, 
things that we will have to examine, but we will do that in the context 
of hearing more from the ANC on whether or not they feel the conditions 
relating to economic sanctions have been satisfied.  When we reach that 
point, I think those are questions that we will address in a little more 

          Q    One more little detail on the Middle East:  The 
Secretary, I think last week, said that the situation was evolving 
rapidly, and as a result of that he sort of held open the idea that the 
U.S. is reviewing its policy on dealing with the PLO.

          It's not clear to me how rapidly anything's evolving, but in 
light of his assessment that it is, has the review in the Administration 
evolved rapidly, and is there any decision about how the U.S. will deal 
with the PLO now that it's reached initial -- this agreement with 

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't have anything new on that.  I think the 
Secretary's statement stands.  I believe he said that there's obviously 
no change in our policy currently -- no dialogue with the PLO -- but he 
suggested this is a dynamic situation, and we're reviewing it as it 
develops, and we will continue to do that.

          Q    Is it your understanding that just as the United States 
sort of undid what Shultz did, could we now -- could the United States, 
could the President simply undo what the policy -- what the Bush policy 
was toward the PLO in order to facilitate any hosting of duties that the 
United States might have in the event of a signing?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't want to imply that it's that simple.  I 
think there are also some Congressional restrictions that are in place 
that would have to be examined.  You've heard me say before that we 
would certainly do nothing that would prove to be an impediment to the 
parties themselves as they attempted to gather to formalize an 
agreement.  But there's a larger question there as it relates to a 
policy on recognition that has other aspects that would have to be 
looked at carefully.

          Q    But, Mike, you know, I realize it doesn't seem as though 
you've given enough -- thorough, complete thought -- you haven't 
concluded your thinking on this issue, but the U.S. has been very 
specific in instructions to its diplomats abroad about how to deal with 
PLO representatives, even in situations like social situation, and so 
on.  I mean, it's gotten down almost to a Biblical kind of instruction 
set of how to deal with these things.

          I realize it's hypothetical, but if there's some kind of a 
ceremony at which the U.S. presides or participates, clearly some 
decision has to be made by this Administration about whether the 
Secretary of State would turn his back on the PLO representative, or 
whether they would exchange words and whether that would constitute a 
dialogue or not.  And, if you're going to keep pinning it on Congress 
and Congressional restrictions, then, you know, you're going to get 
yourself in a real legal bind.  Is there some way of getting out of 

          MR. McCURRY:  Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that all that 
might get addressed before that moment that you describe?  I'll just not 
address it today.

          Q    Thank you.

          (The briefing concluded at 1:51 p.m.)


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