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Thursday, September 16, 1993

                               BRIEFER:  Michael McCurry
Subject                                               Page

Secretary to Speak at Columbia University on
  Monday .......................................1-2
No Regular Press Briefing on Monday ............1
US to Host APEC Senior Officials Meeting  
  in Honolulu September 22-24 ..................2

US Release of FY93 Security Funds ..............2-4

Implementation of Declaration of Principles ....4-5
--  Funding/US Planning/Efforts ................4-5
Bilateral Negotiations/US Contacts with Parties 4-10
--  US Contacts with Syria/PLO .................4-8,11
Boycott of Israel ..............................8-9
US Presses Review of UN Resolutions re:  Israel/
  Middle East .................................. 8-9
Secretary's Meeting with Egyptian FM ...........9

Admiral Howe's Consultations at UN/Washington ..5,11-12

Fighting/US Efforts to Resolve Conflict ........12-13
Report of Russian Ultimatum ....................12
State of Emergency .............................14

Ambassador Talbott's Trip to Asia/Europe .......13-16
--  Visit to Turkmenistan Terminated Early .....13,15
--  US Concern for Human Rights/Democracy ......13-14

UN Oil/Arms Embargo re:  UNITA's Progress in 
  Peace Talks ..................................16-18

US Concern re:  Formation of Government ........17

Status of Selection of War Crimes Prosecutor ...17-18
Status of Negotiations .........................17-18


                           DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                           DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #129

                 THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1993, 12:55 P.M.

         MR. McCURRY:  Good afternoon everybody.  I've got two 
housekeeping announcements.  The first is to tell you that Secretary of 
State Christopher will visit New York City on Monday, September 20.  He 
will deliver an address and engage in a question and answer session at a 
forum jointly sponsored by Columbia University's School of International 
and Public Affairs and the Council on Foreign Relations.

         The event will be held at the Low Memorial Library at Columbia.  
The Secretary's speech is scheduled to begin at 12:00 noon.  We've got 
some information on contact points, if you're interested.  There will be 
a Q&A session at this event, and we are trying to work out through 
technological wizardry the ability to pipe the sound in here, but we 
can't guarantee that yet.  We are working on it.

         Q    Will there be a text -- an advanced text?

         MR. McCURRY:  We will work on getting an advanced text.  It may 
change during the weekend, so it might not be available until very early 

         Q    And what's this talk about?

         MR. McCURRY:  Generally I'd describe it as picking up on some 
of the events in the Middle East recently and then describing in a 
larger sense some of the global questions that confront the United 
States; I'd say the Middle East with maybe a larger global perspective, 
in addition.  Is that enough of a hint?

         Q    You're still working on it?

         MR. McCURRY:  We're still working on that, in other words.

         Q    Is it likely we'll have a briefing that day here?

         MR. McCURRY:  There will be no briefing on Monday due to the 
Secretary's speech.

         The second is just to tell you that --

         Q    More on that one.  From whom will he take questions?

         MR. McCURRY:  This is a group put together by Columbia 
University and the Council of Foreign Relations.  It's a ticketed event 
and a fairly august group of people in the foreign policy community, I 
am told.  We shall see; right.

         Q    Another elitist audience, right?

         MR. McCURRY:  There will be students.  They've also included 
students from the university.  Let's hear it for the students.

         Second, the United States will host the Fourth Asia-Pacific 
Economic Cooperation Senior Officials meeting in Honolulu next week, 
September 22-24.  That is a gathering that's designed to lay the 
groundwork and prepare the agenda for the upcoming APEC Ministerial that 
will be held in Seattle in November.  We wanted to alert you to that.  
There's a longer statement about APEC and about some of the preparations 
going on for the APEC Ministerial that will be available in the Press 
Room after the briefing.

         Q    Do you strongly advise those of us who cover the State 
Department regularly to be there to cover that meeting?

         MR. McCURRY:  I think it's very, very important given the 
Clinton Administration's focus on the new Pacific community and reaching 
out to the Asian world that all journalists make every effort to stay 
closely tuned to these important breaking developments as they occur.  I 
would strongly urge news organizations to consider sending their most 
knowledgable correspondents to Honolulu to make sure that everything 
about this very historic and important gathering is kind of recorded for 
prosperity's sake.

         Q    We'll see if it works!  (Laughter)

         MR. McCURRY:  Don't count on it.  (Laughter)  And with those 
two announcements, your questions.

         Q    Could you explain the rationale for releasing the security 
assistance funds to Jordan?

         MR. McCURRY:  As you know, we have released -- in March, the 
Secretary decided to release the FY-92 security assistance funds to 
Jordan.  The President has now announced that he intends to waive the 
restrictions that exist on the FY-93 security assistance funds.

         I think that the sense of the United States at this time is 
that there are steps the United States can take to further the peace 
process.  We believe that this decision by the President will certainly 
further not only the interests we have in seeing the peace process 
advance, but also seeing to it that the Government of Jordan considers 
some of the requirements that we have placed upon them as they look at 
things like the types of military assistance -- foreign military 
financing programs -- and training programs that we have developed.

         We've actually suggested to them, through a number of our 
exchanges, that there are steps that they can take to take these funds 
and use them effectively.  We felt at this time it was a good gesture 
and an important gesture.

         Q    How much money is involved?

         MR. McCURRY:  There is $30 million involved in this transfer.  
That breaks down as $15 million in Economic Support Funds; $9 million in 
Foreign Military Financing Funds; $500,000 in IMET funding -- military 
training funding; and then another $5.5 million in other centrally 
funded programs such as the Middle East Regional Cooperation and 
multilateral peace process projects.

         There are ways in which some of this money can be used as part 
of the empowerment funding that will be necessary to carry through on 
the recently signed agreements.  But the large part of this assistance 
is obviously security assistance.

         Q    How could it be used?

         Q    On how and what?

         MR. McCURRY:  The additional $5.5 million that will go as part 
of this larger group of $30 million are funds that would be available 
that could be used, conceivably, to finance some of the joint venture 
projects and others that would be developed down the road on both the 
West Bank and in the Jericho area.  That's something that would have to 
be worked out.  That would be part of a larger development concept for 
the region itself.

         Q    Why would Jordan put money into Jericho?

         MR. McCURRY:  I'm not saying they necessarily would.  I'm 
saying that this is money that would be available as part of the effort 
to put together the economic resources necessary to carry forward on the 
deal itself.

         Q    So would the United States withdraw money from what it has 
assigned to Jordan and put it into the early empowerment fund?

         MR. McCURRY:  No, no.  I'm saying these resources might 
conceivably make their way into the international multilateral efforts 
that will help carry forward on the agreements.

         Q    Are you encouraging Jordan to contribute?

         MR. McCURRY:  We've encouraged governments throughout the 
region to contribute.

         Q    For example, does this include funds for training of the 
Palestinian police force by the Jordanians?

         MR. McCURRY:  That I don't know.  I don't have that.

         Q    The EC said that they're going to put up $590 million over 
the next six years.  Can you give us more details on what the U.S. is 
going to put up?  And are we asking them to put that money into the 
early empowerment fund, or are they going to give it directly to the 

         MR. McCURRY:  I think you probably all know that the Secretary 
has asked Deputy Secretary Wharton to bring together a group here in the 
Department and some other agencies as well to look at these kinds of 
questions.  They are, in fact, coming up with a larger strategy on how 
to handle not only economic issues but some of the political issues 
arising from the agreement as well.  I think we'll say more about that 
very shortly.  They are looking at various options, various ideas on how 
they bring together the type of international resources necessary to 
make good on the recently-signed accords.  I would stay tuned to that 

         Q    Does the U.S. have a view on how money should be funneled 
to the region?  Are we trying to encourage governments to channel it all 
through the early empowerment fund or are we setting up some kind of 
umbrella organization to organize this?

         MR. McCURRY:  We're talking about those ideas now.  I don't 
know that we have concluded what the best vehicle would be.

         Q    President Clinton yesterday spoke on the phone with Assad 
of Syria.  Are there any plans to sweeten Syria's position in the peace 

         MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of anything related to that call.  
I think the President -- I'd ask you to check at the White House for 
further clarification.  My understanding is that the President had a 
general discussion with President Assad about the importance of the 
peace process itself, the importance of redoubling support for the peace 
process.  I think he made it clear that the enemies of the peace process 
itself need to know that all the parties in the region are going to make 
the recent agreements work and are not going to  be deterred from 
pursuing progress on other tracks.  But I don't have anything specific 
on any carrots or anything like that.

         Q    Mike, just going back to the U.S. funding and/or the 
committee issue again.  When you say you expect more on that shortly, is 
the group expected to come up with some recommendation soon enough for 
the Secretary to announce them on Monday?  Or is that too shortly?

         MR. McCURRY:  Boy, that would be wonderful if that could 
happen, but I don't know for certain that that could -- 

         Q    So not that shortly?

         MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  They are working.  They're working very 
quickly on exactly those questions, though.  They're planning pretty 

         Q    Admiral Howe is back in the United States, at the U.N. 
today, and will be making some appearances here next week and over the 
weekend.  Was he brought back to be reprimanded because of the situation 
in Somalia?

         MR. McCURRY:  No.  My understanding is he's back here for what 
are called routine periodic consultations that he has in New York with 
the U.N. peacekeeping department.  He'll also be here in Washington to 
meet with Executive and Legislative officials about the peacekeeping 
efforts in Somalia itself.

         I don't have any indication that his visit here is in 
connection with any change in the structure of the command in Somalia.

         Q    Was this routine, periodic consultation suddenly hurried 
up because of the situation last week and the outcry in Congress?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know the answer to that.  He's here, I 
think, for these meetings with the U.N., and they've made additional 
requests to have some meetings here; but the U.N. would know best the 
purpose of his consultations with their officials there in New York?

         Q    Does the United States still retain full confidence in 
Admiral Howe as the U.N. Commander in Somalia?

         MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

         Q    Michael, can I go back to the Middle East -- one question?  
Rabin said, I think yesterday, that a peace agreement -- that is, 
progress towards a peace agreement with Lebanon was possible within nine 
months.  Is the U.S. Government concerned that Syria is slowing down any 
kind of  improvement in the relations between Lebanon and Israel?  Is 
the government seeing Syria as an obstacle to any kind of peace progress 
between Lebanon and Israel?

         MR. McCURRY:  I wouldn't describe the view that we have in that 
way.  I think that we see enormous complexities in how all the various 
tracks of this comprehensive peace process fit together.  We, of course, 
have suggested to you often that they are interrelated and that what 
happens in one track does have an impact on another track.  I do think 
that we feel that, in many ways, it is important for there to be 
progress in the Palestinian track so that there can be progress in the 
Syrian track as well.

         I think, what we have communicated to the Syrian 
representatives is our strong sense that there is a momentum behind the 
peace process at this point.  There's a need to go forward at the pace 
that the parties themselves determine is proper; but it would be our 
preference to make, in the search for a comprehensive peace in the 
region, to make progress as quickly as possible, and we have 
communicated that.

         Q    Is the U.S. Government making any effort to try to delink 
or disconnect, disentangle the Lebanese-Israeli track on the one hand 
and the Syrian-Israeli track on the other hand?

         MR. McCURRY:  They are separate issues in each of these tracks.  
But as I just said, they are interrelated and there's probably more 
linkages at work in that track in some ways than in some of the other 
tracks.  But we understand the way the issues interrelate, and we've 
approached the discussions with the parties in that sense.

         Q    Mike, are you waiting for a signal now of some sort, or 
perhaps have already had it from Prime Minister Rabin, as to when to 
press on vigorously toward the next agreement on another front, perhaps 
the Syrian front or perhaps the Lebanese front?

         MR. McCURRY:  We won't need, in a sense, a signal because we 
remain in very close contact with the parties.  We'll be discussing that 
type of issue with them regularly.

         Q    Well, but you just said that the U.S. view is that there's 
momentum here and that you would like to move as quickly as possible on 
the other fronts.  Does that reflect a -- does that position on your 
part reflect the continuing consultation with the Israelis at this 

         MR. McCURRY:  As a general sense, it does, yes.  As general 
sense -- the desire to make sure that you keep the momentum going, it 
does reflect conversations we've had with the parties, including the 
Israelis.  I would caution you against assuming that we've had 
conversations with them about specific timing or we're in a position to 
saying anything publicly about specific timing or sequences at this 

         Q    Just to follow up on that, has there been any discussion 
-- has the Secretary made up his mind or is he approaching a decision on 
how he thinks he might most usefully play a role and his next steps, 
such as going to the region or perhaps being in touch with the other 
parties in other ways?

         MR. McCURRY:  He's thought about it a lot.  I think he's 
discussed it with the parties themselves.  I think he's made it clear 
that he will remain an active intermediary and a full partner in the 
process.  That may conceivably require him to travel to the region.  It 
may require him to be more actively involved in the process here in 
Washington.  But he stands ready to do what the parties think can help 
best in achieving a successful outcome to the negotiations.

         Q    Is there an invitation to the Syrian Foreign Minister to 
come to Washington when the Syrian Foreign Minister is in the United 
States for the U.N. General Assembly session?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know the answer to that.  I've seen 
speculation to that effect.  I don't know that there has, in fact, been 
an invitation extended.

         Q    Has there been any discussion with Syria recently -- let's 
say this week -- on the issue of the terrorism list?

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

         Q    Have the Israelis informed -- or the PLO -- informed the 
U.S. government that the Israelis and the PLO are setting up joint 
committees in Tunis to deal with some of the detail work?

         MR. McCURRY:  I'm sorry, Jim.  Have they informed --

         Q    Have they informed the U.S. Government that they intend to 
set up joint working committees in Tunis to deal with the detail work of 
the Declaration of Principles?

         MR. McCURRY:  It was our understanding that they would do so 
based on the meetings we had with the parties here at the time of the 
signing on Monday, but I don't know that they have formally notified us 
that they've now structured those meetings.  They were intending to meet 
directly themselves to discuss that, I believe.

         Q    How will the U.S. Government keep itself informed?

         MR. McCURRY:  The same way we do now, with having very close 
consultation with the parties themselves and being actively apprised of 
the progress they're making.  Of course, one question that then arises 
is, how do we keep in closer contact with the PLO representatives?  
That's part of a larger question of how we structure our next steps in 
our  participation.  I don't have an answer for you at this point.

         Q    Do we have a representative in Tunis?

         MR. McCURRY:  We have diplomatic representatives in Tunis.

         Q    I mean, at the talks?

         MR. McCURRY:  We have diplomatic representatives there.  I 
don't know the degree to which they would be participating in any types 
of committee meetings or things like that.

         Q    Can you say anything on what role, if any, the U.S. is 
playing in encouraging other Arab states to normalize relations with 
Israel?  And also, just give for us who the Secretary has been in 
contact with in the last day or two?

         MR. McCURRY:  I forgot to check on the Secretary's contacts.  
He's been working on a number of things here in the Department the last 
couple of days.  I'll check and see if there's anything I can usefully 
report to you on his contacts.

         I'd describe the overall work we're doing now in reaching out 
to other nations to be focused on sort of four major goals or major 

         One, we are, of course, encouraging parties to support the 
agreement that's been reached by the PLO and Israel.  We're taking a lot 
of steps to encourage other governments to be supportive of that accord, 
both politically and financially.

         Two, we are urging the parties to end the Arab boycott of 
Israel, and we'll be following that up on a diplomatic track.

         We are encouraging countries to normalize their relations with 

         And then, as I think some of you know, we are working at the 
United Nations to eliminate unhelpful language that exists in U.N. 
resolutions as it relates to the Middle East and to Israel specifically.

         Q    What unhelpful language are you referring to?

         MR. McCURRY:  There have been, over the past several years -- 
actually, over quite some time -- a series of resolutions that the 
United States has often vehemently objected to that really, in our view, 
say unfortunate things about the State of Israel; and that also, we 
feel, have contributed to antagonisms in the region that have thwarted 

         We think, given the events on Monday, now is a good time to 
revisit the language in those resolutions and to work  to see if some of 
those resolutions can be taken off the book or could be, in effect, 

         Q    Does the United States plan to put that forward at the 
next session of the General Assembly?

         MR. McCURRY:  We are discussing with a lot of our U.N. 
colleagues now how to put it forward, and I expect that we would begin 
to move on that as the General Assembly gathers; yes.

         Q    You said you would be following up diplomatically on 
ending the Arab boycott.  What specific plans are there to follow up 

         MR. McCURRY:  I think to raise the issue diplomatically with 
some countries in the region.  I think you know we've already had 
diplomatic contact with various parties in the Middle East.  We'll be 
following up on that contact, perhaps in some cases at a higher level, 
in pressing the issue accordingly.

         Q    Mike, my impression of the remarks before his meeting with 
Foreign Minister Moussa yesterday or the day before -- I've forgotten 
which -- was that he didn't seem to be particularly interested in 
actively encouraging an end to the boycott at that moment.  He kind of 
made comments about how the United States always has urged the Arabs to 
lift the boycott; but Egypt, after all, was the country that proposed 

         It would seem that if the U.S. were taking an active effort 
right now to have it lifted, that the U.S. would want to urge Egypt, 
specifically, to announce an end or perhaps encourage an end.  Did he do 
that in the meeting with Foreign Minister Moussa?

         MR. McCURRY:  I believe they did touch on the issue, but I 
don't know to what degree.  I don't want to single out any country in 
the region as being one that we will focus these efforts on.  We will be 
raising it generally throughout the region.

         Q    It's President Mubarak who proposed the initiative -- 
maybe a year and a half ago -- under which the boycott would be lifted, 
and the U.S. strongly supported President Mubarak's initiative.  Is the 
U.S. asking Egypt now -- as part of what you said was an effort to 
encourage the end of the boycott -- asking Egypt to pursue that 
initiative more vigorously?

         MR. McCURRY:  We will be following up with them on that 

         Q    Mike, when you say we've had contact with various 
countries in the region, can you just specify -- my memory is  bad -- 
which ones you are focusing on?  When you say "at a higher level," does 
that mean President Clinton gives them a call rather than Secretary of 
State Christopher?

         MR. McCURRY:  I can't provide you any detail on the specific 
countries or the level of contact at this time.

         Q    But is the contact that you refer to currently a Foreign 
Minister-level contact?

         MR. McCURRY:  I think it has diplomatic representatives at 
posts abroad.  The question would be:  Would it advance to a higher 
level of contact?

         Q    New subject.

         Q    No, finish up on Rabin's declaration.  I know it's not 
new, but it comes at a very important time.  Basically, he's offering 
peace and withdrawal from Lebanon within nine months.  There was no 
response from the Lebanese Government.  Do you think that the Lebanese 
are missing an opportunity here?

         MR. McCURRY:  I think that we need to wait and see how and if 
they respond.  There hasn't been a response forthcoming yet, but the 
parties will address that themselves.

         I think there are clearly, as we've said over and over, there 
are enormous opportunities here that need to be seized on all tracks.

         Q    Can I just finish up on Somalia before we go to another 

         Q    One last one on the Middle East.  On Monday night, Israeli 
Television broadcast an interview with President Clinton in which he 
said that the United States would be prepared to take a new look at the 
level of military technology that the United States has been delivering 
to Israel.  In other words, to lower whatever restrictions there are.

         Do you know specifically what is involved there?

         MR. McCURRY:  I do not know specifically.  I'm aware of the 
President's remarks.  I know that he was referring to technological 
enhancements that would make sure that they have access to cutting-edge 
technology relating to their security, but I am not aware of the 
specific types of systems that the President was referring to.

         Q    Could you check and find out maybe if he was talking about 
the Arrow anti-missile system, for example?

         MR. McCURRY:  I will check and see if there's anything we can 
provide at this time on it, yes.

         Q    And one on the PLO thing.  I'm not quite sure on the basis 
of what you said earlier what you meant.  Has the Secretary designated 
some kind of individual to stay in touch with the PLO, or is the U.S.-
PLO dialogue at the moment -- maybe for bureaucratic reasons -- non-
existent?  Is there someone who is in touch with the PLO on a daily 
basis, or whatever?

         MR. McCURRY:  I think at the moment, in the aftermath of the 
decision by the President to resume the dialogue, a lot of this is being 
coordinated by Ambassador Dennis Ross, obviously.  He's been the one who 
has been in direct contact.  Because the delegation was here in 
Washington, there were numerous contacts during their visit here, both 
in person and by phone.  How to follow up on that and how we nurture 
that dialogue is something that Ambassador Ross is still looking at.  
But it would be under his -- it would be the work of his shop as Special 
Middle East Coordinator to pursue that dialogue.

         Q    Was the PLO invited to leave a representative in 
Washington from the delegation that was here to stay in touch with 
Ambassador Ross?

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

         Q    Mike, you had this incident in Somalia last week in which 
women and children were shot.  There were a number of casualties.  A 
great furor about the United States' actions in that.  Suddenly, Admiral 
Howe comes back to the United States and holds a press conference in New 
York; begins going around to the Hill and doing the talk shows and what 
have you.

         All of this sounds like damage control.  Is that what's going 

         MR. McCURRY:  I think it is an effort by Admiral Howe to try to 
remind the world community of the positive work that's being done by the 
United Nations in Somalia.  We focus, correctly so, I think, on violent 
incidents that disrupt security in south Mogadishu, but because of that 
we sometimes miss part of the larger story, which is the success of the 
U.N. relief effort in Somalia, and the return of structures and civil 
institutions to large parts of the countryside outside south Mogadishu.  
I think there's most likely a well-reasoned effort on the part of 
Admiral Howe as the envoy to try to describe the larger purposes and the 
interesting work that the mission itself is doing.  

         So I imagine that is what he is doing.  Now, if you would call 
it "damage control," it's because the part of the story that is the one 
that commands the most attention, because it is of the most concern 
legitimately to people who have sons and daughters in the region, is the 
violence and the episodes of fighting in south Mogadishu.

         Q    So in plain English, it is damage control.

         MR. McCURRY:  It's putting a better foot forward.  I mean, 
there are positive parts of this mission that I think people need to 
understand more clearly.  They've saved -- you've heard the Secretary 
and others refer to this often -- the United States entered this effort 
after nearly 300,000 people had lost their lives, and by being there and 
by doing the work that has been done, we've probably prevented millions 
from dying.  The work to restore the countryside, to end the famine, and 
then to see that there are institutions there so that the Somali people 
can continue to prosper after the United Nations leaves, is something 
that is an important part of that UNOSOM mission.

         We tend to focus so much on the fighting, and I think there's 
just an effort to make sure that people understand that there are other 
parts to the story as well.

         Q    New subject.  Do you have a comment on the situation in 
Georgia?  What's your assessment?

         MR. McCURRY:  On the resignation and then non-resignation of 
President Shevardnadze.

         Q    And the intensifying fighting and Russian comments on the 

         MR. McCURRY:  That has been a very great concern to us.  We 
have expressed our concern directly to parties in the region.  I think, 
as you know, we're working with others in the region who participate as 
part of the CSCE Minsk Group in trying to find ways to bring the parties 
fighting into a negotiation that would result in a cessation of 

         I don't have any particular thing at the moment.  I think some 
of you know that Ambassador Talbott has been making his way around the 
region, not to Georgia in particular.  We have had contact.  We have 
followed the situation in Georgia very closely.  I think our 
understanding of the situation is that President Shevardnadze is now in 
a direct dialogue with leaders within the Parliament to determine how 
they resolve some of the issues that were outstanding at the time that 
he gave them his resignation.

         Q    Abkhaz rebels have now encircled, I believe, Tbilisi, and 
the Russian Government has issued some sort of ultimatum there.  Have 
you any comment on that?

         MR. McCURRY:  I was not aware that the Russians had issued an 
ultimatum.  That is news to me.  But I did know that there were reports 
of an outbreak of fighting in Abkhazia.

         The cease-fire agreement that was reached at Sochi, July 27, is 
the one that we think can bring the parties together to conclude a 
peaceful settlement, and that's the one that we have encouraged the 
parties to pursue as they address the fighting.

         Q    Are there any U.S. personnel involved in security for 

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't have anything for you on that.

         Q    Further on Ambassador Talbott's trip, he seems to have run 
into some trouble in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan -- Turkmenistan, I guess 
it was.  Can you talk a little bit about that?

         MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  I've got a kind of a rundown on where he's 
been and some of his travels.  I would report to you as a general 
proposition that his trip has gone very, very well.  He has been already 
to Latvia.  They're actually making a detour to Brussels, and he will be 
in Brussels tomorrow to meet with NATO and EC officials.

         I was trying to reconstruct exactly where he went.  I'm not 
sure I have that precisely, but Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are the 
interesting cases.

         I am told that in the case of Uzbekistan, he had had a very 
long and frank conversation with President Karimov when they were there.  
Contrary to press reports, his delegation did not depart Uzbekistan 
early.  They had to cancel, I think, a press availability or some 
remarks at the airport in order to keep a flight plan that they had 
filed prior, and that there may have been some misinterpretation as a 
result of that.

         In the case of Turkmenistan, that was a somewhat different 
situation.  Strobe [Talbott] did cut his visit there short.  That 
happened after, I believe, four human rights activists in Turkmenistan 
were detained.  That required Ambassador Talbott to shorten his visit, 
so that he only met at the time of that visit with President Niyazov.

         Q    Mike, did he refuse to sign aid agreements with these two 
countries because of their human rights violations?

         MR. McCURRY:  He discussed with them the aid programs that we 
have to Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.  I think in the case of -- we now 
provide some $73 million in technical and humanitarian assistance to 
Turkmenistan and $17 million to Uzbekistan.

         I believe he told those he had dialogue with that we would 
consider a variety of factors in developing these assistance programs 
and carrying them forward, and they would include, among other 
questions, the political, economic and strategic issues that the country 
was facing, the progress it had been making on democratic and economic 
reform, and the level of its compliance with international obligations 
on human rights.  So I think he did suggest to them, surely, that that 
would be a factor in our aid decisions.

         Q    But was there any expectation that they would sign 
agreements when he was there in both capitals, and did they not sign 
those agreements because of continued concerns on human rights?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know that there was an expectation that 
they would sign specific agreements, because I think, as you know, 
Congress is still considering the overall assistance package that would 
make funds available to the NIS states, including the NIS states other 
than Russia.  So I'm not aware that there was any expectation there 
would be announcements on funding for assistance.  I think the 
Ambassador made it clear that the types of issues he encountered along 
the way would be exactly those that would be a factor in our 
determination of aid levels.

         Q    Mike, you've described Ambassador Talbott's ongoing 
campaign in behalf of human rights and democracy, but I didn't hear you 
say anything about Shevardnadze's plans to impose martial law.  Do you 
have anything on that?

         MR. McCURRY:  On his plans to impose martial law?  I don't have 
anything on that.

         Q    Was that not the -- what he put before Parliament -- why 
he initially quit?

         MR. McCURRY:  I had not seen it described as "martial law" in 
places.  My understanding from the reports I had seen is that he had 
asked the Parliament to suspend his activities for a period of three 
months to allow him to carry forward on certain economic and political 
issues that he considered vital to the country.  I wasn't aware that it 
was being described as "martial law."

         Q    A state of emergency?

         MR. McCURRY:  I think he, himself, described it as a state of 
emergency, because it was requiring that action by Parliament, and that 
is something -- as I said earlier in response to a question -- that is a 
situation that we're monitoring very carefully.

         Q    Does the U.S. support the suspension of Parliamentary 
activities in Georgia or anywhere else where there is a parliament?

         MR. McCURRY:  We always are very careful in supporting the 
institutions of democratic rule that allow people to express freely 
their judgments through their elected representatives.

         Q    So have you told Mr. Shevarnadze that?

         MR. McCURRY:  He's aware of that, because that's a longstanding 
feature of U.S. policy.

         Q    Can I come back to Central Asia for a minute.  You 
characterized his trip there -- he went to, I believe, all those five 
Central Asian republics -- as a good visit.  What was good about it?  It 
didn't seem that terrific in Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan.

         MR. McCURRY:  A couple of other places he visited -- in the 
Kyrgyz Republic, the delegation had good discussions with President 
Akayev, parliamentarians and members of the opposition on political and 
economic reform efforts.

         In Kazakhstan, the Talbott delegation had good talks with 
President Nazarbayev and senior officials to discuss economic 
development, reform efforts and security issues.

         The delegation also had very serious discussions with Tajik 
President Rakhmanov on the need for political reconciliation within 
Tajikistan.  President Rakhmanov indicated that he was willing to work 
with international organizations to bring peace to Tajikistan.  

         So there were some things coming out of that trip that he 
assessed as being positive.

         Q    But the bottom line, Mike, is that Talbott goes there, he 
intends to meet with some dissidents.  They are either locked up or 
prevented from going to meet with him, and all we can say to these guys 
is, gee, you better watch out or we might actually cut off the aid some 
time way off in the future?

         MR. McCURRY:  I'll have to check.  It may have been the 
Ambassador's first trip and the first high-ranking visit, and it was 
suspended abruptly because of this.  That's a very strong diplomatic 
protest, as you know, and we're talking about one incident that occurred 
-- one incident in a trip that has occurred with stops in ten countries.  
So on balance, we're saying that that obviously was a moment that was 
not satisfactory, but on balance it was a trip  -- 

         Q    Well, it was a bad situation in Turkmenistan, I mean -- 
but Uzbekistan also was not great.  I mean, they did detain people 
there, even though Strobe didn't walk out of Uzbekistan.

         Q    The bottom line is that the American taxpayers are still 
pumping aid into the pockets of these rulers who do this, and we can't 
seem to stir ourselves to say anything about it.

         MR. McCURRY:  Not necessarily.  As I just suggested, exactly 
that type of behavior is one of the things we would consider in making 
that type of assistance determinations.

         Q    What's the status of the situation with Kazakhstan on 
security issues right now?  What's the status of the nuclear 
dismantlement operation and agreement thereupon?

         MR. McCURRY:  I haven't seen anything recently on it, Ralph.  I 
can check and see.

         Q    Well, he's coming here next week, I think -- either next 
week or the week after.  I think it's next week.  I would think if he 
were coming, the U.S. maybe ought to have some pretty good ideas about 
why --

         MR. McCURRY:  If he's coming, we probably will be getting some 
guidance on that, and I'll share it with you when I get it.

         Q    Do you have anything on U.S. diplomatic contacts with the 
UNITA rebels?  Any comment on their rejection on offers for peace talks?

         MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  First, to go back, I think most people are 
aware of the action at the United Nations last night -- the imposition 
of an oil and arms embargo by the United Nations, effective in ten days, 
if there is not a cease-fire reached in that time.  It's very clearly -- 
the way the embargo will work -- it's very clearly done to disadvantage 

         I'd say that these sanctions approved by the Security Council 
are tough.  UNITA has ten days to demonstrate through actions that its 
talk of peace is sincere.  We expect them to establish a cease-fire in 
place, come to the negotiating table for genuine negotiations and make 
real and sincere progress in the peace process in the next ten days.  If 
UNITA actions do not support its rhetoric, these actions will be applied 
and more will follow.

         Q    Can we come back to the nuclear issue just quickly.  The 
Russian military has been saying this week that Ukraine is now in full 
control of the nuclear facilities on its territory.  Does the United 
States share that assessment, and how does that change it?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't have an assessment I can share with you.  
I know that we have been in discussion with them on those issues.  I'll 
see if I can get some more on that.

         Q    On North Korea, there was a report yesterday from the 
South Korean news agency that Pyongyang apparently has installed missile 
launchers around the suspected nuclear sites.  What do you know about 

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know anything.  I haven't seen anything 
about that that I can share.

         Q    That you can share?

         MR. McCURRY:  Actually, I haven't seen anything on it, period.

         Q    Do you have anything on Haiti?  President Aristide says 
that, in effect, a second coup has taken place in Haiti simply because 
the ministers of the new government have not been allowed to carry out 
their functions.

         MR. McCURRY:  We have, as you know, expressed our concern in 
recent days about the ability of the new constitutional government to 
form itself and to begin carrying out the functions it is responsible 
for -- I know the Governor's Island Accord -- but that concern holds as 
we work closely with them through the United Nations representative and 
our own representative in Haiti to see that the accords themselves are 

         Q    As the Security Council reconvenes, do you have any idea 
who we're going to be supporting in terms of a prosecutor for the war 
crimes trial in the former Yugoslavia, and is Bassiouni -- have we 
essentially dropped him as a candidate?

         MR. McCURRY:  I know that we have had numerous meetings and 
consultations at the United Nations on the issue of a prosecutor.  Our 
interest is in seeing that an effective and qualified prosecutor is 
named quickly, so that the prosecution under the War Crimes Resolution 
can begin.

         I don't have any comment on the candidates who are seeking the 
office of prosecutor or our preferences.  It's clearly something that's 
been discussed a great deal at the United Nations.  I just don't have 

         Q    Yesterday, Assistant Secretary of State Oxman in hearings 
before Congress said that -- he stated that the conflict there is not 
going to be settled by military intervention from outside.  Is that a 
new policy development with regard to this Administration?  Does it rule 
out any kind of outside intervention at all?

         MR. McCURRY:  No.  I mean, it's a view consistent with what 
we've said for some time, that outside military intervention was not 
going to allow the parties to reach a political settlement and would not 
be available to help the parties reach a political settlement.

         Q    Mike, just coming back to the war crimes thing for a 
second.  You said the U.S. wants to do it as quickly as possible.  The 
U.S. favors, then, having the war crimes prosecutions begin under U.N. 
supervision, even while the negotiations are continuing toward a 
settlement in Bosnia.  Is that correct?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know that we've taken a view on that 
question.  We've said that the prosecution should proceed, and they 
should proceed with vigor.  We have not linked that to any questions 
relating to the negotiations in Geneva.

         Q    Right.  You have not linked them, so that in the U.S. 
view, if the two things went on at the same time, that would be okay.  
They're not connected.

         MR. McCURRY:  We have not linked those two questions.

         Q    Mike, going back to Angola, you said, I think, that if the 
UNITA people don't return to the peace table, other actions will follow.  
What precisely did you mean?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't have specifics that I will do.  I mean, I 
don't have a specific list of things.  There are other things that we 
will consider and announce if they become necessary.

         Q    What is the status of the Geneva negotiations?

         MR. McCURRY:  President Izetbegovic had met with the Bosnian 
Serb parliamentary chief yesterday to discuss the cease-fire, and, of 
course, they met with the Croatians to discuss the cease-fire.

         Lord Owen, based on the fact that they were in active dialogue 
on a cease-fire, felt that it might be possible, we understand, to bring 
the parties back into negotiation in Sarajevo, most likely some time 
next week.  That's the latest information we have.

         Q    Thank you.

         MR. McCURRY:  You're welcome.

         (The briefing concluded at 1:39 p.m.) (###)

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