930924 Daily Press Briefing  Return to: Index of 1993 Daily Briefings || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

Note: This Electronic Research Collection (ERC) is an archive site. For the most current information, please visit the US State Department homepage.
Friday, September 24, 1993

                            BRIEFER:  Michael McCurry

Subject                                         Page

Secretary To Attend UNGA Next Week .............1
--  No Daily Press Briefing ....................1

US Condemns Attack by Abkhazian Forces .........1-2
Russian Efforts to Quell Fighting ..............2
US Contacts ....................................2-3

Cuban Pilot Defects to Guantanamo ..............3
Cuban Pilot Defected to US .....................3
Possible Visa Request to Attend UNGA ...........3-4

US Congratulates King Sihanouk .................4-5
Prospects for US Recognition ...................5

Selected to Host Olympic Games .................5

Update on Political/Social Conditions in Moscow 5-7
--  US Support for Yeltsin .....................6-7
US Contacts with GoR ...........................6-7

Status of Bilateral Negotiations ...............7-10
Secretary to Meet with Syrian FM on October 5 ..8-9
US To Host Donors Conference on October 1 ......10

Arrest of Aideed Aide/Status of Case ...........10

Prospects for Nuclear Test/US View .............10-12
US Contacts ....................................11-12

Status of Sanctions ............................13-14

US Participation in Peacekeeping ...............14-16
--  Administration's Consultation with Congress 
      Yesterday ................................14-16

US Monitoring Nuclear Issues ...................16


                       DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                       DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #133

             FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1993, 12:47 P. M.

         MR. McCURRY:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I have a brief 
announcement and a brief statement to begin.

          First, as you all know, the Secretary will be in New York next 
week for meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, and for that 
reason there will be no daily Departmental briefing -- although we will 
be available early and often in New York and also here to deal with 
events in and around the world.

          The second is a statement on Abkhazia.  On September 16, 
Abkhazian forces broke the cease-fire agreement signed at Sochi on July 
27 by representatives of the Republic of Georgia, the Russian Federation 
and Abkhazian separatists.

          As a consequence of the Abkhazians' unjustified attacks on the 
regional capital of Sukhumi and other towns in the Republic of Georgia, 
an escalating cycle of violence has resulted in indiscriminate shelling 
of civilian populations, shooting down of civilian airliners, a 
disruption of efforts to rebuild the war-torn economy and a serious 
endangerment of the peace process begun at Sochi and advanced by United 
Nations Security Council resolutions 854 and 858.

          The United States Government strongly condemns the actions of 
the Abkhazian forces and calls upon them to halt their military 
offensive and to return to the cease-fire line established by the July 
27 Sochi agreement.  We also call upon the Abkhaz leaders to respect 
fully the provisions of United Nations Security Council resolutions 854 
and 858, and to join with representatives of the Government of Georgia 
and the United Nations in negotiations leading to a peaceful solution of 
the conflict in Abkhazia.

          The United States Government reiterates its full support for 
Chairman Shevardnadze and his efforts to resolve this crisis, and to 
maintain the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

          Q    Mike, any condemnation on that piece of paper for Russia 
for its role in the Abkhazian conflict?

          MR. McCURRY:  As Russia has been working with Georgia and with 
the Abkhazian separatists, we have discussed this matter with Georgia.  
We believe that they can play a helpful role, using their influence with 
the parties to bring about the cease-fire called for in the Sochi 

          Q    Do you believe they have been playing a helpful role so 

          MR. McCURRY:  We believe that they have the ability to be 
influential, and we believe that they are attempting to use that 
influence to bring a halt to the fighting.  This subject was discussed 
most recently by the Secretary and Foreign Minister Kozyrev during their 
meeting here recently.

          Q    Mike, do we continue to see any evidence of Russian 
military forces -- whether authorized or not from Moscow -- 
participating in this conflict?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of any specific information that 
suggests that they are involved; but, of course, that's a situation we 
monitor closely.  Again, we believe that the proper venue for carrying 
forward the negotiations on the cease-fire  -- or the negotiations that 
have been sponsored and directed by the United Nations -- and we think 
that's the proper venue for resolving the conflict that continues.

          Q    Is the United States providing in its full support for 
Eduard Shevardnadze any material support or any intelligence support?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not that I'm aware of.  I think, as you know, he 
is currently in Sukhumi, and our contact with him has been intermittent 
because of that.  We remain, through the Embassy in Tbilisi, in contact 
with a variety of people within the Georgian Government, and our support 
has been expressed to him via our diplomatic presence there.

          Q    Has the Secretary spoken with Shevardnadze recently?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not that I am aware of.  I do believe that 
President Clinton has sent Chairman Shevardnadze a letter of support.

          Q    Are Shevardnadze's personal bodyguards -- are they 
through with their training from U.S. counterparts?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't have any information on his personal 

          Q    When was that letter sent?

          MR. McCURRY:  I believe it was in the last several days.  I 
don't have a date.  I can try to find out, or you might want to give the 
White House a call directly.  They've discussed that publicly, I think, 
within the last several days.

          Q    Do you have anything on the latest Cuban defector?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't, other than to say that he is -- you 
know, we know a little bit about the incident.  He flew a MiG-23 to 
Guantanamo and requested asylum.  The pilot was the only person on 
board.  The Immigration and Naturalization Service is currently handling 
his asylum claim.  We'll make arrangements for return of the aircraft.  
I believe that the MiG-21 in the previous incident -- the MiG-21 which 
landed in Florida last week -- has been returned to Cuba.

          Q    Have you had an opportunity to thoroughly debrief the 
previous pilot?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of whether or not they have 
debriefed him.  I think his case is being processed, as is the current 
case, by INS.  You may want to check with them and see if they've got 
any information.  I think there are some restrictions on what they can 
talk about in an asylum case.

          Q    Do you read anything into the twin defections about Cuban 
society or about Castro or about the Cuban military, or anything of that 

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't.  I believe you've seen public comments 
from both of these pilots indicating that they're citing economic 
conditions in Cuba as being amongst their reasons for wanting to come to 
the United States.  Certainly, we do know that the effect of the command 
style economy on the Cuban people has been devastating, and economic 
conditions there do not seem to be improving.

          Q    No indications of persecution of any sort that I've seen 

          MR. McCURRY:  I've seen some press accounts indicating various 
statements, but I'd really direct you -- it will be INS's assignment to 
evaluate the asylum requests, and they more appropriately will be in a 
position to comment on that.

          Q    And, if I may, just one more on that related subject.  Is 
the United States a recipient of any request from the Cuban Government 
for Cuban officials to speak at the United Nations and, if so, who?

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

          Q    They have to get visas to come.

          MR. McCURRY:  Oh, a visa in connection with travel there.

          Q    Yes.

          MR. McCURRY:  I'll check and see, Ralph.  I'm just not aware 
of any requests.

          Q    The Foreign Minister's going there.

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  I had heard that they were having a 
representation there and a delegation there, but I'll check and see what 
arrangements were made to make sure that they were able to do that.

          Q    Had they asked for return of the MiG?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know if they asked for return of the 
MiG.  I think we made it clear in both instances from the outset that we 
would return the aircraft.

          Q    How do you do that?

          MR. McCURRY:  How do you do it?  I'm not sure.  I'll check.  
Someone flies it down there.  I'm most certain that we have people 
qualified to fly the aircraft, if that's an issue.

          Q    There was a wire story this morning that the Pakistani 
Prime Minister has said that they have halted construction of nuclear 
weapons in their country.  Have we been notified of that?  Are we going 
to reconsider the aid situation with regard to Pakistan?

          MR. McCURRY:  I checked just before coming out because of that 
news report and checked with the Bureau involved.  They are going to 
look into the matter further.  They didn't have anything initially, but 
they were going to inquire further about the report itself.

          Q    Do you have any comment on Cambodia, on Sihanouk's rise 
in a new position?  How does the U.S. view this?

          MR. McCURRY:  We have been watching the promulgation of the 
Constitution itself, which I believe is scheduled to occur today.  I 
think the Prince is returning to both promulgate the Constitution that 
has been developed by the Constituent Assembly, and then to at some 
proper point take on his duties prescribed by the Constituent Assembly 
as King of Cambodia.

          This all comes from the elections that were held -- the 
decision by the Constituent Assembly to form this government consistent 
with the 1991 Paris Accords -- so these are developments that we 
welcome.  We congratulate King Sihanouk, and I believe that there will 
be some fairly quick decisions by the United States on formally 
recognizing the new democratically elected government.  I understand 
that there are steps underway to make that happen right now.

          Q    Mike, doesn't the United States see some irony in the 
international community putting so much time and money and effort into 
Cambodia, trying to get it on a democratic course, and you end up with a 

          MR. McCURRY:  There's no irony in allowing people to freely 
express their own opinions and to duly constitute a government.  In this 
case, as I indicated, it was the Constituent Assembly freely and fairly 
elected by the people of Cambodia who made this decision as to form of 
government, and that's a democratic process.

          Q    Mike, new topic.  Does the Administration feel justice 
was served in the selection of the Olympic site?

          MR. McCURRY:  I am not aware that we have any official 
reaction one way or another to the selection of Sydney other than to 
congratulate Australia, and Sydney specifically, on its selection and to 
look forward to successful games in the year 2000.

          Q    Mike, the situation in Moscow?  I don't know if they'll 
freely elect a Czar next June, but... (Laughter)  What's the situation 
on the ground now?

          MR. McCURRY:  We've got some information.  Concerning the 
situation last night, I think you know there was an attack by 
unidentified men outside the CIS military headquarters last night in 
which a policeman and an elderly bystander were killed.

          But with the exception of the area immediately surrounding the 
Supreme Soviet building, our understanding is that Moscow appears to be 
going about business as usual; and the atmosphere around the Supreme 
Soviet has grown more tense in the aftermath of these shootings last 
night and at the headquarters of the CIS.  But the CIS military 
headquarters are physically separate, as I recall, from the Parliament 
building itself. 

          Naturally, we hope all sides will avoid violence.  We know 
from his own statements and from the statements of Minister Grachev and 
others that President Yeltsin is making every effort to avoid violence.  
Also, there is every indication that the security and military forces 
responsible for civil order remain loyal to President Yeltsin.

          So I think, given that, it's obviously a situation that the 
entire world will watch carefully in the coming days.

          Q    Mike, he apparently now has ordered the security forces 
to go in and disarm the people in the Parliament building.  Is that your 

          MR. McCURRY:  We have not heard anything inconsistent with 
that, but that is something that our Embassy is monitoring.  We are 
obviously not participating in that.  We're monitoring the events as 
they unfold there.

          Q    Have we had any conversations with Kozyrev within the 
last day?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not within the last day.  I think the call 
earlier in the week that I discussed between the Secretary and Minister 
Kozyrev is the most recent contact that I'm aware of.  But Ambassador 
Pickering has been following events closely, and they have been in close 
contact through the Embassy in Moscow.

          Q    Is it your understanding that Kozyrev is going to be in 
New York next week?

          MR. McCURRY:  We've heard nothing.  In fact, the Foreign 
Minister was looking forward to his bilateral meeting with Secretary 
Christopher.  They discussed the agenda and some of the items on it.  So 
as far as we know, the plans continue to hold that meeting on the 29th.

          Q    The trend line is going for Yeltsin in this struggle.  
Does the U.S. Government have an assessment as to how he's doing?

          MR. McCURRY:  Our overall assessment is consistent with what I 
think you've heard the President, the Secretary and others say.  He does 
seem to be firmly in control of the political dynamics developing in 
Moscow.  This seems to be a moment in which he has directed with a great 
deal of care the activities of his government, and our current 
assessment is that he obviously remains firmly in control of the 
political situation.  

          He's making the plans accordingly for the upcoming elections, 
and now for a Presidential election next year.  So his confidence in his 
own situation is reflected, I think, in the fact that he's been willing 
to put his fate in the hands of the Russian people.

          Q    Mike, you said that Yeltsin is making every effort to 
avoid violence.  That statement suggests that he may in fact be forced 
to use violence in extremes -- at what point does the United States 
strong support for him stop?

          MR. McCURRY:  That question is impossible to answer.  I think, 
as you know, from the President's call to President Yeltsin, [he] both 
expressed his support and also sought certain assurances on how this 
moment of confrontation would be addressed within Russia.  And I think 
that those assurances were vital to our own support of President 
Yeltsin, and I think  that we will continue to monitor the situation 
carefully.  But there's certainly nothing at this point that casts any 
doubt about our firm support of President Yeltsin.

          Q    Mike, does the Administration feel as the President he 
has the right to take whatever steps he feels are necessary, including 
military steps, to uphold order?

          MR. McCURRY:  Consistent with the answer that the Secretary 
gave you the other day, we really are just not in a position to comment 
on the legal implications of what's going on.  Our assessment is based 
on our own interests, and then our support that we've expressed 
accordingly is based on our overall assessment of the situation within 
Russia itself.

          Q    Mike, is there any way in which U.S. support for Yeltsin 
is being tangibly felt by Mr. Yeltsin at this point?  Is the U.S. 
contributing in any way in Moscow with any kind of assistance that helps 
him consolidate his power at the moment?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of anything that tangible.  I 
think what is of very real relevance to President Yeltsin and does have 
significant impact are the support and encouragement he is receiving 
from a variety of nations around the world.  And I think that news -- 
for example, as the action of the Senate last night in approving the NIS 
foreign assistance request, that is news that does resonate in Moscow 
and does have a political impact.  So I think those are the types of 
expression of support that I think are meaningful within Moscow at this 

          Q    But is there anything such as training of police forces 
or advice on how to handle these sorts of situations?  The U.S. has been 
providing so-called technical assistance to both the Soviet Union and 
Russia for some time now.  Is there anything along those lines that's 
taking place now that assists him in confronting or dealing with his 

          MR. McCURRY:  Not that I'm aware of.  No.

          Q    There is much reporting these days coming from the area 
-- I mean the Middle East -- that reflect there's something going on in 
the Syrian-Israeli negotiations, especially from the Israeli press, that 
it seems there is a sort of detente in the negotiations, and they've 
been mentioning a draft that they are working on.  And the Syrian 
Foreign Minister is coming to Washington for the first time, perhaps, in 
20 years or so.  So would you give us where we are actually on this 

          MR. McCURRY:  I guess I'd start by saying it would be highly 
remarkable if there were not a great deal of speculation about where 
things are.  I mean, that's just kind of a normal  condition for the 
status of these talks.  I think you're correct, there is a great deal of 
speculation about where things stand and what things might happen next.  

          But I think the authoritative information is what we've shared 
so far, and we've told you that the next steps that face us as we 
implement first the Israeli-PLO Declaration of Principles and then move 
to expand on the momentum of that achievement and build it into a 
comprehensive peace in the region are the next steps that the United 
States is pursuing with the parties.

          We will be having meetings next week in New York with several 
of the Foreign Ministers from the region.  We then would confirm that 
the Secretary will meet with Foreign Minister Shara here on October 5.  
Clearly, all of these meetings will be related to taking the historic 
achievements now in the Palestinian track and seeing how to convert that 
into momentum that can carry over to some of the other tracks -- these 
tracks all being, as we say, often interrelated and in some ways 
mutually supporting, in a sense.

          So our assessment is that there's a great deal of work ahead.  
The issues involved in the Syrian-Israeli track are complex.  The 
parties have got a great deal of hard work left on that track.  I would 
caution against saying that there is a breakthrough imminent.  What is 
imminent is a continuing dialogue with the parties in the region and a 
determined effort to build on the success of the PLO-Palestinian 
agreement signed here in Washington.

          Q    So there's nothing imminent, actually?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think it would be misleading to assume that 
there's something imminent.  There are meetings coming up, important 
meetings coming up with Foreign Minister Shara, and then we'll see where 
things go from there.

          Q    Do you know how long it's been since a Syrian Foreign 
Minister has been to Washington?

          MR. McCURRY:  We actually are checking and trying to get an 
answer to that.  They were looking into that last night.  It has been 
some time.  Obviously, not within recent years has a Foreign Minister 
from Syria been here in Washington, but we're trying to get the exact 
date of the last contact at that level.

          Q    Along those lines -- go ahead, George.

          Q    Do you have a characterization of the Syrian attitude 
toward the Israeli-PLO agreement?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm sorry, say again?

          Q    Do you have a characterization of the Syrian attitude 
toward the Israeli-Palestinian agreement?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't want to characterize it.  They've spoken 
out several times publicly on that.  I think their statements speak for 

          Q    Would you characterize how the U.S. feels about their 
attitude toward it?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think that we feel that they are committed to 
moving ahead in the peace process, and that's very, very important.

          Q    Mike, can you confirm an Evans & Novak report of a couple 
of days ago that the United States removed an obstacle to, I believe it 
was a gift to two Boeing planes?

          MR. McCURRY:  727s -- I can't confirm that.  I've got someone 
looking into that, but I don't have any immediate information on that.

          Q    Coming back for a second to the visit to Washington.  In 
my memory anyway, every time a U.S. Secretary of State has visited 
Syria's capital, the U.S. Secretary of State has had the opportunity to 
speak with head of state in Syria.  Is there any reason to think that 
the United States would not reciprocate that pleasure or privilege, or 
whatever, when the Syrian Foreign Minister comes to the U.S. capital?

          MR. McCURRY:  We often travel to places and the Secretary is 
received by a head of state without necessarily having a reciprocal 
arrangement here.  I'm not aware of any plans for such a meeting, but I 
don't rule that out.

          Q    Are you saying that -- from previous comments -- that the 
Administration prefers to see the paint dry on the Israeli-Palestinian 
agreement before going full-bore on an Israeli-Syrian agreement?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not saying that.  I think it's very 
important -- I'll say it somewhat differently -- it's very important to 
keep the momentum going in the process, but there are very important 
steps that now occur as you implement the joint Declaration of 
Principles between Israel and the PLO and there's a great deal of hard 
work ahead in the discussions between Syria and Israel.

          It's a false expectation to think that there will be agreement 
on top of agreement in this process.  In the case of the Syrian-Israeli 
track, there's just a great deal of work that lies ahead.

          Q    On the donor's conference:  It seems apparent that some 
governments aren't wildly enthusiastic about this idea.  The Germans, 
for instance, are still debating whether Kinkel can juggle his schedule 
enough to make it.  Can you just tell us who has agreed to come; and, in 
particular, whether the Saudis or the Kuwaitis have agreed to send their 
Foreign or Finance Ministers?

          MR. McCURRY:  No, I can't.  A conscious decision has been made 
not to talk about everyone invited and everyone coming.  I think you're 
correct, that a lot of governments are assessing the invitations that 
they have received.  We've made it clear that attending, in part, is 
related to the question of providing resources.  So I think it's natural 
that some government would weigh very carefully the decision to attend 
the conference.

          We are obviously hoping and expecting to have a successful 
conference on [October] 1st.  A great deal of planning and preparation 
is going into that conference.

          Q    Can you say whether any governments have said they won't 
come to the conference?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not that I know of, but we haven't heard from 
all of the people that have been invited.

          Q    Have you heard from Syria?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't have anything on specific invitations 
that have been responded to.

          Q    Did you ever come up with an answer on Somalia as to what 
the U.S. recommendation is to do with the pal of Aideed who is being 

          MR. McCURRY:  Being held?  The answer -- I don't have it right 
in front of me -- the answer was that he was being detained by the 
United Nations, and it was sort of the United Nations responsibility.

          Q    Are you saying the U.S. Government has no say in this 
since it's our troops that grabbed him and our troops holding him?

          MR. McCURRY:  We didn't express an opinion on how the United 
Nations would deal with him, I am told.

          Q    Have you heard anything from the Chinese?  Or what's your 
assessment now on the Chinese and what they're going to do about that 
nuclear test they were preparing for?

          MR. McCURRY:  We haven't heard anything or seen anything that 
would indicate that they're not continuing to make preparations for a 

          Q    They are continuing or they are not continuing?

          Q    Why don't you start again?

          MR. McCURRY:  There's got to be an easier way to say that.  
We've seen nothing that would indicate they are not proceeding with 
their test.

          It's still not the right way.

          Q    So they are proceeding with the test?  They are 

          MR. McCURRY:  We believe that they are proceeding with their 
plans for a test.

          Q    What has been the nature of your contacts with them?  Are 
they just -- well, what's been the nature of your contacts?

          MR. McCURRY:  The nature of the contact that we've had and 
that other governments around the world have had, consistent with our 
view, is that this is a moment in which there is an environment that is 
conducive to the negotiation of a comprehensive test ban.  A first test 
by any nation at this point would work contrary to that environment and 
make it more difficult to achieve a comprehensive test ban.  For that 
reason, I think a number of nations have strongly urged China not to 
proceed with the test.

          Q    Has China said flat out, we're going ahead?  Or have they 
been much more ambiguous?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think I don't want to characterize their 
comments.  It's really up to them to describe how they've responded to 
any of the diplomatic contacts that they've had on this.

          Q    Can you say whether they have responded to any U.S. 
diplomatic contacts on this subject?

          MR. McCURRY:  We've had many opportunities to have a dialogue 
with them on the issue.

          Q    Do they answer that question, or do they not answer that 

          MR. McCURRY:  They address that question.  Again, I don't want 
to describe their characterization.

          Q    If they go ahead and test, is the U.S. considering or 
formulating any response that might include something other than just 
verbal condemnation?

          MR. McCURRY:  The President, when he announced his decision on 
a comprehensive test ban -- I believe that in July 1-2 -- it had some 
things sketched out at that time that would be a natural response to a 
test by any other nation.  But I think it's really up to the White House 
to talk further about specific things that they would do in response to 
a test.

          Q    But the last time we discussed this issue, you made clear 
-- there was an interpretation among some of us that Clinton had, in 
fact, committed himself to test once another nation broke the 
moratorium.  You, in the last discussion, seemed to indicate that that 
wasn't necessarily so.

          MR. McCURRY:  It was made clear at the time.  I just don't 
want to speak for the White House on that occasion.  There were some 
things outlined in the President's statement that would follow a test; 
but I really think how they would proceed with that plan, accordingly, 
is something that they should comment on over there.

          Q    What's your understanding of the French commission that's 
studying this nuclear testing issue?

          MR. McCURRY:  The last I heard about that, they were to make a 
recommendation to the government, I believe, sometime this fall if not 
fairly shortly.

          Q    And you haven't gotten any hint of what that might be?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know whether we've had a hint from the 
French Government.  We have our own analysis of when it might be, but I 
don't know that we have any definitive word from the French Government 
about the work of the Commission.

          Q    Does the Secretary still plan to meet with the Chinese 
Foreign Minister next week during the U.N. session?

          MR. McCURRY:  I believe he does.  I believe he does intend to 
go ahead with that meeting.

          Q    Just to clarify on the planning for the test, are you 
saying that we're seeing them taking additional steps that they would 
need to take after lowering the device into the hole?  Or that we 
haven't seen them doing anything to reverse that process?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't want to go into the detail of the type 
of information that we have other than to say we have seen nothing that 
leads us to believe that they are reversing their plans for a test.

          Q    One last thing?

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

          Q    Do you have anything on Nelson Mandela's request of the 
U.N. that they lift economic sanctions on South Africa?

          MR. McCURRY:  We will very shortly.  I know that he was giving 
that speech, I believe, at noon, if I'm not mistaken.  I think that 
there will be a statement forthcoming from the White House on that.  As 
we've indicated all along, there would be a series of things that we 
would then do should Nelson Mandela call for a full lifting of economic 
sanctions.  I think the White House statement will probably address 
that.  They're consistent with what --

          Q    That's going to come out of Florida, because he's on the 

          MR. McCURRY:  I think they'll issue probably a written 
statement that they plan to issue from the White House press office; 
it's my understanding.

          Q    Would you care to tick off again the things that you've 
said before the U.S. would do when Mandela makes this statement?

          MR. McCURRY:  What we indicated we would do, once he made that 
statement, is that -- as you know, most federal sanctions against South 
Africa were lifted back in July 1991, but there are a number of state 
and local governments that have sanctions in place.  We felt that if Mr. 
Mandela's statement would have a great impact on the decisions of those 
state and local government, we were going to encourage the ANC to 
disseminate Nelson Mandela's message as quickly as possible and we would 
assist in disseminating that message to state and local municipalities 
so that they could move quickly to remove their sanctions.

          Beyond that, I think there are also resources that the Federal 
Government could make available to aid South Africa's economic recovery 
to encourage private sector investment in South Africa and encourage 
private business here in the United States to look at investment 
opportunities in South Africa to help them build and contribute to the 
economic transformation that will accompany the political 

          I think those steps now, including Nelson Mandela's call, 
including the creation of the Transition Executive Council, clears the 
way for that type of process to begin.

          Q    Is there a dollar figure?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not a dollar figure.  What's involved is -- not 
so much as money -- is the effort to encourage private businesses to 
seek investment opportunities in South Africa.

          What about the curbs in the IMF -- U.S. support for IMF loans 
to South Africa?

          MR. McCURRY:  There are some sanctions in place that relate to 
the export of military equipment and police equipment.  Those will 
remain in effect.

          On the IMF lending, I have to check into that.  I had seen 
something on that, but I don't see it here in the information I've got 
now.  I'll check on whether that would change our posture there.

          Q    Does it require action by the Congress, or can you do it 
by Executive Order?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not sure.  The issue is the Gramm Amendment 
-- what the effect is of the Gramm Amendment on the Bretton Woods 
Agreement.  That is the restriction currently.  I'm not sure what 
happens to the Gramm Amendment as a result of this call; whether it has 
to be lifted by Congress directly or whether the Secretary can make a 

          My recollection -- but I'd want to double-check this -- my 
recollection is that the Secretary can make a determination that lifts 
the effect of the Gramm Amendment.  If that's correct, that's something 
that obviously would be under consideration, but I don't have anything 
definitive on it.

          Q    You're saying the sanctions on arms, though, will remain?

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes, there are some sanctions.  My understanding 
of Mr. Mandela's speech is that he specifically calls for some of those 
restrictions on military equipment to remain in effect.  Our actions 
would be consistent with that.

          Q    Mike, going back to something that the Secretary 
addressed earlier on Bosnia.  Does he have any further plans to consult 
with Congress on the deployment of U.S. forces consistent with President 
Clinton's pledge to do so if there's a Bosnia agreement?  He said this 
was the beginning of consultation.  Are there other meetings planned?

          MR. McCURRY:  They met, I believe, with about 20 members of 
the Senate and 15-16 members of the House last night.  I think one of 
the things growing out of that dialogue, on both the part of the 
Administration and the members of Congress present, was that it was a 
very useful dialogue and it should continue.  So I think that the 
Secretary was indicating that that type of consultation on a difficult 
issue like that would continue.

          I'm not aware of any specific plans at this point to go and 
have a session similar to the one that was held yesterday.  But I do 
know that they do plan to remain in pretty close contact.  Just for 
example, Chairman Pell is here having lunch with the Secretary today.  
That type of thing will obviously continue.

          Q    Will the Administration ask for specific Congressional 
approval for this peacekeeping operation?  And, if so, why, after all 
these years does this President think it's necessary?

          MR. McCURRY:  That's one of the things that they were 
discussing last night.  I don't want to presume that there will be a 
certain way in which Congress addresses this issue.  I think many 
members of Congress have made it clear that they intend to address it 
through the budget process, through authorizing and appropriating 
language one way or another.

          On the Administration's part, the Secretary made clear that a 
resolution expressing support for this would not be unwelcome.  But I 
think that those are all things that are -- in light of the fact that 
there is no political settlement that has been agreed to by the parties 
and put into effect -- it's all fairly speculative at this time.

          Q    The reason for asking about continuing consultations is 
that it could become non-hypothetical suddenly and it would be very 
surprising if the Secretary said that consultations were just beginning 
and then if they reach an agreement on Tuesday and on Wednesday the 
Administration announces a specific plan, I think some of us would be 
surprised that the consultations which had just begun yesterday had 
suddenly concluded.  I'm trying to get a feel for whether you think this 
is a process that's likely to take some massaging before a plan is 
agreed upon, or whether you're essentially saying it was the beginning 
of something that can conclude the instant an agreement is reached?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't want to characterize the reactions of 
the members of Congress.  I think it was pretty clear that there would 
need to be a good dialogue on this issue as the United States moves 
ahead and addresses the consequences of any settlement in Bosnia.

          Q    From the ones I've talked to, they've said they want 
hearings.  Does the Administration agree that there should be hearings?

          MR. McCURRY:   I don't think we've addressed that yet.  I 
think, as they were yesterday, talking about this in a tentative way, 
trying to think ahead about what might happen if there are certain 
developments coming out of the negotiations that occurred on the 

          Q    What are your ideas on where to get the money?  You 
mentioned -- will you ask for an appropriation?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm led to understand that they talked less 
about the funding sources than they did about the overall mission 
itself.  As you know from the comments of General Shalikashvili the 
other day, it's a sizeable amount of money  and it's something that 
would have to be addressed with great care.  In fact, one of the 
purposes of continuing consultation with Congress would be to understand 
better how the resources for such mission could be available.

          Q    Do you have anything on the North Korean nuclear issue?

          MR. McCURRY:  No, nothing there.

          Q    It seems that recently to the United States the North 
Korean nuclear issue is not as imminent as a few months ago.  Has the 
U.S. assessment on the issue changed?  Or is the issue no longer on the 
front burner?

          MR. McCURRY:  Our views have not changed.  We understand that 
the IAEA Board of Governors is currently having a meeting, which I 
believe ends today.  Then the IAEA General Conference will begin next 
week.  I believe at that time this issue will be on their agenda.  So it 
is a matter under active consideration by the IAEA and it's something 
that we, of course, are monitoring closely.

          Q    Thank you.

          (Press briefing concluded at 1:25 p.m.)


To the top of this page