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Wednesday, October 6, 1993

                            BRIEFER:  Michael McCurry

Subject                                               Page

US Policy re Deployment of US Personnel ........      1-2,4-5,6
American Captives/US Diplomatic Activities .....      2-3
Contacts with Aideed/Aideed Reps in Washington .      2
Aideed:  Support/Arms Transfers/Movements ......      3-4,5
Demonstrations of Support for UN Mission .......      3
President Carter's Role ........................      6-7

PLO Executive Committee Member Qaddoumi's
  Meeting with the Secretary ...................      1
Results of Arafat-Rabin Meeting in Cairo .......      1

Reported Interagency Meeting re Mass Exodus ....      7
US Concern re Economic Conditions ..............      7

Threat to Withdraw from CFE ....................      7
Yeltsin Letter re Expansion of NATO Membership
  to Include Eastern European Nations ..........      7
Restrictions on News Media during State of
  Emergency ....................................      9
Ambassador Pickering's Meeting with Yeltsin/
  Return to US .................................      9-10
Assurances of Free and Fair Election ...........      10
Secretary's Visit during October 20-27 .........      10

Energy Secretary's Remarks Leadership Changes ..      8


                       DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                       DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #136

              WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1993, 12:58 P.M.

         MR. McCURRY:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I'm going to
start the day with just one or two things.  I do want to say at
the outset that I think, as you know, the Secretary is at the
White House right now meeting with the President and other
national security advisers on the situation in Somalia.  Because
of that, I don't have much of anything that I can tell you about
the meetings that have gone on last night and today.  I'm sure
you'll be very happy to know that.

         I will say, though, that at one point during the
morning the Secretary did return here; and, although it was
somewhat delayed, he did have his meeting with Farouk Qaddoumi,
a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation
Organization.  While Mr. Qaddoumi was waiting here at the
Department for the return of the Secretary, he did have an
opportunity to meet with some of the other members of the U.S.
peace team.

         Their discussions and the discussions with the
Secretary focused on the Declaration of Principles, the steps
that are now being taken to implement the Declaration.  I think
both the U.S. and the PLO representatives noted the statements
that have come out of Cairo today that are very encouraging,
that describe the steps that Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman
Arafat have put in place to structure the implementation of the
Declaration itself.  And, as I say, the Secretary found that

         He also found encouraging Mr. Qaddoumi's reaffirmation
of the importance of implementing the Declaration and Mr.
Qaddoumi's support for the Declaration itself.  I think in light
of that, it was a positive meeting, albeit a somewhat
abbreviated meeting because of the Secretary's schedule.

         With that somewhat limited readout on that meeting,
I'll take any other questions.

         Q    Let's try a little bit on Somalia.  Would you say,
with what you know -- and you say you only know a little bit of
what's going on today -- would you say that U.S. policy remains
as it was on Somalia and the tinkering has to be with the
tactics or the strategy, which is the position of President, the
U.N. Ambassador and I believe the Secretary of State took just
last week at the U.N?

         MR. McCURRY:  I think it's consistent with what several
are saying at the White House and what the Secretary believes. 
It is not time at the moment to abruptly change our posture
related to deployment of U.S. personnel abroad.  I think that's
very clear.

         Other aspects of the policy -- the tactics, how we are
proceeding as part of the UNOSOM mission -- those are clearly
subjects that may be under discussion at the White House
meeting, so I'd prefer not to get into any detail on that.  But
I think you've heard the Secretary say, even just last night,
that the importance of being steady and resolved as we face the
urgent situation in Mogadishu today -- with Americans missing,
with us having taken casualties -- because of that, it is
important to be steadfast in our support for the U.S. servicemen
stationed in Somalia as part of that mission.

         Q    One quick follow-up:  Has the U.S., the State
Department, heard a credible offer to swap the one, at least,
injured American the Somalis say they're holding?

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

         Q    Can you clarify at all how many Americans are
being held?

         MR. McCURRY:  No, I don't want to do that, for reasons
I think you've heard them say at the Pentagon yesterday.  And
today they have confirmed the one, the holding of Mr. Durant,
obviously.  But beyond that I just don't want to get into any
specific discussion of numbers.

         Q    Have there been any feelers from the U.S.
Government or intermediaries to Aideed's people?  Is there some
kind of direct or indirect communication, not necessarily on the
hostage but on any of this stuff?

         MR. McCURRY:  John, I don't want to get into any
specific efforts we are making diplomatically, other than to say
that I'm satisfied that we are pursuing many different
diplomatic avenues in attempting to address the situation.

         Q    Mike, there's a man speaking over at American
University at noon today who claimed to be a personal
representative of Aideed.  Are you aware of Aideed having
representatives here in Washington?  Can you comment?

         MR. McCURRY:  No.  That is frankly news to me.  I'll
check around and see if anyone was aware of that.

         Q    Mike, can you tell us what inquiries the United
States has made through the ICRC and what we've heard from them,
if anything?

         MR. McCURRY:  Again, because of the sensitivity and
because of the important work that the ICRC can do in situations
like this, I don't really want to provide any details other than
to say that we are pursuing traditional avenues that are
available at a moment like this.

         Q    A question which keeps being raised -- and I don't
know if your forum is the right one to ask this to -- but how is
it that Aideed instead of diminishing his base, as the U.S. has
indicated, by taking his advisers and hitting his different
things, he appears to be gaining strength.  Is there an
explanation by the analysts or --

         MR. McCURRY:  Well, it's a subject that is studied. 
You're probably referring to "Is he gaining strength
politically?"  That's not at all clear.  I think, as you know,
there have been some public demonstrations of support for the
U.N. mission.  There is evidence elsewhere in Somalia that there
are people who are upset with the actions that have occurred in
south Mogadishu.

         But probably the more important question -- the one I
frankly do not have a good analysis of -- is his military
support, his growing military strength.  They clearly are using
some weaponry that was perhaps not in his arsenal prior.  I
don't have an analysis of that that I can provide you, other
than to say it is something that we are obviously looking at
very carefully.

         Q    Do you know where those weapons come from?

         MR. McCURRY:  No, I don't have a -- I mean, we have
some understanding of the way arms transfers occur, and you've
seen some public discussion of that from time to time.  But I
don't have a good enough detail right here about what might be
available in his arsenal to share it.

         Q    One side of the question about Aideed gaining
political strength is to what extent is the U.S. and the U.N.
mission there losing strength, losing support and whatever among
the population.

         MR. McCURRY:  As I say, we have had some evidence of
demonstrations of support on behalf of the U.N. mission, but the
problem as it has been and continues to be is the violence in
south Mogadishu in the area associated with the Habr Gedr clan. 
And that does at the moment present the problem that we're
trying to deal with.

         Q    Have you seen any indication of other clan leaders
that had been basically passive during this period starting to
be influenced by what Aideed is doing or by his successes in
stymying the Western forces?

         MR. McCURRY:  Not that I am aware of.  In fact, the
only thing that I have seen are some references to the fact that
other clan leaders, during these moments, have indicated their
support for the U.N. mission.  But again I don't have a great
deal of detail on that.

         Q    Mike, Madeleine Albright said, I think it was last
week -- and you've said here from the podium -- there is
evidence of an alliance between Aideed and the Sudanese
Government and the Iranian Government.  Is that one of the
possible sources of weapons you all might be looking at?

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't have anything that could confirm
that.  I think what we've said in the past is that we've seen
some evidence of Sudanese support for factions within Somalia,
and we are aware, of course, of the links that do exist between
the Iranian Government and the Sudanese Government.  We've
described those previously.  They are addressed in the terrorism
report itself.  But I would not rush to suggest that that is
responsible for arms transfers occurring contemporaneously or at
this very time.

         Q    Mike, you said, and I assume that the Secretary
told this to people on the Hill last night, that we have to show
steady resolve because Americans are there and taking casualties
and being held prisoner, and that's the immediate national
interest in staying there.

         But some people there on the Hill complained that the
United States was still unable to define in a specific way the
larger interest in being there.  And you've been asked about
this at this podium and in my view had a little difficulty, and
I'm just wondering if you can tell us what the Secretary said in
response to those questions.  What is our interest in being
there, aside now from rescuing the people who are being held or
getting the remains of the people killed?

         MR. McCURRY:  He described the situation much as I did
yesterday here in describing both our humanitarian interest in
participating as part of this mission, our strong interest to
abide by our commitments to the United Nations as reflected in
U.N. Security Council resolutions that we voted for, and then
the more immediate and urgent necessity of making sure that we
take care of our people who are stationed there, which is what
he addressed.

         The Secretary much more eloquently addressed that,
although during the briefings yesterday he was frankly tasked
with the responsibility of presenting more information on
Russia.  But I believe that the presentation reflected some of
the things that had been said consistently about our interests

         Q    Just as a matter of information, I assume there's
something coming from the White House on this later, but is it
possible to get some sort of statement of the American interest
there in Somalia from the Secretary at this point?

         MR. McCURRY:  In light of those who are working on that
at the White House today, I think it would be very appropriate
to direct that question to the White House.

         Q    Back on the arms transfers, so did Iran supply the
Somali forces commanded by General Aideed with arms through
Sudan or in any other fashion or not?

         MR. McCURRY:  I did not say that.  I discussed some of
the patterns that we have.  As I said, I don't have any detailed
information on what type of weaponry is in General Aideed's
inventory and from whence it came.  I am satisfied on that
question that we do look at that and examine that question, then
I'll see if based on what we do know and how we know it if
there's something that we can share publicly.

         Q    Is there a level of surprise by the Administration
that Aideed is still standing, considering the intensity of the
onslaught, going after his advisers in the different places he's

         MR. McCURRY:  No, I wouldn't describe it as surprise. 
I mean, we have been concerned about his operations in south
Mogadishu for some time.  We're aware of his pattern of activity
and know some things about how he operates.  So I don't think
there's much surprising about it.

         Q    Does the Administration know where Aideed is right
now?  Is he in-country right now?

         MR. McCURRY:  Where he is at this very moment?  I can't
answer that.  There may be a good assessment of that within the
government.  I just don't have it here.

         Q    Have we spoken to neighboring nations about his
ability to seemingly slip in and out of the country with no
problem at all?

         MR. McCURRY:  I can't confirm to you that he has left
Somalia or has slipped in and out of country.  I don't have any
information to that effect -- question one.  Question two:  Have
we discussed this with governments in the region?  Yes.  I
think, as you know, we met with President Issaias of Eritrea,
and the Secretary had some very specific things to say about the
possibility of involving some of the governments in the region
in addressing the situation.

         Q    But did he specifically address them closing their
borders to Aideed?

         MR. McCURRY:  To Aideed and moving about -- I'm not
aware of that subject being raised.


         Q    Just following up on something that was asked
yesterday.  When you said the President is in charge of the
policy, obviously that's true.  But below that level, is there
anybody sort of on the deputies' level coordinating on policy at
the NSC, here, the Pentagon, or where?  Can you enlighten us as
to sort of who's in charge of --

         MR. McCURRY:  Within each Department, within the NSC,
there are people who are responsible at what would be called the
deputies' level, and they are exactly the people participating
in some of the meetings going on.

         Q    Is David Shinn still the coordinator for the State

         MR. McCURRY:  For the working group here at the
Department working on this problem, he is a coordinator.  But
because of the seriousness of this matter, a number of higher
ranking officials in the Department, including the Secretary,
are working on the problem directly, too.

         Q    A little over a month ago we got a fairly good
briefing from Ambassador Shinn and others.  I'm just wondering
if at least on a non-policy level, but on a factual level, we
could hear from some of these people again to find out at least
what's going on on the ground from their point of view?

         MR. McCURRY:  I'll be happy to look into doing that. 
You can understand that we're not likely to do that at a moment
in which the policy is under discussion.  But beyond that, we
will certainly see if we can make some people available.

         Q    Can we switch to Cuba just one second.

         MR. McCURRY:  Hold on.  Anyone want --

         Q    I have one more Somalia question.  Former
President Carter's name has been linked diplomatically to this
effort.  Is he at all involved in any sort of contact with the
United States Government or any sort of contact with General
Aideed's people or passing on any information?

         MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of that.  The most recent
information I have involving President Carter's involvement was
I think he had traveled in the region at the time.  I think
September 14, if I'm not mistaken, he and the Secretary and
National Security Adviser Tony Lake met.  President Carter had
had some contacts in the region, had had some things indicated
to him about the posture of Aideed, and I think that was
discussed at a breakfast meeting at the White House.

         I'm not aware of President Carter intervening in any
personal way, but it is clear because of his travels in the
region, he is knowledgeable about it and had some thoughts on it
that were discussed.

         Q    But nothing recently?

         MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of anything since then.  I
believe that they had that discussion, I think, the day after
the PLO-Israeli signing ceremony on the 13th, so my recollection
is that they met on the 14th.

         Q    Mike --

         MR. McCURRY:  Change of subject.  Yes.

         Q    We're told that there is a rather large
interagency meeting going on here today to discuss emergency
plans to deal with a possible mass exodus, Mariel-type exodus,
from Cuba.  What can you tell us about this meeting?  And is the
U.S. growing increasingly concerned about the possibility of an
exodus like that happening?

         MR. McCURRY:  To be honest with you, I can't tell you
anything.  It's the first I had heard of that.  I can easily
check and find out more about it and see if anyone can give me
some information about the meeting.  I was not aware and don't
know for a fact that such a meeting is taking place.

         Secondly, on the general question, we had been
concerned about economic conditions in Cuba.  We understand that
is a consequence of a totalitarian command type of economy.  It
is among many reasons why we have consistently urged change to
come to Cuba in the form of democratic, market-oriented reforms
that can help the people of Cuba, who are suffering from a
laggered economy, reach their own aspirations.

         Q    Overall, do you think the U.S. is prepared to deal
with a mass exodus if it were to happen?

         MR. McCURRY:  I think this is an area that I would
categorize as being one in which we would hope preventative
diplomacy might have an impact.  I will find out more about
whether there are some steps being taken to prepare for a worse
case scenario.  But, clearly, there are things that could be
done positively to avert that type of crisis.

         Q    Has Russia informed the United States and other
NATO allies that it is prepared to pull out of the CFE Treaty if
more tanks can't be moved to the Caucasus?

         MR. McCURRY:  Carol, I'll be real honest.  There was a
discussion of that this morning that I only caught a part of. 
There are some folks who have got answers to that question, so
I'll take that question and then work up an answer.

         Q    Could you make it as full as possible?

         MR. McCURRY:  I'll see if we can make it something
other than the customary State Department taken question.

         Q    Another subject:  NATO Secretary General Manfred
Woerner was here yesterday.  In that connection, I would like to
ask, what is the U.S. position to the letter of Russian
President Yeltsin from the last week warning NATO governments
against accepting as members other Eastern European countries,
as the Czech Republic and Hungary?  Has the United States
somehow reacted to the letter or talking about it?

         MR. McCURRY:  We have not reacted to that letter.  I
will say that the issue of NATO's future relationship with the
countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet
Union is now under active review within the U.S. Government in
preparation for the December Ministerial meetings at NATO and
then the January NATO Summit.

         We will, of course, be consulting closely, and had been
consulting closely with our allies and friends, including
Russia, on this very subject.

         Q    Just a follow up:  Are you consulting also with
these particular countries, like Poland, Hungary and the Czech

         MR. McCURRY:  I don't know that we have been in
discussion with the East European countries that have been
suggested as likely candidates for membership in NATO.  But we
do intend to work with the NACC, with the Coordinating Council,
on questions like that as we prepare for the NATO Summit in

         Q    Energy Secretary O'Leary today, in a television
interview, I think, made a comment about how the old leadership
in Beijing is about to withdraw.  It was a very tantalizing
remark.  I wondered, since she had just come back from China, is
this some sort of -- can you flesh it out?  Does the United
States really think that a change of leadership in China, is
that imminent, or is this just the general conclusion of
everyone who looks and sees how old the leadership there is and

         MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of Secretary O'Leary's
specific remarks.  But I can tell you what our understanding and
our assessment is based on the general sense that a generational
leadership will occur just due to the age of many of the senior
leaders within the Chinese Government.  I suspect that that's
what Secretary O'Leary was referring to, but I'll check and see
if there was something specific that she had in mind with those

         Q    Can I ask a Russia question?

         MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  Please do.

         Q    I just want to follow up on something we talked
about yesterday.  Apparently, a bunch of newspapers that had
nothing to do with Rutskoi or the Parliament, plus some people
and parties that had nothing to do with them, have also been
banned, closed up, censored, etc., and so forth.

         I'm not clear.  Is there a clear pledge from Yeltsin,
or has the United States asked for and gotten a clear pledge
from Yeltsin that at the end of the period of emergency this
censorship will cease?

         MR. McCURRY:  He came very close to saying that, I
understand, in the remarks that were just concluded, as the
briefing began.

         First of all, a little bit of detail on what we know on
the restrictions he has placed on the press.  The Russian
Information and Press Ministry, which is the ministry involved,
suspended publication of ten newspapers affiliated with
organizations which they say "took part in the mass unrest and
illegal actions" in Moscow.  Those ten newspapers are mostly
hard-line, pro-Communist publications -- Pravada, Den; I think
there were a few others involved.

         They followed up the banning of hard-line news
organizations with the suspension of several "pro-Communist" and
"neo-fascist" groups that were suspected of having participated
in the White House rebellion.  Those measures, clearly, are
directed to the disturbances recently.

         The issue of censorship in other news organizations was
something that has been described by the Russian Government, and
in Russian media reports, of having been temporary.  There have
been indications that that will be suspended.  If not as of
today, at least as of the end of the emergency period.  That
would certainly be our expectations.

         I think, as we indicated yesterday, after the
establishment of public order and during and after the election
campaign, we fully expect full freedom of the press, full
freedom of assembly for a wide spectrum of political parties and
groups within Russia to be the status of the conduct of that

         We do have every indication from the Yeltsin Government
that that will be the case.  We have seen statements today.  I
think that President Yeltsin's spokesman even announced that the
operating censorship ban would be lifted on the papers that were

         I'll tell you also that earlier today Ambassador
Pickering did meet with President Yeltsin prior to returning
here to Washington for consultations.  They reviewed, obviously,
many of the topics that you would expect them to review -- the
status of events in Moscow, the status of events elsewhere in

         I don't have a lot of detail that I can share on their
meeting other than to say that, certainly, the meeting was
consistent with the assurances that President Clinton received
in his phone call yesterday with President Yeltsin and
consistent with our understanding of the desire of President
Yeltsin to move quickly to free and fair elections and to
conduct -- in fact, to broaden the scope of elections and the
effort to bring democratic institutions into the political life
of the Russian people.

         Q    Mike, did you say Ambassador Pickering was
summoned back?

         MR. McCURRY:  No.  I think he was coming back -- my
understanding was that he was due to come back at some point
anyhow.  He'll be coming back here, in part, in preparation for
the Secretary's trip, October 20-27 -- a sign-up sheet to be
posted.  I believe we're going to try to post it today, so you
should all know that.

         Q    Do you have an itinerary?

         MR. McCURRY:  We're working a lot into this answer. 

         Q    Do you have an itinerary, as long as we're pulling
the string on --

         MR. McCURRY:  I do not have an itinerary at this point.
 They haven't set a final itinerary.  We expect stops in several
of the NIS states in addition to Russia and probably at least
one stop in Eastern Europe, but they're finalizing the
itinerary.  I thought I should give you the dates so you could
do some planning.

         Q    He's going to Moscow?

         MR. McCURRY:  As part of that trip, at some point -- I
think early on on the trip -- to Moscow.

         Q    Why is he going?

         MR. McCURRY:  Among other things, we'll be looking
specifically at the effect of U.S. support for the
transformation going on in each of these countries.  We have a
considerable amount invested now by the U.S. taxpayer in seeing
that the economic and political liberalization will move ahead
in these states.  We think that's a sound investment, and we're
going to go check it out.

         Q    Thank you.

         (Briefing concluded at 1:25 p.m.)


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