931103 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.
Monday, November 8, 1993

                                BRIEFER:  Michael McCurry

Subject                                              Page

Secretary to Testify on Hill November 4 and 5 ..       1
--  No Daily Press Briefing on Those Days.......       1

Ambassador Oakley's Meetings/Civil Order Impact        1-2
Responsibility for Deaths of Pakistani Troops ..       2
Political Agreements/Disarmament ...............       3-7
Withdrawal of US Troops ........................       3,7-9

Implementation of Governor's Island Accord ....        6
Aristide's Ability to Govern .................         14-15
Sanctions/Naval Blockade/Discussions/US Marines        15-20
--  Countries Participating/Considering .......        17,19-20
--  Assets Frozen in US ........................       15-16
Upcoming Talks with Parties by Caputo/Puezzulo .       18-20

Has Blix Report on Safeguards/US Concern .......       9
IAEA Inspections/Replacement of Film ...........       9-10
North-South Talks ..............................       9-10,21
US Incentives re:  Conformance with IAEA Regime        10-11,22

Talks between Israel and PLO ...................       11-13
--  Status of Israeli Troops in Occupied Territories   12
Visit by Rabin to US/Telephone Call to Secretary       13
Israeli Elections ..............................       13-14

Investigation of Reported Improper Behavior by
  UNPROFOR Troops ..............................       14,16-17
US Support for Efforts to Resolve Disputes .....       21

Demonstrations Against Restrictions on Press ...       17-18

Talks with US re:  Military Bases .............        20-21

New Military Doctrine ..........................       22
DoD Reviewing US Strategic Doctrine ............       22-23

Status of Nominations ..........................       23-24


                       DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                       DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #145

             WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 1993, 12:49 P. M.

         MR. McCURRY:  Good afternoon, everybody -- very nice to be with 
you today.  I will start with two housekeeping announcements.  I'll let 
you know first that Secretary Christopher will be testifying tomorrow 
before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 10:00 a.m. in Room 419 
of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  This will be an overall 
discussion of U.S. foreign policy.

          Then on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m., he will appear with 
Secretary Bentsen before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Room 
2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  That will be a discussion of 

          Because of both of those appearances by the Secretary, as is 
our custom, we will not have daily briefings here -- although we will 
help you out with any questions that you might have.

          I don't have any other additional announcements, so I think I 
can go straight to questions.

          Q    Well, this may not be housekeeping, but there's a little 
item in the Washington Times this morning that Mr. Wharton is leaving.  
Is there any truth to that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of any truth to that item.  I 
think the Secretary highly regards Dr. Wharton, both professionally and 
personally, and I'm not aware of any plans for change in his status as 
Deputy Secretary.

          Q    Let me ask you a real question.  Could you bring us up to 
date on Bob Oakley's doings, and can we drop the word "reported" from 
the notion that he's meeting with eight of Aideed's subordinates?

          MR. McCURRY:  I wouldn't say "reported."  I think he and his 
party -- they are in Mogadishu today.  He has met with representatives 
of various Somali groups, including the SNA which is General Aideed's 
political organization.

          He has not met with Aideed.  He has no plans to do so, 
although he is in contact with elements of Habr Gedr, the sub-clan.  He 
is scheduled to meet the press, my understanding is, some time today 
during the early evening Somali time in Mogadishu.  So we may see some 
reporting coming from Mogadishu on some of his efforts over the last 
several days.

          He leaves tomorrow for Kampala where he will be meeting with 
regional leaders, and then he's due back here over the weekend.  He has 
clearly had an extensive round of discussions relating back to many of 
the things covered on his earlier trip.  He's interested in re-
establishing some of the regional security arrangements that would 
involve all the various clans to maintain peace and order in Mogadishu 
as the important relief efforts continue.

          Q    Does the U.S. still want Aideed arrested?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think that we still subscribe to the U.N. 
Security Council resolution that says that those accountable for the 
deaths of Pakistani peacekeepers must be held accountable.

          Q    Only Pakistani peacekeepers?  I thought it included --

          MR. McCURRY:  The relevant resolution 837 refers to the June 5 
incident; but of course we are determined to see that all of those 
responsible for the deaths of U.N. peacekeepers, including U.S. 
servicemen, are held accountable for those deaths.

          Q    I mean, it's an obvious point that the interpretation is 
-- the legal interpretation is  -- that that resolution does not include 
the deaths of the 18 Americans.

          MR. McCURRY:  That resolution doesn't.  But our view is that 
the process of making those responsible for those deaths accountable 
will help you understand more about the incidents that have occurred 
since June 5 -- the fighting in and around south Mogadishu -- and in 
fact that may be, as you know from our discussion of Ambassador Oakley's 
previous trip there, another reason why an independent commission of 
inquiry that could establish certain facts might be very useful in that 

          Q    In your view, has Ambassador Oakley's extensive 
consultations this time in Somalia brought closer the day when the 
Clinton Administration will be able to withdraw U.S. troops from Somalia 
or brought closer the day when Somalia's political situation will be 
such that the U.N. operation can withdraw?

          MR. McCURRY:  I look at it a different way, Ralph.  I'd say 
that his efforts there have clearly quickened the pace of the political 
efforts that might help in the restoration of  a civil order within 
Mogadishu that would allow Somalis to take responsibilities for their 
own affairs.

          The Addis Ababa agreements from March that had been more or 
less placed on the shelf seem to be back in play now as a framework for 
discussion by the regional leaders.  There seem to be other discussions 
under way with leaders within the region that provide some prospects for 
a diplomatic and political track that would bring some continuity to the 
effort to establish a political order in Somalia.  That, obviously, is 
related to the President's desire to keep a U.S. presence in Somalia 
until March 1994 while these efforts continue.

          Q    Mike, does the United States have a plan for a phased 
withdrawal of troops from Mogadishu or from Somalia in the period 
leading up to March 31, or do we just -- on March 31, they all come 
home?  And I'm asking you from a political point of view rather than a 
tactical one.

          MR. McCURRY:  So you won't let me refer you to the Pentagon?

          Q    I won't let you use the DoD dodge.

          MR. McCURRY:  Okay.  No.  I would say it's hard to separate 
those questions in some ways because the forces that are currently 
deployed in Somalia are there with different capabilities, different 
missions; and it is entirely possible that some may be drawn down, some 
may be rotated.  But those are questions, from a political point of 
view, that are consistent with the President's overall policy that we 
need to keep a presence there that can continue the mission that he 
outlined and that can assist in the efforts that are underway to build a 
political dialogue that can return some measure of civil order to 

          Q    But generally speaking then, it's the U.S. plan to keep a 
force of about between 4,000-5,000 there until March 31?

          MR. McCURRY:  I would not want to say that, and I really would 
have to refer you to the Pentagon on that.  There are elements currently 
there associated with our deployment that have capabilities that are 
designed for a situation that is much more tense, that is much more 
related to combat; and whether or not it would be possible to withdraw 
some of those types of units in the period between now and March is 
something that I would refer to the Pentagon -- because I really do 
think they'd be in a better position.

          I can say as a matter of policy, I'm not aware of anything 
within current policy that would prohibit that type of drawdown.

          Q    Michael, does the Administration consider disarming the 
factions in Somalia as a condition for the return of law and order in 
this country?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think we do.  I think since the attack on June 
5, the question of the armament of the clans and the effort to disarm 
them has been something that's been troubling to us.  In fact, it's been 
disappointing.  We are working with the United Nations and with Somali 
parties now on the type of political settlement that I mentioned earlier 
that's based on the Addis Ababa accords signed in March, and a central 
element of exactly those accords was the agreement by all the factions 
who participated, including Habr Gedr, to disarm.

          There is structured in there the development of these so-
called "regional councils" that are made up of various Somali leaders, 
including various clan leaders, and it is our hope that those regional 
councils will voluntarily cooperate with the United Nations to establish 
local programs for disarmament.

          At the moment, as many of you know, the instances of 
politically-motivated violence outside of Mogadishu have been fairly 
rare; but that doesn't obviate the need to try to address the 
disarmament issue as they move toward a political effort to establish 
some type of civil government.

          Q    You mentioned voluntary cooperation from the different 
factions in Somalia.  Are you satisfied by the level of cooperation from 
the factions here?

          MR. McCURRY:  There has been some cooperation, but I think 
overall, as I say, the progress on disarmament has been disappointing.  
We recognize that, and I think that's one of the things that Ambassador 
Oakley is addressing in his discussions in Mogadishu even today.

          Q    So, Mike, the Administration -- at least the troops the 
Administration has there -- are unwilling to carry out the disarmament, 
so we're now looking towards unarmed regional councils to carry out the 
work of the United Nations -- the work that the United Nations has 
called for?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not entirely.  I think that there remains a 
deployment under UNOSOM there that can assist with disarmament; but, 
again, the political track that was agreed to in March is one that calls 
for the voluntary disarmament of clans.  Our view is that if we continue 
to press that process and continue to engage the various clan elders in 
a discussion about the need to disarm, that that could prove fruitful.  
And that's clearly one of the things that Ambassador Oakley has on his 

          Q    But, Mike, what incentive is there for the clans to 
disarm given the current situation?

          MR. McCURRY:  What incentives are there?  Well, among other 
things, the ability to gain international support, relief support, 
economic assistance depends -- ultimately -- on the conditions of 
security within Somalia, and Mogadishu in particular.  They know they 
will not be able to rebuild a nation, to structure an economy that can 
reward the people of Somalia absent conditions of security.

          Q    Are you saying that aid is going to be cut off if the 
clans don't disarm?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  I'm not suggesting that we would interrupt 
humanitarian relief necessary to keep people alive.  But I am suggesting 
that the willingness of the international community, as it does in so 
many developing countries, to enter into the picture, to assist people, 
to rebuild an economy depends very much on what type of security the 
international community senses in the nation that they're talking about.  
Our suggestion is that we've made that very clear to the clan elders, 
and they know that in many ways too.

          Q    What indications have you had so far that they're willing 
to disarm voluntarily?

          MR. McCURRY:  Most importantly, their agreement in March that 
they would do so.  But I think we've pressed that since then with a 
number of the clan leaders -- there are, as you know, 15 different clans 
-- and there's a different degree of receptivity all throughout Somalia 
in participating in that type of a disarmament effort.  But it is one 
that we will continue to press, quite clearly.

          Q    I'm confused, Mike, because at the peak of U.S. 
deployment there in March or April of about 30,000 troops, when in fact 
there might have been the ability to disarm, I thought the explicit 
decision was made, "That is not our mission.  We are not going to disarm 
people in Mogadishu."  Can you clarify that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know necessarily that that's true.  I 
think at one point they were fairly extensively involved in disarmament 
issues.  This would be early in the period, earlier this year -- 
probably in the early spring.

          Q    I thought that there was some heavy -- the issue of heavy 
weapons -- but in terms of disarming, I remember repeated statements at 
the time that disarming is not what we were going to do.  And now you're 
saying it is.  I'm very confused.

          MR. McCURRY:  I will look into that and clarify that.  It was 
prior to my arrival here, but I recall at the time that there were 
discussions about how to remove technicals from the streets of Mogadishu 
and steps that could be taken as part of the UNOSOM mission in regard to 

          But there was, admittedly, ongoing through that period a focus 
on the political track and on the diplomatic track.

          Q    Is the U.N., or the different countries participating in 
UNOSOM, ready to pledge some money to buy back weapons in Somalia?

          MR. McCURRY:  I have not heard anything to that effect.  I can 
check into that.  I haven't heard that.

          Q    Mike, doesn't there seem to be a little bit of a pattern 
here, in both Somalia and Haiti, where the United States is calling upon 
the leaders in these countries to voluntarily adhere to agreements that 
they have signed and already shown no willingness to follow.  Isn't that 
both the case here in talking about disarmament, and also in Haiti in 
talking about adhering to the Governors Island accords?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think these are much different situations with 
different patterns of fact, different histories, different chronologies.  
I wouldn't rush to make that comparison.


          Q    But, if I may, Mike, yesterday Secretary Christopher used 
-- in describing both Somalia and Haiti -- I believe he used the phrase 
"failed countries."   I'm wondering if this is an effort to shift the 
blame for policies which, if not failed, have not been greatly 
successful, onto the countries themselves; and does this signal a kind 
of a washing of the hands of both these issues?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  I think that's a term that you've seen 
others use -- including Ambassador Albright -- in the past and just 
describes the conditions of nation-states that are in the era that we 
now live in on the verge of or in the condition of collapse, where there 
is no existing civil structure that can help people self-govern.

          He just was referring to that as a shorthand way to describe 
two particular situations, and he didn't offer a lengthy analysis as you 
heard him yesterday.

          Q    But he did call for a national dialogue, and he did say 
the Administration would like the help of Congress and the media and 
all, and he did express it in terms of the U.S. is feeling its way in 
these areas as contrasted to more successful, active approaches with 
Russia and others.

          MR. McCURRY:  I was there, and I know a lot of you heard the 
speech, too.  He was clearly referring to how in this era -- the post-
Cold War era that we are now into -- how do you define the limits and 
the willingness of the United States to project force abroad in 
addressing situations that we've dealt with currently and ones that we 
will most likely deal with in  the future -- including situations in 
which we're not presently engaged but are no less compelling than the 
suffering that you see in places like Bosnia, like Haiti, like Somalia, 
the ones that have been the focus here.

          Q    Some of us see this as also saying there are  limits to 
American diplomacy, and what it seems you're doing in these two 
countries is telling the locals to work out their own problems.

          MR. McCURRY:  If you look at the history of what we have done 
in Somalia and you can see what we are doing there currently, if you 
look at what's going on in Haiti and our efforts diplomatically there 
currently, I fail to see how you can say we're just sort of leaving it 
up to these states to handle their own affairs.  It's just not true.

          Q    The Pakistani commander, by the way, who's going out, 
says that if the United States leaves, then the whole effort is just 
going to go into the --

          MR. McCURRY:  That's probably an analysis that's not 
incorrect.  But it doesn't suggest anything about the status of our 
mission in either country nor our willingness to participate in this 
type of effort around the world.  What the Secretary suggested and what 
you know manifestly -- you can watch the debate in Congress every day -- 
is that there has to be a discussion and participation by those who make 
policy in defining the scope and the limits of American policy in this 
era that we're now in.

          We can't do everything every place all at once -- that is 
something that is clear -- nor are we.

          Q    Didn't I hear an official say that a few months ago, and 
wasn't he criticized for that?

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  He was suggesting our willingness to do so 
would be conditioned or limited by our financial resources.  There's a 
much different argument.  If you say that the projection of force, the 
determination to become involved, the determination to play a role is 
something that reflects our national interests, that's not conditioned 
upon the availability of our treasure to do so.  That's a very different 

          Q    Mike, I don't know how long --

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know that we want to replay that 

          Q    The Secretary said yesterday there are limits to the 
resources.  That's very much what Peter Tarnoff said: That the resources 
cannot be stretched and spent every place.  He said we have to ask 
ourselves if resources should be expended on failed states.

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  I don't want to go back and replay that 
argument.  The argument and the problem that the Secretary had with the 
remarks that the senior official mentioned made was that there was a 
suggestion that the willingness to become involved and to play a role 
would be conditioned first by a question of budget and a question of 
resources, and that's not the way the Secretary sees things -- and he 
made that pretty clear at the time.

          Q    Can we go to another area?

          Q    Let me just -- one more.  I just want to call you on your 
comment a minute ago about the Pakistani commander's analysis of things.  
So it's now -- the Administration also shares the view that Somalia will 
probably fall apart when the United States withdraws, and we're doing it 

          MR. McCURRY:  No.  I did not mean to concur.  I heard the 
question differently.  The question, as I understood it, was that the 
U.N. deployment, the U.N. mission in Somalia, would fall apart if the 
United States exited summarily from the picture.

          Q    He was talking about the exit date in March.  He said it 
would end force multipliers and the whole operation would basically 

          MR. McCURRY:  We disagree with that analysis, because that's 
exactly why we have established the timetable between now and March and 
the efforts that we're pursuing diplomatically to try to provide 
conditions and habits of cooperation that would allow the U.N. mission 
to withdraw and allow the Somali people to take responsibility for their 
own affairs.

          I was misunderstanding -- I was saying if tomorrow the United 
States pulled out from Somalia, there is probably no question that 
things would deteriorate and that the viability of the U.N. mission 
itself certainly would be very much in question.

          Q    His conclusion simply was that that's going to be equally 
as true on the 31st of March as it is today.

          MR. McCURRY:  Well, that's --

          Q    The helicopters will be gone, the command and control 
structure will be gone, the force multipliers --

          MR. McCURRY:  The work of our diplomacy in the interim is to 
make sure that we do everything possible to avert that outcome.

          Q    Mike, he also -- it was an interesting interview -- he 
also said that on several occasions the forces were on the brink of 
breaking Aideed's back --  such as the rocket  attack on the radio 
station, and so forth -- but at the last minute they pulled back and 
stopped for some reason.  He said if primarily the United States had 
gone ahead and had the stomach to go for it, things would be very 
different now.  How would you respond to that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I can't comment on that.  I'm not familiar 
enough with what he said.  But I think you've seen enough replays, 
enough sort of recreations of things that happened recently in Somalia, 
to know that any one of these missions -- the search-and-seizure 
missions that were part of UNOSOM's work during the recent past -- might 
have turned out differently if there had been a different combination of 
events, a stroke of luck here and there.

          That's true, and you know that from those U.S. military 
officers and U.S. military policymakers who have commented on the 
military action that occurred in Mogadishu.

          Q    New subject?

          Q    Another subject?

          MR. McCURRY:  Since the State Department has seen fit to hold 
briefings only two days out of five this week, I wonder if we could get 
your reaction to the statements by Mr. Blix the other night on North 
Korea and their compliance with their agreement?

          MR. McCURRY:  We did make a reaction available; and you're 
aware of the comments that were made by Rick Inderfurth up at the U.N., 
I'm sure, in which he commented at some length on that.  I think that we 
shared Director Blix's concern about the continuity of safeguards in 
North Korea.  We are continuing to pursue our discussions internally 
within the United States Government that are aimed at bringing about a 
dialogue in which there could be sufficient progress made on the issues 
that are of most concern to us as we look at our relationship and the 
relationship of the world community with North Korea.

          They are: (1) the resumption of the North-South dialogue; (2) 
the efforts that the North Koreans can take to be in full compliance 
with the full-scope safeguards of the IAEA.  And then, obviously, the 
continued accession to the NPT treaty.  Those remain of great concern to 
us.  We share much of the assessment provided by the Director, and we 
will certainly continue to conduct our diplomacy based on his analysis.

          He did not declare a break in the continuity of safeguards, 
which was important; but neither did he minimize the concern that the 
world community shares about the status of the North Korean nuclear 

          Q    Was one of those inducements to North Korea to become in 
compliance -- does one of them include cooperating with North Korea on 
peaceful uses of nuclear energy?

          MR. McCURRY:  It's an inducement as part of a full resolution 
of the nuclear issue with North Korea.  This dates back to the 
suggestion that was made by both North Korea and the United States on 
July 19 when they signed the joint statement at the time of the second 
round of meetings -- when the United States indicated, at that point, 
that we were prepared to support the introduction of light-water 
reactors in North Korea and explore ways in which North Korea might 
obtain light-water reactors as part of a final resolution of the nuclear 

          Now, why is that important to us?  It presumably has many 
reasons that it would be of interest to North Korea; but it's important 
to us because it happens to square with many of our non-proliferation 
goals.  It would be much more advantageous for North Korea in its 
domestic nuclear program to be engaged with light-water reactors as 
opposed to graphite-moderated reactors, which present much greater 
proliferation concerns to the United States.

          Q    Why at a time when we are going around urging Russia, 
India, not to sell nuclear technology to North Korea are we willing to 
give them light-water reactors?

          MR. McCURRY:  Because of our proliferation concerns.  The 
difference between a graphite-moderated reactor and light-water reactors 
-- the benefits to that to us, as we look at our proliferation goals 
around the world, are compelling.  It involves the type of material that 
is produced as a byproduct of the operation of those different types of 

          Q    One more on this topic.  Is one of the other incentives 
the U.S. is discussing or has discussed with North Korea the idea of 
North Korean-American full-fledged diplomatic relations?

          MR. McCURRY:  There have been reports to that effect.  I can't 
offer you anything on that.  We're certainly not at a point in our 
discussions with North Korea where that's anywhere near being an issue 
of discussion.  There's been, as you know, not enough progress 
sufficient to warrant a third round of high-level talks which would 
focus first and foremost on the issues that you know continue to be 

          Q    So in your discussions with North Korea which you have 
had up to date, that issue of full diplomatic relations had not been 
anywhere near an issue of discussion -- is that correct?

          MR. McCURRY:  It's not anywhere near the agenda as they think 
of the third round of talks and thinking about scheduling the third 
round of talks.

          Q    But, Mike, being an object of discussion and being on the 
agenda are two different things.  Has it been discussed by the United 
States with North Korea?

          MR. McCURRY:  I can't tell you.  I just can't get into the 
details of everything that's been discussed at the meetings that have 
been held, both the high-level meetings.

          Q    We're not asking about everything.  We're only asking 
about one item, namely full diplomatic relations.  You don't have to go 
into all the detail.

          MR. McCURRY:  I can't get into the specific detail.  But I can 
say that the status of the bilateral relationship is something that 
could very much be under discussion, but it's not at the moment because 
the conditions for having a third round of talks do not obtain.

          Q    Mike, there's a report in the Washington Report on Middle 
East Affairs this month that's quite fascinating because it quotes 
Department of State and other officials as indicating that four days 
after the Clinton Administration came in, they sent their proliferation 
expert from here to talk to Prime Minister Rabin, to tell him that every 
time they raised proliferation problems with North Korea or other 
countries these other countries pointed to Israel.  And Clinton asked 
for the Dimona reactor to be shut down.

          This is parallel to a GAO report that Byrd asked for.  Could 
you comment or take a question as to whether there was an attempt to 
somehow get Israel to step back from proliferation activities?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not familiar with that report.  I will see 
if I can find out something about that, if I can.

          Q    On the Middle East, though, what is the U.S. analysis of 
the slump in the Israeli-Palestinian talks?

          MR. McCURRY:  In the -- I'm sorry?

          Q    In the Israeli-Palestinian -- the talks on carrying out 
the agreement, the September agreement, the Taba talks?

          MR. McCURRY:  Oh, the Taba.

          Q    There was a brief -- as Dancy says, you know, it's hard 
to get at this just twice a week, so can you pick it up from where we 
left off?

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  I'm looking to see -- I had some words of 
wisdom here.  Our assessment was that the withdrawal was related to a 
simple fact.  

          Q    That's a follow-up.  You call it a "withdrawal," not a 

          MR. McCURRY:  They left the discussions a day early from Taba.

          Q    (Inaudible) withdrawal.

          MR. McCURRY:  They left the discussions a day early from Taba.  
They are dealing with very difficult issues that are on the table.  It 
is not entirely surprising that they will look and judge where they are 
in these discussions and make determinations about how they are going to 
discuss.  I don't know, you'd have to ask the PLO itself whether they 
call it a "withdrawal" or whether they were asked back to Tunis for 
consultations.  I'm not sure how they are describing it.  It's up to 
them to describe it.

          Q    By "withdrawal," I meant, is it the U.S. understanding 
that Israel is committed to redeploy its troops, or to withdraw its 

          MR. McCURRY:  Oh, I'm sorry.

          Q    That's all right.

          MR. McCURRY:  I misunderstood the question.  I thought you 
were talking about the status of the negotiators, whether they --

          Q    It could mean both.  But one of the problems seems to be:  
What is it that Israel has committed itself to doing?  They say to 
redeploy.  The PLO, not surprisingly, says to withdraw the troops.  I 
wonder if the U.S., since it's such an active catalyst, has an opinion?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't have anything specific for you on that, 
other than to say that they are very extremely complex, difficult 
issues.  I don't think that any side was under an illusion that 
implementing the Declaration of Principles would be a simple or easy 
matter.  We've been in close contact with both sides.  We continue to 
urge them to sort out their differences.

          We've seen some reports that the talks could, in fact, resume 
next week, but I think you should check with the parties on that.  I 
will say that the Secretary had a telephone conversation with Prime 
Minister Rabin -- I believe yesterday -- and has been in close contact 
with the people here who have been discussing with the parties the 
status of the negotiations.

          Q    But do we have who initiated it, and do we know when 
Rabin is coming?  Is it the 12th?  Can you confirm that and put that to 

          MR. McCURRY:  I think the White House did announce yesterday 
that Prime Minister Rabin will be here on the 12th, and I think the 
Prime Minister placed the call to the Secretary.  That's my 
understanding.  If that's not correct, I'll make sure we post the 
correct answer.

          Q    Was that conversation to discuss the problems Israel and 
the PLO are having in implementing their agreement, or was it to discuss 
the visit or broader issues of the Middle East peace process?

          MR. McCURRY:  I think, in general, just an update, a review on 
where they are.  I wouldn't offer anything more specific than that.

          Q    Is the U.S. being asked -- you said you're staying in 
touch with the parties.  But is the U.S. being asked either by the 
Israelis or the PLO, or perhaps by both, to become involved somehow in 
the implementation discussions that they're having in Taba?

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

          Q    Mike, does the election result in Jerusalem make this 
process more difficult?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't think it makes it more difficult.  There 
have been assessments that you've heard from the region today about 
whether or not that will have an impact on the talks.  Our view of the 
situation is that several of Mayor-elect Olmert's own comments, even as 
late as last night, would indicate that he is committed to a dialogue 
that would lead to reconciliation between Arabs and Jews.  That is, 
obviously, at the heart of the peace process.

          Other than saying that we would certainly wish him well in his 
duties as he takes up his post as mayor, and obviously compliment the 
long and distinguished services of Teddy Kollek, we really don't have 
any other analysis that we would offer about how the election result 
plays into the peace process itself.

          Q    It's all local, isn't it?

          MR. McCURRY:  All politics is local?  I don't know.  Given the 
elections results, broadly defined yesterday, I don't know that I'd want 
to get into that discussion.

          Q    Mike, on a different topic?

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

          Q    Can we talk about Haiti?

          Q    No.  I'd like to talk about one thing for a second.  Has 
the Administration done any investigation or any analysis of a story 
that came out of Newsday a couple of days ago that U.N. peacekeepers in 
Bosnia were going to whorehouses in which captive Muslims were held, and 
raping and so forth?

          MR. McCURRY:  That, as you know, has been a story that has 
deeply troubled the United States.  We have raised it both at the United 
Nations and will raise it elsewhere.  We have been told by UNPROFOR 
representatives that the matter is under very active and vigorous 
investigation by UNPROFOR authorities in Bosnia, and we think that 
that's entirely suitable given the nature of the reports.

          Q    Haiti?

          MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

          Q    A spokesman for Father Aristide said that the CIA 
analysis questioning his sanity has resulted in the military stiffening 
their resolve not to implement the Governor's Island Accord.  Could you 
comment on this?  Does the CIA report undercut efforts by the 
Administration to resolve the issue down there?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't have any way of evaluating the motive of 
military leaders in Haiti, and I don't know that anyone in the United 
States Government does and I don't know if we can -- it would be sheer 
speculation to suggest that something that they have read or heard in a 
news account might somehow or other affect their actions.  I suspect, 
using logic, that there's a lot more that comes into play as they make 
their own calculations and what they read based on evaluations from U.S. 
intelligence sources.  But you would have to go ask them.  I just don't 

          Q    Would you like to speculate on the CIA's motives in 
putting out that report?

          MR. McCURRY:  As you can well imagine, no, I would not.

          Q    Would you like to say the State Department thinks 
Aristide is capable of governing?  Because your folks have been calling 
for him to spread control -- but then made the harmony guidance, but 
that could be because you don't think you can bring him back.

          MR. McCURRY:  I think you're missing a very key point here.  
Those types of judgments are not made here in the United States.  
They're made by people who vote in democratic nations.  The voters in 
Haiti -- two-thirds of them -- elected President Aristide.  That's how 
we make determinations of who gets to govern countries.

          Q    I'm not questioning that.  I'm just questioning how many 
governments --

          MR. McCURRY:  We evaluate foreign leaders differently at all 
times.  That's the stuff that we keep confidential.

          Q    By the same token, you should, of course, have supported 
Gamsakhurdia in Georgia, then.  He was freely elected by a majority.

          MR. McCURRY:  Shevardnadze was elected under a constitutional 
process by his Parliament that we consider to be authoritative.

          Q    Mike, just by way on Haiti, can you just sort of maybe 
tick off for us how you're doing on the enlistment of support among 
other nations for the specific -- for the targeted sanctions?

          MR. McCURRY:  There are important discussions underway on 
that.  We have had some positive reactions from some governments.  I'm 
not going to detail the governments that have responded positively.  
There are some that have indicated that they will look into the 
possibility of joining in our type of sanctions, and that we will hear 
more from them.  There are discussions that we continue to have both 
here in Washington and in New York at the United Nations on that that 
would be designed to, in effect, internationalize the types of 
unilateral sanctions that we have brought to bear on those that we think 
that can be influential in bringing the Governor's Island process back 
on line.

          Q    So the snapshot at this point, then, is that while some 
are responding positively and they're going to look into it and get back 
to you, at this point it's the U.S. doing those targeted sanctions on 
its own; is that right?

          MR. McCURRY:  That wouldn't be accurate, but there's not more 
than that that I can offer at this point.

          Q    What's the status of the discussions of a broader or even 
full, total embargo as proposed by Aristide?

          MR. McCURRY:  No change from what we've said recently.

          Q    And what about the U.S. sanctions -- is it still 41, or 
is that list being expanded any?

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

          Q    Assets frozen.

          MR. McCURRY:  Oh, the number of individuals --

          Q    Yes.

          MR. McCURRY:  The last number I've seen was 40, but there may 
be a more accurate or detailed number than that.  I don't know whether 
or not Treasury has been helpful in providing any assistance on those 
questions, but they're the ones that would administer that program.

          Q    I'm sort of getting at the policy, give or take one name 
or two or adding or subtracting.  I just wondered if the Administration 
has concluded to cut deeper and to go deeper into to --

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware that they've moved beyond the 40 
that they've identified, but I know that they are looking at that regime 
and looking at ways that they can make it more effective.

          Q    Treasury had 80 when they had the freeze on before.  
There were 80 individuals and entities that were blocked and now there 
are 40.  They cannot explain why the criteria seemed to have changed.  
Do you know?

          MR. McCURRY:  I can't, either.  But I'll see if I can find out 
more from a policy perspective, how we're designing and drawing the 
scope of the assets freeze.

          Q    What are the 600 people doing on that ship?  There was a 
question about what their role was.

          MR. McCURRY:  What their role is?  I think they were related 
to the overall deployment.  My understanding is that they were there for 
logistical reasons more than strategic reasons.

          Q    What were the logistical reasons -- off-shore?

          MR. McCURRY:  They were being quartered on ships off shore 
because of a shortage of space at Guantanamo.  Now, I will double-check 
that with the Pentagon, but that's what I was told.

          Q    May I follow up on the Bosnian statement?  I couldn't get 
my follow-up in.  Does the U.S. have any evidence that any of these U.N. 
troops were involved?  If it's found that they are, what does the U.S. 
think should be done?

          MR. McCURRY:  We're not independently investigating that 

          Q    Do you have a suggestion what should be done, though, if 
found guilty?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not at the moment.  We will await the 
investigation that UNPROFOR is conducting.

          Q    Mike, back to the expanded Haiti sanctions.  You say that 
we are conducting, or engaged in discussions with various people on 
that.  One would think that the first country you'd go to would be 
Switzerland, but the Swiss say today that they have not heard from the 
Americans in any fashion.  Both the Foreign Ministry and their version 
of the Treasury Department have not heard from you all on this topic.

          I know you don't want to get down to specific countries, but 
is that a correct characterization?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't want to take specific issue with a 
foreign government, but I'll you what we did last week.  We sent a cable 
worldwide to instruct our embassies to explain the sanctions that we had 
invoked to foreign governments, to urge those governments to join the 
United States in applying sanctions against individuals who have blocked 
the implementation of the Governor's Island Accord.

          Again, as I say, I can't speak for other countries as to the 
actions they might take.  But in response to our efforts, a number of 
countries are exploring the kinds of sanctions that they might be able 
to impose under their legal systems.  We are going to continue to urge 
them to act in that fashion.  We will probably continue to follow up 
specifically with some countries that we think could be influential.  I 
don't want to single out any government.  But a worldwide cable, 
instructing an ambassador to make a representation to a government, is 
something that I would assume that the Swiss Government would be aware 

          Q    Can you make an exception of Switzerland, which is named 
-- either the New York Times is wrong or the Swiss Government is not 
telling the truth.  Can you --

          MR. McCURRY:  I can find out from our post if there was some 
reason why a cable instructing the Embassy to present our views to the 
Government of Switzerland was not delivered.  If there is any reason why 
that message had not been delivered, we can try to get that to you.

          Q    In the last couple of days, there were two mass 
demonstrations in Budapest against some steps taken in the Hungarian 
television and radio which were seen as an attempt on the curb of 
freedom of speech and press.  Have you got any comment on that?

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't have a comment on those specific 
demonstrations.  We can find out more about them.  I will say that as a 
general proposition, as we've frequently said here, we think a free 
press is a necessary ingredient of a viable and functioning democracy 
and can help people independently come to decisions and reflect their 
political will through elections and through expression of opinion.  Any 
interruption of a free press in democratic nations is generally a matter 
of great concern to the United States.  I'll see if we can have 
something specific to say on that situation.

          Q    How close do you watch these events in Central and 
Eastern Europe?

          MR. McCURRY:  Through reporting from our embassies, closely.  
And because of our strong interest in the emergence of democracy in the 
Newly Independent States, and in the states especially of Eastern Europe 
and Central Europe, it's something  that we do watch very carefully 
because that process of democratization is something of very real 
interest to the United States.


          Q    Back to Haiti.  Can you just bring us up to date on the 
diplomatic efforts that are going on down there?  And what happens if 
the military don't come to the talks?

          MR. McCURRY:  Our understanding was -- I've heard sort of 
somewhat conflicting things.  Special Envoy Caputo, from the United 
Nations, will either hold talks -- I've heard in one case -- today.  But 
I also heard there perhaps will be a meeting tomorrow in Port-au-Prince 
to explore ways to get the Governor's Island agreement back on track.

          We continue to believe that provides the best framework to 
reach a solution to Haiti's crises.  We obviously strongly support his 
efforts.  Ambassador Pezzullo went to Haiti today to conduct 
consultations and to support Mr. Caputo's efforts.  We will certainly 
see whether or not the meeting that they are trying to arrange with the 
participants in the Governors Island process actually occurs.

          Q    But if the military doesn't show up tomorrow or Friday -- 
whichever day -- are you then prepared to take some further step to 
increase sanctions?

          MR. McCURRY:  We've indicated all along we've not ruled out 
any stronger or stricter sanctions or toughening the sanctions currently 
in place.  We also feel that the sanctions that are in place will begin 
to have increasing effect and build pressure on those who are being 
obstinate with respect to the Governor's Island Accords.

          If there's a reluctance on the part of the military to 
participate in the talks that the Special Envoy has requested, they will 
continue to feel the increasing pressure to bear -- the economic 
sanctions.  They know that the international community and the United 
States, specifically, has not ruled out additional measures.

          Q    So I just understand the timeline, though:  If the 
military doesn't show up this week, you're prepared to go into next week 
and maybe even the week after, allowing the existing sanctions to 
continue to work -- 

          MR. McCURRY:  I didn't say anything about timelines.  I don't 
have anything that I can offer to you on what the timing of the sequence 
would be of looking at additional measures.

          Q    Still on the sanctions.  If I go back and read the 
transcript of what you've been saying over the last few minutes, I will 
certainly not know whether there are any other  nations who have joined 
the United States in the targeted sanctions.  You said at one point that 

          MR. McCURRY:  It would be inaccurate to say that nobody has 
joined us or are in the process of joining us.

          Q    Would it be accurate to say that nobody has joined the 
United States yet?

          MR. McCURRY:  It may not be.  There are other countries that 
expressed a willingness to cooperate in at least considering the types 
of sanctions that we have employed, but it really would be up to those 
individual governments to announce those types of steps themselves.

          Obviously, we will see what we can do to try to make 
additional information available.  We just can't do it at this time.


          Q    Mike, I'm as confused as Ralph.  Has anybody actually 
done it?  Has anybody -- you're saying that it's inaccurate that nobody 
has considered it.

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm aware of at least one case in which the 
government has decided to do something.  I don't have specifics on what 
they've done, but it will be some things that would be additional to the 
OAS/UN-ordered sanctions.  Others have it under active consideration and 
still others that have said that they'll get back to us without 
indicating whether it's something they would pursue or not.

          Q    And you can't identify that one country?

          MR. McCURRY:  I cannot, no.

          Q    Iceland -- can I ask a question?

          MR. McCURRY:  On Iceland, yes.

          Q    One more on Haiti, please.

          MR. McCURRY:  Let's stay on Haiti and then we'll come back to 
Iceland.  Go ahead.

          Q    Ambassador Pezzullo --

          Q    Pull up the Iceland file in the meantime.

          MR. McCURRY:  I will.  I will.

          Q    Will Ambassador Pezzullo be meeting with Cedras and/or 
Francois?  Is he specifically trying to persuade them to attend Caputo's 

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know whether he will have contact with 
them or not, nor do I know the type and degree of contact we've had with 
General Cedras.  We have had contact with him, but I'm not sure of who, 
at what level, or whether it has been Ambassador Swing, whether 
Ambassador Pezzullo will be in contact with him directly or not, or 
whether we route our discussions with him through the Special Envoy -- 
through Dante Caputo.  I think our views are certainly made well known 
to General Cedras.  That, I can confirm.

          Q    This question falls into, is it bigger than a breadbox 
category?  Is one of the countries the "four friends"? 

          MR. McCURRY:  I don't know.  I tried to sort a lot of that 
out, and it was made clear to me that we were not going to reveal the 
identity of specific countries.  So I couldn't help you in any event.  I 
made it pretty clear that it would be helpful if we could indicate who 
is being cooperative.

          Q    Was it Iceland?  

          MR. McCURRY:  It was not Iceland, but there is an important 

          Q    The talks between Iceland and the U.S. Government are 
slated to end today regarding U.S. military bases in Iceland.  Nothing 
is coming out of the talks, but all kinds of rumors are flying, like are 
they going to close everything down or are they going to continue just 
as if nothing had changed -- the Cold War, etc.?  Would you by later 
today or tomorrow be able to provide some comments, information, 
rationale for the decisions that are going to be made today?

          MR. McCURRY:  We certainly will.  I'll indicate to you that 
I'm not certain that they are reaching any final decisions today.  Their 
representatives of both the Government of Iceland and the United States 
have been having the latest in a series of bilateral consultations on 
this issue over the last two days.  I think they're continuing today as 
well.  So that's why I don't have any answer right now.

          A discussion has been very much at the center of our bilateral 
relationship when the Secretary met with Foreign Minister Hannibalsson 
in New York on September 28.  They had a very good exchange on this 
issue, on the status of our deployment in Keflavik.  I would not rush to 
say that there is going to be a definitive announcement any time soon 
because I think it's an issue that we are still very much closely in 
contact with the Government of Iceland about, and will continue to be in 
close contact with them about.

          Q    Mike, did the Administration know about the secret talks 
between the Serbs and Croats in Norway, and do we support that sort of, 
in this case, a sort of back-channel negotiations that didn't include 
the Bosnian Government at all?

          MR. McCURRY:  We were aware of it.  As part of our regular 
consultations with the U.N. officials and with the mediators -- Lord 
Owen and Mr. Stoltenberg -- we have been aware and supportive of the 
efforts to address specifically the Krajina issue.  That was the issue 
that was under discussion apparently in the Norway talks.

          We have not played a direct role in that initiative.  We've 
been kept informed about it, and we're aware of what they're discussing.  
As a general proposition, we are strongly supportive of all efforts that 
would resolve problems in Croatia and Bosnia through peaceful means.  We 
believe that the outstanding disputes in the region, including the 
question of the status of the Krajina, can only be resolved at the 
bargaining table.

          Q    Mike, again, the Security Council on the North/South 
talks are scheduled tomorrow.  Do you have any specific reaction or 
specific to say?

          MR. McCURRY:  Nothing too specific.  We had been told that 
North Korea cancelled the meeting with South Korea.  It was to have been 
the fourth since October 4 to discuss the exchange of special envoys and 
how that might happen.  That, as I was indicating earlier, is a very 
important part of what we think the process of dialogue needs to be that 
would be relevant to the question of a third round of U.S.-North Korea 
talks.  That is of concern to us.

          Q    So are you going to have another informal talks in New 
York in the near future?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of any.  I will double-check and 
see if at that level that we are discussing issues back and forth in New 
York, whether there are plans to have an additional meeting.  I'm not 
aware of any currently; but if there are, we'll post that and try to let 
you know.


          Q    Do you have any reaction or analysis to the new military 
doctrine that Yeltsin has nearly signed off on?

          MR. McCURRY:  On the new military doctrine, it's something 
that we -- it has just been promulgated.  We have not had an opportunity 
to learn enough about it to provide any thorough reaction.

          We would note that news accounts and discussions by Russian 
officials indicate that it represents a military posture of defensive 
deployment.  That is something that is interesting, but it's not 
something that we know enough about at the moment to comment in any 
greater detail on.

          Q    Was it not discussed by Secretary Christopher with his 
counterparts in Moscow last week?

          MR. McCURRY:  It was discussed.  It was mentioned, I guess is 
the best way to describe it, in some of the meetings he had as something 
that was under review that I would describe it.  If we were discussing 
it within our government, you'd describe it as an interagency review.  
It's clearly something that was in the process of being formulated.  It 
was alluded to by Foreign Minister Kozyrev and there are references to 
it, but it was not discussed in any great detail nor did the Secretary 
have any briefing on the emergence of the policy.

          Q    But was the major element of first-use of nuclear power 
discussed or mentioned during those discussions?

          MR. McCURRY:  Not that I'm aware of.  The question of how -- 
the posture of the strategic forces of Russia and questions about their 
nuclear arsenal were something that I think were only briefly touched 
upon because there was not specificity that I'm aware of that was 
offered about the emerging doctrine.

          Q    It's still the case, isn't it, that the United States 
policy is not to pledge no first-use, that the U.S. leaves open the 
option or the opportunity to use its nuclear weapons at any time, is 
that correct?

          MR. McCURRY:  Under our current doctrine.  But, as you know, 
Secretary Aspin has ordered a review of our strategic nuclear doctrine 
as well.  Those of you who are familiar with doctrinal debates on no 
first-use will know that's been a contentious subject within the arms 
control community over many, many years.  It's likely that these issues 
will again be addressed in the context of the review that Secretary 
Aspin has asked for.

          Q    Is it possible -- it just popped into my head -- is it 
possible, then, that at the moment the former Soviet Union decides to 
adopt the U.S. policy and abandon its no first-use, that the United 
States might move in the opposite direction?  Is that under 

          MR. McCURRY:  If they were to move in a --

          Q    They're connected.  Is it unrelated to one another?  Is 
it possible that we'd flip-flop?

          MR. McCURRY:  I would have to ask an expert in the building 
that knows more than me.  I seem to recall that the Soviet Union had 
always had a doctrine of no first-use.  They used to raise that on a 
very regular basis.

          Q    And now they're going the other direction, if this 
doctrine is announced.  You're suggesting the United States -- the 
Clinton Administration may be reviewing that with an eye toward going 
toward no first-use?

          MR. McCURRY:  I didn't say that.  That would be way too 
speculative and well beyond my level of expertise.

          Q    A question on another subject?  Do you have anything to 
say about the continuing hold-up of a number of U.S. -- Clinton 
Administration appointments on the Hill by members of Congress and by 
debate on the Hill?

          MR. McCURRY:  No, I don't have anything to say.  I'm aware of 
the discussion that was held in the United States Senate today and the 
vote on closure on the pending nominations.  It's clearly something of 
concern to us because we'd like to move those important personnel issues 
forward as quickly as we can and get those designated ambassadors to 

          We understand the concerns that have been raised by the 
members of the Senate who were leading the filibuster.  We have actually 
addressed a very specific letter, I believe, to the Chairman of the 
Foreign Relations Committee to let him know the status of the issue that 
is currently blocking the consideration of those ambassadorial nominees 
and to explain what we have done to refer the matter of concern to those 
Senators to the Inspector General and the reasons why -- because it is 
under review by the Inspector General -- we're not in a position to 
provide any great comment on it at this point.

          I am at a point, the Secretary is at a point, and those are 
putting forth the nomination at a point where there's not anything we 
can do to satisfy the concerns of those who are raising the issue in the 
Senate because it's a matter that is under an internal investigation.

          Q    Usually, he can give you some guidance as to whether he's 
going to have something by New Year's, Christmas, Easter or never or 

          MR. McCURRY:  You could.  You're free to call him and you can 
for many --

          Q    He's more likely to take Mr. Christopher's call than 

          MR. McCURRY:  No, no, no.  For many obvious reasons, we have 
not been inclined to call and inquire on the status of this lest anyone 
suggests that was an effort to somehow or other bring pressure to bear 
on the investigation.  It's obviously a matter of great sensitivity and 
it's something that I think, as the record will show, this Secretary and 
this Department has handled impeccably.  From the day the first report 
appeared, within 24 hours it was an issue that had been reviewed by the 
Legal Advisor and had been referred to the Inspector General.  That's 
entirely appropriate.  And the last thing we're going to do now is to 
violate the appropriateness of that procedure by commenting on something 
that's not been complete.

          Q    But just for the record, you were asked whether you 
called his office to ask how the review is going.  Setting that aside 
for a second, have you been informed by his office of how the review is 
going, or how long it might take?

          MR. McCURRY:  I have not been.

          Q    Has the Secretary of State been informed?

          MR. McCURRY:  I'm not sure if the Secretary has been.  It is 
my understanding from people who have been informed that the matter is 
nearing completion.  I think that really is up to the Inspector General 
to comment further on it.

          Q    Thank you.

          (Press briefing concluded at 1:45 p.m.)


To the top of this page