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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
TAKEN QUESTION OF NOVEMBER 22, 1993

1.  THE ARAB LEAGUE BOYCOTT
Q: What is the State Department reaction to the Arab League's decision 
today to continue the Arab boycott?

A:  WE HAVE SEEN THE PRESS REPORT CITING A STATEMENT BY THE SECRETARY 
GENERAL OF THE ARAB LEAGUE REGARDING CONTINUATION OF THE BOYCOTT.

THE POSITION OF THE UNITED STATES IS CLEAR.  THE BOYCOTT SHOULD END.  IT 
IS AN ANACHRONISM AND A RELIC OF THE PAST, AT A TIME WHEN THE 
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS MOBILIZING TO SUPPORT THE AGREEMENTS BETWEEN 
ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS.  MOREOVER, IT DISCRIMINATES AGAINST U.S. 
FIRMS THAT WISH TO DO BUSINESS THROUGHOUT THE MIDDLE EAST.


2.  TARIQ AZIZ VISIT AND IRAQI SANCTIONS
Q. What is Tariq Aziz doing at the UN?  What is the U.S. view on when UN 
sanctions against Iraq could be lifted?

A:  WE UNDERSTAND THAT IRAQI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER TARIQ AZIZ IS IN NEW 
YORK TO DISCUSS WITH UN SPECIAL COMMISSION (UNSCOM) OFFICIALS ASPECTS OF 
COMPLIANCE WITH UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS CONCERNING IRAQ'S 
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

WE EXPECT THAT A MAJOR ISSUE WILL BE UNCONDITIONAL IRAQI ACCEPTANCE OF 
LONG TERM MONITORING OF ITS WEAPONS PROGRAMS, UNDER PROVISIONS OF 
RESOLUTIONS 687 AND 715.

IRAQ HAS FAILED TO COMPLY FULLY WITH ALL OF THE RELEVANT UN SECURITY 
COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS.  THE U.S. BELIEVES THAT ANY DISCUSSION OF LIFTING 
SANCTIONS IS THEREFORE PREMATURE.

COMPLIANCE INCLUDES IRAQI COOPERATION WITH A LONG-TERM MONITORING REGIME 
THAT HAS OPERATED EFFECTIVELY FOR A SUBSTANTIAL PERIOD.  IRAQ HAS YET TO 
ACCEPT A LONG TERM MONITORING REGIME.


3.  GEORGIA: ARRESTS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA:
Q: What Can you tell us about arrests by the Georgian government of 
citizens suspected of being opposed to Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze?

A:  TWO YEARS AFTER DECLARING ITS INDEPENDENCE FROM THE USSR, GEORGIA 
CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE WITH SEVERE POLITICAL INSTABILITY, INTERNAL ARMED 
CONFLICT, ECONOMIC RUIN AND RUNAWAY CRIME.  THESE PROBLEMS HAVE ALL 
AFFECTED GEORGIA'S ABILITY TO MOVE TOWARD A MORE DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM.

ON SEPTEMBER 15, THE PARLIAMENT VOTED TO BACK CHAIRMAN SHEVARDNADZE'S 
DECLARATION OF A STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY.  AT THE CHAIRMAN'S 
REQUEST, THE PARLIAMENT VOTED TO SUSPEND ITS DELIBERATIONS FOR A 60-DAY 
PERIOD.  SHEVARDNADZE HAS ASKED FOR A 60-DAY EXTENSION OF THE STATE OF 
EMERGENCY.  PARLIAMENT IS EXPECTED TO MEET ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, TO 
CONSIDER THIS.

IN EARLY OCTOBER, A CURFEW WAS INTRODUCED IN TBILISI AND IN GEORGIA'S 
SECOND LARGEST CITY, KUTAISI.  THAT MOVE WAS PARALLELED BY AN UPSWING IN 
CENSORSHIP AND CONTROL OF POLITICAL EXPRESSION.  SYMPATHIZERS OF FORMER 
PRESIDENT ZVIAD GAMSAKHURDIA WERE ARRESTED IN TBILISI FOLLOWING A 
RENEWED OFFENSIVE BY GAMSAKHURDIA AND HIS SUPPORTERS IN THE WEST.  ONE 
OF THESE INDIVIDUALS WAS RELEASED RECENTLY AFTER BEING HELD OVER A MONTH 
WITHOUT CHARGE.  IT HAS BEEN RELIABLY REPORTED THAT SOME PRISONERS WERE 
BEATEN WHILE IN DETENTION.

Q: What is the USG position regarding such reports?

A:  PROMOTING RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW ARE BEDROCK 
CONSIDERATIONS FOR OUR DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OF THE NEWLY 
INDEPENDENT STATES INCLUDING GEORGIA.  WE HAVE MADE CLEAR TO THE 
GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT THE IMPORTANCE WE ATTACH TO HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE 
ROLE RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS PLAYS IN DEVELOPING GOOD RELATIONS WITH 
THE UNITED STATES.  WE CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE SITUATION CLOSELY.

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