931202 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.
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1993

                               BRIEFER:  Christine Shelly

Subject                                           Page

ANNOUNCEMENT
Special Briefing on Discussion Draft of New
  Foreign Assistance Act Tomorrow ........................1

SOMALIA
Results of Humanitarian Talks ............................1-2
Political Dialogue under Ethiopian Auspices ..............1-3
--  General Aideed Flown to Addis Ababa on US
  Aircraft ...............................................2-3

NORTH KOREA
Statement by IAEA Director General after 
Today's Meeting in Vienna ................................3-6
Contacts with US 
..........................................................5

CYPRUS
Reported Statement by Ambassador 
  Robert Lamb 
..........................................................6

YEMEN
Release of Haynes Mahoney ................................6-7

HAITI
Prime Minister's Meetings in Washington ..................7-8
--  Meeting tomorrow with Acting Secretary ...............7

MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
Secretary to Meet with PLO Chairman ......................8

FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
Discussions in Geneva and Brussels .......................9
US Proposal to Increase Humanitarian Flights .............8-9

TERRORISM
Reported Change in Policy Toward PKK by 
European Governments 
..........................................................9

(###)



                       DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                       DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #156

              THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1993, 1:20 P.M.
              (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)


         MS. SHELLY:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I apologize 
for the delay in getting out here.  I was just trying to get you the 
latest news. 

         First of all, I have a short announcement to make.  I'm pleased 
to announce, given the rather considerable interest that you showed on 
Monday in the subject, that instead of our regular briefing tomorrow, at 
1:00 o'clock we will have an ON-THE-RECORD briefing on the discussion 
draft of the new Foreign Assistance Act. 

         Your briefers will be Brian Atwood, AID Administrator, and Lynn 
Davis, the Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs.  
They will begin with statements and then will be happy to take your Q's 
and A's after that. 

         As I mentioned, this will be an ON-THE-RECORD briefing.  It 
will start at 1:00 o'clock tomorrow. 

         I just wanted to take a minute to bring you up to date first, 
before I take your questions, on the latest happenings in Addis Ababa.  

         As you know, the United Nations-sponsored humanitarian 
conference for Somalia concluded yesterday, and the political 
reconciliation talks under the sponsorship of Ethiopian President Meles 
begin today. 

         We consider the humanitarian conference to have been successful 
in coordinating the views of the United Nations and of the entire donor 
community.  It sent a clear message that aid will be targeted to those 
regions that are maintaining a secure environment and have made progress 
toward political reconciliation. 

         The Somali representatives present at the conference understood 
that position and that development of their country ultimately depends 
on their own efforts. 

         We were disappointed, however, that not all Somali factions 
chose to participate in the humanitarian conference.  The donor 
community will concentrate on assisting Somalia communities to build a 
local capacity to undertake rehabilitation on their own in order to 
reduce eventually Somali dependence on foreign aid. 

         We are encouraged that the Somalis are attempting to 
reinvigorate a political dialogue as a means of settling their 
differences.  This can lead to meaningful discussions on the full range 
of important political issues.   

         As you may be aware, General Aideed arrived in Addis Ababa this 
afternoon to participate in discussions among the Somali leaders under 
the auspices of Ethiopian President Meles.  We consider Aideed's 
willingness to go to Addis Ababa to be a positive sign. 

         To sum up, the Somalis must take advantage of this opportunity.  
They must realize that they are ultimately responsible for the future of 
their country.  They must also understand that the international 
community's patience and resources are not inexhaustible. 

         I'd be pleased to take your questions on this or any other 
subject. 

         Q    What's the U.S. presence at this meeting in Addis? 

         MS. SHELLY:  As I'm sure you're aware, the meetings are really 
strictly a Somali affair.  Ambassador Oakley and other members of the 
U.S. delegation to the U.N.-sponsored humanitarian conference -- which, 
as  I mentioned, has now concluded -- are still in Addis Ababa; and they 
will be there to provide any appropriate support for this process.  But 
the discussions are basically among the Somalis themselves. 

         Q    Christine, could you confirm the reports that Mr. Aideed 
arrived at an airport in Mogadishu under an escort of U.S. military; 
that he flew to Addis in a U.S. military plane accompanied by U.S. 
military people?  And could you explain -- if indeed that is the case, 
could you please explain the circumstances of how it came about and why? 

         MS. SHELLY:  Yes.  As to details on the motorcade and things 
like that, I don't actually have precise details on that.  I can confirm 
to you that he did travel in a U.S. military aircraft.  It was a C-12 
Army aircraft. 

         As General Aideed continued to refuse to deal with the U.N. in 
the context of the events transpiring this week in Addis, it was deemed 
in this rather exceptional case that the use of the U.S. aircraft to 
transport General Aideed would help to achieve the common U.S. and U.N. 
objective, which of course is the launching of a political dialogue that 
would include all of the Somali factions. 

         Q    How high up did it have to go for the decision to be made 
to allow him to fly in a U.S. plane or to provide him with transport? 

         MS. SHELLY:  As this is a C-12 Army aircraft whose control 
presumably belongs to the Pentagon, I would simply have to refer you to 
them to answer that specific question. 

         Q    Wouldn't that be a policy decision that would have to be 
made rather than a military decision?  Was there consultation with 
Washington about it? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I think we should all certainly presume there was 
consultation with Washington.  I simply don't have any further details 
on that to share with you at this time. 

         Q    You can't tell us that the President himself personally 
said "Okay, let him go on one of our planes"? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I just can't confirm that one way or the other.  
You'd have to ask the White House on that. 

         Q    Do you have anything on the meeting in Vienna, the IAEA 
meeting on North Korea? 

         MS. SHELLY:  Yes, I have a bit on that.  As you know, the IAEA 
Board of Governors was meeting in Vienna today and was discussing the 
North Korean nuclear safeguards issue.  There have been a few reports of 
statements by the IAEA Director General.  I haven't seen the full text 
of those statements.  I understand that he said that safeguards on North 
Korea cannot be said to provide any meaningful assurances of peaceful 
uses at this time. 

         We will obviously want to get the entire text of this statement 
to be able to study it more closely.  I can say that his statement 
obviously reflects a judgment that the situation there is very serious, 
and we certainly fully share this assessment. 

         I would also like to add that the U.S. IAEA Governor, Nelson 
Sievering, is scheduled to make a statement in reply to this tomorrow.  
I expect to have more information on that statement after it's 
delivered. 

         Q    Christine, is this the statement that was sort of long 
expected from the IAEA, the sort of demarcation point at which the 
United States and the international community would have to finally 
decide whether it's going to go forward with some sort of tougher 
measures against North Korea? 

         MS. SHELLY:  The IAEA Board of Governors has a regularly 
scheduled meeting, and there's absolutely nothing to prevent them from 
having additional meetings in addition to those which are scheduled. 

         This was certainly a very important meeting that we knew was 
coming up and would review the case.  Certainly what might happen at 
that meeting on Korea and whether or not there  would be a kind of 
definitive determination on safeguards and whether or not the Director 
General would specifically state that they had been broken, this was 
obviously a possibility.   

         But I would note from what I understand of the statement that 
Blix did not specifically say that the continuity of safeguards had been 
broken. 

         But, as I said, we've got to get the full text of this 
statement and take a look at it.  He did not make that determination, 
and we'll have to get the rest of the statement and then also see what 
the U.S. IAEA Governor has to say as well. 

         But the problem is that it's still -- since the discussions 
were continuing until late in the day today, we don't really have the 
complete picture yet. 

         Q    But at least as far as you know this is not the definitive 
determination on the safeguards having been broken? 

         MS. SHELLY:  My understanding is that this is the subject which 
has been on the agenda for some time.  There was a meeting in November.  
It was also discussed then.  I think that as this is not a decision, 
shall we say, for the Board of Governors itself to make -- the Board of 
Governors doesn't decide.  The Board of Governors, I understand, lays 
down criteria, but it is actually the Director General himself who makes 
the determination.   

         My understanding is that he certainly consults with the Board 
of Governors and reviews all of the information at that time.  But I 
think he's free to make that kind of determination; since he makes it 
himself personally, I think he's free to make that at any point in time. 

         Q    All right, but that really wasn't my question.  My 
question was the expectation had been that there would be some point at 
which the IAEA would say "All right, this is the cutoff point.  We can 
no longer guarantee the continuity of safeguards" -- period, end of 
sentence -- thereby presumably precipitating some sort of tough 
decisions by the United States and the international community on what 
to do next. 

         Are we at that point?  Is what Blix said today that definitive 
kind of statement? 

         MS. SHELLY:  It's difficult to answer your question because the 
process is still unfolding and we've got to get the rest of the 
statements from today.  I just can't be very categoric, I think, in your 
response.  It was a very important meeting.  The situation was reviewed, 
and this is what has come out so far.  But whether this was the 
definitive moment at which a final determination had been made, I'm just 
not in a position to say that and I really can't speculate on that. 

         Q    Can you explain at all what the difference is, though?  
You said he said the safeguards cannot provide assurances of peaceful 
uses, but he didn't say the continuity of safeguards is broken.  What's 
the difference? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I think the experts on this are probably very 
finely tuned to the nuances in all these statements.  As I say again, 
I've seen some of what he has said in terms of what's been reported 
already by the wires services.  I don't have the full thing. 

         So I think it would just be inappropriate for me to get into 
interpretations until our experts here in this building have seen the 
whole text, and I hope that I can shed some additional light on this 
fairly shortly.  But again, unfortunately on this, I'm still working on 
the basis of preliminary reports.  We still don't have the complete 
picture yet. 

         Q    Have we had any indication from the North Koreans that 
they are ready to talk again? 

         MS. SHELLY:  There continue to be statements, as you are aware.  
Our informal contacts continue.  We still are waiting for the North 
Korean response to our meeting with them of last Wednesday, but they 
have not come back to us and said yet that they're ready to meet. 

         Q    So did we meet as recently as yesterday or today in this 
informal context? 

         MS. SHELLY:  If I implied that, I didn't mean to do that.  My 
understanding is that there have been no further meetings of this kind 
and that we're still waiting for them to get in touch with us through 
the usual channels to indicate that they're ready to have a meeting. 

         Q    But we're talking about two different kinds of meetings 
here -- a formal meeting and an informal meeting.  Have there been any 
of these informal, in-the-corridor, U.N.-type meetings since the meeting 
last Wednesday? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I don't think that there have been any meetings 
since last Wednesday. 

         Q    Did I understand you to say that you would have something 
more to say about Blix's statement after this briefing? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I will try to get an updated guidance on this for 
later this afternoon.  As I said, with the reports coming across the 
wire now, it wasn't possible for me to get a full readout on what our 
position is and what all of that means.  So I will certainly endeavor to 
do that this afternoon. 

         Q    I'm sure you have more than wire reports. 

         MS. SHELLY:  This is also a very technical subject, and the 
experts need a little bit of time before they pass judgments to me to 
use from here. 

         Q    What is it we're expecting the U.S. delegate to say in his 
statement tomorrow?  What is the framework for that statement? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I don't have any information on that. 

         Q    But he will be making some kind of a definitive statement 
on the U.S. position vis-a-vis this issue tomorrow?  Did I misunderstand 
or correctly understand? 

         MS. SHELLY:  The only thing that I know is that he is scheduled 
to make his statement, and we're supposed to get that and be in a 
position to share that with you and hopefully also provide you with some 
additional insight as to exactly what all this means. 

         Q    The Alpha 66 and the threats against tourists in Cuba, do 
you have anything new or any information whether there are any meetings 
scheduled or has been any meeting with the Alpha 66 by the State 
Department? 

         MS. SHELLY:  We issued a press release on that, as you know, 
earlier in the week.  We issued that because we felt that that was a 
prudent thing to do.  Obviously, when we ever get any kind of 
information that might potentially relate to American citizens abroad, 
we consider that it is our responsibility to pass that message on. 

         As to any kinds of exchanges or meetings on that, I don't have 
any information on that. 

         Q    The Alpha 66 is claiming today in Miami that the State 
Department refuses to meet them. 

         MS. SHELLY:  I don't have any information on that. 

         Q    Another subject.  Yesterday and today, in Nicosia, Cyprus, 
Robert Lamb, the U.S. Coordinator for Cyprus, he met with the Turkish 
and Greek-Cypriot leaders.  Yesterday, he made a comment.  He criticized 
the Greek-Cypriot Defense Pact and said military power would not reunite 
a divided island.  Is that the official State Department or the U.S. 
Government view about Papandreou and Clerides statement last week? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I'm going to have to take your question.  I don't 
have any guidance on that.  I'll just have to take it. 

         Q    Is Mr. Mahoney back in U.S. hands? 

         MS. SHELLY:  Yes.  Good question.  Yes, he is.  Let me share 
with you what I have on this. 

         We welcome the release of Mr. Mahoney.  He arrived in Sanaa, 
the capital of Yemen, at 8:30 this morning local time.  I am pleased to 
report that he is in good health and good spirits. 

         We are very grateful to the Government of Yemen for its efforts 
which resulted in Mr. Mahoney's release. 

         I just would add on that, the Yemeni authorities, as you know, 
carried out the negotiations leading to his release.  Our Embassy was 
closely monitoring these efforts but did not participate in them 
directly. 

         Q    Apparently they gave in to many of the demands made by the 
kidnappers, and I just wonder whether you had any observations on that? 

         MS. SHELLY:  We have been asked specifically at this point not 
to respond to any of the statements that have been made about conditions 
related to his release.  As I said, since we were not involved at any 
time in direct contact with his captors, I really can't shed any further 
light on that. 

         Q    You don't have a general statement on responding to ransom 
demands quite apart from the Mahoney case? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I think the U.S. position on this is very well 
known, and it has certainly not changed. 

         Q    Which is? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I think you know quite well what that position is. 

         Q    Is he going to stay in Yemen? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I don't have any information right now about his 
future plans.  If there are any other details on this that I can 
provide, I'll certainly try to post something later. 

         Q    On another subject.  Are senior officials meeting today on 
Haiti? 

         MS. SHELLY:  As you know, in the context of the visit here by 
Prime Minister Malval, he arrived here last night; and as you know -- we 
mentioned this yesterday -- he's having a series of meetings in 
Washington today, including with President Aristide. 

         My understanding is that there are several meetings going on 
today in preparation for the meetings with the U.S. which will begin 
tomorrow morning with the Acting Secretary of State, Peter Tarnoff.  My 
understanding is there are several meetings that are going on on this 
today to prepare the final input for what the U.S. would discuss with 
him. 

         Q    Has Pezzullo met with him or talked with him today, 
though, specifically? 

         MS. SHELLY:  Special Advisor Pezzullo is supposed to be 
participating in the meetings tomorrow with Peter Tarnoff, the Acting 
Secretary of State.  I don't really have any information on whether or 
not he has had any separate meetings or meetings prior to the meetings 
scheduled for tomorrow.  I'll be happy to see if there is anything; and, 
if so, I'll be happy to post it. 

         Q    Could you update the Secretary's trip to the Middle East? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I don't have any recent information on that since 
I provided a couple of days ago.  I'll see if we have anything to let 
you know later, but there haven't been any changes since a couple of 
days ago. 

         Q    Will he meet with Chairman Arafat on the 8th in Amman? 

         MS. SHELLY:  We certainly expect him to meet with Chairman 
Arafat, certainly at least once and possibly more than that.  As to the 
precise location and the date, I just am not in a position to confirm 
that. 

         Betsy? 

         Q    This morning, I think it was -- well, I can't remember 
which party to the talks in Geneva on Bosnia were saying that Sarajevo 
would be divided into a number of areas.  Do you have anything on 
whether this should happen? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I hope we're going to have something for you 
fairly shortly on what's happened in Geneva.  I don't have anything on 
that today. 

         As you know, there was not only the discussions going on in 
Geneva but [also] in the context of the NATO meeting, which is taking 
place in Brussels today, which involved all of the NATO Foreign 
Ministers, and then of course the meeting of the North Atlantic 
Cooperation Council tomorrow with Central and Eastern European partners, 
again at Foreign Minister level.  This subject is also under pretty 
intensive discussion in Brussels as well.  So I'm not in a position to 
provide anymore details about either the outcome of Geneva or what's 
going on in Brussels, but I hope we'll be able to bring you up to date 
on that fairly shortly. 

         Q    Is the U.S. going ahead with plans to up the number of 
flights into Sarajevo even though this proposal may not have been 
accepted yet by them? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I think that the U.S. proposal is still in the 
kind of "offer" phase.  We still need to sit down with the UNHCR and 
UNPROFOR and obviously any other potential countries that would be 
involved.  So I think it's still in its planning phase, and those 
discussions are going on. 

         My understanding is that those contacts, if they haven't 
started already, will be initiated fairly shortly. 

         Q    Can I go back to the Middle East?  The news account from 
Cairo said Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Rabin will meet on the 
12th somewhere in the Middle East.  So Secretary Christopher -- is there 
a possibility Mr. Christopher will travel in the Middle East beyond the 
12th of December? 

         MS. SHELLY:  Not that I'm aware of.  The program, as I 
understand it, still has him returning to Washington on the evening of 
the 11th. 

         Q    Some of the Western European countries, they've changed 
their position against the PKK terrorist organizations' activities in 
their territories.  Do you support their action, or do you have any 
coordination with them about these activities? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I'd have to check on that.  I don't have any 
information with me. 

         Q    Can you take it? 

         MS. SHELLY:  I'll take the question. 

         Q    Thank you. 

         MS. SHELLY:  Thank you. 

         (Press briefing concluded at 1:43 p.m.)
(###)

To the top of this page