US DEPARTMENT OF STATE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN DAILY PRESS BRIEFING TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1994 DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Tuesday, February 22, 1994 Briefer: Michael McCurry SUBJECT PAGE ANNOUNCEMENTS Introduction of Press Office Intern Eric Olander 1 Secretary to Testify before SFRC on Wednesday/ HFAC on Thursday re: FY95 Budget .............. 1 -- No Daily Press Briefing on Those Days ....... 1 FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Ban on Heavy Weapons around Sarajevo ............ 1-11 -- Prospects for Expanding Ban to Other Areas .. 1-4 Peace Efforts/Proposals ......................... 2-7,10 -- Amb. Redman's/Asst. Sec. Oxman's Efforts in Bonn .................................... 2,5-7,10 US Consultations with Russia .................... 2-3 Prospects for Secretary to Meet with Russian Counterpart ................................... 6 Deployment of Russian Troops/Contacts with US ... 7-9 Prospects for Deployment of US Troops ........... 9 Humanitarian Aid ................................ 11 GREECE Restricted Trade with FYR of Macedonia .......... 10 NORTH KOREA Inspections by IAEA/Visas ....................... 11-12 Meetings with US in New York .................... 11-12 HAITI Aristide's Meeting with Parliament Delegation ... 12-13 US Contacts with Aristide ....................... 12-13 Parliament Delegation's Plan/UN/US View ......... 13 RUSSIA Report CIA Agent Arrested for Spying for GoR .... 13-14 CUBA Reported Convoy of Aid from Canada to Cuba in US 14 CHINA Asia Watch Report re: Human Rights/Invitation to Asst. Sec. Shattuck ........................... 14-15 MOROCCO Foreign Minister's Meeting with Secretary ....... 15 Proposed Steps in Enhance Relations with Israel . 15 SYRIA Possible Visit by of Delegation of Israeli Arabs 15
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1994, 1:14 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon everybody. I'd like to start first by embarrassing Eric Olander. Eric, will you please stand up. Eric is a new intern in the Press Office. I think some of you have already had some contact with him. He's a student at the University of California at Berkeley, majoring in African studies. He's worked for some of your news organizations, including CNN and BBC World Service. So he's someone who understands your work as well as ours. We're delighted to have him with us. Good to have you here, Eric.
Second: Two other housekeeping items. I think, as you know, Secretary Christopher is going to be making the initial presentation on the Department's FY-95 budget request and also deal with other current foreign policy topics in two appearances this week on Capitol Hill. The first is before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow in Room 419 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. On Thursday, at 10:00 a.m., he will appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Again, both subjects, both days: foreign policy. Generally, some updates on current issues and presentations related to the Department's FY-95 budget request.
And as is customary, when the Secretary is on the Hill and taking questions from members of Congress on a wide variety of foreign policy topics, the Department's briefer doesn't have to brief. So I'll see you all on Friday.
I guess with that, there's not much else that I have by way of announcements, so we'll go to any questions you might have, and I'll disappoint you with how few answers I can provide.
Q Can you provide a non-answer to the question of why it seems that there is a reluctance on the part of the Administration to move to protect other Bosnian localities now that Sarajevo has been taken care of?
MR. McCURRY: I won't say anything beyond what both Secretary of Defense Perry and Chairman Shalikashvili said
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yesterday. I think that they -- particularly, the Chairman, was very clear in saying the success of the NATO ultimatum regarding Sarajevo came, in part, because it was a very specific mission and tasked very effectively by military planners.
I think, as you heard the Chairman say yesterday, we are in a position where we want to overreach; we're in a position now where we are trying to consolidate those gains that have occurred around Sarajevo and then figure out how you branch out from that effectively and advance both the diplomatic process and the use of UNPROFOR elsewhere in Bosnia to bring about humanitarian goals that certainly the world community shares.
Now that said, I think you all know that Assistant Secretary Oxman, along with Ambassador Redman, were today in Bonn meeting a variety of European Union officials and officials also from Russia, Canada, and the United States. They discussed, among other things, how to advance the diplomatic tracks.
Assistant Secretary Oxman reported in a short while ago to the Secretary. They discussed both the diplomatic track and then steps that might be taken on how to extend some of the safe areas and how, through various means, to achieve quickly short-term goals we have on the ground. They looked at both the situation in Sarajevo. They talked about Srebrenica and Zepa -- steps we might take there. They're looking at the situation in Tuzla, in Mostar -- in central Bosnia -- and in Maglaj. So they are beginning to take a closer look at specific cases where fighting has occurred elsewhere, where there has been humanitarian needs by the local civilian populations and they will look at ways that they can effectively use this cooperation that's developed between UNPROFOR and NATO to try to achieve some common aims.
But, again, we believe that, as the Chairman and the Secretary of Defense said yesterday, you have to task the mission wisely so that you can ensure that it will be successful. That's one of the keys to the success we had in Sarajevo.
Q Mike, according to the reporting that's coming out of Bonn, the Russians have effectively put a veto on any further NATO ultimatums in Bosnia. Do the Russians really -- do they have the power to do that, and what's your reaction to that information?
MR. McCURRY: The last time I checked, they were not a member of NATO. They are a member of the United Nations.
We're working in the context of collaboration between the United Nations and NATO in addressing the
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situation in Bosnia. So far, we're working together to advance our common interests. We have seen a great deal that we have in common with our view on what needs to happen next in Bosnia as we discuss the situation in Bosnia with the Russians, and we hope that type of cooperation will continue.
Q So in a strict sense, the NATO ultimatum could be extended to cover the other safe areas without any further Security Council?
MR. McCURRY: In a strict sense, the action taken by NATO was in furtherance of U.N. Security Council resolutions. But the specific ultimatum about Sarajevo would have to be replicated by further action by the North Atlantic Council, if you're going to address situations in other parts of Bosnia. That has not happened. I'm not aware of any plans for that to happen.
Q Mike, I'm not sure I understand the logic of your position. You have this ultimatum. It's been a brilliant success. The first credible threat of force and the Serbs have turned tail and run. What do you mean, it has to be effectively tasked? What is to stop you extending it to, say, Mostar where people have been living like rats in holes for the last two years?
MR. McCURRY: They want to know for certain that NATO can accomplish whatever mission that it is assigned by the political authorities at the North Atlantic Council. That seems to make wise sense to the United States Government.
Q Is that a question of not having enough planes or not having enough intelligence assets, or not having the will? What is it?
MR. McCURRY: I think the will is expressed in decisions that are made by political authorities and that's exactly what was part of the discussion today in Bonn. So examining what they can do, what short-term actions they can take. You'll remember that NATO has already addressed itself to two other situations -- in Srebrenica and Tuzla. You heard some more from the United Nations last night and probably will today about steps they will take in Tuzla.
They are going to try to build on the momentum that they've seen from the success in recent days in Sarajevo, but they're going to do so wisely so that they can make sure they get the job done. That seems to us to be inordinately good sense.
Q So, Mike, you're saying that to expand the NATO threat, it would require an additional NAC meeting?
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MR. McCURRY: I'm saying if they were going -- the specific question was, if you are issuing an ultimatum, as they did in the case of Sarajevo, with a specific time deadline and specific things required of the warring parties, that required in the case of Sarajevo a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, if they were issuing a similar type ultimatum in any other location in Bosnia, they would also require a meeting of the North Atlantic Council.
Q So the long and short of it is, this threat can't be extended?
MR. McCURRY: The ultimatum in effect -- which remains in effect -- which NATO continues to police regards Sarajevo.
Q Mike, the success of the diplomatic and military threats in Sarajevo raise another question. Why wasn't this done earlier?
MR. McCURRY: There were lots of things done over the course of the last 22 months by the prior Administration -- this Administration. I think you're all more than well aware of the diplomatic efforts that the United States has been engaged in over the last year. But this was probably the first time in recent months in which, clearly, the United States, the European Union, and then Russia were working together in common purpose on both measures that could be taken on the ground and measures that could be taken diplomatically.
That coordination of views just had not been attained at any point in the previous months of dealing with the crisis in Bosnia.
Q What was the catalyst? Was it the mortar shell on the marketplace, or what?
MR. McCURRY: The catalyst was -- I would defer to the Europeans and allow them to answer. I think the catalyst was the Europeans coming to the United States and very clearly saying, this is not a problem that will be solved unless there is U.S. leadership and the United States determining that it would provide that leadership. That happened prior to the shelling in Sarajevo, but I certainly think that the shelling in the marketplace accelerated the determination of the U.S. to deal with the situation.
Q Specifically, with regard to the Europeans, you mean the French coming to the United States?
MR. McCURRY: I think the Secretary had meeting with the French in Paris and with the British here in
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Washington. I think those conversations, among other conversations he had, did yield in his own mind a sense that the Europeans were asking the United States -- if not, in fact, pleading with the United States -- to get more actively involved in trying to deal with Bosnia.
Q Mike, on the weekend the Russian contingent arrived in Sarajevo and was ecstatically welcomed by the Serbs. The soldiers in that contingent actually made it clear that they showed solidarity with the Serbs. Was that a proper manifestation of what's supposed to be an impartial peacekeeping force?
MR. McCURRY: The conduct of UNPROFOR units that are under the command of UNPROFOR is really something I will defer to General Rose to comment upon. Those are his troops, in a sense, because they are UNPROFOR-attached. The conduct of any peacekeeping units that are under his command is something I think I will defer to the military commander in Bosnia.
Q Was anything specific accomplished in Bonn that would further the peace talks -- the Bosnian peace talks? Any particular strategy agreed on? Anything that would bring this more likely to a successful fruition?
MR. McCURRY: I think that they had good discussions that were designed to bring the views of a wide variety of participants in the international efforts on Bosnia together into a common view on how to proceed. So, in that sense, I think it will be helpful.
I'm not suggesting, based on what I know at this point about the meeting that they had, any firm decisions that advanced any particular objectives.
Q What was the common view?
MR. McCURRY: You've all referred to reporting that is coming forward. I think the Germans, I believe as host of this meeting, have made it pretty clear in a document that they've either issued or discussed some of the steps that the international community will be taking next.
I mentioned the specific areas in which they're going to concentrate, and they'll be looking, as I say, again, at some specific short-term steps they can take on the ground that will advance objectives in all of those locations that I referred to.
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Q Has the Secretary set up a meeting yet with Foreign Minister Kozyrev?
MR. McCURRY: Not that I'm aware of. I think they are going to try -- the Secretary has suggested to Foreign Minister Kozyrev that it would be good if they could get together at some point in the next two weeks -- sometime before the end of the month -- and they were both looking at their calendars to see if they could find a convenient time and place.
Q There was a proposal from the French to put Sarajevo under U.N. administration. Has the United States discussed that with Paris, and how do you feel about it?
MR. McCURRY: I don't believe we have discussed that specific idea. That was presented in a televised address by President Mitterrand last night. There were other ideas that advanced by the French yesterday -- Foreign Minister Juppe had some remarks concerning safe areas.
In general, we have taken the view, as to U.N. administration of Sarajevo, that that is an idea that properly fits into the context of an overall peace settlement in Bosnia. That's an idea that frankly has been under discussion by parties in the past. In fact, at one point, I think it was even agreed to by the parties; but it was within the context of an overall settlement. We remain convinced that an overall settlement that will bring about an end to the fighting is the proper course.
Q What is the American position on the German proposal for another large international conference?
MR. McCURRY: It's my understanding from Assistant Secretary Oxman's report that the idea of a large conference or a summit gathering or a ministerial-level meeting was not something that was broached at the discussions today.
Q It was publicly broached by the Germans yesterday. So do you have a position?
MR. McCURRY: I was told it did not come up today. If it had been a factor in the thinking of this body, it would have been raised at the session or on the agenda of this meeting today.
Q Mike, you said earlier that you have a great deal in common with the Russians over this whole issue, that you came to this agreement. I hear my colleague saying what's reported from Germany is that the Russians will hold a veto over anymore of the ultimatums by NATO. How do you see the further cooperation into this area, to stop the massacres and bloodshed in other parts of the country? They are putting this forward that indication.
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MR. McCURRY: Stopping the bloodshed depends ultimately upon achieving a viable political settlement between the parties. Ambassador Redman, who has been working very strenuously towards that end have been very closely cooperating with Deputy Foreign Minister Vitaly Churkin. Deputy Foreign Minister Churkin has done, I think -- the world would acknowledge -- a commendable job in addressing this issue in recent days. Our contact has been with him and towards the end of trying to advance a common view on how you can advance the prospects for a peace settlement.
Q There are reports over the weekend that the Secretary was unaware of the Russian decision to commit troops until pretty late in the game. Do you have anything to say about that?
MR. McCURRY: That is not an accurate report. Sometimes I think things get picked up once and then get repeated, as conventional wisdom, and no one goes back and checks to see whether they were true in the first instance.
There were, as I think everyone knows, discussions between President Clinton and President Yeltsin on the question of how the Russians might effectively use influence with the Serbs as they indicated that they would, dating back to earlier this month, and then there were a series of diplomatic exchanges in which we became aware in a broad outline of what the Russians were attempting to accomplish, what type of conversations they were having with the Serbs. We knew, in fact, that they were making some progress in those discussions.
Then, on the day that Deputy Foreign Minister Churkin announced that the Serbs had agreed to comply with the terms of the NATO withdrawal order or turning artillery over to UNPROFOR, my understanding is that both the Russian Defense Minister -- Defense Minister Grachev -- reached out to his counterpart, Secretary Perry; and Secretary Christopher had a lengthy conversation with Foreign Minister Kozyrev in which the essential elements of the Russian plans, including the planned Russian movement of UNPROFOR units from Croatia down to Sarajevo were discussed in some detail.
We had good coordination with them and a good exchange of information.
Q Mike, the U.S. was informed of that after Churkin made the announcement?
MR. McCURRY: My understanding is the call -- you have to check with the Defense Department -- the call to Secretary Perry came before Mr. Churkin made his remarks.
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The call came to arrange the call between Secretary Christopher and Foreign Minister Kozyrev early that same morning. They just happened to arrange to talk at about the same time that Churkin was making his announcement.
Q But the point was that the Russians just told the United States what it was doing. It wasn't as if the Russians had called the United States and said, "Look, how do you think we can best work it out?"
MR. McCURRY: No, to the contrary. We had asked the Russians to try to enter the picture and to use their influence with the Serbs -- use it in an affirmative way. So there was discussion about how that might occur. Obviously, the Russians did so with some success.
Q Mike, what's the latest situation with regards to the Croatian military intervention in Bosnia and the possible moves at the U.N.?
MR. McCURRY: Alan, I have not had a chance to check with the U.N. today to see if they've done anything further on the report that went to the U.N. Secretary General. I know that they were looking at the question of Croatian regular units operating within Croatia; that there was a report prepared for the Secretary General on that topic, and that the Security Council intended to take the matter up.
I'm not aware that they've had that discussion yet within the Security Council, but they indicated earlier -- I think over the weekend, they indicated that they intended to take that conversation up. I'll check and see if there's anything newer than that.
Q Has the United States done anything bilateral through its Embassy in Zagreb?
MR. McCURRY: We have on more than one occasion expressed concern about Croatian support for Bosnian Croatian forces fighting inside Bosnia.
Q Mike, just to go back to the question of the Russian peacekeepers. I didn't see the Secretary last night but I read reports in which he said that President Yeltsin told President Clinton that he planned to deploy the peacekeepers. Is it correct that Yeltsin told Clinton that we are going to deploy peacekeepers in Sarajevo?
MR. McCURRY: I would have to go back and check. I think that President Clinton and President Yeltsin certainly discussed the determination of Russia to play a role and to use influence with the Serbs and I believe also to dispatch Deputy Foreign Minister Churkin to have direct conversations with the Serbs.
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I don't know whether they covered the subject of deployment of the Russian units that are attached to UNPROFOR.
Q But was there any Russian official, prior to the announcement, who told a U.S. official that they were going to deploy troops in Sarajevo?
MR. McCURRY: That's my understanding, yes. More than one, as I just covered. And, certainly, Secretary Christopher, I know, at about -- as I say, as a scheduling question, in getting the call together with Kozyrev, the call between Kozyrev and Christopher occurred at about the time that Churkin was making the announcement. If not shortly before, at least shortly after. It was around the same time.
Q How about the United States sending forces? I think the President said they will be able to send 15,000/25,000 -- something like that -- forces, or is this is --
MR. McCURRY: I don't have anything new. I think the President has addressed that. The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman, I believe, addressed that earlier.
Nothing new. The essential response that they made is that it's highly speculative to talk about what type of U.S. contribution there might be to an implementation of force until you know the nature of the deal that you're going to implement. We are far from knowing that at this point.
There have been many discussions underway that might move us closer towards a peace settlement, but we certainly don't have that yet. And until you know how that is structured, it's impossible to determine how the West might help implement the agreement that's reached.
Q Do you see the whole country coming under United Nations supervision -- in Tuzla and other places -- where the Serbs or the Bosnians are warning against further killing by all of these heavy guns taken away from Sarajevo and being deployed in other places? Do you see that whole area coming under the United Nations -- not just Sarajevo?
MR. McCURRY: That doesn't currently come under the task of UNPROFOR. We've acknowledged that the artillery and heavy weaponry that was withdrawn from the exclusion zone around Sarajevo would be available to be redeployed. We have certainly strongly urged the Bosnian Serbs not to redeploy that artillery in a fashion that threatens innocent civilians. That was something I think that you heard Secretary Perry, I believe, address yesterday.
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Q You said that things were moving closer toward a peace settlement, or there was some reason to think. Can you (inaudible) again, before Friday, give us sort of a base level of where we are with these talks with Haris Silajdzic, and where some areas of common ground, some general agreement, have been reached?
MR. McCURRY: I'll do that when I can. We are, clearly, at a point where there are some good and sensitive discussions taking place. I believe the Prime Minister indicated or maybe the Secretary indicated yesterday when they met that they do plan another meeting later this week -- I believe Thursday. So perhaps at the time that we have that meeting, it would be possible to say a little more about what they've been discussing. Q Mike, Greece has rejected a call for the EU to relent on its embargo against Macedonia, presumably at the same time it also rejected calls by the United States. What's the next step on that?
MR. McCURRY: We will discuss next steps in consultation with the European Union. The information I have is obviously exactly the same information you have that the European Commission raised at the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels yesterday -- the question of the Greek restrictions on trade.
Most EU member states directly criticized both the action and the way in which it was undertaken which, I think as some of you know, is somewhat unusual. At a press conference after the EU Foreign Ministers' meeting, there were discussions, I guess, between EU officials and the Greek alternate Foreign Minister, who was in attendance, about how they could follow up to "look into the matter."
We certainly hope that Commissioner Van Den Broek's efforts -- he had done the announcement -- Comissioner Van Den Broek will be successful in helping to resolve this unfortunate situation as quickly as possible.
I don't know whether they have said anything further in light of the comments by the Greeks that they've made today, but, if they do so, we'll get that for you.
Q Mike, back to Bosnia for just one second, on the NAC meeting that will be required to extend the threat. In Bonn, did they discuss having a full NAC meeting to do it, and is there one planned?
MR. McCURRY: No. As I said earlier, I'm not aware that they have planned any meeting or scheduled any meeting of the NAC to take up any questions related to Bosnia. They are obviously reviewing on an ongoing basis the operations in Bosnia, but, as I say, I have heard nothing about an effort to schedule a meeting to consider any new ultimatum.
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Q And generally, how many weeks or days would that take?
MR. McCURRY: You mean to have, if they decide to have a meeting? They could do it as quickly as we issued the ultimatum for Sarajevo, which was very quickly.
Q Mike, also on Bosnia, what is the latest report you have on compliance on the artillery exclusion zone?
MR. McCURRY: I don't have anything newer than -- I saw some reporting coming out of Sarajevo today, and most of that assessment is being done on the ground by NATO and U.N. military authorities. I know they were taking a look at some of the remaining sites in which they had questions, and I think they've said some things publicly about that today. But I don't have anything new or independent that we've developed on behalf of the United States.
Q Some other reports -- not from Sarajevo but from other places -- say that some of the humanitarian convoys continue to be cancelled or called off because of either the weather or because of harassment.
MR. McCURRY: I do actually have some news on convoys. Both the UNHRC and some of the independent NGOs were resuming their convoy activity today, picking up after cancelling for several days or standing down for several days as a result of the uncertainty regarding the implementation of the NATO ultimatum.
I can run through these real quickly, if you're interested. Today and tomorrow the ICRC plans convoys to Banja Luka and to Zenica. UNHCR has one convoy enroute now from Zenica to Tuzla, and they plan convoys tomorrow to Eastern Mostar, Western Mostar, Zenica, Jablanica. From Belgrade tomorrow, convoys to Gorazde, some Serb-controlled territory in which there are humanitarian needs. And they are planning on sending an additional number of convoys to Tuzla, but they haven't developed a full schedule for that.
Q The Secretary was pretty optimistic this morning about the IAEA inspectors getting their visas. Have you learned anything since he spoke this morning?
MR. McCURRY: A couple of things. He is working under the assumption that the North Koreans will follow through on the commitments they've made to the IAEA to allow the inspectors to come. We understand that there are some discussions that will occur this afternoon up in New York that might be related to that, and I think that's what the Secretary was thinking to.
There is a meeting at the usual level in New York today between the United States and North Korea, and the purpose is to help ensure that North Korea schedules these
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inspections at the earliest possible date. So I think that he was giving you a preview of what we hope will be positive discussions today.
Q The Secretary's comments suggested that he had some inside information about the nature of these visas, whereas the IAEA said in Vienna -- I guess just a couple of hours ago -- that they didn't know what the Secretary was talking about.
MR. McCURRY: I'm not certain. The IAEA, I think, will have to handle things for themselves. I think the IAEA was told over the weekend by North Korea that North Korea would welcome visa applications. That's my understanding from Assistant Secretary Lord, but you might want to check further and see if they've been asked in a sense to apply for visas.
Q Who asked for this meeting in New York today?
MR. McCURRY: I don't know who initiated it. I know it was scheduled over the weekend. I don't know if it was at our request or the North Koreans' request.
Q Could you find that out for us?
MR. McCURRY: I can find that out, yes.
Q And when you say "over the weekend," are we talking Sunday, are we talking yesterday?
MR. McCURRY: I don't know. I can find out.
Q Mike, is the Haitian Parliamentary delegation still here?
MR. McCURRY: They are still here. It's my understanding they were here over the weekend. They remain in Washington. They have not had an additional meeting with President Aristide since their meeting last Thursday. We obviously continue to encourage President Aristide to work with this group. It's a broad-based group of democratically elected representatives of the Haitian people who we think have a plan or an idea of how to advance a political dialogue that can lead to the restoration of democracy and the return of President Aristide.
Q Could you give us a rundown on contacts or the lack of the same between President Aristide and the United States Government?
MR. McCURRY: I don't have a full rundown here. It's my understanding we have not attempted to have any direct contact with President Aristide in recent days. I'll go back and double-check that again, because I didn't check that this morning. But when I asked over the weekend, I was told that we had not sought any direct meeting with
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President Aristide for a number of days, obviously hoping that the President would make time to confer with the Haitian Parliamentary delegation that was here in Washington.
Q He conferred with the delegation, but apparently he did not address the proposal on the table in any depth at all. Do you have any observations about that?
MR. McCURRY: Again, we endorsed the plan that the Haitian Parliamentarians have developed. It's based on a resolution that was developed at President Aristide's own conference in Miami in mid-January, and because of that we would certainly think that it might prove to be a useful point of conversation between the President and the Parliamentarians. But, obviously, they will proceed accordingly.
Q Wouldn't you say --
MR. McCURRY: By the way, on this I think some of you may have seen Secretary General Boutros-Ghali has looked at this plan as well and over the weekend said that it represented a significant development, and he forwarded it to the Security Council for its consideration. So the idea is the plan of the Parliamentarians is now attracting attention within the U.N. Security Council as well.
Lee in the back, and then we'll come back to Alan.
Q A senior CIA official was arrested today on charges of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia. Is that gong to have an impact on the new U.S.-Russian relations in this era of cooperation rather than confrontation?
MR. McCURRY: I have been dealing with that question and related questions for a while this morning. I'd say it's a very disturbing development, but I'm not going to say anything further about, because my understanding, in about 15 minutes over at the White House, Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers is going to have considerably more to say about it, and I believe the President may have addressed that issue within the last half hour as well. But I'll be able to provide you some more information later on today.
Q What about the diplomatic aspects?
MR. McCURRY: I'll be able to provide you more information later today.
Q About Bosnia-Herzegovina, in these peace talks about Bosnia and Herzegovina, does the United States support that the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina remain unchanged?
MR. McCURRY: Do the borders remain unchanged?
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MR. McCURRY: The borders are currently those that are recognized by the international community as codified in U.N. Security Council resolutions. I'm not aware of any changes in those borders.
Q Mike, on the spy thing, can you tell us if the State Department has called or is planning to call any Russian official in to discuss this matter today or --
MR. McCURRY: That will be directly covered by Dee Dee in about 15 minutes. There will be a number of steps that she will be able to tell you about.
Q Mike, on Cuba, is the State Department aware that a convoy was permitted to enter the United States from Canada last night or the day before with goods that they intend to deliver to Cuba?
MR. McCURRY: We don't have any details on that particular convoy, but in general our policy is that licensed humanitarian donations to non-governmental organizations in Cuba are allowed. So if the convoy is of that nature, it's something that would proceed with --
Q So since it was allowed to enter the States, then it probably falls into that category?
MR. McCURRY: Right. If it falls in that category. I guess they were probably looking at that question.
Q Mike, are you in a position to shed any light out of reports from Indonesia that there was a demonstration earlier today outside the American Embassy in which students were calling for two American diplomats to be placed on trial for drug trafficking?
MR. McCURRY: I'm not aware of that. I will see if I can get some further on that.
Q Mike, "Asia Watch" released a report over the weekend that contains a list of over 1,000 political prisoners being detained in China. Has the State Department found any new useful information in that report, and, if so, are you going to raise the issue with Beijing?
And also, could you give us an update on Assistant Secretary John Shattuck's planned trip to China?
MR. McCURRY: I will roll all that into one taken question. I'm not aware of any formal reaction that we've made to the "Asia Watch" report. I think, as we customarily do with reports from NGO, whose work we value, we will assess that report and factor that into our own consideration of the human rights situation in China. That is a subject that we have been having a very vigorous dialogue with the Government of China about.
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Assistant Secretary Shattuck has been invited, I believe, to go to China. I don't have any information currently on the dates, but I'll see if we can work up further on that. I don't know whether there was anything in the report of "Asia Watch" itself that we found particularly useful, but I'll check and see.
Q Do you have something about after the meeting between the Secretary and the Moroccan Foreign Minister?
MR. McCURRY: From this morning?
Q This morning, yes.
MR. McCURRY: Yes. I actually did have. I think there's a note on it. Not much to add to what the Secretary indicated in the photo op. They had a wide-ranging discussion of broad Middle East issues and bilateral relations. I'm told the Secretary and the Minister discussed ways to cooperate on the boycott in advance of the Arab League's March meeting.
Q Mike, when we were in Morocco, the Foreign Minister or the King -- I forget which -- said that they would be taking steps, such as arranging Israeli tourist groups, opening up telecommunications with Israel. Did they discuss that? Has Morocco gone forward with that pledge they made to Christopher?
MR. McCURRY: I'll see if I can find out. They took some steps in the aftermath of the Secretary's visit there. I don't have all of them in front of me right now, but they did do some things, and I'll find out if they reviewed those in the conversation today -- if there's anything more that we can add to that.
Q And what they actually did do. We know what they said they'd do.
MR. McCURRY: Yes.
Q Do you have any reaction over a story over the weekend that a delegation of Israeli Arabs headed by a member of the parliament, Knesset, Darawshe, heading towards Syria or to Syria to offer condolences to President Assad?
MR. McCURRY: We're aware that such a visit is under consideration, and we would consider it a significant gesture by both sides.
Q Thank you.
MR. McCURRY: You're welcome.
(The briefing concluded at 1:48 p.m.)
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