US DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING Monday, March 21, 1994 BRIEFER: Michael McCurry ANNOUNCEMENT Deputy Secretary to Visit India, Pakistan, Poland Slovak Republic, Joint European-NIS Conference, NATO, EU April 5-13 ..................................................................1-5 INDIA Status of US Ambassador/Deputy Secretary's Visit .....1-2 US Policy toward Kashmir .........................................................2-3 SLOVAK REPUBLIC US Relations .....................................................................................3 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Broadcasts ....................4-5 NATO Partnership for Peace ..................................................................3-4 NORTH KOREA IAEA Inspections .............................................................................5-10 Security Council Discussions ....................................................5-7,10 Prospects for "Team Spirit"/Patriot Missiles ...................7,11-12 US Contacts with China ................................................................7-8 Meetings Between Japan/China .................................................8 Secretary's Discussions in China .............................................10-11 CHINA Reported Arrests of Dissidents ................................................12 Report Newsweek Magazine Banned ........................................12 MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS US Vote on Security Council re: Hebron ................................12-14 Declaration of Principles/US Role ...........................................14 Israeli Delegation's Visit to Tunis ..........................................15 (###)
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
MONDAY, MARCH 21, 1994, 12:34 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon, everybody. I have a brief announcement that I'd like to start with. At the direction of Secretary Christopher, Deputy Secretary Strobe Talbott plans to make his first overseas trip coming up very shortly, between April 5 and April 13. The Deputy Secretary will be going first to New Delhi, India; then to Islamabad, Pakistan; Warsaw, Poland; Bratislava in the Slovak Republic; and Brussels, Belgium.
In New Delhi and Islamabad, Secretary Christopher has asked Deputy Secretary Talbott to focus on all aspects of those bilateral relations with a special emphasis, of course, on non- proliferation issues. In Warsaw, the Deputy Secretary will discuss the Partnership for Peace Initiative, security issues and President Clinton's and Secretary Christopher's work on a new evolution of Europe and our European relationship.
In Bratislava, Talbott will underscore our desire to pursue a more effective and close working relationship with the new Slovak Government. In Brussels, Deputy Secretary Talbott will address the opening session of the Joint European-Newly Independent States Chiefs of Mission conference and pay calls on NATO and European Union officials.
That's my announcement.
Q Could we talk to you a little bit about that. First, logistically it would be good if maybe he could come down and do something before he goes. But you have a problem with India, without an Ambassador. This might be looked at as a fence- mending gesture or move.
Do you know when the U.S. might move on an Ambassador? Is that a fair inference that we're sending a high-level official, or the U.S. is sending a high-level official to India to show that we know it's still there and haven't forgotten them?
MR. McCURRY: I think we obviously know it's there. It's a very critical relationship and one we attach a great deal of importance to. But I think it is fair to say that given some of the currents that we've heard expressed in the region itself, that the Secretary would take the step of dispatching the Deputy Secretary on his first trip to underscore the importance we attach to that relationship. I think that's an analysis that you, yourself, would have to make, but I don't think it necessarily is an incorrect one.
Q I would like to ask you very quickly if you think there will be an Ambassador named by then? If not confirmed, at least named.
MR. McCURRY: We are, as you know, here not in a position to tell you much about Ambassadorial appointments, because they're made by the President of the United States. I think you all know that this is something that the Secretary himself has said is an urgent matter. He's stressed at the White House that it needs to be addressed with a certain amount of urgency.
I think you've seen the name of someone speculated upon as a possible Ambassador who I think we all feel would be an excellent choice for that if the President chooses to go ahead with that nomination.
Q Will he be with Mr. Talbott on the trip -- that person?
MR. McCURRY: That person is returning from that general region himself, but I don't want to speculate further.
Q (Inaudible) that person publicly take himself out of the running at the end of last week?
MR. McCURRY: Not that I know of, no.
Q Mike, what will Mr. Talbott be -- what message will he be bringing to the Pakistanis and the Indians on Kashmir?
MR. McCURRY: I think his message on Kashmir will be exactly the same message that we've had in the past. Our policy towards South Asia and India has not changed. We continue a balanced approach to relations in that region. We continue to believe that the problem of Kashmir must be settled by India and Pakistan together, working together as envisioned in the Simla Accord and taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
That has been our position, remains our position and will not be changed as a result of the Deputy Secretary's trip.
Q I mean, those talks on Kashmir are sort of stalled. Does he have some suggestions for unstalling them?
MR. McCURRY: He will, I think, first review with the parties the status of those. I don't want to pre-empt his discussions there and suggest that he has some suggestions on how they should proceed. I think his first assignment from Secretary Christopher is to be there and to in a sense check in with the parties on the status of those negotiations.
Q Is there a question that he's going to be extending an invitation to them to come to Washington?
MR. McCURRY: I don't want to speculate on what fruit his labors might bear.
Q Mr. Talbott is going to visit, as far as I know, Bratislava. Could you tell me the exact days when he will be in Bratislava and with whom he's going to confer there?
MR. McCURRY: Yes. Let me run through the itinerary just so you'll have it. He will depart April 4. He will be meeting in New Delhi on April 6-8; in Islamabad from April 8- 10; in Warsaw from April 10-12; in Bratislava on April 12; and Brussels on April 13. We will obviously post that in the Press Office if you didn't get all those dates.
Q Mike, how would you characterize U.S.-Slovak relations at this point, and isn't this a sensitive time to be visiting Slovakia since they're in the midst of a political crisis?
MR. McCURRY: They're in the midst of a transition and in forming a new government. I think it's important for that reason to meet with them. I think Deputy Secretary Talbott has already had some preliminary briefings here on things that we might do to advance our discussions with the newly formed government, and he's anxious to pursue that dialogue.
Q My first question is how would you characterize U.S.-Slovak relations?
MR. McCURRY: In an emerging state, given that this is a new government.
Q Mike, I hate to ask about Partnership for Peace, because it gets kind of tangled and nuanced and it's almost sometimes hard to understand what U.S. policy is. But Poland is a special case. Poland, as far as I know, wants full membership, and is that opportunity still there? I mean, I know that NATO has to act -- you know, all 16 countries have to act -- but where does the U.S. stand now on whether the time is right for Poland to have full membership in NATO?
MR. McCURRY: There has been no change in our view on those questions. The Partnership for Peace program is open, nondiscriminatory, so I in that sense reject the premise of your question. There are no special cases. Each individual nation applying for membership and now individual nations that have been accepted for membership in Partnership for Peace work out their own work plan with NATO.
NATO itself, as a treaty -- as in a question of treaty must adopt unanimously new members, and then those are submitted to individual host nations for ratification. In this case the United States Senate would have to consider a modification of the NATO Treaty to admit new members. Now, that all presupposes a great deal of work that would lie in the future. That's not useful for me to speculate upon, but it does remain our view that those countries that begin to develop those habits of cooperation, that begin to fulfill effectively their agreements under the Partnership framework documents that have been negotiated with NATO will stand the best chance of getting the earliest possible membership in NATO.
That applies not only to Poland, it applies to all those who are properly seeking to participate in the Partnership for Peace effort.
Q Mike, are you talking about months or years or days or --
MR. McCURRY: We have not put any time line on that. Look, these are solemn treaty obligations. The American people, if we are going to extend the type of security guarantees that are embedded in the North Atlantic Treaty to additional countries, they want to be absolutely certain that those commitments, which run both ways -- these are mutual two-way street security commitments in which something is expected of the party entering into membership as well. Those are obligations the American people would expect us to take very seriously and to do so after seeing the type of cooperation that would warrant that type of step, and that will take however long it takes.
Q Could I take this a little bit further.
MR. McCURRY: Yes, you may.
Q On Slovakia, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty had some problems in the last few days with what -- partly with the outgoing government, partly with some people. It's not clear just who was controlling them. Is this something he intends to bring up when he talks with the emerging new government?
MR. McCURRY: That issue will be on the list of things that he's prepared to discuss. I don't want to attempt to indicate how it will be resolved. I knew a little bit about what you're referring to, but I don't have anything prepared here on the status of those broadcasts or the authority to conduct those broadcasts. But, if there's anything more you need on that, let me know.
Q Can we go to other subjects?
MR. McCURRY: Other subjects.
Q Let's try North Korea. Can you talk a little bit about the kind of U.N. resolution that you may seek, as has now been handed over to the Security Council?
MR. McCURRY: You've heard the Secretary say earlier today and probably over the weekend say that we expect to move very carefully and patiently to design a program, working with our fellow Security Council members and others in the United Nations that begins to make clear to North Korea its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the opportunities that exist for it to fulfill its commitments.
Those are the types of things that would be addressed in future Security Council action or U.N. action, and I don't want to pre-empt the discussions that are underway now by outlining what type of measure we might take.
I think the Secretary made clear that we're looking for ways in which we can through patient diplomacy begin to bring to bear on North Korea the full weight of world opinion; and, indeed, I think that's happening today already.
You've seen, I'm sure, the statements that have been made by the Foreign Ministers of Japan and Russia, indicating to North Korea how much it will be isolated from the world community if it does not make good the commitments it has previously addressed. And I'd say that the prospective action in the United Nations is very much consistent with that view that North Korea will stand outside the community of nations should it not follow through on the steps that have been urged by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Q Is it true that you are not going to seek as a first goal or a first step in the Security Council economic sanctions? You are going to seek broader language initially?
MR. McCURRY: We will seek, I think as the Secretary said yesterday, some type of resolution that begins to make clear to North Korea what obligations they have and what further steps the United Nations is willing to take as they move to bring this pressure to bear on North Korea. And I don't want to speculate on how or what will be included in such a resolution, because that clearly will be developed in close consultation with our other fellow members of the Security Council, but it's sufficient to say that there's a great deal of sentiment building in the world community to move forward.
Q The Secretary (inaudible) point that he's aware of the risk. The question suggested there's a risk of conflict. Paranoia's increased by sanctions. But it would be good if the U.S. -- if you could tell us what are these risks? What are the risks that are inherent in squeezing North Korea with economic sanctions? What is it that you're concerned might happen?
MR. McCURRY: If you begin to --
Q Get tough with them through --
MR. McCURRY: -- take those steps?
MR. McCURRY: Well, I don't --
Q What do you have to factor into this decision?
MR. McCURRY: I think you have to factor in the pattern of behavior we have seen in the past from North Korea and behavior which is sometimes erratic, and I think that that's a concern that certainly the world community will have in mind as it attempts to address this issue. But it's not useful, I think, to speculate on what specific risks might exist.
Q This situation has been going on for a year, and now you're saying that you're going to move slowly to --
MR. McCURRY: I said we're going to move carefully and patiently.
Q Sorry. I think the word "slowly" was also used by you in this briefing.
MR. McCURRY: I shouldn't have said "slowly." I should have said "deliberately." We're going to move carefully, patiently and deliberately. I'll correct the record.
Q And the result of this is going to be that North Korea begins to understand the requirement for this. Isn't there a bit more urgency in this situation than what you're suggesting, because it sounds, from the language you're using, that we're going to be here in another ten years all grayer and older -- maybe you're not going to be here, but we are.
MR. McCURRY: There's a great deal of urgency associated with this situation, a great deal of determination on the part of the United States to treat this with the utmost seriousness, and to be very careful in how we conduct ourselves diplomatically. This is not a time in which we need to be flip or to rush to judgment to satisfy pressures that might exist politically for action. This is a time in which we need to be very disciplined, determined and firm in how we work with our partners in the world community to address what is clearly a very, very important and delicate problem.
Q The South Koreans have said that they think that we should go ahead with "Team Spirit" and the deployment of Patriots. Have any decisions been made on those two --
MR. McCURRY: That is certainly consistent with our view as well, but I believe the details connected with both of those questions will be addressed in a meeting -- I believe it's scheduled to happen Tuesday in Seoul between General Luck and Ambassador Laney and their South Korean counterparts. We will actually formally meet with them and talk through those issues. I believe that you can expect to hear more on that very shortly.
Q Is there any chance the U.S. would move nuclear weapons into South Korea?
MR. McCURRY: I don't want to speculate on additional steps that we might take.
Q When would they (inaudible).
MR. McCURRY: I don't want to speculate on steps.
Q There is a high-level military delegation from Cambodia visiting North Korea. Have you talked to them before they departed? Is there any kind of message you want to transmit to North Koreans through this channel?
MR. McCURRY: I wasn't aware of that. I'll check and see if we chose to open that avenue.
Q Mike, have there been any direct contacts with the Chinese since, say, Friday about this issue, either in Beijing or here, and can you give us more or a readout than the Secretary did on what they're thinking if there were those contacts?
MR. McCURRY: Yes. There may have been, Steve. I don't have that here if there was. We normally would have that type of contact through our Embassy in Beijing. I'm not aware of any higher level contact than that, but I'll keep you posted as we do have that contact. That is something that we certainly intend to remain in consultation with the Government of China about.
Q Could you amend that with Japanese, too? Is it possible --
MR. McCURRY: Japanese.
Q You know, you've got a double message coming out. One said yes, one said go for diplomacy -- you know, the official China News Agency spoke of a need for more diplomacy. The Japanese got the impression, as the Secretary seems to have, that China's ready to be supportive, so have you got a Japanese fill is the point.
MR. McCURRY: Yes. I think we intend to get one or intended to receive one in short order, but I'll check and see what the status of that is. That's probably not something we can give to you for today, since we're going to be doing some additional discussions. But if we can develop that for later in the week, we certainly will.
Q (Inaudible) on what?
MR. McCURRY: Readout on the Japanese-Chinese meeting between Hosokawa and top Chinese leaders and then also perceptions that we may have based on our direct conversations with China.
Q From whom?
Q From the Japanese?
MR. McCURRY: From the Japanese based on their meetings and also on our own contacts. If we can get any type of readout we can give you based on our ongoing diplomatic contact with them, I'll do my best.
Q The ill-fated IAEA inspections dealt with seven declared North Korean sites, and the approach was that the other two that are in some dispute would be dealt with subsequently, but the urgency was to deal with the seven, and the two other -- the two non-declared sites, the waste dumps, whatever they are, would be dealt with subsequently.
Now, the IAEA statement, one of them I believe in the last day or so, seemed to also -- in terms of asking for U.N. action (inaudible) to the U.N., referred not only to the seven sites that they had dealt with before but also these two additional controversial sites in terms of getting those open to inspection too.
As you are pushing for North Korean cooperation now or action by the Security Council, will those two additional sites that had been previously deferred for inspection now be subject to, if you will, priority inspection along with the other sites that need to be finished up, or will they continue to be put off to some future resolution?
MR. McCURRY: We have never taken any view other than that North Korea needs to make good its commitments as an adherent to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The resolution that the IAEA addressed today I think called upon North Korea to allow the completion of all the requested inspection activities and comply fully with the safeguards agreement. I'm not sure whether that language extends beyond the seven sites, but I know that what was under discussion was only the very narrow definition of inspection activities that were associated with the question of determining whether or not there had been any diversion of material since the last full inspections in February of 1993.
Now, the question of the additional inspections, we have said all along and continue to say, will have to be part of the dialogue that we would have or hope to have with North Korea as they meet all of their obligations inherent to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. But we're not even at a point of being able to discuss that issue at a moment in which we haven't been able to establish the continuity of safeguards and the fact that there has been no diversion of material in the time since the last inspection.
So in a sense it's, at the moment, kind of a moot point, but the referral to the United Nations is, I think, very specific as to the Director General's report of activities, and that involves the inspections that occurred March 5 through 12 and the evaluation of that that was made by the Board today. And it doesn't, to my knowledge, include anything related to the other two special sites. I think it is more narrowly a report on the resolution passed by the Board today and the report that the Inspector General made as a result of the inspections that have just occurred.
Q The IAEA statement said that they called on North Korea to immediately allow the inspections that were not allowed previously to take place. How long is "immediately"? Are they giving them 24 hours, 48 hours, a week, a month?
MR. McCURRY: I think in simultaneously referring the matter back to the United Nations for further action and in calling for immediate completion of the inspections, it's clear that the IAEA was indicating that there's a very short time frame in which they could reverse the course that has now been set in motion by having this matter referred to the Security Council.
They didn't specify a matter of days or weeks, or whatever, and I won't attempt to do so here either. But it's clear that that's not an endless time frame.
Q Is the United States aiming to have at least an initial Security Council resolution adopted this week?
MR. McCURRY: I don't want to put a time on it. As I say, we keep saying careful and patient because this is going to take some work. We're going to have to work with others on the Security Council, and we're going to have to make sure that others are satisfied that every diplomatic avenue has been exhausted, because that's what they've asked of us, and we will be doing that very deliberately and sequentially.
Q The way it stands now, you wouldn't draw much opposition for a simple warning to North Korea. There would be adequate support at the Security Council for that, would there not?
MR. McCURRY: That may be true. We'll see as we go through the coming week, but, obviously, we've been doing an awful lot of work aimed at exactly that type of question.
Q Is there any possibility working level between United States and North Korea would have within a couple of days?
MR. McCURRY: I'm not aware of any basis upon which there would be such a meeting at this point.
Q Mike, can you go further than the Secretary did yesterday in talking about whether there was any understanding reached with the Chinese, specifically, as to whether or not they would abstain under certain circumstances? You've talked about "working carefully, diplomatically," etc., etc. Specifically, can you say that these things were talked about in Beijing?
MR. McCURRY: They were discussed about in Beijing. Can I go further than where the Secretary was yesterday? No.
Q Did you have a reaction from the Chinese, or the Japanese for that matter, on the issue of trying to do a "Team Spirit" exercise and deployment of Patriot missiles as a potential exacerbating factor in this?
MR. McCURRY: Those were not subjects -- in that specificity -- not subjects that were discussed during the Secretary's meetings in Beijing, to my knowledge.
Q You know of no other government-to-government communication either expressing, "Gee, it's a great idea," or "Don't do it, it's a terrible idea?"
MR. McCURRY: I'm not aware that there's been any exchange on those points.
Q Has the Middle East been discussed? I came in late, and I'm sorry.
MR. McCURRY: It hasn't been discussed. Let's wait and see if we want to change subjects first. Anybody want to move -- back into that -- over here, yes.
Q Is there a timeline. If the Patriot missiles and U.S.-South Korea -- the "Team Spirit" exercises are needed -- is there a timeline on them? Would it be soon?
MR. McCURRY: There is a timeline, and it would be soon. I think the Secretary indicated yesterday -- we're talking in the case of "Team Spirit" -- certainly, 1994. Patriots: I'll leave that up to the Pentagon.
Q And what is the purpose of "Team Spirit" again? I forgot. It was almost cancelled, so it can't be very --
MR. McCURRY: It is a large-scale exercise. It contributes to the overall readiness and testing our force posture as deployed in South Korea, and working with our Treaty ally, South Korea.
Q And what's the purpose of the Patriots?
MR. McCURRY: It's a defensives weapon system that contributes to the security of both U.S. personnel stationed in South Korea and security on the peninsula.
Q A week or so ago Admiral Larsen told us that "The crisis with North Korea was over; there's no need for the Patriots." In the matter of -- he was the commander of all of the Pacific forces.
Has what North Korea done switched the geometry 180 degrees like that so that no American troops are at risk and they're right back into crisis?
MR. McCURRY: I'm not familiar with Admiral Larsen's comments. I really can't comment on them. Anything else on this subject?
Q How about the meaning of his comments? He was on the record. There was a dozen reporters in there.
MR. McCURRY: I would want to go back and check further with him or check with people at the Pentagon to understand what he meant. I was not aware that he said that, among other things.
Q Mike, on China. There have been a couple more arrests of people trying to distribute leaflets in Tiananmen Square. Do you have any reaction to that?
MR. McCURRY: It reflects a pattern that's consistent with some of the things that the Secretary saw on his trip --
Q Are you disappointed?
MR. McCURRY: -- that he spoke about very directly.
Q Are you disappointed that -- there was a supposition or at least a theory that when tempers have cooled and after the Secretary had left, things would calm down and that we might see some benefits from the trip. But, in fact, the interview that Qian Qichen gave to the New York Times, and now these arrests, don't seem to support that argument at all?
MR. McCURRY: I think in answer to your question, we're always disappointed when people are not allowed to freely express their viewpoints consistent with the universal declaration on human rights.
Q What about the situation in Newsweek magazine?
MR. McCURRY: What situation?
Q They've banned the current issue of Newsweek magazine.
MR. McCURRY: I was not aware of that. I'll see if we can get anything on that.
Anything else? The Middle East. Mr. Polakoff, it's yours.
Q Thank you very much. I was just wondering there has been discussion over the weekend whether or not the United States is still a superpower or merely an associate of some kind with some of the powers at the United Nations after the Friday action at the United Nations.
The Declaration of Principles clearly said that there should be face-to-face talks. The Madrid Conference talked about face-to-face talks. The United States clearly supported it with great heart. And yet when it came to a decision at the United Nations on Friday, the United States didn't do anything except abstain, and very weakly at that, in dealing with occupied Jerusalem when the Secretary of State and the President had repeatedly said that Jerusalem is for the parties to decide and at a future date. So what's the excuse for hammering Israel again?
MR. McCURRY: I don't believe that Israel feels that it was hammered, first of all. Second, the United States is --
Q How do you know?
MR. McCURRY: We've been talking to them almost constantly on that question. Second, I can confirm to you that the United States does remain a superpower in the world. Third, I will suggest that Ambassador Albright's statement, her explanation of vote at the United Nations, was very clear on each of the points that you've just raised and made very clear our reason for abstaining and our objection to language that you so referred to. Beyond her statement, I don't know that there's much more commentary needed from here from me.
Q The point is that -- for example, the United States and Russia are co-sponsors of Madrid, the bilaterals and so on. What did the United States say to Russia about forcing, or condemning Israel again? After all the parties in Israel, except for a very tiny group of people -- I was there -- would say that this is not a hideous crime, we condemn it, we will compensate the families of the victims, and yet it has to go to the United Nations, and you say Israel hasn't been hammered. Of course, it has been hammered. The whole country has been hammered by condemning the act -- by condemning the act of condemning the country.
MR. McCURRY: I am not certain that I would subscribe to the proposition that condemning this horrible act at Hebron equates to condemning the government of Israel or the citizens of Israel. I think that would be a woefully misbegotten reading of the action by the United Nations.
Q Why did the United Nations take the issue, then, of one man's act and pass a resolution condemning it? There have been hideous acts all over the country. Egyptian police have killed six people in Egypt just the other day, or was it yesterday? Is there an action being taken at the United Nations about that? Is the United States pressing for action?
MR. McCURRY: I think in very many cases very often after results of such incidents there is action taken by the United Nations. They very frequently do act to condemn and deplore exactly the type of incident that occurred at the mosque in Hebron.
Q Can you tell us of the Ross-Indyk role? Are they to be participants now in Israel's negotiations with the PLO?
MR. McCURRY: I think they're --
Q And Norway -- it's getting of hard to follow.
MR. McCURRY: This is a very intense period of diplomacy in the Middle East. Consistent with that, the role that the U.S. peace team will play in these negotiations will vary depending on the nature of the encounter. There might be opportunities for us to contribute ideas, to contribute suggestions, to help the parties clarify their points of view. There might be times in which we can help be a conduit to pass ideas back and forth. I think given the intense nature of the contact, it would be wrong to characterize it in any one simple way. It will be a very complicated role as befits the complicated piece of diplomacy.
Q So we're going to be talking, aren't we, of Israel-PLO and self-rule? So I think you're saying that the United States will -- or maybe has already presented some proposals for how to implement self-rule on the West Bank?
MR. McCURRY: We are not substituting any views that we are taking for the direct negotiations between the parties. You asked, what's the role that we're playing? I say, we are --
Q Not to substitute. Are you in the proposing business?
MR. McCURRY: No. The sides themselves -- the parties themselves -- are going to have to present to each other the type of discussion that will allow them to move forward with implementing the declarations. Where we can help them clarify or see common points of view or to understand each side better, that's what we will do. I don't think that represents bringing proposals into play, but it does represent an effort to try to help the parties advance their dialogue forward so they can reach common agreements on implementation.
Q Does the U.S. feel inhibited by Arafat's reported statement that the U.S. is bias toward Israel in this proposition?
MR. McCURRY: I don't -- no. We don't feel inhibited.
Q Mike, the Israeli group -- delegation -- that went to Tunis couldn't land in Tunisia. It wasn't allowed to land in Tunisia and had to go to Cyprus and then pick up a U.S. plane to go to Tunis to talk about it. This, of course, is a marked insult to a fellow partner in the negotiations, if that's what we call it. What is the U.S. reaction to that?
MR. McCURRY: I'm not sure Tunis -- the Government of Tunis -- is a party in these negotiations. I believe I'll just leave it at saying that we, obviously, helped the Israeli delegation arrive in Tunis so it could participate in the discussions. The discussions are now underway, and I don't want to belabor the matter further beyond that.
Q I understand that. But this is exactly the situation that the United States took at the United Nations. We don't want to belabor it; we want to press the peace process. We don't want the peace process to fall apart, so we won't say anything about a insult like this to Israel.
MR. McCURRY: I would not equate landing rights in Tunis with the action on the U.N. Security Council resolution in New York.
Q Thank you.
MR. McCURRY: You're welcome.
(Press briefing concluded at 1:06 p.m.) (###)To the top of this page