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Thursday, March 31, 1994

                               Briefer:  Michael McCurry

SUBJECT                                                   PAGE
     U.S. Support for South African Gov'ts. Decision..     1

     General Agreement on Principles of New Framework      1-3,12-13

     U.S. Reaction to Michael Fay's Denial for Appeal. 3

     Fascist Demonstrations...........................     3

     UN Discussions on UNPROFOR Mandate/Mission.......     3-4
     U.S. Assessment for UNPROFOR Contributions.......     4-5
     U.S. Relations with Former Yugoslav
       Republic of Macedonia..........................     5-6
     Slovenia's Participation in Partnership for Peace     6,8
     Dedication of Site of U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo...     7

     Participation in Partnership for Peace...........     6-7

     Protection of American Citizens..................     7-8

     UN Consultations on Nuclear Issue................     8-11, 14-15
     Discussions with Chinese on Proposed Statement... 10-11
     Assistant Secretary Gallucci's Discussions at UN     11, 13-14

      Israel-PLO Agreement............................      9,11
     Secretary Christopher's Discussions with
       PLO Chairman Arafat and Foreign Minister Peres     9
     April Talks in Washington.......................      9

     Narcotics Certification.........................      12

     Banning of Freedom of Press.....................      12

     Update on Injured U.S. Citizen..................      15
     Travel Warning Issued on March 30...............      16

     Pressler Amendment..............................      16


DPC #51


MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon, everybody. I'd like to start with a statement. The escalating violence in KwaZulu Natal in recent weeks poses a serious threat to the conduct of free and fair elections in that very troubled part of South Africa. We believe that those of whatever political persuasion who seek to thwart these elections through violence and intimidation cannot be allowed to succeed.

In this context, we support the decision by the South African Government, working in concert with the multiparty Transitional Executive Council, to take necessary steps within the law to end the violence and maintain order and security during the campaign and balloting.

With that statement, we can go to any questions you might have.

Q: Do you have anything on COCOM or --

MR. McCURRY: COCOM. I've got some on COCOM, but most of what I've got relates to the work that's been done by the delegation that's been in The Hague.I think as you know, they've been working on a successor regime, and 've got alittle bit on where they are. I tell you, what I'd like to try to arrange when that delegation comes back next week is some of the State Department officials who have been taking part in that negotiation maybe can give you a briefing next week on where things will go.

The little I have by way of a report from their work is that the high- level meeting that was held reconfirmed the commitment of the COCOM members and cooperating countries to establish a new regime in the near future, with October as a likely goal for completing the negotiations on the successor regime itself.

Obviously, these are very complex negotiations. I think those of you who are familiar with the COCOM issues know that as a result of the end of the Cold War, addressing now these issues in the context of competing economicinterests of the various COCOM members is a very challenging exercise, and I think a lot of our diplomats are going to be involved for the balance of this year in addressing many of the sensitiveissues that do arise.

During the interim period, between now and the formal establishment of a successor regime, countries have agreed to maintain the capability to continue to control items on the COCOM list on a national basis. That would be subject to national export laws and to maintain extreme vigilance in the trade of most sensitive items, the original purpose of the establishment of the committee to begin with.

These discussions have resulted in a general framework for a new arrangement. At the high-level meeting at The Hague just concluded, a work plan was established on how they're going to determine procedures for establishing the new arrangement that would be consistent with their overall approach that there was some common agreement upon at the meeting itself.

I could get into -- I think you probably have seen some reporting from The Netherlands on some of the elements of the general agreement that they've got to establish this successor regime. I guess one thing I would say, I think you know, yesterday the Director of the National Economic Council, Bob Reuben, told a group of business leaders here how some of the impact of U.S. law in this interim period might affect certain types of exports, high technology exports.

I guess what I would make clear from our viewpoint is that strict licensing policies will be maintained on sophisticated items. For national security reasons during this interim period, nothing will change in terms of controls on exports to North Korea, to the military in Russia and China, and for non-proliferation reasons on exports to terrorist states.

So in practical terms, it means that the licensing requirements that will be new are really the ones that were outlined yesterday that affect civilian telecommunications equipment. The things that are related to the work we do concerning terrorist states and others will largely remain in effect during the interim period.

That's about all I have on it. Again, as I say, I think if there's sufficient interest in this, what we will try to do is get some of our experts who know a lot more about it in here next week so we can kind of give a real workup on where things ended up.

Q But licensing for dual-use items still remains at State?

MR. McCURRY: The licensing for the items that we had, that were already under our control, remain here, yes. I think there are some changes, as Commerce indicated yesterday in their discussion, that are affected by their list that they regulate.

Q Michael Fay's appeal has been denied in Singapore. He's the Ohio teenager who was sentenced to flogging because he vandalized some automobiles. Does the U.S. have any recourse now?

MR. McCURRY: Let me go through first just to say we regret the appeal court's decision which leaves in place the caning element of Michael Fay's sentence. We continue to believe that caning is an excessive penalty for a youthful non-violent offender who pled guilty to repairable crimes against private property.

We continue to hope that the Singapore Government will reconsider the sentence to cane Michael Fay. We do understand that his lawyer has made an appeal for Presidential clemency. It's our understanding that while Singapore authorities will not execute the caning sentence during that period in which they are considering the clemency plea.

Q What effect does this have on U.S.-Singaporean relations?

MR. McCURRY: We have expressed our concerns to the Singapore Government. I think they're aware of some of our concerns. I don't want to speculate on how this case might affect our bilateral relations.

Q Do you know if under their system there is an opportunity for the United States to file a paper in the courts for consideration? If there is, did you do it?

MR. McCURRY: I do not know that. I don't know whether there is a formal procedure for that. I do know that, as I say, we have communicated our views on the sentence itself to the government, and they are well aware of our views.

Q Can I revisit an issue we talked about this week, and that is Italy. I'm aware that you've said that you will judge the new Italian Government by its actions. Nevertheless, would it not be appropriate to comment in some way on the sight of Fascists demonstrating in Italy with Hitler salutes, shouting, "Duce, Duce," because their party came third in the election and is about the enter the government?

MR. McCURRY: That is a troubling sight.

Q Can you explain why the United States is blocking the renewal of UNPROFOR mandate --



MR. McCURRY: I'm not aware that we're blocking that. There's a discussion underway in the United Nations in New York today on how they might handle the question of extending UNPROFOR's mandate and mission and also respond to the concerns of commanders on the ground for a larger troop presence there. And I think as you all know, General Shalikashvili and Ambassador Albright have actually just been to Sarajevo recently and have had a chance to discuss UNPROFOR's needs with commanders on the ground there, and we are certainly going to be looking for ways to help define the mission that might exist for an increased UNPROFOR -- look at the questions of resource allocation that would be related to paying for that type of mission, and work within our own government, with our Congress, to address some of the questions that might arise as a result of U.N. action to increase UNPROFOR troop size.

Q An aid worker missing in Somalia --

Q Wait, wait, wait. Can we stay with this? When you say you're talking about cost allocations, is the United States taking a position? I know there's a debate on how much the United States should pay for peacekeeping in general, but until that --

MR. McCURRY: A general debate on that question.

Q There's a general debate. But in terms of UNPROFOR, until that general debate is resolved, is the United States taking a position that it will not pay the 30 percent or 31 percent that it pays for current peacekeeping around the world?

MR. McCURRY: No, we're not taking that position at all. We continue to be assessed, I think it's 30.4 percent -- I believe that's the right figure -- for U.N. peacekeeping operations. That's the amount that, under the current U.N. formula, we would be assessed for any UNPROFOR contributions.

But there is an issue here which is a very large sum that would be due by the United States for the extended UNPROFOR mission itself. I think the figure that I've seen for paying for a troop increase of the size that was recommended by the Secretary General and Commander Rose, which I think was a 10,000 increase, was in the neighborhood of $80 million, and that's money that we would have to make arrangements with the United States Congress to seek.

So there are some discussions I think would have to occur here in the United States with our Congress to handle an assessment of that nature.

Q Just to clarify, the discussion is between the Administration and the Congress; it's not within the United Nations to change the number of troops being increased or to change the allocation of costs for the increase?

MR. McCURRY: I don't want to mix apples and oranges. Those are two separate sets of conversations. There is a very clear position the United States has on our overall assessment. We think our assessment ought to be reduced from the current share of 30.4 percent to 25 percent. We've made that argument in a variety of different ways.

I think the President himself made that argument when he spoke to the United Nations. But that is one debate going on and related to overall U.N. peacekeeping activities there is then the question of UNPROFOR, the size of UNPROFOR, and how we will proceed when we extend the mandate of UNPROFOR, which I think has to happen some time today, I believe, because I think it expires today. And that is a separate issue, one that we are working on in the United Nations at this very moment, looking at different alternative ways that we might address, in the short term, handling some of the missions and needs defined by UNPROFOR's commanders on the ground while we in the United States seek the proper type of funding and work with our Congress to see what type of needs can be met.

Q Can I just slide down to the Balkans a little bit, to the southern Balkans? You said yesterday that the United States had outlined certain requirements to Macedonia for getting an Embassy there. Have you managed to find out or can you share with us whether --

MR. McCURRY: No. As I said yesterday, I'm not going to get into the details of those conversations. I think as you know, our special envoy, Matt Nimetz, is now in the region. He's been consulting with leaders of both Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on a variety of issues related to their discussions, and that's a factor in some of the questions that we're looking at within the United States.

Q But is it the intention of the United States to open an Embassy in Skopje, or has it now decided instead to open some kind of liaison office?

MR. McCURRY: I would have to check and see what steps we plan to take in the future as we move off the decision to recognize the Former -- or move on beyond the decision to recognize the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Q (Inaudible) Yesterday, you gave an equivocal answer talking about a process leading to full diplomatic relations --

MR. McCURRY: Right.

Q -- which implied an Embassy. Today you're somewhat backing away from that by saying you would have to check --

MR. McCURRY: No, I'm not changing, I'm just going to check and see. You asked a specific question, what are we going to do next, and I'll get a specific answer.

Q No, I asked is it still the intention of the United States to open an Embassy in Skopje. That was the question.

MR. McCURRY: I didn't say that. I'm not aware that I said that yesterday, but I'll find out how we intend to proceed with -- I think what we indicated prior, that we would move toward full diplomatic relations. I'll see what steps we're going to take. I think that's your question.


Q Also on the Balkans, yesterday Slovenia joined the Partnership for Peace. It seems like quite a reversal for the U.S. to have agreed to that when about a month ago they were saying that it was unlikely that any Balkan country could be admitted -- would meet the requirements to be admitted.

MR. McCURRY: What's the question?

Q Explain the reversal, and what led to --

MR. McCURRY: Because I think NATO -- the North Atlantic Council, looking at what Slovenia has presented and some of the arguments that they made about their merits for participation, made a very, very convincing case; and they increasingly orient themselves towards some of the security arrangements and bilateral commitments that exist through the rest of Western Europe. That is their orientation, and they make it clear that their situation ought to be judged differently from those other former republics of Yugoslavia that continue in states of hostility.


Q A follow-up on the Partnership for Peace, while we're on the subject. The Russian Government todaysaid it was going to postpone a decision to join, which is another kind of reversal from about two or three weeks ago when Defense Secretary Perry was there. They said they planned to join in April. Do you have a comment?

MR. McCURRY: We want to be real careful about that. We've seen some wire accounts of comments made by some government spokesman. I think given the enormous and extensive conversations we've had with the Russian Government on the subject of Partnership for Peace, we will work that issue at probably a higher level and get some more authoritative responses rather than rely on just this one indicator that came from, I gather, a government spokesman.

Q Are you inquiring about it now? When you say "higher level," do you mean Ambassador Pickering or --

MR. McCURRY: We will be inquiring through the Embassy in Moscow and perhaps other ways too, but we're going to get more detail before we respond.

Yes, Betsy.

Q Speaking of Embassies, is our Embassy now open in Sarajevo? Is the Ambassador there?

MR. McCURRY: No. I think when Ambassador Albright was there yesterday, I believe they dedicated the site. That's my understanding. I don't think that they have formally opened the Embassy yet. Ambassador Jackovich does go to Sarajevo fairly regularly, increasingly now given the improved conditions in Sarajevo, and I think he is -- I'm not sure if he was there accompanying General Shalikashvili and Ambassador Albright, but he is there on a fairly regular basis. But it is their intent now to open that Embassy as soon as possible. And, as I say, the site itself was dedicated yesterday.

Q About the American in Somalia, do you have anything beyond the initial wire reports?

MR. McCURRY: No, I don't. The initial wire reports are about the same information that are available to those officers here at the State Department that are now looking into this. They are making some urgent inquiries and finding out both through the U.N. and UNOSOM and our own independent inquiries through the Liaison Office in Mogadishu what the situation is. We'll get more update to you as we get more information.

Q Is there much protection for Americans in Somalia now that the overwhelming portion of the troops have been withdrawn?

MR. McCURRY: There is a large troop presence there connected with UNOSOM, even after the withdrawal of the U.S. presence. There's also U.S. personnel there who are stationed with the Liaison Office who are well protected, and there are security arrangements that are made for those non-governmental organization employees who are there participating in humanitarian relief work. That's all related to the work of UNOSOM itself.

Q I'd like to follow up on a Somalia question. The arms embargo on the Former Yugoslavia also applies to Slovenia. They will need to weapons to participate in the Partnership for Peace. How do we feel about selectively lifting the arms embargo for Slovenia?

MR. McCURRY: I'll have to check that. I don't have a quick response on that, but I'll check and take the question and see if there's some aspect of the arms embargo that involves them specifically as it relates to Partnership for Peace.

Q There's been ongoing consultations yesterday and this morning on North Korea in the U.N. Security Council. What's the latest on that? Do you have any idea whether a resolution is expected to be taken today?

MR. McCURRY: I think there's a lot of discussion underway at the United Nations right now as to the content of the statement that the world community would agree on as we begin what I described yesterday as a step-by-step process beginning to work the international community's will as it relates to the North Korean nuclear issue.

I think that the first step is, as I say, likely right now that the discussion is much more on the content of what is the first step by the Security Council -- whether it's a Presidential statement or a resolution itself. That probably would be the first of several steps that the international community might likely take as it addresses this situation. But there is again a great deal of work going on on that now at the United Nations and probably will continue to be a lot of work on that throughout the balance of the day.

Q Does the United States have a preference between a resolution and a statement? There's a general impression that a statement is weaker. Do you have a preference, and do you buy that assumption?

MR. McCURRY: We have a preference, I think, as the Secretary indicated yesterday, for the right type of language. We have been working on a resolution. I think you all know there's been a lot of other language now suggested by other members of the Security Council and the concept of a Presidential statement put forward by China, which is something that is fairly rare. China does not generally take that type of initiative at the Security Council.

Given all of that, I think that it's in flux at the moment, and I think the thing we are looking for is language that begins to really make clear what types of obligations the international community feels North Korea has, both to the IAEA and to the U.N. itself.

Q You seem to be backing away from a resolution from what the Secretary said yesterday. I mean, the Secretary was very clear --

MR. McCURRY: Alan, I'm telling you exactly what the situation is in New York at this moment.

Q After agreement between PLO and Israel, do you have any idea about peace process will resume in Washington? When?

MR. McCURRY: The talks will resume in April, I think, as the President indicated early this morning. It's an important agreement that's been reached now concerning the international presence in Hebron, and it is important that the parties themselves have resumed the work on the Declaration of Principles. I think that agreement is certainly a tribute to the hard work and the creativity that has gone into this negotiation by both sides, and we obviously welcome it. We now encourage the parties to continue their efforts to reach a rapid agreement on implementation of the Declaration of Principles.

The Secretary has, as you know, been working on this himself. He had conversations yesterday with both Chairman Arafat and with Foreign Minister Peres relating to what steps will now follow on after the conclusion of this agreement that the two sides reached bilaterally; and I think as to the talks here, the talks will reconvene in Washington in April.

We'll be consulting with the co-sponsor and with the parties, and, when we've got an agreed date, we will certainly let you know. We expect discussions to resume on all four tracks.

Q Can we go back to Korea for a minute?


Q Just a few weeks ago there was thunder in this building about how, "By God, the U.S. is going to go to the Security Council and seek a resolution to apply economic sanctions against North Korea for not complying." What went wrong? Were you unable to get -- was the U.S. unable to getChina aboard? I mean, a statement -- they're going to state a fact that North Korea isn't cooperating. We all know that.

MR. McCURRY: Barry, I think that you know exactly what some of the other permanent members of the Security Council -- where they are on this issue -- and the fact that we are very carefully and deliberately working at the United Nations to bring the international community together so that it can express strong feelings about the situation involving North Korea is exactly the kind of diplomacy that makes sense at this point.

Now, we are going to be moving, as I say over and over again, step-by-step. I'm not saying that we are not necessarily going to end up where further action becomes necessary, but we are going to take this sequentially, as the Secretary often says, and we're going to make sure that we do things in a way that can try to keep the world community together as we address this very, very difficult issue.

That's the right type of diplomacy, and the fact that we are pursuing that with a certain amount of patience and diligence I think is very warranted.

Q So your position as of now is the language is more important than whether it's a statement or a resolution.

MR. McCURRY: I think the right language is important, and we are going to be working the issue. It might end up being a resolution or a Presidential statement. We just don't know.

Q I'm just curious if you had any kind of update on the beating situation in Guatemala, the woman from Alaska.

Q (Inaudible)

MR. McCURRY: Okay. Why don't we stay on North Korea, then we'll go back to the Middle East, and then we'll take that question.

Q The Chinese document, whatever it was they presented yesterday. How do we go about that?

MR. McCURRY: We are having extensive conversations with the Chinese about that document.

Q Are there elements of it that are useful?

MR. McCURRY: Yes. There are elements of the language that are useful and, as I indicated earlier, the fact that they have put forward a Presidential statement is in and of itself significant.

Q Is the U.N. Chinese Ambassador down here having talks in this building, or are most of his talks going on in New York?

MR. McCURRY: Most of these talks are going on in New York. I think as you know, we've sent Assistant Secretary Gallucci to New York to be directly involved in these negotiations. So he is there. He's certainly the official within the State Department, probably within the U.S. Government, who's most knowledgeable about these issues.

One more on North Korea. Yes, Chris.

Q It sounds like you're moving to support of -- as a first step-by-step, a Chinese type statement and then reserving the right to seek a resolution later. No?

MR. McCURRY: No. I didn't say that. I said we've got extensive discussions going on as to both the content and the substance and the form of the first step that the international community would take at the United Nations.

Q Do you expect a resolution today?

MR. McCURRY: I think it might. It's conceivable, but it might slip into next week as well. A lot of countries are working this issue very actively, and we're in very close consultation with the British, the French, the Russians, in addition to the Chinese, the Japanese, the South Koreans and others; and there are other members of the Security Council who are contributing in a very significant way to this issue. And I think one thing that is a feature of the diplomacy going on right now is that there is a real attempt to keep the members of the international community together on this issue.

Q One more on the Middle East, because I probably should know the answer to this, but what provisions are there for either extending the stay of that international force or shortening it if some of them happen to be killed?

MR. McCURRY: I don't know the answer. You mean pursuant to the agreement that was reached in Cairo today?

Q Yes.

MR. McCURRY: I don't know. I just have had only a brief opportunity to read the document itself. I don't know if they addressed that particular issue. The only thing that relates to the presence itself is speeding up the arrival of the Palestinian police force in Gaza and Jericho, which is something that it would be. It's one of the things that they agreed to today in the context of the overall agreement.

Q Can you tell us if Dennis and his friends -- are they still here?

MR. McCURRY: Here in -- ?

Q Here in Washington.

MR. McCURRY: Yes, they're here.

Q They have not gone back to the region?

MR. McCURRY: No, they have not gone back to the region. They are working here.

Q And can you shed any light on this discussion which was reported in The Post today about whether or not to leave Syria on the list of countries which don't cooperate with U.S. anti-drug efforts?

MR. McCURRY: Well, I can say that the Secretary is recommending that Syria remain decertified -- that is, that it not be granted, or not be certified, as a state that is cooperating with the United States or taking effective measures on their own.

Q Does the position -- the ban of the Lebanese Government on freedom of press -- match the position of the U.S. --

MR. McCURRY: The -- ?

Q The ban of the press in Lebanon. It's going on for three weeks already, and we haven't seen any reaction from you.

MR. McCURRY: I will check into that and see if we do have a reaction. I am aware of it and have seen some things on it, but I don't know whether we have had a formal response. I'll see if I can get one.

Q Mike, at the risk of boring everyone to death, can you just run through what has been agreed about a general framework in The Hague?


Q Yes.

MR. McCURRY: Well, these are some of the things that are, you know, now within this framework:

-- It will be constituted by members committed to non- proliferation norms.

-- Be designed to increase transparency and responsibility in sensitive dual-use items and conventional weapons.

-- It will hopefully include Russia as a founding member and it would welcome additional members who share common objectives of those who are, you know, advancing their non-proliferation goals together.

-- It will expand multilateral approaches to countries of concern and regions of instability where, in the past, U.S. controls have generally been more extensive.

Those are kind of the general overall principles that I think that they are now agreed upon will be part of this framework as they negotiate out the formal document itself.

Q How do you draw the line between Russia as a member and Russia on military and communications?

MR. McCURRY: Well, you do that in close consultations with the Russians -- which is something that has been going on both at the expert level and then at a high level. I think, as you know, Secretary Christopher and Foreign Minister Kozyrev had an extensive COCOM discussion when they met in Valdivostok. It's our hope that Russia will be able to join in all of the aspects of the new multilateral arrangement that comes out of these discussions at The Hague, and our discussions with Russia have been really aimed at that objective.

Q Can you say a little more about what Mr. Gallucci is doing in New York?

MR. McCURRY: He's negotiating with other members of the Security Council on all the questions related to the language under consideration at the United Nations.

Q Well, he brings special expertise, doesn't he, on technology and such?

MR. McCURRY: He brings a great deal of expertise on the overall problem, yes.

Q Uh-huh.

Q (Inaudible)

MR. McCURRY: No. I think it's because he really is increasingly concentrating a lot of his attention to the very urgent problem of North Korea.

Q I mean -- well, I can't take you where you don't want to go, but it suggests that -- there's an inference here -- his job would be to open some eyes up

there as to what the dangers are. You seem to have a lot of trouble, you know --

MR. McCURRY: He --

Q -- getting people to reach your level of concern.

MR. McCURRY: He -- I think he's probably the person in the best position personally to convey to other Permanent Representatives at the United Nations exactly our understanding of the North Korean nuclear issue.

Q Is he (inaudible)?

MR. McCURRY: That's right.

Q New information that has been gained by the incomplete IAEA inspections, for example?

MR. McCURRY: No, no. It's not his purpose to share technical data or to share information of that nature. It's just that he is there as a very knowledgeable senior diplomat within our Government who can address the issue, I think, very candidly and directly with some of the other countries represented at the United Nations.


Q I've got a new subject. I can yield.

MR. McCURRY: Go ahead. Alan.

Q In a very broad sense, taking everything you said about working in concert with others and doing it sequentially, and one step at a time and slowly and deliberately and all the rest, there is a danger here, which I think Barry was alluding to, that the step you actually managed to take is so small as to be seen as not a step at all. Are you aware of that danger? Is that part of your calculus?

MR. McCURRY: I think we take into account very carefully how you proceed with the diplomacy associated with the United Nations; and I think it is important to us to calibrate exactly what type of response we take, also to understand what type of steps will have the maximum impact on North Korea, as we seek to persuade North Korea to make the right decisions related to the issues that are of concern to the United Nations -- and I think, again, finding the right formula for doing that, and doing it in a way that's effective. That is, really, pressure that the entire world community can join in is something that is important.

So, yes, of course, we do take that into account; and we've also made it very clear by saying that this is sequentially and step by step - - that this might, in fact, be a first step. It might be a modest first step in the eyes of some who, you know, are looking for stronger measures; but what we're looking for are effective measures. And I think that our response to that criticism is that we want to do the things that are going to work to persuade North Korea to meet its obligations.

Q You made a point several times about China. Is the judgment -- would you rather have China affirmatively taking a stance someplace than getting a resolution through with China abstaining? After all, South Korean President Kim -- I guess, you can say, at a minimum we can be sure they'll abstain. It may be that you'd rather have China front and center, even though you have a milder statement?

MR. McCURRY: We prefer to work in close cooperation with China on this issue and we will continue, you know, to do everything possible to make sure that we do.

Q One point more on this?


Q Is there a minimal content statement that would say at least a suggestion that there might be some punishment involved in not complying?

MR. McCURRY: Probably.

Barrie? Karen?

Q The gentleman here.

MR. McCURRY: Oh, yes. We finally have to get back to you at some point. That's right.

One more on Karen; one more on this.

Q Oh, no. Mine is just about Guatemala. I was just asking --

MR. McCURRY: Oh, yes; that's right.

Q -- if there's any update on Guatemala.

MR. McCURRY: Yes, I did. I think we do have. We do have an update that a citizen injured Tuesday in Guatemala is in stable, but critical, condition. We've been in touch with her family and we're offering all appropriate assistance.

The Embassy in Guatemala has contacted U.S. citizens in the country to inform them of the situation.

And I think, as you know, we also issued a travel warning for Guatemala late yesterday; and it advises U.S. citizens to defer nonessential travel to Guatemala at this time. We believe that the widespread, unfounded rumors linking foreigners to the theft of local children have created a dangerous atmosphere for our citizens traveling in Guatemala.

Q Are you going to ask the government to do any kind of special inquiry, or do you know if anybody has been apprehended who is involved in the beating incident?

MR. McCURRY: I don't know whether anyone has been apprehended. I do know that she was in contact, I think, with the local justice of the peace at the time this incident occurred. So we have had some contact with either law-enforcement or judicial officials in Guatemala. I'm not sure of which. But, yes, through our Embassy we certainly will be having further contact with the government.


Q A question about the Deputy Secretary's trip next week.


Q Are you anticipating any response from the Government of Pakistan to the U.S. offer of a one-time exemption to the Pressler Amendment, and does the Government of Pakistan have a deadline by which you expect them to respond?

MR. McCURRY: We're expecting discussion of that, but I don't want to predict what the outcome of the discussion would be.

Q Is there a deadline?

MR. McCURRY: Is there a deadline?

Q In order for them to take advantage of the offer?

MR. McCURRY: Well, the offer can only be made, as we've said continually, only after very close consultation with our own Congress. So I'm not aware of any deadline. I think that we've got a matter under discussion with our own Congress related to that as well.

Q Thank you.

MR. McCURRY: You're welcome.

(The briefing concluded at 1:35 p.m.) (###)

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