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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
Taken questions of March 31, 1994

1. Lebanon

Q: Does the State Department have any reaction to the banning of private news broadcasts in Lebanon?

A: THE LEBANESE GOVERNMENT RECENTLY IMPOSED A TEMPORARY BAN ON NEWS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS BROADCASTS BY PRIVATE TELEVISION AND RADIO STATIONS. IN RECENT CONTACTS WITH THE LEBANESE POLITICAL LEADERSHIP, WE HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT THE UNITED STATES PLACES A HIGH VALUE ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. THE LEBANESE GOVERNMENT HAS UNDER ACTIVE CONSIDERATION LEGISLATION REGULATING THE BROADCAST MEDIA. IT IS OUR VIEW THAT LEGISLATION REGULATING THE BROADCAST SECTOR SHOULD NOT RESULT IN INFRINGEMENT OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

2. Macedonia

Q: Has our policy on establishing full diplomatic relations with the FYROM changed? When do we plan to open an Embassy?

A: -- OUR POLICY HAS NOT CHANGED. ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS IS STILL UNDER REVIEW AS WE FOCUS ON RESOLVING PROBLEMS BETWEEN GREECE AND THE FYROM. SPECIAL ENVOY MATTHEW NIMETZ IS IN THE REGION TO ENCOURAGE THE TWO SIDES TO FORGE A RELATIONSHIP BASED ON MUTUAL COOPERATION AND RESPECT FOR TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY. THE TIMING OF OPENING AN EMBASSY WILL DEPEND ON THE TIMING OF ESTABLISHING RELATIONS. THE U.S. LIAISON OFFICE IN SKOPJE OPENED IN DECEMBER OF LAST YEAR. VICTOR COMRAS, A CAREER FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER, WAS ASSIGNED TO HEAD THE U.S. LIAISON OFFICE IN SKOPJE SOME MONTHS AGO AND HAS NOW TAKEN UP HIS DUTIES. HIS ARRIVAL DOES NOT SIGNIFY ANY CHANGE IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FYROM.

3. SLOVENIA

Q: Has the UN arms embargo on Slovenia been lifted?

A: NO. THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL'S MANDATORY ARMS EMBARGO ON ALL OF THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA REMAINS IN EFFECT. WE RECEIVED A LETTER TODAY FROM THE SLOVENIAN GOVERNMENT ASKING UNITED STATES SUPPORT FOR LIFTING THE UN ARMS EMBARGO ON SLOVENIA, WHICH WE ARE REVIEWING. NO DECISION HAS BEEN TAKEN ON WHETHER TO SUPPORT THE SLOVENE REQUEST THAT THE UNITED NATIONS LIFT THE EMBARGO ON SLOVENIA.

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