U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING Tuesday, April 19, 1994 Briefer: Michael McCurry MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS Prospects for Secretary's Visit to Region ...................1-2 Security after Implementation of Declaration of Principles ...............................................................................16 FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Secretary General's Letter to NATO on Air Support .2-3,7 -- Authorization for Air Support ....................................7 President's Meeting with NSC ............................................2 US Contact with Russia ........................................................3 Serbs Reclaim Weapons in Sarajevo Exclusion Zone ...........................................................................................4 Status of Gorazde ...................................................................4,8-9 Status of Detained UN Personnel .....................................4-5 US Contacts with Allies ......................................................5-6 Reported Chemical Warfare by Serbs ............................6 Amb. Redman's Return to Washington ...........................10-11,13-14 SOUTH AFRICA Elections/IFP Participation ..............................................11 HAITI Effects of Sanctions .............................................................12 Prospects for Complete Embargo ....................................13 NORTH KOREA Statement re: Nuclear Program ........................................14 RWANDA Safety of UN Troops ...............................................................15 JORDAN Discussions with US re: Iraq Sanctions ........................16 GREECE/FYRO MACEDONIA US Efforts to Resolve Issues .............................................17 (###)
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 1994, 1:02 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon everybody. No prepared statements today, so ask your questions and I won't give you any answers.
Q Is the Egyptian Government right -- the Secretary will be there on Monday? We're always the last to know.
MR. McCURRY: Could be.
Q Could be?
MR. McCURRY: It's looking good.
Q It's looking good. Well, it's a matter of matter of opinion. (Laughter)
What other places --
MR. McCURRY: It just depends on whether you have to go; right?
Q Yeah. What other places would he grace with his presence that you might be able to tell us?
MR. McCURRY: He'd probably go to some other stops in the region, but I will not --
Q You don't want to commit to that, Michael?
MR. McCURRY: He'll travel to several spots on this trip that we might yet even announce at some point this week so that you can make your plans.
Q But, seriously, will he do any Bosnia business on the trip? I don't mean besides keeping in touch. Any chance for meetings with the players in the Bosnian problem?
MR. McCURRY: The world is a fast-pace animal. That causes us --
Q I feel like I'm in homily heaven. (Laughter).
MR. McCURRY: That causes us at the moment to be circumspect in announcing any travel plans because they might, in fact, change. We'd like to be able to give you reliable, truthful, factual information even though other --
Q What is the difference --
MR. McCURRY: -- even though other governments might with anxious anxiety, hope, anticipation be expecting the Secretary, we are still working out travel schedules. We'll be able to report to you shortly what the itinerary will be.
MR. McCURRY: Probably tomorrow, I think.
Q Mike, what's the status of affairs between the U.N. and NATO on this Bosnian thing? Boutros-Ghali is --
MR. McCURRY: I'd answer that by referring to the letter that I think you're aware that Secretary General Boutros-Ghali has sent. I think that letter reflects a strong sense of the need for the world community to remain united at this point as we address this very devastating problem in Bosnia.
I think it reflects the determination on the part of the Secretary General to continue to work with NATO military authorities as he has already in forging a working relationship that can effectively address the matter.
Q Has there been a decision by the President?
MR. McCURRY: I think the President, I'm told by the Secretary, had a very serious, intensive meeting with the National Security Council this morning, aimed at restoring momentum to the peace process, building on some of the things that we have been able to achieve there and dealing with some of the things we have not been able to achieve.
The President discussed several alternatives with his National Security Advisors; asked that several of them be refined; asked them good questions, according to the Secretary. I understand they will convene later on this afternoon and have another session.
Obviously, there's not much more I can tell you at this point. I'm not the proper person to tell you about the outcome of some of these deliberations, in any event.
Q Mike, was there ever any discussion with the U.N. or just among the NATO leaders of providing NATO authorization for the broader safe area protection prior to this week?
MR. McCURRY: I think there have been a lot of discussions about Bosnia. I would attempt to recast them all. Numerous options, alternatives, have been reviewed in various types of settings over very many months. I wouldn't attempt to catalogue all the ideas.
Q Can you explain why that step wasn't taken? In retrospect, it seems like a sensible thing.
MR. McCURRY: I think it's better to explain steps that were taken. I think that we've done that at each step along the way.
Q Could you shed some light on sort of the sequence of events? The Secretary General's letter, was that written after consultation and in coordination with the United States, or is Boutros-Ghali taking the lead on this?
MR. McCURRY: The Secretary General writes his own letters. I think he remains in close contact with Security Council members. I believe he did talk to Ambassador Albright at some point yesterday. Obviously, we welcome his letter. It's among the things that are being discussed by the President and his advisors.
Q So he's taking the lead on this use-of-force issue then?
MR. McCURRY: He's certainly determined to see that the world community and the United Nations, specifically, addresses this situation effectively, and that's certainly the way we feel, too.
Q Mike, when is the last time the Secretary had spoken with Foreign Minister Kozyrev?
MR. McCURRY: I believe Sunday evening.
Q But not since yesterday's meeting?
MR. McCURRY: I don't believe he's spoken since the meeting yesterday. We have had contacts with the Russians at various levels and will continue to do so. It's very important. They are a very important ingredient in the ability of the world community to address the on-going problems in Bosnia.
Q Is Redman on his way back here?
MR. McCURRY: I believe he is coming back here for further consultations.
Q The Russians have officially announced today that they are pulling out of the mediating business in Bosnia. Do you have a comment on that? Does that hurt the process?
MR. McCURRY: I think there is no better comment than those that were made by Deputy Foreign Minister Churkin yesterday. I think their sense of betrayal, and their sense that they, as a dignified power on the world stage, would not be dealt with in that fashion by the Bosnian Serbs speaks for itself.
Q Mike, as you know, the Bosnian Serbs this morning went in and took over -- the numbers are somewhat different in different reports -- but a number of anti- aircraft missiles. This is an obvious violation of the threats that had been made by NATO. Without invoking any new policies, it would seem that this should demand some kind of a response. Is it going to?
MR. McCURRY: It would be premature for me to speculate, but I certainly agree with your assessment.
Q Can I have an assessment of the situation in Gorazde. We're told that the enclave, or what's left of it, is totally at the mercy of the Serbs and that resistance has really been broken. Yet, they continue to rain missiles and artillery down on the population there. Is this a war crime?
MR. McCURRY: I understand that the situation in Gorazde approximates your accounting. War crimes are prosecuted and determined by war crimes tribunal, such as the one the United States has led in establishing. That is, if it is in fact a crime, it can be prosecuted and punished.
Q Michael, I wonder if you could give us as detailed as possible an update on the status of the UNPROFOR troops? How many are still being detained, and what are you doing about it? Nobody seems to be talking to the Serbs anymore. So what are your hopes of getting these people out?
MR. McCURRY: I think the status of U.N. personnel that are being detained, held against their will by Bosnian Serb forces, is one of the things that is very seriously under review by the President and his advisors. The need to deal with that situation is something that the world community acknowledges, as the U.N. has already acknowledged.
Q But, Michael, can you give us numbers? How many people are being detained?
MR. McCURRY: How many? I've seen different accounts. There were something in the neighborhood of 200 U.N. military personnel of which some had been released as of the weekend. I believe 19 Canadians had been released. But the best source of information on that is UNPROFOR, and I understand in Sarajevo they have been providing some accounting of what they understand the status of those folks to be.
Q Mike, the fate of those U.N. personnel, should NATO broaden the air war, an impediment to stronger action?
MR. McCURRY: It's a source of concern. I wouldn't describe it as an impediment.
Q To what extent are we talking to our allies in the midst of this re-evaluation process?
MR. McCURRY: We have remained in contact with them. The Secretary has spoken, I believe twice, to Foreign Secretary Hurd yesterday. I think he plans to speak, if he hasn't already done so, to Foreign Minister Juppe. They will remain in close contact at the United Nations. I wouldn't be surprised if others within the United States Government continue to pursue contacts with other allies and partners in Europe.
Q What about the Canadians?
MR. McCURRY: I don't know what contact we've had with the Canadian Government. I can try to find out.
Q Could you talk to us a little bit about what you see as the state of diplomatic play? Apparently Owen and Stoltenberg are now back in focus as primary negotiators, and there's some talk of a formula where the United States and Russia would join them?
MR. McCURRY: That is one of the things that I think the President is reviewing with his team, so I would not want to speculate about how they will proceed here.
I would say the following. Whether it's the remarks of Lord Owen about the EU effort or whether it's the efforts underway in New York at the United Nations, I think there is a very determined effort on the part of the world community to address this situation with clarity and with some unanimity. I believe that's what most of these diplomatic contacts will attempt to achieve.
Q Are Owen and Stoltenberg due here in Washington?
MR. McCURRY: Not that I'm aware of. Not that the Secretary is aware of. They've indicated that they're willing to do so. There's certainly a range of contacts with our partners in Europe -- with the European Union. Other participating countries in NATO would certainly be expected as part of the effort to address the situation.
Q Given the events of the last 24 hours, do you still, as you did yesterday, see -- do you find it difficult to see how the diplomatic option can be pursued?
MR. McCURRY: I think it's difficult, as I said yesterday, to pursue diplomatic alternatives with people who do not honor commitments. But as the President and others have said, they must continue to address this effort diplomatically because they eventually have to achieve some settlement that can result in peace.
Q Could I just follow up? Another thing that came up yesterday is -- since this also came up -- the United Nations observers said that they saw several artillery shells, apparently filled with gas, hit several buildings, including, I think, a hospital. Have you seen that? Do you drawn any conclusions?
MR. McCURRY: I asked someone about that yesterday. I have not had a report on that, but I will check further on that. We were aware of some reports earlier in the week suggesting that there had been some type of chemical weapon used. We're attempting to find out more.
Q You talk about the Administration being -- and the allies - - being very determined to show that there's a unified and determined policy of the world community. That sort of begs the fundamental question. Back in January -- I guess it was in Brussels -- when the President clearly told NATO, "Don't threaten force if you're not going to follow through and you're not going to be serious about it."
At this point, a lot of that credibility has been spent. How do you go about reclaiming it?
MR. McCURRY: I would deny the premise of your question. Anything else?
Q Does the Administration share the argument or the evaluation that it's important to face down the Serbs here and reverse their aggression, not only in and of itself but to deter other would-be aggressors and dictators around the world from Haiti to North Korea or wherever?
MR. McCURRY: I'm not going to analyze the thinking of the President and his National Security Advisors as they are addressing a situation like that. You can do the analysis.
Q Sorry. I'd just follow up. In Secretary Christopher's first speech on Yugoslavia -- I believe it was February 10, 1993 -- that was a key element. Is that no longer a key element?
MR. McCURRY: What is a key element?
Q The key element was, he stated then very clearly that it was important to turn back aggression in the former Yugoslavia, not only in and of itself but to set an example that other dictators and aggressors, or would-be aggressors, around the world would heed.
Q I think it's important to turn back the aggression of the Bosnian Serbs for a range of reasons.
Q Mike, when Boutros-Ghali discussed sending a letter requesting NATO authority for broader protection of the safe areas, the Russian Ambassador to the U.N. complained that any further military action would require Security Council action. Is it the view of the State Department or the U.S. Government that if NATO gives authorization for use of NATO airplanes in that way, that Security Council action is needed before any bombs are dropped? Or is it the view of the Government that all that's needed for U.N. commanders to call on air strikes to protect safe areas is NATO authority?
MR. McCURRY: I believe that we feel there's appropriate authority within U.N. Security Council Resolution 836. That's a question that the United Nations would address. Obviously, the Secretary's letter, to a degree, does that.
Q Mrs. Albright said that yesterday, I think.
MR. McCURRY: Yes.
Q Could I ask -- and it may be the wrong building, however -- you seem to have a pretty handle on what went on this morning. In all these discussions, would it be impolite to ask if the discussion also covers whether there's public support for doing something stronger in Bosnia than the Administration has done so far? Is there any pulse-taking poll taking? It's really a question for the White House, but I'm here. I thought while we're throwing around all sorts of moral and military judgments whether this is something that's going to be governed by some popularity poll?
MR. McCURRY: I would be inclined to say no, but I was not a participant in the meetings. When I asked those who did participate, I didn't inquire about the political aspects of any discussions, if there were any. I can't answer that question.
Q Mike, do the options that are being refined today focus on the problem of protecting the safe areas?
MR. McCURRY: Do the options?
MR. McCURRY: No. I would describe them, as I said earlier, a very intense focus on the problems as they exist in Bosnia. I wouldn't want to characterize it beyond that nor exclude certain other areas outside the safe areas.
Q What could be the consequences of Russia's decision to stop talking to the Bosnian Serbs?
MR. McCURRY: We believe that the Russians played a very positive and productive role in these discussions, attempting to use their influence, such as it was, with the Serbs. I just cannot predict what impact that would have at this point on the process.
Q Mike, have the Russians indicated, since Churkin's statement yesterday, that they would not block U.N. or NATO efforts to come up with any stronger military response?
MR. McCURRY: I'm not aware of anything other than the comments that had been made by their representative at the United Nations.
Q Michael, what is the situation in Gorazde -- even as we speak, your latest update on it? Is any sort of message being delivered to the Serbs about -- you know, Rose (Sir Michael) described it as being on the brink of a humanitarian disaster. The Bosnian Government has spoken of an expected blood bath.
Are any specific warnings being given to the Serbs about guaranteeing the safety of civilians in Gorazde should they ever run the city?
MR. McCURRY: Those comments, or that analysis that there could be an impending humanitarian crisis was of very great concern to the United States.
Ambassador Albright has made a formal request of the U.N. Secretariat that they prepare a report on humanitarian conditions within Gorazde. Our most recent report was that there was a quantity of food supply available within the city. But, clearly, the situation has deteriorated as a result of the Serb offensive.
As to the last part of your question, "What specific warnings might be given," I'd prefer to leave that for the President and his advisors as they address the issue.
Q What is the best estimate this Administration has of the number dead in Gorazde?
MR. McCURRY: The best estimate -- I have reports as of the recent fighting. I don't have a total count from when to when there may have been casualties there. I think the best report is the same one that I think you got available from the United Nations. Yesterday, the number of casualties reported was 11 dead, 31 injured. That was as a result of the shelling.
Q So the Administration is not aware of reports that several thousand people have died in Gorazde in the last ten days?
MR. McCURRY: That would to be consistent with these figures, which I believe are U.N. figures.
Q As the options are developed today, is the United States consulting with the Russians at any level? And would a Russian negative reaction turn the Administration against these ideas?
MR. McCURRY: I'm not aware at what level we are discussing things with the Russians. There have been discussions on-going within the United Nations which the Russian representative has participated in. That is what I'm aware of.
I don't think at this point we've presented any options or alternatives to any foreign government because those matters are clearly still being reviewed by the President.
Q I'm sorry, the second question: If the Russians don't like it or are strongly opposed?
MR. McCURRY: I don't want to speculate on that.
Q Has the Secretary proposed in these meetings any significant change in U.S. policy on Bosnia? And if you can answer that, can you say what changes he's proposed?
MR. McCURRY: I consider it bad form, high bad form, to talk about private consultations underway with the President. I think the Secretary is making his points and so are the others participating. It's not right to characterize those publicly.
Q I just want to go back to a question earlier about the seizure of the anti-aircraft missiles. Do we take from your comments that the Administration is considering retaliation?
MR. McCURRY: It's not for me to speculate on that right now.
Q The Serbs are casting their eyes elsewhere. They're issuing challenges, essentially, through public statements by saying that it's time to open or widen the corridor in the north. Do you have any response to that?
MR. McCURRY: We're aware of those comments.
Q Mike, it seems that there's a broader story here as well. What kind of implications for future peacekeeping operations around the world does this hold right now -- the willingness of other countries to participate in peacekeeping?
MR. McCURRY: That's impossible for me to assess. I'm not that familiar with the views of other governments as they relate to peacekeeping.
Q Is the Secretary concerned about this at all?
MR. McCURRY: I think the subject of U.N. peacekeeping has been a source of very great concern and has been, as I said yesterday, a source of a lot of deliberations within our government.
Q When you're finished with this, I'd like to ask about South Africa. Are you still on Bosnia?
MR. McCURRY: Change the tune?
Q No, Bosnia.
MR. McCURRY: One more.
Q When is Redman coming back?
MR. McCURRY: I believe he's coming back tonight.
Q Do you think we can get --
MR. McCURRY: Let me check for you. A report on what his latest --
Q News on what's gone on there?
MR. McCURRY: I'll ask him. He's returning to Washington today for consultations. They didn't say when he might be back.
Q Some sort of a strategy question on the diplomacy behind this, if they've gotten that far. Once the United States has decided what it wants to do, will they go to the Europeans and listen to what they think of those ideas as they did with "lift-and-strike?" Are they going to press for the kind of leadership that Secretary Christopher said was so important in the impotent world community these days?
MR. McCURRY: You'll know the answer to that question soon.
Q Do you have a reaction to the election decisions made last night?
MR. McCURRY: Yes. Just for those that are not aware, there was a joint press conference earlier today. President de Klerk, President Mandela and the Inkatha Freedom Party leader Buthelezi announced that the IFP would contest in the national regional elections to be held next week in South Africa.
We welcome this apparent breakthrough. We hope today's agreement will curb the violence between the IFP and the ANC that has plagued South Africa, and we certainly hope that next week's elections proceed peacefully. This agreement is apparently the result of Chief Minister Buthelezi's acceptance of constitutional amendments proposed by the government and the ANC that ensure the role and status of the Zulu monarchy in the Province of KwaZulu/Natal.
The agreement also provides for the continuation of mediation efforts after the elections to resolve any outstanding constitutional issues, and we understand that Parliament will meet on April 25 to pass the necessary constitutional amendments. In addition, the South Africa Independent Electoral Commission will take steps to ensure that the IFP appears on all ballots. These are all steps aimed at ensuring fair and free elections, and obviously we welcome what we believe is this apparent breakthrough.
Q Can I shift to Haiti?
Q Wait. I have one more follow-up. Are you yet ready to announce the delegation, especially the one to oversee the election that's coming up pretty soon?
MR. McCURRY: I leave delegations up to White House folks. In fact, Connie, for your benefit and others, the White House, I think, may have more to say on this later. There may be a statement over there, so you might want to check.
Q Haiti. Do you have any reaction to the story in the Post today about the embargo and the way it's being --
MR. McCURRY: Being willfully violated?
MR. McCURRY: I think a couple things on the embargo. The embargo is clearly putting substantial pressure on Haiti. It has resulted in electricity being cut off, business being closed. That's what embargoes do of this nature.
So, clearly the amount of fuel getting through is not enough to allow the economy to function normally. It doesn't allow embassies to function normally either, obviously, and they are affected in much the same way.
We've tried to take steps to ensure that humanitarian groups that are delivering food in the countryside have fuel available, and they've tried various means to ensure that that important work can continue. The international community is helping to feed almost a million people a day in Haiti, and trying to get the foodstuffs out, particularly to rural countrysides, requires an awful lot of effort.
Whatever they've done to try to protect that fuel supply, our embassy believes they shouldn't detract from that effort. So they have to go out, and they have no choice but, like other citizens do, to go out and purchase fuel from local vendors, which is what they've done. But that allows them then to be able to move around the country.
A lot of the reporting that we've offered up to you about human rights abuses around Haiti has been done by U.S. diplomats. They're reporting on the political conditions as they see them around the country, and they wouldn't be able to do their work if they couldn't get gasoline to run their cars. So they are trying to do their jobs, and it's necessary to do their jobs.
Q There are a number of points that arise out of that. One is that the United States last year issued -- together with three other nations issued an ultimatum to the rulers of Haiti to observe the Governors Island agreement and gave January 15 as a deadline. That deadline passed three months ago. And a resolution has been gathering dust on the shelves of the U.N.
Doesn't this really dissipate the credibility of the Four Friends and embolden the military rulers of Haiti to continue their defiance?
MR. McCURRY: I don't know about the motives of the rulers. I do know that for many reasons the Administration is looking carefully at its Haiti policy, as I've told you recently.
Q This is a small technical point, but this is smuggled gasoline. Aren't there State regulations about the purchase of smuggled gasoline, and is the Inspector General aware of this?
MR. McCURRY: I mean, are we likely to be prosecuted by Haitian police or military authorities for trying to get gasoline for our diplomats' cars?
Q No, a State Department regulation.
MR. McCURRY: You're correct. It's a small technical point.
Q Any response from this Department to the introduction of legislation by Senator Dodd, at all, that would put the complete embargo, blockade on Haiti?
MR. McCURRY: We certainly will look very carefully at the legislation. I don't believe the Administration has taken a position on it, but, as you know, we do have an ongoing, overall review of our Haiti policy, and we'll be examining the proposed legislation in light of that review.
Q Just a quick one on Redman coming back -- consultations. Is the Secretary going to see him tonight, tomorrow? Inevitably, I suppose. He's part of the -- one of the officials he'd see.
MR. McCURRY: Oh, absolutely. I don't know what his schedule is upon return.
Q I'm just wondering if there is any -- you know, if he saw him tonight, it would add some sense of urgency to his return.
MR. McCURRY: He's been in very --
Q But it's a long trip.
MR. McCURRY: -- almost constant contact with him throughout the last several days, but I will check and see if he's reporting in when he arrives. He may not. Ambassador Jackovich has been very closely involved in a lot of the work that we've been doing in Sarajevo, and I'm sure that he's been reporting in as well. But, as I say, Ambassador Redman has been in almost constant contact with the Secretary and others here, so he may want to rest up when he gets home.
Q Mike, North Korea. Does the Department have any reaction to the statements of the last couple days of Kim il- Song?
MR. McCURRY: I believe Secretary Perry has said some things about that, and I guess I would say that we've noted similar comments in the past by Kim il-Song. The issue is not so much the intent of North Korea as it defines its own status of the program. It's what is the status of the program as seen through the eyes of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
If the status of the program is as Kim il-Song reports, there would seem to be no reason at all why North Korea would object to a full completion of the inspections that they agreed to on February 15 with the IAEA.
Q On Rwanda for a minute. Is it your understanding --
Q Stay on North Korea.
MR. McCURRY: North Korea.
Q Do you see any -- you know, that was quite a lengthy interview that he gave. Do you see any change, any hint of a positive message from him?
MR. McCURRY: I don't want to be too exegetical in reading the interview, but I would say that there does appear to be some sense that a broad and thorough resolution of the nuclear issue would be possible in the type of discussions that he suggests in that interview. But that awaits the results of some things that we would like to see happen, which is most importantly the successful completion of the inspections.
Q And apart from that interview, has there been any official communication from Pyongyang to the U.N., to the IAEA, to you about this whole issue in recent days?
MR. McCURRY: Say that again.
Q Apart from his interview -- you know, his comments through the press, has there been any official communication to any responsible agency or government about this issue in recent days?
MR. McCURRY: Not that I'm aware of.
Q On Rwanda, is it your understanding that the Security Council is going to pull peacekeeping troops out of Rwanda today, and what is the U.S. position on --
MR. McCURRY: No. I know that they are continuing their efforts. I think they are meeting again today to discuss the situation and to review the status of UNAMIR, which is the U.N. mission in Rwanda. We share the U.N.'s concern about the safety of U.N. peacekeeping forces in the present circumstances. We also recognize that those forces cannot function in a peacekeeping role while the fighting continues, and we'll be exploring the issue with other members of the Security Council consistent with that view.
Q So does that mean you support pulling them out if they cannot perform?
MR. McCURRY: Let's see how the discussion goes today, but that's pretty clear, I think.
Q Can you say why Ambassador Pickering is here and not in Moscow yesterday? Do you have anything to say about that?
MR. McCURRY: Your intelligence is better than mine. I was not aware of that.
Q I just happened to see him by accident.
MR. McCURRY: Steve, to be honest with you, I wasn't aware of that, but I'll look into it.
Q If there was any specific thing, other than just vacation.
MR. McCURRY: Yes, I'll find out.
Q Mike, a few questions on the Middle East real quick. Barry, did you have one?
Q No, no.
Q All right. Last week you were asked about meetings with the Jordanians here in Washington about Aqaba. Is there anything you can tell us about that? And also are we still stopping ships heading to the Israeli port of Eilat?
MR. McCURRY: I don't have an update on our multinational interdiction force and how they're enforcing the U.N. sanctions against Iraq in the Gulf. On the Jordanian side of the equation, we have had some discussions at the experts' level, I believe, with Jordan about how you would address some of the concerns that the King and others have about the economic effects of sanctions enforcement. And we have had good discussions with the Government of Israel about the issue of ships going to port at Eilat.
I'm not sure what the status of those are. I'd have to kind of check further, but I know we have had discussions with them.
Q Would you be able to get us more information on it?
MR. McCURRY: I'll see if I can provide some more.
Q One other Middle East question, if I may.
MR. McCURRY: Sure.
Q In terms of Gaza and Jericho, we've been talking about the international presence in Hebron. Is there anything on the table concerning an international presence in Jericho and Gaza that you can tell us about?
MR. McCURRY: I think there is. I think it's anticipated in the Declaration.
Barry, you can help me here.
Q With the advent of -- oh, on that? Oh, I thought you meant to close the briefing. I thought you were getting (inaudible)
MR. McCURRY: No. I think international presence is foreseen as to Gaza and Jericho. In fact, we have offered, I believe, to provide up to 200 police vehicles associated with that international police presence in Gaza and Jericho. But beyond that, I know that's probably one of the issues that the parties are addressing in some of their implementation discussions.
Carol, the last one.
Q Macedonia. What's the argument between the State Department and the White House about Macedonia?
MR. McCURRY: Oh, surprise! There's no argument! What are you talking about?
We've got a Presidential envoy working very carefully with the State Department on that question, addressing some of the issues -- dispute between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece, and those discussions continue. They've presented some ideas back and forth in their meetings coming up this week with the Government of Greece that we hope will be useful and productive in trying to resolve those issues. I'm not aware of any rift.
Q I'd like to follow up on that Mike. The Premier, believe it or not, of Victoria, Australia, has offered to come up and help mediate and help solve the Macedonian question.
MR. McCURRY: That issue?
Q Yes. Would you believe it? (Laughter)
MR. McCURRY: We've got a few others if they're volunteering.
Q Would he be welcome to come up and help mediate?
MR. McCURRY: We welcome anyone who assists the world community in addressing these difficult issues of the day.
Q What about the Deputy Prime Minister?
Q Do you have anything on the reported resignation of Ambassador Lamb, our Coordinator for the Cyprus negotiations?
MR. McCURRY: No, not at all. I do not know.
Q One more, please. The ship that was intercepted at the weekend, can you tell us its destination?
MR. McCURRY: I cannot.
Q Will not or you cannot?
MR. McCURRY: The most the Coast Guard has said is, as someone pointed out here yesterday, it was going east at last report.
Q Thank you.
MR. McCURRY: You're welcome.
(The briefing concluded at 1:35 p.m.)
(###)To the top of this page