US DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING MONDAY, APRIL 25, 1994 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Monday, April 25, 1994 Briefers: Timothy Wirth Christine Shelly ANNOUNCEMENTS Visit of European Journalists ...................1 POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT Opening Remarks by Timothy Wirth ................2-5 Abortion/Vatican/Other Position .................5,8-9 Importance of Cairo Conference ..................6-7 Projected Population Growth/Consequences ........7 Scope of US-Japanese Diplomatic Relations ........9-10 JAPAN Election of Prime Minister/Trade Objectives .....10-11 FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Gorazde/Compliance with NATO Ultimatum ..........11-14 -- Air Strikes/Authorization ...................12-14 -- Evacuation of Casualties ....................14 Diplomatic Activities ...........................15-16 Statements by Russian Leader ....................16 NATO Prospects for Russia Signing Partnership for Peace .........................................16 SOUTH AFRICA Pre-Election Violence/US Condemnation ...........17 NORTH KOREA Notification of IAEA re: Spent Fuel Extraction .17-18 Report of Talks with South ...................... 18 RWANDA Situation Update/UN Troop Drawdown/Death Toll ...19-20 HAITI UN Discussions re: Tightening Embargo ..........20 PRESIDENT NIXON'S FUNERAL Daily Press Briefing Schedule for This Week .....20-21 US Notification of Foreign Governments ..........21 Department Representation .......................21
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
MONDAY, APRIL 25, 1994, 12:57 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. The first order of business for today's briefing is to welcome a very distinguished group that we have here today of European journalists who are here under a program sponsored by the U.S. Mission to NATO.
Their tour begins with a week-long Washington program of briefings at the State Department, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. The final two days of briefings will be held at SACLANT Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.
I'm sure you all share in my welcome to them. They represent a very distinguished group of editors, correspondents and commentators from twenty- two countries. Certainly they will be taking back with them their memory of this press briefing, so I'm sure I can count on you all to be on extremely good behavior less they take this back and seek to apply the same tricks they have learned here to their respective government officials.
Also, on the same line, if there is any noticeable deficit in the quality of the questioning, you might see me looking a little bit beyond the tables here to come up with some good ones.
So I welcome them, and I'm very happy they can be with us here.
State Department Counselor, Timothy Wirth, is actually going to open our press briefing today. He has just returned from the Preparatory Conference in New York for the U. N. Conference on Population, which I think you know is scheduled to be held in Cairo from September 5th to 13th, 1994.
Following Counselor Wirth's briefing, I will continue with the questions on other subjects in our usual format.
I would like to note certainly that as most of you know, Counselor Wirth is no stranger to us here at this podium. On January 11th, he came and rolled out the Administration's policy on global issues, addressing population, environment, refugees, and terrorism.
He also spoke here on February 1st with Assistant Secretary Shattuck, when we rolled out the annual Human Rights Report.
Today's appearance, which brings him to number three for 1994, I think puts him neck-and-neck with the Secretary of State for appearances in this room, and well ahead of, I think, anybody else with the possible exception of Mike McCurry and myself.
So, on that note, we bring a very familiar face to you, and he will do the usual with some opening remarks and then we'll take your questions.
Thank you, very much, Counselor Wirth.
COUNSELOR WIRTH: Christine, thank you, very much.
The Cairo conference, which will be held the 5th to the 13th of September, is the International Conference on Population and Development. That conference will be for population what the Rio Conference, the Earth's Summit held in the summer of 1992, was for the environment.
Most of the issues related to population were put off in Rio to be focused on in Cairo, and so that will be the conference on population and development. Vice President Gore will be leading the American delegation. We will have a broad Senate observer group, a House observer group, and a great deal of national interest in the event.
We just completed the last of the preparatory meetings. As all of you know, any one of these major conferences has a number of preparatory sessions around the world. There were a number of regional conferences, and then three major preparatory meetings in which countries from all over the world come together. In the drafting of the document, there were, I believe, nearly 180 countries represented in New York at Prep Con No. 3.
The United States delegation of 23 individuals was overwhelmingly women, and a majority of the delegation were members of non-governmental organizations, not government officials, but NGO officials. We made a major effort to reach out and engage in this women from women's health groups, from various population groups around the country, and a series of others. I think 12 or 13 out of the 23 were NGOs.
There were two overriding results of the Prep Con. The first of all those was international agreement on the broadened definition of population policies.
Prior to this conference in Cairo, population policies have been narrowly defined to include only the public information on and the supply of contraceptive services.
After Cairo, it will be broadly agreed that population policies include not only family planning information and material, but also place a major emphasis on the education of girls. They will know that as girls are educated, receive more education, they would therefore have more status. They therefore will generally desire to have fewer children, and will desire and have greater control over the spacing of their children.
Second, it will include child mortality. It's understood that as people know that their children are going to survive, fertility rates decline. People know their kids are going to survive; they'll have fewer children. So as child mortality rates decline, population fertility rates decline as well.
The definition for population policies will include a broader health agenda, including a broad series of issues related to women's reproductive health, in particular.
And, finally, include an emphasis on the role and responsibilities of men. To put it shortly, to put in a summary statement: arrival at manhood does not come just with the fathering of a child but with the raising of a child.
This broaden definition of population policy is extremely important, reflecting two broad, new developments; both very important to us and important around the world.
The first of those is the empowerment of women. As I think all of you know, we've involved women very heavily in almost everyone of our policies, from human rights to environmental policies; and, obviously, all of the population policies.
And, second, in addition to the empowerment of women, driven by the deep engagement of non-governmental organizations, Secretary Christopher, when he, in his first speech to the Department the first day that he was here, made the point that we have Desks in the State Department for 180-plus countries and we do not have a Desk for the United States.
We have reached out in every way possible and involved as many non- governmental organizations in the process as we possibly can.
So one of the over-arching results is this broadened definition of population policies, including very much the empowerment of women and driven by NGOs.
The second is the sharp increase in world resources that's going to be made available for the support of these population policies. As announced by the President in his budget in January, the United States Government -- the Administration -- will be asking the Congress for $585 million this year for population. That is an increase of by about 50 percent since the start of this Administration.
The Japanese have upped their increase very dramatically as part of the agreements between the United States and Japan announced in February. Prime Minister Hosokawa announced that the Japanese are going to increase their contribution for population policies ten times, to go from what has been about $40 million a year for population and AIDS. They have just committed themselves to $3 billion over seven years for population and AIDS, which comes out to more than $400 million a year, or an increase by ten times.
The German Government is reported to be doubling its contribution. We are very hopeful that there will be also significant contributions from the EU, from the British, and from others. So that the resource question, while it be pinned finally in Cairo, remains the second major achievement of PREPCON.
We are headed toward a consensus in a way that I found very surprising. I did not think we'd come anywhere near this close to consensus. I remember the document going into Rio was about 60 percent bracketed, which means that there were 60 percent of the areas in which there were disagreement.
The document going into the Human Rights Conference in Vienna last year was about 50 percent bracketed. This year's document going into Cairo is, I think, about 10 percent bracketed.
We have very, very broad consensus on a whole series of issues, and I'll touch upon those. I met personally with groups from all over the world -- major countries, small countries, groupings, and so on. So we have a very, very good sense, as well, as to what the agreements are and where people are coming out.
We have broad agreements on the following: On the language related to migration, the environment, HIV/AIDS, follow-up measures, what happens after Cairo, child mortality, women's education, the integral role of the family, and gender equality. One might say those are things that we ought to do anyway. Obviously, they are. But they have not been done before in any kind of international agreement and, mind you, there are agreements all across the world.
There are remaining points of debate which will be raised in Cairo. One of those is the definition of reproductive health. Does that include the full range of reproductive health care services which, therefore, is a -- it touches on the issue of abortion.
Second, defining safe motherhood. Does that include safe abortion where a woman's life is in danger. Third, what services will be made available to adolescence. That issue is still unresolved. And, fourth, reproductive rights should anyone be coerced into having or not having a child. There have been examples of both where women have been coerced into having to have children and where there have been forced abortions as well.
So the issue of reproductive rights is the fourth issue that has to be defined.
So these four areas remain for Cairo as well as putting the final language on the resource issue.
Again, I was surprised at how much agreement there was; how very broadly the world had come together around these issues which were -- for example, two years ago, I was a member of the Senate observer group at the Rio Conference; and, at the Rio Conference, there was an enormous amount of difficulty and difference in even talking about the population issue.
Here, we have come to almost complete agreement on that, and I think we will come out of a very successful conference in Cairo with a very broad agreement on all of the elements.
Let me stop at that, and I'll be delighted to answer any questions that any of you might have. Please.
Q On the ten percent remaining -- I don't want to dwell on it -- but supposing -- or I don't see any room for compromise between the Vatican's point view and the more liberal view expressed by the United States.
Supposing there is no agreement on that vital issue, is that issue -- is that subject just left out of the final statement or will there will be a --
COUNSELOR WIRTH: On the issue of abortion, I think we -- the United States -- played a very good and moderating influence. Of the 189 countries or groups represented in New York, 172 allow abortion in some form, just to give you a sense of the size and scope of what the issues look like.
Clearly, there will not be agreement on abortion language as the United States will stand by -- and it's been made very clear, the President has enunciated the policy of abortions as being safe, legal, and (inaudible). We've said that over and over and over again. Ultimately, I think there will be two or three or four countries who can't agree with that.
Ultimately, then, when you get to Cairo and the final document, there is effectively a vote. You can't have a vote on any of these issues, and two-thirds wins. But I think there are very seldom votes in the U.N. system as people see what the consensus is, and those countries would then just choose not to sign the final document. But, overwhelmingly, I think we would find very, very few countries in the world who would not sign the final document.
Certainly, I think no major countries would be left not signing the document.
Q How binding is this document? And, presumably, countries are going to continue to pursue their own policy on something as important as this. What's the point of this conference, and what is the effect of it going to be?
COUNSELOR WIRTH: The point is, there are a number of things that are important. One is bringing together the leadership of the world and the focus of the world on the extraordinary importance of the population issue.
You'll remember the previous Administration had said the population was not important and that this is a variable that didn't really make any difference; it was neutral. The previous Administration was not engaged at all. They took us out of the. President Nixon, as President, brought population to the forefront and brought the United States into this very, very significant leadership role in world population issues.
We dropped out of that for 12 years. We're now back. Probably there's no place where there's a sharper difference than on this issue. The United States is back in and deeply engaged in population.
What the Cairo conference does is it brings countries together, focuses on the importance of this issue. We have certainly put our shoulder behind this and our definition of national security and broad global responsibilities that we all have.
It also brings countries together very much and the allocation of resources in putting population at the top of the agenda, as we have done in the United States.
Third, it broadly defines the rights and responsibilities of women. This broad definition of population policies includes in every way possible the empowerment of women and the rights of women, say, related to the coerced abortion issue; either to have a coerced abortion or be coerced into having a child.
These are very, very important issues. The focus on education for girls is extremely important.
So all of these elements are there. Countries and groups within those countries, and NGOs in those countries, are therefore also empowered to go back and say, this is what the international agreement is and it is overwhelmingly in (inaudible).
There are recalcitrant and very conservative groups who don't want to make these changes, obviously. This, I think, helps to empower those who would like to see the sorts of changes that are represented in this document.
Q Could you give us a brief description of the consequences of doing nothing about the population problem?
COUNSELOR WIRTH: If we do nothing about the population problem, the current world population is at $5.7 billion. It's growing at the equivalent of $100 million a year, or a China every decade if we do not stabilize the world's population. One chance that governments have to maintain any sort of opportunities for their peoples will be dashed. The population is growing much faster than most economies are growing.
As population grows, you see declining standards of living. I don't think governments want to see that happen to their citizens.
Second, the political instability that results is clearly reflected around the world, where you have large populations of unemployed and individuals with no opportunities for the future. And, third, if we are serious about the environment; and as some -- myself included -- have said, the preservation of God's creation, it is absolutely imperative that we do everything we can to stabilize world population. If we don't, then just the demand for food alone will require us to have to fill wetlands and destroy all the forest of the world and so on, dramatically changing just the ability to raise food, much less the input that those have on fouling water supplies, the air, and so on.
So the three broad areas are, one, providing individuals with opportunity; second, the maintaining of some modicum of political stability; and, third, the preservation of the environment.
A final note on this. It was said 20 years ago that economic development is the best contraceptive. That was an idea that sounded good if we said it fast enough. But if you look carefully at what's going on, in terms of population growth in many countries, it's on an upward increase. The economies are going very level. That gap between the population and economy grows and grows and grows. Therefore, you have a relative decline in standards of living.
Almost every country in the world is now committed to population stabilization. This is no longer a North-South/Rich-Poor/White-Non-White, whatever it may be. Almost every country in the world is today committed to population stabilization and they are asking for help. They realize that their own economic, political, and environmental -- their own consequences of not stabilizing their population.
One of the reasons we've been able to come to this broad consensus is that there is major consensus that this is a serious, serious issue demanding attention with great urgency at the highest level everywhere around the world.
Any other questions.
How would you characterize the Vatican's position? Are they actively campaigning against this? I just refer here to a Boston Globe article which appeared, I believe, last week, which said that "Pope John Paul II is mounting a campaign against the U.N. population and development plan, and has singled out the United States as a particular target of Vatican displeasure." It goes on to say, "It's a full-court press by the Pope and many of his most senior advisors."
COUNSELOR WIRTH: I don't know about the Pope singling out the United States. The Pope did write to 180-plus heads of state around the world, registering his concern. He met with the General Secretary of the United Nations Population Fund and registered with her his concern.
The Vatican, clearly, is not going to agree with any kind of language related to abortion.
As I pointed out, 172 out of 189 countries in the world allow abortion at some point. There is language in the document that will clearly lay out the responsibilities of states to make their own rules on this.
The Vatican, by the way, insisted on bracketing that language. The Holy See is represented in New York, and the Vatican had bracketed language that referred to condoms, bracketed all language that referred to family planning, and had bracketed the language related to safe motherhood. I think that those brackets will come out.
There are very few countries that, as I pointed out earlier, do not agree. I think that the countries in New York that were most visible, opposed to the general consensus, were Malta, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Nicaragua -- although that policy changed -- and Honduras. It was hard to find others who were aggressively opposing the consensus in New York.
So you think that language will be in the final declaration?
COUNSELOR WIRTH: I think, ultimately, countries can choose not to sign the final declaration. But I think there is such an overwhelming consensus that we're moving toward and it is dramatic. I was surprised at how much consensus there was.
As one of the main negotiators in the U.S.-Japan framework talks, do you have any special comment on the step-down of Hosokawa?
COUNSELOR WIRTH: I don't have any comment on Mr. Hosokawa leaving. I have always been disappointed that the discussions between President Clinton and former Prime Minister Miyazawa, and President Clinton and former Prime Minister Hosokawa, in the framework convention and the common agenda never got any attention in the press. It was as if all we can do between the United States and Japan is trade.
What we're doing between the two countries is a very, very ambitious list of other new initiatives, ranging from oceans to coral reefs, to global observation, bio-diversity, AIDS, population. It's very, very exciting. This is all new. This is all new with this Administration and with those two previous Administrations.
I have been meeting with the officials of Japan, and we're going to continue this part of it. While there are disagreements on trade, we have all the agreements on this other thing.
I guess what we're trying to do is to prove that you can walk and chew gum at the same time. Maybe we're stutter-stepping walking on the trade issue, but we're certainly doing very well on all of these other issues. That will continue no matter what the new administration is under Prime Minister Hata.
I'm sure that this very strong, common agenda between the United States and Japan on all of these other issues will continue and be strengthened.
(Daily Briefing continued with Christine Shelly, Spokesman for the State Department, commencing at 1:19 p.m.)
MS. SHELLY: I assume you would like to proceed with questions on other topics.
Christine, do you have any comment on the accession of a new Japanese Prime Minister?
MS. SHELLY: I have a little bit of a comment on that. As you know, the Diet elected Tsutomu Hata as Japan's 51st Prime Minister. He has not yet announced his Cabinet.
We anticipate that Prime Minister Hata and his new government will continue our strong and cooperative working relationship on a number of shared priorities, including our strong security partnership and steps to address the imbalances in our economic relationship.
The United States continues to attach great importance to the commitments made by both sides under the U.S.-Japan framework, and we continue to look for meaningful steps by Japan to reduce the current account surplus and to address market access barriers.
U.S. officials have met with Prime Minister Hata on many occasions and have enjoyed a good and friendly working relationship with him. We certainly look forward to working with him in his new capacity.
Can I just follow up on Japan? Are you aware that the Socialists have pulled out of the coalition government that got Hata elected? And I wonder if you had a comment on that?
MS. SHELLY: I think it's a little bit premature for me to have a comment. I've been watching the wire reports on this and had seen that they had left a meeting of the ruling coalition on Tuesday.
I think the early reports that I had received were not clear exactly what that would mean for the ability of the new government to actually hang together because of exactly what that would mean about the number of votes and having a parliamentary majority.
But I think this is a situation where there is just having a quick response to this is certainly not the right thing to do. We've seen reports. We'll certainly watch the developments very closely, but I don't think that changes any of our fundamental views about our desire to work with the new Japanese Prime Minister.
We'll just have to watch what the developments are. If we can have more to say on this when the events themselves become a little bit clearer, I'm sure we will.
Do you have any current reading on what the situation is around Gorazde?
MS. SHELLY: Let me review a little bit on this, and then I can tell you what we know to be the situation there. As you know, the NAC, on Friday -- the North Atlantic Council on Friday-- approved two decisions. The first decision, they authorized air strikes under the August 2-9 decisions unless the Bosnian Serb attacks against Gorazde immediately cease.
The Bosnian Serb forces pulled back three kilometers from the center of the city. The United Nations forces and humanitarian relief convoys and medical assistance teams were all allowed to enter Gorazde unimpeded, and the medical evacuations would be permitted by the same deadline.
The NAC also called upon the Bosnian Government to refrain from using safe areas of Gorazde for offensive military operations.
Once this first decision was adopted, the Council focused on the wider situation and adopted a second decision on safe areas. That one requires that all heavy weapons be moved 20 kilometers from Gorazde and that the shelling of Gorazde cease.
If any heavy weapons were found within the 20-kilometer zone around Gorazde, or if there was further shelling of Gorazde by heavy weapons from any range, that the Bosnian-Serb military targets would be subject to air strikes.
As to the other safe areas, NATO did not declare in its second decision the other four safe areas as military exclusion zones at this time. But if heavy weapons are fired against them, or if NATO or U.N. military commanders judge that a threat is imminent to those areas, they can be immediately designated military exclusion zones, either individually or collectively. At that point, the other safe areas would become subject to the same regime as Gorazde.
Bosnian-Serb military assets would be subject to air strikes if heavy weapons were present in the zone, or were fired against the zone from any range. And air strikes, of course, as we have said, under either decision would be carried out in cooperation with UNPROFOR.
Now my understanding is that after some initial problems on Saturday, that basically since that time there has been compliance with the first ultimatum. The deadline for the second ultimatum has not yet come. That occurs at, I think, eight o'clock in the evening, Washington time, tomorrow night.
What I understand is that there is some small arms fire which has been continuing, but that there have not been -- basically the cease-fire and the non-use of the heavy weaponry has been holding.
Let me see. We don't have any reports on fighting in areas other than Gorazde. If we get any reports on this later today, we'll post them immediately. And on Croatia, what I understand is that the cease-fire between the Croat and Krajina-Serb forces continues with only minor violations being reported, and, again, that's small arms fire.
Q Can you identify the speed that the United Nations and NATO dealt with each other on this issue, after Manfred Woerner had pleaded for use of air strikes, and Boutros-Ghali said "No"?
MS. SHELLY: Well, certainly we have seen the reports about the difficulties on Saturday and the exchanges between the United Nations and NATO. I think, you know, the key point, which I think also Secretary Christopher stressed yesterday when he was on TV, is that although the initial compliance was spotty, there did thereafter, beginning I guess, on Saturday afternoon, the withdrawal did appear to be going on in full force. And, as the Secretary said, I think that the general view was that it was clearly prudent to allow the Bosnian-Serbs to be able to complete their withdrawal and to be able to do so not in the midst of air strikes being conducted by NATO planes.
I think that there were some exchanges between NATO, between the Secretary General and the United Nations on this, but I think that the most recent reports on this, including a report that the U.N. Secretary General himself put out, which I think was late on Saturday night, he made it very clear that in monitoring the situation around Gorazde, and following agreements with the Bosnian-Serb authorities that they would withdraw, that should the cease-fire, the required cease-fire, and the withdrawal fail to take place by the deadline, indicated that he would, the U.N. Secretary General would immediately authorize the use of air strikes to protect the safe area of Gorazde.
So I think, notwithstanding some initial difficulties that occurred on Saturday, the understandings, I think, are very clear, and I think that NATO and the U.N. are clear on how this is to work. And since the withdrawal seems to be continuing, and the cease-fire seems to be holding, I think, yes, we are satisfied with how things have evolved since Saturday afternoon.
Q It sends a very clear message to the Serbs that if they don't want to meet the deadline within 24, 48, hours, they are perfectly free to drag their feet and burn and loot on the way out of town, even though they are past the deadline. That's satisfactory to the United States in terms of meeting deadlines?
MS. SHELLY: No, that's not satisfactory to the United States, and certainly the way in which they withdraw is also something which we watch very carefully. That is not the kind of withdrawal that we certainly would have been looking for.
We have seen the reports about setting the homes on fire and about the incapacitation of the water treatment plant, that is certainly not the kind of behavior that we would have liked to see as the withdrawal was occurring, but I think the key point here is to get the withdrawal moving, get the heavy weaponry out of there, keep the shelling from continuing, and to try to get a quiet and a calm back in the area, so that then we can press ahead with what we are trying to do on the diplomatic track, and to try to find a more comprehensive solution to the problem.
So, no, those are not acceptable ways of withdrawing, and, no, we are not sending that message. But I think that there are judgments that have to be made right on the spot by the commanders. I don't think that it is up to us back here to second guess those on every single aspect of the timing.
But clearly the important thing is that the withdrawal got underway, got moving, and it has achieved the kind of result that we were hoping for.
Q (Inaudible) the commanders had actually called for strikes, and it went right up to NATO command, and then the U.N. wasn't forthcoming.
MS. SHELLY: Well, I think from what I understand to be the case, that is generally consistent with my impression. But nonetheless, as I mentioned, there was some confusion about that period of time, and the pressure between needing to get the withdrawal going and the conditions under which the withdrawal could actually proceed. And so it wasn't an entirely satisfactory exchange on Saturday afternoon, and I think both NATO and the UN made their respective views known on that. But I think the key point here is to get on with the task and look ahead and put the emphasis now on the -- even with the ultimatum standing, which it is, and the threat of the NATO air strikes are still very much there.
Secretary Christopher has made clear that if there are violations, that air strikes will occur, but our key objective at this point, in addition to keeping with that track, is certainly to couple it with an intensity on a diplomatic track, to try to get the parties back to the table. Yes.
Q Are the Serbs hampering at all the evacuation of casualties?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have a real full picture on the evacuation of the casualties. What I understand is that they are proceeding, and that they had gotten a fairly significant number of the casualties evacuated. I think the last report I had was 85 wounded, having been taken to hospitals in Sarajevo, and then also, of course, there were some convoys that also successfully entered the city, as well. And I can probably give you a few more details of those, or else you can get them from the press office, but the reports that we have so far is that the evacuation of the medical personnel is occurring pretty smoothly.
Q Christine, the Secretary said last week that one of the points was to make sure that the Serbs paid a price for further compliance of the international community. What price actually did they pay over the weekend, and if anyone paid a price, who was it?
MS. SHELLY: Well, you know, that's the kind of question that I think its, -- you know, it delves a little bit into the slightly more cosmic interpretations of things, which I think is not really my role here.
I think the Secretary wanted to make very clear that if there was not compliance with the ultimatum, that the price paid would be very heavy. And I think that that is made rather explicit in the NATO decisions. As a matter of fact, I think there is quite a considerable degree of detail about exactly what the circumstances are in which the NATO force would be used to respond.
The key point here, I think, is that the ultimatum at least so far, seems to have achieved the desired effect. The withdrawal is occurring. There is another ultimatum which comes tomorrow. We certainly hope that we are going to see the same kind of compliance.
But it is certainly the hope that the use of that kind of response and force is not going to be necessary, and that the Bosnian-Serbs will realize that the international community is united. It is serious. There was a Security Council discussion of this on Saturday. The Security Council members also pronounced themselves in favor of the actions which have been taken, and gave their full support to NATO and UNPROFOR on the ground there, and I think that the Bosnian-Serbs have a very clear message, which has come from the international community on this, and that certainly if the actions continue along the same lines that they have been in this last 48 hours or so, that it's our hope that the higher price to pay is not something that will have to be -- will have to actually get out and do that.
The idea is to get them back to the negotiating table which is where ultimately the conflict will be settled.
Q Has there been any movement in that direction at all that you can report to us, moving towards getting negotiations going again?
MS. SHELLY: Well, there is a lot that is occurring on the diplomatic track. As you know, Secretary Christopher left last night for London, and he is having meetings with the British and the French in London today. They are also -- he has also indicated on Sunday that he would be meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Kosyrev in Geneva on Tuesday.
There also are -- there is certainly a stepped up pace of high level experts meetings that will be taking place this week in Europe, I believe in Geneva, and certainly there will be consultations, bilateral consultations, consultations within the European Union, and other places that will clearly be focused on the diplomatic track, on how to get the parties back to the table, and what the ideas are for trying to get back to where we were some time ago in February, which seemed to be where some ideas seemed to be gelling with some support behind them.
There had been, of course, some successes and there is the federation, the Bosnian-Croat Federation, and I think the idea is certainly very much to try to build on that, and then build on the degree to which you have been able to get some of the fighting stopped. Sarajevo certainly is a case where a lot of progress was made on that score.
And then the governments, in those meetings that are taking place this week, hopefully will be able to then broker some of those ideas and see if they can't give an impulse to their talks involving directly the parties to the conflict.
It's still a little bit early. I can't really tell you very much beyond that right now, except for the fact that the diplomacy is intensified in a lot of very senior level meetings that will be taking place in Europe this week.
Q Do you have a comment on what the Russian Defense Minister said to a press conference today basically calling NATO and U.S. leadership incompetent and their ideas ill-conceived in terms of bombing? It sounds as though the Russian Government is having a little trouble getting -- speaking with one voice these days. Do you have a comment on the Defense Minister's remarks?
MS. SHELLY: Yes. I think I have to duck this one. I haven't seen the remarks, and I would want to see the full text, and also look at it in light of what, you know, other Russian political authorities are also telling us. That certainly does not seem consistent with the kind of exchanges that the Secretary himself has been having with Foreign Minister Kosyrev, but we have -- I have to be very reticent about commenting on a statement from here that I haven't seen yet.
Q On Russia, we were told repeatedly, based, I guess, on statements by Kosyrev which the Secretary and Mr. McCurry put a lot of faith in that they were going to sign the Partnership for Peace Agreement on April 21st, four days ago. Do you have any indication -- was there a problem in the airline schedules, or what happened? What did they say? What are they telling you now?
MS. SHELLY: Okay. We did address that a bit last week. I think that the Russians, for their own reasons, decided that they were not ready to sign the framework document, although all of the indications that they have given to us certainly bilaterally, but I think to NATO generally, have indicated that they still intend to sign, and they wanted to give some more consideration to exactly what type of relationship Russia wished to have with NATO and the types of activities that it would endeavor to engage in under their particular program that they would work up within the context of the framework document.
So I think we are still looking to them to give us a little firmer indication of what they have in mind on this, but there is absolutely nothing to suggest that it is still not their intention to sign the framework document and to become a full participant.
Q Can we switch to South Africa?
MS. SHELLY: Sure.
Q It has been a very bloody week and --
MS. SHELLY: Wait, I'm sorry. Are there any other? Okay.
Q We had a very bloody weekend, and I'm interested in what you have to say about the effects of this on the preparations for the election.
MS. SHELLY: Well, certainly, I don't know if you have had a chance to see the White House statement that came out on this yesterday, I believe. It was a very strong condemnation of the attack in Johannesburg and generally on incidents of violence and efforts by those who -- efforts at intimidation by those who might wish to derail the process of political change.
We have not put out our own statement on this, and certainly the White House statement very strongly reflects the thinking here as well.
The process of historic change in South Africa has certainly been a long one, but certainly a very critical one, and I think it has undergone a tremendous amount of change and of stress, certainly, as the developments have unfolded. But I think there is courage, there is dedication that has been shown by all South Africans on this. The United States itself wants to do everything that it can to support South Africans during the elections and beyond as the country moves ahead to build a stable and a prosperous and non- racial democracy.
I think it is very clear that the violence and the episodes, the attacks that take place, can't be allowed to derail the process and obviously there are some setbacks to this, but the process itself has been one which has been tremendous, and I think we expect that in the long run that that process will succeed. Yes.
Q Do you have any update on the North Korean nuclear issue?
MS. SHELLY: I have just a little bit on this today. As you have probably seen, some of the remarks particularly that Secretary Perry had made over the last few days about the reactor refueling question. We understand that North Korea plans to unload their spent fuel from their nuclear reactor in the coming weeks. I understand North Korea informed the IAEA that it would like to proceed with this in approximately ten days.
We don't view the ten days as a deadline, but certainly believe that the IAEA presence is critical during the discharge of the fuel from the reactor. I would have to refer you to the IAEA for any further details really on the requirements of their safeguards practice.
Now, on the issue of the inspections that were agreed to on February 15th, we understand that North Korea and the IAEA are in contact actually now about this issue. And, again, on that one, for details I would have to refer you to the IAEA.
We certainly continue to urge North Korea to allow the IAEA inspectors to complete those inspections which the North Koreans had agreed to on February 15th. We would like this done as soon as possible, and to allow the agency to undertake the other, whatever other activities that the IAEA determines are necessary to maintain the safeguards equipment already in place for the purposes of assuring the continuity of safeguards.
Q Well, was there no invitation, implied invitation, to send inspectors?
MS. SHELLY: I think that the notification about the unloading of the spent fuel was an invitation that was extended in its own -- standing on its own. But I think that no one has ruled out the possibility that if they went out there to do this that they also might be able to finish the inspections at the same time on the same visit.
Q Would they send out -- let me put it a different way. Does the United States favor them sending people just to observe the unloading of the spent fuel? Or, if they go, would it be the position of the United States that they should also, at the same time, complete the inspections which they were prevented from completing?
MS. SHELLY: I think I might sort of flip-flop the answer to that. We very much want to see the inspections completed, and certainly consider that that is the most immediate task at hand.
We also, as I said, feel very strongly about having the IAEA present if, in fact, the North Koreans decide to unload spent fuel from the nuclear reactor. They're related in the sense that they both relate to the North Korean nuclear issue and they both touch on activities that relate to being able to assure the continuity of safeguards. I think I would still address them in their specific capacities and not develop a kind of linkage between the two. Both of them are important in their own right.
Q They're reporting in Seoul, Korea, saying that Mr. Gallucci and Mr. Han, the North Korean Vice Foreign Minister, exchanged letters, apparently, last week. They have agreed on reduction of low-level talks, probably in New York. Can you confirm that report?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not in a position to confirm that right now. I'll look into that and see if I might be able to say something further on that this afternoon.
MS. SHELLY: Rwanda. Yes.
Q According to many organizations, 100,000 people have been killed in Rwanda. Could you tell us what is exactly the reaction of the United States?
MS. SHELLY: What is the reaction of State?
MS. SHELLY: I think that we have issued several different statements on this over the course of time since the plane crash occurred.
Certainly, the fighting which continues in Kigali, in various parts of the country, is of great concern to us. Neither side seems to be gaining a clear advantage over the other.
The loss of life, the magnitude of that, is also something which is, I think, horrific by any standard. It's very clear that the efforts which certain African officials in Tanzania had been trying to make, in terms of brokering negotiations between the parties, we would like to see these go forward.
I understand that the most recent efforts over the weekend got delayed.
The UNAMIR commander, I understand, is continuing the U.N. efforts in Kigali to try to negotiate cease-fire and the evacuation of Rwandan citizens out of the city.
The RPF has declared a conditional unilateral cease-fire, which I think is effective as of midnight tonight, so we'll have to see what happens with that.
About 900 UNAMIR troops were expected to be withdrawn over the weekend, which would only leave about 600 in Rwanda.
The U.N. resolution, as I think you know, that was approved by the Security Council last Friday. It calls for a reduction in forces down to 270 peace keepers from a peak of about 2,500.
So, yes, the situation is still very much one of concern for us; and we hope that the efforts to try to broker negotiations and political settlement can get underway with a view toward achieving that end.
Q Does the U.S. Government agree with 100,000 estimate, which I believe was put out by U.N. officials?
MS. SHELLY: I'll have to check on that whether we have -- I've seen that estimate in several reports on things. Whether this constitutes an official U.S. Government estimate based on our own analysis, I'll have to check on that point.
If that is not our understanding, or if we are simply relying on other estimates on this, I'll try to make that point clear this afternoon.
Q Christine, on Haiti, Mr. McCurry announced some steps last Friday that the United States would be taking. One of them was getting a new resolution passed at the U.N. Can you tell us if anything concrete is happening on that?
MS. SHELLY: It's really a little bit early. Last Friday, as you know, Mike touched on the actions that we hoped to take as a result of our policy review. He went through what the elements are. So I won't get into them. As he mentioned, one of them was a commitment to push for a new U.N. resolution which would tighten the embargo.
In terms of the initiative that we're taking, as a consequence of our policy review, this is still relatively early. We're not quite yet ready to get into discussions of draft text of resolutions and things. We're having discussions up in New York, as you know. We also had a dialogue with President Aristide last week as well. But it's still a little bit early.
I think there will be something later this week. We can be a little more specific about the resolution and what kind of language we would be looking for, but it's a little bit early for that.
Q There was a resolution in February, as far as I remember. Is this going to be a different resolution? Or aren't you just dusting the two months of accumulated grime off of that resolution?
MS. SHELLY: It's not exactly the same resolution. There certainly will be some common elements between the two. But, basically, the emphasis right now is not on textual discussions. They're really on diplomatic exchanges with the others who have been the key players on this; and then also with a view to discussing it with all of the Security Council members. So we're just not up to the draft, a text of a resolution yet. Maybe later this week.
Q A housekeeping question. In light of the Wednesday day of mourning, what is your schedule going to be for briefings this week?
MS. SHELLY: The schedule for briefings this week will be today, tomorrow, and Thursday. Friday, if we have major developments that need to be briefed on. I'll also keep open that possibility. But our plan at this point is for today, tomorrow, and Thursday.
On Wednesday, even though we will not be briefing, we will basically have coverage in our Press Office. We'll be available for questions and for guidance on things which need to be tended to on a kind of an emergency basis.
Q You're not going to brief on the day when the international deadline has been set in Bosnia?
MS. SHELLY: We're not going to brief on Wednesday. That's correct.
Q Christine, do you have a list of foreign leaders who are coming for this funeral?
MS. SHELLY: Not yet. I was looking into that before coming down here to see. We have begun notifying foreign governments of the funeral arrangements now that the Nixon family has made their wishes known.
As I think you know, foreign delegations have not been formally invited to the services. But, of course, they'll be welcome, and we do expect several -- if not more than that -- to attend.
The services, as you know -- the funeral will be held in California. The military district of Washington will be coordinating the arrangements for the funeral. They actually have their own media center established by the military district. They can be reached at -- for others who might want to inquire -- (703) 696-3230. They are also setting up an office in Yorba Linda, California, to handle the arrangements on the site.
We have sent people from our Protocol Office to facilitate the arrival of foreign dignitaries who may attend the funeral. We also have our own Task Force here at the Department which is serving as a point of contact for foreign dignitaries regarding the funeral arrangements.
As you know, since Secretary Christopher is traveling, Acting Secretary of State Strobe Talbott will be attending the funeral.
As we get some additional information about which foreign dignitaries might be attending, we'll be happy to make that available.
Q Thank you.
MS. SHELLY: Thank you.
(Press Briefing concluded at 1:53 p.m) (###)
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