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MAY 4, 1994



Wednesday, May 4, 1994

                                      Briefer:  Christine Shelly

Foreign Service Day Observance on Friday .........1

Civil Strife/US Urges Peaceful Negotiations .....1-2,11-12
Visit of Asst. Secretary Pelletreau .............2

Refugees/Interdictions/Repatriations ............2-8
--  In Country Refugee Processing/Asylum Granted 3-8
Sanctions/US Humanitarian Aid ...................6,9
Randall Robinson View of US Policy ..............9

UN Sanctions/Flushing Turkish Oil Line ..........10-11

US Delegation's Visit to Region .................12
Situation Update/Fighting/Refugees ..............12-13

US-Russian Cooperation ..........................13-14

Status of IAEA Inspection Talks .................14


DPC #70


MS. SHELLY: I've got a couple of announcements. The first is Foreign Service Day. On Friday, May 6, the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Personnel, Genta Hawkins Holmes, the American Foreign Service Association -- more commonly known as AFSA -- and the Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired -- also known as DACOR -- will host Foreign Service Day. Two of those events will be open for press coverage. The first, at 11:00 a.m. in the Dean Acheson Auditorium, is a ceremony at which several awards will be presented, including the 1994 Foreign Service Cup and the Director General's Cup.

In addition, at 5:30 in the C Street Lobby, there will be ceremony marking the unveiling of the AFSA Memorial Plaque in honor of two Foreign Service Officers who recently lost their lives in service to their country. These are Freddie R. Woodruff, who died in Georgia in 1993, and Barbara Schell who died in Iraq in 1994. Secretary of State Warren Christopher will preside at that ceremony.

I also have a short statement on recent fighting in Yemen. As many of you are aware, fighting between rival northern and southern military units broke out in Amran, Yemen, on April 27. We understand that the fighting has ceased at this time.

We have a longer statement about the situation which we will be posting right after the briefing. But I would like to summarize a couple of elements from it.

The United States Government believes that the recent fighting in Amran, Yemen, underlines the urgent need for a political solution to Yemen's domestic crisis. There is no military solution to Yemen's problems. For some time, the United States Ambassador has been active in using his good offices to promote a peaceful negotiated solution within the context of unity and to urge the full implementation of the Document of Pledge and Accord signed in Amman in February by Yemen's leaders.

The United States urges all Yemenis to hold fast to their chosen goal of unity, democratization and economic reform. These noble aims can only be reached if Yemen's leaders and people work together in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation to resolve their differences.

Finally, I would just add that Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, Robert H. Pelletreau, will arrive today in Yemen as part of a larger trip to the region. He will meet with Yemeni leaders to discuss U.S. concerns for Yemen's peace and stability. Details on Assistant Secretary Pelletreau's itinerary and other stops he will make are available in the Press Office following the briefing.

I'd be happy to take any questions on this or other topics of your choice.


Q Haiti, please. Can you bring us up to date on how many people the United States has processed through the Haitian processing centers of the U.S. Government? Whether or not the new centers have opened and whether they are handling anybody; and how many boat people in the recent weeks or months have been picked up and turned back?

MS. SHELLY: Is that all? Just for the first round?

Q That's just the first question.

MS. SHELLY: Okay, just the first question. One question at a time.

On the number of interdictions, I think I can give you the complete picture of this and also a little bit on the arrival yesterday of a Haitian boat in Florida.

The latest incident on this: A 30-foot wooden sailboat with 97 Haitians on board arrived in Key Largo yesterday. On board were 86 men, 9 women, and 2 children. They are in the custody of the INS, which is processing them. As to any specific details on this, I'd have to refer you to INS.

No other Haitian boat people have been interdicted by the Coast Guard or, to our knowledge, have arrived in the United States within the past two weeks.

Fifteen Haitians were interdicted by the Coast Guard on April 21 and repatriated to Haiti on April 22. A further 98 were picked up on April 22 and were repatriated on April 25.

Q As you are aware, a further 411 Haitians were picked up off the Florida coast and were brought to Miami for processing on April 22. Eleven other vessels with some 625 Haitian migrants on board had been interdicted since the beginning of the year. Their passengers have been repatriated to Haiti.

This brings the total number of Haitian boat people interdicted by the Coast Guard to 1,152. The 97 who landed in Florida yesterday, of course, are not included in that figure.

Q Since January 1?

MS. SHELLY: Since January 1. I didn't get the figure for 1993 for you to make a comparison although, as I mentioned, the 1,152 relates to essentially the first four months of the year.

Last year, in 1993, a total of 2,324 Haitians were picked up and were returned to Haiti.

On your other point -- and you're specifically referring to the alternative in-country refugee processing, which we, of course, believe does provide a very real alternative to genuine refugees.

Since the beginning of the in-country refugee processing program -- and this is something which started in February 1992 -- we have received approximately 55,700 preliminary questionnaires. Again, this is the document which is picked up and then filled out by those who might be inquiring about the program.

Currently, we are receiving an average of about 50 to 60 new questionnaires per day. Voluntary agency staff assist Haitians in completing their preliminary questionnaires. These are then pre-screened by State Department refugee officials and by voluntary agency staff who determine whether or not the cases are eligible for further processing.

As you are aware, many applicants do not meet the eligibility requirements of the program and are not processed further.

Immigration and Naturalization Service officers have actually interviewed 15,300 people. All high priority cases have been interviewed. Two thousand nine hundred thirty-seven have been approved for refugee status, 2,237 of whom have already arrived in the United States. I'll repeat those once more. The number approved for refugee status is 2,937 of which 2,237 have already arrived in the United States. What that leaves, if you look at those interviewed -- of the 15,300 -- that leaves approximately 12,270 who, after their interview, were disapproved for refugee status.

I just thought I might also add the last bit of numerical information that I have on that, and that is on the approval rate relative to the applications. There is a discernible trend here.

There has been a recent increase in the approval rate of refugees in the in-country refugee processing centers. During the first three weeks of April, 107 out of the 559 cases interviewed were approved for refugee status. This reflects an approval rate of 19 percent. In March, an average of 11 percent of the cases interviewed were approved. Prior to that, the average approval rate had been somewhere between six and eight percent.

I think there are a couple of different things that we can contribute the increase to. First, part of it reflects our efforts to work much more actively with human rights groups, with non-governmental organizations, with church groups and others to try to make sure that we can reach those Haitians who are in danger.

In January of this year, in consultation with members of these groups, we also refined the criteria that we were using to identify those Haitians who would be determined to be in need of resettlement in the United States. These criteria are senior and mid-level Aristide government officials, close Aristide associates, journalists, educational activists, and high-profile members of political development and social organizations who have experienced significant and persistent harassment by the de facto authorities or have a credible fear because of their activities and others of compelling concern and in immediate danger because of their actual or perceived political beliefs or activities.

So it is our genuine belief that under this enhanced system that those refugees who have a chance of being identified now have an improved chance of being identified much more quickly.

Q Do you have any data on returned or repatriated Haitians, and what happens to them? Are any or many persecuted on their return? Your critics say you're returning these people to a death chamber.

MS. SHELLY: We've certainly seen those criticisms. This is one of the things that the Embassy has been involved in. We have had an Embassy officer, I think you know, down at the port when those returned have actually disembarked. We have sought to track -- as you know, also a portion of those have been picked up and detained by the Haitian authorities, usually for questioning.

The Embassy has done its very best to try to track what has happened to those who have been detained. There has been the occasional report of harassment to these individuals, but I think by and large our information -- we've certainly have not been able to track what has happened to every single person returned. And our focus, of course, has been on those who have been initially detained because those who are not detained, I think, basically left very quickly.

Our information generally is that those who are detained are usually held for a few hours; occasionally, a couple of days. We have normally been able to track and to confirm that they then have been released after that. There have been some individual incidents of violence against individuals who have been returned. Again, it's not possible, I think, for us to have a totally complete picture. But our feeling is that of those who have returned -- those who are questioned or not -- that the incidents of any kind of retaliation or retribution have been relatively few.

Q Are you able to -- you're not able, really, to follow these people once they disappear back into city slums or into outlying villages?

MS. SHELLY: It's very difficult. With the size of the Embassy staff that we have, we have to try to concentrate our energies on tracking those who we think are the most likely to face some kind of problem who would clearly be those who had been initially detained.

I know the Embassy has tried to keep a pretty good handle on this. To the extent that information on the fate of the individuals has come to their attention, they have certainly tried to indicate that and let us know back here in Washington. But just from a shear numbers point of view, in terms of the size of our staff, we're not able to track everyone who has returned.

Q You're really only left with a feeling that there's little retribution?

MS. SHELLY: I think that our Embassy has been able to get a good picture of the extent of it. I'm not ruling out the possibility there may have been actions against some others that might not have been drawn to their attention. I think their feeling is that the actual statistical number in question, where there has been some kind of retribution or retaliation is quite small.

Q Christine, is the increased rate of acceptance for refugee status a function of the deterioration of the human rights situation in Haiti. In other words, more brutality and more approval? More likely they would have a reasonable fear of persecution?

MS. SHELLY: I think the increase in the numbers is attributable to -- my understanding is, in terms of the numbers who are actually coming in and filling out the questionnaires, this actually has been relatively steady in the last few months. So I think in terms of the inquiries into the program, there has not been a discernible shift in the trend.

There have been fluctuations in that. There have been some periods of time since the program was started where it has gone up in response to particular episodes of violence and events which have occurred -- harassment by the military, things like that. But over time, I think it is settled at a certain level. We are not seeing, in terms of the last month or two, we're not seeing a discernible uptake in the numbers of those who are inquiring about the program.

One of the reasons that there is a high percentage of denial rate is because of the criteria that have to be met. A lot of those who apply are really much more economic refugees who are applying in response to the downturn in the economy and the general situation which is present which reflects the trade sanctions against the country.

As difficult as the situation is for those people -- it is difficult, and it not a general picture which anyone can take any pleasure in. Nonetheless, they have to meet the criteria which I've just indicated in order to qualify.

The approval rate, I think, is reflective of the fact that we have adjusted our procedures on this and perhaps broadened the scope, or made it easier to clarify whether or not someone qualifies. So that perhaps accounts for a larger share of the increase than necessarily the number of people who would appear to be applying. It may be that more of the people who are applying, even though the application rates may be fairly steady -- maybe more of those applying are also, in fact, are meeting those criteria.

Q There have now been two boatloads in the last couple of weeks that have actually made it to American shores. The first bunch are still here, by and large, are they not?

MS. SHELLY: As far as I know, they're still in the INS detention facility just outside of Miami.

Q Have any of those been approved, or any of that whole group of people? The 496, or whatever it is, where do they stand?

MS. SHELLY: I think that their applications are still in the process of being reviewed. I've been told the exact status of where that stands is very definitely an INS jurisdiction question. So I wouldn't expect to be able to get precise information on that. I think you'd have to check with INS.

Q I know that you have dealt with this before. But the fact that the Cubans automatically can come here because of American law and be given an opportunity within a year to be made a U.S. citizen and the fact that the Haitians cannot is something which is being pointed out by Administration critics as a racist policy toward the Haitians. How do you respond to that, because of the way our law is written?

MS. SHELLY: The first way that we respond to that is in the case of Cuba, it's the law. We, of course, have to apply the law.

In the case of Haiti, they fall under the other frameworks and must meet the criteria regarding fear of persecution. It is something which is obviously a source of great concern, and particularly the situation in Haiti is one of great concern. It's one of the reasons why I think we have been very vigorous in our effort to have these centers open to pursue this policy, to try to present -- to offer a viable alternative to taking to the high seas and getting on boats; in many cases, very unseaworthy vessels where the risk of loss of life is very high, and, basically, to offer the best possible realistic means of trying to help those people who fall into the genuine refugee category with a view to trying to avoid massive exodus and the resulting loss of life at sea that can take place if people take to the boats.

Q But if you're trying to flee Haiti to Bimini, for example, the United States is preventing those Haitians from leaving the island; right? If you want to go to Barbados in a boat to get off of Haiti, you're preventing them, effectively, from leaving the island; period?

MS. SHELLY: Quite a number of Haitians have gone to other locations in the Caribbean.

Q By boat?

MS. SHELLY: Yes, they have.

Q So the U.S. doesn't stop them if they're in a boat with 400 people sailing off towards Barbados, the U.S. doesn't stop them?

MS. SHELLY: If we have reason to believe that they are headed towards the United States, that is the situation in which the Coast Guard does step in.

Q (Inaudible) broadening the scope and the approval rate, you explained that the U.S. is working more now with humanitarian organizations. You suggested, first of all, that that was the reason why the approval rate has gone up. And then you said, well, we're broadening the scope.

What exactly does this mean? Is our humanitarian organizations now approving on behalf of the U.S., and the people are going to get promoted to the interview stage? Does it mean that if someone has no food, that's too bad; but if someone has a relative that's died, that was the (inaudible) interview process? What exactly does "broadening the scope" mean?

MS. SHELLY: We work with these organizations to try to develop and refine the criteria for the particular categories of people and to also make sure that these organizations who had particular cases in question, if they wanted to offer information to us with a view to helping us make the determination about eligibility, that that is a way in which we have worked with them as well.

We obviously also have been working with them on the overall humanitarian situation, with respect to the food distribution and in any other ways that we can try to work on the humanitarian dimension of the conflict; and, particularly, to try to offset the degree to which the sanctions do have an effect on Haiti's poorest population.

We work very closely with the relief organizations involved in feeding program. I think you're aware of, generally speaking, what's been happening on that. As of about a week or so ago, the total number of Haitians being fed through these programs was slightly in excess of 800,000. We expect that the figure will actually reach something like 940/950,000 by the end of this month.

We are very careful and very attentive to indications of malnutrition. We certainly watch this. We have tried to periodically do assessments of this and on the trends. Indications are that malnutrition is on the rise among children and other vulnerable segments of the Haitian society. That's why we are making the effort that we are, to try to increase the number of Haitians that we and others are feeding on a daily basis.

To our knowledge, there has not been any interference in the efforts to implement the feeding programs either done by us or by other organizations which, of course, is an encouraging development.

Also, as we had said, in the context of discussions of elements of our Haiti initiative, it's also our plan, with the expectation that a tougher sanctions resolution would be adopted, that we would increase that figure that we expect to reach by the end of May -- the 940,000 or so -- that we would be taking the necessary steps to try to get that up over one million, up to as high 1.2 million people per day.

Q Where does the sanction draft proposal stand?

MS. SHELLY: Yesterday evening we joined with the Haitian Friends Group and Argentina in tabling, in the Security Council, a draft resolution which seeks to impose new sanctions on Haiti. The discussions are continuing on this in the Council today.

As Ambassador Albright has said, there is a growing consensus for moving ahead with these sanctions. But beyond that, I can't specifically pinpoint when a vote might take place.

The tabled draft specifies that sanctions would become effective 15 days after the resolution is adopted. This, we believe, will be necessary because of certain practical considerations. Some member states who would be legally bound by the sanction measures may have to enact some kind of implementing legislation or take other legal steps to facilitate their own compliance with the sanctions regime. We think that this 15-day period will enable those countries that need to do that to have the opportunity to do so.

Q One of the most vocal critics of U.S.-Haiti policy has been Randall Robinson who was taken to a hospital this morning, suffering from severe dehydration and other problems as a result of a hunger strike.

Do you have any comment on this latest hunger strike? Does this bear any weight on any policy changes that you would consider?

MS. SHELLY: As to the hunger strike itself, we have already addressed that in the briefing, and I don't really have anything to add on that. We are certainly very mindful of the message that he is sending on this, and we have a lot of sympathy for his position.

As I think you know, Sandy Berger and Morton Halperin visited Mr. Robinson on Sunday to talk with him about the Administration's policy on the direct repatriation. I can't really shed any light on the details of that discussion as it involved NSC officials. You would have to get details on those contacts from the White House.

But we know what the political message is, and we hope that his fast can come to an end. But our policy of direct repatriation remains unchanged, and we explained to him the Administration's policy on this and the rationale. And as I have laid out today in response to the other questions, we feel that it does represent a very real alternative for refugee reprocessing under the criteria that we've mentioned.

Q I have a non-Haiti question. (Laughter)


Q Let me know.

MS. SHELLY: You're up. It's your turn.

Q Okay. First on Cyprus, the State Department already has a Special Coordinator for Cyprus, but I understand President Clinton is considering to send a personal envoy to Cyprus. Is this true, and what's the need for this? Does this mean the President will become personally involved in the Cyprus issue?

MS. SHELLY: I'm not aware of that, frankly. We do have a Special Envoy who was appointed not too terribly long ago, and my understanding is that he's still actively working the issue. I'm not aware of the plan to have another envoy, and, if it's likely to come out of the White House, I probably have to refer you to the White House, but I don't have anything on that.

Q Okay. And I have a question on Iraq, on the sanctions. There are news that Turkish Parliament is considering not to renew the term of Operation Provide Comfort in June if it is not allowed to flush the oil from Turkish-Iraqi pipeline. Would you comment on that? What would the U.S. do if that become an actuality? Are there any other operational bases considered for the Operation Provide Comfort?

MS. SHELLY: On that particular one, I have to refrain from answering what is at this point a hypothetical question. As to the intentions of the Parliament on that, I don't have any specific information on that, so I'm going to have to look into that.

Q Did you send any note or any written communication as State Department or Administration to Turkey on this matter?

MS. SHELLY: We have had discussions with Turkey on that. You asked me about this a couple of days ago at the press briefing, and I gave you the answer that we had at that point. My understanding is that the discussions with Turkey on this still are continuing, and that no decision has been reached yet.

I haven't seen anything indicating that there is a kind of linkage on the Operation Provide Comfort. It may be that there is some sentiment within the Parliament toward that end, but I will look into it and see if there is anything else we might want to say on that. But it's kind of speculative at this point, so we may not have something further at this point.

Q Can I take you back to Yemen? There was a report from the wires yesterday that President Clinton had sent a personal message urging reconciliation through the U.S. Ambassador. I wonder if you could comment on that, and also perhaps just tell us a little bit more about exactly what the U.S. is trying to do to mediate between the northern and southern leaderships.

MS. SHELLY: As to a Presidential message, I don't have any information on that. Normally on Presidential messages, that's the White House's jurisdiction and not mine. As to the kind of ideas that we have in mind, besides some of the general goals that I mentioned -- and there are a few more details of this in our statement on this that we'll release later in the day.

But the emphasis of what we would like to see happen is a focus on confidence-building measures that would specifically try to address some of the frictions which have emerged between the northern and southern parts of Yemen.

For example, among the ideas that we've been talking about is a separation of the northern and southern units; a halt to the media wars which we believe have only been inflaming both sides; a possible agreement to halt troop redeployments which have been going on; efforts at establishing better communication between northern and southern officers at military command centers; re-establishment of a credible and authoritative dialogue between north and south based on flexibility, open-mindedness, and a spirit of compromise; and actions by both the north and the south leading to a return of southern officials to Sanaa to participate in the operation of government.

So these measures or similar types of things that might serve to defuse some of the tensions which have emerged and which have broken out from time to time since the unification has taken place. We'd like to see activities of this kind that would then hopefully seek to defuse the tensions and threats and try to establish a measure of confidence and then build on it.

Q You said their ideas of mediation -- have they already been tabled by the Ambassador? Are they in discussion already?

MS. SHELLY: My understanding is that at least some of them have already been under discussion, and we are putting forward these as among the types of measures that could be included or could be considered in the efforts to defuse tensions and have as much of a reconciliation as possible.

As I mentioned, our Assistant Secretary is visiting there, and he will undoubtedly be discussing these ideas further.

Q Could you give us an update on Rwanda, if Shattuck and party arrived, and what's going on?

MS. SHELLY: First on the visit. The U.S. delegation, which includes Assistant Secretary of State for Humanitarian Affairs John Shattuck, the U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda David Rawson, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Refuge Programs Brunson McKinley -- they're currently enroute to the region, and they will arrive in Addis Ababa late today.

They are scheduled to meet with the OAU Secretary General Salim Salim tomorrow, May 5, in Addis before departing for Arusha, Tanzania. After Arusha, they will be meeting with key leaders in the region.

The delegation intends to consult with neighboring governments and with the OAU regarding ways to stop the massacres in Rwanda, to try and achieve a cease-fire and to secure a return to the negotiating table, to try to prevent a spread of the conflict, and to protect and assist refugees.

In Burundi, the delegation will express its appreciation to the Government of Burundi and its military for the support which was provided during the evacuation of expatriates from Rwanda which occurred just a few weeks back. Their support was very considerable.

The delegation's itinerary within Tanzania is still being developed, and at this point there is no plan for the party to travel to Rwanda.

I also have a little bit of additional information on the situation on the fighting and the peace talks and a little bit on the refugees.

As to the situation on the ground, sporadic and sometimes heavy fighting, I understand, continues in Kigali and other parts of Rwanda. We have the most disturbing recent reports which are press reports -- as you know, we don't have an Embassy there -- but press reports indicating that 21 children and 13 Red Cross workers were killed in the town of Butare.

Although we haven't been able to independently confirm this, the Rwandan interim government and the RPF have both sent representatives to the talks in Arusha. Our understanding is what's occurred so far is they've actually had proximity discussions, including yesterday, but direct talks between the two parties has not actually commenced.

We've also received reports that Secretary General Boutros Boutros- Ghali has asked the new U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights to travel to Rwanda in an effort to try to bring a stop to the massacres. We would certainly welcome this development.

We maintain our readiness to consider proposals from African countries to contribute to international peace efforts in Rwanda. There still are discussions about how a peace effort might unfold and what kind of form, in the size, cost or mission, such an effort would take. It's still unfolding.

We are considering the possibility of using U.N. forces to protect refugees along the Rwandan border, but there's nothing that's been decided on this.

As you know, since we don't have an Embassy there, we're forced to rely on other sources such as the United Nations and the international relief organizations, plus our Embassies in surrounding countries are also able to pick up some information on things which are happening there.

Just a bit more on refugees: According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, at least 250,000 Rwandans have crossed the border into Tanzania and, as I think you know, the majority crossed between April 28 and April 30. The UNHCR does not have reports of new arrivals from Rwanda at Ngara. There are other reports that a few people continue to cross into Tanzania, either by road at the Rusumo Bridge or at other points along the Kagera River.

Some 20,000 other refugees have arrived in Tanzania near the Uganda border, and at least 60,000 others have fled to Burundi, Uganda and Zaire.

Q Do you have anything on a CNN crew having an unpleasant time of it in Cuba recently?

MS. SHELLY: Don't have anything on that. I'll look into it.

Q There is some report -- this is about Russia and Bosnia -- there is a report in Moscow, quoting a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, who say that the United States and Russia have achieved for the first time a complete understanding on Bosnia-Herzegovina. Do you have anything on that?

MS. SHELLY: I think we would certainly consider that to be welcome news. As you know, we've been working with the Russians very closely in the Bosnia conflict, and in the context most recently of their participation in the Contact Group.

We are certainly very pleased with the way that Russian participation in this effort has gone. I think you're probably also aware that the Secretary had a bilateral meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev out in Cairo this morning. It wasn't a terribly long meeting, and the major part of the focus was on the Middle East issues, but there also was discussion of Bosnia and specifically about when there might be a ministerial meeting that would review the work that has been done on the cessation of hostilities and territorial issues by the Contact Group in this two to three-week period.

So our bilateral contacts with them continue, and certainly at the most senior levels of the U.S. Government, and we are working with them and through their participation in the Contact Group, and I think that we have been very pleased by the degree to which we've been able to work on this in tandem.

Q North Korea. Apparently the North Korean Government has told the IAEA inspectors to stick it in their ear in terms of being allowed to do more than watch the change of nuclear fuel. They have denied them permission to sample, or so reports go from North Korea. Does the U.S. have a reaction to this latest turn of events?

MS. SHELLY: Unfortunately, I'm going to have to take that question. As of earlier today or yesterday afternoon, I was aware that discussions between the IAEA and North Korea were still continuing about the modalities for inspections, both relating to the refueling as well as, as you know, the unresolved elements of the March inspections.

I was not of the impression that those had resulted in that kind of a conclusion. My latest understanding was that the talks were still continuing, but that they were moving toward a -- in the direction of a meeting of the minds. So you may have more recent information than I do. I'll have to check.

Q Do you have an update UNPROFOR casualties or incidents over the weekend recently in Bosnia?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have that information. I would have to refer you to the U.N. on that. I can't begin to track all of the different factual elements that are out there on this one, and on casualties I'll definitely have to refer you to the U.N.

Anything else?

Q Thank you.

MS. SHELLY: Thanks.

(The briefing concluded at 1:53 p.m.)


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