US DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING MAY 11, 1994 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Wednesday, May 11, 1994 Briefer: Michael McCurry HAITI Deputy Secretary to Speak at OAS Today .......... 1 Report US Troops To Purge Military is False ..... 1-2 Reported 'Election' of New President ............ 11 Boatpeople/Processing for Asylum ................ 11-12,14 FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Status of Diplomatic Negotiations with Parties .. 2-9 -- Contact Group Recommendations ............... 2-4 -- Discussions among Allies .................... 4,9 Foreign Ministers Meeting on Friday ............. 3-6 Military Activities at Brcko/UN Discussions ..... 4-5,9 Sanctions ....................................... 8 MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS US Expectations for Secretary's Next Visit to Region......................................... 9-10 Implementation of Declaration of Principles/ US Aid ........................................ 15-16 BRAZIL Presidential Candidate's Meeting at Department .. 10 ESTONIA Withdrawal of Russian Troops .................... 14
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 1994, 1:08 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon everybody. One housekeeping announcement before we go to your questions.
I think everyone knows that there is a special session of the Permanent Council of the OAS this afternoon at 3:00. Deputy Secretary Talbott will be making a presentation there on behalf of the United States. We are going to have copies of that available probably around the time that he speaks, if not shortly beforehand. So check in the Press Office for that. Of course, that is open for coverage so you might want to be over at the OAS as well. But either way, that will be available here.
Q Could you say why he's handling this instead of the Ambassador?
MR. McCURRY: He's been working very closely with Ambassador Babbitt. But, I think as you know, some of the meetings that have occurred between President Aristide and senior officials in the United States Government have included Deputy Secretary Talbott. He's been working very closely with both Assistant Secretary Watson and with Ambassador Babbitt to fashion some of the diplomatic effort that is now furthering the President's policy on Haiti.
Q Well, there is a proposal, I think, by the Uruguayans of a mission of Foreign Ministers to go to Haiti to talk to the military and to try to encourage them to step down. Do you know anything about that?
MR. McCURRY: I had heard of that. I assume that that will be one of the items that they discuss at the OAS today. I think our view is that the effect of the sanctions themselves and the policy that we are now pursuing will have the same desired result.
Q Also on Haiti. Have you seen the story in the L.A. Times about a plan or proposal to send 600 armed troops there?
MR. McCURRY: Did see it, yes.
Q And what did you think of it?
MR. McCURRY: Not much. They got it sort of wrong. I think as the Secretary told you just a short while ago, the presence that has always been envisioned as part of the Governor's Island process in Haiti is very clearly defined and was aimed at both professionalizing the police and military in Haiti and helping nurture the process of the transformation that occurs as democracy is restored and as President Aristide returns. I think that's the mission that's envisioned.
I frankly don't know where they got the idea that there are 600 forces going down there. I think they said to "purge the Haitian military." I'm not aware of any discussion of that nature of the United States Government. I think that's been made clear, by the way, by the White House today, the Pentagon, and I think you heard the Secretary on that earlier.
Q Could you ask about Geneva, if we're done with Haiti?
MR. McCURRY: Sure.
Q Please, could you capsule what the three warring parties -- if you want to call them that -- are telling the Contact Group now about their inclination to negotiate a settlement?
MR. McCURRY: The Contact Group has been working directly with the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian Government in looking at their dispute. The Croatian and Bosnian Government discussions have been occurring separately in Vienna. They've been making some progress on those.
I think when you all see Ambassador Redman in Geneva tomorrow and Friday, you might hear a little more about those discussions. I'll leave it to the Contact Group to report, first, to the Ministers when they meet on Friday. But I think you've seen some accounts of their (inaudible) that indicate that while there is a willingness to engage in some of the discussions about a cessation of hostilities and a movement towards peace discussions that might result to an end to this war, there's by no means at this point any agreement on how that could be configured.
I think that's something you can imagine that the Secretary is discussing with Foreign Minister Juppe now and something, certainly, that he will be discussing with his counterparts when they meet in Geneva on Friday.
Q You mean to say that both the Bosnian Government and the Serbs -- their positions can be described, as you've just described it, or would you like to separate it and give us separate descriptions of the Serb and the Bosnian Governments positions?
MR. McCURRY: I don't want to get into the details on the positions that the parties are taking, but they both have problems with the various proposals that currently exist: one, to cease hostilities. And they also have disagreements and different views on how you would achieve a political settlement.
Q Does the U.S. feel that it is time for even stronger pressure by all of the people in the -- all the countries represented in the Contact Group for an imposed settlement of some kind?
MR. McCURRY: I think the Secretary just answered that question, as you know. I think we believe it's time for a reinvigorated effort on behalf of the international community to bring the war to an end. That's been our view since we got more actively into the peace discussions the beginning of the year.
Q I don't think he did really answer that question. He left it rather vague as to whether or not the United States feels that at this point -- I mean, he did talk about a reinvigorated effort. But he really didn't speak to the question of whether there was some way in which the countries involved should impose a settlement on the parties and whether this is desirable.
MR. McCURRY: I think he pointed out some of the problems that exists with that; that the implementation becomes much more onerous if the parties are not freely agreed to a peace settlement that they themselves are then implementing in good faith. I think he made it clear that the participation of the international community in helping to implement that type of agreement becomes much more difficult.
In difference to his guest who apparently has put forth to some of you that idea, I think he wanted to hear Foreign Minister Juppe out. It's our view imposing a settlement on the party is not the best way to bring that conflict to a resolution.
Q Can I follow-up? Do you know what countries will be represented at the meeting?
MR. McCURRY: My understanding is that there will be Foreign Ministers participating from the Contact Groups. That would include the Russian Federation, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. There will also be Foreign Ministers representing the EU troika. There will also be representatives of the U.N. and the EU in the persons of Lord Owen and Mr. Stoltenberg.
Q Does the troika include -- is it the Greeks turn now to be in charge of the rotating Presidency?
MR. McCURRY: (Inaudible)
Q It seems to be a matter of pride with Athens to be included. I didn't know if you're including them.
MR. McCURRY: (Inaudible) Belgians and Germans; that's right.
Q So there is a Greek, or at least a representative of the trio; right?
MR. McCURRY: Oh, certainly. As a representative of the troika, yes.
Q Mike, the French Foreign Minister has also been quite forcefully stating, and did so again just a few moments ago, that France, and he believes the other members of UNPROFOR, are seriously contemplating pulling out -- I think in his phrase -- "in a matter of weeks." What does the United States think would be the consequences in Bosnia if, indeed, that were to take place?
MR. McCURRY: He didn't say that they were going to pull out in a matter of weeks. He said that they want to see forward motion on a peace settlement, but their continued presence in Bosnia becomes problematic if there's not a peace settlement that is being implemented by the parties.
It would be the desire of the world community to continue the work that UNPROFOR is doing in Bosnia because it has resulted, among other things, in a situation in which there's been an end to the slaughter of civilians in Sarajevo, among others; an end to the Serb aggression on Gorazde, and an impressive and vital humanitarian effort that has kept many alive, including over this most recent winter.
So the consequences of ending that type of effort for the citizens of Bosnia would add to the tragedy they've already experienced as a result of this conflict.
Q Mike, to more specifically the Brcko confrontation. CNN reported this morning that there had, indeed, been shelling on the town of Brcko by the Bosnians with casualties -- I think three killed and some number injured; ten shells. Before this erupts into war, or is it erupting into war, or before it erupts into war, what's our strategy, what's our move?
MR. McCURRY: That information does not square with what we have had reported to us by the United Nations. The United Nations, through UNPROFOR, reported that there were ten shells that impacted in the Bosnian Serb controlled area of town yesterday. I don't have anything that is newer than that.
U.N. sources do report that there are some civilians, members of a family that were killed, 14 injured, but the United Nations has not fixed responsibility for that attack.
It continues to report to us that at this point there is not any indication that either side is preparing a major offensive on Brcko; that there has been, as we've reported to you in the past here, some massing of troops in that region.
Q Have we got any explanation as to why Bosnians would attack Serbs in this situation?
MR. McCURRY: Of why Bosnian --
Q That was what was reported -- the Bosnian were shelling Serbs.
MR. McCURRY: Since the United Nations has not fixed responsibility for that attack, I don't want to assume that that's, in fact, what happened in this case.
Q Two new subjects: Middle East and --
MR. McCURRY: Anymore Bosnia? Go.
Q If we could just go back to Carol's question for a second, Mike, to try to understand this. I thought I understood the French Foreign Minister to say that what he would like to see come out of Geneva is a common position by the countries represented in the Contact Group on the terms of a settlement; not necessarily the imposition of such a settlement, but to come to a common view on what it would contain, what it would entail. Is that something that the United States could support as a goal at the Geneva Conference?
MR. McCURRY: We certainly support an effort to come up with a common view on how we proceed here. I think not one meeting of this nature is going to write a plan that settles this war. I certainly don't think it's the expectation of the United States that that is the likely result of this Ministerial meeting.
I think what more likely will occur is an agreement among those participating, what is the most effect way to press the parties to end their hostilities now in Bosnia and to move forward in some type of discussion that can lead to a peace settlement.
It's by no means clear at this point that the elements are there for something that could settle the war quickly, but that certainly is a goal that we have in mind. It's the purpose of our invigorated diplomacy, and it's certainly the reason, among others, that the Foreign Ministers are gathering. I just don't think it's going to be done in one meeting.
Q Can one assume that Secretary Christopher and other members of the U.S. Government are urging Juppe and urging the British, for example, to keep their troops there? Or is that a view that is not being expressed because we don't have troops on the ground and therefore cannot express that view?
MR. McCURRY: The discussion is focused, from our point of view, on what can we do to help the parties understand the importance of ending the conflict and moving into a peace discussion. I don't think it's the place of the United States to offer advice to those troop-contributing countries on how they ought to deploy their forces or how they ought to participate.
I think every country has obligations under the U.N. Security Council resolutions in effect, and they meet those obligations in different ways as you're aware that we do.
Q Is the United States at this point prepared to increase its pressure on the Bosnian Muslims to agree to a peace agreement?
MR. McCURRY: I think we're prepared to continue to tell the Bosnian Government, as we've been telling them for some time, that now is the time to end the war; that there is no further merit to trying to settle on the battlefield what has to be negotiated at this point at the negotiating table.
I think you've heard the Secretary say often. You just heard Foreign Minister Juppe make the exact same point. I think there's a common view among those participating in the international community that it's time to bring this war to a conclusion.
Q Does the Bosnian Government want the war to continue? This phrase, this catch-all, "Now is the time to end the war," is like Santa Claus comes on Christmas. It's sort of a catch-all.
The Bosnian Government doesn't want to end the war, having lost three-quarters of the country. Do you want them to end the war and accept -- what? -- partition of the country? That's not your position, is it?
MR. McCURRY: We want them to end the war and begin implementing a peace that can both stop the killing that has gone on there and raise the prospect that there can be some reconstruction that can return Bosnia to a state in which people can live a peaceful life.
Q But do you want them to end the war on honorable terms, or do you want them to just end the war?
MR. McCURRY: We want them to, as we've said all along, end the war on terms that they can reach in good faith with their adversary that they can begin to implement so it will be a lasting peace.
Q Telling them it's time to end the war, what concrete measures or proposals do you have for bringing pressure?
MR. McCURRY: Several that I will decline to discuss.
Q Mike, could you shed just some light on some of the reporting that's been done in the last day or two regarding differences between the United States and the Europeans? One, that the United States doesn't want to force the Bosnian Muslims to accept a cessation of hostilities agreement without a date attached to it that it would end if there wasn't a political settlement. And the other issues, there supposedly --
MR. McCURRY: One at a time. On that one, we think it's reasonable for the Bosnian Government to hold the view that a cessation of hostilities agreement that doesn't sunset, or doesn't expire at some point might run the risk of freezing in place current lines of confrontation, which then makes a peace settlement much more difficult to achieve. We feel that's a reasonable point of view.
Q And the other differences evidently related to the timing of the lifting of sanctions on Serbia, there evidently is a major dispute over that as well. Is there, indeed?
MR. McCURRY: If anything, the view of the United States is that, in light of the events around Gorazde, there is a strong argument to be made for increasing the pressure of sanctions either by increasing the scope of sanctions or, if not that, at least the enforcement of sanctions. That's more clearly our view. Our view on lifting sanctions is that is very directly related to an agreement between the parties to end the war and to begin bringing about peace.
Q Mike, on the French threat -- and it is a threat - - to remove their peacekeepers, what is the U.S. assessment of what would happen if the French were to pull out?
MR. McCURRY: I think I answered that earlier. There's significant achievements that UNPROFOR has made on the ground. There are some risks once you end that mission there.
Q I know you don't want to give them advice, you said. For instance, we led the pullout in Somalia, and you know what happened subsequently. Others followed. Could this pullout be overcome by other countries contributing, or do you think it will set off a chain reaction?
MR. McCURRY: By asking a question about a pullout, I think you're taking great liberties with what Foreign Minister Juppe just --
Q He said he wouldn't be there next winter and they might leave in weeks, or certainly months.
MR. McCURRY: Provided that there was -- assuming there was not a political settlement or some type of settlement of the war itself.
MR. McCURRY: That's what we're talking about, a process underway in Geneva in a matter of days designed to avoid that. So let's not get too far and speculate about something that hopefully will not even happen.
Q Mike, where does the United States stand now in terms of recognizing Macedonia? And is that going to be discussed tomorrow?
MR. McCURRY: No change from the view that we stated previously on that. I'm not aware that that's coming up tomorrow.
Q Can I just ask one more on that?
MR. McCURRY: One more, Timmy.
Q What concrete steps are we taking with regard to fighting or possible fighting around Brcko other than urging restraint? In particular, is there anything in the works at the U.N. that the U.S. supports?
MR. McCURRY: There are discussions underway at the U.N. I don't know how much I can get into that other than to say there is an effort to address that through the Security Council. That will continue in the days ahead.
Q The French are circulating a resolution to threaten air strikes, if there's --
MR. McCURRY: I think we have had good and on-going discussions with other members of the Security Council on that question. We have some views of our own on that.
Q Any timeframe on when --
MR. McCURRY: I'm not certain what the timeframe is. It might become an element of some of the discussions in Geneva. So my guess is that that will be rolled into some of what comes out of Geneva.
Q There are some reports that Washington is regarding the Israeli peace package with Syria as a non- starter. Could you say a few words about the level of expectation of the Secretary at this time? And also a few words about the shopping list of the Egyptian Minister of Defense who, I understand, is in town? And is that shopping list within the frame of foreign aid or beyond --
MR. McCURRY: Let me separate the two. On the question of the visit of Egyptian Defense officials, I was not aware of that. I would have to check into that. I don't know anything about that visit.
On the first question, the Secretary's expectations as he begins another round of discussions in the region with the parties, certainly related to the Syrian-Israeli track, in particular, I would not characterize it any differently than he did, when he said at the conclusion of his last trip that he would likely return in mid-May. He said, this will be a very long, arduous process of which there can be no expectation on this coming visit other than it's important to continue some of the exchanges that the parties have now been making through Secretary Christopher as an intermediary.
They have entered what is clearly a new phrase in the type of discussion they're having on questions related to the nature of the peace and the nature -- the withdrawal of the security arrangements between Israel and Syria, and it's important to keep that process moving forward by having some discussions that the Secretary can help facilitate.
Beyond that, I certainly don't think it's the Secretary's expectation that there will be any major breakthrough on this particular trip. There probably won't be any major breakthrough for any trip for some time to come, but the one certainty is that there will be a lot of trips.
Q A leading Brazilian candidate for the presidency is visiting town and has criticized the U.S. embargo against Cuba. He had previously indicated that if elected, which is very likely, and invited, he would not come to the summit of the Americas if Castro is excluded.
He met, I think, this morning with Ambassador Watson. Would you have a reaction on this statement, a readout on the meeting, what they discussed?
MR. McCURRY: I don't know whether that aspect came up. The only thing that I am told is that they were meeting -- you're correct -- with Assistant Secretary Watson. They were discussing a range of things related to Brazil's political process; reviewing the current status of our bilateral relations. They were discussing economic reform, open trade, investment, and ways to stimulate economic growth to generate resources that can help solve social problems that do exist in Brazil.
They discussed the importance of the summit of the Americans in Miami and the importance of taking that historic opportunity to build on some of the opportunities that exist within the hemisphere to advance market economics and democracy broadly.
But as to whether they addressed the specific question of participation by the Cuban Government, I'll have to check and see. I don't think they did, as far as I know, but I will check.
Q Can I ask a follow-up on Haiti?
MR. McCURRY: A follow-up on Haiti.
Q The Secretary had a preliminary response to the "election" in Haiti of a new president to replace President Aristide. Do you have anything beyond what the Secretary said?
MR. McCURRY: I don't, and help me, George. There's been discussion that that might occur. The putative, bogus leader of the bogus senate indicated they might invoke Article 149 and proceed on that path, but I am not aware at this point if they've actually attempted to formally install or inaugurate someone as of a half an hour ago.
I'm not sure that they have. I think our view of that is it is just -- it is purely illegitimate to begin with and doesn't affect one way or another the determination of the United States, acting in concert with others in the world community, to bring pressure to bear on the military which is complicit in everything having to do with these leadership questions in Haiti, including this, including perhaps a bogus effort to invoke the constitutional provision to declare the presidency empty.
It is still the purpose of the sanctions regime under discussion to bring pressure on exactly those military authorities to meet their commitments and obligations.
Q Also on Haiti. Is there a clearer policy today than there was yesterday on what it is that's going to happen aboard the ships when the people get interdicted? Will they be totally screened and processed on the ship? Is that question still open? Where do you stand on that?
MR. McCURRY: I am told that question is still open. In fact, I probably inadvertently led folks in the wrong direction yesterday by suggesting that it would be an INS- related issue. That's not entirely clear. I am told that there is still a discussion of whether or not folks who were interdicted and then processed on board a ship, if that's in fact the way they do the processing, whether they should be processed as refugees, or whether they would enter into a different process that would be largely under INS jurisdiction.
That is, among other questions, things that they work out as they figure out exactly how they will move and then enforce the tighter sanctions package. There is not, as of today, any indication that there's an urgent need to resolve those questions because of an impending exodus by boat. We have not seen indications of that at this point, but there is a very strong desire on our part to settle some of those questions and then figure out exactly how they carry forward on the policy.
The President -- very clearly what we're doing -- the President articulated an outline of a new U.S. approach on these questions when he spoke on Sunday, and we are now in the process of really figuring out how we effectively execute those policies as defined by the President.
Q But until the details are worked out, the impact of this can have widely different impacts. I mean, it could come down many different ways, depending on how you decide to actually execute the details of this.
MR. McCURRY: The broad parameters, I think, are pretty clear, and the consequences remain the same. There's no change in our view that the best way -- and will continue to be the best way -- for people to face these questions and to assert their own right to make an application for refugee status or for immigration status will be through the in- country processing centers that do exist.
But the other questions arise if there is a continued effort by people to immigrate illegally, which, of course, we would strongly hope there would not be.
Joe and then in the back.
Q There is so much that is confusing about what's happening in the territories -- the Jericho area, the Gaza area. I just wonder as to whether or not we could come back to basics so at least we have that sort of firmly understood.
And there are several questions, one on the settlements. Is it the United States position that the settlements are an obstacle to peace, illegal, not legal? What is it actually at this point?
MR. McCURRY: No change in the view that we've expressed in the past.
Q What is it? Is it -- use a word.
MR. McCURRY: We've said in the past that they are obstacles to peace.
Q So they're not illegal or not legal. They're obstacles to peace. Okay. On 242, do we go back to the Rogers principle --
MR. McCURRY: I know I'm going to hate this conversation. Why are we going to do -- do we really want to do this? (Laughter)
Q Well, I mean, look, I look at the --
MR. McCURRY: Let me change that. Do I really want to do this?
Q Mike, Mike. Look, I looked at the paper this morning --
MR. McCURRY: Do you really want to do this?
Q What do I find? I find Jerusalem, a dot split in half; West Bank, Israel; another map shows a five-pointed star for Jerusalem in the West Bank. All these things you know, are of significance when somebody looks at this and they argue about it.
MR. McCURRY: Joe, the times are a-changing, aren't they?
Q Yes, the times always change. But tell me, what is the position of 242? I see some of the people are leaving.
MR. McCURRY: I think you drove them out of the room. (Laughter)
Q Well, what about 242?
MR. McCURRY: One thing that you know for certainty from this podium, there's never any change in our policy on anything, right? So I think we will assume that with questions related to the Middle East, you've heard the principal officers of our government address those questions, including in testimony before Congress recently on many of those same questions. I don't have anything to add that would reflect any different view of the U.S. Government's role and position on those questions.
It is a time, however, in which there is change and we believe positive change occurring within the territories, and I think we should take note of that.
Q On May 4, Mr. Al-Tikriti, Iraq's Ambassador to Ankara, Turkey, has told Turkish officials that they had better start working for an independent Kurdish state in Iraq, and he also claimed that this was a British project, and the United States gives full support to the idea. Is there such a deal going on? Could you comment?
MR. McCURRY: I'd have to look into those comments. I'm not aware of those. I'll see if I can find out on that. That doesn't sound, on the face of it, like an accurate description of our view of the issue, but I'll look into it further.
Q Back to Haiti for just a moment, about the intent of the policy, the new policy. I take it the intent is to keep the Haitians in Haiti, keep them off their boats, and keep them out of harm's way in the maritime environment, and keep them out of Florida. Can you tell me -- you said something, Mike, about there are no indications at the moment that they're preparing to take to their boats, is that correct?
MR. McCURRY: First of all, the goals of the policy, I think, were eloquently described by the President. I don't have anything to add beyond his own description of that. There are no indications that we have, of an imminent mass exodus by boat, but it's something that we do monitor, and it's obviously something we very strongly discourage, because there can be no certainty about that process other than that those who take their lives risk that voyage by sea, put themselves in great mortal danger.
Q Do you have any quick reaction on the formation of the new Italian Government which now includes some neo- fascists?
MR. McCURRY: I don't have any, no. I mean, I've seen different assessments of the composition of the government and which factions have stronger weight within the new Berlusconi Government, but I don't have an assessment that I've got quickly available. I'll see if we can work something up on it.
Q A question on the Baltics. The talks between Estonia and Russia are at an impasse on the withdrawal of troops, and the Russian Defense Minister Grachev has said that Russia will not withdraw by August 31, which was the agreed date. Do you have a reaction to that?
MR. McCURRY: We continue to feel that they ought to meet that deadline that they, themselves, have spoken of publicly, at the end of August for withdrawal, but I don't have anything formally prepared on that. We have been watching the progress of those discussions, and I'll see if I can get something maybe for tomorrow that's a little more detailed in addressing that.
Q There are reports of a boat containing some fishermen off of south Florida that have been picked up by the Cuban Government. Do you have anything at all on that?
MR. McCURRY: No. I had one very sketchy account of an interdiction. I thought it may have involved some Haitian citizens.
Q Off Cuba.
MR. McCURRY: No, it was a different account. It's not the same account. The answer is no, I don't have anything on that. I'll check and see if we can look into it.
Q Can you tell us what you do have on a Haitian boat?
MR. McCURRY: George, I knew you were going to ask me that the minute I mentioned it. It's on one of these here papers.
Q Great. We have things coming.
MR. McCURRY: I'll tell you, we'll find it. It was changing anyhow, because it was a very sketchy report they had. I'll see if we can get something and post it as we have more information available.
Q Was it a boat that's been picked up?
MR. McCURRY: This is a small craft that may have had four Haitians on board. That was the discussion earlier. It was apparently a pleasure boat, but I don't have the full workup on it.
Q There's a point that the U.S. money going to the Palestinians hasn't gotten there and they're complaining, so on and so forth. Have you got something on that?
MR. McCURRY: I think Assistant Secretary Pelletreau may have addressed that earlier today. There's a commitment dating back to the October 1993 conference to support Middle East peace here at the Department, you're aware of, that the United States would make available over five years $500 million to help the transformation occur.
The problem up until last week has been that that money was conditional on an agreement between the parties to actually begin implementing the Declaration. The parties are now in the process of doing that. Secretary Christopher informed Chairman Arafat in Cairo at the time of the signing ceremony that the first $5 million out of that available U.S. aid would be available very shortly to help defray some of the costs associated with the transformation taking place.
It would be our expectation as the Palestinian authority constructs the types of structures that can effectively spend this money, that the aid that we have committed will begin to flow and we hope flow effectively to those who are changing the lives of Palestinians in the territories.
Q Are we going to maintain the force of nine or ten or 11 nations, whatever it happens to be now, on the Sinai border, or are we going to forget it about it? I haven't seen anything in the budget about that.
MR. McCURRY: I'm not aware of any change in that, but I can check on that.
Q After the (inaudible) constitutional calls of Colombia of (inaudible) use of drugs, what's going to happen with the cooperation between the two countries? What's going to happen with the chain of (inaudible) between the two countries?
MR. McCURRY: You know, we addressed that fairly recently here. I don't know that there's anything newer than what we said. We've raised some questions about our cooperation, our ability to cooperate. But let me check on that and see if there's anything newer than what we said the last time we addressed it.
Q Different subject. Do you think that the legalization of these so-called personal doses of drugs in Colombia -- do you feel that that is a result of pressure from the drug-traffickers? And, if so, do you think that President Gaviria will be able to do anything, and will the U.S. try to put pressure on him or the court?
MR. McCURRY: I don't know that -- Christine, did you do that? You addressed that last --
MS. SHELLY: (Inaudible)
MR. McCURRY: Yes. We had some material. I don't have anything prepared, and we had a prepared statement on that that I'd like to go back and check. But you may want to check with our Press Office here, because they did prepare to address that question, I think, last week when some of those things were in the news. Someone will be happy to get that for you.
Q How are the discussions going with Turkish officials, considering the flushing of the Iraqi oil in the Turkish pipeline?
MR. McCURRY: The pipeline?
Q Is it true that the U.S. now offered Turkey to do it for them?
MR. McCURRY: I'd have to check into that. I know that there have been discussions on that issue. I just don't know what the latest discussions with the Government of Turkey have been on that.
Q Thank you.
Q Any comment about the election in Panama? Are you satisfied with the new president?
MR. McCURRY: I think we had something on that yesterday, too.
Q Has this government been able to determine whether any of the acts committed in Rwanda since April 6 constitute genocide?
MR. McCURRY: I don't know that they've made any legal determination on that.
(The briefing concluded at 1:42 p.m.)
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