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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
Taken Questions for June 8, 1994

1. HAITI-MIGRANTS: LEGAL REPRESENTATION Q. Where those Haitian migrants, previously processed at Guantanamo, allowed access to legal representation before being processed?

A. AS A RESULT OF LITIGATION BROUGHT BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE HAITIAN MIGRANTS, THE UNITED STATES WAS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO LEGAL COUNSEL FOR SOME OF THE HAITIAN MIGRANTS AT GUANTANAMO WHO WERE BEING SCREENED TO DETERMINED IF THEY SHOULD BE PAROLED INTO THE UNITED STATES IN ORDER TO PURSUE THEIR ASYLUM CLAIMS UNDER ASYLUM PROCEDURES.

--THE SITUATION AT GUANTANAMO WAS AN UNUSUAL SITUATION. ASYLUM PROCESSING CUSTOMARILY IS CONDUCTED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.

--HAITIAN MIGRANTS WHO WILL BE PROCESSED AT THE PROCESSING CENTER BEING ESTABLISHED ON A SHIP IN JAMAICAN WATERS WILL BE PROCESSED FOR ADMISSIONS TO THE UNITED STATES AS REFUGEES, UTILIZING THE SAME STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES THAT THE UNITED STATES USES FOR PROCESSING REFUGEES AROUND THE WORLD.

--IT IS NOT CUSTOMARY FOR LAWYERS TO PARTICIPATE IN REFUGEE PROCESSING. THIS IS NOT AN ADVERSARIAL PROCESS.

2. COLOMBIA-DISASTER RELIEF Q: Has the U.S. provided any disaster aid to Colombia following the June 7 earthquake/avalanche that may have killed around 100 people?

A: THE U.S. EMBASSY IN BOGOTA HAS BEEN IN TOUCH WITH THE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT TO OFFER OUR CONDOLENCES AND TO EXPRESS OUR WILLINGNESS TO BE OF ASSISTANCE. THUS FAR THE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT HAS NOT REQUESTED ANY ASSISTANCE FROM THE USG.

3. CYPRUS-UN SECRETARY-GENERAL'S REPORT Q: Do you have any comment on the UN's recent report on Cyprus?

A: WE ARE PRESENTLY STUDYING THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL'S REPORT ON CYPRUS, WHICH WAS RELEASED ON MAY 30. WE PLAN TO DISCUSS THE CONTENTS OF THE REPORT WITH THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL. WE HAVE NO COMMENT ON THE REPORT AT THIS TIME.

4. ROMANIA-SANCTIONS ENFORCEMENT Q: Is the U.S. Government satisfied with Romania's enforcement of sanctions against Serbia-Montenegro?

A: WE CONSIDER ROMANIA'S RECORD ON SANCTIONS ENFORCEMENT TO BE GOOD. WHILE WE RECEIVE SOME PRESS REPORTS OF SMALL-SCALE CONSUMER GOODS SMUGGLING, IT DOES NOT OCCUR ON A SIGNIFICANT SCALE.

--OVERALL, THE ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT'S COLLABORATION WITH THE U.S.G. ON SANCTIONS ENFORCEMENT IS EXCELLENT: THE MULTINATIONAL SANCTIONS ASSISTANCE MISSION (SAM) BASED IN ROMANIA IS RUN BY A U.S. CUSTOMS OFFICER, WHO WORKS CLOSELY WITH ROMANIAN AUTHORITIES.

5. IRAQ-STATUS OF CLAIMS AGAINST IRAQ Q: What is the status of claims against Iraq arising from its invasion of Kuwait?

A: THE UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION GOVERNING COUNCIL HAS APPROVED THE FIRST SET OF AWARDS FOR INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS FOR SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH (CATEGORY B) AS A RESULT OF THE IRAQI INVASION AND OCCUPATION OF KUWAIT. THE COUNCIL ACCEPTED THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF A PANEL OF THREE COMMISSIONERS WHICH REVIEWED THE CLAIMS. THE COUNCIL APPROVED AWARDS FOR 670 CLAIMS AND DISAPPROVED 307 CLAIMS. THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE AWARDS WAS ABOUT $2.7 MILLION.

THE COUNCIL APPROVED AWARDS FOR 11 U.S. CLAIMANTS, AND DISAPPROVED ONE CLAIM. THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF AWARDS TO U.S. CLAIMANTS IS ABOUT $35,000. OTHER U.S. CLAIMS IN CATEGORY B WILL BE DECIDED LATER.

THE COMMISSION IS PROCEEDING WITH ITS WORK ON CATEGORY B CLAIMS AND WILL TURN TO OTHER TYPES OF INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS OVER THE COMING MONTHS.

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