Return to: Index of 1994 Daily Briefings || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

JUNE 27, 1994
                    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                      DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
                           I N D E X
                    Monday, June 27, 1994
                                  Briefer:  Michael McCurry
   Third Round of Talks on Nuclear Issue.............1
   Status of Korean Nuclear Facility ................3
   U.S. Reaction to Summary of Israeli Report on
     Hebron Massacre ................................3-6
   Implementation of Declaration of Principles ......5
   Proposed AID Mission .............................5,10
   Processing of Boat People/Refugees ...............6-8
   --Approvals/Denials/Pending Status ...............7
   Humanitarian Relief ..............................8-9
   Status of Air Flights ............................10
   Contact Group Meeting/Work........................11-12
   Update on Fighting ...............................11-12
   Allegations of Iranian Arms Transfers to Region ..12-13
   Situation in Mogadishu--Inter-Clan Fighting.......14
   --Some U.S. Liaison Office Staff Moved to Nairobi14-16
   Status of Framework Discussions ..................17


DPC #99


MR. McCURRY: Let's start. I'm ready. Are you ready? Go. Do it.

Q Did you see Aristide's comment in which he said he could never, ever endorse the notion of a U.S. --

MR. McCURRY: I think he said, never, never, never. Maybe it was never, never, ever.

Q Presumably, you have some guidance on that?

MR. McCURRY: I don't have some guidance on that. I will tell you that has been his position for some time.

Q He's been a lot more ambiguous about it; that's not his position for some time.

MR. McCURRY: I'll get more on that. If you're not satisfied with that answer, I'll do better.

I think you all know that we did confirm today a report from North Korea that the third round of talks on the nuclear issue in Geneva will begin July 8. And our delegation, as you would expect, will be headed by Assistant Secretary Gallucci and Vice Foreign Minister Kang Suk-Ju will head the North Korean delegation.

You're looking at me as if I'm going to say more than that. I will, if begged to do so.

Q There was a report in a South Korean newspaper that we will offer, after other things are worked out, to have a Liaison Office in North Korea.

MR. McCURRY: Where do they get that stuff? It's hard to know where that comes from. We would certainly hope that relations with North Korea would improve in the future, and that in the context of our dialogue, a broad and thorough dialogue, that issues like the status of our diplomatic relations could be addressed. But I'm not aware that there is any formal plan at this point that will be pursued in the third round. Indeed, there will be discussions over the coming week about the U.S. presentation at the third round.

I expect there will be continuing consultations with other governments about that presentation as well. We will have a much better idea as we get closer to July 8 of the presentation that the United States will make. But it will, as the President has indicated, include economic, security, and political considerations.

Q Can you say anything more about this process that you're going through now to sort of get ready for these talks? Are you expecting to sit down that first day and lay out a whole sort of panoply of ideas and proposals?

MR. McCURRY: If I'm not mistaken, I believe that they have agreed that the DPRK will host on the first day, the United States will host on the second day, they will take a break, they'll reconvene at some point the following week to review some of the initial presentations. But this initial exchange, or this initial session itself, will probably last about a week.

How it will unfold from there, what happens subsequent to that initial exchange is something we just can't speculate on at this point.


Q How long is the United States willing engage in these talks?

MR. McCURRY: We haven't set any time limit on it. But I'd say we are willing to engage in this broad and thorough dialogue so long as we believe that it's productive. And by "productive," it would be aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear issue and addressing the other issues that we've identified should be the focus of a broad and thorough dialogue.


Q Are the two inspectors still in Pyongyang?

MR. McCURRY: I believe they are. I would direct you to the IAEA, but I believe they had planned to rotate some people in and out and have not encountered difficulties in doing so, but I'd ask that you check with them on it.

Q And as near as you know everything is still in order; they're not doing anything to breach the commitments they've given you?

MR. McCURRY: That's correct. We have not received any information that indicates any change in the status of the facility.

Q The Administration has had months and months to sort of think about its approach to North Korea, going back to the November meeting when Kim Young Sam was here. Are you saying that after all this time nothing is decided in terms of how we approach them or what we'll offer them as part of a package deal?

MR. McCURRY: No. Warren, there has been a lot of discussion. The environment for the discussions within the United States Government has changed because of changes in the attitude expressed by the DPRK. But at the conclusion of the second round last year, there was an understanding of those elements that would be included in a broad and thorough dialogue. Those elements remain. But preparing that presentation and thinking through the presentation itself is something that senior policymakers in the government will be working on in the course of the coming days.

Q Is the Korean nuclear program frozen in place? Is there conformity to the three requirements that we agreed upon?

MR. McCURRY: Based on our understanding at this moment, yes, the major elements of the program are frozen as we so clarified in the exchange of letters with the DPRK.

Q Can we go to the Middle East?

Q Do you have any comment on the Israeli Commission, Judge Shamgar's report on the Hebron massacre of February 25?

MR. McCURRY: We've seen a summary of that report in the press. We don't have any judgments about the specific findings. We do know that the report recognizes that the authorities should do everything they can to prevent such horrendous acts from occurring in the future and it makes specific recommendations to that effect. Those recommendations clearly merit full consideration.

Q You talk about one point in the 338- page report by the Commission about specific recommendations, or something, and nothing about all the rest of it.

The question is, as has been asked, does the State Department now believe that one deranged person committed this crime in the mosque on February 25? Not the settlers, in general, not the State of Israel, and certainly not world Jewry. So why doesn't the State Department come out and say, "In the press we've seen this, and we agree with that"?

MR. McCURRY: Joe, I can't offer you any judgments about the specifics in the report because we didn't go and independently assess those facts. Certainly, there's nothing that we are aware of that would dispute the essential findings, but it's not our place to render a judgment on a report that has been conducted by the Government of Israel.

Q Prime Minister Rabin said that he will not be surprised if there will be a similar massacre like the one perpetrated the 25th of February. What do you make of such statement? Is this a nefarious situation there or what?

MR. McCURRY: I think that is a sober assessment by the Prime Minister, that enemies of peace on both sides continue to do what they can to destroy the peace process itself.

Q Mike, this is an argument that's been advanced after the first week of the killings in the mosque. The Arabs have been making this as a crime against humanity by the State of Israel, that the government was aware of it, and so on and so forth, to establish a point that somewhere in the history of the relationship between Arabs and Israelis, this will be a key point: you kill our people, the whole state of Israel is responsible. This is the point that's being made now in the question.

The point is that one man is responsible, according to the evidence, and the State Department is waffling.

MR. McCURRY: I didn't waffle. I think I was very declarative in answering the question.


Q Wait. You were very declarative in answering the question. I'm not finding fault with you, Mike, you know that, but with the policy that is made upstairs. When will the State Department come out with a definitive response to this report that one man did this job and nobody else was involved, and what Rabin might say today or might say tomorrow, or whatever, is not consequential to the act that had been perpetrated on February 25?

MR. McCURRY: I have given you a reaction from the Department, from the U.S Government based on the summary of the report that we have seen. I will see if we have access to the complete report. I will certainly determine whether or not there is any further comment that the Department, or the U.S. Government wishes to make on the report.


Q As far as the State Department is concerned, is the matter now closed?

MR. McCURRY: The matter is not closed because violence continues in the territories. The declaration is being implemented, and I don't think we should overlook the fact that progress is being made to address the fundamental core issues that lie behind the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. There have been improvements made as a result of implementing the declaration.

So, in that sense, the matter is not closed because the work to reconcile these parties so that they can live together continues.

Q Do you think that there will be, or possibly needed, a new mission for the international observers in Hebron who are looking at the violations, or something like that, and report to the United Nations due to the fact that there is a precarious situation and the Prime Minister is warning -- the area, the territory is not clear as a result of this report and these results? Do you think any mission that should be given to the --

MR. McCURRY: I would have to give you an authoritative assessment. I would want to go and check and see the current status of that international mission, what the observers themselves report currently, and take a look at the question. But I'm willing to do so if you want to pose it later on in the week. I'll see if we can get something better for you.

Q The United Nations Security Council had a resolution on this act which made it appear as if the whole state of Israel was involved, and the United States supported that resolution.

MR. McCURRY: Is it a resolution or a President's statement?

Q Well, a Presidential statement, but it came out --

MR. McCURRY: There is a difference.

Q -- but as far as the world is aware, it's a United Nations resolution.

The question that I have now is whether the State Department will pursue this action, this Commission report, and bring about a resolution in the United Nations that will vindicate the Commission's statements that were made yesterday and clarify this matter for all time, that it was the act of one man and nobody else?

MR. McCURRY: Joe, that falls in the same province as the question I answered just a little while ago.


Q Do you have any rundown on Haitian refugees, updating your list on Friday? I understand there were almost 800 people picked up in the last three days.

MR. McCURRY: Let's do the numbers. Get your calculators ready.

Since we last reported on Friday, over the weekend there have been 785 Haitians picked up from about 25 boats. I can break those down by days if there is interest in that. We've got that, if someone wants that, you can check in later. That would bring the total number up now since the Comfort began its operations to 1,148. We've got some breakdowns on what -- the various status, of people who are being processed on board the Comfort.

I'd say the most interesting thing is, it does appear that smaller boats with fewer numbers of individuals seem to be departing, indicating that many of them don't expect to make the journey all the way to Florida, if that is indeed their destination.

In other respects, the processing aboard the Comfort itself is reported to be going smoothly. They rotate people in and out, and they've got people at various stages of either being approved for refugee status, in which case they transshipped to Guantanamo for a formal screening at the INS level, or they are repatriated if they are found not to have a well- founded fear of persecution.

Q All of these people were taken to the Comfort?

MR. McCURRY: They are in various stages of being taken to the Comfort. It probably changes as they go along. I believe some are -- it looks like most of them are going to the Comfort, but not all of them have arrived there yet. I think they pick them up and then they're held aboard the cutters that pick them up and are moved in stages to the Comfort so the Comfort can accommodate people as they come in. They don't bring everybody all at once, necessarily.


Q So, Mike, it would appear that your message of Friday about having a better chance in-country is falling on deaf ears? It would appear that waves of Haitians are now leaving bound just for the Comfort; would you agree with that?

MR. McCURRY: I didn't say "waves," Sid. I said 785 Haitians left in 25 boats. You can characterize it however you see fit. If you want to write the story again that we continue to urge Haitians to consider the in-country processing, in which they are going to be much safer, please write that story again. That would be --

Q (Inaudible).

MR. McCURRY: Say again?

Q Is that baby born aboard the ship a citizen of the United States?

MR. McCURRY: I don't know the answer to that. I didn't realize there was a baby born. I can check on that.

Q Do you have an update on how many people have been granted temporary political asylum?

MR. McCURRY: Coming off of that process?

Q Yes.

MR. McCURRY: Of the 1,148 interdicted, this would be since June 15, 477 have completed processing; 130 of those 477 have been approved for refugee status; 347 have been denied. The remainder, obviously, pending.

Q Mike, about the question of AID establishing an office in east Jerusalem --

MR. McCURRY: Sid has another one.

Q I just wanted to get an answer. It appears that more Haitians are leaving bound for the Comfort; not for Florida, as you say. Aren't you concerned that's --

MR. McCURRY: It's hard to know without knowing individual case by case, it's hard to know the destination. The seaworthiness of the vessels leaving would indicate they don't expect to journey all the way to Florida.

Q Doesn't that concern the State Department?

MR. McCURRY: It certainly does. As we have said regularly and regularly, they put themselves at great risk by attempting to make that voyage or any voyage, sometimes in dilapidated craft that could very well run into trouble if they get lost or if they encounter bad weather. Again, we say that we are satisfied that we've got a process in place in- country that could help them determine the same things they would determine aboard the Comfort: Is there a well-founded fear of persecution that leads to an approval of refugee status?

Q What's the impetus for this recent increase? Is it the sanctions, the siege mentality?

MR. McCURRY: That's exactly what our experts look at, as they determine, case by case, with each individual, whether or not it's an economic motivation, whether or not there is, in fact, a fear of persecution; what exactly is the motive of the person leaving? That's not a question you can answer in the general because we have a process that we've developed with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees that looks specifically case-by-case at how an individual is attempting to leave or why an individual is attempting to leave.

Q I meant, what is triggering this current exodus?

MR. McCURRY: What's triggering it is, in some respect, poor conditions on Haiti. That could be defined to include poor economic conditions, in some cases, but also human rights abuses of which we've spoken here often.


Q Is Radio Democracy going to start broadcasting soon?

MR. McCURRY: I have nothing new on that. The same answer as last week so far. We'll keep looking at it this week to see if there's anything new.

Q The Minister of Economics in the Palestine national authority --

MR. McCURRY: Let's do some more on Haiti before we switch subjects.

Q So apparently there's a number of new reports out that a lot of food aid has been diverted at different points along the way in Haiti. Do you have any response? Is the State Department resigned to this leakage, or are we taking fundamental new steps to change the situation?

MR. McCURRY: I don't have anything. We asked to see if we could get some, based on that report we saw earlier. We've got some folks looking at that. I'll see if I can get at that question tomorrow when they've got a more definitive answer.

I would say that we have seen this in many places in the world where we provide humanitarian relief. We certainly see this in the former Yugoslavia. We've seen it elsewhere in Africa where there are relief programs. There is sometimes leakage from the pipeline of delivery. But the extent to which that's a problem in Haiti, we just don't have a good assessment at this point. We will look at it, though.


Q There were reports over the weekend that the Administration was going to lift -- pull the visas -- correct me if I'm wrong -- all Haitians, or virtually all Haitians. Is that under consideration?

MR. McCURRY: I believe you are correct, that that was the report that I saw in the newspaper -- that they were going to lift the visas of all Haitians.

Q (Inaudible) the policy?

MR. McCURRY: It might wind up being true.

Q If it is true, wouldn't be largely symbolic since there's no way to leave Haiti these days except on unseaworthy boats?

MR. McCURRY: It's not entirely true. If you want to go Air France, you can get out. I don't know how you go from there to here. It would have some consequence. It would represent yet another way by which those responsible for the abrogation of the Governor's Island agreement feel the pressure and feel the responsibility they must take for an end to that process which would bring about the transformation of Haiti, the return of democracy, and the return of President Aristide.

Q So these are people who are already out of the country or are in the United States on a U.S. visa?

MR. McCURRY: Those would be people who, in a lot of cases, might have a multiple entry visa. If we could wait maybe until we see whether that is, in fact, the policy of the United States Government before we get too deeply into a discussion that has been reported.

Q But it's at lease under consideration?

MR. McCURRY: It would be accurate to say that's under consideration; yes.

Q Are you leaning on the French to suspend their flights to and from Haiti?

MR. McCURRY: We have a particularly elegant way of saying that. It's in here somewhere.

Q Strange moral calculus.

MR. McCURRY: I didn't say that. Air France, they have -- where we are on flights, I think, as most of you know, American Airlines would be the U.S. carrier. Their last flight out was Friday. Air Canada last flight was June 21. ALM stopped service June 23. Copa, which is a Panamanian carrier, stopped service on June 23. Haiti Transair stopped service June 24.

Air France has three flights weekly. We have urged the French to join Panama, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States in similarly suspending its commercial passenger flights into Haiti. We understand that the French are reviewing this request.

Q Do we have something on the report that the AID -- the State Department -- has decided not to establish an AID office in east Jerusalem?

MR. McCURRY: Nothing new from where we were on that last week.

Q I have a statement here from Congressman Gilman who says that he and several other members of the Foreign Affairs Committee met with Brian Atwood: "Atwood assured us that AID has no plans to open an office in east Jerusalem. Doing so would prejudge the status of the city which is Israel's national capital." The last part, I assume, was Gilman's statement on Atwood's.

MR. McCURRY: We are still working on the Administrative arrangements for an AID mission. As to the specific details of the arrangements, I don't have anything further.

Q Wait a minute, Mike. On this same issue -- it's the same issue -- the German Government --

MR. McCURRY: It was the same issue last week, Joe. Why don't you go back to your transcript.

Q No, this is different. The German Government has decided to expand its relationship with the Palestinians, commercial investments, and so on. And where will the office be? Not in east Jerusalem, or in Israel anywhere, but in Jericho. Do you have any comment on that?

MR. McCURRY: No. Contact the German Embassy. Do you have something?

Q Yes, I do. Has the Secretary decided his travel plans? Is he going to the Middle East?

MR. McCURRY: No. No, he hasn't decided. Is he thinking about that? Yes, as he's indicated to you he is.

Q What about -- there's been a report out of Geneva that the Foreign Ministers might meet on Bosnia on Friday. Is that a possibility?

MR. McCURRY: That does not square with any understanding I have of Secretary Christopher's calendar.

Q What about Bosnia, generally? Have you heard anything from Paris on those talks?

MR. McCURRY: No. I think Ambassador Redman is over there getting ready for the meeting of the Contact Group tomorrow. By tomorrow, we'll see where things stand.

Q Any comment on the renewed fighting in Bosnia?

MR. McCURRY: There's various reports scattered around Bosnia of renewed fighting. There's been heavy fighting between the Bosnian Government and Bosnian Serbs around Doboj. Shelling exchanges were reported near Maglaj, Zavidovici, Gradacac, Ribnica and Gracanica.

Bosnian Serb forces shelled U.K. and Ukrainian UNPROFOR forces in Gorazde. I think some of you saw a report. I believe there was a British UNPROFOR solider who was killed as part of that exchange.

So there are increasing signs that the fragile cease-fire that's been in place since June 10 is being tested. I think that adds urgency to the work of the Contact Group and certainly underscores the very tenuous nature of the peace process underway in Bosnia. They are at a point in which the Contact Group itself is going to press hard to develop some type of proposal that can be presented to the parties that might end this war, but there are certainly signs that the situation could go the other direction.

Q Does this make it harder for the Contact Group? I mean, some Bosnian commanders are claiming that the tide is turned, at least in central Bosnia, on their behalf, and that at least suggests that they may be less willing to accept a settlement.

MR. McCURRY: It is important to remember that the parties themselves have different views within them. The Bosnian Government continues to explore with us discussions related to the work of the Contact Group; that you do see public reports from elements of the Bosnian Government military calling at this point for a war of liberation. So there are clearly different points of view. But we will work within the context of the Contact Group to develop a proposal that can be shared and presented formally to the parties, including the Bosnian Government.

Q Mike, what does the Administration make of this sort of pocket of Muslim resistance that the Bosnian Government is fighting against. I forget the town.

MR. McCURRY: The Bihac pocket at the --

Q Yes. MR. McCURRY: -- northwest corner.

Q Yes. What do you make of that?

MR. McCURRY: The accounts that you've seen in the news press or the news accounts that you've seen are accurate based on our understanding. There is a Muslim separatist faction within the northern part of that Bihac pocket that has declared itself a separatist entity within that pocket, and it's a reflection, I think, that there are some different approaches within the Bosnian Government, within the Muslim-backed military; that there are different approaches to how they should be dealing with the Bosnian Serbs and the Croatians.

This is on the border of the Krajina region, and so it's always been -- in the long struggle to sort out the warring factions in Bosnia has been a fairly complicated situation because it's got a different overlay of contending forces, compared to other parts of Bosnia.

Q This morning the Washington Post, I believe, the Iranian representative at the United Nations in a letter to the editor denied that Iran sent any military arms to the Bosnian Muslims. Has there been any evidence to the contrary? Do you have any comment on that?

MR. McCURRY: No. Same answer I gave on Friday.

Q Mike, do you know -- to follow that - - when there might be some kind of statement or explanation or denial?

MR. McCURRY: At whatever point that I can publicly say something further.


Q Mike, there have been -- Olympia -- Congresswoman Olympia Snowe has sent a letter, apparently, to the Secretary -- Secretary Christopher --

MR. McCURRY: Joe went to your Fax machine and worked all weekend. You've got all these congressional press releases there. (Laughter) What have you got there? Tell me what this one is?

Q I've got several others, if you'll bear with me.

MR. McCURRY: I'll bear with you. Go ahead.

Q Asking the Secretary to refuse to issue a visa to Sheik Rashid el-Ghanoushi of the Tunisia Islamic Fundamentalist Group who wants to come to the United States.

MR. McCURRY: That's one that will require some homework on my part. (Laughter)

Q Well, I've checked with the INS, and they said they're still considering it, but I thought maybe the State Department might have something.

MR. McCURRY: Why don't we check and see if there's anything we can do further.

Q What about this former -- young, former Saudi Arabian diplomat who has 14,000 pieces of evidence against the Saudi Arabian Government. What's with him?

MR. McCURRY: Actually, we did address that several weeks ago, and I can't remember the answer we had on that. If you'll check with our folks.

Q Well, he's looking for asylum. Will we get something on that?

MR. McCURRY: We have a bit of a problem, Joe, on that one, because asylum requests, as they are processed, is something covered on Privacy Act problems, and there's a limit to how much we can say on that. I think we did, though, have an answer. If you'll check with the Press Office staff, we had --

Q If I may, then there's another thing here -- this is local -- about the hostages and other victims of foreign terrorism want Congress to extend U.S. law into other countries. Have you something on that as to what the State Department --

MR. McCURRY: Give us a copy of that, and I'll check further on that one. That doesn't ring a bell.

Q I'll be glad to. Thank you for your indulgence.

MR. McCURRY: I'm always willing to indulge. I'm an indulgent sort.


Q Do you have an update on the withdrawal of Americans from Somalia?

MR. McCURRY: Yes, I do have some on that. Just a little bit, because we are actually getting some conflicting reports from Mogadishu, so I'd like to walk through some of what we've heard, and then just right prior to he briefing we heard maybe a little somewhat different. But, as you know, since Thursday there's been some serious inter-clan fighting in Mogadishu between the Habre Gedir on one side -- that's the Aideed faction -- and a coalition of clans on the other side.

As of earlier today, we understand a cease- fire was supposed to take effect. Mogadishu has in fact been quieter today, but there have been just within the last hour or so some reports that there may have been some resumption of shelling in Mogadishu. We're trying to check those reports out now.

Some of the gun battles that did occur over the weekend occurred in areas directly adjacent to the UNOSOM compound, but fighting during the last 24 hours moved away from the compound. The compound, as far as we know, was not the target of any of the fighting that occurred over the weekend, but stray rounds have hit the compound, resulting in some injuries. I think some of you have seen the details on it. There was one American who was injured. It was not an employee of the U.S. Liaison Office there but worked for -- was a U.S. civilian working for a U.N. contractor in Somalia -- part of the UNOSOM effort.

Because of the security considerations in Mogadishu, we are temporarily moving some of the staff at our U.S. Liaison Office to Nairobi. In Nairobi, they'll continue to work on Somali issues. There has been a travel warning -- a very strong travel warning -- as I think many of you know, in effect for quite some time on Somalia, urging American citizens not to travel there, and we're not aware that there has been any problem with that respect.

There's a small number -- and I can't get into detail on numbers for security reasons -- but there's a small number of essential personnel at this point who remain behind in Mogadishu to carry out a lot of the necessary work we do in liaison with the U.N. mission, UNOSOM.

Q Mike, do you know how many they're bringing out? Can you say how many they're bringing out?

MR. McCURRY: I don't want to get into the numbers for reasons that relate to security.

Q And how many were there -- the mission -- its strength prior to the withdrawal. How many were there?

MR. McCURRY: I will check on that, Sid. I think it was in several hundreds. It may have been --

Q 500?

MR. McCURRY: I'm confusing now the number of Americans citizens who were participating in the UNOSOM effort. There are Americans attached to UNOSOM, and then there are people specifically with the liaison office, and I'll have to go and check the numbers on both of those and get an accurate account. But we're trying to be somewhat circumspect in describing numbers for security reasons.

Q But strictly speaking, these are civilian American employees, not members of the military.

MR. McCURRY: That's correct.

Q Do you know how many other foreigners were hurt in this latest round of fighting?

MR. McCURRY: I have information on the one American who has been injured, but I don't have on the others. I can check on that.

Q Are Americans at risk in Somalia? Is our diplomatic mission secure?

MR. McCURRY: The liaison office is protected, but over the weekend we determined it would be advisable to do an ordered departure of some of those non-essential personnel.

Q Mike, the Minister of Economics of the Palestine National Authority, Abu Allah, is in town. I think he met with U.S. officials, and there is a problem with the donors to provide assistance to the PLO to continue, and President Arafat is not moving to Jericho yet. Do you have any assessment of what the situation --

MR. McCURRY: I gave a pretty good -- Abu Allah's sessions here at the Department I covered on Friday and gave a pretty good rundown of where we currently view the request for assistance. You might want to check back. I don't have anything newer than that today.

Q Is he having any more meetings here?

MR. McCURRY: Not that I have indicated here. You might want to double-check with NEA - - Richard LeBaron -- 647-7150 -- will be glad to take your call.

Q You've got the number wrong.

MR. McCURRY: 715 -- oh, that's his secret number. Don't use that one. (Laughter)

Q And last but not least, do you have any assessment or a situation report about the visit of King Hussein of Jordan last week to the United States?

MR. McCURRY: The White House had a good statement that summarized the conversation that President Clinton had with the King and gave a fairly substantive readout on their discussions, and that's exactly where it is as of today.


Q Haiti. Is it all right to go back there?

MR. McCURRY: Sure.

Q Our folks down there asked the question, was the list of 240 people whose financial transactions were banned or stopped or halted -- was that compiled by Treasury with information from the State Department, or was it purely a Treasury Department operation?

MR. McCURRY: I would have to check with Office of Foreign Assets over at Treasury. They administer these lists, but they typically rely upon close interagency coordination in developing their own enforcement of the Presidential Executive Order, as would be this case. I mean, obviously they have to rely on reporting coming from our Embassy to better understand the objectives outlined by the President and in the Executive Order.

So I strongly suspect the Embassy staff and the State Department were involved in helping prepare materials for Treasury, but it is a program within Treasury's domain, and that's probably the best place to ask the question, but I'll see if there's anything we can get.

Q They've got a number of anomalies that I suppose you probably don't have, do you, specific --

MR. McCURRY: No. I think specific individuals who are being covered by this or specific cases that you've heard about, I'd really have to refer you to the Treasury Department to get the detail on that.

Q The political confusion in Japan continues. Does the State Department have any assessment of this, and is the State Department worried about the effects this might have on the diplomacy at the G-7 summit?

MR. McCURRY: You're correct. It's an internal matter for the Japanese, and it is inappropriate for us to speculate or comment on internal decision-making relating to the formation of a government.

Despite the resignation of the Prime Minister, our framework discussions have been continuing at a working level. For instance, there's a meeting on financial services this afternoon, I'm told, over at Treasury; discussions on insurance and government procurement may resume later this week. I don't believe anybody overly optimistic that any of these discussions will lead to some type of breakthrough that could be discussed when the two leaders meet in the context of the G-7 session.

But we have been in positions before, to respond to your question -- positions before in which our own bilateral economic discussions with Japan have occurred at moments in which there have been transition within the Japanese Government, and that has not interfered with our ability in the past to continue discussions and to continue to attempt to resolve many of the fundamental concerns we have about the balance in the economic relationship.

Q But no feeling this is going to interfere with the G-7 summit?

MR. McCURRY: With the summit itself, no. The planning is underway for the summit in Naples. The Italian Government has been very good about designing, we think, a very interesting agenda, and I know that the United States Government and President Clinton are very much looking forward to the discussions in Naples. I don't want to at this point speculate about the impact that the political dynamic in Japan would have on that summit meeting,


Q While you're on Asia, did you by any chance have anything else on the -- anything on the Taiwanese talks that were conducted last week? These are the impositions that were imposed because of the bear/tiger situation.

MR. McCURRY: I don't have anything on that. I'll have to check. I've heard some discussions but nothing I'd want to try to reconstruct here without checking a little further.

Q Can I go back to Mr. Christopher's trip, upcoming trip. An Israeli newspaper this morning said that Mr. Christopher will arrive in the region July the 15th, and he will remain in the area for three weeks.

MR. McCURRY: They had him there July 10th last week, so now --

Q Now it's 15th.

MR. McCURRY: Now July 15th. I'll bet you -- let's bet it will end up somewhere in between the two, but I don't have any itinerary at this point.

Q Will he remain in the area three weeks, like they said?

MR. McCURRY: I find that extraordinarily hard to believe, given the ASEAN ministerial meetings that will occur in Bangkok within that same time frame.

Q Thank you.

MR. McCURRY: Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 1:18 p.m.)


To the top of this page