U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING JULY 13, 1994 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Wednesday, July 13, 1994 Briefers: Nancy Ely-Raphel Christine Shelly HAITI Opening Remarks by DAS Nancy Ely-Raphel ......... 1-3 Departure of UN/OAS Observers ................... 3 -- Continued Monitoring ........................ 3 Human Rights Violations ......................... 3-6 Sanctions/France To Suspend Flights ............. 6,9 Safety of Americans ............................. 6,8-9 Incentives for Retirement of Military Leaders ... 7-8 Boatpeople Interdictions/Processing/Repatriation 8,11-13 US Policy/Transition ............................ 10-11 Safe Havens ..................................... 12 COLOMBIA US Concern re: Narcotics Policy ................. 13-14 UKRAINE Elections/Nuclear Policy ........................ 14 MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS Children Killed in Attack ....................... 15-16 Secretary's Visit to Region ..................... 17-18 NORTH KOREA Status Kim Jong Il .............................. 18 Third Round of Talks with US .................... 18-19 IAEA Monitoring ................................. 19 ALGERIA Violence ........................................ 20 US Recommends Dialogue among Political Groups ... 20-21
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
WEDNESDAY, JULY 13, 1994, 12:59 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Our guest briefer today is Nancy Ely-Raphel, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
She is here to talk with you today about the human rights situation in Haiti. Within the State Department, she's the principal player in formulating programs to address human rights and humanitarian concerns in Central and Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Union.
She's also a leading expert on Africa. She played a key role in developing a legal assistance program for political detainees inside South Africa. Additionally, the drafted the document which formed the basis for the constitution adopted by the first democratically elected government in Namibia.
As I said, she's here today to talk to you about the human rights situation in Haiti. This is an issue which is obviously of great concern and importance today with the departure of the human rights monitors and new reports of atrocities which have been coming out of Haiti.
We'll follow our usual procedure. She will open with some remarks, after which she'll be happy to take your questions. After that, I will continue with questions on other subjects. I will do Haiti material, but I won't do Haiti human rights. So that's where we're drawing the line.
Nancy, thank you very much.
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: Good afternoon. I've been asked to speak to you for a few minutes today about the deteriorating situation of human rights in Haiti.
As many of you are aware, on July 11, the de facto government ordered the U.N./OAS International Civilian Mission expelled from Haiti. The U.S. joins the Five Friends, the United Nations and the Organization of American States in expressing our outrage at this latest action of the de factor regime.
The men and women of the ICM have done a superb job of monitoring human rights in Haiti, often at considerable personal risk to themselves and in the face of intimidation by the military and its allies, the de facto government and the FRAPH.
The ICM has played a critical role in monitoring the behavior of these repressive elements in Haitian society. We can only ascribe their expulsion to the de facto's intent to pursue continued and in all likelihood an increasingly abusive and repressive actions free of international scrutiny.
Whatever the purpose, as ICM Chief Colin Gray Anderson said yesterday, the de facto authorities have willingly assumed a heavy responsibility in ordering the ICM under threat to leave Haiti.
Let me stress that in our view the departure of the ICM is a temporary matter. The ICM was forced to depart from Haiti out of fear for their safety from October 1993 to early January 1994 when they returned to Haiti.
We will work with the U.N. and the OAS once again to seek the ICM's return as rapidly as possible.
Human rights are being pervasively violated in Haiti. While serious human rights abuses have regularly occurred since the 1991 coup, they have risen dramatically in the past year.
Beginning last summer, politically motivated killings in Port-au-Prince rose sharply. Brutal assassinations of prominent pro-Aristide activist Antoine Izmery in September and Justice Minister Guy Malary in October were clear attempts to destroy key leaders and intimidate their followers.
Human rights abuses have qualitatively and quantitatively worsened in recent months, including senseless violence against ordinary citizens.
We believe we may now be seeing a further ratcheting up of repression. Extrajudicial killings were not uncommon before June 30. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights identified 133 cases of extrajudicial killings between February and May alone.
The latest developments include increased dumping of bodies in public areas of Port-au-Prince in an attempt to terrorize the populace. Following the June 30 appearance of the corpses of five young men in the streets of Port- au-Prince, all shot with their hands tied behind their backs, one or more bodies have been found each day throughout the 4th of July weekend.
This follows the already reported increase in the use of rape as a tool of political repression and other egregious forms of abuse such as mutilation, as well as the re-establishment of the notorious Tontons Macoutes.
The quantity of abuses reported has increased dramatically in recent weeks. From January 31, when the ICM first returned from the Dominican Republic, through May 31, 1994, 1,350 people came to ICM offices to register complaints. One thousand one hundred forty-three complains were registered in June alone.
The entire period from January 31 through June 30 of 1994, the ICM registered the following allegations of serious offenses: Extrajudicial killings, 340; seizures, disappearances, 131; rapes with political motives, 52; human rights abuses resulting in the deaths of children, 51.
As Colin Gray Anderson expressed so profoundly yesterday, one cannot be close to this type of violence very day without suffering oneself.
Our Embassy will continue to monitor and report on the human rights situation in Haiti, and we encourage other missions to do the same. Those who think that they can intimidate the international community as well as the people of Haiti or think we who monitor human rights abuses will get tired, give up and look away are wrong.
I'd be happy to take your questions now.
Q Are you going to beef up the Embassy staff to compensate for the loss of the other monitors?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: Since we are not using the officers who have been working in the Consulate Section, we have moved the officers in the Consulate Section over, so that we have additional officers working on human rights reporting.
Q Which segments of the Haitian society are actually carrying out these -- I realize that the responsibility ultimately rests with the military leadership, but who are the executioners?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: They appear to be the Attaches. We get numbers of reports of people who identify members of the military, members of the police -- the police/military are one -- and the people who are interviewed will identify the individuals as the members of the military, members of the police.
Q In the questionnaire that applicants for political asylum get, they're asked if they belong to several organizations, including the Attaches and the Tontons Macoutes, and in there is included the FRAPH, so- called. Are they responsible for any of these?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: We have gotten allegations that they are involved as well. They call it the Front for the Advancement and Progress in Haiti -- that's what FRAPH stands for.
Q And one more: Aristide's people say that the FRAPH people in this country have set up at least five offices. Does the State Department have any problem with that?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: I have no information on whether or not -- I'd have to take that question and get an answer back to you. I have not heard of the organizations here in the United States.
Q Why are those who think they can intimidate the international community wrong and the United States wrong?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: Why are they wrong? Because we will continue to work multilaterally through the U.N., through the OAS, to try to convince the military leadership in Haiti they have no future.
Q It looks like they're the ones calling the shots right now. What could you say to do away with that perception?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: I think we're doing a rather effective job of bringing the message home to them. What they're doing is they're slowly turning Haiti into hell, because this de facto regime is losing control and even losing control of the violence that's unleashed.
Q What information do you have on this latest incident in which 11 or more bodies were dumped?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: We have asked our Embassy to try to corroborate that information. We have gotten the information, but we need to find the corroboration.
Q How are they going to go about doing that?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: They'll go out and question people who have witnessed the event.
Q Apparently, about half of the boat people who make it to Guantanamo and learn that they can't resettle in the United States opt to go back to Haiti. That does not seem to square with what you say about pattern of increasing human rights violations.
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: I think people leave Haiti for many reasons. The living conditions are impossible in Haiti. People may not be aware of where it is that they're going, and the fact that they are not going to be able to be resettled in the United States when they leave. There are many reasons why individuals will leave Haiti.
Q Can you tell us how many human rights complaints were filed so far in July?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: The numbers that I was referring to were collected by the ICM, and I have not seen figures. They were not -- actually they had cut back because of their ability to travel around the country. They were working out of their hotel rooms just before they were told they had to leave by the de facto regime. So I have not seen figures that they compiled for July, but I can get them for you.
Q Besides the United States, which country, which government is doing something about quelling the violence in Haiti?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: This is a multilateral effort. It is not just the United States. It's the United Nations. It's the Organization of American States. It's the Friends of Haiti, the Canadians, the Venezuelans.
Q What are they doing? I mean, I don't hear anything about it except from the United States.
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: I think if you read the statement that was issued yesterday by the President of the Security Council, it was a very forceful condemnation of just exactly what's going on in Haiti today, and that represents the world community.
Q You say that specific individuals have been mentioned at various times by people filing complaints. Does the U.S. have hard information, hard evidence against individuals that they have been responsible, have carried out murders, assassinations?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: We collect information. In fact, we have information when we're compiling human rights reports, and this is information that we get as a result of interviewing people who have been either involved or have observed violations of human rights.
Q But they're the same names coming up again and again. Are you prepared at any point in the future to name names of people below the very top rung who you think are carrying out these killings?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: I'd have to go back to our sources in the Embassy and see how much information they have compiled, to be specific.
Q Is this abuse being carried out with the specific knowledge of Cedras and Francois?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: I find it hard to believe that they could possibly not know what's going on. I think it's perfectly clear that they know exactly that they are responsible for many of the human rights violations that are occurring constantly.
Q Do you see any solution to this short of invasion?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: I think we've been effective so far in using international pressure -- diplomatic pressure -- in to the embargo. I would suggest that we continue to pursue that.
Q How have we been effective?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: How have we been effective? We have gotten a tremendous amount of support across in the United Nations in addition to all of the members of the OAS. This is not a U.S. initiative. This is a hemispheric initiative.
Q Are nationals safe from this terror campaign?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: American nationals in Haiti? We hope that they are. That's one of the reasons why the President has ordered the Marines to be close by. If the situation seriously deteriorates, we would have to protect the Americans that are there.
MS. SHELLY: Last question?
MS. ELY-RAPHEL: Thank you.
(Spokesman Christine Shelly resumed the Daily Briefing at 1:14 p.m.)
MS. SHELLY: As I have no announcements to make, I'll be happy to take other questions on Haiti or any other topics of your choice.
Q Christine, in the past when the U.S. was negotiating with a foreign leader to leave their country, they've offered to make certain arrangements. For example, the U.S. offered to fly Ferdinand Marcos out of the Philippines; they negotiated with Manuel Noriega in the days before the invasion. Is the U.S. offering any inducements? If so, what inducements to Cedras and the coup leaders in Haiti to get them out?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have an offer -- I don't want to discuss any kind of offer in specificity. I think that the circumstances surrounding the departure of Cedras were laid out in the context of the Governor's Island agreement. We continue to support his immediate retirement. In fulfillment of his obligations, he has twice, I believe, committed himself to depart under agreements which he has made. He has not lived up to those agreements.
We wish to see him fulfill that commitment at the earliest possible opportunity. In the form in which that might take or what the circumstances surrounding it might be, I think that, again, is laid down in previously agreed commitments on his part. I don't have anything further, I would say, on that at this point.
Q Do you know anything about Panama's offer of asylum to Cedras?
MS. SHELLY: I've seen the same reports that you have on that. I understand that in some remarks that Perez Balladares made while he was in Madrid. He said that he might be willing to look into the possibility of granting a negotiated asylum to General Cedras if that were to provide a way or a solution to the Haitian crisis.
I don't have the text of those remarks yet. I've just seen the press reports on them.
Our position on that, generally, is, as I said, we support his immediate retirement. We want to see him fulfill the obligations which he made under the Governor's Island agreement. We feel the necessity of his meeting those commitments is long delayed, and we wish to see that occur at the earliest possible moment.
As to the Panamanian offer, in particular, I think we simply would have to hear more from Perez Balladares about what type of idea he had in mind. But I think his gesture was made with the idea of trying to find as rapid a solution to the impasse as possible.
Q The last time you briefed you said about 40 percent of the people processed at Guantanamo were willing to go back to Haiti on their own. Is that rate of voluntary repatriation holding up?
MS. SHELLY: Let me go through the numbers on boat people and also on the processing.
On interdictions, the Coast Guard picked up 770 Haitians yesterday in 10 boats, bringing the total number of Haitians picked up since processing aboard the Comfort began, on June 15, to about 20,190.
As you certainly are aware, the numbers are lower, although we think it's early to speculate on whether or not this constitutes a trend. Of the approximately 6,000 who have been interviewed so far for the determination about voluntary repatriation or temporary protection in a third country, of this, about 2,200 -- a bit over that -- have so far opted for voluntary repatriation. So I think the figure overall is in the range of slightly under 40 percent.
There have been some fluctuations in those numbers. So it's kind of hard to actually say on a given day what that particular thing means. The numbers started out quite low in the beginning and then there was a surge, and now I think it's more balanced. But it's running more or less 40 percent who are opting for return.
Q Nancy (Ely-Raphel) mentioned that one of the reasons the Marines are there is because of the deteriorating situation in human rights. I'm not asking you what it is, but does this Administration have some sort of threshold beyond which the human rights violations would be intolerable, triggering some sort of military action on the part of this government?
MS. SHELLY: I think that's a kind of a backdoor question to the invasion -- "When do we invade and under what circumstances?" I'm not prepared to take this any further than other officials have at this juncture.
Obviously, in absolute terms, it's an issue; it's a situation which is of very grave concern to us. We are going to watch all developments very closely. The U.S. military presence, as we have said, is certainly linked to any of the possible scenarios that might evolve where U.S. interests and U.S. citizens, in particular, could be directly threatened by what is going on.
I think we've said this week already that we did not have new evidence of specific targeting against Americans. But, again, the situation is tense. The kind of report which we received today about new bodies being found in the streets in Haiti certainly suggests that the military regime is choosing to send a signal once again.
I think it's not possible at this point to define a kind of event or a threshold which constitutes a trigger, but simply that we remain vigilant both in terms of our general concern for the human rights situation and obviously specifically for any possible threats or actions against American citizens.
Q Just to follow that. There are some people around town touting all sorts of alternatives to an invasion, ranging from (inaudible), talking about securing this island and making that a safehaven. Other people are talking about reconciliation -- governments pursuing that.
Can you tell us what sorts of diplomatic and political tracks are being pursued in tandem with the pressure and the threat of a military invasion?
MS. SHELLY: First of all, I think as you know, our principal goal is to bring enough pressure on the de facto government and the military leaders for them to realize that they have no other alternative except to step down.
There are a variety of ways in which we've been pursuing that. The major element in our policy to bring pressure is the sanctions element.
We have enacted one of the toughest sanctions regimes which has ever been adopted in the history of the United Nations. We're very much determined to follow that course. We're also continuing to work with other countries to try to get them to toughen some of their own national measures, to try to make them as consistent as possible worldwide so that there are not going to be leakages or slippages that can be directed simply away from one country and toward another.
So sanctions remain the central element to bringing pressure on the regime. It's something which we'll certainly continue to pursue.
We, of course, are very pleased when we heard the French announcement earlier today of their decision to suspend the Air France flights. I believe it's beginning about the first of August. So they will join the other countries that had the commercial air service going in and out of Port-au-Prince. They will join the others in, I think, sending a very clear signal to the military and to those who continue to report to the regime that the pressure is certainly being stepped up.
So we're continuing on that track. We also will continue with the humanitarian side of our program, as you know, to continue to provide meals for those Haitians who are neediest and also to continue to provide medical assistance, again, to those who are most in need. So those also remain central elements of what we're doing in terms of our policy to try to mitigate adverse circumstances for those Haitians who are most in need and who are clearly suffering at the hands of the military.
Q But the thrust is still rally around Aristide? There's not being pursued an active approach to a reconciliation government that would have taken some of the more moderates?
MS. SHELLY: Certainly, our policy remains the restoration of democracy to Haiti and the return of President Aristide. There are two things, I think, which are going on in addition. One, as you know, we will soon begin a broadcast of Radio Democracy. We have stated already our hope and, certainly, I think our understanding with President Aristide and his representatives, that much of what those messages can do is to also try to broadcast messages to the Haitian people -- messages which certainly will call for the need for reconciliation to try to -- as we move down the track and certainly look for the day when Aristide can return, that there can be the broadest reconciliation possible among different elements within the Haitian society.
We also are working, as you know, very, very closely through the OAS and through the U.N. on the proposals with a view to getting as much of an agreement within the international community as possible about a transition between the time when the military leaders agree to step down and President Aristide would return. So our consultations with governments about what they might be able to provide toward that international effort -- those are continuing.
I understand the U.N. Secretary General's report is expected to be delivered to the Security Council on Friday pursuant to the last Security Council resolution. I think there will be a better picture at that time of what the concept of how a transition would work and what types of needs and requirements there would be, once that report is submitted to the Security Council.
Q You just gave him two long answers and never answered his question about the possibility of a political settlement?
MS. SHELLY: I think that reconciliation among different elements within Haitian society is certainly going to be a part of it, but I think that's going to be up to President Aristide to indicate the ways that he thinks that can happen. And one of the ways that he can do that in messages that he will take to the Haitian people.
Q Negotiations among Haitians leading to the departure of the military?
MS. SHELLY: I think that question has come up before when different plans for reconciliation have come out of parliamentary groups and other things. We're certainly not adverse to solutions which might come forward in that kind of way.
Again, the message of reconciliation -- how that can be done -- that's something that President Aristide would certainly have something to say on.
Q In your numbers you didn't say, if you have it -- would you -- of the number at Guantanamo now and its current capacity? And beyond that, is there any news on attempts to get Grenada, Antigua, and St. Lucia to sign memorandums of understanding to accept these people beyond the agreements in principle?
MS. SHELLY: On the numbers on Guantanamo, my understanding is that there about 15,500 Haitians who are presently there who have been interdicted by the Coast Guard. Of the almost 6,000 already interviewed, the number for the temporary protection was 3,767. I already addressed those returning to Haiti. I understand of that number some 2,100 of these have already been repatriated or else are enroute back to Port-au-Prince as we speak.
As to the second part of your question, negotiations with the other countries, I'll give you what I've got. I've got a little bit of a rundown. I don't have a lot new to announce on this today.
On Turks and Caicos, the construction of the Grand Turk site is completed. We anticipate using that as an initial processing site where Haitian boat people will be interviewed for the temporary safehaven or for voluntary repatriation. No one will be interviewed for admission to the U.S., consistent with the announcements that we had made before.
Personnel from UNHCR and from the U.N. agencies, which have been involved in this process, are beginning to gather on the island.
The Memorandum of Understanding, which we had previously signed with Turks and Caicos, needs to be revised in order to reflect the changed nature of the operation. Once that is done -- and I understand that because of the changed nature of the operation -- that the Turks and Cacios administration believes that they need to enact some legislation regarding immunities for U.S. Government personnel and other civilians as well as certain necessary legal provisions.
It's not my understanding that this is going to take a long time, but I think it's something that they feel needs to be done given the changed status of the center.
So we hope that the processing will be able to start soon. There had been some reports out earlier that that might start as early as today. I think it's going to take a few days. It's not starting today; I can say that. I think it's going to take a few days longer for these remaining aspects of using Turks and Cacios, to be rectified.
As to the other places, or other possible temporary protection sites, we're still continuing to hold these discussions with a number of countries in the region.
I think, as we've said, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Government of Dominica on July 10. Technical teams have now been dispatched to Dominica to work with Prime Minister Charles' government on the safehaven site.
There are discussions, which I would characterize as productive, underway with the island of St. Lucia for safehaven facilities. As you know, Mr. Gray announced last week, we have agreements in principle with the Governments of Antigua and Grenada for safehaven sites.
I don't have more details for you on exactly where we stand on numbers or technical assistance teams -- that kind of thing. These are all in various stages of progress.
There are also discussions with a couple of other countries that I would not name at this point, but we'll certainly share any details on the status of these talks with you as soon as we can.
Q But for the foreseeable future that Guantanamo is going to remain the place which is going to bearing the brunt?
MS. SHELLY: That's certainly bearing the brunt at this point.
Q Can we move on to Colombia?
MS. SHELLY: Sure.
Q The Colombian Government has manifested this (inaudible) because of their cancellation of the appointment of official delegations was supposed to have yesterday with the Director of the DEA (inaudible). They have qualified this as a act of disrespect to the Colombian delegation and they ordered these people to go back and they came back yesterday -- they came back to Colombia yesterday. I would like a comment on that.
I would also like a comment of -- there have been some rumors in Colombia that the DEA was the one that released the tapes that suggested that President Samper took money from the narco-traffickers and that DEA officials have also been involved in narco-traffic?
MS. SHELLY: The first part of your question, I don't have any information on that particular problem or incident taking place up here. I think, probably, on virtually all of your questions the answer is probably going to be the same, which is, I'd have to refer you to the DEA.
I'm going to look into those things. I'm going to see if there's anything we would want to say in response to any of the parts of your questions. I simply don't have any information on that at this time.
Q Have you all made a determination in this same Samper investigation as to whether the tapes are legitimate and that his campaign received money from narco-traffickers?
MS. SHELLY: Sid, we've addressed that --
Q (inaudible) discussions?
MS. SHELLY: We have addressed this at several previous briefings, and we're still where we were at the end of that.
As you know, State Department officials met with Samper on June 29, and indicated that decisive action by Colombia against narcotics trafficking will be very, very key to our relationship with his administration.
The rest of the aspects that you've raised, we've gone as far publicly as we intend to go at this point, so I just don't have anything further to add.
Q We're prepared to go forward business-as-usual with Samper once he takes office?
MS. SHELLY: No, I don't think that's a fair characterization of where we are or how we described what our message to him was at the time that we met.
Q So you're not prepared to go forward with business-as-usual with Samper once he takes office?
MS. SHELLY: Sid, this is a kind of trap question here. It's not a yes/no thing. We had some very strong messages which we delivered to Samper and his colleagues who were with him at the time of that meeting. Those messages are where we are. We also addressed that publicly, and we made it very clear at that time that we would be paying very careful attention to the actions which they would undertake in the context of the need to address this very serious problem.
Q How do you interpret this decision of the Colombian Government to ask this delegation to roll back? They were supposed to have a complete agenda for one week.
MS. SHELLY: I don't have any details on this trip at all. So therefore I'm not going to comment or characterize it until I've had a chance to look into exactly what took place. I'm sorry I can't help you. I don't have information with me.
Q Do you have any further reaction to the election results from Ukraine and Belarus?
MS. SHELLY: Not a lot. We addressed this sort of informally yesterday, but I can go over with you what I have. First, on Ukraine.
As you know, the Ukrainian Government election authorities announced preliminary results. Run-off elections for the President, according to those results, put former Prime Minister Kuchma at 52.2 percent of the vote compared to President Kravchuk's 45.1 percent.
Authorities announced that the victory would be officially certified on July 14, after which the new President-elect would need to be inaugurated within 15 days.
President-elect Kuchma is known, certainly, to U.S. officials during his tenure as Prime Minister. He met with quite a few U.S. officials at a variety of different levels.
We certainly watched with considerable interest the various statements and remarks that he made through the course of the campaign period. We certainly welcome the remarks that he made. He spoke very positively about the need for immediate economic reform in Ukraine, and he underscored his intention to carry out Ukraine's nuclear dismantlement obligations.
We also note that he expressed firm support for the trilateral statement during the campaign. All parties have been carrying out their obligations so far under this statement, and we remain confident that Ukraine will carry out its commitments under this statement and will accede to the NPT in the near future.
Q You don't expect any change in U.S. policy by the change in the Administration over there?
MS. SHELLY: I think we will continue to pursue the interests and the commitments which we have previously announced. We certainly had a positive and constructive relationship with President Kravchuk, but we certainly look forward to continuing this with President-elect Kuchma and continuing to deepen our relationship with Ukraine.
Q The Israelis seem to be upset a bit about the PLO taking in three killers of children into some safehaven like Gaza. Do you have any information on that or any comment?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have a lot of information on that. We're certainly aware of the incident in question. We've seen reports also suggesting that the people in question have now departed Gaza. Obviously, there needs to be coordination, a kind of coordination which would preclude incidents of this type in the future.
Q What happens now? There is a violation. They moved them out. Is anything else done now? Will the United States do anything about this?
MS. SHELLY: Well, I don't think that we view that it's up to the United States to do something about this. Clearly, an incident like this and particularly the type of publicity that it attracts and the impressions that it creates, it works against the notion of genuine reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. But when incidents like this occur, we expect that they will address it with each other, and then we'll work out a satisfactory solution.
Q You say "we." The United States then will be a participant?
MS. SHELLY: I wouldn't expect that we would be a direct participant.
Q I said "we," so -- a follow-up on this. You mean -- I've got other -- go ahead.
Q So the U.S. has no criticism for Arafat or his people for this clear violation of the agreement with Israel, bringing in these three people who were involved in an attack in which a couple of dozen children were killed.
MS. SHELLY: I've said what I have to say.
Q No criticism against Arafat.
MS. SHELLY: That's as far as I wish to go. An incident like this works against reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis.
Q I thought there was another quick -- well, the other area I asked a question about the PLO setting about a foreign affairs -- keeping the foreign affairs department in Tunis to deal with foreign countries, and the question was taken, and the response that I had was that, "Well, we don't want to get involved in this."
I mean, you know, the United States is a full partner. This is a part of the Declaration of Principles that was signed here by the United States. We're not a part of this? Why are we -- when do we become a part of this?
MS. SHELLY: I think you raised a very specific question about whether or not the decision by Arafat to leave his political department or his foreign ministry in Tunis if this didn't constitute a violation of the agreements with the Israelis.
I don't profess --
Q (Inaudible) I didn't say that --
MS. SHELLY: I thought that that's what your question was when you raised this on Monday.
Q Oh, yes, yes. Okay. All right.
MS. SHELLY: I have been looking into this, and I'm not aware that the PLO's activities in Tunis are covered by the agreements. I had been checking into that, trying to find out if in fact there was anything in those agreements that specifically addressed this. But I think it's not really up to the United States to offer its interpretation of agreements which have been reached between the Israelis and the PLO. And I think on this I'd have to refer you to the parties for an interpretation of the agreements that they reached, and whether or not they would determine that there had been any kind of violation.
Q Look, this doesn't seem to be proper. The United States is a full partner. It signed the agreement. Therefore, the United States is involved. Why shouldn't the United States make a statement about this?
MS. SHELLY: Because --
Q Is the PLO now acting as an independent entity, an independent state that it can deal with foreign countries out of Gaza?
MS. SHELLY: I have just told you --
Q Does the United States recognize it?
MS. SHELLY: I have just told you that we are not specifically aware that the PLO's activities in Tunis -- what they may have remaining -- is that those are covered by those agreements. That is my understanding, having checked into this in response to your question on this on Monday.
We are a partner in this process. We participate whenever the parties feel that it's useful for us to do so. But as events arise which occur related to the implementation of the agreements that the parties have entered into, we are always available to use our good offices, if that seemed helpful, but I think overall we feel that when difficulties arise, these should be worked out between the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves.
Q What you're saying then is that the Israelis did not -- neither Israel nor the PLO has approached the United States and said, "Look, on the PLO's part this is proper and on the Israeli side it's improper." It's a violation, if not of the letter of the law, it's of the spirit of the agreement, I should say, rather than the law.
MS. SHELLY: Okay, Joe, I'm not aware that the United States has been approached by either side to ask for some kind of assistance in this matter. I'll look into that and see if that is the case, but I'm not aware that either of the parties have asked us for assistance.
Q Let me ask this: Have you announced that Christopher is meeting with the Foreign Ministers of Jordan and Israel on the 20th?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have all of the details of the trip. What we've indicated so far is that the Secretary will be visiting Jordan, Syria and Israel. We're still working up the full schedule, and I hope that we will have more details on it for you shortly.
Q Because the Jordanians and the Israelis are saying that the three Foreign Ministers will meet on the 20th, on the shores of the Dead Sea.
MS. SHELLY: Okay. That's my general understanding as well, but again I don't have other details than simply the countries at this point that we know that he's visiting. But I'll check on that and probably we can provide something after the briefing.
Q Just to follow on the schedule. Have you announced the ASEAN yet, or are you still working on that schedule?
MS. SHELLY: Still working on that one.
Q Could we ask on North Korea or --
MS. SHELLY: Sure.
Q What's your reading on the situation now?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have a lot new for you beyond what we've said in the last couple of days. We, of course, have been watching the developments there over the last day or so to see how things seem to be unfolding.
Of course, we have watched some of the North Korean media reports which indicate that Kim Jong-Il is in charge of the country. We certainly have no information that suggests otherwise. We've noted that in the language that's been used in some of the radio broadcasts that they have named him as being the top of the party and the nation. Again, we haven't seen any formal announcements, and from what we've heard so far a formal announcement is not likely to come actually until after the funeral took place.
As to the other question of the third round of talks, when the DPRK delegation to the third round of talks in Geneva -- when they were there before they left to return to Pyongyang for the funeral -- they told the U.S. delegation that arrangements for the resumption of the talks would be made through the New York channel sometime after the July 17 funeral.
The U.S. stands ready to resume the third round of talks as soon as the North Koreans indicate that they're ready to do so. That's really about all I have for you on this.
Q In the meantime, there are still monitors, though, in place as far as the nuclear rods and nuclear processing?
MS. SHELLY: As far as I know.
Q Monitors. Are there U.N. personnel there, too, or just the monitors?
MS. SHELLY: I think it's the IAEA inspectors.
Q I meant equipment. There are people as well as the equipment on this?
MS. SHELLY: Right. As far as I know, the inspectors have remained in place.
Q Christine, when the meeting in New York takes place, will you let us know?
MS. SHELLY: We always do. As a matter of fact, you normally have an inside track on it before it ever takes place, but I'm not sending any signals at this point. I think we're not expecting to hear any communication from them, I don't think, until after the funeral.
Q Could we go back to the Middle East, please?
Q Wait a second, one more question on North Korea. Has anyone from the State Department been invited to the funeral? Any progress on that at all?
MS. SHELLY: My understanding of the funeral arrangements was that the regime itself indicated that it was not going to be open to foreign participation. I don't think that it was their intention to issue any invitations.
As I have not seen anything specific on that since that announcement first came, as far as I know, that's still the situation. So I have not seen any indications of any invitations going out to foreign governments.
Q There is a report now that there are 33 violations of the terrorism agreement -- violations by the PLO of the terrorism agreement in the first two months since the Cairo agreement. Have you heard anything about that?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have any information with me. I'll look into that.
Q The report comes, I might ask you, from the Zionist Organization of America. They're monitoring this. The other thing is that the observer group of the three countries in Hebron, what's happened to that?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have any information on that. I'll also look into that.
Q Will you look into that?
MS. SHELLY: Yes, sure.
Q Do you have a comment on the recent increase in killing of foreign civilians in Algeria?
MS. SHELLY: I have a little bit of stuff on that. As you know, there has been quite a bit of violence in the last several days which I understand the latest death toll is now up to 14 foreigners and four Algerians.
We deplore these acts of murder. In our view, there's no justification for such senseless acts of terror against innocent people. I don't really have an assessment for you about the reasons behind the increase in the attacks on foreigners. But certainly as to the general situation in Algeria, we continue to be very concerned by the deteriorating security situation, and we certainly continue to deplore the continuing violence there.
We welcome the steps that Algeria has taken on the economic side in concluding an agreement with the IMF and also the Paris Club. We feel that the Algerian Government, however, needs to take parallel measures on the political front to try to broaden the base of its government and to reach out to the dissident sectors that reject terrorism, to try to prevent the crisis from deepening still further.
Q In the Declaration that was made after the G-7 in Naples, it seemed that at the insistence of France, specific mention of talking to the Islamic Salvation Front was taken out. Is France being sort of ceded leadership in this area, because I thought the U.S. was very keen that the Algerian Government did talk to the FIS.
MS. SHELLY: As to what actually transpired at the G- 7 summit, I don't have a read on that, so I'm not sure I'm in a position to answer your question.
Q U.S. policy remains that you want the Algerian Government to talk to Islamic groups and, if possible, bring them into government?
MS. SHELLY: Yes. I think that we have long counseled the Algerian Government having conducting a dialogue with us as broad a spectrum within their society as possible and certainly understand their reticence to do so with groups that specifically espouse terrorism. But we certainly hope that they can embark upon a broad -- to develop as broad based a dialogue as possible with a view to trying to bring about a -- to facilitate a political reconciliation.
Q Could I ask another. The Secretary -- during the Secretary's visit to Damascus, will he bring up the question of the perpetrators of the Pan Am 103 tragedy?
MS. SHELLY: I don't know, and I'm not sure that at this point we would be getting into specifics of what the Secretary would raise with the Syrians.
Q Thank you.
(The briefing concluded at 1:48 p.m.)
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