U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE ________________________________________________________ The State Department does not guarantee the authenticity of documents on the Internet. If for legal or other reasons you require the original version of a document in hard copy, please contact the Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs. Note that State Department information is not copyrighted unless indicated and can be reproduced without consent. Citation of source is appreciated. Permission to reproduce any copyrighted material (including photos or graphics) must be obtained from the original source. ________________________________________________________ DAILY PRESS BRIEFING U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE I N D E X Wednesday, August, 31 1994 Briefers: Tim Wirth Michael McCurry Strobe Talbott John Deutch POPULATION CONFERENCE Opening Remarks by Under Secretary Wirth ........1-5 Abortion/Family Planning ........................5-6,9-11 Countries Represented ...........................6 US Discussions with Vatican/US Church Leaders ...7-8 Clarification of Language .......................7-9 Funding for Conference Objectives by US/Others ..10-12 IRELAND President Clinton's Statement re: IRA Pledge to Renounce Violence/US Policy ...................12-15 US Visas for Two IRA Leaders ....................13-14 MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS Implementation of Declaration of Principles .....15 -- Trilateral Economic Committee Meeting in US .15 Prospects for Secretary Visiting Region .........15-16 CUBA Countries Pledging Safe Havens ..................16-18 Boatpeople Picked Up/Voluntary Repatriation .....18-21 Discussions with US in New York .................19-20 HAITI Countries Pledging Safe Havens ..................16-18 Boatpeople Picked Up ............................19 Opening Remarks by Deputy Secretary Talbott .....21-23 Opening Remarks by DoD Deputy Secretary Deutch ..23-24 Prospects for Departure of Military Leaders/ Invasion ......................................24-25 Leakage across Border with Dominican Republic ...25-26 Support for UN Military Force for Phase I/II ....26-34 -- Size of Phase I Force/Cost ..................28,31 Administration's Consultations with Congress ....34-35 CHINA Detention of Wang Dan ...........................21
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 1994, 12:50 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. McCURRY: Hello, everybody. Welcome to the U. S. State Department. This is a daily briefing, but we've got added attractions today of multiple varieties.
We are going to start with Under Secretary of State Tim Wirth who would like to tell you a little bit about preparations for the Cairo Population Conference that you are all aware of. We will then proceed with the ever witty and enlightening daily briefing, and then along about 1:30 or so, I have Strobe Talbott and John Deutch coming in.
So we will break at that point and then have the Deputy Secretaries of Defense and State talk for a little while. That's how we intend to proceed today with your indulgence, and I will start with the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, Timothy Wirth, who is our first at bat.
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: Thank you, Michael. As I think all of you know, the Cairo Conference on -- International Conference on Population and Development opens in Cairo on Monday. It will run from the 5th of September through the 13th of September. Approximately 170 nations around the world will be represented at the Cairo Conference. Vice President Gore will be leading the U.S. Delegation. He will be there from Monday -- from Sunday through Tuesday. Donna Shalala, Brian Atwood, representatives from EPA, NIH, and a variety of government agencies, a large group of non-governmental organizations, will be part of the U.S. Delegation, and I will be handling that in Vice President Gore's absence, as the Acting Chairman of the Delegation.
The goals of the United States at the Cairo Conference are threefold. In other words, we would like to come out with three results.
First, a broad comprehensive program of action. As the world is sharing in Cairo a sense of urgency about the population situation, a sense of urgency about the fact that we will not be able to reach the economic development, maintain the kind of political stability, sustain ecological structures in the world without population stabilization.
This is a sense of urgency felt by countries all over the world, East-West, North-South, rich-poor, and the program of action is the template that will come out of Cairo outlining what effective population stabilization programs can be.
That program of action, product number one or outcome number one, of Cairo has been more than 92 percent agreed to. For those of you who are into U.N. documentation, U.N. documents are done by consensus. And going into the final negotiations, if areas of a document are not agreed upon, they are called -- they have brackets around them.
Going into the Rio Conference in 1992, the Earth Summit on Environment, nearly 50 percent of the Rio document was bracketed going into Rio. Going into the Human Rights Conference in the spring of 1993, nearly 30 percent of that document was bracketed. Less than 8 percent of this document is bracketed.
So there has been an enormous amount of work done and consensus reached on just about every issue. I'll come back to the remaining issues.
The second outcome is funding. One of the goals of the Cairo Conference is to make family planning information and services available to every woman and family in the world who wants them shortly after the turn of the century. That will be an expensive proposition.
We are currently spending somewhere around $5 to $6 billion a year in the world on family planning. The cost of making sure that family planning is available to all individuals in the world who wish to have it will be in the neighborhood of $l5 billion. So there is going to have to be an increase around the world.
The United States has begun to work very hard on that. We have increased our own contribution to close to $600 million a year directly into family planning. We are the largest contributor in the world. We have persuaded the Japanese to increase their contribution from $40 million a year to more than $400 million a year for population and AIDS. The Canadians, the Australians, the European Union, the British, the Nordics, have all increased their contributions.
The World Bank has made population the number one agenda for them in 1994, and it was the lead issue that Lou Preston, the President of the World Bank, spoke about at the time of the 50th anniversary of the Bretton Woods institutions, and Mr. Preston will be one of the opening speakers at the Cairo Conference.
So we think we are making very significant progress on our second goal, which is the development of the financial resources necessary to provide family planning to everybody in the world who wants it.
The third goal is the follow-up mechanism, the delivery mechanism, for the program of action and the funding, and a very ambitious program of predominantly women-centered programs around the world, focused not only on family planning but on women's full range of reproductive health-care services. Child mortality programs, the education of children, and the role of women in economic development are all part of that follow-up mechanism which is being developed in each country.
Some countries, like Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, have very aggressive programs now. Others want to learn from the successes of countries that have done very well.
So there are three goals in Cairo -- the program of action, the funding, and the follow-up mechanism -- and we think that we are very close to achieving very, very good results in all three.
Finally, in the program of action, those items that are bracketed or still in disagreement are threefold; the issue of adolescence, the issue of women's reproductive health care services, and the issue of abortion.
On the issue of adolescence which I would remind all of you that by the year 2,000 there will be more than one billion teenagers in the world. One billion teenagers moving into their reproductive health-care years. And it is because of the very rapid growth of this group of people that there is a sense of urgency.
While all the world's rate of population increase has in fact gone down from where it had been at a high-point, it is still well above the replacement rate, and having so many people moving into the childbearing years means that there is potentially a very sharp increase in the rise of population, world population. Today, it is increasing at almost l00 million per year. That is the equivalent of a Mexico every year or a China every ten years, or to put it in our terms, a New York City every month.
The adolescence issue is very important. There has been controversy surrounding the availability of family planning information and services to adolescents. The Canadians have been working on and in the lead on language to sort through the adolescence issue. We have had very extensive discussions with Father Martin, the head of the Holy See's Delegation, with others, and I think that the adolescence issue is well on the way toward being resolved.
The second issue on the range of reproductive health- care services available to women, the second issue of concern to the European Union, which is floating a draft proposal on that front which picks up on the World Health Organization recommendations related to reproductive health-care services, and we believe that that is well on its way toward being resolved.
The third issue upon which there will probably not be agreement at the Cairo Conference will be how to deal with the abortion question. 172 out of 189 countries who participate at the United Nations allow abortion in some form. Some allow the full range of access to abortion. Others do so when the health of the mother is in danger. Others do so in the case only of rape and incest. It varies all the way across the board.
It had been our proposal with Columbia in the spring of 1994, that we deal with the abortion issue as part of the reproductive health-care services package, and say very clearly that reproductive health-care services would of course be made available in any country based upon the framework of law, culture and religion existing in that country.
The U.N. has no right or authority to impose anything on any country, and putting this in the context of the laws of that country we think is the way in which the abortion issue can be resolved to the point where we can end up with that issue also, we hope, close to agreement at the conference.
So there is very good progress being made on our goals, and the remaining issue, the remaining three issues of adolescence, reproductive health-care services and abortion, we think are also on the way to being resolved, especially the issues of adolescence and reproductive health-care services.
Finally, Mike McCurry released yesterday a statement by the United States on the issue of security in Cairo. We have worked very closely, and have been working very closely with the United Nations and with the Egyptian Government on issues of security. It's clear that the Egyptian Government has been anticipating this conference.
There was a successful, very large conference held there this last spring of tourism people from all over the world. There were, despite allegations of problems, no problems whatsoever. The American Embassy personnel in Cairo had no problems at all for a long period of time, unlike almost any other embassy in a large city any place else in the world.
The issues that have been illustrated on a security measure have occurred south of Cairo, halfway between Cairo and Aswan, in an area that has been for a thousand years the home of a lot of more radical revolutionary groups, and that's where the problem occurred day before yesterday with the unfortunate killing of the young Spanish student, and we have advised all Americans not to travel through that area of Egypt. We have put out very careful advisories to people on just being careful as you would be in any large city, and the United States has no intention of changing our plans, and we don't know of other delegations who on the basis of security have changes in their plans.
We are monitoring the question, the issue, obviously, very closely, and are in very close touch with as many of the U.S. NGOs, citizen groups that are going to Cairo that we know about, and have again, as I said, worked very closely with the U.N. and Egyptian authorities.
Let me stop at that, and I would be delighted to get in any questions that any of you might have.
Q Under Secretary Wirth, this compromise, or this proposal by Colombia, is it --
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: The United States and Colombia had offered the language last Spring on having this done within the framework -- the language in U.N. talk is the framework of national laws, culture, and religion.
Q In effect, that means that reproductive health services, including abortions, won't be universally available? For example, your desire to have abortions to be safe, legal, but rare, obviously, will not be fulfilled in countries like Egypt where abortion is against the law; am I right?
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: It would be up to that individual country. In some countries abortions are available today and in other countries they are not available, or they are not formally sanctioned.
Q Would it be possible for the United States to override the consensus rule if, as you say, on this two- thirds exception rule, where two-thirds --
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: We wouldn't presume to try to say to some country what they can or should be doing related to their own cultures and their own laws. It would be an inappropriate thing for us to do, and the United States has never done that and would not do that.
Q So you won't push for a vote, then, on --
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: No. I think that most of the U.N. document will be done by consensus. Countries that don't agree with the final product have two choices -- three choices, really: One, not to sign the document at all; second, to take a reservation on a particular section of the document; and, third, not to show up. That's the third alternative that's available, but I think that is certainly one has (inaudible).
There were a number of countries in 1984, including the Holy See, that did not sign the document coming out of the 1984 Mexico City conference. I think there will probably be countries that don't sign the document this time around as well.
Q You talked about the option of not showing up. Three countries have already said they're not coming. They haven't said why. But it's Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, and Lebanon. A couple of other countries have sort of downgraded the level of their participation. Is this a troubling sign to the United States. Especially an ally like Saudi Arabia not giving any reason but it sort of looks as if pressure from Islamic centers has caused them to drop out. Is this troubling to you? Is this troubling to the U.S. delegation?
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: Mr. Boutros Ghali, who has been through a lot more U.N. conferences than I have and is Egyptian, said that he was not at all surprised by this. You get into any large conference and people decide not to come. Obviously, we'd like as many nations to be there as possible.
One can say, is the glass five percent empty or is it 95 percent full. We are also very pleased to see the kind of resounding support for the program of action in the conference coming from north African Muslim states, the very strong support coming from the largest Muslim countries in the world; the fact that Mrs. Bhutto has now decided to go to Cairo to show her support for these efforts, coming from a very large Muslim nation.
There's a whole lot of activity going on on the other side. I think what we're seeing now is sort of a lot of chaff up in the air before things really settle down the last eight days of what would be, in large part, anesthetizing negotiation over U.N. language.
Q Have you found some sort of compromise -- toward that effect?
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: Is the Vatican working on some sort of compromise?
Q Are they meeting you half way on this?
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: We have talked with the Vatican. We're in agreement with the Vatican on many, many, many issues. Again, is the glass 10 percent empty or 90 percent full? On just about everything, we're in agreement with the Vatican on family language, on the approach to AIDS, on the education of girls, on the environment, on the development section.
Issue after issue in this document, which is a very broad and far-reaching document, we're in agreement with the Vatican. There are these remaining three issues of adolescence. Father Martin was in Canada. We talked with him about dealing with this. We have talked to him at great length about the reproductive health-services language; and on the abortion language, we've made it very clear since last Spring that we think the way to handle that is the Framework of National Laws language. Whether they agree with that, I don't know.
Q One more follow-up. Are you also talking to any American Catholic representative, because this has now become a political issue?
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: We have been talking to Americans on a steady basis. You've probably have seen correspondence between me and Cardinal O'Connor. We've have a very extensive meeting -- he and I; our staffs have met together. I've met with a number of the American Cardinals, representatives of the Catholic church, and making sure that, as an important constituency of the U.S. Government, that we are as aware of and understanding of their concerns.
They have been very helpful, for example, in two areas. I would recite that they have been very controversial. For example, in discussions of the family.
In the initial document, the language was "the family in all its forms." What was meant by that and what the drafters at the United Nations were meaning was that there are a lot of single-parent families. We have changing economic structures. Parents die. So you have single parents, and we're not just talking about the traditional nuclear family of mother, father, and kids.
The Bishops pointed out that the family in all its forms, the way the language had originally been drafted -- that's pretty close; I'm not sure that's exact but that's pretty close -- that the family in all its forms suggested different kinds of unions and suggested that we were finding ourselves getting into advocacy positions related to homosexuality, or lesbianism, or whatever it may be. So we've changed that language.
We got the United Nations to change that language or agree to change that language so that those ambiguities are taken out of it.
There are a number of other examples in which we've worked very closely with them. The question of rights: they've been very concerned that the United States and others, by the language in the document, we're trying to establish a universal right and understood -- the United Nations has a set of understood universal rights that relate to torture, relate to the treatment of individuals, relate to the basic human rights that have been fundamental to the United Nations system for a long time.
There's been agreement right-by-right. The Vatican was concerned that this document was trying to create a new universal human right. That's been very controversial.
I don't know if you saw the Vice President's speech to the Press Club last week in which he spent a good deal of time focusing right on that and trying to clarify. We're not talking about a new "right;" we're talking about, in our language, "access." It's the access to the full range of reproductive health care services. That's what we're talking about.
So these are the kinds of things where language like the "family in all its forms" or "right" can mean some things to some people and other things to other people, and you have to be very careful about that in drafting. So we've worked very closely with the Catholic church. I use those as two examples where they have been very helpful to us in better understanding. You know, what you see depends on where you sit and how they perceive that language.
Q Senator Wirth, a senior Administration spokesman at a briefing yesterday said that in your March cable to embassies around the world that perhaps you had gone a bit too far on this "right" issue, and that the acceptance of the European Community language on not establishing any new rights is there to solve this perception problem. Is that the case?
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: If we had to do it all over again, that particular paragraph was not as artfully written as it might have been. We were not aware of the fact that this would create the kind of fire storm and misinterpretation as to what we meant. We were talking about access and other people thought it was a capital "R" universal human right. I wouldn't say it was a matter of going too far. It was a matter of just sort of not understanding what kind of perception there would be of that language.
We have since clarified that and very much appreciate the input and kind of constructive engagement on that kind of clarification.
Q Senator, I wonder if you could address the issue of the Vatican's profound disagreement with the idea of artificial birth control, and the extent to which it is pushing its case, even going to send emissaries to places like Libya and Iran, evidently an effort to generate some movement within Islamic fundamentalism in support of their position.
To what extent do you believe that the Vatican's opposition -- and perhaps in combination with fundamentalist Muslims -- could undermine the whole notion of artificial birth control and presumably the whole notion of what you're trying to accomplish?
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: I think that there are very, very few countries that now oppose the access by women and families to family planning information material. That is such a very tiny minority position.
For example, last week, the Grand Mufti of Egypt -- the religious leader of Egypt -- came out in a very clear statement about the fact that family planning programs are absolutely consistent with what their belief system is. The same thing goes on, if you look at Indonesia -- one of the most effective family planning programs in the world in a very large Muslim country.
There are still those who are opposed to any kind of contraceptive devices being made available to individuals.
The document reads in such a way that it tries to focus on family planning to include, for those for whom it is appropriate, natural methods of family planning as opposed to "chemical barriers or other artificial mechanisms of family planning."
The access to family planning in all of its various measures is now acceptable by an overwhelming number of people in the world and that certainly will not change in this document. I could not imagine that changing in this document.
Q Secretary Wirth, on the subject of your visits with Cardinal O'Connor, have you, or has the Cardinal brought to your attention the subject of the great proliferation of prophetic warnings concerning abortion? And, secondly have you read any of the specific warnings that have been coming from around the world on this subject?
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: Warnings about abortion?
Q Warnings about abortion, sir?
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: What kind of warnings? What you mean "warnings?"
Q I mentioned prophetic, coming from --
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: What kind of prophetic warnings? What does that mean?
Q That would be a source such as mystics within the Catholic church or within the orthodox church --
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: I've consulted with a lot of people, but I haven't yet had a lot of discussions on the subject. Maybe I've left something unattended in terms of -- on the abortion issues, again, I would just point out that out of 189 countries that participate in the United Nations, 172 sanction abortion in some form. Again, there are differences of national law and how that is done.
Again, we believe and suggested last Spring an amendment offered to the Colombians, and I hope this is language that's ultimately accepted, that access to reproductive health-care services should be done within the framework of national laws.
Each nation decides for itself how it wants to handle this extremely and personal and often very controversial question.
Tim, last question.
Q You mentioned the $15 billion target. Can you tell us what specific funding commitments the U.S. is planning to make and what funding commitments you hope to hear from other countries at the conference?
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: I tried to begin to outline that. We are currently, in the world -- approximately $6 billion is now being spent on family planning information and services. This does not include funding for girls education, child survival, and so on, which is also part of the broad package. But, in a narrow sense, about $6 billion is being spent today. Of that amount, about a third comes from the developed world and about two-thirds from the developing world.
We are the largest contributor today. When this Administration came into office, we were at a little more than $300 million a year of family planning services and information.
This year in the budget, the Congress has allocated $585 billion for family planning alone; in addition, in a number of other budgets -- in our budget with Egypt, for example, our aid program includes a lot of family planning money. The program in the Middle East, for the Gaza Strip, includes family planning money. So we're at $585- plus.
The Japanese are now at $400-plus million, and made a contribution. The British have increased theirs to -- over a three-period -- I think it's close to $200 million, if I remember the numbers right. The Australians have tripled their funding, I think, from around $20 million to around $60 million a year. So this is the scope.
Q But do we plan, or is there the possibility that we'll make a commitment to increase our proportion? As you mentioned, it's $6 billion being spent now, but a need for $15 billion by the end of the century. So, obviously, there have to be increases in contributions.
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: That's one of the follow-up mechanisms. That's one of the key issues -- not key issues -- but one of the organizational issues that Cairo will be continuing follow-up and the continuing work to make sure that all of us are increasing our funds, both donor nations and recipient nations, to reach the goal at Cairo.
Q So you don't expect commitments at this conference to specific increases over the next five or six --
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: A lot of those, we've done those beforehand. The ones that I've talked about, we're sort of lining those up beforehand. We could have waited and done it all at Cairo but we wanted to kind of build a momentum going into Cairo with the World Bank, the Japanese, and others.
I would say the Japanese have been really extraordinary in their change of foreign policy and the change of their commitments on this front.
Q On Pakistan, U.S. aid has been curtailed by the Pressler Amendment. How has that affected the American contribution to family planning in Pakistan and Pakistan's attempts to control families?
UNDER SECRETARY WIRTH: We have been bluntly disappointed in two areas of the world in the effectiveness of family planning programs, and one is on the sub-continent and the other in sub-Saharan African. There have been great successes like in North Africa and Latin America, in most of Asia -- great successes -- and Pakistan has been one of the disappointments.
Mrs. Bhuto is coming to the conference. I believe she'll be having a bilateral or meeting with the Vice President. She has committed herself to try to get going again on this. We have to work out the appropriate language of the Congress, because on the non-proliferation side, as you probably know, we are precluded from direct aid programs with Pakistan, but there is in the law a provision that we can work through non-governmental organizations.
So we would like to work with the Pakistanis and get that program going again. The Indians -- the other part of the problem on the sub-continent -- are also very committed to again re-entering modern family planning programs, and Ambassador Wisner has put this as one of his top priorities. He's, as you know, our new Ambassador in Egypt.
Bangladesh has had very successful programs, and people point to Bangladesh, as they do to Colombia, as they do to Indonesia, as some of the success stories in the world.
Thank you all very much.
(Under Secretary Wirth concluded his briefing at 1:18 p.m., after which Mr. McCurry began his briefing)
MR. McCURRY: Thank you, Under Secretary Wirth. I'll go and do other areas now until the two Deputy Secretaries come. I'll knock off when they come in, and we'll go to questions about Haiti.
I'll start first by making sure everyone is aware of the statement that the President has made about developments concerning Ireland today. The President has hailed as a watershed announcement the IRA's declaration today that it will end the 25-year campaign of violence that it has pursued.
The President notes that while much work certainly remains to be done, the IRA's decision to join the political process can mark the beginning of a new era that holds the promise of peace for all the people of Northern Ireland.
President Clinton talked today to both Prime Minister Reynolds and Prime Minister Major to congratulate them on this development and also to stress that the United States hopes that these developments and the process itself will bring a lasting and just peace to Northern Ireland.
The United States will continue to urge the IRA and all who have supported it to fulfill the promise of today's announcement to end the use and support of violence, just as we continue to call on all parties who have sought to achieve political goals through violence to cease to do so. There must be a permanent end to the violence in Northern Ireland -- make sure you had that statement.
Q Could you explain how the granting of the visas to Mr. Treanor and Cahill figured into this? What was the rationale for giving them the visas, and were the British consulted on that, and what was their position?
MR. McCURRY: The British were consulted. I believe the British Government has indicated their views, and I would leave it to them to comment. The view of the United States was that the granting of two limited B-2 class visas to Mr. Cahill and to Mr. Treanor would make it possible for these leaders of the Sinn Fein to, with the supporters of Sinn Fein and the IRA in the United States, make it possible for them to advise them of the steps to be taken today and to build support for what we hope will be a process in Northern Ireland that leads to a just and lasting peace.
Q Would you say this one was non-controversial -- is contra the Adams visa which caused some disagreement within the --
MR. McCURRY: Not apparently.
Q It wasn't?
MR. McCURRY: Not apparently.
Q The Secretary supported it? He didn't like the Adams visa.
MR. McCURRY: The Secretary always supports the decision of the President.
Q But he was against the Adams visa.
MR. McCURRY: The Secretary offers advice within interagency formats, and we keep that type of advice and counsel private.
Q There's some skepticism among some in the region that this is a ploy on the IRA's part. Do we have any way to test their sincerity?
MR. McCURRY: I believe, to quote Prime Minister Major today, "It's deeds, not words that will matter most." And to quote President Clinton, "There's a lot of work that does need to be done." That's why we continue to call on the IRA to fulfill those pledges that it has made and why we continue to call for a permanent end to the violence.
Q Have there been, Mike, any discussions between any member of the Administration and either the IRA or Sinn Fein? And, if there have been, can you indicate what discussions there have been?
MR. McCURRY: Not that I'm aware of, although obviously we've had Consular officers and Customs officers who have deal with the two who arrived here yesterday.
Q What's the status of the old plan for a U.S. peace envoy for Ireland? There's been some speculation that will be up and running again.
MR. McCURRY: We have a set answer to that question, and I'm blanking on it at the moment. I think it's -- someone help me who's heard our set answer --
Q (Inaudible) (Laughter)
MR. McCURRY: We remain very interested in the peace process and continue to work very closely with the Governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and will continue to do what we can do to be helpful; and, of course, if that type of idea would prove to be helpful at a future date, it is one that we have not ruled out. It goes something like that. It's probably somewhat a little better, but that was close enough.
Other questions. Sid.
Q A different topic.
MR. McCURRY: Different topic. Go!
Q On the meetings in the Middle East, the meetings yesterday with Yuri Savir, today the Trilateral Economic Commission, and tomorrow the Donor Conference -- can you sort of talk a little bit about what's going on? And then also specifically tomorrow, will the donors be considering, as a way to get aid flowing to the Palestinians, a proposal to put their own nations' accountants to work directly with Arafat so they can control the flow of their own money?
MR. McCURRY: The last piece of that is something that's more specific than I have. I'm not aware of that. But I'll tell you a little bit about the informal meeting of the Trilateral Economic Committee that is being held today here between Israelis, U.S. and Jordanian delegations. The talks -- these follow up, in a sense, some of the expert-level talks that were held recently in Jordan.
The Jordanian delegation is headed by Ambassador Tarawneh -- I've mispronounced it, and I apologize to the Ambassador -- and the Israeli side by Eli Rubinstein. The U.S. team has got a lot of our regular members of the peace team -- Dennis Ross and Toni Verstandig. They are only meeting today, as far as I know. I'm not aware of anything that they're doing tomorrow in connection with that. But they will build on previous discussions that have been held by the Trilateral Economic Committee.
They are looking specifically at the Jordanian Rift Valley Development project. That's been the focus of the talks today. The purpose is to look at some of the concrete, practical things they can do to assist in the development of the Rift Valley, and I don't want to get into the specifics while they continue to talk, particularly an idea like that one. But I wouldn't suggest to you that's not an idea of the kind that they have been exploring in the talks.
Q Anything new on the Secretary's trip?
MR. McCURRY: Nothing new. It's back -- as of checking yesterday -- where we left it on Monday, that there's a calendar in September, and the Secretary has indicated he would probably go in September, and you start running out of dates when you look at all the other events underway.
Q And the donor meeting tomorrow?
MR. McCURRY: I'll have to check on that, Sid. I'm not sure what they're going to be doing.
Q But there is a donors' meeting tomorrow?
MR. McCURRY: I don't have that here. They don't make reference to that. But if NEA can bring me something during the briefing, we'll get back to that.
Q On Cuba --
MR. McCURRY: Cuba? Okay.
Q Can you give us a little update on safehavens for the folks who are now at Guantanamo?
MR. McCURRY: We have got a lot of discussions underway with governments in the region on safehavens for both Cubans and Haitians. You probably saw today, reported in a variety of places, some of the comments by the incoming Panamanian Government that the incoming Balladares Government has agreed that we can use U.S. military facilities under the Panama Canal Treaties to provide safehaven facilities for approximately 10,000 Cubans for a period up to six months.
We've got signed memoranda of understanding with three countries -- Suriname, St. Lucia and Dominica -- for safehaven facilities for 2,500, 5,000, and 2,500 Haitians respectively. I'm putting the Haitians and Cubans together for the simple reason that a lot of these discussions have been back and forth. Some of them have provided facilities for one, and they are in discussions about whether or not we can roll over those agreements and make them available for Cubans as well.
Q Could you repeat those numbers?
MR. McCURRY: Go through them again? Yes. Suriname, St. Lucia, Dominica; and 2,500, 5,000, 2,500, respectively.
Q Those are Cubans?
MR. McCURRY: Those are Haitians. Those agreements are for Haitians.
Q And there's (inaudible) Cubans?
MR. McCURRY: Those are available for Cubans.
Q What happens then?
MR. McCURRY: After six months, we'll see.
Q We said indefinitely. That may be longer than six months.
MR. McCURRY: We've got the agreement for a period of six months. Whether or not it could be extended, if there were a need to be extended, is something we'd have to explore at a later day.
Q Mike, is the 10,000 in Panama in addition to the 10,000 that they had pledged previously for Haiti, or these are just total numbers for safehaven --
MR. McCURRY: If you recall, the current government - - I mean, my recollection is the current government had indicated some interest in helping with a safehaven, and they reconsidered that, so that these discussions, as indicated by a representative of the new government yesterday or with the incoming government -- they deal with Cubans.
Q These are all total spaces, whether they are Haitian or Cuban?
MR. McCURRY: Yes. Total spaces. I believe the discussion with the Balladares Government, the government- elect, has been related to Cuban migrants.
Q Have you heard from Honduras?
MR. McCURRY: We've seen a statement from the Foreign Minister of Honduras, and we certainly welcome it. They've indicated that they intend to provide space, and we're in discussion with them about how that would work.
Q (Multiple questions)
MR. McCURRY: Hold on for just a second.
Q (Inaudible) boat people.
MR. McCURRY: Yes. Hold on. Turks and Caicos. They've got the site on Grand Turk Island. It could be used for migrants, either Cubans or Haitians if the need arises. It was obviously built for and designed for processing, not necessarily for safehaven status. But they could look at the question of whether or not they activate that site for safehaven status.
Q Two thousand?
MR. McCURRY: I believe it was 2,000. I think that's right.
Q Has been no request from the U.S. Government to change the status of what that fully up-and-running facility could do?
MR. McCURRY: Jack, I don't think it is fully up-and- running.
Q Well, not fully up-and-running, but the wires are up, the plumbing is in, the electricity is there?
MR. McCURRY: They would have to activate that site if they were going to use it. I'm not aware that they've had any requests to activate it yet.
Q When we were over at the Pentagon a couple of weeks ago, they were talking about how in order to get Cubans into their space on Guantanamo, they were getting a lot of tents and logistical support from Turks and Caicos. Is that going to have to go back from Guantanamo to Turks and Caicos again?
MR. McCURRY: Dennis Boxx will walk in this door in a minute. I would be more than happy to give him full rights and privileges at this podium, since he's normally at the Pentagon. I do think that they struck some of the tents that were at Turks and Caicos, used them over at Guantanamo, but the Pentagon folks would know a lot better than I would. That's why I think, Jack, they're not really ready to go up-and-running.
MR. McCURRY: That's right. They had bad weather anticipated, and they ended up moving some of those to Guantanamo, I believe.
Q Mike, could you go through the logistics for what's going to happen tomorrow in the talks with the Cubans?
MR. McCURRY: I sure can, but I want to get back -- someone asked about numbers so far today, and let me not forget that question. As of 10:00, the Coast Guard had retrieved 398 unfortunate souls from the straits, and that compares -- yesterday I think the 10:00 o'clock number was around 710. So it's down somewhat, but, as we keep telling you, it will be a while before we see any type of trend that we are confident in using to make an analysis of what is going on with departures from Cuba. But we still see a great number of them.
Q How about Haitians?
MR. McCURRY: Haitians. There were the first interceptions off Haiti in quite a while yesterday. I think the number was 71 in two separate boats that were interdicted by the Coast Guard.
Q What do you make of that?
MR. McCURRY: We make of that, those are the first in a long while.
Q You might have done this already. Of the Cubans that are in Guantanamo, do you have a number on the number that have said that they would rather go back than sit around in Guantanamo? I mean, is there a significant number that's --
MR. McCURRY: Of the Cubans?
MR. McCURRY: It's described to me as a number between 200 and 250 who have expressed an interest in returning. Again, this is because they arrived at "Gitmo" and they then run through some type of screening interview with a U.S. official and advised of the fact that they are not going to be processed for admission to the United States.
By the way, the Post reports today that they somehow or other might go back and get preferential treatment when they return to Havana, if they go into the Interests Section. I'm not aware of anywhere in the government where that idea is under consideration. That is not part of the planning that we're doing, nor is it connected to anything that we will be proposing at the talks tomorrow, which brings us back to the talks tomorrow, Norm.
Christine (Shelly), correct anything that I do wrong here. Christine's been checking on exactly what the arrangements are for coverage tomorrow.
They will begin tomorrow at 9:00 o'clock at the U.S. Mission in New York -- USUN. I think, as you know, the U.S. delegation will be led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Skol; the Cuban delegation by the Chairman of the National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcone. I'm looking for a broadcast person to tell me how to pronounce it.
I strongly suspect Deputy Assistant Secretary Skol will be available, as needed, to give you some updates. Clearly, while there's a sensitive negotiation underway, I don't expect him to say a lot, but he will be able to tell you at least what the status of the dialogue is and perhaps give you some sense of the issues that they're discussing related to immigration.
Q Have you any idea if the Cuban delegation is there yet or when they're arriving?
MR. McCURRY: Not for sure. I think I heard that some may be in New York already, but I don't know for a fact. The Cuban Mission at the U.N. probably is a good place to check.
MR. McCURRY: I'm sorry. Say again.
Q Are copies of the signed memoranda available with the three countries?
MR. McCURRY: I don't know the answer to that. I can check and see. If there are documents that we can make available publicly, we will. I rather doubt it, but I'll try.
Q How about Turks and Caicos?
MR. McCURRY: I'll see. Any documentation that is public that we can release, we'll do it, but I suspect that we probably won't be able to.
One last question.
Q These talks with the Caribbean countries, what aid or provisions are the U.S. offering them to help them accommodate Cubans or Haitians? Either in direct financial aid or military aid or supplies or whatever?
MR. McCURRY: That might be a good question for our next guests, because that overlaps in some of the things that they've been working on.
Any last before we move on to our next subject? Bill, last one.
Q Has Castro taken anybody back, and what -- this, I take it, is going to be a priority item in New York?
MR. McCURRY: It will be. The status of those who are currently at Guantanamo who can be voluntarily returned will be a subject that we will pursue vigorously, and in the past, the Cuban Government has accepted the return through Guantanamo of people who have been at Guantanamo for a variety of different reasons, obviously in somewhat different circumstances. But that will be something that we will pursue.
Q Just one on thing on China. Any comment on the detention of Wang Dang?
MR. McCURRY: Yes -- the detention and now apparently the release. We obviously had been very concerned about Wang Dan's detention last week by Chinese authorities. This is prior to Secretary Brown's arrival. We found equally disturbing the reports that since his initial release last weekend, Chinese authorities continue to harass him, preventing him from leaving his apartment building.
There's even a report that alleges that police beat Wang to prevent him from leaving home. We're very distressed by the reports that he was again detained for several hours today in Beijing, and we call upon Chinese authorities to respect Wang Dan's human rights and the rights of other Chinese citizens who certainly have the right to be able to freely express themselves, to move about freely, and to enjoy those rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the Chinese Government indicates that it subscribes to.
I've got two somewhat road-weary Deputy Secretaries of State and Defense who spent 20 hours yesterday, as you know, meeting with CARICOM officials and visiting the Dominican Republic. Several of you had asked for an opportunity to see both Deputy Secretary Talbott and Deputy Secretary Deutch upon their return, and I'm delighted to make them available and delighted to welcome my colleagues from the Pentagon who, if they had been here earlier, would have been called up to the Podium to handle some of the questions that I didn't do so well on.
But it's a great pleasure to welcome Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Deputy Secretary of Defense John Deutch. I believe they both have statements, and then they will take questions.
(Mr. McCurry concluded his briefing at 1:37 p.m., after which Acting Secretary Talbott and Deputy Secretary Deutch began their briefing.)
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: Good afternoon, everybody. As I look out across this room, I see one or two faces that are equally road-weary. A couple of you John and I last saw just about exactly 12 hours ago at Andrews Air Force Base when we returned from our trip. But I know there was and continues to be quite a bit of interest, and so we thought we'd take this opportunity to give you a report on our one-day trip down to Jamaica for the CARICOM joint ministerial meeting and to the Dominican Republic to meet with the leadership there and also to visit the base of the Multilateral Observer Group that is going to be helping the Dominicans enforce the sanctions along the Dominican-Haitian border.
Let me just say a word or two by way of introduction of Secretary Deutch. There's been a lot in the commentary as well as the news articles about our Haiti policy, about signals and message, and those two words appeared in a couple of the pieces that reported on our trip yesterday.
We make no bones of the fact that we are indeed trying to send a very clear signal and a very clear message, primarily to the leadership in Port-au-Prince, and we welcome the chance, quite candidly, to reinforce that signal and that message again today.
Security Council Resolution 940 authorized the international community, the member states of the United Nations, to use all necessary means to bring about the departure of the dictators from Haiti and establish the conditions that allow the restoration of democracy in Haiti.
What was significant about yesterday's meeting in Jamaica is that the CARICOM countries committed themselves as a group to support of Resolution 940 and to very specifically the all necessary means provision. And four of the seven member states of CARICOM that have military forces committed themselves to contribute and participate in what we are calling the Multinational Force or MNF. This would be the force that would go into Haiti, either under permissive or hostile circumstances, in order to carry out the will of the international community.
The four states that are already committed to participate are Jamaica, Barbados, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago. The other three, Antigua, Bahamas and Guyana, are involved in discussions with our government, and we think it's quite possible, indeed likely, that some of them will also contribute.
But the point I wanted to stress here is that CARICOM as a group unanimously endorsed the action in the next step.
Also, several of the CARICOM states that do not have military forces are prepared, we believe to contribute police. Police will be an extremely important part of the international effort in Haiti after the departure of the dictators and the restoration of democracy.
Let me turn the podium over to Dr. Deutch.
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: Thank you, Strobe. I must admit to coming to the State Department press room with a lump in my throat. It's always important to see the State Department calling somebody in Defense and asking to come over here to speak with you all. I'm particularly happy that I'm able to help my friend Strobe present our policy views to the press. I'm pleased to do that.
But there's a serious aspect here. The serious aspect is that there is a diplomatic and political aspect to this Haitian crisis that the State Department is describing to you. There's also a military aspect. My purpose here in appearing with Secretary Talbott, our trip yesterday, was to make sure that everybody knew both within our government and especially in Haiti that the Defense Department and the State Department are together on the policy that we are following. That's a very important point, and it is true in all particulars.
The second is the question of the message. Strobe has said it very clearly. The way I say it is that the Multinational Force is going to Haiti. The issue is the circumstances under which that force enters Haiti. It could be under a permissive circumstance at the request of the legitimate government, with the authority of the U.N. Resolution, or it can be under contested circumstances if the de facto government the illegal government in Haiti, does not come to its senses and realizes that the world is determined to see a change in that government back to the democratically elected Government of Haiti.
Our interest in this purpose is very simple. Why this message is so important is that we would like that intervention to take place with the minimum number of casualties possible, both of the Multinational Force and for the people of Haiti. It's impossible to assure that there will be no casualties, of course, in any venture of this kind. We want to stress that the intervention, the Multinational Force intervention, will have overwhelming force associated with it so as to try and minimize casualties, should that be needed; but the best of all circumstances will be if the de factos leave and the legitimate Government of Haiti will be able to come in with the Multinational Force and have this transition to the legitimate government as rapidly as possible.
The last point that I would like to make to you is that our planning is in place. As Strobe has described, we will integrate in our training beginning immediately at Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico the contingents which are coming from the CARICOM nations and other contingents as they arrive. That training will include involved with the planning logistical support, command control and communications -- all the things which are required to have an effective integrated force. But planning also importantly includes a procedure for turning over the responsibilities of the Multinational Force to the subsequent phase of a United Nations Mission in Haiti, the so-called UNMIH. So that we believe that we are ready when the circumstances warrant to return the legitimate government to Haiti, and we will do so as promptly and as effectively as we can, once again with a minimum number of casualties and hopefully in the absence of the de facto government in that country.
Thank you very much.
Q Secretary Deutch, could I ask you if there's in your view good reason to wait some weeks or some months to see if the sanctions and other pressures work before implementing this plan?
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: I don't want to enter into a discussion of timing. I think that that is a tactical judgment that has to be made, both by the political leadership but also by our military. But what I want to stress to you is that we are prepared for an eventuality soon.
Q But to put it more personally, how do you feel when you see reports, including the report on your apparently successful mission that Secretary Talbott is -- it's time to move now to do something to throw out these dictators as quickly as possible, and the Pentagon -- you folks, despite your strong words are more inclined to wait a while to let other measures take their course.
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: I don't think there is any difference between Strobe Talbott and myself on this issue, and I don't believe there are any differences between the Pentagon and the State Department on this issue of timing.
Q Secretary Deutch the strongest language that I for one have heard you speak on this issue -- if I read you correctly, you're saying today that the invasion is likely, if not imminent.
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: I don't think the word "invasion" is appropriate here. We are, as we say, trying very hard to send a signal to the illegitimate government of Haiti that they should get out of that country, so that international forces acting under a U.N. resolution can restore the legitimate government and bring back peace and prosperity to the people of Haiti.
Q Just a follow-up, please. The type of force that these countries are providing -- combatants, non- combatants, mixed -- what are the troops going to be like?
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: I think we'll see a mixture of those troops, both naval and land. I believe that the Argentinians and the United Kingdom are prepared to provide naval forces. Strobe mentioned correctly the great importance, from the point of view of the civilian population, of having prompt police -- return of normalcy to police functions.
Many of the CARICOM nations will be extremely important in helping with that civilian police function.
Q Strobe, what actually does the Administration perceive doing with Mr. Cedras and colleagues under the scenario of a non-permissive entry?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: If General Cedras and his colleagues are still in Port-au-Prince when the multinational force goes in, I think it's a dead certainty that they would be apprehended and in due course turned over to the legitimate government of Haiti, which would be restored.
Q What was your joint analysis about the leakiness or non-leakiness of the border along the Dominican Republic?
Q John, I'm sure, will want to speak to that, too. It was important and useful for us to see with our own eyes the situation there. We took a helicopter tour, thanks to the courtesy of the multilateral observer group, which is already in place there. What was apparent is that the leakage across the border takes several forms. But to oversimplify a bit, you might say macro and micro.
Macro consists of such things as illegal, sort of jury-rigged pipelines. We one such. Another is the movement of very large drums of petroleum products.
Then, at the micro-level, there are a lot of individuals who move back and forth across the border with very small cannisters, a gallon or two.
So we had a much more vivid sense of the problem. We also got a sense of the solution. The solution, I think, will be particularly in the macro area.
The purpose of the multilateral observer group will be to fly over and otherwise patrol the borders so as to identify such things as illegal pipelines, and bring them to the attention of the Dominican authorities who will then use the Dominican armed forces in order to essentially close off those channels of illicit passage of petroleum products into Haiti.
Dr. Deutch and Leon Firth and I did meet with President Balaguer at the end of the day. He recommitted his government to work very closely with the MOG to try to bring this problem even more under control.
Q Have you seen any results yet? Is any action being taken to close off some of these pipelines and delivery systems?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: There has been some evidence. We heard -- this is all not very scientific. It's anecdotal. Our U.S. military hosts said that they had actually seen a diminution of the amount of this illegal traffic in the couple of weeks since they have been operating there. Simply having helicopter flights over the border has had a deterrent effect on at least some of the smuggling. But let John comment, if he could.
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: I think Strobe set the problem exactly correctly. I think in the next two weeks, or even a week, the effectiveness of this group will cause prices of gasoline to go substantially higher in Port-au- Prince.
Q On the pipeline, was that carrying gasoline, or is that still to be determined? Do you know?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: I, for one, can't answer it. It was a very amateurish-looking operation. I can't remember, Charlie, if you were in one of the helicopters at the time. Did you see it as well?
Q The pipeline. But I'm not sure what's in it, and I didn't know if they told you what it was.
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: I'm told that it's believed to carry gasoline. It certainly looked like it to be no other purpose.
Q Do you have any commitments for troops from beyond the four Caribbean countries plus Argentina and Britain? If you don't have additional, do you need additional?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: We will be continuing to work with our partners in the international coalition between now and when it is necessary and appropriate to deploy the MNF. We're very confident, when the time comes, we will have what it takes.
Q You talked about the message that you're trying to send today. But from the reporting out of Haiti, it would seem that the people there still don't believe you. I wonder if you could address this question of this government not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time?
Can you deal with this issue and the Cuban issue simultaneously, practically speaking and politically speaking?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: Yes, I believe we can. While obviously there was an element of message-sending in the trip that John and I and Leon took, there was also practical work to be done. The practical work, particularly on the part of the Department of Defense is going to involve the United States conducting joint exercises and training efforts with the other countries. I would hope that if this apparently skeptical, and I would say self-deluding, audience in Port-au-Prince is not impressed by what John, Leon, and I have been saying from podiums down there and here today, they would pay very close attention to what will be happening among the armed forces of the participants in this operation.
Q Cuba is not a problem either politically or practically to you?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: Obviously, Barrie, Cuba is a problem.
Q But I mean in terms of an inhibiting problem for doing something specific in Haiti?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: It is not an inhibiting problem.
Q If there is a decision to actually deploy the MNF -- and it's obvious that the message --
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: There will be a decision to deploy the MNF.
Q When there is a decision, whenever that might be, does it make sense to issue an ultimatum before doing that? Or is there a decision on that yet?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: The short answer is, it might. I think an ultimatum like the deployment of the MNF in a hostile environment is an option that is available to the President and to our partners in this venture. It's a tactical judgment that we will make at the time.
Q (Inaudible) what the American contribution to this multinational force is going to be? We're talking 266 people from these other countries. How many Americans are we talking about? And all these Americans -- where are they going coming from in the United States? Are they all going to go down to Puerto Rico and train with the Caribbean soldiers?
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: I think that the answer with respect to the size of the force required by the United States military initially could be in excess of 10,000 individuals.
I want to make the point once again that the force will be overwhelming so as to make it every step possible to reduce the likelihood of casualties. Casualties, of course, cannot be ruled out. But we want to have a situation where the force is so overwhelming that the possibility of casualties is minimized both to the troops of the multinational force and also to civilian Haitians - - peaceful civilian Haitians. So it will be a large force initially and it will be drawn down as the security conditions on the island permit.
Q Are all 10,000 going to go to Puerto Rico to train?
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: No, they will not. I'm sorry -- thank you -- I'm sorry if I missed that point. That will not be necessary. The training that will be done in Puerto Rico is exclusively to assure that the new units that are coming in from these countries will have the necessary integration in terms of the planning and in terms of the communications, logistic support, and the like to integrate well with the U.S. forces.
Q A question for you and for Strobe, if I may. Is there any agreement in place between the United States and the Dominican Republic to use the DR to move the MNF across the border via land rather than coming in solely by sea?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: I don't think that will be necessary.
Q Isn't it true, though, essentially it would be a U.S. invasion? You're not going to have paratroopers from Belize and Britain and Argentina dropping into Port- au-Prince?
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: My answer to that is, it's not essentially a U.S. invasion. You have this as a part of a multinational force which has been sanctioned by the United Nations. You will have, at the same time I believe, U.N. observers present to watch the performance of this multinational force. You'll have integrated in it several nations, as has been mentioned here. So I would not characterize it at all in the way you have.
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: Maybe add just one word on that. It's very important not to downplay the importance of the non-combat components of the operation. We've spoken already a couple of times about police. That doesn't just mean policemen, per se. It also means police trainers and police monitors.
Without at the same time in any way belittling the importance of pulling off the first phase of this, particularly if it has to take place in a hostile environment, we all recognize that in many ways a very hard part of the task remains after the departure of the dictatorial regime and for quite some time afterwards.
Our partners in the coalition are going to play an absolutely vital role in many non-combat capacities.
Q You've addressed two different issues. When would President Aristide be likely to return to Haiti if the U.S. had to go in under hostile circumstances? Would he be there very quickly, in the first 24 hours? Have you discussed this issue with him. That's number one.
Number two, after the hostile phase, if there is such a thing, what are your plans for how quickly American troops might be able to be withdrawn from that area?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: It's difficult to speak with absolute precision on either point, of course. Of course, we've talked to President Aristide about this and virtually every other feature of this. He is, after all, the democratically elected government, and the restoration of democracy is what this is about.
President Aristide, who speaks with Bill Gray on virtually a daily basis, has indicated that his intention would be to come back in a matter of days; something like perhaps ten days. Not hours. We would want to obviously make sure that he was returning to an environment in which there was no organized military resistance.
As to the question of when there would be a hand-off from the so-called multinational force to the UNMIH -- the United Nations Mission in Haiti -- this is the 6,000- person unit that is also provided for under U.N. resolutions -- that will depend on the judgment and decision of the Secretary General of the United Nations. But he will have the benefit of advice from his monitors and observers who will be on the ground with the multinational force and also he will have the advice of the participating countries in the MNF, with the United States being prominently among them.
Q Do you feel Haiti needs to be reorganized -- the basic institutions? Can you adopt and adapt those existing institutions or do you have to start from scratch, which many people in the military believe the institutions have been destroyed and totally corrupted.
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: That's a complicated question. There are some institutions, obviously, that will require extensive -- and this is something that President Aristide has spoken to on a number of occasions -- others that can make the transition more or less intact. Others are somewhere in between. I think at some point, when it becomes more timely, we will certainly want to give you a full briefing on the political strategy. Yes?
Q Secretary Talbott, once again, of this multinational force, approximately how many will be non- Americans? How long in the training is expected, Dr. Deutch? And then how much is this all going to cost and who is going to pay for it?
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: Your first question -- I'm sorry, sir -- was --?
Q How many CARICOM --
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: Of the initial number?
Q Yes, that will be in training. Yes, initially.
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: Would you really just take rough numbers?
Q Yes. Apart from where it looks like right now.
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: You might argue, just for the sake of assumption, roughly ten thousand troops, total; and of which perhaps ten percent would be from other countries. But, of course, that's not going to be known until we have gone through the process of both getting agreement for participation and integrating the forces.
How much training is required, that depends. I would say seven to fourteen days would not be a bad indication for the amount of training. How much is it going to cost? That depends on the length of time and the number of troops, U.S. troops, that are present over-time.
I want to tell you with some degree of passion that the issue of how to cover the cost is very much on our mind. And we would expect that the cost for this enterprise would probably have to be covered by a supplemental.
Q When would the pan-American troops go in? What would be the timing of that? The non-American troops what would be the timing?
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: I would say beginning roughly ten days after the initial deployments.
Q How many American troops in the first ten days?
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: I mean -- again, you shouldn't -- I don't want to be overly precise here, but I would think that the bulk of the non-U.S. troops would be deployed within the first ten days.
Q Returning to the question of cost, I mean, when you talk about a supplemental, what kind of range of figures are you using, within the margin of error that is obviously large? In billions, hundreds of millions?
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: I'm not actually going to give you an off-the-cuff number here, because it would have to require a good deal of discussion of assumptions. But it is a significant amount of money. It's not money that the Defense Department can just absorb in its routine activities.
Q Can I ask you about the U.N. end to this, the diplomatic end to this? You know what happened with he rejection of the envoy, and Boutros-Ghali says, "Yes, that's it, unless I have new instructions." Is it the Administration's view the U.N. has done about what you would want them or hope for them to do, or are you going to ask for some other intervention?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: Let me answer in context, if I could, Barry.
It's our position, and that of virtually all the countries we are involved with here, that the use of force, particularly in a hostile environment, is a last resort. And by last resort, I mean we want to make sure that we have exhausted all other avenues for resolving this.
Now, one of those avenues, of course, is strict enforcement of the U.N. sanctions. That's why we went to the Dominican Republic. That's why we are going to be pulling out all the stops, to try to help the Dominican Government to close that border.
But another peaceful, as it were, avenue that is open is the diplomatic avenue, and I would say that two recent developments that contributed substantially to the atmosphere in Jamaica yesterday and that reinforced the CARICOM countries and their feeling that they were doing the right thing, was the murder of Father Vincent, which was a reminder of the nature of the regime, and also the stiffing of Mr. Knutsson, the Secretary General's envoy.
If there are other diplomatic opportunities that arise, we, of course, will try to take full advantage of them as long as the stated explicit and limited purpose of those diplomatic initiatives is to give Cedras and company a chance to negotiate the modalities of their departure and their full compliance with the U. N. resolutions.
Q Just to clarify one point, and then (inaudible) real quick. You said earlier that the U.N. Secretary General would decide when U.S. troops handed off, safe for the U.S. invasion force to withdraw, and hand off to the peacekeeping force, for lack of a better word, which sort of cuts to my real question. Will Boutros-Ghali have overall operational control of this invasion?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: I think since U.S. military forces are obviously a key part of this, I'm going to ask Secretary Deutch to speak to this. My first statement means that there is a process in place. Remember that both the multinational force and the UNMIH are authorized by the U.N. The United States is leading an international operation on behalf of the U.N.
So the Secretary General would be the one who would say the point has now come to hand off from the MNF to the UNMIH. But I can assure you that the Secretary General will not say that unless and until the United States, which is bearing, of course, the lion's share of the responsibility, operationally and otherwise, for the MNF, says that we are at a point where that should happen.
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: I should be extremely clear that the U.S. troops that are involved in the multinational force will be under a U.S. Commander. The entire force will be under a U.S. Commander, and only a U.S. Commander will have operational control of the U.S. military forces.
Of course the entire multinational force is serving a broader political and diplomatic purpose, and in that regard that force is going to have to serve the political direction not only of the United Nations and the President of the United States, but also the legitimate government of Haiti. But from the point of view of military control, the military control will be under a U.S. Commander, and there has been no question about that.
Q Well, Boutros-Ghali hasn't always been the most reliable partner in this type of situation. I would point to the air strikes in the Balkans. What guarantees do you have that he'll do what you tell him to do?
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: It's not that I'm telling - - we have worked out very carefully the command authority here for the multinational force and indeed for the subsequent U.N. Mission in Haiti, and I believe that there is no difference of opinion between the United States and the United Nations on that subject.
Q Strobe, could I just have one more? There is a report --
MC: Last two questions.
Q There is a report from the U.N. today that three Indian doctors were killed in an attack in Bai Doa. As Somalia falls apart, and given the undemocratic history of Haiti, what does that tell you about the possibilities for long-term success in Haiti, and committing U.S. troops to that kind of thing, where they could be sniped at and killed?
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: Well, two points there. First of all, I think that one should be very careful about analogies, parallels and comparisons. Haiti, remember, is a country that does have some institutions that are still intact, and on which the restored government can rely, and of course one of the key points here is that Haiti did conduct in December of 1990 a free and fair presidential election that produced a democratically elected government.
We are talking about the restoration of an institution, a process that did exist. Now, it was in its infancy. There is no question about that. But our position is that democracy, particularly in its infancy, needs to be protected.
Another point I would make is that I think that everything that John Deutch has said here and on other occasions makes clear that the U.S. military is going to be prepared for every conceivable contingency, including to stop bad things from happening before they happen. That's the whole reason that we are talking about numbers of the scale that we are here.
We are going to hope for the best. We are going to do everything we can to bring about the best, but we are also going to be prepared for the worst. And particularly on militarily speaking.
MR. McCURRY: The last question.
Q Mr. Ambassador, you have gone to great pains to get CARICOM on board, to get U.N. authorization. Why haven't you gone to equal pains to get the Congress of the United States on board on this? And you don't even have a Gulf of Tonkin resolution to cover you on this one.
If you -- do you not think that the regime in Haiti - - you said this regime might take U.S. threats more seriously and might be more ready to stand on peacefully and avoid necessary warfare if they saw that Congress had acted on this.
They understand our system. They understand the power of Congress.
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: Well, if they really understand our system, and they really understand our Congress, then they will take very seriously what they are hearing. And they will see that quite properly there is always debate in the United States about the prospect of putting Americans in harm's way.
This is absolutely healthy, and it is absolutely in keeping with past episodes of this kind, including spectacularly successful ones.
I assure you that we are consulting with Congress very assiduously. Even though the Congress is in recess, I have been on the phone myself in the few hours that I have been back with key Members of Congress. I haven't checked with him, but I wouldn't be surprised if Secretary Deutch has, too, and I assure you that working closely with the Congress throughout this episode, which will not end when the multinational force goes in, will continue right throughout.
John, do you want to add anything on this?
DEPUTY SECRETARY DEUTCH: Not this time.
ACTING SECRETARY TALBOTT: Thanks, very much.
(The briefing concluded at 2:10 p.m.)
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