U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN DAILY PRESS BRIEFING SEPTEMBER 20, 1994 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Tuesday, September, 20 1994 Briefer: Michael McCurry HAITI Aristide Statement Today re: Peaceful Transition ..1-2 Return of Aristide ................................1-3 US Contact with Aristide ..........................1 Mission of Multinational Force.....................3-5,8- 12 -- Reforming Military/Police .....................3-4,8- 11 Amnesty ...........................................4-5 Return of Legislators Supporting Aristide .........5 Status of Sanctions/Embargo .......................5-7 US Agreement with Haiti ...........................8,10-11 Human Rights Abuses ...............................9-10 Refugees ..........................................12 BOSNIA Sarajevo Utilities Cut Off ........................13 Contact Group Activities ..........................13-14 NORTH KOREA President Carter's Discussions ....................14-15 Amb. Gallucci's Meeting with President Carter .....15 Amb. Gallucci Departs for Geneva Tomorrow .........15 IRELAND Gerry Adams Applies for US Visa ...................15-17 Unionist Delegation's Meetings in Washington ......16
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1994, 1:13 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. McCURRY: Hello, everybody. This is the State Department and this is the briefing. And we'll start with whatever questions that you have to ask. I don't have any formal statements today.
Q Do you have President Aristide's assent for the Carter-Cedras agreement?
MR. McCURRY: We have a statement which you have seen, I believe, from President Aristide who, in his statement today, again stresses his commitment to democracy and to his own commitment to a path away from violence for the people of Haiti. That is a very personal commitment, and a very important one, and it is one that can lead to a peaceful transition of power, and for that reason, the statement is very, very welcome by the United States Government.
His statement is totally consistent with our objectives and our policy. We look forward to working very closely with President Aristide, as we create the conditions in Haiti that will be necessary for his return very soon.
Q Mike, who is meeting with Aristide, say today and yesterday, since the invasion, and has he said specifically that he will now return within -- before October 15th, on or before October 15th?
MR. McCURRY: It is certainly our expectation that he will return very shortly, upon departure from power of the military leaders no later than October 15th.
He has had contact with the U.S. Government, Sid. I'm not sure if it has been the combination of Special Advisor William Gray and National Security Advisor Tony Lake, who have met with him recently. I'm not sure if they are the ones who continue to meet with him most closely. I -- didn't check on that today. But we remain in very close contact with the President and his representatives as we plan for his eventual return to Haiti.
Q Just to follow up, a quick one. Has he reiterated his pledge to return since the invasion?
MR. McCURRY: Well, his statement today, I think, speaks for itself. I think he is looking to see the conditions created in Haiti that will allow for his return. He refers to the Governor's Island agreement, the structure of which is embedded in U.N. Security Council resolutions, and those resolutions are exactly those that are referred to in the arrangements that were codified on Sunday in the document signed by President Carter and Jonassaint.
So, you know, in that sense we are, I think, saying exactly the same thing, that the conditions need to be created and the procedure by which he returns is consistent with those that have been agreed to and been stated in U.N. resolutions.
Q Were you surprised that his statement makes no mention of the United States, of President Clinton, or of the efforts undertaken by the U.S. Government?
MR. McCURRY: His statement is consistent with the remarks that he delivered at the White House on Friday and it certainly reflects his own deep commitment to democracy in Haiti, to the need for national reconciliation, and to improving the lives of the Haitian people. And those are very much the goals that we share in common with him.
Q You want to make that comparison with the remarks that he made at the White House on Friday, because a lot of people are saying that they find it lacking in the emotional timbre and fervor of --
MR. McCURRY: I don't really know that's fair. I mean, there have been those who have suggested to me in the past several days from the press that he was likely going to be very critical. I think, in a sense, it was their surprise, and I think that maybe some of you were surprised that he was openly critical of the arrangements made.
His statement, I think, continues the broad argument he laid out on Friday in support of democracy in Haiti, and the pathway to democracy and away from violence, and for that reason it is very welcome.
Q Does it concern you that his lieutenants are being very critical of the Sunday agreement?
MR. McCURRY: Well, I leave it to him to describe who his lieutenants are. Frankly, their comments have ranged and supporters of President Aristide in Haiti -- their comments -- have ranged across the spectrum.
I suspect very much, and we know, from some of our conversations, that they want to make sure that the things happen that were foreseen, both in this agreement reached or the arrangements made on Sunday, and the relevant U.N. resolutions.
And we went to great lengths in our deliberations with President Carter and his team in Haiti to make sure that both a date specific for the return of President Aristide and the reference to relevant U.N. resolutions would be part of the understandings that were reached with the military leaders in Haiti.
That's very important and that is the framework by which President Aristide will return to Haiti.
Q Mike, switching slightly, the agreement -- I don't have the exact words in front of me, but I believe it calls for when Cedras and the others leave, for the change in command of the Haitian armed forces to be done in accordance with Haitian law and constitution, which means basically a de facto propagation of the status quo leadership in Haiti, including people who have been -- were active in the coup, and who had been active in running the military government for the last three years.
How does this square with your intent to reform the Haitian military and make it responsive to democracy and civilian leadership?
MR. McCURRY: The departure of the military leaders agreed to in the arrangements made on Sunday will create, I think, exactly the new conditions in the military and the police that will be necessary for their reconstitution.
Q Could you spell out how they will, since the people who are their underlings and collaborated, now are the ones who will succeed him?
MR. McCURRY: Well, that's not at all clear. The Haitian military and the Haitian police will be under new command, and they have the ability, most commanders have the ability to fire individuals. We'll have to wait and see how that develops as the duly elected government takes on those military and law enforcement responsibilities.
Q There is a statement today on the wire by Foreign Minister David saying that if there is no amnesty passed, that the government will not step down.
MR. McCURRY: The agreement reached says that the de facto leaders depart power no later than October 15.
Q Does that mean that this statement by Mr. David is an attempting to get out of the agreement already?
MR. McCURRY: I have no idea. It was not issued by General Cedras or Chief of Staff Biamby. Their intentions are the ones that are clearly most significant in light of the statement. But I would repeat again that the arrangements made are for the departure no later than October 15 of the military leaders.
Q Some things have been changing so rapidly. Clarify one thing. Up until a year or so ago, it was said by the Administration that the leaders don't necessarily have to leave the country; if they want to go hold up in some cave, that's fine. But if we catch them, we're going to turn them over to Aristide for punishment.
If they don't leave the country now, and you happen to cross them after October 15, what happens?
MR. McCURRY: I don't want to speculate what would happen beyond October 15, if the arrangements made on Sunday are not agreed to and are carried out. If the arrangements for their departure from power are not met, that would create a condition that would be clearly a violation of the commitments that have been made by them.
To go back for a second. What we've said, and have said and continue to say on it -- and I would be very clear about this -- there is nothing in the arrangements made by President Carter and General Powell and Senator Nunn that require the departure of the leaders from Haiti. That is true, but it is certainly our wish that they should leave Haiti and that we believe, as a practical matter, they will no doubt leave Haiti. They will find it probably not a place that they would wish to remain.
Q Will you discourage Aristide, once he returns to power, from having them arrested and punished?
MR. McCURRY: There is a connection with the arrangements on Sunday, a general amnesty that was agreed to that would presumably, under the plan as it's envisioned, would be adopted by the Haitian parliament between now and October 15.
Q Is it your understanding that that amnesty would cover common crimes as well as political crimes?
MR. McCURRY: The scope of the amnesty is one that the Haitian parliament will address. They are the ones that have to approve it and they are the ones that are constituted to grant a general amnesty and have been since the time of Governor's Island, been the ones envisioned as the entity with the power to grant that type of amnesty.
Q Will the U.S. provide protection to the 40 Aristide legislators who were present or afraid to return?
MR. McCURRY: There is planning underway to not only do that but to help them return if and when a session of the parliament is convoked.
Q Mike, I'm a little puzzled as to what the United States is doing there right now. I know that they're not supposed to be giving out traffic tickets and picking up bicycle thieves. But there have been at least a couple of incidents that have taken place right under the noses of large numbers of armed American troops in which the police have been beating up on pro-Aristide demonstrators, it would certainly seem? We evidently have no particular interest in these events.
Isn't that a little bit contradictory in terms of we're there to restore democracy?
MR. McCURRY: It's not correct to say we have no interest in that. We have interests in a condition of civil order that would allow for the type of transformation and transition of power to take place that we now envision. But I believe General Shalikashvili addressed exactly that question at some length today at the White House, so I'll defer to his answers.
Q Mike, on Friday, at a luncheon at the Washington Post, speaking on the record, Madeleine Albright told us that immediately after we were in there that we would move to table a resolution in the Security Council to lift the embargo with the exception of the weapons embargo. She also added that the United States would keep in effect the targeted sanctions that it has against General Cedras, General Biamby, Colonel Francois, other members of the armed forces, and also their civilian supporters. Is this plan still in effect?
MR. McCURRY: That is all true. I would modify one part of that. There had been prior to the events on Sunday informal discussions within the United Nations about how to proceed to lift sanctions, because that was envisioned as part of the work that would be done upon the insertion of the multinational force into Haiti and the return of President Aristide. That work now continues.
It is on a somewhat different timeline because of the date of October 15. But the discussions about how and when to lift the economic sanctions and the embargo; and to discuss within the U.N. the text of a resolution necessary to do so will continue in the coming days. I believe that they will draft a resolution, considerate it, but action on that resolution, you'll remember, is the province of the Security Council. It is not solely the United States that would make that determination because they're U.N-ordered sanctions.
So all the members of the Security Council, clearly, have to agree. It is also, again, envisioned that any lifting of the economic sanctions in the embargo would be in accordance with U.N. resolutions. U.N. resolutions are quite clear on the subject of lifting the sanctions that exist.
As Ambassador Albright said last night, I believe, lifting in entirety the current regime of sanctions prior to the return of Preside Aristide is not foreseen.
Q How about the targeted sanctions that we have imposed on our own against Cedras and his supporters?
MR. McCURRY: As I said yesterday, they remain place, and their status will be evaluated as necessary.
Q Quickly, back to my first question: Could you answer yes or no as to whether you have Aristide's approval for the agreement signed Sunday?
MR. McCURRY: There were consultations with him. I don't know whether we have explicit approval or not. I've seen indications from his representatives making it clear they did not. But I would really leave it up to President Aristide to speak for himself on that point.
Q Would it have made any difference on the planning -- Aristide's opinion of it?
MR. McCURRY: We consulted with him because his opinion mattered very much to us.
Q You say you don't want to leave it to others to describe his stand on it. I think he was reported by Administration officials Sunday night to have acquiesced in this agreement?
MR. McCURRY: I am not aware of that. I didn't hear the Secretary of State say that Sunday night at the White House nor Secretary Perry or General Shalikashvili. I'm not aware of anyone else saying that.
Q (Inaudible) attributed to unnamed Administration officials?
MR. McCURRY: I saw unnamed Administration officials today saying things in error about Secretary Christopher's thinking on a wide variety of things related to Haiti. I think you need to just make sure you're talking to people who know what they are saying.
Q Jimmy Carter said this morning, on the issue of sanctions and their lifting, that the deal that he struck with Cedras and that was agreed to by President Clinton called for a quick lifting of those sanctions and it did not depend upon the return of Aristide necessarily. Is he incorrect?
MR. McCURRY: He very specifically knows that the agreement says "in accordance with U.N. resolutions," and that is a phrase that the United States, and the President of the United States, pressed for very obvious reasons. Because they are specific. There's a specific framework in those resolutions that refer to the return of President Aristide to Haiti. That's one of the reasons, among many, why the United States pressed to have that language included in the document that was drafted by President Carter.
Given the former President's concern about humanitarian conditions in Haiti, it may be that he was referring to a quick lifting of those provisions of the existing sanctions regime that involved the transport of humanitarian goods into Haiti.
As I indicated yesterday, we would seek a quick lifting of anything that would make it possible to ease the humanitarian suffering that the people of Haiti face. There are things that we could do connected to the sanctions waiver process that could probably expedite the delivery of humanitarian goods. I suspect that's what former President Carter was referring to. We would be certainly supportive of that interpretation.
Again, there are two things that President Clinton felt very, very strongly about as the negotiations went forward on this document. One was a date certain for the departure from power of the military leaders; and second was the provision that we've just been discussing.
Q Since you brought it up, Mike. There was a news -- the newspaper account you're referring to about Christopher having deep reservations about this deal, is that not true?
MR. McCURRY: It is not true. The President consulted very closely with Secretary Christopher about the concept of a mission by former President Carter to Haiti.
The Secretary reminded me of a speech that he gave in 1986 where he actually participated in the dedication of the Carter Center. Among other things, in his speech, he examined the institution of the ex-Presidency and suggested that those who have been President possess something very rare in our society. They've got a history and wisdom that comes uniquely from being President of the United States.
I believe consistent with that view, Secretary Christopher felt that even though there was risk and some perhaps downside associated with a mission of this nature at the last minute, on balance, it certainly would be a good thing to try to arrange this type of delegation to conduct a last minute review of whether or not the military leaders wish to depart.
As I told you before, he supported the decision of the President to send President Carter, General Powell, and Senator Nunn to Haiti. I'm sorry it was incorrectly reported otherwise.
Q Did the Secretary ever volunteer to go himself at the last minute?
MR. McCURRY: If there were discussions about that at the White House, I'm just not in a position to get into them.
Q There was talk about disarming the Haitian army, about reducing -- about firing about 4,500 of its troops. That was Aristide's plan. The U.S. also spoke about reforming the Haitian military and creating a civilian police force, using 3,000.
What's the plans now regarding the Haitian army. Are there no plans to take away their weapons or to vet them of human rights abuses?
MR. McCURRY: The reconstitution and professionalization of the Haitian military and police, as foreseen in the relevant U.N. resolutions, is a mission that will carry forward. That is part of the mission of the multinational force now present. It certainly is part of the mission of the U.N. mission in Haiti which will follow.
In U.N. Security Council Resolution 940, which is the framework by which the multinational force operates now in Haiti, it is quite clear that reconfiguration, professionalization and modernization of Haiti's military and police structures is part of the work that will be done there.
How that will be done is a tactical question. It relates directly to the mission underway now in Haiti. I think it's preferable for you to hear from those military commanders who will be directly working on that issue in Haiti. It would be better for you to hear from them.
The one difference here, which is the new development, is that there is an agreement to operate in a cooperative fashion between the Haitian military authorities and the commanders of the multinational force in Haiti. That might make a difference in how the work of restructuring the military and the police will occur, and it certainly might make some change in the kind of planning that was foreseen, had there been a hostile entry of the multinational force and the likely decimation of large component parts of the Haitian military.
Q Does the U.S. military have an obligation to prevent this reconstituted force from staging another coup against Aristide as soon as he gets back?
MR. McCURRY: That's an obvious answer. The purpose of this is to restore democracy. They're not going to participate in anything that would work against the return of democracy to Haiti and the return of President Aristide to his duly elected post.
Q But after he's back and they decide to throw him out again, if the U.S. or U.N. force is still there, do they have an obligation to prevent that?
MR. McCURRY: That is so hypothetical and so far down the road, I don't think I can entertain the question.
Q Mike, you have several times on that platform said that the government of the regime in Haiti and its leaders have no legitimacy and that they were guilty of committing crimes and atrocities; that the crisis in Haiti was of their making --
MR. McCURRY: I'd change not one word of what I've said here on that subject.
Q But Jimmy Carter says that you were mistaken and that was wrong. How do you respond to Jimmy Carter?
MR. McCURRY: If need be, we can put former President Carter in direct contact with some very brave individuals at our Embassy in Port-au-Prince who have gone out and done the reporting on those human rights abuses and who have given us, in some cases, eyewitness accounts about the type of atrocities that we documented for you right here. I think the evidence on that is quite clear.
Q You say there may be a different method of reconstituting and reforming the military because we went in as friends and are cooperating with them rather than by force. You're saying that's something we should ask the Pentagon.
But at the same time, is there a political will? Has the Haitian army agreed to be reformed and reconstituted?
MR. McCURRY: I can't speak for "the Haitian military." In particular, because the "the" Haitian military is very soon going to be under new command. The elements of that military under new command, it is hard to know how they will constitute themselves. But one of the purposes in the presence of the U.N. multinational force there is to help them professionalize, reconstitute themselves, consistent with our view that they need to apply new standards.
By the way, that's exactly why the United Nations now will be sending monitoring teams back in, why we hope to get the human rights observers back in. All of these are part of the process of changing the conditions by which these institutions in Haiti's political life and social life do their work. It's clear that they've got to do their work differently from the way they've done it in the past.
Q I think it's 24 nations that are supposed to go in at some point in the future with the U.S. force -- indicated that because of the new arrangement they will not be participating, or have they expressed concerns that would lead you to believe they are considering that?
MR. McCURRY: Not that I'm aware of. I don't believe so, because I don't believe that those contacts have come to us here at the State Department. But, again, they're participating as part of an integrated force under U.S. command. That might be a question that you direct to those who are commanding Operation Uphold Democracy from the military.
Q Where are they coming in?
MR. McCURRY: That's not a question that I can answer. That's at this point an operational detail of the operation.
Q Are you saying the same human rights monitors who were expelled two months ago are going back?
MR. McCURRY: The U.N. said yesterday that it's considering an early deployment of the ICM, which was the UNOAS International Civilian Mission. These are the same monitors who were forced out in July. We obviously support that and support the activities of the ICM and believe that the early return of the mission to Haiti will be part of the work necessary to monitor conditions on the ground.
By the way, the U.N. is going to deploy a 60-person advance team very soon which is going to go out and start doing some of the advance work necessary for the transfer from the multinational force to UNMIH -- to the U.N. Mission in Haiti -- as it reduces from a U.S. presence and turns over to a Blue Helmet operation. They've got 16 military observers who are going in who are going to start doing some of that work.
Q Mike, is the State Department surprised at all at the inherently pivotal role that Mr. Jonassaint played in the negotiations in Port-au-Prince and does it say anything to anyone here about the lack of the policy which did not allow you to be in touch with him, or which you chose not to be in touch with him before?
MR. McCURRY: No. There are very good reasons why the United States Government did not recognize the illegitimate de facto regime, including the illegitimate de facto President Jonassaint. We do not recognize them now. We have very strong and compelling reasons for doing so, because their presence is associated with the coup that we've made clear will not stand.
I don't believe, and I don't believe the State Department feels, that there's been any lack of understanding about the functioning of the de facto regime in structuring our own policy and our own approach to dealing with that regime, because we have not had contact with President Jonassaint.
Q But he was described not only as illegitimate -- the State Department and other U.S. agencies described not only as illegitimate in office, but as a puppet figurehead and the person with no authority.
Once again, your emissary, President Carter, seems to be at odds with -- have you changed your view on this?
MR. McCURRY: President Carter formed a different view of his role based on his conversations. It is rather a moot point at this point because those figures will no longer hold power.
Q On Haiti. Has there been any new or stepped-up attempt to persuade the Haitian refugees at Guantanamo Bay to go home now that this --
MR. McCURRY: Not that I'm aware of. Because we are certainly aware that there's a transformation taking place in Haiti as a result of the presence of the multinational force, we have not encouraged people to apply or to press for direct return. We are making every effort to make sure that those Haitians currently at Guantanamo are aware of the situation. They brought in a lot of large-screened televisions yesterday so people would watch these developments. So they will be made aware of the conditions that exist and the agreements that have been reached for the return of President Aristide to Haiti.
Q There are supposedly 300,000 people in hiding in Haiti. There is a lot of human rights abuses. If people come to the United States forces for protection, will the United States forces protect them from abuse?
MR. McCURRY: I can't imagine a U.S. military person in Haiti who knows that someone is in danger, or feels threatened by physical abuse or intimidation, not being willing to help. That's not a rules of engagement answer. That's just a practical matter of forces on the ground. If they see someone who is in trouble and they can do something about it, they will reach out to help.
But I want to make clear that what General Shalikashvili said earlier today about the type of expectations we have of Haitian police authorities and law enforcement authorities, those expectations are correct and they stand.
Q Mike, on Bosnia?
MR. McCURRY: Yes, Bosnia.
Q Sort of a specific comment and sort of a philosophical comment.
What does the Administration have to say about the cut- off of all utilities to Sarajevo? Does that not indicate the siege is gaining steam again? And what, if anything, are we doing to lift that siege?
MR. McCURRY: We have participated through the Contact Group in the work being done to bring about a settlement to the war itself, which is the ultimate cause of a lot of the efforts underway there. But we are supportive of the work UNPROFOR is doing and General Rose, in particular, who has met now with both parties, to urge them not to -- to do something about the cut-off of utilities and the fighting that has gone on in and around Sarajevo.
General Rose met, as you probably know, with both parties yesterday and essentially told them to "knock it off." He also told both of them to -- told the Serbs to turn the water and gas and electricity back on.
Q Bosnians and Serbs?
MR. McCURRY: Yes, Bosnian Serbs.
Q And that's it? I mean, you know winter is quickly approaching and (inaudible) Sarajevo is going to have to suffer through another winter without electricity, water and -- ?
MR. McCURRY: Those conditions, if they persist, would require additional responses.
Q And what sort of responses are available?
MR. McCURRY: There are a wide variety of them under existing U. N. resolutions and authorities of the North Atlantic Council.
Q Mike, just one. Is it conceivable that the United States could become at all focused on Bosnia or anywhere else in the world, given its attention in Haiti right now?
MR. McCURRY: There is a great deal of work in this building going on, a great deal of the Secretary's time has been devoted to the subject of Bosnia over the last week and a half. He has participated, I believe, in at least three or four meetings here, and in one important meeting at the White House on the subject. And the Contact Group is meeting, I believe today, in Zagreb to discuss the peace process. They are going to meet today with President Tudjman to review some steps that they have planned, to try to continue to pressure the Bosnian Serbs to accept the Contact Group map.
So, to the contrary, this has been a problem that has received -- I would almost describe it as urgent attention from the Secretary in the course of the last week and a half.
Q I just want to -- do you think that the Europeans might look at our intervention in Haiti as a lesson for what they ought to be doing in Bosnia?
MR. McCURRY: I have no way of knowing.
Q No, but is it our opinion that they ought to look at this and say, "Hey, we take care of this in our back yard, why don't you do the same thing?"
MR. McCURRY: I have not heard any government in Europe state a position resembling that.
Q Mike, I understand that President Carter met yesterday with the North Vietnamese Ambassador to the U. N. and I gather today he is meeting with the South Vietnamese --
MR. McCURRY: North Korean.
Q I'm sorry, did I say Vietnamese?
MR. McCURRY: North Korean.
Q Korean, forgive me.
My question is, has the Administration asked him to reinsert himself on the Korean issue, and if it has not, what does it think about these new interventions?
MR. McCURRY: Well, he has worked on that issue in the past, as you know, and we welcome that. We have said all along that as we make progress in our dialogue bilaterally with North Korea on the nuclear issue, we would feel it important to see progress made between the discussions occurring between North and South on the issues that they have addressed directly between the two of them, and since President Carter's meetings were designed to encourage that process, we welcome them.
How the former President became involved in those discussions, I'm not sure I know. I would encourage you to refer the question both to the Republic of Korea and the DPRK.
Q Is there a State Department official who is down at the Carter Center monitoring the talks?
MR. McCURRY: Not that I'm aware of, although Ambassador Gallucci did meet with former President Carter yesterday, I believe. At least he was scheduled to, and I didn't get confirmation late in the day yesterday that that meeting occurred, but I will, by the way, parenthetically say that Ambassador Gallucci departs tomorrow for the next session of the high level talks in Geneva, and we'll have him here at the briefing tomorrow before he leaves. So maybe you can hold that question and ask him tomorrow.
Q As you understand what Carter is doing right now, it is discussing with the two Koreas issues having to do with the two Koreas, and he is not reinvolving himself in the nuclear issue, which is now being negotiated at a much different level?
MR. McCURRY: That's very much the case. My understanding is that he is seeing -- you recall that prior to Kim Il Sung's death, there was a North-South summit that had been scheduled. That dialogue did not occur after his death, and there has not been plans for a new summit.
Now, I can't predict what his discussions will cover, but he is talking about the North-South dialogue -- is our understanding -- in the discussions that he has been having.
Q Ambassador Ross, can you bring us up to date on what he is doing?
MR. McCURRY: I can't. I have not had a report from Ambassador Ross other than to say that he has been in Damascus, as you know. He will continue in the region, is expected home shortly to report to the Secretary in advance of the Secretary's trip to the region early next month.
MR. McCURRY: Yes.
Q Gerry Adams, I understand he has applied for a visa. One report is that the White House has told the State Department to give it to him. Is that correct?
MR. McCURRY: Well, my understanding of the law, it doesn't quite work that way. A couple things on that. By the way, just to make sure everyone knows, there is a visit by a unionist delegation, unionist parliamentarians, beginning tomorrow. They will arrive, and have meetings with a variety of people in the U. S. Government, and then depart on Saturday.
But in answer to your question, Mr. Adams did apply for a visa at the Consulate in Belfast earlier today. What happens now -- since he is ineligible for a visa under U.S. law -- for him to be granted a visa, there would have to be a waiver of his current ineligible status granted by the Attorney General. It is actually the Attorney General who grants such a waiver.
That issue is now being reviewed within the United States Government. If it is resolved in favor of a waiver, then the State Department would be in a position to issue a visa. But that has not occurred. It's under consideration at this time.
Q Does he want to come?
MR. McCURRY: He has, in the past, applied for a tourist visa.
Q Mike, if he does get a visa, is there any plan for anyone at the State Department to see him?
And, secondly, do you have anything on John Hume's talks with Under Secretary Tarnoff?
MR. McCURRY: I don't have anything, and I'm glad you mentioned it. Mr. Hume's sessions are very, very important and have been underway. We'll get a read-out on that. Let's take that as a question and provide something on that for later today.
Q On Adams, you don't have anything on whether he will see anyone here?
MR. McCURRY: I don't believe it has been decided at what level he would be received in the U. S. Government.
Q Do you know who the unionists are going to be meeting with here tomorrow?
MR. McCURRY: They are meeting -- I know that they are meeting with National Security Advisor Lake. It is possible that they will see Under Secretary Tarnoff. That's not quite clear at this point. I think they also have some appointments up on the Hill.
Q But he will, Mr. Adams will meet with officials of the U. S. Government. It is just not decided at what level?
MR. McCURRY: It is believed he will meet at some level with officials of the U. S. Government, but that is not --
Q (inaudible) keeping of his tourist visa?
MR. McCURRY: No, no. That is, if he is granted. You cut off my conditional. I said if he were, in fact, granted a visa.
Q A tourist visa, and then he would meet with U.S. Government officials?
MR. McCURRY: It's a B-2 class visa, is what you travel under, if you want to know the technical -- is that right, Julie?
B-2 class -- is that a tourist visa, or is that for other stuff, too?
She wants to check. She doesn't want to go on the record. She is not as brave as I am.
Yes. Anything else?
Q Thank you.
MR. McCURRY: Okay.
(The briefing concluded at l:50 p.m.)
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