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

OCTOBER 6, 1994

                       U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                             I N D E X

                     Thursday, October 6, 1994

                                Briefer:  Michael McCurry

  Foreign Minister's Meeting with Secretary .......  1-2

  Foreign Minister's Meeting with Secretary .......  2-3,5

  Secretary's Visit to Region/US Role .............  3
  Status of Jerusalem .............................  11-16
  Role of Russia ..................................  16-17

  Talks with US in Geneva .........................  5-7
  Political Succession ............................  6

  Voluntary Returnees .............................  7
  Civil Order .....................................  13-15
  Return of Aristide ..............................  15

  Boatpeople Picked Up/In Safe Havens/Returnees ...  8-9
  US Immigration Processing in Country ............  8-11

  Border Leakage/Sanctions/Border Monitoring ......  17-20

  Application by Zhirinovsky for US Visa ..........  20-21

  US Lifts Sanctions re:  Compliance with MTCR ....  21


DPC #143


MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon, everyone. It's a pleasure to be with you today here at the Daily Briefing of the U.S. State Department. I don't have any announcements.

Q Mike, can you tell us a little bit about the meeting with the Australian this morning? Did they get into the nuclear- free zone? Did they --

MR. McCURRY:: I don't have a --

Q Non-proliferation, what else?

MR. McCURRY: I hate to say I do not have a full readout on that. I do know that they had planned to have a very wide-ranging discussion with the Foreign Minister, who the Secretary admires a great deal. Foreign Minister Evans is going to, I believe, review with the Secretary or the Secretary intended to review a range of things, including the agenda for the upcoming APEC meetings.

But the degree to which they discussed security issues I'll have to check further on.

(TO STAFF) Let's get a more complete readout of the meeting, and we'll provide that later.

Q Is there something new about a nuclear-free zone? I mean, have I missed something?

MR. McCURRY: Let's put it this way. If you don't think so, I don't think so. (Laughter)

Q Is that for years or --

MR. McCURRY: Connie, if anyone would know, it would be you, so --

Q Seriously, is there a new development other than what's been (inaudible) for years.

MR. McCURRY: Not that I'm aware of, but we'll get a more complete readout.

Q On the other thing, we didn't have much of a chance to ask any sensible questions, but can you put the Shara meeting with the Secretary in the context of the Secretary's trip? What's going on there?

MR. McCURRY: It's a good opportunity with the Foreign Minister here for them to review things in advance of the Secretary's trip. The Secretary was obviously going to have discussions related to the peace process and the dialogue that the Secretary expects to have next week, both with Israel and with Syria on that track.

But they also had the range of bilateral concerns that we address with Syria in mind. We routinely talk with them on matters that range from non-proliferation concerns to human rights to terrorism, and all of those subject, I believe, were to be addressed in the working lunch that's going on now. So it's not possible for me to make too much comment on it.

They've been meeting privately up until now just to review in some detail the peace process and to check where things stand as the Secretary heads to the region this weekend.

Q Is the Secretary bringing any new ideas with him, or is he just going out there, as he said, as a facilitator?

MR. McCURRY: He described his role for all of you earlier as a facilitator, and that does routinely involve probing with the parties, the nuance in their positions, understanding them better, helping the parties understand each other's positions better.

But, as the Secretary said, he cautioned everyone this is - - and, as I said earlier in the week -- this is not a track that moves with the same dramatic flare as some of the other tracks. This dialogue is one that is very substantive and very deliberate, and it requires a great deal of patience on the part of all those who are participating.

But that is his intent -- clearly to go ahead, see what progress can be realistically made in this next round, and it will no doubt result in something other than a dramatic breakthrough, as we indicated.

Q Since the Foreign Minister seems to be satisfied that he is addressing the Israeli public opinion, and we saw his statement a few minutes ago, do you share that view? Also, Jordan's Prime Minister foresees agenda within two months. Is there a point in that deadline? Is there a deadline that you try for?

MR. McCURRY: There's not a deadline. This is not a negotiation in which it makes sense to set any artificial deadlines of that nature. It has always been our view that it's important to make progress, and we said that 1994 is a year in which progress can be made. I would suggest that's probably where some people are getting the notion that there's only two months left to the year or something. But, clearly, this dialogue could easily continue into 1995 as well.

We would hope as much progress as possible could be made each time the parties use the services of the Secretary of State as a facilitator for their dialogue.

Q Public opinion, if you'd care to.

MR. McCURRY: Oh, on public opinion, the Foreign Minister did indicate that he believes that he is addressing sentiments that he thinks are well received in Israel. We have encouraged him to do that type of thing. We believe that there is a public face to the diplomacy that goes on; and, as the Secretary said, made note of at the beginning of his comments earlier today, both President Assad and the Foreign Minister himself, have said some things that are welcome comments on the peace process, specifically the strategic choice that Syria has made for peace.

Q A wise comment. Can I ask you -- a few weeks ago, the Secretary speaking of this coming trip, said he'd make one and maybe two trips. Do you anticipate a second trip, perhaps related to Casablanca?

MR. McCURRY: It's too early to say. He will, of course, be in Casablanca for a related conference for the Middle East/North Africa economic summit which is sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum. That's occurring October 30 to November 1 and hosted by King Hassan of Morocco.

That will be a very important conference. How that will affect the separate bilateral discussions that are underway within the framework of the peace talks, we just don't know at this point. We'll know more at the conclusion of this upcoming trip.

Q Can I ask you one quick: Does the U.S. still have -- does the U.S. have a preference as to whether the Syrians and Israelis should negotiate directly instead of through the U.S.?

MR. McCURRY: We have often said and have continued sometimes to say to the parties directly that at some proper point in their dialogue we believe that direct negotiations would be useful.

Q Has that point been reached?

MR. McCURRY: That really is up to the parties to determine whether they've reached that point. That's one of the things that we'll be able to explore, among other questions, as we go to the region.

Q Mike, in connection with the Moroccan conference, there is a story among Arab sources that secret contacts and arrangements are being made under U.S. auspices to hold a quadripartite summit for the leaders of Jordan, Egypt, the PLO and Israel in Jerusalem before the end of this year. Do you have something on that?

MR. McCURRY: I'm sorry, Joe. I don't know anything about that.

Q You don't know anything about it?

MR. McCURRY: I don't know anything about that.

Q Can you look into it?

MR. McCURRY: I will check. I've never heard anything like that, but I will check.

Q Well, it might help you that -- it's on Page 3 of FBIS of yesterday.

MR. McCURRY: I was aware of the report. I just didn't know anything about it.

Q Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say that you were ignorant. Now, the -- (laughter).

MR. McCURRY: Why should you be any different than anyone else in this room? (Laughter)

Q Because, Mike, I like you, and I think you will be a great asset when you go to the White House. (Laughter and applause)

MR. McCURRY: He didn't really say that. (Laughter)

Q I hope it's on C-Span.

MR. McCURRY: As are most things, as is the subject we are just discussing, that would also be news to me.

Q What will be news? (Laughter)

MR. McCURRY: Let's see. I think someone else had a question. Yes, over here. Somebody. Yes, Connie, ask me about Australia.

Q No, no. I have a serious one. I don't think Shara mentioned -- used the word Israel today. Is that significant to you?

MR. McCURRY: No. If he didn't, I missed that. I've heard him on other public occasions refer to Israel directly, and I'm not aware that that had any significance.

Q At the present time, what information do you have of the United States and North Korea for the nuclear talks in Geneva? Can you give us more concrete reasons for -

MR. McCURRY: Of where things stand in those talks?

Q Yes. I can't tell you much, because I have not heard back from Geneva today. They did meet yesterday. Ambassador Gallucci, our Ambassador at Large and our Chief Negotiator in the high-level talks, met with Deputy Foreign Minister Kang for about an hour yesterday afternoon.

I am told most of what they did is structure the agenda for the lengthy sessions that they expected to have today. They were, I believe, going to meet -- have sort of a heads of delegation meeting and then have a larger plenary session later today. We have not heard back. We had anticipated that they would have several more days of discussion before anything would be able to be reported to all of you publicly.

Q Can I ask about Korea, still?

Q Did the Foreign Minister ask the Secretary for American support for the establishment (inaudible) of an agreed target date for the establishment of greater free trade regulations under APEC?

MR. McCURRY: I don't have enough of a readout on that meeting at this point to be able to answer that. We're going to work up something, as we indicated earlier.


Q Do you have any analysis or read on the apparent succession of Kim Jong-Il as the "Great Leader of North Korea," and any sense of how that might have an impact on the Geneva talks?

MR. McCURRY: We don't have an assessment, other than Ambassador Gallucci reporting that he continues to negotiate in good faith with his counterparts from the DPRK and believes that they are negotiating likewise.

Deputy Foreign Minister Choi at the United Nations, as you know, yesterday did say that the Kim Il-Sung successor is Kim Jong-Il, essentially confirming what had been widely expected for some time.

To date, North Korea has made no official announcement concerning Kim Jong-Il assuming his father's two official positions, which is President of the DPRK and Secretary General of the Korean Workers Party.

We have no information at this time on whether or when such an announcement would be forthcoming. I guess I'd say in spite of his failure to officially assume those two posts, we have no indication that anyone but Kim Jong-Il is in charge of the DPRK.

Q Mike, there's some suspicion in Geneva that the U.S. is changing its negotiating approach with North Korea. Is there some new way of going at things or the issues as we know them?

MR. McCURRY: I mean, I think I addressed --

Q A new roll of the dice?

MR. McCURRY: I addressed this, I think, earlier in the week, Barry. I'd say again what I said then: This is an on- going negotiation. They took a pause in this discussion so that Ambassador Gallucci could come back here and meet with senior officials in the U.S. Government, including Secretary Christopher, and really plot through how they would assess where the dialogue is at this point and then return to Geneva with the same goal and objective that we've had, which is to reach an overall settlement of the nuclear issue.

That requires creative diplomacy. But beyond saying that they'll continue that dialogue, there's not much else I would want to say, as it's at a point in which the diplomats are clearly engaged in their talks.


Q Is there serious concern that North Korea may soon restart its reactor?

MR. McCURRY: Yes. That is one of the premises of our discussion. There has been concern that the DPRK might see fit to restart the 5-megawatt reactor. That is of great concern to us and it's one of the things that did lend some urgency to the dialogue. That's been true for some time, ever since the reactor was unloaded and the spent fuel put into storage. The possibility of them restarting that reactor and reloading the reactor has been one of the things that we have said publicly for some time. It has been of great concern to us.

Q Ambassador Gallucci received no instructions on how to address that problem?

MR. McCURRY: Mark, when you go into a negotiation like this, you always review the status of your instructions. I just don't want to get -- obviously, I'm not going to get into what instructions the Ambassador had going into a negotiation that's underway at this very moment.


Q The recent issue of the Nation Magazine is saying that the CIA has trained and partially funded the FRAPH organization in Haiti.

MR. McCURRY: It's a long-standing practice of the United States Government not to comment on alleged intelligence activities, so I'll choose not to do so now.

Q Do you have something on Haitian refugees in Guantanamo preparing to return to Haiti, or Cuban detainees in Guantanamo waiting to return to their homes?

MR. McCURRY: We've got some of our daily updates on numbers I can run through. I did have some. I believe I reported yesterday, and we went through some of the numbers yesterday, that there has been a fairly large volume of Haitians at Guantanamo who have indicated an interest to return to Haiti. Some people are staying in place, but almost 2,000 now have voluntarily returned to Haiti to be a part of the transformation taking place in Haiti.

I reported to you yesterday that 492 were scheduled to go yesterday. They did go and were returned by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter to Haiti. There are about 540 more at Guantanamo now who have indicated an interest to go back. They will do so shortly, I'm told.

That leaves just over 12,000 Haitians that are still at Guantanamo, the vast majority of whom have been approved for safehaven status. But we will continue to check with them and inquire about their interests as they see events unfold in Haiti, if they have interest in returning to their homes and being part of the transformation taking place.

Certainly, we would hope that the events would be encouraging enough to those who are at Guantanamo to do so.

On the Cubans who are at Guantanamo, their status remains essentially what it has been. They have no avenue at Guantanamo by which to come to the United States. So the possibility of voluntary return to Cuba is the best possibility available to them unless they wish to be transferred on to the safehaven in Panama.

There have not been many requests of that nature made to us. Also, there's not been any increase in the number of Cubans who have been taken to Guantanamo although every once in a while they do pick up some people who continue to be in the straits; just people who have, in a sense, slipped through the measures that the Cuban Government is taking to discourage illegal immigration. There were two, for example, that were picked up at sea by the Coast Guard yesterday. They were first picked up since, I believe, September 25.

Since we reached the Immigration Accord with Cuba, there have been a total of about 76 who have been picked up. That leaves, just for numbers, there are about just over 27,800 Cubans that are at Guantanamo. Some of them are continuing to be taken down to the safehaven in Panama. There were 169 who went from Guantanamo to Panama yesterday. That brings the total of Cubans in Panama -- at the safehaven in Panama -- to just about 4,000 now.

There's movement back and forth on some of these issues. But, again, we stress that the way in which proper, legal, safe, orderly migration can be made from Cuba to the United States is to take advantage of the measures that will soon be promulgated to really allow people to apply for visas through the Interests Section in Havana and then come to the United States. They are, I am told, close to working through those procedures so that they can put in place the right type of process to take care of those applications.


Q To follow, Mike, you don't know when that will start but it's soon.

MR. McCURRY: It's soon.

Q How about the repatriation of those in Guantanamo -- those Cubans who want to go back now -- when will that start?

MR. McCURRY: We continue to have discussions with the Cuban Government about making those arrangements to allow people who wish to volunteer to go from Guantanamo back to Cuba to facilitate that. To my knowledge, that has not occurred yet, although the discussions with the Cuban Government on that had continued.

Q Could we go back to Haiti for just a moment?

MR. McCURRY: Charlie, go ahead.

Q I just want to understand. Since the Cuban boat lift and you started talking about getting them to go back to Havana and the Interests Section, no further processing has taken place yet? You're still trying to get things in order?

MR. McCURRY: The Interests Section in Havana has been in contact with Cuban authorities about arrangements to let the first group, which would be a rather small group at first, but the first group to return home.

Our practice in the past has been, when this has come up, that once you establish the arrangements and the practice, you can develop a more orderly way of returning those who would wish to return.

Q So the answer is, they haven't processed any?

MR. McCURRY: They have not transferred any. They process them. They got some ready to go but they have not returned any from Guantanamo to Cuba.

Q I'm not talking about the return from Guantanamo. I'm talking about those Cubans who are now in Cuba who want to come to the United States?

MR. McCURRY: No, no. They have not processed -- there is no processing available at Guantanamo to bring Cubans from Guantanamo to the United States.

Q In Havana?

(Overlapping colloquy).

Q In the Interests Section.

MR. McCURRY: And likewise, they have not put the -- I am told that INS has not yet promulgated the regulations that would establish the visa application procedures for those at Havana. Neither have there been any processing in Havana to come here. I'm sorry that I'm so muddle-headed.

Q (Inaudible).

MR. McCURRY: I would suggest you ask INS. I believe they've been working through -- it's a complex issue. They clearly anticipate a much higher demand than the 20,000 or so visas that they're going to have available. You've probably seen some news account. They're trying to come up with creative ways that they might be able to, in a fair way, make that visa application process available. There's been some discussions of lotteries and other things like that, but they're looking at that carefully and trying to come up with the right way to structure a process that will work.

Q Is the United States living up to its part of the bargain, then?

MR. McCURRY: Of course.

Q You haven't transferred anybody or started the processing. How is that possible to say you've speeded up the process?

MR. McCURRY: When were these talks? They concluded just a short while ago. They're putting in place the necessary measures. We indicated it would take some time.

We told the Cuban delegation that they would have to wait for us to establish the procedures that would work consistent with U.S. law and that would take some time. So they were aware it would take some time. We're not the proper agency to ask about that.

Q Aren't these the same problems that retarded the refugee processing earlier on which led to the boat lift which led to negotiations which the United States said it was going to speed up the processing?

MR. McCURRY: I don't know. Go ask INS if they have a daily briefing.

Q Are we done with Cuba yet?

Q Are you saying it's the fault of the INS? Is that the problem?

MR. McCURRY: No. I'm just saying that -- I answered it already, in a way, Saul. I said that they're putting together the procedures so that they can process the visa applications so that we can make good on the commitments that we rendered in the agreement we reached with Cuba. It's going to take some time.

Q (Inaudible) been a little slow?

MR. McCURRY: I didn't say that. You probably will say that, but I didn't say that.

Q Mike, 260 Congressmen -- Democrats and Republicans -- have sent a statement, signed a statement, about Jerusalem's unity be forever and asking the State Department that this be so. Then there's a question about the Golan to follow.

But, about Jerusalem first. This statement by the Congressmen -- more than half of the House -- indicates that there is worry on the Hill that the State Department isn't -- the Administration, despite the statement that I repeated here that President Clinton made three or four months ago -- is not interested in unification of Jerusalem's unity as being the capital of Israel and Israel alone; no divisions of east Jerusalem, and so on.

Is there a State Department prospective on this that you can tell us, apart from the fact that --

MR. McCURRY: On what, specifically?

Q On the fact that a unified --

MR. McCURRY: You can guess that I'm not going to answer it.

Q I know, I know. The last time I asked about this, you said that things are changing. So I was wondering if there is a change since no Secretary of State since Secretary Rogers said, substantial changes with regard to 242 has taken place.

Is there any shift towards the fact that unified Jerusalem was Israel's capital and will remain so, as Peres said, although it may change, and Rabin said; and, of course, the Likuniks have said?

MR. McCURRY: There is no shift in our views on Jerusalem.

Q What does "no shift" mean?

MR. McCURRY: No shift: No change.

Q No change in what? Insubstantial changes?

Q It's a good opportunity to ask a logistical question. Things are getting done so fast, despite the Syrian front on the Middle East, things that could have been anticipated maybe a few years ago.

Is there any inclination in the Administration to have Jerusalem dealt with now as an issue?

MR. McCURRY: The parties themselves have addressed the status of Jerusalem and at what point that status is reviewed in the negotiations that they have. That's where things stand. It's all very transparent, the status of Jerusalem, and it's role in the negotiation between the PLO and Israel is spelled out in the declaration.

Q But the U.S. has a position. There is on both sides -- Israeli and Arab -- there's a stronger tendency now to get Jerusalem dealt with.

MR. McCURRY: Today is October 6. This is not a good day to get into any new language on Jerusalem. (Laughter) It's just not a good day, and it's not going to happen.

Q But --

MR. McCURRY: It's not going to happen, Barry. Sorry.

Q Let me ask then on that point --

MR. McCURRY: Keep asking.

Q When Christopher --

MR. McCURRY: Nothing will be squeezed here.

Q No, no, no. Well, I mean, ten years ago, who would have expected Arafat would have been on the White House lawn? Things change.

MR. McCURRY: Who would expect that the Israeli Foreign Minister would be meeting with Arab diplomats? Who would expect that the Gulf Cooperation Council would announce an end to the secondary and tertiary boycott of Israel? Let's focus on the real things that are happening and not get diverted into things that are impossible to address.

Q That's why we are revisiting, some of us, issues that seem to be on ice. It may not be on ice anymore, because there's an acceleration here, and the U.S. has a position on Jerusalem.

You don't want to answer Joe's question or the Congressmen's question. How about just the practical question: Is Jerusalem still entirely a final status issue so far as the U.S. is concerned?

MR. McCURRY: The answer is the same one that I've given consistently from the podium. There's not any change in the answer that I would give.

Q On Haiti, what's the --

Q (Inaudible)

Q Just a quick question. What's the State Department's view of FRAPH? It was suggested in the Nation piece that it was a counterbalance to Aristide. What's the State Department's view?

MR. McCURRY: I think our view of it is adequately reflected in the actions that are being taken by U.S. military forces very carefully and deliberately in Haiti right now. It has posed a threat to civil order, and there are steps that have been taken by U.S. military forces to address the threat that was posed.

Q Do they have a political future in --

MR. McCURRY: That is up to the people of Haiti and their duly elected government.

Q (Inaudible) that was held last Tuesday. It was organized by the U.S. Government.

MR. McCURRY: There was a very significant statement that was going to contribute to civil order in Haiti. I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that our Embassy Spokesman called attention to that statement. It was a significant statement. I believe it has helped contribute to some measure of security for our forces in Haiti and for the people of Haiti themselves. So it's very warranted that they point out that that event was going to happen.

They're also trying to provide some service -- there are a lot of reporters down in Haiti, as you all know, and they're trying to share information in a timely way, as they can, with the press corps that is in Haiti covering the story.

Q Can you take the question of whether any American diplomatic personnel were involved in the formation of FRAPH?

MR. McCURRY: Whether any U.S. State Department or diplomatic personnel were involved in the formation of FRAPH? I can take the question. I'll also take a bet on whether I get an answer. (Laugher)

Q Mike, also on FRAPH. If the organization is important enough to close down in Haiti, how is it then that the U.S. Government does not interfere with its operations in this country, which include intimidation of ex-patriots and fund- raising?

MR. McCURRY: Jim, that's a good question. I would want to look into more of that. I have read some stuff, and I think even you may have written some stuff on that. I will find out more about that. I'm not going to wing an answer to that. That probably involves some -- it may, in fact, involve some work that's being done by domestic agencies, not the State Department. I ought to check further to answer that question appropriately.

There are two taken questions there. One that's going to get an answer and one that probably won't.

Q Does the United States --

Q Joe, I have a follow-up on Haiti.

MR. McCURRY: On Haiti.

Q About the accusations -- I don't know if you've addressed this yet, Mike. But the accusations that Mr. Aristide has connections to Colombian drug smuggling and received some kind of a payoff, does the State Department completely deny that this is correct and give him a clean bill of health in this regard, or what can you say?

MR. McCURRY: These allegations have surfaced. The State Department is not necessarily the appropriate agency of government to look into this, but the Justice Department has, the DEA has, and there's to my knowledge, not any evidence to corroborate any such charges. It has been so stated by the appropriate government agencies. It's not something that the State Department addresses separately.

But that question has been examined, and I'm not aware of any evidence that supports any of those allegations.

Q Can I follow? General Shalikashvili was asked about who has the authority -- who will have the authority once the 15th has been reached and the ad hoc government goes? Who basically then will have the authority when Aristide comes to power?

Shali's response, I believe, was that Mr. Aristide was to be in control. Would we not -- the United States military -- be enforcing this control that Aristide has?

MR. McCURRY: No. Upon President Aristide's return, there will be a duly elected President. There is already a duly elected parliament that is functioning as you're aware. They're meeting today to consider the amnesty question. The process of reconstituting the domestic law enforcement agencies, including the police, is starting with the assistance of the multinational force, with the international police presence there.

Who is charge of Haiti -- there's an elected government, as of President Aristide's return.

Q Mike, in effect, there will be no effective police force. The military, of course, is not loyal to Aristide. So, in the interim, won't it be our military?

MR. McCURRY: There are different security situations that exist in different places throughout Haiti. Secretary Perry has addressed this just yesterday; General Shalikashvili addressed that yesterday. I think they've been very clear on what our military does and does not do and what we are expecting of the indigenous law enforcement. That is clearly one of the things that the multinational force is addressing and is part of the province of the eventual U.N. mission, to help constitute an effective, viable, and well-trained Haitian police force that can help keep domestic order.

Q I would like to go back to Syria, and there was some announcement that the Syrians are going to come with some gestures before the visit of the Secretary to the region. Do you know what he discussed?

MR. McCURRY: No, I don't know about those. There were reports that there would be gestures -- I'm not aware of that, and I think the Syrians can speak to that. If there are any gestures, as reported, they would come from them.

Joe, do you want to try one last time? Let's make it fast. Go for it!

Q No, the point is that I'm confused, and I've been around a little while. Does the United States recognize Jericho as the capital of the Palestinian entity?

MR. McCURRY: Jericho and Gaza are as defined in the Declaration of Principles.


Q I didn't hear what you said.

MR. McCURRY: They are as defined in the Declaration of Principles negotiated between the parties.

Q All right. What I don't understand, then --


Q -- why is --

MR. McCURRY: I'm tortured. I'm feeling tortured here. (Laughter)

Q You're feeling tortured. Well, all right. Let me put it -- let me ask you --

MR. McCURRY: Try one more time, and then let's kind of move on.

Q Just one more time, all right. I'll drift to another section. I asked the Russians when they were here as to how often would the Russians and the Americans meet about the question of the Israeli-Arab situation in which they're both co- sponsors? Well, I got an answer -- yes, they meet, but I had a feeling that the Russians aren't doing much meeting or much agreeing with the United States except to say publicly everything is fine, but with some other things in mind. Well, how often do they meet, and what do they think about Jordan being given the signal that they'll be in charge of the holy places?

MR. McCURRY: They are very effective participants in various aspects of the process. I can trace it through. I've sat in a lot of the bilateral meetings between Secretary Christopher and Foreign Minister Kozyrev. This subject is generally always on the agenda of the Foreign Minister and the Secretary of State when the two meet, and they review where things stand.

Secretary Christopher, obviously, has a much different role in this process than does Foreign Minister Kozyrev. Foreign Minister Kozyrev very often has some very interesting observations about the process and Russia's role as a co-sponsor of the process itself.

Russia's participation in the multilateral discussions as part of the peace process has been very, very important, and we work very closely with the Russian Federation, with their representatives, as we advance the peace process.

Q With all due respect, as you know, the question is not when the Foreign Ministers get together they talk about the Middle East. Do the other subordinates meet frequently in Moscow or in Washington or wherever and say, "Look, we don't like this idea about Jordan being in charge of holy places. We want the Russian Church to be in charge of this or that." You know, all stuff like that.

MR. McCURRY: I'll check with our NEA folks, but I think they would be able to tell you that the Russians have been very effective and very active participants in all aspects of the multilateral sessions that have taken place, many of which have taken place over the past summer.

They have, along the way, contributed in a very important way as co-sponsors of the process. I'm not aware of anything that would suggest otherwise.

Q An easy one on Bosnia.

MR. McCURRY: Thanks -- if there is such a thing as an easy question on Bosnia.

Q I read what you said yesterday about the leakage and what the Americans are -- or what the United States would be doing about it. It seems to me that there's a difference between your implication that there has been some leakage and that the border is not tightly sealed, and David Owens reports that the border is sealed, which was the basis for the lifting of certain sanctions.

I just wonder if you can explain what the difference between the United States' information and David Owens' information is?

MR. McCURRY: We don't believe that the monitoring team that is present -- the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia has a monitoring mission along that border. It has approximately 100 persons from various European countries. It's now observing border crossing sites. There are additional observers that are going to be added to that mission, including 40 persons from the United States Government. That came up yesterday, and I'm correcting the number from yesterday.

We have provided resources. We've provided personnel to this effort. That is not a mission of a sufficient size to establish that the border is "sealed," and we would find it hard to believe that it is sealed. Frankly, there are probably ways in which there is traffic across that border.

The important thing is what commitment does the Government of Serbia and Montenegro, the Government of the Former Yugoslavia, have to using their own pressure and their own resources to effectively shut off arms transfers across that border? That is Milosevic's responsibility. If he wants to see any easing of sanctions, he needs to make good on that commitment. If he does not want to see sanctions reimposed on the Government of the Former Yugoslavia, he has to continue to make good on that commitment.

That's been very clear. That's all spelled out by the United Nations Security Council.

Q (Inaudible)

MR. McCURRY: The only report that we've got, remember, is the one that comes from the Coordinator, Beau Pellnaes, who has been there; who our Embassy in Belgrade has been in contact with on many occasions; and he has said for all practical purposes the border has been effectively closed. That is his latest report to the Secretary General.

But, as I said yesterday, any indications that we get to the contrary, based on information that we can obtain, we would certainly transmit both to this mission and also ultimately to the United Nations. And, if it is established by the Secretary General, as reported to the Security Council, that there is some evidence that that border is not effectively closed, then sanctions are automatically -- automatically -- reimposed.

Q But what has Owens certified, though?

MR. McCURRY: I don't that Owens certified anything. There is an ICFY monitoring mission headed by a Swede, Beau Pellnaes, and the reporting chain is from that mission to the ICFY, but also indirectly then to the United Nations. And it's the Secretary General's responsibility under the resolution to advise the Security Council if there's any doubt about the closing of the border.

Q The other thing that I wanted to add is that there's a danger, some people believe, that the symbolic lifting of certain sanctions might sort of erode the sanctions that are supposed to remain in place.

For example, the Russians have begun commercial passenger service again between Moscow and Belgrade, and they are celebrating -- the Russians seem to be celebrating the lifting of sanctions, which I understand is supposed to be symbolic. Have we talked to the Russians about it?

MR. McCURRY: Because of the work the Contact Group is doing on these questions, there is very regular dialogue between the United States and Russia on this. There was discussion of Bosnia at not great detail but some detail between the two Presidents during the summit.

The issue of what Milosevic is doing to further the world community's insistence that the Bosnian Serbs accept the proposal of the Contact Group that would bring this war to some type of end is an ongoing feature of diplomatic dialogue that we're having via the Contact Group, via all kinds of other sessions that have been underway on the subject.

But it is going to be very closely monitored. You're right, that there are largely symbolic easing of these sanctions on Serbia. A soccer team from Belgrade will get to play some games somewhere else in Europe, maybe. There will be some other type of cultural exchanges. But there is not the broad lifting of the hard-hitting economic sanctions until there is demonstrated confidence that Milosevic is doing everything that he can to force his allies to accept the Contact Group proposal.

That is something I don't think we are going to be in a position to fully evaluate for some time, but it is, among other things, one of the reasons why we get this period of the next six months until there's a lifting of the arms embargo that would be, in effect, if the Security Council so orders, that's why we get that window that is available to try to bring some pressure to bear on the Bosnian Serbs.


Q I was just going to ask you, since that delay is six months long now, that was about the only stick involved in trying to beat the Serbs to accept the peace agreement. Is there anything in the works here or in the Administration that would develop a new sort of stick, because six months through this winter is quite a long time.

I mean, is there a policy review? Is somebody thinking about what else can be done here?

MR. McCURRY: No. I mean, as far as a stick, I'm not quite certain I accept the premise that the only stick available was the eventual lifting of the arms embargo. There is pressure that is brought to bear on the Serbs through stricter enforcement of the U.N. Security Council resolutions; and, as I suggested yesterday, that's something that Secretary Perry addressed very directly with NATO Defense Ministers in Seville and then took to the UNPROFOR Commanders in Bosnia to review with them.


Q Mike, on this subject again, let me ask. Is it then your understanding that there is no information available regarding the infiltration of materials across the Bosnian border, the Bosnian frontier, into -- excuse me -- Serbian frontier into Bosnia; and, for that matter, is there no indication as to who might be responsible if there is such infiltration?

MR. McCURRY: There is information that is available that comes from firsthand accounts by the members of this monitoring mission that I've described. There is other information that can be available, some of which it's impossible for me to discuss here.

Q Mike, Zhirinovsky has applied for a visa to this country.

MR. McCURRY: Under consideration and don't know the answer. That's the short. There are a lot of other words here. Yes, he applied for a visa at the Embassy for a 14-day visit to the United States beginning November 4. The decision on whether to issue him a visa is under consideration. It's going to require a review and a very careful review; and as soon as we know what we're going to do in response to the visa application, we'll let you know.

Q What regulations would stand against giving him a visa?

MR. McCURRY: That's the question that's being looked at.

Q No. I mean, why does it need a careful review? He has opinions, that's all I know of.

MR. McCURRY: There are U.S. laws we just went through. We just waived ineligibility provisions with regard to the recent visit of Mr. Adams, as you all know. So there is applicable U.S. law that has to be looked at very carefully, because that's the criteria by which someone is ineligible, and I don't know the answer, whether or not this law is applicable in the case of Mr. Zhirinovsky.

Q (Inaudible) I'm asking if you say he needs a waiver or if you're just looking at the laws?

MR. McCURRY: We don't know. We don't know whether he is an excludable individual to which the ineligibility provisions apply. That's exactly what they need to look at.

Q Thank you.

Q Wait a minute, one more, please. (Laughter) One more, please. On China --

MR. McCURRY: I'm melting. I feel like the wicked witch of the west. Take it easy.

Q Mike, on China, the agreement that was made on missiles, does that allow China to have -- if they've delivered missiles to Pakistan, does that allow those missiles to remain in Pakistan? Is there any provision for withdrawal of that or the technology?

MR. McCURRY: If they have delivered missiles to Pakistan, and if the United States Government can establish that as a fact to the best means available to us, we would act consistent with U.S. law to impose the sanctions that are required by U.S. law.

One last thing. I want to put this in the record, because I didn't have it at the beginning. I do not expect to brief tomorrow, because we're going to have a lot of things going on tomorrow. The camera folks in the back cheer. We do expect that there will be a backgrounder that would be of interest to those of you going on the Middle East trip or to some of the rest of you by a Senior Administration Official who is familiar with the peace process and who may in fact be bespectacled and owlish looking. (Laughter)

Q What time tomorrow?

MR. McCURRY: I don't have the time. I'm just telling you that so you can check in tomorrow and check for the time. Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 1:45 p.m.)


To the top of this page