U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN DAILY PRESS BRIEFING INDEX NOVEMBER 10, 1994 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Thursday, November 10, 1994 Briefer: Christine Shelly ANNOUNCEMENT Press Office Closed Tomorrow Due to Federal Holiday .......................................1 IRAQ Statement on Recognition of Kuwait ..............1-2 Compliance with UN Resolutions/Lifting Sanctions .....................................2-3 BOSNIA Fighting/UN Exclusion Zones .....................3-5 CUBA Refugees/Humanitarian Flights to US .............5-6 HAITI Refugees/Repatriation ...........................6 MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS King Hussein's Visit to Israel ..................6 NATO Membership/Partners for Peace ...................7-8 NORTH KOREA KEDO Meetings in Beijing ........................8-9 (###)
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1994, 1:18 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Should I kick off by announcing that tomorrow is a Federal holiday? We're not having a briefing. Does that come as a surprise to anybody? No? Is anyone awake? Good.
The Press Office will be closed in observance of the holiday and there will be no Daily Briefing. We'll resume our normal briefing schedule on Monday. I'll be happy to take your questions.
Q Christine, for the interest of the television folks, would you mind reading your statement on Kuwait for the record?
MS. SHELLY: Yes. We've issued just a short while ago a statement on Iraq's announcement of steps to recognize Kuwait's border.
We are carefully studying today's announcement of steps by Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council and parliament to recognize Kuwait's sovereignty and borders. If today's announcements are followed by the necessary implementing measures, it will mark an important achievement for the United Nations Security Council which has steadfastly insisted that Iraq must comply -- and comply fully -- with all its requirements.
The international community will not be satisfied with partial steps. Even if Iraq has, by Monday, taken the necessary steps to carry out today's announcements, it will have complied with only one of a number of requirements established by the Security Council.
Saddam Hussein blatant provocation against Kuwait and the United Nations last month demonstrated anew his untrustworthiness and readiness to resort to threats and confrontation to achieve his objectives.
It will be important that the Council continue to make clear that there will be no discussions of modifications to the sanctions regime so long as Iraq has failed to establish its peaceful intentions by complying fully with all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Q Have the Russians yet approached the United States about lifting any sanctions, or do you anticipate that they would be moving in such a direction?
MS. SHELLY: Not that I'm aware of. We, of course, have had several exchanges with the Russians over the last few days in the context of, first, the trip by Tariq Aziz to Moscow and then the subsequent trip by Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev to Baghdad.
We are certainly of a very firm impression that the Russians have been working with the Iraqis in a way which is consistent with the positions taken by the U.N. Security Council. I am not aware of any public statement or private statement that suggests that they are working in some other direction.
As our statement notes, if today's announcement in Baghdad regarding Kuwait and its borders are followed by the implementing measures, it will mark an important achievement for the Security Council. In that context, Russian diplomacy will have played a significant role in convincing Iraq that it must comply fully with the requirements that the United Nations has imposed.
Q Christine, what are the "implementing measures?" Could you outline those?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have more details on this at this point. I'm going to take that question and see what additional details I can find for you.
There are certain things I believe that they have to do regarding the notifications to the Security Council. There's some documentation that has to be done, but I'm going to check on that and I'll post an answer to that a little bit later.
Q What else would you like to see Iraq do?
MS. SHELLY: We've talked before -- and, actually, I think Madeleine Albright addressed this up in New York a little while ago. There are the other types of things regarding the weapons of mass destruction. As I think you know, there will be a report before the Security Council on the whole issue of the sanctions review. That's going to be coming up on Monday. We think, at the time, that's when Mr. Ekeus presents his report on UNSCOM and what's happened on that score.
He has had some meetings already with members of the Security Council, and I think he's been continuing those consultations today. So the whole question of the weapons of mass destruction, that's what they will be formally considering on Monday. In that context, also, the Security Council will also look at the compliance with all of the resolutions.
So there are the things that we've mentioned before, about their actions against some of their minority populations in the south. We're still looking for some actions in that regard. We obviously would certainly like to see the reflection of the kinds of decisions that they have made announcements on so they stop referring to Kuwait, for example, as one of their provinces, and things like that. So we'll certainly be hoping that their statements with respect to Kuwait will change.
We have never felt that the onus was on us to give the point-by- point rebuttal. The Security Council has passed a series of resolutions. Iraq knows what it needs to do to comply completely. It certainly is an important step, and it's a very major step relative to their actions with respect to Kuwait. But beyond that there are other things that they have to do and Iraq knows what they are.
Q Christine, The Ekeus Report, is that accompanied by the starting of a clock for six months for a test of the monitoring system? And if at the end of that six month period the monitoring system appears to work, wouldn't provide a good deal of impetus toward a feeling in the Security Council that Iraq had, indeed, certainly complied with the major elements of its resolution?
MS. SHELLY: That is, I think, a possibility and one of the things that will be discussed on Monday. As the discussion on the formal report to the Council hasn't started yet, I think I'm going to have to hold off until Monday to get into that in a bit more detail.
Q Bosnia: What's the status of the ultimatum that NATO issued regarding Sarajevo last February? Is that still in force?
MS. SHELLY: About the -- I'm sorry.
Q Setting up the exclusion zone. And, as I recall, also any shelling even beyond the exclusion zone was also proscribed and consequences were warned -- what's the status of that?
MS. SHELLY: The NATO decisions certainly still remain in force. It would have to be NATO itself that would have to make any changes to that.
We certainly are aware of what the fighting picture looks like. Sarajevo continues to undergo the heaviest shelling since the weapons exclusion zone was established by UNPROFOR.
I'm told by colleagues that General Rose actually attempted to meet with Generals Delic and Mladic earlier today but those two refused to meet with him. That is certainly not a positive sign.
There was also the incident -- also reported by UNPROFOR -- of the Serbian jet, the RSK -- firing two missiles on an ammunition production area in the Bihac pocket. That's in northwest Bosnia. The plane, we understand, fired from Serb- controlled Croatia; it did not actually penetrate Bosnian airspace. New fighting has erupted in other parts of Bosnia as well -- in Maglaj and in Tuzla. Those are also both in the northeastern areas.
So the fighting picture certainly is not a very promising one at this point.
Q Does the "no-fly" zone not include Serb-controlled Croatia?
MS. SHELLY: My understanding is that it's -- because of the issue of the air space and the amount of time that the plane was in the air -- Bihac, as you know, it's not an exclusion zone. It's a safe area but it can be protected through the NATO air strikes. That's a possibility.
The attack on Bihac was possibly a violation of the "no- fly" zone over Bosnian air space. But since it's not absolutely clear because of the flight time involved in leaving the base in Krajina, Serb-held Croatia, and Bihac, we're talking about a one-minute timeframe here. I understand the difficulties for UNPROFOR in trying to determine whether the plane was actually in the Bosnian or Croatian air space. So, therefore, they're trying to get additional information or see if they can make any other determinations on that.
My understanding is, if the plane attacked from Croatian air space, that would not constitute a violation of the "no- fly" zone.
Q What are your thoughts on the appearance of SA-2 missiles and their use not as ground-to-air but actually as ground-to-ground missiles against civilian populations?
MS. SHELLY: Certainly, we are very concerned about the trend in the fighting overall and certainly the use of those types of instruments which in fact are instruments of terror. The type of picture that we're seeing is not one that suggests that at this precise moment we're getting closer to settling differences at the negotiating table. That's still very much what we want to see. The Contact Group still remains engaged in trying to find some stronger and more comprehensive approaches to trying to bring the fighting to an end. So certainly it's not the type of picture that we would like to see.
Q Does the United States believe that to some extent the Bosnian Government may have brought this upon itself by starting its offensive?
MS. SHELLY: I think that the lack of progress on the political front has certainly led to a lot of frustration in the Bosnian Government and certainly among the Bosnian Government forces, and it has led them to undertake military actions with a view to gaining additional territory. As we have said before, we certainly understand their position in this matter.
But again we think that the best kind of gains and actions and decisions are those that are taken at the negotiating table and not those that are taken in the context of military actions.
Q Different subject?
MS. SHELLY: Yes.
Q Is there a flight today of -- a humanitarian flight from Guantanamo to Miami with Cubans aboard?
MS. SHELLY: From Guantanamo to Miami with Cubans?
Q Yes. There were supposed to be flights of elderly, unaccompanied children and medical cases.
MS. SHELLY: Let me check and see what I've got. I think this was yesterday that there were -- I have to check on the date on this -- that there were 84 Cuban migrants from Guantanamo who were medically evacuated to the U.S. or moved under the humanitarian parole program from my information -- I think that was yesterday -- and there are more parolees who are expected to leave Guantanamo for the United States today.
Q Do you have a total on the number of those people that will be brought in?
MS. SHELLY: I do not. I don't have any estimates on that at this point.
Q Are the repatriation of Haitians -- is that continuing? What sorts of numbers are you putting out?
MS. SHELLY: On the Haitian situation, as you know, there was an association by the Miami Haitian refugee group with the court case that was filed by the Cubans, and so there was also an injunction that went into effect regarding the repatriation of Haitians.
To my knowledge, there has not been a change in that, so I think that we are still stopped at this point from repatriating the Haitians back to Haiti. Is that correct? Do you remember, David (Johnson)?
MR. JOHNSON: We have not begun (inaudible).
MS. SHELLY: Right. So that is still stopped at this point.
Q Another subject. We are one month away from the Summit of the Americas. What is the progress achieving -- working out an agenda with Latin American countries?
MS. SHELLY: I'm going to have to take that question, and I will either put up something on that this afternoon, or else I will come back to it at Monday's briefing. But I don't have anything with me on that at this point.
Q Middle East. Do you have any comment about visit of King Hussein in Israel?
MS. SHELLY: I don't. I mean, I think it's certainly a manifestation of all of the changing circumstances in the region, and certainly a manifestation of the level of comfort which has been achieved in the bilateral relations which have changed very dramatically over the course of the last couple of weeks.
It's certainly a very positive development, and similar types of visits and trips and activities I expect we'll be seeing more of.
Q As a matter of planning then, I guess news as well, is there any talk now of the Secretary when he leaves Thailand instead of returning directly to Washington perhaps making that Middle East swing that is slated for later this month to the first of next month?
MS. SHELLY: Not that I've heard so far. I know the Secretary does plan to return to the region at some point in the near time frame, but he has a lot of commitments, including other travel commitments, between now and the middle of December, as you know. So I'm not aware that there's any change planned at this point in the timing of his travel to the Middle East.
Q Do you have any more details on this new U.S. proposal for the membership for Eastern European countries in NATO?
MS. SHELLY: I have a little bit. That came up at Monday's briefing, and I said we would be prepared to come back to that later in the week. This is the first time we've been back on camera since then, and I do have a little bit I can share with you about the state of our planning on that.
As you know, at the NATO summit in January, Alliance leaders agreed with President Clinton on important new steps which would enhance NATO's contribution to security in Europe; and that, of course, included the Partnership for Peace program specifically to promote military cooperation.
Following the Alliance leaders' affirmation that the Alliance remained open to new members, the President underscored in Warsaw this summer that NATO expansion is not a question of whether but of how and of when.
In a speech in September, the Vice President noted our intention to begin discussions this fall within the Alliance on the expansion process, and he also set out some of our thinking of this and the way ahead.
As you know, the Partnership for Peace is designed to promote practical military and political cooperation with non-member states and to prepare those states who would be so inclined for NATO membership. We believe that a gradual process of NATO enlargement will contribute to stability in Europe as one element in the overall evolution of Europe's security structures.
It's not our intention that this will be directed against anyone or that this will be drawing any kind of new lines in Europe, and we certainly don't see any contradictions between expansion of NATO and strengthening of cooperation with NATO's partners in Europe.
What we've been doing recently -- we have been reviewing the many complicated questions which obviously are raised by the expansion prospect, and we have begun consultations with our allies on this. We're focusing now on the modalities of NATO expansion on its practical requirements and what some of the implications would be for the prospective new members.
We're currently presenting those views to our allies. This is a process, of course, that we hope will lead to reaching agreement within the Alliance on an internal process which would govern NATO's approach overall to the expansion issue.
How and exactly when to convey NATO's views to its partners will be one of the issues that will be under discussion.
As I've mentioned, we have had a number of contacts with our allies in a variety of settings, particularly over the last three weeks. These contacts have taken place in allied capitals, at NATO in Brussels and also here in Washington.
The issues involved in NATO expansion will be one of the things that will be discussed at the NAC Ministerial, but I don't have a lot of additional information to offer at this time on the specific steps to be taken.
As I said, we're really at the beginning of this process and expect that it will be taking shape in the coming weeks and leading up to the discussion of the NATO Ministerial.
Q North Korea. What is the date for the procedure for organizing so-called KEDO organization, because the other day a South Korean agency reported that the first general meeting of the KEDO will be held by the end of this year in Beijing, in China; and the next day the South Korean Government denied it. So what is going on?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not aware of the denial. I know that the plan was for a series of expert meetings to take place in the coming I guess three to four weeks. If I'm not mistaken, I think that the Secretary also addressed that in I think some of his early either remarks or speeches in Korea.
I'm not aware of the fact that there is a problem with the timing on this or the holding of any of these meetings, but I'm going to check on that and see if there's been any change. But the expectation was that there would be a meeting in Beijing for a kind of preliminary set of discussions, and that they would be expected to last a couple of days. But let me check on that and see if there's any change. I'm not aware of any change to that.
Q Can I ask one more question. The South Korean Government, since welcoming the participation of North Korea into APEC, and Secretary of State sounded a bit cautionary note on that, I understand. What would be this government's attitude on the participation of North Korea in APEC?
MS. SHELLY: That one I'm afraid I can't get into, because the Secretary, as you know, was visiting Korea and then going on to APEC, and that is a subject area that he clearly would be addressing and discussing in the context of his meetings leading up to the APEC meetings itself. I'm afraid that that one I simply have to take off my screen.
Q Thank you.
MS. SHELLY: Thank you.
(The briefing concluded at 1:39 p.m.)
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