U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN DAILY PRESS BRIEFING NOVEMBER 14, 1994 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Monday, November 14, 1994 Briefer: Christine Shelly GUATEMALA Supreme Court Orders Investigation of Charges Jinnifer Harburys Husband Held by Military ....1 Jinnifer Harbury's Meetings in Washington .......1-4 ISRAEL Report US to Move Embassy .......................2-3 ANGOLA Signing of Protocol Postponed ...................4 Visit by Assistant Secretary Moose ..............4-5 Fighting ........................................5 BOSNIA Fighting/UN Exclusion Zones .....................5-7,9-10 Arms Embargo/US Role ............................7-8 NATO Secretary General's Visit to US ............8-9 CHINA Discussions with US on MTC ......................11-12 IRAQ Recognition of Kuwait ...........................12 Compliance with UN Resolutions/Lifting Sanctions .....................................12-15 SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS Agenda ..........................................17
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1994, 1:09 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the State Department's Daily Press Briefing. I don't have any announcements, so let's go directly to your questions.
Q Do you have anything on contacts between the U.S. officials and the American hunger-striker who is up here for talks?
MS. SHELLY: Jennifer Harbury.
MS. SHELLY: Yes, I've got a little bit of information on that. I can bring you up to date.
Jennifer Harbury announced on November 11 that she was ending her hunger strike. She returned to the United States over the weekend. In a statement she said that she would be returning to Guatemala in the near future to file criminal charges against the military personnel who she claimed were involved in the capture, detention and torture of her husband, Efrain Bamaca, also known as Commandante Everardo.
The Guatemalan Supreme Court has ordered a new investigation under the primary responsibility of the human rights ombudsman, assisted by the Solicitor General and the Chief Public Prosecutor. President De Leon has stated that the U.N. Human Rights Verification Mission can also play a constructive role. The Supreme Court has asked that an investigation be completed in 30 days.
In terms of meetings that she might have here, at the request of Congressman Sam Gejdenson, the Vice President's National Security Adviser, Leon Feurth, has agreed to meet with Jennifer Harbury's attorney. But I'm told that that meeting hasn't yet been scheduled. We are unaware of any other government appointments, but, of course, we'd be willing to meet with her here at the State Department.
Q She says, I believe, that the U.S. had evidence back in '92 that her husband was still alive after the March '92 firefight. Can you confirm that?
MS. SHELLY: What I understand to be the case is based on all of the information available to us -- and this, of course, comes from a wide variety of sources -- we have concluded that Efrain Bamaca was taken captive by the army in March of 1992.
We believe that he had been wounded but that his injuries were not believed to be life threatening. We have no information to indicate that he was alive much beyond the first few weeks after his capture. But in our efforts to try to get a better accounting and information on this, we, of course, have always proceeded on the assumption that he could be alive, and that has been a governing factor for us in terms of trying to get information about the case.
Q I have a handout here from the Jerusalem Report, and it's saying it in its current issue, which is coming out in a couple days, I guess -- is that the United States has taken an unprecedented step towards recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. And it says further that the United States has signed an agreement to develop a site in Jerusalem "for diplomatic use" with a residence for "the most senior U.S. diplomat." The Allenby camp site near Taipot in south Jerusalem is expected to replace the Embassy that is currently in Tel Aviv when building is completed in 1999. The relocation of the Embassy will coincide with the scheduled final agreement between Israel and the United States and a permanent status of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
I was wondering whether any part of that -- what can you say about this?
MS. SHELLY: Actually, we expected we might get that question about a week or so ago, and we had guidance in the Press Office on it. But what I'm going to have to do -- because I don't have anything with me on that -- is to refer you to the Press Office.
I know we worked up some guidance in response to another report on the same subject.
Q I don't know what the guidance has. It may bring about additional questions. So can you fill us in as to whether or not any part of this is correct that there is an agreement that the United States will build a building in Taipot, or wherever in Jerusalem, to serve or accommodate the most senior U.S. diplomat, whatever that might mean?
MS. SHELLY: I think what I'm going to have to ask you to do. The issue of Jerusalem, of course, being a very sensitive one, this is just not one that lends itself to trying to do it off the cuff from memory. I'm still going to have to ask you to go back to the Press Office and have them give you what information we do have that relates to sites and possible plans for construction.
On the more general point, there is not any change in our policy on this score. But again the issue had come up in another context. About one or two weeks ago, I think we did work up guidance on it at that time. So if you could look and see what we have to say on that and, if that doesn't sufficiently answer your questions, we'll take another stab at it.
Q Would you excuse me while I go and check with the Press Office?
MS. SHELLY: By all means. (Laughter) Is this equivalent to a filing break?
Q Do you remember what it is that occasioned the press guidance to be -- what report occasioned --
MS. SHELLY: I believe there was a press report also that related to construction -- future construction plans and sites and options and things.
MS. SHELLY: As I said, I don't have this with me at this point, and I don't want to just come in and do this cold. It was something that we had looked into, as I said, a short while ago, but there is guidance.
Q Did they get it?
MS. SHELLY: Yes. But again I don't want to -- I would want a little more time. I'm happy to come back to that later in the week, if you wouldn't mind looking at what we have first, and then I'll come back to it later in the week. But again there are a lot of sensitivities related to this, and I want to bring myself up to speed before I would engage any further beyond the guidances that we do have available to you.
Q Can I return to Jennifer Harbury for a moment.
MS. SHELLY: sure.
Q There are no meetings scheduled presently at the State Department or with any State Department officials?
MS. SHELLY: There are not any meetings scheduled yet. My understanding is she just returned to Washington over the weekend, and I assumed that we are likely to be hearing from her and I certainly would reiterate our willingness to meet with her. I can't tell you at this point what level that would be. But certainly as the week unfolds, I expect we'll have more information on that.
Q Can you update us on the situation in the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta concerning the East Timorese that occupied the compound there?
MS. SHELLY: Unfortunately, on that one I can't help you very much because, as you know, the President and the Secretary are traveling, and we have a pretty clear understanding about division of labor between their party and what we're working back here.
Let me do that as a taken question and see what we could provide for you in a printed way after the briefing. I don't have anything with me at this moment, and I'd have to check and see what the latest information is before I could answer the question. But let me do that as a taken question.
Q Do you have anything on what's happening or not happening with regard to the Angolan peace accord, and what Assistant Secretary Moose is doing in the region?
MS. SHELLY: I had a little bit of information on that. First of all, as I think you're probably aware, the signing of the Lusaka Protocol will not take place as had originally been scheduled on November 15. It's been postponed. We hope it's just going to be a short postponement.
We understand that a UNITA delegation has arrived in Lusaka, and that the military talks were to begin today. The immediate priorities are to arrange a mutual ceasefire and signature of the Lusaka Protocol within the next couple of days.
We view the cessation of hostilities now as vital to the success of the peace process overall.
Assistant Secretary George Moose traveled to Angola this weekend to work for an immediate ceasefire and to try to achieve as soon as possible the signature of the Lusaka Protocol. He already met with Angolan President Dos Santos, and he's traveling to Lusaka. U.S. Special Representative Paul Hare is already in Lusaka. He's participating in the military talks.
Q So do you have anything to say about the offensive that apparently was launched by the government forces last week?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have a lot on that. As you know, we have been trying to get the parties to sign on to the agreement and to stop the fighting. I have just a little bit of information on the latest fighting.
Huambo is apparently under effective control now of government forces. Fighting has also reportedly increased in northern Angola in the vicinity of the UNITA strongholds in Uige and M'Banza and Congo. I'm not sure about the pronunciations of those, but I think that's about right.
International relief workers, including the group that has one American in it, who were stranded by the fighting in Huambo were successfully evacuated on the 11th of November.
Q Do you have any more detail about what Moose and Dos Santos discussed? I mean, last week I think you called the offensive needless and criticized it very strongly. Did he convey that sense of concern?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have a readout on those meetings yet, but I'll see what I can get. He, of course, is still traveling. But let me see what I can find out through the African Bureau. We'll try to provide a few additional details, if we can, this afternoon or else we'll come back to it in a day or two at the briefing.
Q Do you have an assessment of the situation in the Bihac area?
MS. SHELLY: Fighting in the Bihac pocket continues on three fronts as government troops try to repel Krajina and Pale Serbs. So far we understand that the Serbs have regained about 40 percent of the land that they've lost in recent fighting. Bosnian Government forces warned that they would attack the Krajina Serbs if the fighting continued.
As to other areas of fighting, just to bring you up to date on the other information I have, on Sunday five rockets hit the Sarajevo Holiday Inn. That's the temporary site, as you know, of the U.S. Embassy. One U.N. firefighter was slightly wounded. Government troops have also made small gains in fighting near Mostar.
No fighting has been reported in Croatia, and yet we understand that tension is building around the U.N.-protected areas.
Q What's the U.S. view of a potential Bosnian Government attack on the Krajina Serbs?
MS. SHELLY: We're watching the situation very closely. As to the intentions of Bosnian Government forces, I think I'd have to refer you to the Bosnian Government on that. But we're certainly hoping overall that the fighting can be checked and the parties will get back to the -- our hope and the stated intention, I think, by all of those others involved in working the peace plan, that they can settle this at the negotiating table and not on the battlefield.
Q There was a good deal of understanding for their initial offensive here in this building. Would there be the same view of a counterattack at this point against forces coming from the Krajina area?
MS. SHELLY: Well, I think that we have said many, many times that the Bosnian Serbs have been the overwhelming aggressor. And in that context, we certainly expressed some understanding for the efforts by the Bosnian Government forces to get back some of that territory, particularly since many months ago they signed up for the Contact Group plan which was supposed to present the best possible alternative -- putting a peace plan on the table.
We expressed understanding of their frustration for the fact that the Bosnian Serbs have not shown any indication of a willingness to accept the Map and the Contact Group proposal. But at the same time, we feel that a peacefully negotiated and agreed arrangement is certainly one which is likely to be more durable.
Q Does the rocket attacks on the Holiday Inn, wouldn't that sort of violate the exclusion zone or some of the U.N. resolutions concerning the protected areas like Sarajevo?
MS. SHELLY: It would appear that that would be the case. Let me check as to exactly which category rockets fall into; but it would seem to me that that would be a violation.
Q Wouldn't NATO or the U.N. be obliged to punish or retaliate against the people who do that?
MS. SHELLY: First of all, they have to determine what constitutes a violation, and then it is up to UNPROFOR to decide what kind of response, if any, is appropriate. So I'm not going to get into second- guessing, (1), the determinations, and (2) what's the appropriate response. I'm afraid that that's simply something that the commander in the field has to make that judgment on.
Q Do you think that the action of the United States -- in not enforcing and not participating in the enforcement of the embargo -- might have undermined the American effort to get NATO take a tougher stand or a tougher role with UNPROFOR in protecting places like Sarajevo and other places?
MS. SHELLY: No. I don't think that we're expecting it to have a broader implication on that. First of all, on the point about response, I think that the use of airpower, and particularly as it's been understood by NATO to be used, that it has signaled the willingness of the international community to use military pressure to bring about peace in Bosnia. I don't think that's changed. There certainly have been cases where airpower has been a very decisive tool when it's been used, such as ending the shelling of Sarajevo in February and preventing Goradze from being overrun last April.
As to the most recent announcement about the U.S. participation in the "Sharp Guard" and the aftermath of the implementation of Nunn- Mitchell and the specific military provisions, the U.S. is not ceasing participation in "Sharp Guard," which you know is a joint NATO-WEU operation involved in sanctions enforcement in the Adriatic.
The U.S. ships involved in the NATO part of the control will continue to divert vessels which contain the prohibited cargo by the economic sanctions against both Belgrade and Pale. The U.S. ships will enforce the arms embargo as it applies to the ex-Yugoslav states with the exception of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Only one aspect, really, of U.S. participation in the enforcement has changed. Because of the provisions in Nunn- Mitchell and the amendment that went into effect on Saturday night, we are prohibited, as you know, from diverting vessels containing certain types of weapons bound for the Bosnian Government.
It relates to one aspect of U.S. participation. I don't think it signals any lessening of interest on the part of the United States in playing a role in the political process. Certainly, some the allies were disappointed in that notification. But on the other hand, this has been a matter of public law and public record for some time now. So I certainly wouldn't characterize it as coming as a surprise.
We did undertake an extensive consultation process with them the end of last week about exactly what was involved, as these provisions of the Nunn-Mitchell Amendment went into effect. I think that the allies appreciated the effort to consult and to give them very detailed information about what that meant, that the U.S. forces participating could and could not do. I think they did appreciate that. But I think that they're all steadfast in their determination to continue NATO's participation in enforcement of the whole range of Security Council resolutions.
Q The amendment, as I recall, says that no funds shall be expended to enforce that embargo. What about Americans participating on the ground in the inspections in Croatia for stuff coming overland? Is that funded -- is that paid for by American funds? Is it also affected in the same way ships are?
MS. SHELLY: There are some troops, as you know, along the Macedonian border. Those are not affected. There is U.S. participation in the sanctions enforcement along the Serbian-Bosnian border. I'm not aware that that activity is affected.
I think with the exception of the two areas -- as you know, there was a Background briefing on this at the Pentagon on Friday. I believe that the only two areas that are specifically affected are, first, the participation and the maritime monitoring; and, second, what will happen with certain types of intelligence information. Again, I think that was pretty specifically addressed in the Pentagon briefing.
I'm not aware of other areas where, at this point, there's any specific applicability.
Q Christine, if I could just follow that up. The new Secretary General of NATO, Willy Claes, is expressing consternation in spite of the consultations and clarifications you evidently have passed on. He is rushing to this country to meet, first of all, with Boutros Ghali now, and then wants to meet with senior U.S. officials -- none of whom are here, of course.
Have you any official word from Claes' offices -- from NATO -- as to how you might be getting together with him to talk about these problems?
MS. SHELLY: First of all, I would contest the notion that he's rushing to the United States. Because, first of all, it's established practice that the NATO Secretary General usually does make a Fall visit and a Spring visit to the United States to consult prior to the NATO ministerial taking place. So I think, in fact, this was a meeting that was scheduled, obviously, in the aftermath of Secretary General Claes' selection as the new NATO Secretary General.
But it's not, to my understanding, something that was thrown together in haste. He also had been informed and briefed, and certainly consulted, in the context of our diplomacy on this at the end of last week.
He is going to be having -- I think actually today, he was participating in a WEU ministerial meeting that was taking place. His plan, of course, is to come here. I think he's travelling on Wednesday and will have appointments with people over on the National Security Council staff, here in the State Department and also at the Pentagon.
I think he's supposed to stay over until the beginning of next week. I think it was his hope that some of those who have been travelling would be available to meet with him at the beginning of next week.
There also is a major NATO-related event which is taking place in Washington this week -- this Friday. It's the Fall meeting of the North Atlantic Assembly. He's also in Washington in connection with that. He's going to be giving a speech to the Assembly on Friday. I assume that he will engage in the range of activities that the NATO Secretary General does usually during the course of this visit which also includes Congressional contacts and some other types of contacts while he's here in Washington.
Q Christine, to follow on Saul's question. With regard to Bihac, what is the status with UNPROFOR perhaps having to use air power in that situation -- the reading that this is getting pretty tight and possibly dangerous? We're getting Croatian-Serbs coming across the border to get involved in this.
The second question would be, is there an escalation or at least a complication in the ground-war situation because of the success of the Bosnian Government a couple of weeks ago in their offensive?
MS. SHELLY: I think I've addressed your question already, in part. It is obviously a source of concern to us. It's a source of concern, certainly, to UNPROFOR on the ground.
We understand that, in response to the Bosnian Government forces' own actions, there is this counteraction taking place. But we are engaged in diplomacy. We're all watching the developments with great concern. The Contact Group, of course, will continue to exchange information as will NATO and UNPROFOR.
So, yes, it's a point of concern. I don't think there's very much else I can say beyond that except that we're aware of the fighting and are hoping that a broader solution to the problem will be possible which will enable the parties to come to a longer term peace agreement.
Q Do we actually have a more complicated or escalating military situation in the Bihac pocket, per se?
MS. SHELLY: It's very hard for me to make that judgment from here. So I think that might be a question that you, perhaps, could ask over at the Pentagon, but I don't have any information beyond that which I've already given you.
Q Could you say something about the visit of Ukranian President Kuchma? What are the exact dates? Is it going to be a State or working visit? Is he going to see the President? And what do you hope for from the visit?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have anything with me on that today. As far as I know, it is a Presidential visit. I think it's possible that the White House, in fact, might have the lead on that one, but let me see what I can say from here. I'll either put up an answer and take it as a "taken question" or else I'll come back to it later in the week at the briefing.
Q At the United Nations General Assembly, Egypt has put on the table a resolution to the effect that Israel should join the anti- nuclear proliferation treaty. Have you seen anything on that in terms of U.S. policy towards that resolution?
MS. SHELLY: I haven't seen it. I'll check.
Q Another question was, is there anything at the United Nations about Iran's financial support of Hamas or Syria's support of Hezbollah, or the United Nations taking some multinational action against terrorism in the Middle East?
MS. SHELLY: Not specifically that I'm aware of, but I'll also check on that one.
Q Do you have any comments on this morning's reports about the deal to China about missiles?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have a lot to say on that because -- as I think you're aware, with the party and the President and the Secretary out in the region -- I normally would sort of take that off my screen all together. But I think there was some concern back here that there were some parts of that story which were not entirely correct.
I'll give you what I've got on that, but I don't have a lot of details. It has been U.S. policy to work with China to build on its recent commitments to the provisions which are in the Missile Technology Control Regime. As you know, there was the signing on October 4 of the Joint Statement.
As we stated at that time, when we signed the statement as a next step, the U.S. and China had agreed to hold in- depth discussions on the MTCR. We intend to work toward a Chinese commitment to control the missile-related exports according to the current MTCR guidelines. It's in that context that we wish to better understand exactly what has occurred in the past. We'll be continuing discussions with the Chinese to that effect.
But our policies basically remain the same and are those that were outlined in the Fact Sheet that we distributed at the time of the October 4 Joint Statement.
Q Another on China. The bilaterals that are going on with the President and the Chinese --
MS. SHELLY: Off my screen.
Q That's off your screen? Anything having to do with human rights discussions? There wasn't very much in the papers at all on it.
MS. SHELLY: That's off my screen.
Q That's out of your bailiwick?
MS. SHELLY: Charlie.
Q Can you go a little more into detail about the reference you just made in terms of the parts of the New York Times story that are wrong? I don't want to leave that dangling. What's right or what's wrong?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not prepared to go into a kind of point-by-point rebuttal. I think there were a couple of points. One was, I think there was a sort of inference that we were writing off the past. That is not the case. We're very concerned with what happened in the past.
I think there was also an assertion about information relating to exactly how much there was in the case of the China-Pakistan relationship. On that point, I believe it has always been our position that whereas we had some information on this, we never had sufficient information to conclude that there was exactly the kind of transfer that I think is implied in the article.
Those are two areas that I can just mention that come to mind on this score in terms of giving you some specifics. There may be other points as well. But, as I said, it is difficult to go very far beyond what I've done now, simply because this is also an issue that presumably will be worked by the party in the region.
Q There have been some fairly sweeping arrests in the Gaza Strip of Islamic Jihad types. Do you have any information on comment on that?
MS. SHELLY: I don't. Let me check on that and see if there's anything we would want to say. I don't have any information with me on that.
Q Do you want to take this occasion to congratulate Tariq Aziz on depositing the documentation for the recognition of Kuwait?
MS. SHELLY: I think that we certainly take note of his depositing those documents. Let me just kind of review where we are on that. You're giving me an opening, and I can't fail to jump in there.
As to what's been happening up in New York this morning, Madeleine Albright met with Tariq Aziz very briefly in her capacity as President of the Security Council. He gave her the documentation in question which relates to Iraq's recognition of Kuwait's borders.
Following this -- also in her capacity as President of the Security Council -- Ambassador Albright met with the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister.
Still underway is a meeting of the Security Council to review Iraq's compliance record over the last 60 days of all of the different requirements in the U.N. Security Council resolution.
Our position on this remains clear. It certainly remained consistent throughout the process, that Iraq must fully comply with all of the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions before there can be any discussion of modifications to the sanctions regime.
There is also, I understand, slightly later today, a separate meeting of the Security Council where I think there will be some kind of acknowledgment of the Iraqi action. That meeting hasn't taken place yet so I don't have any other details of that. I think the key point for us here is that whereas, as we've said, we wanted to see the implementation of this announcement, Iraq has now passed the documents to the United Nations.
But, nonetheless, it is still our very strong view -- and I think a view that reflects the thinking of all of the Security Council members - - that Iraq cannot just pick and choose among its obligations to the international community. Their obligations have been stated very explicitly in the resolution which ended the Gulf War -- that's U.N. Security Council 687 -- and normalization of Iraq's relations with the international community must rest on the assurance of Iraq's peaceful intentions.
The obligations in the Security Council have established, in the relevant resolutions -- they get at the very heart of Iraq's intentions -- those obligations must be met. All Council members have repeatedly endorsed that principle.
Q A senior Russian diplomat here the other day said -- tried to separate some resolutions -- some of the sanctions from the specific sanction on oil sales, by saying that there are specific things that Iraq must do on oil sales which are guideposts. And I'm trying to separate your sweeping statement that they have to implement all these resolutions in order to get rid of all sanctions. I'm just now centering on the oil sales.
Is it not the case that if -- according to the Russian diplomat -- if they recognize Kuwait and implement that, which they've done, if they also return the Kuwaiti prisoners -- which they still haven't done -- and if there is a longstanding -- that is, a long-term inspection that is now underway of their compliance with the disarmament sanctions -- or the disarmament protocols that Ekeus and company have set, aren't we talking now about a couple of specific things that they now -- that Iraq now has to do on the oil -- to lift the oil sales and the oil sales only?
MS. SHELLY: The only oil sale provision which is permitted at this juncture is the one which is included in this Security Council Resolution 706 and 712 which always allowed Iraq to export $1.6 billion in oil.
MS. SHELLY: I know -- and to use those proceeds to purchase humanitarian goods. As you know, Saddam Husayn refused to implement that plan, and so therefore a significant amount of money that could have been used to bring in important things -- food, medicine, materials, etc., essential civilian needs -- he chose not to avail himself of that.
MS. SHELLY: Yes, I know that. Anyway, you get to ask the questions; I get to provide the answers. That's the only oil sale provision which is permitted at this juncture. But in terms of any relaxation or modification of the sanctions regime generally, that's something --
Q I'm not talking about the sanctions regime in general, Christine. You said that you would give me an answer. The answer is that I seek is the answer to the question about the sanctions having to do with oil sales. Not the oil sales for humanitarian purposes, but the sanctions that would be lifted and permit Iraq to sell oil.
MS. SHELLY: Yes. It is our position that Iraq must comply with all of the relevant Security Council resolutions before modifications can be discussed.
Q When you say "all of the Security Council resolutions" -- for oil sales -- is that what you're talking about?
MS. SHELLY: I'm talking about the overall sanctions regime.
Q The overall. Are you saying that they have to comply with the overall sanctions regime in order to have lifted the specific embargo on oil sales?
MS. SHELLY: I think that I have said what I have to say on this, Saul. I think we're kind of splitting hairs at this point.
Q Except that the Russians and the French, as you know, differ with the United States and so do other Security Council members or other U.N. members in that they're suggesting that for the specific business of lifting the embargo and permitting Iraq to sell its oil -- or some of its oil, that there are specific things that they have to comply with, not the entire regime of resolutions that you're suggesting.
MS. SHELLY: Okay. But what I have told you is that there has been a meeting underway this morning which -- when I came into this briefing, to my knowledge, had not yet ended -- which was going to review Iraq's compliance overall with all of the Security Council resolutions. Okay? And as that meeting has not yet ended and as the Security Council has not yet pronounced itself on compliance, I'm simply not in a position to go any further than what I've said.
Q Is that the meeting, by the way, in which the United States was revealing that Saddam Husayn has been using big bucks to build palaces?
MS. SHELLY: We had some information in that regard. I think you've seen it. And we have made some of that information available, and Ambassador Albright also intended to provide some information on that. I don't have additional details beyond that, but I think that you may be getting something out of New York which would touch on what Ambassador Albright was stating in that meeting. But again I'm not going to get into the substance of her presentation for a meeting which I believe is likely to still be underway.
Q Do you have anything on Zhirinovsky's visit to Washington? Did he come to the State Department and talk with people here, and what do you think of his remarks at the National Press Club last Friday in which he denied all these allegations about what he said and didn't say, what he said, and he blamed the press for distorting him, and so on. Do you have anything? What do you have on Zhirinovsky?
MS. SHELLY: We commented on this last week. We indicated that there were no plans for him to have any meetings with U.S. Government officials. I'm not aware of any change in that plan, and I don't have any specific comment to what he said at the National Press Club.
Q The other question that I have here, if I may, is the -- well, The Washington Post today featured on its front page that China backs the U.S.-North Korea nuclear deal, and it goes into some detail which surprises the State Department with the enthusiasm about China endorsing.
Is this a prelude to -- as a model for dealing with other countries that may have nuclear missile facilities or --
MS. SHELLY: I'm not going to get into that. That's basically information that's coming out of the Secretary and the President's party, and you force me to key off of that as a point of departure; and all in general -- a policy toward any particular country is developed on its own merits and its own circumstances. So in any case, I'm not going to do a country comparison here.
Q Christine --
MS. SHELLY: Sorry. If you don't mind.
Q On a different subject. Do you have anything on progress toward an agenda for the Summit of the Americas?
MS. SHELLY: Yes. I have been trying to come up with something since I'm sort of on the hook from last week on that. We are going to be doing some briefings on this, and so I don't have a lot of details for you at this point.
As you know, the Summit of the Americas involves some 33 democratically elected leaders of the hemisphere meeting December 9-11 in Miami. It will be the largest gathering of hemispheric leaders in history and the first in which all of the participants gained office through democratic elections.
The President, in putting forward the idea for the summit, proposed three broad themes. I think you're familiar with those: making democracy work -- that's the reinventing government; making democracy prosper -- that's the hemispheric economic integration; and making democracy endure -- that's a reference to sustainable development.
We have been consulting over several months with the participating governments on the topics, on these and others that leaders would like to discuss at the summit. We have put forward some proposed language for the Declaration of Principles and a kind of plan of action that we would hope that the gathered leaders would adopt at the summit.
We've received reactions from some of the participating governments, including suggestions for some additions and alternative language for these documents. But we're working to develop them in order for them to evolve so that they can be consensus documents.
I mentioned the three main topics that most of the proposals fall under, and I don't have a lot of other details to tell you at this point. But we and the White House, of course, will be doing some more formal briefings as we get closer and closer to the dates.
Q As I said, revisit Bosnia and especially the reaction of the Russian Government and other factions in Russia of the lifting of the -- well, the implementation of the Dole-Mitchell Amendment in this matter. What has official Russian Government had to say in reaction to that? And then I have a brief follow-up.
MS. SHELLY: First of all, I'm not going to get into discussions of our specific exchanges with governments. So I'm not going to give you a Russian readout on that. I mentioned we sent out messages. We informed our allies -- and certainly that also -- and I was talking more in the sense of the NATO countries participating in things such as the maritime monitoring, but we also briefed Russia on what our plans were on this as well. But I'm not going to get into a detailed readout on that exchange.
Q Was it generally negative or positive? Can you say that?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not going to boil it down to a one-word characterization.
Q And then, finally, the follow-up is then, how can we now lead NATO in the Adriatic in the sharp operation -- in the intercept operation now that we have surrendered our neutrality on arms shipments to Bosnia?
MS. SHELLY: The President has addressed this earlier in the day and has made it very clear that the decision -- or the implementation of Nunn-Mitchell does not constitute any kind of commitment at this point to supply arms, which is still prohibited under all of the different Security Council resolutions. So this is the decision to adjust the posture of our ships and the maritime monitoring is not the same thing as a commitment to supply arms, which we're not doing at this point. So, therefore, I do not see any broader implication for a U.S. role in NATO.
Q Thank you.
(The briefing concluded at 1:49 p.m.)
(###)To the top of this page