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

FEBRUARY 7, 1995



Tuesday, February 7, 1995

                                      Briefers: Alexander Watson
                                                Christine Shelly
   Peru/Ecuador Dispute--Background/Status ..........1-2
   Rio Protocol Group--Talks with Parties, Proposal
     to End the Crisis/Observer Mission .............2-3,4,6,7-8
   Continuation of Guarantor Process in Brazilia ....3
   Status of Hostilities ............................3-4
   Ecuador Delegation to Visit Washington ...........4,6
   Secretary Christopher Contacts with
     Peru and Ecuador Presidents ....................4
   Charges of Use of Weapons from US/Chile/Brazil ...4
   Prospects for OAS Meeting of Foreign Ministers ...4-5

   Remarks by Ambassador Frechette re: Certification.6-7

   Reported DPRK Rejection of South Korean-Model
     Light Water Reactor.............................8
   Readout on Secretary Christopher/
     FM South Korea Meeting..........................8-9
   Report of Attempts by North Korean Gov't. to
     Establish Drug Transshipment Point in Russia ...11-12

   U.S. Position on Airfare/Migration Fees from Havana.12-13

   U.S./Lebanon Security Talks ......................13-14

   U.S. Contacts re: Attack on Gaza Strip 2/6 .......14
   Middle East Peace Process
     Foreign Ministers Follow-Up Meeting ............14-15

   Athens--Reported Opening of Cultural House by PKK 14
   Reported Sentencing of Member of Turkish Minority 15
   Caspian/Mediterranean Oil Pipeline Route..........17-18

   Expiration/Expansion of UNAVEM Mandate ...........15-16

   Reported Explosion of U.S.-Made Satellite ........16
   Leadership Succession Issue ......................17

   Arrest in U.S. of Member of Parliament ...........16-17

   Deputy Secretary Talbott meeting w/Russian Amb....18


DPC #19

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1995, 12:51 P. M.

MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. In keeping with the practice which I established last Thursday of bringing down previously unannounced surprise high-level visitors into the briefing room, which is specifically designed as a reward for those of you who actually come and sit in and participate in the Daily Press Briefing, I'm pleased to have Assistant Secretary Alexander Watson here with us today.

As I think many of you know, he was just down in Rio in the context of the discussions which were taking place with the Rio Protocol Group, addressing the problems between Peru and Ecuador. So I asked him, and once again literally grabbed him on his way out to do other things, to come down and talk to you for a few minutes about what's been going on on that issue. He'll begin with some remarks and be happy to take a few questions. After that, I'll continue with your questions on other issues.

Assistant Secretary Watson, it's all yours.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: Thank you, Christine. I'll spend a few minutes of your time running over what we are trying to do down there and where this issue stands.

Some of you may be aware that this dispute between Peru and Ecuador is a very, very longstanding one that really originated in the independence period in the beginning part of the last century.

It got red hot back in the 1940s. There was a war. The Ecuadorians lost a lot of their territory. There was an agreement called the Rio Protocol -- the Protocol of Rio de Janeiro of 1942 -- which drew the line and established the conditions for separation of forces and drew the boundary between the two countries.

Four friendly neighbors -- the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Chile -- were asked to be guarantors of that Rio Protocol, and that's what we have been over the last few years and helped them try to settle all the spats and disputes that have arisen from this over the years.

The issue at question right now is complicated to understand. I'll try to give it to you in about two sentences. In the Rio Protocol a border is described by points, saying it goes from the confluence of these two rivers to this point to that point. But it was not actually demarcated originally.

Then three years later, in 1945, a Brazilian military cartographer actually demarcated the border -- all but a 78- kilometer stretch and a particularly difficult area to reach -- in which he gave some opinions as to how that border should be demarcated following a line of mountains there.

What happened a few years later was that the U.S. Air Force, doing some aerial photography for maps, discovered a river that nobody had known existed before, thus changing the knowledge about the geographic area and thus, according to the Ecuadorians, affecting exactly how this line should be drawn.

I don't want to get into how that line should be drawn or how this process should be worked out, but that's the basis of the dispute: the Peruvians saying the original line is the correct one, and the Ecuadorians saying that decision was made in the absence of relevant information; it should be looked at again. That issue has been the basis of disputes over the years.

In this particular instance, skirmishes broke out in this area between Peruvian forces and Ecuadorian forces that had moved over time in small outposts into this disputed area.

Our job as the guarantors at this point was not to resolve the underlying dispute by any means but to try to end the current fighting, stop the bloodshed and, if we could, set up a mechanism by which the underlying dispute could be addressed in an effective way.

We were successful in bringing the parties together to discuss this crisis; and, as you know, that's sometimes the most difficult part of a negotiating process.

The meeting that we had that went all week long from late Tuesday all the way through to Sunday produced a proposal which would end the current crisis and would provide a vehicle for pursuing a long-term resolution of the issue.

It calls for a cease-fire, a separation of forces, a total demilitarization in the theater of conflict, withdrawal of troops from the border, establishment of an observer mission by the guarantor countries -- it wouldn't be a permanent mission, in all probability; it would just go in there to make sure that the troops were moving out when they're supposed to -- and also set up a forum in which the two countries would be able to meet under the aegis, if you will, or with the support of the guarantors countries to look at the unresolved issues between them.

The Rio Protocol does not give to the guarantor countries authority to determine or impose a solution. Our job is to facilitate and assist the two parties, Peru and Ecuador, in arriving at that; and that's what we were doing down there.

The talks were very intense and conducted in good faith by all, and where it stands now is that we are awaiting a response from the Ecuadorian Government to this proposal that was produced by all six of us at that meeting last week.

We are continuing to work together chiefly in Brasilia now. The Brazilians are the leaders of the guarantor group. Their Acting Foreign Minister, who is really the Vice Foreign Minister, was the leader of our guarantor group. He will continue to have that role. And our Ambassador in Brazil as well as the Ambassadors of Chile and Argentina will continue to work very, very closely in their roles as representatives of the guarantor countries.

Those Ambassadors were in all our meetings in Rio, so they're very well apprised of what took place there and are well versed on the issue itself.

We're still optimistic and hopeful that the two parties can find a way to reach an agreement. This is really a tragedy for them and for the hemisphere as a whole. What we tried to say in our statement that we issued on Sunday afternoon in Rio was that we urged the two parties to suspend any hostilities and any threats or any provocative moves that could make the situation worse, and try to create a climate (1) for ending the current fighting and (2) for a longer term constructive engagement to resolve the underlying issues.

We will be fully committed and prepared to work intensely with Peru and Ecuador as that may be required.

Our information concerning what is actually going on on the ground up in this very remote area is very, very weak, but we do not think that there were too much hostilities taking place over the weekend. But whatever there was, it is too much as far as we're concerned. We hope that both sides will draw back.

The Ecuadorians are sending -- their President visited Brazil, Argentina and Chile from Sunday night through yesterday to talk to leaders there, and the Ecuadorians are sending a delegation chaired by the President of their Congress -- a fellow named Heinz Mueller -- coming to Washington to visit with us to talk about the crisis.

I should say that throughout this entire effort, there has been very, very high-level involvement, including by the Secretary of State, who has talked to both the Presidents of Ecuador and of Peru on several occasions during this effort to help them find a peaceful solution to this immediate crisis and a longer-term arrangement for resolving underlying issues.

So with that, I'll take any questions you may have.

Q Has there been any unauthorized use of American weaponry by either side?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: Certainly nothing that we have been providing during this time frame. It's possible that some weapons originally obtained by these governments from U.S. sources could have been used, but there's been no - - the charges that somehow people are acquiring weapons at this point in the United States and also in Chile and also in Brazil, as far as we can tell, do not have any basis as far as the United States is concerned. Certainly there has been nothing through military sales programs or anything like that.

Q You said that you were awaiting a response from Ecuador, but there's been some reporting that Ecuador has basically said it's preparing for continued fighting. Are you aware of those reports?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: I've heard those reports. I hope they're not true. I hope that the Ecuadorian Government is continuing to find a way to respond to the proposal that will result in a peaceful solution and an end to the fighting now.

I think they are. I mean, our information is that they are working on a response. It's a difficult political issue for them, but I'm confident with some imagination that they can find a way.

Q As you described sort of the parameters of the situation -- namely, that Peru thinks the original line should stand and Ecuador says that because of new information it should be looked at again -- I mean, basically do you see some merit in Ecuador's position?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: As a guarantor of the Protocol, I don't think it's really appropriate for us to sort of start making evaluations on that. What we want to do is set up a forum in which it could be examined. I can certainly understand where the Ecuadorians are coming from, without any question. But, on the other hand, there has been a legal determination. There has been a line; it was accepted originally by all parties. It seems to me until that is adjusted, it's a little difficult to go much beyond it. But I can certainly understand the Ecuadorians' concerns.

Q Two questions: Are you waiting to send military troops to offer your service to the border? Second, if this effort fails, are you willing to support a meeting of the Organization of American States Foreign Ministers to discuss the issue?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: We and the other three guarantor countries have indicated that we're willing to send observers into this region to observe and verify the separation of forces and the demilitarization, if you will, of this area. So, yes, that would include military people and I think perhaps some civilians as well.

We've been working very hard to be prepared to move as quickly as possible if and when the cease-fire is signed. We wouldn't want to put anybody in there before that, of course; so we have preparations underway already, as do the Brazilians and the other countries.

On the question of an OAS meeting, Ecuador requested an OAS meeting of Foreign Ministers. Our reaction is, let's let the guarantor process work as well as it can. The last time this issue was taken to the OAS, the OAS simply said let the guarantors work it out, so we thought that was the reasonable point of view.

But if there is a general agreement that there should be a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the OAS, we would not stand in the way of that. But I understand. I understand from what the Ecuadorians told us on -- when was it -- Sunday morning that they are not pressing for a meeting at this point.

There's already been an OAS agreement to have such a meeting at some time with a date unspecified, and the Ecuadorian Vice Foreign Minister told us that as long as the guarantor process was going to continue to be actively engaged -- which it certainly in Brasilia now, despite the fact that those of us that were leading the delegations in the meetings in Rio had to go home -- as long as that process was going to continue to be active, they would not request any specific date for a meeting of Foreign Ministers.

Q How many Americans would be involved in the observer mission?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: I'm not sure. Not a great number. I don't really know how many we've been thinking about. I just got back, and I haven't had a chance to talk to our people about that. We're not talking about a large number nor a permanent force nor a peacekeeping force or peace-maintaining force, or anything like that. These will just be people who would go in and take a look around to make sure that the troops are being separated and that the area has been demilitarized. We've done this before. We did this in 1981.

Q Would a time limit be set in any kind of an agreement that's reached? How long do we plan to stay?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: We've left all that open at this stage of the game. I think it would depend on the conditions. My own conception of this -- and this is just speaking very personally -- is that it would be relatively short-term but with a capability of going back and checking on things if need be.

Q When do you expect to see Mr. Mueller? Are you going to urge him to sign on, or are you just going to listen to what you already know?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: I think he's coming here today. We'll see him today or tomorrow. We'll try to explain to him very carefully what's in the document that we produced -- the four guarantors and the representatives of Ecuador and Peru -- in Rio, to make sure he understands exactly what it entails and suggest that we think this is a useful way to resolve the problem.

We'll also be glad to hear him out on any issue that he wants to bring to our attention.

Q On another country that falls under your umbrella -- namely, Colombia. The U.S. Ambassador to Bogota made a speech a recently in which he gave a pretty good hint of where the Administration intends to go with the certification process on Colombia.

Would you agree with that assessment? If not, could you explain why your opinion is different?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: I have to admit to you I've not seen the precise remarks that Ambassador Frechette made because I just got back. But my understanding is he merely said that the certification question was one that was still open in the case of Colombia. Of course, that's true about other countries because the President has to make the decision based on recommendations from his Cabinet.

So I think what Miles said was correct, but there has been no decision yet on whether Colombia will be certified one way or another for its cooperation with us on narcotics.

Q Can you say whether they're being as cooperative as we would like?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: That's the nub of the issue, so there's no way I can forecast what the President will do or judge on that. I will say they have done an awful lot of things in the new Administration that are very positive, both in terms of working on eradication of poppy and coca plants as well as some rather dramatic changes in their legal structure, not all of which have been completed at this point. But there's always much more that can be done.

Q Mr. Secretary, is it your sense that either of the parties -- going back to Ecuador or Peru -- are trying to get out of the Rio Protocol umbrella and renegotiate this treaty -- renegotiate the delimitation of the demarcation?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: There's certainly a lot of different views in Ecuador. Some people in Ecuador would certainly hold that point of view. Our job as guarantors of the Protocol is, of course, to work within the Protocol. But there is room in the Protocol for looking at these issues.

Specifically, it says here, in Article 7, "Any doubt or disagreement which may arise in the execution of this Protocol shall be settled by the parties with the assistance of the representatives of the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile in the shortest possible time." That's a rather wide-open mandate.

So I think that you can take a look at this and see whether some things might be adjusted or not within the Protocol, without violating the Protocol.

Q Would that include that little stretch, that 78 --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: I think what this does is allow any disagreement which may arise to be discussed by the parties with our help. I think that's exactly what we would do; we would not be making any predeterminations on any of those things.

Q Isn't that what happened in Rio? Isn't that what happened in Rio --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: That's what we were doing there, and we're still doing, and we'll continue to do it.

MS. SHELLY: Other questions; other subjects?

Q Do you have anything on the supposed North Korean rejection of the reactor offer?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have a lot beyond what the Secretary had to say on this yesterday, which is simply that -- well, let me start actually by giving you a readout of the meeting. Maybe I should start with the short answer to your question.

It is still very much our position that the South Korean-model reactor is the only option for the light-water reactor project.

In the context of the Secretary's meetings with the new South Korean Foreign Minister yesterday, the Foreign Minister reconfirmed the Republic of Korea's readiness to play the central role in the provision of the light-water reactors as called for in the Agreed Framework. Secretary Christopher agreed that the reactors will be designed and built by South Korea.

Other points from that I might just touch on as long as we're on that subject.

South Korea's new Foreign Minister met with the Secretary, as you know, for a working luncheon, the first day of a two-day visit to Washington. The Ministers reviewed work thus far to implement the U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework, stressing the need for progress toward resumption of constructive dialogue between North and South Korea.

They agreed that the inter-Korean dialogue would contribute to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and is essential to the successful implementation of the Agreed Framework.

Q What have the North Koreans said about the proposal to send them a South Korean-made reactor?

MS. SHELLY: George, this certainly isn't anything new. The talks on this, as you know -- there were some talks on this that took place recently. The talks will continue with them -- I believe they're scheduled to take place in March -- trying to resolve the issues that are still outstanding regarding the type of reactor to be provided by KEDO to the DPRK.

It's an issue that's still under discussion. But our position remains what I articulated before, which is simply that the South Korean model is the only option for this project.

Q (Inaudible) their reluctance?

Q What is their position?

MS. SHELLY: What is our position?

Q What is their position?

MS. SHELLY: Their position is that -- we've got discussions with them underway through the various fora that we have to implement the Framework Agreement. They themselves have made several public statements on that. They certainly have demonstrated some resistance to that idea, but this is not a new issue. They can certainly make the public statements that they want, but this is something that we believe we can still work out with them in the context of the scheduled discussions.

Q Does this jeopardize the overall deal and your overall goals? Is it in some jeopardy now because of the disagreement?

MS. SHELLY: I don't think that our position is that the overall agreement is in jeopardy. These are obviously complicated issues. Exactly how KEDO is going to work and exactly how the ultimate discussions and aspects of the agreement related to the provision of the reactor, those are all things for which there are a lot of issues and aspects that have to be sorted out.

But the talks, as I mentioned, will resume in March. We will continue with the effort to resolve this issue and all of the other remaining issues related to the provision of this reactor.

Q Christine, does the United States feel that North Korea has hardened its position on this issue?

MS. SHELLY: I'm not sure that I'm in a position to give that a quick yes or no. We've said repeatedly, from the time that the Agreed Framework was signed, that the provision of the South Korean-model reactor was the only practical or the only viable possibility.

Certainly, the North Koreans were very familiar with what our position was at that time and has remained our position throughout. It's hard to know, to get into their heads about what is behind some of the statements that they make publicly and some of the positions that they take.

But I think we remain confident that this issue will be settled in a way that makes sense and that is also reflective of our position and certainly the position of the Republic of Korea.

Q Do you expect or hope, at least, that they would be prepared at the last meeting -- I guess in Berlin -- to agree to language, contract language?

MS. SHELLY: The Contract language is one of the issues which is under discussion. Certainly we would like to have the language on this agreed as soon as possible. Our view on this is that there are several issues that still have to be resolved. This is one of them. The exact language on this is something that we're still working on.

Q Christine, if this is such an important issue, why didn't you spell it out in the October agreement?

MS. SHELLY: Sid, I'm not in position to answer that directly. I think that there wasn't any mistake about what our position was on this. I think that the North Koreans cannot be under any idea otherwise.

But, nonetheless, it's an issue that's under discussion, and we're still confident that that's going to be worked out.

Q It was not spelled out in the Agreement?

MS. SHELLY: Not every single detail related to every single aspect of all of the different issues were spelled out in that agreement. Again, it's a framework. It was a framework in which there were other sets of follow-on talks which clearly had to take place.

Q It begs the question many on Capitol Hill have raised about the deal (inaudible) is not a good agreement; it's not specific enough. They're sort of surprised that a "crack attorney" like Mr. Christopher would let something like that slip by. How would you respond to that?

MS. SHELLY: We think it's a good agreement -- all of the different aspects of it. We think it's in the United States interest.

Again, when you go back to the question about what the alternatives to the Agreement are, none of those alternatives were attractive alternatives. We still think it's a good agreement.

The North Koreans thus far have been implementing all of the other aspects of the agreement. We've got the talks that have been going on on the range of subjects -- the Liaison Offices; the site visits, as you know. Everything is on track at this point. We still very firmly believe that this is an agreement which is in the interest of the U.S.

Q Has anything been discussed, Christine, with regard to enhanced military protection of South Korea from potential delivery systems -- missile delivery systems -- and other delivery systems, some kind of an umbrella protection of the South? Was that discussed yesterday, or is it being discussed today that you know about?

MS. SHELLY: The talks which are underway -- yesterday's meetings for the South Korean Foreign Minister also included a meeting with Secretary Perry. I think that's probably a question which is best directed to the Pentagon. I don't have any specific information on that.

Q Let me follow on a little different subject. An article yesterday in the Washington Times alleging, according to Russian officials, anti-drug officials, that the North Korean Government, through two agents that were caught in Russia, is trying to peddle heroin in the Soviet Union -- excuse me -- the Russian Federation for a transshipment point for heroin. Can you comment on that?

Does the State Department have any confirmation or denial to that?

MS. SHELLY: We saw that story yesterday. We looked into it. We did work up a minimal amount of guidance in response to that. I simply failed to anticipate that the question might come up today. Can I refer you to the Press Office, because we do have some guidance on that.

Q It may also be a question for the Pentagon, but did the two Ministers yesterday discuss the Team Spirit exercises and whether they would or would not be conducted this year?

MS. SHELLY: I don't know whether that was discussed here. But I think probably on that one the Pentagon would take the lead.


Q Last Friday, a group of Cubans arrived in this country as part of the 20,000 that's being allowed legally into this country.

Families are having to pay $1,000 per head to get these people into the country. This kind of smacks of extortion, do you think? What's the U.S. Government position on this?

MS. SHELLY: As I think you're aware, when we had the last set of talks with the Cubans up in New York about the implementation of the Migration Agreement, this was something that we drew attention to, indicating that this was a problem.

In Cuba, all tickets for direct flights between Cuba and the U.S. are sold through the Cuban Travel Agency, Havana Tour. Havana Tour charges immigrants a fee of $990.00 per adult for the half hour one-way Havana-Miami flight. This is three times the cost of a round-trip ticket if one were purchased in Miami.

We consider this excessive airfare and other migration fees to be incompatible with the joint U.S.-Cuban commitment to facilitate legal migration. We continue to urge the Cuban Government to reduce this fee.

We've also expressed our willingness to organize special charter flights for immigration from Havana. Several other possible U.S. actions to resolve this issue are under review. I may have more details on that later on.

Q Later on today or later on --

MS. SHELLY: Probably in the coming days. I'm not expecting any other announcements today.

Q Might we discontinue these flights?

MS. SHELLY: Discontinue the flights -- what we're looking for are opportunities via other flights to be able to get them to come in. That's obviously a problem and makes it very difficult for those who do qualify for the legal migration. So I think we're trying to find -- we're looking at a range of possibilities, as I mentioned, including the possibility of our laying on charter flights toward this end. That's about as far as I can take it.

Q Do you have a readout on the U.S.-Lebanese security talks that were being held at State yesterday and today?

MS. SHELLY: They're still going on so I don't have a lot of details on this for you. I can give you what I've got.

As far as I know, the talks are supposed to wrap up later today. The purpose of the talks has been to discuss broad security agenda issues with Lebanese officials and not specifically to take decisions on individual issues.

The Government of Lebanon has made important progress in reasserting its authority and reconstruction following a long period of turmoil. However, security problems remain, and serious threats do continue to exist for all Americans.

For those participating on the American side, we have several agencies. They include the Department of State, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Justice.

I'll see if I can get you a readout on this, if they do actually wrap up today.

Q Can we have a copy of that, what you said?

MS. SHELLY: I just read it. You an also get it read to you from the Press Office.

Q Meanwhile, can you take who they've been meeting with, how many of them are there, of the Lebanese group?

MS. SHELLY: On the Lebanese side? I think that's a question to direct to the Lebanese here.

Q Who have they've been meeting with is a question to direct to the Lebanese?

MS. SHELLY: No. I thought you just said Lebanese -- who the Lebanese were in the talks.

Q Who are the Lebanese you're meeting with here?

MS. SHELLY: I just said what the agencies are. I'll check and see who actually --

Q At what level are you entertaining them at?

MS. SHELLY: Just a second. Let me see. On the American side -- I don't have the names of other agency personnel because that's really up to them to put out. On the American side, they have been co-Chaired by Assistant Secretary Robert Pelletreau, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; and Ambassador Phil Wilcox, the Department's Coordinator for Counterterrorism.

Q What they're trying to do is to get you to lift the travel ban; is that a correct --

MS. SHELLY: Certainly, the travel ban is something that I expect has come up in the context of the discussions. But the point of the discussions were to be a broader exchange on security conditions in Lebanon related to our Embassy and also American citizens there.

Q Let me just rephrase it. They came here to convince you that Lebanon was now safe enough for American citizens.

MS. SHELLY: I think for their intentions I refer you to the Lebanese.

Q Yesterday's attack in Gaza was claimed by another Damascus-based group. Has the U.S. made any communication to Syria over that?

MS. SHELLY: I'll have to check.

Q Did they open a culture house in Athens and the opening was made by (inaudible) representative of the ERNK, which is the political wing of the PKK. Do you have any reaction on this?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have any information on it. First, I'll have to check on the information -- it's PKK opening a culture house?

Q Culture house in Athens.

MS. SHELLY: Okay, let me check on that. I'll see.


Q While we're on the Middle East, do you have any details yet about the planned meeting Sunday of the Foreign Ministers from various Middle Eastern countries?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have a lot of details on this at this point. I think later in the week we'll be in a better position to give you some more of those. As you know, it's a follow-up meeting as called for in the Cairo Declaration. The purpose is to promote greater cooperation in the political, economic and security areas. It's an opportunity to discuss how best to follow up on the Declaration in practical terms.

You know Secretary Christopher is the host for the meeting. We anticipate that the President may also meet with Foreign Ministers. As you know, there are a number of bilaterals which we expect to take place on the margins of the ministerial meeting. I don't have anything specific at this point relating to the details of the bilaterals.

Q (Inaudible) President Clinton will meet with --

MS. SHELLY: I said that we anticipate that he may also meet with the Foreign Ministers.

Q A member of the Turkish minority in Greece, Mr. Ihtiyar, was sentenced to 12 months on January 31 at a Greek court for violating Article 19 of the Greek Citizenship Code, basically for not turning over his birth records to Greek police.

As you know, this matter was criticized in the State Department's Country Report on Human Rights on Greece. Does the Administration -- you know, has any comments?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have the facts with me on that. As you know, we just put out the Human Rights Reports on the situation -- on all of the countries -- and that may have addressed it in the general sense. I don't know if it has specific information in it.

Q Could you take the question?

MS. SHELLY: I'll look into it. I'm not going to formally take it.

Q Do you have anything on the possibility of a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Angola?

MS. SHELLY: Yes, I've got something on that. As I think you're aware, the current mandate of the U.N. Observer Mission in Angola -- that's UNAVEM -- expires on February 8. Our objective is to expand that mandate and to ensure the parties' compliance with the peace accords.

The U.S. is working with other delegations in New York to develop a resolution which would establish a peacekeeping mission, which would number just over 7,000, which would monitor disarmament and demobilization of the combatants; would assist military and police integration and facilitate the incorporation of UNITA into the Angolan Government.

The U.S. share of the financial cost of peacekeeping operations amounts to 30.4 percent of such operations in 1995 and 25 percent in 1996. No U.S. troops would serve as peacekeepers with UNAVEM. A small logistics team might be sent to Luanda to work with the United Nations.

We have pressed the Government of Angola and UNITA to contribute to this mission. The government has offered contributions such as petroleum and housing for the peacekeepers. The U.N., I understand, is continuing to pursue this issue with both parties.

Q Two questions regarding China: (1) A Hong Kong newspaper report has quoted a Chinese (inaudible) as saying that the explosion of a U.S.-made satellite on a Chinese launch vehicle may have been the result of a foreign sabotage attempt to edge China out of the international launch market. Do you have any reaction to that?

Another question: The Energy Secretary is going to China. Is she going there to sell U.S. power plants, or is she going to discuss the non-proliferation problems with the Chinese?

MS. SHELLY: As to details of her trip, the appropriate place to direct that is actually to her Department and not to the State Department. I don't have anything on that trip with me today.

On the first report that you referred to, I certainly have not seen anything to suggest that that is the case. But let me look into the information and see if there's anything more we'd want to say.


Q Christine, do you know anything about this Latvian gentleman who apparently got into some trouble?

MS. SHELLY: Yes, I have a little bit of information on that. This relates to a Latvian Member of Parliament who was arrested in an altercation early Sunday morning, February 5. He was charged with a misdemeanor and was released on February 6.

He is not an accredited diplomat. He does not have immunity. Given that this is an ongoing law enforcement matter, the Department has no further comment at this time.

Q Can you tell us what the nature of the charges are?

MS. SHELLY: I can't, but I will see if it's possible somewhat farther down the road to give you more detailed information.

Q And he's still in the country?

MS. SHELLY: As far as I know.

Q Christine, to follow up a question that I asked the Secretary yesterday with regard to succession in the Chinese Government, and Deng Rong, the daughter of Deng Xiaoping -- Deng Rong said yesterday in Paris -- this was the 5th, so it was Saturday -- that her father had already retired, and that the destiny of China was now in the hands of a new team of leaders.

Can you comment on her statement? And, secondly, when she comes to New York, will the State Department be seeking her -- seeking to have some talks with her, some inside information?

MS. SHELLY: On the second point, I don't know. I'm not aware of her travel plans. I don't have an answer for you at this point. On the first point, I think on the record, both Assistant Secretary Lord and also the Secretary have been asked quite recently issues related to what's happening in China on the succession issue; and, frankly, I don't have anything to add to that.

Q I have two quick questions on the Caspian- Mediterranean oil pipeline. Could you confirm for me if the United States will or will not provide any special financing? And, secondly --

MS. SHELLY: I already answered that.

Q Will not?

MS. SHELLY: I answered that a couple of days ago. I said that the U.S. had no plans to provide special financing to that --

Q No plans for financing.

MS. SHELLY: I haven't looked into this in the last 48 hours, but that was our position last week.

Q Okay. And, secondly, you said U.S. does not rule out any other routes. What other pipeline routes U.S. will support at this point?

MS. SHELLY: I think there are a number of different theoretical possibilities. But again the issue that has been put to us was about the possibility of this route ultimately passing through Turkey, and that's what we commented on specifically.

Q But the Iranian route is not something you would support.

MS. SHELLY: I said on the record a couple of days ago that it was not a route that we felt particularly strongly should pass through that direction. I think there are three different country possibilities that the route could pass through on its way to Turkey, and I think it's safe to say Iran would be our least preferred path.

Q But you wouldn't rule it out? You wouldn't block financing for it?

MS. SHELLY: My understanding is the plans on this are still under discussion, and so, therefore, other than saying that we would certainly prefer other routes, I don't think I'd prefer to take it further.


Q Can you say anything about Deputy Secretary Talbott's meeting today with the Russian Ambassador?

MS. SHELLY: I'll see if I can get a readout.

Q Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 1:31 p.m.)


To the top of this page