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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
FEBRUARY 13, 1995

                  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                    DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
                              
                          I N D E X
                              
                  Monday, February 13, 1995

                           Briefer:  Christine Shelly

ECUADOR/PERU
   Border Dispute
     Guarantors Group/Parties Discussions in Brazilia .1
     Continued Fighting/Reports of Troop Movements ....1
     Military/Technical Talks re: Observer Mission ....1
     Military Supply/Resupply to Parties ..............1-2
MIDDLE EAST
   Israel--Effort to Transfer Embassy to Jerusalem ....2
MEXICO
   Chiapas Conflict
     Reports of Use of Excessive Force by Military ....2-3
     Continuation of Stepped Up Patrols by Army .......2
     Status of Rebel Leader Marcos ....................2
CHINA
   Spratley Island Construction .......................3
     Report of Deployment of Naval Assets .............3-4
   Report of Sale/Delivery of Russian Submarine .......3-4
TERRORISM
   Status of Yusuf Informant/Payments of Reward .......4

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPC #23

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1995, 1:11 P. M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon. Welcome to the State Department briefing. I don't have any announcements. I'll be happy to do your questions.

Q Do you have anything on negotiations between Peru and Ecuador in Brasilia? Any progress?

MS. SHELLY: Yes. I've got a little bit of stuff on that. The U.S., together with the other guarantors, continues to work with the parties in Brasilia. In their February 10 press communique, the four guarantors urged an immediate suspension of hostilities, reported that military technical talks related to an observer mission are to begin this week in Brasilia, and called on the international community to refrain from sending arms to either country.

Fighting continues in the disputed zone. We have seen reports of increased troop movements. We view with concern any attempt by either party to escalate the fighting or to expand it beyond the immediate area in dispute.

Q Is Russia continuing to send arms to Peru?

MS. SHELLY: As you know, one of the reasons that we put out the statement on Friday was precisely in response to our concern of reports of military supply or resupply to both of the parties. We had already suspended our cooperation along that line, and the statement we put out indicated a formal announcement of that also in the context of similar actions by the Rio guarantor countries.

We're also going to be working with other countries, including Russia, in an effort to get them to take similar measures; s that's certainly something we will continue to pursue.

Q So that implicit in your comment then is that Russia is -- you fear Russia may be sending weapons to Peru?

MS. SHELLY: Russia has been a supplier in the past, and it's because of their relationship that we also feel they should exercise similar restraint.

Q Do you think you'll have any more luck with them on that than you are having with Iran?

MS. SHELLY: I don't want to do a country comparison, and, as the Secretary just addressed the Iran situation, I think I'll confine myself to what I just said about urging that they will join the group of countries that will not continue to provide military supplies to Ecuador and Peru at this point.

Q Do you have any comment on (inaudible) efforts to move the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

MS. SHELLY: No. There isn't anything to say on that beyond where we were on that last week -- the Secretary also addressed that -- which is simply that we feel any movement on that at this time could complicate the negotiations and the treatment and Jerusalem in the final-status issues. We're still at exactly the same point where we were.

Betsy.

Q There have been reports out of Mexico of use of excessive force in Chiapas and other parts of Mexico in an effort to round up Marcos and others. Have we talked to the Mexicans about this? Are we concerned about this military exercise going on?

MS. SHELLY: We certainly remain in very close contact with the Mexicans about the situation in Chiapas. We had also seen some reports indicating that there had been an escalation in the use of force by Mexican authorities, but so far our information on this -- we have not been able to make any determination that that has actually taken place.

What we understand is the case is that the Mexican Army continues its stepped-up patrols in Chiapas and has moved into areas that were previously controlled by rebel forces. At least one army officer was killed on Friday by sniper fire.

As I said, we do not have any reports of the Mexican military using force or actually confronting rebel troops. We'll obviously continue to monitor that very carefully.

We understand that Mexican authorities have not yet been able to arrest Rafael Sebastian Guillen Vincente, who is identified as rebel leader "Marcos."

We repeat our call for restraint, respect for human rights, and full compliance with the legal process. We believe that, in the Mexican President's own words, "A solution to this conflict should come through full respect for the law, through political channels, and through conciliation."

Q: Christine, a follow up to that. Is there any thought being given or is anybody re-examining current proposals to aid the Mexican Government in light of the charges?

MS. SHELLY: No, that I'm aware of.

Q Any plans to do anything about China's increasing show of strength in the Spratly Islands?

MS. SHELLY: We were asked about that on Friday at the briefing, and we put up an answer to that. I don't know if you saw it; it was in the Press Office on Friday. If you haven't seen it, I can just quickly go through that.

Our position on this is that we don't take a position on the merit of competing claims in the South China Sea. We have stated firmly that these conflicting claims should be resolved peacefully, that we see no justification for any threat or use of military force, and that we would view the use or threat of force as a very serious matter.

We support diplomatic efforts to try to resolve these territorial disputes peacefully.

Q A follow on that?

MS. SHELLY: Sure.

Q But do we think the Philippines is right when they -- the Filipino Government is correct when it says the Chinese have forcibly occupied several of the islands?

MS. SHELLY: I would have to check on that point specifically. I think we have seen some indications of an increased presence there. But, again, as to the precise details of that, I don't know how much of that we would actually be in a position to discuss publicly.

Q To follow it a little further, there was a report brought up on Friday about the Russians selling a modern sub to the Chinese, and the Chinese deploying some of their naval assets down in the Spratly area. Have you got anything on that sub sale or the latter?

MS. SHELLY: Your first question was on, again?

Q The sale of the Russian submarine -- the first in five was delivered to the Chinese, a modern diesel sub. And, secondly, on the deployment of the Chinese naval assets in the Spratly Islands vicinity.

MS. SHELLY: I thought we might have had something in response to your first question. I don't think we have anything on the second. I don't see that I have it here, so let me look and check on that after the briefing.

Mark.

Q Are you able to confirm that the informant in the Yusuf case has been placed in protective custody inside the United States? And are you able to say anything about who is eligible to receive the reward?

MS. SHELLY: Unfortunately, I'm still very much in the same mode that I was last week. I'm certainly aware of the fact that there's been a fair amount of information put out on this on a Background basis.

As to the identity of an informant or possible location, it does touch upon the issues before the courts. I'm therefore, unfortunately, not at liberty to provide any additional information on that. Also, it's the same thing, essentially, regarding the question about payments of money. As I also mentioned, confidentiality is a feature; and even discussions of who might be paid and how much and that type of thing, it also does, in fact, get into the issues related to the criminal proceedings. So I'm afraid I'm simply not in a position to give out much detail on that.

Q Thank you.

MS. SHELLY: Thanks.

(Press Briefing concluded at 1:19 p.m.)

(###)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN DAILY PRESS BRIEFING FEBRUARY 13, 1995

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

I N D E X

Monday, February 13, 1995

Briefer: Christine Shelly

ECUADOR/PERU Border Dispute Guarantors Group/Parties Discussions in Brazilia .1 Continued Fighting/Reports of Troop Movements ....1 Military/Technical Talks re: Observer Mission ....1 Military Supply/Resupply to Parties ..............1-2

MIDDLE EAST Israel--Effort to Transfer Embassy to Jerusalem ....2

MEXICO Chiapas Conflict Reports of Use of Excessive Force by Military ....2-3 Continuation of Stepped Up Patrols by Army .......2 Status of Rebel Leader Marcos ....................2

CHINA Spratley Island Construction .......................3 Report of Deployment of Naval Assets .............3-4 Report of Sale/Delivery of Russian Submarine .......3-4

TERRORISM Status of Yusuf Informant/Payments of Reward .......4

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPC #23

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1995, 1:11 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon. Welcome to the State Department briefing. I don't have any announcements. I'll be happy to do your questions.

Q Do you have anything on negotiations between Peru and Ecuador in Brasilia? Any progress?

MS. SHELLY: Yes. I've got a little bit of stuff on that. The U.S., together with the other guarantors, continues to work with the parties in Brasilia. In their February 10 press communique, the four guarantors urged an immediate suspension of hostilities, reported that military technical talks related to an observer mission are to begin this week in Brasilia, and called on the international community to refrain from sending arms to either country.

Fighting continues in the disputed zone. We have seen reports of increased troop movements. We view with concern any attempt by either party to escalate the fighting or to expand it beyond the immediate area in dispute.

Q Is Russia continuing to send arms to Peru?

MS. SHELLY: As you know, one of the reasons that we put out the statement on Friday was precisely in response to our concern of reports of military supply or resupply to both of the parties. We had already suspended our cooperation along that line, and the statement we put out indicated a formal announcement of that also in the context of similar actions by the Rio guarantor countries.

We're also going to be working with other countries, including Russia, in an effort to get them to take similar measures; s that's certainly something we will continue to pursue.

Q So that implicit in your comment then is that Russia is -- you fear Russia may be sending weapons to Peru?

MS. SHELLY: Russia has been a supplier in the past, and it's because of their relationship that we also feel they should exercise similar restraint.

Q Do you think you'll have any more luck with them on that than you are having with Iran?

MS. SHELLY: I don't want to do a country comparison, and, as the Secretary just addressed the Iran situation, I think I'll confine myself to what I just said about urging that they will join the group of countries that will not continue to provide military supplies to Ecuador and Peru at this point.

Q Do you have any comment on (inaudible) efforts to move the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

MS. SHELLY: No. There isn't anything to say on that beyond where we were on that last week -- the Secretary also addressed that -- which is simply that we feel any movement on that at this time could complicate the negotiations and the treatment and Jerusalem in the final-status issues. We're still at exactly the same point where we were.

Betsy.

Q There have been reports out of Mexico of use of excessive force in Chiapas and other parts of Mexico in an effort to round up Marcos and others. Have we talked to the Mexicans about this? Are we concerned about this military exercise going on?

MS. SHELLY: We certainly remain in very close contact with the Mexicans about the situation in Chiapas. We had also seen some reports indicating that there had been an escalation in the use of force by Mexican authorities, but so far our information on this -- we have not been able to make any determination that that has actually taken place.

What we understand is the case is that the Mexican Army continues its stepped-up patrols in Chiapas and has moved into areas that were previously controlled by rebel forces. At least one army officer was killed on Friday by sniper fire.

As I said, we do not have any reports of the Mexican military using force or actually confronting rebel troops. We'll obviously continue to monitor that very carefully.

We understand that Mexican authorities have not yet been able to arrest Rafael Sebastian Guillen Vincente, who is identified as rebel leader "Marcos."

We repeat our call for restraint, respect for human rights, and full compliance with the legal process. We believe that, in the Mexican President's own words, "A solution to this conflict should come through full respect for the law, through political channels, and through conciliation."

Q: Christine, a follow up to that. Is there any thought being given or is anybody re-examining current proposals to aid the Mexican Government in light of the charges?

MS. SHELLY: No, that I'm aware of.

Q Any plans to do anything about China's increasing show of strength in the Spratly Islands?

MS. SHELLY: We were asked about that on Friday at the briefing, and we put up an answer to that. I don't know if you saw it; it was in the Press Office on Friday. If you haven't seen it, I can just quickly go through that.

Our position on this is that we don't take a position on the merit of competing claims in the South China Sea. We have stated firmly that these conflicting claims should be resolved peacefully, that we see no justification for any threat or use of military force, and that we would view the use or threat of force as a very serious matter.

We support diplomatic efforts to try to resolve these territorial disputes peacefully.

Q A follow on that?

MS. SHELLY: Sure.

Q But do we think the Philippines is right when they -- the Filipino Government is correct when it says the Chinese have forcibly occupied several of the islands?

MS. SHELLY: I would have to check on that point specifically. I think we have seen some indications of an increased presence there. But, again, as to the precise details of that, I don't know how much of that we would actually be in a position to discuss publicly.

Q To follow it a little further, there was a report brought up on Friday about the Russians selling a modern sub to the Chinese, and the Chinese deploying some of their naval assets down in the Spratly area. Have you got anything on that sub sale or the latter?

MS. SHELLY: Your first question was on, again?

Q The sale of the Russian submarine -- the first in five was delivered to the Chinese, a modern diesel sub. And, secondly, on the deployment of the Chinese naval assets in the Spratly Islands vicinity.

MS. SHELLY: I thought we might have had something in response to your first question. I don't think we have anything on the second. I don't see that I have it here, so let me look and check on that after the briefing.

Mark.

Q Are you able to confirm that the informant in the Yusuf case has been placed in protective custody inside the United States? And are you able to say anything about who is eligible to receive the reward?

MS. SHELLY: Unfortunately, I'm still very much in the same mode that I was last week. I'm certainly aware of the fact that there's been a fair amount of information put out on this on a Background basis.

As to the identity of an informant or possible location, it does touch upon the issues before the courts. I'm therefore, unfortunately, not at liberty to provide any additional information on that. Also, it's the same thing, essentially, regarding the question about payments of money. As I also mentioned, confidentiality is a feature; and even discussions of who might be paid and how much and that type of thing, it also does, in fact, get into the issues related to the criminal proceedings. So I'm afraid I'm simply not in a position to give out much detail on that.

Q Thank you.

MS. SHELLY: Thanks.

(Press Briefing concluded at 1:19 p.m.)

(###)

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