U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 95/04/18 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Tuesday, April 18, 1995 Briefer: Christine Shelly IRAQ Condition of detainees ................................1 Denial of access by Polish diplomats ..................1 Requirements of Vienna Convention on Consular Access ..2 RUSSIA Reaction to remarks by Defense Minister Grachev on ability to adhere to CFE commitments ...............3,5 --Compliance issue raised during visit by Deputy Secretary ..........................................3 --Discussions at CFE Joint Consultative Group meeting in Vienna ..........................................5 --November entry in force date for compliance with CFE equipment levels ...............................5 --Provisions for violations of CFE requirements .......5 MEXICO Reports of possible increase in immigration to the U.S. ...............................................6 U.S.-Mexican cooperation on immigration and narcotics issues .............................................6,7 LIBYA Threats by Libya to allow air travel by pilgrims in violation of UNSC travel ban .......................7 --Method of applying for exception to UNSC travel ban .7 FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Call by Foreign Minister Juppe for UNSC emergency session ............................................8 --Possible UN resolution on integrity of UNPROFOR operations .........................................8 Departure of Ambassador Jackovich .....................9 -- Attacks by Bosnian Serbs on Sarajevo airport .......9 PAKISTAN Death of Nadeen Riaz ..................................10 CHINA Secretary's meeting with Foreign Minister Qian ........10 Possible military action against Philippines ..........10,11 NORTH KOREA Status of Berlin Talks ................................11 IRAN Possible military cooperation with Sudan ..............12,13 INDIA Timing of visit by Treasury Secretary Rubin and Iranian President Rafsanjani .......................13
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
TUESDAY, APRIL 18, 1995, 1:07 P. M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Let me begin with a very short update regarding the two detained Americans in Iraq. I was asked yesterday about their movement to a small cell which had taken place some days ago, and we did put up a posted response to that particular question.
But the information that I did want to convey to you at the top of the briefing today -- so that we can try to make sure that all information is conveyed to you on a very timely basis -- I did want to report to you that today the Polish authorities were denied access to the two Americans detained in Iraq.
The Government of Iraq has an obligation under international law and convention to allow access to the detainees. We expect the Government of Iraq to meet this obligation.
We are extremely disappointed that the Iraqis have reneged on their promise to allow weekly visits with the two detained Americans by the Polish authorities. When the Polish diplomats arrived at the prison today, the Iraqis informed them that due to technical reasons the visit could not take place. Mr. Krystosik has protested the denial of this latest visit with high-ranking Iraqi officials.
As we have repeatedly stressed, we hold the Iraqis responsible for the health and safety of Mr. Barloon and Mr. Daliberti. We rely on these visits to monitor the welfare of the American citizens. Polish diplomats will continue to press for regular access to the detained Americans.
Q Was the meeting today scheduled -- they were scheduled to meet with them today?
MS. SHELLY: That's correct.
Q I think you said yesterday it generally took place on Tuesday.
MS. SHELLY: I think what we've said before is that the established practice appears to be that they let them come in and see them on Tuesdays. That's been the usual practice, and this is the first time that they have come to the jail and then been denied access to the detained citizens.
Q Did the Iraqis give any indication whether they would be allowed access within the next few days or --
MS. SHELLY: My understanding is that other than giving this reason of -- this alleged reason -- of "technical reasons" preventing their visit, which certainly is very hard to imagine what those "technical reasons" might be, I'm told that we really have no other insight into why exactly the Iraqis made the decision to deny access today. It is, obviously, however a point of great concern for us.
Q Christine, you say that the Iraqi Government has an obligation under the law to permit --
MS. SHELLY: Under international law.
Q International law?
MS. SHELLY: Yes, to provide access to detainees.
Q Is that the Vienna Convention?
MS. SHELLY: I'll be happy to check on the specific convention.
Q As a practical matter, is there anything that can be done beyond protest?
MS. SHELLY: I'm really not in a position to say. I mean, obviously, it's extremely important that the Polish diplomats there who do represent our interests do continue to press the Foreign Ministry on this, and that's certainly already taken place, and I expect it will continue to take place until such time as they are renewed the right to have access to them.
So I certainly will expect that they will continue to press their case.
Q And (inaudible) delivered a demarche on this?
MS. SHELLY: Yes.
Q They did.
MS. SHELLY: Yes.
Q Christine, on another subject, have you seen the remarks by Marshal Grachev and I guess others that the Russians may have to not live up to their obligations under the CFE in order to deal with the Chechnya episode? First, do they have the right to drop out arbitrarily, and, two, are you planning to do anything about it?
MS. SHELLY: Actually, I had more on this yesterday than I actually have today, because there was some press reporting on this.
I'm going to have to sort of reconstruct this from memory, but you might also want to check with the Press Office after.
We have made the case with Russians that we believe that they must keep with their CFE commitments, including the specific provisions that are laid out regarding concentrations of troop and equipment in the flanks. That still continues to be our position, and that is a position that we continue to press with the Russians and have on all of the high- level exchanges that we've had with them.
Q Since they said the other day they're not going to -- that during the period of the Chechnya fighting that they're not going to adhere to the CFE? Have you raised it since then?
MS. SHELLY: We have had regular exchanges with them. I know when the Deputy Secretary was out in Moscow, that he also raised this issue with them. It's something that we have had very regular exchanges. I don't know if we've had an exchange with them in the last 24 to 48 hours, but there's nothing new about what happened on this issue in the last day or so but simply the fact that we feel that they must keep their CFE commitments.
Q You had said some months ago that they were not adhering with this operation, so there's --
MS. SHELLY: I don't have -- you know, I'd like to go back and check what I said before, but we certainly have expressed concerns about the concentrations of manpower and equipment.
Q My recollection of what you were saying a couple of months ago was that that provision of CFE didn't come into force until --
MS. SHELLY: There was a portion --
Q -- December, I think it was.
MS. SHELLY: -- a portion of the -- I think the Vienna document whose obligations -- I think that's right. That did not come into effect until November.
(TO STAFF) Julie (Reside), can I ask, I think it was yesterday's guidance package on this, if you don't mind. Let me just check.
Q And what you're saying is that that provision of the Treaty has now come into effect -- come into force.
MS. SHELLY: Just a second. If you don't mind, let me just take one second on this. (Staff hands document to Ms. Shelly)
This is what we had in the book on this. This is what we like is a very dynamic briefing, when the briefer gets lots of things passed to her throughout the course of the discussion. In fact, we try to have all of the Public Affairs advisers listening to this, so that we can get up-to-date inputs as we move along.
Q I think in the jargon it's called "interactive."
MS. SHELLY: Yes, exactly. Yes. It's another way of being on the Internet, right? We make it an interactive briefing. Actually, we could maybe conduct the entire thing electronically. What do you think?
Q Good idea.
MS. SHELLY: The notion has come up before.
Q Save taxi fare.
MS. SHELLY: I know. (Laughter) That's why we think it would be a highly desirable way to do the briefing. We would get like 4,000 queries on-line and questions, and then we could pick and choose the questions we wanted to answer. Don't you think that would be a good way of doing it?
Q (Multiple comments)
MS. SHELLY: It wouldn't make any difference. Sid, how can you say that.
Okay, let me go through what we had on this yesterday. This was in response to Defense Minister Grachev's statement that Russia might not be able to fulfill the CFE Treaty as long as the action in Chechnya continues.
We believe that Russia's security concerns can be met within the terms of the CFE Treaty, and that Russia should comply fully with the CFE equipment limits when they take effect in November. We have told the Russians that.
We and our NATO allies have also advised Russian authorities against taking unilateral steps which would avoid meeting CFE's equipment limits. CFE's flank region equipment limits restrict the amount of equipment that can be stationed in certain parts of Russian territory. The Chechnya region is part of CFE's flank zone.
CFE states are discussing Russia's flank concerns in the CFE Joint Consultative Group -- that's the Treaty's implementation forum -- and those discussions are taking place in Vienna.
Q That doesn't (inaudible) until November.
MS. SHELLY: The part -- what I've specifically referenced on that is the part about the equipment limits, when they take effect in November. That's right.
Q The part (inaudible) troops in there -- the troop part is (inaudible).
MS. SHELLY: I don't know if Grachev's statement only commented on the equipment or if he was also commenting on the troops as well. But I think that the Code of Conduct, which is in effect, has to do with troop movements above a certain threshold. And I think that that is at least one of the points that we addressed when this issue came up earlier that had to do with large troop movements and notification requirements under the Code of Conduct.
Am I getting this right? (Laughter)
(Staff hands documents to Ms. Shelly)
All right. Now we're already able to go back to the subject of the Consular access. That is based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. That's the answer to that one.
Q Okay, going back to CFE and Chechnya, are there any provisions in the CFE for violations? In other words, can the other parties to the Treaty do anything?
MS. SHELLY: If there are violations once the provisions go into effect?
MS. SHELLY: I would expect that there would be. I'm not an expert on that subject, so why don't I do that as a taken question.
Bill, you had a question.
Q I do. Can I go to Mexico.
Q Please. (Laughter)
Q Oh, thanks. No, I'd love to go to Mexico.
MS. SHELLY: I'll tell you, I've been waiting for the Mexico question for weeks now.
Q Here it comes.
MS. SHELLY: Days. And I just took all my guidance on Mexico out of my book right before I came out here to do the briefing, but you can try me. We can see if --
Q Well, I don't think you'll find anything too much in your guidance on what I just learned this morning. In a conference over at CSIS, a number of leading Mexicans in the political opposition to the PRI governing group basically confirmed the crisis, both financial, political, and crisis that is going on with the narco-politicals in that country, and I was told by Mr. Javier Livas Cantu, Mr. Ricardo Villa, and Mr. Jorge Humberto -- all told me that there was a wave of immigrants coming this way. They expected an inundation of immigration from Mexico into this country this year.
First, I would like if you could address that particular issue. Have you any guidance?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not looking into a crystal ball here to make predictions. I don't think that's an appropriate sort of line of work for me to get into and line of discussion.
I can say that we obviously have very real immigration issues with Mexico. We work on those, including through our contacts between our respective law enforcement authorities. We also have issues related to narcotics, and certainly trying to cooperate, to the extent that we can, to keep narcotics flow from entering the United States and certainly to crack down on producers and those engaged in transit.
Because we share a very long border with Mexico, we obviously have a lot of issues with Mexico that we work through bilateral channels, but I'm not going to try to wrap them all up into a single theory or analytical line that then culminates in some kind of prediction on migration waves.
Q You led me into the second part of my issue here. That being, the narco influence -- narco subversion, if we want to call it that -- that's coming from outside of Mexico from the Cali cartel, specifically -- perhaps others -- Christine, is the United States Government presently, through the State Department, or any of our intelligence organizations, increasing cooperation with Mexico to stem the foreign influence on the internal affairs, especially the Federal Government of Mexico?
MS. SHELLY: The short answer to your question is, I don't comment on what we're doing through intelligence channels. And, secondly, I've already said that this is an issue that we're working on bilaterally, which is the counter-narcotics effort.
Q Christine, do you have any comment on Libyan plans to fly directly to Saudi Arabia in defiance of U.N. sanctions imposed over the Lockerbie bombing?
MS. SHELLY: Yes, there have been some threats by Qadhafi to ignore the sanctions and to allow s to fly out of Libya, and some issues raised regarding U.N. Security Council sanctions and if they allow for an exemption to the restrictions which are on Libya.
The U.S. does not seek to deny Libyan pilgrims the opportunity to fulfill their religious duties. We fully respect the traditions and practice of Islam.
Any state seeking an exception to the U.N. Security Council sanctions against Libya that deny international air transport to and from Libya must apply to the U.N. Sanctions Committee. At this time, we are not aware of any state having made a formal application to the Sanctions Committee in New York for an exception to the ban on all international air travel to and from Libya that would allow Libyan Hajj pilgrims to fly to Saudi Arabia.
We understand that some states have been considering asking the U.N. Sanctions Committee for such an exception, but that is about as much as we know at this point.
The U.N. Security Council sanctions against Libya deny Libyans the privilege of traveling to or from their country by civil aviation. This penalty is directly related to the Libyan Government's role in denying safe civil aviation to the international community through savage bombings of two separate aircraft.
If there were such a request that were formally made to the Sanctions Committee, we would consider it; but I would just note once again that no such request has been made.
Q And in the absence of any request and a Libyan decision to go ahead with these flights, what position would the United States take?
MS. SHELLY: I've just indicated what our position is, which is that we -- our position is to support the sanctions, and sanctions specifically prevent those kind of flights.
Q Another subject. Foreign Minister Juppe has called for an emergency session of the Security Council to revisit the security situation in Bosnia and has threatened to withdraw troops if that doesn't happen, if the cease-fire isn't extended. Do you have anything for us on that?
MS. SHELLY: I can't help you a lot on that because the action on this, the whole diplomatic front, has really kind of shifted up to New York today. We're certainly aware of the comments that he's made. There certainly will be contacts among the key nations involved. There have been already this morning, and there will be, certainly, later in the day that will be taking up probably the whole range of Balkan issues.
There are issues related to a possible Security Council resolution that the French have indicated that they would like discussed. I know that they themselves raised the possibility of a Security Council meeting, and they have talked about having a resolution that would call on all of the parties involved in the fighting to maintain the integrity of UNPROFOR's operation and to leave the peacekeepers alone.
I have seen over the last few days various references to the possibility of withdrawing French troops. Obviously, indications of that kind are certainly for the French to make. I think there's been a little bit of to-ing and fro-ing on that. I don't think that the French desire is to withdraw their troops. I think their desire is to have their troops have a greater degree of protection from these kind of attacks than is currently the case.
What I'm told from New York is that the resolution may also contain a couple of other elements to it, one of which would be to try to formalize an extension of the cease-fire which is currently in place and is due to expire at the end of April; and the other is to try to give a stimulus to the political negotiations on Bosnia. That's what we hear from New York about what's happening up there, and I don't think I'm going to be able to take it much beyond that.
Q Christine, if I could go back to the Libyan Hajj question?
Q Actually, I have a follow-up on this. The security situation is pretty bad. We heard yesterday that Ambassador Jakovich was forced to drive out on a very dangerous road. Can you tell us about the circumstances that brought that about?
MS. SHELLY: I can confirm that Ambassador Jackovich was prevented from departing Sarajevo by air by the Bosnian Serbs yesterday.
The U.N. told the Ambassador that they had not received security guarantees from the Serbs in order to carry civilian passengers on the flights. We've also seen reports that Bosnian officials have been barred from flying on similar types of flights by the Bosnian Serbs.
These events point out once again the need for UNPROFOR to react vigorously in enforcing resolutions and agreements on the airport. Bosnian Serbs should not be allowed to dictate who can fly on U.N. flights.
Even more outrageous are the repeated Bosnian Serb sniper threats and attacks against the planes taking off and landing in Sarajevo, many of which carry nothing more than the strict humanitarian supplies.
On the diplomatic front, I can tell you that our Ambassador to the U.N., Madeleine Albright, was instructed to raise the issue related to Ambassador Jackovich's departure. With U.N. officials in New York this morning, she did so. They are now trying to confirm exactly all of the facts related to that particular issue, and we certainly would expect that we will get a satisfactory reply from U.N. officials once they've been able to check on all of the facts.
Q The Ambassador is out now?
MS. SHELLY: He is out. That's right; he's out.
Q May I follow? Just to ask, was he fired on? I understood there was some firing on that road that he took --
MS. SHELLY: I have no information on that.
Q He's safely out. What you read, I believe, is construed as UNPROFOR's error here in not asserting their authority at the airport; is that correct?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not leaping to that conclusion. I am commenting on what we have seen as the events related to yesterday from our side, and I've also indicated we're seeking an explanation for exactly what transpired through the U.N.
Q Christine, do you have anything more on the fellow who was shot in Karachi by police? Any indication that he was or was not linked to the killing the consular employees?
MS. SHELLY: I had been checking on that, and I don't have much in the way of new information on that. We did post an answer this morning, about the killing of a man suspected of being involved in the killing of two American officials.
There was a man named Nadeen Riaz. We can confirm that he was killed by police during a raid yesterday. Riaz was a known militant sought by authorities for a number of killings.
However, we do not have any kind of independent information at this time which does link him to the attacks on the consulate officials on March 8.
Q Were U.S. law enforcement officials involved in that shoot out or there during the incident?
MS. SHELLY: Not that has come to my attention. I'll be happy to check on that point.
Q Christine, two questions on China. How did the meeting between the Secretary and the Chinese Foreign Minister go yesterday? Was the Chinese receptive to U.S. concerns of China's nuclear deal with Iran?
MS. SHELLY: I'm still unfortunately not in a position to give a readout on this meeting. I have seen the press reports on this, but I don't have a readout from the party yet, so unfortunately I'm not going to be able to work on that story today.
Q Another question. A pro-China magazine in Hong Kong is saying that the Chinese military are preparing for possible attacks against the Philippines because of the Philippines refusal to release 62 captured Chinese fishermen. Do you have any comment on that?
MS. SHELLY: I do not have a comment on that. I'll be happy to look into that and see if we would like to make one, but I don't have anything on that.
Q Back to the Libyan Hajj question, please. Several Egyptian officials have said they are going to fly Libyan Hajj goers to Saudi Arabia. Do you have any comment on that?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have a specific comment on that. We've already been through it jurisdictionally on what would need to take place, which would be an exception by the Sanctions Committee.
I'm told that the way this has worked in the past is that Libyans sometimes have gone by land to other countries from which they have then been able to go directly to Saudi Arabia. I think that is the way that this has worked in the past; but I don't have a specific comment on the Egyptian statement.
Q Is it the Administration's opinion that the Saudis should deny landing rights to planes coming from Libya that have not -- absent the permission of the Sanctions Council?
MS. SHELLY: We certainly would expect that all of the nations concerned would abide by the U.N. Security Council sanctions regarding air travel.
Q Do you have any feedback from Berlin on the talks with the North Koreans on the Framework Accord? And how long are these talks scheduled to last this time?
MS. SHELLY: You like instantaneous results. They only left yesterday; they only arrived today.
They had a very short meeting today. Of course, they're some hours ahead of us. It was basically procedural meeting discussing some details related to the convening of the sessions tomorrow.
I'm told that the exchange so far was not a substantive change. It was a procedural change. So the real business will start tomorrow.
There is no timeframe that we're signaling at this point for how long these talks might run.
Q Did the North Koreans object to the U.S. military maneuvers with South Korea during this meeting?
MS. SHELLY: I have no information on the substance of the talks. Or is that a generic question? In Berlin, certainly not that I'm aware of. By other channels, not specifically that I'm aware of.
MS. SHELLY: No, not that I'm aware of. I don't think so. What I'm told, this afternoon's exchange was just a short procedural change; not substantive.
Q Just a follow-up on the question on China, if I might. What is the reaction of the government to being turned down yesterday publicly by the Foreign Minister of China on --
MS. SHELLY: I just said I wasn't going to move that story.
MS. SHELLY: I just said I wasn't going to move that story.
Q You're not moving that story at all?
MS. SHELLY: No, not at all.
MS. SHELLY: The action is in New York.
Q Okay. The action is on-going, I take it?
MS. SHELLY: The action is in New York with the party. The Secretary is still up there. He's not due back until tonight.
Q You can't even comment as to whether we are disappointed, the door is open, or whatever?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not going to comment whatsoever.
Q There was one about checking out the Iranian-Sudanese navy. Did you get any guidance on that one?
MS. SHELLY: I have a little comment on that, not a lengthy one. First I have to figure out whether it's in my African or Middle Eastern part of my book.
We do not have any details of this agreement. Some of the reports that we have received are sketchy. It's not clear exactly what type of agreement has been reached.
Were such an agreement, or generally signaling some kind of military cooperation between these two states, were it agreed, I think it is something that we would regard with concern. These are both countries that are on our terrorism list for reasons which are very well known.
I think our policy regarding Sudan and Iran are both well known. We have a lot of concerns about the behavior of these countries. As you're certainly familiar, one of the issues that the Secretary has been working is to try to deny Iran access to things like nuclear technology for reasons which we have made very clear.
So other than that, I don't think there's much else that I can say. As I said, our information is sketchy, but it is certainly not a kind of cooperation that I think really any of the -- or many states within the international community are likely to welcome.
Q Did the Indian Government let you know in advance that Rafsanjani would be in New Delhi at the same time that the Treasury Secretary would be? And, if not, would you have expected them to do so?
MS. SHELLY: I'm told that we were informed of Rafsanjani's visit last week, which was on the eve of Mr. Rubin's trip. His trip was scheduled some time ago, and, of course, there obviously is not any connection between the timing of the two visits.
We're certainly aware of the fact that there has been some exchange out there, but we think that Mr. Rubin's trip was important. He went to India to advance our important economic and commercial interests with India. We're told that his trip is going well, and, if we had learned sooner about Rafsanjani's visit, it's possible that the exact timing of Mr. Rubin's trip might have been reconsidered, but that's not an issue that I think I can -- since what's done is done and he's there and the trip is taking place, I don't think I can take that one much farther.
Q So you wish the Indians would have told you sooner that Rafsanjani was coming?
MS. SHELLY: I think that we would like to have been informed of that sooner, yes.
Q Thank you.
MS. SHELLY: Thanks.
(The briefing concluded at 1:30 p.m.)
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