U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 95/06/01 -- DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Thursday, June 1, 1995 Briefer: Christine Shelly DEPARTMENT Announcement: Secretary Christopher's Travel to Middle East--June 7-12 ................................1 Report to U.S. Congress on Human Rights Abuses by Turkish Military/Situation in Cyprus ..................1-8 - Congressional Consultations .........................3 - Possible Impact on U.S.-Turkish Relations/ Security Assistance ................................4-5 GREECE Report to U.S. Congress on Greece's Enforcement of Sanctions on Serbia ...................................6 Greek Parliament Ratification of Law of the Sea .........8 CHINA Taiwan Itinerary for Taiwan President Lee's Private U.S. Visit - Further Response from Beijing .......................9-11 NORTH KOREA Framework Agreement: Heavy Fuel Oil Procedures; Nuclear Freeze; Talks in Kuala Lumpur; LW Reactor Project ....................12-13 MISCELLANEOUS Chickasaw Nation--Report of Charles Blackwell's Presentation of Credentials to U.S. ...................13-14 JAPAN Report of U.S. Sanctions re: Aviation ...................14 FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Ambassador Frasure Meeting w/Milosevic ..................14 Russian Envoy Zotov Meetings w/Milosevic ................14 Ambassador Frasure/Zotov Meetings .......................15 Contact Group Meeting ................................... Position on Selective Suspension of Some Sanctions ....14-15 IRAQ Detained Americans ......................................16-17 Polish Diplomat's Denial of Access ....................17 U.S. Interests Section Messenger Makes Delivery .......17 U.S. Call for Release .................................17
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 1995, 1:02 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MS. SHELLY: Welcome to the State Department briefing. I'd like to begin with a short announcement relating to the Secretary's travel, and then to touch upon an issue that we touched upon yesterday which is a report which we have submitted to the Congress.
On the short item first, you may have seen our notice to the press we put out a little bit earlier today. Secretary of State Warren Christopher will travel to the Middle East June 7-12 for discussions related to the negotiations.
Journalists interested in traveling on the Secretary's aircraft during this trip should add their name and contact number to the sign-up sheet which is posted in the Press Office, Room 2109. The sign-up sheet will be taken down on Friday, June 2, at 5:00 p.m.
Q Where is he going?
MS. SHELLY: Sid, when was the last time that we announced where he was going as well as on what date this many days prior to the travel?
MS. SHELLY: 1944? (Laughter) Well, maybe. No, it might have been more recently than that. I think there was one since I've been here, at least, that we announced the dates and notational itinerary, subject to change.
Anyway, we'll obviously share further details on his travel schedule with you as we can. But at least we can now signal that he's going and that the sign-up sheet is up, which is of course the most operational point for you.
On the second subject -- the report to the U.S. Congress on human rights abuses by the Turkish military and the situation in Cyprus -- I can report to you that this morning the State Department submitted to Congress a report on allegations on human rights abuses by the Turkish military and on the situation in Cyprus.
The Foreign Operations Appropriation Act for Fiscal 1995, as you may be aware, withheld 10 percent of the Foreign Military Financing for Turkey pending submission of a report by the State Department. The report was to address alleged human rights abuses by Turkish security forces in the southeastern region of Turkey, and to address Cyprus.
The 10 percent withholding amounted to $36.45 million in loans approved for Fiscal 1995. Although the Turkish Government stated that it would not accept conditional aid and refused the 10 percent, Congress has nonetheless requested that the report be submitted as required in the legislation.
This report was prepared by the State Department in consultation with the Department of Defense.
The report reaffirms Turkey's continued importance as a long- standing NATO ally which faces a major threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity from the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party -- the PKK. It also stresses that continued support for Turkey's security, both external and internal, serves U.S. interests.
Among the report's conclusions is that U.S.-origin equipment, which accounts for most major items in the Turkish military inventory, has been used in operations against the PKK, during which human rights abuses have occurred.
It is highly likely that such equipment was used in support of the evacuation and/or the destruction of villages in southeastern Turkey. However, the report assesses that there is no evidence that verifies reports of torture or "mystery killings" involving U.S. equipment.
The report notes that the Turkish Government has recognized the need to improve its human rights situation and cites proposals which, if adopted and implemented, could lead to important and positive changes in the situation in the southeast.
The report notes further that human rights and democracy will continue to be a prominent feature of the on-going U.S.-Turkish high- level dialogue. We ascribe great importance to the Turkish Government's democratization initiative. Enhancement of democracy for all of Turkey's citizens will significantly improve the human rights situation in Turkey. We urge its rapid passage.
I can tell you that the report is being delivered today. We are also having some Congressional consultations in connection with the delivery of the report. Once I can confirm that the delivery of the report has been effected, we will make copies of the full report. It's quite lengthy. It's about 50 pages in length. We will make copies available in the Press Office, and I would expect we would be able to do so by about 3:00 this afternoon.
I know you'll want a chance to study the report in greater detail. I'm certainly prepared to take a few questions on it now, if you'd like, but I know you'll want a chance to study the report. I will certainly be prepared to come back to this also tomorrow or else at later briefings.
Q Christine, did you say the report recommends reinstating that 10 percent that was taken away?
MS. SHELLY: As I mentioned already, the Turkish authorities themselves decided that they would not take that 10 percent because of the conditionality attached to it, which had to do with the preparation of the report. I don't have any specific information that would suggest that that 10 percent would now be reopened, but I'll be happy to check on that.
Q Christine, am I reading the part about "no evidence of torture or mystery killings involving U.S. equipment" was your saying that there were such episodes but that U.S. equipment was not, as far as you can tell, involved?
MS. SHELLY: Yes. As you know, this is not a general report on the human rights situation in Turkey. It's specifically directed to alleged abuses by the Turkish security forces. It relates to the actions against the PKK.
What we are acknowledging in that is that there were allegations of actions -- specific human rights violations -- that are identified in the report. Some of the allegations -- let me give you a few examples, if I can. I know it's kind of hard to do this without your having seen the report.
Some of the allegations dealt with in the report concern things like village evacuations and destructions, extrajudicial killings, and disappearances, and torture and intimidation. The report, as I said, gives a lot of very specific detail on this, and I don't want to go much beyond that today besides identifying the categories.
But what the conclusion of the report was, which I mentioned in the remarks, was that given that most of the Turkish equipment is of U.S. origin, that some of that was used in actions against the PKK. In certain of these categories, we did not have confirmation that U.S. equipment had been used. In other categories, as I mentioned -- specifically, the evacuation and destruction of villages -- there was the indication that U.S. equipment might have been used.
Q Given the revelation of the Turkish human rights abuses, do you expect the Turkish Government, or the Turkish parliament, to confirm the extension of "Provide Comfort?"
MS. SHELLY: I wouldn't draw any specific linkage between the action by that on the Turkish parliament. It's obviously up to the Turkish parliament to decide what to do when the decision on that comes up for renewal.
As to any particular impact that's going to have on U.S.-Turkish relations, the report is something that the Turkish authorities knew was under preparation. In fact, it involved our going to the Turkish authorities with respect to many of the allegations that had been made.
We were given the opportunity to address those allegations to the Turkish military authorities; and we received very concrete responses, which you'll see from the report. So we've had a lot of exchanges with the Turkish authorities on this.
The issue of this report -- both the timing and the substance -- will not come as a surprise to Turkish authorities. Turkey is a very important ally in what is obviously a very difficult part of the world.
We don't believe that the issue of this report is going to alter the fundamental basis of our relationship, which is built on a very strong foundation. We place a very high value on the preservation of Turkey's democracy, on its territorial integrity, and we are committed to Turkey's security in the interests of both Turkey and the United States.
As you know well from other times when this issue has come up here, democracy and human rights are and will continue to be a very prominent part of the U.S.-Turkish agenda. We believe that Turkey can continue to make further progress on this score and that it will.
Q This report also, we are expecting some impact on this year's 1996 security assistance of which some part is on the Floor and the other part is in the Senate right now. Do you expect some impact also on the Clinton Administration -- on the State Department?
MS. SHELLY: In terms of sending forward the report to the U.S. Congress and whether or not the U.S. Congress would somehow react to this report by altering the level of assistance?
MS. SHELLY: I think the reason the U.S. Congress requested this report was that they wanted to fully inform themselves about the situation in southeastern Turkey. I think that's what the request for the report was about. That was obviously particularly with respect to the allegations regarding the use of U.S.-supplied weapons by the Turkish security forces and the possible commission of human rights violations. They, obviously, in tandem with that consideration, wanted to inform themselves about the situation in Cyprus. There is quite a detailed accounting in that report about that situation, which I'm sure we'll want to come back to.
It's our view that given the recent indications that the Turkish Government is attempting to address the human rights violations and the importance of Turkey, as a front-line state that is clearly surrounded by numerous threats to itself, we hope that the U.S. Congress will not reduce funding to Turkey.
Q What about Cyprus, Christine? What does the report say about Cyprus?
MS. SHELLY: About Cyprus?
MS. SHELLY: On Cyprus, what it does is, it goes through a rather detailed and almost kind of timeline on the diplomacy that's been involved -- the meetings that have taken place and the various efforts to try to work through the U.N. process.
I think our conclusion on this, of course -- the bottom line conclusions, if I might -- is that the Turkish authorities are meaningfully engaged in this process and that they are lending their support to the U.N. efforts to try to come up with a solution to the Cyprus problem.
If I can do just a shorthand, bottom line, I think that's it. But, again, I think you'll want to look at the report and the very detailed treatment of this. We probably can come back to that.
Q Hasn't the Congress also asked the State Department for a report on Greece regarding the allegations of -- violations of U.N. sanctions in Serbia? Is there going to be such a report?
MS. SHELLY: Yes, there is. In fact, this was not something that I was informed about yesterday. So I was unaware that there was actually a second report.
The second report -- and it's coming from the same legislation -- the Congress asked for a report on Greece's enforcement of sanctions on Serbia. This has not been submitted yet; but, in fact, we do expect it to be submitted to Congress before the end of the week. So this is something that's in preparation as well. I've not seen the report yet. But, obviously, also, when we transmit that, we'll be happy to address that as well.
Q Christine, just to make clear, these alleged abuses of human rights occurred in southeast Turkey not during the northern Iraqi incursion?
MS. SHELLY: This is not a report on the northern Iraqi incursion. This has to do with southeastern Turkey. I think you'll see in the report there are a couple of things which I found to be of rather considerable interest.
One is that there is a code of conduct for the Turkish military authorities which is in one of the annexes in the report. There also were -- if I can shorthand it -- the instructions for the Turkish security forces regarding the conduct of that operation in northern Iraq which also obviously touch upon the same points, which is the efforts of the Turkish authorities to try to make sure that human rights violations were not committed in the context of that operation.
Q Christine, you said there were Congressional consultations regarding the delivery this report. What was the exact nature of those consultations that you referred to?
MS. SHELLY: It's not something that I would comment on detail. But, normally, when we deliver a report of this kind, we do brief interested members of Congress and/or their staff members about the main elements in the report. That's basically what happens. We not only deliver the report but we also have contacts with them to brief them on the points that we think are the major points associated with the report. So that's a normal practice in connection with the delivery of this type of report.
These are basically taking place --they may have even started as early as yesterday, but they're taking place throughout the course of the day.
The main thing for us is, we do want to make sure that the report has been fully delivered. That's the point in time that we will be able to release the report to you this afternoon, which I said will be around 3:00.
Q Christine, we heard about that in the State Department -- several discussions about it, about the two different groups. They are discussing different points on this report.
My question is: Is the State Department happy with to the bottomline of this report, and the summary of this report?
MS. SHELLY: There is a single State Department report which has gone forward. In the preparation of any report, we always invite comment and discussion and inputs from a variety of different sources within the State Department. I think it's only natural that a discussion would occur. This is a report which touches on political/military issues; it touches on human rights issues; it touches on bilateral political relations as well. So, naturally, there were a variety of inputs to the report.
What has emerged is a consensus document which reflects all of those views put forward in a single report, going forward as a State Department report in compliance with the Congressional requirement.
Q Don't you expect some impact for the Turkish fighting with the PKK terrorism?
MS. SHELLY: I think it would be speculative for me to get into that particular dimension. There's a great deal of information about the PKK in the report and about the types of activities that it undertakes -- the nature of the organization and the threats its actions have posed for the Turkish regime. So I think there's quite a bit of background information in there, which obviously will be publicly available now, which gets into exactly the nature of the threat to the Turkish regime which is posed by the PKK.
Q But in the end PKK doesn't get U.S. security assistance if Turkey couldn't get it as a result of this report.
MS. SHELLY: That's really not a point that I think can specifically address in the context of looking at the report.
Q Does the report make any recommendations regarding the solving of the Kurdish problem?
MS. SHELLY: No, that is not the nature of the report. The nature of the report is to provide factual information about the state of play on the issues that were solicited by the U.S. Congress, including the efforts that our own people went to on the ground to compile the information and to be able to address the specific allegations in as much specificity as possible.
Q I don't have the figures in front of me, but my recollection is that U.S. aid to Turkey is somewhat more than $365 million, with of this 10 percent thing. Does this refer only to military assistance or only to economic assistance?
MS. SHELLY: Let me check on that point, specifically. My information on this was simply that the 10 percent withholding was the $36.45 million against the total of $364.5 million in loans approved for Fiscal 1995.
Q That was for FMF.
MS. SHELLY: Right, the Foreign Military Financing, the FMF program was that amount for Fiscal -- thanks, Sid. You want to come up here and help?
Q Can we move to another subject?
Q I have something else about Greece and Turkey. The Greek parliament decided yesterday to extend its territorial waters to 12 miles. Turkey, much before, announced that she would consider this as causus belli. Do you have any reaction?
MS. SHELLY: This is related to the ratification of the Law of the Sea?
MS. SHELLY: I understand that the Greek parliament did ratify the law on June 1. Greece joins many nations, including the United States, in having ratified the Law of the Sea. In ratifying it, the Greek Government stated that it reserved the right to its 12-mile territorial sea while indicating that it did not plan to exercise this right at this time.
I don't think there is any change in that relative to previous statements on the Greek position on this. So I'm not under the impression that this is anything new.
Q Yesterday, Christine, you said you expected to make some announcement regarding President Lee's itinerary. I wonder if you're ready to make such an announcement today.
MS. SHELLY: I can give you some details on the itinerary today. We understand that the following details were released in Taipei earlier today. The itinerary for Wednesday, June 7, is a noon departure from Taipei. It involves an arrival in the morning in Los Angeles, and then an overnight in Los Angeles.
On Thursday, June 8, there's a morning departure from Los Angeles and an afternoon arrival in Syracuse, New York. Travel by ground transportation to Ithaca, New York; overnight in Ithaca. On Friday, June 9, Lee Teng-Hui will be participating in various functions on the campus. In the afternoon he will present the Olin lecture, followed by a reception. In the evening there will be a dinner hosted by Cornell President Rhodes. He will again overnight in Ithaca.
On Saturday, June 10, in the noon time frame, there will be a reception hosted by Mr. Lee, and in the afternoon he will attend various functions on campus. In the evening he'll depart Ithaca for Syracuse and depart Syracuse for Taipei via Anchorage, Alaska.
That, because of the time difference, brings him on Sunday morning, June 11, in the early hours for an arrival in Anchorage where he'll have rest and a refueling stop. He will depart Anchorage in the afternoon and arrive back in Taipei on Monday, June 12, in the afternoon, which I'm told will be 4:30 in the afternoon, Taipei time.
Q Christine, between the reception and Olin lecture, is he going to give a press conference?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have any details on a press conference.
Q My question is why does the State Department want to announce his itinerary, because on the one hand the State Department keep on saying this is a private visit.
MS. SHELLY: It is a private visit, but given the intense media interest, we felt that it would be appropriate in responding to your high level of interest to put out some of the details related to the travel.
Q Did you try to let the Beijing side know exactly every single activities will be totally nothing to do with official? Is that one of your intentions?
MS. SHELLY: I'm sorry?
Q Try to make sure the Beijing side understands the whole arrangement will be nothing to do with official --
MS. SHELLY: You're suggesting that we might be going into this level of detail for the popular consumption in Beijing. Is that what you're asking me?
Q Yes. Are you going to make sure that Beijing --
MS. SHELLY: The short answer, no, this is not for Beijing's popular consumption. This is due to the fact that we have been asked this question, I think, virtually every day, and several additional times throughout the day about what details we have on the itinerary. This is in our effort to be responsive to your desire in the media to know the details.
Q Christine, do you have any schedule for his meeting or proposed meeting with Congressmen?
MS. SHELLY: I do not.
Q Has the United States turned down any proposed activities by the Taiwan side?
MS. SHELLY: We have had discussions about activities which I acknowledged yesterday that would be compatible with the private nature of the visit, and I'm not inclined to get into a discussion of those details.
Q But anyway this announced itinerary, I suppose, is worked out by mutual agreement.
MS. SHELLY: That is correct.
Q I just want to make sure, that reception you said will be held on -- during the noon time --
MS. SHELLY: On Saturday, June 10.
Q June 10. While you're on the subject, I'd like to ask you another question. In the last couple of days, Assistant Secretary Lord has been consistently addressing Lee Teng-hui as "Mr. Lee," whereas from this podium your colleague, Mr. Burns, has been consistently addressing him as "President Lee." So I'm wondering about this discrepancy here. Is this a new salutation, to use the word of Ambassador Lord, another "tactical change"?
MS. SHELLY: I don't think that it's very productive for me to get into a discussion of which titles are used and under what circumstances and by which people. It's a private visit. I think that's the operational point. In all of our efforts to work on the visit, we had no indication to suggest that there was anything other than working out a mutually agreeable and satisfactory itinerary and composition of events that would be satisfactory for both sides.
Q Bear with me if I'm a little persistent, but it seems to me that this is an important thing. I'd like to ask you, Lee Teng-hui to the United States -- what is he, "Mr." or "President."
MS. SHELLY: He can be either or both. (Laughter) And, frankly, I don't have a problem with that at all. Other questions.
Q Christine, did you talk to Beijing? Did you brief Beijing before you made the announcement on President Lee's itinerary?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not aware of a specific change. We certainly have had exchanges with them about the visit, but I'm not aware of any particular 11th hour discussion of the agenda. The agenda was clearly appropriate for discussions between the U.S. and those who are involved in setting the itinerary for Lee Teng-hui's side. I think that as far as I know, there was not a particular exchange relating to the details of the travel with Beijing.
Q Have you received any messages from Beijing on whatever possible further retaliatory actions that they might take?
MS. SHELLY: There has been nothing new to my knowledge since Assistant Secretary Lord went through this in rather considerable detail at Tuesday's briefing. It involved, as you know, the cancellation of a number of visits -- I think a couple of visits from the Chinese side and two or three visits from the U.S. side -- and I don't think there's anything new in the last 48 hours.
Q Are you expecting anymore?
MS. SHELLY: It's hard for me to predict. This is not actions that the United States is taking.
Q On the Korean talks in Kuala Lumpur --
MS. SHELLY: Sure.
Q -- has something on China?
MS. SHELLY: It means they like that subject better also. (Laughter)
Yes, fire away.
Q A question that I had for you, Ms. Shelly, ON BACKGROUND, and I want to retract for the record --
MS. SHELLY: I got plenty of them ON THE RECORD as well. (Laughter)
Q Yes, some of those, too. But I wanted to retract for the record my rather clumsy remark.
MS. SHELLY: Do you mean your remarks where you specifically said that Winston Lord is more entertaining than I was? (Laughter)
Q I acquiesce to your characterization, but I was --
MS. SHELLY: He was very pleased, however, when that was reported to him that you found him far more entertaining than you found me. But, anyway, so you have -- you perhaps did score some points with him.
Q Ms. Shelly, I think you're eminently fair and -- (laughter) - -
MS. SHELLY: "Fair." I guess that's as good as we're going to do. (Laughter)
Q And I think eminently qualified for this question. The question basically is this: Is the Korean Framework Agreement in effect since the United States has suspended oil shipments? Does it remain in effect, and in that Framework was there some language that allowed us to say to the North Koreans, "Well, we see you have diverted the oil; therefore, we cannot continue the shipments until we have an agreement about diversion." I think the last question would be, has this diversion issue been discussed? Can you report anything about that from Kuala Lumpur?
MS. SHELLY: I will resist the tendency to go and call Winston Lord to respond to your series of questions. On the heavy fuel oil delivery, as you know, we've covered this, and, of course, Assistant Secretary Lord covered this as well.
We have indicated that we are prepared to send a technical team to North Korea to discuss procedures for monitoring the disposition and use of heavy fuel oil. Once we have reached agreement on those procedures, we would then be prepared to discuss the phased delivery schedule for the future shipments of heavy fuel oil. So that's the status, and I don't think that's anything which is particularly new or earthshaking.
The agreement certainly remains in effect. The central element, I think, in the agreement is, of course, the freeze, and there's nothing to suggest that the DPRK is not abiding by its part of that equation, which is obviously the reactor freeze.
As you know, the IAEA still has a team of monitors at the Yongbyon complex, who have been there last fall, and we're confident that they could not refuel the reactor or begin reprocessing any fuel without IAEA detection, of which there has not been any.
As you know, the delegations are meeting in Kuala Lumpur. They met at the technical level at the American Embassy to attempt to clarify issues related to the light-water reactor project. The delegation expects to meet again tomorrow. There are no details yet as to the time, place and level. I know there's been a lot of speculation about which meetings and for how long and at what level -- heads of delegation level, technical level. I think there's probably too much being read into the different ways in which those take place.
The heads of delegation decided they were at a point where it would be useful to have technical level discussions to clarify some of the issues related to this project. The heads of the technical delegations were Gary Samore. That doesn't come as a big surprise, I'm sure, and on the DPRK side, Lee Yong Ho.
They met for three hours this morning and for four more hours in the afternoon. So that's as much detail as I have, and I think all I can say is that the meetings are continuing. They remain engaged, and we certainly consider that the Agreed Framework remains in effect.
Q Different subject. Charles Blackwell, a Native American, a representative of the Chickasaw Nation, is coming -- plans to present credentials to be an Ambassador for the Chickasaw Nation to the United States this week. What is the U.S. position on that situation?
MS. SHELLY: Sid, I don't know. That's the kind of question that requires some preparation on my part. I don't know that one off the cuff, so will you permit me to check into that one and come back to you on that?
Q I'd like you to take that, please.
MS. SHELLY: Okay. Has UPI done any reporting on this so far?
Q Three special series.
MS. SHELLY: Three special series. I've missed it. We will endeavor to find out an answer to that question.
Q Do you have anything on a report that the U.S. is planning to issue some kind of sanctions against Japan in an aviation issue this week?
MS. SHELLY: I do not, but let me check into that report and see what I can find out.
Q Do you have a readout at all of Ambassador Frasure's meetings with President Milosevic?
MS. SHELLY: I don't really have a readout per se. He's there. He had one meeting that I know of yesterday with Milosevic in Belgrade last night, and following that round of talks both sides are assessing the results. He, as you know, represents the Contact Group position as agreed at the most recent Contact Group meeting in The Hague.
Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev, of course, was also at that meeting. There was some discussion about the Russian envoy Zotov also being there. I'm afraid I was caught by surprise on that one.
He, of course, is there. He has been having his own meetings in Belgrade with President Milosevic. He has been meeting in his capacity as the personal representative of the Russian Foreign Minister. I believe that Ambassador Frasure and Zotov have also held their own meetings with each other, obviously also to compare, I think, their own discussions that they've had with Milosevic.
So other than being able to tell you that he's still there, and there is the possibility, obviously, of future meetings, I don't have much detail beyond that. I can affirm the Contact Group position that Ambassador Frasure has presented remains essentially the same as it was before its selective suspension of some sanctions in return for Serbian recognition of Bosnia within the internationally recognized borders, and, of course, seeking to engage him on applying more pressure on Pale to accept the Contact Group Plan.
The mechanism -- I was asked about this -- for suspending sanctions and then reimposing them if Belgrade fails to comply with the agreement is naturally a very important aspect of the talks, as are the specific sanctions to be suspended. We aren't going to get into a detailed discussion of our exchanges with him on this, except to confirm that there had been some reports that the offer had been sweetened rather considerably relative to before. I just don't think that's right.
I think what's been going on has been the various formulations that relate to the issues involved. I think there has been some back and forth, but it's essentially the same offer.
Q Christine, wasn't the offer two weeks ago -- wasn't it linked to a six-month period? Is that still the case, or is it now an indefinite suspension?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have a specific answer on that point. The issue of how long that would be before. Six months was one of the proposals that was discussed, but the timeframe on this is something which I think has still not been nailed down.
Q Is there flexibility in that portion of the Contact Group proposal?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not in a position to get any more -- get further into a detailed discussion of that at this point.
Q Has there been movement in these talks?
MS. SHELLY: I know at this point I don't have progress to report. We have had some readout on this, and we just don't feel that it's very useful to get involved in a partial readout. Also, of course, the Secretary's on the road and Ambassador Frasure is in contact with the Secretary as well. But a lot of the people, of course, who have been engaged in this issue have also been involved in the meetings in Europe this week.
I would want to be sure I had a completely full picture, I think, before going any further. As the Secretary himself said when asked about progress and about this last 15 percent, he also indicated the last 15 percent, of course, was perhaps the hardest part. So they're tough issues, but we're still there, and we're still working on it, and we'll certainly try to keep you up to date what information we do have as quickly as we can.
Q If I could just follow up on that. So Frasure is having meetings and Zotov are having meetings, but those are two separate meetings. Frasure represents the Contact Group but Zotov is there --
MS. SHELLY: In his capacity as personal representative of the Russian Foreign Minister.
Q Okay. But is it useful that the Russians have sent someone who is having separate conversations? Presumably, the Russians would be on the same page as the rest of the Contact Group, and what Frasure is presenting ought to be the -- presumably what everybody is proposing.
MS. SHELLY: I don't think there's any doubt about that. I mean, Foreign Minister Kozyrev was a full participant in the Contact Group meeting, and it was certainly with the blessing of all of the Contact Group Ministers that he went back. There was a lot of discussion of his mission and of his meetings that he had had over so many days with President Milosevic, and certainly there was very high praise within that meeting for the efforts of Ambassador Frasure.
So I don't think that there is any question that Ambassador Frasure is there as a representative of the positions of all of those participants in that meeting.
As to why the Russians felt that it would be useful to have Zotov there at this point, we certainly acknowledge that he's there and hope that he can play a helpful role. But I think the Russian reasons for having him there are ones that you would have to really ask and put to the Russians.
Q Christine, if I may go back to Greek Parliament ratification of the Law of the Sea, we all know that they didn't decide to extend the waters, but they reserved the right.
Nevertheless, does the Administration recognize the fact that if they do extend the territorial waters up to 12 limits, that would create legitimate problems for Turkey.
MS. SHELLY: We're aware of the Turkish position as a hypothetical action, since it is still hypothetical, since that has not yet occurred.
Q Is there any new progress of the situations of two American war prisoners in Iraq?
MS. SHELLY: I'm sorry?
Q The prisoners in Iraq -- the Americans -- the two Americans. Is there any new progress?
MS. SHELLY: Is there any new progress?
MS. SHELLY: Sadly, there is not. I can share with you the information that I have. Unfortunately, our Polish representative of U.S. interests, Mr. Krystosik, has still not been granted access to Mr. Barloon and Mr. Daliberti. On May 31, a messenger from the U.S. Interests Section delivered correspondence, money, food and toiletries to the prison for Mr. Barloon and Mr. Daliberti. They did both sign receipts that the items delivered by the messenger had been received. The messenger was told by prison authorities that the condition of the two men is stable, and that they are not complaining of any health problems.
The Iraqis, as you know, are a signatory to the Vienna on Consular Relations. This Convention calls for regular access to detainees. We fully expect the Iraqis to meet their obligations under the Vienna Convention and call upon them to do so. Given the health problems that Mr. Barloon and Mr. Daliberti have experienced, we also call on the Iraqis to permit frequent visit to monitor their health and to monitor their well-being. We would also wish to underscore a position which we have taken throughout their detention that these two gentlemen, if they are guilty of anything, it was only an innocent mistake, and they should be released. They should be released now and permitted to return to their families.
Q Christine, are we aware of any more hospital visits by the men?
MS. SHELLY: Not that has come to my attention.
Q Are you aware of any plans for the wives to go back?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not aware of any plans.
Q Thank you.
(The briefing concluded at 2:39 p.m.)
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