U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 95/06/02 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Friday, June 2, 1995 Briefer: Alexander Watson Harriet Babbitt Christine Shelly DEPARTMENT Secretary Christopher's Trip to Haiti/ Participation in OAS General Assembly ...................1-10 U.S. Commitment to Democracy & Econ. Recovery in Haiti ..2 Review Progress on Summit of the Americas Commitments ...2,4-5 Support for Reforms of OAS ..............................2,4-5 Bilateral Program -- Graduation Ceremony at Police Academy ..............3-4 -- Meetings w/President Aristide ......................4,9 -- Visit w/Troops; Discussion w/UN Representatives ....4 Background on OAS General Assembly ......................2-3 -- Agenda Items: Corruption; Security Issues; Democracy .3,9-10 Closing of Mtg. of Foreign Ministers ....................3,9 Cuba: Immigration Issues/ 1962 Suspension of Participation in OAS ...............6-7 TRADE NAFTA Parity Legislation; Chilean Access to NAFTA .......5-6 MEXICO Binational Commission Meeting ...........................7-8 FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Missing U.S. Pilot ......................................11-13,15-16 Status of Release of Hostages; Defense Ministers Mtg. ...11-12,14 Sec. Coun. Discussions on Sec. Gen. Report ..............12 Ambassador Frasure Mtgs. w/Milosevic ....................14-16 U.S. Call for Release, End of Harassment of Peacekeepers 13-14 TURKEY State Department Report to Congress on Human Rights/ Cyprus ...............................................16-18 Law of the Sea Issue ....................................18 MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS Palestinian Compliance Report ...........................18-20 GREECE State Department Report to Congress on Compliance w/Serb Sanctions ......................................20 NORTH KOREA Nuclear Talks in Kuala Lumpur ...........................20-23 --South Korean Model LW Reactor .........................22-23 Food Shortages ..........................................22-23 Status of Heavy Fuel Oil Deliveries .....................23-24 Report of Economic Delegation Visit to U.S. .............22
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 1995, 12:49 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We're going to have our briefing in two parts today. We are going to have a pause after we have this briefing before we go in and cover the rest of the topics. I hope that won't be too long. So we will start with the briefing that we had announced to you before, which as you know is an ON THE RECORD briefing with Assistant Secretary Watson and Ambassador Harriet Babbitt, who as you know is our Ambassador to the OAS.
So we'll start with that, have a brief pause after that, and then we will go on with questions on other subjects.
Alexander Watson is, of course, well and favorably known to you, but I think it's the first opportunity that we've had to welcome OAS Ambassador Harriet Babbitt to the State Department press briefing. She is the Permanent Representative of the United States to the Organization of American States. She's an accomplished attorney with a distinguished background in private and public service. She brings to this very important diplomatic post a wealth of international experience, particularly in human rights and democratic transitions.
In her capacity as the Permanent Representative to the OAS, she's chaired a number of key OAS bodies. In l993-l994, she chaired the OAS committee that monitored compliance of the embargo against the military regime in Haiti. For the first three months of l994, she was also chair of the OAS Permanent Council.
She's currently Chair of the Working Group that coordinates the Organization's Implementation of Initiatives, endorsed by the Hemispheric leaders of the Summit of the Americas held in Miami in December of l994.
Ambassador Babbitt was an attorney with Robbins and Green and held a number of legal and financial posts in Arizona. She was a Director of City Bank Arizona and a member of Board of Advisors of U.S. West Telephone Company.
Her list of achievements is very long and very distinguished.
So without any further ado, let me now pass the microphone to my guest briefers for today; and, of course, they will be delighted to take your questions following some opening remarks. So if I can invite both of you to come up to the podium, I guess we'll begin with some short remarks by Assistant Watson, after which we'll be hearing from Ambassador Babbitt.
Thank you very much.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: Thank you, Christine.
Just very briefly to lay out for you, what the Secretary will be doing over the weekend after he comes back from Bosnia and before he heads out to the Middle East.
He wanted definitely to make some time for these events in Port-au- Prince. So he's going there to do three things, basically:
-- to reinforce our commitment to democracy and the economic recovery of Haiti and to highlight the vital role that the Organization of American States has played in the restoration of democracy and of President Aristide in Haiti.
-- and, secondly, to review with his counterparts the progress that has been made so far on implementation of the commitments undertaken at the Summit of the Americas in Miami last December and to focus our efforts on the key issues we should be addressing with more energy at this point.
-- and, third, to support and manifest his support for the reforms and policy reorientation that the OAS is undertaking under the dynamic leadership of Secretary General Cesar Gaviria.
Let me turn the mike over to Ambassador Babbitt now to talk a little bit about the OAS, and then I can come back and talk about the non-OAS portions of this visit.
AMBASSADOR BABBITT: Thank you very much. I'd be happy to take questions, but I thought it might be useful to give some background about the OAS -- what it is, and what a General Assembly is.
It is the Annual Meeting of the 34 Foreign Ministers, during which the Foreign Ministers formalize the work that the rest of us have been doing all year long and task the OAS with the work for the following year.
This will be a special one, both because we're having a new Secretary General, Cesar Gaviria, who sort of epitomizes the new OAS. The election of a dynamic and energetic former president is a signal from the Hemisphere that there are greater expectations of the OAS.
There will be items on the agenda that are new -- items with regard to corruption and the undermining effect that it has with respect to democracy and respect to trade in the Hemisphere; confidence- and security-building measures dealing with the whole range of Hemispheric security issues; and, of course, the democracy issues, which are what distinguish the OAS from other regional organizations.
The meeting of Foreign Ministers in Haiti will take place, with respect to Haiti, on Monday; and that is a closing of the meeting of Foreign Ministers, which opened the day of the coup in l99l. It is an activity of the OAS of which the OAS is very proud.
In l99l, on the very day of the coup, under a new l080 resolution mechanism in the OAS, the Foreign Ministers agreed to meet. All 34 Ministers agreed to work on behalf of the restoration of the constitutionally elected government in Haiti. That's a very new mechanism and a unique mechanism among regional organizations. If there's a coup in Asia, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers don't meet; there's no formal mechanism. And the fact that this Hemisphere has one is a great statement in support of democracy.
Last year, at the General Assembly in Brazil, President Aristide came, spoke to the General Assembly, and invited all of the Foreign Ministers and all of us back to Haiti for this General Assembly. There were many skeptics in the crowd, but it was invitation which was accepted with anticipation; and we will go back on Sunday to celebrate the return of democracy to Haiti and formalize the acceptance of President Aristide's invitation.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: Let me just touch briefly on the Secretary's program on the bilateral, if you will -- Haiti side of the agenda, first.
He will be officiating, really, with President Aristide at the graduation ceremony of the first class of civilian police to come out of the new Police Academy. I know you're aware that is an extremely important development in the history of Haiti with elimination now of the armed forces and the replacement of the interim police by the new civilian police. This will be the force that maintains law and order in the country, and this is the first graduating class of these people -- who have been trained in the Academy largely by American, French, and Canadian teachers and trainers.
Then he will, of course, be meeting with President Aristide and having a substantive discussion with him on a couple of occasions. He will also visit our troops, and he will have a session with the two representatives of the United Nations in Haiti right now -- former Algerian Foreign Minister Brahimi, who heads the U.N. Mission in Haiti, and General Kinzer, who is the head of the military component of that.
Then one of the things he'll do when he first arrives there after going to the graduating ceremony will be chairing of the meeting that I mentioned before of his colleagues to discuss the progress we've made in implementing the commitments we undertook at the Summit of the Americas last December in Miami and sort of focusing our attention on the areas that we think deserve most attention right now.
There's been quite a lot of progress in the six months since the Summit. Just to tick off a couple of things for you at this point without going into too great detail, obviously on trade we've had a series of meetings around the Hemisphere -- including one here last week, that will culminate, if you will, in a meeting in Denver on June 30 of the Trade Ministers of the Hemisphere to lay out the schedule and priorities for the ongoing negotiating process to create a free trade area of the Americas in 2005.
There will be a second meeting of Ministers of Trade in March of next year, but this is the first one.
Following immediately after that meeting will be a meeting co- hosted by Ron Brown and Mickey Kantor, where the private sector gets a chance to meet with the officials of governments to talk about the future of trade and into Hemispheric integration. They'll be focusing on a wide variety of very specific kinds of issues -- transportation, communications, energy, et cetera -- and we can give you a full list of those if you're interested.
As Hattie has already mentioned, the Secretary General of the OAS has proposed readjusting and reorienting the priorities of the OAS to deal with the mandate it received at the Summit of the Americas -- particularly focusing on strengthening the efforts to support democracy and human rights around the Hemisphere, and also setting up the efforts to put together a compendium of trade arrangements in the Hemisphere so that when the Trade Ministers are talking about trade issues they have a good factual basis of all the 23 trade arrangements in the Hemisphere.
It's important, I think, to note that the Inter-American Development Bank is now committed to several billion dollars that it wasn't going to have before to focus on health and education over the next five years.
The Pan-American Health Organization has just launched a program to eradicate measles in the Hemisphere.
We've had meetings on combating money-laundering, and they'll be a conclusion of our efforts to deal with money-laundering on a Hemispheric basis in a meeting this fall.
And we have made more progress on developing a counternarcotics strategy, to which all the countries of the Hemisphere can adhere.
On the interesting question of corruption, which assumed a central role in Miami, we've had some work between the OAS and the OECD in Europe about how to work together to reduce bribery and procurement and things like that.
Then, of course, we've moved forward on eliminating lead gasoline in the hemisphere. Several countries have taken important steps in that regard. It has a tremendous impact on the welfare of children in the hemisphere. And we also have been working closely -- the United States has -- with the Central Americans on sustainable developments.
Those are some of the things that they'll be talking about at that meeting. So I think those are the things I wanted to bring to your attention at this point, and we'll be glad to take any questions that you may have.
Q The Latin countries, as I recall -- at least some of them -- back in December at the summit were saying that the trends in the United States towards protectionism were growing rather than shrinking, and I seem to recall a list of 60 items that they had mentioned and about which they had expressed concern.
I mean, is it true that the trends are going the wrong way in this country with respect to free trade?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: I don't really think so. On the question of trying to make sure that the Caribbean and Central American countries are not disadvantaged by NAFTA, we're moving ahead in the Congress with what's been called NAFTA parity legislation, sponsored in the House by Representatives Crane and Gibbons and in the Senate by Senator Graham. We've had hearings on that, and that's moving forward rather quickly, and I think there's reason to be optimistic that such legislation will be approved fairly soon.
We have been meeting with our Canadian and Mexican friends to work out exactly how we will be dealing with the Chileans. We negotiate with them to access to NAFTA. Clearly, a crucial thing there is what kind of fast-track authority we get out of the Congress. Ambassador Kantor is working with the appropriate members of Congress on that.
I was encouraged to hear Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich comment at a luncheon at the Council of the Americas the other day about his support for both fast-track authority, certainly for Chile, and also for the Caribbean Basin, if you will, on NAFTA parity legislation. So I think there's a basis for optimism.
Clearly, always in trade negotiations there are opponents and there will be some difficulties, but I don't think there's any reason to believe that the tide is turning in the wrong direction.
Q Would you expect the new U.S. policies on immigration from Cuba and Haiti to be an issue, that being the OAS meeting or in the bilaterals?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: I don't really think so. In either the Secretary's meeting or follow-up, I don't anticipate that those issues will come up. They have plenty to talk about in the short time on the kinds of issues that I mentioned.
I don't know, Hattie (Babbitt), do you think any of that's going to come up in the plenary debate or --
AMBASSADOR BABBITT: I would think not. I think that the focus in the informal dialogue, which is the opportunity that the 34 Foreign Ministers have to speak informally, would be focused on the document which has been prepared, which is really a document dealing with the renovation of the Inter-American system, and how that can better foster things. Those are viewed, I think, more as bilateral issues and probably are not going to be part of that discussion.
Q This is the area of the world with which I'm least familiar, so I'll betray my ignorance here and ask a question to which my colleagues probably know the answer. What is the role of Cuba at a gathering like this, as a participant and as an agenda item?
AMBASSADOR BABBITT: Cuba's membership -- Cuba's participation, not Cuba's membership -- was suspended in 1962. Cuba has not participated in the OAS since 1962. The OAS is unique among regional organizations because it has as a condition precedent of participation -- a representative democracy, a democratic form of government. That is a qualification which the current Government of Cuba does not meet.
The rest of the countries of the hemisphere and the United States of America look forward to a day when a pluralistic, democratic Cuba can participate in the OAS. But that's not very likely next week. (Laughter)
Q Mr. Ambassador, I'd like to ask you to recount your impressions -- summarize your impressions -- of the binational meeting with the Mexican Government here a couple of weeks ago, and then enlarge and project how the narco-subversion problem, which has been so bad in Colombia and is becoming such a threat to the national security of Mexico -- at least according to their leaders -- how the OAS can get involved and stem the flow of drugs and the laundering of money -- basically reduce the power of the cartels in Mexico?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: I don't really want to spend too much time on those topics right here today because we've been asked to talk about a more limited universe. But let me just say something briefly. I thought that the Binational Commission meeting went extraordinarily well. I've been at three of them now -- one when I was sort of a lady- in-waiting for this job and they were kind to let me attend, and in Washington and the last year in Mexico and then this one here, I think the level of frankness of the exchanges and the real solid work that is accomplished at these meetings increases every year.
I thought that it was important. We must have had about 15 ministers, at least, from the two governments participating directly in these talks. That was important, and I think that we reached some understandings on a variety of areas from the more mundane to very important things like what kind of bridges and railroads and canals will have along the border; what sort of environmental projects will move forward -- those sorts of things -- up to some good discussions on migration questions and narcotics question and transportation and even agricultural issues.
So I thought it was a very fruitful session, and we can spend some time going over the specifics later on if you're interested.
On the question of narcotics, certainly it remains one of the highest areas of concern to us and one of our highest priorities in trying to help the countries of the hemisphere deal with what is a very serious mutual problem. You know that President Zedillo of Mexico calls it the single most important national security threat to Mexico, and we are working increasingly closely and effectively with them, and I know that Attorney General Reno and her counterpart, Antonio Losano, in Mexico have an excellent and productive relationship, and they're expecting good things to come from this. Already some good things have come, but they expect more to come.
I just wanted to pass to Hattie to talk about what the OAS role in this is through its organization called CICAD, and other things that it does.
AMBASSADOR BABBITT: CICAD is the Inter-American organization which deals with narcotics issues -- the anti-narcotics issues -- and it is useful because, as I suppose is obvious, most of these issues go across borders -- one border or another -- often many, many borders. There's a growing awareness in the hemisphere that the hemispheric world does not divide nicely between producing countries, trafficking countries, and consuming countries; that more and more those three categories blend, and that in order to have a useful strategy against this, it must be a multilateral strategy.
A couple of things that the OAS group has done, which have been enormously useful, is to draft model legislation with respect to money laundering, and model legislation with regard to precursor chemicals.
The fact that many countries share the same legislation makes it much easier to deal with the law enforcement aspects of those two particular issues.
There's much to be done, but I sense in watching this organization grow that the awareness of the three categories of producers, traffickers and consumers now really cross virtually every border. We'll give additional strength to CICAD capacity to deal with it.
Q Is the Secretary going to be having any events that have to do with the upcoming elections in Haiti? Is he visiting any polling places, doing anything that -- sort of to encourage democracy?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: He'll certainly be speaking with President Aristide, and he'll have two press availabilities at which he can express his views on these things; and, of course, his support for the -- manifested support for the U.N. mission in Haiti plays to that issue as well. But he's not going to be actually visiting the organization that is organizing and running the elections.
Brian Atwood did that earlier this week. He had a very successful visit, and Ambassador Bill Swing is dealing with this issue every day because, as you know, there's been some tentativeness about whether the elections could actually be pulled off on the 25th. We now are quite confident, as are the U.N. and other people down there, that this will take place -- that the ballots will get printed with the right names on it and distributed in time, and the elections will be able to be held on that day in a free and fair fashion.
But it is certainly something that the Secretary may choose to address in the meeting of foreign ministers that is focused on Haiti on Monday morning as well. But, no, he doesn't have time in this relatively short visit to be able to get out as far as he would like to in that regard, I'm sure.
Q Do you know how long it's been since the Secretary of State has attended the Foreign Ministers' meeting? It seems to me usually the Deputy Secretary goes.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: I think Hattie may know better. I think Jim Baker attended the OAS General Assembly in 1989. That was here, I think.
Q Six blocks away. (Laughter)
ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: But the last three have been in Nicaragua and in Brazil and now Haiti. But, no, I think that's an important -- I was trying to say earlier that I think it's very important that the Secretary of State is attending this session, particularly given everything else that he's got on his incredible schedule.
I think that the reason that he's doing that are the reasons I tried to lay out for you -- both the OAS-related reasons, the Haiti and the summit reasons, those three different areas.
Q Mrs. Babbitt, has the assassination problem in Haiti we heard about -- oh, about two months ago there was a very spectacular assassination. Has that problem been attenuated? Has the Aristide Government successfully addressed that threat?
AMBASSADOR BABBITT: Let me address it from an OAS-GA standpoint, and then maybe Alex will have some more specific or different information. There is, of course, always an issue of security when you have 34 foreign ministers all in one place all at the same time. So that the issues with respect to security have a sort of heightened importance.
The issues with respect to the stability and the security in Haiti are difficult ones and are being dealt with on a daily basis, and every morning the Haitians get up and we get up and feel grateful for the progress that's made and look for ways to make more progress.
But the analysis is that it is a secure environment to host 34 foreign ministers, and that's a statement that's hard to make about very many places on the globe.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY WATSON: I think that they're making a lot of progress on the security issue. The question of the assassination of Madam Bertin, which I think you're referring to, the FBI has been working with them, and we do not have access to, nor if we did could we make it available, any of the details of the investigation. But, as you know, they've arrested a second person, and they're still looking at this.
The impression that our Embassy has down there is that the level of violence has decreased considerably. There has been virtually no election- related violence. A couple of incidents, and that's all, and nobody's lost their life so far, and that's really good and encouraging.
But this underscores the tremendous importance of getting this civilian police force up and running as fast as possible, and we're going to be trying to double the production of police personnel, so that we'll have six or seven thousand or so by the time President Aristide leaves office in February of next year. But it's absolutely crucial that this force be up and running as quickly as possible.
Q Thank you very much.
(Assistant Secretary Watson and Ambassador Babbitt concluded their briefing at 1:13 p.m. At 1:17 p.m., Ms. Shelly opened the Daily Press Briefing.)
MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, for the second time. I'm pleased to welcome you back after this brief pause to the State Department briefing. I know you've now had all of your questions on things related to Haiti and the Secretary's travel land the OAS Ministerial and all related subjects handled, so I'd be happy to proceed with questions on others subjects.
Q Are you going to be able to shed any further light on what is going on in Bosnia, particularly in connection with the missing plane?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not. That is basically going to be handled by the military authorities. There was one briefing, as I think you know, that was over at the Pentagon a short while ago -- a backgrounder -- where they just basically gave very few details related to the incident. They're still trying to collect information on that, and my guess is that either the Pentagon or possibly the command -- NATO command -- out in Naples will be the front line for the press work on this. But essentially, until such time as there is more to say on the details of the incident, it's off my screen.
Q Anything new about the hostages?
MS. SHELLY: I don't really have anything new on the hostages. As I think you know from what's been in the public domain, there were reports earlier today that their release might not be imminent, but it appears that Mr. Karadzic seemed to have walked back or have suggested that somehow there was confusion regarding what his position on this was.
I'm not aware that any have been released, but it doesn't seem to be moving in quite the same direction that it had been, or at least what the appearance was a couple of hours ago.
Q What's the status of the diplomatic effort?
MS. SHELLY: The status of the diplomatic effort is a number of meetings which I think you know are going to be coming up on this. The first meeting is the meeting that's going to be taking place in Paris that the Defense Secretary will be attending, as well as General Shalikashvili. My understanding is that it's not a meeting where they're expected to get out there and take decisions, but they're supposed to get out there and have some discussions related to the issues that came up in the series of meetings that took place in Europe this week which have to do with the issue of strengthening the mission of UNPROFOR.
I don't have any changes to that scenario to indicate. Did you want --
Q Well, I'd have to say that's not strictly diplomatic. That's more like militarily -- or military reinforcement.
MS. SHELLY: Right, but that's following up on the NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting which, of course, followed also a Contact Group Ministers' meeting and also followed an EU Ministers' meeting. So there had been the decisions within the context of the political meetings in Europe that had taken place earlier this week.
Now there is the meeting which is being hosted by the French with military authorities coming to talk about how UNPROFOR's mission might be strengthened. So I think it's certainly their intention to hear more from the British and the French about what some of their ideas are for strengthening UNPROFOR, but we're not looking to this weekend's meeting as a decision-making meeting.
Then also, as you know, there will be some discussions beginning this afternoon in the Security Council which relate to the Secretary General's report to the Security Council members on Bosnia. Again, we're not expecting Council action on that, but simply a meeting for a kind of preliminary discussion on those topics.
As you know, Ambassador Frasure is still in Belgrade, and I don't have much in the way of news on that score to report. He continued with his meetings with Milosevic today. As you know, he represents the Contact Group position that was agreed at the Contact Group meeting in The Hague. I've mentioned already the Defense Ministers' grouping to coordinate a response to the most recent developments in Bosnia and Secretary Perry going there; and the discussions up in the Security Council in New York.
The State Department, of course, is involved in all of the U.S. Government meetings related to this issue, and I think that's where things stand.
Q In a general sense, though, do you feel that the principals in this drama, including the Bosnian Serbs, Milosevic, Bosnian Muslims, are hardening their positions?
MS. SHELLY: I think it's really difficult for me to say at this point. The development today was obviously a tragic development, very worrisome, but I think it's one incident, and I think you have to keep that in perspective. The issue which is probably foremost in everyone's minds right now is the issue of the peacekeepers, and we call again upon the Bosnian Serbs to release them and to end their harassment of U.N. peacekeepers.
As Secretary Christopher himself said, this is not an issue for negotiation. They should simply do it. That's obviously a point of great concern, and certainly the main agenda item is the issue of the strengthening of UNPROFOR. The decisions on this are going to take some days. There needs to be a thorough discussion of all of the issues concerned. The military planners who are involved in this obviously need to do the requisite military planning before the political decisions can be taken, and that's what I think you're going to see on the horizon for the next several days.
Q Christine, does the United States have anything to say to Serb forces into whose hands this pilot might fall?
MS. SHELLY: Sid, I'm just going to have to not answer that question, because again it touches directly on the incident, and at this point I don't believe that it's helpful or useful for me to get into questions on that.
Q You describe it as a very tragic and worrisome development. I mean it looks like an act of war.
MS. SHELLY: Again, there have been briefings on this. I certainly don't want to take myself down the slippery slope on this. As much as I would like to be helpful and responsive to your questions, I just really can't engage on the incident.
Q It doesn't sound like anything has changed in terms of all the discussions going on, all the plans being made; that this is just being taken as a road accident on the way, but it's not. It's a deliberate shooting down of an American plane by people who have the equipment -- and an American plane in a U.N. operation that is internationally approved.
MS. SHELLY: I'm not going to take specific issue with that. I might not necessarily agree with every single word, but again it gets me down that track, a track I'm not prepared to go on at the moment. It's something which has taken place, but I think at this point it's simply too early to offer a position on what the consequences of that particular action are going to be, both for the schedule of meetings which is already on the horizon and certainly its impact on those decisions. I mean, there certainly can be an impact. I'm certainly not going to rule that out, but I think it would be irresponsible of me to speculate on what that impact might be.
Q With all the emphasis we've put on negotiating directly with Milosevic, is there confidence that he's a free agent, that he has the capacity to act on any pledges he might make?
MS. SHELLY: I think that we would expect him to live up to any commitments that he would make.
Q And politically he has that much strength?
MS. SHELLY: I think that requires a very careful consideration before responding, and I think that I would want to give that more reflection before giving it just an off-the-cuff.
Q After the military people meet, will there be another Foreign Ministers' meeting in order to decide politically what's going to be done? I mean, I assume it isn't the Contact Group that will decide. It must be governments that must decide.
MS. SHELLY: I think at this point it's hard to pin that exactly down. I think at this point it's still in the discussion phase; it's not in the decision phase, and I think when the issues are ready for decision, all of the governments concerned will decide in what forum and at what level of representation those decisions can best be made.
Q Could you just say what you understand the status is on this release of the hostages? Is that, you think, now no longer a valid offer? What is the status exactly of that?
MS. SHELLY: I think the only thing I can really offer on that, which is not very much, is simply that it was an issue. We've been calling for the release of the hostages. There have been many calls from the international community, and there had been some indications which had at least been relayed across the media, including most recently on CNN this morning, that in the context of discussions that the Bosnian Serbs had been having with the ICRC, that there were indications that perhaps the Bosnian Serbs were considering releasing the hostages or beginning to release some fairly shortly.
But again the most recent news, as I've heard it reported by CNN, is that there may be some confusion related to how Karadzic's remarks were interpreted. I'm simply not in a position to make that judgment.
Q Christine, this pilot was shot down more than four hours ago, and I find it hard to believe that there is no response, not even the mildest form of condemnation, from the U.S. Government on this or the mildest warning for the safety of the pilot. Can you explain that?
MS. SHELLY: First of all, there has been one briefing already in terms of trying to give as many facts to the press as we can about what's happened. It's obvious that that would not be a State Department lead, and I'm sure that you will be hearing throughout the course of the day from appropriately senior people about what the official U.S. response is. I'm simply not the person who's giving that at this moment.
Q Christine, just as a general matter which affects the negotiations, does the State Department believe that President Milosevic has any influence now over the Bosnian Serb Government and Karadzic?
MS. SHELLY: Certainly, our general view is that he has influence.
Q And does he have control?
MS. SHELLY: I think that's not a question that I'm really in a position to answer.
Q In other words, even if he does make -- come to an agreement with Frasure, is there any guarantee that it will have any impact on the behavior of the Bosnian Serbs?
MS. SHELLY: I think that's a very important question, and I think it's a question that it's not possible to give a definitive answer to. As you know, the first item of business that Ambassador Frasure was raising with Milosevic was, of course, the issue of the peacekeepers who were being held as hostages.
I think that that is obviously also an indication, once we see what the result of that is, where we can perhaps make some assessments about the capacity of President Milosevic to influence events. It's a very valid question and certainly the best and most immediate test case of that will be what happens to the U.N. peacekeepers who are being held.
But until such time as there is action on that, I think we would have to reserve any kind of final judgment.
Q Can you characterize Frasure's meetings at all with Milosevic? Is progress being made?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have any specific progress to report, except to report the facts of the meeting.
Q Christine, did he ask President Milosevic if he could help in this situation with the pilot? Did Ambassador Frasure ask?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have any information on that.
Q How long is Mr. Frasure staying? Is it indefinite now?
MS. SHELLY: I certainly wouldn't characterize his stay as indefinite, but a decision was made that he would be there today for meetings. I don't have any information about his onward travel plans.
Q Did he issue a protest to Mr. Milosevic regarding the shooting down of the pilot?
MS. SHELLY: I think I was just asked that question in another way, and I said that I didn't have any information on that yet.
Q Would you check up on that, because, you know, there's some indication that the air defense around Banja Luca is manned by people from the Yugoslav army.
MS. SHELLY: I will try to check and see what additional information I can get for you.
Q Perhaps you'll think this is the same question Sid asked, but I think it's slightly different. Was Ambassador Frasure instructed by the Department to ask Milosevic about the safety of the pilot?
MS. SHELLY: Again, as this relates to the incident and as I've told you, I'm not in a position at this point to address specific questions on that. I can't answer that now. I'm certainly aware of your interest in the answer. I also recognize that as a distinct question, and I will see what I can find out to try to share with you for later in the day.
Q Different topic.
MS. SHELLY: Sure.
Q About the State Department's report on Turkey that was released yesterday.
MS. SHELLY: Yes. I had a suspicion this might be the area.
Q I have one two-part question. There seems to a policy recommendation in the conclusions section which says the military approach alone cannot succeed, and Turkey needs to combine this with a civil approach to the problem in the southeast. Well, what is a "civil approach" exactly, and how is it -- if it is different from another phrase that was used previously, the "political solution."
MS. SHELLY: The phrase used previously which was what?
Q Political solution. There were talks about that there needs to be a political solution to the problem. Now we are seeing the civil approach. Can you comment on this? What does the Administration understand from a civil approach?
MS. SHELLY: I think that the civil approach means the opposite of a military approach. I don't know how else to define it, and I think it's obviously a mixture of many elements, and I think that the report -- in fact, having looked through it once again quite recently, it seemed to me that the report was really pretty straightforward on this point.
Q I know the dictionary meaning of "civil approach," but can you tell us about the components? Obviously, a lot of thinking went into this conclusion section.
MS. SHELLY: I think what's important in terms of addressing this report yesterday and today is to really focus on what the purpose of the report is and not get into the prescriptive part and also what we might be touching upon in our exchanges with the Turkish Government.
The point of the report was to respond to a congressionally imposed requirement to report on human rights abuses by the Turkish military and the situation in Cyprus. That's what the report is about. I think that, since this is the first time that this report has had to be prepared, it goes into rather considerable but also rather exhaustive and comprehensive treatment of the subject matter, which is not intended to get into the policy prescription, although I don't differ with your point that there is a general prescription in that regard in the approach.
The point of the report was to comply with the Congressional requirement and to report on the situation in southeastern Turkey. That's what the report is about. It doesn't get into other types of issues and questions, and particularly those types of issues. I think those are not issues that we feel would be best handled in a detailed public discussion.
Q North Korea talks.
Q Same area.
MS. SHELLY: Can we stay on the Turkey report for a minute.
Q Any comment on the actions in Greece concerning the Aegean?
MS. SHELLY: I did do this yesterday.
Q Not much.
MS. SHELLY: No. I know. (Laughter) But I don't really have a lot to say on this except to note the facts in connection with the situation which we already covered yesterday. As you know, I think that there are longstanding positions which are well known by both Greece and Turkey on the Law of the Sea issues.
The Turkish Foreign Minister has also suggested recently that the two governments hold talks on the issue. It's our view thus far that both governments have properly handled the issue in a low-key manner. We will certainly continue to encourage them to engage in dialogue in order to try to resolve this and other bilateral disputes that revolve around the Aegean issues.
That's, I think, about as far as we want to take it. It's sensitive. We know that. We covered the factual basis of the action before, including the Greek position, and I think that that's about as far as we wish to go at this point.
Q Christine, what do you have to say about the Palestinian compliance report that apparently has been sent to Congress?
MS. SHELLY: This was actually transmitted yesterday, as I think you know. It goes to the Hill every six months. This last report covered the period from December 1, 1994, through May 31, 1995. I think we have already made copies available to the Press Office. Is that right?
MS. SHELLY: We haven't done that yet? We haven't done that yet? You haven't gotten copies through the Press Office? I was told that was going to happen. Okay, we'll make sure that happens.
Q Yesterday they said they were not going to do that.
MS. SHELLY: They said they were not going to?
Q Use other resources to find it.
MS. SHELLY: Let me check on that. That is, of course, normally our practice to try to make that kind of report available.
Q No. That report has never been made available.
MS. SHELLY: No?
Q Not through the Press Office.
MS. SHELLY: No? My guidance says, "We will make copies available through the Press Office." I am sure they would never have me misrepresent something. Let me check. We'll try to do that this afternoon.
I have just simply a short comment on it. We believe this report is an objective and factual analysis of the PLO's efforts to abide by the commitments undertaken in its letter of September 9, 1993, to Prime Minister Rabin and the late Foreign Minister Holst, and the commitments in and resulting from the good-faith implementation of the September 13, 1993, Declaration of Principles.
We'd like to let the report speak for itself. I'd be happy to check on the availability of it and try to make sure we get that to you as fast as we can.
Q Christine, on that topic, did the report --although it does say the Palestinians -- the PLO is in compliance -- if you note the number of areas where the PLO has not met its obligations, namely, changing its covenant, the human rights abuses and the handling of prisoners and various other things -- my question is, why -- and the report does address this -- why does the United States continue to say they're in compliance when clearly they're not in compliance. The PLO hasn't even called a meeting to change its charter since -- hasn't even had a full meeting since 1991.
MS. SHELLY: Sid, I think that the issues related to the compliance are addressed in the report. I don't have anything more to say beyond the report. I think the rationale for preparing it in the way that we have and for affirming the compliance with that is in the report itself. I'll be happy to look into it to see if there's anything more that we want to say at this point, but at this point I don't. I just would let the report speak for itself.
I am told by my very capable Director of the Press Office that the PLO report is in the bins and has been since yesterday afternoon. Did you check your bin?
Q I was told not to.
MS. SHELLY: You were told not to check your bin? Oh, I find that hard to believe.
Q Have you seen the report on Greece coming out today?
MS. SHELLY: I'm told that the report on Greece may be delivered today, but it's also possible it might not go until Monday. So it has not been delivered yet. I can tell you that. But we expect it will be shortly, and obviously we'll also, as soon as that has been delivered, we'll make it available; and, since I don't have it prior to today's briefing, I assume that means I'll be handling it at Monday's press briefing.
Q North Korea talks in Kuala Lumpur? Are they over, and is the report that there was no breakthrough accurate? No progress made.
MS. SHELLY: I've seen those reports, and I'm really not quite sure what they're based on because there have been new meetings today and I certainly don't have any information to suggest that they're over.
The U.S. and DPRK negotiators met for four-and-a-half hours today at the heads of delegation level. The negotiators continued their serious efforts to resolve the complex issues related to the implementation of the Agreed Framework.
We remain optimistic that these issues can be resolved, and we will negotiate patiently toward that end as long as North Korea maintains the freeze on its nuclear activity.
U.S. negotiators remain in close touch with South Korean and Japanese officials in Kuala Lumpur. We expect the delegations to be in touch again tomorrow regarding the continuation of their meeting schedule.
Q Are the delegations to be in touch tomorrow, or do you expect another meeting tomorrow?
MS. SHELLY: I'm expecting them to be in touch regarding the continuation of their meetings.
Q In Kuala Lumpur or somewhere else?
MS. SHELLY: In Kuala Lumpur.
Q You say you remain optimistic. Is that a hope or an expectation? (Laughter)
MS. SHELLY: Hope or expectation -- are they mutually exclusive?
Q Yes. I think "expectation" is more optimistic than "hope."
MS. SHELLY: What about with the verb "remain" in front of that? (Laughter) (Multiple comments)
There's too much dissection going on. I sometimes feel we're in a biology class here.
Q I apologize.
Q This is a policy issue.
MS. SHELLY: Listen, this is more than I've had to say on this issue for the last several days. I thought this was pretty ample guidance.
MS. SHELLY: I'll tell them that you were pleased.
Q It's importantly different.
MS. SHELLY: Who knows? No end in sight. (Laughter)
Q Excuse me. (Inaudible)
MS. SHELLY: Carol.
Q Forgive me if this question was asked and answered yesterday, but have you discussed reports that North Korea has been asking for more financial remuneration as part of the deal?
MS. SHELLY: I have not gotten into that specifically. I certainly wouldn't rule out that issues of that type might have come up or might have been discussed, but I would say -- and this is, again, really speaking more on the theoretical -- that very often, when we do sit down and have face-to-face talks, they tend to follow a similar pattern, which is with the opportunity being used to try to bring in a number of other issues.
So I can't specifically say whether or not that's true in this particular set of talks. But if it were true, it would not be inconsistent with types of issues that had popped up on other occasions.
Q Is the U.S. being asked to provide food to North Korea at these talks? There's a wire story that World Vision sent food in to North Korea and the North Koreans have asked the Japanese for help.
MS. SHELLY: We've seen some press stories related to possible food shortages -- and I think, specifically, rice shortages. I am not aware that there has been any request to us that's come up in the context of the Kuala Lumpur talks.
Q The North Korean economic delegations will visit the U.S.A. this weekend. Can you comment on this?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have any information on that. I will be happy to check and see, but I don't have anything with me on that.
Q Christine, also on North Korea, I don't understand your use of the word "complex" in these negotiations, because in the past the United States has said there's a single option which would be acceptable to the United States -- that the North Koreans take the South Korean model of the light- water reactor. So what's the complexity?
MS. SHELLY: That is a fundamental point related to the issue, but in fact the issues themselves are extremely complex issues. They get into a great degree of detail when they have these discussions. That's part of the reason that sometimes they're meeting at more senior levels; other times they're in working groups with the technical experts.
There are a lot of issues which simply have to be thrashed out on this. It's not a simple yes or no question.
Q Well, are they discussing various types of the South Korean model?
MS. SHELLY: That, again, gets me into the substance of exactly what is being discussed; and that's something that we have resisted doing thus far, and I'm going to continue to resist any temptation I might have today.
Q I can't resist the temptation to continue the dissection.
You said that the rice-shortage question and North Korea asking the U.S. did not come up in the context of the Kuala Lumpur talks. Has it come up -- has the U.S. been asked in any other way through other channels through the U.N. -- any way similarities?
MS. SHELLY: Not that I'm aware of.
Q Is it possible for a private group to send grain to North Korea under the recent trade openings? They can just do that voluntarily?
MS. SHELLY: I think, given the degree of trade relaxation, that food and other humanitarian items are permitted. I'll be happy to check on that, but again I'm not aware that there is either a request to us as a government. I'll be happy to check and see if there's anything more on that, but I don't think that that type of shipment is prohibited under the liberalized trade regulations which went into effect earlier this year.
Yes. You've been awfully quiet today.
Q You should be grateful. No. (Laughter) I just --
MS. SHELLY: What's on your mind, Dell?
Q I appreciate it. Thank you.
It's the oil thing, Christine. Was anything received at all that's shedding light on whether there's any resolution of the oil delivery problem? And I think the last time you responded you said that that was a matter that you really couldn't talk about, but --
MS. SHELLY: No. Actually, I did do this yesterday at the briefing. Regarding the status of the heavy fuel-oil deliveries, I indicated that we are prepared to send a technical team to North Korea to discuss the procedures for monitoring the disposition and use of the heavy fuel oil.
We have relayed that to the DPRK, and we said also once we've reached agreement on those procedures we would then be prepared to discuss the delivery schedule for the heavy fuel oil.
Q But can you really say that that topic has been discussed with some progress or no progress, or have you anything to report about this topic?
MS. SHELLY: If you mean have we reached a resolution on this issue yet that would permit the delivery of new shipments, no. We haven't reached that resolution yet. As I said, we have made the offer to them to send a team there with a view to trying to make sure that we could get the procedures in place that ultimately would permit that to happen, but it hasn't happened yet.
Q Okay. Thank you, Christine.
MS. SHELLY: Thanks.
Oh, I'm sorry. Can I add one other thing? We're going to have another briefing today.
Q At 3:30?
MS. SHELLY: Yes. I'm told that there will be announcement coming out of the White House --that, in fact, may have even come out in the last few minutes -- regarding China and MFN; and we will be doing a briefing --
Q ON or OFF THE RECORD?
MS. SHELLY: -- at 3:30 this afternoon.
We don't know whether it's ON THE RECORD or on BACKGROUND yet.
Anyway, we expect to have a briefing on this issue at 3:30 this afternoon.
Q Here? With you standing around?
MS. SHELLY: Yes.
(The briefing concluded at l:46 p.m.)
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