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                         U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                           DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
                               I N D E X
                        Friday, September 1, l995

                                            Briefer:  Nicholas Burns

Geneva Meeting with Parties to the Conflict ...........1-12
--US Diplomatic Efforts and Contacts/Secretary's
Involvement/Possible Travel Plans .....................1-2,10-11
Asst Secretary Holbrooke's Press Conference/Meetings/
Travel Plans and Itinerary ............................2-3,7

NATO/U.N. Military Operation/Duration/Purpose .........3-4,5,8-9
Status of EU Monitors .................................4
Status of Lifting Sanctions on Serbia .................8
Possible Reconstruction/Economic Aid to Bosnia ........8

Reports Senator Mitchell Possible Candidate for
  Chairmanship of Decommissioning Post ................13

Reported Attacks by PKK On Provide Comfort Operations .13-14

Court Ruling on Extradition Statute/Effect on Cases. ..14

French Nuclear Testing ................................14-15

Women's Conference:  Reports of Visa Denials by China/
  Reported Chinese Restrictions on Speech and Movement 15-16

Reported Links Between GIA and Hamas or Hizballah .....16-17

DPB #131
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1995, 1:30

MR. BURNS: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the State Department briefing. I have a brief announcement to give to you on the situation in Bosnia. After that, I'll be glad to take your questions. As a result of intensive discussions this week between the United States and the governments of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia -- Serbia- Montenegro, I would like to announce that the Foreign Ministers of these three countries will meet in Geneva late next week to continue the quest for peace in the Balkans. Representatives of the Contact Group countries and others will also attend this meeting. The purpose of the meeting will be to develop basic principles for a settlement as the foundation for intensive negotiations aimed at achieving a peace agreement. These negotiations will be complicated and they will be difficult, but are unquestionably in the best interest of all the parties to the conflict and the international community. President Clinton launched an American peace initiative more than two weeks ago. The United States believes, as the President said so well yesterday, "that the war in Bosnia must end but not on the battlefield, rather at the negotiating table." After four years of brutal warfare, all sides must now commit themselves to resolve their differences peacefully. The United States is prepared to do everything in its power, working with our Contact Group partners and others, to assist the parties as they now begin the search for peace. The President and Secretary Christopher have asked Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke and his team to continue their discussions in Europe this weekend with members of the Contact Group, NATO, and the Organization of Islamic countries and to help prepare for this meeting and to help the people of the region to begin to move from war to peace. Ambassador Holbrooke is in Belgrade today, as you know, having had many hours of conversation today with the Serbian President, Mr. Milosevic. He'll be holding a press conference shortly and will speak to the details and specifics of the negotiating process. Let me just review for you some of the activities underway here in Washington this morning regarding this initiative. Sandy Berger, the Deputy National Security Advisor, chaired a high- level meeting here in Washington this morning about this initiative and made calls to several of our key allies. The Acting Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, consulted extensively this morning with Secretary of State Christopher, who is in California on this development. The United States has also consulted our Contact Group partners. Ambassador Robert Hunter, the United States Ambassador to NATO, briefed the NATO Secretary General, Willy Claes, this morning. Acting Secretary Talbott also called Russian Foreign Minister Andrey Kozyrev just a few moments ago. Minister Kozyrev said that he was supportive of the idea of this conference. He and Acting Secretary Talbott agreed that Ambassador Holbrooke would meet tomorrow in Europe with representatives of the Russian Federation. Our Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, has briefed the U.N. Secretary General, Boutros Ghali. Officials here in Washington, from the Administration, are consulting with Congress. I don't have a lot of details on this conference. I'm going to refer most of your detailed and specific questions on this to Ambassador Holbrooke. I can tell you we expect that it will occur in Geneva late next week. It will probably last a day or so. The level of participation is not yet decided. Let me also say that after his very important discussions today in Belgrade, Ambassador Holbrooke and his interagency team will be proceeding tomorrow morning to Bonn where there will be a meeting of the Contact Group plus Spain, Italy, and Canada. There will be consultations with German Government officials. Tomorrow afternoon, Ambassador Holbrooke will brief the North Atlantic Council in Brussels. And, as I said, there will also be meeting with representatives of the Russian Government. Beyond that, I do not have details on Dick Holbrooke's schedule, but I'm sure he'll be glad to talk to all of you about that just in a couple of minutes when he does brief in Belgrade. Having given you this statement and information, George, I'll be glad to go to your questions. MR. GEDDA (AP): Can we have a filing break? MR. BURNS: If you'd like a filing break, you can have one. (Filing Break). Q Does this mean that the military pause will continue until then? MR. BURNS: As you know, NATO announced this morning that there is a temporary pause in effect. It is certainly up to the military officials on the ground to articulate the status of that pause. I cannot really do that from here. I would also say that as Admiral Leighton Smith said so well yesterday, in general, the NATO and U.N. military activities will end when the Bosnian Serbs act accordingly. Q Is that yes or no? Will the pause continue until this meeting? MR. BURNS: Jim, I just said, I'm going to have to refer you to NATO officials for an answer to that question. Q When are the Bosnian Serbs pulling back, as some reports have indicated, from the safe zones? MR. BURNS: There have been some reports of that that I've seen in the press. But, again, I think on questions like that, I'd refer you to the pertinent military authorities on the ground -- that is, the NATO military authorities. Q What must the Bosnian Serbs do before the bombing and shelling will cease? MR. BURNS: As we said yesterday, we have not set an Olympian bar here. I think it's fairly clear -- it's got to be fairly clear -- to the Bosnian Serb leadership what has to happen in order for the military action to cease. There are discussions underway about this particular subject, and I'm sure it's clear to them. We hope very much that they will heed the lessons of the past couple of days that their quest for a Greater Serbia is over; that they cannot seek a military solution to this conflict; that it can only be found at the negotiating table. That is where the United States would like all the parties now to direct their attention. Steve. Q Then it's correct to say that part of this agreement to hold the conference does not also include an agreement to a cease-fire in the meantime? MR. BURNS: No, there is no agreement that I'm aware of for a cease-fire at the moment; no. Betsy. Q Would releasing the EU monitors be a step towards -- be a step forward for the Serbs in this process of showing they are for peace? MR. BURNS: If the EU monitors are indeed still being held by the Bosnian Serb authorities, they should be released immediately. That is something that they should do unquestionably. I don't think it's linked at all to the announcement that we've made today. It's quite a separate subject. Q Will the Bosnian Serbs be part of the Serbian delegation to Geneva? MR. BURNS: As you know, the government in Belgrade announced two days ago that there would be a joint negotiating team. So I'd refer you to the Serbian Government and the Bosnian Serbs for an answer to that question, and Dick Holbrooke could have something to say about that later in the day. Q What is the difference between this peace conference and those that have gone before it? MR. BURNS: I think the difference is, Steve, that the situation has changed fundamentally on the ground. Certainly, this week, but I think, in general, over the last couple of months in Bosnia. If the Bosnian Serbs felt at one time that they could achieve a military victory in this conflict, they certainly don't believe that today and no one else does either. I think there is a impetus now and a momentum towards peace. We've seen it this week in statements from Belgrade; we've seen it now in the agreement to attend this meeting and to talk about the principles that will be the foundation for a peace process. I think it's clear for every one that that's where the situation ought to head. That's certainly where the United States is putting its effort, and we're going to stand by that process. Yes, Bill. Q Nick, Mr. Karadzic, reportedly -- I think it was this morning on Bosnian Serb television -- said, "We are adjusting our attitudes according to situations and the situation has changed significantly." Do we take this to mean that the reality is seeping in? Are we getting signals from any other sources -- Mr. Milosevic's contacts in Belgrade with the Bosnian Serbs that they are seeing a different reality? MR. BURNS: Bill, it's hard for me to interpret a partial quote from a statement that I imagine was much longer. I don't want to do any disservice to the statement by trying to comment on it. But let me just say this. We are encouraged that there has been a good beginning made this week in the quest for peace. But we are also mindful that that quest for peace is going to be a very long one and a very difficult one. We have made a very good start. Next week's will be an important meeting, but there will be steps beyond that. Therefore, all sides -- all parties to this conflict -- have to remain dedicated and committed to making peace. Q The reason for the bombing pause, Nick: was that an indication of some action on the part of the Bosnian Serbs that they were willing to adhere to what was demanded of them? Or was it a military decision? Did they just want to see what was happening, or was there some dissension within the group over how far one should go with the bombing? MR. BURNS: As I listened to the NATO Spokesman this morning, I think the emphasis was that this is a temporary pause; that the purpose is to see if the Bosnian Serbs comply with the conditions laid out to withdraw from positions that are threatening the safe areas. That's the statement from NATO today. The statement also called upon the Bosnian Serbs to comply. But, again, stepping back from the specifics, which are really NATO's to answer and not mine, I think it should be abundantly clear to the Bosnian Serbs what it's going to take to cease these military actions in general. We hope very much that after this very impressive display of substantial and decisive NATO and U.N. power this week, they will have concluded that the answers to their problems lie at the negotiating table. There has been a very good statement out of Belgrade -- there was two days ago -- and there is now the announcement that we have made here today: that three governments, three Foreign Ministers are willing to meet together in Geneva to begin discussions about the important principles that lie at the heart of this conflict. That's a positive development. We certainly now want to build on it. Q Nick, will meetings this weekend determine who else might be at the table besides these three parties? MR. BURNS: First of all, the level of participation on the part of many countries has not yet been determined. But, as I said, representatives of the Contact Group countries and others will attend this meeting in Geneva. That is appropriate, and that's necessary, given the very intensive involvement that the Contact Group and other countries have had in this process, and we look forward to that. Q Who are the others you are referring to? MR. BURNS: I think I'm going to refer you to Dick Holbrooke for that, because he has had a number of conversations in Europe today about this, and I'm sure he'll have something to say, but certainly representatives of the United Nations, we would think, would be at this meeting. Q Who will be the American delegation? MR. BURNS: That hasn't been determined yet. Q But you're not certain who will actually be at the table with these parties or whether they will simply be attendees. MR. BURNS: I think if you're looking for specifics for who will be seated at the table or behind the table, who will be directly involved and who will be passively involved, that's really for Dick Holbrooke to answer. Q Nick, this is meant to be a sort of kickoff for the negotiations. It can't really get into substantive bargaining. How is it imagined that the process will carry on after that? MR. BURNS: First let me just say it's a significant development that after four years of war the central parties to this conflict are now ready to talk about peace. As to how the process develops, I don't think anyone can say for sure. There is no detailed blueprint right now for a series of meetings. There's a commitment to this meeting in Geneva, and there's a commitment to try to get deeply involved in the issues that are central to the peace process, but we're going to have to take this one step at a time. Given the history of the last several hundred years in that region, but particularly the history of the last four years, it really behooves us to be patient, to remain firm and committed to a process that will be quite lengthy and quite complex. Steve. Q Are Bosnian Serb representatives at the meetings today between Holbrooke -- or among Holbrooke and the others? MR. BURNS: I believe there was a member of the Bosnian Serb leadership at a part of the meeting with President Milosevic this morning. I don't have the individual's name, but I'm sure Dick Holbrooke will be glad to go into that when he speaks in a few minutes in Belgrade. Q People are interested in knowing if this means maybe the carnage will finally come to an end. You said the negotiations are tough. They could go on and on and on for a very long time, and there is no cease-fire. Why isn't it likely that we will see the conflict continue for a good long time? MR. BURNS: We certainly hope that won't be the case. We've seen that for four years -- it's a very good question -- we have seen it four years. But now we see, especially following the very firm and decisive display of Western resolve this week, we see the beginnings of an interest on the part of the Serbian community to talk about peace. We haven't seen that in the last four years. We're seeing it now. We're at the beginning of that process. I would say that's a hopeful development, but it's one we've got to work at very, very hard. Bill. Q Speaking of the unprecedented, it's not unprecedented that the high-ranking U.N. General Janvier would be meeting -- by arrangement of Mr. Milosevic -- would be meeting with Mr. Mladic? I believe that that meeting did not come off, but at least it was arranged, and it could come off in the future, and this acceptance of the Contact Group partition -- is that not another sign of something unprecedented here, a change? MR. BURNS: Bill, I don't believe it's unprecedented for the United Nations officials on the ground to meet with the Bosnian Serb military leadership. I believe there have been many, many meetings in the past. I just have to refer you to the U.N. for any description of any meetings that took place today. Charlie. Q Nick, has Mr. Milosevic done enough for the United States to now be in favor of a full lifting of sanctions on Serbia, and was that part of the talks with Mr. Holbrooke? MR. BURNS: That question normally comes up in most of our conversations with Mr. Milosevic. There is nothing that would lead me to believe that it is tied in any way to the announcement that I made today. That's a very important question. I'm sure we'll continue to discuss that, but I have nothing to announce on that issue for you today. Q When Ambassador Sacirbey was here last time, he talked in extensa with some people here at the State Department regarding economic reconstruction. Obviously, if Bosnia-Herzegovina is to remain as one nation, it can't be devastated as it is today. Has there been any further discussion about the reconstruction ideas, economic aid to Bosnia, and is this a part of Secretary Holbrooke's discussions? MR. BURNS: Dick Holbrooke did have a very good and long meeting with Minister Sacirbey yesterday in Zagreb. I don't know if this specific issue came up. As we discussed yesterday, some of these questions which pertain to the end of the negotiations are important questions. We'll be delighted if we can entertain these questions at some point in the future because that will have meant that we've made progress for peace. But right now we're talking about issues -- first principal issues and those are the issues that I think will be at the fore next week in Geneva. Steve. Q What message should those who had in the past blocked the use of this massive kind of air power -- what message should those parties take away with the rapidity with which this conference was organized after two and a half days of bombing? MR. BURNS: As Secretary of State Warren Christopher has said many times, sometimes for diplomacy to be successful, it needs to be supported by military force. This was clearly one of those situations. The international community, led by the United States and indeed led by Secretary Christopher in London two months ago, undertook a fundamental commitment to protect the safe areas -- at London -- and that commitment was codified by NATO. Having seen the brutal provocation of an attack on civilians on Monday, NATO and the United Nations had no choice but to respond firmly and decisively, and that is what we've done. That has certainly been of assistance to the peace process, but there's nobody who believes that military action alone can complete a peace process. It's now up to the parties to the conflict. It's up to the people of the region who have suffered so much over the last couple of years to undertake a fundamental commitment to peace and away from war. And that's certainly where Secretary Christopher would like the situation to head. Q In hindsight, though, wouldn't one answer the question, yes, that this should have been done much earlier and saved a lot of lives? MR. BURNS: I think it's always difficult to answer questions in hindsight, Steve. It's sometimes tempting to do so, but I think in this instance we ought to reflect on the events of the past week and understand that the West has acted with resolve, and now the parties of the conflict appear to be heading at least to the beginning of a peace process. That's a very good thing. I'd like to put the emphasis on that this afternoon. Q Is the United States concerned about the appearance that the peace process is going to involve as one of the negotiating parties, an organization that is organized around a religious concept, the Organization of Islamic States, and does this not tend to portray the events in Yugoslavia, in Bosnia, as essentially a religious struggle? MR. BURNS: I did mention very briefly that the Organization of Islamic Countries has had a longstanding interest in this conflict. Many of the members -- some of the members of that organization have troops on the ground, and Ambassador Holbrooke will be consulting with the representatives of their contact group -- the OIC's Contact Group. I don't believe that any of those countries will be participating in the Geneva meeting. So the meeting that Ambassador Holbrooke will have with the OIC is separate. It is certainly proper for those countries to express an interest in this conflict and to maintain an interest for peace, and we hope very much that all the members of the OIC will be with us in pushing forward for peace. Q Nick, have any of the three foreign ministers that are going to be at this meeting representing warring parties set any preconditions for their attendance in Geneva? MR. BURNS: David, that's a question that Dick Holbrooke, I think, is best positioned to answer, because he has met with all of these individuals over the last couple of days, so I think I'll leave that and many of these other detailed questions to Dick. Any more questions on Bosnia? Q Sorry if I missed this while I was out of the room, but is it envisaged that any Bosnian Serbs will be in Geneva? MR. BURNS: Good question, Patrick. I think I would refer you to the announcement two days ago from Belgrade that there will be a joint Serb-Bosnian Serb negotiating team, and it's up to the Serbs and Bosnian Serbs, I think, to announce which members of that delegation, that team, will participate in this meeting in Geneva. I think it's really appropriate for me to let them announce that. Q Nick, you said the American representation hasn't been decided. MR. BURNS: That's right. Q You also said you'd been in touch with Secretary Christopher. Is he giving some thought to going to Geneva? MR. BURNS: Acting Secretary Talbott has been in touch with Secretary of State Christopher quite extensively this morning and indeed throughout the last five days, and there's just been no decision made yet about the level of our participation. Q Is he giving some thought to it? MR. BURNS: I think at this point when we have an announcement, Charlie, we'll make the announcement, and everyone will know. Q Is the United States hosting this conference, this meeting? MR. BURNS: This meeting is taking place under the auspices of the Contact Group. The United States is a leading member of the Contact Group. So, it's a Contact Group effort. As you know, the U.S. peace initiative that Ambassador Holbrooke has been discussing for over two weeks now is based upon the Contact Group Map and Plan and the 51/49 territorial parameters. We were very pleased to see two days ago in a statement from Belgrade and in subsequent statements that they indeed accept the Contact Group Map and Plan, including 51/49, as the basis for discussions. That's a very important development. I think Dick Holbrooke put it best yesterday in his statement from Europe when he said, we've been talking for over a year now in essence about the shape of the table. That question has now been answered this week. The question of who will speak for the Bosnian Serbs has been answered. Q And, Nick, regarding Sarajevo, the city under siege, is there success in the lifting of that siege from the military action and specifically with regard to opening the airport, opening the main roads? MR. BURNS: There's certainly been a lot of success this week in delivering the people of Sarajevo from the brutal attacks that have been directed toward them for many, many months. The question is, can that become a permanent thing, and we hope very much that it will be. That's why we're pushing a peace process. Again, Bill, an expression of military force can oftentimes be very helpful in pushing the peace process forward but it can't be the sole answer. The parties to the conflict have to decide that they want to resolve this fundamentally in discussions, in negotiations. That's where we're headed. Q Did Holbrooke receive any assurances that there would be a cessation of hostilities in the next week? MR. BURNS: I'm not aware that he did. I would encourage your colleagues in Belgrade to ask him that, but I'm just not aware that he did. Q The part of my question you didn't address, Nick, was, are communications going to be open? Is that part of the plan, generally, with regard to Sarajevo? MR. BURNS: We want the people of Sarajevo to live in peace. That is our short and our long-term objective for them, in all the dimensions that you and I can discuss. If there are no more questions about Bosnia, what I would like to suggest is that we take a five-minute break. I want to consult with some of my colleagues about some of the other issues in which you're interested. I'll be back here in about five minutes. Thanks. (Daily Press Briefing recessed at 1:56 p.m., to resume at 2:10 p.m.) (BRIEFING RESUMED AT 2:10 p.m.) MR. BURNS: Thank you for bearing with us. I just want to take a minute to review some of the other issues that you have an interest in today. But before I do, I'd just like to make a short statement that I probably should have made before. As we have worked through these issues this week -- those of us here in Washington on Bosnia -- I think many of us have thought about Bob Frasure. That was certainly true this morning when the news came through from Belgrade that there was an agreement by the parties to have a meeting in Geneva next week. Bob Frasure worked very hard for a number of months -- in fact, for well over a year -- to produce this outcome. He certainly deserves the lion's share of the credit for it. Other issues? Q Northern Ireland. Is it true that former Senator George Mitchell has been asked and has tentatively agreed to head a commission on the decommissioning of arms by the IRA? MR. BURNS: Patrick, I have seen a press report that Senator Mitchell's name has been mentioned as a candidate for the chairmanship of an international commission on decommissioning. As far as we know, he has not been approached by the two governments, but perhaps we'll know more about this after the Anglo-Irish Summit on September 6. As you know, Senator Mitchell is presently Special Advisor to the President and the Secretary of State on economic initiatives in Ireland. Q Northern Iraq? MR. BURNS: Yes. Q There are reports that the satellite link facilities in northern Iraq belonging to "Operation Provide Comfort" have been attacked by the PKK. that there were fires that were put out, and also that the fighting between PKK and KDP has flared up. Could you comment on these two developments? MR. BURNS: I don't have any specific information on the particular incident to which you refer. I would certainly like to reaffirm, however, our view that the PKK is a vicious terrorist organization and that we of course support the efforts of Turkey to protect itself and citizens from the PKK. Q Can you look into this, because it seems like they're attacking now "Operation Provide Comfort" facilities? MR. BURNS: I'm sure we'll be looking into this, yes; but I don't have any specific information for you. Q Does the State Department have any response to the court decision yesterday on the extradition treaty striking it down? MR. BURNS: I have something very brief. As you know, yesterday Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found unconstitutional a statute that governs U.S. extradition practice. The United States Government argued in this particular case that the extradition statute was constitutional. The United States Government is currently reviewing its options in terms of appealing this decision. In light of this, it would be premature for me to speculate on what the effect might be of the District Court's ruling. We here in the Department of State are working closely with the Department of Justice to review the options available to us. Q Is there anything that you all can do to continue to operate without this statute? Or have all extraditions just ground to a halt? MR. BURNS: That's a very good question. It deserves a good answer, so let me try to get one for you. Q Can you tell us how many people are involved a year? MR. BURNS: Yes. I don't know if we'll get it down to the exact number, but a general ballpark figure, sure. Q I think around 2:00 our time the French nuclear testing was going to be going on in the Pacific. I'm not sure, but it might have be canceled. It's a little unclear -- the situation. Does the State Department have any comment or any news on the French nuclear test? MR. BURNS: On the French nuclear test? I think as I said yesterday, when the French Government announced its decision, the White House released a statement on June 13 of this year stating that the United States regrets the decision to resume nuclear testing. We have continued to urge all nuclear powers, including France, to join in the global moratorium as we work to complete a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at the earliest possible time. In this regard, we continue to note President Chirac's commitment to end French testing no later than May 1996. We will work with France and the other states participating in the Test Ban Treaty negotiations to assure that a treaty is ready for signature as early as possible. Bill. Q Thank you, Nick. I can't pronounce it -- it's H-u-a-i-r-o-u - - China, the place where the NGO conference is being held. I understand, according to reports, that about 10,000 of the participants that were anticipated -- I think there are 19,000 there and about 27 or more thousand that were anticipated -- a large number were not granted visas. MR. BURNS: Yes? Q I understand that there has been some suppression of freedom of speech, especially freedom of mobility that the people -- that the delegates cannot go to Beijing. They cannot go to the site of the United Nations conference. Nick, what is the United States Department of State's perspective on the NGO conference and the hosting? MR. BURNS: I have two things. First of all, the United States has a very large delegation at this conference; and from the reports that we're receiving from the delegation, things appear to be going rather well. There are tens of thousands of women at the conference. Events are being carried out. They're being held. There was a very impressive event yesterday that included Aung San Suu Kyi. We were very pleased that she was able to speak out yesterday after six years of house arrest. She was certainly articulate and forceful and insightful, and she made a very important addition to the conference yesterday. In addition to that, Bill, we have repeatedly urged the Chinese Government to adhere to the commitments that it undertook to the United Nations as host of this particular conference; and those commitments include the right of the attendees to freedom of speech and freedom of association and freedom, as we talked about the other day, to stage protests -- peaceful protests -- should they so desire. On the question of visas, the State Department has repeatedly raised the issue of visa issuance for members of our own delegation and for private Americans at all levels with the Chinese Government and including in a couple of instances at a very high level. And we expect that China will issue visas according to its commitments. I understand that the Chinese Government has issued 27,496 visas. I don't have an authoritative figure of how many visa applications may have been denied, but this has been an ongoing issue, including during Peter Tarnoff's talks last weekend with the Chinese in Beijing. He raised this issue of visas at a very senior level in the Chinese Government. Q Have we asked that the delegates be able to move about, to leave Huairou and go to Beijing? MR. BURNS: I think you know that there's a non-governmental forum outside of Beijing, and the official conference will take place inside Beijing, and I think it's well known that we do want there to be freedom of movement for individuals from other countries as they participate in all these activities. Q Do you know, Nick, whether visa requests from Jane Fonda and Sally Fields have been finally turned down or whether they may be allowed to attend the conference? MR. BURNS: I don't, David. I can look into that. I can certainly look into that for you. We have raised a number of specific visa requests for private American citizens with the Chinese. I can certainly look into those two since they are prominent people. Q Did all the official delegation get their visas? MR. BURNS: I'll look into that as well. I presume so, but I don't want to state so before checking with the relevant people here in the building. One last question before we break up. Q Yesterday's question -- round two -- the Iranian Hizbollah Jihad association support of the terrorist group known as the GIA and the damage they've been doing in France, according to the French? MR. BURNS: Just to let you know that we always listen to your questions -- everybody's questions -- we have no reliable information to substantiate purported links between the Algerian armed Islamic group and either Hamas or Hizbollah. We have seen press reports about possible armed Islamic group involvement in these bombings to which you refer, Bill. However, as both attacks remain under investigation by French authorities, we would not want to comment on who may have been responsible. That's really for the French authorities to do. Q Thank you. MR. BURNS: Thank you very much. (The briefing concluded at 2:20 p.m.) (###)

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