U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 95/09/11 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Monday, September 11, 1995 Briefer: Nicholas Burns FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Secretary's Discussions/Further Diplomatic Initiatives/ Holbrooke Plans to Return to Region .....................1-2 NATO Use of Tomahawk Missiles .............................3-4 Ambassador Churkin Remarks to NAC on NATO Use of Airstrikes ...............................................4-5 Yeltsin Comments on NATO Expansion .........................7-8 Effectiveness and Targets of Airstrikes/Conditions for Cessation ...............................................6,9-12 Impact of Geneva Agreement on Future of Bosnia-Herzegovina/Concept of Greater Serbia .............12-17 Prospects for Peace Conference/Issues for Discussion .......14,18-19 Apprehension and Prosecution of Individuals Indicted by War Crimes Tribunal ...................................20 Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece/Mtg in New York ..............................................25-26 ALBANIA Secretary's Meeting with President Berisha .................20-21 MIDDLE EAST Alleged Execution of Palestinian in Halhoul/Attack at Palestinian School in Hebron .............................21 Netanyahu Remarks re Abrogation of Israel-Palestinian Accords/Opposition Assurances re Honoring Accords ........22-23 Status of Israeli-Palestinian Talks ........................22-23,25 Reports of Training of Iranian Intelligence Units by Russia ................................................23-24 Meeting of Kurdish Groups in Dublin ........................24 KOREA KEDO Talks in Kuala Lumpur on Supply of Light Water Reactors .................................................26-27
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 1995, 1:07 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. BURNS: Good afternoon. Welcome to the State Department briefing. Welcome on this Monday afternoon. I have no announcements to make, so, Barry, I'll be very glad to take your questions. Q You have a part at the White House of a Yugoslav meeting. Even though it's over there, why don't you get us started, if you would, and give us some idea about today's doings on Bosnia here in Washington. MR. BURNS: Thanks, Barry, for that opportunity. I really appreciate it. Q And you know what a triumph -- MR. BURNS: You want me to talk about the triumph of American diplomacy. I can do that for the next hour if you'd like. Secretary Christopher has had a series of talks over the weekend, mainly talks inside this Administration on Bosnia. He's been on the phone throughout the weekend. This morning, he had roughly a two-hour meeting with Assistant Secretary Dick Holbrooke, who, as you know, returned from Geneva late on Friday night. They had a very long talk about the next steps ahead in the diplomatic process. They also discussed some of the military action over the weekend. As you know, Mike McCurry has just announced the President's, of course, full support taken for the action taken by NATO yesterday to fire the Tomahawk missiles on the targets in Banja Luka and elsewhere. But this morning the Secretary did have a good conversation. There will be further conversations here in the Department mid-afternoon and a series of meetings throughout the Administration on Bosnia policy. Dick Holbrooke expects to go back to the region later this week. He will, as he said on Friday, have a meeting of the Contact Group. That will be held at the Russian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. He will then be making a tour through the region -- that's through the Balkans -- to resume the diplomatic negotiations toward the American objective and the international objective which, of course, is the beginning of a peace conference among the parties so that, finally, we can turn the tide in this war from warfare -- from military activity on the ground -- to one of peace negotiations. There was a very good first step taken on Friday afternoon in Geneva towards this end. I think all of us look upon this as a first step. It's important that the parties agreed on the principles that would underlie the peace process, but there are many, many more difficult issues ahead. As Dick reported to the Secretary this morning on some of the detailed conversations that he had leading up to Geneva, it's going to be a long and complex process. I don't have the specific date of the resumption of Dick's trip. It will be in a matter of days, and I expect to have that perhaps later on this afternoon. Q What is the next desired step, specifically -- a cease-fire? Are you going to work on the parallel arrangements? I guess you'll leave that for later. It's tricky. What's the next immediate objective in this process? MR. BURNS: The next immediate objective is a little bit less tangible than that, but very, very important, and that is to maintain momentum in the peace talks. Again, a very good start on Friday, but between what happened in Geneva on Friday and the beginning of a full- fledged, comprehensive peace conference, where the parties sit down and pledge themselves to negotiate their differences on the specific issues concerning the map, for instance, or concerning a cease-fire, there is a gap between those events -- between the Geneva meeting on Friday and the beginning of any peace conference. The gap essentially is, can we now take the agreement on the principles that would be the foundation of the peace process and turn that into a political commitment from the Bosnian Government, the Bosnian Serbs, the Croatian Government, and others, to enter into negotiations? That hasn't happened yet. That is why we tried to resist the feeling of euphoria on Friday. People felt very pleased on Friday in the Administration that the United States had been able to play such a large and important role in moving the process forward. But we resisted the temptation to declare victory because we're not anywhere close to victory yet. The parties have to do a lot more work, and we have to help do that work with them on the specific issues of the Contact Group Map and Plan - - on issues like a cease-fire, and many, many other issues before we can get there. So that's the objective, Barry, to have Assistant Secretary Holbrooke go out and maintain momentum in this process. David. Q At the time of the NAC meeting, after the London Conference, if I remember correctly, the type of bombing targets were divided in three groups, three levels. It was said that before Level 3 would be reached, there would have to be another political -- another diplomatic decision. Where does that stand at this point? Does the Administration plan to ask other members of the NAC to approve Level 3 bombing should that become necessary? Can you give us an update on that? MR. BURNS: That is a decision, if it is made, that will require the need for further consultation in the alliance, but we're not there yet. As you know, we are in a phase right now in the air war that I think the alliance is united on. The President has, in fact, backed that up this morning. There was every reason over the weekend for NATO to act as it did. As you know, there was a meeting yesterday between General Janiver and General Mladic. In that meeting, despite some of the press reports from Pale yesterday, the Bosnian Serbs failed to make any kind of commitment that they would, in fact, withdraw their heavy weapons from the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around Sarajevo. Having failed to do that, having failed to act demonstrably in favor of peace and to give a sign to NATO that it was interested in going to the next step in peace, NATO had no recourse but to continue the bombing. The release of the Tomahawk missiles yesterday was simply part of the NATO bombing campaign. So no one right now, David, is actively planning going on to another phase in the bombing war that would require -- at least at this point -- any further NATO action. There is NATO authorization for the current bombing campaign, and it will go forward. It will continue as long as the Bosnian Serbs act in such a way that is dismissive of the interests and wishes of the international community. Q What I'm asking, though, is whether you think you can get Mladic to back down without going to Level 3? Do you believe you can? MR. BURNS: We'll have to see. It's very dangerous to make predictions on Bosnia. Many predictions have been made both on diplomatic negotiations and military activities over the last four years that have turned out not to have borne fruit. I think I'll just resist the temptation to do that. It's very clear what the Bosnian Serbs have to do to turn this process around and turn it towards peace. A good first step was taken in Geneva. They have got to comply with the very strongly-felt desires of the international community that the terrorism that they have inflicted upon Sarajevo stop and that emanates from those heavy weapons. Steve. Q Nick, Churkin make a demarche in Brussels this morning, and apparently the Security Council is going to be taking up Russian objections to what NATO is doing right now. The White House Spokesman commented on all of this by saying, "We continue to look forward to working with the Russians." I wonder if the State Department had anything more substantive to say to those events? MR. BURNS: Steve, I don't know about a Security Council meeting. I can tell you that NATO did have a special session today. It was requested by Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin. I don't have a report on that session. But let me just take you back to Friday. Seated beside Dick Holbrooke around that round table at the U.S. Mission in Geneva was First Deputy Foreign Minister Ivanov. With the agreement of the Contact Group, and specifically with the agreement of Ambassador Holbrooke, Deputy Foreign Minister Ivanov had a series of meetings over the weekend, including with President Milosevic and General Mladic. We're very glad that he did. At the end of this week, when Dick Holbrooke returns to the region, the first meeting he will have will be at the Russian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. The United States and NATO are making every effort not only to include Russia in our diplomatic deliberations, but to emphasize the role of Russia because all of us respect Russia's influence in the region. We all look upon Russia as a partner in this process, and we all believe that continued Russian participation is essential to the ultimate success of this process. We obviously have a tactical disagreement between NATO and Russia over the use of airpower to achieve the objectives that we have set out. We believe that we can overcome the significance of this tactical disagreement. We believe that the United States, NATO, and Russia will continue to cooperate, and that ultimately we can work this out. As a great songwriter once said, we can work out this problem, and we'll go forward. The Russians have repeated over and over again privately to us, as well as publicly, that what they want to do is get to negotiations. Well, the United States is now leading an effort to get the international community to negotiations. That's where we're headed. Nobody believes that the use of military power alone can achieve the ultimate objective that we all have in mind. Everybody believes that you've got to have a unified Europe and North America, unified towards peace negotiations. That certainly includes Russia. Q How do you overcome those disagreements? MR. BURNS: I think you overcome them, first of all, by making sure that Russia is fully included in all of the diplomatic activities and discussions -- private discussions -- of NATO. That is taking place within the confines of the Contact Group. I also think, ultimately, Steve, you overcome them when the peace negotiations begin to bear some fruit, where there is demonstrably good progress in them. That's where we're heading. That's why the President and the Secretary of State will ask Assistant Secretary Holbrooke to go back to the region. I really think that's the answer. I wouldn't look for any immediate satisfaction, however, that somehow Russia and NATO are going to agree automatically on the use of airpower. I think Russia has an objection to the use airpower, and we'll continue to talk to Russia about that. We disagree. We think that the use of airpower can be effective, has already been effective in many respects. It will be continued if General Mladic and Mr. Karadzic fail to understand that the terms of this war are turning against them. Q "Effective," that goes to the point -- it hasn't been effective so far as the ostensible reason for the bombardment. They haven't removed the heavy weapons. "Effective" in that you muscled them a little bit in the negotiations. Well, they got part of Bosnia in return. Aren't you saying, really, that they're being bombed as a negotiating tactic and not as punishment for not complying with U.N. regulations? MR. BURNS: I'm not saying that. I think it's very clear why the military activity -- the use of military force was begun two weeks ago and why it is continuing. That is because there are very clear objectives here that the international community has set forth, but principally the U.N. and NATO military commanders on the ground, about the military situation around Sarajevo. I would say, yes, they have been effective in this sense. The Bosnian Serbs cannot fail to understand that the deliberate and the consistent degrading of their military infrastructure, their command and control network, the ammunition storage facilities, will have an impact on their future military position in the region. The more the bombing continues, the less powerful, the less able they will be to fight, and that's all to the good. We hope that's the case. We hope that will continue, but what we most sincerely hope is that the Bosnian Serb military commanders, specifically General Mladic, will begin to accept the fundamental fact that they can't return to their heyday. They can't return to mid-July. They can't return to two years ago or three years ago when they had an open field and when they inflicted enormous military damage upon civilians as well as the Bosnian military. Those days are over. Q NATO has been fooled before. Should the Serbs begin to withdraw their heavy equipment, will the bombing stop? MR. BURNS: They absolutely should withdraw completely their heavy weapons from around Sarajevo. That is a request and a demand that the United Nations and NATO military commanders have made, and that's very clear for all to see. So they should do that. The bombing will stop, as General Leighton Smith said so well, I think, at the very beginning of this process two weeks ago. It will stop when the Bosnian Serbs make it possible for the bombing to stop. That is as true today as it was two weeks ago. Q Nick, President Yeltsin mentioned two things in his comments. One was the bombing; the other was the expansion of NATO, when he kind of put those two things together, saying that if NATO expanded and this occurred, this would be on the border of Russian territory. Wouldn't it be appropriate if the judgment were made, which is probably proper, that the bombing should continue to give some assurances to the Russians that the NATO expansion was on a very slow track to counter what might be otherwise reasonable objections? MR. BURNS: There's really no need to give those types of assurances, because the Russian Government knows very well as a result of the May summit between President Clinton and President Yeltsin and a thousand other conversations that we've had over the last year or so, that the process of NATO expansion will indeed be gradual and evolutionary. What is also at interest here is something that you didn't mention, and that is the NATO-Russia relationship. NATO and Russia need to form a close relationship to ensure the security of Europe, as well as North America, as well as Russia, well into the 21st century. That is one of the top objectives of the U.S.-Russian relationship and of NATO's relationship with Russia -- how can NATO and Russia relate to each other to combine efforts for peace and not war in the next century. That is part and parcel of being a member of Partnership for Peace and part and parcel of continuing to have a dialogue with NATO. So there's every interest for Russia to stay involved in this, and we're confident that it will. Charlie. Q Nick, are you saying that the verbal protests by President Yeltsin are related to the domestic political concerns in Russia; that you're not saying that you're taking them as seriously here in everything -- you're trying -- you're giving that impression. Is that correct or not? MR. BURNS: I'm giving the wrong impression. I don't mean to give that impression, because we take every -- Q I wanted to give you a chance to straighten it out. (Laughter) MR. BURNS: Thank you very much, Charlie. Thank you. I guess I need a little of that this morning. It's only Monday. We take public statements of the type that were given by President Yeltsin last week very seriously. We respect them. We respect the role of Russia. We respect Russia's views on these situations, and we are committed to a good private discussion with Russia of these issues. I can't tell you why President Yeltsin may have made the statements that he did. That's really for people a lot smarter than me to figure out. But I can tell you that we're going to continue very strong diplomatic contacts. I really think that the common ground here between Russia and the United States is quite broad. It centers on the negotiations. It centers on the fact that both of us have a strategic interest in ending the war in the Balkans and in seeing that warfare move to a situation where there can be eventually a cease-fire, where there can be a comprehensive set of negotiations for peace. Russia helped the United States get to that point last Friday where the first principles that would undergird any peace process were agreed upon by three countries; where there was implicit de facto recognition of Bosnia by Serbia, and that's a very important step. First Deputy Ivanov was a very big part of that process. As I said, I think it's a very important point that I don't think was picked up upon by a lot of people; that when he saw Milosevic yesterday and Mladic, he did so with the advance knowledge and blessing of the United States and the rest of the members of the Contact Group. So we are working with Russia. We have a tactical disagreement on one aspect, a very important aspect, of a situation, and we hope to overcome it. Q Russia, obviously -- some in Russia are accusing the United States and NATO of siding with the Muslim-Croat federation, the Bosnian Muslim government -- MR. BURNS: Excuse me. I missed that. Q Some in Russia -- MR. BURNS: Are criticizing us for? Q For siding with the Bosnians. The Bosnian Serbs are obviously accusing you of siding with the Bosnians. A moment ago you spoke about an air war against the Serbs, and then after that you spoke about weakening the Bosnian Serbs to the point where even if they didn't participate in peace talks, it's okay because they would be too weak to fight the Bosnians. Has, in fact, the United States and NATO sided with the Bosnian Government? Is that what's happening now? MR. BURNS: No, that's not what's happening, and the United Nations military commanders, as well as civilians in charge, as well as the NATO officials involved have made very clear, this is not an attempt to pick sides, to choose sides in this conflict. It is a very determined expression of Western will that the outrageous attack on the Sarajevo marketplace will not be and cannot be repeated. Let's not forget what the Bosnian Serbs are responsible for. This summer alone the rape of Srebrenica, the fact that if you look at Srebrenica and Zepa combined -- when those cities were emptied out by the Bosnian Serbs -- over 55,000 people were made homeless and had to seek refuge elsewhere, and many, many thousands of people were killed, and some in very horrifying and brutal ways. These are the people that also produced the marketplace disaster two weeks ago today, and so they now have to bear some responsibility for their actions. That's why NATO and the United Nations have unleashed the bombing against them, and it's very clear what they have to do to end that bombing. They're the responsible ones here, and they can end this very quickly by actions, not just words. Q Has the Administration or NATO informed or spoken to the Bosnian Government about taking advantage of the Serbs in their weakened state? MR. BURNS: Yes. NATO and the United Nations have counseled in very strong terms restraint upon all the other parties to this conflict, including the Bosnian Government -- restraint. There's no need to pile on. NATO and the United Nations are undertaking military action to make a very strong point to the Bosnian Serbs, and we think that will be a compelling point indeed if in fact it is fully understood by the Bosnian Serb leadership. Howard. Q You listed earlier some of the targets of the air campaign, but among the targets are also some of the bridges in the east. Could you explain why they have been targeted? MR. BURNS: No. I really can't. I mean, the NATO and U.N. military commanders on the ground are the people who select targets, and it's not done here in the State Department. It's not done by the United States. It's done by NATO and the United Nations. Q The logical guess would be to pre-empt the shipment of materiel from Serbia. MR. BURNS: I think as NATO has explained these operations over the last two weeks, they have been focused on command and control facilities, on communications equipment and centers, on ammunition storage facilities -- if you will, the infrastructure of the Bosnian Serb war machine -- and those are appropriate targets. But it is not done by the United States; it's done by the international organizations in charge here of the military operations. Q But the bridges don't seem to fit that category. I mean -- MR. BURNS: Bridges do fit the category of infrastructure. Q Has the flow of arms and materiel from Serbia continued unimpeded? Has it continued? MR. BURNS: You know, there are sanctions in place, and there are definitely leakages in those sanctions, and that does continue. We have taken note of that, and we have talked about that with the appropriate governments. Q One of the press reports over the weekend described the tracks of armored vehicles on one of the remaining bridges, which suggests that armored vehicles are crossing. MR. BURNS: I didn't see those press reports. Q Would that be typical of the sort of leakage or seepage? MR. BURNS: I really don't have specific examples to cite for you, but I can say categorically that there has been the continued problem in that regard, yes. Q To what extent are the Russian public statements really offering encouragement to Mladic to feel that if he holds out for long enough, that he'll be able to survive all this? MR. BURNS: I hope that's not what Mladic is hearing in these statements. I don't think that's why these statements have been issued. The Russian Government has made very clear its frustration at the continued warfare, and its very strong belief that peace negotiations should start. So I would not interpret those statements from Moscow in the way that your question at least presupposes. Q Nick -- MR. BURNS: Yes. Still on Bosnia. Q On Albania. MR. BURNS: Let's just finish Bosnia. I'll be glad to go Albania -- very glad to go to Albania. Bill first and then David. Q Thank you. Nick, the Bosnian Serb leadership has, I believe, stated to the press and maybe to Mr. Milosevic their concern about withdrawing their artillery from the Sarajevo range -- range of Sarajevo -- in that that artillery protects the Bosnian Serb segment -- population in that city. Would it be the policy of the United States and should it be our recommendation to NATO and the U.N. that there might be a solution to whatever threat may be perceived by the Bosnian Serbs coming from the Muslims in Sarajevo? And further, Nick, I understand from our Defense Department experts that the Rapid Reaction Force artillery can track and almost instantly within minutes take out any piece that fires in that valley -- track that trajectory and take that piece right out. So in effect they're checked. They're checked by artillery, and they can be checked by air as well, is that correct? MR. BURNS: I mean, I'd have to refer you to military people on your last question. But on the first part of your question, we hear lots of excuses and frankly lots of cynical statements out of Pale about why they can't do this, why they can't do that. They have a self-interest in complying with the wishes of the international community to stop shelling Sarajevo and the other safe areas -- stop threatening them -- and to withdraw their weapons. It's a very clear self-interest. They haven't concluded yet, I guess, that they want to exercise upon that self-interest, but they ought to, and that's what's at stake here. I wouldn't listen to a lot of the excuses and frankly a lot of the misstatements and inaccurate statements coming out of Pale. Yesterday they said they were ready to withdraw the weapons. There was a private meeting between their supreme military commander and the United Nations commander, in which they said they weren't going to do that. Last weekend, the drama was that they were withdrawing the weapons, and the resumption of the NATO bombing after the pause prevented them from doing that, and that was a cynical charade. It was untrue. So I think we've come to the point after four years of listening to statements from Pale that actions are a lot more important than words, Bill. Q In that meeting with General Janvier, it's reported that there was no resolution, no success from that meeting. MR. BURNS: That's right. Q Is that accurate? MR. BURNS: I believe it is, yes. Q And what I was told was -- by the Pentagon people -- was they use their weapons, they lose their weapons. So in effect, they're constrained from using their weapons. MR. BURNS: Which is a very good thing. We hope it continues. David. Q You've been saying for some time now that the dream of a greater Serbia is over. On Friday, the agreement was that -- the agreement that the U.S. brokered, as I see it -- was that there will be negotiations towards a Bosnia which will be split into two parts, one of which will be the Republic of Srpska. What is to stop the Serbs from de facto, if not de jure, setting up a greater Serbia? MR. BURNS: Their dream of a greater Serbia, which they held until maybe even three or four weeks ago, was quite ambitious. We know that it encompassed Sarajevo. It certainly encompassed Gorazde and Tuzla and Bihac. It was ambitious, it was broad, and it was expansionist. That dream that was publicly proclaimed by Mladic and Karadzic and others, even beyond Pale, is over. It is over because of the London Conference and the exercise of the West -- the strong demonstration that the West meant what it said at the London Conference and it has now followed up by actions. It is over because the Croatian military offensive took their measure and changed the terms of the war geographically and militarily on the ground, and over because there is now, I think, momentum towards peace, which brings me to the second part of your question. What the Geneva meeting agreed upon -- what the three Foreign Ministers agreed upon -- on Friday was that there would be one Bosnia- Herzegovina within its present internationally recognized borders. That would not change. That that state would have two principal entities and a Republic of Srpska or some kind of Serbian entity would indeed be one of them, because the Serbs are a very large minority group within Bosnia- Herzegovina. The process of peace will entail sacrifices on the part of everybody involved, including the Muslim community, the Croatians and the Bosnian Serbs -- compromises on the part of all concerned. This is not an easy business. It's quite complex. It is far preferable to the state of war that we saw for the last four years. It's far preferable to the Bosnian Serb army launching a military offensive in eastern Bosnia, as it did this past spring and summer, overrunning cities, killing people, and making tens of thousands of people refugees. I've seen some of the criticism in the press over the last couple of days -- the American press and some of the European press -- that somehow this is not an honorable business. I don't understand that criticism. What would the advice be? Should we continue just to stand aside and let this war continue, to see future Srebrenicas occur, future refugees, future acts of barbarism by the Bosnian Serbs? They've been stopped in their tracks by the Croatian offensive and by the NATO-U.N. military action over the last couple of weeks. They're no longer threatening in any credible way the safe areas. There's no longer any talk of a military offensive against Gorazde in the east or even now against Sarajevo, even though threatening weapons remain around Sarajevo. The tide in this war has changed, and their dream of a greater Serbia is indeed over. We're engaged in a peace process because it's the right thing to do and because it is the express wish of all the governments involved and I think of people around the world. Q What I'm asking is whether they may not be able to win at the bargaining table what you have said will not be able to win on the battlefield? MR. BURNS: They won't. Q What is to prevent the Republic of Srpska from de facto -- not de jure, but de facto becoming part of a greater Serbia, allied in all practical terms as part of Serbia? MR. BURNS: Let's remember the expanse of their territorial ambitions. They will not achieve at the peace table the destruction of Bosnian Government control over those places that it now controls -- places where the majority of Moslems live. They will not completely annihilate the Bosnian Moslems, as they wish to do, and they won't take over all the land that lies in their notion of what Serbia is. They will have to negotiate and have to compromise. It will be a single state. It will have a single seat in the United Nations. Beyond that, the United States cannot dictate the terms of the peace. The terms of the peace will be arrived at by the parties when they negotiate, and it will be a great day when that peace conference starts, and we ought to focus on that. Q Is that where the negotiations are to take place -- these parallel structures between the two republics -- to Croatia and to Serbia? That is part of the overall peace agreement? Or will there be side negotiations and, if indeed there are, will the U.S. be part of that? MR. BURNS: Nobody has agreed yet and no one has really even seriously discussed what the format -- what the parameters, or the venue, the dates, participants of any peace conference will be. We are far from that. What happened on Friday was that first principles were agreed upon. Dick Holbrooke will return to the region to try to take the situation beyond Friday, to try to instill some additional momentum and to make more progress on these specific issues that are really implicit in your question and David's, but we're not there yet, and we can't dictate the outcome of this. Q We're both coming at it the same way. We both think you brokered an agreement that gave the Serbs virtually half the country and the promise of even more because the 51/49 is negotiable. So my immediate small, narrow question would be will Holbrooke on his next venture do something about trying to hasten these ties between the Serb Republic and a greater Serbia and the other half of the country with Croatia, which by the way was at the Muslims' throats only two years ago before they had an alliance against the Serbs. The Croats have their own ambitions which have been put to rest for a couple of years. Is the U.S. going to be a party in that arrangement? MR. BURNS: We're not rushing out to hasten ties between Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs. What we're trying to do is set up a process whereby three major parties can negotiate all of these very difficult issues of peace -- a map, a peace plan, territorial issues, issues of sovereignty, issues of the cease-fire. All of this has to be sorted out in negotiations. There's nothing new, really, in the basic starting point that was agreed upon on Friday, which is 51/49. For well over a year that has been the foundation of the Contact Group's efforts, and it's certainly a hell of a lot better than 80/20 or 90/10, which was probably what the Bosnian Serbs had in mind just a couple of months ago. Now we're down to 51/49. That is going to be a difficult process to sort out -- what the outcome of that is -- but it is far preferable to a complete domination of any future state by the Bosnian Serbs. Q I don't want to debate it, but, I mean, you said there were no alternatives. Of course there were alternatives. There was the Clinton program that he ran on, which was to bomb Serb positions and to lift the arms embargo. There's a congressional prescription which is essentially to lift the arms embargo. I know your arguments against that, but I just don't think it ought to go on past that there was no alternative between carnage and giving half the country to the Serbs. MR. BURNS: There was no realistic alternative, certainly not the prescription of those who said, "Lift the arms embargo and let them fight it out some more." I mean, okay, it's an alternative, Barry; but think about the consequences of that alternative. Think about the bloodshed and the continued fighting for which you would then be indirectly responsible. Now you take that position and you compare it to the position taken by the Administration, by the Russian Government, by the Germans, the French, the British, the Italians, the Spaniards, the Canadians, and that position is, "Let's not arm them further. Let's in fact try to provide the basis of a situation whereby both sides have some interest in negotiating." That's what occurred on Friday. They now have some interest in negotiating. Q Is the Administration sending a message: if you fight and you engage in acts of brutality, you'll get half of whatever it is? Also, you've come out for this advanced state of autonomy, a republic within a country that hardly has any sovereignty; and, you know, this is an issue you have all throughout the former Soviet Union, for instance, or the territory Russia controlled. The U.S. has taken a position to reward -- whatever the word would be -- the insurgents with a virtual state of their own. You can call it a republic. You can say Bosnia has its sovereignty; but there isn't much of Bosnia's sovereignty to assert if half the country is allied to Croatia and the other half is allied to Serbia. MR. BURNS: I think it's highly unfair to submit even for rhetorical purposes that we set out to reward the Bosnian Serbs -- Q (Inaudible) but that's the net result. The Serbs got less than 70, they got 50. MR. BURNS: I don't want to let that stand. Q Okay. MR. BURNS: I want to respond to it now that the question has been asked. We have not set out to do that. We've not set out to reward them. What we have done is intervene in a war which was going very badly against the aggrieved party and going rather well for those who are responsible for a very, very poor human rights record -- a barbarous one over the last four years. We intervened in that in London on July 20 and 21 to try to see if the West, rather than leaving Bosnia, which was the prevailing sentiment in some quarters in the West in mid-July -- why don't we stay and why don't we stiffen our resolve and actually demonstrate by deeds to the Bosnian Serbs that they can no longer continue to rape and pillage as they had. That is not rewarding them. They were stopped in their tracks by the combination of the West's resolve and the Croatian military offensive. I think now we are simply trying to convince the parties that they will have to compromise with each other, that there is no ideal solution available to either or any of these three parties, and that they have to work out their differences at the negotiating table. That is a morally and politically sound position for the United States and the West to have taken. It is far preferable than standing aside and letting them continue to fight or to egg them on from the sidelines with additional military hardware, as some were arguing, or just to turn a blind eye and walk away. We chose to get involved; and when you get involved, you deal with very complex issues. Far better for us to do that than to be disinterested. Nick, can I ask a follow-up question. There was another dream in Bosnia, shared by not an insignificant number of Bosnians from what I read, and that is the idea of a multicultural, multiethnic Bosnia. Isn't that effectively dashed by Friday's agreement on principles, that you'll never have a multiethnic Bosnia? MR. BURNS: Not at all. We're engaging now, and for the last five minutes or so, in a fairly long-range discussion. I'm glad to do it, but not at all. There once was a multiethnic society in Sarajevo and indeed in Bosnia. That multiethnic basis, foundation of the society, was utterly destroyed during the last four years. In putting together a framework for a future Bosnia, the three countries last Friday undertook some fairly preliminary steps to establish a future state that does not presuppose any failure by them or by us to continue to think that ultimately somewhere down the road -- whether it's a year from now or 50 years from now -- these people have to live together. They've got to live together in peace in Sarajevo and in Tuzla and in Gorazde and elsewhere. They've got to live together as a community. We can't create that community for them, but that is certainly part of what we want to see happen as an eventual outcome. But, Judd, we can't just produce it. They have to want to do it. They're not going to want to do it probably for a very long time. But the structure of a single state, with a single U.N. seat, with one government but two entities, does not presuppose failure long-term, decades down the road in getting people to live together. Q That sure sounds like "separate but equal" at this point. MR. BURNS: I'm not sure there's a logical, practical way for us to achieve that multiethnic society tomorrow or next week or by early 1996, beyond trying to get these people to leave their guns on the battlefield and sit down and talk. I think we've taken a very good first step towards the goal that you and I both want: a multiethnic society. Q Nick, can you see any prospect that realistically any peace conference can get underway as long as the air war, as you call it, is continuing, and the Serbs have not complied with the U.N. -- MR. BURNS: Anything is possible. Two weeks ago I think I was asked -- maybe it was 12 days ago -- I think I was asked, "Well you really can't have any kind of meeting that would be engineered by the United States to talk about first principles if you were bombing, could you?" Well, the meeting took place on Friday. The Serbian Government and the Bosnian Serbs came to that meeting, and they agreed on first principles as bombs were falling on Bosnian Serb positions. I think the answer, Patrick, to your question is yes, it's entirely possible. It's not desirable. We would much prefer if the Bosnian Serbs would turn away from war, but they haven't turned away from war. Their war machine is turned up and is turned on. NATO has no alternative now but to continue to make it clear to them by military action -- NATO and the United Nations -- that they have to think of the future in very different terms. Q Nick, how do planners or strategists here in the State Department envision the glue that's going to hold this Bosnia-Herzegovina together? Obviously, it has right now a very ephemeral existence, although it's secured by international opinion, by the weight of the United States and NATO. There has to be at some point some kind of internal dynamic in which these two parties decide that it is better to live together than apart, especially where you have a situation where you are allowing a certain amount of what was called "special relationship" with other countries. How is that envisioned? Somewhere down the road there's got to be this glue which is going to keep this thing together, other than outside force. Has that been discussed? Would that be in the realm of economics or what would do it? MR. BURNS: I don't want to be too simplistic here or too glib, but I think it's self-interest. Any peace agreement is based ultimately -- any successful peace agreement -- on self-interest among all the parties. They're not going to make peace because they're nice people. We know that some of these people are not very nice at all. They're going to make peace because they have no alternative, because the terms of the war have turned against them and peace is preferable to war. What we hope has happened in the course of this past summer is that peace has become preferable to war for the parties, and that is what a genuine and successful peace process will have to be built upon. Having said that, let me disabuse a perception that somehow Secretary Christopher and Dick Holbrooke have a blueprint for peace which is so detailed that it's got a thousand steps in it. We've done very well over the past couple of weeks to move the parties towards a successful Geneva meeting and now, we hope with the resumption of our diplomatic mission at the end of this week, further progress. We do not have the ability to give them a detailed blueprint for peace. They have got to create that themselves in peace negotiations, and that is really the ultimate test of this peace process. Q Nick, is Holbrooke going to be going back with any change in his instructions as a result of the meetings he's having here today? MR. BURNS: It's entirely possible that his superiors -- the President and Secretary Christopher and Secretary Perry and National Security Advisor Tony Lake -- will want to give him some specific instructions. There will be meetings in Washington, D.C. over the course of the next day or two that will seek to do that. He undertook his peace mission at the instruction of the President and the Secretary of State. He will undertake his next peace mission at their instruction and under their authority, and they're fully involved. I think I just told you that Secretary Christopher did not get a lot of rest over the weekend. He was on the phone most of the weekend on Bosnia. He met with Dick for a couple of hours this morning. He will be meeting with him again in just over an hour here in the Department. So, yes. The answer to your question, Norm, is yes. It's entirely possible that will be the case, but I don't have anything to tell you because the meetings haven't taken place yet where that kind of thing would be accomplished. Q Was he on the phone with Kozyrev at all? MR. BURNS: Secretary Christopher? Q Yeah, with foreign officials? MR. BURNS: No, he did not talk to Minister Kozyrev over the weekend nor this morning. Q Nick, the prosecutor of the War Crimes Tribunal, on Sunday, I believe, on one of the networks, said that in order to prosecute these war criminals, he has to have them in his hands because they are now at large. He said he couldn't prosecute any of them unless they will be available. Otherwise, he cannot prosecute anybody. Also, a question related to this. The building for this War Crimes Tribunal is not ready and it has been a long, long time that the 15 judges have no place, no quarters. Do you have anything to address these issues? MR. BURNS: I think Judge Goldstone is absolutely correct that right now it does not appear there can be a successful prosecution unless the individuals indicted can be apprehended. It is the responsibility of member states and of states that support this process to participate in apprehending any of these people should these people travel to the territory of our country or any other country involved. Let me just note for the record, though, something that I think was left out of last night's report, and that is that the United States has been one of the major financial supporters of the War Crimes Tribunal; that we have seconded or sent on a diplomatic detail many members of our government to actively work with Judge Goldstone; that Assistant Secretary of State John Shattuck has been in very close touch with Judge Goldstone and that we fully support his activities -- fully support his activities. Now we can turn to Albania. Q Do you have any comment on today's meeting between Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Albanian President Sali Berisha? MR. BURNS: Just as I came down to see you Secretary Christopher was beginning a lunch with the Albanian President, President Berisha, over at Blair House. He's hosting him. This is a working visit.. President Berisha is here at the invitation of President Clinton and Secretary Christopher to talk about the situation in the Balkans, to talk about the very important role that Albania has in many of the questions relating to the war in the Balkans, and also to talk about economic reform in Albania and American investment in Albania. I believe that President Berisha will be meeting President Clinton tomorrow, on Tuesday. As I said, there is a lunch today with Secretary Christopher. There's a meeting with Secretary Perry on Wednesday. I then believe that President Berisha will be going to Boston and New York before returning to Albania. Q Any readout on the meeting today with Christopher? MR. BURNS: I'm sure we can get you one. That's an on-going meeting right now. Q Do you have any comment on the killing of a 25-year old Palestinian youth from Halhoul by Jewish settlers? MR. BURNS: I do. I have a couple of comments this afternoon. The recent alleged execution of a young Palestinian in Halhoul, outside of Hebron, was an outrageous act. We condemn it, and we condemn terrorism no matter where it comes from. Let me just also say that there was an attack on a Palestinian girls' school in Hebron by Israeli settlers yesterday. Some of you may have seen the film footage of the aftermath of that attack, which was truly shocking even by the low standards set by some of the settler communities in the West Bank. This is a shocking act of lawlessness, and the United States deplores it unequivocally. Q Does the U.S. have a prescription for the Hebron problem? MR. BURNS: The problem of Hebron has got to be resolved by the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel. The United States cannot prescribe a solution to that. Q (Inaudible) facilitate one as you do in other areas of the world. Are you offering any advice on that? That is a particularly hot -- it exceeded in its heat only by Jerusalem. MR. BURNS: We're in very close touch, as you know, with the Israeli Government and with the Palestinian Authority, as we have been throughout their negotiations. They are grappling with some very difficult issues. They're working hard to bridge their differences and to make some progress. They've made some progress. They haven't made the full progress that they and we had hoped for, but we are confident that they will get there. I don't have any specific thing to say, Barry, about what we may be advising them; what we may be saying in private. Q Nick, I understand that there was an agreement reached between the Palestinian Authority and Israel to release immediately or in the near future 300 Palestinian prisoners out of 5,000. Do you have any comment on that? MR. BURNS: I've just seen the press reports to that effect. I don't have any statement to make. Q Last but not least in this territory. Mr. Netanyahu was very adamant in his statements in an interview with the Washington Post, saying that if he will come to power in Israel, he will renege and he will not abide by the Palestinian-Israeli Accords that were negotiated by the Rabin Government. Do you have any comment on it? MR. BURNS: I don't have a specific comment on his comments because if you get into that, you can play that game every day, as you know. But I can say this: the United States fully supports this peace process. We have been behind it since Day One. We'll continue to be behind it. We obviously expect that all the parties involved in this peace process will maintain and meet the commitments that they make. That is a very important part of any set of diplomatic negotiations. Peace cannot be assured unless people live up to their commitments. We have full confidence in the Government of Israel that it will meet its commitments and full confidence that the Palestinian Authority will as well. Q You were asked about the opposition. Has the U.S. Government been in touch with the Israeli opposition? Have you received any assurances or sought any assurances that any agreement would be honored by a successor government? MR. BURNS: We are in touch with all elements of the Israeli political spectrum all the time. We have a very active and capable Ambassador. Secretary Christopher, in the past, this year has met members of the opposition, including Mr. Netanyahu. As for what we say to them and what we say diplomatically to them, I think I'll leave that where it belongs, in the diplomatic process. Q Do you anticipate a peace agreement between Israel and the PLO will be signed in Washington soon, like next week or the end of the month? MR. BURNS: We hope there's going to be a peace agreement, a successful conclusion to the current set of talks. We have said, Lee, many, many times in the past we'd be quite willing to host the conclusion of such an agreement here in Washington if the parties desire it; and they clearly are not at that stage yet. So we'll all just have to watch and hope that they'll get there. Q Tactics aside, does the Administration agree with Qadhafi that it's time for the Palestinians to start going back to their new land? MR. BURNS: We agree on very little that Mr. Qadhafi says, and I think this is probably a primary example. The Palestinian community throughout the Middle East has played a very important role -- in the Gulf, in North Africa, and other countries in the Middle East -- in building those countries over the last several decades. There are Palestinians, as you know, everywhere in the Middle East. We certainly would not agree with Mr. Qadhafi when he says they should now all return to one place. These are free people, and they ought to be free to make their own personal decisions about where they live. We have great respect for the Palestinian people. Still on the Middle East? Still on the Middle East: broadly defined. Q The Washington Times today, they reported some of the Russian intelligence agency, they are training Iranian intelligence officers. Do you have any comment? MR. BURNS: Our usual policy is not to talk about intelligence matters, whether it's our intelligence or anyone else's intelligence around the world. Plus I have nothing to say on that particular subject, in any case. I really have no information on that. It's a press report. It involves other countries, not our country. There's just no way I can comment on it. It's got the word "intelligence" in it, too. Q You can make no comment or objection if there were intelligence agencies helping the MOIS in Iraq? Would we object if that was the case? MR. BURNS: Again, I can't substantiate a press report about some intelligence connection by talking about it. If I talk about it, I help to substantiate it. I know nothing about it. I think our views about external assistance to Iraq and Iran are abundantly clear to everybody, and I'll be glad to talk about that; but we've talked about it a lot. Charlie doesn't want to talk about it. He's shaking his head. (Laughter) So exercise some group restraint here, Charlie. (Laughter) Brazil: You want to talk about Brazil. We'll talk about Chile, too. Q Do you have any comment on a second Kurdish meeting in Dublin tomorrow? MR. BURNS: I do. I can talk about, in Dublin -- Q What are the expectations of the United States of America. MR. BURNS: Glad to talk about Ireland at any time. And Turkey. The United States will facilitate a meeting this week in Dublin between representatives of the two major Iraqi Kurdish groups -- the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party. We understand that representatives of the Iraqi National Congress will also attend. This is part of an initiative by the United States to help the parties bridge their differences. As you will recall, the parties did meet in Ireland in early August and agreed then to hold a follow-up meeting. The United States delegation will be led by Robert Deutsch, who is the Director here in the State Department of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs. He was also -- "he," Mr. Deutsch -- our representative at the earlier meeting about a month ago in Ireland. Q On Korea? MR. BURNS: Still Middle East, and we'll be glad to go to Korea. Q A couple of weeks ago you said that both parties had asked for some help in the negotiations in Taba. I believe Dennis Ross was in the area at the time. Are we doing anything now in terms of being asked by both parties to help broker this agreement? MR. BURNS: Not that I'm aware of. Nothing extraordinary. As everybody knows, we have been actively involved in the discussions through Secretary Christopher, through Ambassador Ross, through our ambassadors in the region. That hasn't changed. But I'm not aware of any extraordinary diplomatic move by the United States. Q The United States being at the table, then? MR. BURNS: No. I don't believe we're sitting at the table. The parties are sitting together at the table. From time to time, we have sat at the table with them and I'm sure in the future we'll do that again. But I don't believe that is happening this week. At least, I'm not aware of it. Q Korea? MR. BURNS: Why don't we stay on the Middle East. A couple more questions and then we'll go to Korea. Q It was reported today that the agreement which has been expected to be signed between Athens and Skopje sometime this week in New York City will be under U.S. guarantee. Could you please comment on that? It was reported by Reuters, actually. MR. BURNS: I'm glad to asked that question because, actually, that is one of the more positive developments of the last couple of weeks -- the fact that when Dick Holbrooke was in Athens and Skopje, he was able to work out an agreement whereby the United Nations would actually hold a meeting tomorrow in New York -- and it will take place -- between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Greek Government to settle their long-standing differences. Ambassador Nimetz will be the United States representative at this meeting with the person who has the lead, the U.N. Special Negotiator, former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. We fully expect that the meeting tomorrow will end in an agreement that will resolve forever, we hope, the long-standing political differences, and other differences, between these two countries. Q It's guaranteed? Q When a settlement is reached, can you tell us what you'll call that other country? MR. BURNS: That's one of the key questions. Q It's kind of a tricky question. Q How about "The Former FYROM"? MR. BURNS: It's a very tricky question. I think if the meetings are successful, there'll be an answer to that question. I'll stand up here and -- Q It'll have a shorter title -- MR. BURNS: I hope it's shorter. I hope it's shorter. Q (Inaudible) U.S. guarantee for this accord? MR. BURNS: "Guarantee" sometimes has a particular connotation in diplomacy. Full U.S. support. I'm not sure how we can guarantee it, but we can certainly support it. Both governments know that. Dick Holbrooke met with Prime Minister Papandreou and with President Gligorov and gave them a very firm view that the United States would support any agreement. We've helped to facilitate it, along with the United Nations which has played the lead role. We're very glad this meeting is going to take place. Secretary Christopher will be represented by Ambassador Nimetz at this meeting. I think we had Korea. Q Anybody else? Nick, the KEDO parties are meeting in Kuala Lumpur. I understand the North Koreans are asking for about a billion in perks to be added to the cost of the reactors. Can you tell us, how does the U.S. react to that, and what's going on? Have you got anything to report? MR. BURNS: It's true that the KEDO delegation began talks today in Kuala Lumpur with the North Koreans. The KEDO delegation, which, of course, includes representatives of the Republic of Korea, of Japan, as well as the United States, is led by Ambassador Stephen Bosworth who is the Executive Director of KEDO -- an American, former Foreign Service Office -- and the North Korean delegation is led by Ambassador Ho Jung of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These talks are the first exchange between KEDO and North Korea on the supply contract for the light-water reactors which KEDO is to supply to North Korea under the terms of the Agreed Framework. We understand that the first day of talks saw a constructive exchange in which each side presented its basic position on the light- water reactor project. The talks will probably last for several days and then recess before there is another round of talks which we do envisage. Q Thank you very much. MR. BURNS: Thank you. (Press briefing concluded at 2:06 p.m.) (###)To the top of this page