U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 95/10/02 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Monday, October 2, 1995 Briefer: Nicholas Burns DEPARTMENT--Announcements/Statements Welcome to George Washington University Students ..........1 Announcement: Reward for Information Leading to Capture of Mir Aimal Kansi ......................................1-3,23 TERRORISM Sheik Rahman Conviction --Department Cable to Embassies and Consulates re: Security ...............................................2 Reward Program ............................................3-4 CHINA Secretary Christopher's Remarks re: Granting of U.S. Visas to Leaders of Taiwan .........4-5,10-11 China's Policy on Sale of Nuclear Reactors to Iran ........6-7 President Clinton/President Jiang Summit Mtg. in New York ................................................7-12 U.S. One-China Policy .....................................12-13 CONSULAR AFFAIRS Death of American Citizen in Jericho ......................13-14 FORMER YUGOSLAVIA U.S. Support for Peace Implementation Force ...............14-18 Assistant Secretary Holbrooke's Mtgs. in Region ...........15 --Ceasefire Issue..........................................15-16 Expanded Mtg. of Contact Group in Rome ....................16 SRI LANKA Reports of Attacks on Civilian Targets ....................18 UKRAINE Ukrainian FM Hennadily Udovenko Mtgs. in U.S. .............18-19 CUBA Cuba/European Union Talks re: Economic & Trade Agreement ..19 RUSSIA Discussions re: Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty ......19-20 FRANCE Nuclear Tests .............................................20 EGYPT Report of Egyptian Request for American to Leave Country ..21 NORTH KOREA KEDO Mtg. in New York .....................................21-22 IRAQ Report of U.S. Invitation to Iraqi-Kurdish Group for Mtgs .22
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1995, 2:02 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. BURNS: Welcome. Welcome to the State Department briefing. I believe we have nine students with us today from George Washington University. Welcome to you. Glad to have you with us.
I'd like to begin with an announcement. Then I'll be glad to go to your questions.
The Department of State is announcing today an up to $2 million reward for information leading to the location and apprehension of Mir Amal Kansi, who is the suspect in the brutal attack outside CIA headquarters in l993 in which two people were killed and three other people were permanently injured.
This reward of $2 million is in addition to the $100,000 offered by the FBI in 1993, and that offer still stands.
The Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security is initiating an international publicity campaign advertising this reward. The campaign will include posters and matchbooks and will be primarily focused in the Washington, D.C., area and in Pakistan, where Kansi is believed to be hiding.
Overseas, any person with information on Kansi is urged to contact the nearest United States Embassy or United States Consulate. I will be issuing a statement after the briefing today which details how people can contact the Department of State in writing, by phone, or on the Internet.
I thought I would just show you. This is (displaying poster) the poster that's going to be distributed around the world today. It's a poster that has a very clear photograph of this individual, who is responsible for the deaths of two people and the wounding of three others in a vicious terrorist attack here in Washington, D.C.
We'll be distributing this worldwide, but especially in Pakistan, and especially here in Washington, D.C.
In addition, for all of you who would like this, we are distributing matchbooks with the same likeness of Mr. Kansi in the hope that we can apprehend him and bring him to justice here in the United States.
That is the extent of my comments.
Q Following on that offer of a reward, in light of the verdict over the weekend do you have anything to say about whether or not the State Department is concerned or has put foreign posts overseas on alert, or do you have any extra worries for Americans overseas?
MR. BURNS: I don't believe that we have received any specific threats to American facilities or to Americans overseas following the conviction of the Sheik and others in New York over the weekend, but we certainly are aware that this kind of event can sometimes produce a heightened state of unrest in some parts of the world. Over the weekend we did send out a diplomatic cable to all of our embassies and consulates, advising them of the verdict that was given over the weekend in New York and advising them that they ought to take as many precautions as they deem appropriate in their particular country.
Q Were you advising Americans to watch their travel overseas in any way or to curtail it?
MR. BURNS: We have not issued a travel warning or a travel advisory, but I think we will be issuing fairly soon some public information that would at least apprise Americans of the fact that this trial has taken place, that a verdict has been handed down, and that Americans, when they travel, just ought to be aware of this.
That does not constitute a travel advisory or a travel warning at this time.
Q Is Mr. Kansi thought personally to have fired the gun in l993. Is he thought to have been the trigger?
MR. BURNS: Yes, he is. He is the leading suspect in this attack. You remember, this was an incident in McLean, Virginia, just in front of the CIA headquarters -- the gate going into CIA headquarters -- with an AK-47. He is alleged to have fired at several automobiles, and he killed two innocent people and he wounded three others. He is the leading suspect in this attack.
We believe he is probably in Pakistan. That is his native country. We have worked very hard with the Pakistani Government to try to locate him. We'll continue that. But because we have had some success in the past with offering rewards to people who might have information that would lead to his apprehension -- and, we hope, his conviction of this terrorist attack -- we've decided to launch an international campaign to find him. That's why, as I said, David, we're using matchbooks; we're using posters; we're using the prospect of a very large reward in order to offer an inducement to whoever might know where he is.
We obviously hope that those people will come forward, whether it's in Pakistan itself or whether it's in the United States or any other country in-between.
Q Nick, another man that was apprehended by these posters was followed from the Philippines. Don't you think you should widen your net?
MR. BURNS: This is an international search. This search is worldwide. We are following leads as they come up. Now, he is believed to be in Pakistan and he committed this attack in the United States. So obviously our search, while it is global, will be concentrated in those areas where we think he may be. But it is certainly global, Betsy, and we'll follow the leads wherever they lead us.
Q Mr. Burns, I would like to know that China's Foreign Minister Qian Qichen -- he said --
MR. BURNS: Yes. Ma'am, why don't we just stay on this and then as soon as we're finished with this we'll go right to your question.
Q You talked about the successes in the Reward Program. Could you elaborate on that -- how many rewards have been paid out over the years, and so forth?
MR. BURNS: I don't believe I've got information, George, on how many rewards have been issued in the past; but I do know that for a number of years now the Department, the Secretary of State, has had the funds to offer to the public, in response to terrorist attacks, and that at several times in the past we have offered the funds. I think in at least one case we have actually granted a very large sum of money to people who were influential and instrumental in locating perpetrators of terrorist attacks, but I think it's certainly a question we can look into and try to get you a more specific answer.
MR. BURNS: Yes. Are you on this subject?
Q I'm on the Middle East. It's connected, but --
MR. BURNS: This is not the Middle East. (Laughter) This is a global search for a convicted terrorist.
We'll get to the Middle East, but, David, I think you had a question.
Q What case was it that you --
MR. BURNS: Let me get you that information.
Q -- gave the reward?
MR. BURNS: Let me get you that information.
Okay, I believe you had a question, ma'am.
Q China's Foreign Minister, Mr. Qian Qichen -- he says that the United States has offered a commitment that President Li Teng of Taiwan could return to the United States only for a purely private visit and his right of free speech will be severely restricted. Is that true? Does the United States make this offer?
MR. BURNS: Secretary Christopher just spoke to this a couple of minutes ago. I'll be glad just to summarize what he said.
He said that we have been very clear with the Chinese Government that visas to leaders from Taiwan would only be issued in an unofficial capacity when the request for a visit to the United States was personal in nature and that this would be handled on a case-by-case basis -- any request that came to us -- and that granting visas would be rare.
Certainly, we are not in a position to say that we will not issue visas in the future. I'm sure there will be cases when we do.
As to the second part of your question, the United States has never indicated -- in any way, shape, or form -- that we would restrict the freedom of speech of any individual visiting the United States, any foreigner or foreign leader. It would be contrary to American values and of the American Constitution, and we simply would not attempt to do that.
I think that what we will do, however, is judge each trip on its merits. The four criteria that we have outlined are the four operational criteria that will be most important; but we certainly would not seek, having granted a visa, then to stifle anyone's ability to speak out publicly here in the United States.
Q Did the Chinese Foreign Minister just got it wrong or is he just, you know, extrapolating for his own purposes? Why do you think he'd say something like this after such lengthy conversations between the United States and China in recent days?
MR. BURNS: I don't want to speculate on what may have motivated him to say what he did. I do know, however, that it is perfectly clear, very clear, what the criteria are here, because they were reaffirmed on Wednesday, when the Secretary met Foreign Minister Qian -- and, also, that was the subject, in large part, of their August l meeting in Brunei.
We've also put this in writing to the Chinese Government, so they are the criteria -- these four factors -- that will be the foundation for any review of a visa request in the future.
But there has been no communication whatsoever about any commitment on our part to try to stifle or muzzle a leader from Taiwan once that person reaches the United States on a valid U.S. visa.
Q A follow-up on that. When did you put this in writing?
MR. BURNS: Over the summer, and even extending into this month, there have been a series of letters back and forth between the President and President Jiang Zemin, between Secretary Christopher and Foreign Minister Qian, which in effect outlined the basis of the relationship -- the One China Policy -- also our policy on Taiwan, and specifically on visas.
So what I have just read to you has actually been communicated not only orally but in written form to the Chinese leadership.
Q But was there one final moment when -- did you have this exchange and then there was a time when you said, "Okay, this is the final document that explains our position on this particular issue -- Taiwan"?
MR. BURNS: There have been a series of conversations and a series of letters since midsummer that have very clearly outlined U.S. policy. They have all been consistent in every respect pertaining to policy towards Taiwan. So I don't believe there's any chance here that the Chinese could have misunderstood the very clear position that we've laid out.
Q Nick, is there any chance that U.S. officials misunderstood Mr. Qian's remarks as regards the nuclear reactor sales to Iran? I mean how do you square what a senior Administration official said after the meeting last week? And what the Iranians have subsequently said and what Mr. Qian himself said in New York subsequent to that meeting? It leads one to believe that it's still somewhat up in the air, if not going forward at some point in the future?
MR. BURNS: Again, we have a fairly clear view of this, Steve. Our view -- and this is the view of certainly the Secretary Christopher, and also the view of everyone else participating in the meeting on Wednesday -- is that the Chinese position was presented in a very clear way. The word used was "terminate" -- this contract will be terminated.
I have seen subsequent statements by the Chinese, but based on what we heard in the meeting and notwithstanding the other statements that were made -- I believe on Friday and Saturday -- it's our very clear understanding, and we have not been told otherwise in private, that this deal will not go forward, that China will not take Iran up on its offer to provide a nuclear reactor.
We're very pleased about that because, as you know, our longstanding policy has been that Iran can not be trusted with this type of technology. I think had there been a change in policy, had there been a change in the Chinese view, that would have been communicated to us.
I would simply note that Under Secretary of State Peter Tarnoff has had, I think, three meetings with senior Chinese leaders since last Wednesday when the two Foreign Ministers met.
Q And was that in discussion?
Q Did he ask that question?
MR. BURNS: I don't know. I don't have a detailed accounting of every meeting, but certainly I think the Chinese Government is aware of our position -- which was enunciated directly following the meeting -- and we talked about it publicly here on Friday. If there was any misunderstanding here, I'm sure it would have been communicated to us in private.
So we have the very strong expectation that China will not go forward with this contract.
Q Do you have any more details on the parameters, the financial parameters of that deal?
MR. BURNS: I do not, no. I don't.
Q Nick, the Secretary, if I heard him correctly, used the word -- or noted that the Chinese official, the Minister, used the word "suspended," and the Secretary said, "We are pleased by that." Does that mean "suspended" is okay, too?
MR. BURNS: Whether you end it by termination or end it by suspension or end it by putting it off to the side, it really doesn't matter. What matters is that Chinese nuclear technology will not be conveyed to a pariah state that cannot use that technology peacefully or responsibly. That's what matters in this case.
The Iranians have shown time and again that their ultimate objective here is to build a nuclear capacity that we believe will be destructive not only to China's interest but American interests and European interests in that part of the world.
Q Nick, can I follow on this. Obviously, if it's suspension, right, you can always say that next week or next month or next year we'll start again. We'll, you know, go ahead with the deal that has been put on hold. But when you terminate something, you cannot restart it. Is there a difference between suspension and termination?
MR. BURNS: I don't believe so. I think it's a semantic difference, if it's anything. The important thing is that China had announced some time ago that it would proceed with plans to sell a nuclear reactor to Iran. China has now indicated to us that that will not take place.
Whether it is suspension or termination doesn't really make a difference. What matters is that the technology will not reach Iran.
Q Nick, you've always said that meetings between leaders are not organized unless there's some reason to believe that there can be some success at the meeting. What sorts of documents might the two presidents sign? What sorts of successes are you seeking in New York?
MR. BURNS: We're referring here to the meeting that Secretary Christopher has just announced. There will be a meeting between President Clinton and President Jiang Zemin on October 24 in New York.
I don't believe we're at the stage yet, David, where we've decided with the Chinese if there will be documents to be signed or announcements made. That sometimes happens at summits but not always. In this case, I think it's very important that these two leaders will meet, because we've just gone through a period in U.S.-China relations which could be described as a deep freeze, where there weren't any high- level contacts between these two countries; in fact, where a number of meetings that we had planned were canceled by the Chinese Government.
The fact that they are going to meet, the fact that we have now scheduled a meeting here in the United States is a very good thing. I think the agenda, speaking quite broadly, is to pursue our policy of engagement and to try to have a very good discussion between the two leaders on the political, security and economic issues that are at the heart of this relationship.
Again, I don't think it needs reminding, but I'll do it. The U.S.- China relationship is among the most important that the United States has anywhere in the world, and I think specifically thinking about the future, looking into the next century, that certainly is true.
So they'll have a lot to discuss. Whether or not there are concrete achievements that one can point to is a matter, I think, that will be decided in the coming weeks.
Q Nick, can you give us some background on that --
MR. BURNS: On background or some background?
Q Well, a little background on the record, on how the summit was arranged. When was the decision made? I take it, it was Tarnoff and Zhaoxing. Was it Saturday that this commitment was made? And then I have a little follow-up.
MR. BURNS: The prospect of a meeting was first discussed on August 1 in Brunei, discussed privately at that time. There had been many communications back and forth between the two governments. It was intensively discussed last Wednesday in New York by Secretary Christopher and Foreign Minister Qian. They asked Peter Tarnoff and Vice Foreign Minister Li to remain in New York to discuss this. They did on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and their last conversation was Saturday.
We were finally able to agree on the exact date of the meeting this morning, and I believe that Peter Tarnoff has re-engaged, actually perhaps by telephone this morning.
Q Did the Chinese express a disappointment that this was not a full-blown summit in Washington; that they were resigned to give in on this New York meeting?
MR. BURNS: That was certainly one of their objectives, I think, but we agreed after many hours of conversation that it would be best to have a meeting in New York. The United States believes that that most appropriately reflects the current standing of U.S.-China relations.
I think the most important thing here is the fact of the meeting -- the fact that they will be getting together. They've only met twice in the past, and I know that we are looking for a substantive meeting, one that will focus on the issues that matter in the relationship.
Q And just one more little clean-up detail. Are there any current applications by high Taiwanese leaders for visas currently pending?
MR. BURNS: I'm not aware of any, but I can't be completely sure that there aren't some out there in the visa process. But I'm not aware of any at this moment.
Q Nick, how do you characterize the nature of the meeting between Clinton and Jiang Zemin in New York? Is it an official meeting or private meeting or --
MR. BURNS: It's a summit meeting. Any time leaders of two important countries get together, I think you and the press refer to it as a summit meeting. It's certainly that. It is not a state visit or an official working visit, because those visits are to Washington and specifically to the White House, and they involve Washington-type events, including meetings with the Congress.
So this is a meeting outside of our capital. We often do this. In fact, the day before this meeting will occur, the President will see President Boris Yeltsin in another summit meeting in New York -- just outside of New York at Hyde Park.
Q Are you saying a country has to be important before it's a summit?
MR. BURNS: No, I'm not saying that, but I think --
Q All right. Look at the transcript -- (laughter).
MR. BURNS: I think, George, I'm just really relying on the press for guidance on this one. (Laughter) And you're doing a good job. But I think for the most part, summit meetings are meetings between large powers. I mean, I haven't seen you refer to meetings between our leaders and leaders of smaller countries as "summits" in the past. It conveys a superpower sense to the relationship, and that's certainly true in the case of China. China's one of the great powers of the world.
How's that? Did I do okay?
Q You don't have a list of countries and where the cutoff point is between -- (laughter) --
MR. BURNS: I wish I had. That would be an interesting exercise to try to develop a list like that. Is that a satisfactory answer? What do you think? Okay. George says, "Not bad," and he's a veteran, so I'll take that.
Q Who are the leaders Clinton will be meeting next week -- I mean the week after?
MR. BURNS: The President? I think that's for the White House to announce. I think the President will be having some bilaterals in New York, but that's not for me to announce. That will be a White House announcement.
On China, still.
Q Yes. I'd like to take you back to that freedom of speech thing. So far as President Lee or any other high-level official from Taiwan is given another visa for another visit in the future, will this particular official, including President Lee, be allowed to make the same kind of speech which he made in May -- I mean, in early June when he attended the Cornell alumni activities? Just, you know, to refresh our memory here, President Lee in his speech focused on the Taiwan experience. Did you find that speech offensive or political in nature?
MR. BURNS: What I cannot do for you, I can't really help you on a hypothetical question. I can't posit a situation in the future that has not yet been created. I'm not aware that we have any request for high- level visitors from Taiwan right now.
But I would bring you back to the four very clear criteria that we have laid out -- unofficial, personal, case-by-case and rare. Those will be the criteria by which we judge any visa request, and I think it's fair to say that as we judge a visa request, we'll want to know what type of trip this is -- and an unofficial trip, a private trip, personal trip is the kind of trip that's most likely to be consistent with our definition of a situation in which a visa will be issued.
But we're not going to put ourselves in a position -- we can't do it -- it's not physically possible, and it's not right to insist on editorial rights over everything that is said once the visitor comes to the United States. If we issue a visa, it will be because we understand that the trip is not political but is personal in nature.
However, once someone lands in the United States, it is not the right of the United States Government to muzzle people when they come to this country. This is a free country. We don't treat visitors like that, and we're not going to start treating visitors like that in this instance.
Q The Chinese Foreign Minister also said that the United States declined to invite Jiang Zemin to Washington for a state visit because this Administration lacks the political will. Do you have any reaction to that?
MR. BURNS: I don't believe there's a big problem here. There was some discussion about what type of visit should occur, and we mutually agreed upon a meeting in New York. I think we're really talking about semantical differences. If anything, the United States has shown very strong political will in keeping our eyes focused on the substance of this relationship over the past summer when it was not possible to have meetings with the Chinese Government at a senior level.
We did that throughout the summer. We have now had a series of very good meetings on August 1 in Brunei, in late August when Peter Tarnoff went to Beijing, and just last week when the Chinese Foreign Minister visited New York.
We are quite satisfied that this relationship has turned a corner; that we are now talking about the really important issues, and the substantive issues in this relationship, and I would just note that the Taiwan issue received comparatively little attention in the meeting last week between the two ministers, compared to their previous meeting in Brunei. We think this issue is now receding on the agenda, as it should recede on the agenda, because China and the United States have much more compelling things to talk about. Those are the issues that, hopefully, we'll find common ground on, and also the issues that we need to work through because we still don't agree on.
Q Did you (inaudible).
MR. BURNS: Are you still on China?
Q Yes. Did the Chinese raise the Dalai Lama?
MR. BURNS: I don't believe the Chinese Foreign Minister raised the issue of the Dalai Lama's visit to the United States during the meeting last week, no.
Q Nick, will the inability to secure a state visit by Jiang Zemin to the White House affect the actual restoration of relations between the two countries, and will it affect the outcome of the summit meeting in New York?
MR. BURNS: Not in any way, shape or form. This relationship is moving forward. The most important thing is that the leaders will sit down. It was obviously an important detail but not a vital detail as to where they would sit down, in what city and in what forum.
The fact that they're meeting is by far the most important aspect of the deliberations over the last week. I think it enables us to continue our policy of engagement with China and also enables the two leaders to have further talks, because they're clearly needed in this relationship and desired by both sides.
I think we're still on China, and then we'll move to another subject.
Q Since we're talking about the fine nuances of the language used in discussing the Sino-American relationship, I recall that last Wednesday, prior to the meeting before the Secretary and Mr. Qian, during the photo op, Mr. Qian issued a little statement, saying that he was given assurances by the United States that the U.S. opposes -- that's the word he used in Chinese -- two Chinas, one China/one Taiwan. Whereas in the English text, the word "opposed" came out as "resisting."
Either "opposing" or "resisting" is not the sort of language that the U.S., as I understand it, uses. To my knowledge the U.S. always uses, "We do not pursue or advocate two Chinas, one China/one Taiwan." So my question to you, do you have any reservations about the kind of language used by Foreign Minister Qian in describing the U.S.-China policy?
MR. BURNS: He is clearly free to use the language that he wants. You correctly noted this was a statement given by the Chinese leader. I think we ordinarily would describe this as the United States not support, for instance, Taiwan's inclusion into the United Nations. We certainly do support a one-China policy and have a one-China policy. I'd prefer to state it more positively.
Q You have no objection to the use of the words, for instance, "opposition" or "resistance"?
MR. BURNS: I think this is not a very fruitful avenue for us, because in fact the United States and China have a fairly stable relationship now -- much more stable than it was in months past. We have gotten around a very difficult bend in the relationship, and we now have a commitment -- I think a mutual commitment to move forward in the relationship.
We don't want to engage in semantical dialogue and debate with the Chinese, certainly not in this forum.
Q I have two questions. The first one is about Mr. Musleh who was killed during an investigation in Jericho, if you have anything new about it, and there were some news stories that Mr. Christopher took a message from the leader of the opposition in Israel to Assad -- from Netanyahu to Assad. Have you anything from that?
MR. BURNS: Let me get that second one straight -- that Secretary Christopher. . .
Q Took a message from Netanyahu to Assad, saying that he's ready for --
MR. BURNS: Netanyahu.
MR. BURNS: On the second question, I know nothing about that.
Q You can check it, please?
MR. BURNS: I can look into it, but I just have no information on it. It sounds a bit improbable.
Q It's not a big issue to ask the Secretary?
MR. BURNS: I will be glad to follow up your concern here, but I have nothing for you on that at all. I have no information on that particular story. It's the first I've heard of it.
On the first question, the United States is concerned about the circumstances surrounding the death of a United States citizen, Azzam Mohammed Rahim who died while in the custody of Palestinian authorities in Jericho last week.
American Consulate General in Jerusalem officials traveled to Jericho on Saturday. Deputy Consul General John Bargeron traveled to Jericho. He spoke with the Palestinian police officials.
We understand that the Palestinian Authority has decided to launch an investigation of the death of Mr. Rahim. We understand that Chairman Arafat, in fact, called for this investigation even before Mr. Bargeron had his meeting with Palestinian officials in Jericho on Saturday.
It is certainly appropriate to investigate a death of an American while in the custody of police.
We understand that the remains of Mr. Rahim were returned to his family in his native village, which is in the West Bank, and I don't have any further information on this particular case. But we'll obviously be following this very, very closely through our Consulate General in Jerusalem.
Q No American investigation going on?
MR. BURNS: Right now there is a Palestinian investigation. The Palestinian Authority is the relevant police and governmental power here. They are the people who at least were questioning Mr. Rahim before he died, and I think it's proper to start there. Right now there are no plans for an independent American investigation. We will concentrate on working with the Palestinian Authority to pursue this issue.
Q The name you gave is different from the name we have. We have Mr. Musleh. It was the same name that he gave when he asked the question.
MR. BURNS: The name I have is Azzam Mohammed Rahim. It is sometimes common in that part of world for people to have additional names, and sometimes you don't always get the full name, but I will look into that, if there is a discrepancy there.
MR. BURNS: Anything else on this issue? Bosnia.
Q Mr. Dole yesterday, Robert Dole, said that he got an impression on Friday from the briefing at the White House that U.S. troops would go to Bosnia as peace enforcers. He said that it's a bad idea right now because they would not go as peace-makers.
Nick, can you tell us anything about what Willy Claes had to say today, or what the Administration's policy is? Is it firmly against sending in U.S. troops to make peace in Bosnia? I understand also that Richard Holbrooke said that they're far from a cease-fire.
MR. BURNS: There are a couple of questions there. Let me deal with them, I think, in the order in which they were asked, Bill.
I think on the first one, the Administration has made a very clear case that we would support -- and we have said this now for a couple of years -- a peace implementation force, should the parties arrive at a peace agreement that needs to be implemented.
As the NATO Secretary General said just a few minutes ago upstairs, it is exceedingly difficult to define the nature of that operation when we don't even have the shape of the peace yet. They haven't decided on what basis they're going to make peace. They haven't decided -- and I'm talking about the parties now -- on who's going to have what part of the land. Until we know the answers to those questions, it will not be possible to know specifically what the mission is.
But I think in general what we're talking about here is a NATO-led force -- certainly, the core of it would be NATO and United States participation would be lodged firmly within NATO -- that would help the Bosnians and the Bosnian Serbs and the Croatians to implement a peace plan. In this case, these forces would be trying to keep the peace, the peace that would have been established at a peace conference. I think that's probably the appropriate way to describe it.
On your second question, Dick Holbrooke has been very active in his shuttle mission over the weekend. He was in Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo and Sofia in Bulgaria. He spoke to the Secretary this morning. I spoke to him just before coming out here. He had just finished a two-hour meeting with President Izetbegovic. Those talks focused on a cease- fire.
During this shuttle mission, he has put a cease-fire squarely on the table as the next great hurdle for the parties to this conflict. He said that they had had very substantive discussions on a cease-fire. Also a discussion of the constitutional principles that will be one of the bases for a peace conference.
He said very clearly to the press, as well as to us in private, that all of these countries and all the parties agree on the need for a cease-fire, but they disagree on how to achieve a cease-fire, which is a fairly important point.
So he's going to continue his discussions on this. He's going to be overnighting in Zagreb. He'll be in Belgrade tomorrow for a discussion with President Milosevic. He'll return to Sarajevo on Wednesday to meet with Izetbegovic and Silajdzic and the others in the Bosnian leadership.
On Thursday, there will be a Contact Group meeting, an expanded meeting of the Contact Group, in Rome. So I think you can see from his schedule that we're going to drive, we hope, forward this week to make progress on the issue of a cease-fire, which we think is terribly important to accomplish in order to prepare for a peace conference.
But I would like to note that we have said quite consistently that while a cease-fire is highly desirable, it is not, by itself, an American condition for the convening of a peace conference. There have been examples in the past -- certainly, Vietnam and Korea are two -- where peace talks have occurred while, unfortunately, fighting continued.
We would prefer to have a peace conference begin and end with a cease-fire. If it is not possible to reach that, we will still continue our objective towards a peace conference.
Q But, Nick, is a cessation of hostilities in the areas to be affected by the deployment of NATO troops, a complete cessation of hostilities, requisite by U.S. policy for our lending troops to a NATO effort?
MR. BURNS: That's a good question. It's also a different question. I was speaking about the convening of a peace conference. Clearly, it's not going to be possible to put an international military force into the area to implement a peace if there isn't a peace. Clearly, one of the conditions for a successful peace conference is a cease-fire; that the fighting will stop, and that the parties will agree to live together peacefully. That's a condition for the end of the peace conference, but perhaps not for the beginning of one.
Q Nick, Mr. Claes upstairs talked about the need for a robust U.S. presence in a peace -- the word was "peace something force" -- I want to use the right one -- "peace implementation force." Are you confident that the Congress will allow you to send a robust U.S. presence to take part in the peace implementation force?
MR. BURNS: The United States is the leader of NATO. The United States is the strongest military power in NATO. If NATO is to be the backbone of a peace implementation force, it must be led by the United States. The United States must contribute a substantial number of the forces. I believe the Pentagon has talked, certainly, about a substantial number that could approach 50 but would not exceed 50 percent of the force.
We have not made any specific commitments in terms of numbers, and I think will not until the outline of a settlement and the mission of a force are more clear. But, clearly, the United States cannot abdicate its responsibilities as the greatest power in the world, as the leading NATO power, and, clearly, as the country that has made the difference over the last two or three months.
The United States led the drive at the London Conference in July for a substantial NATO response. We formed the backbone of the subsequent NATO response -- our pilots, our aircraft -- in early September, and we are leading the peace initiative. Why would we lead the effort to stop the war -- successfully stop it in many respects -- lead the effort to lift the siege of Sarajevo, lead the effort to apply NATO airpower, lead the effort on peace -- why would we do all of that and then at the end of the day when peace was achieved, say we're going to go home.
It's not in our country's interest. It's not, I think, what the American people want us to do. The President and the Secretary had a very good meeting on Friday across the street from the White House with the congressional leadership. The President and Secretary made the case for a substantial United States involvement, and we will meet our commitments in that regard.
Q If I can just add that Senator Dole on one of the talk shows over the weekend said that he thought that U.S. presence in the air and on the water was all right, but he wasn't in favor of troops on the ground. He thought the Europeans ought to be able to take care of that, in what is, after all, Europe. How do you respond?
MR. BURNS: Trying to end the war in the Balkans has been exceedingly difficult, and it has required multiple uses of military force. Achieving a peace and consolidating a peace is not going to be done by air surveillance or naval presence alone. It will be done by people on the ground.
The United States, as one of the authors of a peace agreement -- if it happens -- will certainly have a responsibility and a self-interest to help to police the peace once it occurs. This is not a commitment that has been made lightly, but it's been made because we have very real interests here. The credibility of the United States is at stake. What kind of a leader of NATO would we be if we asked NATO countries to contribute troops as part of a NATO operation and then didn't show up ourselves.
Q Sri Lanka?
MR. BURNS: Before we get to Sri Lanka, any more on Bosnia? Okay.
Q Last week, there was a report that the (inaudible) attacked some civilian targets. Do you have any information on that?
MR. BURNS: I don't have any specific information for you. It's a question I'll be glad to look into, though, for you.
Q Could you say anything about the Ukrainian Foreign Minister who's around today and who I think was around Friday?
MR. BURNS: Certainly. Minister Udovenko has been in New York for the General Assembly. He saw Jim Collins there last week. He's come down to Washington today. He's seeing Deputy Secretary Talbott. He is, of course, also seeing senior officials at the Pentagon, and that is appropriate, given the nature of our relationship with Ukraine, which is heavily centered not only on economic issues but on security issues as well.
He is someone with whom we have worked very, very well in the past and we hope will continue to work well in the future on it. We're very confident that we will.
Q Is there some specific issue, though, that you're trying to resolve with him, or is this sort of a regular --
MR. BURNS: These are normal consultations, much in the way that we take advantage of the presence of foreign ministers and prime ministers when they come to New York. We ask some to come down to Washington for further talks. Ukraine is the fourth leading recipient of American assistance. We have a major, vital, unquestionably vital American interest in seeing Ukraine remain a non-nuclear country.
It is one of our leading partners in the area, so we wanted to take advantage of his presence to have further consultations, but there's nothing specific, certainly, in the way of a problem that led to these discussions today.
Q Nick, the European Union is apparently moving in the direction of talks that could lead to an economic and trade agreement with Cuba. How does that make the United States Government feel?
MR. BURNS: It doesn't make us feel very good, because we have opposed for a long time a normalization of not only American but Western economic ties with Cuba. Our views on the Castro regime, the nature of that regime, are well founded and well known, and we haven't changed them. We would urge our European allies to think twice about normalizing relations with one of the last great dictatorships in the world, a dinosaur from the communist era and a leadership that has been brutal in terms of its treatment of its own people.
So we do not favor the normalization of Cuban ties with any of our allies.
Q Well, Nick, how is this going to affect the United States' ability to keep its own embargo on Cuba and isolate it? It suggests that it's really undercutting it.
MR. BURNS: It doesn't help, and it certainly doesn't support our idea of an economic concept and application of an economic embargo and in some ways does make it more difficult. So we will obviously have discussions with our allies about this issue.
Q Have the Russians responded yet to the formal proposals of NATO regarding the CFE?
MR. BURNS: I don't believe they have. When Secretary Christopher met with Minister Kozyrev a week ago, six days ago, in New York, Minister Kozyrev said that those NATO proposals regarding a possible map solution to the CFE problem were being studying in Moscow, and I don't believe that the Russians have responded to us.
Q Is there a deadline for this?
MR. BURNS: The deadline is November 17 when all countries need to be in compliance with the CFE Treaty.
Q Is there a deadline for their response, you know, to enable the parties for further negotiation?
MR. BURNS: No. I don't believe we set a deadline. I mean, the Russians have as much interest in resolving this issue as do we and NATO, and so we have every indication that the Russians will get back to NATO very quickly. This is a highly complex and very important proposal that NATO has put forward, and so I think to give the Russians their due, they're undoubtedly studying it very carefully.
We would expect to have conversations well before November 17 -- I wouldn't be surprised even in the coming weeks. But certainly we need some time before November 17 to discuss this with the Russians and to discuss it within the NATO Alliance.
Q Do you expect this to be on the agenda also, the President's meeting and --
MR. BURNS: I certainly don't want to commit the White House to a specific agenda ahead of time, but it's certainly now, at this point, one of the big issues in the U.S.-Russia relationship, and it was treated as such last week when Minister Kozyrev saw Secretary Christopher; and during the previous week when Deputy Foreign Minister Mamedov was here in Washington.
Q Do the proposals require any amendments to the treaty?
MR. BURNS: David, at this point I've taken a pledge, and that is that I won't talk about the details of this NATO proposal in public. It's going to have to remain private until we've had some subsequent discussions with the Russian Government.
Q Can you give us the State Department reaction to the French nuclear test yesterday?
MR. BURNS: I can certainly give you an Administration reaction. Just following the example of the White House, which issued a statement last evening, and that is one of regret. The United States regretted very much that France took the action that it did. We will continue to urge France, as well as all nuclear powers, to refrain from nuclear tests in the future.
I would hope that France and other nuclear powers would join the United States in a global moratorium as we work to complete and sign a comprehensive test ban treaty by 1996.
Q Nick, do you have anything on an American who has been living in Egypt over the past 15 years and was given a week to leave the country?
MR. BURNS: Just before coming out here I saw a brief press report on this. I don't have any specific information. I do know that the individual in question at this point, I don't believe, has talked to our Embassy authorities in Cairo. So, therefore, we have the information, George, that you have; and I'll be glad to keep you abreast of this or come back to it if we develop further information.
Q Nick, do you have anything on the KEDO meeting in New York today? What are they discussing?
MR. BURNS: Yes, I do. They are discussing the ongoing implementation of the Agreed Framework. There is a KEDO meeting -- I believe it's today -- in New York. There was a meeting, I believe, two weeks ago -- perhaps three weeks ago -- in Kuala Lumpur that launched the new phase of this. KEDO now having been created, now having an Executive Director -- former Ambassador Bosworth -- is up and running, and I think much of the diplomacy with the North Koreans will now be centered in KEDO's discussions with the North Koreans.
Obviously, the United States, Japan, and South Korea -- as three of the leading members of KEDO -- will play a close role, an active role, behind the scenes; but the diplomacy will be focused on these particular meetings.
Do you have a follow-up, Ron, or is that --
Q I was going to ask whether any of the Congressional restrictions were going to affect the U.S. participation in KEDO.
MR. BURNS: I don't believe so; and we have certainly briefed the Congress on KEDO's creation, which was many months ago, and also on the activities of KEDO we're looking for an American contribution -- as you know, financial contribution. We're hoping very much we'll be able to fulfill that commitment when the House-Senate Conference ends its work.
So I don't believe there are any major restrictions, unless you're talking about something a little bit more esoteric.
Q It was the financial restriction, yes -- the Senate.
MR. BURNS: We very much want to keep the American commitment to contribute money to KEDO. It's not a very large sum; I believe it's about $20 million that the United States proposes to convey to KEDO.
Q If most of the diplomacy is now going to be centered on KEDO, is Ambassador Gallucci going to continue to focus full time on North Korea?
MR. BURNS: I think for the time being he will. This is still among the most important issues that the United States faces; and that is our very, very strong effort to continue the freeze on North Korea's nuclear program; continue implementation, in all dimensions, of the Agreed Framework.
I can't think of many issues that are ultimately more important to the United States than this one, so I have every indication that he will be continuing his efforts on that issue.
Q Regarding some press report, the U.S. Government invited some Iraqi-Kurdish group to Washington, D.C., to discuss their conflict. Can you confirm this invitation?
MR. BURNS: I can't confirm that particular story, but I can look into it for you. As you know, we've had a lot of contacts with the two major Iraqi-Kurdish groups in northern Iraq, including a meeting that we just held in Ireland a couple of weeks back.
One last question here?
Q One more on Korea. There were press reports -- well, last week and then this weekend again -- of instabilities, economic instabilities and hardships in North Korea -- and I believe some reports of troop movements and equipment movements toward the DMZ from the north. Nick, do you have anything on this matter?
MR. BURNS: Bill, not specifically, but I can assure you that in the matter that is of most importance to us -- that is, the Agreed Framework -- North Korea continues to adhere in all respects to the Agreed Framework. That's what concerns us.
There is some interest also in this Government of what is happening in that country behind the scenes, but it's really appropriate for a discussion of this nature that we're having today.
Q Could you hold up the (inaudible) again? You did a great job. (Laughter)
MR. BURNS: This is the individual -- Mir Aimal Kansi -- who is responsible, we believe, for the deaths of two Americans and the wounding of three others. He is wanted, and there's a $2 million price tag for information leading to his arrest and, we hope, ultimate conviction.
We hope that people around the world who know something about this individual, who may know of his whereabouts, will report that information to the nearest American Consulate or Embassy; and we hope very much that raising the issue here to $2 million will help the United States and Pakistan and others in our search for this individual.
Q Thank you.
MR. BURNS: Thank you.
(The press briefing concluded at 2:5l p.m.)
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