U.S. Department of State 95/12/6 Daily Press Briefing Office of the Spokesman U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Wednesday, December 6, 1995 Briefer: Glyn Davies FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Asst. Secretary Holbrooke's Travel to the Region ........1,4 Purpose .................................................1-3, 5, 7-8 --Confidence-Building Measures ..........................1-2 --Concerns of Bosnian-Serbs .............................2-7 --Meetings ..............................................3 --Equip/Train Bosnian Government Forces .................6-7 Afghani Fighters/Foreign Forces .........................8 Missing French Pilots ...................................8-9 Secretary Christopher's Travel to London Conference .....10 War Criminals --Bosnian ForMin Sacirbey Statement .....................10-11 --U.S. Soldiers Involvement in Capturing War Criminals ..11 MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS Ambassador Dennis Ross' Travel in Region ................9-10 Secretary Christopher's Travel to Region ................10 CHINA Government Selection of Panchen Lama ....................11-12 ISRAEL/RUSSIA Military Agreement ......................................12 ARMS CONTROL ABM/TMD Understanding ...................................13-14 CFE Agreement Status ....................................14 HAITI Return of FRAPH Documents ...............................14-15 INDIA U.S. Supporting Pakistan on Kashmir .....................18 Planned December 16 Protest at U.S. Consulate ...........18-19 Health of Hostage Donald Hutchings ......................19 ANGOLA U.S. Ultimatum - Withdrawal from North ..................20 DOS Santos Visit ........................................20
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1995, 1:08 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. DAVIES: Welcome to the State Department briefing. I have just one thing to give you right now up front and that is, as some of you may have noted, Ambassador Holbrooke, up on the Hill, testifying in front the Senate, mentioned that he was traveling to the region. I wanted to just spell out for exactly where he's going to be and what he's going to be doing.
Ambassador Holbrooke will travel to Zagreb, Belgrade, and Sarajevo over the weekend. He'll depart Friday and return on Sunday. He will be accompanied by members of the team that was with him before, including Chris Hill, his Deputy in EUR -- The European Bureau -- Brigadier General Kerrick, Lt. General Clark, James Pardew.
Ambassador Holbrooke will meet with the parties to the Dayton agreement to help re-enforce the momentum for implementation and build on the work being done in London. He will be completing plans for the NATO deployment and discussing a number of confidence-building measures to be carried out among the parties, including, of course, in the Sarajevo area.
With that, your questions.
Q Is this trip being undertaken to meet the objections of the Bosnian Serbs and the French and others who feel that the Serbs need more guarantees or assurances?
MR. DAVIES: No, not at all, Carol. The trip is being taken because we're now about two weeks out, or two weeks from Dayton, and about another week or so to go until Paris, and there's a lot going on. He's going out to the region to touch base again with the people who were at Dayton to see where things stand and to make sure that the very fine momentum that the process has enjoyed up until now continues -- certainly through Paris and beyond.
Q When you talk about confidence-building measures, what confidence-building measures does he have in mind, or the U.S. Government have in mind? Well, just answer that.
MR. DAVIES: He's not going out there with -- he's certainly not going out there to reopen the Dayton agreement. That's not part of what's happening here. The agreement was initialed and it will signed as it was initialed in Paris on the 14th.
He's going really to talk about implementation of the agreement and to discuss with the parties how the various annexes on the ground -- once IFOR goes in, after the signing -- how the various annexes are to be brought into being, actually made concrete on the ground. So he'll be talking about all aspects of it -- the elections, the return of refugees; really everything.
He's not going out there with a laundry list of things that he's got to absolutely get done, because, of course, the Dayton agreement is a comprehensive agreement that covers just about all contingencies. But anytime to move to implement an agreement such as this, there are details to discuss and that's what he's going to do.
Q You were the one, though, who raised the issue of confidence- building measures. I just wanted you to be more specific about what those confidence-building measures -- what do you mean by "confidence- building measures?"
MR. DAVIES: Obviously, there are those in various areas of Bosnia who are concerned about how this is going to play out as the agreement is implemented. He'll be going out there to talk to the parties about ways to make sure that, as we implement this, people are as calm and willing to participate as we would like them to be.
Q This is not in response to the Serbs --
MR. DAVIES: Carol, it's not confidence-building measures -- big "C" -- as was the case back in the days of the Cold War, when we were meeting in various multi-national contacts with the Soviets and we had elaborate rafts of measures negotiated at Helsinki and elsewhere. It's not that kind of a thing at all. The confidence-building measures, such as are in the Dayton agreement now, you can read as you leaf through the various annexes.
Q This is not in response to the protest from the Bosnian Serbs --
MR. DAVIES: No.
Q It is not?
MR. DAVIES: No, this is not in response to the protests.
Q What do you mean when you say that there are people who are concerned about how this is going to play out? You said that they're going there, in part, because there are people who have concerns about how this agreement is going to play out.
MR. DAVIES: Sure, sure. But what I don't want to do is characterize it as Ambassador Holbrooke going out there in response to some of the concerns that we've seen expressed by some of the people on the ground who will be affected by this. That's not the central purpose of this.
The central purpose is to go out and talk to the folks who initialed the agreement and who will sign it, to touch base with them since it's been two weeks since everybody was together at Dayton at the signing, and to among other things, talk about, obviously, confidence- building measures, ways to make sure that as the agreement begins to play out that those who will be affected by it don't become unduly alarmed by events as they occur.
I think it's a mistake to read too much into this.
Q Will he be meeting with Karadzic or Mladic?
MR. DAVIES: No, he won't. He won't meet with Karadzic or Mladic. He'll talk to the folks who were at Dayton.
MR. DAVIES: I'm sorry?
Q Will he be meeting with Koljevic -- Nikola Koljevic?
MR. DAVIES: I don't know. I don't have his list of meetings in front of me. He'll be traveling to the capitals and talking to the leadership in each of the capitals.
Q When he meets with Mr. Milosevic, will he be discussing the fate of Karadzic and Mladic?
MR. DAVIES: I don't know that he'll necessarily be discussing individuals. I think, again, they will talk about the agreement. One of the aspects of the agreement is, of course, the whole question of war crimes and making good on the various parties' commitments to the War Crimes Tribunal process. So I'm sure that will be among the issues he'll discuss.
Q On this trip, when was it decided he would go? Or has this always been foreseen?
MR. DAVIES: In terms of an exact moment when it was decided he would go, I don't have anything on that for you. I think there's always been some thought to going out and doing a round, a kind of shuttle round, such as he did in the run-up to Dayton, and touching base with everybody. That's what this is -- just preparing the way so that London and Paris, especially, go smoothly and well.
Q How is the United States and its partners to this accord going to prevent the mass exodus of Serb refugees from Sarajevo? What are you going to do --
MR. DAVIES: I'm not going to speculate on what's going to happen on some of these doomsday scenarios that we've heard from various actors out there. We just don't expect that there's going to be any kind of a mass exodus.
Q If you read the papers, and I'm sure you do, every single story about this topic quotes reams of Bosnian Serbs living in the Sarajevo suburbs saying the same doomsday scenario that you're talking about. It's not like it's some isolated observation. It's pervasive throughout the entire Bosnian Serb community.
MR. DAVIES: Sid, I've read the same comments being made by some out there. I've also read that many welcome the fact that this peace accord is now going to begin to be implemented. We simply don't believe that we're going to be faced with the suburbs of Sarajevo going up in flames. That's just not what we see happening here.
Q (Inaudible) the Dayton agreement may be nibbled away by some of the people who are now expressing reservations about it?
MR. DAVIES: No, no. Those who initialed the agreement and who will sign the agreement in Paris have been expressing no misgivings to us. Nobody has been nibbling away at it; none of the signatories has been coming to us and asking us to revisit portions of the agreement.
Q Going back to questions that Carol was asking, could you give us one example of a confidence-building measure?
MR. DAVIES: Sure. I can take a look at the agreement really quickly and give you an example of what we're talking about here. I'll give you a good one. A confidence-building measure is certainly the cantonment of some of the weapons, some of the troops of the various parties.
The agreement spells out ways in which forces would be required to go to cantonment areas, and there are all kinds of arms control provisions that play out over the months after the signature of the agreement that we expect will ultimately have an effect on the level of the forces. In other words, bring the forces down.
Q But the movement of weapons is not required to begin until the signing on the 14th, is that not right?
MR. DAVIES: That's correct.
Q So again, what is he going to bring to this process that is not already on paper?
MR. DAVIES: What is Ambassador Holbrooke going to bring to the process?
Q Yes, his team.
MR. DAVIES: He's going to be discussing -- and this time he will have had some sleep, because at Dayton, obviously, by the end everybody was pretty tired after three weeks of negotiating this -- they're going to go back and simply discuss again some of the provisions that are already agreed to in the Dayton agreement, with a view to getting at some of the details that may still be out there.
A lot of it is simply to touch base with the parties to the agreement and see what questions they've got about some of the details of the agreement.
Q Is there any concern about the referendum the Serbs are going to hold before the signing in Paris on December 14?
MR. DAVIES: No.
Q What if the results of this referendum will reject this Dayton agreement? Do you have any apprehensions concerning this matter?
MR. DAVIES: We're not concerned about it, certainly not greatly, and I'm not going to speculate about what the referendum will achieve or result in.
Q There's no political recognition with this referendum?
MR. DAVIES: I don't even think that question has come up about whether we would -- between the parties -- I don't think that's an issue.
Q The Bosnian Serbs have already initialed the accord.
MR. DAVIES: That's correct, right.
Q Why are they now -- it's odd that they're now calling for a referendum.
MR. DAVIES: This referendum will have no bearing on the accord itself. The accord has been initialed. It will be signed by the parties in Paris on the 14th, and we fully expect and have no reason not to expect that after the 14th the agreement will play out as written.
Q Assistant Secretary Holbrooke mentioned that he would address congressional demands. Was he talking about arming and training Muslim troops or Bosnian troops or --
MR. DAVIES: I didn't see his full testimony, so I don't know the context, which makes it a little difficult for me to answer that question. I don't know whether that was the particular -- whether the equip and train issue was what was at issue. I just can't help you.
Q But about training and arming the Bosnian Government troops, is that part of the discussions during his trip in the Balkans?
MR. DAVIES: I don't think that that will necessarily be at the forefront, because, of course, as the agreement is written and as we expect it to play out, we first want to get at the problem of any imbalance of forces through the arms control provisions which, as I mentioned earlier, talk about cantonment of forces. There are some provisions for actually bringing down numbers of some of the heavy weapons over time.
That's the process to look to first before we even worry too greatly about equip and train. Equip and train -- that whole issue is certainly out there, but it's not the first order issue. The first order issue is build-down of forces.
Q He also said -- maybe you can't square this -- but he also said that equip and train is going to happen even if the Serbs reduce their forces. I hadn't heard that before.
MR. DAVIES: I don't know that I can help you with that. I haven't heard it either until you mentioned it. So I just don't want to comment on that.
Q You said earlier that there are those who are concerned about how this is going to play out. Who are you referring to?
MR. DAVIES: Of course. The people Sid mentioned who have been quoted liberally in ticker items and in newspaper items and who have appeared on the television who have concerns about this. I mean, this is a big deal for the people of Bosnia. We're talking about peace for the first time, really, in years. For all of the people of Bosnia, this peace and this peace agreement are a change. Of course, there are some in areas -- if you look at that line that goes across the map of Bosnia that will be the line between the Republic of Srpska and the Federation, part of drawing that line, that agreement reached among the parties, was, of course, the fact that there are certain areas that up until now have been under the control of one side, and they will move to the control of the other side. So the people in those areas have concerns.
Q On the one hand you said, it seemed to me quite affirmatively at the start, that Holbrooke's mission was not a response to those kinds of concerns that have been expressed so vehemently in recent days, and yet now you're saying -- you're acknowledging, yes, they do have concerns, and this is something --
MR. DAVIES: Sure, of course, people have concerns. I never said people didn't have concerns out there. I never said that Holbrooke's mission is principally -- he's not running out there like a fireman to put out a fire on the part of these people who have concerns about the treaty.
The treaty is a long, complex document. It's got 11 annexes to it. There's a lot to discuss. There's arms control provisions. There are elections. There is the new government of Bosnia to talk about and how that's going to be set up.
Then, of course, very importantly, my colleagues at the Pentagon are working night and day to make sure that the military annex to the agreement is implemented properly. As we move here to the signing and beyond when IFOR goes in, there are a lot of details and issues to talk with the parties about.
So he's got a lot on his plate, not just some of these concerns, but, sure, these concerns are part of the mix.
Q Last Sunday The New York Times had a front-page story about the threat that could come to the U.S. forces in Bosnia from former Afghanistani fighters who are possibly poised to create some trouble there. What are the thoughts of the Administration over this --
MR. DAVIES: The agreement that was initialed at Dayton and will be signed at Paris discussed or includes a provisions that within a period of time -- thirty days of signature on the 14th -- all foreign forces, all irregulars, all others are to be out of the country.
So we look to the parties to the Dayton agreement to make good on their commitment to ensure that forces that are not nationals of those forces on the ground are out of the country. So that's essentially our answer to that.
Any more Bosnia?
Q The missing French pilots. President Chirac is threatening action, speaking to Milosevic. What's the U.S. --
MR. DAVIES: We're concerned about the pilots, and we're doing everything we can to help the French as they seek to gain their release. Of course, we look to the Bosnian Serbs to do everything they can, the presumption being that if anybody knows where they are, it's the Bosnian Serbs who do.
Q You're saying that the Bosnian Serbs know where they are, and therefore --
MR. DAVIES: We don't know where the airmen are. We're very concerned about them. Obviously, we're doing everything we can to seek their release, to help the French. We're making de marches to the parties out there on the ground to try to find out where they are and to seek their release.
So we're working with the French and others to find them and to have them released. But I don't have anything for you on where they are.
Q (inaudible) the Bosnian Serbs not know where they are?
MR. DAVIES: I don't know how the Bosnian Serbs cannot --
Q I mean, you injected an element of doubt there.
MR. DAVIES: Since we don't know where they are, we can't really comment on whether anybody else necessarily does. We look, though, to the Bosnian Serbs to find them and to see that they're released.
Q Have we presented any ultimatums?
MR. DAVIES: We're working, as I said, with the French. These are French airmen. They're taking the lead on this, as they properly should, and I'm not going to get into the details of the diplomacy of how we're trying to make this happen.
Q Will it be part of IFOR's mission to find those guys?
MR. DAVIES: It's not part of the Dayton agreement, so there's nothing specifically written in the Dayton agreement that talks about going to find the airmen. But you can bet, I think, that once we get forces in-country, they will certainly be on the lookout.
The more people we have on the ground, the more people who can help in this effort ultimately to find them. But, no, it's an issue of great concern to us -- the fate of these two pilots -- and we want to do everything we can, both now and in the future, to help the French find them and seek their release.
Q Will American forces engage in battle to rescue those guys, if necessary?
MR. DAVIES: You're asking a question that's really speculative. I'm not going to spin out various scenarios -- whether they'd be in a building that's guarded by others or in a field. We don't know. We don't know where they are, and we don't know what measures might be necessary to gain their release. But, as I say, it's a priority for our government, as it certainly is for the French, and we'll be doing everything we can to find them and to gain their release.
Q Middle East?
MR. DAVIES: Anything more on Bosnia?
Q Do you have the whereabouts or the agenda of Dennis Ross in the next 24 hours?
MR. DAVIES: He's in Israel today. Dennis, of course, is always busy in traveling around the region. I know he's in Israel. Of course, we all know that's he been in Syria. He plans to remain in the area for at least several more days, and he'll be coming back in fairly short order to report to the Secretary on what he's been able to accomplish.
Q Is the Secretary going to be in the region between the 14th and 19th of December?
MR. DAVIES: The Secretary's view of the peace process is that he goes to the region whenever he believes that his presence in the region would be helpful to move the process forward.
Q You can't confirm that the Secretary is planning to --
MR. DAVIES: I can't confirm anything like that, no.
Q Dennis is definitely coming back to Washington?
MR. DAVIES: My understanding, as it is now, is that he'll be out there a couple more days in the region, and that he'll be back in a couple of days. I can't give you his flight number. I don't know exactly when he's coming back.
Q I only ask, because it might be more convenient for him just to stay there and meet the Secretary.
MR. DAVIES: Nice try, Sid. (Laughter)
Q Will the Secretary be going to the London Conference?
MR. DAVIES: I don't know that the Secretary has yet decided whether he'll be going to the London Conference or not. He's very concerned, obviously, to make sure that the debate back here in the Congress and in the public also has his attention. So he will be making that decision, I think, very soon, if he hasn't already, and we'll be announcing it.
Q A statement made by Foreign Minister Sacirbey was focusing on the difficulty of peace without prosecuting the criminals of war. He speaking about Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Mladic. Who's going to take on with this criminals of war and take them to be prosecuted in The Hague now that the United Nations has reduced its participation?
MR. DAVIES: I can't put words in the mouth of the Minister. I can't speak for him. He has to speak for himself. But I would direct you back to the Dayton agreement and its provisions on this issue -- the issue of war crimes and bringing the war criminals to justice. It will not be a mission of the Implementation Force -- the NATO forces going in -- to go chasing after indicted individuals.
The parties, all members of the United Nations, certainly, and the parties to the agreement have the responsibility to follow through on that matter and do everything they can to make sure that these indicted individuals are brought to justice.
Q On that point, Glyn, I understand the Washington Times had a front-page story, big headline, the other day that the soldiers will not be hunting the criminals -- the indicted people -- but they will be able to arrest the leaders, as such. How are they going to go about this? I think the story read like this. Will they be carrying pictures of these criminals or indicted people, or something?
MR. DAVIES: I don't want to get down in the weeds of the issue, because I'm really not best placed to address it. You're really talking about what kinds of instructions the forces on the ground will have on the issue, and you should look elsewhere, really, for that answer.
I think what we've said is that if these indicted individuals come into our field of vision or area, then we will take appropriate action to see that they're brought to justice.
Q (Inaudible) the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina to turn over information about these people, their whereabouts and so forth, to American forces?
MR. DAVIES: I'm not going to stand here and lay out a prescription for how we're going to proceed to bring these people to justice. The point is we're committed to doing everything we can to do so, but we're not going to alter the primary mission of the Implementation Force, which is spelled out in the Dayton agreement, to the extent that we would have groups of soldiers going out to hunt for these people. We're just not going to do that.
We keep bouncing back to Bosnia. Does anybody have any non-Bosnia?
Q On China. The Chinese have installed their choice for the second holiest Tibetan figure.
MR. DAVIES: The Panchen Lama?
Q Yes. Any comments on that move today? Anything new?
MR. DAVIES: I've got nothing new from our standpoint on the issue of the Panchen Lama. Our position remains as it was in the past that we believe in religious freedom all over the world, including in Tibet, and we don't think it's entirely appropriate for political authorities to engage themselves in what are religious matters.
Q Do the Chinese know about that today?
MR. DAVIES: Pardon me?
Q Have you forwarded that view to the Chinese today?
MR. DAVIES: The Chinese know our view, and I haven't checked the cable traffic to see whether or not we've made a de marche on the Panchen Lama today. No.
Q Maybe this issue was not addressed in the last few days, but I understand a few days ago, Grachev, the Secretary of Defense of Russia was in Israel, and he made an agreement -- entered into sort of military agreement with the Israeli Government, and they announced about this recently that Russia is asking for military role or something in that region, which angered the Egyptians. Egyptian Foreign Minister Amre Moussa addressed this, and he signed his protest to this proposed agreement between Russia and Israel -- military agreement that they are talking about. Could you please look into this?
MR. DAVIES: I don't know that I have anything on that. You're talking about Russian involvement militarily where, precisely?
Q With Israel.
MR. DAVIES: With Israel.
Q Yes. I mean, an agreement to do some alliances or something --
MR. DAVIES: I haven't seen any reports.
Q Could you look into this, please?
MR. DAVIES: I haven't seen any reports like that, but, sure, we can see if we've got anything on that.
I've got a little something on arms control that I'd like to mention, if I could, because there have been a number of stories over the last week or so about developments in our exchanges with Russia on the ABM -- anti-ballistic missile and theater missile defense issue -- and many of them have included incorrect statements, particularly on how the agreement that we're working out with Russia will affect our program for effective theater missile defenses.
The understanding that we've reached with Russia is consistent with the principles of the May '95 joint statement by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin at the conclusion of their Hyde Park summit. All relevant U.S. Government agencies, including, of course, DOD and the State Department and others, fully participated in the decision-making process.
At the session of the SCC, the Standing Consultative Commission, that began on Monday, we've begun the next step of elaborating the understanding into a formal agreement. Under a demarcation agreement based on this understanding, we'll be able to develop and deploy highly effective theater missile defense systems.
With respect to those theater missile defense or TMD systems with higher velocity interceptors, the status quo continues, which is to say that the U.S. will make compliance determinations based on the relevant provisions of the ABM Treaty, as we've done since the Treaty was concluded in 1972.
Finally, in particular, this understanding doesn't affect the higher velocity systems, such as the Navy's "Upper Tier" program. We've already determined that "Upper Tier" is complying with the ABM Treaty, and that program, "Upper Tier," is moving forward.
So I thought you might have an interest in that, and I wanted to mention that.
Q The ABM. If there were an agreement, to the extent that there is this collaboration -- if there were an agreement between the two sides to kind of up it to the high velocity systems, would that be a possibility in terms of revising the ABM Treaty?
MR. DAVIES: I'm not going to speculate on where we're going on the agreement. I've just given you a fair amount that we hope sets the record straight.
Right now, as I said, the status quo of the ABM Treaty, as it was signed and concluded in 1972, pertains, and we've made the determination that "Upper Tier," which is a higher velocity system -- that that's perfectly consistent with the ABM Treaty, so it's going ahead.
Q Do you have a new development on the CFE agreement --
MR. DAVIES: I have one more here on --
Q And the rest of the agreement -- that the Navy's "Upper Tier" program is consistent --
MR. DAVIES: The Russians are aware of our position on this.
Q And do they agree with it?
MR. DAVIES: You'll have to ask the Russians.
Q You're meeting with them now. Is that something that --
MR. DAVIES: The meeting's now going. When the meeting's over in a couple of weeks -- I think it will wrap up December 20th -- perhaps we can let you know.
Q Are you talking about cruising speed or absolute velocity?
MR. DAVIES: I'm not a physicist, but I think of it in absolute velocity terms, and I hope that's correct. I can certainly find out for you from the standpoint of a physicist -- legally even what's talked about here. But I think it's in terms of absolute velocity. I can't say for certain, and we can get back to you on that. I can let you know.
Q Do you have any development on the Conventional Forces in Europe agreement?
MR. DAVIES: No, nothing new for you on that.
Q Haiti. When are you going to -- can you put on the record that the records are going back?
MR. DAVIES: Yes. I can put on the record that we told the Haitians that -- we've informed them that it's our intention to return the so-called FRAPH documents and other materials seized by the multinational forces in Haiti in the fall of '94 -- we want to return those to the Haitians.
The next step for us is to discuss with the Haitians modalities of how we would go about returning them. We, of course, want to do it as quickly as we can to return them in good order. It's my understanding that the records actually aren't in very good order. They're kind of in a jumble, so there's some work to be done to get them straight.
MR. DAVIES: We're concerned, of course, that the records not contain anything that would adversely affect anybody -- any U.S. citizens especially. We don't know that they necessarily do, but we want to go through them and make sure that if there are items in there that we think are going to prove difficult to American citizens, that we'll redact them. We'll take their names out.
Q One last one -- India?
MR. DAVIES: Is there anything else on FRAPH documents?
Q What was the delay in this agreement to send them back? The Haitians have been pushing this for some time. What caused the United States Government to delay its decision to return them?
MR. DAVIES: That, I can't help you with. First of all, I don't want to let stand this notion that the Haitians have necessarily been asking for months and months. It's been some weeks ago but it hasn't been some months ago that they first asked us for the records.
I guess I'd chalk that one up to the U.S. Government simply getting its act together and making a decision about how exactly we proceed on the issue.
Q You say you're concerned that the records wouldn't adversely affect anybody. Does that mean that the U.S. Government is going through them first to purge them of any possibly compromising information?
MR. DAVIES: We intend to propose modalities to the Haitians for the transfer which protect individuals, including specifically American citizens, from possible misuse of the documents. That's what we're up to now.
Q Individuals like Emmanuel Constant? He's not an American but he worked with the Americans?
MR. DAVIES: I don't know that we're going to be going through the documents and looking for Constant's name. Mr. Constant was on "60 Minutes." He's an opportunity to fully air his views right now.
Q You say you are going through the documents, but you're actually not returning all the documents. You're going to retain those that you think are risky for Americans here?
MR. DAVIES: I'm not engaged in the process of reviewing the documents or deciding exactly which of these thousands and thousands of documents will start to go back. I think what we're talking about is a flow of documents back to the Haitians that we hope to begin fairly soon. I don't know that there are any documents that we're going to wish to retain in their entirety. I don't think there will be many if there are any.
Q You said they'll be redacted -- that's your word. What do you mean? You're going to edit some of the documents before you give them back?
MR. DAVIES: As I said, we're going to go through the documents to make sure that we protect individuals, including specifically Americans from any misuse.
Once the documents go out of our hands, we -- the United States -- no longer have them and we simply want to make sure that we know what's in them and that we protect any American names -- or any Americans who might be mentioned in them, for whatever reason.
Q You said redact them. You're going to edit these documents or retain some of them?
MR. DAVIES: Let me correct that use of the word "redacted." If I were a journalist, I would have used the right word, because that's a word you all use a lot.
Q I think it is the right word.
MR. DAVIES: Is it? In any event, we're simply going to go through them to make sure that when we transfer them, there's no risk of their being misused should any American names be mentioned in them. That's all.
Q So it would be better to say you retain the right to keep some of those documents if you determine they would put Americans at risk?
MR. DAVIES: I'm not even going to say that because I don't know that that's the case.
Q That's what you've been saying now for ten minutes. I don't understand --
MR. DAVIES: I haven't said we're going to keep the documents. I said we're going to go through them and if we find -- what I have in mind more closer to this is actually blacking out names, if there are any and I don't know that there are. I don't have a report on what's in the documents. I don't think we've been through all of them. They're not even in the possession of the Department.
I just don't want to mischaracterize what's going to be happening with those documents except to tell you we're going to protect Americans.
Q Will the State Department take control of these documents from the military in order to be able to go through them for this purpose?
MR. DAVIES: I don't know. That hasn't even been a concern that's been raised. I don't know the modalities internally within the U.S. Government of how that process will play out of going through the documents.
Q So you don't know if it's the military or if it's the State Department or whether jointly a team will sit down to read through these documents to determine --
MR. DAVIES: I don't have a list of the people who will be doing this or their affiliations.
Q Who actually has possession of them now?
MR. DAVIES: I believe they're over in the Pentagon. I would refer you to them for more specific information about which ring, which floor, which organization has them. I don't know.
Q I hope this process of redaction goes better and faster than the Freedom of Information process.
MR. DAVIES: Thanks for that comment. I'm told I play a role in the Freedom of Information Act process, so I'll try to do better in light of that.
Q There's concern raised by the Pentagon that -- I mean, the issue of American names in the documents aside -- that returning these documents would lead to vigilante justice in Haiti. Apparently, those concerns no longer exist except for Americans. So you're willing to accept whatever consequences there are to Haitians who may or may not have collaborated with the FRAPH?
MR. DAVIES: I didn't say that. Our primary concern, as we work out ways with the Haitians to return these documents, is to make sure that Americans are protected. I've got really nothing for you on what other redaction or what other things we'll be looking at as we go through the documents.
Q You will be looking at other things other than the names of Americans?
MR. DAVIES: Sid, we'll be reading the documents. We'll be going through them. They were taken when we went in back in the fall of '94. We've committed to the Haitians to return them. What I've given you is about all I've got in terms of the process of returning them to the Haitian Government.
Q For example, if a document shows that an American citizen violated Haitian law, you would withhold that information?
MR. DAVIES: I'm not going to do "for examples." I don't have a copy of the ground rules of how we're going to go about going through the documents. I could certainly try to find out what that precise process will be. I'm not sure it's been worked out yet.
Q Can you talk about South Asia for a second, Mr. Spokesman?
MR. DAVIES: Sure.
Q Some political groups in India promote a view that the U.S. supports Pakistan in the issue of Kashmir with India.
I would like to know if the U.S. consciously follows a policy of favoring Pakistan over India?
MR. DAVIES: No, we don't consciously follow such a policy. Our policy on Kashmir hasn't changed. We encourage an immediate end to the violence. Our long-standing position is that it should be resolved through negotiations between the two countries -- India and Pakistan. We're more than willing to help in the process, to assist in it, but only if desired by both sides. That's hasn't changed.
Q They say on December 16, they're going to protest outside the U.S. Consulate in India, these political groups. They're saying that the U.S. supports Pakistan in the Kashmir issue.
When they have this demonstration, will the U.S. have a formal response to it --
MR. DAVIES: To the demonstrators?
MR. DAVIES: You're asking me what's going to happen on the 16th of December at one of our four or so consulates in India?
MR. DAVIES: I'm sure the Consul General or the Consulate will make the right determinations to ensure the safety of its people. I can't look into the future and tell you what will happen.
The policy I've just given you, that's our policy. I don't expect it will change between now and December 16.
Q In the same region. About a week -- or maybe it was two weeks ago -- there were reports that the American that's being held by Kashmiri rebels, and possibly one of the other foreign nationals that's being held --
MR. DAVIES: Mr. Hutchings.
Q Yes -- were in poor health and needed medical attention. It sort of dropped off the scope. There's no more information. Do you have anything?
MR. DAVIES: I don't have an update for you on Hutchings health. We wish that we had access to him so that we would know what his health is because we're very concerned about him.
We're not going to make any deals with those holding Hutchings and the others. But I'm happy to renew our call on those individuals to release them immediately. There's no reason to be holding the hostages out there.
Q Do you know if a doctor was able to get to them to possibly treat those that were sick?
MR. DAVIES: I don't know. I saw the same reports you did about, I guess, the Indian authorities discussing getting medical help out there. I don't know if a doctor was able to get out there.
Q Can you check that, please?
MR. DAVIES: Sure, I can check on Hutchings for you. I'll be happy to.
Q A question on Angola. Have you given Angola an ultimatum to withdraw from some areas that they occupied in the north of the country where there's a lot of oil?
MR. DAVIES: Have we given Angola an ultimatum? No. No, we haven't.
Q Did you summon the Ambassador and talk to him about this?
MR. DAVIES: We may have had a discussion with the Angolan Ambassador. I can certainly try to find that out for you.
What I can tell you is that we've made known our concerns to the Angolan Government through diplomatic channels, both here and in Luanda. Whether that was at the Ambassadorial level or not, I can't say.
We've protested the cease-fire violation. We've told them that we're very concerned about it.
Q And three days wasn't mentioned?
MR. DAVIES: Pardon me?
Q Three days was not mentioned?
MR. DAVIES: In what context?
Q That you wanted them to get out in three days?
MR. DAVIES: No, I've got nothing on giving them a 72-hour ultimatum.
Q Is Dos Santos visit involved at all?
MR. DAVIES: No. We got reports from the U.N Angola Verification and Monitoring mission -- UNAVEM III -- that confirmed that Angolan Government forces launched those attacks against several villages in what's called Zaire Province, which I think on the Zairian border, but it's in northern Angola.
The joint commission, which comprises the U.N., the so-called troika -- Portugal, Russia, and the U.S. -- and representatives of the Angolan Government and UNITA, has condemned the military activity. We're in the process of investigating the events.
Q Thank you.
MR. DAVIES: Thank you.
(Press briefing concluded at 1:53 p.m.)
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