Return to: Index of 1994 Daily Briefings || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

U.S. Department of State
95/12/13 Daily Press Briefing
Office of the Spokesman

                           U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                             DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                   I N D E X 

                         Wednesday, December 13, 1995

                                               Briefer:  Glyn Davies

Agreement with KEDO on Providing LW Reactors ..........1-2
-- Approval Process, Timing ...........................1-2
UN Report re Effect of Flooding and Relief Needs of 
  DPRK ................................................2-3
UN Visit to Evaluate Humanitarian Needs ...............3

US Reaction to Conviction, Sentencing of Wei Jingshen .3-4
Washington Meetings of Wei's Sister, Wei Shanshan .....4
Effect on US-China Bilateral Relations ................4
Japan FonMin Kono Announces Visit to China ............11

Customs Svc Adds Former President Carlos Salinas to
   Lookout List .......................................5-8
Canada Investigation of Former President Salinas ......7
Freedom of Travel to U.S. for Former President 
  Salinas .............................................7-8

Accession to European Customs Union ...................8
PM Ciller Remarks re Change of U.S. Position ..........8

Arrest, Investigation of Former President .............8-9
-- Slush Fund Investigation ...........................9

U.S. Ambassador Remarks re Narcotics Certification ....9-10,15
U.S.-Colombia Bilateral Relations .....................11

Concern re U.S. Reduced Environmental Spending, Threat
  to Environmental Agreements, Treaties ...............10-11,16

Consideration of Oil Embargo, Additional Sanctions ....12
-- Consultations with Allies on Nigeria  ..............12

Dispute re GCC Leadership .............................12

Capture and Transport to U.S. of Suspected Terrorist ..13

Importance of Safe, Free and Fair Elections ...........13
-- US and International Observers to Monitor Election .13
Concern About Adequacy of Police Training .............14-15

Sarajevo Bosnian Serbs "Referendum" for Separation ....15


DPB #180

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 1995, 1:29 P.M.

MR. DAVIES: Welcome to the State Department briefing. I'm very sorry I'm late. We're shorthanded today since some of our folks are out supporting the Secretary.

I don't have anything for you by way of a staged announcement. So, George, take it away.

Q What do you have to say about the South Korean endorsement of the agreement to provide North Korea with reactors and how that affects the U.S.?

MR. DAVIES: In fact, that's something we've focused on. What we know, of course, is that KEDO and the DPRK have reached agreement on the provision of light-water reactors to the North. Is that what you're referring to here?

KEDO and the North Koreans have reached an ad referendum agreement on the light-water reactor supply contract. We expect the agreement to be signed later this week following approval in the four capitals.

The agreement, from our standpoint, represents an important milestone in moving forward with the light-water reactor project although a number of implementing agreements remain to be negotiated on technical issues. Obviously, this is an important step forward in resolving the whole DPRK nuclear problem. I'm sure that KEDO could give you more details on it.

Q Are you saying agreement is required by the four capitals, one of which is Washington; right?

MR. DAVIES: It's ad referendum, absolutely, to the four capitals involved.

Q So it has to receive approval from Washington, on the one hand. On the other hand, you're saying that final approval is expected later in the week?

MR. DAVIES: That's right.

Q So some action has to be taken between now and this final approval later in the week?

MR. DAVIES: Right. The United States Government has to look at the agreement. That's the way it works. There's been agreement reached at a negotiating level. It goes back to capitals. The higher authorities in capitals pass judgment on the agreement. So that has to happen. We hope, we expect, we think it's going to be signed later in the week following approval in the capitals concerned.

Q Can we go to China?

Q Who has to pass judgment on this here in Washington? At what level?

MR. DAVIES: The internal process of passing judgment on it?

Q Yes.

MR. DAVIES: On this particular issue, I can't tell you exactly at what level in the State Department and around town people pass judgment on it. I suppose I could perhaps get you something on those internal workings. It won't be anything extraordinary about how this is dealt with.

Do you have a specific question about a specific individual who might be involved?

Q I was just wondering if Christopher is going to have to sign off on it, if it has to go that high a level or if it's just something that passes through here?

MR. DAVIES: I think this is absolutely something that the Secretary of State will be informed of, and he'll have an opportunity to act on it.

Q Some reports have said that U.N. efforts to end North Korea's famine, caused from the severe flood this year, may have to be abandoned because too many countries do not pay the monies, including the United States of America?

MR. DAVIES: Well, actually, the United States has responded to the humanitarian need to help supply the North Koreans with food -- the North Korean population. We responded positively to an appeal from the U.N. Department for Humanitarian Assistance for use in meeting flood disaster needs in North Korea. In fact, we've donated a total of close to a quarter million dollars in disaster assistance for North Korea. We did it because the U.N. has verified that there is a serious humanitarian crisis that exists in North Korea.

The assistance was possible -- we were able to do it and other donor-nations were able to do it -- because North Korea did something unprecedented; it permitted international agencies to enter the country to verify the disaster requirements and monitor the distribution of disaster assistance.

Q Do you know whether that refers to the visit made by U.N. representatives back in September, or has there been another one since then?

MR. DAVIES: There was the visit back in September. I don't know if other international humanitarian organizations, or the United Nations, itself, has been in since then. We can certainly look into that for you.

Q I just want to know what the United States response is to the verdict on China's dissident, Wei Jingsheng? Is President Clinton going to make any high-level appeal to Beijing with this issue?

MR. DAVIES: I think you can probably expect that there will be some kind of a statement coming out of the White House. I don't know that for certain, but watch to see if something is done by the White House.

I can do a couple of things. I can tell you that Assistant Secretary John Shattuck, our Assistant Secretary for Human Rights, spoke today at the National Press Club. So you have what he said, which we obviously associate ourselves with very closely.

Wei Jingsheng is a man who has earned great respect around the world. We don't believe he should have been incarcerated in the first place. We're greatly disappointed in the action that's taken place in China.

For example, the Chinese judicial authorities have yet to specify in public which sections of China's criminal law or other laws were violated by Mr. Wei. The vagueness of the formal charges causes us, and we believe the international community, to worry that Mr. Wei was convicted simply for his beliefs and for some of the associations that he held.

Obviously, free speech and free association are rights recognized by international human rights covenants.

The process here was flawed, severely flawed. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the process followed was unconscionable. He was in prolonged incommunicado detention. He was, of course, arrested very suddenly. In a formal sense, the trial was awfully quick. He had no time to prepare his defense, to consult with legal advisors.

The Chinese authorities clearly handled the case in a way that violated his internationally recognized right to a fair and public hearing.

We think the way this was done really gives the Chinese judicial system a black eye; that it suffered a serious blow to its prestige and has lost considerable standing.

Finally, we urge Chinese authorities to show clemency to this courageous man whose championing of democratic values has gained him international recognition.

Q Can I move to Mexico?

MR. DAVIES: Anything more on --

Q On China. We understand that Wei Jingsheng's sister is having meetings here this afternoon?

MR. DAVIES: That's right. She's been in town for a couple of days. She met with National Security Advisor Lake yesterday, and I believe the White House put out a statement about that. That was yesterday afternoon. She met today with Under Secretary of State Tarnoff and Assistant Secretaries Shattuck and Winston Lord here at the State Department. She will meet with Under Secretary of State Wirth tomorrow.

I think in terms of what was said to her in those meetings, I would simply say that everything I've said today, of course, was said to her; we're very concerned about what's occurred. We expressed that concern to his sister.

Q Will this have any concrete repercussions on U.S.-Chinese relations?

MR. DAVIES: This, obviously, for us means that we will redouble our efforts with the Chinese in our discussions of their human rights practices to make our concerns known.

I think it's probably safe to say that Wei Jingsheng is our number one human rights concern right now, today, with China. We will make that plain to the Chinese.

Q Do you have anything on Turkey becoming a member of the European Customs Union?

MR. DAVIES: Actually, I did something wrong. I should have gone over here to the young lady I recognized. Then I'll come back to you.

Q State Department officials stated that a U.S. Customs attache in Mexico placed Carlos Salinas' name on a list of people whose entry and departure is monitored. Can you tell us under whose orders that was done or what specifically were his motives for placing him on this TSC list?

MR. DAVIES: What I can tell you about that is, as has been stated publicly, Mr. Salinas is on this Customs Service list of people whose entry and departure from the U.S. is noted.

Also, as we've already said, there is no U.S. Government investigation of Carlos Salinas. Inclusion on this list is for informational purposes. It doesn't suggest that an individual is subject to detention or investigation of any kind.

Q I understand there's no investigation, but then why -- how did he get on this list?

MR. DAVIES: I don't have any details on the technicalities of how he might have gotten on this list. I would note that when Nick Burns briefed you yesterday, we didn't at that stage know that he was on this list, and that was why Nick confined himself simply to saying that there's no investigation of him.

Since then, we've learned that in fact he is on this list. We've got very little more to say about it. I mean, he's been put on the list. There's no reason to believe that the Mexicans asked that he be put on the list.

Q But is that common? I mean, can a Customs Official put a former President on a lookout list out of curiosity, just like that, or will there be any --

MR. DAVIES: I wouldn't characterize why he was put on the list. I'm confirming he is on the list. I'm not going to tell you by whom or how.

Q How does the United States feel about that, that he is on this list? It's an unprecedented move to put a former President on a list. What would be your reaction?

MR. DAVIES: I don't know that it's unprecedented. That's a list that the Customs Service uses for all kinds of purposes, and the point is he was put on it, and I've basically told you what I can about it.

Q A U.S. official said that probably should not have happened, that he should not have been placed there. So you're saying that he is still on this list, or will he be taken out and when, or you're just not going to get involved at all in the fact that he is on this lookout list?

MR. DAVIES: I don't know how long he'll be on the list. I'm sure that's the sort of thing that we look at frequently to decide who should go on it and who should not go on it.

Q (Inaudible) the State Department will not act upon it?

MR. DAVIES: When you say "act upon it," I'm not sure I know what you mean.

Q Well, it just seems to me --

MR. DAVIES: The list is not something that we act on. It's simply there so that we can be aware of when he comes into the country and he leaves the country.

Q It just seems to me that putting a former President on -- a Mexican President -- when now it's a sensitive political time for Mexico; to put the former President on a list where his departure and entry are monitored by Customs. What would be your reaction to that? What would the State Department --

MR. DAVIES: You're equating an administrative action, which is putting him on a list, with some kind of a public announcement we made that we put him on a list. In point of fact, unnamed sources are the ones who are discussing this, and that's how the story occurred. I mean, no one at this podium or at the Treasury Department came out on the record and said that we're putting him on a list.

So, obviously, the objective here was not to attract publicity about it. It was simply for informational purposes -- have him on the list so that we're aware of when he goes and comes. It's not so that we can detain him. It's not because there's an investigation, because there isn't. It's simply so that we know.

Q Was this building notified that he was going to be put on the list, and has this building requested that he be removed from the list?

MR. DAVIES: I don't know that we've asked for any change in his status on the list to ask that his name be removed. We weren't, I don't think, in any kind of a formal sense at the high policy level notified that he was going on this list. What I can say is his being placed on the list was not a surprise to those who work on our relationship with that country.

Q (Inaudible) on this subject. There's an article in Sunday's Washington Post by Tom Robertson on this particular matter of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and this article alleges that the Canadian Government is investigating Carlos Salinas. It also alleges that the Mexican Government is currently investigating Carlos.

Does this Government have any knowledge of those investigations, one? And, two, would that have any bearing on his being on this Customs list?

MR. DAVIES: We talk to the Canadians and Mexicans all the time about what they're doing; but the fact that they are conducting any investigations, you'd have to talk to them about those investigations. We're not, and we wouldn't comment on investigations other countries might be undertaking.

Q We're not cooperating in any way with either of those governments in investigating Mr. Gortari?

MR. DAVIES: I don't know of any particular cooperation that's going on with the Mexican authorities, if in fact they're investigating him. As I say, we are not investigating him.

Q You also said yesterday that you would seriously consider any visa request made by Salinas. Does that still hold true? Can he still come in and out of the U.S.?

MR. DAVIES: I think what was said is that it depends on what kind of a visa he's got. I don't know whether in order to come to the United States he has to reapply for a visa or whether he has a visa that's good. The point is there's no reason to exclude the former President from the United States that I'm aware of, but each visa application is considered on a case-by-case basis, as would his be.

But there's no investigation of the man. I don't know of any reason under our Immigration and Nationality Act he would be excludable.

Q I understand there's no investigation, but why is it that the State Department was not surprised that he was on this list? Was it that you were expecting it or --

MR. DAVIES: No. The point I wanted to make is that there were officials at the State Department who knew that he was being placed on the list.

Q Do you have anything on Turkey's accession to European Customs Union?

MR. DAVIES: We welcome that, obviously. We think that's a good development. In fact, we can go further and congratulate the European Parliament, the Government and the people of Turkey on what really is an historic achievement. We've supported this for a long time, so we're happy that it's happened.

We think that the Customs Union accession by Turkey will strengthen its economy and also those of the European Union member states, and ultimately in the long run we also think it will redound to our benefit in improved opportunities for Turkish-American trade and investment.

Q The Turkish Prime Minister -- in an interview she gave to a Turkish daily -- said that the United States was initially against, until last December, but then on behalf of her own efforts, the United States changed its status on this.

MR. DAVIES: I don't know the history of United States policy on that particular issue. Certainly since I've been aware of the issue, we've always supported Turkey's accession. It's been on the docket every time we've met with our European partners on the Customs Union matters, and we've made plain to the Turkish Government that we've supported it.

As to what the history of our policy is, that's history. The point is that we're very happy about this, and we supported it.

Q Thank you. This is (inaudible) of Korean Broadcasting System. I'm sorry, by my question is a little long. Last week Mr. Burns answered that it's not appropriate for him to comment on the current South Korean affairs, like the detention of two former Presidents and the slush fund, because of the internal affair.

But the issue, as you know, originated from the military coup in 1979 and the broad crackdown of Kwangju democratic uprising in 1980 which your government protested at first at that time, and Korean people think this slush fund might be related to the U.S. weapon company like General Dynamics.

So South Korean authorities are investigating whether GD had given the bribes to the former President Roh. In this context, South Korean current affairs are not only domestic issues but also international issues. So we need your government's comment on these South Korean current issues.

MR. DAVIES: Obviously, in a way that's an historical question, and we've put out a fair amount over the intervening years about our position on what we did at the time -- our position on the uprising, and so forth.

If the South Korean authorities approach us and have a question that we can answer, of course, we'll endeavor to answer it. But what I don't have for you today is any comment -- certainly not any elaborate comment -- on that particular matter.

We did issue a report -- the United States Government issued a report -- some years ago, a very lengthy report, that goes into the events of that period. Everything that we've got to say about that period is in that report. So I can get you a copy of that. But we're not going to comment today publicly on what is essentially right now an historical matter. We'll respond if the South Korean authorities come to us and have a question.

Q And considering the slush fund, if Korean Government ask your help to investigate the slush fund which might be related to General Dynamics, are you prepared to help the investigation?

MR. DAVIES: I think we have a very strong relationship with the Government of South Korea. We will obviously entertain any request they make of us very seriously and do whatever we believe is right and makes sense for both of us, if we're asked. I'm not going to get into specifically that issue, though, here today.

Q Victor Solano from (inaudible), Colombia. Since the U.S. Ambassador in Colombia, Myles Frechette, said that the certification for Colombia will be difficult, does the Department of State agree with him?

MR. DAVIES: I'm not going to speculate on whether certification for Colombia will be difficult or not. That certification is yet to come, and we'll deal with that issue when it comes down the pike. But I believe we're still some time off from certification, so I'm not going to say it's going to be difficult or easy or in between at this stage.

Q Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps is in this building tomorrow, in her role as Minister of Environment, and will be signing an agreement on wildlife with Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. But of equal, if perhaps not more, importance of her trip in Washington is to express Canada's concern about environmental spending by this government and the threat that the government sees on several treaties between Canada and the United States that apply to cleanup of the Great Lakes, acid rain and the Clean Air Act.

Is she correct, does the State Department believe, in expressing this concern that, indeed, in the very near future there is the possibility that some agreements over the decades could be imperiled?

MR. DAVIES: Money's tight, so unfortunately a lot of very good programs are being reviewed all the time to make sure that the diminishing resources we've got are properly applied where it best suits our interests as a nation.

So that process goes forward -- of review. But on the relationship between Canada and the United States on environmental issues, I can say that they are a high priority, and they're addressed both bilaterally and in the context of NAFTA -- the North American Free Trade Agreement.

We, the State Department, work with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Departments of Commerce, Interior, Energy, and other agencies of the United States Government and have regular meetings, in fact, with our Canadian and Mexican counterparts to discuss a broad array of environmental issues.

It's hard, though, to say precisely what impact the budget cuts that we face today, and will continue to face, will have on some of these important programs.

Q A supplement to that. Since most of these environmental budget cuts are inspired by the Republic majority in both the House and the Senate, will the Administration be giving the Minister -- Deputy Prime Minister in this case -- assurances that the Administration will fight for what have been, as I've said before, decades-long treaties and arrangements along the border?

MR. DAVIES: We're very concerned to try to preserve and enhance, obviously, our relationship on these issues -- environmental issues -- which affect people on both sides of the border.

But since she's still in town, I believe, and is still meeting with people, I don't want to characterize her meetings. I would let her, of course, do it from her side and perhaps after the meetings are over, we can give you something to characterize those meetings.

Q Not to press on this but then just as a supplemental, is there a difference between the Administration views on these environmental issues as they apply along the border than the current congressional budget-cutting issues on the environment?

MR. DAVIES: I think what's fair to say is that the Administration is unable to do all that it would like to do on environmental issues, especially in the international field, with the resources we've got. It's very difficult to make ends meet -- not just with Canada but with Mexico and with other countries we deal with on these issues.

But we haven't singled out this basket of environmental issues as one where we have a particular beef with the Congress, no.

Q I want to go back to China issues. After Mr. Wei was found to be guilty -- Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono is going to be in Beijing next week to have talks with his counterpart. Do you have any comment about this?

MR. DAVIES: I'm not going to give the Japanese Government advice on how it should conduct its relationship with China. It's up to them to make those determinations. We're always happy to see, obviously, stronger relationships develop in that part of the world. It's one of the reasons that we remain engaged in that part of the world, because it's an important part of the world. But I'm not going to get into giving advice to Foreign Ministers from powerful allied nations or in fact Foreign Ministers from any other nations.

Q I am (inaudible) from Colombia, Channel 7. At this point, how are the political relations between the United States and Colombia?

MR. DAVIES: I'm not going to characterize them beyond saying that we maintain very constructive relations with the Colombian Government. It's an important relationship for a variety of reasons that you know well. So you won't find from me today any criticism of the relationship that exists.

Q Let's go to Nigeria, if we can. Assistant Secretary Moose was on the Hill yesterday and suggested that among other sanctions the United States is considering an oil embargo, either multilateral or unilateral against the Lagos Government. I wonder if you could shed any light on that, and, if there's any deadline for when this embargo might be announced, I'd love to know what it is.

MR. DAVIES: We haven't set any kind of a deadline in the question of further measures to take in reaction to some of the actions of the Nigerian authorities -- the Nigerian regime. It's an open question, and we're still talking to a great extent with our partners who have concerns in the region about how we might proceed.

The problem, of course, with any kind of an oil embargo is doing it unilaterally is not often effective. So we've got to first seek agreement from other nations on a way to move forward, if, indeed, it's decided in our discussions with other governments that some kind of an oil embargo is the right thing to do. But, no, there's no deadline, no timetable, and we've ruled nothing out. We're looking at all ways possible to keep the pressure on the Nigerian regime.

Q Are discussions now proceeding with our allies to see if they'd participate in a multilateral embargo?

MR. DAVIES: We're talking with our allies about all aspects of how to maintain pressure on --

Q Including an oil embargo.

MR. DAVIES: -- the Nigerian Government. It certainly is a matter that's raised in those discussions.

Q Can the State Department offer any more information about the Saudi-Qatari dispute that occurred at the latest GCC meeting?

MR. DAVIES: As was said yesterday from the podium, we're not in the business of delving deeply into internal controversies in international organizations or regional organizations that we don't play a role in. So I'm not going to have any specific comment for you.

I think what I can say is, as I understand it, there is a process underway in the GCC to resolve the issue of who is to be the leader of the GCC. I believe a Saudi has been chosen. At this stage, we're happy with that choice, but it's up to the GCC, internally, to work where they go from here.


Q I missed the very first part of the briefing so perhaps you've addressed this. But do you have anything more on the person arrested and brought back to New York yesterday from Malaysia?

MR. DAVIES: My hands are tied on that issue for what I understand are legal reasons. I can't comment on that particular matter.

I think, on that, what you want to do is go to the Justice Department and ask them.

Q Is State involved at all in the arrest of this man or apprehension?

MR. DAVIES: I'm just not going to say anything about the matter because (a) right now, the action is certainly not in our hands; and (b) at this stage, in these types of events, we have to do a few things first. I refer you to the Justice Department if you've got questions about that.

Q Elections in Haiti. Has the State Department raised any concerns about the orderly manner in which Presidential elections should be held, the concern being that if there are too many irregularities it will feed the arguments of Aristide supporters who claim he should stay in power?

MR. DAVIES: We're very concerned, obviously, that those elections occur in a safe, orderly, democratic fashion.

There have been some recent acts of violence. I think there was one very recently where the home of an independent candidate, Leon Jeune, was shot up. It appears unfortunately that no one was injured.

I believe that the Haitians and the U.N. civilian police are looking into what happened. They're investigating it. That kind of thing is obviously just not on when it comes to a democratic election. We deplore it. We think it's not helpful, especially when it appears to be intended to disrupt an electoral campaign.

When the elections themselves take place, we're going to have observers down there in a couple of different roles. First, there is a Presidential delegation going down. It will observe the balloting and the vote count. Then, we'll have other American observers there as part of the OAS Electoral Observer Mission, which is coordinating all international monitoring of the election.

Q On Haiti?

MR. DAVIES: A Haiti question. Bill, did you have a Haiti question?

Q Just to continue on Haiti. There was a shooting on Monday that involved the U.S.-Canadian trained military force. This involved a bus conductor over some dispute about a fee. That conductor is now in critical condition.

There were demonstrations that followed, apparently over a period of time, the complaint being that the military police force is undertrained and trigger-happy. It called for the U.N. forces, by the demonstrators, to stay beyond the February 7 deadline.

Question number one: Are we concerned about the quality of those Canadian-American trained police forces that take over from the U.N. troops? And has this incident raised the prospect of U.N. troops -- or the U.N. force, I should say -- staying beyond the 7th?

MR. DAVIES: We're confident that the Haitians that we're training down there -- and we're doing it in conjunction, as you point out, with our Canadian partners -- are well trained. We're doing everything we can to make sure that they get adequate training to do the job.

Obviously, there is a real need in that country for a well-trained police force and other civilian personnel. We can't, unfortunately, as I understand it, spend as long as we would like running them through every possible course you can imagine. But we are, with our Canadian friends, working hard to make sure it's a serious effort, to give them all the training that's possible in the time we've got to do it.

We don't have any great concern that the Haitian police who are being trained, or the other civilian officials, are inadequately trained. We think that the people doing the training are doing a great job.

Q February 7: That claim (inaudible) and some Haitian officials that the U.N. forces then must consider staying beyond February 7, given what I take from what you're saying is some concern about the quality of the police force -- is that adding any pressure to stay beyond --

MR. DAVIES: We don't have any concern about the quality of those we're training. Obviously, one of the reasons we're training them is because there was a need -- an obvious need -- when we went in there to do this training. There was a question of the quality of the police and other civilian officials down there.

The timetable remains unchanged in Haiti. It's not useful for me to respond to the sentiments of mobs in Haiti or anywhere else in the world. So I'm not going to respond to that.

Yes, Bill.

Q Remember Bosnia?

MR. DAVIES: I remember Bosnia. Bosnia is big.

Q There was a disturbing referendum in Sarajevo where 91 percent of the Serbs in the Serbian neighborhood -- 91 percent voted and 99 percent of the vote in this referendum was, we want to be separate; we want to be separate and distinct as we have been.

Does this not point out the continued lack of understanding and perhaps reality of the Serbians in the Sarajevo area on the Dayton agreement, and how is this being addressed?

MR. DAVIES: Ambassador Holbrooke, I think, spoke to that issue today, the question of the referendum. The referendum has no standing.

What has got standing today is the Dayton agreement -- the Dayton accords -- which will be signed in Paris tomorrow, which really is one big confidence-building measure, both the general framework agreement and all the 11 annexes to that accord. They're meant -- all aspect of it -- to reassure all the peoples in Bosnia that the IFOR mission, when it goes in, is there to help them change their habits, from habits of war to habits of peace. That goes for the Bosnian Serb residents of Ilidza and the other suburbs of Sarajevo. It goes for all persons in areas that will be affected by the Dayton accord.

That particular referendum doesn't give us any great concern. It has no standing. We're moving ahead with the signing and with the implementation of the Dayton accords.

Q Do you think Colombia can have the USA certification for the next year -- for the certification of the narco-traffic war?

MR. DAVIES: I don't have anything for you today on the question of certification. Obviously, that's an issue that's important to us. We're working on it. It's still a bit in the future. Maybe we'll have some comment on it later on.

We are obviously looking very hard at that issue. At the end of the day we'll do the right thing on it, but I can't help you specifically.

Any other questions.

Q Perhaps betraying characteristics of being a Canadian, I didn't want to press too hard on the issue of our Prime Minister's visit, but I am left with a supplemental. Would it be fair comment from what you have said about the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister here tomorrow that Canadian citizens and environmentalists ought to be prepared for significant changes in treaties, arrangements,, and whatever, along the border as it applies to acid rain, clean air, and things of that nature --


Q -- notwithstanding what might be the Administration's public posture, Congress may weigh in and Canadians ought to be ready for change?

MR. DAVIES: I wouldn't issue any kind of an alarm to Canadian citizens that all of a sudden this skein, this framework of agreements that we've worked out with our neighbors over the years is going to change drastically. I don't think that's a fair thing to say at this stage.

What I said before about the budget still stands. The budget to implement these agreements at 100 percent, full up, is one of the budgets that's going to have to be looked at as resources diminish. It doesn't meant that there's going to be any great dramatic change that people are going to notice. So I would caution not to overreact to this unfortunate sort of budget reality here in Washington. It's affecting everybody; not just us and not just these types of agreements.

Q Thank you.

(Press briefing concluded at 2:10 p.m.)


To the top of this page