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

U.S. Department of State
96/01/22 Daily Press Briefing
Office of the Spokesman

                        U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                           DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                 I N D E X 

                        Monday, January 22, 1996

                                           Briefer:  Nicholas Burns

Secretary Christopher's Bilaterals and Trilateral
  w/Israeli and Tunisian Foreign Ministers .............1
Statement on Palestinian Elections .....................1-3

Israeli Gov't. Offer of Passage to PNC Members .........2

Cold War U.S. Arms Caches ..............................3-9

KEDO: Financial Status, Oil Shipments ..................9
Trilateral Mtg. in Hawaii ..............................16

Assistant Secretary Shattuck's Trip to Region:
  War Crimes Sites/Release of Prisoners ................9-14
Departure of Foreign Forces ............................11-13

Reaction to Selection of Prime Minister Simitis ........14

Report of Transit Visa Request by Taiwan's Vice 
  President ............................................14
Assistant Secretary Lord's Trip to Hong Kong ...........14

Report of Extradition of Joachim Schneider to Germany ..15

Islamic Group's Threats Against Americans ..............15

Secretary Christopher/FM Primakov Mtg. .................15


DPB #8

MONDAY, JANUARY 22, 1996, 12:36 P. M.

MR. BURNS: Good afternoon. Welcome to each and every one of you. There are some familiar faces in the room today. We have to move along quickly today, because by about 1:15/1:20 we're all going to move upstairs to the Ben Franklin Room for the press conference that the Secretary's going to have with the Tunisian Foreign Minister, Mr. Ben Yahia, and the Israeli Foreign Minister, Mr. Barak.

This morning the Secretary had a bilateral with the Israeli Foreign Minister, Mr. Barak. He had a separate bilateral with the Tunisian, Mr. Ben Yahia, and together now they're meeting on a trilateral basis upstairs -- the first ever such meeting. They'll all have something to say to you and answer your questions.

So we have to have a rather limited briefing today. I do have one statement. It's on the Palestinian elections over the weekend.

The United States congratulates the Palestinian people on yesterday's elections, and we congratulate Chairman Arafat on his election, as well as those elected to the Palestinian Council. We share the view of the international monitoring community that the election was a successful and historic opportunity for the Palestinian people democratically to choose their leaders.

Election authorities overcame many challenges to prepare for this historic event. There has been an enthusiastic and popular response throughout the election process, including a very high turnout during registration, the participation of nearly 700 candidates for the 88 seats on the Council, a lively campaign, and a very high electoral turnout over the weekend.

Now that the Palestinians have successfully completed their elections, it is important that the newly elected Council promote democracy, the rule of law, and human

rights. The United States will continue to support Palestinian efforts to develop their democratic institutions.

These elections are an important product of the peace process. They demonstrate clearly that there is a mandate for peace in the Palestinian community, and they serve as a testament to the ability of the peace process itself to produce results for those who embrace it.

I'd be willing now, Barry, Jim, to go to your questions.

Q Can I try, Nick? There were reports over the weekend -- maybe even a statement -- that the Peres Government in Israel is prepared to release people that they've detained from the old Council. At the same time -- I don't know if it's a quid pro quo -- they're renewing their appeal to Arafat to follow through on his promise to change the covenant.

As you look ahead in talking about human rights, democracy, is that one of the things you'd like to see happen, and, you know, what's your overall reaction to those statements?

MR. BURNS: We saw the Prime Minister's comments this morning, and clearly we firmly support the idea that you would want to implement all the obligations that the Palestinians have made, and the commitments they've made.

When Secretary Christopher was in Gaza on his last trip just ten days ago, Barry, he met with Chairman Arafat and made the point that the PNC had to meet at some point to do what it said it would, and that was to do away with the Palestinian covenant.

The fact that the Prime Minister of Israel has now offered passage to those members who are abroad to Israel to make this decision, I think, is quite constructive. We certainly would support that.

Q Would you say that the election was free and fair?

MR. BURNS: I would note that there was a massive international monitoring presence, and the American monitoring team was led by former President Jimmy Carter. Our Consulate General in Jerusalem had people throughout the West Bank. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv had, I think, 40 people in Gaza.

There were some irregularities. We understand that there is counting that continues in some districts, but I think it was a credible process -- the electoral process -- and I think on balance it was certainly free and fair. That's how we judge it, based on the reports that we have received, both from former President Carter but also from the European Union monitoring team. Both those teams have made statements.

Q Nick, do you have any concern about the very heavy Israeli security presence at the voting places in East Jerusalem and the impact that apparently had on the turnout?

MR. BURNS: Mark, I've just seen the press reports on that. What I've not seen is a report from our Consulate in Jerusalem, which would have been best placed to have observed that if we had people there -- and I assume we had some people in East Jerusalem.

So pending our analysis of what the ConGen says, I think I'd like to reserve some judgment on that particular question.

Q But can you explain why he hasn't reported yet?

MR. BURNS: I have not seen the report. I assume that there is going to be a report from the ConGen. The ConGen may have reported, and it may be just a case that I haven't seen the report. But I'd like to reserve judgment on your question until I have a chance to at least see a report and perhaps even talk to some people who were there.

Q But have you seen the comment by former President Carter saying it was clear that there was an attempt to intimidate the voters in East Jerusalem?

MR. BURNS: Yes, I have seen that comment.

Q And do you give it any credence now?

MR. BURNS: Former President Carter said what he did. He was in charge of the U.S. monitoring team, and I think that his statement has to speak for itself. But what we think about it here in the Department of State is another matter.

Mark has just asked a specific question. I'd like to get back to you on that. We'll address that question.

Q Good morning. The American Ambassador to Vienna has revealed over the weekend that there are a number of -- I think the number is 79 -- hidden caches of the CIA in Austria. I just wonder, since the Ambassador has also told the Austrian Government that the list of the various sites will be revealed -- it would be handed over to Austria within the next two weeks.

The Austrian Foreign Minister apparently is rather upset about this long period of time. Are you aware of any shortening of that handing over of the information?

MR. BURNS: First, I think Ambassador Swanee Hunt went on Austrian television over the weekend to try to explain to the Austrian people all the background of this. She also went in and saw the Chancellor, of course, to talk to him about this.

This was a decision to place these arms caches throughout Austria - - I believe in about 80 different locations -- that was made in the early 1950s. This was known to successive American administrations. It was not known, as far as I understand it, to Austrian Governments after 1955 -- after the Austrian State Treaty was put into effect.

It was known to the Austrian Government officials at the time when the caches were actually set up. Their purpose was in the event of a Soviet invasion -- and we all have to remember the political and diplomatic and security atmosphere of the time in central Europe in the early 1950s -- in the event of a Soviet invasion of Austria, the ammunition and the guns would have been available to Austrian partisans who presumably would have struggled against a Soviet invasion.

So there was a very good reason for doing this. It was agreed to by the Austrian Government of the time.

I understand from folks around this city, around Washington, that when we began to look through various commitments that we had made to governments and to people during the Cold War -- when the Central Intelligence Agency and others did that -- we came across this particular program. We, of course, consulted with the Congress and then made the decision that we had to go quickly to the Austrian Government, which Ambassador Hunt did on Saturday.

So we hope it's an issue that the Austrian people will understand we now would like to work closely with the Austrian Government on. The Austrian Government can be assured of our full cooperation, both in going to all of these sites and in dismantling these sites.

We don't believe that any of them pose an environmental hazard to Austrian citizens, and I think we said the other day -- and I'll be glad to repeat it today -- that we did not store nuclear or chemical or biological weapons or agents at any of these sites.

These were more ammunition and arms that would have been used by partisans to fight against a Soviet invasion.

Q Do you have any knowledge of the size of these caches? Can you go through some of the descriptive detail? Were they only in the American zone? Were they only in the Soviet zone at the time?

MR. BURNS: I don't know where each of the 80 locations are, and I don't know if they just comprise the American zone or whether or not they went into the other zones in Austria before 1955.

In general, I have seen a description, and it really is ammunition, guns and supplies that partisan fighters would have used in a guerrilla war against advancing Soviet troops or occupation troops, if it had come to that.

Q Is there an explanation for why, after so many decades, this is coming out now? Is it because someone stumbled across it? Why has it taken 40 or 50 years for this to emerge in public?

MR. BURNS: I think all of us feel in looking at it, Jack, that this should have been relayed to the Austrian Government sooner. This administration, once senior officials in this Administration were apprised of this particular program, took the initiative to go to the Congress, tell them about it, and then to go to the Austrian Government on Saturday.

It's my impression, Jack, that until very recently this was not information that was available to senior officials in this government. I know that in trying to mop up from the Cold War people around town felt it was very important that we now go public with this as well as talk to the Austrian people and the Austrian Government.

Q Nick, are there any other nations in the region where that same situation exists?

MR. BURNS: I assume that we had programs in other countries, but I don't have any information to give you today on those programs.

Q Do you know what countries -- any number of secret weapon sites?

MR. BURNS: Yes, I understand that we had weapons sites in other countries; but I believe that Austria was the only country in which the successive governments during the Cold War did not know about the location of the sites. I believe that when we had these programs in Western European countries, many of whom are NATO allies, the governments were, of course, aware of the existence of these sites. I just can't tell you what the countries were. I don't want to give you a list, because I fear it may be incomplete.

Q Nick, has the decision to inform the Austrian Government over the weekend been hastened by the Boston Globe story on Saturday, or was that sort of a decision that you have taken for a long time?

MR. BURNS: The decision was made, I think, quite recently to inform the Austrian Government. We felt we had to apprise the U.S. Congress first, which happened. We certainly did not want the Austrian Government to be in a position where it heard about something from the press before they heard it from us. We never want that to be the case. Sometimes that works, and sometimes that does not work.

In this case we did the appropriate thing. Ambassador Hunt sought an appointment with the Austrian Chancellor, had a good conversation with him, and then, as you know, she went on Austrian television, which we felt was appropriate.

Q Nick, when will we get the list now?

MR. BURNS: "We" being Austria?

Q When will we get the list for Austria?

MR. BURNS: As soon as we can gather all of the information that the Austrian Government needs -- the location of the 80 sites, what was in each of the sites -- we'll give it to the Austrian Government. We will then cooperate with the Austrian Government in dismantling all of the sites, in taking care of any questions that the Government or the people of Austria have concerning this program.

Q And whose property is it now?

MR. BURNS: Well, that's a very good question. I don't know that the Austrian Government is interested in claiming title to the equipment and ammunition. If it is, I'm sure we'll have to deal with that question. I assume it's the property of the United States, though. We are taking responsibility for dismantling the sites; but if any requests come up, we'll certainly entertain those requests.

Q A key figure in Austria, Fritz Molden, who is now a journalist, claims that he was in the liaison discussions between the U.S. Government and the Austrian Government during that period. He says that in 1955, after the Russians pulled out, the weapons were given to the Austrian police, that none of these caches exists. You don't buy that. You say they're still buried in graveyards and fields and things all round the country?

MR. BURNS: I saw some reference to that, too, Jack. As far as I understand it, and as it has been described to me, we -- the United States Government -- believe that these weapons caches still exist and that they have not been used by anyone else. We think that they are where we put them. It now is a process of dismantling them.

Q Is there anecdotal things that you have found from looking at the first cut of this? Are they in graveyards, are they in some of the differences places that we have been reading about?

MR. BURNS: I understand they're all over Austria in many different locations. More than 40 years has gone by. The Austrians, both local authorities and perhaps Federal authorities, have built structures even over some of these arms caches because they were unaware of the existence of these arms caches.

I think the important point for the Austrian people is that we do not believe that these arms caches pose an environmental or security threat to them. We believe that the weapons can now be disposed of in such a way that it doesn't pose an environmental threat.

Q There are also reports that there was gold buried with this. Is that untrue, to the best of your knowledge?

MR. BURNS: I'm not aware of that report. If it true, I probably wouldn't say. We don't want to set off a gold rush in Austria.

Q Nick, in these other unnamed countries, are those caches still extant?

MR. BURNS: I don't know in all cases. I think the situation may be very different in each particular country. If you're interested, I can follow up with our European experts on that, Jim, and try to get an answer to that.

Q As I understand what you said, the Austrian authorities since 1955, when it became independent, were not kept informed of the fact or the location of these caches?

MR. BURNS: That's right. As I understand it, this program was worked out with the Government of Austria prior to 1955 -- I believe in the years 1952-53. Subsequent to 1955, after the Austrian State Treaty, after the withdrawal of foreign forces from Austria, the United States did not inform successive Austrian Governments until Saturday, January 20. This was, obviously, a decision taken by the Eisenhower Administration and subsequent Administrations.

Q That leads to the next question, which is what good would these hidden supplies of arms be if the Austrians themselves didn't know about them and couldn't find them?

MR. BURNS: It is sometimes perilous in retrospect to judge some of the logic employed by many of us, many of our countries during the Cold War.

When senior people in this government discovered that the Austrian Government was unaware that these arm caches existed, the senior leadership in this government decided that we had to make the Austrian Government aware of this; that it was our responsibility as a friend of Austria to do that. Ambassador Hunt took that action on Saturday.

Q One can assume that the senior leadership is also now engaged in an urgent search to see if there are other little stashes around Europe. Is that also true?

MR. BURNS: I think the senior leadership has instructed those who are responsible for these program, yes, certainly, to look into what other caches may be or may not be in existence in Europe.

I do know that there were programs in other countries, and I will follow up and try to get you a list of those countries.

Yes, Steve.

Q Were any of those updated or modernized post-1955?

MR. BURNS: I'm not aware that they were. I'm not aware that they were.

Q Has anyone access to these caches aside from the people? The Austrian Government apparently did not know but that doesn't exclude that other Austrians, for example, would know and have access to it.

MR. BURNS: Certainly, the Austrian Government, prior to 1955, knew about the existence and location of the caches. I assume that means others in Austria, including, throughout the Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies, ex-government officials. So I can't say for sure who these people are, but that just stands to reason, I think.

Q Did anybody take care about the weapons during the last decades?

MR. BURNS: I think that was the question I just answered. I'm not aware that was the case. I don't believe that we sent teams in surreptitiously to repack the rifles in grease. I just don't know if that's the case.

Q (Inaudible)

MR. BURNS: Right. Another part of the logic of the Cold War. But we went into this with the cellars that people dug in the 1960s with supplies and supplies, of course, that would not last beyond a couple of years. This is just another bit of color from the Cold War.

Q I had a question on another subject. Is KEDO running out of money? Can it get the sufficient funds to make the next delivery of fuel oil to the Koreans which I think is due this month or next month?

MR. BURNS: A number of countries have made financial commitments to KEDO, among them the United States. We certainly believe that all countries should make good on those commitments. I don't have, Jim, with me today a sense of KEDO's balance sheet and I don't have a delivery schedule for the next shipment of oil, but I'll look into both questions for you.

Yes, Laura?

Q Assistant Secretary of State Shattuck was successful in visiting some sites over the weekend in Bosnia. Since his visit, there has been some discussion again about what IFOR's role will be in securing this area.

The sites that he visited at this moment are not secured by any IFOR troops. Is the United States confident that the evidence that they saw will be left in its present state as long as there are no troops to secure the areas or to make sure that nothing is tampered with?

MR. BURNS: That was a very strong warning that John Shattuck gave to the Bosnian Serbs and all others who might be tempted to tamper with evidence. He told them that would not work, number one; and, number two, now that these sites -- some of them at least -- have been looked at by him and by other investigators, including investigators from the War Crimes Tribunal, that that simply would not succeed; that the international community would pay attention to what happened at these sites.

I just talked to John Shattuck about an hour ago by phone. He was in Belgrade this morning. He is now in Sarajevo.

Let me tell you, first, that Secretary Christopher called him yesterday to congratulate him on the outstanding and very, very effective mission that he led to Srebrenica, and a dangerous mission I might add.

Secondly, the Secretary called him again today to reiterate the very strong support that Assistant Secretary Shattuck has from all of us in Washington and our admiration for the job that he's done.

John Shattuck, in arriving in Sarajevo today, met with Admiral Smith. He gave Admiral Smith a full briefing on his travel to Srebrenica. He stressed to Admiral Smith that based on what happened this weekend, Assistant Secretary Shattuck does believe that the Bosnian Serbs have an interest in cooperating with the War Crimes Tribunal and in cooperating with other efforts such as his trip to try to investigate war crimes.

Shattuck was able to visit all of the sites that he wanted to visit. He did not announce his visit to any of the sites in advance to local authorities, but he did have the cooperation of Bosnian Serb authorities to allow him to travel in the area, which, of course, is fully consistent with the Dayton Accords.

He met in Zvornic with the new Bosnian Serb Interior Minister, Mr. Kijac. He also met in Belgrade with President Milosevic this morning. Both President Milosevic and Minister Kijac have made very firm commitments today to John Shattuck that they will cooperate with the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal; that they will cooperate with any other effort to try to investigate the war crimes that we are sure were committed after Srebrenica, now when there are 6,000 to 8,000 men missing.

John, of course, is aware of the very good statement that was issued today in Sarajevo by Admiral Smith and Justice Goldstone. He fully supports the statement that was made by Admiral Smith and Justice Goldstone.

Of course, the details of future arrangements between IFOR and Justice Goldstone will be worked out between the two of them.

John subsequently met with Justice Goldstone himself and Justice Goldstone said he was very satisfied with the meetings he'd had with IFOR officials.

He is also looking into the prisoner exchange issue. This is an issue that concerns us. We had been hopeful Friday, noon, that Assistant Secretary Holbrooke had worked out an agreement on prisoner exchange. Our view is that all prisoners of all stripes and from all groups should be released immediately.

John Shattuck is meeting today with Carl Bildt, with the ICRC, and with the Bosnian Government to try to make crystal clear to all parties that all prisoners must be released. He had a conversation with President Milosevic on this particular issue and President Milosevic said that the Serbian Government would use its influence with the Bosnian Serbs to try to effectuate as soon as possible a complete prisoner release.

As you can see, he's had a very active weekend and we're very pleased with the results of his mission there.

Q Nick, where was the disconnect on the prisoner exchange? The Secretary announced that all the prisoners would be exchanged. Where's the disconnect?

MR. BURNS: We understood from Assistant Secretary Holbrooke as of noon Friday that we had worked out with the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian Government and the Croatians a complete prisoner exchange. All of them agreed to that in a meeting which they all attended.

Subsequent to that, however, during the afternoon and evening hours here, we learned that only a little over 200 prisoners had been released. That would leave 600-700 prisoners who had not been released.

I understand that the process has been moving very slowly over the weekend. A few prisoners released here and there but not the complete release that we had expected. We're reminding all parties that it's their obligation under the Dayton Accords to release everyone immediately, and we're not going to stop talking to them until that happens.


Q Smith said this morning that all of the foreign forces were not out of Bosnia yet. What efforts are you making to make sure that the mujahedin and others are out of there soon. Friday is that deadline.

MR. BURNS: We're concerned about it. This was a deadline that was also not met on Friday. We are raising this at the highest levels of the Bosnian Government. Dick Holbrooke raised it with President Izetbegovic. John Shattuck is raising it with his colleagues in the Bosnian Government. Of course, Admiral Smith is working his channels to make the Bosnian Government aware that it is their responsibility to see that all foreign forces who do not claim any right to Bosnian citizenship should have been out of there by last Friday. If they are still there, if there are still some remaining, and we believe there are, they should be out as soon as possible.

Having looked at this question very closely over the course of the past couple of weeks, Betsy, we're convinced that many of the mujahedin and other foreign forces have left, and they left via Croatia. We have had this confirmed by sources within the Government of Croatia.

However, it is clear that some remain. We're concerned about their presence. Some remain in the American sector. That, of course, represents a possible future threat to American forces which we will not countenance.

Q Do we feel that we know who all of these people are and where they are?

MR. BURNS: I don't believe that anybody has an exact number that can be credible of all foreign forces who are resident in Bosnia before the signing of the Dayton Accords. I don't believe we have an exact number of those who may be remaining.

But, in general, through various means available to us, including the information we're picking up because our troops are there, we're pretty well aware of who the people are that remain; where they are and their general number. We're concerned about it, and we're going to use all of the influence that we have to convince those people to leave.

Still on Bosnia?

Q Going back a minute to Shattuck's warning and the State Department's warning that it simply wouldn't work to try and destroy the evidence from mass graves. If those mass graves are not guarded and if they are not looked after, it can work; they can be dug up and the bodies can be disposed of in some fashion. Why do you say it cannot work?

MR. BURNS: That would be the case if there had not been any objective Western travel to those sites, and now there has been. And, secondly, if there had been no testimony from the survivors of Srebrenica. There was testimony given just a couple of days after the fall of Srebrenica by the women and children who made it to Tuzla; and subsequent to that, of the men who survived the march through the woods from Srebrenica to Tuzla during that week in July. A lot of them have already given their testimony to the International Committee of the Red Cross and to the War Crimes Tribunal. That testimony can't be altered.

Now that John Shattuck and the two investigators from the Tribunal have had a first-hand, personal look at some of these sites, if they are altered -- and, of course, they took photographs over the weekend and they have their own personal memory, which is very deep about this -- if they're altered, we'll know about it.

So I think that any attempt by the Bosnian Serbs or those responsible for the gross war crimes that were committed after the fall of Srebrenica, any attempt is going to fail.

Justice Goldstone has been looking into this particular incident for many months now. When he visited Washington a couple of months ago, he said he was far along in his investigation. In fact, part of the indictment issued against Karadzic and Mladic is based upon the actions of Bosnian Serb troops after the fall of Srebrenica.

So I think there's sufficient evidence and information out there that will thwart any attempt to try to wipe the slate clean.

Q Does the Tribunal at this point have enough money and other resources to --

MR. BURNS: The Tribunal needs more support from the international community. Right now it has 22 people on loan from the United States Government -- from the Justice Department, from the State Department, from the FBI. These are investigators. They are lawyers, criminologists who are working with Justice Goldstone in The Hague.

He also has more than a $20 million commitment from the United States. We're the leading financial contributor to the War Crimes Tribunal. He certainly needs more money. He needs more people to help him do the research. When he was here and when he visited with us, he made it very clear that one of his problems is he's got so much raw information coming in and so few people to process that information that the process of issuing indictments is going slowly.

So we certainly would support other countries stepping forward to give additional financial and personnel resources to Justice Goldstone.

Still on Bosnia, before we move on. Yes, Lambros.

Q Do you have any reaction to the new Greek Government under the Prime Minister Costas Simitis, which has been sworn in today in Athens?

MR. BURNS: We're very pleased that Prime Minister Simitis has taken office. The State Department issued a statement on Friday, congratulating him upon his selection as Prime Minister, and the White House, more importantly, also issued a statement on Friday, welcoming him. Greece is an important NATO ally, and we look forward to working with him and his new government.

Q Nick, do you have anything on the second visa request of the year by the Taiwan Vice President for transit to Haiti?

MR. BURNS: I thought we were going to have a reprieve in our almost daily discussions about visa problems that we've had over the last six months. I guess not. I'm not aware of this particular -- this is a new visa request by Vice President Li, who was just in Guatemala. He's now back in Taiwan, and he now wants to go to Haiti.

Q Yes.

MR. BURNS: If we received such a request, I am unaware of it, but now having been warned, I will check on this. I'm sure we'll have another round of discussions in Beijing, Washington, Taipei on this, which will be public. We'll go through it, and I think the important thing to remember here is that the United States and China have a very important relationship, and visa questions like this ought not to have a major impact on that relationship, unfortunately as they have had in past months.

Q On an issue close to China, Assistant Secretary Win Lord was in Hong Kong and talking to both the Chinese and Chris Patton. What is his assessment of the situation in the colony?

MR. BURNS: Assistant Secretary Lord is happily perched in Honolulu, as we speak, and he has to have on the 24th and 25th trilateral meetings with the Japanese and Koreans. I have not had an opportunity to speak to him about his trip. When he returns, I'm sure I'll have a fuller report on his impressions of his visit to Hong Kong.


Q Do you have a status report on the extradition to Germany of the German tycoon, Juergen Schneider?

MR. BURNS: I don't believe I have such a status report, but, if you're interested, I'll search for one.

(TO STAFF) John (Dinger), I don't believe we have anything like that, do we? Yes.


Q Is there anything in the works as regards security inside or outside the United States as a result of a written statement finally being made by the Islamic Group in Egypt about the sentencing of the Sheik?

MR. BURNS: Yes. We made a statement. In fact, we released a statement from the Press Office, I believe, last Friday. Let me just say, Steve, we regard all such threats, including the one made by the Islamic Group which, for those of you who are not aware, is the name of this organization.

We certainly take all such threats seriously, and I can assure you that all United States installations, including our Embassies and Consulates, are taking the appropriate security measures and precautions, and additional security measures will be taken in light of this specific threat.

The public announcement -- I guess it was Thursday, Steve -- that we released was in the wake of the sentencing of Omar Abdel Rahman. It advises Americans overseas of the possibility of increased risk of terrorist incidents against American interests, and the statement says that American citizens traveling abroad should pay close attention to their personal security practices in light of the threat from the Islamic Group.

Q Nick, do you have any locations for the Primakov-Christopher meeting next week?

MR. BURNS: I don't. As you know, Secretary Christopher is anxious to meet Foreign Minister Primakov. The Secretary made a suggestion that they meet in Europe, very briefly, as the Secretary proceeds after that on to the Balkans and the Middle East some time late next week.

We've had a number of discussions with the Russian Government. We have not yet been able to work out either the venue or the timing of the meeting, but we'll continue working on that question.

Q Can you tell us more about the trilateral meeting in Hawaii, if we're going to be getting a more detailed description of the agenda, if there will be a readout afterwards?

MR. BURNS: We'll certainly give you a readout, probably on the 26th, on Friday, because the meeting, of course, will go on until late in the afternoon the 25th in Honolulu. It's a meeting to try to work out among us common positions and to have good discussions on the issues that face all of us, including the Korean issue, including the Agreed Framework and our mutual commitment to KEDO, and to making sure that the Agreed Framework is implemented.

Q Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 2:09 p.m.)


To the top of this page