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 U.S. Department of State
96/06/28 Daily Press Briefing
Office of the Spokesman

 
 
                         U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                           DAILY PRESS BRIEFING 
                               I N D E X  
 
                          Friday, June 28, 1996 
 
 
 
                                               Briefer:  Glyn Davies 
 
CUBA 
  UNSC Action for Shoot Down of US Aircraft/ICAO Rpt/........  1 
    US Action 
 
ARMS CONTROL 
  Prospects for CTB Treaty Agreement/Compromises/ ...........  2-4 
    Negotiating Process Continues/Prospects for September 
    Signature/Areas of Disagreement/US Position on Three 
    Threshhold States 
 
SAUDI ARABIA 
  Update on Bombing Investigation/US-Saudi Cooperation/ .....  4-8 
    US Future Access to Suspects/Rpt Vehicle Turned Away/ 
    Preventing Future Attacks/US Denied Access to November 
    Bombing Suspects/Anti-Terrorism Legislation & US Access 
    to Terrorist Suspects 
 
COLOMBIA 
  US Request for Extradition of Drug Traffickers/Civil ......  8-9 
    Aviation Sanctions 
 
RUSSIA 
  Pres Yeltsin's Health .....................................  9 
  Lebed's Remarks on Religious Groups .......................  11-12 
 
JAPAN: US-Japan Aviation Talks ...............................  10 
 
BOSNIA/CROATIA/SERBIA 
  Reimposing Sanctions/Acting Asst Secy Kornblum in Region/..  10-11 
  Federation Forum Stmt on Elections/War Crimes Tribunal 
    Hearing on Charge Against Karadzic for Ethnic Cleansing/ 
    Milosevic Complicity in Ethnic Cleansing 
  Rumors of Mladic Stroke/Karadzic Removal from Power ......  12-13 
    Milosevic Guaranteeing Karadzic Not Participate in Election 
 
ECONOMIC SUMMIT 
  Counter-Terrorism & Anti-Crime Points/Intelligence-Sharing   13-14 
    to Preempt Terrorist Acts 
 
PANAMA: Maintaining US Troops Beyond 2000 .....................  14 
 
BURMA: US Position on Sanctions Legislation ..................  14-15 
 
 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

I'm going to dazzle you and not have any announcements and go right to your questions. I know there are many out there.

George.

Q Now that the International Civil Aviation Organization has spoken and confirmed that the two U.S. registered planes were indeed over international waters, is the United States seeking further action in the U.N. against Cuba?

MR. DAVIES: The action does move to the U.N. Security Council. Of course, what's happened is that the ICAO Council, June 27th, adopted a resolution which contained several provisions. It recalled that the Council, on March 6, had strongly deplored the February 24 shootdown of two U.S.-registered civil aircraft, and it condemned the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight.

Despite the Cuban Government's attempt in this case to attack the facts and conclusions of the report and to delay its transmittal to the United Nations, the ICAO, in effect, rejected the Cuban position. It found the report thorough and objective and resolved to transmit it to the U.N. Security Council. So that's where the action moves.

The United States, in the U.N. Security Council, will be deciding soon what kind of action to take. We may well ask for some kind of resolution at the U.N. but we haven't made any decisions about that yet.

Q On another subject?

MR. DAVIES: Sure.

Q The Comprehensive Test Ban negotiations appeared to have missed the deadline. How ominous is this, and how do you think a treaty might be achieved this year?

MR. DAVIES: Carol, we don't think the fact today there will be no agreed text. At least, that's the way it appears. It means that by September there can be agreement and signature on a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

We believe that the CD is well positioned to conclude and sign a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in September. That, of course, was the date that was set by the U.N. General Assembly last December and by the P-8 heads of state at the Anti-Terrorism summit in Moscow in April.

So the work at the CD in Geneva has gone, we think, reasonably well insofar as the 61-member states have all participated in good faith to achieve a universal and verifiable ban. As in any negotiation, there were a range of views that were expressed. It's not appropriate to go into or to characterize the various positions that were taken.

Then, of course, we don't yet have the final report. They are still meeting in Geneva. We want to take a look at the report that's issued to see what it contains and then, based on that, to decide where to go from there.

Even though we're at the end-game in this process and it's at a very sensitive stage, we think that given the good faith exhibited and given the fact that a lot of progress has been made over the three years of this negotiation, that by September we may well be able to have a treaty text. We hope we will, and it will be signed.

Q Can you be anymore specific, though, about the nature of your optimism? Do you believe that India's statement and continuous statements in opposition to the treaty has changed the dynamics in any way, maybe making other states more willing to compromise?

MR. DAVIES: What I don't want to do is speculate based on the positions that have been taken in the conference on disarmament about what the next weeks and months will bring.

I would note that the conference on disarmament will get together again at the end of this month. There is a session that I believe is scheduled to begin on July 29. We look to that session to make further progress. We think a lot of progress was made at this session.

There are differences of opinion over how to proceed and what this text should look like. But given the fact that with the events of today -- there isn't today any agreement -- what we've got then is a negotiating process that is still on-going. Given that fact, I don't want to get into talking about various countries' positions and try to negotiate this publicly because we're going to have to get back into negotiating it privately. We're determined to carry out our own policy, which is that we want to see a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty concluded by September.

The positive element in all of this, of course, is that all of these nations want the same thing. It's just a question of how we get from here to there.

Q At a briefing about a month ago, some of us were told by the Director of ACDA that this was the final deadline. Because just putting the treaty into language and translating it into the various necessary languages would require all of the time up until the general debate of the General Assembly. Your saying that it can be done anyway?

MR. DAVIES: I'm saying that we're at the end of June here, and we've got some time left before September when we hope to have a text completed and agreed to and signed.

We think that there is time left to get this done. We've been impressed with the good faith of the 61 nations meeting at Geneva who have negotiated on this. Once this text comes back at the end of today's session, which has not yet concluded, we're going to look at it and launch right into the work that's needed to bring this to a close by September.

So translation time, some of the technical problems that are associated with concluding a treaty of this scope and range, sure, all of that will have to be dealt with and we'll have to try to get passed that. We are accentuating the positive based on what we've seen happen over the last three years and based on this latest session.

Q Do you know how many bracketed pieces of material there are?

MR. DAVIES: Jim, I'm not going to talk about how many brackets are in the text. I don't know, to start with. But, secondly, it simply wouldn't help to talk about how many words are in dispute and where precisely the disagreements are.

Clearly, as of today, it appears that there won't be an agreed text, so there's work to be done. We'll try to carry on that work to the extent we can in private and not try to negotiate this in public at all.

Q Just one more. Is the strategy to bump up the level of the negotiations to get some political decisions?

MR. DAVIES: We'll have to take a look at the text. We'll have to get a report from our negotiators out there. We'll have to see what the Chairman says when this is all wrapped up, and we'll have to decide on our strategy based on that.

The broad lines of the strategy are very clear, which is a signed text, a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by the early Fall -- by September. We think that's possible. It's certainly in everybody's interest to have for the first time in history a true zero-yield Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We think it's important to get past some of these differences; get a text, and get it signed.

Q What is the U.S. position that the three threshold states must come on board?

MR. DAVIES: Again, what I don't want to do, Carol, is, today, given the fact that they're talking right now behind closed doors in Geneva and the session is not formally over, I'm not going to get into reiterating positions that we've got beyond the broad position that we want to see this treaty signed and that we're going to do everything we can to bring that about by September.

Laura.

Q If we could go to Saudi Arabia. Do you have anything to update on the investigation right now? Do you have any new information; any new leads or claims of responsibility?

MR. DAVIES: I don't, Laura. Of course, the investigation is very much an on-the-ground effort. Now, I think it's up to about 70 Federal Bureau Investigation agents, working with, of course, their colleagues and counterparts from the Department of Defense. There are some officials from the Department of State out there as well and others in the government, all of them working with the Saudi authorities who have the lead in this investigation. Because, of course, the bombing occurred in Saudi Arabia.

I think I'll leave to the people on the ground any decisions about revelations that they'll make about information as they develop it.

Q Are you satisfied -- is the Administration satisfied with the level of cooperation that you're getting from the Saudis?

MR. DAVIES: Cooperation between U.S. and Saudi investigators on this matter has been very good. The investigation, of course, continues. I've mentioned a couple of times already that King Fahd has pledged the full cooperation of the Saudi Government to the United States.

What's important is that we bring those responsible to justice.

I would note, obviously, when we go overseas and we cooperate and work with other nations and investigators on a crime like this -- a crime which violates U.S. law but also foreign laws -- our people are subject to the primary jurisdiction and the laws of the foreign governments.

So, to some extent, there is a kind of built-in constraint. Our people are not operating in our environment. They're operating in their environment. While recognizing that these constraints exist in working in foreign jurisdictions, we seek and we expect maximum cooperation by foreign governments in these types of circumstances.

Q Having said that, you've no doubt seen the reports that there was some dismay among officials who were involved in the November investigation, that the agents were not allowed access to the four individuals who were subsequently beheaded.

Do you know now whether or not agents will get access to individuals who are detained on suspicion or even charged with this particular act?

MR. DAVIES: We know that King Fahd has pledged Saudi cooperation - - full cooperation. He's welcomed the assistance that we've offered to the people already on the ground, and we expect that we'll get full cooperation.

To date, in the last 72 hours since this tragedy occurred, we've had very good cooperation from the Saudis. So we expect that will continue.

Q Let me rephrase that. I take your point that they've been fine over the past 72 hours, but yesterday I asked you whether there was an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the level of Saudi cooperation with U.S. anti-terrorism efforts before Tuesday, and you said you weren't aware of any. And now come these stories that they weren't exactly cooperative. Do you want to amend what you said yesterday?

MR. DAVIES: What I want to say today is that I really don't have anything for you on that.

Q Can I have a follow-up. There was a report, and does the Department deem this as valid -- a report that the Saudi security people at a checkpoint turned away possibly this tanker? I think they identified it as this particular truck that contained the bomb -- turned him away and did not notify the APs, the Air Police or the U.S. authorities. Is that valid?

MR. DAVIES: What we have now is a process underway with very heavy -- we've got a U.S. team out there -- a heavy team that's involved with the Saudi Government in investigating this. What we have to do is await the outcome of this investigation. Let the investigation go through its course to an outcome, and we'll look at all of the evidence that that investigation uncovers about what has occurred. What led to this, what we knew, what leads there might be.

What's important is that we find the people who did it and bring them to justice. The Saudis are pledged to do that. They're acting very vigorously. We're working with them, and that's essentially where we are now. It wouldn't help matters at all for me to react to every report that's come out about what may or may not have happened in the minutes before this blast occurred.

Q Not only do we want to apprehend the culprits here, we want to prevent any further attacks in Saudi or anywhere else.

MR. DAVIES: Absolutely, Bill, and, I mean, there's no question that military authorities on the ground and our diplomatic authorities, all of those with responsibility for Americans serving overseas, are taking every precaution to insure that Americans are protected out there -- all official Americans -- and that all warnings are given to non- official Americans, businessmen and others so that they know precisely what we know and everybody is in a heads-up manner prepared to deal with these situations when they arise.

That, of course, is being done, and there's no hesitation in that process at all. But that's quite apart from the question of the investigation, where it stands and whether or not X or Y person did X or Y. I mean, that's up to the investigators to figure out.

Q Can you tell us since the U.S. was not able to question these four men from the November incident that were beheaded, do you know if anything that they may have told the Saudi investigators, whether that information was shared?

MR. DAVIES: Betsy, I'm not going to acknowledge -- I'm not going to accept the premise of that necessarily. I'm not going to comment on what is an ongoing criminal investigation. It's not my place to talk about whether or not access was granted to investigators in the previous bombing. I'm just not going to get into that, because that's an intelligence matter, that's a law enforcement matter, and as a matter of practice we don't comment on those things.

Q But surely this building was asked for help by the FBI and others, if indeed the Saudis denied us access to these people? I mean, surely you were asked to help in trying to negotiate some access to these people.

MR. DAVIES: But again that's just a kind of a disguised version of the previous question -- what exactly happened; what access was granted, who granted it, who didn't, what was done to try to gain access. In fact, that even widens the circle of prohibited areas, because now you're getting into our ongoing diplomatic dialogue with the Government of Saudi Arabia. We're going to leave that private, and I'm not going to talk about it.

Q Another subject, if I could.

Q Nick, I have another.

MR. DAVIES: I'm sorry. Sure.

Q Recently enacted anti-terrorism legislation, though, allows for the FBI to participate, if not take a fairly lead role in investigating criminal acts against Americans overseas. In the course of that, is not the FBI by virtue of this legislation supposed to be asking questions of those who are thought to be responsible for the acts?

I mean, some of what is coming out today, to follow on Betsy's question, if American investigators had been able to have access to these individuals or access to the information, perhaps along with what information we have already gathered could -- some would speculate -- have helped this particular incident or kept it from occurring.

Isn't there some concern that that not happen again?

MR. DAVIES: I know all the speculation, and I've seen all those reports. Obviously, the U.S. Government wants a full measure of cooperation from the Saudi Government. It's been promised to us. We expect we'll get it. It's been promised us at the very highest levels. The head of state of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has promised to President Clinton -- has pledged Saudi cooperation. So we're expecting that, and we've had it from them since this occurred.

We've got absolutely no complaints about how the Saudis have worked with us and assisted us since this terrible bombing on Tuesday. We've had in fact law enforcement personnel on the ground in Saudi Arabia since they first went into Saudi Arabia in the wake of the November bombing.

So in effect when the FBI sent its team in this last time, they joined FBI officials who were already in-country and had contacts with Saudi law enforcement officials. That's enhanced really the cooperation that has been built up. So we're expecting good cooperation. It's been promised, and we would expect nothing less.

Q Another subject. I have a couple of questions on Colombia.

MR. DAVIES: Okay. Anything else on the -- Charlie? No? Okay.

Q When will be the formal request for extradition be presented to the Colombian Government? And, second, if they reject the extradition request, saying that it's unconstitutional, would that be an indicator for non cooperation in the area of narcotics with the U.S. Government?

MR. DAVIES: The second half of the question is sort of speculative. We haven't gotten from the Colombian Government any response to the extradition request that we formally made today, requesting the extradition of four Colombian drug kingpins, four narcotraffickers.

So that request was presented formally today. We are still awaiting a formal response from the Government of Colombia to our requests to extradite those four drug kingpins, and we certainly want very much to bring these gentlemen back to the United States and to try them, because we've got a solid body of evidence, and it's important to follow through on this and bring them to justice. So that's the effort now, and we'll wait and see what the Government of Colombia says.

Q The Minister of Justice said a couple of days ago that according to the '91 constitution, it is impossible to extradite Colombian citizens, and there is speculation that the U.S. is kind of displaying a guerrilla war against the Samper Government just in order to build a case for sanctions.

MR. DAVIES: That's a ridiculous charge. I mean, we have an extradition treaty with the Government of Colombia. It predates the constitutional amendments of 1991 that the Justice Minister was referring to. And then further you have to also take into account that a Colombian constitutional court panel issued a decision just this May that the constitution cannot take precedence over obligations previously undertaken by the Government in international agreements.

So given that, we think that our request for extradition has standing and should be entertained, and we want very much for the Government of Colombia to deliver these four up to the United States for trial.

Q On Colombia?

MR. DAVIES: Still Colombia?

Q Yes. Do you have anything about the FAA resolution of sanctions? We expected to have something yesterday about this agreement between airlines and Colombia and the United States. Do you have anything on that?

MR. DAVIES: I don't have an announcement to make today. I'm not certain if it would come out of this building in fact, but I have nothing to follow up the announcement that we made about three days ago.

Q On a different subject, do you have any reports -- new reports this morning about President Yeltsin's health and reports that he's been hospitalized again?

MR. DAVIES: I would note in answer to that, of course, that Prime Minister Chernomyrdin is now in Lyon. He's at the summit site, as is Foreign Minister Primakov. I understand that this question was raised not too many minutes ago in a press opportunity that Secretary of State Christopher had.

We don't have any independent information on the President's health. It would be really wrong for me to speculate about his health, especially given the election campaign that's ongoing and simply have no changes at all in his health to report.

I've seen, I think, what you've seen. I believe Prime Minister Chernomyrdin before he left for Lyon made a brief statement about his health, and that's the information that we've got -- that he has a case of laryngitis brought on by excessive campaigning.

Q Anything on U.S.-Japan aviation talks?

MR. DAVIES: I don't have an update to give you. That's still ongoing.

Yes, Carol.

Q On Bosnia, Carl Bildt has set a July 1 deadline for reimposing sanctions if Karadzic does not step down. Does the United States support that?

MR. DAVIES: We share Carl Bildt's concern for immediate action. This again is a topic that's being discussed in Lyon. Ambassador Kornblum was just in the region. I've reported on that a couple of times to you. He met in Sarajevo yesterday with President Izetbegovic and with the President and Vice President of the Federation and other senior officials.

He delivered a message from President Clinton on the Federation to the Federation Forum and did some work there; and, of course, the Federation Forum issued a statement at its conclusion which called for holding elections on September 14 and pledged the work of the Federation to bring about those elections. There was also a discussion of the Defense Law.

Q My question was, does the United States agree with Carl Bildt that sanctions should be reimposed on Belgrade on July 1?

MR. DAVIES: We have made no announcements about any particular deadline from our standpoint. We are very much in solidarity with Carl Bildt insofar as his concern that there be immediate action.

Q In the evidentiary hearing at the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, going on apparently today and yesterday, one of the series of charges against Karadzic is ethnic cleansing -- the systematic removal of ethnic groups from places such as Sarajevo.

Does this government think that President Milosevic of Serbia bears any guilt in ethnic cleansing?

MR. DAVIES: This government thinks it's up to the War Crimes Tribunal to make determinations like that, and that's one of the reasons that we've been second to none in supporting the War Crimes Tribunal. We think it's very important that the War Crimes Tribunal be allowed to carry out its work, and that those indicted by the Tribunal be brought to The Hague for trial.

But we look to the Tribunal, which is an independent body under the aegis of the United Nations, to make determinations about whether or not individuals should be indicted.

Q In the past, this government has been proud to say that it has been the major contributor in terms of people and evidence --

MR. DAVIES: And money.

Q -- to the War Crimes Tribunal.

MR. DAVIES: Right.

Q I ask again, has this government turned over to the Tribunal staff any evidence of Milosevic's complicity in ethnic cleansing?

MR. DAVIES: What I don't want to do is get out in front of the War Crimes Tribunal in its work. I don't think we would normally comment on what kinds of evidence we have turned over to the War Crimes Tribunal. There was many months ago a bit of a go-around about the provision of material and evidence to the War Crimes Tribunal, and we made plain at that stage that the United States would provide all the evidence that it had that was relevant to the War Crimes Tribunal's work, and we've done so, so that they can carry out their very important work.

That's where we stand. The War Crimes Tribunal is forging ahead. The hearings that they're having now, we fully support, and we look to the day when all of these indicted individuals are brought to the Tribunal.

Q Back on Russia. Is this the right address to ask for a response to what Mr. Lebed said yesterday about Mormons and other esteemed religions?

MR. DAVIES: Luckily, there's a lot of good reaction out there for you to mine, which I can associate myself with. Obviously, what he said about Mormons troubles us here a great deal. So what I can do is take this occasion simply to reiterate the attachment that the United States Government has and maintains to religious freedom and to the -- if you will -- the rule that governments do not interfere in religion.

Russia is a signatory to a number of international agreements recognizing rights to freedom to thought, conscience and religion. The Russian Government, as far as we can tell, is respecting this right in practice, and that's important. So we find what he had to say worrisome in the extreme, and we will continue to follow closely developments in the area of human rights, including especially freedom of religion.

Q I'm asking you now to confirm or deny several rumors having to do with Bosnia. One, that Mladic has had a stroke. Do you have any information on that?

MR. DAVIES: I don't have any information. I would note that there are in The Hague some excellent medical facilities if in fact he has had any kind of medical emergency. We want very much for Ratko Mladic to retain his powers of thought and speech so that he can answer the charges that the War Crimes Tribunal has levied against him.

Q And do you have any more information about rumors and actions to make Karadzic step aside?

MR. DAVIES: I don't. I said a couple of days ago that perhaps we were seeing the demise of Karadzic. We still hope that's the case, but I don't have any updates in the last 24 to 48 hours on what it is precisely he's doing. What's important there, of course, is that there aren't any deals to be made. There are no deals to be made in exchange for the nationhood of Srpska, the Serb entity. There are no deals to be made on Brcko and its status. He must give up his positions of authority and we've made that very plain.

Q You know that President Milosevic issued some kind of warning to the Serb leadership that they had to come in line on this question a couple of days ago. Beyond that, do you see anything else that Milosevic personally can do, or the Serbian Government can do to ensure Karadzic's removal from power? Are you continuing to look to that government as the key to making something happen?

MR. DAVIES: The Government of Serbia is the guarantor nation according to the Dayton Agreement. So it certainly is very much up to Serbia, by our lights, to see that the agreement is carried out on behalf of the Bosnian Serbs.

With regard to what we might be advising Milosevic, or our diplomatic exchanges with him, I think we'll leave that between, at this stage, John Kornblum and Slobodan Milosevic. They just had a conversation. We'll see what develops.

It is still very much the case that the United States looks to Milosevic as the guarantor on behalf of the Bosnian Serbs to see that there is full and complete compliance with the Dayton Accords.

Q Do you know, in that conversation that Mr. Kornblum had, whether there was any promise on the part of Milosevic that Karadzic would be out of power by a date certain or any timeframe given?

MR. DAVIES: Betsy, I don't have any detailed information to convey to you on that conversation. Again, we'll have to wait and see what occurs. For the time being, we'll keep our conversations with Milosevic, I think, private on that score.

Anything else? Bill.

Q Yes. From Lyon -- from the conference yesterday -- have there come any details that you can share with regard to using counter- terror -- joint cooperation in counter-terror for pre-emption of these kinds of acts?

MR. DAVIES: You missed my walkthrough, or were you there yesterday?

Q I missed your walkthrough.

MR. DAVIES: You missed my walkthrough. My walkthrough, which was on-the-record, I went through much of this.

There is a great deal of information being put out in Lyon on the 40 counter-terrorism and anti-crime initiatives. Let me just sum them up real quick by saying they fall into four broad categories.

There are provisions that commit the parties to effective prosecution and extradition of major criminals and terrorists that are meant to build cooperative information networks, all under the rubric of "no where to hide."

There are provisions for promoting seizure and forfeiture of criminal and terrorist assets to gather financial information on criminals. That's all under the category of drying up criminal and terrorist resources.

Third, provisions to protect national borders.

And, fourth, provisions to detect and prevent high-tech crime; to get a bit more into the computer area and find some common approaches there.

Your colleagues in Lyon, who are doing a great job of reporting, have had a lot more to say. There's more information to come out of Lyon, but I think I'll spare you all recitation of what's occurring.

Q My specific request was, do you have anymore details about joint counter-terror -- intelligence-type counter-terror -- to pre-empt these people?

MR. DAVIES: There are four initiatives that we hope the Lyon summit ends up endorsing. We expect they will, given the unanimity of sentiment to get at this problem.

What I'm not going to do here today is list them. I think the Lyon meeting is a very important meeting. President Clinton's leadership has been very much in evidence in bringing the terrorism issue to the fore - - to the top of the agenda. We hope that there will be much done as a result of Lyon to pre-empt terrorist acts and to exchange information and to get at this problem which remains a scourge.

Q Yesterday, the new Foreign Minister of Panama -- former Ambassador to Washington -- said they are prepared to open exploratory talks with you about the possibility to keep American troops in Panama beyond 2000. He mentioned maybe July or August. Do you have any comment on that?

MR. DAVIES: I don't have any comment. That's been a matter of on- going discussion with the Government of Panama, but I don't have a particular reaction to give you to what he had to say.

Q A quick one. Secretary Kantor mentioned the possible sanctions on Myanmar?

MR. DAVIES: I'm sorry?

Q Secretary Mickey Kantor mentioned the possible sanctions on Myanmar. Do you have anything on that?

MR. DAVIES: Can somebody help with that?

Q Possible sanctions on Myanmar?

Q Burma.

MR. DAVIES: Burma. Okay, I'm sorry. I just didn't make the bridge from Myanmar to Burma.

What I don't have now is anything specific to say about Burma except to note our continued strong solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi and the Democrats who are attempting to create in Burma a much more liberal, democratic structure there.

Right now, no detail on that. We note that Senator McConnell has included in the legislation, as it's coming out of the subcommittee on the Senate side of the Hill, some strong language about sanctions.

We think that sanctions are certainly an option that the United States Government can use. What we don't think is appropriate is that we have dictated to us sanctions that we must impose. We would rather retain a degree of flexibility to use sanctions as we see fit in designing a policy -- a pro-democratic policy in Burma.

We're willing to work with the Hill on this and we hope to in the future work with them to design a legislative approach that makes sense. But we would prefer not to see sanctions dictated in legislation.

Thank you.

MR. DAVIES: Thanks.

(Press briefing concluded at 1:26 p.m.)

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