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                          U.S. Department of State

                            Daily Press Briefing



                                  I N D E X

                         Friday,╩September╩6,╩l996

                                                         Briefer: Glyn Davies
Announcements
  Town Meeting, Atlanta, GA, 9/12/96:  Albright, Burns, Brown  1
  9/5/96 Public Announcement re Ramzi Yousef Conviction        1
  Secretary Christopher Stuttgart Speech - Engagement in Europe,
    Summit Meeting, NATO Enlargement                           1-2
IRAQ
  Saddam Hussein's Security Presence Remains in Northern Iraq  2-3
  Reported Barzani Ltrs to U.S./Resumption of Kurd Peace Talks 4
  U.S. Policy Toward Iraq's Territorial Integrity              6-7
  Reconsideration of UNSC Resolution 986 Implementation        8-9
TURKEY
  Reports of Air Operations in Northern Iraq, Buffer Zone      2-3,6
  Correspondence From Dep PriMin/Foreign Minister Ciller       3
  -  Consultations:  Economic Concerns Over 986 Cancellation,
    Review of Operation Provide Comfort, Buffer Zone           3-6
  -  Level of Bilateral Consultations                          4,7-8
  -  U.S. Response to FonMin Ciller                            14
  Economic Effect on Turkey of Sanctions Against Iraq          4-6
GERMANY/IRAN
  Critical Dialogue; U.S. View of Relations                    7
MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
  Readout of Palestinian Donors' Conference (Ad Hoc Liaison
    Committee)  9/5/96                                         9-10
  -  Background Briefing on Results; Participants              9-10
MISCELLANEOUS
  Meeting in London of "Islamic Rally for Revival"             11
GERMANY
  Possible Ban on Church of Scientology Activities             11
  -  U.S. Position on Investigation of German Govt. Policy     12
UNITED NATIONS
  Congressional Bill Barring U.S. Troops Under UN Military
    Command                                                    12
DEPARTMENT
  Secretary's Speech:  NATO Charter w/ Russia                  12
  -  Upcoming Ministerial Meeting; NATO Summit in 1997         12
RUSSIA
  President Yeltsin's Impending Heart Surgery                  12-13
COLOMBIA
  Possible Connection of FARC Guerillas with Narco-Trafficking 13
CYPRUS
  George Stephanopoulos Re U.S. Role in Conflict Resolution    13-14
GREECE/TURKEY
  No U.S. Comment on Gavdos Island Issue                       14

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPB #143

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1996, 1:03 P. M.

(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MR. DAVIES: Welcome to the State Department briefing. Please bear with me. I have a cough, a cold, which will cause me to interrupt what I'm saying occasionally to cough.

I have a few announcements. First off, we will be holding a Town Meeting on U.S. Foreign Policy. This is another in a long series of Town Meetings that we're holding this year around the country, this one in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday, September 12.

Speaking at that Town Meeting for the State Department will be our own Nick Burns, Spokesman of the Department. Also, Ambassador Richard Brown, who is our Summit of the Americas Coordinator, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright.

The event is open for press coverage, and, if you're interested, we can get you contact names and numbers.

Secondly, we put out a public announcement last night that I simply wanted to draw your attention to. It was a public announcement on the occasion of the conviction in New York of Ramzi Yousef. He was convicted yesterday of terrorism charges, as you all know.

We put out an announcement advising Americans traveling abroad that the potential exists for retaliation by Yousef's sympathizers against American interests. This is not based on any specific information, but American citizens traveling abroad should pay close attention to their personal security practices.

Finally, I want to draw your attention to a speech that the Secretary just gave in Stuttgart, Germany. We've passed out the text to most of you. It was a speech in which the Secretary laid out U.S. thinking for Europe for the next couple of years. The main point was that the United States will remain very much engaged in Europe. He made a specific announcement that we would seek a summit meeting next year, at which we would make some specific decisions about NATO enlargement. That text is available in the Press Office.

George.

QUESTION: You tantalized us yesterday with the comment about Saddam having left behind a massive security force in northern Iraq, but you were unable to provide any details then. I was wondering whether you have more information today.

MR. DAVIES: More unwilling -- more unwilling than unable. No. I think I'll just let that sit out there as an assertion that we've made. We believe it to be the case. I think those who have watched Saddam in action over the years would have little doubt that Saddam Hussein has in fact done such. It's our belief that he has. What we won't be doing is getting into intelligence information and telling you precisely what it is that he's left in his wake.

But he has left in his wake what we believe to be a very massive security presence, and he remains very much a factor to be dealt with in Irbil, as well as around it.

QUESTION: Can you tell us if this massive security force is capable of and is intervening in Kurdish in-fighting?

MR. DAVIES: We don't know a whole lot about the Kurdish in-fighting that's being reported in Iraq right now. We know that there is some intra-Kurd fighting. We understand that there's fighting between the KDP and the PUK. It's broken out in the general vicinity of Irbil.

The Iraqis appear for the most part to be staying out of the fray directly. It's too early to tell where this fighting might lead or how it will affect the overall situation in northern Iraq, and we'll just have to watch it.

QUESTION: You told us yesterday that Ankara agrees to send to northern Iraq some individuals who were working with the Turkish Government -- overtly agents -- against the Kurds. Since the Turkish military planes strike northern Iraq deeply with full invasion occupation forces, could you please comment on that?

MR. DAVIES: That was so fast -- (laughter) -- Mr. Lambros, that I -- well, I get the nub of it. Turkish air strikes in northern Iraq? Is that what you're --

QUESTION: As it was reported today in The╩Washington╩Post, on the front page.

MR. DAVIES: We've seen press reports of limited Turkish air operations over northern Iraq, and I'm not in a position to provide you any further information about it.

QUESTION: How do you comment? I'm not asking information. I would like to clarify your position vis-a-vis to the new Turkish invasion using air force.

MR. DAVIES: I wouldn't characterize this as an invasion. The Turks have indicated to us that that is not their intention. What we've seen reports of are limited air operations by the Turks over a portion of northern Iraq.

QUESTION: You were talking yesterday about individual --

MR. DAVIES: And yesterday, Mr. Lambros, I spoke at length about the U.S. reaction to this development, of their having established a security zone.

QUESTION: The Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller sent a letter to Warren Christopher yesterday explaining the so-called "peace operation" of Turkey against the Kurdish people. Could you please release the context or can you say something what is it about.

MR. DAVIES: What we don't do is release letters that have been sent to us. Occasionally, we will release letters that we send because they're our letters, but this is a letter from the Government of Turkey, from Madame Ciller, as you point out, to the Secretary of State.

She sent two, in fact, one to the Secretary on September 1 and then she sent one to the President on September 4. But I'm not going to get into the contents of those letters except to say that she did flag Turkish concern over the impact of the cancellation temporarily of 986 and other economic hardships, and she indicated a desire to have consultations, which we will have with the Turkish Government.

QUESTION: Does State think Turkey should be compensated for its losses as a result of the restrictions since the Gulf War?

MR. DAVIES: The United States is well aware of Turkish concerns, given the hardships that Turkey has suffered as a result of the loss of trade with Iraq. We're very mindful of that. It was because of that that in the negotiations over the implementation of Resolution 986 that the United States made certain that there would be provision made for Turkey to take some benefit from 986, its implementation, specifically that the petroleum products would flow through the Iraqi-Turkish pipeline.

QUESTION: Has Turkey made any specific requests for compensation for the delay in implementation of 986 resulting from this --

MR. DAVIES: Patrick, the only thing I'm aware of is that Turkey in this letter has expressed a desire to consult with us about their economic situation, and, of course, we will consult with Turkey.

QUESTION: Can you say when and how?

MR. DAVIES: Initially, Ambassador Marc Grossman will, early next week, engage in conversations with the Turkish Government, and after that we'll have to wait and see.

QUESTION: To get back to Iraq for a moment, there's a report in the Independent today that -- in which Mr. Barzani claims he was in contact -- he sent letters to State Department officials indicating that he would have to turn to Iraq if the U.S. did not provide some assistance. What's your take on that?

MR. DAVIES: The only Barzani letter I know about is one that I believe was sent in the wake of the events -- the Iraqi invasion and the U.S. air strikes -- and I'm not going to characterize that except to say that he expressed some interest in getting back to the table with the PUK and with the United States' facilitation.

QUESTION: If I could go back to this question of Turkey. So the United States will begin discussions next week with Turkey on compensation for its losses suffered as a result of events in northern Iraq.

MR. DAVIES: No, Turkey has asked to have consultations. We've agreed to have consultations, and among the issues that the Turks would like to discuss -- they wish to discuss a number of issues, including the regional situation -- but among those issues is their economic situation. So we're perfectly pleased to hold consultations with the Turks about it.

QUESTION: To what end? Are you in favor of some form of compensation for the Turks?

MR. DAVIES: We want to hear what the Turks have to say.

QUESTION: How are you going into these meetings? I mean, you're obviously sympathetic to it or you wouldn't be having the talks.

MR. DAVIES: We're very aware of some of the privations that Turkey has suffered in recent years as a result of the loss of this important trade to them -- the Turkey-Iraq trade. There's no question. And the shutting down of the pipeline and the sanctions have taken their toll on Turkey.

QUESTION: In that same letter, Ciller asks for a review of "Operation Provide Comfort," given that the mission is no longer the same anymore as events on the ground. How does the U.S. feel about that?

MR. DAVIES: She did indicate that "Provide Comfort" would be a subject that she'd like to raise or have raised in these consultations.

QUESTION: What rationale does the U.S. have for maintaining "Provide Comfort" as it now stands?

MR. DAVIES: It doesn't make any sense for me, Sid, to lay out our negotiating instructions or our consultation instructions with the Turks right now. We haven't even had them yet. So I think what we'll do is have the consultations and see if there's anything we can say as a result.

QUESTION: Is the U.S. position on "Provide Comfort" the same?

MR. DAVIES: The U.S. position on "Provide Comfort" is that we want very much for "Provide Comfort" to go forward and expect it will.

QUESTION: As it is now constructed?

MR. DAVIES: In general, sure. Absolutely.

QUESTION: But "in general" --

MR. DAVIES: Clearly, the situation has changed in northern Iraq. I mean, there's no question about it. What Saddam Hussein has done changes the situation on the ground. For instance, we've confirmed that the on-the-ground component of "Provide Comfort" had to leave northern Iraq in the face of the invasion by Saddam Hussein's forces. So that, just from a technical standpoint, makes it more of a challenge to run "Provide Comfort," and certainly if he retains any kind of a presence in northern Iraq, that's going to have to be dealt with as "Provide Comfort" goes forward. All of that stands to reason. So these consultations with the Turks will be helpful as we figure out how "Provide Comfort" can go forward.

QUESTION: Can you clarify for us which topics will be discussed? I mean, which topics the United States is ready to discuss with the Turks in next week's bilateral? Is it compensation for one thing, and then "Provide Comfort"? How about the buffer zone?

MR. DAVIES: I talked about Turkey's economic situation. I talked about the general regional situation, which would include -- I'm sure we'll want to discuss the buffer zone -- and "Provide Comfort." All of those.

QUESTION: But isn't "Provide Comfort" -- I mean, aren't Britain and France also in "Provide Comfort"? I mean, why are only two countries discussing the future of "Provide Comfort" now?

MR. DAVIES: Let me cut this off because, frankly, in advance of the consultations there isn't a whole heck of a lot that I can say except that Turkey has asked for conversations, and we're going to have them.

QUESTION: Can I just ask another question then. The creation of the buffer zone in northern Iraq near Turkish border -- do you see it as a possible complication for the continuation of "Provide Comfort," especially since the French are now critical about it?

MR. DAVIES: We certainly hope that it won't be any kind of an impediment to "Provide Comfort." Don't expect that it will be.

Yes, Bill.

QUESTION: Thank you, Glyn. Regarding policy, in light of the change -- I think there's a change here in strategy, if not in policy, and I'd like you to comment on that -- of upping the "no-fly" zone, taking out radar capability, reducing the ability of Iran to come down south, as stated by the Secretary of Defense, has the post-war policy of the coalition to allow Iraq enough military resources to defend itself, has that changed fundamentally, or what has? What is the status?

MR. DAVIES: There's been no fundamental change in our strategy towards Iraq. We've had a "no-fly" zone in southern Iraq for a number of years. Extending it by 60 miles strengthens the "no-fly" zone, but it doesn't represent a fundamental change in the strategy.

QUESTION: Let me just pursue that. My basic question, was, do we still favor Iraq's military having the capability to defend itself -- defend the country?

MR. DAVIES: I don't know that we've ever taken the position on Iraq's military having the capability to defend itself. We've taken a position on Iraqi territorial integrity, which is maybe what you're referring to. That position remains the same.

QUESTION: Because of the fighting in northern Iraq right now between the factions and the alliance of one of the factions with Iran, do you feel that has an impact or will change the U.S. standpoint on the so-called "critical dialogue" between Germany and Iran, that you might think it's useful to use that?

MR. DAVIES: No. We've said that we don't believe that the critical dialogue is the right approach to Iran. We don't think that Iran is a country that can be dealt with, that one can have a dialogue with that is at all fruitful. We've said that for months.

QUESTION: Will the U.S. put more pressure on Germany to end this dialogue, additionally, to the law that was signed, in effect, two weeks ago?

MR. DAVIES: I don't have any announcements to make about measures against Germany. Certainly not. I don't think so. They know how we feel about it, that Iran is a country that has simply gone beyond the pale. It's no longer a nation that can be dealt with, and that is why we have a wide range of sanctions against Iran. They know where we're coming from on that. I don't think there's going to be any change.

QUESTION: The Grossman talks -- at what level will he be meeting in the Turkish Government?

MR. DAVIES: That will be up to the Turks to decide. You'll have to ask them.

QUESTION: Do you draw anything, or do you find it odd that the Prime Minister of Turkey -- we've not heard his voice in recent days on any of these events, letters to the President, the announcement of the occupation of Iraq?

MR. DAVIES: We've had very satisfactory consultations with the Turkish Government. For the most part, our interlocutor has been the Foreign Minister of Turkey. It's quite often the case that in diplomatic consultations you deal with the Foreign Minister of a country.

QUESTION: But in a letter to a President, it generally comes from a corresponding head of state. Had he spoken with anyone in the prime ministry or with the Prime Minister himself about any of these events?

MR. DAVIES: It's up to the Turks to organize themselves diplomatically in their dealings with the United States. Whether or not we've had consultations or spoken with people in the Prime Minister's office recently, I don't know that. I'd be very surprised if we hadn't had them. I'm certain Ambassador Grossman deals with the Prime Minister's office all the time. That's his job out there.

If that's not the case, I'll let you know. But I'm certain that is the case.

QUESTION: The other day Jalal Talabani invited openly Iran to intervene militarily in the area. Do you have anything on that, and could you please comment?

MR. DAVIES: I don't. I don't have anything on that.

QUESTION: For how long does Saddam have to behave himself before we can consider 986 resuming? Just yesterday, the head of the UN Sanctions Committee predicted it would be two weeks from now. The fighting has apparently stopped.

The U.S. keeps saying it depends on Saddam's behavior. But for how long do things have to be steady before 986 can go forward?

MR. DAVIES: In the first instance, since it was the United Nations that pulled the plug on implementation of 986, the United Nations will have to make a decision about when they want to get back to where we were before Saddam Hussein invaded northern Iraq.

At that point, we'll make a decision about how we want to proceed.

QUESTION: The U.N. has said we want to start the ball moving. This just happened late yesterday. The head of the Sanctions Committee did say that we'd like to start getting things moving again now that things have calmed down; we have the monitors in place.

MR. DAVIES: "Getting things moving" means that the United States and the other members of the Sanctions Committee will get back together, sit down at a table and talk about where we go from there.

What I'm not going to do at this stage is foreshadow positions that we'll take in a couple of weeks, or whenever the Sanctions Committee gets together.

QUESTION: You say you can't even venture a guess as to how long it may take before --

MR. DAVIES: I don't think it's constructive to be guessing weeks, months, whatever.

QUESTION: Does the U.S. Government see any other problems -- any problems other than the security of the monitors there and the security of the distribution effort at this point?

MR. DAVIES: Well, that's enough of a problem, since the United States spent many months on the issue --

QUESTION: This is the main problem. It's not the only problem.

MR. DAVIES: One of the United States' well-known positions, that many of you wrote about, was that there had to be in place a system of monitors to ensure that Saddam Hussein could not siphon off any of the funds from the proceeds of his oil sales -- $2 billion over six months.

It's absolutely essential that that monitoring system be sufficient to guarantee that. Given the situation in northern Iraq, that can't be guaranteed. It's too unsettled.

So we will share our views with the Sanctions Committee once the Sanctions Committee gets back together.

Let me go to Jim first.

QUESTION: Do you have or will you have a readout on the Palestinian Donors' Conference?

MR. DAVIES: I can give you a little bit of a readout on that. I can also steer you -- a bit later this afternoon, we'll have a BACKGROUNDER for you, around 3:30, and we'll do it here so you can get the full chapter and verse on it.

What I can tell you is that yesterday's meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee was an opportunity for the Palestinians, the Israelis, and all of the donor delegations to explore, in some depth, the current economic conditions in the Palestinian territories.

The meeting produced a consensus on next steps. Members of the --

QUESTION: Produced a consensus on --

MR. DAVIES: On next steps.

QUESTION: Next steps.

MR. DAVIES: Yes. The members discussed, among other things, approaches to the unemployment problem in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the budget deficit. Yesterday's meeting was convened after a very positive first meeting that we've already commented on between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat.

At both of those meetings -- the Netanyahu-Arafat meeting and the AHLC meeting -- symbolized the importance of the Israeli-Palestinian track. It was also, of course, the first meeting of the group since the formation of the new government in Israel. That in and of itself signals an important demonstration, we believe, of continuity in the peace process.

Just on one specific aspect of it, we were pleased that the Government of Israel took the occasion of the meeting to raise the number of worker permits granted to Palestinians to 50,000 from, I think, on the order of 30,000. You could check that. Those permits are now at 50,000 as a result of this meeting.

So it was a very positive meeting, and we will have senior Administration officials here to talk to you in just a couple of hours.

QUESTION: On that last point, was the issue of border closures specifically raised as part of the donors' meeting?

MR. DAVIES: I'm certain it was raised in some context, but I don't have that level of detail on it, Jim. So if you could ask that later on.

QUESTION: In waiting for the other meeting, can you give us a run-down of who was there again -- Palestinians, Israelis, World Bank?

MR. DAVIES: Norway was in the Chair. Let me see if I have the list: Russia, Canada, European Union, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan; the Palestinians were there; Tunisia, the United Nations had representatives as did the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

QUESTION: And was there any decision made on a follow-up session either in Gaza or in Paris?

MR. DAVIES: I don't have anything to announce. Perhaps we can learn something about that later on.

QUESTION: Have you detected anything, since I raised it yesterday, the issue of this London conference which is actually going to start on Monday? It's being financed by Bin Laden who is a well-known figure; he's threatened both the Saudis and I believe also the U.S., and will include the terrorist wing of Hamas.

Is there no indication that there is some concern from the U.S. side that the British have allowed this thing to go forward?

MR. DAVIES: What we know about the meeting -- we have checked with the U.K. -- we understand there's to be what is called an "Islamic Rally for Revival" held in London on Sunday, September 8. The British authorities have warned the organizers that any incitement to violence or racial hatred, both of which are crimes under British law, will be prosecuted.

They've also banned several prospective participants in the event from entering the U.K. So as a result of that, we're confident that the British have done all that they can under their law.

We welcome their effort to monitor this rally for incitement to violence and for racial hatred. Of course, in a broader sense, we share with Her Majesty's government a commitment to fighting terrorism and have cooperated for many, many years in many ways. It's a cooperation that's been of value to us.

We're confident that, in fact, the British have done all they can to ensure that this is not any kind of a "tent meeting" for terrorists.

QUESTION: Is there any concern that the British law is perhaps a little too broad in light of President Clinton's attempt last October to get other nations to come on board to really crack down on terrorism?

MR. DAVIES: No, no concern at all.

QUESTION: Totally different issue. German authorities are considering a ban on activities of Scientology Church in Germany. Is there any standpoint on your side here?

MR. DAVIES: The scientology issue has come up before from the podium. In fact, recently.

What we have to say about scientology in Germany is contained in our Human Rights Report, I believe. I'll refer you to that report.

QUESTION: Yesterday, at the United Nations, Scientology complained about discrimination and intolerance in Germany. They requested an investigation. Does the U.S. support that?

MR. DAVIES: The United States has some concerns about treatment of scientologists, adherence of scientology in Germany. We've spoken to that and our concerns are spelled out in the Human Rights Report.

QUESTION: Does the State Department have anything to say about reports about Hitler's bank accounts in Switzerland?

MR. DAVIES: Can't help you with that, Sid. I'm sorry. Honestly, I can't. We'll have to look into that.

QUESTION: Yesterday, the House passed a bill that would bar U.S. troops from going under U.N. command unless special conditions were met. The bill passed by veto-proof majority.

Number one, do you have any indications the White House would veto such a bill? And, number two, do you think this is going to hurt your talks with the allies right now on how to deal with the Iraq situation and with coordination with the U.N.?

MR. DAVIES: I've got nothing on a veto. You would have to ask the White House about that, and I don't expect that the passage of that legislation will have a negative effect on our consultations.

QUESTION: In the Secretary's speech -- returning to that -- he made a reference to a charter with Russia, in some way of tidying up our differences on NATO enlargement. Do you have any more details as to how -- what they would actually encompass?

MR. DAVIES: The details we will work out in consultations with our allies. There will be a series of meetings leading up to that NATO summit meeting, which will be at some point in the spring or summer of next year.

For instance, in December, there will be a Ministerial meeting that the Secretary will attend. It's at that meeting, I'm sure, that we'll hold discussions on some of these ideas. But at this stage, I don't have anything more specific than the Secretary's laid out for you.

QUESTION: Any communications from the Russian Government about Boris Yeltsin's heart operation?

MR. DAVIES: Nothing that I can report to you. As I said yesterday, and as I believe Mike McCurry said, we have a standing offer out to the Russians; that if they would like to call on us in any way, we're very, very happy to be of assistance. But I can't report to you that they've made any call on us.

QUESTION: For any purpose, not just for the purpose of requesting --

MR. DAVIES: No, they have not come to us on this at all.

QUESTION: Do you think Russian medicine is up to this operation?

MR. DAVIES: I would defer to the President of Russia who pronounced himself on that, and, if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for us.

QUESTION: On Colombia, could you give a statement as to official U.S. policy with regard to the terrorist -- there was a book published recently, by a Colombian military figure, called "FARC Cartel," which documents quite extensively FARC, the guerrilla movement's involvement in drugs. But the statements by Ambassador Frechette to some Colombian military leaders indicated that there was no evidence that the guerrillas were involved in cocaine trafficking. Do you have an official statement?

MR. DAVIES: The Ambassador, I believe, was misquoted on that particular point. The U.S. Government does understand that some of these FARC guerrillas are involved with narcotics trafficking. Of course, the involvement of the guerrillas in drug cultivation and trafficking varies by region. It depends on the particular guerrilla front that you're talking about.

But there's no doubt that guerrilla fronts are directly engaged in this coca cultivation and processing and in protecting the fields, the laboratories and the markets. Ambassador Frechette and General McCaffrey are very much in agreement on this issue, and they've made the same points publicly.

QUESTION: The senior adviser to President Clinton, George Stephanopoulos, speaking via satellite today to a Greek-Cypriot gathering in Nicosia, Cyprus, stated inter alia that the U.S. is going to take an effective initiative to find a solution to the Aegean, the Cyprus problem immediately after the election.

Since this particular statement reflects U.S. foreign policy, could you please comment?

MR. DAVIES: I'll let Mr. Stephanopoulos's comments stand on their own. That's my comment. I don't have any further information.

QUESTION: Do you know anything about U.S. initiatives vis-a-vis to the Cyprus and the Aegean problems immediately after the American elections?

MR. DAVIES: No. I mean, what we said before still stands, that we're very interested in doing what we can and what the parties would like us to do to help solve that situation. But I don't have anything further.

Mr. Lambros, this is your last question. What have you got?

QUESTION: Okay, regarding Gavdos Island, in his most recent letter to Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, President Clinton says, "I'm pleased that Turkey has now clarified it does not and does not mean to question the sovereignty over Gavdos." But in his reply, Mr. Simitis claims, in quotation, "It remains a matter of concern to me that Ankara has still not withdrawn her original statement against Gavdos." As the Department of State, do you have any answer to this effect?

MR. DAVIES: I don't see a question in that. I mean, what's your question?

QUESTION: The question is that so far Turkey has not still waived the original statement against Gavdos.

MR. DAVIES: I just don't have any particular comment today on that, Mr. Lambros. I'm sorry.

QUESTION: May I ask if Secretary Christopher and President Clinton answered Mrs. Ciller's letters?

MR. DAVIES: Not that I know of. That I can check for you. That's a good question. I'll check that.

QUESTION: Or responded to.

MR. DAVIES: No, I'm happy to check on that.

QUESTION: Not necessarily written, but --

MR. DAVIES: Or responded in some fashion, sure.

Any other questions?

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. DAVIES: Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 1:32 p.m.)

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