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U.S. Department of State
96/10/31 Daily Press Briefing
Office of the Spokesman

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
I N D E X
Thursday, October 31, l996

                                    Briefer:  Nicholas Burns
ANNOUNCEMENTS
  Welcome to Fellows of the World Press Institute .............  1   

ALBANIA
  Albania Local Elections .....................................  1-2

IRAQ
  Iraqi Kurdish Talks in Ankara/Assistant Secretary Pelletreau's
  Activities/Press Conference .................................  2
  Status of Decision to NGO Employees in Northern Iraq ........  2-4
  U.S. Contribution to UN Appeal for Humanitarian Food Supplies  4-5
  Relief Structure/Monitoring of Food Supplies ................  5-6 
  Status of Evacuees from Northern Iraq .......................  2,7-9
  Status of Implementation of UN Resolution 986 ...............  9   
  Iranian Foreign Minister's Comments re Iran's Involvement in
    Talks with Kurdish Factions ...............................  9-10

CHINA
  Reported Offer to China re MFN and Human Rights Efforts .....  10-11
  Secretary's Upcoming Travel to China/Discussions/Agenda .....  11-17
  U.S.-PRC Bilateral Relationship .............................  17-18

DEPARTMENT
  Travel of A/S John Shattuck to the Hague and Balkans ........  18   
  Travel of Ambassador Eizenstat to Europe/Helms-Burton .......  31   

NORTH KOREA
  U.S.- North Korean Meeting in New York ......................  18-
19,22
  Status of American Citizen Hunziker .........................  19-22

RUSSIA
  ABM Agreement Problems ......................................  23-24

BRAZIL
  Plane Crash/American Citizens ...............................  24-25

NEPAL
  Stranded Americans in Nepal .................................  25-26

FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
  Status of Second Shipment of Equipment to Bosnia ............  26   

LIBYA
  Qadhafi's Call for Arab and Muslim Countries to Fight U.S. ..  27-28

GREECE
  Reported Call for Moratorium on Aegean Issue ................  28
  U.S. Embassy's Election Night Event/Invited Press ...........  29

ZAIRE
  Status of the Fighting in Eastern Zaire/Refugees ............  29-30
  A/S Oakley Meeting with Mrs. Ogata in New York ..............  30  

SAUDI ARABIA
  Reported Arrests re Dhahran Bombing .........................  30-31

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPB #177

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 1996, 1:16 P. M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MR. BURNS: Well, Happy Halloween. Welcome to the State Department. I hope you enjoyed the music that serenaded you before we came out here.

I want to welcome to the briefing today ten Fellows of the World Press Institute for 1996. They are here on a four-month fellowship. They are working journalists from other countries, and thanks for being here.

We have a statement today on Albania. The United States Government believes that the Albanian local elections were sufficiently democratic to be accepted as an expression of the will of the people of Albania.

The United States, like other nations and organizations monitoring the elections, view these local elections as a positive step forward for Albania. We are pleased that the governing and opposition parties worked together through an interparty dialogue to lay the groundwork for orderly elections.

American and international observers have expressed concerns, however, about voting irregularities with the Central Electoral Commission. We urge the Commission and the Albanian Government to fully address these concerns of ours, and we look to the Albanian Government to build on these local elections by establishing an open and inclusive political process and by developing a constitution.

We urge the Albanian Government to follow the adoption of a constitution by holding a popular referendum and parliamentary elections which would be organized under a new constitutional framework.

Such elections would serve as a further important step in Albania's economic and political development.

We have our Ambassador Marisa Lino working very carefully and closely on this issue. The Albanian elections have been a cause of concern for us, but we do think that the local elections were a step forward.

The last thing I want to state before going to questions is just to tell you that Bob Pelletreau, our Assistant Secretary of State, who is mediating the Kurdish talks, has just held a press conference in Ankara, and in that conference he issued a final statement of all the parties meeting in Ankara. That concludes the two days of talks at least for this week, and he said that the KDP and the PUK had agreed to maintain its strength in the cease-fire in northern Iraq. They had agreed to continue talking about peace and stability in northern Iraq, and they have agreed to another round of discussions beginning on November 15th in Ankara, and I assume that will include the Turkish Government and the British Government, who were our partners, who are our partners, in this exercise.

Q On that very same subject, could you bring us up to date on the employees of NGOs in northern Iraq? It seems to me a month ago you were saying that you wanted to help them in some way. There's a story out this morning suggesting that these people are feeling abandoned by the U.S.

MR. BURNS: Well, first, let me just take you back to the people who worked directly for the United States. 2,l40 people were taken out by the United States because they worked directly for the United States, and they were taken out through Turkey to Guam. Some of them are already in the United States. They have been processed for asylum and the great majority, if not all of those people, will be in the United States before too long.

There is a second group of people that have been under discussion. This is a much larger group of 4 to 5 thousand people. They did not work directly for the United States Government. They worked for American non-governmental organizations, European non-governmental organizations, and the question is, what should the United States do about this group of people.

We have been concerned from the beginning of this crisis about their welfare. We have said that. We have met with representatives of the non-governmental organizations for whom they have worked, and we have kept this situation under review on a daily basis. We have given it a lot of thought.

We have not made a decision as to -- we have not made a decision to take them out, to evacuate them to Turkey and then on to Guam.

This situation is still under review and I think will remain under review for some time, but we have made no decision to take them out.

I saw some of the comments in the papers by some of the people in the non-governmental community who assert that these people are under the threat of imminent persecution. We don't believe that to be the case. We don't believe there is any evidence to support that claim. In fact, one of the issues that Mr. -- that Ambassador Pelletreau has raised with Mr. Barzani and Mr. Talabani is their welfare. Both of the Kurdish factions have said that they will act to ensure the safety of these individuals, and we monitor their situation on a daily basis. If we thought there was a problem, we would obviously act upon it, but there hasn't been any kind of imminent danger to them.

Q But hadn't you committed yourself a month ago to take them out, if my memory is --?

MR. BURNS: No, I don't believe so. I think there was one briefing where we gave you an indication that that was a serious option and that it could happen. But I think in all subsequent briefings, we have said it's under review and no decision has been made.

Now there have been some meetings just this week in the Administration on this issue. It has been looked at a very senior level just this week, and we have not made that decision to take them out. But it will stay under our -- under review. It's an issue that we need to keep in focus and we will. You know, we are concerned for these people's safety. But there is no threat right now that we think would warrant a drastic action like that.

Q Nick, are you saying --

Q What's under review? Is their IDs, names of these individuals, and who they really are? What is it that the United States --

MR. BURNS: No. What's under review -- I think I took George -- is George's question. Are you going to make a decision to evacuate a second larger group of people through Turkey to Guam, and that question obviously will stay with us for a long time. But I don't want to lead you to believe that we are going to be doing that in the next couple of days because we don't think there is any reason to do that.

Q Isn't that decision basically a binary decision? You either decide to take them out or not. What is it that you are on a daily basis?

MR. BURNS: We are keeping that situation under review. I want to be very clear. We haven't made any decision to take them out, but this is a group that is of concern to us, and we have been asked by the non- governmental organizations to keep this under review, and I suppose it will stay there for awhile.

Q Nick, does the United States Government have positive knowledge that the agents of Saddam Hussein are not operating now in Iraqi- Kurdistan against these NGOs? Is that what you are saying?

MR. BURNS: Well, I can't tell you where all of Saddam Hussein's agents are and are not. I can tell you that northern Iraq is relatively peaceful right now because of the cease-fire brought about by the United States and because of the political talks that we have had over the last two days in Ankara.

And the two major Kurdish factions understand the importance to the United States of this group of people, this 4 to 5 thousand people that George has asked about, and we'll keep this situation under review.

Q The Kurdish women didn't follow. The two Kurdish factions then have promised to suppress, or are they actively suppressing any agents of the Iraqi Government?

MR. BURNS: You'll have to ask them. Mr. Barzani's spokesman was just on CNN. You can ask -- they answered questions from the press. I don't know.

Q Also on the Kurds, there is some confusion about your statement yesterday about the Americans giving or pledging, what was it, $7.3 million for food relief in Iraq. Is that restricted geographically to the northern part of Iraq, or is that restricted to the Kurdish population?

MR. BURNS: The $7.3 million is our response to the appeal by the United Nations organizations for voluntary humanitarian food supplies. And we believe that ours -- we'd like to earmark ours for people in northern Iraq.

Q That would be the Kurds.

MR. BURNS: The Kurds, Turkomans, anyone who is disadvantaged in northern Iraq.

Yes.

Q I have two questions now. One is to follow up Jim's question. The UN people in New York have been saying that the situation is worse in the south and in the central regions, whereas you are earmarking it to the north.

Just for the record, could you restate the reasons for that?

MR. BURNS: Well, certainly, as we have said many times, we have great sympathy with the Shia population, the Iraqi Shia's in the south who have been victimized by Saddam Hussein for a long, long time; and we understand and would support the UN's effort to get those people emergency food aid and medical assistance, should they require it.

We just feel we are in a better position to monitor the distribution of our own contribution because of our operation in northern Iraq -- because of "Provide Comfort" -- that we have undertaken with the Turks and the French and the British. But that doesn't mean by earmarking our contribution to the north that we are not sensitive of the plight of the Iraqi Shia's and supportive of efforts to help them.

Q And on the earlier question, I'm sorry, about the relief workers, that some of the agencies yesterday told us that there has been an agreement between the U.S. Government and them for some kind of temporary measures. Could you elaborate on this?

MR. BURNS: I really can't. I don't know what that entails. I'll have to ask our experts who work on this if there is anything we can say on that. I'm just not familiar with any kind of agreement like that.

Q Who is left to monitor the distribution of the aid in the north?

MR. BURNS: Pardon?

Q Who is left to monitor the distribution of aid? Everybody has either left the country for Guam or other places or they are planning to get out.

MR. BURNS: Well, there are no official Americans in northern Iraq, but there are a variety of international relief people in northern Iraq.

You know, we think that it makes some sense to at least have the framework of a relief structure in the north stay in place, because what we hope will happen is that the cease-fire will hold and the Iraqi -- the Kurdish factions and the Turkomans will be able to have some kind of political reconciliation that will allow for stability and that will keep Iran and Iraq out. And we will rely upon those international relief organizations to let us know what the requirements are and what is happening with food assistance as it goes in.

Sid, you had a question.

Q How about the Turkoman population who lives below the 36th parallel on the Kalkamis region, and most of them are below the 36th parallel? Is there any intention to send relief to them?

MR. BURNS: That's really a question for the United Nations. I believe the United Nations' organizations, the World Food Program and others, intend to have this relief go to people throughout Iraq, and we wouldn't want to exclude major ethnic groups within Iraq. But I'm just saying that the United States wanted its particular contribution earmarked for the north. We are not in charge of this operation. The United Nations is.

Q Then you are saying the Turkoman people, you only mean the Turkoman people that are living in northern Iraq?

MR. BURNS: We are talking about Turkomans who live in Iraq here, not Turkomans who live in other countries, but who live in Iraq.

Yes. Mr. Lambros.

Q U.S. officials close to the talks, according to a dispatch, told United Press International that the KDP negotiators were opposed to a plan for Turkomans to take part in monitoring the truce in northern Iraq. Do you have anything on that?

MR. BURNS: I don't. I think that -- you know, I would just refer you, and I'll try to make it available to everybody after the briefing -- there is a three-page statement that was issued -- and this is a statement by all the parties.

Now the Turkomans were part of the negotiations in Ankara. They were represented at the table along with the two major Kurdish factions, so they were part of this -- in fact, it says that this is a statement of the Turkish, U.S., U.K. delegations, the delegations of the KDP, PUK, and the Turkoman Front.

The Turkoman Front has signed off on the statement. I'd like to let this statement speak for itself. Why don't you take a look at it after the briefing.

Sid.

Q New subject?

Q No. I'd just like to try and clarify something that at least I am still confused about. The original 2,l40 folks who were taken to Guam, I understand. I do seem to recall, however, that there was a second group that went to Guam two or three weeks ago. Perhaps 800,000 people. Is that -- am I in error, or -- ?

MR. BURNS: I don't think so. I think the 2,l40 people, these are employees of the United States Government and their family members. They went over a couple of days across the border to Silopi and then on to Guam.

I don't remember a larger group. I can check for you.

Q (Multiple voices.)

MR. BURNS: A smaller group?

Q 5,650.

MR. BURNS: I'll check for you. You have better memories than I do.

Q (Inaudible)

MR. BURNS: What is there that is confusing about it?

Q You seem to have left out that group --

Q People you say now are under review, and the people we know, because it kept coming up, went to Guam (inaudible) finished.

MR. BURNS: And where would this group be?

Q Well, that day they were on their way to Guam. The day you told us about a second group who, indeed, were assumed to be eligible.

MR. BURNS: I know what you are talking about, now. Okay, yes, yes. That's a different group.

Q It's causing confusion.

MR. BURNS: Right. Let's try to mark the difference. The 2,140 people are people and their families who worked for U.S. Government organizations. The group that George was asking about, these are people who worked for relief organizations but not necessarily for the U.S. Government but for American and European relief organizations. Okay.

The other group had nothing to do with the relief organizations. They were oppositionists. Two weeks ago, I believe Saturday -- two weeks ago this coming Saturday -- there was an operation to bring several hundred of them -- many hundreds of them -- over the border to Turkey. They were taken to Guam. But they're not part of the relief organization.

Q I do not recollect you ever suggesting that third group was going. The group that you say is under review now, I don't recall you ever saying otherwise. I think the confusion is those 600 folks.

MR. BURNS: No, I don't believe so. Let me try to straighten it out.

Q What?

MR. BURNS: Let me try to straighten it out. We had the first group of 2,140. They're over the border. They're in Guam. They're on their way to the United States.

We did indicate at one of our briefings here that this larger group of 4 to 5,000 people could be possibly evacuated from northern Iraq into Turkey and then onto Guam. That has not happened. As I said, we've made no decision to do that. We'll keep it under advisement, but I wouldn't lead you to believe that it's imminent.

There is this third group that has no relationship to the first two. These are Iraqi oppositionists, political opponents of Saddam Hussein, who very definitely had they stayed in northern Iraq would have been victims, we think, of persecution by Saddam's security forces. We brought them out in a secret operation two weeks ago this coming Saturday, during the evening, into Turkey with the cooperation of the Turkish Government. Those people are in Guam. They will be considered for asylum in the United States. But they have to undergo, of course, the appropriate security and other reviews before they are granted asylum by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

So there are three groups. Barry, we did indicate at one point there was a possibility that the second group could be evacuated but it hasn't happened. Does that clarify -- no?

Unless there are secret groups, and we don't talk about them. I think we've covered the landscape here.

Q So far what you're saying is that there are about 2,700 people in Guam -- 2,140 plus the several --

MR. BURNS: I recall the number was over 600, because they were brought out in two charter flights; just two flights from Diyarbakir, I think, airport. Thank you for letting me clarify that.

Q (Inaudible) easy like Bosnia.

MR. BURNS: I think we may have a few remaining Kurdish questions.

Q Isn't it interesting, you said there's enough control on the ground in northern Iraq for the U.S. contribute $10.3 million towards a food relief program.

I remember you saying the reason 986 implementation was frozen was because there's no control on the ground in northern Iraq to distribute food. Since you admit there is now that control, is it time to start implementing 986?

MR. BURNS: They're two different programs. The United Nations is now looking for contributions for a humanitarian food shipment program into Iraq. That is quite different than UN Resolution 986, which anticipates a $4 billion a year effort whereby Iraqi oil is exported and food and humanitarian goods, medicines, are brought in.

That program has to be worked through the Government of Iraq, which is quite different than the first program. That's why the second program requires, because of the perfidy and unreliability of the Iraqi Government, requires more stringent controls.

We still have an Iraq question.

Q The Iranian Foreign Minister said yesterday, I quote: "Without the active contribution of Iran, it's difficult to reach a constructive and peaceful settlement between two groups," meaning the Kurdish factions. Is there any possibility for Iran to be involved in these talks?

He also said what he claims is the Turkish proposal. They approve to mediate between these factions.

MR. BURNS: There's no possibility of Iran becoming involved in these talks. Iran has no role to play whatsoever in northern Iraq, no useful role. We would not agree to that.

A different subject?

Q China?

MR. BURNS: Yes.

Q There was a report in a major American newspaper today that said Charlene Barshefsky, when she was in Beijing, read Jiang Zemin a letter from President Clinton offering to give them permanent MFN and various other benefits, including a summit, if they would take certain steps on the human rights, for instance, releasing medical parolees and so forth. This was in the New York Times. Is this true?

MR. BURNS: I can't confirm it.

Q Is the United States seeking such a package with Jiang -- will the Secretary be offering or discussing normalizing --

MR. BURNS: I can't confirm it. What I can say is that our position -- the article this morning talk about some kind of a package, and it's related to the annual exercise of a resolution in the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva about human rights in China.

All I can say on that is that we evaluate the human rights situation in China on an ongoing basis. We'll continue to evaluate it on an ongoing basis to determine whether or not resolutions are helpful or not helpful, important or not important.

I simply can't confirm, will not confirm, don't want to confirm any of these stories. I would lead you back to the very high degree of attention we've given to human rights with the Chinese Government -- the very strong statement we made yesterday -- the fact that this is an ongoing discussion between the United States and China.

I think human rights issues have been raised in everyone of Secretary Christopher's 14 meetings with Qian Qichen. They'll certainly be raised in the next meeting a couple of weeks from now.

Q Do you deny that story?

MR. BURNS: Excuse me?

Q Do you deny the story?

MR. BURNS: Sid, I'm not in a position to confirm it or deny it. Our normal practice in the U.S. Government is not to talk about the specifics of our diplomatic discourse with other countries. I can't confirm it for you.

David.

Q On the same subject. In light of the sentence of the prominent Chinese dissident -- was it yesterday? -- does the Secretary still believe that it is appropriate for him to discuss a summit? In his upcoming visit, will it still be appropriate for him to discuss with the Chinese the possibility of a summit next year?

MR. BURNS: The Secretary is going to be going to Beijing and Shanghai, as you know. He's going to have comprehensive talks with the Chinese leadership. Those talks will talk about everything involved in the relationship -- from human rights to trade issues, to geopolitical issues, to security issues, to proliferation issues, to issues that have concern to us like Korea and the cooperation we've had with the Chinese.

We have a strategic relationship with China, one of the most important countries to us. It's one of the most important relationships that we have.

So the conversation is going to be broad-based when the Secretary goes to China.

The Secretary said in Jakarta this past July, after a meeting with Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, that he felt it was important to have regular meetings between the U.S. and Chinese leaderships; that he would be going to China in November. He will be going in a couple of weeks, and that he anticipated an exchange of visits sometime in 1997-1998 should President Clinton be re-elected.

We have not announced any of those visits. That subject, of course, is to further the conversation in our government and with the Chinese Government. But the general proposition that we should have meetings with the Chinese leadership, we firmly believe in that.

We went through a period here in 1995 when we had no meetings over many, many months. That doesn't serve the relationship. The only way you can effectively raise human rights issues, for instance -- effectively tell the Chinese Government face to face about our displeasure, about the sentencing of Wang Dan, for instance, is to do it face to face, personally, in meetings at the very highest level.

So we're going forward with these meetings. The U.S.-China relationship will continue to be a relationship where we have some issues where we agree, some issues where we can cooperate productively -- Korea is one of those -- and other issues where we have profound differences. Human rights is one of those issues.

We feel strongly about our support for human rights in China, and we're not going to shrink from talking about it publicly or privately.

Does that answer your question?

Q I'm just wondering whether -- there is the idea in the air that the Chinese leadership may view a summit as some sort of a reward. It's certainly something they want. Human rights is something that the Secretary can certainly raise at his level. Does it have to be raised at the Presidential level? Should they be rewarded for their recent behavior?

MR. BURNS: I believe as well that -- and you can check with the White House on this -- I believe that President Clinton has always raised human rights issues in his meetings with Jiang Zemin and other Chinese leaders.

Human rights is part of the agenda. The Chinese don't like that. I know that my counterpart, Shen Guofang, said this morning that human rights -- that this sentencing yesterday had no bearing on the U.S.- China relationship, no effect on it. That is not the case.

Human rights does have a bearing on the relationship, as we expressed yesterday. It is a big factor in the relationship. There are other factors in the relationship. We have a broad relationship. America has broad interests in China. We need to pursue all of them as effectively as we can on a comprehensive basis, and that's what this Administration intends to do.

Q You said yesterday the Secretary will go forward with his trip. You've indicated the President hasn't changed his plans for a trip.

What impact at all has China's human rights record had on this government's policy? Point to one thing we've done because of human rights, other than granting them MFN.

MR. BURNS: Sid, first, I didn't announce any Presidential trip to China in what I said today. Only the President will do that, obviously, if he's re-elected. He has not made a decision on that.

The Secretary, in Jakarta, called for an exchange of high-level visits, which we hope does take place in the future.

Sid, I can tell you this. Human rights is a big part of this relationship. The relationship between the United States and China is never going to reach its fullest maturity. It's never going to reach the degree of cooperation that one would want in a relationship between two great countries like the People's Republic of China and the United States of America unless there is an improvement in this situation. We have said that repeatedly. It's been part of our private discourse with the Chinese.

There will be in the future, obviously, some limits on what can be accomplished because of this important issue.

I know what's implicit in the question here. Let me go back to the point I made yesterday. The American people expect us to stand up for democracy and human rights around the world, especially when they see the story of a young man like Wang Dan who has been courageous, who has been committed, who believes in many of the principles that Americans believe in. We're going to continue speaking out about this. We think it's worthwhile. It's part of this relationship, and it will be part of this relationship for a very long time as long as there are problems like this -- severe problems -- in how the Chinese Government treats its own population.

Q But, Nick, you're saying, aren't you that human -- although you're not the White House spokesman, yet you're saying that the Chinese human rights record would not influence the President in a decision whether to go.

MR. BURNS: No. I'm very carefully saying that -- let's just break this down to remember what I've said over the last ten minutes.

Q There's a trip, obviously.

MR. BURNS: Absolutely.

Q How does human rights bear on that decision?

MR. BURNS: Barry, the Secretary of State is going ahead with his trip. I told you that yesterday he's going ahead.

Q So it hasn't --

MR. BURNS: The President hasn't been re-elected yet. Our elections are five days away. He has to be re-elected, and then it's up to the President to decide when he goes to China or when there's an invitation for a Chinese leader to come to the United States. We have not since July -- since the Secretary floated this proposition, we've not been specific about the dates. That's up to the President to decide after the election.

Q Have you made that clear?

MR. BURNS: We've made that clear --

Q The question is --

MR. BURNS: -- since July.

Q Indeed. It's clear as can be. The question is whether human rights -- the Chinese record on human rights is a factor in taking a decision on whether to go to China or not. It clearly wasn't a factor on the Secretary's trip. He's going.

MR. BURNS: Yes.

Q He's going, and he's going to beat them over the head on human rights, but he's going anyhow. Now, you have the -- the only thing that hasn't come forward yet in that area of prestige -- and I think David's right, it is a prestige issue as well as everything else -- is whether the President will go and whether there will be back-to-back summits in fact.

Is human rights a factor in whether you play your ace and show the President Beijing?

MR. BURNS: It's not appropriate for me to leap ahead of the American elections, assume an outcome in the American elections, tell you what the factors should be for a re-elected President a month or two or three or four or five from now. I can't look down the road that far, Barry. I can only tell you about the factors that went into the Secretary's decision to go to China.

He's going to China because we have a broad relationship. One issue cannot outweigh all other issues. All of the major issues are important. Trade is important. Korea is important. Geopolitical issues are important. Human rights are important.

When you have differences with a country like China, the best way to communicate those differences is in face-to-face meetings at the highest level, and the Secretary of State will do that when he goes to Beijing.

What you all seem to be suggesting, if I can just take some liberties in looking at the roots of your question, is that maybe that's not a good idea. Maybe we should just not go to China, and cancel the visit. Well, that's not the decision we've made. We've made a decision to go ahead and to address these problems head on.

That's usually the most effective way to talk about problems. But I can't really look down the road, Barry, into 1997 and anticipate what factors will be in front of President Clinton if he's re-elected.

Q I can drop it. I assume the Secretary is going not only to make plans for the relationship for the next couple of months but going ahead because this is not an issue that -- this is a relationship that needs tending, and there must be some assumption here that the gardening will be done by the Clinton folks next year as well.

But, I mean, what I'm saying is the President's decision isn't based on whether he's re-elected or not, I don't think. However, on Cuba --

MR. BURNS: The President has other --

Q (Inaudible)

MR. BURNS: The President has other things to do right now.

Q No, no. It's on China.

MR. BURNS: I would just respectfully submit the President has other things to do right now like campaign and run for re-election, and then -- ask the President, ask the White House after the election. That's the appropriate thing to do.

Q When it comes to Cuba, when it comes to Iran, when it comes to Iraq, I think it's fair to say that this Administration has felt somewhat lonely in its declarations in support of human rights, for instance.

When it comes to China, how do you feel the rest of the world has performed? Are you getting -- is the U.S. getting the kind -- is the U.S. message resonating around the world with the support that the U.S. would like to see, because not all countries believe in public diplomacy as a way to deal with human rights. Henry Kissinger made a career of saying private diplomacy is the way to deal with a lot of issues -- touchy issues, including human rights.

MR. BURNS: I don't think we have graded all of our friends around the world as to how they're speaking out or not speaking out on human rights in China. I can just say that the United States is the leading democratic country in the world. We're the greatest power in the world. We have a responsibility to our own history and tradition to speak out about these issues.

This Administration -- President Clinton and Secretary Christopher -- feel, believe very strongly, it's important that the United States represent itself appropriately and publicly on these issues; that we stand up for human rights activists. We've done so very consistently in China and in many other parts of the world. We're not going to stop because the Chinese Government doesn't like it, and they clearly don't, if you look at the statements from the Foreign Ministry this morning. We're going to continue with our public statements on these issues, and they are relevant to the relationship.

Q When the Secretary is in Beijing, we were told a couple of weeks ago that one of the major topics on his agenda will be planning for a presidential summit. Is that still the case?

MR. BURNS: First of all, let me just say for the 18th time in this briefing, we have to have our own elections here on November 5, and no one should take those elections for granted.

Second, the Secretary believes this should be a high-level exchange of visits in this relationship; that there should be regular meetings; that we should not go through periods, as we did in 1995, of no meetings. I'm sure he'll be communicating that to the Chinese leadership, and there will be discussions about high-level visits in 1997.

Q Nick, since this is such a big part of the relationship, will the Secretary be taking John Shattuck with him, or will John Shattuck be going ahead of time?

MR. BURNS: I was asked this question yesterday. I can tell you that the Secretary has made no decisions. He hasn't gotten to the point where he needs to decide who goes with him.

I can tell you that Under Secretary of State Lynn Davis has arrived in Beijing. We've had expert-level talks today -- I believe today and tomorrow. She will have her talks on November 4 and 5 on security issues, on proliferation issues -- non-proliferation issues -- and then she'll come back to the United States and report to the Secretary.

The Secretary, I would imagine, a week or two from now would make a decision as to who else should accompany him on this trip.

Q (Inaudible) take John Shattuck with him. I mean, you stood up there now for 20 minutes to tell us how important human rights is, and you're saying he's not even going to take the Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights.

MR. BURNS: Sid, you're completely -- with all due respect, you're completely misrepresenting what I just said. Did I just say he's not taking him? No.

Q It's a decision he has to make.

MR. BURNS: I'm trying to let my boss decide the issue of who he takes on the trip be decided privately, and then we'll let you know. You'll be along with us, and you can look in the front of the plane to see who's riding in the plane. Do you think I should commit the Secretary of State to a decision before he's even been asked to make the decision? Should I make that decision for him publicly? No. That would be overstepping my responsibilities as Spokesman here.

So you've misrepresented what I've said, and let's be clear about that for the people reading this on the Internet, and let's just let the Secretary of State make this decision. Don't jump to conclusions.

Q My point, Nick, is, with all due respect, what decision is there to make if you have a commitment to human rights? Isn't it a given that he would take John or somebody --

MR. BURNS: I would just suggest to you, Sid, with all due respect, that the Secretary of State is a senior official in this building, and that when the Secretary of State decides he's going to raise human rights issues, as he is going to do on his trip to China, that is the most effective thing that the State Department can do.

Who goes along with him is purely a decision that the Secretary is going to make. I'm not going to anticipate that for him.

Q Nick, you frequently say when pointing to areas where the Chinese are helpful, you talk about Korea. Have the Chinese been helpful in defusing tensions on the Korean Peninsula following the sub incident?

MR. BURNS: The Chinese Government voted with the United States in the UN Security Council for the unanimous resolution condemning the North Koreans for their provocative submarine incursion into the territorial waters of the Republic of Korea. We thought that was very helpful.

In general, on the Agreed Framework, on other issues pertaining to North Korea, the Chinese have been a good partner of the United States. But China is a power in Asia and the Pacific and will be throughout the 21st century. The United States needs to work with China for peace and stability in Asia -- north Asia, the Pacific area -- and that's part of this relationship.

It's part of the reason why we can't allow ourselves to have situations like we did in 1995, where there are no contacts between the two governments, and that's why the Secretary is going in November. Just another word about John Shattuck. I just wanted to say he has the trust and confidence of the Secretary and the senior leadership of this Department. He's right now on a very important mission in The Hague, working with the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.

He's going on to the Balkans in the next couple of days to try to pressure the Croats and the Bosnian Serbs to meet their commitments. He has the Secretary's confidence. By not giving Sid a definitive answer on who are the 40 people who are going to be traveling with the Secretary, I don't mean to imply any lack of respect for Assistant Secretary Shattuck, because he has our respect and the Secretary's respect.

Q I'd like to follow on that. Nick, on a previous question, have the Chinese been a conduit for telling the North Koreans that an apology for the sub incident is necessary before --

MR. BURNS: Oh, I don't know if they're playing that role. I couldn't speak to that. That's private. But I can speak to what they've done publicly in the UN Security Council, which we think is positive.

Q Nick, on that subject, this morning the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea at a news conference at the Press Club said that there will be no high-level policy-level talks between the United States and North Korea until North Korea issues a public apology for the hostile incursion of the sub. Was he speaking for the United States? Is that the policy; there has to be a public apology?

MR. BURNS: I haven't seen the Ambassador's remarks, but the Ambassador speaks for the United States Government. Of course he does. We haven't had any -- it depends, I guess, how one would define "high- level." Let me just tell you that I believe yesterday we had another meeting up in New York with the North Koreans, and Mr. Li of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, appeared at that meeting, and we worked with him at the meeting.

I think he's underneath the cutoff that we've established here.

Q Working level.

MR. BURNS: We certainly believe that North Korea should do something to atone for its egregious violation of the Republic of Korea's territorial waters, and that's been the consistent message to North Korea all along.

Q Is that a flat condition, that the North Koreans must issue a public apology before there can be those higher-level talks?

MR. BURNS: Jim, I think just to be fair to the Ambassador and to myself, I'd like to talk to the Ambassador. I'd like to see the context and the full remarks that he made before I answer that question.

Q Any headway on your favorite subject, the talks in New York yesterday?

MR. BURNS: Excuse me?

Q Any headway on some of those oft mentioned subjects?

MR. BURNS: It's hard to say. I mean, we have these talks regularly up in New York. They cover all the major issues in the relationship, including the Agreed Framework and the four-party proposal and Mr. Carl Hunziker, who's still being held unjustly in a prison in Pyongyang and other issues, including the incursion into South Korean waters, the provocative behavior towards South Korea.

On the issue of Mr. Hunziker, we hope that Mr. Ake Lovquist, the Swedish diplomat representing the United States interests in Pyongyang, will be able to get in to see Mr. Hunziker next week, because we have continual, ongoing concerns about Mr. Hunziker's well being.

We want to assure ourselves that he is being well treated, as much as that is possible in a North Korean jail.

Q (Inaudible) visit.

MR. BURNS: Well --

Q No, no, I mean, specifically, unless you want to correct that.

MR. BURNS: No, I don't. It's some kind of a guest house, but he was taken there forcibly under arrest. He's been charged with espionage, and he's not able to leave the guest house. That's a jail.

Q I'm not suggesting he's being treated --

MR. BURNS: I can imagine what a North Korean guest house looks like and feels like to someone like Carl Hunziker, who's a young guy who's totally innocent of all the charges, who finds himself being held captive, which is what he is, and we're very displeased about that.

Q Nick, some of us were in a hotel in Kiselevsk, and we weren't even charged with anything. (Laughter)

MR. BURNS: I've been to Kiselevsk, too, but Kiselevsk isn't Pyongyang. Kiselevsk is a lot better than Pyongyang, let me tell you that --

Q Of course. But it was --

MR. BURNS: And the Russians were excellent hosts.

Q What do you mean? The horse meat? Or the lights going out? What did you like?

MR. BURNS: No, the Russians are excellent hosts.

Q What did you like best? List the three things you liked best.

MR. BURNS: Minister Kozyrev was an excellent host to Secretary Baker.

Q He always is. I'm sure Mr. Baker --

MR. BURNS: Minister Kozyrev didn't lock anybody up and charge them with treason, the way the North Koreans have.

Q Some of us would have been -- thought that good old Chinese --

Q Espionage.

MR. BURNS: Espionage. Excuse me. Thank you, Jim. I've been carried away here in our historical comparisons.

Q Are you saying that he's not in a hotel room -- and he's not in a hotel any more, however dilapidated it might be?

MR. BURNS: No. I'm saying we understand he's in a hotel/guest house. If anyone believes that that's a real hotel where you pay with Visa and you can go when you want to, then --

Q (Inaudible) He's in a jail.

MR. BURNS: Okay. He's in a jail. There's no question that he's being held forcibly, and he's being charged with espionage, which is a very serious charge.

Q Should we make the link, or do you want to make the link? Your hopes were raised by the North Koreans, or they just kind of flew in out of the window?

MR. BURNS: On the question of Mr. Hunziker?

Q On the Swedish visit.

MR. BURNS: We never know. Mr. Lovquist has only been granted two visits since the last week in August. That's far too few. He ought to --

Q (Inaudible)

MR. BURNS: He ought to be given more frequent access, and we hope he'll get in next week. You never know with the North Koreans.

Q You didn't have an assurance from Mr. Li, did you?

MR. BURNS: I don't know if we have an assurance or not from Mr. Li.

Q A follow-up on this. I'm a little confused. Are any parts of the Agreed Framework, the implementation of it, on hold as a result of the North Korean incursion and awaiting some sort of North Korean redress of this?

MR. BURNS: We are meeting our commitments -- KEDO is meeting its commitments in the Agreed Framework, and in fact I know that we've just delivered some considerable amount of heavy fuel oil as part of the agreement that we have.

I think Assistant Secretary Win Lord said, when he was in Asia, that some of the aspects could be slowed down just a little bit, but fundamentally we're going to keep our commitments. We're keeping our commitments. The Agreed Framework is in place and will be kept in place.

Q But no deadlines have approached for action that have been delayed because of this.

MR. BURNS: I'm not aware of it. That's really a question for KEDO which, of course, is implementing the Agreed Framework for the United States, Korea and Japan.

Q Nick, could I just clarify one point. I think you said Mr. Hunziker is in Pyongyang.

MR. BURNS: He's outside of Pyongyang.

Q Okay. So he's not --

MR. BURNS: He's outside of -- he's in a North Korean guest house outside of Pyongyang.

Q He's still where he was.

MR. BURNS: We believe so, but we're never sure, of course, until we get there and see him. We believe he's in this guest house/jail outside of Pyongyang.

Q Is Mr. Li still in the United States? And my second question is, is the meeting a product of this working level negotiation in New York?

MR. BURNS: You'll have to ask the North Koreans where Mr. Li is. He was in New York yesterday. Whether he's still there today, I don't know, but I just don't know about his whereabouts.

I'm sorry, the second question?

Q The second question is the meeting of the Hunziker by the Swedish diplomat. Is this the result of the working level contact in New York?

MR. BURNS: No. It's simply our wish to have continual access to Mr. Hunziker.

Q Nick, on another subject, your statement about the ABM agreements and putting the onus on the Russians for seeking modifications from the earlier agreement. The Russians have turned that around and said that they were ready to sign. It was the United States who insisted on certain modifications to the draft. Do you have a response to his response?

MR. BURNS: It's probably best to keep most of this private. We have a no-surprises agreement with the Russians. We try not to let too many of our differences spill out into public, and I think I'd like to keep to that today, except to say this.

You have the agreement in your hands. In late September in New York, we gave you a joint statement. You can read it. It commits the United States and Russia -- it's a joint statement of Secretary Christopher and Minister Primakov. It commits the United States and Russia to conclude Part I and to sign those documents; to continue negotiating Part II.

What the Russians have effectively done here is try to merge elements of Part I and Part II, which, of course, is contrary to the joint statement that was issued in late September. That's the problem here. The Russians were not willing to go ahead today in Geneva and sign the Part I documents. They were not willing to do it, because they wanted to take some Part II issues and kind of leap them into the negotiations, and that's not a good idea. It's not what we agreed to.

I think that's all I probably want to say in public. We'll continue to discuss this with the Russians. What we would like to do is convince them that we need to go back to the September agreement, sign those documents, keep on negotiating on Part II, keep this process going. This was started several years ago -- three years ago -- and we do need to make some progress on it.

Q Nick, they're not saying -- have they signaled any change on some of the tests that are in Part I?

MR. BURNS: All I'm saying --

Q If they're not opening --

MR. BURNS: There's a merging now of the two parts, Barry.

Q Well, merging is -- raises all sorts of questions. As I understood it yesterday, Part I was sealed, and the agreement was that we signed it, and they said, "We don't sign it. We want to deal with Part II and get that done."

But I had no reason to think then that the systems that had approval that are in Part I have continuing approval for testing. Are they reopening the systems in Part I?

MR. BURNS: They're making it impossible to sign the Part I documents by linking it with Part II. Let me just put it that way. That's what we said yesterday, and that's what's happening.

Q But they're not questioning whether the systems that in Part I were judged to be in conformity with ABM are now maybe not in conformity.

MR. BURNS: I don't believe they are, but they're making it impossible for us to sign Part I.

Q That means you couldn't implement it--

MR. BURNS: Pardon?

Q That means you couldn't implement it, and that's your objection.

MR. BURNS: We can't implement an agreement until it's signed.

Q Well, you wouldn't be able to -- right -- because merging Part I and Part II would delay implementation, and that's the U.S. objection.

MR. BURNS: Right.

Betsy.

Q Nick, different subject. Were there any Americans aboard the plane that went down in Brazil this morning?

MR. BURNS: First, let me say what a terrible tragedy this was for the Brazilian people and the residents of Sao Paulo. Unfortunately, what the Brazilians are telling our Consulate General in Sao Paulo is that they believe that all the people on board the aircraft perished, and that I believe is nearly 100 people on board the aircraft. At least 22 people on the ground were killed, and that toll could rise.

We fear that there was an American citizen on board the aircraft. We are attempting to notify -- to firmly establish the identity of that person, and then to work on notifying next of kin. Until we've completed that process, it's not appropriate for us to try to release the name.

Q I had heard that there may have been three Americans. You're saying that there are two --

MR. BURNS: I have not heard that. But in situations like this, there often is confusion. This is an on-going process. I've only heard about one. I can't discount the possibility of more American citizens as these corpses are identified.

We are working on it. Our Consul General in Sao Paulo and her staff are working very hard on this.

Q Do you have anything on the American couple that seems to be lost in a large snowstorm in Nepal?

MR. BURNS: Yes, I do. I can tell you that we were notified, I believe a couple of days ago -- I'm just looking for it now -- notified a couple of days ago about a husband and wife who are experienced trekkers who were reported missing at 15,000 feet.

We have contacted the Nepalese authorities. We tried to get helicopters up to the place where they were last seen, without success because of very severe weather.

The gentleman and his wife are Mr. Philip Fialkows and his wife, Helen. They were stranded in the Dolpa region.

The helicopter rescue was not undertaken because of the severe weather. They were accompanied by some local Sherpas. Some of their party left that party to try to get help. It's a very confused situation.

In this case, our Embassy at Kathmandu is working very closely with the local authorities and the national authorities to see when emergency helicopter transport can be brought into that region and to see if a search party can be formed to try to get them out.

We don't have anything else we can say about their situation. This is a very worrisome development, obviously.

Q Do you have a hometown?

MR. BURNS: I don't here. I believe some of the press reports that I've seen give a hometown. I just can't recall what it is.

Q Seattle.

MR. BURNS: That's exactly it. The press reports have them as a couple from Seattle, experienced hikers and trekkers who have been to Nepal before and, unfortunately, have been caught in a very severe storm.

Q Nick, the arms delivery that is held up outside Croatia, is there any change in that situation? The Bosnian Federation --

MR. BURNS: There's no change. The arms are still on board the ship outside of Ploce. Those arms will not be off-loaded and given to the Federation forces until some personnel changes are made by the Federation authorities. I think they know very clearly who the people are who we think should go because some of these people have contacts with very undesirable countries.

Lee, did you have a question?

Q Yeah, I did. I noticed in the Washington Post, I believe it was this morning, that there was a list of contacts that Mr. Huang, I believe, from the Democratic National Committee had with the White House. I was wondering if you had prepared a similar list at the State Department?

MR. BURNS: I don't know anybody in our building who has ever met him. That doesn't mean that nobody in the State Department has ever met him. I know that the Secretary of State has never met him. I know that most of the other senior officials that I've talked to have not met him. I'm not aware that he ever visited the State Department. That doesn't mean he never did. He may have visited the State Department. I don't have any records like that.

Q Another subject.

MR. BURNS: Lee, do you have a follow-up?

Q So he didn't work closely with officials on any part of Asian policy?

MR. BURNS: He was a Commerce Department official. Then, as you know from press reports he was engaged in fund-raising activities. I just don't know if he had -- it wouldn't be surprising if he had contacts with somebody in this building if he worked at Commerce.

I can just tell you, at the senior levels, I don't think anyone knew him. I've never met him. I've never seen him in this building. I don't know if we have any records as to if he came or not. I just don't know.

Q Another subject.

Q Did the Secretary meet with him before the campaign four years ago?

MR. BURNS: I don't know, Sid. As Secretary of State, the Secretary has not met him. I simply don't know.

Q Can you take the question as to whether the Secretary met with him before --

MR. BURNS: I'll consider that. I think you're really stretching here. You're really stretching. I'll consider it, but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to be forthcoming.

Yes, Savas.

Q Your best friend, the Libyan leader, Colonel Qadhafi, called yesterday all of the Arab and Muslim countries to fight against the U.S. and U.S. influence and asked them to establish a unified front.

By the same token, the Iranian religious leadership, yesterday, they said that the fight against the U.S. is a citizenship duty for the Iranians. They claim that the U.S. symbol of the -- some kind of enemy of the Iranian religious belief. Do you have a comment?

MR. BURNS: If we were such a great enemy of mankind, then why do millions of people want to come and live here? Because we're a democracy and we're a free country, and we're a great country. You shouldn't listen these extremists in Libya and Iran. They're not going to get many people to join them in their call for Muslim unity.

We have Muslims here in the United States who have religious freedom. We have great respect for Islam. We have excellent relations with almost all the Muslim countries in the world, with the exception of a few like Libya and Iran and Iraq. I don't think Colonel Qadhafi is going to get many people to join him in his crusade. It's laughable.

The Iranians are also -- I think they show their cynicism. The fact that they insist upon having an anniversary every year about their hostage-taking of American diplomats, which tells you a lot about the nature of the people who run the Government of Iran these days, what kind of people they are.

Q What is the coincidence? The two countries, at the same time, they are making that same kind of statement.

MR. BURNS: I have no idea. But we normally don't take very seriously statements out of Tripoli and Tehran, because they don't deserve to be taken seriously.

Yes, Mr. Lambros.

Q Do you have any comment to my yesterday's question on Khristos Rozakis' proposal for a moratorium in the entire Aegean between Greece and Turkey?

MR. BURNS: I have a comment.

Q Ah, finally! For the first time.

MR. BURNS: My comment is the following. We checked into this. Nobody in our government is aware of this report. No one is aware of these comments. We've never heard them before.

So I have a comment. That is, I can't comment because we don't know anything about it.

Q The article by Rozakis, as far as for the moratorium. It was a big story yesterday, even in Ankara and Athens.

MR. BURNS: We don't know anything about it.

Q According to a memo from your Embassy in Athens, the officials there are optimistic because the drive to settle the Greek-Turkish dispute over the Aegean has gathered, finally, momentum. It will be translated soon into a concrete political (inaudible) after the election of November 5, for one reason.

The Greek Prime Minister, Konstandinos Simitis, and his top advisor, Khristos Rozakis, are ready. Do you have any comment on your optimism and momentum?

MR. BURNS: Mr. Lambros, I have a tarantula here that was given to me by somebody on my staff. Very respectfully, I'm just going to toss this to you as a Halloween gift. Here you go. Sorry. (Laughter) I have no more comment to make.

Q Your Embassy in Athens -- I was told --

MR. BURNS: No, I wouldn't read too much into it. Mr. Rozakis and I are friends. A very friendly Halloween offer. (Laughter)

Q I was told that your Ambassador to Athens, Thomas Niles, and the second in charge at the Embassy, Thomas Miller, have organized a press event for the eve of the Presidential election in a hotel in downtown Athens. However, they invited the entire Greek press and media except the number one circulation daily newspaper of Athens -- difficult to pronounce -- Eleftheros Typos. I'm wondering why this discrimination? Would you please look into that because it's developing a big scandal in Athens?

MR. BURNS: Okay. We have a couple more questions. Ambassador Niles and Mr. Miller are outstanding diplomats. If they're throwing an election night party, all the more power to them. Please ask them about the guest list because they haven't sent it to me. I'm just unfamiliar with the guest list for the party.

Q Can you look into it?

MR. BURNS: I'm sure they're having a representative sampling of Greek journalists and Greek officials.

I think I'd rather let our Ambassador and our Deputy Chief of Mission in Athens handle this one. They're better equipped than I am to handle that question.

Q The last question. Did you have the chance to read Turkish Ambassador Nuzhet Kandemir propaganda piece in the forthcoming National Law Journal? (Laughter)

MR. BURNS: Mr. Lambros, you and I are friends. Ambassador Kandemir and I are friends as well. I wouldn't use that adjective to describe the piece that he wrote. I've seen the piece. I haven't had a chance to read it. He's a very respected man here. He's been Ambassador for a long time, a friend to a lot of us in the United States Government. Let's not engage in any name-calling about a very respected Turkish diplomat. He's a very respected Turkish diplomat. We hold him in very high regard.

Q Time is up.

MR. BURNS: We have a couple other questions. I just want to say this. We hold Ambassador Kandemir in very high regard here. Name- calling is out of bounds about diplomats here in Washington.

Yes sir. And then, Sid, I know you have a question.

Q On Zaire. Yesterday, a Suriname reporter alluded to the fact that the United States is behind Rwanda and the French are supporting Zaire. Is it true that the United States is supporting Rwanda in this?

MR. BURNS: The United States is not supporting any particular country in this conflict, and the United States and France are together on this issue. We are supporting the United Nations. We are going to support Ambassador Raymond Chretien, who is going to be representing the United Nations and all of us, to try to figure out what the international community can do.

There is no French-American difficulty here, and we are not taking sides. We are in touch with the government in Kigali and the government in Kinshasa through our ambassadors. We are trying to work well with both. We hope they will use their influence on the factions, the militias, to stop the fighting in eastern Zaire.

The fighting has reached a crisis. People are being killed because of it. But there are now more than 500,000 refugees who don't have adequate provisions because of this fighting. This is a humanitarian crisis. Assistant Secretary Phyllis Oakley is in New York conferring with Mrs. Ogata today. And I just want to say the United States has contributed, I think, more than any country: $30 million just in late September; $875 million in the last two years for humanitarian purposes in Central Africa.

There were some press reports yesterday diminishing, criticizing the United States for not having done enough. Nearly a billion dollars in the last two years. That's more than anybody.

Yes, Sid.

Q This Saudi roundup of Shi'ites, in your opinion is that a human rights abuse, or is that a legitimate law enforcement action?

MR. BURNS: Are you referring to -- what are you referring to, specifically, Sid, because there was an article, I think, in one of the papers this morning about one particular group. The Saudi Hizballah group. Is that what you are talking about?

Q There are several articles, not just --.

MR. BURNS: We are aware of various Middle Eastern press reports alleging that a number of arrests have been made in Saudi Arabia in the wake of the Dhahran bombing, but we have no independent confirmation of these reports.

We have heard the name "Saudi Hizballah" before. We have no reliable information about this group.

Q So you are not aware of this roundup?

MR. BURNS: We're not.

Q If there was close cooperation, wouldn't you be aware, one way or the other?

MR. BURNS: Well, there is cooperation. There have been a lot of rumors about arrests, about various terrorist groups. I'm just not in a position to confirm each one of these rumors.

Yes. We have a couple more questions.

Q My question is about the Kosovo region. The Albanians and Kosovo are going to boycott and will not participate in the upcoming election of former Yugoslavia. I believe this is a major threat to the legitimacy of the election. Is there any effort on your side to convince them to participate in these elections?

MR. BURNS: I'll have to check. I don't know what we may have done or not done. We do have a U. S. Information Officer in Pristina, an American diplomatic presence in Pristina. And let me check for you on what we have done on that issue.

Q Do you have an update of Eizenstat's trip to Europe?

MR. BURNS: I don't. I believe he is in Scandinavia, in Stockholm and Copenhagen.

Q Is he coming back?

MR. BURNS: Shortly.

Q Is he going to inform us when he comes back on how the trip was?

MR. BURNS: Inform you?

Q No, us.

MR. BURNS: I'll have to ask Ambassador Eizenstat what he would like to do, whether he would like to appear in front of the press and talk about it.

Q Thank you.

MR. BURNS: Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 2:14 P.M.) (###)

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