U.S. Department of State 96/11/14 Daily Press Briefing Office of the Spokesman U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING INDEX Thursday, November 14, 1996 Briefer: Glyn Davies DEPARTMENT Town Meeting on U.S. Foreign Policy on November 15....... 1 Reported Department Inspector General's Investigation of INR Assistant Secretary ............................. 18-20 Department's Efforts in U.S. Investigation re Stolen Assets by Nazis in Swiss Banks ......................... 20-21 JORDAN Jordan Designated a Major Non-NATO Ally of the U.S. ..... 1-2,17 RUSSIA Vladimir Galkin Espionage Case .......................... 2 ZAIRE Update on Status/Consultations on Intervention Force .... 3-5,7-14 Situation in Goma ....................................... 4 Repatriation of Refugees ................................ 6-9 Update on Status of DART Teams .......................... 7 IRAQ Iraqi Kurdish Talks in Ankara ........................... 15 GREECE/TURKEY Borders in the Aegean/European Union .................... 16-17 MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS Israel Prime Minister Reportedly Cancels Trip to U.S. ... 17-18 FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Status of U.S. Troops in Bosnia ......................... 21
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1996, 1:32 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. DAVIES: Welcome to the State Department Briefing. To start off the briefing,Ambassador Winston Lord, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, will setup for you the Secretary's trip which begins this weekend to the APEC Ministerial, andbefore that to China.
He will start off by making a few comments about the Secretary's trip. He'll be preparedafter that to answer your questions about the Secretary's trip, and if you have questionsabout the President's trip as well, I think we'll go, all told, about 15 or 20 minutes.
So, I'll turn it over to you, please.
(Following Assistant Secretary Lord's briefing on Asia, Deputy Spokesman Daviesresumed the briefing at 1:58 p.m.)
MR. DAVIES: Sorry we couldn't go longer but there's more to talk about, more to dohere.
I've got a couple of quick announcements, and then I'll go to your questions.
Announcement Number One is to let you know about a Town Meeting -- another TownMeeting -- on U.S. foreign policy. This one, right here at the State Department -- it's openfor press coverage; it will occur tomorrow. It's co-sponsored by the U.S. Department ofState and the Coalition for American Leadership Abroad. It has kind of a long title, butbear with me. It's important.
It's "America's Role in the World: Towards the 21st Century New Approaches andChallenges." It will occur in the Loy Henderson Conference Room from 9:00 a.m. until2:45 p.m.
A number of the very best the building has to offer will speak. Nick Burns will kick itoff, followed by Ambassador Tom Pickering who is just back from a successful tour asour Ambassador in Moscow. Brian Atwood will be there, Craig Johnstone who is knownto many of you, our Director of the Office of Resources, Plans, and Policy; Director JoeDuffey of USIA will be there as will Alan Larson who is Assistant Secretary of State forEconomic and Business Affairs.
There's an announcement on this in the Press Office.
The second announcement relates to Jordan. Effective November 13, 1996, the Presidentdesignated Jordan a major non-NATO ally of the United State, pursuant to Section 517 ofthe Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. This designation reflects that Jordan plays a key rolein an area of strategic interest to the United States; that Jordan has joined Egypt and Israelas a full partner in the effort to bring peace to the Middle East and that it maintains a widerange of U.S. military systems and technology.
What this means for Jordan -- this designation as a major non-NATO ally -- it makesJordan eligible for priority consideration for the transfer of excess defense articles, the useof already appropriated military assistance funds for procurement through commercialleases, the stockpiling of U.S. military materiel, and the purchase of depleted uraniummunitions.
Other countries that enjoy this special designation include Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan,and the Republic of Korea. Those are the announcements I've got.
Q Have you seen the stories about Mr. Galkin? I was wondering whether the U.S. hadany role in the developments today?
MR. DAVIES: I have seen the stories about Mr. Galkin, essentially reporting that chargesagainst Mr. Galkin may be dropped up in Boston. I'm going to leave to the JusticeDepartment, I think, further comment on that. There may also be some further commentout of other agencies in the U.S. Government in answer to some of the questions aboutwhat was behind the decision to drop the charges.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) this kind of dialogue that the United States --
MR. DAVIES: I can tell you that what you heard publicly, the blast from the Russians,their displeasure with what was done, was repeated to us as well in private. This answersDavid's question of the other day.
So we heard both publicly and privately from the Russians of their displeasure at hishaving been picked up.
QUESTION: Yesterday, this Administration provisionally agreed to help in the Zairerefugee relief effort. Since it was a provisional agreement, could you please enumerate theproblems that you see in that area?
MR. DAVIES: It would be hard to top the list that you got yesterday from Mike McCurryand that I elaborated on -- at least, I hope I did -- in the briefing just after him.
To try to boil it down a bit, of course, what we first have to establish is what the threatenvironment is going to be for this multinational force. We have to also get a good grip onthe availability of forces from other countries. We have to also understand what level ofconsent and cooperation there will be from not just countries in the region but also some ofthe other actors, let's call them; in particular, the militias who control some of the keyground.
All of this in the context of our twin goals, which are to provide relief to the refugees, thesome one million refugees, and also to move toward repatriating the refugees to theirvarious homelands. Most of them, of course, are Rwandans, we believe, can safely returnto Rwanda.
We also spelled out yesterday what kind of a mission that the U.S. forces would have inthis larger multinational force; that they would be essentially handling or helping bring inforce to Goma airport -- other forces; providing security at the airport in Goma; providingsecurity on about a three-mile long corridor between Goma and the Rwandan border.
We talked a bit about the duration of it. We envision this mission lasting about fourmonths.
What's being done today -- and this is important -- is that Tony Lake, the President'sNational Security Advisor, is leading a large interagency team in New York. They're up inNew York discussing with officials of the United Nations, but also other interested nations-- potential troop- contributing nations -- exactly how this could work.
They're talking about the six issue areas that Mike McCurry highlighted yesterday. They're also discussing what UN language in a resolution might look like because you'llrecall that the idea here is to have this force dispatched according to Chapter 7 of the UNCharter. That work is going on today. It's going on intensively.
Meanwhile, of course, in the region, the team that was dispatched a couple of days ago isdoing its work and a portion of the H-A-S-T -- the HAST -- the humanitarian assistanceteam, a portion of those individuals have gotten now into Rwanda. They are looking atwhether or not they can get into eastern Zaire to do further work on the ground.
Of course, a lot of all of this depends on what kind of word comes back from the HASTout there in the region. That's essentially where we stand right now.
QUESTION: Could you elaborate a bit on the situation, please, around Goma? Whoholds Goma? Where are the -- what they are -- Hutu tribesmen who are preventing therelief workers from getting to the refugees?
MR. DAVIES: A part of the problem for us now is, since we don't have officials in thatpart of Zaire, it's difficult to know exactly who holds what ground. We know, of course,that the Tutsi rebels have taken a number of key towns in eastern Zaire, in the Kivu region. We know that the Hutu refugees and some of these Hutu factions are, for the most part ofthem, in the Mugunga refugee camp which is just west of Goma. Some of the conflictthat's going on -- and there has been mortar fire from Mugunga into Goma -- is from theseforces who are interspersed among the Hutu refugees at Mugunga Camp.
There are reports of refugees scattered in other parts of eastern Zaire. There are reports ofsome refugees, some light refugee returns, to Rwanda and to Burundi.
I can tell you a little bit about some of the work that's being done by the internationalprivate humanitarian community.
The major relief agencies are looking at all possible ways to bring food and medicine intothe affected area from both east and west. A UN interagency team has met with local rebelauthorities in Goma for the last three days to talk about resuming humanitarian activities. They were to return to Goma again today.
The UNHCR has reopened its offices in Goma. That's significant. That's positive. It'sfrom that office that we get this report that the rebels continue to shell Goma from MugungaCamp.
Attempts yesterday to proceed from Goma to Mugunga where, as I said, an unspecifiednumber of refugees are now camped out, were thwarted because of this mortar shelling.
We spoke earlier in the week about the trucks, the six humanitarian relief trucks that wentinto the stadium in Goma. They were able, finally, to off-load their food, their blankets,and their medicine. That all went to the hospital in Goma.
Other missions are planned to go from Uganda into a town called Beni in north centralZaire where there are some railway lines which extend into Uganda and to the southernKivu area.
In general, the international agencies continue to move relief supplies into the region topreposition them so that once the multinational force goes in, there will be some way to getthis relief to those who need it.
QUESTION: Not to be too much of a skeptic here, but when I listen to McCurry'srecitation of the conditions that need to be satisfied before the U.S. contribution to the forcewould go in and your elaboration on that, and then your description of the problems on theground, one wonders when this force could go in? There seem to be rather dauntingproblems and the conditions seem to be rather steep?
MR. DAVIES: That's part of the reason why the U.S. Government has, in effect, laidout some stipulations before we make a final decision about whether we will participate inthis multinational force.
The situation, as I've said a couple of times, is very complex. One measure of it is thatthere were 40 refugee camps in eastern Zaire prior to the onset of the fighting. Now, webelieve that only four, at the most, may still contain refugees. So you're talking about 36camps that have essentially emptied themselves of their inhabitants.
QUESTION: It's where most of those people are, right?
MR. DAVIES: There are various reports of where they are. We've received reportstoday from missionaries that as many as 100,000 people, for instance, are in an area 110miles southwest of Bukavu that goes by the name of Kigulube. They're believed to becontinuing westward. So they're on the move. We don't know if these are Rwandanrefugees, if they're Burundi refugees, or if they're displaced Zairians, a mix of all threewhich is perhaps most likely. Then, of course, many others are disbursed throughouteastern Zaire.
So it is very complicated and that's why the team that's in there now has its work cut outfor it. Tony Lake and the team in New York has its work cut out for it. The United States,diplomatically, has a great deal to do to satisfy itself that the conditions will be right for usto take part in this.
QUESTION: Has there been any progress on the other part of what you're trying to, andthat is to repatriate the refugees, once you find them, back to Rwanda?
MR. DAVIES: I've said that there are some reports of some refugees repatriatingthemselves or going back to Rwanda. We think only 4,200 have done so. Severalthousand Zairians have also moved into Rwanda to escape some of the conflict that'soccurring.
There are reports that about 18,000 people have crossed the border into Uganda. Probably the majority of those are Zairians. As many as 30,000 of the 143,000 Burundirefugees in eastern Zaire have gone back to Burundi.
So there hasn't been a great deal of actual change on the ground or movement of refugeesback into Rwanda. That makes this even more important.
QUESTION: And we have no -- neither the United States nor the internationalcommunity has no sort of master plan to affect this at this time, right?
MR. DAVIES: What's being worked on now intensively in New York and elsewhere is aplan. To describe it as a "U.S. Master Plan," I think is a bit incorrect.
We outlined yesterday the basic structure of this multinational force. A Canadian will leadit. The Canadians are, in effect, at the pivot here. They are putting much of this togetherdiplomatically with others, getting from other countries pledges of troops. So theCanadians are going to lead this.
It is with the Canadians that Tony Lake, for instance, is having talks today in New York - - the Canadians and others, but intensively with Canada. The international community hasto work this out, has to figure out the very best method for ensuring that the maximumnumber of Rwandans do return to Rwanda. Because if they don't, then we're left with thesituation that is too much like the situation that existed before this latest cataclysm occurred.
QUESTION: In this large camp, there were some reporting today about the hard core ofex-Hutu Rwandan officials and militants who are essentially dominating the camp. They'reapparently well-armed. Does the U.S. have any sense or concept of how many there areand how well- armed they are and what type of threat they pose?
MR. DAVIES: We've said before that of the 1.1 million refugees, there are about, wethink, 40,000 reasonably well-armed Rwandan Hutu fighters of various kinds -- the so- called Ex-Far and Interahamwe. That is one of the great difficulties here, that these 40,000are interspersed among the 1.1 million. Forty thousand is a fraction. It's a large fractionbut it's just a fraction of the 1.1 million. So the challenge becomes how to ensure that youget the maximum of refugees back to Rwanda; and how do you ensure that, to the extentyou can guarantee it, those who go back to Rwanda are not armed.
QUESTION: Is the U.S., with its partners in this endeavor, contemplating some sort ofdeal for these militants? Right now they're between a rock and a hard place, apparently.
MR. DAVIES: I think that gets us ahead of where we are. There are various ideas beingdiscussed privately. I'll keep them private for the time being; various ways of setting up asystem to get the refugees back.
QUESTION: One last quickie. Yesterday, you mentioned these two DART teams thatwere turned away from Goma and the other town. Have they had any access since then?
MR. DAVIES: I don't have an update on the DART teams. I don't know that they'vehad any success since they're attempt to get in.
QUESTION: Are you saying then that the U.S. and this international force will bedisarming these militiamen before they cross into Rwanda?
MR. DAVIES: No, I'm not saying that. You heard, in fact, Mike McCurry say that themission of the American forces in Rwanda, or eastern Zaire rather, is not going to be todisarm any of the Hutu fighters. That's not the point at all.
But what we've said is that given the fact that this crisis requires a large, formidable forceto go in to deliver badly needed humanitarian assistance, our belief is that given the size ofthe force, the robust rules of engagement that they'll have and the factions' goals, whichare not aimed against the west but aimed against each other, we believe that will, in effect,discourage challenges from armed factions.
In addition to that, we're not just betting on the calm. We're not simply hoping that thisworks out. We're working hard, both in the region and through intermediaries to get thekinds of messages you would expect to the factions that are in control out there.
Ambassador Begosian, for instance, has met with representatives of rebel leaders inRwanda on more than one occasion. So we are working hard to make sure that conditionsare such that the force can go in.
QUESTION: I thought you said -- just previously you said that you're attempting towork out a system where these 40,000 or so Rwandan Hutus would not be allowed to goback with their --
MR. DAVIES: Just to put a fine point on that. What I said is, part of the effort here hasto be to get Rwandan refugees to go back to Rwanda -- at least, the vast majority of them --because their presence in eastern Zaire is what is destabilizing here. It's destabilizingbecause Zaire is a large country with nine other countries on its borders. If they were toremain, it could cause further ethnic conflict in the area.
The objective is to get refugees to go back to Rwanda. Part of the problem or challengethere is to figure out what to do about the 40,000 or so armed Hutu fighters who are in therefugee population. That is being worked on right now.
QUESTION: Can you share any of the American thinking about how best to handle thatissue? The last time the west went in with humanitarian help, there has been criticism sincethat all it did was offer humanitarian help; that, in fact, by ignoring the political and otherdimensions of the problem, it may have exacerbated the tragedy in the area.
This time, what is the U.S. thinking about how to handle the issue? Do you feed peopleif they're armed? Do you repatriate people if they're armed? And do you allow peoplethrough your three-mile corridor who are indicted war criminals, or don't you?
MR. DAVIES: All of these questions are being looked at. What I don't want to do isshare with you any further -- some of the thinking that we're advancing because that wouldbox those who were trying to work this out on the international level. We have our views. Others have their views. Others have put some of their views out.
The United Nations officials, who have a great deal of experience in refugee matters, theyhave ideas. We don't have a plan yet, a final plan. That is why, in essence, the agreementthat you heard yesterday to participate is conditional. We have to have a final plan. That'sbeing worked out right now. I don't want to get into some of these speculative issues.
QUESTION: Ambassador Begosian's team, which is half military, have they had achance yet to look at this three-mile road? Have they reported back yet what the securitysituation is there in Goma?
MR. DAVIES: I don't believe they've yet been in eastern Zaire. Some of them are nowin Kigali. They're working on --
QUESTION: None of the teams that are in the region have been to eastern Zaire yet, isthat correct? Most of them have been in Goma?
MR. DAVIES: The only Westerners -- let's say non-inhabitants of the area who havebeen into eastern Zaire, I believe in recent days, are those with private voluntaryorganizations.
Q: I mean official Americans who are part of assessing what the situation is as you beginto --
MR. DAVIES: Up to now, I'm not aware of any.
QUESTION: You've said you've had contacts with the Tutsi-led rebel force and with theRwandan Government. Have you had contact with these Hutus, the Interahamwe, in thecamps?
MR. DAVIES: What I know is that Ambassador Begosian has met with those in contactwith the rebels -- representatives of the rebels. I don't have a complete listing of whichgroups he's yet been in touch with yet.
QUESTION: Do we have a policy not to meet with these rebels?
MR. DAVIES: I'm not aware of one.
QUESTION: Could I ask you to take another crack at Sid's question yesterday? Why isit in the U.S. national interest to put thousands of troops in the middle of Africa in the nextfew weeks?
MR. DAVIES: Let me be more sophisticated than yesterday, where I talked about humanlife which I still think is important. I still think the American people believe it's importantto protect if they can in such an international context.
Let's make that number one of three -- the humanitarian interest of the United States; thatthousands of lives are at risk in eastern Zaire. Our action is intended to prevent a furtherslide into ethnic conflict, genocide, mass movements of refugees in the region.
Number two, this is occurring in Zaire. Conflict in Zaire, which is one of the largestcountries in Africa, a huge state with nine other states on its borders, threatens stability notjust in the immediate Great Lakes region but potentially beyond to other nations.
Third, the United States has an interest in supporting the emergence of stable, democraticgovernments in Africa. After what has been in Zaire a halting six-year transition from one- party rule toward democracy -- and they're not by any means at a democratic state yet -- wedon't want to see this process derailed.
There are to be elections in Zaire in mid-1997. It's important that that process goforward. So there are three reasons, kind of from the general humanitarian to the veryspecific -- call it political -- that I would advance for being part of a multinational mission tobring humanitarian relief to eastern Zaire.
QUESTION: And the Administration feels that those interests would justify the potentialrisk of loss of American lives?
MR. DAVIES: Right now, the Administration believes that those interests justifyagreeing provisionally to be part of a multinational force. What we've got to do is developfurther clarity on key issues such as the state of play on the ground, the degree ofpermissibility on the part of those who control the Goma airport and some of the regions incontention, some of the areas in contention.
We have to get at that question. We've got to talk a bit more about the organization of thisforce. There are funding issues, command and control issues, all manner of issues thathave to be worked out before we know for certain whether we, the United States, can givethe high sign and go forward and be part of this.
QUESTION: You mentioned funding. I wonder if you could talk a little more about that? Is the U.S. considering, besides sending troops, the possibility of what kind of funding itwould give? And do you know of any other countries which have pledged to be majordonors for this international force?
MR. DAVIES: What we said yesterday, and it's as far as I can go, is that the funding, thecost to the mission, will be born by participating states. We recognize that for some of theAfrican participants, additional arrangements may have to be made to help them from afunding standpoint. So we'll work that out.
In essence, those who are contributing to this will fund their contributions.
QUESTION: It seems to be the Administration was saying for two or three monthsbefore -- say, the past week or two -- that ground troops were not part of any plan by theU.S. to help out in any crisis situation in central Africa. I can remember Nick citing awhole bunch of reasons why the U.S. was not going to use ground troops. He mentionedthe U.S. being involved in Haiti; the U.S. being involved in Bosnia; the U.S. can't be theworld's policeman, that sort of thing.
What happened to induce the Administration to make a U-turn, so to speak?
MR. DAVIES: I wouldn't describe it as "U-turn." I think U.S. policy on the crisis ineastern Zaire has evolved. That said, we're not talking here about U.S. troops going inany kind of a well-understood way into harms way. We're not talking about U.S. troopsactively disarming militias that are resisting being disarmed. We're not talking about U.S.troops at this stage doing anything beyond what was outlined yesterday, which is helpingto secure the airport, providing security around the airport and helping provide securityalong this three-mile long corridor between Goma airport and the Rwandan border.
Your geography is as good as mine on this. You know that we're talking about a conflictthat is west, for the most part, of Goma here -- where Mugunga Camp is where themajority of the Hutus are.
For the most part, we'll have to wait and see. We'll have to wait and see what thenegotiators, the diplomats, are able to accomplish on the ground in talking to these variousfactions. We'll have to see how the mission develops. The mission, as it's contemplatednow provisionally, is as was outlined yesterday by Mike McCurry.
QUESTION: Just to go back to the earlier question. Isn't it now the ClintonAdministration's policy to intervene militarily in humanitarian situations?
MR. DAVIES: You're asking a question that's very general. I'm really only prepared totalk about Zaire. I don't think that we have writ in stone anywhere in the U.S.Government a policy on how we react to a generic group of situations. We react tosituations depending upon the needs of the situation and in light, always, of Americaninterests. We believe we're acting here well within American interests.
Are we still on Zaire? Howard.
QUESTION: I just want to go back to the situation on the ground. I guess what strikesme is how little the U.S. seems to know about what's actually happening there. We don'tseem to have any official eyes and ears on the scene.
MR. DAVIES: We have a great deal of information from those in the area, those familiarwith what's occurring in the area. We have other means of knowing what's going on onthe ground. We're not flying blind on this at all at this stage.
QUESTION: You mean in the context of putting in up to 5,000 troops?
MR. DAVIES: Number one and number two: We have a team that's gone in now to theregion that will do even further work to find out what is occurring. We're asking intensivequestions, diplomatically, all over the world but especially in the region to find out moreabout the situation. We've not yet said that U. S. forces are going to form part of thismultinational force. We have indicated that in principle we will, but we have to get straighton certain key aspects of this first.
QUESTION: It's pretty tricky to undo what you have already committed in principle.
MR. DAVIES: Betsy.
QUESTION: Do you know whether enough information is going to be available fromthese teams on the ground from your other methods of collecting information from themeeting in New York in order to make an informed decision this evening at a meetingwhich is going to take place by policymakers?
MR. DAVIES: Well, as I said, we already know a great deal, and we are workingintensively to develop more information. The United States isn't going to go into thissituation until and unless the U. S. Government is confident that our contribution to themission can perform its tasks effectively and as safely as possible. That's our bottom lineon this.
QUESTION: What is it that makes you think that you can cajole a majority of therefugees to return to Rwanda in four months? Why four months?
MR. DAVIES: Four months is the time-line that has been arrived at provisionally bylooking at all of the facts that we have right now. It is, we believe, a reasonable period oftime within which to perform a humanitarian mission, which is two-fold: relief and refugeereturn. And, as I say, since we haven't chopped on this notion cleanly and clearly yet,we'll simply have to wait and see whether we can develop enough information in thecoming days to make a final decision here.
QUESTION: But the U. S. intention to have a hard and fast outdate or to stay there aslong as it takes to do the job.
MR. DAVIES: I don't have anything to announce right here. I think a lot of that will beup to the planners who will be shaping this mission, not just here at the State Departmentbut at the Pentagon as well.
QUESTION: Just for the record, if your conditions are not met, the United States willback out of this provisional commitment.
MR. DAVIES: The agreement that we have announced to becoming part of orcontributing forces to this multinational force is at this stage conditional or provisional. That's absolutely right.
QUESTION: And you are prepared to back out if the conditions aren't met by --
MR. DAVIES: Well, I prefer to state it positively that we are not going to go unless wehave the degree of confidence that I have outlined, that we can do this as safely and smartlyas possible.
Mr. Lambros, are you still on Zaire?
QUESTION: (Inaudible) Please clarify the U.S. position vis-a-vis to the Hutu and Tutsigroups?
MR. DAVIES: Right now, Mr. Lambros, our effort is confined to a humanitarianmission which we have discussed already.
QUESTION: And also, Germany stated today that it is not sending troops to Zaire. Doyou have any comment on that?
MR. DAVIES: I don't have any particular comment. I have seen various reports, but Idon't know for certain what the German contribution may or may not be.
Yes. Nick, over here.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) How much is it going to cost the United States?
MR. DAVIES: I don't have a figure for you at this stage.
QUESTION: Are you taking it from the operations budget at the Pentagon at this point?
MR. DAVIES: I don't know. I can't answer funding questions at this stage. You mightwant to put those questions to the Pentagon, but I would say those questions are prematuresince we haven't yet got a plan and we don't yet know what kinds of assets will be neededto carry it out.
QUESTION: Can we go to another subject?
MR. DAVIES: Another subject. Anyone on Zaire? Is there another Zaire question. Yes.
QUESTION: There has been some reporting today in the Washington Times about theState Department and the investigation of the intelligence chief --
MR. DAVIES: This is another subject, and I want to hold that thought and we can get tothat, but I want to -- anymore on Zaire?
Mr. Lambros, Zaire? Another subject. I'm going to go another subject.
QUESTION: As you know, the second round of talks between Kurdish factions andTurkomans will be held in Ankara tomorrow. Could you tell us what are the issues on thetable? MR. DAVIES: Well, in advance of any discussions like that, we are not going to lay outhow we view things. I think what is important is to wait and see what comes of thediscussions and then perhaps we can comment afterwards. But I am not going to get intothat at this stage.
QUESTION: What are the items of Ambassador Pelletreau's mission in these talks? Imean, KDP have argued that only a cease-fire has agreed in the first round of talks. So allother issues will be already discussed in these talks, accordingly to KDP officials.
MR. DAVIES: Right. Well, today I don't have anything to announce about the talks, soI can't help you with that.
Same issue, yes.
QUESTION: Why in those talks in Ankara you do not include so far the Assyrians ofIraq who number more than 300,000 and you included the Turkomans far less.
MR. DAVIES: I would question your premise, Mr. Lambros. I am not certain that theUnited States is standing at the door and preventing some from coming in and telling othersthat they can't.
QUESTION: Any comment on Cavanaugh of State to Athens and Cyprus since it hasbeen concluded today?
MR. DAVIES: I talked to Carey Cavanaugh this morning, anticipating that you would beinterested in this. I talked to Carey. He is in Cyprus right now. He told me that he metwith Mr. Clerides, Mr. Denktash, today; that he was there doing a couple of things -- firstoff, reinforcing the U. S. commitment to engage on the problems on Cyprus and to seeksolutions, kind of the longer-term track. He was also there working on shorter-term problems, some of the tensions that we haveall noted that occurred on Cyprus in recent weeks and months. And he had some ideas andshared them with the two sides.
What he was unable to report to me is that there has been any narrowing of differencesbetween the two sides on the security questions that are well known. There remains adegree of distance between them
QUESTION: On Cyprus.
MR. DAVIES: On Cyprus, that's right.
QUESTION: What about his results on the talks in Athens?
MR. DAVIES: We didn't talk about that.
QUESTION: You didn't talk about it.
MR. DAVIES: So I don't have anything on that.
QUESTION: The Greek Under Secretary Khristos Rozakis, a vital member of the so- called Council of Professors which advises the Prime Minister, is claiming publicly that theTurkish claim against the Greek air space over the Aegean is a bilateral problem betweenthe two countries, and not an international one.
Since Mr. Carey Cavanaugh met with Mr. Rozakis yesterday in Athens, I would like toknow the position vis-a-vis to this international issue?
MR. DAVIES: As I said, since I didn't talk to Carey about anything beyond the reportthat I just gave you, I'm not in a position to relate to you what he said in thoseconversations.
QUESTION: And the last question, following the activities of the U.S. delegation underCavanaugh, it was reported that German deputies of the European Parliament are concernednow for the Greek-Turkish tension in the Aegean from the EU point of view.
Since the U. S. is seeking a solution to the Turkish claims against Greece, my question is, do you consider the Greek-Turkish borders in theAegean as EU Turkish borders too due to the fact that Greece is a member of the EuropeanUnion?
MR. DAVIES: I think that is for the European Union to decide.
QUESTION: No, no, no.
MR. DAVIES: And define.
QUESTION: No, no. As far as what is U. S. policy vis-a-vis those borders, do youconsider --
MR. DAVIES: I am not sufficiently schooled on the EU position, nor on our view of theEU position on that narrow issue to be able to answer your question.
So, I'm sorry. Yes.
QUESTION: Back to the Jordan question. Beyond what you said Jordan would get inthe way of benefits from this new designation, is there any new or expanded defensecommitment to Jordan as a non-NATO ally?
MR. DAVIES: I'm not aware of any new and expanded commitment. We have alreadytaken several additional steps to strengthen our relationship with Jordan, including thepassage of Defense draw-down legislation and the transfer of an F-16 squadron to Jordan. But that is already out there and well known.
In essence, this new designation recognizes Jordan's continued support for peace andunderscores the strong relationship that is growing between Jordan and the United States. And you can trace it back, I think, to 1994 when President Clinton expressed hisdetermination to support the courageous stand that King Hussein took in advancing thepeace process.
QUESTION: It's his birthday today.
MR. DAVIES: It's his birthday. QUESTION: Another question on the Mid East?
MR. DAVIES: Mid East, yes.
MR. DAVIES: Hebron.
QUESTION: Prime Minister Netanyahu apparently canceled his trip to the U. S. becausehe believes peace is at hand. Yasser Arafat says that is not the case. And Dennis Rosscame home. What's the U. S. view of how close they are?
MR. DAVIES: Well, gee, you have done the news report. I can't do that. No. I'mgoing to confine myself to saying that the parties continue meeting, to narrow differences. They are working very intensively on the issue of Hebron, and on issues beyond Hebron. We are optimistic and the Secretary has stated that optimism best -- that the two parties canreach agreement in the near future, but it wouldn't be either useful or appropriate for me orfor us, the U. S. Government, to try to predict exactly when that might be.
Right now, of course, Ed Abington and Martin Indyk, the two key U. S. Diplomats inIsrael, are representing the United States at these talks.
Dennis is always prepared to go back if his presence can make an important difference inthe talks. The fact that he is here doesn't by any means -- and you know this -- indicatethat he is unplugged from this. He is very much plugged into it. He remains in close touchwith both the Israelis and Palestinians by telephone, and he will make a decision aboutwhether he needs to return to the region when the issue presents itself.
QUESTION: Is it fair to say that he came back because he decided he could not make thatkind of difference right now?
MR. DAVIES: I can't go that far and characterize his decision to return. Sometimespeople come back to see their family. I mean, I don't know precisely why he came back,except that he made a judgment to do so.
Yes. Can I go here?
QUESTION: There was a report in today's Washington Times about the StateDepartment investigation of the Intelligence Chief and the Hungarian connection. Haveyou something on that and, specifically, what kind of information was given to the formerRussian Foreign Minister Kozyrev, if any?
MR. DAVIES: Well, first off, I hesitate to dignify some of the charges contained in thatarticle by even talking about it, but I will say two things; first, that Assistant Secretary ofState, Toby Gati, remains a valued and important member of the Secretary's foreign policyteam; and, second, since most of your questions related to that article go to questions of anInspector General's investigation or intelligence matters, it won't surprise you that I am notgoing to comment on any aspect of the charge.
QUESTION: Can you at least confirm that the Justice Department looked at these chargesand decided not to pursue them?
MR. DAVIES: You would have to ask the Justice Department a question like that, Sid.
QUESTION: Are you willing to remark whether there is an Inspector General'sinvestigation on it?
MR. DAVIES: The Office of the Inspector General is an independent branch of the StateDepartment. We don't, as a general rule, comment on -- as a general rule, we don'tcomment on investigations on-going. I don't know whether there are or there aren't. So,I'm not going to get into a discussion of whether or not there is one.
QUESTION: But you won't comment because there is an investigation?
MR. DAVIES: No, I didn't say that.
QUESTION: I thought you did. I'm sorry.
MR. DAVIES: No.
QUESTION: Why won't you comment?
MR. DAVIES: Because, as a general rule, we don't get into confirming or denying thatthere are Inspector General investigations of employees of the State Department. Also as ageneral rule, the IG investigates all manner of charges that are brought up -- that's their job. I would, you know, err on the side of caution in doing so. But on this specific case, youknow, I'm not going to, for goodness sake, get into some of the charges in that article.
QUESTION: Hasn't Mrs. Gati's security clearance been suspended?
MR. DAVIES: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. QUESTION: No change in her status whatsoever?
MR. DAVIES: She continues to perform her functions with all of the clearances andauthorizations and permissions that she needs to serve as the Secretary of State's adviser onintelligence matters.
QUESTION: I would imagine if these concerns existed, it would be standard procedureto suspend those privileges.
MR. DAVIES: That's an operational question that I'd have to put to those who are incharge of clearances.
QUESTION: Would you expect her to remain on?
MR. DAVIES: I'm not going to get into talking about the future. Toby Gati, right now,today, is the Secretary of State's Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research, and weare in a transition. Who the heck knows what's going to happen in the future?
QUESTION: Did those rulers in Ankara, the Prime Minister Erbakan provide to the U. S. Government a copy of the multimillion dollar agreement theyreached with (inaudible) Iran? This question is pending since before yesterday.
MR. DAVIES: I don't have an answer for you. I can check into that for you.
QUESTION: On Bosnia.
MR. DAVIES: Yes.
QUESTION: There are reports that in his meeting with Mr. Solana yesterday, the VicePresident led the NATO leader to believe that the U.S. is willing to have troops in Bosnianext year, perhaps up to 5,000. Is that true or not?
MR. DAVIES: Well, quite the contrary. The Vice President in that meeting withSecretary General Solana made clear that no decisions have been made regarding a post- IFOR security presence or U.S. participation in any such force. What he said in themeeting is that the U. S. is now evaluating the NATO- developed options and is workingtoward a decision that will have to be made, of course, by the President; a decision in thenear future regarding post-IFOR operations.
So that is a false report.
QUESTION: It comes from persons close to Mr. Solana. Did he perhaps misunderstandthe Vice President? Those close to Mr. Solana suggested that the Vice President, whileperhaps not saying absolutely, "I can report to you now we are going to send troops," ledhim to believe that the United States will -- is in principle in favor of there being U. S.troops in Bosnia next year.
MR. DAVIES: Well, you are asking a question that goes to Solana's state of mind, or hisreaction to -- I've seen too much O.J. trial -- (laughter). Actually, I don't look -- I'm not aNATO spokesman. I'm not the Secretary General's spokesman. So --
QUESTION: Do you deny -- are you saying the reports in the New York Times and theWashington Post are wrong?
MR. DAVIES: I'm telling you what the Vice President said to the Secretary General ofNATO in the meeting yesterday.
QUESTION: I've got another one, if nobody else minds.
MR. DAVIES: Sure, go ahead.
QUESTION: On the Swiss banks investigation, I gather that the President said some timeback that he was going to ask that the State Department's historians work on that, speed itup somewhat.
Has it been speeded up? How is it going, and has the historian found any evidence ofU.S. banks' complicity in the laundering of stolen Nazi money or --
MR. DAVIES: Well, you know that the Historian's Office -- the Office of the Historian --is one of the crown jewels of the Bureau of Public Affairs. So I work with Bill Slany andhis people every day, and I can tell you that his staff, which is too small for the work theyhave got to do, is turning itself inside out looking at this. He is participating in inter- agency meetings, is plowing through the documents by the boxful. In terms of the resultsof their investigation so far, I don't have anything to announce. I don't have any report foryou today.
They are doing their work as part of a process that is government- wide, that involvesother government agencies as well. And there is a commitment that is absolute to do this asquickly as possible, and to get at as many of the facts as can be unearthed on all of this. And then we will have a report and we will issue it.
QUESTION: And since the President made his suggestion that the thing would bespeeded up, have any additional resources been brought to bear on this?
MR. DAVIES: All of the resources of the Office of the Historian that can be brought tobear on this are. Quite a number of people are working on it. As I say, there is a lot ofwork to do. But their commitment is to do it as quickly as possible.
The Government-wide effort is not being led out of this building. I believe theDepartment of Commerce is in charge of it.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MR. DAVIES: Thank you.
(The briefing concluded at 2:45 p.m.) (###)
-20- Thursday, 11/14/96To the top of this page