U.S. Department of State 96/12/10 Daily Press Briefing Office of the Spokesman U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING INDEX Tuesday, December 10, 1996 Briefer: Glyn Davies DEPARTMENT Welcome to Foreign Service Institute Interns.....................1 Statement on Human Rights Day/Department's Human Rights Day Celebration 1 NORTH KOREA U.S.-North Korea Working Level Mtg. in New York .............. 2-3 FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Serbia-Opposition Groups/Annulment of Election Results/ Dejan Bulatovic Case ..................................3-5,15-16 Assistant Secretary Kornblum's Travel to Region...............4,16 Indicted War Criminals/Croatian General Blaskic's Military Decoration ...... 5-7 MIDDLE EAST PEACE Settlements Issue /U.S. Loan Guarantees.......................7-11 Status of Special Middle East Coordinator ...................... 9 TURKEY Report of Car Crash Carrying Turkish Parliament Member ......11-12 AEGEAN SEA Sovereignty of Islands/Islets .................................................... ...... 12,17 CHINA Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian Mtgs./Agreements @State/DOD....... 13-14 NATO Nuclear Aspects of NATO Enlargement....................... 14-15 Letter to NATO From Greek Foreign Minister .................. 17 ZAIRE Second Nairobi Summit on December 16 ....................... 16 Situation Update on Fighting/Refugees/Chretien Report Expected/ UN Steering Grp. Mtg.................................... 16 JAPAN Report of Letter to Ambassador Mondale fr. Mayor of Nagasaki . 17 GREECE Release of Mohamad Rashid ........................... ....... 18 Allegation of PKK Training................................... 18
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 1996, 1:05 P. M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. DAVIES: Welcome to the State Department briefing, and welcome as well to some visitors from the Foreign Service Institute, three interns. Welcome to you to our briefing. I have just one formal statement to read to you. It's on Human Rights Day.
Today, December 10, marks the 48th anniversary of the U.N.'s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. That Declaration, reaffirmed at the Vienna Conference of 1993, has in the ensuing years served as the touchstone of all international advocacy on behalf of human rights. It enunciates core concepts of human rights and human dignity, uniting people of goodwill throughout the world.
This morning, the President, as in past years, signed an official proclamation marking this Human Rights Day, with special reference to the role of women in promoting human rights and to the growing recognition that human rights and women's rights are one and the same. He also hosted an event highlighting U.S. initiatives to promote women's rights and honoring women breaking new ground in human rights.
This Thursday, December 12, Secretary Christopher, joined by Assistant Secretary John Shattuck, will host the Department's Annual Human Rights Day celebration, beginning a 4:00 o'clock. Members of the press are invited to cover the Secretary's remarks and can call the Press Office for further details.
QUESTION: Is this before or after the meeting with the Chinese Defense Minister?
MR. DAVIES: There's a meeting occurring today in the building with the Chinese Defense Minister, which I can give you details on, if you'd like. I could also just give you my agenda up front, things that are on offer today. I can tell you a little bit about the meeting with the North Koreans in New York. I don't have much but a little bit.
I have an update on Serbia for you. I've also got a little something to say about the reward conferred by the Croatian Government on an indicted individual who's now at The Hague; and, finally, as always recently, I have an update on the NGO Kurd evacuation. So from that menu or whatever you wish, George, any questions?
QUESTION: Could you give us that little bit on North Korea?
MR. DAVIES: Sure.
QUESTION: Not too much now. (Laughter)
MR. DAVIES: I'll see if I can keep it short. It won't be easy, but I think I can do that. U.S. and North Korean officials held a working level meeting in New York yesterday. The North Korean side included Mr. Li Hyong Chol, the Director of American Affairs in the North Korean Foreign Ministry, who was visiting the United States. These discussions on pending issues represent a continuation of the talks that Mr. Li and members of the North Korean U.N. Mission had with working level U.S. officials, as you will recall, at the end of October.
The talks addressed a range of pending issues, including the submarine incident, the Agreed Framework, the proposed Four-Party talks, and, of course, bilateral issues. They were frank and constructive, but I won't be characterizing them beyond that. Representing our side was the Director of the Department's Office of Korean Affairs, Mark Minton, as well as a representative from the National Security Council.
QUESTION: Are those talks concluding today?
MR. DAVIES: I don't know that they are. My understanding is that they were one-day talks yesterday. I can check to see if they're going to continue today.
QUESTION: Any closer to opening liaison offices?
MR. DAVIES: It's an issue that comes up every time we talk with them, but I don't have any announcements to make to you today on that.
QUESTION: Nick, is there any movement on that issue?
MR. DAVIES: Any movement on that? None to report to you. There are further talks.
QUESTION: How about (inaudible).
MR. DAVIES: Again, nothing to announce. We laid out our position, which, I think, is well-known to you that there should be on the part of North Korea some sort of gesture towards South Korea because, of course, the sub incident was provocative and uncalled for. So we had a chance in New York to reiterate that to Mr. Li and his colleagues.
QUESTION: Do you have any further sense that they are prepared to accept the briefing on the Four-Party talks?
MR. DAVIES: Nothing to announce to you on that. I have two words for you today: frank and constructive, and no detail. Again, these are working level meetings. We meet periodically. We met with them a couple of months ago, and we'll meet with them again, and we clearly always hope for progress in these meetings, but it's relatively slow going.
QUESTION: Could I ask you about Serbia. There's been some interesting reporting coming out of Belgrade in which it appears that not all of the protesters are necessarily nice guys in Christian democracy. Some of them, in fact, are demonstrating because they think Milosevic is not ethnically pure enough or tough enough. Is this the sort of group that the United States is hoping to involve in a political dialogue with Milosevic?
MR. DAVIES: What we're not doing, Jim, is we're not picking and choosing among the opposition and sort of identifying which groups or group we will support and which we won't. It's true that the Together Coalition, Zajedno, is a broad coalition. Some of the descriptions in the press are interesting of people in mink coats standing next to essentially factory workers.
But what's important for us is democracy and the process of democracy, and that's what has been not just ignored but overturned by President Milosevic and his party in the annulment of the election results from November 17. The Secretary today in Brussels spoke out very clearly on this score, as did NATO in its collective form, in the form of the Declaration at the end of the NATO Ministerial.
Let me just highlight three sentences from the Secretary's remarks in his intervention at NATO. He said, "The people of Serbia deserve what their neighbors in Central Europe have: clean elections, a free press, a normal market economy. If President Milosevic respects their will, Serbia can enjoy the legitimacy and assistance it needs. If he seeks to rule Serbia as an unreformed dictatorship, it will only increase its isolation and the suffering of his people."
QUESTION: In the political dialogue, you say you're not naming who should take part in it, but wouldn't it appear that the main demonstrating parties, some of them who are opposing Milosevic because he's not ethnically tough enough, would be part of this dialogue?
MR. DAVIES: I think it includes those. In terms of the crowds themselves, you have students forming a large crowd, and then you have the Zajedno group, others who are not students. Those are kind of the two main groups. But it's very difficult for me to characterize them any further. I've read the press reports that talk about the nature of the students' demands, and I've read the press reports, indicating in some of the reports from our Embassy, that talk about the makeup of the Zajedno Coalition, but we want to keep the emphasis on the right of these people to protest peacefully. We commend them for remaining peaceful in their 22 or 23 days of protest, and, more importantly, for the time being we think it's critical that the Government of Serbia refrain from violently putting these protests down or preventing them from taking place.
Of course, everyone is familiar with the case of the one Serbian citizen who we know was beaten up a couple of days ago and who has now been taken to a hospital. This is Dejan Bulatovic. I can give you a quick update on Bulatovic. Human rights activists and his lawyer - Bulatovic's lawyer - are negotiating with the government to arrange his transfer to a hospital. That may already have happened. Our Embassy is monitoring those talks and monitoring his case, and as a result of what was done to Bulatovic, we've warned the Serbian Government that repression of the protesters will have serious consequences and will inevitably lead to Serbia's further isolation from the international community.
One bit of news coming out of Brussels is the fact that the Secretary has sent a very strong letter to President Milosevic, warning him against further violence and urging immediate steps to respect the will of the Serbian people to initiate this dialogue. That letter was delivered by our Charge, Dick Miles, this morning, and the Secretary spoke at length about it.
QUESTION: Is Assistant Secretary Kornblum going to be traveling on to Belgrade, as planned, to meet with President Milosevic?
MR. DAVIES: Not at the present time, no. His plans are to go to the region but not to go to Belgrade. I've got a little bit on his travel plans. He will travel to Mostar and then to Sarajevo on the 13th of December. In Mostar, he'll be chairing a meeting of the Federation Forum. In Sarajevo, he'll meet with members of the Bosnian Presidency to review the status of building the joint institutions of the Bosnian Government. And then finally on the 15th, he'll travel to Geneva for a conference on refugee issues, hosted by U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees Ogata, and he'll come back to the United States December 17.
He hadn't scheduled a meeting with Milosevic, but he had contemplated traveling to Belgrade, but given the current situation in Serbia and the government's continuing refusal to accept the results of the elections, he decided it would not be appropriate to go to Belgrade at this time.
QUESTION: Follow on Bosnia. The Secretary also said, according to Associated Press, that in terms of apprehending war criminals, that the U.S. and its friends would be seeking means to be more effective in rounding up war criminals. Sandy Berger said something like that on one of the talk shows this weekend. What do they mean by that?
MR. DAVIES: I think that remains to be seen. This is not simply a case of the United States dictating to others how this is to be worked out. We've said all along, and I can reiterate, that it's up to the parties to the Dayton agreement in the first instance to resolve this and to bring the indicted individuals to The Hague, to ensure that they're delivered up to The Hague for trial.
What the National Security Adviser-designate had to say this weekend, I think stands as well, that we're always looking at ways to see if we can't move this issue forward. This is very important. At the end of the day, you can't have a complete peace in Bosnia, in the Balkans, until you've dealt with the justice end of the equation, the single largest component of which, of course, is the war criminals issue.
QUESTION: Are they talking about putting some kind of new pressure on the parties to arrest war criminals, or are they talking about perhaps, for example, since they've said troops are not going to be involved in direct arrests unless they stumble into each other, having the international police force that's there be given a mandate to go and arrest people? Which are we talking about?
MR. DAVIES: I don't have anything specific beyond the words themselves to explain to you. I think what's important, though, is that the United States remains committed to the issue of bringing the war criminals to justice; that we are constantly looking at ways in which this can be accomplished.
We certainly, as a nation, I don't think, are going to rest until we see this through in some fashion. But at the end of the day, you need, I think, the cooperation of all in getting it done and you need to keep the pressure on the parties to the Dayton agreement, who are the ones in the first instance, who are responsible for this. They've signed up to do it, and they should deliver up these war criminals to The Hague.
QUESTION: Is there new ideas on how to put additional pressure that hasn't already been brought to bear on those parties to do what they haven't done?
MR. DAVIES: There are always new ideas. As I said, I don't have anything in particular to announce to you today.
QUESTION: Can we then ask you about the Croatian -
QUESTION: This would be a great issue on which to have a Backgrounder, since there's nothing else going on around here.
MR. DAVIES: Okay, I'll take it under advisement and see what we can do for you. You wanted to ask about -
QUESTION: (Inaudible) war criminals. How about the one who just -
MR. DAVIES: General Blaskic, who has been indicted by the international tribunal in The Hague. He's currently in custody in The Hague. Preparations are underway for his trial which is due to start the second week of January - January 8, 1997. We believe - the United States believes - it is completely inappropriate to bestow a military decoration on a person who is under indictment by the tribunal.
This action by the Government of Croatia raises questions about that government's commitment to work with the tribunal. We'll be taking into account, in our assessment, of Croatia's compliance with their obligations under the peace agreement to assist the tribunal. We will continue, of course, to press the Croatian Government for full cooperation with The Hague; but this development, we view as highly negative and completely inappropriate.
QUESTION: Glyn, how do you interpret this, given the fact that Tudjman is so sick and everything? How do you interpret this in light of, perhaps, the legacy that he may want to -
MR. DAVIES: I don't have an interpretation to offer you beyond this reaction we've got today, which is that we view it as a wholly inappropriate action on the part of the Croatian Government. It does raise questions about their commitment to Dayton.
I don't have the answers to those questions which is essentially what you're asking me, "What is behind this?" I don't exactly know. It's the wrong move. That's clear. It's a very negative move, and that's why we're speaking out about it.
We will, of course, press the Croatian Government to comply fully with The Hague. This is the antithesis of that, if you will, recognizing someone who is actually up in the hoosegow in The Hague by conferring a medal on him kind of boggles the mind.
QUESTION: They did extradite him, or whatever the term was, for what they did to get him to The Hague. Why is it inappropriate?
MR. DAVIES: We'll see why is it inappropriate, having extradited him to The Hague, to give him an award?
QUESTION: Not why it is inappropriate. Why is it not consistent with their Dayton commitment? They did what they were supposed to do, which was to extradite him and now they're doing something else, and on a domestic basis. Why is that - how does it conflict with what they - did they agree in Dayton not to bestow medals on -
MR. DAVIES: Of course not. Of course. Dayton was a thick agreement but not that thick. It didn't go into issues like that.
It's the signal that it sends: Its the inappropriateness of sending somebody to The Hague and then essentially turning around and commending them for their military service, which is my understanding of what this award is all about. I think the most charitable thing one can say about General Blaskic is that the jury is out on General Blaskic. He hasn't had his trial yet. He hasn't had his opportunity to face these charges.
We think it's inappropriate for the Croatian Government to be handing him medals after having sent him to The Hague to face trial.
QUESTION: It indicates that you've sent the wrong signal. What sort of signal do you think it sends?
MR. DAVIES: It sends a signal of support for him. It sends a signal that his wartime service is appreciated. If the indictment is to be believed, there is some question about how positive his wartime service was in any respect.
Anymore on this question?
Middle East? I'll come back to you soon. Yes.
QUESTION: With the planned building boom, not far from the Israeli Government, has the United States taken the time to talk to the Netanyahu Government at all, either privately or publicly? Has Martin Indyk addressed this issue with Netanyahu? Has the Secretary talked to Netanyahu? What's going on there?
MR. DAVIES: Steve, we talk to the Netanyahu government all the time. Martin Indyk is our man in Tel Aviv who does that. I can't give you a rundown on how frequently, or how recently, he has raised the issue of settlements. But suffice it to say that our position is well known. When the settlements issue comes up, we lay out our position to the Israeli Government.
Certainly, the concerns that we have about settlements, we share with the Israeli Government whenever it's appropriate.
QUESTION: Is there something not special about this meeting in Jerusalem and at this critical time?
MR. DAVIES: About some of the press reports and announcements?
QUESTION: About the announcement of new settlements in an Arab quarter of east Jerusalem?
MR. DAVIES: From the standpoint of the United States, it is certainly troubling. As we've said, settlements are a complicating factor, a troubling factor; a factor that we do not believe is helpful to the peace process. That's been our position all along. That's the position that we explain to the Israeli Government.
QUESTION: But having explained that position over and over again, it doesn't seem to have had an affect, or at least a desired affect of reigning in the Netanyahu government's plans to increase settlements. So, what?
MR. DAVIES: So we will stay on the case and continue to explain our views to the Netanyahu government.
QUESTION: But you've done that, to no avail.
MR. DAVIES: And we will continue to do it. We will continue to have talks with them in private, obviously, at the level of our Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, and at the level of Dennis Ross, who is our Special Middle East Coordinator. The Secretary is always engaged in the issues in the Middle East - the peace process. So there is no shortage of opportunities for us to explain to the Israelis our position, and we'll continue to do so.
QUESTION: Will it bring them punitive - taking shape in the United States Government?
MR. DAVIES: I don't have anything to report to you, no.
QUESTION: You used a new word when talking about "settlements."
MR. DAVIES: I'm sure I'll hear about it.
QUESTION: You used the word "troubling." Is this a new word meant by design?
MR. DAVIES: It's not meant to advance our policy, either forwards, backwards, east or west.
QUESTION: But is this the new mantra now, the settlements are troubling?
MR. DAVIES: No. The mantra remains complicating and unhelpful. That's the mantra. I don't see "troubling" as inconsistent with those two, but I'll get a few phone calls.
QUESTION: Is it the Administration's understanding that the Prime Minister or the Defense Minister have approved the expansion settlements in the eastern part of Jerusalem?
MR. DAVIES: I simply don't know the answer to that. I can check that.
QUESTION: Could you take that question -
MR. DAVIES: I'll take that for you, sure.
QUESTION: -- because you all said it's not fact until one of those two approve it.
MR. DAVIES: Sure, I'm happy to look into that.
QUESTION: Is Dennis Ross and his peace team staying on into the next Administration?
MR. DAVIES: That, I don't have an answer to. We're in the wonderful transition period which brings with it a lot of surprises on a personnel front. I simply don't know either what his plans are or whether he'll be asked to stay on. That will be up to the new team.
QUESTION: I'm wondering if you saw - there was a story in the New York Times today about a car accident in Turkey.
QUESTION: Can we stay on this issue, please?
MR. DAVIES: Sure. Sorry.
QUESTION: I know you've been over this a number of times, Glyn. But what is the extent of --the nature of -- our loan guarantees for Israeli housing, and how does that play into this issue; if you could state that again?
MR. DAVIES: I don't know that our loan guarantees go specifically to the issue of Israeli housing.
MR. DAVIES: Pardon me?
QUESTION: Settlement housing are to be deducted from the loan guarantees.
MR. DAVIES: All right. Yes, I'm sorry. I can check that. That, in fact, is something Jim asks frequently about, so let me get you an update on it.
QUESTION: Some specifics about how that is working?
MR. DAVIES: That sort of accounting process of drawing down the total amount -
QUESTION: If there is, in fact, an accounting process that's taking place?
MR. DAVIES: Right, sure. I'm happy to do that.
QUESTION: On this in particular, you used the word "mantra," you do use it as a recurring set of words. It seems in this formula a settlement is a settlement, and that there seems to be nothing special about building in an Arab quarter of east Jerusalem at a time when final status talks are about to begin.
In other words, you seem to have one speed on your indicator, and that's -
MR. DAVIES: Steady as she goes.
QUESTION: Yeah, steady as you go. You seem not to differentiate between something like this and maybe building two or three houses off someplace in the West Bank?
MR. DAVIES: Jim, what I don't want to do - I'll assume there's a question there. I don't want to get into the deliberations that go on day to day between the United States Government and the Israeli Government. We share our views with the Israelis, but we choose, as is clear, for our own very good reasons, not to lay out publicly exactly what is contained in our dialogue with the Israeli Government on this issue or other issues.
I'm not going to get into that and I'm not going to go beyond simply saying that settlements, from the standpoint of the United States, are complicating the peace process. We've said that frequently and probably will for some time to come.
QUESTION: Getting away from words, then, and looking at actions, in light of the actions of the Netanyahu government, moving ahead swiftly with settlement expansion in Jerusalem and in the West Bank, does it occur to you that the Israeli Government is not taking the U.S. words terribly seriously?
MR. DAVIES: I think the Israeli Government takes very seriously our views. I've seen no signs that the Israeli Government does not listen to the United States and take into account what it is we've got to say. They know that on the peace process, in particular, the United States has a unique role to play and a special role to play. I believe they rely and depend on the United States.
I think, to get at your question more fully, you would simply have to ask the Israeli Government. Your question goes to their analysis of what the United States has to say, and I can't help you with that.
QUESTION: My question goes to their actions and your analysis of those actions. Does it not seem to indicate that they don't take the American objections terribly seriously?
MR. DAVIES: I believe that the Israeli Government takes our policy very seriously.
QUESTION: Let's go back to this. Your policy is designed to elicit certain behavior by the Israelis. Is the behavior expressed by the Netanyahu government on this particular issue what your policy would like to elicit? In other words, does the United States welcome settlements in the Arab quarter -
MR. DAVIES: Any new settlements complicate the peace process. That's our bottom-line reaction. When there is any new movement by the Israeli Government to expand settlements, create new settlements, we label those moves as moves that complicate the peace process and do not help the peace process.
QUESTION: Do some settlements complicate the peace process more than others?
MR. DAVIES: That's been tried before.
QUESTION: What's the answer?
MR. DAVIES: I'm going to stick with what I've said on the issue.
Anything else? Are we still on this issue? Okay, good. Sid. Don't worry, I will come to you, sir.
QUESTION: This car accident in Turkey, some weeks ago, it was revealed - we have a lot of things we're still trying to figure out. I just have one basic question.
Of the people who were in that car accident, did any of them have - you may not have the answer - American passports, Social Security numbers, or American birth certificates?
MR. DAVIES: I can check that for you. I don't have an answer. Let me come back to Mr. Lambros. I think he has one question for me.
Same subject, sure.
QUESTION: Does the U.S. - I'm sure your curiosity collectively has been peaked by the reports of that accident. Do you have any further comment on it - reports that this alleged heroin smuggler who was killed carried a Turkish diplomatic passport? The Turkish Foreign Minister seems to have excused or apologized for his behavior.
MR. DAVIES: I don't have any comment that's perhaps precisely on point with your question. I can say this. We've seen the reports of the incident. They've been in both the U.S. press and the Turkish press. We know it's receiving a great deal of attention in Turkey.
We understand that there are official investigations going on in Turkey whose aim is to determine the facts surrounding the incident. These are internal matters for Turkey. It is not appropriate for us to comment on them at this time. We don't expect the incident to affect our strong and growing relationship, the bilateral relationship that we have with Turkey.
Again, it doesn't perhaps go to your question but that's what I can say about it.
MR. DAVIES: That's correct. Mr. Lambros.
QUESTION: Mr. Davies, do you recognize, finally, the Greek sovereignty over the Greek island of Kaloyeri - K-A-L-O-Y-E-R-I? And, with this opportunity as we agreed upon yesterday immediately after the briefing, could you please clarify the U.S. position vis-a-vis to the status of the entire Greek islets, small islands, rocky islands in the Aegean once and for all?
MR. DAVIES: Once and for all.
QUESTION: That's correct.
MR. DAVIES: We don't take sides on these issues - number one. Number two, it is not for the United States to pronounce on the sovereignty of territories which don't belong to us, or over which we have no claim. That's the sum total of our position.
QUESTION: Do you recognize Greek sovereignty over those islets?
MR. DAVIES: We're not going to take sides on any disputes over this island or any other islands. Your particular island - and you'll have to help me with the pronunciation - what is it, again?
MR. DAVIES: Thank you -- in the Central Aegean. On U.S. Government maps, it is marked as "Greek" on U.S. Governments charts. That's our understanding of its status. That is not any kind of grand political statement that goes beyond the fact that they're marked as Greek on government charts.
In the cases of these disputed islets, we do not take positions. We leave it to the Greeks and the Turks to work out disputes between them, and we're not going to take sides.
No follow-up. Great!
QUESTION: What can you say about what Deputy - Secretary Talbott is going to discuss today with the Chinese Defense Minister? MR. DAVIES: Our broad agenda is the brief answer. Defense Minister Chi Haotian is coming to the State Department at about 4:00 this afternoon. The Acting Secretary plans to discuss many items on our broad agenda with China, including U.S. non-proliferation concerns, arms control objectives. The meetings will also cover regional security issues.
Of course, Acting Secretary Talbott looks forward to hearing his views; and, as always in meetings of this nature, human rights issues will come up.
QUESTION: Are you planning a readout afterwards?
MR. DAVIES: That, I think, is going to be a readout afterwards. I will see if there's anything more we can say.
QUESTION: That was as a readout.
MR. DAVIES: I'll see if there's anything more we can say at the end of the meeting. His visit to the United States is a visit hosted by the Pentagon and Secretary Perry. As I understand it, Ken Bacon spoke at length about the visit and the agenda for the visit yesterday. So we are leaving most of the action over there, but I'll see if we can say something else.
QUESTION: Is Shattuck going to attend this meeting?
MR. DAVIES: Don't know the answer to that. I'll check that for you.
QUESTION: Who will be at the meeting?
MR. DAVIES: I don't have a list.
QUESTION: Hong Kong?
MR. DAVIES: Hong Kong. I don't know that Hong Kong is on the agenda.
QUESTION: Is it your understanding - unnamed officials were saying yesterday that China had agreed to allow port calls for U.S. ships in Hong Kong without going through Beijing. Nobody said that on the record. But the Chinese Foreign Minister's Spokesman today said he knew nothing about that agreement.
MR. DAVIES: The meetings at the Pentagon resulted in several agreements. One of them was an agreement to continue visits of U.S. warships to Hong Kong after Hong Kong's reversion to China on July 1st of next year. Clearly, there are procedural details that have to be worked out.
There were other agreements reached over at the Pentagon as well - - Ken can talk about these. We agreed to begin formal discussions on a military maritime cooperative agreement; we agreed to periodic bilateral defense consultative talks to begin in August of next year.
Finally, Minister Chi conveyed Beijing's acceptance of the U.S. invitation to the PRC, to send warships to Hawaii -- into the West Coast, in March '97. I think all of this was gone over yesterday by Ken Bacon, in more detail.
QUESTION: Nobody said it On-The-Record -- it was all done anonymously. So the U.S. and China have a firm agreement that American warships will be able to go into Hong Kong, as they do now, without some sort of bureaucratic approval from Beijing?
MR. DAVIES: Details have to be worked out -- you can't simply steam a warship into another country's sovereign waters without working out modalities. What I understand is that the Chinese have agreed to a continuation of the program of visits by U.S. warships to Hong Kong after July 1st of next year.
QUESTION: The continuation would mean that you don't need Beijing's approval -- specific approval, to do that. You get it from the Hong Kong government, or whatever it will be?
MR. DAVIES: Again, I don't know how this is going to be worked out. That's a question for the Pentagon, whether there will be approval by Hong Kong authorities or whether the Central Government has to approve it. I just don't know.
QUESTION: I don't necessarily agree. I think a good gauge of how the relationship is going between the United States and China will be how quickly or if they approve the visits of each specific warship?
MR. DAVIES: We don't anticipate that this will cause any difficulties. We understand that they've agreed to allow this program to go forward, and we expect to go forward with the program. It's been very useful and we'll continue it.
But I think Ken was On-The-Record, at length yesterday, on all of this stuff.
QUESTION: Secretary Christopher said today that the NATO plans to expand will not include the Alliance putting nuclear weapons on Russia's borders.
MR. DAVIES: Right.
QUESTION: Is this a steadfast guarantee that NATO will never put nuclear weapons on Russia's borders?
MR. DAVIES: What the Secretary said - and I'm paraphrasing, because all of this stuff is only now coming to us from today's meetings and yesterday's meetings - is that the Alliance agrees there's no need to place nuclear weapons on the soil of former Warsaw Pact members, and there are no plans to do so. So it's for the foreseeable future simply not an issue.
QUESTION: But, Glyn, the U.S. is not willing to give a firm commitment forever that it won't place nuclear weapons on the soil of any countries that are absorbed by NATO.
MR. DAVIES: I'm not certain that the United States gives any commitments forever or any nation does. I mean, circumstances can always change, but I think this is significant that the United States and the NATO Alliance, as part of their nuclear doctrine, have agreed that there is no need to place nuclear weapons on the soil of former Warsaw Pact members, and that's our policy now.
QUESTION: But you say circumstances can change.
MR. DAVIES: Circumstances can always change. That's a generic comment. I don't believe this is an issue for now for the foreseeable future. It is not our plan to place nuclear weapons on the territory of former Warsaw Pact states, because there's no need to do it.
QUESTION: On that, you seem to be getting caught in your own semantical trap here. No plans to do something is synonymous around here for, "Yeah, we're going to do it, but we're not ready to announce it yet," as in the case of Secretarial trips and such.
MR. DAVIES: It's certainly not meant that way. On this issue, I'm more than happy to try to echo what's happening 6,000 miles away today and yesterday, but it's probably best for you to take your cue from the public statements that are now churning out of the NATO information offices at Evere, outside of Brussels rather than to question me about the state of play on an issue that's right now being discussed at higher levels than mine.
QUESTION: In loose connection with that, you've been saying that every day the U.S. representative in Belgrade goes in and pounds on the table and says what the United States wants the Serbian Government to do. Yet when there's an opportunity for a more authoritative voice -- a more high-level official to come in and pound on the table, and speak with presumably a more authoritative voice, you do not seize the opportunity - as of in the case of Kornblum not going to Belgrade. What's the reasoning behind his not going?
MR. DAVIES: First of all, a letter was delivered this morning by our Charge in Belgrade, Dick Miles, to President Slobodan Milosevic -- a letter from Secretary of State Christopher. I've got a lot of respect for John Kornblum. He's a terrific Assistant Secretary of State, but a Secretary of State trumps an Assistant Secretary. So, there is a very strong, authoritative voice that spoke today to Slobodan Milosevic in the form of this letter.
Second, as I've said, John Kornblum decided that now is not the time to be going to Belgrade, given what's going on. He's explained many times to President Milosevic our views on the November 17th elections and has explained categorically that we believe that those election results should be recognized and those elected should be seated in the municipal councils.
The fact that he didn't go is not at all a missed opportunity. It is rather, I think, an opportunity taken to send a signal to Milosevic and his party and his government of the U.S. displeasure at what is going on.
George, do you have one?
QUESTION: Is there anything new on Eastern Zaire?
MR. DAVIES: I've got a little bit on Eastern Zaire. I know, for instance, that President Moi of Kenya has indicated that he plans to convene a second Nairobi summit on December 16. We will be represented there by an observer, Ambassador Howard Wolpe, our envoy to the region.
We see this meeting to occur on the 16th of December as a forum for dialogue among the regional governments involved in or are affected by the conflict in Eastern Zaire, and we hope that the meeting will foster a rededication of efforts to resolve the current conflict.
In terms of what is going on on the ground, we continue to receive conflicting reports of clashes in the Bunia area, north of Goma. I have a refugee update, which I'm happy to go through for you. It's largely unchanged from recent days. I can also tell you that U.N. Special Envoy Chretien will present his report on the situation in Eastern Zaire to the Secretary General shortly, either today or tomorrow.
We understand that his report will address, among other things, the issue of a deployment of a multinational force to the region, the need for one or lack of need for one or how it's to be done. He will also talk about the continuing instability and humanitarian need in the region. That's what I have.
The only other thing to indicate is that I understand there's to be a steering group meeting at the U.N. on Friday that will be attended by some military officials, including Canadian General Baril. He will be there.
Any more on Zaire? No.
QUESTION: One on NATO. The Greek Foreign Minister has sent a letter to his NATO counterparts, proposing a mechanism within NATO for the peaceful resolution of differences of member states -- that would, of course, include Greece and Turkey. Is there a position of the U.S. Government on that?
MR. DAVIES: I don't have anything to report to you. I mean, you know our general position, which is that we believe it's important for both parties to these disputes to resolve them in the first instance, and we stand ready to help.
QUESTION: The Greeks are asking for the creation of a new mechanism within NATO that would deal with that, so -
MR. DAVIES: I don't know that NATO has yet had a meeting on this. I wouldn't want to get out ahead of whatever position we would take at such a meeting.
QUESTION: Would you take a position? What about the -
MR. DAVIES: Again, has NATO met on this subject yet?
QUESTION: No, they're meeting today.
MR. DAVIES: Right. Let's wait and see what NATO comes up with, and I'll have an answer for you.
What's to clarify?
QUESTION: In the map you mentioned earlier, where you mark the Islet of Kaloyera as Greek, do you have islets who are not marked as Greek?
MR. DAVIES: I haven't seen the chart, so I -
QUESTION: Do you have a rough idea what is all about this chart, and how many and -
MR. DAVIES: I don't. I'm sorry.
QUESTION: The Mayor of Nagasaki recently wrote a letter to Ambassador Mondale, protesting U.S. plans to do computer simulations of atomic blasts, saying this violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the CTBT. Have you seen this letter and have any comment?
MR. DAVIES: No, I don't. I don't have any comment.
QUESTION: Have you seen the letter?
MR. DAVIES: I haven't seen the letter. I'm not familiar with the issue.
QUESTION: Glyn, last week Nicholas Burns, he made a statement about releasing Palestinian terrorist Mohamad Rashid, from the Greek jail, and I believe you protested, and you sent some message to Greek Government. Did you get any answer from Athens on this issue?
MR. DAVIES: None that I can report to you, but for a characterization of the Greek position, ask the Greeks. I'm not their spokesman.
QUESTION: But the terrorist attacked the American plane, if I'm correct - TWA and Pan American.
MR. DAVIES: What Nick had to say still stands. I mean, clearly we're not pleased with the action that was taken by the Piraeus magistrate to allow this prisoner, who was described as a model prisoner but clearly wasn't, to leave jail in advance of the completion of his sentence. That's all out On-The-Record.
QUESTION: And also the Turkish - some parliamentarian research committee, they prepared a report that said that the PKK terrorist organization -- they train in Iran, Syria and also Greece. As a NATO ally, do you - can you - did you touch with the Greek Government to urge them to don't do this kind of training and other allies country?
MR. DAVIES: I don't have anything on that, and I don't believe that we have any evidence that there's been training done that the Greek Government's been aware of PKK terrorists. I don't have anything on that for you.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) what Nick said last week about this fellow Rashid who last we heard was en route to Tunisia, I believe. Have you raised it with the Tunisian authorities?
MR. DAVIES: I can' help you with the manhunt there, but I'm happy to look into whether-
MR. DAVIES: -- whether we're doing anything further on that.
QUESTION: Can you tell me about yesterday's meeting with North Korea up in New York?
MR. DAVIES: I already did.
QUESTION: I'm sorry.
MR. DAVIES: That's okay.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MR. DAVIES: Thank you.
(The briefing concluded at 1:48 p.m.)
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