US Department of State 

Dispatch, Vol 2, No 19, May 13, 1991

Title:

US-German Views on the New European and Trans- Atlantic Architecture

Baker, Genscher Source: Secretary Baker, German Foreign Minister Genscher Description: Opening remarks following their meeting at the Department of State, Washington, DC. Date: May 10, 19915/10/91 Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Region: Europe, E/C Europe, MidEast/North Africa Country: Germany, United States Subject: Democratization, NATO, CSCE [TEXT]
Secretary Baker:
I'm pleased to have had the opportunity today to welcome my friend Hans-Dietrich Genscher back to the State Department. We've had a wide-ranging discussion of a host of different issues focusing primarily on the agenda for the NATO and CSCE Ministerials that will be held in Copenhagen and Berlin, respectively, in June. We talked at some length about relationships between NATO and the CSCE process and the Soviet Union and the countries of Central Europe. We had an opportunity to discuss, as well, the forthcoming visit of Chancellor Kohl to the United States later this month to visit President Bush. We have issued, as you know, already issued a joint statement regarding our discussions this afternoon. We talked about the situation in Yugoslavia. I reviewed for the Minister the process we are trying to put together in the Middle East to promote peace, to promote a conference that would move us in the direction of peace. We talked about the Minister's recent visit to Iran, and we talked as well about some bilateral issues. And it's a real pleasure to have had this opportunity to visit with my friend and colleague, and we'd be delighted to respond to your questions after he's had an opportunity to make some remarks.
Foreign Minister Genscher
(through interpreter): First of all, I should like to express our desire to my friend and colleague, Jim Baker, the desire that his renewed visit to the Near and the Middle East will be as successful as possible. Germany has always, right from the beginning, supported the efforts that the United States has undertaken in this respect and we once again extend our support to you for your next visit to that region, because we believe that the momentum must be maintained, and this, once again, is very important. The paper that has been published today--as a result of close consultations between the American and German side, in order to prepare the NATO conference and the equally important Berlin CSCE meeting--is pointing to the fact that both our countries agree as far as important questions, such as the future of the alliance, the West-East relationship, the development in Europe and the relationship with Middle, the Central and East European countries and the Soviet Union is concerned. And I think that this is a constructive effort on our part to try to increase the stability in Europe on the basis of the Paris Charter. And when I speak of stability in Europe, I'm not only thinking of military stability, but also of political and economic stability. I also reported to the Foreign Minister, the Secretary of State, that is, on the situation and the development in the five new Laender of the Federal Republic of Germany, the eastern interest in the development going on in these Laender of the Federal Republic, and he has made a great contribution toward the establishment of Germany unity. We have a great interest in seeing as many American investors as possible come to that area of Germany, because we believe that in a couple of years from now they will belong to the most modern, industrialized areas in Europe. I also invited the Secretary of State Jim Baker to visit these five new Laender as soon as possible. As usual, we have had, and this I can say, on the whole and totally speaking, friendly, agreeable talks, as always. This visit today was made possible by the fact that I've been in New York yesterday and today and that I will be going to South Carolina tonight to deliver a speech, as I've done in New York today, and I've used this opportunity to continue our standing exchange of views on matters of general importance.
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 19, May 13, 1991 Title:

Joint Statement: US-German Views on the New European and Trans-Atlantic Architecture

Baker, Genscher Source: Secretary Baker, German Foreign Minister Genscher Description: Joint Statement, Department of State, Washington, DC. Date: May 10, 19915/10/91 Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Region: Europe, E/C Europe, MidEast/North Africa Country: Germany, United States Subject: Democratization, NATO, CSCE [TEXT] Foreign Minister Genscher and Secretary Baker, who met today in Washington, have had a comprehensive dialogue over the past months on mutual efforts to address the evolution of the European and Trans-Atlantic architecture. In particular, they have focused on the security concerns of Central and East European countries and on ways to continue to reach out to the USSR so as to demonstrate a spirit of cooperation. The success of the ongoing reforms in all fields in Central and East European countries and the Soviet Union is in the interest of all 34 CSCE [Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe] member states. It is an indispensable element of the stability of Europe as a whole. Foreign Minister Genscher and Secretary Baker therefore stressed their commitment to encourage this ongoing reform process. They also emphasized that stability embraces political, economic, social and ecological security, as well as the traditional military dimension. NATO, the European Community, the WEU [Western European Union], the CSCE, and the Council of Europe are important cornerstones of European stability. The European Community is opening up to the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe. Secretary Baker welcomed the 10 principles regarding the future of Europe as agreed in Prague on April 11, 1991, between Minister Genscher and Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Dienstbier. The Minister and the Secretary emphasized in particular the Trans- Atlantic dimension of European security, the need for the CSCE process to be given new institutional impetus on the basis of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe and the necessity to include the Soviet Union in the European and Trans-Atlantic architecture. Minister Genscher and Secretary Baker believe the June 6-7 meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Copenhagen and the June 19-20 meeting of CSCE foreign ministers in Berlin offer important opportunities for constructive initiatives in these areas. In their 1990 London Declaration, NATO leaders stated that "the Atlantic community must reach out to the countries of the East which were our adversaries in the Cold War, and extend to them the hand of friendship." The upcoming NATO Ministerial meeting should respond to the interest expressed by the Soviet Union and the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe for greater contact with NATO, in furtherance of this goal. It also should advance NATO's strategy review and the related development of a European security and defense identity. In keeping with the London Declaration and Article 2 of the North Atlantic Treaty, the meeting should also be used to enhance the political component of the North Atlantic Alliance. One of the most effective ways to do this will be to advance concrete ideas for how the Berlin Ministerial can be used to strengthen CSCE institutions to respond to the political and security needs of an evolving Europe. With these goals in mind, Secretary Baker and Foreign Minister Genscher offer the following ideas as contributions to these two important ministerial meetings:
I. NATO Strategy Review and the Development of a European Security Identity
At its London Summit, NATO mandated a thoroughgoing review of its strategy. The discussions underway, both in NATO and in European fora, on the development of a European security identity, are an essential element of this process. The Alliance's ultimate goal remains the establishment of a just and lasting order of peace in the whole of Europe. While striving to develop as far as possible cooperative structures of security for a Europe whole and free, the Alliance must continue to perform fundamental security tasks. As NATO agreed at Brussels in December, "a European security identity and defense role, reflected in the construction of a European pillar within the Alliance, will not only serve the interests of the European states but also help to strengthen Atlantic solidarity." In their meeting today, Secretary Baker affirmed that the United States is ready to support arrangements the European Allies decide are needed for the expression of a common European foreign, security, and defense policy. Minister Genscher affirmed that the Atlantic Alliance as a whole should be enhanced by strengthening the role of giving added responsibility to the Europeans in the context of security and defense policy, and that in that respect a European security and defense identity should be reflected in the development of a European pillar within the Alliance. They both agreed that to ensure this development will strengthen the integrity and effectiveness of the Atlantic Alliance, NATO should be the principal venue for consultation and the forum for agreement on all policies bearing on the security and defense commitment of its members under the North Atlantic Treaty. They further agreed that NATO should maintain an effective integrated military structure to provide for collective defense; and that appropriate arrangements should be instituted so that all European members of NATO could participate in some appropriate manner in the development of a European pillar within the Alliance.
II. NATO Liaison Function
NATO, in its London Summit Declaration, extended the hand of friendship to the Soviet Union and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. In keeping with NATO's historic role as both guarantor of stability and agent of change, NATO agreed at London to enhance the political component of the Alliance as provided for by Article 2 of the North Atlantic Treaty. NATO has undertaken to expand the East/West dialogue as a means of helping ensure an enduring peace in a Europe whole and free. To this end, NATO proposed high-ranking visits, establishment of a regular diplomatic liaison, and an intensification of military contacts. Secretary Baker and Foreign Minister Genscher strongly favor building upon and developing this liaison function to include more intensive contacts between NATO and Central/East European states, as well as the Soviet Union. They believe this can be accomplished through: -- High-ranking political visits in both directions; -- Contacts below the political level in Brussels and in capitals in the political and military fields, including visits by delegations of young leaders; -- Organization of seminars, symposia, and policy planning sessions, about topics in the security policy field with political and military participants; -- Invitation of military officers from the Soviet Union and Central and Eastern European countries to NATO Academy programs; -- Establishing training programs at NATO's Defense College for military officers on issues connected to civilian oversight of defense; -- Providing the Soviet Union and Central and East Europeans with expertise on conversion of defense industries to peaceful purposes; -- Participation of Soviet and Central and East European experts in certain NATO activities, including those related to NATO's "third dimension," airspace management, or civil emergency questions; -- Greater contacts between Soviet and Central and East European parliaments and the North Atlantic Assembly, as agreed among the parliamentarians concerned; -- When further progress has been made, discussing questions relating to NATO's strategy review; -- Seeking increased outlets in the USSR and Central and Eastern Europe for NATO publications; and -- Proposals for the establishment of "Atlantic Councils" in those countries.
III. CSCE in the New Europe
Secretary Baker and Foreign Minister Genscher attach great importance to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe--the Helsinki Process. The decisions taken at last year's CSCE Summit in Paris, many of which stem from initiatives launched at the NATO Summit in London, will help strengthen the CSCE to meet the challenges of a new era. The meeting of CSCE ministers this June in Berlin will mark a major opportunity to reflect and build on those successes. To enlarge the instruments enabling CSCE to cope with potential crises, the CSCE Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs should adopt in Berlin a procedure for calling emergency meetings of CSCE officials at subministerial level. It should provide for the possibility of holding an emergency meeting at the request of a participating state particularly concerned about a serious emergency situation arising from a violation of a Principle of the Helsinki Final Act or from a major disruption of another nature. To ensure that such a mechanism plays a constructive and effective role in enhancing stability, the request for such an emergency meeting should be seconded by a number of member states to be determined. Substantive decisions would, of course, continue to require the consensus that is at the heart of CSCE's processes. The ministers should endorse such a mechanism at their June meeting in Berlin. The Berlin meeting can also be used to strengthen the Conflict Prevention Center in order to assist the Council in reducing the risk of conflict. For this purpose, Ministers should consider in Berlin the following steps: -- Meetings of the Center's Consultative Committee should be held on a more frequent basis, e.g., once or twice during each round of the CSBM negotiations. -- The CPC should organize a further seminar on military doctrines with participation of high-level military representatives. Other specific topics for future seminars at lower levels might be discussed. -- The CPC should be tasked to function as the "nominating institution" for the CSCE Dispute Settlement Mechanism, which was worked out by the Valletta Meeting of Experts on Peaceful Settlement of Disputes and which could be endorsed by the CSCE Council in Berlin. In this capacity, the CPC could maintain the register of mediators envisaged under the Valletta proposal and could help organize the appropriate dispute resolution processes. -- CPC communication facilities should be endorsed for use as a "hotline" for emergency communications between CSCE capitals. Of course, such use of these facilities should be structured so that it does not interfere with the system's ability to handle its primary tasks related to the implementation of the CSBMs agreement and of the CFE Treaty. In addition to these immediate decisions, Secretary Baker and Foreign Minister Genscher will ask their counterparts in the CSCE Council to consider whether, to strengthen CSCE's ability to facilitate the peaceful resolution of disputes, procedures might be developed under which ministers could direct the establishment of fact-finding missions as appropriate. Secretary Baker and Foreign Minister Genscher also believe that the Berlin meeting should address the issue of modalities, in particular the preparatory consultations for the CSCE-wide security negotiations which will follow the Helsinki Review Conference, on the basis of proposals developed in the appropriate fora and endorsed at the NATO Ministerial in Copenhagen.
Dispatch Supplement
A special Dispatch Supplement containing the text of the Charter of Paris and the Joint Declaration of 22 States can be purchased for $1.25 (stock no. 044-000-02308-3) through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 20402- 9325 (tel. 202-783-3238).(###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 19, May 13, 1991 Title:

Algeria: Iraq's Protecting Power

Tutwiler Source: Statement by Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: May 7, 19915/7/91 Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Region: MidEast/North Africa Country: Iraq, Algeria Subject: State Department Algeria has become the protecting power for Iraq in the United States. As President Bush has made clear, we cannot have normal relations with Iraq so long as Saddam Hussein remains in power. Establishment of a protecting power will permit us to maintain a minimal channel of communication with the Iraqi government. Property. Upon completion of accreditation of the interests section staff, the Algerians will take over the former Iraqi chancery which housed the offices of the embassy. The Algerians will not take over custody of the former residence of the Iraqi ambassador. Custody of this property will remain with the Office of Foreign Missions as it has been since March 8. Interests Section. The Algerians are permitted to use the former Iraqi chancery for an Iraqi interests section. The interests section will be staffed by three individuals (two diplomats, one administrative and technical) who were notified to the United States on May 7 as members of the Algerian diplomatic mission. These three are Iraqi nationals who were formerly accredited with the United States as members of the Iraqi diplomatic mission. There may also be local employee support staff, individuals who must be US citizens or resident aliens whose immigration status permits them to work in the United States. The interests section will facilitate maintenance of minimal communications between the United States and Iraq and provide basic consular services. Travel Restrictions. Iraqi nationals staffing the interests section in Washington will continue to be restricted to a 25-mile zone of free movement. They must seek permission from the Department of State to travel for any reasons beyond that zone. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 19, May 13, 1991 Title:

US-Finnish Relations

Bush, Koivisto Source: Presidents Bush and Koivisto Description: Remarks upon departure, White House, Washington, DC Date: May 7, 19915/7/91 Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Region: Europe Country: Finland Subject: Trade/Economics, NATO, CSCE, United Nations [TEXT]
President Bush
President Koivisto, welcome again to the United States. It's a pleasure to try to return the hospitality you showed President Gorbachev and me in Helsinki last September. And we're very grateful for that hospitality, and I'd like to think that meeting was very constructive. Our meeting today was only the latest of many exchanges that we have shared. It's been nearly a decade since you and I first met. Today, as always, I greatly value your views on world events and your efforts over many years to build the excellent relationship between the United States and Finland. This visit, albeit very brief, gave me an opportunity to thank you personally for Finland's constructive policy in the Middle East. Your country's strong leadership in the UN Security Council and the Iraqi Sanctions Committee last fall and your generous aid to the people suffering from Iraqi oppression represent Finland's fine tradition of active partnership in the community of nations. This sense of responsibility led Finland, within a year of its admission to the United Nations, to serve as part of the UN Emergency Force in 1956 following the Suez crisis. Finns have served bravely in virtually every peace-keeping force since then, contributing more troops than any other country. Your nation continues this proud tradition in the current UN observer force in Kuwait and Iraq. Finland and the United States enjoy a long and healthy trade relationship. Today, we touched on some new economic issues, including the advantages that could come from a Finnish purchase of our advanced aircraft. Let it be said in fairness that you made a pitch to us on several items that might benefit Finland's trade, so this was a mutual exchange. We also discussed the new Europe, from economic integration to arms control, from new challenges to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) to the continuing role of NATO in European security. The United States and Finland share a deep interest in events in the Soviet Union. I've always valued the opportunity to exchange views with President Koivisto, who is a knowledgeable, an expert, a most perceptive observer of the USSR. We discussed the very complex situation in the Baltic states. And I reaffirmed the policy of the United States to support a process of change through constructive and fair negotiations. We agreed on the inadmissibility of the use of force and the importance of pragmatism by all parties in the search for a solution to this problem of the Baltics. The United States and Finland will continue to support the process of reform in the USSR which was initiated by President Gorbachev. We want to see that process continue. We want to see it strengthened. And we will be ready to assist the Soviet and republic governments in attaining the twin goals of democratization and market economic reform. Finally, we discussed another issue of major importance to both of our countries: the transition to free markets and liberal political systems by the new democracies of Eastern Europe. We are determined to make every effort to assist them in their historic quest to remake themselves and find a place in the new Europe. This must be a priority for all Western countries. As democratic peoples, Finns and Americans share many special bonds of friendship. Finns have long added to the American experience. Mr. President, your countrymen were among the first to settle in this country 350 years ago, establishing new lives in the Delaware River valley. Over a century later, John Morton, a Finnish- American delegate to our Continental Congress, cast the deciding vote for our Declaration of Independence. The ideals that led him--liberty and self-government--remain dear to both our nations. Just look to Philadelphia, 1776, and Helsinki, 1917. And since that time we've enjoyed over 70 years of warm diplomatic relations. And I look forward to continuing this friendship. May God bless the people of Finland and the United States. Thank you, sir.
President Koivisto
Mr. President. Let me first thank you, Mr. President, for the excellent hospitality extended to me and my party here in Washington. We enjoyed our stay very much. It was also a great pleasure to meet you again and exchange views on the changing world situation. When we last met in Helsinki in September at the American- Soviet top-level meeting on the Persian Gulf, the world was facing a direct challenge to the rule of law. The Iraqi aggression was repelled by the coalition. Kuwait is now free. Finland faced its responsibility in the UN Security Council in its decision to thwart the aggression. And now work must continue to build a new, equitable world. Finland and the United States are different in many ways, yet we share the same values of freedom, democracy, justice, and human rights. We both want to see the world based on these fundamental principles. But principles are not enough. The economic, social, and the ecological problems can only be overcome through determined international cooperation. For Finland, developments in Europe and particularly in our vicinity are of vital importance. While we must encourage progress everywhere toward our shared values, we must at the same time maintain stability. Reform efforts in Eastern Europe, including the Soviet Union, now need our support. With the Cold War behind us, no new devices must be drawn, but avenues of cooperation be opened for all. We have also discussed the role of institutions which would promote stability and change in Europe. One of them is the CSCE, or the Helsinki, process. I have invited President Bush and the other 32 leaders of Europe and North America to Helsinki for the next CSCE follow-up meeting due to begin in March 1992. Mr. President, the review of our bilateral agenda showed that our relations are, indeed, in excellent shape. There is mutual appreciation and recognition of our respected roles in world affairs. There are long-standing bonds of friendship between our people. And there are good prospects for expanding the Finnish-American partnership. I shall leave Washington with warm sentiments about our old and steady friendship. I hope to see you, Mr. President, and Mrs. Bush again in Finland in the not-too-distant future. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 19, May 13, 1991 Title:

Country Profile: Finland

Date: May 7, 19915/7/91 Category: Country Data Region: Europe Country: Finland Subject: History, Trade/Economics, International Organizations [TEXT] Official Name: Republic of Finland
Geography
Area: 337,113 sq. km. (130,160 sq. mi.); about the size of New England, New Jersey, and New York combined. Cities: Capital--Helsinki (pop. 484,399). Other cities--Tampere (167,335), Turku (163,655). Terrain: Low but hilly, more than 70% forested, with more than 60,000 lakes. Climate: Cool; mean annual temperature in Helsinki (1977--86) +50C (410F); July +170C (630F); January -60C (210F).
People
Nationality: Noun--Finn(s). Adjective--Finnish. Population (1989): 5 million. Annual growth rate (1989): 0.4%. Ethnic groups: Finns, Swedes, Lapps, Gypsies, Tartars. Religions (1987): Lutheran 89%, Orthodox 1%. Languages: Finnish 94%, Swedish 6%. Education: Years compulsory-- 9. Attendance--almost 100%. Literacy--almost 100%. Health (1989): Infant mortality rate-- 6/1,000. Life expectancy--males 71 yrs., females 79 yrs. Work force (1989) 2.5 million: Agriculture--9%. Industry, commerce, and finance--53%. Services (public and personal)--25%. Government--5%. Transport (storage and communication)--7%.
Government
Type: Constitutional republic. Constitution: July 17, 1919. Independence: December 6, 1917. Branches: Executive--president (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), Council of State (cabinet). Legislative-- unicameral parliament. Judicial--Supreme Court, regional appellate courts, local courts. Subdivisions: 12 provinces, provincial self-rule for the Aland Islands. Political parties: Four largest, in order: Social Democratic Party (SDP), National Coalition (Conservative) Party, Center Party, Leftist Alliance. Central government budget (1989): $29 billion. Defense (1989): 1.4% of GDP. Flag: Light blue cross on a white field.
Economy
GDP (1989): $115 billion. Annual growth rate: 5% (GDP). Per capita income (1989 est.): $23,153. Inflation rate (1990): 5.4%. Natural resources: Forests, minerals (copper, zinc, iron), farmland. Agriculture (3% of GDP): Products--meat (pork and beef), grain (wheat, rye, barley, oats), dairy products, potatoes, rapeseed. Industry (27% of GDP): Types--metal and steel, forest, foodstuffs, textile and clothing. Trade (1989): Exports--$23 billion: paper and paperboard, machinery and equipment, ships, lumber, woodpulp, chemicals. Major markets- -USSR 15%, Sweden 14%, UK 12%, FRG 10%, US 6%. Imports--$25 billion: fuels and lubricants, machinery and equipment, including motor vehicles, basic manufactures, chemicals; foodstuffs. Major suppliers--FRG 17%, Sweden 14%, USSR 11%, US 6%. Fiscal year: Calendar year.
International Affiliations
UN and some of its specialized and related agencies, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Development Association (IDA); General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); Bank for International Settlements (BIS); Asian Development Bank; Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Council of Europe; Nordic Council; European Free Trade Association (EFTA); European Community (EC); Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); INTELSAT. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 19, May 13, 1991 Title:

Country Profile: Laos

Date: May 13, 19915/13/91 Category: Country Data Region: Southeast Asia Country: Laos Subject: History, International Organizations, Trade/Economics [TEXT] Official Name: People's Democratic Republic of Laos
Geography
Area: 235,804 sq. km. (91,430 sq. mi.); smaller than Oregon. Capital--Vientiane (pop. est. 155,000). Other cities--Savannakhet, Luang Prabang, Pakse, Thakhek. Terrain: Rugged mountains, dense jungle, plateaus. Climate: Tropical monsoon.
People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Lao (sing. and pl.). Population (1989): 3.9 million. Annual growth rate: 2.6%. Density: 16/sq. km. (41.6/sq. mi.). Ethnic groups: Lao 48%, tribal Thai 14%, Sino-Tibetan tribes, including the Hmong (Meo) and Yao 13%, Mon-Khmer tribes 25%, Vietnamese and Chinese less than 1%. Languages: Lao (official). Education: Literacy--45% (government claims 60% among persons aged 15-45). Health: Infant mortality rate-- 110/1,000. Life expectancy--48 yrs. Work force (1.5 million): Agriculture--85%. Industry--6%.
Government
Type: Communist. Branches: Executive--president (head of state); Chairman, Council of Ministers (prime minister and head of government); 84-member cabinet (including vice ministers). Legislative--Supreme People's Assembly. Judicial--mixture of regular and "people's courts," the latter for security cases. Political party: Lao People's Revolutionary Party (only legal party). Administrative subdivisions: In 1983, the number of provinces was increased from 13 to 17. Central government budget (1989): $36 million. Expenditures--$106 million. Flag: A red band at the top and bottom with a larger blue band between them, on which is centered a large white circle. National Day: December 2.
Economy
GNP (1990 est.): $650 million. Per capita income: $160. Natural resources: Tin, timber, gypsum, hydroelectric power. Industry (8% of GNP): Types--tin and gypsum mining, lumber, textiles, construction. Trade: Exports--$63 million (1989 est.): chiefly hydroelectric power and timber; also coffee and tin. Major markets--Thailand, Eastern Europe, USSR. Imports--$198 million (1989 est.): foodstuffs, petroleum, machinery, manufactured goods. Major suppliers--Thailand, Singapore, Eastern Europe, USSR. Foreign debt (1984): $1 billion (70% owed to socialist countries). Fiscal year: July 1-June 30. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 19, May 13, 1991 Title:

Joint US-Laos Statement

Boucher Source: State Department Deputy Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: May 8, 19915/8/91 Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Region: Southeast Asia Country: Laos Subject: Human Rights, POW/MIA Issues. [TEXT] Delegations from the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the United States of America met in Vientiane on May 4, 1991, to discuss common humanitarian issues. This meeting was a follow- on to the high-level bilateral discussions held on April 17, 1991, between Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Soubanh Srithirath and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Carl Ford. Mrs. Kanika Phommachanh, Director of Department Two of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led the Lao side, which included representatives from the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs. Charge d'Affaires Charles B. Salmon, Jr., led the US delegation, which included representatives from the Defense Department's Office of POW/MIA Affairs, technical experts on the POW/MIA issue from the Joint Casualty Resolution Center and the US Army Central Identification Laboratory, both located in Hawaii. Both delegations lauded the improvement in bilateral relations in the past few years and expressed hope that this improvement would continue. A comprehensive US proposal for POW/MIA activities was discussed, and the Lao delegation agreed to conduct jointly the proposed investigations of discrepancy cases, grave site surveys/recoveries, and to expand the surveys and excavations of aircraft crash sites. The United States expressed its deep appreciation for Laos' cooperation in this humanitarian area and the hope that the expanded program of POW/MIA activities would be successfully accomplished. The Lao delegation expressed its sincere appreciation for prior US humanitarian assistance and for additional such assistance during the remainder of 1991, including Title 10 school construction projects, medical equipment and supplies, and medical civic action programs. The United States reaffirmed its commitment to assist in addressing Lao humanitarian concerns. The talks were constructive and productive and held in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation and in an atmosphere of improving bilateral relations. On May 3, 1991, the US delegation paid a courtesy call on Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Soubanh Srithirath. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 19, May 13, 1991 Title:

Current Treaty Actions, May 1991

Date: May 13, 19915/13/91 Category: Treaties/Agreements Region: Caribbean, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Central America, Europe Country: Japan, Thailand, France, United Kingdom, Panama Subject: Security Assistance and Sales, Resource Management, Democratization, State Department, International Law [TEXT]
MULTILATERAL
Agriculture--Diseases
International agreement for the creation at Paris of the International Office for Epizootics, with annex. Done at Paris Jan. 25, 1924. Entered into force Jan. 17, 1925; for the US July 29, 1975. TIAS 8141; 26 UST 1840. Accessions deposited: Albania, Feb. 11, 1991; Namibia, Dec. 10, 1990.
Defense
Amendment No. 2 to the memorandum of understanding of Oct. 24, 1978, as amended, for the cooperative support of the 76/62 OTO Melara Compact Gun (OMCG). Signed at Cosham (UK), Madrid, and Rome May 30, June 22, Aug. 24, and Nov. 8, 1990. Entered into force Nov. 8, 1990. Signatures: US, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, and Turkey, June 22, 1990; UK, May 30, 1990; Spain, Aug. 24, 1990; Italy, Nov. 8, 1990. Memorandum of understanding for exchanges of information regarding third-generation anti-tank guided missiles. Signed at Washington, London, Paris, and Bonn Jan. 30, Feb. 13, and Mar. 7, 1991. Entered into force Mar. 7, 1991. Signatures: US, Jan. 30, 1991; France, Feb. 13, 1991; Germany, Mar. 7, 1991; UK, Jan. 30, 1991.
Diplomatic Relations
Optional protocol to the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations concerning the compulsory settlement of disputes. Done at Vienna Apr. 18, 1961. Entered into force Apr. 24, 1964; for the US Dec. 13, 1972. TIAS 7502. Accession deposited: Kuwait, Feb. 21, 1991.
Judicial Procedure
Convention abolishing the requirement of legalization for foreign public documents, with annex. Done at The Hague Oct. 5, 1961. Entered into force Jan. 24, 1965; for the US Oct. 15, 1981. TIAS 10072. Accession deposited: Panama, Oct. 30, 1990.1 Convention on the law applicable to trusts and on their recognition. Done at The Hague July 1, 1985.2 Territorial Application: Extended by the UK to Montserrat, Jan. 10, 1991.
BILATERAL
Cuba
Agreement amending the agreement of May 30, 1977 (TIAS 9313), relating to the establishment of Interests Sections of the United States and Cuba in the Embassy of Switzerland in Havana and the Embassy of Czechoslovakia in Washington, respectively. Effected by exchange of notes at Washington Feb. 15 and 25, 1991. Entered into force Feb. 25, 1991; effective Apr. 1, 1991.
France
Agreement on matters relating to fishing in the economic zones of the French overseas territories of New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna Islands. Signed at Washington Mar. 1, 1991. Enters into force Nov. 1, 1991.
Japan
Agreement amending the exchange of letters to the treaty of mutual cooperation and security of Jan. 19, 1960 (TIAS 4509). Effected by exchange of notes at Tokyo Dec. 26, 1990. Entered into force Dec. 26, 1990. Agreement amending the agreement and memorandum of understanding of Mar. 31, 1989, as amended, concerning the acquisition and production in Japan of the SH-60J and UH-60J aircraft. Effected by exchange of notes at Tokyo Mar. 29, 1991. Entered into force Mar. 29, 1991. Agreement amending the agreement of Mar. 27, 1990, concerning the acquisition and production in Japan of the sparrow missile system (AIM-7M). Effected by exchange of notes at Tokyo Mar. 29, 1991. Entered into force Mar. 29, 1991. Agreement concerning new special measures relating to Article XXIV of the agreement of Jan. 19, 1960, under Art. VI of the treaty of mutual cooperation and security regarding facilities and areas and the status of US armed forces in Japan (TIAS 4510), with agreed minutes. Signed at Washington Jan. 14, 1991. Entered into force Apr. 17, 1991.
Panama
Arrangement for support and assistance from the US Coast Guard for the National Maritime Service of the Ministry of Government and Justice. Signed at Panama Mar. 18, 1991. Entered into force Mar. 18, 1991. Treaty on mutual assistance in criminal matters, with annex and appendix. Signed at Panama Apr. 11, 1991. Enters into force upon the exchange of instruments of ratification.
Thailand
Treaty relating to extradition. Signed at Washington Dec. 14, 1983. [Senate] Treaty Doc. 98-16. Instruments of ratification exchanged: Apr. 17, 1991. Entered into force: May 17, 1991.
United Kingdom
Agreement extending the agreement of May 14, 1987, as extended, concerning Montserrat and narcotics activities, with annex and forms. Effected by exchange of notes at Washington Feb. 26, 1991. Entered into force Feb. 26, 1991; effective Mar. 1, 1991. 1 With designations. 2 Not in force. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 19, May 13, 1991 Title:

Focus on Central and Eastern Europe: Summary of Initiatives

Date: May 13, 19915/13/91 Category: Focus on Emerging Democracies Region: E/C Europe Country: Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia (former), Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia (former) Subject: Trade/Economics, Development/Relief Aid, Human Rights, Environment [TEXT]
IMF Increases Loans to Region
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is taking a lead role in encouraging market-oriented reforms in Central and Eastern Europe and is providing substantial resources. Since January 1991, it has completed agreements with Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania that will provide about $8.4 billion over the next 3 years to those countries, $5 billion of which will be forthcoming this year. The most recent agreement, approved by the IMF Board on April 18, will provide Poland with about $2.5 billion in financing over 3 years in support of a comprehensive program of economic stabilization and structural adjustment. Additional financing is included in this package to ease the pressure of higher-than- expected oil and natural gas prices in the wake of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The IMF loan to Poland continues to have tough conditions: the Polish government must pursue tight monetary and fiscal policies, strengthen the private banking sector, privatize state-owned industries, liberalize trade, and continue other structural economic reforms. Half of state-owned companies are to be put into private hands by the end of 1993. A major policy objective is to cut inflation, which was more than 17% in the final 3 months of 1990 and 250% for 1990. The goal is a rate of 1% a month during the second half of 1991, 36% for all of 1991, and under 10% by 1993. Private bankers welcomed the Polish accord. Poland must "have an IMF agreement to proceed with the next steps for their recovery," said Peter McPherson, executive vice president of Bank of America. The latest IMF efforts come when every Central and East European country is suffering from serious declines in output and, in some cases, rising inflation. In 1990, gross domestic product plunged by about 12% in Bulgaria and Poland, 10% in Romania and Yugoslavia, 3% in Czechoslovakia, and between 2% and 5% in Hungary. IMF officials admit that the impact of economic reforms in the region has been, and will continue to be, more severe than anyone imagined when the countries overthrew the communists. Approaches to dealing with economic reforms in the region and their effect on the global economy were one of the key subjects when the IMF's policy-making Interim Committee and the joint World Bank and IMF Development Committee met in Washington April 29 and 30. IMF financing for Central and Eastern Europe will constitute about 30% of the $17 billion in official bilateral and multilateral assistance flowing to that region this year. In addition to the IMF's $5 billion, about $2.7 billion will come from the World Bank, some $3.6 billion from the Group of 24 industrial countries that have promised to aid reforms, and the remaining $6 billion in the form of debt relief. Yugoslavia's drawings on IMF financing were suspended in mid-1990 following that country's failure to meet the conditions of a March 1990 accord signed with the IMF. Although the IMF's experience with Central and Eastern Europe has been fairly recent, IMF officials are developing a "regional view" on how to approach problems in the area. First, stabilization efforts and structural reform must be comprehensive and implemented rapidly. A piecemeal approach does not work. Second, reform efforts have considerable costs in terms of lost output and higher inflation that are difficult to avoid. Therefore, social "safety nets" are needed to protect the people most affected by the reforms. Third, certain countries, such as Hungary and Poland, have been able to switch faster than anticipated from reliance on trade with neighboring countries to trade with the West. IMF officials believe that the sharp output declines of 1990 will not be repeated this year and that modest growth in the range of 2%-4%, depending on the country, will resume in 1992. The output declines and slow recoveries are not surprising when one realizes that the degree of structural change being implemented is unprecedented in the post-World War II period. Common to all IMF programs in Central and Eastern Europe is reliance on tight monetary and fiscal policies to control inflation, liberalization of prices and trade restrictions, and selling state- owned enterprises, as in the case of Poland. IMF officials say the potential for productivity growth and investment in Central and East European countries is enormous. Following is a brief outline of recent IMF financial assistance to the region:
Albania
Albania has applied for IMF membership.
Bulgaria
. In March 1991, the IMF approved a standby program of about $381 million. Under a standby program, the IMF lends resources in quarterly installments to support economic-reform efforts, following the country's fulfillment of various economic- performance criteria negotiated with the IMF. In February, under the Fund's Compensatory and Contingency Financing Facility (CCFF), the IMF approved some $83 million to cover the excess costs of oil imports in 1991.
Czechoslovakia
. In January 1991, a standby program of about $845 million was approved along with an additional $660 million in CCFF financing. This was the first use of IMF financing by Czechoslovakia since rejoining the IMF last year.
Hungary
. CCFF financing amounting to $309 million was approved in January 1991. In February, a 3-year loan of about $1.1 billion was approved under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). EFF programs are similar to standby programs in that disbursements are contingent upon policy performance, but EFF programs are longer and generally contain a stronger structural-reform component.
Poland
. In April, the IMF approved a 3-year EFF program of $2.5 billion and about $222 million under the CCFF.
Romania
. CCFF financing of about $286 million was approved in March 1991, the first IMF financing for Romania since 1984. A standby program of about $750 million was approved in April.
Yugoslavia.
A $628-million standby arrangement was approved in March 1990. Yugoslavia made one drawing of about $90 million but was ineligible to make additional drawings due to its failure to comply with IMF conditions.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, and Sweden have committed additional funding to the new European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to finance technical aid projects in Central and Eastern Europe. (Taiwan, which is not a shareholder, also will provide funds.) The bank was created in 1990 and held its inaugural meeting in its London headquarters April 15-16, 1991. On March 28, 1991, the United States formally ratified the articles of agreement establishing the EBRD. The United States will hold 10% of the capital of the newly formed institution. The paid-in portion of the US subscription to EBRD shares for fiscal year 1991 is $70 million. For more information about the EBRD, contact the Office of Public Relations, EBRD, 6 Broadgate, London EC2M 2QS, United Kingdom (Tel: 011-4471-496-0060).
Romania
Peace Corps.
The Peace Corps is currently training in Bucharest 14 US volunteers who will soon serve in several orphanages in Moldavia Province to help with early childhood development, special education, and reintegration of the children and the orphanages into their communities. For more information about this program, call the Peace Corps' Toby Lester at 202-606-3547.
Children's Programs
. Five proposals from private voluntary organizations (PVOs) to assist Romanian children are being considered for funding under the fiscal year 1991 PVO Initiatives Grant Program. The proposals total $3.3 million. During FY 1990, the following was done: -- A $2-million grant to the UN Children's Fund; -- A $2-million cooperative agreement with a consortium of US PVOs (Private Agencies Collaborating Together, Project Concern, and World Vision), which expects to generate an additional $9 million in resources from private sources; and -- A $325,000 subgrant from Private Agencies Collaborating Together (PACT) to the Holt International Children's Service for adoption-related activities in Romania. The focus of the 2-year program is to train Romanians to help Romanian children live with their new parents.
Family Planning
. A US medical team headed by former US Surgeon General Julius Richmond went to Romania March 10-23 to assess family planning practices and issues related to women's reproductive health and to recommend family planning assistance. The team was organized by the Boston-based PVO Trust Through Health, Inc. A $1.5-million grant was given to the Centre for Development and Population Assistance on March 12. It will undertake an 18-month program of training, technical assistance, commodity procurement, and institutional support to the Romanian family-planning association called the Society for Education, Contraception, and Sexuality.
Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs):
. The following PVOs work in Romania. -- PACT leads a consortium comprising PACT, Project Concern International (PCI), World Vision Relief and Development (WVRD), and Holt International Children's Services in a 2-year project to professionalize the child-welfare system within the Romanian health system. Major objectives are to provide physical, psychological, and social rehabilitation services to infant, child, and adolescent populations and to facilitate adoption of children in institutions. For more information, call David Williams (PACT: 202-466- 5666), Arlene Lear (PCI: 202-667-5128), Lynn Belland (WVRD: 202-547-3743), or Susan Cox (Holt: 503-683-6175). -- World Vision Relief and Development--Romania: A 3-year program to expand and strengthen ongoing field programs in Romania such as training of health-care professionals and lay care providers to deliver comprehensive services to the handicapped, and to initiate a community-based health-care network in the underserved areas of Moldavia and Transylvania. For additional information, call Lynn Belland at 202-547-3743. -- Feed the Children--Romania: A 3-year project to rehabilitate five Romanian institutions housing severely disabled children and adults, to provide emergency and on-going supplies of food, medical, and non-medical relief commodities, and to develop long-term support systems in collaboration with the Free Romania Foundation. For more information, call Kenneth Wood at 202-543-0695. -- Project Concern International--Romania: A 3-year program to provide direct medical services to children in 17 institutions for the severely handicapped and training of local medical-service providers in 30 maternity hospitals and 5 communities. For additional information, call Arlene Lear at 202-667-5128. -- Operation Smile--Romania: A 2-year program to aid deformed and disfigured children through reconstructive surgery and to provide education and training through hands-on experience and medical symposia to Romanian surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, dentists, students, and other health-care professionals to upgrade their skills so they can provide better care for the Romanian population. For more information, call Judy Ford at 619-279-9690.
Resource Guide Released
Solid opportunities exist for US private companies to carve out niches and to compete in a new $38-billion market created by the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Almost all products and services are needed, with priorities in consumer goods, environmental protection equipment, telecommunications, tourism and services, banking, insurance, training and management consulting, and medical equipment and technology. While the US government has initiated programs to help Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia, it is expected that private US initiatives will play a greater role. The State Department, in cooperation with other US agencies, has just released Resource Guide to Doing Business in Central and Eastern Europe. This 40-page pamphlet describes the bilateral and multilateral support mechanisms that are in place to encourage the CEE countries to move toward democracy and market economies. It describes how to approach the CEE market and warns about some problem areas. It provides a thorough list of contacts (with mailing address and telephone/fax numbers) that businesses can turn to for information and guidance: -- US government agencies in Washington; -- US embassies in the CEE countries; -- CEE Trade Development Offices in the US; and -- Commerce Department's US and Foreign Commercial Service District Offices in the 50 states. Finally, the Guide offers a selection of publications--official and private--concerning the Central and East European countries and how to do business there. To order your copy of Resource Guide to Doing Business in Central and Eastern Europe, use the order form on following page.(###)