US Department of State 

Dispatch, Vol 2, No 20, May 20, 1991


Central and Eastern Europe: A Year Later

Eagleburger Source: Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Acting Secretary of State Description: Remarks as prepared for delivery at the annual conference of the US Export-Import Bank, Washington, DC Date: May 16, 19915/16/91 Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Region: E/C Europe Country: Poland, Czechoslovakia (former)Hungary [TEXT] In March 1990, I gave a speech on Eastern Europe before the Eximbank's last annual conference at a time when truly revolutionary events in that region had just taken place. There was, understandably, a good deal of euphoria then over the sudden collapse of the Iron Curtain and the triumph of freedom throughout Central and Eastern Europe. At one end of the spectrum, there was the curious assertion that history had come to an end, and at the other, a kind of complacent assumption that the conversion of Eastern Europe to democracy and free enterprise meant that we would no longer have to concern ourselves with developments in that region as we had for the previous half century. More level-headed observers were, of course, aware of just how unusual and difficult would be the tasks facing our East European friends and how important their success is to American interests. But the drama of their struggle was no longer of a nature to capture newspaper headlines, particularly as they settled down to the humdrum business of democratic electioneering and economic policy-making with which we are all too familiar. In the meantime, events in the Persian Gulf soon conspired to shift our attention elsewhere. If there is one point which I would like to reassert today, however, it is the strategic place which Central and Eastern Europe will continue to occupy in American foreign policy for the foreseeable future. In fact, I believe we ought to look at the revolutions in Eastern Europe and the Gulf war as having both ushered in a new era in international relations, one which, for lack of a better name, we are calling the post-Cold War era. This era will have two defining features: First, it will be dominated by the worldwide transition from command to free market economies, a movement whose outcome will help determine the fate of the worldwide trend toward democracy, which is also underway; and Second, as we saw with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, it will be characterized by a much greater fluidity in international relationships, as the historically unusual discipline imposed by the Cold War disappears. Both of these features of the new era are apparent today in Central and Eastern Europe, where the struggle to consolidate democracy and the market economy has coincided with the waning of the Cold War security order. Clearly, our goal must be to see the successful integration of the former communist countries into the wider pattern of European and Western cooperation, which has fostered both peace and prosperity among nations which habitually were at each other's throats for the better part of a millennium. No one can say what failure would bring. We do know, however, that nature abhors a vacuum and that when Central and Eastern Europe was weak and unstable in the first half of this century, the great powers twice wound up colliding. And so we must succeed.
The Past Year: Achievements and Obstacles
So much for the stakes involved. What I would like to do today is to describe the progress and the problems our European friends have encountered on the path of reform over the past year, and what the US government is doing to help. There have been important successes, most notably in the political and security fields. The commitment to democracy is unequivocal in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and even Bulgaria. It is being institutionalized in parliaments, in a free press, and in legal safeguards which protect individual liberties and human rights. Meanwhile, Soviet troops are being withdrawn completely this year from Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and a timetable for their removal from Poland is currently under negotiation. Perhaps the most tangible sign of change was the region's full and costly cooperation with the international coalition against Saddam Hussein. You do not have to be a rocket scientist, however, to understand that the region is in tough shape economically and that its fledgling democratic institutions will face severe testing for some time to come. The last year has seen deepening recession, a legacy of the outmoded and decaying economic infrastructure left by the communists, and, to a degree, a result of the very reform measures undertaken to restore economic health. There has been a series of unanticipated shocks: the cutoff of Iraqi and Kuwaiti oil; the collapse of trade with the USSR; the Soviet decision to force payment for goods in hard currency; and the loss of the East German market. Fortunately, these events have not shaken the fundamental commitment of the governments in the region to navigate the transition to market economies, nor have they appreciably blunted their willingness to implement the painful reforms needed to reach the ultimate destination. Poland continues to set the pace of reform. Its bold stabilization program of last year--aided significantly by the United States and its Western partners --succeeded in driving down inflation, lowering interest rates, and making the zloty convertible. It is true that a serious drop in industrial output and a major increase in unemployment have resulted. But unemployment still does not reach West European levels, and for the first time in memory, store shelves are full, and queues have disappeared. Poland's neighbors have demonstrated, to varying degrees, greater caution in implementing reforms. However, both Hungary and Czechoslovakia now have plans in place for macroeconomic stabilization and, over a several-year period, for removing the distortions of state intervention in the economy. And Bulgaria, after electing a multi-party parliament in June, has moved boldly down the path of economic reform. To be frank we have encountered, over the past year, two sets of obstacles to fundamental reform in Central and Eastern Europe. First has been the slowness in moving from macro- to microeconomic reform; that is, from macroeconomic stabilization to the actual transformation of command economies into market economies. The second has been the emergence of potentially dangerous political phenomena, which coexist with the nascent democratic institutions in the area. The fact of the matter is that history affords few, if any, examples of attempts to privatize an economy which was entirely run by the state. There are no precedents, and, thus, no guidelines. You will recall that last year we rejected proposals for a massive bailout of the East European economies on the lines of the 1947 Marshall Plan. It tended to be forgotten by some that a market economy was already in place in Western Europe after World War II, ready to absorb the infusion of capital needed to get the region back on its feet. That simply is not the case in Central and Eastern Europe today. Instead, the first order of business in the region, following macroeconomic stabilization, was, and is, the creation, piece by piece, of a free market infrastructure. This has been a contentious and confusing process. Fundamental issues have to be decided. To whom does formerly state property belong? To whom should state enterprises be sold? How should those whose property was confiscated by the communists be compensated? Which industries should be salvaged and which sacrificed to the realities of the international marketplace? To the list of fundamental issues to be decided we must add a list of fundamental skills to be acquired--worker skills, management skills, information skills, and financial skills to name but a few. And finally, the infrastructure of a modern and internationally competitive economy needs to be created--in banking, communications, transportation, housing, and other sectors. Thus, it is not surprising that in Poland, for example, where macroeconomic stabilization has been most far-reaching, the desired supply-side response has been slow to follow. Privatization has lagged, and state enterprises have remained insulated from the market and competitive forces. Moreover, we cannot discount important psychological obstacles to microeconomic reform resulting from the communist era: the attachment to job security, and quite simply, fear of change and fear of the unknown.
New US Strategy for Economic Reform
Let me assure you that the Administration has drawn a lesson from the experiences of the past year and has shifted its assistance priorities accordingly. This is not to say we are abandoning macroeconomic support--witness the US-led Paris Club initiative which produced agreement on exceptional debt reduction for Poland. But we feel that the greatest needs in Central and Eastern Europe today are microeconomic in nature, particularly the need to stimulate private sector activity. We believe that the number one way to meet those needs is to promote enhanced trade and greater access to Western markets as well as larger flows of Western investment. Accordingly, our new approach will have the following three components. First, emphasis on technical assistance to help train bankers and managers; to help draft tax, labor, and commercial laws which will make competition a reality; to help build financial intermediaries to assist in the privatization process; and to help with enterprise restructuring and with removing the bureaucracy's stranglehold over economic activities: Together with the Enterprise Funds for Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, technical assistance will receive the greatest commitment of US resources in the coming years. Second, expansion of trade with the West. At a time when East European trade with the USSR and East Germany has collapsed, Western markets are more important than Western aid. Unless they can increase their exports, the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe will lose more from the trade hemorrhage than they could possibly gain from any transfusion of Western aid. Therefore, the United States has launched a trade enhancement initiative, which includes: -- A significant expansion of duty-free benefits covering Central and East European exports under the Generalized System of Preferences; -- Technical assistance on US trade laws and regulations to help overcome informational barriers trade; and -- Development of a program through which the Commerce Department will match companies, especially small- and medium- size firms, in complementary economic regions of the United States with those in Central and Eastern Europe. We should not be taking these steps alone. The European Community, which represents the greatest market for Central and Eastern Europe, should also provide--and, indeed, has an obligation to provide--greater market access, and we are encouraging them to do so in the context of their association agreements. We emphasize, however, that these agreements should conform to GATT [General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade] rules by covering all areas of trade, including agriculture. Our third and final priority is to expand the region's productive capacity, and thus boost trade, by promoting increased levels of direct Western investment in the Central and East European economies. Frankly, this form of support has been disappointing to date. For example, [Polish] President [Lech] Walesa noted during this visit here that US private investment in Poland has totaled only $30 million thus far. The centerpiece of this effort is our recently launched American Business and Private Sector Development Initiative, which is designed to promote the growth of US investment in the region, increase participation by US firms in infrastructure development, and increase the involvement of small- and medium- sized US companies in bilateral trade. This is a $45 million 2-year project carried out by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Commerce, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the US Trade and Development Program, in partnership with the private sector. Primary emphasis will be on five key sectors identified by the Central and East European countries, and which represent unique opportunities for American business--agriculture and agribusiness, energy, environment, telecommunications, and housing. The initiative includes, inter alia, the following elements. -- An American Business Center in Warsaw, which will make available office space and technical business services on a user-fee basis in cooperation with the private sector. -- Consortia of American Businesses in Eastern Europe, which will support small- and medium-sized US companies wishing to enter the East European market. Grants will assist US trade and business associations in selected sectors in establishing a presence in the region. -- A USAID Capital Development Initiative, which is designed to provide assistance to East European governments and private sector firms in designing infrastructure projects in ways that will encourage the involvement of US companies. -- We are seeking legislative authority to expand OPIC's pilot equity investment program to include Eastern Europe so that OPIC can make direct investments in promising joint ventures. We fully recognize that the major obstacles to direct investment are to be found within the countries of the region themselves. They need to take more steps to lower their barriers to trade with each other, and to effect changes in laws, policies, and institutions to enable private enterprise truly to flourish. In particular, specific barriers to foreign investment must be removed, such as limitations on foreign ownership of real estate, ceilings on foreign equity holdings, and retroactive liability for past environmental damage. I might add that these impediments also hamper the development of domestic enterprise, since foreign capital can bring technology and management expertise and help restructure industry in a way that does not burden these economies with debt.
The Future of Democracy in the Region
I mentioned earlier that we have encountered, over the past year, a second set of challenges in the form of some disquieting political trends, particularly the emergence of ethnic strife within several Central and East European countries, and, to a lesser extent, nationalist tensions between and among them. Whereas after World War II, West European historical enmities were dealt with openly and attenuated by factors such as economic prosperity, common democratic institutions, and the construction of a Pan-European identity; in the East, such sentiments were merely repressed under communist rule. It ought, therefore, to have been no surprise when they suddenly re-emerged following the revolutions of 1989. Ethnic animosities are not the only negative political legacy of the totalitarian era. Communism accustomed its subjects to the politics of absolutism--that is, a belief in magic formulas and all- encompassing blueprints, and the tendency to view opponents as enemies and to see all issues in black and white terms. Confronting this legacy forces us, I believe, to the sober conclusion that moving from macro- to micro-level reform may be just as challenging in the political sphere as we have discovered it to be in the economic sphere. The institutional structure of democracy is falling into place, but the habits and the everyday practice of democracy--the virtues of patience, tolerance, and respect for diversity--will have to be acquired over time. Unfortunately, these virtues are going to be needed not over the long run but in the present. The fact is that there is bound to be a collision between the nearly universal expectation that democracy will mean rapid attainment of Western standards of living and the harsh reality of adjustment to reform and the transition to a market economy. There is, thus, the danger that disillusionment could spawn impatience with the deliberate pace and essential give and take of democracy and lead to different kinds of instability.
What the West Can Do
One thing we in the West should not do is sit in judgment on our East European friends or attempt to dictate choices which are theirs to make. We should, after all, remember from our own historical experiences that democracy is perhaps the most challenging form of government under the best of circumstances. However, there are certain things which the West, particularly we in the United States, can do to help ensure that the difficult economic transition underway does not destabilize either the fragile new democratic institutions or the peace of the region as a whole. First, we must continue to provide advice and technical assistance in the field of democratic institution-building. Our friends in the region tell us that such help, to date, has been absolutely critical to the successes achieved thus far--the elections held, constitutions written, and the like. Henceforth, we must concentrate on strengthening democracy at the grass-roots level, namely, the institutions of local government plus those bodies which safeguard and mediate a healthy pluralist society -- such as unions, press organs, and the judiciary. Our aim must be to help create a system from top to bottom in which debate and opposition are channeled constructively and demo-cratically, a system which can absorb the inevitable shocks to come. Second, we must make sure that the overall system of European security, transformed by the end of the Cold War, can itself withstand any potential shocks emanating from Central and Eastern Europe. On a concrete level, this effort will eventually mean the creation of a new European political, economic, and security architecture. But we must also endeavor to convince the Central and East Europeans that staying the course on democracy is the sine qua non of joining the family of Western nations. Merely hectoring them about their investment regimes or ethnic troubles is not the answer. They must understand for themselves that there is no alternative to Western political and economic practices if their goal is to enjoy Western prosperity and consolidated freedoms. And they must also learn to reconcile the perfectly legitimate right to ethnic self-determination and self- expression with the imperatives of economic and political development in a Europe which is fast moving not toward fragmentation but integration. Finally, we must influence the psychological dynamic at work today in Central and Eastern Europe to ensure that euphoria is replaced with confidence, and not with despair. We can do this by convincing our friends that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that we will walk with them through that tunnel until they achieve full-fledged membership in the Western community of nations. This cannot, however, be the work of Western governments alone. The ultimate test of our commitment to democracy and free enterprise in Central and Eastern Europe may well be the willingness of our private sector to involve itself in this great experiment and, thereby, help the region to acquire the human skills and the capital which are urgently required. I fully realize that, for the American business community, this is not a matter of philanthropy. I have not pulled any punches today in describing the obstacles to change and reform that we have encountered over the past year. But I am willing without any hesitation to renew my appeal to you to invest in the region. I am convinced that the payoff, though not immediate, will be great. Yes, the status of private property is still unclear, but it will be clarified. Yes, the investment regimes do not yet meet all of your expectations, but soon they will. Yes, the pace of privatization has been slow, but there is simply no alternative to its going forward. The fact of the matter is that Central and Eastern Europe are going to make it, and this consideration ought to be central to your investment decisions. And by making it, I also mean that the region will surely join itself over time to the historic process of economic integration underway in Western Europe--a process from which American business cannot afford to be excluded. Central and Eastern Europe can be a profitable gateway to the Europe of tomorrow--but only if American business is willing to assume the risks, and to face the obstacles, which are present in the region today. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 20, May 20, 1991 Title:

US Chemical Weapons Initiative

Bush Source: President Bush Description: The White House, Washington, DC Date: May 13, 19915/13/91 Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Country: United States Subject: Arms Control [TEXT] The Gulf war has once again raised the specter of chemical weapons and demonstrated that unscrupulous regimes can and will threaten innocent populations with these weapons of terror so long as we permit them to exist. These stark events renew and reinforce my conviction, shared by responsible leaders around the world, that chemical weapons must be banned--everywhere in the world. The world's best hope for this goal is the chemical weapons convention now being negotiated by the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. The United States is committed to the early, successful completion of this convention, and I am today announcing a number of steps we will take to accelerate the negotiations and achieve an effective chemical weapons ban as soon as possible. I hope this initiative also will spur other nations to commit themselves equally to this critical objective. I have instructed the United States negotiating team in Geneva to implement my decisions at the next session, which begins May 14. To demonstrate the US commitment to banning chemical weapons, we are formally forswearing the use of chemical weapons for any reason, including retaliation, against any state, effective when the convention enters into force, and will propose that all states follow suit. Further, the United States unconditionally commits itself to the destruction of all our stocks of chemical weapons within 10 years of entry into force and will propose that all other states do likewise. We will offer technical assistance to others to do this efficiently and safely. In addition, we will call for setting a target date to conclude the convention and recommend the conference stay in continuous session if necessary to meet the target. The United States also will propose new and effective verification measures for inspecting sites suspected of producing or storing chemical weapons. To provide tangible benefits for those states that join the convention and significant penalties for those that fail to support it, the United States will propose the convention require parties to refuse to trade in chemical weapon-related materials with states that do not join in the convention. The United States reaffirms that we will impose all appropriate sanctions in response to violations of the convention, especially the use of chemical weapons. These steps can move the world significantly closer to the goal of a world free of chemical weapons. I call upon all other nations to join us in the serious and cooperative pursuit of this important goal. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 20, May 20, 1991 Title:

Gulf Responsibility-Sharing Efforts

McAllister Source: Eugene J. McAllister, Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Description: The House Foreign Affairs Committee, Washington, DC Date: May 14, 19915/14/91 Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Region: MidEast/North Africa Country: Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Japan, United Arab Emirates Subject: Military Affairs, Security Assistance and Sales [TEXT] Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on gulf responsibility-sharing efforts. Last September, we embarked on a very important and historic effort. Secretaries Baker and [Nicholas F.] Brady traveled to the Middle East, Europe, and Asia to encourage our partners to contribute to the effort to liberate Kuwait by helping offset the enormous incremental costs of the US military presence and assisting those countries critical to the sanctions effort. In my testimony, I would like to stress three points: -- The extraordinary levels of responsibility sharing that have been achieved, both military and economic; -- The vigorous nature of US efforts to assure timely payments; and -- To emphasize our confidence that all commitments will be honored.
The Scope of Responsibility Sharing
The unprovoked aggression of Saddam Hussein and the Gulf war elicited an extraordinary response from the international community: 14 UN resolutions, ranging from condemning the Iraqi invasion to permitting the use of all necessary means to end Iraqi occupation of Kuwait; a sanctions regime that was the most comprehensive and effective in modern history; and the formation of a military coalition of 29 countries. One of the most remarkable elements of the crisis was the unprecedented responsibility-sharing effort. -- Over $70 billion in total financial contributions was raised. This $70 billion in extraordinary spending is greater than the GDP [gross domestic product] of a number of countries, including Greece, Portugal, and Yugoslavia. -- In the sphere of economic assistance, 26 countries have committed $16 billion in 1990 and 1991 mainly for those "front- line" states critical to the sanctions regime, notably Egypt and Turkey. This effort has been coordinated through the US-led Gulf Crisis Financial Coordination Group (GCFCG). -- In military responsibility sharing, our partners have committed $54.6 billion to the United States--$9.7 billion in 1990, or 73% of the $13.2 billion in 1990 incremental costs, and $44.8 billion for 1991 incremental military costs. -- In addition, contributors to responsibility sharing have assisted our military partners. Germany, for instance, provided $822 million to the United Kingdom, and Japan provided $330 million to the United Kingdom. Gulf states--Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates--have provided $6 billion to support our military partners. Before turning to our efforts to ensure timely payments, let me briefly highlight the contributions of several key countries.
. In addition to $16 billion pledged to offset our military costs, Kuwait also pledged $3.7 billion for economic support to assist the states directly affected by the crisis and a further $1.3 billion to help offset the UK's military costs.
Saudi Arabia.
The Saudis, of course, committed their entire armed forces to Desert Shield/Storm, but they also pledged $16.8 billion for US Desert Shield/Storm, $4.7 billion for economic assistance through the GCFCG, and $3.4 billion for other military forces.
. The Federal Republic strongly supported the coalition efforts. Its broad support included $6.6 billion for US Desert Shield/Storm; $1.3 billion for economic assistance through the GCFCG; $822 million for UK Desert Shield/Storm; support for Turkey, including $1 billion in financial assistance, deployment of troops, aircraft, and air defense batteries to Turkey; and support for Israel, including Patriot missiles and other assistance valued at $1 billion.
. The government of Japan pledged over $13 billion for the Gulf effort, the largest financial contribution outside the Gulf states-- $11 billion for coalition military partners and $2.6 billion for economic assistance through the GCFCG.
United Arab Emirates
. The United Arab Emirates pledged $4 billion for US Desert Shield/Storm,$1.4 billion in economic assistance through GCFCG, and $1 billion for European allies who participated in Desert Storm.
Efforts To Ensure Timely Payments
Let me briefly review the status of commitments and disbursements.
has disbursed all of its Desert Shield/Storm commitments. Germany's strong commitment to responsibility sharing was demonstrated by its very rapid disbursements of military financing in support of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In late January, Chancellor [Helmut] Kohl committed $5.5 billion for Desert Storm. Two months later, all of that committed funding had been deposited in the Defense Cooperation Account. The
United Arab Emirates
has disbursed nearly all of its $4 billion 1990 and 1991 Desert Shield/Storm commitments and all of its GCFCG economic assistance commitments.
Saudi Arabia
has disbursed the bulk of its 1990 Desert Shield commitments, particularly with regard to its cash commitments; the US government has transmitted our 1990 transportation and in-theater expenses, which are being jointly reviewed. For 1991, the Saudis have disbursed nearly half of their $13.5 billion commitment. With regard to economic assistance, the Saudis have disbursed 78% of their $4.7 billion GCFCG commitments.
has met all of its 1990 Desert Shield commitments and 50% of its 1991 Desert Shield/Storm commitments. Kuwait also has disbursed nearly half of its $3.7 billion GCFCG commitments.
has disbursed $9.4 billion to the United States in Desert Shield/Storm commitments. We are continuing to discuss with Japan how it can contribute toward our on-going military costs associated with the crisis.
, in recognition of its global responsibilities, also contributed financially to offset our costs and has disbursed $154 million of its $385 million Desert Shield/Storm commitments. The Bush Administration is very vigorously conveying to our partners our desire to achieve rapid disbursements of the remaining commitments. We are focusing on Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Japan, and the GCFCG. We are raising the need for rapid disbursements through all available channels, including the Department of Defense, diplomatic channels--our ambassador abroad--Secretary Baker, and even the President. These interventions are showing results. The Saudi government, for instance, has stated it will complete its Desert Storm commitment through two payments--the first coming at the end of May; the second at the end of June. The Kuwaiti government has made six disbursements, each of at least $1 billion, since the Desert Storm pledge was made in late January. We expect the Kuwaitis to continue to make regular payments until its pledge is fully met. We expect a complete disbursement of Korea's commitment by the end of June after the Korean legislative process is completed.
Confidence in Complete Payment
Please be assured that receiving the final payments remains a top priority of the Administration. We recognize its importance to the Congress, and our partners do as well. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 20, May 20, 1991 Title:

The Horn of Africa

Davidow Source: Jeffrey Davidow, Acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Description: Statement before the Subcommittee on Africa of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, DC Date: May 14, 19915/14/91 Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Region: Subsaharan Africa Country: Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia Subject: Development/Relief Aid, United Nations [TEXT] Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear this afternoon. We are concerned and worried about the serious food shortages and the wars that plague the countries of the Horn of Africa. There is, of course, a direct relationship between the endemic fighting in the Horn and the humanitarian crises affecting Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia. My colleague Andrew Natsios [Director of USAID's Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance] will address our continuing efforts to bring relief to the people of those torn lands. I do wish to state, however, that though we hear much of "donor fatigue," neither our will nor our means are exhausted. The United States is in the lead of donor efforts in Sudan and Ethiopia. We are by necessity less active in Somalia but trying hard to broaden the international effort there. Today's hearing is a valuable opportunity to signal to the international community that we must not let down our guard now. More than ever, the people of the Horn of Africa need and deserve all the help we can provide.
Sudan has been difficult for us to deal with. It has an authoritarian government which believes its predecessors were insufficiently nationalistic and insufficiently pure. It pays little attention to international opinion. It wants peace with the south but not, apparently, if that would entail Sudan's becoming once again a secular state. It uses repressive measures as it sees fit. We and the other donors saw this year's food shortages coming as early as last August, and we pressed Khartoum to ask for an international relief effort. Khartoum found donor concern intrusive. It did not act until February. To give credit where it is due, we now see Khartoum starting to cooperate on the northern relief program. But the hour is late, and the main problem, which we have always foreseen, is transporting and distributing the food throughout Sudan. We will need to be hard at work on that in the months just ahead. In southern Sudan, the situation has been even more difficult. Khartoum canceled UN flights and food convoys to southern Sudan when it became suspicious that the UN-sponsored Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) relief program was benefiting the rebel Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA). There are signs that this program is now getting back on track. UN flights have resumed, and discussions are underway on a plan of action for this year's program. We have emphasized to Khartoum that OLS must continue while these talks are underway. We also need greater cooperation from the SPLA. The Sudanese know that a better bilateral relationship with us could come if there was more attention in Khartoum to peace- making with the south and more respect for human rights as well as better performance on relief. On peace, we have made various attempts to bring both sides together. Last year, we suggested a military disengagement in southern Sudan, to be followed quickly by movement toward a constitutional conference. Both the government and the SPLA showed skepticism about a military disengagement but said essentially that they still wished to move to political talks. At the same time, they could not agree on who would participate in those talks. This issue is not as procedural as it looks. Issues of legitimacy are involved on both sides. The government does not want to participate in talks as just one more participant among others. It denies that Sudan's former political parties have a place at the table. The SPLA would only participate if Sudan's other "political forces" are brought in. So at this point both sides use terms like democracy and federalism, but they in fact mean quite different things. We criticize the al-Bashir regime when it violates human rights. Many human rights problems remain, including restrictions on the press and labor unions. We note the recent announcement by President al-Bashir that all political prisoners would be freed. Our information is that some prisoners have been released but that others remain in detention. The government has reaffirmed to us that all prisoners will be released. We will be pleased when that is done. We do not have easy prescriptions for Sudan's political problems. The government seems embarked on formulas for federalism and majority rule irrespective of what minorities and southerners think. Sudan's problems can only be solved by negotiations, we believe, not by imposed systems. Its system of government should allow free political expression for all Sudanese and respect their human rights.
In Ethiopia, we also have the depressing nexus of humanitarian tragedy and civil war. The government in Addis has battled Eritrean and Tigrayan insurgents for years. Over the past few months, rebel offensives seem to have changed the strategic equation, making fundamental change and political transition only a question of time. Recently, the Ethiopian government called for a roundtable to consider transitional arrangements. The main rebel groups did not accept this offer as such, but they have instituted at least a temporary stand-down of hostilities while the United States explores how peace might be given a chance. We have made it clear to all that we are ready to do anything we can to help lift the burden of conflict. We have been working to facilitate negotiations between the government and the Eritrean People's Liberation Front. Now we are inviting Addis and the three principal insurgent groups to a meeting in Europe to discuss how a peaceful transition could be achieved. In the meantime, the United States has a full agenda of other issues in Ethiopia. We press the Ethiopian government to improve its human rights record. Hundreds of political prisoners are being held without trial, and forced conscription of underaged children is a common occurrence. In the most highly visible of Ethiopia's human rights problems, we are attempting to win for Ethiopian Jews (Falashas) the chance to emigrate to Israel. Last month, President Bush asked former Senator Boschwitz to travel to Ethiopia as his personal emissary to express our conviction that all Falashas who wish to do so should be allowed to leave for Israel without further delay. We will continue to work for the resolution of this urgent human rights question. Mr. Natsios will discuss what we are doing this year in famine relief. I am pleased to say donor efforts managed to avoid the worst last year--I remember this committee was having other hearings on the Ethiopian famine just 1 year ago. The famine has extended into 1991. Our relief program has been massive and has been operational across the constantly shifting battle lines of a raging civil war. It's good to note that finally, in January of this year, the port of Massawa was opened as the result largely of US pressure and helpful advocacy from this committee among others. For the first time in a long time, large amounts of food are moving in Ethiopia across battle lines. With intense effort we hope to keep abreast of famine again this year. We will continue to keep all options open for moving food. As in Sudan, the best thing that could happen would be an end to the conflicts which create the problems and impede the free movement of food.
As difficult as Ethiopia and Sudan are, their humanitarian situations have been with us for a number of years, and we see governments as well as opposition groups there which have some authority and some ability to operate. In Somalia, there is a threshold problem of being able to be on the ground at all. The factions picking up the pieces after the defeat of the Siad Barre regime have not been able to guarantee security in their areas of influence. Somalia has been too dangerous for donors--and for the United Nations--to be meaningfully involved. This goes for all regions of the country. If one region were safe, we would not hesitate to send people in. There may, in fact, now be modest reason to hope that security is improving. This week we had one person visit Mogadishu to assess relief needs there, and we are planning to send a refugee officer into the Berbera area in the north. All the donors agree that relief efforts can only be partially successful as long as political turmoil prevails. The United States wants to see peaceful reconciliation of Somalia's civil strife. We do not regard the provisional group in Mogadishu as having sufficient authority to speak as a government, but we do talk informally with all the various factions, and we have made clear we support the efforts of Egypt and Italy to organize a roundtable of the parties. Other outside parties including the Organization for African Unity and the United Nations, if the African group in New York took the necessary procedural steps, could play a role in helping Somalia to become a viable state. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 20, May 20, 1991 Title:

Queen Elizabeth II's Arrival

Bush, Queen Elizabeth II Source: President Bush, Queen Elizabeth II Description: Remarks at arrival ceremony, the White House, Washington, DC Date: May 14, 19915/14/91 Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Region: Europe Country: United Kingdom Subject: Democratization, Human Rights, History [TEXT]
The President:
Your Majesty and Your Royal Highness, ladies and gentlemen, and friends of what is, indeed, our special relationship. Your Majesty, on behalf of the American people, it is an honor to welcome you to the United States and to the White House. You have been freedom's friend for as long as we remember-- back to World War II when, at 18, you joined the war against fascism. It was then that America first began to know you as one of us--came to love you as standing fast with us for freedom, summoning across the oceans our values and our dreams. George Bernard Shaw once joked that Britain and America are two countries separated by a common language. In truth, we are joined by a common heritage and culture, civilization and soul. On the occasion of your first state visit to the United States, Dwight Eisenhower spoke of these bonds of friendship. He said, "Those ties have been tested in the crucible of war when we have fought side by side to defend the values we hold dear." That was true in 1957 and just as true today. For nearly 400 years, the histories of Britain and America have been inseparable. The first permanent English settlement in America was created at Jamestown, in Virginia, 384 years ago this week. Thirteen years later, the Pilgrims landed far to the north at a place they called Plymouth Rock, named after your great naval port from which they sailed. From those events sprang the American nation--believing, as you do, in the sanctity of the individual and enriched by family ties that make our nations one. Because those ties have never been closer, today our alliance has perhaps never been stronger. For evidence, look to the sands and seas of the Persian Gulf. Our countries have long sought the real peace which means the triumph of freedom, not merely the absence of war. We know that you can't lock people behind walls forever when moral conviction uplifts their souls. So like Monty and Ike, and Churchill and FDR, we linked hands and hearts in the Gulf to do what was right and good. Years from now, men will speak of American and British heroism in the Gulf, as they do today of our cooperation in two World Wars and 40 years of peace-time alliance. They will talk of the 1st Infantry Division and the Desert Rats--and of the finest sons and daughters any nation could ever have. They will praise those who assured that naked aggression would not stand--and in so doing, salute Britain's help and leadership in forging our great coalition. The past year has reaffirmed our alliance of shared principles, our fidelity to democracy and to basic human rights, the fact that there will always be a Britain and that Britain will always be our friend. In that spirit, let me close with your words from a 1947 radio broadcast, when, in the aftermath of another war, you issued both a pledge and a request. You told the British people: "My whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our family to which we all belong." And then, you concluded: "But I shall not have strength to carry out the resolution alone unless you join it with me." Your Majesty, your example helped inspire a nation and helped your nation inspire the world. Because of what you are--because of what Great Britain means--all freedom-loving people stand ready to carry out your resolution: to achieve what is just and honorable for the nations of the globe. With great pleasure, then, on behalf of an American people which reveres their mother country, I welcome you and Prince Philip to this country, the United States of America. Thank you very much.
Queen Elizabeth II:
Mr. President, thank you for your warm welcome to Washington and to the White House. We are both delighted to be back in the United States and to find you in the best of health. It gives me particular pleasure that this visit comes so soon after a vivid and effective demonstration of the longstanding alliance between our two countries. It is 15 years since our last visit to Washington when, with a gallant disregard for history, we shared wholeheartedly in the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the founding of this great nation. But it is 40 years since our first visit to this country, when Mr. Truman was President. It made such a deep impression that I can hardly believe that so many years have slipped past in the meanwhile. By now, I fully understand what Winston Churchill meant when he spoke of the inspiration and renewed vitality he found every time he came here. This country means more to the rest of the world than a rich and thriving community. In her third, as in her first, century the United States represents an ideal, an emblem, and an example--an ideal of freedom under the law, an emblem of democracy, and an example of constant striving for the betterment of the people. I know that our days in Washington will be full of interest. And, once again, we expect to be inspired and surprised by the warmth and generosity of the people of America. We are looking forward to renewing old friendships and to making new ones. Friendships need to be kept in good repair. Not just the personal friendships between heads of state, but the more diffused friendships between the governments and peoples of two nations. There is a symbolism in the events of such a visit that defies analysis but which has a way of reaching the hearts of people far and wide. At your kind invitation, Mr. President, we are here to celebrate and to reaffirm that friendship. I can assure you that we are truly happy to do so. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 20, May 20, 1991 Title:

Country Profile: United Kingdom

Date: May 14, 19915/14/91 Category: Country Data Region: Europe Country: United Kingdom Subject: History, International Organizations, Trade/Economics [TEXT] Official Name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Area: 244,111 sq. km. (94,251 sq. mi.); slightly smaller than Oregon. Cities: Capital--London (metropolitan pop. about 6.7 million). Other cities--Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Bradford, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol, Belfast. Terrain: 30% arable, 50% meadow and pasture, 12% waste or urban, 7% forested, 1% inland water. Climate: Generally mild and temperate; weather is subject to frequent changes but to few extremes of temperature.
Nationality: Noun--Briton(s). Adjective--British. Population (1989): 58 million. Annual population growth rate: 1%. Ethnic groups: British, West Indian, South Asian. Religions: Church of England, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian. Languages: English, Welsh, Gaelic. Education: Years compulsory-- 12. Attendance--nearly 100%. Literacy--99%. Health: Infant mortality rate--13/1,000. Life expectancy--males 70 yrs., females 76 yrs. Government Type: Constitutional monarchy. Constitution: Unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice. Branches: Executive--monarch (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), cabinet. Legislative--bicameral parliament: House of Commons, House of Lords. Judicial--magistrates' courts, county courts, high courts, appellate courts, House of Lords. Subdivisions: Municipalities, counties, parliamentary constituencies, province of Northern Ireland, and Scottish regions. Political parties: Conservative, Labor, Social and Liberal Democrats (SLD), and various smaller parties, including the Greens and parties of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Suffrage: British subjects and citizens of the Irish Republic resident in the UK, 18 yrs. or older. Government budget (1989): $283 billion. Flag: The red, white, and blue Union Jack combines crosses of the patron saints of England (St. George), Scotland (St. Andrew), and Ireland (St. Patrick).
GDP (1989): $843 billion. Annual growth rate (1988): 2.3% Per capita GDP (1987): $12,000. Avg. inflation rate (1989): 9%. Natural resources: Coal, oil, gas (North Sea). Agriculture (2% of GDP, 1988): Products--cereals, livestock, livestock products, fish. Industry (34% of GDP): Types--steel, heavy engineering and metal manufacturing, textiles, motor vehicles, ships, and aircraft, construction, electronics, chemicals. Trade (1989 ): Exports--$153 billion: machinery and transport equipment, petroleum, manufactures, chemicals. Major markets-- European Community, US, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Switzerland, South Africa. Imports--$198 billion: machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, foodstuffs, petroleum, chemicals. Major suppliers--EC, US, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland. Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.
Membership in International Organizations
UN and some of its specialized and related agencies, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), European Community (EC), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), INTELSAT. (###)