U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DISPATCH VOLUME 4, NUMBER 51, DECMBER 20, 1993 PUBLISHED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE: 1. GATT Negotiations Concluded -- President Clinton 2. War and Peace: The Problems and Prospects Of American Diplomacy in the Middle East -- Edward P. Djerejian 3. Recent Events in Haiti -- Ambassador Pezzullo, Ambassador Swing 4. Burundi: U.S. Lifts Suspension of Aid ARTICLE 1 GATT Negotiations Concluded President Clinton Opening statement at a news conference, Washington, DC, December 15, 1993 I am pleased to announce that the United States today, as you know, concluded negotiations with over 110 other nations on the most comprehensive trade agreement in history. This agreement eliminates barriers to U.S. goods and services around the world. It means new opportunities, more jobs, and higher incomes. And it cements our position of leadership in the new global economy. This GATT agreement advances the vision of economic renewal that I set out when I took the oath of office. The first task in pursuing that vision was to get our economic house in order. The economic plan which passed earlier this year has resulted in lower interest rates, lower inflation, booming home construction, the creation of more private- sector jobs in this year than in the previous four years, and the highest level of consumer confidence in 17 years. But our renewal also depends on engaging actively with other nations to boost worldwide economic growth and to open markets to our goods and services. No wealthy country in the world today can hope to increase jobs and raise incomes unless there are more customers for its goods and services. Just since the Fourth of July, our Administration has taken several major steps toward that goal. First, at the Tokyo G-7 summit, we secured a market-opening agreement among the major economies that breathed new life into these world trade talks. In November, the Congress passed the North American Free Trade Agreement which creates the world's largest free-trade area. In the first-ever meeting of the Asia-Pacific economic leaders in Seattle, we strengthened our ties to the world's fastest-growing region. Now, after negotiations that have spanned seven years and three U.S. Administrations, we have secured a new GATT agreement. I have said, repeatedly, that I would not accept a bad agreement simply for the sake of getting one. I made clear that the final product had to serve our nation's interests. This agreement did not accomplish everything we wanted. That has been well documented. And we must continue to fight for more open markets for entertainment, for insurance, for banking, and for other industries. But today's GATT accord does meet the test of a good agreement for three reasons. First, this new agreement will foster more jobs and more incomes in America by fostering an export boom. At its core, it simply cuts tariffs--the taxes charged by foreign nations on American products in 8,000 different areas--on average by one-third. By sparking global growth, it is estimated that this agreement can add as much as $100 billion to $200 billion per year to our economy once it is fully phased in. It will create hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs. Second, this agreement sharpens our competitive edge in areas of U.S. strength. Under this agreement, free and fair rules of trade will apply for the first time not only to goods, but to trade and services and intellectual property. This will help us stop other nations from discriminating against world-class American businesses in such industries as computer services, construction, engineering, and architecture. And it will crack down on piracy against the fruits of American innovation which, today, is costing U.S. firms $60 billion a year--about 1% of our total gross domestic product. Finally, it does these things while preserving our ability to retaliate against unfair trade practices and our right to set strong environmental and consumer-protection standards for economic activity here in the United States. That's why I believe this new GATT is good for America. Over the coming years, we have a solemn obligation to ensure that its benefits are broadly shared among all the American people. We must ensure that working men and women have the skills, the training, the education to compete and win under these new rules. Our nation's gains must be their gains. Next year, we will be working harder on that. Because this agreement will benefit our people and because it meets our standards of success, I've decided to notify the Congress today of my intention to sign this agreement. I look forward to consulting closely with the Congress and the American people about how best to put its provisions into effect. I want to congratulate all our trade negotiators--many of whom have hardly slept in the last several days, and, especially, Ambassador Mickey Kantor--for this historic breakthrough. The American people should know that they were well represented by people I personally observed to be tough and tireless and genuine advocates for our interests and our ideals. All of us can be proud that, at this critical moment when many nations are facing economic troubles that have caused them to turn inward, the United States has once again reached outward and has made global economic growth its cause. This year, we've worked hard to put the economic interest of America's broad middle class back at the center of our foreign policy as well as our domestic policy. Not since the end of World War II has the United States pushed to completion trade agreements of such significance as NAFTA and GATT. We've shown leadership by example. We've set forth a vision for a thriving global economy. And our trading partners, to their credit, have also rallied to that cause. Today's agreement caps a year of economic renewal for our nation. It should give us added reason for confidence as we enter the new year. But it should also reinforce our determination to do better in the new year. (###) The text of the President's letter to congress and the Executive Summary of the results of the GATT Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations will be printed in Dispatch Supplement Vol. 4, No. 5. (###) ARTICLE 2 War and Peace: The Problems and Prospects of American Diplomacy in the Middle East Edward P. Djerejian, Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs Address before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, November 30, 1993 At its most basic level, foreign policy is concerned with the questions of war and peace. As we move into the post-Cold War era, other issues-- especially transnational ones such as economics, the environment, human rights, and democratization --have rightly taken a more prominent place on the foreign policy agenda. But as the headlines remind us--from Tajikistan to the Caucasus to the Balkans, from the Persian Gulf to the Horn of Africa--the primordial issues of conflict and reconciliation have a chronic way of reasserting themselves. The politics of war and peace have a particular resonance in the Middle East. David Fromkin reminds us in his book on the creation of the modern Middle East (1914-22) that this region, as we know it today, emerged from decisions made by the Allies during and after World War I. He quotes Archibald Wavell, an officer who served under Allenby in the Palestine campaign, commenting on the treaties bringing the First World War to an end: After the war to end all war, they seem to have been pretty successful in Paris at making 'a peace to end all peace.' Indeed, the history of the region has been plagued with conflict. I have been involved during a good part of my 30 years in the Foreign Service in Middle East affairs. Over this period, American interests in the area have been challenged by war along two axes: in the Levant, which is at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe; and in the Persian Gulf. The Arab-Israeli conflict has turned into a shooting war at least five times since the founding of Israel in 1948 and has affected U.S. interests in the region as a whole. One of the basic tenets of our policy throughout this period was and remains our commitment to Israel's security and well-being. That commitment, I underscore, is unshakable. This is especially the case as Israel takes the risks for peace in the Arab-Israeli peace process. Our interests in the region also have been threatened by the efforts of one power or another to achieve undue influence in the Persian Gulf. I do not need to belabor the strategic importance of this area: 65% of the world's known petroleum reserves are located there. Our willingness to commit human and material resources for its defense demonstrates the importance of our interests in the Persian Gulf area. Dangers posed by the Iran-Iraq war led us to provide armed convoys for shipping in the Gulf in the 1980s. And, of course, Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait prompted a U.S.-led coalition to take up arms to roll back Iraq's aggression against Kuwait. In short, regional conflict threatens our objectives of promoting stability, broadened political participation, economic growth, and social justice in the Middle East. Weapons of mass destruction pose a serious threat to the region as a whole; the rise of extremism in either a religious or a secular guise is an important and destabilizing factor; unresolved political conflicts and border disputes need to be addressed peacefully through negotiations and not by military means; and the increasingly pressing needs of the people of the region for broader political participation and social and economic justice must be addressed in a much more responsive manner by governments. We have, therefore, a major interest not just in preventing the outbreak of conflict and promoting the peaceful resolution of disputes, but also in changing the behavior and limiting the means at the disposal of potential war-makers and in isolating extremists willing to pursue the options of destabilization and conflict. These elements inform one side of our policy in the region that can be defined as preventive diplomacy and deterrence. Promoting Security in the Gulf In this vein, a key objective is to ensure the physical security of the Persian Gulf--to reduce the chances that another aggressor will emerge to seek control over the area, threaten the independence of existing states, and dictate policy in the region. In the wake of the Gulf war of 1991, we have been working toward this in a number of ways. Part of our strategy has been to build up the defense capabilities of our friends in the area. In this connection: -- We have encouraged the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to work more closely together on collective defense and security arrangements; -- We have helped individual GCC countries meet their appropriate defense requirements, including arms sales that increase their capabilities to conduct coordinated operations with U.S. and other GCC forces; and -- We have worked to build up our own ability to act in the region by maintaining strong forces there, by pre-positioning vital equipment and material, and by concluding access agreements with four GCC states. We hope to sign a new agreement with a fifth GCC state early next month. Our goal here is to complement, not replace, the Gulf states' collective security efforts. We do not intend to station troops permanently anywhere in the region. Our objective is to deter threats and to raise the threshold at which direct U.S. military action would be needed. Another element of our strategy in the Gulf is to circumscribe potential threats to the region. Today, those threats are likely to come from two sources--Iraq and Iran. Iraq remains a regional power with a long-term potential to threaten regional and U.S. interests, but it is subject to an extensive and highly rigorous set of international restrictions, under the aegis of the United Nations, on its freedom of action. In this context, our goal is unambiguous--Iraq's full compliance with all UN Security Council resolutions and with the measures taken by the international coalition to enforce and monitor them. There is no convincing evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime is prepared to meet this standard. Iraq is not, at this time, in full compliance with any of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. It has not even met the requirements of the resolution that ended the fighting in the Gulf war. With such a record, Iraq's calls for negotiations to end international sanctions are, at best, premature. Let me be clear: We bear no ill will toward the Iraqi people. Saddam Hussein's regime's brutal repression of its civilian population is a matter of horrific record. The Iraqi Government could today alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people by ceasing its repression, especially in the north against the Kurds and in the south against the Shiites, and by taking advantage of UNSC Resolutions 706 and 712, which allow Iraq to sell limited oil exports under UN control to purchase food, medicine, and other humanitarian goods. We have never called into question Iraq's territorial integrity, which should be maintained. In sum, we are determined that the will of the international community as expressed in UN Security Council resolutions be enforced to ensure that Iraq can never again threaten its neighbors or pose a threat to peace. As for Iran, we have very deep and serious concerns about its behavior in five areas: -- Iran's quest for nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and the means for their delivery; -- Iran's continued involvement in terrorism and assassination worldwide; -- Iran's opposition to the Arab-Israeli peace process, and its support for groups like Hizballah that seek to obstruct the peace process through violence; -- Iran's threats and subversive activities against its neighbors; and -- Iran's dismal human rights record at home. Our policy is not aimed at changing the Iranian Government but at inducing Iran to change its behavior in these areas. We have made clear that we are prepared to enter into dialogue with authorized representatives of the Iranian Government to discuss the differences between us. We seek to persuade Iran that it cannot expect to enjoy normal state-to-state relations so long as it violates the norms of the international community. This means working with members of the international community to deny Iran access to technology and other means by which it can facilitate the pursuit of policies of destabilization, terrorism, and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction. Stanching the Flow of Weapons Of Mass Destruction An important part of the threats posed by Iraq and Iran--and other regional actors, such as Libya--stems from their efforts to acquire and develop non-conventional weaponry and advanced conventional arms. So a central policy objective is to stanch the flow of weapons of mass destruction into the region. In any future conflict in the Middle East, the use of such weapons would have devastating consequences, and every effort must be made to prevent this worst-case scenario. Already, the Middle East is one of the most heavily-armed regions in the world. We have several initiatives under way to address this problem. These include seeking accession by regional parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention, and the nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty. Our Arms Control in the Middle East Initiative addresses the influx of advanced and destabilizing conventional weapons into the region. The multilateral working group on arms control and regional stability set up at the Madrid peace conference continues its valuable work exploring confidence-building measures. Political Extremism and Terrorism The aggressive designs of regional powers are not the only source of turmoil in the Middle East. The emergence of extremist movements and terrorism also contributes to regional instability. Let me reflect for a moment on the question of political extremism-- either secular or religious. When I joined the Foreign Service in the early 1960s, secular and radical Arab nationalism was in its heyday. I witnessed the phenomenon first-hand in Beirut, which hosted an array of Arab nationalist parties from all over the Middle East. The years since then have overtaken this movement. Its appeal has diminished in the Arab "street." In its place, in part--reflecting how the Middle East is coping with the challenge of modernity, and the pressing economic, social, and educational requirements of a burgeoning, youthful population--we have witnessed an Islamic revival in all its diversity. This revival causes a great deal of apprehension and misunderstanding. Some say that it is causing a widening gap between Western values and those of the Muslim world. It is important to assess this phenomenon carefully so that we do not fall victim to misplaced fears. I dealt with this subject in more detail in a speech I gave at Meridian House in June 1992. In sum, the Cold War is not being replaced with a new competition between Islam and the West. Americans recognize Islam as one of the world's great faiths. It is practiced on every continent. It counts among its adherents millions of citizens of the United States. As Westerners, we acknowledge Islam as a historic civilizing force among the many that have influenced and enriched our culture. In countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, we see groups or movements seeking to reform their societies in keeping with Islamic beliefs and ideals. Considerable diversity exists in the expression of Islamic aspirations. What we see are believers in different countries placing renewed emphasis on Islamic principles, and governments accommodating Islamic political activity to varying degrees and in different ways. Indeed, the Arab world's approach to political participation is varied, with parliamentary elections in Yemen, Jordan, and Kuwait and the establishment of Consultative Councils in some of the Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the UAE. In Jordan, the Islamic groups have participated fully in the election process. In Algeria, the electoral process was suspended and the government is coping with the requirements of political and economic reform. We detect no monolithic, international effort behind these Islamic movements, but we are seriously concerned over Iran's exploitation of Islamic extremist groups throughout the region and over Sudan's role in supporting such groups in North Africa. Increasing coordination between such regimes and extremist groups and their resort to terrorism demands our vigilance. In the last analysis, however, it is social injustice-- the lack of economic, educational, and political opportunities--that gives the extremists their constituency in each country. With this in mind, our efforts to combat extremism and terrorism have several facets. We start from the premise of our own basic values as Americans: respect for human rights, pluralism, women's and minority rights, and popular participation in government. On the one hand, we seek to address the political, social, and economic conditions that serve as a spawning ground for extremist movements. On the other hand, we take vigorous action to deter, isolate, and punish terrorist groups and to deal firmly with states that support terrorism. The UN embargo placed on Libya for its role in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 and UTA flight 772 is a clear reminder of our--and the international community's--strong stance against state-sponsored terrorism. Changing the Middle East Equation: The Peace Option The elements of our policy that I have addressed thus far are, in a sense, of a deterrent and defensive nature, designed to avert, deter, or contain the dangers of war, terrorism, and extremism. That is only one side of the story. I have come here to talk about war and peace in the Middle East. And the good news of late from the region concerns the prospects for and the first breakthroughs toward peace since the Camp David accords. Let me begin with a personal observation. During my years with the State Department, successive U.S. Administrations wrestled with the seemingly intractable problems of the Near East. Peace initiatives were launched and launched again in hopes of finding solutions to the region's wars, terrorism, assassinations, and deep-rooted animosities. Those of us working on these issues exploited any viable opening to bring the antagonists together. Our efforts often met with frustration or were interrupted by unexpected tragedies. Some did succeed, such as the Camp David accords. Having experienced this, I can tell you that there is something different again in the air these days. Israel's and the PLO's decision to recognize each other and their September 13 signing at the White House of the Declaration of Principles have opened a new vista in which we can see, perhaps for the first time, the outlines of an enduring and comprehensive Middle East peace settlement. The Donors' Conference Let us review what has happened. Two weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Principles, together with our Russian co-sponsors we organized the Conference to Support Middle East Peace. Forty-six countries and international organizations pledged more than $600 million in aid for the first year covered by the Declaration of Principles, and $1 billion for the first two years. For the five-year period covered by the agreement, pledges of support approached $2 billion. The U.S. contribution is $500 million over five years. The purpose of the conference is to help improve conditions on the ground--in the West Bank and Gaza--so the people who live there will see material improvements in their lives. Once they see that they have a stake in this peace process, they will make it work. By holding this conference, the international community was sending the signal that this peace effort must not fail. But this is only part of the story. The major responsibility for advancing the process rests with the parties. Let us not forget that the two fundamental precepts of the peace process launched at Madrid are: first, UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338, which are based on the principle of land for peace; and second, direct face-to- face negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Within this framework, the Declaration of Principles established an ambitious set of objectives toward which Israelis and Palestinians must work. Among other things, it calls for: -- Concluding an agreement by December 13, 1993, on Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho and the structure of the withdrawal; -- Completing Israeli withdrawal and transferring authority in Gaza and Jericho to the Palestinians by April 13, 1994; and -- Elections for an interim self-government authority in the West Bank and Gaza by July 13, 1994. Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat moved quickly to take up this work in an October 6 meeting in Cairo. A number of rounds of talks on Israeli withdrawal and security issues have been held in recent weeks in Egypt. Difficulties have arisen on some key questions, but the Israelis and the Palestinians have been working them out directly and constructively in subsequent talks. These meetings demonstrate that the hard work of peace-making is under way. The Other Bilaterals My tenure as Assistant Secretary coincided with the start of the Madrid peace process, when Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinians agreed to commence bilateral negotiations with Israel. Those of us involved with the talks thought that the key to success toward a comprehensive settlement was achieving a breakthrough in one area that could spur progress in the other negotiating tracks. The Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles seems to have provided that catalyst. The day after the signing of the Declaration of Principles, the Israelis and the Jordanians initialed a substantive common agenda for their negotiations. This agenda codifies the progress made thus far in their talks and provides the framework for further discussion leading to a final settlement. October 1, the day of the donors' conference, Israeli-Jordanian relations took a more dramatic step forward. Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan and Israeli Foreign Minister Peres appeared with President Clinton at the White House to announce the creation of a trilateral U.S.-Israel-Jordan economic committee to look at next steps for economic development in the two Middle Eastern countries and how they will work with the Palestinians in Gaza and Jericho. That committee held its first meeting three weeks ago in Paris and will meet again next week in Washington. While the Palestinian issue is the political heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Israel-Syria negotiations address the conflict's core geopolitical and strategic issues. Therefore, tangible progress in the Israel-Syria track is essential to securing a comprehensive regional settlement. While the parties continue to differ over key questions such as land, peace, and security, they remain committed to these negotiations with the aim of reaching agreement on their own Declaration of Principles. President Clinton and Secretary Christopher have been directly and actively involved in helping move this track forward. Lebanon and Israel are continuing in their effort to reach agreement on a political frame of reference dealing with the key issues of land and peace, and to establish a military committee to discuss the pressing issue of security, especially in southern Lebanon. In this respect, let me reiterate our firm commitment to Lebanon's political independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. We remain active in all the bilaterals, seeking ways to bring the parties closer together. President Mubarak's visit in October and Prime Minister Rabin's visit earlier this month were opportunities to exchange views with key players at the highest levels. With Secretary Christopher's trip to the region next week, we will continue to explore the openings in pursuit of a genuine, lasting, comprehensive peace--a peace on all fronts. Further Opportunities We are heartened by the significant progress in recent months and are following up energetically in the bilateral negotiations. But extraordinary opportunities remain, beyond the bilaterals, to expand the horizon for productive and creative interaction transcending old taboos among the peoples of the region. Look at the signs. They are everywhere. In the working groups on the multilateral side of the peace process, Israelis and interlocutors from 12 Arab countries are taking on issues of mutual interest regarding arms control, the environment, economic development, water, and refugees. This fall, the multilaterals reached another milestone as the refugee working group met in Tunis and the environmental group met in Cairo, putting working groups into the region for the first time. Outside the multilaterals, the barriers to Arab-Israeli normalization are also falling. This was evident after the signing of the Declaration of Principles. On the way back to Israel, Prime Minister Rabin stopped in Morocco for a well-publicized meeting with King Hassan. But we must overcome and remove continuing barriers to reconciliation and cooperation. First and foremost, we must broaden the scope of economic interaction in the region. The countries of the Middle East share many problems and advantages. All would gain from economic integration. A key first step toward this must be an end to the Arab boycott. The Israelis have made a major gesture in their agreement with the PLO. The Arab world must reciprocate. In light of the latest advances in the peace process--and especially when Israel and the PLO are discussing economic issues in a joint committee--the boycott is an anachronism. It punishes Palestinians and Israelis alike. It punishes American businesspeople and companies. It is time to end it. In light of the breakthrough last month, we are already seeing reports of contacts between Arab and Israeli businessmen and women and even the establishment of joint ventures. Regional entrepreneurs understand the business opportunities that will accompany the achievement of peace. Indeed, this is precisely the kind of cooperation that will cement the peace and make it real. Closing the Circle: Limiting the Cycle of War Progress toward Arab-Israeli peace is important to us on several levels. On the most immediate one, resolving the long-standing antagonisms between Israel and its neighbors is the most direct way to ensure Israel's long-term security and well-being, and to reduce tensions in the Levant. Yet on a broader level, progress in the Arab-Israeli peace process contributes to stability in a major way by circumscribing the option of conflict and war throughout the Middle East. It does so in different ways: -- Since the creation of Israel, extremists in the region have exploited the Palestinian issue to advance their political agendas. Resolving Palestinian-Israeli differences removes a key rallying point for radical elements--secular and religious. -- The arms race in the Middle East is partly fueled by the Arab- Israeli conflict. Its resolution should lead to some easing in arms acquisitions and the lessening of heavy burdens of defense expenditures for Israel and Arab countries alike. The hoped-for savings can go into urgently needed economic and social programs. -- According to population projections by the United Nations, the Middle East's population is likely to double in the next 30 years. By 2025, between 490 million and 560 million people could be living in the Middle East. The implication of this growth on the delicate balance among people, politics, and resources, especially water, is evident. The work begun in the multilateral working groups on these key issues is an important first step as the governments and peoples of the area look to regional solutions to pressing political, economic, and social needs. As I look back at the period I have been Assistant Secretary since 1991, and before I assume my new duties as Ambassador to Israel early next year, I am at once hopeful and prudent. While essential and historic in its consequences, a fair and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace is no panacea. As I outlined earlier, the Middle East remains a dangerous neighborhood. It would not banish the specter of war or terrorism from the Middle East. It would not diminish the efforts of Iraq and Iran to acquire weapons of mass destruction. But contrary to what happened in the post-World War I period, it could be a peace to build a larger peace. It would help marginalize the extremists and the enemies of peace. It would greatly strengthen the hands of all moderate forces seeking stability, cooperation, and socioeconomic progress in the Middle East. It would enable the core parties to the conflict to turn more of their attention inward, to devote their resources to building the necessary political and economic infrastructure for development. Further, it would provide the basis for effective regional cooperation at various levels. It would also portray to the region and the world that ancient animosities are susceptible to peaceful, diplomatic resolution. Statecraft has no more compelling goal than to seek and consolidate peace and reconciliation between countries and peoples. Where else can this be more significant than in the Middle East, where three of the worlds' major religions originated--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? President Clinton, Secretary Christopher, and all of us involved in carrying out our policy will do everything in our power to make that goal the reality in tomorrow's Middle East. (###) ARTICLE 3 Recent Events in Haiti Ambassador Lawrence Pezzullo, Special Adviser to the Secretary on Haiti, U.S. Ambassdor to Haiti William Swing Opening statements from a briefing, Washington, DC, December 7, 1993 Ambassador Pezzullo. As you probably know, yesterday Prime Minister Malval announced that he would do two things: One, he would launch a new initiative to call for a conference of all Haitian parties--I mean by that not political parties, but people within the society: private sector, labor, military--to see if they could bring a modicum of consensus to their thinking so that they can deal with, as he puts it, a situation which has brought the country to the end of its rope. He also announced that he would be stepping down as Prime Minister on the 15th of December, as he had previously said, but would stay on as acting Prime Minister during this period. We find this a most intriguing initiative in the sense that what has been lacking in the Haitian issue has been this element of reconciliation--of the Haitian people actually coming together from all sources and accepting the fact that the society will keep unraveling itself if it doesn't deal with the major problems. As you know, we had an international effort--which began early this year with the President making a major statement of U.S. support for a negotiated settlement to be conducted under the auspices of the United Nations and the Organization of American States--that led, over a period of time, to the Governors Island meeting at which both the President of the country, Aristide, and the commander-in-chief of the army signed the Governors Island agreement, which saw a process that would result in a return to constitutional government and, ultimately, the return of the President himself. That began a process of change within the society that saw the return of a constitutional government--with Prime Minister Malval becoming the embodiment of the constitutional government--and which then broke down when the military failed to uphold its portion of the agreement. Under the Governors Island agreement, there was an automatic return of the sanctions. The sanctions under Governors Island were suspended, rather than lifted, when the Prime Minister became confirmed. So they were lifted on his confirmation--were suspended and then reinstituted when the military failed to fulfill its obligations. So they're under the reimposition of those sanctions, which is pressuring the country, creating a shortage of gasoline and fuel, and which is responsible, in large measure, for the end-of-the-rope comment by the Prime Minister. We very strongly endorse his new initiative. We're hopeful that it will force the military to take cognizance of where they're taking the country and will bring about, as I said, a consensus within the society which can bring a return to a more peaceful way of life and, ultimately, the support of the international community for a constitutional government which serves the people of the country. Let me stop here and have Ambassador Swing touch on two other topics, and then we'll both be here to take your questions. Ambassador Swing. Thank you very much. As the international community- -and our own country, the United States of America--under Security Council resolutions continues to implement the most comprehensive sanctions and embargo we have known in the Western Hemisphere, I know that there are at least two issues uppermost in the minds of all of us and, I suspect, you. If we look at media reporting, these issues are continually coming to the fore. One, of course, is the effect of sanctions on the Haitian people, especially the most vulnerable groups in society; and, secondly, the effect of sanctions on refugees and migration and what we often call the "boat people," especially as the January period, which is the principal period of exodus, approaches. I thought it might be useful if I said just a little bit on each subject to get our discussion going. First of all, as regards humanitarian relief, I think you know that we are implementing a two-track policy: applying the pressure, as Ambassador Pezzullo has already mentioned, through the sanctions and embargo operation to try to move the democratic process forward; and at the same time, on the other track, to try to protect those groups which are most affected by the sanctions-- particularly small children and babies, mothers, pregnant women, and old and infirm people. So we are continuing, and actually increasing, our feeding programs. We feed approximately 680,000 Haitians one meal a day through our own U.S. aid programs. These are matched--probably by another 200,000--by other friendly governments and international organizations. At the same time, we are providing access to various medical services-- from medicines to family planning and AIDS prevention--to another 2 million Haitians. These programs are ongoing. I know there's been a lot of concern on the part of everyone about the effect of the fuel scarcity on our ability to keep these services going. First of all, we pre-positioned stocks near the feeding centers well before the sanctions were resumed in late October. Secondly, the private volunteer organizations on which we depend have already been able to get some relief from the government's 800,000- gallon strategic fuel supply. In addition to that--and I wouldn't want to go into detail in this forum, today, because I think it's premature, I think decisions are being taken probably as we talk--we did send down to Haiti a team from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance--and the United Nations has had its own officials on the spot--to develop together a fuel distribution plan, which would probably be administered through some form of international cooperative agreement with the Malval government, to ensure that fuel continues to get to the private volunteer organizations on whom distribution of our food stocks and medicines depend. You'll hear more about that. We're basically optimistic. It's a good plan. There are some details to be worked out, but we are confident that this will be in place very soon; and, therefore, we will be positioned for the difficult period ahead as the sanctions and embargo begin to take full effect. The second concern that I know has been reflected in a lot of articles and editorials has to do with the on-going question of the Haitian "boat people." I think you should know--and I apologize if I'm going over old ground with you--this Administration has taken a very clear position on the migrant issue. It has essentially said that, in addition to the relief measures which I will outline for you, it is prepared to review the migrant policy once the democratic system in Haiti is restored. Meanwhile, what we have done, beginning in February 1992, is to establish the possibility of being processed as an immigrant in-land--in Haiti. We opened our first refugee processing center in Port-au-Prince in February 1992, then moved from our consular section to an actual center--which is separate from the consulate and the embassy and, therefore, more politically acceptable--in October 1992. We opened a large center in Les Cayes in April 1993, and the next month in Cap-Haitien, the second- largest city, which is in the northern part of the country. I visited all those centers. They're functioning very well. The numbers are up. We have so far processed about 51,000 people. About 2,000 applications have been approved and more than 1,500 Haitians, under this new system, have arrived in the United States with the assistance of the Red Cross and volunteer organizations in the United States. We will continue that policy, believing that this is a more humane policy than having people strike out to sea in unseaworthy vessels. I should leave it at that, at this point, and will be happy to take your questions. (###) ARTICLE 4 Burundi: U.S. Lifts Suspension of Aid Statement by Acting Department Spokesman Christine Shelly, Washington, DC, December 10, 1993. The United States is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, it is lifting the suspension of aid to Burundi. This decision was taken in light of the failure of the October 21 coup attempt and in response to the request of Burundi's elected government. We view the lifting of the suspension as a concrete sign of our support for and confidence in the government. We are encouraged by the Burundi Government's efforts to consolidate its control and restore order and democracy to the country. We were pleased that the ceremonies honoring slain President Ndadaye and other officials were held in a calm and peaceful atmosphere befitting the solemn occasion. The U.S. Government continues to urge all Burundians to cease all violence, respect the authority of the elected government, and return to the path of national reconciliation. (###) END OF DISPATCH VOL 4, NO 51.
To the top of this page