US DEPARTMENT OF STATE DISPATCH
VOLUME 5, NUMBER 9, FEBRUARY 28, 1994
PUBLISHED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
 
 
 
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:
1.  Ending the Conflict in Bosnia--President Clinton
2.  NATO's Ultimatum Regarding Sarajevo--President
Clinton
3.  Sarajevo:  A New Hope for the Future--Secretary
Christopher, Department Statement
4.  Strengthening Ties Between the United States and
South Korea--Secretary Christopher
5.  U.S.-Vietnam POW/MIA Progress: Lifting the Embargo--
Winston Lord
6.  Democracy and Human Rights in Burma
7.  The Direction of Middle East Peace Multilateral
Negotiations--Daniel C. Kurtzer
 
 
 
ARTICLE 1
Ending the Conflict in Bosnia
President Clinton
Radio address to the nation, Washington, DC, February 19,
1994
 
My fellow Americans, this morning I want to speak with
you about the conflict in Bosnia.  My Administration has
worked for over a year to help ease the suffering and end
the conflict in that war- torn land.  Now, a prolonged
siege of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo has brought us
to an important moment.
 
In the coming days, American war planes may participate
in NATO air strikes on military targets around Sarajevo.
We do not yet know whether air strikes will be necessary.
But I want to talk with you about what American interests
are at stake and what the nature and goals of our
military involvement will be if it occurs.
 
The fighting in Bosnia is part of the broader story of
change in Europe.  With the end of the Cold War, militant
nationalism once again spread throughout many countries
that lived behind the Iron Curtain, and especially in the
former Yugoslavia.  As nationalism caught fire among its
Serbian population, other parts of the country began
seeking independence.  Several ethnic and religious
groups began fighting fiercely.  But the Serbs bear a
primary responsibility for the aggression and the ethnic
cleansing that has killed tens of thousands and displaced
millions in Bosnia.
 
This century teaches us that America cannot afford to
ignore conflicts in Europe.  And in this crisis, our
nation has distinct interests.  We have an interest in
helping to prevent this from becoming a broader European
conflict, especially one that could threaten our NATO
allies or undermine the transition of former communist
states to peaceful democracies.
 
We have an interest in showing that NATO, the world's
greatest military alliance, remains a credible force for
peace in the post-Cold War era.  We have an interest in
helping to stem the destabilizing flows of refugees this
struggle is generating throughout all of Europe.  We
clearly have a humanitarian interest in helping to stop
the strangulation of Sarajevo and the continuing
slaughter of innocents in Bosnia.
 
I want to be clear.  Europe must bear most of the
responsibility for solving this problem, and, indeed, it
has.  The United Nations has forces on the ground in
Bosnia to protect the humanitarian effort and to limit
the carnage.  And the vast majority of them are European,
from all countries in Europe, who have worked along with
brave Canadians and soldiers from other countries.  I
have not sent American ground units into Bosnia.  And I
will not send American ground forces to impose a
settlement that the parties to that conflict do not
accept.
 
But America's interest and the responsibilities of
America's leadership demand our active involvement in the
search for a solution.  That is why my Administration has
worked to help contain the fighting, relieve suffering,
and achieve a fair and workable negotiated end to that
conflict.
 
Over a year ago, I appointed a special American envoy to
the negotiations to help find a workable, enforceable
solution acceptable to all.  And I have said that if such
a solution can be reached, our nation is prepared to
participate in efforts to enforce the solution, including
the use of our military personnel.
 
We have participated in the enforcement of economic
sanctions against Serbia.  We initiated airdrops of food
and medicine and participated in the Sarajevo airlift--a
massive effort, running longer than the Berlin airlift--
which has relieved starvation and suffering for tens of
thousands of Bosnians.  Together with our NATO allies, we
began enforcement of a no-fly zone to stop the parties
from spreading the war with aircraft.
 
We have warned Serbia against increasing its repression
of the Albanian ethnic minority in Kosovo.  We have
contributed 300 American troops to the United Nations
force that is helping to ensure that the war does not
spread to The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
which lies between Bosnia and Greece.  And we have worked
with our allies to ensure that NATO is prepared to help
solve this crisis.
 
In August, at our initiative, NATO declared its
willingness to conduct air strikes to prevent the
strangulation of Sarajevo and other population centers.
NATO reaffirmed that commitment at our summit in Brussels
just last month.  But the shelling of Sarajevo continued.
Two weeks ago, in a murderous attack, a single shell
killed 68 people in the city's market.  And last week,
with our NATO allies, we said that those who would
continue terrorizing Sarajevo must pay a price.
 
On that day, NATO announced it was prepared to conduct
air strikes against any heavy weapons remaining after 10
days within 20 kilometers of Sarajevo, unless such guns
are placed under United Nations control.  That 10-day
period ends tomorrow night.  If the UN and NATO
authorities find the deadline has not been met, NATO
stands ready to carry out its mission.  American pilots
and planes stand ready to do our part.
 
I have asked Secretary of Defense Perry and the Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Shalikashvili, to
travel to Italy to meet with their counterparts from
other participating NATO countries to review our
preparations.
 
Over the past few days, there have been some encouraging
signs in Bosnia that our ultimatum may be working.
Bosnian Serb leaders now say they will comply with the
ultimatum.  There is some evidence that heavy weapons are
being pulled back from around Sarajevo, but others
remain.
 
Many nations have helped to underscore the seriousness of
our common intent.  I have conferred on this matter with
Russian President Boris Yeltsin.  And the Russians, in
the last couple of days, have made very important
contributions by using their influence with the Serbs and
expressing a willingness to use their UN forces to help
to enforce this order.
 
If guns are truly being moved or impounded, we welcome
the news.  If the Serbs and others fully comply with
NATO's ultimatum, there will be no need to use force
against anyone.  But we are determined to make good on
NATO's word.  We are prepared to act.  Our actions will
be determined by one thing:  the facts on the ground.
 
I want to be clear about the risks we face and the
objectives we seek if force is needed.  American planes
likely will account for about half the NATO air strikes
if they proceed.  General Shalikashvili has told me that
our forces are well prepared for this operation.  But the
fact is, there is no such thing as a mission completely
without risks, and losses may occur.  I have conferred
with my national security advisers and told them to take
every precaution to protect our courageous soldiers in
uniform.
 
Our military goal will be straightforward--to exact a
heavy price on those who refuse to comply with the
ultimatum.  Military force alone cannot guarantee that
every heavy gun around Sarajevo will be removed or
silenced, but military force can make it more likely that
Bosnian Serbs will seek a solution through negotiation
rather than through Sarajevo's strangulation and that
more innocent civilians will continue to live.
 
For that reason, I have also ordered American negotiators
to intensify their efforts to help the parties reach a
fair and enforceable settlement.  I have consulted with
leaders from both parties in the Congress and asked for
their support in this effort.  I want us all to stand
united behind our forces if they need to conduct air
strikes, and united in our determination to do our part
in bringing an end to this dangerous conflict.
 
During this Olympic season, let us recall that only 10
years ago, the winter Olympics were held in Sarajevo.
Today, Sarajevo's athletic fields have been transformed
into makeshift cemeteries for those killed in that city's
siege.
 
In the week since NATO issued the ultimatum, the big guns
around Sarajevo have fallen silent.  Now let us work to
help make this break in the violence continue so that
Sarajevo's future may be marked by images of peace rather
than by those of war and carnage.
 
While the Cold War may be over, the world is still full
of dangers, and the world still looks to America for
leadership.  Now, with our interests at stake and with
our allies united at our side, let us show the world our
leadership once again.
 
Thank you, and God bless America.  (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 2
 
NATO's Ultimatum Regarding Sarajevo
President Clinton
Opening statement at a news conference, Washington, DC,
February 21, 1994
 
It is now more than 15 hours since NATO's ultimatum
regarding Sarajevo went into effect.  According to NATO
and United Nations commanders, at this point, the parties
are in effective compliance with the ultimatum.  There
continues to be no shelling of Sarajevo.  Over 250 heavy
weapons have been placed under UN control.  All known
heavy weapons have now been removed or brought under UN
control, except for a couple of sites that should be
brought under control within hours as the UN operation
continues.  As a result, air strikes have not yet been
necessary.
 
I spoke this morning with UN Secretary General Boutros-
Ghali and expressed my appreciation for his efforts.  I
again want to congratulate NATO, our NATO allies, and
Secretary General Manfred Woerner for their resolve; the
United Nations for its efforts and its cooperation with
NATO; the Government of Russia for its important
contributions to a peaceful resolution; and, above all,
the American military personnel and those from our NATO
allies whose courage and skill provided the muscle that
made this policy work.
 
Let me review why the U.S. and its NATO allies took this
action:  to stem the destruction of Sarajevo and to
reinvigorate the peace process.
 
Now that we have brought some breathing space to the
people of Sarajevo, we are taking additional steps on
both fronts.
 
First, we intend to remain vigilant.  The UN and NATO
will continue to conduct intensive reconnaissance and
monitoring of the Sarajevo area.  The NATO decision
stands.  We will continue to enforce the exclusion zone.
Any shelling of Sarajevo or the appearance of heavy
weapons in the exclusion zone will bring a certain and
swift response from the UN and NATO.
 
Second, we are working to renew progress toward a
negotiated solution among the parties.  A workable,
enforceable solution acceptable to all parties is the
only way to ensure a lasting solution for Sarajevo and
for all of Bosnia.
 
Negotiations among the parties are set to resume in the
near future.  American negotiators have been and will
remain active in helping to bridge the gap among the
parties.  Ambassador Redman has had a series of intensive
conversations in Europe, and this week in Bonn our
experts will meet with representatives from European
Union countries, Canada, and Russia to take stock of
where we are.
 
The challenge for all who have been touched by the
fighting in Bosnia--the parties to the conflict, our own
nations, and the international community--is to build on
this week's progress and create a lasting and workable
peace for all the people of Bosnia.  (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 3
 
Sarajevo:  A New Hope for the Future
Secretary Christopher, Department Statement
 
Secretary Christopher
Statement made prior to meeting with Bosnian Prime
Minister Silajdzik, Washington, DC, February 21, 1994.
 
Good morning.   I am very pleased to welcome here today
Prime Minister Silajdzic of Bosnia.
 
We are going to be working together during the course of
this week to try to find ways to help bring this tragic
conflict to an end.  We meet on a day in which we can
take some satisfaction in the situation in Sarajevo.  The
NATO resolve has resulted in the moments of peace in
Sarajevo and, I think, a new hope for the future.
 
One thing I would stress is that the ultimatum still
stands.  We need to be very vigilant; we need to remember
that if there are heavy weapons discovered within the
safe zone--the exclusion zone--or if they are moved back
in there, they are subject to attack by NATO.  If there
is shelling of Sarajevo from whatever point, the weapons
that do the shelling are subject to attack.  I would also
remind you that NATO is committed to going to the defense
of the UN troops if they are attacked within Bosnia.  So
all of those things still stand.
 
What we are going to be doing here today is exploring
ways in which the United States can help Bosnia find a
formula for bringing this conflict to an end.  We hope to
be discussing with the Prime Minister the reasonable
requirements of Bosnia for a settlement that would get
international approval, international acceptance.  I
think it is common ground between the Prime Minister and
me that we hope to build on the momentum of recent events
and take advantage of them to move into a situation which
would bring this conflict to an end with the enhanced
credibility given to NATO and to the West by the events
over the weekend.
 
 
Department Statement
Excerpt from the opening statement at a news conference
by Department Spokesman Michael McCurry, Washington, DC,
February 21, 1994.
 
The Secretary began the expanded meeting with the Prime
Minister by asking how we could be most helpful.  The
Prime Minister had several ideas on that, urging the
United States to stay engaged and to continue to talk to
other governments, especially the government in Zagreb,
to continue to press the reasonable requirements that the
Bosnians have in mind as they seek a political
settlement.
 
The Prime Minister said that Bosnia starts from the
essential position that when this state is reorganized,
it will be a democracy.  He made several times the point
that, in the view of the Bosnians, a democracy, over the
long haul, can outlast those elements of fascism and
repression adjacent to Bosnia, and that the prospect of a
multi-ethnic state that is both politically and
economically viable over time can win, because they
intend to constitute their government as a democracy.  He
was very passionate on that point.  He is, obviously,
very impressive.  After the meeting, Secretary
Christopher said that he was a remarkably effective
representative of the Bosnian Government.
 
The Secretary asked what the Bosnians' highest priorities
were at this point as they engage in this political
dialogue.  The Prime Minister responded that preventing
further Serb aggression and helping Bosnia preserve its
orientation toward the West were two things that he felt
really stood out as goals that the international
community might want to embrace.  He also wanted to get a
reaffirmation from the Secretary of the willingness of
the United States to participate in the implementation of
a settlement.  The Secretary said that it was certainly
the intent of the United States to participate, as we
have said before, in helping to implement a political
settlement that is viable and is reached by the parties
in good faith.
 
The Prime Minister also raised the question of
reconstruction aid to help rebuild this new, reorganized
entity if  a political settlement is reached.  He asked
if it would be possible for the United States to help
coordinate, within the world community, a donors' effort.
The Secretary said that was certainly an idea that could
be explored.
 
They spent some time reviewing some of the ideas that
have been explored in discussions that Ambassador Redman
has held to date and that will continue as the dialogue
continues with the parties.  There is not much,
substantively, we are going to say other than that a
clear goal of the Bosnian Government is to find an
arrangement in which they increase the quality of the
territory available in this new, reorganized state.
Quality being first--economic viability and second,
political viability.
 
They have some ideas that they are exploring that they
brought to us in the initial meeting with Ambassador
Redman.  The Bosnian Government raised the idea of a
closer alliance with the Bosnian Croatians as one
possibility that they would like to explore, and that,
indeed, has been very much a part of the discussions that
Ambassador Redman has been having.  I can't give you much
more detail than that, other than to say that they have
some interesting ideas that certainly Ambassador Redman
will continue to explore.  (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 4
 
Strengthening Ties Between the United States and South
Korea
Secretary Christopher
Remarks at the inaugural reception for the Korean-United
States Twenty-First Century Council, Washington, DC,
February 17, 1994
 
Foreign Minister Han, Ambassador Kantor, Dr. Sakong,
distinguished Korean and American friends:  Thank you,
Fred, for that kind introduction.  Fred Bergsten has made
a signal contribution to U.S.-Korean relations, to the
development of APEC as a significant forum for regional
cooperation, and to the cause of an open global trading
system.
 
It is an honor to speak at the launching of the Korean-
United States Twenty-First Century Council.  As Korea
takes its place among the world's advanced industrial
nations,  the council is building new forms of
cooperation that will draw our two nations closer.  I
look forward to seeing the results of your important
work.
 
No area of the world is more important for American
interests than the Asia-Pacific region.  Its dynamic
economies and growth rates make it a critical area for
American exports and jobs.  We have vital security
interests and alliances in Asia.  We have an interest in
promoting democratic values in a part of the world where
democracy is on the move, yet repressive regimes remain.
 
On his first trip overseas, President Clinton traveled to
Asia in order to set forth his vision of a New Pacific
Community.  That Community is built on three core
elements:  shared strength, shared prosperity, and a
shared commitment to democratic values.  Today, the
United States and Korea hold those elements in common to
a greater extent than ever before.
 
As President Clinton said in Seoul last summer,
"Geography has placed our two nations far apart, but
history has drawn us close together."  In the 1950s, we
fought side by side to turn back aggression.  In the
1960s and 1970s, we began building strong commercial ties
as Korean economic development accelerated.  And in the
last several years, as a result of the "second miracle on
the Han"--Korea's democratic miracle--our bonds have
become stronger than ever.  Today, our two nations are
linked by open societies and open markets, and we are
woven together by 1 million Americans of Korean descent.
 
President Clinton and President Kim Young Sam have
further strengthened the ties between our two nations.
Each is committed to a bold program of reform.  Each is
committed to economic renewal.  And I know that President
Clinton admires President Kim's personal courage and
dedication to democracy.
 
When President Clinton visited Korea last July, he made a
special
point of going to the National Assembly to honor Korea's
vibrant democracy.  The principal purpose of the
President's visit to Seoul was to address the security
aspects of the New Pacific Community.  As the President
told the National Assembly:  "We must always remember
that security comes first."  Today, I want to reaffirm
that the United States has a solemn and enduring
commitment to South Korea's security.  We are maintaining
our forward-deployed troop presence as a guarantee of
South Korea's security and as a linchpin of America's
engagement in the region.  We are participating in the
new ASEAN Regional Security Forum as a mechanism to ease
regional tensions and discourage arms races.  And we are
attaching a high priority to curbing the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction.
 
The United States is working hand in hand with the
Republic of Korea and others in the region to deal with
the urgent and complicated issue posed by the North
Korean nuclear threat.  Our shared goals are clear:  We
must ensure a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula and a strong
international non-proliferation regime.  North Korea's
failure to meet its obligations under the Nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty is a challenge to peace and security
on the peninsula as well as to the global non-
proliferation regime.
 
Our determination to achieve these objectives is firm.
Our preferred path is dialogue.  I am pleased that on
Tuesday, North Korea took the next necessary step and
accepted the inspections required by the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  Satisfactory completion of
these inspections will help the IAEA reassure the
international community that there has been no diversion
from North Korea's nuclear facilities.  It is a step
toward a solution to the nuclear issue, though very
important questions remain to be resolved.  I also want
to make it clear that if we are to continue our dialogue
with North Korea, it must resume North-South dialogue
that looks to a non-nuclear peninsula.
 
The international community does not seek to isolate
North Korea but to help it join the mainstream of the
East Asian region.  If North Korea abandons its nuclear
weapons option, honors its international obligations, and
takes other steps to conform to the norms of
international behavior, the door is open for North Korea
to improve relations with the rest of the world.
 
As the United States and Korea work together to
strengthen our security, we are also deepening our
cooperation on economic and trade issues.  President
Clinton and President Kim share a dynamic economic vision
for our two nations and for the entire Asia-Pacific
region.  We are encouraged by President Kim's reform
agenda and by his determination to open up the Korean
economy.
 
Last July, Presidents Clinton and Kim launched the
Dialogue for Economic Cooperation (DEC).  This dialogue
is a cooperative effort to stimulate bilateral investment
and trade.  The DEC channels U.S. business views into
President Kim's ambitious program of deregulation and
liberalization.  Similarly, it brings Korean business
concerns to the attention of the U.S. Government.  We
hope that there will be tangible progress in a number of
areas by the time the DEC concludes in June.
 
The United States and Korea also are working closely
through APEC to strengthen ties among the economies in
the region.  As the chair of APEC's Committee on Trade
and Investment this year, Korea has a key role in efforts
to liberalize regional trade and investment.
 
When the Government of Korea agreed in December to the
eventual elimination of non-tariff barriers on rice and
other agriculture imports, it helped pave the way for a
successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round.  We know the
decision on rice liberalization was difficult.  The
resolve shown by the Kim Administration demonstrates
that, as a great trading nation, Korea is willing to
accept great responsibilities.  Together, we must
strengthen the liberal world trading system that has
allowed our economies to grow and our people to prosper.
 
On the eve of the next century, our two democracies face
the future in a spirit of cooperation and confidence.
This council can help shape that future to the benefit of
both countries.  (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 5
 
U.S.- Vietnam POW/MIA Progress:  Lifting the Embargo
Winston Lord, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and
Pacific Affairs
Statement before the Subcommittee on East Asian and
Pacific Affairs of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, Washington, DC, February 9, 1994
 
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee:
 
The investigation of Case 0954 began in October 1992 when
local Vietnamese villagers unilaterally returned 531 bone
fragments, 16 teeth, an ID tag, a Geneva Convention Card,
and an aircraft data plate to local officials during the
20th Joint Field Activity.  A CILHI team climbed to the
site in November 1992, conducted a site survey, and
recommended against excavation due to the hazards
involved in climbing to the site and the difficulty of
the terrain.  The Commander of the Joint Task Force-Full
Accounting directed that his detachment commander in
Hanoi, an experienced infantry officer, go to the site
and determine whether an excavation could be done safely.
In March 1993, the detachment commander and another
detachment member traveled to the remote site.  Three
aerial reconnaissance attempts failed to locate a landing
zone close to the site due to the ruggedness of the
terrain.
 
From the nearest road, the team climbed uphill for five
hours to a small farm inhabited by only two people,
remained overnight, and the next day climbed an
additional two hours to reach the site.  The site was
located at an elevation of 4,780 feet on the side of a
mountainous rock formation that varies in slope from 30
to 60 degrees.  The detachment commander determined that
an excavation could be done safely, but it would be
extremely difficult and would require a hand-picked team
in top physical shape.  Prior to  the 26th Joint Field
Activity, the Vietnamese cut a helicopter landing zone
suitable for an MI-8 on the side of the mountain, thereby
reducing the climbing time to the site.
 
Over a two-day period, six MI-8 sorties transported the
12 U.S. and 15 Vietnamese recovery team members with
their water, equipment, and supplies to the landing zone.
From the landing zone the team carried equipment for
about two hours over extremely rugged terrain to a base
camp.  The crash site was over an hour's climb from the
base camp and the terrain was so steep that at points it
required scaling rock faces hand over hand.  Over the
next two-and-a-half weeks, the team climbed an hour each
day from the base camp to the site, excavated at the
site, then climbed for an hour back to the base camp.
 
The immediate area of the crash is  a rocky slope 40 to
45 degrees in grade.  Working from the lowest elevation
to the heights at the site, the team worked over the next
16 days removing surface rock and scraping and sifting
through screens the associated soil, aircraft debris, and
human remains.  The excavation resulted in 187 bone
fragments, 16 human teeth, personal effects, life support
equipment, and other wreckage.  This excavation, along
with the earlier unilateral turn-in, resulted in a total
of 718 bone fragments and 16 teeth.
 
Mr. Chairman, that is the story of just one case among
the hundreds that brave and devoted Americans are
pursuing every day--in the jungles and on the mountains
of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia; in the laboratories in
Hawaii; in Pentagon offices; and in hearts and minds.
This brief vignette illustrates not only the labors of
Americans but also the intensified cooperation of the
Vietnamese.  And it shows we are getting results from a
process that is painstaking, incremental, and will last
for decades.
 
Against this backdrop, I welcome the opportunity to
appear before you to discuss President Clinton's
decisions last week to lift the trade embargo against
Vietnam and to establish a liaison office in Hanoi.
 
The President took these steps because he was convinced
that they offered the best way to achieve the fullest
possible accounting for our POW/MIAs.  At the outset, I
want to emphasize that his decisions were based on that
single judgment.  Of course the Administration is not
oblivious to the potential economic and geo-political
benefits that may now begin to unfold.  But such benefits
would flow from last week's decisions; they were not the
reasons for them.
 
Thus, as the President stated, the POW/MIA issue will
remain a central focus of our relationship with Vietnam.
We will continue to require, in his words, "more
progress, more cooperation, and more answers."
 
The Administration's Search for Answers
President Clinton's decisions were preceded by an intense
government-wide effort during the first year of his term.
This Administration has devoted more resources to the
POW/MIA accounting effort than any previous one; there
are now more than 500 military and civilian personnel
assigned to this task under the leadership of Secretary
Perry, General Shalikashvili, and the Commander in Chief
of the Pacific, Admiral Larson.
 
From the beginning, President Clinton has worked hard to
change the way the government handles information about
the POW/MIA issue to ensure full disclosure.  On Memorial
Day, he pledged to declassify and make available all
possible government documents related to our unaccounted-
for men.  On Veterans Day, we fulfilled that pledge.  The
State Department reviewed about 200,000 pages of
documents, and we declassified and released more than
99%.  The small amount of material that has been withheld
from release consists of matters relating to personal
privacy or sensitive foreign policy discussions.  The
public can gain access to the released documents at our
Freedom of Information reading room.  I understand that
the Defense Department declassified about 1.5 million
pages of documents, which are available at the Library of
Congress.
 
President Clinton and his top advisers have also made
extraordinary efforts to consult many groups that share
his concern for the POW/MIA issue.  He insisted that all
points of view be carefully considered.  As is well
known, some of those we consulted do not support lifting
the embargo at this time.
 
This Administration has provided American veterans
organizations an unprecedented role on this issue.  For
the first time, leaders of major groups accompanied a
presidential delegation to Vietnam last July to press for
more progress.  We have continued to meet with those
organizations and other representatives of veterans.  The
various leaders and their constituents hold diverse
perspectives, and we have benefited from them all.
 
We have also consulted regularly with the National League
of Families of POWs and MIAs.  I would like to pay
tribute to that organization, which, during the 1980s,
was instrumental in pushing our government to do more to
account for our missing men.  Much of the credit is due
to Mrs. Ann Mills Griffiths, the League's executive
director and the sister of one of our missing.  We
invited the League to join the July mission to Vietnam,
but they were unable to participate.
 
To the veterans and families, let  me repeat that this
Administration remains steadfast in its determination to
achieve the fullest possible accounting.  Our doors
remain open.  We encourage them to continue working with
us toward our common goal.  As the President stated last
week, this spring he will send another high-level
delegation to Vietnam, and will, again, invite the
veterans organizations and the League of Families to
participate.
 
The President and his advisers also sought the views of a
large, bipartisan group of senators and representatives,
including members of this sub-committee and many who
were, themselves, prisoners of war or served in Vietnam,
including the chairman of this sub-committee.
 
Finally, the President has relied heavily on the
information and advice provided by his military and
civilian advisers here and on the ground.
 
Chronology of Developments
These intensive consultations are part of the careful,
steady course on Vietnam that the President has charted
during the first year of his Administration.  Let me
briefly review the events that led to the President's
decision to end the embargo and establish reciprocal
liaison offices.
 
The first milestone was the April 1993 mission to Hanoi
of Gen. John Vessey.  Mr. Chairman, I would like to use
this opportunity to salute Jack Vessey.  Much of what we
have accomplished on the POW/MIA issue is due to the
dedicated labors of this patriot who has served three
Presidents as Special Emissary to Hanoi.  Entering the
army as a private, he rose to the highest position in our
armed forces--Chairman of the Joint Chiefs  of Staff.  He
gave 46 years of outstanding service to the nation.  A
grateful country could not have asked for more, but
General Vessey had more to offer.  He devoted himself to
seeking the answers to the questions that have plagued
the families of the missing.  In 1987, he went on the
first of six missions to Hanoi as Special Emissary.  His
work led to the establishment of the Joint Task Force-
Full Accounting, and to our full-time POW/MIA office in
Hanoi.
 
During General Vessey's April mission we were able to
investigate  the information we had just received from
the archives of the former Soviet Union.  Hanoi agreed to
establish special teams to investigate the remaining
discrepancy cases.  For the first time, we received
documents from Vietnam's wartime general political
directorate.
 
On July 2 last year, the President announced two new
steps toward our goal of the fullest possible accounting.
 
First, to acknowledge the progress we had made, but more
importantly to encourage further advances, we ended our
blockage of Vietnam's access to international financial
institutions.
 
Second, the President decided to send a new, high-level
delegation to Vietnam to press for more progress on
unresolved POW/MIA issues.  I had the honor of co-leading
that delegation, along with Deputy Secretary of Veterans
Affairs Hershel Gober and Lt. Gen. Michael Ryan,
assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.  We were
accompanied by leading representatives of the four
largest veterans organizations.  Our mission was to
ensure that Hanoi's top leaders understood the
President's commitment to the POW/MIA issue.  We stressed
that further movement in bilateral relations required
additional concrete results in four key areas identified
by the President:
 
--  Remains;
--  Discrepancy cases;
--  Trilateral cooperation with Laos and Vietnam; and
--  Documents.
 
We also emphasized the importance we attach to human
rights.  We accomplished our mission.  We delivered the
President's message to the Party General Secretary, the
Minister of Defense, the Acting Foreign Minister, and the
Minister of the Interior.  We also had a very productive
session between veterans of both sides.
 
On September 13, the President decided to renew his
authority to continue the embargo against Vietnam.
However, to recognize POW/MIA progress in the four key
areas and to stimulate further results, we modified the
embargo to permit American companies to undertake
development projects in Vietnam funded by international
financial institutions.
 
In December, I returned to Vietnam to assess the overall
situation, including progress in the four key areas.  I
held lengthy discussions with the outstanding personnel
serving in our Joint Task Force.  I met with Vietnam's
Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and other leaders.  I
traveled to the Vietnam-Laos border to observe first-hand
the trilateral cooperation process there.  I had the
honor to witness the beginning of the journey home for
the remains of missing Americans--a ceremony of stunning
dignity that I will never forget.
 
In late December, the President's senior advisors met to
review the POW/MIA record.  They came to the unanimous
conclusion that there had been significant, tangible
progress in all four of the areas identified by the
President in July.
 
The Criteria for Progress
What then were the results upon which the President's
actions were based?  Let me summarize the detailed
information that was provided last week.
 
1.  The recovery and repatriation of American remains:
During the six months following the President's July
announcement, we brought home the remains of 39
Americans--more than we repatriated in all of 1992.
Throughout 1993, we repatriated the remains of 67
Americans, making last year the third-most-productive one
for recovering remains since the end of the war.  In the
first month of this year, we have already brought home 12
more American remains.
 
2.  The continued resolution of discrepancy cases and
continued accomplishment of live sighting investigations:
Since July 1993, we have confirmed the deaths of 19
individuals on our list of discrepancy cases.  Since the
beginning of the Administration, we have confirmed the
deaths of 62 individuals, reducing the number of these
cases from 135 to 73.  We have a special team operating
in Vietnam which is continuing to investigate the
remaining 73.
 
We have conducted more than 300 investigations on the
ground in Vietnam of reported sightings of live American
POWs and of cases of Americans who were last known to be
alive during the war.  None of these has produced
evidence that an American POW is being held captive in
Vietnam today.  But we will continue to pursue vigorously
any reports of live prisoners that we receive.
 
3.  Further assistance in implementing trilateral
investigations along the Vietnamese-Lao border:  For many
years we tried without success to investigate cases of
Americans missing along the Vietnamese-Lao border,
particularly airmen shot down over the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
As a direct result of the President's July initiative,
the Governments of Vietnam and Laos reached agreement in
August 1993 to cooperate jointly on such investigations.
The first such operation took place on the border of
Vietnam and Laos in December.  I personally visited with
the Vietnamese, Lao, and American teams during my trip.
The operation has succeeded in locating new remains as
well as crash sites that we plan to excavate in the
coming months.
 
4.  Accelerated efforts to provide all POW/MIA-related
documents that can give us answers to individual cases:
Since July, we have received, for the first time, records
from Vietnam's wartime anti-aircraft units along the Ho
Chi Minh Trail.  These records contain information about
hundreds of U.S. airmen who were shot down and are listed
as missing.  This information should help us locate crash
sites and recover remains in both Vietnam and Laos.  We
also have obtained, for the first time, documents from a
wartime political-military unit.  This material contains
information on American servicemen buried by North
Vietnamese forces and written reports recounting
unilateral efforts by Hanoi to locate the remains of
Americans.  This information should assist our efforts to
achieve the fullest possible accounting.
 
Since the archival research program was initiated in
October 1992, we have received from the Vietnamese 25,000
POW/MIA-related documents and artifacts.  Of these, 600
have been correlated to unresolved cases.  This
represents more POW/MIA-related documentation than we had
previously received during the entire period since the
end of the Vietnam war.  The President agreed with his
advisers that this record represented "significant
tangible progress."  Overall, we believe that 1993 was
the most productive year for POW/MIA progress since the
war.
 
Once again, I would like to pay special tribute to the
incredible work being done by the men and women of the
Joint Task Force-Full Accounting under the leadership of
Adm. Charles Larson and Gen. Thomas Needham.  They have
endured hardships and dangers.  They have displayed
ingenuity, dedication, and tenacity in tracking down
every possible lead.  They deserve our utmost gratitude
and respect.  These men and women are a source of immense
pride for all Americans.
 
I also note the assistance we have received in the field
from both official and private Vietnamese.  Our Joint
Task Force-Full Accounting personnel have reported that
their cooperation during the past six months has been
excellent.  I cite two brief examples.  In one instance,
Vietnamese soldiers participating in an activity helped
U.S. teams cross a Vietnam war-era mine-field to an
investigation site and helped remove four 100-pound bombs
from a crater we wanted to excavate.  In another
incident, a U.S. excavation team had been working without
success for two weeks when a local villager approached
and said he had witnessed the wartime burial of an
American.  The villager then directed the team to the
burial site, resulting in the recovery of remains for
which the JTF-FA were searching.
 
We now have in place the mechanisms we need to achieve
the fullest possible accounting.  We have the means to
investigate any reports of possible live American
prisoners.  We have the mechanisms to excavate crash
sites and burial locations.  We have   the means to
interview witnesses in villages and Vietnam's wartime
military leaders.  We have special teams to search for
remains and information on the highest priority
discrepancy cases.  We have mechanisms to review
documents related to our missing men.  And we have the
means to investigate cases along the Vietnamese-Lao
border.  All of these instruments will help President
Clinton fulfill his pledge to the families of the
missing--that everything possible will be done to deter-
mine the fates of their missing fathers and sons,
husbands and brothers.
 
Let us also briefly recall two other positive aspects of
recent U.S. engagement with Vietnam.  As a result of the
1991 "roadmap" policy, Hanoi withdrew its troops from
Cambodia and has supported the promising advance toward
peace, freedom, and human rights in that country.  The
overwhelming turnout for last year's free Cambodian
elections, in spite of intimidation and violence, clearly
demonstrated that democracy is not only a Western ideal.
 
Hanoi has also released from re-education camps its
citizens who had been detained because of their pre-1975
association with the United States or the former South
Vietnamese Government.
 
These developments are encouraging.  So too are
Vietnamese pledges of continued cooperation on POW/MIAs.
But, as the President cautioned, "it must not end here."
We will relentlessly continue our search for answers.
 
We know from experience that this search will take a long
time.  Just two months ago we repatriated the remains of
American aviators who were lost in World War II.  Their
remains, and the wreckage of their airplane, were found
in the glaciers of Tibet, and returned with the
cooperation and assistance of the Chinese Government.  In
recent months, we have also retrieved more remains and
more answers concerning the Korean and Vietnam wars from
North Korea, Russia, and China as well as the countries
of Indochina.
 
"I am confident the Vietnamese understand the President's
determination to see this issue through.  They also know
that any further steps in our relationship will depend on
our making even more progress."  Following the
President's announcement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
declared that,
 
"The Vietnamese Government reiterates its policy of
consistently regarding the question of Americans missing
from the war as a humanitarian concern not linked with
political issues . . . the Government and people of
Vietnam have been, are, and will be cooperating in a
constructive spirit with the American Government and
people to solve this issue to the fullest possible
extent."
 
When I informed Vietnam's Ambassador to the United
Nations of the President's decisions, he said,
 
We promise to go forward with you to see the MIA issue
resolved.  I have a promise from Hanoi that cooperation
will continue.
 
The Views of Others
The question for the President then was, what actions
could we take to continue this important progress?  How
could we keep Vietnam motivated to pursue and expand its
cooperation?
 
The President turned to many people for advice on these
questions.  He consulted with members of his cabinet most
directly concerned with the POW/MIA issue, including the
Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the
National Security Adviser.  The President asked General
Shalikashvili and the Commander of our Pacific forces,
Admiral Larson.  He asked Gen.  John Vessey, and the
leaders of the delegation he sent to Hanoi last July.
Everyone recommended that the best way to make more
progress and resolve POW/MIA issues is to lift the
embargo and expand our presence in Vietnam.
 
As I noted earlier, the President also sought the advice
of many members of Congress.  Here I would note the
special contribution of Senator  John Kerry, who co-
chaired the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.
For 15 months, the senator, a decorated veteran of
Vietnam, steered his committee through an exhaustive
investigation.  The committee's findings played an
important part in our deliberations.  Senator Kerry also
sponsored and championed the amendment endorsing an end
to the embargo which the Senate overwhelmingly passed
late last month.  At the risk of not mentioning all of
the amendment's co-sponsors, I do want to single out two
others with particular backgrounds.  In very personal and
moving remarks on the floor, Senator John McCain, who
spent almost six years as a POW in Vietnam, recommended
ending the embargo as the best way to account finally for
his missing brothers in arms.  Senator Bob Kerrey, who
earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam, also urged us to
end the embargo to resolve the POW/MIA issue, and to make
more progress on human rights and democracy issues.
 
In the House of Representatives, I believe a broad
majority also supports the President's decisions.  They
include many veterans and former POWs such as Congressman
Pete Peterson, who has served a central role in our
search for answers not only in Indochina but in the
former Soviet Union.
 
The President and other Administration officials also
consulted once again with the representatives of veterans
organizations and family groups.  While many of them
disagree with the President's decision to lift the trade
embargo, they all share his objective of achieving the
fullest possible accounting.  They agree in principle
with the strategic approach  of the Administration--
namely, to take incremental steps forward in our
relations with Vietnam in response to progress and to
encourage further progress.  They agree that Vietnamese
activity has intensified in recent months.
 
The disagreements arise over whether there has been
sufficient progress, as opposed to an extensive process,
to justify making another move forward.  As I have
outlined, we believe that we have witnessed not only
unprecedented cooperation from the Vietnamese, but also
substantial tangible results from our joint efforts.
 
Despite these differences--and I don't wish to minimize
them--we look forward to working closely with those who
have the greatest personal stake in this difficult issue.
We welcome their continued counsel.  We empathize with
their pain--not only over lost family members and
comrades, but over the past deceptions by the Vietnamese
and inadequate performance  by the U.S. Government.
 
After considering all views, the President made his
decisions.  In short, he agrees with all his senior
advisers, with our military personnel working on the
ground, and with an overwhelming bipartisan majority in
the Congress that the actions he announced represent the
best way to account for our missing men.  The steps we
have taken do not represent full "normalization" of
relations with Vietnam.  We are not opening embassies or
exchanging ambassadors.  We are not granting Vietnam
special economic privileges.  We retain considerable
political and economic incentives to ensure that the
government of Vietnam does not waver from its commitment
to continue its cooperation on POW/MIA issues.  Our
efforts will continue undiminished, indeed with fresh
momentum.
 
With these prospects in mind, President Clinton also
decided to establish a liaison office in Vietnam  and to
permit the Vietnamese to open  a similar office here.  We
believe such offices will greatly assist in our search
for MIA information.  They will also serve to expand our
dialogue with Vietnam on many issues, including human
rights.  And they will support and protect American
visitors, tourists, and business people.
 
The vastly increased numbers of American visitors,
tourists, business people, and other private groups who
will now spread across Vietnam should produce greater
openness, greater contacts, greater information on our
MIAs--and concrete results.
 
At this moment, we are only in the initial planning
stages for the liaison offices.  Questions on timing,
staffing, privileges and immunities, and functions will
be the subject of discussions with the Vietnamese.  We
plan to begin these talks in the near future.  We welcome
your views and will keep you and your staff apprised of
significant developments.
 
In sum, President Clinton and all of his top advisers
believe that it is time to acknowledge the help of the
Vietnamese.  The February 3, 1994, decisions will
encourage further efforts by demonstrating to Vietnamese
leaders and the Vietnamese people that we will meet
cooperation with reciprocal steps, that it is in their
interest to continue helping us.
 
The families and loved ones of our missing Americans
deserve answers.  The President's actions mark a major
milestone on a lengthy journey in pursuit of that goal.
They represent a new beginning, a rededication to our
ongoing labors.
 
Human Rights
Before concluding, let me cite two other important issues
with Vietnam.  My colleagues and I have raised these
subjects regularly, including at the highest levels in
Hanoi, and in Secretary Christopher's meeting last fall
with Deputy Prime Minister Khai.
 
The first issue concerns American citizens who are
incarcerated in Vietnam.  We know of five such Americans,
and are disappointed that we have only been granted
access to one of them.  Now, with the opening of an
official U.S. office in Hanoi, we expect our discussions
with Vietnam to lead to normal consular access in
accordance with international practice and law.
 
The second issue is human rights.  The just-published
State Department 1993 human rights report for Vietnam
spells out our deep concerns.  It states, in part, that
the Vietnamese Government . . . continued to violate
human rights in 1993.  The authorities continued to limit
severely freedom of speech, press, assembly and
association, as well as worker rights and the right of
citizens to change their government.
 
In my December meetings in Hanoi, Vietnam agreed to hold
regular bi-lateral discussions with us on human rights.
These should commence later this month.  We expect a
constructive, productive forum in which we will continue
to urge Hanoi to respect universal human rights, and
release those detained for the peaceful expression of
political or religious beliefs.  I would note here our
sustained, personal concern for the health of Dr. Nguyen
Dan Que, among others.  We have raised his case on many
occasions, most recently in my meeting last week with the
Vietnamese ambassador to the United Nations.  We will
continue to follow closely his fate and that of others in
similar situations.  The further exposure of Vietnamese
society to outside trade, investment, people,
information, and ideas as a result of the President's
decisions, should work to open up the political system of
Vietnam.
 
Vietnam clearly has far to go to improve its observance
of human rights.  Some actions by the Vietnamese
leadership in recent years, however, have signaled their
intention to reintegrate their nation in the world and
contribute to the stability of the Southeast Asian
region.  As I already noted, the Vietnamese were a
signatory to the Cambodia Peace Accords and have
faithfully supported the implementation of the peace
process.  While the government's institution of economic
reforms is clearly in Vietnam's self-interest, it has
also had a positive impact on the region and drawn that
nation more into the world trading community.  The
Vietnamese have also demonstrated a willingness to
resolve their territorial disputes in the South China Sea
with China and other Southeast Asian claimants in a
peaceful and constructive manner.
 
Conclusion
Let me close with the words of President Clinton last
Thursday:
 
"Whatever the Vietnam war may have done in dividing our
country in the past, today our nation is one in honoring
those who served and pressing for answers about all those
who did not return.  This decision today, I believe,
renews that commitment and our constant, constant effort
never to forget those until our job is done.  Those who
have sacrificed deserve a full and final accounting.  I
am absolutely convinced, as are so many in Congress who
served there and so many Americans who have studied the
issue, that this decision today will help to ensure that
fullest possible accounting."
 
Mr. Chairman, members of this committee:  As we look back
upon this time many years from now, perhaps the most
significant dimension of the President's decision will
prove to be psychological.  Perhaps we have begun turning
the pages of history.  Perhaps we are moving toward
eventual reconciliation with a former enemy.  Perhaps for
Americans, as one observer has put it, Vietnam will
become a country, not a war.  Perhaps we are further
developing the President's vision of a New Pacific
Community.
 
Above all, let us hope that--what- ever our differences
about the war or how to resolve its lingering questions -
-we have truly advanced the process of healing the
wounds.  May the families at last find answers.  And may
all Americans at last find peace. (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 6
 
Democracy and Human Rights In Burma
White House Statement
Statement by White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers,
Washington, DC, February 15, 1994.
 
President Clinton has sent a letter to detained Burmese
opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San
Suu Kyi to offer his support for her efforts on behalf of
democracy and human rights in Burma.  Congressman Bill
Richardson of New Mexico, Deputy Majority Whip, was
invited by Burmese authorities to meet with Aung San Suu
Kyi on February 14, and has delivered the President's
letter to her.  He met with her again today.  Congressman
Richardson is the first person outside of Aung San Suu
Kyi's immediate family to meet with her since she was
placed under house arrest in July 1989.
 
The United States urges Burma's military leaders to build
on this small step by beginning a dialogue with Aung San
Suu Kyi and moving toward genuine democratic reform.  The
Burmese people made clear their desire for an end to more
than three decades of military rule and the establishment
of democratic government in the 1990 elections, but the
government continues to thwart implementation of the
results.  The President regards the continued detention
of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other prisoners of conscience
in Burma as unacceptable and renews his call for their
immediate and unconditional release.
 
The text of the President's letter to Aung San Suu Kyi is
attached.
 
President's Letter
Text of President Clinton's letter to Aung San Suu Kyi
dated February 10, 1994, released by the White House,
Office of the Press Secretary, Washington, DC, February
15, 1994.
Dear Daw Aung San Suu Kyi:
 
Let me take the opportunity to express again my deep
concern about your welfare and to applaud your remarkable
courage in pursuing human rights and democracy for the
people of Burma.  Despite your 4-1/2 years of detention,
your determination and courage continue to inspire
friends of freedom around the world.  Recent resolutions
adopted in the United Nations General Assembly and the
United Nations Human Rights Commission make clear the
international community's outrage over your continued
detention, as well as that of all other prisoners of
conscience in Burma.
 
I also want to assure you of the United States'
continuing support for the struggle to promote freedom in
Burma.  The 1990 elections handed your party an
overwhelming mandate from Burma's people and firmly
rejected military rule.  Obviously, the path to
democratic change must be worked out by the Burmese
themselves who have assigned you a key role in bringing
about such a democratic transition.  We strongly condemn
the effort to deny you the right to participate freely in
the political life of Burma.
 
You have my utmost admiration for your stand.  Like your
courageous father, you symbolize the authentic
aspirations of the Burmese people.  History is on the
side of freedom throughout the world and I remain
confident that your cause will prevail.
 
Please accept my warmest personal regards.
 
Sincerely,
Bill Clinton (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 7
 
The Direction of Middle East Peace Multilateral
Negotiations
Daniel C. Kurtzer, Deputy Assistant Secretary For Near
Eastern Affairs
Opening Statement at a news conference, Washington, DC,
February 16, 1994
 
It is a rare moment when those of us involved in the
peace process can step from behind the closed doors and
share with you a little of the excitement that we enjoy
behind those doors.  But since the multilateral process
is embarking on a new phase, which will be to the
immediate benefit of people in the region, we thought it
would be useful to share with you a little more
perspective on the content and direction of the
multilateral negotiations.
 
By way of background, you will recall that in the run-up
to the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, we envisaged two
sets of negotiations--the bilateral negotiations
involving Israel, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinians, and
Jordan, that would be directed at the core issues of the
Arab-Israeli conflict. Those issues related to Resolution
242, territory, peace and security.  And there was a
complementary set of negotiations intended to address
issues that had not been discussed by the regional
parties for over four decades, and to which the regional
parties, we felt, needed to address themselves in order
to begin correcting some problems that have beset this
region for much too long.
 
At the earliest phases of the multilateral process, which
was launched in fact in early 1992 in Moscow, there was a
great deal of getting to know one another.  There were
seminars that were conducted.  There was a process of
mutual familiarization.  It was also a  process of
educating the parties as to the depth and scope of the
problems they had agreed to address.
 
What buoyed us in this earliest phase was the fact that
even as the bilateral negotiations went through their ups
and downs--as they were bound to do--11, 12, sometimes 13
Arab parties joined together with Israel and a number of
extra-regional parties in trying to address problems in
five discrete areas--areas related to regional economic
developments, refugees, arms control and regional
security, environment, and water.  The multilateral
process is, of course, amenable to the inclusion of
additional issues, but it was these issues on which the
parties embarked in an effort to try to fix some of these
problems.
 
After this period of familiarization, the sharing of
ideas, and some education, during the last year we've
seen   an increasing pace and scope of activity in the
process in which the regional parties, themselves, have
begun to insist that more concreteness be included in the
discussions, and more visible activity be undertaken to
address specific problems, and begin to be seen by the
people in the region as meeting their concerns.
 
We saw this quite directly in the last round of working
group meetings that were held in October and November
1993, when several of the working groups actually
formulated and began implementing concrete projects:  a
rainwater catchment project in Gaza; a mutual declaration
on arms control and regional security; and environmental
issues, waste water treatment, and desertification.  In
other words, each of the groups began to focus in on one
or two specific projects that could be seen by people in
the region, and show them that there could potentially be
fruits of peace that would come at a time when the core
issues of the conflict were also being addressed.
 
To reflect this increased urgency which was adduced by us
from the parties in the region, the multilateral steering
group decided to hold an extraordinary session last week
in Ottawa.  I headed the U.S. delegation.  That group
decided on three issues which are designed to give even
more impetus to this process.
 
First, at the urging of the regional parties in the
multilateral steering group, the steering group will now
take a much more active role in trying to increase the
pace and scope of the working groups--in other words, to
bring even more concreteness to the activities that the
five working groups have engaged in thus far.
 
Second, we had a very useful discussion on relations
among people in the region.  This was stimulated by a
discussion we started in Tokyo which asked the question:
"Is this region going to be ready for peace when peace
breaks out?"  Since there is a great deal of optimism--
again, notwithstanding the ups and downs of the bilateral
talks--but since there is a great deal of optimism that
there will be agreements signed between Israel and the
Arabs, and that these agreements will be implemented over
the course of the next several years, has the region
really begun to grapple with some of the issues that will
perhaps retard economic development if they are not
addressed even now.  So the multilateral steering group
decided to try to formulate some guidelines that,
perhaps, the working groups could begin working on in
order to bring about an environment that would be
conducive to the implementation of agreements as they are
reached in the bilaterals.
 
Third, the steering group has given urgency to the
formulation of a set of regional developmental
priorities, much akin to what was undertaken about 1-1/2
years ago with regard specifically to the West Bank and
Gaza.
 
As you recall, a study was commissioned on the
development priorities for the territories which proved
to be very useful immediately after September 13, when an
international effort was mobilized to bring about support
for the Palestinian-Israeli agreement.  We have decided
to do the same thing now on a region-wide basis in order
to stimulate economic development and, again, more
concrete projects on the part of the working groups.
 
So I wanted to convey to you, in these few opening
remarks, a sense of movement on the part of the
multilateral process.  I also don't want to convey to you
a sense of over-optimism about the prospects for the
multilateral process outstripping the pace of the
bilaterals.  After all, the bilateral negotiations remain
at the core of resolving the Arab-Israeli dispute.  All
the parties in the Middle East--Israel and the Arabs--
insist that the core issues of this conflict be addressed
before a more normal relationship develops among them.
But as that relationship develops as a result of
successes in the bilaterals, I think the multilaterals
have now begun to move further and faster to begin
addressing some of these concrete problems and again, to
create an environment in which implementation of
agreements will make much more sense.  (###)
 
END OF DISPATCH VOL. 5, NO. 9

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