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                           THE WHITE HOUSE
                    Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                              September 18, 1994
                            PRESS BRIEFING
                          The Briefing Room
9:52 P.M. EDT
             MS. MYERS:  I think we'll hear now from Secretary of
State Warren Christopher.  He will make a brief opening statement,
and then Secretary Perry and General Shalikashvili will also be
available, along with Secretary Christopher, to take your questions.
             So, Secretary Christopher.
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Good evening.  Perhaps I'll say
first that Tony Lake is off on other duties, otherwise he would be
here with General Shalikashvili and Secretary Perry and myself.
             We've been saying since the beginning of our
administration that the goals of our Haiti policy were to restore
democracy to Haiti and to return President Aristide.  Today we have
taken very long and important steps toward achieving both of those
             As I look back on this situation, it seems to me that a
critical time occurred when the illegal government forced out of
Haiti the U.N. monitors.  That resulted in the passage of U.N.
Security Council Resolution 940, which provides, basically, the
context for what's happened today.   All that's been done here, I
think, is, in effect, a way to carry out U.N. Security Council
Resolution 940.  And what's been done here is to, I think, achieve
the goals set forth in that resolution and achieve the goals of the
policy that we have been trying to carry out during the entire time
we've been in office.
             There is certainly challenging times ahead for us in
implementing this policy.  There will be first the obligation to
secure the environment in Haiti.  And our troops will be going in
tomorrow, as you know, from what the President has said.  We expect
that President Aristide will be returned to power in an appropriate
way in the very near future.  And then, over time, we look forward to
the transition to the United Nations mission within a matter of
months.  But we have, I think, the structure and the basis for moving
ahead to achieve the goals of our policy in Haiti.
             And, of course, the best news of the day is that we're
going to do this in a permissive environment with less risk to
American lives, less risk to our troops than would have been achieved
without these goals.
             As I look back over the course of the day, I want to pay
great tribute to the negotiating team that we had in Haiti -- with
President Carter, with General Powell, and with Senator Nunn.  We
had, I think, the perfect combination to make it clear to the leaders
of Haiti that not only this administration, but those outside this
administration in leading positions in American life were strongly
convinced that the illegal government must leave.
             I also want to pay tribute to the United Nations and the
coalition of 25 governments that were prepared to join us, and will
join us in this endeavor.  I think these were all factors that
conjoined together to convince the de factos that the time had come
for them definitely to go.
             This is clearly power in the service of diplomacy in one
of the most convincing ways that I can recall.  As the day went on,
we, of course, we were in very close touch with the -- our
representatives, the President's negotiators in Haiti.  We had an
open line to the negotiating areas all during the course of the day.
The President talked not only with former President Carter, but to
General Powell and Senator Nunn during the course of the day.
             I would say that the sticking point for us was to insist
on there being a definite date on which the de factos would leave,
and without that, the President was unwilling to go forward.  And
when that was achieved, as the day wore on and as it became apparent
to the de factos that they were going to be taken out in other ways,
we were able to get an agreement to the departure on that date, which
I think is the critical element of this agreement.  We hope that they
may be forced to leave before then because of the passage of the
amnesty law.  But we do have an outside date, and that is critical.
             I do want to step aside now, because in many ways I'm
sure you'll be much more interested in talking about the military
aspects of this than the diplomatic aspects; although as I say, this
is one instance where power has served diplomacy in an absolutely
classic way.
             Secretary Perry.
             Q    Mr. Secretary, where will they go and how much
money will they take with them?
             SECRETARY PERRY:  We'll come back to the questions in
just a minute.
             I just want to add one thing to what the Secretary said.
I was on board the Wasp last night, off the shores of Haiti, talking
with the more than 1,000 troops who are on board there.  I can tell
you, they were cocked, primed and ready to go.  But they knew and I
knew that a forced entry was not without risks -- there would be some
casualties not only to our troops, but to the Haitians as well.  And
so we all hoped we could avoid that kind of a forced entry.  And that
is what this negotiation has achieved, so we've strongly supported
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Pardon me.  On the question you
asked now, we don't know where they will go.  But as I said earlier
today, I can't imagine that they would want to stay in Haiti with
several thousand American troops there, with Aristide returned to
power; but when they leave, they will not take any American money
with them.
             Q    Mr. Secretary, their departure from the country,
though, is not an explicit part of this agreement.  How can you be
certain that they will go?  And could you address widespread reports
earlier today that President Carter was insisting on staying long
after this White House wanted him to leave?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, with respect to the first
part of your question, Andrea, just repeat what I said -- I think for
all practical purposes, they are certain to leave.  I doubt that
they'll want to stay there when President Aristide is returned to
power.  I doubt they'll want to stay there with many thousand
American troops and then later on, U.N. troops.
             We had long discussions, of course, on the telephone
with the President's representatives there.  They've all come back
together.  It was a negotiating team of extraordinary unity and
effectiveness.  And they worked together and they're leaving
             Q    But did President Carter want to stick it out long
after the President felt that they should be returning, that they
were not going to reach an agreement?  Was there a disagreement on
whether or not the negotiations should continue?
                  SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  There was no disagreement
on whether negotiations should continue.  I must say that, knowing
what we knew about the military plans, we were concerned that they be
able to leave Haiti tonight.  And it was only in those terms that
that discussion took place.
             Q    On that score, would you actually have invaded
while they were still in Haiti?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  That's why we were so anxious to
get them out.
             Q    But would you have actually permitted this to --
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  No, we would have ensured that
they left Haiti before the invasion began.
             Q    Mr. Secretary, can you tell us, please, who is
covered by the amnesty that the Haitian Parliament is expected to
pass?  Is it just General Cedras and General Biamby, or does it
include other military officers?  And if they're not covered, how do
you expect them to want to cooperate?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, of course, that will be up
to the Haitian Parliament.  But the plan is that there would be a
broad amnesty for all the members of the military.  That's one thing
that General Cedras has insisted on.  But it was because of our
concern that that might take some time, or that that amnesty might
not be enacted promptly, although perhaps it will be, that we
insisted on an outside date.
             Q    Can I ask General Shalikashvili a question?
General, just to clarify this point on the start of the military
operation.  When did you -- were you told to begin the operation
tonight?  And was that connected to the negotiations?  Was the part
of the strategy to convince Cedras to accept the terms that were
acceptable to President Clinton?  Or was this operation always
scheduled to begin Sunday evening?
             GENERAL SHALIKASHVILI:  This operation was scheduled to
begin Sunday evening for a number of days now, yes.
             Q    And do you believe that when General Cedras learned
about it, that's when he blinked?  And how did he learn about
precisely, because there's some confusion whether he was told by
General Powell or that the troops at Ft. Bragg were getting ready to
begin this invasion, or whether he learned it independently through
the news media?
             GENERAL SHALIKASHVILI:  I am absolutely convinced that
it was being aware of the preparations of such an overwhelming force
that caused him to blink.  It is my understanding that he received
that information through a third party.  I don't know who it is.  But
not General Powell.
             Q    Secretary Christopher, you, Secretary Perry, the
President, his spokespeople all last week and through yesterday and
this morning were insistent that there were be no negotiations, that
this team was going down there only to discuss how they would get out
of the country.  Now there are at least some conditions attached to
their departure.  When was the decision made to expand the
negotiations into negotiations and why?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I think it's fair to say that
the negotiations were all related to departure arrangements and the
timing of departure arrangements.  I think it's entirely fair to say
that the discussions were all within the context of the President's
instructions to the delegation that what we're talking about was
departure and departure arrangements.
             Q    Mr. Secretary, by leaving the military leaders in
there for several days or weeks, does that not increase the risk of
them running either organized or guerrilla activities against our
troops that are going to be there tomorrow, starting tomorrow?
             GENERAL PERRY:  The risk of paramilitary or guerrilla
activity has always been there, no matter how we went in.  We believe
that risk is minimized by the agreement of the leaders of the Haitian
military to cooperate with the entry.  That --
             Q    These are the same leaders though, sir, who
promised last year to step down.  How can we trust them this time?
             GENERAL PERRY:  We are not -- our entry plans are not
based on trust.  We are going in with a very large and a very well-
armed military force.  Our protection will be in our arms, not in
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  -- in answer to that -- last
October 15th when they were scheduled to leave, there were no
American troops there.  This year I expect there will be about
15,000, give or take a few thousand troops there.  And I think that's
a fairly good guarantee that they'll carry out their understanding.
             Q    Secretary Christopher, who will be held to account
for the massive human rights violations that the President said
justified this massive U.S. military buildup and planned invasion?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I think that there would be a
strong spirit of reconciliation in Haiti.  President Aristide himself
has emphasized that.  He has said that he preferred that Cedras and
Biamby leave the country.  And I think that's really the answer to
the question now whether or not under internal law of Haiti there
would be some prosecutions for human rights violations will really
depend upon the Haitian laws.  There's a sound constitution there.
There's a sound legal structure.  And I think the important thing is
to be able to implement that legal structure.
             Q    But you said there would be a broad amnesty, is not
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Yes, the legislature will be
considering -- the parliament will be considering a broad general
amnesty, which, as you know, President Aristide promulgated an
amnesty, and this would be a follow-up on that.  But I want to
emphasize again that because we did not want to be held subject or
conditional to the passage of that amnesty, that we insisted on an
outside date for departure.
             Q    Mr. Secretary, is it for departure or resignation,
sir -- the October 15th date -- is that for departure or resignation?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  You're right to correct -- it is
departure from their office and resignation from their office.
             Q    And having said that, when you said earlier that
the sticking point on your side was to -- you had to insist on a
definite day by which de factos would leave, we've always thought you
were talking about leaving the country.  You're saying now that you
were not talking about that?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, we've always said that the
key factor was to relinquish power.  We've also said we thought they
should leave the country.  And I say again that I think that in
practical terms they will leave the country.
             Q    There's 27 days, if I'm counting correctly, between
now and October 15th.  That will take a long time -- does it take
that long to get the assembly to vote on this?  Was that a condition
that was placed by the military?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, you know, parliamentary
bodies do take some time.  We hope they'll do it more rapidly.  Some
of the Aristide supporters, as you know, have been here in the United
States and out of the country.  We'll try to facilitate their return
to the country so that parliament will be able to act swiftly.  But
we want to have an outside limit on --
             Q    May I have a follow-up, sir?  Does that mean that
the assembly will be composed of the Aristide faction and the faction
that is there now?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, the two houses of the
parliament, and I don't want to pose as a precise expert on that,
will be formed in the way that they presently are.  As you know, a
number of the Aristide -- the Aristide supporters have left the
country and are -- many of them are in Florida.
             Q    Can you and General Shali have told us as much as
you can about how the troops will come ashore?  Will it be comparable
to the invasion plan, with the Marines perhaps taking the north shore
and the army going in Port au Prince?  What can you share with us?
             SECRETARY PERRY:  There's important similarities and
important differences.  The most important differences are that
we're not having to make a forced entry, we will not have to do it in
the middle of the night, and we will not have to do it in the middle
of the night, and we will not have to use our paratrooping forces to
do it.  So you subtract that from it and what's left is a very
similar force.
             Shali, would you like to add more to that?
             Q    And what time, sir, do you think the first troops
will come ashore, if you can tell us?
             GENERAL SHALIKASHVILI:  I can tell you that General
Shelton, the commander of those troops, is expected to be there in
the morning.  He's expected to meet with General Cedras to inform him
how it is that we propose to bring the other forces in; and after
those discussions, then to order the movement of those forces.
             My expectation is that those forces will begin arriving
sometime tomorrow afternoon.  But I really need to leave it up to
General Shelton, who has the authority to work out the specific
             Q    Can I follow up on that?  Secretary Perry, can you
tell us, with our troops in place but the dictatorship still in
office, who's going to be running the country?  Where is the dividing
line as to who has authority over what?
             SECRETARY PERRY:  As long as the de facto government is
still in charge, they will be in charge of the police.  The new
police force will come in with the new government, although we hope
to begin some of the preparation and vetting for that during this
interim period.  The military force -- the U.S. military force --will
be there to provide a fundamental security role; first of all, and
most importantly, to ensure that the provisions of this agreement are
carried out.
             Q    Well, is there a provision to give primacy to one
or the other of the forces in case of a dispute?
             SECRETARY PERRY:  The primacy will be with the U.S.
military forces.
             Q    Excuse me, Secretary Perry, if they refuse to leave
on October 15th, will the military be arresting them?
             SECRETARY PERRY:  I don't want to write out a formula
for what will happen then.  We would be confronted then with a
situation like we were confronted yesterday, with the difference
being that we would have 15,000 troops already on the ground.  So
whatever our problems in enforcing our will at that stage will be
greatly facilitated by the fact that we have our troops on the
             Q    And do we think there's any threat from Francois,
who apparently is in hiding and is not a signatory to this agreement?
             SECRETARY PERRY:  I would see if either Shali or
Secretary Christopher would want to add to that.  But I don't believe
that's a significant threat, myself.
             Q    Mr. Secretary, do you have any more information
about Francois?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, I think that his position
is sufficiently eroded in Haiti that the military leaders, either the
current ones or those who replaced them, will be able to issue orders
to him that will be quite effective.
             Q    I'm intrigued that you think that only because the
planes were in the air did the coup leaders blink.  You mean that
they thought two aircraft carriers and the whole off-shore surrounded
with an armada was a bluff?  I mean, didn't that disturb them at all?
It had no impact until you started the invasion?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Isn't it interesting what
psychological moment finally causes somebody to decide?
             Q    You mean that's the only time they capitulated and
went for the agreement?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: That's the way the facts look,
             Q    Well, speaking of psychological, Secretary
Christopher, can you talk about the psychological -- there seems to
be some face-saving that had to go on here.  It seems to me that the
administration had to blink on the departure-from-country date in
order to get this agreement, because these guys were worried about
losing face, being forced out of the country in a written agreement.
Is that what you had to do in order to get this agreement?  You
decided it wasn't worth spilling American blood in order to get them
to agree to leave on a certain date?
             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, we, as I said at the
beginning, we achieved the goals of our policy.  If we could do that
and minimize the risk to American troops, that seemed a very prudent
thing to do, and we did it.
                                 END                   10:14 P.M. EDT
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