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U.S. Department of State
96/09/05 Press Briefing with British Foreign Sec. Rifkind, England
Office of the Spokesman

                        U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         Office of the Spokesman

                           (London, England)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              September 5, 1996

                     JOINT PRESS AVAILABILITY

                      AT 1 CARLTON GARDENS
                        London, England
                       September 5, 1996

SECRETARY RIFKIND:  Good morning.  We had very fruitful discussions, 
covering a range of issues, as you would expect.  We spent a good bit of 
time on the situation in Northern Iraq, but we also looked at the wider 
Middle Eastern situation.  Also we dealt with the matter on Bosnia and a 
range of other international and bilateral issues.  Could I just very 
briefly say before handing over to Secretary Christopher, that so far as 
the situation in Iraq is concerned, the United Kingdom's assessment of 
recent developments there is that we know the way in which Saddam 
Hussein operates. It is crucially necessary that whenever he initiates 
either repression or aggression, that he should end up losing more than 
he thinks he has gained.  That has to be a clear and unambiguous 
outcome.  And I believe recent events, including the extension of the 
"no-fly" zone ought to have demonstrated to him unequivocally, that his 
behavior has consequences very damaging to his regime.  These should be 
the criteria that we apply and we believe it right to do so.  Could I 
now invite Secretary Christopher to say a few words.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Thank you.  It is a great pleasure to be back 
here in London and particularly at a time when this extraordinary 
partnership that the United States has with the United Kingdom is on 
such important display.

The strength of the partnership is reflected in the strong support that 
the United States has had in the issue that has come up in Iraq.  We are 
very grateful to Prime Minister Major and Foreign Secretary Rifkind and 
the entire British Government for their unstinting support in the 
situation and the crisis at the present time in Iraq.  The "no-fly" zone 
is now being fully enforced in its extended form and as the Foreign 
Secretary indicated, we think we've brought home to Saddam Hussein that 
there's a very high price for the kind of repressive conduct that he has 
taken in Northern Iraq and that will continue to be the standard by 
which we measure our actions together.  

I have come here as the first stop on a trip to Europe, which gives me 
an opportunity to talk with my colleagues about the very important 
agenda we have for NATO, this fall and leading up to the December 
meeting.  We've talked this morning about the great importance to be 
attached to the September 14th elections in Bosnia, not only those 
elections but the government building, the institution building that 
must take place following the elections.  This is going to be a very 
important fall in the relationships between the United States and 

I am making a speech in Stuttgart tomorrow on the 50th anniversary of 
Secretary of State Byrnes's rather famous "Speech of Hope" in Stuttgart, 
in which the United States committed itself to remain in Europe, to 
stay.  I have the same message, the United States continues to have a 
tremendous interest and tremendous determination to be a part of the 
European scene.  We are here to stay as we were 50 years ago.  So it has 
been a great pleasure to be here talking to my friend, Malcolm Rifkind, 
this morning, about our many shared interests and to express great 
appreciation for the support that we have from the United Kingdom on the 
most recent event, but on the broader landscape of important issues that 
we have.  

Thank you very much.

QUESTION:  [inaudible]  authority for your action in Iraq, given that 
Resolution 688 was passed under UN Chapter 7, which does not authorize 
military action, where do you say that authority stems from?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I think the real issue probably is not a legal 
question but if you want to talk about the legal issue, there's been 
little doubt about the authority to impose a "no-fly" zone.  What's 
happened here is an extension of a "no-fly" zone.  I think there is full 
justification for extending it because of the reckless conduct Saddam 
Hussein has revealed over the last week or so.

We have a "no-fly" zone which, I think, has been fully understood by the 
international community as a good way to carry out Resolution 688 and we 
simply are making it possible for our pilots to carry out their 
obligations in this no-fly zone in a way that doesn't risk their lives.  
But the much more important issue is to make it clear to Saddam Hussein 
that he will pay a price for the kind of repressive action that he's 
taken and I think that that broad strategic question is the one that the 
world ought to face, and I think that we, the United States, in 
cooperation with Great Britain and many other countries which have come 
to our support, has made that point quite forcibly.

QUESTION:  Do you think that the argument will carry the day in Paris?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I look forward to our discussions in Paris this 
afternoon.  We very much hope that the French government will continue 
to operate with us as they have been in the past. One thing that should 
not be missed here, and that is I don't find anybody who is justifying 
or supporting or defending or excusing the conduct of Saddam Hussein in 
sending 30,000 or so troops into the Kurdish areas of Northern Iraq and 
once again, repressing the peoples there.  And I hope that after our 
conversations this afternoon the French will go forward with the 
operations as we have had them in the past.

QUESTION:  Why do you think that there has been so little support for 
what you are doing, specifically from those Arab states like Saudi 
Arabia, Kuwait, who were so supportive of earlier actions?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I guess I have to dispute your premise.  We have 
had a great deal of support for what we have done, from the United 
Kingdom, from Germany, from Australia, from New Zealand, and Kuwait has 
certainly strongly supported the action that we have taken there.  You 
look back into history and you find that sometimes on the first day when 
the United States, the United Kingdom and others have taken action, have 
moved out to show leadership to respond to aggression, we haven't always 
had support on the first day or the first week, but I think over time 
the world community has come to recognize and get behind those who show 
leadership to face up to the repressors, face up to the aggressors, and 
I hope and expect that that will be the case here as well.

QUESTION:  Do you think that it is time for the international community 
to sort out the issue of the Kurdish people in the North of Iraq so that 
it doesn't become another source of trouble, or are you in favor of 
protecting the unity of Iraq?

SECRETARY RIFKIND:  Well, we recognize the integrity and independence in 
present boarders of Iraq, that is not a matter in dispute.  But I do 
entirely agree with you as to the need to ensure a safe and proper life 
for the people, the Kurdish people, who live in Iraq, it is very much 
that thinking that led to the safe havens and to the "no-fly" zone in 
the northern part of the country, and it is because of the repression 
against Kurdish people that the action this week, we believe, was 
entirely justified.

QUESTION:  Mr. Rifkind, as you staunchly stand by the United States in 
this operation, are you disappointed at the point of view expressed by 
France and the fact that they wouldn't go along with a proposed European 
Union statement on the attacks?  Are you disappointed by the French 

SECRETARY RIFKIND:  Well, I believe that as Secretary Christopher has 
pointed out that there is a very wide range of international support as 
well as criticism from other quarters.

QUESTION:  When one of your allies is not engaging in the expanded "no-
fly" zone, one of the allies that both your nations fly with, are you 
disappointed at this French move?

SECRETARY RIFKIND:  The French remain part of the coalition that is 
implementing the no-fly zone.  I believe that the" no-fly" zone can be 
entirely effective on the basis of the current levels of participation.  
The crucial requirement is that can we effectively implement the "no-
fly" zone.  The French remain part of the coalition, the "no-fly" zone 
will be effectively implemented and that therefore is a satisfactory 

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, on the first day after the 1991 Gulf War there 
was support from what has been known now as the Gulf Coalition, from the 
very first day.  You don't have that support now; it seems as if there 
is a fraying in that original 1991 coalition.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, you remember the history a little bit 
differently than I do.  To round up the coalition took a great deal of 
effort.  But this is a different situation than that was, to be sure, 
and I think that over time though, people will see that once again this 
is just Saddam Hussein playing his old restless game and one in which 
the international community has to stand up to or we will find him 
feeling he has a license to go on.  The only kind of language he 
understands is the language of force.  We are making that clear and I 
think that the extension of the "no-fly" zone and the steps that were 
necessary in order to make that effective are fully justifiable.

QUESTION:  Mr. Christopher, what do you think about the meeting 
yesterday between President Arafat and Prime Minister Netanyahu 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  It was a very significant meeting.  It crossed a 
psychological threshold, that I think, is essential if there is going to 
be meaningful progress.  It's a first step, but I think that it paves 
the way for the two parties, that is the Prime Minister and Chairman 
Arafat, to understand each others problems and begin to work together to 
resolve the problems. Prime Minister Netanyahu has committed himself to 
carry out the agreements that have been reached, but in order to do so 
effectively I think that he will need to have regular consultations 
between himself, as well as his ministers and assistants, with Chairman 
Arafat and Chairman Arafat's aides, and this really launches that now in 
the most effective way.  It's been missing from this point forward and I 
think that the fact the Chairman and the Prime Minister met yesterday 
can give a new sense of momentum to this.  As I say, I think it crossed 
a very important psychological threshold.  Thank you very much.    

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