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U.S. Department of State
96/10/08 Remarks with Malian Foreign Minister Traoreon
Office of the Spokesman

                       U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                       Office of the Spokesman
                            (Bamako, Mali)
For Immediate Release                          October 8, 1996

                     JOINT PRESS AVAILABILITY 
                       DIONCOUNDA TRAOREON

                      Presidential Palace
                          Bamako, Mali
                         October 8, 1996

FOREIGN MINISTER TRAORE: (Translation)   Ladies and gentleman, dear 
friends -- members of the press -- I know that once more, you're eager 
to know that Secretary of State Warren Christopher has been received by 
President Konare.  During this meeting, we touched upon all the issues 
of the moment: Bilateral issues; international issues and African 
issues.  I must say, -- without taking away from my colleague, the 
Secretary of State -- the chance to be the first to announce the news, 
as expected throughout this meeting, we have verified, once more, that 
between U.S. democracy and Malian democracy the convergence of views is 
almost total.  We also realized that the United States is very 
interested and concerned by problems in Mali and problems in Africa; be 
it peace or development the United States is ready to stand at the side 
of Mali and at the side of Africans, as we deal with the challenges we 

I think the best thing to do now would be to let the Secretary of State 
make his statement so you can ask the questions that you want and 
receive answer to your concerns. However, we are running very late, so 
I'll be thankful if you make a special effort not to make us even later.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Thank you Mr. Foreign Minister.  Let me just 
first say, I really value the opportunity to get acquainted with my 
fellow Foreign Minister and President Konare.  I thank him very much for 
inviting me here today.

We just completed more than two hours of discussion with President 
Konare and Prime Minister Keita.  First of all, I expressed America's 
admiration for President Konare's leadership and Mali's transformation.  
Mali's success is the best answer to those who claim that Africa's 
problems are insoluble.

What's been accomplished here sends a signal to all of Africa.  When 
people are trusted to choose their leaders and the leaders make the 
right choices, nations can avert crisis and begin to unlock their 
economic potential.

In our meeting today, I pledged our continuing support for Mali's 
democratic and economic reforms.  In particular, I announced that an 
additional $700,000 grant be given to  Mali to help hold its free and 
fair elections in 1997.  I emphasized that our aid program, generally 
speaking, would continue to focus on education, health, and employment 
for the youth; exactly the topics in which they're most interested.  I 
also indicated that we want to continue to support Mali's economic 

In the course of the day, we discussed President Konare's courageous 
efforts to end the conflict in Northern Mali.  I'm glad to say that our 
Peace Corps volunteers will be returning to that area soon and that 
we're ready to provide an additional $1,000,000 to help demobilize the 
former rebel forces.  We are also ready to help train the newly 
integrated units of the Mali army.  These are some of the ways that 
America can be helpful. 

As the Foreign Minister said, we discussed various crisis situations 
here in the region. I particularly welcomed the President's commitment 
to join with other African nations, the U.S. and Europe to help assist 
in  forming the African Crisis Response Force.
I also thanked President Konare for his principled stand on the issue of 
human rights.  That's an issue along with many others where Mali can 
provide leadership and inspiration for its neighbors; indeed for all of 
Africa.  So, from my standpoint, it was an exceedingly good meeting and 
I thank the President, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister for 
hosting me and our delegation.

QUESTION:  I would like to ask the Minister if Mali has been able to 
suggest a candidate to succeed Boutros-Boutros Ghali as Secretary 
General of the United Nations and whether Mali would support reduced 
sanctions against Nigeria because of their human rights record?

FOREIGN MINISTER TRAORE: (Translation)   As far as your first question 
is concerned, we have spoken about this issue.  I, personally, spoke 
about this with the Secretary of State last night and we talked about 
this again in our meeting with the President.  It's not a simple issue.  
Africa, at the Yaounde Summit, made a declaration stating that, in 
principle, Boutros-Boutros Ghali is Africa's candidate. To speak 
frankly, you are journalist; you are well informed about everything that 
happens around the world.  You know that this candidacy gives rise to 
much opposition and difference of views all around the world; therefore, 
officially, Boutros-Boutros Gali is Africa's candidate. But I think I 
can say that what's essential today for Africa is that Africa be 
afforded a second term at the head of the U.N. This is the most 
important issue, for the great majority of African countries.

Some criticism has been levied against the U.N. lately; it's 
inefficient; it rarely responds to the aspirations of the people of 
member countries, and it's solves problems in a way that is somewhat 
unequal.  Several people wish for more democracy within the 
organization, and more democracy in international relations.  The 
structure that can play the most important role, in this business is of 
course, is  the U.N. We, therefore, wish for the restructuring  of the 
U.N.(inaudible), at the level of the Security Council of course, and for 
us -- developing countries -- we especially insist on restructuring the 
UN's developmentmental agencies, which design and implement programs for 
the development of member countries.   This is the essential point for 
us, I think.   And of course, that leads -- in terms of the operation -- 
the U.N. to the issue of the Secretary General. 

In order to carry out these reforms, we ask the international community 
to  trust Africa because it has contributed a great deal and should 
contribute a great deal to all restructuring and reorganization of the 
U.N.   How do  you entrust us with your confidence? By giving us a 
second term at the head of the U.N. And I stress it again, for us it is 
essential that Africa be afforded a second term.  

 As far as the second question, I think the position of Mali is well 
known and President Konare has once more reaffirmed our position a 
little while ago.  Our position, in regards to human rights, is a matter 
of principle; it is a non-negotiable position.  Anywhere in the world, 
where the rights of individuals are in jeopardy, Mali will take a clear 
stand of condemnation.  We condemn violations of human rights, whether 
they take place in Nigeria or any place. We say that, as men, as 
inhabitants of this planet, we have not only the right, but the duty to 
condemn human right violations; therefore, our position is very clear on 
Nigeria; it's non-negotiable.

Now, I don't know what kind of sanctions you're talking about.  If 
you're thinking about an embargo, basically, we are not very favorable 
to embargoes, because experience shows that it is the most vulnerable 
part of the population that suffers with these embargoes, the weak, 
women, children and the elderly, but the objective of embargoes is 
usually not to touch this vulnerable population .  We are very skeptical 
about the effectiveness of embargoes.  I don't know whether you are 
talking about embargoes or other sanctions because there maybe other 
types of sanctions and it would be necessary if that's the case for you 
to be more specific about your thinking.  Africa's culture is such that 
we have our own solutions for our problems, which don't include 
embargoes and total exclusion.

QUESTION: (Translation)  Mr. Secretary two questions, could you be a 
little more specific about the African Crisis Response Force?  Would 
that be a second version of "Operation Restore Hope" which is in favor 
of democracy but in a more subtle way?  The second question is 
immigration; you know immigration is something that is discussed very 
much.  Do you contemplate taking more flexible measures against 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: With respect to the African Crisis Response Force 
that's been in contemplation, first, let me emphasize that this is still 
in a state of proposal.  It's being discussed with both African 
countries and European countries and we're trying to work out the most 
satisfying proposal.  The basic concept is that African countries, who 
are willing to do so, would identify forces that could be trained, 
equipped, and funded by the United States and Europe.  Probably, also 
logistics of those forces would be a variable  pursuant to action by the 
United Nations and the OAU and ultimately they might be available either 
through humanitarian work or in other crisis prevention modes.  What I 
suggest you do, if I could sir,  is that you take some time, later 
today, to talk with Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 
George Moose, who is here in the region outlining this concept.  It's a 
rather complicated concept and I'd like you to have the advantage of all 
the details. 

As you know, with respect to the second question, did you know in the 
last few days an immigration bill was passed by Congress?  Indeed I 
believe it was passed when I was out of the country.  It's mainly 
directed toward illegal immigration; although, there have been some 
restrictions on legal immigration as well.  Some of the ceilings have 
been, I believe, lowered, but I am not able to give you a full run-down 
on that new legislation. I'll ask that our ambassador do so at a later 
time, if you remain interested.  

QUESTION:(Translation) We know that after you leave Mali you will go to 
Tanzania, in your trip around Africa.  The great lakes countries have 
imposed an embargo against Burundi, as a reaction to the putsch that 
took into power Major Buyoya.  I would like to know the U.S. position on 
the embargo?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: I'll be speaking with the leaders of the adjacent 
countries about the embargo.  The issue is whether or not the embargo is 
conducive to democratic change in Burundi. Our goal is to see a 
representative government there that would try to ensure improved 
stability in the region.  I'm going to withhold any comment about the 
U.S. position until I get a chance to talk with the presidents of the 
regional countries.  

May I add that up to this point, we've not opposed the embargo that's 
been imposed by the adjacent countries, but I'd like to have a chance to 
have these discussions to see if there is an evolution in the positions 

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