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U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing #124, 98-11-10

U.S. State Department: Daily Press Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) at <http://www.state.gov>


768

U.S. Department of State
Daily Press Briefing

I N D E X

Tuesday, November 10, 1998

Briefer: James P. Rubin

ANNOUNCEMENTS
1		Deputy Secretary Talbott's Address on India and Pakistan at
		  the Brooking Institution

MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS 1-2 Israeli Cabinet Consideration of the Wye Agreement 2 Dennis Ross Whereabouts/Travel Plans

IRAQ 2 Secretary's Contacts/Consultations with Foreign Ministers 3-4,5,6-7 US Policy Toward Iraq/Peaceful Resolution/Full Compliance 4-5 Upcoming Travel Plans by the President and Secretary 5 Prospects for Lifting Sanctions Against Iraq

CHINA 7-8 Dalai Lama's Visit to the US/Meetings

CUBA 8-9 US Policy Toward Cuba 9 Cuban Exiles Case Against Castro

TURKEY 10 High School Board Dismissed

AFGHANISTAN 10 Taliban's View of US Indictment Against Bin Laden

COLOMBIA 10-11,13 Search of Colombian Air Force Plane

IRAN 11-12 US Policy Toward Iran

MALAYSIA 12 Secretary's Travel to APEC Meeting in Kuala Lumpur


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPB #124

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1998, 12:45 P.M.

(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MR. RUBIN: I really did think I was going to get out on time today. Please forgive --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. RUBIN: Might even be. Welcome to the State Department briefing here on this Tuesday. We have a notice that we'll post about Deputy Secretary Talbott's speech on Thursday on India and Pakistan. With that announcement, let me go to your questions.

QUESTION: Well, the Israeli Cabinet will indeed take up the agreement on Wednesday, it's been announced. Now the Palestinians are saying that if there's further delay, they will unilaterally decline to implement the accord. What do you think of all of this? Is it moving along now finally?

MR. RUBIN: We do think it is moving along. Obviously, we're pleased about the announced intention of the Israeli Cabinet to meet.

Secretary Albright has obviously worked very hard on this in recent days and weeks to try to move and keep the process moving forward. We do think it's important that the Israeli Government complete its political legal process quickly and carry out its responsibilities.

It should still be possible for both sides to carry out all the steps that were envisioned in the Wye Memorandum by next week; that is our hope. Our view is that both Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Netanyahu have committed themselves to moving ahead on this agreement. It is important that all obligations undertaken by the two sides be implemented in accordance with the memorandum.

As I indicated yesterday, the Palestinians have taken several important steps, including resuming bilateral security cooperation; including announcing members of the anti-incitement committee; and including action by the Palestinian Executive Council on the letter nullifying relevant provisions of the Charter. So steps have been taken by the Palestinians during this period when Israel was going through its legal political process and during the period that was marked, as well, by terrorist actions against the people of Israel.

So we believe that this is an extremely important agreement for the people of Israel. It meets the stated objectives of the Israeli Government in creating an infrastructure to fight terrorism on a sustained basis in a real and significant way. In addition, it meets the needs of the Palestinians to keep the Oslo process moving, and sets the stage for discussions very soon, we hope, on the permanent status negotiations - which will involve even more difficult issues than we went through in Wye.

QUESTION: Is this the time the never-postponed Ross trip to the Middle East will be announced?

MR. RUBIN: I don't have any final announcements on that. I do expect Ambassador Ross to be going shortly, but I don't have the time for you.

QUESTION: If he goes - assuming we don't hear that he's gone -- so let's -

MR. RUBIN: I'll try to make sure you do hear that he's gone.

QUESTION: Well, we do sometimes. But I wanted to -

MR. RUBIN: I'll try to make sure of it.

QUESTION: Is this a good time to ask what his purpose would be? And would anybody in the group go off to Syria?

MR. RUBIN: I haven't heard any of that; all I've heard about that is from you all. My understanding is that Ambassador Ross and his deputy, Aaron Miller, are expected to be in the region regularly in a revolving door diplomacy to work on implementation issues. I expect them both to be there at different times, and maybe even overlapping, in the coming weeks and months.

QUESTION: What about Assistant Secretary Indyk?

MR. RUBIN: I have heard nothing about that -- only from you, Sid.

QUESTION: Well, Iraq's in that bureau, isn't it? I mean, there's other business besides -

MR. RUBIN: I've heard nothing about it.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Can you bring us up to date, especially as to the Secretary's phone calls, if any? Then we'll carry on from there.

MR. RUBIN: Yes, I would expect Secretary Albright to be in touch with key foreign ministers today, including Foreign Minister Cook, Foreign Minister Vedrine, and Foreign Minister Ivanov. That is not an exhaustive list, but it is something that I expect to happen during the course of the day. She will be consulting with them about the grave situation in Iraq; beyond that, it's hard to specify.

With respect to Iraq, let me simply say that we obviously prefer a peaceful resolution in which Saddam agrees to comply with Council resolutions and cooperate with UNSCOM. But we have a lot of experience dealing with Saddam Hussein. For over seven years, their leadership has relentlessly deceived and obstructed efforts by the international community to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein has misled fellow Arab leaders about his intention to invade Kuwait. He lied to UNSCOM when he said that he did not weaponize VX; and the Iraqi leadership lied to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan when it signed the agreement pledging full and unfettered access for UN inspectors and then failed to implement it.

Iraq's leadership has never expressed regret or remorse for his past actions, which include gassing his own people and invading Kuwait. We do not believe he has renounced his aggression or using the most ruthless and barbaric means to achieve it. Our policy is designed to ensure that Saddam Hussein will not -- to prevent him from being a threat to his neighbors in the world. That is our view.

QUESTION: Given that catalogue of vices, how can the US deal with an Iraq in any circumstances with Saddam still president? Does he have to leave?

MR. RUBIN: We've stated very clearly that it is up to Saddam Hussein to comply with the resolutions of the Security Council that lay out the needs and requirements, including weapons of mass destruction -- coming back into compliance with those resolutions, including Kuwaiti prisoners, Kuwaiti equipment; and, in short, demonstrating his peaceful intentions -- in which case we are prepared to see an adjustment in the sanctions regime. That is our view. We've never expressed a great deal of optimism that he would do so, but that is our view.

QUESTION: You say you would prefer a diplomatic resolution, but is the time for diplomacy now over?

MR. RUBIN: We continue to pursue and discuss our options, including the military option. With respect to the question of time, let me simply say that this can't go on indefinitely. Saddam Hussein is not an abstract threat. He has fired Scuds at his neighbors, attacked Kuwait, used chemical weapons on Iran and his own people. UNSCOM has shown through its work that he developed massive quantities of chemical and biological weapons and weaponized those weapons for delivery by Scud missiles. He has still not accounted for all these dangerous weapons.

Our preference is for a peaceful resolution in which Saddam resumes cooperation with UNSCOM. But if he continues to block UNSCOM and we do not respond, he will be able to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction in a matter of months, not years. And if we fail to act, he will feel emboldened to threaten the region further, armed with weapons of mass destruction.

In short, we have set as our policy for some time now preventing Saddam Hussein from being a threat to his neighbors and to the world.

QUESTION: Secretary Cohen today used the expression - an expression we haven't heard in this particular crisis very much - "running out of time." Does this take us into a new phase where some clock is really ticking?

MR. RUBIN: Well, I've indicated to you, in response to Sid's question, that this can't go on indefinitely; that if Saddam continues to block UNSCOM and we do not respond, he will be able to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction in a matter of months, not a matter of years. This is a dangerous situation; this is why we have considered it a grave situation. If we fail to act, he will feel emboldened to threaten the region further, armed, possibly, with the most dangerous kinds of weapons.

QUESTION: Let me try again.

QUESTION: Will the Secretary be laying out these arguments when she talks to the --

MR. RUBIN: Again, I can't be more specific than saying to you that she will be consulting with her colleagues about the gravity of the situation with respect to Iraq.

QUESTION: Because it sounds like you're laying out the rationale for military action today.

MR. RUBIN: I am laying out our views on the situation. As I've indicated to you for some days, it is not for us to preempt a presidential decision. When the President has made a decision and wants to communicate that decision, that is for the White House to do so.

QUESTION: The only thing absent from this rhetoric, which provides very strong rhetoric we've heard in the past, is a call for the elimination of Saddam Hussein, the removal of Saddam. How can you contemplate him reversing himself, admitting the inspectors and then going through this frustrating exercise, as you're bound to again, based on his track record? The US is willing to have Saddam Hussein say, okay, I was just kidding; bring the inspectors in, and then just resume and pick up from there?

MR. RUBIN: If your question is, what would happen if he were to resume cooperation in full and allow UNSCOM to act effectively and were to comply with the resolutions of the Security Council, it is our policy that we will act pursuant to those resolutions.

There is another question which is, what is the likelihood of him doing so; and we have never expressed particular optimism that he would.

QUESTION: Jamie, the President is delaying his trip to the Far East. Are there any plans for the Secretary to delay her trip?

MR. RUBIN: I would have to say that the premise of your question is not something that - I do know there was a one-day issue. With respect to the Secretary's travel, the Secretary is scheduled to leave on Thursday. If there are adjustments in that schedule, I will tell you; that's always been my practice.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) - travel schedule, she's due to give a speech in New York tonight, I believe. Will there be anything in the speech concerning Iraq, or will it be related to the --

MR. RUBIN: It will be related to the subject matter for which she was invited and not other subject matter.

QUESTION: Will you try to get it to us, considering it's a nighttime speech?

MR. RUBIN: We'll do the best we can.

QUESTION: Appreciate it.

QUESTION: Back in February, the United States was very explicit about the aims of a military attack on Iraq. On this occasion, we haven't had any aims spelled out. Could you do that for us now; could you say what the aim would be this time?

MR. RUBIN: I think in several occasions in recent questions, I have stated that our policy goal is to prevent Saddam Hussein from threatening his neighbors and the world. If the use of force were chosen as the desired and best outcome, it would be in furtherance of that objective, which is to prevent him from being a threat to his neighbors and to the world. Our policy goal has been to prevent Saddam Hussein from threatening his neighbors and the world. If the use of force were to occur, it would be in furtherance of that objective.

QUESTION: The Iraqi Trade Minister, Muhammad Mahdi al-Salih, said today that lifting --

MR. RUBIN: Excellent pronunciation.

QUESTION: Thank you. He said that lifting sanctions is key to ending the crisis and that Iraq wishes to end this crisis peacefully. Can you comment?

MR. RUBIN: Yes, if Iraq wants to have sanctions lifted, it has a very simple choice; and that is to do what it has refused to do year after year after year, which is to come into compliance with the requirements of the international community, to provide the inspectors the access and cooperation they need to do their job.

Every time Saddam Hussein and his henchmen complain about sanctions, what they're doing is complaining about their own behavior. The Security Council has set out a very simple path to resolve the situation, and all it requires is him doing what he agreed to do - cooperating with UNSCOM - not refusing cooperation with UNSCOM, but providing them the information they need.

A road map was spelled out by the Security Council to review compliance with the various resolutions. Iraq took that proposal, rejected it, threw it in the face of even some of its friends and suspended cooperation. If they want to see their way towards easing the sanctions regime, they have a very simple way to do that; and that is to comply with what the whole world now sees as their failure to do - which is to provide the necessary information, cooperation and access to UNSCOM.

It's a question they should address towards themselves.

QUESTION: Jamie, how do you envision military action causing compliance of the various UN Security Council --

MR. RUBIN: Again, I have not said that. What I have said is that our objective - the underlying objective of our policy, and there are different means in which you can pursue that objective - has been to prevent Iraq from threatening its neighbors and threatening the world. If military force were chosen as the right course, it would be in furtherance of that objective.

With respect to cooperation with the UN inspectors, what I can tell you is that we would prefer to see this crisis resolved by Iraq choosing to come back into compliance, choosing to cooperate with UNSCOM, which has proven that it is the best way to keep track of, destroy and monitor weapons of mass destruction.

But if another course is chosen, it would be in furtherance of the underlying objective of our policy all along, which has been to prevent Saddam Hussein from threatening his neighbors and the world.

QUESTION: In your view that we-armed Iraq is months away as opposed to years, how did you come to that? Can you say anything about that assessment?

MR. RUBIN: What I can tell you about that is, until Iraq provides immediate, complete and unconditional cooperation with UNSCOM and until Iraq provides a complete declaration of their weapons of mass destruction programs, UNSCOM cannot provide the UN Security Council with any level of assurance regarding elimination of their weapons programs.

These types of weapons are by their very nature relatively easy to conceal. Without inspections and monitoring, we have judged that they could reconstitute those systems in at least the time frame that I've described to you.

In short, without inspections, it's very hard to know precisely what they're doing. We have our own ways of judging what they're up to and judging what we think they are doing. Beyond the broad conclusion that I've described to you, I can't be more specific for obvious reasons.

QUESTION: Do you think he has anything hidden in the way of missiles or CW or BW capability?

MR. RUBIN: I think if you get any briefing from UNSCOM, they will describe to you all the discrepancies between what they believe exists and what Saddam Hussein has declared. So I think UNSCOM would be the easiest avenue for you to get an answer to that question.

QUESTION: Based on what UNSCOM is saying, does Washington draw a conclusion regarding those items?

MR. RUBIN: I'd be happy to get you UNSCOM's reports, which we have no reason to dispute.

QUESTION: New subject - the Dalai Lama is having lots of meetings today here and at the White House. The Tibetans have suggested that the United States might have some kind of message to convey to him. Can you confirm that you all have some information to pass on?

MR. RUBIN: Secretary Albright is expected to drop by a meeting with the Dalai Lama that is being held in the Department shortly. She will meet with him in his capacity as a spiritual leader and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. We do not conduct diplomatic relations with members of the Tibetan Government in exile. But we do meet with him in the capacity that I described.

We do not know what the Dalai Lama may have communicated to the Chinese Government on the subject you've raised. It is our role to strongly promote dialogue and urge the Chinese Government to engage directly and substantively with the Dalai Lama or his representatives.

With respect to our views and our statements, we've urged dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Chinese authorities. The modalities and substance of any such dialogue are strictly for the Dalai Lama and the PRC to decide themselves.

QUESTION: Who's he meeting with?

MR. RUBIN: There's a large group, including the Assistant Secretary for East Asia, the Assistant Secretary for Human Rights in the Counselor's Office, and Secretary Albright is expected to drop by that meeting.

QUESTION: You don't have a coordinator for Tibet, do you? You lost Greg Craig.

MR. RUBIN: I have no announcement for you on that subject.

QUESTION: Not to parse, but at the White House --

MR. RUBIN: Parse is what we do.

QUESTION: I know, okay, so I'll parse. I mean, everybody is dropping by on the Dalai Lama meeting. What does that mean - "drop by"? Is she going to jump out of the roof or is she actually - why do you --

MR. RUBIN: Drop-by diplomacy strikes me as a reasonable way to accomplish the objectives, which is to have the Secretary of State have an opportunity to talk to a spiritual leader of this kind; and she is going to do so.

It's common practice for us to set up meetings without knowing whether the Secretary or the President -- or in other cases, the Vice President -- is going to be available or not for meetings, and use this opportunity for the Secretary and the Dalai Lama to talk.

QUESTION: Can I just as blunt as possible? I know it's unusual here, but - are you all using the term "drop-by" by the President and by the Secretary of State not to upset the Chinese that there is full-blown meeting between senior US officials and the Dalai Lama?

MR. RUBIN: I'll have to check why they have chosen that word.

QUESTION: Is that her first meeting?

MR. RUBIN: No, I think she has met him before. I'll have to check on the date, but I'm fairly certain of that.

QUESTION: Was it a drop-by?

MR. RUBIN: I'll check whether it was a drop by as well.

QUESTION: And the time of the drop-by.

MR. RUBIN: Drop-by time?

QUESTION: Drop-by time.

QUESTION: Senators and former State Department officials are insisting that it's time to review the US policy toward Cuba. Do you share this position or do you still think that the US is going to continue to apply this old policy which, for almost 40 years, hasn't been effective in democratizing Cuba?

MR. RUBIN: You always pick some choice of words that allows me to go off in rejection of the premises of your question. We think our policy has been very effective. We think increasingly around the world there has been a rejection of the ways of Fidel Castro. If you were to gather together all the leaders of the world that were to agree with his policies, they would fit in a telephone booth. And that is because the United States has made very clear time and time again that the path that Castro has chosen to put Cuba down is a path that has failed.

Our efforts to try to ensure that people's relationships with Castro are linked to Castro's policies and/or those countries' insistence on advancement in human rights and democratic practices has seen great improvements in recent years -- evidenced by European governments linking improvements in their diplomatic posture with improvements on human rights.

With respect to the commission you mentioned, let me say that Secretary Albright sees some merit in that idea, but she has not made a final decision and the President has not made a final decision. We are studying the proposal. We need to consider several issues such as the composition and mandate of the commission and whether, in view of Castro's unwillingness to undertake any reforms, it will have any impact on the goal we share with all concerned in protecting human rights and facilitating a transition to democracy in Cuba.

We are giving consideration to this proposal. We see some merit to it, but we are reviewing our options and studying the possibilities that it could entail.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) -- after serving years in the government, former US officials change their view on Cuba. So we are probably expecting Secretary Albright, in the next four years, changing her position in Cuba.

MR. RUBIN: When she's out of office, you just follow her around; you'll have plenty of opportunity to ask her that question.

QUESTION: Could you describe the proposal as you see it?

MR. RUBIN: My understanding is it is to undertake a review of American policy toward Cuba through the mechanism of a bipartisan national commission. That is my understanding of the proposal.

QUESTION: Cuban exiles presented last Thursday a case against Castro in Spanish courts. I understand the Spanish courts are going to consider this. Has the State Department any position on this?

MR. RUBIN: This is on the request to seek arrests of Fidel Castro. The Department of Justice opened an investigation of the shoot-down, and that case remains open. As you know, we took several very important steps at the time of the shoot-down.

With respect to the whole sovereign immunity question, it's a complex legal issue. Foreign heads of state and government are generally accorded head of state immunity under customary international law. It is a legal issue that has arisen in Spain, and is a matter under the jurisdiction of the appropriate Spanish court.

QUESTION: I asked you yesterday about the recent developments surrounding the theological school of Halki in Istanbul. Today I want to ask you if there is any mediation effort from the US and Ambassador Parris is mediating the whole issue in Ankara; and also if the US position on the subject continues to be in favor of the reopening of the school?

MR. RUBIN: We've seen reports that the Turkish Directorate General of Foundations has dismissed the Halki High School's board members. We are trying to clarify the situation; and because we're trying to clarify it, we need more time to ascertain the facts and then formulate our views on it.

QUESTION: Did you see the Taliban statement that was put out today about the $5 million reward for Osama bin Laden? The suggestion was that Americans might be at risk.

MR. RUBIN: Suggestion - I don't know; you need to be more specific. I haven't seen what you are reading from; I don't know how to respond.

QUESTION: It's a statement by the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, in which he said the decision to indict bin Laden and this $5 million cannot guarantee the safety of US citizens anywhere. Then he gave Washington a deadline of November 20 to provide proof that bin Laden --

MR. RUBIN: Well, without jumping the gun on responding to something that we haven't had a chance to study, I think that we recognize that the war on terrorism is a global war and it's not simply a matter of stopping one particular purveyor of this cowardly and dangerous policy, such as Osama bin Laden. It's a global war; there are many other dastardly actors out there who are prepared to kill innocent women and children in furtherance of some political cause. So we don't expect that resolving the Osama bin Laden case will end the war on terrorism.

With respect to the second point, we think that it is as clear as it could be that Osama bin Laden is a terrorist, who has proudly spoken of killing innocent women and children. Therefore, there's no reason to doubt the kind of detailed indictment that we have laid down, charging him with the bombing of two American Embassies in Africa as well as other terrorist crimes. We believe these facts that we've provided publicly speak for themselves.

The real issue is why the Taliban continues to provide safe haven to Osama bin Laden. We have made clear to them on several occasions that they must stop harboring terrorists like him. We believe that Osama bin Laden should be brought swiftly to justice for his crimes.

QUESTION: I have a question. The US authorities confiscated yesterday some 1,500 pounds of cocaine in a Colombian military plane that landed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. What do you have to say about that, just ten days after President Postrana was here on a state visit with President Clinton?

MR. RUBIN: During a consensual search, November 9 and 10, of a Colombian Air Force plane in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Customs officials found over 1,400 pounds of cocaine in the cargo. The search was consensual, and the crew and passengers on the plane have been fully cooperating with the US authorities.

The Colombian Government has been notified and has been fully cooperating with this investigation from the start.

QUESTION: So do you still trust the Colombian Government as a key ally in your war against drugs?

MR. RUBIN: As I've indicated, we're getting full cooperation both from the people on the plane and from the government itself. Therefore, this incident need have no affect whatsoever on our views of President Postrana's determination to work with us to fight the export of drugs from Colombia.

QUESTION: Thanks.

MR. RUBIN: I haven't seen you in a while; you don't love us anymore.

QUESTION: No, you're away, I'm here -- for 60 days at least; I counted.

(Laughter.)

How do you comment on the regulation imposed by the Turkish Government in the International Straits of Bosporus?

MR. RUBIN: I'll have to get you an answer for the record.

QUESTION: According to reports from --

MR. RUBIN: Now at least I know why you don't come anymore - because I never seem to know the answers to your questions.

(Laughter.)

QUESTION: No, no, this is not true. You are away for so long, you are traveling all over with the Secretary of State. One more question - according to reports from Athens, the so-called "Wise men Committee" of the Greek and the Turkish Government have decided finally to convene to discuss ways that the partition of Greece and of the Aegean via the islets with US involvement. Do you have anything on that?

MR. RUBIN: We'll have to get you something right after the briefing to provide you the full answers to your terrific questions.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Do you think that President Khatemi continues with the policy of his country pursuing nuclear weapons? Do you think he supports that policy?

MR. RUBIN: We've seen nothing to indicate that Iran has changed its determination in that regard that has resulted in our extraordinary efforts to try to stop countries from exporting products and assistance and technology that could assist in that. Our assessment of what the government of Iran is seeking to do in that regard has not changed.

QUESTION: But specifically what I'm getting at is specifically with the election of President Khatemi - you've seen no change in that? He's not expressing any --

MR. RUBIN: Our assessment of what the government of Iran is seeking to do has not changed.

QUESTION: On the APEC ministerial meetings the Secretary will be attending, will she be raising the Anwar trial in that forum, perhaps through bilaterals?

MR. RUBIN: Well, Secretary Albright has no plans for bilateral meetings with members of the Malaysian Government. We do have great concern about the political situation in Malaysia, and I would be surprised if we didn't have an opportunity to work on that issue. But she has no bilaterals with the Malaysian Government.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) - Anwar perhaps; is it with Mr. Anwar or his wife?

MR. RUBIN: I have no information to provide you today about her schedule or intentions, other than to say that we are concerned about the political situation there. If and when I have information to provide you on what might or might not be part of her schedule, I will give it to you.

QUESTION: Without bilaterals with the Malaysian officials, how would she address this question of Anwar?

MR. RUBIN: You're asking me to speculate on what methods she might use to raise this issue, and I can't do that. Today is Tuesday; we're leaving on Thursday, and when and if we have something to say to you about this issue other than making very clear the concerns we have about the political situation there, I'll provide it to you.

QUESTION: Jamie, just to clarify, other ministers are saying they will not raise this at APEC. But you think that APEC is an appropriate forum to discuss it.

MR. RUBIN: What I said was that we have concern about the political situation there, and it is possible that Secretary Albright will find a way, before leaving Malaysia, to make clear that concern. But beyond saying that, I don't have any specific information on how that would be done.

QUESTION: What about a drop-by?

(Laughter.)

QUESTION: You say the government of Colombia is giving full cooperation on this issue, but you are still concerned that the narco-traffickers are still using military planes to bring drugs to the United States.

MR. RUBIN: Obviously, military planes found - there were drugs found on the military plane; so of course that's a concern. The question is cooperation with the government and the people affiliated with that aircraft. What I've told you is that we haven't come to any conclusions because we are investigating it. And in the course of investigating it, we've received the full cooperation from the people in a consensual search and full cooperation from the government in our investigation.

Until we are in a position to investigate it further and draw conclusions, it's hard to make dramatically new statements about it - as much as some of you might like it.

QUESTION: Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 1:20 P.M.)


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