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U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing #76, 00-08-02

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>


722

U.S. Department of State

Press Briefing

Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Briefer: Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman

ANNOUNCEMENTS
1	Welcome to Visitors at the Briefing
INDIA/PAKISTAN
1,2-3,13	Terrorist Attacks in Kashmir
3-5	Advice To Americans About Travel in Region
TERRORISM
1	Administrationís Position on the Victims of Terrorism Act
AUSTRIA
5-7	Austrian Interior Ministerís Visit/US Position on Contacts
7	Secretary Albrightís Meetings with Ambassador Hall
MIDDLE EAST PEACE  PROCESS
7-8	Israeli Prime Minister Barakís Comments on Location of US Embassy
8-9	Assistant Secretary Walkerís Visit to the Region
9	Prospects for Next Round of Israeli-Palestinian Talks
13	Prospects for Secretary Albright Traveling to the Region
ISRAEL
8	Resignation of Israeli Foreign Minister Levy
CANADA
9-10	Military Cargo Ship Off Canada
SERBIA/MONTENEGRO
10	September 24 Elections/Participation
FIJI
10-11	Update on Situation in Fiji
ENVIRONMENT
11-12	US Proposal on Global Warming/Kyoto Protocols
CHILE
13	Status of Courtís Decision Regarding Immunity for Pinochet

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPB # 76

WEDNEDAY, AUGUST 2, 2000 1:45 P.M.

(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MR. REEKER: Welcome back to the State Department on this fine Wednesday. Iíd like to just begin by acknowledging a few visitors to our briefing room today. We have an intern from our Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, Karen Gallagher, who is working this summer at the Department of State. Welcome, Karen. We also have a group of eight journalists from Russia who are here on a Department of State International Visitor Program on journalism, and weíre very pleased to have them with us. And Iíll be happy to talk to you a bit after the briefing.

Iíd like to begin today with a statement that we will release in hard copy following the briefing regarding the terrorist attacks in Kashmir. As youíve all seen, press reports indicate that attacks at a number of sites throughout Kashmir have claimed the lives of some 104 people. In the largest incident, a gun and grenade attack on Hindu pilgrims en route to a holy site killed over 25 people at a communal kitchen and injured some 40 more.

We have no information about the identity of those responsible for these attacks, but these wanton acts of inhumanity are clearly aimed at undermining the cease-fire declared last week by the Hizbul-Mujahideen and Indian security forces.

We condemn these outrageous and inhuman massacres and extend our deepest condolences to the families of those who died. The perpetrators of these evil deeds should certainly be brought to justice.

The continuing tragic loss of life in Kashmir underscores once again the pressing need for all those involved in the conflict to renounce violence and resolve their differences by peaceful means. This will take courage, wisdom and determination. We welcome the statement of Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee that India will continue to pursue the path of peace. We urge the governments and organizations involved to carry the process forward and not to allow the enemies of peace to sabotage this promising initiative.

And with that, I will turn to your questions. Anything on that?

QUESTION: Do you have a copy of the statement?

MR. REEKER: As I noted, it will be released by the Press Office following the briefing.

QUESTION: This isnít necessarily a Kashmir question but a terrorism question. Itís on the Victims of Terrorism Act passed recently in the House. It seems that the Administration is opposed to the bill, as it stands, for justice for victims of terrorism. And could you talk a little bit about the Administration position on this Act and if there have been any counter-proposals that the Administration is planning?

MR. REEKER: Let me just start by saying we have demonstrated, I think, as I just did now as well to the world, our unwavering commitment to combat international terrorism. We are very sympathetic to the families and others who have suffered so cruelly at the hands of state-sponsored terrorism and we believe that they deserve justice, including compensation.

We have been working with Members of Congress and having had serious discussions with Members of Congress to find a solution that will satisfy the demands of justice without setting any sort of precedent that could endanger vital US interests or our international responsibilities that we must protect abroad. So weíll continue to have discussions with sponsors of legislation and with other Members of Congress to find some sort of solution that can meet the demands of justice but not set any sort of precedent. And at this point I really canít comment further on the details of those discussions while theyíre ongoing, or on possible solutions, but weíre very seized with working with Congress to find solutions to that.

QUESTION: Can you just expand a little bit on what you donít like about the Act as it stands right now, then?

MR. REEKER: At this point, Iím just not in a position to get into details of any particular legislation while weíre having discussions on solutions we might find and what legislative possibilities there may be. The point is we have to find a solution that satisfies the need for justice in these cases, including compensation, but we also have to be careful of setting any sort of precedent that could endanger US interests abroad, including our international responsibilities. So weíll continue to work with Congress on that.

QUESTION: Can we go back to Kashmir for a minute? Do you take a position on the various accusations that the Pakistanis are behind these attacks? And do you intend to contact the Pakistanis on the latest developments?

MR. REEKER: I think it would be very inappropriate for us to cast any sort of blame at this point without the presence of evidence. We condemn all who are responsible for these attacks, as I indicated in the statement, and we urge that the perpetrators swiftly be brought to justice and that, as I noted, we urge governments and organizations involved in the process to carry a process forward to find a peaceful solution to that problem.

QUESTION: At what stage might there be a case for internationalization of this dispute?

MR. REEKER: I donít think I have anything to add on that other than what I said in the statement right now. Weíve talked very clearly about out position on Kashmir. Yesterday we went through that. Our policy has remained the same. But this type of terrorist attack is reprehensible and outrageous, and we want to condemn that in the strongest possible terms.

QUESTION: On Kashmir. Without actually casting any blame, would you call on Pakistan to take any extra security measures on its side of the border?

MR. REEKER: Again, we donít have any particular evidence or information about those responsible for the attacks. Obviously, as I noted, weíre urging everyone involved, the governments and organizations involved, to carry a peace process forward and not to allow the enemies of peace to sabotage what is a promising initiative in dealing with the problem.

QUESTION: Most of the violence really occurs against Hindus. When there is one Muslim is killed there, the world is talking, but hundreds and thousands of Hindus are in different camps around India, all over India, in Delhi and Srinagar and other places. Now, this is a time where youíre going to pray and, you know, worship and all that, but this is a time always happens but nobody talks about, not even this Administration.

So what Iím asking really, are you in touch with any high official, Indian officials from this Department, high-level talks about this recent attacks in Kashmir?

MR. REEKER: Iím not quite sure if I followed the first part of your statement, but in terms of your question --

QUESTION: The first part is that mostly Hindus are victims of this violence in the valley.

MR. REEKER: I think, if youíll note, what I condemned was this attack, attacks in fact, that have resulted in the loss of life of some 104 people. I noted that we welcome Prime Minister Vajpayeeís statement that India wants to continue and will continue on the path of peace. And I believe President Clinton spoke with Prime Minister Vajpayee today to pass along our feelings in terms of our condolences and our condemnation of the outrageous and inhuman massacres that took place and the hopes that the perpetrators of these evil deeds will be brought to justice.

QUESTION: Is anybody from the high level in touch with the Indian authorities?

MR. REEKER: President Clinton is as high level as you get.

QUESTION: No, from here. Secretary of State?

MR. REEKER: The Secretary of State has just arrived back at Andrews Air Force Base a few moments ago, and I am not aware of calls or her activities up to this time.

QUESTION: Is this Department issuing any new warning for Americans not to travel?

MR. REEKER: Iím sorry?

QUESTION: Is this Department issuing any new travel warning?

MR. REEKER: We did, as you may have seen, issue a public announcement yesterday for India following the recent kidnapping of a popular Indian actor near the border between the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka where the capital, Bangalore, has been the scene of sporadic protests that have closed government offices. And American citizens residing in that area or planning to travel to Bangalore are advised to exercise extreme caution and travel only if necessary. Otherwise, our other consular information and public advisories, public announcements, remain in place and you can certainly consult our website for those.

QUESTION: But I fear that warning is in connection with the kidnapping of an actor.

MR. REEKER: Thatís exactly what I just said.

QUESTION: Right. How about any new warning in connection with --

MR. REEKER: I would refer you to our website that keeps a continuous update on travel advisories for all parts of the world, and youíll be able to find all the information there. Okay?

QUESTION: And you are not -- you can not say yes or not?

MR. REEKER: I guess I just donít even understand your question.

QUESTION: Are you saying that you are issuing new warning for Americans not to travel to India in Kashmir area because of the new violence in Kashmir?

MR. REEKER: I think if you check the website, the Consular Information Sheet reflects the violence that takes place there extremely thoroughly. I donít have anything new because the language is already there, so I would refer you once again to the consular information website.

QUESTION: I mean, maybe our colleague wasnít clear enough. I just guess there have been other instances in other countries where new eruptions of violence have led to a new consular warning. Is the State Department or is the State Department not issuing as a result of this latest attack a new consular sheet?

MR. REEKER: I think we have consular information in terms of the public announcement and the system that already covers the entire region and the situation there. I donít --

QUESTION: So the answer is no?

QUESTION: So the answer is no, not a new one issued in the last few days?

MR. REEKER: No, because it already warns people about the prospect for violence there. I thought that was the point that weíve made.

QUESTION: So thereís nothing added on in terms of when -- okay.

MR. REEKER: No.

QUESTION: So the answer is no. Okay.

MR. REEKER: Anything further on consular information for the subcontinent, Southern Asian region?

QUESTION: New subject?

MR. REEKER: Yes.

QUESTION: Austria. The Interior Minister is here and he says that his meetings were not initially at cabinet level but he was upgraded in some way to a meeting with Janet Reno.

MR. REEKER: Upgraded on the flight?

QUESTION: No, Iím not sure where it happened, but he also said that he saw this as a deliberate signal by the US to show that it was not so displeased with Austria as it was in February. Has there been a deliberate backing-off of the initial condemnation of Joerg Haiderís partyís inclusion in the government, or are we just slowly slipping?

MR. REEKER: No, our policy has not changed at all with regard to Austria. I havenít seen any particular remarks. I think youíre referring to Austrian Interior Minister Ernst

Strasser --

QUESTION: Thatís correct.

MR. REEKER: -- who has come to discuss issues of mutual interest in international crime and terrorism. As you know, all along we have met with Austrian officials when itís in the US interest to do so, and so the meetings that Minister Strasser has had are very much ones that are beneficial to overall international efforts, obviously, to combat international crime and terrorism.

QUESTION: You donít have any explanation for why he says it was initially only at working level, but then upgraded? He apparently also met with David Carpenter here?

MR. REEKER: I donít even have a full readout of whom he met with. Certainly that would seem appropriate if he was discussing about international crime and terrorism. He is a member of Austriaís Peoples Party, and I would note that we remain concerned about the participation in the government coalition there of their partner, the Freedom Party. Weíre going to --

QUESTION: But we spoke against the entire government, not --

MR. REEKER: Thatís right. And we continue to hold the new government in Austria to the spirit and letter of the coalition agreement, the preamble of which held them to certain standards, and it was signed by both parties in that governing coalition.

So the frank discussions that have taken place with the Minister on international crime and terrorism actually reinforced that preamble, I think, in terms of committing the Austrian Government to supporting pluralism and tolerance and democratic principles, and standing against terrorism and international crime.

QUESTION: Still on Austria, because when you were asked about it, you said in May our position has been one of meeting members of the Austrian government when itís in our mutual interest to do so, but to meet at a reduced diplomatic level. But the Ministerís trip to Washington, heís meeting -- he had a long meeting with Janet Reno. He met with Barry McCaffrey, Doris Meiser. On his schedule he was supposed to meet with Ambassador Scheffer, Ambassador Sheehan, Under Secretary Loy.

MR. REEKER: And I think those were determined to be the appropriate meetings that were in US interest to do so.

QUESTION: Those are the reduced -- (inaudible) -- ?

MR. REEKER: I think if youíre looking at those comments, we were also discussing about our diplomatic representation in Vienna and the types of meetings that we were having there. Minister Strasser coming here was considered to be something that was important to US interests, and we have said that discussions of issues of mutual interest, including such things as international crime and terrorism, will continue to be important to us.

It doesnít reflect any change in our policy and our position vis-a-vis Austria and our relations with the government there and our expectation and our continuing to hold the government to the spirit and letter of the preamble which both parties signed.

QUESTION: Can you tell us, on keeping to the coalition agreement, how would you assess the behavior so far?

MR. REEKER: I donít have any particular reflection on that. Iíd be happy to look into it to find out where we feel things stand on that. What I can report to you today is that our policy hasnít changed at all. Weíve long considered Austria a good friend and ally, and thatís why we reflected the concerns that we did last year, earlier in the year, in terms of the Freedom Party and its participation in the new coalition government there.

And I think we will continue to watch and monitor the situation very closely. Itís something we take quite seriously. Both parties, as I indicated, signed a preamble which holds them to certain standards, and weíll expect them to remain very true to that in both the spirit and the letter.

QUESTION: Do you really want to call them an ally?

MR. REEKER: I think I want to refer to the fact that weíve had a very close relationship with Austria for many years.

QUESTION: Well, I mean ally has a special meaning.

MR. REEKER: It depends how you want to define it, George. Iím not trying to make any particular statements of policy here. Iím just referring to the relationship weíve had with Austria as a close friend, as a participant in a number of organizations where we all participate, and we will continue along that path.

Anything else on this?

QUESTION: And part of the original response to this was to say that the Ambassador, Ms. Hall, would come back at regular intervals. She did do that for a while.

MR. REEKER: She has done that. Thatís right.

QUESTION: Do you know how -- is she still coming back --

MR. REEKER: Iíd have to check in to get you a full readout. Sheís seen the Secretary here when sheís come back. Sheís seen the Secretary in Europe when the Secretary has been in Europe. There has been a regular contact and a regular travel, and if youíd like us to get you a full travel schedule Iím sure the European bureau can do that.

QUESTION: On the Middle East, what do you have on the location of the US Embassy in Israel? Barak made another statement about that.

MR. REEKER: Well, I think as you know, on Friday the President said he is taking under review before the end of the year the decision on moving the Embassy, and I am not going to add anything further to that. I donít have anything else to say beyond what the President said on Friday.

QUESTION: Well, Barak seemed to imply that there was a decision that it would be done; there was some kind of an agreement or some kind of a signal to him that there would be a movement, it would be moved to Jerusalem at the end of the Administration.

MR. REEKER: Well, again, if you look at what the President said, I think he said only that he would review the issue and make a decision by the end of the year. He said nothing more than that, and thatís all Iím saying.

QUESTION: So youíre saying thereís no decision?

MR. REEKER: Iím saying exactly that; that the President said he has taken under review before the end of the year the decision on moving the Embassy, and I have nothing additional to add.

QUESTION: Do you have any comment on the resignation of Mr. Levy? I expect you donít, but Iíll try anyway.

MR. REEKER: We can just sort of leave it at that. Actually, youíre probably very correct on it. Iím not going to, as we never do, comment on developments in domestic Israeli politics. I think in response to what the next questions are likely to be regarding developments in Israel, itís just important to keep in mind that Prime Minister Barak remains committed to achieving an agreement with the Palestinians and he recognizes that there is an historic opportunity here that must not be lost.

As President Clinton has said, Prime Minister Barak has taken many bold and courageous steps in this area and weíre going to continue to support him as he tackles the very difficult issues before him. And weíve said many times before these decisions are extremely difficult; theyíre for the parties and only for the parties to make the decisions. We stand ready to help them in any way we can, but obviously those are decisions that the parties themselves are going to have to make.

QUESTION: Does it complicate in any way your efforts to reach an agreement on Jerusalem?

MR. REEKER: I think we remain very much committed to supporting the parties in their efforts however we can. I donít really have anything further to add.

QUESTION: A related question? How is Ned Walkerís mission going?

MR. REEKER: Ned Walker is --

QUESTION: Heís in Saudi Arabia today. He saw somebody.

MR. REEKER: He was in Saudi Arabia today. He has departed. I believe he is now in Jordan. Let me see if I can find that. Yes, as you know, heís traveling in the region to brief Arab countries on the developments at Camp David. He was in Saudi Arabia yesterday, traveled to Jordan today, and is expected to arrive in Syria either this evening or early tomorrow.

QUESTION: Okay. Can you tell us what the Saudis told him? Did they say --

MR. REEKER: I donít have readouts of his meetings. Heís been doing some press along the way and weíll leave it for him for that. But as with the earlier stops, Iím not going to have detailed readouts of his conversations. Heís briefing our friends in the region and telling them about the developments at Camp David.

QUESTION: When is he back here?

MR. REEKER: I donít have an exact time for his return. Itís a lengthy trip that includes travel beyond Jordan and Syria, to Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Yemen, Oman, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Not to leave anybody out.

QUESTION: Are you done with the Middle East?

MR. REEKER: Any more on the Middle East?

QUESTION: The Knesset is in recess until October. Does it mean that the US will be pushing for a new round of negotiations until in the next -- within the next three months as a kind of a window of opportunity?

MR. REEKER: Well, obviously, as I just said, there is sort of an historic opportunity at hand. These are difficult issues that have to be pursued and for the parties to solve. I donít have anything to add in terms of our actions other than to say that we stand ready to help in every way that we can in terms of moving the process ahead.

QUESTION: I donít know that youíll have anything on this but --

MR. REEKER: Oh, I bet I will.

QUESTION: There is a cargo ship thatís been circling in the Atlantic for the last couple of weeks. Do you know what Iím talking about?

MR. REEKER: I donít know if you want to give any more detail, but I am aware of --

QUESTION: The Canadian, though -- if you know about it, itís carrying Canadian military gear. Itís owned by a US company and the US company wonít let it go any further. Is the State Department involved in any way trying to resolve this?

MR. REEKER: The State Department has been in contact with the Government of Canada and with the owners of the ship in question, the GTS Katie and urged them to negotiate to solve this commercial dispute. Just a few points to remind some of you. I spoke about this a bit yesterday with a few people. A commercial ship in international waters ordinarily falls under the jurisdiction of the country of its registry or where itís flagged, and in this case that ship is flagged in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. So international law provides for ships in international waters to be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the flag state on the high seas.

We understand that the Government of St. Vincent has given consent to the Government of Canada to board the ship, but I would have to refer you to Canada or to Saint Vincent, really, for any specific details on that.

QUESTION: When you say youíre urging them to negotiate, arenít they already negotiating?

MR. REEKER: Right. And we continue to do that.

QUESTION: On Montenegro, do you have any reaction to the announcement that the Montenegrins plan still to boycott the September 24 election even after yesterdayís meeting with the Secretary?

MR. REEKER: I think the Secretary spoke to this, and I donít really have a lot to add to what she said yesterday in Rome before her return to Washington today. The Secretary and President Djukanovic agreed certainly on the need to support democratic forces in a united opposition to Milosevic, and we expect Montenegro will do so. As you know, the Serbian opposition has said it will participate in elections and will be united, and these elections really need the participation of the Serb opposition. So I donít have anything particular to add to what the Secretary said about it yesterday.

QUESTION: (Inaudible)?

MR. REEKER: I donít have anything further to what she said yesterday, and those elections are several weeks away.

QUESTION: I understand that the meeting with the human rights organizations interested in Colombia took place today, rapidly rescheduled, and can you tell us what the arrangements were for it, because they were making such demands, or requests?

MR. REEKER: Yes. We discussed this at great length yesterday about a meeting that had been scheduled for yesterday, which was canceled when the groups said they wouldnít be coming. But I do understand that Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Peter Romero met with representatives of a number of human rights organizations to discuss Colombia sometime this morning. And I was going to try to get a readout of that, but I donít have any details on the meeting. But certainly we should be able to find -- I donít have any details, as you know --

QUESTION: Do you know how long the meeting lasted --

MR. REEKER: I donít.

QUESTION: You just have any details that they were --

MR. REEKER: I have no details. They were trying to get those because they knew you were interested, and perhaps others as well. So if you want to check back later, we can work on that.

Fiji?

QUESTION: Fiji. One, any update on Fiji? Number two, Speightís trial now is going on and they are expecting nationwide violence, and also Fijians in Fiji and around the US are planning a big demonstration asking the US Administration to help and arrange -- (inaudible) -- the Prime Ministerís government. What do you have on that?

MR. REEKER: I donít have anything particular new to add. Weíve been watching the events there. Weíve talked about Fiji at great length over many weeks, months now, since that crisis began to unfold. We applauded the arrest and detention of the hostage-taker, the failed businessman, Mr. Speight, and a number of his cronies. We certainly condemned in the strongest language the taking of hostages and the destruction of the constitutional order in Fiji, and called for a return to constitutional order there.

I donít have anything specific or any reaction because I think the situation remains somewhat in flux, but I have noted that officials there have seemed to want to try to get Fiji back on the right track, back in a constitutional order. They had a fine constitution from 1997 that provided for representation and democracy and civil society in Fiji, and thatís what we would like to see.

QUESTION: Wouldn't you call Speight a terrorist like Australia and New Zealand did?

MR. REEKER: I donít if any specific determination has been made of Mr. Speightsís -- or categorized him. Certainly his actions were ones that we condemned in the strongest terms. He continued to hold hostages for a long period in the parliament and completely disrupted the constitutional order. Under the constitution and in a civil society, there were opportunities for people to raise their grievances or problems on issues, and thatís the way those things should be pursued, not through actions like his.

QUESTION: But again, US is not ready to call him a terrorist like Australia and New Zealand, other countries have already declared?

MR. REEKER: I would have to check because I donít want to make some legal determination that will be used in some other context other than what we do. I think weíve been very strong in our condemnation of Mr. Speight and applauded his being taken into custody, and we would expect him to face justice for his crimes.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. REEKER: Other issues. Yes, Jonathan.

QUESTION: Yes. Can you confirm that the United States is proposing to amend the Kyoto Agreement to give credits for planting plants which absorb carbon dioxide?

MR. REEKER: I think what youíre discussing, or to what youíre referring are some newspaper reports about that. And I will admit that Iím not an expert on the subject, but I did check into it because of the press reports.

Yesterday, the United States submitted some detailed views concerning the role of forests and agricultural land under the Kyoto Protocols. This was really nothing new; this was a reaffirmation of the long-standing position of the United States that itís very important to include so-called carbon sinks on a comprehensive basis as part of any long-term solution to the challenge of climate change, which of course is what the Kyoto Protocol is dealing with.

The approach proposed by the United States would give strong incentives to remove carbon from the atmosphere through certain sound land management practices, and would protect existing reservoirs of carbon, such as mature forests, for instance. I think those of you that follow the issue of global warming and environmental challenges know that these carbon sinks and their role is among the most important issues under negotiation as the parties to the Framework Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, work to establish the rules and procedures under which the Kyoto Protocol will move forward. Thereís a tremendous potential in these carbon sinks to help countries meet the challenges of climate change at a very reasonable cost, and promote other environmental values like biodiversity.

So we believe that a comprehensive approach will best account for the full range of natural and human activities that could affect the global climate system, and we want to see decisions based on sound science. So certainly thereís nothing new here, but weíve submitted yesterday our positions on these.

QUESTION: Who do you submit these proposals to?

MR. REEKER: To the UN. I can tell you what itís called. The Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. And we submitted formally our position on land use, land use change in forests.

QUESTION: Have you released those proposals? Can we see them?

MR. REEKER: Iíll check into that. I donít -- actually, let me check into that right now. The full text of the US submissions are available at the State Department website under the spotlight on global climate change section. So that would be www.state.gov/www/global/oes.

QUESTION: Well, is it linked in -- I mean, can we find it?

MR. REEKER: If you go to the State Department web page, youíll find it.

QUESTION: Okay, great.

QUESTION: Can we have one more, please? About Kashmir, please?

QUESTION: No.

MR. REEKER: Please, go ahead. Sorry.

QUESTION: The question is that if you have noticed that this violence or attacks take place only when the two countries, India and Pakistan, or the parties are ready for peace, or lasting peace in the region. The biggest event took place when the elected government of Nawaz Sharif was overturned by the military dictator. So have you or anybody from this Department or the US government analyzed that why this happens always?

MR. REEKER: I think if you look at our statements, including the statement that I made today, and what we could get you a paper copy of after, youíll see that we welcome statements like that of Prime Minister Vajpayee in terms of continuing to pursue the path of peace. And we urge governments and organizations involved to carry the process forward and not allow the enemies of peace -- and these are the people responsible for these atrocious attacks, certainly for the ones that took place yesterday, claiming the lives of so many people.

So there are enemies of peace out there, and our message is that we cannot allow the enemies of peace to sabotage the promising initiatives and the path of peace that so many people do want to take to find solutions to these problems.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. REEKER: One last thing, over here. Sorry.

QUESTION: In view of Secretary Albrightís concern with holding human rights violators accountable, is there any comment on the decision that is now being made in the Chilean courts as to whether or not to remove the immunity of General Pinochet?

MR. REEKER: All Iíve seen are reports on that. I donít believe a decision has actually been released.

QUESTION: Not yet.

MR. REEKER: So until such time, I donít have anything for you.

QUESTION: The Secretary has just come back, so obviously -- and sheís had a hard trip -- but is there any thought being given to her going to the Middle East to talk to allies after Ned Walker goes?

MR. REEKER: Iím not aware of any plans for the Secretary to travel to the Middle East.

Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:20 P.M.)


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