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USIA - State Department Report, 96-11-29

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

From: The United States Information Agency (USIA) Gopher at <gopher://gopher.usia.gov>


STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1996

(Serbia, North Korea, Belarus, Zaire, Cuba) (650)

State Department Office of Press Relations director John Dinger briefed informally in a midday walk-thru of the correspondent's press room.

(There is no transcript of this briefing)

SERBIA -- The United States, Dinger said, has once again called on Serbian authorities to reverse "their unacceptable decision to annul the results of last week's municipal election." On November 27, Dinger said, the U.S. chief of mission met again with President Slobodan Milosevic "to underscore our grave concern. We have, as yet, not received an adequate response from President Milosevic to our concerns. As we have already stated, the results of the first round of elections were clear and did not necessitate further polling. We condemn the government's attempt to stifle information about" citizen protests over annulment of the election results and "have continually pointed out to Milosevic that restricting a free media is counterproductive" and "further hinders Belgrade's reintegration into the international community." Counter to some press reports, Dinger said, "our opinion is that these demonstrations do not have any anti-American overtones."

NORTH KOREA -- The State Department, Dinger said, has thanked Rep. Bill Richardson (Democrat of New Mexico) for his efforts in securing the release of U.S. citizen Evan Carl Hunziker. The North Koreans, Dinger said, raised a number of matters with Richardson, including relations with South Korea and bilateral relations with the United States. The tone of the North Korean talks with Richardson, Dinger said, were good and "we hope that they are a harbinger of an improved situation in the Peninsula. We would note that an important element of an improved situation in the Peninsula is an appropriate North Korean response to the recent submarine" incident that raised tensions in the area, and Congressman Richardson raised that issue also, Dinger said. Richardson indicated, Dinger said, that the North Koreans want to put the submarine incident "behind them but they did not offer any gesture or intention" in that regard.

ZAIRE -- On November 29, about a dozen potential troop contributors met in Ottawa discussing, among other things, a tentative schedule for a multinational deployment of troops to Africa. The United States was represented by its charge d'affaires in Ottawa, Tom Weston. All the parties who were at the meeting are potential contributors to the multinational force on a humanitarian mission to Central Africa. Dinger said an airdrop of relief supplies to the refugees remains an "option," which, as Defense Secretary Perry has said, the United States will "seriously" consider in consultation with Canada, the country heading the multinational mission.

BELARUS -- Dinger said the United States reiterates its concern about a number of recent moves taken by President Alexandr Lukashenko, including his signing of a new constitution, appointing a new parliament "apparently by those who supported him in the previous parliament," creating that parliament in a closed session by unanimous vote, appointing a new parliament chairman, and signing a decree ending impeachment proceedings against himself. All these actions, Dinger said, represent "a seriously flawed process" that the United States has "grave reservations about."

CUBA -- The United States has seen reports that the European Union may be considering announcing a tougher stance on democracy and human rights in Cuba. "We, of course, are pleased with any effort by the E.U. to help expedite a transition to democracy in Cuba and welcome any move on the part of the E.U. along those lines," said Dinger. The United States wants to put its emphasis on the E.U. to take a more "pro-active" stance in bringing about a transition to democracy and better human rights in Cuba. President Clinton's Special Representative Stuart Eizenstat has worked "very diligently," Dinger said, "to that end and is showing some success and we're very pleased" about that.

(There is no transcript of this briefing)


From the United States Information Agency (USIA) Gopher at gopher://gopher.usia.gov


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