U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing #175, 97-12-05
From: The Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) at <http://www.state.gov>
U.S. Department of State
Daily Press Briefing
I N D E X
Friday, December 5, 1997
Briefer: James B. Foley
1-4 US Protest over Charges Against American Citizen Richard
Bliss in Rostov, Russia
1-2 US-EU Summit/Signing of Science and Technology
Agreement/Transatlantic Information Exchange Service
Program/White House Briefing at 2:15 p.m. today on the
2 Statement by Secretary Albright on the 10th Anniversary of
2 Panel on 50th Anniversary of the Bureau of Intelligence and
Research: Dean Acheson Auditorium; Monday, Dec. 8
2 Condemnation of the Murder of Opposition Leader Dokie in Liberia
5-7 Investigation re Burial of Amb. Lawrence at Arlington
11 Secretary Albright's Schedule this Weekend
4-5 US-Iran Soccer Match in the First Round of the World Cup
10-12 OIC Summit: Ban on Iraqi Officials' Travel and their
Attendance at the OIC Summit/ Egyptian FM Moussa at OIC
Summit/Possible Protest over Sanctions on Libya
7-9 Aegean Territorial Disputes/Confidence-Building Measures
9-10,12 Iraqi Claims of Humanitarian Aid Shipments Under UN
Oil-for-Food Program Being Blocked
10 UN Resolution 1143 Passed Yesterday Extending Oil-for-Food
12-13 Japanese FM Obuchi's Request that the US Increase its
Contribution to KEDO
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFF-CAMERA DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1997, 1:00 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. FOLEY: Sorry to keep you waiting. I have a number of announcements.
First, the Department of State today called in the Russian ambassador to
protest the Russian Government's filing of espionage charges against
Richard Bliss, an American citizen. We are urging the Russian Government to
release Mr. Bliss immediately. The United States is disturbed that the
Russian authorities took this step, as there is no credible reason for the
accusations made against him. Mr. Bliss is an engineer who was conducting
legitimate business activities in a joint venture to develop a cellular
telephone network in Rostov.
This incident could have negative consequences for our efforts to promote
commercial ties with Russia, and Russia's desire to integrate into the
international community. Many Americans will be watching these developments
closely. We have raised this matter at the highest levels and will continue
to do so. I'm going to post that statement.
Secondly, another statement I'm going to post, I'll just read from a little
bit, on the ongoing US-EU summit. Today's summit is giving us an opportunity
to review progress in the transatlantic relationship at the conclusion of
Luxembourg's presidency of the EU. Our leaders have been renewing our
commitment to the US-EU new trans-Atlantic agenda and continuing their
discussions on a wide range of critical issues.
This morning, just before the opening of the plenary session at Blair House,
Acting Secretary Talbott signed a science and technology agreement with
Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jacques Poos and European Commission Vice
President Sir Leon Britton. This agreement will serve as a broad framework
for US-European scientific cooperation, enabling some of our most
distinguished scientists and best research institutions to collaborate on a
wider range of scientific endeavors and to initiate new programs. A key
element in it establishes a common ground for handling the allocation and
protection of intellectual property rights resulting from joint research.
Following the signing earlier, there was a demonstration of the Transatlantic
Information Exchange Service, which we call TIES, a partnership promoted by
the US, the European Union, private industry, academic, and NGO community
representatives. This Internet-based project, developed as part of the new
trans-Atlantic agenda initiative to build and strengthen people-to-people
contacts between Americans and Europeans, brings together thousands of web
sites on both sides of the Atlantic for building networks and joint
Now, representatives of the TIES project are here with us today, and will
be available here in the briefing room after my briefing to provide more
information and answer any of your questions. Moreover, at 2:15 p.m. this
afternoon - and I would refer your questions on this to that forum - at
2:15 p.m., at the White House, there's going to be a read-out on today's
summit. Officials from the NSC, USTR, and the State Department will be
briefing at that time. We're also going to have press packets available
shortly, containing a number of the reports and statements, fact sheets,
from the summit, all of which will also be available on our web site at
Thirdly, I'm posting a statement by the Secretary herself, marking the 10th
anniversary of the INF treaty between the United States and the Soviet
Union, which eliminated intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles.
We've got a lot of business today. Also, on Monday, Under Secretary Tom
Pickering and Assistant Secretary Phyllis Oakley will join a panel of
distinguished INR alumni, as we call them, who will look at the history and
the contributions of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research throughout the
Cold War. This is a panel that will be marking INR's 50th anniversary. It's
going to take place in the Dean Acheson Auditorium, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15
p.m. It's open for press coverage.
Lastly, the United States Government condemns the torture and murder of
well-known Liberian opposition political figure, Samuel Dokie. His remains,
along with those of his wife and sister-in-law, were found on December 3,
in Bong County, Liberia. Mr. Dokie was last seen alive in the city of
Gbarnga, where he was detained by men purporting to be members of the
police security forces.
After a seven-year civil war, all efforts should be focused on national
reconciliation and ensuring the rights and liberties of all Liberians.
These killings do a great disservice to a nation trying to heal its wounds.
It is essential that the government of Liberia show the people of Liberia,
and Liberia's friends in the international community that no one is above
the rule of law, and that human rights violators will be brought to
We ask the government of Liberia to send a clear signal of its commitment
to the rule of law and human rights by investigating the killings and
ensuring that the perpetrators are apprehended and tried in a court of
QUESTION: On Richard Bliss, could you say who delivered the protest and
who received it? And if both capitals apply, could you mention that?
MR. FOLEY: If both capitals what?
QUESTION: Apply - were there protests posted in Moscow and in Washington?
MR. FOLEY: Well, we called in - it was Ambassador Sestanovich, called in
the Russian ambassador today to deliver a formal protest. We've been in
communication with the Russian authorities in Moscow since the onset of
I can't tell you whether the protest also was delivered in Moscow. I think
it carries more weight and significance, the fact that the Russian
ambassador was called into the Department today.
QUESTION: Who did he see?
MR. FOLEY: Ambassador Sestanovich.
QUESTION: Who saw him?
MR. FOLEY: Sestanovich.
QUESTION: Oh, I'm sorry. The Russian ambassador, okay.
QUESTION: There were some reports that this is the result of Qualcomm
failing or refusing to pay bribes to certain security officials in Rostov.
Do you have any suspicions that might be true?
MR. FOLEY: I've not heard that, that there may be some connection. But
clearly, there must be some reason behind this incident; a reason that we
cannot define. But we have been committed very strongly to the expansion of
American trade and investment in Russia, and to doing all we can to help
integrate Russia into the world economy as it reforms its economy.
But it's our view that this will not occur, in fact, if legitimate
businessmen are treated in this manner. And as I said in my statement,
Americans are going to be watching this matter closely.
QUESTION: When you talk about this having been talked about at the
highest levels, you're talking about Gore and Chernomyrdin, right?
MR. FOLEY: I believe there was planned a communication between the two of
them. I can't confirm whether it's taken place yet.
QUESTION: Do you know if the Secretary talked to Primakov about
MR. FOLEY: She raised it with the Deputy Foreign Minister when he was
here this week.
QUESTION: So that's what she discussed with Mamedov yesterday.
MR. FOLEY: Yes, among other topics, yes.
QUESTION: The reports have said both that Qualcomm says they had all the
documents to bring this GPS system in, and that under questioning, the
gentleman has admitted he didn't have the documents to bring them in. Do
you know what the truth of the matter is on that?
MR. FOLEY: I do know that Qualcomm has assured us that all the equipment
that Mr. Bliss was using was properly licensed with the Russian authorities.
QUESTION: When you say that you feel there's no credible information that
substantiates these charges, how can you support that? How do you know that
there's no credible information?
MR. FOLEY: We've stated clearly that the charge that Mr. Bliss was
involved in espionage is utterly without foundation. I think that speaks
Q Jim, on another subject?
MR. FOLEY: Are we finished with this subject?
QUESTION: What happens next? What's the next step?
MR. FOLEY: Well, we continue to provide consular services to Mr. Bliss
and to ensure that he's properly represented. I believe he has a Russian
lawyer. But that's strictly on the level of our commitment to him as an
American citizen, providing the services that we ordinarily provide.
On the political level, I think is where your question is directed. I think
we have to await now a Russian response to this formal demarche, this
formal protest that we've lodged, and the very clear message that we have
conveyed -- and which I am conveying from this podium -- about the
seriousness of this issue and the potential implications for our economic
relationship with the Russian Federation.
QUESTION: A lot of people seem very excited about the fact that the
United States soccer team is going to be playing Iran in the world finals.
Does this do any damage to dual containment?
MR. FOLEY: Well, I wouldn't want to make light of a serious subject,
although I'm tempted to because your question invites me to make light of
it. I'm not aware that there was an Iraqi soccer or football team involved
in the preliminaries, leading up to the world soccer finals. But clearly,
sport is an arena which brings people together all over the world, and we
support our team and wish them well in the World Cup this summer.
And we congratulate both teams, including the Iranian team, on qualifying
for the World Cup finals.
QUESTION: The US Soccer Federation suggested, tongue in or out of cheek,
that maybe this could follow in the footsteps of the Ping-Pong diplomacy
with China. Do you see anything positive, actually?
MR. FOLEY: I couldn't speculate on that, but clearly, in terms of the
people-to-people dimension of the relationship between Iran and the United
States, there has never been a problem in that area. And this goes back, I
think, to the early part of this century, when Americans were involved in
development and charitable work in Iran.
It is most unfortunate that, in the wake of the hostage crisis, that we've
had an interruption in the excellent relations that have existed between
our two peoples -- principally, in our view, because of certain very
dangerous and destabilizing policies of the Iranian Government, which we
believe need to be addressed, and need to be addressed in any authorized
dialogue that we might have one day with representatives of the Iranian
But in terms of the relationship between the peoples, it ought to be good.
And if this soccer match is a sign of our ability to deal with each other,
at least in this one area, in a civilized and positive way, I think that's
something we could applaud.
QUESTION: What is the State Department doing to investigate the Larry
MR. FOLEY: Well, I don't have much to add from what Mr. Rubin said
yesterday and from what has been said from other podiums in Washington.
We've received the letter from Congressman Everett. It's brought to light
details that need looking into.
I think, as Mr. Rubin said, we're certainly not in a position now to say
that Mr. Lawrence's representations as having been a member of the Merchant
Marine are wrong. It bears looking into, and that's what we're doing.
The State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security is now seized with the
matter, and they have begun a thorough investigation into the matter.
They're going to do everything they can to verify this question that
Congressman Everett has raised; and we'll be getting back to him.
QUESTION: During any background investigation for Ambassador Lawrence
before he was appointed, shouldn't it have raised some red flags with the
security people when they found no documentation of what he said was his
service in the Merchant Marines?
MR. FOLEY: Well, I can just reveal briefly what actually happened. Then-
Ambassador-designate Lawrence completed the government form -- SF-86 --
which is the standard form used to apply for a security clearance. Both in
that form and in his personnel security interview, he indicated that he had
volunteered in the Merchant Marines during World War II.
Now, Diplomatic Security tried to verify this information with Merchant
Marine sources. However, no records to verify his service could be found.
As the information was 50 years old and did not have bearing on his
suitability to serve as a US ambassador, it wasn't pursued further at that
You have to understand that this was not a question of a military record.
This really was an employment issue. I believe throughout the government,
when it comes to investigating employment records that are of that vintage -
some 40, 50 years old - that it's normally not pursued beyond the point of
exhaustion if it's not deemed to bear on the candidate's suitability for
the post or for a security clearance.
Also, it wasn't possible for, I think, Diplomatic Security to prove a
negative at that point, either; also keeping in mind, as I just said, that
it wasn't deemed terribly relevant or pertinent or important. But the
Merchant Marine indicated that unless Mr. Lawrence or someone in his
position had formally enlisted as a member of the Merchant Marine, that the
probability of having a record of his service would be low.
Apparently, they also pointed out at the time - the Merchant Marine
indicated that during World War II, the majority of individuals who served
as seamen on Merchant Marine ships were not actually enlisted, so further
reducing the possibility that this is something that the documents would
shed light on.
I think these documents are, as I said, some half-century old. Many of them
tend to be handwritten. They were not kept in one place. You'd have to
check with the Merchant Marine on the disposition of their files. But it
was something that, in the general course of investigations, when you're
dealing with employment history that's some half-century old, it's not
necessarily pursued further.
QUESTION: Isn't it relevant in checking out someone for access to
classified documents, if it appears they may possibly have lied?
MR. FOLEY: Well, you're asking a hypothetical question. If, hypothetically,
someone had lied, it certainly would have a bearing on something of this
QUESTION: But that's why you check out someone's employment - well, one
of the reasons - to check out whether or not they tell the truth.
MR. FOLEY: Yes.
QUESTION: And since there was no record to show that he told the truth,
didn't that raise questions?
MR. FOLEY: Again, Diplomatic Security had to make a judgment as to the
relevance of this to his bid to become an ambassador and his qualifications
for access to classified information.
As I tried to explain to the previous questioner, we weren't talking here
about military service. We're talking about the possible employment history,
the record thereof of someone 18 years old at the time. Whether it was the
Merchant Marine or working at the supermarket or anywhere, it's not
necessarily within the capabilities of our investigators - or any, I would
say, in Washington - to pursue that kind of verification, unless, again,
it's deemed to be relevant to the issue at hand 50 years later.
QUESTION: So the security team didn't even contact his previous employers
to see if that had been noted on those applications?
MR. FOLEY: I am not aware of whether he made references to the service in
the Merchant Marine on previous applications. I couldn't answer that.
QUESTION: At what point did the security service tell someone that they
hadn't been able to verify the information? I mean, was it after Togo West
came out to say that was one reason why he was allowed a waiver for
MR. FOLEY: I think that, as far as I understand, it was upon receipt of
Congressman Everett's letter that we checked and determined that they
hadn't been able to verify it. But I would have to check on that; I
hesitate to be definitive on that.
As I understand it, I have some information here, if you bear with me one
moment, that once the personnel security background investigation is
complete, diplomatic security evaluates and adjudicates the information and
drafts an executive summary of the investigation's findings before issuing
a security clearance. So it's not clear that they would have conveyed this
omission, if you will, or lack of verification on to higher authorities.
I'd have to look into that for you.
QUESTION: It would be a simple matter of fact, though, whether it's in
the executive summary or not, wouldn't it?
MR. FOLEY: That's why I agreed to look into that.
QUESTION: In a statement you released yesterday about the Aegean, you are
talking with capital letters about Aegean territorial disputes. What do you
mean by this?
MR. FOLEY: I'm not sure I got all of your question, Mr. Lambros. I heard
something about capital letters.
QUESTION: In a statement you released yesterday, a statement with capital
letters, "Aegean territorial disputes", with capital 's.' Could you please
name some of them for the record?
MR. FOLEY: What piece of paper are you referring to?
QUESTION: I raised the question the other day to Mr. Rubin, what is the
US policy vis-à-vis the new agreement?
MR. FOLEY: Oh, yes.
QUESTION: So yesterday I got this answer in writing, it was released
publicly here at the Department of State. In the capital letters, it says,
"AEGEAN TERRITORIAL DISPUTES."
MR. FOLEY: Yes, yes.
QUESTION: I would like to know, what do you mean by this?
MR. FOLEY: Well, there are issues between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean
that are part of their bilateral relationship, are problematic, and which
we do not take a position on, clearly; and which we urge both parties to
deal with bilaterally, by whatever means they deem necessary and fruitful
to their resolution, including bilateral talks, including the possibility
of recourse to arbitration, notably to the International Court of
QUESTION: According to the Greeks and to the Turks, but you are talking
about territorial disputes. It's very important. So I would like you to
name, since you have said it with capital letters; it's very important. Can
you name some of them? Even one?
MR. FOLEY: Well, I'm not going to comment on the statement. I think we
could perhaps look into it for you and see if we can get something more
precise. But as you know, Mr. Lambros, it's a question of semantics, which
is important, issues or - one side terms "disputes," one side calls
"issues." I think it's not fruitful for me to inject the United States
into that whole nettlesome area; except to say that we encourage both
parties to work out those problems bilaterally and by recourse to whatever
means will help solve those problems, including the International Court of
QUESTION: In the same statement, you have connected the recent Greek-
Turkish agreement over the air space of the Aegean with the confidence in
the Aegean Sea. Do you mean CBM?
MR. FOLEY: Well, we have long favored confidence-building measures
between the two countries in the Aegean, and we have supported Secretary
General Solana's efforts at NATO in that regard.
QUESTION: So finally, they are connected there, too, because it seems to
me it is a NATO agreement. In the meantime, making the statement on matters,
you are making that bilateral. So do you agree that there is a connection
between the agreement and the CBM? This is my question.
MR. FOLEY: I think the CBMs have to do with our general - insofar as we
support CBMs - have to do with our general interest in promoting a
lessening of tensions and improvement of relations in that area. That's not
the same thing as questions which divide the two nations, particular
Any other questions?
QUESTION: (Inaudible) -- in your proposal that there are territorial --
MR. FOLEY: Mr. Lambros, I think I've -
QUESTION: The last one.
MR. FOLEY: I hope it's the last one, because I think I've exhausted the
topic, as have you.
QUESTION: You say there should be the International Court of Justice, but
the Turkish Foreign Minister yesterday says different story. He proposed
political solution on a package deal. So how do you comment?
MR. FOLEY: I think you should refer your question to the Turkish
Any other questions?
QUESTION: Yes, could you comment on the Baghdad assertion that they would
not start oil exports under the third phase until some of their needs under
the second and first phase were met; that is, they are claiming that the US
and other parties are delaying the food and medicine that they sold the oil
for originally, and therefore they don't want to export oil? Do you have
any instructions on that?
MR. FOLEY: Instructions?
QUESTION: Well, any comments?
MR. FOLEY: Well, we find this statement and their position bizarre and
really hard to believe, and especially astonishing in view of their
professed interest in meeting the humanitarian needs of their own
Their logic seems to be that they don't have enough money, through the sale
of oil, to buy sufficient humanitarian goods; and therefore, they're going
to try to solve the problem by refusing to earn any further income to buy
humanitarian goods. Its' wholly illogical. It only makes sense if you
understand Saddam Hussein's track record in this area, which has been one
of erecting roadblocks in the way of the UN's humanitarian effort.
You'll recall that it took many years for the international community to
get Iraq to agree to this program; that there have been Iraqi interruptions
in the flow of oil; and that at the end of the day, it's clear that for
Saddam Hussein, this whole humanitarian question is one which he exploits
in order to stir up opinion in favor of his prime, and I think, sole
objective, which is the lifting of sanctions without having complied with
the UN Security Council resolutions that describe his obligations, which
could, if fulfilled, lead to the lifting of sanctions.
I can comment, if you wish, on Iraq's track record and our track record,
the international community's track record regarding the oil-for-food
program. Iraq, for example, has claimed that there are as many as 80
contracts currently on hold. We believe the numbers are closer to 60 or so,
since the inception of the program. But even if their numbers were accurate,
this still represents less than 5 percent of all applications that have
been submitted for consideration. They total somewhere between 1,600 and 1,
Now, among those that were blocked, they fall into three categories: first,
commercial items that are not humanitarian; secondly, dual-use items -
those that could be used for military purposes; and third, contracts
involving problem companies that have a history of sanctions violations. So
virtually all the holds are for purposes of obtaining additional information
on end-user and uses before approval. We can make final decisions on these
applications as soon as the requested information has been provided.
Now, action was taken in the Security Council yesterday, and we welcome the
unanimous passage of the resolution, 1143, which permits Iraq to sell up to
$2 billion worth of oil in two 90-day periods to finance purchase of
humanitarian goods. We are willing, as the resolution indicated, not only
to find ways of improving the implementation of the humanitarian program,
but also to consider additional resources which may be needed to meet the
priority humanitarian needs of the people of Iraq. We are going to
await Secretary General Kofi Annan's report in that regard.
It's clear in our view that to the extent that the humanitarian crisis
exists in Iraq, it's principally the result of Saddam Hussein's own
QUESTION: I want to follow up on that. Would you give us a lot more
transparency on exactly how much has been delivered; what is being held up;
the methods by which it's been delivered; and so on? Is there a briefing
paper you could give us on that which would clear up - because there are a
lot of claims and counterclaims, both by the French and Russians and the
Iraqis on this whole matter.
MR. FOLEY: Well, I think that probably your best source would be the UN
itself in New York. They can give you that information, since it's their
program, I would assume.
QUESTION: With the OIC summit in Iran coming up, in the Administration's
view, would it be a violation of the ban on the travel of Iraqi diplomats
for senior Iraqi officials to attend that?
MR. FOLEY: I'd have to take the question, Sid.
QUESTION: Would you take it, please?
MR. FOLEY: Pardon me?
QUESTION: You'll take it?
MR. FOLEY: Yes, I will, yes.
QUESTION: Any comment on the fact that some of the Arab heads of
government are going to show up in Tehran for the conference?
MR. FOLEY: Well, this is a - OIC is a long-standing organization, with
many members - nation state members. It meets frequently, and we've had a
long-time excellent relationship with the OIC and its members, and we
applaud its role in articulating the concerns of the international Muslim
community. So we have no problem with the OIC, and think that it does good
We certainly hope that the conference participants will support and
reaffirm common policy goals which we and the OIC members share.
QUESTION: Do you have the Secretary's schedule for the weekend? There
seems to be a gap.
MR. FOLEY: Well, she's going, as you know, to Geneva to meet Chairman
Arafat tomorrow. I believe she's returning to Paris sometime Saturday or
Saturday evening, and is in Paris until her departure - I think on Monday -
for Africa. But she has planned bilateral meetings with senior French
government officials on Sunday in Paris.
I believe that meetings with Foreign Minister Vedrine are confirmed. There
may be others with senior French officials.
QUESTION: If this question has been asked, I apologize. But how do you
feel about Egypt sending Amre Moussa to this OIC summit?
MR. FOLEY: Well, I kind of answered the question in the sense of --
QUESTION: Did you answer that specific question about Egypt?
MR. FOLEY: No, not on the Egyptian Foreign Minister's travel. But I think
that often these meetings have taken place at ministerial level. I wouldn't
read anything negative into that. I explained to George -- I think, who
asked me the question - that we've had a long-time excellent relationship
with the OIC, and we've supported its role in the international community
previously. So I wouldn't really care to characterize his trouble there any
QUESTION: But more generally, I mean, the whole idea of this meeting
taking place in Tehran and a lot of - you know, bringing together a lot of
leaders to Iran that hadn't been there in quite a while, doesn't make you
uneasy in terms of Iran's sort of re-acceptance into --
MR. FOLEY: No, I wouldn't read anything more into it. The fact is that
it's being hosted in Iran, and so it's not surprising that OIC members
would go there. I don't see that as any fundamental shift in Iran's
position in the world, no.
QUESTION: Are you at all concerned about reports that some of the Arab
leaders will be pushing to urge the US to lift sanctions against Libya at
MR. FOLEY: Well, I wouldn't want to assume the outcome of the OIC meeting
before it takes place. As I mentioned a moment ago, we do hope the
conference participants will support and reaffirm common policy goals that
we and the OIC share. So let's see what they do.
QUESTION: Iraq is complaining again about the oil-for-food program, and I
wondered, the Secretary and her top aides said during the last trip that
the United States would support efforts to try to make the existing program
more efficient, and I wondered where that stood.
MR. FOLEY: Well, I answered, to some painful degree, perhaps, that
question when you were out of the room, Carol. We've said that --
QUESTION: I'll look it up in the transcript.
MR. FOLEY: I think it's important, and Jamie Rubin has done so from this
podium, to distinguish between the sanctions on the one hand, and the oil-
for-food program on the other hand. And we don't retreat one iota from our
commitment to the UN Security Council resolutions and the belief that
Saddam Hussein must comply 100 percent and provide complete, unconditional,
unfettered access to those sites.
On the humanitarian side, though, we've long been concerned about the
plight of the Iraqi people. We had great difficulty in getting the Iraqis
to agree, after many years, to the oil-for-food program. We recognize the
Secretary General's statement earlier this week that there are problems in
the program, and that he's going to come forward with specific proposals,
perhaps at the end of January, early February, to address those problems.
And he can expect our support when he comes forward.
I think there's nothing more to say at this point, except we have the
really bizarre announcement that I referred to when you were out of the
room, by the Iraqis, that they are not going to pump oil in the meantime;
in other words, to again demonstrate their cynical manipulation of the
plight of their own people, in order to pursue political goals which we are
determined to block.
QUESTION: My question is regarding the KEDO program. Yesterday, the
Japanese Foreign Minister, who is visiting in this city, met with Sandy
Berger in the White House, and he asked them to supply some amount of money
for the light water reactor, the project.
I know that Mr. Rubin said the other day, the whole situation has not
changed. But it's very likely for Japan or South Korea to give pressure to
the United States to give some amount of money to that program. The
position of the United States is the same?
MR. FOLEY: Well, I don't have before me the figures -- I had them the
other day - about the very significant American contribution to this
program over the last several years. And I couldn't speak to Mr. Berger's
meeting with the Japanese Foreign Minister; I'd have to refer you to the
I can repeat what Mr. Rubin said here this week. We believe that our
partners in the program are committed to meeting the contributions, the
obligations which they shouldered. They've not indicated to us that they
don't intend to meet those obligations. On the contrary, they have
confirmed that they will meet those obligations.
Any other questions? Thank you.
(The briefing concluded at 1:40 P.M.)