U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing #55, 99-04-29
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
Thursday, April 29, 1999
Briefer: James P. Rubin
1 Statement on Madagascar
1 Release of an additional volume of the Foreign Relations Series
1 Notice of the Press on the Council of the Americas Meeting on May 4
1 Notice on the Southeast European Transport Minister's Signed Agreement
1 Rape of refugee women / Remarks by Deputy Prime Minister
2,4 International Court of Justice
2,3 Justice Louise Arbour's Visit to Washington D.C.
2,3 Processing of information for the War Crimes Tribunal
4 D/S Talbott meetings / US position will not be changed
4 Diplomatic Front: DepSec Talbott's meetings; Secretary Albright in
contact with Canadian and Greek Foreign Ministers
4-8 Russia's role in negotiating with Milosevic
5-10 Reports of mass executions of refugees
5 Milosevic's atrocities and war crimes
5-7 NATO campaign stronger and round-the-clock
6 Bulgarian Foreign Minister
6 Stray missile hits Sofia
6-7 House passed resolution to not support NATO air campaign
9 Election results
8 Paramilitary group leader Carlos Castano
8,9 Palestinian State
9 Permanent status talks /Expansion of Settlement activity / Israeli
10 Selling of early warning radar systems
11 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA)
11 Under Secretary Eizenstat
12 Unauthorized visit of the Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Armed
Forces with Pinochet
12 Secretary's meeting with leaders / Nagorno-Karabakh issue
12,13 Okinawa to host 2000 G-8 Summit / Okinawa / US military base
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 1999, 12:40 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. RUBIN: Greetings. Welcome to the State Department briefing on this
We will have a statement on Madagascar, on the release of an additional
volume of the Foreign Relations series, and a notice to the press on the
Council of the Americas meeting on May 4, and a notice on the Southeast
European Transport Ministers' signing an agreement.
Before taking your questions, I feel compelled to make a brief remark about
something that transpired today in Belgrade. As you know, we've been
putting out a fair amount of information as we've been able to obtain it --
primarily from refugee accounts -- of different war crimes and crimes
against humanity that have been committed, we believe, in Kosovo. We have a
number of reports with respect to rape that include refugees reporting that
at the Kosovo Polje train station there was a rape of five ethnic
Albanian women on April 4; that after forcibly expelling all ethnic
Albanians from several towns, Serbs reportedly separated several women
from the group and raped them in late April; that in Pec, Serb forces
have rounded up young Albanian women and taken them to a hotel where the
roster of soldiers' names are created to allow the soldiers an evening of
rape. We have several other reports; a number of them come from the KLA and
a variety of sources.
Today, however, a very compelling report was played on television. The
response by the Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, I think, says volumes and
speaks volumes about the true mask of this regime. Yesterday, Deputy Prime
Minister Draskovic was fired, apparently because he spoke the truth to the
Serb people about the lies coming out of Serb television, making clear that
he understood that Serbia was isolated; that crimes were being committed in
Kosovo and that NATO was getting stronger.
Today we have heard from Milosevic's now remaining Deputy Prime Minister,
and after demanding a response to this rape report, this is what Milosevic's
Prime Minister said. His view of the atrocities is as follows, as
interpreted through an interpreter: "I hope that I am not now being accused
of rape. Once you take a look at those who have left their shacks, you can
see that only a blind person would rape a thing like that."
That kind of comment, I think, brings home to all of us the kind of regime
that is perpetrating the war crimes and crimes against humanity against
people in Kosovo. We now have a single voice speaking again for the regime,
and it is a voice of evil, a voice of ethnic hatred, and a voice of
contempt for people and humanity. Milosevic may have restored unity to his
government, but listen to what that unity sounds like. I've seen a lot of
comments in the last few days, but that strikes me as the Serb representatives
sinking to a new low of contemptuous remark. With those opening remarks,
let me turn to your questions.
QUESTION: The Yugoslavs have filed World Court cases against ten alliance
members claiming their bombing campaign breaches international law. Do you
have a comment?
MR. RUBIN: We do understand that the FRY - the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia, has initiated a case at the International Court of Justice
against the United States and certain of our NATO allies. We have not seen
the papers that have been filed. We would, however, regard any such suit as
an absurdity and an obvious effort to divert attention from the atrocities
and other outrageous activities being perpetrated by the regime in
Kosovo - a regime which has repeatedly rejected all efforts to resolve
this crisis peacefully; a regime whose forces are conducting war crimes and
crimes against humanity in Kosovo.
Once we have received these papers, we will of course defend ourselves
vigorously against this frivolous and absurd court filing.
QUESTION: Louise Arbour, the chief prosecutor of the International War
Crimes Tribunal, is here in this country. Can you tell me if she will meet
with the Secretary and what the purpose of her trip is?
MR. RUBIN: Justice Arbour will be meeting with a number of officials here
in Washington today and tomorrow. I understand she's meeting with Secretary
Cohen briefly today. She is planning to meet with Secretary Albright
tomorrow. We are trying to work out arrangements, pursuant to my use of
whatever limited influence I have in this area, that would enable a joint Q
& A tomorrow and today.
She's going to be meeting with Ambassador Scheffer, Ambassador Gelbard,
Ambassador Dobbins. The issues are ones very similar to what I discussed
yesterday, including how we can best support her investigations; how we can
accelerate the delivery of information to The Hague to assist her in
performing her important function; how we can assist the Tribunal in
pursuing field investigations. Obviously, I understand, she will end up in
New York in pursuit of financial support for the Tribunal. We will be
discussing that as well.
So she will be meeting Secretary Albright tomorrow, and there will be, if
things work out, an opportunity for all of you to talk to her and the
QUESTION: I'm a little confused, there might be a disconnect. From the
very start, the United States has been very sort of forthright about trying
to gather information about war crimes and making information public and
saying repeatedly, as you have, that you were moving this stuff along to
The Hague as quickly as possible. Apparently, Justice Arbour is a little
concerned that the response of the US and other allies hasn't been quick
enough. Can you sort of shed any light on that?
MR. RUBIN: I think you'll hear different comments on different days. It
is not an easy process to process highly classified intelligence information,
to provide controls on that information and to make it available in usable
form. It's not a process that is done by the snap of a finger. It is a
process that requires an enormous amount of work and requires procedures
and policies and practices that make it possible to happen.
When there is a surge of information, we try to surge our policies and
practices and procedures to allow that information to move as quickly as
possible. I think there's a natural desire to urge that to go even quicker
by those who may not understand the difficulties in getting it in the first
place. So there's a natural process of investigators always wanting more
information, just the way journalists are always wanting more information.
There's a limit, however, to the government's ability to provide it as
quickly as the demand may want. So that's why we continually work on
these procedures to try to improve them, get the information as close
to real time as possible, and make sure it's in a form that's usable both
for investigative purposes and for the purposes of being presented as
evidence in trial.
This is a complicated effort. We have an office whose primary responsibility
is just that - working with the rest of the US Government to obtain this
information in a usable form as quickly as possible. My sense is right now,
I think the Tribunal believes that we're doing that. But that doesn't mean
that on any given day, that every investigator gets everything it wants as
quickly as it wants; that's a natural demand function.
QUESTION: This is a very easy technical question, I think. Arbour's
meetings today are only with Cohen and all those other meetings are going
to be tomorrow at State?
MR. RUBIN: No, I think that she will probably meet with some of the -
Ambassador Scheffer is going to be with her today, Ambassador Dobbins and
Gelbard will probably meet with her today. Tomorrow she'll meet with the
QUESTION: Does the Administration have any concerns about handing over
classified information to the Tribunal - any concerns about its procedures
for handling that information, storing that information, disseminating that
information? Is that what's behind the delay?
MR. RUBIN: I've never heard that, except from your question. Obviously,
the protection of information is part of the procedures. But as far as
suggesting that there is a security problem, you're the first that I've
ever heard suggest it.
QUESTION: Another technical question. If Milosevic were to be indicted,
would that take him out of the negotiations? In other words, could you
negotiate with an indicted war criminal?
MR. RUBIN: I don't want to go down that hypothetical road. I think,
clearly, during the Dayton period there were discussions in Belgrade with
Karadzic and Mladic that Ambassador Holbrooke's delegation conducted after
they were indicted. So that is a precedent that exists. That doesn't mean
it would be the precedent that would be followed, and I don't want to
speculate on what would happen if President Milosevic were indicted.
QUESTION: Can I ask a question about the diplomatic track? I think
Canadian Foreign Minister Axworthy is in Moscow today. The Greeks are also
apparently involved on the sidelines. Is all of this being coordinated? At
this point, as you put it yesterday, are you reading from the same sheet of
MR. RUBIN: I do think we are. I think the sheet of music was put together
in very careful form during the summit last weekend. Secretary Albright has
been on the phone with both Foreign Minister Axworthy and Foreign Minister
Papandreou of Greece in discussing what transpired in Strobe Talbott's
meetings. Deputy Secretary Talbott has had an opportunity to debrief German
officials, as well as Kofi Annan and now Secretary General Solana today in
Brussels. So everyone understands what the five requirements are.
There is no deviating from those requirements. We haven't changed
our position; we're not going to change our position. That is what's
required to discontinue the air campaign. Everyone understands that.
Meanwhile, everyone wants to work closely with Russia. Russia has an
important role to play here, and we believe it can play a constructive
role. To the extent that Russia is moving closer and closer to the five
points that we've put down, we believe it will increase the chances that
Milosevic will see he has no choice but to accept them.
QUESTION: Are you of the view that the World Court has jurisdiction or
lacks jurisdiction in this particular conflict?
MR. RUBIN: Without checking with the lawyers, I suspect that we will
regard this particular suit as frivolous and absurd, but as far as the
formal - when we became a party to the convention, apparently we made a
reservation that should preclude such an action at the court against the US
without its consent.
QUESTION: What does that mean? But I thought you said earlier that once
you had seen it, the US would defend itself. That doesn't necessarily mean
defend it in court?
MR. RUBIN: Well, you're asking me to go two steps down the road legally,
which I'm not in a position to do. I was asked a broad question about
jurisdiction. Sometimes there's a jurisdictional hearing about whether
there should be jurisdiction. That would be an opportunity to defend
oneself and make clear one regarded the claim as absurd. So it wouldn't
necessarily imply defending oneself and accepting the jurisdiction.
So considering that neither you or I are lawyers in this case, I would
prefer to get a formal legal opinion as to the extent to which we accept
jurisdiction and the exact legal forum that we would make our defense of
QUESTION: Then is it fair to say that, at least on the face of it, the US
doesn't take this particularly seriously?
MR. RUBIN: Well, I think we just called it absurd.
QUESTION: You're not taking it seriously.
MR. RUBIN: I won't quibble with that if you write it.
QUESTION: A couple quick questions. What can you tell us about new
reports of mass executions in Kosovo - refugees who are fleeing Kosovo
saying that about 100 Albanian men were pulled to the side and executed?
MR. RUBIN: Yes, I've seen that report; we've seen a number of reports in
that area. I don't have any independent confirmation of that. It's
consistent with the pattern of Serb brutality and ethnic cleansing in
Kosovo; it's consistent with the pattern of information that we've
developed. But I don't have any independent confirmation of that specific
QUESTION: Isn't that the kind of thing you all are --
QUESTION: Well, I have a question if he's --
QUESTION: Isn't that the kind of thing you all are trying to stop in
Kosovo? And if you could comment on the effectiveness of the campaign to
stop it, given the new allegations.
MR. RUBIN: That seems like a question that I would have to get back to
you in writing.
QUESTION: Why is that? Why would that require a written question?
MR. RUBIN: It's a polemical question.
QUESTION: Excuse me, it's not a polemical question, Jamie.
MR. RUBIN: So reformulate it in a non-polemical way and I'll be happy to
try to formulate a non-polemical answer.
QUESTION: It's a pretty simple question. Isn't that the kind of thing the
campaign is trying to stop in Kosovo?
MR. RUBIN: We believe that President Milosevic's atrocities and war
crimes in Kosovo that we have been detailing that have occurred is the
reason why NATO used force, because of the evil of this regime.
The fact that it's going on is the result of President Milosevic's forces'
activities. He is responsible for those forces' activities, not the United
States. The sooner that President Milosevic accepts the reality that NATO
is getting stronger, that NATO's air campaign is going to be sustained,
serious and around-the-clock, the sooner the Serb people will be in a
position to have a positive future.
Clearly, these kinds of atrocities demonstrate the barbarity of this regime
and have only served to intensify the world's determination to confront
this regime with air strikes. That is my response to your question.
QUESTION: What does it say about the effectiveness of the air campaign?
MR. RUBIN: I think spokesmen from the Pentagon and the White House and
various spokesmen, in the early days, gave responses to this question, and
I'll pull those from the record and provide it to you.
QUESTION: Well, it's now several months - 34 days - later into the
campaign. You're obviously doing a lot of damage throughout Serbia at
strategic targets, but it doesn't appear that the bombing campaign has
stopped the type of atrocities that you went to war for in the first
MR. RUBIN: That isn't the rationale for war. If you'd prefer to continue
this polemic, I'd be happy to do so when the briefing is over. In the
meantime the answer to your question is, I will provide you for the record
the specific answer on the military capabilities to deal with atrocities on
QUESTION: Did the Secretary have a conversation today with the Bulgarian
Foreign Minister about that stray missile that hit a house?
MR. RUBIN: I don't think so.
QUESTION: Does she plan to?
MR. RUBIN: I think that the NATO Secretary General spoke to the Bulgarian
representative in Brussels.
QUESTION: One more question. As you know, the House passed a resolution
last night which basically came out not in support of the air campaign.
Question to you is, concern of the message that this will send to
MR. RUBIN: Well, I'm confident Milosevic will not take any message from
the mixed message sent by the House. As far as I can tell, they chose not
to put themselves in first gear, not to put themselves in second gear, nor
would they agree in putting themselves in reverse. So they're idling in
neutral with such a muddled message that I'm confident President Milosevic
will not take any comfort from it.
QUESTION: Did you mention this earlier? Maybe I missed it - what are
MR. RUBIN: I believe he's stopping in London right now and on his way
home, is my understanding, I believe.
QUESTION: Just London?
MR. RUBIN: Yes.
QUESTION: Jamie, a follow-up on the reaction to the House vote.
Irrespective of what Milosevic might take from it, have you heard from any
of your allies in terms of asking for explanations, or have you called any
of them to offer your view of it?
MR. RUBIN: I'm sure that American diplomats have been in touch with our
allies about this vote. The best answer I can offer to that is they
probably expressed the same puzzlement that we all have as to what the
House intended to do yesterday.
QUESTION: In the last 24 hours, have you gotten any more information to
suggest that the Russians are moving any closer?
MR. RUBIN: Well, Secretary Albright spoke to Deputy Secretary Talbott.
We've been in touch with Russian officials at a variety of levels in the
last 48 hours. I'm not going to describe the Russian view for you; that is
up to them to describe. We do believe we've been having serious discussions
on the details of the five points that NATO is insisting upon, and that the
Russians are understanding greater the rationale for those positions; in
particular, why NATO must be at the core of an international security
force. And that is, again, for practical reasons, since the objective
is to get the Kosovar Albanians back. They will not come back in the face
of a situation where the kind of force that they would trust and rely upon
that included American participation wasn't there.
I think beyond saying that there's increasing understanding on the Russian
part for that rationale - I didn't say they agreed with it yet - but
understanding for the rationale, that's important. We have not fully agreed
with Russia on the points necessary, nor does even agreement with Russia
necessarily signal that Belgrade will agree. As far as we're concerned, we
still don't have concrete indicators from Belgrade that they are prepared
to do what the whole world is demanding they do, which is to stop the
offensive; pull their troops out; allow the refugees back; and allow
the necessary international security force to be deployed. If that
Russian movement ends up signaling Serb movement, that will be a good
thing. In the meantime, we think it's important to continue to work as
constructively as possible with Russia.
QUESTION: Between the time the Secretary saw Ivanov in Oslo and now, I
get the impression - and correct me if I'm wrong - that - are the Russians
now actually engaged in discussing the details of an international force,
whereas before they were not engaged in that kind of discussion?
MR. RUBIN: I think those discussions have intensified. They've occurred
in Oslo and they have intensified.
QUESTION: But the actual specifics - the Russians are engaged -
MR. RUBIN: I didn't say we're pulling out op plans and all of that, but
the idea of the composition of a force is now being discussed more
intensively than it was before.
QUESTION: Is it your understanding the Russians have agreed in principle
to participate in some kind of force?
MR. RUBIN: You'd have to ask the Russians.
QUESTION: On another subject, early this week, Turkey announced
officially the election results. In some newspaper reports said that the US
has some concerns on the subject of election results. Do you have any
reaction or concern on this election and election results?
MR. RUBIN: Yes. On that issue, there was an answer to that that I saw. We
have no such concerns. Turkey is a democracy and we look forward to working
with whatever government is formed.
QUESTION: I have a question about Colombia. Carlos Castano, the leader of
the paramilitary groups in Colombia, has said that he is willing to come to
the United States to prove that he has no relationship whatsoever with drug
trafficking activities. Do you have any remarks on that?
MR. RUBIN: I haven't seen that offer and we would have to vet it
carefully with the figure and the credibility of his views and his past
before I could answer that question.
QUESTION: Will the United States make any kind of contacts with these
paramilitary groups as you made with the FARC in Costa Rica several months
MR. RUBIN: I would have to check for the record the particular group that
you're referring to and what our view of it is.
QUESTION: The reaction to the Palestinian decision not to -
MR. RUBIN: Well, in short, we welcome the decision. We've said that we
think it's very important for neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis to
pursue unilateral acts or declarations. We've been very clear on what we
think is the correct course and a dangerous course. So the fact that the
Palestinians have indicated that they do not intend at this time to declare
a Palestinian state is something we welcome warmly.
QUESTION: Their decision, though, is only in the context of the final
status negotiations. In other words, that's your primary concern - that it
would preempt an issue that is to be negotiated in the permanent status
talks? You have nothing against the hypothetical long-term possibility of a
MR. RUBIN: I'm not advancing the public description of our position on a
Palestinian state here, and any implication that you got from that that I
was, was not intended. I'm merely saying what our long-standing position
has been - that this is a sensitive issue that's the subject of negotiations.
Because it's the subject of negotiations, we have taken the view that
it would be inappropriate for us to state our views. The President has made
clear that the only realistic way for the Palestinians to achieve their
aspirations is through a negotiated outcome. It is only that outcome that
can realistically achieve those aspirations.
The fact that they have said that for now they do not intend to make any
such unilateral declaration is welcome, precisely because we believe that
unilateral declarations or unilateral actions like we talked about
yesterday are harmful to the peace process and, therefore, harmful to the
interest of peace and the interests of the peoples of the region. That is
why we welcome their decision to postpone any such possible declaration.
QUESTION: A number of Israeli officials have taken the Administration to
task for your comments yesterday about their not upholding their obligations
on settlements. Would you care to respond to --
MR. RUBIN: I can't respond to such a vague, generic question.
QUESTION: Back on the Palestinian decision, though, as I understand it
they said the would reconsider it in June. Would the US have preferred to
MR. RUBIN: -- don't want the issue to be raised at all. We don't want a
unilateral declaration at all because it's a unilateral act. So for now, we
are welcoming their decision to postpone any such declaration.
We have set forth what we think the right course is - that following the
Israeli elections, accelerated permanent status talks are developed,
initiated. We are prepared to contribute and play our part in such an
effort. We think that with goodwill, with a good environment, the right
kind of environment, and with seriousness on both sides, that all of the
issues in the permanent status talks, including the one you mentioned, can
be resolved within a year.
QUESTION: Going back to the settlements issue, was the Secretary
satisfied with Minister Aren's statements about the expansion of settlements
as being not contiguous, or does she not buy that?
MR. RUBIN: She didn't buy that.
QUESTION: She didn't buy that?
MR. RUBIN: Yes.
QUESTION: On Kosovo, you said last week that up to 100,000 Albanian men
were missing in Kosovo. Do you have any new information about their
MR. RUBIN: Again, my understanding at that time and the reason I used
that number - I try to be very careful when I use numbers of that magnitude
- is that if one examines the number of women and children and elderly who
arrived in Macedonia and Albania as a result of being expelled by the Serbs
and one did a normal analysis of how many of them should have been men,
that number is the number that we are "missing." I do not
have information on the whereabouts of that 100,000 people.
Obviously, the more one hears chilling accounts of men being killed on the
roads or killed in other ways as a result of mass atrocities, one worries
about where all these 100,000 men are. One is deeply concerned about it.
Like the other internally displaced persons, these are Milosevic's hostages
in this terrible atrocity his forces are committing. But I don't have
specific information on where they might be.
QUESTION: Jamie, we were told last week - I don't know whether it was by
this building, it may have been by NATO - that they have pictures of all 43
mass grave sites. Are you aware of any effort to release any of these
MR. RUBIN: Well, we try to release pictures when we can, when we think
it's appropriate, following consultation with the Tribunal, when we think
it wouldn't interfere with their investigations. We've not been shy about
trying to get information out. I don't know that there are pictures of all
43 - I don't know what that number refers to and which specific imagery or
other information is tied to that 43, but I can try to check that for
QUESTION: New continent - actually, it's an island. There are reports out
of Taiwan that the US agreed to sell Taiwan early warning radar systems.
Are those correct?
MR. RUBIN: Yes, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, the
President and Congress determined which defense articles and services
Taiwan needs in order to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability. In
furtherance of this provision, periodic consultations take place that
include Taiwan military representatives.
Both the Taiwanese and the United States authorities agree not to discuss
the specific details of this process. We have had a frank and broad
exchange of views on issues related to Taiwan self-defense needs, but both
sides have agreed not to discuss the details of this process.
QUESTION: Well, it seems like one side has violated that.
MR. RUBIN: I don't know how official those reports are but I will check
into that and see what we can provide you, depending on the authoritativeness
of those reports and where we might come from, and see if we can provide
you additional information.
QUESTION: Can you confirm there have been recent consultations with
MR. RUBIN: Yes, there have been. But as far as what the results of them
were, I'm advised that our agreement between the two sides is to not
discuss this publicly.
QUESTION: Right, and when you say recent, these reports from Taiwan say
they were in the last day, two days.
MR. RUBIN: The Taiwan delegation is still in Washington, is my understanding,
if that helps.
QUESTION: Different subject - yesterday at his briefing, Under Secretary
Eizenstat said that the comprehensive sanctions reform legislation that
you're seeking would not affect Helms-Burton or the Iran-Libya Sanctions
Act. My understanding was that Libya was included in ILSA largely because
of the Pan Am 103 instance. Now that that has been resolved, my question is,
why wouldn't you be looking at this again? Is there any re-examination of
the Libya policy?
MR. RUBIN: Right. What Under Secretary Eizenstat was pointing out to you
is when you approach this problem comprehensively - in other words, to
create a new regime of how we decide on imposing sanctions - the idea is to
pass a bill that deals with from the time that bill is passed, or perhaps
shortly before then, for all new sanctions regimes; that each of the old
sanctions regimes has its own constituencies, it's own rationales and it
would be very difficult to get agreement from Congress to approach
sanctions anew if you were forced to resolve every past sanctions
policy that has very strong constituencies.
With respect to ILSA and with respect with our policy towards Libya, ILSA
contains within it its own means by which policies can change, depending on
the changed behavior of Libya. As you know, we are going to be involved in
a meeting with British officials and the Secretary General to discuss
Libyan compliance with the remaining UN Security Council resolution
requirements with respect to Kofi Annan's report on that subject. We've
agreed that representatives of the government of Libya may also be present
during this meeting. The exact date of this meeting has not yet been
scheduled, nor have we determined who from our side will be there. Our goal
in this meeting is to make sure that Libya complies with the remaining
aspects of the UN Security Council resolutions that deal with terrorism and
that deal with the other issues in the resolution.
So to answer your question as directly as I can, ILSA - the Iran-Libya
Sanctions Act - has its own regime that can be adjusted depending on the
adjustment of Iran and Libya. We obviously are very pleased that there's a
step forward in Libya's actions. That's why we agreed to the suspension of
the international multilateral sanctions on Libya. But we still have some
of our own sanctions, and those are linked to further progress in Libya's
behavior on various subjects that I could detail for you after the
QUESTION: Back on the atrocity war crime tack, another Khmer Rouge war
criminal - or alleged war criminal - has been uncovered in the country. I'm
wondering if you have anything to say about that. Is anything significantly
different from what the US has said in the past regarding this?
MR. RUBIN: Are you trying to cut off a long recitation there?
MR. RUBIN: Give you the lead - but then I don't get to recite and
practice my diction. I don't think it's dramatically new, but perhaps we
can go over that after the briefing.
QUESTION: I'll go after the briefing because it was -
MR. RUBIN: Pretty soon we won't have to have a briefing - we'll do it all
after the briefing.
QUESTION: Do you have any further word on the unauthorized visit of the
Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean armed forces with Pinochet?
MR. RUBIN: As a matter of fact, I do have some additional information on
that question. The army chief's visit was undoubtedly intended to show
solidarity with General Pinochet. But our understanding is that he
consulted with Chile's civilian authorities before making the trip and took
leave in order to avoid traveling in an official capacity.
QUESTION: During the NATO summit time, the Secretary met Armenian and
Azerbaijan leaders. Did she find some solution or at least the hope for
solving the Nagorno-Karabakh issue?
MR. RUBIN: I think one doesn't want to get one's expectations too high in
this very difficult conflict. The Secretary was able to host a meeting
where the two spent some time alone talking to each other, and brought the
different leaders together at various times. We are continuing to work the
problem, but I don't believe that a breakthrough of any kind was achieved.
QUESTION: Japan has decided that Nago City - Okinawa - will be the site
of the year 2000 G-8 summit. Can I ask how you feel about this, especially
in light of the base issue?
MR. RUBIN: The Japanese Prime Minister's office announced April 28 the
selection of Nago in the prefecture of Okinawa to host the 2000 G-8 summit.
We welcome the decision and have every confidence that Japan and Okinawa
will host a very successful summit next year.
Okinawa will be an excellent setting for the official meetings and will
also provide G-8 leaders the opportunities to enjoy Okinawan culture and
hospitality. The President's visit next year will have a positive impact on
relations with Okinawan people and illustrate the strength of the US-Japan
alliance and also our deep interest in the culture and economy of
QUESTION: Do you think this will focus the issue of the relocation of the
base or other military issues with regard to Okinawa into the summit?
MR. RUBIN: Well, I'm sure it will give a boost to the Okinawan economy.
(The briefing concluded at 1:25 P.M.)