U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing #133, 99-10-21
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, October 21, 1999
Briefer: James B. Foley
1-3 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations/Funding for Peacekeeping/UN
3-6,15 Proposed Switching of Assignments Between NEA Assistant Secretary
Indyk and US Ambassador to Israel Walker
MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
3-6 Possible Affect of Proposed Switching of Assignments on Peace
5 Foreign Operations Funding/Wye Implementation
5 Prospects for Travel to the Region by A/S Indyk and/or Dennis Ross
5,7 Ambassador Ross Travel for Dedication of Seeds of Peace Center in
6-7 Assistant Secretary Indyk's Speech on Iran/Reaction from Iranian
7 Reported Sharing of Evidence with US on Espionage Case Against 13
7 Iranian Government Cooperation Regarding Khobar Bombing
7 President Clinton's Visit to Greece/Secretary Albright's Travel Plans
8 Visit of Special Presidential Emissary Moses & Special Coordinator
8-9 US View on Admission of Turkey to the European Union
9 Prominent Turkish Professor and Journalist Killed
9-10 Update on the Situation in Chechnya
10-11 US-Russia Discussions on National Missile Defense and ABM Treaty
10Actions by Russia and China At UN Regarding the ABM Treaty
11-13 US Participation in EXPO 2000
13-15 Status of Sanctions on India and Pakistan/Prospects for Waiver of
15 Javier Solana's New Position with European Union
15-16 Update on Situation in Pakistan/Whereabout of Nawaz Sharif
16 Possibility of High-Level North Korean Official Visiting US
16 Legal Advisor's Meeting in Beijing Regarding Embassy Bombing
16-17 Reports of Further Arrests of Falun Gong Sect Members
17 Election of President Wahid and Vice President Megawati
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1999, 1:10 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. FOLEY: Good afternoon. Welcome to the State Department.
International peacekeeping efforts in the most troubled regions of the
globe serve to separate adversaries, maintain cease-fires, safeguard the
delivery of humanitarian relief, enable refugees to return home, demobilize
combatants and create conditions under which political reconciliation may
occur and democratic elections can be held. The support of the United
States for peacekeeping around the world helps prevent massive humanitarian
crises that would be much more costly in terms of lives and resources.
Since the mid-1990s, the United States has helped put in place a new
approach to UN peacekeeping, that involves much closer scrutiny of
proposals for new missions, and much better management of the ones that go
forward. The House-Senate Conference on Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations
calls for an almost 60-percent reduction in the Administration's request to
meet anticipated requirements over the next 12 months -- excluding
Such drastic underfunding for UN peacekeeping would undermine peace efforts
in places like East Timor and Sierra Leone - and I would point out we
expect the Security Council to vote tomorrow on the UN phase three
peacekeeping operation in Timor, following the vote of the Indonesian
It would also add the current Commerce, Justice, State Appropriation draft
to the arrears that we already owe to the UN, increasing the odds of the US
losing its vote in the UN General Assembly, and hurting our effort to
promote UN reform and, of course, undermining US leadership. Funds to
support peacekeeping efforts by regional organizations would also be
drastically underfunded. These regional initiatives can often represent the
most timely and cost-effective option for responding to conflict. For
example, the efforts of the Nigerian-led ECOMOG in Sierra Leone and the
anticipated OAU role in the Ethiopia-Eritrea border war would be hurt. This
shortfall would prevent us from funding OSCE operations in Kosovo,
Bosnia and elsewhere.
I think it's clear that, in facing many of the crises that so characterize
the world today, that the United States basically would face two choices if
we're not able to fund international peacekeeping: One would be to wait
until these crises worsen and spread, spread instability and turn into
outright war in some cases; or, to stand back and do nothing, or, as I
indicated, to intervene at a later stage at much greater cost.
And so we often face an expectation on the part of the American people, who
see crises developing around the world, that the United States "do
something" about it. And our funding of UN peacekeeping operations means
that we pay 25 percent, and that the other members of the United Nations
pay 75 percent for peacekeeping operations that, in the long term, lower
dramatically the cost of dealing with some of these situations down the
With that statement, I'd be glad to go to your questions.
QUESTION: What happened to the attempt to reduce the US share, which is
one-quarter of the world share, of peacekeeping operations? Is it still a
live possibility for the UN?
MR. FOLEY: Well, as you probably know, we are currently assessed at the
rate of 30 percent by the United Nations for peacekeeping operations. For
several years, however, the United States has determined to pay only 25
percent of the cost of peacekeeping. That is what we pay, in full agreement
with the Congress.
The other issue, though, involves our assessment for the general UN budget,
which is currently at 25 percent, and is based on the relative size of the
US economy and the world economy. We believe, very strongly, that that
assessment ought to be adjusted, that given the growth of other economies
around the world, that others can pick up some of the share that we've been
paying that we think is too high. We would like to see that assessment
dropped to 22 percent.
And Congress agrees with us about this goal. However, the failure of
Congress to pay our arrears to the United Nations has cut the legs out of
from our ability to persuade our friends and partners in the United Nations
to agree to lowering our assessment. So that's where we stand. That's one
of the reasons - not the only reason, certainly. We think, on the merits
alone, that we ought to be paying our arrears, and paying what we've said
we would pay as our fair share of the United Nations.
But in terms of our ability, also, to be heard on issues involving the
reform of the United Nations: On issues including reduction of our
assessment, we believe that paying the arrears is critical to achieving
those goals that we share with members of Congress.
QUESTION: Well, when you tell them that, what do they tell you? I mean,
do they question the peacekeeping operations per se? Do they feel they're
run inefficiently? Or is it what the President calls new isolationism, just
a general dislike for foreign programs? What is at the heart of this
MR. FOLEY: You know, I think most public opinion polls show that the
United Nations itself is fairly popular with a broad section of American
opinion. I think most Americans recognize that the UN does essential work
and that, in fact, the existence of the UN relieves the United States of
national and unilateral burdens, because of the fact that our contributions
are leveraged - much wider contributions by the international community -
to deal with crises and problems that we would otherwise have to
deal with at greater cost ourselves.
And so, yes, there is, if you will, anti-UN sentiment in the Congress
that's not necessarily backed up in the body politic. However, the fact of
the matter is that, when it comes to paying our arrears and what we owe,
there has been widespread support in the Congress. Senator Helms and
Senator Biden have worked closely with Secretary Albright in the last two
years to craft congressional action to repay our arrears. The really tragic
circumstance is that a very few members of the House of Representatives
have banded together to attach a non-germane, unrelated issue to the
payment of the arrears and, therefore, have stymied our ability to meet our
QUESTION: On another subject, is Secretary Indyk switching jobs with
MR. FOLEY: Secretary Albright has recommended to the President, and it's
his intention to ask Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
Martin Indyk to return to Israel as the United States Ambassador to Israel.
Assistant Secretary Indyk had served, as you know, as Ambassador to Israel
previously, from 1995 to 1997.
It is also President Clinton's intention to nominate the current US
Ambassador to Israel, Ambassador Edward Walker, as Assistant Secretary of
State for Near Eastern Affairs. Ambassadors Indyk and Walker are two of
America's finest diplomats. Their skills and dedication have been
instrumental in our efforts to move the peace process forward, and to
advance broader American interests in the region.
We believe that these appointments will allow us to continue to pursue
these goals, obviously. Ambassador Indyk has a wealth of experience with
peace process issues, and long-standing ties with key Israeli and Arab
officials; whereas, Ambassador Walker, as you know, is a career diplomat, a
Foreign Service Officer with 30 years of experience throughout the Near
East and in Washington. He served as Ambassador to Egypt and he has spent,
I think, the bulk of his career working on Middle Eastern issues, and the
Secretary and President feel he's ideally suited to be running our
regional Middle Eastern affairs here in the State Department.
QUESTION: How does Ambassador Indyk's - or to-be -- Ambassador-to-be
Indyk's activist role in the negotiations square with what National
Security Advisor Berger said yesterday, which is that recent events show
that things work best when the two parties deal with each other and the
United States plays an off-stage role, as it were?
MR. FOLEY: I would beg to differ with your analysis of Mr. Berger's
speech on that score. Certainly, Mr. Berger drew a distinction between the
kind of role that America was forced to play during the period leading up
to Wye, when the parties were not dealing directly or adequately directly
with each other. We played a role that we would have preferred not to have
to play, and that we hope not to have to return to and don't intend
to return to.
At the same time, Mr. Berger made clear though that it is nothing new - it
goes back to the late 1940s - that the US Administration believes that
peace in the Middle East is a vital national US interest, and that the
United States will play an active role in supporting the parties - not
replacing the parties, but in supporting the parties - in trying to reach
agreement. And as we've been saying, we think we have - and Mr. Berger
underlined the potentially fleeting nature of this opportunity to close
the circle of peace in the Middle East.
And this switching of assignments, if you will, should be seen in that
context as reflecting the consciousness on the part of the President and
Secretary Albright that, indeed, this is a window that will not be open
forever, and that the parties in the region have indicated their eagerness
to seize the opportunity that exists over the next 12 months or so, to
really try to reach final agreements and close the circle of peace. And so
this rotation is designed to put us in a maximum position to do all that we
can to advance the peace process.
QUESTION: Do you have any assurance that there won't be some obstructionist
efforts in the Foreign Relations Committee, as some of your recent nominees
have run into?
MR. FOLEY: Well, I think that the Congress, and certainly the members of
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are themselves committed to the US
national goal of achieving comprehensive Middle East peace settlement and,
therefore, I am not aware of any reason to be concerned that there would be
opposition to these nominations.
At the same time, this is simply an announcement at this stage. We have to
go through the formalities, both with the Israeli Government and in terms
of the White House sending up the nomination for consideration. The Senate -
you're absolutely right - will have to take these nominations up and will
have to decide. We certainly hope not only that they will be confirmed in
these new posts, but that that can be done expeditiously given the rapid
timetable that all the parties in the Middle East have in mind, in
terms of achieving a peace agreement.
QUESTION: Of course the Senate could use the nominations as an opportunity
to evaluate US policy in the Middle East, but if that happens I'm sure
you'll have answers for them. I was wondering - we've become familiar with
sort of a Janus peace team. Because of Mr. Indyk's experience, and because
of his being Assistant Secretary of State, you sort of have a Ross-Indyk
dual-leadership role - one day one seemed to be the lead man; the other day
Do you suppose that Ambassador Walker would be given roughly the same
assignment? Will you be expecting him to be making these trips as Indyk has,
or will you go back to the old system, where Dennis Ross is clearly the
senior man, and you have a lot of subsidiary helpers around?
MR. FOLEY: I think it's possible to hold two propositions at the same
time. Number one, this has been a team - a very collegial team. And
ultimately, of course, the policy on the peace process is decided by
President Clinton and Secretary Albright. But below them, though, we've had
a team that's worked remarkably well together. But within that team,
clearly Ambassador Ross is the special Middle East Coordinator. That's his
job; whereas, the Assistant Secretary obviously has a role to play - an
important role to play - in the peace process issues, as Ambassador Indyk
has done so, as you point out.
But the Assistant Secretary has a wider role, obviously dealing with the
range of our bilateral relations throughout the Middle East, and the range
of issues that we face - not only political - in our bilateral relationships
in the Middle East. And so Ambassador Walker will play that wider role, but
he will also be a member of the Middle East peace team here in the
Department, and in the government.
Do we have more on this subject? I suspect we do.
QUESTION: In the latest manifestation of a foreign operations act to go
to the White House, is the Wye River money in there now?
MR. FOLEY: I'm not sure; I'd have to check that for you. In any case, our
view is that what has been agreed in conferences is more than $2 billion
short of what the Administration has requested to fund our foreign
operations - woefully short. And whether there are monies that now are
going to be forthcoming for Wye or not, that would be a step in the right
direction, but that would be a step that still falls far short of our
global foreign operations needs. But I'm not aware of whether that has been
QUESTION: Are there plans for Indyk and/or Ross to travel to the region
MR. FOLEY: Ambassador Ross - and I may have something from the other day -
will be going - and I'll get that for you - to attend the inauguration of a
Seeds of Peace, I think, office, I believe, in Jerusalem. And I'll get you
the date in a second, because I have that - thank you. The Associated Press
thinks it's October 27, and I'll confirm that for you in a minute.
QUESTION: On the same topic --
MR. FOLEY: I'll confirm that for you in a minute. In terms of Ambassador
Indyk, I'm not aware of travel plans at the moment.
QUESTION: On the same subject?
MR. FOLEY: Thank you. I could sit down and you could take the questions -
the journalists. That would be an interesting opportunity -- for me in any
QUESTION: You're using the expression "maximum position" for the United
States to play its part out of this switching of assignments.
MR. FOLEY: Not only out of the switching; we're making maximum efforts
across the board. But this is certainly an element.
QUESTION: At least you are explaining to us why the switching of
assignments. It gives the impression that this switching of assignments has
something to do with the United States' role - its nature maybe; its scope,
maybe - I don't know.
MR. FOLEY: I think Mr. Berger defined well how we conceive our role,
which is both an activist and a supportive role. We don't intend to
interpose ourselves in the process, to substitute our efforts for those of
the parties. As Mr. Berger said yesterday, we believe that the only really
meaningful agreements - the ones that will actually be implemented and
observed - are the ones that the parties themselves have arrived at through
their own efforts.
We conceive our role to be a supportive one, and an activist one. And
Ambassador Indyk can obviously bring a wealth of experience to the table in
Israel, not only because of his former capacity as ambassador there, and
the relationships that he developed across the spectrum of politics and
society in Israel - and that is the job of an ambassador, after all - but
because of the role he's played here over the last several years. He goes
to Israel as someone who's been a central member of the peace process team,
someone who has advised the President, and advised the Secretary of State,
and worked with Dennis Ross on the peace process. That will enable him to
play a very positive role in Israel.
But I just don't accept the sort of thought or premise behind your question,
that this portends a qualitatively different American role in the Middle
East. Mr. Berger set out what that role is yesterday.
QUESTION: While we're talking about Indyk, and while Secretary Cohen is
in the Gulf - well actually he's in Egypt today - but Indyk made a policy
speech on Iran -- I guess last week - once again with a notion that there's
a new stream of moderation on Iran, once again offering Iran a dialogue
without preconditions. And I wondered if you had any sort of a substantive
response from Iran - necessarily through other channels - if Iran has been
heard from in some form or another in response to that offer?
MR. FOLEY: I don't have anything to say about private diplomatic
communications that may or may not have occurred.
QUESTION: Well, he made a public offer. It wasn't private. He made a
public declaration that the US wants to talk to Iran.
MR. FOLEY: I can only point you to the fact that Iranian officials
themselves have not reacted positively to the speech. I think one official
noted the fact that in our designation of terrorist organizations, that
involving the name - I don't remember the name, but the sort of sister
organization to the MEK here - was designated as a terrorist organization,
and that was noted positively by an official in Iran.
But the other commentary that I saw about the speech was not welcoming. It
sort of - those statements trotted out old Iranian positions: that the
United States needs to take concrete steps in Iran's direction, needs to
make amends and things of that nature - comments that don't really bespeak
a willingness to engage in the official dialogue that we've offered. We
have not conceived of the dialogue as a dialogue in which the concerns we
have about Iranian policies, and the concerns they have about our positions
QUESTION: Oh, no, his speech made that clear.
MR. FOLEY: On the contrary, we think Iran is a very important country and
we have some very serious concern about a number of Iranian policies. We
think it's not normal that we don't have a dialogue, and we don't have some
kind of a relationship where there is none today. And we think that there
is, as Secretary Albright indicated, a pathway towards a better
relationship, and that dialogue - official dialogue - is the only avenue
that's going to produce that.
But it takes two to have a dialogue, and they have been unwilling to
undertake such a dialogue to the present time while, nevertheless,
welcoming - and we have welcomed too - the prospect of people-to-people
exchanges, in an effort to create a better environment for an eventual
dialogue and improvement in relations.
QUESTION: Iranian officials said that Iran had shared some of the - I
think it said some of the evidence that it has, allegedly, on these 13
Jewish Iranians who are standing trial for espionage, that some of that
evidence was shared with the US after the US criticized this trial.
MR. FOLEY: I am unaware of any such development. It has been our oft
stated view that there is nothing to those charges, and that they ought to
be dropped, and that has not changed.
Going back to the Seeds of Peace, I can confirm what two different rival
press organizations have indicated, that - friendly rivals - that the Seeds
of Peace will formally dedicate and open its new international center in
Jerusalem on October the 27th.
QUESTION: Did you ever get any cooperation with the Iranians on the
President's offer in helping tracking down the people who bombed the Khobar
Towers? There was a message that was sent last month and --
MR. FOLEY: Well, I think what we said at the time - this hasn't changed -
is that the Iranians have indicated, publicly, that their position is that
they had nothing to do with the Khobar bombing, and that they're not - I
think they've indicated publicly they're not willing to cooperate on that.
We don't have information to the contrary in terms of their cooperation.
QUESTION: Do you know if Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will
accompany President Clinton on his trip to Greece on November 13th as it
was reported in Athens?
MR. FOLEY: Well, as you know, Secretary Albright is currently in Africa,
and I'm not in a position to announce her schedule. She will be accompanying
the President on that trip, and will be -- I'm almost certain -- will be
with him in Greece. But it's possible that while accompanying the President
to Europe and to the OSCE summit, of course, in Turkey, that she may do a
few things separately from the President's itinerary But she will be
essentially accompanying him throughout, and I'll be in a position to
talk more about that when the party returns from Africa.
QUESTION: Anything on Coordinators Tom Weston and Al Moses' trip to
MR. FOLEY: On whose trip to Cyprus?
QUESTION: Moses and Weston.
MR. FOLEY: Well, what I can tell you is that Presidential Emissary Moses
and Special Coordinator Weston have had productive meetings in Ankara,
Athens and Nicosia, between the 14th of October and yesterday. Moses and
Weston met with President Demirel, Prime Minister Ecevit and Foreign
Minister Cem in Ankara. They discussed Cyprus with Foreign Minister
Papandreou in Athens, and on Cyprus they met separately with President
Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash.
Our goal remains to get the two sides into negotiations without preconditions
under UN auspices, as called for by the G-8, and UN Security Council
Resolutions 1250 and 1251. In that respect, we believe that these meetings
were helpful. At the same time, clearly, Mr. Weston and Mr. Moses have a
lot of work ahead of them. They are going to be returning to Washington to
report to the President and Secretary Albright, with a view to moving
toward comprehensive negotiations. So we're going to evaluate next
steps on preparing the way for successful Cyprus talks, when we've
had a chance to meet with them here in Washington.
Certainly, our commitment to a Cyprus solution, based on a bi-zonal, bi-
communal federation remains very firm.
QUESTION: Since you said productive talks in Athens, Ankara and Nicosia,
would you be more specific?
MR. FOLEY: I think I said helpful. I think they were helpful.
QUESTION: One more question?
MR. FOLEY: I am not going to be able to be more specific.
QUESTION: According to a series of reports, Greece and the Republic of
Cyprus do not object any more (to) the admission of Turkey into the
European Union, and the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit now is saying
that his country first must become a full EU member, and then she will
proceed to a dialogue for a solution to the Greek-Turkish differences over
the Aegean and Cyprus.
MR. FOLEY: Well, we have not wished to try to involve ourselves in what
are EU deliberations and decisions. We recognize that this is a matter for
the EU itself to decide, and the United States does not have a vote in that
regard. We have long believed that Cyprus has - excuse me, that Turkey has
a European vocation, and we welcomed the recent step by the EU, I believe,
inviting Turkey to draw closer to the EU in the membership process, and we
QUESTION: I don't suppose there is a separate schedule or --
MR. FOLEY: I don't have anything on the --
QUESTION: I mean, isn't it opportune for her to go to Cyprus?
MR. FOLEY: I don't have anything for you on her itinerary.
QUESTION: This morning the terrorists killed one of the prominent Turkish
writer and the scientist. Do you have any comment on that?
MR. FOLEY: Yes, I do. The person who was killed is Ahmet Taner Kislali,
who, as you say, I think is a prominent Turkish professor and journalist.
He was killed when what appeared to be a bomb exploded as he was entering
his car this morning. A Turkish television station reported that a radical
Islamic group, called the Greater Eastern Islamic Raiders' Front, had
claimed responsibility. This group has been responsible for other
terrorist incidents in the past. Turkish authorities are investigating,
but have thus far refused to comment.
The United States has no independent information on the incident, but we do
strongly condemn such acts of terror, and we extend our sympathy and
condolences to Mr. Kislali's family for their tragic loss.
QUESTION: Do you have any further word on the report of a rocket attack
on a central market in Groznyy today and, if I can secondly ask you, have
we had any word from the Russians on the clarifications the US was asking
for from them, as regards their actions in Chechnya?
MR. FOLEY: I would have to refer you to the White House for any details
that they're in a position to talk about. But as you know, President
Yeltsin wrote to President Clinton earlier this week. We welcomed his
explanations in the letter, as to Russia's view of the ongoing situation in
Chechnya. I don't have those details, and you'd have to ask the White House
I just heard that report, that you mentioned, before coming in. I don't
have information. I certainly don't have confirmation that it happened. Our
understanding is that Russian ground forces continue to advance into
Chechnya south of the Terek River, and now control more than one-third of
Chechnya. Russian aircraft and artillery continue to strike targets in
various parts of Chechnya.
We have no reliable information on the scale of casualties, but as we've
said earlier this week, more than 150,000 people have fled the fighting in
Chechnya to neighboring Ingushetiya. The United States supports UNHCR and
International Committee of the Red Cross efforts to respond to humanitarian
needs. I'd refer you to the points that Deputy Secretary Talbott made in
testimony before Congress earlier this week -- on Tuesday. He made it
clear that, in the view of the United States, the spread of the violence
in the region will be contrary to everyone's interests, except those who
rely on violence as a means to their political ends, including separatism.
We recall the last war in Chechnya which, in our view, demonstrated that a
purely military solution to the problem there is not possible, and that
there must be a vigorous and conscientious effort to engage regional
leaders in a political dialogue. And we continue to underscore that all the
parties should avoid indiscriminate or disproportionate use of force that
would harm innocent civilians.
QUESTION: Did you see or did you notice the move at the United Nations by
Russia and China to preserve - to totally preserve - not to revise, trim,
redefine, abort or any of the other maneuvers that are being considered -
the ABM Treaty? And I wondered whether that isn't really the answer, too,
that John Holum is getting in Moscow?
MR. FOLEY: First of all, there have been a number of reports, in the last
few days, concerning some of the ideas that the United States has offered
for discussion with Russia, relating to our cooperation on the issue of
missile defense and the ABM Treaty. And some of those reports are overblown,
in the sense that they assume that there have been formal offers that have
been formally rejected, when, in fact, we're at the very early stages of
our discussions with the Russians on this matter.
You're correct to point out that there's a senior US team, led by Under
Secretary Holum, in Moscow today for follow-up discussions on the ABM,
National Missile Defense and other arms control issues. But as I said, this
is an early stage of the process. The discussions with Ambassador Holum are
underway, still, in Moscow. We have offered some ideas for discussion, but
there's been no proposals, of a formal nature, that have been placed on the
I note your point about what's happened at the Security Council in New
York. Our view is that the ABM Treaty remains a cornerstone of strategic
stability. We are committed to work with Russia to negotiate changes to the
ABM Treaty required for possible deployment of a National Missile Defense,
and to make progress on further strategic arms reductions.
QUESTION: It's a cornerstone but you want to chip away at the cornerstone.
MR. FOLEY: We believe --
QUESTION: Doesn't it weaken the structure --
MR. FOLEY: We are committed --
QUESTION: -- to fiddle with the cornerstone?
MR. FOLEY: We are committed to the development of a limited National
Missile Defense. We believe that the world has changed a great deal since
the signing of the ABM Treaty, and that we are facing a new set of threats.
And these are threats that are faced not only by the United States, but by
Russia and other nations around the world: as technology spreads; as rogue
regimes are acquiring missile capabilities and therefore the capability
eventually to threaten US soil, Russian soil, and threaten friends and
allies around the world.
The President has not taken a decision on whether to proceed with
deployment. That's going to occur in the year 2000, on whether to deploy a
limited National Missile Defense, but we are committed to developing a
national missile defense. It is our view that it is possible to negotiate
changes to the ABM Treaty that would permit, under the treaty, deployment
of a limited National Missile Defense, and that's what we're working on
with the Russians. Again, this is in the early stages. I'm certainly aware
of the comments that have been made publicly in Moscow, but this is an
effort that we're committed to.
QUESTION: New subject - what is the US position on the Expo 2000 in
Hanover? Will they participate?
MR. FOLEY: I'm sorry - could you repeat the question?
QUESTION: Is the US position for the US in the Expo 2000 in Hanover --
MR. FOLEY: In Hanover, right.
QUESTION: Yes, Hanover.
MR. FOLEY: We are re-evaluating our participation in Expo 2000. The fact
of the matter is that efforts to raise the funding for an American pavilion
have not been successful. From the beginning, any American pavilion was to
be organized, funded, and operated entirely by the private sector. The use
of federal funds was never envisioned; there's been no change in that
We regard the exposition in Hanover as important - as important to Germany,
as important to the United States - and we would like to see the United
States represented there. We understand that efforts in fact do continue
for American businesses to be represented at the fair. A US private
presence is under discussion with Expo organizers, and with the German
We are very much disappointed that private funding could not be arranged,
but we continue to hope that American culture and industry will be widely
visible at Hanover, and that those efforts, as I indicated, are continuing.
We're going to be working with the Expo authorities to highlight American
accomplishments within the spirit of the Expo.
QUESTION: Which companies, if there are any, do you know of that will
MR. FOLEY: I don't have information on the specific companies that are
involved in discussions about ensuring an American representation. My
understanding is simply that there are such efforts and that they are
You may or may not be aware, but under Section 230 of Public Law 103-236 of
April 30 of 1994, we are prohibited from obligating or expending any funds
for a US Government pavilion or other major exhibits, unless the funds are
expressly authorized or appropriated by Congress.
QUESTION: Is the US making the case to the German Government, or making
arrangements with the German Government on behalf of these American
companies, or are they spending their own money to try to get to the
MR. FOLEY: We can't spend --
QUESTION: That's what I'm asking - but customarily embassies --
MR. FOLEY: Appropriated money --
QUESTION: -- use appropriated - to use American funds or taxpayer funds
MR. FOLEY: To represent businesses at a pavilion.
QUESTION: All right.
MR. FOLEY: One of the main jobs of our embassy is to represent the
interests of American businesses.
MR. FOLEY: We are in touch with American businesses who may be interested
in securing an American representation. We're not paying for their
QUESTION: No, no, I understand that. But you're playing the middle-man
role, aren't you?
MR. FOLEY: I think you call it a diplomatic role.
QUESTION: A diplomatic role.
MR. FOLEY: I think that's our job.
QUESTION: I mean, this is America's business. I know that. Can I ask you
about - quickly - developments in --
QUESTION: One more on Expo?
MR. FOLEY: Yes.
QUESTION: You say federal law prohibits spending US Government funds
unless authorized. By whom?
MR. FOLEY: By Congress.
QUESTION: And has the Administration gone to Congress and asked for that
MR. FOLEY: No. As I said, such governmental funding was not envisaged,
and there's no change in that regard. The law is what the law says.
QUESTION: Well then what are you reviewing, exactly?
QUESTION: (Inaudible) people in Pakistan?
QUESTION: Hold on. What are you reviewing?
MR. FOLEY: We had been involved in attempting to raise money from the
private sector, and those efforts have been unsuccessful, sadly. And so the
question is whether those efforts will have to be closed down, since
they've not been successful.
QUESTION: On Pakistan?
MR. FOLEY: Yes.
QUESTION: The business - I don't know how far into this you're prepared
to go, but the notion of lifting any sanctions against India, keeping those
on Pakistan - what I'm most interested in - but others have shown interest
in other parts of this - is evidently this will block food aid to
MR. FOLEY: What are you referring to, in particular?
QUESTION: The waiver - the sanctions that are being waived now with India,
but being kept on Pakistan. Maybe the White House is the place to do this -
it's a presidential action.
MR. FOLEY: The waiver --
QUESTION: -- but the fallout is a humanitarian fallout.
MR. FOLEY: The waiver issued by the President on sanctions against India
and Pakistan under the Glenn Amendment and related laws expires today.
That's the problem. Provision to grant the President permanent comprehensive
authority to waive sanctions under these provisions is contained in the
pending Defense Department appropriations bill. We are working with
Congress to see if there is a feasible way to address this issue, pending
enactment of the new waiver authority.
QUESTION: But I thought sanctions that are being maintained on Pakistan -
the intention is to ease or to remove those on India, and keep them on
Pakistan. And one result --
MR. FOLEY: Well --
QUESTION: Some food experts said it'll deny $53 million worth of wheat
going to India.
MR. FOLEY: The sanctions --
QUESTION: To Pakistan.
MR. FOLEY: The sanctions that were waived included EX-IM funding, OPIC,
TDA -- trade development -- IMET, and those are the ones that are affected.
Of course, because of the military takeover in Pakistan, though, we had to
apply Section 508 of the Foreign Assistance Act, which denies - prohibits --
a broad range of assistance. And so things like what had been recently
waived - OPIC, TDA, IMET - are now no longer possible with Pakistan.
QUESTION: Does the food thing --
MR. FOLEY: I'd have to --
QUESTION: Because you --
MR. FOLEY: You talking about humanitarian food donations?
QUESTION: Yes. Because the Administration's rationale - you're feeding
North Korea. Your rationale has been that sanctions are designed to punish
a government, not to punish people. And that indeed when it comes to North
Korea the food assistance is separate from your other traffic with North
MR. FOLEY: Right. Well, what I can tell you --
QUESTION: But Pakistan - it looks like the Pakistani people are going to
be hurt and I wondered how that's justified?
MR. FOLEY: You're raising something I haven't heard previously.
QUESTION: All right.
MR. FOLEY: I've not been made aware that there has been an issue of
starvation or of humanitarian need in Pakistan.
QUESTION: It's food assistance.
MR. FOLEY: It's foreign food donations. I can look into that, but I've
not heard that that's been --
QUESTION: I'm sorry - I didn't mean to blindside you but someone is
raising - (inaudible) -- .
QUESTION: Let's talk of the switching of assignments. I wonder if you can
tell us how long it was in process - this decision of switching?
MR. FOLEY: I don't have the answer for how many days it's been prepared.
MR. FOLEY: I couldn't say.
QUESTION: Mr. Javier Solana, on October 16, became the head of the EU
agency in charge for defense matters on the European continent. Do you have
any comment, since the United States and NATO also responsible for the
security of Europe?
MR. FOLEY: Yes. I worked for Secretary General Solana.
QUESTION: Yes, once upon a time.
MR. FOLEY: (inaudible) similar questions involving other former bosses of
mine. I have immense respect for him. He's going to be a very dynamic
leader in his new capacity, and we look forward, very much, to working with
him in his new capacity in the European Union. We think that, indeed, it's
necessary that our approaches to assuring our common interests, and in the
defense area, remain compatible. And we're very confident that with him in
place, that we have an interlocutor who understands the need for Europe
and the United States in NATO to continue to work very closely together
on defense issues.
QUESTION: On Pakistan still - there are various publications that are
saying that the General- (whose name I won't try and pronounce - who's now
in charge in Pakistan, is going to announce a cabinet within three or four
days. Have you all been told this? And do you have any sort of state of
MR. FOLEY: Well, General Musharaff announced that he was going to name a
national security council: I believe a six-member national security
council. To my knowledge that has not happened yet. I believe he was also
going to be nominating the officials who would be running all the
government ministries. I don't know if they'll continue to call it the
cabinet or not, because the National Security Council appears projected to
be the executive decision-making body. But I'm not aware that we have been
informed, to this point, about who the nominees are going to be. I
understand those nominations are going to be forthcoming, though.
QUESTION: Do you know the whereabouts of Mr. Nawaz Sharif? Where is he
MR. FOLEY: Well, when Ambassador Milam met with General Musharaff last
Friday, I believe he was given assurances as to his well-being. I can't
comment on his exact whereabouts, but we certainly hope that he is safe and
secure. We understand that there is an accountability process that's
underway, and we understand that there are preliminary investigations of
Prime Minister Sharif underway, in connection with efforts to restore
accountability in Pakistan.
We urge strongly that the rights of Mr. Sharif, and others who may be under
investigation, are respected and that they receive fair and impartial
treatment, in accordance with international standards.
QUESTION: A question on North Korea: There are some reports that a senior
official may be visiting the United States at some point in the near
future. Do you have anything on that?
MR. FOLEY: Well, I have nothing to announce, and I don't have any
information in that regard. On the other hand, when it happens it won't be
news. It has been envisaged that there will be a high-level North Korean
coming to visit the United States, following the publication of former
Secretary Perry's report, following our last meetings with the North
Koreans in Berlin. That is expected. I don't have any information or
announcement to make in that regard.
QUESTION: In my understanding, the State Department Legal Advisor David
Andrew, in Beijing has -
MR. FOLEY: Could you repeat the question, please?
QUESTION: The State Department legal advisor --
MR. FOLEY: Oh, legal advisor. Yes, yes.
QUESTION: He is in Beijing today.
MR. FOLEY: That's right.
QUESTION: Do you have any point on the resumption -- (inaudible)?
MR. FOLEY: Just briefly. Our legal advisor, State Department Legal
Advisor David Andrews, has just concluded his talks with Chinese counterparts
in Beijing, over the issue of property damages resulting from the mistaken
bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and damages to US facilities in
China. These talks were held in a constructive atmosphere, and they will
QUESTION: Still on China, do you have any information related to or
regarding the recent arrest of nine members of the Falun Gong sect in
MR. FOLEY: I've not seen that report. We have been expressing concern
ever since the crackdown began in China against the Falun Gong, against
people who we believe who were peacefully exercising rights to religious
expression and assembly. So we have been very concerned and troubled by the
crackdown on these people, ever since it began.
QUESTION: Any political developments in Indonesia?
MR. FOLEY: Sure.
QUESTION: Selection making number two to help new man number one,
MR. FOLEY: Right. Well, as you know, yesterday the President issued a
statement congratulating President Wahid and the people of Indonesia on the
occasion of his election. Today the United States congratulates Indonesia
on its election of Mrs. Megawati Sukarnoputri as the Vice President of the
Republic of Indonesia, along with President Wahid. She and the people of
Indonesia deserve enormous credit for the democratic process that led to
the this constitutional change of government, which has resulted in
Indonesia's first democratically elected leadership in 40 years.
Indonesia certainly will face many challenges, including national
reconciliation, improved human rights, much-needed reform of key political
and economic institutions, and economic recovery. But we believe that the
election of Mrs. Megawati, whose party won the most votes in the June
elections, will result in a government that is well placed to deal with
these issues. In other words, there will be a democratic and legitimate
foundation in Indonesia for dealing with the issues that are crucial to
Indonesia's future stability.
The United States looks forward to working closely with the new government,
as it moves to accomplish these important tasks. We call on all Indonesians
to exercise restraint and to reject violence. We expect that the people of
Indonesia will, in fact, embrace the results of a selection process, as a
reflection of the popular will for reform and for change. We hope that the
process of forming a new government confirms this understanding and
promotes greater stability in Indonesia. And, again, we look forward, very
much, to working with the new government as it tackles the many challenges
(The briefing concluded at 1:55 P.M.)