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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Press Briefing

Friday, January 12, 2001
Briefer: Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman

SPAIN/FRANCE

 

1,5-6

Secretary Returns to Washington from Trip to Spain and France

IRAQ

 

1-2

Demarche to Iraqi Government on Missing-in-Action Status of Commander Michael Speicher/Iraqi Movements

MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS

 

2-5

Dennis Ross Trip/Israeli and Palestinian Discussions/Clinton Administration Efforts for Negotiations/Security Talks

ISRAEL/LEBANON

 

3

Maps of Israeli Mines in Southern Lebanon

ETHIOPIA/ERITREA

 

5

Assistant Secretary Susan Rice Trip/Peace Agreement

PAKISTAN/AFGHANISTAN

 

6-7

Assistant Secretary Inderfurth Comments on UN Security Council Resolutions and Sanctions/Usama bin Laden and Taliban

RUSSIA

 

7

Kidnapping of American Citizen in Chechnya/Secretary Albright Conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov

DEPARTMENT

 

8-12

Senator Jesse Helms Comment on Foreign Assistance and International Criminal Court/Statement by Administrator for U.S. Agency for International Development J. Brady Anderson/Funding Efforts for Overseas Operations and Assistance/USIA merger with State Department/Consolidation of Foreign Agencies

10-11

Secretary-Designate Colin Powellís Funding Plans/Senate Confirmation Hearing for Powell

CAMBODIA/WAR CRIMES

 

12-14

Ambassador Scheffer Trip to Phnom Penh Regarding Khmer Rouge Leaders

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPB # 6

FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2001 1:05 P.M.

(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MR. REEKER: Glad to have you here, Barry, and the rest of you too on this Friday before a holiday weekend. Welcome back to the State Department. As you know, Secretary Albright is on her way back to Washington, having left Paris this morning our time. We expect her back at Andrews Air Force Base sometime before 4 o'clock this afternoon.

And with that, I am happy to take your QUESTION:s. Barry.

QUESTION:: Yesterday you hadnít heard from Iraq about the pilot, now described as "Missing in Action." Have you heard yet?

MR. REEKER: There has been no response from the Government of Iraq to the diplomatic note that we delivered day before yesterday as part of our demarche. As you know, we delivered that note to the Iraqi Interest Section of the Algerian Embassy here in Washington, and a similar message was delivered to Iraq in New York and in Geneva, demanding that the Iraqi Government provide an accounting for Commander Michael Scott Speicher, which they are obligated to do under international law. But, again, we have not had a response from them at this time.

QUESTION:: Do you expect a response within a matter of a few days?

MR. REEKER: That is obviously up to them. We would like to get a response. As I said, it was two days ago, so we will be waiting for their response.

QUESTION:: The fact that you have intermediaries, is that possibly the reason you havenít heard yet?

MR. REEKER: Iím not sure what intermediaries --

QUESTION:: The Interest Sections. I mean, you know --

MR. REEKER: Well, as we discussed, we delivered that to Iraqi diplomats at their Interest Section here in Washington.

QUESTION:: So two days to not hear is not unusual or alarming or disquieting?

MR. REEKER: I am not going to speculate on it, Barry. We would like to have them fulfill their obligations and provide the information, which we believe they have, to provide an accounting as we have requested.

QUESTION:: And you donít know since there has been no communication if these notes have actually been transmitted, however they do it, back to Baghdad?

MR. REEKER: I couldn't tell you that, but we have delivered those notes in the manner I described. That would be Wednesday afternoon in Washington, and yesterday in New York and Geneva.

QUESTION:: While weíre at it, Charles Krauthammer, in a column that was extremely skeptical of what you folks call a peace process, says that an Iraqi division has been seen moving westward -- of course he says prepared possibly to attack Israel. But has there been any ominous Iraqi movements, and do you factor that into your mediation between -- in these last days between Israel and the Palestinians?

MR. REEKER: I am not aware of that column. I am afraid I havenít read that today. I donít have any information on that. I would be happy to check into that for you, Barry.

QUESTION:: Oh, and by the way, where we stand in the Middle East. Ross is still in town?

MR. REEKER: I was waiting for you to ask that. Yes, Ambassador Ross is still here. I have nothing further to add today on Dennisí trip. We continue to watch the progress of the contacts underway, and we are of course in touch with both parties. And as I said yesterday, once a decision has been made on travel I will certainly let you know.

QUESTION:: Is it the State Departmentís reading that they are making progress? I understand by the reports they met and they broke up --

MR. REEKER: Yes, I think it appears that talks held last night between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were of a positive nature. The two sides have indicated that these talks are going to continue for the next two days, and we are certainly encouraged by that.

As I said yesterday, we are also encouraged by some of the practical results from the Palestinian-Israeli security contacts: a general reduction in the level of violence, as well as the lifting of some Israeli restrictions on movement by Palestinians. So we will continue to watch this closely, watch that progress, and I will get back to you if we have any news on travel.

QUESTION:: Why would you describe the talks last night as positive nature, when my understanding is the Palestinian spokesman after those talks said that he was still -- that they were still not accepting Clintonís offer? They called it a partial agreement? Do you have other information that you can enlighten us as to why these --

MR. REEKER: No, I think I gave you what I can. They were talking; that, in and of itself, is something that we think is important and positive. And they have indicated that they are going to continue those talks for the next two days, so I think there is something positive in that. And I also said we were encouraged by some of the practical results that we have actually seen from the security talks that they have had.

So I donít think it requires any further parsing. It is just a matter of watching those talks, and then we will let you know if we have anything further in mind.

QUESTION:: Can you tell us where Susan Rice is? I understand she is either in East --

MR. REEKER: Was there anything else on the Middle East, and then we can switch?

QUESTION:: Yes, sort of tangential. I wondered if you had any comments on Israelís admission that it doesnít have maps for the thousands of mines which it or its proxies laid in South Lebanon?

MR. REEKER: I donít have any comment. I saw a report to that effect. I understood somebody was going to try to get back to you on that. But I donít think they were able to review that in the time that I had to come out here. Obviously our Office of Humanitarian Demining will be looking into that, but at this point I have only seen that as a report.

QUESTION:: With the two more days of talks, are you not at all a little frustrated that they keep prolonging this? Secretary Albright said the other day that she was kind of tired of this "kicking the can along the road" that was being done, because the road was running out. There is not much pavement left to it. So is it --

MR. REEKER: Well, I think obviously we would be even closer now to the end of the road --

QUESTION:: Exactly. But I mean -- but wouldnít you prefer to see something concrete come out of these talks, instead of them just agreeing to meet again?

MR. REEKER: Well, Matt, I mean, I think we are in the same position that we have described now for a couple of days. The President said Sunday night, and the Secretary has echoed that since then, that at the request of the parties that he will use his remaining time to try to help narrow differences.

QUESTION:: No, what I want to get at is that -- you donít -- your comments that you made so far donít seem to convey a sense of urgency that perhaps --

MR. REEKER: Matt, this is their peace process, and we have said that many times before.

QUESTION:: So you donít care?

MR. REEKER: The parties are meeting --

QUESTION:: But I mean, I just donít --

MR. REEKER: That is an amazing extrapolation of what Iíve told you today.

QUESTION:: I didnít mean to end it with that. I mean, you donít care if the only thing they are able to do is to agree to talk for two more days? That is not a --

MR. REEKER: Look, obviously we would like to see them be able to come to an agreement. That is the goal of all this.

QUESTION:: And sooner rather than later?

MR. REEKER: But I have given you where we stand today. Obviously there isnít much to add in terms of what we have been talking about for several days, beginning with the Presidentís comments Sunday night. They are obviously aware of the time-table, and I just really donít have anything further to add to what the Secretary and the President have both said on the subject.

QUESTION:: Phil, I forgot why Ross would be going to the Middle East. He has been on hold so long. Initially it was security, mostly to try to help lower the tensions --

MR. REEKER: Well, since, Barry, we donít have any travel to announce, I canít tell you what the travel would be.

QUESTION:: No, no, no -- thatís not -- but what is he holding for? What Iím trying to say is, when the probability of a Ross trip first surfaced, the main thing was we want to see the conflict -- we want to see violence curbed. And it seemed that his function was to see what he could do to contribute to that, right?

But you say there have been some results; now theyíre actually into negotiations. Would Mr. Ross join those negotiations or --

MR. REEKER: As I said, I have nothing for you on Dennisí travel. He is here in Washington. There isnít any decision to announce, and when there is we can tell you where and when.

One more on the Middle East?

QUESTION:: Are there any plans right now to try to iron out a formal cease-fire written agreemen,t at this point, building on the progress in the security talks?

MR. REEKER: I am not aware of anything further than what I have told you today. You might want to talk to the parties.

QUESTION:: I understand Susan Rice is either in Eritrea or Ethiopia. Can you tell me where she is, why sheís gone, what her agenda is, and all that jazz?

MR. REEKER: Sure. Susan Rice has been traveling to Eritrea and Ethiopia from yesterday, Thursday the 11th, and she will return to the United States on Monday the 15th, obviously leaving the region probably on Sunday to get back here on Monday.

She is discussing in both Ethiopia and Eritrea steps to consolidate the peace agreement signed on December 12th with the leaders of both countries and with the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General -- that is Ambassador Legwaila -- and other officials of the UN mission in Ethiopia and also in Eritrea.

She is also discussing steps to strengthen bilateral relations with both countries. They have honored the cessation of hostilities agreement which was signed in June, and the December 12th peace agreement, so she is obviously following up on those things.

In terms of exactly where she is this moment, I am afraid I canít tell you whether she is still in Eritrea or in Ethiopia.

QUESTION:: Just to hit both of those countries? Sheís not going --

MR. REEKER: Hitting both of those countries and returning to Washington.

QUESTION:: And when you say consolidating the peace agreement, what exactly is she doing? What are the -- is there a particular issue that she had to go over to --

MR. REEKER: I think she is reviewing that with them since the signing. You know, we are generally pleased with the progress to date on implementation of the peace plan and the partiesí commitment to it. We want to discuss some remaining areas of possible concern, but I just donít have an explicit readout of those. We are reassured by both partiesí rapid release of prisoners of war and civilian detainees. And as we discussed before, both countriesí leaders have assured us that they will fully implement the agreement, so she is going to follow up on that.

And I would be happy to try to get you a readout once she is back in Washington.

QUESTION:: Do you know when she left?

MR. REEKER: When she left? She is traveling there since yesterday. She may have left Wednesday night in order to make the connections to be there in the region yesterday.

QUESTION:: The Secretaryís plane is supposed to come home -- in fact, she may be --

MR. REEKER: As I announced at the very beginning of the briefing, she is on the plane and should arrive in Washington by 4 o'clock this afternoon.

QUESTION:: Assistant Secretary Inderfurth today made some comments about the soon-to-be enacted new UN sanctions against the Taliban, and he made specific mention that Pakistan would be expected to fulfill these, as all UN members would be.

Can you expand at all on that?

MR. REEKER: I donít think there is much need to expand. I mean, these are UN Security Council resolutions. All UN members are expected to promote the fulfillment of those resolutions, and that would be whatever any country, including Pakistan, can do to get the Taliban to live up to their obligations.

QUESTION:: Is there doubt Pakistan would be doing this?

MR. REEKER: I donít have any particular doubt in mind. It is very clear cut what the resolution says and what is expected of the Taliban, and that is to see that Usama bin Laden is delivered to a country where he can be brought to justice.

QUESTION:: The Taliban foreign minister today reiterated that they had no intention of expelling him. Do you think the new UN sanctions are going to be of much effect?

MR. REEKER: I think we have covered that before. That is what they need to do, and we will continue to work on that to that effect. They need to realize that there are international obligations to which they need to live up, and that is what we will be expecting from them.

QUESTION:: Can I stay on that subject? The last month, I think, or the last year, at the UN there was another 30-day limit, time limit, for the Taliban to hand over bin Laden. Is that deadline coming up?

MR. REEKER: Iím not exactly sure what you are --

QUESTION:: Iíll go back and check and see.

QUESTION:: The resolution contains a 30-day grace period.

QUESTION:: January 19th is the deadline.

MR. REEKER: Thank you, Terri.

QUESTION:: Youíre welcome.

MR. REEKER: Thatís what youíre referring to?

QUESTION:: Yes. (Laughter.)

MR. REEKER: Betsy.

QUESTION:: Do you have anything on the American who was kidnapped in Chechnya?

MR. REEKER: I donít have any further details or any particular news there. We continue to be in close contact with Russian authorities about Mr. Gluck. In fact, Secretary Albright discussed this case with Foreign Minister Ivanov last night in Paris. Our Embassy in Moscow continues to engage with the Russian Government in an effort to establish Mr. Gluckís welfare and whereabouts and to secure his release.

As I indicated yesterday, we continue to stay in contact with Médecins Sans Frontières Holland, which is the organization Mr. Gluck is affiliated with, also with Action Against Hunger, another organization, and also with Mr. Gluckís family, and obviously repeat our call for his immediate release.

QUESTION:: On the same subject? Ivanov? Did the little matter of Kaliningrad come up?

MR. REEKER: As I understand it, in the Secretaryís talk last night with Foreign Minister Ivanov, who was in Paris also for the dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Vedrine of France, the Secretary and Foreign Minister Ivanov talked about a number of issues, including Kaliningrad, the Gusinskiy case and Media Most, and overall the state of US-Russian relations. The Secretary encouraged openness and transparency in our continuing talks.

This obviously was the last time before she leaves office January 20th where the two foreign ministers are meeting, and I am just told that they covered a lot of ground in their talks. Obviously they have covered a lot of ground in their relationship over the past four years, and last nightís meeting was really a chance to reflect on their shared history and the state of relations, and some of these current concerns.

But in terms of any specific responses, I just donít have anything further.

QUESTION:: So no explanation on whatís going on?

MR. REEKER: I donít have any more detailed readout on that.

QUESTION:: Do you know -- was that dinner conversation, or did they have a separate meeting before or after the dinner?

MR. REEKER: As I understand it, they did have a separate meeting. I believe they actually rode together to the dinner, which was, as I said, hosted by the French.

QUESTION:: Was there a State Department reaction to Senator Helmsí proposal that Catholic Charities and other humanitarian groups take over the foreign aid distribution function of the State Department?

MR. REEKER: I think you probably all saw yesterday a statement put out by the Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, Brady Anderson. We could help you get a copy of that, Barry, if you want. It was released yesterday morning, I believe.

Mr. Anderson noted the important role of faith-based organizations, what they can and do play in our foreign assistance program, and I would just echo what he said and the fact that those types of organizations have played a very important role. We share Senator Helmsí views on the contributions faith-based organizations can make in promoting our fundamental values, values shared by the American people generally.

I think, as Brady Anderson indicated, a lot of progress has been made in the last four years, and certainly the last eight years, in expanding our partnership with such organizations. Their work is indeed critical to meeting the basic needs of millions around the world who are less fortunate than we are. I think US AID has shown considerable leadership and talent in their programming, in the evaluation, the oversight and the efficiency of programs which help developing countries to create strategies for growth, which is obviously important for our own security, our own prosperity, and obviously a reflection of our values, the things on which our foreign policy is built.

So we think that in terms of creating economic and political freedom for people around the world, these programs are very important. And Mr. Anderson also reflected appreciation to Senator Helmsí laying out his priorities and the contribution he continues to make to the debate on these issues.

QUESTION:: Excuse me. Is there a "but" there? I mean, thatís his proposition --

MR. REEKER: What kind of "but" are you looking for?

QUESTION:: Well, the "but" is whether the US State Department thinks it is a good idea that this Government office dissolve, be dissolved, and the function --

MR. REEKER: No, I think our position has been very much one not; that we work very closely with AID. In fact, Barry, as you know very well, working with the Congress, in fact, and working with Senator Helms, Secretary Albright took great strides to increase our coordination with the US Agency for International Development, and particularly given the important role they play, as I said, in helping developing countries to create their own strategies for growth.

And I think it is important that they help us to identify common ground that can unite, even in this country, on a bipartisan basis, our leaders behind international development policy that will advance American interests and be true to our values at the same time. And as I said, we believe very strongly that the success of our neighbors and others in the world brings opportunities for us, and of course their own problems pose threats for us.

So once again, as I said, AID I think has been shown considerable leadership in the area of international development, in terms of developing programs to fit the needs of developing countries, evaluating those programs, oversight of those programs, and ensuring efficiency of those programs, many of which -- most of which -- are carried out by organizations, including the faith-based organizations which Senator Helms refers to.

QUESTION:: So in his prepared remarks, Senator Helms has proposed sending someone down to the UN and asking them to look at the International Criminal Court Treaty, and then having them cross Ambassador Schefferís name off of it. Is that a responsible thing to suggest?

MR. REEKER: I donít think I have anything to add to what the President has said, and the Secretary as well, in terms of the ICC. The President directed that we sign that treaty in order that we may have a voice. He outlined the problems, what we saw as the flaws, and did not recommend that it be sent to the Senate for ratification until those things are addressed. And obviously that is something we will continue to work on.

QUESTION:: But those comments, though, were all made before Senator Helmsí speech yesterday. And you donít have any -- you donít want to comment on that proposition? I mean, is it --

MR. REEKER: I donít think it serves any use for me to offer anything else. I mean, Senator Helms is free to make his own reflections on these things. We are all aware of that. We have made our reflections in terms of what the President and Secretary have said, and I just donít have anything to add.

QUESTION:: Having watched the Secretary for four years, and Mr. Christopher for four years, try to coax some money for the State Department on foreign aid operations out of the Congress, and particularly out of Senator Helms, do you find it interesting that he now says at this juncture that if his plan goes through, faith-based -- Iím not sure I understand faith-based -- but certainly that private humanitarian groups dispense aid, that he would find it reasonable to increase appropriations, increase money for the State Department for foreign operations?

Doesnít that show that all along he may have harbored a view that you all were making a good argument?

MR. REEKER: Well, in fact, Barry, I think you are absolutely right that this has been a top priority of Secretary Albright over the past four years in her tenure, and of the Administration in the last eight years. She has focused heavily, as you know, on trying to get the resources for Americaís first line of defense; having the State Department and our diplomatic resources at maximum readiness to implement foreign policy, which is crucial to our interests, as I said, in terms of security, in terms of prosperity, in terms of reflecting our values around the world.

And in fact, in this four years the Secretary has led the effort which has resulted in a real increase of 17 percent in the State Departmentís budget. As the Secretary said in a number of her recent remarks as she prepares to leave office, she thinks it is vitally important that we continue on that pace and increase funding for what are important needs that serve to protect all Americans.

So obviously that will be up to a new Administration. We will continue here at the State Department under new leadership to work with Congress, which is vitally necessary to do that, but to explain to the Congress and to the American people more broadly why our foreign affairs agencies need to be fully funded to meet the needs of an ever more challenging world.

QUESTION:: I guess that answers the next QUESTION:. Donald Rumsfeld is off and running even before the new Administration, you know, saying more guns, more guns. I mean, you know, hereís a man thatís going to head the Pentagon, and not surprisingly he wants them to have more money, more weapons. Well, it is surprising. Not every Secretary of Defense has taken that position.

Would you like General Powell to go off and running and say more help, more resources for foreign policy, on the notion that stopping wars through diplomacy is maybe cheaper than fighting it?

MR. REEKER: I am certainly not going to begin at this point trying to speak for Secretary-designate Powell because the Secretary-designate and his team have been very explicit, very forthcoming, that they do not wish to comment or get involved in these arguments until the Secretary-designateís confirmation hearing, which I am sure you will all be in attendance next Wednesday, the 17th of January.

QUESTION:: Is it Wednesday or Tuesday?

MR. REEKER: It is Wednesday.

QUESTION:: Thatís what I thought.

MR. REEKER: Anyway, letís take a moment to do a little sidebar that his hearing is scheduled for Wednesday the 17th of January, I believe 10:30 a.m., at the Hart Senate Office Building. And just to clarify for those of you that were confused, I believe there had been a schedule for the 16th. My understanding is that there is a memorial service for the late Senator Alan Cranston that will be held in California on the 16th, and obviously a number of senators would expect to attend that memorial service.

So the 17th, Wednesday at 10:30 at the Hart Senate Office Building. Obviously they can give you the details for attending that.

QUESTION:: (Inaudible.)

MR. REEKER: I believe there is a single day scheduled for this.

QUESTION:: Phil, you didnít really answer Barryís QUESTION:.

MR. REEKER: I didnít get to because we were doing our sort of side --

QUESTION:: No, but you said you didnít want to speak for General Powell, but that wasnít what Barryís QUESTION: was. Barry was asking you whether you, as speaking for the current State Department Administration, would like to see General Powell, when he comes into office, pursue Secretary Albrightís --

MR. REEKER: That is exactly the subject I was getting to when I stopped to hyphenate.

QUESTION:: Oh, Iím sorry. I thought you were -- okay, go ahead.

MR. REEKER: So obviously, as Secretary Albright has said, this is something that needs to be pursued in terms of getting for the State Department the resources that we think are necessary for the foreign affairs community to provide the first line of defense in American foreign policy and to help us articulate to the world and to our own public the importance of doing that.

Secretary-designate Powell and the entire new Administration obviously will formulate how they intend to go about doing that. And at this point, on the 12th of January, it is premature to say that. But I think Secretary Albright has certainly expressed her view that that needs to continue to be a priority in getting resources and making sure that our foreign policy needs are met.

QUESTION:: When Senator Helms talks about getting rid of AID, the State Department wasnít crazy about folding USIA into the Department either. Has there been any assessment made since thatís happened, since it was done?

MR. REEKER: That, to my recollection, is not at all an accurate description of the State Departmentís view of that.

QUESTION:: Oh, okay. So you did want to?

MR. REEKER: I think that was clearly the view, and Secretary Albright worked very closely with Senator Helms, in fact, on the consolidation of both the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the US Information Agency into the Department of State, the feeling being that in a post-Cold War world our needs were better served to unite these functions. Public diplomacy, as well as arms control, are absolutely vital components of our foreign policy and what the State Department does.

That is just over a year since the USIA integration became effective. I can speak from my own experience that it can be a very positive thing, and our posts in the field were already -- they worked extremely closely as part of the embassy, are doing that here in Washington. We do that all the time. We in Public Affairs obviously are under the Under Secretary for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, and that has been very effective and an example of where Secretary Albright and the State Department work very closely with Senator Helms and the Congress.

QUESTION:: (Inaudible) -- the AID suggestion as well that you would be in favor of it?

MR. REEKER: I donít even want to suggest that because thatís obviously not where we are at this point. Different things are done for different reasons.

The point I tried to make in response to Barryís original QUESTION:, some time ago, was our feeling about the importance of AID and the fact that we work extremely closely with them. That is another thing that happened as part of the broader discussion of consolidation in the foreign affairs agencies was having a much closer link between AID and the Department of State. And I think that has been something we have seen very much in the field.

QUESTION:: Similar to the USIA situation, that if youíre working closer together itís not such a far leap that it would be absorbed here?

MR. REEKER: I just donít think you can make those decisions based on that. They are very separate issues. It really is apples and oranges.

QUESTION:: Can we switch to Ambassador Scheffer for a minute? Is he in Cambodia or is --

MR. REEKER: He is in Cambodia, yes.

QUESTION:: What is he doing there?

MR. REEKER: Ambassador Scheffer is in Cambodia. Let me tell you what he is doing there. In fact, I saw on one of the competing wire services that he had made some remarks to them just recently from Phnom Penh.

He is visiting Phnom Penh to consult with relevant government officials, Cambodian Government officials, on the final steps needed to establish extraordinary chambers to bring senior Khmer Rouge leaders from the 1975-79 period, to bring them to justice. He is returning to Washington, I believe, tomorrow night. He departed Washington traveling to Cambodia Monday night.

As you will see from some of the remarks he has made himself in Phnom Penh, he has commended Prime Minister Hun Sen for his effort to date and encouraged the Government of Cambodia to work with the United Nations to reach final agreement on the particulars of the chambers. And we certainly welcome the action that has been taken by the Cambodian National Assembly to approve the draft law, and we look forward to seeing the Cambodian Senate complete its work and then have final consideration by King Sihanouk, and finally the consultations necessary between the Cambodians and the United Nations to implement the agreement expeditiously.

QUESTION:: Did he bring with him any specific suggestions or reservations as to the tribunal?

MR. REEKER: Iím not aware of the specifics that he had in terms of his talking points with senior officials there. Obviously we canít speak for the United Nations or for the Government of Cambodia. We do feel that they still need to come together and finalize the outstanding issues as I just outlined because these extraordinary chambers are going to include international participation, the goal of course being to bring these former Khmer Rouge leaders to justice.

QUESTION:: So now that youíve had a closer look at the legislation, are you satisfied with the provisions for international participation? When you last spoke about this, you gave it kind of qualified preliminary approval. Any update?

MR. REEKER: That would be the statement that we released on the 2nd of January?

QUESTION:: Thatís right, yes.

MR. REEKER: I donít think I really have much to add to that since Ambassador Scheffer is there having these discussions with the Cambodian senior officials literally as we speak. The process obviously that is going on is designed to elicit agreement on such issues as indictment and judgment between international personnel and Cambodian officials, and I think I outlined --

QUESTION:: The process? Which process is this? The consultations with the United Nations or with -- ?

MR. REEKER: Right. Obviously I discussed a process that needs to take place in the Cambodian Government in terms of the Senate, and then a final review by King Sihanouk. And then we look forward to consultations between the UN and the Cambodian Government, and the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding, which is obviously necessary. And we will continue to play an appropriate role in terms of our working with the UN. And I will try to see if we can get you more after Ambassador Scheffer returns, if you are still interested.

QUESTION:: And the other thing is that this small country seems to be a big destination this week for senior US officials. I noticed that Admiral Blair is there as well, with some other people, with some folks from Washington. Do you know anything about why they --

MR. REEKER: I would direct you to the Pentagon.

QUESTION:: What country is that? Cambodia?

QUESTION:: Yes. My understanding is that he is with someone from the State Department, but Iím not sure.

MR. REEKER: I am not aware of that. Iíll be happy to check with our --

QUESTION:: Maybe itís not State. Maybe itís a -- (inaudible) -- or something.

MR. REEKER: Anything else on this Friday?

QUESTION:: Thank you very much.

MR. REEKER: Have a good weekend.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:40 P.M.)

[end of document]

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