World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


State Dept Daily Press Briefing for August 29 (2)

State Dept Daily Press Briefing for August 29 (2)

Daily Press Briefing
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
August 29, 2002

INDEX:

DEPARTMENT
1-3 Conference on Anti-Americanism/Impact on U.S. Policies
2 Outreach to Muslim Media

IRAQ
3-5 Regime Change/UN Resolutions/Support for Vice President
Cheney s Speech
5 Energy Supply
9 Iraqi Opposition Conference in London
9-10 General Zinni s Comments on Iraq
11 US Ambassador to the United Nations Comments on Peaceful
Resolution
13 Reporters trip to Plant

IRAN
5-6 Sheltering al-Qaida leadership/Support for Sec. Rumsfeld

CHINA/IRAN
6-7 Broader Cooperation Agreement

EUROPEAN UNION
6-7, 8 Article 98 Agreements
7-8 Genetically Modified Foods and Southern Africa

MIDDLE EAST
7 Proposed Peace Plan by the Danes

AZERBAIJAN
8 National Referendum

NORTH KOREA
8-9 Deputy Secretary Armitage s Comments on Dialog

GEORGIA-RUSSIA
10-11 Incursions into Russia by Chechen Fighters

HAITI
11 Removal of President Aristide

AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN
11-12 Release of Detainees

VENEZUELA
12 President Chavez and the Judicial System

PAKISTAN/INDIA
12-13 Kashmiri Violence


TRANSCRIPT:

MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I don't have any statements or announcements, so I would be glad to take your questions.

Mr. Gedda.

QUESTION: Terri tells us that Salman Rushdie says the State Department is going to have a big conference on anti-Americanism in early September. Is that true?

MR. BOUCHER: Terri is right that Salman Rushdie is right. Terri and Salman Rushdie are both right. There is a conference on September 5 to 6 on anti-Americanism. The purpose of this conference is to explore various manifestations and roots of anti-Americanism around the world, what it means for the United States and how the United States may address it. It involves approximately 20 leading scholars from the United States and abroad and an audience of about 50 US Government attendees.

The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research organizes conferences like these to hear from nongovernmental specialists and to promote and exchange of views between specialists and experts outside the government with government officials.

Obviously, the views expressed at these conferences are those of the individuals. They are not endorsed in any way by the State Department or by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. This conference on September 5th and 6th is actually the culmination of a project on anti-Americanism that the Bureau has been doing, which has looked at the phenomenon in Europe and Russia and the Muslim world of anti-Americanism, and their purpose is to sort of explore the various manifestations and the roots and the reason and to make it improve the quality of their product and their explanation and their analysis for the Secretary and the rest of the people who use their analysis within the US Government.

QUESTION: Will this be open to the press?

MR. BOUCHER: No, it's a closed event, and it's, well, closed -- off the record for the participants.

QUESTION: Is it to try to come up with recommendations for doing a better job or is this really just information-gathering?

MR. BOUCHER: I would really have to say it's to exchange views with people on the outside who are interested in the same things. To improve the quality of analysis is really where it is, because that's INR's function is to analyze and explain things. Yeah, it's the --

QUESTION: INR and not Public Diplomacy?

MR. BOUCHER: That's right. It's the Bureau of Intelligence and Research that's doing this.

QUESTION: Is INR right now unaware of anti-Americanism or something?

MR. BOUCHER: The reason they've done these conferences for many months, when you were unaware of them, is because they were quite aware of the phenomenon and they wanted to explore it in more detail and understand it in more detail, and therefore they've been meeting with people on the outside because they are also aware that they are not the sole repository of wisdom on these subjects and would value some discussion with people outside the government, which anybody who is interested in this subject might want to do as well.

QUESTION: And who might be coming to speak to them?

MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to be able to give you a list because it is off the record, and the participants identify themselves if they want to, but we're not going to do it.

QUESTION: Do these people get paid?

MR. BOUCHER: I'm pretty sure the answer is no. The letter of invitation: "We will cover the cost of your meals and lodging for the duration of the conference." (Laughter.) That's about as much as they can expect from us.

QUESTION: Richard, given that you've had these sorts of conferences before, can you tick off the kinds of things the State Department particularly has been doing to address the anti-Americanism for background in our stories so we can say already on the problem, the State Department has done this, that and the other.

MR. BOUCHER: Well, we sort of did that yesterday, didn't we? Can I give you the same answer I gave you yesterday?

I actually -- I mean, I gave you the general answers yesterday and I've actually gone back to see if we can't get you some numbers on the number of media appearances we've done on Arab TV and the placements and the pamphlets that our embassies have put out. I think you're all familiar with the Network of Terror brochure. You're familiar with the fact the Secretary has been on Arab media regularly, that we've had Ambassador Ross on Al-Jazeera in Arabic, as well as other Middle East broadcasting, Lebanese TV and other -- Abu Dhabi satellite TV, places like that.

And we've been, I think, doing more and more with the large Arab newspapers in London. We've had a lot of media tours from Muslim countries where we've brought journalists from these other countries to look at the United States and understand and write about the United States so that they can go home and write more informed articles. We've had several dozen of those. I remember meeting with groups from Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia.

We've also brought TV producers from overseas to come in and help them do documentaries and produce footage about the United States. We've certainly done a lot to publicize the true nature of our efforts in Afghanistan, both on fighting terror and on reconstruction and the assistance projects that are going forward. We produce film that others use.

And so there are a lot of things like that. I asked my people to see if we can't get a full and concise catalogue with some numbers in it, but generally you'll find a whole lot of efforts on those fronts to explain ourselves, as I said yesterday, but also to start getting at the long term by promoting exchanges, by promoting dialogue, by promoting a clearer view of what the United States really is and what we stand for.

QUESTION: The other thing is, I know that this is sort of examining the phenomenon of anti-Americanism, but would this have at some point any effect on actual US policies?

MR. BOUCHER: Yes, to the extent that INR analysis can give us clues and ideas about how to counteract some of these phenomena. Certainly those of us who do work in Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy need to understand the environment that we're working in, the sources and the causes and the reasons that people don't like us in some places, if we're going to counteract that. So this kind of analysis from INR is very useful to people like us, as well as to the people who work in these regions or countries to help them decide maybe more precisely where their efforts can be directed and how they can achieve the desired effect, which is to advance US interests overseas.

QUESTION: I'm assuming that the entire phenomenon, that you would regard phenomenon of anti-Americanism as it's a giant misperception by the rest of the world. (Laughter.) So in keeping along those lines, there's another misperception out there that seems to be despite everyone saying that the President has not made up his mind about what to do with Iraq, the rest of the world seems to think that he has. And a lot of people, and particularly among allies in Europe, are now really quite upset, especially by what the Vice President had to say the other day.

One, is this misperception, which I assume you're still going to say that's a misperception that he has decided, is that -- how great a concern is that to you guys? And two, what are you doing to counteract and reassure these people that, in fact, no decision really has been made yet?

MR. BOUCHER: We're making clear every day in our press briefings, as well as our statements to other governments, that the President at this point has not made a decision. We recognize there is a lot of debate and discussion about how to deal with the dangers that are posed by the Iraqi regime and by its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. This is a discussion that goes on within the United States, as you know, as well as outside it. And the President made clear we'll continue to talk to other governments and consult with them and hear their views as he decides how to go forward.

QUESTION: But are there any -- is it posing -- is this misperception out there posing any problems in the conduct of other foreign policy matters, or is there a concern that it may?

MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't speculate on that at this point about concerns that it may. It's quite clear that everybody who does address these issues addresses them in the context of the extensive cooperation that we already have, both to fight terrorism and to deal with the problems of Iraq.

We have had UN resolutions that everybody supported and continues to support. We've had a new system of controls on military goods not going to Iraq that everybody supported and continues to support. So I think the debate on how to deal with the dangers that are posed by Iraq's continuing pursuit of weapons of mass destruction is in that context of our broader cooperation. Everybody understands that there is a problem. The question is how to deal with it.

QUESTION: I know that you went over this a bit yesterday, but was there a decision that was taken recently that the policy of the government was "regime change for Iraq," or, I mean, you could say this has been the policy, but it seems that we've been hearing more and more about it. Doug Feith on Friday gave an interview to Iraqi people. It was translated into Arabic saying we envision Iraq free where people are rising up against Saddam Hussein. And is that, then would that mean that we would completely -- you know, is that what maybe these other European and Arab leaders are reacting to, because there is a decision that we were seeking a new regime for Iraq?

MR. BOUCHER: But that's been our policy for many years. The Secretary talked about regime change in Iraq *at his confirmation hearings even before he took office. So I think everybody knows that regime change is the policy of the United States, has been for many years, and everybody knows that the dangers that Iraq poses by developing weapons of mass destruction is something that the United States believes we really need to deal with; that this is not something, as the Vice President said, is not something you can let go on and fester until they do or do not succeed in getting these weapons.

We already know from previous history and inspections they will use the weapons when they have them and they are still trying to cheat and hide on their obligations. So the issue is not something created by the United States. The issue is something created by the fact that Iraq continues to defy the international community and continues to pose a danger to the international community by pursuing these programs.

________________________

*The Secretary spoke about a regime change in Iraq shortly after his confirmation hearing.

Terri.

QUESTION: Did the State Department or its missions overseas get a lot of calls after the Vice President's speech thinking that that had ratcheted things up quite a bit? Did you have to explain that this was merely restating, a restating of US policy?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know how many calls we got. Certainly after any significant policy statement, our embassies not only get calls, but they take a proactive approach. The make available transcripts and texts of things that we've said, and to any calls they might get they provide the facts and the information.

QUESTION: So nobody was too alarmed that you know of?

MR. BOUCHER: Well, you've seen plenty of press commentaries by people. Whether they said it in the press or called us, as well, I don't know in every case. But there have certainly been various reactions, one might say.

QUESTION: Well, on that same vein, has the Secretary received any calls after the speech or has he made any calls to leaders, foreign ministers?

MR. BOUCHER: Not particularly about Cheney's, about the Vice President's speech that I know of. He has certainly kept in touch with various foreign leaders. He talked to Jack Straw this morning. I don't know, they may have talked about Iraq. But it's been a subject of consultation with other leaders sort of on an ongoing basis. It's one of the topics we talk about. But then again, yesterday he talked to Solana and Patten and the Danish Foreign Minister about Article 98 agreements and then about our cooperation for food aid in Southern Africa and reconstruction of Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Important aspect of the Iraq decision is energy supply. Can you tell us anything? Are the reports true? There have been published reports to the effect that the Saudis, although they disagree with an attack on Iraq, have promised to increase their oil supply.

MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to speculate. You're implying an Iraq decision that I'm not aware has been made. I think we've said quite clearly the President has not decided on what options he might pursue.

QUESTION: Richard, anything on a report that Iran may be sheltering al-Qaida, senior al-Qaida people?

MR. BOUCHER: These sort of reports have come up from time to time. In fact, I think we ourselves have talked about them. We have certainly made clear our views about Iran's behavior in any number of areas in terms of its opposition to Middle East peace, its ties with terrorist groups, its human rights record and a number of other areas. So, but we've also made clear we're willing to cooperate with Iran when it's in our interest to do so. And we at times criticize -- the Secretary, I remember, criticized some of the actions that they had taken with regard to Western Afghanistan and people coming out of there.

I guess so what I would say, I think I remember fairly recently that Secretary Rumsfeld said there was some presence of al-Qaida members who had made their way into Afghanistan. What is clear to us from a policy point of view is, as the President has made absolutely clear, that no nation should be offering any harbor or safe haven for terrorists, and we would expect Iran not to offer any safe haven.

QUESTION: Do you have anything specific on these individuals that were mentioned in the report?

MR. BOUCHER: No, I wouldn't be able to get into any details about what we may or may not know through intelligence.

QUESTION: Nor whether Iran is or isn't sheltering, just saying that they shouldn't?

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah, and I'd have to say what the policy point of view is. I'm not able to go farther than that.

QUESTION: But you'd agree with Rumsfeld?

MR. BOUCHER: I'd agree with Rumsfeld that, yes, there have been al-Qaida members who have made their way into Iran and that our view is that Iran should not provide any safe haven.

Joel.

QUESTION: Richard, today Iraq and China have formed a broader cooperation agreement and tomorrow there's a Free China Movement press conference at the National Press Club affirming and concerned with human rights and weapons violations. Is this troubling to the State Department and the Federal Government?

MR. BOUCHER: I think we have expressed our own concerns about China's exports of military, civilian goods, missiles especially. We have expressed our concerns about the human rights situation. I think our positions are well known so I'm not going to try to get into what others may or may not say about it.

QUESTION: Can I go back to yesterday's phone calls that you mentioned? A bunch of items having to do with the EU. I assume that he was unable to change the EU -- the prevailing wind in the EU against Article 98 agreements. Can you just -- you know, what was --

MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't presume that. I would say that we have an ongoing discussion with the Europeans about Article 98 agreements.

QUESTION: Yet you don't agree yet on them, do you?

MR. BOUCHER: No.

QUESTION: Okay. So --

MR. BOUCHER: Not that I know of.

QUESTION: So, okay. So he didn't -- he wasn't able to resolve it?

MR. BOUCHER: Well, that's different than what you said first, but anyway. It's an ongoing discussion with the Europeans about Article 98 agreements, which we would point out are provided for in the Rome Treaty, which we would point out were offered, were proposed, by some Europeans when we were working in New York on the UN resolutions. So, why do you need this in a UN resolution? Why don't you just negotiate Article 98 agreements? And that's what we're doing.

So there's an ongoing discussion with the Europeans about this and about what we think is the need to not only allow them to uphold a treaty that they've signed, but allow us not to be subject to it, to make that decision not to sign it -- or not to ratify it.

QUESTION: And then two brief other things on the EU. Did they also talk about the -- the EU foreign ministers are going to be meeting in Elsinore beginning on Friday, and the Danes say that they are going to be presenting a Mideast peace plan that is based on President Bush's plan on this, getting a Palestinian state by 2005. Is that something they discussed, and do you --

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know if that specifically came up. Certainly with all these people he discusses the Middle East frequently. My understanding is that the phone calls were at least principally about these other subjects.

QUESTION: Okay. And then on the one that you mentioned, which is food aid to Southern Africa, you guys have been upset that the Europeans have been kind of behind the scenes encouraging opposition in Southern Africa to your genetically modified corn food aid. Are you now satisfied that the Europeans have stopped this?

MR. BOUCHER: I think the European moratorium on trade in genetically modified food has led to a misperception that somehow this food is unsafe, and that misperception apparently continues. This is food that Americans eat, that we eat every day. It's safe and it's being made available by the United States in large quantities to feed the people who are affected by the drought in Southern Africa. And we do think it's very important that this food go to the people who need it and feed the people who are hungry and suffering from famine and not be withheld or kept out for any, what we would say is wrong reasons.

QUESTION: Yeah, but is the United States now satisfied that the EU is not running around and basically hinting to African leaders --

MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to try to comment. I'll leave the Europeans to describe what they are or are not doing. I would say that there are misperceptions out there, in part because of this fundamental trade policy that the Europeans have.

QUESTION: Yeah, but I'm not asking you what the Europeans are doing. I'm asking is this still an issue?

MR. BOUCHER: You're asking me are we satisfied that they're not doing it anymore.

QUESTION: Is this still an issue?

MR. BOUCHER: It's still an issue in that there are people in Africa who need this food, and we think they ought to get it.

QUESTION: Yeah, so, in other words, again, just like with the ICC, the debate is still ongoing with the Europeans on this matter?

MR. BOUCHER: Again, I didn't say it was a matter of debate with the Europeans. I said there are people in Africa, there's a million people who are at immediate risk of starvation in Zambia, and they need this food; and that no misperceptions, whether they're directly fomented by somebody or whether they're based on a misunderstanding of somebody else's policies, no misperception should keep the people from getting this food.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Just going back to -- can I pose a new subject?

MR. BOUCHER: Yes.

QUESTION: Okay. The referendum in Azerbaijan again, given the conflicting reporting about the results of the referendum in Azerbaijan, what is the US Government assessment of the legitimacy of the referendum? In your judgment, did this referendum satisfy international standards for free and fair elections?

MR. BOUCHER: I really go back to the answer I gave the other day. I don't think I have anything more today.

QUESTION: And also, there is new, also, reports that the government officials and the members of the ruling party accusing the US-based NGO, National Democratic Institute, in sponsoring the political opposition Azerbaijan against the government. Do you --

MR. BOUCHER: I wasn't aware of those charges. I'll have to check on it and get back to you.

QUESTION: Mr. Armitage hold a press briefing, a press conference, in Tokyo yesterday, and he expressed the willingness of the United States Government to send Assistant Secretary Kelly to North Korea in the near future.

MR. BOUCHER: I think he said at an appropriate time.

QUESTION: Appropriate time, yes.

MR. BOUCHER: As you know, that's been the issue since early July.

QUESTION: So what is appropriate time for the US Government, and can we expect that in September?

MR. BOUCHER: The appropriate time is whenever we deem it appropriate. And those decisions will be made, but I can't tell you at this point what the appropriate time will be.

Terri.

QUESTION: Sort of Iraq. The State Department is also sponsoring a conference in London, as far as I understand, the first week of September, is that correct, for Iraqi opposition?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't think so. I think we've -- let me double-check on that. We've been doing a series of workshops over the summer, so I'm not sure. And there was a London conference I think the INC talked about. I'm not sure if we were part of that or not.

QUESTION: Right. Well, they had their own, the Iraqi military --

MR. BOUCHER: Let me double-check and see if we're doing the London conference.

QUESTION: September 3rd and 4th?

MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to double-check. I'm sorry.

Judy.

QUESTION: Still on Iraq. To add to the chorus of people that disapprove of the discussions on Iraq, General Zinni came out and was quite harsh in his appraisal, saying that he equated this to perhaps a Bay of Goats, that he says that attacking Iraq would derail the war on terrorism, jeopardize the United States presence in Afghanistan, and terminate the prospects of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement. Those people -- all the generals seem to think alike, but those who've not participated --

MR. BOUCHER: I read the story, too. You don't have to quote everything. Actually, I read the one two days ago, too.

QUESTION: Yes.

MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any particular comment on what any private individual has had to say on this topic. There's been a great deal of commentary from people in former administrations or formerly with the government, people who are private citizens, commentators who express their view. General Zinni does any number of things now, giving speeches, teaching classes, he works on Aceh, and he works for us, has worked for us at times, on the issue of security for the Israelis and the Palestinians. And I think the last time he was active in that regard was earlier this year, but that's really the only subject on which he's done work for us.

QUESTION: Is he still working?

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah, he still -- you know, we still have a contract. You know, activate when needed, and at this point we haven't done that for six months or so. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Well, I mean, this may be a hypothetical--

MR. BOUCHER: But I mean, you know, he's doing this one thing for us. The rest of his life is his life and the rest of what he says is what he says.

QUESTION: Well, given the fact that he's publicly expressed these views which -- on Iraq, would that in any way affect thinking about maybe sending him back to work in his envoy duties?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. If that issue of sending him back in this, I think, Senior Advisor to the Secretary on Israeli-Palestinian Issues -- Senior Advisor is what we usually called him -- you know, if the instance comes up where we want to do that again, whether this would affect it or not I don't know.

QUESTION: New subject. President Putin has been particularly dismissive of Georgian efforts in the Pankisi Gorge and stepped up that criticism a notch, I guess, earlier today. What exactly are you doing to try to convince, in addition to training the Georgian troops, are you doing anything to try and prevent the Russians from taking a more active stance?

MR. BOUCHER: I think we've made quite clear our views. First, I think I need to say we're very aware of the concerns that were expressed by President Putin and others in Russia about incursions into Russia by Chechen fighters who operate from the Pankisi Gorge region of Georgia. We do welcome President Putin's acknowledgment of Georgia's sincere desire to get rid of this pest of terrorism, as he put it.

We have expressed our own concerns about terrorists operating out of Georgia in our Patterns of Global Terrorism report and in our statements, but we've also made quite clear that we regret the loss of life and deplore the violation of Georgia's sovereignty that occurred in the bombing of Georgian territory, most recently August 23rd, and we've expressed that concern directly to the Russians as well through diplomatic channels as well as in Secretary Powell's phone calls.

As we see the situation right now, Georgia has moved security forces into the Pankisi area to establish government control. We think the problems in that area need to be handled by the Georgian Government and we've worked with the Georgian Government, as you know, to improve its ability to do that -- to improve border security. So like us, we would urge Russia to talk to Georgia, to work with Georgia, so that both countries can work together to deal with the question of international terrorists and Chechen fighters remaining in Georgia.

QUESTION: On Iraq, did the US Ambassador to the UN say yesterday that the States will consider peaceful, peacefully resolve the Iraq question?

MR. BOUCHER: I didn't see that quote. I mean, obviously we've made clear again and again what we need in Iraq is a regime that's going to be committed to implementing the UN resolutions, to implementing its international obligations. That would be the best thing for all of us is to have an Iraq that committed itself and actually carried out those obligations. Unfortunately, we've had a regime that committed itself and didn't carry out those obligations. And that's a situation that's dangerous and we may have to deal with.

QUESTION: Richard, does the US have a plan for transition in the Haitian Government that involves, as its first step, the removal of President Aristide?

MR. BOUCHER: I think there have been some charges down there that we'll look into, whatever this is that is being talked about. But I think I can make clear, absolutely clear from a policy point of view what we have said, what the embassy in Haiti has said repeatedly: We don't support the removal of any democratically elected leader. We and our partners in the Organization of American States are working cooperatively towards securing an environment that's conducive to the holding of free and fair elections in Haiti. And that has been the goal of our policy and the efforts that we've been engaged in.

QUESTION: So the answer's no?

MR. BOUCHER: The answer is not supporting the removal of democratically elected leaders.

QUESTION: Does the United States have some kind of a plan for a transition government in Haiti?

MR. BOUCHER: The plan for Haiti is to work with the OAS, to work with the Haitian Government, to have elections that are truly free and fair where the Haitian people can decide on their government.

QUESTION: You're talking about the senate elections, right? The disputed senate elections?

MR. BOUCHER: The disputed senate elections, and then further, in the democratic process in the future.

Terri.

QUESTION: Did you have a chance to look into whether we are doing anything about these prisoners that are going to be released by the Afghan Government?

MR. BOUCHER: I think we put up something yesterday, didn't we? Did we put it up? Did it cross my desk or did it cross the bulletin board? (Laughter.)

QUESTION: I don't think we got it.

MR. BOUCHER: We've been in touch with Pakistan and Afghanistan. They both -- they have agreements with each other that when there are people released, they'll go back into government custody one way or the other, whichever way they are going, be looked at, and the appropriate authorities will decide what happens to them. So this is a process they've done before that they can have mechanisms to make sure that people who are going to engage in further violence aren't put out to do what they want.

QUESTION: So they will be handed over as prisoners to the Pakistani Government, who will then do their own investigation on --

MR. BOUCHER: I think you'd have to ask each of them exactly how it works, but they have understandings with each other that that kind of system will be used in these cases so that people who are handed over can be looked at by the receiving government and the receiving government has the opportunity to make sure that people who might engage in violence are not released.

QUESTION: Isn't this something that we would be interested in following up on ourselves, though, not just because --

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah, this is an issue that we've discussed with both, that we work with both on.

QUESTION: And as we understand it, they will still be prisoners until the Pakistani Government looks into it?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't want to try to define their exact status, but they pass through government hands and governments have the opportunity to make sure the right thing happens.

QUESTION: Is the government, the US Government, satisfied that the recent hubbub over the courts in Venezuela and the threats by President Chavez are not going to result in alteration of the balance down there between powers?

MR. BOUCHER: I hadn't looked at that particular situation, but I don't have anything particular to say on that. I will see if there's something we want to say.

QUESTION: Richard, also, in India over Kashmir there were 14 people again killed today. And also the Indian court has rejected the settlement from the United Carbide explosion some years ago. Do you have any comments concerning that?

MR. BOUCHER: Separate issues.

QUESTION: Separate issues.

MR. BOUCHER: As far as the issue of Kashmir goes, I would just point to the statements and remarks that the Deputy Secretary made when he was out there. Our goal remains to encourage them to reduce tensions and engage in dialogue. The Deputy Secretary's visit, that was one of the subjects discussed with both the parties, as it was during the Secretary's visit. And that's an ongoing issue that we keep working on.

As far as the question of the Union Carbide. The former executive, Warren Anderson, in connection with Bhopal in 1984, it's been an issue in the Indian state courts for many years and we have not had and don't have at this point anything particular to say about the court case.

QUESTION: Richard?

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah.

QUESTION: Did you notice that the Iraqis took some reporters out to a plant that's been described as an insecticide plant and not a chemical/ biological warfare plant, as has been alleged? Were you deeply impressed by this display of transparency?

MR. BOUCHER: I didn't notice, and no, we're not impressed. (Laughter.)

Thank you.

[End]

Released on August 29, 2002


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news