State Dept. Daily Press Briefing for January 30
Daily Press Briefing
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
January 30, 2003
TERRORISM/PAKISTAN 1-2 Al Qaida ties to Iraq / Designation of a Foreign Terrorist Organization 1-3 Lashkar I Jhangvi tied to the Church Bombing in Karachi
CAMBODIA 3 Statement of Attacks in Cambodia
DEPARTMENT 3-4 Secretary Powell s Telephone calls, meetings and diplomatic efforts 13 World Affairs Council Speech and Ground Hog Day Shadow Speech
IRAQ/UNITED NATIONS 4 Secretary Powell s Consultations on Iraq 4 Secretary Powell s February 5th Presentation to UN Security Council / 4-5 Newspaper Advertisement and its Message 5-6 Canadian Comments Regarding the United Nations 6-7 Timetable and Events 14 Proposed Exile of Saddam Hussein
MEXICO 7, 15-16 Remarks by the Spokesman at the United Nations on Iraq 7 Consulate Closure in Nuevo Laredo 13 Matriculas Consular Issue
GERMANY 7-8 Closure of Several Diplomatic Facilities in Berlin and Bonn
RUSSIA 8-9 Deportation of American Citizen for Visa Violations 9 Placing Chechen Groups on the Foreign Terrorist Organization List
CENTRAL ASIA 9 Planned Meetings on Feb. 13
TURKEY 9-10 Turkey s Role as a Possible Intermediator
KOREAS 10-11 IAEA Timetable, Support of their efforts, Communication 13 Summit in South Korea and Bribes Pertaining to the Hyundai Corporation 14 KEDO Meetings and Update
JAPAN 11-12 Common Defense Initiatives and Preemptive Strikes
INDONESIA 12 Killings of Two American Citizens in Papua
PAKISTAN 14 Detained Journalist from Pakistan Detained Briefly in Virginia
MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Two things I want to note off the top if I can: first, today the Secretary of State is announcing the designation of a group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under U.S. law. The group is Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, a Sunni Muslim group located in Pakistan. This group is responsible for numerous attacks. Its involvement in the January, 2002, kidnapping and killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl has been confirmed.
It has perpetrated bus and church bombings. It has claimed responsibility for the 1997 killing of four American oil workers in Karachi, and it has also attempted to assassinate the Pakistani Prime Minister in 1999 and is responsible for the March, 2002, bus bombing that killed 15 people, including 11 French technicians.
So that group is being listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. All persons in the United States are prevented from providing any -- or, all persons under U.S. jurisdiction are prevented from providing any kind of material support to this group, and its assets get blocked.
We will also be moving to the UN to include this group on the UN lists of terrorist organizations.
QUESTION: Richard, this is -- so they are an FTO that would be listed in the annual Patterns report?
MR. BOUCHER: Yes. This will bring the total to 36 groups.
QUESTION: And before this, they were listed in there as what?
MR. BOUCHER: I do not know. I would have to check, actually. I have not had time to check.
QUESTION: Well, in fact, they were listed in there as nothing. And I was kind of surprised that if they have been doing bad things since '97, why -- I mean, there are two sets of groups listed in there. One is the "designated" and the other is "other terrorist groups."
MR. BOUCHER: Matt, sometimes the information gets analyzed. I am not here to explain last year's and the year before and the year before's Patterns of Global Terrorism report. I am sure you asked the question at the time if this group had been active before that, but I think they certainly deserve the designation now and that is what we're doing.
QUESTION: Can we review the implications?
QUESTION: Well, hold on. Oh. For this?
QUESTION: Yeah. Assets? Travel? Right?
MR. BOUCHER: Yes. It is the whole list of things that makes it illegal for persons in the United States or subject to U.S. jurisdiction to provide material support to designated terrorist groups. It requires U.S. financial institutions to block assets held by them. It enables us to deny visas to representatives of these groups. Then, as I said, we will also be moving to list them on the United Nations lists, as well.
There is a Federal Register notice that appears today, and that will have more of the legal detail for those who need it.
QUESTION: I don't know if you've covered this, but is there an al-Qaida connection here? And is it known whether any of these people had obtained visas in the last few years and come here?
MR. BOUCHER: I do not know about that. Certainly, people like this can be listed as individuals way before the group might be designated.
This group is a group that has been designated by the Government of Pakistan as a terrorist organization, and, frankly, we will look forward to working with the Pakistani authorities to try to shut this group down. They have ties to al-Qaida. They have ties to the Taliban. In addition to receiving sanctuary in Afghanistan from the Taliban for their activities in Pakistan, the group's members fought alongside Taliban fighters. Pakistani Government investigators in 2002 revealed that al-Qaida has been involved with the training of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and that the group's fighters also fought alongside the Taliban against the Northern Alliance.
In the words of the Pakistani Interior Minister: they have been sleeping and eating together, receiving training together, and fighting against the Northern Alliance together in Afghanistan. That has been corroborated by public media reporting as well as other information.
QUESTION: Do you know if they ever infiltrated Kashmir? Are they part of that?
MR. BOUCHER: I do not know.
MR. BOUCHER: Matt?
QUESTION: I don't know if it's on the Federal Register notice. I can't recall. When did the Secretary actually make the designation?
MR. BOUCHER: It is effective today -- and generally, he signs papers about a week in advance. I am afraid I do not --
QUESTION: Was it timed to coincide with the visit of the Pakistani Foreign Minister?
MR. BOUCHER: I do not think it was timed to coincide with it. It is certainly something that --
MR. BOUCHER: What? I mean, we talk to the Pakistanis all the time, so --
QUESTION: Did you just get -- was this the subject of --
MR. BOUCHER: It was not discussed in the meeting, no.
QUESTION: Richard, were they believed responsible for the March bombing in Islamabad, that American church bombing, the Foreign Service Officer?
MR. BOUCHER: Oh, the church bombing in Islamabad? I do not have that specifically. Some media reporting has attributed the Islamabad Protestant Church bombing to this group. Two Americans were killed. I do not have further confirmation.
Okay. The other thing I was going to mention is that we will put out a statement today condemning the violence in Cambodia and the attacks on diplomatic missions. So we will get that to you after the briefing.
And with that, I will be glad to take your questions on this or other topics.
QUESTION: Well, can I ask -- condemning attacks on missions? Plural?
MR. BOUCHER: I guess it is mission -- against the Thai Embassy, business establishment and individuals in Phnom Penh.
QUESTION: Well, on Iraq, the obvious. Comings and goings, telephone calls, contacts. Anything to add to what -- certainly there's a full slate of people.
MR. BOUCHER: Anything at all?
QUESTION: Well, I mean foreign contacts. He talked to Ivanov. Did he talk to him again? You know. The Saudis are here. The Canadians are here.
MR. BOUCHER: The Secretary has been meeting with various foreign leaders, talking to various foreign leaders. Yesterday, he talked to Foreign Secretary Straw. He talked to Foreign Minister Ivanov yesterday afternoon, as you know, had his meeting and lunch with the Pakistani Foreign Minister. Pakistan is currently on the Security Council.
Today, he has talked to the Panamanian Foreign Minister, a new -- fairly recently, not too long ago new -- Panamanian Foreign Minister; wanted to get in touch and establish ties with him. I expect he will be continuing this diplomacy, which -- you have seen the President's contacts and calls. The President is having various meetings today: Prime Minister Berlusconi tomorrow, with Prime Minister Blair, a meeting with Foreign Minister Saud today. The Secretary will be attending that meeting.
The Secretary has been making phone calls and there will be a series of consultations among members of the Security Council and with other governments. And then the Secretary's presentation next week, and then start looking to come out of that with some ideas on the next steps.
QUESTION: Do you consider it a step back, the fact that, by our count, others maybe too, 11 of the Council members yesterday had reservations about taking action against Iraq or preferred more inspections? It seemed that only -- I forgot who -- the U.S. had two, Bulgaria and I forget who else supported the United States.
MR. BOUCHER: Do you remember what the score was when we started the last resolution?
QUESTION: It wasn't good. And I remember how long it took to swing it around.
MR. BOUCHER: I do not think we are expecting that. We are expecting, shall we say, a diplomatic window of a couple of weeks where, for the next few weeks, you will see diplomatic activity with members of the Council and others. I think everybody has made clear that Iraq is not complying and Iraq must comply, and everybody is clear that the Security Council has to stand by its resolution.
So as we analyze the information from the inspectors, as people look at the situation, we would expect them to analyze very carefully the information that the inspectors have given us. We would look to people to listen carefully to the Secretary's presentation next week and to face up to the reality -- which is that Iraq is not cooperating. Iraq is, in fact, actively hiding its weapons, trying to keep information from the inspectors, keep people from meeting privately with the inspectors, and prevent the inspectors from doing their job.
Under those circumstances, as the Secretary has said, the question to ask is not how much longer should the inspectors go on, but how much longer does one give Iraq to change its pattern of defiance into one of compliance.
QUESTION: Richard, do you have any reaction at all to this letter that was signed by eight -- the leaders of eight new or not so new members of Europe?
MR. BOUCHER: Well, some of them are kind of --
QUESTION: -- old?
MR. BOUCHER: Some of them have been around for a while, so I do not think that has any particular distinction.
But yes, certainly we have welcomed the statement. We think it's a clear, firm and unequivocal message, as they say, that Baghdad must be disarmed of its weapons of mass destruction and that the Security Council's credibility will suffer if resolutions are not complied with. Those are sentiments that we fully agree with.
I think it's also proof that many likeminded nations see Iraq as a clear threat to peace and security. I think finally, the statement keeps the focus and puts the focus very squarely where it belongs -- and that is on Iraq.
QUESTION: And in light of that, what do you make of the Canadians' position that you have to go through the UN if you if you -- that you really should go through the UN or risk these consequences in the Middle East or elsewhere, which seems to be not entirely at odds with the U.S. position, but it seems to be at odds with the bit of the U.S. position that says that we reserve the right to go it alone.
MR. BOUCHER: Am I hearing noises?
QUESTION: Yeah. It's the doors.
QUESTION: No, it's not.
QUESTION: I think it's a computer or something trying to get access to the Internet.
MR. BOUCHER: Sounds like it. Anyway. Okay. Somebody is going back to the closet. Sorry.
QUESTION: The Canadians do not seem too keen on your reserving the right to go it alone.
MR. BOUCHER: Well, Matt, you have characterized the Canadian position about four times in slightly different ways -- that we have to go, that we should go, it is desirable, not too keen if we do not. I will stick with what the Canadian Foreign Minister said outside the door, that if there is UN authorization, they would be there with us.
They look to the UN process to unfold. The Secretary discussed this with Foreign Minister Graham this morning. And we will be working with the Canadians and others in the Council and outside the Council as this emerges.
Foreign Minister Graham made clear he is looking forward to analyzing the reports from Dr. Blix, the ones that he has presented so far, and there is another one, I think, scheduled on February 14th. He looks forward to listening carefully to the information that the Secretary presents next week.
That, as I said, is what we look -- what we are asking of people is to look carefully at this information, face the reality of Iraq's failure to cooperate and decide what to do under the resolutions.
QUESTION: And in light of your answer, then, is it fair to say that you're not going to push for anything immediately after the Secretary's presentation? That you would wait until the second Blix report on the 14th before --
MR. BOUCHER: No, I do not think I said that either. I said we are looking forward to that information --
QUESTION: No, I didn't say you said that. I asked if that's what it means.
MR. BOUCHER: In light of what I said before, I would not draw that conclusion. I would say that we have said that this is an unfolding process -- one of careful consultation, of looking at how we decide to move forward. We are having a lot of consultations this week, and we will continue to work with others as we decide. There is no fixed timetable. We just know that this process will be unfolding in a matter of weeks, not months.
QUESTION: So you do or don't believe that you need to wait until the second Blix report on the 14th before --
MR. BOUCHER: I did not set any timetable tied to any particular event. I am not going to do that now.
QUESTION: Well, but the -- so this is a difference of opinion, then, with the Canadians who think that you should wait until at least the 14th before --
MR. BOUCHER: I did not hear Minister Graham say that.
QUESTION: Ah, well he reaffirmed everything that was said last night in the Canadian Parliament discussion in which Prime Minister Chretien said exactly that. And he always made twice the point, made reference twice downstairs, to the date of the 14th.
MR. BOUCHER: I think the Secretary referred to it as well. It is obviously an interesting and important report to hear from Dr. Blix. How that coincides with the diplomacy and the decisions the Security has to make -- Security Council has to make -- we will see.
QUESTION: He -- I think the Canadian Minister referred to his conversation with the Secretary as frank. I suppose that used be a way of saying that they were not exactly embracing each other's views. Is that a fair construction?
MR. BOUCHER: No, I would not interpret that too much. It was a very friendly discussion. It was a discussion of close coordination. The views of the United States and Canada are both, I think, as I say, being worked on, as we go through this process, as we go through the process of consultations. So we are in close touch with each other and we will stay in close touch.
QUESTION: Related to Iraq, Mr. Boucher, there is a statement made or attributed to the UN spokesperson of this country, saying that nobody cares what Mexico says in the United Nations. And our Ambassador of Mexico is very upset on that. Do you have any comments on that?
MR. BOUCHER: Just to say that our -- the spokesman for our mission up in New York has said he did not say it. Other people who were in the vicinity at the time said that he did not say anything like that. No one had heard anybody in that vicinity make such a remark.
Ambassador Negroponte has talked to the Mexican Ambassador in New York, assured him that the United States considered Mexico a valuable partner, actively seeks its views on Iraq and other issues -- as the Secretary did just a week ago with the new Mexican Foreign Minister. I am sure they will stay in close touch in New York as well as between the Secretary of State and the Foreign Secretary of Mexico as we move forward.
QUESTION: Richard, the U.S. Consul in Berlin is closed. Is that due to a travel warning or a warning with terrorists, or is that connected perhaps to the London trial, life in prison, for a Jamaican?
MR. BOUCHER: Let us not speculate too broadly on these things. As you know, we have made clear that we close diplomatic missions or portions of missions from time to time for security reviews or security reasons. Indeed, in Berlin the -- I guess there are two facilities in Berlin: the America House and the Consular Section, that we have had to close, and one, the Defense Liaison Office in Bonn, as well, has been closed to the public.
The U.S. Embassy in Berlin has issued a Warden message to the American citizen community explaining the increased security and the temporary closure of several facilities. The Warden message alerts Americans that in view of unsubstantiated threat information, the German Government has heightened security at our diplomatic and consular facilities in Germany until the information can be discounted.
We are working closely with the German Government to ensure the safety of the mission, our employees and the American citizen community. The Embassy as a whole remains open and operational. Security at all our missions worldwide is evaluated daily and upgrades will be made and are being made, as needed. So we will keep American citizens aware of these developments and especially the American citizens living in Germany.
QUESTION: Richard, do you know when the decision was made to close?
MR. BOUCHER: No, I do not, as a matter of fact.
QUESTION: Because I'm wondering if it was before or after the Germans actually did increase the security around there. And does this mean that you don't really think -- you don't think too much of what the Germans have done to enhance the security?
MR. BOUCHER: No, I would not draw that conclusion. We always work together with people. Normally, even when you have a closure, you have enhanced security as well. You do not want people attacking the building even if you are not open for operations.
QUESTION: Right. No, fair enough. But usually in these cases you make a big effort to go and say we appreciate the efforts of the host, whatever government it is that has the --
MR. BOUCHER: Didn't I?
QUESTION: I did not hear you, if you -- maybe I just missed it.
MR. BOUCHER: Well, we certainly fully appreciate the efforts of the German Government to protect our missions and to provide security in these areas for Americans and Germans.
QUESTION: I'm sorry, I missed the top of it. But did you say that this was al-Qaida-related or the nature of the threat?
MR. BOUCHER: No, I did not. I just said unsubstantiated threat information at this point, that the we are working with the German Government to see if it can be discounted.
QUESTION: Can you tell us the update of the closure of the consulate in Nuevo Laredo. Is there something you can say about it?
MR. BOUCHER: I do not think there's anything new today. I explained it yesterday. I am not aware that anything has changed since then.
QUESTION: Thank you. What happened to U.S. citizen Megan Makria*, I presume her name, who was deported by the Russian authorities under allegations that she had some links to some extremist organizations?
And secondly, if I may, the Kazakhstan Government is arranging some kind of meeting February 30 and it is solid** with participation of Central Asian republic leaders and religious leaders on dialogue between civilizations and stuff like that.
MR. BOUCHER: Yes. On the issue, the stories about an American deported from Russia, we have certainly seen the reports that there was an American citizen woman deported from Russia for visa and registration violations. Our consular officials at the Embassy in Moscow are in contact with local authorities regarding the matter, but we do not have the American citizen's permission in the form of a Privacy Act waiver to talk about the case so we are not able to provide you with anything in public on that.
As far as the meeting coming up, the United States supports the planned conference -- which accords well with our goals of engaging Islam -- and we hope the governments of the region -- Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Afghanistan -- will send appropriate officials to participate.
I guess the meeting is scheduled to be Astana on February 13th.
QUESTION: On the Russia thing, and it actually relates to what you announced at the beginning, you said officials at least have said that you guys are considering a Russian request to place some Chechen groups on the FTO list and they have -- the Russians have said in the past that they've given you some information about this, but just today or overnight some Russia official said that more information had been delivered just in the last day or so. (A) Are you aware of that and (b) is there any more progress on the -- in the process?
MR. BOUCHER: I am not aware of more information being delivered. Certainly, this is a process where we keep in touch with other people who might have information on these groups, so I wouldn't be surprised to find out that that had occurred. I checked this morning on the review on Chechen groups. We are still looking at it. We do not have anything to announce at this point.
Okay. In the back?
QUESTION: Today, the President said that it's okay for if the Saddam go, you know, voluntarily leave the country from Iraq. Do you think in the Turkish Government is playing as an intermediator role on the subject?
MR. BOUCHER: I do not know. You would have to ask the Turkish Government. I have seen statements that they were trying to encourage that. Certainly, we think it would be an option that Saddam Hussein should take, but I have to say I have not really seen any particularly -- any information that would indicate he is particularly inclined in that direction.
QUESTION: Because of the Prime Minister of Turkey is planning to visit Baghdad. Did you ask them to play in any mediation or offer the subject in any, any help or something?
MR. BOUCHER: I think the Turkish Government is aware of our views that this is something which Saddam Hussein should take advantage of. If they want to put forward a proposal like that to Saddam Hussein, then they can do it.
Remember, they also have the backing of the countries of the region that they got at the conference that they held where they encouraged Baghdad to comply and to comply fully. That is a view that we think Saddam Hussein should be aware of and should take to heart.
QUESTION: On the same subject, a lot people in the region seem to think exile might be the only way to avoid a war. I'm just curious why you're putting so much energy and time into what President Bush calls his very last option, war, but take this really passive attitude toward this exile.
MR. BOUCHER: I do not think we have taken a passive attitude for it. We have encouraged it. Frankly, the first place I remember hearing the idea was out of the mouth of the Secretary of Defense. And every time we have been asked we have said, "Yes, it is a good idea and he ought to take advantage of it." The Secretary said we would encourage it.
But I have to say that, one, there are many talking about this, but they all seem to be outside of Iraq and there's been no indication at this point that the Iraqi leader is smart enough to take advantage of this opportunity.
One cannot plan on this. To leave Baghdad? Sure.
QUESTION: Yeah, but --
MR. BOUCHER: Frankly, there is an opportunity to cooperate.
QUESTION: Yeah, but you're not suggesting that there is an actual plan out there that would represent an opportunity for him to take --
MR. BOUCHER: No. An opportunity is different than a plan.
Okay. All right. Let us stick to that.
QUESTION: Another subject. Do you have anything on the IAEA's schedule or timetable for a meeting on North Korea?
MR. BOUCHER: On North Korea?
QUESTION: And anything to say about why there seems, it seems not to be scheduled after many days of seeming imminent?
MR. BOUCHER: I think the best way to understand the IAEA is to look at what is happening out there. I think several governments have said that they wanted to look for a bit of a delay in scheduling this meeting. I think the South Koreans said so in public as they proceeded in their discussions with the North. They just had a delegation up there that came back.
We have been in touch with the South Koreans about that delegation, as we have been in close contact with them all along. We do think -- we expect the IAEA will look at this question of North Korea and will schedule a meeting soon.
It is clear to us that the Agency's obligations under its statutes require it to meet and to further -- to report to the Security Council when there is a violation of the safeguards such as has occurred with North Korea.
QUESTION: And just to follow up. The U.S. position on the desire of other countries to delay, are we strongly disagreeing with that or are we just sort of allowing -- thinking that that's okay?
MR. BOUCHER: We are working with other governments. We have said for a while now that we think this meeting needs to occur. We think the International Atomic Energy Agency Board needs to report this to the Security Council and that the Security Council needs to look at the situation with regard to North Korea because it is, indeed, something that affects international peace and security and therefore we have supported this effort and tried to work with others to get it moving.
QUESTION: Has there been any talks between the U.S. and the North Koreans in the New York channel?
MR. BOUCHER: There are pretty routine contacts and contacts of passing of messages through the New York channel. We do not report on every one, but it goes on a fairly regular and routine basis. This is not negotiations or dialogue on the scale that we have been talking about it, but there is contact and, as we have always said, the channel is open should there be more substantive messages to be passed.
QUESTION: Have any senior U.S. officials gone to New York for any face-to-face meetings?
MR. BOUCHER: Again, that happens from time to time as part of the New York channel, but I am not aware of any particular meetings recently.
QUESTION: Yes. Japanese Defense Agency's Director Ishiba Shigeru mentioned in a recent interview that when Japan is threatened by third country, she will ask United States to stage preemptive strike. Can you give us a comment on that?
MR. BOUCHER: No, I cannot. I did not see the comment and I am not going to try to react. I think our strategy is well known. It is outlined in the National Security Strategy, which has to do with a whole lot more than just preemptive strikes. So I do not know what the question was or the answer, but I can assure you that whatever happens, when it comes to Japan, we work very, very closely with the Japanese Government and we will continue to work together for the common defense.
QUESTION: Is this North Korea included in the target list?
MR. BOUCHER: We do not have a target list.
QUESTION: There was a report this morning that you guys have come to the conclusion that two Indonesian military officers were implicated in -- in something which I can't remember what it is right now. (Laughter.) They did something bad.
MR. BOUCHER: It was killings in Papua, where two American citizens were killed, as you were about to mention.
QUESTION: Yes. (Laughter.)
MR. BOUCHER: Do not worry, I had the same problem when they told me about it in the back room.
No. This is a very serious matter involving the killing of two American citizens and it has been a matter that we have urged the Indonesian Government at the highest levels to mount a serious investigation. The Indonesian Government has been responsive. They have asked us to join in the investigation of the murders, and the FBI has a team on the ground in Indonesia. But the investigation is ongoing, and we have not come to any conclusions about who was responsible.
There has been excellent cooperation from President Megawati, from the Indonesian police, from the Indonesian military, and we want to hear the results of the investigation. There was an initial Indonesian police inquiry into the killings that raised concerns about possible military involvement. We are certainly troubled by that possibility, and as part of the investigation, we have been urging everyone to follow up vigorously.
QUESTION: So a report or reports to the effect that you guys have come to a conclusion are incorrect?
MR. BOUCHER: That is right. We have not come to any conclusions at this point about who was responsible, but this is an aspect of it that we think needs to be followed up on very vigorously.
QUESTION: Richard, returning to the earlier topic of South Korea and North Korea, the South Korean opposition says that the former government has "bought a summit with North Korea," and they are asking where $186 million went. Was that a bribe from the Hyundai Corporation?
MR. BOUCHER: I do not know anything about this. Follow up on that one in Korea, I think.
QUESTION: Mr. Boucher, on the matriculas consular issue in Mexico, I understand the State Department is reviewing the issue regarding this will be accepted as a sort of legal ID for Mexicans in offices of the government of this country.
Do you believe Government of Mexico position* that matriculas is promoting the illegal immigration to the U.S., as some Members of the Congress have said?
MR. BOUCHER: I think at this point all I can tell you is that there are a great many U.S. Government agencies, including states of the United States, that are interested in the question. There are a variety of different views. And we have been talking to other government agencies and others about this matter just to kind of come to a consensus on how we should deal with it and handle it, and what status it has or does not have.
QUESTION: Richard, the Secretary tomorrow is giving a speech which is supposed to be on a broad range of --
MR. BOUCHER: Well, a World Affairs Council speech and then he also talks to the students who are here for Groundhog Job Shadow Day, which is equally important.
QUESTION: Oh, right. Okay. Well, the students, I'm sure he'll be talking a lot about Iraq with them, right?
MR. BOUCHER: More likely at the World Affairs Council.
QUESTION: So will this be -- will he be previewing for the students who are here for Groundhog Day his presentation to the UN?
MR. BOUCHER: I do not think the Secretary intends to give a preview of his presentation for the UN to either group that he is talking to. You are right -- he will talk more to the World Affairs Council people about Iraq, I would expect.
But he will, I think, try to explain to people, as he has been in various fora, where we stand at this juncture and the importance to the international community of really facing up to this reality, dealing with the fact that Iraq is not cooperating, and living up to the responsibilities of the Security Council.
QUESTION: You don't know if he's got another free presentation -- maybe next -- like, earlier next week, is he going to be speaking?
MR. BOUCHER: I cannot think of any major events, but we have not really looked at the schedule of visitors and walkouts. I am sure you'll see him early next week, as well.
No -- we have one or two more. Sorry.
QUESTION: I need to go back to Korea. Do you have any updated schedule of KEDO? I mean, KEDO was supposed to be held early this year. But if not, do you give us any reason? I mean, why we cannot set up the schedule of KEDO?
MR. BOUCHER: I do not do the scheduling for KEDO. I am not aware of any meetings scheduled. And as you say, they were planning on getting together early this year. It is still early this year. So we will just have to see, and you can check with them and see if they have information on any upcoming meetings at this point.
QUESTION: Richard, were you asked about the message signed by eight European leaders?
MR. BOUCHER: I sure was. Welcomed it.
QUESTION: How about the Americans in Indonesia?
MR. BOUCHER: Just finished that, too.
QUESTION: All right. That's all.
QUESTION: But you can ask about Saddam Hussein in exile. (Laughter.) (Inaudible) on that one.
MR. BOUCHER: Yes, we have.
Joel? Sorry. Last one?
QUESTION: Yes. There's been an article and you've been mentioning this for, I guess, a week or two concerning immigration. There is a journalist, a scholar to Brookings Institution, that was detained briefly here in Alexandria. But what would you like to say concerning people that are visiting the country, what their responsibilities are so that this may not occur in such a controversial manner?
MR. BOUCHER: I do not have anything to say about any individual's circumstances or case. We have talked about the registration program with a variety of people, with a variety of foreign leaders who visited.
As you know, it was the subject of discussion yesterday with the Pakistani Foreign Minister. The Secretary in all these meetings has made clear that this is part of a process of developing in the United States the kind of registration system that exists in many other places in the world so that we can know who's in our country and when they come and when they go.
It is not unusual. We are all familiar with circumstances where you have to register much more often than every 30 days. But it is a system that we want to implement as smoothly as possible, with as little inconvenience as possible, to people who are legitimate visitors here, and therefore we will try to work with the INS, the Immigrations Service, work with other governments to make sure this is done smoothly.
QUESTION: Was this a mistake regarding this journalist before he arrived in the United States?
MR. BOUCHER: You would have to ask the Immigration Service about that. That was purely one of their matters. Okay?
QUESTION: Richard, do you mind? I'm so sorry.
MR. BOUCHER: We have a new arrival. Okay.
QUESTION: I'm so sorry. Maybe you're familiar with this problem my colleague from Mexico already mentioned about the incident with Ambassador Negroponte and --
MR. BOUCHER: No incident with Ambassador Negroponte. No incident with his --
QUESTION: With the spokesperson?
MR. BOUCHER: With his spokesperson. And I already answered it.
QUESTION: I just talked with him, actually. I'm coming back from the Foreign Relations Committee.
MR. BOUCHER: I am happy to hear that, but I have already dealt with the matter and discussed it.
QUESTION: And, well, he told me that the U.S. State Department does not allow him to talk to the press to clarify this matter. And then again, let me rephrase the question.
MR. BOUCHER: I just explained this ten minutes ago and I have really, I think, answered all the questions on it.
QUESTION: Yeah, but can you allow me please to ask another -- I mean, rephrase the question?
MR. BOUCHER: Yes, go ahead. You can talk as long as you want, I guess.
QUESTION: Does the United States, I mean, you've been working very much, very closely with your allies to make your case, to make the case on Iraq in different continents and basically with your allies in the Security Council. Is that the position of the United States? You don't really care about what, what an ally like Mexico think about --
MR. BOUCHER: Again, if you were here 15 minutes ago, you would have heard me say how important --
QUESTION: Yes, but I was at the --
MR. BOUCHER: That is fine. But I have already done a briefing today and I have explained how important it is to work with other members of the Council -- how we are, in fact, working very closely with Mexico, and we will continue to work very closely with Mexico. So there is no question.
Because there is one false press report does not change U.S. relations with Mexico.
QUESTION: Can I follow up? So what Mr. Grenell said is not really the position of the United States Government?
MR. BOUCHER: What Mr. Grenell did not say is not the position of the U.S. Government. [End]
Released on January 30, 2003