U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing #205, 96-12-23
From: The Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) at <http://www.state.gov>
U.S. Department of State
Daily Press Briefing
Monday, December 23, 1996
Briefer: Glyn Davies
1...........Announcement Re: Establishment of the Middle East Desalination
1...........Publication of Early Records of U.S. Diplomacy
1...........Statement Re: Partial Release of Hostages in Peru
1-2.........Report Concerning Hostages
1-2, 3, 4...Partial Release of Hostages at the Japanese Embassy
2-3.........Possible Presence of Military Team
3...........Conversation Between Secretary Christopher and Japanese FM Ikeda
4, 9-10.....Security Team at U.S. Embassy/Security Measures
4...........Contacts with Peruvian Government
8...........Possible Ransom Demands
8-9.........Continued Department Action
9...........Information about Tupac Amaru
5...........Economic Agreements with Iran
6...........Allegations of Drug Corruption
10..........Status of DEA Agents
6-7.........Update on US-DPRK Talks in New York
MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
10-11.......Dennis Ross' Trip to the Middle East
11..........Tudjman's Comments about Ambassador Galbraith
11-12.......Update on Demonstrations in Serbia
12..........Status of Washington-Kurdish Institute
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
MONDAY, DECEMBER 23, 1996, 12:44 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. DAVIES: Welcome to the State Department briefing. I've got three
announcements. Two, I will point you to, not read, because they're rather
lengthy; and one short one, I will read.
The first is on the establishment of the Middle East Desalination Research
Center. On December 22, the U.S. joined with Oman, Israel, Japan, and the
Republic of Korea in signing an international agreement to establish the
Middle East Desalination Research Center.
The Center will focus on a range of research and training activities to
help experts in the region to better utilize desalination and related
technologies. There's more on that in the Press Office.
Second, in our continuing award-winning series, "This Day in Diplomacy," to
let you know about the publication of the earliest records of U.S.
diplomacy. After a 10-year effort, the National Historical Publications and
Records Commission is publishing the completed three-volume edition of the
earliest official records of U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy. The three
volumes are entitled The Emerging Nation: A Documentary History of the
Foreign Relations of the United States Under the Articles of Confederation.
That took 10 years to do. I commend that to you if you have that kind
of historical interest.
Finally, on Peru: I will read a brief statement here. This is a statement
on the partial release of hostages. "The United States welcomes the release
of 225 hostages by the Tupac Amaru terrorists in Lima, Peru last night. The
U.S. is especially pleased to welcome the release of seven American
citizens who were among the group permitted to leave the Japanese
"Our sense of relief on their release is tempered by the fact that over 100
individuals continue to be held. We reiterate our call for the immediate
release of all remaining hostages and our support for the Peruvian
Government's efforts to resolve this crisis peacefully."
With that, your questions, if there are any.
QUESTION: There was a report over the weekend in Indian newspapers about
the hostages in Kashmir. Do you have anything on that?
MR. DAVIES: This is a report that I think is a reiteration of reports
we've seen in the past. This goes all the way back to last spring when a
captured member of the al-Faran Kashmiri militant organization alleged that
the four Westerners who had been held hostage since July 1995 had been
Based on the information that was provided, Indian security forces
conducted an intensive search of the area where the killings reportedly
occurred. They were unable to uncover any evidence to confirm or disprove
Then, the next development was in late November. The United States
announced a reward program seeking information on the whereabouts of the
hostages. The Indian authorities in Kashmir have also announced a reward
We continue, as a government, to operate on the assumption that the
hostages are alive, although we've unfortunately not been able to confirm
this for some time. We continue to call on anyone with information on the
whereabouts of the hostages to contact the U.S. Government immediately.
QUESTION: When will these seven Americans finally hit American soil?
MR. DAVIES: That's up to them, I think, individually. I spoke about 45
minutes ago with Ambassador Dennis Jett who has been on the scene at the
Embassy working tirelessly to help in this situation. He told me that he
was at the hospital last night, sometime after 10:00 p.m., when the
hostages were dropped off; that he greeted each of them as they came off of
one of those buses; that they all appeared to be in reasonably good
spirits and reasonably good health. He packed them all off home to
their families and then asked, if they could, if they could come into
the Embassy today. I think most or all have done that in order to begin the
process of discussing what has gone on, to share some of the information
they've picked up.
They are also, I think, right now - or in the last couple of minutes -
they've had an opportunity to talk to the Acting Secretary of State, Peter
Tarnoff, who congratulated them all on their release.
QUESTION: So does this mean the Americans - at least, the Americans'
point of view, since now that our Americans are out of harm's way, that any
type of crack force, military force, that would go in, that might subside
MR. DAVIES: We've not made any comment at all on any contingencies here.
In the first instance, this terrible situation is a situation being dealt
with by the Government of Peru. They're doing it, we think, quite
Secondly, last week there were questions asked about reports of crack
military units standing by to go down there. We're obviously not going to
comment on any contingencies, real or imagined, here. The fact that the
Americans - that these Americans have come out and are no longer being held,
we've welcomed as a positive move, but it doesn't end this matter by any
means. It certainly doesn't end it for the United States of America. We are
going to remain very interested in what goes on. We'll continue to work
with the Government of Peru as it continues to deal with this crisis,
and we're going to continue not to comment on contingencies.
QUESTION: Glyn, are there any other Americans still being held in
MR. DAVIES: The other thing we're going to continue is, we will not talk
specifically about the nationality of those being held. We're not going to
get into discussions of whether or not Americans are in the Embassy. There
are still over 100 people who are being held in difficult conditions by
Tupac Amaru. We think it best if we, the United States, stay out of
directly commenting on those who are still there except to call for their
immediate release, as we've done.
QUESTION: Are the seven going to be allowed to talk to the news
MR. DAVIES: We'll have to work that out, I think, in the hours and days
that come. This has just happened. They just had their first night's sleep
on a soft surface, I imagine, in some days. We have a little bit of work to
do with them, to talk to them first, before we get into making decisions
about whether or not we will make them available to the press. I don't
have an immediate answer for you on that. We'll see what can possibly
be done in the future, but first things first. First, we have to do what we
can to help them recover and help the Peruvian Government deal with this
QUESTION: Does that mean not today?
MR. DAVIES: We'll simply have to see. I don't see anything happening
QUESTION: Were all seven of these employees of the U.S. Government?
MR. DAVIES: No. You've seen the names, I think, of these individuals in
the press. Two of them were high-ranking officials at our Embassy: our
Political Counselor and our Economic Counselor. One of them was the
Director of the Narcotics Assistance Section at the Embassy. Then there
were a number of Agency for International Development officials - the
Deputy Director of their office in Lima; two of the officers from the USAID
office down there; a contractor with USAID. In addition to that, a Peruvian
employee of USAID in Lima was also released. So we're obviously grateful
to see them all free. It only redoubles our resolve to see this through
with the Peruvian Government.
QUESTION: Can you tell us what was discussed between Secretary Christopher
and Japanese Foreign Minister Ikeda on the phone today?
MR. DAVIES: I can only confirm that they had a conversation. Secretary
Christopher, as you know, is in California taking a couple of weeks off. He
did have a conversation with the Foreign Minister. I don't have a readout
of that conversation to share with you. I imagine they clearly spent much
of their conversation, if not all of it, talking about this situation.
QUESTION: Can you tell us, the group that is concerning itself with
security for the American Embassy down there and the security of Americans,
have they taken any steps to improve security? Have they made any
recommendations of a general nature to Americans down there that would
MR. DAVIES: Their job, David, is to help Ambassador Dennis Jett deal with
this situation. We have 10,000 Americans in Peru for whom we are somewhat
responsible. So they're there helping this Embassy go to a 24-hour
operation which has been the case since this began, helping Ambassador Jett
deal with questions related to the security of the 10,000 Americans.
As to specific recommendations or actions, it's probably the last thing we
would discuss in public. You know of the revised consular information sheet
that we released last week that informed Americans about this hostage-
taking incident and then gave them the specific part of Lima, the specific
area to avoid - the area in which the Ambassador's residence is located.
But I'm not going to get into a discussion of other activities.
QUESTION: Any contact with the Peruvian Government, and any requests for
the Peruvian Government for any kind of help?
MR. DAVIES: We're constantly in touch with the Peruvian Government in
discussing the security of Americans down there and in offering any
assistance they care to call on from us in dealing with this. But, again,
that falls in the category of security measures taken or considered or
under consideration, and it's not in our interest to get into specifics
about the security measures that are being taken.
QUESTION: But you did say before that you were offering to help - offer
certain capabilities to the Peruvian Government, were they to wish them,
and that they had not yet asked for them. I'm asking you now, have they
asked for them?
MR. DAVIES: No, I don't have anything to report to you on that.
QUESTION: What's your take on the terrorists' reason for releasing?
MR. DAVIES: It's difficult to get into the minds of others, and I
wouldn't even try to get into the minds of the Tupac Amaru terrorists. They
described it as a Christmas gesture. If so, all it does is point up the
fact that there are over 100 people still there who are being held by these
hostage-takers and whose situation is very, very difficult. The United
States stands with the Government of Peru in its handling of this crisis,
and the President in fact today in a statement expressed thanks to
President Fujimori and his government for their fine handling of this
situation so far.
Yes, Mr. Lambros.
QUESTION: Since Turkey and Iran signed, finally, the so long advertised
agreement of economic cooperation, I'm wondering if you have any comment on
MR. DAVIES: This was an agreement that was reached at the end of, I
believe, the Rafsanjani visit - right - to Ankara. Rafsanjani was in Turkey
from the 19th through the 21st. We understand that protocols on several
economic and environmental matters were signed during the visit. Obviously,
the governments themselves can provide details about those agreements. We
remain concerned, and Nick Burns expressed this concern last week, by all
efforts to intensify cooperative relations with Iran until Tehran reforms
its unacceptable international policies. You're familiar with our bill of
particulars against Iran, which includes support for terrorism, opposition
to the peace process, and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
The Turkish Government knows well our concerns. We communicate them to them
frequently, and we will maintain an active dialogue with the Government of
Turkey. As regards the specific agreements that were reached, I would refer
you to those two governments which can give you details about this.
QUESTION: In spite of that, the Turkish Government knows your concern,
still proceeds, so I would like you to comment, how do you see this
MR. DAVIES: We've described this action as an action that we do not
support - an action that concerns us - and I've been through that: why any
kind of efforts to intensify a cooperative relationship with Iran concern
us rather seriously. That's why we said what we said last week and why
we're repeating it again today.
QUESTION: Glyn, is there an attempt in this Department to view this
agreement from the point of view of the D'Amato bill?
MR. DAVIES: We view this agreement or this set of agreements that I've
just outlined. In terms of the D'Amato bill, the law is the law, and we
enforce it. But we're not viewing it from any particular angle other than
from the general angle of the interests of the United States of America,
which in that part of the world include not making nice with, doing
business with, Iran.
QUESTION: But there is no focused assessment yet in terms of specific
laws, is that what you're saying?
MR. DAVIES: No focused assessment? There are those charged with weighing
developments as they occur against the law and then enforcing from our
standpoint provisions of the law, but I don't have anything beyond the
general statement that I've made to you today.
QUESTION: The New York Times reported today that the U.S. Embassy in
Mexico received first reports on Raul Salinas' alleged link to drug
trafficking as early as July of '93. Can you confirm that, and can you also
tell us whether the report today in The New York Times that the U.S.
Embassy never requested an investigation or the Clinton Administration
voice any concerns to the Mexican Government about the alleged link of Raul
Salinas to drug trafficking?
MR. DAVIES: What we know about this case, of course, is that Mr. Raul
Salinas faces a variety of charges in Mexico, and because of that, it's
inappropriate to comment on specific matters that could involve proceedings
in Mexican courts. In general, the matters that, or the events that, Mr.
Calderoni described occurred years ago - some years ago - while he held an
official position under the previous administration in Mexico.
We believe that serious allegations of drug-related corruption should be
the subject of investigation, and, if it's appropriate, of remedial action.
We also believe that President Zedillo has acted strongly against drug
corruption. He's made major inroads into the problem, and we have with
Mexico a process of discussing these matters. In fact, senior U.S.
officials met with Mexican counterparts as recently as early December in
the high-level contact group on drugs to further develop our cooperation
bilaterally on all aspects of this problem.
What I can't do - and what we never do - is get into specific communications
between our Embassies in the field and the State Department, and part of, I
think, that report in the press had to do with the substance of messages
coming to the State Department from our Embassy in Mexico, and we simply
would never get into that.
QUESTION: I have a follow-up. Also, the same report says that Luis
Medrano, who used to be one of the top lieutenants to the Gulf cartel
organization led by Juan Garcia Abrego, now arrested or in jail here in the
United States, was the contact person with Raul Salinas. He apparently was
the man who paid Raul Salinas some money for some political favors. It
seems then that man died in August of '96 in jail. He was arrested and
interrogated. Did the U.S. Department or any other U.S. agency have access
to the testimony or the interrogation of that man?
MR. DAVIES: I simply don't have anything for you on that. Sorry.
QUESTION: Did anybody ask a question about North Korea?
MR. DAVIES: No, nobody asked a question on North Korea.
QUESTION: The same question. Did the U.S. resume the meeting with North
MR. DAVIES: There was another meeting on Saturday with Mr. Li Hyong Chol
of the North Korean Foreign Ministry. The meeting was useful, as have been
the other meetings held with him up in New York. I don't have anything on
further meetings occurring today.
(To staff) John (Dinger), do we know of -
MR. DINGER: (Inaudible)
MR. DAVIES: We normally don't announce these meetings ahead of time, and,
if there is a meeting to occur today, we could perhaps fill you in on it
later in the day, but I don't know of any meetings today.
QUESTION: He is still staying in New York - Mr. Li is staying in New
MR. DAVIES: You would have to ask Mr. Li. He'll do what he views as in
his interests. I don't know what his plans are.
QUESTION: Just for background - not on background - but what are they
MR. DAVIES: They're talking about the range of issues that are on the
bilateral agenda between the United States and North Korea - issues like
the Agreed Framework and the KEDO process; issues like the Four-Party Talks
proposal; all of the issues with which you're perfectly familiar that are
on the agenda between our two countries.
QUESTION: Ambassador Li's willingness to discuss the Four-Party talks
issue been more - is it a good sign? The North Koreans haven't been willing
to talk about this over the past several months since - basically since
April when the idea was floated.
MR. DAVIES: They might not have been willing to talk about it in public,
but in our private discussions, clearly it's something we raise. What I
don't want to do is characterize his reaction to it or the North Korean
Government's reaction to it. That's for them to describe or to characterize.
But it's a proposal that we continue to raise with them.
QUESTION: Glyn, the submarine issue - would you expect some deal with
North Korea before Christmas or -
MR. DAVIES: We expect, and we've expressed this, before that North Korea
will make a gesture to South Korea in the wake of the submarine incident,
which was clearly a negative move by the North Koreans - very provocative
action that they took. But I don't have any announcements for you, and I
would direct you to the North Koreans on that
QUESTION: The other day I asked Nicholas Burns to comment on information
that your government is ready to announce its initiative for the solution
to the Turkish claims against Greece in Cyprus in the first days of January,
and he promised to check into that for me. I'm wondering if you have
anything on that today.
MR. DAVIES: Not today, Mr. Lambros. Nothing yet today.
QUESTION: When? Do you have any idea when?
MR. DAVIES: We'll work on it as hard we possibly can - as hard as it
merits, and we'll see if we can get you something.
Anything else? Yes, Bill.
QUESTION: Yes, sorry to be late, and, if this has been touched on, I beg
your pardon. The various Marxist guerrilla groups in Central America,
Mexico, have had good luck kidnapping Japanese executives for ransom, and I
understand - do I understand correctly that this is part of what's
happening now in Lima; that there's a ransom being asked for these Japanese
businessmen? If that is correct, then I would ask: what is the U.S. policy,
and what are we saying to the Japanese about stopping this trend of
MR. DAVIES: We've expressed ourselves on the question of in essence
ransoms or meeting the demands of terrorists in this particular case, in
this hostage-taking incident in Lima, in that context as well, and we've
talked about the importance of, obviously, opening up a dialogue with
hostage-takers. But we've also expressed very strongly the U.S. view that
it is our position not to give in to demands of hostage-takers. That is our
view. That is the view that we communicate to other governments in such
I don't have anything more specific to report to you about our dialogue
with the Japanese on how they are dealing with such hostage-takings and
demands for ransom. They know our position. The whole world knows our
position and how strongly we believe in it. But, obviously, the question of
terrorism and combatting terrorism is a question that is raised increasingly
in international meetings, and it is an issue that is very much on the
agenda with those nations who are affected by what is occurring now in Lima,
and Japan is first among them.
QUESTION: And does not this government believe that the success of
hostage-taking, to receive some gain for it, will encourage further hostage-
MR. DAVIES: We don't believe in meeting the demands of terrorists. We
think that terrorist acts should be condemned. We condemn them when they
occur. In the case of the hostage-taking that's underway now in Lima, we
call on the Tupac Amaru terrorist group to immediately and unconditionally
release all of those that are being held in the Japanese Ambassador's
residence, and we're crystal clear on that point.
QUESTION: A few more questions. You had a working group upstairs, I
believe, on this -
MR. DAVIES: A task force. That's right.
QUESTION: A task force.
MR. DAVIES: Right.
QUESTION: Will that task force continue to work now or not?
MR. DAVIES: David, it's still up and running. I don't know what their
future plans are with the holidays coming up. It is possible with the State
Department Operations Center and its 24-hour-a-day operation very closely
to follow such events as they occur without necessarily keeping a group of
specialists in the building 24 hours a day. That said, I don't know the
specific plans for the Lima hostage-taking group that is now upstairs - the
task force that is now upstairs and very hard at work. In fact, I was
just up there about an hour ago.
QUESTION: Would you take that question?
MR. DAVIES: I can look into whether they'll stay up and running or close
QUESTION: I have another question on Lima. What can you tell us - does
the U.S. have an analysis of the Tupac Amaru demands and the relative
strength of that group at this point in Peru?
MR. DAVIES: We spoke a bit about Tupac Amaru last week - talked about
their origins, talked about their relative strength. I think we indicated
that at its height - and this is according to some of the work that's been
done for our Annual Report on Terrorism - it was a group that perhaps had 1,
000 or so adherents; that actions taken by the Government of Peru in recent
years have been effective in reducing the membership of Tupac Amaru,
and that we understood that they were down to something in the couple-of-
But all of these, obviously, are kind of informed guesses. Much of this
information is available from our Annual Terrorism Report. Clearly, it's a
group that's capable of some spectacular stunts, such as this hostage-
taking that's underway right now.
QUESTION: Can the State Department say it was a security lapse that
allowed these members to get into the Embassy?
MR. DAVIES: I think it's up to the Government of Peru and the Government
of Japan to work out any lessons learned from this, and I think that their
focus initially should be and is on the hostage-taking itself and on trying
to resolve it as quickly and as safely as possible. But I leave it to them
to define whether there could have been different procedures followed,
different measures taken. We have our own very strong security precautions
that we take at our Embassies overseas, and we continually review them and
strengthen them. I assume that both the Government of Peru and the
Government of Japan do the same.
QUESTION: Have U.S. security measures been changed in any way in the wake
of this incident?
MR. DAVIES: We, as I say, continuously review the security measures that
we have in place at our Embassies abroad; and, as you might imagine, this
incident has led to a redoubling of that review at our missions especially
in that part of the world but in fact all over the world. That's always the
case when there is an incident like this that's directed at a diplomatic
establishment, because, as Americans know, American diplomatic establishments
are often the target of terrorists. So we take every precaution that we
QUESTION: So without specifying what they are, there are some beefing-up
measures being taken in Embassies in the area or -
MR. DAVIES: The answer to that is absolutely.
QUESTION: On the same question of security, there were reports that the
U.S. Government had requested Mexican Government permission for DEA agents
in Mexico to carry guns. Can you confirm that report, and apparently there
was already an answer to that request that I believe was given to General
McCaffrey during this meeting in December 9th-10th in Mexico?
MR. DAVIES: That sounds like the kind of detailed question, how our
agents operate or don't operate in Mexico, that is probably better directed
to the DEA or to the ONDCP.
QUESTION: DEA told me to ask at the State Department. They did confirm
that there was a request for carrying arms, but that the State Department
was in charge of that request, and that you'd know the answer to the
MR. DAVIES: I don't have an answer for you.
QUESTION: Will you take that question?
MR. DAVIES: I don't think I will because I'm not certain we want to talk
about whether our agents in other countries are armed or not. I think
that's a question that goes directly to their security. It's best, I think,
not to discuss whether they're packing iron or not.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) DEA agents who are in Mexico are published. It's a
published knowledge what they're supposed to do and not supposed to do and
authorized to do.
MR. DAVIES: Well, then you can look it up if it's published. I don't have
it available here. I don't whether they wear red ties on Wednesday or strap
on guns. I don't have the answer to that. It's a detailed question. I don't
think it's one that is in our interest to even look into and get you an
answer on, frankly. I'm happy to look into it just to see, but I'll bet you
dollars-to-doughnuts that that's one we're not going to touch, for obvious
QUESTION: About the West Bank and the Dennis Ross visit. He was quoted as
saying that there had been a breakdown in confidence between Palestinians
and Jews in their talks, specifically on Hebron. Have you anything to tell
us about that?
MR. DAVIES: He wasn't quoted as saying that today, I don't believe.
QUESTION: I read it yesterday. It's in an article today in the Washington
MR. DAVIES: Dennis went out to the region at the direction of the
President and the Secretary to try to re-energize the talks on Hebron. He
has already met with Prime Minister Netanyahu, with Chairman Arafat. He is
right now in Cairo, meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Moussa and
seeking a meeting with President Mubarak. He will go back to Jerusalem
after his meetings in Cairo.
All I can do is repeat to you what Dennis has said, which is that much good
work has been done but there's still work to do and issues to overcome, and
he's going to keep at it. He may or may not make it back here before
Christmas, as he had hoped, in order to report to the President and the
Secretary; but he is today hard at work in the region.
QUESTION: This was from an AP wire yesterday. It says that he told Mr.
Levy of the Israeli Government that there had been a "breakdown in
confidence." Can you define what that - or interpret what that might
MR. DAVIES: I would leave it to Dennis to talk about that. I haven't seen
that quote so I can't even confirm that he said it absolutely.
QUESTION: Are you saying that his previous schedule, in which he was
planning to definitely be back in time for Christmas, is now up for review?
He may not?
MR. DAVIES: I don't mean to signal anything too strongly here. All I mean
to say is that Dennis' general guiding principle in such matters is, he
remains out there as long as he thinks it's necessary or useful to do so.
As far as I know, he's still planning to come back before Christmas and to
report to the President and the Secretary. But his schedule is a work-in-
progress. As I've said, he's now in Cairo, on his way back to Israel for
further meetings. We'll simply have to see where it goes from there.
Regardless of whether he comes back or not, he will, you can be sure,
report back before Christmas as he was asked to do, because there's always
QUESTION: According to yesterday's Washington Post, the Croatian
President, Franco Tudjman, openly criticized your Ambassador to Zagreb, Mr.
Peter Galbraith, for undiplomatic activities against Mr. Tudjman, his
political party, and even the democratic political life of Croatia. Any
comment on that?
MR. DAVIES: We've said before, and I'm happy to say again, that
Ambassador Galbraith is serving with distinction as our Ambassador in
Zagreb. He has acted appropriately in carrying out his instructions. He has,
obviously, the confidence of both the President and the Secretary of State.
We've been over many times in the past this issue of Iranian arms to Bosnia,
and I won't go through the litany with you today. It's all on the record;
it's all available to you.
QUESTION: Is there anything on the situation in Serbia?
MR. DAVIES: I do have a little bit on the situation in Serbia. Just to
let you know that the demonstrations continue. They continue to be large
and peaceful demonstrations by the opposition throughout Serbia. We've also
seen reports of these rent-a-crowd counter-demonstrations that are much
smaller, that are organized by the ruling party. I guess sometimes the
people get their lunch and sometimes they don't.
But we urge the authorities to focus on resolving the political crisis
sparked by the annulment of the November 17 opposition victories in the
municipal elections. They should do that rather than encourage actions that
could produce further confrontation in the street.
We've warned the Serbian Government repeatedly that a crackdown against the
protesters will have serious consequences and lead to Serbia's further
isolation from the international community. Of course, we await the results
of the OSCE's trip to Belgrade. They were there Friday and Saturday, the
20th and 21st. They will do a report which we think will be available
QUESTION: The PKK terrorist organization leader, Mr. Ocalan, yesterday,
he made a statement to one of the Turkish newspapers. He claimed that the
newly established Washington Kurdish Institute, one of his side organizations
or the branch organization for the PKK, which we saw in the past another
guy - an American-Kurdish information leader - he claimed the same - he
made the same statement for this institute, but I believe he's in the line
for political asylum. You claim always to fight terrorism. I wonder, what
are you planning to do with this kind of claim of one of the terrorist
MR. DAVIES: I've seen a statement from the Washington-Kurdish Institute
in which they indicate they're an independent organization established by
Kurdish-Americans. They don't receive support from or work at the behest of
any regional grouping, including the PKK. That's really all I have on that
They have indicated that they don't work at the behest of the PKK. I've got
no reason to question that.
QUESTION: Do they say where they get their funds - the money and the
establishment and support?
MR. DAVIES: I'm not sure they've indicated that to us nor have we
necessarily looked into that, frankly.
(Press briefing concluded at 1:18 p.m.)