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USIA - State Department Report, 97-02-07

U.S. State Department: Daily Press Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The United States Information Agency (USIA) Gopher at <gopher://gopher.usia.gov>


STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1997

(Ecuador, Rwanda, Turkey/NATO, Cyprus) (400)

There was no regular briefing, but Deputy State Department Spokesman Glyn Davies did speak on-the-record with reporters. No transcript is available of this briefing.

ECUADOR -- Davies read the following statement on Ecuador:

"The United States is concerned by the events in Ecuador and expresses its hope that the current constitutional impasse will end as quickly as possible. The continuation of this climate of uncertainty can only damage Ecuador's national interest and its standing in the community of democratic nations.

"The United States notes positively the statement by the Ecuadoran Armed Forces declaring that it will not take sides in this political conflict and calling on the political authorities to find an urgent "constitutional solution that guarantees the peace in the country and protects the highest interests of the Ecuadoran people."

"The United States reiterates its full support for Ecuador's democracy and democratic institutions. We call upon Ecuador's political leadership to engage in a dialogue to resolve this issue peacefully and in accordance with the country's democratic legal and constitutional order."

In response to questions, Davies said that events in Ecuador do not indicate so far any kind of serious breakdown in the democratic process.

RWANDA -- Davies noted a letter sent by John Shattuck, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, to Javier Zuniga, chief of mission of the United Nations Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda. The letter, dated February 6, expresses U.S. condolences for the deaths of Sastra Chim Chan, Jean Bosco Munyaneza, Agrippin Ngabo, Aimable Nsengiyumvu, and Gram Turnbull. The five human rights workers were ambushed and killed in Rwanda February 4 . Shattuck wrote: "Someday I hope there will be a monument to those who gave their lives in the struggle for human rights all over the world. On it should be inscribed the names of these five men."

TURKEY/NATO -- Davies had no response for questions dealing with reports that Turkey plans to exercise its veto as a NATO member against NATO expansion if the European Union (EU) refuses to grant Turkey full EU membership. Reports say that the Turkish government recently relayed its intentions to NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. Davies said he had no information that Turkey has informed the State Department of the reported proposal.

CYPRUS -- Davies could not confirm media reports of recent gunfire on Cyprus.


From the United States Information Agency (USIA) Gopher at gopher://gopher.usia.gov


U.S. State Department: Daily Press Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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