TITLE:WHITE HOUSE REPORT, MONDAY, APRIL 5 (04/05/93)
WHITE HOUSE REPORT, MONDAY, APRIL 5
(U.S./Japan, Iraq/Iran, World Trade Center bombing) (710)
NEWS BRIEFING -- White House Communications Director George
Stephanopoulos discussed the following topics:
COMMENT ON JAPAN EXPLAINED
Stephanopoulos said Secretary of State Christopher had explained to
unnamed Japanese officials the context of President Clinton's comment about
dealing with Japanese officials, adding he foresees no setback to relations
as a result of the incident.
Some news accounts in Japan report that notes taken by the Russian side at
the Vancouver Summit quote Clinton as telling Russian President Yeltsin --
during a discussion about the Kurile Islands -- that Japanese officials,
following their cultural leaning to politeness, sometimes do not say what
Stephanopoulos did not dispute that Clinton, in a much longer dissertation
on Japanese culture, mentioned the difficulty of speaking across cultural
differences. He said Clinton did so in assuring Yeltsin emphatically that
Japanese Prime Minister Miyazawa would be aggressively pursuing a G-7
(Group of Seven leading industrialized democracies) assistance package for
Russia, despite the disagreement between Tokyo and Moscow over the Kurile
Islands or Northern Territories. He dismissed the matter as a "casual"
comment by Clinton about the Japanese sense of protocol and propriety.
Miyazawa is chairman of the 1992 G-7 Economic Summit that will be held in
Tokyo in July.
Stephanopoulos said Clinton is convinced, on the basis of an April 2
telephone conversation with Miyazawa and other evidence, that Miyazawa
"intends to go forward" on the assistance program in time for the April
meeting in Tokyo of G-7 foreign and finance ministers and the Economic
Summit in July.
POLICY ON IRAQ REITERATED
Stephanopoulos told a questioner the United States does not believe Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein can remain in power if all United Nations
resolutions on Iraq and the Persian Gulf War are fully implemented. He
repeated several times that long-standing U.S. policy calls for Iraq to
fully comply with all U.N. mandates.
The question was apparently based on recent news reports asserting that
Washington had shifted its position on Iraq, would no longer demand Saddam
Hussein's ouster and would tolerate his presence as a geopolitical
counterweight to Iran.
Stephanopoulos said Washington continues to demand full compliance with all
relevant U.N. resolutions, including those involving inspection of Iraqi
nuclear facilities and weapons sites, the prohibition against sale of Iraqi
oil except under U.N. conditions and an end to repression inside Iraq.
"It is our judgment," he said, "that it is not possible for Saddam to comply
and stay in power."
Asked if Washington is "grooming" a successor to Saddam Hussein,
Stephanopoulos said the United States is "pressing for" compliance with
U.N. resolutions. But he noted there had been "contact" with Iraqis,
adding, "I don't know at what level."
Secretary of State Christopher, he said, has also told Iran in recent days
that the United States seeks full compliance with United Nations
resolutions by all states -- an apparent allusion to recent reports that
ground convoys of tanker trucks were ferrying Iraqi oil into Iran on a
scale so large as to suggest Tehran's approval. He said Christopher also
warned Iran the United States wants all states to stop support of
MUBARAK WARNING CONFIRMED
Stephanopoulos told a questioner -- when asked about Egyptian President
Mubarak's New York Times interview -- that there is "general sharing" of
intelligence data with Cairo. Mubarak told the New York Times the World
Trade Center bombing might have been averted had the United States heeded
his country's warning about the existence in the United States of a Muslim
fundamentalist terrorist network.
Stephanopoulos said Mubarak's government had not provided a specific warning
about the World Trade Center, and Mubarak told The Times he had passed on
general information. Stephanopoulos denied U.S. intelligence and police
agencies had been "lax" in dealing with the information. Mubarak said the
information dealt with the activities of Sheik Abdel Rahman and mosques in
1rooklyn and New Jersey. Rahman was tried but acquitted in Egypt of
complicity in the death of late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat; he has not
been charged in the trade center bombing.
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