News


Tracking Number:  197760

Title:  The administration's announcement that it is prepared to send US warplanes into Iraq to protect UN helicopters and UN inspectors searching for Iraqi weaponry is not meant as a threat. DoS Report. (910919)

Title:  Concerning requests from the Soviet Union for food aid, a team of US experts recently sent there to survey the situation and determine Soviet needs has returned to the states but no decision has yet been reached. DoS Report. (910919)

Date:  19910919

Text:
*POL403

09/19/91 HSTATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 SH(Iraq, Soviet food aid) (920)

NNEWS BRIEFING -- Deputy spokesman Richard Boucher discussed the following topics:

SU1SECURITY COUNCIL AWAITS IRAQI WRITTEN ASSURANCES

TThe Bush administration's announcement that it is prepared to send American warplanes into Iraq to protect United Nations helicopters and U.N. inspectors searching for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction is not meant as a threat, the deputy spokesman declared.

"We're expressing our determination -- a determination that's shared by other members of the international community -- to see that Iraq complies with mandatory resolutions of the Security Council," Boucher said.

He pointed out that the Security Council has demanded written assurances of Iraq's "unconditional acceptance" of resolution 707 which authorizes the U.N. Special Commission to use its own helicopters and aircraft to fly inspectors within Iraq.

"In the end what matters is actions, not words," Boucher said. This means Iraq's acceptance of "the deployment of the helicopters without any conditions and their full use by the inspectors," he said.

Boucher said Pentagon generals believe that Iraqi forces do not now pose "an immediate threat of invasion. But the situation with Iraq and the weapons that Iraq has developed and amassed is such that without the destruction of those weapons of mass destruction, the ultimate threat can't be discounted."

Teams of the U.N. Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been hindered by Iraq in carrying out continuing inspections and locating and eliminating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and its missile capability.

Earlier this week, the president of the Security Council conveyed to Iraq's permanent U.N. representative the council's demand that Iraq comply unconditionally with the requirement in resolution 707 which mandates unimpeded helicopter flights by the inspectors.

"Since then we've been awaiting an Iraqi unconditional acceptance of the resolution in writing," Boucher said. "The point here is that the Special Commission and the inspectors have to have the ability to conduct surprise inspections. They can't be allowed to be hampered and thwarted and hung-up by Iraqi conditions."

He said final arrangements for how the helicopters are used and whether there is an Iraqi navigator on board (as demanded by Iraq) or someone else are matters for the Special Commission and the inspectors to resolve.

Asked if any of the former coalition allies had expressed reservations about possible military action to protect the U.N. inspection teams, Boucher reminded reporters about "what the president said yesterday and that is we believe we would have the support of the international community with whatever was necessary to carry out the resolutions. U.N. Security Council members have acted through the president of the council to convey a clear and consistent view to Iraq that Iraq must comply with the resolutions."

On a related issue, the deputy spokesman noted that the council adopted a new resolution September 19 authorizing Secretary General Perez de Cuellar to begin implementing resolution 706 which will permit the sale of $1,600 million worth of Iraqi oil under strict U.N. supervision.

"The United States was pleased to co-sponsor the resolution," Boucher said, noting "it is aimed at beginning to bring relief to the people of Iraq who have suffered under the repressive regime of Saddam Hussein."

Boucher told questioners the United States has never made a secret of its "dislike for Saddam Hussein and the ways in which he has led his country." But, he said, it is up to the Iraqi people to decide on their leadership and their government. "We certainly haven't changed our view that there can't be a normal relationship between Iraq and the rest of the world with Saddam Hussein still in power," he added.

The council's new implementing resolution also provides for an initial contribution from Iraq to a U.N. administered compensation fund so that relief can also begin flowing to those outside Iraq who have suffered as a result of Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait, he pointed out. A third major benefit of the resolution is that it will generate funds for the work of the Special Commission, the Boundary Commission, and the return of Kuwaiti property still being held by Iraq, Boucher added.

It will also provide "essential funding" to help assure Iraq's compliance with Security Council resolutions, "and it's entirely appropriate that the Iraqi government should be made to pay," the deputy spokesman commented.

Boucher emphasized that a crucial feature of the program "is that no funds will ever pass into the hands of the Iraqi government. The sale of Iraqi oil and the procurement and distribution of relief supplies will be conducted under close supervision of the United Nations to ensure that the supplies reach those for whom they were intended."

SU1NO DECISIONS YET ON SOVIET FOOD AID

TConcerning requests from the Soviet Union for food assistance, Boucher noted that a team of U.S. experts recently sent there to survey the situation and determine Soviet needs for the coming winter returned to Washington September 17.

The team, led by Under Secretary of Agriculture Richard Crowder, is currently reviewing its findings and will report to the president shortly, the deputy spokesman added.

During its eleven day visit, the team traveled to the Urals region of the Russian Federation, Khazakstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia, as well as Moscow, Boucher said.

"They met with union, republic and local officials, as well as individuals connected with the agricultural and food distribution sectors, and social institutions," he said. NNNN


File Identification:  09/19/91, PO-403; 09/19/91, AE-413; 09/19/91, AR-421; 09/19/91, EP-411; 09/19/91, EU-401; 09/19/91, NE-403
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Keywords:  USSR-US RELATIONS; USSR/Economic & Social; ECONOMIC REFORM; DISTRIBUTION OF GOODS; FOOD SUPPLY; EAST-WEST ECONOMIC RELATIONS
Thematic Codes:  1UR; 3AI; 3FM
Target Areas:  AF; AR; EA; EU; NE
PDQ Text Link:  197760