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Press Briefing by Mike McCurry

July 24, 1995

The Briefing Room

2:15 P.M. EDT

MR. MCCURRY: Oh, me, oh, my. So much I don't know and so little to say anyhow. And thus, we begin yet another daily briefing at the White House -- with a question from Helen Thomas. Good afternoon, Ms. Thomas.

Q: The U.S. is now saying -- or you're saying that the ultimatum extends to all the safe zones?


Q: No?

MR. MCCURRY: -- I'm not saying that.

Q: What are you saying?

MR. MCCURRY: I said that the London conference took action which focused on Gorazde, as Secretary of State Christopher indicated. As the London conference also indicated, the arrangements that are being made concerning Gorazde could be extended to other safe areas. The British and French generals, along with the U.S. general who met with Mr. Mladic yesterday, so informed him of that and said that, in addition to that, existing U.N. Security Council resolutions remain in effect.

Q: But wait a minute --

Q: Can you explain to me why the same protection isn't afforded the other safe zones?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, the existing -- the other safe areas are covered under existing resolutions of the U.N. Security Council and decisions that have been taken by the North Atlantic Council. They allow for the use of air strikes in protection of U.N. troops when it's requested by U.N. commanders on the ground. At the London conference, as was indicated by Foreign Secretary Rifkind and Secretary Christopher, the discussion focused on Gorazde because the best assessment of Serb military intents is that was the safe area that would most likely in the east next face the danger of Serb aggression.

Q: So the others are protected?

MR. MCCURRY: The others are protected by existing Security Council resolution.

Q: Haven't they all been?

Q: Haven't they all been all along?

Q: So was Gorazde.

MR. MCCURRY: That is correct.

Q: So was Gorazde before the London meetings. So, in other words, do you have to go through a similar process that you went through in London to get an ultimatum applied to these other safe areas? What's the process?

MR. MCCURRY: There is considerable discussion of the other safe areas there. They focused on the issue of Gorazde and how to reinforce and strengthen the U.N. presence in Gorazde. They adopted a very specific ultimatum which was delivered to the Bosnian Serb leadership yesterday as it pertained to Gorazde, but in delivering that ultimatum General Mladic was informed that the West had no less concern about the other safe areas and that the West would be prepared to enforce existing Security Council resolutions.

Q: Well, why weren't they mentioned? Is there deliberate ambiguity there so they won't know?

Q: But what's the difference between before London and after London? The same resolutions were in place. You're saying something's changed?

MR. MCCURRY: What is obvious is a much different and much more determined effort on the part of the West.

Q: To do what, pray tell?

MR. MCCURRY: To carry forth the decisions that were taken in London.

Q: And those decisions were exactly what that pertain to anything but Gorazde?

MR. MCCURRY: They were fully briefed by those who attended on behalf of the United States -- Secretary Perry, Secretary Christopher and General Shalikashvili -- and were discussed extensively over the weekend. We have moved from the discussion of what we will do -- that was made clear in London. We are now in an intense discussion of how we will do it, and we are engaged in that discussion with other NATO members in Brussels in sessions that have been underway Saturday, Sunday and today.

Q: Does what we will do apply to anyplace beside Gorazde, to all the safe areas?

MR. MCCURRY: There have been -- the availability of NATO air power upon request of the United Nations has been there from the beginning. And as indicated in London and in agreement, particularly strong agreement between the British, French and the United States, those same arrangements now being worked through for Gorazde could be made available by decision of the North Atlantic Council for additional safe areas.

Q: So you're deliberately fuzzy.

MR. MCCURRY: I don't think there's any question in the minds of the Bosnian Serb leadership of what the intent of the West is. They were so informed by three high-ranking generals yesterday and it was quite clear that General Mladic got the message.

Q: Why isn't it specified and laid out?

Q: Mike, Senator Lugar and others on the Hill say they still have no clue as to what happened with the dual key arrangement, whether that's been changed since London, and how it might apply differently in Gorazde as against the other safe havens. Can you shed any light on that?

MR. MCCURRY: I will tell you as a general principle that our concerns about the dual key have been effectively addressed as a result of the London conference and the discussions now underway at Brussels. As to how they apply specific questions of command and control, I'll leave that to military briefers to provide the details. Suffice it to say that as a general proposition, our view that theater air commanders ought to be in close contact with local ground commanders is the principle that applies, and that's the principle that's fully consistent with U.S. military practice.

Q: Does that mean that Mr. Akashi no longer will have a veto if U.N. commanders do request NATO assistance?

MR. MCCURRY: I'll let the U.N. address that, but I refer you to General Shalikashvili's statements in London that the concern about the political civilian review was being effectively addressed, and it has been.

Q: After the London conference, both Grachev and Kozyrev said it was their understanding that air power was not going to be used. Can you tell us whether they are mistaken, and whether air power might be used, even if the Russians oppose it?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, you'd have to refer me to a specific statement, but I'd say as a general proposition, as we made clear and as Foreign Secretary Rifkind made clear in giving the general consensus that came out of the London meeting, that this is a threat that is designed to deter further Serb aggression. I think that my review of the public comments of both Foreign Minister Kozyrev and Defense Minister Grachev was that there were no imminent bombing campaign foreseen by the London conference, and that is absolutely true.

What we seek is a change in Bosnian Serb behavior. And there is now a threat that has been delivered to the Bosnian Serb leadership that is designed to avert the type of aggression by the Serbs that would call for the response indicated now by the West.

Q: How well do you think it's working?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, in and around Gorazde the situation report has been much more favorable today.

Q: Are you satisfied with Bihac and Sarajevo?

MR. MCCURRY: We're not satisfied with any continuing fighting in this conflict.

Q: Have you gotten any response yet from the Serbs? And also, Defense Secretary Perry says that it's possible that more electronic war planes will be needed to send to Bosnia as a result of the possibility of increased air strikes. Can you elaborate --

MR. MCCURRY: On the first question, I'm not aware of any public response by the Bosnian Serb leadership. On the second question, I'll refer you to the Pentagon.

Q: In order to expand the Gorazde threat to Bihac and Tuzla and Sarajevo, would there be another meeting of the NAC -- would another meeting of the NAC be required to do that?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, there's another meeting of the NAC already scheduled for tomorrow is my understanding. We are focusing again, though, as I said, on implementing the decisions of the London conference which focused on the situation in Gorazde.

Q: Why did the meeting in Brussels supposedly abruptly break up today without an agreement?

MR. MCCURRY: I don't know. Our understanding from Ambassador Robert Hunter is that they had a very good meeting today. The military committee has additional work to do, is meeting at this hour I am told. And the NAC will reconvene tomorrow to continue to review the question of how to implement the decisions that were made Friday.

Q: On the dual key issue, is there any dispute between the U.S., Britain and France on that issue?

MR. MCCURRY: No, there's no dispute in the sense that I think everyone agrees that the dual key arrangement as it existed needed to be modified in order to take into account the decisions made in London. The question is how to modify it. That's being addressed by expert military planners now.

Q: Mike, did somebody drop a bomb on Pale over the weekend?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, there was an accusation that the French had, and they deny that.

Q: Well, what do we know?

MR. MCCURRY: We know little about it that I'm able to report to you here.

Q: If I can go back to the point before, would Russian agreement be required for air power, for air strikes?

MR. MCCURRY: I'm sorry --

Q: Is it possible air strikes would be carried out without Russian agreement, or would Russian agreement be needed?

MR. MCCURRY: I think the Russian Federation made clear its views on air strikes, but they also, in a general sense, did not dispute publicly the summary of the London conference that was delivered by Foreign Secretary Rifkind. I'm sorry for that oblique answer, but I think I can't speak for the Russian Federation, as you can imagine.

Q: I'm not asking about the Russian Federation, I'm asking about us. And Rifkind's statement was, some people are in favor of air strikes and other people have great concern. What I am asking is, could air strikes be carried out even if some people continue to have great concern?

MR. MCCURRY: Yes, as Foreign Secretary Rifkind indicated.

Q: What are you doing in relation to the vote on Bosnia tomorrow in the Senate? And do you expect to lose? Do you expect to --

MR. MCCURRY: We don't sense that there's been any overwhelming shift in opinion in the Senate. At the same time, we're making every effort to inform senators of the deliberations that occurred in London and the deliberations ongoing in Brussels. Our belief continues to be that unilaterally lifting the arms embargo at this point in which the West is determined to adopt a more robust position is the wrong thing to do.

I would also suggest that if you're a civilian within Gorazde, the safe area, you would feel a lot more protected by the threat of NATO air strikes in response to Serb aggression than the promise that you might be able to get weapons to defend yourself from a promise by the United States that's not clear the United States will carry out.

Q: Does the administration see this change in command and control on the dual key issue as a significant change in the posture that the West is taking in Bosnia, or just as an evolution of what's developed over the last --

MR. MCCURRY: I believe General Shalikashvili, and I would refer you to his statements on it because this is a command and control question and civilian authorities ought to defer to military experts on those issues. But he's made it clear that this is something that would make more effective the type of response that is envisioned and the threat that's now been delivered. So, in terms of military effectiveness, it's a requirement, and for all the reasons that the General cited, it would more closely resemble the type of military doctrine now in place within the United States.

Q: Mike, has the President finished up his own personal lobbying ahead of this Senate vote tomorrow?

MR. MCCURRY: I wouldn't say that. There's a chance that he might engage in some phone calls. We'll report to you if he does. By the way, on that general subject I believe he's engaged in a phone call at this hour with French President Chirac which follows up some of the contact he planned in the aftermath of the London conference.

Q: -- of that?

MR. MCCURRY: They wanted to review both the discussions about the London conference and to share information on the current situation on the ground and to consider additional steps as we attempt to reach a political settlement of the conflict.

Q: New subject if no one minds. The Speaker is in Iowa, as you know. He had a breakfast this morning in which he discussed --

MR. MCCURRY: He's in Iowa? What's he doing out in Iowa?

Q: Yes, right.

MR. MCCURRY: Seriously -- he's out in Iowa. Just kind of traveling around, happened to stop by there? That's interesting.

Q: Right. The question is, he, at a breakfast this morning said that on Medicare, at least we're trying. He says it's not enough just to celebrate the 30 years; you have to find out what's going to happen in the next 30 years. He says, furthermore, one of the two major problems facing Medicare is that there is a total lack of presidential leadership on that issue. He wants to know where your plan is.

MR. MCCURRY: He knows where it is. It's contained in the 10-year balanced budget plan that the President has submitted. This President has done more than just talk about the solvency of the Medicare trust funds.

You'll recall that we extended out by three years the solvency of the trust funds and the changes that the President led for and fought for in 1993 that Speaker Gingrich and the Republican party in Congress, parenthetically, did not support. The President has now come forward with a 10-year balanced budget plan that incorporates changes in Medicare and Medicaid that would further extend the solvency of those trust funds, and do so without cutting beneficiaries.

The Speaker's problem, in being somewhat less than candid with the good citizens of Iowa, is that the Republicans in Congress want to cut Medicare benefits. The President does not. The President wants a balanced budget plan that makes changes in health care, makes changes in Medicare and Medicaid that honor the 30th anniversary by respecting the tradition of a very important social insurance program that has helped protect the elderly citizens of this country.

Q: Are you saying that, a, your plan does not cut Medicare benefits, and b, that it resolves the solvency issue, or just postpones it?

MR. MCCURRY: It extends the solvency of the funds, and it does so without new cuts on Medicare beneficiaries; that's correct.

Q: You're saying there would be no reduction in Medicare?

MR. MCCURRY: That is correct. There are other cuts that are achieved in the program, as we briefed at the time the President unveiled his 10-year plan.

Q: How long does it extend the solvency did you say?

MR. MCCURRY: I believe through at least 2005.

Q: Mike, when the President said today that an elderly couple might have to spend an extra $5,000 plus on Medicare under Republican proposals, is that figure a 12-month figure, or is that an estimate through 1995 through 2002?

MR. MCCURRY: Leo, I can only tell you -- I can detail that in some part. I would suggest you go to the Health Care Financing Administration for additional detail. But essentially what that says is preliminary estimates by HCFA indicate that this would be in the year 2002 when the Republican plan is fully effective. The average beneficiary receiving home health services would pay about $1,000 more. The average Medicare recipient and skilled nursing home services would pay about $1,000 more. And every beneficiary choosing to stay in a fee-for-service plan would pay at least $400 more in Part B premiums. And couples could pay $800 more, obviously.

And there are other co-payment and deductible increases that are in the Republican plan that we're aware of, but they have not specified them yet. That could drive the cost and the price even higher.

Q: So this is a 2002 --

MR. MCCURRY: When fully implemented under the seven-year resolution of the Congress, in the year 2002.

Q: Could you give us a sense of what the President is going to say on the 30th anniversary of Medicare?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, all of these issues I think you'll expect him to address. I think he might even have a lengthier rejoinder to the Speaker.

Q: But can you, a little bit, elaborate on some of the themes?

MR. MCCURRY: No, because that's tomorrow's news. So you can come in --

Q: That's what we wanted it for, Mike.

MR. MCCURRY: That's right, you want me to make the President's news today. I don't think so.

Q: The President said he invites members of Congress and the Senate to work with him on finding common ground to balance the budget. Is that his way of proposing a budget summit?

MR. MCCURRY: No, it's not his way of proposing a budget summit. We've said that the history of budget summits has been a somewhat painful one and not always a successful one. What should happen is common sense should prevail. The President and the legislative branch can together work on these issues. We've had the congressional leadership here at the White House in an attempt to do that. And the President is concerned that the Congress does not seem to be getting the message. We need to get serious if we're going to avoid this train wreck down the wire. The President was standing out there today with the red flag saying, let's not have this train wreck; let's stop; let's get off the trains and let's sit down and work out the budget.

Q: Isn't it possible that Congress might say the same thing to the President -- that he's not getting the message, following last November's election?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, the President, in coming forward with the 10-year balanced budget plan that had to make some adjustments in what the President otherwise would have preferred to see done, has come some distance now in addressing those types of concerns. And, in fairness, it's up to the Congress, if they don't want to reach this point of crisis this fall, to begin to get serious about doing the work that the Congress is required to do.

Q: Your Chief of Staff himself said he has mixed feelings about past Senates since he participated in them. When push comes to shove after October 1 and appropriations, there's going to come a point in time where you're going to have to reconcile all your tax policy, Medicare policy. And if you're at such far ends of spectrum, are you completely ruling it out, say, in November?

MR. MCCURRY: It's a good question, but it's a depressing question, frankly, because it's based on the premise that we're going to go through this silly game that often gets played in Washington where we allow the clock to run out, where debt ceiling crises emerge in which we shut down the federal government, in which citizens have to worry about getting their benefit payments, where they have to worry about whether their government has its act together.

And the President is saying to the Congress of the United States of America today, come on, we don't need to get to that point where everybody in Washington looks silly. The American people expect us to do our business, and in good faith he came forward today saying, here are some areas where I believe there is a consensus in America in which I believe you can share in that consensus. So come stand with me on this common ground that he attempted to define in this speech today and let's not have the type of silliness that we normally associate with the end of a fiscal year.

Q: Mike, he laid out where he stands and as far as he's concerned that's common ground. And he's saying -- (laughter) -- but usually when the President wants to get something going with the Republicans he does something specific, like Leon Panetta starts talking to someone or he invites leadership up or he starts negotiations. What specifically process-wise does he want to happen to avoid the train wreck?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, he wouldn't mind that we just follow through on some of the issues that we've discussed here. We're going to have technical-level experts look at the issue just as a starting point of how you define what the common base of assumptions are. Let's at least stand on common ground on assumptions and estimates, and get the budget discussion going that way.

But what he's suggesting is one thing you cannot do is keep marching inexorably in the direction of measures in which the President is going to have no choice but to cast a veto. And that is what he's attempting to avoid.

Q: That just sounds like positioning for the final battle to come. He's trying to avoid this --

MR. MCCURRY: Look, he's trying to get the work of the country done. The Congress doesn't seem to have any ears to hear what the President has been saying. So he said it again today; he's going to say it in coming days. He's going to start talking about specific areas of the budget, and make suggestions about how we can define some consensus.

Q: But how do you overcome the tactical problem October 1, where the Republicans feel that by stretching it out and shutting down the government, they have more leverage over Bill Clinton because they believe less in government than he does and, if push comes to shove, to keep the government going, he will compromise more than they will?

MR. MCCURRY: You're making a very unhappy assumption about the lengths to which this Republican majority will go to get its will; that they would be willing to shut this government down because they don't believe in government. They'd like to shut all aspects of government down and turn it all over.

Q: They can't shut down the government.

MR. MCCURRY: Well, the President said today that he would be willing, if necessary, to stand alone. But first what he wants to do is go and say, can't we find enough senators and congressmen who at least want common sense to prevail? And he's pledged today to go out and do everything he could to round up enough members of this Congress to get the business of this country done in a timely and orderly way without provoking this type of crisis.

Q: How precisely, after the speeches have all been made, and the applause has all been heard, what is he going to do? Is he going to call up Jim Jeffords on the phone, or what?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, the first thing we'll do is to see if we get any type of reaction from the leadership that's more encouraging than the Speaker's remarks in Iowa today.

Q: Is the President concerned by recent reports that Radio Marti has been used by Cuban exiles to further their own political agenda?

MR. MCCURRY: They have briefed at some length at that at the State Department, and reviewed some of the steps that USIA has been pursuing. We have followed some of that here; the NSC has been following the issue. But I'd refer you over to the State Department, because they've been commenting publicly on it.

Q: Mike, do you have any reaction to a letter today from the two GOP leaders of the Waco committee that your comments on the NRA and the President's comments last week about the President are interfering with their hearings, and that you are conducting the same type of spin control and damage control that you accuse them of?

MR. MCCURRY: I can't believe that. The chairman of the committee would accuse me of spinning? Moi? (Laughter.)

Q: I think his quote was, "plain political hogwash" of your charge that the NRA had hijacked his hearing.

MR. MCCURRY: Look, have you guys read the Post this morning? Did you all see the very good John Mintz story in the Post today? Look, they point out, in the Post reporting -- in the course of the Post reporting today, they go through the Republicans delaying some of the National Rifle Association's top legislative matters.

But then, the Post reports, as a consolation prize, congressional officials decided they would have these hearings on Waco. THis is a direct quote. This is a direct quote from an NRA official, quoted anonymously in this story: "NRA people at headquarters are dancing in the hallways with glee at the fact that the Waco hearings are on. This is their dream."

That's all I've been saying the last couple of days. All I've been saying is that the NRA -- their dream --

Q: Are you now saying they shouldn't be held?

MR. MCCURRY: No, I've never said that they shouldn't.

Q: Your problem with it is that they like it?

MR. MCCURRY: I've never said that appropriate issues that ought to be before a congressional committee shouldn't be fully explored by a congressional committee. What I've suggested is that it's inappropriate for a special interest group that has a very extreme agenda to buy and pay for investigation, to stage manage these hearings, to work in cooperation with the Chairman and the others who are running these hearings, to attempt to accomplish its agenda. I just think that's wrong. The Congress ought to pursue these matters separately and independently.

Q: What specific issues have been raised at those hearings so far that gave rise to --

MR. MCCURRY: Look, this is a real simple thing. They are trashing law enforcement. They, basically, are undermining the morale of law enforcement officers and undermining --

Q: How specifically are they doing that?

MR. MCCURRY: -- the effort to protect --

Q: How specifically are they doing that?

MR. MCCURRY: By implying to the American people that somehow or other the conduct that they are looking at in Waco is representative of the way law enforcement officers behave. And the President is going to stand forthwith with law enforcement officers -- foursquare with law enforcement officers. He is standing up for the law enforcement officers in this country who put their lives on the line while this Republican majority and this committee attempt to undermine confidence in law enforcement officers.

Q: Very good.

Q: A few moments ago when you talked about common areas of agreement you mentioned budget assumptions -- later in the week with changes in their budget estimate. Are you in any way --

MR. MCCURRY: You mean the follow-up to the midterm review?

Q: The follow-up. Are you saying that their assumptions are going to be closer to CBOs. That's there's going to be some --

MR. MCCURRY: I have to confess that I have not looked at that. The OMB released its midsession review numbers that did not break any new ground, but they did indicate at the time that they were conducting some additional estimates to reflect the President's 10-year budget proposal. And I understand that those were coming at some point rather soon. You might want to check with Larry Haas and see if he knows. I can come back to the question tomorrow if we get an answer on it.

Q: Can we go back to the vote tomorrow and just -- clear. In the past you've said that if Congress passed a unilateral lift, it would spook the allies so much that they would just up and leave, regardless of whether you felt that had any kind of constitutional hold on the President. Is that what you expect to happen tomorrow or do you think if he vetoes it and it's upheld they stay put?

MR. MCCURRY: I don't want to predict. That measure is undergoing some change, there may be amendments offered to that measure when it's considered tomorrow. I can tell you that our allies at highest levels, our allies are very keenly interested in the Senate debate, in the nature of the measure and what it will require of the President. And we will have to wait and see what exactly the final shape of this measure takes.

Again, if it asks for unilateral lift of the arms embargo and asks for that immediately, it's no question that our UNPROFOR allies will withdraw their troops and UNPROFOR will shut down --

Q: Just on the strength of their passing it?

MR. MCCURRY: Just wait. Hear me out. The question remains whether, if they get a clear signal from this Congress that the United States is moving in the direction of unilateral lift, under whatever sets of circumstances or conditions are laid out in the resolution, whether that might be enough to prompt them to be -- accelerate their plans for considering withdrawal.

Q: Even in the face of assurances from him that he will veto it and it will not take -- will not became law?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, the President has given them assurances that he will veto, and he's been very candid in assessing what he believes the -- what the possibilities are for overriding it.

Q: What are they? What are they in your view?

MR. MCCURRY: The President believes in various circumstances he might be able to sustain the veto, and other conditions that might be more difficult.

Q: Well, what is it that you understand the allies will take as their trigger? The passage of this thing or is it --

MR. MCCURRY: Look, Maura, I'm not -- I would be interpreting positions that they've conveyed. The British and the French governments are very forthcoming on that question. They've commented on it publicly, and I'd suggest you go ask them.

Q: Mike, could I just follow up about the amendment thing? Is your assumption now that you can't block it from passing, so do you have allies that are proposing particular amendments tomorrow that would weaken it in a way to your liking? Is that your fall-back legislative position?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, we are looking at the legislation. We have no way of knowing what happened if the President vetoed it for certain. But we do have some sense that there are those on Capitol Hill who would like to at least alter the measure so that it would more closely approximate the President's policy.

Q: Does the President want the Justice Department to review California State University's federal contracts in the aftermath of the affirmative action decision by the governor?

MR. MCCURRY: Wolf, my understanding is that they already were -- that they had had some consultations with other agencies about it. Mr. Panetta made a reference to that yesterday, but it's really up to the Justice Department to indicate what they've got underway. They were just looking generally at the issue, and in anticipation that there would likely be a change in -- as a result of the decision by the U.C. Board of Regents.

Q: Looking again at the Senate vote -- as you know, Senator Dole had some quotes on the London action, calling it another "dazzling display."

MR. MCCURRY: He, by the way, made those comments before he had one shred of information about what had been decided at London other than the beginning of the public comments made by the Foreign Secretary, speaking prior to.

Q: Do you think he'd have any better idea if had heard the briefing?

Q: Right, exactly.

MR. MCCURRY: He might have had a much better idea if he'd had an opportunity to have someone walk him through the facts.

Q: But what is that?

MR. MCCURRY: I will say that his comments on the Senate --

Q: So would we. (Laughter.)

MR. MCCURRY: His comments on the Senate floor caused great concern among some of our allies.

Q: And what does that bode, though, for the Senate vote if his comments are such as that --

MR. MCCURRY: I think you can figure that out as well as I can.

Q: You said before -- you referred to if it were unilaterally lifted, it's not clear to you the United States would carry it out. I'm still unclear. Is it the administration's position that if there were to be a veto-proof passage, that it would be a -- that you could singlehandedly block it because it cut -- unconstitutionally impinges on the President's power, or if they pass it by veto-proof margin, is the arms embargo indeed lifted?

MR. MCCURRY: If the Congress passed a unilateral -- a measure unilaterally lifting U.S. enforcement of the U.N. Security Council Resolution, it would be an act of Congress saying it is a matter of law that the United States does not enforce this embargo. Now, it would depend on what then the resolution went on to say. Would it say that we'd go on to begin to provide arms to the Bosnian Muslims? Would we no longer participate in enforcement activities related to the embargo through United Nations and through NATO? I mean, it would really in some ways depend on the wording. It would not have the effect of automatically changing our vote at the United Nations or anything of that nature. That can only be done by the President's representative at the United Nations.

Q: It's been reported that Egypt is among the countries that are now offering arms to the Bosnian government. Have we done anything to stop them from doing it in terms of either threats or contacts?

MR. MCCURRY: Not that I'm aware of. There was a meeting of the OIC that's been underway in which there have been very strong sentiment in the Islamic world on behalf of the situation that the Bosnian Muslims now find themselves in. That in some ways is a very understandable reaction given the tragedy that the Bosnian Muslims have suffered. But there -- it continues to be the position of the United States government that governments should honor a U.N. Security Council ordered embargo.

Q: What I'm asking, Mike, is that Egypt is the recipient of quite substantial U.S. aid. Is there any suggestion we would retaliate against Egypt if it did indeed supply arms to the Bosnian government?

MR. MCCURRY: I have not heard a suggestion that would "retaliate." I'm not sure how we would do that, in any event.

Q: Will President Clinton be calling anybody besides Chirac today in terms of foreign --

MR. MCCURRY: I wouldn't rule it out. That's the only call I'm aware of at this point that he plans to undertake.

Q: Do you have something on the meeting between Mr. Lake and Foreign Minister Solana, who was representing --

MR. MCCURRY: I don't. Maybe ask the NSC staff present to see if they can follow up on it. My understanding is that the Foreign Minister and Secretary Christopher had a good opportunity to brief reporters on their session just a short while ago. I haven't seen a report on that, but you might want to check over at the State Department as well.

Q: Mike, sports question.

MR. MCCURRY: Sports! Corey Pavin? Did the President give John Daly golf instructions, too? Not that I'm aware of. But he was very happy. In fact, he --

Q: He tried to call him yesterday, didn't he?

MR. MITCHELL: He did call him.

MR. MCCURRY: He did call him.

Q: What happened?

MR. MCCURRY: Did you guys do -- did he get through?

I know that he had maybe the less than good grace of pointing out the victory of an American in the British Open to the British Prime Minister yesterday. That much I can tell you.

END 2:47 P.M. EDT

William J. Clinton, Press Briefing by Mike McCurry Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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