DoD News Briefing

Thursday, March 12, 1998 - 2 p.m.
Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD (PA)


Q: Is Kofi Annan and Secretary Cohen -- do they see eye to eye about the matter of permission to use military force, this issue that was raised on Sunday by Kofi Annan?

A: This was a very good meeting. It was, I believe, the third meeting that Secretary Cohen has had with the Secretary General, Mr. Annan. They met in New York last fall. They met for dinner last night at the State Department with Secretary Albright. And then they met in Secretary Cohen's office this morning.

I think that I should let Secretary General Annan answer that question you asked in his own words, and he said today at a press conference, "No promise of peace and no policy of patience can be without limits."

I think there was good agreement on the part of Secretary Cohen and Secretary General Annan. They reviewed the scope of the arrangement that he reached with Iraq. The Secretary General confirmed that Mr. Butler, the head of UNSCOM, the UN Special Commission, will remain in control of the inspections, that he has operational control of the inspections. They agreed that the inspections have opened up a whole new classification of sites to inspection -- that is the presidential sites, palaces, etc., and that this is a step forward. And they agreed that the obligation of Iraq to comply with the inspection regime is unambiguous and firm. I think they both felt it was a good meeting.

Q: Has the STENNIS arrived in the Gulf, and when is the GEORGE WASHINGTON going to depart?

A: The STENNIS has arrived in the Gulf. She has passed through the Strait of Hormuz. The GEORGE WASHINGTON, I believe, will leave on Saturday.

Q: (inaudible)

A: She'll be, the GEORGE WASHINGTON will be coming home, but I assume she'll go through the... The GEORGE WASHINGTON is from Norfolk, so she'll be coming through the Med.