(U.S./Japan, Iraq/Iran, World Trade Center bombing)  (710)

NEWS BRIEFING -- White House Communications Director George

Stephanopoulos discussed the following topics:


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

1hey mean.

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.


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



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.