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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 11, 1994
                       REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                      IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH 
                       PRIME MINISTER HOSOKAWA 

The Oval Office

11:35 A.M. EST

Q Mr. President, can you tell us about your phone call with Yeltsin, and did you have a big fight? (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: No. We laughed a lot about the marvels of modern technology. Even today it was kind of a difficult connection, interestingly enough. But we had a very good talk and we agreed that we had the same long-term objective, which was achieving a just peace agreement; and the same short-term objective, to relieve the shelling of Sarajevo. And we agreed that there would be further discussions today at the U.N. and that we would also keep in touch.

But I thought it was a very good conversation and I feel better having had it.

Q Is he going to put pressure on the Serbs, Mr. President?

Q Is he objecting to the ultimatum -- the NATO ultimatum?

Q Is he going to put pressure on the Serbs to force them to make concessions?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, he agreed that the two of us should work to try to bring an agreement about. And I think -- I'll let him characterize his remarks, but I was encouraged by them.

Q Is he insisting on a U.N. veto right over the NATO action, or is he accepting of NATO action?

THE PRESIDENT: No. No. I think he felt better when I emphasized the fact that the weapons that are left within the 20- kilometer area would be under the jurisdiction of the U.N., not NATO. I pointed out that the Secretary General asked NATO to take action under its mandate of last year, to take necessary action to protect the civilians; that taking some jurisdiction over the weapons that are left within that 20-kilometer safety zone was a part of that, but that any jurisdiction would be taken not by NATO, but by the U.N.

And so I said the Secretary General had concluded that we, NATO could do this under the existing resolutions and that we agreed.

Q Are they now willing to consider lifting the sanctions piecemeal as possibly an incentive to the Serbs? Lifting the sanctions incrementally?

THE PRESIDENT: No, that was not -- there was no discussion about that.

Q So is the United States now willing to consider lifting the sanctions incrementally?

THE PRESIDENT: There was no discussion about that.

Q Mr. Prime Minister, do the --

Q How important are these talks to U.S.-Japanese relations?

THE PRESIDENT: We'll have more to say about that later.

Q Do you think you can have a good conversation with such a difference on the trade issue?

THE PRESIDENT: We'll have more to say about that later.

Q It's hard for us to believe that you can't communicate with Yeltsin by telephone. That's a little scary, isn't it?

THE PRESIDENT: That's what he said. He said we had to make sure it never happened again. He said, what if we really had to talk about an emergency? That's what he said, too.

Q Mr. President, is there any possibility for you to have another meeting with Prime Minister Hosokawa this afternoon or evening or tomorrow morning?

THE PRESIDENT: I don't know -- we haven't started this one yet. I would like to spend a lot of time with him.

Q Because you decided not to leave for Arkansas this evening. We heard that you decided not to leave for Arkansas this evening.

THE PRESIDENT: The weather is bad there and here.

Q Was it only the weather?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. But, I mean, I'm always glad to see the Prime Minister. I wish we could go play golf today, but the weather won't permit that either.

Q Mr. President, do you think that the relationship between the U.S. and Japan is now in rough water?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I think it's very strong. I feel very strongly about what the Prime Minister is trying to do. I supported strongly his political reform package and I support the economic efforts I think he is trying to make. So I think we have a good relationship. Just because we have some disagreements doesn't mean we don't have a good relationship.

Q So you --

THE PRESIDENT: More later. We'll have more later. We'll answer your questions at the end of the -- at the press conference.

END11:45 A.M. EST