THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY JOE LOCKHART The Briefing Room
1:40 P.M. EDT
Q Is this the embargoed briefing?
MR. LOCKHART: No, this is the battery-operated briefing. No electrical power, so everybody change your batteries. Okay. Yes. If you can stay awake until the end, you can use it. (Laughter.) No nodding off.
Couple things since we've spoken last. I think I mentioned this morning, as you were all leaving, the President talked to President Ahtisaari. They spoke for about 10 minutes. I think the President wanted to personally relay his warm appreciation for the work, and the ongoing work, that President Ahtisaari's doing. And they had a chance to discuss the events of the last few days, and the two presidents are very much in one mind of, this is an important step, but we need to remain cautious. We need to be cautious and have an effective verification regime developed over the coming days.
The President also talked this morning to Senator Lott, and the Speaker of the House, gave them a quick briefing of where we are as far as the diplomatic steps that have been taken over the last few days. I think both of the leaders expressed their appreciation for the briefing and asked to stay in touch, to keep informed as we move forward. The President has -- as I walked down and talked to him, he had also put calls in to Senator Daschle and Minority Leader Gephardt. They will be getting back to him this afternoon. I expect those calls to move ahead and be roughly the same.
Q Has he talked to Thabo Mbeki yet?
MR. LOCKHART: No. As I understand, that call -- he's made it now?
MR. HAMMER: No, he's tried.
MR. LOCKHART: Okay. The Vice President has put a call in. They've traded calls on Mbeki, and he will talk to him as soon as they have a chance to hook up.
Q Joe, you said yesterday the President wanted to get some clarifications from Strobe. Did he get them, and is it the --
MR. LOCKHART: I think we're in the process of understanding how we're going to move forward. What's important here is that, as you know, the military, there will be military meetings tomorrow, on the Serb-Macedonia border. That'll be a very important meeting, as far as working out the details of a full-scale withdrawal and a verification system. So that will take place tomorrow, and will answer some of the questions that remain.
I think the President remains in the cautious position of needing to see an agreement on paper, and words translated into action.
Q Following the expected withdrawal, what can NATO do to pressure for the removal of Milosevic? Will the rebuilding of Serbia be contingent upon new democratic leadership?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I certainly think you've probably already heard today from European leaders on that subject, and I can't imagine, beyond maybe some humanitarian assistance, limited humanitarian assistance, that the U.S. will be interested in working with an authoritarian regime like Milosevic's, to help him rebuild.
Q Joe, in the military to military meeting, is that going to be some back-and-forth, some negotiations, if you will? Or is NATO going to essentially give some type of instructions?
MR. LOCKHART: No, I think they need to come to a technical agreement, and work out -- codify what was in the agreement on paper between Milosevic, Ahtisaari and Chernomyrdin, and put the details on that, put an exact timetable on that, and work through an effective verification regime so that the NATO alliance is certain that the full-scale withdrawal is underway -- and is following the schedule as determined in the agreement.
Q How long is that process, do you think, going to take?
MR. LOCKHART: To reach the agreement? I can't say. They could reach this agreement tomorrow. I can't prejudge that, but it certainly is a necessary precursor to suspending the air campaign.
Q Joe, the Russians will definitely participate. What is going to be the command structure? Is NATO going to command Russian troops?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think the Russian participation, as I said this morning, remains an open question. But we are confident that we can work with them constructively, and they can participate. But the command structure will be unified, and with NATO at its core.
Q But Russian officials are saying today that they don't want any part of a NATO-led force.
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think that again, it does remain an open question. But we were able to work constructively and positively in Bosnia, develop a system there that our military leaders felt was effective and unified, and did allow for Russian and other non-NATO-country participation. So we'll be working toward that. But our core requirements remain the same.
Q Do you have any assurance from the KLA that they'll agree to disarm?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, we've had some conversations among members of the United States government. I think you've seen from European capitals reports of conversations with KLA leaders. We're confident that they will live up to the agreements, particularly demilitarization, that were made some months ago at Rambouillet.
Q Joe, the Secretary of State today talked with, oh, six or eight of her counterparts in NATO. What's the sense among member countries of the alliance about this agreement? Is Gerhard Schroeder's assessment that peace is within our grasp shared by the other NATO leaders?
MR. LOCKHART: I think NATO leaders are in line with what the President has expressed over the last two days, which is these are important developments. These are potentially the important step to peace. But we all remain somewhat cautious. I mean, with Milosevic and the way he keeps agreement, he doesn't get the trust discount here. He pays a premium, and the premium, here, is that we need a system that's verifiable, that we see and we know there's a full-scale withdrawal. And we know what we're looking for, and when we see it -- and only when we see it -- will there be a suspension.
Q Your language has changed somewhat. Before, NATO and the President, even yesterday, said that once a verifiable troop withdrawal began, we could see a bombing pause, or bombing suspension. Now, this morning and now this afternoon, you've said full-scale a number of times. Does that mean that they can't just start withdrawing their troops?
MR. LOCKHART: No. I think that -- I'm not intending to indicate any shift in what the conditions are. The conditions we believe have been made clear to the Serbs and Milosevic, and we have said that they need to do this in a way that's real, that is full-scale, and that follows a precise timetable and is verifiable. So I think they will work out the details of this, starting tomorrow.
But the system is built, and based on the idea that we will know that he's serious about withdrawing all of his troops by the actions he takes. And that is a full-scale, the beginnings of a full-scale withdrawal.
Q Joe, does the President intend to call Tony Blair or Jacques Chirac?
MR. LOCKHART: He talked to Prime Minister Blair late last evening, and had a good conversation, where they compared notes on what they were hearing from their diplomatic personnel. Prime Minister Blair was in -- is still in Cologne, right? Or was, yesterday, so he gave him some insight into the EU leaders' thinking. I don't know that he has had a chance, yet, to have a direct conversation with President Chirac, but I'll let you know.
Q Any other leaders, Joe?
MR. LOCKHART: No, I think I've reported on the ones he's talked to.
Q Did the President notify Lott of the Hormel appointment? And if so, what was Lott's reaction?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm not aware that -- I don't think that that subject came up in the conversation. I talked to the President, and we talked briefly. I didn't ask him specifically, but I don't think it came up.
Q Do you know, has Luxembourg already done the a claimant thing, you know, where they accept the --
MR. LOCKHART: Luxembourg had said, as long ago as last year, that they welcomed this appointment, and they looked forward to working with Mr. Hormel. I think what's important here is this is clearly a qualified ambassadorial candidate, who enjoyed strong support from the foreign policy community, from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to former Secretary George Schultz; enjoyed strong support in the committee; and I think from an overwhelming majority of the Senate.
And this came down to a couple Senators who thought that he shouldn't be Ambassador to Luxembourg because he's gay. And the President thinks that's wrong and discriminatory, and that's why he moved ahead and did the recess appointment.
Q Why no recess appointment for Atwood, for example, or Holbrooke?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, we take these things case by case. We believe that -- the President does respect the Senate's advice and consent authority, and role. I think, as far as Holbrooke goes, the time has come. He is an exceptionally gifted diplomat. It's time for a hearing, it's time to get him the U.N. This country needs his kind of ability at the U.N., and we're going to continue pressing to get that done.
Again, each of these is a case in and of itself. We put and try to work closely and cooperatively with the Senate, but in this case, the President felt strongly that the reasons for a very small minority holding this up were wrong, and that's why he moved forward.
Q -- for the reasons for holding up Atwood or Holbrooke might be right?
MR. LOCKHART: No. I think that we continue -- the AID Administrator Atwood pulled himself out because he felt that the process had become somewhat destructive and didn't want to participate. Holbrooke we continue working on. We intend to get Dick Holbrooke nominated -- in and confirmed. I think the Senate has had enough time to look at this. The time has come to move forward and give the man a hearing. If there are problems with the nomination and they have issues they want to take with them, they ought to do it in an open hearing, give the gentleman a chance to answer any questions they have, and then they ought to take a vote.
Q When U.S. forces go into Kosovo as part of the peacekeeping force will their mission be finite in time, or is their mission open-ended?
MR. LOCKHART: I don't think there's any strict time limits. I think the President has spoken in the past about some of the lessons of Bosnia and putting absolute time limits on it, so I'm not aware that there's any calendar restriction. But we'll look long-term to both how they go in, what their role is, and eventually how we will be able to disengage.
Q So we're talking certainly many months and perhaps more than a year?
MR. LOCKHART: I just can't put a calendar on it. I think we're certainly talking months.
Q Joe, now that Mrs. Clinton has formally announced that she is going to name this exploratory committee next month, what role will the President be playing in this phase of the process?
MR. LOCKHART: I think the President will play, as he said, a supportive role, whatever he believes, as he has said publicly that he will support that she decides to do. And I'm sure he will lend whatever support they view if they move forward is appropriate and beneficial.
Q How will they avoid political and practical conflict between a campaign or an exploratory phase of this process and what goes on here every day?
MR. LOCKHART: Communication and hard work.
Q Will he be helping her raise money, Joe?
MR. LOCKHART: He'll do whatever the campaign, if it chooses to move forward, believes is appropriate and beneficial. Just came up with that, but I like the sound of it, I'm going to keep saying it.
Q What communication do we have with the Russians now on resolving the issue of this peacekeeping force?
MR. LOCKHART: As the Vice President -- the Vice President talked to the new Prime Minister there today; I think you can get a fuller readout from the V.P.'s Office. The President, for his part, has sent a diplomatic note to President Yeltsin which articulated his appreciation for the very constructive role the Russians have played and continue to play, and for the importance of building a very strong relationship and being able to work through differences in a positive way that makes our relationship stronger.
Now, as far as the details of this working out, I think there are conversations going on at a variety of diplomatic levels, but I don't -- as of now, I don't have any definitive answers and it remains an open question.
Q Do you expect it to come up in the G-8 meeting?
MR. LOCKHART: It's possible.
Q Do you hope it's resolved by then?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm just not going to put a timetable on it. I think the important thing here is we hope and expect that a number of non-NATO countries can participate and make this peacekeeping force stronger, but the peacekeeping force will be NATO at its core, it will have a unified command structure, and it will be ready to move in when their mission begins.
Q Does the President plan to push for legislation that would require gun owners to register their guns with the government?
MR. LOCKHART: Certainly not in the near-term. I think the President has made the point that there are a number of ideas that are worth looking at, and in this political environment right now are not going to get through. He has made the point that we ought to pocket the important gains we've made in the Senate, get the House to pass what the Senate has passed and get those common-sense measures passed into law.
On registration, in general, I don't know that there's been a lot of work done on that issue here. I think the President believes there may be some things in there worth looking at, but we haven't -- there is no legislative proposal that's been prepared. Certainly there will be nothing pushed anytime soon on that.
Q Some gun control advocates have expressed dismay today that Mr. Clinton would offer this up at a time when it might give ammunition to critics in the House about what his intentions are --
MR. LOCKHART: Let me be clear about what his intentions are for those -- for anyone who desires to know where he is. The President is very clear that he wants to get what the Senate passed passed by the House. If Speaker Hastert, who has talked about adding something like 18-21 on handguns, if the House wants to do that, that would be welcome. But we want to make sure that we move forward with what the Senate has done and get some of these measures into law, and don't allow some of the powerful interests arrayed against these common-sense proposals the chance to derail event these.
So his intent is very clear, I believe, that he wants to get legislatively what in his judgment we can get done now, within the next month, get it passed into law. And then there will be time in the future to look at other issues.
Q Just to follow that up, he doesn't feel like he undercut, perhaps, that effort by suggesting this today?
MR. LOCKHART: No, I don't think he did. I know that he doesn't believe he did. I think those who want to take what he said and use it for their own political purposes, they'll have to be judged based on the merits of their arguments. The President is second to none, I believe, among political leaders in our generation in pushing for sensible measures to keep guns out of kids' hands, guns out of criminals' hands. He will continue to do that. I think he made the point very clearly this morning that you have to live in the real world, and you have to try to get this through as you can get it through, and there are very strong interests out there -- strong interests in Congress that are opposed to this. But that doesn't mean that we can't get things done, and we've gotten a lot done.
Q The NRA's rhetoric on this has traditionally been that each little step is part of a slippery slope for taking everyone's guns away. When the President starts to talk about registering guns, even in a theoretical kind of way, doesn't that give more credence and more fuel to the NRA?
MR. LOCKHART: Let me be clear here. The President was responding to a question about whether this -- if this idea was something that we ought to look at, should we have this. There are plenty of things we should look at; this is not a legislative proposal that the President has put forward; we are not pushing this proposal on Capitol Hill. Everybody in town knows the proposal we are pushing. There is going to be no place to hide when Congress comes back on where you are on the bill that the Senate passed, thanks to the Vice President's vote, that the House will now take up.
These are sensible gun control proposals. I fully expect to have a number of false debates over the next two weeks in this town, but the point is the House is going to be on record in the next two weeks on where they are on this important issue, on these real issues. And we're not going to allow this to get sidetracked on other issues that aren't on the table right now.
Q Joe, just to be clear, though, you said that if they wanted to add other things like the 18-21 idea, that that would be welcome. But wouldn't that potentially undermine the chances?
MR. LOCKHART: Not necessarily. I think if the Speaker -- if the President -- the 18-21 was a proposal of the President's; the Speaker of the House, who presumably is in a position to deliver some or much of his caucus, said that this is something that he'd like to see. What we're interested in doing is making sure that this doesn't get derailed in a futile political debate. We're interested in getting these measures, which are sensible, passed and into law.
Q So the best idea would be to pass what the Senate passed and not to add to it?
MR. LOCKHART: If the majority of the House wanted to go and do the 18-21, that would be fine. It would obviously then have to go and get worked out in conference. The best result is to move quickly here and not let the entrenched political interests take hold and derail this, and to move forward and have sensible legislation.
Q Also, the Kosovo emergency spending measure would have funded the air campaign through the fiscal year. I'm wondering, is there a determination about what would be done with that money, assuming the air campaign does end?
MR. LOCKHART: I think we'll face those issues once we assume the air campaign won't go through to the end of the fiscal year, and that's an assumption we're not willing to make right now.
Q Is there anything the President or anyone in the administration is doing to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown today?
MR. LOCKHART: I think a statement was put out by the State Department commemorating the anniversary. I think the President's views are well-known; he expressed them clearly while he was in China that the U.S. and China have a disagreement over this. The U.S. thinks that China owes their own people, the world a full accounting of what happened. Those that are being held for purely political -- their political beliefs should be released, whether it has to do with Tiananmen Square or any other political issue.
We believe that this is an important part of our policy of engagement that we make the case in strong terms at every opportunity we can that we believe that China is on the wrong side of history as far as human rights. There has been some progress, there has been some backsliding since Tiananmen Square, but we continue to take the opportunity every day in every way we can to make that case.
Q Joe, back to Kosovo, the timing issue. If the military-to-military negotiations go reasonably well, the logistical issues are wrapped up quickly, how soon would American troops likely to be walking into Kosovo or flying into Kosovo?
MR. LOCKHART: I think you can expect KFOR American troops to be in within a matter of days, subsequent to a verifiable timetable for real withdrawal.
Q Will the Americans be at the vanguard of the KFOR troops going in?
MR. LOCKHART: I think you can expect Americans to play an important leading role in that effort. I don't want to get into how it's all going to unfold.
Q Has there been any glitches so far in setting up this military-to-military, any devils in these details have emerged yet?
MR. LOCKHART: I haven't heard any. I know that the conversations for real to try to set this up started yesterday and they quickly agreed to meet early Saturday. I haven't heard any information that would lead us to believe that there are -- there are bumps in the road, but that's just not something that you can see in advance.
Q Is there a piece of paper that the NATO commander will bring to the table and says, here, this is what we want?
MR. LOCKHART: I think there is a text that President Ahtisaari and Chernomyrdin brought to Milosevic that he agreed to. In that has some details on withdrawal and how that will happen and on what timetable. So I think what needs to be done by the military leaders is to sit down and draft and agree to a technical agreement of physically how it's going to happen.
Q Does that technical agreement -- I mean, is there NATO's view of that technical agreement, does that exist now? Do we have something --
MR. LOCKHART: Let me just -- I think when General Jackson* arrives here tomorrow, he'll be ready for business.
Q After the troops are in, Joe, how long will it be before the refugees start going back to Kosovo? And also, what happens to refugees who maybe don't want to go back to Kosovo? Would they be forced to go back?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, let me do one thing first, because I put out some bad information this morning when I said KFOR would handle repatriation, and I just had my acronyms turned around. That will be done, I expect, by U.N., OSCE. Not KFOR. KFOR's there, obviously, as the peacekeepers.
I think, from everything we know, and have gathered, with the vast majority of refugees sitting, still in the region, still not far from their homes -- having been forcibly ejected from their homes, but still not far from their homes -- is these people want to go home. And as far as how quickly that can happen, I know there's a lot of work going on. There's been a lot of planning that has gone into leading to a point where this may happen. But I can't give you a specific guess yet on what that timetable will be.
Q Joe, a lot of those homes were burned. And the Prime Minister of Macedonia says a substantial amount of rebuilding will have to be done before most of the refugees would want to leave the camps. So, are the peacekeepers, one, going to be involved, are some of those troops going to be involved in rebuilding? And two, are we going to begin the rebuilding of Kosovo prior to the return of the refugees?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think clearly there's going to have to be -- you know, we've heard now for months on end about the burning and looting and destruction that's gone on by the Serb forces. That will have to be rebuilt. I can't stand here this afternoon and tell you in detail how that will be done, but these things have been planned for, and it is all part of the process of repatriation.
Q Joe, on the reconstruction issue, is there any real expectation here that Milosevic is actually going to put democratic reforms into effect in order to qualify for the reconstruction aid?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, again, I can't get inside his head to know where he's going and whether he sees Serbia with a democratic future. I think Europe, the NATO alliance, the international community does, and it would be very much in Serbia's interests, as we move into the future and to the next century, to move towards democracy and away from the kind of regime that Milosevic has headed.
Q Joe, have there been any changes in the G-8 plan, for instance, maybe the foreign ministers would accompany the leaders?
MR. LOCKHART: To Cologne? Not that I'm aware of. I hadn't heard that, no.
Q Joe, in Bosnia, an awful lot of the refugees still have not gone back three years later. Why do you think it's going to be different in Kosovo?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think there's some differences here. I think in Bosnia the conflict there was much longer, as far as when the refugees were forced from their homes. You know, this lasted for more than three years, and many of them resettled and started new lives outside. I think -- outside the region, too.
I think here, most of these people have been -- were forcibly ejected from their towns and villages within the last three or four months, and the vast majority of them, the overwhelming vast majority, remain in the region, remain poised to go home when they can. And I think it's our sense, in talking to the relief workers, talking to people like Julia Taft over at the State Department, and Brian Atwood, that their sense is, from their conversations and their people, that the vast majority of these people want nothing more than to go home.
Q Joe, when KFOR -- and, presumably, the media -- get in to Kosovo, they're likely to bring back confirmation of the atrocities that we've heard reports of. When that occurs, would that prompt any change, as far as NATO's willingness to bring Milosevic to account in The Hague? Or will NATO just ask the Serb people themselves to hold him accountable?
MR. LOCKHART: KFOR's role will be clear and limited to peacekeeping in Kosovo. And they have a very important role, but it doesn't extend beyond Kosovo. But I think the United States government, and most if not all of the governments in the NATO alliance have been very clear on their willingness and their ability to cooperate with the War Crimes Tribunal.
Q Joe, with the President of Macedonia here at the White House yesterday or the day before, do you know if President Clinton saw him or --
MR. LOCKHART: No, he was here yesterday. He had a brief meeting with Gene and Larry Summers. He was here in town, he was having some discussions on debt relief, and he came by to talk to some people over here.
Q Has there been any discussion with him about possibly a presidential visit to Macedonia at some point in the future?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm not aware of any.
Q You said a few minutes ago that once the Serb forces start to withdraw from, Kosovo that within a matter of days you could see the peacekeepers starting to come in. Does that mean, presumably, that the peacekeepers are going to start to flow in even as the Serb forces are still flowing out?
MR. LOCKHART: That's -- if we have the beginning of a full-scale withdrawal, we've verified that it's on schedule, peacekeepers can move in before all of them are out, yes.
Q And just to follow that up, do we believe that Milosevic has control over all of the forces in Kosovo? Not just the military forces, but kind of the paramilitary, "thugs," and stuff like that?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm not aware that there's any other controlling authority, to get near a very bad phrase that was used once here. (Laughter.) I'm just not aware -- I mean, I haven't heard anything, I haven't seen anything that would lead me to believe he does not remain in firm control.
Q So we're not concerned at all about some Serb forces potentially remaining behind, wanting to engage?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, obviously it's something that we'll have to be watchful of as we look and see, and move toward a potential decision to suspend the bombing. But from everything I know, and from everything I've seen, we believe that he remains in firm control.
Q Joe, does the President support a bipartisan bill in Congress that would include alcohol in government anti-drug ads?
MR. LOCKHART: I don't know that we've taken a particular view on the legislation. I know from -- because this was raised a week or so ago, I looked into it a little bit. I think some of the match money already in the media campaign is used by local jurisdictions for alcohol already. So I think there's some of that that's already done, I don't know the exact numbers. General McCaffrey's office could probably walk you through.
But I think there is a recognition and support of the idea that in addition to talking to teens and raising awareness on drugs, there's also similar issues with alcohol.
Q Is there some possibility that after the weekend meeting tomorrow, that the President could, and NATO could stop the aerial attacks?
MR. LOCKHART: I think what's clear is, if there's a technical agreement reached, whenever that is -- which could be quickly -- that technical agreement will include what we need to see to suspend the bombing. We have the means, and the ability, to see what we need to see, and we'll know it when we see it.
Q So in the short-term, if things go well, this would be a NATO-only peacekeeping force for a while, wouldn't it?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I can only -- I'm not going to try to put the two things together. I can only tell you on one hand, Russian participation remains an open question. On the other hand, KFOR stands ready to move in within a matter of days.
Q In other words, you're not going to wait -- if there's a troop withdrawal underway that they believe is on schedule, if they don't have an agreement with the Russians they're not going to wait for one?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, again, that's trying to look into the future. I can't tell whether the open question becomes a solved question.
Q Joe, can we get next week's --
MR. LOCKHART: You can if we're all done. April has a question in the back.
Q Okay. Joe, as far as South Africa, who is the President going to send for the inauguration, and is President Clinton thinking about going back to the continent of Africa, to meet with Mbeki?
MR. LOCKHART: I don't have any information or announcement on a further trip. Obviously, Africa is a foreign policy and economic area that's very high on the President's priority list, and something he talks about on a regular basis.
As far as the delegation, we will have a high-level and appropriate delegation. I will have news on that closer to the time on who. The President is actually disappointed that he can't go; it comes at the same time as his commitments to G-8 in Germany. I think that he has remarked, in the last few days, about how important these elections are in ratifying the important democratic work that Nelson Mandela has stood for over this decade, and also the moving forward with the democratic process, with some 85 percent or more people voting and participating, you know, which is a lesson to our country, in a very peaceful and orderly way. So I think they have a lot to be proud of, in addition to the outgoing leader and the incoming leader.
Q And a follow-up. With the Obasanjo inauguration, many critics were saying that there wasn't a high enough level of a delegation to go over there. They felt that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright should have gone, especially since the administration is promoting democracy for Africa. Will Secretary of State Madeleine Albright be attending this inauguration?
MR. LOCKHART: I can't tell you the makeup of the delegation. I know, given the -- as disappointing as it is for the President, it's equally disappointing for the Vice President, given his longstanding working relationship with Mr. Mbeki. But we traditionally don't have the President and the Vice President traveling for extended time out of the country at the same time.
As far as the Nigeria delegation, we would just respectfully disagree. I think we sent a distinguished group from this country, and they represented the President well.
Q -- you have anything update on India and Pakistan conflict, has the President at the highest level has spoken with either of the Prime Ministers? And number two, according to the Washington Post and other reports, the human rights problem in Pakistan, there's an attack on the press, on editors, and the freedom of the press. And one editor was arrested and charged only because he said that the corruption in Pakistan and misuse of powers by -- so where do you stand on human rights and democracy and freedom of the press?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, we stand in support of democracy, freedom of the press, and against human rights abuses. (Laughter.) Bold -- going into bold, uncharted area here. (Laughter.) I don't have too much more to report on India-Pakistan. The diplomatic efforts that include high-level diplomatic contacts continues. As I've reported to you before, the President has written to both leaders urging restraint, but that's all I have as an update.
Q Just to follow, can I scratch off of my list a presidential visit to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh in the near future or can it still take place?
MR. LOCKHART: What's it say on your list? (Laughter.) I can't read that. (Laughter.) I don't have any announcement on that for you.
Q Joe, is there any kind of announcement for today on lamb quotas in the European --
MR. LOCKHART: Could be. There's a deadline of tomorrow in that trade dispute, and I expect that we may have some news before the day is over on that.
Q Week ahead.
MR. LOCKHART: No lamb jokes. Week ahead. Okay. The President tapes his radio address today. Tomorrow sometime during the day he will, and the First Lady, will depart for Camp David and return Monday morning.
On Monday, June 7, the President and the First Lady will join the Vice President and Mrs. Gore at the Mental Health Conference, 12:30 p.m., Howard University. Open press. He's got a DNC dinner Monday evening at a private residence. Print pooler.
Tuesday, June 8, the President will host the President of Hungary for a state visit. There will be a bilateral meeting with a pool spray, and a state dinner.
On Wednesday the President will attend a civil rights-law enforcement roundtable hosted by the Department of Justice at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Time TBD. And I think there will just be some -- we'll bring the pool in at the top for that and then the rest of it will be private.
Then the President will travel to NIH to dedicate an AIDS research facility in honor of Senator Dale and Betty Bumpers. Again, time TBD.
On Thursday, the President will host the New York Yankees -- there's two baseball teams in New York? (Laughter.)
MR. TOIV: I'm not sure about that.
MR. LOCKHART: I know there's one in Queens. (Laughter.) They have two teams? Brooklyn? Whatever, we'll talk about this later.
Q Treading on dangerous territory --
MR. LOCKHART: I know. (Laughter.) Okay. At a ceremony honoring the team's 1998 World's Championship. Very good. At 5:50 p.m., East Room, open press. Later that evening he will attend a DCCC dinner at the National Museum for Women in Arts. Pool press.
Friday, no public schedule. Saturday, June 12, the President will deliver the commencement address at the University of Chicago.
Q Do you think the First Lady will -- the Yankees event? (Laughter.)
MR. LOCKHART: I'll ask. Thanks.
Q What's the radio address?
MR. LOCKHART: It's a preview with Tipper Gore on the Mental Health Conference.
Q Joe, on the Mental Health Conference, can you give us about a 20-second sound bite on what the purpose and goals are?
MR. LOCKHART: I think the President and the First Lady, but particularly under the leadership of Mrs. Gore, thought it was important to do this first-time conference, bringing together a variety of issues on mental health. It's been a traditionally underserved part of our health care system. It's been one that's been somewhat afflicted with stigma and I think the President, Tipper Gore, the First Lady all believe that it's important to shine some light on this, and attention. And that's what the focus will be on Monday.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 2:17 P.M. EDT