Συνέντευξη Boucher και «μυστικές λίστες»
US Department of State
Daily Press Briefing
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
October 27, 2004
QUESTION: On Cyprus, Mr. Boucher, any answer to my yesterday’s pending question that the United States Agency For International Development, under the auspices of Andrew Natsios, allocated $6.4 million from the DOS annual budget to bribe Greek and Turkish Cypriot politicians, reporters, analysts, professors, organizations, et cetera, et cetera, — I have the full report, 120 pages — to campaign for a big «yes» to the Annan plan for the referendum of April 24th, 2004?
MR. BOUCHER: Somewhere in that 120 pages, does it actually use the phrase, bribe?
QUESTION: I’m using «bribe» —
MR. BOUCHER: That’s your summary of the report. I see.
QUESTION: — as Lambros Papantoniou.
MR. BOUCHER: Let’s just make clear that we have that, Mr. Lambros Papantoniou’s —
MR. BOUCHER: Doing his summary of this 120-page report. But thank you for that information.
There is a report by — that you have, by an independent evaluator. These are the opinion of the evaluators on the bi-communal development program that we’ve conducted in Iraq* with, along with the United Nations. I think the United Nations in Iraq* would have more to say on some of these particular projects and efforts, but certainly over the years, we have conducted bi-communal projects with the idea in mind that we can encourage both communities to work with
*Note: Spokesman meant to say Cyprus. each other. In some of the specific areas they have, you know, whether it’s electricity and water and planning and other things, we’ve already seen some productive results from those projects and we’ll have to look at this report and we’ll look at the projects and we’ll determine how best to go forward with these kinds of programs.
QUESTION: May I — why, besides with the annual $13.5 million from the U.S. Congress to be given on bi-communal development programs use (inaudible), it was necessary for the United States Agency For International Development to spend additional $6.4 million for the campaign on the Annan plan prior to the referendum?
MR. BOUCHER: I’d have to look at this particular amount, whether it was part of that annual amount or whether it was separate. I don’t, I’m not quite sure it was separate.
QUESTION: It was separate. Correct. It was separate.
MR. BOUCHER: Well, I’d have to look and that and see, but I think the Agency for International Development will obviously look at this report, look at these programs, and decide how and when to proceed with similar programs in the future.
It’s always useful to have the views of an independent evaluator, but it is an independent view and not necessarily the final view we might take about these projects.
QUESTION: One more question. According to page 5-2 of the Annex 5A, the recipients, actually those who have been bribed, I have emphasized, appeared before the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia and inter alia have been asked to answer the formal question prior to the non-approval code, «If there were a referendum now, based on what you know, would you be strongly in favor, in favor but with a reservation, or not in favor?» Now, who had the list of those who appear and answer those questions?
MR. BOUCHER: No.
QUESTION: Why not? It’s a public document.
MR. BOUCHER: It’s — you have a public document. If the list is not there, I don’t think it’s in our interest or appropriate for us to provide a list of people that we might have interviewed with relation to any project.
QUESTION: It’s not appropriate?
MR. BOUCHER: For us to provide you with a full list of anybody that our Embassy might have talked to.
QUESTION: Why it’s secret? Excuse me. It’s a secret? It’s confidential? What?
MR. BOUCHER: No, it’s not secret or confidential, it’s just private. These are not public meetings and I don’t think the Embassy has to divulge a list of everybody they might have had a discussion with at some time.
QUESTION: But Richard, it’s — is there any — with background press briefing for this specific report by Andrew Natsios? Cyprus coordinator Laura Kennedy, or the former one, Tom Weston, since there are hundreds of questions, may we have a kind of a deposition of personnel to find out what is going on exactly because —
MR. BOUCHER: Well, I think the places that know the most about this are the UN Operations Project Services, and they have a website that will give you a lot of information on these projects. And second of all, the United Nations Project Offices or our Embassy in Nicosia are probably the best places to find out a little more about these things.
But as I stressed at the beginning, this is an independent report from an independent evaluator. The views that are there are from the contract evaluator and their evaluation team. Obviously, they will be taken into account and we will have to consider them, but I wouldn’t — I want to stress again this is not necessarily the final view of these — this particular set of projects.
QUESTION: Allow me the last question, and I will shut up. Do you know if some of these funds, very important, a resource of Greece with the (inaudible) of your Embassy in Athens and your Ambassador Tom Miller to be given to some reporters, analysts, et cetera, et cetera — it’s not necessary to mention the list — for a big «yes» to Annan Plan. And the reason this question, Mr. Boucher, since a Greek reporter who was screaming on his TV program for a big «yes» to Annan Plan, a week ago visited Washington, I have his name, and had a meeting here at the State Department to this effect, and so on. My question is —
MR. BOUCHER: Are these just questions about you because we talked to you as well?
QUESTION: Do you know if some (inaudible) Greece, too?
MR. BOUCHER: No, look, I’m not going to — I don’t think it’s fair to cast aspersions on Greek reporters who might have meetings with us. We have meetings with a lot of people. That doesn’t mean that they’re either on our payroll or that they agree with us. I think, you know, that’s the situation. So let’s not start throwing things around like that.
Second of all, as far as whether any of this money was spent, or whether there were Greek participants in these activities, I don’t really know. I’d suggest you check the UN operations Project Service — UN Operation Project Services website — and there you’ll find out how they spent the money.
We’ve talked about these projects before. I have said they are very upfront. There is a lot of information available on this website and that will describe to you the kind of projects there were and who participated in them.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MR. BOUCHER: Okay.