28-Jun-2000 12:00:00 am

MR. REEKER: Good afternoon. Apologies for the delay. I was just about to comment on the fact that there was no one in the front row but, George, thank you for taking care of that. I see that we continue to keep a brisk temperature here in the State Department briefing room, and we welcome you all on this fine summer day.

. . . . .

QUESTION: Do you have a date of the US-North Korean missile talks?

MR. REEKER: No, I don't have any date to announce for you. I have nothing further to what we've been saying for the last couple of weeks.

QUESTION: Do you expect the talks are going to start by the end of this month?

MR. REEKER: I don't have a specific date, but you'll recall that in Rome on the 31st of May we had a preparatory round of talks, and we've been continuing to work toward that goal of having missile talks. But I just don't have a date to announce for you.

QUESTION: On terrorism. How do you respond to Mr. Spyropoulos, Director of American Hellenic Media Project, his statement that the killers of Brigadier Saunders in Athens were motivated by the recent State Department report which presented Greece as a terrorist mecca and was failing to control terror and, therefore, he demands an apology from your -- (inaudible)?

MR. REEKER: I think Ambassador Burns wrote a letter, with which I'm sure you're familiar, which reflects fully and accurately the views of the US Government on the issue of terrorism in Greece. The letter speaks very much for itself, as I speak for the Department from here, and we've addressed fully our concerns about terrorism there. Ambassador Burns made very clear that the idea of a link between US statements on terrorism in Greece and the heinous murder of Brigadier Saunders defies logic and is unhelpful to Greece's counter-terrorism efforts.

QUESTION: But Mr. Burns is also stating that Saunders was more at the hands of the Marxist-Leninist terror group. Do you agree?

MR. REEKER: I agree with everything Ambassador Burns wrote in his letter.

QUESTION: And how do you know that the killers are members of the Marxist-Leninist terror group?

MR. REEKER: I will leave that to our terrorism report to refer to issues involving terrorism in Greece. We've been over this many, many times and I have nothing to add to '

QUESTION: But, other words, do you rely then to the publicity circulated by terrorist group. Are they reliable to you?

MR. REEKER: We work very closely with the Greek Government, as we've discussed, Lambros, on these issues. We take the issue very seriously and I'm not going to get into a discussion with you of our sources of information and how we do this. The important thing is to work together with the Greek Government to try to deal with the problem of terrorism in Greece.

QUESTION: One - how do you know that the murderers of the 17 November terrorist organization are Greek and not other nationals?

MR. REEKER: I'm sorry?

QUESTION: How do you know that murderers of 17 November terror group are Greeks and not other nationals?

MR. REEKER: As I just indicated in my previous answer, I'm not prepared to get into a discussion with you of our study of these issues.

Click here to view the original "Phantom Terror" editorial

Click here to view an exchange of critical letters between US Ambassador to Greece, Nicholas Burns,
and the Executive Director of the American Hellenic Media Project regarding the above editorial

Click here to view coverage by The Washington Times of this exchange of letters

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