From a news briefing yesterday by White House spokesman Joe Lockhart:

Q: The Yugoslav foreign minister . . . has written a letter to the German foreign minister saying that Yugoslavia accepts a United Nations presence according to the G-8 principles . . . including, "a United Nations presence, to be approved by the U.N. Security Council." Is that good enough?

Mr. Lockhart: No. . . . First we need to get a better assessment about what actually their view is and what their position is. I think we have seen many statements in the past that have not been backed up by the facts.

There are still many people waiting for this withdrawal that was announced three or four weeks ago. . . . So on the face of it, we're not sure what it means. . . . But the NATO conditions are pretty straightforward.

Q: Joe, what's the difference between the G-8 conditions and the NATO conditions?

A: Well, I think the G-8 conditions are not quite as specific on the post-implementation force. And I think the NATO conditions have talked about NATO at its core, NATO-led, a unified command structure. . . .

Q: . . . There is no substantive difference between the two?

A: Yeah, yeah. I think, as a whole, it is more of general principles. I think NATO's been more specific in the Washington communique.

Q: And the dilemma, of course, is if [Slobodan Milosevic] accepts the G-8 conditions, then how much farther does he have to go in order to meet NATO demands?

A: . . . I think what's clear is he'd need to meet the conditions that NATO's laid out.