VOLUME 5, NUMBER 35, AUGUST 29, 1994 


1.  The Cairo Conference:  Defining an Agenda of Hope, Opportunity, and 
Progress--Vice President Gore 
2.  Country Fact Sheet:  Egypt 
3.  Cuban Refugees--President Clinton, Secretary of Defense William 
Perry, Attorney General Janet Reno, Under Secretary for Political 
Affairs Peter Tarnoff 
4.  Recent Developments in Efforts To Achieve Peace and Security in 
Bosnia--President Clinton  
5.  U.S. Policy Toward Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka--
Robin Raphel  
6.  Treaty Actions 



The Cairo Conference:  Defining an Agenda of Hope, Opportunity, and 
Vice President Gore 
Address before the National Press Club, Washington, DC, August 25, 1994 

I'd like to talk today about population, sustainable development, and 
the challenge of preparing for the 21st century. 

In the aftermath of the Cold War, the community of nations has been 
freed from many of the divisions of the past, and nations are moving 
ever closer together--economically, ecologically, and politically.  In 
this transition period, the United States and all nations have an 
opportunity and responsibility to address long neglected, future-
oriented concerns that will determine what kind of world we leave to our 
children and grandchildren. 

To make this transition successfully, we first must come to accept and 
understand the profoundly altered nature of the relationship between 
human civilization and the ecological system of the earth.  Three 
factors have produced a radical change in this relationship--one 
philosophical and two physical.  The philosophical change has to do with 
our attitude toward the earth and toward our own future: specifically, a 
habit of denying responsibility for the long-term consequences of our 
actions and behaviors.  I have discussed this at length elsewhere and do 
not intend to go into depth here today.  The other two factors are 
physical in nature; and while both of them have occurred in only a 
millisecond on the scale of geological time, both are unique to this 

The first is the dramatic and unprecedented revolution in science and 
technology--still accelerating-- which has enhanced our quality of life 
but also has given us the power to alter the life-support systems upon 
which our communities, our economies, and our lives are based.  And 
again, this is a topic I have explored elsewhere and will not dwell upon 
today.  The second, of course, is the rapid growth of human population, 
the topic I want to address today in the context of sustainable economic 

Population Growth 

If you were to draw a chart depicting the population of the earth over 
time, you would start in the beginning.  For the sake of argument, if 
you assume that the scientists are right, roughly 200,000 years ago, 
events took place which led to the emergence of modern Homo sapiens.  
The population slowly began to rise some 10,000 years ago with the 
agricultural revolution.  By the birth of Christ, the population on 
earth had reached roughly 250 million.  By the time Christopher Columbus 
sailed to the New World, it was roughly 500 million people. 

By the time the Declaration of Independence was written, it was roughly 
1 billion people.  At that point, during the scientific revolution, 
population began to increase dramatically.  And by the end of World War 
II--when I was born, and many of you were born--the world had reached a 
population of 2 billion people. 

Now, to recap, it took roughly 10,000 generations to reach a population 
of 2 billion.  And yet in my 46 years, we have gone from a little over 2 
billion to almost 6 billion.  And if I'm fortunate enough to live 
another 46 years, the world's population will almost certainly increase 
to nearly 9 billion. 

If it takes 10,000 generations to reach a population of 2 billion, and 
then we move in a single human lifetime from 2 billion to 9 billion, 
clearly that is a dramatic change.  Also, if you overlay on this same 
graph trends in deforestation, the accumulation of greenhouse gases, 
depletion of ozone levels, disappearance of living species, loss of 
topsoil, and others, most of those trends show a sharp correlation to 
this underlying pattern. 

To put it another way, global population is now growing, by far, at the 
fastest rate ever.  It is growing by almost 100 million people every 
year. You could say we are adding the equivalent of another Mexico every 
12 months; we are adding the equivalent of another China every 10 years. 

It's not so much the empirical data that is disturbing; it is the 
foreseeable consequences of such rapid population growth for tomorrow 
that should instill in all Americans and in all nations a sense of 
urgency and resolve to address these unprecedented developments.  Let me 
just name a few: 

--  For the environment, of course, rapid population growth often 
contributes to the degradation of natural resources--as does the pattern 
of consumption in the more stable and more prosperous developed nations-
- it's important to add that. --  Economically, population growth often 
contributes to the challenge of addressing persistent low wages, 
poverty, and economic disparity.  While there are certainly some 
circumstances where rapid population growth can meet the need for 
unfulfilled demand for labor and become a positive factor, in the real 
world in which we live today, it almost always adds to the challenge of 
addressing low wages and poverty. --  Population trends also challenge 
the ability of societies and economies and governments to make the 
investments they need in both human capital and infrastructure. --  At 
the level of the family, demographic trends have kept the world's 
investment in its children low and unequal, especially where girls are 
concerned. --  For individuals, population growth and high fertility are 
closely linked to the poor health and welfare of millions upon millions 
of women, infants, and children. --  And population pressures often put 
strains on hopes for stability at the national and international level.  
Look, for example, at the 20 million refugees the world is now 
attempting to deal with.  The growing migration flows across 
international borders are often fed, in part, by unsustainable 
population growth. 

It is impossible to say that rapid population growth is ever, by itself, 
the cause of instability in a society.  But neither is it irrelevant to 
note that last year, in Africa, the nation with the highest population 
density of all was Rwanda.  Nor is it irrelevant to note that the nation 
in Africa with the fastest rate of population growth of all was Somalia.  
While there is not a direct cause-and-effect relationship, common sense 
surely reveals that rapid, unsustainable population growth makes it more 
difficult for societies and nations to deal with the kinds of political 
and economic and other problems that all nations have to deal with.  On 
a global scale, the implications are ones which must be dealt with.  But 
it is important to note that at the local and national level the 
implications also must be dealt with.  There has been, for example, a 
great deal written recently about problems in Africa in countries like 
Nigeria.  Nigeria has a population that has tripled in the past 40 
years. The problems in a society like that of Nigeria have many causes.  
But when the population triples in 40 years it makes these problems more 
difficult for any society to deal with.  Nigeria, to use that example 
again, is on a pathway that will lead its population to triple again in 
the next 40 years.  It will have more people 40 years from now than the 
entire continent of Africa had in the 1950s.  To take another example, 
the fastest growing country in the world is Afghanistan.  It is on a 
trajectory that will double its population in only the next 10 years. 

Sustainable Development And Population Stabilization 

These snapshots of a world that is becoming increasingly complex point 
us toward the need for what I believe must be a centerpiece of 
international cooperation in the post-Cold War period:  realizing the 
vision of sustainable development.  With courage, conviction, consensus, 
and common strategies, we can no doubt rise to the great challenges of 
stabilizing global population and realizing sustainable development.  
These challenges have proven hard to accept, for there is nothing more 
difficult for individuals or societies than to change the way we think.  
And the issues we confront require, above all, new ways of thinking 
about our world and our relationship to it. 

Of the various factors that have shaped this new situation, none is more 
difficult to discuss than the issue of rapid population growth.  It is 
on our minds and on our agenda as the third major world conference on 
population in this century nears early next month. Ten years ago, the 
U.S. delegation sat on the sidelines as nations met for the second world 
conference on population in Mexico City.  This was not just a setback 
for America's long history of leadership, but also for progress and 
momentum in international population efforts throughout the 1980s. 

Ten years later, change has come--the United States is back, and 
President Clinton has restored U.S. leadership on the critical 
challenges of population and sustainable development.  The Cairo 
conference, or the International Conference on Population and 
Development, as it is officially known--and parenthetically, let me urge 
every member of the press to resist the shorthand description of this 
conference as "the conference on population"--is officially, and in 
fact, a conference on "population and development"--and that linkage is 
crucial to the world's ability to forge a consensus that allows us to 
address both of these challenges in concert--that will begin on our 
Labor Day. 

This conference seeks to affirm the interdependent nature of the world 
and the need for all nations to work together to sensibly stabilize 
global population; to integrate economics, the environment, and 
development; to reaffirm enduring values for the family, individual, and 
collective responsibility; and to place priority on global education, 
health care, and the empowerment of women and all people. 

You might not know it from the most salient recent press accounts, but, 
in truth, preparations for the Cairo conference have been most notable 
for the remarkable consensus that has formed around a comprehensive set 
of strategies to realize these goals.  Where once there were a few who 
suggested that population growth was not a problem, now there is virtual 
unanimity about the need for all nations to address population and 
sustainable development on a priority basis.  And incidentally, the 
Catholic Church, for example, about which I will have more to say in a 
few moments, acknowledges that stabilizing world population is a 
legitimate goal. 

Also, where once this discussion broke down on north-south lines, there 
is now agreement that cooperation is in the interest of all nations, 
north and south. Where once there was disagreement about whether family 
planning or economic progress was a prerequisite to progress in either 
area, there is now a broad recognition that both are important in their 
own right, but that they work best when pursued together. Where once 
there was a narrow focus on only one aspect of a global strategy, common 
cause has been forged around a comprehensive effort that links 
education, health, women's empowerment, and economic progress to the 
dream of improving the quality of life for all people. 

So, clearly, much has been learned in the 30 years since concern about 
rapid population growth emerged in a serious way through the work of 
John D. Rockefeller III and others.  These lessons characterize the 
promising but unfinished plan of action that nations will work to 
finalize in Cairo.  And I want to discuss movement toward consensus in 
the draft Cairo document--for women, for children, for the environment, 
and much else besides.  But we must not allow this dramatic progress to 
be obscured by an issue rooted in deep moral, philosophical, and 
religious differences--I'm referring, of course, to abortion. 

Population Policies and Programs 

In this area, more than in any other, full consensus is unlikely, even 
among men and women deliberating in a spirit of candor and mutual 
goodwill.  It is essential that the partial agreement that may be within 
reach not be thwarted by misunderstanding.  I want to set the record 
straight and ensure that the Administration's views are clear.  My 
friend, Michael Novak gave me a quote recently from John Courtney 
Murray, S.J., to the effect that "nothing is more difficult than to 
establish a disagreement."  Often disagreements will float around in 
imprecise form and seem to be much larger and more imposing than they 
really are. 

Just about everyone in every corner of the world wishes to make abortion 
rare.  That is America's aim; that is the aim of women's groups, 
environmentalists, the Catholic Church, leaders of all major religions. 
Indeed, that is the aim of all involved in this issue, though many of us 
pursue that goal in different ways.  For example, I believe that when 
fewer women feel abortions are necessary, they will be less frequent.  
And that when women rarely feel they are necessary, they will be rare.  
And that is the commitment of our Administration. That is not the 
situation we face today; it is not rare.  Around the world today, there 
are more than 25 million abortions annually.  There are places where it 
is not uncommon for women to have seven or eight abortions in their 

In fact, there are entire nations, such as the Russian Republic, where 
contraceptives are not easily and widely available, and where the 
average number of abortions a woman has in her lifetime is seven to 
eight. And, for a variety of reasons, there are more than 200,000 women 
worldwide who die each year from medically unsafe abortions.  We cannot 
sweep this situation under the rug or pretend that it does not exist--
and no one is trying to. 

One of the questions for those meeting in Cairo and for all the world's 
citizens is:  What are we going to do about it?  How can we make 
abortions rare?  Our Administration believes that it is desirable to 
make available the broadest possible range of health and reproductive 
options.  But we are well aware that views about abortion are as diverse 
among nations as among individuals.  Today, 173 nations have laws 
setting forth the circumstances in which abortion is permitted and 
setting forth the manner in which it is restricted. 

We believe that decisions about the extent to which abortion is 
acceptable should be the province of each government within the context 
of its own laws and national circumstances.  Therefore, throughout these 
negotiations, we have supported language and sought to have added to the 
text language that clearly establishes this principle for all of the 
Cairo recommendations.  And we fully expect--and will insist at Cairo--
that this principle be affirmed in the final document.  Let me repeat:  
We have previously supported this language; we have previously urged 
that it be added; we will continue to do so; we expect that it will be. 

Respect for national sovereignty does not imply neutrality on this 
issue. We believe that the incidence of abortion must be reduced.  
Abortion is not the strategy by which the nations of the world can or 
should reduce population growth.  We do not promote abortion.  We abhor 
and condemn coerced abortions, whether the coercion is physical, 
economic, psychological, political, or in any other way. 

There have been allegations made that the United States has used undue 
influence related to the availability of development assistance to 
nations that do not support our population policies and programs.  That 
is unambiguously and absolutely wrong.  We are aware that some 
statements have been made to this effect; we respect the fact that 
people of goodwill can have a misunderstanding about the truth, and we 
have requested specific information.  No reasonable person would 
countenance such behavior.  And I will say this:  If there is evidence 
supporting the existence of this behavior at any stage in the 
preparatory process for Cairo or at Cairo or after Cairo, we will take 
immediate and decisive disciplinary action. These allegations are 
outrageous.  But if they were found to be true, we would reinvent 
government right there on the spot. 

We do not believe that abortion should be viewed as a method of family 
planning.  It should not be and cannot be seen as a method of family 
planning, although tragically--in countries where contraception is not 
readily available--it is today all too often used for this purpose.  And 
we certainly do not regard abortion as morally equivalent to 
contraception.  There is, as acknowledged by all participants in the 
debate, a different moral sensibility brought to a choice for one option 
as compared to all of the others. 

Let me be clear:  Our Administration believes that the U.S. Constitution 
guarantees every woman within our borders a right to choose, subject to 
limited and specific exceptions.  We are unalterably committed to that 
principle.  But let us take a false issue off the table--the United 
States has not sought, does not seek, and will not seek to establish any 
international right to an abortion.  That is a red herring. 

Now, the principles I've just articulated represent the long-standing 
position of the Administration and of the United States on this issue--
on these points.  In his authoritative speech to the National Academy of 
Sciences in June, President Clinton said this: 

Now, I want to be clear about this, contrary to some assertions, we do 
not support abortion as a method of family planning.  We respect, 
however, the diversity of national laws--except we do oppose coercion 
wherever it exists.  Our own policy in the United States is that this 
should be a matter of personal choice, not public dictation.  And, as I 
have said many times, abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.  In 
other countries where it does exist, we believe safety is an important 
issue.  And if you look at the mortality figures, it is hard to turn 
away from that issue.  We also believe that providing women with the 
means to prevent unwanted pregnancy will do more than anything else to 
reduce abortion. 

Since that speech, before that speech, but many times since that speech-
-the President has personally reaffirmed to me and others on numerous 
occasions that where abortion does occur, it should be safe.  Each 
nation should determine it.  We are opposed to coercion.  We abhor it.  
And we should pursue other policies that reduce the number of abortions. 

Let me repeat.  We want to do everything we can to reduce the incidence 
of abortion around the world. And our view is that the most effective 
way to reduce population growth and abortion is through a comprehensive 
global strategy that makes family planning information and services as 
widely available as possible, that promotes sustainable economic 
development, increases child survival rates and literacy, fosters 
women's health, strengthens families, and focuses on the education and 
empowerment of women.  This is a conclusion brought home to us by hard 

A Foundation of Universal Human Aspirations 

During the past generation, we have learned that family planning by 
itself rarely succeeds, and that economic development by itself does not 
automatically reduce population growth.  In fact, in my opinion, the 
real story of the preparatory process and the conference itself is the 
extent to which a new worldwide consensus has congealed around this more 
sophisticated, holistic, richer view--that the means by which the world 
can stabilize population is a multifaceted strategy that includes:  
making contraception available under appropriate circumstances with 
respect for the cultures in which it is made available; putting emphasis 
on educating and empowering women to take part in the choices that 
relate to family size, sustainable and equitable economic development--
which is historically associated with the demographic transition and the 
stabilizing of population; an emphasis on improving child health and 
child survival to influence the choices that parents make about the size 
of the families they wish to have, because when children survive, then 
the desire for much larger families is greatly diminished. 

Let me read a communication which came last spring to Dr. Nafis Sadik, 
the Secretary General of the Cairo conference, from Pope John Paul II.  
He said this: 

There is widespread agreement that a population policy is only one part 
of an overall development strategy.  Accordingly, it is important that 
any discussion of population policies should keep in mind the actual and 
projected development of nations and regions.  At the same time, it is 
impossible to leave out of the count the very nature of what is meant by 
the term "development."  All development worthy of the name must be 
integral--that is, it must be directed to the true good of every person 
and of the whole person.  True development cannot consist in the simple 
accumulation of wealth, and in the greater availability of goods and 
services, but must be pursued with due consideration for the social, 
cultural, and spiritual dimensions of the human being.  Development 
programs must be built of justice and equality, enabling people to live 
in dignity, harmony, and peace.  They must respect the cultural heritage 
of peoples and nations, and those social qualities and virtues that 
reflect the God-given dignity of each and every person, and the divine 
plan which calls all persons to unity. Importantly, men and women must 
be active agents of their own development. For to treat them, men and 
women, as mere objects in some scheme or plan would be to stifle that 
capacity for freedom and responsibility, which is fundamental to the 
good of the human person. 

How the world needs to hear that perspective.  And how the world needs 
to hear what the great religions of the world have to say about all of 
the issues we confront. 

The Catholic Church as well as other Christian and non-Christian 
religions have a mission that sometimes has to be distinct from that of 
the political authorities.  The religious leaders try to encourage 
morally strong attitudes with respect to material goods and 
socioeconomic relationships. The political leadership has a 
responsibility to listen very carefully to what the religions are 
saying--even if they cannot always honor it.  This dialogue is very 
important.  We want to make Cairo a time of dialogue instead of a pre-
fixed confrontation--especially since there is so much agreement on so 
much of the preparatory document. 

We agree, also, with Pope John Paul II that these issues are the most 
important issues of the 21st century, and that they will determine the 
future of humankind.  I have argued in the past that, in spite of the 
disagreements which persist, the broad nature and strength of what is 
agreed makes for a natural alliance between, on the one hand, those of 
us serving in government who believe we must stabilize population, 
protect the environment, promote sustainable development, and create a 
future that is worthy of our children and grandchildren, and the 
Catholic Church, on the other hand--which despite its well-known 
opposition to contraception, historically is one of the most forceful 
and effective advocates in the entire world--bar none--for literacy and 
education programs, for measures to dramatically reduce infant 
mortality, and for other steps that we now understand are, in fact, 
crucial in stabilizing population and producing a pattern of sustainable 

The whole point is to build a humane and comprehensive strategy on the 
foundation of universal human aspirations.  As one part of this 
comprehensive strategy, a goal at Cairo and beyond is to strengthen the 
ability of prospective parents to choose how many children to have and 
when to have them.  Every country has a responsibility to determine the 
appropriate services that are necessary to prevent unintended 
pregnancies, ensure maternal health, and reduce the incidence of 
abortion.  Every country should strive to make the services that it has 
chosen for itself available to all its citizens.  And in those 
circumstances in which a nation chooses to make abortion legal it should 
be medically safe. 

If we can increase life expectancy and child survival rates, if we can 
improve people's lives through education and economic opportunity, if we 
can expand their aspirations and widen their horizons, we can reduce the 
forces that fuel population growth.  Family planning, equitable and 
sustainable development, empowerment for all citizens--we now realize 
that these are not rival strategies but, rather, crucial and mutually 
consistent elements of the comprehensive approach our common, global 
future demands. 

This is the framework that will guide us as we work toward common ground 
in Cairo.  We do not imagine that we will ever put the abortion debate 
to rest--differences go too deep.  But we believe that our approach 
maximizes the range of possible consensus and reduces the remaining 
disagreements to manageable proportions.  After all, most of the Cairo 
document--more than 90%, in fact--has already been agreed to, far more 
than in previous international conferences.  And many of the differences 
that remain can be resolved with hard work, respectful dialogue, and 
reasoned reconciliation, which we call for today. 

We need not be and must not become adversaries in the course of this 
endeavor.  We must, rather, be co-laborers and friends in this historic 
effort to forge policies that affirm the dignity and worth of every 
human being on earth--and policies that affirm the importance of the 
family.  We believe family life is the initiation into a responsible 
life in society.  For example, if you want an environmentally 
responsible society, you must strengthen the family.  Governments have a 
duty to ensure the political freedom to establish a family and raise 
children in keeping with that family's religious faith.  All governments 
need to protect the stability of marriage and the institution of the 
family and to protect the health of the family.  Stressing the family is 
critical, we believe, because issues such as women's health and women's 
education, in many countries, must be approached through the prism of 
the family. 

A Global Agenda 

It is in this context, then, that the Cairo conference is remarkable for 
its effort to define a global agenda of hope, opportunity, and progress.  
Already, even in the absence of agreement on all issues, this is--by 
far--the best population document ever developed. And let me say that 
these efforts--and the United States itself--have benefited greatly from 
the talent, creativity, and careful guidance of Tim Wirth, our Under 
Secretary of State for Global Affairs.  Through Tim's work and that of 
others, this conference will make a historic embrace of the need for 
integrating--on a global scale--economic and environmental policies and 
recognizing the relationship between sustainable development and 
population stability. 

I also want, in advance, to thank President Mubarak who, as host, has 
made an immeasurable contribution to the successful outcome we expect in 
Cairo.  And like the Earth Summit in Rio, this conference recognizes the 
importance of engaging citizens and non-governmental organizations, 
elevating their role and contribution to the international dialogue.  
This is a conference noted for its unprecedented involvement of 
citizens--particularly women--on the road to Cairo.  Their contribution 
has been historic and extraordinary. 

The Cairo conference also has recognized that these are not solely the 
matters of poor countries. They affect and involve the citizens of 
developed countries as well. We are connected to our neighbors by 
concern and compassion.  Rapid population growth is closely linked with 
poverty, injustice, and human suffering.  Americans are not indifferent 
to these issues. 

So, in closing, we know that the challenges are great, and that is why 
our commitment runs so deep.  Integration of population, the 
environment, and development is an imperative for peace and national 
security, for human health and well-being, and for the quality of life 
on Earth.  The Clinton Administration is determined to meet this need.  
And on the population and development issue, we are determined to help 
lead the way.   




Country Fact Sheet:  Egypt 


Egypt is the most populous country in the Arab world and the second-most 
populous on the African Continent.  Nearly 100% of the country's 58 
million people live in Cairo and Alexandria; elsewhere on the banks of 
the Nile; in the Nile delta, which fans out north of Cairo; and along 
the Suez Canal.  These regions are among the world's most densely 
populated, containing an average of over 1,540 person per square 
kilometer (3,820 per sq. mi.).   

Small communities spread throughout the desert regions of Egypt are 
clustered around oases and historic trade and transportation routes.  
The government has tried with mixed success to encourage migration to 
newly irrigated land reclaimed from the desert.  However, the proportion 
of the population living in rural areas has continued to decrease as 
people move to the cities in search of employment and a higher standard 
of living. The Egyptians are a fairly homogeneous people of Hamitic 
origin.  Mediterranean and Arab influences appear in the north, and 
there is some mixing in the south with the Nubians of northern Sudan.  
Ethnic minorities include a small number of Bedouin Arab nomads in the 
eastern and western deserts and in the Sinai, as well as some 50,000-
100,000 Nubians clustered along the Nile in upper Egypt. 

The literacy rate is about 48% of the adult population.  Education is 
free through university and compulsory from ages six through 12.  About 
87% of children enter primary school; half drop out after their sixth 
year.  There are 20,000 primary and secondary schools with some 10 
million students, 12 major universities with about 500,000 students, and 
67 teacher colleges.  Major universities include Cairo University 
(100,000 students), Alexandria University, and the 1,000-year-old Al-
Azhar University, one of the world's major centers of Islamic learning. 

Egypt's vast and rich literature constitutes an important cultural 
element in the life of the country and in the Arab world as a whole.  
Egyptian novelists and poets were among the first to experiment with new 
styles of Arabic  literature, and the forms they developed have been 
widely imitated.  Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahjfouz was the first Arab 
to win the Nobel prize for literature.  Egyptian books and films are 
available through the Middle East.   

Egypt has endured as a unified state for more than 5,000 years, and 
archeological evidence indicates that a developed Egyptian society has 
existed for much longer.  Egyptians take pride in their "pharaonic 
heritage" and in their descent from what they consider mankind's 
earliest civilization.  The Arabic word for Egypt is Misr, which 
originally connotated "civilization" or "metropolis." 

Archeological findings show that primitive tribes lived along the Nile 
long before the dynastic history of the pharaohs began.  By 6000 B.C., 
organized agriculture had appeared. 

In about 3100 B.C., Egypt was united under a ruler known as Mena, or 
Menes, who inaugurated the 30 pharaonic dynasties into which Egypt's 
ancient history is divided--the Old and the Middle Kingdoms and the New 
Empire.  For the first time, the use and managements of vital resources 
of the Nile River came under one authority. 

The pyramids at Giza (near Cairo) were built in the fourth dynasty, 
showing the power of the pharaonic religion and state. The Great 
Pyramid, the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu (also known as Cheops), is the only 
surviving example of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  Ancient 
Egypt reached the peak of its power, wealth, and territorial extent in 
the period called the New Empire (1567-1085 B.C.).  Authority was again 
centralized, and a number of military campaigns brought Palestine, 
Syria, and northern Iraq under Egyptian control.  

Persian, Greek, Roman, And Arab Conquerors 

In 525 B.C., Cambyses, the son of Cyrus  the Great, led a Persian 
invasion force that dethroned the last pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty.  The 
country remained a Persian province until Alexander the Great.  The 
Roman/Byzantine rule of Egypt lasted for nearly 700 years. 

Following a brief Persian reconquest, Egypt was invaded and conquered by 
Arab forces in 642.  A process of Arabization and Islamization ensued.  
Although a Coptic Christian minority remained--and remains today, 
constituting about 10% of the population--the Arab language inexorably 
supplanted the indigenous Coptic tongue.  Ancient Egyptian ways--passed 
from pharaonic times through the Persian, Greek, and Roman periods and 
Egypt's Christian era--were gradually melded with or supplanted by 
Islamic customs.  For the next 1,300 years, a succession of Turkish, 
Arabic, Mameluke, and Ottoman caliphs, beys, and sultans ruled the 

European Influence 

Napoleon Bonaparte arrived in Egypt in 1798.  The three-year sojourn in 
Egypt (1798-1801) of his army and a retinue of French scientists opened 
Egypt to direct Western influence.  Napoleon's adventure awakened Great 
Britain to the importance of Egypt as a vital link with India and the 
Far East and launched a century-and-a-half of Anglo-French rivalry over 
the region. 

An Anglo-Ottoman invasion force drove out the French in 1801, and, 
following a period of chaos, the Albanian Mohammed Ali obtained control 
of the country.  Ali ruled until 1849, and his successors retained at 
least nominal control of Egypt until 1952.  He imported European culture 
and technology, introduced state organization of Egypt's economic life, 
improved education, and fostered training in engineering and medicine.  
His authoritarian rule was also marked by a series of foreign military 
adventures.  Ali's successors granted to the French Promoter, Ferdinand 
de Lesseps, a concession for construction of the Suez Canal--begun in 
1859 and opened 10 years later.  

Their regimes were characterized by financial mismanagement and personal 
extravagance that reduced Egypt to bankruptcy.  These developments led 
to rapid expansion of British and French financial oversight.  This 
produced popular resentment, which, in 1879, led to revolt. 

In 1882, British expeditionary forces crushed this revolt, marking the 
beginning of British occupation and the virtual inclusion of Egypt 
within the British Empire.  During the rule of three successive British 
High Commissioners between 1883 and 1914, the British agency was the 
real source of authority.  It established special courts to enforce 
foreign laws for foreigners residing in the country.  These privileges 
for foreigners generated increasing Egyptian resentment.  To secure its 
interests during World War I, Britain declared a formal protectorate 
over Egypt on December 18, 1914.  This lasted until 1922, when, in 
deference to growing nationalism, the U.K. unilaterally declared 
Egyptian independence.  British influence, however, continued to 
dominate Egypt's political life and fostered fiscal, administrative, and 
governmental reforms. 

In the post-independence period, three political forces competed with 
one another:  the Wafd, a broadly based nationalist political 
organization strongly opposed to British influence; King Fuad, whom the 
British had installed in the throne during the war; and the British 
themselves, who were determined to maintain control over the canal.   

Although both the Wafd and the King wanted to achieve independence from 
the British, they competed for control of Egypt.  Other political forces 
emerging in this period included the communist party (1925) and the 
Muslim Brotherhood (1928), which eventually became a potent political 
and religious force. 

During World War II, British troops used Egypt as a base for Allied 
operations throughout the region.  British troops were withdrawn to the 
Suez Canal area in 1947, but nationalist, anti-British feelings 
continued to grow after the war.  Violence broke out in early 1952 
between Egyptians and British in the canal area, and anti-Western 
rioting  in Cairo followed. 

On July 22-23, 1952, a group of disaffected army officers led by Lt. 
Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew King Farouk, whom the military blamed 
for Egypt's  poor performance in the 1948 war with Israel.  Following a 
brief experiment with civilian rule, they abrogated the 1923 
constitution and declared Egypt a republic on June 19, 1953.  Nasser 
evolved into a charismatic leader, not only of Egypt but of the Arab 

Nasser and his "free officer" movement enjoyed almost instant legitimacy 
as liberators who had ended 2,500 years of foreign rule.  They were 
motivated by numerous grievances and goals but wanted especially to 
break the economic and political power of the land owning  elite, to 
remove all vestiges of British control, and to improve the lot of the 
people, especially the fellahin (peasants). 

A secular nationalist, Nasser developed a foreign policy characterized 
by advocacy of pan-Arab socialism, leadership of the "nonaligned" of the 
"Third World," and close ties with the Soviet Union.  He sharply opposed 
the Western-sponsored Baghdad Pact.  When the United States held up 
military sales in reaction to Egyptian neutrality vis-a-vis Moscow, 
Nasser concluded an arms deal with Czechoslovakia in September 1955.   

When the U.S. and the World Bank withdrew their offer to help finance 
the Aswan High Dam in mid-1956, he nationalized the privately owned Suez 
Canal Company.  The crisis that followed, exacerbated by growing 
tensions with Israel over guerrilla attacks from Gaza and Israeli 
reprisals, resulted in the invasion of Egypt that October by France, 
Britain, and Israel.   

While Egypt was defeated, the invasion forces were quickly withdrawn 
under heavy pressure from the U.S.  The Suez war (or, as the Egyptians 
call it, the Tripartite Aggression) instantly transformed Nasser into an 
Egyptian and Arab hero. 

He soon after came to terms with Moscow for the financing of the Aswan 
High Dam--a step that enormously increased Soviet involvement in Egypt 
and set Nasser's Government on a policy of close ties with the Soviet 

In 1958, pursuant to his policy of pan-Arabism, Nasser succeeded in 
uniting Egypt and Syria into the United Arab Republic.  Although this 
union had failed by 1961, it was not officially dissolved until 1984. 

Nasser's domestic policies were arbitrary, frequently oppressive, and 
yet generally popular.  All opposition was stamped out, and opponents of 
the regime frequently were imprisoned without trial.  Nasser's foreign 
policies, among other things, helped provoke the Israeli attack of June 
1967 that virtually destroyed Egypt's armed forces along with those of 
Jordan and Syria.  Israel also occupied the Sinai peninsula, the Gaza 
Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights.  Nasser, nonetheless, was 
revered by the masses in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world until his 
death in 1970. 

After Nasser's death, another of the original "free officers," Vice 
President Anwar el-Sadat, was elected President.  In 1971, Sadat 
concluded a treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union but, a year 
later, ordered Soviet advisers to leave.  In 1973, he launched the 
October war with Israel, in which Egypt's armed forces  achieved initial 
successes but were defeated in Israeli counterattacks.  

Camp David and The Peace Process  

In a momentous change from the Nasser era, President Sadat shifted Egypt 
from a policy of confrontation with Israel to one of peaceful 
accommodation through negotiations.  Following the Sinai Disengagement 
Agreements of 1974 and 1975, Sadat created a fresh opening for progress 
by his dramatic visit to Jerusalem in November 1977.  This led to 
President Jimmy Carter's invitation to President Sadat and Prime 
Minister Begin to join him in trilateral negotiations at Camp David. 

The outcome was the historic Camp David accords, signed by Egypt and 
Israel and witnessed by the U.S. on September 17, 1978.  The accords led 
to the March 26, 1979, signing of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, by 
which Egypt regained control of the Sinai in May 1982.  Throughout this 
period, U.S.-Egyptian relations steadily improved, but Sadat's 
willingness to break ranks by making peace with Israel earned him the 
enmity of most other Arab states. 

In domestic policy, Sadat introduced greater political freedom and a new 
economic policy, the most important aspect of which was the infitah or 
"open door."  This relaxed government controls over the economy and 
encouraged private investment.  Sadat dismantled much of the policy 
apparatus and brought to trial a number of former government officials 
accused of criminal excesses during the Nasser era. 

Liberalization also included the reinstitution of due process and the 
legal banning of torture.  Sadat tried to expand participation in the 
political process in the mid-1970s but later abandoned this effort.  In 
the last years of his life, Egypt was racked by violence arising from 
discontent with Sadat's rule and sectarian tensions, and it experienced 
a renewed measure of repression. 

On October 6, 1981, President Sadat was assassinated by Islamic 
extremists.  Hosni Mubarak, Vice President since 1975 and air force 
commander during the October 1973 war, was elected president later that 
month.  He was re-elected to a second term in October 1987 and to a 
third term in October 1993.  Mubarak has maintained Egypt's commitment 
to the Camp David peace process, while at the same time re-establishing 
Egypt's position as an Arab leader.  Egypt was readmitted to the Arab 
League in 1989.  Egypt has also played a moderating role in such 
international fora as the UN and the Nonaligned Movement. 

Mubarak was elected chairman of the Organization of African Unity in 
1989, and again at the OAU summit in Cairo in June 1993.  Domestically, 
since 1991, Mubarak has undertaken an ambitious reform program to reduce 
the size of the public sector and expand the role of the private sector.  
There has also been a democratic opening and increased participation in 
the political process by opposition groups.  The November 1990 National 
Assembly elections saw 61 members of the opposition win seats in the 
454-seat assembly, despite a boycott  by several opposition parties 
citing possible manipulation by Mubarak's National Democratic Party 
(NDP).  The opposition parties have been weak and divided and are not 
yet credible alternatives to the NDP. 

Freedom of the press has increased greatly.  While concern remains that 
economic problems could promote increasing dissatisfaction with the 
government, President Mubarak enjoys broad support. 

For several years, domestic political debate in Egypt has been concerned 
with the phenomenon of "Political Islam," i.e., a movement which seeks 
to establish a state and society governed strictly by Islamic doctrine.  
The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is legally proscribed, 
but operates more or less openly.  Egyptian law, however, prohibits the 
formation of religion-based political parties.  Members of the 
Brotherhood have been elected to the People's Assembly as independents 
and have been elected to local councils as candidates on the Socialist 
Labor Party ticket. 


The Egyptian constitution provides for a strong executive.  Authority is 
vested in an elected president who can appoint one or more vice 
presidents, a prime minister, and a cabinet.  The president's term runs 
for six years.  Egypt's legislative body, the People's Assembly, has 454 
members--444 popularly elected and 10 appointed by the president.  The 
constitution reserves 50% of the assembly seats for "workers and 
peasants."  The assembly sits for a five-year term but can be dissolved 
earlier by the president.  There is also a 258-member National Shura 
(consultative) Council, in which 86 members are appointed and 172 
elected for six-year terms.  Below the national level, authority is 
exercised by and through governors and mayors appointed by the central 
government and by popularly elected local councils. 

Although power is concentrated in the hands of the president and the 
National Democratic Party majority in the People's Assembly, opposition 
party organizations make their views public and represent their 
followers at various levels in the political system.   

In addition to the ruling National Democratic Party, there are nine 
other recognized parties.  Since 1990, the number of recognized parties 
has doubled from five to 10.  The law prohibits the formation of parties 
along class lines, thereby making it illegal for communist groups to 
organize formally as political parties. 

The process of gradual political liberalization begun by Sadat has 
continued under Mubarak.  Egyptians now enjoy considerable freedom of 
the press, and recognized opposition political parties operate freely.  
Although the November 1990 elections are generally considered to have 
been fair and free, there are significant restrictions on the political 
process and freedom of association for non-governmental organizations.  
Opposition parties continue to make credible complaints about electoral 
manipulation by the government.  For example, in the 1989 Shura Council 
elections, the ruling NDP won 100% of the seats. 

Egypt's judicial system is based on European (primarily French) legal 
concepts and methods.  Under the Mubarak Government, the courts have 
demonstrated increasing independence, and the principles of due process 
and judicial review have gained greater respect.  The legal code is 
derived largely from the Napoleonic Code.  Marriage and personal status 
(family law) are primarily based on the religious law of the individual 
concerned, which for most Egyptians is Islamic Law (Sharia). 

Principal Government Officials  
President--Muhammad Hosni Mubarak 
Prime Minister--Atef Sedky  
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs--Amre Moussa  
Ambassador to the United States--Ahmad Maher El-Sayyed  
Ambassador to the United Nations--Nabil El-Araby 

Egypt maintains an embassy in the United States at 3521 International 
Court NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-895-5400).  The Washington 
consulate has the same address (tel. 202-966-6342).  The Egyptian 
mission to the United Nations is located at 36 East 67th Street, New 
York, NY (tel. 212-879-6300).  Egyptian consulates general are located 
at:  1110 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022 (tel. 212-759-7120); 2000 
West Loop South, Suite 1750, Control Data Building, Houston, TX  77027 
(tel. 713-961-4915); 505 N. Lake Shore Drive, Suite 4902, Chicago, IL 
60611 (tel. 312-670-2655); and 3001 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 
94115 (tel. 415-346-9700). 


Under comprehensive economic reforms initiated in 1991, Egypt has 
relaxed many price controls, reduced subsidies, and partially 
liberalized trade and investment.  Manufacturing is still dominated by 
the public sector, which controls virtually all heavy industry.  A 
process of public sector reform and privatization has begun, however, 
which could enhance opportunities for the private sector.  Agriculture, 
mainly in private hands, has been largely deregulated, with the 
exception of cotton and sugar production.  Construction, non-financial 
services, and domestic marketing are largely private. 


More than one-third of Egyptian labor is engaged directly in farming, 
and many others work in the processing or trading of agricultural 
products.  Practically all Egyptian agriculture takes place in some 2.5 
million hectares (6 million acres) of fertile soil in the Nile Valley 
and Delta.  Some desert lands are being developed for agriculture, but 
other fertile lands in the Nile Valley and Delta are being lost to 
urbanization and erosion. 

Warm weather and plentiful water permit several crops a year.  Further 
improvement is possible, but agricultural productivity is already high, 
considering the traditional methods used.  Egypt has little subsistence 
farming.  Cotton, rice, onions, and beans are the principal crops.  
Cotton is the largest agricultural export earner. 

The United States is a major supplier of wheat to Egypt, through 
commercial sales and the PL 480 (Food for Peace) program.  Other Western 
countries have also supplied food on concessional terms. 

"Egypt," wrote the Greek historian Herodotus 25 centuries ago, "is the 
gift of the Nile."  The land's seemingly inexhaustible resources of 
water and soil carried by this mighty river created in the Nile Valley 
and Delta the world's most extensive oasis.  Without the Nile, Egypt 
would be little more than a desert wasteland.   

The river carves a narrow, cultivated floodplain, never more than 20 
kilometers wide, as it travels northward from Sudan to form Lake Nasser, 
behind the Aswan High Dam.  Below the dam, just north of Cairo, the Nile 
spreads out over what was once a broad estuary that has been filled by 
riverine deposits to form a fertile delta about 250 kilometers wide (150 
mi.) at the seaward base and about 160 kilometers (96 mi.) from south to 

Before the construction of dams on the Nile, particularly the Aswan High 
Dam, the fertility of the Nile Valley was sustained by the water flow 
and the silt deposited by the  annual flood.  Sediment is now obstructed 
by the Aswan High Dam and retained in Lake Nasser.  The interruption of 
yearly, natural fertilization and the increasing salinity of the soil 
have detracted somewhat from the high dam's value.  Nevertheless, the 
benefits remain impressive:  more intensive farming on millions of acres 
of land made possible by improved irrigation, prevention of flood 
damage, and the generation of billions of low-cost kilowatt hours of 

The Western Desert accounts for about two-thirds of the country's land 
area.  For the most part, it is a massive sandy plateau marked by seven 
major depressions.  One of these, Fayoum, was connected about 3,600 
years ago to the Nile by canals.  Today, it is an important irrigated 
agricultural area. 

Natural Resources  

In addition to the agricultural capacity of the Nile Valley and Delta, 
Egypt's natural resources include petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, 
and iron ore.  Petroleum deposits are found primarily in the Gulf of 
Suez, the Nile Delta, and the Western Desert.  The petroleum and natural 
gas sector accounted for approximately 10% of GDP in FY 1991-92.   

Petroleum products represented about 45% of export earnings during that 
period.  The fall in world oil prices after the 1991 Gulf war pushed 
Egypt's benchmark "Suez Blend" to an average price of $15 per barrel in 
FY 1991-92, compared with $20 per barrel in FY 1990-91.  Thus, the value 
of Egyptian crude oil exports dropped to $1.2 billion in FY 1991-92 
versus $1.5 billion in FY 1990-91. 

Petroleum production dropped slightly in FY 1991-92 to 44 million tons 
at 870,000 barrels per day.  To limit the domestic consumption of oil, 
Egypt is encouraging the production of natural gas.  Natural gas output 
continues to increase, and reached 7.2 million metric tons equivalent in 
FY 1991-92. 

Twelve petroleum exploration agreements were signed in 1992, under which 
six companies are expected to spend over $90 million to drill 24 wells.  

Since 1991, the government has tried to attract enough foreign 
investment to maintain existing exploration and production and attract 
new investment.  In October 1991, the government adopted a market-
determined petroleum export pricing formula. 

Transport and Communication 

Transportation facilities in Egypt are centered on Cairo and largely 
follow the pattern of settlement along the Nile.  The major line of the 
nation's 4,800-kilometer (2,800-mi.) railway network runs from 
Alexandria to Aswan.  The well-maintained road network has expanded 
rapidly to over 21,000 miles, covering the Nile Valley and Delta, 
Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts, the Sinai, and the Western oases.   

Egyptair provides reliable domestic air services to major tourist 
destinations from its Cairo hub (in addition to overseas routes).  The 
Nile River system (about 1,600 km. or 1,000 mi.) and the principal 
canals (1,600 km.) are important locally for transportation.  The Suez 
Canal is a major waterway of international commerce and navigation, 
linking the Mediterranean and Red Seas.  Major ports are Alexandria, 
Port Said, and Damietta on the Mediterranean, and Suez and Safraga on 
the Red Sea. 

Egypt has long been the cultural and informational center of the Arab 
world, and Cairo is the region's largest publishing and broadcasting 
center.  There are eight daily newspapers with a total circulation of 
more than 2 million, and a number of monthly newspapers, magazines, and 
journals.  The majority of political parties have their own newspapers, 
and these papers conduct a lively, often highly partisan debate on 
public issues. 

Radio and television are owned and controlled by the government through 
the Egyptian Radio and Television Federation.  The Federation operates 
two national television networks and three regional stations in Cairo, 
Alexandria, and Ismailia.  The government also beams daily satellite 
programming to the rest of the Arab world, the U.K., and the U.S. 


Egypt's armed forces are among the largest in the region, and include 
the army (290,000), air defense (70,000), air force (30,000), and navy 
(20,000).  The armed forces inventory includes equipment from the United 
States, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the former Soviet Union, and 
China.  Most of the equipment from the former Soviet Union is being 
replaced by more modern American, French, and British equipment, of 
which significant amounts are being built under license in Egypt.  To 
bolster stability and moderation in the region, Egypt has provided 
military assistance and training to a number of African and Arab states. 


Egypt was readmitted to the Arab League in May 1989, and the Arab League 
headquarters has returned to Cairo from Tunis.  Former Egyptian Foreign 
Minister Abdel Meguid is the present Secretary General of the Arab 
League.  President Mubarak chaired the Organization of African Unity 
from 1989 to 1990 and again in 1993.  In 1991, Egyptian Deputy Prime 
Minister Boutros Boutros-Ghali was elected Secretary General of the 
United Nations in a tightly contested election. 

Egypt played a key role during the 1990-91 Gulf crisis.  President 
Mubarak helped assemble the international coalition and deployed 35,000 
Egyptian troops against Iraq to liberate Kuwait.  The Egyptian 
contingent was the second largest in the coalition forces.  In the 
aftermath of the Gulf war, Egypt signed the Damascus declaration with 
Syria and the Gulf states to strengthen Gulf security. 

Egypt also played an important role in the negotiations leading to the 
Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, which, under U.S. and Russian 
sponsorship, brought together all parties in the region to discuss 
Middle East peace.  Since then, Egypt has been an active participant in 
the peace process and has been a strong supporter of the bilateral 

Egyptian-Israeli relations improved after Labor's 1992 victory in 
Israeli national elections, and Egypt and Israel are committed to 
improving their bilateral relationship.  By mid-1993, President Mubarak 
and Prime Minister Rabin had met twice, and other senior-level bilateral 
contacts have increased.  There has also been progress on the return of 
Sinai antiquities to Egypt and on issues relating to military personnel 
missing in action.  Agricultural cooperation continues to be the most 
active area of Egyptian-Israeli technical cooperation. 


President Mubarak has long been a  supporter of a strong U.S.-Egyptian 
relationship based on shared interests in regional security and 
stability and the peaceful resolution of international disputes.  
President Mubarak was the first Arab leader to visit the U.S. after 
President Clinton's inauguration.  The two countries have worked closely 
together to promote a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict 
and to resolve conflicts in Africa--including most recently 
participation by Egyptian soldiers in UN peace-keeping efforts in 

An important pillar of the bilateral relationship remains U.S. security 
and economic assistance to Egypt, which expanded significantly in the 
wake of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty in 1979.  In FY 1993, total 
U.S. assistance levels to Egypt were $1.3 billion in Foreign Military 
Sales (FMS) grants and $815 million in Economic Support Fund grants.  
The Egyptians have used FMS to support their military modernization 
program.  PL 480 food aid in FY 1993 amounted to $50 million, down from 
$150 million annually in previous years, due to Egypt's increased 
commercial purchases. 

U.S. assistance promotes Egypt's economic development, supports U.S.-
Egyptian cooperation, and enhances regional stability.  U.S. economic 
aid stimulates economic growth by funding major projects in electric 
power generation, telecommunications, housing and transport, and the 
financing of commodity imports such as raw materials and capital 
equipment.  Power plants built with U.S. assistance generate more 
electricity than the Aswan High Dam.   

Since 1975, the United States has provided $2.2 billion to improve and 
expand water and sewage systems in Cairo, Alexandria, and other Egyptian 
cities.  U.S. military cooperation has helped Egypt modernize its armed 
forces and strengthen regional security and stability.  Under FMS 
programs, the U.S. has provided F-4 jet aircraft, F-16 jet fighters, M-
60A3 and M1A1 tanks, armored personnel carriers, Apache helicopters, 
antiaircraft missile batteries, aerial surveillance aircraft, and other 

The U.S. and Egypt also participate in combined military exercises, 
including deployment of U.S. troops to Egypt.  Units of the U.S. 6th 
Fleet are regular visitors to Egyptian ports. 

Principal U.S. Officials  
Ambassador--Edward S. Walker, Jr. 
Deputy Chief of Mission--Edmund J. Hull  
Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs--Russell A. Lamantia 
Counselor for Political Affairs--Jeffrey Millington 
Counselor for Commercial Affairs--Laron L. Jensen  
Counselor for Public Affairs--Marjorie A. Ransom  
Counselor for Agricultural Affairs--Franklin D. Lee  
Counselor for Administrative Affairs--Warren E. Littrel, Jr.  
Consul General--Dona Sherman Labor Affairs Officer--Barbara Leaf 
Director, AID Mission--John Wesley 
Defense Attache--Col. Joseph P. Engleheardt, USA 
Chief, Office of Military Cooperation--MG Otto Habedanke, USAF 

The U.S. embassy in Cairo is located on Lazoughli Street, Garden City, 
near downtown Cairo.  The mailing address for the embassy from the U.S. 
is American Embassy, APO AE 09839-4900; from Egypt, it is 8 Sharia Kamal 
El-Din Salah, Garden City, Cairo.  The telephone number is (20) (2)355-
7371; fax (20) (2)355-7375; telex 93773 Amemb UN.  The embassy is closed 
on all U.S. federal holidays and some Egyptian holidays.  




Cuban Refugees  
President Clinton, Secretary of Defense William Perry, Attorney General 
Janet Reno, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Peter Tarnoff 

President Clinton 
Opening remarks at a White House press conference, Washington, DC,  
August 19, 1994. 

Good afternoon.  In recent weeks the Castro regime has encouraged Cubans 
to take to the sea in unsafe vessels to escape their nation's internal 
problems.  In so doing, it has risked the lives of thousands of Cubans, 
and several have already died in their efforts to leave. 

This action is a cold-blooded attempt to maintain the Castro grip on 
Cuba and to divert attention from his failed communist policies.  He has 
tried to export to the United States the political and economic crises 
he has created in Cuba in defiance of the democratic tide flowing 
throughout this region.  Let me be clear:  The Cuban Government will not 
succeed in any attempt to dictate American immigration policy.   

The United States will do everything within its power to ensure that 
Cuban lives are saved and that the current outflow of refugees is 
stopped.  Today, I have ordered that illegal refugees from Cuba will not 
be allowed to enter the United States.  Refugees rescued at sea will be 
taken to our naval base at Guantanamo, while we explore the possibility 
of other safe havens within the region. 

To enforce this policy, I have directed the Coast Guard to continue its 
expanded effort to stop any boat illegally attempting to bring Cubans to 
the United States.  The United States will detain, investigate, and, if 
necessary, prosecute Americans who take to the sea to pick up Cubans.  
Vessels used in such activities will be seized. 

I want to compliment the Coast Guard and the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service for their efforts.  And I want to thank Florida's 
officials, including Governor Chiles and the Florida congressional 
delegation, for their help in protecting and saving the lives of Cubans 
who seek to escape the regime. 

Secretary of Defense William Perry, Attorney General Janet Reno, Under 
Secretary for Political Affairs Peter Tarnoff 
Remarks during a White House press briefing, Washington, DC, August 24, 

Secretary Perry.  On Monday, I made a trip to have a surveying 
assessment of the ongoing migration of Cubans and the way we're handling 
that problem.  I flew to Key West and reviewed with the Coast Guard 
officials there the programs they have underway.  Then I went to 
Guantanamo and observed the activities of our joint task force which is 
handling both the Haitian and the Cuban refugees there.  On the way 
between Key West and Guantanamo, I flew over the areas and made very low 
passes over the areas where the Coast Guard cutters and the Navy ships 
are picking up the boat people.   

I have to say my heart went out to the people in those rafts.  These are 
makeshift, homemade rafts--some of them made out of steel drums, 
innertubes.  They've been in those rafts for two or three days by the 
time they have drifted out to the area where the Coast Guard ships are 
picking them up.  This is a very dangerous journey--shark-infested 
waters.  Some of those people are dying en route--those who are not 
picked up by the cutters--and then drift with the Gulf Stream and go on 
out to the open oceans.  So anything we can do to discourage people from 
making that very dangerous trip, we are trying to do. 

The Coast Guard and the Navy are conducting basically a search and 
rescue operation in that area--this area is about 25 to 30 miles off the 
coast of Cuba, roughly north of Havana.  It's a very difficult 
operation, but it's being conducted very, very well--very 
professionally.  We have, all told, more than 30 Coast Guard ships--
cutters involved in this operation and seven Navy ships.  By the next 
day or two, there will be 10 Navy ships involved. 

They are being picked up on the smaller cutters and then transferred to 
larger cutters and Navy ships for the transport to Guantanamo.  That's a 
long trip; it takes almost two days to go from where they're picked up 
to Guantanamo for unloading at the camps there.  

To date, we have picked up about 9,000 Cubans, 7,000 of them who are on 
board ship as we speak and another 2,000 that have already been dropped 
off at Guantanamo. 

The pipeline, if you think of it that way, is two or three days drifting 
before they're picked up and then another two days to get--to make the 
journey to Guantanamo.  People who are being picked up in the last few 
days are people who set out on their journey over the weekend.   

We don't believe that the message of how dangerous this is or the 
message that they're going to end up not in the U.S. but Guantanamo has 
fully gotten through to the people who are on the boats that we have 
picked up in the last day or two.  And we hope that that message does 
get through. 

So we have a flood of boat people on the way to Guantanamo now.  We 
stand by our new policy toward Cuba.  And we will not be intimidated by 
Castro's cynical attempt to solve his domestic problems by encouraging 
people to flee.  We are doing our best to discourage these people.  But 
if we--to the extent we fail to do that, the next thing we're doing is 
we're doing our best to save lives--the people who actually go to sea 
and then taking them to Guantanamo.   

At Guantanamo we are expanding the facility to accommodate that.  I 
don't want to cover this in great detail, but this is a map of the 
Guantanamo area.  This is the airfield; this is the fence on the United 
States side.  And this is the fence on the Cuban side.  In between those 
two fences is a no-man's land in which the Cubans have put thousands--
literally thousands--of mines.   

The camp where we have the Haitians located is right here at McCalla 
Field.  We're putting the Cubans in new camps which are located more 
than a mile from the Haitian camps on the other side of these ridges--
Camp Bulkeley, Radio Hill, and what's called Rifle Range.   

The joint task force--the military joint task force--is doing, in my 
judgment, an excellent job in putting these new camps together very 

We have, as of today, facilities for more than 23,000 refugees in these 
two camps--the Haitian and the Cuban camp.  By the end of the week we 
will have facilities for 30,000, and, by the end of next week, we'll 
have facilities for 40,000.  We have significant capacity beyond that 
and will expand beyond that if necessary.   

While we are concerned about the large number of migrants fleeing in 
Cuban boats, we are confident that we have the resources to deal with 
this outflow.  We will expand, as necessary, the facility at Guantanamo, 
as I have indicated.  In addition to that, we continue to work with our 
friends in the region to provide safe havens for Cuban migrants in third 

A final comment to make about the situation at Guantanamo--it has been 
suggested that the Cuban Government might encourage hundreds or even 
thousands of refugees to flood the gates here and into Guantanamo 
through the back door.  We see no evidence that that's happening.  I 
flew over this fence line on Monday, and there's no activity of any kind 
there.  If it were to happen, it would be very dangerous because of the 
mines in this area--mines which have not been maintained for years and 
which, I believe, the Cubans have probably lost track of their location.  
It would be irresponsible of the Cuban Government to encourage this.  
Indeed, it would be--we would regard this as being an unfriendly act 
toward the United States and would take appropriate action. 

I want to summarize by stressing three things.  The first is a message 
to the Cuban people:  We discourage you from getting on these boats.  It 
is a very dangerous trip, and you will only end up in Guantanamo if you 
do it.  Secondly, we will do--we are doing what, I believe, is a first-
class, professional search and rescue operation to save the people who 
do go on the boats--rescuing them.  And finally, we are building up the 
capacity for Guantanamo; between Guantanamo and the safe haven 
facilities, we believe we can accommodate for the indefinite future the 
flood of boat people that are coming out.  I'd like now to turn the 
podium over to Attorney General Reno. 

Attorney General Reno.  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  I want to speak 
directly to families in Miami--to Cuban families in Miami who may be 
talking to their loved ones in Cuba.  Some people feel that if you get 
to Guantanamo, you're going to be able to come to the United States.  
That is simply not so.   

We've received calls saying, well they'll be processed at Guantanamo.  
They will not be processed for admission to the United States.  They 
will be registered there; they will be counseled concerning their 
location in a safe haven; but they will not be coming to the United 
States.  And you should urge your family not to make such trips.  It is 
unsafe.  They risk their lives.  And we are doing everything we can to 
ensure that the legal migration procedures are available for those in 
Cuba who can legally come to this country. 

I want to speak to the people in Cuba:  Do not risk your lives.  It is 
too dangerous.  You have heard Secretary Perry describe these little 
rafts in the open ocean.  It is not something that should be done.  And 
you should not expect that you will come to the United States.  You are 
going to Guantanamo or to other safe havens, and you will not be 
processed--not be processed--for admission to the United States. 

We will continue efforts to ensure in-country refugee processing and 
legal migration procedures.  Now, I'd like to call on Under Secretary 

Under Secretary Tarnoff.  Thank you.  What I would like to do very 
briefly is to put the actions we've been taking into a foreign policy 
context and to say that, as has been the case for more than 30 years, 
all aspects of our policy are directed at promoting peaceful and 
democratic change in Cuba.  

At a time when democracy and free markets are sweeping the hemisphere, 
and in Russia and other countries of the former Warsaw Pact--which have 
traded communist dictatorship for freedom and democracy--a totalitarian 
communist state is an anachronism.  The current wave of Cubans fleeing 
the island is a clear demonstration of the frustration and despair of 
the Cuban people over the regime's unwillingness to provide basic human 
freedoms and a hope for a better future.  The solution to the crisis in 
Cuba lies in Cuba itself and the unwillingness of the Castro Government 
to heed the desires of its people for reform and an open market system 
and democracy.   

On the question of safe havens, we are giving a high priority to this.  
We are working well with other nations in the hemisphere primarily to 
identify some additional safe havens.  First of all, we hope to conclude 
shortly an agreement with the Turks and Caicos islands to open a safe 
haven there.  Secondly, Panamanian President-elect Perez Balladares 
released the statement in Panama yesterday, indicating that he is 
prepared to cooperate with the United States to seek a solution to the 
problems created by the large number of Cubans leaving the island.  And 
third, in Suriname, the construction of safe havens for Haitians is 
underway, and we are discussing with that government the possibility of 
their taking Cubans as well.    




Recent Developments in Efforts To Achieve Peace and Security in Bosnia 
President Clinton 
Text of a letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, August 22, 

Dear Mr. Speaker:    
 (Dear Mr. President:) 

I last reported to the Congress on April 12 on our support for the 
United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) efforts to 
achieve peace and security in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I am informing you 
today of recent developments in these efforts, including the use of 
United States combat aircraft on August 5 to attack Bosnian Serb heavy 
weapons in the Sarajevo heavy weapons exclusion zone. 

Since the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 713 on 
September 25, 1991, the United Nations has actively sought solutions to 
the humanitarian and ethnic crisis in the former Yugoslavia.  Under 
United Nations Security Council Resolution 824 (May 6, 1993), certain 
parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina have been established as safe areas.  
Sarajevo is specifically designated a safe area that should be "free 
from armed attacks and from any other hostile act." 

A mortar attack on Sarajevo on February 4, 1994, caused numerous 
civilian casualties, including some 68 deaths.  The United Nations 
Secretary General thereafter requested NATO to authorize, at his 
request, air operations against artillery or mortar positions determined 
by the United Nations Protection Forces (UNPROFOR) to have been involved 
in attacks on civilians. 

On February 9, 1994, NATO responded to the Secretary General's request 
by authorizing air operations, if needed, using agreed coordination 
procedures with UNPROFOR.  The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's 
decision set a deadline for the withdrawal of heavy weapons within 20 
kilometers of the center of Sarajevo or for the regrouping and placement 
of such weapons under United Nations control.  As of February 21, 1994, 
all heavy weapons found within the Sarajevo exclusion zone, unless 
controlled by UNPROFOR, would be subject to NATO air strikes.  In 
response to the NATO ultimatum, heavy weapons were removed from the 
exclusion zone or placed in collection sites under UNPROFOR control. 

On August 5, 1994, Bosnian Serb forces entered an UNPROFOR heavy weapons 
collection site near the town of Ilidza and removed several heavy 
weapons--a tank, two armored personnel carriers, and a 30mm anti-
aircraft system.  An UNPROFOR helicopter dispatched to monitor the 
situation was fired upon and was forced to make an emergency landing.  
UNPROFOR troops were unsuccessful in attempting to regain custody of the 
weapons.  As a result, UNPROFOR requested assistance from NATO forces in 
finding the weapons so they could be retrieved or destroyed.  NATO 
responded by making various French, Dutch, British, and U.S. aircraft 
available for air strikes, if necessary. 

Unable to locate the specific weapons removed from the collection site, 
UNPROFOR and NATO decided to proceed against other targets in the 
Sarajevo exclusion zone.  Accordingly, on August 5, a U.S. A-10 aircraft 
strafed a Bosnian Serb M-18 76mm self-propelled antitank gun located 
inside the exclusion zone.  No U.S. personnel were injured or killed nor 
was U.S. equipment damaged in connection with this action.  Later on 
August 5, the Bosnian Serbs called the UNPROFOR Commander, General Rose, 
and asked him to call off the attacks.  They offered to return the heavy 
weapons that they had taken from the storage site.  General Rose agreed 
and the weapons were returned to UNPROFOR's control. 

I took these actions in conjunction with our allies in order to carry 
out the NATO decision and to answer UNPROFOR's request for assistance.  
As I earlier reported to you, our continued efforts are intended to 
assist the parties to reach a negotiated settlement to the conflict.  I 
have directed the participation by U.S. Armed Forces in this effort 
pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct the foreign relations 
of the United States and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. 

I am grateful for the continuing support the Congress has provided, and 
I look forward to continued cooperation with you in this endeavor.  I 
shall communicate with you further regarding our efforts for peace and 
stability in the region. 


William J. Clinton  




U.S. Policy Toward Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka 
Robin Raphel, Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs 
Statement before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the House 
Foreign Affairs Committee, Washington, DC,  August 11, 1994 

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee:  I am pleased to be here 
today to testify on recent developments in and U.S. policy toward 
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.  While much of the 
attention devoted to South Asia is rightly focused on India and 
Pakistan, significant events are taking place in the other countries of 
the region.  I    am grateful for the recognition of this reality by you 
and the committee, as demonstrated by your request for today's hearing. 

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are sometimes labeled the 
"smaller" nations of South Asia, but this is very much a relative 
comparison.  Like their more powerful neighbors, India and Pakistan, 
they confront significant problems affecting large numbers of people.  
To provide some perspective, I would note that the transition from 
authoritarian rule to democracy is affecting more people in Bangladesh 
and Nepal than in all of the former communist countries of Eastern 
Europe combined, where a similar process began at about the same time. 

Strengthening democracy is among the Administration's highest regional 
priorities in South Asia, and is of particular importance in all but one 
of the countries we will be discussing today--Afghanistan.  While 
democratic institutions are being tested in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri 
Lanka, we are optimistic that these institutions will prevail.  We 
actively support the democratic process throughout the region, although 
our approach varies from country to country to suit the circumstances. 

Another area of importance to us in South Asian countries is economic 
growth and development resulting, in large part, from liberalization of 
trade and investment policies.  Closely connected to this is our strong 
interest in generating new opportunities for American business.  As in 
India and Pakistan, significant economic policy changes are underway in 
Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.  There has not yet been an explosion 
of American commercial involvement with those countries, as there has 
been in India.  However, American participation has grown, particularly 
in Sri Lanka.  The Department of State and our embassies in South Asian 
capitals are supporting American businesses pursuing new opportunities 
in those countries.  

While not caught up in the Indo-Pakistani dispute to any significant 
degree, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka all must pay close attention to 
relations with India.  India, given its sheer size and extensive human 
and other resources, has a special obligation to ensure that its smaller 
neighbors feel they are treated fairly.  Water allocation, power 
generation, and refugee flows are among the significant issues between 
them and their large neighbor which need to be resolved sooner rather 
than later. 

The three states recognize the importance of regional cooperation and 
are strong supporters of the South Asian Association for Regional 
Cooperation.  The United States also would like to see SAARC grow in 
stature and effectiveness.  We believe the organization could better 
accomplish this by taking on greater responsibilities at the working 

I now wish to discuss each of these  four countries individually. 


Mr. Chairman, Afghanistan is the sad exception to a tale of political 
and economic progress in South Asia.  Our primary goal there is a simple 
one--   to help promote peace and security      in a country torn by war 
for almost 15 years.  There are other important issues in Afghanistan, 
including reconstruction of the economy and infrastructure, repatriation 
of the refugees, combating narcotics trafficking, and putting an end to 
the harboring of radical groups, all of which have important potential 
for regional stability. 

However, significant progress toward these or any other goals is 
dependent on the end of fighting and the emergence of a government that 
can assert authority throughout the country.  We believe that only a 
broad-based government with a mandate from all Afghans--both at home and 
abroad--can bring the stability that Afghanistan needs.  This political 
process could include the former king, Zahir Shah, should he so desire. 

Afghanistan was the last great battlefield of the Cold War.  From 1978 
to 1992, more than 1 million Afghans lost their lives in the struggle 
against a    regime imposed and supported by the Soviet Union.  
Countless others were maimed by mines and other accidents of war.  At 
least 5 million more became refugees in Pakistan and Iran and 2 million 
were internally displaced. 

The whole world had hoped that the conflict and the suffering would end 
with the fall of the regime of President Najibullah.  But rivalries 
among Afghan factions have fueled continuing warfare, and tens of 
thousands more have been killed or wounded since 1992.  Fighting 
intensified in Kabul and northern Afghanistan this past January as 
coalitions aligned with President Rabbani and Prime Minister Hekmatyar 
struggled for supreme power.  Since then, 23,000 more people have become 
casualties, and another wave of refugees and displaced persons has been 

Mr. Chairman, the peace so many Afghans desire has not been achieved, in 
spite of their efforts and those of others, including the United States.  
Fighting has continued between Afghan factional leaders who do not 
appear to have the interests of their country and their people at heart.      
Despite the history of our long involvement in Afghanistan, we find 
factional leaders remain intransigent and seemingly oblivious to 
persuasion or pressure.  Our embassy in Kabul has been closed since 
1989.  Given the ongoing anarchy in the capital, we see no way we can 
reopen it in the near future. 

Under the circumstances, we believe the best approach is to support 
coordinated efforts by the UN and other multilateral organizations to 
encourage a political process which leads to a government in Kabul 
acceptable to all Afghans.  We have also worked bilaterally to this end, 
urging all neighbors and other interested states to support peace 
efforts.  We were instrumental in the creation of the Friends of 
Afghanistan--a group of concerned states at the UN.  We worked through 
the Security Council and the General Assembly for the dispatch of a UN 
special mission to help Afghans resolve their differences peacefully. 

In March and April this mission, led by former Tunisian Foreign Minister 
Mahmoud Mestiri, went to Afghanistan and the region.  The mission met 
with Afghan leaders inside and outside the country, including former 
King Zahir Shah, as well as officials of concerned governments.  Mr. 
Mestiri is now back in the region and we continue to strongly support 
his mission. 

Afghan factions clearly receive support from abroad.  However, we have 
no conclusive evidence demonstrating exactly what they receive and from 
which sources.  We are working to curb the flow of weapons and materiel 
to the factions.  We have received assurances from Pakistan, Saudi 
Arabia, India, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan that they are 
not providing weapons or materiel.  However, given Afghanistan's porous 
borders, assistance from private groups in these and other countries may 
well be continuing. 

The absence of effective government and limited security in both the 
capital and the countryside have made it very difficult to conduct 
development programs in Afghanistan.  We recently closed our bilateral 
assistance program, in part, because of these circumstances.  However, 
the U.S. continues to provide substantial humanitarian assistance to the 
Afghan people through UN agencies and non-governmental organizations.  
Their programs support refugees, food-for-work projects, immunizations, 
and demining. 


The United States has two primary objectives in Bangladesh:  promoting 
democracy and respect for human rights, and encouraging continued 
economic growth and development. 

The election of early 1991 was judged to be the first truly free and 
fair election since Bangladesh's independence.  Drawing on its clear 
mandate, the government of Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia expanded 
press freedoms and held both regional and local elections that were free 
and fair. 

However, there have been setbacks to the democratization process in 
1994.  Following allegations of vote-rigging in a March parliamentary 
by-election, the opposition has boycotted Parliament.  It has called for 
new elections and demanded that the constitution be amended to provide 
for a caretaker government to oversee them.  The government has refused 
this demand.  The opposition leader, Sheikh Hasina, is calling for the 
immediate resignation of the government and has threatened to use street 
demonstrations to achieve this end.  Political violence in the 
universities also continues. 

Through regular diplomatic contacts, the United States encourages the 
government and opposition to engage in a more productive dialogue.  This 
is essential to resolving the current crisis.  Adherence to the laws and 
constitution of Bangladesh is vital for the survival and development of 
democracy there. 

The United States also provides assistance to strengthen democratic 
institutions.  Many Bangladesh parliamentarians have received USAID- and 
USIA-funded training in the United States, and a variety of exchange 
programs are designed to broaden the exposure of Bangladesh's academic, 
political, labor, and military leaders to the concepts of Western 
democracy and human rights.  This year we provided about $2.5 million 
for these programs. 

Compared with its predecessors, the current Bangladesh Government has 
improved human rights practices.  There is substantial freedom of the 
press, the judiciary acts independently of government influence at the 
appellate level and above, and the government has held a number of free 
and fair elections at the local and national levels as well as 
parliamentary by-elections. 

However, the government's early response to the controversy over the 
Bangladeshi feminist writer, Taslima Nasreen, has raised new questions 
about protection of the rights of freedom of speech and religion in 
Bangladesh.  The U.S. repeatedly urged the Bangladesh Government to 
safeguard Ms. Nasreen's right to free speech and to protect her from the 
death threats of extremists.  We were relieved to learn earlier this 
week that she was allowed to leave the country after having been granted 
bail on charges of insulting religious beliefs.  In addition, 
Bangladesh's Special Powers Act, which allows for lengthy detention 
without charge, has been used by the government against its political 
opponents.  The Anti-Terrorism Law, which sets up special tribunals for 
a wide range of crimes, also raises concerns due to its vague language, 
but thus far it does not appear that it is being abused. 

In sum, Mr. Chairman, the democratic institutions of Bangladesh, while 
off to a promising start, are facing significant challenges.  This is to 
be expected as part of the growing pains of a new democracy.  Experience 
with the democratic system is still limited and institutions often are 
fragile.  However, the development of an educated and informed 
electorate, vital to the democratization process, goes on.  The United 
States will continue to support the process of democratization through 
diplomatic efforts and assistance to strengthen institutions, including 
Parliament, the courts, and the press. 

On the economic front, the United States continues to encourage and 
support the ongoing process of reform and development.  Since 
Bangladesh's independence in 1971, U.S. assistance has helped Bangladesh 
to reduce its population growth rate from 3% to 2.3%.  Infant death 
rates have gone from 200 per thousand to less than 100 per thousand.  
Significant progress has been made in providing electricity and a 
fertilizer distribution system to rural areas.  A country once called a 
basket case is now self-sufficient in rice production. 

In spite of the notable success in curbing population growth rates, half 
the country's population today is under the age of 15.  As a result, 
Bangladesh's population is expected to double within the next 30 years, 
even with the lowered birth rates.  Another sobering statistic is that 
it is likely to take 75 years for the population to stabilize.  Dramatic 
economic growth will be needed to generate sufficient jobs.  We are 
pleased that increasing numbers of Bangladeshis are accepting a greater 
role for the private sector in the economy as the surest way to increase 
the rate of economic growth and development.  As a result of reforms 
already made, inflation is down and foreign currency reserves have 
increased.  However, much remains to be done. 


United States policy toward Nepal reflects the Administration's larger 
foreign policy agenda.  We are committed to: 

--  First, promoting democracy and respect for human rights; --  Second, 
increasing economic growth and opportunity, including trade and 
investment for U.S. goods and services; and --  Third, addressing such 
global challenges as population growth and threats to the environment. 

Nepal's fledgling democracy is now undergoing a time of testing.  Due 
largely to splits within the ruling Congress party, the government fell 
in mid-July.  Prime Minister Koirala now heads a caretaker government, 
pending scheduled elections on November 13.  Although democracy was 
restored in Nepal only four years ago, the Nepalis appreciate fully the 
significance of this test to their democratic institutions.  All parties 
seem committed to participating in the election process and operating 
within the framework of the constitution. 

The leftist opposition has organized some protests and strikes and more 
are planned this month.  Such protests  may well continue until the 
elections in November.  So far, these protests have remained largely 
non-violent, with restraint shown by both demonstrators and police.  
Ambassador Vogelgesang has met with leaders of  all the major parties 
and factions, underscoring the need for continued commitment to the 
democratic process and urging all parties to forego violence.  We are 
reminding all concerned that Nepalis should not let violence on the 
streets define their democratic destiny. 

While recent developments are cause for some concern, we believe that 
there is strong Nepalese commitment to preserving democracy.  The major 
issues are now predictable ones for this stage in democracy:  how can 
government meet the high expectations of the citizenry, and how can 
party politicians shift gears from lives often spent in exile or jail to 
the nitty-gritty of compromise in a parliamentary system? 

Another issue is whether Nepal can hold free and fair elections.  Based 
on the record of their first national and local elections, the prospects 
look good.  To that end, senior government officials have indicated they 
would welcome international observers. 

Regarding economic growth and opportunity, Nepal has made remarkable 
progress.  The year 1994 has been the best year in a decade for the 
Nepalese economy, with 7.8% real economic growth.  Agricultural 
production increased by 7.7%, led by record food, cash crop, and fruit 
and vegetable harvests.  Growth has been broad-based, with strong 
performances in cottage industries, construction, transport, and 
financial services.  Inflation remains at a single-digit level. 

The Government of Nepal, assisted by an active USAID program and strong 
cooperation between the Nepalese and the donor community, has undertaken 
an ambitious liberalization program.  This program should further 
enhance economic prospects in Nepal, including U.S. exports.  Although 
much more needs to be done, we are pleased by progress in liberalizing 
foreign exchange and banking regulations, tax reform, and privatization 
of public enterprises.  The U.S. ambassador chairs quarterly meetings of 
a newly formed American Business Forum, to facilitate investment and 
trade for U.S. companies--especially in such promising areas as 
hydropower, tourism, and the aviation sector. 

Hydropower is Nepal's most significant natural resource.  The Nepalese 
have yet to tap even 1% of that potential for clean energy, despite the 
fact that only 10% of Nepal's people have access to electric power and 
the fact that power shortages place increasingly critical constraints on 
the nation's growth.  We are encouraging the Nepalese to pursue a 
diversified energy strategy, with private-public partnerships exploring 
opportunities for micro, medium, and large energy projects for use in 
Nepal and the broader South Asian market. 

Although Nepal remains one of the world's poorest nations, it is 
important to keep in perspective the gains that have been made since the 
country opened to the world in 1951.  We are proud to have worked with 
the people of Nepal, primarily through the programs of USAID and the 
Peace Corps, to achieve, inter alia, a 56% drop in infant mortality, a 
37% increase in literacy, and an 80% increase in agricultural 

In the area of global challenges, we continue to support Nepal.  All 
parts of the U.S. mission accord priority attention to environmental 
challenges--from serious air and water pollution in Kathmandu to 
deforestation throughout the nation.  Much of the USAID program focuses 
on such issues as family planning and the growing threat of the AIDS 
epidemic in South Asia.  We maintain active collaboration with the royal 
Nepalese army, which has made an extraordinary contribution to  United 
Nations peace-keeping since the 1970s.  The United States, and indeed 
the entire international community--greatly appreciate and respect 
Nepal's courageous commitment on behalf of global peace-keeping. 

Sri Lanka 

The primary concerns of the United States in Sri Lanka are promoting a 
peaceful solution to the civil conflict, improving the human rights 
situation, and expanding our economic relationship. 

Sri Lanka has been a functioning democracy since independence in 1947.  
However, the democratic process has been tested continually by the 
ongoing civil war.  Sri Lanka recently passed a very difficult test 
following the tragic assassinations last year of the President and one 
of the main opposition leaders.  Parliament quickly elected a new 
president, and democratic governance continued without interruption.  
Just a few weeks later, the country held nation-wide provincial council 
elections without serious incident. 

In a few days, the country will hold parliamentary elections, and, by 
the end of the year, Sri Lankans will elect a new president.  By all 
accounts the democratic process is thriving--a vigorous election 
campaign is underway.  We are, however, concerned that some random acts 
of violence have marred this election period.  The Sri Lankan Government 
has requested election observers, including several Americans, for the 
August polling and is likely to do so again for the presidential poll.  
We look forward to working with whoever wins the elections as they 
tackle Sri Lanka's problems. 

Tamil grievances date back to at least the mid-1950s and concern 
discrimination over language and job quotas, among other issues.  In the 
conflict with Tamil separatists, there is a stalemate after more than 10 
years of fighting in the north and east.  Government forces do not have 
the strength to wrest control of the Jaffna Peninsula in the north from 
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam.  The LTTE, in turn, lacks the 
capability to loosen the government's grip on the eastern coast. 

Efforts to advance a political solution are also stalemated.  The LTTE's 
core demand remains the establishment of a separate state in northeast 
Sri Lanka.  The group continues to engage in terrorism as well as 
conventional military activity in pursuit of that goal.  With upcoming 
elections, the government is reluctant to risk peace initiatives.  When 
a new government is in place, we will continue our ongoing efforts to 
urge all sides to explore a political settlement. 

We believe that the key to settling the conflict peacefully is only by 
devising ways to devolve power.  Local-body elections held in the east 
in March were the first step toward meaningful devolution of power in 
that troubled area.  We hope that, through mutual confidence-building 
measures, the government and the LTTE could come to trust each other 
enough to have productive discussions.  We have long held that the 
conflict can be resolved only when all the relevant parties--not just 
the government and the LTTE--come to the table.  This includes other 
Tamil groups, opposition parties, and representatives of the Muslims.  
We think that this is achievable through the democratic process and are 
pleased to see it thriving in Sri Lanka. 

Much preparatory work needs to be done before meaningful negotiations 
can take place.  Until this work has gotten well under way, the 
possibility of mediation by the U.S. or any other outsider is severely 
limited.  We are doing what we can to encourage establishment of the 
necessary conditions for such talks.  This has included exposing both 
sides to concepts and techniques of conflict resolution; pressing both 
parties to initiate a meaningful, good- faith dialogue on confidence-
building measures; and supporting election efforts and encouraging 
strong elected provincial and local bodies. 

We are working to ensure that the government keeps up the momentum on 
human rights reforms, and also urging that the LTTE stop using violence 
against innocent civilians to further its goals.  The human rights 
situation has improved in Sri Lanka since the end of the appallingly 
violent conflict from 1988 to 1990 between the government and the JVP--a 
Sinhalese Maoist organization--although the ongoing conflict with the 
LTTE has also involved abuses on both sides. 

Reported disappearances have dropped from thousands between 1987 and 
1991 to 200 in 1992 and roughly 70 in the first nine months of 1993.  
However, in spite of the real progress, some practices--such as the use 
of torture--continue, and there is inadequate prosecution and punishment 
of human rights violators.  We have had a frank and productive dialogue 
with the Sri Lankan Government on these issues. 

The Sri Lankan economy is enjoying a 6% growth rate, despite the 
continued drain of the war.  We wish to see Sri Lanka continue its 
progress on economic reform and we look for increased opportunities for 
U.S. trade and investment.  A number of U.S. companies have bid on 
infrastructure development projects.  Our embassy  sponsored an American 
trade fair last year as well as other trade promotion events.  In the 
past few years, we have signed a bilateral investment treaty, an 
intellectual property rights agreement, and have established a U.S. 
chamber of commerce.  Both major political parties have declared support 
for economic reform.   


Treaty Actions 


Articles of agreement of the International Bank for Reconstruction and 
Development, formulated at the Bretton Woods Conference July 1-22, 1944.  
Opened for signature at Washington Dec. 27, 1945; entered into force 
Dec. 27, 1945.  TIAS 1502; 60 Stat. 1440. 
Acceptance:  Eritrea, July 6, 1994. 

Articles of agreement of the International Monetary Fund, formulated at 
the Bretton Woods Conference July 1-22, 1944.  Opened for signature at 
Washington Dec. 27, 1945; entered into force Dec. 27, 1945.  TIAS 1501; 
60 Stat. 1401. 
Acceptance:  Eritrea, July 6, 1994. 

Instrument for the amendment of the constitution of the International 
Labor Organization.  Done at Montreal Oct. 9, 1946.  Entered into force 
Apr. 20, 1948.  TIAS 1868; 62 Stat. 3485. 
Acceptance:  South Africa, May 26, 1994. 

Patents  International convention for the protection of new varieties of 
plants of Dec. 2, 1961, as revised.  Done at Geneva Oct. 23, 1978.  
Entered into force Nov. 8, 1981.  TIAS 10199; 33 UST 2703. 
Accession:  Austria, June 14, 1994. 

Racial Discrimination International convention on the elimination of all 
forms of racial discrimination.  Done at New York Dec. 21, 1965.  
Entered into force Jan. 4, 19691.  Senate advice and consent to 
ratification:  June 24, 19942. 

World Heritage  Convention concerning the protection of the world 
cultural and natural heritage.  Done at Paris Nov. 23, 1972.  Entered 
into force Dec. 17, 1975.  TIAS 8226; 27 UST 37. 
Acceptance:  Burma, Apr. 29, 1994. 


Agreement concerning economic, technical, and related assistance.  
Signed at Zagreb May 6, 1994.  Entered into force provisionally, May 6, 
1994; definitively, on the first day of the first month after Parties 
exchange notes confirming that they have completed their respective 
internal requirements. 

Agreement for the continuous processing of composite propellants, with 
annexes.  Signed at Paris and Washington Apr. 5 and May 16, 1994.  
Entered into force May 16, 1994. 

Agreement amending and extending the memorandum of understanding of Apr. 
14, 1989, for cooperative projects of research and development in the 
field of high energy laser technology.  Signed at Washington and Bonn 
Apr. 7 and May 26, 1994.  Entered into force May 26, 1994.  

Agreement regarding the consolidation and rescheduling of certain debts 
owed to, guaranteed by, or insured by the United States Government and 
its agency, with annexes.  Signed at Nairobi July 1, 1994.  Enters into 
force following signature and receipt by Kenya of written notice from 
the U.S. that all necessary domestic legal requirements have been 

Agreement for cooperation on environmental protection in defense 
matters.  Signed at Baltimore May 19, 1994.  Entered into force May 19, 
1994. Russian Federation Memorandum of understanding on cooperation in 
geoscience, with annexes.  Signed at Washington June 23, 1994.  Entered 
into force June 23, 1994. 

Memorandum of understanding on basic scientific research cooperation, 
with annexes.  Signed at Washington June 23, 1994.  Entered into force 
June 23, 1994. 

Memorandum of understanding on cooperation in transportation, science, 
and technology, with annex.  Signed at Washington June 23, 1994.  
Entered into force June 23, 1994.  

Saudi Arabia  
Agreement extending the technical cooperation agreement of Feb. 13, 
1975, as amended and extended.  Signed at Washington Apr. 27, 1994.  
Entered into force Apr. 27, 1994; effective Feb. 13, 1995. 

Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation, with annex.  
Signed at Madrid June 10, 1994.  Entered into force provisionally June 
10, 1994; definitively, upon an exchange of notes in which the parties 
have notified each other that they have completed their internal 

Memorandum of understanding on scientific and technical cooperation in 
the fields of standards and metrology.  Signed at Gaithersburg and Kiev 
May 20 and 28, 1994.  Entered into force May 28, 1994. 

1  Not in force for the U.S. 
2  With reservations, understanding, declaration, and a proviso.   



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