U.S. Department of State 
Dispatch Volume 7, Numbers 1, 2, 3, January 1996 
Bureau of Public Affairs 
 

NOTICE TO READERS:  The production schedule for Dispatch Magazine was 
disrupted by the Federal Government furlough that began on December 16, 
1995.  This Dispatch issue, therefore, combines the contents of Volume 
7, issues 1,2,3. 
 
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE 
1. The Middle East Peace Talks: A Progress Report--Secretary Christopher 
2. Middle East Peace Process: Syria And Israel; the Palestinian 
Authority--Secretary Christopher, Israeli Prime Minister Peres, PLO 
Chairman Arafat 
3. The Americas in the 21st Century: Defining U.S. Interests--Alexander 
F. Watson  
 
 
ARTICLE 1: 
 
The Middle East Peace Talks: A Progress Report 
Secretary Christopher 
 
Opening statement at on-the-record briefing en route to Shannon, 
Ireland, January 9, 1996 (introductory remarks deleted) 
 
I thought I might just say a few words and take a few questions.  
 
When we were here before, I guess it was the 17th of December that we 
came out, Prime Minister Peres said it would be a new beginning and 
indeed, I think it was a new beginning. The talks at the Wye Plantation 
had a number of new and positive elements. 
 
First, all the issues were on the table, which was very significant. In 
the past, we had been dealing with the issues sequentially. It is much 
more satisfactory to do it this way because it is possible for the 
parties to see the trade-offs and see the possible interaction of one 
aspect against another aspect. 
 
Second, the atmosphere was much better than in the prior meetings 
between the parties--much less stiff, much less formal, much more 
congenial. In the prior meetings in Washington, the generals were so 
formal. They did not take meals together. They simply had quite stiff 
sessions with each other. The atmosphere at the Wye Plantation was very 
conducive to friendly exchanges, and when I went out there--I spent 
about four hours on Thursday night--I could see the relationships had 
warmed up and greatly improved and the parties had really begun to know 
each other and deal on a human basis, which is always vital and helpful. 
That led to what I might call another important factor, and that was a 
problem-solving approach to issues. This time, when a sticking point 
would arise, the parties would try to resolve it together--whereas in 
the past, problems would arise and they would paralyze the parties, and 
we would sometimes take weeks or months to work our way through problems 
that were not all that difficult. This common sense of problem-solving, 
I think, was highly desirable. 
 
Finally, there was a pervasive feeling about how essential the United 
States is and will be. Both the parties think that United States 
involvement is critical on many different aspects of the negotiations. 
They are very anxious to be reassured that President Clinton is 
committed to this track, and I was able to give them the strongest 
assurance of that. When asked whether I was prepared to devote the 
necessary time, I assured them that I was.  
 
So, I will be going back to meet with Messrs. Peres and Asad, discussing 
with them the reports on the Wye Plantation they have received from Uri 
Savir and Walid Mualem prior to my meeting with them. I am sure they 
will want to hear our impressions and we will discuss together the next 
steps. When I left the region in December, I told them we would try to 
assess how these meetings had gone and we would consider what might be 
the next steps, always having in mind that we need to accelerate the 
pace. We have come to a critical point in the negotiations where we need 
to coalesce on some of the main issues. We need to bring them together 
and move forward at an intensified pace. One of the things that came out 
of the Wye Plantation was the desire on the part of both parties to 
intensify their involvement, and they want the United States to 
intensify its involvement in the endeavor. 
 
I cannot tell you very much until I have had the meetings in Jerusalem, 
Tel Aviv, and Damascus, which we are proceeding to very rapidly. Nick 
can give you more of the details, but I expect to be meeting with Prime 
Minister Peres shortly after our arrival Wednesday morning. I'll be glad 
to take some of your questions. (###) 
 
 
 
ARTICLE 2: 
 
Middle East Peace Process: Syria and Israel; the Palestinian Authority 
Secretary Christopher, Israeli Prime Minister Peres, PLO Chairman Arafat 
 
U.S.-Israel Discussions 
Focus on Syrian Track 
 
Opening statements by Secretary Christopher and Israeli Prime Minister 
Peres at a press conference following their meeting, Jerusalem, January 
10, 1996. 
 
Prime Minister Peres. Ladies and gentlemen: I would like to thank very 
much the Secretary of State for what appeared to be a highly successful 
encounter between the Syrian delegation and the Israeli delegation, with 
the participation of the peace team of the United States at Wye 
Plantation. Our feelings are very positive about this meeting. We think 
it was an important start between Syria and ourselves on a road that may 
lead to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East--to the end of all the 
wars.  
 
We did not solve all of the problems, but we have initiated, all of us, 
a new spirit where the two delegations did not exchange conditions but 
exchanged views--and where a serious attempt was made by the three 
delegations--the United States, Syria, and Israel--to find a common 
ground upon which we can conduct our negotiations. So with this start, 
but not with all solutions in our hands, the Secretary intends to go on 
to Syria just to have a consultation which, I believe, will also be done 
in a constructive nature and in an exceedingly friendly and open way. I 
want to thank the Secretary for what took place and wish him a bon 
voyage to his next destination.  
 
I also would like to extend thanks from the Government of Israel to 
President Clinton for following so closely, so intimately, and so 
positively the process of peace which may encrown[sic] already a long 
way to change the condition, the nature, and the outlook of the Middle 
East. Mr. Secretary, I thank you very much. 

 
Secretary Christopher. Mr. Prime Minister, thank you. It is always a 
pleasure to return to Israel, even more so today when Washington is 
buried under several feet of ice and snow. This is a very important day 
here in Israel with the visit of King Hussein to Tel Aviv to dedicate a 
hospital wing in honor of Yitzhak Rabin, which is a reflection of the 
fact that peace between Israel and Jordan is not an abstraction but a 
living reality. I really can't think of any better tribute by King 
Hussein to his friend Yitzhak Rabin than to travel here to Israel and to 
honor him at a place--a hospital--whose sole purpose is the saving of 
human life.  
 
The Prime Minister and I have had an important, initial set of 
discussions here in the early afternoon, the first of a series of 
discussions that I will have over the next several days here and in 
Damascus. While we touched on all aspects of the peace process, 
including Palestinian aspects, certainly the focus of our discussion was 
on the Syrian track. As the Prime Minister said when I was here in 
December, we have a new beginning, and certainly the conference at the 
Wye Center was a reflection of the fact that we have entered a new stage 
in the negotiations and, as the Prime Minister has said, a successful 
effort in that regard. There is now a much more meaningful dialogue 
between the parties than there has been in the past, with an 
unmistakable effort on the part of the parties to find pragmatic 
solutions to the many difficult problems that remain, although there are 
very serious gaps. I arrived here in a hopeful frame of mind. In my 
meetings here and in Damascus, we will be talking about the next steps. 
But I want to emphasize that the over-riding purpose of the United 
States is to assist the parties and assist Israel in obtaining a lasting 
and secure peace. Our objective is nothing less than to end Israel's 
conflict--not just with Syria, but with all of her Arab neighbors--to 
develop a new framework of cooperation that extends to this entire 
region.  
 
The parties are counting on the United States to help achieve this goal 
of a comprehensive peace, and I can assure you, Mr. Prime Minister, that 
the United States is ready for that responsibility. President Clinton 
and I are determined to do our part to carry out that responsibility. We 
are going  to intensify our efforts to do everything we can to ensure 
that Israel achieves peace with security. Thank you very much. 

 
A New Effective Mechanism For Israel-Syria Negotiations and for 
Accelerated Progress 
 
Opening statement by Secretary Christopher at a press conference 
following a meeting with Syrian President Asad, Damascus, Syria, January 
12, 1996. 
 
Good evening. I have just had an important and productive four-hour 
meeting with President Asad. In my last trip, I said that I would come 
back to the region after the completion of the talks in Maryland and 
report on and discuss the talks with the two leaders here and talk about 
next steps; that is what I have done today.  
 
It is clear that the negotiations at the conference center in Maryland 
have ushered in a new phase with the negotiations between Israel and 
Syria. They created a new basis for genuine progress. I will now 
summarize the results of my discussions here in Damascus today as well 
as the earlier discussions in Jerusalem. 
 
It is clear from my discussions in both cities that we established a new 
effective mechanism for negotiations and for accelerated progress--a 
mechanism that includes intensive direct negotiations at the conference 
center in Maryland, followed up by my visits to the region for further 
discussions with Prime Minister Peres and President Asad. For the time 
being, that seemed a very effective mechanism for moving forward. To 
that end, both President Asad and Prime Minister Peres had agreed that 
the negotiations at the conference center in Maryland will resume on 
January 24 for a period of about the same length as the first 
negotiations at the conference center.  
 
Both leaders have felt that the former atmosphere in which the 
discussions were held in Maryland contributed to a new and pragmatic 
approach to the resolution of this problem between the two countries. At 
the same time, the two leaders have agreed that the core group in the 
negotiations at the conference center could be expanded by appropriate 
experts as necessary to make the negotiations the most effective. At the 
forthcoming negotiations, which begin on January 24, the core group--the 
original negotiating group will be augmented by military experts on both 
sides. 
 
As I did before, I will be following the negotiations very closely. I 
will probably participate in some of them, and then I am likely to 
return to the region after negotiations to review next steps with the 
two leaders here. I said several times in the past that I will not 
publicly get into the substance of the negotiations, and I intend to 
adhere to that, because to do so would literally change the character of 
the negotiations. However, I think that it is appropriate today to note 
that the leaders of both countries have recognized that if peace is to 
be durable between Israel and Syria, it must be comprehensive in nature. 
Both see a peace agreement between Syria and Israel as bringing an end 
to the conflict between Syria, between Israel and the Arab States. Both 
see that an agreement between Israel and Syria will result in a widening 
of the circle of peace. Both leaders agree that it is important for them 
as well as for the United States to marshal support for an agreement, 
the one that has been reached from within the region as well as beyond.  
 
I believe that we have crossed an important threshold on these 
negotiations. I do not want to minimize all the difficulties and 
challenges that lie ahead for, obviously, there is much hard work to be 
done. At the same time, I believe that both President Asad and Prime 
Minister Peres are determined to see that the work is completed. The 
United States is certainly determined to assist. President Clinton and I 
will continue to make every effort to try to achieve an agreement 
between the parties before the end of the year.  

 
U.S. Democratic and Economic Support to the Palestinian Authority 
 
Opening remarks by Secretary Christopher and PLO Chairman Arafat at a 
press conference following their meeting, Erez, Gaza, January 13, 1996. 
 
Chairman Arafat. We have to thank His Excellency for this visit, 
especially in these very important circumstances one week before our 
elections. We  thank His Excellency for his efforts, including the 
participation of a high delegation from America to supervise and to 
arrange the elections of the Palestinian Council. At the same time, we 
had an opportunity to discuss in detail these elections and some of the 
problems we are facing and to ask His Excellency to facilitate for us 
the  problems with the Israelis concerning Hebron and other places. At 
the same time, I have the opportunity to thank His Excellency for what 
he is doing to push the peace process--not only with the Palestinians, 
not only with the Jordanians, not only with the Egyptians, but also with 
the Syrians and the Lebanese--so that we can have a comprehensive, 
lasting, peaceful solution in the whole area. At the same time, I have 
to thank [former] President Carter who will come to participate with us, 
heading the American team for the elections. 
 
Please convey to His Excellency President Clinton, [thanks] for his 
permanent support, which we have received especially from your side 
during the economic conference which took place in Paris recently. At 
the same time, I explained to His Excellency the entire situation here 
in the Palestinian territories and the difficulties we face from an 
economic point of view. He also promised that he would continue to 
support us according to what His Excellency, President Clinton, started-
-to push the donors, by all means, to continue to implement their 
promises. Thank you, Your Excellency. 

 
Secretary Christopher. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman and I  
had planned to get together last Tuesday in Paris at the donors' 
conference. Unfortunately, the weather in Washington made that 
impossible. So, I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for rearranging your schedule 
so we could meet here this morning.  
 
As you know, the donors' conference in Paris was very successful. The 
conference's core list of projects of $550 million was oversubscribed by 
about $240 million. I think that is a reflection of the international 
community's desire to support this effort in Gaza and the West Bank.  
 
For its part, the United States is well on its way to meeting its pledge  
of $500 million over a five-year period. We have disbursed already over 
one-half of our pledge, in addition to humanitarian assistance and motor 
vehicles that we have made available. In Paris, we allocated another  
$71 million for particular projects--water projects, educational 
projects, and other projects to meet the needs of the Palestinians. 
 
The conference marked a new phase in the development of the Palestinian 
economy, one that coincides with the new phase in the implementation of 
the interim agreement. The Palestinian Authority has done a good job in 
taking over responsibility for the major population centers in the West 
Bank. I think we recognize the importance of continuing to combat 
violence and terrorism, and I was very pleased this morning to have the 
Chairman once again emphasize his complete commitment to combating 
terrorism in all of the territories of the West Bank and Gaza. 
 
As we all know, as the Chairman just said, just one week from now there 
will be a major milestone when the Palestinians go to the polls to elect 
their governing council and their leader. We spent a good deal of time 
this morning discussing the elections, certainly a historic opportunity 
for the Palestinians to take the major step in building a democratic 
society. I want to congratulate the Chairman and the people of the area 
for their efforts in this regard. Of course, it is important that the 
elections be free and fair. And, as the Chairman has mentioned, there 
will be a number of groups observing the elections here. A United States 
group headed by former President Carter and, of course, our Consulate  
General in Jerusalem will be observing the elections as well. Elections 
will provide an opportunity to lead to the establishment of institutions 
of law--institutions carrying out democratic principles, including 
freedom of expression and the rule of law, respect for human rights, and 
a free market economy. 
 
Mr. Chairman, I assure you that President Clinton and the United States 
want to continue to work with you to achieve these important goals. 
Thank you very much. 

(###) 
 
 
 
ARTICLE 3: 
 
The Americas in the 21st Century: Defining U.S. Interests 
Alexander F. Watson, Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs 
 
Remarks before the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs, Baltimore, 
Maryland, December 14, 1995  
 
Thank you very much. I am delighted to be here to speak to all of you. 
Since the end of the Cold War, our country has experienced a growing 
debate over America's role in the world.  
 
In our country, there are some individuals--including some people 
running for President--who believe that the U.S. should pull back from 
its international engagement and commitments. These contemporary 
isolationists apparently have not learned the painful historical lessons 
of the 20th century. 
 
Just as American isolationism during the 1920s contributed to both the 
Great Depression and the onset of World War II, the isolationist 
impulses of today--if translated into policy-- could undermine the 
foundations of our national security and prosperity. Therefore, we 
Americans, in effect, have only one choice to make: Do we take firm 
actions to build the kind of international political and economic 
systems that will advance U.S. national interests, or do we step aside, 
cede our historic leadership role, and let other forces and actors shape 
events for us? 
 
While no country is more powerful or influential than our own, the fact 
remains that our relationship with the rest of the world is increasingly 
interdependent. Today, American business is international business, and 
American problems such as drugs, crime, illegal immigration, and 
environmental pollution and destruction are also international problems. 
To deny the linkage of our own prosperity and well-being to that of our 
neighbors is simply to deny reality. 
 
President Clinton--like all of his recent predecessors--has rightly 
chosen to place our nation firmly on the path of continued U.S. 
engagement and leadership in the world.  
 
While I am here to talk to you specifically about how the President's 
vision for our country has shaped our relations with the Western 
Hemisphere, I would be remiss if I did not briefly mention the 
importance of American leadership in another part of the world--Bosnia. 
 
As a result of the President's peace initiative, the fighting in Bosnia 
has stopped. We now have an opportunity to secure an enduring peace 
because of U.S. strength and U.S. diplomacy. The parties have taken 
risks for peace, and we must continue to support them. In the choice 
between peace and war, the United States must choose peace. We must 
uphold our ideals. We must keep our commitments. 
 
Just as the Bosnian peace agreement could not have been reached without 
American leadership, so, too, our progress in hemispheric relations 
derives from President Clinton's vision for ensuring the prosperity of 
the U.S. and its regional partners.We are already implementing our 
hemispheric blueprint for increasingly close and mutually beneficial 
political and economic relations. That blueprint is the Plan of Action 
of the Summit of the Americas. 
 
Almost exactly one year ago, the democratically elected leaders of the 
hemisphere met in Miami at President Clinton's invitation for this 
summit-- the first one since the gathering at Punta del Este in 1967, 
and the first ever exclusively of democratically chosen leaders of state 
and government. In Miami, they committed themselves to the creation of a 
hemispheric free trade zone by 2005 and to take a number of ambitious 
actions to strengthen democratic institutions, reduce poverty, and 
protect the environment. There is a great deal more at stake for 
Americans in the successful implementation of these commitments than 
many people realize. Let's start with dollars and cents. 
 
The Western Hemisphere--including Canada--is the most important regional 
market for U.S. exports. Through September 1995, total U.S. exports to 
the hemisphere this year exceed $160 billion, or more than one-third of 
U.S. worldwide merchandise trade. 
 
Latin America and the Caribbean alone comprise a huge and rapidly 
expanding market for U.S. companies. Between 1987 and 1994, U.S. exports 
to the region grew more than 150%, from $34.5 billion to $89 billion; 
43.5% of all goods imported by Latin American and Caribbean countries 
are U.S. products. 
 
Between 1990 and 1994, our exports to Latin America and the Caribbean 
increased by $36 billion. That is exactly three times more than our 
growth in export sales during the same period to Japan, China, and the 
countries of the European Union combined. 
 
I know that you here in Baltimore are particularly aware of the 
importance of international trade. Just a little less than 20 years ago, 
when the fleet of tall ships celebrating our nation's bicentennial 
sailed into Baltimore's harbor, they found largely dilapidated 
warehouses and little commerce on the waterfront. Not far from this 
hotel, watermelon boats docked at the current site of the World Trade 
Center. 
 
What has happened since that time is the perfect example of why 
international trade in general, and trade with the Western Hemisphere in 
particular, are important. The Port of Baltimore ranks as the nation's 
third-largest port in foreign tonnage, with goods going to and from our 
hemispheric trading partners representing 35% of the     26.2 million 
tons that passed through it in 1994. 
 
Goods coming from or going to Canada and Brazil together were 
responsible for almost 6 million tons, making them the first and second 
most important sources of harbor commerce. Four other regional trading 
partners--Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, and Colombia--are also among the top 
dozen tonnage leaders for the Port of Baltimore. Hemispheric trade is, 
therefore, responsible for a substantial portion of the $1.3 billion 
generated annually by the Port, as well as a significant percentage of 
the 87,000 jobs it supports. 
 
The State of Maryland also receives a big economic boost from its 
exports to the Western Hemisphere. The state sold $1.2 billion worth of 
goods to Canada and over $500 million to Latin America and the Caribbean 
in 1994. This combined $1.7 billion in exports is greater than 
Maryland's sales to the European Union, and almost twice the level of 
exports to the Pacific Rim--exclusive of Japan. Maryland's trade with 
the hemisphere grew by almost 75% between 1987 and 1994. 
 
These figures include goods produced by Maryland's Hughes Corporation, 
which sells telecommunications equipment. Hughes is taking advantage of 
the spectacular increase in the Latin American and Caribbean market for 
these American products, which topped $2.7 billion in 1994 and is 
expected to rise to a staggering total of $7.5 billion by the end of 
this year. It also included millions of dollars in sales generated by 
the Maryland-based components of such international corporations as 
Black and Decker, McCormick and Company, General Motors, and 
Westinghouse. 
 
Our Summit of the Americas goal of creating a hemispheric Free Trade 
Area of the Americas, which will expand trade with our neighbors, is 
clearly of interest to your city and state. Moreover, it is designed not 
just to lock in these gains, but to expand upon them. The success of 
NAFTA, in spite of Mexico's short-term problems, shows that we are on 
the right track. In 1994, the first year it was in effect, U.S. trade 
with our NAFTA partners increased 17%--more than $50 billion. 
U.S. trade with Mexico grew by one-fourth, rising from $80 billion in 
1993 to $100 billion in 1994. 
 
This trade translates into jobs--good jobs--which, in the U.S., pay an 
average of 17% more than positions in non-export industries. Exports to 
Mexico and Canada will support an estimated 3 million jobs this year, an 
increase of over half a million from 1993--the last year before NAFTA 
was implemented. NAFTA also ensured that Mexico would not close off its 
markets to U.S. producers during its current recession. In fact, while 
Mexico raised tariffs on goods from its other trading partners in 
response to the peso crisis, it actually lowered rates on U.S. goods, as 
required by NAFTA. As a result, 1995 U.S. exports to Mexico are still 
11% higher than in 1993--the last pre-NAFTA year--and U.S. companies 
have actually increased their market share of overall Mexican imports. 
 
This is what our move toward a Free Trade Area of the Americas is all 
about: creating high-wage jobs in good times and protecting them in bad. 
 
For that reason, the Administration has pushed ahead with the summit's 
free trade goals, despite sometimes harsh criticism. In addition to the 
multilateral discussions in post-summit trade meetings and ministerials, 
this means moving forward with plans to make Chile the fourth member of 
NAFTA. Although its market is small, Chile is not an insignificant 
economic partner. In fact, last year U.S. companies sold more to Chile's 
14 million people than they did to the 920 million citizens of India. 
 
Although passage of fast-track legislation has been delayed in the 
Congress, we and our NAFTA partners are pressing forward in discussions 
with Chile. Liberalization and expansion of trade is the central dynamic 
of our policy toward our neighbors. However, as we move toward this 
goal, we must remember that the Summit of the Americas' agenda seeks to 
change more than just the conditions of trade in the hemisphere. 
 
Some people have questioned why these other issues are important to the 
U.S. They ask why we should expend U.S. effort and tax dollars to 
strengthen democracy, reduce poverty, or preserve the environment in 
Latin America. How do our citizens benefit from this? 
 
Altruism and philanthropy aside, the United States derives important, 
long-term benefits from its efforts to address non-economic issues 
abroad. Illegal immigrants, illegal drugs, terrorism, polarizing civil 
conflict, and environmental destruction are the real threats we face 
when we do not work to improve conditions in our hemisphere. 
 
As the President said in his October 22 address at the United Nations: 
 
We can't free our own neighborhoods from drug-related crime without the 
help of countries where the drugs are produced. We can't track down 
terrorists without the assistance of other governments. We can't prosper 
or preserve the environment unless sustainable development is a reality 
for all nations. 
 
Fighting drugs and crime is one part of the Summit agenda to strengthen 
democratic institutions that clearly have a direct impact on every city 
and town in America. This year, we have seen some notable progress, such 
as the arrest of the leaders of the Cali cartel by Colombian 
authorities. However, the Summit of the Americas' agenda calls for much 
more. In addition to efforts to enhance cooperation and information 
sharing among the region's law enforcement organizations, the 
hemisphere's 34 democratic governments agreed on December 3 to adopt a 
strict series of measures to control money laundering in order to keep 
drug traffickers and other criminals from enjoying the profits of their 
illegal enterprise. 
 
We are also engaged in efforts to better control the flow of precursor 
chemicals used in narcotics production, and to assist in programs 
designed to reduce the production of crops used for the illegal drug 
trade. By participating in this process, the U.S. Government   is 
actively working to protect the lives of young people in America by 
helping to keep drugs off our streets, as well as ensuring that our 
neighbors and trading partners don't have their institutions infiltrated 
and corrupted by the drug traffickers and their henchmen. 
 
Combating corruption and improving the administration of justice also 
are part of our efforts to strengthen democracy among the Summit of the 
Americas partners and are of direct relevance to U.S. citizens. 
 
Why should this be important to people in America? Just ask the 
international businessman whose deal fell through because he was 
unwilling to bribe a local official. Ask a company like Reebok which 
cannot get the right to market products under its own name in one 
country, because of an overwhelmed and inefficient court system. Ask the 
traveler who has faced the petty corruption of a customs or law 
enforcement official. 
 
Corruption is a vice not unknown in our own society. However, we have 
long-standing mechanisms in place to deal with it when it occurs, as 
well as more than 200 years of solid, democratic tradition to guide us. 
Many of our regional partners are not as fortunate. 
 
Moreover, if we are to have a free trade zone in this hemisphere, 
corruption and judicial system inefficiency are problems that must be 
addressed. At present, they represent major drags on the ability of all 
citizens of the region to conduct their affairs in an atmosphere of 
openness and trust. They create more than economic disincentives, they 
strike at the very heart of the notion of equality before the law, which 
is an essential component of any well-functioning democratic society. As 
Peruvian Foreign Minister Tudela told me on a recent visit, "the biggest 
enemy of social justice is corruption." 
 
Summit actions designed to reduce poverty in the region also have 
similar benefits for the United States. For our hemisphere to be stable 
and prosperous, something must be done to address the stark economic 
inequalities suffered by the populations of many countries. Once again, 
this is in our  own self-interest. By improving the standard of living 
in the hemisphere, we are increasing the demand for U.S. goods and 
services, as well as ensuring social peace and political stability. 
 
Ensuring "stability" may sound rather abstract, but what it means is 
reducing the kinds of economic, social, and political tensions that have 
resulted in massive outflows of illegal migrants or have plunged our 
hemisphere into coups and internal conflicts into which we are often 
drawn at significant expense.  
 
Preventing such problems will require the judicious use of foreign aid. 
While foreign aid may not be the most popular way to spend American tax 
dollars, the small amount dedicated to aid programs is an essential 
insurance policy against future unrest. 
 
Our summit initiatives on the environment flow naturally from our 
efforts to reduce poverty and enhance economic opportunity. Just as our 
communities have zoning laws to ensure that growth and expansion occur 
in an orderly manner that is in the long-range interest of its 
residents, so our environmental initiatives seek to ensure that today's 
economic development does not produce problems down the road. 
 
Working with our summit partners, we are engaged in efforts to ensure 
that economic developments are forward-looking and designed to make the 
best use of our natural resources while simultaneously preserving them 
for future generations. Once again, this goal makes good sense for 
America. In addition to the social benefits of ensuring biodiversity and 
preserving natural resources for future generations, American companies 
benefit directly from these initiatives. In fact, sales of American 
environmental equipment and services to the region--exclusive of Canada-
-is expected to grow from $4 billion in 1993 to almost $7 billion by 
1998, due to new environmental regulations and increased enforcement. 
 
U.S. firms are currently engaged in such diverse projects as wastewater 
treatment plants in Sao Paulo, automobile emissions inspection systems 
in Mexico, and dairy industry waste disposal in Argentina. 
 
Our summit environmental initiative for sustainable energy development 
has also led to a partnership between the U.S. and Central American 
countries to reduce greenhouse gasses. 
 
Venezuela--now our number one foreign oil supplier--has pushed ahead 
with efforts to open up its energy sector to new, environmentally 
friendly investments, to the benefit of U.S. companies. Colombia's 
expanding energy sector has also provided new opportunities for 
Maryland's Crown Petroleum Corporation. 
 
As we move ahead to meet the goals set forth in the summit's Plan of 
Action, there will be some bumps in the road. Still, I hope my remarks 
today have given you a better understanding of the U.S. Government's 
efforts to ensure the kind of mutually beneficial relations in our 
hemisphere that will help guarantee the prosperity of the United States 
now and in the future. There is no turning back. Were we to stop this 
process and throw up barriers to greater trade and interaction, we would 
only succeed in stifling our own talents and initiatives. We cannot 
shackle the economic dynamism which will be released as the hemisphere 
is integrated. 
 
I want to assure you that I and my colleagues at the State Department 
and in our diplomatic missions throughout Latin America will continue to 
make every effort to achieve the goals of the summit and translate them 
into benefits for the American people. 
 
Our task is not an easy one, especially in the face of Congressional 
budget actions which have reduced international affairs spending by 45% 
in real terms in the last decade. While the worldwide foreign affairs 
operating budget is just 1.3% of all Federal Government spending, 
Congress has proposed cutting it by as much as 20% more this year. 
 
The members of the Foreign Service in Latin America and the Caribbean 
will continue working as best they can to give the American people the 
support they need and deserve, and to advance our national interests at 
this critical juncture in hemispheric relations. 
 
We must and we will move ahead. Our blueprint is visionary, yet fully 
grounded in the political and economic facts of our hemisphere. With 
your help, we shall succeed in making it a reality.  

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[END DISPATCH VOL 7, NOS. 1, 2, 3]
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Index of Dispatch Magazine Archives 1996 Issues|| Index of Dispatch Magazine Archives|| Index of "Briefings and Statements"
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Last modified: Jun. 8, 1999