U.S. Department of State
Dispatch Volume 7, Number 26, June 24, 1996
Bureau of Public Affairs


1. Recent Foreign Policy Developments - Secretary Christopher
2. Russian Election Results - President Clinton
3. Bosnia After Dayton - Anthony Lake
4. America's World Leadership Role: Benefits and Responsibilities - 
Samuel R. Berger 
5. Developments in the Middle East - Robert H. Pelletreau
6. Vietnam: U.S. Commitment to the Fullest Possible Accounting of 
POW/MIAs - Kent M. Wiedemann 


Recent Foreign Policy Developments
Secretary Christopher
Opening Statement at a press conference, Washington, DC, June 17, 1996

Good afternoon. As you all know, there have been a number of very 
important developments in the field of foreign policy in just the last 
few hours and days. I want to comment on each of them, beginning with 
the Russian elections.

Yesterday's presidential election was a significant milestone for the 
Russian people. More than 85 million Russians cast ballots, their first 
chance ever to choose the leader of their country. Preliminary 
indications are that the process went quite smoothly. The observers who 
were there are offering comments to that effect. Of course, we will be 
receiving further comments from the monitors.

Our policy toward Russia is deeply rooted in American interests. We have 
engaged with the Russian Government intensively to pursue our security 
interests, to pursue foreign policy cooperation--with significant 
benefits to the United States, to Russia, and to the world.

We also, of course, want to see democracy take root because that will 
benefit the Russian people and the American people as well.

Our approach to the runoff will be the same as our approach to the first 
round. We will continue to stress our support for the democratic process 
and for political and economic reform.

Our expectation is that all parties will abide by the eventual outcome. 
We will remain determined to pursue American interests as well as we 
watch the situation, whatever the results of the election.

Let me now comment briefly on the situation regarding China. We spent an 
enormous effort in strengthening our relationship with China over the 
last several months and years because that relationship has a profound 
effect on the security and prosperity of the United States and of our 

Several hours ago, Acting USTR Representative Charlene Barshefsky 
announced in Beijing that we have reached agreement with China on the 
implementation of key provisions of the February 1995 agreement on the 
enforcement of intellectual property rights.

This is a sound and effective agreement. It will bring fundamental 
change to the enforcement of intellectual property rights in China. The 
agreement sets out a number of necessary and important actions that 
China is taking in four specific areas.

First, on factory closures--China has shut down 15 illegal compact-disk 
factories and prohibited the establishment of any new CD plants.

On enforcement--China has announced a sustained crackdown on illegal 
producers, distributors, and transporters.

On border enforcement--Chinese customs officials have agreed to new 
efforts against the export of pirated products, and they will stop the 
import of unauthorized CD production equipment.

Finally, on market access--the agreement will create new opportunities 
for American audiovisual and software companies in China's very rapidly 
growing market.

 The success of the intensive talks over the last several weeks and 
especially this weekend will help protect the jobs of American workers, 
it will help open new opportunities for American companies, and it will 
promote the integration of China into the global economy.

Let me conclude with some brief comments on the Middle East. Containing 
the threat proposed by Iraq to peace and stability in that region has 
been a critical priority for our Administration from the day that we 
took office.

Saddam Hussein continues to defy United Nations Security Council 
resolutions regarding his country. In recent days, we have seen once 
again a disturbing pattern of interference by Iraq with the inspection 
mission of the UN Special Commission led by Chairman Ekeus.

Today, I want to underscore what the Security Council declared on 
Friday: The denial of access to UNSCOM constitutes a flagrant violation 
of existing Resolutions 687, 707, and 715. UNSCOM, we believe, must 
receive immediate and unrestricted access to Iraqi facilities. Under the 
circumstances, we can accept no less.

Finally, let me just mention that I spoke to Israeli Prime Minister-
elect Netanyahu last Friday. As you know, he is completing the task of 
forming his government, although it is not finally complete yet. I look 
forward to meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his team in the 
near future. 


Russian Election Results
Statement by President Clinton, released by the White House, Office of 
the Press Secretary, Washington, DC, June 18, 1996

I spoke with President Yeltsin this morning and conveyed through him to 
the Russian people my warm congratulations on the election, which is a 
success for Russia as a whole.

On Sunday, more than 70 million Russian citizens--representing about 70% 
of the eligible voters--voted in the first round of the presidential 
election that will determine who will lead the Russian Federation for 
the next four years. They were able to choose among 10 candidates 
representing a wide range of political views in a contested election. 
Russian and international observers have reported nothing thus far to 
indicate any significant irregularities in the voting process.

This is an important milestone in Russia's history as a democracy and a 
welcome sign of just how far that country has come in a few short years. 
The run-off round will allow the Russian people to complete the process 
of electing their president.

A critical element of our post-Cold War relationship with Russia is its 
continuing development as a democracy. The United States will remain 
steady in its policy of active engagement with Russia to support 
political and economic reform and Russia's integration with the West. 



Bosnia After Dayton
Anthony Lake, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Address at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, June 14, 1996

Six months ago today in Paris, the leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 
Croatia, and Serbia made a fateful decision: to turn Bosnia from the 
horror of war to the promise of peace. 

Many of you in this room closely followed the Dayton negotiations that 
produced the peace accord. You know that literally until the last minute 
the outcome was in doubt--indeed, our negotiators had their bags packed 
and in the early morning hours were ready to head home without an 
agreement. But the Balkan leaders decided in the end to make peace. They 
did so because in the cold light of that Dayton dawn the alternative 
simply was too terrible to pursue: renewed war, with all the horrors 
that come with it--skeletal prisoners, mass graves, endless lines of 
refugees, economic chaos, international isolation, a wasted future. 

Understanding the alternatives makes it easier to take difficult steps, 
and since Dayton, that is what has kept the parties moving forward along 
the path to a lasting peace--slowly, grudgingly, sometimes two steps 
forward and one step back, but moving forward. For 31/2 years, the 
people of Bosnia lived the day-in, day-out destruction of war. These 
past six months, they have begun to enjoy the quiet blessings of peace. 
The more they understand the choice between war and peace--the starker 
it seems--the more likely peace will endure.

With that dynamic in mind, I'd like to discuss with you today what we've 
accomplished since Dayton, what we haven't accomplished, and the hard 
work that lies ahead. I don't want to play down the disappointments 
we've encountered so far or the difficulties we still have to face. 
Freedom of movement, of expression, and of association are not nearly as 
free as they should be. Indicted war criminals, most notably Radovan 
Karadzic and General Mladic, have not been turned over to the War Crimes 
Tribunal or fully withdrawn from authority. Fewer refugees have returned 
home than we would like. Economic activity is just resuming.

But I would ask everyone here first to step back for just a moment and 
look at the central facts: One year ago, war raged in Bosnia--the worst 
war in Europe since World War II. Today, there is peace--a very fragile, 
imperfect peace, to be sure, but peace. That change--from war to peace--
is the single-most important fact of life for the people of Bosnia. It 
means that killing fields are once again playgrounds; that cafes and 
marketplaces are full of life, not death; that running an errand doesn't 
mean running a death race against snipers and shells; that women are no 
longer prey to systematic campaigns of rape and terror; that the water 
and lights are on; and that there is shelter from the wind and the cold. 
Peace means all these very basic things. As we work to make sure peace 
endures, we must not lose sight of its reality.

Thus far, the peace has held because IFOR--the NATO Implementation 
Force--has done its carefully defined job--and done it very well. In the 
days after Dayton, when President Clinton committed 20,000 American 
troops to lead a 60,000-strong IFOR force, the skeptics predicted gloom 
and doom. They warned of terrorism, renewed fighting, American 
casualties, and embarrassing retreat. 

The reality has been the opposite. IFOR has maintained the cease-fire 
and compelled the parties to pull back their forces and weapons from a 
three-mile-wide separation zone without significant incident. Nearly all 
heavy weapons have been placed under IFOR supervision, and many will be 
destroyed as part of the arms control agreement to be signed in the next 
few days. Already, more than 100,000 soldiers not based in barracks have 
been demobilized. And hundreds of square miles of territory were 
transferred from one entity to another without a shot being fired.

IFOR also has stopped the widespread killing of civilians and restored 
security to Sarajevo, where people now walk the streets in safety. 
Virtually all prisoners of war have been released, and those few still 
in custody are being held as war crimes suspects. IFOR has moved 
aggressively to take down internal checkpoints and, while far from 
perfect, freedom of movement has improved--between 10,000 and 15,000 
people cross the boundary between the Bosnia-Croat Federation and the 
Serb Republic every day.

As the climate in Bosnia becomes more secure, humanitarian assistance 
and reconstruction efforts have begun--slowly--to improve the lives of 
its people. On the American side alone, we've already spent $86 million 
in "Quick Impact" aid the President announced after Dayton--restoring 
heat, hot water, and electricity and providing medicine and winter 
clothing for hundreds of thousands of Bosnians. The recent Donors' 
Conference in Brussels added $1.2 billion to the $600 million raised 
earlier for Bosnian economic recovery--including an American pledge of 
$200 million in reconstruction aid for this fiscal year, in addition to 
over $350 million in humanitarian aid, support for elections, demining, 
and other initiatives. 

As I speak to you, dozens of projects are underway--to build new 
housing; to rehabilitate utilities, schools, community centers; to fix 
roads and factories--that will have a tangible impact on the way people 
live. To cite just a few examples, we have a program up and running to 
repair 2,500 homes for 12,500 people in 44 villages which will also 
provide 2,000 new jobs. Next month, we will begin spending $70 million 
to rebuild Bosnia's economic infrastructure. And we'll start disbursing 
an equal amount in loans to small businesses and industrial enterprises 
to jump-start the economy, create jobs, and spur growth.

As President Clinton made clear in committing our troops to IFOR, the 
point of this extraordinary international effort is straightforward: to 
give the people of Bosnia the breathing room they need to begin to 
rebuild their lives and their land, and to give peace a chance to take 
on a life and logic of its own.

President Clinton has made equally clear what the point is not: It is 
not to take on responsibilities that are not our own and create in 
Bosnia an unsustainable dependency instead of giving its people a chance 
to act independently. The United States is not in the business of 
building other nations--but we can help nations build them- selves and 
give them time to make a start of it.

That's why the next step in the Dayton process--Bosnia-wide elections--
is so important. Only after elections are held will the constitution 
fully take effect; only after elections are held can the structures of a 
unified Bosnian state be created; only after elections are held will 
Bosnia have a parliament, a presidency, and a constitutional court that 
represent the interests of all the people of Bosnia, including the 
hundreds of thousands of refugees and millions of displaced persons; 
only after elections are held will government agencies be up and running 
and able to pursue foreign trade and oversee customs and immigration; 
only after elections are held can the promise of Dayton be shaped into a 
political reality.

A few hours ago in Florence, Bob Frowick, the head of the OSCE mission 
in Bosnia, recommended that the OSCE certify that conditions will be 
suitable for holding free and fair elections in Bosnia on September 14--
as called for in the Dayton Agreement. The Clinton Administration 
strongly supports that recommendation, and we hope and expect the OSCE 
will endorse it soon. 

Some people who share our goals in Bosnia disagree. They would postpone 
elections beyond the Dayton deadline because the parties have, as of 
this moment, failed to meet all the necessary conditions. Let me tell 
you why we believe they are wrong.

If you took a snapshot of Bosnia, would it show that conditions for fair 
elections exist right now? The answer is no. But that's the wrong 
picture to look at. Our focus should be on whether those conditions will 
exist by September 14. And if you switch from still frames to moving 
pictures and pan three months down the road, very different images of 
Bosnia begin to unfold. They would show people taking small, steady 
steps every day to put in place the mechanisms for free and fair 
elections--just as they have for the past six months by opening up new 
media outlets so more voices can be heard, by forming new political 
parties representing different points of view, by setting up local 
election committees to oversee voter registration. I believe those are 
the images we will see more and more often between now and election day. 
Here's why:

The very fact of setting an election date is a forcing event. It will 
concentrate the minds of the parties on the progress they must still 
make--and that they committed to in Dayton--to expand freedom of 
movement and association, open the news media to opposition candidates 
and viewpoints, give refugees and displaced persons the ability to vote 
and run for office in their original places of residence, and make sure 
that war criminals have no part in the electoral process. We will hold 
them to those commitments. And 3,200 international supervisors and 
monitors will make sure the elections themselves run smoothly and 

Some assert that elections risk cementing the hold of extremists on 
Bosnia and, in effect, partitioning the country. Well, it's a little 
hypocritical for those of us who wave democracy's banner around the 
world to say that just because you fear the possible result of an 
election, you shouldn't hold it. Besides, as the campaign proceeds and 
more voices and viewpoints are heard, the forces of tolerance will grow 
stronger. We will work hard to return more refugees and organize 
absentee voting. The sooner elections are held, the sooner people of 
different backgrounds will begin to work together and bridge some of the 
differences that divide them.

The argument that elections will hasten partition fails to explain how 
delaying them could possibly make things any better. On the contrary, it 
would make things worse for the Bosnian people. Without the incentive of 
an election and a deadline, we'd see less progress--not more--on freedom 
of movement, speech, and association and on refugee rights. Delay would 
freeze into place the status quo, prevent practical interaction between 
the Federation and the Serb Republic, rein- force extremism and promote 
separatism on all sides. As the Balkan leaders said in Geneva earlier 
this month: "Delay in the elections risks widening the divisions which 
continue to exist." 

You don't have to take their word for it--or mine for that matter. 
Listen to the people who matter most--the Bosnian people. Polls show 
that the average Bosnian--whether Muslim, Croat, or Serb--wants 
elections. Ninety-three percent of Bosnia's Muslims, 79% of the Croats, 
and an equal number of Bosnia's Serbs said elections are important. The 
overwhelming majority of each group intends to vote--93% of the Muslims, 
86% of the Croats, and 80% of the Serbs. So instead of making "the 
perfect" the enemy of the good, we should heed the will of the Bosnian 
people and move forward with elections. If they want to vote, we 
shouldn't stop them.

Some people point to the continued presence of Karadzic as reason enough 
to postpone elections. We all want him out of power, out of Bosnia and 
in The Hague to stand trial for war crimes. But let me remind you: Under 
the Dayton agreement, he can't run for public office. He can't hold 
public office. So even if he's still there come September, elections 
would guarantee his removal from official positions of authority. 
Postponing elections might, ironically, allow him to cling to power. 

There's been some confusion about what we've done and what we will do 
between now and election day to work for the removal of Karadzic and 
Mladic. First, we will continue to pressure President Milosevic to make 
good on his commitment in Dayton and strengthen alternative political 
forces within the Serb Republic.

And, to be very clear: IFOR has not been given the mission of hunting 
down indicted war criminals--indeed, the reason IFOR has been so 
successful so far is that we have insisted on limiting its mandate to 
clearly achievable military goals. But let there be no mistake: If IFOR 
comes into contact with Karadzic and Mladic, it will detain them. Now 
that IFOR has completed most of its military tasks, it will conduct more 
visible and wide-ranging security patrols throughout Bosnia. This will 
have the added benefit of restricting Karadzic and Mladic's freedom of 
movement. It will make their active participation in the election 
campaign extremely risky and extremely difficult.

Elections are a part of the beginning, not the end of the hard work 
required to bring democracy to Bosnia. After so much bloodshed and loss, 
there is no guarantee that Muslims, Croats, and Serbs will come together 
and stay together as citizens of a shared state with a common destiny. 
But the whole point of Dayton is to give them the chance to try. 
Elections are the necessary next step along the long, difficult road to 
a unified, peaceful Bosnia. If we let them slip, other crucial 
provisions of the Dayton plan could slip. And that's a slope we don't 
want to be on. Thus far, we've held to Dayton with fierce determination. 
Now, it is our responsibility to bring that same determination to making 
sure the elections in Bosnia are free and fair.

As we look to the elections and beyond, it is absolutely vital that we 
avoid the paralysis of pessimism. That's an affliction common to just 
about every difficult foreign policy initiative. If we had let it 
overcome us in Haiti, we never would have sent our troops to pave the 
way for democracy's return. After all, the chorus of Chicken Littles was 
deafening--Port-au-Prince will burn, Aristide will never return, the 
elections will never be held, Aristide won't step down, and so on. Well, 
Haiti still has a long way to go, but we can be very proud of what we 
achieved. The dictators are gone, democracy is back, the flow of 
refugees to our shores has stopped, and the Haitian people have their 
best chance ever to build a decent future in freedom.

In Bosnia, it's not hard to find places we've fallen short of our goals. 
The pace of economic reconstruction is too slow. Not enough refugees 
have returned to Bosnia and too few people within Bosnia have been able 
to reclaim their old homes. Political reconciliation has not yet met our 
expectations--not just between Muslims and Serbs, but also between 
Muslims and Croats who have worked together as part of the Federation 
for two years now.

But instead of throwing up our hands in despair at the problems, we must 
redouble our efforts and solve them. That means seeing the elections 
through. But it also means making clear that our commitment to Bosnia's 
future extends well beyond the elections and the withdrawal of IFOR--not 
by acting as a guarantor, not by doing the hard work in place of the 
Bosnian people, but by doing our part for a lasting peace as long as 
they do theirs.

In the months ahead, the people of Bosnia can count on us to help them 
strengthen democratic institutions; to establish a stable military 
balance of power; to monitor the departure of foreign forces; to train a 
civilian police force; to help more refugees return; to secure 
cooperation with the War Crimes Tribunal; and to help foster economic 
reconstruction, growth, and prosperity. These are the building blocks of 
peace. As each one falls into place, the peace will become more and more 

That's a lot to accomplish. No one can guarantee we will succeed or that 
the Bosnian people will succeed. But already, in less than a year, we've 
changed the face of Bosnia. The war is over. The peace is just 
beginning. If we have faith in its promise while fearing its failure and 
if we work away at its problems, peace in Bosnia can last--it will last. 
That's our mission. Not just for those of us in government but for all 
those who care so deeply about Bosnia's future, including many people I 
see in this room today. Some of us have disagreed on tactics in the 
past. No doubt we'll continue to have our differences in the months to 
come. So let's keep debating. But above all, let's keep acting and 
moving forward together. We owe at least that to the people of Bosnia.



America's World Leadership Role: Benefits and Responsibilities
Samuel R. Berger, Deputy Assistant to the President for National 
Security Affairs
Address at the Wilson Center, Washington, DC, June 18, 1996

It is a pleasure to be at the Wilson Center and to see many familiar 
faces. I want to thank Sam Wells for that warm introduction. 

I want to speak to you today about the challenges and the opportunities 
that America faces in the world at this extraordinary moment--half way 
between the end of the Cold War and the dawn of a new century.

It is a moment of historic opportunity. Not too many years ago, 
Americans were gripped by a TV movie called "The Day After," which 
portrayed in graphic and horrifying detail what would happen in the 
event of a nuclear war. The genuine possibility of a massive nuclear 
exchange was vivid and real and cast a giant shadow over most of the 
last 50 years.

Today, the grinding burden of the Cold War has been lifted. Our nation 
is at peace. Our economy is strong. The tide of democracy and free 
markets is rising around the world. We have experienced the emergence of 
a global economy and a cultural and intellectual global village. These 
developments enrich our lives in countless ways every day. 

In the last few months I have been in Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Korea, 
Japan, and Moscow. In each of these countries, I turned on CNN and was 
instantly plugged in to events around the world. Remember that only 52 
years ago, when Franklin Roosevelt gave the order to launch 1 million 
men across the English Channel on D-Day, he didn't find out the results 
for several days. I use CNN only as a visible symbol of the 
revolutionary advances of the information age, which has so increased 
the goods, services, and knowledge that are available to us--and made 
Americans the most fortunate inhabitants of the global village.

But this promising new era is by no means risk-free. Democracy may be on 
the march, but forward progress is not assured--and the gains are not 
irreversible. We know this is true in Russia and many of the other 
states of the former Soviet Union. It is also the case in our own 
hemisphere. Less than two months ago, the democratic government of 
Paraguay narrowly avoided a coup--and elsewhere in Latin America, the 
power of the drug cartels throws an ominous cloud over some national 
governments. Global communism and fascism have exited stage left and 
stage right. But the forces of intolerance and hatred, ethnic strife, 
and regional conflict persist in brutal and dangerous forms, from 
Northern Ireland to the Balkans, from the Middle East to parts of 
Africa. The threat of nuclear annihilation has receded, but the danger 
that weapons of mass destruction--biological, chemical, and nuclear--
will spread into unreliable hands has grown as the technology becomes 
more widely accessible and can in some cases be called up on the 

As the President has noted, the very openness and freedom of movement 
that enrich our lives also make us more vulnerable to the forces of 
destruction--terrorism, drug cartels, and international criminal 
organizations. We have seen this in the bombing of the World Trade 
Center; in the sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subways; and in the 
gunning down of journalists, police, and government officials by drug 
lords in many countries.

Because this new era of possibility carries with it so many real threats 
as well as new opportunities, the United States cannot afford to sit on 
the sidelines. Instead, American engagement in the world today is more 
important than ever. We cannot--and should not--go it alone or take full 
responsibility for combating the new dangers of our age. But at the same 
time, we know that without American leadership, more often than not the 
job will not get done. One of the most striking facts of the last few 
years is the extent to which--after the end of the East-West rivalry--
others look to us, whether it is Arabs and Israelis in the Middle East; 
Muslims, Serbs, and Croats in the Balkans; or even, grudgingly, the 
nations of Europe and Asia as they seek to deal with the same threats 
that face us. 

There is only one superpower now on the earth: America. That leads to 
one inescapable fact: America must lead in the world if we are to 
maintain our security and increase our prosperity. We cannot hunker down 
if we want our children to live safely and thrive.

From the beginning of his Administration, President Clinton has 
recognized America's responsibility to lead in today's world. Let me 
focus on four dimensions of this leadership for the future that have 
been at the center of our attention over the past 31/2 years. They are 
the cornerstones of our efforts to build peace and prosperity for 
America in this promising but uncertain era.

The first dimension is our nation's strength--military and economic. 
America's military today is undergoing its most fundamental 
transformation in half a century. Our armed forces are simultaneously 
downsizing and upgrading. A military that was designed to stop a massive 
invasion across Central Europe today is prepared to deal not only with 
traditional war-fighting contingencies--in the Persian Gulf or the 
Korean Peninsula for example--but also has the flexibility and training 
to deal with a range of new missions: restoring democracy in Haiti 
without firing a shot, keeping the peace in Bosnia, or delivering nearly 
15,000 tons of food, medicine, and supplies to Rwanda's refugees. When 
you consider that only a few years after Vietnam, an Army chief of staff 
described a "hollow army," this reshaping of capability and doctrine has 
been an extraordinary achievement. Today, our armed forces are smaller 
than they were at the height of the Cold War, but they are also better, 
more flexible, and more sophisticated than at any time in our nation's 

Increasingly, our nation's international position rests on the strength 
of our economy. And that, in turn, depends on our competitiveness in the 
global economy. Over the past three years, the President has spearheaded 
the most dynamic program of innovation in international trade in 
American history. He has expanded our American economy by expanding the 
global economy--completing the Uruguay Round, passing NAFTA, securing 
the APEC agreement for free trade in the Asia-Pacific region, and 
forging more than 100 bilateral trade pacts as well. Today, exports are 
the fastest-growing part of the U.S. economy. We are, once again, the 
largest exporter in the world and the most competitive.

The second dimension of American leadership is to use effectively our 
capacity to be a peacemaker. We cannot be everywhere and do everything. 
But where our interests and values are at stake, the United States must 
take risks for peace. 

We see just how much we can achieve when we look at the remarkable 
progress in the last three years in the Middle East. Israelis, 
Palestinians, and Jordanians who were once sworn enemies are working 
together for a better future for the region. The agreements that have 
been forged between Arabs and Israelis have changed the landscape of the 
region profoundly. 

We stand ready to help this work go forward. Let me emphasize: The 
United States remains committed to the goal of a comprehensive and 
lasting peace. That's why we will work with Israel and the Palestinians 
to help them implement their agreements and resolve the issues that 
remain. That's why we will seek to strengthen relations between Israel 
and the Arab world.

In each of these efforts, the United States will work closely with the 
new Israeli government of Prime Minister-elect Netanyahu, and we hope to 
build strong and productive relationship with him as we did with his 
predecessors. We welcome the Prime Minister's commitment to continuing 
the peace process. And we urge our Arab friends not to prejudge the new 
government in Israel but to focus on preserving the achievements of the 
last three years and the momentum to go forward to new ones. 

The United States is using its unique capacity as peacemaker to try to 
establish a lasting settlement in Bosnia. We have undertaken this task 
because continued war in the Balkans threatened both our interests and 
values. The fire that burned in the heart of Europe since 1991 would 
have spread and engulfed our friends and allies--and drawn us into a 
wider conflict on this continent for the third time in a century. And 
the unspeakable brutality we all witnessed was an affront to our 

American leadership was essential to put out the fire and stop the 
slaughter. We strengthened NATO's response to the unrelenting Serb 
assaults on Sarajevo and other civilian areas. More effective use of 
that power enabled our diplomats to make vital breakthroughs--and 
produce the Dayton Peace Agreement.

Six months later, the most dramatic fact in Bosnia is that the guns are 
silent. The war has ended. That change--from war to peace--is the 
single-most important reality for the people of Bosnia. It means that 
killing fields are once again playgrounds; that cafes and marketplaces 
are full of life, not death; that running an errand doesn't mean running 
a death race against snipers and shells; that women are no longer prey 
to systematic campaigns of rape and terror; that the water and lights 
are on and there is shelter from the wind and the cold. Peace means all 
these very basic things. As we work to make sure peace endures, we must 
not lose sight of its reality. 

Now we must help the people of Bosnia build an enduring peace they so 
desperately want. The hard work of civilian reconstruction has begun. It 
must move faster. We must continue to assist refugees to return, 
continue the work of the war crimes tribunal, help the Bosnians build 
the institutions of a national government. That is why it is important 
to hold the elections mandated by the Dayton Agreement on time. In 
Bosnia, they will enable another step forward toward creating the 
institutions and stability that will keep the peace and help give that 
nation a future of hope.

The Middle East and Bosnia are just two of the regions where America is 
engaged in work for peace. We are at a pivot point in history when real 
change is possible--and, consistent with our interests and our 
resources, we must seize this moment and make the most of it in Northern 
Ireland, on the Korean Peninsula, in Haiti, and other places around the 
world. We must not overreach. We must work with others. But at this 
moment in history--when turmoil, radicalism, and instability are the 
faces of future threats--America is uniquely positioned to be a powerful 
force for peace. 

The third imperative of American leadership in the post-Cold War era is 
to continue to reduce the nuclear threat. In recent years, we have taken 
a giant step back from the nuclear precipice. Already, under START I, 
some 9,000 nuclear weapons are being removed from the arsenals of Russia 
and the United States. It is extraordinary to see a team of Russians 
sawing up a Backfire bomber or dismantling missile silos and turning 
those sites into wheat fields. With reductions agreed upon in Start II--
which we hope the Duma will soon ratify--the cuts will go even deeper: 
U.S. and Russian arsenals will be reduced by two-thirds from their Cold 
War levels.

Our efforts to diminish the nuclear threat go further. Because of 
President Clinton's agreement with President Yeltsin, Russian missiles 
no longer target American cities. Through determined diplomacy, we 
helped persuade Belarus, Kazakstan, and Ukraine to give up the nuclear 
weapons left on their soil when the Soviet Union crumbled--and, as some 
of you may know, the last nuclear warheads in Ukraine were shipped back 
to Russia for dismantling just two weeks ago. 

But even as we destroy the weapons of the Cold War, we must intensify 
our efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of tomorrow. That is why we 
worked hard to secure the unconditional and indefinite extension of the 
Non-Proliferation Treaty. We achieved an agreement with North Korea to 
freeze and dismantle their nuclear program--and that agreement is being 
complied with under international supervision. In the weeks ahead, we 
hope to sign a comprehensive test ban treaty--a goal of American leaders 
since Dwight Eisenhower. We are working with the Russians and Europeans 
to make it harder to smuggle nuclear material, to keep Iran from 
acquiring the materials it needs to build a bomb, and to curtail 
dangerous arms races such as the one in Southern Asia. This is the most 
ambitious arms-control and non-proliferation agenda ever set by an 
American administration. This is the best chance that we are ever likely 
to see to reduce the nuclear threat--and we are determined to seize it. 

Finally, there is one more great challenge for American leadership in 
this new era: to construct new institutions and new arrangements that 
reinforce the growth of democracy and civil society where the iron fist 
of totalitarianism had crushed freedom for decades. We see this 
imperative nowhere more clearly than in Russia, which is in the midst of 
a great decision.

All who believe in democracy saw in the voting on Sunday a stirring 
event. Seventy million Russians--nearly 70% of eligible voters--went to 
the polls to exercise their newly won right to elect their country's 
president. They did so in a way that observers are calling free and 
fair. While we await the results of the runoff, democracy already has 
scored a victory.

The choice of Russia's leadership is for the Russian people to decide; 
it is not for us to tell them how to vote. As Sunday's results show, 
they have their own strong views on the subject--which is as it should 
be. But we still have an enormous stake in the outcome. We have made 
clear our unwavering support for reform and reformers. Nothing that has 
happened in the last week has changed that.

We support reform because a democratic, market-oriented Russia is more 
likely to pursue goals that are compatible with our own; it is more 
likely to be a reliable partner and to respect the independence of and 
live in peace with its neighbors, including those that were once part of 
the Soviet Union. A Russia that chooses to stay on the course of reform 
is one that will be more likely to continue to reduce the nuclear 
threat, to work with us to promote peace around the world, and create 
new markets for our products and jobs for American workers. 

We don't have a vote in the Russian election, and we don't have a 
crystal ball. But several points are clear for the United States: First, 
we must support not an individual but a direction--the direction of 
reform, democracy, and free markets. We must, in central and eastern 
Europe, continue to build new bridges to the West--through NATO 
expansion, the Partnership for Peace, and EU membership. And we must do 
that in a way that strengthens the relationship between NATO and Russia. 
We must proceed with steadiness and judgment, but the fact is, we have 
made good progress.

As we look over the map, there is obviously a great deal that I have not 
had time to discuss: the tremendous growth in Asia and the 
extraordinarily important relationships with China and Japan, the 
positive developments in Latin America and parts of Africa. I'll be 
happy to answer your questions on these and other issues in a moment.

But let me leave you first with a final thought. While the need for 
American leadership has never been greater, our willingness to lead is 
very much in debate. The threat today is not so much from traditional 
isolationism, although that still exists on the left and the right in 
our society. Today, the more dangerous threat to American engagement are 
those who "talk the talk" of internationalism but who "walk the walk" of 

These are the people who argue that we must lead--but say we must not 
spend. Already, America's spending on international affairs has 
plummeted 40% in just a decade. As a result, America--the world's 
richest nation--now ranks last among industrial nations when it comes to 
the percentage of GNP devoted to development aid. Those are the people 
who say we must be engaged in the world--but never want us to do so 
where our engagement is needed. They say yes in the abstract. But then 
they say no to Bosnia, no to Haiti, and no to Russia.

America cannot lead in the abstract. This new era demands concrete 
engagement--if we want to defeat the new threats we face and if we want 
to turn the opportunities of today into tangible benefits for the 
American people. We cannot do so on the cheap or simply through rhetoric 
or by empty posturing. But if we grapple with the challenges before us 
honestly and directly, if we devote the resources needed to matter, if 
we are prepared to take risks for peace, then we can make the difference 
for America's security, America's prosperity, and America's future. 



Developments in the Middle East
Robert H. Pelletreau, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs
Statement before the House International Relations Committee, 
Washington, DC, June 12, 1996

Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee: I am pleased to 
appear before you to review recent developments in the Middle East and 
North Africa. My statement today will focus on the peace process. I will 
also review our policy toward the Persian Gulf, Iraq, Iran, the GCC, 
Libya, and Algeria.

There are few areas of the world where so many important U.S. interests 
come together as in the Middle East. Let me begin by restating American 
interests in the region. They include:

-- Securing a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace between Israel and 
all its neighbors;

-- Maintaining our steadfast commitment to Israel's security and well-

-- Building and maintaining political, economic, and security relations 
with our friends in the Gulf and ensuring unimpeded commercial access to 
area petroleum reserves, which are vital to our economic prosperity;

-- Ensuring fair access for American business to commercial 
opportunities in the region;

-- Countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the 
systems to deliver them, and combating terrorism; and

-- Promoting more open political and economic systems and respect for 
human rights and the rule of law.

Mr. Chairman, promoting peace and security in this turbulent part of the 
world remains at the forefront of the Administration's diplomatic 
efforts. We have a major interest in preventing the outbreak of conflict 
and promoting the peaceful resolution of disputes. We also have an 
interest in compelling changes in conduct by rogue states, limiting the 
means of potential war-makers, and isolating extremists who foment 
destabilization and conflict. These goals can only be achieved through 
sustained political engagement, backed by American military power, and 
with the support of our friends and allies.

Middle East Peace Process

The Administration is fully committed to helping secure a just, lasting, 
and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Over the past 31/2 years, 
the United States has given strong support to Israel and its Arab 
partners as they take bold and courageous steps toward peace. Our 
support has been especially critical in recent months as the enemies of 
peace have waged a violent campaign to undermine the peace process. The 
suicide bombings in Israel in February and March, followed by the crisis 
involving Lebanon and Israel in April represented not only a human 
tragedy, but a serious challenge to the peace process.

In both cases, the United States took the initiative to safeguard the 
peace process and refocus attention on negotiations. Following the 
suicide bombings in Israel, President Clinton organized the Sharm el-
Sheikh summit, which brought together leaders from around the world to 
support Israel at a difficult moment and to send a clear message that 
terrorism must be confronted and beaten. Likewise in the Lebanon crisis, 
the understanding brokered by Secretary Christopher has helped control 
the fragile situation there and protect civilians on both sides of the 
Israel-Lebanon border.

These achievements are a testament to the extraordinary resilience of 
the peace process in the face of repeated challenges. Each setback has 
brought new energy and resolve to move forward. Over time, this dynamic 
has wrought a remarkable transformation in the region. In the past three 
years, Jordan has joined Egypt in signing a peace treaty with Israel, 
Israelis and Palestinians have signed three landmark agreements, two 
Arab-Israeli economic summits have been held, eight Arab League members 
have made official visits to Israel, all but three Arab states have 
participated in some aspect of the peace process, and Israel has 
exchanged diplomatic offices with Morocco and Tunisia and commercial 
offices with Qatar and Oman.

Israeli Elections. The hard-fought election campaign in Israel last 
month demonstrated the vibrancy of its democracy. Prime Minister-elect 
Netanyahu is now forming a new government and could present it to the 
Knesset as early as next week.

President Clinton called the Prime Minister-elect after the election to 
congratulate him on his victory on behalf of the United States and to 
extend an invitation to Washington. Ambassador Indyk has met with Mr. 
Netanyahu subsequent to the election, and Secretary Christopher has 
already spoken with the incoming Prime Minister several times. Mr. 
Netanyahu has expressed a strong commitment to continue the peace 
process and has conveyed his commitment directly to Egyptian, Jordanian, 
Omani, Qatari, and Palestinian leaders.

We will consult with the new government as it develops its policies, as 
well as with our Arab partners who have taken risks for peace. We 
consider it important to implement and build on the agreements which 
Israel and the Arabs have negotiated.

Israel-Palestinians. Israel and the Palestinians have engaged in almost-
continuous negotiations since 1993 to transform their milestone 
Declaration of Principles into an operational arrangement on the ground. 
These negotiations have produced three landmark agreements, including 
most recently the September 1995 Israel-PLO Interim Agreement extending 
Palestinian self-rule into the West Bank. This agreement, signed at the 
White House, delineates both sides' rights and responsibilities in 
political, economic, security, resources, and other areas and creates a 
framework for cooperation. A trilateral committee established by the 
U.S. and including both parties serves as an additional forum to spur 
implementation of the bilateral agreements.

The redeployment of Israel Defense Forces from Palestinian cities last 
fall and winter in accordance with the Interim Agreement was 
accomplished with only minor incidents. The March redeployment from 
Hebron was delayed by mutual agreement between Israel and the 
Palestinians. The Palestinian authorities have assumed their 
responsibilities and are for the first time managing their own affairs. 
The redeployment expanded joint security patrols, increased liaison 
activities, and generally laid the basis for the ongoing Israeli-
Palestinian cooperation to combat terrorism.

The Palestinian election on January 20 was another milestone 
achievement. The U.S. gave political encouragement and critical support 
for the election through the National Democratic Institute, the 
International Republican Institute, and the International Foundation for 
Electoral Systems. Palestinian voters defied the Hamas call to boycott 
elections and turned out in large numbers. The balloting transpired 
largely without incident, and the successful elections gave the 
Palestinian leadership a clear mandate to pursue peace, democracy, and 
co-existence with Israel.

In response to Hamas suicide bombings in Israel last February and March, 
Chairman Arafat, with strong U.S. support, has taken serious steps 
against the Hamas infrastructure and has gone far to eliminate its 
terrorist capabilities. The United States has stressed to Arafat and 
other Palestinian leaders the need to keep up a comprehensive, 
sustained, and systematic approach to combat terrorism.

The United States welcomed the vote on April 24 by the Palestinian 
National Council as honoring the PLO's important commitment to approve 
necessary changes to the Palestinian Covenant. This vote represented an 
important step toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians. By an 
overwhelming margin, the PNC took decisive action at a difficult moment 
in the peace process, underscoring Palestinian support for Arafat's 
commitment in the Interim Agreement.

The United States continues to monitor Palestinian performance in these 
matters closely. On May 15, the Department provided an update to the 
March 1 report to Congress on PLO compliance with its commitments. In 
that update, we assessed recent activities by the PLO and Palestinian 
Authority to fight terrorism, amending the PLO Covenant, and implement 
Israeli-Palestinian agreements. The President will once again carefully 
weigh the facts at hand before making his determination, pursuant to 
MEPFA, whether or not to renew the suspension of certain statutory 
restrictions on the PLO, which expires on June 15.

The United States has worked hard to find ways to support the 
Palestinian people as they strive to manage their affairs and develop a 
viable economy. Israeli measures to protect Israelis, including the 
closure of Palestinian areas, have had a significant impact on the 
Palestinian economy. In response to the worsening economic situation, on 
April 12 the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee charged with coordinating 
assistance for the West Bank and Gaza Strip agreed to press ahead with 
an emergency jobs program and core develop- ment projects to ease the 
stress on the Palestinian economy. The jobs creation program in small 
civil works has resulted in sustained employment for 15,000 to 20,000 
workers, but this is not enough to overcome the effects of closure.

We remain engaged with Palestinian authorities and the Government of 
Israel to find and implement measures to reconcile Israeli security 
needs with the Palestinians' economic needs. Israel announced last week 
that it would more than triple the number of Palestinians allowed to 
work in Israel to 22,000. Israel also will allow increased truck traffic 
through the crossing points.

The United States will strive in the next phase of the aid effort to 
build on the solid achievements of the past year. About $900 million of 
the $2.4 billion five-year pledge by all donors in 1993 has been 
disbursed. For our part, USAID has released $170 million of our five-
year, $500-million pledge toward development programs and start-up costs 
of the new Palestinian administration. Last week, we signed a $24-
million contract that will further our flagship wastewater project in 
Gaza. Assuming we can reestablish the favorable conditions of late last 
year, we will achieve our objectives in this critical area of the peace 

Israel-Jordan. In October 1994, Jordan became the second Arab state to 
sign a peace treaty with Israel. Jordan and Israel are now charting a 
new course in the search for peace and prosperity in the Middle East as 
they expand bilateral contacts and work to build a warm peace. In 
January, Jordan and Israel signed the last of 14 agreements called for 
in the peace treaty covering such areas as tourism, trade and economic 
cooperation, energy, and transportation. These agreements have 
facilitated normalization, as reflected by the commencement in April of 
commercial air service between Amman and Tel Aviv. The Jordan Rift 
Valley development scheme and the Eilat-Aqaba joint airport terminal 
offer particularly dramatic potential for expanding economic and 
cultural relations. The United States has actively supported these 
initiatives through the U.S.-Israel-Jordan Trilateral Economic 

The commitment shown by President Clinton and the Congress to help 
Jordan has bolstered King Hussein's resolve to embrace full peace with 
Israel. Congressional support for writing off Jordan's official debt has 
been essential, and we hope the Congress will eventually provide the $25 
million requested in the Administration's FY 1997 budget necessary to 
forgive the remainder of Jordan's bilateral debt. U.S. assistance has 
also been essential to help Jordan defend itself in a dangerous 
neighborhood. We welcome the support of Congress for the provision of 
U.S. military equipment and services under a defense drawdown and the 
transfer of an F-16 squadron to help modernize the obsolescent Royal 
Jordanian Air Force.

Other Bilateral Tracks. Syrian-Israeli negotiations have made important 
substantive progress over the past months. There were three rounds of 
talks between senior Israeli and Syrian officials from December to March 
under U.S. auspices at the Wye River Plantation conference center in 
Maryland. These talks were an effective format for the discussions 
between Israel and Syria. The last round was suspended following the 
terrorist bombings in Israel. These discussions can provide a solid 
foundation for progress whenever negotiations resume.

The April clashes along the Lebanon-Israel border underscore the need 
for progress toward peace. The understanding brokered by Secretary 
Christopher to end the crisis is a marked improvement on the 
understanding he negotiated in 1993. Unlike the previous understanding, 
it is written and contains important provisions to help protect 
civilians on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border. It establishes a 
consultative group to address economic needs, as well as a monitoring 
group that includes the United States, France, Israel, Lebanon, and 
Syria to review complaints about implementation of the understanding.

I should add that we support Lebanese independence, sovereignty, and 
territorial integrity and that we share the goal of the Lebanese people 
of a nation secure and at peace and free from all foreign forces.

Multilateral Initiatives. The multilateral track of the peace process 
launched in early 1992 shortly after the Madrid peace conference 
complements the bilateral peace negotiations by focusing on issues of 
regional concern. The Multilateral Working Groups bring together 
representatives of Israel, 13 Arab countries, and more than 30 parties 
from outside the region to address broad issues such as water, the 
environment, economic development, refugees, and arms control and 

The working groups have made progress on specific projects which promote 
the long-term peace, stability, and prosperity of the region. For 
example, the Water Resources Working Group, which the United States 
chairs, has launched major initiatives to study water supply and demand 
in the region, build water data banks, and establish the Middle East 
Desalination Research Center in Oman. Recently, the group agreed to a 
new project proposed by the U.S. to increase public awareness of water 
consumption needs and techniques. The Working Group on economic 
development has implemented initiatives announced at last year's 
regional economic summit in Amman, including the Middle East-
Mediterranean Travel and Tourism Association and a regional business 
council. On May 31 in New York, the Americas Division of the travel and 
tourism association was established. We expect it will be followed by 
the creation of other regional divisions. Activities such as these give 
us a glimpse of the promise of the region in an era of comprehensive 

Tangible improvements in the lives of people in the region will help 
peace in the Middle East take firmer root and spread. The Middle East-
North Africa Economic Summit process, begun two years ago in Casablanca, 
addresses this need in practical and symbolic ways. The practical effect 
is to stimulate economic development. The symbolic effect is to show 
what can be accomplished in a more peaceful and cooperative Middle East. 
Last October, the Amman summit brought together more than 1,000 business 
leaders and representatives from 70 countries. The conference spurred 
regional economic integration, private investment, and the development 
of regional economic institutions.

We envision that this year's economic summit in Cairo in November will 
build more momentum for a political, economic, and psychological 
transformation of the Middle East and North Africa, including economic 
liberalization in Egypt and other regional states. The summit will 
demonstrate to governments and their populations that peace with Israel 
can bring tangible benefits. The summit will reinforce the concept of a 
public-private partnership for development in the Middle East which will 
receive additional impetus at the summit next year in Qatar and at 
annual economic summits after that. The Administration also is managing 
the economic summit process to enhance commercial opportunities for U.S. 

A priority regional initiative this year is the Middle East Development 
Bank--MEDB. The MEDB will be an innovative financing institution, 
emphasizing co-financing with the private sector and other financial 
institutions. Its mandate is to promote private sector growth and 
entrepreneurship; support regional development projects, particularly 
transborder infrastructure; and enhance regional economic policy 
dialogue and coordination.

A remaining blight on the positive trend toward regional economic 
interaction is the Arab League's boycott of Israel. The boycott is a 
vestige of the past, and boycott practices on the ground continue to 
erode as peace spreads. The GCC states renounced their adherence to the 
secondary and tertiary aspects of the boycott in September 1994, and the 
number of boycott-related requests from the Gulf states has fallen 
significantly during the past year. Israeli economic ties with Egypt and 
Jordan--two states that have abandoned the boycott altogether--are on 
the rise. We will continue to urge the Arab states to take unilateral 
actions against the boycott while we press for an Arab League resolution 
to end it.

Egypt. Egypt remains an important and influential partner in the search 
for peace and security in the Middle East. We work closely together to 
advance the peace process, regional stability, and other issues 
important to our interests. President Mubarak's establishment of a new 
government in January reflected his personal commitment to accelerate 
economic reform and liberalization. It was an announcement that Egypt is 
open for business. Prime Minister Ganzouri already has taken steps to 
reduce tariffs, streamline the Egyptian bureaucracy, and introduce 
legislation to encourage domestic and foreign investment in Egypt. The 
Partnership for Economic Growth and Development has taken root and is 
already promoting private sector development. The Egyptian Government 
recently has sold off majority shares in several para-statals through 
the Cairo stock exchange. The upcoming Cairo Economic Summit represents 
a unique opportunity for Egypt to showcase improvements in the climate 
for investment and to demonstrate its fitness as a regional leader in 
the economic arena. We are working closely with the Egyptians and others 
to ensure the summit's success.

The violence of Islamic extremists in Egypt is a matter of serious 
concern to us as well as other friends of Egypt. The protracted low-
level conflict, largely in Upper Egypt, however, does not threaten the 
stability of the country. The tragic slaying of the Greek tourists in 
April was, in our view, an aberration.

Responding to Challenges to Peace and Stability

Progress toward a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1993 
warrants a degree of optimism that would have been unrealistic in past 
years. There are, however, serious continuing threats to our interests 
in the Middle East. Forces of terrorism and rejection remain active and 
bent on killing the hopes for peace. In addition, extremist movements--
religious and secular--that resort to violence and terror challenge 
several governments in the region. The pursuit of weapons of mass 
destruction by several states poses a long-term threat, which must be 
stopped. I would underscore that the activities of Iran, Iraq, and Libya 
remain particular sources of concern. Let me turn now to our policy 
toward the Gulf region.

Iraq. The United States is determined to prevent Iraq from again 
becoming a serious threat to international stability and peace. Our 
policy on Iraq remains unchanged: Iraq must fulfill all obligations 
established under the UN Security Council Resolutions passed as a result 
of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Full compliance would reduce Iraq as a 
threat to the region. 

As the committee is aware, the Iraqi Government recently signed a 
memorandum of understanding with the UN on implementation of UN Security 
Council Resolution 986. The resolution permits the controlled sale of $2 
billion in Iraqi oil over six months to finance imports of food, 
medicine, and other humanitarian items. The resolution calls for 30% of 
the proceeds to go toward compensating the victims of Iraqi aggression 
and up to 15% to be set aside for a UN-administered humanitarian program 
in northern Iraq. The UN is now working on the many operational details 
of implementation, and there are many steps that must be completed 
before Iraqi oil begins to flow and humanitarian goods arrive in Iraq. 
Implementation of the resolution is not a precursor to lifting 
sanctions. It is a humanitarian exception that preserves and even 
reinforces the sanctions regime. Until full compliance is a reality, we 
will oppose any modification of sanctions. Congressional support for our 
effort to obtain full compliance has been essential. Experience has 
shown that a firm and unified stance by the United States and others in 
the international community is the only way to bring about compliance.

Iraq's one concession to the resolutions--its recognition of Kuwait--was 
subsequently tainted by statements in official Iraqi media suggesting 
that the recognition was not to be taken seriously. Meanwhile Iraq has 
failed to fulfill any of its other obligations. It has failed to account 
for hundreds of Kuwaitis missing since the Gulf war; it has not returned 
Kuwaiti property looted during the occupation; it has not ceased its 
support for terrorism; it continues to brutally repress its own 
citizens; and Iraq is still not complying with all of its obligations 
regarding weapons of mass destruction--WMD.

The United States fully supports the efforts of the chairman of the UN 
Special Commission--UNSCOM--Ambassador Ekeus, to fulfill its mandate 
under Security Council Resolution 687 and to ensure the full dismantling 
of Iraq's WMD program. UNSCOM continues to find evidence that Iraq is 
hiding evidence on its weapons programs. As Chairman Ekeus noted in his 
most recent report to the Security Council on April 16: 

There are still significant deficiencies and gaps in Iraq's disclosures 
on chemical and biological weapons, proscribed ballistic missiles and 
related capabilities. The Commission has noted recent acquisition of 
prohibited items by Iraq. This means that the Commission has serious 
concerns that a full account and disposal of Iraq's holdings has not 
been made. 

The United States will continue to oppose any relaxation of sanctions 
until Iraq demonstrates peaceful intentions through its overall 
compliance with UNSC resolutions.

Regarding the conflict between rival Kurdish groups in northern Iraq, we 
continue our efforts to persuade Kurdish leaders to resolve their 
differences. We continue to make clear to the Kurds that the United 
States supports the territorial integrity of Iraq, and we look forward 
to the day when all Iraqis can enjoy the protection of a democratic, 
pluralistic government in Baghdad.

Iran. Our policy toward Iran is aimed at pressuring Tehran to change its 
unacceptable policies. This Administration has made clear that we have 
deep objections to specific aspects of Iranian policies, including its 
continuing support for terrorism, support for groups that use violence 
against the Middle East peace process, pursuit of WMD, efforts to 
subvert other governments, and a human rights record which is deservedly 
condemned by the international community.

We seek to focus international pressure on Iran to change this behavior. 
Economic pressure is necessary both to limit Iran's capabilities and to 
convince the leadership in Tehran to abandon its threatening policies. 
Thirteen months ago, the United States reaffirmed its determination to 
hold Iran accountable for its actions by imposing a unilateral trade and 
investment embargo. In focusing pressure on Iran, we seek to exact an 
economic cost for its continued pursuit of objectionable policies and 

Securing the cooperation of our allies is important to our strategy; the 
impact of our pressure on Iran's economy will be much greater if these 
measures are multilateral. Although the European states have not joined 
us in a trade embargo of Iran, they have substantially reduced the pace 
and volume of their commercial relations with Iran. The Europeans 
continue to favor a "critical dialogue" with Iran, although they admit 
that it has been unsuccessful in changing Iranian behavior. We are not 
opposed to the critical dialogue, but have urged the EU to challenge 
Iran's continued engagement in unacceptable activities with some form of 

Because we want to increase the costs to Iran, the Administration 
supports the intent of the pending sanctions legislation. We want to 
deter foreign firms from developing Iran's petroleum sector. As the 
committee is aware, we were prepared to support the bill that was 
reported out of the Senate Banking Committee. We have appreciated the 
opportunity to consult with this committee, House Ways and Means, and 
the House Banking Committee, and we hope we can soon reach a final bill 
that maximizes the pressure on Iran and Libya while minimizing 
unnecessary costs to our other interests.

We remain steadfast in our efforts to work closely with our allies to 
help thwart Iran's efforts to build up conventional military 
capabilities and to acquire items useful for its WMD programs. We have 
secured commitments from Russia and 30 other governments participating 
in the Wassenaar Arrangement to prevent the acquisition of arms and 
sensitive dual-use items for military use by countries of concern--
including Iran and three other pariah states--Iraq, Libya, and North 
Korea. We have achieved general agreement among nuclear-materials-
producer states not to assist Iran in development of nuclear weapons. 
Russia and China remain important exceptions to this international 
consensus. We continue to discuss this issue with Moscow and Beijing at 
the highest levels and will not be satisfied until they stop all nuclear 
cooperation with Iran. The United States is committed to leading this 
effort to pressure Iran for the long-term. We must recognize, however, 
that if America is to lead we must have followers. We need to tailor our 
diplomatic and legislative strategy to ensure that we do not damage our 
own economic and political interests more than we hurt Iran.

GCC. A second focus of our policy in the Gulf, complementing our efforts 
to counter the threatening potential of Iraq and Iran, is maintaining 
close political, economic, and security ties with our friends, the Gulf 
Cooperation Council states. We work with them closely to ensure regional 
peace and stability. They provide significant support to the Middle East 
peace process, they are vital members of the anti-Iraq coalition and 
strong supporters of the sanctions regime, and they see eye-to-eye with 
us on Iran. We also maintain an extensive dialogue with the Gulf states 
on economic and trade issues. These states are important markets for 
U.S. goods. Many are members of the World Trade Organization, and the 
Saudis are actively negotiating to join.

Gulf security is thus an important American concern. We are seeking to 
bolster the defense capabilities of the GCC states by urging them to 
work more closely together on collective defense and security. We also 
have strengthened our ability to act quickly in cooperation with our 
regional partners by maintaining strong forces in the region, by pre-
positioning equipment and material, and by providing defense articles to 
friendly states.

The U.S. also stands with GCC states as they move to confront a variety 
of domestic challenges. Given increasing populations and relatively 
stable oil prices, our friends face difficult economic decisions. We 
seek every opportunity to encourage the GCC states to move toward more 
participatory mechanisms of government-- involving all elements of its 
citizenry. None of the GCC states, however, faces a serious threat to 
overall governmental control and authority. In the case of Bahrain, we 
take very seriously recent allegations of Iranian support for militants 
seeking to overthrow the government. We would view with great concern 
any external effort to destabilize it or compromise its economic and 
social development and recently announced political reforms.

Libya. Libya continues to pose a threat to security in North Africa and 
beyond. On March 21, the United Nations Security Council voted, for the 
12th time, to extend its sanctions regime against Libya. This vote 
reflects the Security Council's opinion that Libya has not yet met the 
requirements of UNSC 731 concerning the bombing of Pan Am 103 and UTA 
772. We strongly condemn Libya's lack of cooperation in helping to bring 
these tragic episodes to an end. We will continue to support the 
international community's resolve to see that justice is served.

While we have seen tangible results from the UN sanctions, we have yet 
to see Libyan compliance with the UN resolutions. More needs to be done. 
There are significant differences between the U.S. position on enhanced 
sanctions and that of our allies, but we continue to press for more 
effective action. I would like to note that in April we held a 
productive meeting in London with our British and French counterparts to 
examine ways to tighten the existing UN sanctions regime in areas such 
as terrorism, aviation, financial activities, and Libyan diplomatic 
presence abroad. As we have indicated in our consultations with the 
Congress, we support legislation that contains sanctions against 
companies that violate the existing UN bans on certain trade and 
transactions with Libya. 

From time to time, the Government of Libya seeks would-be intermediaries 
both in the U.S. and abroad to negotiate a settlement to bring sanctions 
to an end. Let me repeat the message we and the international community 
have said so many times: There are no alternative avenues to resolution 
of this problem other than full compliance with Security Council 
resolutions of the United Nations.

We continue to have serious concerns about Libyan efforts to augment its 
WMD capabilities. On the issue of Libya's chemical weapons complex at 
Tarhuna, we remain deeply concerned about Libya's continuing chemical 
weapons program. Given Qadhafi's long history of financial and military 
support of terrorist movements around the world and his uncompromising 
stance against the peace process, we believe that no good can come from 
a state sponsor of terrorism with that kind of destructive capability.

Algeria. We continue to follow and assess developments in Algeria with 
great interest. There have been significant political developments in 
recent months which give room for encouragement, but violence remains a 
deep concern. We deplore the heinous killing of seven French monks last 
month by the Armed Islamic Group. The U.S. responded positively to the 
election of President Zeroual last November and his announced intention 
to pursue national reconciliation in Algeria. In December, President 
Clinton indicated in a letter to the newly elected president that the 
United States is prepared to support him as he takes steps to build on 
his election by broadening and accelerating this process of 
reconciliation and his government continues its economic reforms. We 
continue to urge a process of political and economic reform leading to 
national reconciliation among all Algerians who disavow violence and 

I traveled to Algiers in March and was encouraged by President Zeroual's 
commitment to strengthen democratic pluralism in Algeria. The 
legislative elections announced for early next year can be an important 
element in the reconciliation process. Political measures alone are not 
enough. A program of political inclusion, more aggressive economic 
reform geared toward freeing the private sector, proactive security 
measures and continued marginalization of extremists provide a basis for 
stability and can give the Algerian people hope for the future. We are 
concerned, however, by the pattern of censorship and seizure of Algerian 
newspapers by the Algerian Government. We see a free and open press as a 
vital element of a peaceful political solution.

The United States encourages Algeria to seize the opportunity for 
greater political stability and economic progress. We will continue to 
watch the situation in Algeria closely to assess the credibility and 
democratic nature of the forthcoming elections. A political solution 
remains essential for a peaceful resolution to the Algerian crisis. 


Mr. Chairman, recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa 
present the United States with opportunities and challenges. Despite the 
many dangers to regional security that persist, the underlying prospects 
for a more peaceful, prosperous, and stable region are better than ever 
before. We are committed to helping further this trend--facilitating 
negotiations, promoting regional cooperation, supporting the 
peacemakers, and standing firm against the forces of extremism and 
terror. Events of recent months serve as a reminder of the formidable 
challenges to security that remain in this volatile region. This 
Administration will work to ensure that threats are contained and 
America's vital interests are safeguarded. Thank you. 


Vietnam: U.S. Commitment to the Fullest Possible Accounting of POW/MIAs
Kent M. Wiedemann, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific 
Statement before the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the House 
Committee on National Security, Washington, DC, June 19, 1996

Thank you Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to 
you once again about our policy regarding Vietnam and the POW/MIA issue 
and the recent Presidential Determination on this issue.

Obtaining the fullest possible accounting for our POWs and MIAs has been 
and remains this Administration's highest priority with respect to 
Vietnam. By any measure, this Administration has fulfilled its promise 
to advance in an aggressive and determined way efforts to make progress 
toward this goal. U.S.-Vietnam relations are expanding into new areas, 
but this has not reduced in the slightest the centrality of POW/MIA 
accounting in our bilateral relationship.

As Ambassador Lord and I have testified previously, our policy has been 
to take carefully phased, incremental steps forward in U.S.-Vietnamese 
relations as we achieve tangible progress toward our POW/MIA accounting 
goal. Before each of these steps, the President carefully reviewed the 
progress that had been achieved and determined further tangible progress 
could best be promoted through these measured steps toward closer 
bilateral ties. In each and every case, the decision to move forward was 
carefully examined by each U.S. Government element charged with 
responsibility for this issue, including the Departments of State and 
Defense, and followed close consultations with the families of POWs and 
MIAs, interested veterans, and the Congress.

In July 1993, the President set forth four specific areas on which 
decisions concerning further improvement in our relations with Vietnam 
would be based:

First, the recovery and repatriation of remains of our POWs and MIAs; 

Second, the continued resolution of discrepancy cases and continued 
live- sighting investigations and field activities;

Third, further assistance in implementing trilateral investigations with 
Laos; and 

Fourth, accelerated efforts to provide all relevant POW/MIA-related 

All of the actions we have taken in the almost three years since then 
have been based on tangible progress in these fundamental areas and on 
our best judgments as to what we could do to continue and accelerate 
this progress. As an integral part of this process, Vietnam's 
cooperation has been under constant review.

Mr. Chairman, this does not mean we have passively taken at face value 
Vietnamese assurances that they have done everything they can in a given 
area--far from it. In the past 31/2 years we have continually and 
successfully pushed Vietnam to step$up its efforts, both unilaterally 
and in the context of our joint activities. In addition to the ongoing 
technical-level work being done by Joint Task Force--Full Accounting 
with its Vietnamese counter- parts, we have made full use of high-level 
contacts with Vietnamese officials as well as the four presidential 
delegations on POW/MIAs that have visited Vietnam. Indeed, when 
Secretary Christopher visited Hanoi last August, he underscored our 
commitment to further progress by presiding over a remains repatriation 
ceremony, visiting Joint Task Force--Full Accounting Detachment 2, and 
stressing to Vietnamese leaders that "this will remain the number-one 
priority on our agenda with Vietnam." 

Along with Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Hershel Gober and 
General Wold, I was a co-leader of the most recent presidential 
delegation this past March. This was the first delegation since the 
establishment of diplomatic relations with Vietnam and the first since 
the completion of the Defense Department's Comprehensive Review of 
POW/MIA cases. Representatives of the National League of Families of 
American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, and five U.S. veterans 
service organizations participated.

As you know, Mr. Chairman, from having received the delegation's trip 
report, we had meetings at the highest levels of the Vietnamese 
leadership, including with General Secretary Do Muoi, Prime Minister Vo 
Van Kiet, and Foreign Minister Nguyen Many Cam, as well as with 
representatives of each of the ministries involved in the POW/MIA issue. 
In these meetings, we emphasized the importance of the comprehensive 
review as a critical tool for identifying unilateral and joint actions 
needed to move cases toward resolution. The Vietnamese leaders 
reiterated their commitment to sustained cooperation on accounting 
efforts and their readiness to take the steps identified through the 
comprehensive review. 

As a result of the March delegation visit, we concluded that the 
establishment of diplomatic relations and the prospect of expanded 
economic relations has strengthened Vietnam's pursuit of joint and 
unilateral accounting efforts. We believe the POW/MIA issue is firmly 
established as the keystone of our relations with Vietnam and that both 
sides have the commitment and the institutional mechanisms in place to 
achieve the fullest possible accounting. We are, of course, closely 
monitoring the progress that is made and continuing to build upon the 
strong base established over the past 31/2 years of effort.

After 31/2 years of personal involvement in the Administration's work on 
this issue, I can tell you that this approach is working. I will cite 
just a few examples of what we have achieved. At our request, Vietnam 
set up special research teams within the Ministries of Defense and 
Interior--teams that are locating and turning over documents with 
information concerning unaccounted-for Americans. We also have 
established with Vietnam and Laos a mechanism for bringing Vietnamese 
witnesses to that country to help us locate crash and grave sites. In 
January, this procedure resulted in the recovery and repatriation of 
remains associated with a case involving eight unaccounted-for 
Americans. General Wold will provide you with a great deal of additional 
information on what has been accomplished in the four key areas. 

Mr. Chairman, I believe it is absolutely essential that we stick with 
the carefully considered approach that has brought us this progress. The 
May 29 Presidential Determination (Presidential Determination 96-28) on 
Vietnam should be seen in the context of this policy of measured steps 
in U.S.-Vietnam relations coupled with aggressive pursuit of a fullest 
possible accounting as I have outlined above. I must note that the 
certification requirement of Section 609 of the FY 1996 Omnibus 
Appropriations Act has been determined by the Department of Justice to 
be unconstitutional, and the President, therefore, provided the 
determination as a matter of comity while reserving his position that 
the condition enacted in Section 609 is unconstitutional.

Nevertheless, the President viewed the determination as an occasion for 
him to reinforce his unwavering commitment to the pursuit of the fullest 
possible accounting as the guiding principle of U.S. policy toward 
Vietnam. In keeping with that commitment, I can state without hesitation 
that we will persevere in this task. 



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