93/02/25 Conference with Russian ForMin: US-Russia Summit and Invitations To Middle East Peace Talks Announced (Geneva, Switzerland)  Return to: Index of 1993 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

Note: This Electronic Research Collection is an archive site. For the most current information, please visit the State Department homepage.

U.S. Department of State
93/02/25 News Conference with Russian ForMin
Office of the Spokesman

US-Russia Summit and Invitations To Middle East Peace Talks Announced

Opening statements at a news conference by
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev

Geneva, Switzerland
February 25, 1993

Foreign Minister Kozyrev (through interpreter):  Ladies and gentlemen, I 
would like, in the first place, to express my satisfaction with the very 
businesslike meeting that we had, especially with the fact that it was 
not just a get-acquainted session--although, of course, I am quite happy 
to meet personally the Secretary and also with the atmosphere that we 
developed right from the very outset.  But I am also satisfied with the 
very businesslike discussion that we've just had.

This meeting made it possible for us to see once again that in the 
multipolar world that we live now, Russia and the United States, instead 
of confronting each other, are in a position to realize the partnership 
relationship and the cooperative relationship that has been already 
agreed to.

And a major event that would make it possible to broaden that 
cooperation, to remove all artificial delays, and to accelerate it would 
be a summit meeting of the two Presidents.  At least we agreed--and this 
is something that we want to recommend to the two Presidents--that the 
summit meeting take place [on] April the 4th.

I can tell you that this date has been suggested by the US side.  The US 
side also suggested several other dates--earlier dates--but we believe 
that the meeting calls for additional preparation; therefore, we picked 
out of the dates suggested by the US side a later date so [that], we 
believe, it could be better prepared.

We also agreed that we would proceed forthwith with preparations for the 
summit meeting on all levels, including a possibility--if there is a 
need for that--of an additional meeting between the two of us.

We discussed several questions related, among other things, to the fact 
that the two sides are now concentrating on their domestic economic 
situation.  But this is not to suggest that there is less interest in 
cooperation between the two sides.  On the contrary, we believe that 
cooperation and assistance to Russian reforms is in the agenda--in the 
domestic agenda--of the two countries.

We also discussed the possibility for and the need for strategic 
cooperation, including:

--  Opening access to markets;

--  State support of investment;

--  Promoting the rescheduling of Russia's external debt; [and]

--  The possibility of Russia gaining access to conventional arms 
markets--of course, under the condition that there would be full 
compliance with the existing international norms and standards.

We also discussed situations in several flash points, and I appreciate 
the fact that the Secretary of State shared some of the information that 
he brought back from his trip to the Middle East.  And I must also note 
that that trip has resulted in some positive movement in the direction 
in which we intend  to move further as co-sponsors--that is, the 
direction of the peace process.  And I believe that [the] Secretary will 
have a few words to say on his trip.

I can tell you that there is a symbolic coincidence in our bilateral 
movement, although from Geneva we intend to go in different geographic 
directions.  I'm leaving for Copenhagen [Denmark] and [the] Secretary 
for Brussels [Belgium].  But Brussels is the headquarters of the 
European Economic Community and NATO, while Copenhagen--and Denmark--is 
the coordinator of the European Economic Community.  Therefore, in the 
political sense, we will be moving in the same direction--that is, the 
direction of broader European cooperation.

Secretary Christopher:  Thank you very much, Mr. Minister.  Foreign 
Minister Kozyrev and I have had a very good and, as he said, a 
businesslike session.  I believe we have established a good working 
relationship, building on our prior contacts and building on contacts 
between Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin.  We've been in touch quite 
frequently and have been since the first days of our new Administration.

Our meeting today has set the stage for a summit between the two 
Presidents.  As the Minister said, we are pleased to announce that 
Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin will be meeting together on the 4th of 
April at a site to [be] mutually agreed upon during the interregnum 
between now and then.  President Clinton sent me to this meeting today 
to underscore his strong personal support for the reform policies of the 
Yeltsin Administration.  It is of the utmost importance to the United 
States and, indeed, to the world that President Yeltsin's reform efforts 
succeed.  A strong and cooperative US-Russian relationship, a 
relationship of genuine partnership, is of the highest priority for 
President Clinton and his Administration.

The United States and Russia have important interests in common.  Today, 
as Minister Kozyrev and I prepared the ground for the summit, we 
discussed a full range of these common interests.  I gave Minister 
Kozyrev a thumbnail sketch of my trip to seven Middle East countries, 
and we discussed the respective consultations that I've had with the 
parties in those countries.  It is an important beginning for our 
relationship--a very hopeful reflection on what the partnership may 
mean--that Mr. Kozyrev and I today are able to jointly announce that we 
will be extending invitations for the ninth round of the bilateral Arab-
Israeli negotiations, to be held in Washington [DC] during the month of 

We also exchanged views on the continuing bloodshed and suffering in the 
former Yugoslavia, and we explored ways to promote a peaceful settlement 
there.  We are committed, both of us and our governments, to consulting 
and coordinating very carefully and closely in pursuit of that goal.  In 
addition to the matters I've mentioned, we also dealt with questions of 
arms control, including the important matter of proliferation.  And we 
discussed economic cooperation, which can serve our mutual interests.

The United States is determined to support the cause of reform in 
Russia.  It is in the interest of the world as well as being in the 
interest of the Russian people.