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95/06/01 Statements on US-Portuguese Cooperation and Defense

                             U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                              Office of the Spokesman 
                                (Lisbon, Portugal) 
For Immediate Release                                 June 1, 1995 
                           SIGNING CEREMONY FOR 
                               FOLLOWED BY  
                           PRESS CONFERENCE WITH  
                      Portuguese Foreign Ministry 
                             Lisbon, Portugal 
                               June 1, 1995 

Mr. Secretary of State, ladies and gentlemen: 
On October 2, 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote a farewell letter to his 
friend Correia da Serra, Minister Plenipotentiary of Portugal and Brazil 
to Washington, in which he said the following: "During six and thirty 
years that I have been in situations to attend to the conduct and 
characters of foreign nationals, I have found the Government of Portugal 
the most just, inoffensive and unambitious of anyone we had concern, 
without a single exception.  I am sure this is the character of ours 
also.  Two such nations can never wish to quarrel with each other."  
Jefferson, using the style of his century, was writing from Monticello, 
the place President Clinton symbolically chose as the starting point to 
the White House in his inauguration ceremony.  I would add, using 
contemporary language, that we would accept that sentence noting, 
however, that if we want to maintain a just relationship with the United 
States, we also have positive ambitions.  The agreement we have just 
signed shows our intention to move forward. 
Nearly two centuries later, we are now signing a Defense and Cooperation 
Agreement which testifies to the excellent relations of friendship that, 
resisting the storms of history, have shaped the contacts between 
Portugal and the United States of America.  Indeed, we both believe 
that, in an unpredictably changing world, such ties as we have been able 
to maintain have an ever-growing importance. 
This agreement is also an expression of the renewed confidence with 
which both countries are facing the future.  This being the first 
bilateral agreement of this nature concluded after the restoration of 
the democratic regime in our country -- in fact, the 1951 Defense 
Agreement is still in force and extended at the right time -- objective 
conditions have now been created for a qualitative upgrading of the 
political relationship between Portugal and the United States.  I am 
certain that the work of the Standing Bilateral Commission -- as well as 
the periodic meetings at the highest political and diplomatic levels -- 
will decisively contribute to the fulfillment of this common goal.  In 
this context, the specific importance of this agreement to the 
Autonomous Region of Azores has also been recognized, a fact that I am 
pleased to emphasize.  I would also like to welcome the presence among 
us of the President of the Azorean Legislative Assembly, the 
representative of the President of the Azorean Autonomous Region, as 
well as the Minister of the Republic for the Azorean Region, and the 
Minister of National Defense, who honor us with their presence here 
today at this ceremony.  We will also sign the Technical Agreement, 
which will rule the use of the Lajes Air Base by American Forces, as 
well as the Labor Agreement applying to Portuguese workers serving with 
those forces.  The heads of both delegations to those negotiations have 
already initialed, on March 28, an agreed minute which is incorporated 
into these agreements. 
Finally, Mr. Secretary of State, I wish to welcome you to Lisbon and to 
reiterate my great satisfaction in having you return the visit I made 
last year to Washington, during which we signed an agreement to avoid 
double taxation and tax evasion between our two countries, enabling us 
to open new perspectives for the development of our economic relations.  
I feel that our governments have to congratulate themselves on the 
signature of these agreements, which mean a major step in the deepening 
of the relationship between our two countries.  Both Thomas Jefferson 
and Abbott Correia da Serra would be delighted with these achievements. 

Good morning, Mr. Minister, Distinguished Representatives from the 
Azores, Ladies and Gentlemen: 
I'm just delighted to be here in Lisbon on this beautiful spring 
morning.  I have an opportunity to sign this Agreement on Cooperation 
and Defense between the United States and Portugal since I am, I 
believe, the sixty-third Secretary of State, I can do no less than to 
agree with the sentiments of my distinguished predecessor, the first 
Secretary of State.  So, I agree with you, at least in all of the terms 
that are proper for this century, rather than that century.   
The agreement that we signed here today of course is the product of a 
long period of hard work and dedication.  The Minister and I frequently 
in our earlier meetings had talked about the agreement, and tried to 
find ways to resolve the last outstanding remaining issues and I am 
delighted that's now been done.  This treaty reaffirms the close 
relations that have long existed between our two countries.  Relations 
that have been augmented, as the Minister said, in the last year by the 
signing of the Tax Treaty and the Customs Agreement as well.  This 
agreement bolsters our security relationship and enhances our already 
excellent bilateral relationships in a number of ways. 
As one of the founding members of NATO, Portugal, of course, is a highly 
valued ally and friend of the United States.  Portugal is one that can 
always be counted on in events as momentous as the Gulf War, as complex 
as the crisis in the former Yugoslavia or as simple as the emergency 
landing of a distressed aircraft in the Atlantic.  We are very proud to 
be partners with Portugal in the search for regional and global security 
in the post-cold war world.  The agreement that we signed today ensures 
continued United States use of the strategic air base facilities in the 
Azores.  In this post-cold war world, and with all of its turbulence, 
the projection of conventional forces at great distance remains a vital 
aspect of our security and certainly the base that is reflected in this 
agreement is a very important link in that security. 
The agreement also calls for annual bilateral political and political-
military consultations, it establishes an important Standing Bilateral 
Commission which will develop programs of cooperation in the military 
field between defense sector industries and in science and technology.  
The Commission will also reinforce the economic and commercial 
relationships between our two countries and provide for cooperation with 
the Autonomous Region of the Azores.  I've asked our Ambassador here, 
Ambassador Frawley Bagley, to be my personal representative to work with 
the Portuguese Government to design and activate the Commission that is 
called for in the Treaty. 
Of course, Portugal is a very important player in a variety of 
international institutions.  As President of the Western European Union 
Portugal has mobilized the examination and improvement of that 
organization's operational capabilities. 
The Minister and I had an interesting discussion of the important steps 
that Portugal under his leadership has been taking in the Western 
European Union.  Portugal is one of the most active members of the 
United Nations and of course we cooperate very (inaudible.) 
I want to emphasize that the document we signed today will fulfill the 
broad vision of its framers to provide not only a legal basis for 
continued United States presence in the Azores but to invigorate, to 
really enliven our overall relationship.  For example, now that the 
Lajes Agreement has been signed we can pursue initiatives that were 
identified by the negotiators which can further our bilateral 
cooperation.  This should include ways to use initiatives in the 
scientific, technological and space exploration fields, as well as to 
find the right way to commemorate the upcoming 500th anniversary of 
Vasco da Gama's world-changing voyage. 
I look forward to continuing to work with the Minister on many of the 
issues and many of the great opportunities that we have together, such 
as the Exposition planned here in 1998. 
So, Mr. Minister, it is a pleasure to be here and an honor to join you 
in signing this important agreement. 
Thank you. 
(End of Statements) 
MINISTER DURAO BARROSO:  The Secretary of State and myself are at your 
disposal to answer any questions you may have. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, You made some reference to the Bosnia 
situation.  Even while the French and British and others are trying to 
figure how to regroup, it seems the U.N. Secretary General has set forth 
some options, including scaling back an evacuation. I wonder if you 
would tell us if you think any of that is helpful. 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I warned my colleague that not all of the 
questions might be on Portugal and I see this (laughter)... 
The Secretary General has yesterday filed his long awaited report on 
Bosnia.  We've just begun to study it and I've not had a chance to talk 
yet today with Ambassador Albright about it.  I think one thing that I 
ought to say in that connection, Barry, is that it was, I think, very 
courageous of the British and the French, and really common ground in 
the Contact Group, that the action that should be taken now would be to 
strengthen UNPROFOR, strengthen the United Nations forces in Bosnia, not 
to withdraw them, and to strengthen them by adding to the military 
capability of UNPROFOR but also to consider possible redeployments which 
would make UNPROFOR less vulnerable.  That is the program that the 
countries with the troops in Bosnia are presently following, and as I 
said, I think that was a very courageous decision by Britain and France.  
Beyond that I am not yet ready to comment on the Secretary General's 
report, because we really haven't had a chance to analyze it fully. 
QUESTION: (Jose Vegar - Semanario) - Mr. Secretary, two very simple  
questions.  The first refers to the Lajes Accord.  Will Ambassador 
Bagley be the U.S. representative on the Permanent Bilateral Commission 
that will regulate cooperation between the two countries?  Second:  last 
week-end in Budapest, during a private meeting, many former American 
diplomats commented that a U.S. involvement in a rapid operation in the 
Bosnian theater was a very possible hypothesis.  Can you tell me if that 
is an option being considered at this point by the Department of State?  
Thank you. 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: The first question is very easy and I am glad to 
answer it. Yes, Ambassador Frawley Bagley will be our representative on 
the Commission and I have asked her to take steps to organize it 
promptly.  Second, with respect to the forces that the United States has 
placed into the Adriatic -- an aircraft carrier and some marines -- I 
want to emphasize that they are there simply as a precautionary matter, 
they are a prudential step because of the seriousness of the situation, 
but there are no plans for the kind of the mission that you described.  
President Clinton has taken no such decision and I want to stress the 
precautionary nature of the troops that we have there, rather than 
wanting to indicate that they are about to undertake a mission of any 
QUESTION: Minister Durao Barroso: In the area surrounding the Lajes Base 
there are some focus of pollution attributable to FEUAZORES (Azores 
Forces).  Has this issue been approached by the two parties?  The Azores 
University says that the clean up will cost several million contos.  If 
this is really true, who is going to pay? 
FOREIGN MINISTER DURAO BARROSO: Within the scope of this accord it also 
established a specific cooperation for the Azores.  In the minutes that 
were distributed to you, the Final Minutes of the Negotiations, is 
itemized a set of actions, including by the way, university cooperation, 
that deal specifically with the Azores.  That specific case you referred 
to is not -- if memory doesn't fail me -- contemplated -- the case of 
pollution generated by the Base, but others are.  And nothing precludes 
the issue from being approached, and it will certainly be if the Azorean 
regional government, which will have a representative in the Permanent 
Bilateral Commission, so decides. And the issue may be handle under this 
spirit of good cooperation and friendship that exists between the United 
States and Portugal.  I would like to add the following: this accord is 
not the end of a process;  it is in fact the beginning of a new process, 
of a more mature, more developed relationship between two partners -- 
the U.S. and Portugal -- who share the same objectives.  Now a lot will 
depend on our actions, now a lot will depend on the work of the 
Permanent Bilateral Commission established under the terms of this 
Accord, and which had not been contemplated under any other previous 
accord.  I applaud the appointment of Ambassador Frawley Bagley as the 
U.S. representative.  The Portuguese counterpart will be the Director 
General of Bilateral Relations, currently Ambassador Quevedo Crespo.  
They will meet soon, I hope, and will begin outlining cooperation 
programs.  Amongst those cooperation programs there will certainly be 
specific programs for the Azores, as the base is located in the Azores.  
I also hope that the Luso-American Development Foundation, a private 
institution but whose foundation, whose birth, was obviously directly 
related to the special relation between Portugal and the U.S., will also 
contribute to the general objectives of this cooperation. 
QUESTION: (Elsa Marujo: RTP/1):  Mr. Secretary:  Currently around 1,000 
Portuguese workers serve at the Lajes Base.  I would like to know if the 
U.S. intends to downsize that number by more than 100, as reported by 
some media, or if it guarantees the current number of Portuguese 
positions at the Lajes Base? 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: From long and painful experience I have learned 
not to try to answer questions when I am not informed, and I confess not 
to being informed on that subject.  I am sure that Ambassador Frawley 
Bagley will be glad to provide you an answer to that question after this 
session is over.  I apologize for not knowing that detail. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Minister, I have two questions to put to you from the 
several aspects that arise from today's signature of the accord.  One is 
also related to the Portuguese workers.  I would like to know what 
guarantees the accord gives to the Azorean workers serving at the Lajes 
Base, and also, regarding the several aspects of the Final Minutes and 
cooperation with the Azores, I would also like to know what is the U.S. 
financial contribution for short, medium, or long term investments, 
mainly in the areas of social security, health, environment, 
agriculture.  They are all referred to in the Final Minutes.  
FOREIGN MINISTER DURAO BARROSO: I will try to answer quickly.  There is 
a new Labor Accord.  This new Labor Accord is more advantageous for the 
Portuguese workers.  I'll give just a few examples: for the first time 
the American side accepted the principle that positions previously held 
by Portuguese will not be filled either in full or part time by 
Americans.  The restriction to resort to Portuguese Labor Courts has 
been eliminated in cases of cessation of the working contracts for 
causes other than disciplinary; bilateralization of decisions regarding 
claims by workers has been consecrated, overruling the previous solution 
which was based on a simple unilateral decision by the American Command; 
we establish a mechanism for conflict resolution based on a process 
safeguarding the sovereignty and the Constitutional systems considered 
illegal by either party, and the rights of its respective citizens.  I 
would also note that the value of the decisions of the Portuguese courts 
is recognized in the scope of the Accord, and that a mechanism of 
political compromise to secure the effective implementation of the 
courts' decisions has been created.  I would also like to add that in 
what relates to cessation of working contracts the terms of the Accord 
are closer to those of Portuguese internal law.  That was not the case 
before.  We are thus, in the presence of an 'Accord of a New 
Generation', in what concerns the labor statute of the Lajes workers.  I 
would like now to say a word of thanks to the American government for 
their understanding regarding this issue, and I believe that the meeting 
we held in Washington -- myself and Secretary Warren Christopher and 
Defense Secretary William Perry -- was instrumental in overcoming some 
of the existing difficulties.  I would also like to say that we have 
kept the Lajes Base workers abreast of the issue; I believe that 
globally this is qualitatively an improvement for those workers. 
QUESTION: Secretary Christopher:  Two related questions.  I would like 
to ask you what is being done on the diplomatic front, to win the 
release of the hostages in Bosnia, and second, can you give us some 
sense about whether there was any progress in Ambassador Frasure's talks 
yesterday with Mr. Milosevic? 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Well, those are closely related questions, Steve.  
On Ambassador Frasure's meeting with Milosevic yesterday, the meeting 
did take place, but I have not yet had a readout on the meeting and the 
reporting cable was not available this morning, so I am afraid all I can 
do is to tell you that the meeting took place and I don't know the 
outcome of it.  One thing I would say is that both Ambassador Frasure as 
well as I, felt that it was going to be a difficult, tough negotiation.  
I said yesterday, Steve, we don't know whether the passage of nine days 
since they last met will have hardened Milosevic's position or make him 
more anxious to try to reach agreement, but we are coming in an 
atmosphere of trying to reach agreement.  One thing I do want to stress 
is that we have not changed our position with respect to the difference 
between a suspension of the sanctions, or lifting of sanctions.  The 
United States position will be that sanctions should be suspended, not 
lifted, and when we have a readout from Ambassador Frasure we will 
certainly try to give you more information on that.  Back to the first 
part of your question, as I said, the second part of the meeting with 
Milosevic is part of our effort to further isolate Dr. Karazdic and the 
Pale Serbs.  The strategy we are following here is a condemnation of Dr. 
Karazdic for the uncivilized behavior of taking the hostages and trying 
to bring the force of international public opinion to bear on that very 
barbaric conduct, and it certainly seems to be rounding up into almost 
unanimous condemnation of that taking.  I have not seen anyone defend 
it, actually.  Beyond that we are indicating to Dr. Karazdic in a very 
direct way that we hold him responsible for the well being of the 
hostages.  Any actual negotiations or discussions with respect to the 
matter would have to be done by the United Nations commanders who are in 
Sarajevo, whose troops they were, or whose troops they are, that have 
been taken and detained by Dr. Karazdic.  As you probably saw yesterday 
there was some indication of desire on the part of Bosnian Serbs to have 
talks, but those seem to be talks that were inviting concessions on the 
part of the United Nations or the troop contributors, and we are not 
prepared to go into talks on that basis.  Beyond that, Steve, I don't 
have anything further on the negotiations.  I don't believe there are 
any active negotiations going on, but if there are, they would be under 
the direction of the United Nations and the commanders there in 
QUESTION: Mr. Minister. I would like to return to my second question. 
Maybe you forgot to answer it; it concerns cooperation with the Azores.  
Since the accord is so vast and it involves several areas I would like 
to know how this cooperation is translated:  is it just logistical and 
technical or are there American investments in the Azores.  How is this 
cooperation referring to social security, health, environment, 
agriculture, implemented?  Are there financial investments? 
FOREIGN MINISTER DURAO BARROSO: As I said the Final Minutes of the talks 
has been distributed to you.  It seems to me that the different forms of 
cooperation particularly relating to the Azores is itemized in a very 
concrete way.  For example, to promote and facilitate the supply of 
Azorean goods and services to the American contingent deployed at the 
Lajes Air Base; promote and facilitate the export of Azorean products to 
the U.S.; American technical missions in the areas of agriculture, 
higher education, environment, tourism, civil protection, social 
security and health, namely.  Regarding social security and health it is 
foreseen the joint draft, together with the Portuguese government, and 
the Azores Regional Government, of a protocol to promote exchange in the 
areas of health and medical science, as well as a more comprehensive 
cooperation between the American Forces deployed in the Azores and the 
regional health services.  That is what is foreseen.  As I said, a lot 
now depends on how both governments - with of course, the cooperation of 
the Regional officials -- substantiate in practice a cooperation 
framework which seems to me a very ambitious and very positive one. 
This ends our press conference.  Thank you very much.  
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