95/12/02 Sec Christopher Spain Bilateral Mtg  Return to: Index of 1995 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

U.S. Department of State
95/12/02 Sec Christopher Spain Bilateral Mtg
Office of the Spokesman

                         U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                          Office of the Spokesman 

                              December 2, 1995 
                        PRESS AVAILABILITY WITH 
                        AMBASSADOR MICKEY KANTOR 
                           Viana Palace Ministry 
                                Madrid, Spain 

FOREIGN MINISTER SOLANA:  (Translated from Spanish)  First of all, allow 
me to thank Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Ambassador Kantor 
for their visit here to Madrid. It is not the first time that they visit 
us, but today has a special importance for us.  The Secretary of State 
has been kind enough to come to Madrid, and to hold a working meeting 
with the Spanish delegation 24 hours prior to the formalization of the 
Summit between the European Union and the United States of America, and 
I want to thank him for advancing his visit by 24 hours in order to work 
together with us this morning. 
I want to say that today's meeting has basically been in preparation for 
tomorrow's.  I want to emphasize the importance to the Spanish 
Presidency to have been able to reach an agreement regarding the new 
Transatlantic Agenda in record time.  And you know that the Spanish 
Presidency together with our friends from the United States, decided to 
determine as a priority issue throughout these past months, providing a 
new impetus to the relations between the European Union and the United 
States of America.  I reiterate that we have been able in a relatively 
short period of time to carry out a large scale operation and this new 
Transatlantic Agenda which will be signed tomorrow by President Clinton 
with the President of the Government of Spain, and the President of the 
I want to take advantage of this opportunity to thank the people who 
have worked so hard and so well.  With regard to the American 
delegation, some of them are with us this morning, and with regard to 
the Spanish delegation, Carlos Westendorp, Mr. Villar and the Count that 
have worked intensely over the recent months in order to reach this 
I would like to say as well, that we have logically spoken about other 
things.  We have spoken about Turkey, and we have expressed our firm 
desire, both from the Spanish Presidency and the United States, to reach 
in the upcoming days, the formalization of the Customs Union between the 
European Union and Turkey.  Turkey is an important country for all of us 
and we all hope, both Spain and the United States, that Turkey may take 
over its corresponding role in the present and in the future. 
However, as this could not be, we have talked about Bosnia.  And in 
talking about Bosnia, I want, first of all, to offer my most sincere 
thanks to Secretary of State Warren Christopher for his tenacious, 
persevering work, throughout the past months in order to finalize the 
peace agreements in Dayton.  And I believe that without his tenacity and 
his physical perseverance in Dayton in the last days, we would not be 
where we are today, with peace on the tips of our fingers, a peace which 
is now the responsibility of all of us to implement.  In the name of the 
Spanish government, and I believe in the name of the European Union, I 
want to thank him personally for the work that with such intelligence 
and such tenacity he has carried out. 
We have a large task facing us.  We have yet the task of implementing 
these peace agreements, and we still have to deal with the entire effort 
of the reconstruction of the European territory which unfortunately has 
been destroyed by the war. 
And at the same moment, I also want to thank you most sincerely for the 
confidence that you and your government have deposited in me, so that I 
may take over the position of the General Secretary of the Atlantic 
Alliance.  I am perfectly aware of the difficulties, of the challenges 
that the Atlantic Alliance faces at this time.  As I said before, I want 
to reiterate that I will assume this responsibility, and will dedicate 
my best efforts, my best energy and the best of my intelligence to lead 
these great challenges we are facing at present to a successful end.  I 
basically point out two of these; the implementation of the peace 
agreements in Bosnia Herzegovina, and the extension of the Atlantic 
Alliance to Central and Eastern European countries. 
Therefore, I want to thank the Secretary of State again, and Ambassador 
Kantor, and all the friends who have joined us in Madrid.  I thank them 
for their presence in Madrid and for moving their trip forward so that 
tomorrow's meeting may be a success, as I am certain that it will be. 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Good afternoon.  I'm very pleased that the US-EU 
Summit has given me a good reason to come back to Madrid and to spend 
some time with my colleague and friend, Foreign Minister Solana.  This 
is a particularly auspicious and happy occasion.  It gives me a good 
deal of pleasure to be the first NATO Foreign Minister to meet with 
Foreign Minister Solana since his selection as the next NATO Secretary 
He and I worked well together over the last several years and I can 
testify that he's shown very strong leadership and determination in 
building a very sound Transatlantic relationship.  Certainly his 
skillful diplomacy has contributed to an unusually successful six months 
in the Presidency by Spain of the European Union.  At a time of great 
challenge in the Alliance, Minister Solana is really an outstanding 
choice to serve as Secretary General.  I congratulate him and I 
congratulate Spain because I think this choice is a compliment to him 
but also is a compliment to the road that Spain has traveled and the 
recognition that is reflected in the choice of its Foreign Minister as 
the next Secretary General. 
The Dayton agreement, which the Minister kindly referred to, I think 
shows once again the enduring strength of the Transatlantic Alliance.  
Our combined military and diplomatic effort has brought us to a very 
hopeful point working together.  The United States and our European 
allies are about to undertake a mission that is a true test of our 
ability to meet the challenges of the post-cold war period. 
This Madrid Summit that is coming up tomorrow, in which President 
Clinton, Prime Minister Gonzalez, and as well as the President of the 
European Commission, Mr. Santer, set the stage for a very important 
meeting for cooperation between our two continents.  Only six months 
ago, here in Madrid, I called on the United States and the nations of 
Europe to form a new Transatlantic Agenda and I am delighted that we're 
now able to announce one tomorrow.  At that time I said that every 
generation must renew the partnership by adapting to meet the challenges 
of the new time. I believe the Transatlantic Agenda that will be signed 
tomorrow by our leaders will allow us to advance the very enduring 
interest between the United States and Europe in security, democracy, 
prosperity around the world.  The Agenda reflects President Clinton's 
very strong commitment to Europe and relationships with Europe, that 
have been a central element of our foreign policy ever since President 
Clinton took office now almost three years ago.  Under the new Agenda 
we'll move from periodic consultation to a sustained cooperation to 
promote our common interests in four important areas.  First, promoting 
peace, development and democracy around the world.  Second, combating - 
and this is really a new Agenda - combating international crime, 
terrorism and drug trafficking, meeting environmental challenges around 
the world.  Third, expanding global trade and eliminating the remaining 
Transatlantic barriers.  And fourth, building new bridges between the 
peoples, not just the countries, but between the peoples of Europe and 
the United States. 
The new Agenda contains several priority initiatives.  It includes 
urgently needed efforts to bolster cooperation between our law 
enforcement officials, to anchor central Europe and Turkey more firmly 
in the west, and the Minister has referred to the very important 
decision the European Parliament will make with respect to Turkey, we 
strongly hope it will be approved.  We are working together to support 
the Middle-East peace process, as well as to fight nuclear 
proliferation.  My colleague, Ambassador Kantor, will explain our 
initiative of a new Transatlantic market place, that will support 
business and create new jobs.  A high priority, of course, of the Agenda 
will be working together to implement peace in Bosnia in addition to the 
military cooperation that we will launch in our NATO meetings this week.  
The United States and Europe will work together in the human rights 
field as well as to ensure that there are free and fair elections in 
Bosnia.  We're working also together on economic reconstruction, an area 
where the European Union has indicated that it will take the lead.   
Let me conclude with a final word of appreciation for the role of Spain 
in bringing peace to former Yugoslavia.  The United States recognizes 
the very considerable sacrifices that Spain has made in sending peace-
keepers to Bosnia as well as having Spanish air-crews fly by our side 
and helping to move us to this important point, of hope in former the 
Yugoslavia.  I pay tribute to the people of Spain, for their willingness 
to participate in this NATO effort and undergo the sacrifices.  I want 
to reaffirm the importance the United States and all the American people 
place on our relationships with Spain as an ally, partner and a friend.  
Now Ambassador Kantor will have just a few remarks. 
Thank you Mr. Secretary and thank you Minister Solana, and 
congratulations to you, and to all of us for this very fine choice.   
AMBASSADOR KANTOR:  I think it's more than appropriate that we're here 
in Spain to initiate a new Transatlantic market place, as Spain 
initiated the first Transatlantic market place five hundred years ago.  
The Agenda and the Action Plan which President Clinton, Prime Minister 
Gonzalez and President Santer will formally sign tomorrow confirms 
really the strength of our bonds in the mutual interest in prosperity 
and peace and raising standards of living that we all share.  The market 
place has four or five items that are most important to it. One is 
confidence building, and we just initialed an agreement on the 
enlargement question, on the question of the reference price system for 
grains and we're delighted with that outcome and everyone who worked on 
that deserves congratulations for reaching that agreement.  We trust in 
the near future it will be ratified by all sides.  Second of course, 
there'll be deliverables in 1996 in order to continue this confidence 
building process, everything from mutual recognition agreements to 
tariff reductions to, of course, working on government procurement in 
other areas as well.  Third, of course, the joint study, which is the 
heart and sole of the Transatlantic market place will be initiated in 
Urrare (inaudible?) Good discussion this morning about both sides 
wanting to initiate that study as quickly as possible to look at 
reducing and eliminating barriers to trade between these two great 
trading partners.  Fourth, of course, is to continue the business 
dialogue, institutionalize it to build on that very successful meeting 
in Seville, and to make that a permanent fixture as we move forward with 
the market place.  And last, of course, is the information technology 
agreement which can't be overstated in terms of its importance.  
I think we ought to recognize, as I complete my remarks, from an 
economic stand point alone, how important this is.  Fifty percent of the 
world's trade is represented by activity involved with the European 
Union and the United States both between us and with our trading 
partners. We can have an enormous impact on world trade, on standards of 
living, on growing jobs and on future prosperity. 
And I want to thank you again for your leadership and thanks to 
Secretary Christopher for his vision of what could happen here, and of 
course, all of our colleagues who worked so hard on this agreement. 
QUESTION:  Hello.  I would like to pose a question to Secretary of State 
Christopher: What aspect has the United States valued most at the time 
of supporting the candidate from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
to the General Secretary position of NATO?  Thank you. 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well there were many factors that went into our 
support.  First, let me emphasize it was a decision taken in the NATO 
Council.  It was taken unanimously, it was a decision that the countries 
came to not just because the United States has confidence but the 
confidence of all of us in Foreign Minister Solana. But very strong in 
my mind, in the United States' mind was the support that Spain with 
Foreign Minister Solana at its lead has given to NATO in Bosnia, to 
furnishing troops and through the furnishing of aircraft to fly along 
side the other NATO countries.  Of course, his leadership in the 
European Union and the great success of the Spanish Presidency during 
the six months was a very strong factor.  At rock bottom, though, I 
suppose it's the great confidence that the President and I and other 
United States officials had in his personal strength, the confidence 
that we had that he would be a strong leader for NATO in one of the most 
important and difficult periods of its time.  He will go there with a 
fine record, as Spanish Foreign Minister, but I believe the personal 
qualities that we have sensed in him of strength, of high ability to 
bring people together, but also to show leadership, that was at rock 
bottom, I think, what motivated us most. 
QUESTION:  Yes, my question is directed to Secretary of State Warren 
Christopher.  The Spanish Presidency of the European Union has provided 
an impetus, of course, to the new Transatlantic Agenda, but it has also 
given an impetus to the exploratory conversations with Cuba, with hopes 
of reaching a cooperative agreement, the first cooperative agreement 
between the European Union and Cuba.  Do you believe, Mr. Secretary of 
State, that this agreement could contribute to, and facilitate the 
transition in Cuba, or in contrary, do you think it could contradict to 
a certain point, the North American foreign policy with regard to Cuba?  
Thank you. 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  We have different policies with respect to Cuba, 
but I believe we have the same goal, of wanting to achieve a free and 
democratic Cuba.  We have doubts about the speed with which the European 
Union is moving in that direction, but I want to emphasize that that's 
not a NATO issue, it's not an issue that will effect in any way Foreign 
Minister Solana's new role as Secretary General of NATO, and we'll 
continue to have dialogue with respect to Cuba.  The United States' 
position, I think, is well known, reflected in the Cuban Democracy Act.  
this is, I say, not a NATO issue, and will not affect our relationships 
in that extremely important alliance. 

QUESTION:  French radio.  My question is for both of you.  I would like 
to know if the United States and if Spain, as President of the European 
Union, have done anything towards the liberation of the French pilots in 
Bosnia.  First question.  And the second question, Mr. Solana, are you 
going to stay for the Madrid Summit? 
FOREIGN MINISTER SOLANA:  The first part of your question, in every 
aspect we have done everything possible to liberate the two French 
pilots.  I remain hopeful that they may be freed in the very near 
future.  Perhaps, the Secretary of State has more precise information 
than mine.  I spoke just a few hours ago with the French Ministry in 
order to exchange opinions on that specific problem. 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  There was a problem with the translation.  The 
French pilots were a matter of great concern and discussion at Dayton.  
We emphasized to the countries involved, especially to the Serbian 
leaders the great importance we attached to the release of the pilots.  
This is an issue that's being worked upon very aggressively at the 
present time, but I don't have any further information that I can give 
you at the moment. 
FOREIGN MINISTER SOLANA:  I will be available to take over in my new 
position at the moment that it is necessary.  Logically, I have a 
certain desire to continue here until the Madrid Council is over, but it 
is not essential that it be so. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Solana, Al Goodman from CNN, do you anticipate, Sir, an 
early visit to Bosnia perhaps even next week, to either Bosnia or to 
advance troop locations elsewhere in Europe, would you describe what you 
expect to do in the first couple of weeks on the job?  In English, if 
that's possible. 
FOREIGN MINISTER SOLANA:  Sure. (inaudible)  I would like of course to 
dedicate much of my time to Bosnia and to the implementation of the 
(inaudible).  I that will be the first challenge that I will have, and 
whatever is necessary, going there physically or whatever is necessary, 
be sure I will do it.  I will be, to the most of my capacity to help in 
success of this complicated operation that has to be a success.  I said 
before the political part of it has been done in a very successful 
manner by the United States in cooperation with the European Union, the 
success of Dayton, and we have now the difficult question of the 
implementation.  We have to succeed on that.  I am sure that we will do 
our best, so that it is successful. 
OK, thank you very much. 
To the top of this page