Return to: Index of 1996 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies ||
Electronic Research Collections Index ||
U.S. Department of State
96/06/04 Remarks to North Atlantic Cooperation Council, Berlin, Germany
Office of the Spokesman
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
As Prepared for Delivery June 4, 1996
SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
TO THE NORTH ATLANTIC COOPERATION COUNCIL
June 4, 1996
Mr. Secretary-General, distinguished colleagues. It is a pleasure to
address this 10th meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council --
the NACC -- here in Berlin. For three decades, Berlin symbolized the
division of Europe. Today, Berlin stands as the symbol of a Europe
undivided and indivisible.
When we last met, I said that we had an unprecedented opportunity not
only to bring peace to Bosnia, but to fulfill the hopes of Europeans and
North Americans for a secure transatlantic community. Today we mark
important progress. We have built a historic coalition in IFOR to
secure the peace in Bosnia. NATO's outreach to the east is promoting
our goal of an undivided Europe. The Partnership for Peace has become a
key part of Europe's security structures in its own right. And we are
moving forward with the steady, transparent process of opening NATO to
new members. Let me discuss each briefly.
Partners and Allies together have mounted the largest military operation
Europe has seen in fifty years -- and are demonstrating outstanding
skill and professionalism every day in Bosnia. Holding free and fair
elections is the next crucial step. Yesterday in Geneva, the Balkan
leaders joined to call for elections in Bosnia by September 14, the
deadline set at Dayton.
The contributions of the Partner Countries to IFOR have been
indispensable. Poland and the Czech Republic have contributed troops at
the same per capita level as many Allies. The success of Russian and
American soldiers patrolling together is an encouraging precedent.
Albania and Slovenia have arranged for transit and basing of land and
air forces in support of IFOR. Without this assistance, and
particularly without Hungary's role as a staging-ground for U.S. troops,
IFOR could not have deployed as quickly and effectively.
Now our IFOR experience is allowing us to mount more complex joint
exercises. This year, there will be at least 15 major Partnership for
Peace exercises as well as a welcome increase in exercises held in the
spirit of the Partnership.
We have made important progress toward implementing the five measures to
strengthen the NACC and the Partnership that the NAC adopted last
December. But as I told the NAC yesterday, both Allies and Partners
must do more to bring these commitments fully to life.
Yesterday I also proposed new steps to develop the Partnership further.
First, Partners and Allies should conduct a joint study on IFOR, to
apply the lessons we have learned on the ground to our future activities
and exercises. Second, we should consider expanding the Planning and
Review Process beyond its current peacekeeping, humanitarian and search
and rescue tasks. Finally, I am pleased that the NAC agreed to involve
Partners in CJTF planning with NATO committees for activities in which
they would be eligible to participate.
For every Partner, these proposals can lead to a deeper long-term
relationship with NATO. They will also help prepare some Partners to
share the full responsibilities and benefits of membership.
NATO is on track to fulfill its commitment to take in new members. We
will decide on next steps in December, based on the results of intensive
consultations with interested Partners.
Already our comprehensive strategy has changed the face of Europe for
the better. The Baltic States have made important progress in defusing
disputes over their maritime borders. Several Central Asian states are
taking steps to form a joint peacekeeping force. And Poland has
established military cooperation with Lithuania and is planning a joint
peacekeeping battalion with Ukraine. These developments are
contributing to stability and confidence among prospective members and
all their neighbors, building a Europe where no country's gains in
security come at another's expense.
Ukraine's strong role in IFOR and efforts to build close ties with all
its neighbors are also enhancing the security of the whole region. We
value Ukraine's participation in the Partnership for Peace, and we want
NATO and Ukraine to build a strong relationship.
NATO is also committed to strengthening its relationship with Russia,
building on our excellent cooperation in IFOR. We welcome Russia's
participation in Partnership and other joint exercises. I look forward
to more intensive cooperation with Russia in the Partnership for Peace
and encourage Russia to respond positively to NATO's proposals for
permanent consultative arrangements.
Let me conclude by expressing my pleasure at seeing so much activity
through the Partnership and the NACC. We can be immensely proud of the
progress we have made together toward securing peace in Bosnia and
ensuring lasting peace across an undivided Europe.
To the top of this page