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U.S. Department of State
96/12/10 Statement to North Atlantic Council Ministerial
Office of the Spokesman


                        U.S. Department of State
                         Office of the Spokesman

                          (Brussels, Belgium)

__________________________________________________________________
AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY                         December 10, 1996


                              STATEMENT BY
                 SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
          AT THE NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL MINISTERIAL MEETING

                           NATO Headquarters
                           Brussels, Belgium
                           December 10, 1996


	Mr. Secretary-General, distinguished colleagues:  I am honored to 
speak with you once again on behalf of the United States.  

	In my four years as Secretary of State, I have had the chance to 
address the North Atlantic Council on nine separate occasions.   Because 
of the importance President Clinton and I attach to our partnership with 
Europe, and because of the central role NATO plays in assuring the 
security of all our nations, this has been one of the most critical 
responsibilities I have had.  Our Allies, too, have been steadfast in 
their commitment to the transatlantic partnership.  Time and again, you 
have reminded Americans how important our role in Europe continues to 
be.  I have delivered that message to our Congress and to the American 
people.  With their support, our Alliance has become stronger than ever.

	The distance we have traveled and the achievements we have forged 
together in these four years should inspire confidence in all our 
people.  Just think where we were at the beginning of 1993, think of the 
uncertainties the Alliance faced then and the questions we had not yet 
answered.

	Many people wondered if America would maintain its commitment to 
Europe.  Others questioned NATO's relevance to the post-Cold War world.  
We all agreed on the need to integrate Europe's new democracies, but we 
had agreed on no strategy to actually do it.  Russia was just embarking 
a difficult and uncertain path toward market democracy.  The war in 
Bosnia was at the height of its brutality.  

	We met all these challenges by pursuing our interests together, as 
16 allies, through this great Alliance.  At their 1994 summit, our 
leaders adopted a strategy to transform NATO and to build an undivided 
Europe.  In 1995, NATO acted to end the war in Bosnia and assembled a 
peacekeeping coalition so broad that for the very first time, we could 
say that all of Europe is united under a common flag in a common cause.  
NATO's Partnership for Peace has become a permanent, unifying force in 
Europe.  France and Spain took  historic decisions to participate more 
fully in NATO.  We have stood by democracy in Russia and offered it a 
special partnership with the new NATO.  Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan 
have rid themselves of nuclear weapons.  The OSCE has worked effectively 
to uphold its principles from Bosnia to the Caucasus.  The EU has laid 
the groundwork for its own enlargement and built a stronger partnership 
with the United States.

	Because of what we have accomplished, there is really no question 
today that America is staying in Europe.  There is no doubt that NATO, 
the EU, and the OSCE work, that they have evolved, that together they 
provide the best hope for building a secure, democratic, integrated 
continent.  There is a broad consensus across the Atlantic about the 
direction we are heading.  NATO will continue be the central guarantor 
of our security.  NATO's European members will play a more visible role 
in NATO.  The Alliance will soon have new members.  Russia is already 
our partner, from the meeting rooms of Brussels to the muddy fields of 
Bosnia.

	This week, three events symbolize our progress.  At the OSCE 
summit in Lisbon, 55 nations adopted a comprehensive security model and 
approved a new approach for conventional arms control in Europe.  At the 
Peace Implementation Conference in London, we came together to support 
democracy and reconstruction in Bosnia.  Today we are meeting as NATO 
allies to advance the vision our leaders laid out at their 1994 summit. 

	At today's meeting, we are approving NATO's Stabilization Force 
for Bosnia. We are approving a major enhancement of the Partnership for 
Peace.  We are continuing NATO's internal adaptation.  We are declaring 
that in today's Europe, NATO has no intention, no plan, and no need to 
station nuclear weapons on the territory of any new members and we are 
affirming that no NATO nuclear forces are presently on alert.  NATO is 
signaling its readiness to exchange liaison offices with Russia at our 
major military commands.  

	Today, we have agreed that our leaders will meet at a summit in 
the summer of 1997.  We will consolidate our progress on the three broad 
goals our leaders set forth in 1994:  equipping NATO for new roles and 
missions, reforming its internal structures, and extending its reach to 
new allies and partners.  

	We will need to continue to set ambitious goals and to tackle the 
hard issues head on, both at the summit and beyond.  Many important 
challenges still lie ahead.  As NATO and the EU grow, we must ensure 
that their doors stay open.  We must work hard with our partners in 
Russia and Ukraine to ensure their nations take their rightful place in 
the new Europe.  It will take time to overcome the acute economic 
disparities between east and west and to help the nations of the former 
Yugoslavia rejoin the European mainstream.  We have to be vigilant in 
defending human rights and political freedom:  As the courageous young 
people of Serbia have shown us, and recent developments in Belarus have 
demonstrated, the struggle for democracy is not over in Europe.  Of 
course, we must continue to strengthen our transatlantic partnership, by 
breaking down barriers between our peoples and economies and by meeting 
global challenges together.  

	In 1999, our leaders will no doubt come together once again to 
mark NATO's 50th anniversary.  The event should be more than a 
celebration of NATO's past, more than a ceremony to welcome new members.  
It will be the moment NATO embarks on its next 50 years.  It will be 
time to chart a course for our New Atlantic Community well into the next 
century.  Though much has changed since NATO was founded, America's goal 
will remain constant:  a deeper partnership with a broader, more 
integrated Europe on this continent and around the world.  With that 
goal in mind, let me take a few moments to discuss the issues on our 
agenda for today, the coming summit and the years ahead.  

	Our most immediate task today is to finalize our approval of the 
follow-on force for Bosnia.  In just ten days, IFOR's mission will come 
to an end.  We will then proceed to a new mission, with fewer troops and 
a new 18-month mandate.  We can do this because IFOR has succeeded.  Let 
us pause for a moment to consider the tremendous debt of gratitude we 
owe to the 60,000 men and women of IFOR.  Some came from the most 
experienced armed forces in the world; others came from nations and 
armies that did not even exist a few years ago.  They represent long 
standing allies and former adversaries.  All of them proved they are 
equal to the task of building security in Europe under the toughest 
conditions.  All the non-NATO countries participating in IFOR will 
remain in the Stabilization Force.

	We have made progress thus far by taking a step-by-step approach 
to progress in Bosnia.  We ended the war.  We separated the forces.  We 
oversaw the transfer of territory.  We supervised democratic elections.  
Now the institutions of a unified Bosnian state are being built.  Each 
step has taken Bosnia another step away from war.  But our work is not 
done.  

	IFOR and the High Representative have succeeded admirably in 
laying the foundations for a normal, civil society in Bosnia.  Now the 
parties must take a greater share of the responsibility.

	They must respect freedom of the press.  They must honor arms 
control agreements.  They must assure freedom of movement and permit 
refugees to return home with security; a great effort will be needed 
from all of us to fulfill this requirement of the peace process. They 
must make their joint institutions function effectively.  A competent 
and honest civil administration is essential.  The OSCE is responsible 
for supervising and organizing municipal elections, which will take 
place in April.  If we want the elections to succeed, and if we want to 
see the OSCE play a more central and capable role in Europe, we must 
provide our full financial and political support for its efforts.

	Justice is also a precondition for lasting peace.  There should be 
no doubt about our determination to see war criminals punished.  We 
expect the authorities in Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia to arrest war 
criminals and turn them over to the Tribunal in the Hague.  But we also 
must see new and effective approaches to this urgent problem.

	Our assistance to Bosnia will only make a difference if we insist 
that the parties fulfill their obligations.  Reconstruction in Bosnia is 
not an end in itself.  Fixing bridges and roads will not advance our 
goals unless people and goods can move freely across them.  Economic aid 
will not lead to stable growth unless Bosnia's new institutions work 
effectively to take advantage of it.  Reconstruction assistance is meant 
to support the peace process and to speed the fulfillment of Dayton's 
central requirement -- a unified, multi-ethnic Bosnia -- and it will be 
conditioned on the parties' compliance with that requirement. 

	We must make clear to Serbia and Croatia, too, that they will 
rejoin the international community only as open, democratic societies.  
Today, we join in condemning the Serbian government's decision to ignore 
the results of the November 17 elections.  That decision must be 
reversed.  The people of Serbia deserve what their neighbors in central 
Europe have:  clean elections, a free press, a normal market economy.  
If President Milosevic respects their will, Serbia can enjoy the 
legitimacy and assistance it needs.  If he seeks to rule Serbia as an 
unreformed dictatorship, it will only increase his isolation and the 
suffering of his people.

	The international community must continue to fulfill its 
responsibilities as well.  We must accelerate the delivery of 
reconstruction aid to those parties who are fulfilling their 
responsibilities.  Our pledges must turn into projects on the ground so 
that people will see the benefits of peace.  But as President Clinton 
has said, "it is still up to the Bosnian people to take responsibility 
for rebuilding their country, reconciling with their neighbors, creating 
a democratic national government and laying the foundation for a self-
sustaining peace."   
	
	 The mission NATO has undertaken in Bosnia, the breadth of our 
coalition, and our cooperation with organizations like the OSCE make it 
plain that we have built a new NATO.  The challenge we have faced in 
Bosnia is also the kind of challenge a new NATO is more likely to face 
in the post-Cold War world, and it shows us the potential NATO has for 
assuring peace and stability.  For years, many people thought of this 
Alliance simply as bulwark against aggression in Europe.  Now we 
understand that it is the most potent, effective tool for military 
coalition-building in the world.  

	That is one reason why we have launched NATO's internal 
adaptation.  It is why we introduced the Combined Joint Task Force 
concept.  We want to give NATO a permanent capacity to plan, to train 
for, and to deploy complex missions like IFOR.  These reforms will also 
give NATO's European allies a tangible opportunity to play a more 
visible, responsible role in the Alliance.  Our European allies have 
unparalleled experience in peacekeeping.  They will now have the 
opportunity to use NATO assets for WEU-led operations.

	We have made significant progress since our Berlin ministerial on 
NATO's internal adaptation -- on CJTF, NATO's relationship with the WEU, 
the development of a European Security and Defense Identity, and on 
command structure reform.  We should complete that work between now and 
the summit.  Our goal is to strengthen NATO's ability to act to meet new 
challenges, while preserving the qualities that have made it so 
successful, including the unified command and the transatlantic link.

	We are also moving steadily forward in our effort to bring 
Europe's new democracies fully, finally and forever into our 
transatlantic community.  NATO enlargement must naturally begin with the 
strongest candidates; otherwise, it would not begin at all.  The nations 
we invite first should be those that demonstrate most clearly that they 
can meet the responsibilities NATO allies share.  As President Clinton 
has said, we also believe the new members should be admitted no later 
than June, 1999, NATO's 50th anniversary.  

	As accession talks begin, each of us has a responsibility to make 
the case to our people and our parliaments that enlargement will advance 
our interests.  The Alliance must also make clear that this process is 
open-ended:  that NATO's first new members will not be the last.  NATO 
should welcome the aspirations of those nations that continue to seek 
membership after the summit and continue our intensified dialogue and 
consultation with them.  The prospect of enlargement has given every 
potential member an incentive to develop a deeper relationship with 
NATO, to uphold democracy at home, and to contribute to regional 
stability; it is in our interest to preserve that incentive for a wide 
group of states.  NATO's new members will also have an obligation to 
help keep the door open to others.

	We must also ensure that all of Europe's new democracies, whether 
they join NATO sooner, later, or not at all, have a chance to help guide 
Europe's future.  That is why we should work with our partners to create 
the Atlantic Partnership Council as soon as possible.  The Council will 
be the collective voice of the Partnership for Peace.  It will give our 
partners a formal consultative mechanism with the Alliance and a 
mechanism for cooperating with each other, not just directly with NATO.  
It will be open to every member of the Partnership and of the North 
Atlantic Cooperation Council, which it would replace.

	Most important, the Council will help us shape the future of the 
Partnership for Peace.  The Partnership is an extraordinary success.  It 
held 16 military exercises in 1996; 25 are scheduled for next year.  It 
has made it possible to build the first truly European-wide military 
coalitions.  Today we are taking it to a new level.  We have agreed that 
the members of the Partnership should be able to participate in the full 
range of NATO's missions; whenever and wherever NATO acts, our partners 
should have a chance to stand with us.  We have agreed to involve our 
partners in the planning, in addition to the execution, of the missions 
they join, as well as in the regular peacetime work of NATO's military 
authorities.  These steps should be implemented rapidly.  I believe NATO 
should also open a liaison office in those Partner countries that 
request one.  And we should consider any other enhancements that the 
Atlantic Partnership Council may suggest.

	Each of us, each of our partners, and many other nations are also 
members of the OSCE.  It is a vital pillar of America's engagement in 
Europe.  Its importance will grow as long as we uphold the principles it 
promotes:  respect for human rights and an open society.  Of course, the 
OSCE has become much more than a standard-setter:  It has supported 
elections across Europe; it was on the ground throughout the war in 
Chechnya promoting dialogue and reconciliation.  It is the inclusive and 
necessary complement to the other institutions of our New Atlantic 
Community.  Bosnia is a case in point:  We could not have secured peace 
there without NATO; we cannot build democracy, the key to lasting peace, 
without the OSCE.

	At the OSCE summit, we agreed on the scope and parameters of  
negotiations to adapt the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty.  
Negotiations should begin immediately in the new year.  We are poised to 
eliminate old divisions between groups of states, to update the treaty's 
system of limitations and to enhance stabilizing measures and 
verification.  Our goal is early progress.  To that end, the Alliance 
should prepare and table a comprehensive negotiating proposal early next 
year.

	Russia, too, should play a vital role in every institution and 
every undertaking of our New Atlantic Community.  This is possible today 
because of the progress Russia has made under President Yeltsin's 
leadership:  elections have become a fact of life; free market ideals 
are ascendant.  It is essential because we can only build a new Europe 
free of tyranny, division and war if Europe's largest nation is our full 
partner.

	We seek a fundamentally new relationship between the new Russia 
and the new NATO.  To achieve this goal, NATO must remain firm in moving 
forward with its overall strategy; we must continue to avoid any 
suggestion of uncertainty, ambiguity, or delay.  At the same time, NATO 
must signal its readiness to develop with Russia the details and 
substance of a truly cooperative relationship.

	The potential of that relationship is already on display in 
Bosnia.  Major General Montgomery Meigs, who commands the task force in 
which American and Russian soldiers serve in Tuzla, said it best:  
Today, "an attack on Russian members of Task Force Eagle is no different 
than an attack on U.S. troopers."  Russian and NATO soldiers in Bosnia 
trust each other, depend on each other, defend each other.  They have 
been sharing common tasks for the last year; they will be for the next 
18 months.  Our job is to establish a permanent framework that extends 
their spirit to other joint endeavors and keeps it thriving long after 
the last foreign soldier has left Bosnia.

	This relationship should be expressed in a charter between NATO 
and Russia.  Russia and the Alliance should establish a formal framework 
for cooperating, consulting, training and responding to crisis together.  
We are not seeking a rigid, legalistic treaty, but rather a process of 
consultation and a regular pattern of security cooperation.  There is 
broad agreement that such a relationship is possible and in the interest 
of both NATO and Russia.  And we are now ready to move to a new stage on 
every aspect of our security strategy.  We look forward to working 
closely with Russia to develop  this vital element, so that Russia can 
have the voice on European security matters that it deserves and Europe 
needs.
	
	I believe that Ukraine, too, can be, must be, and will be fully 
part of the European mainstream.  Ukraine has made immense progress in 
overcoming a painful and difficult history.  It has made it clear it 
will do its part to help build a secure and integrated Europe. Today, we 
have decided to move forward to define an enhanced relationship between 
Ukraine and NATO.  We should also encourage Ukraine to continue building 
close ties with all its neighbors.  The new Polish-Ukrainian 
peacekeeping battalion, for example, is a tangible step in erasing 
Europe's division.  It should become an integral part of the Partnership 
for Peace so that it can be employed in future missions like IFOR.

	In all these areas, I have often remarked that our great challenge 
is to carry forward the work that our predecessors began when they built 
our Alliance after World War II.  They launched the transatlantic 
partnership and designed it to grow.  We are strengthening our 
partnership and extending to the newly free nations of Europe what 
history denied them in 1945.  It is not often that people have a chance 
to revisit the great opportunities we did not grasp in the past.  We do 
-- and we are seizing it.

	Today, we remember the achievements of Schuman, Bevin, Sforza, 
Pearson, Acheson, and Marshall; we do not often think about the 
countless obstacles, large and small, that stood in their way.  Few 
remember the understandings they had to reach before our leaders could 
meet at Bretton Woods, in Washington, in Rome to launch the institutions 
of the post-war period.  Future generations may not remember the details 
of our discussions here, either.  But if we stay focused on what truly 
matters, they will remember this:  This was the time we fulfilled the 
founding vision of NATO; this was the time we finished the half-century 
task of building a free and secure Europe, but this time with no 
divisions and no one left out.  I am grateful for the opportunity to 
have played my part in this enterprise and I know President Clinton is 
determined to see it through.

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