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U.S. Department of State
96/12/11 Statement to North Atlantic Cooperation Council
Office of the Spokesman



                      U.S. Department of State
                       Office of the Spokesman

                         (Brussels, Belgium)
__________________________________________________________________
AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY                         December 11, 1996


                           STATEMENT BY
               SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
             TO THE NORTH ATLANTIC COOPERATION COUNCIL

                        NATO Headquarters
                        Brussels, Belgium
                        December 11, 1996
 

	Mr. Secretary-General, distinguished colleagues:  It is an honor 
to speak with you on the 5th anniversary of the creation of the North 
Atlantic Cooperation Council.  I want to take a few moments to discuss 
NATO's efforts to bring Europe together and the implications our 
progress will have for this body and its members.

	As Secretary of State, I have been to Moscow, to Riga, to Warsaw, 
to Kiev, to Prague, to Budapest, to Almaty.  The scars of history are 
still evident in all the new democracies I have visited.  But in the 
ways that truly matter, it is clear that an undivided Europe is coming 
together before our eyes.  Free markets are thriving.  Free elections 
are becoming a matter of course.  New treaties, new understandings, and 
new forms of cooperation among nations and militaries are erasing old 
divides.  Thirteen Partner countries have participated in IFOR, the 
broadest military coalition in European history.  We are grateful that 
all will remain in the Stabilization Force.

	When the NACC was launched, democratic and free market 
institutions were only beginning to take hold in central and eastern 
Europe.  NATO had not yet defined the roles it would play or the 
missions it would undertake in a Europe without divisions.  But we 
already knew our Alliance could not stand still and that its Cold War 
frontier should not be sustained.  

	The NACC was the first bridge NATO constructed over Europe's old 
divide.  Until the 1994 NATO summit, it was the only structure for 
cooperation between NATO and Europe's new democracies.  It laid the 
groundwork for all we have accomplished together since.

	Those accomplishments have been remarkable.  In 1994, NATO 
launched the Partnership for Peace.  It has been a tremendous success.  
Thanks to the Partnership, our soldiers already train, plan and serve 
together.  In 1994, NATO also began a steady, deliberate process of 
enlargement, which is well underway.  NATO is also adapting itself to 
meet new challenges; its readiness to take on new missions is clearly on 
display in Bosnia.

	Thanks to the progress you have made and the progress NATO has 
made, our cooperation can be far deeper today that it was when the NACC 
was created.  Today, we are striving toward nothing less than the 
integration of Europe.  NATO, along with other European institutions, 
will continue to play a central role in this effort.

	Thanks to the progress you have made and the progress NATO has 
made, our cooperation can be far deeper today than it was when the NACC 
was created.  Today we are striving toward nothing  less than the 
integration of Europe.  NATO, along with other European institutions, 
will continue to play a central role in this effort.

	Since 1994, we have been pursuing three tracks:  equipping NATO 
for new roles and missions, reforming its internal structure, and 
extending its reach to new allies and partners.  Today, NATO is ready to 
take each of these elements to a new level.  Our partners will be able 
to participate in the full range of NATO's new missions.  Those partners 
that are ready to meet the responsibilities of NATO membership will soon 
have a chance to be considered for membership.  All our partners -- 
whether they join NATO sooner, later, or not at all -- will have an 
opportunity to help shape a secure and democratic Europe.

	Yesterday NATO took important steps forward.  We approved the 
follow-on force for Bosnia.  We approved a major enhancement of the 
Partnership for Peace.  We declared that in today's Europe, NATO has no 
intention, no plan, and no reason to station nuclear weapons on the 
territory of any new members.  NATO signaled its readiness to develop a 
fundamentally new relationship with Russia.  

	We agreed that our leaders should come together at a summit in 
Madrid on July 8th and 9th, 1997.  The summit will invite some of our 
partners to begin negotiations to enter NATO by 1999.  NATO also pledged 
that it will remain open to additional members.

	The Alliance will also work with you to create the Atlantic 
Partnership Council, that would replace the NACC.  The Atlantic 
Partnership Council will be the collective voice of the Partnership for 
Peace.  It will give its members a formal consultative mechanism with 
the Alliance and a mechanism for cooperating with each other, not just 
directly with NATO.  Most important, it will help shape the future of 
the Partnership.  The Council will be open to every member of the 
Partnership and of the NACC.  I am pleased that so many members of the 
NACC have expressed their support for this idea.

	We have traveled an enormous distance together in the last five 
years.  Seeing our partnership take shape has been one of the most 
gratifying results of my tenure as Secretary of State.  I can tell you 
that President Clinton is determined to build on our progress, and I am 
confident that together we will take the next logical steps in building 
a free and undivided transatlantic community.


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