THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary



(Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts)
For Immediate Release: August 18, 1997

STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY

United States to Join Ottawa Process

The United States will participate in the Ottawa process negotiations on a treaty banning anti-personnel landmines. At the talks, which begin on September 1 in Oslo, the United States will work with the other participating nations to secure an agreement that achieves our humanitarian goals while protecting our national security interests. We look forward to a successful conclusion of these negotiations so that we can join with the other nations involved to sign a treaty in Ottawa in December.

At the same time, the United States will continue other efforts to address the problem of landmines, including our work to establish step-by-step negotiations toward a global ban in the Conference on Disarmament. Cooperation in the Conference on Disarmament on new steps in this area remains essential since that body's membership includes most of the major producers and exporters of anti-personnel landmines. In addition, we continue to seek early Senate action on the pending Protocol on landmines. This Protocol will significantly strengthen the restrictions on landmine use and, if adhered to, will save many lives as we work toward an universal ban.

The United States is committed to pursuing the most promising opportunities for ending the use of anti-personnel landmines, which every year cause enormous suffering around the world.

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Click here for the transcript excerpt dealing with landmines from 18 August 1997 Department of State press briefing.


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