Voice of America
DATE=2/27/97
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-210687
TITLE=RENO/CHEMICAL WEAPONS (L ONLY)
BYLINE=JIM MALONE
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO: ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO SAYS THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS TREATY PENDING IN THE SENATE WOULD HELP LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES COMBAT THE THREAT OF TERRORISM HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. MS. RENO IS ADDING HER VOICE TO THOSE OF OTHERS IN THE ADMINISTRATION URGING THE SENATE RATIFY THE TREATY, AS WE HEAR FROM WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT JIM MALONE.

TEXT: ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO SAYS TERRORISTS WILL USE ANYTHING THEY CAN GET THEIR HANDS ON TO CARRY OUT THEIR ATTACKS. SHE SAYS RATIFYING THE INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION PENDING IN THE SENATE WILL GIVE AMERICAN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS SOME IMPORTANT NEW TOOLS TO GUARD AGAINST TERRORIST ATTACKS IN THE UNITED STATES.

/// RENO ACT. ///

RIGHT NOW, MANY COUNTRIES ONLY OUTLAW THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS. THESE NEW LAWS WILL HELP LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WORLDWIDE TO INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE CHEMICAL WEAPONS, RELATED ACTIVITIES AND IMPROVED CHANCES OF DETECTING TERRORISTS BEFORE THEY STRIKE.

/// END ACT. ///

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS SIGNING THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION MEANS THE UNITED STATES CAN SHARE INFORMATION WITH OTHER COUNTRIES. THAT MIGHT INCLUDE INFORMATION ON THE TRANSFER AND SHIPMENTS OF CHEMICALS THAT COULD BE USED BY TERRORISTS, A KIND OF INTERNATIONAL EARLY WARNING SYSTEM WHICH MIGHT HELP LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES PREVENT AN ATTACK.

MS. RENO'S COMMENTS ARE THE LATEST ATTEMPT BY THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION TO BUILD PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS TREATY THAT FACES A DIFFICULT RATIFICATION VOTE IN THE SENATE SOMETIME IN THE NEXT TWO MONTHS.

THOSE WHO OPPOSE U-S RATIFICATION OF THE TREATY INCLUDE THE CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE, REPUBLICAN SENATOR JESSE HELMS. HE WARNS U-S PARTICIPATION IN THE TREATY COULD RESULT IN A LOSS OF AMERICAN SOVEREIGNTY, AND COULD LEAD TO FORCED INTERNATIONAL INSPECTIONS OF CHEMICAL-PRODUCING COMPANIES IN THE UNITED STATES. (SIGNED)

NEB/JBM/RAE

27-Feb-97 11:41 AM EST (1641 UTC)