U-S / CHEMICAL WEAPONS

Voice of America 4/7/97

BYLINE=VICTOR BEATTIE
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO: U-S DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN IS URGING
HIS FORMER SENATE COLLEAGUES TO RATIFY THE
INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION BY
APRIL 29TH -- THE DATE IT GOES INTO FORCE. V-O-A'S
VICTOR BEATTIE REPORTS SENATE MAJORITY LEADER
TRENT LOTT EXPECTS A VOTE BY APRIL 29TH, BUT SAYS IT
IS UNCERTAIN THE TREATY HAS THE NECESSARY VOTES TO
BE APPROVED:

TEXT: SECRETARY COHEN -- A FORMER REPUBLICAN SENATOR
-- SAYS FAILURE TO RATIFY THE TREATY WOULD DIMINISH
THE SUCCESS OF THE GOAL TO FORCE OTHER NATIONS TO
ELIMINATE THEIR CHEMICAL WEAPONS STOCKPILES AND
CAPABILITIES. MR. COHEN SAYS, DESPITE ITS IMPERFECTIONS,
THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS ACCORD WILL ENSURE THE SAFETY
OF U-S TROOPS AND NATIONAL SECURITY.

SENATOR LOTT SAYS THE TREATY -- WHICH HAS BEEN HELD
UP IN THE SENATE SINCE 1993 -- COULD BE VOTED ON LATER
THIS MONTH, BEFORE THE 29TH. HOWEVER, SAYS THE OUTCOME
IS UNCERTAIN. DURING A SUNDAY APPEARANCE ON
N-B-C-T-V'S "MEET THE PRESS", SENATOR LOTT WAS ASKED
IF THE NECESSARY 67 VOTES ARE THERE TO APPROVE IT:

///LOTT ACTUALITY///

I DON'T THINK IT'S CLEAR AT THIS POINT. IT WILL DEPEND
ON WHAT HAPPENS. IT MAY PASS. I SUSPECT IT WILL
PROBABLY BE CLOSE, BUT, IF SOME OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL
CONCERNS ARE ADDRESSED, SOME OF THE VERIFICATION
CONCERNS. (MODERATOR) BUT, YOU EXPECT A VOTE BEFORE
APRIL 29TH? (LOTT) PROBABLY.

///END ACTUALITY///

SENATOR LOTT SAYS THE TREATY COULD COME TO THE FLOOR
SOON AFTER COMMITTEE HEARINGS THIS WEEK.

OPPONENTS SAY THE PACT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO ENFORCE,
LEAVE THE UNITED STATES VULNERABLE TO SO-CALLED "ROGUE"
STATES AND WOULD INFRINGE ON AMERICAN SOVEREIGNTY.

PRESIDENT CLINTON FRIDAY URGED SENATE APPROVAL OF
THE PACT, WHICH ALREADY HAS BEEN SIGNED BY MORE THAN
160 NATIONS.

///REST OPT///

ON CABLE NEWS NETWORK'S "LATE EDITION", SUNDAY,
SENATE REPUBLICAN JOHN KYL -- A TREATY CRITIC -- SAYS
SUCH ACCORDS DO NOT ADVANCE PEACE, BUT SET IT BACK:

///KYL ACTUALITY///

BECAUSE THE RESPONSIBLE NATIONS OF THE WORLD DON'T NEED
TREATIES TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND THE ROGUE NATIONS OF
THE WORLD JUST CONTINUE TO DO WHAT THEY BELIEVE IS IN
THEIR BEST INTEREST.

///END ACTUALITY///

SENATOR KYL -- WHO CALLS THE TREATY MEANINGLESS -- SAYS
IRAQ USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST THE KURDS AND IRAN,
DESPITE A 1925 GENEVA PROTOCOL PROHIBITING SUCH WEAPONS.

SENATE DEMOCRAT JOSEPH BIDEN -- A TREATY SUPPORTER --
COUNTERS BY SAYING ARMS CONTROL TREATIES WITH RUSSIA
AND THE FORMER SOVIET UNION HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO PEACE:

///BIDEN ACTUALITY///

WE ALREADY HAVE 160 NATIONS WHO HAVE SIGNED ON TO THIS
TREATY, NUMBER ONE. NUMBER TWO, WE ARE GOING TO DESTROY
OUR CHEMICAL WEAPONS STOCKPILES ANYWAY. NUMBER THREE,
IF WE STAY OUT OF THIS TREATY, IF WE'RE NOT ONE OF THE
NATIONS THAT SIGN ON, WHAT KIND OF ABILITY TO WE HAVE TO
MOVE TO DEAL WITH BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS. WHAT OF ABILITY
DO WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH NON-PROLIFERATION WHEN WE, THE
LARGEST STOCKPILER OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, SAY WE'RE NOT
PART OF THE DEAL.

///END ACTUALITY///

SENATOR BIDEN SAYS THE UNITED STATES -- BY SIGNING THE
CONVENTION -- WOULD BE ABLE TO LEAD THE WORLD IN
OPPOSING THE ACQUISITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS BY
COUNTRIES LIKE LIBYA AND IRAQ. THE DELAWARE
DEMOCRAT SAYS THE PROBLEM OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS
PROLIFERATION WILL WORSEN WITHOUT THE TREATY. (SIGNED).

NEB / WD

07-Apr-97 1:37 AM EDT (0537 UTC)