Voice of America 4/16/97

CLINTON / CHEMICAL WEAPONS (L-O)

BYLINE=DAVID BORGIDA
DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO: FACING A DEADLINE, THE CLINTON
ADMINISTRATION IS PRESSING FOR U-S SENATE
RATIFICATION OF THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS
CONVENTION -- THE TREATY THAT BANS
CHEMICAL WEAPONS. SIGNED BY 161 COUNTRIES
AND ALREADY RATIFIED BY 70, THE TREATY
IS TO TAKE EFFECT APRIL 29TH. WHITE
HOUSE CORRESPONDENT DAVID BORGIDA
REPORTS ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS
AND SENATE SUPPORTERS OF THE TREATY
BELIEVE THEY HAVE NOW TAKEN AN
IMPORTANT STEP TOWARD ALLAYING THE
CONCERNS OF OPPONENTS.

TEXT: WITH THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS
TREATY FAST APPROACHING, PRESIDENT
CLINTON APPLIED SOME DIRECT PRESSURE
ON 10 UNDECIDED OR WAVERING SENATORS
EARLY WEDNESDAY; HE TELEPHONED THEM
TO PRESS FOR TREATY RATIFICATION.

AT THE SAME TIME, THE TOP DEMOCRAT ON
THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE,
JOSEPH BIDEN, DISTRIBUTED A LETTER TO
COLLEAGUES IN WHICH HE ANNOUNCED
THAT TREATY OPPONENTS AND SUPPORTERS
HAD AGREED TO KEY CONDITIONS THAT
ADDRESSED THE CONCERNS OF OPPONENTS.
NEGOTIATORS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE
HAD BEEN NEGOTIATING THE MORE THAN
20 CONDITIONS FOR SEVERAL MONTHS.

OPPONENTS HAVE ARGUED THE TREATY
WOULD DO LITTLE TO HALT PRODUCTION
OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN ROGUE STATES
SUCH AS LIBYA AND IRAQ. AND THEY SAY
IT WOULD SUBMIT U-S CHEMICAL COMPANIES
TO INTRUSIVE AND POSSIBLY UNCONSTITIONAL
INSPECTIONS -- INSPECTIONS THAT COULD
POSSIBLY LEAD TO INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE.

WITH THIS IN MIND, THE CONDITIONS
ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY INCLUDE
AUGMENTING EXISTING PROTECTIONS FOR
INDUSTRY. AND TO THOSE CONCERNED
ABOUT THE ACTIVITIES OF ROGUE STATES,
THE CONDITIONS ALSO INCLUDE TOUGHER
REPORTING REQUIREMENTS TO THE SENATE
ON U-S MONITORING OF INTERNATIONAL
CHEMICAL WEAPONS ACTIVITIES AS WELL
AS MORE ROBUST CHEMICAL WEAPONS
DEFENSES FOR U-S TROOPS.

THE CONDITIONS ARE BINDING BETWEEN
THE SENATE AND THE PRESIDENT, BUT THEY
ARE NOT AMENDMENTS TO THE TREATY ITSELF.

IN A BRIEFING WITH REPORTERS WEDNESDAY,
(PRESIDENT CLINTON'S) NATIONAL SECURITY
ADVISER, SANDY BERGER, SAID TREATY SUPPORTERS
ARE HOPEFUL THE CONDITIONS WILL MAKE A
DIFFERENCE TO TREATY OPPONENTS. BUT HE
WAS STILL CHARACTERIZING THE PENDING
LEGISLATIVE FIGHT AS -- IN HIS WORDS --
"AN UPHILL BATTLE."

HE SAID FAILURE TO RATIFY THE TREATY WOULD
DAMAGE THE U-S LEADERSHIP ROLE IN
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS.

///BERGER ACT///

IF WE ARE NOT IN THE TREATY AT THE BEGINNING,
WE WILL NOT BE PART OF SHAPING HOW THE
INSTITUTIONS OF THIS TREATY TAKE HOLD.
WE WILL NOT BE PART OF THE INSPECTION
TEAMS, WE WILL NOT PART OF THE EXECUTIVE
COMMITTEE THAT OPERATES THIS TREATY.
WE WILL BE ON THE OUTSIDE RATHER THAN
ON THE INSIDE.

///END ACT///

PRESIDENT CLINTON ALSO MADE HIS CASE FOR
RATIFICATION LATE IN THE DAY DURING A FOREIGN
POLICY MEETING WITH VISITING LAWMAKERS.

THE TREATY IS ALSO SUPPORTED BY FORMER
PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH -- A REPUBLICAN --
AND EVERY CHAIRMAN OF THE MILITARY JOINT
CHIEFS OF STAFF FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS. (SIGNED)
NEB/BORG/RRM

16-Apr-97 4:38 PM EDT (2038 UTC)