News

USIS Washington 
File

14 May 1998

TEXT: AMBASSADOR GREY ON INDIA'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTING

(Presents U.S. position deploring threatening act)  (930)



Geneva -- The U.S. representative to the Conference on Disarmament has
restated the Clinton administration's strong stand in deploring
India's action in conducting a series of nuclear test explosions in
recent days.


Ambassador Robert Grey Jr. told delegates to a conference session May
14 that the tests flout international norms and "raise the risk of
further nuclear and missile proliferation in South Asia."


Grey also criticized the conference's own failure to set up an urgent
plenary meeting to discuss the issue the previous day, warning that
this omission "further erodes the CD's ability to function credibly as
an effective multilateral disarmament forum."


Following is the text of the ambassador's statement, as prepared for
delivery:


(begin text)



Mr. President,



I would like to address the serious international security situation
created by India's series of nuclear weapons tests. In this regard, I
deplore the fact that we were unable to hold a special plenary meeting
on May 13 to discuss this matter on an urgent basis. This sets a
negative precedent and further erodes the CD's ability to function
credibly as an effective multilateral disarmament forum.


Mr. President, I would like to read for the record a White House
transcript of President Clinton's remarks at a press conference on May
12 concerning the Indian tests:


"I want to make it very, very clear that I am deeply disturbed by the
nuclear tests which India has conducted, and I do not believe it
contributes to building a safer 21st century. The United States
strongly opposes any new nuclear testing. This action by India not
only threatens the stability of the region, it directly challenges the
firm international consensus to stop the proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction. I call on India to announce that it will conduct no
further tests, and that it will sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
now and without conditions. I also urge India's neighbors not to
follow suit -- not to follow down the path of a dangerous arms race.
As most of you know, our laws have very stringent provisions, signed
into law by me in 1994, in response to nuclear tests by non-nuclear
weapons states. And I intend to implement them fully."


Mr. President, on May 13, the day following these remarks, the press
secretary of the White House issued the following statement:


"On Wednesday, May 13, 1998, the president reported to Congress that
he had imposed sanctions on India as a consequence of that country's
May 11 nuclear test explosion. These sanctions were required by
Section 102 of the Arms Export Control Act, otherwise known as the
Glenn Amendment. The sanctions imposed are as follows:


-- termination of assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961,
except for humanitarian assistance for food or other agricultural
commodities;


-- termination of sales of defense articles, defense services, or
design and construction services under the Arms Export Control Act,
and termination of licenses for the export of any item on the United
States munitions list;


-- termination of all foreign military financing under the Arms Export
Control Act;


-- denial of any credit, credit guarantees, or other financial
assistance by any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United
States government;


-- the United States' opposition to the extension of any loan for
financial or technical assistance by any international financial
institution;


-- prohibiting United States banks from making any loan or providing
any credit to the government of India, except for the purpose of
purchasing food or other agricultural commodities; and


-- prohibiting export of specific goods and technology subject to
export licensing by the Commerce Department.


Finally, the secretary of state is making a similar determination
under section 2(b)(4) of the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945;
thereafter, the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank may not
give approval to guarantee, insure, or extend credit, or participate
in the extension of credit in support of United States exports to
India."


Mr. President, as these statements and actions make clear, the United
States strongly deplores the nuclear weapons tests which India has
just conducted. And, as we are now hearing, the international
community is virtually unanimous in condemning them as well. India's
tests are particularly deplorable in an era when the international
community has taken significant steps to reduce the dangers posed by
nuclear arms, including the successful negotiation in this body of the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the decision by the parties to
extend indefinitely the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. For this
reason, we call on India to join efforts to strengthen the
international regime against the proliferation of nuclear weapons,
including Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty negotiations, the CTBT and
the NPT itself.


India's nuclear weapon tests flout the international norm against
nuclear test explosions which is embodied in the CTBT, now signed by
149 countries. These tests raise the risk of further nuclear and
missile proliferation in South Asia. I am sure everyone here agrees
that an escalating arms race in South Asia is contrary to the
interests of all of us. That is why President Clinton urged "India's
neighbors not to follow suit -- not to follow down the path of a
dangerous arms race." That is also why the United States and many
other countries have taken such strong action in response to India's
nuclear weapon tests.


Mr. President, may I ask that the texts of President Clinton's remarks
and the White House press secretary's statement be circulated together
as an official CD document.


Thank you.



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