News

USIS Washington 
File

28 May 1998

TEXT: ALBRIGHT ON PAKISTAN, NATO AT LUXEMBOURG PRESS CONFERENCE

(5/28: Urges India, Pakistan to renounce nuclear tests) (1010)



Luxembourg -- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said May 28 that
Pakistan's decision to conduct nuclear tests and thus join in an arms
race with India was "a serious error. We urge India and Pakistan to
restore their standing in the world by renouncing further tests,
signing the CTBT [Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty] and NPT [Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty], and taking immediate steps to reduce
tensions."


In her opening statement at a press conference at the end of the North
Atlantic Council (NAC) Ministerial Meeting, Albright said President
Clinton "has informed Pakistan's leaders that the United States now
has no choice but to impose sanctions against their country. We urge
our allies and friends to take strong action as well."


Albright also gave an overview of the NAC Ministerial as well as her
ideas on NATO's role going into the 21st century.


"NATO's fundamental mission will always remain collective defense
against aggression. At the same time ... we have always had the option
to use NATO's strength beyond its borders to protect our security
interests. If joint military action is ever needed to protect vital
alliance interests, NATO should be our institution of choice."


She urged that at next year's NATO summit, "our leaders can agree on a
political declaration and a strategic concept that reflect this
rationale. Certainly, the strategic concept should address the need
for NATO to deal more profoundly with proliferation."


Albright also stressed that "an important part of NATO's new mission
is cooperation with Russia, with Ukraine, and with Europe's other new
democracies." Additionally, "the deteriorating situation in Kosovo is
also a threat and NATO has a role to play in addressing it," she said.


Following is the State Department text:



(Begin text)



US Department of State

Office of the Spokesman

(Luxembourg City, Luxembourg)

May 28, 1998



AS PREPARED



STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT

NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL MINISTERIAL MEETING

LUXEMBOURG CITY, LUXEMBOURG

May 28, 1998



Good evening. Before giving you an overview of what we discussed and
accomplished today, I want to make a brief statement about today's
nuclear test in Pakistan.


As President Clinton said this morning in Washington, the United
States deplores Pakistan's decision to test. Although Pakistan did not
start this arms race, its decision to join is a serious error. We urge
India and Pakistan to restore their standing in the world by
renouncing further tests, signing the CTBT and NPT, and taking
immediate steps to reduce tensions.


President Clinton has informed Pakistan's leaders that the United
States now has no choice but to impose sanctions against their
country. We urge our allies and friends to take strong action as well.
We simply must ensure that these actions carry a price; we must defend
the global non-proliferation regime; we must keep the faith with those
nations that could develop nuclear weapons, but which have chosen
courageously not to do so.


I am deeply gratified by Secretary-General Solana's strong statement
this afternoon condemning the tests, as well as the statement just
issued by the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council. This is a good sign
that our alliance and its partners understand that we have a broader
interest and responsibility in opposing the global threat posed by
proliferation.


One of my goals at the NAC today was to focus our discussion on the
purpose and direction of our alliance as we approach its 50th
anniversary summit next April in Washington.


NATO's fundamental mission will always remain collective defense
against aggression. At the same time, I stressed today that we have
always had the option to use NATO's strength beyond its borders to
protect our security interests. If joint military action is ever
needed to protect vital alliance interests, NATO should be our
institution of choice.


We hope that at the Washington summit, our leaders can agree on a
political declaration and a strategic concept that reflect this
rationale. Certainly, the strategic concept should address the need
for NATO to deal more profoundly with proliferation.


An important part of NATO's new mission is cooperation with Russia,
with Ukraine, and with Europe's other new democracies. Foreign
Minister Primakov and I just had an excellent meeting, as well as a
session of the Permanent Joint Council that reaffirmed the
fundamentals of the Founding Act and NATO's determination to work with
Russia to address common threats.


Of course, it is not enough to get NATO's roster and rationale right;
NATO's resolve to act must also be clear.


That is what NATO has been doing in Bosnia. We renewed that commitment
today by approving the operational plan for NATO's Follow-On Force in
that country. And I am very pleased that today SFOR [NATO-led
Stabilization Force] troops have picked up another indicted war
criminal.


The deteriorating situation in Kosovo is also a threat and NATO has a
role to play in addressing it.


The beginning of talks between Prime Minister Milosevic and Rugova is
a small step forward, but we have no illusions that it represents a
solution to the crisis in Kosovo. Dialogue must first lead to a change
in the situation on the ground.


We suspended implementation of certain Contact Group sanctions based
on Belgrade's step on dialogue. I pointed out to my colleagues today
that these measures can quickly be reinstated if the dialogue brings
no results and violence continues.


In the meantime, we must act to shore up Kosovo's periphery.



Let me be very clear that NATO has made no decision today to station
troops in Albania or the FYROM [Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia]
or anywhere else.


We have agreed to begin contingency planning for possible preventive
deployments to those countries, and to study how NATO could support
the OSCE monitoring mission now deployed along Albania's border with
the "FRY" ["Federal Republic of Yugoslavia"]. We also decided to
expand Partnership for Peace activities in both Albania and the FYROM.


The point is to clarify our options so that our leaders can make
decisions. If and when it becomes necessary to act, NATO will be
ready.


Thank you.  I would be happy to take your questions now.



(End text)