Index

01 September 2000

Text: Albright Statement on Presidential Decision on NMD September 1, 2000

(Efforts to end programs in NKorea, Iran, Iraq have highest priority)
(340)


U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says President Clinton's
decision not to commit now to deployment of a national missile defense
"will give us more time to press ahead on several diplomatic fronts."


The United States, she said, is "working hard with other countries to
counter the proliferation of missiles and missile technology,
including efforts to end the missile programs in North Korea, Iran,
and Iraq.


"These efforts," Albright said, "have our highest priority."



Following is the State Department text:



(begin text)



U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesman

September 1, 2000



STATEMENT BY RICHARD BOUCHER, SPOKESMAN



Presidential Decision on National Missile Defense



The President's decision not to commit now to deployment of a national
missile defense will give us more time to press ahead on several
diplomatic fronts. The decision to continue development and testing of
a national missile defense system, but not commit this country to
deployment until we can be confident in its technical and operational
effectiveness, will enhance the security of all Americans.


We are working hard with other countries to counter the proliferation
of missiles and missile technology, including efforts to end the
missile programs in North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. These efforts have
our highest priority.


We will also continue to work with Russia on our ideas for further
reductions in nuclear forces, and for updating the Anti-Ballistic
Missile (ABM) Treaty to allow us to work together in countering new
threats and at the same time preserve the stability and security
benefits of the ABM Treaty.


As we proceed we are consulting closely with our NATO and Pacific
allies on the new threats and on our strategy to counter these threats
through non-proliferation diplomacy and military deterrence, and
development of the capability to add a limited missile defense system.