THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Budapest, Hungary) ________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release December 5, 1994
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT UPON DEPARTURE TO U.S. EMBASSY COMMUNITY Hangar LRI-1 Ferihegi Airport Budapest, Hungary
2:45 P.M. (L)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Ambassador Blinken, and Mrs. Blinken, ladies and gentlemen, and boys and girls, and people associated with the American Embassy, with our CSCE delegation, to the Peace Corps volunteers, the American-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce members who are here.
I am delighted to be here on this all-too-brief trip. I'd like to point out some of the people who came with me, our Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright is here -- (applause); from the United States Congress, Senator Dennis DeConcini from Arizona -- (applause); Congressman Steny Hoyer, from Maryland -- (applause); and Congressman and Mrs. Tom Lantos, from Hungary -- and California. (Applause.)
This is a very important trip for the United States because I came here to reaffirm our nation's commitment to a secure and united Europe. As the Ambassador said, we put the START I nuclear reduction treaty into effect today, and Ukraine has joined Belarus and Kazakhstan in acceding to the nonproliferation treaty. We strengthened the CSCE to help to prevent ethnic and regional conflicts. So as a result of what has happened today, this world is a safer place.
The START I treaty alone will permit us to reduce the nuclear arsenals that the United States and the former Soviet Union countries by 9,000 nuclear warheads, to destroy delivery systems with the best verification systems ever. It will permit us to now start work on START II, which will cut our arsenals by another 5,000 warheads. This means that when we finish this work, we will have reduced the nuclear arsenals of the world by more than two-thirds over there cold war height. That's good news for the children in this audience, and for the rest of us as well.
One of the things that we have got to do now is to keep working until we achieve next year an indefinite extension of the nonproliferation treaty, so that we can continue to keep down the risks of the development of nuclear weapons, especially in an era in which the biggest problem may be the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to heretofore unusual and unconventional hands.
I'd like to say a brief word about this CSCE meeting. The United States believes the CSCE has a vital role to play in promoting democracy and diminishing conflict throughout Europe. We believe it can help nations work together to bring democracy and prosperity to their peoples, and to continue our effort of promoting European unity.
Our host, Hungary, like its democratic neighbors, is making steady and strong progress toward full integration into Europe. I believe it can, and will, complete its transformation to a free market. I believe its commitment to playing an important, responsible role in the new Europe is good news for all of us.
Last January, almost a year ago, I went to Brussels and then on to Prague and on to Russia to begin the work of building a new and united Europe. In the nearly one year since, I have come back to this continent three times to work toward that goal.
From our initiatives to open and to expand NATO, to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons, to making trade more free and fair, to building up institutions like the CSCE, to working toward preventing conflicts before they get out of hand. Through all these efforts, this European continent is becoming more secure, more prosperous and more united.
Yes, there are problems, and there always will be as long as human beings populate the globe. But we are clearly moving in the right direction, and that is good for the United States.
As I close, let me say a special word of thanks to the American missions in Hungary and to the CSCE staff. I didn't want to leave Budapest without having a chance just to tell you how much we appreciate your service, your sacrifice at a time of very great challenge. I also thank the Peace Corps volunteers for their important contributions. They represent the best of our country around the world.
I'm very proud of all of you. I thank you for the warm welcome today. I wish I had longer to stay, but this is a wonderful way to end the trip. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
END2:50 P.M. (L)