THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
The President expressed concern today about the postponement of yesterday's Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting. He urged the Senate to complete its consideration of both the START II Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and to provide its advice and consent to their ratification as soon as possible.
"START II and the CWC are of critical importance to U.S. national security," the President declared. "They will help create a safer world for all Americans, and for our friends and allies. We need these two vital treaties now."
START II will continue the process begun by START I of achieving deep reduction in Russian nuclear weapons. This will further diminish the nuclear threat and advance U.S. nonproliferation interests.
The Chemical Weapons Convention will ban an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. Its nonproliferation provisions will make it harder and more costly for proliferators and terrorists alike to acquire chemical weapons.
Both START II and the CWC were negotiated and signed under the Bush Administration. Last month, the Senate adopted an amendment expressing the view that the Senate should promptly provide its advice and consent to their ratification. The President urges the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to allow the full Senate to carry out its Constitutional responsibilities and to support the ratification of START II and the CWC this fall.
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