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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 30, 1998


On Senate Approval of NATO Enlargement

I am delighted that the Senate voted by an overwhelming margin to admit Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic into NATO. This vote is a major milestone on the road to an undivided, democratic, and peaceful Europe. The addition of these three democracies to our alliance will strengthen NATO, expand the zone of stability in Europe and reduce the chances American men and women will ever again be called into Europe's fields of battle. The message this vote sends is clear: American support for NATO is firm, our leadership for security on both sides of the Atlantic is strong, and there is a solid, bipartisan foundation for an active U.S. role in the world.

I want to pay tribute to the indispensable efforts of the many leaders from both parties who brought us to this day, starting with Majority Leader Lott and Minority Leader Daschle. This vote stands in the tradition of Harry Truman, George Marshall and Arthur Vandenberg and the other giants who kept America engaged in the world after World War II and were present at NATO's creation. Their lesson then is our lesson tonight -- that our strength lies in a foreign policy guided by the interests and values that unite us as Americans.

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