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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 21, 1998


I am gratified that the United States Senate has given its advice and consent to the ratification of the Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 on the Accession of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

The Senate's decisive vote was a milestone on the road to an undivided, democratic and peaceful Europe. The message this vote sends is clear: American support for NATO is firm, our leadership on both sides of the Atlantic is strong, and there is a solid bipartisan foundation for an active U.S. role in transatlantic security.

I thank Majority Leader Lott, Minority Leader Daschle, Senators Helms and Biden, Senator Roth and the members of the NATO Observer Group, and the many others who have devoted so much time and energy to this historic effort. The continuous dialogue and consultation between the Administration and the Congress on this issue was a model of bipartisan partnership. I am committed to ensuring that this partnership continues and deepens as we proceed toward NATO's 50th anniversary summit next year in Washington.

The resolution of ratification that the Senate has adopted contains provisions addressing a broad range of issues of interest and concern, and I will implement the conditions it contains. As I have indicated following approval of earlier treaties, I will of course do so without prejudice to my authorities as President under the Constitution, including my authorities with respect to the conduct of foreign policy. I note in this connection that conditions in a resolution of advice and consent cannot alter the allocations of authority and responsibility under the Constitution.

                                   WILLIAM J. CLINTON
                                   THE WHITE HOUSE,
                                   May 21, 1998.

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