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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 31, 1999


I am very pleased that yesterday negotiators from the 30 countries that are party to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) reached an agreement setting the stage for a final adapted treaty. All countries agreed to deeper limits on their conventional forces and stronger measures to insure compliance. The decision preserves NATO's ability to fulfill its post-Cold War missions, to ensure its new members are full military partners, and to deepen its engagement with Partnership for Peace states. It also takes into account the interests of non-NATO states and helps fulfill the commitment President Yeltsin and I made last September to conclude a final adapted treaty by the OSCE Summit this year.

At a time when we are trying to end a pattern of escalating insecurity, brutality and armed conflict in the Balkans, I am gratified that these thirty countries, comprising the vast majority of European nations, are moving in a different direction. Together, we are building a Europe in which armies prepare to stand beside their neighbors, not against them, and security depends on cooperation, not competition.