THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Boston, Massachusetts) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release July 28, 2000
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
A year ago in Sarajevo, I joined leaders from Europe, other nations and the international financial institutions to launch the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe in the aftermath of the Kosovo conflict. Working closely with our partners in Europe and the region, I am proud of the progress that we have made. We have promoted political and economic reform, provided financial support for the region's economic development, and advanced the membership of Southeast European countries in key international institutions.
Europe, appropriately, is leading this effort, joining international financial institutions in pledging over 85 percent of assistance to the region. The United States is doing its part by contributing to more than 50 Quick-Start projects to improve infrastructure, attract investment, reinforce human rights and fight crime and corruption. This week, we established with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development a $150 million fund to promote small and medium businesses in the region. We also launched a $150 million regional equity investment fund to invest in telecommunications, consumer goods and other sectors in the region. Initial reforms have led to the beginning of renewed economic growth this year. Private investment is up, and inflation is down. Democratic values and structures are growing stronger. In Kosovo, the first democratic local elections will be held this fall.
While results since the Stability Pact Summit are encouraging, the last aggressive dictatorship in Europe remains a threat to peace. We will continue to support the democratic opposition in Serbia and the people of Montenegro until they can take their rightful place among the free and prosperous people of Europe. With continued commitment by both the region and the international community, we can achieve our common vision of building a peaceful, undivided and democratic Europe.