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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 15, May 1997

NATO North Atlantic Council Meeting

'Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Sintra, Portugal,' NATO Press Release M-NAC-1(97)65, 29 May 1997

The meeeting was attended by NATO Foreign Ministers.

Extracts

"3. We are particularly pleased that on 27 May in Paris our Heads of State and Government and Secretary General Solana signed with President Yeltsin the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation. This marks the beginning of a new strong, stable and enduring partnership which will be of vital importance for European security. We are committed to make the Permanent Joint Council a forum for consultation and cooperation for the benefit of stability in the whole of Europe. The activities of the Council will be built upon the principles of reciprocity, transparency and full respect for the interests of other States. We commend the Secretary General and his staff for having achieved this historic agreement for the Alliance. ...

5. We welcome today's initialling of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine and look forward to its signature at the Summit in Madrid. The maintenance of Ukraine's independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty is a crucial factor for stability and security in Europe. We continue to support Ukraine as it develops as a democratic nation and a market economy. We also welcome the opening of the NATO Information Office in Kyiv earlier this month as an important step in further enhancing our relations with Ukraine. ...

12. We welcome entry into force of the CFE Flank Agreement on 15th May 1997. This step underscores the commitment of all States Parties to retain the regional stability ensured by the provisions of the Flank Agreement for the long term in an adapted treaty. We note the progress that has been made toward a Framework Agreement on CFE adaptation and look forward to completion of that task as soon as possible. To this end, we have proposed in Vienna in February 1997 a revised treaty structure of national and territorial ceilings, together with other measures to strengthen overall and regional stability and security throughout Europe. We underline the commitment of all members of the Alliance to the process of adapting the CFE Treaty to a changing security environment, a process which should enhance the security of all States Parties and ensure that the Treaty continues to serve as a cornerstone of European security in the decades to come.

13. We noted with satisfaction the progress report of the Joint Committee on Proliferation (JCP) regarding the activities of the Senior Political-Military Group on Proliferation and the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation. We note the Policy Guidelines for Military Operations in a NBC Weapons Environment developed by the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation. We direct the JCP to continue its vital work. We reaffirm that these political and defence efforts against proliferation remain an integral part of adaptation to the new security environment and welcome further consultations and cooperation with Partner countries to address the common security risks posed by proliferation.

14. We welcome the agreement reached between Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin at Helsinki to reduce strategic nuclear warheads to a level of 2000-2500 in a START III Treaty. We urge the Russian Federation to ratify the START II Treaty promptly so that the negotiations on START III may begin.

15. We are pleased that the Chemical Weapons Convention has entered into force and strongly advocate its full and effective implementation. We call on all States which have not yet signed and ratified the Convention to do so at the earliest possible date. ..."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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