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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 415-99
September 13, 1999

STATEMENT BY UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE RUDY DE LEON CONCERNING MEETING ON VIEQUES

"On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, I met today with members of Gov. Rossello's working group on Vieques to discuss important issues related to the use of the U. S. Navy's training facilities on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. This meeting follows other high-level discussions held in recent weeks between the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, and the Government of Puerto Rico.

"Today's discussions were frank and open and provided an opportunity for all of us to better understand the complex issues we face. I understand that reconciling our national security requirements with the legitimate concerns of the Puerto Rican people is not an easy task. But the spirit of cooperation demonstrated today will allow us to move closer towards a resolution that will be in the best interests of all parties."

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