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Clinton Calls for Trans-Atlantic Unity

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

BERLIN, May 19, 1998 – President Clinton called on European leaders to create a new trans-Atlantic community. The future, he said, demands boldness, will and unity.

"We must build a Europe like Germany itself: whole and free, prosperous and peaceful, increasingly integrated and always globally engaged," Clinton said here May 13.

The president called for a trans-Atlantic partnership, "broad and open in scope," where benefits and burdens are shared and peace and stability for all nations are the ultimate goals.

"America stands with Europe," he said. "If Europe is at peace, America is more secure. If Europe prospers, America does as well."

Clinton said NATO and other allied international organizations have made remarkable progress supporting freedom on all fronts: NATO is taking on new missions and new members, building ties and deepening cooperation with Russia, Ukraine and 44 partner nations; the European Union is tearing down trade barriers and strengthening new democracies; and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is promoting human rights and freedom, supervising elections in Albania and monitoring arms reductions in Bosnia.

"We have helped peace take hold from Bosnia to Northern Ireland," Clinton said. "Every day, our ordinary citizens work to link our nations together -- from sister cities such as Leipzig and Houston, to American students flocking to all European countries, to young Romanians and Bulgarians now enrolled in our military academies."

He said the trans-Atlantic community must support the new Russian revolution. "For most of this century, fear, tyranny and isolation kept Russia from the European mainstream, but look at the future Russians are now building -- we have an enormous stake in their success," he said.

Russia is "recreating itself," he said, collecting taxes, fighting crime, restructuring the military and preventing the spread of sensitive technologies. "President Yeltsin has a new government of young reformers fully capable of leading Russia decisively into the future."

The president vowed to redouble efforts with Russia to reduce nuclear arsenals and conventional forces in Europe. He also promised to fight the spread of weapons technology and materials and "develop ties between our people that are the best antidote to mistrust."

All this progress, he said, is counterbalanced by many remaining challenges: Newly freed nations struggle to consolidate reforms. Eastern Europe is not yet fully integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community. Bosnia's peace is fragile, and Kosovo is volatile. Greece and Turkey are stalemated over Cyprus. Weapons of mass destruction, organized crime and environmental degradation endanger all nations.

"Advancing security also requires us to work for peace whether in Northern Ireland, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kosovo, Bosnia or Cyprus, to stand against intolerance and injustice as much as military aggression," Clinton said. "Racism and inequality have no place in the future we are building together.

"Today, I call on our nations to summon the energy and the will to finish the work we have started, to keep at it until every nation enjoys the security and democracy we do... . This is the opportunity of generations. Together we must seize it."

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