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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 512-99
November 01, 1999

DISCUSSIONS ON NAVAL TRAINING RANGE IN VIEQUES CONTINUE

Under Secretary of Defense Rudy de Leon, Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense Robert S. Tyrer, and Puerto Rican Chief of Staff Angel Morey met at the Pentagon today to discuss the Rush Panel's recommendations on military operations in Vieques. The Panel released its report on October 18, 1999, and recommended that the Department of the Navy immediately begin a priority assessment of the training requirements at Vieques with the objective of ceasing all training activities at Vieques within five years.

"Today's meeting provided an opportunity to exchange views on the importance of Vieques. This meeting was not intended to reach any decisions, but rather to clarify our positions and enhance our understanding of the issues," said de Leon. "It is very important for us to keep the lines of communication open," de Leon added.

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen will use the information gained during this meeting in developing his recommendations to the President.

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