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Secretary Albrights remarks at Stake Out for CTBT

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Stake-Out Following Testimony
Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on
Ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
Washington, DC, October 7, 1999

As released by the Office of the Spokesman U.S. Department of State

Q Madame Secretary?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Yes.

Q How are you?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Good. How are you?

Q Can you speak to the issue of delay in what - speaking to the administration -- what you'd like to see happen, given the parameters of the debate so far?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I think that this is a very important treaty that needs to be considered carefully, comprehensively. And it has been - the time for consideration has been artificially shortened, and I believe that it needs to have more consideration.

Q The Chairman, if I understand correctly, wants it in writing that if there's a postponement, it would be until after the election.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I am -

Q Is that - leaving him out of it, when you speak of delay or more consideration of the treaty, what time-frame --

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I am not going to give it a time-frame. What I believe, though, and I must say that this was an excellent hearing, and I think that the senators -. First of all, the hearing that preceded me, with the other senators, I thought was very good, and there were a lot of good questions asked and answered. I thought they were very probing questions that I was asked. I felt that the senators were turning their attention, really, to this treaty at this stage, and that more time is required, and no artificial way of shortening it.

I don't want to - it's not up to me to set the time-frame for this, but I do think that this is a very important treaty, one that will affect how the American leadership of the non-proliferation issues is carried out. And so that's my -

Q Do you think time is working on the side of ratification?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think that, as facts emerge about the importance of this treaty, and the fact that the United States has, through a moratorium, is not testing, and all we're doing is trying to get a treaty into place that prevents others from testing - in other words, doing what we're already doing - I think that the facts for this treaty speak for themselves.

Q Thank you. Ambassador Kirkpatrick said today that it doesn't really matter if it's not ratified by the Senate: if it fails. She says other people just aren't paying that much attention to this.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: That is simply not true. I have just been up to New York - that's both and her and my old stomping ground - and I met with 80 foreign ministers in the course of my time up there. CTBT very much came up -- I can't say in all of them, but in a lot of them, because I think people are very concerned about nuclear proliferation.

And you have to remember that, with the review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in '95, we would be breaking faith with those countries, because they were the ones that urged us to go forward on what President Clinton had already asked us to do, which was to negotiate a comprehensive test ban treaty. So, if you actually spend time talking to the foreign ministers of today, and in New York, this is a subject that people care about and should care about.

Q Is President Clinton going to ask Lott to withdraw this (inaudible)?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: As I said, I've made -

Q Well, I mean we've got to come to a head at one point?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I - pardon?

Q It's got to come to a head at some point.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I'm not going to get into - that's not what I do for a living.

Q But is withdrawal an option, as Carter withdrew SALT II?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Look, I am saying that what is important here is this treaty needs more consideration. That is -

Q I know. Thank you very much. All right thank you. Bye-bye.

###


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