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Nonproliferation Initiative Talks Held in Paris


Nonproliferation Initiative Talks Being Held in Paris

Initiative seeks to curb global proliferation of WMD problem

An 11-nation coalition has begun a two-day meeting in Paris to continue the development of a U.S.-sponsored nonproliferation interdiction initiative -- via air, land and sea lanes -- to prevent the flow of weapons of mass destruction, missiles and related technology to and from countries of "proliferation concern," the Department of State said September 2.

John Bolton, under secretary of state for arms control and international security, is leading the U.S. delegation. Previously, the international coalition held two formal meetings -- in Madrid June 12 and Brisbane July 9-10, a department spokesman said.

"The Paris meeting will focus on the further development of a statement of interdiction principles that will enable countries to better work together within domestic and international law to enhance and expand efforts to prevent the flow of weapons of mass destruction, missiles and related technologies to and from countries of concern," the department spokesman said in a prepared statement.

The initiative was first proposed by President Bush May 31 in an address at the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, Poland, before the Group of Eight (G-8) Summit.

Initially comprising 11 countries -- Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the United States -- the coalition is focused on an interdiction initiative to curb the global proliferation problem by allowing ships, aircraft, and vehicles suspected of carrying WMD-related materials to and from countries of "proliferation concern" to be detained and searched as soon as they enter member countries' territory, territorial waters, or airspace.

Following is the text of the State Department's remarks:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Washington, D.C.
Office of the Spokesman
September 2, 2003

QUESTION TAKEN AT SEPTEMBER 2, 2003 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

Proliferation Security Initiative -- Paris Meeting of Core Participants, September 3-4, 2003

Question: Please provide details on the Proliferation Security Initiative meeting in Paris. What will be discussed?

Answer: The Proliferation Security Initiative core participants will meet in Paris on September 3-4. The U.S. delegation is headed by Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John R. Bolton. Previous meetings occurred on June 12 in Madrid and July 9-10 in Brisbane.

The Paris meeting will focus on the further development of a statement of interdiction principles that will enable countries to better work together within domestic and international law to enhance and expand efforts to prevent the flow of weapons of mass destruction, missiles and related technologies to and from countries of concern.

At Brisbane, the governments agreed:

-- to improve the sharing of information that will allow the effective interdiction of shipments of weapons of mass destruction or missiles and related items;

-- to the concept of a series of interdiction training exercises, to take place as soon as practicable. The first of these is scheduled to be hosted by Australia later this month in the Coral Sea, northeast of Australia. Training of the appropriate military and civilian assets will improve our collective ability to conduct interdiction operations.

-- to work to strengthen the existing framework of national laws and export controls, multilateral treaties, and other tools that help prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction and missiles.

The President's May 31 announcement of the Proliferation Security Initiative is in line with our National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, which calls for a comprehensive approach to counter the threat of weapons of mass destruction getting into the hands of hostile states and terrorists.

An essential component of our counterproliferation strategy is to work with other concerned states to develop new means to disrupt the proliferation trade at sea, in the air, and on land. The Proliferation Security Initiative reflects the need for a more dynamic, proactive approach to the global proliferation problem.

As the Proliferation Security Initiative moves forward, we hope to involve all countries that have the will and ability to take action on proliferation. Particularly important in these efforts are countries that are key flag, coastal or transit states, as well as countries that are used by proliferators in their Weapons of Mass Destruction and missile trafficking efforts.

The 11 countries attending the Proliferation Security Initiative meetings include Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.


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