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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks and Q&A Session at Center for National Policy
Washington, D.C., January 13, 1998
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

Blue Bar

As Delivered

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much. Well, it is a great pleasure to be here, and to introduce Mo. Maureen Steinbruner, I think, is one of the outstanding thinkers in Washington and in the United States at this time. When we were partners, when I was president of the Center, Mo was really the brains of the outfit. She has, I think, had some of the most path-breaking and interesting thoughts about our economy, about the labor force, about the role of agriculture, and has spent a great deal of time also thinking about foreign policy. The work that the Center did in Cambodia, I think, has been key to a great deal of activity there.

So it is a great pleasure always to appear with Mo, and to be at the Center. I have to say that I've been on the road so much recently, that it is a joy to be home; and for me, home, to a great extent, means the Center for National Policy. So Mo, thank you very much for your introduction; and I'm very, very glad to be here with my friends and colleagues and various excellencies.

Since this is my first speech of the year, I thought I would use it to preview our 1998 foreign policy agenda here on Capitol Hill. But before doing that, I want to reflect a little on 1997. For it is hard for me to believe that only twelve months ago, I was awaiting confirmation by the Senate as Secretary of State.

For me, the year since has been extraordinary. Not only have I had the opportunity to engage in diplomacy full time, in Baltimore I was invited to throw out the first baseball on opening day; in Asia, I was allowed to sing in public for the first time since grade school; and just last month, I was included on a national magazine's list of the 25 most intriguing people -- alongside a cloned sheep.

(Laughter.)

I also had the experience of receiving letters such as one referred to in The Washington Post not long ago, about the very pregnant crossword puzzle fan in England who couldn't come up with an answer to the clue, America's Secretary of State. And who, then, while in the midst of a difficult and protracted labor, suddenly began hollering, it's bloody Madeleine Albright.

(Laughter.)

Fortunately, there were many substantive high points, as well. For despite frustrations and setbacks, it was a very good year for our foreign policy.

Thanks to bipartisan support, the United States joined the Chemical Weapons Convention as an original member. And clearly, given recent events in the Gulf, our leadership in opposing the spread of weapons of mass destruction is vital.

In Europe, NATO invited new members and prepared for new missions, while forging historic partnerships with Russia and Ukraine. In Bosnia, we reinvigorated efforts to fulfill the Dayton Accords so that the hard-earned peace will last and the investment and sacrifices we have made will not have been in vain.

In Asia, we signed new defense guidelines with Japan; began Four-Party talks aimed at lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula; intensified a dialogue with China in which we achieved progress on economic and security matters and maintained our principles on human rights, where we saw Beijing take several positive steps, including the release of Wei Jingsheng.

In preparation for planned visits by the President this year, we opened new chapters in our relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia and Africa. We took an essential first step towards a global agreement to combat climate change. We put efforts to advance the status of women right where they belong -- in the mainstream of American foreign policy. We laid the groundwork for a much needed reorganization of our foreign policy institutions. And we made progress towards re-establishing a bipartisan consensus for US leadership in world affairs, as evidenced by the first increase in funding for international programs in several years.

So we begin 1998 in a position of strength. Our economy is humming, our alliances are firm, our military is the best, and the democratic values we cherish are embraced by a greater portion of the world than ever before.

But experience warns us that the course of events is neither predictable nor smooth. And given the pace of our era, we know that new threats to our security and prosperity could arise with 21st century speed.

Accordingly, we must -- and we will -- maintain our vigilance in the Gulf, so that Saddam Hussein is never again able to threaten Iraq's neighbors with aggression or the world with weapons of mass destruction. Earlier this morning, I took a telephone call from Foreign Minister Primakov in order to talk about what is going on in Iraq. It is very important the President stated it yesterday we will restate it and continue to restate it, that unconditional access by UNSCOM must be the Council's bottom line. It is absolutely essential that Saddam Hussein live up to the obligations that are in the Security Council resolutions, and that he must come clean as far as the weapons of mass destruction are concerned. We need to know what he has had, and what the potentials are; and we need to have access. UNSCOM must have access unconditionally and unfettered to the various sites.

I think we have to keep in mind and remember that the regime put forward by the Security Council and sanctions is the most comprehensive sanctions regime in the history of the world. It is not there in order to punish the Iraqi people. We feel very deeply about them, and have in fact been authors of a resolution in order to make sure that Saddam Hussein does provide for humanitarian help and goods for the people of Iraq.

But it is also absolutely essential that Saddam Hussein live up to his obligations, and that he not be a threat to the region. Therefore, we will continue to be vigilant and determined, and we do not rule out any options.

In the Middle East, we will strive to make this a year in which decisive steps towards a lasting peace are taken. And I know the President will make that clear in his meetings next week with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat.

We will be looking for opportunities to strengthen our key bilateral relationships in every region on every continent. And we will continue working on an urgent basis with affected governments, the IMF, the international community and the private sector to restore confidence to the troubled economies of East Asia.

Because the world economy is so interconnected, restoring confidence and financial stability in Asia is very much in our long-term economic and security interests. That is why the President has responded to the current financial crisis by strongly backing recent IMF initiatives in Asia, and by underscoring this support by pledging to work with others in the international community to provide contingency funding should this prove necessary.

We have stressed that successful restoration of market confidence and future growth and development in East Asia will depend on vigorous and sustained implementation of economic reform commitments. These reforms include the implementation of market opening measures, restructuring of financial sectors and greater investment transparency.

In this week to come, I will be addressing these and other issues in more detail, but this morning I wanted to highlight in particular four tests of American leadership that we will confront this year on Capitol Hill. For 1998 will be a year of decision, and the decisions we make in collaboration with Congress will do much to determine our course in the next century.

One choice is whether Congress will support continued implementation of the Dayton accords. Shortly before Christmas, I went to Bosnia with the President, Senator Dole and Members of Congress to visit our troops and talk frankly with local leaders. We found a nation that remains deeply divided, but which has also made great strides since the days of ethnic cleansing and nonstop shelling. Slowly, the infrastructure of peace is taking shape and the psychology of reconciliation is taking hold.

The Bosnian people and their partners have a broad agenda for the coming year -- to strengthen multi-ethnic institutions that are now beginning to function; assist refugees who are now returning home; help local economies that are now starting to recover; and back the War Crimes Tribunal, which is now making its presence felt in the cause of justice and the pursuit of truth.

As the elements of a new Bosnia come together, the evidence is growing that if we persevere, peace will be sustained. But if we were to leave now, as some urge, the confidence we are building would erode, the fragile institutions of democracy would become embattled, the purveyors of hate would be emboldened and a return to war and possible renewed genocide would be likely.

This would squander the progress Americans have helped Bosnians to achieve and de-value the sacrifice our armed forces, diplomats and private citizens have made. It would undermine American leadership within NATO, which is vital to our overall national security. And it would abandon those throughout Bosnia who believe in democracy and have put their faith in the United States.

Quitting is not the American way. The mission in Bosnia should determine the timetable, not the other way around. And as the President made clear last month, that mission must be achievable, tied to concrete benchmarks, not a deadline. Our purpose is to do all we can, in partnership with our allies and in cooperation with the people of Bosnia, to create a climate of security that is sustainable, so that when our troops do leave Bosnia, they leave for good.

The NATO-led effort to build peace in Bosnia reflects the importance of a second test for 1998, which is to gain the Senate's agreement to the proposed enlargement of that alliance --perhaps the best friend peace has ever had.

Through five decades, NATO has proven itself not as an instrument of war -- although its ability to counter aggression is unparalleled -- but as a guarantor of peace. Since the alliance was established, no nation has dared attack a NATO member in Europe. By adding Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to the alliance, we will expand the area within Europe where wars simply do not happen. And we will enlist in the cause of peace three new allies who are dedicated to NATO principles and ready to contribute to the freedom and security of the continent.

We will also maintain a strong incentive for the nations of Central and Eastern Europe to build true democracies, respect human rights and resolve long-festering ethnic and territorial disputes.

During my lifetime, I have been both a product and a student of European history. And when I see Romanians and Hungarians becoming friends after centuries of enmity; when I see Poles, Ukrainians and Lithuanians forming joint military units; when I see Czechs and Germans overcoming decades of mistrust, and Central Europeans improving their political and economic ties with Russia, I know the currents of history are shifting in directions that will make us all more secure.

The choice the Senate will be asked to make this spring is whether to reject NATO enlargement and leave the alliance organized to fight an enemy that no longer exists; or to validate America's leadership in a new NATO, bolstered by new democracies, sustained by enduring principles and dedicated to deterring and defeating new threats.

I hope and I believe that with the support of leaders from both parties, and with the encouragement of the American people, the Senate will make the right choice--and allow NATO enlargement to proceed.

The third legislative test for 1998 is whether we will pay what we owe to the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund. This matters because the United States cannot solve every problem that affects us on our own; nor would we want to try. We use international organizations to address challenges that extend far beyond our borders and to ensure that others bear a fair share of the costs and risks. And do not doubt, we have serious business to conduct in these organizations.

As we speak, UN inspectors are striving to overcome Iraqi deception and obstruction concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. The IMF is playing the central role in efforts to end the financial crisis in East Asia. And to succeed, the IMF must have the resources required to leverage reform, restore stability and spur renewed growth.

At the same time around the world, international bodies are striving to remove land mines, punish genocide, promote human rights, prevent disease, feed the hungry, halt the exploitation of children, provide early warning of hurricanes and ensure that the rights and safety of those who travel or do business overseas are protected.

The fact that we are so far behind in our payments to these organizations hurts America. It makes it harder for them to carry out programs that serve our interests. It undermines our proposals for making them more efficient. And it is an open invitation to potential adversaries to run America down.

That is why we were pleased last year to receive bipartisan support for legislation that would have gone a long way toward meeting our obligations. Unfortunately, final passage of that bill was blocked by a small group of House members -- not because they opposed the bill or had credible arguments against it, but because they wanted to take a legislative hostage. And as the price for releasing the hostage and allowing the bill to pass, they insisted that the Administration agree to their unrelated position on international population programs.

The victims of this act of legislative blackmail are the American people. For the failure to pay our UN debts undermines our leverage just as Saddam Hussein was challenging the authority of the Security Council. And it damaged our credibility just as the General Assembly was voting on a plan that could have reduced by roughly $100 million a year the amount we are assessed by the UN system.

In 1998, we will insist that the hostage be released so that members be permitted to vote on this issue on its own merits. After all, the best America is a leader, not a debtor. We have an obligation that we must meet, as members of organizations we helped build, to abide by rules we helped write, to further goals of law, peace and prosperity that Americans deeply support.

I have to say, as I re-read this part of the speech, it is so ludicrous that we have done this that I cannot imagine how we can continue to damage America by holding this plan hostage. It is truly ridiculous.

A fourth test of foreign policy leadership this year is whether Congress approves the proposed Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. This is a Capitol Hill initiative, supported by the Administration, designed to frame a new American approach to a new Africa.

During my recent visit to that continent, I was impressed by the opportunities that have arisen to integrate Africa into the global economy; build democracy; move beyond the terrible conflicts that have plagued the region; and cooperate in responding to global threats.

We believe that the African countries that most deserve our help are those that are doing the most to help themselves. And that the most useful help we can provide is the kind that will enable economies to stand on their own feet through open markets, greater investment, increased trade and the development among their peoples of 21st century skills.

Obviously, this is not a complete list of the foreign policy tests that Congress and the Administration will face in the months ahead. We will be seeking the funds we need to give Americans the diplomatic leadership they deserve by supporting programs that range from the inspection of North Korean nuclear facilities to fighting the war against drugs to training Peace Corps volunteers to protecting the global environment.

We will be working with Congress to see that the President has the tools and authorities he needs to promote American prosperity by opening markets and bringing down barriers to trade. We will be asking Congress to approve legislation to implement US participation in the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Senate to approve treaties such as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, the Law of the Sea Treaty and the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

We will be seeking to ensure that the full range of American interests are protected in legislation affecting key relationships, such as those with Russia and China. We will be asking congressional approval, where needed, of our foreign policy reorganization plans. Above all, we will be working to build and maintain bipartisan support for principled and purposeful American leadership.

The spirit of bipartisanship in American foreign policy was perhaps never more visible or vital than in 1948, exactly half a century ago. That was an intensely political year, in which a bitter Presidential campaign was closely contested. Yet, in that year, a Democratic President and a Republican Congress came together to approve the Marshall Plan; lay the groundwork for NATO; help create the Organization of American States; recognize the newborn state of Israel; assist Greece and Turkey in their struggle to remain on freedom's side of the Iron Curtain; and airlift supplies around the clock to a blockaded Berlin.

Secretary of State Marshall called this record a brilliant demonstration of the ability of the American people to meet the great responsibilities of their new world position.

There are those who say that Americans have changed, and that we are now too inward-looking and complacent to shoulder comparable responsibilities. In 1998, we have the opportunity to prove the cynics wrong. And I believe we will.

From the streets of Sarajevo to the Korean de-militarized zone to village squares in Africa to classrooms in Central America to boardrooms in central Europe and courtrooms at The Hague, the influence of American leadership is as deeply felt in the world today as it has ever been.

That is not the result of some foreign policy theory. It is a reflection of American character.

We Americans have an enormous advantage over many other countries because we know who we are and what we believe. We have a purpose. And like the pilots of a plane who know from experience that their instruments will guide them home; like the faith of a farmer that seeds and rain will cause crops to grow; we have faith that if we are true to our principles, we will succeed.

Let us, then, do honor to that faith. In this year of decision, let us reject the temptation of complacency and assume, not with complaint, but welcome, the leader's role established by our forebearers. Let us be doers, and not doubters. Let us be confident that the values that have sustained Americans from Valley Forge to Desert Storm are the right ones. And that by living up to the heritage of our past, we will fulfill the promise of our future, and enter the new century free and respected, prosperous and at peace.

To that end, I pledge my own best efforts, and respectfully solicit yours. Thank you very much.

(Applause.)

MS. STEINBRUNER: We have time for a few questions, before the Secretary has to leave. So if there are people out there who have curiosities, if they would raise their hands I will take their questions.

I guess you've solved all the problems.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: The CNP quiet?

(Laughter.)

QUESTION: How about a press question? Madame Secretary, are you holding Congress responsible for Saddam Hussein's continued defiance of the UN resolutions? Or do you partly blame (inaudible)?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: No, I didn't say that. I hold Saddam Hussein responsible for defying the UN.

What I do hold Congress or a few members of Congress responsible for is a lack of understanding for the importance that the United Nations plays in our lives; and specifically the role that the United Nations is playing in terms of assuring that Saddam Hussein live up to his obligations.

The timing that we saw last fall of a lack of understanding by some members for the role that the UN could play, just at the time that we were calling on the UN to be firm, was not something that was helpful. I think that as we go through this year, and as we are looking at a day like today, where Richard Butler is coming to brief the Security Council on Saddam Hussein's most recent defiance, I think we need to understand the very important role that the UN plays in terms of helping the United States and other countries deal with the threat of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, could you comment on the state of play with respect to the US and Iran; and as well, the responsibility that the State Department has with respect to the Iran Libya Sanctions Act and our European allies -- that very complicated situation?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: First of all, I think that for most of us in this room who have lived through the last two decades of a very difficult relationship with Iran, there is no question that we are all intrigued by the election of President Khatemi; primarily, if one looks at how he got elected.

I know that in this room there are those who analyze election returns sometimes -- and who also are experts in analyzing attitudes of voters. From what we know, Khatemi was elected by a younger electorate; by a largely female electorate; and a sign of people, generally, who have felt constrained by life in Iran. So his election and his recent statements we have found interesting, and are studying very closely.

We believe that the best way to proceed is through an authoritative and acknowledged channel for a government-to-government dialogue in order to discuss what we consider three major problems with Iran's policy, which has to do with their desire to acquire weapons of mass destruction, their support for terrorism worldwide and for their undermining of the Middle East peace process. So while we are intrigued by the words, we are looking for actions.

We are basically analyzing the interview and statement. We were interested in the fact that President Khatemi condemned terrorism; that he spoke, I think, quite approvingly of some basic American fundamentals; and he did express some form of regret for the hostage taking. But his speech also had some very negative aspects to it, in terms of the way that he characterized Israel and our relationship with Israel, and various aspects that we considered very counterproductive.

Now, on the legislation, it is the goal of the Administration and the State Department to fulfill American law. The ILSA legislation is American law. We are currently going through an investigation period, trying to determine whether there is sanctionable activity; and that process is going on right now, and is very complex. But we are determined to carry this out, as is appropriate according to the various provisions of the law; and we will implement the law.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, do you see NATO expanding beyond the present three candidates? And if so, what countries should be expanded to, and at what pace?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, let me first of all say that it was a personal privilege for me to be present when we invited the three NATO countries. Mo has spoken about my background, and I kind of put it together in my little statement when we were in Brussels; which is that it was actually the coup in Czechoslovakia in February 1948 which finally mobilized the West to understand that the spread of communism was, in fact, undermining our values, and then helped to create NATO.

So it seemed very appropriate to me that we should now and I specifically should have and that was the reason we came to the United States -- so the fact that I was able to be there to welcome those three countries into NATO and get ready for the ratification process.

The President has said many times that NATO is open to those who subscribe to democratic principles and market economies. We have not designated any future countries, but clearly it is open for those that fulfill the various criteria requirements. I think that it's not productive to actually name countries at this stage. We are going to be looking to see which countries are eligible. I think that we hope and expect that the process will be a dynamic one, and that other countries will be coming in.

Baltic countries' representatives are coming to the United States shortly. We certainly welcome the aspiration of the Baltic countries, and we care about their security. But we, at this stage, are not speaking specifically about which countries would come in on a second tranche. That decision will be made in 1999.

QUESTION: I want to turn to an intellectual argument that's going on these days in the pages of The Atlantic magazine and in Foreign Affairs. There have been two articles which seem to suggest that it's wrong for the United States to call for free elections and for democracy; that first, according to Foreign Affairs, you have to develop liberal constitutional policies, and in The Atlantic article, economic development. I wondered if you could comment on that.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, Rochelle, since this is what we used to talk about at NDI all the time I think that what has to happen is that we need to have and this may soon become an overused word a multifaceted approach to countries; and that there is not any one cookie-cutter approach to how we deal with countries, and then within them some kind of formula that describes the timing of each aspect.

I believe that we must never forget that human rights and democracy are central to our foreign policy, and that is something we want in countries so that people have an ability to select governments of their own choosing, and that they can do so without fear of retribution.

At the same time and I came across this very vividly in my trip just now to Africa and the Great Lakes region I think it's important for us to think about a number of other aspects that countries need. They need to be able to have institutional structures which can support democracy. They need to have a rule of law. They need to have judicial judges in a judiciary system that functions, and police that function fairly. They need to have the ability to supply an economic life for their people.

So I think that what we need to do is be more broad-based as we go into the countries in terms of asking about what needs to be done. I remember, Rochelle, you and I had a discussion it's now 12, 14 years ago, when we talked about what?

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Three years ago, we're younger, yes. You're younger, I'm everybody knows how old I am now.

(Laughter.)

But I think that we talked about whether the essence of democracy was elections. I remember at that stage, we said that elections were clearly important, but what was important was the second election and the existence of an opposition party. The existence of an opposition party, then, means that there have to be structures to support it.

So from my own perspective first of all, I am not doom and gloom about this, the way The Atlantic Monthly article is but I do think that there are a set of needs that need to be fulfilled practically simultaneously. This discussion as to what goes first, political development or economic development, in the best of all worlds, they go together.

QUESTION: I'd like to pick up on that if I could, and ask you to comment on the Asian financial situation.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, let me say that it is an issue of major concern to us. The government is working together, across the board, with Treasury, working with the State Department and the National Security Council. We are all working together on what is clearly a very complicated situation.

We believe that the IMF offers the best path towards resolving or dealing with the most complicated aspects of the financial situation. We are very concerned about the region as a whole. Each country, obviously, has a slightly different problem, and slightly different approach to it; though they are all, we believe, very much need to be hooked in with the IMF. These are agreements that governments make with the IMF.

So it's important for there to be sustained cooperation with the IMF. Many countries actually have are basically strong in terms of their resource base; Indonesia, for instance. So what we are urging is cooperation over a sustained period with the IMF and the various ways that they have set up what needs to be done.

Now, clearly I think that what we are seeing is that all the words that we've used all along about interdependence and globalization and the importance of these countries to our own economic situation are visible every single day. We are all very much involved in dealing with the issue.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, one of the concerns expressed about expanding NATO is that this, indeed, could antagonize Russia into several things greater dependence on its nuclear weaponry; less willingness to move forward with START III; and also, a greater aptness to form alliances with countries that have not been our allies. Would you please comment on NATO expansion as it relates to our relationship with Russia?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Clearly, our relationship with Russia is a very important one to us, as is evident by a whole host of issues that we have together; as I mentioned, my call this morning with Foreign Minister Primakov. They are partners in a whole host of issues. They are important to us at the United Nations; they are important to us in terms of, you mentioned, START, on devising ways to lessen further any nuclear problems. And clearly, they are not crazy about NATO expansion. They have made that clear; that it is not something that they would have thought up themselves.

(Laughter.)

On the other hand, what is interesting is that over the last eight or nine months, they have realized the fact that NATO expansion is going to happen. So what we have done is, I think, been quite creative in establishing the NATO-Russia Founding Act. We have had two meetings of the Permanent Joint Council one in New York, during the General Assembly, and one just now in December in Brussels in which we are discussing a number of security and other issues with the Russians in that forum. I think they are finding it useful. They have a voice in this discussion, but they do not have a veto of any kind over internal NATO decisions.

I believe that the arguments that this pushes Russia into some kind of a more antagonistic stance simply don't hold water. We have a strong relationship with Russia. We think that having a clearer definition of bringing countries into Western European institutions actually helps eliminate an area of potential instability; and that NATO expansion is a positive and not a negative; and that the Russians have come to understand the fact that it is going to happen; and that they are working on their relationship with us and other NATO members in order to solidify their relations with what is a fact.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, I'm Jill Merrick, from the International Center for Research on Women. I'm glad to hear that CEDAW is on your list of foreign policy issues to move forward this year. Given Senator Helms' resistance to this convention on the elimination of all discrimination against women, how do you see moving on this, given his resistance in the past?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I think that we consider it an issue of major importance. I found very interesting, when I went Senator Helms invited me to come and speak at his college, and I went there a year and a half ago now. I gave a speech in which I talked about the importance of the Chemical Weapons Convention, paying back UN arrears and CDAW. Those were the biggest applause lines that I got.

I think that what is important is for us to press on this subject; that clearly putting women's issues into the mainstream of American foreign policy has been President Clinton's and my agenda. We will continue to do so, and I will work with Chairman Helms as best I can.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, you're facing a very tough week next week in the Middle East. Your time-out proposal has been rejected by the Prime Minister, and this credible and substantial withdrawal is not going to be immediate. What role can Congress play in bringing about a better situation with regard to the Israeli policy that is obviously trending more and more toward the extremes, instead of back toward the center of the Oslo peace process?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: First of all, let me say we're very much looking forward to the visit of Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat. I had a number of meetings with them separately in Europe during the last couple of months of '97.

'97 was not a great year for the peace process. I, in November said that, and said we had another month. I can't say that we were able to make marked difference. But we have been able to narrow some of the gaps between the two sides, and we will continue to do so.

I think that what is most important for both the Prime Minister and the Chairman to understand is that the Oslo process is the basis of the peace process, and one that we think continues and will continue to be the best way to move the peace process forward. But ultimately, no matter what we in the Administration or Congress do, it is up to the two leaders to make the tough decisions and to move the process forward. And that is the message that they will both be hearing.

I think that, again, there has been a great deal of frustration, I think, by everybody involved in this. It is very much our hope that 1998 will be better than 1997, and that the leaders will be prepared to make the tough decisions necessary to support the Oslo process and to marry the interim issues with permanent status. We have to move the process forward, and we will be doing everything we can in the next week and months to do so.

MS. STEINBRUNER: Speaking of moving the process forward, I'm told that the Secretary is out of time. So I'd like to thank everyone, and ask you to join me in thanking Madeleine.

(Applause.)

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you. As always, it is a pleasure to address a CNP audience, and Mo, thank you very much for your leadership.

(Applause.)

[End of Document]

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