|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement at the P-5 Foreign Ministers Meeting on South Asia
UN Offices, Geneva, Switzerland
June 4, 1998
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Good evening and thank you for coming out this late hour. We just completed an extraordinary meeting to forge a unified strategy toward the crisis in South Asia.
We met in this group today because as the permanent members of the Security Council, we have an obligation to respond to what is clearly a threat to international peace and security. And as the NPT nuclear weapons states, we have a responsibility to protect the non-proliferation regime.
But this is not a challenge the nuclear powers can or will meet alone. In the coming weeks, we will be engaging with a broader group of non-proliferation leaders, including Japan and Germany and nations that have wisely forsworn the nuclear option. We are defending our principles here, not our privileges.
The whole world is asking India and Pakistan to stop, listen and think. Don't rush to embrace what the rest of the planet is racing to leave behind. Don't assume you are the only countries on earth that are immune to miscalculation. There is no point worth making, no message worth sending, no interest worth securing that can possibly justify the risk.
Our first purpose today was to send a coordinated message to India and Pakistan about what we, as outside powers, believe they must do to diminish the immediate risk of escalation.
We have also called on India and Pakistan to take additional steps to avert an arms race and ease the tensions between them. They should sign the CTBT, refrain from deploying missiles, stop production of fissile material. Formalize their pledge not to export dangerous weapons and technologies, and resume dialogue, including over Kashmir.
The second part of our message today is that we are prepared to help India and Pakistan maintain peace if they are prepared to do the right thing.We will each do our part to prevent destabilizing transfers of arms to South Asia. The United States is willing to share our expertise and our capability to help India and Pakistan monitor military activities and avoid miscalculations. We are all ready to assist them in settling differences and reducing tensions.
At the same time, a number of nations, including the United States, will maintain sanctions against India and Pakistan until this situation is resolved. The United States will also insist that no nation that disregards international norms become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
We each have a distinctive relationship with India and Pakistan; we will each try to influence them in our own ways. What is vital is that no nation should look upon sanctions as a commercial opportunity. If some of us are willing to take the heat, others should not be rushing to take the contracts.
Finally, we affirmed our resolve today to shore up the global non-proliferation regime. We will not amend the NPT to accommodate India and Pakistan, for that would send a message that every nation is free to test its way into the nuclear club.
Clearly, these nations have had a nuclear weapons capability and they will have one for the foreseeable future. What we are insisting is that they freeze that capability and that they not deploy nuclear weapons or missiles.
There are many things we want India and Pakistan to do. But we do not want to isolate these countries or make outcasts or pariahs of them. We must engage them.
We must persuade and convince them that what the international community wants them to do, they should do, consistent with their legitimate security needs.
Let me close by saying that this is not a one-shot event. This group will remain seized with this issue. We will work together on next steps.
We have no illusions that we will succeed overnight. But a process has begun and we are determined to see it through.
[End of Document]
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