|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement following U.S.-EU Ministerial Meeting
Bonn, Germany, June 9, 1999
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I am very pleased to have a chance again to meet with Foreign Minister Fischer, this time in his role as host for the EU Presidency, and with Commission Vice President Brittan. I would like to congratulate them for a well-managed EU Presidency at this pivotal moment in the Balkans and for all of Europe. We have spent an inordinate amount of time discussing this subject, not only here, but in daily telephone calls and I appreciate very much Foreign Minister Fischer's role.
This morning's ministerial was productive and reflected our common vision of strengthening the U.S.-EU partnership for the new century and our determination to build a Trans-Atlantic community that is fully united, democratic, and at peace. And we plan at the upcoming Summit to issue a declaration on future relations.
This morning we confirmed our intention to improve our ability to identify potential differences at an early stage before they become major disputes. We discussed, as well, the next steps on Kosovo as we look forward, hopefully, to a new phase of return and reconstruction. We also recognize the need to address the root causes of instability in Southeast Europe and to this end we discussed the proposed Stability Pact for Southeast Europe and hope to reach an early agreement on the text.
On the trade side, we continue to move forward in the Trans-Atlantic economic partnership which is aimed at reducing trade barriers, improving regulatory cooperation and promoting coordination in most multi-lateral negotiations. We remain committed to close U.S.-EU cooperation and working with Russia and Ukraine to address their economic, political and social problems. We are especially pleased with the cooperative programs already begun in Ukraine on market reform, civil society development and other important areas.
All in all we had an excellent session and I also would like to associate myself with the very strong words that the Foreign Minister used about the situation of the arrests in Iran of members of the Jewish community. We discussed it and we agreed that it was unacceptable.
I would very much like to express my gratitude toward our German hosts for a very good meeting. Thank you very much.
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