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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement on the Presidential Decision on National Missile Defense
Washington, D.C., September 1, 2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
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SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: The Presidentís decision not to commit now to deployment of a national missile defense will give us more time to press ahead on several diplomatic fronts. The decision to continue development and testing of a national missile defense system, but not commit this country to deployment until we can be confident in its technical and operational effectiveness, will enhance the security of all Americans.

We are working hard with other countries to counter the proliferation of missiles and missile technology, including efforts to end the missile programs in North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. These efforts have our highest priority.

We will also continue to work with Russia on our ideas for further reductions in nuclear forces, and for updating the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty to allow us to work together in countering new threats and at the same time preserve the stability and security benefits of the ABM Treaty.

As we proceed we are consulting closely with our NATO and Pacific allies on the new threats and on our strategy to counter these threats through non-proliferation diplomacy and military deterrence, and development of the capability to add a limited missile defense system.

[End of Document]
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