January 31, 1985

Today in Vienna, members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact will resume their efforts to negotiate reductions of conventional forces in central Europe. These talks on mutual and balanced force reductions (MBFR) are an integral and important part of our commitment to achieve genuine progress in arms reductions -- conventional, chemical, and nuclear.

It is clear that a militarily significant, verifiable MBFR agreement is possible. Last April, the NATO participants tabled a major initiative designed to break the East-West deadlock. We remain hopeful of a constructive reply from the Warsaw Pact participants.

Last month, the NATO alliance in its ministerial communique expressed the continuing Western commitment to do everything possible to achieve a verifiable agreement reducing conventional forces to parity at lower levels. Such an agreement would enhance confidence, improve military stability, and reduce the risk of war in Europe. On its return to Vienna, the United States delegation will continue to do its part to achieve such an agreement.