Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Conference on Confidence and Security Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe

August 16, 1986

After 2 1/2 years of negotiations, the Stockholm Conference on Confidence and Security Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe (CDE) begins its 12th and final session on August 19. It will adjourn on September 19, and its work must be complete by then. The United States places great importance on reaching a militarily significant result in Stockholm. Success in CDE would contribute directly to a clearer and more predictable military situation in Europe. More broadly, it would give an important impulse to the Helsinki process, of which CDE is an integral part, and thus contribute to promotion of all the aims of the Helsinki Final Act.

The United States was pleased with the progress that was made in the final days of the last round of negotiations. If the East adopts a constructive posture, we believe we can fulfill the Conference's mandate to negotiate concrete, verifiable measures that increase the openness of all military activities in Europe. To meet this objective, we believe the Stockholm Conference must adopt measures to create a comprehensive, verifiable confidence-building regime, requiring the exchange of military information and the forecasting, notification, and observation of military activities. We believe that effective verification of these measures by all participating States can only come from inspection of activities which cast doubt on compliance.

Because so little time remains in which to reach agreement, the President has instructed the U.S. delegation to return to Stockholm early to take part in informal consultations aimed at resolving some outstanding issues. Ambassador Robert L. Barry, head of the U.S. delegation to CDE, has the full support of the President in seeking a concluding document which meets the objectives we have pursued since negotiations began and which will contribute to the security of all participating States.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at 10:47 a.m. in the Vista Mar Monte Room at the Sheraton Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA.