Statement on the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction Negotiations

September 26, 1985

Today in Vienna members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact will resume their efforts to negotiate reductions and limitations on conventional forces in central Europe. The Vienna talks are an important part of the United States commitment to achieve concrete progress in arms reductions on a broad front -- in the areas of conventional, chemical, and nuclear forces.

In Geneva U.S. negotiators are striving to reduce the risk of nuclear war through significant reductions of nuclear weapons that will create a more stable deterrence. Also in Geneva, the American negotiators continue our effort to achieve a comprehensive, global, and verifiable ban on chemical weapons, as we proposed last year at the 40-nation Conference on Disarmament. And at the Stockholm Conference on Confidence and Security Building Measures in Europe, the U.S., in conjunction with its NATO allies, will continue to press for agreement on confidence-building measures designed to reduce the risk of surprise attack in Europe.

The U.S. and its NATO allies in Vienna will actively pursue every avenue of possible agreement in the upcoming negotiating round in order to achieve a verifiable agreement that reduces conventional forces in central Europe in an equitable manner. The U.S. delegation will give close scrutiny to proposals on the table as part of its on-going search for mutually acceptable solutions to the difficult issues that underlie the talks. We hope for a similar approach from the Warsaw Pact. Ambassador Robert Blackwill, our representative to these negotiations, can count on my support and keen interest in reaching a meaningful agreement that will add to the security of both sides.