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<DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page i-ii] Monday, March 29, 1999 Volume 35--Number 12 Pages 471-530 Contents [[Page i]] Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents [[Page ii]] Addresses to the Nation Airstrikes against Serbian targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)--516 Addresses and Remarks Airstrikes against Serbian targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)--513, 519 American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, legislative convention--491 Camp David, MD, remarks on returning--490 Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown, portrait unveiling--512 Democratic National Committee Dinners--500, 506 Reception--485 Emergency farm measures, radio remarks--526 Kosovo--471, 490 Radio address--488 Serbian people, videotape address--520 Communications to Congress Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), letter reporting on airstrikes against Serbian targets--527 Macedonia, letter reporting on decision to send certain U.S. forces--524 Strategic Concept of NATO, letter transmitting report--522 Communications to Federal Agencies Delegation of authority, memorandum--511 Gun crime, memorandum on deterring and reducing--489 Communications to Federal Agencies--Continued Jordan, memorandum on military drawdown--524 Executive Orders Interagency Task Force on the Roles and Missions of the United States Coast Guard--522 Interviews With the News Media Exchange with reporters in the Oval Office--519 News conference, March 19 (No. 171)--471 Proclamations Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.--521 Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy--515 National Poison Prevention Week--484 Statements by the President Exxon Valdez oilspill in Prince William Sound, AK, anniversary--514 Medicare, legislation to strengthen--515 Paraguay, murder of Vice President Argana--515 Republican budget proposal, congressional action--521 Supplementary Materials Acts approved by the President--530 Checklist of White House press releases--529 Digest of other White House announcements--528 Nominations submitted to the Senate--529 Editor's Note: The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is also available on the Internet on the GPO Access service at http:// www.gpo.gov/nara/nara003.html. WEEKLY COMPILATION OF ------------------------------ PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408, the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and other Presidential materials released by the White House during the preceding week. The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is published pursuant to the authority contained in the Federal Register Act (49 Stat. 500, as amended; 44 U.S.C. Ch. 15), under regulations prescribed by the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register, approved by the President (37 FR 23607; 1 CFR Part 10). Distribution is made only by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents will be furnished by mail to domestic subscribers for $80.00 per year ($137.00 for mailing first class) and to foreign subscribers for $93.75 per year, payable to the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The charge for a single copy is $3.00 ($3.75 for foreign mailing). There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. [[Page 471]] <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 471-484] Monday, March 29, 1999 Volume 35--Number 12 Pages 471-530 Week Ending Friday, March 26, 1999 The President's News Conference March 19, 1999 Kosovo The President. Ladies and gentlemen, as all of you know, we have been involved in an intensive effort to end the conflict in Kosovo for many weeks now. With our NATO allies and with Russia, we proposed a peace agreement to stop the killing and give the people of Kosovo the self-determination and government they need and to which they are entitled under the constitution of their government. Yesterday the Kosovar Albanians signed that agreement. Even though they have not obtained all they seek, even as their people remain under attack, they've had the vision to see that a just peace is better than an unwinnable war. Now only President Milosevic stands in the way of peace. Today the peace talks were adjourned because the Serbian negotiators refused even to discuss key elements of the peace plan. NATO has warned President Milosevic to end his intransigence and repression or face military action. Our allies are strongly united behind this course. We are prepared, and so are they, to carry it out. Today I reviewed our planning with my senior advisers and met with many Members of Congress. As we prepare to act, we need to remember the lessons we have learned in the Balkans. We should remember the horror of the war in Bosnia, the sounds of sniper fire aimed at children, the faces of young men behind barbed wire, the despairing voices of those who thought nothing could be done. It took precious time to achieve allied unity there, but when we did, our firmness ended all that. Bosnia is now at peace. We should remember the thousands of people facing cold and hunger in the hills of Kosovo last fall. Firmness ended that as well. We should remember what happened in the village of Racak back in January--innocent men, women, and children taken from their homes to a gully, forced to kneel in the dirt, sprayed with gunfire--not because of anything they had done, but because of who they were. Now, roughly 40,000 Serbian troops and police are massing in and around Kosovo. Our firmness is the only thing standing between them and countless more villages like Racak--full of people without protection, even though they have now chosen peace. Make no mistake, if we and our allies do not have the will to act, there will be more massacres. In dealing with aggressors in the Balkans, hesitation is a license to kill. But action and resolve can stop armies and save lives. We must also understand our stake in peace in the Balkans and in Kosovo. This is a humanitarian crisis, but it is much more. This is a conflict with no natural boundaries. It threatens our national interests. If it continues, it will push refugees across borders and draw in neighboring countries. It will undermine the credibility of NATO, on which stability in Europe and our own credibility depend. It will likely reignite the historical animosities, including those that can embrace Albania, Macedonia, Greece, even Turkey. These divisions still have the potential to make the next century a truly violent one for that part of the world that straddles Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Unquestionably, there are risks in military action, if that becomes necessary. U.S. and other NATO pilots will be in harm's way. The Serbs have a strong air defense system. But we must weigh those risks against the risks of inaction. If we don't act, the war will spread. If it spreads, we will not be able to contain it without far greater risk and cost. I believe the real challenge of our foreign policy today is to deal with problems before they do permanent harm to our vital interests. That is what we must do in Kosovo. [[Page 472]] Let me just make one other statement about this. One of the things that I wanted to do when I became President is to take advantage of this moment in history to build an alliance with Europe for the 21st century, with a Europe undivided, strong, secure, prosperous, and at peace. That's why I have supported the unification of Europe financially, politically, economically. That is why I've supported the expansion of NATO and a redefinition of its missions. What are the challenges to our realizing that dream? The challenge of a successful partnership with Russia that succeeds in its own mission; the challenge of a resolution of the difficulties between Greece and Turkey so that Turkey becomes an ally of Europe and the West for the long term; and the challenge of instability in the Balkans. In different ways, all those things are at stake here. I honestly believe that by acting now we can help to give our children and our grandchildren a Europe that is more united, more democratic, more peaceful, more prosperous, and a better partner for the United States for a long time to come. I will say again to Mr. Milosevic, as I did in Bosnia, I do not want to put a single American pilot into the air; I do not want anyone else to die in the Balkans; I do not want a conflict. I would give anything to be here talking about something else today. But a part of my responsibility is to try to leave to my successors and to our country in the 21st century, an environment in Europe that is stable, humane, and secure. It will be a big part of America's future. Thank you very much. Mr. Hunt [Terence Hunt, Associated Press]. Q. Mr. President, as you mentioned, Yugoslav forces seem to be mobilizing for war in Kosovo despite the warnings of NATO airstrikes. After so many threats in the past, why should President Milosevic take this one seriously? And is there is deadline for him to comply? And is it your intention to keep pounding Serb targets until he agrees to your peace terms? The President. Well, there are several questions there, but let me say, I think he should take this seriously, because we meant--we were serious in Bosnia. And it was the combined impact of NATO's action in Bosnia, plus the reversals they sustained on the ground in fighting, plus the economic embargo, that led them to conclude that peace was the better course. Now, he says here that this is not like what happened last fall, that this threatens Serbia's sovereignty to have a multinational force on the ground in Kosovo. But he has put that at risk by his decade--and I want to reemphasize that--his decade of denial of the autonomy to which the Kosovars are legally entitled as a part of Serbia. My intention would be to do whatever is possible, first of all, to weaken his ability to massacre them, to have another Bosnia; and secondly, to do all that I can to induce him to take--it is not my peace agreement. It was an agreement worked out and negotiated and argued over, with all the parties' concerns being taken into account. I will say again--for the longest time, we did not believe that either side would take this agreement. And the fact that the Kosovar Albanians did it, I think, reflects foresight and wisdom on their part. They did not get everything they wanted. And in a peace agreement, nobody ever gets everything they want. We've seen it in the Middle East, in Northern Ireland, everywhere else. So it is not my agreement. It is the best agreement that all the parties can get to give us a chance to go forward without bloodshed. I believe, also, as I have said publicly to Mr. Milosevic and to the Serbs, it is their best chance to keep Kosovo as a part of Serbia and as a part of Yugoslavia. And so I would hope that the agreement could be accepted, and I'll do what I can to see that it is. Q. And the deadline, sir--is there one? The President. I don't want to discuss that. We're working on that. I expect to be working on this all weekend. Helen [Helen Thomas, United Press International]. Chinese Nuclear Espionage Q. Mr. President, how long have you known that the Chinese were stealing our nuclear secrets? Is there any trust left between the two nations? And some Republicans are saying that you deliberately suppressed the [[Page 473]] information from the American people because of the election and your trade goals. The President. Well, let me try to respond to all those things. First of all, the latter charge is simply untrue. We were notified--Mr. Berger was notified sometime in 1996 of the possibility that security
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