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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 
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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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