Secretary of State highlights treaty on first official trip
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright highlighted one of President Clinton’s top priorities, the Chemical Weapons Convention, on a visit to Houston Feb. 7-8. Her first official trip garnered strong support for the treaty from former President George Bush and his Secretary of State James Baker.
President Bush said, “I ... strongly support ... efforts to get this chemical weapons treaty approved. This should be beyond partisanship. ... I think it is vitally important for the United States to be out front.... We don’t need chemical weapons, and we ought to get out front and make clear that we are opposed to others having them.”
Secretary Albright was in Houston to deliver a speech at Rice University, where she addressed the James Baker Public Policy Institute Friday.
Former Secretary of State James Baker said, “I continue today to believe in a bipartisan foreign policy. One example of that is the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty that was negotiated under
Presidents Reagan and Bush, and that is currently awaiting ratification by the Senate. “I support that Convention, for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with domestic politics, and everything to do with the national interest. I support it because it will make America and Americans more secure, in a world of terrorists and a world of rogue states.”
In her address to the Baker Institute, Secretary Albright said: “The President has asked the Senate to give its approval to a Convention intended to ban chemical weapons from the face of the Earth. That agreement, known as the Chemical Weapons Convention, will enter into force on April 29....
“The Convention makes it less likely that our armed forces will ever again encounter chemical weapons on the battlefield; less likely that rogue states will have access to the materials needed to build chemical arms; and less likely that such arms will fall into the hands of terrorists or others hostile to our interests.
“The result will be a safer America and a safer world.”