The White House Briefing Room

March 31, 1999


                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                          March 31,

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     I am very pleased that yesterday negotiators from the 30 countries
that are party to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE)
reached an agreement setting the stage for a final adapted treaty. All
countries agreed to deeper limits on their conventional forces and stronger
measures to insure compliance.  The decision preserves NATO?s ability to
fulfill its post-Cold War missions, to ensure its new members are full
military partners, and to deepen its engagement with Partnership for Peace
states.  It also takes into account the interests of non-NATO states and
helps fulfill the commitment President Yeltsin and I made last September to
conclude a final adapted treaty by the OSCE Summit this year.

     At a time when we are trying to end a pattern of escalating
insecurity, brutality and armed conflict in the Balkans, I am gratified
that these thirty countries, comprising the vast majority of European
nations, are moving in a different direction.  Together, we are building a
Europe in which armies prepare to stand beside their neighbors, not against
them, and security depends on cooperation, not competition.