Tracking Number:  315765

Title:  "25 Countries Agree on Direct Missile Proliferation Diplomacy." The 25 countries of the Missile Technology Control Regime have changed tactics toward their goal of preventing missile proliferation by attempting not only to control supply as in the past, but also to reduce demand. (931206)

Translated Title:  25 paises acuerdan diplomacia directa contra proliferacion misiles.; Vingt-cinq pays tentent d'enrayer la proliferation des missiles. (931206)
Date:  19931206


(Aim at curbing missile demand, not just supply) (440) By Bruce Odessey USIA Staff Writer Washington -- A group of 25 countries has changed tactics toward its goal of preventing missile proliferation by attempting not only to control supply as in the past, but also to reduce demand.

At a November 29-December 2 meeting in Switzerland, Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) members decided to approach non-members to dissuade them from employing missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

A State Department official who asked not to be identified said December 6 that, between now and the next MTCR meeting scheduled for October 1994 in Sweden, members would consult among themselves about implementing this new approach.

The official did not identify any of the regions targeted. Paul Freedenberg, former under secretary of commerce and now a private consultant in Washington, suggested as candidates the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia; he said Latin America no longer poses a missile proliferation threat.

The State Department official did explain generally that MTCR partners would attempt to dissuade hostile neighboring countries in different regions from settling their differences with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

Freedenberg suggested one way the new approach might work would be for one of the major MTCR partners, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France or Germany, to get a mandate from the others to undertake diplomatic initiatives in troubled regions.

The new approach is an important departure for the MTCR away from passivity on the foreign-policy disputes that promote proliferation problems, he said. He seemed certain the Clinton administration's new export-control policies inspired the change.

Whether this approach will work Freedenberg could not predict. If it does, he said, it could be used by other proliferation regimes such as the Nuclear Users Group and the Australia Group (for chemical and biological weapons).

The State Department official said MTCR would also continue seeking cooperation from non-MTCR missile suppliers, including the major ones, Russia, China and North Korea as well as Israel, India and Brazil.

As of January 1, Russia has agreed bilaterally with the United States to follow a missile-export policy consistent with MTCR guidelines.

China had agreed to abide by earlier MTCR guidelines concerning missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, but not with the later expanded guidelines covering missiles for carrying chemical and biological weapons.

MTCR members are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.