USIS Washington 

05 June 1998


(Powers reject India, Pakistan as nuclear club members)  (3820)

Geneva -- Secretary of State Albright says the five permanent members
of the UN Security Council (P-5) "will not amend the NPT
(Non-Proliferation Treaty) to accommodate India and Pakistan," because
that would send a message "that every nation is free to test its way
into the nuclear club."
At a June 4 press conference following the P-5 meeting in Geneva on
the crisis precipitated by nuclear tests conducted by the two South
Asian nations, she also said the United States will "insist that no
nation that disregards international norms become a permanent member
of the U.N. Security Council."
Albright called on India and Pakistan to take immediate steps to
reduce tensions, saying both countries should sign the CTBT
(Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty), stop production of fissile material,
formalize their pledge not to export dangerous weapons and
technologies, and resume dialogue over outstanding issues, including
"The whole world is asking India and Pakistan to stop, listen and
think," Albright said. "Don't rush to embrace what the rest of the
planet is racing to leave behind." And she warned them not to assume
that they are the only countries in the world "immune to

Albright told reporters the best reason for India and Pakistan "not to
test is that it's not in their national interest."

With regard to Kashmir, the Secretary of State said the best way to
deal with the long-standing conflict is for India and Pakistan to
resolve the problem themselves. However, she also said the
international community in some organized forum may have "some
suggestions to make."

Albright said the India-Pakistan crisis will be the focus of talks at
the G-8 Foreign Ministers meeting in London June 12.

Following is the State Department transcript:

(begin transcript)


Office of the Spokesman

June 5, 1998


Palais des Nations

Geneva, Switzerland

June 4, 1998

ALBRIGHT: Good evening, and thank you for coming out at this late
hour. We have just completed an extraordinary meeting to forge a
unified strategy toward the crisis in South Asia. We met in this group
today because, as the permanent members of the Security Council, we
have an obligation to respond to what is clearly a threat to
international peace and security. And, as the NPT nuclear weapons
states, we have a responsibility to protect the non-proliferation

But this is not a challenge the nuclear powers can or will meet alone.
In the coming weeks, we will be engaging with a broader group of
non-proliferation leaders, including Japan and Germany and nations
that have wisely foresworn the nuclear option. We are defending our
principles here, not our privileges.

The whole world is asking India and Pakistan to stop, listen, and
think. Don't rush to embrace what the rest of the planet is racing to
leave behind. Don't assume you are the only countries on earth that
are immune to miscalculation. There is no point worth making; no
message worth sending; no interest worth securing; that can possibly
justify the risk.

Our first purpose today was to send a coordinated message to India and
Pakistan about what we, as outside powers, believe they must do to
diminish the immediate risk of escalation. We have also called on
India and Pakistan to take additional steps to avert an arms race and
ease the tensions between them. They should sign the CTBT; refrain
from deploying missiles; stop production of fissile material;
formalize their pledge not to export dangerous weapons and
technologies; and resume dialogue, including over Kashmir.

The second part of our message today is that we're prepared to help
India and Pakistan maintain peace if they're prepared to do the right
thing. We will each do our part to prevent destabilizing transfers of
arms to South Asia. The United States is willing to share our
expertise and our capability to help India and Pakistan monitor
military activities and avoid miscalculations. We are all ready to
assist them in settling differences and reducing tensions.

At the same time, a number of nations, including the United States,
will maintain sanctions against India and Pakistan until the situation
is resolved. The United States will also insist that no nation that
disregards international norms become a permanent member of the UN
Security Council.

We each have a distinctive relationship with India and Pakistan, and
we will each try to influence them in our own ways. What is vital is
that no nation should look upon sanctions as a commercial opportunity.
If some of us are willing to take the heat, others should not be
rushing to take the contracts.

Finally, we affirmed our resolve today to shore up the global
non-proliferation regime. We will not amend the NPT to accommodate
India and Pakistan, for that would send a message that every nation is
free to test its way into the nuclear club.

Clearly, these nations have had a nuclear weapons capability, and they
will have one for the foreseeable future. What we're insisting is that
they freeze that capability, and that they not deploy nuclear weapons
or missiles. There are many things we want India and Pakistan to do,
but we don't want to isolate these countries, or make them outcasts or
pariahs. We must engage them. We must persuade and convince them that
what the international community wants them to do, they should do,
consistent with their legitimate security needs.

Let me close by saying that this is not a one-shot event. This group
will remain seized with this issue. We will work together on next
steps. We have no illusions that we will succeed overnight, but a
process has begun and we're determined to see it through.

I am now ready to take your questions.

Q: The communique and your statement raise a lot of questions. What if
India and Pakistan ignore you, and not only test again, but deploy
nuclear weapons? On the issue of Kashmir, is it enough to say, as the
Chinese Foreign Minister just did, that the preference is for the two
of them to solve this issue alone? They haven't been able to do it so
far, and why aren't the Perm 5 offering their own mediation, or doing
something more specific to help in this regard?

ALBRIGHT: Let me say that I think that clearly we have all wanted, had
wanted, to deter India and Pakistan from testing. And had done our
very best -- I think all of us -- to try to have them desist. It would
be my own sense that they might not have expected this kind of very
widespread condemnation of what they have done. As I've said
previously, what has happened in the last week is that whether we were
at NATO, or the NATO-Russian foreign council, or the Euro-Atlantic
partnership committee, or at the OAS, there has been general agreement
of condemnation and telling, in very direct terms, what we believe
India and Pakistan need to do. So there are over 80 countries that
have made their views very clear.

What I think is very important in the communique that has been issued
today is that we have set forth a very unified and united message
about what we are calling on India and Pakistan to do in order to have
them stop testing and try to avert an arms race, and sign up to the
CTBT and refrain from deploying missiles and stop production of
fissile materials. Those are the major aspects of what we're asking
them to do. I think we want to see how this message is received. It
is, I think, a strong message from the permanent members of the
Security Council, delivered loud and clear. And as I said, they better
stop, look, and listen to what has happened. Should they take
additional steps, I think there are other ways that the international
community can deal with this.

The second part, on Kashmir. Let me say on that issue, I think there
is no question that Kashmir has really been a very serious,
long-running problem. In fact, in stepping into this room this time, I
remembered that the first time I was introduced to this building was
actually when I was 10 years old and came here with my father, who was
the Czechoslovak representative to the original India-Pakistan
commission to deal with Kashmir. He's dead and I'm old, and it's still
going on. I think that the flashpoint aspect of the Kashmir issue is
very serious.

We made clear today, it's very important for India and Pakistan to
deal with the Kashmir problem together; the best way is between them.
But either the international community in some organizational forum,
or each of us as outside powers, might have some suggestions to make.
But clearly, it's very important that in the communique it was clear
that Kashmir was an issue that needed to be discussed.

Q: You said that you would bring other countries into the process, and
you named a few. Did you agree here today on a meeting of the G-8 in
London or elsewhere next week, and at what level?

ALBRIGHT: A plan had been announced earlier by Foreign Secretary Cook,
and we expect that it will take place, on the 12th I guess is the date
that's been agreed to, at the ministerial level. There were a number
of ideas suggested about how to expand the group, and I sense that
Foreign Secretary Cook is going to be looking into ways to do that as
rapidly as possible. His meeting is the next one scheduled. I truly do
think that you're going to see a series of different kinds of meetings
taking place -- because there are a number of countries that want to
be a part of this very strong statement about trying to reverse, or
trying to have them stop, what has happened and not deploy and take
the steps that I have mentioned. So there will be expansions of the
group, and Robin Cook is going to be looking into different ways to do

Q: India has said it's going to observe -- it is observing a
moratorium on nuclear testing, but it wants to join the CTBT. It is
willing to enter into "no first use" agreement and so on. None of
these have been reflected in the communique. India has also said it
wishes to begin talks to enter the CTBT, and none of this appears to
be in the communique either. Is it because you think these are not
positive things? Or do you have some other reason?

ALBRIGHT: The main point of the communique was to send, as the P-5, a
very strong message to India and Pakistan. While people have heard
about these ideas, what is needed now is to really solidify and codify
some of these ideas. There was a sense that we needed to know more
about India's bona fides in terms of following through on these ideas.
The moratorium is a partial solution -- especially when CTBT exists as
a way to make sure that there are no additional tests. I think
everybody was deeply troubled by the fact that India took these steps,
and expects now to be quickly recognized as doing the right thing. We
need to have proof of the right thing, and can't just take a country
that willfully tested at its word.

Q: I find it difficult to believe that three weeks ago, when all of
this first happened, and before it happened, that either the Indian
government or the Pakistani government would have been surprised at
international condemnation. With that in mind, why not take this
opportunity to surprise India and Pakistan and give them a reason not
to test again -- other than the fact that they're going to suffer the
disapproval, the strong disapproval, of the Permanent 5 members? Why
not give them a reason not to test?

ALBRIGHT: The best reason for them not to test is that it's not in
their national interest to test. I think they are, if they have not
discovered it already, they will be. There are those who believe that
India first tested because it wanted to show its power, and to earn a
certain amount of respect, and to gain security for its people. I
think what has happened is that India has lost the respect of the
international community. A nation that has the tradition of Gandhi, of
non-violence, and of Jawaharlal Nehru, who had great moral authority
throughout major portions of the Cold War -- that good name of India
has been lost. As far as making their people more secure, I think the
people of India are less secure because of the test, because the
Pakistanis immediately responded. And by the way, they are also less
secure and have less authority than they had before. Nobody gains from
an escalation of a nuclear arms race. Therefore the reason not to test
is because they are less secure, and therefore it's not in their
national interest.

Furthermore -- I think there was very much of a general sense of
agreement on this -- is that the worst thing would be to reward these
two countries for having broken what is now a well-established nuclear
non-proliferation regime, the NPT and the CTBT. That is the word of
the international community, overwhelmingly so, and they are outside
the bounds of it and do not deserve to be rewarded in any way, shape,
or form. They need to understand that it is in their national
interest, and their security, and they have jeopardized that.

Q: You said earlier that we're prepared to help them maintain peace.
You then went on to say that we're ready to share capability and
expertise. Can you elaborate on that, and refer to the sharing of
intelligence information, which might be used as a confidence-building
measure by both sides.

ALBRIGHT: There are a variety of confidence-building measures that we
can advise on, such as an improved hot-line or risk-reduction-center
concepts that could be used. There are ways that troop and equipment
redeployments could be in less-threatening postures. That could be
helpful. An "open skies" type of regime could allow the sides to
monitor each other's military movements in key areas. There are also
various relatively low-tech devices for monitoring the absence of
activities in tense locations. Those are the kinds of expertise and
capability that we would be willing to share.

Q: Last time many of us were at this venue, it was for another
hastily-scheduled late-night meeting on the subject of weapons of mass
destruction. At that time the question was Iraq. Could you assess the
relative degree of harmony on tactics and strategy within the P-5 this
time versus last time?

ALBRIGHT: First of all, it's really early in comparison to what we
were doing that night. I opened my intervention by saying it was nice
to see daylight outside, in contrast to our 2 a.m. meeting the last
time. You've asked a very interesting question, because I was struck
in this meeting by the unanimity of views about the necessity of
delivering this tough message. I think -- as my now long-time
expertise of watching communiques being drafted -- this was one that
the experts worked on very hard, but there was a very cooperative
spirit, and the communique shows it. There was general agreement on
this subject. There are obviously some nuances, as you might well
expect. But I think there was a marked difference in the two meetings.
I hadn't thought about comparing the two of them in the way you have.
But from a very positive standpoint, the P-5, what I found here is
that it was -- I'm very glad we had this meeting. The United States,
we thought it was very important to have this meeting, and we were
very glad that China was the coordinator. You know the P-5
chairmanship rotates month by month, and the Chinese were in the
chair. We had worked very carefully in the days between -- I've
totally lost track of time -- Luxembourg and this, not only with the
Chinese but with the others. And there is a general sense, as I said
in my statement, that the P-5 have a responsibility and that we have
not just privileges but responsibilities, and I think those were very
clearly exercised here today.

Q: The communique urges the two countries not to proliferate their
weapons of mass destruction. How urgent or critical a problem do you
feel this is? Who would be the likely recipients of proliferation
material from these countries?

ALBRIGHT: Generally, in terms of trying to keep our non-proliferation
goals, we want to make sure that the ability, technology, etc., does
not spread. To take a hypothetical situation as to who might be
recipients, I think Pakistan has already indicated that it does not
have any plan to "pass on" what it has done. We just hope that the
message from here is very strong about the fact that we don't want to
see this kind of capability be transferred to any other country. And,
by the way, the reason we are not into inducements here is because we
don't want any other country to feel there is a benefit to having a
nuclear weapons capability, that this is not the way to become part of
a respected group, and that the transfer of technology will not bring
them respect or security for their people.

Q: When India and Pakistan in 1995 decided not to join the extended
NPT, and two years ago decided not to sign the CTBT here -- because
they felt those treaties were discriminatory, or whatever -- your
diplomats, such as Ambassador Ledogar, and the diplomats of the other
nuclear powers, and of NATO, told us here that there should be no
concern that India and Pakistan would ever test because of the fact
that there were so many signatory states to both treaties -- CTBT and
NPT. This now has proven to be a big miscalculation. Isn't it high
time now for the P-5 to actually engage in multilateral nuclear
disarmament negotiations here at the UN Conference -- not only to
de-escalate the situation in South Asia but also to prevent others
like Iran and Arab countries from taking the same route?

ALBRIGHT: First of all, I do not believe that having the NPT and CTBT,
with as many signatories as both have, could in any shape or form be a
mistake. It's very clear that establishing those regimes is very
important, and it is always very hard to guard against countries that,
for willful reasons, defy the international community. Obviously part
of what has to happen -- and we talked about this at the time of the
renewal of the NPT was being negotiated -- and obviously the whole
role of the CTBT is to try to do whatever we can to have as many
possibilities of arms control within our groupings. We are all working
on that. The United States and Russia have been involved in Start II
negotiations and the ratification process. We believe that we do have
a responsibility to systematically lower the levels of weapons. And we
will continue to do that. That has been the goal, and we will continue
to do so. There are a variety of fora in which to do that. The CD here
is one of them, and one that we use, and that we believe has a very
important role. The other aspect that we talked about was the
importance of moving forward on the fissile-material cut-off. That is
not only a part of the discussion that we had, and is part of the
communique, but is very much something, some negotiations that we
believe need to have more impetus to them.

Q: You said that this agreement represents a united front with your
counterparts in regards to the India-Pakistan crisis. However, there
seems to be a lack of tough language on India and Pakistan --
demanding that they do something a little stronger than discuss and
make considerations. In light of this fact, how is this agreement a
political trigger to bring them back from the brink of nuclear mayhem?

ALBRIGHT: I think everyone can read this language from your own
perspective. I happen to think that this is very strong language that
makes quite clear that the five nuclear powers -- the Permanent 5
members of the Security Council -- have made very clear what our goals
are. They are a unified voice. There clearly is more work to be done.
I pointed out that this is not just -- I suppose this is not a great
word to use, a "one-shot process" -- this is not just something that
we have paid attention to here in Geneva today. We are at the
beginning of a process that is going to work to try to bring them back
from the brink.

The question over here was a legitimate question. We had thought that
having so many countries sign these agreements would be enough
warning. Obviously we have to look at other methods. This is what this
meeting was about, and other meetings are going to be about: the
ability to try to show them the error of their ways. Also, as I have
said, we are not going to try to turn these two countries into pariahs
-- we are going to engage with them and try to figure out ways to
solidify our message and point out to them that they have earned
nothing, zero, zilch, by what they have done. They have only earned
themselves the opprobrium of the international community across the
board, and have made their people less secure -- not to speak of
poorer -- and not to speak also of having lost the respect that the
international community for their role, and for their ability,
frankly, to live even with difficulty, side by side in the
subcontinent. So they have gained nothing.

The international community, to use the normal UN words, is "seized of
the issue." But more so, it is actively involved in looking for ways
to bring them back from the brink. And as I said, nobody's promising
that this particular communique is going to resolve the problem. But I
hope you don't underestimate the importance of having had the P-5 meet
in this kind of setting, be able to rapidly put together a clear
statement of objectives, and then be prepared to follow through on
further ways of dealing with the problem.

Thank you.

(end transcript)