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Public Papers - 1990

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on International Cooperation in the President's Space Exploration Initiative


The President announced today that the United States would seek an exploratory dialog with Europe, Canada, Japan, the Soviet Union, and other nations on international cooperation in the Space Exploration Initiative.

The President's announcement comes as part of a series of policy implementation decisions stemming from his address of July 20, 1989, the 20th anniversary of the Apollo lunar landing. On that historic occasion, the President set the future direction of the U.S. space program by proposing a long-term, continuing commitment to completing Space Station Freedom, returning permanently to the Moon, and sending a manned expedition to the planet Mars.

To chart this course, he asked the Vice President to lead the National Space Council in determining, among other things, the feasibility of international cooperation in this endeavor. The Council recently completed a review of potential international cooperation and concluded, in part:

The President's Space Exploration Initiative will be of profound significance for all mankind.

International cooperation in this endeavor is feasible and could offer significant benefits to the United States, subject to the satisfaction of national security, foreign policy, scientific, and economic interests.

Acting on the recommendations of the Vice President and the National Space Council, the President decided that:

The United States will take a sequential and orderly approach to decisions on involving specific countries consistent with decisions made on the overall Space Exploration Initiative.

The United States will seek an exploratory dialog with Europe, Canada, Japan, the Soviet Union, and other nations as appropriate on international cooperation on the initiative.

The exploratory dialog will focus solely on conceptual possibilities for cooperation.

The dialog will be based on guidelines expeditiously prepared by the National Space Council. The guidelines will be consistent with the National Space Policy, taking due account of U.S. national security, foreign policy, scientific, and economic interests.

The National Space Council will ensure interagency coordination and review during the development of international cooperation on the initiative and provide recommendations to the President as appropriate.

These decisions by the President follow on and relate to earlier decisions on the Space Exploration Initiative announced in the White House press release of March 8, 1990.

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