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National Archives

Public Papers - 1992

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Supreme Court Decision on the Alvarez-Machain Case


With respect to the U.S. Supreme Court decision today on the Alvarez-Machain case: The United States understands that international cooperation is required to address effectively the threat posed by international criminal activity, particularly international terrorism and drug trafficking, to the world community. United States policy is to work cooperatively with foreign governments to combat that threat.

The United States also understands the importance to world peace and security of a system of international law. The United States strongly believes in fostering respect for international rules of law, including in particular the principles of respect for territorial integrity and sovereign equality of states.

U.S. policy is to cooperate with foreign states in achieving law enforcement objectives. Neither the arrest of Alvarez-Machain nor the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision reflects any change in this policy. Reflecting this policy, the United States has informed Mexico that following the arrest of Alvarez-Machain, the United States has taken additional steps to ensure that U.S. law enforcement activities overseas fully take into account foreign relations and international law.

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