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Public Papers - 1992

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe


Today at the Helsinki summit, President Bush, along with the leaders of 28 other European nations, agreed that the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) will be applied provisionally on July 17, 1992, to enter into force this fall with the full participation by the original signatories and the eight new states of the former Soviet Union with territory in CFE's zone of application.

The United States attaches great importance to this event because joining CFE is a key indication of the new states' commitment to achieving lower and more stable levels of conventional military forces in Europe. Along with our treaty partners, the United States has worked hard to make CFE a reality. In the end, it was achieved because all participants, East and West, recognized that CFE's unprecedented force reductions, information exchanges, and verification provisions are the cornerstone for efforts to further improve European security in the years ahead.

President Bush also signed the Concluding Act of the Negotiation on Personnel Strength of Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, otherwise known as the CFE - 1A agreement. CFE - 1A negotiations began shortly after the CFE Treaty was signed in 1990. The CFE - 1A accord places politically binding limits on military manpower in Europe. Along with the equipment limits of the CFE Treaty, CFE - 1A establishes comprehensive and stable levels of conventional military forces on the Continent.

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