Statement on the Resumption of the Conference on Security and Confidence Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe

January 21, 1986

I met today with Ambassador Robert L. Barry, head of the United States delegation to the Stockholm Conference on Security and Confidence Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe (CDE), which resumes on January 28, 1986. I expressed to Ambassador Barry my satisfaction with the progress made during the last round of the Stockholm Conference and my belief that an accord with important implications for the overall East-West relationship can be achieved there this year.

At our meeting in Geneva in November, Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev and I stated the political commitment of the United States and the Soviet Union to work with others for a successful conclusion to the Stockholm Conference. I have instructed the U.S. delegation to pursue concrete results at the negotiating table in Stockholm. Such an agreement, in keeping with the mandate for the Conference, must be meaningful in military terms; it must give reassurance to all states that the military activities in Europe are routine and nonthreatening. The agreement must be verifiable and go well beyond the limited confidence-building measures agreed to in Helsinki over 10 years ago.

If the Stockholm Conference is successful -- and the U.S. will do its part to ensure that it will be -- it can help to lower the barriers which now divide Europe artificially East from West, thereby making the threat or use of force less likely. The Stockholm Conference, moreover, can contribute to security in the larger sense, that which encompasses political, economic, cultural, and humanitarian matters -- human rights -- as well as strictly military matters. The attainment of this broader concept of security is the fundamental objective of the United States. I am confident that our delegation in Stockholm will advance these objectives in the months ahead.