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November 9, 1999

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"We are here today to celebrate the ideal we cherish above all others - human freedom - and to celebrate the day that ideal triumphed in one city in the heart of Europe. We must remember the role America played in the victory of freedom in Europe, and all we've done since to help realize its promise. Most important, we must reaffirm our determination to finish the job."

President Bill Clinton
Tuesday, November 9, 1999

Today, at Georgetown University, President Clinton delivered a major foreign policy address to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall a decade ago The President discussed the progress we have achieved towards strengthening democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, and the challenges that lie ahead. The President emphasized that U.S. leadership and engagement have been and remain critical to Europe's peaceful transformation.

Furthering Peace Through Leadership. President Clinton's vision of an undivided, democratic, and peaceful Europe has been furthered by two key achievements:

  • NATO Enlargement. By enlarging NATO earlier this year to include Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, President Clinton and the other NATO leaders strengthened these new democracies and the Alliance, and ensured their contribution to the security of Europe.

  • Peace in the Balkans. By standing up to Slobodan Milosevic in Bosnia and reversing his ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo, President Clinton and the other NATO leaders prevented the humanitarian crisis from destabilizing the region and threatening peace in Europe.

Outlining Our Challenges. President Clinton defined four key challenges we face in securing a democratic peace in Europe:

  • Strengthening our Partnership with Russia. Helping Russia become a stable, democratic, prosperous partner is critical to securing peace in Europe.

  • Achieving Stability in the Balkans. Having won the air war in Kosovo, we must now win the peace by strengthening democracy, promoting trade and investment, and support the region's full integration into Europe.

  • Bridging East and West. Relations with Turkey and the Islamic world have been pivotal to Europe's security, and the President's trip to Turkey next week will help strengthen our partnership with this key ally.

  • Maintaining American Leadership and Engagement. The President urged our continued commitment to maintaining the peace which America fought so hard to win during the Cold War.

Calling for Bipartisan Support on Foreign Policy Agenda. President Clinton called for bipartisan support for his agenda to meet our foreign policy challenges and priorities, including:

  • Achieving a comprehensive peace in the Middle East;
  • Easing tensions between India and Pakistan;
  • Bringing China into the WTO while promoting human rights;
  • Pressing ahead with debt relief;
  • Supporting transitions to democracy in Nigeria and Indonesia;
  • Helping defeat drug traffickers and fighting terrorism worldwide;
  • Containing Iraq and restraining North Korea; and
  • Helping to reverse global climate change.

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