Statement by the Press Secretary: Continued Waiver of Law Allowing Judicial Attachment of Diplomatic Properties (10/28/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                           October 28, 2000


           Continued Waiver of Law Allowing Judicial Attachment
                         of Diplomatic Properties

The United States continues to fight against terrorism in all its forms.
We have taken and will continue to take strong measures against nations
that have sponsored terrorism.  We have also supported efforts to obtain
justice on behalf of victims of terrorism.  The Victims of Trafficking and
Violence Protection Act of 2000, signed by the President today, will
provide much deserved compensation to American victims of terrorism and
their families. This legislation is a measure of the United States
Government?s commitment to the victims of terrorism, to deter future acts
of terrorism, and to defend the United States from its evils.

The struggle to defeat terrorism is not helped, however, by putting into
effect provisions that would permit individuals who win court judgments
against nations on the State Department?s terrorist list to attach
diplomatic and certain other  properties.  Attachment of diplomatic
properties runs counter to other provisions of U.S. law and in some
instances our treaty obligations and could result in retaliation, placing
our embassies and citizens overseas at grave risk.  It also would undermine
our ability to use blocked properties as leverage in foreign policy
disputes.  This loss of leverage would be especially harmful to our ability
to negotiate with successor or transition governments that may emerge in
the future.

Under the law, the  President can  waive the attachment provision to
protect the national security interest of the United States.  President
Clinton has signed the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act
of 2000 and, in the interests of protecting America?s security, has
exercised the waiver authority that was first used in 1998.

The Administration is working to achieve justice for victims of terrorism,
without undermining our ability to protect our interests and conduct
foreign relations, including the fight against terrorism, around the world.

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