THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Monday, June 21, 1999
A COMMITMENT TO STABILITY FOR SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE
"Slovenia's anthem praises those who work for the day when all people live free; when nations live as neighbors, not enemies; and war is banished from the world. That is the vision you have pursued and our community of nations is pursuing. If we seize this moment, it is the vision that will prevail."
President Bill Clinton
June 21, 1999
Today, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, President Clinton announced the signing of a Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe which will help promote open economies, tolerance, and democracy in the region. In remarks to the people of Ljubljana, the President also recognized Slovenia's success in building freedom and prosperity, and thanked the people of Slovenia for their support of NATO and humanitarian efforts during the Kosovo conflict.
A Commitment to Stability in Southeastern Europe. President Clinton today announced that a Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe has been negotiated. The pact represents a political commitment by the international community and countries of the region to coordinate long-term efforts to stabilize Southeastern Europe. Those joining in the pact include the United States, the European Union, Russia, southeastern European states and other countries and institutions, including NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the World Bank, and the United Nations.
The Stability Pact is designed to:
- promote stronger democracies and the further development of civil societies;
- advance tolerance and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights of minorities;
- encourage the growth of vibrant market economies dedicated to improved living standards;
- foster regional political, economic and social cooperation; and
- facilitate, for those who seek it, full integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.
Advancing the President's Southeast Europe Initiative. The Stability Pact is a welcome mechanism for working with our European allies and friends to advance the goals of President Clinton's Southeast Europe Initiative. In his April 15 speech in San Francisco announcing the Initiative, the President urged that, "we should try to do for Southeastern Europe what we helped to do for Western Europe after World War II and for Central Europe after the Cold War; to help its people build a region of multiethnic democracies, a community that upholds common standards of human rights, a community in which borders are open to people and trade, where nations cooperate to make war unthinkable."
Building on the Success of Slovenia. In his remarks to the people of Ljubljana, President Clinton recognized Slovenia as a country whose independence has survived numerous conflicts, including a 1991 military assault led by Milosevic. Praising Slovenia's success in building freedom and prosperity, the President said: "This is a nation not run by distant dictators, but by its own citizens. Now, Slovenia is a place where children, whatever their ethnicity or religion, can grow up to live their dreams."
The President announced that agreements were reached today between the U.S. and Slovenia which will:
- expand trade and create opportunities and jobs for both Slovenia and the U.S.;
- promote economic stability for Slovenia; and
- help maintain peace and security in the region.
The President also commended Slovenia for supporting NATO's mission in Kosovo; providing humanitarian support to Kosovar refugees; and working to remove land mines and aiding their victims.
The White House Briefing Room
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