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[G7 Halifax Summit, June 15-17, 1995]

Remarks by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Points d'intervention du premier ministre Jean Chrétien

June 17, 1995
(verbatim text)


We welcomed the opportunity to meet with President Yeltsin. And to work with him on issues of importance to Russia and to all of us.

Political and economic reform in Russia makes possible a new era of international cooperation, and is fully supported by summit partners.

We welcome President Yeltsin's determination to push ahead with the reform agenda. And his personal commitment to parliamentary elections in December and presidential elections next June.

We exchanged views on Chechnya and expressed our concern at the continuing conflict and the resulting loss of life and civilian casualties. We strongly condemn the recent terrorist attack in Budennovsk and in particular the taking of hostages. We call for their immediate and unconditional release. And we reaffirm our strong belief that the situation in Chechnya should not be resolved by military means. We agree that a political solution within the framework of the Russian constitution is now more urgent than ever.

We further agree on the importance of making full use of the OSCE assistance group in establishing a ceasefire and eliminating sources of tension, facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid and promotion of a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

We had an excellent discussion of Russia's economic reforms. President Yeltsin described ongoing reforms in Russian financial and legal systems. And we all agree on the importance of helping promote Russia's integration into the international trade and finance system.

We discussed the complex issues related to the safety of civilian nuclear installations and the safe disposal of nuclear waste. President Yeltsin proposed that a special Summit on Nuclear Safety be held next year in Moscow, and we all agreed that such a Summit would be of historic importance. Planning for a Summit on Nuclear Safety will begin soon, and we plan to announce details later this year.

On trans-border issues like crime and nuclear smuggling, the active cooperation of Russia is essential to effective international coopération.

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Les Nations unies

Nous avons discuté de l'Organisation des Nations unies, qui fête son 50e anniversaire cette année, et que nous appuyons fermement. Nous croyons que le moment est propice a un examen -- par les Nations unies et leurs Etats membres -- du rôle futur de cette organisation.

Nous souscrivons sans réserve aux efforts déployés par le secrétaire général pour rendre cette organisation plus performante et plus efficace, et pour améliorer la coordination au sein de la famille onusienne.

Le maintien de la paix est une fonction vitale de l'ONU. Malgré les difficultés sur le terrain en ex-Yougoslavie, nous reconnaissons le rôle clé que joue M. Akashi pour le rapprochement des parties.

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Sécurité internationale

Pour la plupart des pays, le monde est aujourd'hui plus sûr qu'il l'était en 1988, lors du dernier sommet économique tenu au Canada.

Par exemple, le Traité de nonprolifération nucléaire a été prorogé il y a quelques semaines à peine.

Mais des millions et des millions de personnes sont encore en danger -- du fait de la guerre et de la prolifération des armes, mais aussi de la faim, de la dégradation de l'environnement, de l'accroissement démographique insoutenable et de la rareté des ressources.

Nous sommes déterminés a collaborer avec d'autres nations à la recherche de nouvelles approches -- et de nouvelles solutions -- a ces problèmes.

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Regional Issues

We reviewed with our foreign ministers some of the leading regional issues.

In particular, we discussed the situation in the former Yugoslavia. Our position remains that the parties must cease all hostilities and negotiate a political settlement. That is the only way to a lasting peace in that region.

We had a good discussion of the ways in which organizations like NATO, the OSCE, the European Union, and the CIS could most effectively contribute to security and stability in Europe.

We discussed positive recent developments in Ukraine, and the special contribution that last year's Winnipeg Conference made to economic reform.

We discussed developments in the Middle East. And we welcome the renewed impetus towards a settlement between Israel and Syria.

We discussed Iran, and our views on Iranian intentions regarding the development of nuclear weapons. G-7 countries have adopted restrictive policies on nuclear cooperation with Iran, as they have with other countries. One of these policies is the ban on transfers of nuclear reactors or associated activities, out of our grave concern that such cooperation could be misused by Iran towards a nuclear weapons program.

Today, it was agreed that if evidence emerges to buttress these concerns, we would all immediately curtail any nuclear cooperation program with Iran.

We welcome the emerging dialogue and cooperation on security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are a few of the key issues we discussed this morning. The chairman's statement, which will be released following this meeting, will provide a more comprehensive list of the issues we discussed.

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Source: released at the Halifax Summit, June 17, 1995.

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