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 You are in: Bureaus/Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary > Deputy Secretary of State > Former Deputy Secretaries of State > Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage > Remarks > 2001

The New Strategic Framework

The New Strategic Framework

Richard Armitage, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
Richard Armitage, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
Press Conference Following Meeting with Prime Minister Vajpayee
Press Conference Following Meeting with Prime Minister Vajpayee
New Delhi, India
New Delhi, India
May 11, 2001

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Good afternoon.

Thank you for the very warm welcome to New Delhi. I just had the honor of visiting with the Prime Minister. This follows meetings with the Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Singh, and with Ambassador Mishra. I was able with the Prime Minister to deliver a letter from President Bush where among other things he has accepted the Prime Minister's invitation to visit India. We also had a wide-ranging discussion on bilateral and international issues. Finally, I was able to expose our Indian friends to our new strategic framework, our thinking about our new strategic framework of President Bush, which is an acknowledgement that the Cold War is over and that we need some new thinking as we go into the 21st century and the four elements of President Bush's framework are non-proliferation, counter-proliferation, a limited missile defense and a willingness on the United States' part to reduce its strategic nuclear arsenal, unilaterally if necessary, beyond the levels envisaged in START-II. I leave it to our Indian colleagues to describe their reactions to this visit. But for our part we were delighted and we are looking forward to a congenial and indeed robust relationship as we move into the 21st century with India. Thank you.

QUESTION: What about the new relationship between the U.S. and India? (inaudible) What about sanctions on India?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well I think it should be quite clear that the visit of Minister Singh to Washington and his wide ranging discussions with President Bush and Secretary Powell, and the fact that I have been sent here so quickly after that by my Government to consult with our friends in India, the upcoming visit of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that we are on the verge of moving forward with our relationship. The question of sanctions is one for the United States to resolve we have to discuss these matters with our Congress etc. But I think it is quite clear the direction we are heading.

QUESTION: So what kind of a role precisely do you see for India in the missile plan?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well we asked...we asked for no role for India in this missile plan, we just want India to understand clearly what our thinking is and I'll let them characterize their views on this. But I put before them nothing for decision, it is simply an explanation of what we are doing and what we are thinking about it as we go to the future.

QUESTION: There is a fear in the region that it could lead to another arms race.....(inaudible)

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well I am a little baffled by such comments about a new arms race when here the United States is just suggesting that we are willing to unilaterally reduce the strategic nuclear arms arsenal. And, indeed, the missile defense that we envision is one that will be directed only against a handful of rogue states and only against a handful of missiles. Indeed, if carried to its fullest, I'd say that a missile defense which works or a limited missile defense will make unnecessary some states producing or manufacturing their own ballistic missiles as a response to a threat from a neighbor; they would have another option--defense rather than offence--which seems to me a very reasonable approach to the new threats of the 21st century.

QUESTION: Would you elaborate on the rogue states you just mentioned?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well they are well known. We have Iraq, Iran, Libya. There are states involved in proliferation. You have some in this neighborhood. North Korea has recently announced that she is planning to continue export technology, missile technology. So all these are some of the, what we refer to as the hard cases.

QUESTION: What about the states in India's neighborhood?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well we have questions about Pakistan as you all know, and it is even better known to you and your colleagues here.

QUESTION: What about missile development by China? What is in this for India to support? Why do you think India should support this plan?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Well I hope that India would see that in all four facets this is actually something that reduces the level of arms in the world. China has been embarked on a missile program for some time and it long preceded any discussion by the United States about a limited missile defense plan. So I don't think this is going to interfere in any way with the direction that China was going.

QUESTION: Has President Bush in his letter indicated a date for his visit?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: No he did not indicate a date. He accepted the Prime Minister's invitation and he looked forward to discussing bilateral and international issues with the Prime Minister.

QUESTION: Will it be this year?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: I have to refer you to diplomatic channels as they say. They will work it out.

Thank you all very much.


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