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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 19, 2003
The President's National Security Strategy to Combat WMD
Libya has disclosed to the US and UK significant information on its nuclear and chemical weapons programs, as well as on its biological and ballistic missile-related activities: Libya has also pledged to:
As President Bush said today, Libya must also fully engage in the war against terror.
Libya's announcement today is a product of the President's strategy which gives regimes a choice. They can choose to pursue WMD at great peril, cost and international isolation. Or they can choose to renounce these weapons, take steps to rejoin the international community, and have our help in creating a better future for their citizens.
These actions will make our country more safe and the world more peaceful.
There is no greater danger to our people than the nexus of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. The risks posed by this dangerous nexus cannot be contained or deterred by traditional means. From the beginning of his Administration the President's national security strategy has committed the US to work with its allies to:
The President's national security strategy gives regimes a choice. They can choose to pursue WMD at great peril, cost and international isolation. Or they can choose to renounce these weapons, take steps to rejoin the international community, and have our help in creating a better future for their citizens.
Libya's announcement today is a product of this strategy. Over the last two years the world community has witnessed our determination to work in partnership with our allies to combat the nexus of terrorism and WMD. Together we have:
These actions have sent an unmistakable message to regimes that seek or possess WMD: these weapons do not bring influence or prestige -- they only bring isolation and other unwelcome consequences. When leaders make the wise and reasonable choice to renounce terror and WMD, they serve the interests of their own people and add to the security of all nations.
Another message should be equally clear: leaders who abandon the pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons -- and the means to deliver them -- will find an open path to better relations with the US and other free nations.
Other leaders should find a constructive example in Libya's announcement. Genuine progress by Libya to eliminate its WMD programs will be met by tangible improvements in relations with the world community.
The US and UK have a troubled history with Libya, and serious issues remain. However, Libya has taken a significant step, and with this decision Libya has begun the process of rejoining the international community. As Libya becomes a more peaceful nation, it can be a source of stability in Africa and the Middle East.