For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 12, 2009
Message to the Congress of the United States
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
I am pleased to transmit to the Congress, consistent with sections 123 and 144 b. of the Atomic Energy Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2153 and 2164(b)), the text of the Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty for Co-operation Regarding Atomic Information, including a technical annex and security annex (hereinafter collectively referred to as the ATOMAL Agreement), as a proposed agreement for cooperation within the context of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) between the United States of America and each of the following seven new members of NATO: the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, Romania, the Slovak Republic, and the Republic of Slovenia, hereinafter the "New Parties." I am also pleased to transmit my approval, authorization, and determination concerning the ATOMAL Agreement with respect to the New Parties, together with a copy of the memorandum of the Secretary of Defense with respect to the agreement. The ATOMAL Agreement entered into force on March 12, 1965, with respect to the United States and the other NATO members at that time. The Czech Republic, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Poland, and Spain subsequently became parties to the ATOMAL Agreement. The New Parties have signed this agreement and have indicated their willingness to be bound by it. The ATOMAL Agreement with respect to the New Parties meets the requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended. While the ATOMAL Agreement continues in force with respect to the United States and the other current parties to it, it will not become effective as an agreement for cooperation authorizing the exchange of atomic information with respect to the New Parties until completion of procedures prescribed by sections 123 and 144 b. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.
For more than 40 years, the ATOMAL Agreement has served as the framework within which NATO and the other NATO members that have become parties to this agreement have received the information that is necessary to an understanding and knowledge of and participation in the political and strategic consensus upon which the collective military capacity of the Alliance depends. This agreement permits only the transfer of atomic information, not weapons, nuclear material, or equipment. Participation in the ATOMAL Agreement will give Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia the same standing within the Alliance with regard to nuclear matters as that of the other current parties to the ATOMAL Agreement. This is important for the cohesiveness of the Alliance and will enhance its effectiveness.
I have considered the views and recommendations of the Department of Defense and other interested agencies in reviewing the ATOMAL Agreement and have determined that its performance, including the proposed cooperation and the proposed communication of Restricted Data thereunder, with respect to the New Parties will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defense and security. Accordingly, I have approved the ATOMAL Agreement with respect to the New Parties and authorized the Department of Defense to cooperate with the New Parties in the context of NATO upon satisfaction of the requirements of section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.
The 60-day continuous session period provided for in section 123 begins upon receipt of this submission.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 9, 2009.
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