Updated: 25-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


30 May 1986

Halifax Statement

On Conventional Arms Control

Within the Alliance, we cherish the ideal that all the peoples of Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, should live in peace, freedom and security. To achieve that ideal, bold new steps are required in the field of conventional arms control.

Our objective is the strengthening of stability and security in the whole of Europe, through increased openness and the establishment of a verifiable, comprehensive and stable balance of conventional forces at lower levels.

To work urgently towards the achievement of this objective, we have decided to set up a high level task force on conventional arms control.

It will build on the Western proposals at the CDE conference in Stockholm and at the MBFR negotiations in Vienna, in both of which participating Allied countries are determined to achieve early agreement.

It will take account of Mr. Gorbachev's statement of 18 April expressing, in particular, Soviet readiness to pursue conventional force reductions from the Atlantic to the Urals.

An interim report will be presented to the Council in October, and a final report will be discussed at our next meeting in December.

Our aim is a radical improvement in East-West relations in which more confidence, greater openness, and increased security will benefit all.

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