Memorandum from the Foreign and Commonwealth
1. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has
prepared this Memorandum for the House of Commons Select Committee
enquiry into relations between the United Kingdom and the United
States, and the implications of US foreign policy for United Kingdom
interests. British Trade International is submitting a separate
Memorandum on trade promotion and investment issues.
The Committee will be receiving other evidence, written and oral,
both before and after their planned visit to the USA.
2. The maintenance of a strong transatlantic
relationship has been one of the cornerstones of British foreign
policy since the Second World War. Successive British governments
have sought to promote the security and prosperity of the UK and
advance its global interests by establishing a close European
relationship while maintaining a strong link to the United States.
The tone and emphasis of this approach has differed over the decades.
But the overall aims have remained constant and have continued
into the post-Cold War era.
3. The events of 11 September 2001 have
highlighted the strength of the British-US relationship. The US
- Administration and people alike - are grateful for the solidarity
shown by the British. The habit of working closely together, particularly
in the security and foreign policy fields, has paid dividends
to both parties. Each partner has a good instinct for the thinking
and likely reactions of the other; the personal links are well-established.
Well before the terrorist attacks, the Prime Minister had made
clear the high priority he attached to the relationship with the
new President and his Administration. His visit to Washington
in February, followed by President Bush's visit to the UK in July,
provided opportunities to work through many of the important issues
which have now become central to the coalition against terrorism.
With our EU, NATO and other allies, Britain and the US are looking
closely at the wider implications of confronting the terrorist
challenge to our common values. This challenge has given the kaleidoscope
of international relations a vigorous shake, as we consider together
the longer-term transformation of relationships with Russia and
with China, as well as potential re-alignments in South Asia and
4. Any British or indeed European government
has to recognise the predominant role of the United States in
international affairs. It is the world's largest economy. It has
the resources, both human and physical, to maintain a technological
lead over all other countries for an indefinite period. It also
has unrivalled military power and political influence across the
globe. It is a key member of the global system of multilateral
5. Part of the attraction to each other
is that the UK and the US share a similar outlook based in part
on shared democratic values and principles, as well as a common
interest in the maintenance of international peace and order.
This is under-pinned by personal, business and social links that
go well beyond foreign policy concerns. For example, the US is
the largest investor in the UK (as the UK is the largest investor
in the US). But in the areas of concern to the Committee, it is
fair to say that the UK and US have a close and probably unique
relationship over a wide range of subjects. This does not mean
however that the UK and the US always agree, or that British governments
therefore defer to the US. While US administrations welcome staunch
support, they also welcome a frank relationship with a friend
6. Even with the closer rapport since 11
September, the Government does not and cannot take for granted
the long-term health of the UK-US bilateral relationship or the
broader transatlantic one. The United States has a complex political
system and foreign policy-making process. This requires not just
good high level access but a broad range of contacts across various
levels of the Administration. It means taking into account the
important role of Congress and the increased overlap between domestic
and international affairs. It requires the ability to influence
the powerful lobby groups, some of whose interests or outlook
may be opposed to those of the UK. It means being able to deal
directly with the powerful US media and having a presence at State
level not just to promote British commercial links but to influence
public opinion and opinion-formers throughout the US. With an
eye to the longer-term, it also requires an understanding of the
increasingly multicultural nature of US society.
7. In short, the British-US relationship
goes far wider than the traditional co-operation over foreign
policy and in the political, military and intelligence fields.
There are almost no areas of public policy with which UK posts
in the US do not deal. They embrace all aspects of the relationship
from public health to trade policy, from transport to immigration
and civil liberties, from aid policy to financial services and
banking, from welfare to education, from drugs control to policing.
The response to the events of 11 September 2001 has emphatically
underlined the importance of each strand in strengthening the
single rope of the overall relationship. But the focus of this
Memorandum remains on foreign policy.
II CURRENT UK
8. Our objectives are:
i. To work with the US and others
to defeat terrorism world-wide.
ii. To ensure, in working for a secure
United Kingdom within a more stable and peaceful world, that the
US is supportive of UK security objectives, including policies
towards Northern Ireland, enlargement and modernisation of NATO,
the European Security and Defence Policy, Russia, the Balkans,
Middle East problems and UN Security Council expansion; and that
Missile Defence is pursued in a way which protects UK interests
and minimises divisions within NATO.
iii. To enhance the competitiveness
of companies in the UK by sales to, and investment in, the US
and by attracting a high level of quality direct investment from
iv. In seeking increased UK prosperity
through a strengthened international economic order, to maintain
US support for a new, broad-based, liberalising Trade Round; to
prevent trade disputes between the EU and the US damaging the
wider relationship; to agree more liberal air services arrangements
with the US; to minimise the effect of new US legislation affecting
UK financial sector interests; to improve co-operation on competition
issues; to secure a new Double Taxation Agreement; and to promote
UK business in energy, environmental and other technologies, not
least through increased co-operation and technology partnerships
with the US.
v. In working for a strong international
community and hence improved quality of life world-wide, to secure
US policies supportive of UK bilateral and multilateral action
to promote democracy, good governance, good health, human rights
and the rule of law, and to counter the illegal narcotics trade;
to work with the US for action on climate change, environmental
integrity and sustainable development; and to secure moratoria
on the death penalty in US States.
vi. To influence decisions and actions
which affect UK interests through use of modern information and
communications technology; to facilitate exchanges at all levels
(senior Ministers to students); and to provide authoritative and
comprehensive information to UK Government Departments, Devolved
Administrations and other public and private bodies in the UK
on developments in the US relevant to their work and interests
by effective reporting, analysis, exchanges and partnerships.
The official resources available to promote
UK interests and achieve these objectives within the US are outlined
in Annex A.
III THE ISSUES
9. The key issues facing both the UK and
the US in October 2001 are the fight against terrorism and the
associated need to build a global consensus to defeat it. The
events of 11 September 2001 were attacks on the whole international
community. The very public, enduring and unequivocal commitment
taken by the UK to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Americans
has had a huge impact in the United States, both with the American
people at large and with the Administration and Congress. Co-operation
is close at all levels, both in defining policy and in its execution.
10. The US Administration's continuing support
over the Northern Ireland peace process is welcomed and appreciated
by the UK and Irish Governments. There was widespread US condemnation
of Republican links with the FARC guerrillas in Colombia. Since
11 September, public criticism in the US of the IRA for its reluctance
to decommission arms has deepened. RIRA has been proscribed. (Over
22,000 employees, representing 21% of Northern Ireland's manufacturing
workforce, work for North American manufacturers, whose total
investment is over £1.5b. There are some 100 US wholly or
partly-owned companies in Northern Ireland.)
11. NATO remains the bedrock of the UK's
national defence. The Bush Administration has made clear its strong
commitment to NATO and to continuing engagement in Europe. The
Prime Minister and President Bush said in their joint statement
at Camp David on 23 February: "We affirm that NATO will remain
the essential foundation of transatlantic security".
12. NATO has determined that the terrorist
attacks on the US on 11 September 2001 bring into play the mutual
defence guarantee in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. This
is the first use of Article 5 in NATO history and is the strongest
possible signal of Alliance solidarity in dealing with the new
threat from terrorism. The NAC has agreed a series of measures
to provide practical NATO support to Allies undertaking military
operations against terrorism.
13. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO
has adapted to face new challenges. A new Strategic Concept was
agreed at the Washington Summit in 1999. In its new crisis management
role, NATO has done much to bring stability to the Balkans. NATO-led
peacekeeping missions remain essential to stability in Bosnia
and Kosovo. NATO troops have made a major contribution to implementation
of the political settlement in Macedonia.
14. NATO has built links across the old
Cold War divide. It has welcomed Poland, Hungary and the Czech
Republic as members and built new strategic relationships with
Russia and Ukraine. Through the Euro Atlantic Partnership Council
and the Partnership for Peace programme it has established security
links to other states in the Euro-Atlantic area. The NATO Summit
in Prague in November 2002 will take this evolution a step further.
At the meeting of NATO Leaders with President Bush in June 2001,
leaders agreed that they expected to issue further invitations
to join the alliance at Prague.
15. Decisions on enlargement will be based
on the criteria agreed at the Washington Summit in 1999. The Alliance
expects to extend invitations to nations willing and able to assume
the responsibilities of membership, as NATO determines that their
inclusion would serve the overall political and strategic interests
of the Alliance and enhance overall European security and stability.
It is not yet clear which of the aspirant states will be invited:
all have more to do to reach Alliance standards. The UK is providing
bilateral assistance with their Membership Action Plans.
European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)
16. Both the previous and present US Administrations
have voiced support for the development of a European Security
and Defence Policy. As President Bush and the Prime Minister said
at Camp David: "We support efforts of NATO's European Members
and other European nations to assume greater responsibility for
crisis management in Europe by strengthening NATO's capabilities
and developing the ability to manage crises when NATO as a whole
chooses not to engage. In this regard, the United States welcomes
the European Union's European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)
intended to make Europe a stronger, more capable partner in deterring
and managing crises affecting the security of the Transatlantic
community." ESDP will strengthen transatlantic relations
by improving European nations' capabilities for effective crisis
17. At the beginning of his Presidency,
President Bush initiated a review of Missile Defence options as
part of a wider review of US defence policy. In a speech delivered
at the National Defence University on 1 May 2001, he set out the
US's intention to develop limited missile defences designed to
counter limited threats from states of concern. These defences
are to form one part of an overall strategy, which will encompass
non-proliferation, counter-proliferation and deterrence, designed
to address the changing post cold-war security environment in
which Russia is no longer an enemy but where there is a growing
risk from the proliferation of missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
18. The US Administration has made no decisions
on the type of missile defence systems that will be deployed.
It does however intend to research, test and develop a variety
of capabilities including land, sea and air-based systems to assess
which are the most effective. Currently the Anti-Ballistic Missile
Treaty prohibits the testing, development and deployment of sea-based,
air-based, space-based or mobile land based ABM systems or components
or the deployment of a national defence system. The Administration
has made clear that it is committed to working with Russia to
create a new strategic framework, which would accommodate US missile
defence proposals. Following a meeting between Presidents Bush
and Putin at Genoa in July 2001, both sides have engaged in intensive
discussions, which are continuing. The US Administration's proposed
research and development programme for 2002 includes the development
of additional test facilities for the Pacific Test Range at Fort
Greely, Alaska, and two tests involving the use of radar systems.
The US Administration is currently assessing the compatibility
of these tests with the ABM Treaty.
19. The Government shares US concerns about
the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile technology
and agrees on the need to counter these developments. The Government
also values a stable strategic relationship between the US and
Russia. The UK welcomes and encourages the ongoing consultations
between both countries and hopes these will lead to an agreed
way ahead which promotes strategic stability. The UK is also encouraged
by President Bush and President Putin's desire, as part of an
agreed way ahead, to make progress towards substantial reductions
in their respective nuclear arsenals.
20. Plans for the ground-based national
missile defence system proposed by President Clinton envisaged
use of facilities at RAF Menwith Hill and RAF Fylingdales as elements
of the missile defence architecture. This would require the agreement
of the UK Government. President Bush has not yet decided how he
will seek to proceed with the deployment of missile defences.
It is therefore too early to say whether a role for facilities
in the UK might be envisaged. The UK will continue to engage closely
with the US on these issues as a close ally with common strategic
Conventional Arms Control
21. US policy on conventional arms control
issues continues that of the previous administration. UK views
coincide with those of the US on the importance of adherence to
the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty and the Vienna
Document 1999. The UK co-ordinates closely with the US in NATO
on the implementation of these regimes. The US is also working
constructively in the review process of the Convention on Prohibitions
or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which
May Be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate
Effects. The UK has regular discussions with US officials on this
Convention, and has co-sponsored the US draft Protocol on Anti-Vehicle
22. The UK and the US have traditionally
co-operated extremely closely to counter the proliferation of
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems.
We are both members of all the key non-proliferation treaties
(the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention
and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention), and are leading
participants in the major multilateral export control regimes
(the Nuclear Suppliers' Group and Zangger Committee, the Australia
Group, and the Missile Technology Control Regime). Bilaterally,
we work together in developing and deploying practical measures
to deter, check and where possible roll back proliferation programmes
23. At their meeting at Camp David in February
2001, the Prime Minister and President Bush reiterated their intention
to maintain this close co-operation:
"We recognise the existence of
a common threat stemming from the growing proliferation of WMD
and increasingly sophisticated missiles for their delivery. .
. We need to obstruct and deter these new threats with a strategy
that encompasses both offensive and defensive systems, continues
nuclear arms reductions where possible, and strengthens WMD and
missile proliferation controls and counter-proliferation measures."
24. Since then, senior US officials have
repeatedly emphasised in bilateral contacts the importance they
place on continuing to work closely with the UK and other allies
in this field. We have agreed that we should review our non-proliferation
toolbox, with a view to making better use of current instruments
for countering the spread of WMD and missiles, including strengthening
the international conventions and export control regimes; taking
collective action where effective to bring pressure on proliferators
and their suppliers; and, where possible, co-operating against
specific cases of sensitive technology supply to proliferation
25. US officials have described the key
points of US non-proliferation policy as including:
stronger non-proliferation, arms
control and export control regimes, including strengthening the
international organisations which underpin some of the multilateral
treaties, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
and the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The US has played a major part in the development by members of
the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) of a draft International
Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation;
co-operative action to address the
potential proliferation threat posed by sensitive nuclear and
chemical materials and technology in the states of the former
Soviet Union. The US continues to be the largest financial contributor
to the collective international effort to address this problem.
While US programmes are currently under review, Administration
officials have made clear that they continue to put a high priority
on this objective;
targeted strategies to address specific
programmes of concern, for example in North Korea, where the UK
welcomed the conclusion of the US policy review which endorsed
maintenance of the Clinton Administration's Agreed Framework and
renewed bilateral engagement with the North Korean Government.
26. In all these areas, the UK shares US
objectives. There is an intensive programme of contacts, both
bilaterally and in NATO, the G8 and the P5. In addition, close
UK/US defence co-operation enables us to share expertise in training
and equipping our forces to meet the WMD threat.
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
27. The CTBT, successor to the Partial Test
Ban Treaty of 1963, was adopted by the United Nations General
Assembly in New York on 10 September 1996. It was immediately
signed by 71 states, including the five Nuclear Weapons States:
the UK, US, France, Russia and China.
28. In order for the Treaty to enter into
force 44 named states must sign and ratify the Treaty. Thirty-one,
among them the UK, France and Russia, have ratified but 13 named
states have not yet done so. These include the US and China, as
well as India, Pakistan and North Korea who are not even signatories.
The UK is active in the Preparatory Committee which works for
the Treaty's entry into force, including by building an international
monitoring system (IMS) to detect tests, and through the negotiation
of an On-Site Inspection Manual.
29. In 1999, the US Senate rejected ratification
of the CTBT. The current US Administration has stated that it
has no plans to resubmit the CTBT for ratification, but that it
intends to maintain the moratorium on nuclear testing which has
been in place since 1992. On 21 August 2001, the US announced
that it would restrict its financial contribution to the CTBT
Preparatory Committee to support the establishment of the IMS:
a reduction of some 20 per cent. The US remains the single largest
contributor to the CTBT Preparatory Committee.
30. The EU is on record as regretting the
reduction in US contributions. Together with our partners, we
continue to discuss the CTBT with the US Administration and urge
a renewal of US support of the Treaty.
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)
31. The BTWC, which came into force in 1975,
bans the development, testing, production and stockpiling of Bacteriological
(Biological) and Toxin Weapons, but has no effective provisions
to verify compliance. Since 1995 an Ad Hoc Group of States Parties
(now 143) has been meeting in Geneva to consider measures to strengthen
the Convention through the conclusion of a verification protocol.
The UK has played a leading role in these negotiations.
32. On 25 July 2001, the US stated that
in their assessment the Protocol would not improve the international
community's ability to verify BTWC compliance and would put US
national security and confidential business information at risk.
In making this announcement, the US emphasised their support for
the Convention and their continued wish to strengthen it with
robust and workable measures.
33. The UK has made clear that our own assessment
is different. Constructive discussion of possible practical proposals
to underpin the BTWC continues.
Small Arms and Light Weapons
34. The UN Conference on the Illicit Trade
in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, held in New
York from 9-20 July 2001, adopted a Programme of Action that sets
out national, regional and global initiatives to stem the flow
of small arms to the developing world. The Programme of Action
commits states politically to put in place inter alia, export
control mechanisms, measures to ensure the tracability of small
arms, control brokers and destroy surplus weapons. It encourages
regional moratoria on the manufacture and transfer of small arms
and legally binding regional agreements to eradicate the illicit
trade in them. There will be a Review Conference in 2006.
35. US officials had often stated their
concern at the problems posed by small arms in fuelling conflicts,
particularly in Africa and other parts of the developing world.
Although the US participated in preparations for the UN Conference,
including the two preparatory meetings and an intergovernmental
seminar organised by the UK at Lancaster House in February, they
made clear their problems with the emerging draft Programme of
36. The US initially opposed the holding
of a Review Conference in 2006. They and some other countries
also opposed an EU initiative to encourage restrictions on the
supply of small arms and light weapons to non-State actors, and
tighter regulation of civilian possession of such weapons. The
UK, our EU Partners and others were unable to persuade the US
to agree to the inclusion of these aspects.
37. There is much substance in the Programme
of Action, putting the issue of small arms and light weapons firmly
on the UN agenda. (It was followed by a Security Council Presidential
statement on the subject on 31 August 2001.) The UK will continue
to work, both nationally and with the EU and OSCE, to combat excessive
numbers of small arms. At the Conference, the UK announced the
commitment of £19.5 million for practical projects.
38. The US has lifted the "ad referendum"
reserve it had placed on the Programme of Action at the adoption
meeting and has stated it is `strongly committed' to its universal
implementation. The Programme includes the development of an international
instrument on marking and tracing and work towards tackling illicit
brokering. The UK will continue to press the US for greater flexibility
in the longer term on key issues such as civilian possession and
39. The UK and US are both committed to
implementation of the reforms proposed by Ambassador Brahimi in
his August 2000 United Nations Report, in particular those on
improvements in the UN's early warning and rapid deployment capabilities.
The US shares the UK concern to ensure value for money from UN
peacekeeping operations, and is also working with selected troop
contributors on improving readiness for deployment to UN operations.
OTHER UN, GLOBAL AND TRADE POLICY ISSUES
Security Council Reform
40. The US shares the UK desire to see the
UN Security Council reformed and its effectiveness and legitimacy
enhanced. We both support the creation of new permanent seats
for Germany and Japan, and the addition of permanent seats for
developing countries (one each from Africa, Asia and Latin America/Caribbean).
Our opinions differ on the size of an enlarged Council. The then
US Permanent Representative to the UN, Richard Holbrooke, announced
in April 2000 that the US could consider expanding the Council
slightly beyond 21 members. The UK believes that enlargement to
24 would provide a good balance between retaining effectiveness
and ensuring adequate geographical representation.
Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee
41. The UK works closely with the US on
all aspects of Counter Terrorism. As Chair of the Counter Terrorism
Committee of the Security Council, the UK is spearheading a comprehensive
effort to root out terrorism around the world. The US, along with
all other members of the Security Council, has welcomed the progress
that the Committee has made under UK chairmanship and given the
Committee their full support.
42. The UK welcomes recent progress on the
question of US arrears to the UN. The Helms-Biden package of Congressional
legislation had linked this to certain UN reforms. A first tranche
of $100 million has now been paid; the second tranche ($582 million)
should be paid around 9 November 2001 following the outcome of
the negotiation in the UN General Assembly in December 2000 when
the US achieved a reduction in their contribution to UN budgets.
However, some attempts have been made in Congress to attach a
rider to the legislation releasing the second tranche, calling
for immunity from prosecution in the International Criminal Court
(ICC) of US service personnel involved in peacekeeping operations.
The US Administration is trying to resolve this issue. President
Clinton signed the ICC Statute in December 2000 but there is currently
no prospect of US ratification.
UN Commission on Human Rights
43. The US unexpectedly lost its seat at
the UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR) at elections in New York
in May 2001. Voting is by secret ballot on a geographical basis:
the US was standing against France, Sweden and Austria for three
available places. The US authorities made clear after the elections
that the outcome would not affect their general policy towards
human rights. They have not yet announced if they plan to stand
for re-election next year, but if/when they do, the UK will do
what it can to help. It is in all our interests to have the US
as a member of this important human rights body. US non-membership
risks undermining the Commission's credibility and works against
our shared aim to promote human rights. Meanwhile, the US can
still exert significant influence at the CHR as a non-member.
44. We have a broad measure of agreement
on a range of human rights issues, both on key countries of concern,
and on thematic issues such as democracy and torture. There are
differences of approach, notably over Cuba, but so far we have
been able to find a large degree of common ground. We maintain
a regular dialogue on those issues on which the US policy differs
from that of the UK/EU, for example on the death penalty.
45. The US has not ratified the UN convention
on the Rights of the Child or the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Elimination
of all forms of Discrimination against Women. It is UK policy
to encourage all states to ratify the six core UN human rights
treaties, which also comprise the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights, the Convention Against Torture and the International
Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination.
46. The 2001 G7/G8 summit in Genoa agreed
to work up an Action Plan for Africa, and on the launch with the
UN Secretary-General of a Global Health Fund to fight HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria; and on the establishment of a task force
to explore new ways of pushing towards the Dakar goals on education,
notably universal primary education by 2015. The G7/G8 is a valuable
forum for working on potentially contentious issues such as trade
or climate change.
47. The UK Government regretted the decision
of the US Administration to reject the Kyoto Protocol earlier
this year. The US is responsible for roughly 25 per cent of global
emissions, and there can be no lasting solution without US involvement.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, the US would have undertaken to reduce
its greenhouse gas emissions 7 per cent below 1990 levels by 2008-2012.
On current trends US emissions are projected to be about 30 per
cent above 1990 levels in 2010.
48. The Government continues to believe
that the Kyoto Protocol provides the best available framework
for tackling climate change. UK policy has therefore been to ensure
that the Protocol survives US withdrawal while making it clear
to the US that we want them to remain engaged in international
efforts to reduce emissions. The UK has been involved in intense
efforts in Washington, Brussels and other capitals to promote
these objectives. We agreed at the EU/US summit in Gothenburg
in June 2001 to "disagree on the Kyoto Protocol but . . .
to work together in all relevant fora to address climate change".
49. The US did not attempt to block progress
made on the rules for implementing Kyoto at the climate talks
in Bonn in July 2001. The Government hopes that the agreement
in Bonn will pave the way for ratification and entry into force
of the Kyoto Protocol next year. The UK will continue to work
with our EU partners towards that goal.
50. UK policy is to encourage the US to
re-engage with the Kyoto process in the medium to longer term.
The UK will stress the need to take serious domestic action to
reduce emissions and will continue to emphasise the economic benefits
of moving towards a low-carbon economy. The involvement of US
business and science is crucial to the development of innovative
technological and market solutions to the problem of climate change.
The Government will maintain regular contact with the US Administration
at all levels and seek so to manage policy differences as to ensure
that climate change does not become an unnecessary source of transatlantic
51. President Bush's National Energy Policy
was published in May 2001. It set out various recommendations
for increasing supplies and improving infrastructure and conservation.
With rising dependence on imported energy there was an emphasis
on strengthening global alliances and making energy security a
priority of US trade and foreign policy. Many of these recommendations
cover areas where the UK too is active. Examples include boosting
dialogue with oil producers, improving international oil market
data and transparency, promoting foreign investment into the oil
sectors in the Middle East and North Africa, helping Asia improve
its own oil security, boosting support for renewable energy and
deepening energy discussions with Russia.
52. The UK wants to see a new Round of world
trade talks launched at the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the
WTO this November. The US shares this goal and in a joint statement
at the June EU/US Summit at Gothenburg this year, the EU and US
"We are committed to launching
an ambitious new round of multilateral trade negotiations at the
WTO Ministerial Meeting . . . The new round must . . . address
the needs and priorities of developing countries, demonstrate
that the trading system can respond to the concerns of civil society,
and promote sustainable development. . ."
53. The North American Free Trade Agreement
has successfully increased trade flows between the US, Canada
and Mexico. Unlike the EU, this is not a customs union and trade
terms with third countries continue to be agreed bilaterally.
Therefore the EU has different terms of trade with each of the
three NAFTA members. Ties are strongest with Mexico, due to the
EU/Mexico Free Trade Agreement, under which 96 per cent of EU/Mexico
trade will be liberalised. The government is energetically promoting
the opportunities for UK trade and investment which this Agreement
and Mexico's rapidly growing prosperity represent (see para 95).
Trade relations with the US and Canada are on a Most Favoured
54. Due for completion in 2005, the Free
Trade Area of the Americas would create a 34-nation free trade
area encompassing the whole of the Western Hemisphere (with the
exception of Cuba). It would create a market of 800 million people,
and (according to its supporters) $11.5 trillion in goods and
services a year. Heads of Government from participating countries
last met formally to discuss FTAA at the `Summit of the Americas'
in Quebec in April 2001. If it goes ahead, the agreement would
extend the North American Free Trade Area southwards to include
the other key Latin American markets (Brazil, Argentina and Chile).
Though the UK does not object to regional free trade agreements,
they should not divert attention away from the WTO or erect higher
trade barriers with the rest of the world.
55. The UK is working with the US for liberalisation
of air services arrangements. After the events of 11 September,
the Prime Minister re-affirmed to President Bush the UK's commitment
to seeking to secure a new air services deal by the end of this
56. UK and US policies towards Russia are
similar. Both acknowledge the importance of maintaining dialogue
with Russia. Our approach is one of critical engagement: support
where Russia is moving in the right direction, but frank talking
too. The Prime Minister has personally invested considerable time
in developing relations with Russia, and was the first Western
leader to engage with President Putin, and met him five times
57. The Bush Administration came to office
questioning the privileged attention it believed Russia had enjoyed
under President Clinton. The early part of 2001 saw the expulsion
of Russian spies from Washington following the Hanssen spy affair,
and confrontational rhetoric on both sides over missile defence
and proliferation. The first meeting of the two presidents at
Ljubljana on 16 June went well and has led to continued dialogue.
At the G8 Summit in Genoa in July they made the link between missile
defence and reductions in offensive weapons which has formed the
basis for an intense series of high level contacts on strategic
issues. The dialogue has broadened out into other areas: the US
Treasury and Commerce Secretaries visited Moscow in July and expressed
support for economic reform, WTO accession and greater commercial
contact. The two presidents met a third time on 21 October at
the APEC Summit in Shanghai.
58. Russia's support for the international
coalition against terrorism, following the 11 September attacks
on the US, has been welcomed by both the US and the UK, and has
heightened recognition on all sides for the need for close cooperation
with Russia. On 24 September President Putin said Russian support
would include active intelligence-co-operation, opening Russian
airspace to humanitarian flights, participation in search and
rescue operations if required, and increased Russian help to the
Northern Alliance. This response marks further progress towards
Russia working with us on the basis of shared aims.
59. US/China relations went through a difficult
period in the first half of 2001. In particular the EP-3 aircraft
incident, the US's provision of an enhanced package of arms sales
for Taiwan, US plans for missile defence (which China opposes),
and the detention by the Chinese authorities of US-based academics
on charges of spying, all put a strain on relations. These developments
also took place against a backdrop of an increase in attention
being paid in the US to China's increasing economic and political
weight and to concerns in some quarters in the US about China's
possible emergence as the US's main strategic competitor. The
US is China's largest export market and a major source of foreign
investment in China. The US has agreed to China's WTO entry.
60. As in the case of Russia, China's response
to the terrorist attacks has significantly altered the tone of
the relationship with the US. China is in an important position.
It is a P5 member, a close supporter of Pakistan, and has been
the leading promoter of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation
to discuss security in Central Asia. China has expressed support
for the international response, while stressing the importance
of the role of the UN, and the need for any response to be targeted
and avoid civilian casualties. President Bush's meeting with President
Jiang at the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation Forum Summit in
Shanghai in October was marked by both sides stressing their wish
to build constructive relations. A meeting of the stalled US/China
bilateral human rights dialogue has gone ahead, and military contacts
have been resumed. This visit followed an increase in the number
of senior level visits, with Secretary Powell and Treasury Secretary
O'Neil visiting Beijing over the summer. Underlying tensions,
including over Taiwan, remain but Chinese support, despite its
traditional misgivings about military intervention, has put these
into a new, more constructive, framework.
61. The US/Japan Security Alliance is the
cornerstone of Japan's foreign policy, and has been reinforced
by President Bush and Prime Minister Koizumi. We share with the
US a vital interest in seeing successful economic structural reform
and a return to growth in Japan; and welcome Japan's more active
international role. In response to the terrorist outrages on 11
September, Japan has offered to deploy naval assets to the Indian
Ocean and plans legislation to enable it to offer logistical support
to US forces engaged in anti-terrorist operations.
62. The UK and the US share a common interest
in enhanced stability on the Korean Peninsula. The EU supports
the process of reconciliation between the two Koreas and continues
to press North Korea (DPRK) to adopt a responsible attitude towards
nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation.
63. Following the North-South summit in
June 2000, and the DPRK confirming to the US its moratorium on
long-range missile flight testing and its renunciation of terrorism,
the UK opened diplomatic relations with North Korea on 12 December
2000. Our new Embassy was formally opened on 30 July 2001. Our
aim is to support North-South dialogue, help open up the country
to contacts with the outside world, and improve the North Korean
record on proliferation and human rights issues.
64. Without US engagement, there can be
no progress in direct talks between North and South. The unique
role of the US derives both from its military presence on the
Korean peninsula and from its political and economic engagement.
On taking office, President Bush announced a review of policy
towards the DPRK. The North Korean reaction was hostile. The DPRK
suspended all contacts with the South and threatened to abandon
the 1994 Agreed Framework and the moratorium on missile tests.
65. The US review concluded in June 2001
that contacts with the DPRK should continue and that the emphasis
should be on implementation of the Agreed Framework, verifiable
constraints on the DPRK's missile programmes, a ban on its missile
exports, and conventional force reductions. Shortly afterwards
the EU and US agreed that inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation,
non-proliferation and human rights would remain issues of vital
importance for further progress in developing ties with North
66. Inter-Korean talks at Ministerial level
resumed in September 2001, and registered progress on a number
of issues. But to date the DPRK has not formally responded to
the US proposals. The DPRK issued an unprecedented public condemnation
of the September 2001 terrorist outrages in the United States.
It remains in the UK interest to see US-DPRK contacts resume,
and we have urged the DPRK to respond positively.
67. Since the Dayton Agreement on Bosnia
in 1995, cooperation between the US and the Europeans has been
much more effective and close on both the political development
and the military sides. The examples of SFOR (Bosnia) and KFOR
(Kosovo) show this. Non-US contributions make up the bulk of the
forces, but there is full American participation, properly channelled
68. The special representatives of the US
(Pardew) and the EU (Leotard) in Skopje have worked together to
achieve and then secure implementation of the Framework Agreement
ending the fighting in Macedonia in August 2001. The US have supported
the subsequent NATO operations.
69. The US has also taken a keen interest
in regional co-operation and dialogue, notably within the Stability
Pact for South Eastern Europe, set up by the Sarajevo summit in
Middle East Peace Process
70. The US and UK share similar overall
aims on the Middle East Peace Process. Our aim is a comprehensive,
just and lasting settlement based on United Nations Security Council
Resolutions 242 and 338, the principle of `land for peace', security
for Israel within recognised borders, and an end to occupation.
71. The Government is making every effort
both to avert the worsening of the current crisis and to make
progress towards a negotiated settlement. The key is full and
early implementation of the recommendations of the Mitchell Committee,
which set out a road back to the negotiating table. Our efforts
are closely co-ordinated with those of EU partners and with the
US. The High Representative (Solana), who travels regularly to
the region to pursue EU policy and help the parties make progress,
is in frequent contact with US colleagues.
72. Our resolve to pursue peace efforts
has been further strengthened by the terrorist attacks in the
US on 11 September. We believe that the effort to counter terrorism
has to be accompanied by parallel, sustained efforts to reinvigorate
the search for peace in the Middle East. The dispute between Israel
and her Arab neighbours remains the most destabilising issue in
the region, and will fuel terrorism as long as it remains unresolved.
Like the US, we have urged the parties to seize the opportunity
now to rebuild the peace process.
73. The Prime Minister met President Arafat
in London on 15 October and urged him to ensure that the Palestinian
Authority made a 100% effort to prevent attacks on Israelis. He
reiterated that our goal is peace and justice for the Palestinians,
and security and freedom from terrorism for Israelis. He stated
that a viable Palestinian state as part of a negotiated and agreed
settlement that guarantees peace and security for Israel is the
objective. President Arafat reiterated his condemnation of all
forms of terrorism, his commitment to the ceasefire and his willingness
to engage in negotiations. More recently, the UK has called on
the Palestinian Authority to do everything possible to bring to
justice those involved in the murder of Israeli Minister Ze'evi,
an act we have condemned. We have also urged Israel to act with
restraint and to withdraw from Palestinian Authority-controlled
74. The US has a vital role to play to help
resolve the situation in the Middle East. Its leverage with the
parties is an essential element of international efforts. The
UK welcomes US efforts. The US, like the UK and others, has made
clear its position on unacceptable activities by both Israelis
and Palestinians. The US has, for example, condemned both Palestinian
suicide bombings and Israeli incursions into Area A (territory
under Palestinian Authority control) and has maintained frequent
contacts with both parties.
75. The UK has worked closely with the US
on policy towards Iraq since the latter's invasion of Kuwait in
1990. Both Governments' policies are firmly set within the framework
of UN Security Council resolutions. We share the policy objective
of re-integrating Iraq into the international community through
compliance with UN Security Council resolutions.
76. UN Security Council resolution 1284
(1999)the most recent comprehensive UN resolution on Iraqsupports
this aim by offering, for the first time, the suspension of sanctions
if Iraq co-operates with the UN arms control body, the UN Monitoring,
Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), on weapons inspections.
The adoption of this resolution by the Council was the result
of a closely co-ordinated UK/US effort in the resolution's preparation
and negotiation with the other permanent members of the Council.
In the face of Iraq's refusal so far to accept the opportunity
offered by SCR1284 or to meet its international obligations under
UN resolutions, particularly on disarmament, the UK and the new
US administration have worked closely since the beginning of 2001
on a new approach which will continue to contain the threat Iraq
poses to its neighbours but also offer increased opportunities
for civilian trade. This approach led to the adoption in July
by the Council of SCR1352 which endorsed the principles of shared
UK/US proposals to liberalise civilian trade with Iraq while maintaining
tight controls on its attempts to acquire weaponry, including
weapons of mass destruction.
77. Despite the Security Council's failure
in the face of Russian objections to adopt a resolution specifying
the detail of our proposals, we were encouraged by French and
Chinese agreement in July to the Goods Review List, a key element
of the new approach. In co-operation with the US, the UK is continuing
efforts to address the question of dealing with Iraq's WMD and
military ambitions, while minimising the impact on the Iraqi people.
The UK also continues to urge Iraq to accept the opportunity offered
by SCR 1284 to see sanctions lifted.
78. Militarily the UK and US have been operating
together in the Gulf for more than ten years, with close co-ordination
at all levels of the command chain. UK and US aircraft continue
to patrol the No Fly Zones over northern and southern Iraq established
in 1991 and 1992 respectively, in support of SCR 688, to stop
the Iraqi regime from once again using their aircraft in the repression
of the Iraqi people. Since January 1999 Iraqi combat aircraft
have violated the No Fly Zones more than 250 times. Over the same
period, Iraqi air defence units have targeted UK and US aircraft
on more than 1800 occasions. When these attacks have compelled
us to take action in self-defence against the Iraqi forces, there
has been full UK/US consultation. UK and US forces also continue
to work closely in their patrolling of the Gulf as part of the
multinational Maritime Interdiction Force's effort to deter the
smuggling of Iraqi oil on this route.
79. The UK shares many US concerns about
Iran, including Iran's reported WMD programmes, support for terrorist
groups opposed to the MEPP and the human rights situation. However,
the UK, and the EU more widely, have adopted a different approach
to Iran, favouring constructive engagement, with a view to encouraging
the programme of reform advocated by Khatami's government, and
to cooperation on areas of mutual interest, such as policy on
Iraq, Afghanistan and countering narcotics co-operation. Engagement
also allows us to address difficult issues such as WMD, terrorism
and human rights. Hence the Foreign Secretary's visit on 25 September,
the first such visit since the revolution.
80. The UK believes that the growth of trade,
and Iran's reintegration into the global economy, would also strengthen
the reform process within Iran. Despite the recent extension of
the 1996 Iran Libya Sanctions Act (which imposes extraterritorial
sanctions on non-US companies which invest over $40 million in
Iran or Libya), EU companies continue to invest in the oil industry
in Iran, and have obtained or are seeking waivers from the US
to do so. The US Administration, notwithstanding its different
analysis and approach, recognise the rationale behind overall
UK policy towards Iran.
81. Following the verdict in the Lockerbie
trial, the UK and US have jointly entered into discussions with
Libya about satisfying the requirements of the Security Council
necessary for the lifting of sanctions (which are currently merely
suspended). Details of the discussions remain confidential.
82. The Security Council requires Libya
prove by its actions that it has
disclose all it knows of the Lockerbie
accept responsibility for the actions
of its officials
pay appropriate compensation.
These requirements were not fulfilled simply
by the surrender of the defendants to the courts or by the trial
having come to an end. The convicted defendant, Megrahi, has been
given leave to appeal.
83. The events of 11 September have focused
international attention on Afghanistan. However, even before then
the UK had been looking creatively at ways of moving forward on
Afghanistan. In July, we co-hosted a UN-sponsored conference,
attended by representatives of 20 countries (including the US),
where there was broad agreement that the best way to tackle the
complex set of inter-related problems associated with Afghanistan
was through a comprehensive approach enshrined in a UN Security
84. The Taleban refusal to hand over Osama
bin Laden and his associates has forced the US-led coalition to
take military action in Afghanistan. The UK objective, shared
by the US and our coalition partners, is to root out terrorism
from Afghanistan and, if as a consequence the Taleban regime falls,
to ensure that the successor government is broad-based, representing
the interests of all Afghans. We are working closely on strategies
for coalition action, the reconstruction and rehabilitation of
Afghanistan and for a representative government. In addressing
the humanitarian problems of Afghanistan and its political future,
the UK is of the firm view that the UN must take the lead. The
UK fully supports the appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi as the UN
Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan.
India and Pakistan
85. US policy on India/Pakistan is very
similar to that of the UK. We share the same objectives and the
same interests in regional stability. Since the Kargil conflict
in the summer of 1999, we have worked with the US to encourage
both India and Pakistan to settle the issues that divide them.
Our consistent message has been that this should be pursued by
dialogue, and that a lasting peace would bring benefits to the
whole region. In addition, we have stressed to Pakistan the need
to curb support for militants; and to India the need to address
the human rights concerns of Kashmiris.
86. This approach has had measured success.
India and Pakistan have undertaken a number of initiatives which
have served to reduce tension over the last two years. Most recently,
Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee invited Pakistan's General Musharraf
to talks at Agra in July 2001. Wider regional stability issues,
including Indo/Pak relations have been affected by the current
crisis. We and the US are encouraging India and Pakistan to show
restraint and persevere with their dialogue.
87. Following the nuclear tests in May/June
1998, the US imposed sanctions against both India and Pakistan.
In light of both countries' support for the international community's
action against terrorism, the US has put in place measures to
lift the sanctions. This will allow the export of defence equipment
and remove restrictions on economic assistance.
88. The UK and US have welcomed General
Musharraf's support for the international efforts against terrorism.
In response, the US has lifted nuclear related sanctions and is
looking at the legislation related to sanctions imposed after
89. Musharraf announced a four-phase road
map for the transition to democracy on 14 August. This offers
the prospect of multi-party elections to the provincial and national
assemblies and senate by 12 October 2002. The local bodies elections
(union councils) and the district nazim (mayoral) elections were
completed on 14 August (Phase 1). The transfer of power to the
elected government is scheduled for Phase 4 (October and November
2002). Musharraf has also referred to constitutional changes which
will be adopted by "national consensus" after a public
debate. We and the US welcomed the timetable for elections, but
pointed to the need for clarity on the constitutional aspects
of this road map to democracy.
South East Asia
90. UK and US interests in South East Asia
broadly coincide. The UK is one of the largest investors in the
region and has a strong interest in regional security. Our policies
are closely converging and there is regular contact with the Americans
both in Washington and through our diplomatic missions in the
region to ensure that our policies are complementary. These links
have been further reinforced since 11 September, and the UK and
US are working to influence opinion in SE Asia in favour of effective
international action on terrorism.
Overseas Territories and the Caribbean
91. The use of the Caribbean region as a
drugs trans-shipment route to the US has led to increasing co-operation
between the UK Overseas Territories (OT) in the Caribbean and
US drugs enforcement authorities operating in the region. The
OTs and other Caribbean states rely heavily on the US to provide
intelligence and equipment to identify and intercept ship-borne
traffic and airdrops. The 1998 US/UK/UK Overseas Territories Agreement
concerning Maritime and Aerial Operations to Suppress Illicit
Trafficking by Sea in Waters of the Caribbean and Bermuda came
into force on 30 October 2000. A Royal Navy Liaison Officer is
stationed at the US Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (East) at Key
92. Financial crime and money laundering
remain a cause for concern. In response to US concerns about the
use by criminals of the OTs to perpetrate fraud/crime in the US,
a joint FBI and UK white-collar crime investigation team was established
in 1993 operating from Miami with a mandate to pursue US-related
fraud/financial crime cases in the OTs.
93. As with drugs, illegal immigrants use
the Caribbean Islands and OTs as a conduit to gain access to the
US. OT co-operation with the US authorities is being improved.
94. Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory,
is home to a substantial US Navy Support Facility, under a 1966
bilateral agreement with the US.
95. Mexico has enjoyed dramatic economic
growth since it joined NAFTA in 1993 and its economy has become
much more closely tied to the US. The Mexican government were
keen to have a balancing free trade agreement with the EU, for
which the UK was the strongest protagonist within the EU. The
EU/Mexico Agreement came into force in 2000. The Prime Minister
visited Mexico in August 2001 and the Government is energetically
promoting the opportunities for UK trade and investment which
this Agreement and Mexico's rapidly growing prosperity represent.
96. The UK supports the Colombian peace
process. With EU partners we believe that a solution will involve
much more than military means, which alone are unlikely to stop
the drug trade, and could simply push coca cultivation deeper
into the jungle (or into neighbouring countries).
97. The UK shares the US Administration's
concern over the economic crisis in Argentina. There are differences
between the US approach to Cuba and that of the UK (and EU), which
prefers dialogue and engagement. The UK and EU strongly reject
the US extraterritorial Helms-Burton legislation which seeks to
penalise non-US companies doing business with Cuba.
98. The strength of the UK/US relationship
has been emphasised dramatically following the attacks of 11 September.
This Memorandum sets out many of the areas in which the UK and
US work together as a matter both of habit and of necessity. However,
it cannot hope to capture the full range of exchanges and debate.
99. The FCO welcomes the Committee's continuing
interest in the UK/US relationship and looks forward to its Report.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
1 See Evidence, pp 96-99. Back
See Evidence, pp 29-30. Back