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U.S. Appeals to Pakistan on Nukes

May 22, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ For the second time this week, President Clinton called Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday to urge that he not respond in kind to India’s recent nuclear tests.

In remarks to reporters at the White House, Clinton did not say whether Sharif offered any assurances. Clinton said it was a ``good long conversation about where we go from here.″

``I continue to urge him to refrain from testing,″ Clinton said, adding that he told Sharif he was asking other world leaders to support Sharif ``if he would refrain from testing.″

Clinton made the phone call from a boathouse in Annapolis, Md., shortly after he delivered the commencement address to graduating midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. In his address, the president briefly mentioned his concern about a nuclear arms race in South Asia.

Later, during an appearance in the Rose Garden to discuss an unrelated legislative issue, Clinton responded to questions about Pakistan.

``I am impressed with the depth of understanding that the prime minister showed and with his genuine concern that he both protect the security of his country and do nothing to upset″ the worldwide campaign to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, Clinton said.

He would not say whether he sees reason to be optimistic about restraining Pakistan.

``I think they’re having an honest debate within their government,″ he said. ``I believe they want to do the right thing by their people, but they want to do the right thing by this great issue that affects even more than India and Pakistan.″

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