Clinton also made his mark with the first U.S. presidential visit to this
Scandinavian country. Tens of thousands of Danes cheered him in Nytorv Square
in the city's shopping district.
Saying that political divisions in Europe were closing, Clinton declared,
``It can be the greatest time in all human history.''
Amid congressional fears of a widening involvement in Bosnia, Clinton left
the door open for a continued U.S. role after peace-keeping forces are to
be withdrawn next summer.
``I believe the present operation will have run its course by then and we'll
have to discuss what, if any, involvement the United States should have
there,'' the president said.
Copenhagen was the last stop on an eight-day trip that took Clinton from
Spain to Poland, Romania and Denmark. The centerpiece of the trip was a
NATO summit in Madrid where the alliance extended membership invitations
to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
On Bosnia, presidential spokesman Mike McCurry said there will have to be
some international presence ``for some time, perhaps a considerable time''
to oversee the work of civilian reconstruction and building the institutions
of democracy. But he said there have been no serious discussions about what
that presence might be.
As for the makeup of any forces, McCurry said, ``These are all big questions
but I'm suggesting it will be some time before they can be addressed effectively.''
Feuding ethnic groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina are failing to fulfill the peace
terms they accepted in the 1995 Dayton peace accords which ended the fighting.
Clinton's comments came a day after the Senate approved a non binding resolution
saying the 8,000 U.S. troops should be out by June 30, 1998, and that European
nations should provide the troops to any peace-keeping effort needed after
that. The House has voted to cut off money for the troops after the withdrawal
Clinton said the U.S. involvement has been ``much less expensive and much
less hazardous to America than a resumption of full-scale war in Bosnia
would be. So I think it's been a very good thing we've done.''
On NATO, Clinton extolled the alliance's decision to rewrite the political
map of Europe with new members from the former Soviet bloc. The Senate will
have to ratify changes in the NATO treaty next year, and some divisions
The president said the last week would be ``long remembered as a week in
which a new era of promise was launched for all Europe.''
Clinton said enlarging NATO ``will not be cost-free but it will cost far
less in lives and money to broaden our alliance than to fight another war
in Europe.'' The move will cost taxpayers between $150 million and $200
million a year for 10 years, the administration estimates.
``This is a serious step,'' the president said in his weekly radio address,
beamed home on the last day of his eight-day trip. ``It requires a full
discussion I intend to lead with the American people.''
His overnight stay in Denmark was barely 19 hours long _ a makeup for a
visit he canceled after he tore his knee tendon in March.
About 1,000 young people protested Clinton's visit with a march toward the
U.S. Embassy. They scuffled briefly with anti-riot police, and one woman
was arrested when two flares were fired from a leftist-run clubhouse near
the square where Clinton spoke. Police said one flare flew over the site
but it was not immediately clear where Clinton was at the time, and spokesman
Mike McCurry said he had not been advised of the incident.
``Our nations have never been closer than today,'' Clinton said in a toast
at a lunch with Queen Margrethe II at her summer palace. They dined on quail
eggs in aspic, deer roast and vegetables.
``On almost every issue we stand together. On some of the most important
issues, we stand together _ almost alone.''
The last line, a reference to U.S. and Danish opposition to adding more
than three NATO members, drew chuckles from the 100 guests.
The president stopped to place a wreath at Mindelunden, a memorial park
commemorating resistance against Nazi Germany's five-year occupation of
Denmark. Later, he addressed tens of thousands of Danes under a bright afternoon
``We gather today at the end of what will long be remembered as a week in
which a new era of promise was launched for all Europe,'' the president