Congress awaits Clinton after cheers in Europe

By The Associated Press Published:

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be withdrawn next summer.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

deadline.

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

are emerging.

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

sun.

``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

said.

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