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U.S.: Foreign Affairs Cuts Jeopardize Policy Objectives

Washington, 13 January 1997 (RFE/RL) -- An independent task force, co-chaired by two former U.S. congressmen, says America's ability to pursue its foreign policy objectives is at risk because of cuts in the U.S. international affairs budget.

Former congressmen Stephen Solarz, a Democrat from New York, and Mickey Edwards, a Republican from Oklahoma, held a press conference today in Washington to announce the findings of the task force.

Solarz said in order for the United States to meet its economic, diplomatic and strategic responsibilities overseas, spending for foreign affairs must be increased from $19 billion for fiscal year 1997 to $21 billion for fiscal year 1998.

The White House will send its budget request to the U.S. Congress early next month.

The task force was jointly sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations. Both are nonprofit, nonpartisan research organizations.