asked her Majesty's Government:
What discussions the Foreign Secretary held with the United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, during his recent visit to the United States, on (a) the European Defence and Security Policy and the European Rapid Reaction Force; and (b) the United States National Missile Defence.
My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary briefed the US Secretary of State in detail on the European Defence Initiative, its emphasis on improved capabilities and the essential role of NATO in ESDP. The US Secretary of State noted in his subsequent public comments that the Administration had a good understanding of the goals of the European Defence Initiative and that he and the Foreign Secretary shared a common belief that ESDP would strengthen NATO.
In a constructive discussion on NMD, the US Secretary of State confirmed US commitment to a missile defence system, but made clear that no decisions on how and when to deploy had been taken, and stressed the Administration's intention to consult Allies, Russia and others. The Foreign Secretary and the US Secretary of State agreed on the importance of combatting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. They agreed that our two countries should work together to counter such proliferation.