with H.E. Mr. Vladimir Voronin, President of Moldova and the NATO Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Alessandro Minuto Rizzo
Moderator: Ladies and Gentlemen, I don't have the time. But the Deputy Secretary General Alessandro Minuto Rizzo and President Voronin of Moldova will say a few words. And then we will see if we have time for questions.
Alessandro Minuto Rizzo (Deputy Secretary General NATO): Well, good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a pleasure for me to welcome here at NATO Headquarters, this morning, his Excellency Vladimir Voronin, the president of the Republic of Moldova .
NATO and Moldova have established a very good relationship. And they're working now even closer in the framework of the individual partnership action plan to which Moldova has subscribed. And this...
DSG: And this morning, we had a substantial discussion on this plan together with the President. I have commanded and praised President Voronin for the forward leaning and comprehensive document presented by Moldova . We are at a very initial stage of course and the Allies are looking forward to the implementation of the document.
NATO will support Moldova wherever it needs assistance in implementing these difficult reforms. We also in our discussion have taken stock of the aspects of our mutual relationship. We are also pleased to be running now for the second time a NATO trust fund in Moldova . And last month, we welcomed here the Moldovan Defence minister, Minister Valeriu Plesca for the signature of agreements supporting the creation of this NATO trust fund for the destruction of dangerous pesticides in Moldova . Because in fact, these pesticides are currently scattered over 350 sites and all over the country.
In 2002, NATO successfully completed another trust fund for the destruction of 11,000 antipersonnel mines and 250 cubic meters of rocket fuel. Of course, we have also discussed the security situation in Moldova and more specifically Transnistrian problem. And I have assured the president that the Alliance position remains that the remaining Istanbul commitments need to be fulfilled completely.
And this support was articulated once again, recently by Allies at this year's conference held in Vienna . NATO Allies stand ready to assist Moldova in reaching its EuroAtlantic integration ambitions. And we are pleased for the good working relationship that we have developed together. And now I would like to give the floor to the president.
Vladimir Voronin (President of Moldova): As you know in May and June of this year, both NATO and the authorities of Moldova have completed the internal procedures for coming into force of the IPAP. The Republic of Moldova has appointed a national coordinator responsible of the IPAP. Eight working groups on different aspect of this program were created.
The Republic of Moldova considers IPAP as new qualitative stage of the deepening of their relationship that we have established with NATO more than 13 years ago under the partnership of peace program.
We hope that the implementation of the IPAP will contribute a lot to the carrying out of the reform of the armed forces of the Republic Moldova and the control of the armed forces from the civil society and public opinion from the Republic of Moldova .
Probably, one of the most important consequences and positive impacts of the implementation of the IPAP by the Republic of Moldova will be the diminishing of risks in fact to the security in the region.
The implementation of the IPAP document doesn't mean the Republic of Moldova will reject his state as a neutral country as established by the constitution of the Republic of Moldova . And it also doesn't mean that we're going to reconsider our position of our non-adhesion to different military organizations and blocs. And they are satisfied with our cooperation with NATO as well because it helps us to implement many projects of great interest for the Republic of Moldova .
Ambassador Minuto Rizzo has mentioned the project on the destroying of pesticides. As well I would like to refer it to the successful implementation of the NATO project related to the destroying of chemicals especially rocket fuels still in the territory of the Republic of Moldova . As well, I'm grateful for NATO's support in checking and verifying the quality of our water resources. And I hope the bilateral cooperation between the Republic of Moldova in these fields will have a consistent continuation in future. Thank you very much.
Moderator: Because of the time schedule of the president, Deputy Secretary General, we have time for one very short question. (...) Please.
Q: My question is to Mister Voronin.
(Inaudible) Tass News Agency , Russia (Inaudible). My question is addressed to both Mister Voronin and Mister Minuto Rizzo. It's about the cooperation between Moldova and NATO. Do you intend to have some project in military area like joint exercises or something like this?
Voronin: The IPAP that we have signed with NATO includes lots of measures that are going to be implemented. And among these measures, of course, there are ones referring to the training for the improving of the quality of the soldiers of our national army and these measures related to training will provide us new grounds for cooperation for better training of our soldiers.
As well, I would like to mention that we have long cooperation with NATO in training of our military staff. One example is the successful cooperation in these fields is the high quality of our soldiers responsible for demining. I can say they are one of the best in Europe . They have proven their professionalism in Iraq very recently where they worked very efficiently for demining the territory of this country of course in certain region. But as well I would like to mention that as a result of our very good cooperation with NATO in the area you asked for, Moldova is a country where we do not have anymore anti-personnel mines.
Minuto Rizzo: You have also to keep in mind that the relationship between Moldova and NATO are not starting today. Moldova is a member of the EuroAtlantic Partnership Council since 10 or 12 years and participated in the Partnership for Peace activities in a very active and very important way. And of course, the activities in the framework in the Partnership for Peace were also military activities as exercises, as training, as demining and other things of this kind. So I mean we're not really doing something new. We're at last improving over what it exists.
Moderator: Thank you.