NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

03 Jul. 2002

President of Austria visits NATO

H.E. Dr Thomas Klestil, the President of Austria, met NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson at NATO HQ in Brussels, on 3 July, to exchange views on key issues in international security.

"Austria is not a member of NATO but it is an active and strong member of the Partnership for Peace and is also active within the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council," said Lord Robertson, "Today was an opportunity for me to thank Austria for its participation in that partnership, for its participation in NATO's peace support operations for which we are extremely grateful. "

Among other issues, Lord Robertson and Dr Klestil discussed military reform in the Euro-Atlantic area, co-operation between international organisations dealing with security issues and Austria's contribution to maintaining international peace and stability.

"I have assured the Secretary General that we will participate fully in the establishment of a European common security and defence policy and [that] we will go on to participate in all peacekeeping and peace-enforcing activities," Dr. Klestil said. He added that the new Austrian defence doctrine, recently adopted, welcomes the enlargement of NATO as a further contribution to security and stability in Europe.

Austria's cooperation with NATO began in 1991 with the establishment of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (replaced by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council since 1997) and it joined the NATO Partnership for Peace Programme in 1995.