Sept. 25, 1996
Good morning. I would like to begin my thanking our Norwegian hosts for organising our meeting and for welcoming us so warmly.
As you know, this is an informal meeting where no decisions will be taken. I am sure, however, that our discussions will clarify our thinking on the key issues facing the Alliance. They will help to prepare the decisions that we will need to take later this year.
Our principal topics will be the following:
- First, the situation in the former Yugoslavia and especially the challenge we will face in the coming months;
- Second, the internal adaptation of the Alliance, including our efforts to build the European security and defence identity within the Alliance, to implement the Combined Joint Task Force concept, and to develop a future command structure; and
- Third, the external adaptation of the Alliance, which the comprises the enhancement of the Partnership for Peace and the preparations for enlargement;
In addition, we will meet tomorrow with Russian Defence Minister Rodionov for a discussion of the defence aspects of our relations with Russia.
Let me turn now to Minister Kosmo.
As you see, there is much to do. Let me therefore ask the press to withdraw now so we can begin our discussions.