Updated: 23 April 1999 NATO Speeches

of the North
at the level
of Heads
of State
and Government

23 Apr. 1999


by the President of the United States, William J. Clinton

Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary General. Mr. Secretary General, fellow leaders, let me begin by welcoming you warmly to the United States. We are honoured to host this 50th Anniversary summit of NATO. We meet to honour NATO's past, to chart its future, to reaffirm our mission in Kosovo, where NATO is defending our values and our vision of the Europe free, undivided and at peace.

Today, we send a clear message of unity and determination to sustain our air campaign for as long as it takes: to stand firm in our conditions for ending it; to pursue diplomatic initiatives to meet those conditions; to increase political and economic pressure against the regime in Belgrade; to stand by the frontline nations threatened by Belgrade; to stand by the frontline nations threatened by Belgrade's actions; and to work with them for stability, democracy and prosperity in south-eastern Europe, so that when Mr. Milosevic's vision for the future is defeated, a better one can rise in its place.

We will seek to do this together with our European partners and with NATO - with Ukraine and with Russia. We will make clear what is at stake.

Mr. Milosevic forces burn and loot homes and murder innocent people. Our forces deliver food and shelter and hope to the displaced. Mr. Milosevic fans the flames of anger between nations and people of many faiths and ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. Mr. Milosevic knows only one way to achieve his aims - through force.

We have done everything we could to resolve this matter peacefully. But when we fight, we fight to prevail - to prevail in this conflict and to build the undivided democratic Europe that the founders of NATO envisioned 50 years ago.

Thank you and welcome again.

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