Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Foreign Ministers session

  • 03 Dec. 2013
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  • Last updated: 03 Dec. 2013 14:28

Ministers,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Next September, we will hold a Summit meeting in the United Kingdom.  The Summit will mark the start of a new chapter in the Alliance’s continuing adaptation to a rapidly evolving security landscape.  It will be, first and foremost, about future NATO.

Today is our first opportunity to shape the Summit agenda.

We will look to the Summit to ensure that our Alliance remains ready and flexible.  To maintain and develop key capabilities to tackle current and emerging security threats.  To strengthen our engagement with partners, which will be increasingly important to our success. To reaffirm our Transatlantic bond. And to reconfirm our commitment to Afghanistan’s future.  

This afternoon, we will also focus on NATO’s partnerships. Our partnerships have helped build a Europe whole and free, and fostered peace and security in our neighbourhood. We value the relations we have developed, in the past 20 years, across Europe, Middle East and North Africa, and will continue to build on them.  

Our operations have been a key driver for our partnerships. ISAF brought together 50 nations, the biggest coalition in recent history. We need to maintain the links we have built and the lessons we have learned even after ISAF is completed at the end of next year. 

Today, we’ll discuss what more we can do for those partners who request our assistance. And what more we can do with those partners who want to continue consulting with us, and acting with us.  So that we can stay connected – politically and militarily -- in the future.

At our Summit next year, we want to take our partnerships to a new level.  So we can be even more effective in providing security.

With that, I would like to conclude the public part of our session, and I thank the representatives of the media for their attendance.