Official greetings

by the the President of the United States and the NATO Secretary General at the NATO Summit In Chicago

  • 20 May. 2012
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  • Last updated: 21 May. 2012 01:47

The President of the United States of America : I just want, not only to welcome Secretary General Rasmussen to my hometown of Chicago, my understanding is that he has already enjoyed some of the sights, we were hearing about him jogging along the lake, appreciating the outstanding views, the skyline.

But more importantly, I want to thank him for his extraordinary leadership. Secretary General Rasmussen arrived in this post, during one of the most challenging times that NATO has faced. He has guided us through some very rocky times and I think the results of this NATO Summit are reflective of his extraordinary leadership.

At this Summit, we anticipate not only ratifying the plan for moving forward in Afghanistan - a transition process that will bring the war to an end at the end of 2014 and put Afghans in the lead for their own security.

But we're also going to be talking about the progress that we've made in expanding NATO's defence capabilities, ensuring that every NATO member has a stake, and is involved and integrated in our mutual defence efforts.

And we're going to have an opportunity to talk about the partnerships that NATO has been able to set up with like-minded countries around the world and find ways that we can deepen and engage those partners to help to promote security and peace around the world.

All this has happened because of Secretary General Rasmussen’s leadership and I am very proud of the work that he's done. I think that it's going to be reflected in the success of this summit and on behalf of the American people, we want to say thank you.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen : Mr. President, I would like to thank you very much for your strong leadership, for your dedication to our Alliance. America has always been a source of strength and inspiration in NATO.

And I am very pleased that we can hold our 25th Summit in your own city, Chicago. Chicago has always been a place where Europeans and North Americans have come together.
And now we have come together to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between us.

I look very much forward to a successful summit and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have worked so hard to make this Summit a success, and I would like thank the people of Chicago for their great hospitality.