Updated: 25-Oct-2001 NATO Review

Web edition
Vol. 49
Autumn 2001
p. 4-5

Focus on NATO

NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson visited Berlin, Germany, on 20 and 21 September to attend the NATO Review conference, an annual event to discuss the future of the Alliance, and meet Chancellor Gerhard Schrder, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and other political leaders.

Armitage briefs
US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage visited NATO on 20 September to brief Lord Robertson and the North Atlantic Council on the state of investigations into the terrorist attacks of 11 September.

Follow-on force
On 19 September, President Boris Trajkovski of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) asked NATO to deploy a reduced, follow-on force in his country after the end of Operation Essential Harvest on 26 September.
Between 17 and 22 September, four NATO members and five Partners participated in Cooperative Engagement 2001, the first maritime NATO/Partnership-for-Peace exercise to take place in Slovenia, at Ankaran near Koper.

Seven NATO members and three Partners participated in Cooperative Poseidon, the second phase of a submarine safety exercise, which took place in Bremerhaven, Germany, between 17 and 21 September. The exercise was also attended by observers from seven Mediterranean Dialogue countries.

Military personnel from nine NATO and 13 Partner countries took part in Cooperative Key 2001, an exercise in peace-support operations, which took place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, between 11 and 21 September. Representatives of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and several non-governmental organisations also participated.
Between 10 and 21 September, participants from seven NATO members and 13 Partner countries took part in Cooperative Best Effort 2001 at Zeltweg Airbase, Austria, an exercise designed to train participants in peace-support skills.
German General Dieter Stckmann succeeded UK General Sir Rupert Smith as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe at a ceremony at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium, on 17 September.
Lord Robertson visited Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, (1) on 14 September to consult with President Boris Trajkovski and his government and review progress of Operation Essential Harvest.

Three minutes silence
On 13 September, NATO staff joined millions of people across Europe in observing three minutes silence for the victims of the 11 September terrorist outrage and their families.

NATO and Russia expressed their deepest sympathy with the victims of the 11 September terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC and their families and pledged to intensify cooperation to defeat terrorism at a meeting of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council on 13 September. Similar sentiments were expressed at extraordinary meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

New UK ambassador
Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry succeeded Ambassador David Manning as the permanent representative of the United Kingdom to NATO on 13 September. Ambassador Parry, 53, is a career diplomat and was political director of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from July 1998 until August 2001.

Article 5
On 12 September, NATO ambassadors agreed that if the 11 September terrorist attack was directed from abroad, it would be considered as an attack on all NATO Allies, thus invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, NATO's founding charter, for the first time in the Alliance's history.

On 11 September, Lord Robertson and the North Atlantic Council condemned terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in the United States and expressed their deepest sympathy and solidarity with the American people.

On 7 September, Lord Robertson attended the last day of a three-day symposium in Oslo, Norway, which focused on technological, industrial and scientific aspects of adapting to today's transformed security environment. The event was hosted jointly by the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT), the Norwegian Defence Command and the US Joint Forces Command.

New US ambassador
Ambassador Nicholas Burns succeeded Ambassador Alexander Vershbow as permanent representative of the United States to NATO on 4 September. Ambassador Burns, 45, was formerly US ambassador to Greece from 1997 until July 2001. Between 1995 and 1997, he was spokesman of the US State Department.

A live-flying exercise to train air forces in tactical air operations, including the suppression of enemy air defences and electronic warfare, took place between 3 and 14 September from Main Air Station in rland, Norway. Air Meet 2001 involved air forces from 13 NATO member countries and was conducted by the headquarters of Allied Air Forces North, based at Ramstein, Germany.

Lord Robertson met President Boris Trajkovski, Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski, Interior Minister Ljube Boshkovski, Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva and Defence Minister Vlado Bukovski during a visit to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) on 29 August to assess progress made by NATO troops in collecting weapons from ethnic Albanian rebels.

Disarming rebels
Operation Essential Harvest was launched on 22 August, two months after the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) requested NATO assistance to restore peace and stability in its country. The 30-day mission, which effectively started on 27 August, was to disarm ethnic Albanian rebels and involved some 3,500 troops, with logistical support.

The situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) dominated the regular joint meeting of the North Atlantic Council and the European Union's Political and Security Committee, held in Brussels, Belgium, on 22 August.

Indicted war criminal Dragan Jokic, a Bosnian Serb implicated in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and attacks on UN observation posts, surrendered to SFOR troops on 15 August.

The headquarters of Task Force Harvest deployed in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) on 15 August - two days after the signing of a political framework agreement to provide for internal reforms and allow NATO-led troops into the country to disarm ethnic Albanian rebels - to assess the situation and prepare the launch of Operation Essential Harvest.
Vidoje Blagojevic, a former Bosnian Serb commander indicted for war crimes, was detained on 10 August and transferred to the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.

Flood preparations
Work on a pilot project to improve flood preparedness and response in the Tisza river area in Ukraine began in September. The project is being developed in the context of the NATOUkraine work programme for 2000.

Lord Robertson joined EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana, in Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) on 26 July for talks with government leaders and political parties to reinvigorate talks aimed at ending five months of violence.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas met Lord Robertson at NATO on 24 July.
On 19 July, the Military Committee, NATO's highest military authority, and its chairman, Admiral Guido Venturoni, visited the regional southern command, Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH), which is responsible for all NATO-led operations in the Balkans.
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Nebosja Covic and Yugoslav Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic met Lord Robertson and addressed the North Atlantic Council on 18 July. Discussions focused on developments in southern Serbia and Kosovo.

New NATO Deputy Secretary General
Ambassador Alessandro Minuto Rizzo succeeded Ambassador Sergio Balanzino as NATO Deputy Secretary General on 16 July. Ambassador Rizzo is an Italian career diplomat and was previously his country's permanent representative to the European Union's Political and Security Committee.

Lord Robertson and the 19 NATO ambassadors visited Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina on 12 and 13 July for wide-ranging discussions with government leaders.

Current Euro-Atlantic security issues were discussed at a five-day meeting organised by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly for young and newlyelected parliamentarians from NATO and Partner countries, held in Brussels, Belgium, between 9 and 13 July.
Romanian President Ion Iliescu and Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana met Lord Robertson on 9 July at NATO to discuss the situation in the Balkans and Romania's cooperation with NATO.
On 6 July, the day after a cease-fire between the government and ethnic Albanian rebels in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) was signed, Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva came to NATO to meet Lord Robertson.
Lord Robertson visited Kyiv, Ukraine, on 4 and 5 July, where he met President Leonid Kuchma, Prime Minister Anatolyi Kinakh, Foreign Minister Anatolyi Zlenko and Defence Minister Olexandr Kuzmuk, as well as other key figures. He also addressed a Partnership for Peace symposium organised by SACLANT.
A ceremony to mark the inauguration of a project aimed at destroying Albania's stockpile of 1.6 million antipersonnel mines - as required under the Ottawa Convention prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines - took place at Mjeks, south of the capital Tirana, on 29 June. This is the first demilitarisation project to be implemented under a Partnership for Peace Trust Fund set up for this purpose in 2000.

Essential Harvest
On 29 June, the North Atlantic Council approved Essential Harvest, an operation plan drawn up by SHAPE, for the possible deployment of NATO troops to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, (1) at the request of the government, to help disarm ethnic Albanian groups. The plan would be implemented on condition that the parties pursue political dialogue and end hostilities.

Moldovan President Vladimir Voran visited NATO on 28 June, where he met Lord Robertson and signed an agreement, which will enable NATO experts to provide material assistance and training to ensure the implementation of a Partnership for Peace Trust Fund project aimed at the safe destruction of highly corrosive rocket fuel, as well as anti-personnel landmines and surplus munitions.
UN Special Representative to Kosovo Hans Haekkerup briefed NATO ambassadors on the situation in the province and preparations for upcoming elections there at NATO on 26 June.
Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski visited SHAPE in Mons, Belgium, on 21 June, where he met the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, US General Joseph W. Ralston.

US visit
During a trip to the United States from 19 to 22 June, Lord Robertson gave a speech to the Chicago Council for Foreign Relations, before travelling to Washington to meet National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He then attended the annual seminar organised by SACLANT in Norfolk, Virginia, which this year focused on NATO's military capabilities.

Between 18 and 29 June, 15 NATO countries took part in Clean Hunter 2001, a live-flying exercise over northern Europe and northern France. This annual event involves the headquarters of Allied Air Forces North and its subordinate combined air operations centres in exercises aimed at maintaining effectiveness in planning and conducting coordinated live air operations.
  1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.