Meeting of

1-2 Oct. 1997

Opening Comments

by NATO Secretary General, Dr. Javier Solana

Good morning. Let me begin by thanking our Netherlands hosts for organising our meeting and for welcoming us so warmly.

( Video) - (24Kb)

As you know, this will be an informal meeting, which, like the meetings of this kind we have held in the past, will allow us to address, in an open and candid way, the most important issues facing the Alliance, including the situation in Bosnia, the adaptation of the Alliance's procedures and structures, the strengthening of our relations with our Partners, and preparations for the admission of new members.

NATO Secretary General, Dr. Javier Solana with SACEUR Gen. Clark
( Video) - (20Kb)
This will also be the first meeting of Alliance Ministers since the Summit in Madrid, and accordingly an opportunity to take stock of the progress made since July in accomplishing the important tasks, in the defence and military field, set by the Alliance's Heads of State and Government. We thus have much to do.

We are also looking forward to our separate meetings with Minister Sergeyev of Russia and the Defence Ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

But before we begin our discussions, I would like to welcome Minister Eggleton and Minister Sezgin, who have assumed their posts since the last meeting of Alliance Defence Ministers.

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