the NAC

28 May 1998

Remarks to the Press

by NATO Secretary General, Dr. Javier Solana

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to start stating the dismay and concern of NATO members at the news of Pakistan's nuclear tests earlier today.

I would like to underline that we urge Pakistan and India to exercise maximum restraint and to adhere to international non-proliferation norms, the NPT and the CTBT.

We strongly condemn both India's and Pakistan's nuclear tests which have profound implications for the security of the region and beyond that. We have just finished an important meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers. For the first time, the Foreign Ministers of the three invited countries participated in our substantive discussions.

This morning we focussed on two main topics:

  • First, the situation in Kosovo;

  • Second, the continuation of our peace support mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

Let me say a few words on each topic.

First, Kosovo. NATO's objectives are clear:

  • we want to support a peaceful resolution of the crisis;

  • we want to help stabilize the security situation in the region.

For this first objective, NATO is actively supporting international efforts to find a negotiated solution to the crisis. We call on both the Yugoslav government and the leaders of the Kosovo Albanian community to continue in good faith the negotiations they have started.

For this second objective, we want to help Albania and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to cope effectively with the security challenges they face.


In the past months, through NATO's PfP programme, we have provided various forms of assistance to Albania and FYROM.

At this meeting we have decided to take additional steps including enhanced PfP activities and NATO-led assistance programmes.

In addition, in order to keep options open and to enable NATO to react quickly, if the situation requires, we have today requested military advice on :

  • how NATO can support UN and OSCE monitoring activity

  • on possible NATO preventive deployments in Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on a relevant legal basis.

The North Atlantic Council will also keep the situation in and around Kosovo under very close review. It will consider further deterrent measures, if the violence continues. Let me stress, nothing is excluded.

Yesterday in Brussels we held an extraordinary meeting of the PJC to consult with Russia. We have also consulted with other Partners, including of course Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The second topic we discussed was Bosnia. Ministers endorsed the OPLAN for the continuation of SFOR. We will maintain more or less our present level of forces until the September elections. Thereafter we will review the mission with a view to drawing down force levels progressively.

At lunch, Ministers had their first informal discussion on the review of NATO's Strategic Concept. This will be an extremely important document defining NATO's new roles and missions for the 21st century, which we are aiming to conclude at the Washington Summit.

So again, let me stress that this has been a very productive meeting. NATO is ready to meet the security challenges Europe faces today and will face in the future.

Thank you for your attention.

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