During the
meeting of the
North Atlantic
Council with the

25 Nov. 1998

Welcome Speech

by Ambassador A. Martins da Cruz,
NATO Permanent Representative of Portugal
and Dean of the North Atlantic Council

Mr President

On behalf of my colleagues on the Council and also in my name, I would like to express the honour we have to welcome you here, in this session dedicated to our dialogue on the issues concerning enlargement and the "open door" policy of the Alliance, set out at the Summit in Madrid.

Romania plays a key role in South-eastern Europe, a region which is fundamental for security and stability in Europe. It has shown its commitment to enhancing regional security, through its very active participation in a number of initiatives, in particular in the military field, such as the Multinational peace Force South-eastern Europe and others.


At Madrid, NATO set out in very clear terms its "open door policy". It stated its commitment to pursue the enlargement process, as an essential element for a stable, undivided Europe.

The Madrid Declaration acknowledged the progress made by Romania towards democracy and the rule of law.

Mr. President,

Allow me, through you, to encourage the Romanian authorities to pursue vigorously those efforts, for I am sure they will meet with success, and will enable your country to play its full party in the construction of a new, forward looking and undivided Europe.

Your presence here today, Mr. President, demonstrates once again the continuing priority given by the Romanian authorities, at their highest level, to European security and to the pivotal role played by NATO in that respect. I look forward to our exchange today which, I am sure, will contribute to deepen our mutual understanding both with regard to Romania's aspirations and the Alliance's objectives, thus further reinforcing our relations.


Finally, allow me, in my national capacity, to reiterate the position of my Government regarding a decision on enlargement at the Washington Summit: my authorities believe that at the Summit a decision must be taken to invite Romania to join the Alliance.

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