Updated: 21-Nov-2002 NATO Speeches


21 Nov. 2002


by the Honorable Rudolf Schuster, President of the Slovak Republic

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

please allow me, on behalf of the Slovak Republic and on my own behalf, to express our most profound appreciation for the trust and confidence bestowed upon us by your decision. Your trust is a commitment to us. However, if enlargement is to mean a stronger alliance and bring more security for all of us, it is imperative that we remain relentless in our effort to improve our capability of contributing to both, the traditional and the new role of the alliance.

Therefore in our understanding the invitation is not the ultimate goal. We rather see it as a challenge to the continuity of the process we embarked upon.

We, of course, do understand that the invitation inevitably is a challenge for us to continue the reform of our armed forces and we are ready to expedite this reform with the view of helping the Alliance in building new capabilities.

As the commander-in-chief of our armed forces I will see to it that Slovakia remains a functional and reliable ally in our fight with the challenges of the present day. We are capable and ready to assist with our particular capacities.

Developing cooperation with partner countries and pursuing an open-door policy remains an integral part of reinforcing security and stability both, in the European and in the Trans-Atlantic area.

We see partnerships and enlargement as significant factors contributing to security and therefore we intend to devote to them our active support.

Mr. Secretary General, Dear Friends,

today, we took an important step toward our common vision of a Europe whole and free, one step toward reinvigorating the security of all of us. Slovakia feels its share of responsibility for the success of this process. Let me assure you that this responsibility will be the driving force behind all our efforts.

Thank you for your attention

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