Updated: 12-Feb-2003 NATO Speeches

After the
Meeting of the
North Atlantic

12 Feb. 2003

Audio file:

Press Conference

by NATO Spokesman, Yves Brodeur

Good morning to all.

Allies met this morning at 9:45 to consider a new proposal. The proposal from the Secretary General of NATO that takes into account the intense consultations which took place over the last few hours, last night and throughout that evening, and throughout the night.

The general view, now, is that we have a sound basis to continue consultations further. The proposal, as it stands now focuses on - or specific suggestion - on the defensive needs of Turkey so we’re talking here, as we always have of prudent deterrence, defensive contingency measures. This is about planning, here. That hasn’t changed.

Allies are all working very hard to find the solution to what is a serious issue. The work will therefore to continue towards achieving a solution throughout the day, as we agree that we now have elements which could help us to bring the discussion forward.

There is a possibility that we will have another meeting today and we’ll keep you informed as the discussions evolve. I will take a few questions.

Questions and Answers:

Q: Do you anticipate an agreement before Hans Blix presented the reports to the United Nations?

SPOKESMAN: We’re working on the basis of trying to achieve a solution, trying to achieve an agreement, consensus. So the consideration here for us now is to gather the elements which will allow us to achieve a consensus. So it’s not a question of timing at this point.

Q: Boudewyn van Spilbeeck, VTM. Can you detail those prudent deterrent contingencies measures, about, strictly defending Turkey.

SPOKESMAN: I will not provide details. You will understand that now... I mean, consultations are ongoing. So it’s work in progress. It would be inappropriate for me to actually comment on a paper that is now being discussed as we speak.

Q: What was the first reaction of France, Germany and Belgium to the new proposal?

SPOKESMAN: The only thing I can say is that all allies are again involved in intense consultations. Everyone is working very hard to find a solution. I don’t think it would be useful to try and characterise the position of any country at this point. But again, I just want to stress that everyone is committed and we will continue to work hard. Last question here.

Q: Tom Fender, CBS. Would I be correct in assuming, then, that it now strips out those non-Turkish elements: The protection of NATO bases, replacing the troops in the Balkans?

SPOKESMAN: As I said, the proposal, now, specifically addresses the defensive needs of Turkey.

Thank you very much.

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