Updated: 05-Dec-2003 NATO Speeches


4 Dec. 2003

Press Conference

by Franco Frattini,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, EU Presidency
following the NATO-EU Meeting
at the level of Foreign Ministers

Thank you very much. I would like to add just a few comments to what Secretary General Lord Robertson has just said.

First of all, he did not tell you, but all of the ministers who spoke, not only thanked Lord Robertson for his exceptional work during his term as Secretary General of NATO, but they also -- and rightly so -- recognized and acknowledged that if NATO has really been able to realize a genuine breakthrough in its strategic history, this is thanks largely to the work of Lord Robertson. Every one of us, each and every one of us have acknowledged this and recognized it, and we all expressed our regret that he will be leaving his position as Secretary General at the end of the year.

Today's meeting was very positive and very constructive. I think that it's important that the proposal to have a common strategic vision, in order to face the future threats, will serve as the basis for the Euro-Atlantic dialogue that we want to strengthen increasingly in the future.

As the Secretary General said a moment ago, we are in the presence of common threats, and therefore our reaction must also be common. We have to have a common reaction to those threats. We have to translate our common values, the common values that unite us, we Europeans and our North American friends, in United States and Canada. Those common values, which for 50 years have been joining us, must now be translated into common action.

And because we have the same threats, that is why there cannot be any alternative vision and antagonistic or opposing vision between Europe and the... European Union and the Atlantic Alliance. That is why we count on it. We are confident.

I'm a little bit perhaps more optimistic after today's meeting, and I think that thanks to a sincere, frank, and intense dialogue, the proposal that the Italian presidency is preparing, aimed at including in our constitutional treaty, which we want to... for the Europe that we want to build a pillar for European defence. Well, those efforts... I hope that those efforts can yield a further step forward, thanks to the climate of confidence that has been created by expressing ourselves very clearly.

I think that we are all in the same boat. We all have to work together. We want to work together. That is the political... the deepest political message from the meeting led by the Secretary General today with his usual skill and ability.

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