Updated: 28-Jun-2004 NATO Speeches


28 June 2004


by Mr. Ion Iliescu, President of Romania
at the North Atlantic Council Meeting
at the level of Heads of State and Government

NATO Istanbul Summit

M. Le Secrétaire Général,
Chers et distingues Collègues,

C’est avec une grande satisfaction que nous prenons part au travaux de ce Sommet de l’OTAN a Istanbul. Pour nous ce sommet a deux significations :

  • premièrement, la fin des conséquences de le Guerre froid ;
  • deuxièmement, la confirmation du succès de reformes démocratiques dans notre pays.

Je voudrais remercier Président Chirac pour mots de salut a notre égard – au nom des autres membres de l’OTAN. Mes remerciements s’adresse aussi a nos hôtes – les amis turcs.

Today we are taking part in a major event, which is due to continue the Alliance’s transformation process launched in Prague. I personally take great pleasure that the venue of the first NATO summit in which we participate as an ally is Istanbul, a city - symbol not only for the past and the present, but also for the future. It is over here that strong cultures have met and have been developing. Here is also the place where geo-political regions of a strategic value for the Alliance join together. Western Balkans, Central - Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea acquire an ever-growing importance today.

Romania stands ready to contribute to strengthening the relationship between the Alliance and the Balkan countries, as well as to developing the cooperation with Russia and Ukraine, and with the Republic of Moldova, the NATO’s new neighbor after the recent enlargement.

Located at the crossroads between the security realms of the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe, the Black Sea region is unquestionably part of Europe. In a joint effort with the European Union and the OSCE, NATO can make a mare focused contribution to the security and democratic development of this region. We need to identify more specific projects complementary to the existing initiatives of regional cooperation.

Granting the Western Balkan states a clear perspective of integration into the Euro-Atlantic and European community is the most effective way to consolidate stability and security in the region and in Europe. We welcome the progress by Albania, Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on their path to NATO accession. Serbia-Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina have made important steps on the road to democratic reform. The results of the last yesterday’s elections in Serbia are a good signal in this context. This trend should be acknowledged, including by inviting them to join the PfP as soon as possible. We should send clear message of encouragement for their democratic political choice.

Deepening the political and practical dimensions of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, will cement the stability and security of the region. At the same time, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, has a genuine potential to contribute to a wider regional effort to engage the Middle East states into a gradual partnership dedicated to security, political reforms, democratization and development.

Afghanistan’s stabilization and reconstruction is a test that NATO, the international community as a whole, cannot afford to fail. Iraq is also a new challenge that the Alliance cannot ignore. The unanimous adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1546 and the establishment, at the beginning of this month, of the new interim Iraqi government are crucial developments for Iraq’s future as a sovereign state. The Istanbul summit must welcome these developments and express the allies’ willingness to assess avenues in which to support Iraq’s stabilization process, in a way accepted by all interested.

The transatlantic dialogue remains the keystone of the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic realm and the enlarged Europe. The conclusion of the SFOR mandate and continuation with a new EU mission is a special opportunity to consolidate the NATO – EU partnership in the Balkans. Romania has already expressed its readiness to take part in this mission.

Chers amis,

L’OTAN est une alliance avec une mission valable aujourd’hui comme elle était valable auparavant. Elle devait agir unie – pour promouvoir les valeurs de la démocratie, du dialogue, et de la coopération dans le monde. Nous devrons rester solidaires à la défense de ces valeurs – pour ne plus permettre la renaissance du totalitarisme, de l’intolérance, du terrorisme et du fanatisme.

Je vous remercie.


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