Updated: 29-Jun-2004 NATO Speeches


28 June 2004


of H.E. Mr. Anton Rop, Prime Minister of Slovenia
at the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council
at the level of Heads of State and Government

NATO Istanbul Summit

Secretary General, Colleagues,

It is a great pleasure for me to be at this historic Summit here in Istanbul which for the first time gathers the Heads of State or Government of Twenty Six members of the Alliance.

While half a decade ago there were concerns that the enlargement of the Alliance would weaken it and transform it into a debating club, it is clear today that the Transatlantic Alliance is strong and vibrant facing together 21st century threats.
There is no doubt; we have to work together if we want to be able to face the security challenges and threats of today and tomorrow.

Let me touch upon our common major responsibility right now. The ISAF operation in Afghanistan is not only crucial for the future of Afghanistan and its people, but also of vital importance for the credibility of the Alliance as a global force for peace and stability.

Slovenia is committed to supporting the Government of Afghanistan in providing security and reconstruction assistance. At the present time we are participating in ISAF with our forces.

Fully aware of the importance of the upcoming Presidential elections and to fulfil our commitment to the people of Afghanistan through progressive expansion of the NATO mission all over the country, Slovenia will increase its contribution in the ISAF operation.

Let me also tackle the question of Iraq. Slovenia has provided reconstruction and humanitarian aid to Iraq, as well as training for Iraqi police officers.

We have welcomed the unanimous adoption of UNSCR 1546 also because it opens the way for increased assistance of the international community as we are all committed to helping the people of Iraq create the conditions for long-term stability and development of their country.

We welcome the determination to contribute to that process, specifically in the area of increasing the capacity of Iraqi security forces to take full responsibility for the security of Iraq.

We are convinced that we (NATO) can help in creating the necessary conditions for a stable Iraq that will no longer need international forces.

Let me close by the Balkans. Although our thoughts go as far as Afghanistan and Iraq we are not forgetting the Balkans. We welcome the developing cooperation between NATO and the EU on the basis of Berlin Plus. Slovenia is going to remain involved in Bosnia-Herzegovina, both in the newly created EUFOR as well as in the NATO Headquarters with our capabilities that have already proved their worth there.

Concerned about the fragile situation in Kosovo we are going to increase and upgrade our presence by contributing a military police platoon and personnel in KFOR Headquarters.

Secretary General, Colleagues,
We go further and Slovenia remains committed to the Alliance and its missions.

Thank you.

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