|Updated: 29-Jun-2004||NATO Speeches|
29 June 2004
delivered by Mr. Ion ILIESCU, President of Romania,
Ten years ago, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership responded to a new reality in Europe. We have apreciated very much the role of Pfp for Romania in its efforts to promote the political and military reforms and for preparation and training to become a full member of NATO.
Today, even after seven candidate countries become full members, the Partnership remains a strategic asset of the Alliance, an essential part of NATO’s response to the new threats. We consider of great political importance the promotion of special partnerships of NATO with Russia and Ucraina.
Romania welcomes putting a special focus of the Partnership on the Caucasus and Central Asia. The countries in these regions are important partners in fighting terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. They also play a strategic role in supporting the Alliance’s mission in Afghanistan. The participation of President Hamid Karzai in this forum gives us the opportunity to express the solidarity of both partners and allies to the common goal of stabilization and reconstruction of his country.
We appriciate the role of the partnership for the Black Sea region.We congratulate Georgia for having submitted the first Individual Partnership Action Plan. This is a solid proof of its firm commitment to reforms and Euro-Atlantic integration, a goal we fully endorse. We also commend Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan for their determination to develop similar plans.
The Partnership can further contribute at advancing the regional agenda of complete stabilization and Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans. Albania, Croatia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have made consistent progress in domestic reforms and act as “de facto allies” in support of regional and Euro-Atlantic security. Their continuing participation in the PfP will further enhance their preparation for NATO membership.
The Balkan agenda of the Partnership also includes a renewed impetus to help Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Union of Serbia – Montenegro to join the PfP as soon as possible. The recent democratic elections in Serbia are an important signal of the democratic option of the Serbian people. This option must be encouraged and sustained, including through a more pro-active and systematic approach of the Union’s candidature for the PfP.
A dynamic, diverse and reinforced Partnership, should continue to be a priority of the Alliance. Romania is fully committed to strengthening it further as an effective Partnership for security of all allies and partners.