Updated: 26-Jul-2004 NATO Speeches


26 July 2004

Press point

with NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Mr. Javier Solana

High resolution photos
Audio file .MP3/2639Kb

MODERATOR: Following a meeting of the NATO-EU, there is an opportunity for you now to meet the Secretary General and the High Representative. So, Secretary General would you like to start first?

JAAP DE HOOP SCHEFFER (NATO Secretary General): Very briefly, we had a good meeting of the NAC PC, what we did of course was discuss the, I think successful visit, Javier Solana and I paid to Sarajevo last week of course in connection with the end of SFOR and the start of Operation Althea. We are discussing the last issues and items of delineation of tasks in Sarajevo, on the ground. I think that's... everybody agreed that a political signal of our combined visit was a very good one and we'll work further to keep to the tight time schedule to see that everything is in place and all the arrangement have been met and all the arrangements have been made so that the EU can take over responsibility for the military operation at the required moment. This is what I have to say, this is what we have done this morning. Thank you very much.

JAVIER SOLANA (EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy): I agree completely with what the Secretary General has said. I think that the divisions beyond the important political message; it gave us also the opportunity together to discuss with the people on the ground being the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina or being also the commander of SFOR and Lord Ashdown who represents the European Union and the United Nations there so that the fine tuning could be done in a more accurate manner. So I think that we are moving in that direction and moving at the right pace and with the right consensus among the different organisations and in particular also with the leaders and the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

I want to remind you that we were very impressed, the very same day that we were there if I recall that the 15th, an important package of measures of economic nature were taken by the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina that without it there will be an important push for the getting closer the relationship between the European Union and Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to finalize, and we would like to do it if possible before the end of the year, the feasibility study. Thank you.

MODERATOR: We have time for a couple of very short questions.

Q: (Agence Europe-Atlantic News) J'aurais deux questions pour M. de Hoop Scheffer. D'abord sur l'Afghanistan. Pourriez-vous nous expliquer un petit peu plus la décision qui a été prise, j'aurais voulue savoir notamment si la NRF sera formellement présente sur place ? Et deuxième question sur l'Irak, quand pensez-vous avoir une décision sur la formation des militaires ?

DE HOOP SCHEFFER: Sur l'Afghanistan, le résultat de la décision du Conseil Atlantique la semaine dernière c'est bien qu'on aura deux bataillons, un bataillon nord du (inaudible), un bataillon aussi du (inaudible), un bataillon as the quick reserve force et un autre bataillon, bataillon espagnol, bataillon italien du NRF. Ça c'est la décision, j'étais très content avec cette décision, c'est exactement que... l'ambition de l'OTAN était et est pour soutenir le processus d'élections en octobre. Ça va pour octobre bien sur pour les élections législatives au printemps de l'année prochaine l'OTAN de nouveau serait en mesure de soutenir le processus. Ça bien sur c'est une opération séparée de celle-ci qu'on est entrée maintenant.

J'espère fortement, sur votre deuxième question, j'espère fortement que cette semaine bien sur le NAC pourrait prendre une décision sur l'implémentation pour ainsi dire l'exécution de déclaration acceptée et adoptée à Istanbul par le chef d'état et du gouvernement sur l'entraînement en Irak et en dehors d'Irak. Merci beaucoup.

Q: John Chalmers (Reuters) First Secretary General, with regard to the special counter-terrorism forces which would be present for the Olympic Games, will they be under NATO command and will any or all of them be based on Greek soil? And for the High Representative, is there any possibility of the EU considering any kind of military action or peacekeeping action in the Sudan?

DE HOOP SCHEFFER: Let me answer your first question by saying that I'm not going to give details on the exact whereabouts of Special Forces, we never do that. The counterterrorism forces they will under NATO command.

SOLANA: Well about the position of the European Union vis-à-vis the problem in the Sudan, Darfur, I had the opportunity of meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs on Friday, we are following very closely the situation down there. As you know there's a meeting already taking place in the other building, in the European Union, in which in the agenda will be the situation in Sudan. I will, as I leave here, I go there to report.

As this moment, as you know, we have already some people deployed there, there as observers in observing missions run by the African Union. We have the vice-presidency already of the cease fire committee, we are in permanent contact with the African Union, we take the responsibility now. They may need more people, they may need more logistics, we are open to incorporation with the African Union to help as much as possible. The impression we have today after the weekend is that, at least from the humanitarian point of view, the points of deployments of humanitarian are open and that from that point of view the situation evolves is slightly better but it doesn't mean that the problem is solved. There's still, the risk is very high of having a potential catastrophe there.

MODERATOR: Okay we have time for the very last question here.

Q: (inaudible) pour le secrétaire général si je peux. Le ministre des Affaires étrangères de Serbie-et-Monténégro a déclaré que le gouvernement est prêt à retirer à la plainte auprès du tribunal à la La Haye, qui est introduit par le régime de Milosevic contre l'OTAN et hier soir aussi le président Serbe Boris Tadic a répété que ils sont prêt de sa décision. Mais les deux ont dit que il serait bon vu le partenariat qu'il se prépare et la Serbie veut se rapprocher en tant que aussi les plaintes introduites par la Bosnie et la Croatie en même temps soient retirées aussi auprès de ce tribunal, est-ce que c'est une bonne idée ?

DE HOOP SCHEFFER: J'ai dis à M. (inaudible) quand j'étais à Belgrade la semaine dernière que c'est bien sur, une chose, un problème pour laquelle la solution est dans les Balkans et dans les pays mêmes alors c'est pas à l'OTAN de donné des commentaires. Vous savez que bon en effet les complaints with the ICJ est une condition (inaudible) importante pour le (inaudible).

Go to Homepage Go to Index