Updated: 30-Oct-2006 NATO Speeches


7 Feb. 2005

Press Conference

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

07/02/2005 - NATO
Audio file of the press conference (.MP3/6182Kb)
High resolution photos

de Hoop Scheffer: Thank you, good morning, bonjour. We had an interesting meeting of the North Atlantic Council with the PSC, the COPS, which was as you know completely devoted to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the activities of EUFOR, the transition from SFOR to EUFOR.

It's an interesting day in the sense that as you might know the North Atlantic Council will meet with the Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council, Minister Terzic from BiH this afternoon.

The conclusion can be that, as you know, the transition has run very smoothly indeed, that the delineation of tasks between the EUFOR and SFOR, NATO HQ and the EUFOR, is progressing very well indeed. We very much agree that the pressure should be kept up as far as the conditionality is concerned about the cooperation of BiH in general, the Republika Srpska, as far as the PIFWCs are concerned that is- that was important and is still important.

That's also the message Prime Minister Terzic will get here this afternoon when he visits the NAC, there will be no PfP, no Partnership for Peace, unless there is full cooperation with the ICTY.

So things are moving smoothly, it was a good moment and is a good moment to meet this present day because as you know Secretary Rice will come to NATO Headquarters next Wednesday. While there will be a large range of subjects- also subjects relevant for the EU as much as for NATO; we'll have the Defence Ministers meeting in Nice this week and that is all of course partly, and more than partly, in preparation for the Summit on the 22nd when President Bush is coming to NATO in the morning and goes to the EU in the afternoon.

So I think it's important that the EU and NATO also- in these issues are in close touch and are in close contact.

But this morning, the meeting focused on BiH, the Balkans more in general and that was a good meeting; and I think I can leave it here.

Solana: Thank you very much. Good morning.

Very little to add, two things: One, that General Leakey and General Schook who have been giving us the report of how things are evolving and the report have been very positive. The cooperation between the European Union and NATO with Operation EUFOR and Operation ALTHEA is very good and I think that EUFOR is doing a very good job on the ground. That is recognized by everybody.

The relationship with the leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina is very constructive, very positive and the cooperation with the instructions of Lord Ashdown which is the Special Representative from the European Union and the UN, is also very, very constructive.

As you know EUFOR has a different- it was understood, mission than the SFOR, that I would like to once again to honour what SFOR has done in so many years in order to stabilize Bosnia-Herzegovina. The mission we have now in front of us is a mission slightly different, with more focus on organized crime and the stabilization of the country in order that all this whole panoply of activities in the European Union does have in Bosnia-Herzegovina, police presence, economic pressure, feasibility studies, leading potentially to the stabilization of such an agreement can move forward.

For that is very important as has been said, the cooperation with the International Tribunal and they know it, they know it very well, and the cooperation with the new regulations that we are putting in place in the European Union in order to move. We would like very much to see them moving toward the finalization of the feasibility study so they will move to the stabilization as reached in agreement. They know what they have to do, we are going to give them all the cooperation, but the responsibility lies on their shoulders.

That's all Thank you very much.

Q: I have a question on the situation in Togo for Mr. Solana.

Solana: What?

Q: Togo, for Mr. Solana.

de Hoop Scheffer: We forgot to put this on the agenda this morning.

Q: The question is: Do you accept as valid the way that the transition of power has taken place in Togo particularly given now that they have changed the constitution to make it such, or not and if that's not the case, what should happen next in Togo?

Solana: Well as you can imagine, Togo has not been on the agenda this morning. But it is in our minds and in our concern no question about that. I think the best manner to answer your question is the contact that we maintain permanently with Mr. Konare, the President of the African Union. I think the African Union is engaged on it on the question of Togo and we should not have any other position than to cooperate as much as possible with position of the African Union.

I will- I have been in touch with them and will keep in touch with Mr. Konare in the coming hours, in the coming days and we hope very much that the situation evolves in a positive direction.

But I prefer to say that at this point in time that our cooperation with the African Union is total.

Q: (L'Alliance espagnole/Europa Press): I have a question on the Middle East peace process. Everybody's talking about a ceasefire, we know that we are very far from seeing NATO troops between the Israelis and Palestinians but, two questions: Is imagined this idea inside the NATO and could you recall us what is your point of view on this matter?

de Hoop Scheffer: Let me say once again that whenever there is talk about a NATO role- two big "ifs" apply. I mean it's not unthinkable, but the two "ifs" of course are that there is a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians; that both parties would ask NATO to do so and that process would take place of course on the basis of a mandate by the United Nations Security Council.

But, I mean, so you could also call it three big "ifs". If those three big "ifs" and I'm afraid we're not there yet, although positive signs- but I have learned not only in my present capacity but also in a previous capacity that the word caution is applicable to the Middle Eastern peace process. But if those "ifs" would be fulfilled, and parties would come to NATO and say could you help in monitoring, or guaranteeing such an agreement, I think this would lead to a discussion here in the NATO Council I'm quite sure.

So I do not exclude anything, but remember my big "ifs".

Q (Mexican News Agency): I would like to ask Mr. Scheffer, what do you expect from Mr. Bush visit the next 22nd and also the same question for Solana regarding the EU.

de Hoop Scheffer: Well let me say that the fact that the President is coming so soon after his inauguration is a very positive sign of the continued US commitment to NATO. The fact that the President is here so soon, as such, is a very important signal and I think it will mark let's say the very positive state of the transatlantic relationship and the wish of all Allies to build on that all important relationship realizing that they cannot do without each other. But let me add that's what I expect and certainly President Bush will expect as well. I know from my conversations with him that transatlantic relations is not only something you talk about but transatlantic relations is you do.

So the 22nd of February, at the Summit here, should also have some concrete results where it concerns NATO's operations and NATO training mission in Iraq. So it's a twofold thing, the state of the transatlantic relationship, the signal President Bush is giving by coming here, but also doing transatlantic relationship in providing concrete results.

Solana: Let me say that the visit of President Bush which is being preceded by the Secretary of State- will be preceded by the Secretary of State- I think it shows a wish on the part of the United States new administration--the second Bush administration--to reach out.

To reach out to NATO, as the Secretary General has said, but also to the European Union. Let me say that this is the first time that the President of the United States do come to Brussels and has a meeting in the institution of the European Union. We are going to have a long session there in the afternoon, a meeting with all the members of the European Council and it will probably be followed by another meeting of the Troika at dinnertime. So it's going to be a long session in which we want to talk about all the things that are of concern, that are on the table, on the agenda for the year 2005-06.

Let me also say that I think that with this visit, one of the things that we would like to do is to have a much more, if I may say, pragmatic approach to the relationship between the European Union--and I'm talking now on behalf of the European Union and the United States--the transatlantic link is fundamental, but I think this is my sentiment, that we have spent too much time talking about ourselves. Talking about the transatlantic link, talking about the relationship between the European Union and the United States and probably less time talking about what together, that means talking between ourselves on what we should be doing out there where the problems are and problems that have to be resolved.

There is not doubt that some of the problems that you have in mind may be resolved much better, much faster, in a better way if the cooperation between the United States and the European Union is more profound, is better.

Therefore, this is the spirit in which, from my point of view and after having been in Washington talking to the leaders after the elections, this is the spirit which I see they are coming and this is the spirit which we would like to reciprocate after the visit.

So this is the spirit in which we would like to see things happen in the coming days, after the visit, and particularly after the visit which will be more important.

Q (Al Alam News): J'ai deux questions, une question à M. le Secrétaire général: Est-ce que la visite de Madame Rice jeudi, est-ce que elle se situe dans le cadre de la préparation de la visite de M. Bush ou bien il y a des termes bien précis que vous allez discuter avec Madame Rice?

Et deuxième question à M. Solana: Madame Rice a évoqué le dossier de l'Iran, le dossier nucléaire, bien qu'elle a salué l'action de l'Union européenne, mais est-ce que l'Union européenne maintient toujours sa position vis-à-vis de l'Iran?

de Hoop Scheffer: Merci beaucoup. J'aurai certainement une réunion bilatérale avec Madame Rice pour préparer bien sûr le sommet du 22 mais aussi j'attends que Madame Rice va donner son agenda, son calendrier pour ainsi dire, pour les années à venir dans les relations plus précises pour l'OTAN de ne pas seulement parler comme j'ai dit sur les liens transatlantiques, les relations transatlantiques.

Mais aussi, si je pouvais vous donnez un exemple sur le Moyen-Orient, sur les initiatives de l'OTAN dans le cadre du Dialogue méditerranéen, sur le Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, alors ce sont deux choses: bien sûr préparations pour le sommet et le président Bush ici mais aussi un calendrier plus large je pourrais dire, relevant pour l'Otan, les ministres des Affaires étrangères vont venir pour un déjeuner de travail avec elle.

Alors ce sont les deux choses qu'elle vient discuter avec moi premièrement et avec les ministres.

Solana: Ma réponse est oui et nous continuons à travailler avec l'Iran, après la signature de l'Accord qui a été signé à Paris, nous continuons à faire l'évolution de cet Accord.

Il est bien connu que les États-Unis ne font parti de l'Accord mais soutient les initiatives que nous les européens nous sommes en train de prendre et que nous avons pris déjà.

L'évolution ne sera pas facile, ce sera une évolution difficile de tout ça, mais nous pensons que l'engagement diplomatique à ces moments dans lesquels nous vivons, c'est la manière la plus subtil et avancer avec l'objectif- comment d'éviter la possibilité d'avoir des armes de destructions massives--en particulier nucléaires--dans le Moyen-Orient; et nous pensons que dans cette région assez fragile pour l'instant, la présence de plus d'armes ne contribue pas à la stabilité mais bien au contraire.

Donc c'est l'objectif que nous partageons et la manière que nous essayons d'obtenir cet objectif et parvenir à cet objectif c'est pour l'instant l'engagement diplomatique avec trois vecteurs que vous connaissez bien: le nucléaire, le domaine de la sécurité et de la politique et troisièmement les dossiers, ou les vecteurs économique et commercial.

Q (Agence de presse): (inaudible) me permet de revenir à la Bosnie. Est-ce que vous voyez dans le comportement, dans la politique de la Republika Srpska de nouveaux pas? Parce que le président Cavic a été- et le ministre de la Police (inaudible) quelques jours à Bruxelles et ils ont encore plus clairement dit qu'ils allaient arrêter les inculpés des crimes de guerre s'ils ne veulent pas se rendre volontairement à La Haye. Est-ce qu'il y a déjà une preuve parce que c'est une condition fondamentale pour ce rapprocher vers l'OTAN et vers l'Union européenne. Est-ce qu'il y a quelque chose de concret et est-ce que vous voyez vraiment un changement? Merci.

Solana: J'ai parlé à plusieurs reprises dans les derniers jours avec les leaders de la Bosnie en général et de la Republika Srpska en particulier.

Ce que vous venez de dire, c'est vrai, il y a une position théorique, expression espérons-nous d'une volonté d'agir. Et c'est fondamental qu'ils commencent à faire la coopération avec le Tribunal, une coopération profonde, une coopération presque parfaite et pensez-vous pour l'instant, dans les prochains mois dans l'année 2005 on va commémorer les dix années de Dayton.

Nous ne parlons pas de décisions qui ont été prises hier, et qui doivent être (inaudible) ou remplir les mains, nous parlons de décisions qui ont été prises il y a dix ans. Longtemps. Et je crois que c'est très difficile à avancer s'il n'y a pas de coopération plus étroite, plus profonde avec le Tribunal. Il y a eu de gestes positifs, constructifs, de la partie de la République Serbe qui nous impressionnes, qui nous impressionnes beaucoup, mais c'est le début d'un processus de coopération qui doit s'approfondir.

de Hoop Scheffer: Je veux ajouter que il est très important comme je viens de dire qu'ici l'Union européenne et l'OTAN prennent exactement la même position. Le signal doit être clair que "full cooperation" est bien pleine coopération avec le Tribunal--plein/full.

C'est exactement ce que Javier Solana vient de dire, c'est sur la base de Dayton n'est ce pas? C'est pas du récent.

Merci beaucoup.

Go to Homepage Go to Index Back to NATO Homepage