Updated: 28-Nov-2006 NATO Speeches

Olympic Sports Centre

27 Nov. 2006

Joint press point

by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
and the Prime Minister of Latvia, Aigars Kalvītis

28-29 Nov. 2006 - NATO
NATO Riga Summit

MODERATOR: Who would like to ask the first question? Okay, let's go to the gentleman here. Okay. Please.

Introduce yourself.

Q: Raymond Lloyd, the editor of the Parity Democrat Westminster. A question for the Prime Minister and a question for the Secretary General.
This is the first of 20 NATO summits to be held within ten miles of a concentration camp, Salaspils, where 100,000 persons were murdered between 1941 and 1944. Will you encourage any of the leaders attending this summit to visit Salaspils, or the even nearer and elegant memorial in Riga to the Holocaust as a reminder of the expectation that NATO will never allow such barbarities to happen again in the countries of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance?

AIGARS KALVĪTIS (Prime Minister of Latvia): Yes, thank you very much for question. I can say then this summit is called especially for that never in history such murdering of people, like in the Second World War, or in Holocaust, could happen. And that's the reason why the leaders of 26 countries meeting tomorrow and day after that are to guarantee peace in the world. But in this time we're not planning to attend Salaspils memorial. Just because the time is very short. Thank you.

Q: Mr. Secretary...

DE HOOP SCHEFFER: Give me the opportunity to answer the question as well that was directed to me.

Q: It's not the question to you, if I may.

DE HOOP SCHEFFER: No, but let me answer your first one, first if you allow me to choose my own order of play. What you're saying is NATO relevant because the unspeakable horror of the Holocaust, and for that never to happen again, for that reason exactly NATO has since 1949 been defending key values, those values who were absolutely non-existent in that horrible period of human history.

So I think, I think quite honestly, that the values that NATO has always defended, and is defending as we speak, is to prevent these kind of unspeakable atrocities to take place again.

Q: Paul Ames from the Associated Press. Secretary General, we're about 24 hours away from the start of the summit. Have you already received assurances from the allies that they will make commitments for more trips to ISAF and fill the necessary gaps in the NRF? Or are they making you wait until very the last moment?

DE HOOP SCHEFFER: Let me repeat what I said in your presence two days ago. As we speak I'm working on the NRF, on the full operational capability on the NRF and the very same goes for Afghanistan. So I do not have any fundamental changes to report with the comments I made at the previous press conference we met a few days ago.

Q: TV company, Imedi Georgia. What positive signal must wait Georgia for this summit? We are in...

DE HOOP SCHEFFER: Well, for certain I should say that NATO has a number of basic principles as far as Georgia is concerned, but those are, let's say, wider principles, but for Georgia is it certainly the full respect for Georgia's territorial integrity; point number one.

Point number two, the call for a peaceful, I repeat, peaceful solution for the conflicts concerning South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

And point number three, the underlining of the important decision which was taken by NATO Foreign Ministers in New York not that along ago, on entering into a so-called Intensified Dialogue with Georgia.  Having an Intensified Dialogue with Georgia is a logical consequence. It's all in the word, isn't it? And make use of the Intensified Dialogue and support Georgia in the necessary reforms Georgia has embarked upon in the framework of this process.

That is the message I expect from this summit. How it will exactly be worded I do not know yet, because the summit is not over yet. But those are, as far as I'm concerned the basic principles and I think they are important principles.
Thank you very much.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much. We welcome you to the next events. Sorry, there will be lots of opportunities. You  will be invited to various media events. Thank you very much.


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