Updated: 10-Sep-2003 September 2003

4 Sept 2003


Lord Robertson visits NATO and Partner countries

05/09/03 - NATO
NATO Secretary General to visit the Netherlands on Monday, 8 September 2003
04/09/03 - NATO
Secretary General to visit Hungary and Bulgaria
With only a few months to go before he leaves his position as Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson started his farewell tour of NATO and Partner countries with a trip to Hungary and Bulgaria on 4 September, and a visit to the Netherlands on 8 September.

In Budapest, in addition to holding talks with President Ferenc Madl, Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Laszlo Kovacs and Ferenc Juhasz, Lord Robertson met members of the Hungarian parliament. One of the points raised was the need for Hungarian forces to be able to deploy more rapidly, in accordance with NATO's new missions. This has yet to be reflected in the constitution of the country.

He then travelled on to Bulgaria where he met President Georgi Parvanov and Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha. He was also invited to deliver the keynote speech at an international conference on "Shaping a common security agenda for South East Europe" in which he underlined the "considerable progress" made in the region so far. However, he stated that internal efforts to build democracy should persevere and that there was a continued need for regional cooperation and support from international organisations, which NATO fully commits itself to.

When in the Netherlands on 8 September, Lord Robertson met Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, Foreign Minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Defence Minister Henk Kamp. He also had an audience with Her Majesty Queen Beatrix.