|Last update: 19-May-2004 20:38||NATO Update|
First visit of senior Australian official to NATO HQ
"I think we had a historic first which is the address by the Honourable Alexander Downer, the Australian Foreign Minister, to the Council…" stated NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, at a joint press conference with the minister.
This was the first visit to NATO of a senior Australian official. The minister briefed the North Atlantic Council and held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General on 19 May.
During their discussions, they stressed the importance of developing a more structured relationship at a time when threats have become global. "…there is of course a great unity in thinking and analyses and that's the reason that Australia and NATO should cooperate […] in a stronger and more expanded way in the future", Mr de Hoop Scheffer stated.
During the joint press conference, the Foreign Minister
and the Secretary General referred specifically to greater
cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction, as well as efforts to assist
failed states, all of which affect democracies across the
globe. They also discussed NATO's peacekeeping missions
and other areas of common interest.