Statement by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen following the meeting with the President of the United States, Barack Obama on 26 March 2014
Thank you very much Mr. President for those very kind words, I’m very grateful for your support throughout my tenure as Secretary General and I look forward to working with you to prepare a substantive summit in Wales in September.
I thank you very much for your strong leadership and for your steadfast commitment to our Alliance. The transatlantic bond between North America and Europe is the bedrock of security in Europe and in North America. And I really appreciate your reaffirmation of the commitment of the United States to our shared defence and security.
And I welcome the steps that the United States has taken in response to Russia’s reckless and illegal military actions in Ukraine. Clearly collective defence of our Allies is a core task for NATO and I join you in your call for additional measures to enhance our collective defence including updated and further developed defence plans, enhanced exercises, and appropriate deployments.
Our commitment to the defence of our Allies is unbreakable and at the same time we are firm in our support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will intensify our military cooperation with Ukraine including helping the Ukrainians to modernise their armed forces. As we prepare for our next summit in Wales later this year, we will review the viability of our relationship with Russia, we will enhance cooperation with our partners, we will further strengthen our collective defence and we will reinforce the transatlantic bond. NATO is a force for peace but also unmatched militarily. We do not seek confrontation but we will not waiver if challenged. And our Alliance is more than just a military Alliance, we are a community of values that also brings hope for all people seeking freedom and peace.
NATO Newsroom: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/opinions_108351.htm