The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 13, 2001

Remarks by the President at Opening of NATO Meeting
NATO Headquarters
Brussels, Belgium

11:44 A.M. (L)

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Secretary General, thank you very much. It's an honor for me to be here. It's an honor to say hello to folks who I've had the honor of meeting before. And it's a real pleasure to meet other leaders in the free world.

Our nations established NATO to provide security for the free peoples of Europe and North America; to build a grand alliance of freedom to defend values which were won at great cost. We've succeeded, in part.

The NATO alliance deterred the Soviet Union. It provided the time and space for free peoples to defeat communism. And it brought the Cold War to a bloodless end. Now, we have a great opportunity to build a Europe whole, free and at peace, with this grand alliance of liberty at its very core.

That work has begun. By bringing in new members, we extend the security and stability through central Europe. By establishing the partnership for peace, we reached out across central and eastern Europe and Eurasia. By our actions in the Balkans, we halted ethnic cleansing in the heart of Europe and halted a dictator in the process.

Yet, there is more to do. We must strengthen our alliance, modernize our forces and prepare for new threats. We must expand cooperation with our partners, including Russia and the Ukraine. And we must extend our hands and open our hearts to new members, to build security for all of Europe.

Next year, we meet in the ancient capital of a new democracy, our ally. Prague will host our next summit in November of 2002. In preparation for that meeting, we must affirm our enduring commitments by preparing for the challenges of our time.

Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

END 11:46 A.M. (L)

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