For Immediate Release
May 9, 2003
KEY POINTS FROM THE PRESIDENT'S REMARKS ON NATO AND CENTRAL
The heroic nations of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia have survived tyranny, won their liberty
and earned their place among free nations. We urge all current members
of NATO to welcome these new members as quickly as possible.
Nearly two years ago, President Bush called upon all NATO
allies to renew their mission and meet the great challenges of the
world beyond Europe. And following the terrorist attacks of September
11th, NATO invoked its commitment to the collective defense for the
first time in its history.
In the battle of Afghanistan, nations from central and eastern
Europe supplied soldiers, special forces and peacekeepers to help
defeat the Taliban and bring freedom to the Afghan people.
In the battle of Iraq, central and eastern European countries
have stood with America and our Coalition to end a grave threat to
peace, and to rid Iraq of a brutal regime.
NATO must develop new military capabilities to meet the
emerging dangers of a new era. We must help the people of the Balkans
to become full partners in the progress of Europe. We welcome the
commitment of Albania, Croatia and Macedonia to the values and
principles of NATO, and will help them as they move forward with
We have work ahead in bringing order and security to Iraq, so
the Iraqi people can build the institutions of freedom and provide an
example of democracy to other Arab nations.
Just as NATO has stood for the freedom of all of Europe, we
must stand with people everywhere who strive for greater freedom,
tolerance, development and opportunity, including those in the Middle
East and Africa.
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