|Slovenia Must Be Ready to Join the Alliance |
Slovenia Must Be Ready to Join the Alliance
Statement by H.E. Anton Grizold, PhD, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Defence Ministers session. Brussels, December 19, 2001.
Secretary General, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The events of September 11 and the reaction to those events not only by the Alliance but by the wider Euro-Atlantic community, casts no doubt about the ever growing importance and role of NATO. The expression of solidarity by us, the partner nations, is an illustration of NATO's success in fostering cooperative security.
For our part, this recent events have strengthened our, already strong, conviction that Slovenia needs to be part of NATO. We are determined to earn a place in this organisation. We recognise that we must be ready to join the Alliance. Our defence plans reflect our desire to make a worthwhile contribution to NATO's military capability.
Irrespective of our membership aims, Slovenia will continue to do what ever it can to support the war against terrorism. In this context, Slovenia regards itself as a firm ally of the United States and NATO. Slovenia has responded positively to number of measures adopted by the NAC. In particular, Slovenia has responded strongly with exchanges of intelligence information. We have also given the US priority use of our mountain warfare facility.
Secretary General, at our last meeting in the Spring I announced that Slovenia would reinforce its presence in the Balkans operations by an additional motorised infantry unit. We have done that! Also in light of current developments, we have decided to deploy an additional combat unit and to increase our participation even more. We are not very outspoken people, but we take our commitment to international peace and stability very seriously. Our past and indeed the present record are very clear about that!
In particular, I would like to underline that, with the reinforcement of the Slovenian contingent in Balkans operations, Slovenia will fully meet its Partnership Goal for Combat units for PfP Operations. This has not come about by accident. It is the result of our defence reform taking shape in its most visible part - in the capabilities and in our ability to sustain them for a prolonged time.
In addition to this, our Government has responded positively to the call to assist with logistical effort in sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. As always, we are ready to help not only by political support but by concrete measures as well.
Secretary General, ladies and gentlemen. We all have only limited capabilities, but there is no doubt in my mind that they should be used in support of our common efforts to defend the values shared by our community of nations.
Thank you for your attention.