THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I am very pleased with the outcome of NATO's foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last week. Secretary Albright and her NATO colleagues reaffirmed the Alliance's commitment to peace, democracy, and respect for human rights throughout Southeast Europe. They also reviewed the important progress we have made towards meeting our April 1999 Washington Summit commitments - including improving our defense capabilities, increasing efforts against weapons of mass destruction, and reviewing the enlargement process at our next summit, to take place no later than 2002. I applaud the selection of Prague as the site for the next NATO Summit. The Czech Republic under President Havel has been a driving force in the continued integration of Europe.
Working closely with the EU, NATO also has advanced the goals we set at the Washington Summit for strengthening European defense capabilities. I welcome the agreement at the EU's Nice Summit to improve Europe's ability to act in times of crises and to put arrangements in place for close collaboration with NATO. NATO Defense and Foreign Ministers also acted to establish a strategic partnership with the EU. These efforts will strengthen NATO's European pillar, promote the EU's ability to manage crises where NATO is not engaged, and reinforce our trans-Atlantic ties.
We still have work to do to implement these arrangements and strengthen the habits of cooperation that have been NATO's hallmark since the end of the Cold War. The United States looks forward to working with our European Allies and partners to enhance our partnership and advance our common goals.