Warsaw, 16 November 2010 - AFGHANISTAN AND RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA DOMINATE LAST DAY OF NATO PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly concluded in Warsaw on Tuesday, as government officials and delegates appraised the situation in Afghanistan, and discussed new ways to build relations beyond the Alliance.
Relations with Russia were “of particular importance” and “should be developed in a constructive and balanced manner,” said Grzegorz Schetyna, Marshal of the Polish Sejm.
Earlier during the Assembly’s 56th annual session, members of the Defence Committee and the Science and Technology Committee had discussed the opportunities to improve co-operation with Russia over nuclear weapons strategy and missile defence implementation.
It was also important to continue to scrutinize claims of democratization to ensure they were not merely cosmetic, Slovenian Ambassador Janez Lenarcic, director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, said in his address to the plenary session. He welcomed co-operation with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in election observation and he called on the Assembly to join the “already impressive list” of organizations to have endorsed the UN General Assembly’s March resolution titled ‘Strengthening the role of the UN in enhancing periodic and genuine elections and the promotion of democratization”.
The delegates also agreed that the
Current austerity measures had also led to some concerns over Allies’ military budgets in the “worst economic times since World War II,” as NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in his address at the plenary sitting.
Schetyna also stressed the importance of “further development of NATO-EU relations which should acquire a strategic nature”. The Alliance’s New Strategic Concept, to be unveiled in Lisbon on November 19-20, and the taking effect of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty “will make it possible” to establish a closer co-operation, he said.