HomeMEDIA RESOURCES2002NEW FORUM WITH RUSSIA ‘TO MANAGE FREEDOM AND SECURITY’
Istanbul, 15 November 2002 - NEW FORUM WITH RUSSIA ‘TO MANAGE FREEDOM AND SECURITY’
The first meeting of the joint NATO PA – Russian Parliamentary Standing Committee in Istanbul today resolved to concentrate its future work on ‘managing international freedom and security in the face of terrorist threats’, in the words of NATO PA President Rafael Estrella (Spain).
The new Standing Committee is the parliamentary counterpart to the intergovernmental NATO-Russia Council. Its 20 members – leaders of the parliamentary delegations of the 19 NATO nations and Russia – have equal status.
Ioannis Anthopoulos, leader of the Greek delegation, said: ‘We are living at a time of big miracles.’ Not only were Russia and NATO now cooperating – something previously unimaginable, but, thanks to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s initiative on Cyprus, there was also an ‘historic opportunity’ to resolve the Cyprus problem, and with it to cement good relations between Greece and Turkey, he said.
The new Committee will provide a unique parliamentary forum in which the 20 can discuss the single most serious threat facing their societies – terrorism in all of its manifestations and with all of its consequences. This will involve discussion of the many areas affected by the threat of terrorism and particularly the central dilemma of balancing the requirements of security with the need to preserve civil liberties and individual freedoms.
The meeting took place in the framework of NATO Assembly’s 48th Annual Session, being held at the Lüfti Kirdar Istanbul Convention Centre from November 15 – 19.