21 May 2012 - NATO PA PRESIDENT URGES CHICAGO SUMMIT TO TAKE DECISIVE ACTION
President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Dr Karl A. Lamers, addressed NATO Heads of State and Government at the Summit held in Chicago, United States, on Sunday 20 May.
Presenting the concerns and priorities of Allied parliamentarians on the key issues on the Summit’s agenda, Dr Lamers stressed that “[our] Alliance is a community of common values built around the unique and irreplaceable transatlantic link”; “our people expect us to act together decisively so that NATO continues to preserve their security.”
On capabilities, one of the central issues for the Summit, he warned against reacting to the economic crisis “by cutting our budgets and capabilities in a way that leads to a security crisis”. Dr Lamers urged Allied Heads of State and Government to produce “a coherent, joint and long-term approach to Smart Defence”, including closer NATO-EU cooperation. “We cannot afford competition any longer. On behalf of my colleagues, I urge you to make this cooperation work”, he told Allied leaders.
On Afghanistan, Dr Lamers called for “a responsible handover, coordinated decisions on troop levels, and a sustainable post-2014 strategy that sends a strong message”.
Stressing the importance of NATO’s partnerships, and of adapting NATO to new geopolitical realities after the Arab Spring, he urged the Alliance to “seize the opportunity to fundamentally re-shape our relations with the Arab world”.
Lastly, recalling the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s long-standing support for NATO enlargement, he called upon Allied leaders “to send the strongest message of encouragement and support to our friends who are still waiting to walk through the door”.
(photo credit: NATO)