NATO PA President John Tanner (US) spoke today at the NATO summit in Strasbourg. In his speech to the heads of state and government during the closed session of the summit, Mr Tanner stressed that the Alliance must reaffirm its commitment to the mission in Afghanistan, build a new relationship with Russia, and develop a new Strategic Concept. In all of those areas, parliamentarians play a critical role. “They approve defence budgets, authorize the use of national armed forces and engage the broader public in dialogue about these matters,” said Mr Tanner.
“We must help to bring stability to Afghanistan ,” said Mr Tanner, “and parliamentarians can help build and maintain public support for the mission.” Mr Tanner went on to speak to the NATO-Russia relationship noting that “we must build a relationship to address our common strategic interests, but we also must be clear that Russia has no veto over the sovereign decisions of its neighbours.” Mr Tanner also informed the heads of state and government that the NATO PA was drafting its contribution to the new Strategic Concept. The NATO PA contribution would be significant because parliamentarians, “listen to public concerns and communicate these to national governments.”
Click here for full speech.