Joint press point with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte. Following opening statements, the secretary general and prime minister answer questions from the media. Also available in high definition.
Transcript of the opening remarks by the NATO Secretary General:
Good afternoon. It is indeed a great pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Rutte back to NATO headquarters. The Netherlands is a strong and reliable ally. And I would like to thank you, to thank your country for your staunch support of NATO’s missions and operations. We welcome your intention to contribute two batteries to the expected deployment of Patriot missiles to Turkey. This is a strong signal of Allied solidarity. The deployment will be defensive only. It will in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation. Its aim is to deter any threats to Turkey, and to defend Turkey’s population and territory on NATO’s south-eastern border. Because the ultimate task of our Alliance is the protection and defense of our members. In Afghanistan, your police training mission does great work in the Kunduz province. Your jets provide necessary air cover for ISAF troops. Your naval forces have just ended a successful rotation in our anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia. And you contribute to our efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for all the people of Kosovo. This shows the value and importance the Netherlands places on its membership in NATO. And we are very grateful for all your contributions. We know they are made despite difficult economic times. In fact, the Netherlands is leading the way on Smart Defense. This enables you to use your defense budget more efficiently. Of the 22 multinational projects which we approved at the Chicago Summit this year, you participate in no less than 17. That is remarkable and we are very grateful for that. You are also working closely with Belgium and Luxembourg to make your maritime command and other capabilities more effective. This is collective security at its best. So once again, let me thank you for your country’s commitment to NATO. I look forward to continuing our close cooperation in the future.