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NATO - Warsaw Summit (July 8-9, 2016)

NATO - Warsaw Summit (July 8-9, 2016)

Published on July 11, 2016
The Warsaw declaration on Transatlantic Security Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council.


The Warsaw declaration on Transatlantic Security

Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council. (Warsaw – July 8-9, 2016)

1. Today, our nations face an unprecedented range of security challenges, including the terrorism that has struck hard in many of our countries; Russia’s actions, especially in Ukraine, that undermine the rules-based order in Europe; and the instability in the Middle East and North Africa. We stand together, and act together, to ensure the defense of our territory and populations, and of our common values. United by our enduring transatlantic bond, and our commitment to democracy, individual liberty, human rights and the rule of law, NATO will continue to strive for peace, security and stability in the whole of the Euro-Atlantic area, in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter.

2. Because of the decisions we are taking here in Warsaw, as set out in detail in our communique, NATO will be stronger in defense and deterrence, and do more to project stability beyond our borders.

3. Collective defense remains NATO’s fundamental responsibility. Our deterrence and defense is based on an appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional and missile defense capabilities. We have already improved NATO’s readiness and capability, and Allied defense budgets are beginning to increase towards the goals we pledged in Wales.

4. We are now taking further steps to strengthen our deterrence and defense against threats from any direction. Building on the Readiness Action Plan adopted in Wales, we will enhance the presence of our forces in the Eastern part of the Alliance. We are bolstering our defenses and resilience against cyber-attacks and hybrid threats. And we are stepping up our defense against ballistic missile attacks from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.

5. All these measures are defensive, proportionate, transparent and fully within the Alliance’s legal and political commitments, demonstrating our respect for the rules-based European security architecture. We remain committed to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. NATO poses no threat to any country. In that spirit, we remain ready for a meaningful dialogue with Russia, to communicate clearly our positions and, as a first priority, to minimize risk from military incidents, including through reciprocal measures of transparency. We continue to aspire to a constructive relationship with Russia, when Russia’s actions make that possible.

6. If our neighbors are more stable, we are more secure. That is all the more relevant today, in light of the arc of instability beyond our borders. We are united in solidarity against terrorism, which represents an immediate and direct threat to our nations and the international community. We are ready to do more to help our partners provide for their own security, defend against terrorism, and build resilience against attack.

7. NATO will therefore step up political dialogue and practical cooperation with our partners in the Middle East and North Africa. NATO will enhance training and capacity building for Iraq, and NATO AWACS aircraft will be made available to support the Counter-ISIL Coalition. NATO is contributing effectively to addressing the refugee and migrant crisis in the Aegean Sea, and stands ready to consider possible additional support to international efforts in the Mediterranean, in complementarity and cooperation with the European Union. And we will sustain our support to Afghanistan, a partner to which we are committed for the long term.

8. We believe in a Europe whole, free and at peace. NATO will provide more support to Ukraine and Georgia, and continue to assist the Republic of Moldova. We will deepen our engagement with partners in the Black and Baltic Sea regions, and in the Western Balkans. We will also maintain our important operation in Kosovo.

9. Strategic partnership between NATO and the European Union is increasingly essential for the security of our nations and the Euro-Atlantic area. We are therefore stepping up NATO-EU cooperation in defending against hybrid threats, through operations in the Mediterranean, and in helping partner countries to provide for their own security.

10. We remain committed to NATO’s Open Door policy, which has strengthened the Alliance and contributed to Euro-Atlantic security. We look forward to welcoming our newest member, Montenegro, to our community of values.

11. We pay tribute to the brave men and women in uniform who serve and have served under NATO Command. We owe a solemn debt of gratitude to those who have lost their lives or been injured while protecting our security.

12. Our Alliance faces complex and evolving security challenges. NATO will continue to assess changes in the security environment and continue to adapt to play its essential roles, based on the enduring transatlantic bond that unites our countries.

Press conference given by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic (excerpts)

Warsaw – July 9, 2016

Ladies and gentlemen, the NATO summit has been held, or is still being held, in the international context you’re aware of, particularly with growing insecurity to the south: the Syria conflict, what’s happening in Iraq, the terrorism of Islamic State [Daesh] and also its consequences on movements of refugees and migration.

Since what happened in Ukraine, we also have tension that we must reduce in the east.

Our first duty in the framework of the Alliance—and this is what we’ve done—is to assert our unity, with a single aim: to guarantee the security of the Alliance’s member countries. So we decided to continue adapting the military tool. We’d already started this at the Wales summit two years ago. Today we decided to develop it and make it more specific through the Response Force, because there will be this enhanced forward presence, and France will be part of it. The deployment will take the form of a company, once a year, in Estonia, with our British friends from 2017; and then the following year, in 2018, with Germany in Lithuania, in the form of the Franco-German Brigade.

The Alliance has confirmed what a safeguard the nuclear deterrent can provide. There’s not only what conventional forces must do but also what we must operate through cyber security and the nuclear deterrent. In this regard, France has a special responsibility. Our autonomy is the foundation of our strategy. And it’s this distinctiveness that means we can both play our full role in the Alliance and also shoulder a number of our responsibilities.

I’ve mentioned cyber defense because France wanted this issue to be really spearheaded at the highest level during this summit. Measures will be taken. For example, cyber defence is one of the priorities of the military estimates bill. In the budget we have to prepare for 2017, we’ll grant it the necessary resources.

We also mentioned—it wasn’t the first time, because it had already been in our discussions in Chicago in 2012—the anti-missile capability. This decision was taken with respect for France’s position. Let me remind you of it: political control is absolutely necessary, and it must be shared; this anti-missile defense capability seeks to respond to threats outside the Euro-Atlantic region only. To be clear, this anti-missile defense does not affect Russia.

The Alliance’s stance is also strictly defensive. NATO isn’t looking for enemies; it’s not adopting an aggressive position. It’s taking the necessary measures to defend the Allies, and is threatening no country. That’s also repeated in the summit’s conclusion. I restated it at the very beginning of the summit. That’s why it was very important for us to discuss these issues at a forthcoming NATO-Russia Council, which will therefore be held after the summit.

France, which is a member of the Alliance, sometimes intervenes as part of a coalition, sometimes on behalf of the international community. France is a military power, so there too the aim is to serve peace and combat terrorism. That’s what we’re doing in the Sahel, and it’s what we’re doing in the Levant. As I’ve pointed out, our deterrent capability is for the benefit of the continent’s security. We’re also supportive of our Allies in the east, and we’re showing it through the decisions on the forward presence.

France also wants the European Union to play an even greater role than today in defending our continent. It’s very important for the EU and NATO to work closely and in full cooperation. And that’s what we must demonstrate, too, in the new mandate of Operation Sophia against arms trafficking to Libya, which NATO is set to support. It’s the European Union which has taken the initiative on this.

NATO can also be useful to us in operations, missions in the Aegean Sea, to disrupt smuggling rings. That’s what has also happened, and it must be stepped up.

A few words to finish, on the transatlantic link. We believe this link is very important. I’m speaking ahead of elections which are going to be held in the United States and which mustn’t call into question the link between France, Europe and the United States. We need those relations for the sake of peace and security. But at the same time, we must show that this link can be effective in the fight against terrorism. That’s what we’ve been able to show in recent months.

While this link is important, however, it mustn’t lead Europeans to believe there’s no additional effort to be made to defend themselves. The decision the United Kingdom has taken to leave the European Union has no consequences on the relations the UK will continue to have in the framework of the Alliance, or in the framework of bilateral agreements—as with France—to guarantee the security and defense of our continent and even of operations we may conduct outside the continent.

But at the same time as mentioning the transatlantic link and the United Kingdom, I want to talk about the fresh impetus we must inject into Europe. Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and I talked about this when we met in Berlin a few days ago. The security, protection and defense dimensions are essential in this fresh impetus France wants to provide over the next few months. This means that we Europeans must contribute more capabilities, more forces, have more rules between us, too, for this dimension of security, protection—border protection, security in the fight against trafficking, and defense against threats which exist outside European Union itself. This means that we must give it this dimension, so that Europe’s citizens can see Europe for what it is: an area of protection and solidarity.

But a consequence of this new phase we want for the European Union is that defense efforts must be more substantial. We, France, have done our bit over the past few years. France is one of the European countries doing the most for its defense. France is also doing its bit for solidarity, for collective responsibility, including in our interventions in Africa and the Middle East. France, like every other country, faces budget restraints. We, too, have to reduce our deficit and get our debt under control. But other countries must also make a more substantial defense effort. And that’s what I reiterated here, at this summit.

This isn’t about getting back into a kind of arms race, it’s not about that. It’s simply a case of equipping ourselves with the necessary capabilities, allocating to them the essential resources so that we can be stronger together, even more so than today, to promote security and peace in the world. Europe also has a responsibility to the world. Moreover, there isn’t a military response alone; there’s a political response too, with the search for solutions to conflicts—I’m thinking particularly of Syria, I’m thinking of Libya, and also [we need to] ensure that Iraq can have a government which includes all components [of society].

And then there are responses in terms of development. Here at the NATO summit, where we talk—perfectly legitimately—about security, arms and defense, I wanted to highlight the development dimension, and that also of solidarity with the countries of Africa and the countries of the Middle East. It’s also a way of responding to the threats we may experience outside our borders. (...)

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