Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Last quote by Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Rasmussen quotes
It's not NATO as an alliance, but individual NATO allies are engaged. What you see now is really how much the international community as such is concerned about this situation and the spread of extremism and terrorism. It requires a unified response from the international community across traditional lines of division.
There is no doubt that Russia is heavily involved in destabilising the eastern part of Ukraine. They allow a flow of weapons and equipment and also fighters across the border into Ukraine. We call on Russia to stop supporting the separatist groups. And we call on Russia to withdraw troops from the Russia-Ukraine border. We have seen recently a new build-up of Russian troops in the border region.
Yeah, but we never had any intention to deploy NATO troops to Crimea. So it's a very very bad excuse for what is an illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea into the Russian Federation. There is no excuse. Russia is in blatant breach of all its international commitments and also in breach of the fundamental principles of NATO-Russia cooperation.
Today we see no change in Russia's behaviour. So we have no option but to maintain the suspension of practical civillian and military cooperation, there will be no business as usual with Russia until Russia comes back into line with its international obligations.
If Russia is serious about a dialogue, the first step should be to pull back its troops.
This is a graphic example, where the population of such a huge region held a referendum in the wake of protests and effectively seceded from Ukraine.
That would lead to further international isolation of Russia.
The annexation of Crimea through a so-called referendum held at gunpoint is illegal and illegitimate and it undermines all efforts to find a peaceful solution.
At the same time, we will step up our engagement with the Ukrainian civilian and military leadership. We will strengthen our efforts to build the capacity of the Ukrainian military, including with more joint training and exercises.
Russia must stop its military activities and its threats. We support Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. We support the rights of the people of Ukraine to determine their own future without outside interference and we emphasise the need for Ukraine to continue to uphold the democratic rights of all people and ensure that minority rights are protected.
We decided that Ukraine will become a member of NATO, of course, provided the country so wishes and provided the country fulfills the necessary criteria.
This is not about a European army. This is about nations, individual nations investing more in critical areas such as observation drones, air-to-air refuelling, or heavy air transport. And if European nations do that, they will also strengthen NATO.
I don't foresee a further role. But having said that we are gravely concerned about the situation in Syria and it's my firm belief that the chemical attacks in Syria can't go unanswered. It is necessary that the international community sends a firm message to dictators all over the world that you can't use chemical weapons without any reaction.
First of all let me stress that I don't foresee any further role for NATO. NATO already plays its part as a forum for consultations among allies and we have deployed Patriot missiles to ensure effective defence and protection of the Turkish population and the Turkish territory.
They have fought to ensure that international terrorism no longer finds a safe haven in Afghanistan and many have shed their blood for this cause.
Time and time again, we have seen them dealing quickly and competently with complex attacks, defeating the enemies of Afghanistan, and defending and protecting the Afghan people.
I would like to see us moving towards the day when no single ally provides more than 50% of certain critical capabilities. This will require European allies to do more. And it shows why initiatives by European allies are so vital. Because a strong European contribution to NATO's capabilities will sustain a strong US commitment to NATO.
I want this to be absolutely clear, this deployment will be defensive only, it will in no way support a no fly zone or any offensive operation.
We have taken the steps necessary to make sure that we have all plans in place to protect and defend Turkey, but I think you understand very well why we can not go into details when it comes to such plans.
The fact is that it's not directed against Russia. Technically it's not designed to attack Russia. We have offered them concrete cooperation and told them that the best way they could get an insurance, a real insurance would be to engage in an active cooperation and see with their own eyes that the system is not directed against them.
This is also the reason why we will continue to support the Afghan security forces. Also after 2014, we will train, assist, give advice, but the fact is that already now the Afghan security forces take the lead of around 40 percent of all our security operations. And recently we have seen them handle security challenges in quite a professional manner so I am confident that they can take full responsibility.
I am quite confident.
I am very confident. I had an opportunity to observe Afghan special operation forces in action some weeks ago when I visited Kabul. I was very impressed so I feel sure that the Afghan security forces will be able to take full responsibility for the security be the end of 2014 when we have handed over responsibility.
I think the price to pay if we did not ensure a high capability of the Afghan security forces would be even higher. Security is priceless. But our planning assumption is around 4 billion US dollars a year. And I would expect NATO allies and ISAF partners to pay their fair share. This summit is not a pledging conference but nevertheless we have already seen a number of concrete announcements and based on that I am very optimistic about fundraising for the Afghan security forces.
We expect to expand soon the transit option offered by Russia for the NATO led mission in Afghanistan.
It's very easy to make the case that for the whole of the international community, it is a very good deal to finance a credible Afghan security force (rather) than to deploy international forces in Afghanistan.
Russia is prepared to respond to our plans by deploying missiles in areas neighbouring the alliance. I have to say that such responses remind us of the confrontation of a bygone era.
At midnight tonight a successful chapter in NATO's history is coming to an end. But you have already started writing a new chapter in the history of Libya: a new Libya based on freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and reconciliation. We know it's not easy. We know the challenges, and if you ask us for help in areas where we can help, we will help.
NATO and its partners have successfully implemented the United Nations mandate to protect the people of Libya. We will terminate our mission in coordination with the United Nations and the National Transitional Council and that moment has now moved much closer.
We will not allow that achievement to be put at risk. KFOR's mission is to maintain a safe and secure environment and we will continue to do so firmly, carefully and impartially.
We will continue our current operation as long as there is a threat against the civilian population, but not one minute longer. In a post conflict period we stand ready to assist the new Libyan authorities if requested and if needed.
This decision sends a clear message to the Gaddafi regime: We are determined to continue our operation to protect the people of Libya.
In just two months, we have made significant progress. Gaddafi's reign of terror is coming to an end. He is increasingly isolated at home and abroad.
Nato is absolutely determined to continue its operations as long as there is a threat against Libyan civilians. And it's impossible to imagine that that threat will disappear with Gaddafi in power.
To avoid civilian casualities, we need very sophisticated equipment, so we need a few more precision fighters, ground attack aircraft for air to ground missions. We are keeping up the pressure and we will do so for as long as it takes.
Any ceasefire must be credible and verifiable… there must be a complete end to violence and a complete end to all attacks against and abuses of civilians.
Our goal is to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat from the Gaddafi regime. NATO will implement all aspects of the UN resolution. Nothing more, nothing less.
We will co-operate closely with our partners in the region and we welcome their contributions.
NATO has assets that can be used in a situation like this and NATO can act as an enabler and coordinator, if and when individual members states want to take action.
What is happening in Libya is of great concern to all of us. It is a crisis in our immediate neighbourhood.
Starting early next year, Afghan forces will begin taking the lead for security operations. The aim is for Afghan forces to be in the lead countrywide by the end of 2014.
Trainers are the ticket to transition. President Karzai and I have signed an agreement on a long term partnership between NATO and Afghanistan that will endure beyond our combat mission. To put it simply if the Taliban or anyone else aims to wait us out they can forget it. We will stay as long as it takes to finish our job.
I am here to confirm that one of my priorities as secretary general of NATO is improve the relationship between NATO and Russia, to ensure that our relationship will be a trusting and productive one.
There is now a joint investigation on the way and we will determine what happened and draw the right lessons.
While he will no longer be the commander, the approach he helped put in place is the right one. The strategy continues to have NATO support and our forces will continue to carry it out.
But on the other hand, and that is the other track, we have to develop a practical cooperation in areas where we share interests with Russia, for instance, as regards Afghanistan, counter-terrorism, counter proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, counter piracy and, I would add to this, also missile defence.
India has a stake in Afghan stability. China too. And both could help further develop and rebuild Afghanistan. The same goes for Russia. Basically, Russia shares our security concerns. If Afghanistan once again becomes a safe haven for terrorists, they could easily spread through central Asia to Russia.
In the coming days you will see a demonstration of that capability in a series of operations led by the Afghans and supported by Nato in central Helmand.
With more (troops) to come this is solidarity in action and it will have a powerful effect on the ground.
I congratulate President Obama on his determination and the strategic vision he has demonstrated. But this is not just America's war.
We have not agreed to start handing over the lead, the conditions are not yet right. The Afghan security forces are not yet strong enough and I must also stress that transition when it happens does not mean NATO forces leave.
It costs about 50 times more to support a NATO soldier in Afghanistan than it costs to support an Afghan soldier.
It is important not only for this operation but also for the long-term health of the transatlantic relationship that the non-US allies also find a way to contribute more to the mission.
Talking down the European and Canadian contributions – as some here in the United States do on occasion – can become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
I have no illusions. None of this will be quick and none of it will be easy. We need to have patience. We need more resources. And, unfortunately, we will lose more young soldiers to the terrorist attacks of the Taliban. But I fully agree with President Obama when he says that this is not a war of choice, but of necessity.
NATO-Russia cooperation is not a matter of choice. It is a matter of necessity. Both NATO and Russia have a wealth of experience in missile defence. We should now work to combine this experience to our mutual benefit.
We have not been able to conclude a security agreement between NATO and the EU. At the end of the day the lack of a security agreement might put our personnel on the ground at risk.
We have seen Afghans defying threats of intimidation and violence to exercise their democratic rights and I would like to say that seen from a security point of view, the elections today have been a success, not least thanks to the efforts by the Afghan national security forces.
This is an historic victory.
Instead of a constitutional treaty, I think a way forward could be a shorter treaty, simply amending the existing treaties – an amendment in which we should focus on the core elements, to make sure a European Union of 27 can work efficiently.
I'm deeply distressed that many Muslims have seen the drawings in the Danish newspaper as a defamation of the Prophet Mohammed. I know that this was not the intention of the newspaper, the newspaper has apologised for that and I do hope that we can find a solution.
People who work in Denmark, who contribute to the Danish society are warmly welcome.