It is remarkable – and heart-warming – to see the enthusiastic reception European allies are giving Secretary Clinton at her first meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers. As we entered NATO headquarters this morning, members of the NATO international staff and national delegations lined the corridor to catch a glimpse of the Secretary and shake hands. At one point, there was spontaneous applause.
What is clear is that America’s determination to re-engage with Europe and rebuild our alliance is met with equal determination, enthusiasm, and good will from Europe to re-engage with America.
This is important because the challenges that confront our NATO family are significant, and it will take all of our solidarity and mutual commitment to meet these challenges effectively together. The situation in Afghanistan, and Pakistan, is at the top of this difficult agenda.
Secretary Clinton’s meeting with our allies takes place exactly 29 days before President Obama meets the NATO leaders for the first time in Strasbourg, France and Kehl, Germany. This is not only the 60th Anniversary of NATO – the most successful alliance in history, for ending the Cold War peacefully and preserving freedom and prosperity for nearly a billion people in Europe and North America – but it is also a chance to re-launch NATO to tackle the security challenges of a new era. And for this, the kind of reception Secretary Clinton received from her NATO colleagues today is a good omen that our transatlantic community is up to the challenge.
Read Ambassador Volker's next entry about the Secretary's meeting with NATO counterparts.