Secretary Clinton Meets With NATO Counterparts in Brussels

Posted by Kurt Volker
March 5, 2009
Secretary Clinton and NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels

Interactive Travel Map | Text the SecretaryAbout the Author: Kurt Volker serves as U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO.

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.



New York, USA
March 5, 2009

Patricia in New York writes:

It's wonderful to learn that Secretary of State Clinton will lay the ground work for our President's up-coming visit to our NATO allies.

Syrian P.
March 5, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

It brings to mind a nice 1970 song by Alphaville, forever young I want to be.

Florida, USA
March 5, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

It has to be a great encouragement for our allies in Europe to have someone like Secretary Clinton to deal with. An individual who will be allowed by this administration to have her own thoughts and opinions. How refreshing. Maybe now we will be able to begin to face and solve some of the overwhelming problems the world is facing. Let's hope so.

California, USA
March 6, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

The world has such different challenges in these times. We all need massive investments in civic society. It seems as if any wise North Atlantic Organization would strip down military obligations and augment development power to the max.

I know we will remain in the Nation-Model for a long time no doubt, and probably in a Neighborhood-Nation-Model for even longer, but the Astronaut's View sticks with me. The Astronaut's View is a kind of giga-hawk's eye view. One of the early astronauts was asked to describe what it was like when he saw Our EarthVuravuraJeegoo from outer space. He replied, "What struck me when I looked back at our planet Earth is that there aren't any lines on it."

This single sentence changed my whole life. I knew from then on that most of our conflicts are invented and self-inflicted. That the real shared challenges are lineless, and that the more we seek to solve them with the cooperation of neighborhoods rather than with the bristling of nationness, the faster the beloved planet will flourish.

New Mexico, USA
March 7, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

To Kurt Volker,

I'd like to point out the extrodinary photo in the following news item.

In it you see Mr. Sergei Lavrov and Sec. Clinton pushing "The Reset button".

Now as far as diplomatic "props" go, this little item just created a small miracle in my opinion, for in my observational experience Mr. Lavrov has seemed to be (at least in public apperances) to have such a perpetual "hang dog" expression on his face that I wondered if his face might crack and fall off if he were to actually smile...even once.

Well, it seems he's doing a fair job at cracking up allright, judging by the photo...(chuckle).

Should we the public take this as a sign of an attitude adjustment on the part of our Russian friends?

Or simply proof positive that the Russians have a sense of humor too?

Maybe both I think, but what's your take on this?

Thanks, EJ


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