Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Project Interchange: Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center Connection Via Jerusalem Old City Initiative Into AJC By The Numbers Summary

Project Interchange:

Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center


"Jerusalem Old City Initiative"


Some Of The

"AJC By The Numbers"

Javier Solana, high representative for the common
foreign and security policy of the European Union,
addresses the dedication dinner of the Transatlantic
Institute, in 2004.
Taken from AJC By The Numbers

Pope Benedict XVI and Rabbi David Rosen,
AJC director of international interreligious affairs,
greet each other in St. Peter’s Square.
Taken from AJC By The Numbers

Shuffling through the Funding Partners of the "Jerusalem Old City Initiative" (JOCI), one of its members caught my eye.

Moti Cristal:
Expert in conflict management and a fellow at the Institute for Counterterrorism at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, he has experience as a member of Israeli negotiating teams during peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

His name takes us yet to another initiative in Israel called "Project Interchange".

Cross referencing Project Interchange with Javier Solana took me to an interesting executive summary from the "The American Jewish Committee" called AJC By The Numbers.

This, Letter From a Diplomatic Marathoner,

David A. Harris, Executive Director, American Jewish Committee, October 13, 2003,

sheds a little more light into The Europe-NATO-Israel Triangle, Transatlantic Relations.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Jerusalem Old City Initiative and Search For Common Ground Update


Program Update October 2006

Since 1991, Search for Common Ground has conducted a multi-track program to promote
peace, cooperation, and security in the Middle East. We contribute to these goals through
developing independent media and civil society, using the media to discuss critical issues, and
convening regional dialogues and building regional cooperation.

Holy Sites Initiative: To empower and mobilize Middle Eastern religious leaders as
peacemakers, we are facilitating a process which will result in leaders of the three Abrahamic faiths signing a declaration that recognizes and respects the attachments of the three faiths to their respective holy sites in Jerusalem and the setting up of an inter-religious standing committee to deal with potential crises in a peaceful manner. As part of this process, we are partnering with
Catholic University, Washington D.C. in a Holy Sites workshop in November whose purpose is to
clarify religious laws and customs relating to graves and cemeteries within Christianity, Islam and
Judaism and to offer opportunities for dialogue between religious leaders, legal experts and

The Jerusalem Old City Initiative: This initiative aims to build workable solutions on the future
of the Old City by advancing practical cooperation and improving conditions on the ground
through addressing the wide-ranging needs of stakeholders in the Old City. A second goal is to
provoke rigorous discussion about future governance options for the Old City and to generate new
possibilities and ways of thinking, through public education and advocacy.

The Jerusalem Old City Initiative

Project Overview

Mission Statement:The Jerusalem Old City Initiative will develop creative options for the governance and management of the Old City of Jerusalem in preparation for a negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. The powerful symbolic and emotional attachment which these two peoples have for the Old City and its holy sites requires careful preparatory work and discussion in order to create possible paths to a just and lasting peace. In encouraging dialogue and academic discussions on key issues that are critical to national and religious aspirations of all involved parties, a foundation can be established on which further political negotiations can be based. Working with Israeli, Palestinian and international civil society partners, the Canadian team will provide leadership and coordination in developing and implementing research, dialogue, advocacy and policy option identification relating to the critical issues that affect a settlement over the Old City.

The Jerusalem Old City Security Assessment
November 2007

The Jerusalem Old City Initiative
Discussion Document
New Directions for Deliberation
and Dialogue

Monday, February 25, 2008

Search For Common Ground, Bill Clinton's Global Initiatives and The Holy Sites (in Jerusalem) Initiative

To provide funding for select projects to further efforts in peace and reconciliation projects. “The Holy Sites Initiative”, lead by Search for Common Ground (SFCG), aims to allow key Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders to find common ground regarding the holy sites in the Holy Land.

World Economic Forum Funds "Search For Common Ground" Under "West - Islamic World Dialogue" Projects C-100

West and Islam Dialogue

Community of West and Islam Dialogue (C-100)

Promoting dialogue and cooperation between the Western and Islamic worlds

Search for Common Ground: Media Outreach for Reconciliation Activists

U.S. Muslim Engagement Project Goes To New York Synagogue Tomorrow Nite

Search for Common Ground: Can the United States and the Muslim World Find Common Ground?

When: 02/26/2008 - 7 — 9 pm
Where: Central Synagogue, Administration Offices, Joslin Hall , 123 East 55th Street, New York, NY 10022-3566

Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and the Consensus Building Institute have been working with an eminent, diverse group of Americans over the past year to create a new approach for the U.S. to work with Muslims worldwide to pursue peaceful co-existence.

This group includes

former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright;

former Ambassador Dennis Ross;

former U.S. Representatives Vin Weber and Steve Bartlett;

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf;

former AIPAC Executive Director Tom Dine;

Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention,

and many other leaders from the fields of business, politics, diplomacy, religion, psychology, and other sectors.

Rob Fersh, Executive Director of SFCG-USA and Co-Director of the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project, will join us on February 26 to describe this group's extraordinary effort and will preview the groundbreaking report that the group will issue this spring.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Brookings Institution: What Does God Have to Do with It? The Links Between Religion, Radicalism and Violence

What Does God Have to Do with It? The Links Between Religion, Radicalism and Violence

Event Summary

Until recently, scholars of religion had predicted that as societies modernize, God would become obsolete. Yet today, religion is enjoying a global resurgence. Aside from continental Europe, the majority of the world’s inhabitants attends religious services more regularly, and claims to believe more fervently. At the same time, ideologically-inspired violence – both terrorism and war – is also on the rise. Clearly, faith in God is playing a large and mounting role in both private life and contemporary politics.

The Brookings Institution: NATO And Afghanistan Forging The 21st Centruy Alliance

Afghanistan and NATO: Forging the 21st Century Alliance -- An Address by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

On February 29, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings will welcome NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer for a discussion on the effectiveness of the International Security Assistance Force operation in Afghanistan and what is needed to achieve success for NATO and the international community as a whole. The NATO secretary general will also preview the upcoming Bucharest summit, which will be crucial to the future of the international effort in Afghanistan, as well as a milestone in NATO's ongoing transformation.

Russian KGB Orthodox Church, Prophetess Sister Varvara: Unholy Alliance With Putin

President Vladimir Putin meets Alexei II, leader
of the Russian Orthodox Church. Although he has never confirmed it, the patriarch, like the president, is a former KGB agent codenamed Drozdov, according to Soviet archives opened to experts in the 1990s.

Orthodox Church Unholy Alliance With Putin

In an unusual move, Alexei II, the Church's patriarch, has endorsed deputy prime minister Dmitry Medvedev ahead of next week's presidential election.

Many in the Orthodox hierarchy are also accused of working as KGB informers, a fact that critics say the Church has never fully acknowledged.

"Essentially, the Orthodox Church is one of the only Soviet institutions that has never been reformed," said one priest, who declined to be identified for fear that he could be defrocked. That fate already befell another colleague, Gleb Yakunin, in the 1990s when he called on Church leaders with KGB links to repent.

Yet it is not just the KGB that binds the Church and the Kremlin. In the Tsarist era, the Church was a committed supporter of the imperial rallying cry "orthodoxy, autocracy and nationhood." Critics say that Mr Putin, who draws as much of inspiration from imperial Russia as he does from the Soviet Union, has adopted the same mantra - making the president and the Church ideal bedfellows.

EU / Britain Government Wants Personal Details Of Every Traveller

EU And British Government Wants Personal Details Of Every Traveller

Passengers travelling between EU countries or taking domestic flights would have to hand over a mass of personal information, including their mobile phone numbers and credit card details, as part of a new package of security measures being demanded by the British government. The data would be stored for 13 years and used to "profile" suspects.

Brussels officials are already considering controversial anti-terror plans that would collect up to 19 pieces of information on every air passenger entering or leaving the EU. Under a controversial agreement reached last summer with the US department of homeland security, the EU already supplies the same information [19 pieces] to Washington for all passengers flying between Europe and the US.

But Britain wants the system extended to sea and rail travel, to be applied to domestic flights and those between EU countries. According to a questionnaire circulated to all EU capitals by the European commission, the UK is the only country of 27 EU member states that wants the system used for "more general public policy purposes" besides fighting terrorism and organised crime.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The World's Most Powerful Religious Leaders

The Pope

The Bishop of Rome and the Vicar of Christ has “supreme and universal power over the whole Church” which comprises over 1.1 billion people. He is “successor of blessed Peter” and endowed with infallibility. The Pope is pronounced to have ordinary, immediate and Episcopal jurisdiction over all the faithful.

Archbishop of Canterbury
Dr Rowan Williams is leader of 77 million Anglicans worldwide but he has no power to make any of his 38 bishops bend to his will. The Archbishop of Canterbury is considered the highest person in the realm, second only to the Sovereign and other members of the Royal family. He is followed by the Lord Chancellor, and then the Archbishop of York.

Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama – translated as the Ocean of wisdom - is Head of the Tibetan state but is in self-imposed exile. The Dalai has the power to reincarnate himself.
In 1963 the current incarnation of the Dalai Lama drew up a democratic constitution promulgated a democratic constitution, based on Buddhist principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as a model for a future free Tibet. He is also holder of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Queen
As head Supreme Governor of the Church of England, the monarch maintains the established church. The defender of the faith also appoints the Archbishops and bishops on the advice of the Prime Minister. Between 13-17 million members of the Church of England. Nearly 50 million subjects as monarch of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The queen is alone in having the power to oust the Archbishop of Canterbury from office.

Sunni Islam does not have leaders as the term is recognized in Christian circles. Since 1926, when Ataturk declared the end of the Caliphate, there has been no Caliph – official leader. When the Caliphate was in operation it was not equivalent to a Pope for Catholics or Dalai Lama for Buddhists. The next entry should be considered as leading figure in Sunni Islam.
Muhammad Sayid Tantawy the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, one of the most influential Sunni Muslim Institutions. He is a leading authority for Sunni Muslims.

Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah A leading figure of Shi'a Islam. Born in Iraq Fadlallah now resides in Lebanon where he gives a weekly sermon to members of Hezbollah - The Party of God. He courted controversy by showing support for the 1983 bombing of the American Embassy in Beirut. However he has spoken out against the events of 9/11 and other suicide bombings.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani as the leading authority in Shi'a Islam in Iraq the Ayatollah has huge power over Iraq's Shi'a majority and holds enormous sway over Shi'a Muslims worldwide.

Yona Metzger: Chief Rabbi of Israel (Ashkenazi) was appointed to office in 2003 and has put forward the idea for a 'religious United Nations'.

Shlomo Amar Chief Rabbi of Israel (Sephardi) appointed to office in 2003.

Sri Mata Amritanandamayi is a Hindu spiritual leader. She was born in 1953 in India and as a youngster often went into trances to communicate with the divine. She became a guru and is known as the 'hugging saint', her cuddle is known as the 'darshan' and an estimated 26 million people have huggeed her. She is respected as a living god and travels around the world visiting people who wait to be hugged by her.

Li Hongzhi founder of the Falung Gong, a mind and body enhancement technique which draws on Buddhism and Taoism and claims 100 million followers.

Ariffin Muhamed leader of the Sky Kingdom based in Malaysia, who claims to be the saviour of the world and says he allows his followers to be members of any faith. His followers believe him to be the incarnation of Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad and Shiva and that he will return as the Imam Mahdi.

George O. Wood Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church America
The US Assemblies of God Church as over 2.8 million members and is the largest Pentecostal denomination in America. Claims to powers of prophecy and gifts of healing are marks of this denomination.

Joginder Singh Vedanti
The Jathedar, high priest, of the Golden Temple in Amritsar India. Vendati is the most powerful leader of the Sikh community in India if not the world. He was at the Golden Temple during Operation Bluestar in 1984 when the Sikhs and the Indian Army found themselves in violent confrontation. He has spoken out in favour of equality for women in the Sikh faith.

Adolfo Nicolas leader of the Society of Jesus was elected as The Black Pope in January this year. The Jesuits are the largest male religious order in the Roman Catholic Church with over 19,000 members.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Body Found at U.S. Embassy in Serbia Amid Riots Over Kosovo Independence


Body Found at U.S. Embassy in Serbia Amid Riots Over Kosovo Independence

A charred body was found inside the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, after rioters stormed the complex Thursday evening in protest of Kosovo's declaration of independence, sources in Belgrade told FOX News.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

EU: Big Brother At The Borders

EU: Big Brother At The Borders

Some new EU security measures may carry concerns for personal privacy since they may enable public authorities to effortlessly shift from one pan-EU databank to another to track the movements of individuals.

By Brooks Tigner in Brussels for ISN Security Watch (20/02/08)

A profound debate will soon unfold in Brussels' decision-making circles on policy choices that will shape the EU's frontiers - figuratively and literally - in ways unimaginable a generation ago. If enacted, these will pry yet another chunk of national authority away from one of basic characteristics that defines the nation-state: its borders.

What's at stake

Frattini's package of ideas is sweeping in its reach. It calls for:

  • A substantial increase in the role and powers of Frontex, the EU's border management agency

  • Creation of a "European Border Surveillance System" - or EUROSUR - to prevent unauthorized border crossings, reduce loss of life at sea of illegal immigrants and combat against cross-border crime

  • Introduction of a new entry/exit system to electronically record the arrival and exit dates of all third-country nationals moving in and out of the Schengen area (which comprises nearly all EU member states)

  • Creation of an electronic travel authorization (ETA) system to allow accelerated entry-exit via automatic gates for EU citizens and trusted third-country nationals

  • Fusing together of national civil and military maritime security players across the 27 member states to forge an integrated operational picture for pan-EU maritime domain awareness, based on multiple detection-and-reconnaissance platforms such as satellites, unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles and littoral radar stations

Euro-Med Conference: The Heart of Economic Transition

Euro-Mediterranean Conference to place Financial and Banking Services at the Heart of Economic Transition

Leading government ministers, bank governors, international financial personnel, academics and media from both sides of the Mediterranean will meet in Brussels on 20 and 21 February for the 12th Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Economic Transition. These annual conferences are a regular part of the economic dialogue between the EU and its Mediterranean partners and strive to foster a better understanding of the policies and issues related to the process of economic transition in the Mediterranean partner countries. This year’s conference will examine the role of financial and banking services and their pivotal position at the heart of economic transition.

Google's, "My Bad", Quietly Reinstates UN Watchdog

Google Quietly Reinstates Work of News Organization Critical of U.N.

NEW YORK — Google News quietly reinstated Tuesday the articles of a news service that routinely exposes U.N. corruption, a day after ran a story about the Internet giant's decision to remove Inner City Press from its search engine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Israel Will Not Recognize Kosovo, Yet?

Israel won't recognize Kosovo, for now

Israel will not recognize Kosovo's independence at this time, and is watching developments in Brussels and elsewhere before it makes a final decision on the issue, officials in Jerusalem told The Jerusalem Post on Monday, a day after Kosovo's parliament declared independence from Serbia.

Israel also has good relations with the Kosovars, with Jerusalem sending massive humanitarian aide to the besieged Muslims during and after the 1998-1999 war with Slobodan Milosevic's regime. Jewish groups worldwide are also involved in aide to Kosovo's Muslim majority, and even helped to rebuild mosques damaged during the fighting.

Jerusalem finds itself, like many in the international community, in the uncomfortable position of having to weigh its relationship with a friendly nation, Serbia, against a people striving for self-determination in Kosovo. Israel has an interest in helping to establish a moderate, secular Muslim state friendly to Jerusalem and Washington in the heart of southeast Europe.

Serbia, backed by Moscow, argues that Kosovo has no right to declare independence, whereas Kosovo's backers in the West, including the US, say Serbia has not been the de facto sovereign in Kosovo for more than nine years, and that since the region is policed by NATO peacekeepers and administered by the UN, Kosovo's independence is the last act in the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. Serbia argues that since the sides are still engaged in negotiations, UN resolutions pertaining to the issue rule out a Kosovar secession from Serbia without agreement from Belgrade.

The assessment in Jerusalem is that Israel does not need to be seen to decide either way, even though not declaring its support for Kosovo's declaration of unilateral independence is regarded by some as a stance in itself.

Kissinger Supports McCain For Next U.S. President

Jürgen Frank

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger thinks that John McCain would make the best choice for the next US president.


Another Road To Hell Paved With Good Intentions - Reversing The Downward Spiral Between US and Muslims Relations

US-Muslim Engagement: Reversing the Downward Spiral

Search For Common Ground

National Coalition For Dialogue And Deliberation


In partnership with the Consensus Building Institute, we are carrying out a project, called US-Muslim Engagement: Reversing the Downward Spiral. The goal is to improve US relations with the Muslim world. At the project's core is a Leadership Group that includes former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Imam Feisal Rauf, Shamil Idriss of the UN's Alliance of Civilizations, Vali Nasr of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dalia Mogahed of the Gallup Organization, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Ambassador (ret) Dennis Ross, former AIPAC Executive Director Tom Dine, author Stephen Covey, and ex-Republican Congressmen Vin Weber and Steve Bartlett. Through a consensus process, the Group is crafting a new vision of how to address the challenges and opportunities in US relations with the Muslim world.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Thorn In The UN's Side: Google De-Lists UN Watchdog

Journalist Who Exposes U.N. Corruption Disappears From Google

NEW YORK — How big do you have to be to earn the wrath of the United Nations and Internet giant Google?

If you're journalist Matthew Lee, all it takes are some critical articles and a scrappy little Web site.

It began with an innocuous-sounding yet chilling form letter from Google to Lee, e-mailed on Feb. 8:

"We periodically review news sources, particularly following user complaints, to ensure Google News offers a high quality experience for our users," it said. "When we reviewed your site we've found that we can no longer include it in Google News."

As soon as he read it, Lee immediately suspected one thing: That someone at the UNDP had pressured Google into "de-listing" him from Google News — essentially preventing Inner City Press from being classified on Google News as a legitimate news source and from having its stories pop up when someone conducts a Google News search.

Over the last couple of years, Lee has proved to be a constant — and controversial — thorn in the U.N.'s side.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Albanians passing a banner which reads, "Free Kosovo", in Tirana, February 17 2008.
Photograph: Hektor Pustina/AP

Albanian celebrations leave Serbs defiant

Russia seeks UN talks as yesterday's declaration widens rifts

The World In Disarray - Shifting Powers - Lack Of Strategies? Not To Worry!

The Secretary General of the European Union, Dr. Javier Madariaga Solana, during his speech in Munich Germany on Sunday morning 2-10-08.
Photograph by Sebastian Zwez

The 44th Munich Conference on Security Policy ended with a great deal of promise. A host of high-ranking heads of state, foreign and defence ministers and diplomats provided fresh impetus for security policy – a call was put out for an atmosphere of creative and constructive debate in NATO to be established. Catchwords which are above all expected to influence the future of NATO’s engagement. A year after Putin's spectacular speech, Russia struck a conciliatory tone. Other subjects addressed were proliferation, Asia and Russia.

Photograph by Sebastian Zwez

German Minister of Defense Josef Jung and EU High Representative For The Common Foreign and Security Policy - Secretary General of The Council of The European Union and The Western European Union - The Good Doctor Javier Solana share a moment.

Photograph by Sebastian Zwez

German Minister of Defense Josef Jung and Javier Solana prepares .

EU, NATO appeal for calm after Kosovo declares independence

Grenades thrown during Kosovo independence protest

Solana calls for calmness and responsibility following declaration of independence

Friday, February 15, 2008



More than 100 members of parliament from all 26 NATO member countries will be in Brussels from 17-19 February to discuss the Alliance’s current agenda and other political and security issues in high level meetings with NATO and European Union civilian and military officials.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

NATO Summit Bucharest 2008

The North – Atlantic Alliance Summit is the most important political event of the year, which will draw the attention of the entire world upon Romania. Moreover, it is the most important event ever to be organized in Romania. Approximately 3,000 delegates – the most powerful people on earth, Heads of State and Government and ministers – shall analyse a very busy political agenda, during a 3 –day marathon discussion. In this section, you will have full access to the official documents of the Summit and to the speeches during the reunion. The place to host the Summit, the Palace of the Parliament, was selected by the organizers in order to ensure the best conditions for the reunion. Other events of public diplomacy will take place around the Summit period.

“This Summit targets to find solutions for Afghanistan, enlargement projects, member states security, Black Sea security and energy problem. There must be significant progresses compared to the Riga Summit. Beyond enlargement, this Summit takes into consideration bringing closer to NATO states, such as: Serbia, Bosnia- Herzegovina and Montenegro. ” (Traian Basescu, President of Romania).

I expect that during this Summit, the heads of state and government shall discuss issues related to a series of challenges and threats which belong to the XXI century, such as IT system security or energy security”. (NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer)

Happy Valentines West: From Russia With Love - Putin Flirts With International Press For 4 hours And 30 Minutes

At a valedictory press conference, Putin flirts as he asserts Russia's might

Over the course of Thursday's event, the 55-year-old Russian president spoke with evident authority on everything from Russian regional development projects to German party politics.

In a blue suit and striped tie, he spoke with his hands flat on the table, boring in on questioners with his trademark intensity. He spoke, as usual, in short, simple sentences that often came to a sharp point, and he frequently bantered, or even flirted, with reporters, sometimes eliciting laughter and applause.

From time to time, he sipped from a delicate teacup.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Evolving Relationship: NATO and EU

Ceremony at Camp Butmir marking the end of NATO's SFOR operation and the establishment of the EU operation Althea on 2 December 2004 (© NATO )

The Atlantic Alliance: Bucharest and Beyond

44th Munich Conference on Security Policy (8-10 February 2008)

Panel: The Atlantic Alliance: Bucharest and Beyond

Remarks by H.E. Radosław Sikorski

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The trouble of speaking as an official is that addressing you one cannot enjoy what Professor Sir Michael Howard, the distinguished British military historian once termed influence without responsibility. The reputation of the Munich meeting places a particular responsibility on my shoulders as a representative of a commited member of the most successful alliance in modern history.

Dear Colleagues,

Poland views NATO traditionally. We joined the Alliance in 1999 convinced that it would offer us security through collective defence, which for us is the essence of the NATO. Allied consultations, defence planning and a broad range of relations with NATO partners are our indispensable collective procedures. Although NATO has undergone transformation in reaction to ethnic wars, terrorism and a nexus of asymmetrical threats, we still need the sound basis of collective defense.

It is worth mentioning that Poland joined “out-of-area” effort even before our accession to NATO and have since been among the most active participants. Starting in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, through Macedonia, and Kosovo to Iraq and Afghanistan, Golan Heights, Lebanon, Kongo and Chad, our soldiers are always there. And we are not there in the pursuit of a national agenda but to serve the cause of international peace and stability.

We are there out of solidarity with other Allies and in the service to nations suffering from oppression, lack of good governance or other plagues of our times.

As some of you may know, Afghanistan has a very special place in my own heart. In the 1980s as a journalist covering the Soviet-Afghan war, I spent a long time there, including in Tora Bora, which was not yet so famous. I witnessed and reported the horrors of the war. Today Afghanistan has a prospect for peace and stable development. The whole international community has to do its utmost to help this process. The soldiers of free and independent Poland, serving under the NATO flag in Afghanistan, are the best example of the distance Poland has covered from the time of oppression 25 years ago to its prosperity today.

We have been providing our soldiers and capabilities, believing that today Allied solidarity is tested in remote and mountainous areas of Afghanistan. Our troops operate without caveats and we have twice increased their number to 1600. They will soon be provided with airlift and transportation capabilities that are so urgently needed there. He who gives without caveats, gives twice.

One thing has not changed in the last quarter of century. It is the need for solidarity as the source of our actions. Solidarity is a word of symbolic value in Poland. In 2009 we will be celebrating not only the 70th anniversary of WW II, the 60th anniversary of the Alliance, but also 20th anniversary of collapse of communism in Central Europe. The Polish ‘Solidarity’ contributed decisively to the peaceful transformation of Central and Eastern Europe and helped the reunification of Germany. It is that solidarity by both small and capital letter “S”, which transformed Poland into a stable democracy with flourishing economy and led to our membership in the Atlantic Alliance and European Union.

Solidarity must be the spiritus movens for the whole transatlantic community.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Solidarity is important, not only inside the Alliance. In 1999 Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary were the first countries from Central and Eastern Europe who joined NATO. This marked the demise of the order based on the logic of two opposing blocks, which petrified during the Cold War. Since then the ‘open door’ policy has become the foundation of NATO’s transformation and it is an obvious success story.

Today there are others knocking at NATO’s door, reminding us that this policy is as valid today as it was in the nineties. The Alliance cannot turn its back on the countries that share our values and demonstrate sufficient level of political, social and economic reforms. I believe that with the new Government in Kiev NATO has now a promoter of Atlantic integration of Ukraine. It is time to capitalize on our intensive cooperation and upgrade soon our relations. The Bucharest Summit will be the right moment to do so. I also think that the summit should examine Ukrainian plea for participation in the Membership Action Plan. It will also be an opportunity to review NATO’s relations with Georgia.

Dear Colleagues,

Let me also raise the issue of Missile Defence, so intensely debated today on both sides of the Atlantic. Given the potential for proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile technology, it is fair to say that MD is one of the key defence projects of our time. In spite of the fact that it has so far brought some confusion and concern it can actually be a factor for unity within the Alliance and beyond.

We started to negotiate with our American Allies convinced that the system developed by the USA will bring more security for both our countries, for the whole Alliance and its partners. While the US project goes on, NATO should also set its MD programmes on track so that interoperability and complementarity of the systems can be achieved. We would not like either of the two to become hostage of the other. On the contrary, similar level of security for all Allies can be guaranteed only if the two are properly integrated.

In this regard the Bucharest Summit will be an important milestone. It should provide the right momentum for a review of NATO’s work on MD. It will also give us an opportunity to bring under one roof the four parallel projects currently underway:

1) Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence;

2) follow on to the NATO Missile Defence Feasibility Study;

3) the Theatre Missile Defence in cooperation with Russia, and, last but not least,

4) American MD project.

Although many issues may still require clarification, the message of the Summit should be that NATO is serious about its collective defence and MD as its essential part.

There is a place for cooperation with Moscow in this scenario. We would like to have Russia as a partner in this project, joining us in efforts to develop a mechanism of cooperation. We would also like to have Russia on board because the threat is global in scope. Even a combined effort by USA and NATO is not sufficient.

MD is central, yet just one pillar of the effective strategy to deal with the threat of WMD proliferation. Diplomacy and effective international non-proliferation regimes are equally indispensable. The Alliance may and should foster collective action.

At Bucharest we will be able to send a clear message on this. Meanwhile, we count on a constructive approach by both sides in the dialogue between Moscow and Washington. Contacts we undertook recently with our Russian partners, including my own meetings with Minister Lavrov, persuade me that more needs to be done to reassure Russia that the MD project does not threaten her.

I have landed this morning from Moscow where I accompanied Prime Minister Donald Tusk during his discussions with President Putin, that, as you may imagine, were very interesting indeed. Poland wants to be part of the solution, not of the problem. The decision on the base will be for Poland and the US. But if the MD base have to appear on our territory, Prime Minister Tusk has declared that Poland would be willing to consider – media, please mind not more than that – a mix of monitoring and inspections that would reassure everyone that the proposed facility need be of concern only to the bad guys.

We should also press both parties to conclude negotiations in the field of disarmament and arms control. To achieve stable security relations in Europe and beyond, we need an effective system based on CFE, post-START and SORT agreements.


Let me also touch on the issue which is bound to play an ever growing role in the security of our countries, namely energy security. Energy is no longer exclusively a national competence, nor is it solely an economic issue related to sustainable development.

International organizations can play a role. Since the 1999 Strategic Concept, where NATO duly recognized the relevance and importance of energy security, discussions in the Alliance have advanced. We need to put in place three elements:

1) a mechanism of consultations, and information gathering on energy security among the Allies;

2) a platform for consultations and cooperation with NATO partners and other organizations;

3) effect oriented distribution of labor within the structures of the Alliance on critical infrastructure protection.

The Bucharest summit should close the period of searching for a NATO role and open the period of engagement of the Alliance in the field of energy security.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I certainly have not touched on most subjects on the current and future NATO agenda. I largely by-passed crucial issues, such as:

- military transformation and its link to operations,

- partnership policy within and beyond EAPC area,

- NATO’s relations with Russia,

- burning issue of NATO cooperation with European Union,

- NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

But let me mention one last thing.

In a year from now we will be celebrating the Alliance’s 60th anniversary. It will also be 10 years since the last Strategic Concept was adopted in Washington. It is high time to open an honest and serious debate whether this concept is still relevant.

Such a debate should mark - as Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer once put it – a return of NATO to a genuine culture of dialogue among its members. Poland would like to see the work on future NATO strategy as a process bringing more unity among Allies and more collective actions. There are obvious pros and cons at this stage but we shouldn’t shy away from challenging tasks. Avoiding discussion, producing proxy solutions and daily political guidance are not enough.

It is up to us to shape the security environment and to take the lead when necessary. It takes far-sightedness and courage. It remains our collective responsibility.

The further NATO goes beyond its treaty area into troubled regions, the less room there is for a sectarian approach, and the stronger the need for solidarity both within and without the Alliance. To live up to growing expectations we need more coherence internally. We can above all succeed in Afghanistan only by cooperative effort, political solidarity, and by genuine sharing of responsibility.

Thank you for your attention.