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Press Conference: NATO's Stalled Security Council


Press Conference

by NATO Spokesman, Yves Brodeur

Click here for audio of this NATO press conference…

Welcome to this press conference. My name is Yves Brodeur. I am the spokesman, NATO spokesman and the Head of the Media and Press Service.

The North Atlantic Council met tonight. The meeting started at six o'clock. It lasted for 20 minutes. Essentially there is no conclusion yet on the ongoing discussions.

Consultations between Allies will continue throughout the evening and throughout the night. And Council will reconvene tomorrow morning at 9:45.

The consultations which took place today are informal in nature, so Council basically for today has adjourned and will start again tomorrow morning.
I'll take a few questions.

Questions and answers

Q: Are there any new proposal or new solution of compromise over the table or looking for?

NATO Spokesman: There are a number of options that have been discussed. I cannot give you details right now because again, there is no agreement and essentially the talks will continue throughout the night to try and find common ground that could lead to such a consensus.

Q: Le problème contenu sur le calendrier tel qu'il était hier, il y a quelque chose qui a bougé de la part... franco-allemand et belge?

NATO Spokesman: Pour l'instant, comme je l'ai indiqué, les consultations entre pays membres de l'Alliance, entre alliés, se poursuivent. Il y a certaines hypothèses de travail qui sont sur la table maintenant qui sont en discussion, mais on verra ce qui va se passer.

Donc, le Conseil reprend demain et on aura certainement plus d'information à ce moment-là. Je ne suis pas en mesure de détailler les options qui sont envisagées à ce point-ci.

Q: Yves, the talks will be going on here tonight, or... are those through capitals or (inaudible)...

NATO Spokesman: No, we're talking about consultations between capitals, so it will... as far as NATO is concerned it is finished here for the day and these consultations will take place between NATO allies. They're of bilateral nature and will continue throughout the night.

Q: Yes, Yves, does France, Germany and Belgium have authority, at least the ambassador, to take any decisions on the following day?

NATO Spokesman: That's a question that you should ask these delegations.

Q: Why was the meeting so short?

NATO Spokesman: The meeting was short, as I said, because we're not yet in a position where actually nations, NATO allies, can arrive at a conclusion, agree on a decision. So I think that basically what it means is that more work will have to be done and this is why they will continue throughout the night, as I said, to consult, to discuss, and hopefully we're going to be able to arrive at a solution soon.

Q: You've postponed the meeting twice, and could you please tell us has there been any amendments on the proposals? Has there been any proposal regarding the wording of the proposals themselves?

NATO Spokesman: We... well, today, I mean, what happened is that it was very much felt that nations had to actually consider the issues, discuss, consult with capitals. The meeting was called later in the day, essentially to take stock, and again, concluded that the time is not right yet, and we can't arrive at a decision at this stage.

Q: Mais quelle est la position pour l'invocation de l'Article 4 par la Turquie? Est-ce que c'est toujours sur la table ou...?

NATO Spokesman: Cette décision a déjà été prise, en fait, à partir du moment où la Turquie a demandé la mise en oeuvre de cet article, et ça s'est passé plus tôt cette semaine. Le Conseil a entériné la décision et les consultations qui se sont déroulées au niveau du Conseil se sont déroulées dans l'esprit de l'Article 4 du Traité.

L'Article 4 est un article qui prévoit que des consultations seront engagées entre alliés, si un allié se sent menacé, et en prévision d'arriver à une décision sur les mesures à prendre pour appuyer ou venir en aide à cet allié. Donc ce n'est pas un article qui préconise des mesures comme telles.

Q: Yves, at the present stage what is the main issue? Try to convince three members to join the sixteen or try to reassure Turkey one way or the other following what Colin Powell said yesterday?

NATO Spokesman: Well, I think that the issue is trying to find a common solution that would actually allow NATO to offer assistance as requested, but one... by one ally. That's the issue here.

Q: Yves, do you expect tomorrow to find a compromise or it going to be postponed again, or they got still far to find an agreement?

NATO Spokesman: I can't predict the future. What is sure though is that Allies again will meet tomorrow. So there's commitment to work on this issue. As the Secretary General said before, it is a serious issue and everyone is committed to work hard to try and find a solution to it.

Is it going to be solved tomorrow morning? I don't know about that. We'll have to wait until tomorrow, until the Council meets and to see what happens there. I'll take perhaps one more question.

Q: It is still three against sixteen?

NATO Spokesman: It's nineteen nations working together to try to forge a solution to a problem, so... and the context of that problem hasn't really changed at this point. Last question there.

Q: At the end of the day today are they any closer to consensus than they were yesterday?

NATO Spokesman: I think they are. I think essentially the fact that you know, we had a long day today, for those of you who've been waiting here, you know, that the Council was postponed twice, and I think that's an indication the countries are really working hard. They're working seriously and they're trying hard to find a consensus. At least to establish ground for a consensus.

Thank you very much.

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