Condoleezza Rice: “Macedonia is Ready” “NATO Must Remain Open”

April 18, 2012 – Washington, D.C. – On Friday, April 13, 2012, the 66th U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered remarks at the Heritage Foundation on the topic of “Leadership: America’s Critical Foreign Policy Role.  UMD President Metodija A. Koloski” and International Policy and Diplomacy Fellow Ana Donevska attended the event.  The first question during the Question-and-Answer period was asked by Koloski regarding Secretary Rice’s views on Macedonia’s NATO membership and the prospect of NATO enlargement.  To listen to Koloski’s question and Secretary Rice’s answer, please turn to minute 33:46 by clicking on the following link: http://www.heritage.org/events/2012/04/secretary-rice 

Below is a transcript of the question and answer:

Koloski: Secretary Rice, a lot of respect to you.  I am Meto Koloski with the United Macedonian Diaspora.  I thank you for your leadership on NATO enlargement given your time as Secretary of State and prior to that as NSA (National Security Adviser).  I do have a question regarding the Bucharest Summit, Macedonia was blocked from NATO membership and so were Georgia and Ukraine from MAP (Membership Action Plan).  The upcoming NATO Summit is in Chicago.  This is the first time a NATO Summit is being held in the United States outside of Washington, and it’s not an enlargement summit.  Macedonia has faced a lot of obstacles, it has met all the requirements, and in December, the International Court of Justice agreed that Greece violated its treaty obligations by blocking Macedonia, and I wanted to know your perspective on Macedonia’s invitation, and then also where do you see the future of enlargement and the NATO Alliance.

Secretary Rice: Well I have long believed that NATO must remain open to any European democratic state that wishes to join its ranks, because NATO was after all not to be an exclusive club, it was to be a collective security mechanism for democracies and in this regard, we pressed very hard, as a matter of fact, it integrated a number of East European states, including the Baltic states, which was thought to be at the time impossible to do.

I worked very hard, to resolve the Macedonian name issue; I know people are still trying to resolve the Macedonian name issue, and perhaps it will be.  But I favor very much the integration of any European state that is ready, and it seems to me that Macedonia is ready.

As to the Ukraine and Georgia, it is important to recognize that at the time of the Bucharest Summit, the NATO communiqué actually said that these countries will become members of NATO, and so, that was an affirmative statement of the rightness of their coming in.  The timing, I am very far from this now, and I would never want to even suggest that I know all the ins and out of what is going on with allies, but I hope that NATO keeps remembering not just what it has meant to have these states in NATO, but what it has meant to these states to be in NATO.  NATO and the European Union together have managed to make rather relatively smooth the transition from the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe to the integration of those states into Europe.

Condoleezza Rice is the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, professor of political economy in the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and professor of political science at Stanford University.
 
From January 2005 to 2009, she served as the 66th secretary of state of the United States.  Before serving as America’s chief diplomat, she served as assistant to the president for national security affairs (national security adviser) from January 2001 to 2005.

———

Donate to support UMD’s important work for Macedonia and the Macedonian cause by clicking HERE. (Canadians should click http://www.canadahelps.org and search “United Macedonian Diaspora” to donate) – All donations from Canadian and U.S. donors are tax-deductible.