NATO summit in Chicago to focus on alliance’s future: Obama

May 20, 2012

The Nato summit which starts on Sunday in Chicago will ensure the 63-year-old alliance is focused squarely on the future, US President Barack Obama said.

“We can chart the next phase of the transition in Afghanistan so that we complete the transition to Afghan responsibility for security in 2014, even as we forge a long-term partnership with the Afghan people,” Obama said in a message.

“We can continue to invest in the defence capabilities and new technologies that our security demands, even as we work together to pool our resources and share the burden in difficult economic times and we can strengthen our valuable partnerships with European neighbours and nations around the world.”


The Nato summit, the first to be held in North America in the 21st century, will empower the member states to reinforce the resolve that gives them the security, freedom and way of life they enjoy today, to defend their democracies, and to pass them safer and stronger to the generations that follow, Obama said.

According to the US president, Nato is a catalyst for global action.

“The partnerships that Nato has forged with neighbours and nations around the world make our alliance a pillar of international peace and security,” he said.

“We saw this in Libya, where the Nato-led mission to protect the Libyan people included contributions from our partners in Europe and those in the Middle East and North Africa. No other alliance in the world has the capabilities our alliance was able to offer.”


The 25th Nato summit will allow the member states to continue the work started two years ago in Lisbon to revitalise the alliance to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Obama, 51 in August, said he was “so proud that my hometown is the first American city ever to host a Nato summit outside Washington, DC”, which held the gatherings in 1978 and 1999.

“Chicago is the perfect place to strengthen our alliance of democratic nations, which is rooted in the friendships between our people and the values we share,” Obama said.

“Chicago is a quintessentially American town, but it is also a hub of our transatlantic community.

“It has grown into one of the great cities of the world in no small measure because of the hard work and sacrifices of generations of immigrants, including many from Nato countries.

“Even now, roughly one in three Chicagoans trace their roots to Nato countries in Europe.”



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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