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May 29, 1997

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PM Tony Blair / NATO Expansion


Today in London, President Clinton with newly-elected Prime Minister Tony Blair. The two forward-looking leaders will continue to build a strong U.S.-U.K. partnership for the 21st Century:

  • President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair will discuss issues of mutual concern, including Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Hong Kong, Iraq, NATO and new global threats such as international crime, terrorism, the environment and drugs.


Yesterday in the Hague, President Clinton joined with leaders from throughout Europe to honor the accomplishments of the Marshall Plan on its 50th anniversary, and to summon the spirit of the Marshall Plan for the next 50 years and beyond --to build a Europe that is democratic, at peace, and undivided for the first time in history:

  • The Marshall Plan planted the seeds of institutions that now bind Western Europe together --from the OECD to the European Union and NATO. It paved the way for reconciliation of age-old differences.

  • Now, the end of the Cold War and the dawn of new democracies are lighting the way to a new Europe in a new century --a time in which America and Europe must complete the journey that Marshall's generation began --this time with no one left behind.

  • NATO, the core of transatlantic security, can do for Europe's East what it did for Europe's West --defend freedom, strengthen democracy, temper old rivalries, hasten integration, and provide a stable climate in which prosperity can grow.

  • As NATO prepares to meet in Madrid to offer membership to the first of Europe's new democracies, President Clinton pledged that "NATO's doors must, and will, remain open to all those able to share the responsibilities of membership. We will strengthen the Partnership for Peace and create a new Euro-Atlantic partnership council so that other nations can deepen their cooperation with NATO and continue to prepare for membership."

President Clinton said: "We who follow the example of the generation we honor today must...shape the peace, freedom and prosperity they made possible into a common future where all our people speak the language of democracy...where prosperity reaches clear across the continent and states pursue commerce, not conquest; where security is the province of all free nations working together; where no nation in Europe is ever again excluded against its will from joining our alliance of values; and where we join together to help the rest of the world reach the objectives we hold so dear."

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