The Washington Summit


On behalf of all Americans, Hillary and I extend a warm welcome to everyone gathered in Washington for the historic NATO 50th Anniversary Summit - the largest meeting of world leaders ever held in our capital.

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President Clinton answers questions during the press conference at the International Trade Center.
Photo By Sharon Farmer

There is much to do in the course of this summit. We will honor past accomplishments, for it was here in April 1949 that 12 nations, united by their belief in democracy's strength, joined together to form the most successful military alliance in history. We will also welcome three new allies - Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic - whose membership makes our Alliance stronger. But our main task is to look to the future. We should think of this historic gathering not as the last NATO summit of the 20th century, but rather as the first one of the new century.

At the summit, we will focus together on NATO's efforts to resolve the crisis in Kosovo, relieve human suffering, and ensure long-term stability in southeastern Europe. Together, our nations will continue to pursue the same goals that unite all people: peace, prosperity, and the chance to build a better world than the one NATO's founders knew.

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