Fact sheet: President Obama’s Participation in the Nato Summit Meetings in Lisbon

Monday, November 22, 2010

Release Time: 

For Immediate Release

During his November 19-20 trip to Lisbon, President Obama joined NATO allies and partners in three historic meetings to address current and future security challenges around the globe.  The President and NATO leaders secured the ongoing transformation of the most successful alliance in history, making NATO more effective, responsive, and capable of addressing the threats of the 21st century.  The President also joined with heads of state and government of all 49 nations participating in the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan and President Karzai in announcing the beginning early next year of a transition to Afghan lead and reaffirming the Alliance’s commitment to a long-term partnership with the Afghan people.  NATO leaders and Russian President Medvedev agreed to strengthen the NATO-Russia relationship by expanding and deepening areas of practical cooperation and consultation.
Revitalizing NATO for the 21st Century
Allies worked to ensure the post-Lisbon Alliance is stronger, more capable, and prepared to adapt to the threats of a new century.  Over the past two days NATO leaders:

  • Adopted a new Strategic Concept that focuses the Alliance on emerging threats, such as cyber attacks, terrorism, and ballistic missiles.  At the same time, the Strategic Concept reaffirms the central Article 5 commitment of the Alliance that an attack on one is an attack on all.
  • Agreed to develop a territorial missile defense capability, which is necessary to defend against the growing threat from ballistic missiles.  The European Phased Adaptive Approach announced by the President last year will be the United States’ contribution to this effort.
  • Committed to develop the critical capabilities needed to carry out the vision of the Strategic Concept.  These investments will allow allies to deploy and operate together effectively and develop new defenses against cyber threats.
  • Agreed in the Strategic Concept to deepen and expand NATO’s partnerships, recognizing that in this globalized world, NATO can best advance security through richer cooperation with existing and emerging powers, including the EU, Russia, the 29 non-Allied partners in ISAF, and others.
  • Endorsed plans to reform the Alliance’s command structure, headquarters, and agencies to make them more efficient, flexible, and agile in meeting the 21st century challenges as outlined in the Comprehensive Approach.
  • Affirmed that NATO’s door remains open to European democracies that meet the standards for NATO membership.

Committing to Success in Afghanistan

The President participated in a meeting of the now 49 nations that contribute forces to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan, along with President Karzai, UN Secretary General Ban, and EU and World Bank leaders.  At this meeting participants:

  • Announced that, consistent with the Afghan government’s goals, 2011 will mark the beginning of a conditions-based process to transition the lead for security from ISAF to Afghan forces.  The leaders adopted President Karzai’s goal of completing this process by 2014.
  • Fulfilled ISAF’s current, priority requirements for trainers with new pledges, demonstrating their commitment to support the Afghan Security Forces as they increasingly take the lead; and committed to meet future needs for trainers, mentors, and critical enablers.   
  • Signed a new NATO-Afghanistan partnership declaration, underscoring NATO’s enduring, long-term commitment to help Afghanistan enhance and sustain its security forces, including through the Afghan National Army Trust Fund, so that Afghanistan does not once again become a safe haven for violent extremists.   

Deepening NATO-Russia Cooperation
NATO leaders met with Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev in a Summit meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, in recognition of the importance both NATO and Russia attribute to this partnership and to their ability to achieve concrete progress toward shared goals.  In this meeting, participants:

  • Approved the Joint Review of 21st Century Common Security Challenges that will guide NATO-Russia security cooperation.
  • Agreed to cooperate on missile defense against shared threats.  The NATO-Russia Council will resume theater ballistic missile defense exercises and leaders tasked it to identify opportunities for Russia to cooperate with NATO’s new territorial missile defense capability by June 2011.
  • Agreed to expand cooperation in support of the Afghan government, including by expanding ISAF-Russia transit arrangements; expanding joint training of counternarcotics officers from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asian nations; and setting up a trust fund for Afghan helicopter maintenance.
  • Committed to make better use of the NATO-Russia Council to manage crises and enhance reciprocal transparency.
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