Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 2002

Contents:
Author: George W. Bush  | Date: July 5, 2002

Videotape Remarks to the Vilnius Ten Group of Nations,
July 5, 2002

I’m honored to send greetings to the leaders of the Vilnius Ten group of nations aspiring to join the NATO Alliance. I want to thank Prime Minister Berzins and President Freiberga for hosting this important event in the great city of Riga. I’m also pleased that Senator Trent Lott and some of his colleagues were able to visit with you today. The U.S. Senate has a critical role to play in ratifying any expansion of NATO, and I appreciate my friend Senator Lott’s leadership on these vital issues.

Our nations share a common vision of a new Europe, where free European states are united with each other and with the United States through cooperation, partnership, and alliance. We seek a new Europe that has buried its historic tensions and is prepared to meet global challenges beyond Europe’s borders. America will continue to work arm in arm with Europe on fulfilling this vision.

At the Prague Summit later this year, we can take a major step by enlarging NATO to include all of Europe’s democracies that are ready to share in NATO’s responsibilities. Since you first met in Vilnius over 2 years ago, your countries have made real progress on the essential reforms necessary for NATO membership. Work continues, as it must, to prepare your nations to make the greatest possible contributions to the new Europe we are building.

Today, our nations face another historic challenge: to defeat the forces of global terror. The attacks of September the 11th took place in the United States, but their target was freedom, itself. All of Europe and freedom-loving nations everywhere are threatened by these forces of chaos and hatred.

NATO has risen to the challenge, declaring that an attack on one of its members is an attack on all. And NATO nations have made valuable contributions to the war on terror in Afghanistan and elsewhere. NATO must prepare itself to fight and defeat terror and the other threats to freedom that we face together. And new members will help improve NATO’s capabilities.

The Prague Summit will mark the beginning of a new era in Europe and in trans-Atlantic relations, defined by greater security and greater prosperity and greater freedom. We will see the great alliance of liberty grow and prepare to fulfill its old mission in a new era. And I am determined to succeed and determined that our children will record this year as a momentous turning point in their history.

I wish you success at your meeting. I have met most of you, and I look forward to seeing my good friend Aleksander in a few weeks here in Washington. We have a great opportunity ahead of us. The hopes and prayers of the American people are with you.

Thank you all very much.

Note: The President’s remarks were videotaped at approximately 3 p.m. on June 28 in the Blue Room at the White House, for later transmission to the meeting in Riga, Latvia. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on July 5. In his remarks, the President referred to Prime Minister Andris Berzins and President Vaira Vike-Freiberga of Latvia; and President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

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Chicago: George W. Bush, "Videotape Remarks to the Vilnius Ten Group of Nations, July 5, 2002," Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 2002 in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, July 5, 2002 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2002), 38:1141-1142 1142. Original Sources, accessed December 10, 2019, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=37QN48ZU8792NRK.

MLA: Bush, George W. "Videotape Remarks to the Vilnius Ten Group of Nations, July 5, 2002." Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 2002, in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, July 5, 2002 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2002), 38:1141-1142, page 1142. Original Sources. 10 Dec. 2019. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=37QN48ZU8792NRK.

Harvard: Bush, GW, 'Videotape Remarks to the Vilnius Ten Group of Nations, July 5, 2002' in Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 2002. cited in , United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, July 5, 2002 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2002), 38:1141-1142, pp.1142. Original Sources, retrieved 10 December 2019, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=37QN48ZU8792NRK.