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NATO-Russia Summit in Rome

    Rome, 28 May 2002

    Mr. Davíð Oddsson, Prime Minister of Iceland
    Address to the NATO-Russia Summit in Rome, 28 May 2002

    Secretary General of NATO, President Berlusconi, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen:

    I convey my thanks to President Berlusconi, for inviting us to meet here in Rome, one of the greatest cities in world history and civilization.

    The Rome Summit has a double purpose. On the one hand it is a ratification of the historic accord between NATO and Russia, and on the other hand a promise by 20 free states, which are committed to building on the rule of law and democracy, to counter any terrorist forces and smother any actions by them against peace-loving nations or against their citizens. The founders of NATO never even permitted themselves the luxury of dreaming about the former, and the risk of global war loomed over them like a nightmare for decades. However, there is no doubt that they would have welcomed the collective show of determination and steadfastness that we want to make against terrorist gangs and the individuals or states that try to assist them in perpetrating their evil deeds. The European politician who was the most enthusiastic advocate of consolidating the transatlantic link with mighty bonds, and tying it together with knots that would never be undone, was, among national leaders, the most gifted master of language since the days of Julius Caesar. He would not have flinched at giving a piece of his mind to the forces that regard an ambush on peaceful citizens as somehow strengthening their miserable schemes. Of such men Churchill said:

    "We will have no truce or parley with you, or the grisly gang who do your wicked will. You do your worst – and we will do our best."

    After the agreement between NATO and Russia today, peace-loving nations are more capable than ever of doing their best to get the better of those who do their worst.

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