Speech by M. Jacques Chirac, President of the Republic, at the opening of the Fourteenth Ambassadors’ Conference
"A great challenge lies ahead in the Western Balkans, where the European Union has made a commitment to support the process leading towards final status in Kosovo. It must prepare to take over from NATO in a process similar to the one used in Bosnia. France will, of course, play her part. (...) It is through this kind of engagement that the European Union will make its full contribution to the Transatlantic solidarity that constitutes one of the component parts of our security. In a few weeks’ time, the NATO Summit will be taking place in Riga. We want this meeting to be a success and to mark a further milestone in the adaptation of the Alliance. We will achieve this by upholding NATO’s legitimacy as a military organization guaranteeing the collective security of the European and North American allies. To seek to involve the Alliance in non-military missions, ad hoc partnerships, technological ventures or an insufficiently prepared enlargement could only distort its purpose".