Remarks Prior to Discussions With Secretary General Lord Robertson of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
President Bush. Today we'll have a statement. I'm going to make a statement. George will make a statement. No questions.
George, welcome. I'm honored to have you here. You represent our Nation's most important Alliance, NATO. Today, this Alliance is providing equipment to Turkey to help protect our Turkish ally from a potential attack from Iraq.
I want to thank you for your leadership. You've done a fantastic job of keeping this Alliance together, moving it forward by not only addressing the current threats that we face but preparing NATO to address threats into the future. And I congratulate on a great leadership and welcome you back to the Oval Office.
Lord Robertson. Thanks, Mr. President. On the 12th of September, NATO passed a declaration of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. We came to the aid of an Ally, the United States, under threat, under attack.
And today we've sent AWACS aircraft and Patriot missiles and chem, bio, and defensive equipment to Turkey, another Ally, in trouble, under threat, asking for help. That's what the Alliance of free nations is all about.
Sometimes we—you know, we can take a bit of time to do it. It reminded me of Winston Churchill, whose bust is over there, who once famously said of the United States of America, "The United States can always be counted on to do the right thing, after it's exhausted every other alternative." [Laughter]
Well, you can say exactly the same thing about NATO, but when we get there, we're strong, and we stand for the values that unite a great Alliance.
President Bush. Well, thank you, sir.
Lord Robertson. You're welcome.
President Bush. I appreciate you. Thanks. Thank you.
NOTE: The President spoke at 5:29 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.
George W. Bush, Remarks Prior to Discussions With Secretary General Lord Robertson of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/213335