MARTIN Bútora, a member of the Slovak Atlantic Commission's International Council and Central European Strategic Council, former Slovak ambassador to the US and an Honorary President of the Institute for Public Affairs non-governmental think tank, has become a member of a specialist team established by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
The team is supposed to draw up proposals for strengthening the transatlantic ties of the Alliance.
"This is good news for Slovakia and a recognition of the work that Martin Bútora has done for the past 20 years," said Central European Council vice-president Robert Vass, as quoted by the TASR newswire. Bútora's appointment means direct involvement in the key NATO strategic debates taking place, he noted.
"It means strengthening the voice of Slovakia and Central Europe and the opportunity to raise issues that are important to Slovakia," said Vass.
Bútora appreciates his appointment by Rasmussen, who will be replaced as secretary general on October 1 by Jens Stoltenberg of Norway.
"After the events that took place in Ukraine, the transatlantic alliance, as well as our voice in NATO, take on particular significance. The September summit of the Alliance will decide on its future plans after leaving Afghanistan [at the end of this year], and it will be one of the most important in the history of NATO," said Bútora, who will be an advisor to incoming president Andrej Kiska until he takes office in mid-June, as quoted by TASR.
Speaking of the alliance in general terms, Rasmussen called on the specialist team to come up with answers to the question as to "how to strengthen transatlantic ties and our security today and in the future." The group will present their proposals at a conference in Brussels in June. The output of the conference will be discussed at the NATO summit in Cardiff that will be held in September.
Bútora was recently reported to have accepted the offer of president-elect Andrej Kiska to serve as his aide on foreign policy issues until the inauguration of the new president on June 15. He also did not rule out his involvement at the President’s Office after the inauguration.
“This is still true,” Bútora told the Sme daily. “My advantage is that I will not be all alone, since the foreign policy and security community is well-anchored in Bratislava.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
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7. Apr 2014 at 14:00