WASHINGTON , Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the occasion of today's OSCE conference in Helsinki , German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has written an Op-Ed, published today in a number of European newspapers. In the article, "Building partnership - for a renewed security policy in the twenty-first century," Steinmeier takes up the proposals and comments of Russian President Medvedev, US President-elect Obama and French President Sarkozy. "I think we should discuss them with an open mind," Steinmeier writes.
"Ultimately this process could result in an agreement on a new security partnership providing a framework for joint security and joint action. A new 'charter,' renewing the one from Paris to face the challenges of the twenty-first century."
Conventional arms control and nuclear disarmament are important components of a new viable security architecture, according to Steinmeier.
"Another point," writes Germany's Foreign Minister, "is the NATO-Russia Council, which should reconvene as soon as possible. It is precisely when opinions differ that we need this forum for dialogue. And we should develop it into a real platform for practical cooperation with Russia . Whether on missile defence or combating piracy off the Horn of Africa - there are certainly enough areas where we need to cooperate."
Steinmeier also emphasizes the importance of the transatlantic foundation for security in Europe . "One thing should be quite clear. The EU, NATO and the OSCE will remain central to European security. There will be no security in Europe without a strong transatlantic foundation. What has been established over decades must not be compromised. But even here - we must respond to a changing world and new challenges. Thus, for NATO, we need something along the lines of a new Harmel Report - a renewed basic consensus over its future direction."
The article, published today in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Le Monde, El Pais, Il Messagero, Iswestija, Kurier und Helsingin Sanomat, is online in its entirety at http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/__PR/P__Wash/2008/12/04__Steinmeier__SecurityPartnership__PR,archiveCtx=1992708.html
SOURCE German Embassy