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US-NATO alliance critical for national security

US-NATO alliance critical for national security

Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 9:13 pm
By: AP

  WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. John Tanner of Union City is now the incoming president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the legislative arm of the NATO Alliance, comprised of legislators from all 26 member nations. Tanner was elected president at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s annual meeting in Valencia, Spain.

“Our diplomatic relationships have been strained in recent years,” the 8th District congressman said after being elected NATO PA president. “At this crucial time, it is imperative that we begin to rebuild our alliances with other NATO nations, especially given the role NATO is playing in Afghanistan in the global fight against radical fundamentalism.”

In an address Tuesday to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, he told the group that it is important NATO allies continue their cooperation to leave a better world for future generations.

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama said in a statement that he will work with Congressman Tanner to rebuild relationships with U.S. allies, noting that the NATO Parliamentary Assembly “provides a valuable forum for informed debate and consensus-building among our Allies.

“I intend to work closely with the incoming NATO PA president, U.S. Congressman John Tanner, on strengthening our relationships with allies and addressing global challenges together,” Obama said in his statement to the NATO PA.

Tanner, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and the Tennessee Army National Guard, also chairs the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and will assume the NATO PA presidency in January.

The NATO PA has been in existence since 1955 to build support for the NATO Alliance within the national legislatures and to provide recommendations to the Secretary General of NATO and the North Atlantic Council. Many of the reforms in NATO have first come from the Assembly. It also provides a way for legislators in member countries to stay informed about changes in NATO and about military reforms in the 16 associate countries. 
Published in The Messenger 11.19.08

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