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New NATO Mission Statement to State Desire to Build Relations With Russia - U.S. Envoy to NATO

NATO MeetingMOSCOW/BRUSSELS. Nov 14 (Interfax) - NATO's new strategic concept, the alliance's mission statement for the next decade, which is expected to be adopted at a summit in Lisbon later this month, will state intentions to build strategic relations with Russia, U.S. ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder said.

"It will be clear in that concept that Russia is a country that NATO wants to have a strong strategic partnership with, and we are looking forward to developing," Daalder said in an interview with Interfax.

"That is what the strategic concept looks forward to, and that is the way we are going to talk about these issues," he said.

"I do not see anything in the concept that should come as a surprise to Russia or anybody else when it is announced," Daalder said.

Commenting on Russia's concerns about the conformity of NATO's new strategic concept with the UN Charter, Daalder said that the Washington Treaty that founded NATO states that the alliance is completely supportive of UN goals and principles.

"So nothing in the strategic concept, nothing in any strategic concept that NATO has ever put together or will put together will in any way deviate from the core principles and purposes of the UN Charter, and that will be reaffirmed. So, that, as far as we are concerned, is not an issue," he said.

Asked whether the upcoming Lisbon summit, which will be attended by President Dmitry Medvedev, will go down as a key moment in Russia-NATO relations, Daalder said: "We will have to see when we get there, but certainly of all the signed points, will be a possibility of this being a real turning point.

"What we are looking for is a reset in the NATO-Russia relationship, just the same way we had a reset in the U.S.-Russian relationship," he said.


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