Bush reaches out in video speech to NATO wannabes Bush reaches out in video speech to NATO wannabes

The Associated Press
Saturday July 06, 2002

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — President Bush, in a videotaped long-distance speech on Friday, told former East Bloc countries that hope to join NATO that the United States will work “arm in arm” with them to build a free and united Europe. 

“Our nations share a common vision of a new Europe, where free European states are united with each other and with the United States through cooperation, partnership and alliance,” Bush told delegates from the so-called “Vilnius Ten” nations who met Friday in Riga, Latvia. The 10 are making a final collective bid to join NATO ahead of a November summit in Prague. 

Bush said new members will improve NATO’s capability in fighting and defeating terrorism around the globe. 

“We seek a new Europe that has buried its historic tensions and is prepared to meet global challenges beyond Europe’s borders. America will continue to work arm in arm with Europe on fulfilling this vision,” the president said. 

Bush, who was vacationing with his family in Maine, recorded the address earlier in the week.