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Public Statements

Letter to The Honorable Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Lieberman Letter to Secretary Rice on Ukraine and Georgia

Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), along with a bipartisan group of Senators and Members of Congress, yesterday sent the below letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:

February 19, 2008

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
2201 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Rice:

As Democrats and Republicans who serve in both chambers of Congress, we write to express our support for the efforts of Georgia and Ukraine to enter into a Membership Action Plan (MAP) with NATO, and to urge you—as the Administration makes preparations for the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania in April—to engage in sustained and robust diplomacy to assist Kyiv and Tblisi in securing this objective at the summit.

As you know, the enlargement of NATO has been a critical element in the unprecedented democratic peace that has unfolded across Central and Eastern Europe over the past fifteen years and that stands as one of the greatest bipartisan successes in the history of American foreign policy. In our view, however, the consolidation of this extraordinary accomplishment requires the active and continuing integration of emerging democracies across the broader region into the flagship institutions of the Euro-Atlantic community.

In particular, we believe that it is in the vital national interest of the United States to dispel gathering fears that a new dividing line may be descending across Europe—a new boundary beyond which countries are constrained or forbidden from integration into the Euro-Atlantic community, regardless of their democratic desires or shared values.

Both Georgia and Ukraine have made clear their determination to enter into a Membership Action Plan with NATO. Last month, Georgia held a referendum on NATO in which more than 76 percent of voters supported their country's integration into the Atlantic Alliance. Also in January, Ukraine's top three democratically-elected leaders—the President, the Prime Minister, and the Speaker of the Vekhovna Rada—sent a letter to NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer formally requesting a Membership Action Plan.

Both Georgia and Ukraine are young democracies that continue to face many challenges and whose futures remain uncertain. In our view, however, this makes the case for a Membership Action Plan for these countries all the more urgent and compelling. Although a MAP does not guarantee membership in NATO, it does provide a proven toolkit of resources that will help Kyiv and Tblisi as they pursue vital reforms in the areas of defense, democracy, and human rights.

President Bush has repeatedly argued for the United States to adopt what he has called "a forward strategy of freedom." We urge you to assist Ukraine and Georgia in securing a Membership Action Plan as soon as possible, and to pursue the integration of these countries into the Euro-Atlantic community as one of the top foreign policy priorities of the Administration's remaining months in office.

Sincerely,

JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN
United States Senator

JOHN McCAIN
United States Senator

LINDSEY O. GRAHAM
United States Senator

JANE HARMAN
United States Representative

CHRISTOPHER SHAYS
United States Representative

JIM MARSHALL
United States Representative


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