Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović saúda Luka Modrić, E. Macron aplaude

Dois dos temas mais quentes desta semana foram a efusividade e boa figura da Presidente da Croácia a apoiar a selecção finalista do Campeonato Mundial de Futebol na Rússia e a cimeira da NATO em Bruxelas. À primeira vista os assuntos nada têm que ver, mas para mim sim. Em 2012/13 eu editava uma revista de relações internacionais que fundei, a Think South Asia magazine, que saía em versão digital e também circulava em formato impresso nos meandros políticos e diplomáticos de Bruxelas. Nesses anos, em visitas que fiz à NATO, tive o privilégio de conhecer e entrevistar a senhora embaixadora Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović que na altura era a “NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy” até se tornar a Presidente da Croácia em 2015, função que brilhantemente tem desempenhado até hoje. Antes disso já tinha sido Embaixadora da Croácia nos EUA e Ministra dos Negócios Estrangeiros. É fluente em Português, católica e tendencialmente conservadora. Aqui fica o registo duma pequena entrevista que lhe fiz em 2012 acerca do envolvimento da NATO no Afeganistão:

António Vieira da Cruz (AVC): How do you see 9/11 in 2012 from the NATO perspective?

Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (KGK): The attacks of September 11, 2001 were not only against the United States, but against the principles and values shared by a global community of democratic nations. Eleven years after these attacks, the commitment to the principles and values of the North Atlantic Alliance is firm, and our sense of solidarity and unity remains strong. Since the events of 9-11, working together and with partner nations around the world, the members of the Alliance have taken wide-ranging measures that ensure, collectively, we now face the future better prepared.

AVC: What has been the impact of NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, in particular with respect to a military presence in South Asia?

KGK: NATO’s primary objective in Afghanistan is to enable the Afghan authorities to provide effective security to ensure the country can never again be a safe haven for terrorists. The nations that make up the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder - shona-ba-shona – with Afghan National Security Forces, building a more secure, stable future for the people of Afghanistan. In the eleven years of this partnership, the lives of the Afghan people have improved in terms of security, access to education and health care, economic opportunity and the assurance of rights and freedoms. The task is not yet complete, but Afghanistan’s self-reliance grows stronger each day. In light of the progress over the last 11 years, and building on our firm and shared commitment, we are confident that our strong partnership will lead towards a better future. Regional security, stability and development are interlinked, and a secure and stable Afghanistan is critical for a secure and stable South Asia.

AVC: How do you foresee NATO’s continued engagement with Afghanistan after the withdrawal of troops?

KGK: As the Chicago Summit Declaration stated in May 2012, Afghanistan will not stand alone. NATO’s commitment to Afghanistan is firm. At the Lisbon Summit in 2010, NATO and the Government of Afghanistan signed the Enduring Partnership Declaration, and at the Chicago Summit in 2012, NATO Allies, along with ISAF partners, built on this commitment to provide the Afghan national security forces with the necessary training, advising and assistance moving forward that they need to fulfil their duties. NATO and the Afghan Government have a clear road map through this Transition process, by which full security responsibility for Afghanistan is gradually transitioned from ISAF to the Afghan government. After 2014, the Alliance has committed to providing strong and long-term political and practical support through our Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan.

AVC: What are the current hopes and dreams for the future of NATO?

KGK: At the Chicago Summit, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the Alliance recommitted to the core values of NATO, as defined in the Strategic Concept, as the transatlantic framework for strong collective defence, and the essential forum for security consultations and decisions among Allies. NATO has three essential core tasks – collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security – all of which contribute to safeguarding Alliance members. With the strong partnership of, and dialogue with, nations around the world, the Alliance’s work remains at the forefront of security: From fighting piracy off the Horn of Africa, to efforts in improving cyber defence, to our commitment in supporting United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and UNSCR 1612 and related Resolutions on the protection of children affected by armed conflict. The Alliance is also looking to emerging challenges, and the requirement that we must make best use of our resources and to continue to adapt our forces and structures. We remain committed to our common values, and are determined to ensure NATO’s ability to meet any challenges to our shared security.