Secretary-General's press encounter following the briefing by EUFOR Commander Lieutenant-General Karlheinz Viereck
Geltow, Germany, 10 July 2006Q: How was the briefing?
SG: I am very impressed with what I have seen. I think it is going to be a great addition to our operations in the [Democratic Republic of the] Congo. And I think it will be help with the stability and the preparation of the elections. It shows the solidarity and commitment of Germany, and Europe, to the operations in Africa.
I hope that the people of Congo will also understand how committed the whole of the international community is to successful elections.
I am very impressed with the briefing and what I have seen, and the quality of the men and women running this operation.
Q: When in the future are you going to call the EU and when NATO to support the goals of your organisation?
SG: I think it depends on the nature of the operation. But given the type of work we are doing, this is the second time we have called on a sort of NATO-type operation. We had operation ARTEMIS in the eastern Congo, which was a different kind of operation. Now, of course, we have this one – EUFOR - and we hope really to continue this partnership with them for the foreseeable future.
Of course, we are working with NATO also in Kosovo and they are also on the ground in Afghanistan where we have a big political operation. So it depends on the nature of the operation which one we call upon and which one we cooperate with.
Q: Will you personally go to the Congo in the next few months?
SG: I have been recently but I would hope to go again. Maybe they will come with me. [Pointing to the German Defence Minister H.E. Dr. Franz Josef Jung and EUFOR Commander Lieutenant-General Karlheinz Viereck].