Tuesday, April 01, 2008

NATO summit

Between 2nd April and 4th April Bucharest will be the host of a NATO summit. It is said to be the largest NATO reunion in the history. Hotels have been booked for the 3,000 delegates (some Romanian newspapers say it is about 6500 delegates), including U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as some 3,500 journalists.

On the summit's agenda are the alliance's tensions over its mission in Afghanistan and a potential deployment of additional troops there. Heads of NATO's 26 member states may also agree on further enlargement to include Croatia, Macedonia and Albania. Georgia and Ukraine may be invited to join the NATO Membership Action Plan.

Romania (NATO member since March 2004) received support to organize this event from the United States for its contribution to the Alliance's common effort in the War in Afghanistan and for stability in the Iraq War

The gathering will be held in Bucharest's landmark Parliament Palace, the gargantuan product of communist-era dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. The Parliament Place serves as one of the main city tourist attraction. These days the "Little Paris" received a welcomming facelift: officials were planting flower beds, hanging new street signs and painting some downtown facades.

Beside the official view of the things that will take place here there is another one regarding Bucharest locals. For the capital's almost 2.5 million inhabitants, the summit is mess. Large scale security measurements have been imposed to ensure the security of Romania's important guests. That includes lots of of police officers and officials on the streets, traffic restrictions. Restrictions have concentrated traffic in Bucharest's outer areas and it takes forever to get to the city center. At the same time officials hope the summit will catch the eyes of foreign tourists and boost the city's popularity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's like yesterday when I was walking on the sidewalk in search for a pair of shoes :) Nice walk !