10:00 A.M. EDT
MODERATOR: Hello, and welcome to the Washington Foreign Press Center. Today, we have Admiral James Stavridis, who is the U.S. European Command and NATO Commander, and he will deliver a EUCOM and NATO update. Please turn off your cell phones at this time. And without further ado, here is the admiral.
ADM STAVRIDIS: Good. Thank you, Andy, and good morning, everybody. I thought I might start by talking for just a moment about the summit, which we’ve just concluded, and then I’d be happy to take questions. I’m here today speaking principally in my role is the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe.
First, do we have any journalists here from Portugal? (In Portuguese.) It was perfect. It was really extremely well organized, extremely well done. My congratulations. An excellent summit from my viewpoint.
We had, I think, three principal baskets of conversation that were important. The first was the delivery of the new Strategic Concept. And I’ll talk very briefing about a few ideas that came out of that, and then we obviously can go into depth on any of them. I think secondly the NATO-Russia interaction at the NATO-Russia Council was very important and very positive. And then thirdly, of course, we talked about Afghanistan, not just as NATO, but as ISAF, which is a coalition of 48 countries, the 28 NATO countries and 20 additional, with a 48th nation arriving for the summit, Kazakhstan. And that discussion focused principally on transition which will begin in 2011, continue through 2014, President Karzai’s stated goal of completion of transition to Afghan-led operations. And it also focused on longer term strategic partnerships between Afghanistan and NATO ISAF.
I would highlight five or six things from the Strategic Concept, and then I’ll open it up to any of your questions.
First, I think the Strategic Concept put a strong marker down on cyber and the need for the alliance to focus additional resources and work on cyber defense. Secondly, we talked about missile defense, another 21st century concern. And we talked a little bit about how the alliance will hook into the U.S.-offered phased adaptive approach in the time to come. Obviously, that becomes very technical, but we made a commitment at Lisbon that as an alliance we would move forward with that integration, and I think that’s important.
Thirdly, we talked a lot in the Strategic Concept about partnerships. Here I would highlight, in particular, partnerships, strategic partnership with Russia. President Medvedev’s participation was noteworthy. And we talked about working together on terrorism, piracy, narcotics, Afghanistan, missile defense. And I felt a very positive atmosphere in terms of NATO-Russia strategic partnership, and that is also highlighted, as you know, in the Strategic Concept.
Two other items that I think came out of the discussions: The idea of using more of a comprehensive approach. Here, I mean, in particular, interoperations in Afghanistan. Comprehensive approach is NATO terminology for bringing together a wide variety of capabilities to address challenges: economic, political, military, of course, developmental, bringing together all these elements in positive ways. That is highlighted in the Strategic Concept. And lastly, we talked a bit about NATO reform, trying to find more efficiencies in the structure for NATO operational command.
So with that is a quick overview of the summit. I’d be happy to take any of your questions, and I think Andy will moderate for us.
MODERATOR: Yes. As we move to the Q&A portion, please state your name and publication and wait for the microphone, which could be coming from either side. We’ll go in back.
QUESTION: Thank you. Mina Al-Oraibi, Asharq Al-Awsat, Arabic language newspaper. I wanted to ask you some detail about the missile defense agreement. First of all, how important in your position do you feel this is going to be to protect NATO member countries? And also what countries are seen as the threat? I mean, it was often said that it’s 30-plus countries that are seen as the threat; however, Iran was previously always highlighted. I know Turkey had some objection to this. So if you could just elaborate a little bit on that meetings.
ADM STAVRIDIS: Well, the second part is the easiest one to address, which is the 30-plus countries, and frankly, I think that’s the right way to think about this rather than trying to identify any particular nation as a threat to NATO, because the world changes. So we’re developing a capability, just like to do with cyber, to create a defense.
I think that, as the United States moves forward with the European Command-led phased adaptive approach, it’ll initially be sea-based. It will come into the Eastern Mediterranean. It will have a U.S. command and control backbone that will run from the President, to the Secretary of Defense, to me as the Combatant Commander, and then down to my Air Force subordinates in an air defense center in Germany, thence down to the ships initially.
Over time, as we decide how to integrate with the NATO air command and control system, we will plug in the NATO part of that architecture, and it will be roughly parallel to the U.S. one. Fortunately, I am dual-hatted as the U.S. European Commander and the Supreme Allied Commander, so that same structure, which will run operationally from the nations, the 28 nations, secretary general to me and down through the NATO parallel chain of command, will then go down to the shooting asset. So it will be parallel to the structure the United States employs, the details will be worked out, the European – or I should say the NATO system that will be the backbone is called the ALT – A-L-T – BMD system. And I’m quite confident we’ll be able to surmount the technical challenges as we go forward.
MODERATOR: Okay. Right there.
QUESTION: Ilhan Tanir, Hurriyet daily news and Vatan from Turkey. I just want a quick follow-up on that actually. Last time I ask Ambassador Daalder, he said very similar to what you just said that – about the command and control system of the missile defense system will be very similar to the one that integrated air missile defense system that, I believe under your command. Could you please elaborate on that? Because there’s a huge discussion in Turkey, as you are aware, who is going to push the button if threat emerges.
ADM STAVRIDIS: Well, all of that, as I mentioned, will be part of the discussion as we move forward. So there’s no definitive answer at this moment for how the NATO side will plug into the U.S. side.
But the point I made with the reporter here in the back is that we have an idea, based on the U.S. structure, and I think we’ll do something somewhat similar. But all of that will be a proposal that I will develop over the next six months or so and then will be presented to the nations via the North Atlantic Council, and all these decisions will be taken in consensus. But there is no detail to add to it beyond what I’ve offered thus far.
QUESTION: Follow up? How certain we are that these radar part of the installment will be placed in Turkey? Is this still detail question that will be worked out in the future, or it’s for sure that Turkey decided, and what’s the next step? Thank you.
ADM STAVRIDIS: There are no concrete decisions on the emplacement of the NATO side of the installation as yet. All that will be a matter of discussion and will be eventually proposed and then, again, decided by consensus.
And I must say, coming out of the Lisbon summit, when I looked at the decisions that were taken on the Strategic Concept, on the NATO-Russia Council, on Afghanistan, I felt a great deal of consensus among all 28 of the nations. So therefore, I’m confident we can work through the technical part of this to come to a structure that is acceptable to all of the nations. Thanks.
QUESTION: Well, but that’s –
MODERATOR: I’m sorry. We have to move on.
QUESTION: Thank you. My name is Ahmad Lami. I’m from Voice of America Afghanistan service. I was in Lisbon to cover the summit. So my first question is in the next year or two, how many NATO combat troops will still be Afghanistan, or is it only U.S. troops that will stay there through 2014? And the second question: You say that Russia was agreed – Russia agreed to cooperate with NATO on some issues like in Afghanistan. So don’t you think that looking at the history and the Afghan-Russian War, there would some sensitivity among the Afghans against Russian operation in Afghanistan and that will create some problem for NATO in future? Don’t you think so?
ADM STAVRIDIS: Let me take the second part of your question first. In terms of Russian cooperation with NATO in Afghanistan, it’s really with ISAF and, of course, with the Government of Afghanistan. All that we do in Afghanistan is led by Afghans in the sense that it’s their country, their sovereign country. And this dialogue between ISAF, between the international community and the Government of Afghanistan will be where all these decisions would be taken. To clarify, I didn’t, at any time, say we were going to see Russian operations in Afghanistan. No one is talking about that.
What we are talking about is Russian support to ISAF, and I’ll give you some concrete examples. Additional support on the logistics flow through our distribution networks; helping by selling Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan; perhaps doing some training in Russia for Afghans; if this is something that would be of interest to the Afghan Government, providing us with ideas and lessons learned from their experiences. So I think there’s a broad basket of cooperation and support that is possible, but it will all be done in the context of the Afghan Government and with sensitivity for past relationships.
QUESTION: But we had news in recent few weeks that Russian troops or operational groups conducted an operation in Afghanistan against the narcotics, a joint operations, that later on it was some kind of hot news if Afghanistan.
ADM STAVRIDIS: There were no Russian troops, to my knowledge, in Afghanistan.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MODERATOR: In back there?
QUESTION: Also the –
MODERATOR: I’m sorry, sir. You’re done.
QUESTION: Naseem Stanazai, Voice of America, Afghanistan Service for the radio. What will be the measures taken within the next four years to make sure that Afghan security forces will be ready to take charge in 2014, while President Karzai complained about the equipments and other stuff and even threatened that he will acquire the equipment from somewhere else? So I would like you to elaborate on this. Thanks.
ADM STAVRIDIS: Sure. And I think perhaps I can get some of your question sort of combined with this excellent question. The key to transition will be the training of the Afghan security forces. Today we have about 263,000 combined army and police. Their numbers are growing. The goal at the moment is for about 300,000 total by next fall. I am very pleased with the training process that is in place. This is a NATO training mission in Afghanistan. It’s been in place about a year, and we see not only the increase in quantity of the Afghan police and army, but the quality of the operations is going up pretty dramatically.
To your point about how is this going to happen, how will this sort of unfold, let’s look at operations today down, for example, around Kandahar. A year and a half ago, we had a ratio of 10 coalition troops for every one Afghan troop who was operating in southern Afghanistan. Today, in the Kandahar region, we have 60 percent of the troops are Afghans. That’s six Afghan troops for every four coalition troops operating down there. So we’ve really seen these numbers start to shift. And as you look around Afghanistan broadly, we see more and more operational capability.
So when we begin the transition process next year, the key will be to continue this training regime, which includes everything from literacy training to target marksmanship training, to aviation training, as the Afghan air force comes online. The heart of transition will be the quality and the quantity of the Afghan troops. And so over the course, starting in 2011, we will go province by province, district by district, turning over – transitioning to Afghan-led operations. From what I can see at this moment, I’m quite confident we’ll be able to do that over time. The alliance, I think, as it begins to withdraw troops will do so in a measured way that follows the normal NATO approach, which is in together, out together.
It’s the same process, for example, that we’re using today in Kosovo, where we have come down from a total of over 50,000 NATO troops in the Balkans at one time down to 15,000. We came down to 10,000 last year. And I’ve just authorized a reduction to 5,000 NATO troops in Kosovo. As we do that, the allies are leaving proportional to the size of the troop strength that is there. So this in together, out together concept, I think, will determine how we begin withdrawing troops as the transition unfolds from 2011 forward to the completion that we all look for in 2014.
MODERATOR: Go to Portugal, in back.
QUESTION: Morning, Admiral. My name is Vitor Goncalves. I’m with RTP, Portuguese public television. I’d like to ask you a specific question about the joint force combined in Lisbon that might close down next few months. First question is: Strategically, how important is it right now? And second, if it closes what NATO forces may lose, especially on the fight against piracy. Thank you.
ADM STAVRIDIS: Well, in order to answer the question sensibly, let me step back from it slightly and say that overall in the NATO command structure right now, which is the forces that actually command our troops and our sailors as they operate in Afghanistan, and the Balkans, at sea, throughout the NATO enterprise, we currently have about 12 headquarters, and we have about 13,000 total people. In order to create more efficiencies, we’re going to reduce that to a level of about seven headquarters and down to about 8,900 in the command structure.
As we do that, we’re going to reorient the number of commands. No decisions have been as yet as to which individual commands will be closing. No decisions have been made as yet. The next step in the process, now that we’ve determined the overall size to which we want to reduce, is to have a detailed analysis of each of the headquarters and then to try to have a set of recommendations that will be analytically based, where we’ll look at actual infrastructure, host nation support, the actual metrics for each of these headquarters. And then we will also apply military judgment. We’ll look at what each of these headquarters are doing. We’ll think about how we would operate the alliance going forward in that reduced number. And then all of that will be presented to the nations. And again, these decisions must be taken by consensus, exactly as we talked about in the case of missile defense.
So over the coming months, an analytically based and, I believe, military sound set of recommendations will come forward. But I want to emphasize that no decisions have yet been made about specific locations, although we have agreed collectively as an alliance to reduce the overall size of the command structure. And I think that’s a sensible decision in the current fiscal environment.
MODERATOR: Okay. Now I’d like to break away and read a question from the New York Foreign Press Center, from Corriere della Sera, a two-part question. The Secretary General of NATO after the Lisbon meeting sounded quite positive about the possibility that Russia may cooperate to the missile deployment plan in Eastern Europe. How realistically to you assess this development? And second, NATO, since the operations in former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, has expanded its out of area operations. With the Korean crisis developing, do you see any role for the alliance?
ADM STAVRIDIS: Let me take the Korean question first. The alliance, I believe, speaking through our spokesman in Brussels have condemned the attacks of North Korea on South Korea and we are monitoring the situation very closely.
In terms of the missile defense and how realistic it is to have envisioned Russian participation, I think it’s very realistic. As I look at it, the technical capabilities that both the alliance and Russia possess are compatible. We could combine them. In terms of the political will, I was present at the meeting where President Medvedev said the Russians are very willing to listen to serious technical proposals. We’re committed to going forward and providing those, and then we’ll have a dialogue as the new year unfolds. And as a personal viewpoint, as the supreme allied commander and the operations officer, if you will, of the alliance, I think it’s very realistic from a technical perspective, and we’ll see how this all develops from a political perspective.
QUESTION: Christian Wernicke from Germany, Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Welcome home for Thanksgiving, sir.
ADM STAVRIDIS: Danke schon.
QUESTION: I’d like to ask you also as the U.S. commander in Europe, in the – during the summit in the corridors, there was already talk and I understand it will come up in spring that there are plans in the Pentagon, but also in Congress, to redeploy U.S. forces from Europe. What is your point of view as the U.S. commander in Europe or as SACEUR, and how necessary is it to keep the five brigades that you currently have in Europe and – or because there seem to be plans to withdraw one or two of them?
ADM STAVRIDIS: First of all, I can assure you there are no decisions made and no specific plans at this moment concerning any adjustment to the force posture in Europe. The United States is always evaluating its force posture globally. That’s a normal process. It’s underway. There will be decisions that will be taken as there are every year when the United States evaluates its force posture. A minor technical point: There are actually four brigades in Europe right now.
And at the moment, we’ll continue to draw on U.S. presence in Europe as a fundamental part of the alliance. We heard President Obama in an op-ed in the New York Times before the summit talk about relationships in Europe as a cornerstone of U.S. security. I’m quite convinced that no matter what the force level is in Europe by the United States, there will continue to be the closest relationship to include the excellent training that occurs in Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels. And I’m looking for a long-term presence in Europe. The exact size of it is, of course, always under discussion; more to follow on that in the spring.
QUESTION: A follow-up on that. Sorry.
QUESTION: Sir, I understand this year in spring you were very concerned about the effects that a partial withdrawal would have on the multiplying effect of U.S. forces in the alliance. Are these concerns now less kind of vibrant, or are you just preparing for the withdrawal and you don’t talk that tough anymore?
ADM STAVRIDIS: I don’t think I’ve ever talked tough about definitive force levels in Europe. As I mentioned, they are constantly under review. Situations change, and decisions will be forthcoming in the spring.
MODERATOR: Down here to Romania.
QUESTION: You mentioned, Admiral, the good interaction with Russia – sorry, my name is Nicolae Melinescu. I work for the Romanian Television -- National Television.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Nicolae.
QUESTION: So you mentioned the good interaction with Russia during the summit. At the time when Romania proposed and stated that it was ready to host part of the nuclear defense, the Russian establishment –
ADM STAVRIDIS: The missile defense.
QUESTION: Missile defense. Sorry.
ADM STAVRIDIS: Yes, I understand.
QUESTION: The Russian president and his advisors were somehow outraged by this and warned about consequences and even retaliation. Now, within this framework of better understanding with Russia, where would you place Romania as a host of part of the defense? Thank you.
ADM STAVRIDIS: I think the specific discussions about hosting part of the U.S. portion of the system, the phased adaptive approach, are moving along with Romania, and I am confident that we’ll continue to move in a positive direction in that regard. In terms of Russian comments, I’m unfamiliar with what you’ve mentioned. I will simply say that I look for – if the alliance ultimately adopts this system overall under a consensus principle, there will be decisions made then about where the NATO pieces of it would be. The U.S. portion of it is moving forward looking at a land-based deployment in Romania in the middle of this decade.
MODERATOR: Down here.
QUESTION: It’s –
ADM STAVRIDIS: You can get the next question.
QUESTION: -- Mike Evans from the Times, London Times. Just on that last thing, if you do deploy – if the Americans do deploy a radar system in Romania, which is the current plan, would that not be sufficient to also cover the European end, the NATO end, of the integrated system? Would you need to go to Turkey or somewhere else to add to it?
And can I just ask about the 300,000 Afghan troops? There’s much focus on numbers. You’ve obviously emphasized that it’s quality, not just quantity, which is clearly important. But do you seriously consider that by 2014 the Afghan security forces will have enough, as it were, backup to take over control of the security for the country? American intelligence, American aviation, logistics, all that now taken for granted in Afghanistan. If all that goes, how will they be able to seriously cope with holding back the Taliban and al-Qaida?
ADM STAVRIDIS: The first question: One radar is good; a second radar would be better. I could envision a world where we have three radars. These technical issues are being sorted right now. So as we watch not only the geography of what we have to defend, we have to look at the development of potential threat as well. So it will certainly be more than one radar before we’re done with that.
In terms of Afghan security development, to be honest with you, when I look at the progress that’s been made over the last two years in the Afghan security forces and I look at the planning going forward, I am reasonably optimistic, reasonably confident, that Afghan-led operations are indeed a possibility throughout Afghanistan by 2014. I think that is a realistic goal. Will there be additional training and assistance and possibly enablers? I think that’s a possibility, but that’s a fair ways out there at this point.
What I can say for sure to our Afghan friends is that the long-term commitment of NATO to make sure this enterprise upon which we are embarked succeeds is absolutely firm. And that’s NATO and ISAF. I had the chance to brief over 40 heads of state. General Petraeus also – the two of us briefed. And the resounding voices I heard in that room were of long-term commitment to this.
We are not going to fall off a cliff in 2014. I think that necessary support will continue. However, again, I am very confident of the progress in all aspects, including intelligence, including aviation, and indeed including logistics. So more to follow, but I think we can make very strong inroads in that regard by 2014.
MODERATOR: Down in front here.
QUESTION: Thank you very much. My hand got tired raising it.
ADM STAVRIDIS: (Laughter.) I’m sure.
QUESTION: Mounzer Sleiman with Think Tank Monitor and New Orient News based in Lebanon. On Afghanistan, would your calculation that about maybe 40,000 security and army Afghan is needed to reach the 300,000 in the next year, right?
ADM STAVRIDIS: Right.
QUESTION: Now, after nine years, we were able to reach the 264.
ADM STAVRIDIS: Right.
QUESTION: And we have a situation where the Pentagon released a report to the Congress suggesting that the past six months, 300 percent increase in operation of Taliban and their supporter against U.S. and other forces. So what kind of confidence we have that by additional only 40,000 security and army, plus the type of environment that you have there, that going to compared with nine years of training and other things?
In addition to that, what the Pakistani now by their rejection of the demand to utilize expanding your operation to the theater of Baluchistan. They refuse adamantly, but we didn’t hear or maybe I did not hear what is you’re going to do about their refusal, especially with the crucial role of Pakistan in assisting with the theater of operation.
ADM STAVRIDIS: If I may, although we have had U.S. and then NATO and then a very broad ISAF coalition of 48 nations engaged in Afghanistan, it kind of built up over nine years. So I don’t think it’s really accurate to say that we’ve been training them for nine years. I think that there has been training; that’s absolutely true. But I would argue that over the last two years, we’ve really gotten the inputs right. We’ve put a NATO training mission in place. We’ve focused on training as job one.
And so I think the answer to your question – how will 300,000 or so Afghan police and troops be able to operate successfully to create a secure environment – is that their quality is now rising. And so I would point you to specific operations that we are conducting, again, in the south and in the southwest, in the west, in the east, where we are seeing increasing capability out of the Afghans.
In terms of Pakistan, I would say that overall cooperation between ISAF, between General Petraeus and his folks, and the Pakistani army general Kayani and his folks is good and is improving. And in terms of specific locations or regions, I’m not going to talk about that. It gets into kind of an operational zone. But when I look at what Pakistan has done to counterterrorism on their side of the border, I look at the improvement overall in the political climate between Afghanistan and Pakistan over the last five years, I think that we have reason for optimism in terms of our engagement between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and ISAF in these operations. So I see it improving, not decreasing, and I think that is a very positive aspect of what we’ll see going forward.
QUESTION: Can I follow up?
ADM STAVRIDIS: Sure.
QUESTION: The issue of the Pentagon report about the 300 percent increase versus --
ADM STAVRIDIS: Oh, let me address that. Thank you for reminding me.
QUESTION: And also there was a specific request from Pakistan to you to expand the operation of the drones to certain areas. So you already decided on that. Why you’re not able to talk about it? Thank you.
ADM STAVRIDIS: What I’ll address is the – what you just reminded me of, which was the increase in violence. And that’s a logical result of the increase in the operations and the increase in the number of troops that have been placed in Afghanistan. And in particular, when I look at southwestern Afghanistan and I think about the fact that two years ago Taliban flags were flying in Marjah, you couldn't move around various areas there. These were very much Taliban strongholds.
So when the ISAF coalition decided to increase the number of troops, we have increased the number of Afghan troops and we have moved them into the south, it’s a very logical consequence that there will, unfortunately, be an increase in violence.
In terms of the Pakistan question, that gets into an operational area that I am not going to address.
MODERATOR: Okay, right down here. We’ve got time for one or two more questions.
QUESTION: Jun Takao from NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation. I was also in Portugal and covering the issue, and I want to ask about missile defense also. A high-ranking White House official briefed that in the final stage of missile defense, that system will protect not only Europe but also the United States. And I’m a little bit confused. If so, what kind of difference we can see from the new MD and Bush era missile defense? If, at the end if it is same, doesn't it, I mean, make another problem with Russia?
ADM STAVRIDIS: The two systems are extremely different, and let me quickly articulate it. The current system is called the phased adaptive approach. It is phased in that it will move in over time. It will not be a sudden emplacement of very large, in-ground, very heavy, permanent radars.
It’s phased because the system is going to come off of ships. It’s going to come off the Aegis ships which are employed by the United States, by Japan, by Spain, by Korea, several other nations. That system will come off the ships. It’s light and it can be phased in ashore.
It’s adaptive in that because it is light, it can be moved around.
And thirdly, the capabilities of this system would not pose a strategic threat to any strategic system. It is designed to work against the ballistic missile threat.
So you will find what the system is designed to do is to be very phased, very adaptive. It’s very different than the previous systems. And I am convinced that as we get into technical talks with Russia, we will be able to ameliorate their concerns in a way that we are not posing that system against any of their systems, but rather we want to cooperate with them to create a commonly shared defensive zone.
And yes, over time as we expand the number of radars – back to the question from the gentleman at the Times here – you will see that the coverage also expands, and eventually it will provide coverage not only to Europe but also to the United States, but it will do so in a way that does not interfere with the Russian capability.
MODERATOR: Yes, just one quick follow-up. That’ll be the last question.
QUESTION: My question is what is the estimation of the total – this whole missile system? How much? I mean, end of the phases, I believe is 2018 that will be whole system will be finished. Do you have any kind of estimation how much this is going to cost? And second, do you also have any kind of estimation or plan that which manufacturers will be producing this whole system? Because I believe it’s a marginal topic here, but it’s very important and a lot of discussion is going on. Countries like Turkey that – which sector will be the most beneficial out of whole billions of dollars?
ADM STAVRIDIS: Sure.
QUESTION: Thank you.
ADM STAVRIDIS: Well, first of all, the good news for NATO is that the United States has already borne a great deal of the cost of the research and development of the systems. For example, as I mentioned, the Aegis defense system was developed here. That will be adapted and moved ashore. So a great deal of the costs have already been spent in the development of the R&D portion of this thing.
In terms of the European side of this thing, the cost is actually relatively low, because it’s a command-and-control system that plugs into hardware that is being offered up by the United States at this point. So the command-and-control side of this thing will be in the low hundreds of millions of dollars. The actual infrastructure is indeed in the billions of dollars, but much of those costs will be borne by the United States.
In terms of other entities that will be involved, there are other parts of the system that eventually will plug into it – point defense systems, mid-range systems. Some of those will be developed. Some are already developed. It’s a complicated question, but there’s a variety of actors that will plug into this over time. But those are the kind of technical questions we’ll need to resolve over the next couple of years, frankly.
And you’re correct; the overall endgame for this is 2018 to 2020, so we’ve got time to develop this. I think it’s the right system.
I’m going to have to leave it right there. Thank you very much for all of you, and again, my congratulations to Portugal on an excellent, excellent summit.
MODERATOR: Thank you all for coming. This event is now concluded.
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