In a letter, Anders Fogh Rasmussen (who served from 2009-2014), George Robertson (1999-2003) and Javier Solana (1995-1999) have supported the tribute to Senator McCain’s work in promoting transatlantic unity.
The letter reads, “As three former Nato Secretaries General, we believe that the transatlantic alliance is the cornerstone of a stable, peaceful and free world. Few things symbolise this alliance, and the enduring benefits of American global leadership, more vividly than the life and work of John McCain
“Despite his being a US Senator, across Europe we all felt that John McCain was one of our own. Whether advancing the cause of freedom across the former Soviet states of eastern Europe or defending the multilateral international order at a time of scepticism, his work was a beacon for all of us who believe that transatlantic unity is the only means of ensuring peace.
“We urge Nato to repay this lifetime of service to its mission by naming its new Brussels headquarters after Senator McCain.”
Rasmussen will travel to Washington for McCain’s memorial service on Saturday.
Elsewhere, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said, “John McCain was a respected statesman who dedicated his entire life to public service. He was a man of integrity, principles and a high sense of duty. He was a true believer in the importance of a strong transatlantic relationship for Europe’s and the US security and prosperity and as the pillar of the rules-based global order.
“It has been my privilege to cooperate with him over the years, always in a spirit of mutual respect. We all pay tribute to him and mourn his passing but his legacy will endure.”
David O’Sullivan, EU Ambassador to the United States, meanwhile, said he was “deeply saddened” by McCain’s death, adding, “His military service and decades as a leading member of Congress set an unparalleled standard for valour, integrity and devotion to the public good.
“Senator McCain recognised the enormous benefits of Europe’s peaceful rebirth after 1945, and the crucial investment in that effort by successive US administrations. He supported ever stronger transatlantic cooperation built on that shared legacy. We must all try to follow his example in strengthening EU-US ties and dealing with the challenges ahead.”