Javier Solana is a leading diplomat, who served as Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union, Secretary-General of the Western European Union and European High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU (1999-2009), as well as Secretary-General of NATO (1995-99) and Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs (1992-95).
His tenure at NATO coincided with a crucial stage in the history of the Western defence organisation. During his mandate he worked closely with the Clinton Administration to solve the conflict in former Yugoslavia.
In 1999, Solana left NATO to become Secretary-General of the Council of the EU and its first High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, tasked with presenting ideas and analysing policy options to help EU leaders agree on foreign and security policy issues, thereby giving the Union more political clout in international affairs.
Between 2003 and 2005 he helped lead attempts to bring peace to the Middle East conflict as part of the Israeli/Palestine Quartet, along with Kofi Annan (UN), Colin Powell (USA) and Igor Ivanov (Russia).
A former academic, Solana served in successive Spanish cabinets for 13 years. His domestic posts included Minister of Education (1988-92) and Minister for Foreign Affairs (1992-95).
He is currently President of the Centre for Global Economy and Geopolitics at the ESADE Business School in Barcelona.
Solana has achieved much diplomatic success as an extraordinary consensus-builder working behind the scenes with leaders of various nations.
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