“The partnership between NATO and Australia continues to develop in a very positive way,” said the Deputy Secretary General. “Your country is making an extremely important contribution to the Alliance, especially to our operation in Afghanistan, where you are the largest non-NATO contributor.”
Australia is contributes more than 1,500 troops to the International Security Assistance Force, stationed predominately in the Southern Province of Uruzgan.
“Australia is very keen to have a solid relationship with NATO,” said Robert McClelland. “We have common security challenges, not just regarding Afghanistan but with issues such as cyber crime.”
The Deputy Secretary General explained how NATO was focused on these emerging threats in the run up to the May 2012 Summit in Chicago, citing the example of the Alliance’s new policy on cyber defence and linking the effort to the Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, run by the Estonian Government.
“These new emerging threats and challenges mean that cooperation, like the Alliance’s partnership with Australia is the best way to proceed,” added Deputy Secretary General.