|Updated: 29-Jun-2004||NATO Press Releases|
29 June 2004
The tenth anniversary year of Partnership for Peace, the Heads of State and Government of the 46 member states of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) met today in Istanbul to discuss current security challenges and how they can best meet them. On the basis of the shared values and principles that underlie their cooperation, they recommitted themselves to pursuing the basic objective of their Partnership - to strengthen and extend peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.
The EAPC Heads of State and Government met with President Karzai of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan to discuss progress in that country, and the valuable role played by both Allies and Partners who make up the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). All recognised that much remains to be done for Afghanistan to become a peaceful and stable country, fully integrated into the international community. They welcomed the decisions taken by the Alliance to expand ISAF and provide support to the Afghan authorities for the upcoming elections, and pledged to support the operation and its objectives. Allies and Partners alike recognised that their common security was at stake in the success of Afghanistan, and agreed upon the importance of accepting risks and facing responsibilities together.
EAPC Heads of State and Government reaffirmed the commitment of the Euro-Atlantic community to peace, security and stability in the Balkans. They welcomed the presence of the Heads of State of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro at their meeting as observers, and urged them to meet the outstanding conditions set for PfP membership by Allies.
In facing up to these new common threats to security, they reaffirmed the resolve of their states to fight the scourge of terrorism. They took stock of initiatives aimed at increasing the EAPC’s contribution to the fight against terrorism and broadly endorsed the further implementation of the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism, developed by Allies and Partners.
EAPC Heads of State and Government expressed broad support for a major report on the future development of their Euro-Atlantic Partnership, which outlines the core objectives of Partnership - political dialogue and practical cooperation, efforts to promote democratic values and foster democratic transformation across the Euro-Atlantic area, preparing interested Partners for participation in NATO-led operations and continuing through Partnership for Peace to support Partners who wish to join the Alliance.
They reaffirmed their commitment to building a Partnership which would be tailored to the different needs of individual Partners. In this respect, they welcomed NATO's intention to place a special focus on relations with the states of the Caucasus and Central Asia, including the decision by the Alliance to appoint one liaison officer for each region. They also welcomed the launching of the Individual Partnership Action Plan process by several states of the two regions. This process enables individual Partners to establish together with the Alliance a range of reform objectives, upon which the Alliance will provide advice and assistance. They expressed their endorsement of the Partnership Action Plan on Defence Institution Building, which reaffirms the EAPC's conviction that effective and efficient state defence institutions under civilian and democratic control are fundamental to stability in the Euro-Atlantic area, and essential for international security cooperation. This new mechanism aims to support and sustain further development of such institutions across the Euro-Atlantic area.
EAPC Heads of State and Government welcomed the commitment
to ensure that as NATO reforms the way in which it develops future military
capabilities, how it marshals them for operations and conducts operational
planning, it will closely bear in mind the need to ensure that Partners
are able to continue making high-value contributions to NATO-led Operations.
They also endorsed the NATO Policy on Combating Trafficking in Human
Beings developed in consultation with Partners.