|Updated: 28-Jun-2004||Press Releases|
28 June 2004
On 28 June 2004, Foreign Ministers of the NATO-Russia Council met in Istanbul. Taking stock of two years of accomplishments in the NRC framework, they reiterated their adherence to the goals, principles and commitments contained in the Founding Act, the Rome Declaration and past NRC decisions, and their determination to stand together against shared threats.
Ministers reaffirmed their desire to broaden NRC political dialogue, with a view to promoting common approaches and possible joint actions. In this context, they exchanged views on current international security issues, including the situations in Afghanistan, in the Balkans, and in Iraq, where they welcomed United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 as paving the way for long-term stabilisation, and declared their full support for the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Iraq.
Ministers also addressed the concrete, practical contributions made by the NATO-Russia Council to the security of the Euro-Atlantic area. In particular:
Ministers recalled all relevant statements, reaffirmed the 4 June 2003 Statement of NRC Foreign Ministers in Madrid, and recalled NATO's position on providing political assurances of restraint. They also reaffirmed adherence to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) as a cornerstone of European security. Those NRC members who are States Parties to the Treaty reaffirmed their determination to fulfil the commitments reflected in the Final Act of the 1999 Conference of the States Parties to the CFE Treaty. Calling upon all CFE States Parties to promote achievement of this shared goal, the NRC agreed to continue to work co-operatively toward ratification by ail the States Parties and entry into force of the Agreement on Adaptation of the CFE Treaty, which would permit accession by non-CFE states. Ministers welcomed the approach of the four non-CFE member states who have stated their intention to request accession to the adapted CFE Treaty upon its entry into force, and agreed that their accession would provide an important additional contribution to European stability and security. They reaffirmed their readiness to pursue work in the field of arms control and confidence-building measures.
Ministers also highlighted
the potential for NRC cooperation on Afghanistan, in this context, they
again welcomed Russia's offer to provide practical
support to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
in Afghanistan and reaffirmed their commitment to further practical cooperation
in this regard. They expressed support for the Afghan Transitional Authority
(ATA) in the implementation of its National Drug Control Strategy and
its defence and security sector reform efforts, as well as for relevant
international efforts aimed at stopping the cultivation of opium poppies
and the production and transit of narcotics. They agreed that NRC efforts
to combat this threat should add value through practical contributions,
and should avoid duplicating efforts underway in other international
fora and bilaterally, and tasked the NATO-Russia Council in permanent
session with organising a meeting, reinforced by appropriate national
experts, to generate and develop possible concrete activities and ideas