NATO steps up efforts to project stability beyond its borders
NATO Defence Ministers agreed on Wednesday (15 June 2016) to do more to project stability beyond the Alliance’s borders. “Today, we decided that we will develop a recommendation for NATO training and capacity building in Iraq. Our aim is to reach agreement at the Warsaw Summit,” said the Secretary General. He underlined that this initiative will complement NATO training of Iraqi officers in Jordan.
Ministers also considered providing direct support to the Counter-ISIL Coalition with AWACS surveillance aircraft. NATO’s military authorities have now been tasked to provide advice. Turning to maritime activities, ministers discussed NATO’s deployment in the Aegean Sea. “This deployment has helped make a difference and it continues to be effective,” said the Secretary General.
Mr. Stoltenberg noted that NATO is working to convert Operation Active Endeavour into a broader maritime security operation, encompassing tasks such as supporting situational awareness, countering terrorism and contributing to capacity building. “This would create the right platform for a possible NATO role in the Central Mediterranean. And could support the EU’s Operation Sophia, building on our successful cooperation with the EU in the Aegean. Our military authorities will soon make recommendations on this,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.
The Secretary General welcomed the adoption of the UN resolution on the Libyan arms embargo, noting that NATO Military Authorities will take this into consideration when providing advice on the transformation of Operation Active Endeavour. He also highlighted that NATO continues to work with partners in the Middle East and North Africa. The Alliance is supporting Tunisia in areas such as counter-terrorism, special operation and border security, and working with Jordan on cyber defence and countering roadside bombs. Mr. Stoltenberg added that NATO is committed to do more to support partners, “because when our neighbours are stable, we are more secure.”