Foreign Ministers to lay the groundwork for upcoming NATO Summit
NATO Foreign Ministers will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday (23-24 March 2021) to set the stage for the upcoming Summit in Brussels.
On Tuesday, Allies will exchange views on the NATO 2030 initiative to future-proof the Alliance, which will be at the heart of the Summit. Mr. Stoltenberg explained: “We must be bold and ambitious to build a stronger Alliance for the future, because we live in a more dangerous and competitive world, where challenges know no borders.” He also noted that there is now an opportunity to open a new chapter in transatlantic relations.
Ministers will also continue their consultations about NATO’s presence in Afghanistan, and the ongoing peace process. The Secretary General said: “We strongly support efforts to infuse fresh energy into the peace process. This requires all parties to work to achieve progress, to reduce the high levels of violence and to negotiate in good faith. It also requires constructive engagement from all regional actors and the international community.” Ministers will also assess NATO’s approach to the Middle East and North Africa and look into what more NATO could do to build stability in the region.
On Wednesday, Allies will be joined by partner nations Finland and Sweden, as well as EU High Representative Josep Borrell, for a discussion on Russia. The Secretary General said: “Russia continues to suppress peaceful dissidents at home, and display a pattern of aggressive behaviour abroad, including with cyber attacks and attempts to interfere in our elections and undermine our democracies. As an Alliance, we remain committed to our dual-track approach to Russia: strong deterrence and defence, combined with openness to meaningful dialogue, including on issues such as arms control.”
Ministers are meeting in-person at NATO Headquarters for the first time in more than a year, and will adhere to strict health measures.