of the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Foreign Ministers Session
- The Foreign Ministers and Representatives of the member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) met in Brussels today. Discussions focused on the values underpinning the Euro-Atlantic Partnership, as well as on Afghanistan and Kosovo.
- Ministers discussed the role of common values in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership as set out in the PfP Framework Document and the EAPC Basic Document. They reiterated the continued relevance of these values for Partnership and stressed the need to promote their respect throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. They believed that discussion should continue within the EAPC on how to ensure that the political dialogue and practical cooperation in the Partnership framework reflect and support these common values.
- Concerning Afghanistan, Ministers welcomed the positive developments in this country, including the parliamentary and provincial council elections. They noted the important role that NATO and its Partners are playing in Afghanistan and welcomed the continuing expansion of ISAF. They also discussed the role of NATO in the post-Bonn process, and welcomed the Alliance's decision to develop an Afghan cooperation programme, in response to President Karzai's request for a broad and long-term relationship with NATO, and in close consultation with the Afghan authorities. Ministers looked forward to the London Conference and pledged continued support to the international community’s efforts in assisting the Afghan Government.
- As regards Kosovo, Ministers expressed support for the UNSG’s decision to initiate status talks on Kosovo and welcomed the appointment of Mr. Martti Ahtisaari as UN Special Envoy to lead the political process. They highlighted that the implementation of Standards in Kosovo must continue with undiminished energy and a stronger sense of commitment. They also underlined the need for a continued robust presence by KFOR and stressed the importance and value of Partners' contributions to this operation.
- Ministers also discussed progress in the implementation of the Istanbul Summit decisions concerning the Euro-Atlantic Partnership and noted the Chairman's Report on this issue. They in particular welcomed the development of cooperation with countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia and encouraged further progress in the implementation of programmes designed to foster defence and larger policy and institutional reform.