Doorstep Statement by the NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen

at the start of the NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels

  • 22 Oct. 2013 -
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  • Last updated: 22 Oct. 2013 14:33

Statement by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Good morning.

Today, we will take our agenda forward as we prepare for next year’s NATO summit in the United Kingdom. And we set about delivering our goal of NATO Forces 2020 and an Alliance that is ready and able to address twenty-first century challenges.

We will discuss our approach to our training and exercises, to build on the lessons we have learnt in two decades of operations, as Allies and with partners. So that we stay strong, we stay ready, and we stay connected.

We will discuss cyber defence - our constant efforts to protect our own networks, and how the Alliance should address this growing threat through an enhanced cyber policy and cyber defence. 

Tomorrow, we will meet in the NATO-Russia Council. This will be a good opportunity to take a broad look at our practical cooperation, which is greater than ever. We are making significant steps in areas such as counter-terrorism and support for the Afghan forces.

This is also a good opportunity to discuss areas where we have not reached agreement such as missile defence. NATO has invited Russia to cooperate in this field, and that offer stands.

Finally, we will meet with Defense Minister Mohammadi and our partners in ISAF to discuss progress in Afghanistan. Afghan forces are now in the lead, showing courage, confidence and increasing capability. And we will advance planning for a post-2014 mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan Security Forces as part of our enduring partnership.

So it is a full agenda and I look forward to welcoming NATO Ministers and our partners this afternoon. 

Let me add one last remark on Libya.  I am satisfied that we have now agreed to respond positively to the Libyan government’s request for advice on defence institution building.  We will set up a small advisory team. And this will be part of, and closely coordinated with the overall efforts of the international community.

And with that, I am ready to take a couple of questions.  

OANA LUNGESCU (NATO Spokesperson): We'll start over there. German Press Agency, DPA.

Q: Dieter Eberling from DPA, the German Press Agency.

Secretary General, I understand that the Germans have proposed, maybe with other Allies as well, a concept of Framework Nations, which they hope to become NATO deliverable at the Summit.  This idea of creating sort of clusters with responsibility of some nations for certain areas of competence. What is your assessment of that concept, whether you see the dangers, for example, as far as availability of assets is concerned? Do you think that this could be a Summit deliverable?

ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN (NATO Secretary General):  I welcome the German proposal to create what is called a Framework Nation Concept, a proposal that was tabled by Defence Minister de Maizière when we met in June. I welcome that proposal because it's yet another example as to how Allies, and by the way, also partners, can cooperate more closely with a view to acquiring and developing much needed military capabilities.

So actually I see the Framework Nations Concept as a part of the overall Smart Defence concept. It is about promoting multilateral cooperation.

So I welcome the proposal.

Obviously, there are also questions that must be answered and solved. And I would expect Defence Ministers to decide today that we will continue working on this Framework Nations Concept with a view to our next Defence Ministers' meeting in 2014.

OANA LUNGESCU: ANSA, the Italian News Agency.

Q: Good morning. Yesterday you launched... NATO launched the advisory mission in Libya for helping Libyan authorities to build its defence, and symbolically speaking, it's NATO's first boots-on-ground in Libya. And it sounds as a strong support to the premier and his government and I would like you first to assess what is the political meaning of this mission. And second, since for you the main emergency in Libya is border control and immigration flows, does it sound that NATO is ready to help Europe on immigration issues?

ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN: First of all, yes, we have responded positively to a request from the Libyan government. The purpose of this advisory effort is to help the Libyan authorities build defence institutions like, for instance, a modern defence Ministry, or general staff of the military. It could also be to help the Libyan authorities develop what we call a security architecture, how to structure the defence sector.

And to connect it to the last part of your question, I do believe that all efforts that contribute to an improvement of the security situation in Libya, as well as other parts of North Africa, and the Middle East, will also mitigate illegal migration.

OANA LUNGESCU: Thank you very much, that's all we have time for right now. The Secretary General will see you later in the day. Thank you.