by the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel at the joint press point with the Chief of Defence of Turkey
Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming.
Excuse me, once again ..
I will now highlight the major points from our conference today in Istanbul.
Opening today’s meeting, we have paid tribute to all our fallen soldiers in operations all around the world. We also paid the tribute to all the Nations who participate in all our operations around the world.
We started our deliberations with a briefing by Turkey on regional security, with the focus on NATO’s southern flank and terrorism. Terrorism poses a direct threat to the security of NATO and to international stability and prosperity more broadly, and will remain a threat for the foreseeable future. The security of the Alliance is indivisible, and we stand in solidarity against terrorism of any kind, its root causes and its wider consequences.
In this first session, the NATO Chiefs of Defence took stock of progress in the implementation of the Readiness Action Plan adopted in Wales. The RAP is on track and on time. The conditions are set for the RAP to be delivered in time for Warsaw Summit.
The Chiefs of Defence also stressed the need to ensure that NATO forces and equipment can move rapidly across the Alliance, as NATO’s greatest responsibility is to protect and defend our Allies – the 28 Member States – against any threat. NATO continues to adapt and respond to the challenges in both Eastern and Southern flanks, keeping all countries safe.
In the second session of the day, the Chiefs of Defence focused on NATO’s Future Posture and NATO’s long-term strategy and adaptation. The Chiefs of Defence emphasized the need to ensure NATO Command Structure remains robust, agile and able to counter any threat or challenge.
We discussed the necessity for NATO forces to maintain an adequate readiness and coherence needed to conduct NATO’s full range of missions, including deterring aggression against NATO Allies and defending NATO territory. The aim is to have the right forces in the right place and at the right time.
During the RESOLUTE SUPPORT session, the Chiefs of Defence reiterated their commitment to the Mission and their confidence in the Afghan defence forces who continue to rise to the challenge of protecting their own population.
RESOLUTE SUPPORT is still our largest Mission and it shows our determination to preserve the gains we have achieved together with the Afghans. NATO’s presence post-RESOLUTE SUPPORT also featured in our deliberations. The Chiefs of Defence underlined that a successful transition from RESOLUTE SUPPORT into the civilian - led presence, needs to be condition-based.
In the Western Balkan session, NATO Chiefs of Defence received a briefing by Greece, which served as the basis for our discussion on ways of enhancing NATO’s partnerships in this strategically important region. We stressed our continued commitment to regional stability - including through KFOR’s presence - , cooperation and Euro-Atlantic integration.
Finally, the Chiefs of Defence have elected the next Director General of the International Military Staff. The elected was a Dutch General, Jan Broeks and he will take up his position next Summer.
In sum, it has been a very productive meeting and we look forward to presenting the conclusions of our discussions to the NATO Defence Ministers next month.
In conclusion, let me thank General Akar for hosting the Military Committee Conference in Istanbul. Turkey is a strong Ally and committed Ally. We have really appreciated the generosity of your people and the chance to discover Istanbul. Thank you for your hospitality and I will pass the floor to you.