Press conference

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Defence Ministers’ session

  • 01 Jun. 2021 -
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  • Mis à jour le: 01 Jun. 2021 20:48

(As delivered)

Good evening.

We have just concluded two virtual meetings of Foreign and Defence ministers.
To prepare our NATO Summit in two weeks from now.
In both sessions, we focused on our NATO 2030 agenda to strengthen our Alliance for the future.  

Ministers agreed that we need to take ambitious decisions to show that Europe and North America stand together in an age of global competition. 
And that we need to show transatlantic unity not just in words, but also in deeds.

I briefed you earlier on the Foreign Ministers’ discussion.

Defence Ministers focused on plans to reinforce our unity.
Including with a strengthened commitment to collective defence.
This means rapid and full implementation of our military adaptation.
And continued improvements to our readiness, our capabilities, and our defence investments.

Defence Ministers also addressed Afghanistan.
The drawdown of our forces is progressing in an orderly and coordinated way.
And at every step, the safety of our personnel remains paramount.

We are ending our military mission, but we are not ending our support to the Afghans.

So today, Defence Ministers discussed the way forward.
We will continue our civilian diplomatic presence in Kabul.
To provide advice and capacity-building support to Afghan security institutions.
We will continue to provide funding to the Afghan security forces.

We are also looking at how we can provide military education and training outside Afghanistan, focused on Special Operations Forces.

And we are working on how to fund the provision of services enabling Allies and the international community to stay in Kabul, including support for the airport.

Ministers agreed that this continued support is the best way in which we can all contribute to peace efforts in Afghanistan.

With that, I am ready to take your questions.