Foreign Ministers agree partners are key to Alliance's future
On the first day of their meeting in Brussels, NATO Foreign Ministers discussed priorities for the Summit to be held next year in the United Kingdom. They agreed that the Alliance must invest in the right capabilities and in strong partnerships in order to remain robust and ready to respond to future security challenges. They also committed to reinforce the transatlantic link and to prepare to open a new chapter in NATO’s engagement with Afghanistan.
“In ISAF we have built one of the biggest coalitions in recent history, including one quarter of the world’s nations,” the Secretary General said. “This shows how significant partners have become over the last two decades to our success as an Alliance. They add value to our operations. They provide insight to our consultations. And they enable NATO to foster change, and build peace and security in Europe and beyond. Simply put: we need partners, and partners need NATO,” he added.
Foreign Ministers discussed how to keep strong political ties and regular consultations with partners who want to consult with NATO and who are able to act together with the Alliance. They noted that NATO’s experience in twenty years of operations shows that building defence capacities in unstable parts of the world is a way to bolster security and to project stability through cooperation.
“We are already working with a number of countries to help them build democratic and accountable security structures to clear the damage caused by conflict, and to strengthen transparency and good governance,” the Secretary General said. “Libya is a prime example where this can be useful. And our efforts in response to the Libyan government’s request for support are taking shape, in close coordination with those of other international actors.”
Foreign Ministers agreed to continue discussing how to help countries beyond the Alliance build their own capacities as the Alliance prepares for the Summit in the United Kingdom.