Informal Meeting of Defence Ministers Brussels,
26 September 2001 - Press Guidelines
The Defence Ministers and Representatives of the Alliance met informally in Brussels on 26 September. The meeting had previously been scheduled to take place in Italy but acute pressure of business at NATO headquarters, stemming from the recent attack on the United States, necessitated a change in venue.
This was the first meeting of Alliance Ministers since the terrorist attack on the United States, and the Ministers accordingly turned first to its implications for Alliance security. Ministers extended their deepest sympathy to the families of those who had been killed or injured, and to the entire American people. The United States provided its Allies with further information on its intentions for a comprehensive response using the full set of tools available to governments. The Ministers reaffirmed NATO's solidarity in the face of terrorism and discussed the Alliance's role and what Allies might do collectively and individually to assist the United States.
The Ministers also discussed the results of Operation ESSENTIAL HARVEST, the 30-day mandate for which has just ended. They underlined NATO's commitment to support the security of international monitors in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ and welcomed in this regard the approval of OPLAN AMBER FOX earlier in the day by the Council in Permanent Session. The execution of this operation is subject to further discussions with the authorities of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹. The Ministers also exchanged views on the status of the ongoing peace-keeping operations led by NATO in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Kosovo.
The NATO Ministers met with their Russian counterpart, Sergei Ivanov. They discussed NATO-Russia cooperation in the fight against terrorism and in the Balkans.
- Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.