NATO and Mongolia agree programme of cooperation

  • 19 Mar. 2012 -
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  • Last updated: 23 Mar. 2012 13:13

The North Atlantic Council formally approved an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme with Mongolia on 19 March 2012. This formalizes and further develops relations, building on existing operational cooperation Afghanistan and, earlier, in Kosovo.

In the spirit of mutual benefit and reciprocity, NATO’s partnership with Mongolia aims to promote common understanding through consultation and cooperation. It is based on a shared commitment to peace, democracy, human rights, rule of law and international security.

Negotiations on the programme of cooperation have been ongoing since the Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, James Appathurai, visited the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar for high-level talks in May 2011.

"NATO attaches great importance to our partnership with Mongolia,” Appathurai explains. “Mongolia's contributions to Alliance efforts in Afghanistan and past operations in Kosovo are very welcome, and show Mongolia's intent and capability to contribute to international peace and security.”

“Our long-term partnership illustrates our shared commitment to consultation and cooperation on global security challenges," he adds.

Mongolia is keen to enhance interoperability with the forces of NATO member and partner countries, further developing its capacity to support multilateral peace-support efforts.

Other important objectives for Mongolia include addressing common enduring and emerging security challenges – such as terrorism, proliferation and cyber defence – as well as developing mechanisms for crisis prevention and management.

Cooperation will also focus on building capacity through exchange, education and training. Furthermore, opportunities for collaboration under NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme are being explored.

A valued partner in NATO-led operations

Mongolia is a valued partner in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. It has contributed troops since March 2010, when it first deployed an infantry platoon to ISAF’s Regional Command North. The Mongolian Armed Forces have made important contributions to force protection in Feyzabad and to flight-line security at Kabul International Airport. The country is also supporting the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan with infantry, artillery and air mentor trainers. Currently, 212 Mongolian military personnel are deployed under ISAF.

Mongolia has also contributed to the US-led counter-terrorism operation in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), since 2003 and 156 Mongolian soldiers are currently serving under this operation. Since 2003, a total of 1309 soldiers (including current deployments) have served under ISAF and OEF.

In the past, Mongolia also supported the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) with a platoon embedded in the Belgian contingent from December 2005 to March 2007.

Flexible partnerships with global partners

This is the first Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme to be agreed under NATO’s new partnerships policy, adopted by Allied foreign ministers at Berlin in April 2011.

The new policy demonstrates the commitment – expressed by Allied leaders at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010 – to develop more flexible partnerships, treating all partners equally and offering them the same basis for cooperation and dialogue. It also reflects the intention to further develop relations with partners across the globe – such as Mongolia – which contribute significantly to international security.