Pre-ministerial briefing

by the NATO Spokesperson, Oana Lungescu - Opening remarks

  • 31 Mar. 2014
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  • Last updated: 06 Oct. 2014 17:03

Good morning.

I will be speaking on the record to start with and then I will be handing over to my two colleagues who of course as usual will be speaking on background as senior NATO officials.

Let me give you a few remarks to start with on this week's meeting of NATO foreign ministers. This is an important opportunity for them to consult on the situation in and around Ukraine. To shape our partnerships for the future as we prepare for the next NATO summit in Wales in September.

The Secretary General will give a doorstep at the main entrance at around 12.20 tomorrow. He will be taking a few questions I would expect.

The first working session of the North Atlantic Council will start at 13.15. This will focus on support for Ukraine and the review of our relations with Russia. Ministers will also discuss enhancing the ability to operate with partners and defence capacity building. The EU high representative Cathy Ashton has been invited.

This will be followed by a meeting with Ukraine's foreign minister Deschytsia and the NATO-Ukraine Commission. The Secretary General will give a press conference at around 6 pm.

The day will be wrapped up by a working dinner. I expect that the focus of the discussion will be on longer-term implications of the ongoing crisis for Euro-Atlantic security.

On Wednesday, we will start at 9.00 am with the NATO-Georgia Commission with Georgian foreign minister Panjikidze.

Then a meeting with the four partner countries in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative - the ICI. This is an opportunity to build on our cooperation and also to mark the 10th anniversary of this initiative.

Finally a meeting in ISAF format – with the Afghan foreign minister, the UN special representative to Afghanistan, and again the EU high representative.

And finally a press conference by the Secretary General planned for around 2 pm.

Last but not least – immediately after the first NAC working session on Tuesday, foreign ministers will be invited to join a ceremony to celebrate the anniversaries of past enlargements since 1999 – an opportunity to highlight this historic success of enlargement for security and stability in Europe.

You'll have seen probably over the last couple of days the op-ed by the Secretary General published in a series of European newspapers to mark this occasion.

Now I will turn to our senior NATO officials to put more flesh on the bones.