Opening remarks

by the NATO Spokesperson, Oana Lungescu at the pre-ministerial briefing held at NATO HQ, Brussels

  • 30 Nov. 2012
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  • Last updated: 30 Nov. 2012 15:12

Good afternoon. Thank you very much for coming.

What I say in my introductory remarks, as ever, is on the record.

Let me just briefly run you through the programme of the Meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers next week on the 4th and the 5th of December. Obviously, this is an opportunity for the ministers to review the progress made in implementing the decisions of the Chicago Summit in May and briefly put I think the aim is to re-energise relations with Russia, further enhance our partnerships - our relationship with our partners - including with Georgia, and to review the transition process in Afghanistan and our support for the Afghan security forces after 2014. 

We will be issuing as usual the media advisory with details of the meeting as a hard copy and you can, of course, pick this up after the briefing.

In terms of timings, on Tuesday, the Secretary General will make a short press point as usual at the NATO Main Entrance -- at around 11:30.

The Ministerial itself will kick off at 13:00, with a working lunch of the NATO-Russia Council with minister Lavrov.

That will be followed by the first session at 28 – which focuses on NATO’s partnerships, how to make use of their full potential, including in the Western Balkans. And the EU High Representative, Cathy Ashton, has been invited to this session. The Secretary General will wrap up the result of that session with a second press conference at around 17:50. Then the ministers will proceed to a working dinner, which will focus on developments in the Middle East, North Africa, and the impact of those developments on the partnerships that we have with countries in the region.

On Wednesday, the ministerial will start at 8.45am. The ministers will meet with their new Georgian colleague, Maia Panjikidze, in the framework of the NATO-Georgia Commission. They’ll discuss the foreign policy and reform priorities of the new government, including its objectives to further strengthen democratic institutions and advance on the path of the Euro-Atlantic integration.

And then, they will continue at 10:30. Foreign ministers of NATO allies will meet with their colleagues from the 22 other ISAF countries and with international partners, including Japan, the European Union - Cathy Ashton has again been invited to this session - and the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Afghanistan, Jan Kubis. The Afghan Foreign Minister, Doctor Rassoul, will also take part in that session which will look at ensuring the support that the Afghan forces will need after 2014, after they take over full responsibility for security across the country. 

And the NATO Secretary General will have his final press conference at around 13:00.

Just a quick update on Turkey’s request for the deployment of Patriots. We are making good progress. Everybody has been working very hard. NATO Ambassadors, NATO military authorities and, of course, the site assessment team, who are currently continuing their work in Turkey as we speak. So, everybody’s been working hard to make sure that we are in a position to make a decision on Turkey’s request in the next few days.