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About the Summit

Projecting Stability

14/06/2004 The Istanbul Agenda - Interview with NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

Summit meetings are held at important moments in NATO's history and aim to adapt Alliance policies to changing needs and circumstances. The Istanbul Summit will be the 17th Summit meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government.

For NATO, projecting stability has become the precondition for security. In the words of NATO's Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, "territorial defence remains a core function, but we simply can no longer protect our security without addressing the potential risks and threats that arise far from our homes."

The Istanbul Summit will demonstrate how NATO is projecting stability in three ways: by strengthening relations with an ever-growing list of partners; through operations in the Balkans, Afghanistan and the Mediterranean; and by modernising armed forces for new missions, far away from home.

A number of important decisions are expected to be taken in Istanbul, including:

  • Further expanding NATO’s presence in Afghanistan, allowing the Alliance to play a key role in supporting the upcoming elections;
  • Strengthening and expanding the Alliance’s partnerships, also with its Mediterranean partners;
  • Terminating NATO’s mission in Bosnia by the end of this year;
  • Delivering on essential aspects of NATO’s military transformation, including the NATO Response Force, new airlift and sealift capabilities, and a counter-terrorism package.
This will also be the first Summit meeting of the now 26 NATO Heads of State and Government, following the accession of seven new countries in March this year.
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