17 Dec. 1997
of the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council,
NATO Headquarters, Brussels, 17th December 1997
- The Foreign Ministers and Representatives of the member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) met in Brussels today. The Secretary-General of the Western European Union also attended the meeting.
- The Secretary General of NATO informed the EAPC about the results of the North Atlantic Council meeting and the NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting on 16 December, as well as the signature of the Protocols of Accession for the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.
- On the basis of a comprehensive report, Ministers reviewed progress achieved since they inaugurated the EAPC last May in Sintra, Portugal, on the implementation of the EAPC Basic Document and on the enhancement of the Partnership for Peace. They welcomed in particular the decisions to establish PfP Staff Elements at selected NATO Headquarters, the continuing broadening and deepening of the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) and the beginning of work on a political-military framework for NATO-led PfP operations. They exchanged views on effective ways to further intensify cooperation within the EAPC/PfP framework, particularly to strengthen its political dimension and deepen the engagement of all EAPC member states in practical cooperation activities.
- Ministers underlined the valuable contribution that regional cooperation can make to the overall security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area. They exchanged information on a number of regional cooperation efforts and evaluated positively discussions already held within the EAPC designed to encourage and foster further such efforts in the Caucasus and South-Eastern Europe. They took note of a report from the Chairman of the PMSC Ad Hoc Group on Cooperation in Peacekeeping and exchanged views on future EAPC/PfP activities in that field.
- Ministers endorsed an EAPC Action Plan for 1998-2000, worked out jointly by all EAPC member states. They also endorsed an important new initiative to establish a Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Capability. As laid out in the Action Plan, EAPC Ministers agreed that their Ambassadors should establish a schedule of priority consultations and cooperation activities to be carried out in the period leading up to their next meeting.
- The Ministers discussed the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the SFOR mission to consolidate peace. They welcomed the outcome of the Ministerial Peace Implementation Conference held in Bonn on 9-10th December. They expressed their satisfaction with the intensified consultation process with all SFOR contributors through the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. They reaffirmed the importance of SFOR to continue with the robust and evenhanded conduct of its mission both in securing the compliance with the military provisions of the Peace Accords and in supporting the civilian implementation. They welcomed the approval of a detailed politico-military guidance for NATO to start developing options for a multinational follow-on force to SFOR beyond June 1998.
- Ministers agreed to hold their next meeting in Luxembourg at the end of May 1998.