12 June 1998
Of the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
in Defence Ministers Session
- The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) met today in Brussels at Defence Ministers level, to discuss the situation in and around Bosnia and Kosovo, to review progress in cooperation in defence and military fields, and to discuss the future course of cooperation in the PfP and the EAPC.
- On Bosnia, Ministers expressed support for the continuation of SFOR, subject to a UN Security Council resolution. NATO and Partner forces will continue their close and successful cooperation in order to consolidate the peace in that country. While the continuation of SFOR is essential, there was agreement on the need to accelerate efforts to implement the civil aspects of the Peace Agreement. Priorities include the return of refugees, reform of the police and judiciary and promoting democratic government through the September elections.
- With respect to Kosovo, Ministers were briefed on the situation and the steps being taken by NATO to contribute to the international efforts to secure the agreement of the parties to a cessation of violence and to achieve a political settlement, as well as to promote regional security and stability. There was broad support for a political solution which provides an enhanced status for Kosovo, preserves the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and safeguards the human and civil rights of all inhabitants of Kosovo, whatever their ethnic origins.
- Ministers noted a comprehensive progress report on PfP Enhancement and EAPC implementation, and expressed their approval for the significant progress achieved on a wide range of initiatives to strengthen the Partnership. They also noted a report on the expanded and adapted Planning and Review Process (PARP). Ministers noted progress towards the development of a Political-Military Framework for NATO-led PfP Operations, and the establishment of Partner Staff Elements (PSE) in the International Military Staff and at seven headquarters in the NATO Command Structure. Thirty-eight Partner officers are now serving in international posts in the PSEs. Ministers also welcomed the establishment of seven international posts for Partners in the Partnership Coordination Cell. They noted the recent approval of the first PfP projects to be supported by the NATO Security Investment Programme. These projects address communications and information systems requirements. Ministers underscored the importance they attach to the development of a wide ranging network of practical day-to-day cooperation and consultations which involve PfP Partners throughout the NATO structure.
- Ministers welcomed the US/German proposal to establish among EAPC nations a "PfP Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes". This initiative would further the goals of the enhanced PfP and support the increasing emphasis within the PfP on defence-related education and training.
- Ministers also discussed developments in civil-military, multinational and other cooperation, and in particular welcomed the newly established Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre as part of the enhanced practical cooperation in the field of international disaster relief.