18 Dec. 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 exchange views on "Future Security Challenges and NATO-Partner Cooperation in the Context of EAPC and PfP from the Defence Perspective".
- Ministers noted an oral report by the Secretary General on the outcome of NATO ministerial meetings the previous day.
- Ministers exchanged views on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina against the background of the conclusions of the Peace Implementation Conference held in Madrid on 15th-16th December. They welcomed the contribution made by SFOR to ensuring security in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its support within its means and capabilities to the civil implementation of the Peace Agreement. Ministers stressed the urgent need for an early negotiated settlement to the crisis in Kosovo and noted the work undertaken by the Alliance and the OSCE to establish air and ground verification missions to monitor compliance with UNSCR 1199. Alliance members welcomed the willingness of Partners to contribute to Operation "EAGLE EYE", the NATO-led air verification mission.
- In the context of the implementation of Enhanced PfP, Ministers
- noted the Comprehensive Progress Report on PfP Enhancement and Implementation of the EAPC Basic Document, and welcomed the continued progress achieved on the many initiatives to strengthen the Partnership.
- noted progress on a Political-Military Framework for NATO-led PfP Operations and endorsed the aim to finalise this work by the time of the Washington Summit.
- noted that the expanded and adapted Planning and Review Process (PARP) has been initiated. Initial Partnership Goals seeking Partner forces and capabilities for NATO-led PfP operations would shortly be offered to those Partners who wished to accept them as a complement to existing Interoperability Objectives. Work by Allies and Partners to develop a PARP Ministerial Guidance will begin in the Spring; this Guidance will form the basis for a full set of Partnership Goals in 2000.
- welcomed the valuable contributions made by the 8 Partner Staff Elements, composed of 39 Partner officers, that strengthens the Partnership.
- noted the development of a concept for PfP Training Centres and looked forward to its implementation. These training centres will contribute to enhancing, inter alia, interoperability and regional cooperation in PfP.
- welcomed the beginning of discussions on multinational formations as an additional element of the more operational Partnership now taking shape.
- Ministers were briefed on the inaugural meeting for a "PfP Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes". Ministers were given a briefing on a Simulation Network System (SIMNET) designed to support enhanced PfP exercises, education and training. Ministers noted a programme of follow-up activities on both these initiatives.
- The EAPC in Defence Ministers' session welcomed the intention that EAPC Heads of State and Government would meet on 25 April 1999 in Washington.