Meeting of Defence Ministers
Brussels, 26 September 2001
The Defence Ministers and Representatives of the Alliance
met informally in Brussels on 26 September. The meeting
had previously been scheduled to take place in Italy but
acute pressure of business at NATO headquarters, stemming
from the recent attack on the United States, necessitated
a change in venue.
This was the first meeting of Alliance Ministers since
the terrorist attack on the United States, and the Ministers
accordingly turned first to its implications for Alliance
security. Ministers extended their deepest sympathy to
the families of those who had been killed or injured,
and to the entire American people. The United States provided
its Allies with further information on its intentions
for a comprehensive response using the full set of tools
available to governments. The Ministers reaffirmed NATO's
solidarity in the face of terrorism and discussed the
Alliance's role and what Allies might do collectively
and individually to assist the United States.
The Ministers also discussed the results of Operation
ESSENTIAL HARVEST, the 30-day mandate for which has just
ended. They underlined NATO's commitment to support the
security of international monitors in the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia and welcomed in this regard the
approval of OPLAN AMBER FOX earlier in the day by the
Council in Permanent Session. The execution of this operation
is subject to further discussions with the authorities
of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1).
The Ministers also exchanged views on the status of the
ongoing peace-keeping operations led by NATO in Bosnia-Herzegovina
and in Kosovo.
The NATO Ministers met with their Russian counterpart,
Sergei Ivanov. They discussed NATO-Russia cooperation
in the fight against terrorism and in the Balkans.
recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional