Last update: 14-Jun-2004 10:34 NATO Update

4 June 2004

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Spain

3 June 2004 - NATO
NATO Secretary General to visit Spain, 4 june 2004
NATO in Afghanistan
28-29 June 2004 - Turkey
NATO Istanbul Summit

NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer travelled to Spain on 4 June to meet Prime Minister Zapatero, Minister of Foreign Affairs Moratinos and Defence Minister Bono.

Their discussions centred around the main items on the agenda of NATO's upcoming Summit in Istanbul and, in particular, Afghanistan and the expansion of ISAF beyond Kabul. The take-over of more Provincial Reconstruction Teams by NATO-led forces, as well as the elections due in September, necessitate additional forces, which NATO is progressively putting together.

They also discussed the enhanced package of measures against terrorism being prepared in time for the Summit and the current implementation of Spain's Strategic Defence Review, which it concluded last year. Within this review, the armed forces are being restructured and emphasis is being put on functional rather than territorial capabilities.

The Secretary General commended Spain for its contribution to NATO forces in the Balkans. They also discussed arrangements for bringing NATO's SFOR mission to a successful conclusion by end 2004. Beyond the end of the year, NATO will have a headquarters in Sarajevo and the Alliance will support the EU in the follow-on mission.