Updated: 14-Dec-2005 NATO Update

8 Dec. 2005

Foreign Ministers discuss key transatlantic issues

Speeches, photos, audio and decisions from the meeting
Official texts
08/12/2005 - NATO
Final Communique - Ministerial meeting of the North Atlantic Council
08/12/2005 - NATO
News conference by the NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, following the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Foreign Ministers Session

A meeting at NATO Headquarters on 8 December allowed NATO Foreign Ministers to discuss a broad range of strategic political issues in the transatlantic dialogue.

At a working dinner on the eve of the meeting, US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, clarified questions regarding alleged secret CIA prisons overseas, stressing that US interrogators are banned from using torture both at home and abroad.

Broad issues

The Ministers then went on to discuss a broad range of issues, including the security situation in the broader Middle East and how the translatlantic community could encourage the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Ministers endorsed a plan that paves the way for an expanded NATO role in Afghanistan and an expansion of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force to the South of the country in 2006.

The 26 Ministers also discussed the deteriorating security situation in Darfur and the situation in the Balkans, particulary the ongoing status talks on Kosovo.

Speaking to reporters the Secretary General said that any party that tries to use violence to affect the political process in Kosovo will meet a “stiff response” from the NATO-led Kosovo peacekeeping force.

Meetings of the NATO-Russia Council, the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at the level of Foreign Ministers were also held.

The meeting is the latest in a series of high-level political consultations held at NATO each year. It follows a Summit meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government in February this year, as well as informal meetings of Foreign and Defence Ministers in Februay, April and June.