From the event


  • 22 Oct 2007 - NATO
    Press briefing by John Colston, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning
24-25 Oct 2007

Defence Ministers discuss
NATO's operation in Afghanistan

NATO Defence Ministers began their meeting in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, with two discussions on operations, primarily NATO's top operational priority: Afghanistan.

Ministers agreed that more effort should be put into training and equipping the Afghan security forces, and several indicated that they would step up their contributions.

Ministers also agreed that the Alliance should be more effective in communicating to the public the enduring importance of the NATO-ISAF operation, to defend Allies' common values and to prevent Afghanistan from becoming once again a haven for international terrorism.

Their opening session concluded with a strong affirmation of KFOR's continuing importance in underpinning stability in Kosovo.

A true comprehensive approach

The NATO Defence Ministers also met with non-NATO ISAF Troop Contributing Nations, in the presence of Afghan Defence Minister Wardak, as well as representatives of the UN, EU and World Bank.

Ministers reconfirmed their long term commitment to assist the Afghan government in building a peaceful, democratic and prosperous nation, in which training and equipping of the Afghan National Security Forces will be key.

They also stressed the indispensability of a true comprehensive approach, in which all major international organizations do their share in supporting the Afghan government.

Pledges by the UN, EU and World Bank to intensify their efforts were warmly welcomed by all Ministers.

Afghan Minister Wardak expressed his gratitude to all the ISAF troops for their outstanding work and the sacrifices they have made for this noble mission.