Future of Afghanistan Discussed at Meeting of NATO Defence Ministers
Minister of Defence Mart Laar participated in a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels, where the main topic of discussion was matters related to the future of the Afghan operation and smart defence. At the meeting, all allies expressed their readiness to support the Afghan security forces in performing combat missions until the end of 2014. In addition, the majority of countries participating in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) promised to make monetary contributions to the support fund of the Afghan security forces on a long-term basis.
The situation in Kosovo was also discussed at the meeting. “The parties agreed that although the security situation there is stable, it is also tense, therefore the allied forces cannot reduce their troops any more there in the near future,” Minister of Defence Laar said.
Another topic discussed was the smart defence concept and it was agreed that by the NATO summit in Chicago, potential joint capacity-building projects to be developed in co-operation should be selected. In addition, the meeting of defence ministers also provided an overview of the reform of NATO military management structure and the NATO agencies.
Yesterday evening, the Baltic ministers of defence also met the U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, with whom they discussed the defence co-operation between the USA and Baltic countries, and the forthcoming Chicago summit. “Defence Secretary Panetta confirmed the USA’s continuous dedication to ensuring the security of the Baltic countries. The USA also supports changing Baltic air defence into a long-term mission,” Laar said.
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