NATO Foreign Ministers meeting wraps up in Brussels

Meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs at NATO Headquarters in Brussels- Meeting of the North Atlantic Council; Photo: NATO

BRUSSELS – NATO Foreign Ministers discussed today ways to increase NATO’s role in projecting stability and fighting terrorism as part of preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit in Brussels next July.

“From the Western Balkans to Afghanistan, NATO has great experience in training local forces and building the capacity of local institutions”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the end of a two-day meeting of the Alliance’s Foreign Ministers in Brussels.

“These are the best tools to make our partners better able to defend themselves and to combat international terrorist threats“.

Ministers also discussed how NATO’s role within the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS should evolve as the Coalition moves from combat operations to stabilisation efforts.

Earlier in the day, Ministers reaffirmed their practical and political support for Georgia as well as their commitment to Georgia’s eventual membership of the Alliance.

NATO and the European Union decided to further boost their cooperation on Tuesday, signing off on 32 new joint proposals for more cooperation particularly in the areas of military mobility, fighting terrorism and promoting the role of women.

North Korea’s illegal weapons programme was also on the agenda after last week’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile by North Korea showed that all Allied nations could be within range.

Stoltenberg said the missile test showed North Korea’s reckless behaviour, and added that the world must put maximum diplomatic, political and economic pressure on North Korea in order to achieve a peaceful solution.

The Ministerial ended with a review of NATO’s Open Door policy and how Allies can best support the countries which aspire for NATO membership. Secretary General Stoltenberg stressed that successive rounds of enlargement have secured peace in Europe and supported European integration.

In preparation to NATO’s 2018 Summit, Ministers agreed to review the progress of each aspirant country by April 2018.