Meeting of Defence Ministers 24 and 25 October 2019
During the first session ministers addressed NATO’s operations and missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo as well as NATO’s maritime operations. In light of recent developments in the Middle East, the discussion was focused also on the current security situation in Northeast Syria and agreed that UN lead efforts should lead to political solution. Ministers also welcomed a progress on strengthening the readiness of our forces.
Ministers concluded the first day with a working dinner, which was focused on countering hybrid threats in the context of new technologies of next generation and ways to improve resilience of our societies. Allied Defence Ministers, together with their Finnish and Swedish colleagues as well as representative of the European Commission, agreed that technological development offers numerous opportunities but also certain security risks, which we have to address. To avoid duplication of efforts, NATO and the EU will continue to cooperate closely also in this field.
Second day started in Allied format. Ministers welcomed the progress in the implementation of NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture and Burden sharing. They gave guidance and endorsed documents in a view of further long-term adaptation of Alliance’s overall posture to the changing security environment.
Ministerial concluded with working session in Resolute Support format, during which ministers confirmed NATO remains committed to the mission and will stay in Afghanistan as long as necessary. The Alliance will continue its efforts to enhance the capabilities of Afghan Security forces, so they can fight against terrorism.
At the margins of the Ministerial, Minister Erjavec attended also traditional ministers meeting of contributing nations to the enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia and, together with ministers of Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Regional Special Operations Component Command (R-SOCC), which will increase the ability of these nations to effectively employ Special Forces.