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NATO Foreign Ministers discuss deterrence and defense, support for Ukraine and partnerships

Meeting on Tuesday (28 November 2023), NATO Foreign Ministers discussed several pressing security issues, including NATO’s deterrence and defense posture, support for Ukraine and measures which could be taken to strengthen collaboration with partner countries. Speaking after the meeting, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Allies had also expressed concern about the war in the Middle East. He welcomed the extension of the truce between Israel and Hamas, which brought much-needed respite to the people of Gaza and enabled the release of more hostages as well as the provision of additional humanitarian aid.

Mr. Stoltenberg noted that Allies had reaffirmed their willingness to help Ukraine move forward on the path to NATO membership, as well as to support it in defending its territory. Referring to the Allies’ new financial commitments, the opening of a training center for Ukrainian pilots and the delivery of additional munitions and air defense systems, he stressed that all these measures helped save lives in Ukraine and showed Russia that “our support will not weaken[it] not “.

The ministers also examined the challenges that China represents for Euro-Atlantic security. “China is not our adversary,” declared the Secretary General, before adding: “ [nous devons] be lucid about the impact of China’s coercive policies on our security.” He welcomed Allies engaging in dialogue with Beijing on issues of common concern. Highlighting the global dimension of the challenges we face, Mr. Stoltenberg reiterated the need to work more closely with partners, including those in the Indo-Pacific, “to defend our values ​​and our interests.” Regarding the Alliance’s southern neighborhood, Mr. Stoltenberg said he had established a group of independent experts to examine the challenges emanating from this region and that it would present its recommendations by next spring.

Separately, the Secretary General announced that Allied Foreign Ministers had approved NATO’s first-ever quantum technology strategy and that Allies had recently decided to modernize NATO’s AWACS aircraft fleet. NATO, thus engaging in one of the largest acquisition operations the Alliance has ever undertaken. This “demonstrates the added value of NATO, which, by pooling resources, is capable of acquiring new capabilities of major importance for our security”.

NATO foreign ministers will meet again on Tuesday to discuss the situation in the Western Balkans with the high representative of the European Union.

2023-11-28 18:50:01
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