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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: NATO Must Remain Effective After Afghanistan Mission

09.12.2013

At the meeting of the foreign ministers of NATO member states in Brussels, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the 2014 NATO summit must above all convey the message that NATO will continue to be active, strong, and interoperable after the end of the ISAF mission.

Next year will mark the conclusion of the mission in Afghanistan that began in 2001 and it will give NATO a chance to focus on developing military and territorial defence capabilities. NATO is in the process of establishing a schedule for exercises in order to preserve and strengthen the experiences gained in Afghanistan, especially the interoperability of forces.

“Estonia will contribute to the NATO Response Force exercise taking place in 2015 with the Estonia-led Baltic Battalion, which gives us a chance to practice commanding joint forces in an international environment,” confirmed Paet.

Keeping the summit in mind, Paet emphasised the need to maintain and consolidate ties with the most important NATO partner countries. “For example, our Nordic neighbours, Finland and Sweden, contribute significantly. NATO must expand the range of training and exercises where close partners can participate, thereby strengthening their capability to work together with NATO,” stressed Paet.

Additionally, Paet highlighted the importance of the NATO cornerstones of collective defence and deterrence, as well as the need for close cooperation between the US and Europe. It is necessary to continue investing in national security and in the alliance in order to retain NATO’s capacity and ensure fair contributions among allies.

According to Paet, next year’s summit is an opportunity to emphasise the importance of spending on national defence. “Estonia will keep its defence spending at 2%,” he added.

More info:
Marko Koplimaa
Permanent Representation of Estonia to NATO
+32 472 95 05 10  

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