Meeting of Defence Ministers, 12 and 13 February 2020
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia, H.E. Karl Erjavec, attended defence ministerial, held in Brussels on 12th and 13th February 2020. Ministers discussed wide range of different issues related to current security environment in different formats with partners, including the EU, and operational partners of the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
Ministerial started with a session dedicated to NATO’s operations and missions and force generation. In light of recent developments in the Middle East, the discussion focused on Iraq and Afghanistan. Ministers reiterated NATO’s commitment to maintaining presence in Iraq and to restart training as soon as the situation permits.
First day concluded with a working dinner which focused on further strengthening of strategic partnership between NATO and the EU. The new HR/VP of the European Commission Josep Borrell also attended the dinner, together with Finnish and Swedish defence ministers. Changing security environment, along with common challenges, also provide possibilities for potential additional security cooperation between NATO and the EU. Therefore, in addition to presentations of the priorities of the new European Commission, ministers discussed also new opportunities to strengthen NATO-EU cooperation.
Second day started in Allied format. Ministers welcomed progress on the implementation of NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture and Burden sharing. They also gave guidance for 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 the ministers confirmed continued NATO’s commitment to the mission and the intention to 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 and create conditions for lasting peace. Ministers welcomed the progress of the Afghan Security Forces which, despite challenging security situation, continue to help to ensure conditions for peace.
At the margins of the Ministerial, Minister Erjavec also attended traditional ministers meeting of nations contributing to the enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia.