NATO Foreign Ministerial to focus on Afghanistan, boosting ties with partners

Afghanistan, partnerships with Russia and Georgia, and preparations for next year’s Summit of Allied leaders are top issues to be discussed during a two-day NATO Foreign Ministerial which starts on Tuesday (3 December 2013).


The Foreign Ministers will start off their North Atlantic Council meeting with a discussion on the objectives and agenda for next year’s Summit in the United Kingdom. That Summit is expected to focus on Afghanistan, partnerships and improving military capabilities. Foreign Ministers will continue their Tuesday meeting with a discussion on ways to strengthen partnerships NATO has with countries around the world.


Wednesday’s meetings will start with a session of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in attendance. The meeting will be an opportunity for the 29 Foreign Ministers to exchange views on Syria, Afghanistan, missile defence and transparency. The NRC is also expected to review practical cooperation and ways to further it in 2014. The NRC will be followed by a meeting of foreign ministers from NATO and partner countries which contribute to the ISAF mission. The acting Afghan Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani and the Afghan Interior Minister Umar Daudzai are expected to attend as is the UN Secretary General’s Special representative Jan Kubis. The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has also been invited as has the Japanese Ambassador responsible for NATO issues. The Afghan Interior Minister will brief the meeting on security preparations for next year’s presidential elections. The meeting will also discuss progress in the ISAF mission.


The two-day ministerial will wrap up with a meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission, where NATO Foreign Ministers will sit down with their Georgian counterpart, Ms. Maia Panjikidze, to discuss the country’s reform plans and prospects for deeper cooperation in wake of the recent national elections.