NATO Foreign Ministers to discuss operations, partnerships and Chicago summit

The foreign ministers of NATO Allies and partner countries will meet in Brussels on 7 and 8 December to discuss current operations, the Alliance’s relationship with its partners, and preparations for the NATO summit in Chicago on 20-21 May 2012.

The meeting will begin with a discussion of operations. The NATO-led ISAF operation in Afghanistan is NATO’s top priority, and ministers will have a chance to discuss the significant progress made in this operation. Ministers will also discuss the situation in Kosovo, following the violent events of the autumn and the recent agreement between Belgrade and Pristina on the management of  integrated  crossings.

Ministers will  also talk about progress in the development of NATO’s territorial missile defence  system, as well as the offer  of cooperation made to Russia in November 2010 at the Lisbon summit. NATO  remains committed to the dialogue with Russia on this issue.

In the evening, ministers will have a session on  relationships  with partners, especially in the Middle East and  North Africa. NATO has many partners in the region through the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, and at this meeting ministers will look at how to take those relationships forward.

On 8 December, ministers will meet in the NATO-Russia Council to evaluate  progress in mutual cooperation, in view of the decision taken at the Lisbon summit to work towards a true strategic partnership with Russia. They will   also  discuss the potential for developing cooperation with Russia on missile defence.

Finally, NATO ministers will hold a meeting  with  counterparts from contributors to the ISAF operation in Afghanistan.  As Afghan forces begin to take the lead responsibility for security , ministers will  examine how to put the Enduring Partnership agreed with the Afghan government into practice.