NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Istanbul

ISAF operations in Afghanistan and KFOR in Kosovo, the prioritization of defense resources and defense transformation of the Alliance were the main topics of the informal meeting of NATO defense held on the 4th and 5th of February 2010 in Istanbul, where the Croatian delegation was led by Minister of Defense Branko Vukelic.

The discrepancy between the anticipated and planned investment of resources requested discussion on setting the priorities of the Alliance, while at the same time the discussion was on the defence transformation of the Alliance.

KFOR operations involving members of the Croatian Armed Forces was generally evaluated as “success story” with  emphasis that further reduction of NATO forces in Kosovo would gradually continue through clearly specified phases and taking into account estimates from the field.

The allies also discussed progress and upcoming activities in 2010 in the ISAF operation in which Croatia participated with 300 CAF members, then about the general McCrystala implementation strategy, and following the conclusions of the London conference in late January 2010, about the transition of responsibility to the Afghan authorities,.

Besides the Minister of Defence Branko Vukelic, the meeting was also attended by Ambassador to NATO Igor Pokaz, Military Representative of the Republic of Croatia to NATO Major General Drago Lovric, MOD State Secretary Pjer Simunovic, Public Relations and Information Department Director Goran Grošinić and NATO and PfP Department Director Zoran Drca.

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