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NATO Defence Ministers meet in Brussels

Foto: NATO
Foto: NATO

  NATO defence ministers on the meeting in NATO Hq in Brussels ( 8 and 9 November 2017) agreed on upgrade of NATO Command Structure, global security challenges and met with the Resolute Support Mission operational  partner nations.

The upgrade of NATO  Command structure, which at one supports the enhanced Allied Deterrence and Defence Posture and the capability of the Alliance to project stability beyond its borders,  constitutes the key component of its adaptation.
The Warsaw summit in 2016 decided on the assessment of the current NATO Command structure, in view of the evolving security environment, and the ministers agreed on the proposed outline of the upgraded structure.  The mission of one proposed Command will be to help protect sea lines of communication between North America and Europe, and another Command to improve the movement  of troops and equipment across Europe.
The proposals for the upgraded NATO Command structure will be elaborated by NATO Strategic Commanders, to be presented to defence ministers to decide in February 2018.
Minister Krstičević  pledged support to the upgrade of NATO Command Structure as important for the safety of all NATO nations, Croatia included, and reminded that the Republic of Croatia fully committed its obligations (19 members of the Croatian Armed Forces assigned within the current Command Structure).
The ministers discussed the  importance of full implementation of national legislations related to the mobility of the forces throughout Europe, requiring closer coordination of more government administration bodies and with the private sector respectively, as well as NATO - EU coordination.
The ministers highlighted the need to enhance cyber defence,  and declared the North Korean balistic missile and nuclear programme as threat to both Allies and its partners .
The last session of the two-day meeting was dedicated to Resolute Support Mission (presently engaging 13,000 soldiers from 39 countries) and was attended by  the partner contributing countries. The Republic of Croatia is represented by 98 members.
Minister Krstičević talked with the U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the German Defence Minister  Ursula von der Leyen,  Croatia's most important strategic partners in defence and security, as well as with the Polish Defence Minister  Antoni Macierewicz and the Lithuanian Minister Raimundas Karoblis, related to the deployment of the members of the Croatian Armed Forces in battlegroups stationed in the two countries.
The Minister also held a bilateral meeting with the newly appointed Albanian Defence Minister  Olta Xhacka, affirming the productive bilateral defence co-operation, primairly within the U.S.-Adriatic Charter and outlining new domains, e.g. the co-operation between the navies and education of officers and NCOs.

On the eve of the meeting Minister Krstičević visited the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Croatia to NATO and met with the recently appointed Permanent Representative of the Republic of Croatia Mario Nobilo, and with the Delegation staff. During the meeting the  Ministar presented the  efforts of the Croatian Government  in the domains of defence and security over the past year and issued guidelines for the future activity of the Delegation.  The Minister addressed the need for major integration of the Republic of Croatia into NATO structures ,prioritisation and recognition of the Alliance's importance for Croatia and the safety of its citizens, as well as the need for stronger support to the participation  of the Croatian economy into NATO-funded projects, and also underlined the importance of the activity of the defence and security sectors related to the preparations for Croatia's presidency of the EU in 2020.



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