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05 18 2015

Foreign Ministerial outcomes announced

From 12 May to 14 May, the NATO Foreign Ministers met for a two-day ministerial in Antalya, Turkey. During the event, the Foreign Ministers discussed several issues – most notably boosting cooperation with the European Union and other partners; NATO support to the Ukraine; and maintaining NATO presence in Afghanistan.

Boosting cooperation with NATO partners

EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, met with the Ministers on how NATO and the EU could better cooperate against hybrid threats, which combine conventional attacks with subversion, cyberattacks, deception, and disinformation.

"Both Federica Mogherini and I have decided to task our teams to intensify NATO-EU cooperation in countering hybrid warfare," NATO Secretary General, Mr Jens Stoltenberg said. "We will ensure that the strategies we are developing are complementary, so that we can work together quickly and effectively in case of a hybrid threat against our members," he added.

Also on the agenda was the further development of cooperation between NATO and partner nations, Finland and Sweden, specifically on how NATO can consult and share more information about developments in the Baltic Sea region. "We will also look at how we can conduct more joint exercises," confirmed Mr Stoltenberg.

Foreign Ministerial outcomes announced

NATO confirm full support of the Ukraine

On Wednesday, 13 May the Ministers met with their Ukrainian counterpart Mr Pavlo Klimkin during the NATO-Ukraine Commission session. The Secretary General expressed concerns about Russia's "statements about possible future stationing of nuclear weapons and delivery systems in Crimea." He also added that NATO is "concerned by Russia's efforts to further build up its presence in the Black Sea region," warning that "this could have further implications on regional stability."

The Secretary General urged Russia to cease destabilizing eastern Ukraine; withdraw its support for the separatists; withdraw its forces and military equipment from Ukraine and along the border; and seek a political solution.

Mr Stoltenberg also underlined the NCI Agency's support of the Ukraine, declaring "we have stepped up our support to Ukraine on command and control; logistics; cyber defence…" and that the "Ukraine will host a NATO-led exercise on disaster response this autumn."

NATO's continued presence in Afghanistan

Another topic of discussion was the decision that the Alliance will maintain its presence in Afghanistan after the completion of its current mission, Resolute Support. "Today, we took a major decision which shows that we stay committed to Afghanistan. We agreed that we will maintain a presence in Afghanistan, even after the end of our current mission, Resolute Support," the Secretary General declared at the end of a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of NATO and partner countries contributing to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM).

He continued, "Our future presence will be led by civilians. It will have a light footprint. But it will have a military component." NATO's civilian and military authorities will now develop a plan for the continued NATO presence by this autumn.

Mr Stoltenberg clarified "our aim will be to advise and instruct the Afghan security institutions, to help them become self-sufficient, and to build on what we have achieved so far, as part of the broader international effort."