NATO head to attend EU defence ministers’ meeting in Bucharest

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Bucharest, Jan 18 (IANS) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has confirmed his attendance at the informal meeting of defence ministers of the European Union (EU) member states, to be held here at the end of January, Romanian Defence Minister Gabriel Les said.

The meeting is the first ministerial level event to be hosted by Romania since it took over the Presidency of the EU Council.

The meeting “aims at common reflection and an exchange of views on strengthening the European project, with an emphasis on the security and defence dimension”, Agerpres news agency quoted Les as saying on Thursday, Xinhua reported.

The two-day meeting will start on January 30 with a debate session focusing on “Women, Peace and Security”, a shared priority for the EU, the UN and NATO, and on ways to mainstream this agenda into peace operations and crisis management.

On the second day, said the minister, in-depth discussions will be held regarding the state of implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, with an emphasis on progress made in the implementation of defence initiatives.

According to an earlier release, EU ministers will also discuss ways to ensure consistency between various European defence initiatives in view of the implementation of the EU Council’s decisions and the use of the best instruments at the disposal of the Union to capitalise on the potential of innovation and technological research in support of the armed forces of the member states.

The event will be chaired by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, and hosted by the Romanian defence minister. UN Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix will be invited to participate in this discussion, the release added.

–IANS

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