asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the recent meeting of NATO Defence Ministers.
Yes. I attended the meeting of the Defence Planning Committee of NATO in ministerial session held in Brussels on 22nd and 23rd May. My colleagues and I laid down guidelines for defence planning activities in NATO, with special emphasis on the adoption of a long-range defence concept and on the need for rationalisation, standardisation and greater co-operative efforts. We also discussed a number of important issues affecting alliance defence. I particularly welcome our agreement to pursue the establishment of a "two-way street" between Europe and North America in defence equipment procurement. A copy of the communiqué is available in the Library of the House.