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NATO Foreign Ministers

Volume 473: debated on Friday 14 March 2008

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and Stewart Eldon, UK permanent representative to NATO, represented the UK at the informal meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels on 6 March 2008.

The agenda items covered were as follows:

Afghanistan

Allies decided that a public statement that clearly defines NATO’s achievements and objectives in Afghanistan would be needed at the Bucharest summit on 2 and 4 April. Ministers agreed that this should include input from troop contributing nations (that is, including partners such as Australia and Sweden) and other international organisations involved in Afghanistan.

NATO Enlargement

Ministers discussed the membership aspirations of Croatia, Albania and Macedonia. Decisions on each country’s respective applications would be made at Bucharest, based on their progress towards meeting accepted standards. NATO’s relationships with Ukraine, Georgia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia were also raised and discussion will continue at the Bucharest summit.

Kosovo

Ministers discussed the role of NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) following Kosovo’s declaration of independence and the evolving relationship between KFOR, the UN’s mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the EU’s rule of law mission in Kosovo (EULEX).

NATO-EU Relations

Ministers acknowledged the need to strengthen and deepen NATO-EU co-operation. This would be an important factor in the success of KFOR’s mission.