NATO prepares for Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels

KABUL (TOLOnews): Meetings of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at the level of Defence Ministers will be held at the NATO Headquarters on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 February 2019, according to the NATO website.

The meetings will be chaired by the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

In June last year, NATO defense ministers discussed the Alliance’s training mission in Afghanistan, and its continuing support to the Afghan government and Afghan security forces.

“Our aim is to strengthen the Afghan security forces so they can create the conditions for a peaceful solution”, said Stoltenberg at the time.

NATO’s heads of state summit will meanwhile be held in London in December where leaders from the member nations will discuss the alliance’s security challenges and future security strategy.

The leaders of NATO’s 29 member states will also mark the alliance’s 70th anniversary, Stoltenberg said earlier this month.

“The meeting in London will be an opportunity for allied heads of state and government to address the security challenges we face now and in the future, and to ensure that NATO continues to adapt in order to keep its population of almost 1 billion people safe,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.

“London was the home of NATO’s first headquarters. The United Kingdom was one of the alliance’s 12 founding members and continues to play a key role in the alliance, making essential contributions to our shared security,” the statement said.

The development came after NATO signed an accession agreement with Macedonia on February 6, after a historic deal that removed Greece’s objections and normalized relations between the neighbors.

US president Donald Trump is likely to attend the summit. Trump has been pushing the alliance member to increase their share for NATO expenditures.

In his annual State of the Union address Tuesday night Trump said:”We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share.

“Finally. For years, the United States was being treated very unfairly by friends of ours — members of NATO. But now we have secured, over the last couple of years, more than $100 billion of increase in defense spending from our NATO allies. They said it couldn’t be done.”

NATO as of the powerful military alliance has been Afghanistan’s major security partner since 2001.

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