The Minister of National Defence Mr Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos participated today, 18 February 2021, in the second day of the Meetings of the NATO Ministers of Defence, which were conducted via teleconference.
During the sessions, the allied operations and missions were discussed, with emphasis on the NATO Mission in Iraq – NMI and Resolute Support Mission – RSM in Afghanistan, as well as the pertinent progress of forces provision and filling of gaps by the Alliance member-states.
The Minister of National Defence saluted the fact that the Iraqi authorities confirmed their consent for the mission in Iraq and at the same time recognised their role in securing NATO engaged personnel. He also mentioned that the further guidance on behalf of the North-Atlantic Alliance, in the fields of training and capabilities development by the security and defence structures of Iraq, will require more resources and Greece is willing to contribute, within its capabilities.
With regards to Afghanistan, he stressed that the commencement of negotiations in Doha, on 12 September 2020, constitutes a historic step for the shaping of peace requirements.
He expressed his concern regarding the slow pace of talks and the increasing violence in the country, which raises substantial challenges for the overall security and stability in the region. He underlined the fact that the promoted peace process will have to be guided by the leadership of Afghanistan and to be a possession of the country, including all of the afghan society, where equal representation of women is an unconditional requirement and also of the young people and the society of citizens.
He also stressed that the new conversion of Afghanistan into a secure refuge for terrorist organisations and groups cannot be accepted, since it is a fact which would cause additional migration flows towards Europe, among other things.