The main topic of the informal NATO session that started on October 22 in Bratislava is the operation of the international military coalition in Afghanistan.
NATO defence ministers will also discuss the funding of armies of individual member states and changes to the US plan to expand the country's missile defence shield to eastern and central Europe. Defence ministers met for the first time at a working lunch on Thursday, October 22.
A meeting of the North Atlantic Council will begin on Friday, October 23, at 08:30. Defence ministers of the alliance will focus on the ISAF operation in Afghanistan and the situation in the country after the recent presidential elections. The ministers will deal as well with ISAF Commander General Stanley McChrystal's assessment of the Afghanistan military strategy, including a request to send more troops to Afghanistan.
Another topic discussed in Bratislava will be the revised U.S missile defence plan. President Barack Obama's decision to scrap Bush-era plans to build a defence system with bases in Poland and the Czech Republic caused some alarm in those countries. However, during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden to Poland this week Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk declared his country ready to take part in a new plan.
A working lunch on Friday will close the NATO meeting. Representatives from Afghanistan, including Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, will also participate.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
22. Oct 2009 at 14:00