A historic NATO summit in Lisbon ended on November 20 and its conclusions will influence the future of the alliance in many aspects, senior members of the Slovak delegation said, as reported by the TASR newswire. A draft of the new Strategic Concept was adopted at the summit – a step described by Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič as a "huge success".
Gasparovic represented Slovakia at the summit along with Foreign Affairs Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda and Defence Minister Ľubomír Galko. Dzurinda praised the principle of collective defence. Dzurinda said that another essential principle for Slovakia was balance in the weight of individual voices.
On November 20 the delegates held a plenary session on the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. This was attended by the leaders of almost 50 countries, including 28 NATO members, who are taking part in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. As of next year and preferably by 2014, countries will engage in the process of withdrawing their troops, concentrating on training the Afghan security forces rather than increasing their involvement in combat.
Both Gašparovič and Dzurinda indicated that, if necessary, ISAF instructors will remain in Afghanistan even after 2014, as the key interest is in sustainable peace and democracy in the country. In this connection, Slovak President announced at the ISAF summit that Slovakia is due to increase the number of its soldiers in Afghanistan by 10 percent (from 318 to 348). The date of their withdrawal hasn't been set as yet. Dzurinda told the TASR newswire Slovakia will proceed in line with its allies. Defence Minister Galko appreciated the fact that the new concept also focuses on modern dangers, such as terrorist cyber-attacks and energy threats.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Nov 2010 at 10:00