Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Marija Pejčinović Burić attended 4-5 December 2018 in Brussels a meeting of NATO member states’ foreign ministers.
During the two-day meeting, the ministers discussed the current political and security issues, focusing on the situation in Georgia and Ukraine and the two countries’ cooperation with NATO, stability in NATO’s southern neighbourhood, the fight against terrorism, Southeast Europe, NATO’s further engagement in Afghanistan, and security challenges in the Euro-Atlantic space.
A joint session with Georgia and Ukraine confirmed NATO’s close cooperation with them and discussed the possibility of further cooperation in Euro-Atlantic integration. Expectedly, the main topic of the meeting was the crisis in Ukraine and the Sea of Azov. Croatia expressed concern about the escalation of tensions which resulted in the injuring and capture of Ukrainian seamen, the blockade of Ukrainian ports, and the prevention of maritime traffic. Croatia called for exercising restraint, respecting international law and preventing further escalation as it supports the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine in its internationally recognised borders.
The Alliance reiterated its unity regarding its key tasks: collective defence, crisis management and cooperation with partners.
NATO’s key mechanism is strengthening security and stability in the neighbourhood. The ministers discussed NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism and future contribution to its southern neighbourhood, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
The meeting also discussed Macedonia’s NATO integration, Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, and security and stability in Southeast Europe. The foreign ministers called on Bosnia and Herzegovina to submit its first Annual National Programme. Discussing further steps in regard to BiH, Pejčinović Burić emphasized the importance of respecting the Constitutional Court’s decision restoring proportionate and legitimate representation of the Croat people at all levels of government in the implementation of election results and in subsequent changes to the election law.
The ministers confirmed NATO’s commitment to the long term stabilisation of Afghanistan and Croatia underlined the importance of the Resolute Support mission for regional security and the continuation of Croatia’s participation.