by NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow at the meeting in Interoperability format at the level of Defence Ministers
Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to this meeting of NATO Defence Ministers and their counterparts in the Interoperability Platform.
This is the largest and most inclusive meeting at this Summit, with 53 nations participating. I’m happy to welcome NATO’s most interoperable partners from around the world.
You are crucial security providers. And we honour your military and financial contributions, including troops in NATO operations. Together we are a group of committed stakeholders in crisis management and international stability. And our partnership is central to NATO’s effectiveness and credibility.
The nature of the new security environment means that partnerships are a necessity, not a luxury.
Today, we will discuss how our armed forces can better work together to meet current security challenges – including through capacity building and operations.
We will also take steps to prepare for future crises – by developing a joint roadmap to deepen our interoperability, including through exercises.
NATO is committed to stepping up our political dialogue and practical engagement with partners. And that’s exactly what we are doing today.
With that I thank the representatives of the media for joining us.