NATO Defence Ministers Agree to Set Up Two More Force Integration Units
At their meeting in Brussels on Thursday, the defence ministers of NATO member countries agreed to set up two Force Integration Units in Hungary and Slovakia.
In September, NATO established such units in six countries on the eastern flank of the Alliance – Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.
The establishment of these small headquarters is one of the steps taken by NATO in enhancing the Alliance's collective defence.
The defence ministers reviewed the implementation of the Alliance's Readiness Action Plan, which had been agreed at the NATO summit in Wales last year.
The plan ensures the readiness of NATO to confront challenges in an evolving and fast-moving security environment.
The ministers also approved the completed military concept for the Enhanced NATO Response Force including its command and control arrangements.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that now everything was in place to make the Response Force stronger, faster and more capable.
Stoltenberg also welcomed the willingness of Germany to lead the Alliance's very high readiness Spearhead Force in 2019 and the plans of the UK to rotate more troops into the Baltics and Poland for training and exercises.
The ministers also discussed the situation in Syria and Afghanistan and the violation of Turkish airspace by Russian fighter aircraft participating in the airstrikes against Islamic State (IS).
Stoltenberg called on Russia to play a constructive role in the fight against IS and reassured Ankara that NATO stands in strong solidarity with Turkey.
As regards the situation in Afghanistan, the secretary general said that the allies will decide on the level of troops on the basis of a forthcoming detailed security assessment.
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