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Baltic, Nordic army chiefs in major talks

Jan 28, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

 Baltic and Nordic armed forces commanders are meeting in Latvia this week to discuss closer cooperation in defense and participation in international operations.

Members will discuss Baltic-Nordic cooperation scenarios in Afghanistan after 2014 and meet with Latvian Defense Minister Raimionds Vejonis.

Also on the meeting's agenda is the situation in Africa and the Baltic and Nordic armed forces' cooperation during the European Union's training mission in Mali and other possible operations in Africa.

The armed forces chiefs will discuss closer defense cooperation between the Baltic and Nordic countries in such areas as the organization of joint military exercises, air transport development, cooperation in the development of special forces, and strategic communication.

The head of the Baltic Defense College will inform the participants in the meeting about the college's development plans, aimed at pursuing closer regional cooperation.

The Baltic and Nordic army chiefs will discuss EU defense and security policy matters and training of units delegated to the EU Nordic Battle Group.

Latvia's presidency at the EU Council in the first half of 2015, in particular Latvia's priorities in the EU common defense and security policy will also be discussed.

Latvian National Armed Forces Chief, Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube says this is a very important event that fosters the Baltic and Nordic countries' practical cooperation, military education, discussions about financial matters and armed forces' functions within NATO and EU.

The Baltic-Nordic army chiefs' meetings are held on an annual basis in one of the Baltic or Nordic countries. Last year, the meeting took place in Lithuania's Klaipeda. Latvia last hosted such meeting in January 2001.

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