Defense policies under review

  • 2010-03-10
  • By Ella Karapetyan

STRATEGIC MOVE: Michele Flournoy met with Urmas Paet to discuss goals for security and co-operation.

TALLINN - Foreign Minister Urmas Paet met with Under Secretary of Defense for Policy of the United States Michele Flournoy, reports the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Feb. 26. At the meeting they discussed co-operation between Estonia and the U.S. in Afghanistan, and NATO issues in general, touching upon the formulation of NATO’s new Strategic Concept and NATO’s relations with Russia, as well as on ensuring energy security.

Paet and Under Secretary of Defense Flournoy discussed Estonian and U.S. goals in the formulation of NATO’s Strategic Concept. Prior to the meeting of NATO foreign ministers taking place in Tallinn in April, the representatives of Estonia and the U.S. confirmed that the basis for NATO’s activities must be Article 5 and NATO’s trustworthiness. “We want for collective defense and Article 5 to be central to the new Strategic Concept and to demonstrate NATO’s transparency, trustworthiness and strength,” said Foreign Minister Paet.

In talking about Estonia and the U.S.’ common goals in the Afghanistan mission, Paet confirmed that Estonia would like close co-operation with the U.S. in both the military and civil realms. “Estonia will continue to participate in the International Security Assistance Force on the level determined by the Riigikogu mandate for as long as it is necessary, and it will increase its civil contribution in Afghanistan compared to last year,” said Paet.

Paet and Flournoy agreed it is necessary to increase the Afghans’ participation in operations and in building up the state. “A positive example of increasing Afghan participation is the operation Moshtarak, currently underway in Afghanistan,” said Paet. “In terms of both the Afghan security forces and development aid projects, we must ensure sustainability and improve the co-ordination of the military and civil measures being taken by the European Union, NATO, the UN, and other international organizations,” said the Estonian foreign minister.