Two of the most important issues were those discussed at the first meeting of NATO Defense Ministers in 2021: the future of the mission in Afghanistan and the process of reflection on the future of the Atlantic Alliance itself, called NATO 2030. The Minister of Defense , Margarita Robles, attended this meeting which, as on the previous occasion, was held via video conference due to restricted mobility due to COVID-19.
With regard to the mission in Afghanistan, NATO has not yet made a final decision. It was agreed to leave the options open, including the possibility of remaining in the Resolute Support Mission beyond May 1 if the terms of compliance with the peace agreement and the peace process generally recommend it. The Allies commit themselves to very active contacts and consultations in order to decide together on the future of this mission.
In this context, Robles stressed that we must agree on a responsible path to fulfill the mission that will enable the peace process to recognize the important advances made by Afghan society in the areas of human rights, education, welfare and social progress of women, and the security and rights of women Women preserve children. With this in mind, the Minister has defended that an additional security effort and a process of completion of the mission on the basis of guarantees is the best tribute we can pay to the Afghan people and the efforts and perseverance of the many thousands of our military who gave everything for this country, including their lives.
The Spanish minister stressed that he should hold on a little and insist on effective progress in the peace process that can make a difference for the Afghans, to consolidate their democratic progress and to appreciate the efforts that have continued for so long and even give the lives of our soldiers , always within the scope of the decision made jointly by the alliance.
Regarding the reflection process on the future of the Atlantic Alliance, the Minister acknowledged that we are at a crucial moment and that we also face a great opportunity to strengthen the transatlantic link and the cohesion of the Allies.
For Margarita Robles, it therefore makes perfect sense to encourage reflection on the future so that the alliance continues to defend our citizens against current and possible security challenges while at the same time preserving and promoting our values as a society. In this context, he noted that the current challenges are so complex that they cannot be tackled unilaterally and require joint responses, implying a sustained effort for consensus and multilateralism. Spain remains firmly committed and a very active ally.
Remember that the current NATO Document 2030 is the starting point for promoting our progress as an organization. Your goal is to achieve a more capable NATO that is more politically united and has a more global vision.
He concluded his intervention by betting on a stronger, more sustainable Atlantic Alliance capable of responding to our citizens’ defense concerns and needs. A NATO prepared for any security challenge and more resilient to disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic that is causing so much suffering.
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