BRUSSELS, BELGIUM -- (Marketwired) -- 06/05/13 -- The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, has concluded his participation in the NATO Defence Ministerial, which took place on June 4-5, 2013 at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
Minister MacKay travelled to NATO directly from an official visit to China, where he was hosted by his Chinese counterpart, General Chang Wanquan.
"This meeting with my fellow NATO Defence Ministers was an important opportunity for us to discuss those defence and security issues that impact us all as an Alliance," said Minister MacKay. "NATO continues to make progress on its transformation and capabilities agendas in spite of a challenging fiscal environment across much of the Alliance."
During the meeting, Minister MacKay and his counterparts engaged in strategic discussions on defence planning and capability development, including the NATO Defence Planning Process, with a view to determining progress towards the vision of NATO Forces 2020. He also took part in a meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission, and a session with International Security Assistance Force troop-contributing countries to discuss the future of the Alliance's mission in Afghanistan.
Minister MacKay, currently the longest-serving Defence Minister in NATO, also conducted a series of bilateral meetings with Allies and Partners, including his counterparts from Estonia, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In addition, Minister MacKay participated in a multilateral meeting with his counterparts from France, the United Kingdom and the United States. During these meetings, he emphasized Canada's commitment to advancing NATO reform and transformation initiatives in order to ensure that the Alliance is prepared to act when and where needed.
For more information on the Summit Declaration on Defence Capabilities: Toward NATO Forces 2020, please visit: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-FCEE87E6-B712200C/natolive/official_texts_87594.htm?mode=pressrelease
For more information regarding the importance of Canada's role in NATO, please consult the following backgrounder: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4658
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