Czech Defense Minister: NATO members must deepen cooperation or lose military capabilities

Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra

From CTK:  The militaries of NATO member countries should more cooperate after the ISAF mission ends in Afghanistan in 2014, Czech Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra told the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Prague Saturday.

Vondra said the allied countries must not give up their own defence at the time of financial cuts. Deeper cooperation would help NATO members not lose their military capabilities, he added.

The three-day session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which is a counselling body, started on Friday. Committees consisting of delegates from the parliaments of allied countries are discussing current security challenges and international affairs.

Vondra pointed out that NATO must remain strong to be able to fulfil its main role of providing collective defence to its members.

He warned against voices calling for an alleged need to redefine NATO’s purpose. . . .

He said experience with the Afghan fight against terrorists is only part of what NATO armies must be able to do. Cooperation of the allied countries on their own territories is crucial, too, he added.

Vondra said he expects the number of joint training operations and military exchanges between allies to increase in the next five years.  (photo: IDNES.CZ)

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