From NATO: It has been a very positive meeting. Ministers have agreed measures to ensure that our books are balanced. That we have balance between resources and requirements, balance between revenue and expenditures.

We will now focus on implementing the package. And that includes doing more together – an issue which we discussed in depth.

We’ve decided to focus on three priorities:

First: Countering improvised explosive devices, which are the biggest killers of our soldiers. This is a real priority for us. General Abrial, our Supreme Commander for Transformation, presented his proposals for how we could improve our techniques, training and technologies, to better protect our young men and women.

At the meeting, Secretary Gates announced a strengthened cooperation with other allies and partners in countering improvised explosive devices. I welcome Secretary Gates’ offer to Allies of a package of counter-IED measures that will help protect all ISAF soldiers against this menace. The US offer includes expanded access to intelligence, training for all ISAF countries on techniques and technologies, loan or transfer of counter IED equipment such as jammers, detection kits, robotic equipment and also mine- resistant armoured vehicles, sold, loaned or donated to any ISAF country. It is a very important step.
Second: improving medical care for our soldiers, by making sure they get the best support possible. This is a priority.

And third, fielding more mission-capable helicopters, including by tying together countries that have the helicopters, with those that have the money for modernisation and deployment, with training for personnel.

Excerpt from Press conference by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. (photo: NATO)