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NATO: Opportunities for Cooperation in the South

Text: defence.hu | Photo: JFC Naples |  13:48 March 20, 2024

Several high-level delegations paid visits to Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples in early March. The aim of the visits was to discuss and work out partnership plans related to NATO’s southern neighborhood (Middle East, North Africa and the Sahel regions).

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Last October, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg designated an independent group of diplomats and academicians to review the Alliance’s current policy toward the south. The main task of the group was to identify concrete recommendations to shape the Alliance’s future approach to the region, including opportunities for further cooperation with the nations in the southern neighborhood of the Alliance’s area of responsibility, and with other key actors impacting on the security situation of the region. The report developed by the group will be presented at the meeting of Foreign Ministers in April, and will form a basis for decision-making for preparing decisions to be taken at NATO’s jubilee Washington Summit in July.

During the visit to Naples, the group of experts met with the leaders of the JFC and held discussions about the challenges from the south with the NATO Strategic Direction-South Hub (NSD-S HUB). Concurrently, the NATO security policy directors met at JFC Naples where they had two main topics on the agenda, namely the challenges from the south and the related partnership programs and the situation in Ukraine. In a joint session, the security policy directors met with the group of experts to discuss the NATO report on challenges from the south. Hungary was represented at the session by Tünde Gerelyes-Ivanik, Head of Department for NATO-CSDP New Types of Security Challenges, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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