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NATO foreign ministers meet

April 22, 2010 - TALLINN

NATO foreign ministers gather for their Spring meeting, an event Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet described recently as one of Estonia's biggest-ever international events. Official news reports about the preparations hint at worries about the cost of hosting the event, and also reflect doubts that Tallinn Airport can handle the arriving entourages of the 28 NATO foreign ministers and the Russian foreign minister. Afghanistan continues to be the ministers' main worry.

NATO foreign ministers gather for their Spring meeting, an event Estonian Foreign Minister Paet described recently as one of Estonia's biggest-ever international events. Official news reports about the preparations hint at worries about the cost of hosting the event, and also reflect doubts that Tallinn Airport can handle the arriving entourages of the 28 NATO foreign ministers and the Russian foreign minister. He is expected for the NATO-Russia Council meeting. The ministers' main worry, as in 2009, is likely to be Afghanistan and the performance of the Afghan president since his re-election. NATO technical workgroup arrived in Tallinn in November to discuss the preparations for the meeting. The very small, very recent member of NATO is being attacked in cyberspace, which could complicate the planning. ; The ministers will assess the results from several Afghanistan initiatives committed to at a special NATO meeting on Nov 23 and at the Dec 2009 meeting of foreign ministers. The United States and NATO previously maintained separate training missions in Afghanistan. They recently established a joint headquarters known as the NATO Training Mission to handle the expanded effort. Another initiative is NATO's commitment to sending more personnel and resources to train, mentor and equip the Afghan government forces. The minsters are also likely to be assessing the impact of the decisions made on troop levels. NATO member countries that provide troops to Afghanistan are facing public disillusionment with the war. Polls show opposition to sending more soldiers during a global financial crisis and time of shrinking defense budgets.

Tallinn meeting of NATO foreign ministers to cost 70 million kroons (Baltic Business News 12 Nov 2009)

NATO

For Estonia and NATO, a new kind of war (Washington Post 22 May 2007)

Date written/update: 2010-04-22