New Strategic Concept top priority in Lisbon NATO meeting

Securing an agreement in Lisbon on a new Strategic Concept will be a priority at the forthcoming NATO Summit in Lisbon.

Taking place on November 19 and 20, the summit, considered one of the most important since the end of the Cold War, will address how best to respond to modern threats to NATO member country populations.

These include identifying the most effective measures for cyber and missile defence; on how NATO can learn from operational experiences such as Afghanistan; and the future breadth of NATO’s partnership programmes.

The second main item on the Summit’s agenda is Afghanistan. On September 15,,  the NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh, challenged recent views on progress in Afghanistan, explaining that the Taliban are “under pressure across the country” while the Afghan Government and NATO have a clear mandate and political strategy for power transference to the Afghans from next year.

The third key priority will be to put energy into NATO’s relationship with Russia since there are “several key areas where Russia and NATO can work together,” he said, such as drug trafficking, data protection, counter-terrorism, counter piracy and missile defence protection.

The Secretary General delivered a speech on NATO-Russia relations in Rome on September 17.

Finally, the European Union Council meeting on September 16 addressed the problem of improving relations between the EU and NATO, and it is hoped that with some “fresh ideas” progress can be made ahead of Lisbon when both NATO and the EU will have summit meetings.