Swiss Foreign Minister Joseph Deiss will on Thursday attend talks in Brussels to discuss international military cooperation in Kosovo, particularly the KFOR operations to stabilise and re-build the war-ravaged region.This content was published on December 16, 1999 - 09:33
Swiss Foreign Minister Joseph Deiss will on Thursday attend talks in Brussels to discuss international military cooperation in Kosovo, particularly the KFOR operations to stabilise and re-build the war-ravaged region.
Deiss will join ministers of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which groups 19 NATO members and 26 states -- including Switzerland – that participate in NATO’s Partnership For Peace Programme.
The Brussels meeting of the EAPC will address a plan of action for the next two years and Switzerland will promote programmes which are aimed at improving international humanitarian law in the Balkans.
Switzerland has a military unit that serves alongside KFOR troops in Kosovo, and the Swiss government is actively involved in helping to introduce pro-democracy reforms in the Serb province.
The Brussels talks are also likely to focus on NATO’s Washington summit declaration in April, which stressed that non-European Union allies must be able to participate in European security and defence.
Switzerland is not a member of the EU.
Last week, the EU approved plans that would allow the 15-nation body to lead military operations in response to international crises where NATO is involved.
The main element of the plan is to create a new rapid reaction corps of 50,000 to 60,000 troops by 2003, backed by hundreds of aircraft and naval units, capable of deploying within 60 days and sustaining itself for a year.
The idea is to use the force in humanitarian crises, rescue operations and peacekeeping.
From staff and wire reports.
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