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Swiss host European security meeting

The meeting was organised by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

(http://www.gcsp.ch/)

Defence experts are gathering in Geneva for a three-day conference on European security issues. Top of the agenda is the future of a European security and defence identity.

The meeting, financed by the Swiss defence ministry, is part of Switzerland's efforts to promote collective security in Europe under Nato's "Partnership for Peace" (PfP) programme.

Entitled "Coping with the new security challenges of Europe", it brings together academics, diplomats, soldiers and NGOs from over 40 countries in the Euro-Atlantic area.

Among the key topics to be discussed are a future European defence identity, as well as issues including the democratic control of armed forces, trends in humanitarian law and action, and civil-military relations in humanitarian emergencies.

The meeting marks the latest Swiss initiative to promote a collective approach to European security. It comes less than a week after Swiss soldiers concluded a series of training exercises alongside Nato troops in Lucerne.

Despite Switzerland's increasing involvement in European defence questions, the president and defence minister, Adolf Ogi, has stressed that Swiss neutrality remains intact. He has also insisted that Switzerland's membership of Nato's PfP programme is not a first step towards joining the alliance.

The meeting is the fourth international security forum to take place. It has been organised by Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

swissinfo


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