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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » March 12, 2008
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Sikorski Addresses North Atlantic Council
March 12, 2008   
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Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski represented Poland at a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels March 6.

The main topics of the meeting, held 20 days before a NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, included issues related to the planned expansion of the alliance, in particular plans to start membership negotiations with Albania, Croatia and Macedonia. Participants also discussed the membership aspirations of Ukraine and Georgia, relations with Balkan countries, the NATO mission in Afghanistan, relations between NATO and the European Union, and the situation in the Balkans after Kosovo proclaimed independence.

Referring to the Afghan operation, participants in the meeting called for more support and greater involvement from the European Union. They also pointed to the need for what they called a regional approach and greater civilian efforts. Sikorski said the EU should play a special role in reforming Afghanistan's security forces and in the country's reconstruction and development. He pointed to Poland's enhanced involvement in the mission, including plans to send an additional 400 soldiers and eight helicopters to Afghanistan. Sikorski also appealed to other countries to step up their efforts and "share the burden of the mission."

After the plenary session, Sikorski met with senior NATO official Gen. James Mattis to talk about new NATO programs to be carried out in Bydgoszcz, north-central Poland.
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