NATO Parliamentary Assembly
HomeNEWSNews 201420 November 2014 - Ukraine conflict, Afghan security and Middle East top agenda at NATO PA's 60th Annual Session

Ukraine conflict, Afghan security and Middle East top agenda at NATO PA's 60th Annual Session

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The Hague, 20 November 2014 - The Ukraine conflict and Russia's strained relations with the West will top the agenda as the NATO Parliamentary Assembly gathers in the Netherlands for its 60th Annual Session, with new NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in attendance.

Afghanistan and the Middle East will share centre-stage at the four-day meeting in The Hague, starting on 21 November, with deputies set to urge Allies to maintain support for Afghan security forces beyond the end of the international combat mission this year, and to assist international efforts to neutralise the extremist groups operating in Syria and Iraq.
Implementation of the defence pledges made at NATO’s Summit in Wales in September, stability in the Middle East, Ebola, terrorism, missile defences and energy security will all be debated at the session, the 60th since the first NATO PA conference in Paris in 1955.
During Monday's plenary session, a new NATO PA president will be elected, to take over from the incumbent, Hugh Bayley (UK).
The Assembly is expected to adopt a resolution urging NATO governments to maintain sanctions on Russia until it abides by international law, returns territory snatched illegally from Ukraine and makes an honest effort to resolve the conflict peacefully.
"Russia’s direct as well as covert involvement, including the deployment of unmarked uniformed troops in part of Ukraine, is the principal reason for the prolonged armed conflict," says a draft of the resolution.
Legislators will debate how best to support Ukraine and reassure Allies that neighbour Russia, ways to counter Russia's misinformation campaign and the economic impact of deteriorating ties with Moscow.
Senior military and government officials - including Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte - will join experts and academics for the session, which will bring together some 360 delegates from parliaments of the 28 NATO nations and 23 associate and observer countries.
On Afghanistan, the parliamentarians are expected to urge countries taking part in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to commit to Operation Resolute Support so that the follow up mission can reach full operational capacity by 1 January 2015.
They will call on partners to maintain funding to help Afghan security forces combat the insurgency, and to help fill capability shortfalls in the country's air force, logistics capacities and intelligence gathering.
The lawmakers are also likely to call on Western and Arab government to step up efforts to stabilise the Middle East -- as the conflicts in Syria and Iraq breed terrorism and provoke a refugee exodus -- by encouraging negotiations, boosting humanitarian aid and helping the international campagign to neutralise extremist groups.
Following on from NATO's Wales Summit, they will urge governments to invest in stronger defence forces as well as committing to a better sharing out of costs and responsibilities among Allies.
NATO's Parliamentary Assembly brings together members of national parliaments from the 28 Allied nations as well as partner countries, observers and organisations. It is an essential link between the Alliance and national parliaments - and therefore, to citizens in the Euro-Atlantic area.