Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist took part in NATO meeting
Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist took part in the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence on 17 February held via videoconference. Mr Hultqvist and Finland’s Minister for Defence Antti Kaikkonen were among those specially invited to attend one of the sessions.
The main theme of the session attended by Sweden, Finland and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell was transatlantic security and how NATO, in collaboration with the EU, can respond to common security challenges. The NATO meeting was the first with the new US Administration and Defence Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III reaffirmed US commitment to NATO. At the meeting, Mr Hultqvist emphasized the importance of a strong transatlantic link and close collaboration between the EU and NATO. Mr Hultqvist also presented the main features of the Defence Bill.
In a separate session, NATO defence ministers discussed the missions in Afghanistan and Iraq and NATO’s 2030 initiative, which aims to strengthen political cohesion within the alliance.
Since 2014, Sweden and Finland have been NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partners, and political dialogue with NATO is prioritised, for example, via participation in the defence ministers’ meetings.
The partnership with NATO is an important component of Sweden’s security and defence policy and serves, among other things, to develop the capabilities of the Swedish Armed Forces for both national defence and international operations.