Spain’s acting Minister for Defence, Pedro Morenés, held a meeting in the French city of Toulon on Thursday with his French counterpart, Jean Yves Le Drian, his Italian counterpart, Roberta Pinotti and his Portuguese counterpart, Jose Alberto Azeredo, with the aim of jointly analyzing the upcoming NATO Summit to be held in Warsaw in July.
The meeting, the second of this nature following the first one held back in 2014 upon an initiative from the Italian minister, seeks to serve as a working tool to convey a shared vision of the four countries to NATO on the role of the organisation in light of the constant challenges to global security and stability.
The four countries agree on underlining the importance of the agreements reached at the previous summit, held in Wales, and the general philosophy of monitoring and dissuading threats from all fronts. The worsened situation in the southern theatre, whereby this is understood as the south, together with Syria and Iraq, and the request from the United States to ensure that NATO becomes more involved in the fight against DAESH, have pushed up the role of this front on the agenda of the Warsaw Summit. Spain, Italy, France and Portugal are interested in the lines of action related to the south being maintained together with the efforts being made in the east, as called for by other allies, a commitment also shared by these four countries.
Until 5 May, Spain headed the Air Policing in the Baltic, at which time it passed over the command to Portugal; it also heads up Standing NATO Maritime Group number 1, deployed in the Baltic as NATO’s spearhead, which will be deployed to Poland in the coming days to carry out exercises.
Similarly, Pedro Morenés and his counterparts will tackle the common position in favour of extending relations between NATO and the EU to which end Spain advocates the most extensive collaboration possible. Furthermore, the four allies will debate defence investment commitments, and finally, will discuss the maritime dimension of NATO in the Mediterranean, an issue of great importance to Spain, France and Italy.