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Minister of National Defence R. Karoblis to attend European Union Defence Ministers Ministerial


On April 26-27 Minister of National Defence is taking a part in the NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Malta. Discussions will focus on the new EU security and defence initiatives, including the possibility of creating a permanent cooperation structure, establishing an annual defence review mechanism, enhancing NATO rapid response crisis response, and EU-led operations in the Mediterranean.


On the first day of the meeting the Ministers will visit the Giuseppe Garibaldi aircraft carrier of the Italian Navy which serves as flagship for the EUNAVFOR MED - Operation SOPHIA in the Mediterranean. Her crew includes two Lithuanian officers.


On the second day the Ministers will address the progress achieved on the new European Common Security and Defence Policy initiatives, the review of the EU rapid response forces concepts with a particular focus on the EU defence capabilities – the EU Battlegroups.


The Minister swill conclude the meeting with a discussion over the EU-led operations and missions in the Mediterranean with a particular focus on Libya. The discussion will also be attended by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Under Secretary General of the Department of Peacekeeping at the United Nations Jean-Pierre Lacroix.


To date, Lithuania is contributing to 4 of the 6 ongoing EU operations and missions: the EU military training mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA) – one soldier, the counter-piracy European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) – Operation Atalanta– one soldier, the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) - Sophia – fifteen soldiers, the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) – two soldiers.


The meeting is organised by Malta, the EU Presidency country for the first semester of 2017.


Photo: 15 Lithuanian soldiers are deployed to EUNAVFOR MED Sophia.

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