NATO foreign ministers are gathering in Brussels for two days of talks about how the alliance can deal more effectively with security threats outside of Europe.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on May 18 that a major focus of the meeting will be on "projecting stability" beyond the borders of NATO member countries – especially in the Middle East and North Africa.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry plans to attend the talks along with foreign ministers from NATO’s other 27 member countries.
The agenda includes welcoming Montenegro as NATO’s newest member-designate and talks over a dinner on what policy to adopt to a resurgent and increasingly aggressive Russia.
A request from Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to expand NATO’s training efforts for the Iraqi military also will be discussed, as well as the possibility of increasing aid to international coalition that is battling Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.
On May 20, the NATO ministers plan to meet with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, along with the foreign ministers of neutral Sweden and Finland, to discuss how the alliance and the EU can pool efforts to address what Stoltenberg described as "unprecedented security challenges."
Those challenges include Europe’s migrant crisis, hybrid-wafare threats like disinformation campaigns and cyberattacks, maritime security risks caused by aggressive actions by Russia in the Baltic Sea, and efforts to stop terrorist infiltration into the EU across the Mediterranean.