Gen. Bartels, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
Brussels, 19 January 2012 / By Roni Alasor / Ararat News - General Knud Bartels gave his first press conference as new Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (CMC). General Bartels, who is former Chief of Defence in Denmark, took up his functions on 2nd January 2012 but was elected already in September 2011. CMC is NATO’s highest - level military officers committee.
Bartels led also several meetings on key security issues and held speeches during two days meetings of NATO and Partner Chiefs of Defence at NATO HQ in Brussels in 18 and 19 January, where Chiefs of Defence from NATO member and Partner countries have attended.
Afghanistan, Kosovo, Syria, Iran and Turkey were among the discussed topics on the first press conference of General Bartels.
Regarding the future of Afghanistan after 2014, General Bartels said that NATO will make sure that “there is coherence both as to the cooperation between the political effort and the military effort....and nations cooperate and coordinate as much as possible the transformation of their forces in the transition phase”.
Asked about Kosovo, Gen. Knud Bartels replied that NATO is helping for finding political solution to the differences between the Serbian majority in the north of Kosovo, the government in Belgrade and the authorities in Pristine.
But concerning Syria, according Gen. Bartels, “NATO is not planning or even thinking of intervening in Syria”. He said that nations from NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue, which includes Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, “expressed their concerns about the upheaval we are seeing in the region... But there was no discussion at all of a military intervention”.
Regarding a question about the reaction of NATO on the killing of 34 Kurdish teenagers by Turkish air forces and the accusations that Turkey uses chemical weapons, Gen. Bartels said that he is “not in a position to express any views on what Turkey is doing, or has been doing. It's entirely a national responsibility”.
Chairman of KON-KURD, Ismet Kem
NATO’s reaction has been criticised by the Kurdish community in Europe. The Chairman of the biggest Kurdish organisation in EU, Confederation of Kurdish Associations in Europe (KON-KURD), Ismet Kem told to Ararat News that, “Its very regrettable when NATO doesn’t take responsibility and doesn’t react strongly over Turkey’s killing of Kurdish civilians. But then, is it NATO’s responsibility to supply Turkish army with intelligent information, high technologies and weapons against Kurdish people ? ”