Minister Xhaçka visits SHAPE: More troops to send on NATO missions

Defense Minister Olta Xhaçka paid an official visit to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). She was hosted by Four-Star General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Commander of European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.

The purpose of this visit was to strengthen Albania's cooperation and the Allied Command Operations (ACO) and discussion on the strong commitment of our country in NATO operations.

General Scaparrotti stressed Albania's key role in the Western Balkans and Afghanistan, contributing to NATO's common security.
At the meeting with the senior US military, Minister Xhaçka expressed the determination of our country to contribute to all NATO operations. "Albania remains committed and will continue its contributions to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, KFOR Kosovo, NATO’s Advanced Presence in Latvia, NATO's naval activities in the Aegean Sea, the NATO Reaction Force and the Regional Center for the South in Naples."


General Scaparrotti stressed the importance of Albania's contribution to NATO and the recent increase in Defense expenditures.

Further, Minister Xhaçka informed General Scaparrotti about the Albanian Government's decision to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan. "Just a few days ago, the Albanian government approved the 60% increase of our troops at the Resolute Support Mission. Moreover, for 2019, Albania has taken into consideration and decided in principle to increase our contribution with additional staff."

Minister Xhaçka stressed the importance of KFOR in Kosovo, where our country has also increased its contribution. "Appreciating the role of KFOR as indispensable for strengthening peace and prosperity in Kosovo, we have also engaged a company for KFOR Operational Reserve Forces."

After meeting with the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, Four-Star General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Minister Xhaçka also spoke about raising the government's attention not only for the Albanian military in missions abroad. "I've met our troops wherever I have been, because it is my responsibility to stay close to everyone to hear what their needs are, but also to provide them in the capacity of the Minister of Defense, but also in name of the government, that we will always support them as the instigators of peace and security wherever they serve. We are proud of them, so in this sense, as Minister of Defense, but also on behalf of the government, I meet them to ensure that we will strongly support them."

Albania has increased year by year its contribution to NATO missions and has been committed to raising the Defense budget to 2% by 2024.



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