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Defense Ministers Discuss Security Issues

CHISINAU, October 3, 2011 — Minister of Defense Vitalie Marinuta attended Monday, October 3, the annual South-Eastern Defense Ministerial (SEDM) meeting held in Antalya, Turkey.

The Chief of Defense Policy and Planning Directorate, LTC Vladimir Ababii, stated that the representatives of the NATO and Partnership for Peace member states present at the meeting focused their discussions on some basic current world security issues.

The quoted source said the ministers discussed about combating illegal immigration, illicit arms and drugs trade, counter world terrorism measures, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, border security issues and others. Vladimir Ababii pointed out the participants also focused their attention on issues related to radioactive waste management and environmental pollution counter measures, crisis management and anti-personnel mine disposal.

The Defense Ministers were also informed about the activities to be carried out in 2012 within SEDM and the South Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG). Thus, they pointed to the development of SEEBRIG, including by attracting new members to strengthen existent worldwide peace and security building capabilities.

During his visit to Turkey, Minister Vitalie Marinuta met with Celeste Wallander, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense to discuss about some major issues of mutual interest related to Moldovan-American defense cooperation. Thus, Minister of Defense told the American official about Republic of Moldova’s achievements in the security and defense reform, as well as discrepancies in reaching the desired goals.

Celeste Wallander reiterated the fact the US Department of State would keep supporting Republic of Moldova Government to reach its goals mainly referring to the Ministry’s of Defense efforts to develop the National Army in compliance with the Republic of Moldova requirements.

The American official welcomed Republic of Moldova's efforts to maintaining world security by deploying professional servicemen to peacekeeping missions, mainly referring to UNAMA operation, which Republic of Moldova had contributed helicopters to.

The Minister of Defense also had some non-official talks with the Defense Ministers of Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, as well as other counterparts attending the meeting from Turkey.

The event brought together representatives from 16 states.

SEDM is a regional initiative established in 1996. It aims at enhancing regional political-military cooperation process and strengthening stability and security in South-Eastern Europe. Each year, SEDM organizes decision making meetings of Defense Ministers, as well as meetings of chiefs of main staffs for military consultations.

Moldova joined SEDM in 2003. Since then, it has been attending the Defense Ministers’ meeting as an observer. The next South-Eastern Defense Ministerial (SEDM) meeting will be held in October 2012, in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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