The Minister of National Defense Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos participated, yesterday Tuesday 04 October, in the Meeting of Defense Ministers of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative held in Venice. The Ministers of Defense of Italy, Mr. Lorenzo GueriniSlovenia, Mr. Marjan ŠarecCroatia, etc. Mario BanožićMavrovouniou, etc. Raško Konjević and Albania etc. Niko Peleshi.
During his intervention, the Minister of National Defense emphasized that the ADRION Initiative is a model of successful regional cooperation in areas of major priority and importance, such as maritime security and interoperability of the Navies of the Initiative’s Member States.
Mr. Panagiotopoulos underlined that through the activities of the ADRION Initiative, the means and mechanisms of the ADRION countries against common threats and joint maritime surveillance are strengthened, which contributes to security in the Mediterranean, an area extremely important for wider European security, the economic development, free trade and energy security.
He also pointed out that the Euro-Atlantic perspective of the countries of the Western Balkans is the main vehicle for peace, stability and security in the region, promotes good neighborly relations, the fundamental principles and values of International Law, while promoting overall development and prosperity.
In closing, he emphasized that the ADRION Initiative is based on full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and sovereign rights of all states, in accordance with International Law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
On the sidelines of the Synod, Mr. Panagiotopoulos had a meeting with his Italian counterpart, Mr. Guerini, during which they discussed the further strengthening of bilateral defense cooperation, the developments in Ukraine and the security situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In this context, the Minister of National Defense underlined the need to avoid revisionist attitudes that destabilize the wider region and create risks for security and peace.
The ADRION Ministerial Summit adopted the following Joint Declaration:
OF THE MINISTERS OF DEFENSE:
OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA,
OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA,
OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC,
OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC,
OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA,
ADRIATIC AND IONIAN INITIATIVE (ADRION)
We, the Ministers of Defense of the Republic of Albania, the Republic of Croatia, the Hellenic Republic, the Italian Republic, Montenegro and the Republic of Slovenia met in Venice on October 4, 2022.
RECOGNIZING the long-term cooperation between the member states of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative,
We reaffirmed that our cooperation is based on full mutual respect in accordance with International Law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
We recalled the importance of our cooperation in the framework of ADRION, as a successful example of regional cooperation which was established in 2004 and is based on: inclusiveness, shared values and common interest to strengthen security and stability in the Adriatic and Ionian basin.
We recognized and praised the results achieved by the ADRION Initiative during its nearly twenty-year period of continuous activities and commitment to enhancing maritime security, and the full awareness of the security situation in the Adriatic-Ionian Basin.
We appreciated the valuable contribution offered by the EU Strategy. for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR) as a tool to strengthen regional cooperation in key policy areas for the benefit of the entire region.
We recognized the imperative to address a growing range of maritime security challenges and risks and to address common threats affecting our regional security and stability, such as terrorism, illegal immigration, smuggling and cross-border crime.
We emphasized the importance of maintaining and improving interoperability and cooperation between the Navies of our countries, to achieve an improved level of maritime security and strengthen our joint capability to provide Humanitarian Assistance, Disaster Relief, Search and Rescue and Capacity Building .
ADRION, through its operational component, the On Call Maritime Force (OCMF), has proven to be a reliable tool for:
● Promoting education, integration, capacity building, mutual sharing of knowledge and expertise and confidence building;
● Achieving a reliable naval presence in the Adriatic Ionian region, when activated,
● Achieving Maritime Protection and know-how for the regional maritime environment.
In view of our determination to further strengthen our cooperation, we encourage ADRION Naval Chiefs:
● to complete the approval process of the Technical Arrangement revised by the Member States,
● improve the effectiveness and visibility of the initiative,
● promote and share best practices, tools created and lessons learned within ADRION in EU forums; and NATO,
● enhance capacity utilization by exploring the implementation of the concept of “pooling and sharing” in national media to identify and develop common requirements and reduce overall costs;
● to enhance, through a big-step approach, joint Situational Awareness in the maritime sector, making the most of existing tools, such as the Virtual-Regional Maritime Traffic Centre.
● to promote Maritime Protection in the Adriatic and Ionian region through the activation of the OCMF according to the planned programming,
● to pursue opportunities for closer cooperation and better coordination with NATO and EU operations; within ADRION’s Area of Responsibility,
● to explore any additional field of activity of common interest which may work to the benefit of ADRION.
It was approved during the Ministerial Conference of ADRION on 4her October 2022 in Venice.
First Appeared at: defence247.gr