The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) has taken steps to combat the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Nato called for a video meeting of its allied foreign ministers in Brussels, Belgium, for which ministers from 30 countries have connected.
The defence ministers have gathered to assess the medium- and long-term implications of the virus for alliance resilience, the continuity of essential work and the broader geostrategic picture.
Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said: “We addressed a number of issues, including our missions in Afghanistan and Iraq and our support for Georgia and Ukraine, but our response to the Covid -19 was at the top of our agenda.
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“Nato was created to deal with crises, so we can help. Our alliance is playing its part.”
The supreme allied commander in Europe Air Force General Tod D Wolters was agreed up on to coordinate the necessary military support required to combat the crisis.
Identification of the airlift capacity of the country will help ensure that medical supplies are delivered. Any surplus capacity or stocks will also be recorded.
Additionally, Wolters has been tasked to match requests for support with offers from allies and partners.
Stoltenberg added: “He will also implement simplified procedures for rapid air mobility, in coordination with Eurocontrol, using the Nato call sign for military relief flights.
“Nato’s primary responsibility is to deliver security and defence for almost one billion people. General Wolters updated ministers on the state of our military preparedness.”
A meeting has been scheduled later this month to review the support provided by Nato to allies and decide on any further steps accordingly.
The defence ministers also agreed to counter terrorism and strengthen partnerships across the Middle East and North Africa.