(L-R) Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO; Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Cooperation and Foreign Trade; Credit: MAEE

On Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 November 2023, Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs reported that Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Xavier Bettel, participated in the NATO ministerial meeting, which took place in Brussels.

The various working sessions focused on the preparation of the Washington summit, set to take place from 9 to 11 July 2024, concerning the Western Balkans as well as Ukraine.

Minister Bettel underlined that Luxembourg is looking forward to the accession of Sweden as the 32nd member of the Alliance, which will emerge even stronger and more secure, recalling that the Turkish and Hungarian governments have comfortable majorities within their parliaments.

Regarding the Alliance's partnerships, the minister said: “As Russia attempts to divide the world, returning to the days of 'us' versus 'them', our partnerships remain essential. Only close cooperation with our partners can guarantee our collective security.

On the Western Balkans, the minister regretted the recent developments which hindered progress on the path to Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkan countries. According to the ministry, Luxembourg condemns all efforts and rhetoric aimed at division and secession in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is concerned by the latest events in northern Kosovo.

On the second day, Minister Bettel participated in the first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council at the level of foreign ministers, in the presence of Ukrainian Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Finally, Minister Bettel took the opportunity of his first trip to NATO as Minister of Foreign Affairs to hold several bilateral interviews. Xavier Bettel spoke with his counterparts from the United Kingdom, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland and Hungary.