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Joint Communiqué of the Visegrad Group Ministers of Defence

Niepołomice, 2 February 2017

We, the Ministers of Defence of the Visegrad Group (V4) met in Niepołomice, Poland. We discussed the wide range of issues pertinent to our security and defense, took stock of our cooperation under the Polish V4 Presidency and set a guidance on its further development.

- We agreed on the need to fully implement the NATO Warsaw Summit decisions, including on the strengthening of the Eastern Flank. We re-confirmed the importance of the enhanced Forward Presence for the more effective deterrence and defence of NATO.

- We discussed the V4 contribution to the NATO Assurance Measures for the Baltic States in 2017. It has already started with the Czech deployment in Lithuania, which will be followed by Slovak deployment in Latvia in the second quarter, Hungarian deployment in Estonia in third quarter and Poland’s deployment in Latvia in fourth quarter.

- We agreed that possible V4 eFP contribution will be considered in due time. We tasked our Chiefs of the General Staffs to present by June 2017 initial recommendations for further V4 contribution to the security of the Baltic States.

- We agreed that the establishment of the Multinational Division North East HQ in Elbląg in Poland will strengthen NATO effectiveness in undertaking collective defence tasks on the Eastern Flank. Poland is grateful for the readiness of its V4 partners to contribute significantly to MNDNE HQ.

- We identified the 2020 rotation of the NATO VJTF under the Polish command as an important opportunity for V4 to tighten its cooperation. The Czech Republic confirmed its readiness to make a substantial contribution to it.

- We stressed that the recent deployment of the US Armoured Brigade Combat Team to Poland is of importance for ensuring the security of the entire region and the strength of the transatlantic link. We agreed that the training opportunities offered by the ABCT widen the scope of practical military cooperation among the Armed Forces of the V4 countries. We tasked our Chiefs of General Staffs to make proposals on how to take this forward by June 2017.

- We also stressed the importance of tackling challenges stemming from the South and supported NATO’s related activities in light of its 360 degree approach. Hungary reiterated its gratitude to the V4 countries for their practical assistance in addressing illegal migration.

- We expressed our support for the further development of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy and agreed it should address the security challenges for all the EU members in an effective manner and strengthen NATO at the same time.

- We expressed gratitude to our soldiers for the successful standby of the V4 EU Battle Group with Poland as a framework nation in 2016. Its robust composition and the establishment of the Operational Headquarters in Kraków proved V4 readiness and ability to contribute to multinational formations. We expressed our appreciation for preparations for the next V4 EU Battle Group in 2019 which have already started.

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