NATO defense ministers will discuss on Wednesday the alliance's response to the coronavirus crisis, the head of the military bloc said Tuesday.
In a news conference, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the ministers would only focus on the fight against coronavirus in their videoconference, including medium- and long-term consequences of the pandemic on the functioning of the military alliance.
"The COVID-19 has taught us a lesson about the importance of resilience," Stoltenberg said.
Defense ministers will also examine the security implications of the pandemic.
Stoltenberg pointed out NATO's core task remains to preserve the security of its almost 1 billion citizens.
"We must continue to work hard to ensure that this health crisis doesn't become a security crisis," he said.
Wednesday's virtual meeting follows up the foreign ministers' talks about mobilizing their efforts to bring civil support for the coronavirus crisis.
Earlier this month, NATO foreign ministers agreed to assess their surplus stocks and airlift capacities for delivering aid supplies in a coordinated way.
Since then, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, and the United States have sent medical and financial support to NATO's newest ally, North Macedonia.
Turkey also provided medical supplies to the U.K., Italy, Spain and Montenegro, and NATO's partners in the Balkans, including Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo.
Germany, Denmark, and Luxembourg also delivered ventilators and protective equipment to Italy and Spain.
Defense ministers will assess the help provided so far and discuss further measures.
Turkey's anti-terrorism efforts in Syria would not be on Wednesday's agenda, but the NATO chief said the alliance would continue to work on providing support to the country.
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