For NATO, a first: 5 female defense ministers

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Associated Press

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 26 at 2:33 PM

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO has registered a first in its long history, with five women among the defense ministers who turned up Wednesday to attend a policy-making meeting at the alliance's headquarters.

The latest female to join the ministerial ranks was Italy's Roberta Pinotti, who was sworn in last Saturday as her country's first woman defense minister. The 52-year-old served as an undersecretary for defense in the just-ended government of Enrico Letta. First elected to Parliament in 2001, she is now a senator.

Pinotti joined Albania's Mimi Kodheli, Germany's Ursula von der Leyen, Norway's Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide and Jeanine Hennis-Plasshaert of the Netherlands. A NATO official said the five constituted the largest number of women defense ministers to ever serve at one time.

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