Wednesday, August 5, 2009

NATO - Afghanistan

New NATO chief vows to strengthen Afghan efforts

Agence France Presse — The new NATO chief vowed Wednesday to strengthen military efforts to counter an insurgency in Afghanistan but conceded peace talks with certain groups were an option to end mounting violence.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, making his first visit to Afghanistan as head of the 28-nation alliance, told a news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai that he was ready for "pragmatic steps" to improve security.
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Rasmussen wants Afghans to take more responsibility

Reuters — The new head of NATO said he wanted Afghan forces to assume lead responsibility for security within the next four years, but would not set a timeline for a complete pull out by alliance troops.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who took over as secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Saturday, faces many challenges but none more daunting than finding a winning strategy for the war in Afghanistan and improving relations with its former Cold War foe Russia.
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New NATO chief open to talks with Taliban

ABC Australia — The new head of NATO says the organisation's priority must be the war in Afghanistan and he says he is open to negotiations with moderate members of the Taliban.
As the new Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen inherits a daunting task with tens of thousands of troops battling a fierce Taliban insurgency ahead of the Afghanistan presidential election.
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