NATO Ministers to Discuss Afghanistan, Libya

BRUSSELS, Bel­gium, March 9, 2011 — Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates arrived here today to meet with his fel­low NATO defense min­is­ters about the secu­ri­ty tran­si­tion in Afghanistan and the sit­u­a­tion in the Mid­dle East.
NATO Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al Anders Fogh Ras­mussen said in a March 7 news con­fer­ence that the sit­u­a­tion in Libya will be at the top of the agen­da for this week’s meet­ings.

“The whole world is watch­ing events in Libya and the wider Mid­dle East,” Ras­mussen said. “This is a human­i­tar­i­an cri­sis on our doorstep that con­cerns us all. The civil­ian pop­u­la­tion in Libya is the tar­get of sys­tem­at­ic attacks by the regime, so we must remain vigilant.” 

NATO strong­ly con­demns the use of force against the Libyan peo­ple, Ras­mussen said, call­ing human rights vio­la­tions under ruler Moam­mar Gad­hafi “out­ra­geous … crimes against humanity.” 

Gates left Afghanistan this morn­ing after a two-day vis­it, stop­ping en route in Stuttgart, Ger­many, for a cer­e­mo­ny trans­fer­ring lead­er­ship of U.S. Africa Com­mand from Army Gen. William E. “Kip” Ward to Army Gen. Carter F. Ham. 

In a joint news con­fer­ence with Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai dur­ing his vis­it to Afghanistan, Gates not­ed progress toward trans­fer­ring secu­ri­ty respon­si­bil­i­ty to Afghan forces. 

“We are now clos­er than ever to Pres­i­dent Karzai’s goal of build­ing Afghan nation­al secu­ri­ty forces that can take the lead in their nation’s secu­ri­ty,” the sec­re­tary said. 

The NATO-led Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force “will be well-posi­tioned to begin draw­ing down some U.S. and coali­tion forces this July, even if we rede­ploy oth­ers to dif­fer­ent areas of the coun­try,” Gates added. 

Ras­mussen said Afghanistan will be a key focus when the alliance’s defense min­is­ters meet here this week. 

“We have invit­ed [Afghan Defense Min­is­ter Abdul Rahim War­dak] and all ISAF part­ners to dis­cuss the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Joint NATO Afghan Tran­si­tion Board regard­ing the first tranche of provinces and dis­tricts to be trans­ferred to Afghan secu­ri­ty lead,” Ras­mussen said. “Pres­i­dent Karzai will make the announce­ment on March 21, mark­ing Afghan New Year.” 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twitter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →