NATO will start transition to Afghanistan this year: Rasmussen

13:01, April 24, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday that the alliance would start handing over responsibility for Afghanistan to Afghan authorities this year.

Following a meeting here of NATO foreign ministers with non-NATO International Security Assistance Force contributing nations, Fogh Rasmussen told reporters "our aims in 2010 are clear: to take the initiative against the insurgency; to help the Afghan Government exercise its sovereignty; and to start handing over responsibility for Afghanistan to the Afghans."

Fogh Rasmussen said that "citizens in Afghanistan and in all troop contributing countries are demanding visible progress. And they are right to insist on that."

The NATO chief said the coalition was making progress in Afghanistan, and he expected that "we will start handing over responsibility to the Afghans this year."

"Today, we agreed on the approach we will take to transition. We set out a process, the conditions that will have to be met and what we will do to make those conditions happen," Rasmussen said the prospective transition "must be not just sustainable, but irreversible."

Fogh Rasmussen also elaborated on the alliance's stance on nuclear issues and missile defense.

He said the ministers agreed that decisions on nuclear policy would be made by all member states together and the alliance "must continue to maintain a balance between credible deterrence, and support for arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation."

Missile defense is no replacement for nuclear deterrence, but can complement it, he said, adding that NATO wants cooperation on missile defense with Russia.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • On Sept. 26, a resident passes by a flower terrace decorated for the coming National Day. (Xinhua/Hang Xingwei)
  • The photo, taken on Sept. 26, shows the SWAT team ready for the joint exercise. (Xinhua/Wangkai)
  • Two metro trains in Shanghai collided Tuesday afternoon, and an identified number of passengers were injured in the accident, the Shanghai-based reported. Equipment failures were believed to have caused the crash on the Line 10 subway, Xinhua quoted local subway operator as saying.
  • An employee at a gold store in Yiwu, located in east China's Zhejiang province, shows gold jewelry on Monday.(Xinhua/Zhang Jiancheng)
  • Tourists ride camels near China's largest desert lake Hongjiannao in Yulin, north China's Shaanx Province, Sept. 24, 2011. Hongjiannao is shrinking as a result of climate change and human activities, and may vanish in a few decades. Its lake area, which measured more than 6,700 hectares in 1996, has shrunk to 4,180 hectares. Its water level is declining by 20-30 centimeters annually and its water PH value has risen to 9.0-9.42 from 7.4-7.8. (Xinhua/Liu Yu)
  • Actors perform royal dance at the Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, Sept. 27, 2011. A ceremony commemorating the 38th South Korea Sightseeing Day was held in Gyeongbok Palace on Tuesday. (Xinhua/He Lulu)
Hot Forum Discussion