NATO leader says alliance stands ready to assist Pakistan

21:53, June 04, 2010      

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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani (L) address a joint news conference after their meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels June 4, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

NATO is prepared to assist Pakistan if asked by the Asian nation and looks forward to deepening cooperation and expanding political dialogue between the two, the alliance's leader said Friday.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke at a press conference after a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani at NATO headquarters.

"NATO stands ready to assist (Pakistan), but it's also very much up to Pakistan to express its wishes as to how we can further assist you in the development of the capacity," Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen and Gilani agreed to broaden bilateral cooperation, which so far has been mainly limited to military-to-military contact aimed at fighting the Taliban along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

"We look very much forward to deepening cooperation with the government in Pakistan, and to developing the political dialogue we have started," Rasmussen said.

Gilani said Pakistan "is determined to win against the evil forces of extremism and terrorism."

"Defeat in this war is not an option for us," he said.

He said Pakistan and NATO shared common objectives and that close NATO-Pakistan cooperation was "crucial."

"We have to not ... confine (our efforts) to only terrorism and extremism, we have to look beyond that," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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