NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

14 Jun. 2012

NATO Secretary General pays tribute to Australian forces

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen paid a personal tribute to Australian Defence Force personnel on Thursday 14 June, thanking them for their contribution to the Alliance’s mission in Afghanistan

The Secretary General met with armed forces personnel who have just recently returned from Afghanistan in the Australian capital of Canberra. Australia currently has 1,550 troops stationed in Afghanistan, making it the largest non-NATO contributor to the ISAF mission.
 
“Since the very early days of the international effort in Afghanistan, Australia has contributed much and sacrificed much in our common effort to ensure that the country would never again be a safe haven for terrorists,” the Secretary General told Australian Defence Force soldiers.  “To each and every one of you,  let me say this: you are doing a remarkable job, with great courage, great skill and great determination. On behalf of NATO and our ISAF partners, thank you all.”
 
The Secretary General praised Australia’s staunch support to the ISAF mission and said the Alliance was particularly grateful for Australia’s recent announcement that it would assume the leadership of the ISAF effort in Uruzgan Province later this year. He also thanked the Australian government’s decision to stay committed to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan after 2014, when the Alliance’s main combat role will switch to one of training, advising and mentoring Afghan National Security Forces.
 
“Because of you, we now see considerable progress in Afghanistan,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said. “We are steadily handing over security responsibility to the Afghan National Security Forces and we will complete our combat mission by the end of 2014.”
 
Just ahead of his meeting with the soldiers, the Secretary General laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier at the Australian War Memorial to honour those who lost their lives during service in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
 
The tribute came ahead of talks with Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Defence Minister Stephen Smith, and other top Australian officials in Canberra later on Thursday. The Secretary General will  also travel to Sydney.

Last updated: 14-Jun-2012 07:39

High resolution photos

Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivering his speech at the National Press Club of Australia 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivering his speech at the National Press Club of Australia 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivering his speech at the National Press Club of Australia 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivering his speech at the National Press Club of Australia 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center) where he met with Australian defence personnel and Lt. Gen. David Hurley, Head of the Australian Defence Force (left) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center left) with the Honourable Stephen Smith MP Minister for Defence of Australia (left), Lt. Gen. David Hurley, Head of the Australian Defence Force (center right) and General Peter Van Uhm, Chief of Defence of the Netherlands (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, looking at the Danish born Australian Victoria Cross winner Private Joergen Christian Jensen 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, looking at the Danish born Australian Victoria Cross winner Private Joergen Christian Jensen 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) with the Honourable Stephen Smith MP Minister for Defence of Australia (center) and General Peter Van Uhm, Chief of Defence of the Netherlands (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center) with (from left to right) Dr Brendan Nelson, Ambassador of Australia to NATO, Lt. Gen. David Hurley, Head of the Australian Defence Force, Mrs Nola Anderson, Assistant Director, Branch Head of National Collection Australian War Memorial, Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL), Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia and General Peter Van Uhm, Chief of Defence of the Netherlands 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center) where he met with Australian defence personnel 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center) where he laid a wreathe at the tomb of the Australian Unknown Soldier with (from left to right) Dr Brendan Nelson, Ambassador of Australia to NATO, Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia and Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) where he laid a wreathe at the tomb of the Australian Unknown Soldier with Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) where he laid a wreathe at the tomb of the Australian Unknown Soldier 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center left) with (from left to right) Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL), Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia and Dr Brendan Nelson, Ambassador of Australia to NATO 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center left) with (from left to right) Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL), Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia and Dr Brendan Nelson, Ambassador of Australia to NATO 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center left) with (from left to right) Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL), Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia and Dr Brendan Nelson, Ambassador of Australia to NATO 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) and Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia (left) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) and Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) and Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia (left) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) and Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) meeting with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) meeting with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) meeting with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (center) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) meeting with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) meeting with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Signing of the Joint Political Declaration between Australia and NATO with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Signing of the Joint Political Declaration between Australia and NATO with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Signing of the Joint Political Declaration between Australia and NATO with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Opening remarks by Julia Gillard (Prime Minister of Australia). 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Address by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Address by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Address by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Left to right: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen with Julia Gillard (Prime Minister of Australia) and Ambassador Brendan Nelson (Australian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, NATO and EU) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Left to right: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen with Julia Gillard (Prime Minister of Australia) and Ambassador Brendan Nelson (Australian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, NATO and EU) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets with the Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Leader of the Opposition (left). 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets with the Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Leader of the Opposition (left). 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets with the Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Leader of the Opposition (left). 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 15. Jun. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Sydney, during his visit to Australia.