“We came to Chicago with three goals. And we have met them. We have focused on the future of Afghanistan. We have decided to invest smartly in our defence even in times of austerity. And we have engaged with our partners around the world to address the challenges we all face in the 21st century,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after the two-day series of meetings.
The Secretary General was speaking after the final session of the summit – a unique meeting with 13 partner countries from around the world which have recently made particular political, operational, and financial contributions to NATO-led operations.
“All our partners share NATO’s desire to build security, but they contribute to our work in many different ways,” the Secretary General said. “Today, we thanked them for their valuable support, their commitment, and their insights.”
NATO is committed to building cooperative security with partners – finding global solutions to deal with global problems.
“We agreed there is great potential to enhance our political dialogue and our practical cooperation,” the Secretary General said.
The Summit set out a strategy for concluding the transition of security responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, and delivered a strong commitment to supporting the Afghan forces after that date.
“Here in Chicago, we have charted the course to complete our current mission in Afghanistan. And we have made clear our collective commitment to a stable and secure Afghanistan, together with our Afghan partners and the international community as a whole,” the Secretary General said.
Alliance leaders agreed that NATO is ready to work towards establishing, at the request of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, a new post-2014 mission in Afghanistan, to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces. This will not be a combat mission.
Leaders also took a series of decisions designed to make sure that the Alliance remains capable of tackling the full range of security challenges, even in times of economic austerity.
“Here in Chicago, we agreed to implement a renewed culture of cooperation, so that nations can achieve together what they cannot achieve alone. We put it into practice by agreeing on projects which will provide the capabilities we need, at a price we can afford,” the Secretary General said.
Alliance leaders expressed their appreciation for the generous hospitality provided by the Government of the United States and the people and City of Chicago.
“Chicago is famous for thinking big and for doing great things. You have just organised the biggest summit in NATO’s history, and you have done it with great style. The decisions we have taken here in Chicago will reinforce the vital bond between North America and Europe and strengthen NATO for the years ahead,” the Secretary General said.