NATO Secretary General in New York
The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stressed the Alliance's determination to stay the course in Afghanistan at a meeting with the Afghan Foreign Minister Dr Zalmay Rassoul on the margins on the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Mr Rasmussen expressed his deepest sympathy to the Afghan people for the recent killing of the chairman of the High Peace Council Dr Burhanuddin Rabbani. But he made clear that "this horrific assassination will not change" NATO's strategy. The first stage of transition to Afghan security lead was a success, Mr Rasmussen said, and the next stage was expected to take place soon. Implementing NATO's Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan will be one of the major issues on the agenda of the Chicago summit next May.
The situation in Kosovo was the main topic at a bilateral meeting between the Secretary General and the President of Serbia Boris Tadic. Mr Rasmussen assured President Tadic that "KFOR would continue to conduct its mission in an impartial way, to maintain a safe and secure environment in Kosovo." The Secretary General also repeated his call for all parties to refrain from any action that could provoke further tension.
Mr Rasmussen also discussed a whole range of bilateral and international issues with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. They agreed that while NATO and Russia have made substantial progress in areas such as enhancing Afghanistan transit and counter-terrorism, much remained to be done on cooperation on missile defence and dialogue between NATO and Russia would continue in a constructive manner in the months ahead.
The Secretary General also took part in the Transatlantic Dinner, a traditional event attended by leaders from NATO and EU nations.