NATO Secretary General holds high-level meetings in New York
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen continued high-level meetings at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. On Wednesday (26 September), he met the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, with security cooperation at the top of the agenda.
Mr Fogh Rasmussen thanked Russia for its support to the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan, including through expanded transit arrangements through Ulyanovsk. They reconfirmed the intention to move forward with new initiatives on practical cooperation and continue substantial political dialogue through the NATO-Russia Council. NATO and Russia already cooperate in many areas including stability in Afghanistan, and countering terrorism and piracy.
Mr Fogh Rasmussen also had an opportunity to exchange views with the Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic. He congratulated Mr Nikolic on his election, at an important time in Serbia's integration within the wider European structures. NATO has been the guarantor of peace and security in the Balkans for over a decade, and the Secretary General made clear that it would continue to fully implement the UN mandate to ensure a safe and secure environment for all the people in Kosovo. He expressed hope that Serbia would continue to develop cooperation with NATO within the Partnership for Peace programme.
The Secretary General also met the Chairman of the General National Congress of Libya Mohamed Youssef al-Magariaf. Mr Fogh Rasmusen congratulated Libya on achieving key milestones on its transition to democracy, through the recent election of the National Congress and the appointment of a new Prime Minister. They agreed to examine ways to build on the success of last year's NATO-led operation to enforce the UN mandate to protect the people of Libya. NATO stands ready to assist the new Libya with its reforms in the security and defence sector, which are a priority in developing a true democracy.
In a bilateral meeting with the Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari, the Secretary General welcomed the beginning of a new chapter in relations through the recent signature of Iraq's first individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme with NATO. Mr Fogh Rasmussen expressed his commitment to continuing the high-level political dialogue with Iraq, which is of particular importance in the current regional context.
Mr Fogh Rasmussen also took part in the Transatlantic Dinner on Tuesday (25 September). Hosted by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it brings together the NATO Secretary General and the European Union High Representative, foreign ministers from both organisations, as well as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ and Switzerland, to discuss issues on the agenda of European and North Atlantic countries. One of the main topics this year was the international commitment for a stable future for Afghanistan. The Secretary General made clear that while the NATO-led coalition is taking all necessary measures to deal with insider attacks, the goal, the strategy and the timetable remain absolutely unchanged.1. Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.