NATO Secretary General looks forward to timely signature of US-Afghan security accord
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed the recent Loya Jirga's endorsement of the Bilateral Security Agreement between the United States and Afghanistan and said that he looks forward to “its timely signature,” during a short meeting with the media on Tuesday (3 December 2013) at the start of a two-day NATO Foreign Ministerial.
He added that NATO will be working closely with the Afghan government in the weeks ahead to put in place the necessary legal framework to the deployment of the NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces after 2014. “But it is clear that if there is no signature on the legal agreement, there can be no deployment and the planned assistance will be put at risk,” the Secretary General said. “It is my firm hope and intention therefore to continue our efforts to support Afghanistan, once these agreements are concluded.”
Ministers started their ministerial with a discussion on preparations for next year’s NATO Summit in the United Kingdom, including how to ensure that the Alliance remains fit, outward looking and ready to respond to future security challenges. Tuesday’s meetings will also include discussions on ways to strengthen partnerships. A session of the NATO-Russia Council with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be held on Wednesday, followed by a meeting of foreign ministers from NATO and partner countries which contribute to the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) mission. A meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission, with Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, will wrap up the two-day ministerial.