NATO Secretary General praises France's leading security role at meeting with President Hollande
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with President Hollande in Paris on Tuesday (8 April) and thanked him for the leading role that France is playing on the full range of security issues.
“We had a very positive and fruitful meeting," Mr Fogh Rasmussen said after the talks. "I thanked France for its commitment to NATO, its determination to acquire the necessary military capabilities and its political will to use them."
Mr Fogh Rasmussen stressed that the Alliance had responded to the Ukraine crisis with solidarity and determination and thanked France for its significant contribution. “We restated our commitment to collective defence," said the Secretary General, thanking France for the offer of aircraft to reinforce NATO's Baltic air policing mission and AWACS surveillance flights over Poland and Romania.
The Secretary General and the President of France reviewed preparations for the completion of the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan and for the launch of a new mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces after 2014, provided the necessary security agreements are completed.
They also discussed cooperation between NATO and the European Union, including on defence capacity building in partner nations. Finally, they stressed the need to dedicate enough resources to defence and ensure a fairer sharing of costs and responsibilities between Europe and North America, as well as within Europe itself.
During his visit, the Secretary General also met with Defence Minister Le Drian to discuss preparations for the Wales summit, including the need for strong capabilities, enhanced training, and closer cooperation between NATO and the European Union. He also held substantive and wide-ranging talks with French parliamentarians, members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.