Opening Statement

by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the Informal meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers with non-NATO ISAF contributing nations

  • 23 Apr. 2010
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  • Last updated: 23 Apr. 2010 09:54

Ministers,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

A very warm welcome to this meeting on Afghanistan.

There is no reason to hide that the security situation in Afghanistan remains very challenging. Many countries represented around this table have lost soldiers in this mission. But this year, we are making progress. Increasingly, this year, the momentum will be ours.

Our new strategy in Afghanistan is now on display. Thousands of new ISAF forces are working in partnership with ever more Afghan forces to protect the Afghan people. The Afghan Government is taking more responsibility for running the country. And we are preparing to begin the process of handing over leadership, where conditions allow, back to the Afghan people.

The future of this mission is clear and visible: more Afghan capability, and more Afghan leadership. I warmly welcome Foreign Minister Dr Zalmai Rassoul.

May I now ask the press to leave the room.