Secretary General says NATO is open to expand cooperation with Kyrgyzstan
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev on Tuesday (17 September 2013) that the Alliance is open to expand its cooperation with Kyrgyzstan, as well as providing support to democratic reforms. “Kyrgyzstan is a valuable partner for NATO,” the Secretary General said. “We appreciate your commitment to dialogue and cooperation and we appreciate your commitment to develop your country’s democratic institutions.”
Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said the Alliance could expand its cooperation with Kyrgyzstan into other areas where cooperation would make a real difference. “I am confident that we can be more ambitious in our cooperation, for example, in disaster response, logistics and defence reform,” he said. The Secretary General stressed that “cooperation is also based on shared values and democratic principles. These are the essence of the Partnership for Peace. We addressed this today and I encourage you, Mr. President, to strengthen democratic institutions and ensure protection of minorities and human rights.”
The Secretary General thanked President Atambayev for his country’s cooperation in helping to build security and stability in Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan is helping NATO’s mission in Afghanistan by facilitating the transit of NATO equipment. It also participates in the NATO-Russia Council programme to train counter-narcotics officers from Afghanistan and across the region. “We all know that a stable and secure Afghanistan will help sustain a stable and secure region,” said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen.