News / Asia

NATO Tells Afghanistan to Meet its Commitments to Ensure Aid

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai (L) and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen make a joint statement before a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels, April 23, 2013.Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai (L) and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen make a joint statement before a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels, April 23, 2013.
x
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai (L) and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen make a joint statement before a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels, April 23, 2013.
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai (L) and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen make a joint statement before a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels, April 23, 2013.
Al Pessin
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Afghanistan's president Tuesday that his government must follow through on a series of reform plans to ensure that Western support continues beyond next year, when most foreign troops will leave the country. The two leaders met in Brussels during a NATO foreign ministers' meeting.

Rasmussen said he and Afghan President Hamid Karzai can deliver tough messages to each other, but still remain on friendly terms. He seems to have had such a message on Tuesday, telling reporters that while NATO plans to fulfill its long-term commitments to Afghanistan, that country also has a role to play.

“Their continued efforts to meet their commitments will pave the way for our continued support,” he said.

Rasmussen said those commitments include fighting corruption, holding credible elections next year and respecting Human Rights, including women's rights.

Setting expectations

NATO has not yet said how many troops it wants to leave in Afghanistan after next year, and negotiations on immunity for those forces and related issues are ongoing. But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at least one thing about the plan is clear.

“It is clear what the mission is. The mission will be to support, advise, train the Afghan military on an ongoing basis, as well as to engage in counter-terrorism activity,” he said.

The Afghan president thanked NATO for training and equipping his forces, and expressed confidence that they will be ready to take full security responsibility when most of the foreign troops depart.

“Afghanistan, Mr. Secretary General, will definitely be able to provide for the security of the Afghan people. The Afghan people will be providing the protection of the Afghan people and the territory of Afghanistan with the forces of our own country,” said Karzai.

But not everyone at NATO is so confident, and officials want a robust foreign presence after 2014 to help. If the effort fails, the key goal of preventing Afghanistan from again becoming a haven for terrorists could be in jeopardy.

Gaining Pakistan's support

Another key element in the plan is cooperation from Pakistan, which has been inconsistent over the nearly 12 years of the Afghan war. Kerry will host a meeting Wednesday between Karzai and senior Pakistani officials. Rasmussen welcomed the effort and spoke frankly about the problem.

“It is a problem, and we have to face that. It is a problem that terrorists can cross the border, conduct terrorist acts in Afghanistan and then seek sanctuaries, safe havens, in Pakistan,” said Rasmussen.

Rasmussen said the porous Afghan-Pakistan border hurts all the efforts to improve security in the region, and also hurts both countries' common interest in fighting extremists.

No breakthrough is expected at Wednesday's meeting, but officials say keeping the dialogue alive, and at a high level, is essential to make even incremental progress.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid