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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid