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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid