News / Europe

    NATO to Discuss Anti-Missile System for Turkey

    A Turkish soldier takes up position near the Syrian border in the Turkish  town of Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, November 30, 2012.
    A Turkish soldier takes up position near the Syrian border in the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, November 30, 2012.
    Al Pessin
    NATO foreign ministers will discuss sending a missile defense system to Turkey in response to the continuing violence in Syria. In Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the regularly scheduled two-day ministers' meeting this week will also discuss other aspects of the Syria issue, as well as NATO's operations in Afghanistan.  

    NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses a news conference in Brussels, Belgium, November 5, 2012.NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses a news conference in Brussels, Belgium, November 5, 2012.
    x
    NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses a news conference in Brussels, Belgium, November 5, 2012.
    NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses a news conference in Brussels, Belgium, November 5, 2012.
    Secretary General Rasmussen said the NATO ministers will discuss Turkey's request for the American Patriot missile defense system on Wednesday.

    The request follows Syrian government shelling near the Turkish border that hit some areas inside Turkey. Rasmussen said the NATO ministers will also discuss the plan with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is coming to Brussels for a regular NATO-Russia dialogue meeting.

    The secretary general made the remarks to visiting Afghan reporters at NATO headquarters on Monday. He said the alliance's commitment to Afghanistan will continue, even after its combat role ends in two years.

    But he said the Afghan government must fulfill its commitments to the international community to improve governance, fight corruption, protect human rights - including women's rights - and to hold transparent and credible elections in 2014 and 2015.

    “Our partnership with Afghanistan is a two-way street," he said. "We are taking steps to deliver on our commitment, and we expect the Afghan authorities to deliver on theirs.”

    Secretary General Rasmussen said he expects Afghan security forces to be able to take full responsibility for the country by the end of 2014 as planned. He repeated that the NATO role will change to support and training only at that time. He said that will be a focus of the foreign ministers' meeting, along with ways to ensure future foreign funding for Afghan forces.

    Rasmussen said the size and missions of the post-2014 NATO force have not been determined, and will not be decided until later in the planning process.

    Speaking via satellite from Kabul, the Canadian general who is the deputy commander of NATO's training mission in Afghanistan said Monday that Afghan forces are already leading 80 percent of security operations.

    Major General Jim Ferron said Afghan forces control areas where 75 percent of Afghans live. He said their increased combat role explains the high level of Afghan casualties, which a senior Afghan commander puts at an average of 110 per month for the Afghan Army and 200 per month for the police.

    The NATO training effort has had numerous problems over the years, including a recent increase in attacks by Afghan troops on their NATO partners. But General Ferron said the vetting process has been improved and the training is back on track.

    “The planning and the preparation, the training and the equipping is right now the best that the international community can provide," said Ferron. "We are doing the very best that we can to prepare the Afghan National Security Forces to sustain the lead in a very difficult combat environment.”

    In addition to training soldiers and small units, the NATO effort is focusing on developing the Afghan Air Force, and the army's capabilities in heavy weapons, intelligence, and such specialties as bomb disposal and emergency response.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora