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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid