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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid