Leaders of the 28 NATO countries have named Danish Prime Minister
Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the new Alliance secretary-general and agreed
on a common policy toward Afghanistan.
Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer announced the accord on his
successor, noting that Turkey dropped its objections to Mr. Rasmussen.
also said the leaders, meeting in Strasbourg, agreed to send additional
forces, including those expected to help train Afghan units. He said
the new troops will also assist the Afghans in preparing for elections
scheduled for later this year.
U.S officials say this will involve about 5,000 additional troops.
also urged Afghan leaders to guarantee the full rights of women despite
new legislation that many see as restricting such rights.
secretary-general said the summit agreed to use the NATO-Russia Council
to maintain ties and discuss differences with the Russians. The leaders
also directed work on a new strategic concept for the alliance.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy formally announced his country's full
return to NATO's military command after a 40-year break.
of newly-admitted members Albania and Croatia formally took their seats
at the meeting, as President Barack Obama stressed that the alliance
remains open to other candidates.
Earlier, the leaders joined
Chancellor Merkel and other heads of state and government on the German
side of the Rhine River for a symbolic walk across a bridge leading
into France. The leaders were joined halfway by President Sarkozy
coming from the French side.
The summit marked the alliance's 60th anniversary.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.