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Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says one of NATO's most important missions now is in Afghanistan.
She says the alliance must work to help ensure the country does not become a safe haven for the Taliban and al-Qaida.
commented Thursday in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, which is discussing the future of the Western-backed
alliance. The former secretary of state has been leading a panel of
experts evaluating NATO's mission.
The committee's chairman,
Senator John Kerry, a Democrat from the northeastern state of
Massachusetts, just returned from Afghanistan where he met with
President Hamid Karzai.
Kerry told the committee he saw
"firsthand NATO's single largest present day commitment." He also said
while questions remain about the future of the Afghan mission, the
confidence in the "idea and the cohesion of NATO remains strong."
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called for greater
engagement in Afghanistan, saying the battle against insurgents is the
most complex challenge the alliance has faced.
U.S. President Barack Obama is considering a new strategy in
Afghanistan, including a request from the top NATO and U.S. commander
in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, to increase the number of
troops in the country.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.