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NATO Leaders Gather for Summit

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3 Mar 09 | VOA News

Top European leaders pledged to support U.S. President Barack Obama’s new Afghan strategy as they gathered in Germany for a NATO summit marking the alliance’s 60th anniversary.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel assured Mr. Obama that her country will bear its share of responsibility in Afghanistan. Earlier, French President Nicolas Sarkozy endorsed the new U.S strategy, pledging to help Afghanistan in police training and reconstruction. British officials pledged to dispatch a number of additional troops, if other alliance members do the same. Spain also pledged a small additional contingent.

Earlier, addressing French and German students in the eastern French city of Strasbourg, Mr. Obama said he soon will lay out an agenda to seek a world without nuclear weapons. He said the spread of nuclear arms could lead to the extermination of any city on the planet. He said he will outline his proposals in Prague Sunday.

Later, in the German town of Baden-Baden, Mr. Obama stressed U.S. readiness to work with the European allies. He noted that NATO must have a clear mission, warning that otherwise it will fail.

Speaking in Strasbourg, Mr. Sarkozy also announced that his country will accept a prisoner from Guantanamo Bay and praised Mr. Obama’s decision to close the terrorist detention facility.

Mr. Sarkozy also praised Wednesday’s announcement by President Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev on plans to resume talks on extending a treaty limiting long-range nuclear arms.

Mr. Obama stressed the importance of dialogue with Russia. But he repeated his criticism of Moscow’s military sweep into Georgia last year.

Both men also noted the importance of preventing Iran from developing nuclear arms and convincing North Korea to stop its impending missile launch.

The two-day summit, in both France and Germany, marks the debut of Albania and Croatia on the NATO stage, after they joined the alliance earlier this week.


Written by Editors

3 April 2009 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Afghanistan, International, US

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