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President Meets with NATO’s Secretary General

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2012 – President Barack Obama met today with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in the Oval Office to discuss preparations for the May 20-21 NATO summit meeting in Chicago, according to a White House press release.

Obama and Rasmussen agreed that the summit would focus on three important topics: Afghanistan, defense capabilities, and partnerships, according to the release.

On Afghanistan, the President and Rasmussen agreed that the NATO Summit should reaffirm allied commitment to the transition framework agreed to at Lisbon, the release said, while planning for the final stages of that transition -- including a shift next year from combat to a support role, as well as enduring support for sufficient and sustainable Afghan forces.

Obama and Rasmussen also agreed that the Chicago NATO meeting should highlight the commitment of allies to field the defense capabilities that NATO needs for the 21st century, according to the release. They discussed their expectation that allies would be in a position to announce progress on a number of key capabilities initiatives, including on missile defense.

Finally, the President and the Secretary General discussed the importance of NATO’s partnerships with non-NATO countries, the release said. NATO is now a hub for a global network of security partners which have served alongside NATO forces in Afghanistan, Libya, and Kosovo.

Recognizing the important contributions provided by NATO partner nations, Obama and Ramussen said they welcome the recent decision by allies to invite a group of thirteen partner nations to Chicago for an unprecedented meeting to discuss ways to further broaden and deepen NATO’s cooperation with partner nations.


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