Backgrounder: Munich Security Conference
Special: The 45th annual Munich Security Conference
MUNICH, Germany, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- NATO Secretary-General Jaapde Hoop Scheffer Saturday urged European Union (EU) countries to contribute more troops to Afghanistan to share responsibilities in the war-torn country.
"I'm frankly concerned when I hear the United States is planning a major commitment for Afghanistan but other allies are already ruling out doing more... That is not good for the political balance," de Hoop Scheffer said at the Munich Security Conference.
U.S. President Barack Obama plans to deploy 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan over the next 18 months, which would nearly double the American force there now.
Obama has made no secret that he wants Germany and other European countries to increase their involvement in the NATO-lead peacekeeping mission, but Germany and France have been reluctant to do so.
The NATO chief also called for the application of a "two-way street" to re-balance ties between the United States and Europe.
"The Obama administration has already done a lot of what Europeans have asked for, including announcing the closure of Guantanamo and a serious focus on climate change," he said. "Europe should also listen. When the United States asks for a serious partner, it does not just want advice, it wants and deserves someone to share the heavy lifting."
"If Europe wants a greater voice, it needs to do more," de Hoop Scheffer said.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who was scheduled to speak at the Munich Security Conference later Saturday, was expected to call on EU countries to send more troops to Afghanistan.
On NATO-Russia cooperation, de Hoop Scheffer said that the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) had not lived up to expectations and "indeed should do better."
Meanwhile, he ruled out a NATO role in the Mideast for the moment.
"NATO for the moment should not seek a role in the Mideast. We get sufficient actors and mediators, groups and organizations. NATO should also look carefully what it should not do. we have more and more on a list of overeating for NATO. Let's do well what we are doing," he said.
The three-day conference opened Friday to discuss major global and regional security issues, with the participation of some 350 world leaders and top ministers.