STRASBOURG, France, April 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S.
President Barack Obama praised here on Saturday NATO allies for pledging to
contribute more resources to support his new strategy in Afghanistan.
"I am pleased that our NATO allies pledged their strong and unanimous support for our new strategy," Obama told a press conference at the end of a two-day NATO summit.
US President Barack Obama addresses during a press conference after the NATO summit in Strasbourg, France, April 4, 2009. Obama praised here on Saturday NATO allies for pledging to contribute more resources to support his new strategy in Afghanistan. (Xinhua/Wu Wei)
"These commitments of troops, trainers and civilians
represent a strong down payment" toward securing Afghanistan, he said, referring
to the allies' agreement to send 5,000 more personnel to the war-torn Asian
nation to train Afghan military forces and police.
The additional forces include around 3,000 on
short-term deployments to ensure presidential elections in Afghanistan in August
and 2,000 trainers.
"We've started to match real resources to achieve our
goals," he said, urging for more.
"We'll need more resources and a sustained effort to
achieve our ultimate goals" of safeguarding Afghanistan, Europe and the United
States, he added, saying that those figures should not be taken as a ceiling.
"This effort cannot be America's alone. All of NATO
understands that al-Qaida is a threat to all of us and that this collective
security effort must achieve its goals," he said.
Obama announced at the end of last month a new
strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan to send 17,000 troops and another 4,000
military and police trainers.
NATO allies refused to send more combat troops to
Afghanistan, but pledging more help in training Afghan military and police
"The trainers we are sending in are no less important
than those in direct combat with the Taliban," Obama said.
Asked when he expected the war in Afghanistan to end,
He said "We are going to get this job done."
The summit focused on Afghanistan, NATO ties with
Russia, the launching of NATO's Strategic Concept and the choice of a new NATO