Clinton to travel to Brussels for NATO meetings
www.chinaview.cn 2009-12-02 08:10:10   Print

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Brussels on Friday for a series of ministerial-level meetings of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said the U.S. State Department on Tuesday.

    Clinton will attend a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of foreign ministers and a meeting of NATO foreign ministers with non-NATO nations contributing for NATO mission in Afghanistan.

    The secretary will also meet with NATO Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen and newly appointed Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme and Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere and European Union leaders.

    NATO's Afghanistan mission is expected to top the agenda of the meetings.

    In his visit to the White House in September, Rasmussen was told by President Barack Obama to offer firm support in the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan to ensure a successful dismantling, disrupting and destroying of the al-Qaeda network.

    "This is not an American battle; this is a NATO mission, as well. And we are working actively and diligently to consult with NATO at every step of the way," Obama said, stressing that the military alliance is "the cornerstone of transatlantic relationships."

    Obama is expected to announce later Tuesday the deployment of up to 35,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and the acceleration of security responsibility transfer from U.S. forces to Afghans.

    Obama ordered to send 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in March and U.S. troop levels there has grown to 68,000. However, as the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates, Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has been calling for 40,000more troops since August to quell the insurgency led by Taliban.

Editor: Lin Zhi
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