Rice to travel to Europe for NATO summit

Other News Materials 24 November 2008 23:09 (UTC +04:00)

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to Brussels next week for a NATO meeting and will make stops in Britain, Italy, Finland and Denmark during the six-day trip, the US State Department said Monday, dpa reported.

The NATO gathering of foreign ministers December 2-3 will likely focus on the war in Afghanistan and the expansion of the alliance to former Soviet states, including Ukraine and Georgia.

Plans to eventually allow those two countries into NATO has angered Moscow, which sees the expansion of NATO closer to Russian borders as a threat. Washington strongly backs membership for Georgia and Ukraine.

Before arriving in Brussels, Rice will meet with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in London after her Sunday departure. Following the NATO gathering, Rice will meet with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

In Helsinki, Rice will take part in an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe meeting December 4 and will meet with Finnish officials. Her final stop in Denmark includes meetings with Prime Minister Anders Rasmussen and Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller.