NATO chief reports successes in Afghanistan

NATO chief reports successes in Afghanistan

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Sunday reported successes by the alliance's forces against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan and urged the world, including Muslim countries, to join the fight against terrorism.

"We are making progress. We are turning the tide in our favour," Rasmussen said in a speech at the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy, dpa reported.

"With the ongoing increase in our military presence, our focus on

the security of the Afghan people and the success of our joint operations together with the Afghan National Army, we are clearly creating a new momentum," he added.

Rasmussen, on his first official visit to Jordan, conferred with King Abdullah II, Prime Minister Samir Rifai and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Mishaal al-Zaben.

The talks dealt with ways to increase military cooperation between Jordan and NATO and the prospect of re-launching meaningful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

He said that achieving victory in Afghanistan was vital for the entire world.

"Our nations will be much more secure if we bring lasting peace and stability to Afghanistan. This is why Afghanistan remains the alliance's key priority today," he said.

"I am convinced that, with our help, Afghanistan will soon be able to stand on its own feet again. And this will not only benefit Afghanistan, but also our own security," the NATO chief said.

He urged Islamic countries, which he said also suffered from the "scourge of terrorism" to join the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

"Let me take this opportunity to encourage Muslim countries to engage in Afghanistan. The participation of soldiers with a Muslim background is in itself a strong demonstration of the fact that the fight in Afghanistan is not about religion. It is a fight against terrorism," Rasmussen said.

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