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PM and NATO Secretary-General hold talks

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Prime Minister David Cameron and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen have held talks about the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

In a meeting at Number 10 the two leaders agreed that the next year will be a crucial time and that the training of the Afghan army and police was a key objective.

Mr Cameron, who paid his first visit to Afghanistan as Prime Minister last month, reiterated that it was his Government’s top foreign policy priority.

A Downing Street spokesman said:

They agreed on the central importance of the ongoing ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) mission in Afghanistan to the national security of the UK and all NATO allies. The Prime Minister made clear that success in Afghanistan was his Government’s highest foreign policy and national security priority.

The leaders agreed that the next year would be crucial. The current counter-insurgency strategy remained right. The recent troop surge provided the necessary military resources. The Prime Minister made clear his confidence in General Petraeus’ ability to deliver progress on the ground. The Prime Minister and the Secretary-General reaffirmed their view that accelerating training of the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police was a key objective for the period ahead.

The Prime Minister thanked the Secretary-General for his vital efforts in ensuring a continued, concerted international effort in Afghanistan. The Secretary-General expressed his deep gratitude for the sacrifices made by British troops in Helmand Province.

Mr Cameron and Mr Rasmussen also discussed work on the new NATO strategic concept and the upcoming NATO Summit in Lisbon.

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