Brussels (EuAsiaNews): NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that despite the fact that the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden , was hiding in the Pakistani city of Abottabad, the Alliance will continue to engage with Pakistan positively in the fight against global terrorism.
\”It goes without saying that it takes a positive engagement of Pakistan to ensure a long term solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and this is also the reason why we have invested some efforts in developing partnership with Pakistan and recent events do not change our strategy in that respect, \” he told a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday.
\”On the contrary, I think it underlines how important it is to continuously engage Pakistan positively so we will proceed on that path and continue our efforts to strengthen bonds between NATO and Pakistan, \” he stated.
Rasmussen said that by killing Bin Laden , \”the United States marked a significant success for the security of all Allies, and the security of the nations which have joined us in our efforts to combat the scourge of global terrorism. \”
\”I congratulated President Obama and all those involved in the operation against the founder of Al Qaeda, the man who was directly responsible for the loss of thousands of innocent lives on September 11 and in other terrorist atrocities across the world, \” said the NATO chief.
\”You may ask: what does that mean to NATO, and what does that mean to our mission in Afghanistan? And my message is clear. We will stay the course, \” he said.
\”International terrorism continues to pose a direct threat to the security of our nations and to stability across the world,\” stressed Rasmussen.
\”Our reason for being in Afghanistan is clear and our strategy will not change. NATO Allies and partners will continue the mission to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for extremism, but develops in peace and security,\” he noted.
\”With gradual transition to lead Afghan responsibility for security, we have entered a new phase. That transition process remains fully on track and, with our Afghan partners; we aim to complete it by 2014, he added.