U.S. President Barack Obama says the NATO summit
has given "strong and unanimous" support to the new U.S. Afghan
Mr. Obama told a news conference the effort in Afghanistan
cannot be America's alone, and that NATO is matching real resources to meet its
goals in Afghanistan. He spoke in Strasbourg, France at the conclusion of NATO's
60th anniversary summit.
However, he said more resources will be needed
to defeat the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Obama called
the agreement to send an additional 5,000 troops to Afghanistan and their
commitment to provide millions of dollars for a trust fund to assist that
country shows NATO's seriousness in this case.
Mr. Obama also stressed
NATO's need for maintaining good ties with Russia. He congratulated Danish Prime
Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen on his confirmation to replace NATO Secretary
General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, calling him the right person to lead the alliance
in the 21st century.
Earlier French President
Nicolas Sarkozy formally announced his country's full return to NATO's military
command after a 40-year break.
Leaders of newly-admitted members Albania
and Croatia formally took their seats at the meeting, as President Obama
stressed that the alliance remains open to other candidates.
At the start
of the day, the leaders joined Chancellor Angela Merkel and other heads of state
and government on the German side of the Rhine River for a symbolic walk across
a bridge leading into France. The leaders were joined halfway by President
Sarkozy coming from the French side.
Mr. Obama will now fly to Prague for
Sunday's U.S.-European Union summit.
information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.