The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Readout of the President's Meeting with the NATO Secretary General

The President welcomed NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to the White House today.  He thanked the Secretary General for his leadership and expressed appreciation to all NATO allies for their many contributions to peace and security in Europe and around the world.  The President and the Secretary General discussed Libya, where NATO and five partner nations are implementing the mandate of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 and are enforcing the no-fly zone, implementing the arms embargo, and protecting civilians from the violence inflicted on them by the Qadhafi regime.  They agreed the operation had saved countless lives and that as long as the Qadhafi regime continues to attack its own population, NATO will maintain its operations to protect civilians.

The President and the Secretary General also discussed the ongoing NATO mission in Afghanistan, where over 40,000 troops from Allied and partner nations join U.S. forces in International Security Assistance Force.  They agreed on the importance of a sustained NATO commitment to Afghanistan as the process of transition to Afghan lead for security begins this year.

The President looks forward to hosting the next NATO Summit in the United States in 2012.

White House Shareables