the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

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

The President welcomed NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to the Oval Office earlier today.  The President thanked the Secretary General for his strong and effective leadership during NATO’s seven month operation in Libya, Operation Unified Protector.  The President and the Secretary General agreed that by acting quickly and decisively NATO saved the lives of thousands of Libyan civilians.  The President and the Secretary General also discussed goals for the May 20-21 NATO Summit, which the President will host in Chicago, including taking further steps to ensure that NATO has the defense
capabilities it needs to meet 21st century security threats.  They agreed that the Chicago Summit should seek to further broaden and deepen NATO’s relationships with non-NATO partner nations.  Additionally, the President and the Secretary General discussed the important progress made by the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan, and how the Chicago Summit might shape the next major phase of transition in Afghanistan, consistent with the Lisbon Summit goals and the President’s June 22 speech on Afghanistan.