Source Pravda.Ru

New NATO Chief Visits Afghanistan

New NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen paid a visit to Afghanistan on Wednesday for meetings with military and political leaders and troops on the ground just days after taking over the alliance's top post.

The former Danish prime minister, who assumed office Saturday, reiterated earlier comments that success in the alliance's near-eight-year campaign against Taliban militants in Afghanistan was NATO's top priority, CNN International reports.

Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from Kabul, said Ramussen held a news conference with Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, in Kabul.

"This news conference and this visit comes just 48 hours into his new job, and he said that was very significant ... and that he saw Afghanistan as his very top priority," Bays said, Aljazeera.net reports.

"We have to realize that there is no military solution solely to the situation in Afghanistan and we need a broader perspective and comprehensive approach," NATO's top man told a joint press conference with President Hamid Karzai.

He further stressed that military efforts, hand in hand with a strong commitment from the international community to reconstruction in Afghanistan, is essential for having solution.

Meanwhile, NATO's chief said that peace talks would be held with "those who lay down their arms."

He also said that more than 40 countries are present in Afghanistan and "I can assure you to remain in Afghanistan as long as needed," Xinhua reports.