NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to NATO headquarters on 3 December for a discussion on issues of common interest, including stability in Afghanistan. The Secretary General stressed that NATO and Pakistan share common interests and face similar challenges.
“Most urgently, we need to remain united to defeat terrorism,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said. “At NATO we understand well that Pakistan has paid a high price in these efforts. The Alliance stands together with you to combat this scourge.”
The Pakistani Foreign Minister also met with the North Atlantic Council for an exchange of views. Welcoming the renewed military-to-military dialogue in recent months, Allied nations made clear that they stand ready to develop political dialogue and cooperation with Pakistan, and emphasized that Pakistan’s positive engagement was needed to ensure long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. Allies thanked Minister Rabbani Khar for the recent opening by Pakistan of the lines of communications for the ISAF mission. Mr Fogh Rasmussen said, “it’s clear that the pursuit of peace and security in your region is in the interest of the broader international community. That includes peace in Afghanistan, where Pakistan has a particular role to play.”
NATO-Pakistan relations go beyond the focus on the situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan is one of NATO’s global partners and President Zardari took part at the NATO summit in Chicago last May. Ties with Pakistan have developed progressively since the Alliance assisted Pakistan following the devastating earthquake in 2005.