NATO chief 'encouraged' by Russia talks

22nd September 2010, Comments 0 comments

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday he was "encouraged" by "solid" progress on building renewed trust with Russia after a high-level meeting in New York.

Rasmussen said the foreign ministers-level session of the NATO-Russia Council on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly was a chance for Russia and the alliance's member countries to air areas of cooperation and disagreement.

The talks "were in the right spirit, they addressed the right issues. I feel that we truely are on a solid path now to improve NATO-Russia relations," he told reporters after the meeting.

The meeting went ahead at the Waldorf Astoria hotel as the alliance waits for Russia to respond to an invitation to hold a full-scale leaders summit in Lisbon on November 20.

"We looked forward to a possible NATO-Russia Council summit in Lisbon. We did have a useful discussion on what the substance might be, and we discussed concrete substance," Rasmussen said.

"The general spirit of this meeting was very positive and a reflection of the substantial progress we have made in the last 12 to 14 months in our relationship."

Rasmussen said the meeting discussed cooperation in tackling narcotics and terrorism emanating from Afghanistan, piracy and the thorny issues of missile defense and reducing conventional forces in Europe.

© 2010 AFP

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