Afghanistan tops talks as Ban Ki-moon meets NATO, Romanian officials

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Afghanistan tops talks as Ban Ki-moon meets NATO, Romanian officials

Afghanistan was a key feature of discussions between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Romania, which is hosting a three-day summit of the alliance beginning today in Bucharest.

Following his arrival in the Romanian capital, Mr. Ban met with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, with whom he discussed the situation in strife-torn Afghanistan.

In particular, they talked about whether additional troops would be offered at tomorrow’s high-level meeting which will also be attended by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Kai Eide and other key stakeholders, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters.

They also discussed Kosovo, and cooperation between the UN and NATO.

Afghanistan and Kosovo were also on the agenda as the Secretary-General met later in the day with the Romanian Prime Minister, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, as were an expanded UN role in Iraq and the set of global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr. Ban said he appreciated Romania’s contributions to UN peacekeeping operations – from Kosovo to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – as well as its voluntary funding to 15 UN agencies, funds and programmes.

“I am very grateful for the generous support and active participation of Romania in all activities of the United Nations,” he stated.