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Rasmussen: NATO to bring Libya operation to end as soon as possible

BRUSSELS, Oct 5 (KUNA) -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen opened a meeting of NATO Defence Ministers this afternoon, saying the two-day gathering will focus on the Alliance's operations, capabilities and prepare for the NATO Summit meeting in Chicago next May.
"In Libya, together with our partners, we have been remarkably successful in support of the United Nations. We have saved countless lives and helped the Libyan people to take their destiny in their own hands, and out of the grip of Colonel Qadhafi," he said.
"We will continue our mission for as long as necessary. But we are determined to bring it to an end as soon as possible," stressed the NATO chief.
On Afghanistan, he said transition is on track.
"Insurgents will not be allowed to derail it. Afghans have already taken the lead for the security of one quarter of the population. I expect the next phase of transition to be announced soon, and to be just as significant, so that we can complete the process by the end of 2014," he added.
Rasmussen said NATO is working with its partners in ISAF on a long-term strategic partnership with Afghanistan, which will be endorsed at NATO Summit in Chicago. (end) nk.ajs KUNA 051812 Oct 11NNNN