NATO parliamentarians call for new strategy in Afghanistan

November 15th, 2008 - 12:56 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaValencia (Spain), Nov 14 (DPA) Jose Lello, president of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) parliamentary assembly, Friday urged the West to adopt a new strategy in Afghanistan.Lello met the press at the start of the 54th annual meeting of the assembly, which was bringing together more than 300 delegates from 50 countries in Valencia, eastern Spain.

Barack Obama’s election as US president was likely to lead to an increase of troops in Afghanistan, Lello said, observing that Obama had stressed the need to stabilise Afghanistan during his electoral campaign.

Military presence was necessary to create the stability needed for solving social, political or economic problems, Lello explained.

Yet the situation in Afghanistan “is not only a military, but above all a political problem”, he said, urging international organisations such as the UN and the European Union (EU) to get involved in solving problems related to governing the country or drug trafficking.

About 70,000 NATO-led and US troops are currently stationed in the Asian country.

The NATO parliamentary assembly was also to discuss relations with Russia and Georgia, the global economy and changes in the organisation of the Atlantic alliance at the five-day meeting.

Delegates came from 26 NATO and 16 associated countries, seven Mediterranean countries and the Palestinian legislative council.

The guest list included NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

The NATO parliamentary assembly is an independent organ whose decisions are not binding for NATO.

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