July 20th, 2006 15:22 EST
Afghanistan needs more international attention,
During a visit to Afghanistan, 20-21 July, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the country needs more international attention and that there can be no lasting security without development.
Mr. De Hoop Scheffer and NATO’s top operational commander, General James Jones, are visiting Afghanistan today and tomorrow.
The visit comes as NATO prepares to significantly expand its presence and role in the country this summer, increasing the number of troops and expanding its area of operations to include the south of the country.
Development is security
“There is a still a lot to do. There is no security without development and the pre-condition for development is security,” Mr. De Hoop Scheffer said at press conference at the Headquarters of the NATO-led force.
“I think the attention of the international community could be higher than it is at the moment,” he continued, “A high level of political attention is absolutely essential.”
The Secretary General met with the EU Special Representative in Afghanistan, Francesc Vendrell, and the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Christopher Alexander, to discuss the need for a common and concerted international approach to Afghanistan.
He met also with the Afghan Minister of Defence, the Minister of Interior and the National Security Adviser for briefings on the security situation in the country, and toured a training facility of the Afghan National Army.
On Friday, the Secretary General and General Jones will visit selected Provincial Reconstruction Teams.