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NATO Chief Says Taliban Being Pushed Back


NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, strategic missile defense, and relations between the alliance and Russia.

Rasmussen said NATO's increased efforts in Afghanistan this year are paying off.

"With our operations now pushing directly into Taliban heartland, the insurgency is under pressure -- under pressure like never before in Afghanistan," Rasmussen said. "And our aim for this year was to regain the momentum. Now we have it."

Rasmussen said he looked forward to an upcoming NATO-Russian Council summit where Rasmussen said he hoped to see progress toward a "foundation for a long-term strategic partnership between NATO and Russia."

Merkel welcomed what she called Russia's "openness" toward discussions on a European missile-defense system.

compiled from agency reports
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