Obama, NATO chief discuss Ukraine, Afghanistan

US President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan Tuesday at the White House.

Washington: US President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan Tuesday at the White House.

Rasmussen`s visit "underscores the vital importance the United States places on NATO as the cornerstone of our alliance with Europe and the importance of Rasmussen`s leadership at this critical time", Xinhua quoted White House spokesperson Josh Earnest telling a press briefing.

On Ukraine, Obama and Rasmussen discussed "the implications of Russia`s aggression for European security" and the efforts the US and other allies have been making over the past several months to reassure all allies of NATO`s commitment to collective defence, Earnest said.
The leaders spoke about the need to improve allied defence investment and to bolster the defence capacity of NATO`s vast network of partners, the official said.

Obama and Rasmussen also spoke about Afghanistan and planning for NATO`s non-combat mission beyond 2014, he added.
After the meeting, Rasmussen told reporters that Afghanistan must sign a security agreement before the NATO summit in Wales in September, or there will be severe problems after 2014.

He also urged contenders in Afghanistan`s presidential election to work with electoral authorities "to find a solution that ensures a credible outcome" of the election.

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