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PM Confirms For NATO At Lisbon

  • November 7th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

afghanistan-australia-flag5.jpgThe Australia Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has booked in to attend the NATO summit this month (19-20.11.10), for talks on future commitments in Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan component of the agenda for that gathering will see discussion on future strategy for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, to which Australia currently has a commitment of close to 1500 personnel.

In the background to the meeting, European allies either have scheduled withdrawal, like the Dutch contingent currently going, or, as with Britain, an eventual turn to expressly supporting civil reconstruction, as opposed to ongoing operations against Taliban insurgents in the field.

Ms Gillard today confirmed an earlier statement on plans to go to the conference, at Lisbon, to be accompanied by the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith.

Australia is set to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2012, basing its moves on general allied strategy; also saying it can consider a pull-out once it completes a mentoring and training program for Afghan National Army units linked to its task force in the Southern Oruzgan province.

On the Lisbon meetings, the Prime Minister told a television interviewer today: “It will determine what our forces do and when they can start transitioning out”.

Also this week, she is meeting the American Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, and Defence Secretary Robert Gates, both on an Australian visit.

Afghanistan is prominent on the agenda, and Mrs Clinton has stated that for the future, the two countries militarily will have “inevitably closer ties”.

See also, EUAustralia Online: “”November summitry”, 29.10.10; “Australia to tell NATO: staying on in Afghanistan”, 20.10.10; “Australian PM at NATO”, 5.10.10.


North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Brussels, “Summit Meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government,Lisbon, Portugal – 19-20 November 2010”., (7.11.10).