NATO invites Russia to join talks in Lisbon in November

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev shaking hands with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, December 16, 2009.

From David Brunnstrom, Reuters:  NATO invited Russia on Wednesday to attend talks with leaders of alliance countries during a summit in Lisbon in November, hoping to boost cooperation on security issues, including Afghanistan and Iran.

NATO diplomats said they were waiting for a response from Moscow to the invitation, which would involve talks on the sidelines of a November 19-20 NATO summit in the Portuguese capital. …

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a news briefing in Brussels that NATO foreign ministers would meet their Russian counterpart in New York on September 22, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

He said he hoped that meeting would "put some new energy" into NATO-Russia cooperation on Afghanistan and "when it comes to fighting terrorism and piracy and proliferation."

Rasmussen said it was important that the NATO summit in Lisbon restate the alliance’s offer for Russia to cooperate in missile defense. "We need an effective missile defense and I hope that that can be agreed," he said. …

NATO has rebuffed President Dmitry Medvedev‘s proposal for a new European security treaty, seeing it as a way to divide the alliance, while Russia has some reservations about a new NATO "strategic concept" due to be approved at Lisbon.  (photo: AP)

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