WASHINGTON--Secretary Anders Rasmussen met with President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other top administration officials Monday to map the Chicago NATO meeting in May with the future of Afghanistan a major item on the agenda.
Clinton was scheduled to host a dinner for Rasmussen with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon .
The May 20-21 NATO meeting will overlap with a G-8 summit, which will put an international spotlight on Chicago.
"Transition to Afghan security lead is on track," Rasmussen said in a statement. "At our upcoming summit in Chicago we will decide how to support Afghanistan throughout transition and beyond."
"...We have to ensure NATO is fit to face future security challenges while we deal with current economic challenges. No nation can do it alone. Either we all cooperate more or we'll be able to defend less."
The White House said in a statement that Obama and Rasmussen discuseed "goals" for the Chicago summit Obama will host in his adopted hometown, "including taking further steps to ensure that NATO has the defense capabilities it needs to meet 21st century security threats. They agreed that the Chicago Summit should seek to further broaden and deepen NATO's relationships with non-NATO partner nations.
"Additionally, the President and the Secretary General discussed the important progress made by the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan, and how the Chicago Summit might shape the next major phase of transition in Afghanistan, consistent with the Lisbon Summit goals and the President's June 22 speech on Afghanistan."