NATO Brussels: Secretary General thanks Belgium 'for its contribution'
'Secretary General thanks Belgium for its contribution as a reliable Ally'
Brussels, 17 Dec. 2012
The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen congratulated Belgium for its important role in NATO-led operations during a meeting with the Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo and Defence Minister Pieter De Crem.
"Your soldiers and trainers in Kabul and Kunduz do an outstanding job. Your jet fighters provide necessary air cover for ISAF troops in Kandahar, “ Mr Fogh Rasmusssen said. “Their work makes a valuable contribution to our goa, to make sure that Afghan troops and police can take full charge of their country’s security by the end of 2014. And due to their courage and dedication, we are making steady progress." The NATO Secretary General also thanked Belgium for its commitment to Afghanistan after 2014.
Mr Fogh Rasmussen welcomed Belgium’s recent decision to deploy fighter jets on a new four-month air policing mission over Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia next September. This is the third time that Belgium is taking up such a mission as part of an Allied rotation. The Secretary General stressed that overall, Belgium’s contributions are even more valuable as they are made in difficult economic times, when Allies have to spend more effectively together. He said that Belgium is playing an important role in multinational projects including NATO’s AWACS surveillance aircraft, and highlighted the country’s cooperation with the Netherlands and Luxembourg, calling it “Smart Defence in action.”
Mr Fogh Rasmussen thanked the Belgian Prime Minister for his country’s commitment to NATO and for its great hospitality for NATO’s Headquarters, present and future.
Photo: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Belgian Prime Minister, Mr. Elio Di Rupo jointly meet the press at the Lambermont building.
Belgian jihadists and weapons made in Belgium
Meanwhile, the Belgian State Security "has not confirmed" the rumor that Belgian jihadists are fighting in Syria. The newspapers 'Het Belang van Limburg' and 'Gazet van Antwerpen' argued the opposite: "The State Security confirmed the presence of Belgian terrorists in Syria". Originally the Flemish newspapers relied on a report by Reuters, dated July 31th 2012, citing statements from "several rebel commanders in the north-west Syria," according to which "Muslims in Great Britain, Belgium and the United States had joined the Free Syrian Army (SLA)". On July 13th, Reuters pointed out a flood "of thousands of assault rifles Belgian FN FAL was in the hands of the rebels". In its annual reports, the Belgian State Security explains how and why she follows people attracted by fighting abroad: there was attention for Iraq, then, from 2010, to the movement towards Pakistan-Afghanistan border area; Finally, most recently, to new locations: "If the Afghan-Pakistan area, more than Iraq, was still popular in 2010 with the majority of volunteers for jihad", the Belgian State Security wrote in his latest report, "some of them began to plot their way to Yemen, Somalia and the Caucasus". And Syria now? "Obviously. Where they are beaten, those who return and who actually participated in the fighting have gained knowledge on how to handle weapons, strategy and tactics of war," noted the Belgian State Security yesterday. "This is the central reason for the Belgian concern".
A list of the top 24 countries, among the more than three dozen that are currently involved in sending weapons to Syria to achieve a puppet government include: USA, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, UK, France, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Portugal, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, and Argentina.
Nearly two-thirds of the above listed arms suppliers are members of NATO and constitute almost half of NATO’s 28 country membership.
Belgian Senator Nele Lijnen said that she intends to launch a discussion at the Belgian Senate regarding the fact that the terrorists in Syria possess weapons made in Belgium.
Photo: Victims of NATO backed bomb-attacks in Syria