This is IN THE NEWS in VOA
NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization, is sixty years old. On April fourth, nineteen forty-nine, twelve
countries signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington. They were allies from
World War Two. They promised to protect each other from the growing threat they
saw from another former ally, the Soviet Union.
from NATO countries have gathered for two days of meetings through Saturday in
Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany. The summit meetings also brought thousands
of troops and police for security and to control protests.
NATO spokesman James Appathurai said
the main subject at the sixtieth anniversary meetings would be the NATO operations
in Afghanistan. President Obama announced a new policy on Afghanistan and
Pakistan last week.
thirty-eight thousand American troops are currently in Afghanistan. The president
is moving to raise that to about sixty-eight thousand by the end of the year.
The collapse of the Soviet Union
and the breakup of Yugoslavia in the nineteen nineties challenged NATO's
traditional position as a defensive alliance. Ten years ago at this time, NATO
was bombing Serbia to end its violent campaign against ethnic Albanians in
NATO first brought together the
countries of Western Europe with Canada and the United States. Today it includes
former enemies of NATO that were members of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. NATO's
expansion to the east, toward the borders of Russia, has raised Russian concerns.
week, Albania and Croatia officially joined NATO -- bringing the alliance to
twenty-eight nations. And French President Nicholas Sarkozy has decided to
return France to NATO's military command for the first time in more than forty
Looking to the future, spokesman James
Appathurai says there are questions that NATO must answer.
JAMES APPATHURAI: "What do
we need to do: Should we do more to fight cyber attacks? Should we do more to
engage in energy security? How far should NATO's reach be for operations? Who
should our partners be and how should we engage them?"
Thursday, leaders of major industrial and developing countries met in London to
battle the world recession. The Group of Twenty agreed to finance one trillion
dollars in additional loans and credits for struggling countries. The money
will go to the International Monetary Fund and other lenders.
President Obama said there is
no guarantee that all the steps agreed to at the meeting will work, but:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: "I think we
applied the right medicine. I think the patient is stabilized. There are still
wounds that have to heal. There are still emergencies that could arise. But I
think you have some pretty good care being applied."
American president will meet with European Union leaders in the Czech Republic
on Sunday. He talked about the summit at a meeting of mainly French and German students
in Strasbourg on Friday. He says that in Prague he will lay out a plan to seek
the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Then Barack Obama heads to Turkey
for the last stop on his first trip to Europe as president.
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by
Brianna Blake. I'm Doug Johnson.