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NATO head calls for support of declaration

BRUSSELS, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The head of NATO called for support of a new strategic concept to support the trans-Atlantic agency's mission around the world.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, North Atlantic Treaty Organization secretary-general, at a speech at NATO headquarters in Brussels Monday outlined the alliance's priorities for 2009. Scheffer called on national leaders in the alliance to support the Declaration on Alliance Security, NATO reported.

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Scheffer said the adoption of the declaration could set a new strategic concept for NATO and reaffirm the alliance's mission. Scheffer also called on government leaders in the alliance to recognize the ongoing importance of the NATO operation in Afghanistan and for countries "to step up, with more forces, but also with more civilian aid," he said in a statement.

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