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CIA secret prisons not on formal agenda of NATO FMs

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Brussels, Dec 7, IRNA
NATO-FMs meeting
The row over CIA-run secret prisons and flights in Europe is not on the agenda of the formal annual meeting of foreign ministers from the 26-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels Thursday, a NATO official told reporters Wednesday.

However, the spokesman did not rule out that some European ministers would like to raise the issue with US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, over dinner Wednesday night or at the ministerial meeting Thursday.

Belgium is hosting a joint dinner for NATO and EU foreign ministers Wednesday.

"I will not be surprised if it comes up at the ministerial meeting,'' said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Rice's current European tour has been overshadowed by question over the CIA's treatment of terror suspects in secret camps located in Eastern Europe.

Reports from Germany say that more than 400 CIA flights and landings took place on its territory.

The NATO agenda includes Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo as well as key transatlantic political issues.

''A strategic discussion will take place where NATO stands and give direction,'' said the official.

Ministers will discuss the holding of its two next summits, one at the end of 2006 and the other in the spring of 2008, but dates and venues have not been fixed as yet.

They will endorse an operational plan for expanding the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to south of Afghanistan.

On Iraq, where NATO is engaged in training security personnel, the ministers are not expected to take any new decisions.

Meetings of the NATO-Russia Council, the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at the level of foreign ministers will also be held.

NATO and Russia have agreed to train counter-narcotic officials in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

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