NATO Secretary General, world leaders arrive in Chicago

PoliticsAnders Fogh RasmussenAfghanistanNATOMcCormick PlaceArts and CultureBarack Obama

Many of the world's leaders are now in Chicago, and Sunday morning, they'll be at McCormick Place, where talks begin on a number of issues with the war in Afghanistan and the European economy, highest on the list.

Like a well-choreographed dance, throughout the day, world leaders arrived at O’Hare International Airport.  Some of the last landed Saturday night, leaders of the world's superpowers, coming from the G8 summit at Camp David.

"All of us are absolutely committed to making sure that both growth and stability and fiscal consolidation are part of an overall package,” President Barack Obama said.

On Saturday night, the president and the First Lady arrived in Chicago for the NATO summit.

Earlier Saturday, NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen talked with WGN at McCormick Place one-on-one about financing Afghanistan’s security after NATO troops withdraw in two years. Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai is expected to make his case, in Chicago, for up to $4 billion in international aid annually.

“Economically it's less expensive to pay the Afghan troops but politically it's also better to give the defense of Afghanistan a strong Afghan face,” Rasmussen said.

The war in Afghanistan is one of the many reasons so many protesters are in Chicago, and Rasmussen says he supports them.

“It is an essential part of a free society that there is also freedom of expression which includes the possibility to express your views through demonstrations. Hopeful peaceful demonstrations,” he said.
       
Rasmussen also hopes that the first U.S. city to host a NATO summit outside of Washington D.C., Rasmussen gives Obama’s adopted hometown good marks, so far.

“This morning I took a run along Lake Michigan. It's become a tradition whenever I visit Chicago which I do frequently.  It’s a tradition to do that run because it's run with the lake on the one side and the very impressive Chicago skyline on the other side. And the lakefront path is very busy early morning with runners and bikers and i like that atmosphere,” he said.

Unlike other areas of the city, the atmosphere here at McCormick Place Satirdau was calm. That will change Sunday, when the meetings begin.  

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