| GEO World|
| Merkel says NATO needs new strategic concept|
| Updated at: 0801 PST, Sunday, March 29, 2009|
BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that the upcoming NATO summit should start work on a "new strategic concept" to cope with new challenges in the 21st century.
"The challenges of the 21st century are different than those of the 20th century. We have to fight new threats such as terrorism, the consequences of climate change and other natural disasters," said Merkel in her weekly pod cast on Saturday.
With the transatlantic military alliance marking its 60th anniversary at the April 3-4 summit to be hosted jointly by Germany and France, Merkel said Germany advocates a concept of networked security.
"This means that NATO must work with other international organizations to coordinate a common approach," she added.
The German leader also said that she is looking forward to discussing NATO's mission in Afghanistan with U.S. President Barack Obama.
"We want to successfully shape this mission to make sure that Afghanistan be able to take care of its own security," said Merkel, adding that Germany is ready to contribute to the training of Afghan soldiers and police.
Merkel also said that the NATO summit will hold discussions on improving relations with Russia.