Day two of NATO’s Defense Ministers’ meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, continued on October 23, with NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and ISAF commander U.S. General Stanley McChrystal all urging stronger support for the war in Afghanistan.
Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the UN-spawned International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced on October 21 that Iranian negotiators have agreed to a draft agreement that will provide for Iran to ship much of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to Russia for further processing. Though officially an independent agency, the Vienna-headquartered IAEA reports to both the UN General Assembly and Security Council.
The incumbent President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, announced at a Kabul press conference on October 20 that he had accepted the findings of the country's Independent Election Commission (IEC) — which had reduced his margin of victory to 49.67 percent of the vote — and has agreed to a runoff election. (Afghan law requires a runoff when no candidate passes the 50-percent mark.)
Adding to pressure mounting against the U.S. dollar, left-wing Latin American leaders gathered in Cochabamba, Bolivia, over the weekend for the seventh Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) summit and agreed to create a new regional currency in a bid to stop using American Federal Reserve Notes, according to foreign news reports.