Complete coverage of the Chicago NATO Summit

NATO Summit Officially Begins Sunday

After months of planning and preparations, the summit finally begins

By Michelle Relerford
|  Thursday, Jun 7, 2012  |  Updated 2:42 PM CDT
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The NATO Summit begins Sunday at McCormick Place in Chicago.

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After months of buildup, the NATO Summit officially begins Sunday afternoon.

World leaders will convene at 1:30 p.m. at McCormick Place with the situation in Afghanistan at the top of their agendas. President Barack Obama arrived Saturday, and his first meeting of the summit will be with Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Speaking at a youth summit Saturday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the summit needs to produce a roadmap for Afghanistan. He said they also must decide how fast the United States and ally troops should leave, how many troops to leave behind and who will foot the annual $4 million bill to fund Afghan security forces after 2014.

Rasmussen also said he is aware of protests ahead and believes NATO's role in Afghanistan and around the world is misunderstood.

"I would call NATO the most successful peace movement you have seen," Rasmussen said. "NATO is the bedrock of peace and stability in North America and Europe."

Heads of state are expected to arrive at McCormick Place around noon. The secretary general and President Obama will make opening remarks.

There also will be a service honoring NATO military servicemen and women. The meetings are scheduled to start at 1:30 and 2 p.m.

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